Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wise beyond his years

My kids have felt the sting on death again. A little over a month ago now, Jim's Grandma Nannie "went to heaven". When I told the kids with hot tears coming down my face, I told them I had good news and bad news. They asked for the good news first. "Grandma Nannie got to go to heaven last night!!" The kids jumping up and down clapping their hands, so excited, with such child-like faith. The bad news, "we don't get to see her anymore". The cheering subsided, just a bit, but quickly went back to clapping and all the fun Grandma Nannie is having.
This morning, as Jake came down for breakfast, he tells me of his dream.
Jake: Mom I had a bad dream last night
Mom: oh, I am sorry bud, want to come tell me about it?
as Jake comes over and cuddles on my lap
Jake: yeah, I dreamed that Grandma Nannie died.
Mom: Oh, Jake, I am so sorry, I know you miss her, remember, she did die.
said with more hot tears coming down my face
Jake: ha, your so funny mom, She is not dead, she is just in heaven.
Mom: yes, but you go to heaven when you are dead bud.
Jake: Mom, if Grandma Nannie is dead, then Jesus would be dead, and he is not dead because He is alive and in my heart.
Mom: You are so very right Jakey Bake Jesus is alive, and Grandma Nannie is alive too.
Jake: I know, I just don't have to see her, but I know she is alive because I can feel Jesus.

My sweet Jakey you are so wise beyond your years. You teach me something daily. The bible calls us to have Child Like faith. Not to be Childish, but have the faith of a child. Today Jake showed me the Child Like Faith we are called to have.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rose Colored Glasses

I have decided to take a leap of faith, and Intern for my church! Everything was finalized today, and I start officially mid September so that is why this is the first you are hearing of it! I will give you a little information, as well as a bit of my Intern Application Autobiography information.
The Internship program lasts 10 months it entails 1. hands on training where you get trained from your mentor hands on...I am interning under the Senior Pastors wife Sherry who overseas Women's Ministry. This will be 4 hours of office time, plus an additional 10-15 hours per week doing other duties for my ministry I am interning under. 2. Orientation Weekend (Mid Sept) 3. Classroom sessions. Pretty much every Wed. night for the next 10 months count me out. 4. Reading Assignments. There is 10 books that I will read in the next 10 months, and do a book report on it. (this is probably going to be my favorite part/easiest part, as I LOVE to read, and write down what I have learned, plus I took a sneak peak at the list of books from last year, and I think I have read 6 out of the 10, so I already know I love the books!) 5. 2 Saturday all day training days. 6. Leadership conference. We will go as a group, and its usually a 3 day conference. 7. Missions trip. All interns are expected to go on an International Missions Trip. This will be my BIGGEST challenge by far. I have no issues with going on Missions Trips, however I have a VERY tender heart, and I may never come home...Just forward my mail to me in the Dominican Republic and ship my husband ands kids over... 8. Give significant amount of time towards Church wide functions...I already do this. 9. Fundraising. This will be very hard on me too...I don't do well with asking people for things, especially for me. However I will need to fund raise to be able to send myself on the Missions Trip. This is a very vital part of the process though, my support letters will also include support for me in this process, as with all of the above mentioned things...I might need baby sitters, and people to fold my laundry...
So here parts of my Autobiography:
"Being an intern has always been on my heart. I knew right from the beginning I wanted to be one. I vividly remember sitting in the theater next to my sister Lorraine while the announcements were being given, and the first announcement for the Intern Applications was given. I had a huge smile on my face and told my sister, "oh, I want to do that!" She looked down at my pregnant belly (with Jake) and told me now was probably not the time. Again the next year "not right now". They were right. 4 years ago was not the time. Now I believe it is. While I am not going into this with rose colored glasses, as I know this is going to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done, my heart is still being tugged, and if not this year then when? Something I have learned is growth is never easy. When I look back on my life and see when I have done the most amount of growth it was not when things were easy and laid back, but rather when things were hard, and crazy."
"My desire for Christian service has not been something that was ever lacking. I have always felt even from a very young age that church should not be just a place to "go" but rather be. It helped growing up and having parents that showed me the example of helping and being involved in church. At a very young age my mom was taking all 4 of us kids on Mexico missions trips, serving at food banks, serving meals at Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless, taking Church mailers home for us kids to work together to stuff, reading off phone numbers to help her make phone calls, and letting us help her bake or cook for pretty much any even the church had. She truly has a servants heart, and has instilled this to all 4 of her kids. My prayer everyday is that I can install this into my kids. I never want my kids to feel like church is something to just go to, but rather "be" the church. Even at my kids' young age, thy are being Christ's hands and feet. when last week after going thru at McDonalds and Jake saying "I have enough toys, I think Haiti will like this one" (Jake however does think that Haiti is a person not a country, but we are working on it!) I knew something was on track, and my kids are truly starting to "get" the fact that we are His hands and feet."
"I am so looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life. While I know this challenge will be hard, I also know that thru my greatest challenges, is when I have reaped the largest of rewards."
So there you have it...where you will find me the next 10 months! :) Please keep me in your prayers! Oh, and come fold laundry...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Laurens hope

