Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shout Out's

So since I've been living in a hotel room this week and desperately missing my other two boys.  I decided to go through my camera of not downloaded pictures, which is always a lot, and take a looksee at my other loves.

Have I mentioned how gorgeous they are, just sayin!


Yah, they're all mine and man am I proud! I also swore when I became a mother to boys that "mine" would never, ever play with guns, water or otherwise. Well, as you can see that rule went to hell in a handbasket.  I also swore they would never eat french fries out of fear they would become as addicted as I am, likewise, I realize I broke that rule to when I found myself saying "No, we do not eat french fries for breakfast." Never say never this I know. Now.

The boys are doing good in my absence. It seems this crazy year has taught us all a lot, including how to cope without Mom.  Not sure who this was harder for...them or me ; )






I see now that these times apart from the older two were very much needed.  It was as my husband would say "time to cut the cord" and as you can see above we haven't really cut it, but we are working on it. Not sure that I can ever cut it completely cause man these little guys rock my world!

Paxton and I can't get home to them fast enough.  Hopefully after his feeding tube surgery tomorrow we will be able to high tail it home to our loves. After just receiving the news today that Paxtons heart appears to be "perfect for his anatomy" post cardiac cat scan under anesthesia, we are keeping em' crossed that this is it for awhile, aside from all his check ups. 
 I know, I know freaking gorgeous! We are accepting applications for any Baby Gap or baby Magazine ad, cause really which one of these kids wouldn't sell millions.  Ok, I'll stop now ; )

~J



PS-sending out big, BIG prayers to Paxtons heart brother Asher (aka Chublet) as he undergoes surgery tomorrow.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This Old Hat

Last night at this time we were just arriving here in Tampa.  Paxton and I together, just the two of us.  Today we spent the greater part of the morning into early afternoon in the hospital while he has a CT under anesthesia.  The nurse said and I quote, " I was prepared for this to be the hardest case of my day and he was the easiest." HLHS always puts the staff on high alert, but Paxton as usual did amazing.  He went 11 hours with no food and handled it like the trooper he is. While he sucked on his paci so hard he had a red ring around his mouth, he barely said boo.
I got to be with him today while they masked him down.  That means they put a mask on his face with nitrous in it to put him under and then they place an i.v. His veins are pretty shot at this point so they always mask him down instead of trying to poke him while awake and crying.  I held him on the catscan table while the anesthesiologist held the mask over his face. He was crying what sounded like a faraway cry due to the mask and looking at me. I felt awful holding him down, but I just kept saying "Mommys here, it's ok." Until eventually he became limp in my arms.  Nothing I would ever like to feel again, thank you very much...
We are hoping to hear from his cath doctor on the results tomorrow.

***********************
It was a long day, but we made it. Just the two of us. We took our time.  We snuggled. We rocked. We hung out. We laughed. Maybe even both cried a bit.  These hospitals do that to us.  As the day draws to a close, I realize that together we can do anything (with a little help from the medical profession ; ) I just love that as hard as this all is and as drained as we both feel come the end of these days, it is as a friend said " just an old hat" to us.  Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad....

Driving up last night alone in the dark with my baby in the backseat, I realized once again how far I have come as a woman and a mother.  It would have been a cold day in hell before this year that I would load up, drive around in a town I don't know, book a hotel and stay alone.  I don't like out of my element. I don't like finding places and following gps's. I don't like new.  I like my daily routine. I like roads I know and I like my husband beside me to keep me safe.
Since Paxton was born, I have had to buck up and learn to do things on my own. So I walk around with pepper spray now, but dangit I can find anything that I may need (thanks to a little help from my i phone app - WHERE) I no longer walk around looking scared, instead I look stern and damn if I am not ready to kick some serious a*# should anyone come near my baby.  I am sure of myself and I kinda like it.
Again and again this year has taught me oh' so very much.  I often wonder what I would be like not having gone through this. Not having had learned how to fight right along side my son.
******************
Just the two of us...and we got this!


Paxton continues to rock it and I am praying Thursday goes no different!

~J

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Paxton Davids Birth Story

After nearly nine months and a lifetime of wisdom, I have finally written Paxtons birth story. Oh this journey. So scary and yet so divine.  Grab a cup of Joe, cozy up on the couch and read about our little mans entrance into the world.  


