Monday, April 29, 2013

Jordan's Stage-Two Ear Construction

Jordan had his second-stage ear construction last week.  All went well and now he has an earlobe!  Yay!

 All ready to go!  He was excited about getting his ear looking better.  He was still smiling when he went under anesthesia.  So cute.  They let me go back with him and hold his hand as he fell asleep.

Blurry iPhone pic but he looks so cute lying there that I had to post it.

We knew it would be an out-patient surgery but wow...they booted him out very quickly after he woke up.  This made me a bit nervous because he reacted to the anesthesia last time by throwing up all night long.  Thankfully, this time he slept all the way home and didn't have any nausea.  He also didn't need any pain meds at all.  Not even tylen*l.  The only time we saw any tears were when he realized he had the awful bandage helmet on again.  And the tears were not much more than a lip quiver.

Today, we headed back to Boston for the big reveal.  The doctor had told him that he wouldn't have to wear the bandage helmet after today.  Jordan was very eager to get rid of it.

Sadly, the doctor changed his mind and wanted Jordan to wear it for another week.  MAJOR BUMMER.

Yay!  Earlobe!
However....I am a little concerned about the redness.  He had a reaction last time and we never figured out what caused it.  I'll be keeping an eye on that.
And we're not really digging the lovely shaving job they did.  haha

The nurse tried to get that white cotton off his ear and as she tugged on it a bit, things got interesting.  Jordan suddenly went white as a sheet and started to close his eyes.  I asked him if he was okay and he nodded and said he was tired.
I thought that was odd.
He could barely open his eyes.  He was totally silent, didn't appear to be in pain, but he was so white.
I kept watching him and trying to listen to the doctor, who was talking to me.
Finally, I walked over to him and asked if he was okay.
He said the same thing...yes, but he was tired.
Hmmmm....  Something was definitely not right.
He got whiter and I told the nurse I thought something was wrong with him.
She took one look at his white face and said he needed to lie down with his feet elevated.
He was about to pass out.
Bless his little heart.

Lying down with a cold pack under his neck and a cold towel on his head.  He was pretty out of it but he never completely blacked out.

We kept talking to him but he mostly laid there with his eyes closed.  He would occasionally respond though.

Once he started to come out of it, the nurse set him slightly up and then waited about 10 minutes to set him fully upright.  Then she had him sit upright for another 10 minutes to make sure he wasn't going to have another episode.   In all, it was about a half hour adventure.

And now I have learned one more nursing thing on my way to my honorary nursing degree.  hee.

He eventually was well enough to get upright and then we stopped by the cafeteria so that he could get a snack. more week with the bandage helmet and then hopefully no more of that until his third and final surgery.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston...One Week Later

Kate and SaraGrace had their annual cardiac appointments at Boston Children's Hospital today.   We decided to leave a bit early so we could go pay our respects at a memorial site for the victims of the bombing.

As we neared the city, I got a bit of a lump in my throat.  I was not born and raised here and I was not expecting the rush of emotion that I felt.  I love the old brick buildings and charming architecture. I love the history.  

Spring trees and bushes are in full bloom, making the city even more appealing.  We found a parking garage and got out with map in hand to find our way to the bombing area.  The girls skipped happily alongside me.  Eventually, we arrived at Boylston Street.

You can see the street sign, along with a Boston Marathon flag.  Directly across the street was a small crowd clustered around a makeshift memorial.

We were surprised to see a Guatemala flag with a message from some Guatemalan runners. 

"Boston Strong" is being seen all over.

Crosses for the three who died.

"This is our city!!"

There were many pairs of running shoes among the flowers, signs and stuffed animals.

The actual bombing area is two blocks away.  It is all blocked off and businesses are closed.  You can see the sign for the Lenox Hotel where many of the press briefings took place, near the bombing site.

TV crews and trucks line the street and we saw some reporters doing live segments.  SaraGrace thought that was extremely interesting.

The small crowd paying respects and taking pictures.

Turning around...this church and beautiful magnolia tree is on the other side of the street.  TV crews lined this side of the street as well.

Tribute tied to a tree, overlooking the closed section of Boylston St.

It's all fenced off like this.

People walk amid the TV cameras, talking quietly.

The girls were mostly enamored with the magnolia tree and trying to figure out how to get a flower.  Their innocence was evident and they didn't really comprehend the reason for the memorial.  

The buildings next to the church.  So beautiful.  

All the TV trucks and links seem so out of character for this spot.

No matter how ugly the depravity of men, there is still beauty around us.  God is so very good at reminding us of that.

As we drove away from the area, I noticed these yellow signs and got another lump in my throat, imagining the fear and panic that families felt trying to find each other in the chaos. 
The yellow signs lined the street.  Maybe these are set up for every marathon (?) but they must have been incredibly more useful than normal that day.

At one point, I was sandwiched between two DHS vehicles.

More of the beautiful city as we headed over to Children's Hospital.

So pretty.

At 2:50 the city had a moment of silence to honor the victims.  We were in the hospital by then and waiting to see the doctor, so I was able to gather the girls in my arms and pray for those who are suffering from the attack.

City buses are flashing "Boston Strong" on their signs.

Hospital where victims and perpetrator alike are recovering from their wounds.  Please pray for those who have had to care for both.  We have friends who are working in some of the hospitals and it has been really tough for them.  Really tough.  They have seen unspeakable things. 

Be Strong in the Lord, Boston. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Do Not Need to Fear

I opened my Bible this morning and these verses were in my devotional today.  Since they were so appropriate for the situation in Boston, I thought I would share.

Psalm 112:7  He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 

Isaiah 41:10-14  "So DO NOT FEAR for I am with you; do not be DISMAYED for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.  Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.  Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, DO NOT FEAR; I will help you.  DO NOT BE AFRAID....for I myself will help you," declares the Lord.

