Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Routine?

Well, I think Ep said it best today. We were discussing all the changes we have thrown at Kale the past couple of weeks. Ep's comment: "well, we haven't exactly taken baby steps with the changes." I think Kale would say: TRUE DAT, DADA!

It was a rough night at our house. We aren't sure why. Kale had a dose of Benadryl for congestion and later a dose of Tylenol because he just seemed to be uncomfortable and has been putting his hands in his mouth a lot lately (teething again/still?). Kale wasn't happy in his bed, and not happy in our bed either. It was like trying to sleep with a wild and whiney vermin in a cage. Ep took the brunt of it with a head butt from Kale in the middle of the night. All I heard was a big crunch followed by a big "OW" from Ep and a cry from whiney. I wasn't sure either of them was conscious, so I asked Ep if he was ok. "Yes" followed by a few words I won't type here. Meanwhile, Kale zonked back out, which made me wonder if he had knocked himself out, so I got up and turned on the bathroom light to check him...he eyeballed me as if to say "Geez mom, what is with the light, don't you know its the middle of the night and I am takign my 10 minute nap right now?". Ok, well, they both started snoring again and I just laid there for a bit. Until the next whine. Somehow, I managed to have some dreams and actually remember them. Usually, I don't remember dreams unless I have slept for over 8 hours straight...so that was kind of strange.

Ep rolled out of bed and out of the house by 7am. Kale decided to sleep in until 8am, at which time I could no longer delay getting into the shower. As soon as I turned on the shower, he sat straight up in bed with a look that said: mom, you don't think you are taking a shower without me, right? So here he came and as soon as the SOAKED diaper came off, here came the pee as well. Wonderful. No son, don't point it at me. Yes, that stream is coming from you. Here let me set you on the toilet. Oh, you are now scared of the toilet? He managed to pee in three spots on the bathroom rug, one spot on our bedroom carpet, in my hand, and finally in the shower BUT NO, NOT IN THE TOILET! I just grabbed him and stuck him in the shower where the peeing continued and I marveled at how big of a boy he will someday be when he eventually grows into his obviously enormous bladder. How do I know? Because after peeing in all of those other spots, he stood in the shower and peed for at least another minute straight. I tried to show him what he was doing in the name of eventually potty training. Yet, as he bent to look over his buddah belly, all the muscles that turn off the spout must have been activated because he would stop. Then he would straighten back up and on the spout would be! He did reach down and feel the stream and thought it was funny. Ah, he is a boy. Gross. To his defense, a pee stream is no different than a small water trickle coming from the shower or garden hose. But still. EW! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. We got out of the shower, both of us very clean...I put him in a diaper, which he promptly stunk up.

Somehow, we managed to both get dressed and get out of the house. Barely. It was as this point that Kale discovered it had been raining. Oh, the puddles and look mommy, my car has a HUGE puddle in the seat and I can splash it with my hand. How we managed to get all the way into the truck without either one of us being soaked is still beyond me. Don't ask, because I really can't tell you how that happened. It defied logic. I am telling you, two mud puddles and a puddled up car...the odds were strongly against it (me).

I am really hoping that this is NOT our new morning routine. Now, can someone please go help my father in law because I am certain that he was sitting at his desk reading this but is now laying in the floor laughing. He might need some help getting back up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where did she go?

Ok, well it was going to happen eventually. Today, after Kale got out of our bed, he went looking for MemaNana. Mema? Mema? were the little words from his mouth as he searched her room, the kitchen, and the den. Apparently waking up in our bed was his first sign that she wasn't in his own room. I had to remind him that she went home. He then realized I was getting dressed and wanted to get out of his pajamas. I guess he is starting to learn the routine. :)

So, mom, you were missed...

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday was short and sweet....

MemaNana, Kale and I made a garage sale and lunch and grocery store trip. We got back to the house with a snoozing boy around 2pm. We also had a free flinstone type car that Kale had acquired along the way. Ep had been fishing all day, but joined us back at the house around 3pm. Ep grilled some hot dogs and then we sent MemaNana home.

Kale went to sleep in his bed but magically woke up right after I left his room. He "pweease"ed for some more milk and crawled into bed with us. We all slept in fits...really not sure who was to blame for that.

