Tuesday, November 29, 2011

community

There is an old African proverb that says "It takes a whole village to raise a child".  In the last 5 months we have learned a great deal about community. We have learned that the proverb is true. That it does take a village. But who is part of your village?
We belong to a church who believes very strongly in the acts church. Even though we gather on sundays as a big group of believers, we live our lives with people through out the week and that is where church really happens. We help each other, we support each other, we pray for one another, provide meals, times of rest, if anyone has a need there is a member of the community that can generally help meet that need.

We have a similar community with our families & with the girls and their husbands that I went to high school with.  And then there have been so many people from my work who have just stepped up in the last 5 months and have been a wonderful source of community and support to Dan & I as we have adjusted, struggled, and learned about being Emmaus' mommy & daddy.

Well last night I was working and Dan called me at work. He had gotten pretty sick and was curled up on our couch making frequent trips to the bathroom. He felt he wasn't able to take care of Emmaus over night. So Immediately I knew I had people to call, we had a community to help. Within a half hour Emmaus went to stay the night with our good friends the Blakes. She had a wonderful sleep over- where just like every little girls first sleep over no one gets much sleep but everyone is still excited in the morning. I was not anxious at all. I knew she was in good hands. Jess sent me a couple pics of her through the night. The ones of Em and her hubby just melted my heart. Jess is a lucky girl- her husband will be a wonderful daddy someday! They acutally woke her up when she got to their house so they could play with her. ***You're all gasping I know! However- my kid has no schedule she would have woken up in about 2 minutes anyway probably. And it means something to me that they love her so much that they would want her to be awake so they could chatter with her and enjoy her. I'm sure when she was chattering with them at 3am & 5am & 7am  it was much less cute.

I am thankful for great friends & great community

Love, La

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The one with the gum

We have this little issue at our house.
It is caused by gum...take 5 gum to be exact....the blue kind.
You see, Dan likes this gum a lot and chews it a lot.
And then I find gum wrappers places like these
the sink

the corner
Not to mention places like decorative jars in our living room...In our shoe bin... Desk drawers...(guess I did just mention them) And then of course where you would expect to find gum wrappers...in the TRASH CAN. (I don't really find them in the trash can, because who looks in a trash can but I do know it occasionally gets put there, cause I saw it happen this morning)

And then I find gum places too. This might make me a little heated at times. Depending on where I am finding it. Once I found it just laying on our bedroom floor (carpet of course) luckily it wasn't stuck in the carpet (See I do see the silver lining). Unfortunatly it has also gotten washed & dried...and that doesn't turn out as well. 
And then who could forget HERE
I find it here a lot. And I scrape it off fairly often (too often in my opinion, but I guess that would be cause chewed gum belongs in a LINED trash can...not under the coffee table).

My husband is a pretty great guy. He loves his family well. He works hard both at home & at work. He provides for us well. He is a very selfless individual, and he is overall a very tidy guy.
I guess if he is going to have a major flaw sticking gum wrappers and chewed gum in odd places (COUGH.... ANY PLACE BESIDES THE TRASH CAN) is at least an amusing flaw to have.

I love you babe, and your gum chewing, wrapper stashing, coffee table sticking ways.
(even if it is kinda annoying and gross and I would love to never find another chewed piece of gum or wrapper ANYWHERE ever again xoxo.)

Love,
La

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 months

Dear Emmaus-
    You are 5 months old today! I can hardly believe it has been that long! You have continued to be a delightful baby. You are extremely content most of the time but definitely have formed an opinion in the last month. You love to play with toys that hang off your play mat. You are getting so much stronger on your belly and even flipped from belly to back last week! You love it when we read and sing to you. You are a very verbal little girl. You love to blow raspberries, chatter, shriek and laugh. If we blow a raspberry at you, you will return the gesture and blow one back at us. It is very cute and it makes those around you very happy. People say you look like your daddy, but I think you have expressions like me. You are usually scowling or smiling but there is very little in between. You have found your hands in the last month and will entertain yourself with them for long periods of time. We started feeding you cereal and some foods this month. We try to feed you at least once a day and you have had banana, avocado, and sweet potatoes. You are getting the hang of using the spoon and are liking meal time more and more. You nurse about every 4 hours during the day. We put you to bed around 11 and then you nurse around 4am. (Mommy would like you to stop eating at 4am)
Sitting in your highchair ready to eat!
You are a BIG baby! We took you to the Dr this week to get your 4month shots (Yah- we are a bit late, but oh well) You weighed 16lbs 10oz (87%) 26.5 inches long (95%) and your noggin was 43.5cm (91%). So at least you are an evenly big baby! Your seizures have slowed down some and are only happening 3-5 times a day.  They don't affect you too much but we still hate when they happen.
We moved you to your own room last week. We were able to buy a monitor that has an apnea alarm. This  truly made the move possible. We have been worried about missing a long seizure during the night and this alarm would at least alert us if you started having trouble breathing. You seem to love being in your own bed. The change of address has gone smoothly for everyone.
Little one, we love you so very much. You are a wonderful baby and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. You have taught us to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.
We pray that your seizures would stop, that you would continue to grow strong and develop well. But mostly we pray that you know the overwhelming love that Jesus has for you.
You are very loved Emmaus!
~Mom


