May 19, 2013
For those of you who read my post the other day about the 'joys' of motherhood I have an update... today I got called the 'best car finder EVER' by my sweet child whose been mad all week about the missing blue and green car (which I finally discovered was 'Carla' from Cars2). After learning that the car had eyes I realized it was from the movie so I google imaged it and after scrolling through the pictures he finally found it and while he was out I went to Toys R Us and replaced it... with the LAST one in the store! Literally it was the only one there, I had to ask someone for help when I couldn't find it and he went into the back and found one last box of cars in the back, and in that last box was ONE Carla! So for a few moments I was a hero.
The yesterday I decided to clear out our play room, donate toys that were too young for them, resort the toys that had been mixed up, and rotate the toys that they were bored with. In the process of doing this I pulled out all the Cars cars and put them into circulation. This morning, when the boys hit the playroom and discovered all their old toys it was like Christmas morning and I was crowned Queen of lost cars.
My post the other day, while satirical had that scent of truth that makes is both tragic and funny all that the same time. Motherhood, is hard. Being a Mom means you are everything to the little men/women you are raising. That means it is you who takes the most hits when things go wrong, when something is lost it's you who is meant to find it, when something hurts it's you who is meant to fix it, and you who hears about it via whining until it is fixed. When a drink is needed it's you who is demanded of, when the park is calling it's you who expected to give up whatever you are doing to take them, when a fight between siblings breaks out it's you who is meant to mediate it.
BUT; and this is the biggest BUT in life... when the ouchies are fixed (via kiss or band-aid) it's you who gets the snuggles, when the toy is found it's you who are the hero of the moment, when the fights are over it's you who dealt fairly with them, when a drink is needed it's you who has sustained your kid, when the park is calling it is you who gets to enjoy watching them giggle and play. When they are sick, as kids often are, it's you who they call for comfort, it's you who can make them feel better with just a little cuddle and cool hand on the forehead. It's you. So while it's the hardest job I have ever had, it's also the sweetest paying deal of a lifetime. No job will ever have the same satisfaction, offer the same benefits or bonus's.
For the moment I am a hero, and for now that's enough to make forget that for the past week I have been a monster in disguise. :)
May 16, 2013
Today, across the nation, or more appropriately I should say the across the globe there are thousands of people saying at least one prayer for Joshua as we head into his catheterizaton and planning for surgery. This never ceases to blow my mind! I am still so touched and awed by the many who have set today aside as a day of prayer and fasting for our son. I always think about God sitting up in heaven listening to all these voices begging for healing on Joshua's behalf and I smile because God is listening... and he will act. That is pretty awesome. It's awesome to know that the God who created the stars, who named every single one of them, who spoke life onto this planet with a word, who made man from dust, who filled the oceans with beauties that no human eye will ever see; that same God is right now, this very moment hearing about Joshua and he's listening. How cool is that?
Last night as I was praying I had this image of the woman who is so sure that Jesus can heal her that as he passes by she reaches out to touch his coat. I kind of feel like her some days, knowing that I might not know what to ask for, what to say in words but knowing that if I just reach out and grasp his coat he will act on my behalf. How I long to know a full and whole Joshua, what a gift it would be.
I have been doing all kinds of research on the latest in CHD research and technology and I am so full of hope for Joshua and for kids like him. I will be linking some of the latest studies to this post at the bottom. It's an exciting time for CHD patients (adults and kids alike). There is no cure, but there is certainly hope for one, one day.
I know that I have asked this of you before, but in my heart of hearts I believe that the more people who know about CHD the better these kids chances will be in the future. There are so many ways that you can help, just reading this blog is already a start. Go to the Congenital Heart Defect page of this blog to learn more, learn about how to give to organizations like the CCHA that focus on the adult system, research and caring for those who have left the pediatric facilities. Look into organizations like the Cardiac Kids who strive to help families struggling with living with a child with CHD and helping the kids find moments of joy in the midst of the pain. You are one voice, but together we are two and with all the readers that take the time to pop by this blog we could have an army of informed people. Write and email to your Government Representative and ask for CHD awareness to become a priority, ask your local media why they aren't making this issue one of their headlines, talk with your friends and neighbours; even if all you do is read and share this blog then you are doing something and that means so much to us and to families like ours. It means so much to the thousands of adult survivors who are even now struggling to survive in the broken adult care system. (There, that's my speech... I will get to the exciting new research now).
