Friday, July 29, 2011

Jack's Surgery

At the end of June, the day before I was heading out of town with the boys, I was changing the J-man's diaper on the couch when I noticed a bulge below his tummy but above his privates.  I called Chad to come see it and we decided that it was just his muscles because he wasn't laying flat while I was changing him.  Then, when I was in Indiana, I noticed it again and the thought of a hernia crossed my mind. Of course (because I never learn) I googled it- and within 2 clicks I knew that's what we were dealing with.  Blah! But my cousin Nicole is a baby nurse, so when I saw her the next day, I got the scoop that it wasn't an emergency but that I needed to get it looked at by our pediatrician. Fast forward a couple weeks to Jack's 2 month appointment, and our pediatrician took a look, and didn't say much beyond referring us to a specialist.  I asked how soon I needed to get an appointment and he said it wasn't an "emergency" but that I should try to get in within the next several weeks.

I knew from google that Jack would need surgery to repair it, and since my pediatrician who is normally wonderful and talks me through everything was rather quiet, I knew that's where we were headed, but since no one seemed to act like it was an emergency, after my initial freak out leaving the doctor's office, I decided to put off worrying until we knew more.  I made the appointment for the second week in August and put it out of my mind.

Then this past Sunday morning, after a night of tummy aches, I went to change Jack's diaper and noticed that the hernia was at least 3 times the size that it was when we went to bed, and that there was some discoloration at the bottom of it. After a call with the on call nurse at Jack's doctor's office, we ended up spending several hours at Children's Healthcare Immediate Care.  The doctor there was able to push the hernia back in (yes! with his thumb, just right there, yikes!) and then taught us how to do it, in case it came back out again, and encouraged us to get the appointment with the specialist moved up. Sunday afternoon, I did have to push the hernia back in, OMG!, and I got the appointment moved to Thursday (yesterday).  I had been told that the surgery was outpatient, laparoscopic, no stitches, and wouldn't need to happen for several months- and altogether easy peasy.  As much as it made me sick, I knew that Jack would never remember this and it would be over before I knew it.

Well that's not exactly how it all went down.

Yesterday, I showed up at the doctor's office with my Jack, 30 minutes before our 3:30 appointment so that I could fill out all the paperwork.  I got everything finished in time to sneak to a back room, courtesy of a nurse, and feed Jack before we saw the doctor. As is the norm after Jack's 3pm feeding, he filled his diaper- and I'm not talking #1 here folks.  When I stood up to change his duty, I looked down and "it" was ALL over me.  And him. And his clothes. Ay yi yi! So after de-pooping everything, tying the dirty clothes in a bag, and getting ourselves back together, we were ushered to our real room, where we waited until 4:45 before seeing the doctor. (Reminder: My appointment was at 3:30 and they asked me to get there at 3:00.) Considering that I didn't have a change of clothes (why don't mom's carry diaper bags for themselves?) and was still wearing pooh, had rushed from work to get to this appointment that was over 30 miles away from our house, was at this appointment without Chad who was out of town, and was rather sleepy from Jack's new sleeping pattern (or lack there of) I was less than thrilled to sit there for almost 2 hours.  So you can imagine how well I responded when the doctor walked in and told me that this was a rather serious issue that could cause permanent damage if not handled quickly and that they wanted to do Jack's surgery next week- oh, and the kicker? He would need to stay overnight.  I gasped for air at first, then gulped my tears down and urged my chest to loosen back up.  I'm not sure how much time actually passed before I spoke but it was long enough that the doctor felt awkward and you could tell he was questioning my stability.

Luckily, I got it together and began to formulate sentences and pepper him with 1000 questions.  Dr. Pitt is a wonderful man who talked me through each and every detail, told me about the risks and the reasons why this was a must, explained the in's and out's of it all, and by the time we were done, I was very grateful that he would be handling the surgery.  There will be a cut over an inch long, with stitches, and although the thought of full anesthesia on my teeny tiny baby makes me VERY nervous, he did explain that whole process as well. We will stay overnight because of the risk of apnea (because of Jack's prematurity at birth and young age now) and except for the 15 minutes that Jack is in prep, the hour long surgery, and the 15 minutes that he's in recovery, I will be able to be with him.  I can also feed him too, and as long as nothing goes wrong, there will be no need for a feeding tube, etc. And he will be monitored for 24 hours. Because babies heal so quickly, after the anesthesia wears off, he will probably only need infant tylenol after that.

