Monday, August 31, 2015

September Goals

Nearly two months have passed since I've dusted off this ole keyboard and sat down to write something other than research papers or status updates (that I know you all sit around waiting on and thinking: wonder what Kace is doing/thinking/feeling right now). Maybe that's why I don't blog as much as I used to. I know very few of you care and I'm talking to myself a lot, but there's always been something to that for me (I sound crazy, don't I?). From the time I could form sentences on paper, I've had a journal of some sort. I need to write like I need to bathe. It's good for me and when it's not happening, I feel icky. It doesn't even have to be something I'm proud of. The words just need to be out. 
The past few months have been so busy. For the record, I don't love busy. Many changes have been made. I finished my Master's degree- finally! I'm proud that I stuck with it and worked hard. I kept my 4.0 while raising three beautiful boys. I remember when I had Kinley, I was finishing a research paper in the hospital. I continued to work on it through many moves and finished it the day we closed on our second home we've owned. Yes, we moved again. This time, we're here to stay. Surely. Hopefully. We've been here a week and it feels like we've just always been here. It's nice. Home. Finally. I'll give you a virtual tour soon, but I logged in today to get my butt in gear (I can hear my four year old saying, "We don't say butt. We say bottom" in my ear right now). Merit turned one year old and he's nursing a lot less. I've been focusing on school and not me. We've been moving and therefore eating a lot of crap ("We don't say that word, Mom"). I've got all kinds of excuses, but I've gained weight and I'm ready to run it off (and keep it off) again. I know the importance of accountability and public goals so I'm making my declaration here now. I want my body to feel strong and capable again. 

1. 8 glasses of water a day
2. Limit 2 cups of coffee (what? I can't give up everything!)
3. #50milesinSeptember
4. Regular weekly exercise
5. Lose 5 lbs (Starting weight: 124)

Every September I make a goal of logging at least fifty miles. I even did it last year at around one month postpartum! It just helps me to get back into the swing of things after indulging toward the end of the summer. I call it "Fall Back into Fitness" because I'm a dork. Anyway, inevitably I have some  folks who want to join me. You are welcome to do so! Walk, run, or crawl them- I don't care. Just get out there and get active with me!

If you want to follow along with my progress, look me up on Instagram by using my #mrskgetsfit or checking out my profile (ksjd22). I'll also periodically update here, too. Let's get fit, friends!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Lord is good to all {an update of Abel's Ears}

The bible verse I've been working on helping Kinley to learn this week is Psalm 145:9-
"The Lord is good to all..." 
The way I get a three year old to memorize scripture is repetition. Over and over, we both recite it. The Lord is good to all. The Lord is good to all. The Lord is good to all. Even to me when I don't deserve it. Even to my family. Even to my sweet middle child. Even when it doesn't feel like it. The Lord is good to all.
I'm glad I had that truth fresh in my heart and mind. Yesterday, I had an appointment at Vandy again as a follow up for Abel. Infections, hospitalizations, and trouble just weren't on my mind. I was having faith and truly believing he would be released. Finally. After ten months.
Instead, after ten months of struggling with this aggressive infection, the surgeon has decided to take his implant out. Obviously, this is nightmare scenario in the cochlear implant community. As he told me the news, doctors gathered in the room with somber faces expecting to console, I suppose. I held it together. Inside my heart, it feels like a devastating blow, though. How silly it is to mourn a foreign object placed into my child's head! It isn't even working. Why should it matter? It's just the point of it all. Another surgery is on the horizon. My child has been put under more times than all of my extended family members put together. More than I can count on two hands. I've gotten to know the back of his precious little head as I strap him into the small umbrella stroller and push him from appointment to appointment. I know his curly tendrils and how they curve around the cords and headpieces he wears daily to help him hear. His head has two "ears" not one. Still, soon he will go under anesthesia again and his right cochlear implant will be removed along with his adenoids and (Lord willing) this nasty infection.
A thousand thoughts go through my mind every day. I wish we had never put it in. I'm so glad we had this surgery. I need more chocolate. Et cetera. I never quite considered how I would feel with this news. The answer is sad, but focused on the future. It's a setback, for sure. The surgeon says the infection seems to be nestled in the internal piece of equipment. He is hoping the nerve is not damaged so that once this infection is history, he can re-implant making him bi-lateral again. I don't even want to think about that right now.
I appreciate your prayers for him. Despite this ever-present problem, he is doing well. His left "ear" is working great allowing him to pick up much language. Lately, I've noticed him stringing words together into phrases. "What's that? Who is that? I don't know. Brother, no!" You know, the basics ;) Receptively, he's a rockstar. He knows what I'm requesting most of the time. His language is coming and I hope it continues to do so. On top of everything else, his early intervention program stopped paying for his speech therapy. We have begun to appeal to insurance in hopes they will start footing the bill as it is roughly $250 a week. A lot has been going on. For those of you who donated or bought items helping with "Abel to Hear", I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of the excess money we raised, I had enough for two aqua ears instead of one. This possibility was on the horizon so I only purchased one aqua capability. The rest of the money I put towards his hospital bills. Please know how much that meant to us. Thank you. It's because of people like you that I can see God's hand in all of this. Thank you for supporting us, for giving, for sharing in our excitement and setbacks, and for praying for my baby.
The Lord is good to all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Job Searching

