Sunday, May 31, 2009

Well, dear friends. Mike has graduated. Be expecting some fun posts. Grad pictures and some other fun posts to come. The trip went well. Michael did great and was so much fun to show off to our friends in PA. Libby, Samuel and Ian were great back home with friends watching them.

So more to come. Just thought you should know.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The thoughts in my head.

This was written previously. Michael is out of the hospital. This was written on Wednesday the day we brought him into the hospital. He is recovering at home. Pretty congested and coughing a lot. We are keeping him on pedialyte but home to resume normal feeds tomorrow!


*****************************************************************************************************************************
This morning (Wednesday) started out rougher than I thought. I did the very silly thing of not checking my planner this week... and forgot what today was. I knew the therapist was coming but I had forgotten my earlier commitment to watch two other children this morning. The good thing is that I remembered before they came and jumped out of bed and got dressed and told Mike in a very rushed way to expect company. We love these little boys and they are so much fun to have around.

I went to gather the twins from their cribs and as I was undoing all of Michael's wires and tubing and unbuckling him from the seat he sleeps in I heard a pop and the accompanying cry that goes with it. Yep, his feeding tube was out again!!! Unfortunately this has been a weekly experience for the past several weeks. It happened last Friday while my friend Karen was baby-sitting and thankfully my mom was able to put it back in... after some directions on the phone with Mike. It happened the week prior to that incident. I was taking him out of his car seat to go into Barnes and Noble and the tubing snagged and it popped out and then I had to look for the mickey button itself... the balloon for his stomach... scrambling under and over the seats in the suburban til I finally found it on the floor in the way back. I rushed into the store people refusing to help me with the door and moving in my way... I couldn't shout at them... "Hey, my son's stomach is open and I need to put his feeding tube in- please move it." People wouldn't get it. It was frustrating dashing back to the bathroom with him in my arms crying as I clutch his tube and it's parts and get the syringe ready to deflate and re-inflate the balloon.

It's painful when it comes out.... the balloon coming out of his tummy still fully inflated...

And then this morning... once again.

He changed colors twice yesterday... unable to breathe momentarily... watching him go pale, and then light blue to purple. i hate it. It's frightening. I can't tell if he's just refluxing really bad. He ended up having a small piece of paper in his mouth. It seemed to be better once we got that out. But there's still something that can make me nervous and watchful. He will continue breathing on his own shortly after the episode... but I can't tell if it's just something that happens when he refluxes or is straining in some way.

His therapist is concerned he might have an ear infection or respiratory infection. He's very congested and mucousy... and when he's thrown up lately... well, it can aspirate and get into his ears... bummer. So we want to rule that out.

I look over at him laying on the bed clapping his hands and smiling... but I know just as quickly and intermittently he'll let out a cry, that breaks my heart, and I can see the pain on his face. Unsure as to it's cause but I recognize that it's pain that makes him cry. Is it his mouth that's healing? Is it teething? Is it an ear infection?

Ian is talking loudly in his crib. I can hear him in his room through my closet... the walls right next to each other. He has a horrific rash on his bum. I mean not only flaming red but bumpy and really, really bad looking.

Samuel will be getting home in the next 45 minutes from school. Mike has taken the children out on a walk... an expedition, through the woods and around the pond in search of snakes, lizards, turtles, and the barn- where they can see pheasants, doves, quail, and chickens. At least it's not boring out here. Libby loves to play with the boys that are here but I can see her hesitancy in how to deal with a boy that's older than her... as he directs her and takes her things and likes to play well, like a boy. It's amusing to watch her response and her reactions... I feel like I'm coaching myself as a 4-year-old. I wish I could show her how to not let it get to her... that boys hit and push when they're expressing affection. I can appreciate her frustration.. but it's hard to not wish that she could understand what I do now.