All of the things are good news- doable- not so much a big deal. So naturally I got to the car and called Chad who is in Florida and cried.  Once I finished talking to him, I had to pull over  because I thought I was going to throw up. I do realize that there are parents that would love to be going through this with their child instead of their reality, but for me, this is a big deal.  Someone is putting my baby to sleep and cutting on him.  And although he won't remember it, I will, and that hour long wait will feel like years. For the majority of my drive home, satan was winning.  Fear took over my whole body, my every thought, and I couldn't think straight.

Luckily I had talked to Danielle on the way to the appointment about other things and in the course of our conversation she reminded me that it is my job to be the best possible mom, and to read and research and make wise choices and the rest was of it was out my control. And before I got home, I was calm again- we have a great doctor, we have lots of people who loves us and will pray over his surgery and we have an even greater, bigger, capable God. Fear still creeps in from time to time (it hasn't even been 24hrs since I got the news), and honestly, I'm still processing it all- still in shock that it's opposite of everything I was told it would be (by people and google- not doctors) and that it's going to happen in just a few days, but God is bigger than all that too.

I will get a call later today with the exact date/ time of the surgery and I will be sure to add that information to this post.  We would love it if you would pray with us about this- pray for the surgeon to have perfect hands, for a super quick and painless recovery for our little man, for my fear not to give Satan any leverage, and for God to get glory.

**UPDATE:  Jack's surgery will be Monday morning at 7:30am at Scottish Rite.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Memory Lane

A trip down memory lane is so bittersweet.  I took one yesterday and for as many smiles as it brought to my face, it sure did make my gut clench up and my chest tighten a lot as well.  Our wonderful new sitter, Nicole, sent me this picture of Jack-- he's smiling and looking so much like Chad that I got all worked up with excitement:

For some reason, this made me click through ALL of Max's pictures as well- starting with his birth.  I couldn't believe how precious that little man was... is... has always been.

I really love his age and stage right now- I enjoy all my time with him and laugh over things he does and says until my sides hurt- BUT I really loved the stage before this... and the one before that one, and the one before that. And I'll never get them back.

Not to mention that it went way too fast. I'm not ready for him to be done being a one- I'm not even ready for him to be done being a baby.

He sleeps in a big boy bed and it's time to potty train- and that darn passy needs to disappear, otherwise his classmates will surely make fun of him when he shows up for 8th grade in diapers with matching passies... but I don't wanna!  I want to keep him just like this- but with the ability to rewind too.

The other night, after complaining about having to wake up and feed the J-man multiple times a night (he's going backwards... instead of 6.5 hour sleep stretches, he prefers 4-- brutal!), Chad pointed out how great Max was- goes to bed around 8:30, and we don't see him again until around 7:30- at which time he can get out of his own bed and doesn't need to be fed immediately.  That's nice, right?

BUT that means he's not a baby.  That means he's not in a crib.  That means he's going to go to college soon, and then meet a lovely girl and marry her and forget about me.

And I'm pretty sure his fingers won't be chubby then.  And he probably won't let me "kiss his face off" or run up and hug my legs so tight that I can't move just because he's overcome with love for me.

What happens when he doesn't want me to hold him anymore?  Or he says everything correctly? What happens when going to the store with me isn't the most fun he's ever had? And what if he doesn't want me to read him books anymore?

But on the other hand, these 23+ months have been AH-mazing.  More than amazing- there isn't a word that properly communicates the wonderfulness of it.  So I'm sure it's going to keep getting better and better- because I do just love him more and more each day.

But I just want both- I want to have my cake and eat it too- I want him as a baby and a toddler and a big boy.

I guess I'll just have to relish every second- not wish anything away, not even the hard stuff.  I guess I'll have to take more trips down memory lane, and look forward to the ages and stages to come.

But more than anything, as I hold my sweet baby Jack who's learning to smile, and chase my big boy Max who's mastering the art of onery-ness and love, and watch Gabe walk into the 3rd grade, I'll just have to beam with glee- because I have the BEST job in the world-- I'm a mom.

And my heart is so full that it canNOT be contained in this chest of mine.  Thank you Lord for these blessings- thank you for these ages and stages- impress each of them on my heart and allow them to shape me into the woman you've created me to be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Say What?! Max-ism

I love when Max comes up to me and reaches his arms up and say "my hold you"-- of course he is meaning for me to hold him, but I shall NOT correct him!

He uses "my" in place of "I" all the time, too.  For instance "my draw?" means "can I draw?"

