Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Girl and Her Arm

So we had our long-awaited appointment with the hand and upper extremity (why can't they just say arm?) specialist on Monday. It was, to be quite frank, about 180 degrees from what I expected but immediately fell in love with Dr. Fornfeist and his calm demeanor. Well, at least Tay and I did. Dave has known him for years so he wasn't exactly "struck."

To make a long story short, Taylor does not need surgery.

Can I get a hallelujah?

He really believes the hardware in her arm has been in there so long that taking it out would severely compromise the strength of the arm for at least six months minimum. In addition, bone has begun to grow over the plate, which would make "chipping away at the bone necessary".

Yes, let's all shudder at that thought together.

And back to the story...

So that chipping could lead to her arm being broken again. Best case scenario is that she has an arm that will break at the slightest fall for 6 months because of the work it would take to get the hardware out. That was an easy decision - NO WAY, JOSE.

Moving on - not having full extension in her elbow. I have to admit this is a biggie for me because, y'all, the girl is 10 (yes, I know her birthday is next month but I'm living in denial for as long as possible, thankyouverymuch) years old and it's hard for this mama's heart to just accept that she'll not have complete range of motion for the rest of her life.

Clearly, I'm not the dramatic type but still...

So Dr. F found that she's lost about 20 degrees of extension compared to her other arm. But, because her left elbow hyperextends, she only needs 10 degrees to get the arm completely straight. The problem with capsular release surgeries, which is what she would need, is that she could go in without 20 degrees and come out losing 50. There's just no guarantee.

He told me point blank, "I know without a doubt that it's possible I could make her worse. I'm not certain I could make her much better, though."

This is where the tears came - for both females in the room - but I pressed through because I needed answers and, quite frankly, have been waiting much too long to get them due to lack of proper medical care from the original physician.

So, it turns out that there's a brace called a turnbuckle splint. It looks a bit barberic because it has a giant screw in the middle that allows you to extend the arm fully a little bit at a time. So she's wearing that about 4 hours a day (give or take depending on activities, church, etc.) to slowly stretch out the tight tissue in her elbow.

Now, she does still have a ghastly scar. It is also an issue for me. But it's not for Taylor. At least right now. So I'll be on the hunt for some Vitamin E or some other type of skin therapy oil for the time being. When she's 16 and it's a big problem, we'll pay out of pocket to have it revised. It's just not worth the risk at this point to put her through another surgery.

If I'm being completely honest, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. For months I've been begging for a surgery date so I could schedule our holidays, sports, musicals, etc. around both the procedure and rehab that would follow. If you know me at all, you realize it's almost impossible to fly by the seat of my pants.

Actually, it is impossible without Him.

God has seen us through this process and I feel confident that she will be a bit better when she sees Dr. F in three weeks. I also know He led us to this doctor and the occupational therapist, who was also a friend of Dave's, because they both have a very calm and quiet demeanor which, ironically, is what my child responds to best.

I say ironically because I'm not exactly a church mouse but even I have figured out that the best remedy for Taylor when she's upset is to climb into bed with her, snuggle up and not say a word.

This entire set of events was, obviously, not my plan. It was most certainly His, though. And you know what? Good has come out of it. It cannot be denied. As always, His plan was infinitely better than mine.

But yet I still went along the path kicking and screaming at times.

Some things don't change, I suppose, but at least the tantrums are becoming fewer and farther between.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Friday, September 24, 2010

Identify Yourself

Will the person who created Silly Bandz please stand up?

More importantly, can you please explain to me why you felt the need to create a new product that allows my child to string all 114 of her Silly Bandz onto a Silly Necklace?

And then - gasp - wear it around her neck?!?!

In public!

I beseech you again, Silly Bandz creator, to identify yourself. Your willingness to do so without an investigation or fight may allow some leniency.

Then again, it may not.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Promise to Him... that we will love him every single day until it's time to say goodbye...

...even though his rough days are becoming closer together than they used to be...

...because he still wags his tail, plays with veracity and will knock you down for a piece of lunchmeat... long as he is enjoying his life, we will continue to modify our lives to meet his needs...

...and we will do so happily because he's still our baby...

...and, honestly, I can't say it would be surprising if he's still around this time next year...

...because he's got a stubborn streak 18 miles wide, friends...

...we will put beef broth on his food to make it more tasty, treat him with the occasional piece of Pop Tart and pass the rib bones around with abandon...

...because that's what you do for those you love dearly, whether they have two legs or four...

So, Bo Bowers, though it does hurt us to see your decline, you continue to give us more joy than we could ever have asked for from a sweet puppy. Besides, you'll be 56 in dog years come November 21, and at that age you deserve some tender loving care.

