Friday, May 30, 2008

Niko Has Wheels

This month has been straight out of the Twilight Zone. For instance, we have one debit card that we weren't forced to cancel...and today we lost it in the mall. So we ran right home to cancel it. At least we were laughing, and I can see how bizarre it really is. "Remember the great May catastrophe of 2008?" we'll say. And shudder.
Thank goodness it's almost June.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Did I Mention That I Hate This City?

So I'm currently on hold with the bank. Although my cards were reported as lost or stolen on Thursday, somebody has managed to put more charges on them. A woman from my hometown called me regarding them. "Gol, Sade, I can see that your cards were reported as lost or stolen. I don't know how this got through!" Thank goodness she called. I am all kinds of mad, but that's another story for another time.

See how calm I am? This is me being calm.

I'd love to shove my wallet into their mouths and make them choke on it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

If It Weren't For Bad Luck

I wouldn't have any at all. My friend's husband told me this, and it comes as no surprise. Pisces are supposed to be lucky things, but somehow that has never applied to me. I think it's a family curse.

Most of Thursday morning was spent in the doctor's office because Niko's sweet cherubic breath had turned to something you'd find in a mausoleum. Turns out he had shoved paper up his nose, which is what you do when your leg is broken and you're incredibly bored. Dr. Dork enlisted my help to "blow it out" so that the "foreign object will shoot out of his nose like a cannon". Which. It didn't. Hijinks and hilarity ensued, and not everybody needs to know the details. Let's just point out that a mother's love is the strongest thing on earth, and Niko's nose is currently spitwad free. The end.

Later that day, I lost my wallet. I noticed only when two different companies called because there was suspicious activity on my accounts. I was livid. LIVID, I say. How dare these people?! How dare they use my credit and debit cards, and slime their greasy fingers over my driver's license? They have my temple recommend. It makes me slightly ill. We went to Andrea's wedding, which was beautiful, and I had to tell them that somebody vile was in possession of my wallet and my recommend. Luckily the stake president was home and was able to confirm that I did, in fact, have a recommend, and I was able to attend the wedding. Also, they can flag my recommend so that if somebody tries to use it, it'll come up as stolen. Which makes me comforted, and also makes me smile. I can't imagine somebody using my stolen recommend because they have the sudden hankerin' to worship God inside of our temple. Then I ran home to Mom and Dad, and my blood sugar went way, way up while my stress went way, way down.

I saw '80's mom for the first time in years. I hugged her so hard and we cried, and I didn't want to let her go. She showed me '80's grave, and it's cheery. I was taken back by how bright and joyful the whole cemetery was, and felt that her headstone and everything was just perfect. I felt some of the guilt leave. I think I'm almost free.

I have new rollerskates. The charming, four wheeled ones, not blades. While the rest of this city falls down around me, I'll be skating along lazily like a child. With black hair. All of this, it makes me very happy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last Hurrah

I had better start using my camera again. I want to get a picture of Niko in his wheelchair, and Princess Pretty Fingers pretending that she's drinking from my cup. I want to get more pictures of my red hair before I dye it black this weekend. I think that the red has run through my system, and I'm ready for a change. But only semi-permanent. When I've had my fill of that, I'm going to go back to blonde. I'm naturally a blonde, for those of you who have no idea.

And most of you have no idea.

I had lunch today with the old primary presidency. It was nice and a little sad, a last hurrah before one of us moves out of state. We ate delicious Italian in a fancy new kitchen and I listened for the "ssssssss" sound of Niko dragging his cast across the floor and into trouble. Nina was full of smiles, as always. I'm still not quite sure where she comes from, but I'm so very happy that she is here.

After lunch we rushed to Niko's doctor's appointment, and I was floored to hear that his bones hadn't shifted this time. So after talking to the doctor/wheelchair company/teacher/principal/nurse/transportation/early childhood department, everything is in place for Niko to go back to school tomorrow. I am very pleased, and we see the doctor again in three weeks for (hopefully) a walking cast.

Tomorrow is his sedated echo. (Hate them.) Next week is his dentist's appointment. (Hate them, too.) We have a busy weekend, driving back to my hometown and then attending a wedding for one of my oldest friends, then heading back. I am planning to visit '80's grave for the first time. I wonder how that will be.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Seven Things About Me

Thanks for tagging me, Andrea! I'll see you soon! :)

1. When I get completely mortified, I can keep my face schooled. I send all of my emotion down to my feet, and I curl my toes.

