Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trip back home

My hubby is out of town this week (and Slobber Rocket was sad about it). He got to go enjoy San Francisco for the week so I took the boys to visit family down south. The original plan was to visit my best friend in central Indiana and then head down to southern Indiana. But my buddy got very sick so we had to miss out on seeing her. Sad news. Mr. Wonderful has a few more trips planned this summer though and I am getting more confident road tripping alone with the boys so I hope to make my way over to see her soon.

Anyhu, we had a big week full of adventure visiting family. Saturday we grilled and played but poor Super Muscles woke up puking his guts up. Then he had the runs :( Poor buddy asked why he was peeing and pooping out of his butt. I am not sure what exactly was wrong. Maybe a 24 hr virus or something but no one else got sick. My best guess is too much fast food and playing and not enough sleep. His system gets a bit wonky when we travel. So I spent my obligatory $20 on medication and pedialyte for the bubs and we got him feeling all better. We just hung out inside on Sunday and spent the day with my brother and his family.

Monday I took the boys to visit MW's Nana. His grandfather is in the hospital and the boys can't go see him but we did have fun visiting with Nana and I went later that day to visit Papa. I am very glad to have gotten to spend some time with him. We got bad news regarding his health this week and it is looking like he doesn't have much time left. Everything is in order with hospice now for him to go home and spend time with his family until his spirit leaves his body. He looked good though and was witty as ever. He is one of the few men I have learned to trust in my life. When my husband and I were dating, we would go to their house every Sunday for dinner and anytime we didn't have anything to do or were hungry and had no money (shhh... don't tell them we said that) or if we just needed extra encouragement or attention we would go hang out and raid their fridge. Papa taught my husband all about strength and integrity and was instrumental in raising him to be a good man. MW will be making a trip home soon to see him (not sure if we will go or not, just depends on what he would like I suppose) and I guess now we just kind of... wait. Please keep MWs family in your prayers. His Nana has really never known life with out Papa. They have been married 52 years. They got married when she was 17 and he has always taken care of her. So I worry a bit about her... okay, or maybe a lot about her. Pray for peace and for comfort of both Papas body and the hearts of those around him right now.

We also went to hang out with the in laws on Monday evening for a little while. Took the boys to the bowling alley to watch Papaw B and Uncle C & K bowl.

Tuesday was hanging out with my brother and nephews and niece. Then to chuck e cheese with a whole gaggle of kids :). It was really fun having all 3 of us and all of our children together for a while. It isn't often that I get to hang out with both of my brothers. The big boys absolutely LOVED Chuck E Cheese. Oh crap, I totally left my cotton candy at M's house. That is a bummer (just remembered that!). Doesn't my Super Muscles look like such a big kid in this picture? He was totally loving the roller coaster game at Chuck e cheese

Wednesday we went to the zoo with Grandma. The boys had lots of fun. Super Muscles had some behavior issues the first part of the morning but we got some food in his tummy and he did much better after that. I think he gets used to the rules being a bit looser when we are away from home then thinks he can act crazy. By lunch time we had it all sorted out though and the afternoon was rather enjoyable. Slobber Rocket loved the walk in the stroller on a beautiful spring day. Then I went to my brothers and picked up the livingroom for him and moved the boxes (they just moved to a new house) so we could put his new furniture together. Then I shipped Super Muscles off to Mimis for the night to hang out with my nephew, Junior. Word on the street is that they had a blast.

Today we drove home and the boys were pretty darn good! A little bit of crying here and there but 95% of the trip was quiet and pleasant.

It was a good trip and I had fun with my family but I am so glad to be home to my own bed. And I will be even happier to be home in my own bed when MW joins me tomorrow night. I get cold when my human furnace isn't in bed next to me :) Actually I really do dislike it when he isn't in bed with me. I feel really lonely when he is gone. I don't know how single moms do it. I need the adult conversation and the hugs and our talks we have cuddled into bed at night.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I am a mess.

