Monday, January 28, 2008

Castoff - the cast is off!

Whew! What a 3 weeks it has been. Looking back, it doesn't seem like THAT long ago, but if you ask Nora, I bet the last 3 weeks have been like an eternity. She was prepared going into the orthopedist's office that she might have to get another cast on, or she might find out that she did need surgery...but we got the best news. No new cast, no surgery...just a fracture brace. It looks pretty nifty, but I didn't take any pictures of it today for some reason. I was more in awe of the whole cast-removal process. Let me show you what I mean...

Here's the big saw, about to cut into my daughter's leg! Just kidding, it was just loud, they put headphones on Nora, but the rest of us had to listen to the ROAR of the saw.
Nora said it tickled...and look at that smile, you can't tell she was happy to get the cast off, can ya? Clapping and everything, I think she might have danced a jig if it weren't for the broken foot.
As the nurse got to the last leg of the cut (pun intended) on the opposite side of Nora's leg, I saw Grandpa's cute little get well message "Grandpa says HEAL!" (pointing to her heel) and had to take a picture. He also added the THIS END UP, because he's oh-so-funny.

After the sawing was complete, the nurse pried open the cast and you could see this cottony stuff inside. In this picture she is cutting away the sock part (the smelly part) and that was basically it! Check out those nasty toes though...they are dirty and dry and gross because Nora refused to put a sock over her cast because "it looked dumb"...and now she knows just how smart her toes looked all this time. Haha!
The cast came off in 2 pieces that fit back together like a jigsaw puzzle, here's Nora holding the top half with all her friends' signatures. She's already planning to wear it to Awana on Ouch Night which we think is coming up in March! The other kids tried it on, of course, but Nora has the skinniest legs in the house, or so they tell me.

We had been warned about atrophy by a few people, so we wanted to make sure to get a picture. Of course I was expecting a shriveled up prune of a foot/leg, but it wasn't THAT bad. You can kind of see where her right calf is slightly smaller in this picture. Now I'm just wondering if we are going to be able to find all the missing right shoes that she hasn't been able to wear for all this time. :)

All in all, I think we did OK with our first broken bone. Nora is on the mend, and the doctor doesn't think surgery is necessary. Her x-rays may never look "perfect" but she shouldn't have any problems walking or running, etc. Though she's excellent on crutches, she is REALLY looking forward to getting rid of them in another week. We will visit the doctor again in another 3 weeks. No more running down the stairs. Ever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We're famous!

OK well not exactly, but the assistant principal asked me the other day if they could put this picture of me and Jack on the school's website, and of course I agreed. Personally, I would have cropped it a little like maybe above my hips..but anyway. No complaints, because Jack looks awesome, and I am still so proud of him! We're studying some killer words for the next spelling bee...I'm beginning to think I'm not smarter than my 5th grader!

Monday, January 21, 2008

One more...

OK got the last card finished this morning, thank you Dr. Martin Luther King for everything you did that enabled me to have one more day off this weekend! Now I'm off to pick up some envelopes and get these ready to mail.

Card #6 - To Someone With a Very Big Heart

cardstock - Gable Green, Whisper White, Real Red
patterned paper - Designer Series Paper Cerise & Prints Brilliant Blue
ink - Basic Black, Gable Green, Brilliant Blue, Basic Gray
Blender Pen, Exacto Knife

I just cut around part of the mouse with my Exacto knife so I could stick the heart that I cut out of the polka-dotted patterned paper underneath him. The heart itself I just kind of fudged, too bad there wasn't a punch that size, would have made this card very quick and easy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back to crafting...

I wanted to be able to say I'm back to scrapbooking, but I'm not quite there yet. This is equally as exciting for me though, because I haven't been able to do much stamping since leaving Ohio (other than the Christmas cards, that is, but that already seems like eons ago even though the Christmas tree is still up!) I talked to Angie a week or so ago and we talked about the demonstrator meetings that I have missed and she mentioned that the next one would be a big stamping fest with new stamp sets. So I asked if I could join in from afar and mail in my cards for the swap. Only problem is that I didn't start creating quickly enough, because the meeting is Monday and unless I plan to drive out to Ohio tomorrow...they aren't going to make it in time since Monday is a postal holiday! Doh! I guess this will get me motivated to get to the post office anyway, so I can send the card samples to each of the girls in our group. (Sorry they are late, ladies!) But anyway...I just wanted to post these here because I'm so pleased with myself for doing something creative. Now most of these card ideas were just lifted right from but I did have to change a few things here or there to make them my own, of course.

The set I used is called Happy Heart Day and was in the preview brochure, and is now on page 66 of the new Spring/Summer 2008 catalog. It's adorable, and can be used for more than just Valentine's Day.