Give thanks

My favorite thing about the holidays is getting together with family. It is just a perfect storm for funny things to happen. This year my 88 year old grandmother Bonnie wins the prize for funny stories. She loves Emmaus. She has no idea who's baby she is, or if she is a he or a she. But she just enjoys seeing her and is always concerned about the warmth of her extremities...such a sweet great-grandma thing to worry about. She also cannot understand that her name is Emmaus. So she calls her Em-may-ah (Which I love).  So Emmaus was on her play mat just kicking away and my grandma was sitting on the couch she did the routine of asking who's baby she was ect ect. Then she says "well come on over here" -She is clearly talking to the baby. And I replied "She is too little to come over" and her response was (serious as can be) "not if SOMEONE would bring her."
Seriously. Witty lady.

We had a wonderful thanksgiving full of family & food. Yesterday we did a bit of christmas shopping and got Em some 9 month clothing because we are completely missing that age of clothing. It was fun to get to spend an extended weekend as a family.
Here are a few pictures from our first thanksgiving as a family of 3! (Yes I realize Dan is not in a single picture...whoops)
Happy thanksgiving! (Dan just had to get a pic before we got her out of bed)

Pre-turkey nap time

Us visiting with Grandma bonnie after the above story

Isn't she getting so big?! Seriously where did my baby go?!

Sacked out after a long day of seeing the family

And now we are headed to "steaksgiving" A Hunter family tradition. Steak dinner the weekend after thanksgiving! 
We have so much to be thankful for this year. 
love,
La

Friday, November 18, 2011

we're rolling!

So I know I mentioned this last time. But it is REALLY great to have some joy back in my life. And today is a joyful day. GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?!?!

EMMAUS ROLLED OVER! (from tummy to back) I had just put her on her tummy for her Physical Therapist to see how well she was doing with her tummy time and then just like it was nothing -plop- she rolled right onto her back.
Then we put her back on her tummy. And she did it AGAIN! Thank you Jesus for victories like this
It also has been more than 24 hours since she has had a seizure. (KNOCKED ON WOOD JUST NOW)

*see how I mixed a good amount of superstition and prayer just now. No worries I definitely rely more on the prayer.

I just am so proud of my little gal. Rolling over!?! Such a strong girl!
Here she is thinking about rolling...
                                                
And Here are a few more pics just for fun 

My friend Emily makes these WONDERFUL cinnamon rolls. Seriously they are to DIE FOR! I maybe ate about 10 of them. Anyway. She is the former pastry chef at Pier Ponts at union station so she is LEGIT. Anyway- contact me if you are interested in ordering some for the holidays. She also makes delish chocolate and pumpkin pies. YUM.  

Dan dressed Em like this the other day. ummm what?!? I would feel safe saying that is the LEAST cute outfit she has EVER worn.  His response to me was "can't a girl just lounge around in a sweat suit?" (Sure...but she looks like rocky here...)
And then here is is AFTER she spit up on the first "rocky-esk" sweatsuit
See... that's better. Mama's version of a sweatsuit! Still comfy. Just in a pink ruffle hoodie!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST!

 I know this is sideways...but WTF. I should seriously submit this to cake wrecks! It is suppose to be a turkey... although I'm not sure how. WEIRD. But thank you walmart for this GEM

Happy Friday!
Love,
LA



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The D word.

