Monday, September 17, 2012

Dad says my nickname is "Stitches"

Gruesome alert . . . even when I look at these pictures for the 50th time, I get the same jolt of nerves that shocks me from the inside out from complete dismay and disgust . . .

My poor, sweet Gavin.  We've pushed him so hard to use his canes more (otherwise known as arm crutches).  He's even got a deal right now with Jeff that he can earn $1.00 for every day that he uses his canes all day.  Gavin is working hard to earn enough money to buy a new game for the Wii.  And, he's been dedicated.

But, let's face it.  His canes are not as stable as his walker or his wheelchair.  And, he's five.  So, he's not the most observant.  He doesn't notice papers on the ground or a welcome mat or countless other things that trip him up.   And, he definitely doesn't notice little spots of water.

At his back-to-school night, Gavin was valiantly walking through the halls - gathering the typical stares and smiles of admiration.  The administrators had blocked off the corner with tables to sign up for PTA - making the corner tight around the water fountain.  And, just as we rounded the corner, I yelled for Gavin to stop.  But, it was a split second too late and he was down on his knees, angry that I had not given him enough warning.  Because - as you could guess - he's very sensitive about feeling so unstable.  He gets really upset when anyone makes him feel off-balance.

So . . . back to this Friday's events.  Jeff and I - and the babies - all went to school in the morning to volunteer at the school's Walk-a-thon.  We walked/spun with Gavin (in his chair) and jogged/walked with Autumn (who, by the way, set a goal the night before to get 10 laps - and was so proud that she accomplished her goal . . . and Mommy was super proud that she followed through).

Afterwards, Jeff grabbed lunch with Johnny and I took care of the boys.  While I was putting Gage down for his nap, he coughed so hard he puked everywhere.  Yes, everywhere.  After his bath, my wash down and a fresh change of clothes for everyone, the glider and the floor . . . I finally went to the library to work on an uber big report that was due by the end of the day (since Jeff had cancelled our internet access the night before - to set up a new one on Monday).

About two hours in, Jeff sent me a note to come home and feed Garrett.  I called Jeff on the short drive home and heard those dreaded words a minute into the conversation, "I GOTTA GO!"

I walked in to see Jeff wiping up the last drops of blood from the floor.  I wasn't even sure who or where he was referring to when his first words were, "he's going to need stitches."

This is why . . . prepare yourself . . .

I scooped Gavin up into my arms and rocked him like the baby that he is.  I wanted desperately to go to the hospital with him - but, Jeff needed me here with Garrett.  So, I watched them go and started calling the doctors' offices immediately to find the fastest and best solution for him.

Gavin was a trooper.  He came home happy as a clam.  He never complained about it again.

He showed me his stitches and described, in his five-year-old way, that his whole chin was numb.

The next day he said that his chin tickled.

This kid amazes me.

But, I'll be honest . . . part of me wants to put those canes up high on a shelf and revert back to something else way more stable.  I told him he was not allowed to fall again.  Ever.

But, he also has a way of not listening exactly.

I can live with tough love.  With pushing him beyond the limits that he thinks he has.

But, I've had to watch on the sidelines as he cries through difficult medical procedures.  To watch as he stays behind when the other kids go somewhere that even his canes can't take him.

And, I'll be honest.  It's awful.  My heart aches for him.  And, I try to make sure that all he sees on my face is a smile of encouragement . . . when I'm just crumpling inside.

Yes, I cried on his first day of kindergarten - like so many other moms - as he got on that big yellow bus.  But, I also cried three days later when I watched him be lifted up on the automatic lift (because the district refuses to let him work to get up the first step) and bravely maneuver to his seat.  To sit alone.  Every day.  On that big yellow bus all by himself.  Not one single friend that can sit with him.  Ever.

Oh man.  That's tough.

I've got a lot to learn from Gavin about courage and attitude and perseverance.  He's amazing.

Attitude is everything (*she says with a lump in her throat*).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baby G: 2 and 3 months old and a Mommy/Daughter/Baby date

This summer has flown by.  I've been doing plenty of picture-taking (although still not as much as I would like) and we've been doing lots of fun things.  But, sitting down at the computer to detail our life's events has proven to be much, much harder.  Here are some highlights . . .