Card #1 - to an unforgettable friend

cardstock - Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White
patterned paper - Designer Series Paper Darling Doodles

ribbon - purely pomegranate double-stitched grosgrain

ink - Basic Gray, Groovy Guava, Purely Pomegranate, Wild Wasabi

aqua painter

blender pen
Card #2 - Happy Valentine's Day

cardstock - Real Red, Regal Rose, Whisper White

ink - Basic Black (ink & marker), Regal Rose, Real Red (marker)

ribbon - Real Red grosgrain

punches - 1.25" circle, scalloped circle

stampin' dimensionals, sponge, blender pen

The tricky part on this card was stamping the Happy Valentine's Day without the tag shape around it. Instead of using an ink pad, I colored the rubber of the stamp with my black marker.

Card #3 - Happy Valentine's Day

cardstock - Pale Plum, Black, Whisper White

ink - Basic Black, Pale Plum (marker), Perfect Plum (marker)

ribbon - eggplant grosgrain

small purple square brad, glue dots (for bow), stampin dimensionals (for heart on tag)

The heart on the tag is just one of the butterfly wings that I stamped on some scraps of Pale Plum cardstock. I'm thinking I should have added some glitter to this one.

Card #4 - Happy Heart Day

cardstock - Regal Rose, Ruby Red, River Rock, Whisper White

patterned paper - Designer Series Paper Ginger Blossom

ink - Basic Gray, Regal Rose, Groovy Guava, Ruby Red (marker), Sahara Sand (mouse didn't look right in River Rock!)

ribbon - Groovy Guava double-stitched grosgrain

CM circle cutter (tsk tsk)

ticket corner punch

aqua painter

paper piercer

hole-punching template (for corners)

Card #5 - Thank you to an unforgettable friend

cardstock - Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Read Red, Pretty in Pink

patterned paper - Designer Series Paper Cerise

ink - Basic Gray, Tempting Turquoise (ink & marker), Real Red (marker), Certainly Celery (marker)

paisley background stamp, celery 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, white gel pen (for elephant's toe nails!), circle punches, stampin' dimensionals

This card took the longest, but is probably my favorite. The elephant is actually stamped 3 times, once on the white, and then twice on pink...cutting him out once, and then his ear and arm to pop up with the dimensionals the second time. Took a while, but was worth it, he's so cute!
That's all so far. I am supposed to do one more card from this set...hopefully tomorrow I will still be in the crafting mood. Wish me luck!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Holy Cow! H-O-L-Y-C-O-W! Holy cow!

I am just bursting with pride today for my little man. Jack had won a little spelling bee in his classroom before Christmas break, and so advanced to the school-wide spelling contest for 4th and 5th graders. That was today. The 18 finalists from the classrooms were up in front of an assembly of students and teachers in the cafeteria/multi-purpose room (MPR). They had the chairs on the "stage area," a table for the judges, one 5th grade teacher reading the words, and a big scary microphone set up for the contestnats to talk into when they spelled their words. This all started at 1:30pm, it was after 2pm when I looked up at the clock in my classroom and realized I was missing it! So I grabbed my camera and took a quick walk down the halls. When I got to the MPR, there was Jack up at the microphone spelling a word that I had NO idea how to spell! And there were only 2 other boys sitting in the chairs behind him. When Jack got that word right (obstinate) one of the other boys had to sit down, because I guess he had missed his word. So it was down to just Jack and Aron (a boy in Nora's class.) The assistant principal was standing by the door and I told him I was so glad I hadn't missed the whole thing, and he let me know that Jack had already had a chance to win the whole thing, but mis-spelled a word and so let the rest of the kids back into the competition! And then with Jack & Aron, that happened again! Jack mis-spelled ubiquitous but luckily, Aron mis-spelled pumpernickel so they went on to ROUND 9! Then, Jack correctly spelled muumuu, and Aron missed his word which we can't remember right now, and then he correctly spelled geranium to win the spelling bee! The whole crowd errupted in cheers, they were all so proud of Jack, and I felt that lump well up in my throat when you just KNOW that this is one of those moments your child will always remember! The teachers and kids all wanted to shake Jack's hand. He was such a good sport and shook hands with Aron and told him what a great job he had done. They announced that Jack will move on to the district spelling bee in April, and he also will be invited to a county-wide spelling bee in February! Holy cow!!!

I am so glad that I am working right there at the kids' school. I'm so lucky that the teacher in my classroom lets me sneak out to do something like watch the tail end of a spelling bee or run out to my car to get one of my kids' jackets they left there. After school, Jack came over by "my door" where I have to be for 15 minutes after school gets out to make sure the kids are being safe, etc. At least a dozen kids came up to him while he was standing there by me to congratulate him, shake his hand, or say - hey you're the spelling bee champ! It made my day to see my little man shine today.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Signed, sealed, and extremely itchy!

