Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here We Go Again.

Miss B is having endoscopic sinus surgery tomorrow and her ear tube replaced because she's been doing a lot of this sleeping sitting up business...a whole lot of snot... and very little happiness. Sigh. We'd appreciate your prayers for a safe, smooth procedure that yields some healing answers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Farewell Winter.

Well, its official. Winter is over. Spring has sprung. And I better spring onto the treadmill before swimsuit season hits full force.

We enjoyed the 86-degree last day of "winter."

Here's to hoping this weekend finds you enjoying the warm weather as much as two wild little monkeys I know.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Ordinary and Extraordinary.

There are days that I feel pretty good about my life. There are many days that are very difficult. And on average, the basic level of ongoing stress is probably what most people would view as a very stressful time. But overall, I'm usually okay with it.

And then there are days like yesterday. I woke up tired and frustrated after a sleepless night. Every time I rolled over, a pain shot through my chest from where Brooklyn had head-butted me pretty hard in the ribs the day before. I knew I needed to get up and take Savannah to school, but I didn't want to get up at all. And it was dark and rainy outside too.

I took Savannah to school, went to the gym, and came back home. Darren went to pick Savannah up from school and forgot the car seat, so I had to run it to them. I felt frazzled. Overwhelmed, frustrated, and just plain emotional. I guess that is part of the package that comes with being a woman.

Brooklyn slept most of the morning because she was feeling a tad bit under the weather. As usual.

Throughout the afternoon I felt nauseous and had a headache. Late in the afternoon, I had to take Savannah to the doctor because she had been having some bladder issues. This has been an ongoing thing for forever... part of the reason it took me over a year to potty train the poor child. She had some white cells in her urine, and the pediatrician felt like it was time for her to see a urologist, and we don't have any in our town, so that'll mean a trip to the Children's Hospital two hours away... for my "healthy" child.

I felt like I had just about had all I could handle, and as I drove home I wondered how this happened. I wanted a house full of children. Healthy children. How did I get to this point where Children's hospitals, feeding tubes, leg braces, PICC lines, therapy, Medicaid, and a medicine spreadsheet were part of everyday life?

After I got home, I dropped off Savannah and went to the doctor for myself. As I sat in the waiting room, I continued to wonder how this all happened. Was I being punished because I haven't always been the wife and mother I should've been and now my children were suffering? I felt sweaty and shaky.

The appointment revealed a probable fracture of the chondrocostal joint (where the ribs meet the breastbone) for me. Super duper.

That evening I was sick as a dog. And I ended up crying until my eyes were swollen and going to bed. I felt like a fraud... people thought I was strong and a good example, but I had it all wrong.

I've always been one of those take-charge, get-it-done, and do-it-right kind of people. I don't like to feel defeated. And yesterday was one of those defeated kind of days.
But is that how it is supposed to be?

"...I have come that you might have life, and to have it more abundantly..."

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors..."

Some days I feel like I'm just surviving. Just keeping my head above water. I don't feel abundant or like I'm conquering anything. But I don't think its supposed to be that way.

I thought so many times yesterday, "I can't do this." But last night it struck me. Maybe that's the point. If I'm all self-sufficient and get through the bumpy times just fine, what glory does that bring to God? None. But when I'm messing up and weak and forced to lean hard on Him to carry me through... that moment is where He is praised. Because when I look back at these times, it is not me being a strong person that got me through. It was Him. His grace is sufficient.

I feel like my strengths have been stripped away. I'm a planner. I've always enjoyed organizing and planning ahead. I have deadlines and a highlighted calendar. I like to know exactly what to expect. And I've been given a little medical mystery. A child with a spectrum disorder... which means... we know very little. She might wear braces on her legs and fall down 42 times every day forever. She might be a marathon runner. She might never get a driver's license because her seizures may never be well-controlled. Her seizures might stop and one day she might not have an entire basket of medicines to take. She might never say more than the few words she says now. She might write a book. All we know is this: She is not what the world defines as normal. The electrical pathways in her brain are not like everyone else's. And you can't really plan for the exception to the rule.

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

I've always loved that verse. I like knowing that the One who is in charge of the universe is a planner too. Until His plans don't coincide with mine, and then I get cranky. But you know what the verse doesn't say? I know the plans you have for yourself in your little daytimer.

There are hard days, like yesterday. And there are days where I wake up with perspective. And I realize that throughout all of this, I have been given an extreme gift. My lows will be lower than most people's lows. But my highs will be higher than their highs. And if I had seen all of this in my planner, this is not a life I would have chosen. This is not a club I would have joined. But I have been granted a perspective afforded to few. If I had my perfect life with my perfect four healthy children, I'd be so different. I might be skinnier and more put-together and not nearly as frazzled, but there would be a richness missing. There is a certain depth to life when someone says, "I don't know how you do it." and you think... me neither. But that is because I don't. I'm just an ordinary person... in extraordinary circumstances, serving the God who loves to use people who have no idea what they are doing. Throughout history, He has delighted in using prostitutes, the blind, the dumb, the deaf, the lame, the uneducated fishermen, the murderers, the widows, the orphans, and the single moms. In fact, there weren't very many times at all where He chose someone who had it all together.
Because He wanted ALL of the glory.

