Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Absent

I have read all the books on child development and parenting.... ok maybe not ALL of them but a lot.

When I was pregnant with my oldest I had the book "What to Expect When you are Expecting"  memorized. Then after he was born I read and read about developmental milestones. I knew what my baby should be doing and when. Then when the terrible twos.... threes and fours hit I started in on the parenting stuff. My favorite approach being the Love and Logic. Parenting seemed simple.

Then life threw me a curve ball.  Well several of them really. However, I wont bore you with the details of all of that nonsense.

Needless to say my children have been through the ringer. Many things have happened in their short years of life that I could not protect them from.  Events that where out of my control. Things I could not put a band-aid on and fix.

The straw that broke the camels back was Makenzie's accident. Not only was their baby sister hurt, hooked up to all kinds of machines, and unable to move, but their mother was also MIA. They spent a good majority of 2007 with out Makenzie and I.

5.5 weeks inpatient
4 weeks in AZ for HBOT
4 more weeks in AZ for HBOT
3 weeks in FL for IMOT
2 weeks in AZ for Sensory Learning
1 week in AZ for DAN proctocal IV infusions
4 days in AZ for a NACD eval
1 week in Costa Rica for Stem Cell Therapy
3 weeks in CA for IMOT
1 week in CA for ABM
10 days in Costa Rica for 2nd round of Stem Cells
____________For a total of________________
26 approx total weeks that Makenzie and I have been out of town  since March 25th 2007

I do not regret any of these trips as  each one has has helped Makenzie in one way or another. However there was/is always the thought and the fear that I was/am sacrificing 3 of my children to save Makenzie. It feels like there is no happy medium.  Then I remember how strong my village is. I know how well my boys have been cared for while I am gone.

Parenting becomes more complicated at this point. There is now brokenness, loss of innocence, lack of time, and my need to please and make it all better.

When Makenzie was in the hospital I used to joke about the day we went to the store and she asked for a barbie. I would say the day that happened I would buy her EVERY Barbie on the self. That has come to fruision... just not with Makenzie.... more so with the boys.

I have never bought the boys a whole shelf of Barbies but over the past three years I have found myself giving into their wants regardless of their behaviour. I have failed to let them learn from their mistakes. I have let them talk me out of consequences, and I have made excuses for them. I have gone against a lot of what I know to be in my children's best interest's in the long term. I just could not bear to see any more pain in their faces, I didn't want to see them suffer from any more loss, I didn't want them to hurt ANYMORE.  I needed to make up for my absence.  However really all this is doing is setting them up for bigger pain and loss in life.

So this mommy is putting her foot down. I have the knowledge now it needs ti be dusted off and put to use.

Today I asked the boys to clean their rooms. Makenzie's PT was meeting us at the pool for therapy. I told the boys when we were leaving and then told them that they needed to have their rooms clean and be ready to walk out the door by that time or they would not be getting in the pool. Needless to say not a single one of them got to go swimming. This consequence did not come without tears from all.... including me.

On the way home from the pool I notified them that they were to clean their rooms before we went to see the movie. Once again if it wasn't done they would not go. This time we all went and had a great time.

Brain injury is not the only hard stuff, this  is hard too and brain injury doesn't make it any easier. Every time I see the heart break in my kid's face I feel like I can't breath. I want so bad for them to just be happy all the time.

God will protect all of my children's hearts. I take comfort in that fact. This journey has taught my family many things and honestly I can say the majority of them are wonderful life lessons about love, faith, trust, and hope. I am pretty sure we are all be better people because of it!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Do You Do It


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I Have had many people ask me over the last few years how I do it. I tend to look at them funny and ask... do what?

They will then proceed to tell me something along the lines of how hard certain things are in their life. However, they just can't imagine how much harder it would be to  raise a special needs child and 3 other children, let alone as a single mother.

I usually just grin and shrug my shoulders.

See there really isn't a great answer to that question. There are many contributing factors like support from family and friends.

Really the true answer lies in the fact that God blessed me with 4 beautiful children. I do what any mother would do with that gift.

There are times when I feel I am failing horribly. Times when everything that needs to be done feelis lke it is too much to bear. Times when I just want to scream. Times when I wake up feeling overwhelmed with life and turn on the radio and hear a song like this....



and some how it feels all better. Why?......

For the simple fact that no matter how bad I think I am messing things up, my God is not disappointed with me. His grace is sufficient for me. I can come as I am.

Three years ago after Makenzie's accident I felt like I was living in a constant  nightmare. I just wanted to wake up. I wanted my life to be surrounded by a white picket fence. I wanted to take it all back. I wanted to live in a bubble and know that I was safe.