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At 33 weeks, I went in for a routine ultrasound to see if my cervix had thinned at all. I was notorious for early labor and this was just a quick peek to be sure I hadn't changed. I jumped up on the table oblivious as all get out thanking the ultrasound tech for the complimentary 4 D peek we had just received of our baby the week prior.  


She began scanning la ti da when all of a sudden she stopped on the heart and stayed for far to long without saying anything. I asked her if she saw something.  My heart was racing before the words ever came out. Sometimes you just know.  She said now let me look.  I laid my head back down, already hyperventilating.  It was then she said that she saw something within my baby's heart.  She showed me the white where the white should not have been. She said she is not trained in this and proceeded to send me to the waiting room while I waited for the doctor to come get me.  I was dying inside. How could this be happening. How had we just lost a baby and could be losing this one. At the time we did not know if the baby was a boy or girl as we have always wanted the surprise. I texted everyone I knew for strength while I waited for what felt like an eternity.  Finally I was brought back and from there it was a mumble jumble as I tried not to scream.  Specialists. St. Pete. Blah Blah Blah. I had to get to my husband.  Had to get the f*#k out of that place. I left that Friday with an appointment for Monday to see a maternal/fetal specialist here in town.  


The time between then and Monday would be eternal.  I called Dave and spewed out what I had just heard and once again I am pretty sure he thought I was overreacting...again. Through no fault of his own, I typically do. I like to call it erring on the side of caution. I was a zombie for the next 48 hours and remember posting this as I waited to find out my baby's fate.


Even once we got in the waiting room of the specialists office, I don't think Dave was really grasping what was happening. I am guessing mothers intuition was in full throttle by this point.  I was sweating and shaking. Cold and hot.  I robotically answered all the questions and finally laid on the damn table to find out what the hell was going on.  
She began the scan in a dark room with a little tv in the corner so I could see too. I saw the white part I had seen the Friday before. She honed in on it. Clicking clicking clicking. I could hear the pictures for the doctor printing to my right.  I was breathing in a way that clearly led her to believe I was going to lose it. I guess I actually was about to lose it. I was clutching Daves hand so tight I don't think any circulation could have possibly been getting there. 


At one point she stopped looked over and said, "I know you want answers and all I can say is there IS something wrong and I need to get these pictures for the doctor so that we can figure out where to go from here" or something to that affect because at this point the room was closing in on me and I couldn't breathe. The sobbs came from somewhere as I looked at my husband who's tears were streaming as equally fast as mine and said "I am so sorry." In my mind and in my heart I had failed him again. We lost our last baby and now. Now....well now we didn't know yet.  He told me over and over not to be sorry, that there was nothing I could have done.  It became very clear that the shock was setting in for him. I know the positivity he carries in life and I truly believe he didn't think anything was wrong. The paleness of his face confirmed this.  After a few minutes I realized that it was now my job to do whatever had to be done for our baby.  I laid there and took deep breaths and allowed her to get the pictures she needed. When she was done she asked if we would like to know the sex.  Dave and I hemmed and hawed for some time and she finally helped us come to the decision that she would write it on a piece of paper and put in in an envelope for us to do what we wished with.  I tucked it safely in my purse and waited for the doctor to come in.  


We held each other in the dark, hearts pounding, praying for a miracle. Once he came in, he pretty much made it all the more worse. Dammit I hated doctors at that moment.  He told us that the left side of our baby's heart never developed and that it was "pretty significant" over and over he told us how "significant" it was. I kept saying what does this mean, what does this mean? He had nothing to tell us except that I was to be in Tampa to see a world renowned cardiac fetal surgeon that week and they would call me with a time.  I exaggerate in no way when I say that man left us feeling like our baby was going to die. 


 So, we came home, hugged our boys tighter than we ever had and after the day we had had we put them to bed. We actually got home that late. Then we turned down the lights and sat together on our big chair and talked about opening the envelope. My husband said it was up to me and while I more than anything wanted it to be a surprise like the others, I knew that this anything but like the others. I did not know how long we had with this baby once he was born, if he made it through delivery and I wanted to know who he or she was, with a name for however long we had. So in the quiet of night on one of the worst days of our lives, we opened a little white envelope with the simple word- boy -written on it.  3 boys! His name would be Paxton David West. We held each other for a long time. Then I went and took a bath, rubbed my belly, cried some more and talked for a good long time to our son

Until our visit, I put my big girl pants on and tried the best that I could to keep it together for my other two children. I did not cry in front of them and I tried to keep their lives as normal as possible.

