Thursday, January 24, 2013

Life Without an Elevator

We are currently on day four with no working elevator in our apartment building, one that it is supposed to be handicapped-accessible. It has been a little frustrating to say the least. It was supposed to be fixed on Wednesday afternoon but we are still waiting.
No working elevator in this apartment building
It has been going out off and on recently but just once was it a major inconvenience when we were getting Faith ready to go to school and realized the elevator was not working. Needless to say, she was late for school that day.

This time we discovered the elevator was out on Monday after we called the Healing Rooms and realized they were open. We gleefully got bundled up in our winter attire - even the below-zero temperature was not going to stop us.

We ran into a major disappointment though when we got to the elevator and realized it wasn't working. We went back to our apartment and figured out what to do next. We thought about having the Healing Rooms come to us because Faith really wanted prayer but that wasn't going to cut it for Faith. She said that would be "boring."

Rob got her chair downstairs then carried Faith down and put her in it. Getting her and her chair downstairs is the relatively easy part, it's more of a challenge getting everything back up. We had a fun time at the Healing Rooms and were very blessed by their prayers and scriptures they shared with us. We were glad we made the effort to go. Upon getting back home, we decided to leave Faith's chair in the van and just bring her up.
Faith's chair has made many trips up and down the stairs this week
That evening, Faith was not a happy camper that she did not have her chair to sit in during her last feeding of the day. We tried to put her in her sit-to-stand apparatus in a sitting position but she didn't like that. I ended up sitting with her on the couch during her feeding. She was still crying for her chair when she went to bed.

The next day, we got Faith downstairs then she and her dad took me to work and they went to the clinic to get her mic-key button changed. (It had come out at school last week, thankfully her school has a full-time nurse who put it right back in).

The elevator still wasn't working when they got back home. Rob managed to get Faith and her chair upstairs by himself. Thankfully, I was able to get a ride home from work that evening so he wouldn't have to take her and her chair up and down the stairs again. One good thing in all of this is that Faith has a manual base on her chair which makes it possible to get it up and down the stairs. If she just had a power base, there would be no way we could do it.

On Wednesday, we made it to school even though we were a little late. After school, the elevator still wasn't working (the building managers had assured us it would be fixed Wednesday sometime). This morning Faith woke up with a low-grade fever and because of that combined with the freezing cold weather and no working elevator, we decided to just keep Faith home. When I got home from work, I was very dismayed to find it had still not been fixed.

There are other people in our building with whom this has been a major inconvenience for - especially those elderly and wheel-chair bound tenants on the third floor.  Many of the caretakers and those who come here from community support organizations are all very frustrated.

This really, really makes me want to live on the first floor or a different building altogether! We are really hoping and praying that when they do finally get the elevator going again it will be fixed for good this time! And I'll remember to never take a working elevator for granted!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Faith's Mom's Blog Top 12 of 2012

I thought it would be interesting to see what blog posts in 2012 had the most views. I was a little surprised by the post that was visited the most. I was also very proud that the guest post written by my father-in-law made the top 12, in fact it almost made number one!

I had a big surge of views during the month of December. In fact, four of the posts I put up that month ended up getting more page views than the posts I had written at the beginning and middle of 2012. I wrote 42 posts during 2012 and here are Faith's Mom's Blog top 12 of 2012:

Number 12 - Good News About Faith's Hips publish date: 2-25-12
It's Saturday morning and after a busy, somewhat stressful work week, I can finally take a moment to enjoy a nice cup of coffee while doing some writing. Sitting here, I am reflecting on the wonderful news we received on Wednesday. Faith's left hip has not pulled out any further from its socket! Read More

Number 11 - Conscious Sedation - A New Experience for Our Brave Girl publish date: 1-6-12
I am so very proud of both Rob and Faith. I only wish I could have been there with them. Today was a new experience as Faith's medical providers used conscious sedation while administering her botox shots. Read More

