So last weekend I traded in my 5 year old scar on my neck from my trachea resection in 2007 for a new one. My old scar had adhered to my neck where I had a trache and it never really bothered me until I started teaching and talking for long periods of time. With my old scar, every time I talked, swallowed, sneezed, coughed, laughed, etc., the scar would move on my neck and cause a pulling, tearing, and burning sensation. I didn't think there was a fix for it until I met with Dr. John Bitner. He told me we could take some fat from my stomach, remove the old scar, and place the fat between my trachea and my new scar to keep it from adhering to my trachea again. When my insurance company wouldn't cover the procedure because they called it "cosmetic," Dr. Bitner opted to do the procedure for FREE. Can you believe that? I really didn't feel worthy to accept a gift like that...I mean we are not down and out in the dumps or anything like that. He told me he will take whatever payment the insurance company will give him and call it good. How cool is that? He is such a good guy to do this for me and for my students. Maybe I will even be able to read to my students out-loud now. I haven't tried it yet to see if my voice will hold up, but I think the new scar will help. I am so grateful for tender mercies like this. He has done such a great service for me and I will forever be grateful to him for his kindness. Here are the pics I had Bran take:
There is tape over this, so you can't really tell, but the scar is much thinner and cleaner looking. My neck kind of looks like it has a little spare tire from the fat, but Dr. Bitner says that will go down as my body absorbs the fat (probably go right back to where it came from, dang it!).
That incision on my stomach is about 5 or so inches long. I think I pretty much got half of a tummy tuck. My stomach looks really weird now and I told Brannon that I'm going to have to hit the pavement to lose the fat that is still hanging out on the other half.
I realize that my posts are becoming fewer and far between, which is a reflection on the current state of my mental status: borderline crazy! I have one and a half months left of teaching school this year and things are really getting down to the wire. End of Level testing is in about three weeks and I'm hoping and praying that at least half of my kids out of each class have learned enough to pass with at least average scores. They always say that the first year teaching you just have to survive. I never wanted to be one of those teachers, but it's looking like it's coming down to that with only a month and a half left of school. If my kids have learned anything, I hope it's that they have learned that they matter. Some kids, that's all it takes for them to start believing, to start trying, and to see that they CAN become more than what they see around them.
I did manage to get myself together enough to pull Easter together for the kids. Easter egg hunting really clicked for Taj this year and he couldn't pick up eggs fast enough. Haivi got the concept, but preferred holding onto the eggs in her hands and not putting them in her basket. She threw a fit if we tried to get her to put the eggs in her basket, which is true to her nature. She is definitely a-do-things-her-own-way-and-on-her-own-time kind of girl. She is not even two years old yet and already she is a teenage diva. I am not exaggerating. Her favorite words are "no" and "mine" and a hair-raising banshee shriek that sends the neighborhood's stray cats scattering for cover. She does have her moments when she will so sweetly bestow kisses and allow a few minutes of snuggle time. She flaunts her ability to fart with a waterworks show in the bathtub each night. She thinks it's hilarious...I do not. I have told her time and again that I do not condone such unladylike behavior and all I get in response from her is more toots and looks that would have killed me dead several times over if, using the cliche, looks could kill.
How is it possible for so much sass to be packed into such a tiny body? You probably don't believe me and think that I am exaggerating when I talk about how feisty she can be. I was actually slapped repeatedly by her tonight as I tried to trim her fingernails and toenails...go thing she's cute:)
Every Easter we head over to our neighbor's house across the street for a massive Easter egg hunt. There are literally hundreds of eggs and lots of kidlets to pick them up. There are also prize eggs with numbers on them. At the end of the hunt, each child goes and picks a prize from the prize table according to the number on the egg they picked up. This is super fun for the kids. How cool are our neighbors to think this up? They are seriously the best neighbors ever! They are like the party grandparents.
I think Taj picked up way too many eggs, but there were still a ton lying around, so we figured it was okay.
How cute is this? She has her daddy whipped!
Haivi chewing on her prize-a paparrazzi bracelet...now maybe she won't slime all of my bracelets!
Taj chose a water gun, typical boy of course!
The little turkey would not pose for a picture. She is holding her very own cell phone, complete with about 12 buttons and about a 10 song playlist with the most popular nursery rhymes on the charts.
Look. At. That. Stance. This boy KNOWS how to hunt an Easter egg
He was very adamant that I get a picture of the bird
Taj's haul from our own Easter egg hunt. The golden egg actually had REAL money in it, can you imagine? $0.80 is big time for a four year old.
This is how here daddy dressed her. I say this is ragdoll cute:)
Taj on the other hand is much more manageable and negotiable. He is exceedingly more talkative these days and I frequently get congratulated for brushing my teeth, driving the car, getting dressed, or going to the bathroom. "You go peepee mama??? Oh Good Job Mama!" I feel like a superhero every day because of Taj. That boy knows when to give praise where it's due! A big accomplishment for Taj lately is that he is finally wanting to "play" with other kids and us too. Every night either me or Brannon plays trucks, tractors, cars, or fourwheelers. "Bwandon wanna pway twucks?" How could you refuse a request like that? Taj calls Brannon "Bwandon" several times a day. I'm sure he does it because he hears me call his daddy Brannon. We are also to the point with him where it's not a good idea to let him see either of us getting into the shower. He's FULL of all sorts of fun questions: "Mama, what's dat?" or "Daddy you have big one?" The kid can't stand when a door is locked, but I don't know any other way to teach the concept of privacy. I think he's getting it though because he likes the door shut when he goes No. 2. Another cool development is that he knows his last name. If you ask him, "Taj, what is your last name?" Usually his reply is, "No, es Taj!" I don't think he understands the question, but if you say, "Is your name Taj Morse." He'll say, "Yes, es Taj's Mose." We figure that he is at about a 2 1/2 to 3 year old level. It's almost as if his brain turns language around in his head because he does not understand or speak sentences in typical sentence structure. I told Brannon that Taj speaks Jigsaw Puzzle: key words here and there and then he leaves it up to you to put the pieces together . I find it's easiest to communicate with him by saying every word that comes to mind that sounds close to what he's trying to tell me. Once I hit the nail on the head, there is a small celebration and we continue onto deciphering the next word or sentence. We are really pleased with the progress his is making socially and we are glad that he will have a third year of school before he starts kindergarten. I have a positive outlook on the whole thing and believe that we can have him nearly caught up with his peers when he starts school for real.
Overall, our Easter weekend was perfect. The weather was amazingly warm and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Holidays are SO much better with kids!