When he's done eating, Max will say "I all done, get you."  No, he isn't wanting to get me... he's wanting me to get him! This is because when he says he's done, I say, "Ok, I'll get you"-- so he's saving me a step, and smashing it all together.  He wants to make sure I know that he is ready to be gotten, but his use of pronouns just tickles me!

Max loves Lollipops... we go through a big bag of dumdums every couple months-- and he calls them B-pops.  Not sure why-- maybe that's how "lolli" sounded when I first said it- or maybe it because everything he loves starts with a b-- but regardless, at our house, we eat B-pops.

Max calls baby wipes "wipe it's" and he loves them.  He's always asking for a "wipe it" and then he'll wipe his whole body, my body- even my feet, his car seat, the couch, anything!  He uses wipe-it's so much, that often his hair looks wet when he's done.

Monday, July 25, 2011

John Henry and Jack Henry

Over the 4th of July, I drove the boys to Indiana for a visit.  Beforehand, I was thinking that I was either crazy or gonna be when I arrived, since I decided to drive over 8 hours, alone, with two children under two.  But both boys totally surprised me and were even better than their great selves and we arrived with only about 30 minutes tacked on to our travel time.  We only got out of the car when I needed a restroom, otherwise, we stayed contained in the swagger wagon while I fed baby Jack-- I even packed our lunch and snacks, thinking that would help pass the time. And it worked-- the trip was painless and well worth my pre-travel scrutinizing and organizing to get us there without any debacles. Now why Indiana you might ask- especially since most people head to the beach or somewhere "fun" for the 4th of July. But my parents live there, my brother Sam, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins.  And all of the above see to it that my children think Indy is the greatest place EVER... and they love it! I'm not sure they'll want to "vacation" anywhere else... at least until they're old enough to know better!

Anyway, we've got lots of people there, and I was really looking forward to my parents loving on (helping with) the boys for a week- but my big reason for making the drive was my Papaw.  My Papaw, aka John Henry is one of the greatest men who have graced this earth.  So much so, that my sweet baby Jack is named after him.  Therefore I HAD to get their picture together ASAP.

My Papaw was a Christian pastor, he is the father of 5 children, one of them being my mom, the grandfather to 9 grandchildren, and great grandfather to four great grandchildren (thus far).  Now he has been known to tell "Papaw jokes"- you know the really corny ones, but he is the kindest, my gentlest man.  He's a hard worker who will do anything for anyone, an early riser who spent a lot of time in The Word, a gardener, and the provider of donuts every morning that I visited him.  My Papaw came from Indiana to North Carolina when I was 9 years old, to baptize me on Valentine's day, at my request.  He also rode us around on bikes, took us to the church playground many a times, wrestled and played with us on the floor, and was even the dean at church camp. My favorite thing about him is his ability to rock and sing any baby to sleep.  "You are my sunshine" is the song I've sung Max since he was born because of my Papaw- I can hear him singing it although it has been years!  I can only imagine how many lives Papaw has touched, beyond just our family, during his years of service to the Lord.

Unfortunately, my Papaw's brain doesn't work like it used to- he gets confused easily, forgets things a lot, repeats almost everything, asks "simple" questions, and really relies on my Mamaw for everything. But despite all that, he can still recite every hymn in the book and tell you what the scriptures say.  Now if that doesn't point to a man who hid His Word in his own heart, then I don't know what does!  He may forget what appears to be obvious here on earth, but what's eternal is buried in his mind and heart forever.  That thought makes my breath catch in my chest!

And now, my sweet baby Jack is named after him, and I can only pray that my Papaw's Jesus will soon inhibit my Jack's heart and fill him, the way God has filled my Papaw for so many decades.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Say What?! The Telephone

I've got a huge secret:  I'm very nosy.  Are you shocked?  No?

Well being nosy has been passed to my son-- the kid is picking up all my  best traits :)

I use my in the car time to catch up on phone calls.  Life at home is pretty busy, and I'm not a huge phone talker anyway, but there are a few of my peeps that I just must keep up with, so that's what I do in the car.  Max, my little chatty cathy, sits in the back, to my right, and comments on what he sees out the window, appearing to be oblivious to the fact that I'm on the phone, but for the past few months, as soon as I hang up, he goes "Daddy?"  As in, were you talking to Daddy?  And if I say no, then he says "Annie" (who is his Granny Annie, my mom.  And if I say no again, then he gives one final guess, waivering between "Anna?" and "Nan-ielle?" (Danielle).  If for some reason it's still a no, he just looks away, like he's over it.  Over me.

