Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't even know where to start here.  I know I will miss out on some things, I'm sure some very important things. 

We started this month in the pediatric ICU at Primary's.  Aaron had caught rhinovirus, yeah, the good old common cold.  It turned into a fight for his life.  We thought things were under control and preparations were being made to go home.  Then it turned bacterial and really nasty, really fast.  The only time we were in there longer was when he had his g-tube and then his trach surgeries, and we had to find vent settings that would work (or we thought would work).  That stay was only two days longer than this one. Even when he was in heart failure, it was shorter.  Now, he's back home and doing really, really well. 

I'm thankful I have two days off of work this week.  I've really enjoyed having the extra time to spend with my kids. 

Matthew plugging in the lights.

I'm thankful to have all my kids under my roof at one time.  That doesn't happen very often anymore.

I'm thankful for all the help I had with Thanksgiving dinner.  Other than lots of supervising, I really didn't make anything. 

I'm thankful we had plenty of food.  So many in this world don't.  I'm also thankful I ate a little of everything and wasn't stuffed at the end.  Just comfortably full.
I'm thankful my husband woke me this morning to tell me he had made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, lots of bacon.

I'm thankful for all my kid's help in decorating for Christmas, especially Mary's.  Everyone helped, but she was at it the WHOLE time. 

I'm grateful my in-laws joined us for Thanksgiving, and they brought the turkey.  I don't miss having to take the meat off the bones.

I'm grateful for my parents and siblings.  They're always there for me.

I'm grateful we have NO plans to contact EMS this weekend.  I think my neighbors probably are, too.  Last year they were up in plenty of time for Black Friday shopping due to the chopper landing for Aaron.

I'm grateful my nurses have been staying until 8 am the last couple days.  I really enjoy not waking to an alarm at 5:50.  If I'd go to bed at night, it wouldn't be so bad.  But somehow, with all the older kids, that doesn't always happen.   

I'm grateful for the doctors and nurses who have worked so hard to help Aaron, and to teach me how to take care of him.  He was a stinker earlier today, dropping into the low 70's and, for a minute, high 60's, even on 10 liters of oxygen. I knew I could suction him and give him a breathing treatment, and I knew how to check for air movement in his lungs.  I didn't really like what he did, but I wasn't running for the phone, either. 

I'm thankful my older boys are responsible and knowledgable enough that they can go on a 3-day backpacking trip without us around.  They really do well together.

I'm thankful Jonathan is enjoying wrestling.

I'm thankful David's college application is done, really thankful.

I'm thankful Matthew gets to play Snick (a dwarf) in Timberline's "Snow White and the 7 Dwarves."

I'm thankful Joseph is doing much better at getting his homework done.

I'm thankful Andrew loves to hold his little brother.

I'm thankful Michael is enjoying kindergarten.  He loves to learn.

I'm thankful Deborah is enjoying her job.  I'm also thankful she is so willing to learn how to take care of Aaron to give me a break.

I'm thankful Mary is doing so well at college.  She's a great self-starter.

I'm thankful for my home, my neighbors and my country.  I'm grateful the weather is more temperate than last year.  I think we were in the 50's today.  Last year, when Aaron was lifeflighted, it was -3 degrees Farenheit.  I'm not a cold weather girl.

I'm thankful Aaron is doing so very well.

I'm thankful for my trisomy and medically fragile family. They have been a rock of support and strength for me over the past year and a half. We laugh and cry and rejoice and mourn together.

I'm grateful for family traditions, even the inadvertant ones.  Every year (it seems) there's at least one ornament missed on the tree that isn't found until the next year.  Usually a small crystal one that blends in.  We only have a few, but somehow it happens.  I was sure last year we hadn't missed any.  Nope, there it was.  Hiding in the branches, as beautiful as always.  I think there's a lesson there.  We all have something beautiful hidden away within us.  Sometimes it's really hard to find, in fact, we might not even think it's there.  But it is, just waiting, until the next time.

I am grateful for my testimony of the gospel, for my love of my Savior and His love for me.  I am grateful for the Plan of Salvation and eternal families. 

A Month of Thankful Thoughts:
Wednesday, November 24th:  I'm grateful to be able to take family pictures, even though some members think it should be classified as cruel and unusual punishment.  I need to capture these moments...

Tuesday, November 23rd:  I'm grateful I will have everyone home tomorrow.  Mary came home today from school, but between afterschool practices, a wrestling meet, and a graveyard shift, they won't all actually be under my roof at one time until 6:30 am on Wednesday.

Monday, November 21: I'm thankful for my warm, dry house when it's so dismal and wet outside.