When the day arrived I was so nauseous that vomit lumped in my throat the entire morning. When we rounded the interstate into St. Pete and saw the tall building that was All Children's Hospital, the hospital that my son, God willing, would be at, I had to put my head between my legs.  

This was it. This is where we would find out our 6 lb baby's fate.
  
Once on yet another ultrasound table, with what may have been one of the best nurses ever, I let it all go. My heart and my body knew I was where I was supposed to be and while she scanned me for the longest time I even dozed off since I hadn't slept in a week.  The rest of the story from the visit is in written here.


*********************
It was a long night before Paxton's birth. I refused to leave Naples and my boys until the very last minute. I was a wreck about leaving them for however long I would be gone while Paxton had surgery and recovered. I stayed until bed time and tucked them in for the last time for a long time. I figured putting them to bed would be the best route to avoid crying and at the time they had no idea anything was changing, to them it was just another night that I put them to bed. My heart shattered as I silently said good bye for awhile.


 We hopped in the car packed with all of my things for me to live in St. Pete after the baby was born. We drove and met up with my sister and mother for the drive to the condo we had blindly rented for the month. We would stay there the night before and head to the hospital bright and early in the morning. We stopped at one of my favorite places, Cracker Barrel, for dinner and I chowed down. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat for awhile again and I was also starting my diet once I was out of the hospital, so I was living it up until then!!! Once we got to the condo we attempted to get settled in a bit. My sister and mother did awesome helping me get unpacked and settled as best we could given the late hour that we arrived. At around midnight, we all went to bed...well most of us went to bed. I laid awake, knowing that these were the last hours with baby Paxton in my belly. Here is the very last baby bump picture. 38 weeks pregnant to the day!

It was the last time I would ever be pregnant again. I was trying to relish every last second and trying to prepare myself for what lie ahead in the coming days. I tried to tune out my husbands snoring, but to no avail and I went into the living room to try and sleep there, but my mom was snoring just as loudly so I headed back to the bed and lay there until my body couldn't fight it any longer!


Next thing I knew the alarm went off at 5 a.m! It was time! I jumped out of bed and got myself ready. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror knowing that today was the day my life would be forever changed. Each time one of my children were born, changed my life forever, but I knew that Paxton was going to alter the course of The West Family in many, many ways. I knew all that was to come would test our strength and teach us more than we could ever imagine.


Once I was ready, I went and woke up my husband and literally paced until he was finally ready. We grabbed my bags and we were off. Every minute on the drive there my mind was spinning. It was dark and I can remember looking at some random building that was some sort of small college, there were a few lights on in the building and I wondered why, little did I know apparently they are always on, because I would pass that same building many mornings after that and I would see those same lights on. My life having changed so much in a matter of days since the morning I first passed that building. 4 days later I would drive that same path to the hospital at 4 a.m to hold my son before he went in for his first open heart surgery. I looked at that building yet again only this time, I had a son. I knew his face, his smell and his sounds...


Weird, I know. I am so weird, but it's what I do. I remember random things. You know...the last week at this time I was...the last time I was here...
I would like to note that much to our surprise and anyone who hears our story that it was planned to have a vaginal birth. It doesn't seem logical with a baby so sick, but I was told multiple times by many doctors that as long as he was attached to the umbilical cord, he would be fine, so vaginal it was and I was happier than I could ever explain.
So we parked and found our way to the main entrance of Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. 


We walk up the stairs and ask where we are supposed to go. Some grumpy lady tells us where the elevator is and up we go to Labor and Delivery. We walk right in and they are expecting me. The lead me right to my room and have me do the usual. You know, pee in a cup and put a gown on. Then they put the belly bands on (the pink one and the blue one) my belly and we are able to listen to the babies steadily beating heart from there on out. It was hard to believe his heart was so sick, it sounded so strong to us! I was so excited.  I was so scared. I didn't know what to expect. Would he look sick. Would they wisk him away. Would I get to hold him.  So many questions, thoughts and fears were running through my mind as I lay there, the pitocin coursing through my veins, taking affect almost immediately. I was in the moment with contractions. Sort of felt like it was my duty to feel the pain. With all that lay ahead for my son, the least I could do was endure this for him.  We all sat around the room, joking and laughing trying to ease the anxiety that was building in all of us.  Dave, my sister, my mom and I.  At one point, Daves sister Lisa came as well.  It was a room full of heightened feelings, waiting to see how this would all play out.