Terrorists want us to fear.  We must resist the temptation to give into it.
They are just men under the influence of the evil one.

We have GOD, the Creator of the universe, full of Power and Glory!

"God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  2 Tim 1:7

Look at that verse again.  God has given us power, love and a sound mind....NOT fear.  I believe that fear causes us to lose power, love and a sound mind. 

So we have a choice to make.  Will we trust in God or will we give in to our fears? 
(I'm preaching to myself because I give in to fear as easily as everyone else.)

Fear robs us of:
- rational thought
- freedom
- peace
- reaching our full potential
- loving each other fully
- obeying God and experiencing His blessing

Fear gives us:
- irrational thoughts and ideas
- unhealthy thought patterns
- paralysis
- anxiety
- loneliness; we don't open up to others
- withdrawl into ourselves; hiding
- slavery to what we are afraid of
- physical symptoms (headaches, stomach problems)
- foolish decisions

GOD gives us power, love and a sound mind and robs us of nothing.
The choice is obvious.

Father God, please help us to trust You and not to be foolish and give into our fears.  We know better but we are frail human beings, so we ask for Your help.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Heartbreak

With the rest of the nation, I watched in horror as the events of yesterday's Boston Marathon played out on TV. 
I was instantly thankful I had not taken the kids to see the race.  It was the first year that I had considered it.
I searched faces--just in case I knew anyone.
I worried about friends that I knew were planning to go.
And prayed.

I found myself grappling with anger. 
I uttered, "Jerks," and "idiots," under my breath, which made my kids look at me and say, "Are they bad, Mama?  Do you hate those bad men?"
And then Zoey said, "NO!  We are supposed to love our enemies and pray for them."


I didn't want to love them.
I didn't want to pray for them.
But I heard myself agreeing with her and telling the kids to pray for their enemy.

I'm trying to do it.
I could pray one of those prayers that King David prayed.  You know...the ones that say, "May his children be fatherless..."
I'm guessing that is not really what Jesus had in mind.

As to whether or not the creep(s) were successful in terrifying anyone long term.... don't bet on it.
I do not live in Boston but we go there for medical treatment for our 'heart' kids.  It's a beautiful city with a small town feel.  Lots of old buildings from Revolutionary war days, pretty brick buildings with ivy growing on them, etc.  Since I go there...I feel it is a little bit 'mine.'
And I'm mad. 
Bostonians are mad. 
And ready to show the person/people who did this that they will not be forced to live in fear.

I am tempted to thump my chest and say something defiant but I am reminded that God is the ultimate answer to this situation.
He knows when each of us will die.
He protects us and cares for us until the day He decides to call us home.
There is no reason to live in fear.
No matter what is happening around you...God has the final say and you are completely safe until the day He calls you.
So live in victory.  Live life to it's fullest.  And trust God.
Make sure you know Him so that you are ready for anything.
If you don't know how to know Him, I would be happy to share that with you.  Just leave a comment and I'll contact you.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Put On Your Armor!

The kids came downstairs the other morning dressed like this:

What is going on you ask? seems that they are learning about the armor of God in their classes at church.
So they put on their armor over their jammies.
Let's see...
They have their Helmets of Salvation.
Their Breastplates of Righteousness (using the backpacks was a stroke of genius, I think)
Their feet are shod with the cowboy boots of Peace
Jordan has a Lego Sword of the Spirit
and a Shield of Faith
 And just as I was about to put the camera away, Jordan pointed out to me that he ALSO had the Belt of Truth around his waist.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Spring is coming!

Spring is finally starting to show it's face here.  It's been a long winter and it's been great to have a few days that were warm enough to play outside.  Friday, I told the kids that if they finished all their schoolwork, they could go outside.  They were very motivated to get it done quickly.

 Zoey is a maniac on her skates.  For real.  Keep your distance or get run over.  Just sayin...

 Kate make a heroic effort in spite of skating not being her thing.

 A rare shot of Jordan without his tongue hanging out in concentration.

 Jake in his speed racer stance.

 "Girl!  You got like three feet of air that time!"  
She doesn't let a prosthetic leg keep her down.

Eventually some got tired....and some got tired of falling, so they all adjourned to the back yard to play in the sun.  It felt sooooo good. 

 Their cashe of naked barbie dolls.  Why are they always naked?  They have 40 million outfits and shoes that I step on with my bare feet.  Gah!

 They played for quite awhile and I sat nearby enjoying the sounds of their little voices.  I was reading and not paying close attention to what they were doing, when I suddenly noticed loud laughing.  You would think this would be a good sign but it's usually a sign that they are getting into mischief.
And they were.
They had a big plastic horse tied with yarn and were dangling it over the side of the deck railing.  Several kids were down below chucking barbie dolls at the horse while the child dangling it yelled,
Pinata!  Pinata!"  I was going to stop them but they were having so much fun.
Eventually the yarn broke--how predictable--and sadly, the horse broke a leg.  We will have to put him down, I suppose.
Or just glue him back together like pretty much every other item in our house.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Making Forts

The kids have been making lots of forts lately.  I have been so amused by some of their designs.  I need to take more pictures--but I did manage to get these of Jake's fort the other day.

 We recently bunked the boys' beds.  We always used the beds as twin beds but they needed a little more space on the floor so we decided to bunk them.  They love them!  Jake is forever making cozy hideaways.  This was the latest.  They have a crib sized mattress that they keep under their bed and that is one of the 'walls' of his fort.

And for about 10 days, he had this hammock design going on.  He slept in it every night.  Don't ask me how he managed to get comfortable since it was way too small for him.

Ahhhh....the joys of childhood.  These kids crack me up!