Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Samuel's test today.

Today we have an appointment for Samuel at CHKD. He's going to get his ears cleaned from impacted wax and we're going to have a long test to determine whether there's damage to his left ear as well as the right. His right ear we know has nerve damage.

Samuel and his calculator

And I'm questioning myself.

This is one of the first long-term affects from Samuel's chemo. We chose to save his life by killing his cancer with chemo but now here is the consequence... our son will probably be partially deaf. And I know this is just one of the many, many possibilities. One of the many effects and outcomes for Samuel.

And I'm trying to trust God with this. There is hope that he can have hearing aids if both ears are bad. If it's just one ear he will just have to learn to rely on his left "good" ear.

Wrestling with this in my heart. So thankful for his life. So grateful he's here. Trusting God with his hearing and the limitations that he will experience.

Praying for peace.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boy's Haircuts.

A month Ago the boys all got hair cuts.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wipe Out

After Bowling. Everyone was wiped out...

Friday, July 26, 2013


AMF has a fun summer program where kids get to bowl for free every day all summer, 2 games a day. You do have to rent bowling shoes. I decided if we bowled every week it was cheaper to buy the kids bowling shoes then to rent them. They've had a great time. This was from the first time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Dinner for Summer

I really enjoyed making dinner tonight.
Garden BLT's and a Caprese Salad.
Light and refreshing.

The sandwich was made with toasted bread, olive oil mayo, avacado, vine ripened tomatoes, bacon, spinach salad, and fresh basil.

 The caprese salad I just cut up fresh mozarella, vine ripened tomatoes, and fresh basil. I sprinkled a little sea salt and topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Importance of Listening: Hearing Loss, Lifeguard Rescues & tooth Fairy adventures

I guess my life is fairly unusual. I realized it when I was talking to some people at church today and they asked how my summer was going. The words that popped out of my mouth were, "well Ian almost drowned yesterday and Samuel knocked out a tooth. Both within 30 minutes." They looked alarmed. Oh, is that not normal?

We took Samuel to the audiologist on Friday. He had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG hearing test and it was determined that he has significant hearing loss in his right ear. His left ear also showed significant hearing loss but we need to discover if the wax in his ear is contributing to the significance of the loss. So we will go back at the end of the month and have the ENT (ear, nose, throat) suction out his ear and then re-test the left ear.

On his right side though it's confirmed that there is actual nerve damage (likely due to chemo) that is permanent. Once we determine whether or not both ears are damaged we can go from there. If both are he can probably get hearing aids. If he has one good ear then he will wear a special amplifying device while at school and the teacher will speak into a little microphone for him so he can hear.

Yesterday we had a fun day of being with friends. After a full day of eating snacks, bouncing on the trampoline, and watching movies and then a fun dinner of pizza we decided to go swimming. My friend is a member at her community pool. We went and it was fun. The kids splashed in the kiddie zone and it worked out well... until.... they wanted to go over to the big pool. After some time of it going so well, why not? I held Michael's hand and had Peter in my arms. I was gathering stuff to walk over.

I walked up to a lifeguard blowing a whistle at Samuel. This was our first time at this pool. I told Samuel he had to wait his turn before he could go down the slide but that he wasn't allowed to go on the slide because it took you into the deep end and he couldn't swim. Lifeguard was listening as I explained that it was our first time here and my kids didn't know the rules and I'm trying to explain that I have five kids I'm trying to navigate.

Well, what I didn't know was that Samuel wasn't the only one interested in the slide... Ian had snuck ahead of us and gotten on the slide before Samuel.

So another lifeguard shouts at the lifeguard I'm talking to. He turns and dives in the water and lo and behold he's pulling out Ian! Ian had gone down the slide and was under. So the lifeguard rescues Ian and is hitting him on the back to get the water out and Ian throws up on the sidewalk. I'm in shock. All I can think is "Great. Pizza throw-up."
So then the lifeguard has to go and report it and find a way to deal with the vomit. So the head guy comes back with him. He's ranting that he needs to see the mother and the child and I say, "I'm right here." He sees me holding Peter and freaks, "You let this child go down the slide?!"

"No! My five year old. And I didn't let him. I had no idea he was going to do that!" and I point to Ian. It was kind of crazy. Of course I wouldn't let my two year old go down this slide. It's a huge slide!I wouldn't even let my other boys. I had not given them permission. I had no idea they were going to do what they did! I was so upset and bothered. I had no idea the boys would try to go on the slide. I was just trying to get them to the section that was 3 feet deep. He helpfully tells me, "You need to keep an eye on your kids." and I kindly inform him, "I was watching the one who has cerebral palsy." Because Michael had almost drowned in Florida....

So I go off to file the report and I have to give my information. When I give him my address the lifeguard who rescued Ian responds, "Hey, that's Ballahack Airsoft!" I explained that my brother and dad own the company.... and invited him and his brother to a game on us. His brother was the other lifeguard on duty.

I had Ian come and say thank you to the lifeguard. I tried to explain to the older lifeguard that we hadn't been around water much as a family because Samuel had cancer and had a CVL and we couldn't go in the water. The gentleman showed me his arm and said he's a melanoma survivor.

So five minutes into being back into the baby pool, after I finished the report and my adrenaline is just starting to slow down a little Samuel walks up... with blood on him. "Um, Mom?! I knocked my tooth on the chair and it popped out." His front tooth is missing. Oh my gosh. It's a bloody mess. I freak out. This has to be an adult tooth, I'm thinking. I mean he had the two front teeth missing and this was there....

