Sunday, July 26, 2009

How About Some Gum?

Chloe has this thing about rifling through my diaper bag and sneaking any goodies she can find.
Well, she found some gum and helped herself. I thought she was being good. Well, this is what you get when you have a quiet one year old! Not only did she find the gum she ate TEN pieces! I found her and immediately couldn't speak. I just froze and could not believe what I was seeing! My whole entryway smelled like orange blast! So, I decided to take some pics. The picture of her smiling is in response to me finally letting out a giggle. Ohhhhh..... Chloe!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Updates

Just a real quick update on the happenings within our family. We have had several inquiries about both Justus and my grandmother's health. Justus is doing great. He seems to keep battling congestion, but we are told this is to be expected. Due to him having Down Syndrome he is more susceptible to colds and infections. I usually find myself having to suction out his nose in the mornings using a nasal aspirator and saline solution. His cough is clearing up. He continues to gain weight. He had his eight week checkup a little while ago and I was delighted to see that he had made all of his milestones thus far. He is smiling, cooing, watching you as you move your face, turning to the sound of your voice, and even laughs once in awhile during his sleep. This has been so enjoyable for me to see him doing so well, despite his DS and TOF (Tetralogy of Fallot). God is so good to teach us of the "non - differences" in the face of "differences". (if that makes sense!) One thing I have run into is that Justus is getting so good at nursing now that he totally dislikes the bottle. I am thankful he is such a good nurser, but am finding that I may have to work with him to be able to do both. I want him to be prepared for bottle feedings during his hospital stay. I find this ironic, since DS babies are expected to be very good at nursing. Our family is learning to not place those expectations that hold low standards on our sweet Justus.

My grandmother is also doing great! We praise the Lord for this. She is eating on her own and is currently learning how to wield her own spoon! Albeit, she eats very little. I am so thankful that she continues to show improvement. We just had the opportunity to visit her again and we were able to have full conversations with her! We looked through old photos and laughed at some funny memories. It was great to spend time with my father as well. Pictures follow soon.

Life continues to go along at a bit of a rabbit's pace, but our God is good to us and allows us the tools and ability to keep up. Only in His strength. Everyone is enjoying these warm summer days. The kids are having a blast racing their bikes through the neighborhood. We continue to have all the kids (minus Chloe and Justus) in swimming lessons. They LOVE it! The boys will start soccer next month. We always look forward to our Saturday morning games as a family (and of course the coffee runs prior to the games). Phillip is doing a wonderful job as an employee for King County. He has been riding his bike to work, which is a bit better on our wallets and helps with some exercise. I have been busy with various things: making hair pretties for friends, nursing Justus, organizing closets, nursing Justus, teaching Chloe her numbers, nursing Justus, gardening, nursing Justus, helping to run this crazy household and of course - nursing Justus. As you can read - nursing Justus is a full time job. He is an industrious little eater. That's alright with me - as one of my most fervent desires and prayers while he was in the NICU was that I could just hold my baby and nurse him. Boy, has God answered that one!!! (little giggle)
Our family is busy, no doubt. But.... we enjoy one another so much that it is just a joy to have such a large and boisterous crew. We look forward to what God continues to do within our home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Forty - Two Pounds O' Fun

As you know, we were in Easter Washington during the fourth of July visiting both my Grandmother and Father. My prior post describes how we went to make a surprise visit and ended up being there the day my Grandmother had a pretty significant stroke. Well, after going to the hospital on the fourth, we decided to take the kids cherry picking. We drove around looking for U-Pick signs for cherries. We found a farm in Naches. As soon as we got out of our car, We thought - "What were we thinking?" It was soooo hot outside, 100 degrees. There was a little shade, but not enough. The farmer and his wife were so gracious and kind. They gave us ice cold bottled waters and attached our buckets and sent us on our way! I have to say, it was a blast! We had a great time picking... and eating... a whole lotta cherries. Both Ellie and Chloe were adorable. They ate more cherries than they picked and put in their baskets. The farmer had a little pump house next to the trees that was ice cold inside. Phillip and I took turns sitting in there with Justus cooling off. What do you get when you and five kiddos are picking cherries? Forty two pounds of sweetness! Yes... FORTY TWO POUNDS of cherries! Needless to say our freezer is full of pitted cherries ready for pies. By the way... you see in the pics. that we got two different types of cherries: Lapin and Rainier - both are so delicious.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Providential Visit

My sweet husband approached me a couple of weeks ago about taking time during the fourth of July weekend to go and visit my Grandmother and Father who live in Eastern Washington. This meant alot to me for two reasons: 1) usually we go to his sister's home and have a delightful time - this has become a routine every fourth. 2) My Grandmother and Father have never met Chloe or Justus. This visit was one I looked forward to with anticipation of warm weather and sharing memories with Grandma. I also LOVE seeing my children near their Great-Grandmother. Just something about that visual picture that I don't think I will easily forget. Well, we decided we would just show up into town, get a room and surprise both of them. We arrived Friday evening and spent some time driving around town and enjoying some early fireworks while sitting at a Sonics for the first time! The weather was also so beautiful and HOT! It was 100 degrees while we were there - and I LOVED IT! (I grew up in Eastern Washington and have fond memories of being outdoors in the heat) That next morning we received a call from my Dad saying Grandma had a severe stroke that morning. We went to the hospital and my Dad started to cry stating he was so happy we were there. We could see that Grandma's left side was unable to move and that she was pretty feeble. She was in and out of consciousness. The on-call doctor came in the room and asked Grandma if she could hear him, she answered "yes". I was thrilled! This meant she could not only hear, but respond. He backed up a couple of feet after his questions to her and started to discuss "options" with my Dad. She had not yet shown signs of swallowing, so he told Dad that if she didn't that he would have to decide on whether or not to put a feeding tube in. I thought, WAIT - whether or not???!!!???? To deny someone of eating used to be called starving someone, but I guess if that person happens to be old and unable to entirely care for themselves it is now called humane death???!!!??? Didn't this doctor just get my Grandmother to respond to him? Now he was discussing options of death only two feet from her bedside?
Dad and I had a very brief discussion that hour after the doctor left the room and I said that I would always be a proponent of life. I left it at that, realizing Dad was overwhelmed with emotion. I noted in my mind that this was a priority of prayer. So did my husband.
That next morning I received a phone call stating that Grandma wanted to talk to me. She heard my voice on the phone and even responded to my questions!! I was so super excited to go and see her. Phillip and I just teared up thanking our God all the while. We got to the hospital and guess what.... she was swallowing water, just a bit - BUT - she was showing improvement! She was able to see all of her great-grandchildren and talk a little with some of them. One very tender moment occurred when she held Justus' hand - my throat felt tight with emotion as I put my own hand and covered them both and gave a gentle squeeze. Justus is named after my Grandfather - how fitting that she held onto his hand so tightly.
The same doctor came in and was yet again talking the same talk. I could not believe it! After he left my father and I had a candid conversation. I will just say that I think our visit helped him to be encouraged in the right way, however; I covet your prayers for my Grandmother. I am hoping that Phillip and I can be used of God in this situation to help sustain my Grandmother's life. Life, young or old, is precious and is only for the Lord to decide when it should pass. I am so very thankful that the Lord put on Phillip's heart to make a long overdue visit at such a time as this...
I praise the Lord that he has placed so many things in our life as of late that would prepare us for this... that would help us understand how precious life is, even when others in the world may not value it..