Observing Libby is like watching a little version of myself walk around. Her dramatic flair, her passion, compassion, mood swings, and creativity and imagination... all the joys and curses that go with it. I now know a little of what my parents had to endure and enjoy about me. Her dancing and singing and acting... her whining, and pouting, and fitful tears. Sigh.

I was talking with my friend Karen on Friday and I was struck by something she said. We were talking about grief. (She has lost her mother and I have lost my sister and nephew.) She was saying that depression and grief are very different. When you're depressed you can have faulty thinking... and often if this thinking can be changed then you're able to "come out of it"... also medicine can help, etc. But when you're grieving it's very illogical. You can know the truth and believe the truth but still be devastatingly sad and crushed in spirit.

You can be numb and walking around in absolute shock. You can be there but not there. Your mind plays tricks on you... giving you dreams that feel and seem so real only to wake and realize the person is gone. Allowing you to not be able to do normal tasks.

It was several years ago in a counseling session in PA where I first heard the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I had never heard of it before and as my counselor shared what it was I felt like someone opened my diary and began reading aloud. I was shocked. It made sense to me. Why all of a sudden I couldn't do normal tasks. A pile on the stairs would stay unmoved for weeks and I felt like I couldn't physically move it. I was overwhelmed and panicky.

Where it was triggered was in the loss of my sister and nephew but it was also in watching Samuel almost die and the ICU experiences. Of rough labor, deliveries, and hospitalizations for my preemies. From some other issues in the past that occurred as a youth and again as a young adult. My counselor pointed out numerous reasons for PTSD... I was amazed at how many events in my life had culminated in this disorder. do I recognize that I am still responsible for my reactions and my choices, absolutely. But to realize that there was something very real going on... that it just wasn't in my head... it was such a relief.

Posttraumatic stress disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Post Traumatic stress disorder

(PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more traumatic events that threatened or caused great physical harm. PTSD affects over 7.8 million people.

It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma.

This stressor may involve someone's actual death, a threat to the patient's or someone else's life, serious physical injury, an unwanted sexual act, or a threat to physical or psychological integrity, overwhelming psychological defenses.
In some cases it can also be from profound psychological and emotional trauma, apart from any actual physical harm. Often, however, incidents involving both things are found to be the cause.


PTSD is a condition distinct from traumatic stress, which has less intensity and duration, and combat stress reaction, which is transitory. PTSD has also been recognized in the past as railway spine, stress syndrome, shell shock, battle fatigue, traumatic war neurosis, or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS).

Diagnostic symptoms include reexperience such as flashbacks and nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, increased arousal such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance. Per definition, the symptoms last more than six months and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g. problems with work and relationships.)

Even as I'm writing this Michael had another episode. Crying, holding his breath... needing to rub his back and watch him return to breathing normally and settling down. And it triggers so much. Nights in the hospital. CHKD. CHOP. DuPONT. Children's hospitals. Ronald MacDonald house. ICU. Code blue. Not breathing. Intubation. Resuscitation. CPR. Loud beeping noises. Apnea monitor. Dreams/nightmares have mixed with real life. Flashbacks to very disturbing memories. Inability to focus or think clearly or rationally.

After Libby died I would panic every time I went to work. My heart would race. My palms would sweat. I would get nauseous and I kept feeling like I was going to die. Even just writing this and remembering is causing the same anxiety, panic, and feelings. It's amazing how just remembering affects my physical body. It's in these moments where I can see how far I've come... and be amazed that I'm in the place I'm in now. I'm actually doing better than what I should be.

I realize that I have experienced true trauma. Not a joke. No just something to laugh at. But witnessing the near deaths of my children. Of driving in the middle of the night to Richmond to find out that my sister and her son were killed in an accident.

Well, I hate to cut this short. I had my friend come back and we hung out... it was really nice to spend time with Julie. We usually only get to see each other briefly. I also had another friend surprise me with a visit. Fun day.

But now, after a talk with the pediatric nurse we are bringing Michael in because of his color changes... there is never nothing going on around here. ( I love double negatives.)

