Monday, January 31, 2011

Party Girl

Faith had so much fun at her friend's birthday party this past weekend! The party was held at Claire's where Faith and seven other little girls had their nails done (all different colors), and got to wear eye make-up and lip gloss. She loved picking out which colors to wear.

One of the funnest parts of the party was when the girls were getting ready for their "fashion show." They went all around the store to find cool accessories like a long necklace, bracelets, a purse, a hat and glasses. The girls were then able to sport their new look by walking down the "runway" and stopping to pose for pictures. It was too cute!

Afterwards, the girls ate cupcakes and watched Chloe open her gifts. Before the girls left, they were able to pick out something for a value of up to $6.00. Faith picked the pretty, multi-colored long necklace that she wore during the fashion show.

While most moms were not there to watch their daughter having so much fun, I'm glad I was there with Faith not only to help move her around and hold her fingers to get her nails done, but so that I could see first-hand what a great experience this was for her. It was hard for me though, to sort of hang back and let her socialize on her own without me prodding her to answer questions or to talk to the other girls. I know that someday, when Faith is a little more independent, she probably won't want or need me to go to such events with her, but until then, I will be there with her and relish every new experience she has!

Faith's multi-colored nails - the polish was even scented and as an added bonus,
her nails matched her shirt!

Faith checking out her pretty fingernails

Pretty purple eye shadow
Pretty girl!
Faith and friends - totally stylin'!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Faith's Dilemma

Faith has a little dilemma. She has two birthday parties tomorrow, both of them around the same times for two little girls in her class. One is going to be like a princess party where the girls get to go to a local jewelry store and get their nails done and get to buy pieces of jewelry. The other is at the bowling alley. Faith would have fun at either of them. It's really too bad she can't swing both parties.

Faith with some friends earlier in the year at a Halloween party

We decided to go with the friend who sent her invitation first, who also happens to be one of Faith's best friends and came to Faith's birthday party. The other little girl though loves Faith too and is so sweet to her and I know Faith loves her back.

How do I feel about this little dilemma? I feel blessed and overjoyed that both little girls think of Faith as their friend and that they want to include her in the celebrations of their lives. At the beginning of the school year, me and a friend prayed so hard for our kids to find good friendships at school. These prayers are being answered and I am so grateful.

I'm truly thankful that Faith's disability doesn't cause her to feel left out and that her friends at school see her first before her disability. It is something I know I will always be concerned about and I pray that as Faith gets older she will continue to have good friends in her life and more of these types of little dilemmas!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Migraine Misery

I knew I was coming down with a migraine yesterday morning when I was getting Faith ready for school. My vision started becoming blurry and I could only see out of one eye. As I walked back upstairs after getting Faith on the bus, I knew the pain would come soon as my vision began to clear up. I had been down this road many times before.

I remember having migraines as young as three years old. At that time, the main reason I got them was because I over exerted myself and my heart wasn't able to keep up. It was my body's way of telling me I needed to rest. When I was a child, my migraines not only caused enormous pain in my head but my stomach as well and I often ended up leaning over the toilet before getting to bed. I would cry because it hurt so bad but there was really nothing that could be done for me.  Rest was the only thing that helped.

There were many days in elementary school that I ended up calling my mom to come and get me because I ended up with a migraine. This went on quite often until after my third heart surgery which bettered my health in many ways. Still, even though I was able to increase my physical activity after this surgery, there were times I would do too much and my body would once again force me to rest. Even though there prescription meds available to migraine sufferers, I could not take any of them because of my heart condition. Advil barely touches them, so for me, rest is the best medicine.

It wasn't until after I had Faith that for whatever reason my migraines became fewer and farther between. It seems getting pregnant and having a baby did something positive for my body. Now when I do get one, I wonder what is going on in my body. Have I been overextending myself, is my thyroid acting up, is it heart-related, is it a spiritual attack? I never really know. What I do know is that they don't hurt nearly as bad as they used to, although I can still feel it for the next few days, which is a real source of frustration. Migraines can rob so much from so many. For me just this week, it has robbed me of energy to play with my daughter, from spending time writing, from praying with Moms In Touch, from making certain phone calls...seriously frustrating. So I rest and rest and rest and pray that tomorrow is a better day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Janu"weary" in North Dakota

Janu"weary" in North Dakota

Since we are in the deep freeze here for a couple of days, I thought I would repost this article I wrote last January. Thankfully, these below zero temperatures aren't going to last long!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fun With Blocks

Yesterday, I had to get out of the apartment. While some people are real homebodies and could stay inside for days at a time, I am just not one of those people. Faith seemed like she too needed to get out and told me she wanted to go shopping. I thought it was a great idea but as soon as I mentioned getting her dressed, she decided she no longer wanted to go out since it involved getting out of her comfy pajamas. So, I ended up going solo which was probably better anyway since the weather was not all that great.