Here are two of the very interesting and exciting studies that are showing up in the news this week. The idea that this is happening now gives me great hope for the next few years. I obviously wish that we were further along in the research, that people were more aware, that funds were more readily available but I can't believe how far we have come in even that last five years from when Josh was born.
Cardiologists hit 'print' to help solve challenging cardiac problems
Gene found that regenerates heart tissue
May 15, 2013
It's understandable really that motherhood is both a wonderful gift and at the same time, earth shattering in it's blows to sleep, clean homes, personal hygiene, cool tempers, patient attitudes, and general self esteem. We start out with a tiny little embryo that grows into a watermelon, stretching skin into impossible places that never properly return, then we squeeze the watermelon out, or have it surgically removed only to have leaky boobs, endless months of sleep deprivation, cleaning poop, pee and other bodily secretions up to and including breast milk vomit. Just when the watermelon starts to sleep through the night it begins to thirst for independence and for the next few months you are having to follow around behind it to make sure it doesn't fall when it tries to sit, crawl, and eventually walk. Just when they become stable on their feet and the burden eases a fraction the watermelon begins to talk... in nonsensical babble that you are meant to understand and when you don't, you experience the force of a child's newly found temper. Just when they begin to sound more like walking humans and not the watermelons that you grew inside of your small uterus they begin with the questions, the demands, and yes, sometimes even the screams that break the sound barrier. They lose things and you are expected to know exactly where they lost it and that's if you can even figure out which 'green & blue' car it is that is lost (out of the hundred other blue and green cars that live under the couch, bed, and yes sometimes even your shoes), they won't eat or at least they won't eat the meal you provide, they decide that even though they want independence they actually need your help to go to the potty, regardless of wether or not they have been doing it solo for months, they wait until you have cleaned all the toys of every corner in the house before they pick up the toy box and empty it everywhere and redistributing the said toys to the same corners you just meticulously cleaned and squeezed your stretched and flabby body into places that only one as small as this little human can fit into, they want you to leave them alone if the TV is on but so help you God if you try to go to the washroom for two seconds and do you remember that peaceful shower you used to enjoy?... Yeah, I don't either.
Let's not even begin to get into what happens when you decide (with a sleep deprived mind I might add!) to make the wise decision to spawn yet another watermelon! As one is screaming every two hours during the night and the other is making you chase them through the house trying to avoid a fall down the stairs or a bonk on the coffee table you are also expected to clean the house, fold laundry, keep both human and watermelon fed, clean and entertained! Then the watermelon sprouts into a human too and the toys (still placed in every corner, under every conceivable surface and in places your now doubly stretched and flabby body will never begin to squeeze into) are now fought over, the food is that one wants is the last thing the other wants, the potty is now a new thing to argue over, fists that once curled around your finger during a long forgotten moment of peace are now weapons of war, the thing one didn't want a second ago, the same thing that the other human is now playing with, is now also the very thing they want, and it's not the other human's fault, somehow it's yours. The cold that one brings home, the snotty nose, the cough, the sore throat and fever, that is the ONLY thing that these little humans are willing to share but lets' not be fooled, they wait until they are almost better before sharing it so that your suffering is prolonged. They wake countless times in the night, to pee, to ask for a lost toy (probably the same blue and green car that you as a mother have failed to find), to announce that the meal they didn't want at dinner time is something they might be interested in trying now, or that they would like a little sip of water, or maybe on the good nights, it's just because they would like a hug. If they are so lucky as to have had the other humans cold shared with them you also have to deal with the 3am dose of medicine, and the run to the washroom because they haven't yet discovered that coughing and vomiting are NOT the same thing. If you are the unlucky sort, as most of us are, your humans will feel the love enough to share the cold/flu with you as well but they don't wait like they do with the other human, instead they share right away so that while your fever rages you are wiping snotty noses and checking temps, soothing grumpiness and any number of other disgusting things while also trying to clean the toys from every corner, under every surface in places you can't fit, make meals that will be pushed away by at least one of the them, fold laundry that they will promptly unfold when they find that the laundry basket would make a great place to hide the blue and green car that you have been searching for days for!
All that to say that motherhood is a beautiful gift that is mysteriously disguised as the worst kind of torture. The CIA could take lessons from a these little humans to extract top secret information from foreign spies!
