I am not even going to try to say I am catching up. Life is too busy. Catching up will have to wait. But I can at least bring you up to date on 2014.
Eden doing her Bible study from Sunday School. I came across her sitting and doing this. The part I love is that I have never told them to do this, or reminded them, or even looked at their books. Both she and Isaac have done their Bible studies completely self-motivated, and I love that.
Eden was the first to be hit by the flu in early December. It got her big time and I hate seeing a cloud come over my Sunshine. But I must also bring your attention to the little buddy sleeping on her feet. Ruby always knows when someone needs comforting. She is the sweetest kitty ever.
WARNING: NEXT THREE PHOTOS ARE DISTURBING
So my life is full of doctor appointments and phone calls and paperwork and all that sort of rot that I hate to do so much. On the afternoon of a busy December 10th, I got a phone call from Micaiah's school. Every time a teacher calls from the school, usually the first thing they say is, "It's not an emergency..." so I was thrown off when the first thing they said was, "Mrs. Baker, this IS an emergency."
As Micaiah was being taken out to the bus from school, his chair was pushed out of control and way too fast. It hit the curb and turned over and he face-planted into the concrete. His seat belt was on, which in this case, may have caused him to have even more injuries, but who's to say?
Emergency vehicles were called, and I rushed down to the school. He was very banged up and shaken up. The paramedics told me that he had lost a tooth, and they gave it to me, but they said they didn't see that there were any more injuries except for some scrapes, and that I could take him home if I wanted to. If I wanted them to take him to the ER, I could request that as well, but they didn't see any reason to.
Knowing Micaiah's very fragile health, and the fact that he is not able to communicate things that are amiss, I thought that if I got him home and found that something more was wrong, we would have the whole issue of taking him to the ER then. Might as well have them take him now and be sure everything was alright. Also, coming in by ambulance would mean our wait time should be less.
He was in a lot of pain. I asked for pain meds for him, which of course they refuse until he is seen, which just makes no sense to me, but don't get me started on that. He was miserable and was moaning a lot. It was very hard to handle seeing him suffering so much. Besides the pain of the accident, the fall itself was very traumatic for him.
The ER was very crowded, but after about three hours we finally learned that he had seven fractures in his face, a brain bleed, and a broken wrist. They decided they could give him some pain medication then. (do you think?)
The story is long, and there is much more to it. It was frustrating and sad. Things happened that should not have happened. The medical system is extremely faulty. So many things that are illogical and inefficient and counter-productive, and let's say, just plain stupid. To make a long story even longer, he was transferred from our local hospital to the children's hospital in the next town (where he usually goes -- which, it's sad that a person even has a "usual" hospital, isn't it? He could get a punch card: have ten surgeries, get one free.).
At the children's hospital, he went through all the same tests again, and was subjected to much more poking and prodding. After three hours at the first ER, having NOTHING attended to about him at all, not a band-aid, not a Tylenol, nothing... once he was going to the second hospital they decided to invoke all trauma protocol and forced his swollen, broken-in-two-places jaw into a cervical collar "for his protection". He was miserable.
Micaiah in the ER:
He was admitted to the hospital, of course. This was in the midst of Christmas preparations. He had been in the hospital for Christmas the year before. He was SO excited about being home for Christmas this year. We even had joked about, "No hospital this year!" It couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. Everything in life had to be put on hold as we all attended to all that was needed at this time.
This also had important repercussions in that Micaiah is 95 pounds, and too heavy to be lifted. He has gained about 25 pounds over the year he has been home. Our physical therapist had taught him to move around the house, and get up and down the stairs by himself. Breaking his wrist presented a huge problem. If he didn't have his wrist, how could he get upstairs to his room? And we could not set him up downstairs because his dialysis has to be done in a sterile room with a door that closes. Art had recently taken out all the doors downstairs, and widened the doorways for the wheelchairs. We had a real problem. How could we even bring him home like this?
Here he is about a week after the accident:
But bring him home, we did. On December 23rd we took him out so that he would be home for Christmas.
It has been a difficult recovery, but Micaiah healed up much more quickly than we anticipated. I was also afraid that his confidence would be so shaken that he would not try to regain his mobility and the degree of independence that he had already achieved. It is the beginning of February as I write this, and as of this writing, he is pretty much back to normal. His cast is off. His broken bones have healed. He still has wires that will come off his teeth this coming week, but he is back to eating solid foods again. He did lose and crack teeth, so it will take time to attend to all of that, but all things considered, he is doing well, and getting around by himself again fairly well.
