Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not For the Faint of Heart

If you can't stand whiny people who complain about their problems...don't read this. 

If you're squeamish...look no further.

I'm very emotionally raw right now.  There's something about walking around and smiling at your sick child and trying to act like everthing is fine, that is completely exhausting.  I know some of you have been there...and in much worse ways.

Actually, I've felt exhausted since the first time she threw up brocolli and cheese soup and we weren't sure why.  But that exhaustion didn't fully set in and become a permanent fixture in my bones until she was diagnosed with failure to thrive at 13 months and we began to realize, there was permanent problem.  It's not a tired kind of exhaustion.  It's a deep deep worry.  It's a "what if" kind of feeling I carry everywhere I go...but pretend not to.  I bad is this going to get?  Is it life threatening yet?  Will it be one day?  What if she has a horrible reaction and I'm not around?  Did I cause this?  Isn't there anything I can do to make this not a permanent problem for her?  What's more protect her healt at all cost, or for her to feel more normal? 

That last question is so easy for some people who read it, but it's not for me.  This is a very internal child.  She hides her emotions until they eat at her and make her sick.  She hates being the odd man out, but unless you  know her VERY well, you would think that she has adapted marvelously.

It hurt too much to hear her chant over several years...I wish I could have a little dog, I would name her Tuesday.  I wish I could have my cat, Cinderella, back (We had to take her kitten away from her when she was 3 ).  I wish I wasn't allergic to dogs and cats and I could play with them.  I wish I could have ice cream.  Do you think I would like it?  Do you think I would like pizza.  And most people would look at her straight face and think that she was not grieving.  But those of us who love her know better.  She has been grieving for a long time.

She grieves being left out.  She grieves the pets she will never own.  She grieves being singled out in classes and groups and having all the adults gathering around reading ingredients on things the other kids are already enjoying.  She grieves that restaurants don't use her butter so therefore she can't have their mashed potatoes or something like that.  She grieves not getting to play with certain wonderful friends, because they have pets at home and she has gotten hives after playing with them before.  She grieves and is confused when kids ask her "what would happen if you accidently drank alot of milk?"

I mean, what kind of mom says "I'm sorry honey, but try not to touch your friend because you get sick when you play with her." or "No, we can't go to their house, sweetie, cause they have a dog and you're breathing has just not been so great lately."  A scared silly one.....that's what kind of mom says those things.  And then her daughter looks at her with a hauntingly sad look.

Everytime someone gets a pet I am SO bummed.  One less house to go to.  And I LOVE animals.  But now I kind of hate them. 

And during that skin test today, when Lucy's back looked......

I almost put a picture up of what her back looked like, but no one needs to see that.  Ya'll just WOULD NOT BELIEVE her poor little back.  It was unbelievable.  It makes me cry.  That one drop of milk could do that to my baby's back....I just, I don't know.  It's never been THAT bad before

And when that nurse started writing down numbers next to chicken and beef and potatoes...I wanted to throw her pen across the room and yell at her  "JUST WHAT IN HELL IS THIS SWEET CHILD SUPPOSED TO EAT?!  CHANGE IT!  CHANGE IT NOW!!"

And I just feel like I can't take it.  I don't know how she's going to react if she finds out she really is allergic to these things....and ketchup??  These are her STAPLES.  This is how she gets by.  This is how we go to restaurants and friends houses....because there were still few things people could make that we could eat.  She's going to be devastated.

And ya'll.  I know she doesn't have some terminal disease...and things could be alot worse.  But right now.  I have just been needing to cry ALL DAY.  And I couldn't.  Cause I had to lie to her all day and tell her the worst was over.  I told her the car was making funny sounds with a straight face so I could walk behind it and cry.  Because I'm hoping those skin tests were false positives. 

I know, that maybe this wouldn't be my outlook if I had been having more frequent fellowship with my God lately.  And this is just another reminder that she belongs to him and I can do NOTHING but trust.  Lord help me trust.  You ARE SO AWESOME.  And one day...we will all be healthy and there will be no tears.  And EVERYONE will be able to eat EVERYTHING.  And we will all be able to touch all of your NEW creation without fear.  And Lucy, will be SO HAPPY, because she loves beautiful things.  And I am glad.  The longer I live in this fallen world, the more I long for our real home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

True Love through the eyes of a BOY

Though I, of course, love all of my children's art equally...

I simply had to showcase Clyde's Father's Day cards for Stephen's Dad and my Dad.

First, I love my Dad's card, because my Dad has this thing about moose. But notice that Clyde drew layers of earth under the moose and decided to help educate us all by labeling them.  (interpretation of 7 year old talk - antlers, moose, grass, dirt/seeds, dirt/rocks, sand) I  don't ever remember teaching him this.  Then, he figured it would be helpful to label the moose itself and the antlers.  