The grieving stage after the nightmare was the thought Makenzie was going to get up one morning and be fine. Full healing was just going to take a little more time and prayer simply because my daughter was special and there was no way she could be disabled... not my kid... that wasn't possible. God would never have that in His plan for her life..... Right?




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As time went by and I began to meet other people who had children with disabilities for all different reasons I began to think differently. Not ONE single person that I have EVER met asked for special needs. Not one of them wanted their child to stoke at birth, have a rare disease, autism choke, or nearly drown. Not one of them jumped for joy when their child received a diagnosis. There are MANY people in this world that live with a disability or someone who has a disability and not one of these people are any different then me.

I choose to move on with a smile on my face. I choose to look at the good things in life. I choose to see what my kids can do.... not what they can't. I choose not to be angry. I choose to continue to fight for everything I hold dear.

I choose not to sweat the small stuff. I choose to embrace what I have learned in the last 3 years. I choose to realize that I can not do it all and am never going to do it perfectly. I choose to love all of the amazing people I have met who didn't ask for special needs and those who continue to pray, support, and believe in God's healing.

So......How do I do it?...... Really I have no dang clue!..... I do it through God's Grace.... and that is my final answer!

How do you do it?

Believe... Prayer Works




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Monday, June 28, 2010

Roll Away

There is nothing like a perfect lazy afternoon with the boys, Makenzie and half the neighborhood! The weather was amazing and the tramp was in the shade. We spent a good long while bouncing, rolling, giggling, and squealing. I got nothing done around the house but we had a good day.


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We have started to gear up for our trip to AZ in about 3 weeks. I am so excited! All 5 of us will be going this time.T he first 5 days we will be doing ABM with a highly recommended practitioner I am super excited!

We are meeting my friend Michelle and her son as well as Julie and Makenzie's boyfriend Joey. I am also hoping to catch up with a few other people while we are there as well! Love it! We will be staying at a nice hotel, hanging out by the pool and drinking margaritas for a week.... oh and going to therapy.

Then we will be headed to another part of AZ for 2 more weeks to spend some much anticipated time with one of my best friends. It has been over 2 years since we have been able to see each other and I am so looking forward to every second. Even if it is going to over a hundred degrees outside in the desert while we are there!

Life is so good! Keep Praying!

Believe... Prayer Works!

The Best Laid Out Plans 2

Well today was another day. Another day of plans that where changed and then changed again.

I was planning on hanging out at the house cleaning and catching up. In the end that is kind of what happened... kind of.

We were supposed to clean with the treat of going to the movies tomorrow after getting it done. Then there was the first change of plans. The movie thing tomorrow wasn't going to work for our friends and she asked if would could go today. Uh.....sure..... I guess....

I hurried the kids into helping me get the house cleaned. so that we could leave the house by 3pm. Alrighty then.

So we plugged along. I gave Makenzie a bath, did her hair, and started her lunch.

Then came plan change number 2..... No movie.... new date and time.... Wednesday afternoon. Instead of a movie my friend brought over her kids and we hung out for a bit.

It rained a ton this afternoon and the kids decided to go out and play in the rain, Oh the fun!

I took Makenzie out and she loved it! She giggled so hard when the rain was pouring on her head!

While the kids where playing in the rain and the baby was being fed I sat down with the girls and the iPad. We had so much fun! My friends little girl also has CP. They both took turns playing. Makenzie did a GREAT job touching the screen and Emily did a great job sharing despite the fact she made sure we knew she wanted it to be her turn.

I am tied. I wanted a day off to just catch up. I kind of got that but sometimes I wonder if it is easier to just go, go, go! When we stay home the boys get bored. They fight and make messes. Not sure if this or running around and being busy is worse.

Over all though it was a good day! Is summer over yet?!

Believe... Prayer Works!

So we kept on cleaning until

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Best Laid Out Plans



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All plans are made to be changed... right?

I had big plans yesterday to get a bunch of stuff done in the morning. I had some running around to do which included cleaning out the fridge and getting to the grocery store.

However, instead we got to spend some good time with my brother and his wife. We had a great time and even got a few things done.

Here is what fathers uncles are for....





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My son amazes me more and more every day. With just a small amount of help he was able to change an outlet that was broken. So proud!

My brother also helped me get some of our DVD's onto the iPad! This thing is way cool! Makenzie loves it along with the rest of us. Makenzie and I played with it for a while and she counted, colored, made fireworks, played the piano, learned animal sounds and watched a video. I am pretty sure there is not a lot the iPad can't do. If I could only train it to do my laundry and dishes!



