Welcome to This Week’s Miscellany, the occasional round up of Carrots family updates, photo dumps, books I’m reading, links I loved, and big news.
Y’all. My first draft of my manuscript is in the hands of my editor! That piece is done. I’m sure there’s plenty of work ahead of me with edits and changes the publisher might want to make, but this is huge. It’s about twice as long as anything I’ve ever written. I am excited to get edits back, but in the meantime I’m so grateful to have time to write here and on other projects. It was strange having to channel all my energy into ONE project for so many months.
So since it’s been FOREVER since I did a TWM update, this one’s gonna be loooooooong. Brace yourselves and prizes if you make it to the end. (Spoiler: the prize is a feeling accomplishment for reading so much of my ramblings. If that doesn’t sound exciting, turn back now!)
I’ll try to get things in chronological order.
I had a birthday (32).
We got breakfast at our favorite neighborhood Mexican place and then Daniel cooked a fancy dinner for a few friends and my dear friend Holly took photos to gift us with. Heart eyes.
Then on the same week my book manuscript was due (and Daniel had a super busy work week, too), four-year-old Gwen picked up a heavy piece of wood and dropped it on her hand JUST RIGHT so that the top of her right index finger was severed. Cue a panicked trip to the emergency room, lots of blood, a transfer to a children’s hospital in another city, an attempted reattachment, all night in the ER followed by days on the phone with insurance company and drs offices trying to secure her a follow up appointment. After we got back to Waco, the whole fam was wiped out and honestly a little traumatized. I felt like my brain was only working at half speed for at least 72 hours afterwards. Wait, you’re thinking, wasn’t Gwen just in the ER last month? Yep. This one is….something else.
Sweet girl was SO brave. When she hurt herself, she told me, “Mom! I NEED A BANDAID!” We were trying not to pass out and get her to an ER as fast as we could and she was saying, “I don’t need the hospital! Just get me a bandaid!”
She had to get X-rays, an IV, and deal with the whole reattachment with sutures wide awake. They also didn’t give her any pain relief until six hours after it happened because they thought she might be going in for surgery and anesthesia so…..she’s basically the most badass person in our family. If part of MY finger had severed, first I would have fainted before even being able to call for help. So RIP Haley. Then if someone found me and took me to a medical professional I would have been screaming, “PUMP ME FULL OF VICODIN!” before passing out again. Now is a good time to remind you that Gwen was born on the feast of St. Joan of Arc and it shows.
I’ll try not to get into all the gory details, but basically, they sewed the fingertip back on but it didn’t “take.” However, the doctors in the ER warned us that even if the reattachment didn’t work, she’s so young that she will regrow her fingertip. Crazy! I saw the tip unbandaged for the first time yesterday at the specialist’s office and lo and behold, it’s growing back. The only question is whether or not the new fingertip will have nail bed and if it does, if the nail will be wonky and need a surgery to sort it out. But regardless, when the healing is done, she will have a fully functional, typical length index finger. The human body is amazing and our girl hasn’t skipped a beat.
The whole ordeal just makes me want to give a standing ovation to all the moms I know who are caring for medically complex kids. I’m estimating that it took about 15 hours on the phone to secure ONE appointment with a specialist for Gwen. I can only imagine the time it takes to coordinate continuing medical care for a child. This whole nightmare will be wrapped up for us in the near future. Her finger will heal and we’ll be done. But I know so many families that are dealing with ongoing medical conditions that will always require extensive care and treatment. Between insurance, paperwork, offices–it’s easily a full time job. Not to mention the disaster of a healthcare system we have in this country and having to worry if getting care for your child is going to bankrupt you, but that’s a whole other can of worms…
Thank you to everybody who has been checking in on our Gwen, sending goodies, bringing flowers, and just loving on us. We have felt your prayers. It’s also so comforting to have the Rosary and the Memorare and other beautiful prayers at your fingertips (no pun intended) when there’s a crisis and you cannot think of words to pray. I felt very drawn to ask Our Lady Star of the Sea (Gwen’s middle name is Stellamaris) to intercede for us during this saga, not knowing it was her feast day the day after we got home from the hospital. Highly recommend.
Michaelmas happened while we were still recovering from this finger-coming-off situation. We ended up skipping our usual big feast and just going out for Mexican followed by ice cream and blackberries at home. Then going to bed early.
I’m sure St. Michael understands.
We tried to kick things back into gear for St. Francis’s day and went to visit the most beautiful church in Waco that is named after him.
If you’re ever in Waco do NOT miss going to this gorgeous sacred space.
