Sunday, November 30, 2008


Traveling with Joy & Rose has proven to be a whole lot easier lately, generally speaking.

When I started this blog back in July, we were just on the point of noticing a pattern -- that Joy's seizures got worse when we had long days of car travel. But then came this current string of seizure-free (81 days right now, touch/knock wood!) When we went to the northwoods in October, Joy travelled like a pro, and we had the same experience this holiday.

First leg of the trip took us to Thanksgiving Dinner at the home of AuntieS, where we contributed the pies:

Thanksgiving Pies
Next leg was to the home of my grandmother, Great-Grandma to Joy & Rose. At 99, she still hosts us overnight in her apartment and cooks for us and is so very interested to see the girls and hear about all the details of what's going on with us!

Joy was very comfortable at Great-Grandma's this visit. Everything about it was easier. For example, Great-Grandma noticed that Joy didn't cry AT ALL the entire visit. (No seizures means no seizure-fusses!) She initiated happy jumping-games with random adults, including an in-law relative whom she only met once before. She did almost no grabbing for forbidden stuff, and she did a lot of self-entertaining.

The last two points (grabbing & self-entertaining) combined into an interesting accident at one point during the visit!

Great-Grandma has a fun box of old, old toy building blocks. She has also tossed into that box a bunch of little clear plastic discs that come with the packaging for hearing-aid batteries. An example is on the left in the photo below:

Throwing Disks
Joy took a shine to the little plastic disks, especially once she discovered that they made a fun little clattery noise on the kitchen floor if she threw one down. She spent long stretches of time carrying little disks over to the kitchen and tossing, retrieving, tossing, retrieving.

Then during one of these games, when our guard was down, she looked up on the kitchen table and noticed a different kind of disk. Similar, yet larger and sparklier, like the disk on the right. It was a cut-glass coaster. And what a lovely crash and a shatter it made when she snagged it to use in her tossing game! As we galloped into the kitchen to remove her from the shards, she was trying to retrieve one of the larger pieces to make it happen again...

What a neat bit of generalization! So near, and yet so far. And she was so pleased with the results of the new toy, we had to work to keep her out of the kitchen after that point, as she obviously had it in her mind to reproduce all the fun that happened when she used the big sparkly tossing-disk.

Disk-shattering aside, though, in general it was a superb holiday!

Speaking of superb -- I got a most excellent blog-award last night, from Barbara at TherExtras. She has selected me for The Baddest Mommy-Blogger Award (remember, bad is the new good!)

Baddest Mommy Blogger Award
Here's what she had to say:
JoyMama is bad-to-the-bone. She was bad before she became a Mama - as evidenced by her willingness to EAT FIRE. And be photographed doing so. And post photos on her blog. After I asked for proof. Clearly, God prepared her for rare and wonderful parenting.

I'd be blushing, but when you're b-b-b-b-BAD to the bone, ain't nobody can make your face turn red.

Oh, and if you needed more proof that I'm a bad-mama rule-breaker -- as admitted previously, I generally don't really "do" tagging/awards. So I'm not passing it on, even though I know plenty of baaaad mommy bloggers. I'm sure the award will make its way around in due time!


Anonymous said...

Generally speaking, I'm with you on passing around those awards. I went with this one, but don't really hope for more.

Still, you deserved this one! Barbara

Osh said...

YAY for being seizure free! And sometimes breaking a dish just feels good! (LOL)

AuntieS said...

The pies were as tasty as they look! And, since there happened to be a little of the pecan pie leftover in one pan, I just had to keep it here and eat it for breakfast on Friday and Saturday!! LOL!
As for Joy, she was definitely much calmer here too. We had "Joy-proofed" the lower shelves around the house, removing nik-naks and breakable items. During past holiday gatherings, this did help reduce a bit of Joy's very impulsive and quick grabbing of fragile items (I do have a few broken things that Joy had grabbed before we figured out to "Joy-proof"!) But, this time, I don't think we really needed to remove the items. The only time I saw her really bothering something fragile was as you were gathering up everyone and everything to leave and Joy decided to stand right up to the TV screen and sniff and lick it. Not too bad for spending a number of hours in a house full of people, and a dog, and with a house that is really not set up with small children in mind anymore (Joy's youngest cousin in my house is 12 years old!). It was nice to have more calm, although JoyMama and JoyDad did still do the tag-team method of taking turns supervising Joy! She wasn't really at a point of not needing supervision, but there was much less of the feeling of franticness.
I also witnessed Joy in her sort-of hysterical laughing state. It seemed that she was overtired and just giggling and laughing without any clear cause or reason. She does have an adorable laugh, but after awhile it becomes clear that it isn't totally a normal happy laugh. And I could understand why this laughter would be very disturbing to JoyMama and JoyDad when it happens for long periods during the night. But, it sure was more bearable than the extreme crying that occurred last Christmas Eve when Joy was apparently sick with ear infections.
All in all, it was a great turkey day visit. Rose was adorable, too, and spent a great deal of time explaining Webkins to me!! Thank you, Rose!

Mama Mara said...

Yay Joy! With all the "plate-spinning" going on in your life, it's no surprise that a few dishes get broken now and then.

I was wondering: Did you have a theory about why Joy had worse seizures in travel situations?

JoyMama said...

Mama Mara - Hmm. Theory. Generally speaking (heh), I'm kind of down on Joy-theories at the moment. We keep coming up with them, but we never have any real way to know if they're right... I'm exaggerating of course. But that's how it feels sometimes. Anyway, about that theory -- we thought it might be stress or some kind of sensory overload. The very first two Joy-seizures we ever witnessed, before we even knew they were seizures, both happened at family gatherings that were some distance from home!

Anonymous said...

i love your perspective! not broken glass, not a mess, not trouble, but a wonderful generalization .. i absolutely love it

Anonymous said...

I was thinking exactly what Jess wrote. As you described the scene it sounded so much like something Rhema would do. Although I promise you, when the coaster shattered I would be groaning, rushing, apologizing, etc. When we visit another house, the husband and I are always a tad stressed about chasing Rhema and preventing her from destroying things... we don't enjoy the visit as much as we should. Thanks for a new perspective, JoyMama. I truly thank you.

Also, how amazing that your 99-year old grandmother can host you and still be so involved in the girls' lives. What a blessing!

JoyMama said...

jesswilson & rhemashope -- oh, don't think that there wasn't a scramble when the coaster shattered! But it was more for safety & cleanup purposes, and less about apology. My grandma is also extremely cool, as you may have gathered!

As AuntieS said, this was a much less rush-around, chase-around, frantic family visit. Joy's happier, more laid-back attitude made for a more enjoyable holiday all around.

Anonymous said...

And my question was....
Have the physicians told you that seizures are associated with any particular external event or over-stimulation? Or, do they rely on parents to put the data together in their heads and draw a conclusion?

Better late than never. bb