Monday, December 16, 2013

Hold Them Close. Hold Him Closer.

So much has happened since I last posted.  I will give you the short version and say that Ethan's pneumonia worsened and we had to admit him to the hospital this past Thursday.  We are going on Night 5 of hospital living.

I won't go into all the details of the last several days.  I will just say that he has been on IV antibiotics since Thursday.  His breathing worsened yesterday and a second x ray yesterday morning showed he had an effusion which is fluid around the lungs.  This is not good but not uncommon with pneumonia.  Since then the doctors have added a second antibiotic and he seems to be responding well.  The only thing holding us back from going home is his fluid intake.  The docs want him to be drinking 30 oz of fluid on his own and right now he's only taking in about 5-6 oz a day.  Ugh.  So I will be praying for my little man to wake up with an unquenchable thirst tomorrow.  :)

Here are some pictures of my little man over the last several days.  They do not all show his normal, happy self.  When looking back this will remind me to never take that beautiful smile for granted again!

ER socks did not come in his size.  I don't think he was too happy about it.  :)

Cuddling with the stuffed dinosaur my sweet friend brought him

E took up reading while in the hospital.  

Peek-a-Boo!  There's that smile!

Standing AND eating... huge accomplishment! 
 Cuddle time with Mama
 Cuddle time with Daddy
I'm not at all trying to make light of our situation.  Okay, maybe I am a little, simply because comic relief is sometimes the only relief.  But the last two weeks have been really, really hard watching my little guy suffer and grow weaker with each day.

When we checked into the ER on Thursday there was a lot of commotion in the ER and the tension was thick.  The nurses said there was a critical patient (child) in the ER and that most of the medical staff was focusing on that child so the wait would be long.  I later learned that child died.  I believe he was a toddler.  Just yesterday I learned that my friend lost her infant nephew.  So much sadness around us.  So much pain.  So much innocence leaving this world far too soon.

There are a lot of people I would lay my life down for.  But as a mother there would be absolutely no hesitation that I would trade my life for my boys' without a second thought.  I know it is no coincidence that we, as parents, have that connection to our children.  I think so many of us recognize that connection but we completely miss the REASON for that connection.  God is trying to show us through our earthly relationships how much He loves us.  It is hard for us to imagine Him dying on a cross for His children (each and every one of us).  But it's not hard for us to imagine giving our life for our child's.  Why is that?!

Since I became a mother 8 years ago God has shown and is showing me what it means to love.  He is showing me what it means to sacrifice for others.  He is showing me what it means to put someone else above yourself.  And most importantly He is showing me that His love for me is even stronger than my love for Garrison or Ethan.  This was unfathomable at first.  But after experiences like this one (looking at my weak, sick baby in a hospital bed) I know that I have to hold my baby close.  I have to comfort him.  But I have to hold my Jesus even closer.  I have to let Him comfort me.  As much as I want to trade places with Ethan right now I can't.  It's impossible.  God ALREADY traded places with us when He died on the cross.  THAT is true love!  

These children are not mine.  They are God's.  He is trusting me to care for them while I have the honor and privilege of raising them.  But most importantly He wants me to understand His love.  I used to think that nothing compared to the love of a mother.  But I now understand that nothing compares to the love of our Saviour.  Nothing.

"We love because He first loved us."  ~1 John 4:19


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finding Blessings Among the Chaos

To say I have had a rough week is probably an understatement.  Ethan, our youngest, developed a low grade fever last Tuesday.  I wasn't surprised with all these weather changes we have had lately.  He was still pretty chipper that night. 
Peek - a Boo... I see you! 

Wednesday he was diagnosed with RSV.  That is basically a respiratory virus that can quickly take a turn for the worse in kiddos under the age of 2.  Friday night he threw up twice and we really started getting concerned with his breathing and high temperature.  Major ice hit Dallas on Thursday night so the roads were horrible.  We still decided to take him to the ER Friday night.  Thank goodness my parents were able to keep Garrison so we didn't have to keep him awake all night.  E's temperature was 104.6 when we got to the ER and this was only about an hour after his Motrin wore off.  To say we were worried is putting it mildly.  They told us he had developed a tummy bug on top of the RSV.  Ugh. 

