27 September 2010


Peace has returned to our home for the most part. Little B is far more himself than he has been in a long time, and I am so glad to have him around again. There are definitely some 'moments' still, but much fewer and farther between. I breathe thanks by the moment to my Lord for this. Truly - I do not say this smart-alecky in the least. It is now a temporary, resolvable issue versus an evolvable (no, not a word, but it sounds good) issue that begins upon waking. I can breathe again.

And my iron levels were low, apparently, which no doubt added to the exhaustion I felt, the depression that rose like bile, and my general inablility to get anything done. I had run out of my preferred prenatal vitamins (from a health food store, IN A CAPSULE so I did not have to taste or smell them) and just never got back to said store to replenish (and meat has been less appetizing than usual, which no doubt contributed). When the glucose test came back normal and the hemoglobin was not, I was on the verge of a lecture from the nurse and she was making sure I had a prescription for my vitamins. I really don't get why your vitamins should come from a pharmacy when you're pregnant. Sheesh. Anyway, my wonderful husband picked some up on his way home from work the next day, and I've been a good little pregnant girl about taking them each night. You're welcome.

I still feel so content in the deep places of my heart from my wonderful trip to the beach - and now we're planning a dessert and coffee night hopefully this weekend. Much smaller scale, but how refreshing to at last have some friends who make the time for this - for all of us, not about me per se.

And, and the heels of my trip, my beach-loving husband jumped all over my idea to go as a family if we could find decent rates. So, we're booked. And not just two or even three nights, but four nights away from home for my deserving family. It's been a few years since we took a vacation and the thrill is running high for everyone. We'll be staying beach-front, so no sand in the van (which is even worse than sand in my swimsuit!). Kites, sandcastles, pool, hotel with a kitchenette, sunscreen galore. . .

For the first time, a vacation on the horizon doesn't feel threatening or stressful - because I had my vacation first. Now, I can help the family have a good time. My husband was gracious enough to actually understand that. Good man, that one. He deserves some sand time, that much I know.

16 September 2010

the rest of the week

On Sunday evening John came to pick me up from my friend's home. He parked in the cul-de-sac, van loaded with sleeping children (Little B stayed one last night with my parents), and walked down to get me and my things. As we carried my bags and pillows back to the van a couple of minutes later, there was an incredibly foul odor that met us. We had no idea where it came from, but it appeared to blow away with the windows down for a moment. The relief was short-lived however, as it kept returning. . .

Upon arriving home, my hubby took a flashlight out and looked for dead animal remains - that kind of foul! When no evidence was found, he checked all my fluids and discovered I was out of oil. I am overdue for an oil change, but normally that should not empty it out. My poor van is burning oil, though, so that exasperated the situation. Assuming the odor was a lack of oil, he added what he had on hand (enough to bring it to minimum) and went to bed.

The next day, going to hear Bitsy's heartbeat (she has no name yet), the odor was still going strong. A stop at the mechanic made for a longer day than planned, and they were too busy to see us. One of the kind employees checked it out to make sure I was safe to drive, though. He discovered fur under the exhaust. So it WAS a dead animal! Then, they added another quart or so of oil, free of charge. (And, yes, I was thankful for the odor since that's how we discovered we were out oil.)

Monday finished up late after an allergy-safe food stop (specifically, Whole Foods for multiples of things we can't find anywhere else) and meeting my parents to pick up Little B. One car wash later and we were slightly less offended by the odor coming from my engine.

Tuesday was the big day, though. I took Little B to a new, in-between, psychiatrist. His meds have clearly needed some adjusting, but we were on a cancellation list for the doctor on our insurance plan. After consulting with our pediatrician, the new office, and current psychologist, the choice was made to try someone in the old office where his records are current (the previous doctor is no longer there). Could there be any more people involved in this? Yes, actually - I kept it simple for you here.

So, some changes have been made, a new diagnosis given, the old one thrown away, and this mommy's heart is feeling deeply hopeful that what is probably a placebo effect of knowing he's on meds to help things will transition smoothly into a better-functioning little boy. There is still a part of me that isn't totally throwing out the old diagnosis just yet. The new one makes me very sad, but at the same time it fits so well. We'll follow up next week to see how he's doing. When we see the new doctor (that has a co-pay, not full cost out of pocket), it will be interesting to see how her opinions line up with everything else we're hearing. I can tell you this: the right doctor is crucial. No matter the cost.

15 September 2010

beach talk

I am back. And have not stopped feeling like the big pink rabbit that calls itself the Energizer Bunny yet. As soon as I got home, the van had problems (literally, on the way home, but that's for another post), doctors appointments were waiting each day and there were plenty of other things to keep me busy - and only right now have I stopped and remembered that I need to tell you of my trip...

My lovely trip started early on Friday morning - as in we loaded up all the kids to take me to my friend's home before 8am. I was jittery and excited and my wonderful husband could barely keep up with my chatter-box jibber-jabber. My oldest spent a long weekend with my parents and my younger two had some glorious Daddy Days that they are still talking about and savoring.