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After lunch we headed to the pool. We all got water logged before grabbing some dinner, going to the grocery store, and heading back home to clean up and head to bed.

It was a great day. My brother made me cry.... in a very good way. Makenzie is doing SO well, and the boys are having a good summer! What more could a girl ask for!? Ok maybe I could ask for my truck which has been broken on and off for the last 2 weeks to be fixed but ya know..... I am guessing my dad would really like his car back! Thanks dad for letting us use your wheels and thanks mom for all the extra driving you have done to make it possible!

So now it would be time to get around to house work! I made the executive decision today to skip church and have a day at home. I have a ton of things around here to catch up on and would like to start the week with a clean house and laundry! Yeah for me! If it gets done the treat will be Toy Story 3 tomorrow with some friends!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fish, and Chairs, and Toys....Oh My!


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I have come to the realization that there is really no point in emphasizing that we had a busy day because it seems everyday has become busy at this point.

I thought summer was supposed to be a break but I guess that statement only refers to my children.

We crammed a ton of stuff into this Friday, leaving the house at 9:45am and returning home at 6:45pm. We managed to play in between appointments going to the aquarium and the mall.

After having many conversations with Makenzie's speech/augmentative communication therapist and much thought and prayer I decided to go ahead and get Makenzie...and the boys.... and me....LOL an iPad. Technology has come SO far and I have read and heard of so many doors being opened for children who have special needs with this device. This was not an easy decision but one I feel will benefit Makenzie more then many of the other therapy tools I have looked into.

Today the Fed Ex truck made a stop at our house. Yes the iPad had finally arrived.

The excitement was short lived however because we were on our way out the door.

Makenzie did ok in PT this morning. It was not her best and she seemed more flexed then usually. Oh well, she still had a great time and got lots of love from her therapist.

This afternoon we had another appointment with the seating clinic so I decided to take the kids to the aquarium before that appointment. Even though we were not there for all that long the kids had a great time checking out the fish, sharks, eels, and sea horses. We watched the flash flood, fed the sting rays, petted a few slummy things, and got our faces painted. It was a really good time.


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We stopped to check out a REALLY loud bird. The first couple of times Makenzie heard it squawk she jumped and had a very concerned look on her face. She got over that pretty quickly and started to laugh. What still continues to amaze me is how she is able to look up, find and object, and continue to focus and show interest in it. She looked right up at that silly bird and found him over and over on command.

This is an improvement we noticed soon after Makenzie received her first round of Stem Cell therapy and it just keeps getting better and better!

Look at those beautiful eyes spying the bird way far above her!

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Here is a video of Makenzie and the bird.

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Then it was off to our seating appointment. This wa the 3rd appointment we have had. Today we kind of took a detour in plans for Makenzie's new chair. After specing out all of the needed parts and measurements. Talking about what type of base (wheels and frame) we needed for the seat to rest on based on school, home, car, and mommy's needs we decided we needed to change course.

The decision has been made to have Makenzie's fitted for an Aspen Seat. This seat will give Makenzie the most optimal support as it will be molded to her body and can also be adapted to fit on most any type of base or flat surface. We can use it in a stroller, in a high-low base, in a chair at our kitchen table or resturaunt, or with a more wheelchair type base.

This is not starting over but it does drag things out a bit longer. I was hoping to get her new chair ordered today but that did not happen. Please pray Aspen will get Makenzie in quickly and insurance won't hold this up to long after all is said and done!

Here is the idea of fun coming from our amazing seating guy! The guide to how a person should not look after being fitted in a chair. TD is AMAZING! I am really not sure what we would ever do with out him! Makenzie has proven time and time again to be tricky in the seating department but TD is always there to try and help us figure out how to make it better! I couldn't ask for anything more even though sometime the seating subject is more then frustrating. Thanks you so much for everything!


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Instead of driving home in rush hour traffic we decided to hed to a nearby mall. I had a protective skin put on the iPad and we got a case and FINALLY headed home! I fed Makenzie and then she got to play with her new toy/therapy tool! Even though she was VERY tired she loved it and did not have any issues getting help!


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Makenzie is sound asleep after our crazy day. Two of my boys are having another sleepover at a good friend's house down the street and I am going to go play with my.... scratch that.... Makenzie's new toy!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Verdict Is In.

I am loosing speed and fast so I am going to try and do this quick tonight.

Today was a roller coaster of a day.