(and yet... we love them without end, cherish every single torturous moment, and forget it all when they whisper I love you, or give you a kiss...)
May 14, 2013
In July of 2011 people around the world gathered around us in a day of prayer and fasting for Joshua as we and he prepared for more surgery. Next week he goes in for his catheterization and on the following Monday they will again sit around a table and make decisions regarding Josh's next intervention. The decisions are crucial, the factors many. Today it's been confirmed that these same dear people who arranged a day of prayer and fasting for our son will again begin a day of prayer and fasting. On May 16th they will all take time from their busy lives to fast, and to pray. Then they will meet at the chapel in St. Paul's to pray together for one purpose only. My son. I cry as I write this, not because I am sad but because I am so deeply moved by the love and support we are receiving. I think of all the horrible things in the news this week; Tim Bosma and his tragic end comes first to my mind. We are surrounded in the news by all these horrific crimes, car bombs, threats of war, reigns of terror, people killing people for no other reason that a truck, little girls being taken and held captive for years on end.. it's enough to depress anyone. Yet, in my attempt to look up from the mud, guts and gore of earth and I see many many stars. Stars with names of all the people who step into help when no one else will, stars who pray for strangers in times of need, stars who do whatever they can to shine a light in our world. For us, the stars are shining so brightly in the faces of friends and loved ones and to our surprise the thousands of strangers who are praying for a little five year old boy they have never met.
Sadly, Tim and I will not be able to attend the chapel service on the 16th, I wish I could, the love in that room gave me goose bumps the last time I went. I will be praying though, and I invite all you to come and pray as well. Or, if you are like and and unable to attend, I encourage you to say a little pray for Josh that day.
I know that there is a whole host of things to pray for, and I know it's always helpful to know what to pray for... so here it goes.
~That Joshua knows only peace going into these tests next week
~That his pain is minimal
~That the images they get are clear and easily show what needs to happen
~ That no clots form that could cause Josh and further trouble
~That when the doctors meet they are guided by the Holy Spirit to the right decision regarding his next surgery
~That as his parents we are strong, at peace, hopeful through out
~ That Kaleb will not feel abandonned through out the coming months of being shipped around while Tim and I care for Joshua.
~ That the nightmares that plagued Josh last time are a thing of the past
~That he is healed, touched by the hand of God himself and healed in ways that doctors can only say are miraculous!
Thank you to everyone who organized this event, thank you for all those who are planning to partake in this day of fasting and prayer, and thank you in general to those in the world who choose to work towards making things right in this world, to those who make efforts to brings peace, hope and light into the darkess we are surrounded by.
My heart felt thanks.
This morning was an early one, at 5:00 am Kaleb woke me saying he was going to be sick, we rushed to the toilet but all he really had to do was cough. I tucked him back into his warm sheets and shuffled back down the hall to my own bed. Then I lay there; for what felt like hours but in actuality was only 23 painful minutes of knowing that I was awake but not yet ready to give up hope. Finally, when I realized my tossing and turning was threatening Tim's sleep as well I caved, that and the thought of a fresh brewed cup of java (to be enjoyed in a silent house) got me out of bed.
So many things run through my mind when I wake up in the night, or very early morning, usually they are the worst case scenarios, the fear, the worry, the anxiety, the what if's, the turbulent thoughts that nag at you and seem to be heightened when the lights are out. I have shared about this before, about the fear that lurks in the dark shadows, waiting until I am just trying to sleep or maybe just not willing to wake up before it rears it's ugly head and snarls it's teeth at me. Today, while I lay in bed trying desperately to fall back asleep I felt the cold chill begin to settle on me, my thoughts flitting from one worry to the next, trying to sort out in my mind how to handle all the things that need to be handled, how to manage all the emotional stuff for the kids, how to best support my husband in his ministry, how to best be a Mom in the trying weeks ahead, but also just in general. All these thoughts, all these fears.
If you knew me, 'back in the day' you would know that I have always been fairly laid back, not a worrier, not at all organized, not a planner, not anxious about anything (unless I knew I was in BIG trouble). I went with the flow and took the blows so to speak. Becoming a mother has changed things for me somewhat (it's like when I got pregnant I had a new and very undesired hormone or something that causes me to worry and be anxious) and this morning, I figured out what part of my anxiety is from, and this for me (after 5 years of parenting) is an epiphany!
