Wednesday, September 25, 2013

luke: two and a half

Oh my Luke!  You are just over two-and-a-half years old!
What a sweet joy you've been these last few months.

You weigh just under 30 lbs and you are tall for your age.
You've still got sandy blonde hair and light brown-hazel eyes.
You are becoming a picky little eater and you like "kid food" the best.

You are running and jumping and playing at home and at the park and anywhere else you go.
You can kick a ball with the best of 'em and you are learning to ride a scooter.

Your speech has been a little hard to understand, but you talk all the time now.
You have officially entered the "why?" phase oh my goodness.

You go to speech therapy (to play with Megan!) every week and love it.  You're doing great.

You've got a little dry sense of humor and now that you can use your words, it's revealing itself more and more and sometimes we just can't believe what comes out of your mouth!

You started a 2-year old class this year twice a week for half day and you absolutely love school.
You thrive there and the teachers tell me you are happy and pleasant.

first day of school

I would not describe you as high-energy or hyper.  You have your moments (like close to bedtime!) but for the most part you're more of a sit-down-and-play kind of guy.  You've got a great attention span and you are meticulous about your toys.  When you play pretend, you line all of your trucks up in rows and they must be facing the same direction.

You are introverted and analytical.

When you get tired, you tell me, "mama I wanna go ni-night now."  And you are plain serious.

You go to sleep around 8 pm, sleep until 7 am, and take a 2 hour nap every afternoon.

You love - and I mean love - firetrucks.
Every time we get in the car you say, "mama, I wanna pass da wa-wa-tuk (firetruck) home."
We drive by the fire station (you can show us the way!) and you tell us how many firetrucks are "home" and if they are "awake" or "ni-night."
You read books about firetrucks, watch shows about firetrucks, play pretend with firetrucks, and wear PJs with firetrucks.  You are going to be a fireman for Halloween, of course.

You are still a daddy's boy.  The first words out of your mouth each morning are, "mama, dada home?"  If he's already left for work, you cry.

You love your Honey, and you still call her "A-ha."
You love Annie.  You enjoy her and you ask me all the time to go wake her up!

You are physically very affectionate.  You love to hug, kiss, and snuggle.
And all of that is fine by me because I love you more than you'll ever know.

Friday, September 20, 2013


This just about sums it up, right here.

Let's start with Luke's undies.  That's right.  Potty-trained.  We used the 3-day method and he did great. We did have a week or two with frequent accidents, but he's gotten better and better and I haven't cleaned pee off the floor in over a week.

The recorder.  Thanks Alyssa.  Thank you very much.  Really, truly grateful for this new musical instrument.  Especially while Annie is trying to nap.  ;)  How could I ever repay you?

The firetruck PJs.  This kid is obsessed with all things fire truck.

Tummy time.  Little lady is just as sweet as she can be.  She is now rolling in both directions.  For several days, she could only roll from belly to back which made her really angry because she'd want to get back to her belly but could not.  As of yesterday, problem solved.  Go Annie girl.

Those eyes.  She loves her brother, and the feeling is mutual.  These two are glued together and it brings me so much joy to see them love each other.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

answered prayer

This little man had several appointments in the medical center last week and we got some of the best news about his leg.

(How do you like that hairdo huh?  Pretty sure we were out the door before the sun came up that day and neither one of us did much to fancy up.)  

We were originally told that Luke would have his first surgery between the ages of 3 and 5 because his bowing and leg length discrepancy were so severe.  On Friday, Dr. B told us that he just couldn't believe how well he was doing and he thought it was safe to say we wouldn't have our first surgery until closer to age 10!

When Luke has surgery, he'll be put in a halo cast (with screws drilled into his bone holding a bulky metal contraption to his tibia) for 3-6 months.  We will turn the screws every day to help lengthen and straighten his bone.  Sounds like a picnic, huh?

I'd always imagined my little man going to Kindergarten in a halo cast.  And it made me tear up just to think about that.  So we have prayed fervently that God would heal his leg without surgery.

The Lord is answering my prayers.

"And I will lead the blind in a way they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them."  Isaiah 42:16

We are overwhelmed with thankfulness and truly believe that the Lord is gifting us with this news and giving us hope in Him.  As always, we trust the Lord with Luke's life and his progress and his journey.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

on raising a kid with some special needs

Note:  I wrote this on September 4, 2013, but hit "save" instead of "publish."  On that day, it was a little too raw and a little too real to share with the world.  But tonight, January 27, 2014, while going through old blog posts, I ran across it and decided to let it out.  :)  I want to keep things in chronological order, so the date above is the day it was written, not the day it was made public.

When Luke was born, the shock of his leg was like a gigantic boulder, sitting on my chest and covering my eyes and crushing my head all the time.  It was weighty.  It was blinding.  It was consuming.

It was terrifying.

I have since been able to move that boulder and I am able to breathe, see, and think a little more clearly.
Let me explain.

Luke wears an AFO all day, every day.  And yet, I hardly notice it's there anymore.

Sometimes when we're out and about someone will ask me if he "broke his leg" and on several occasions, it's taken me a moment to realize what they were talking about.  His AFO is part of his body to me.  I don't think about it being different or even visible.  I see him, not his leg.