Sometimes I think I am a big mess. Anxiety, trust issues, abandonment, abuse, unmet expectations, hurt, failure. I feel like those define me some days. And in some ways, they very much define me. They are part of me and influence how I act and react in this world. I feel paralyzed by the fear that my husband is one day going to not think I am good enough any longer or that I am going to turn into someone who really and truly is unlovable. Or that my kids are going to grow up and want nothing to do with me. So many fears. But if I hold on to them, they gain more power. I can't DO anything about my past. I can't fix my childhood or create a dad who was active in my life or who loved me. I can't turn back the clock and grow up with the siblings I am just now getting to know. I can't erase the bruises on my small body or on my brothers' bodies. And even those things don't guarantee it would have turned out any better.

I am very big on processing things though. How can I process what I have gone through to make it productive for me? To make it drive me to be a better person, wife, mom, friend, sister... How can I forgive to the point that little things don't upset me dramatically? How can I be healthy and happy with who I am? How can I feel loved and valued when it seems like, by many, I am not? Why does the past have to affect me so heavily and is there a way to change that?

But in reality... all of those things are lies. My husband loves me and values me. He listens to me and respects me. I care for my children the best I can and they know they are loved. And everything bad about my childhood... they are just lies. Every beating was a lie telling me I am not good enough. Watching my brothers be hurt were lies too instilling in them that they were not good enough and even small mistakes deserved big punishment. A dad that left when I was tiny was a lie in regards to my importance and value. A child can't see these things. But I have many good days when I see those were, indeed, lies. No one deserves to be beaten. No one deserves to be made to feel like they are unwanted or unloved. And that no one includes me.

But days like I have had the last few days... I feel like such a child again. Insecurity, disgust with myself, over critical. I am just trying to step back and remind myself that I don't have to believe those lies anymore.

So what can I do? I guess I can stop the cycle of abuse which I have done with my family. I can stop dwelling on the past and focus on today and being happy today.  And I can try to be as healthy as possible. Sometimes for me, that will include going to therapy or seeing my doctor or just writing my feelings out. It will require help from my family and friends to let me know when I need additional help. Anxiety and depression can be very hidden from the people who suffer from them. And I can keep reminding myself over and over and over again that I am valued and loved. I need that reinforced as a truth to cover up all of the ugly lies I have been told. And I can forgive. It is hard but it is freeing. I can let go of the anger and realize that I don't own their actions but I do own my reaction and I don't have to be angry and resentful.

Do any of you struggle with things like this? How do you handle it? What helps you and how do you work on forgiveness?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Little ears

Slobber Rocket had his ears rechecked today. He has had an ear infection for a month. Good times right? He still has fluid in his right ear. For now that is okay, as the infection is gone. But in the mean time we watch it. He has another apt in April. If there is still fluid then he will be referred to an ENT. Or if he gets another ear infection, he may also be referred. 15 min tube surgery is so much better than a 3.5 hr surgery to remove infection from your mastoid. I should know! I just keep reminding myself of that ;) He seems well otherwise though. He also hasn't gained anymore weight. Something I am trying not to fret too much over. I am doing the best I can. I can't MAKE him gain weight and I certainly can't MAKE him eat so I am trying to be patient with him. On a good eating front note: he did eat yogurt with some cereal crushed up in it. That is progress!

I have been talking to my half sister somewhat frequently. Its going well. I think she wants to feel like she is really part of a family. Which many times that is the same thing I want. It is hard to balance what is safe and what is too much too fast. We both have many issues stemming from our childhoods that get a little in the way. I  care about her though and want to see her succeed. It is hard to hear about her struggles. She was set up to fail in so many ways. It hardly seems fair that my life is how it is and hers is how hers is. I am not sure what I want from the relationship but I am blessed to be getting to know her.

