Monday, August 30, 2010

My little man is rounding out the end of his *gulp* 3rd year. And he is going out swinging. He was a good baby and a sweet, obedient toddler, but the child has 'come into his own', as they say. Garrett has not only been testing to see where our limits lie, but then spitting in our face as he barrels through those limits. Usually these "spells", as I like to call them, come and go just about the time I'm losing my patience.

But, this time was different....the disobedience was deliberate and mean-spirited and the child could not be cajoled into any sorts of fun. He was in a bad mood. A really bad mood for over a week. He didn't want to leave the house and was prone to cataclysmic meltdowns over the tiniest of matters. He was screaming at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason. This was not my child. I was really starting to worry.

So I called our beloved pediatrician to make a sick visit and begged for him to get Garrett in earlier in the day because I can't live with this child one more minute he must have a terrible ear infection or something worse. On the way there I was almost worried to take him, afraid he'd have some sort of terrible fit in the lobby or in front of all this office staff that are practically family.

The nurse takes us back, asks my history and I give her a more detailed version of this: he is not himself. never seen him like this. crying/screaming hysterically for no reason. She says "I'll get the Dr". At this point I look down at my paper and it says this:

and I think...whoa. maybe, I've over-stated my case. maybe I've let my emotions get to me. because, surely we are not dealing with episodic mood disorder here, right? I minored in psychology, so I know this is a catch-all code, but it sounds worse when you see it next to your child's baby face. DON'T TAKE MY BABY OFF IN A STRAIGHT JACKET!!

Anyway, the doctor came in and the conversation when something like this:
Dr: how are you Garrett?
G: I'm doing great. Daddy took me to the firestation. Wanna see my hat?
Dr. are you feeling ok?
G: yeah, i'm doing really good
Dr; are you sad about anything?
G: no, but i'm really happy my daddy took me to the firestation. oh, and my granna is here.
he looked like this
At which point they told me they thought he was just fine, but we could have blood work drawn if I was still worried.:)
And then, I'm sure they laughed all through lunch about me and all the other lunatic mothers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be Your name
in the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
blessed be Your name

and blessed be Your name
when I'm found in the desert place
though i walk through the wilderness
blessed be Your name

every blesssing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
an when the darkness closes in Lord still i will say:
blessed be the name of the Lord
blessed be Your name
bleseed be the name of the Lord
blessed be Your glorious name

and blessed be your name
when the sun's shining down on me
when the world's "all as it should be"
blessed be your name

and blessed be your name
on the road marked with suffering
though there's pain in the offering
blessed be your name

every blesssing you pour out i'll turn back to praise
when the darkness closes in Lord still i will say:
blessed be the name of the Lord
blessed be your name
blessed be the name of the Lord
blessed be your glorious name

you give and take away
you give and take away
my heart wil chose to say:
blessed be your name (blessed be your name lord
-Matt Redman

Loving this song You can listen here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We had a great time at Paul's reunion, and if I hadn't been too tired to post immediately afterward, I could have remembered half of all the fun/funny things that happened. Like the ex-cheerleader who brought her pom-poms and boogied with them on the dance floor all night. Or the people who smoked out back or fooled around in the bathroom like they were still in high school. Or how everyone started their conversations with, "boy, it's really loud in here"....which made me feel like we were 80. Or rather, 'they'. Because I am much, much younger than P, in case you didn't know.
If it hadn't cost us $120 to go (for the food we didn't eat and the band that will be the cause of hearing aids at age 45), I would go to a reunion every year. Not even my own. I'd just find someone I knew having one, and tag along. Watching the people. Hearing the stories. Studying the social dynamics. And, I've decided it's definitely more fun to go to P's reunion, because all night I got to hear about what a great guy he was (no surprise there) instead of lamenting how self-absorbed I was in high school, like I would at my own.
I'm calling it a total success and very 'out of the box' for us. We ate Taco Bell on the way home (which I'm still laughing about), got in past midnight, and I did not humiliate myself by biting it on the parquet dance floor, which someone had spilt a drink on while I was in the bathroom (which was my last reunion experience, btw). Here's the documentation:

This picture, just so you know, was not easy to come by. I had to put my foot down and insist!:) And then P griped the whole way there about it, like some old man. He was grumbling something about 'prom' and 'neighbors staring'. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our babysitter decided to sprain her ankle and be on crutches for two weeks. I feel bad for her and terrible for me (and actually worse for my kids). All that to say that I'm super behind on my to-do list for the summer. I'll spare you the list in it's entirity, but ->lose 5 pounds and ->find killer outfit that makes me look taller, smarter, and thinner were definately on said list. Before Paul's 20 year class reunion.
Unfortunately, I waited until 2 days before this momentous event to remember my list. Which is why I was running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cutoff Thursday night at the mall. I really, really don't like the mall. It makes me feel about 80 years old because, in my head, I'm all: "oh my", "gracious", "that's unfortunate" about all the clothes, and the teenagers, and the trends. It's all just too much. Where are the simple, flattering outfits I see on "What Not to Wear"? Not there, I tell you.
My MIL, who receives approximately 25 catalogs via US Mail daily, might have it right. I'm pledging internet shopping from here onward. Because then, I can avoid what's been keeping me up at night since my little shopping adventure. The stuff nightmares are made of.....
The jegging. Half jean. Half legging. Totally scary.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In case you're feeling jealous of the love-story-fairy-tale that is Paul and Gina....I'll ease your pain. Our big day went something like this: P woke before the sunrise for work and I whispered "happy anniversary" as he left. The fact that he did not respond and then called me 2 hours later, triumphantly saying "happy anniversary" (like he was the first to remember), tells me he was still half-asleep. The kids and I endured the hellish heat and three of Lilah's 'therapies', which are torture for all of us. Paul was swamped all day, but made it home early, with a sweet little present for me--which Garrett opened while Paul took a work call and I changed a poopy diaper.
We then took the kids out for burgers at 4:45 with all the other geriatrics, where I went to the bathroom and noticed that my hair was sticking up like a crazy bird and I had cheeto-slime on my white shirt. We shared a really sweet discussion that went something like "I can't believe it's been 7 years, can you? I love you more today. Yada yada yada" over french fries and baby wipes. I can't really remember the rest of it. The end.
Real love isn't always glamorous, but I sure wouldn't trade this....

Monday, August 16, 2010

The short story of our initial meeting goes like this: met at a bar, had a meaningful conversation, gave him my number. I thought, since today is our anniversary, I'd tell you part II of the love story (haha).
I got teased all the way back to Nashville about the 'boy in the bar' and my roomates and I sat by the phone to see if he was a man of his word and would actually call at 5:30 on Sunday night. Years later, it cracks me up that he gave me a specific time....I had given him our house phone number (in case it was a 'no go' and he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, I wanted to have roommate back-up) and I guess he wanted to make sure I'd be there. I was there alright. So, as I remember it (which is not saying much b/c I have a terrible memory), we chatted briefly and he asked if I'd be willing to meet him for a mid-week dinner date half way between Nashville and Knoxville.
Wednesday rolled around and I had already talked myself out of it, but did not want to cancel. I thought of all the reasons it would never work all the way there. We met at the Cracker Barrell parking lot (the choices in Cookeville, Tn have their limits) and I was still feeling skeptical.....until I saw him sitting in the rocking chair out front. Way taller, darker, handsomer than I remembered and wearing a suit. Woohoo that means a real job. Skepticism fading.

So we had a nice dinner at some trying to be french restaurant, where we were the only patrons and the wait staff stood around starting at us and mumbling 'how cute. first date'. Which you know, immediately puts you at ease, right?. And then we went back to Cracker Barrel to eat desert and I honestly don't remember our conversation except for one teensy part. The "My dad was a Baptist pastor for 26 years" part. Whoa Nelly! This practically sent me running for the hills. Too many thoughts to repeat now, but I basically labeled our chance encounter a random friendship. Because, really, I'm not the kind of girl that Baptist preacher kid's marry. And a preacher's kid was definitely not that type of guy I was going marry either. And, because I'm the kind of gal that likes to steal the joy of the moment by rushing ahead to the end, I dubbed our never-even-got-started relationship a failure.
So, he's walking me to my car, in the CB parking lot and says "Can I kiss you?". And I'm thinking what kind of spontaneous passion can come from a kiss that starts off that way? But sure. and WHOA. That kiss. That's all I'm really gonna say about it, but it changed everything.:)
Happy Anniversary to us! I am so thankful to spend my life with a man that I am so proud of: a man of compassion, character, generosity, and steadfastness. We have, not a perfect marriage, but a great one. A union full of richness and blessings. A love to be celebrated!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I've yet to share about our beach trip and, I'm embarrassed to say, the main reason is that I took terrible pictures and am somewhat embarrassed. But, it was good. We went to Amelia Island, which was beautiful and apparently located smack dab on the middle of the equator. Seriously. Hot. As. Heck. Have I told you the princess doesn't like the heat? Well, she does not. So much so, that despite her mother's valiant efforts, Lilah basically did not emerge from the air-conditioning until nearly sundown:(