2. I have never seen Star Wars. More importantly, I don't ever care to.

3. I can make one eye look straight and the other one look at my nose. Flattering.

4. I harbor the secret fantasy of being a Rat City Rollergirl. Seriously. I have my handle all picked out. I'd be The Bloody Butterfly. And I would be GOOD.

5. My next big purchase is going to be an open holed flute. I'm upgrading.

6. I used to do pageants in high school. That's right. Evening-gown-wearing, bright-smiling, gluing-your-swimsuit-to-your-bum-so-it-doesn't-ride-up, excuse me, SCHOLARSHIP pageants. I wasn't that great, but I know how to work a dress. Which really impresses the congregation, I just know it.

7. I always laugh at Jeremy Miller's quote on the McDonalds "Dollar Menuaires" commercial. "They live like money grows on trees...trees they can't find!" It's hysterical. I can't help it.


I talked to Niko's principal on the phone this morning, explaining why I called the school district. It eventually boils down to: No matter what it was that they INTENDED, the message that I received was "Niko is unwelcome." That message nearly undid me, and I am a strong woman. I needed somebody to talk to them so that somebody else doesn't feel the way that I felt. I certainly don't plan to pursue it any farther.

So there's two and a half weeks of school left. Luke feels that Niko should finish school there, and I feel that would be sending him into a hostile environment. I honestly don't know what to do. But isn't that usually the case? How much time do we spend honestly not knowing what to do? Next year he transfers to a different school anyway for kindergarten.

It's 107 degrees here today, which is inhumane. Nina is wearing a little red skirt with stars, and Niko has been so happy, and hasn't had any pain medication since last night. I bought these incredible dark purple stilettos the other day, and my goal tonight is to paint my toenails. You know, after everything else is done. That's been my goal since last Wednesday. Ah well.

I currently have seven pieces out. I'd like to have ten, including soliciting an agent for my novel this week. Such lofty dreams have I. But now that everything is settling down, these things aren't too far fetched. Hurrah!

This thing with the school, and Niko's leg, and the thing at church. It had become all consuming. It was like Niko was a baby again, and every day was spent falling asleep next to him at the hospital. It was like I told the principal. There is no day off. We are always working on something with him. There is no relief, so when school, which we count on to aid us, becomes part of the problem, it's almost unbearable.

I don't want to be this type of mother. I don't want to always be fighting. I would much rather focus on watching Niko and Nina playing together, or take them for walks. I would rather cuddle my children than set them down so that my hands are free for battle. I want to work on letting all of this go.

I want to be who I really am.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh, gosh.

I walked into the IEP and was stunned to find that the main person that I wanted to talk to wasn't there. Oh, come on! Can't we finally iron this out?

I talked to his teacher, who said, "Oh no! That isn't what we meant at all!" She, too, seemed a little taken back by the way that the whole thing played out, which was a relief. She is a kind, wonderful woman who has worked very hard with my son. He's enamored with her face, and I was loathe to think that somehow there had been a paradigm shift that put her on "the other side". What a relief to confirm that she is who she always has been, an advocate for Niko.

They could see how it appeared to me, though, and that is also a relief. The woman I had the most trouble with tends to come across poorly, they said, but she really isn't that way. I am very much hoping that when I talk to her, things will resolve. Without bloodshed. I have been ready to make heads roll, but my anger is quick to diffuse if I see that they're making an effort.

In other news, this was the most positive IEP ever. Niko has been doing well, and it was nice to hear that for once. Such a good kid, he deserves some good things in his life.

So the end result is that the IEP was a success. You might hear some tired cheering in the background. That would be me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Tomorrow is Niko's IEP. Individual Education Plan, for those of you lucky enough not to deal with them. This is where we sit down with Niko's teachers, therapists, etc etc etc and basically do battle.

It shouldn't be battle, but it is. It's two hours of negotiating, of basically being told everything that is wrong with your child and brainstorming ways to help it. Can he climb stairs? Yes, so we're okay there. Does he still walk on his toes? Yes, so we need to work on this. Can he speak? No, so we need to do sign language. No, I don't want to do sign language, we already tried that. Ix-ne on the ign language-se. So how about picture exchange? I loathe picture exchange, but he is much more likely to do that than sign language. Are we all on board with picture exchange? Which pictures does he need? Who will provide the pictures? We need to do it the exact same way, so how shall we do it. On and on and on. It's very wearing.

I always dress for IEP. I don my armor. Tomorrow I will be wearing St. George slaying the dragon and my battle axe on a chain around my neck. I need to remember that I am Niko's voice. They have so many kids to worry about, and I am only concentrating on Niko, so I need to avoid being crushed in the machine.

