Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life with Four

A little birdie told me I was behind on updates. Well, since I'm so fond of said birdie (and since she just happens to be right), I decided I'd better start catching up!

Thankfully, we've been in a kind of "no news is good news" phase these last few weeks. We're all remaining pretty healthy; just the "required" Fall cold. Judah continues to make progress in his therapy. We're enjoying his smiles and sweet nature immensely, and gearing ourselves up emotionally and mentally for his surgery. The other 3 kids are doing great all around. Well, Lydia does have that required cold right now. The saddest part about that for her? She can't hug, hold, or kiss Judah. She is, however, allowed to kiss his toes. He's got the best loved "li'l tosies" known to man:) Jared's officially in the busy season for YFC, which won't end until March. Boo. Thank the Lord there are 3 holidays & 3 birthdays to look forward to in the midst of this time! God continues to teach me. Life with 4 kids offers an infinite supply of spiritual life lessons...and just plain old lessons! Here are just a few things I've learned from my life with 4...

*There's never - and I mean NEVER - a dull moment! Of course that makes sense when they're awake. But even when they're sleeping, there's always something to be done. My job security as a stay-at-home mom is sound. (Speaking of job security... I tease Jared about my "job security" as his wife. I know he'll never leave me, because there's no way he could ever afford child support! His response: "Seriously!")

*If you get behind on laundry, it's all over. Good luck finding your way out from under the mounds of clothes that seem to multiply exponentially. These mounds are also experts had hiding things; including, but not limited to, shoes, belts, toys, and even small children.

*When every child is whining and/or crying at the same time, DON'T PANIC! Life as you know it will not come to an end simply because the 4 & 7 year olds have to wait a bit...regardless of how many times they insist that this is the worst day they've ever had or that it's not fair. Most successful remedy for this occurrence: offer a healthy snack and a game. And "time in" in the sling works like a charm for the baby, but is also equally effective for the tired, crabby 2 1/2 year old.
NOTE: as a rule, yelling "STOP YELLING" at your yelling children doesn't work.

*Accept any help offered, and even learn to ask for it. Pride has no place in the life of a mother who spends her days wiping noses and butts, and other various household surfaces.

*Accept early the fact that your house will never look the same again, and get over it. Some clutter can be considered an art form, the refrigerator becomes a beautiful art gallery, and art on the walls and table top can't stand up to the Magic Eraser, so don't stress out.

*Stay away from WAL-MART. It eats mothers with young children alive.

*Enjoy the moments you get with each individual child. They're too few and far between.

*These are the longest days and the shortest years of your life. It's tough, but I believe that I'll never look back and wish I didn't have so many kids. I'll look back and be humbled by the evidences of God's undeserved grace and goodness in my life, manifested by these 4 little monkeys.

*God's grace really is sufficient for me. His mercies really are new every morning. He really is present with me as I go through the day, washing, wiping, and sometimes weeping. And He really has called me to the most fulfilling, rewarding, challenging, and beautiful "job" possible: that of being Mom to Elijah, Ezra, Lydia, & Judah. (Even though I'm already going gray!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eli's Journal Entry

Eli keeps a journal at school. I didn't know this until his principal emailed me yesterday to tell me that he had been in her office to read her one of his entries. She told me she kept a copy of the entry on her desk, and she loved it. When I picked him up from school his teacher told me that she had put a copy of one of his journal entries in his folder so that we could see it. The same entry the principal had raved about. I couldn't wait to get home and read it! After doing so, I knew I had to save it for Judah!

"My Baby Brother"

My baby brother is very cute! He is four months old. He has a little old man face. He has very chuby arms & legs. He is our little lion of Judah. Because Jesus was the Lion of Judah. I can make Judah laugh! I make him laugh when he is in his bouncy seat. When he is in his bouncy seat me and my brother walk or jump over him and his bouncy seat. He just cracks up! We got it on video. And my mom and dad just crack up. It is so cute. I wish you were there. It was so funny.
The End.

Need I say more...?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Therapy, Teeth, & Tee-Hee-Hees

Judah had another great therapy session today! He continues to improve and get stronger. He's holding his head up more and more, reaching for things, bringing his hands to his mouth, and becoming more active overall. The main things we'll work on for the next few weeks are strengthening his tummy muscles, encouraging more leg movement, and rolling over! We hadn't seen his OT in almost a month (we had his teacher last time), so it was really fun for me to hear her oh and ah over the progress he's made. I love it, because the 2 women that work with him appreciate the little accomplishments like they're big ones...which they are for Judah.

