Wednesday, November 24, 2010

when life happens

funny how plans can change in a moment.

a week ago sunday i noticed what looked like a large zit on jilly's bottom...it burst open while i was changing her diaper. it keep randomly draining until tuesday morning, and at that point it was more of a pocket or cyst, no longer draining, and my sweet pumpkin was running a low fever. so we headed to the pediatrician to have it checked out. the pediatrician determined that it was actually an infected abcess...lanced and drained it (ugh...NOT FUN!)...and had a culture sent to the lab. we came home with an antibiotic and the expectation that it was going to quickly shrink and heal.

wednesday it still wasn't shrinking. jilly was still running a fever, fussy, clingy, and obviously very sore when it came to her bottom.

thursday morning it had definitely grown...but it wasn't hot or overly red, so it wasn't showing signs for concern. because of her fever the nurse suggested i go ahead and make an appointment to come in that afternoon. the assumption was that the "spreading" was most likely due to the pressure put on it during draining. however, by the time we arrived at the pediatrician she had received the results of the culture, and they weren't good...it was, in fact, MRSA...and there was only one antibiotic they could treat it with. while the abcess had grown (to approximately 9-11 cm...in other words, her entire left "cheek") it didn't have a pocket accessible for draining. her recommendation was that we immediately be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics.

i'll admit it...i cried. and then eventually pulled it together enough to call mike (who was at home with libs and kate), get the girls taken care of for the evening so he could meet us at the hospital (HUGE thanks for incredible friends!), and make it to the hospital. by that point jilly was very lethargic and in pain; she didn't do anything by lay against me while i rocked in the chair in the room. the nurses informed us that we would be in "isolation"...meaning one parent could choose to stay the duration and not be constantly "gloved and gowned" but anyone else who entered the room would have to constantly wear gloves and a gown. at that point they guessed the shortest possible stay would be 72 hours. my head was reeling...i couldn't begin to imagine leaving the hospital room for any reason, but then my knight in shining armor showed up after getting the older girls settled. we talked and decided it would actually be much wiser for him to stay the duration...1-6 month pregnant me (already not sleeping well at home) would likely not sleep a wink, not to mention what i could be exposed to by being closed in a hospital for days on end; 2-whoever stayed was the most at risk for contracting MRSA as well...not a great idea for pregnant me; and 3-kate...we weren't exactly sure what three days without mommy would mean for our sweet 3 year old.

in retrospect i am so thankful my husband made the decision to stay. he is such a trooper...so much more logical and handled beautifully all the "ick" that came with that decision. besides that, i ended up having to sterilize/disinfect the entire house with a 10% bleach solution (thankfully my mama offered to come help!) and did at least 15 loads of laundry...doll clothes, stuffed animals, blankies, bedding, towels, rugs, shower curtains. oh my!

anyway...the hospital stay ended up being 4 days. it was full of decisions. they tried draining the abcess again, but the incision healed before it could fully drain, so they had to open it back up and pack it with gauze to keep it open. (the other option was transferring to the nearby children's hospital to have a flexible drain surgically installed or to have it surgically removed). thankfully the first option worked! i spent my time running back and forth between the hospital and home, cleaning, trying to keep home running (and elizabeth and kate feeling some sort of "normal")...and mike, well, he sat at the hospital with jillian, never leaving the room, taking complete care of her. he was AMAZING!

we went from a mostly lethargic girlie who wanted to constantly be held (that is me with the gloves and gown holding her)

but even in the midst of that she was a trooper and still flashed us her jilly smiles

to this....a tater tot stealing daddy's girl...seriously, she and mike did some bonding during the four days. she didn't want him out of her sight...even if mama was around!

by the end of day 3/beginning of day 4 we started to see her personality return...and, oh my, she just wanted to be set free!
video
back at home we cleaned like madwomen...elizabeth and kate had lots of fun playing with the gloves!...they were good helpers too! our sweet, dear friends took fabulous care of us...meals, prayers, helping with the girls before my mom arrived at my house...and on and on...in fact, they are still taking care of us!