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I woke up this morning to an e-mail that made my head spin. I fumed and said a few four letter naughty words. I read the said e-mail to my daughters therapist, I talked it through with my daughter therapist. I wrote a response and fumed some more.

The thing is..... life is hard... It is good but hard. I have four kids. I make every decision about each and every one of those four kids alone. All the weight of every single thing in my children's life rests on my two shoulders and sometimes... well most all of the time... that simple fact is exhausting. Then there is everything else that needs to be done to make the world go round at this house.

I do know after doing this for the last 3 plus years is that no one will ever fully understand. There are those who can grasp it better then others and then there are those who just can't nor ever will even begin to wrap their brains around any of it. I am ok with that. However, when the person who doesn't get it is someone who is very close to you it stings a bit.

I stopped fuming about the time I realized we had to be out the door for an appointment with a new dietitian. Time to change gears I packed up Makenzie's food and headed out the door.

We had a GREAT appointment. We went over Makenzie's feeding history. Talked about what I was feeding her, ran some numbers, and weighed her. The new verdict......

Makenzie is doing GREAT!

We looked at the growth chart and the dietitian told me what a stellar job I was doing! Makenzie is getting all the right foods, enough calories, a pat on the back and keep up the good work, and I skipped my happy self right on out of that office. Now that is more like it! A little encouragement goes a long, long, long, way in this mommy's heart!

We headed home in the heat of the day and I decided a dip in the pool was in order so we did! Makenzie as usual loved it and her mommy felt refreshed.

After our dip in the pool it was time for a cuddle on the couch while Makenzie ate and shortly there after the boys got home. My son was not feeling well and had thrown up earlier... Yikes....Please pray that he starts feeling better quick and pray that no else around here gets what ever he has.

We will be heading out the door tomorrow at about 9:30am and will not be returning home until shortly before dinner time. Appointments are so much fun. It may be summer but therapy must go on!

With that said I must hit the pillow!

Believe... Prayer Works!



I skipped

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love

Oh Makenzie!

She just LOVES Morgan!


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I told her to give him a hug and a kiss.... she did but he didn't really like that too much! She just loves him to death... literally! LOL


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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Another incredibly full day. The boys went swimming with some friends and Makenzie and I hung out at home doing therapy and cleaning up. We ended our day late with dinner at Chili"s.

I LOVE my busy life!

I am ready to fall into bed! Tomorrow is busy.... again! I am wondering if I will ever get a day of rest! Sure would be nice but not likely. Oh well.

Believe Prayer works!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pool Play

After seeing how much Makenzie loved the water I made the decision that we would join the pool this year. I had a couple of options and debated them over and over in my head.

There was the outdoor pool.... two of them to choose from.

Or the Rec center with an indoor pool.

I really like the outdoor pool in the summer. It is just what you do. It is hot outside and the water is so cool and refreshing. If you are not me you may even get a tan to go along with the extra vitamin D. Fun

The problem... well there are several.... Makenzie doesn't really care for the sun. She is doing a ton better with it shinning directly on her but still not great. Next... there is something about the combination of the sun and water that drains ever last ounce of energy out of my body. As a mother of four kids this is not a good thing. Then there is the need to lather yourself daily in sunscreen. Gross and expensive all at the same time. Then there is rain, lightning, wind, tornadoes and clouds which see to always coincide at the only time during the day in which we can head to the pool. Last but not least in the land of four seasons the outdoor pool is only open for about 3 months out of the year.

So I opted for the indoor pool where the boys will also have access to many other actives on top of the pool to keep them entertained. No sun, no goopy sun screen, no wind or rain.

As with anything in my life there is always a battle to fight and a war to win.

After buying the annual pass to the rec center we headed into the pool. I got Makenzie all warm in her wet suit, grabbed her "floatation device" ie waterway babies head collar and headed into the pool. I was stoped before all 10 of my toes it the water to be told they did not allow any floatation devices in the pool. I am not sure what the look on my face was at that moment but I am sure it wasn't very pretty.

"Um... well sir... this is not a "floatation device"... it is a therapy tool for my daughter who has CP."

"I am sorry ma'am we do not allow those... we can get you a life jacket."

"Uh... no.... that is not going to work."

"Well you will have to contact the supervisor to see if he will make an exception."

"Go right on ahead... make my day."

By this time I thought I may just run out of the pool screaming.

"Well I guess you can use it this time but please grab a card on your way out and talk to the supervisor."