Sunday, November 20: I'm thankful for Sunday afternoon naps, and a wonderful 15 year old who watched over Aaron so I could ignore the alarms for a couple hours. Take that, migraine!

Saturday, November 19: Today I'm thankful I was able to get a lot done here, and I didn't have to go anywhere. Yea for staying home!

Friday, November 18: I'm grateful for my three oldest sons. The last almost two years have been difficult for them. We've tried to keep things as normal as possible, and keep them in the activities that they love. We've been pretty successful, but I have to say that's because these three have really stepped up to the plate. They have been great to keep reminding me of what is going on and have been quite resourceful in making things happen. I love how responsible and caring they are. Love you, David, Jonathan, and Matthew!

Thursday, November 17: I'm grateful for my 6th grader's teacher, Mrs. V. She told the kids they got 200 extra credit points in math if they adjusted a recipe (doubled, halved, etc) and made it for their family. So tomorrow, we get to wake up to crock-pot french toast, made by Joseph. YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 16: I'm grateful Aaron is on 1 1/2 l of O2. First time he's been below 2 liters in almost 4 weeks! Go Aaron!

Tuesday, November 15: I'm grateful for a job that lets me work my own hours from wherever I am. There aren't many things I can do because we can need to leave at any time and spend unknown days at the hospital. But my job is anywhere I can get an internet access and I have a 29 hour turn-around on what is usually a 3-6 hour assignment. Any my supervisor has been great to tell me to just let them know if I need additional time off in regards to Aaron.

Monday, November 14: I'm grateful for albuterol, and that it acts fast. It's so great to be able to see Aaron go from struggling to really comfortable and happy within just minutes. I'm grateful for those who have developed these medications and for those who have taught me how to take care of my baby.

Sunday, November 13th:  I'm grateful Aaron is 17 months today!!!  I'm also grateful to sing with Joyful Christmas Sounds again.  I love to sing.  It feels so good.

Saturday, November 12th: Okay, this sounds silly, but then, I'm not a cold-weather girl. I'm thankful for seat warmers in the car. Actually makes dropping off and picking up kids bearable. Also thankful for Hopekids. It's so nice to just be able to go out and have some "normal" fun at a movie theater. We got to take all the kids except Aaron, and Mary who was at college.

Friday, November 11th: Like many, I'm thankful for all who serve and have served in the military, especially my favorite veteran, my dad. It's also his birthday. He and mom taught me and my siblings to love and respect our country and all that it offers us. I'm also thankful for my sister, Liz, who share's Dad's birthday. She's always there for long talks about whatever. Just wish she lived closer!

Thursday, November 10th: I'm grateful for my oldest. I have so much fun just talking with her. I'm grateful to include my daughters as some of my best friends. They have grown up to be wonderful women.

Wednesday, November 9th: I am grateful for my husband. I came home frustrated and tired and ready to lash out at the world. He put his arms around me and just let me rant.

Tuesday, November 8th:  I'm grateful for my Michael. He's so sweet. He came running up and gave me a big hug last night. Then he fell asleep in my lap. Wonderful feeling.

Monday, November 7th:  I'm grateful to be home.

Sunday, November 6th:  I am grateful for the sacrament and the chance I have to renew my baptismal covenants. I'm grateful for the other parents here from whom I draw strength. It's good to sit with friends in church.

Saturday, November 5th:  I’m grateful for medical technology and those who use it to help us enjoy life. Today we have a 15 pound portable machine that does the work that the iron lungs did when children of my father’s generation had polio. 

Friday, November 4th:  Today is easy.  I’m grateful Aaron is doing so much better.

Thursday, November 3rd:  It’s my mom's birthday today. I have so many things to be grateful for, but today I want to focus on her. My mom is awesome. I was a pretty bratty kid, especially as a teen, but she was always there for me. Since I’ve grown up, I can’t believe how incredibly brilliant she’d become. I’m glad she’s part of my life. I learn so much from her. I’ve had a lot of people tell me what a great mom I am, especially over the past year and a half. But I learned it all from her. I just try to do what she did. I love you, Mom, happy birthday.

Wednesday, November 2nd, I’m grateful for a hospital staff that is so invested in Aaron. I can’t walk or sit anywhere without someone asking about him and how he’s doing. Doctors, nurses, respiratory techs, social workers, cleaning people and even the ladies who manage the hospitality cart. They genuinely care. And two days ago, a nurse who hasn’t had him for months, finished our conversation by saying, “I will pray for him.” That meant so much to me.

Tuesday, November 1st, I’m grateful for teachers who are willing to go above and beyond in helping my other children stay on top of their school work, and to help me know when they aren’t. I’m grateful my husband is helping them stay on top of that same homework while I’m gone (and often even when I’m there!).

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