kater talking to daddy via phone

and now we are home. diaper changes take much longer than usual, lots of cleaning and disinfecting (trying to keep a very dirty area of the body clean is rough!), and lots of monitoring to make sure healing is complete. under doctor orders jillian is not to go anywhere or be around anyone but immediate family until the incision is completely healed--also due to her weakened immune system...and the seriousness of potentially spreading MRSA to others. we are to be watching elizabeth and kate very closely for any signs of infection...and at the sign of the slightest fever they are to see a doctor.

but we are getting back to "normal"...although lets be honest, "normal" always has its share of chaos anyway! diaper changes take far more time than usual, as does wrestling disgusting medicine into jilly 3 times a day....but otherwise she is our normal like 15 month old. yesterday the big girls and i made play-doh while she napped...and they definitely enjoyed getting to do something fun after all the upheaval. even in the midst of craziness i am so thankful we are all five under the same roof again.

play-doh making

play-doh playing

sisters playing :)


our Thanksgiving plans had to change. we usually look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with mike's family at his parents house over Thanksgiving weekend. unfortunately traveling with jillian is not an option at this point, so we will spending Thanksgiving at home. my sweet friend jill even insisted on bringing us all the sides for a Thanksgiving feast...how incredibly sweet is that!

obviously the past week of our lives was disrupted...life happened. but we are incredibly aware and thankful for the way things turned out. we are thankful to have jillian home with us...we are incredibly thankful that she did not have to have surgery. we are thankful to have quality healthcare nearby...and health insurance. the disruption to normal was exhausting--physically, emotionally, etc.--but we are seeing it as a clear illustration of what is the most important in our lives. in the past week the Lord carried us...His grace, His mercy, His sufficiency, His Word. i am poignantly aware of why we spend time in the Word and drawing near to Him in the "normal" days...because when crisis hits His Word and Truth has to be hidden within us. yes, i had time to pray...time to read my Bible...but not nearly what i would have liked...so i am beyond grateful for what was hidden and treasured in my heart already, for the body of Christ--praying for us, holding up our arms, reminding us of truth, showing us compassion and bending over backwards to help wherever help was needed--even from afar.

...coming soon...a whole long list of thankfuls...and not just because 'tis the season. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

blue

last night my husband walked in the door for dinner and found three bathed and already jammied up girlies. his first question was whether i was going anywhere he had forgotten about that evening...when i said, "nope, just bathed 'em early because it worked", he smiled and said, "would you like to get out a bit?" ummm...yes! so i headed to joann fabric with the mission of getting some yarn to start knitting a boyish little hat for the baby BOY. as you can see from the picture below, i bought a little more than yarn. :) what can i say...i couldn't resist the 50% off sale on flannels (especially since many of my choices were an extra 50% off the sale price because they were just shy of a yard and therefore considered remnants!)...after all, we're going we're going to need some blue around this house in the way of receiving blankets, etc. my plan is to use the orange, navy, and teal dino print flannel paired with the yummy orange minky-ish fabric for his special blankie. the other flannels will be serged around the edges to use as receiving/swaddle blankets. i did manage to pick up some yarn as well (and the cutest PUL for wetbags for the cloth diaps--a soft green with adorable monkeys!). now if i can just find some time for crafting. :)


in other news yesterday elizabeth said to me with a very serious expression, "mommy, i KNOW what we should name our baby brother. it is the perfect name. scooby-doo." yep. scooby-doo...this morning at MOPS she proceeded to tell one of the mentor moms, "yep, i'm going to have a baby brother, and we're naming him scooby-doo." umm...maybe (not). :)

and just one more random tidbit...this one about pregnant me. (because, you know, i would NEVER do something like this if i wasn't pregnant...(ahem). this morning at MOPS they had a giveaway....the two winners each received a giftcard for a free burrito at chipotle. i won. i know, you are dying to know how i managed to win. well, my friends, it was one of those "stay standing if..." contests. the first question...stay standing if you have eaten more than 10 pieces of your child's halloween candy. i mean, really, 10 pieces...halloween was 5 days ago (and besides, we received our first taste of candy on friday night...so that was a whole 7ish days ago!)...so 10 pieces, that wasn't hard. most people were still standing. there were a few more questions to narrow things down, but the winning question to narrow out the pack, "stay standing if you ate any of your child's halloween candy this morning before coming to MOPS..." umm...yeah, MOPS starts at 9:30 in the morning people...9:30 in the morning and i had already snuck two of those mini snickers...secretly i'm kinda thankful for those suckers...after all, hubby and i will enjoy the free burrito on an upcoming date night. now to go hide the girls' candy...from myself! :) (and i would like to think that lots of those mamas who had already sit down had also indulged in a nugget or two of candy before MOPS as well....) :) at least this year i can "blame it on the baby".

