Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Retiring

I know i'm only 26, but i am retiring. after lots and lots of praying, talking, thinking, advice-seeking etc, we have decided that it is time for me to resign from my job that generates income so that i can be home with our two munchkins as they become more and more demanding. it was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made...not because i don't want to spend as much time as possible with our children, but for several reasons:
-my job as a hem/onc nurse has been our only source of income (besides student loans) and benefits for 2.5 years
-i love my job...great co-workers, boss, and patients
-it is in a way part of ellen's identity...i am growing comfortable with being mommy and wife only without the nursing career attached
-i hate to disappoint people and i hate to quit things

we went back and forth for months (since i found out i was pregnant with graham really) and it has only become clear in the last week or so. it has been such a wild last couple months, it has felt like anything added to life would just cause us to reach a breaking point. i am already exhausted all the time and if i work a few shifts a week, i feel like i'll be living in a fog. i don't want to miss this sweet time with my little ones. soon adam will start residency and we will have an income again with health-insurance. for now, we will pinch pennies, probably be on medicaid or cobra and be together as a family. farewell 5-south, hello messy house (i guess if i'm a stay-at-home-mom, i'll have to keep it cleaner?)!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy and Healthy

We are all finally well! For the past month at least one of us has been ill with the dreadful virus that caused Graham's meningitis. Seriously, i don't think i have ever felt so terrible as this virus made me feel. part of it was that it was hard to "sleep it off" with two little munchkins to tend to. one particularly rough day, i just laid on the couch while marit went about making mess after mess after body hurt too much to intervene. whew glad that's over! i turned 26 in the process of our recovery and had a quiet birthday that included charlotte's chocolate molten cupcakes (AMAZING!), a new pair of keens, and a couple shopping sprees (online of course as we have been quarantined to the house lately). i'm now in my late 20s...oh dear i feel soooo old. and GUESS WHAT ELSE?

the day after my birthday marit began to walk...jeremy and katie were here and she loves to impress them so she just took off when we were practicing walking with assistance. she used to cling desperately to our fingers as we practiced and now she shakes them off with a grunt of independence. she really is growing up. since then she as begun to initiate, stand up, and just go all around. this is a big deal to us because she is 16 months old and her brace wearing has significantly delayed the walking process and yet here she is doing it and with finesse! as with each new skill gained, marit has entered another phase of contentment and cheerfulness with her new mobility. however, there are those darn molars that are starting to erupt through her gums...

graham's big announcement of the week is that he FINALLY lost the gross end of his umbilical cord and he now has a nice little inny belly button that no longer stinks. he is still sweet as pie at one month old (!) and would like to spend the rest of his life snuggled up on my chest ( at least that's what it seems like) where he is most content-thank goodness for the bjorn!

that's all for now as i continue to wage war against the cheerios that are TAKING OVER our floor. where do they all come from? i find them everywhere even though i vacuum frequently.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

psalm 33:20-22

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A tired bunch

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hangin' on

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

the kids are well, but adam had something terrible over the weekend (probably meningitis) and i'm just coming down with something now. we are hanging on and meditating on this verse in between feedings, poopy diapers, nose blowing, tylenol/motrin popping, quick naps.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanksgiving part 4

Charlotte graham (she dressed as a baby for halloween) is the subject of this post. she is my sweet sister who just graduated from college, didn't have exact plans for this year and so she just decided to move here to help us adjust to life with two children. i cannot even explain what a blessing it has been! she lives across the street and works several part-time jobs. she visits often, picks up groceries, does random odds and ends around our house (thanks for washing the high-chair cover!), and babysits, and hangs out with me, and just generally helps out. I really believe that God, in His great sovereignty, has provided her for us, especially for the last 6ish weeks while we have been in and out of the hospital. marit adores her auntie char char and i love having her around. if only we could keep her here somehow...

thank you for serving us so well charlotte!