We'll be going to CHKD. So please pray all is well... and we can figure out what's going on.

Recovery room.

Michael is back home. Sorry that I've neglected to post. I've been down with a stomach bug. Michael has been sick, coughing violently and with a mild fever. Ian has had a high fever. So we haven't been doing much around here. Libby and Samuel are well with slight allergies right now. Mike is tired but doing fine. So we're all just needing a break to chill out and heal and get better.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Michael-update-CHKD.

Okay, so you might have known that I had a post (yesterday) and it disappeared. It's being edited. Anyway, I am at the hospital with michael (CHKD). We are still here and will be here again overnight. The doctors are still trying to discuss an action plan. His "blue spells" were so out of the blue. there is no cause/effect going on here. We're still trying to figure out what to do. There is some talk about "layrngo-spasm" which would cause temporary obstruction and would affect his breathing.

My internet access hasn't been working at CHKD. So the updates are sketchy. I will try and keep you posted.

He had a fever yesterday of over 101 and it broke yesterday. He's been happy and cheerful today. He did fine overnight and hasn't had an episode since last evening.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beauty.

(Written days ago...)

Banana is smeared on the side of my black shirt. I dropped a cracked egg on my flip-flop foot... and it was sticky and gooey. I found bits of Ian's lunch in my hair. I got thrown up on by Michael. My nails are disastrous. I haven't washed my face yet. My toes could use some polish. And did I mention I'm in need of a shower. It's a good thing I don't define beauty by appearance.

Ian is crying from his nap so I need to keep it short... Libby has just returned from gathering eggs with her Gwampa.

Beauty isn't always visible to the eye. Yes, sometimes beauty is an obvious outward aesthetic experience but I tend to find beauty elsewhere. In kind words and big smiles. In a generous act and in faithful love. In self-denial and gentleness. It comes out of a heart that is content and a soul that is at peace. It's found in the storms that are kept calm through prayer and the birthing of new things. And beauty can come from pain. Where would the rose be without its thorns? Where would the joy of the resurrection be without the Cross?

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

And 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self [3] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


Again, beauty comes from within. It's not often visible to the eye... it is part of the unseen.

Some of my favorite verse on beauty are...

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

and 1 Peter 3:3-4

3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

I'm glad God looks at the heart. Not the outward expressions and attempts at beauty. I'm glad that we live for more than this temporary fleeting life. There is much more. Much more glorious beauty to be experienced later... for forever.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For Uncle John.

Dear John,
Happy being done with law-school Day! The kids made this video for you days ago-when you were still in the midst of finals. I meant to upload it right away and post it but there wasn't time.... But since videos of the kids are one of your favorite things... here you go!

Jennifer

P.S.~ Congratulations! You did it! It's amazing how you and Mike have pushed through and persevered... man, Graduate school is so tough. video

Confession.

I get totally overwhelmed and guilted out by all the ways I want to catch up with people and don't.

What do I mean you might say?

Well, I haven't checked people's blogs in like 3 months... I only check facebook every few weeks and have no idea what I'm doing there... and I get scared to check people's blogs now because I'm afraid someone else is pregnant or already had their baby or something major is going on that I've missed and I don't have the time to go through 60+ blogs for the past 20+ entries and see what's happening.

My cell phone feels like a joke. I miss calls all the time because my phone doesn't ring. Or the phone rings and I can't answer because it will drop the call. Or I don't answer because I'm changing a diaper... solving a fight between toddlers, feeding someone, cleaning something... am upstairs and the phone is downstairs or downstairs and the phone is upstairs (Mike recommends that I tape it to my butt), or cooking, or not at home, or whatever... I think you get the point.

I feel so out of touch in others lives. I want people to know that I do care... I do want to know what's going on in their worlds... I do wish I could read every blog post and comment or respond to every FaceBook Message and write back... but it just doesn't happen. It's not very realistic. But it's not because I don't love you or care.

