A Mommy a Teacher and a Dentist

I am SUPER surprised that Emmeline added that last one to her list of things she wants to be when she grows up after this visit to the dentist.  She was in one word, Terrible. I have been taking my girls to the dentist since they were 2.  You would have thought that Emmeline had never even heard of one much less seen one.
We were there today because Emmeline had what dentist call "shark teeth".

This is basically when the permanent teeth come in behind the baby teeth and the baby teeth don't fall out thus creating two rows of teeth.

It was pretty obvious that Emmeline's baby teeth weren't coming out and that there was no room for the permanent teeth, so off to the dentist.  I figured they would just pull them.  I talked to Emmeline about it for days before hand in hopes that it would help her cooperate.  No such luck.  She barely let him look and after about 15 minutes of trying to coax her to open her mouth so he could numb her I finally had to institute the full body lock down. Some doctors have been pretty appalled in the past when I have used this technique but I think he was pretty relived.  We were hoping that we had been honest about the sting when she got numbed that she would believe us when we said the rest wouldn't hurt.  No such luck there either.  After another 20 minutes of trying to get her to open her mouth they decided to try gas.  They were out.  Not my day.  We tried lock down again and putting in a bite block so she couldn't close her mouth once we got it open but he couldn't get her mouth open.  At all.  The girls is strong. Realizing the end was near and they might say we should try again another time I grabbed the bite block, basically sat on her, pried her mouth open and wiggled the bite block until I got it most of the way in.  I don't think he thought I would be able to do it but once I got her mouth open he quickly helped me get her cheek out of the way so the bite block locked in place. Sheesh! I was totally sweating by this point.

Anyway, After some quick twisting and pulling, we got these suckers out! Look how long that root was?! Seriously creepy. This picture doesn't really do it justice.

Not quite as magical as I wanted her first lost  tooth to be but hey, nothing with her has been quite how I pictured it.

Here is her gap :)

I honestly didn't think she deserved a prize. I did!  But I think the dentist felt pretty guilty so he let her get 3 prizes!  She of course was more than happy to accept 3 prizes.  Stinker. At least I got a workout.


I Killed Bambi's Mom..Well, She Better Hope She's Dead!

Back before Christmas I was driving back from the store right at dark when a deer came out of nowhere and I couldn't safely avoid it.  I had just enough time to see it, slam on my breaks, realize I was going to hit it and then get really, really mad just before contact.  I mean, REALLY angry.  For a brief moment I thought "People die from hitting deer.  I can't believe you are trying to kill me right before Christmas! On the way back from getting Emmeline's gift no less! Like she needs that kind of guilt later!" To make it even more fun I was in a rental car.  Our van was having a total engine rebuild so I was driving a little Nissan Sentra.  Now, since I did walk away fairly unscathed I am pretty pleased with how it help up hitting a full grown deer. There was one pretty huge flaw.  When I made contact with the deer, my hood flew up and my entire field of vision except about 6 inches and the bottom center was blocked. When I hit the deer I heard a terrible sound.  I was afraid it was the deer stuck to the car somehow but luckily, or not so luckily, it was the engine. I managed to use the 6 inches of vision to pull over to the side of the road.
Anyhew, it was totally dark by then and I was on the side of a fairly busy highway.  I called josh and we agreed I should call the police to report it. While I waited I tried to take pictures but my phone and the dark plus headlights made it pretty much impossible to see the actual damage. So, you can imagine when I got a lovely packet of the damages from the rental company, I was pretty pleased.
Here it is in all it's glory.

I felt like I came out of it untouched.  Until I had to drive in the dark a few days later.  Not so much.  I haven't had to do that much deep breathing since I was in labor.  So not fun.  Now I want to become a hunter even more.  Down with the deer!!



There is this road right when you come in the main gate of Sweet Briar.  It called Sanctuary Road.  When I first saw it I thought "Yep, that's going to be my main running road".  It was perfect.  Packed gravel, only a slight incline, surrounded by tall trees on both sides.  My first time running here I ran straight there and headed down the road.  The road held up to it's name...for .3 miles...then it dead ends, along with my sanctuary.  I rarely stop during a run, but I found the dead ends so jarring that I found myself standing in the middle of the road, angry at first, then searching for a possible trail out the other side.  No trail.  Nothing to do but turn around. I found the run back out to the main road much less enjoyable than the run in. I quickly went back to angry.  Who names a road to nowhere that?! Why wasn't there a sign so people don't' get their hopes up?!
I have found several trails and routes I like but each time I drive by that road I want to run down it.  I imagine where it could go, what might be on the other end, and the sound of the gravel under my feet. Even though I already know the answers, I find myself imagining the wonderful places it might go.