This is for all my heart mommy friends out there!
Laurens Hope has the cutest Medical ID bracelets out there. I have always gotten Tara's from there. Right now, we just get the Velcro ones (we have Hot pink, Light Pink, Camo, and Purple, I told you we are fans!) and I can't wait for her to get a little bigger to be able to wear the Swavorski Crystal ones. So cute, not like the typical stainless steal ones you see, they even have Med. Id watches and Necklaces. So hope of and check out their styles. Plus...if you mention them on your blog (shameless plug like I just did) they give you a $50 gift certificate to get your started...not to shabby!
LOVE THEM! Shameless plug now over.
And since my link doesn't seem to work the website it:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Make a wish

This little girl is pretty excited, she has been granted a wish from Make a Wish!
She is pretty excited as you can tell! :) There was some talk/brainwashing trying to happen for a bit to decide what to do, she wanted juice, mommy was teaching her how to say pool. However in the end we decided a make over of her room would be great!! Soooo this is before: I can't get the whole room in there, but Tara's new big girl bed is on the right of the picture, (my niece Sarah is in the crib that I have not take out of there yet...) and Toris bed is on the left side of the picture. They have these great cubbies in there rooms which are such a great size (as you can tell by the crib fitting in their perfect) so I am thinking we are going to have a bed put into each of the cubbies (like full or queen) then have the frilly netting put up on the peak of the cubbies (can't really see, but just before the chandaliers) and try to get a closet put in there! Plus tea party stuff, as she loves her tea parties!! So, tea party fairy room it is! I think it fits! Plus Tori is pretty excited because in her words "I didn't even need to have a heart and I get a new room too!" (we have been telling the kids the reason why Tara got to make a wish is because of her special heart...Tori just left out the special part!) The boys are definatlly not sad at all though, as the Make a Wish people that came over to the house were AMAZING and so sweet and gave a gift to all of them, so they are way to busy playing with their new toys to worry about the girls having a "girly room"!
I will forsure post after pictures, but until then, Make a Wish Rocks!!

Who has the best Bumpa?

WE DO!!!!
When my parents came over for dinner the other night my dad (Bumpa) let the kids "surf" on his chest. They had such a great time!
Jake catching a wave
Tori was a lot more tenative about the whole process, but figured it out!
Tara was having a blast!!
I dont have any pictures of Elijah, but he was ummm a little to big to catch this wave!

Houston, I think I have some swimmers on my hands.

I know I wasn't surprised. Jim and I both swam competitively, however this summer my dreams of having swimmers, came alive!
Jake is doing so well, as long as he has someone pretty close to him he can go the entire length of the pool this way!
Tori listens ever so closely to all of the instructions to make sure she gets it exactly perfect...she does. She loves following directions, so it works perfect. Her back stroke is the yummiest backstroke I have ever seen...ifidosaysomyself...as retired swim instructor! Jake working on his back stroke not quite getting the thumb up pinkie in part...wish I had a picture of Tori's, but all the ones I snapped just has her face, no arms.

