Friends and Birdys

This week is over!   And it’s been a good week – but a busy week and I’m glad it’s the weekend.     The kids have a full week of school under their belt and they all did pretty well.   Sophia loved school on Monday, but cried a few times on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning I had to put her crying on the bus, but I didn’t feel good about it, so at 9:30 am I drove to the school to see how she was.  My plan was that if she was happily playing that I would just turn around and go home.  But her class was still outside and I could see that she was holding her teacher’s hand and when she saw me I could see that she had been crying, so she came home for the day.

When I asked her why she was crying  Sophia said that water kept getting in to her eyes and making her cry…. you know the irritating water that finds itself in your eyes. 🙂   I told her that the water was probably her tears, but she was pretty adamant that it was just the water… and missing mommy.   If things had been different for us, I honestly think that Sophia would have gone to school happily this year and not looked back.  But this year was different and Sophia clearly has some anxiety and separation issues and I don’t see any reason to push her.  I know she will get comfortable eventually, but for now we are just happy to let her take her time.   This morning when she didn’t want to go to school we told that today was the last day of the week and then she would get 2 days off for the weekend.   And her response was, “Two days?  Not eight?”   No, not eight Sophia, little turkey.

So back to our busy week –  Tuesday, Jason and I had a wonderful day in Toronto.  It was so good to go back and be in the place where we spent most of our time with Ava.  And it’s funny how things can change in a year… last year at this time we were making day trips to Toronto for Ava’s echocardiograms and my high-risk pregnancy clinic visits and we didn’t know a soul.  And now when we go it’s like we are going to visit our large extended family.

Jason and I weren’t sure how we would react going back up to the 4th floor at Sick Kids, I hadn’t been up there since the day after Ava died.   But but when I stepped off the elevator so many memories of Ava flooded in that I started to cry.   Thankfully before we even made it to the Ward we started meeting people we knew and after getting some hugs and starting talking I couldn’t cry anymore. 🙂  Can I just say how much I love our 4D nurses?   And it was so cool that all the nurses we had the last few day of Ava’s life were there on Tuesday and it was so good to see them again.   They gave such love to Ava and so much support to Jason those last days that they will always be in my heart.    In fact, I feel like all the staff of 4D have become part of our family and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.  And they make me laugh, and they helped keep me sane through those tough times with Ava, so I will be going back to visit them for a long long time.

We also were able to spend time with Tanya and baby Britton and we saw Aleeda!  Oh sweet Aleeda.  She looks amazing and her hair has grown a ton since her transplant and she has grown too – but she is still tired and still isn’t tolerating her feeds and so she is still in the hospital.   Please keep her in your prayers, and pray for her parents Tanya and Brian too as they just want to see progress for Aleeda so that they can see home in their future.  You can imagine they aren’t looking forward to spending their second Christmas in the hospital, and it’s very very tough right now to not see huge improvements after Aleeda’s  heart transplant.  But I know that they know that God has a plan for Aleeda and their lives, and they will continue to remain faithful no matter how hard it gets.

We also went back to our other home-away-from-home…  the Ronald MacDonald House.  And we saw the staff again and met with friends, and it was wonderful to reconnect .  And it’s strange, because we lived there for so long that you might think being back there would feel weird, but it doesn’t.   It just felt very familiar, and I guess it felt just like being home.   Our home away from home.

And then we were back at our real home with our kids and to make the week more interesting we had Sarah’s diabetes clinic Thursday morning.  She had to go to clinic every three months to make sure everything is OK, and I’m happy to say that she is doing great and I think I will give it her own blog post, so stay tuned. 🙂

Otherwise, we are doing OK.   We all have times where our hearts just ache and I don’t think that will ever go away, but we have each other for comfort and I praise God for our family.    And our friends.  Two of my dear friends brought this too my door yesterday….

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A sweet birdy necklace for me to wear to always remember my sweet little Birdy.    And it has five leaves to represent our five children and even looking at it now makes me teary.  It is a beautiful gift.

Which reminds me of the first verse I ever learned… James 1:17   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We know that God is the giver of every good gift and once again, even in this busy week – we’ve been blessed.