although, this time around i am not actually craving sugar or sweet items all that much (in all honesty it hasn't been too hard to lay off halloween treats--and i said "lay off" not avoid completely--i'm only human!). actually, with this little man i am craving FRUIT...specifically fruit smoothies...a banana plus a combo of frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and pineapples depending on the day, plus a splash of milk...YUM! in other differences, i was sicker at first during this pregnancy, but the past couple of months i have moved past that and it was only a week ago that the first signs of heartburn started rearing their head (by 16 weeks i was feeling full-fledged heartburn and indigestion with the girls). and in other news, as a few of the sweet mamas at my MOPS table pointed out this morning (sweetly and excitedly, of course), i have really "popped" since two weeks ago. yes, my friends, there is no hiding the fact that i am pregnant anymore...and no hopes of wearing non-maternity clothes (i'm so thankful to sweet friends who loaned out winter-ish shirts so i didn't have to spend a fortune on winter maternity gear--a new season for me to experience pregnancy)...every once in awhile i look in the mirror and think, "whoa...i'm really pregnant". also in the past two or three weeks i've started feeling this little guys movements like crazy (one of my favorite things about pregnancy!)...and, let me tell you, he loves to move!

and that, my friends, is the bit of randomness inside my brain this afternoon...now to do some cleaning up before the girls rouse from room/rest time. tonight is date night...sweet, blessed, blissful date night...i can't wait! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i could smile...

i can't believe it has been nearly two weeks since i blogged....or that it is november for that matter. i have so much to share...so, so much.

i could tell you what a fun halloween we had...the zoo boo with sweet friends. the harvest festival at church. trick-or-treating (not once but twice....once as a family in the town next door that did trick-or-treat a day early...and then on halloween, just mommy and the big girls with our neighbor). i could tell you how they will never again get to trick-or-treat twice...we only went for a short trip both nights, but seriously...the candy they pulled in was out of control...at least a year worth of treats, maybe more....and that, my friends, is what we do with it...store it away, a treat here and there, no need to buy treats for the rest of the year! i could tell you how i had the cutest monkey, duck/princess, and gator/tigger ever...yes, kate and jilly had some wardrobe changes for different events! :) i could tell you that i aspire to someday make some fabulous costume creations for my darlings, but seriously...not this year for a prego mama...but i can happily report that we didn't spend a penny on costumes. :)






i could tell you about the messy fun we had making own own pumpkins. i could tell you how methodically elizabeth glued and placed beads to create hers...or perhaps how delightfully haphazard kate was in the placement of crayon, beads, craft sticks, etc....or how beautiful the end results were for both girls.


i could tell you about how kate was up until past 10 pm two nights in a row...how we didn't discover that the first night until i went up to get ready for bed and found her in my bathroom, with my make-up strewn across the floor and countertop...how she had created her own masterpiece with eye liner...smudged all over. i could tell you how thankful i am there wasn't any lipstick in that make-up...i can only imagine how much messier the mess would have been. i could also, happily, oh so happily, tell you that she has been falling asleep at a much more reasonable hour! but i could definitely tell you that i still find myself constantly praying and asking the Lord for wisdom with her...oh how she confounds everything i *think* i know about parenting.


i could tell you how it is hitting me that my sweet baby jilly--sweet smiley, goofy girlie--is not going to be the "baby" all that much longer. i could tell you how i find myself savoring everything girly about her at the most random moments...how i find myself snuggling her a bit more tightly and watching with a bit more wonder. i could tell you, though, that she is absolutely mastered the "fold in half and throw a tantrum" stance....and the "run in the other direction when mommy calls" sprint. i could tell you that she popped a molar through....or how she shadows her big sisters with complete adoration. i could for sure tell you that she is such a treasure!