Tara is really getting the hang of her "back floats" and keeps saying "No I do do all myself". She just sits back and chilaxes.

Last session my sister and niece (Sarah) and nephew (Ty) took it with us too. I snapped this picture of my sister and Tara...sweet I know!

Have you ever seen a sweeter girl getting ready to be a monkey getting ready to be snatched right out of a tree? I think not!

I have also decided to put Jake and Tori on a swim team this year. There is one that I think will work perfect for them for the next little bit, its just a community swim team here in La Verne, and only goes 3 months, so its a good taste for both of them. If they like it, and I can hack the back and forth with everything else I have on my plate then we will go for a competitive team. Wish us luck!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crutches and Bear

Today was a big day. Big. Huge. Hence why I am still up at 1 am. Ok, maybe not (I am just a night owl). But none the less. A big day. I have moved Tara to her own room SEVERAL times before. However I have always kept the crib in my room (we had 2). Just in case. In case she is sick, in case she is just off, just in case. However for the majority of her last nearly 3 years of life she has been in my room (lets just say she has either been in my room or the hospital!). Well, about a month ago I moved her. To a big girl bed. Its not a crib. In her own room. She loves it. She likes sleeping in there. She was excited to be in there. Last week I got an email from a friend. She said someone was looking for a crib for a house for battered women. A women came in and had a baby. I didn't even think twice and told them I had one. They came and picked it up today. Today I have a large empty spot in my room. Next to my bed. Where my baby has slept since she has been home from the hospital. Today, my crutch was taken. My If she is sick she will be closer to me spot. It will be filled with a fake tree (its a big room, it needs a tree). I no longer have a bed in my room for my baby. My crutch is gone.
This sweet little bear has been on her crib since my sweet little girl came home from the hospital. Sweet isn't it. This bear has significance to me. Maybe not to Tara (she did pose with it though!) When Tara was VERY sick one of Jim's friends came to visit us at the hospital. His name is Chris. She was in Huntington Hospital for maybe a week. My baby was 2 weeks old (she was a week old when she was admitted to Huntington Hospital). My baby that nobody really got to know when she was healthy. My baby that I was so proud of, her beauty, and even though it was hard to see her like that (with tubes, lines, swollen etc), she was beautiful to me. She was my beautiful girl, that I wanted to show off, but people who came to see us weren't really coming to see her. They were coming to see us. To make sure "we" were ok. I understand, and am sooooo grateful for everyone who came to bring us meals and love on us. We did need it. Looking back I think it was a type of beauty that only a mother can love. Tubes and lines don't scream beautiful baby. FYI. :)
When Chris came that day he brought us the bear. Wrapped up super cute (thinking his wife has something to do with it!) with a card. The card that said "Congratulations on your new baby" Love Chris (and family who I am leaving out for privacy...I didn't tell him I was going to blog about it! Its only fair!) Chris does not know what that card, and this sweet little bear meant to me. Someone was coming to see her, admire her beauty, and congratulate us on our new baby. Chris came, brought us a meal (Mexican I think?) and a present for our little girl to love on.

She may not hug and kiss it every day, but every night as I went to sleep seeing her crib in my room, and the sweet little bear attached reminds me of the day when friends came. Came and loved on my girl, congratulated us on her beauty, and meant more to me that day then he ever realized.
So tonight I go to sleep without her crib in my room with the sweet little pink bear attached to it staring at me as I drift of to sleep. Thank you Chris. Thank you for lifting my spirits that day nearly 3 years ago. You made me feel normal. That I had a normal baby, that my normal baby was beautiful.
PS. The bear is now attached to her big girl bed. To someday remind her. Remind her of her beauty and that people cared.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The natives are getting restless.

So, looking back, I have not posted ANY pictures of the kids on here since April. Well, they have grown...sorry.