Well recently, I must've been throwing him off-- talking to my little brother and my BFFA Ruth, calling and making doctors appointments, etc.... So today, as we drove and I went down the list of my phone calls, every time I hung up, he would skip the guessing and say "Who dat?"  I'd answer him, and he would nod, like he was giving me the ok, and go back to his window watching.

What a little nosy rosy, needing to know who I was talking to!  Crack me up!  Just another reminder that little eyes and ears are tuned in to my every move...


2 Whole Months!

Sweet little baby Jack, we have had you in our arms for 2 whole months!  Wow, time flies!  You've grown a ton and changed a lot.  There are days when you've looked just like Max, then Gabe, then me... but now when I look at you, and all I see is your Daddy!  And you're about as laid back as he is too... although without the funny remarks :)

[caption id="attachment_1772" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Pound it, Mom!"][/caption]

This month, just meeting your needs has pushed me and broken me more than I ever imagined.  Because of thrush, feeding you has been pure torture.  And then, thanks to thrush, I got mastitis-- talk about horrendous.  In one week, I got 3 prescriptions-- more than I've gotten in the last 3 years!  Every 3 hours, you needed to eat and I found myself in tears over it.  And I just hated feeling that way about nursing- it was supposed to be special- so I did everything I could- I read about it, I took my meds, I washed everything 4948 times- and I prayed.  And then I realized I was at the end of myself but still knew that nursing was best for you. And then it hit me- I was praying more and leaning on God for breath, literally, for about 10 minutes every 3 hours. Your life, and loving you has literally forced me into Jesus' arms.  Thank you!  We are on the mend now, but my prayers aren't ceasing!  But since I don't weep or cringe or cry out in pain, I get to spend all my time looking at you.  And I am one blessed mommy!  No one else on earth gets this perfect view of you- while you eat, you're so relaxed- your profile is beautiful, your yummy little legs exposed, and slowly, as you begin to fill up, your hand go from clenched fists to open, and relaxed-- I can see your knuckle creases and caress your tiny fingers.  What a precious little man you are!

[caption id="attachment_1774" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Beautiful Sleeping Boy"][/caption]

Today, at your 2 month appointment you weighed 10lbs 12ounces-- that is DOUBLE what you were when we brought you home, you little chunky monkey!  And you're 21.7 inches long... that means you've grown 2 inches since your 2 week appointment, way to grow, man!  You also had to get some shots- it was horrible.  You were asleep in my arms and they came in and pricked you like a little pin cushion and we both cried- which then made Max cry.  That poor nurse.  Luckily it was quick, and you were snoozing again before I knew it.  I think we'll live, but I'm still shaking a little.  ALSO they confirmed that you have a hernia above your groin- which I knew- but we were just praying it would disappear. Unfortunately, you have to have surgery for it in the next couple months- but I'm not ready to talk about that.  Just thinking about my tiny baby and anesthesia make me feel like an elephant is on my chest.  So let me process that some more and we'll discuss it further.  I'm sure you're in your crib fretting about it right now.... Let's be honest, the only person who will be scarred by this is me- you won't even remember it, but blah!

[caption id="attachment_1775" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Cheese!"][/caption]

Your schedule is pretty set and you're easy as can be!  And this week, you've been sleeping for 6.5 hours at night, eating, sleeping 3 more when I wake you to eat, and then sleeping almost 3 more.  That's right- a 12 hour night with a nice long stretch for your mother.  Your brother NEVER did that- never!  That puts you in the running to be my favorite-- keep up the good work!  Although you can still fit into newborn clothes, you've been wearing 0-3 month clothes as well and they fit well!  I just still want everything to be super soft and cuddly-- like when I change you, it's usually from one pair of pj's to another!  You're in size 1 diapers, but I think you're trying to edge up to the next size in those too-- maybe in the next couple of weeks.

[caption id="attachment_1771" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Cuddling with your Annie"][/caption]

Our goal for this next month is to get you to sleep in your crib, instead of your Nap Nanny and car seat.  You'll fall asleep in there, but it never lasts more than 20 minutes.  I think you know how tiny you look in the bed.  And when you're on your back, your legs still aren't flat against the bed, so I think that wakes you up, too.  But we'll work on it :)

You still have all your hair, and more, and you're definitely going to be a toe-head.  Your eyes are bright blue- just like Gabe and Max's.  Your legs are full, your chins are wonderful and your cheeks are delicious.  All my hard work in the nursing department has definitely paid off. You still rarely cry and prefer grunting, snorting, and groaning.  If the sun is in your eyes while we're in the car, you just grunt until I move your shade.  Your Daddy thinks it sounds like somebody popped you and all your air is coming out.  But really, you're just having a hard time pooping!  And man oh man can you pass gas-- the noise level rivals your father, which is a feat in itself. (Between discussing your poop and you nursing, I can only imagine how this blog post will haunt you when you're a teenager....)