" Will do"

You see.. I do understand rules and why institutions have them. I am not a rule breaker. More like a rule bender. I get very tired of having to explain why my daughter NEEDS... not wants.... the rules to be bent on her behalf. I do realize why the 17 year old lifeguard who is drooling over the girl across the pool doesn't get it but is still irritating because this is just one of thousands of battles I have fought over the last 3 years.

To some degree I like the challenge and the way it feels to be the voice that helps to make Makenzie's life that much better. I called the supervisor and he asked for a letter from Makenzie's doctor stating her specific needs. FINE! I am sure Makenzie's doctor is thoroughly sick of writing letters of medical necessity for stuff like this but he still does and quickly at that. Makenzie's therapist helped me write the letter. I faxed it to the doctor's office. We went to Target and the letter had been signed and faxed back by the time we returned home. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Makenzie's doctor! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

So today we went to the pool... again with my letter in hand. War won! Makenzie did really well! She figured out she could touch the bottom and was walking back and forth across the pool. I could feel her push up through her feet. Really good stuff!!! I took her on the lazy river and she loved it other then I think she got a bit motion sick. She gave me a bit of a scare but recovered quickly and got right back into the pool!

After the pool we headed out to dinner with some friends and grandma. Summer is such fun! All of the boys are sleeping over at a friends house so my night has been nice and quiet!

Please keep praying for Makenzie!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Great Grace

Parenting is fun, it is exhausting, it is something that not a single one of us will ever perfect. Each and every child has a different rule book and it is frustrating sometimes.

My oldest is less then 6 months away from being a teen. He is such a good kid. He is very responsible, kind, and fun to be with. He is also sassy, loud, and has developed the teen attitude. He now knows EVERYTHING, and is very good at egging on his brother.

My middle son... well my first middle son.... is hitting his tween years. He is the most kind hearted child you will ever meet but he is also the child who has managed to keep me on my toes for the last 11 years. He is such a huge help, he loves snakes to a fault, and is very social. He has a mouth that never stops and tests everything I say past the limits.

My second middle son is still in the middle between being a little kid and a big kid. He is sweet and loving. He is the first to say I am sorry and thank you. He is very sensitive and tender hearted. He has no problems letting his brothers do all of the chores and can scream at the silliest stuff with the best of them. He is the child I have to pry away from the TV because if allowed would play video games or watch tv all day.

Then there is my baby. Before Makenzie's accident she was a pistol. She hated having her hair done.... somethings never change. She had perfected the art of hitting her big brothers, and had moments where she was sweet as pie. She always wanted mommy to hold her and never played with toys unless I played too. She made me wrap her baby doll up so she could unwrap it and we started all over so many times I don't think I could count them all. She refused to sleep in her own bed and was and still is a mommy's girl.

Four VERY different children, one mommy.

Today started out rough. My oldest two children decided it would be a good day to bicker ALL day. It was a parenting challenge. I am pretty sure to some degree I failed but I think I did it with grace. Each one of my kids respond so differently to discipline so when you have 4 kids there is a degree of creativity required. Not sure I am really great in that area either but eventually they stopped after cleaning the bathrooms, their rooms, doing the dishes, topped of by going to their rooms again this time just to sit.

Some days are great and others are less then great. Today I think the issue was boredom. So we headed to the pool. This is where my failure sets in..... my kids in no way shape or form deserved to go to the pool... not even for a second! However, this mommy HAD to get out of the house. As soon as we left the house and headed to the pool there was a complete turn around! No more fighting and great attitudes. Just what the doctor ordered!

I think to myself often during these times about Makenzie. she has never... that I can remember.... been in time out. She never gets in trouble, her heart will never be broken by a man, she will never fail at anything, she will never worry about bills, or get laid off. Most all of the heartache and pain in life Makenzie will never have to know. I take some comfort in this thought. I do fully believe and continue to hope for full healing! I know with Christ ALL things are possible. I know God's plan is perfect and continue to pray and patiently wait as I watch Makenzie heal a bit more every day!

I love my kids so much. Yes, mornings like this morning make me wonder what I was thinking but then there is this afternoon. Watching their little faces as they came out of the slide or around the lazy river. Seeing my son swim laps in the pool, watching Makenzie's face light up the second she laided her eyes on the pool. Watching the joy in all four of their faces, blue, shivering lips and all, knowing that I made them happy. Knowing that I have survived 13 years of being a mom and survived it well, feels good. I do know I will never be perfect but seeing the growing up product of all of my hard work is amazing!

All of my imperfections I lay at the cross of my almighty God! He has and continues to take care of my humanness! Grace is so Great!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day... My Way!

