29 August 2008

end of a long story

So a while back I told you about my husband's trip to the ER.
And I never followed up with that because each appointment required a new test, another appointment and more waiting.

Until yesterday.

Let me back up a tiny bit: he spent the summer seeing an Ear Nose and Throat doctor who has been fabulous. However, the insurance has tons of "hoops to jump through" as the doctor said, and that included two sleep studies to rule out sleep apnea. Sleep studies have to be scheduled, done, followed up on, and so it took weeks between both of them.

The official conclusion(s):
~As we knew from the CT Scan, a severe deviated septum that was blocking the nasal passage enough to drastically decrease the quality of sleep (no wonder the man has had chronic tiredness our whole marriage!).
~But also, a uvula that (thanks to excessive coughing with the many, many sinusitis episodes) was stretched out. As in, if I looked in his throat I could not see the end of it and what I could see was skinny-ish. If it touched the side of the throat--thanks to its elongated state--his throat spasmed shut. Fun times, I tell ya.

As we suspected, surgery would be the end result. And while they were inside his throat removing the uvula completely to prevent a recurrence of the over-stretching, they planned to take out his tonsils (just to keep from ever needing a similar surgery). Remember, the initial surgery was for a deviated septum. That makes three-surgeries-in-one.

And, after two months of waiting, he had this surgery yesterday.
Today, he is home. And in a lot, lot, lot of pain, the poor man.
He has his own basket of medications--we filled five prescriptions and got a whole list of recommended over the counter items as well. Not to mention Ensure, yogurt, broth, Gatorade and other similar foods.

I'm feeling so bad for him, but mostly I'm glad it's over. In a few weeks, he will breathe better than he ever has (via nose, that is), and the throat spasming is already a thing of the past. Thank you Lord!!

And, most of all--in spite of the pain and the long weekend with no school to decrease the quantity of children around while he is recovering--it's just good to have my husband home. One night in the hospital was enough to make me really miss him.

(ps...the roof story I promised back in June is still in the works and more annoying by the day...it will come--eventually, I hope; sigh.)

24 August 2008

A Comic Look at Breastfeeding

Some of you got this in an email, but I'm posting it here anyway. It's just too funny not to share!!

I found it at The Motherwear Blog.

Have a great day, everyone!

14 August 2008

the line

My heart crossed a line today.
A tough line.

But the peace that comes with that crossing is better than where I've been sitting. My spirit has been under construction and while the work is never complete, let's just say a new phase as begun.

The week before my husband's office typically gives raises, he was asked to transfer to one of their two, smaller remote locations. This office is over an hour from our home, but only has about five people. It came with significantly increased responsibility and he was the number one choice among managers to go and get it running smoothly. Quite a compliment.

The first question thrown at me by friends was, "Will you move to College Town?" "NO," came my emphatic answer, needing no thought--we moved where we are planning to stay forever, having hand-picked the school and town and whatnot.

A couple days later, 15 people had to be laid off, people this company hated to part with and most they would willingly hire back when things change -- their work is in civil engineering, which is suffering severely since NO ONE is building anything. Residential went dry a year ago, at which time my husband found himself doing commercial work. When the last of those deadlines were met a few weeks back, he said that suddenly there were lost-looking people milling around the office. Not good.

And on Friday of that week, there was an employee meeting in which they announced company-wide pay cuts (remember this should have been the week before raises showed up!) and requested that hours be kept to 40 unless specific need arose (unlike most places, this company pays hourly, something that has always been a blessing). In every way, that became a severe cut for us.


As in, we're reeling in the pain of it. Making plans for if it all goes down around us. (Changing jobs is not an option. There is no time for a second job. And if I got a job, well, a thousand reasons for that not working, one of which I nurse.)

And thus began a deep reworking in the recesses of my heart. That weekend, we looked at each other and said, "God wants us to to go to College Town, doesn't He?"

My being rebelled deep within. I moved so much as a kid that my heart was glued to this house for at least another 20 years. No kidding. The very thought of packing boxes makes me want to hurl. It didn't even matter that we are clear that the place we are to fellowship on Lord's Day is also in College Town--and we've known that for a while. I keep saying we'll just make the drive, but that's not realistic in the least, especially with three little people. I love the schools we carefully hand-picked for our kids to go to until they graduate. I love our house. I know we moved here with absolute peace that we were in the right place. But these are such outward things. And it was time to re-evaluate my priorities.

In these few weeks, my husband has been given gas compensation (in addition to the pay and hour cut, he is now putting 2.5 times the gas into his car...not pretty!). That was sweet relief. He has become more relaxed than I've ever seen him; the office is smaller and the tension significantly less. Also in those weeks, we've been opening our hearts, working at willingness, praying, listening, considering. I began to realize that yes, this is probably where we're headed--though it hurt to even consider.

Yesterday, my husband spent the day at the main office, taking care of a client meeting, updating the management on how things are going, etc. At one point, they told him they were working to find someone to fill that spot since it was never their intent to burden him with a long commute. Unless he was willing to move. . .

