Content Amidst the Chaos

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Let’s make this easy May 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jps23 @ 6:27 pm

If I do it that way, then I can successfully get a post up!  I have plenty to say, but not plenty of time to say it.  And when I have the time, I’m tired.  So if I make it easy, then it at least lets you know I’m alive and why it is that I can’t get it together enough to blog.

  • SCHOOL IS OVER!!!  If you haven’t been reading along, you need to know that we participated in a homeschool co-op this year, which translated to four hours, four days a week, and 28 lunches a week!  I have much to say about why I am excited about it being over, starting with the lunches, but that is for another post, when there is more time.  It boils down to the fact that co-ops are not for us right now.
  • We are more than halfway through birthday season.  One next week, and another two weeks from now, and we are done with the kids’ birthdays until December, when lonesome ‘ol Tipper will turn one.
  • Earnhart has allergies, confirmed by a not-so-pleasant test where they poked his back in about 16 places and inserted allergens, along with three shots in the arm with higher concentrations of some allergens.  No dogs, cats, dust mites, red oak trees, and ragweed for this boy.  Yep, we covered spring and fall, along with some year round loveliness, on top of the eczema we treat with tons of stuff daily.  Poor kid.
  • We have a summer roomie.  Our children’s ministry intern for the last three years, and our friend and occasional babysitter, is crashing with us over the summer, and we are all quite happy with the arrangement.  And, I know what you are thinking, but no, she doesn’t babysit for us all the time.  She’s done it once in the three weeks she’s been here.  We refuse to take advantage of her!
  • We are going with a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling next year, and we can’t wait!  That lady was so smart, and I am enjoying reading through her works.
  • Superman will be teaching a class in the next couple of weeks.  He’s excited about getting started, and we hope this is a door to something new and different for all of us, but especially him.
  • We are making progress on the home front, but there is still much to do.  We moved one year ago this weekend, and there are things that still have not been put in place.  The pregnancy, c-section, and part-time teaching job, on top of the full-time mommy ‘o 7 job kind of delayed getting settled.
  • We have a vacation planned for September.  It’s the first official vacation we’ll have taken since I was pregnant with Earnhart over four years ago.  We planned it for Destin, so we’re really hoping that the oil spill gets resolved (for many reasons, but selfishly, for this one).
  • Tipper is getting so big!  He is loving his toes and hates lying down.  His abs are going to be rock hard from all his attempts to get out of the infant carrier!
  • Smiley has officially aged out of Babies Can’t Wait.  I love that organization and what it has done to help my kids.
  • I love my family, even though caring for them is so much work right now.  I would not trade my babies for a second of anything else.  I am soooo excited about our new school plans and can’t wait to get started.
  • We started doing some read-aloud with the whole family today.  We’ll be reading Little House in the Big Woods (1st of the Prairie series) at lunch and The Chronicles of Narnia after bath time in our big King-sized bed, which doesn’t feel so big with everyone piled on it!  These will be such fun adventures for us to take together!
  • Picasso has lost her two front teeth.  She is so adorable!
  • The girls are finally riding bikes without training wheels.  Woo-hoo!!!

That’s the best I can do today.  Don’t give up on me.  I’ll get this thing on a schedule with the laundry and other stuff, as soon as I get all that on a schedule!  🙂

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Not sure why, but maybe… May 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jps23 @ 9:50 pm

I’m not sure why I started a blog.  I guess I had lofty dreams of sitting down each evening in a clean and quiet house to blog about the day’s adventures for folks who might be curious.  I guess I thought there might be some curious folks out there who would actually read it.  You loyal few make me feel loved, but I erroneously thought it would be more than just friends keeping track of us.  I thought my moms would actually visit it from time to time and share it with their friends and loved ones, especially the ones who misunderstand us on a regular basis.  Maybe it was just because it was late in my pregnancy, with me sitting a lot, and then recovering for six weeks from the c-section, and it was a way to make me feel useful.  I’m just not sure why.

I’m not sure why I gave myself something else to get behind on keep up with.  I’m not sure why I assigned myself yet another task where I can’t quite finish something, thus making me feel a bit like a failure slacker.  All of those snickers make sense now.  You know, the ones I heard when I would say, “Yeah, I’m starting a blog.”

But here I am, blogging anyway.  There is much that has happened and much I’d like to share, but I’m always so stinkin’ tired, and there is always so much more other important stuff to do…ALWAYS.  So, I hope you don’t mind me popping in from time to time, always trying to catch up.  Maybe when we go on our vacation in September and are unable to play on the beach because of the lovely oil spill, I can write multiple entries (while the kids run around the room in someone else’s house), so I’ll always be prepared to post something. I promise that I have some interesting things to say, some beautiful pics to share, and some helpful tips to explain.  Maybe I will find time to share them with you a little more once the school year is over and I can sit and blog at night instead of preparing nine people to get out the door by a certain time every morning.  Maybe…

 

Four years ago… May 8, 2010

Filed under: S1,S4,Superman — jps23 @ 8:37 pm

I should be preparing for the dual birthday parties we are having tomorrow, but I’m so tired from working on that today that I thought I’d take a break and share a little story.  Picasso and Earnhart will be celebrating their birthdays simultaneously tomorrow, her 8th and his 4th.  I can’t believe our oldest is eight.  It is true.  It goes by way too fast.  Tipper looks just like she did as a baby, the first sibling of hers to strongly resemble her, so it’s kind of neat to look back at her by just looking in his face.  I’ll have to scan in some of her baby pics to show you sometime.  She looked a little something like this…

…only with longer lashes.  I can’t believe how much she has grown.  She is my precious first born, the one I learned how to do this job with, the one I let sleep with us in our bed too long, keep her paci until she was four, and threw the huge party with mulch ordered for the backyard, which she slept through.  She’s taught me so much about being a mom.  I just love her.