catching up

well, after my last post praising graham's sleeping habits, a lot has happened. it turns out that graham sleeping through the night was the first sign that he was indeed ill. the second sign being his lethargy, strange cry, and lack of interest in nursing during the morning. the third sign was the 101.7 fever he spiked monday afternoon. i called adam, who immediately came home and we made arrangements for marit (thanks jeremy and katie!). then we went to the peds emergency room, where there was not even a 1 minute wait before we were seen by the resident, who happens to be a good friend of ours. a fever in a baby less than 1 month old is pretty much a medical emergency because they can go downhill so fast and with little warning. graham was poked 5 times before they could get an iv and all the necessary labs (because he was so dehydrated, his veins were collapsed). i cried during this part as i held him still. then came the lumbar puncture that we did not watch. then we were admitted to the hospital for antibiotics (in case cultures grew bacteria), fluids, and monitoring. it was so sad. he didn't open his eyes for 3 days and just cried out in pain whenever we moved him. his fever remained high until wednesday morning. i stayed with him and held him for pretty much the whole hospitalization. on tuesday we got the diagnosis: enteroviral meningitis. praise God it wasn't bacterial, but still meningitis is scary. finally the fever began to subside, he began to eat well again, and he started opening his beautiful eyes again-it was like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. during our stay, i numbly watched the election...the national events that seemed so monumental before concerned me very little as i held my fiery hot baby. once again, the body of Christ loved us well and prayed us through yet another trial. graham and i have spent about half of the last month in the hospital together. we got home yesterday and it has been so sweet to be together as a family again and to remember to be thankful for each precious moment we have with our children. adam wrote about what we have been learning in the last several weeks and i want to post it here to go with the story. we will get back to normal life soon. in the meantime, love and serve well.

This is Adam. thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. Some of you may or may not have received the emails from Charlotte. Ellen and I don't have access to a computer right now so I am sorry if this is delayed. Anyway, yesterday Graham came down with a fever that has persistently been around 102. The number isn't really the problem, it's just that any newborn with a fever potentially has a big problem. So after a trip to the ED and multiple sticks in all kinds of locations and an admission to the hospital for a few days it has pretty much been decided that little Graham has some sort of viral illness, and if he does happen to have some bacterial illness that was not picked up on the various studies those little buggars are currently being blasted to smithereens with some high-powered antibiotics. It may seem like overkill but a newborn baby is not someone you can just watch and wait for to see what happens...they can go south in a hurry if they have a bacterial infection and there are no clear signs or labs that can tell you for sure that they don't have such an infection. Anyway, needless to say, this has been quite stressful for Ellen and me and at times has felt like the straw that might just break the camels back. We have been in the hospital about half of the last 40 days and are physically exhausted. Please pray for us, that God would sustain us and make us patient and kind when we feel like we are about to snap. Please pray that Graham would be well again and in the same breath pray that God's will would be done (for who knows if it is His will that Graham be healed), simply praise God with us as we know He is good and will do good in this situation. I hate to ramble on and on especially since I just non-selectively sent this to most everyone in our address book and I don't know how it will strike some of you, but I feel compelled to write on anyway. It is amazing how our prayers for ourselves and our children have been changed by the sufferings we have walked through with them (Marit's hips, Ellen's preterm labor, Graham's illness, looking back further, Ellen's stroke). In the past my prayers had at least some strong component of "my will be done in their life"...the "my will" no doubt being something that is good such as making them healthy or successful in some noble career one day, etc. But oh how wonderfully our prayers have changed and how much less pressure I feel for my children these days as my nearly only prayer for them has become, "Father, may our children be 'known by you', may you draw them to Christ, may you by whatever measure of faith given to them make them eager and useful sons and daughters in your Kingdom and may their lives result in your glory and their joy." For if this is true then all else will take care of itself. The irony here is that, for my prayers to be converted and my mind to be changed as it has been, suffering and pain were required, and not just required at random, but required as orchestrated by our kind Heavenly Father. I now understand Job, "Shall we accept good and not adversity from God." For our God is the One who powerfully bends even suffering to serve His purposes, and oh how well this grace of suffering has worked in our hearts these much more readily our hearts worship God and find their satisfaction in Him. Let us worship this God "who spared not His own Son but gave Him up for us all." If i had time i would write on but I must go back to the hospital. We are grateful for all your friendships.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thanksgiving part 3

Graham slept from 10 pm-5:30am without waking up to eat. we feel like new people! what a blessing to get a whole night of sleep (instead of the usual 1-3 hours at a time) before my first day on my own with two munchkins. i love God's attention to detail!

for your listening pleasure

this song popped up on my pandora radio the other day and i thought it was so beautiful. i love alison krauss, but had never heard this song before.