Fumbling in Reality

Over two months.  I think that is the longest I have ever gone without posting.  It's not that I haven't been doing anything.  I've been quite busy actually.  The thing that got in my way?  Reality.  The harsh reality of life.
As some of you know I have started working part timeish.  I say ish because since November it has bordered on full time.  That has probably fed into my lack of fun things to blog about as well.  More work equals less running time.  Something directly tied to my sanity and creativity.  No running= no fun.  Plus all the work means I'm doing the same things everyday.  The same very boring things everyday. Who wants to hear about that?  I don't even want to know about it!
December was a rough month and the roughness is following me into January.  I lost someone dear and the hole will forever remain. A hole that sometimes makes it difficult to breath.  That sometimes makes me feel like I've been punched in the stomach and left in a heap in the floor.  It makes every part of me ache.  I haven't written about it here in detail and probably wont.  There is no justice to give it.
Others I love are hurting and I feel helpless to help them.  I do what I can but can't help fee like I'm falling short.
I flip flop between numb and throbbing.  But life continues to go on. So I fumble around and try to keep up with it. Keep up with work, school, Josh's work, doctors and church. Some days are more successful than others but most days leave me feeling exhausted and overstimulated.  Hopefully my fumbling is helping something or someone somewhere.


Bees and G-tubes Oh My!

Fall is my favorite season.  It always has been. Now days is reminds me of when Emmeline was in the hospital as a baby.  For weeks I slept in her hospital room until her sweet amazing nurse told me that I was exhausting myself and begged me to get a room in the nearby Ronald McDonald House.  After getting a room there I would guiltily slink out of Emmeline's room after I got her to sleep around 10pm.  I always felt awful for leaving.  I hated thinking she was there alone.  I later found out that after I would leave and she would wake up the nurses would take her out to their station and play dress up with her with all the premie clothes:)  I shouldn't have worried about her being alone because she always draws people in with her cuteness.
I would wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure I got to the hospital before rounds, desperate to talk to the doctor and get more immediate control and input on what would happen next for my child. As I left, I would grab breakfast from the kitchen (usually 2 rolls leftover from the previous nights dinner) and walk as fast as I could to Emmeline's room.  There she would be in a new adorable outfit looking so small.
I made some very tough decisions during that stay, some great and some I regret.  The one I hated the most happened 6 years ago today.  Her  g-tube.  Don't get me wrong, they can be amazing and life saving for some but I HATED IT.  Every second of it.  My daughter has had many surgeries but that was the only one where I sat in the waiting room crying wanting to storm the OR and grab her off the table. As we all know, I didn't, and we made it thought it.  But I still hated it.  So much.

Here she is post op and her first halloween so of course I dressed her up.  Pretty cute little bee :)


Will They Be Nice?

I struggle with that thought every time I walk away from the cafeteria  after I drop off Emmeline in the morning.  That's where they corral the kids and then dismiss them grade by grade so the halls aren't flooded with kids.  A good idea I guess but it makes me worry.
I always worry about Emmeline is social situations but they are usually smaller groups so she can hold her own OK. But in that cafeteria there are hundreds of kids.  Hundreds of noisy kids.  None of the kids have been mean to her but kids get frustrated easily.  As I walk away I know Emmeline can't hear. I hope the other kids are nice. I know when they talk to her in that noisy room she wont understand what they are saying.  She will do her best to fake it but, eventually the other kid realizes she doesn't know what they said and they move on.  Not moving on to be mean or anything but if they have to choose between a friend who they can't understand and who can't understand them and a friend who can...it's pretty clear but it's just difficult knowing. That they will move on and Emmeline wont know why.  Or maybe she does and she feel rejected? Maybe they will be mean about it, maybe they wont be. But I don't know because I wont be there.
It's almost unbearable walking back to my car. I want to stay and translate for her.  I want to help her friends understand her.  I want to help her not be frustrated. I want it to not be so difficult.  But it is.  Like so many things in her life, she has to work harder to get less.  I think she is realizing that. Which only makes me feel worse walking away.


Happy Dumple Day!

Emmeline is 6!  She is so super amazing.  She has come so far and continues to blow me away all the time:)  So...of course that means a look how far my super awesome, amazing, cool kid has come.  I know you're excited! She is cute after all ;)

Her difficult start

Daddy's hat

Spy training

 In disguise 

So comfortable at the doctor that she took some glamour shots

 Signature pose as a cricket

"I'n getting mawwied"

 we will call this oral motor therapy ;)

 I have literally hundreds if not thousands of selfies Emmeline takes.


 riding her bike

 Shirley Temple tribute

 mini Dr Harris

 Or firefighter Harris.  She likes to keep her options open.

 You know you want one too :)

She had a blast with her cousins this summer

 first time in a convertible.

Graduating from PreK.

 I think she likes the water so much because it takes the pressure off of her to stay balanced.  She can just float along.

We are really seeing all her hard work and fighting pay off.  She has been sedated at least 30-40 times, had 13 surgeries and had therapy almost every day of her life. This year she started mainstream kindergarten and is in the advanced group!  If I think about it for too long I become a sobby mess so I choose to just look at how darn adorable she is! Although this time 6 years ago I was a sobby mess as they transferred me alone in an ambulance to a bigger hospital while in labor! Who does that?!  Anyway...Cute.