Gearing up to go visit my best friend this weekend. I can't wait. Then a trip to see family all while Mr. Wonderful is in San Francisco. I am jealous of his travel destinations but am determined to have fun with the boys while he is away. We need some new scenery I think.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can't sleep

Cough, cough, cough... I can't sleep. And I haven't been able to sleep for weeks and weeks and weeks because I have a cough. Well its officially a "chronic cough"... they last 6+ weeks. When I hit the 6 week mark of having a cough and hacking up gunk, I decided maybe I should go to the doctor. I know, I am quick. But, i knew it wasn't bacterial because I have been on 3 rounds of antibiotics since the cough expanded from just hacking in the morning and at night to all day every day. The joys of having a cough before surgery means they treat it like the plague hoping to rid you of it before you are put under anesthesia and have a breathing tube. It didn't clear the cough up and neither did the keflex I was on after surgery.

Did you know that people with allergies have interesting noses? And by interesting I mean I hear doctors say "I can tell you have allergies, your nose is very blue" or "wow, your _____ are really swollen, your allergies must be acting up". Oh the space indicates the fact that I can't remember what the heck she said was swollen in my nose. But I know it shouldn't be swollen. But mine always are. And my nose is always blue. And I often times have clogged ears and sinus infections. And I can't breathe. Skin tests light me up like a christmas tree. My arms fill with welts and my eyes tear. I have hoses stuck in my nose frequently and medicine shot in so doctors can get better looks. My head hurts, my lung hurts, I don't sleep well. And why? All because my body spazzes out to... completely harmless stuff. And a lot of different completely harmless stuff. I have seasonal allergies, indoor allergies, food allergies, pet allergies. I spend a lot of time not breathing well. And its invisible to most people. They don't get why I am tired or don't feel well. And sometimes I don't even get it. But really the truth is my body is always, always fighting of some completely harmless substance it has convinced itself is an invader to my health. And really its my immune system that is the invader.

And it has been on the back burner. To no insurance and having babies and nursing babies. But I need to feel better. I can't keep waking up feeling like junk every day. And I can't keep just doing what it takes to get by because it is short changing every one I care about. So after 6 weeks of having a cough, I went to the doctor and had something I have known for years confirmed. I have asthma. When someone has so many allergies it is pretty likely they also have asthma. I have known this and ignored it and my body and energy levels and breathing have paid the price for a long time. But I am hoping that now I am on the road to breathing better. So... since I am still not done coughing I think I might go snork up some albuterol so I can go to sleep. Ear check for the itty bitty in the morning. Send some prayers/wishes that the augmentin kicked the ear infection finally. I don't think his butt can take anymore antibiotics.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tender Moments

"Hey Buddy, will you always hug me? Even when you are 10 years old?"
"Yea Mama, even when I am 10 years old"
"And when you are 12, will you still hug me then too?"
"Yea Mama, I will even hug you when I am big and strong like Daddy."

And we snuggled into the couch. Me with my feverish 4 year old nestled into my arm and him with his arm hugging me close. "Mama, I can go to sleep now because I am safe." "Yea Baby, you can go to sleep now. Please rest so you can wake up feeling better."

A big warm blanket over us and I just listened to him breathe. His warm, soft breath tickled my neck a little. And he squirmed like he always has as he tried to get comfortable and find rest. I stroked his face like I used to do all the time when he was much smaller. My fingers fell familiarly over his forehead and down his cheek and his eyes eventually got heavy like they used to when I would stroke his face and hair.

His big blue eyes began to close and right before he drifted off to sleep "I love you." "I love you too Big Guy".

And I just laid there with him and prayed over him and soaked in the moment. So thankful for his tender heart and kind soul and for the lessons he teaches me every day. Inhaling the smell of the shampoo on his soft brown hair and the warmth of his skin on my cheek. And wondering if he will ever even remember that he promised to still hug me when he is 10.

Even if he doesn't remember, I will always cherish the time I spent cuddling him on the couch so he could safely go to sleep. He is a sweet sweet blessing to me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cornerstones of Christianity and adoption

I have had a post rolling around in my head for a while but I am pretty sure it will turn some heads of some people and make other people see me a bit differently. Which are both okay things but not things I had been potentially ready to deal with. But I think I am feeling up for the challenge now.

I want to briefly discuss my views on adoption. I know many many people who pigeon hole how Christians should view certain topics and I somewhat frequently fail to follow form. Adoption is no doubt one of the areas where I do not at all follow form of what would be considered traditional views of Christianity. Many people hold to the view that there is a certain type of couple or person or family who should be able to adopt children and I just do not ascribe to that at all.

