Sunday, March 01, 2009

Yep! No News is Good News

It's been a while since a posting and that, of course, is good news. Bailey's had a few "symptoms" since the last update - ones that could quickly make you panick if you let it. A little swelling in her feet, legs and eventually hands, made us call Dr. Darragh. After a couple of weeks of watching her feet and legs (she even started wearing sweat pants every day to school in case her jeans were getting too constrictive from growing so much - she's gained 30 pounds these past 16 months - that's 30 pounds of GOOD weight), we were sitting at the dinner table eating dinner, and I saw Bailey's hands. I said, "Bailey, are your hands swollen?" She looked at them, stretched her fingers out, and simply said, "No." Josie, sitting across from Bailey just nonchalantly and matter-of-factly, as if she'd already noticed them, said, "Yes, they are." Bailey burst out in tears and looked straight at me as if to say "do something!" I grabbed my cell phone and tried to keep my emotions under control - needless to say, I was a little panicked too. Maybe it was time we succumbed to the overbearing and paralyzing thoughts that had been running through our heads for the past couple weeks - maybe the fluid was coming back. Ugh!! (Those words aren't even easy to type out! I have the strong urge to aggressively backspace over every single letter.) Anyway, about a minute later, Dr. D said right away that he would be surprised if anything big was going on because her last blood work (just 2 weeks earlier) was the best it's been in a long time. (We later found out that there's some heart failure number where normal is 100 - Bailey's number was 110! It had been in the thousands during her sickest days. That's incredibly exciting and a little nauseating at the same time.) So I right away smiled across the table to Bailey and she stopped crying and the look of hope returned. He brought us in the following week for an echo "just for reassurance". It was reassurance just to hear his voice on the phone say those words. We just love Dr. Darragh - in fact, Bailey and I spent the rest of the evening just sporadically saying those very words to each other. "I just love Dr. Darragh." I don't know what we would have done these past 16 years (almost 17 now!) without Dr. D and our faith. Not at all to put Dr. D and God on the same level, but God, of course, is our true and steadfast foundation who blessed us with Dr. D. I'm very, very grateful for both. (And Dr. T is, of course, in there too, but we haven't seen him much at all these past 16 months. We miss him as a buddy, but it's very nice not to see him as our surgeon.)

Marissa's a big basketball star - she's in 3rd grade and just finished their league play. They only won 1 game - their very last one of the regular season - and lost their first tournament game. But she had a blast and she's a GREAT ball handler. She scored a lot of points for her team. Very, very proud of her! (Remember those days when she was playing soccer? She scored her first goal and I, in my motherly insanity, jumped up on the sidelines and cheered . . . what a major mistake. She saw me cheering and fell in a heap in the middle of the soccer field and just cried her eyes out. She was so shy and backward back then. I still credit the solid 6 months with the Riley nurses and her Kindergarten teacher, Miss Martin, for bringing her out of that and helping her little personality blossom.) She tried out for the travel team, but unfortunately they're scrambling around to find enough players - they sent 1 player to the 4th grade team and 4 players to the 2nd grade team, leaving the 3rd graders without enough players. At least that's the rumor. We'll see.

Josie is in the volleyball club at school so we attend all-day tournaments where she plays 4 matches (of 3 games each) nearly every Saturday. We don't have to travel far - just Indianapolis area so far. She's really enjoying the club. She was on the school team this year but sat the bench most of the games. And, you know the story, the school practices are spent with the girls that already have the talent in place and the other girls are left behind and to sit the bench during games. But the Club has worked with each one of the girls and they've all improved tremendously. They are now winning most of their games and they have all developed into very talented servers and spikers. It's a lot of fun to watch them grow. And, our very close neighbor is on Josie's team, so we get to travel with them too - that's a lot of fun! And, Josie's getting ready for her People to People trip to Europe this summer. They have monthly meetings in preparation, learning about the culture and different places they'll visit. Last meeting they had a practice packing session - they had to bring their luggage completely packed as if they were leaving on their trip. The parents stood in the hallways of the school as "obstacles" and the kids had relay races with their luggage. It's been a lot of fun for the kids getting ready for this trip and getting to know one another. I'm so excited for Josie to have this opportunity. Well, at least I'm excited until we take her to the airport that morning in June . . . I'm sure I'll be praying to God and asking, "What in the world were we thinking and why did you let us do this?!" Ha!

Bailey's getting ready for Franklin Central's first annual Dance Marathon to raise money for Riley. She's been telling her story at a basketball pregame show and they've even played part of the documentary for the kids. Hopefully that will be a BIG success! And she found, successfully tried on, and purchased her first prom dress. That was a HUGE accomplishment in our lives. She's always been difficult to fit in dresses - I don't know if being opened up so many times has given her an odd shape in her chest and ribs, but she has rarely been happy with dresses in the past. So I was expecting the shopping-for-a-prom-dress event to be long, arduous, and basically a test in our faith in God, but it was a joy! She found her dream dress on the internet at a David's Bridal site, measured herself for the "perfect" fit (chest was a size 6, hips were a size 2, and waist was a size 10 - after lots of deliberation and taking the style of the dress into consideration, we decided to go with a size 6), located the exact dress at a store in Castleton, drove up there the next day, tried it on (she did, not me - ha!), and fell in love. She was so cute. She cried when we got out in the van, she was so happy. It was a memorable and very exciting moment for us. You know that feeling when something so seemingly simple becomes such an enormous joy? I love those moments.

Tom switched to day shift at the beginning of the year, and it seems like we now have a husband and father. He is so much happier now - we didn't realize these past 7 years or so that there seemed to be such a hole in the family dynamic. It seems complete now. He doesn't sleep all day anymore! It's quite a change and we're loving it!

Hope all is well with you all. I need to go - didn't realize I was sitting here so long!

Have a good weekend everyone - spring is on the way! I just KNOW it has to be.

Love you,