Sunday was a casual morning around the house and LOOK OUT, part of the DECK got a coat of sealant. WHOOOHOOO! Lunch and naptime led to Ep going to work out while Kale and I went to Target and Barnes & Noble. Warning, if you take Kale to B&N, he knows they have a train table in the kid's section and he will take off running for it. Don't even think about going to find a book or magazine to read or the ENTIRE store will know that you are depriving Kale of train table time. We grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the park, only to find that the park has apparently become thug central, so we headed home. Kale got some much loved flinstone car time with the newest car (although it actually looks to be the oldest of the group). It was a sad, sad moment when he had to come inside and the car had to stay outside. Only a bath could begin to make the transition a little easier.

Ep did a great job at geting Kale ready for bed and managed to get him to sleep. He slept pretty fitfully, despite a dose of Benadryl for his congestion. I got up to check on him and help him back to sleep 2-3 times and then he ended up in our bed with a new bottle around 5am. He slept until 7:30am.

Friday

Friday went well. Kale wasn't happy to be dropped off at school, but the crying stopped before I left the room. After dropping him off, I went to the hospital (ACH). I was following my heart. Through the amazing way God works, I had found out about a family that just hit home for me. You can read about baby Jonah's story here: www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonahdavid

On Thursday, I found out about Jonah and his family through a friend on facebook. I asked if they were at ACH and reminded the friend that Kale was a heart patient there. I was immediately linked to Jonah's mom. I called her that day. She invited me to come see them. I went on Friday morning.

I could tell, as I talked to Jonah's mom, that God intended for me to be exactly where I was at that moment. I can't even put it all into words, and if I could, it would sound so sappy and insane that I might get myself committed. Jonah was born with a misshaped heart and another heart problem that ended up saving his life. His case is nothing like Kale's. Yet, I connected with Jonah's mom. I know what it is to feel like you should have paid more attention in those science classes and learn more about the heart in hours than you learned in all your previous years. I know what it is to want to hold your baby and not be able to do that. I know what it is to just want to hold your baby for the first time and not be able to do that either. I know how that breaks your heart. I know the anger that lingers and the guilt that come with it. I know the desire to want to ask why and blame someone, anyone...and not be sure if you should. I know the desire to not want to hear anymore bad news. I know what it is like to look at your husband and be simply amazed at his strength, even as he sits in the waiting room snoring. I know what it is to set up camp in the waiting room because the idea of leaving for one second outside the hospital feels like that might just be the moment that the devil will walk in and wreak havoc on your little boy. I just know...

And I know this as well. If feels beyond words to be able to take all of that and hug someone and assure them that you really do KNOW. It feels good to tell them some of the positives which you never expected to get out of such an unplanned or unthinkable journey. It feels really good to help them start finding the positives and letting them know its ok not to understand everything right now. It just felt beyond emotions and beyond words. I will never do it justice. Thank you God for allowing me the chance to really reach out and make something positive out of such a hard experience. I can't be thanikful enough for that. I am sorry for what Jonah and his family have experienced, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of thier experience.

As for my little boy. You should have seen his grin when he came running to me at the door of his classroom. Everyone is right, that will NEVER get old! He immediately hugged me and laid his head upon my shoulder. He kept it there until we got to the truck. It was incredibly sweet and incredibly rare because he usually will not stay still for that length of time.

It was a normal day, yet it also seemed pretty perfect.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It continues...and grows...and stops

Ep picked up Kale from school yesterday. It was actually the first time Ep had been there, so I was excited for him to not only see the school, but to also get in on the "I'm so happy to see you" action from Kale. He said that he walked up to the doorway of Kale's classroom and it looked like there were only 4 kids on the classroom. He said that Kale hadn't seen him yet, so Ep said "hi there!". Then it was game on. Little heads and bodies started appearing from behind toy bins and bookcases. Kale screamed and kept screaming (it was a happy yell). By the time Kale could get to Ep, he had company. I asked Ep what he thought about Kale's room and he said he doesn't even really remember the room because he was too busy giving high five's and such. He said he didn't dare step over the door gate and enter the land of little people, so everything was handed to him by the teacher. His main comments about the kids: there was one little girl who chatted him up but he has NO IDEA what she said....and that all the kids seemed to have blond hair. Well, it is true for about 50% of the class. Kale is the lone red (orange) hair kid. Not surprising really.