You are one loved little boy!  Please know how truly awesome it is to be your mom and watch you grow.  You make my heart so full and I wish I could just sit and hold you all the time.  You are the most cuddly little thing and I just love kissing those cheeks.  Jesus loves you too, little Jack.  More than we'll ever be able to understand.  He'll change your life too-- I can't wait for that!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Say What?! Melt My Heart Edition

Since Max was about a year old, I've been trying to teach him "I love you".  Of course it involves hand motions as well... I (point to your eye) love (cross arms over chest) you (point to Max).  I do this all the time and it makes him giggle.  But just like his manners, it's like his tongue is unable to form such words.  Of course, he can say helicopter and ambulance and dinosaur, among other things, but "please, thank you, and I love you" escape him.  And Max is not a child the performs on command-- if you ask him to say something, it's a sure fire way to make sure he won't say it.  (Maybe I should remember this for when he learns his first bad word.....)

Anyway, last night, I got home around 9pm from getting my hair cut and Max was getting his pjs on (with Daddy's help of course).  So I went in his room and finished up the job, and we laid down to read a book.  His current favorite book for bedtime is "Kiss Goodnight" which my mom got him.  There is a little bear named Sam that doesn't go to bed until his Mom kisses him 10 times.  And of course, when Sam gets a kiss in the book, Max gets one too!  Well after reading, I gave Max a hug, and he squeezed me and groaned to demonstrate how big the hug was.... then he said "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII loooooooooove YOU!"- with hand motions and pointed to me.

And I cried.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

23 months old (Not to be confused with almost 2)

Oh, my Max, my little man, full of life and love and stubborness!  You are 23 months old- and your second birthday is just around the corner- I canNOT believe it.  Thanks to Maternity Leave, I have gotten to spend the last 8 weeks with you- you can probably count the number of times I have been out of your sight on one hand.  And I've loved it.  And you have too :)  You think I hung the moon- and I'm not planning to tell you the truth for a long while!

During this month, you have embraced big brotherhood by loving on baby Jack, insisting I rush to his side every time he cries, and acting like you're so big and in charge.  You're so darn bossy-- and yes, I only have me to blame.  But for some reason, I listen to you as you demand milk on the couch and Mickey Mouse clubhouse on the TV  for at least 30 minutes after waking up, and when you insist on playing golf outside before you even eat breakfast.  Mainly because you know what you want- so who am I to get in your way?  You are so much fun, but you are so fiesty- really, you are me in a little boy body. And while I love it, I'm thankful that Jack is already taking after your laid back Daddy!  There can only be so many of "us" in one house...

You now sleep in your big boy bed- and you love it.  You like to tell people that you sleep in your big boy bed and have a big boy golf club that says "M-a-x" (thanks Pop).  My favorite was when I put Jack down for a nap, then put you down for a nap, and I was so giddy to sit on the couch in silence for minute when all of a sudden I heard your door knob jiggling... then I saw your face and you said "I all done!"  Of course I laughed and then began to take you back to bed which set you off in a "on your tippy toes, bounce around, screaming" fit which made me laugh even harder-- who knew that you could be cute while throwing a temper tantrum?  Well let me tell you, you are!

You had to visit the doctor last week, and they said you were 27lbs, 3 oz-- growing big!!  I look forward to your 2 yr appointment next month to find out all of your stats... but then again, I dread that appointment, because you'll actually be 2, yikes.  And just so you know, I'm not dreading you being 2 because this isn't fun- it's a blast- but it's just going way too fast and I'm afraid that the 16 years I have left is not enough time to soak you all in-- oh. my. goodness.

Besides a lot of Mommy-time, this month also included a week long trip to Indiana.  I drove both of you boys there and back, alone. I thought it was going to be long and grueling but you were delightful and baby Jack only woke up to eat. If you pointed out one 'big truck' on our drive, then you pointed out a million- and you cried when you couldn't find a motorcycle.  All I can say is thank goodness I downloaded Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for your to watch on my phone, because a girl can only talk about big trucks and motorcycles so much-- then her head explodes.  You wouldn't want your mother's head to explode now, would you?