This was my view in the ER - a heartbreaking one at that.

We took him to the doctor Monday where we found out he also had developed a double ear infection.  The doctor wanted to do another chest x ray to make sure pneumonia had not developed.  Thank goodness because wouldn't ya' know it?!  Our baby boy had pneumonia.  They gave him a strong antibiotic shot and an oral antibiotic.  You won't hear this mama complain about my little one taking antibiotics after seeing him completely miserable for six days! 

His fevers have come way down (without Motrin) but he still does not have an appetite.  I'm prayerful and hopeful that he will drastically improve over the next couple of days.

After being "stuck at home" with a high energy 8 year old and a sick little one (thanks to what us locals are calling Icemageddon) I could write out a list of complaints.  I was thrown up on, awake at all hours, had cabin fever like crazy and am now coming down with sickness myself... 

But I choose not to.  I am choosing to find the blessings in all of this crazy chaos.  We had power when 200,000 people in our area did not.  This allowed us to continue E's breathing treatments, keep him warm, and have our much needed coffee!  I have a husband who was there to support me and give me breaks through all of this.  He even got out in the ice to pick up some "essentials". 

I can look past the fact that his essentials include saltine crackers, Heineken and Redbox DVDs including Hangover 3. 

My oldest son is one of the most patient, understanding, compassionate big brothers I have ever seen.  He rarely complained about having to entertain himself for the majority of the weekend.  We have awesome parents, family and friends who have continuously called and texted asking what they can do to help. 

My husband and I were sitting on the couch a couple nights ago cuddling with E and I had the sudden realization of how blessed we are.  Not that the last 6 days haven't been trying and scary at times.  But we have two beautiful HEALTHY boys.  I felt a sudden stab of pain and overwhelming compassion for parents who have terminally ill children.  I can't even begin to imagine seeing my son like that 24/7.  I know he will be better in a few days.  I know that he will be back to his normal, stubborn, feisty self.  I now, more than EVER, am grateful for that little temper of his and I can't wait to see it again!  I will gladly welcome the "NO"'s and tantrum throwing (for a little while at least). 

I love this picture of Garrison.
While watching the news for school closings Sunday night this popped up on the screen.  Garrett and I had to get a picture.  Who knew there was a "Three Way ISD"? 
My incredible mom came to the house yesterday to help me put up Christmas decorations.  What a welcome break!  I think it lifted all of our spirits to have our Christmas decorations up.  
What a perfect time for a reminder of what this season is about.  Thank you Jesus for helping us to find the blessings among the crazy chaos. 
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  ~Isaiah 9:6


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Help Me Find It

Do you ever feel stagnant?  Like you are just kind of going through the motions of life and on auto pilot?  Like you have lost passion or a zest for life?  I have been there so many times.  I love this song, "Help Me Find It" from Sidewalk Prophets.  And this version is really cool because it's the unplugged version.

I often have to remind myself that I want need to stay in tune with God's will for my life.  That means coming to Him and asking Him what He wants from me.  It could be something one off He wants from me that day: to speak truth into a friend's life, to be a listening ear to someone, to smile at a stranger who needs encouragement, to spend extra time with one of my kids or to support my husband.  It could be a long term action He wants me to take and I need to spend time with Him so He can plant seeds for that in my heart. 