But my favorite piece of art he's ever drawn was this card for Stephen's Dad.  First, notice how he apparently imagines the word "dragon" to be pronounced.  But the picture itself is my fave!!!  This is Papa...shooting a dragon for Clyde.  And the bullets spell out "I love you". 
Yep.  That's the ultimate "I love you" for a boy.  Spell it out with bullets while killing a dragon.  Such a man.

Weekend at Grandad's Photo Dump

We always go to Dad's for Father's Day weekend.

Lucy & Iris decided to water Grandad's roses for him.

Clyde kept trying to blow a bubble and then stick his finger in it.

He mastered this talent very well.

Clyde "painting" Sherry's toenails with wet chalk

Grandad viewing the bubbles, paint and water from a safe distance.

Yes, so I let my kids fight with sticks....

Face paint.

GRandad opening the kids' cards.

Grandad with the kids.

Dad with HIS kids :) 
Not quite sure how Grandmom ended up in none of these pictures...must have been all that behind the scenes work!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear Dad,

No one else has a Dad like you!  You were crazy fun to grow up with!  (Riding bikes in the ditches, catching animals, riding in your lawnmower wagon trains, putting tape on cat feet, Pinderella and the three Sad Blisters....and this list comes without even thinking hard)

Thanks for feeding my passions...literally :)  (i.e. my dog, my cats, my turtle, my rabbits, my bird, my 3 tanksful of fish...)

And for the insanely shocking gifts you thought up and worked so hard to obtain...we were always stunned creative.

Thanks for uncomplainingly finishing all my crazy projects... (i.e. hanging a hammock in my room, building my tree house, ripping my carpets up, rebuilding antique violin cases, turning the small hole I tried to dig into a fish  pond..etc, etc....)

Thanks for giving me passions and talents I never would have developed on my own. (i.e. violin, trombone, GOOD music in general, using power tools)   i couldn't find a pic with you and i in the same band for some reason

Thanks for showing me what a good man is. That was helpful.

Thanks for always keeping me in a church family, so that I could learn to love God, and how He loves me.

Thanks for being such a good GrandDad :) and showing my kids some of the same stuff you showed me.

 I love you, Dad.  You're better than a moose.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do Things Like This Happen To Other People???

I packed up the twins we're watching and my 3 and drove 4 hours to where sweet Stephen is working this week.  We had a very pleasant ride up.

Guess what happened when we got there??

Wellll, I'll tell you.  This happened to be the only trip in the history of our marriage where I haven't packed food. We tried to go out for dinner, cause we were oh-so-hungry, only our card were denied.  And no we didn't bring cash, cause we never dreamed that our Credit Union's server would be down and that we would be incapable of buying ANYTHING!

My quick thinking hubby, however, remembered that we have credit on our Sam's club, drove to Sam's and bought food.

THEN, Lucy started hurting...badly.  She started looking a little allergic.  We put her to bed.  20 Minutes later, the sweet child threw up all over herself and 2 hotel rooms.  So now we're trying to majorly restrict her diet.  And I didn't want to be out of town with her this way, so we turned right around and came back home. 

So, yes.  I did indeed drive 4 hours  yesterday and 4 hours today and WAS IT FUN!  (read with hint of sarcasm)

Music Camp Week

Clyde and I hung out all week.  We ate at restaurants and bought lots of mystery lego men.  We had a great time hanging out at Learning Express, playing wii and jumping on the trampoline.

Then on Friday, I brought Clyde to the end-of-music-camp-carnival, so I could keep and eye on my sickly one.  

Here she is looking REAL sickly ;) while racing Meg in the obstacle course.

 and more fun.

Then for the REAL fun...Sherry kept the kids all night, so...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spray and Play

The kids have been BEGGING to go here again.  And though the last few days have been scorching, once we got around to playing in the water, the clouds rolled in and the wind started blowing.  

Most of these pictures are of Iris......

because the other two got chilly and did alot of THIS.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Family Heritage Field Trip

My Mom goes annually to her mother's and her grandmother's cemeteries to put out flowers with her sisters.  But due to high work load at the Red Cross lately, she missed her regularly scheduled trip.  So THIS time, Sherry, the kids and I got to go with her.

Here's Lucy doing a crayon rubbing of Grandma's (HER great-grandma) name and birthday.  She was fine for a while and tried making the picture of Grandma's name pretty with flowers, but then she got very sad.  She's old enough that she still remembers when she was alive.

Here's a picture of my Grandma with Iris back in the day.

Then we went to the other cemetery where my "Granny" (or great-grandma) was buried.  Clyde did a crayon rubbing of her name with my great grandfather's name also. 

Here's a picture of my Granny (who I remember) and my great grandfather....Ida and Henry.

Here we are where their house (in the above picture) used to be.

Here we are in front of the old store that these little girls (my mom and my aunt Sissy) along with their 5 siblings used to walk to to get penny candy.

So that was our family history lesson.  The kids were not nearly as impressed as they should have been ;)