Alright y’all- it snowed!! As many of you know, we are originally from Ohio where snow was common and intense. Down here in the south, snow is not as common but definitely still intense. On the rare occasion that it does aggressively snow (as in this weekend) things get a little crazy. Jake’s school was cancelled Friday and made the call on Saturday to go ahead and cancel for Monday as well. In fact, most schools in our area are closed tomorrow even though the high is going to be around 40 and most of the snow has already melted at the base of the mountain.
Now as silly as this may sound to you northerners, this is actually the right call for our area. The roads aren’t treated the same as they are in the north and there are so many elevations represented in our county alone that many of the roads on the mountain are pure ice. So Jake and I will just continue to enjoy this surprise 4 day weekend and relax.
Here is a photo from the back porch of our rental house. The mountain is just a stone’s throw away, and the house is in the middle of cow pastures. It has been fun watching the young cows play with one another while I wash the dishes- a task that makes me feel like a true pioneer woman haha. It has been awhile since we have not had the luxury of a dishwasher. But we are enjoying the simplicity of the home and the fact that it meets all of our needs.
All of the necessary boxes have been unpacked and I can’t even describe to you how nice it feels to be reunited with our “stuff”. Malachi’s eyes were having a hard time with all of the natural light the large windows allow in so we had to cover some of the sunnier ones with curtains. We also learned the hard way to put some blackout curtains in the bedrooms to help him stay asleep. His sleep has actually improved every night that we have been here and he even slept a 7 hour stretch a few nights ago!
The layout is working wonderfully with his equipment and chairs. We have also been able to start a routine with him eating solids again, which he loves. He has been eating like a monster so we are assuming that he is going through a growth spurt. One of the highlights of my week was going to the grocery store! We have all of our pots, pans, and dishes back and truthfully were getting sick of eating out so often. It feels so good to cook healthy meals again.
Here is a little Malachi giggle for you to enjoy:
Malachi took a tumble out of one of his low chairs this week and landed on his head. Jake witnessed it happen and was obviously alarmed and ran to him saying “MALACHI!” in a loud, scared voice. By the time I made it into the room, Malachi was crying so hard he wasn’t making a sound (you know that sheer panic cry that has a bis gasp for air at the end). I took him from the panicky Jake and started to check his arms, legs, ribs, shunt, head and comfort him at the same time. We quickly learned that the thing that was hurt the worst during the incident was Malachi’s feelings. When Jake yelled Malachi’s name, he thought his daddy was scolding him for falling and it definitely hurt his little heart. For about ten minutes after the incident, anytime Jake would come near him Malachi would frown and start crying saying “mooooooooooommmmmm”. It was pitiful yet wonderful at the same time. While we don’t want Malachi to be injured or in pain, it is so nice to see him react like a typical child. After he calmed down he started liking his daddy again, much to Jake’s delight. This chair was the culprit:
Malachi started back with appointments this week…horse therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, even a dentist appointment (no cavities on his one “accountability tooth” woohoo). Dental hygiene is much less stressful when you only have one real tooth left to worry about haha. Malachi seemed to enjoy being back in the routine of things. This week will take it up a notch as we will also start his music classes and chiropractic appointments.
Malachi is just THRILLED to be reunited with his toys. He has been playing non-stop and doesn’t seem to get bored at all with them. In fact, his ability to play independently has improved so much. He impressed me all week with his independent play so I took a few videos to show you what he can do all by himself.
Here he is in his stander playing with a hippo toy. It is a little dark, but Malachi has to push the tail to spin the letters:
This video is even more fascinating for a few reasons. This is his ABC wheel. It sings part of the ABC song then stops. In order to hear more you have to spin it again. As you can see, Malachi has figured it out. Also, the giant moose was an impulse buy this week at Cracker Barrel. I had some money left on a gift card and thought that Malachi would like to feel it’s soft fur since he doesn’t have Boomer to pet. Malachi is obsessed with this moose. He has been rubbing his face on it, petting it, and being so silly with it! It has been cracking us up.
One of my biggest fears with Malachi is him passing away due to his inability to get out of dangerous situations. I have read story after story where children with CP have suffocated due to their winter coat riding up over their mouth/nose or accidentally brushing up against a blanket in the bed. I read one this week about a child very similar to Malachi who got overlooked on the school bus and was left on there for the day. He passed away. Every time I read these articles I get sick to my stomach. I have been trying to teach Malachi how to get out of potentially life threatening situations, and recently he has decided he likes to fling his head into soft things. Talk about a heart attack for mom and dad! We have been trying hard to not panic and fix his body, but instead make him work it out as you can see in the video. He is improving, but it still causes us to stop breathing every time we witness it.
In just under one month, Malachi will be turning 4. This is mind blowing to me. So much has taken place in the last four years. Never did I imagine that our lives would look this way and that our path would be this crooked.
But I look at beautiful Malachi. And I look at the way our situation has strengthened Jake into an even stronger, solid man of God. And I look at the way God has taken my pride and re-molded me into a vulnerable person who realizes the necessity in leaning on Christ. I see firsthand how life tends to get messy and out of your reach. I have seen God work through the actions of brothers and sisters in Christ. I have looked into the eyes of friends and strangers and seen the truth behind Christ’s words “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I have seen promises from God’s word come alive right in front of me.
What a testimony the Carroll family has been given. What a story we have to tell. And what an opportunity we have to explain to others the power and providence of God. Sometimes life throws some crooked paths your way. But it is in those crooks in the road that we encounter God in a way we couldn’t imagine. I hope that when those moments come into your life that you will be able to see them as opportunities to re-develop a deeper relationship with a mighty God.
Be prepared for some PTSD emotions over the next few posts. I tried really hard to stifle it tonight, but I have already found myself getting pre-occupied with Malachi’s birthday and the memories surrounding it.
Jake, Leah, and Malachi