Sweet little Garrett turned two months and then three months . . . He is such a sweet baby.  I might have said that about all of my children - which is true.  But, little baby G hardly ever cries.  He's calm and mellow and content.  He loves to suck on his lips when he's awake.  He prefers his binkie only for a brief window as he's falling asleep - sometimes.  And, he is the only one of our babies that liked swaddling beyond that initial hospital stay.  If he can, he will fall asleep with both arms above his head, which is absolutely adorable.  But, in most cases, we swaddle his arms so that he feels secure and comfortable . . . and then he just sleeps away.

He has this big, round head - that's rounder than the others - and cheeks that are perfect for squishing.  Garrett has two tiny dimples that show on his cheeks when he giggles and smiles.  And, of course, he has big round eyes.  We are still waiting to declare a color for his eyes.  They are dark.  But, they're not brown - and they're not exactly blue either.  They are a wonderful combination of blue, gray, green and brown.  They are unique and special like he is.

In the last few days, he has also started really jabbering.  Just laying on the floor and jabbering away.  It's adorable.

Yes . . . I am completely enamored.  He is my big, big, growing-to-fast, sweet baby boy.

Two months old

Three months old

I have been incredibly lucky that I have never suffered from post-partum blues.  Yes, c-sections were definitely a trial for me physically . . . especially with Garrett since Gage was still so young.  But, I just want to sit and hold my babies and revel at my growing family and soak in every second.  In fact . . . after these last two babies, I just want them to multiply.  We really thought that Gage was going to be our last family addition . . . and, I couldn't stop saying how I would just clone him if I could.  I wanted another baby just like him.  And, then we were so incredibly blessed to be surprised by Garrett.  And, he is so absolutely wonderful.  Yes, there are many 'but this' or 'but that' to having another baby.  But, it doesn't stop the longing that I have.   If I were younger, if we'd started sooner, if we didn't have such a gap between Gavin and Gage (which was not at all planned by us), if we knew everything would be okay . . . 

Oh how I love my kids.  I'm not saying that sometimes I don't go a little batty or that the incessant "Mom, mom, mom, mom" calling isn't sometimes very bittersweet.  I'm realistic.  I'm honest.  I'm only human.

I am so happy with my husband and our kids and the life we have.  My biggest fear is that all of this will be taken away from me.  By a sickness or an accident or some other awful tragedy.  I hear so many  sad stories of loss and sickness.  Who knows why some of us go through life with different challenges.  But, I am trying to focus on the here and now and be present in the moment.  Because I am so very blessed.

And . . . for the record . . . after each pregnancy, it's not that I just want another baby . . .  On a lighter note, I am also cooking like bacon all the time.  Man . . . I just can't get my temperature regulated.  Thank goodness for my own office temperature control at work.  Yes, I do have people meet with me in my so-called "meat locker" while they are cuddling with blankets and wearing sweaters and I am barely comfortable in a short-sleeved shirt.  But, this I can handled.  It's much easier to turn on a fan, apparently, than clone a baby.

Mommy/Daughter and Baby Dates

On little Baby G's two-month birthday, Autumn and I happened to be scheduled for one of our mommy/daughter dates.  We have been consciously scheduling individual dates with our kids - and included regular dates as a goal on our Summer List (which I think we will just convert into our ongoing Wish List until we accomplish everything).

Autumn, Garrett and I headed down to Utah County for a fancy pedicure and dinner.  Autumn was able to finagle a mani and pedi from our nail tech.  He really kept her entertained.  And, all of the ladies in the salon were offering to hold Garrett for me.  But, I wasn't about to give him up when I could easily snuggle him and have someone rub my feet and legs!  

After our toes were glittery and bedazzled, we stopped by a bookstore and picked up a few books and a  Webkinz horse for Autumn (I'm still kicking myself that I didn't buy many, many more - the full-size animals were on a screaming discount for $1.99 each . . . kick, kick, kick), and then headed to Red Lobster, Autumn's pick for the evening.

Oh those delicious rolls.

Garrett was an angel and slept peacefully throughout dinner.

It couldn't have been a better day (although it could have been a few degrees cooler for our liking).  Otherwise . . . perfection.