Before I start this post I want to preface it by telling my dad "Happy Father's day!"! My dad is the best man I know and has and continues to give me a wonderful life!

On the radio this past week they have been doing a contest to win a cruise with your father.... I didn't enter because I don't have time to go on a cruise but to have a chance to win you had to describe your dad in 7 words. Even though I won't win a cruise my 7 words I would use to describe my father would be these.... loving, kind, (really, really, really,really, really)gracious, listener, giving, empathetic, and protector. I love my dad!

I guess my dad is the reason my bar is so high in the father department!

Fathers day in my family was rescheduled because my dad was out of town so today started and ended as any Sunday would.

Makenzie slept in this morning after getting to bed late last night so I crawled out of bed to start making her formula. The whole house was quiet and I was loving every minute.

I dove into the dishes when the door bell rung. Makenzie's father was at the door as I let him in we both chuckled a bit about the fact Makenzie was still in bed. Up the stairs we went to wake the princess.... I know, I know,....about the never wake a sleeping princess rule but she had to get up and eat so we could make it to church on time.

I unhooked her tube and carried her downstairs and promptly changed her soaking wet diaper. While Makenzie and daddy sat on the couch I scurried around making formula, rinsing and filling her food bag, hooking her up for the start of breakfast and then it was on to the boys.

Ya know the .....go get church clothes on...... no that is not nice enough for church, try again, go brush your teeth, comb your hair, where are your shoes, we need to leave in 30 minutes...................HURRY UP! NOW!

After the boys were under control I decided I would go get myself ready. We had made plans to head to the pool after church so I really wanted to be able do the things women do before they even think about putting on a bathing suit. I knew better. My shower was interrupted numerous times with feeding pump questions and other where are the you fill in the blank)questions from all sides! Oh well.

I managed to get all of the pool stuff together before cartoon and daddy fun time was over and then it was onto getting Makenzie ready for church and off we went.

The series they are doing is really a great one about love. Today the last sermon in the series was titled " Love Never Quits" What a great way to end it!

Now it was off to the pool.... no wait.... I had 4 kids who all needed lunch so first it was out to lunch with a friend and her baby! (Yeah... another baby fix!) Before I could crack open the menu I started Makenzie's lunch and figured out what the boys wanted to eat.

I managed to finish most of my meal in peace before the boys started to fight over the dough balls the lovely waiter had given each of them at which time I sarcastically began to sing a rendition of "Happy Father's Day to Me" while my kids laughed. Ice cream for dessert and then back into the car.

Now we could go to the pool right? Nope.... not yet. First a quick stop a the grocery store to get a few "can't live without" items. There must have been a thousand people in that store so quick wasn't as quick as I had hoped and my hip and back agreed. (yes I had no desire to lift Makenzie;s chair out of the car again so I carried her.... not sure which is worse...)

Ok no really we are on our way to the pool. FINALLY!

We met a good friend, her 2 kids, boyfriend, and mom at the pool and had a great time!

There were water slides, a super warm baby pool, and snacks for all!(thanks Barbra! the kids loved that!)

Makenzie did so well! SHE LOVED every second! I got her on her belly and she kicked herself all over that pool! She also was using her arms to "doggy paddle" amazing! I am pretty sure she did not stop giggling the whole time!

We will be joining the pool this year! There is no question!

We got home just in time for dinner, I worked on getting Makenzie fed while my oldest cooked up some steaks! What is fathers day without steak?

Then I threw Makenzie into the bath, got her dressed, did her hair, hooked up her tube, sang her a song, put her pacifier back in her mouth about a hundred times, and off to dream land she went.

One down, three to go!

I do not have any cute fathers day videos or pictures to post but I do have three little boys who make me smile every time I think about how grown up they are getting. I watch how good they are with Makenzie and can't help but think about what good fathers they are going to be one day!

Happy Fathers Day!!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Strolls

Not to much went on today which is a good thing. All of the kids slept in and so did I! I love summer!

We hung out at home all day. Makenzie got to go swimming in her pool and loved it. She seemed a bit congested today and that showed in the pool when she got excited but over all she still did great!

When I asked her if she wanted to go swimming she just about arched herself out of her chair. Then she squealed with delight the whole time I was setting the pool up! Tomorrow we are going to the big pool for the first time this summer! I am sure she is going to love it!

Baby Morgan and mommy came over for a while today so I got my baby fix! He is still so tiny and adorable. It is so cool to hold a newborn after having 4 kids! I feel like a pro. Oh wait.... I am!