Back to school

So Sarah is back to school, much to her chagrin. 🙂   Thursday was her first day back and she had a great day, and then Friday morning she was back to her old tricks and saying she didn’t want to go – but thankfully Jason and I know that’s ridiculous because she adores her teachers and always says she had a great day when she gets home.

sarahbacktoschool

An it looks like things are going to go well at school.  Her classroom has an alarm clock now that goes off for her snack times, and at lunch-time she goes to the office with one of her teachers to check her blood for her sugar levels.  And I think for the first while a nurse from the CCAC will be there at lunch too to make sure Sarah checks her blood Ok and eats all her lunch.   And that’s important because she needs to eat her carbs so she won’t get a low.   We are so appreciative to our wonderful school that has been doing everything they can to make sure that those that are taking care of Sarah know how to recognize the signs of highs and lows and I’m sure it’s tough for Sarah’s teachers as it’s one more thing for them to think about in a busy class of kindergarteners, but they have met the challenge and have just been wonderful. (Thank you Mrs. Murphy!!)

And there is a ton to learn about diabetes and I know that I still need to learn a lot.  Jason has been doing so much with Sarah that I always refer to him, but I’m hoping that when things aren’t so intense with Ava that I can get more involved.    It’s kinda funny though in terms of God’s timing, because if Sarah had been diagnosed when life was normal and I had taken on the learning and Sarah’s care, I’m not sure her diabetes would be managed so well.   Jason is a bit of a diabetes dictator and keeps Sarah on track quite strictly.  One night when Jason went to bed early I gave Sarah a snack of sliced strawberries, about 1/3 of a cup, so maybe just 3 carbs and he nearly bit my head off when he found out because Sarah isn’t supposed to get bedtime snacks.   And the funny thing is she was saying to me, ” I really don’t think  I should be eating this” but I convinced her otherwise,  crazy momma.   Boy,  I really hate diabetes.  And Sarah has been saying that lately too – she just hates it and when she says it, it  makes me want to cry because I know it’s not going away.     But we press on.   And I had a great idea tonight when I went for a walk about exploring more about living with diabetes, so stay tuned.

And Sophia is getting a cold, oh no!!!  I should have known as she’s been wanting to nap a lot lately…

Sophiaasleep

Last week when Sarah wasn’t around to play with Soph went downstairs, but ended up napping down there instead of playing.  But  now that she had a cold I’m so worried about Ava, as Ava has been coughing more and spitting up.  I’ve been praying that God would protect her and I hope He hears my prayer because she just can’t get sick,  she can’t!

And this week is our echo…  so please keep praying that Ava’s heart function hasn’t decreased anymore.

Lots to pray for.    Thankfully strength, peace and joy are free when we ask God for them.  I always like to think of it as an exchange… here God, you take my worries and I will take your peace.   I can always give Him my weakness and He gives me strength.    And here is a verse for me right now as I sit here hating Sarah’s diabetes and wondering if Ava will be OK…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV

What an incredible promise and what an incredible God we serve.

AMEN.

It’s a whole new world

Yesterday felt weird, really strange.  After I put my three children on the bus for school I was left with one.  One child to take care of for the entire day.   Just ONE.   It kinda threw my whole game off.  Jason thought I should have been extra productive but he doesn’t understand that this is a huge shift for me, I need to adjust.   And this adjusting time might take weeks.   It feels like a whole new world… with endless possibilities of napping, drinking coffee and reading. Ok, Ok, so maybe my focus should be on getting more things accomplished at home and getting some quality one-on-one time with my sweet Sophia, and maybe not more time shopping. I do like the fact that I can spend more time at the school and both Erik’s teacher and William’s teacher don’t mind me bringing Sophia, so yesterday I stayed and helped Will’s teacher for over an hour… I love that I have the freedom now to do that now.

Ok, so I promised some before and after pictures of Sarah.  Here was her hair before…

Then after…

See what a great job layering she did? And how much she chopped off?  And don’t mind the tag from her pj’s… but she didn’t want me to take pictures of her at this point so I took what I could get.

And then here she is Tuesday, the first day of school with her new hair cut…

I’ll admit at this point that we like her new hair cut. It’s really cute, combs out easy and she likes it… which is very important in the grand scheme of things.

And it’s hard to believe that our little girl has started school. She’s been excited for months and loved seeing her class and meeting her teacher Tuesday. But I was still expecting some tears yesterday morning or some clinginess or something for her very first full day of school, but apparently I expected wrong.