I think the biggest news, is that they are in Swim lessons. They LOVE it! Tori is seriously turning out to be my little swimmer. A few days ago she did the most beautiful backstroke to me. About 20 yards of it. I am thinking that after a few more weeks of this I may decide to put her into a US swim team. The Claremont Club (where I swam at) is not far from my house, so I am thinking there! You know, because I am not busy enough. Jake as well is doing incredibly well at swimming. He can swim a bit unassisted, but I dont think he will be able to go on a swim team quite yet. I might look into lessons thru the year? We will see. Tara as well is doing GREAT! This girl L-O-V-E-S the water. You can't tell with the first pictures I am posting...well, because she screamed...the entire time! but the second day she loved it...I promise. She is now floating on her back, all by herself, kicking like a maniac, blowing bubbles, and loving every minute of it. I think it helps that her very best friend/mortal enemy is in swim lessons with her (Sarah my niece). Elijah did not go into swim lessons this year. He didn't want to. :(

Elijah also has some big news. He has been saving money since January to buy a bike. Like a lot of money. He managed to save $280. Not bad for a 12 year old! So he got his long awaited bike last week. We bought it for $300 so we had to put in a bit of money, but lets just say it was a job well done. Plus I like to "own" a portion of his bike. You know, in case I need to take it away. :)

Tori as well got a new bike. Its HOT pink and black and super cute. She loves it, and is doing well on it. We still have the training wheels on it, she is umm lets just say SUPER coordinated, so we will keep those on for a bit....

In other big news, Tori starts kinder in just 2 short weeks. :( Have no doubt there will be pictures for that! And tears for mom as well. sniff. My baby is growing up!

Jake and Tara also start Sonrise pre-school on Sept 1st, Taras 3rd birthday is coming up in Sept. Big party of course! The annual Carlson Backyard Birthday Bash with Blood Drive of course! Tentative date is Sept 11th for the party (so mark your calenders), still need to confirm with the blood donor people. Trying desperately to get American Red Cross, but am thinking its going to be USC blood drive again, they were so incredible to work with last year, and super sweet. I would rather do American Red Cross to choose where the blood goes, but USC was great and donated half of the blood we collected to Huntington for us. So we will see!!!
Well, Jim has my camera today, so I only have these 2 pictures, but be rest assured I do have more, and hopefully will post later today. But for now, hopefully these will calm the natives....and by natives I mean Grandmas.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heart mumbo jumbo and why I can't sleep.