And I have no doubt that birthday will be celebrated with a giant steak. Oh, sure, it will be unseasoned because your tummy can't handle much more than bland foods these days. But, still, steak is steak :-)

Yes, I will continue to laugh at you each day you chase the turkey or ham into the kennel and then look surprised when you turn around and the door is locked. You will continue to take Benadryl and Glucosamine just like your parents in order to ease your symptoms.

And we will love you. No matter what.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friday Night Lights

I've previously mentioned (in great detail) the strain my social calendar is under due to football season; however, due to my previous whining (it just never stops, does it?), I wanted to 'fess up and let you know that I am actually enjoying myself.

A great deal, friends. A great deal.

Last Thursday my girl had to stay home from school and make an unscheduled trip to the doctor as she woke with a fever. Turns out her allergies weren't satisfied with occupying her sinuses but had instead moved into her lungs.

Verdict: Bronchitis

She made a quick turnaround (see, Dave, that's what happens when you actually seek medical attention - the irony is that he is actually a medical provider) and was must better by late that afternoon. So she walked out to the mailbox and returned with an envelope that contained an invitation to a birthday party the next evening.

If an upcoming party won't make a 'tween girl feel better immediately, I simply do not know what will. She asked that I still make her Homecoming mum (of course she did)  but really wanted to go to the party instead of the game.

You're only 10 once so of course we said that was fine. And it had NOTHING to do with the fact that I could watch the game in peace. Not one iota.

She did, however, request that I take pictures. It's like she knows my love language...

So I pulled out my camera as soon as we pulled up to the stadium.

This is Midway ISD's new stadium and, in fact, it just opened this season. It is, in my opinion, quite impressive. Also, I feel the need to let anyone reading this who's not from Texas know that, yes, this is in fact a HIGH SCHOOL stadium.

Just watch a few episodes of Friday Night Lights and dial the drama down .25 percent and you'll have a very accurate representative of pigskin in the Lone Star State.

Which, I must admit, is ironic for a girl from a very small town in Louisiana that didn't even have football. It was all basketball there...but I digress...

The band was making its way into the stadium sporting their spiffy new uniforms. I was ecstatic to see the feathered plumes because, well, we all know how I feel about feathers.

Because it was Homecoming, they did their show 30 minutes before kickoff. As a former color guard girl, I find that to be an absolutely fantastic idea.

Funny side note: because Tay wasn't with us and the folks who sit next to us had brought a friend, I ended up sitting next to the "dad" of the group. He has a daughter who plays clarinet in the band. As I was furiously snapping pictures, he asked whether we were supporting a band or color guard member. 

My reply of "neither - I just love a good band" was met was amusement. Turns out he's an ex football player. Who's just as shy as my husband.

From there I believe you can glean the entertainment factor (for me anyway) of this particular evening.

Soon it was time for the team to arrive onto the field. Apparently it's a rule these days that players run through the mouth of an inflatable version of their mascot. This has me chuckling because I could just see my high school classmates running through the helmet of a Trojan.

Ok, so I thought it was time but those poor drill team members ended up having to stand there for a 
L-O-N-G time with no players to fluff their pom poms at...

Then the massive scoreboard caught my attention. Anything that lights up does that to me, honestly, but you have to admit that it's pretty impressive for a high school game. What is kind of odd, though, is that they've actually sold spots to run on that video board so it was sort of like watching television in living color during timeouts...

This group is called the Panther Patrol and Dave's cousin, Bree, is second from the left on the front row. He has an uncle, Ernie, who is his age so he has a 16-year-old cousin. They are a delightful family but we keep showing up at all of the same places (including zumba) so it's possible I've been dubbed the stalked of the family in recent days.

I couldn't rightly say...

Finally it was time for the team to hit the field...

...and this is where I got sad...

Why, you ask? 

Because look at the fans for the other team. Rather, look at the LACK of fans for the other team. Their band didn't even get there until after the game started. I felt bad for them, friends. Not bad enough that I actually wanted them to score any points but still...

It was a rather odd first half but we were up at the break and it was time for more glitz and glamour (aka crowning of the Homecoming Queen) so I pulled out my camera again.

There were 12 - yes, TWELVE - nominees, which the man next to me informed me was "way too much" because they only have four when he was at Midway and there are only 600 more students now than there were back then.

So there you have it...

I was perfectly delighted at the pageantry...

...and have absolutely no idea who won, to be frank, but everyone cheered so I did too...

Toward the end of the third quarter, Dave and I decided to leave and get Taylor as the party was over at 10pm. Turns out we were 15 minutes early, which was not appreciated by my daughter very much, but she got over it with a late night run to Taco Bell.

Apparently some things truly are genetic.

And, yes, Midway won. We're undefeated. Woo hoo!