At one point, they came in to give me an epidural. I waited to long, made myself and in doing so, it didn't take affect.  In some ways, secretly I was glad. I had never felt birth and wanted to knowing he was my last.  I knew when the time was nearing, after all this was my third go round. The nurse came in and checked me with just a little more cervix to go.  
About 15 minutes later I told Dave to go get her again because I really felt ready, and I was. 


 From there on out it became a blur.


 There were so many people in the room I am pretty sure I couldn't even count them on both hands. We had pediatric NICU doctors, the stork team from All Childrens Hospital next door with Paxtons isolette prepped and ready to take him away from me through a tunnel next door. I was told I may get to hold him or he may be wisked away immediately. It was dependant on how stable he was after delivery.  My eyes were wide with fear and anticipation as people flowed in and out of my room.  I wasn't used to this and it made me worry that there was more to prepare for once he arrived.  I braced myself.  
I didn't know any of these doctors from Adam. I hated it, but I began to push. I looked at my husband and I know my eyes matched his preparing to meet the son we weren't sure would make it this far and preparing for whatever might happen once he made his arrival.  My stomach is in knots as I type this.  


Once I began pushing I realized that my epidural didn't take.  I was screaming. I was hiking my butt up off the table in pain. Writhing my body. Crushing my husbands hand. I had no choice but to push on through.  I was yelling to get him out.  Then someone said I can see his hair and that is when I gave way to the pain so that I could experience the joy of meeting my son. 


I was so excited when they placed a blanket on my chest. It gave me hope that I might be able to hold him for a few seconds.  
After what felt like my body searing apart Paxton David West made his entrance into this world at 1:38 pm wailing his lungs out and I wailing mine. He was alive! He made it!

They immediately placed him on my chest. Oh' sweet heavenly miracle, I got to hold him.  The month and half leading up to this was behind us and he was on my chest crying, pink and swollen from birth.  He was freaking gorgeous with big puffy lips like me and Masons pudgy nose. He even had a butt chin!


I remember just staring at him. Waiting for something to go wrong. Waiting for him to stop breathing, turn blue, die....We were given all the risks and I prepared myself for all of them, he did none of them. I held him for what must have been 3 whole minutes. Gazing at him in complete awe. This baby in my arms had half a heart. It was so incredibly deceiving.  Eventually they took him from me and did the whole weigh, measure evaluate stuff. Definitely not the apgar in this case.  He weighed 7 lbs 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. Our half a heart baby was our biggest son and the son who needed it most.  Praise God.  Someone took a million pictures.  Somehow all those people in the room disappeared. Somewhere in there I was being sewn and cleaned up, but all I can remember is my baby.


They then handed him back to me for what must have been close to 10 minutes.













I gazed at him. Kissed him. Smelled him and I told him he was the most amazing little man I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. I told him how proud I was of him and to be strong. Be so strong my beautiful boy and Mommy loves you more than you will ever know. 








 And I sobbed like I have never sobbed before as I had to hand my newborn son over to a team full of people I had never met. I watched them load him into his isolette. I remember he became very still and I sat up to make sure that wasn't it.  I asked if he was breathing. He was. I knew then that this was the beginning of the journey into fear and faith.  It was then that I had to hand it all over. I had done all I could do and it wasn't up to me anymore.


I watched them wheel him away and I just stared.  Dave went with him. I didn't want him to be alone.


I, then, looked to my right and gave my sister who was sobbing a hug. 


His birth was the single most surreal experience of my entire life.


So begins our HLHS journey with the most amazingly strong boy ever to grace my presence.


Miracles do happen my friends and my son, Paxton, is living, yes living, proof of that!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Tricks Of Time

UPDATE:
Should any of us EVER feel like we are having a bad day, may we bite our tongues. I am in a heap of tears, trying to understand...


http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elliepotvin 


Go. Go now and hug on those you love because as I wrote below, before I ever learned Ellies story, you just never, ever know...
May God hold little Ellie in the palm of his hand as she finishes her journey home....