And in other news... Judah is cutting his first tooth! This might sound odd, but in the midst of everything that makes Judah so "special" I forget that he's going to do normal things like teethe! I couldn't believe it when I saw that little mound in his mouth. I found it the day before it started cutting. He didn't fuss like he was teething or anything! All of a sudden there was just a tooth there! He really is the world's most laid back champ of a baby:)

Today I got a great laugh. A good friend stopped by for a bit and gave me a card. I have never been given a card that was so appropriate or so stinkin' funny! Seriously, this is the best card I have ever been given. And any other mom who has ever pumped would say the same. The front of the card has a drawing of a mommish-looking woman on the front, and she says "Whoever said 'there's no use crying over spilled milk' obviously NEVER pumped six ounces, then accidentally dumped it." Oh my word, I'm laughing now! Of course, I freak out over spilling 6 ml, much less 6 oz., but still.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Fun!

We had a family date out at a pumpkin farm

We had a lot of fun carving pumpkins for "Family Night"

We all got dressed up for a "Halloween party" we had with another family

The Brothers were too cute

Little Pirate Judah

Happy 5 month Birthday

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Big Day for this Little Guy

Judah made history on Thursday! He had a weight check/health & physical at the pediatrician's in the morning. For the first time ever his doctor's appointment was just that: strictly a doctor's appointment!! We were outta there in 45 min! No labs, urine samples, or extra anything! Thank You, Jesus!! I was so excited that we were able to be in and out and everything went as expected:) My little champ is now a whopping 10 lb. 9 oz. He's still gaining just what he needs to to stay on track. Bless his ped's pro-breastfeeding heart! He has allowed me to give Judah breast milk exclusively without even hinting at supplementing, even though Judah's gain is technically "borderline". His physical went well, too. He's been officially cleared of his UTI, and since he's now over 10 lb. he's been cleared for surgery. Speaking of which...

Judah's surgery date is Dec. 1. I'm thankful that it's a little farther down the road, and in between the holidays. (I have more time to try to memorize his smile and he'll be just a little bit bigger.) His surgery was a little trickier to schedule, because this little "high profile" champ requires 3 surgeons to be there! Each procedure has its own surgeon so... It'll be a big day for him, and us.

My biggest prayer for Judah in this is that his stay in the hospital will be just the customary 24 hrs. I'm praying that his other illnesses will (miraculously) not effect his recovery or ability to bounce back from the procedures. I'm praying for an easy 3 week recovery process for him. I'm praying that Jared and I will be a testimony to the staff we come into contact with at the hospital during his stay.

Thanks for praying with us.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pirate Judah

Judah did great with the eye specialist yesterday...of course! I'm very happy to report that, overall, he has improved in his eye movement and responses. Very encouraging! The only thing that stayed the same from 3 months ago is the weakness in his left eye. The dr. said he's at a critical stage for development now, and is at risk for developing lazy eye. Apparently, because of that weakness, his brain will ignore that eye. Wild. [The human body never ceases to amaze me. Especially Judah's!] For the next month Judah needs to wear an eye patch every day for 2 hours to strengthen his left eye. Then he'll go in for another follow-up. Of course the very first thing Ezra said when he saw Judah with that little patch on was, "Pirate Judah!". I can always count on my kids to see the cute or bright side of things:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's November. Wow. I can't believe it's already November. I can't believe that Judah will be 5 months old this week. I can't believe how time has flown these last couple of months. This month is a big one for us, for Judah. He has a follow-up with the eye specialist tomorrow morning. And then sometime within the next 2-3 weeks he'll have his first surgery, repairing his lip, removing his extra pinkies, and placing tubes in his ears. He needs to be cleared for surgery by his pediatrician first, and I'm still waiting for the results of his follow-up urine sample to make sure the UTI is totally cleared up, but after those things are taken care of the surgeon will be ready to rock 'n roll, so to speak. Because of Judah's other illnesses this is a much bigger deal, and could require a longer stay in the hospital. This surgery also comes with a 3 week recovery process. I'm really struggling with this. Intellectually I know that this is the right and necessary thing to do for him. But my heart is breaking. My beautiful boy! I am so in love with that little face. That wide grin. Those little raspberries he's always blowing. Those tiny fingers. He was made in the image of God, designed by God, and is covered with the fingerprints of God. It's so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that God created him so beautifully, but then we have to "fix" it. I so wish time would slow way down so that I could enjoy him this way longer. No, I wish we could just skip this step altogether. Besides battling the sadness of having to say good-bye to that smile, and changing my baby forever, I'm also battling anxiety over the unknown of how Judah will handle everything. It's scary. We've had almost 4 full months out of the hospital, but I'm really not ready to go back. What will I do when I see him on the ventilator again? Can I handle that again? Can I see him "wired" all over again? Tubes, beeps, a sterile hospital room... This is going to be so hard. I need to start collecting verses to take with me when I stay with him. The truths of God's Word, of who God is, of Christ in me doesn't change. I know this. GOD. IS. GOOD. He is already there in that day when Judah goes through this surgery. Thank You, Lord, for the peace that that knowledge brings. You love Judah more than I can even begin to fathom. Far more than I could ever love him. You made him, he is Yours. I have the privilege of knowing him and loving him, but he really belongs to You. I can trust You with him, because You can care for him far beyond any of my capabilities. You are in control. Judah is in Your hands. The surgeon is in Your hands. Thank You.