Now please excuse me while I figure out what type of football food I should consume at the next game. Because we all know that concession stands mean one thing - a bona fide excuse to cheat on one's diet.

The end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sometimes things happen in my life that seem surreal. I look around and wonder why I being allowed to participate/attend an event that is absolutely momentous.

One of those experiences happened last Friday, September 17, and I didn't even have to leave work...

That's right, friends, it was the Inauguration of Judge Kenneth Winston Starr

The ceremony was rich in tradition and steeped in eloquent speeches, humor that was both perfectly timed and fitting, and was an awesome tribute to the amazing university I call both my alma mater and employer.

With representatives from many peer institutions in attendance, the Ferrrell Center floor was a sea of brightly colored regalia...

Hymns were sung by the 5,000 in attendance, scripture was recited, and Baylor's symphony and choirs brought the house down...

It was, without a doubt, one of my favorite moments as a Baylor Bear.

And I have no doubt that Judge Starr will lead us boldly forward as we live out our mission - 
Pro Ecclesia. Pro Texana.

I must admit that my personal joy was doubled (if not tripled) on this special day because I was wearing a snazzy suit my grandmother bought me years (yes, I said YEARS) ago that has actually never seen light outside of the closet. It was a personal victory! :-)

Once the ceremony was over, we headed outside for some post-Inauguration refreshments and, my friends, they did not disappoint.

The decorations were understated and elegant...

...and I had to snap a few pictures for my mom, who does many caterings each year for her hospital...

...and can I just say that Deconstructed S'mores are absolutely my new favorite dessert?

...and also that it's a good thing I don't have to wear that suit again this week... 

Sweet mercy, y'all...

It was a perfectly delightful day, my friends, and my daughter was absolutely thrilled to be presented with her own pocket version of The Constitution and Declaration of Independence that was given to commemorate the occasion.

In other news, I also attended the Presidential Symposium that morning. I'll let you guess the topic but I'll give you a hint - Friday was Constitution Day, which is a passion of Judge Starr's. I found the conversation to be thought provoking, y'all, and was amazed at how interesting this topic was for a girl who generally spends a great deal of time each morning searching for perfect balance of hair product and rhinestones.

Who knew?!?!

This proud Baylor Bear promises to return to the regularly scheduled rambles tomorrow but, honestly, I just had to share this day with you... :-)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Have to Say It

Because the sky is NOT falling...

...because the sun IS still shining...

...because Britney Griner clearly believes in the Bears...

...because amazing things are happening at Baylor University...

...because we still believe in our team...

...and know that they will rise to the occasion this weekend...

...with many fans in the stands to cheer them on...

...because the Baylor flag was carried throughout a shuttle mission this summer by a BU dad who is an astronaut, which means we are out of this world... :-)

...because the Bears WILL win again no matter what happened in Ft. Worth last Saturday...

...we will keep the faith and support the young men who work so very hard each week in preparation for the next game...

Sic 'Em Bears!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekends are made for...

....relaxing, right?

So why in the world are we tiling our hallway (did I mention it's actually two because it makes a "T")?

I have no idea but I can assure you of this, friends. People have specialties and professions for a reason. Once this project has concluded, Tonto will return to the NICU and I will return to the world of marketing.

And, Lord willing, ceramic tile and I will only meet again as I walk on it from room to room in my home. Preferably laid by someone who knows what they're doing...


And, on another note, TCU is #4 in the nation for a reason. That reason is that they're really (though I must admit unfathomably) good. We are not a top 10 team; therefore, it only stands to reason that Baylor would suffer their first loss of the season to the team who would give the horns off of their frogs to be in the Big 12.

At the end of the day, they're #4 for a reason. And there still aren't any Frogs in the Big 12 so let's not panic, friends. It will all be ok. :-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Falling Down On the Job

As I was writing yesterday's post, it occurred to me that this blog is called "Totally Taylor" and I started it with the express purpose of keeping a digital scrapbook of my girl's life but I haven't had a post totally about Taylor recently so I've clearly fallen down on the job.

So here it is ~ let's talk about what's up with my precious girl :-)

Miss Taylor is enjoying the 5th grade and absolutely loves changing classes for each subject. She thinks it "just makes the day go by faster" and I've assured her that I felt the same at her age. Except that we didn't change for every class this early back in the olden days.

She is currently at a very, um, hormonal stage in life. That's what growing up and being a 'tween is all about, I suppose. However, I can assure you it makes for some tense moments at our house from time to time. Particularly between these two as they like to antagonize each other all in the name of fun. 
(side note: problem being they don't always have the same definition of "fun")

My girl has put the brakes on the numerous nicknames I have for her (Taylorbug, Bugga, Taybug, etc.) when we're out in public. My orders are to only refer to her with the formal moniker of "Taylor" when others are present. I'm doing my best, y'all, but it's rough...