So this morning, Kale was rip roaring ready to go with me. He definitely has his daddy's "good morning get up and go" gene. We didn't even get out of our neighborhood until he started whining at me to turn on his music. So much for adult music in the car with him anymore...goodbye radio. When we exited the interstate into downtown, he started whimpering. By the third stop light, it had turned into a broken cry with a few whails in it. By the time we pulled up in front of school, he was NOT happy and was really crying. I didn't have to hold him to get him out of the car because he was clinging to me. I carried him in and the staff at the front desk took note that Kale was unhappy. We went to his room, where he whailed when I put him down to get out his cup/bottle to put in his classroom fridge. The toddler director came to the classroom since she knew Kale was upset and its still his first week. I picked him back up, gave him a kiss, and handed him off to Bubba. I told him goodbye and walked toward the door. Bubba walked the other way across the room toward the fridge and asked Kale if he wanted juice. Sure enough, I took one look back and Kale had stopped crying...so I kept going. I heard the toddler director say "good job Bubba". Truly, good job Bubba!

Oh, and for the record...Kale went to bed last night around 7:30 and was asleep by 7:50 AND he slept until 5:15am!!!! Whooohoooo! Yea for school wearing out his little booty!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Round 2

Well, that wasn't the easiest thing ever, but it wasn't the hardest thing Kale and I have achieved together either. Whew. He might tell it differently.

My version: He was all about leaving the house with me this morning. His only hiccup was the fact that he adamantly wanted to wear a specific pair of shoes. No problem, kiddo! We waved bye bye to Mema and off we went. We rocked out the VeggiTales cd along the way and then parked in front of the school. We got out, waved to the security guard, and went into school. He knew where to go. I was shocked. He did try to stop one classroom too soon, but hey...its only his second day. We got to the class and he wanted to go in. I went in with him to put up his milk and make sure his teacher knew that I put extra snacks in his bag in the event he decided to not like his lunch. The kids were being served breakfast (Cheerios in milk in a bowl with a spoon) and I realized this would be first for Kale. As Ep and I agree most time when we discover we have been denying Kale something or we forget something for him (diaper bag maybe?), we are such bad parents. So green. Rookies. Anyway, this rookie realized that her boy was about to have his first cereal WITH milk in the bowl. He dove right into it, as long as I would sit beside him. After about 4 bites, he decided that me sitting beside him wasn't enough. I needed to feed him so that he could clink to me with both hands if necessary. I conceded only because I figured he was eventually going to be mad at me, so it might as well be with a full belly. When he stopped eating, his teacher came over and I handed his little screaming and crying body over to her. I got up, turned around, said goodbye, and walked out. Do you know the good thing about a daycare? It has a BUNCH of kids in it. No matter how trained you are to your kids ear, eventually his crying will blend in with all the other kid noises if you go far enough down the hallway. I did hear one last scream/cry before I left. Somehow, I managed to hold it together.

Here is his version: My stupid mean mommy took me to school again. I liked it yesterday just because it was something new and different. I didn't know she would be taking me back there again. I thought it was like going to the library, where I go once or twice a week for just a little while. Oh no, she leaves me there for hours on end. My plan is to cling and cry if she tries to leave me there again. Mema, lets watch a video before mommy tries to take me to school. Oh, I get to go somewhere with mommy today. Yea! I MUST wear these shoes. They don't match my outfit and that will make my mommy cringe. I have to hit her in the soft spot to keep her in line ya know! I got my way, I am wearing the shoes I wanted to wear. I wonder where we are going? Oh, I know where we are. We came here yesterday. I am "aw duh" with sitting in my car seat. Grab my bag mom. Hi mister policeman. Mom, let me lead, I know where to go. See, here are my new friends. Wait, are you going to leave agian? I don't think so mommy. You need to hold me. I need to hold your shirt sleeve. What is the teacher putting in my bowl? Cheerios. What else did she put in there? Wow, mommy did you know that you can put milk in with the cereal? I like eating with my spoon. I need a drink. Thats some good juice. Mom, why don't you feed me so I can hold onto you with both hands. Ok, thats good, I am full. Wait, why are you handing me to my teacher. Waaaaaaaaa, with a scream or two....waaaaaaaaa. Mom, where did you go? I hate my mommy....waaaaaaaa.....

Both of us: Yes, this will get better....or so everyone says.