First I will talk about the cornerstones of Christianity to set up why I feel my views are valid. Honestly when the Bible is broken down there are two points on which Christianity hinges. They are to love God and love others. I think most people who call themselves Christians would agree with this. I would think obeying God (an expression of love according to the Bible) and loving others would be the most driving reasons for a Christian to adopt. But this is also the reason I have no issues with ANYONE who can provide a safe and loving home adopting children who have no family.

Assuming your faith exhibits the only traits necessary to rear amazing children is not only wrong but it also takes away loving families from thousands upon thousands of children every year. Assuming that there is only one kind of family that provides a better life for abused, orphaned, and disabled persons is mind boggling to me. The further assessment that children in non-Christian homes can not develop their own beliefs is also interesting to me (as Mr. Wonderful and I were raised in a non-churched homes). I think Jesus commanded us to take care of orphans. I obviously can not take care of all the orphans on the face of the planet. I do plan to adopt children when we are in a position to do so but I obviously will only have the resources to adopt a couple/few children if things go very well in our lives (and I get my husband on board for more than 1 or 2 ;)). And, as is evident by the huge number of orphans in the world, Christians are not picking up the slack to take care of these children on the whole (there are some very cool examples out there though like Katie... who is a single/young woman by the way). But there are thousands of single people and people in "non-traditional" relationships (whether they be long term, same sex partners or non-married people who live together and have their own family) who I think would make very good parents and who would provide good lives for a huge number of children. I mean, argue stability all you want but children in "traditional" Christian homes are just as likely to experience their parents splitting up as any other couple. Divorce rate is the same in and out of Christianity. That is fact proven by numbers kids. Oh and my husband and I are both products of divorced parents so I know the effects divorce has as well.

So what do I want then? I want all people to have a heart broken for the poor and for orphans. And I want anyone who can to adopt children and love the heck out of them and treat them as all children deserve to be treated. To offer them safe, warm homes free of poverty and abuse or drug addiction. Or to love a child with disabilities like they are a person who matters rather than a number in an orphanage or a number for the state. And I want people who can't adopt for whatever reason to give money to programs like Katie has set up to educate and feed children around the globe. And if you can't do that, I want people to find a way to help on their little corner of this world. Whether it be frequently going through your kids toys to donate or clothes or volunteering your skills at a local shelter or your time in a manner that benefits those with greater needs than your own. That is all I want! And it is something that all of us can do and feel good about because these are things that are just good.

But I certainly have a heart for adoption and hope that more people come around to it. There are so many children out there who need loving homes and so many of us who can provide those homes for them.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hearing loss, surgery and the aftermath

I went to the doctor yesterday to get the stitches out of my head. Dr. Y, my ENT, was running an hour late because of a surgery that went over. I don't get upset about things like that but other people do. So the wait was full of grumbles. Most people probably could have rescheduled so I really don't get all the attitude about it. I am pretty sure he can't just leave someones head open for 2 hours while he does appointments. I am certainly glad he didn't do that to me ;)

Anyway, while I was waiting... I spiked a fever. I think I freaked the nurse out a bit. Rotf. I just felt... funny. My head was hurting and I was dizzy (but not horribly) and just felt like I was getting sick or something. This is not what they want to see a week after surgery. So I spent quite a bit of time being checked to make sure I didn't have some kind of problem going on. The conclusion was that I had picked up some kind of virus though. My ear looked good, my incision looked good, all the tests and feeling they did all my head, face, nose and throat went okay. So I was told to go home and rest (YES! best news ever). So I slept for 12 hrs last night. lol. I feel a bit better today. Still a bit "fuzzy" but better.

