Friday, April 30, 2010

A Rough Week

I don't usually use the old cliche, Thank God Its Friday or TGIF but today I really am thanking the Lord it is Friday. This week has been a bit of a rough one for the whole Bousfield family.

Monday - Faith had the day off from school for an unused snow day or something and thank goodness she did because she woke up at 6:30 a.m. throwing up. After getting her changed, me changed and her bed cleaned up, she did a repeat about 30 minutes later. She continued to do so until mid-afternoon until there was absolutely nothing left in her poor little tummy. Later that afternoon, she seemed to be feeling better so a gave her a mixture of pediasure/water and she kept it down.

- Faith and I woke up to find Rob at home on the couch. Now he was throwing up and had called in sick. I kept Faith home from school to make sure her feedings were going to continue going okay. Although tired, she did make it to occupational and speech therapy in the afternoon but ended up having a diarrhea-like diaper that her poor OT had to change because I stepped out to run an errand. (Thanks, Nicole!)

Wednesday - I had to wake a sound-sleeping girl to go to school. She was not a happy camper. I knew she was going to go into one of those crying fits that lasted all the way to school so I tried to ease her into getting dressed. I sat with her and gave her lots of kisses and hugs. But we were quickly running out of time and I had to get her dressed and ready. Sure enough, her crying fit started and lasted all the way through me combing her hair, brushing her teeth, putting her orthotics on and getting her feeding ready. It it had not been for a sweet little boy in the hallway, she would have continued crying. But her curiosity had been piqued by the little boy and his mom and baby sister so we made it down the elevator in peace.

Thursday - Faith decided it was time to get up at 4:30 a.m. and stayed wide awake until 7:00 a.m. at which time she finally went back to sleep. I decided to let her sleep and didn't send her to school. That afternoon, I felt a migraine trying to sneak its way inside my head. I popped two advil and drank some strong coffee. After my vision cleared, I was able to get Faith to therapy where she went swimming and had physical therapy. She had sort of a tough time in PT because she was tired and Jackie had her practicing going through doorways in her power chair, which is not her favorite PT activity. By some miracle, my migraine never came completely into fruition that afternoon.

That night, I arrived home from my small group Bible Study to find Faith and Michelle in the bathroom, where Faith had thrown up. This time though, I think it was due to the fact that she was trying to have a bowel movement during one of her feedings, which sometimes happens.

Friday - 2:00 a.m. Faith is awake. I am confident I can get her back to sleep but to no avail. I begin to feel sharp migraine-like pains in my head. To my dismay, Faith began talking and wanted to get up, which woke Rob up. While we struggled to get back to sleep, Rob stayed up to watch TV. Finally, at 5:00 a.m. Faith fell asleep and didn't wake up until 10:30 a.m. Another day of missed school.

There are many theories by me, my friends, Faith's therapists and her pediatrician as to why Faith isn't sleeping well. One of which is that the tightness in her muscles is making it uncomfortable for her, which means her botox is wearing off (she gets injections in her legs every six months to help those muscles to relax). More frequent botox may be the answer. She may also need another phenol block, which is a procedure done where they block off some nerves in her legs. The nerves will regenerate, which is why another procedure may be needed. Other suggestions offered have been massage therapy, a visit to the sauna, see a chiropractor and/or stretch her legs more than twice a day.

Another theory is that her sinuses are bothering her. Last week she went to get another x-ray of her face and it showed there was still some congestion on one side of her nose. We continue to give her allergy medicine.

At this point, I'm not sure what the answer may be. What I do know is that this has been very challenging for our whole family and I continue to pray and seek God for his strength, grace and guidance on how to care for Faith and to help her sleep better.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Allie

Faith has this baby doll that she named Allie. Her friend and respite care provider, Kimberly, was with her when she named her Allie. Her little doll came from her grandparents in Canada. It's the perfect doll for Faith. In fact, baby Allie's tiny feet are the size that Faith's feet were when she was just two weeks old. Also, Allie wears Faith's preemie clothes perfectly.