Every few months or so, I start to lose my lid and proceed to do a little job searching. It's either a.) because the kids are driving me absolutely bonkers or b.) because I start to feel like we need money between the hospital bills, house, and LIFE. Tonight, it was the latter. While the hospital bills roll in (seriously, that infection can clear up ANY time. That'd be great. I bet Abel thinks so, too.) so does the urgency in getting Abel in a more permanent social situation, us set up in a house in the area that feels like home, and getting Abel set up in the school system of the hypothetical house in the county it resides so we can get the IFSP and IEP created and/or blending smoothly. If I lost you and you don't know what that is, just count your lucky stars.

Anyway, that's how I arrived at a blue and yellow glowing screen displaying a job in my field that is in this county. That's a big deal. I stared at it for awhile. What if? I know I can't do that, though. I can't NOT stay home because of the endless appointments that my totally-worth-it-every-single-day middle child has weekly. If I went to work, there would be no one to take him to speech or audiology or surgeon check ups or meetings with his teacher of the deaf (TOD). It's not in my cards right now. I stared at the screen until I heard, "Mom, are you going to watch this with us?" And right then, I snapped out of it for the time being. I needed to stop with the worry and focus on the sweet kids right in front of me, asking me to watch Happy Feet 2 or something like that. Off I went, to snuggle with them.

Because when has God not provided? Never.

The jobs can wait.

I get to watch these kids grow right before my very eyes...and that's a pretty sweet deal.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

St. George Island, FL

I told you we have fun(ish) times and it's true. Right before Abe's hospital stay, we got to enjoy a week long beach vacay with friends we met at church. We have kiddos the same age and we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to all live in a house together for a week? The kids will play and it will be fun!" At least that was our pep talk to each other when positivity was flowing. The other part of the time we were wondering what in the world we were all thinking. Brave, we are. We set off on a journey to St. George Island, FL and didn't look back. 
So glad we did it! We made some great memories and even though we were outnumbered by the kids, I think we had some fun, too.
Do you know how awesome it is to wake up and be able to exercise and study the bible with one of your best friends? Pretty awesome. She has great insight into the Word of God and is one of those people you can just talk to about anything. It was so nice to have so much girl time first thing in the a.m. As you can see, we are often wayyyyy outnumbered by little boys.
And the kids weren't too bad. Sure, they refused to sleep at times. They pitched two year old tantrums. They interrupted our beach layin', book reading, nap taking mornings, but who needs those? Chasing babies is nearly as fun. ;) They played and played and let the sun drain them.

We caught fish.
We dated.

Abel heard the ocean for the first time despite living there for a big chunk of his life.
It was great, really! Beats the heck out of the hospital any ole day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

9 Months

All throughout my pregnancy with Kinley and into his first full year of life, I wrote him monthly letters. In them I described what was new, how I felt about him, and all of those sweet little things you might find in a baby book. At the end of the year, I printed them in a book, each with a corresponding monthly picture of him with the numbered stickers that everyone does. I was on top of it! Abel made his way into the world about fifteen months after Kinley, but still I made a point to write during his first year and snap those photos, too. I think I only missed one month writing him, but I did have the photos! Enter Merit. The poor third baby. I think I have months 1-4 photos and maybe, I don't know, two letters. Whoops. I hope he'll forgive me.
This month marks nine with him attached to my hip instead of the umbilical cord. I can hardly believe it. It has been the hardest year I've ever had but it has nothing to do with him. He is the most delightful child. I put him down and he sleeps. I smile at him and he laughs. I switch up his routine? No problem. He rolls with the punches. Sweet, sweet baby. If they were all like him, I'd have a dozen more.
He doesn't crawl. He sits, leeeaaans, and reaches but hasn't braved the all fours position. I'm not surprised. All my boys have been late crawlers (according to Drs standards) and walkers. Typically, they only crawl for 3 weeks or so and then they're all about their big boy status with walking. I mourn in silence that I actually have to have shoes for them then. I already dread thinking about finding three sets of little boy shoes every single time I walk out the door. I'm pretty sure I spend 72% of my day putting shoes back on all those little feet. I digress. We were talking about Merit, weren't we? What else can I share?
His brothers are so good with him. They are quick to entertain him when he gets bored and starts to fuss. They'll search for pacis, do a little dance, or even share their toys just to see him smile again. It's that bright. You can't look at a smiling Merit and not feel happy. His attitude is infectious. When I walk into the room, his whole upper half starts shaking violently and his arms flail about as if he's having a conniption and must, must, MUST be in my arms. I love it. Truthfully, he'll do that with about anyone, but I'm the only one he actually reaches to so at least I have that.
Merit has said: mama, dada, and hi. That is for sure the earliest any of my kids have uttered words. I think he only said them so I would quit getting his hearing tested every 3.7 seconds. 
I love him so. He's my breath of fresh air every day and I'm so glad I'm not waddling around this May waiting to be able to hold him in my arms. I can just go scoop him up almost any time I want and I'm doing just that. I'm trying so hard to savor this time. His little life has flown by and my heart feels so strange when I see newborn photos of him now. It just doesn't seem possible since that was just yesterday, I'm sure of it!