She's still loving the colors of hot pink and black and has - gasp - a new found appreciation for animal prints. It's almost like a little piece of heaven has entered our home, to be quite frank, because we all know how much I dearly love animal prints. Her favorite is zebra so we're having a hot pink and zebra striped birthday party. I am tickled pink, y'all. Simply tickled.

She also still likes sparkles, skirts and has really gotten more into fashion this year which includes, but is certainly not limited to, trying out new hairstyles and accessories. May I present Exhibit A?

She's currently a bit under the weather as her allergies are raging after last week's visit from Tropical Storm Hermine who, might I just say, had a bit of pent up rage that was unleashed on the great State of Texas. I mean, sweet mercy, H, get some counseling!

Taylor moved up to GA's (Girls in Action) on Wednesday nights at church, has a new Sunday School class and attended her first Children's Choir practice earlier this week. I absolutely L-O-V-E that she loves the Lord. It makes me so happy I could cry, y'all. And that's quite a feat because I usually only cry if I'm really mad. If you ever witness that, RUN! And take COVER!

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't assure all of her fans that Taylor is still funny as ever. She cracks me up on a daily basis and is quite clever. That also makes my heart sing because I personally think "funny" can cover a multitude of sins at times. :-)

She has an appointment on the 27th with yet another orthopedic surgeon; however, this is one who specializes in the capsular release she will need so we're hoping to schedule surgery while we're there for November or December. She does well until we actually meet with a doc and then gets a bit nervous (and quiet - eerily so) so if you think about it, she could use some prayers as we get closer to the date. All in all, though, she's a champ and we're very proud of her grit and determination throughout this very long process.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that she's playing volleyball now! We believe the child has finally found "her sport" because she really likes it and appears to have a knack for it as well. She's been practicing twice a week during the month of September and has her first game on 9/27. Dave picked her up on Monday evening and said she scored her first point in a scrimmage! 
Thank you, Lord, for giving her more sporting ability than her mother.

Love, love, love her more than I can ever convey. But am not looking forward to her turning 11 because, honestly, I just don't feel old enough to have a child sporting those numbers :-)

We are, however, thankful for a healthy girl who brightens our days and gives us something to do with out evenings.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bless Their Hearts

It began like any other Saturday.

But it was different for, you see, the calendar now indicates that it is fall. That means football season. And that changes everything.

Except, of course, for the weather. It has clearly not yet received the memo yet. 
Perhaps it was sent via snail mail?

So we donned our green and gold after a morning of running errands and headed out to Floyd Casey Stadium about 3pm. Yes, that would be the middle of the afternoon. It was 96 degrees outside and, conservatively, I'd guess it was 8,624% humidity.

Only a guess, though.

We lined up to welcome our Bears to the stadium while David Crowder's new song, "Rise Up," blared from giant speakers. The atmosphere was electric, friends, and the players were no longer the overwhelmed and amazed band of brothers we witnessed last week.

Nope. They have gotten into this whole march thing and I, for one, could not be more pleased.

With the quarterback - Robert Griffin III (aka RG3) - leading the way, we saw giant flags had been added to the line this week, which made it more like a parade. If you've been reading here more than 0.23 seconds, you know that I love anything that involves pageantry. So I was hooked.

I marveled at how large our linemen are because when they're in uniform way down on the field, sometimes they don't look like giants. Let me assure you that they are indeed young men you want on your team. They have some power and are not afraid to use it!

They are a group who works harder than I do in my dreams each and every day to prepare for moments like this. (Did someone cue the music?)

They have a singular goal - to go bowling - and they are surrounded and supported by a family of Bears.

We are young and not so...we are large and small...we are different yet the same...

...and we scream until we have no voice left with which to croak. We are Baylor fans!

And this year we are buying out entire allotments for away games. We are rising up, as some would say, to show these young men we appreciate them and will be there NO MATTER WHAT.

Their leader is fearless. And funny, which is someone I appreciate a great deal.

And there are several members of the team who I expect to see starring in some type of commercial for hair products before long. If you have ever seen one photo of me, you know that thought tickles me something fierce.

And you know what else I appreciate? That some (like Robert T. Griffin - not to be confused with RG3) can don a cap without compromising his hairstyle. That, my friends, takes a talent that I admire greatly.

We are B-U and we love these guys dearly.

And as my clothes began to stick to my body like glue within the first 5 minutes of this outdoor activity, I silently prayed that the Lord would bless them because it takes grit and determination to figure out a way to survive for several hours in 8,624% humidity while wearing a uniform that fits like second skin.

Personally, it would have taken me the entire amount of time on the clock and a crow bar (or three) to even get into a uniform of that type. You are sooooo welcome for that visual, y'all!

Bless their hearts :-)