As I lay there frustrated that once again this monster was invading my bedroom, threatening my sleep, I tried to figure out when I had changed from carefree, whatever happens, kind of girl; to the woman lying in her bed paralyzed with fear and dreading the days to come. That was when I realized that the bulk of my problem lies in my base personality. I, Laurie Haughton, have never been an organized soul, nor am I a patient soul... now, as a mother of two sick kids with appointments weekly, therapists, funding to organize, talks to speak, ambassador jobs, photography jobs, school meetings, research meetings, and of course we can't forget raising these two little men in the process while also trying to keep my marriage whole and healthy. All the sudden I am NEEDING organization, I NEED planning skills... I have been weighed and measured and found lacking. This morning I realized that the most anxiety I feel is around the planning part of our life, the worry that I will miss an appointment, not be able to fit them all in, or that in all the planning for Josh I will miss out on times with Kaleb. I have a date book, a calendar on the fridge and of course my handy iphone calendar... and yet I am still anxious about it all working out. It's like I have a whole bunch of cartoon bubbles in my head with all the things I need to do, organize, plan, calls to make, emails to write, the list goes on and on and yet all those bubbles up there just float around unorganized and causing stress. Add to that, I have the uncertainty of daily life, there are so many questions that need answering before I can even begin to attempt to organize or plan for them. Our summer is all in doubt, so many things could topple over and make all the plans collapse and crash all over me. It's overwhelming to say the least.
I admire people who have a gift of organization, Tim has it, my Mom has it, Tim's parent's have it, in fact, almost everyone I know seems to have it yet for some reason no matter how hard I try I can't seem to find a system that works.
I talked all this through with Tim this morning and he is planning on helping me, but my real question is, is it possible? Is it hopeless to train me into an organized person? How do I sort through the bubbles? Is there an app for that?
May 13, 2013
Do you ever have one of those days when you think as a Mom you are just practicing trial and error? Kaleb, my sweet youngest, has waged war on me in the food department. He won't eat ANYTHING I put in front of him. Josh, he's easy... even if he doesn't like it, all I have to do is say 'who will finish first?' and he complies in order to win the race, or I offer a yummy desert and he will eat through the dinner in order to get the treat. Kaper however, he's stubborn and nothing I do works. Last night during dinner he simply refused to eat. I put a potato on his fork and said that he had to eat at least that bite before he could get down and play, otherwise he would sit at the table until bed time (2 hours away). Now, for those of you who have stubborn kids you know that if you draw a line you absolutely have to stand firm and the kid HAS to be the first to cross the line. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew that it was going to be a loooooong evening. As it turned out, last night we only had to sit for an hour before he finally caved and ate the stupid potato and then only because I let Josh sit down to watch Kaper's favorite movie and he wanted to watch it too. (Yes, I fully acknowledge and accept that I manipulated my son...). This morning, I asked him if he wanted his cereal with milk, he said yes, I poured the milk into the cereal and put the bowl in front of him... and he quickly pushed the bowl away and said that isn't what he wanted. So we sat. He was still screaming about it when he left for school this morning.
How do I get my kid to eat? Not just healthy food either... at this stage in the game I would be happy if he ate dried cereal for a meal! Is it possible that he'll simply starve? How can getting a boy to eat so hard? He used to be my best eater!! What has happened?
I do realize that his stubborn tendencies have sprung from my genes, I see myself in him daily but I have never had to deal with myself so I don't know how to deal with him. When I am stubborn I just don't give in, but how do people deal with me when I am being stubborn? ARGH! I don't know what to do here!?
May 12, 2013
So, this post is for Moms, of all shapes and sizes, with kids or without. This post is for the women who have birthed kids and those who have some that they selflessly love even though they may not share blood. This is for the women who have never known the comfort of their own mothers unconditional love but have felt it through the lives of others. This is for the many aunts, teachers, friends who have stepped up and waded in when it would have been easier to walk away.
I heartily thank you, I acknowledge you and I appreciate you!
For my own dear Mother,
There were times in my younger years that I took you for granted, times that I was cruel and mean and selfish. There were times when you had every right to walk away from me and not think twice about it. Yet through it all you have not only stood by me, but you have come to my rescue, loved me, been a friend when I had no one else, and stood up for me when I didn't deserve it. There is no greater teacher, no greater friend in my life than you. I could write a million words in this post about how much I love you and yet it still wouldn't be enough. Thank you Mom. I love you!
Happy Mothers day!