Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Big News Day

I have several pieces of big news to report on today. First and foremost, Ally did make it to school. I was so pleased that she went and I never heard a single complaint! I knew I was in good shape when I was driving her (and her sister) to school...we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio and she was just humming away in the back seat. Cute. When she got to school, her guidance counselor, Mrs Kulwicki, was standing at the front door holding it open with the biggest smile on her face. Then two steps in...her art teacher gives her a huge hug. Then our kind school secretaries made her feel welcome. She could not stop smiling. Off to her classroom. As soon as she walked through the doorway, tons of kids were running from their desks to get right up on her and see her. Mrs Hamilton, her teacher, said she had told them Ally was coming, but was gonna be a little late and they were on edge waiting all morning. Midway through the day I got a note that Ally was doing great and I breathed in a big sigh of relief. It may not last, we will see, but she did one day. And one day is better than none.

I was surprised when she got off the bus and asked to play Wii. She is not much of a video gamer type. She wanted to do Dance Dance Revolution. Apparently, they did it in PE class but she felt too uncomfortable to try it there. Afraid she might fall. So we set it up here and she did it for about an hour and a half! I think she may be participating at school next time. Today was a TV free day as a result. She even did her reading before bed. This is big stuff in our household.

She is all set to go to school tomorrow...at normal time. She has already ordered me to make her a tuna sandwich for her lunch. Hoping nothing changes in the night.

Her biggest news of the day, in her opinion, was that she finally FINALLY swallowed a pill. Her steroids are two little pills that she has to take twice a day. (four pills) We are not allowed to crush them...it makes the taste almost unbearable that way, so we cut them into teeny tiny bits. Well today she decided she could swallow them if we cut them in half and served it up with a bit of chocolate chip mint ice cream liquified with a little milk. And she did it!!! Right afterward, she said "Dad, how old is Amanda?" (this is her fellow ALL patient friend from the hospital)...so Jerad said "she is 15" And Ally says "I am only 8!!! And I took the pill!" She was super proud of herself. (Sorry Amanda, I know you will read this, but Ally is willing to teach you!) She should be proud...I know I could not swallow a pill when I was eight.

So while the girls were at school, I promised Evan I would take him to get a Christmas tree for his room. The girls both have normal size trees and he had this pathetic thing that looked ridiculous especially considering he IS after all the decorating boy. (e.g. Halloween) Check it out:
We searched around but could not find a tree that suited me. They were all too big or too small or in ornate looking pots or something weird. So finally, we are at Lowe's and I went to the outdoor area and found a perfect size real LIVE Christmas tree and it was cheap! I wanted a live Christmas tree this year...we always had one growing up...but Jerad will not really allow it. So now, we have a live tree...and we got cute perfect Charlie Brown style lights....colored, as the kids always want but I won't allow on the big tree. And he is hanging all his ornaments that he is making/painting on it too.
On the way home from Lowe's we had an interesting conversation that I must remember...so I am writing it here. Again, for my own benefit, but cute.

Evan: What do you think Ma is doing in Heaven right now? (we discuss this all the time)
Me: Probably golfing. Or maybe having lunch with her friends.
Me: Actually, I bet she is putting up her Christmas Tree right now
Evan: Well I think she is playing with the birds.
Me: Oh, Ma loved the birds.
Evan: Yea, the bluebird right?
Me: Right.
Evan: I think she is holding the bird right on her finger. (something that would terrify him)
Me: Yea, they probably land on you in Heaven and you are not even scared.

A minute or two passes.
Evan: Mom, do birds poop in Heaven?
Me: laughing really hard.....probably not. Well, at least not on Ma.

Here is our little tree. And it is currently making me happy. And him too. And also, I have been doing this thing for years where I take a picture everyday in December and put them in a little book. Decorations, baking, presents, Santa, lights, whatever. So you are probably gonna see a lot of those type pictures out here. If I can keep it up. Today being December 1 and all....I have one day down, anyway.


  1. Love the tree! Kids come up with the best stuff. How sweet! So happy she made it to school today!!

  2. Janel! Max was so excited to have Ally back at school. He gets to sit next to her, which he thinks is really neat. :)


  3. I was smiling the entire time reading your post. Glad for a great day for all. Loved the photo of Evan and his tree. Great Job decorating.
    Hugs to all.

  4. Way to go Ally on swallowing that pill! I think I may have been like 16 myself when I first learned, and it was a teeny tiny thing at that. But then I gradually figured out how to swallow bigger ones after that, so hopefully she will learn that too.
    I LOVE Evan's tree! I too would like a live one at times. I may have to go get me one of those. Of course, I already have like 5 trees of various sizes already...
    And I bet Ma is putting up her Christmas tree, a live one, AND playing with the birds who live in it. :)
    I need to remember the photo a day thing too. I have been out of the loop on that since about June.

  5. Wow, school, swallowing the pill, Dance Dance Revolution, this was a banner day for Ally, you go girl, great job. And that tree, Janel that is awesome, you are taking care of each and everyone of your children, even when you think you are not. I remember when Jodi had a tree in her room that she could decorate any way she wanted, what a treat!!! Great day with great happenings, keep up the good work. Hugs and kisses to all. I bet Ma put up the tree, played golf and played with the birds, she could do it all.

  6. Janel
    Here is a little suggestion for swallowing the steroids. Our daughter was 10 when she had ALL. A friend of mine suggested taking it with some sort of pop(the carbonation helps it go down)and then eating some chocolate afterwards to get rid of the awful taste. We always had pepsi and m and m's on hand when she was on steroids. When we ask her today the steroids really were the worst part for her. Glad to hear Ally is feeling okay and make it to school. We continue to pray for her.

  7. Terri Barnett ShumakerDecember 2, 2009 at 7:57 AM

    It was wonderful to read all the good news on todays's post. Glad Ally is feeling better and the pill thing is HUGE. The talk you and Evan had will stay with you forever, there are some things you will always remember. Loved his tree too.
    Hope more good and fun days are coming your way.
    Thinking of you all everyday.

  8. Way to go Ally! Glad that school was such a great experience and that her first day back was such a exciting time. Our boys have trees in their rooms every year too, it's one of their favorite things, but it's definitely mine, and your picture shows why: I love seeing their glowing faces in the colored jumble of lights. Enjoy these days!

  9. I could see the happiness on your face yesterday...a normal day at the Barnett house. So proud of Ally for making it through school. Thanks for the reminder to take a photo a day in December. Makes us appreciate the small things...

  10. Wow, what a great day!!! So glad that you documented the conversation too...school, pills, Dance Revolution, AND real Christmas trees. I barely made dinner last night. :-) We still do get a live tree, but Tyler said we can't get it until 15-20 days before Christmas depending on the source so it doesn't dry out too much (he read that somewhere on the internet, I'm sure). So I'm thinking that he's going to take a break from labor to go pick one out.. just playing. At any rate, so thankful for a day of smiles for you. Here's to another one today.

  11. What a cheerful post - full of good news and smiles!!! I'm so happy for you! Way to go Ally!!! Woohoo! Swallowing a pill is a great accomplishment - I remember when my Janelle finally could swallow a pillow - she was much older. I'm sure she was a teenager. Here's to many more days full of energy for Dance Dance Revolution:) What a beautiful conversation with Evan - I'm sure Ma led the two of you to Lowe's for the real tree. I'm looking forward to your pictures. . .