She picked the Target doll over the AG doll because it made more financial sense to her!

Our first son was born four years later, almost to the day.  His birthday is nine days after hers.  Only with him, we had a moment in time where we weren’t sure we’d be celebrating a fourth birthday, or a first for that matter.  When Earnhart was born, I was a pro.  We went to church just days after we came home from the hospital.  We visited a friend at a children’s hospital after she had major surgery.  We went to the zoo in an effort to make up for the last few weeks where I mothered mostly from the couch.  We were out there.  The girls were actually attending a preschool program at the local baptist church, so they could have brought the germs home, or it could have just been my carelessness.  Either way, Earnhart got sick.  I couldn’t keep him awake to nurse.  He slept all of the time, and when he was awake, he was very floppy and lethargic.  We had a meeting with a developmental pediatrician regarding some testing we had done with one of our girls, and she was very concerned when she saw him.  He was very yellow, and she was concerned about his jaundice levels.  She canceled our meeting and sent us to the hospital immediately.

At the ER, they took his vitals and weren’t happy with his pulse and oxygenation.  They admitted him and ran tests, and while he wasn’t having alarming results, the nurse kept saying that his tests weren’t matching what she was seeing.  That nurse was our angel.  She would not rely on what the machines were telling her.  The doctor decided to send us to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in order for Earnhart to have a spinal tap done.  The Children’s team from the ambulance came to load us up.  It was a huge rig.  Just before they put me in the front for the ride up, they warned me that they may have to intubate him if he stopped breathing.  I nodded my head and got in the front, just trying to process it all.  The driver shut the door and went to the back to assist them in loading the incubator that they had to put him in, and it hit me hard.  Intubate?  My baby could stop breathing?  Could my baby die?  The thought had NEVER crossed my mind, EVER.  I knew that babies have passed, but I had never consider that happening to one of my babies.  Superman had to go home and get some stuff for us and get the girls taken care of.  My parents couldn’t ride up with me.  I was alone, and I was terrified.  Then the strangest thing happened.  The driver hopped in the front of the rig, made sure I was buckled up, and took off with lights flashing and sirens blazing.  And he talked to me.  Not about the baby fighting for his life in the back, but just random stuff to keep my mind off of that very frightening situation.  And we were there in a blink, greeted by at least 12 people rushing to care for my son.  They talked me through every step and procedure, though I couldn’t tell you what any of those things were right now.  They did a spinal tap and sent cultures off.  He had meningitis, but you have to wait on the cultures for a few days before you know for certain if it is bacterial or viral.  Did I mention the sweet child was only 8 days old?  They put him on antibiotics to treat him just in case, and we were placed in the NICU, right in front of the nurse’s station.  He was put on monitors, under bilirubin lights, and under a warmer to raise his body temp.  He was also wrapped in several blankets and put on an IV to get his vitals to a safe place.  I was scared.  Terrified.  Oh, and I had three little girls at home who were just adjusting to having me back home with a new baby in tow, one of whom was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder that we were still figuring out.  How was anyone going to be able to take care of them the way only I knew how to do?  They were too young to visit, and they had no understanding of what was going on.  The youngest were just shy of their 2nd and 3rd birthdays, and the oldest had just turned four.  They needed their momma.

Sorry about the quality. It's a photo of a photo.

I went a couple of days without getting to hold him.

But I couldn’t leave my son.  I was the reason he was there, struggling, in the first place.  Or at least that is what I thought in my mind.  So I camped there in his room, watching nurse rotations and doctor’s rounds, waiting to hear what was going on, pumping so that I could supplement my breast milk with the formula he had to take because of his decreased weight from not eating much that week, and reading.  We got the cultures back and found out it was viral meningitis.  We were in the clear, sort of.  The urgency and edge-of-our-seats feeling had left the room, but you can still face complications with the viral, especially with such a young child.  I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I had become calm.  To some, I may have seemed like I wasn’t worried enough.  But I knew worry wouldn’t make him better.  Worry wouldn’t change our circumstances.  Worry wouldn’t reverse what had happened.  So instead, I prayed, and I had many prayers behind me through family, friends, and fellow church members.  Our parents visited daily, as did members or our church.  We were bathed in care and concern.  My sister-in-law helped out with the kids, and Superman spent some time going back and forth.  I was so grateful for the calm.  I was thankful for the nurses.  Even the lady that cleaned my room each day was heaven sent.  And I learned something.  I don’t have to do it all for my children.  I can’t do it all for my children.  My son needed those doctors and nurses to help him live.  I couldn’t do that for him.  He did need me there, which meant I couldn’t take care of the girls.  But you know what?  Someone else did the job and they survived.  And as you know from the fact that I am celebrating his birthday today, Earnhart survived.  I learned a valuable lesson those days I spent in the hospital.  God is in control of it all.  I can’t do it all, not without Him.  A lot of folks have some loud, obvious life changing moment that draws them closer to God.  He seems to be taking me on more of a path, with many events along the way that point to His power and might.  They aren’t always easy, but He’s always there.

Happy birthday to my very wild, fun, and rambunctious four year old son!  I’m so thankful for the gift of your life, no matter how loud you choose to live it!

 

Who needs a blog entry when you could just look at these? May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jps23 @ 10:04 pm