This IEP will be different, though, because I need to discuss the way that things went down at school on Monday. I felt ambushed and unprepared for what they wanted to tell me, and springing it on me like that was not okay. Discussing it in front of my son was not okay. Niko was distressed when I broke, and that wouldn't have happened if I had received some warning. I want to handle this with an open mind and hopefully some grace, but they need to know that discrimination will not be tolerated. After the IEP, I am calling the school district.

I was so weary. I was so tired of constant disappointments and challenges, of all of these low things that are happening daily right now. I was exhausted by the appointments, the bad news with his broken leg, with the meds. It gets old to follow him around every day, trying to get him to eat something soft instead of dry-crunchy, trying to get him to dress himself and decipher what he's pointing at. I need a break. I'd sell my soul for a day at home without anybody here. But here's what I have decided.

Niko needs me. And really, that's all there is to it.


Leg rebroken, reset, and recasted. No pins and no adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Niko is home, on Lortab, and we begin the six weeks of casting from square one. I'm very relieved that they didn't have to open him.

I have decided that today is a new day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sweet Child of Mine

So, when it rains, it....I'm too tired to finish the end of that sentence.

Niko has been doing really well, and we even flew to Boise for a family baptism. I was really hesitant about taking broken-legged boy on a trip, but it was good for all of us. He needed diversion and I needed a break. I also ran my first 5k, and have decided that it was a success. I couldn't run the whole thing, but I've been ill and have decided to be kind to myself. Even though there was a lot of walking involved, I am proud to have finished. It also renewed my dedication for my 10k in August. Along the Extraterrestrial Highway at midnight, btw. I'm going to run with a headlamp and googly antennas.

You know. As true aliens do.

We were excited to send Niko to school on Monday in his shiny new Super Wheelchair. I expect it to make Transformer noises as it changes from position to position. I called Transportation, and they sent a bus with a lift. We loaded Niko onto it and waved him off to school.

I get a call later from the nurse, saying that I have to pick up Niko. I am carless during the day, but thank heavens Dad was down and he drove me to the school. Then some kind of bizarre impromptu meeting occurred.

Niko's wheelchair didn't have a seatbelt, which constitutes as a safety issue. I'll definitely give them that! What five year old wants to sit down quietly? But suddenly it became a matter of: the doctor didn't send the correct note, and they didn't know exactly what his physical limitations were. Can he sit in his chair all day? "Yes," I said, but that was apparently the wrong answer. "Or you can lie him down on the floor, if that's easier," I said. But they can't LIFT him, they said, and it was like being tossed down the rabbit hole, where everything I said was being refuted. What IS this? The wheelchair is too big for the classroom, and it's bulky. It doesn't belly up to the table, and it doesn't have a tray. It isn't conducive to learning, and there are only a few more weeks of school left, so maybe I would just consider...

And suddenly I got it. I got it, and I would have understood it a million times faster if my mind wasn't mush from everything that has been going on. My child breaks his leg, and it is too hard to accommodate him at school?!

I'm standing there with Nina on my hip, and Niko gazing up at me from his wheelchair. I'm surrounded by three women who have always been so kind to my son, and I have to tell you that it felt like a betrayal. I thought a lot of things. I thought, "You want me to keep him home?" I thought, "Great, we just went through this at church!" and "If a typical child broke his leg, would you kick him out of school?" and a myriad of other things.

What I SAID was, "I am just so tired," and I started to cry. Score one point for The Nasty Cruel World, and zero points for Team Nikolai.

So we had an appointment with the doctor today, and I was going to get a note to explain EXACTLY what Niko could and couldn't do. I think the tears were a bit unnerving to them, and they definitely were to me. I am exhausted. I am sick. I'm seeing my own doctor tomorrow to see if my "little sugar problem" is going to be lifechanging or not. I am too weary to comprehend much right now. I don't know if I should run screaming to the district or if I'm somehow in the wrong. I have Niko's IEP on Friday (Oh joy) and I know that I'll definitely bring this up then.

Turns out that it really doesn't matter. Niko's bones have once again shifted inside of his cast, so in two hours we take him in for outpatient surgery. They'll cut the cast off, rebreak if necessary, rearrange, and possibly do pins. He won't be able to go to school anyway. What a relief for them.