Faith loves playing with Baby Allie. Faith's favorite game to play is "Let's get baby Allie dressed." This means, I get on the floor with Faith, she tells me what color of onsie Allie should wear, then picks out her pajamas then socks and a hat. After we get her all dressed, we lay Allie in her crib. Faith then says, we need to snuggle Allie with her blankets so she can stay warm and healthy. We put Allie's three blankets on her and she barely gets time to sleep because Faith starts yelling, "Wake up Allie wake up!" So we take off the blankets, get her out of her crib, undress her and then dress her all over again. This could go on for hours. It's sweet but a little redundant for me!

Besides loving her Baby Allie, she loves babies in general. Every time she sees one, she wants to talk to the baby. One time she was so infatuated with a little baby in the therapy waiting room that when her occupational therapist came out to get her and asked if she was ready, Faith yelled, "No, I don't want to see you Nicole!" Nicole looked a little taken aback so I hurriedly had to explain to her that Faith wanted to stay with the baby.

There was one time that Faith and I went to visit a friend of ours who had just had a baby, and while Faith loved seeing the baby she didn't seem too thrilled about me holding the baby. I think jealousy was kicking in!

Sometimes I feel a little sad because I think Faith would make a great big sister. But that is a whole new post! For now, I'm just grateful she has Baby Allie to play with and other babies to smile and talk to.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feeling Refreshed

My friend and I are currently taking part in a small group Bible study about the fruit of the Spirit. In this week's lesson it talks about being a friend who is refreshing. Yesterday, I was blessed to have a friend who gave me a chance to be refreshed.

Once again, Faith has gotten into a cycle of not sleeping well and is up several times throughout the night. Yesterday morning it had just gotten to be too many nights in a row of poor sleep and we were both exhausted. I allowed her to stay home from school to get some rest which meant I couldn't take the nap I was hoping to have when she was at school. I prayed that God would give me the energy to make it through the day. But He gave me something better - a chance to have a three-hour nap!

Around mid-afternoon, I called our respite care provider/friend, Michelle to see if she was available in the evening. Instead, she asked if I would rather have her take Faith in the afternoon. (It happened to work out with her job that she was free late in the afternoon). I told her that would be great! I managed to get Faith to her therapy appointment and Michelle was going to pick her up when she was done and take her to the library.

After dropping Faith off at MedCenter, I came home and promptly went to bed. That was at three in the afternoon. When I woke up, it was 6:00! The strange thing was, the apartment was completely quiet. My husband, knowing I needed sleep had found things to do after work so he wouldn't come home and accidentally wake me up. Neither him nor Faith came home until 7:30. So not only did I have a chance to sleep, but I watched Wheel of Fortune and ate my supper all in quiet bliss!

I am so thankful that Michelle not only looked after Faith at therapy but also took her to the library for two hours so I could get lots of rest. God is so good - when I really didn't think I could make it through the day feeling extremely tired, he truly provided for my needs. I am thankful to Him for that as well as thankful for a friend like Michelle!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks for Supporting our GABR Team!

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The Great American Bike Race - Just Plain Awesome!

There are so many words I can think of that describes the Great American Bike Race event which took place this past Saturday: Loud, Fun, Exciting, Crazy, Inspiring, Encouraging, Exhausting but most of all it was just plain Awesome!

As team captain, I was required to be there all day, which I didn't mind but my feet certainly did as I did not sit down once! I arrived before 9:00 a.m. to greet my first rider of the day, my cousin Beth. She really knew how to set the pace by biking 17 miles in 25 minutes! After Beth, my former co-workers from Laducer showed up. I am so thankful to keep in touch with many of my friends from Laducer. Jane and Brooke did awesome as well - Jane did especially great with fundraising as she raised over $600!