So I'm not going to lie.  Not feeling so good today and I wonder if it's that I am truly sick or if its the stress that I have been harboring lately rearing it's ugly head.  Ever since I returned from Costa Rica I have had this overwhelming inclination that something is going to happen to Paxton.  Every ounce of me says hold him just a little longer, rock him to sleep instead of letting him put himself to sleep, carry him wherever I go and balance him on my hip while pouring orange juice just to not have to put him down.  I sat on the couch at the end of our bed last night feeding him in the dim light just staring.  I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I listened to him suckle. I smelled him, played with his hair and prayed. Prayed that whatever this feeling is that's residing in me right now passes and quickly.  I am finding it hard to differentiate whether it's "mothers intuition" or just a phase.  I've been hearing sad stories lately and that may be contributing. He's growing before my very eyes, which for having half a heart is pretty miraculous, so that may be contributing.  In any case "I no like it".  It's no secret that I am still learning to live in the moment, to not let fear take over the joy of today and like the ocean, my ability to do so ebbs and flows.
This year has happened in such a blur that maybe now seeing him so seemingly healthy is setting in.
Nostalgia is setting in as we near the time in which I found out he was sick. I think back to last year at this time and revel in the ignorance that was my bliss because I had no idea what lie ahead as Summer rolled in.  I just rubbed my belly giving thanks that we didn't lose this baby. That I had made it to seven months.  I had finally allowed myself to shop for him/her.



We spent the fourth of July full of excitement as our new addition had just a little longer to go. Talking about "next year at this time, we would have THREE wee ones running around" and we will. For that I give thanks. I also give thanks because I realize who I was before his diagnosis and I know who I am now.  I never take a single moment for granted because you really do never know.  I don't know Paxtons outcome just as I don't know Austin and Masons.  I know that the chances are obviously higher for little man. I know that life doesn't have any rhyme or reason to whom it chooses. The suffering I know is happening as I write this makes no sense and I know that I am no better than any other person out there going through it, so why not me...what if me...
They say God doesn't give you anything you can't handle and so far I have prevailed, but the mere thought...oh lord the mere thought.  I don't know what to do with it.  I don't know how to squash that fear.  I feel like it's all gone so well for what it is, that I keep waiting for the rug to be pulled.  Negative, I suppose.  I think it's just more fear.  


How did I get so lucky to have the HLHS baby that thrives....


I'm scared. Full of fear. Full of love that I cannot describe.  Full of a need to be able to hand this over and trust in the journey.  So far we have not been steered wrong, but there are no guarantees and as I listen to my little man squawk tears well up in my eyes. He is here. For however long and I must be ok with that because there is nothing I can do to change HIS plan. I don't want to spend our days in fear and while I most certainly know that is easier said than done, I will try. I will cry when I need to cry. Be scared when I need to be scared. Cling a little tighter when I feel the need, but I will try.  I am a work in progress, always will be, and HLHS is a work never to be completed really. It is every day all day and I am ok with that. Proud of how far I have come when I think of the mess that I was when we first brought him home.  Time takes the edge off and I am hoping some more time will take the edge off this panic that surrounds my heart right now.


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On a medical note we are headed to Tampa tomorrow because Paxtons g tube appears to be infected. We are ready to get that dang thing out since he doesn't use it to eat. However he is still on 12 medications a day, all of which go through the g tube so I am not sure if that's a possibility or not. I am pretty sure he would not be ok with 12 meds being forced down his throat on a daily basis. There is  a thing called a "mickey button" that they can put in instead of having the long tube that you all see in pictures. This is just a little button and more importantly less for him to pull on since he is hell bent on doing just that.  
(You can see his g tube in the picture below)






On June 29th we will be heading to Tampa again! Where Paxton will undergo sedation for a CT:


Cardiac computed tomography (to-MOG-rah-fee), or cardiac CT, is a painless test that uses an x-ray machine to take clear, detailed pictures of the heart. This common test is used to look for problems in the heart.



