A List Maker's Life: June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today in Haiku

Vacation I love.
The piles of laundry upon
return, we aren't friends.

My favorite bush
in the backyard bloomed in full
a beautiful gift


Off to the doctor
Today is the first  - since then
I'm crazy nervous.

Last night's Bachelorette,
I missed watching.  Nap time
is when I'll catch up.

Gibson's tongue is healed
The stitches are all dissolved
He's ready to eat.

Over the sunny
noon time we joined friends to eat
at our local park

Yesterday, Steph wrote a sumer haiku and invited the rest of us join her.  With her inspiration I decided to give it a try in sharing about our day.  I'd love to hear about your day in haiku, if you'll give it a shot.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Tale of the "Itches that Kept Us Out of the Sea"

Sounds pretty "ick," doesn't it?
That tale would be Anne Hope's rendition of the drama that kicked off our camping adventure.

It could not have been more than two hours since we had checked in and set up that Gibson decided to try to climb the picnic table.  Being part monkey, I was not the least bit worried about him as I sat on the table bench next to where he was climbing.  He hadn't even gotten both knees up to the bench when he slipped and bumped his chin.  Bumped it enough to let out an untypical wail.  As I picked him up to brush him off and help him restore his climbing confidence I realized that he was bleeding all over my shirt. 

It just so happens that he bit his tongue.  However, it wasn't the typical "ouch, I bit my tongue."  He bit through his tongue.  Not to be too gross, but as he stuck it out for me to examine the cross shape hole through the middle of his mouth gushed.  Poor guy!  It was pretty obvious that a trip to the ER was in order.

Kevin and I hauled the gang to the little, local hospital where Gibson was soon ushered in to the exam room.  The doctor began by explaining that mouth injuries heal very quickly, he has seen MANY cut tongues in his career, and rarely do they require any stitching.  With this said, he turned Gibson on to his lap to take a peek into his mouth.  After only a brief second he changed his tone as he said, "Well, this one will need several stitches.  I'm going to have to call in the team and the anesthesiologist."

So, not only did our baby boy need his first stitches, they would need to put him under to get them in. 

Three hours, three IV attempts, three stitches, buckets of tears, and plenty of mama trauma later Gibson was ready to head back to the campground.  The doctors' orders: only clear liquids for 24 hours, cold/soft foods for 3 days (who brings loads of soft, cold food camping??), no paci (ha!), and to take it easy (that's a tough one for our tough guy). 

As we tucked everyone in for the night Gibson seemed to be back to his normal spunky self.  It was Anne Hope who cried out in disappointment, "it's all because of Gibson's itches that we didn't have a single minute to play in the sea."
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Local Summer Schedule Must Dos

This list has been building in my planner as I anticipate the things we want to be sure to fit in during the summer months:

Kid Tunes at Noon
Farmers Market
Pick Strawberries
Grand Haven Camping
Millenium Park Splash Pad
John Ball Zoo
Meijer Garden Childrens Garden
Michigan Street Theatre Visit
Toy Story 3
Tour DeVos Children's NICU
Plan a Garage Sale
Art in the Park
Holland Street Performers
Tunnel Park
Timbertown
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Concert Faves

Tonight we are looking forward to seeing the Hello Tonight Summer Tour in Grand Rapids, thanks to JQ99 and Gram! We each have a favorite song we are hoping to hear:

Kevin - I Will Rise
Katie - Get Back Up
Gavin - Tonight
Anne Hope- City on Our Knees

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Library Account

Recently Returned
The Help, Stockett
~Simultaneously heart wrenching and heart warming
Spinabilities, Lutkenhoff
~Way to freak a momma out!
Children with Spina Bifida: A Parent's Guide, Lutkenhoff
~Informational and note worthy
Water with Lemon, Foco
~Solid suggesions, but as for inventing your own genre - nah!