While in Indiana, you got to go to the ball store with Pop and got your own golf putter- you love it!  And you went to an Indians baseball game (minor league).  You also got kicked out of Pop's work for being too grumpy.  That was funny.  Me and Annie took you to the museum and the park- you're getting old enough that stuff like that is really fun- but your afternoon nap is still a must or else it gets UGLY.  I think you also ate a whole bag of M&M's while you were there-- and cookies and ice cream too.  We were also there for the 4th of July and sat on their roof to watch fireworks.  You really love "fireworks in the sky" and have asked to see them about every other day since.  It's really hard to explain to a toddler the whole concept of a holiday and once a year-- you still can't grasp the "yes, we'll do that after such and such..."  Oh so much to learn in the world!

Max, you are so blessed!  You have a great golf swing- grown men covet it!  You have incredible friends-- Lizzy, Reed, Haven, Hudson... the list goes on and on!  You have two wonderful brothers.  You go to a church where the nursery workers love you, both sets of your grandparents think you're the best thing ever and brag about you, and your uncles (grown men) can't get enough of you or your pictures.  Your smile is adorable, your eyes are gorgeous, your pudgy hands and feet are just too much.  And your Dad and me, well, we're are absolutely smitten by you and your ways.  But that list of blessings doesn't even begin to match up to the number of blessings I get from just being your mom.  It is the best gig, ever!  And to think that all of those blessing- both yours and mine- come from our Heavenly Father that loves us immeasurably more than we can even fathom.  That's HUGE Max, HUGE!  I hope you know how loved you are- and that there's nothing you can do to change that.  Happy 23 months, my boy!  I've enjoyed it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things that make me crazy, annoyed, freaked out, and happy

This post is all about me.  Can you tell by the title?  But that's allowed because this blog is about my refining, and let me just tell you, I am being refined!

The thing the makes me crazy:

THRUSH!  So here's the short of it- if you make it to 36 weeks pregnant, you get tested for Group B strep, if you're positive, then while in labor you get antibiotics.  I didn't even make it that far, so I got antibiotics just in case, then I got another dose because he was a little guy, then he came down the birth canal and entered our world.  But who knows what antibiotics do besides killing bad bacteria? It kills good bacteria- which leads to yeast.  So for weeks Jack had a very white mouth, cheeks, and tongue.  Which is thrush- a yeast infection.  It wasn't a problem because it didn't bother him.... until he passed it to me.  Which means that after about 4 weeks of absolutely painless, easy breezy breast feeding, we took a turn for the worst.  Imagine shards of glass under your skin, cracks that burn like fire, and then high electricity volts streaming through your upper body for about 20-30 minutes after he's done eating.  Which equals about 40 minutes of H-E-L-L every 3 hours.  I'm not kidding, it's worse than the 50 hours of labor without any drugs that I went through to have Max.  And it will not go away.  I've heard and read that this is the end to breast feeding for most moms, but he is a preemie and I just can't stand the thought of not nursing him- he needs it.  Ah!  So I'm fighting through, with toes curled and heavy breathing, 2 prescriptions from my doctor, acidophilus supplements for me and baby Jack, and pure stubbornness.  But I'm going crazy!  Mainly because "they" (the doctors and nurses) know that because of the antibiotic the we'd be more succeptable to thrush but they never mentioned it to me-- I could've started the supplements early, washed everything thoroughly, gotten Jack an RX early, but nooooooooooooooooo, I'm must suffer and go crazy!  Not cool.

The thing that makes me annoyed:

REFLUX/GAS!  So Jack has a super senstitive tummy- that's fine, he's a tiny tyke, I'm a-ok with that.  I've had to cut dairy, chocolate, and even sips of wine.  In case you don't know, that includes pizza, cheese dip, ice cream, Starbucks drinks, desserts, my food staples.  But honestly it doesn't annoy me- he's so darn cute that one look at his face, and you'd do it too.  BUT I'm not losing any weight.  Hello!  Major high calorie groups are eliminated from my diet with no results... now that's annoying!

(I did get cleared to exercise as of Friday, so maybe that will help... that is, if I actually find (MAKE!) time to exercise!)