and i could tell you that elizabeth is growing up before my very eyes. i could tell you that five just might be my favorite age ever...how she says the funniest things. i could tell you about her recent penchant for retelling jokes (or trying to make up her own--which is even funnier). i could tell you about the million names she comes up with for her baby brother everyday...yesterday the very serious front-runner was date...yep, as in today's date is nov. 2. i could tell you how she is so the oldest...how she loves being the boss and having everyone follow her rules. i could also tell you how that doesn't always go over very well...ugh...and how we've had a lot of conversations about how sisters are treasures, how we are to seek the interests of others and not ourselves, and on and on. i could tell you that she is beyond ecstatic with the news that the baby in mommy's tummy is a BOY.


in fact, that maybe should have been first...for those who aren't facebookers and haven't heard it in person. i could tell you how we didn't intend to find out the gender of this babe #4...how we planned to be surprised in the delivery room just as we were with the first 3. i could tell you how i secretly really wanted to know. i could also tell you how we totally spaced on mentioning to our OB that we didn't want to know before he turned on the ultrasound stuff. i could tell you that it probably wouldn't have mattered even if we had mentioned it since the baby was eager to show off the "goods". i could tell you that it is a BOY! A BOY! i could tell you that we are still completely in shock (and that i most likely will be even after he is born!). i could tell you how my OB registered our shock and offered to give us a confirmation glance at our next appointment, which was yesterday. so we have been holding this secret in our hearts for the past month, sharing it with people here and there, until yesterday...when we saw the proof again. i could also tell you that we aren't sure this babe will ever have a name...that we have never had a solid, 100% for sure boy name for any of our pregnancies...but no matter what, he will be loved...a lot by all of us. i could also tell you the sweetness of hearing my husband (after he registered the shock of the reveal...as he was more convinced than anyone that it would be a fourth girl) say with wonder and delight, "i'm going to be a daddy to a little boy." i could tell you that i am so, so, so excited for him to have a little boy to do little boy things with...but how i am just as delighted for myself to get to know the special mama-son relationship (and perhaps just as overwhelmed by it as well!).

i could tell you about the yummy pancake breakfast we had saturday...and the sweetness of these sister entertaining each other while we waited for the cakes to cook.


i could tell you how yummy the pot roast in the crockpot smells right now.

i could tell you about this morning...how it was rough, rough, rough. or perhaps how sweet it is when your children eagerly surround you with hugs and forgiveness when you humble yourself before them and ask for it. i could tell you how ashamed i am sometimes of my sinfulness...of my tendency to react in anger rather than responding with patience and love. i could tell you about the beautiful Scripture the Lord brought before me this morning as i sought Him in the midst of the crazy moment. psalm 142:3 "when my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way." i could tell you that being a mommy brings me to tears...a lot....that it is humbling....big time. i could tell you that i have broken down several times in the past few weeks over the reality of never finishing anything permanently...washing dishes just to find them dirty again, vacuuming the floor just to find toys and miscellany covering them again, washing and folding laundry just to find the baskets filled again...how i have been struggling and fighting against despairing over those things. i could tell you that i want to learn to be better at living in His strength and not in my own. i'm praying that for you friends...would you pray it for me?

most of all, i could tell you that life lately has been less than picture perfect...and i am learning, slowly, to embrace that. have you seen the windows commercial advertising their new photo editing software...where the mom tweaks the photo, and says something like, "windows gives me the perfect family that nature never could". i could tell you how much that commercial grates on my nerves...how i am realizing my own tendency to want my life to look perfect...my children to look and behave perfectly...and i could tell you just how much i am missing out on when i try to bend everything toward perfection. my life is messy and in need of Jesus. my heart is messy and in need of Jesus. my children are messy and in need of Jesus. even my house is messy and in need of Jesus. so instead of photoshop-ing it, i am just going to surrender it to Jesus and do my best to simply savor the messy chaos.