Friday, June 22, 2012

Life with a spica cast....

I told derek last week that my only goal this summer was to take such good care of MS's cast that the doctor will be amazed at how clean it is and how good MS smells....and then I daydreamed on that the doctor would ask me to train other moms on how to keep their kids fresh and clean.... yes, these are the strange things my mind dwells on these days..... and yes, I am delusional to think that she will still smell good in 11 weeks..... but I can dream, right?   I laugh that I have zero goals for any of my kids or myself all summer long other than keeping MS clean.... but my every move these days revolves around that cast.  I'm proud to say that 10 days in, she smells great.  No poop or teetee has made its way into the cast.  The only thing to get lost down it so far was a cheeze-it but I got it out. It took several days for me to figure out my diapering method but I've got it now and my dining table has been transformed into command central for spica care.  It is physically exhausting to take care of MS in the cast... but the good news is that I'm getting stronger.  A week ago, my back and arms ached all day and night and now it isn't so bad.  One friend wrote me and joked that my biceps would be the envy of every mom by the end of this..... hmmmm maybe I can have 2 goals this summer.... big biceps and a clean baby :)

To say MS is a trooper is such an understatement.  She is resilient beyond anything I could have imagined.  As bizarre as it sounds, she seems much happier in the cast than she was before.  Several people have commented that she was probably in pain before and feels better now that the hip is back in but the doctor assured me that she was never in pain when it was out.  I think her change goes a little deeper.... remember when I talked about how this will be her first "trial" to face with us by her side?  My guess is that she has indeed breathed a deeper sigh of relief and knows on a different level that we are not leaving her.... we will be with her every step of the way.  There is really no other explanation as to why she exudes even more joy and confidence now that she is 'trapped' and unable to move.  An example, 2 weeks ago, if I left the room to put up some laundry?  She would be crawling after me sobbing and screaming.  Now?  I tell her I'm leaving to put something up and she smiles and will even wave bye bye (although she says Hi for Bye) and will play happily until I return.  (That is unless Henry has messed with her and awakened the angry asian during my brief absence!)  It is really amazing.  Before she never sat still and now that she is forced to, she is exploring and enjoying toys more than ever.   For sure she has her meltdown moments and frustrations from being "stuck" but as a whole she is doing so so well. (After I wrote this but before posting, she screamed an entire day!  I still contend she is happier but she has her spitfire moments that exhaust us all!  During the fit, AR brought her a cheese stick which actually calmed her down.  I told AR that was a great idea and she said "I was just so tired from hearing her scream" so she came up with a plan on her own.)

The hardest part has been her sleeping but it is getting much better.  I think she is just scared when she wakes up and can't move her body.  She wants to be reassured that we are there.  So she ends up in the bed with us a lot.... but it isn't bad sleeping with her because there are no more feet in the face since she can't move.... there are lots of positives to the body cast, right?  They said it may take a week for her to adjust back to her normal sleep and she has had 2 really good nights so hopefully we are on the upswing in that area.

I've decided that since she can't move, I need to try and teach her to talk.... in just a week she has added 5 new words "baby," "woof," "wawa," (for water) "ball," & "dada" (for daddy).  "Baby" she actually came out with on her own at a play group this week and I thought it was a fluke until we saw another baby a few hours later and she pointed and said "baby."

Anyone who knows Derek, knows that he loves to build things.... we borrowed a chair from MS's friend Mary Graham so the design credit for that chair goes to Lee Sheppard.  Derek copied it to make one for MS to sit in to eat.  Then he took Mary Graham's old one, attached it to a lazy susan and built MS a play table with a cut out (so she can reach the table better) and she LOVES the freedom it provides.  It was so fun to watch her face when she realized she could spin around on her own.  He also got a skateboard for her to lay on and move around.... she loved it as well until she ran over her fingers... oops.  Didn't think about that.  So his latest project is building her a custom board to lay on her tummy and pull around the house.  This is going to be GREAT for her upper body strength.

I've tried to keep life as calm as possible for the summer but this week reminded me it is beyond my control.  Between MS waking us up, Henry waking up several nights, Rollins waking me up to tell me AR is throwing up, a trip to the dr & Henry sticking his hand in his diaper at the dinner table and coming up with a big surprise for us all (and in the process Henry learning his first cuss word from Derek!) or the cat leaving a dead chipmunk on the back porch that mysteriously "exploded" creating quite the mess (which I cleaned up as a father's day gift to derek!)...... the craziness goes on despite my plans for calm.

The cast has made MS a light sleeper so I can no longer sneak in my room or bathroom to get ready during the day..... as a result I wear workout clothes every day.   But the one day that I planned ahead to move my shampoo to the other bathroom and shower during nap?  The alarm company calls when I am on my way home with the kids to tell me a window has been broken into our house... I beat the police there and hadn't yet formulated my plan on how to attack the burglar.... good thing there was no break-in..... Instead I find that one of those enormous mirrors that covers the wall and is attached by tar had fallen and shattered into a million pieces everywhere.  So that nap was spent cleaning up shards of glass.  Just a constant reminder to give up my "plans" for each day and to choose to laugh rather than cry.  One day there will be a dull moment in my house and I will miss all of this, right?

One more update.... before I had time to post this, MS actually started crawling yesterday!!  We thought that might happen at some point but not this fast.  She uses her upper body to drag herself across the floor... strange and amazing to watch!  I've put leg warmers on her casts to protect the floors and it actually has made it where she can glide across the floor with great ease.  We may have our hands even more full than I realized.... having a mobile baby in a body cast sounds somehow doesn't sound right.  Almost 2 weeks down and 10 more to go..... I think I can, I think I can.....  Enjoy some photos from the week:
The way my house will look all summer.  Look closely... Henry is in there!
Henry is all over her these days, checking on her, loving her, attacking her....

Diaper change (which occurs about every 1.5 hours).

View of the fanny cutout with diaper tucked in.

Any easy way to make her happy-- giving her a plate of olives!

The big kids even love getting in her chair.

We will rig up anything we can think of these days!  This bike works perfect with one of derek's belts to secure her.  A fellow spica mom gave me the idea!

Father's Day

So ready for a new hairdo so we tried this one and got a good laugh.
Movie Star look

She was so mad but this is the best shot of the purple frog.

Trying out MG's chair for the first time and SO happy to be upright!

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