Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"There's A Girl In Texas"

"There's A Girl in Texas" who is, by almost any definition, really special.  She has been special since the moment she was born.  She is our family's pride and joy and Sunday, April 8, she turned 11 years old.  Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

This special girl is, of course, our double miracle girl, the light of our lives, our granddaughter,  Maddie-the-Great.   Before you go any further, I strongly urge you to take a few minutes and read her story in the following posts.  After you read her story, you'll understand a lot better, why I go on and on about this special girl.  (Go ahead, read.....take your time, I'll wait!)

Part I:  Against All Odds

Part II: It's NICU time!!

Part III: Life in the NICU and Beyond

Part IV -- The Week When Time Stopped

Part V -- Our Second Miracle

Part VI --  Addendum

So, are you back??  Did you read it all??  Do you see why she is so special, at least to us?  Of course you do!  She is Maddie-the-Great for good reason!

Those health issues are all over with now and we are grateful.  M-t-G is completely healthy, suffered no consequences of being a preemie and on top of that she has been cancer free for eight years!  There are other ways that she is special too.  She is extremely bright.  Seriously bright, not just proud- Grandma bright!!

At the end of this school year she will "graduate" from elementary school and will be promoted to Middle School (6th-8th grades).  Kids in Austin have several options for Middle School.  Most of the kids go to one of the public Middle Schools as assigned according to the School District boundaries, but in addition to parochial or private schools, there are four other options.  There are three Middle School Magnet schools which focus on different areas of interest.  One is performing arts, one is law and international studies, a third (KMS) is an academically rigorous program, and the fourth is the Anne Richards School for Girls.  Application to these four consists of academic records (grades), special needs (gifted kids), and individual essay. 

M-t-G applied to KMS and Ann Richards.  Ann Richards School is a program established by the late Texas Governor, Ann Richards, to provide educational opportunities focusing women and opportunity.  Richards was also specifically established to provide opportunities for the financially disadvantaged girl.  Their enrollment is structured to be 75% from economically depressed neighborhoods in the city and the remaining 25% of the enrollment is selected by lottery of eligible applicants. 

Our girl was accepted at KMS and  was accepted/eligible at Ann Richards.  Whoo-Hoo!!  That's our kiddo!!  Although accepted/eligible at Ann Richards she was not selected in the lottery.  She may reapply next year or any following year, but I don't know that she will because she is REALLY excited at being accepted at KMS!  It was really her first choice.  There were 800+ applicants to KMS, of which about 200 were accepted and our Maddie was one of them! 

I think it will be a good choice for her.  She needs the challenge of being with other very bright kids.  School has been easy for her, straight As more often than not with not much effort.  KMS has an interesting curriculum and many electives are offered that challenge the kids in unusual ways (e.g., Physics through Cooking).  For the first time M-t-G may have to work a bit harder, but that's a good thing!

Of course, we are extremely proud of her!  She has already taken her Math placement test and she is awaiting the results.  She also has auditioned for the KMS Orchestra (she has been studying violin for four years) and it was indicated that she will most likely be accepted.  She's looking forward to that too!

Maddie has such a broad range of interests....she loves American History (especially WWII and the Civil War eras), she loves math, she loves music, she likes to be physically active, she is taking Tae Kwan Do and has already achieved several different colored belts (I've lost track of what level she is at currently), she is still in Girl Scouts, she loves to swim and roller skate (not at the same time!)  She wants to take up archery!  She loves horses and riding.  Nine times out of ten, when she watches TV, she watches the History or Discovery channels. Her vocabulary is outstanding.  She reads constantly (when she's not doing any of the other things she does!)  Her reading comprehension level has been identified at the High School Senior level and above!  As I said, she's an interesting kid!!

She, like every other kid, has some things she struggles with.  She likes to be in control.  She is feisty.  She has a temper that can get nearly out of control.  She is also approaching the time that hormones kick in and put her on that emotional roller coaster of the Tween/Teenager.  Every parent of girls has experienced that time when all of a sudden their happy little loving sunshine girl into a sad, miserable unhappy lump!   We have seen glimpses of that with our girl, and the next few years could be challenging for us all.

A few weeks ago M-t-G was upset about something with her mom and dad, and it slid into a melodramatic meltdown mode, with yelling, and tears, and "nobody likes me, I have no friends, you don't understand, you won't let me do anything, you don't love me!"  In between the dramatic sobs and the litany of being unloved, she paused, then sobbed out, "I am, of course, speaking metaphorically!!"

Oh yeah, she's our Maddie-the-Great!  She's a pistol!   I mean, really, how can ya help loving a kid like that??!! 


  1. What a delight she is...and so witty...she reminds me of somebody...lets see...Oh she reminds me of you. You even have the same smile.:)

  2. She sounds absolutely delightful. I love the "speaking metaphorically" comeback! Aren't they fun at that age.
    Now, having a 19 yr.old grandson, who is extremely bright, but is wasting all that brain power and just being a miserable lump and driving his Mom and I NUTS, is an entirely different can of worms. I either want to cry or kill most of the time. But, what can a Grandpa do?
    Enjoy these years as they go by so fast. She will be a grownup before you know it. Wow!

  3. Oh my goodness, 1lb 14oz?! What a miracle baby indeed! I dare say, *someone* has big plans for this feisty girl. A very, very Happy Birthday to M-t-G.

  4. Happy happy birthday to M-t-G!! Big congrats to her on being accepted to KMS; I bet she'll thrive there!

  5. Happy birthday beautiful girl!! good for you!!

  6. Our grandson was also a preemie who arrived 2 weeks early and then spent 2 weeks in the neo-natal unit. His parents were living in CA at the time, so we had less than 24 hours to catch a flight when his mom thought she would deliver - turned out to be 2 weeks later. Bobby weighed 4 lbs at birth, a bit more than Maddie. He too is doing wonderful now and you can see recent photos on today's blog post. Happy birthday to Maddie the Great!

  7. Actually, Mellodee, you CAN'T help loving a kid like that and I think of of us who have read about her..and followed along with you, are in complete understanding why you call her "Maddy The Great"..I think that last one..the melt down and the "...of course I'm speaking metaphorically!" did me in! I won't forget that one!
    When Maddy decided to live in this world, she was going to fool around! I love that you are so proud of her..WHO wouldn't be!
    To Maddy:
    Happy Birthday to you, sweet girl. I think you have inherited a LOT from your Grandma! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. I haven't done half what you have...and I am 75 years old!

    Mellodee...OF course you have not offended me! Not in a million years! I am just terribly slow getting around. Sometimes I see you in my little AOL box up there..and think of saying hello..but know you are probably doing what I am doing. Trying to get something done before bedtime! :) You are, and always will be, one of my favorite bloggers!

  8. Mona sent me over here to meet you and your special wonderful granddaughter. I was told that you and I will be great friends at the end of this. However, I have a "great" of my own here tonight and no time to read the full story. BUT I am coming back tomorrow to take in the full story and get to know you. I am signing up tonight as your newest follower. YOU sound like MY kimda gal! Blessings- Diana


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's really nice knowing what you think!! Besides, comments keep me from feeling like I'm here all by myself!! :)

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