So for about the last month I have been becoming increasingly overwhelmed with the state of my life. It even got to the point that I was feeling completely overwhelmed by every day tasks. Going to the grocery store...doing the laundry....cleaning the house (I mean who am I joking I do a poor job at this anyway).... taking a shower...changing a diaper... doing therapies with Emmaus...Comforting her during a seizure. You name it and I am guessing it could be added to the list of tasks that were too overwhelming for me. I was spending a lot of time grieving Emmaus' illness and was less able to be joyful about the sweet little girl that she is. So I decided it was probably time to chat with my midwife about getting on an anti-depressant. GASP. I am talking about the black shadow that follows so many around. DEPRESSION.
(I mean christians have Jesus and NEVER depression right?!?!- we can just pray through those hard times?!? right? ) (wrong) (although we do have Jesus...but also can have depression) (and I use ( ) <--------these things way too much I'm aware)

I am by nature an energizer bunny. I go go go and rest when I have a chance. And when it got to the point that I could hardly get out of bed I knew I needed to think about letting modern medicine  help me out. (This is saying a lot because I rarely take an Advil when I have a headache- DRINK MORE WATER I TELL YOU!)
However- I am happy to report that I am now the proud owner of a prescription for prozac. And boy is it helping. I just feel like myself again. Like I am able to not only take care of myself but my family and do kind things for others. I am able to be happy and sad and cope.  I had an epiphany that I had been in survival mode and this isn't something we are going to survive or have to cope with for just a period of time. This is our life. This is our new reality. And while we will keep believing God will heal Emmaus. We will still ask for a miracle. I HAVE to live in our reality now. And I have to live my life well. So here I am...Finding joy once again thanks to a lot of help from those around us and a little modern medicine.

So tonight we are finding victories in the little things. Dan was just holding Emmaus in his lap and she was holding on to her burp cloth and bringing it to her mouth to chew on. (Victory) Then she started reaching out to the arm of the couch and feeling it...PRESSING against it....PUSHING on it.(VICTORY) This is a huge deal since the kid isn't keen on using using her arms or legs to push on anything. This is a victory for us tonight. And while most babies just do these things and their parents may or may not notice...this is a task we have been working on for the last month. And we both just got giddy like a kid at christmas watching our beautiful baby girl explore her world.

Thank you Jesus for these victories. Thank you prozac for balancing the chemicals in my brain and making me functional once again.

Love,
La




Monday, November 14, 2011

thankful

Do you all feel like I have completely neglected my blog? Yah me too. Man we have been so busy! It has just been non stop since I picked up the kiddos from school last friday. (And we are talking a week ago friday not a few days ago friday). I am an introvert. (I know that is shocking to most) but I am ready for some rest and some time to recharge. I work tonight and then get a few days off. HOWEVER- Dan's car caught on fire (I know right! I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried) Thankfully he is alright, but that little issue will make our week a bit more interesting. One car? Two Jobs? And baby with a seizure disorder that needs to be with a car just in case? Guess I will be getting some quality time in the car with my hubby and baby as we take and pick him up from work. Honestly this really doesn't stress me out too much. Just takes a little planning to figure out.
Emmaus is currently playing on her play mat. She is shreaking away. She just loves to talk and squeel and suck her thumb. She LOVES that thumb.
Everyone on FB is posting things they are thankful for each day. I'm not. Cause I can't remember to do that everyday. But I thought I would make a little list here. We are almost half way through the month so I will do 14 things now. And the rest at the end of the month.
1. Thankful for a Jesus that loves me and has saved my soul
2. Thankful for a wonderful hubby that completes me.
3. Thankful for our beautiful baby girl
4. Thankful for our neurologist Dr. wong and his wonderful nurse Chris
5. Thankful for my mom who watches Emmaus so I can get sleep after work
6. Thankful for those who have stepped up next to us and helped us out so much financially this year. We are blessed to have friends as great as you and are thankful for this EVERYDAY
7. Thankful for Dave Ramsey- cause he has helped us plan our finances and his program (&the help mentioned in #6) are the ONLY REASON we are not financially sunk after 3 straight years of very large medical bills.
8. Thankful for our friends that walk in this life with us. We have such a great community of friends around us
9. Thankful that I had a great childhood and parents that let me be a kid without much to worry about.
10. Thankful that I got to go to college
11. Thankful that we both have good jobs
12. Thankful for our families that love us really well
13. Thankful for a roof over our heads and food in our bellies
14. Thankful that it is almost christmas time


Speaking of christmas. It is almost here. I think we are going to decorate early, because honestly it has been a REALLY LONG YEAR. And I love Christmas time and the hope and joy that is brings. I love the christmas story and the way that God decided to have his son enter into the world.

