I love mashed potatoes! One reason I love Thanksgiving! Ellie loves mashed potatoes too! I think baked potatoes are pretty yummy too....especially piled with lots of stuff on top! And I love some chic fila waffle fries with sauce! Some days I love being a couch potato! I don't love when my daughter wants to be one. That's what Ellie was yesterday, if we had left her alone, she probably would have sat there all day, unless she had to pee. There is a happy ending to yesterday's couch potato extravaganza, but let me back up a few days for you.
The day before Thanksgiving, Ellie said the room was "spinny". She got upset and clung to me, hiding her head in my shoulder. It happened again Thanksgiving morning. I kept asking if anything hurt, I just don't want to see her in pain. When Ellie first got sick, she never told us anything hurt, besides her belly. By the time she was admitted, there was so much swelling in her brain, we know she was hurting, but had never told us. Since Thanksgiving there has been no more spinning (but some yummy leftover mashed potatoes!)
There was no black Friday shopping here...in fact this is the first black Friday in 13 years that Richard didn't have to work. I think he may have had crazy crowd withdrawals! We did have a white Friday though because we got to see SNOW! Some friends, along with a ski resort, opened up an area for the kids to sled and play. Noah loved it...he had his good friend and a sled, he couldn't have been happier! Within a few runs in his sled, he had perfected his steering and stopping (by running into a snow bank). Ellie was not as thrilled. New things that she is not confident in are hard for her. Snow is also like sand, very unsteady. So not being on flat ground was hard for her. We got her in a sled and for a few moments she giggled, I think we even got a "weeeeeeeeeeeee" and a "wooo hooo" out of her! Then in true Ellie fashion, she wanted to be held. She got a ride on a snow mobile with Daddy and the ski patrol and then found her happy spot with my friend to watch the zip liners come screaming down the line.
I loved my day with my friends. While I was sad that Ellie didn't enjoy the day as much as "I" would have like her too, I was so grateful for friends who heard her crying, but made no big deal over it. No one fawned over her or doted on her. She was just like a normal 2 year old having a meltdown...and it sounds odd to say, I liked that. I love my friends, I love that we can pick up right where we left off, even though I haven't seen them in weeks!
So that brings us to Saturday, aka potato day. We always watch cartoons on the couch...that's a given. And Ellie always has to have blanket to cover her socks, but yesterday the couch fascination just didn't seem to end. She didn't really care what she was stuck watching on TV, she just didn't want to stray far. Even for meals. She was cranky and grumpy and anything we suggested just resulted in tears. As a parent, that moment you can't make your child smile or happy is heartbreaking, especially in our circumstance. We finally got a few giggles from her, once she got over me laying on her!
Taking pictures of herself...finally smiling!
And of Daddy and SG...and Stitch
As the night progressed and the grumpiness carried on...in tears I looked at Richard and said "I really don't like seeing her like this" Its just so hard on your heart to watch her not enjoying anything except the ipad, tv, and couch. Within the hour we had coaxed her down on the floor to play with us. While many times she begged for the couch back, we got some decent play time in. She then proclaimed she was tired and we got her ready for bed...but then from out of no where this energy came. She was giggling, laughing, and even doing a little "crazy dance". At one point I think I saw her run! While she was saving me from Daddy, we climbed up in the love seat and snuggled...real snuggles, in fact she told me she couldn't got to bed yet because she needed to snuggle with me, this never happens, Daddy maybe, but me, not usually! She chatted on for probably the next 30 mins while I drifted off to sleep, and then she'd wake me back up to tell me something else. I completely give this one up to the Lord. He knew my heart was aching and he provided for that moment.
At 10 I finally called it quits and she headed to bed. This morning she woke up full of hugs and energy. While she still headed for "her spot" on the couch, she gladly hopped down when it was time to get ready for church! She has even found a place in her heart for Oh Ah Ah the monkey again! He was temporarily replaced by Stitch for a few weeks, but he's back! Oh and we learned that monkey is a girl...as I said "he" about monkey, she quickly corrected me "he is a gurrll, Mommy"
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor 12:9
I kept hearing this song on the windows commercial, and we had the TV on the same channel all day yesterday, and this song kept playing over and over. I finally googled what the song was because I kept thinking it was saying "be brave". Once I figured out the song, I found this video to go with it. For obvious reasons this song touched my heart, but I think it's the perfect example of bravery. These children are beyond brave. If you ever go to an oncology floor (not that I would wish it upon you) you will see a lot of brave little heros. Sure there may be one or two kids crying (and you should never fault them for it) but generally you will see happy, smiling faces. You will see nurses with brave smiles on their faces and sometimes even a super hero shirt to make their little patients smile. You will see parents, smiling at the littlest things and keeping a stiff upper lip, because all you can do is be strong and be brave. I have never considered myself a brave person, heck I won't even call and order the Chinese food over the phone. I am the definition of a chicken. As I watched this, I thought about my growth over this past year. Of the strength and bravery myself and my family have gained. Our battle with cancer causes you to be brave, but I'm also proud of the faith we have bravely and boldly displayed. We don't shy away from the fact that we truly believe God has the power to heal her, its whether or not that is His will. We know that without our faith, this journey would have been a whole lot more difficult, and we praise God daily for the strength he gives us! So I'm going to pat my family of the back for being brave...I'm proud of us :)
I hope that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving, I know we did!
Forgot to share about the walk....so here's a recap, real quick! We had over 170 team members, I'm not sure how many were actually there, way too many to count! We raised over $25,000! And flooded that park with pink Thank you to all who donated and walked and supported! I couldn't have been more proud or honored!
I ask for continued prayers for our family. While we are all spending lots of quality time together, its hard at times. Please pray for continued strength for each day.
Prayers, Praise and Pink