As far as the surgery, he found lots of fluid in my mastoid, infection and some cysts that were small and not dangerous. He did say he doesn't really know about my hearing because while the small bones were okay structurally, they don't vibrate correctly. Now it is just a wait and see. Getting the infection out may correct that. If it doesn't correct that, he will know my small bones are not working properly. Apparently I can have another surgery to correct this. But I am not sure if I want another surgery. The problem I had can come back in some people who have had this surgery so I may be set up for more surgeries just because my ear doesn't function properly as it is. I am not sure what all of the options will be but hopefully with all the fluid and infection out my hearing will at least improve. If not, well... I just don't know what I want to do at this point. I guess all that is left to do is wait and see. My right ear, at this point, is still pretty useless. So if I don't hear you, it's because I still can't hear well. My bone conduction is still much greater than the air conduction on that side. Which is totally normal since my head is still full of packing. I am also having issues being overwhelmed by sound, It almost feels as though my left ear is having issues keeping up. If that makes sense. I was in the church nursery on Sunday and I could hardly hear at all when I got out. I just felt like everything was garbled and quiet. Too much stimulation for me I think.

Anyway thats what I know about my ear right now. Maybe more news in a month when I go back. I am hoping my hearing improves to the point that I at least feel like another surgery isn't worth it.  I still have so many questions I need answers too but they will come in time. My next appointment is on a day where Dr. Y has no surgeries (nice staff of his know I come to see him too often to come on surgery days). And I also have many other ENT stuffs to work out after the ear drama is over so I kind of have a bit of a road ahead of me with my allergies, sinuses and ears but I am glad to finally be getting help. It took me a long time to find a doctor who did the right tests and knew what was going on. Which has been a frustrating part of the journey. But hopefully, at the very least, my ear won't hurt nearly as bad or often after it heals.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Update on Slobber Rocket

I have been avoiding this post like the plague because... well, he is okay and I was angry by the advice I had gotten. But... thankfully for right now it looks like my little guy is quite healthy. All of his blood work and tests have come back within normal ranges. He is still tiny, obviously, but for now I think I am going to stop stressing so much about his size and do what I know is best for him.

He saw a GI and a speech therapist as I have mentioned and it was determined that he has some texture issues that I am now working extra hard on with him at home. I thought "der, you don't say" because he gags on textured food like crazy. But slowly he is learning to eat and enjoy a few new foods. He still hates drinking from a cup but sometimes he does it a little. We will get there.  The GI says he is not getting enough calories and that I need to stop nursing him and switch to all pediasure. Also do things like add butter, cream, and other high calorie stuff to his foods. I know enough about nursing and eating to know that sounds like a very bad plan. Maybe that would make him gain weight but I know it wouldn't help him learn good eating habits. He is getting enough calories based on his wet diapers, bowel movements, general disposition, etc anyway. I also don't want to add so many extra calories to his diet that it covers up a problem. If he needs an additional 500 calories a day to just gain weight normally, well that isn't normal! IF he is healthy and just small... that is okay. Right? I don't really see a problem with healthy but small. So I decided to keep nursing him on demand and add more new foods to his diet and healthy fats as he tolerates. So we have been doing lots of avocado and whole milk yogurt and healthy stuff like that. I really don't want a 3-4 yr old in a few years who refuses to eat food unless it has butter or cream or sugar in it. He has recently hit a growth spurt. He grew almost an inch in the last month and maybe a half a pound. He went for a weight check today and they said he didn't gain any weight but he was 7.9 kilos with is clothes off and about 7.7 with his clothes off last month. Hey! that is progress right :) I think they wrote down his weight with clothes on last time. I know he was under 17 lbs last time. So my best guess is about 7 or 8 oz in a month. And you can really tell he has gotten taller. He no longer fits into 6 month sleepers! The NP today was much kinder to me and definitely made me feel at ease about him. I think sometimes when I get a bad vibe with people I need to sit back and realize maybe they are having a crappy day. She says he looks great and I need to relax. She is probably right but being a parent is a little stressful sometimes. All in all today went much better than his last several appointments. I am glad to see that what I am doing is okay for him and that I don't have to resort to anything counter-intuitive to help him gain weight. Small but healthy is fine. I will keep on keeping a close eye on him to make sure that is exactly what it is but for today I am very happy with the news that he is small but healthy.