While shopping at Target, I found some really cool "Little People" Alphabet blocks. Faith loves playing with blocks and these were big and looked like they would be easy for her to take apart. An added bonus was that they had the letters of the alphabet on them and they came in a variety of bright colors!

Today, Faith didn't have school so we got out the blocks. One of our favorite things to do with blocks is to see how high of a tower we can build. We got all the way up to the letter 'U' before our tower came tumbling down. After that though, we didn't get very far as Faith started knocking them down on purpose. We had blocks everywhere but she was very good about helping me put them all away in the little plastic bag that in which they came!

One of our high towers. See that little hand in there, getting ready to knock 'em down!
Knocking down the blocks

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits and a GABR Star

Burrr, it's cold out there! Twenty below with the wind chill - so glad I didn't have to walk Faith down the hill this morning and she was able to enjoy some warmth on the bus! Which, by the way is working out great for us. I guess when she's on there, she just giggles and laughs the whole time. The other day the bus driver told me he wished he had her for another 4 or 5 more blocks just to hear her giggle!

Besides the bus being a big hit, we have some more exciting news. Faith is going to be one of the stars this year for the Great American Bike Race (GABR)! This means she and her friend, Tanner, will be helping to promote the big event which takes place on April 9, 2011. Faith will be on TV, the radio and will be featured in Medcenter One's magazine all to promote GABR. So once again I will be looking for riders for Faith's team. I may try to get two teams together so that's 20 riders. Let me know if you want to ride! We will also be doing lots of fundraising as well!

On Saturday, Faith and I went over to a local photographer to get her photo taken for promo materials. Forty six pictures later, both Faith and I were a little worn out. She seemed to like being a little model, though!

Faith at last year's GABR

In other news, on the medical side of things I went in yesterday to get my pacemaker checked. Apparently, this battery still has 10 months of life left in it. They faxed the rest of the results to my cardiologist at Mayo whom I haven't heard from yet. Probably in the fall I'll be looking at not just getting a new battery but a new atrial lead as well, since the one I have isn't working as well as they would like. I have to go back in two months to get it checked again.

This past weekend, my dad ended up in the hospital with the flu, a major sinus infection and plus he fell on the ice and hit his head pretty hard. They have been giving him morphine for the pain from his fall. So please keep him in your prayers. I know he doesn't like just sitting around but I think it is good for him as it will force him to get some rest.

Have a great week everyone and try to stay warm!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Faith is growing. It's been two years this month that she has had her current wheelchair and now it's time for some major adjustments. Since first getting her chair, she has probably grown five inches in her trunk alone. She's ready for a new seat and a new backrest and also a new harness.

Another thing she is growing out of is the orthotics she wears on her feet. Soon, she'll be fitted for a new pair but in the meantime, she had some extensions put on so that her toes wouldn't be sticking out of them!

She's also ready for the next size up in diapers, but oops! They don't make anything bigger than a size six so we've been trying out some extra small children's briefs that seem to fit her well. I must say, I would love to see the day she no longer has to wear any type of diaper or brief and this summer might be a good time to see if she can be potty trained. I know of other kids with cp who were trained around 8 years old. Hopefully her muscles will be able to cooperate and will have control in that area. That would be soooooo nice and I know Faith would feel like such a big girl!

Although there are some adjustments that need to be made, I'm so thankful for my growing girl!

Faith at the age of three in her very first chair - her Kid Kart
Faith in her new chair when she was five. Doesn't it look big for her!
Look how big she is in her chair now!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Faith's First Bus Ride Ever!

For kids at school in Bismarck, today marked the official end of Christmas vacation. But for Faith, it wasn't just any ordinary back-to-school day - she started the New Year off by taking the bus to school! It was her first bus ride EVER!

I could tell she was a little nervous this morning about her big adventure. We waited downstairs in our lobby for about five minutes then it was there - the big orange school bus. I rolled her outside and turned her backwards so they could get her situated onto the lift. When the lift began going up, Faith began to relax and even smiled.

Faith getting loaded onto the bus

Once she was in the bus, they locked her chair in place and I hurried down to the school to meet her. As I hoofed it down over the snow-covered sidewalks, I was thankful that today was the day Faith started taking the bus - it would have been difficult to get Faith over the sidewalks with all that unshoveled snow.

I barely made it to the school before they began to unload her. As they got her onto the lift, she was all smiles! Then, when the bus driver wheeled her over to me Faith exclaimed, "I rode the school bus! Mommy, I did it!" It was music to my ears to hear her so excited!

Here she comes off the bus!

YAY! We did it! I know that putting Faith on the bus at least through the rest of the winter was the right decision and it makes it even better that it is something fun for her!