Friday, August 31, 2007

Strangely numb

I don't really know what to say about this, but I keep thinking about it, so I'll just jot down my thoughts. I'll not use names to protect the privacy of the family at this time.

This morning about 8:30 am a good friend K called to tell me that another good friend's(BD) twin brother(BT), who was an acquaintance, took his own life earlier this morning. His father (BB), who works with both brothers in their business, entered their shop to find him. I don't know much about the situation in detail, but I do know that BT had been having a very hard time for the past year or so in many ways. I would occasionally get reports via friends about this or that, and it was sad to hear the troubles...

We haven't seen BD and his wife D much in the past year except to say hello at church, but we keep up on what's happening with them through mutual friends and such. I actually got an email from D two days ago saying she'd like to do lunch or something. We used to be in a small group from church with them, back in our younger and free-er days, and we spent alot of time together. When BD and D moved into their first house as a new family after their first son was born, we all went and painted like crazy. BT was there too and I enjoyed getting to know him a little. I saw him at church with his two children often, and we'd say the little, "Hi How are ya" kind of thing. More recently I had heard that he'd been struggling with several situations, some out of his control, and many of us had been praying for him. I hadn't seen him around in a few months until this past Sunday, just 5 days ago. He sat directly behind me at church, next to BD and D, and I noticed it and thought it was good to see him there again. After church, I made a point to say hello to him specifically, and he responded politely. A few minutes later in the common area I saw him with his kids, both of whom were clamoring to tell him something exciting. I thought it was good to see them here together again and how much those kids obviously adored him. I'm not honestly sure how old they are, boy J and girl K, maybe 8 and 6, maybe younger.

But this morning, when K called to tell me what had happened, I just felt strangely numb. I feel like I knew him, yet I didn't know him well. He was only about 32, I think. I always felt a little drawn to him because his personality reminded me alot of several friends in high school and college...fun, mischievous. K said D had called her and asked her to let us and other friends know. D had said that BB had found BT, he called BD who had understandably reacted with a horror I can't even imagine. They were getting ready at that time to go tell their mother (R). I know the parents also, BB and R, as they also attend our church, and I cringe at the thought of R taking this news. And then they were calling BT's ex-wife, as she has the kids. What in the world do you say to them? How do you explain that the dad they thought the world of is gone? just like that... I hope they don't hear the details for years to come.

All this happened not 3 miles from my house. And as I've just sat in the quiet this morning, looking out at the beautiful day it is--sunny, cooler than it's been, breezy--I just think how fast things can change in our lives. How amazing it is that every minute there is pain somewhere, sometimes so very close, and if we weren't told about it, we'd never know.

So take a minute today to offer prayers for J and K especially, and for strength for this family. They are a strong family of faith with great support around them, but they are human, and this will be a horribly difficult weekend, following what has been, I'm sure, the worst day of their lives.

Lord, please surround J and K with the most comforting and supportive people today. Give wisdom to their mother and the rest of the family as they try to console these precious children. Send extra angels to their bedsides tonight so that they may rest in your love. Amen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Baby steps

Baby steps to the phone. Baby steps call the doctor. Baby steps set a time.

For those of you who know me maybe too well, you'll know I'm referencing my favorite movie. But I took the steps, called the GI dr, and I'm waiting for a call back to set a date. We'll get it on the schedule for the PEG, probably aiming for the 2nd full week of September. If she has a breakthrough before then, awesome...if not, baby steps to the hospital.

Thanks for all the comment love. I appreciate the feedback and votes of confidence way more than you know. I think it's the best thing for her...and best is good. (But that's another post for another day.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Still don't wanna

So I've spent alot of time this morning looking over information about G-tubes, specifically the PEG process, which is what our doctor would use. Braska doesn't seem to be improving in her eating, and I'm just getting tired of the battle. I feel like that makes me a bit of a mothering failure, to be honest, yet I know that I've tried everything I can for 9 months now. I just hate to put her through another procedure, and I guess I've become a bit paranoid about the possibility for complications. As I told a friend yesterday, they say it's routine, but what's routine? How can poking a hole in my baby's tummy be so routine?

I guess this is just another one of those situations when being the adult is no fun. So many people say that their kids did so much better once they got rid of the NG and went to the G-tube, but then there are a few who seem to simply have a different set of problems. And if I'm going to have problems anyway, I'd rather do it without having to put her through this royal poking. I'm still struggling with the fact that my gut is telling me not to do it. But what is this gut anyway? My fear of the unknown, more work, new things to learn about how to care for her? I suppose I'm not so sure I trust my gut anymore, or at least about this one thing. I think I've probably thought about it too long.

When I have a big decision to make, I like to look at the pros and cons....usually making a list of them. (Thanks to Mom for that habit.) Even if I know on some level there is really a right way to go, I like to be sure I've considered all the options and made the most educated and thoughtful decision possible. My husband doesn't particularly like this part of my personality, I don't think, but it helps so much when he'll actually humor me and have a full-on, weighing-the-options, decision-pondering discussion with me. But we haven't had one of those in probably 2 years, so I'm out of luck there. He says just do it... get the G-tube, so she won't have a tube in her nose and tape on her face. Good points, sure, but considering the alternative, I just don't know.

In so many parts of life, I'm decisive. When it comes to work, I can make important decisions in record time. I guess I'm just finding that decisions about my child are way different. Not that this should be all that surprising, but still. I just feel like I'm on my own, and that sucks. Plain and simple. I keep praying about it, and I kind of think God is just rolling his eyes, saying, "I'm giving you every possible sign I can!" She doesn't eat enough. She won't drink hardly anything, and she doesn't seem to care. I've made every excuse. She always seems to be just on the brink of some great improvement. We start with a new feeding therapist next week, the guru of our area, so I've been holding out for that. But truth is that even improvement won't be enough at this point. She's got so far to go. Maybe she won't need it for long, but she does need it.