We had a great time. Garrett + Ocean = LOVE ! And, my parents came. Which was fantastic, for about 59,142 reasons. #1 being that Garrett road with them for the 10 hour trip. #2 being that he slept in their room every night.

this is the only picture we got will all 4 of us in it. nice, eh?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes....

Garrett was being reprimanded the other day for talking in a disrespectful tone.
I said: "I don't think your Daddy would like you talking to your Momma that way."
G said: "And I don't think Jesus would want you talking to me that way."

And that ladies and gentlemen, is when I realized I'm in trouble.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

There are all kinds of things "wrong" with Lilah's systems, but the biggie, the trump card, is her heart. Every little hiccup and we worry it's her heart. It knocks you for a loop, obviously, to have a child in heart failure and not know it. So, I think it will take us awhile (and by awhile, I mean lifetime) to not assume that every fuss, every yawn, every cold toe is because heart is worsening.
Her cardiologist corrects us, this is not the way it works, she says. She has seen patients in florid
(I assume this is 'really bad' in layman's speak) heart failure with no visible symptoms and vice versa. Comforting, right? The only way to tell for sure how well Lilah's heart is pumping is to look via echocardiogram. There are a kazillion technicalities, but it basically boils down to your 5th grade health book. Blue blood in. Red blood out. And the efficiency of such. (right now, the AHA is frantically trying to sign me to tour and lecture, I know).

So every 6th months we go in (which is quite an improvement from daily and then weekly and then monthly), she lays there and watches Elmo on my iPhone and I steady myself. "Muscle looks bad", "hole not getting smaller" ,"need to keep an eye on this" ,"worried about that", come the comments as this wizard genius and uber-compasionate woman cardiologist runs the jelly stick over Lilah's chest. Today, she takes the measurements and retreats to calculate the change.

And, today: no change! This is perfect. Just what we hope for. Depsite the holes and irregular muscle and enlargement and so on.....her heart is pumping well. With basically no medicine (she takes BP meds, but I don't count that). That girl is one tough cookie!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I haven't said it lately, but I think it all the time: We are so thankful for those of you who keep track of us and pray for Lilah and our family. Prayer is real and powerful and we certainly need it.
I know there are lots of people who regularly check to see how we are doing, and I would love to know who you are. If you sign up on the right sidebar under "subscribe", you'll get notifications of new posts and I'll get your name. It's a win-win.
Thankyou, really.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Well, I've done it again. Made a complete fool of myself in the radiology department of Children's. The details of the previous times aren't important (although I'm sure they'd be funny if I could remember them), but I will say that they are not a stranger to my tears (or anger, fyi). The other tears have been mostly from horror or sadness or just plain weariness...because there are just some things better left to the (mother's) imagination--like curved spines, or enlarged hearts, or lungs being filled with milk.

Lilah had swallow study today--to see if all liquids were still off limits. She's had 3 before, and failed every one. Not just by a margin either, like F-.

And today, I couldn't even watch. The examiner started with Cheetos (covered in barium, and watched under fluoroscopy) and declared "safe", and I wasn't surprised b/c L can throw down some Cheetos! But then she got cocky and jumped right to water (the most difficult of all), watched her swallow eight times and said "safe, she looks great." Like it was no big deal.

And I started crying and haven't stopped since. It's just too much. I know it doesn't seem like much....more like getting back to where she should be or the natural order of things. But it is and it feels overwhelming to a I can't even take it all in. See, the thing is, we are content with her....with who she is, and how's she's made. Sure, it sucks and it's hard, but we aren't longing for a time when it will get better. It's already so better than we thought it would be. Paul and I know God can heal, it's just that we don't need that to be 'okay'.

So, when something like today happens, it feels absolutely like an unexpected gift. As if someone gave you a hugely lavish gift that you were not even a trip around the world! We are praising the Lord for his unending goodness and love, humbled that He should chose us to be a witness to the miracles of his hands. And toasting all around, with sippy cups of water!!!