Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Momma.

The genius of the beauty of the stars

Is not the stars;

But is the space

That stands behind like black velvet,

Showcasing the stars

Like scattered diamonds.

What beauty:

That each brilliant shard

Must for a moment glow,

Then fade to black,

To become the background-

The beauty-

Of the birth of another star.


I wonder why I didn't ask you how to make biscuits, how to give piano lessons, where you ran to when all four kids under five years were grumpy at the same time, how you could stand to make dinner every single night for 20+ years with a smile, what it was like to be a young wife and a young mother, what you thought of Chad when we were dating, and how it felt to be looking at earth and heaven at the same time. I wonder why I didn't record your voice singing familiar songs, why I didn't write down all the recipes you never wrote down, why I didn't take more pictures of you, and why I didn't tell you every day in those last months how very, very much I love you. There are always regrets.

However, even more reassuring to me is this: that your girls (myself included) spent late nights in your room talking about silly and important things alike, that you were home every day when we walked into the house to hear our latest news, that (hopefully) you never doubted how much we liked to have you along for firesides/meetings/activities because you were always there with us, that I knew you were the most wonderful mother I could have been given, and that I told you I loved you often enough that--despite missed opportunities--you already knew it. I am grateful that we knew enough to appreciate you and Dad, even as difficult teenagers; that our relationship was one of love. It is comforting to know the peace far outweighs the regret.

And I'm sure you know now, with the privilege of keeping a heavenly eye on us, how much more I miss you now--when I'm in the ER with my crazy child; in my disbelieving of your equanimity with seven when sometimes one is enough to send me over the edge; and when I ponder upcoming baby blessings, home projects and stressful parenting days. I begin to realize that there's a never-ending list of questions I didn't know I'd want to ask you. But I remember watching you, and I find countless lessons of wisdom in the memories. So Happy Birthday to my immortal mother--to one of the very brightest stars to fill my sky! And if I shine at all, it is because you are my background!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coren's Awesome Room! #2

Apparently, I can only post five photos to a blog. So here are the rest! After two months of tedious work, we finally have a fantastic nursery! And we are ALL so happy to be done!!

Coren's Awesome Room!

Here they are--the pictures of Coren's room! And no, you don't get the full effect of the room, but at least you get to see all the little pieces of it... The Awesomeness is unstoppable!! I'm pretty darn proud! :)

No, The ER Doesn't Get Easier!

So, as usual, this is a little late coming, but here's our adventure of the week--my journal entry from May 12th:

Well, yesterday was quite the episode… Another trip to the E.R. for my boy! That’s twice in less than a year. Gee whiz!

I was babysitting Alexa and Noah yesterday morning while Ciara went to her doctor’s appointment. The two of them were playing downstairs while I put in a load of laundry. Coren, as usual, was wandering back and forth from playing with them to entertaining himself in other areas of the house.

Then I hear a giant thud, followed by one or two littler thuds, and there is my boy, at the bottom of the stairs, looking very confused and absolutely terrified for an instant. Then he started screaming. I scooped him up and hugged him, trying to soothe him. The spooky thought in the back of my mind was that there hadn’t been a series of thuds. So he must have been up on the shelf above the stairs before he plummeted. Just a bit worse than a regular stairs tumble.

“Are you all right?” I asked and looked at his face…. Yikes! Mom’s turn to be terrified. His mouth was full—FULL—of blood, and it was streaming from his nose. I ran up the stairs, instantly in a panic. I stripped off his clothes and started washing off the blood, just in time for panic moment #2: Coren suddenly goes limp as a rag doll in my arms—won’t stand, won’t hold his head up, won’t even focus on my face. “Holy nightmare!” I think, as two equally horrible ideas leap into my mind. “My son has got brain damage. Or he’s snapped his spine. I’ve destroyed my child’s permanent development!”

So what to do now? I’m pretty dang sure he needs to go to the emergency room, and here I’ve got my niece and nephew. So I call Ciara to see how far a way she is—luckily, she was only minutes away. And I called Chad…. Which now, as I reflect, could have gone better. I think my new rule should be to wait 10 minutes from the emergency, then call my husband. Because I’m certain the message he listened to was not very balanced in its delivery. It sounded a little something like, “Um, Honey, I’m just calling because I think I need to….. Whoo…. Just a sec………… Okay, (in a rush now) I need to take Coren into the emergency room because he fell and he’s bleeding from his mouth and nose and I’m not sure if he has a concussion anyway I’m just wondering what you think okay call me back when you get this bye.”

