Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some Recent Highlights…and Disney World!

People ask me everyday if my girls are twins. Everyday. Somebody asks. And Hib and I knew there would come a time, that for a time, our girls would basically be twins. That time is officially here.  Both are crawling. Both are trying to talk. Both are trying to walk. Both are constantly vying for my attention. Two toddlers. One and Two. 

Libby loves to talk to people wherever she goes. She makes sure to get everyone's attention. If she can’t do it with her words, she’s darn good at doing it any other way she can. Here’s a conversation that took place at clinic this week… (nurse was about to prick her finger for blood)

Hi Libby!
How are you doing, pumpkin? Are you good?
         Um, yessss
(Nurse gets out needle, alcohol, etc. to prick her finger)
         Uh oh
(Nurse puts hot pack on her finger to warm it up)
         Hot, hot, hot
Just a quick prick, okay Libby?
         No (shakes head) No, No
(Pricks Libby’s finger)
         Alll Done

Annie is starting to follow suit. We taught her the sign for more in hopes she would use the sign, or the word, in lieu of screaming for more food at the table. She took to it very quickly. So, she overuses the word more just like Libby did. Like when I walk in her room in the mornings. She’s in her crib signing and saying, more, more, more. The girl is ready to eat. If she wants one of her little singing toys to sing, she’ll bring it to me and say, more, more, more. If we walk past the cat, more, more, more.

We’re doing a lot of walking, too. Annie’s not quite brave enough to take off completely on her own. But if she’s got a little support she’s good to go. And Libby is Annie’s biggest cheerleader. We cheer Annie on, and then Libby begs to practice her walking. She’s so encouraged by her little sis. And she’s working so hard.  But about 30 seconds and she promptly tells me, Alllll Done. Annie. She’s had enough. Annie can go again.

Both of our girls are love bugs. But Libby loves on another level. Everyone. She captures strangers’ hearts everywhere we go. She likes to kiss. And she loves to hug. When she meets someone, she instantly opens her arms out wide. It’s time to embrace. So, you can imagine going out with her. If you had seen us at Target today you would've seen a complete stranger, trying to get her own shopping done, taking the time to bend over our cart and give Libby a huge hug.

Eat, play, eat, play, nap. And play some more. Peek-a-boo behind doors (I know, I’m waiting for the first finger to get smashed-such a risky little game). Racing each other up the stairs.  Chasing after the cat. Throwing and catching balls. Dancing. These girls love to dance. If they hear music, they bop up and down. On the spot. One of my favorite moments everyday is in the car. Partly because the girls are confined for a few minutes and I can sit down. And even make a phone call. But mostly, because I can turn up the radio to just the right song. And I turn around to huge grins and four little legs kicking away. Arms flailing. Dancing. It’s priceless.

And Monday’s treatment went off without a hitch. That means Libby and I are headed to Disney World this Sunday! We’re celebrating Hadley’s 6th birthday!!! Unfortunately, Hib won’t be able to go. He has to be out of town for work. We’re bummed. And so thankful Gigi is keeping Annie for us. Since I’m not brave enough to handle both the girls by myself.  Even though we have lots of our family going with us. Including Grandmamma and Granddaddy. I’m still not up for it. Sorry, sweet Annie. Next time.

Libby’s doctors and nurses are amazing. They’re so excited for her. They’ve moved her appointments around to make this happen. They’ve given me the number to the ER in Orlando (and we’re all praying I don’t have to use it). They even gave us a note to give Disney that gives us access to the front of the long lines. Awesome, right? We can’t wait!

We’ll definitely update when we get back. We actually have clinic the day after we get home. Friday, the 22nd, is our next chemo day.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And Happy Weekend! We love you all!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Days Like These

 Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.  He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.  He did all this on His own, with no help from us!  Then he picked us up and set us down in the highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Ephesians 2:4-7 the Message
Wednesday was one of those days. I woke up with a horrible crick in my back. You know it’s not going to be one of your best days when you’re shoving Advil down your throat before your feet have even hit the floor. It was pouring rain. And I had to get Libby to the clinic to kick off her next round of treatment. One of many doctor appointments we had last week. Traffic was horrendous. We were late. Her first procedure was late.  Libby got sick after her sedation. There was a tornado warning and we had to move rooms. And I could go on and on. The day didn’t get any better.
Honestly, the entire week was kind of a bust. Libby was unusually defiant. She was constantly harassing her sister. I felt like I was punishing her nonstop. To no avail. And on Friday, I found out she had strep throat. Poor thing. I’ve been punishing her. I’ve been reprimanding her at every turn. And she’s felt like total crap. And I had no idea. Somehow, I let Annie get a horrible case of diaper rash. Libby was running a fever by the weekend. And it’s just been the little things.  You know, like walking into the grocery store(for the third time this week) Annie’s boot kept falling off. I was pushing Libby in the cart and carrying Annie in my arms, and her freaking boot fell off no less than three times on the walk from the car to the store. And I’d have to stop and pick it up in the middle of traffic. Thankfully, without Libby and the grocery cart rolling away. I won’t tell you the profanities uttered every time this happened.
Yeah, my attitude wasn’t the best last week. And at one point, I believe it was Wednesday in the tumultuous rain and traffic from hell, I did a ridiculous thing. I tried to imagine someone telling me, a younger me, what my life would look like someday. I was thinking of these days. I don’t really know what I was trying to do to myself with this little exercise-I guess justify all my complaining. My poor parenting.  My terrible attitude.  Whatever. I don’t really know. But it didn’t help.
Because, obviously, I don’t know all my life will entail. But God knows every single detail of my life. In fact, He orchestrated it. Nothing has happened by chance. Nothing will happen by chance. And I’m exactly where He wants me. And sometimes I think on my worst days-the messy ones, when the failings are most obvious, when I’m so fully aware of my helplessness-these are the days He really takes over. And He does His best work. I let go. Finally. I complain. And mess up. And I cuss. And I snap at the ones I love. And I’m not proud of it. But I think that’s the point. He wants to show me He loves me. No matter what. Even at my absolute worst. He loves me and He covers me with His grace. It’s not fair. And I don’t deserve it. But He does it anyway. And it will be nothing but His miracle, but I think He’s helping me to learn to love the same way. 
*Libby had her first treatment of this Interim Maintenance phase. And she has strep throat. But we're on antibiotics and doing so much better! We’ve been through this phase before, not that we can really remember it. She has treatment roughly every 10 days, for eight weeks. Her next treatment will be Monday, February 11th.Then, we begin the maintenance phase. We feel your prayers every single day!