That's all I've got for today!
Love, La


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekend in review

Welp...my stint as a mom of three is over. No worries. I kept my kid...just gave the other two back.  It was a very fun yet exhausting weekend. I found myself saying "Are you making a good choice right now" about 100 times. (Which I find hilarious- I mean it sounds so serious) So here are a few fun or funny things that happened.
*2 year old was yelling "I have to poop" during her nap. I go in and she is BUTT NAKED. umm wow. I couldn't hardly keep a straight face. Sweet girl was at least yelling out for me because she knew she would be in real trouble if she pooped in her bed. So we got dressed. And she pooped while sitting in time out. "Because you don't take your clothes off at nap time" First test at not laughing when a serious face needed to happen. Glad to say I succeeded but just barely.

*Little dude (who will be 5 in just a few days but insists he is 4 1/2 - remember when the 1/2 was such a HUGE DEAL?!) is running around before bed all psycho like. And Dan says to me "Lets only have girls". No worries Babe- I will remind you that you wished for that when we have 3 teenage daughters.

*Every morning both kids would first say "Mayus" or "Where is Emmaus" they loved. her. When she would cry they would come tell me. Or try to get her to stop. Little dude rigged up her toys to hang so she could swat at them on the play mat. They seriously were very sweet with her.

*2year old fell down the stairs. Um yes...not one of my best babysitting moments. She went upstairs (which she does by herself) to get her blanket. Came down stairs (well fell really) wearing a captain america mask and shield (probably seemed like a great idea to a 2 year old) I was listening for her cause I new she went up to get her blanket and then I heard her start to come downstairs. And then I stopped hearing footsteps and I started hearing thump de thump de thump. Most horrifying sound I have ever heard. Thank you Jesus she was okay with only a bump on her head. But let me tell you nurse Laurisa sprung into action. I made her lay flat and looked at every inch of her little body. I about rushed her to the ER just to check that everything truly was okay. But RUSH is kinda a non-existent word when you also have a 5year old and 4 month old in your care. Glad for the pause because she really was okay. Just scared...and so was I.

*Both kids (and Dan for the matter) had coughs. I had to get over what little germ-o-phobe I have in myself and just resign myself to the fact that both myself and Emmaus will end up getting sick. The kids were good about being gentle and sweet with her, yet  leaning over her to cough was a very common happening this weekend. I tried for about the first 12 hours to get them to cough into their arms, or just reinforce them not coughing next to Emmaus. Then I gave up.  C'est La vie.

*We went to the zoo and kaleidoscope which were both fun but I am glad that I had another adult with me both times.

*I have watched them for several days at a time before. But the difference with this time is that I have my own baby. I was a much better babysitter this time. (I mean I always did a good job) but this time I was a mom. I have more patience now. And even after 100 melt downs and wiped noses at the end of the day I was ready for the next day...and for bed.

I am happy to report after all of that I still want a big family. However, I am thankful to only have one babe right now. So today we will rest and I will enjoy snuggling my one child and knowing that she is the only child I will ever have that gets this much attention from me.

Love, La


Sunday, November 6, 2011

EPILEPSY

So my phone started having issues right about the same time that Emmaus started having seizures. I think my phone has sympathy pains for her. It goes black and vibrates periodically. And I can't do anything to make it stop except for wait it out. Sounds similar to Emmaus having a seizure. I joke that my phone has epilepsy. -When I say I joke I mean I say that it has epilepsy all the time and people just stare at me blankly. Not sure if they should laugh or not. Cause they can't believe i am making a joke about my phone having a seizure disorder when my daughter actually does. (Humor. It makes things just a little easier)
So then last night I am laying in bed and I have just dozed off. And the bed started shaking...and the closet door was rattling. And I about poo'd myself. Here are my thought is order. 1. I live in Kansas...this can't be an earthquake- and if it is WHAT DO I DO? Basement...no wait that is a tornado. Outside. Is that right?!? Doorway? Oh geez. I will just lay here. 2. Is this the end of the world? 3. Wait is this some ghost/demon or something scary shaking the house... I decided against that thought. Then I woke dan up and he told me I imagined it and to go back to bed. Then I ignored him and looked on facebook of course (cause that is where any sensible girl gets her most valid information). AND I WAS RIGHT! Other people felt the shaking too. It was an aftershock or just feeling an earthquake that happened in oklahoma. CRAZY. So now the earth (or the part of it I live in) has epilepsy too.

So here is what I would like to say. ALL THIS DAMN SHAKING NEEDS TO STOP.

Jesus please heal Em's brain and stop her seizures
Jesus please protect us from natural disasters
Oh- whatever stupid android phone...keep your shaking up. You are getting traded in for the new iphone ASAP.

