Friday, April 23, 2010

A Different Dream for Tara.

A few months back my friend Victoria recommended a book. A Different Dream for my Child. I was hooked by the first chapter. By the 2nd Chapter I was in tears. By the third chapter I had to run to the bathroom (I was reading it in the airplane), and stay there awhile and compose myself. Jolene Philo might as well be me. Writing this book about Tara, and the dreams I had, and the dreams I have lost, and the hope. Hope in Jesus. I finished the book the same day I started reading it. Came home to ask a friend if she wanted to borrow it, but still have not let her use it yet. I can't let it out of my sight. Its that good. I knew it would be. With all that Victoria has been thru with Moriah I knew I was going to be in for a treat. I just didn't know how much of a treat. In reading the book again today (yes, I think I have re-read it 8 times now) I found this part and had to share. Be assured, these are not my words, but all hers (Jolene Philo), she just sums it up so well:
In such an agitated state how could I tell my hurting son to be quiet and rest when I couldn't be still myself? How could my restless presence be his comfort?
Somehow, however I sensed God whispering those same words to me while I rocked my son. "Shhh...Jolene. Be quiet. Lie still. I'm here" In those moments, I wanted to crawl into His lap, feel His gentle arms around me, and be comforted while I grieved my son's loss of another day of good health and my loss of another day of normal life: trick-or -treating on his first Halloween, pushing his stroller around the block, playing peek-a-boo in the evening.
At the time I didn't know I was grieving. Grief, I thought, was reserved for parents who lost their children. As the parent of a child who would someday be healthy again, this was ground I thought I was not allowed to tread. But I was wrong.
..."At some point, you do have to grieve and you do have to face what's happened, weather its your child living, but not healthy the way you dreamed...or if you actually lost your child. Weather you admit it or not, you are grieving, and you have to be able to reach out and talk to people".
I am grieving. I do grieve. I grieve for what could have been. What should have been. My dreams I had for my perfect little family of 6. My dreams I had on Sept 5th. The day before Tara was born. How I would hop right back into being a mom, cooking and cleaning, packing up to move into our dream house in just 2 short weeks after she was scheduled to be born. I was ready, I was excited, I was anxious. Then on September 14th I felt as though my dreams had been shattered. Not just dropped, but shattered like a precious crystal vase dropping on the tile and not being able to be pieced together. I couldn't even find all the pieces. They had shattered into a million pieces. The morning the nurse told me to go in and say goodbye to my daughter, was the day I started to grieve. Not grieving as some may think, as she is here with me still, but grieving what could have been, what should have been. She sits on my couch right next to me. Amazing me daily. But I grieve what could have been. I long for the days when a common cold didn't send me into over drive (more on colds a different day...). 19 admissions. My sweet little girl who deserves "normal" has had 19 admissions in her 2 1/2 years of life. That's not normal. But its normal for Its our new normal. Every day I am learning how to have a different dream for my child. 1 day at a time. Thru Gods grace and his love, I am learning to enjoy my new normal, and smile for all He has done for me.
" quiet, lie still. Listen to Him whisper. I'm here". (more from Jolenes book)
Dear Father, quiet my soul. Whisper to my heart, touch me with your hand and be present with me as I grieve for the small things lost today. Hush me. Hug me. Be here with me.
Psalms 131:2
I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mothers arms, my soul is a baby content.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big news in the Carlson house!!!

What has this cute little girl been up to lately you ask?

Potty training!!!!

And doing fantastic I might add!! She amazes and inspires me...daily!!! We started the process on Monday. I did the same "method" I used with Jake (only about a year ago). Its Laura Jensons 3 day potty training. There is some "prep work" that you have to do, and I have been doing that, but the 3 days EASY!!!! (horrible for Jake on Day 1) Tara had 2 accidents on day 1, 1 accident on day 2, and ZERO accidents day 3 (today)!!!! Seriously this little girl is amazing!!! I am keeping a diaper on her at night (I did the other 3 cold turkey), but really we are still working with the new lasix schedule. I Talked to her cardiologist Dr. Fagen yesterday, he totally "gets it", he agreed to let us move her lasix schedule up to 4pm instead of 8pm for the next few weeks while she is working this potty training thing. But even with giving her lasix at 4 is it fair to put her to bed at 8 while her meds are still working to direase her? So we will wear diapers at night for a bit. She is only 2 1/2... So all in all, I am so proud of her and her ability to amaze me!!!! Not bad for a girl with brain damage huh?!?!?!