Checked Out
The Last Song, Sparks
A Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, Vincent
Noah's Compass, Tyler

On Hold
Living with Spina Bifida: A Guide for Families, Sandler
Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream, Platt
Heart of the Matter, Giffin
The Creative Family: How to encourage imagination and nurture family connections, Soule

What's on your summer reading list?
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Listy Lady

There was a time when I wrote in lists all the time.  Do not be confused, I still write lists daily.  However, my blog posts arent' always a reflection of my listy liking.  Yet, I decided that it would be fun to put together a week's worth of posts in true list lady katie style.

Today I share with you a list of the salads I will be making for dinner this week.  

Ramen Noodle Salad
key ingredients: coleslaw mix, ramen noodles, and sunflower seeds

Pepperoni Pasta Salad
key ingredients: tri-colored noodles, cucumber, tomato, pepperoni, and cheese

Taco Salad
key ingredients: lettuce, taco meat, beans, nacho chips, and shredded cheese

BBQ Chicken Salad
key ingredients: lettuce, chicken, and corn

Orzo Pasta Salad
key ingredients: raisins, feta, orzo, and pine nuts

As you can see we are in the summer salad mood. Yum!
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Strong Hands

Father, give me the strength...

{gavin 2004}

To lead them with strong hands

 {anne hope 2006}

To stand up when they can't

 {gabe 2010}

Don't want to leave them hungry for love,

 {gibson 2010}

Chasing things that I could give up


I'll show them I'm willing to fight


And give them the best of my life


Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

~Sanctus Real

Happy Father's Day Kevin. 
Thank you for giving your strong hands to be our need provider, fighter, encourager, hugger, dream chaser, hold-er up-er.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Refreshing

Waterfalls, Oceans, Lakes, and Streams.
Composed of water, yet formed in unique bodies.
Full of life, bubbling, and beautiful.


According to the encyclopedia, a waterfall is typically formed in a place where an otherwise smooth stream is interrupted as it passes over a layer of harder rock. The water falls to a place of softer, more easily eroded, rocks.

There are plenty of life lessons and parallels to draw from this definition. In the roar of the falling water its possible to lose focus on the beauty in the big picture and the softer landing that will come - eventually.

Streams, as they get older, undercut and erode the harder layers of rock.  As the stream bed falls, waterfalls lose height and significanse, turning instead to a series of rapids or disappearing all together.

I suppose with experience, maturity, and wisdom we realize that we don't have to fall so hard over the tough times.  Instead of free falling with a noisy splash, we learn to hold tight through the rapids while looking for joy in the ride.

To see more water pictures, splash over to this week's You Capture challenge.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Stronger

Some days we see people who aren't sure how to react to our news.
Other days we are surrounded by those who act as if things are the same as always.
Some days I am hopeful and confident.
Many days bring moments of fear and insecurities about what is to come.
Some days we try to prepare our minds by reading material on parenting a child with a serious life long medical condition.
Most days I hold my belly and pray for complete healing of Gabe's little body.

Today's mail brought a heavy packet of papers to be filled out before meeting with our neurosurgeon.  I didn't tear up as I opened it, as I faced the reality of needing his service, or even as I wrote note after note about our family's health history. As I worked on the papers Kevin and I mentioned how we feel as if we are adjusting to what may be, even with all of the "what ifs."

Day after day we are being encouraged by conversations with parents who are waiting for their miracle baby, parents who are living and loving through the ups and downs of caring for their child, parents who have answered our questions without making us feel as if our emotions are unique or out of bounds, parents who have recommended specialists & resources, and parents who are willing to help us network - when we are ready - within our own community. 

We have been lifted up by unexpected conversations, generous offers for help, notes, emails, text messages, and simple blessings that mean so very much as the days continue and we process more quietly.

Everyday we are getting stronger.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Its a Ball

Last night was Gavin's first t-ball game.  Our family gathered at the field to see his first efforts with this new sport.  It was adorable to see these little guys scooting around the bases and trying their best to move the ball.  The game itself is a little predictable as they don't count strikes, outs, fouls, or runs.  In fact, the final score was, and will be for the next seven games, 33-33.  At this point, winning and losing isn't what it's all about.  It's all about learning.  It's all about having fun.
And some of these little men were really having fun.  During one entire inning the pitcher broke out into full break dancing between each batter.  The laughing and clapping from the sideline brought on even fancier moves.  Our very own t-baller (my made up word) passed the slow times in the outfield by imitating the birds. "Make me a bird, so I can fly.  Fly far, far away."  Fun{ny}.
Gibson would have given anything to join the big kids for some fun on the field. 