On the 6-ish hour drive to the ocean I talked to my two friends. But not just talked. I mean poured out my heart and soul like purging drugs from one's body. I was headachey and shaky and felt like I was detoxing from the stress of the past months. I had compassionate ears and loving hearts in these two women, both moms of boys about my son's age. And so I poured and poured and poured out. I do not know how they tolerated it. Yes, I listened as well, and it was conversational, but I did a lot LOT of talking. If they were not such precious Godly women who listened so willingly, I'd have felt bad about it. But they at least acted like they wanted to hear what I desperately needed to talk about. I assure you, there is no human counselor or psychologist or other therapist-type who could begin to meet the need they met for me. They had insights that not all peers could offer, as well.

Once we settled into the 20th floor condo overlooking the pristine ocean, I found time alone in my room to lay across my bed - thinking surely I needed a nap. But no slumber would find me. Instead my eyes slowly leaked tears as I was able find words to speak to my Heavenly Father for the first time in weeks. It was not that I'd been angry at Him, or resisting Him, or ignoring Him. Quite the contrary. I needed Him desperately and knew it. I have just not had words that I could utter. I needed the Spirit to intercede for me. My eyes would glaze over when I would open my Bible. My world was so insanely complicated I was lost. I could hear my mom pray on the phone with me and I'd weep in pain for my son's needs and a longing to help him and fix whatever was wrong, but no words could fall from my mouth.

I intended to take my Bible with me on this trip, but I forgot. And honestly, I just loved being still and knowing God in those moments, rather than trying to play catch-up on months of reading. He came to me, He met me, He had been with me all along - which I knew - but I felt His presence so closely it ached.

We ate a ritzy restaurant that first night, created to feel like a balcony setting with outdoor lights and phenomenal food. The kind of place you might see the President at (apparently, he ate there once). And then we sat up very, very late and talked girl talk and laughed ourselves silly before succumbing to the sleep that was grabbing at us.

The next morning, we took our lazy time with breakfast and coffee and getting ready for the beach. Then we sat before the vast ocean, collected shells, talked, avoided jelly-fish, and talked some more (they swam or jogged, I waded in a tiny bit, but I'm not an ocean-lover, just a feet-digging-into-sand-while-watching-the-ocean-lover). We left the chairs and umbrellas while going inside for some lunch then meandered back out when we were ready, doing more of the same. After we'd had our fill, we took our time cleaning up, chatting, and getting ready to head out for souvenirs and dinner (I absolutely had to find fun things for my kids). King Crab was the theme of the night, which had been my pick since I never get crab any more. It takes too long to finish while the kids are sitting by waiting impatiently. Another late night with silly talk and serious talk and droopy eyelids followed.

Sunday morning we slept in (mostly me), cleaned up the condo, had some Starbucks, and did the rest of the souvenir shopping before heading home. Decadent is all I can say. I succeeded in getting the requisite souvenir shirts, sharks tooth/sea shell necklaces, ball cap for the hubby, and some changes-colors-in-the-sunlight fun stuff for the kids (rings, key chains, nail polish). I even saw some amazing prices at the hotels down that same strip and we're going to check the budget to see if we can swing a few day at the beach with the kids soon.

We arrived home drowsy and content - the kids were asleep and I could barely unpack my bag. Another day would have been heavenly, but it was nice be with my husband, kiss my the faces of my sweet kids and sleep in my own bed.

I have felt hopeful this week - crazy busy and longing/looking for the right help for my son, but hopeful for the first time, not just beaten down with endlessly trying. I think we're on the road to some answers, though it will still take a bit of time to be sure it's the right road. In the meantime, I'm ready to keep trying rather than throw in the towel.

02 September 2010

all about moi

After reading a friend's post about her in-laws taking her kids for a night, I was pondering how I could get away from MY kids overnight.  Baby J is not quite ready to be left with someone other than us, so it limits the options a lot – and means I can't have a night "alone" with my husband.  I daydreamed for a bit about going away with a friend for a night or two, but promptly dismissed such thoughts because I can't afford a hotel plus food for two or three days.


A mere few hours later, my waiting room friend and I were chatting on the phone. Her son receives physical and speech therapy several times a week among other routine things as he had a brain tumor that left him with many deficiencies. Beneath the outward disabilities, he is so smart and warm and friendly. It's hard to imagine watching your son deteriorate and then struggle to relearn the very basics in life, but that is exactly what this friend has gone through since we met.  Needless to say, there are plenty of heartaches and pity parties available, and she and I make good sounding boards for each other. On this particular day, she had called to tell me that she wanted to invite me and two other friends to her condo at the beach in Panama City for a weekend away fairly soon.  I could barely contain myself waiting for John to get home and hear his reaction…and had to force myself not to interrupt his work day with it. Once he as home and I spilled my hopefulness onto the table, he promised to find a way to work it out - that I needed to go.  How thankful I am for a husband who sees this need right now!


So, a week from tomorrow I'm headed to the beach.

Without kids.

For two nights.

With 2 or 3 nice ladies for company.

Costing me only some of my meals and pitching in for gas.

I plan to make some large batches of normaly, yummy, NOT-allergy-friendly cookies to take along and share with everyone.

And there will be plenty for me to overindulge in. Freely.


(And I desparately hope nothing messes this up now that I've told people about it….because, well….I WANNA GO!!)