More Rain

I hate that this blog has become my dumping place for all the lowly emotions. We have happy times. Lots of them. I'm just too busy savoring the good to make a point to write during them. There have been highs and lows since I last wrote. To catch you up (in case we're not facebook friends), Abel was discovered to have a bacteria growing inside his middle ear and around his cochlear implants. Oral antibiotics were not touching it so they admitted him to clean out his ear and put him on IV antibiotics for awhile in the hospital. The surgery was nearly five hours long, but the surgeon came out smiling saying he thought he got it all and was able to salvage the implant. We continued to get good news after we were released from the hospital early thanks to Infectious Disease (ID) who said the infection appeared to be gone. They cultured from every angle and nothing was growing on the results.

This morning I was planning to get the boys out and do something fun. They all deserve a little fun. My phone rang and my heart dropped as I saw the 615 area code. Always bad news from Nashville, it seems. On the other line, the surgeon told me an update. They found two bacteria growing now which means more medicine. I truly thought, prayed, and believed that this was behind us and it's not. It's so upsetting. I wish I could take it from him. I'd gladly take disgusting medicine several times a day, spend much of my life in the car or at some office, and have my head operated on more times than I have fingers if it meant that I could shield him from it. I just feel so helpless in all of this. I've followed medical advice. I've followed spiritual advice. I can't do anything to help him.
When it rains, it pours. The rain just keeps coming. It's soaking my boys, me, and my marriage. I am so tired. This brief period of a few days was an umbrella shielding us from the cold and wet of the storm, but that's gone now, too and I'm left standing alone in the rain again. I know God is with me, with us. But that doesn't change the fact that I just want all the rain to stop.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Keeping Up With Us

Did I really just google "blog topic ideas"? Are we back to that? Who remembers that I blogged DAILY on my previous blog site? The pull to write is there always, but mustering the creativity to form sentences and paragraphs and remember to properly punctuate is daunting now. I go, go, go all day long and the last thing I ever want to do is sit down in an old, hard chair and talk about my day to an over-sized screen that is blinding me in the darkness of the room. Just so you know, when I googled that earlier one of the warnings that popped up was "Whatever you do, don't whine and complain." Note taken. For now anyway.
Jordan has been gone a lot lately with his new job. Mostly, his hours are longer, but lately he has had business trips to take. When he is here, we've tried to make the most of it! With three young children, it's sometimes hard to make yourself get out there and take them places. Thinking of activities that are usually fun just seem like more work in your head. Still, if it makes enough sense to us- we'll do it! We did once go camping with two toddlers and a newborn! Anyway, we played putt-putt last weekend and I had my best game EVER. Pretty thrilling in my world, folks.
We are settling in in our new town. It's good to be home and it will be even better once we are in a home of our own again. Our marriage sure has been through a lot, hasn't it? In five years, we've had more than five houses, three kids, and hardships we never dreamed of. Moving is often listed as one of the major stressors and we average a move a year. We are so excited that one day that will stop. Hopefully, our next house will be our forever home. I'm still happy to be doing life with this man:
We have our flaws, for sure, but at the end of the day I want him right here beside me and I hate to have it any other way. He's my lobster.

I've talked a lot about Abel lately and have neglected the other two wild ones on this blog. Kinley is doing well. He has always been a challenging tot. On my last blog, he was lovingly referred to as Cray K. Not much has changed there. Being three is hard, apparently. BUT! I often get glimpses into his heart and he can be so sweet, encouraging, and joyful. Many times when I pick him up from places like the gym childcare, he says to me, "I'm so happy to see you, Mom." He no longer calls me "Money". My big boy is growing up. He still says some things all wrong and I'll probably never correct him. He calls his bicycle his "mo-bike" (Motor bike?) and our car has the long name of  the "bye bye car truck". I wonder what goes through his head. He can be so funny!

Merit is getting big, too. I can't believe my baby is already eight months. Everyone says that, don't they? But seriously. It breaks my heart. He is so happy! I want to keep him and hold him and not let him grow up. It seems like his little life is slipping by faster than the others. It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with him. Now, he's a sitting, drooling, talking, smiling eight month old. I love him to pieces. He's a social butterfly, too.

We are making it, the five of us. It's just about getting up every day and doing what we have to do. Some days are so hard, but there are so many that are pretty great, too. We're trying to cling to our faith and family. That's what we've been up to. We're eager to see what else God has in store for us.

Thanks for checking in.
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