Ironically, as we tucked Gavin in to bed last night he had his own thoughts on the thrill of the game. "Playing t-ball is hard work.  It looks like it might be more fun to sit and watch the game."

It appears that Gavin may have been aware that Gibson spent half the game sneaking Starbursts from Gram's all you can eat buffet purse.

Thanks to Beth for this week's challenge, to capture our family having fun.  Because, yes, there is still lots of fun to be had!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I Know

Updated:  The winner of the signed giveaway copy, chosen by random.org, is comment #5:
gapmlm said...
I would love to read this! Thanks! :-)
Enjoy!


We expect that what we know will change over time. But, most amazing is when what we know changes in an instant, as we are learning.  What I know now, compared to a week ago has given me new perspective, new uncertainties, but most of all new hope. Uncommon wisdom comes through small whispers, a timely note from a new friend, or the lyrics in an unfamiliar song; just as unconventional truths come from the situations we face each day and the peace we have within. 


Many weeks ago I had the privilege of receiving a review copy of the book What I Know signed by the author Roger Emerson Fishman.  It is a lovely and inspirational book filled with wisdom from both 10 year olds and 100 year olds.  I had plenty of informational comments and cute quotes to share with you from its' pages, such as:

"You can be whatever you want to be, but you better start living up to whatever that is right now." ~chelsea c.

"If you are thinking about having a baby you better start preparing now by collecting lots and lots of sleep!" ~basil m.

"Raising children can be expensive, but parents can always afford to pay attention and spend time with their kids." ~blair b.

In the last few weeks our perspective has been altered by many circumstances, not all of which are our own, and this book takes on a different importance.  Re-reading it's pages I wonder...
...What do we wish our ten year old selves would have known? 
...Would knowledge beyond our years have protected us from life's unpredictability or would it have kept us from the lessons we need to experience before we have the wisdom of a centurion?

This book is divided up into sections such as: commitment, change, longevity, friendship, integrity, parenting, giving, and perseverance.  Each chapter includes features from intriguing history makers such as Harry Houdini's personal assistant, Major League baseball players, Academy Award winners, and more.  However, in reading their passages, and thinking about the truths they know to be true about life, it becomes apparent that each of us could contribute to this collection.

I giggled, pondered, and nodded my head in agreement as I enjoyed reading What I Know.  I think you would as well.  If you are interested in a signed copy of your own check out WhatIKnow.com, and/or leave a comment here on this post for your chance to win one.  I will choose one winner for this giveaway, using Random.org, on Saturday (June 12).

"Try not to plan your whole future.  If you plan it all, then you might think it turned out messed up just because it's not exactly what you planned..." ~meShow alllissa w.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Transformation

Last Thursday I could hardly imagine a celebration.  Yet, we have a very special 6 year old to celebrate.  
I pulled up my idea books, recipes.com, and my big girl smile in an effort to make this birthday just as special for our Gavin as the five before. 

{Transformers Party}

It was actually completely enjoyable to put my energy into a party.  Even more delightful, all the joy we saw in our big G as his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings focused on him.
{Hot Wheels Party}

We had a delicious pizza party with The Papa, chocolate cheese{cup}cakes per request, presents on a new patio, balloons & streamers, new toys to construct, and happy times with our family.  I even put the finishing touches on the Beach Bear birthday treats Gavin will share at school tomorrow.
{Kindergarten Birthday Treat}

This birthday was just the transformation we needed to lift our spirits and put today back into perspective.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Raw*

*Alternately titled:
The post where the people who know me as "the girl who keeps her emotions under wraps as tight as a pig in a blanket" will think I may have lost it.  Yet, in an attempt to be more real and honest with myself I think this is worthy of sharing. 
or
The post written last night after our appointment, yet when re-reading it today I helped me realize there will be good minutes, hours, days, etc. and others that are not so great.  
or
The post I waited to publish until today knowing that my perspective might be one of a bit more hope if I gave it a few hours.

