Wednesday, July 30, 2014


On my day off from work, Gavin and I spent the morning with my wonderful friend - Erin. 
Even won a prize (first time ever) from the arcade. No - I didn't spend my own mulah on it - the waitress gave Gavin 2 free tokens.
Winner-winner, chicken dinner!
Pool time - doesn't get much better than this!
Ok - I'll be honest, he doesn't have a love for the water. 
We are getting there though.
A boy and his blanket.
He loves his ducky blanket - a big thanks to Prenatal Partners for Life 
for giving it to him!

He is such a big kid now! He loves holding his own nebulizer mask in the morning.
Smooooshed face! I sneak in to watch him sleep on a regular basis. 
I think that is a normal thing for moms to do, right?
Happy potty training boy! Even in the mornings - what an amazing kid we have!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don't forget.

The way you say "naw-naw" when you mean yes.
The first time you signed "please" and meant it.

How you blow kisses and say "buh-bye" whenever we leave somewhere. 
And how you repeatedly kiss your hand, because you haven't figured out how to "blow" them away.

You are an amazingly good traveler! 

When I pick you up from daycare, I ask where we are going and you yell "HOME!"

How you stop in your tracks when you hear music.

The way you smell after a bath.
or how the smell of sunscreen lingers on your skin after daycare.

When you eat, you leave no food behind - you LOVE food! Despite all of your horrible gagging/spit-up/vomiting, your love for food trumps all! 
Some day when all I can get you to eat is a box of Kraft and Pizza, may I remember these days.

When I do your nebulizer treatments at night, you hold your hand out so I can tickle it. 
You love it, it calms you.

When we stomp our feet, you always scream and run to wherever we are.
You love to play, and daddy is your favorite playmate.

Whenever we finish praying you say "Aaammeeen".

Your expressions. Oh heavens, you have an expressive face.
Always have.

You, my boy, need to know that 
I cover your face in kisses whenever I get the chance. 
I sneak in a few extra when you sleep just because I can.

You need to know that no matter what you do, I will love you.
No matter how old you get, I will still want to know what is going on in your life.
And I will always be proud of you. You have taught me so much about life, and how to live it.
God sure knew what He was doing when He blessed us with you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I am not sure what got into me the past couple weeks, but it was comparable to "nesting". Never got to that phase in my pregnancy - but I am getting there now. Go figure.

Maybe it is the energy from having sun again, or my new-found realization that clutter in my home also clutters my mind. It bogs me down and overwhelms me, and don't know where to start. I can say after weeks of de-cluttering, a few comments from hubby along the lines of "you know, we still have to live here dear", and a trunk (or two) full of stuff for GoodWill, we are officially de-cluttered.

I found a few rules to go by, and I stuck with them.

1. When going through my closet, I kept it simple: Would I buy it if it was on a rack at my favorite store? If the answer was no, I got rid of it.

2. Is it damaged? If so, could it be repaired EASILY? Some things were in my "fix it later" stack. Folks, that stack has been moved from apartment, to townhouse, and now to our new house. Time to cut the cord.

3. Do I have multiple things to do the same purpose? This was especially helpful in the kitchen. You don't need three kinds of colanders, people! You really don't. Pitch the ones you don't use! Trust me, it saves on the frustration from constantly moving them to get to something you really do need to use.

4. I didn't do this one yet, but my mom was also on her own de-cluttering quest and told me about this. Christmas decorations. How many times do you put up the tree, sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly, to find the decorations you actually want to put out? Now is the time - it's summer...go through them and save yourself a headache during the Christmas season. Thanks mom!

5. Pass-it-on. If it is something that you find to be in good shape, but you really don't use it or need it - pass-it-on. You will bless someone else, and de-clutter your life.

6. Toys. In my pre-kid life, I pledged to never have a home with toys everywhere. I'll admit, for the most part we did a good job. We had cute bins on book shelves and a few stand-alone toys here and there.
One day, after being in a house without kids - we came home and I was VERY aware that we had too many toys out. I didn't get rid of all of them, but now I do a rotation system. Every other week I put away a few toys, and bring out the ones from storage. It works great, and it keeps Gavin interested. This way he isn't overwhelmed and throwing toys all over.
*His favorite new "toy" is Jason's old flip-phone. He loves to "talk" on it - walks around holding it between his shoulder and ear. Too much cuteness to handle!

I'll leave you with a little clip of my boy and his new sweet flip-phone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Not a deep post - but I wanted you all to know how proud I am of this little guy:

At 18 months, by medical standards, he should be saying 10 words.

Now he may not meet all of the physical milestones - but my boy has his 10 words down!

He knows Up, Down, Buh-bye, Uh-oh, NO! (my favorite...or not), Yay!, Yummm, WOW! Mama, Dada, Poop (a close second favorite), Ball, Puppy, Hot, Bubble, Outside, Hi!, Hello, Pop!, Auntie, More, Home, and Bath.

There are quite a few more - but I'll spare you. Point is - I'm proud, and I had to share it with you all!

He also sings "E-I-E-I-O" (see below), and "Twinkle, Twinkle".

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God, Genetics, and a blessed heart

I wrote this on Monday after Gavin's appointments.

Today I am weary. 
My bones ache, and my feet drag as though they are going through 6 inches of mud. 
Part lack of sleep (18 mo. kidlet teething with an ear infection). Part due to being emotionally drained.