Its nearly 12:30 am. I can't sleep. I am exhausted, but yet when my head hit the pillow about an hour and a half ago (right after the Bachlorette...my obsession!) my mind began to race. I wont go into all of it, but the short story is: Jim and I have gotten an attorney for Tara. She needs additional medical insurance, and we have tried every option. I consulted with a friend who has dealt with special needs kids for way longer then I have, and this is the route she needed to go as well. Its different. I can't say I fully understand everything, and every time I think of it, it makes me mad. We applied to get health insurance thru the ADA with medi-caid or medi-cal. We were turned down. Turns out that if you make over a certain amount of money every year, you can't have a child with disabilities. Well, as it turns out, you can. The state just chooses not to recognize you. Frustrating to say the least. So, needless to say, this is the only route we found. She needs continual health care. And with Jim being self employed, and us having to pay for our insurance monthly on our own, and with the insurance company able to increase your rates 8% every quarter at their will...Lets just say its not getting any cheaper. Our insurance company knows we have no other option...so we have been increased. The max amount every quarter. (hmm, maybe its not the short story of it all!)
So why has this gotten me flustered tonight...well, today Jim and I had a long chat with the attorney (again...the process started about 6 months ago). They have officially decided to take our case on, and today asked for detailed attempts of the first 72 hours before her birth, her birth, and the first 24 hours after she got sick. Its all the emotions on the grid. 72 hours before my water had broken, but nobody believed me. I went in several times before to Labor and Delivery. They kept telling me I was peeing my pants...they said it happens often with women who just "don't know" what it feels like to have their water break...HELLOOOOOO NOT MY FIRST BABY!!! I knew. After reviewing all of the hospital records, the attorneys office now knows too. They believe me. Not because they trust me, but because they saw the hospital records. My water did break prior to delivery. The delivery that when I got to the hospital, they disregarded. Sent me to the bathroom with my husband to pee in a cup. I was in pain. Transitional labor. FYI it hurts. Just a few hours before I was sent home saying my water had not broken, my contractions were braxton hicks, and that I still had 3 weeks before my delivery would happen, they told me I was not dilated at all. The day before in the doctors office I was at 4 cm dilated. I didn't know you could re-gress with that kind of stuff? As it turns out you can't. But yet they sent me home. But with the kind words of "oh, honey you will know when you are really in labor". Yet just a few hours later I was again in that same hospital delivering my daughter in the quiet bathroom with my husband catching my daughter over the toilet. My precious daughter. My 4th child. My 2nd girl. The baby we would call Tara. Tara was born with a perfect heart. Whole and complete in every way. My husband after catching her looking up at me with fear in his eyes saying "honey, I know it hurts, but I am going to need to to pull that help cord behind you so we can get some help in here". The next part was such a blur. My husband took complete and total control over the situation. When the nurse finally arrived she was flustered. She only had 1 hemostat. After talking to herself for quite awhile, my husband finally took charge yet again and said "clamp the baby" She looked at him stunned, then figured out she was the L&D charge nurse and decided she should oh I don't know...do something. She told me to hold my cord. When my husband walked me out of the bathroom several minutes later as we walked by the nurse me still holding the cord her words still ring in my head. "Now make sure you hold your cord up or you will bleed to death". Geez...thanks lady.
then fast forward a week. To the day I will never get out of my mind. The day when my life was forever changed. To September 14th, 2007. The day I was told to say goodbye to my daughter. The day when my worst fears were coming up. When in my dark moments I wondered if they even made caskets that small to fit a newborn. How to have a funeral for a newborn. Who comes. Not all of our friends had met her yet. Her Grandma had not even met her yet, she had not gotten to smell her beautiful newborn smell, to see her piercing blue eyes, or the chubs around her neck. To kiss to most wonderful cheeks you had ever seen. How do you plan a funeral for the most beautiful girl who the world, or all of your family and friends had not gotten a chance to know. How do you tell her adoring brothers and proud sister that she would not come home again? We didn't have to. God stepped in. He told me that very day. It was clear as anything I have ever heard. "She will live". It was not an easy road. Its still isn't an easy road. We walk thru it everyday. Everyday when I give her medication in the morning and at night, I am reminded. When I hook her up to her monitor when I kiss her goodnight and tuck her in. When I tell her how special she is. When I tell her that God is the strength of her heart. (Psalm 73:26 the verse I hung to for over 3 months in the PICU). When I go and give her (and her brothers and sister too) one last kiss before I go to bed, and sit back and adore she sweet cheeks, her chub neck, and her pale/blue skin. When I am in bed asleep, and her monitor goes off letting me know something is wrong with her heart, and I race down the hall half asleep, but getting more awake with every beep I hear not knowing what is happening. Adrenaline kicks in. Its hard to go back to sleep after that much adrenaline has gone thru your system. Yet on a regular, if not daily basis, its my new normal.
You see, this is what gets brought up even more on the days when I am asked to re-live that day. All the moments I can barely remember, yet will never forget. Tonight I write. Not write for you, but for me. To capture some of these moments and feelings. Feelings again that I will never forget. For this, I am bitter sweet. Because, when I re-visit these feelings of despair, anguish, and fear, I can sit back and remember how big my God is, and how he loves me so. For tonight when I tucked my miracle into bed and I told her that God was the strength of her heart, and her portion forever. She said it with me. "Gobs my hawt, an my porpin foweber". Yes baby He is. He is mine as well baby, He is mine as well.