....and so it goes

Quick update on how his first day of school went:

He apparently didn't get upset that he had been "left".

At lunch, he wouldn't touch his hamburger, scarfed down the tater tots, and was not a fan of the peaches (he spit them out). They didn't know to tell him to try them again because he spits out anything that is a new taste or texture, whether he likes the taste or not. Now they know.

He manage to take a 30 minute nap. The teacher held him so he could drink his bottle. He can't lay down with his bottle, per a wonderful DHS rule. So, the plan is to get the other kids down and then she will hold Kale to let him drink his milk and drift off to sleep. I am wondering how this will transfer to nap time at home. Hmmmm....

He played, played, played until I came to pick him up. I snuck up on him and observed for a few minutes before I let him see me. He was playing with another little boy. When he saw me, he did a double take. It was priceless. My friend Amy is right...there is nothing like that moment when he sees me at the end of the day. I have pictures and will post them in a bit.

This is what he was doing when I snuck by his classroom. See, already learning about sharing!
This was when he spied me at the door and came running at me with waving hands!

School wore his little hiney out. That 30 minute nap wasn't nearly enough. We made our way through dinner and bath time and off to bed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kale's first day of school

Well, it has begun. Kale has officially started "school". He was happy to be there and was interacting with everyone. After a little bit, he must have picked up on my apprehension because he suddenly became clingy. God smiled on me because at that same time, it was time for his class to go outside to play. He went down the two steps and took off for the Little Tikes car. He never looked back. I went inside to finish some paperwork and then went back to check on him. He hadn't even missed me yet. So, I left. I didn't say goodbye and have a good case of mother's guilt on that one. However, I figured it would be easier on all of us if just this once I let him enjoy playtime and slowly figure out on his own that I had left. He has everything he needs there and I know they will take great care of him.

We took some "going to school pictures to document the day....and I will add those later at home.

Mema is best friends with the kleenex box this morning. Say some prayers for her. Ep and I are used to our daily work routines, but Kale has BEEN Mema's daily work routine for the past 21 months, so obviously she is having the hardest time with this change. It will get better and easier. She said she might just play a video all day so that she can have some noise in the house.

I will let you know how it went for Kale...and let you know when the reality of all this catches up with me. I did find quite a bit of peace within this message that was delivered to my email today:

God has given you all power and authority to overcome every obstacle you may face in life! That means you are well able to do what God has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals. You have the ideas, the creativity, and the talent to be successful. You have been armed with strength for every battle!

God has already lined up the right people to come across your path. He’s already lined up the right opportunities. You have everything you need to live a victorious life. Not an average life, not a barely-get-by, mediocre life—you were created to excel. You have seeds of greatness on the inside.You may not have seen it in the past, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s just a matter of time—victory is on the way. Don’t settle where you are.

Rise up in faith today and begin to declare, “I will accomplish my dreams. I can overcome any obstacle. I’ve been equipped and empowered to live in victory in every area of my life.”

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

"Heavenly Father, thank You for the power to overcome every obstacle I may face. Help me to see myself the way You see me. Help me to embrace the victory You have in store for me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

RIP Mr Feets

Today is a sad day at our house. Mr Feets, our rabbit, was not acting himself this morning. Kale went over to give him a treat and Mr Feets didn't come to the edge of his cage. Everything has been normal for him, so that was the first sign that something was wrong. Upon inspection, it seemed he could not get himself upright and was pretty much not responding to anything. I put a treat in front of his mouth and normally he would have gobbled it right up. He didn't even open his mouth or wiggle his nose at it. Over the course of the next hour, he continued to decline and his breathing became shallow. I saw him take a couple of big breaths and then he stopped breathing.

Its quite a shock and the reality of it all hasn't quite set in. We plan to bury him at our neighbors property because they have several other pets buried in a specific location. His grave will be respected there. We have already placed him in a box and I added his hippo in with him. I can't think about it too much or I will cry.

Mr Feets was a very good rabbit who liked to let you know his territory and who/what he claimed as his. He loved craisins, cranberries, and dried bananas. He like to have the run of the house. He would "inspect" any power cord he could find and a corner of our spare couch was apparently a good nibbling spot. Since other rabbits weren't an option, he took up residence and quite a romantic relationship with a stuffed green hippo. He knew how to thump and would let you know if something upset him. He was a good friend and we will all truly miss him.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What does the _____ say?