Since Paxtons Glenn surgery he has had a lot of extra blood flow from his head.  It gives the appearance of a sunburn. While this is normal for a few weeks post op, his has lasted months. Just recently we have noticed improvement in his redness so I am hoping he has grown accustomed to the new blood flow from surgery and that it just took him longer, but the other possibility is the narrowing of his right lung artery.  Prior to his Glenn there was already narrowing detected during his cath. At the time it was nothing to be concerned about, but with the redness lasting as long as it has, his doctors feel a CT should be done to see if there has been more narrowing.  I am hoping and praying since the redness seems to have subsided some that this isn't happening, but already having detected some has me concerned.  
As always, I will update when we know more.


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Our other two boys are doing well. They are enjoying being out of school. They are more than ready to go on "acation" (vacation) in July and are growing like weeds.  Both are pee pee trained. We are working on the other.  Both are head strong wild boys boys. Austin is more sensitive than Mason, or has been in the past, but it seems they are both turning into proteges of their Momma in the sensitivity area (much to my husbands chagrin) Mason is losing his baby fat, good bye to his kashi's : ( Austin is literally a little boy now. 
 I don't know when it happened, but my babies aren't babies anymore and while that is a hard pill for me to swallow, I am so enjoying watching them bloom into little men. Their imaginations are running wild. Their brains are sponges. They are little people now with thoughts, opinions, demands and feelings. It is SO much fun! and I AM the luckiest woman alive!





~ J

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddys Day

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a Mama. It was my mission in life, my purpose, and I spent my days trying to find the man that would be the right person to make that happen.  I got luckier than I could have ever dreamed.


I remember when I told him I was pregnant for the first time.  I gave him a gift wrapped bib that said,  I've got the best Daddy. We hugged, cried and danced circles in the kitchen.  Round and round full of surprise and excitement.



He was so proud of me while I was pregnant. He would rub my belly and talk to the baby.  It made me fall in love with him all over again.  When the big day finally came, seeing him sob like he did at the sight of his son made me realize that he wanted a family just as much as I always had.




Masons birth was no different! His heart opened that much more to let the love in for his second son!




Then we lost our third baby and while that was what we thought was our biggest hurdle thus far, we realize now how much it prepared us for the sheer shock that our fourth baby was critically ill. 
 I was scared. He shut down out of fear. Didn't want to talk about him or say his name. I worried he wouldn't bond with him. I worried what would happen to us if we lost him.
This picture, my face, it said it all. It was saying look honey. He's ok. He's gorgeous and for however long we have him, he's perfect.  The love in my face for the sick son in my arms (note all the doctors waiting to take him in the background) and for my husband is palpable in this picture.




To say the least, the moment he saw him changed all of that.  Paxton pushed him to limits of fatherhood and he rocked it!  He stayed home with our two boys alone for 2 1/2 months while I stayed with our sick boy. He took on the weight of the world and smiled the whole time.



I watched him hold the most fragile of babies. I watched him sob. There were days I held him up and days he me.  It was by far the biggest test of our marriage and we passed with flying colors.  We are closer, stronger and wiser for it all.
As the years pass we have both grown in our parenting and we have our 3 beautiful boys to show for it!

Thank you Dave for working day in and day out to provide us the best possible life.  Thank you for supporting me in my Mommy wishes. For loving our boys on their worst days.  For being the proudest Papa I have ever known.  
You are amazing and while this journey is far from over, know that I am right beside you the whole way. Know that the boys love you in a way only boys can love their Daddys. Know that I am so proud of how far you have come.
Happy Fathers Day Times Three!!!!

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And of course to my own Daddy.  The man who stuck around as a 21 year old to raise a little baby girl alone.  You are my hero.  Thank you for not leaving me. For standing by me and for always believing in me.  Thank you for always, always teaching me what is important in life. I realize now that all this time you were preparing me for the hardest year of my life and I like to think I made you proud! I damn sure "hit the curve balls!" 
 I would not be the woman or mother that I am today without having you beside me all the way!
Happy Fathers Day Dad!
MORESTERST! Always.

The boys think "Pa Paw" is pretty amazing too!



