Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Forces of Nature

Tonight our area braced in anticipation of a night forcasted for snow.. or at least some "freezing rain". We are such Floridians here... huddled under our blankets and wondering at how people up north ever survive the winter. Though not snow or sleet, we brave other elements.

Winter weather always brings me down. It seems like the cold and damp can permeate even the deepest corners of the mind. I am so thankful that a good cuddle on the coach with my baby boys, a good book and some hot chocolate can do wonders for a case of the winter doldrums.

We can hardly control the forces of nature. There are days when it feels like the forecast will shut us down, close our doors and snuff out the flame that was keeping us warm. I had one of those days today but as Sofie and Bella often are heard singing in our playroom from their favorite movie, Annie.. The sun will come out tomorrow.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Game of Life

Yesterday the girls had an invitation to attend a friend's birthday party. The morning was a flurry of activity in our home. Max, who just turned 2 on Friday, was busy showing me just what a full-fledged 2 year old he could be. My nerves were wearing thin from not enough sleep on top of a head cold. The house was a wreck from a few too many days of falling behind with household flow since returning to work full time. It seems that both parents working coupled with 4 kids can mean certain things fall between the cracks, the floorboards and under a pile of dishes. Additionally our fancy 3 year old dryer has broken down for yet the second time and even sparked a fire. After paying almost $300 for the replaced heating element just last year, we have been trying to get a hold of the appliance repair guy to come back out since it is supposed to be under warranty but have had no such luck and we found out we are not the first ones to have this issue. (I sure wish I had seen the BBB ranking of F on the Honest Appliance Repair company before using him) Anyhow.. I have fallen way behind on laundry and although I am going to the laundromat constantly with heaps of wet clothes, it has hardly been an efficient exercise.

To top the pile that day, Sam was having tummy trouble since waking and I wrestled to get his medications pushed, his pump loaded and his oxygen on before he reached the break down phase of an overdue nap. His naps are like 5 hours long and he really doesn't do well overall if they are shortened. Sam had managed to transition to a twin bed from the crib this week without a single hitch and so for that, I am quite thankful.

Meanwhile, Jason has been spending the last few weekends helping his parents close out his grandfather's home as they transitioned him to a nursing home. This has meant weekends are spread a bit thin around here. With pretty significant car issues meaning we are making due with one car that itself is not in good shape at all with a wedged-on door and a singing belt, I was trying to decide how to share the car with Jason and still get the girls to their function which I knew they really wanted to attend.

We have been a bit like hermit crabs lately in trying to help Sam heal and recover from the surgeries, while avoiding more illness but unsuccessfully meeting that goal as each week some kind of bug hits each of us anyway. While focusing on the boys, I lost track of the time needed to mobilize the girls for their party and when I finally emerged, hoping to find them dressed and ready for the party, instead I found two little girls still in their PJs playing at 'The Game of Life' in our playroom.

Oh, how I felt like I had just played and lost at that same game! All I could do at that point was be OK with a little party tardiness. It seemed so ironic. Jobs, marriages, health, income, businesses, real estate, babies, insurance, crisis, foreclosure and the lottery of it all. Somehow the little pink and blue pegs that fit in that little plastic car don't do justice to what comprises Real Life. Funny, that I actually remember as a kid wondering what would happen to the player who had two many baby pegs to fit in their car...

Where are the backpacks, strollers, oxygen tanks, diaper bags, briefcases and the piles and piles of laundry? Where are the hospitals and therapists and countless appointments, homebound teachers, medical supplies and tubing coming out my ears, and all those binders of nursing notes? Do the parent pegs stay up wondering if the baby pegs will all keep breathing while they sleep? Where are the homemade lunches, signed school planners, reading packets and spelling lists? Where are the grocery store temper tantrums and where is the door on the side of the car that fell off or the burglar who came in to steal your iPad but really stole your sense of personal security?

Dare I ask... but where is Jesus on that board? Maybe there should be a chance card in the pack that reads, 'Congratulations! You were saved by Jesus, despite the chaos of this life!'

So.. after a long day, I am going to focus on how to stay the course. I want to purge the excess, streamline our routine and pray for best solutions to difficult challenges. I am praying for those I know who are also experiencing difficult times.. For a choir friend who has been in a lot of pain; our Sr. Pastor and his wife, who each lost a parent this month; for my friend's mom bravely fighting breast cancer; for another friend about to transition her kids into a daycare and for a fellow Mito family preparing to say goodbye to their little girl.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fighting a Bug

Sam has been fighting a bad stomach bug this week. Thankfully he has teetered through it without a total crash and I expect in a few days he will be back to his usual self. My biggest concern was over the fact that he just had the cardiac procedures and implanted devices which I know can put him at some additional risk of endocarditus and other concerns. As for these illnesses, we have really learned so much about managing his fluids and keeping on top of his oxygen needs. We have worked to keep him on his pedialyte even when he could not tolerate his formula. As we approached the end of the week, his sister Sofie got wind of the bug and then passed it on to Max as well. So, that has meant lots of fun around here for us all.

This week we also welcomed a few new nurses, so those adjustments while dealing with the bug have been a little tricky, but they seem to be adjusting well. We said good bye to a nurse we have had for over 2 years as she found a job in a clinical setting. She has watched Sam grow from infant to boy and has been a part of all the work he has done overcoming difficult challenges. She has actively helped rescue him from crisis and been there for him emotionally during many painful days. Sammy will miss his Miss 'tina as he calls Nurse Cristina.

School is back in session now and I am busy working full time at the house. I have really enjoyed diving into this new chapter with a new company and I wish this was not a temporary post. I have found I almost never leave the house though. So, I will have to find reasons to break away and get out a bit. There is just always plenty of work to keep me tied to the desk or else caring for the kids. From the messages and emails, I think people are beginning to wonder about whether I fell down a dark well! I really do need to make an effort to get out more for fresh air and some down time with friends. For now, I am just thankful for the work and in light of this recent bug, I am thankful Sam has avoided another hospitalization.