I filmed this on our way to Alma last week. The unhappy faces are when he wants me to give him the camera. Meanwhile, Ep and I were cracking up at all the animal noises! Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Big changes coming

There are some big changes coming to the land of Fletcherville. Soon, Kale will be starting daycare. Yes, daycare. No, we did not fire his current nanny. She just needs some time at her house to get some things done. Kale needs some socialization with kids his age. So, he is starting daycare soon. We expected it to take a bit to find a daycare we liked that also had an opening for his age group. There is a particular one I had in mind, but didn't expect them to have an opening for him. Its highly recommended and very convenient to downtown. God works in the biggest and smallest of ways. They have an opening for him! Yea!

Some of us are excited, some of us are worried, some of us are eager, and some of us are trying to figure out how we are going to cope. Kale has no clue what is headed his way.

Let's just say that MemaNana is VERY motivated to get her tasks in Alma completed....

I am just thankful to find a good center that is highly recommended AND that has an opening for Kale. I was prepared to have to drive 10-15 minutes completely out of my way in the morning and afternoons in addition to the time it takes to drop off and pick up, so I am truly feeling blessed that it will only be about a 5 minute drive off the regular course!

Oh, and my father in law showed up on facebook today.

Whew! I am not sure I am ready for whatever Wednesday might hold! :)
(but know God won't give me more than I can handle!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July, 2009

Officer Chris GeorgeYAY! Go Chris!!!!

We had a GREAT 4th of July weekend. We started it off a little early by heading to Alma on the night of the 2nd. We enjoyed dinner with Papaw and MemaNana and then went to thier house to crash. The next morning brough the graduation of my not so little brother from the police academy. Yes, my brother is a full fledge badge toting gun wearing police officer. Scary. Strange. Pretty much mind boggling. However, I love him and am insanely proud of him for achieving his dream (despite the fact that it scares me to death!). We all enjoyed lunch and then some went home to nap while a few others went to a few stores. The shoppers went home to nap and Ep went to play golf. I woke up in time to join him on the back 9 for a ride in the cart. I had forgotten how nice that can be. (thank you mom for watching Kale). We rounded out the night with a date night in our old haunts. A little strange. We tracked down my brother, got called strange names, and then proved his point that we are old by heading home by 11pm. We felt no need to exchange sweat with the crowd at the beer garden.


At Eagle Crest


For the 4th of July, we spent some time around Alma. I ran an errand to Fort Smith and then joined Ep down at the pond for some fishing. The catfish still prefer my bait over his, and my bait doesn't stink! He did outfish me in bream and bass though. We then headed to Cave Springs for dinner and fireworks with Ep's family. Dinner was great. Kale had a wonderful time wearing himself out in the backyard just riding (fred flintstone style) his trike. We then headed out front (does anyone remember that I made that suggestion?) for fireworks. Brian was in charge of the show, with Fletcher choosing which firework should be lit next. Kale was happily stationed between his Aunt Wendi and Ep. He wasn't sure what to think, other than he didn't want to get too close. Larry got brave and tried to show everyone how to hold the roman candle as it shot off. The roman candle showed us exactly where his bravado ended. The little flare that landed at his feet caused the entire baton to be thrown towards the mail box and shoot off in Brian's direction. Larry ended up on the other side of the driveway, Brian ended up in the across the street neighbors lawn, and Ep ended up rolling in hysterics in the front yard. I am pretty sure that was the point where Kale started clinging to me. Can't blame him. Then Ep got brave and decided to see if he could still shoot off a bottle rocket. Of course, it had to be lit in his hand. The first went off with no problem, but I did ask him to throw the next one in the opposite direction. He didn't listen and God granted him some grace because the second one was a dud that never exploded but did manage to whistle itself all the way to nearly being underneath the neighbors truck. At that, we called it a night.

Happy Family
We headed home early today and stopped for lunch in Alma. Kale took at 1.5 hour nap on the way home. Yea! Apparently the weekend caught up with him because tonight, as Ep and I watched a movie, he decided to crawl up on the couch with me and promptly fell asleep. No bottle and at 7pm. Wow! We took him to bed and changed him into pajamas. He awoke enough to want a bottle and konked back out. Here is to hoping he sleeps all night!