So now what you ask will I do with all the extra money we will be saving? Adding another date night into the mix? Vacation? A new car? New pair of shoes for mommy? A new purse for mommy to ditch the diaper bag purse? Proubably just paying medical bills.

p.s I just found the spell check button...your welcome mom.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

5 little reasons why I love spring, plus some vomit because thats how I role.

I took the kids strawberry picking at Cal Poly yesturday (the 5 little kids). I love taking them there in the spring, and once its open we proubably go once a week or so. The kids love it, plus I love the fresh strawberries (except this year there are not looking so good...sad.) Reason #1 Tara loves her some strawberries

Jake picks the yummies reddest berries ever.

Sarah just picks a few and eats them all (before I have to pay for them)

Tori samples them first to be sure they are tastey. (so half of the strawberries I bring home have a bite out of them)

The girls look like natural gardeners.

Now this little boy picks the most strawberries you have every seen and stuffs it into 1 basket.

Now this little boy Ty (my nephew) also has a little bit of a sweet spot in my heart. I have watched him since he was born. He was born with a cleft Pallet, and had surgary when he was 1 to fully correct the missing Pallet. He is my buddy. He is Jakes best friend/mortal enemy. They fight like brothers. Best friends one minute, worst enemies the next. So while driving out of the Cal Poly parking lot Ty asked "Auntie Kat, do you have a bag?" very calm and hohum mannered I very calmy answer "yes Ty, why do you need it?" (it had strawberries in it at the moment so it was going to take some work) I look back at him in my rear view mirror just to see some vomit fly towards me hitting my rear view mirror. I quickly put on my super mom outfit and dump out the strawberries onto my front seat while negotiating a right turn into on comming traffic, while looking in the rear view mirror and seeing Ty with his hand over his mouth and every so often his eyes bulging out of his sockets as he is still heaving, I quickly give him the bag, just in time for him to vomit the rest into the grocery bag (did I mention it had a hole on the bottom). I quickly make a U-turn and say a little thanks to God that my mom only lives about 1 mile away from Cal Poly so that I dont have to drive home with vomit all over every one and every thing (yes, including my rear view mirror). As we are driving to my moms Ty looks down and says "hum, thats funny, I must have eaten peanut butter today". Hmm Ty, yes you must have. *no he is not allergic to peanut butter, he says this because he thinks he sees peanut butter in his vomit*

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Family vacation 2010!!

Its sad...We have not taken a family vacation since 2006. 4 years ago. Someone very important was missing at that time. Our family of 5 had a great time in Australia. We came home and decided to have Tara, to make us a family of 6. We have not taken one since then as an entire family.
So while this was happening at my house...
This is what was happening on a cruise to the Carribean as a family of 6+1.
(Jims Aunt Tami "TT" was kind enough to stow along with us to help with the munchkins.)
My boys are so handsome!

Blue skys, turquiose ocean!

My Jakey Bakey! *was seriouslly baken in the toasty sun! That boy can't tan, just burn...*

Elijah mastered the Aqua Jump with flips!!

Tara looking in at the kids and dad swimming.

Its fine, we had spider man there to help us out...

Elijah snorkled any chance he got...including the pool at the hotel!!

brother and sister duo. Yes, that is the ocean they are standing in...clear blue ocean!

This little girl had a blast! Seriouslly she is cute as a button!

Fun in the sand!

Swimming in the pool!
We had so much fun together, and hopefully dont wait another 4 years to do it together!! They kids all did great, and had lots of fun!!!

How to learn to swim.

If you want to learn how to swim, you ask your mom and dad to take you on a cruise to the Carribean. You do a lot of swimming in your life Jacket...
You and your brother swim with rings...

You put your head up and hope for the best...

then you just swim away from your mom!!!

You also get pretty brave and go under water with "magic goggles".

And thats how you do it folks, "You just do it".