I can't text because my phone won't let me push the letters d, e, f, m, n, o, w, x, y, z. I don't have time to breathe most days. Literally I make myself stop several times a day and just take deep breaths.

so anyway, if you thought I don't care it's not true. I'm just not able to communicate these days. Please don't take it personally.

The stack of letters I want to write have gone unwritten. The pile of magazines go unread.


I will return to the planet again someday. Maybe even in the next year or so. Wink. Wink.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

chit-chat.


me and Mindi.
Mindi came over with her kids recently and we took these sel-pics of ourselves. It's so fun to spend time with friends.


There has been a nice rhythm and flow to the last several days. It's been nice having such lovely cool weather. I've been able to tackle a few small projects each day outside of the normal to-do's. Michael has been doing so GREAT! I am so proud of him. He has been such a doll as usual.

Mike has been working hard. He has a final exam next Tuesday and a paper to turn in (15 pages) and then he's done. He will be graduating on the 28th of this month! Can you believe it? We've done it! Okay, he's done it but I think you get the idea.

I have been exercising and eating well. Trying to do that whole "taking care of self thing".

I've been enjoying making home-made omelets lately. Onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, six-pepper blend... mmm. With toast-fruit & grain bread by pepperidge farm... I love the blueberry acai. I have it with 100% juice- pineapple, orange, banana. I find when I start my day with protein I tend to eat better the rest of the day.

Libby has been so funny and I'm always finding myself amused at the things she says. She's so full of life. She loves to sing and dance all the time. She's quite the performer, like Mike (smirk)... okay, like me. She's very theatrical and dramatic and emotional. She's also very sensitive and compassionate. Tonight we made funny faces for a long time. She's hysterical. She's also on a doll kick. She can't get enough dolls or princess stuff. She likes to act like she's so much older than she is. Where she picks up her expressions I have no idea.

Samuel loves school. He gets so excited to go to school. On Saturday and Sunday he wore his backpack and stood at the door ready for school. He wanted to go on the bus. It was hard to explain that there was no school. His words are getting so much clearer. He's so happy and joyful. Lately he tells me when he's ready for a nap or bed. "Night-night" he says. I pick him up and he pops his thumb into his mouth. Content.

Ian is turning into a chunk. He eats and eats. He moves and crawls everywhere. He pulls up onto everything. We are looking for some gates. We have one folding gate but will need several more gates. He gets into EVERYTHING!!!!! He is a boy on the go.

Michael is kicking and moving more. He's getting a lot more noisy and verbal. It's exciting to see him so full of life and so responsive to sound. The helmet is doing it's job and his head is really shaping up well.

I am looking forward to the summer... gardening... fresh vegetables and herbs...sunshine. Sitting outdoors. Making sun tea. Swimming. Lemonade. Big Salads.

Mike and I will be going up for his graduation. We are debating on whether or not to bring Michael with us. We will be leaving the rest of the kids in VA though. It will be a nice break and will make it so much easier to travel.

Well, time for sleep. Another day begins early tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Healing Balm.


It's been a long day. Full of the mundane things: preparing meals, doing dishes, changing diapers, fixing lunch, changing diapers, doing dishes... and making dinner.

I enjoyed dinner tonight... sweet, fresh corn on the cob, sweet potato casserole, salad with feta, avocado, pecans, craisins, and six pepper chicken, baked potatoes, and home-made sweet beer bread. Lots of sweet. Lots of Tasty. I managed to clean up the kitchen and it's actually spotless. I vacuumed downstairs.

I actually was able to read the Bible this morning. It was encouraging. I was reading the Psalms which I always find comforting... I keenly felt comforted this morning as I spent a lot of last night crying. I had watched a movie with Mike that made me think of my sister. I listened to some meaningful songs and I cried and I cried. Sometimes I just need to let it out. so this morning God's Word was particularly welcoming. Like a soothing balm on a a bad burn.

As I read through the Psalms I was particular struck by a passage in chapter 62.