We have a team of a physician, an orthotist, and a physical therapist that we love and that we can call anytime for help.  These folks are instrumental in rolling away that boulder, allowing me to focus on being Luke's mama, and not his medical team.  I can breathe a little easier knowing that I am not in this alone.

And we have the amazing, unbeatable, unfathomable support of family to help us when we need it.  Our family has helped financially, emotionally, and practically so that Luke has everything he needs in order to get through this.  I can think about this situation without worrying about how we will make it through.

But there are days - here comes the confession - when that boulder comes right back.

An incident or an instance or just a moment out of seemingly no where when I cannot breathe for the weight on my chest.  I cannot see for the rock over my eyes.  And I cannot think for the challenges that occupy every part of my brain.

The last twenty-four hours have been like that for me.  Luke started having problems last night and our family drops everything to get him to the med center today for an appointment with his specialist.  We are being worked-in to this clinic and worked-in to that one because a two year old that can't walk is a big deal.

I was sitting in the orthotist's office today, looking at my son, and there it was.  The boulder.
One shoe off, one shoe on.  Chowing down on Nilla Wafers.  Waiting to be cast for a new AFO.
I looked at his face and couldn't hold back the tears.
This boy is my hero.  He is absolutely amazing.

Many will have more trouble in this life than Luke.  This is not a pity party.  It's not a sob story.
But there are few toddlers who have walked this road.  No pun intended.
He is so brave and so strong and so incredible and he doesn't even know it.

He looked right back at me and I think he realized that this was a weighty moment.
"I okay mama."
I know, buddy.  I'm okay too.

I am okay because I trust. 

I trust the Lord in our lives.  I trust His will and His provision and His love.  I trust His mercy and His grace.  I trust that He is enough.

God did not make a mistake when He formed my son in my womb.
This road we walk, this boulder that hits me square between the eyes -- this was not Plan B.
This was God's will for us!  His story for us!
It was his very utmost incredible best for us.  And I trust that.

I trust that I am not alone.  That we are loved by a God who would never leave us.
I trust that I was meant to be - made to be - Luke's mama. God gave Luke to me on purpose.

It's easy to hold on too tight.  For me to let that boulder entrap me and make me feel like I have to control every second of every day like this one.  For me to feel an overwhelming urgency to fix this.  It's easy to let the heaviness crush my ability to trust Him.

But the love that I have for my son -- it is a gift from God.
The support of our family -- it is a gift from God.
The medical team -- they are a gift from God.

I have seen over and over and over how God provides and cares for us.
So I will choose not to let that big damn rock get in the way of my trust.

I will be a witness to my son so that he can see me trust God with his leg.
There will come a day when he will trust God with his leg, too.
May I be his example.

I am no saint and this is scary.  It can be terrifying, really.

Luke has an appointment on Friday and I have a feeling that we will get some news that will be hard to swallow.  If not Friday, there will be a day in the near future when I will leave that doctor's office struggling to trust God with my son.  But that's okay because the harder it is for me to trust Him in this, the more I will have to trust Him in this.  And the more I will have to trust Him in this, the more I will know His unfailing Love in this.  And the more I will know His unfailing Love in this, the more I will know Him.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

brother and sister

Just thought I'd show a little comparison of Luke and Annie each at four months.

Their smiles are just alike.  And their little button noses are just adorable to me.
Annie has a longer face than her brother and her hair has always been a little darker.
They were both born with a ton of hair and bald by about 3 months.
They are almost the exact same size at this age, too.

Oh my heart I can't believe I am a mommy to these precious kiddos.

Monday, September 2, 2013

annie elise: four months

If I thought time went by fast with the first child, I knew nothing.  I genuinely cannot believe I am typing a four month post for miss annie.

Annie girl!  What a joy you are!

You give me this great big grin every time I look at you!
You are sugar and spice, little miss.
Happy happy happy until you get hungry or tired or put in your car seat.
And then -- whoo!  Little temper!  It makes me laugh to think of you so young and so opinionated.

Nighttime sleep is still a little unpredictable.  Some weeks are great and some not so great.  For the last week or so you've slept from about 8 pm to 5 am, nurse for a bit, then go back down until around 8.  But sometimes you wake up in the 3 o'clock hour so it's just not very consistent.

You take 3-4 naps a day, depending on length.  And just like your brother at this age, you sleep for 30 minutes and then wake.  I try to enforce one long nap, even if I have to rock you back to sleep a few times.

You swaddle to sleep but we keep your hands out of the blanket.  You find a fist or a few fingers and put them in your mouth to soothe yourself to sleep.

You still breast feed every 2-3 hours during the day and we give you a bottle in the evening when you seem to be a little hungrier than mommy can keep up with.

You are just under 12 pounds and are just starting to wear your 3-6 month clothes.  But with your chubby cheeks and thick little legs, you don't look too small!

You love your play mat, your bouncy seat, and being held around the house.
You love your bath and your brother!  You will turn your head to follow him across the room.
You hate your car seat and loud noises scare you.

You are not rolling over or even giving me any signs  that you will soon.
You seem to be very content laying on your back or your belly and have "no need" to turn!

You fit our family like a glove and I can hardly remember what it was like without you here.
I love you more than I could ever write with words and I truly enjoy watching you grow.