Until next year
~ J

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pura Vida


Sometimes in life God steps in and gives you just what you need.  We have had a hell of a year and for the moment we stand on the other side of it.  This weekend my husband and I stood on top of a mountain and proclaimed our victory.  We made it through what has been the hardest year ever. We are stronger, ever so much wiser and quite frankly pretty darn proud.  Did we have some hiccups along the way, heck yah, but were it not for those, we couldn't stand as tall knowing we pushed on through them.  We sat high in the mountains overlooking the ocean and sang our praise.  For all those days lying on the floor begging for mercy, my throat so swollen with fear and tears that I couldn't talk; we were given 5 solid days of relief.  I remember stopping once and looking over at Dave saying "this here...it's heaven honey" as we gazed out watching the rain fall upon the rainforest with the Pacific ocean as its background.  If I close my eyes I can feel the sheer peace that radiated throughout us while we were there. There was no need for words. Our friends surrounding us, we were silent. Taking it all in. Each one of us in "our happy place". 


Greens were vividly bright. The air so light. We slept with the house wide open. We had "cockytails" by night and woke at 6 am because who wants to waste the day sleeping in a place as gorgeous as Costa Rica. Maybe we'd nap mid day out by the pool after brunch...

Maybe we would all go for a swim. Either way, it was up to us. No clocks. No worries!



We laid out bananas to corral the monkeys to come join, the iguanas thanked us too.




Pura Vida.  That's what they say in Costa Rica. It means THE GOOD LIFE.  It was in fact the good life and we enjoyed every single solitary moment of it.  We ziplined through the rainforests. We hiked through the mountains.  We rested.  We were rejuvinated.  We were so very, very grateful!

And when we boarded the plane home we were overflowing with excitement to get home to our babies. I walked through the door and Austin grabbed my face in his hands and said "Mommy did you miss me? I missed you." I realized then that as amazing as Costa Rica was, nothing compares to hearing that.  I was reminded the grass may very literally be greener on the other side, but it certainly isn't better!
We should all be so lucky to see this:

 So that we when we return home restored to hear the squeals of delight, we are able to stop and feel the gratitude.  

Pura Vida, yep, we have the good life!













Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer is among us. I am now home with all three boys and I am loving each and every minute of it.  We have spent pretty much every day thus far at the Waterpark or in the pool. I have lots to share, but for tonight I am going to go cuddle with the most amazing little baby who is in my bed waiting for me and let the "catch up with life" happen tomorrow.

So I will leave you with this for now...



How deeply it touches me that they have each other!
~J

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Fell In Love

So yesterday we returned from a long weekend trip to O.H.I.O,  kid free I might add.  Ohio is where my husband was born and where he spent the first half of his childhood. Most of his family members remain there, which explains why we went to a wedding for his cousin.
We spent a couple extra days there so he could drive me around and to say the least, I fell in love...

Like really, really fell in love.

For once I am not talking about my children cause we all already know the depths of that love.

 I am talking about this:





We were in God's country.  There were no strip malls, condominiums or subdivisions surrounding us.  There was land as far as the eye could see, not a sound to be heard except crickets chirping their songs and the sweet smell of fresh cut grass or maybe that's just the smell of the country... I opened the windows as we drove breathing what may have been the freshest air ever. It seemed to rejuvenate me, add life.

I imagined the boys and I running through the corn fields, jumping bails of hay and opening the doors to let them run wild  because there are no cars to worry about when your house is in the middle of nowhere.  In fact, there isn't a whole lot to worry about.  Life there is simple, slow.  Children have zero entertainment except their imaginations and isn't that a beautiful thing.

 I got the feeling as we drove that maybe I was a farmers wife in my previous life. I felt at home. Happy. Peaceful.
And that I may never eat another piece of meat again. These cows were so sweet with their doe eyes, chewing grass, looking at us so gently as we drove by.

Then I remembered that I like my phone


That I like to dress and up and very much disapprove of overalls ; )

And that the closest Target may very well be in the next state, which immediately confirmed that while we will definetly  be visiting the country to run the corn fields, jump hay bails and catch lightening bugs in glass jars we will always be returning home.
Suburbia. Yah, it's for us.

This though, will be waiting.


Our mini getaway was just what we needed. The tears that would not cease upon our departure (this was the first time I had ever left Paxton) quickly dried up when once we hit 40,000 feet.  I felt a relaxation I haven't felt in a good long while this year. I read a lot. I loved on my husband who very much needed some t.l.c since it's been all about Paxton lately. I napped . My husband and I laughed belly laughs.  We S.L.E.P.T! We danced.

And when we made it home, we gave thanks to God almighty for getting us home safe and sound to our children because damn we missed them.
~J

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