The thing that freaks me out:

SIDS:  Aka sudden infant death syndrome-- you know, when you baby dies for absolutely no reason and no one can explain it.  Our little man loves sleeping on his belly, but I'm only ok with it if I'm right there-- so I started googling to find out if tummy sleeping is really related.  AND do you know what I read many times?  That preemies are MORE susceptible or at a higher risk or whatever. AH!!!  I'm going back to work Monday and my sweeties are going to be left with wonderful people, but they are people that are not me, and there goes my head and my worry and Satan is just having a hay day.  So while freaking, I'm praying (a lot) because of course God is in control and He told me not to worry.  And also I printed this list and I'm insisting our sitters read it before I step one foot out of the door-- they are going to think I'm nuts, and I am.

The list from the SIDS awareness website:

1. Place infants to sleep on their backs, even though they may sleep more soundly on their stomachs. Infants who sleep on their stomachs and sides have a much higher rate of SIDS than infants who sleep on their backs. (For Jack, in Nap Nanny, Swing, or Bouncy Seat)

2. Place infants to sleep in a baby bed with a firm mattress. There should be nothing in the bed but the baby - no covers, no pillows, no bumper pads, no positioning devices and no toys. Soft mattresses and heavy covering are associated with the risk for SIDS.

3. Keep your baby’s crib in the parents’ room until the infant is at least 6 months of age. Studies clearly show that infants are safest when their beds are close to their mothers.

4. Do not place your baby to sleep in an adult bed. Typical adult beds are not safe for babies. Do not fall asleep with your baby on a couch or in a chair. (Feel free to hold Jack while he sleeps, just don’t nap yourself while holding him J  If you get sleepy, place him in his Nap Nanny or swing, then take your snooze)

5. Do not over-clothe the infant while she sleeps. Just use enough clothes to keep the baby warm without having to use cover. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you. Overheating an infant may increase the risk for SIDS. (For Jack, just light clothes and his swaddle blanket while sleeping, nothing else.  If you’re holding him while he sleeps, then feel free to snuggle him in a blanket- he loves that!)

6. Avoid exposing the infant to tobacco smoke. Don't have your infant in the same house or car with someone who is smoking. The greater the exposure to tobacco smoke, the greater the risk of SIDS.

7. Breast-feed babies whenever possible. Breast milk decreases the occurrence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Studies show that breast-fed babies have a lower SIDS rate than formula-fed babies do.

8. Avoid exposing the infant to people with respiratory infections. Avoid crowds. Carefully clean anything that comes in contact with the baby. Have people wash their hands before holding or playing with your baby. SIDS often occurs in association with relatively minor respiratory (mild cold) and gastrointestinal infections (vomiting and diarrhea).

9. Offer your baby a pacifier. Some studies have shown a lower rate of SIDS among babies who use pacifiers. (Jack likes the paci in order to fall asleep but won’t keep it in his mouth- just use it to settle him)

10. If your baby has periods of not breathing, going limp or turning blue, tell your pediatrician at once.

11. If your baby stops breathing or gags excessively after spitting up, discuss this with your pediatrician immediately.

12. Thoroughly discuss each of the above points with all caregivers. If you take your baby to daycare or leave him with a sitter, provide a copy of this list to them. Make sure they follow all recommendations.

And lastly, the thing that makes me happy:

VIDEO MONITORS!  We didn't have these the first go around- our house is tiny, so I resisted.  I didn't even have a monitor at all- seriously! But then you find yourself going in to check, when you weren't needed, causing a debacle, or getting yourself out of bed because you think you heard something, only to awaken yourself (and the child!) for no reason.  And sometimes, you don't go in when you should've... like per-say, "diaper" issues. So my aunt sent us her video monitor that she wasn't using anymore.  And we set it up on Max and are so thrilled with it that we bought another for Jack.  So at night, I wake up, look to my right, get an image of my two, beautiful, wonderful, sleeping boys and go right back to peaceful sleep, and a happy grin plastered across my face.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Ole Indiana... the Promised Land


Kind of.

Indiana isn't really the promised land- we drive through a whole lot of nothing before arriving there and then there is just a city here and there, some cows, and some corn.  But I'm pretty sure my children think it's the greatest place ever!  My parents live there, my brother Sam, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins.  All of the above see to it that my children think Indy is the greatest place EVER... and they love it!

Say What?

Because I am printing a copy of my blog each calendar year, for my boys to read and laugh about when they get older, I am adding a new section to my blog:

"Say What?"  And they're going to be quotes and funny things the boys say.  It's not going to be a huge whole blog post, but if I don't do this as they happen, then I can't remember all the funny things they say and do-- but there are things that just shouldn't be forgotten!