Tonight as I stood in the shower I wasn't sure where the streams of tears ended and where the water began. I'm washing them all down.

I understand that our news may have been more promising than the other patients the doctor saw this morning.  But, hearing that my child has the most severe type of Spina Bifida, may suffer brain damage because of the fluid in his head, will likely never walk (but for a miracle, which I will continue to believe in), will spend months in the hospital in a city other than our own, will have his first surgery hours after birth while I am still recovering from a surgery of my own was not the "good news" I was hoping for. Yes, it is better than the worse we have feared for the past week.  Yet, this news is still laden with uncertainly, life altering implication, and some frustration.

I will continue to strive to be positive.  There are minutes and hours that my hopefulness comes much more naturally.  I do believe in miracles.  I want God's light to shine through our circumstances, but I must admit that I'm still sad.  Sad for the things I might have dreamed or thought would be for us, for our family, for our dear baby.
Tonight I am trusting that God understands my hurt; that He feels it just like I do.  Trusting He is standing with me; that He is pointing me to a perfect plan, albeit very different than mine. Trusting that He will give me just what I need for each moment ahead.

Be strong and take heart all who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

For those of you who like technical details and specific prayer requests:
~The new ultrasound indicates that Gabe has Myelomeningocele.
~Hydrocephalus (a build up of fluid in and around his brain) has also been detected.
~The doctor is encouraging us to rule out the possibility of Trisomy 18 with an amnio.
~We will not be considering in utero surgery.
~We are specifically praying that the fluid in his brain will remain stable and/or decrease, that he will grow strong until it is safe for his delivery and surgery, and that his paralysis will be limited or non-existent.

Thank you all for your thoughts, encouragement, and concern.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our GEM

gem (n.)
a. something that is valued for its beauty
b. a beloved or highly prized person.

We are so very appreciative of all the encouragement, love, and prayers spoken on behalf of our family and our little babe.  In the midst of our uncertain news we really wanted to choose a name for our little guy.  To share it with you who have offered your concern.  We also really appreciate all of your name suggestions and those of you who did the meaning research for us.

I must admit, I've always considered naming our babies before their birth to be premature and presumptuous.  In the last week I've come to the realization that we presume a lot about our lives and our children before they are born, when really we know very little about God's ultimate plan for their time on earth.  He who holds their future has known and loved each of my children, by name, since the beginning.  While I am confident that he has heard the prayers for baby boy M., I imagine he will smile when he hears our baby's full name, as he has always known it, lifted up by many.

Gabe Evan

Gabe is a Hebrew name meaning God is my strength.  He was, He is, and He will be for uncertainty of the days to come.

Evan is the Welsh form of the name John, in honor of my Grampa John.  The meaning, God's gracious (or good) gift, made this an even more obvious choice for us.

Tomorrow Kevin and I are headed to the specialist with the hope of a bit more explanation about baby Gabe and what is to come for him.  

Tonight, with God's strength, we pray with anticipation for something beautiful for our littlest gem.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dance in the Rain

And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
~Mercy Me

We spent part of the holiday weekend at my parents' house.  They live down in a valley.  When the storms come, as they did this weekend, things get a little wild.  All of the water seems to pour down the hills, right toward home.  The bigger the storm, the more water there is.  The more the better for dancing in the rain.
Today the sun is in the sky. 
Yet, the puddles are still deep and muddy.
Kevin and I attended the funeral of a friend who went to heaven far too early, according to our human time tables.  It would be easy to let my heavy rain boots weigh me down.  It's time to take them off.  To lace up my tap shoes.  To join my littlest love, whose jazz hands are busy in my belly, for a dance in the rain.

One thing, one thing I know
One day you'll cry no more
That day will come for sure
Dancin' in the rain
~Nicole C. Mullen
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