His initial answer was "no", since we don't feel to go at this moment and we just hadn't known if this was even permanent--we had not known what kind of decisions to be making. Too, he won't say "yes" without checking with me first. But that was pivotal to me. I realized that if we/I maintained an unwillingness to follow the Lord to College Town, He would leave me be -- but I would lose an opportunity to follow Him and gain Him. And so, even if we deal with a long commute for another year (something tells me NO ONE is buying houses at the moment), then move, I realized we needed to let them know we are willing to move if necessary. We cannot shut a door the Lord was prodding us toward.

Today, I was chatting with a friend who had not heard about all of this, and when she said she was trying to sell her house, my instant response was, "I think we're going to move to College Town."

In that moment, my heart crossed the line.

I'm okay going. Emotional. But okay with it.

Tonight, my husband spoke with the owner (also a family member) to clarify our feelings on the matter--that he loves the office, wants to stay there and we have other reasons to consider moving there. His uncle said there is no one he'd rather have in that position, and it's a great place to live. And so it's officially a permanent relocation (whether or not we move, technically, since that would just be our personal choice).

When and how and so many details, I do not know.
This year, next year, I do not know.
If things will continue to change, I do not know.

But where my heart stands, I do know.

06 August 2008


I’ve spoken of working at a dentist’s office so many years ago. I’ve also mentioned my good friend whom I met there. (This would be the same friend who watched my kids while I got that long-awaited filling.) Her name is Karen.

I want to tell you about Karen’s son, Nicholas.

Nicholas, or Nick, as I still call him, is a boy of 12 who holds a dear spot in my heart. He’s become a tall, lean young man with an endearing grin. When I met him, he was only two (with that same endearing grin); his mother was the office manager where I was a dental assistant. It is that time in his life I want to share with you.

I have some very specific memories of Nick at that age, one of which is him sitting on the floor playing with the treasure box of toys on a Friday morning—we did not see patients very often on Friday, but it was a catch-up morning for those of us in the office. He’d start out a little shy, but I loved playing with him, sitting with the treasure toys, making them spin or clap or whatever; I also remember telling him not to smile only to see him fight the grin that eventually covered his face. This small boy captured me. I rarely knew what to do with little kids back before I had my own, but Nick was different. He had my heart.

And then Nick got sick.
He had Leukemia. Nick’s world changed in an instant, as did the world of his parents and older brother. I have more memories of a tiny boy in a hospital bed, hooked up endlessly to tubes and drips. I went one visit with Karen and Nick when they were getting his regular spinal tap. Well in advance, a numbing cream was applied to his back and later he curled into a ball on his side as they did the procedure. What a brave little boy he had to be.

Today, he’s healthy and safe and still wins my heart.

This year, Karen is participating in a marathon on Thanksgiving morning to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society--one of the reasons Nick was able to beat those odds. You can click below to "meet" Nick and Karen and if you would like you can also make a donation to this very worthy cause, and help others beat cancer, too:

05 August 2008

school days

Tomorrow is the last day of summer for us.
Today we have open house.
Thursday is the first day of school.

I am sad. I have SO loved sleeping in…well, as much as one can sleep in with a baby who nurses in the night. Somehow it doesn’t balance out real well. But getting up early once more will surely be a hit where it hurts. Sigh.

I am sad because this has been the best summer with Little B ever. He has changed and matured and has fewer meltdowns and the stress on me is far, far less. We also made a decision this summer that drastically affected him: we explained why he has spent the past two and a half years in therapy. We’ve talked about what Sensory Processing Disorder means in his life and what therapy has done for him. Since he is an advanced reader, we checked a book out of the library called The Goodenoughs Get In Sync and he absorbed it in a few days’ time.

This book is about a family of five called the Goodenoughs and each family member (plus their dog) has various sensory processing issues. It talks in detail about what those issues are as well as how they cope and help themselves “get in sync”. I was only a bit into the first chapter when my son whisked it away and delved into it.

Then suddenly he began finding me to tell me bits of information about himself: “Hey mom, when I get a back rub right here [lower back, on either side of the spine], it feels so good!” “Can I have that really big ball to bounce on again? I love it!” (That would be my pilates ball that I never, ever (ahem) use but he used to abuse, so we stuck it in the attic…he did get it back and will roll on it while reading, playing Legos, etc, as well as just bouncing on it, but it still gets dangerous when he and Miss C find overly active games to play with it!). Little B has learned so, so much this summer. Now he understands why we want him to shower every single day (it still meets with resistance sometimes when there are more fun things to be doing), before he can do anything else, even eat breakfast: the sensory input gives him a much better start to his day. The list goes on, but suffice it to say he has really stepped it up. I am so proud of him. More proud than words can begin to express.

However, second grade was one of my most favorite grades ever, so I am also looking forward to seeing what this year holds for my little boy. We have been so blessed that his entire class is looping with the same teacher—so the only new thing will be the classroom and the school since our school system has one school that houses K-1, then another for 2-5 (second grade is moving up this year since there is so much growth -- it used to be K-2 and 3-5). At least he’ll be in the brand new part of the school.

I'm also excited because I’ve always loved the smell of school with its freshly sharpened pencils and new paper (except the inside of textbooks…anyone else notice those smell like puke??). Shopping for school supplies is one of those things I still love doing. Even before I had kids in school, I was addicted to the notebooks so cheap, the pencils and erasers, crayons, markers, pens and book-bags. . .