I often make this whole experience much harder on myself because I want to plan it and know what is going to happen. I want to look back and think that I did a good job. And it doesn't work that way. I've got to get over myself. I don't have a guarantee that life will be easy. In fact, I've been guaranteed that it will be hard. But I've also been told that I'm not alone and that His grace is sufficient.

I'm thankful, broken rib and all, that He has chosen me.
And that even though I have no idea what the future holds, I know Who does.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Here Comes the Sun.

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun and I say...

Its alright.

Little darling, its been a long cold lonely winter.

Little darling, it feels like years since its been here.

Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun and I say...

Its alright.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces

Little darling, it feels like years since its been here.

Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun and I say...

Its alright.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Have No Idea.

Many of you have asked what is going on with Brooklyn, and I've been relatively vague because for a while I had no idea. And in some ways I still don't. So I'll tell you what I do know. Gotta keep my readers happy.

Brooklyn has battled several bacterial infections since the beginning of last fall. Along with these, she's also had many seizures and developmental issues. Around the beginning of January, the infections intensified, and instead of going away and then coming back, they were just staying there. She had an ear infection for about 8 weeks straight even while on various antibiotics and she already had tubes in her ears. She also kept a stuffy/runny nose constantly.

Two weeks ago, she went in and had her adenoid removed (to help the sinuses drain) because it was enlarged, and they also removed her old ear tubes and replaced them. And when they did that, they found a lot of infectious tissue that they had to cauterize out. That was not very pleasant to recover from.

After surgery, she was supposed to clear up pretty quickly, but she didn't. She just acted like she felt awful all of the time. So a week ago, we went back to the doctor and they said that one of her ear tubes is already out of place (and they have never seen that happen so fast before) probably from drainage and swelling, and that she still had a sinus infection, and that her airway still had some swelling.

She was put on antibiotics and steroids, but she got worse instead of better, so on Wednesday she was admitted to the hospital. She had sinus symptoms, was complaining of pain, and one of her eyelids was droopy, and her eye was turning inward.

She was on really strong IV antibiotics for a few days and went through a bunch of tests. Most of them came back normal, thankfully, but we are still waiting on a few results that have to do with her immune system.

She had a CT scan which showed infection all of the way into the deep tissues in her head.

She improved on the IV antibiotics, and the team discussed putting in a PICC line, which is like step-up from a regular IV, but with many more risks, but decided that they did not feel comfortable with it because she already seemed to have a propensity for infections, and it would mean another surgery.

They sent her home on oral antibiotics (10 different meds, actually). However, she hasn't been tolerating them very well (stomach-wise) and today she had to quit taking one of them, so we are scrambling for an alternative plan of treatment.

So what is next? I have no idea.

I do know that I'm learning a lot about waiting, about ME not being in control, about biting my tongue, about patience, about looking for the positives... and overall I think the good Lord is trying to stretch me and grow my character. And I keep messing up but I'm learning. Slowly.

Bottom line: We'd sure appreciate your prayers.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if I'm being punk'd.

Like when I bring a sick baby home from the hospital and the physicians have called her meds into a pharmacy that already closed for the day...even though she still needs 2 more doses.

Or when I get a babysitter so that I can do homework, only to have my cable internet hit by lightening.

But however hilarious the punking... its worth it... to spend my days with these little princesses. Most of the time.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our Own March Madness.

I used to think... one day we'll get this under control and then I'll live a normal life.

Now I just don't think at all.

Miss B has officially hit all 3 months of the year so far in the hospital. And I'm not even sure its over yet because we've yet to come up with a good plan to make her better. Its just not a fun situation to have a kid with a major infection, with rare complications, who is resistant or allergic to most antibiotics.

I guess we have to keep things interesting somehow.

But, like always, we are still all thumbs up around here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Overheard At My House.

Savannah: "Mom, do you wear underwear?"
Mom: "Uh, yes."
Savannah: "I didn't wear any today."
Mom: "Are you kidding me?"
Savannah: "Nope. I like to be naked butt-ed."

Mom: "Listen, Savannah. Brookie is sick again, so she's going to have to stay in the hospital until she gets better."
Savannah: "Oh, I got a great idea. I'll just pray for her to get well."

Savannah: "Mom. Today is pajama day."
Mom: "I'm pretty sure you already had pajama day."
Savannah: "It's pajama day for just me. And they didn't put it on the calendar either. I just know it."

Mom: "Savannah, you need to go make your bed before school."
Savannah: "Why are you so bossy?"

Savannah: "Mom! Mom mom mom! Why didn't you answer me?!"
Mom: "Sometimes things you say don't need an answer. Like when I ask you something and you answer yes or no, I don't need to respond after that. You were the one responding."
(Later that day...)
Mom: "Savannah, you need to come put away your coat and backpack. Did you hear me? Say 'yes ma'am'."
Savannah: "Not everything you say needs a response."

Brooklyn: "No!"
Mom: "Brooklyn, you need to sit down."
Brooklyn: "No!"
Mom: "Yes, and you need to say yes ma'am."
Brooklyn: "Yes."
Mom: "Thank you."
Brooklyn: "No!"