Psalm 62:5-8 says,

5"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us
."

So in the mundane. In the heavy emotions. In the rolling waves, the ups and downs, the forwards and backwards of grief I can cling to Him and His promises.

I was once again reminded that I can trust in HIm. I will not be shaken. My hope is from Him. On God rests my salvation and my glory- not my works, not my attitudes, not my faith... but on God!!!! And because He is never changing and His character is the same... I have reason to hope. He will be faithful. My salvation is sure because of Him. Not because of me. Oh how sweet to know that He is my refuge. I seek that refuge in Him. Even in sorrow and suffering. Even in trials and heavy burdens... He is my rock! He is my help. He is my hope.

Friday, May 08, 2009

So what are some of your Favorite things????

Favorite Things...

I was walking in the grocery store with Alaina last Tuesday (my mommy's helper for Tuesdays) and was struck by how many things I told her I loved... coffee, a certain flavor of this, a certain type of that... and I realized I used the word "Love" a lot. So I don't want to get in the habit of saying "I love this" so it doesn't water down the meaning. So instead I will use the word enjoy. There are a lot of things I enjoy... here are some of my favorites: This isn't including all the typical things, you know: family, friends, clean water, food, shelter, etc. These are the tid-bits.. Hope I don't sound too Sound of Music-ish... raindrops on roses and all that... :)

Favorite Things:

Starbucks
Comfy Jeans
Mac (computers)
silver jewelry
Granny Smith Apples
Flowers: lily of the valley, tulips, gardenias, magnolias, roses, pansies, hyacinths, calla lilies, lilac, lavender, hydrangeas, etc.
Good dark chocolate
My repeat movies: Return to Me, Pride & Prejudice, You've Got Mail, Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery Movies
Reading on a Rainy Day
Playing with my kids
Gardening... planting. Putting my fingers in dirt.
Sunshine.
Rainboots.
A great pair of earrings.
A fun find at a thrift store.
Chocolate Milk
Baking cookies with my daughter
An afternoon with a friend
A cup of tea... drank without having to be re-heated once.
Crossword puzzles with my husband
Getting a new sewing or knitting book
Michael's Arts & Crafts
Target
Drawing (although I'm horrible at it)
Sweet Beer Bread
Saturday Hot Chocolate Days (a weekly tradition)
Fresh Basil- especially made into Pesto
the smell of cut lemon
burning candles
soaking in a bath tub
foot rubs
good jokes
a date with my husband
Barnes & Noble
Bookstores in General
Traveling
Really Being Listened to.
A clean kitchen.
Fresh Mint in iced tea.
Rosemary Bread
baking cookies with my Grandma
wearing my happies (my comfy clothes...AKA sweats or jammies)
Fruit that is in season
Strawberry Picking
Reading... I could spend my whole life doing that...
Swinging in the hammock
Ocean. Beach. Sand.
Full Moons
garden window boxes
Lamb's Ear plant- I love how fuzzy they are.
Herbs- thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint,- it's all so wonderful
A letter from an old friend
A letter from a new friend
A personal letter that is not a bill or a special offer :)
A Clean Car
Trail Mix- yummy nuts and raisins and chocolate mixes
Trader Joe's
Dried fruit
Homemade Granola
Wearing a sweater & jeans in the fall
Collecting Leaves
Creating. Making. Designing. Planning. Organizing. Playing
The Word of God.
Memorizing Scripture.
Happy Dreams.
Good Memories.
A yummy soft pretzel.
petting puppies.
Taking pictures.
going to the zoo or the Aquarium with the kids.
Looking out my kitchen window.
Sitting on the swing with my husband.
Writing.
A new notebook.
Fun pens- I love trying new pens, especially with pretty designs.
New shampoo... Again, I love trying something new and fresh.
Shoes.
scuba diving
the Louvre
NYC
Paris
England
Sweden
Australia
finding a great cafe
borrowing a good book
cutting flowers and putting them in vases all over the house
new sunglasses- that actually look good and don't make me look like a freak.
Perfume. Body Splash or Lotion... Fragrance in General.
Caring doctors, nurses, therapists and specialists.
Cold Stone's Birthday Re-Mix
The color red.
Dressing up.
Dancing with my husband.
Singing with my brother.
Finding Starbucks in a foreign country. (Australia, France, England, China)
hanging out with my Swedish family
fireflies
sitting on the swing with my husband at night and watching the stars.
listening to good music
Painting my nails and toes.
Discovering a new food.
walking the road less traveled
being adventurous
the good feeling I get AFTER I work-out
stationary
Stamps- so I can send mail
shopping when I have money
acting
getting a good massage
my husband's eyes
holidays
twinkle lights
outdoor evening parties