So my friend looks up what to do and I call in an emergency call to our dentist. I try to put the tooth back in the socket and I struggle to get five wet kids out of the pool and into the car so ee can save Samuel's tooth. We have an hour before it dies. I'm freaking out a bit. We are in Virginia Beach and the dentist is at Chesapeake.

I'm trying to be calm and breathe in and out but not succeeding. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins and I feel like a wet, crazy mess. We rush to the dentist. Thankfully my friend follows behind me and hangs with the kids at the dentist while Mike meets us there. Samuel and I talk to the dentist. Samuel says with a gleam in his eye, "Do you wanna know what I did?" the dentist politely tells him, "Not yet, let me look." So it doesn't look good. We can't see the root. Oy. He does an x-ray and low and behold... there's an adult tooth growing in. I don't know how that worked out but praise God. Here I'm thinking he's knocked out his adult front tooth. Thank you Jesus! A visit from the tooth fairy is way better than a lost adult tooth.


Adrenaline enough for one day. We all head back to the house. My friend and her kids came along. We celebrated with some home-made ice-cream while the kids watched a movie. It actually turned into a sleep-over which was super fun.

Today, on our way to church Ian said: "Can we go to the pool this afternoon?!"

I emphatically told him, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then he said, "Remember when I was in the deep water and I was yelling, "Help! Help!"

And I told him, "Yes. But Baby, you couldn't even yell "help, help" because your mouth was full of water!"

Ian: "Yeah. Let's go back to the pool."

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Life: When Stuff (*X@#!) Hits the Fan & Taking Leaps of Faith

Okay, so the break was nice. Refreshing. Much needed. But here's the thing... things are far from perfect.

Mike wants me to go to the doctor's. I asked why. He asks if I'm serious.
I've been sick for three weeks: cough/cold/sinus issues/sore throat. So maybe he has a point.

I was taking the kids to go see a dollar movie at Regal this morning (Summer Express). The kids were whining and upset the whole way to the movies in the car. I was tempted to cancel the whole trip but a friend was meeting us there with her kids. So I had everything: snacks, water bottles, diapers, etc. I was there on time. And then Libby gets sick. As we were walking to stand in line Libby starts throwing up on the sidewalk for about five minutes. A stupid kid from some day camp yells "Gross! Oh, yuck!" And I yell, "Thank you for stating the obvious. You're not helping!" I was mad. Steamed. Here's my poor sick little girl. And I'm ready to start crying.

So I drop off the three oldest boys with my helper, Thank YOU NATASHA so at least they get to enjoy the movie. I proceed to take Libby and Peter home.

I get a call from Mike- sad news... We are looking to move to Norfolk and the house we had our hearts set on renting fell through. I'm pretty bummed. We know it's in the Lord hands but this house seemed perfect. The right amount of bedrooms in the right area at the right price. It seemed like a miracle for us. And then it falls through. Trusting God to provide. Trusting that we are in His hands and that He has the right thing for us. He knows what's best for us.

I keep driving and then the bridge goes up. Sigh.

So I pull quickly into the thrift store. 25% off on Tuesdays at CHKD Thrift store on battlefield. Libby is feeling ok enough to go inside the store. We find a scooter and she had been in need of a new one. Yay. I find a cute pair of crocs for my niece.

We leave and drive home.

Libby: Do you remember when we were watching Kit Kittridge?
Me: Yep.
Libby:  Do you remember when you said, "Oh Look! The baby hobo is kissing the dog!"
Me: Yes.
(We both laugh)

I laugh at the utterly ridiculous. I laugh because I'm really about to cry and I'm sad that the house didn't work out. I laugh because I'm sick and I just don't seem to be getting better. I laugh because I'm frustrated with myself for getting mad at the kids for whining and being ungrateful and unappreciative of a fun movie event. I laugh because I try to make something work out and it fails miserably in a pile of puke on the sidewalk.

This is life. Ups and Downs. Good, bad and the ugly. It's us trying to hang on when we don't see a clear way. It's believing God at His word that He won't leave or forsake or abandon us when THE STUFF is hitting the fan.

It's hoping in what we don't see.

It's about being really messed up inside but still choosing to acknowledge that God is good and He is faithful and He is going to make a way.

So we're trying to find a new place to live. Trying to find a new car for Mike. And so much more than what I've shared.....

I asked Mike, "hey next time you preach. Let's not do the book of Job. Let's talk about blessing and provision and stuff." I was jesting... mostly. But mainly feeling sorry for myself and wanting things to work out. Mike did preach on Job two Sundays ago and it was excellent... and I'm reminded of my need for God. My need for a Savior and a Redeemer. This stuff is pretty messed up. But that's okay. God isn't done yet!

Samuel's hearing is getting worse. The last two weeks has been a significant decline. I'm yelling at him so he can hear me. I called audiology and they were able to schedule us to this FRIDAY! They're getting us in a whole month early. See that's good! God is moving mountains for us!

Libby and I are in bed. We're going to watch a Barbie movie. Trying to get her to keep down saltines and small sips of water.

Jesus, we need you. We need you to rescue us. From our broken world, our broken hearts, our broken lives, our broken bodies. Please redeem me. Please reconcile the relationships that are broken. Please heal our sick bodies. Please help me to believe. I am trusting you at your Word. You are faithful. You are able. You will not forsake us. My hope is in you Lord. You are good!!!