A cowgirl and a cupcake

Thank goodness last week’s festivities are over!   We had alot of fun as a neighborhood again this year, getting together to eat and carve our pumpkins the night before the big day.   We produced such works of art as this…

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and this, except it wasn’t so fuzzy in real life…

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And the next night we enjoyed having a cowgirl and a cupcake in the house….

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Although they did come back a little wet and bedraggled thanks to the rain.  However Sophia has never been one to put herself out for anything – even candy –  so she didn’t last that long and was very happy with her tiny haul.  Sarah got a bit more candy, and the boys (dressed up in Star wars characters) ended up getting a ton… but soon problems arose.   Sarah was sneaking candy.  And who can blame her?  I know it’s wrong and we didn’t like it,  but she was a lover of candy before her diabetes, so I would have rocks in my head if I believed that this issue was going to get better after her diagnosis.   And it was frustrating to have her sugar’s all over the place, even though we were trying hard to allow her treats within her target carb limits.

So on Saturday afternoon I traded the girls a new little stuffy for their candy… yahoo,  what a coup!  But there was still the boy’s candy and they were away visiting my parents for the weekend.  But I got them today with Lego sets that we had left over from last Christmas – and now I don’t have to worry about Sarah finding candy to sneak.  The boys got to keep a tiny bit that they promised to hide – they better!  But at least the bulk of the candy is gone and that makes me happy.    Super happy for us and for Sarah and trying to keep her healthy.

On the weekend, we got to enjoy a different kind of sweetness…. a precious new baby courtesy of my younger brother and his wife.

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We all enjoyed holding her and getting our ‘baby fix’.    I think sometimes people worry about me around babies, but the truth is that I don’t want other people’s baby’s, I want my own baby back!!   And I can hardly begrudge anyone a healthy baby, when I had four healthy babies before Ava.  So I just enjoy getting snuggles and then I enjoy giving baby’s back to their parents when they start to cry.  🙂

And speaking of our baby, Ava would have been 11 months today.   It’s hard to believe, and it’s kinda strange actually.  And I’m not sure how this is supposed to work, if she is forever going to stay a baby in my mind, or if I’m supposed to ‘allow’ her to grow up.  But whatever it is,  we miss her and wish that she was going to be with us to celebrate her birthday next month.

When I was in Toronto a few weeks ago they gave me Ava’s final bravery bead… a bereavement bead, a  little butterfly.

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I probably mentioned bravery beads way back, but at Sick Kids a child can collect ‘Bravery Beads‘ where they get a bead for every blood draw or test or poke or clinic visit.  It’s a neat program and although Ava never understood her beads, I did and it’s just such a testimony to what she went through in her short life.

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And I didn’t even do one for one on the beads… I would do one blood work bead for every 10 she got, but still, the meaning is quite clear.  Our strand was quite humble compared to other warriors at the hospital, but I know that I will treasure them forever.  And now the strand is complete and to be honest, for all their colour and cheerfulness, there is quite a bit of pain in that string.  And I praise God that Ava is free of all that pain and knows no more pokes or tests in her heavenly home.

Revelation 21:4  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Praise God, what a hope we have.

Amen

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And she’s 6!

So sweet Sarah turned 6 today!   It probably wasn’t the most memorial of birthdays, but thanks to Jason there were balloons and pancakes for her in the morning, and after breakfast Grandma and Sarah walked to the hospital to see Ava and I.   And there was a little something waiting here for Sarah….

Her very own bravery beads…

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Here at Sick Kids, the kids can collect bravery beads, and there is a different bead for every test, procedure, poke etc, that a child might get.  And we’ve been collecting the beads for Ava while she’s been here.   And as you can imagine,  Ava’s bravery bead strand is about 3 feet long by now, which is kinda makes me sad in a way, but then there are kids here with miles and miles of beads.

Anyhow, so Sarah really liked Ava’s beads and whenever she saw them she would say, “But I’m brave too!” referring to all the pokes and needles she gets now with her diabetes.    So when I was talking to my wonderfully kind nurse Jessica yesterday about how Sarah loved the beads and how I was thinking of starting my own version of bravery beads for Sarah,   Jessica said that she deserved the Sick Kids beads because she was a patient here, so she put the above beads together for Sarah while I was gone for dinner last night.    Sarah loved it.  And it didn’t take her long to string them up…

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And then I had bought her a ton of beads to have at home so that she can add a bead for every finger poke and needle she gets… and yes there are going to be a lot, but hey, if it makes her feel better than I will buy her beads until she’s 20. 🙂

Then she got some cuddle time in with Ava..

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She had held her earlier in the week as well…

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And Sarah is a such a good big sister.  At one point Sarah and I had gone out to get her a snack and when we came back Sarah wanted me to get her some water and ice from the kitchenette, so she said to me, “You go get the water, I’m going to the room to check on Ava.”    I love it.

She also had presents and cake – and yes, diabetics can still have cake – and I think she enjoyed her low-key birthday with her family.

Oh our Sarah.   You are brave and so strong and so sweet.   Your daddy and I love you very very much and are so blessed to have you.

Happy 6th Birthday Sweetheart!