Okay so far more than you ever wanted to know... nothing like ramblings of the tired.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mango Moments.


I love when I make myself try something new.

I was walking in the produce section of the grocery store and saw it. The beautiful green and red glow of fresh mangoes. My last experience of mangoes was in East Timor 9 years ago... but they were rotten... and I didn't know it... made me throw up... so I decide to give it a whirl.

Delicious, fresh and sweet. It was like peach inside but more firm and more tropical. Hmmmm. I love it when new things go well.

Today has been a low day. I woke up to the rain. And the tears have been rolling all day. I have missed my sister so bad. I dreamt about her last night. I dreamt she was alive. It felt so real. And when I woke she was gone. The ache is ripping my guts out.

I yelled out loud at the kids and I actually swore "Damn It!!!" I was so exasperated trying to get the kids in the car and I finally had them buckled in. It took 20 minutes to get them all in and then Libby told me as I was backing out that she had to go potty. That's when I swore. Pulled back in the driveway. Unbuckled Michael. Unbuckled her. Moved the seat to let her out. What a day. Brokenness. Weakness. My heart ripping and my tears flowing. And me repenting and asking forgiveness from God and my daughter... who told me I was very mean. I'm glad it's not a normal occurence but these things do happen. It had been a hard day with them earlier today.

At the end of myself. At the end of my wisdom. At the end of my strength. At the end of my reserves. Mike reminded me on the phone of a very important verse.

1 Cornthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, [2] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being [3] might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him [4] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

So I am boasting in the Lord. He is all I have. He is all I need. He is more than enough for me.

2 Cornthians 12:9- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."


My precious mother-in-law is giving me a respite. I'm going to go surrender to the Lord.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Before I was a mom.

I was sent this recently. Given that mother's day is just around the corner I thought it was appropriate... I could definitely add to the list...

Before I was a Mom ,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom ,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom ,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom ,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom .

Before I was a Mom ,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom ,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom .
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

"Let's see..."



I'm in trouble. Today for the first time Ian was on his knees leaning up (trying to stand) and pulling things out of the toy buckets. Oh my. Yes, so it begins. He's gotten into small pieces and choked a couple times in the past. But today is different. It's a benchmark. A mile stone. A frightening reminder that my kids are growing up.

I drove past where we were yesterday when the funnel cloud hit. There were broken tree branches littered everywhere and fences knocked down. It really wasn't my imagination.

I just caught Ian trying to eat a grocery receipt. Yesterday he was trying to climb the stairs. He's currently climbing under the furniture and eating the scraps under the table. Who needs a puppy?

l made peanutbutter cookies today for my brother. Ian somehow managed to snag one before I could think of peanuts and potential allergies. So far no allergic reaction just a dirty baby... and he just had a bath.... Why do I bathe my kids again?

Well it's a dino nuggets and fries kind of night... Mike's prepping for a big test tonight. Samuel has school in the a.m. I've done the dishes 3 times today and I have a feeling I will be doing them again tonight.

Samuel's standing in front of the pantry with his favorite new expression, "Let's see...." He's trying to figure out what he wants to eat....