So I guess it's just me... I'm the hold up. I think it's time to give up the filibuster and get on with it. Suppose I should call Dr. R and see what's next.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mom chop

So I've been struggling with what to do with my hair forever, or at least a few months. I'm home everyday and have fallen into the put-it-up-in-a-scrunchie rut. It's easy and practical, so why not? The husband says he doesn't care at all, so why bother with anything but the simple. Plus it's so long that actually doing something with it took more time than I really ever have. It's so cliche to go from long hair to short after a kid, and I've been trying to hold out, although I'm not sure why.

But no more. This morning Braska and I ventured out to get the job done. I'd been referred to Dee (thanks Dulcy!) so off we went. She was nice, but not too talkative (which is a good thing in my book), and she did a good job interpreting what I was trying to describe. I'm not sure what I really think of it yet, but at least it's different, and will be easier to do when I want to put forth the effort. At least I hope so.

This is immediately before cutting. Pardon the au naturale, makeup free look.


Immediately after cutting.


And this is post a little blow dry and a bit of product at home...maybe 3 minutes work. Even a dab of makeup for kicks.


I'll have to go back soon to do some highlights or something maybe... or maybe not. Depends on how the mood hits me. But for now, at least I accomplished something I've been putting off, and that's something.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Frustrated

My daughter doesn't want to eat. At least that's all I can figure. She has improved, but it still is very difficult to get her to take anything. She often acts like she wants food. She sucks on her tongue alot. She makes little munching motions and seems to grind her little gums. I can hear her tummy growl and yet she still won't take sustenance. She looks at me like she's trying to tell me, "Don't you see my problem? Can't you fix it?" Yet when I offer her a way to calm her hunger, she won't accept it. She refuses a bottle, which would be the quickest way to a full tummy. I know how she can fill her tummy when its hungry, but she doesn't seem to understand my attempts to communicate it to her. I can't convince her that this is the way to grow and be healthy. This makes me so very frustrated!

So here's the lightbulb over my head from this morning... how many times do I do the same thing with my Father? I have a problem that I want solved. I tell God so many times, "Don't you see my problem? Can't you fix it?" What I realized is that he offers me a solution every time. I often just don't accept it. It's not what I had in mind. It's not the answer I wanted. I have a need, he offers a way to fulfill that need, yet I refuse it. Why do I do it? How frustrated does this make him? He knows what the quickest way to solve my hunger is, yet I refuse what he offers. He is way smarter than me, has more wisdom about the issue, yet I still think I know better. I can't help but wonder what great growth I could accomplish if I could just take what he gives me.

This will be my goal this week, to listen, accept, and act, and see how much healthier I am.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Mildly merry maids

A friend bought us some time with Merry Maids (Thanks Joan!) and they came for the second trip today. It's a funny thing, having a cleaning service. I spend about three hours getting the house ready for people who are coming to clean it. Granted I would need an hour longer to do what they do, it still seems funny to do so much pre-work. It's just that they don't mess with the clutter, of course. They don't know where I keep this and that, so they can't be putting things away for me. So it's my job to put all Braska's toys back where they go so they can vacuum. I must put away the dishes and food and clean the kitchen counter off so they can sanitize it. I have to clear off the bathroom vanity so they can clean that too. It makes sense, yet it still seems weird to me. Maybe I'll get used to it.

It's also weird to have them here working while I'm home. Since I work from here, I just retreat into my office, which is not on their list of rooms to clean for possibly obvious reasons, and they start at one end of the house and work to the other. They're nice girls. We even chatted this time a little. But now I notice several things that they did the first time that didn't get done this time. Do I call the home office and report them? Well that seems harsh. They leave me a paper that says if they have "even slightly disappointed" me that I should tell them so they can make it better. But then what about next time? When they come I'll feel all weird for telling the teacher on them, basically. I've got to find a more diplomatic way.

One strange thing happened today with them. One of the girls called me into the hall bath to see a spider that was tucked in a corner. She said it was like Superman, all red and a little blue. I could only see part of him, but I said, "Let's just make sure we get him." (Someone in my home is not at all a fan of spiders, to put it mildly.) In another couple minutes, she said, "Wow, he's moving fast." I went to the hall, just outside Braska's door, and it was there on the ceiling. The two MM girls were just looking at it, like it was so neat or something. I told them I thought they had gotten it already, and they just said no and went back to work. Is there some kind of policy they have that says they "don't do spiders"? Is that above and beyond the call of duty? So I grabbed a dining room chair and headed down the hall, took a quick picture for such a time as this, swiped my sandal off my foot, and bade him farewell.

I can tell you it's nice to have the house smell all nice and know every floor is clean for about 10 minutes right after they leave. Then Belle takes off down the hall after being outside for a bit. And Munch comes in from work in the rain with his shoes on. And Braska knocks a spoonful of peaches out of my hand. But for that 10 minutes, it was nice. And I only have to wait 2 weeks for it to be like that again. Of course, I could better manage my time and get it clean myself, but I don't hold out hope for that anytime soon. Maybe when it takes less than 90 minutes to feed my child every few hours, then I'll get back to having a clean house.... but then again, maybe not.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Results of our labor

My parents have been here since Sunday night and will be staying until Saturday morning. They're helping with a million tasks, but the big ones are in remodeling two bathrooms.

Here's the hall bath before.

Here's the hall bath after. (Hint for those of you design-challenged...note the vanity top, toilet, and floor.)