Monthly Archives: February 2008

Baylee’s new word!

As is typical with the syndrome, speech is very difficult for our kids. Baylee has some words, but mostly only single words and very rarely a very short phrase. It is very exciting when Baylee says a new word! Her newest addition to her verbal dictionary is….drum roll please……”PLEASE”. The girl has manners! It sounds more like “peas”, but we’ll take it. Now I’m making her say “peas” for every request she makes and I’m sure she thinks I’m a bit nuts, but I just like to hear her say it.

Small victories are huge with our kids. 🙂 It’s a bright spot in our not-so-fun February.

Spring, come quickly peas…..

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Filed under Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

When it rains, it POURS

It all started when Dave stepped on that fated patch of ice and broke his leg in three places. That was Friday, February 8th. Unfortunately, the emergency room missed a break up high in his leg and also missed one break in his ankle. They sent him home like it was no big deal with a bottle of Vicoden and told him to call a orthopedic doctor within 4 days. The soonest he could get in was the following Tuesday, so he spent the next four days suffering….just living from one dose of Vicoden to the next. On Wednesday after his break, he had surgery to place screws in his ankle. The surgery went well and the doctor thinks he’ll have a fully functioning ankle when it’s all healed. Today he had the stitches removed and a rigid cast was put on. He can’t do any weight bearing for at least three weeks at which time they’ll do another x-ray and decide whether he can have a walking boot. He’ll be off work for at least 3 months (if you don’t have disability insurance, GO GET IT NOW….we are quite thankful for it right now).

Bum leg Dave

But that’s not all….when it rains, it POURS. Murphy decided to stick around our house for awhile and rub some salt into our wounds. By Saturday after Dave’s meeting with the ice, Lukas was sick with the “ick”…..cough, cold, sort throat, body aches, headache, fever….all the good stuff that is spreading like wildfire in North America right now. Of course, he had to share the disease with the rest of the family. By Wednesday, we were ALL sick….even Dave was sick. I think Wednesday was one of the lowest points in my life…I had to go deliver newspapers sick….not only to our regular customers, but also an extra 100 free papers we deliver to the people who don’t get the newspaper in our neighborhood. It was also 10 below that day. And since Dave was up all night in pain, so was I (not that I could sleep anyway with a nasty cough and the inability to breath comfortably!). Sleep deprivation at its finest. Also, as sick as he was, Lukas called me at about 5:15 am and asked me to pick him up so he could help me finish the papers. I was never so grateful for the help.

I think that week proved to all of us what we are made of. We made it through none the worse for the wear. Dave is now my fourth kiddo. I know he’d rather be slaving away at work, but I also think he’s enjoying being waited on constantly. I am putting him to work with “sit on your butt” jobs. He can finish our taxes on the computer, take over paying the bills and downloading our bank transactions, and I’ve assigned him the task of sorting recycled newspaper bags so we can increase my paper route profit. We unfortunately had to give up his paper route, so that means our debt snowball has come to a screeching halt for now. We won’t be calling DR anytime soon to scream “We’re debt freeeeeee!”, but this is only a delay. Victory will be ours someday soon.

Unfortunately, the people that live in the house where Dave fell have made no effort to make my approach to their house safer even when I specifically requested they do so. They won’t turn on their motion lights, nor salt or sand where they have drainage problems, but I’m trying to take the high road and trying to forgive. Anger only adds to the stress. When Dave called to get their insurance information, they didn’t even ask what his injuries were or how he was doing. A simple “we’re sorry we didn’t realize that a real person with real bones delivered our paper to our front door every day” would really help me, but I think this is an opportunity for us to learn to forgive even when it’s difficult to do so. Dave seems to be much more at peace with it than I am. I guess it’s just the protective Mother Bear in me! We will get up to $1000 to cover medical co-pays from their homeowner’s liability insurance, so that should help us weather the financial shake up a little bit easier.

To top off our lovely week, our 16 month-old dishwasher is broken with a “design flaw”! The timing could NOT have been worse. Unfortunately, it’s going to cost nearly as much as we paid for it to fix it. I stocked up on lots of paper plates and plastic cups to fill the landfill with, but still the dishes pile up and I’m quite short on the energy to wash them. Hopefully it will be fixed within the next 2 weeks.

I better go do dishes.

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Filed under Newspaper Delivery

Murphy makes a visit….

I can’t believe that it didn’t happen sooner.  This month it’s been four years we’ve been “throwing newspapers for freedom”.  Four years of winter, cold, snow and ice.  It’s fabulous exercise!  Most of the time it’s easy if you don’t mind sleep deprivation.  It fits into our lives perfectly.

I should have know this would happen sooner or later, but our fears were realized today when Dave slipped on the ice in someone’s neglected, un-illuminated driveway and broke his ankle.  There was no way I could get him in the car, so we had to call 911 and he got a ride to the hospital in style.  X-rays showed a broken ankle bone, and it’s likely he has some tendon damage as well.  Basically, it’s a really bad sprain with a break.   He doesn’t see the orthopedic doctor until Tuesday.

As many of you know, my absolute pet peeve is people who do not shovel their driveways or treat their ice problems with sand and/or salt.  I’ve become the sidewalk police in my neighborhood.  If you don’t remove the snow and ice from your driveway according to city ordinance, the city is going to know about it.

What was so difficult to swallow about the accident in this driveway is that they have three huge floodlights on their property, but apparently are too cheap to spring for the electricity.  One fixture is a double motion flood light over the driveway, and then there’s another flood light over the  porch.  If either had been on, or turned on as he approached, he would have seen the ice.  Instead, the home owner had the gall to ask me why  Dave just didn’t step over the ice?  Umm….’cause it’s dark at 5 am?   Their negligence will have many lasting effects on our family….hopefully not devastating, but at this point, since Dave has not visited the doctor, we just don’t know.

All I do know is we won’t be calling Dave Ramsey to scream “We’re debt free!” anytime soon.  We’ll just pray that Dave can still work and that his break heals quickly.   Oh, and also hopeful our medical bills won’t run too high.

He was going to quit his route in the late spring anyway in anticipation of his new store opening.  Now he is retired.  There’s no way I’m letting the breadwinner of the family go out and risk his life and limb to get somebody’s paper to their front porch.

I know that these people didn’t intentionally mean to cause Dave or our family harm.  I know that they are also probably fighting some hard battles.  It’s just unfortunate that they don’t think about that real person who brings that paper to their door 365 days a year.  Sometimes I wonder if they think a flying fairy brings it every day….one that can fly safely in the dark over their ice.

So….if people come to your door and you live in a snowy climate, shovel your walks promptly.  Throw down some sand (it’s cheap, I promise!).  And turn on your fancy lights.  Someone’s livelihood depends on it.

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Filed under Debt Reduction, Newspaper Delivery