Ears and Oz.

Michael can hear! I mean really hear. He's responding to noise... it's amazing and he's babbling and talking more. He did well with the splints and has been as sweet as ever. Today he got his splints off and immediately hands went right into the mouth. So there you go. Apparently 5 days without doesn't break him of the habit.

It's late. Really late. Almost 1 a.m. but it's the only chance I had to post. So there you go.

I had a great day with the kids. We got to be home... no doctors appointments or therapy... so nice. We just ate and played and the kids napped and I did dishes and read books to them. We went out to Target later as a family and did some grocery shopping. It was nice to be out together- all 6 of us.

earlier in the day there was a tornado watch in progress. I remember seeing the sky darken and rain on and off throughout the day. I could see the cool front moving too fast for comfort. I reminded myself that I would just scoop up the kids and run into the downstairs closet if necessary. I felt better knowing that I knew what to do in case of an emergency.

On the way home from Target I noticed the sky. It was dark and my stomach knotted up. I noticed the clouds moving much too fast. I didn't like the look of it. The air was uncommonly green. I told Mike I felt the need to start praying out loud. He encouraged me to do so. I was seeing debris flying everywhere... tree branches, pieces of roof, leaves. The trees were bent to the ground. Fences were flattened and then we saw it ahead of us up above... about 200 feet above us. We could see the tail and I kept praying it wouldn't hit the ground and turn into a real tornado. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I kept calling on the name of Jesus. I wasn't sure if I was afraid of the car being lifted or just debris hitting the car and breaking the windows. I knew there was a technical term for a tornado that wasn't on the cloud. Mike looked it up for me. It was a "funnel cloud".

I'm so glad we weren't transported to Oz. You never know with us. Weird things seem to happen to us. I guess we're just unusual and attract the unusual... In all seriousness I'm glad we're fine and nothing happened. Mike can confirm the story... this is not me being a drama mama.

Well, really off to bed. Just wanted you to know the full scoop.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

All is Well.

Hello. Hope I didn't scare all of you by not posting. Michael's ear was infected and full of puss and they were able to clean it and put his tubes in. His cleft palate repair went by the book. I had meant to post but by the time we got to our room (where we had internet access) we were trying to get him settled and he started experiencing pain (so we were distracted) and the internet connection was soooooo slooooooow. By the time I got home that night I was just too exhausted to e-mail or post.

Michael and Mike came home the next day! He was in a Tylenol Codeine stupor for the day but was sleeping through most of it or staring at us with glassy eyes.

Michael is doing great! He's actually acting like himself today. Sweet and happy although a little more mellow than usual. His arms are in splints to keep him from shoving his hands down his mouth ( a favorite and comforting habit of his). His surgeons were both pleased with the results and he will have follow-up appts. within the month.

I got an hour and a half of sleep the night before the surgery. I had a lot of stomach discomfort and I must confess a little anxiety regarding the procedure. I was so happy that all went well and now we're on the other side in recovery mode.

One of the things we've noticed is that he can actually hear. He's talking more and is so excited by noise. It's amazing the difference. Our orthotics doctor (helmet) told us we would bring home a different child... he was right. I can't believe the difference.

Please pray that the Lord would help us in regards to oral feeding and such.

The kids come home today. I'm picking up from the Napiers in a few short hours.

Mike and I were recounting our blessings yesterday: Pretty AMAZING!!!!

-we were GIVEN a car! My aunt and uncle just outright gave us their surburban. Another working vehicle. Praise the Lord!
-Mike got his pay-check.
-we were given the day yesterday to recover.
-his swelling and puffiness has gone down.
-the Lord has provided financially for us through gifts from friends.
-surgeries went great
- Samuel has survived the winter and allergy season
-Ian is a healthy eater.
-Samuel is loving school and we are excited to see the progress we know he will make.
-Libby has been sweet and supportive as ever. She has been so loving to all of her brothers.

So we are blessed and so thankful.