Let’s talk books real quick. I felt like most of my reading for pleasure time evaporated between May and September when I was writing my book. But here’s some of my recent/current reads:
Christy and I had a blast chatting about Father Brown on the podcast and all about how humans are wired for mystery. This was a really fun one to record.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
I’m currently reading these two lovelies. Reading People by my friend Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs Darcy is about personality types. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through, but definitely enjoying it. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne Valente (author of the wonderful book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making) was just released and is extremely my kind of book. It’s a fantasy about the Bronte siblings (Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell). I’m only three chapters in but it’s just delightful. And now that life has slowed down a teensy bit, I’m excited really get going on it.
Then just for fun, my dear friend Ellie lent me a copy of these short stories by L.M. Montgomery. If you’re wondering, my love language is L.M. Montgomery books with goofy covers.
And ever since I discovered the app that syncs with our local library for audiobooks, we’ve been listening to lots of those. We finished The Wind in the Willows and are currently listening to Little Women and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.
Shout out to Olaf the Goldendoodle who has been a part of the household for exactly one year today! We will know to hide the Halloween chocolate from him this year and avoid a pricey trip to the vet.
And shout out to this stellar gal who has been watching her baby sister get all the attention for a couple weeks and is in need of some one-on-one mama time. She is just so SWEET. Last night she was having trouble falling asleep and told me if was because she really misses a girl from her ballet class three years ago. She can’t remember this important friend’s name but does remember she wore a blue leotard. Oh the things that keep you awake when you’re five and very tender-hearted!
She also just CLICKED with reading. We’ve been going through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (and you can see the other curriculum we’re using this year in this post) which is phonics based and it’s like she just figured out last week that she can now pick up any book on the shelf and sound out the words. She’s been reading Frog and Toad aloud to me and it is just the darlingest.
Well, let’s see. Book. Birthday. Gwen’s Finger. Books. That about wraps it up.
Here’s a few podcasts I’ve co-hosted or been interviewed for lately:
On Family Life and Catholicism with Daniel and Haley Stewart: Weird Amphibians Podcast
Christy and I interviewed Matt Fradd on Confronting the Poison of Pornography in Our Relationships. I think this is a really important topic.
We also interviewed Leticia Adams on Grieving Suicide with Faith. We appreciate so much Leticia sharing with us about the death of her son.
And I chatted with Tsh Oxenreider on The Simple Show about Eating Local and about how we work on keeping our attention spans from shrinking to 140 characters.
And fellow moms should keep in mind that the Catholic Conference 4 Moms is coming up this week and some people I love like Rachel Balducci are presenting. And it’s free!
If it helps, my brother had an extremely similar incident when he was three (temper tantrum, finger in door). His finger is minimally shorter than its opposite, the nail is fine, and it works perfectly well. Also, my husband got to be a beta reader for Reading People, he loved it, and it has made our relationship better, as he developed a better understanding of my highly sensitive personality.
I love thinking about personality types but I think Daniel’s personality type is the kind of person that isn’t interested in personality types, lol
I’ve heard so many comforting stories about people regrowing their fingertips! Thank you! <3
Happy belated birthday and congratulations on getting your manuscript in!! :o) I am in awe of Gwen…my reaction would have been similar to yours. Natural childbirth I can deal with – appendages coming off? Not so much, lol.
Thank you! And right?! The whole experience confirmed that I would make a terrible medical professional, haha. Too queasy.
Margaret Sky says
So scary about Gwen! And congrats on the manuscript, that’s got to feel amazing! I hope you are celebrating one way or another after all the excitement. Writing your book May through September…does that mean you wrote your manuscript in 5 months? How did you do that? Congrats again and what strong, brave children you have.
Thank you! I had some birthday money to spend so Daniel and I hired a babysitter the other night and had a fancy dinner date night last week after all the dust settled. So nice!
And yes! I signed my contract in April then I had another project I had to work on before really diving in. So I started really focusing on it halfway through May and turned it in at the end of September. It was a quick turn around! I am usually a procrastinator but I knew I couldn’t do that and meet my deadline so I worked on it in blocks of time several times a week and just chipped away.
I totally thought that girl on the LM Mongomery cover was petting a sheep with each hand… but is she actually sitting on a rock?
lol! Yes, I think she’s just petting the rock, haha.
Wow, that’s a story…. Congrats, Gwen. I’m sure you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. On a much less crazy note, everyone in my family learned to read with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It’s great.
My 1 1/2-year-old had a similar accident with a 30-lb excercise weight while we were moving into our new home. His took to reattachment. I didn’t know it could also grow back. The human body is amazing! Now, 2 years later, his nail looks just a tiny bit odd, but it’s not too noticeable. A year after the accident I asked him which finger it was; he couldn’t remember, so he randomly chose another finger on the wrong hand. My guess is it feels just like all the other normal fingers!
Happy belated Birthday!!! I’m
very happy for your Family, that Gwen ist recovering so well ( These third- born Girls are just amazing. I have one , too;o)
Total other topic:
I just finished a book I’ m shure you would like :” Diary of a provincial Lady” by E.M. Delafield . Have you ever heard about it?