Thankfully God's love is relentless, and has gotten us through. 

Today I faced the most dreaded appointment - Genetics.

Before Gavin was born they knew he had multiple medical complications, and right after he was born they attempted to get a blood sample from his umbilical cord. The test didn't work properly, and since Gavin had a blood transfusion we weren't able to try again until after we left the NICU.

Here we sit - well over a year has passed and I am finally doing it.

Sitting outside the hospital doors, I contemplated leaving.
Heading home.
Content to live in mystery.

I watched the nurses and doctors come and go. Some on their breaks, others having put in countless hours - in much need of a place to rest.

Patients, moms, dads, siblings - all wandering by. Some were talking. Others looked like they were all too familiar with this place.

I sat their, remembering weary days past. Days that threatened to consume me - to defeat me - to bring into question all that I once knew.

Ever have those moments were everything you see brings emotions? The wind on your face seems to be too much, and a tear falls. This was one of those moments.

A mother, pushing her son (not much older than 10) passed by us. In that moment, time began to freeze. The boy slowly looked up - our eyes met. He clearly was battling for his life - cancer.
The look he gave. I don't think I will ever be able to wipe his look from my mind - not a look of pain, or pity. It was a look of self-consciousness - he probably didn't see himself as the strong boy he once was. Perhaps he would rather have been walking with his friends, instead of being pushed by his mom. He may have seen himself as weak.

I saw a hero.

Then and there I forgot why we were there. I stopped and prayed.

To a passer-by, I probably looked like I was daydreaming. I didn't bow my head - my eyes weren't closed - my mouth didn't utter a word. I just silently prayed in my heart for healing for this sweet boy - I prayed for his brave mom, who stands by his side though the waves keep crashing in on them.

When I finished I looked over at Gavin and he said "Amen" - AMEN - Aaaaaaaammenn. Something he recently learned, but he had no reason to believe I had just prayed. Tears filled my eyes as I said "that's right buddy - AMEN!"

You see - the spirit moves sometimes. Ok - not just sometimes...He is ALWAYS moving, I am just trying to move on my own, and am too busy to notice. This may be little in the grand scheme, but it was enough to make me stop and notice Him moving.

That was my sign - we were going to be okay. I made my way for the big revolving door, up the elevator and into a room where we waited for our Geneticist to arrive. We were asked questions about my side - Jason's side. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts and uncles. They covered it all. Much to my delight - she wasn't scary at all! For some reason I had her pictured as a "doom and gloom" kind of person. She was very interested in Gavin's unique little "deformities". Some of the things she got super excited over since she hadn't seen one for a while - if ever...grrreeat! :) I still don't know what to think of that. For now we will take it as a compliment.

In my attempts to not bore you - I will just say that she didn't find anything that was an immediate concern. We did a blood sample that we will get results on in 6 weeks. Until then, we just praise God for our little miracle.
Many of you don't know this, but I hemorrhaged at 6 weeks. We thought we were going to lose him. There is now a "theory" that could actually explain how/why the main deformities happened. Basically when the hemorrhage happened, it cut off some blood supply to Gavin - possible reason for it all? Maybe.

I choose to think that God knew exactly what He was doing with Gavin. He blessed us with being his parents and I don't think that any of this was just "random". There are probably many medical explanations for it, but I don't need them. I know he is mine, he was created by God almighty, and I will love him all of the days I am here on earth.

How could you not?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Through the eyes of a Medical Mom

I have many people who ask how I do it.

How I handle being a Medical Mama.

Truth is, by the grace of God. There is no other way. Without His help the weekly trips to the specialists at the U would be too much. Our therapy sessions would defeat me, especially when he doesn't do as well as they would have liked.

Once in a while I will ask the "why me questions", but as the days pass I can see different answers to my questions. A big one is contentment. I don't think I would have ever appreciated his milestones (big and small) nearly as much as I do. Each new word and sound thrill me.

I think all medical moms would agree - it changes the way we see.

Instead of feeling frustrated when he won't stop saying "NO!" (even when he means yes), I try to look at it as another milestone reached. As his physical therapist said - he is "right on target" for that! Oh boy!

When he gets food ALL over - like ALLLLL over - we like to say he is experiencing his food. His feeding therapist encourages us to let him do "messy play" with his food. This is messy play folks:

Daily nebulizer treatments are not only good for Gavin's lungs, but they food for my soul - 15 minutes where he sits still on my lap. Most of the time we sit in silence, or we will sing - but no matter what I end up letting my mind wander down the windy, bumpy path that we have traveled. They are sweet moments, and I wouldn't trade them for anything!

His many Doctor appointments, physical therapy sessions, and feeding therapy may seem like a burden to some. They seemed to be at first, but now I see how much they are benefiting Gavin, and now we get excited for them to come.

You see the thing is - healthy kids aren't a promise to us. Getting pregnant is indeed a miracle, and not one to take for granted. I used to see Medical Mamas and pity them - thinking about how awful their lives must be. Don't get me wrong - there are days that are hard and down-right yucky, but I don't want you to ever think I would trade them for a healthier kid. I pray that one day we will be past all of this - but until then I will look for the good in things, find ways to make moments matter, and strive to be an encouragement to others walking this path.
It isn't easy, but I will walk it with joy in my heart and a skip in my step.