Well, Russ requested a picture of Nora's cast with all it's signatures, so here she is! She is doing very well on the crutches, though she scares not only me, but also the nurse at school who saw how fast she was going down the hallway today and felt the need to come warn me in my classroom. The only "problem" for Nora is the itchies...they started yesterday, and we had been warned about how best to try and combat them with cool air as opposed to a wire hanger which sounded like heaven to Nora! So she has her fan propped up next to her bed and hopefully has her leg positioned right (like Jerry Clower) to have the air go in one side and out the other and dry up any moisture so she doens't itch so much. I almost hate to remind her it's only been 3 days, she still has 18 left to go - eek!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's official...and it's pink!

We got Nora in to see the orthopedic doctor on Monday afternoon. It was a bit of a scheduling nightmare and I might have given myself a few new gray hairs while trying to figure out how I would take Nora to the doctor at 1:40 and get back in time to get the other kids from school, not to mention the 2 neighbor girls who I was supposed to be babysitting...and did I mention that the first orthopedic doctor that I called from the ER referral didn't take my insurance? Ugh! Anyway, long story short, I got it all done and taken care of, had to take a half day off (no complaints there!) and the doctor appointment was quick and efficient and Nora is now sporting a very bright pink cast almost up to her knee!

The newness and funness of having crutches has started to wear off already, and she's got a little chaffing under her arms where the pads are rubbing her side. It rained ALL DAY long, so even just getting from the school to the van in the parking lot wasn't much fun...and extremely nerve-wracking for me. Part of me just wants to scoop her up and carry her around, but then I remember she's 10 and I probably can't lift her without giving myself a hernia. All in all though, she's been such a trooper. Her cast is halfway covered in signatures from all the kids in her class and she has certainly gotten a lot of attention. Pretty soon I'm guessing she will start making up a more exciting story than just "I fell down the stairs" but I'm trying not to put any ideas in her head just yet! Her friend Gabriella (in this picture) has been a huge help, carrying her backpack and helping her with her lunch. Every day at recess she can choose a different friend to stay inside with her. Three weeks in this cast so no gym or bowling or anything before then, and at that time they will remove this cast, do some more xrays and decide if she needs another cast or just a brace. We are praying for the latter, of course!

If you notice, a few of Nora's toes stick out from the cast. If you take a REALLY close look, you will see the nastiest toenails known to mankind. This child is in desperate need of a pedicure. I'm afraid to touch them, of course, since there are broken bones attached to those toes, but hopefully we'll figure something out. I also am going to need to find one of Russ's old socks, because even though we had record high temperatures yesterday, it's still January in Chicago, and it's gonna be COLD!

Friday, January 04, 2008

First trip to the ER in IL!

We survived 4 months at our new place without having to visit the hospital which just happens to be right down the street! And now, we have seen the inside of the emergency room. Nora took a tumble down the stairs this afternoon. Her foot hurt a lot, looked just a little bit swollen, but even after icing it for a couple hours, she still was in a lot of pain. So we headed over to Rush-Copley Medical Center and had a nice little wait. It really wasn't THAT bad, we were in and out in a couple hours. I was so sure that it was going to be nothing...but boy, was I wrong!

My Nora managed to break not one, but TWO bones in her foot! The doctor says he thinks the bad break will be able to heal on its own without surgery, but now that I've seen this xray...I don't know if I believe him. How cool is that though, they gave me a CD with the xray picture right on it. Of course I asked to see it so I could scrapbook it (one day) but the real reason they gave it to me was so that I can take it to the orthopedic doctor when we go follow-up. I am hoping they are in the office on Saturdays...if not, it will be Monday before we can do anything. They put Nora in a temporary cast, and gave her some crutches...she's a pro already at walking with them, though she would have preferred a wheel chair, she says!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Good-bye 2007, and hellooooooo 2008! I can't say that I'm sorry to see the last year go, it was a rough one. I'm hopeful for a better 2008. It started out really, really, and I do mean REALLY cold. The temperature was in the teens, but it may as well have been 80 below because the wind was atrocious, and I swear I got frostbite right through my cute little leopard-looking fuzzy gloves while trying to take some sledding pictures. As it turns out though, I shouldn't have bothered, the pics I like best are the close-ups that I took of the kids faces as they were walking back to the car. Now if I could just have those 15 minutes of my life back...I would stay in the nice toasty car and just stick the camera out the window when the time was right! The kids had a blast anyway, though Carmie and Gina both felt terrible about knocking people down when they were going 100 mph on the new sleds Grandma gave them for Christmas! Those little saucers don't really come with a steering wheel. I told the girls that I'm sure nobody was upset about it, but having been out in that cold myself for a few minutes not so sure if I would have been OK with being knocked down into the snow...well, anyway, all's well that ends well. Here are some pics of my frozen kiddos. :)