For instance, when Gabe was smaller, Chad was teasing him and he said "Daddy, are you joking me up?" And Max loves looking outside for Mudder fags (butterflies) and Chip punks (chip munks) and calls Grandma and Grandpa "Grandpa" despite our corrections.  Also, when Chad gets home from work, he asks if they can go practice at the dribin range-- meaning can they go to the driving range to play golf... he's not even 2!  And Jack always says... just kidding, he's only 7 weeks old, come on!

So for the first entry:  this morning we headed to the doctor because Max has been stuffy and junky and whiny and gooey eyed for several days, come to find out he needed a prescription of amoxicillian, so we stopped at Target to get it filled on the way home.  As we left the store, the person parked in front of me backed out so I was pumped about a pull through opportunity-- it's the little things :)  But as I was driving thru, I hit a HUGE cement median dividing the parking spaces.... oops.  Being prideful and all, I just put it in reverse and acted like nothing happened despite the loud scraping noise and whip lash we all received.  Max started laughing and said "Mommy crashed! Uh oh Mommy."

Thanks for humbling me Max!  And then I giggled all the way home.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Life Well Lived

Today, Chad and I had the opportunity to attend a funeral.  I say 'opportunity' because it was the celebration of a life lived for Christ.  And despite the tragic accident that took this man's life, God is receiving Glory.  Bryan Morgan was killed in a bike accident on the 4th of July.  If you live in the Atlanta area, then you probably heard about it on the news.  Bryan was the father of our dear friend Matt Morgan, and although I've only met him very briefly surrounding events for Reed, his grandson, after today, I feel like I know him well, and I have learned many things from his life.

Matt and Danielle are in our small group- and they're part of our family.  This isn't the first tragedy we've walked through with the Morgans, and it's not the first death of a parent we've experienced within our small group either- but I've got to say, it doesn't get any easier, despite our "experience".  I spent the first half of the week in shock, just aching for my friends.  I would talk to Danielle each morning, and without fail, weep for their loss, weep over their pain, and pray.  I've prayed more this week than I have in a long time-- and I know my Savior a little better because of that.  By the latter half of the week, I spent my time trying to figure out how we could help, how I could serve them, serve Danielle, and love them through the pain.  Chad and I have talked a lot about this week- just processing it all, hurting for Matt, trying to imagine what he's going through- but today, my eyes were opened to a whole new side of it all.

Bryan's memorial service was 3 hours- and I mean 3 very short hours.  3 of his closest friends shared about Bryan's life, 4 of his 5 kids spoke about his love for them, and a Pastor reminded everyone of the Truth found in God's word.  Time flew, as story after story was told about how this man loved God and loved others.  Songs of praise were sung to our God who has a plan-- the same God who is in control-- the same one who offers comfort-- and most importantly, the same God who sacrificed his only Son on our behalf so that we may spend eternity in heaven with Him.  And of course, many more tears were shed-- so much so that I had a crying headache by the time it was over. I cried watching Matt grieve, I cried watching Danielle hug on her hurting husband, I cried hearing about the way Bryan conducted his life, sad that he wasn't here anymore, I cried for his young grandchildren who will only remember stories about him- but mostly, I wept for the lessons learned from this man that I didn't even really know.  His life was still changing lives- even though he isn't on this earth anymore!

Since that service this morning, Chad and I have talked about who we would want to speak at our own funerals, we have talked about what matters, we have talked about what it means to be intentional, what it looks like to focus on people, and how Jesus HAS GOT to be at the center of everything that we are.  I've got to tell you too, that after this week, the things that "mattered" last Sunday, aren't the same things the "matter" now.  Life is short- regardless of how great of a person you are, regardless of how needed you are by your family, regardless of how healthy and happy you are- and so all that matters is love- loving God and loving others.  (Matthew 22:36-38)

I thank God for Bryan's life, for the way he loved his wife and taught Matt to love his wife-- I get to see my friend loved well, but also, as Chad and Matt do life together, Chad is growing as a result of Bryan too, also for the way he loved his kids- Chad and I can't stop talking about all the things we can take away from hearing them speak today, things we can start right now and things for later, but mostly, I thank God for saving Bryan, for making him a child of God, who ran the race and fought the fight, and used his life to grow the Kingdom.

Although I am sad that Bryan is no longer here, although I hurt over the gaping hole in my friends life, although this is just the beginning of life without Bryan for so many loved ones, I am honored that I got to be a part of his celebration service today.

Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.