Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy...and Sad

This must be a good time of year for lots of folks.  Facebook is full of pictures of weddings and big baby bellies and cute new arrivals.  I have many, many friends having babies this year and next.  I have one friend having a baby as I type right now!  It's a beautiful thing really, especially as for many friends this is their first child, and I am so happy for them.  There is nothing like having that first baby.  I am looking at mine right now...he'll be 8 in a few days.  I was so young when he was born that I think I hardly appreciated the awe and wonder of becoming a mom for the first time.  Or maybe even the second time.  Andrew was a different story.  Losing two pregnancies before having Andrew taught me a lot about how precious each child is and how much of a blessing it is to be gifted with another child to raise.

Even after losing the two babies between Joshua and Andrew I don't remember ever doubting that I would eventually have another child.  I didn't know when it when be, but I knew he was coming.  But now I feel like I am in a different place.  I am honestly and truly wondering if I will ever be blessed with another child via my own pregnancy.  And that is a really hard idea to swallow.  I have lost two more babies since Andrew was born, but that's not really what this is about.  It's more about my body and just not knowing what's going on with it.  First we had to deal with the gallbladder problem and all the complications associated with it.  Now that problem is mercifully gone, but in it's place I apparently have some internal scarring near the surgery site that I wonder what will happen to if I were pregnant again.  And then there is this mysterious sickness that I am currently suffering from.  Perhaps the antibiotics will take care of this and in a month or two I'll read back over this entry and laugh at how faithless and silly I was to doubt that my body would be ok for another pregnancy any time in the near future.  But I am not in that position right now.  And I guess that's not the position God wants me in.

I sense that He's trying to do something in me with regard to my view of more children, but I can't see the end of it yet.  And as is often the case when I'm in the middle of something God is teaching me, it hurts.  It hurts so much that I have actually started crying several times recently as I have looked at Andrew and my heart has just ached at the possibility of never bearing another child.  How far I have come from the years when I just had to get looked at by Philip to get pregnant and not feeling sure I was ready to struggling with being able to conceive and sustain a pregnancy.  My heart has certainly changed and I can now understand to some degree the pain and longing that those who are truly infertile deal with.  The empty arms and the longing heart.  My arms and heart aren't truly fact they are very full with three beautiful sons.  But in my heart I know there are more children that are meant to fill our home and my heart aches and longs for them.

From one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Today I am thankful for this promise.

And I am happy for all those new lives coming in to the world.  Those babies have some special parents. :)


Philip and I are sick.  We don't know why.  We wish we knew why.  We hope the antibiotics we're on are going to kill this thing dead.  Forever.  But we might be a little worried that it won't.  We suspect it might be Lyme (although so far the tests are not confirming this, which is probably a good thing).  We thought it might be mold, but that's not looking too probable at this point.  It's responding to antibiotics.  So what IS it?  We'd appreciate your prayers that we're able to identify what this is and eradicate it.  And please pray it's not Lyme.  That nasty stuff is life-altering and I'd really like to have more babies, God willing.  It's more than a little scary not knowing what's making you sick when the symptoms make living life and working at a job challenging.  So we're praying for God to heal us and we're praying for us to trust Him while we wait for answers.   Thanks for praying with us.

Birthday Boys

Philip and Caleb have birthdays 10 days apart, so we celebrated them both last week.  I had been so tired in the days and weeks preceding Philip's birthday (since our Niagara trip, really) that it was destined to not be much to write home about.  I had been planning to make him a cheesecake, but the day before I had to negotiate him down for brownies.  I didn't have the energy to make cheesecake.  His brownies barely even got iced I had so little energy on Thursday.  And we didn't get a picture, so don't ask.  I haven't even written his birthday card yet.  Sad.  The good news is that I started on an antibiotic on Thursday night and by Friday had some energy and by Saturday morning I had enough energy to work too hard and restrain my internal scar tissue from my surgery.  Go Angela.  Anyway, I was able to decorate Caleb's cake in an ocean theme, which is what he asked for, and get gifts wrapped and the house cleaned before our guests arrived at noon.  Sounds like no big thing, but when you've been feeling like death warmed over for a was a big thing.

Philip, Caleb and Joshua went camping with another dad and his sons on Friday night as Phase 1 of the birthday celebration.  Then we all assembled here Saturday for lunch, play time and cake and ice cream.  It was low-key, but everyone had a good time, even the three year olds. :)

I can't believe Caleb is 8 (or will be in a few days).  As they say, the days have dragged, but the years have flown.  There are so many great things about having an 8 year old.  We are really enjoying the greater maturity and his ability to really participate with many activities.  We're so thankful for him!

The birthday boys

Caleb kept laughing and the air from his nose blew out half the candles.  The irony is that when he tried to blow the candles out, he had trouble!  

Playing one of the new games Caleb received: Pathwords.  He loves games that require thinking!  And Joshua, well, he loves being Joshua.

Happy 8th Birthday, Caleb!  We love you!

P.S. I love Philip, too.  We're just not quite as excited at his getting old. :)
P.P.S. I will be making Philip a cheesecake one of these days.  Probably.

It's Back!

Poor Joshua left his treasured "Bibi" (blanket) in his bed at the hotel we stayed at in Toronto.  Note to self: always check the sheets for kids sleeping items before leaving a hotel.  Lesson learned on that one.  We realized we had left it when we reached Buffalo the following evening.  I was really worried at this point as to whether ANY of us would be getting sleep that night since the blanket (which had recently been renamed "Bubba" after the blanket of a character in a book we recently read) was an important part of Joshua's ability to go to sleep.  However, he handled it very well for a six year old and soon accepted one of Andrew's little blankets as an replacement and went to sleep.

Unfortunately, while I was able to call the hotel and immediately verify that they had found the blanket and were holding it in "Lost and Found", they were unwilling to help us get it back.  We would have to send a courier who would provide their own packing materials to come get the blanket, package it up, fill out the customs form, etc.  So much for friendly Canadians. I couldn't believe they wouldn't at least box it up.  The rest would have been easy at the point.  But no. :(  And so we wondered if we would ever get it back.

Enter my local friend Jess whose husband is Canadian and had some friends in the Toronto area.  They were able to locate one who was willing to go get the blanket and mail it for us.  Joshua knew it was coming and for days whenever a package arrived (which was often), he would ask "Is that Bubba?!"  But no, it never was.  Finally on Friday afternoon just as the boys were headed out to go arrived!  Here are the happily reunited pair:

So MUCH for friendly Canadians!  Chris, we're so thankful for your efforts on our behalf!  Don't think we'll ever be staying at the Park Inn in Toronto again, but we sure are grateful for the kindness of strangers.