Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Kid Hospital, Part II

Once Lisbeth recovered from the first surgery, she had daily visitors. High Tea with Sister Kaitlyn...

High Tea with Jessica Lindgren, who was in the hospital for long term monitoring...

Lunch with Gramma and Grampa Simmon (Lis-ism for Simmons)...

Cousin Elizabeth stopped in on her way to a dance recital...

Sister Kaitlyn and Brother Eben...

Making funny faces...

Brother Alec and Brother Andy. Lisbeth's illness has been a strengthening experience for my other children, but also a very, very difficult way to grow up. There need to more resources for families with children with special needs regarding the challenges for the siblings...

Place of refuge in the middle of the city...

...where tears were shed and many prayers voiced aloud to these magnificent old beech trees...

Visits from other kids in The Kid Hospital...

...who enjoyed making art with Lisbeth...

Paper plate ladies and rubber glove critters...

More airplane glue...

New headdress...

A sweet poem from Gramma Simmon...
At this point the doctors were gradually taking Lisbeth off her meds to stimulate seizure activity. With the implanted electrodes, they would now be able to get an EEG with far more detailed information than a topical EEG can yield.
More pics tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Kid Hospital, Part I

Mother/Daughter haircuts.

First surgery over. Electrodes implanted.
I sketched Lis while she slept.

So hard.
So brave.
They let us paint Lisbeth's window with her favorite characters...

It was at just this time of year 18 years ago that we were readying for a long stay at Boston Children's Hospital, aka the kid hospital (Lis-ism). Lisbeth was scheduled for the final phase of testing to see if she would be a candidate for brain surgery. The first phases of testing had happened over the previous 2 years, including an earlier stay at the hospital for long term (non-invasive) monitoring. The neurology team discovered that Lis had a seizure focus in her left temporal lobe and we had high hopes that this lesion could be removed, and that Lis would finally be seizure free. This last phase of testing is called Invasive Monitoring - an EEG where the electrodes are surgically implanted on the surface or within the depths of the brain. I knew that Lisbeth would have to have her head shaved, so we had her hair cut short in preparation. I got mine cut short, too, in support of Lis. These pictures are from the beginning of our stay - we were there for 3 weeks. Lisbeth was confined to her bed the entire time because she was hooked up to monitors and being videotaped. Fortunately we have kind and generous relatives in Boston who let my husband Garry and I stay at their house during this time. We did the stay in shifts so that Lis was never alone. One night one of us would be on, sleeping on a cot in her room, while the other would be off, sleeping at our relatives' place. What a life saver this was, to be able to walk out of that hospital into the fresh air and sunshine of early May, and to walk the mile back to my cousin's house, where normal family life was happening. It helped us to put our skin back on every 24 hours. Children's Hospital is an intense place.
More pics tomorrow...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gramma's May Basket Mandala Tablecloth

I had such fun making this!

My Grandmother was born in 1896 and lived to be 100 years old. She was a wonderful woman, full of fun. She loved to bake and make candy - Ike's Million Dollar Fudge, Potato Candy, Stuffed Dates - and every spring she made colorful May Baskets and filled them with her homemade goodies for her family and friends. Then she would ring our doorbells, leave the baskets on our steps, and hide! Gramma so enjoyed her friends. They played cards together each week and called themselves "The Galloping Grandmothers." Gramma always set a pretty table for the ladies. This table cloth reminds me of my Gram. It is patched together with fabric belonging to four generations of women: my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my daughter, Lisbeth. Lisbeth's mandala is at the center, the rainbow plaid came from my mother's stash, the rest of the fabric is mine except for the white and pink flowered border - this comes from an upcycled vintage tablecloth that belonged to my grandmother. 34" x 34"
Table cloth is embellished with ribbon, ric rac, top stitching, and hand embroidery.
There's great energy in this tablecloth - it will make an extra special Mother's Day, Bridal Shower, or Wedding Gift!
There's a Mother's Day Sale going on over at Brainstorm Studio! Buy ANY 2 items, and get 20 percent off ANY third item! Yay!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Letter from Lisbeth

Lisbeth is down with seizures again. I thought I would post a letter that she composed recently:

I really just got hurt on my toes from the seizure thing. Hurt my toes - that's really bad how they're hurting now. Worse hurting of it. I had to tell my Daddy. Daddy knows what to do for the daughter. All the other guys in the family knowing about it, too. And Karen (helper) would need to know about this. When I do see her I tell her it. She be helping me back. When it's Thursday, that's the day I be taking Little Milkweed to the doctor, really are. Kate (helper) couldn't believe this, how it got really bad. Every helper couldn't. How much I hurt the toe with the seizure thing, worse way. My brothers couldn't believe it. Grampa Miller couldn't believe it either. Mmmmmmhmmmmmm. Older Jen (helper) couldn't believe it either.

All by,
Lisbeth Miller

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Mandala Magnets!

Mmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm!
My sister, Lisbeth's Aunt Sue, made these neat magnets using some of Lisbeth's mandala designs. She reduced the images and printed them in pastel colors on black, and printed some in black on pastels. Very cool! I have started to send these along to our Etsy customers with their orders as a little thankyou gift. My husband and I took Lisbeth out to dinner last night and I gave Lisbeth three of the magnets in her favorite colors, the colors of Milkweed...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Sweet Tribute

I received such a lovely note today from a woman named Jo who lives in the UK and who recently purchased one of Lisbeth's beautiful tee shirts. She writes so thoughtfully about receiving her new shirt here on her blog, Caim and Coracle.

Thankyou, Jo!

xox Martha & Lisbeth

Friday, April 16, 2010


Lisbeth's traumatic brain injury makes for an original language. I love her names and terms for things. A few more Lis-isms...

Mixter Rogers.

Brother Eben and The Little Kids
(Eben with his children, Lisbeth's niece, Cecilia, and her nephew, Calvin).

aka The Joking Brother.

aka The Smart Teacher of The College.

Chadder Cheese.

l-r: Brother Andy, Sister Kaitlyn, Brother Alec (with Lisbeth).

Rust Pisspees.

Hard Balled Egg.

101 Dalmations Little Puppies Get Stolen.
The Funny TV Show With The Girl and The Guys that do Sit at the Restaurant.

Large Marge of the Ghost Eyeballs.

Switty the Bird.


and last but not least,

The Funny Dance...