One of the many reasons Micaiah has his own room. His monthly delivery of supplies for dialysis.
Does anyone want to guess the amount that was billed to Blue Cross for Micaiah in 2014? The winner gets a prize: the satisfaction of being right, (which I can attest to, is not all it's cracked up to be).
Well, there is much more to say about all of this, but this will never get posted if I don't move on to the next thing...
Putting up the outdoor Christmas lights!
Last year was one of the only years we did not put up our outdoor lights. We were just home from the Ukraine, and barely functioning, so lights had to wait. But this year we had a beautiful day for the job. Hannah is our tree climber, but since she still has a bum knee, we had some fantastic subs come in to handle the job.
The newlyweds worked with the kids and got it all done in record time.
Meanwhile, Levi was in the back yard with Daddy learning how to push the lawnmower, which he was absolutely delighted to do!
It's not a fashion statement; the size 8 pants just don't quite stay up.
Next came Candice's birthday!
Hey Canaan, in love much?
Maggie made a pincushion that looked like a cactus in a flower pot.
And a new sewing machine from Hannah and Mommy and Dad. Happy girl!
The 2014 Christmas card.
If there was ever a year I was determined to NOT make a Christmas card, this was it. It was the most difficult year of our lives (so far). We faced things I never dreamed of in my life. There was simply nothing left inside me to continue this annual tradition, and nothing was going to change my mind about that.
Except Daddy, who said, yes, we would do a card. And he decided on the theme, and then the rest unfolded and got done after all.
A couple of Hannah's recent paper cuttings:
This was one done for her cousin, and incorporated many of her favorite things. Hannah's paper cuttings are very personal, and like an Eye Spy. It is fun to search them over and find each item. Every item has a reason for being there.
And this is a cutting she did with a Zelda theme:
Levi on a field trip to Tanglewood where he Met Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Our family photo this year. I do not like indoor photos; I much prefer the outdoor ones. But in a pinch, it does the trick. It's not so easy getting this crew altogether in any place.
And the last birthday of the year:
Having an important conversation with my Sunshine.
And the cake was a chocolate ice cream cake, which you will see in every photo from here on. Lots of chocolate mouths of little kids.
What would I do without my girl?
Here is a card made by Levi. He would not even make a mark on paper a year ago, and did not know any letters. He has come a long way.
And here is Kiki's card. A year ago, she could barely make letters on paper, and now she is writing words! Love seeing them progress. It's not something to take for granted.
We have big stockings that I have made over the years, adding new stockings as each child joined the family. We put the stockings under the tree, and in the morning they are filled with goodies and little gifts.
Micaiah really wanted a watch, and was very happy to get one.
Eden loves owls. She named her new one Cherry Plum.
Love this girl!
Canaan got Candice a framed picture that she saw in an antique store and really wanted. When I look at this picture, all I can think is... man, I need to do something about all those cords hanging down behind the TV.
On Christmas break, we had a special treat for the kids, and took them to the Science Center here in Greensboro. We had never been there before, and they had a good time.
Levi checking out a snake.
I told Maggie, "Pretend the shark is biting you!"
Then I told Eden the same thing:
Somebody is a bit of a ham.
Waiting for a sting ray to come by...
And it did!
There was an outdoor area to pet farm animals. It was pretty cold that day though, and kind of drizzly, so not as fun as it might be in the summer time, but Levi especially really enjoyed the animals. (And yes, there were chickens there.)
The tigers were very cool. With this glass enclosure, the tigers could walk very close to you. Maybe because of the weather, they were pretty active.
Hannah went with the kids to see the third Hobbit movie, and she dressed the part. Here she is in her elven ware.
Does she look like she is from Lothlorien?
Kitties enjoying a warmer day by the open window.
Hannah after her semi-annual hair cut.
And finally, check out this video to cheer your winter spirits. When Eden dances, she is the David to my Saul. You can't watch her dance without smiling. She's got the moves!
And this brings us up to January. Since then, we have had four more birthdays, amongst other family events. On Feb 10th we have two kids having surgery, both Eden and Micaiah. We would appreciate your prayers. There is never a dull moment around here. I hope to update more soon. I may never catch up, but I will try.