And that's what I think about that.
Love,
La

Friday, November 4, 2011

making progress


Well as of 2:30 today I am officially a mom of three for 80 hours. I am taking care of these two cuties till Monday night.
Don't let the pic fool you. They don't always get along this well. Although they are GREAT kids!
Day one went really well. They are pretty much obsessed with Emmaus or "mayus" in kid language. They detailed everything she did all day. And Fletcher even talked in the car for about 10 minutes about how fast she is developing. His exact starting statement was "Wow Emmaus, she is learning so fast!".  Although in the past few weeks I wouldn't say this is true this week she has had a HUGE developmental spurt! It is incredible. It seems that her increase in meds have finally taken affect. She is only having a couple seizures a day and has gotten very interactive and playful this week. Today she was so interested in the kids she just laughed and coo'd at them! She's started playing with a ball we have for her a today I saw her try to put a toy in her mouth. WOW! That is a HUGE improvement. It really has been a good week. Here is a pic of her holding her head up while on her tummy and boppy. WAY better than ever before! I am so proud of my girl. Here's to hoping for more good weeks.
She was so interested in Fletcher she held her head up to keep him in her sight.
Tomorrow we are heading to the zoo. (Yep I might be crazy) They let the animals smash left over pumpkins so it will be fun for the kids to see. I hope the weather cooperates. More updates of this weekend to come.

I'm so thankful for a good week and an alert, happy, learning, developing baby girl.  She is such a joy.

Love, La

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the long haul

So I haven't really written anything of significance lately. And I haven't even really updated about our lives or about how Emmaus is doing. My bad. I think I have been kinda in a funk about the reality of my life now. It is hard work having a kid period. And having a sick kiddo is hard work plus some. Some days are good days and then I feel like on the good days we spend a lot of time "working"- which means doing her therapy exercises, trying to make her stronger, productive play, reading books, more exercises...ect. Then we have bad days that consist of lots of seizures and a very sleepy little babe. Shes been very sleepy lately(sometimes with seizures sometimes without)- I am thinking that is a medication side effect. One day last week she slept from 1:30pm till 7:30pm and then again from 945pm-6am...Yah- that isn't normal for a 4 month old.
I wish we could just have normal days. You know when you have a kid without any issues and you just do normal things. I found myself feeling guilty last week because she was having a good day and we were out of the house most of the day so didn't work on any of her developmental stuff. (Yes I know this isn't healthy-and it is OKAY for us to have a day out) Regardless. I long for normal days. And not "good" days or "bad" days.
I am watching the kids I used to babysit for this weekend and I am so excited to get to live in their normal healthy world for the weekend.
Emmaus had PT today and Dan got to meet our therapist. (we both love her!) I called him later in the morning to see what his impressions/thoughts were. He said he was feeling a bit discouraged and he just realized how much we need to work on with Em. I felt the same way. And even thought it isn't a great feeling to have it was nice not to be alone in that feeling. I am trying hard to find a balance between helping her develop and living a normal life. Part of me thinks- who care's if she isn't interested in toys...or she can't walk till she is two! IS she happy? Is she loved? Is she being cared for well? yes- okay then we are obviously doing our job.
We are settling into our reality. And that is tough. We were in brand new parent mode for the first 6weeks...then things started to be calm and then she started having seizures a couple weeks later. And then we were in crisis mode for a while because of that. And now we are settling into reality. I think crisis mode was easier. You have the mindset of "We can handle anything for a little bit" turns out though- this isn't for a little bit. Its for the long haul.
Yah- I know this sounds super depressing. Even with all of this stuff  she is such a joyful child. Have I mentioned lately she might be the cutest kids ever? Or that she is quite the little talker? Or that even though she is getting so big she still loves to snuggle with her mommy? There are lots of sweet things, happy things, joyful things in our life and there are some not so fun things too. But we have joyful times and lots of love and that is enough.
On another rant... IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to give a baby 15mls of meds!(twice a day) I thought I had figured out this great new system (it worked once) where I give them while nursing so she doesn't know through this feeding tube thingy..until she started biting me! OUCH. She is a smart little thing. She can taste those meds in a bottle...on the breast....she doesn't swallow when you blow in her face (like every other baby I have EVER encountered). Its a task. And some days we both cry through the process.
And I leave you with this...
Just about the cutest thing ever. She was wide awake and then all of the sudden got super sleepy and fell asleep like this. *her head kinda looks like a cone head-but I assure you it is just a weird angled picture. I love that kid- she looks so cute in her PJ's.
Love-
La