Number 10 - A 40th Wedding Anniversary publish date 6-17-12
On June 3rd of this year, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. It wasn't until this past weekend, however, that they were able to celebrate the momentous occasion with their five kids, eight grandchildren and a few of their siblings as well. Read More

Number 9 - My Ten Favorite Christmas Songs publish date 12-23-12 
Christmas music has been playing now for about a month or so but honestly, I think it could play all year long as far as I'm concerned. I love the beautiful lyrics about the baby born in a manger; some of them written hundreds of years ago. While the traditional ones about Jesus are my favorite, there are a few Christmas songs that I really have fun listening to - and singing along with! Read More

Number 8 - Faith's Fun Week at School publish date 11-30-12
At least once a year, Faith's school has a fun week where there is a theme each day on how to dress. When Rob was getting Faith ready in the mornings, he really didn't put too much effort into making sure Faith was dressed according to the theme of the day. I used to love having these fun weeks at school and I loved getting Faith ready each day this week. Read More

Number 7 - Merry Christmas from Faith's Mom's Blog publish date 12-25-12
This is a slideshow I put together using Smilebox. It includes several photos I took throughout the month of December, of our family and around Bismarck. View the Slideshow

Number 6 - Christmas Festivities Galore publish date 12-10-12
This season is known as the most wonderful time of the year and probably the busiest time of the year as well. Along with starting Christmas shopping, putting up our tree and thinking about getting our Christmas cards ready, we have taken part in some great Christmas events. Read More

Number 5 - Give the Gift of a Wheelchair publish date 12-16-12
As with most kids in this country who have a physical impairment, our daughter has access to one of the most basic necessities of a handicapped child - a wheelchair. But for those disabled children in third-world or communist countries, many children with cerebral palsy or similar disabilities cannot so easily attain a a much-needed chair that offers the simple gift of mobility. Read More

Number 4 - The Baclofen Pump Decision publish date 7-13-12
Even though Faith's x-rays have shown that her hips are stable and have not come any further out of her sockets (especially her left hip), we decided to move forward with getting the baclofen pump. We felt this was the right ecision and that Faith would benefit if the pump helped to decrease her tone. Read More

Number 3 - Having A Blast Playing Wheelchair Soccer publish date 3-25-12
I guess after Saturday's wheelchair soccer game in which Faith took part, I could easily see myself as a wheelchair soccer mom. She had such a blast and with the help of a soccer player from the University of Mary, she made some great plays and even scored some goals! Read More

Number 2 - Grandparents From a Distance publish date 8-2-12
Cari, our daughter-in-law, has asked me to write up an article for her blog. Not being a blog-writer myself, this has been something of a new experience for me. I do trust that your reading of this will be worth your while. Read More

Number 1 - Goodbye to Our Special Tomato publish date 6-1-12
Today we said goodbye to our Special Tomato adaptive car seat. And special it was. It helped Faith stay safe and secure in our Hyundai driving her back and forth to therapy appointments, shopping excursions and many other activities. It also helped us through our time of not being able to afford an accessible van. Read More

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Year in Review

This year in review is a little belated - I had wanted to do it before the New Year actually began but both Faith and I fell ill with the flu and I had zero energy. It's hard to be creative with no energy! While I became sick shortly after Christmas, Faith got sick on New Year's Eve. On Friday, she finally felt well enough to go to school.

Thank goodness for the miracle drug, tamiflu, which helped decrease our symptoms and the flu did not last as long as it might have without it. I am also thankful that although Rob had mild symptoms for a few days, he is already back to being well. So while we did not end 2012 very well, the New Year started off great as on January 5th the NDSU Bison won their 2nd straight football championship!
Here is how 2012 went for us:

JANUARY - Although last winter was pretty mild for us here in North Dakota, January still got pretty cold which kept us indoors a lot. One of Faith's favorite things to do is SKYPE with our friend Kimberly in Kansas. Kimberly used to be one of our respite care providers. In 2012 we said goodbye to another favorite respite care provider with whom we also keep in touch and see every now and then when she is in Bismarck.
Faith on SKYPE
FEBRUARY - Faith got to take her wheels out onto the ice for the first time ever, thanks to a new organization in Bismarck called Dreams in Motion. In February she went curling and in March she played wheelchair soccer. Also in February, we celebrated mine and Rob's birthdays and Faith baked a lot of cookies with Michelle. She also took part in her 2nd grade school program in which she got to say a few lines and play some little bells for the music portion.
Faith has fun trying curling for the first time
MARCH - Faith had fun playing wheelchair soccer right next door in her school gymnasium. There were volunteers from the University of Mary soccer team that pushed the kids around and the faster they pushed Faith the more fun she had! Mommy had some fun of her own going to Dickinson with a friend to take in a Christian concert.We also had a visit from Grandma and Grandpa who are going to be moving to Bismarck!
At the gym at Centennial Elementary for wheelchair soccer
APRIL - This month always proves to be very busy as it is the annual fundraiser, The Great American Bike Race. Once again Faith's Fantastic 12 participated in the event and as a team raised over $4,000! Faith and her dad went to their very first Butterfly Ball - a daddy-daughter dance. We also celebrated Easter with some friends but unfortunately it was too windy to fly kites. At the end of April, we had fun throwing a surprise birthday party for Faith's uncle Todd.
Rob and Faith at the Butterfly Ball
MAY - Rob and Faith always manage to make me feel extra special on Mother's Day and this year was no different as I received flowers, cards and food so I didn't have to cook! Faith also bonded with her dad as they went fishing together for the first time as part of a school field trip. This spring we started going to New Life Church's redefinition service. We are very happy to finally find a church home - and such a wonderful one at that!
One of my favorite things to do with Faith is read books
JUNE - The big event finally arrived as we celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary here in Bismarck. We had a great time picnicking at Sertoma, the renewal of wedding vows on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat and dinner at the Bistro.
The whole family gets together to celebrate mom and dad's 40th anniversary
JULY - For the first time ever we tried to go to the Fourth of July event at the capitol building but Faith was not too thrilled since we had to listen to the orchestra first. It seemed like forever until it got dark enough to shoot off fireworks and by that time she was ready to go home. We got to see lots of photos taken by my brother Todd and his wife, Barbara who went on a missions trip to Kenya. Also in July we had a visit from our friend Brittnee and new license plates for our van - HEB11 1 (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith spend time with her auntie and uncle
 AUGUST - We did a lot of visiting in August! Our friends Kimberly and Matt came up from Kansas and we got to celebrate the news with them about their baby due in February! Also, I had a reunion with the two roomies I lived with in college while a sophomore at NDSU. It was great to be together with Keri and Mary again! We traveled to Washburn to visit friends as well. Faith started 3rd grade at the end of the month.
Faith always likes having girl time! Here she is with Kimberly and her sister Melanie
SEPTEMBER - Rob and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary at our favorite place to eat - the East 40. We went all out and had filet mignon! Faith went on her first hayride out at some friends house from church.
Faith at her first hayride event
OCTOBER- Faith celebrated her 9th birthday. She discovered playing Wheel of Fortune on the PS3 which Rob and I both have fun doing with her. Faith seemed to be having trouble with fatigue and not gaining weight so we took steps to change her diet and began half days of school on Tuesdays and Thursdays which seemed to help. I celebrated my one anniversary at work by making pumpkin muffins for those who were in my training class and who also made it one year!
Princess Faith celebrates her 9th birthday!
NOVEMBER - We celebrated Thanksgiving with some friends of ours who as you can tell in the picture are huge Dallas Cowboys fans. We have much to be thankful for as we have all been healthy and God has continued to provide for all of our needs.
Happy Thanksgiving!
DECEMBER - Faith had fun during her school program at school and also looked forward to her Christmas vacation from school. I had fun going to another Christian concert with a friend which was held at Evangel Assembly. We had a nice Christmas and saw some family and SKYPED with our family in Canada. Alas, another year has ended and it will be exciting to see what God has in store for 2013!
Faith showing her holiday hat to Grandma and Grandpa