Lindsey and her boyfriend Matt arrived sporting their very cool 'Faith's Fantastic Ten' t-shirts which were paid for by my brother Todd and his oil well consulting business. They were designed by another rider, Liza Kessel. While Matt was riding, Rob and Faith showed up! Faith seemed a little overwhelmed at first (they blast the music really loud) but she seemed to settle down and actually had so much fun! She especially had fun cheering for daddy when he rode and keeping him cool by fanning him with the fan. He did really good and biked 16.6 miles!

The fun continued as Rob's co-worker, Dave and his wife Liza took their turns on the bike. (Liza was the one who designed the t-shirts). While they rode, many of Faith's friends came to the bike race to see her. Mrs. Steckler (her teacher) came with her family as well as Mrs. Volk (her instructional aid at school.) A few of her classmates came as well. Faith also had fun visiting with those she sees at therapy and also those who have worked with her in the past, like her early interventionist and former speech therapist. Her former respite care provider, Kimberly came all the way from New Town to ride and to see Faith as well.

Finally, it was time for the last rider of the day - my friend Tina's husband, Doug. Unfortunately, he had a little accident when his foot slipped out of the pedal and the pedal hit his leg (the bike was going nearly 60 miles per hour when that happened.) He was a trooper though. Tina and Doug's kids were there too to visit with Faith and see what the bike race was all about. Also, Tina's parents came so they could meet Faith.

Another great moment of the bike race was having Callie's Angels right next to us. The team is made up of family members of a girl named Callie who had cerebral palsy and passed away in 2008 at the age of nineteen. We heard so many comments from them how Faith's beautiful, bright smile reminded them of their Callie. They were so blessed just to be able to talk to Faith and hang out with her.

All in all it was a fantastic day and as an added bonus I was able to make my personal goal of raising $1,000 for our team. Thanks to all of those who donated, including my family and friends, Mrs. Steckler's kindergarten class, Centennial Elementary and the residents of our building who gave during our bake sale. It truly is amazing how so many people come together for this amazing fundraiser. I know firsthand how blessed the special needs families in North Dakota are for having this awesome event.

To learn more about the Great American Bike Race check out the following link:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Kites

Two days ago we celebrated the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. Many Easter traditions include Easter egg hunts, getting together with friends and family for dinner and going to church. Another family, we discovered, has the tradition of flying kites on Easter Sunday. And this year we had the opportunity to join them.

After a wonderful dinner with our friends, Bob and Lola and other members of their family, it was time to get out the kites. Not just a few kites, more like 15-20 of them. These were some serious kite flyers! And it was so sweet when little Kylee gave Faith a purple kite with princesses. That was to be her kite for the day.

Unfortunately, though, Faith was more in the mood to stay home. She hadn't slept well the night before and was very tired. But we talked her into going and once at the location, we coaxed her out of the car and into her chair. It didn't take long for her to cheer up once she saw all the kites in the air, she got especially excited when she saw her daddy trying to fly one!

It was a breezy afternoon and a little chilly, we had after all, just experienced a freak snow storm just a few days prior. No one seemed to mind the chill in the air but I was glad Rob had grabbed Faith's soft, fuzzy princess blanket to keep her warm.

After a while, Rob got Faith's kite out and got it way up in the air. When he had run out of string, he handed the kite to Faith for her to hold onto. And boy did she hold on! She was so excited! She kept telling everyone to look at her kite and was yelling, "This is so amazing!" Her kite flew the highest among Spiderman, the kite with tails and the box kite. Her kite also flew the longest. When one hand got tired, I helped her switch it over to the other hand. There were only a few times I had to take it from her when it looked like it was going to nose dive. I think she would have stayed there all day if we had let her. But when it started to get colder and windier, we decided it was time to go. It was a lot of work getting all that string wound back up!

Flying kites on Easter was a wonderful tradition in which to take part. We were all so blessed to see Faith taking such joy in the simple act of holding onto a kite and watching it high up in the sky. There were no clouds that day but if there had been, Faith would have been on number nine.