My friends have been wonderful. One called our names in to the temple roll, and another is searching for the school district's phone number. Meanwhile I'm fighitng to pre-register Niko at the hospital (they won't accept it online, I don't have a car to drive there, and they haven't answered their phone since noon today) and playing Sweet Child of Mine on Guitar Hero to entertain Niko. Wish us luck. Again.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Question for the Williams Moms

Which is what I call you in my mind. The Williams Moms.

One of the most exasperating things about Niko being flat on his back is that he always SHOWED me what he needed. If he wanted peanut butter toast, he...well, I was going to say that he got the makings of peanut butter toast. But in actuality he would brandish a butter knife at me, and I knew that's what he wanted. Now he points vaguely in a direction and I'm all, "Would you like me to start the dryer? Would you like to see the newspaper? Please, for the love of humanity, start talking!!!"

When did your kids learn to talk? Five seems so late. I know that everything runs on its own timeline, but...but. That's all I have to say. But.

I believe he'll talk one day. He didn't learn to crawl until he was two, and we were so worried about it. And now that worry is just a memory for us. I'm hoping this will be the same way.


Relief. Finally.

It couldn't have gone any better. The surgeon looked at Niko's x-rays and said that they were going to cast him. No surgery, no pins. No anesthesia, which is the bane of the Williams world. Luke and I looked at each other in shock. Was something finally going to go right?

It did. Niko's leg is encased in a Cookie Monster colored cast all the way up to mid thigh, and he is so much more comfortable! The bones had shifted inside of his splint, so they had to reset them, but now we don't have to worry about jostling him. Tomorrow they're delivering a foldable wheelchair, and then life will change for my little son.

Nina is so sweet, wearing a yellow party dress and clapping happily. With Niko out of commission, it is her time to shine, and shine she does. I've been trying to find the good in this, and I think that maybe it forced me to slow down. Things have been so busy and we were all worn out. I hadn't been spending much time with my family at all, and the kids and I have been lying side by side since Thursday night. If nothing else, I had a chance to reconnect with them.

That said, we're incredibly bored. Niko is currently watching the balloons spin around under the ceiling fan, and it is making him laugh. I recorded it and emailed it to my parents. And look, my blog now has music! And the music is picked at RANDOM! It takes me a long time to figure out things like this. Technology isn't my forte. But hey, one thing that I certainly have right now is time. As long as it doesn't take me more than three feet away from Niko, because then he does that sad "Why are you leaving me?" cry. Showers are a too brief, wicked indulgence.

Anyway, thank you guys so much for your prayers. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and I know that it came into play here. You're so appreciated!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Beautiful Niko, Wake Unto Me

Tomorrow we see the surgeon, and then we'll know what's going on. I'm nervous, of course, but either option will be a step forward. Either his leg is set and he'll be casted, or he'll be scheduled for surgery. At least he'll have his foot in something more stable than a splint. I'd like to be able to move him around eventually, and take him outside. I think that would improve his quality of life.

On the lighter side, here is a picture of his birthday cake! The boy is OBSESSED with washers and dryers. Luke had a lot of fun with this one.

I'll write more after tomorrow's triumphant return.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Regarding Said Mass Email

Do I really feel as lighthearted and under control as I sounded in that email? No. Of course I don't. But those details aren't meant for everyone.

A Copy of Today's Mass Email

Hey, everybody! I just wanted to let all of you know that Niko turned five years old yesterday. Luke outdid himself with a washer and dryer cake (Yep, his cakes just get more and more grand) and Niko had a party starting at 7:00. I heard it was great, and that they even took a few pictures, but we missed out because Niko broke his leg while jumping on the trampoline. Right, the same trampoline that he spends hours jumping on every day! Apparently he just landed funny on the canvas, not on the springs or bar or anything. I heard him and walked outside to see our friend running to us with Niko in his arms, and Niko's leg was obviously broken. We had a brief comedy of errors running to the car, but made it to the emergency room in under ten minutes. Go us!

He broke his tibia and fibula right above his ankle, and it didn't realign as well as the doctors had hoped. We have an appointment on Monday with the orthopedic surgeon, and they'll most likely have to do surgery to pin his bones. We have x-rays for those who want to see them. But Niko's all right, and is watching Cookie Monster as we speak. He's such a good boy. Nina is having a grand ole time without Niko interfering in her fun. Big brothers can be such a drag sometimes.

Anyway, prayers would be appreciated. Niko is not the kind to lie flat on his back, so we're going to have a struggle on our hands. For those who are wondering, the 5k is off, and Boise is still in the air. I may or may not be out of town, depending on what the surgeon says. Anyway, we're well and Niko is drugged and contented. Good spirits here. Thanks!