Tonight was beautiful again. The boys were out playing with the neighbor kids so Makenzie and I decided to take a walk. We ended up crashing a BBQ at a friends house and had a great time! Brauts, kabobs, burgers, grilled corn on the cob and most importantly Margaritas!

We walked home shortly before dark to meet the boys and get Makenzie into bed! LOVE SUMMER!

Last summer I would NEVER have attempted that walk. This summer Makenzie is doing so much better and we both enjoyed the sights and sounds! She has become much easier to take on little adventures and I am so enjoying every minute of it!

Tomorrow on fathers day my dad will be out of town so it will be church, dinner, and the pool...go, go, go, go, go, go! Can't wait to see some good friends and share fathers day with......well it will be a good day anyways! I think I may go get myself a table saw and a fathers day card! LOL!

Keep Praying!

Believe...Prayer Works!

Summer Love!

I Love Summer!

Last night we had a perfect picnic at the park. The clouds were covering the sun and Makenzie LOVED it! The boys disappeared down to the creek to catch crawdads and I got to spend so great time with adults! AMAZING!

Makenzie loves to play with balls! I am over come with joy watching her use her arms to "throw" the ball, and the look on her face after she does just priceless!


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Ready


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Set


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GO


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Oh so PROUD!!


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God never ceases to amaze me through Makenzie!

I love summer!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not Again!



This could be an interesting post. It has been a long day. Tonight even though I am trying to change my mood I am bitter.

Once again my truck left me stranded. It has been to the shop, fixed, returned, and is still broken. Crap. In tears, I threw a 2 year old temper tantrum. I am so sick of this.

So now it is time to start entertaining the thought of getting a new car, but what kind? At this point it is not what I want but what Makenzie and the boys need and I am not sure what that looks like. In a perfect world I would rush out and buy a modified van but $40,000 is a bit much and highway robbery if you ask me.

I still have yet to figure out why insurance doesn't cover the modification. I don't understand it at all. I guess they want to fix my back, hips, and knees instead. So I am bitter.

Anything that has the word "therapy" or any thing that has to do with special needs is way over priced. The insurance companies get to decided what they want to pay for and most of the time the families end up paying out of pocket even though it directly relates to a medical need of the child. Frustrating to say the very least.

Tomorrow Makenzie is supposed to be to therapy at 10am..hmmmm.... not thinking that is going to happen. Hopefully my truck will be fixed in time to make it to a family picnic tomorrow evening. Enterprise may be picking me up tomorrow afternoon. That will be a fun adventure!

I am going to take a deep breath and take my weary, bitter self to bed. I am going to lay and watch my beautiful daughter sleep and remember why I do all of this....


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That is why.....

the 4 beautiful children God so graciously blessed me with. Tomorrow is a new day and God will take care of this... all of it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kid Circus!

Oh baby, it was a kid circus at my house today!

Morgan's mommy and daddy wanted to get alone today without kids to spend some much time together before Morgan's daddy has to go back to Iraq for another 6 months.

So for about 6 hours I got to take care of her 3 kiddos. Everything went VERY well and having a 9 day old baby around was So much fun! Even though Morgan is breastfeeding her took the bottle great. I got to feed him 2 times and as I stared into his beautiful face watching him suck away the sense of God's power flooded over me.

I am not much of a bottle feeder as all of my kids where breastfed well past a year old but watching him suck, swallow, and breath, in perfect order was just amazing! When you have a child whom you have tried to re-teach this skill to for 3 years the perfect ability of a 7 lb baby to do so is breath taking!

I think I changed his pants about 4 times, changed his clothes once, and even got peed on through his diaper. Fun stuff! Very therapeutic!

Thank you for the honor of trusting me to watch your beautiful little boy! I know after being a mommy to 4 kids that it is super hard to leave your baby at such a young age and am so so honored to have been allowed to be a part of you guyd getting out for a much needed worry free afternoon! Love ya girl!

Makenzie got in her pool again today and loved it! She even was able to get her hands out of the water 2 times to splash! She rolled herself almost onto her tummy but got scared and rolled back pretty quickly. All of this after three 45 min sessions! needless to say I have begun to arrange regular swim therapy for Makenzie and her PT in a big pool with more room to move around.

Every part of me is tired tonight and tomorrow is packed so I am going to head to bed!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Pray for Jace!


Please pray for Jace. Jace was brutally shaken and is now in the PICU fighting for his life. Jace NEEDS a miracle NOW!

The blog world is a interesting place. It is a place of love, victory's, information, friends, and just plain life. There are also many stories and times of fear, hurt, sickness, and sadness. This too is life. This tends to be the part of life most try to run away from. The part we ignore because it is reality slapping us in the face.