We arrived at the bus stop in plenty of time and she played with all the kids so she obviously wasn’t that nervous. And then when the bus pulled up, William grabed Sarah by the hand and brought her over to the bus without a back-ward glance.  I was running after her asking her for a kiss but she was too focused and kinda shooed me away!  So her and William got on the bus – thankfully Erik still asked me for a hug and a kiss before he got on – they found a seat, she gives me a glance and they are off.  It was kinda anti-climatic really.  I thought, “Fine! Go to school and don’t cry for mommy.”  But the nice part was is that I didn’t have to get teary or upset either.   So it really was a win-win situation.

And she had a great day, when I was at the school helping William’s teacher one of Sarah’s teacher’s walked by and said she was doing just fine. That girl is tough and I have a feeling school won’t ever get her down.

Now for an update on the boys.  They are doing great too.  Erik showed up for school the first day with a huge box of school supplies – he wasn’t excited about starting school, but he was excited about the supplies – and he’s adjusting to being with a new teacher in a PORTABLE.  Yuck, but someone’s gotta do it.  And William has a lovely teacher and has his best-buds with him, so he’s pretty much set.

So that is how we are rolling this September, all of us trying to find our new groove and although the weather is crummy, the out-look for this school-year is looking pretty good.

Herding Cats

Well if this is a typical book that you would take away from a 7-year-old who is reading it under the covers with a flash-light after lights-out… I guess then Erik is your typical 7-year-old.

And after Jason confiscated it tonight, Erik’s words were… “Oh man, but it’s sooo good!”   Of course it is Erik, and I’m sure when you are done you can pass it around your grade 2 class so that everyone else can enjoy it too.

And he has the nerve to blame his taste in books on me because he says that I’ve read “Dummy” books before.  Which I have, I’ll be the first to admit I love a good “how-to” book, but I think the ‘Dummy’  book I read was how to be a be frugal mom trying to raise 4 kids on a single income, NOT how to learn Power-Point.   I do often wonder how Jason and I ended up with this child and I also wonder if his teacher’s prediction of him becoming an Astro physicist will come true.  Although I just looked that up (I didn’t even know what it was… dummy!) and apparently those guys are on a quest to figure out how the universe was made and so I’ll betcha that not many of them are Christians.  If they were then their thesis could contain just one word…. “GOD”…. but I betcha it probably wouldn’t go over too well.

So as my little Einstein sleeps,  I bake another batch of midnight cookies, this time for William’s “graduation” party – and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word as we are celebrating with his classmates tomorrow his and their completion of Senior Kindergarten.   It’s very exciting.

So another day of herding cats… this is what it has come too… or what it feels like… trying to get my children out of the door in the morning when all of them are doing their own thing with their own agendas, none of which seem to be getting dressed, eating breakfast or walking out the door.

Thank goodness there are only 4 MORE DAYS LEFT OF SCHOOL!!!!

 

Things you should know about William

First – he was born 6 years ago today – April 1st, 2005 so it’s his birthday today!

The first real trait we noticed about him was that he was a cuddle-bug.
The second was that he was a thumb-sucker.
The third was that this little body held a very strong and determined spirit.  Here he is at 24 days old lifting his head…

He has loved his “Ellie” (the elephant) since he was one even though he no longer sucks his thumb.

His hair turns almost white in the summer – which just makes his blue eyes pop.

He is the best older brother in the world to Sophia, and she adores her “Wawa”.

He played soccer last year and apparently can out-run almost all other kids his age.

 

He is Erik’s partner-in-crime and the best goofing off partner you could ask for (just put them in a room together and ask them to do something productive and see what I mean).

He makes a really cute Christmas decoration.

Even though he makes a fabulous Jedi – he actually wants to be a police officer (like Opa) when he grows up.

His teacher told me yesterday that he’s a leader in his class and the other kids look up to him and follow him.  Way to go Will, we’re so proud of you!

And the most important thing you should know it’s that he’s all mine (and Jason’s of course) and we wouldn’t trade him for anything.   God has used this child in our lives to teach Jason and I more about parenting and our own short-comings than anyone in our lives so far, and we are better people for it.    We love you William and…

Happy 6th Birthday!