It was almost exactly three years ago that I started having thoughts about adoption.  Everywhere I turned it seemed like someone was adopting or fostering and telling me about their experiences.  And I remember sitting in Pocket Sandwich Theater, getting ready to watch a Christmas play and nervously bringing the idea of adoption up to my husband before the play started.  And I remember being shocked by his response that he had a dream we adopted a baby boy.  It wasn't until a year later that our dream became a reality but God had been working on us long before Ethan came into our lives.
If we just take time out of our day to be still and spend some time with God, through prayer, quiet time, worship, reading our bible, it is amazing how He will reveal His plans for our life.  I know it can be hard to just sit down and read the bible.  If you feel like you would do better starting on a devotional I recommend Jesus Calling.  You can get it for around $8 on Amazon.  Psst, they also have an awesome one for kids (recommended age is 8 - 12).

Today I encourage you to make time for him.  Today I am reminding myself to make time for Him.  He has done SO much for us, all of us, and I don't think He's asking too much of us to make Him a priority.  You will truly be amazed at how He will work in your life when you let Him.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." ~Matthew 6:33

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." ~Psalm 119:105


Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 ~ GTD Style

It was so nice to have 4 1/2 days off work.  It was even nicer to spend it with some of my favorite people.  My sister and her family were able to come in town Wednesday night and stayed until Sunday.  Hence the title post "GTD" (Gerber Thomas DePue).  I loved having them here for so long and not trying to cram everything into a short weekend.  I am still getting used to not having a smart phone (which will be changing this week) and of course I forgot my camera every day.  Thanks to my sister for always capturing the moment.

I have been wanting to check out the new Total Wine in Plano for a while now.  It's really close to my parents' house so my sister, brother-in-law and I went to check it out Wednesday night.  I was not disappointed.  While trying to browse through the ridiculously huge selection of wine my sister told me I should get this one, solely for the name.  Isn't that how everyone picks out wine?

My sister got some great shots of the cousins throughout the weekend, too!

Will's wink and point crack me up!  And check out the sticker on E's forehead.

Tough guys and pretty girl!  It was rare to get E to stand still long enough for a picture.

One of my mom's many gifts is hosting.  She set up three beautiful tables for Thanksgiving lunch.  It was so nice to spend the day with family and enjoy some oh so yummy food!  I wish we would have gotten pictures of the tables. 

My mom found this edible turkey idea online and the kids LOVED it!  I think they all did a great job!

E and Aunt KiKi enjoying their time together!

My sister, BIL and I hit some stores late on Thanksgiving day.  I normally am not a Black Friday shopper but it was so fun to be able to get out and do some kid free Christmas shopping with my sister.  Garrett left Friday to go hunting.  So naturally we did a little more shopping on Friday morning.  :)  Friday night we had a family get together at my uncle's house and got a good visit in. 

My mom had planned a trip to Yesterland Farm in Canton on Saturday.  What a cool place!  After picking up GiGi we headed to the tree farm.  My parents bought a beautiful tree and the kiddos enjoyed themselves so much!  A hay ride, petting zoo, big slide, roller coaster, roasted corn and kettle corn later we were back in the car heading home.  Here are lots of pictures my sister captured from the day.  I know I'm partial but we have some pretty stinkin' cute kiddos if I do say so myself!  ;) 

Saturday night the kiddos FINALLY got to have their s'mores they had been waiting on.  Will said he thought it would be fun to "play tag with the sparks" from the fire and Ethan was like a magnet to the flames.  I'm thinking we might have some future pyros on our hands.  Ha! 

My family was nice enough to get up at 7 am to watch my kids on Sunday while I headed to church to rehearse/sing for all three services.  I'm sad my sis and fam couldn't stay for lunch but we still had fun with my cousin and her boyfriend.  By the way, for those who live in the Sachse area you HAVE to try out Frankie's Mexican Cuisine.  We have been wanting to try it for a long time and I was not disappointed.  It's a tiny hole in the wall but some of the most delicious Mexican food I have ever had.  My parents, who missed their calling of being Mexican food critics, both loved it too so you know it's gotta' be good! :)

The boys and I were so happy to see Daddy last night and spend some quality time at home together.  Now back to the normal routine of our crazy, sometimes organized, sometimes chaotic, wouldn't trade for anything LiFe!