Please pray for this little boy and his family. Jace's mommy's favorite quote from her little boy is "I'm a child of God." God has not left Jace and is holding His child VERY tightly!

This family is staring tragedy and evil square in the eys today. Please pray God would give Jace and his family another miracle, peace, strength, and justice.

Believe Prayer Works!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WaterWayBabies

We got a package yesterday that I have been waiting for over the last couple of weeks.



What, you may ask, is that exactly?

It is a product made by WaterWayBabies. It is intended to allow parents to safely work with their special needs children at home in a warm water pool.

Aqua therapy is a wonderful thing for kids like Makenzie. In water their bodies are lite and move much easier without the weight of gravity.

I debated with myself for several months on whether or not to order this. After booking a trip with the kids to AZ for three weeks, I decided it would be a good idea.

So I unpacked it, set it up, and filled it with water. What a sight that was to see!

I really was not sure how Makenzie would respond. She loves water but is also very picky about certain things, one being what goes on or near her head.

So without further ado here is how it went.....







So needless to say I am pretty sure Makenzie likes it!

Now I need get a wet suit for her so that we can go swim at the rec center pool and not be cold in the first 5 minutes.

Thanks for praying!

Believe.. Prayer Works!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stranded

Rest! I got some of that today ... Kind of!

Really all we did today was hang out at the house and I did some cleaning with the boy's help. It felt so nice after the week we had last week to take a bit of a break!

I feel like I have spinning at 100 miles a minute! Life has been so busy but I am not sure anything is going to slow down in the near future.

Makenzie has been going to bed later. By the time we do dinner and bath it is 8pm. This is about 2 hours later then she was going to bed and this has thrown me way off at night. I have so much less time to do what I want to and need to do. By the time I sit down it is 10:30 and I am falling asleep sitting up.

Makenzie has been doing really well. As of tonight, according to my scale she has gained almost a whole pound! She has good days and better days. The reflux is still there and is worse some days then others. I still do not understand what is causing it but there is no vomiting and she is gaining weight so I am not worried at all. I am so proud of her!

The other joy of my life is a broken truck..... again. I am really so sick of being left stranded in the strangest places by that big piece of metal. I am pretty sure this is about the 6th time this year.

I am one for adventure but really?

It is time. Now that the whole truck has been rebuilt, it needs to go, before I start rebuilding it again! ,

This is where the conundrum comes in. Do I try to find a modified van that will be able to transport Makenzie's new chair? Makenzie is about 30 pounds. I can throw her on my hip and carry her all over the place at home. When we go out however, I need to have her chair. A chair that will be very heavy and bulky.

I don't know what to do. If I by a modified van now it will be time to replace it at about the time when it is no longer an option or a matter of using a special needs stroller verses a wheelchair when out and about.

AHHHHHHHHH

So I will pray that God will provide exactly what we need! Something that hopefully won't leave us stranded again!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Healing in Busy Times

Wet, rainy, muddy, and COLD!!! I thought it was June but today I saw snow. Crazy!

Today was a bad day for an outside wedding but the show must go on and go on it did. Not only did it go on but it was beautiful and a ton of fun!


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The last couple of days were encouraging for many different reasons but the big one for me is how well Makenzie really is doing. She may not be walking, sitting, of talking but she loves people, she enjoyed playing with the other kids, She can now handle all day outings in a loud and busy enviornment and again we got out to the country, in the car, with nothing but smiles and a head that stayed up the whole time.

A year ago none of this would have happened. A year ago was before we did stem cells for the first time. Do you get where I am going with this. In my opinion stem cells is the best thing we have done for Makenzie to date.... other then love her to death! LOL!!

There were also lots of kids there. Tiny babies. toddlers, and of course tons of big kids, What I learned about myself this weekend is that I too am healing. The sting of seeing other little girls about Makenzie's age running and playing will never go away but it is much less lately. Today was proof. The site of cute little girls in their pretty dresses hurt for about a minute and then it was gone and did not return.

I will always fight for healing over Makenzie. I will NEVER stop believing for one second that God can restore Makenzie in the blink of an eye but I love my princess so much and she is so perfect in my eyes. The act of being at peace is amazing. Taking a break from non traditional therapy and just living life has been wonderful in many ways. I know the break will not, nor should not last forever but it has been good.

So this weekend has been busy but AMAZING! I am so proud to be where I am, to have the people in my life that I do, and to be a mommy to 4 GREAT kids! I don't think I could ask for anything more! God is so good!

Believe... Prayer Works

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