As soon as Ciara walked in the door, I headed out the back door. “There’s pizza for the kids in the oven. I’m taking Coren. Bye!”

I scooped him up and took him out to the van. Panic moment #3: he vomits everywhere! Everywhere! Ciara came out and took him, and I raced into the house for clean jammies. When I came back out, Ciara (angel!) was cleaning the throw up off the car seat and the van floor (and, when we got back from the day’s ordeal, we discovered that she had cleaned all the throw up off the garage floor AND cleaned the whole house too—what a lifesaver!!!). Once it was wiped down, I stuck him in his seat and we raced (carefully) to the urgent care.

Once we got there, the receptionist had to call around and find out if our insurance covered that particular urgent care—ugh! So I’m waiting in the lobby for well over twenty minutes, the entire time trying to keep my boy awake… just in case. I mean, that is what you’re told to do with a concussion, right? Don’t let them go to sleep. And the poor dude was totally out—I don’t know where he was, but he certainly wasn’t anywhere in this world. So I’m rubbing his back, rocking him back and forth, lifting him in and out of my lap, whatever I could do to keep him awake. And he was barely hanging on to consciousness! Meanwhile, Chad is calling every few minutes to get updates, wishing he could be there, my poor husband!

Well, we found out that we were covered, so in we went to talk to doctor #1… and in five minutes we were back out the door, headed to the emergency room in American Fork. The doctor said that Coren needed a CT scan and they didn’t have the equipment for it there. So off I raced again, yelling at Coren in the back seat to keep him lucid. (On the upside, they refunded us our $35.)

We got to the ER, and I had my first wave of relief. While we waited to be called in, Coren started wiggling fingers and toes and sitting up to look at me. So the paralysis threat was out, thank heavens! My child is not destined (yet) to be a paraplegic! After a few minutes, he was up and walking around again and talking to me in his normal little nonsense words. Hooray! So his brain was still functioning… at some level, at least! Well, that helped ease the panic significantly. And now it was starting to feel more like a check-up than a life-threatening disaster (though Coren still looked like a disaster—bloody nose and flushed cheeks; and I still felt like a disaster, of course, being the mother).

And then Relief #2: Chad walked into the ER room! My husband left work early (thank you, Mitch, for covering his meeting—another lifesaver!) to be there for added comfort… Now I know he was just as worried and anxious as I was about the whole episode; but I also can’t help but wonder if he was thinking, “Well, it’s just Charity there with him, and we all know how well Charity handles emergencies…I better get over there and keep her from falling apart.” My husband! My wonderful, fabulous husband! He is the only reason I don’t fall apart more often than I do!

So they took the boy away for some head x-rays, Chad going with and me staying behind, since they discourage pregnant women from x-ray radiation, you know. Chad said he did better than last time (at six months old, when he broke his leg and got full body x-rays), but he still put up quite the tantrum when they made Chad let go of him to strap his head down. Oh, my poor dude! Really, a child should not already have this much radiation exposure—I mean, not even 18 months?! What gives?! And Coren is not a crazy kid, that’s the kicker! He’s as mellow as they come. Holy smokes! Anyway…

Results came back, and everything looked normal and fine. Whew!! The doctor told us that he had suffered a concussion, which turns out to be a good thing! Who’d have thought?! Apparently, if it’s not a concussion (when accompanied by such symptoms as vomiting and dazed confusion/loss of consciousness), then it’s something much, much worse—blood clots, hemorrhages, permanent brain damage, etc. So we counted our many, many blessings and took our exhausted boy home. NOW he could sleep, and he certainly did!

We spent the rest of the evening (after he woke from his colossal nap) just relaxing around the house. None of us—Coren especially—were in any kind of mood to play, so we just sat on the couch and watched a movie. He was super-clingy the rest of the night, hardly even letting Chad hold him… so I snuggled him, and the three of us mellowed out together, grateful to still be together. Then he woke up the next morning as normal and joyful as usual, playing and laughing, and looking pretty banged up, but great! We’ve been giving thanks ever since! How fancy to have a boy that keeps us on our toes… and how odd that he’s the last boy you’d expect repeat ER visits from. I guess that keeps life fun and unpredictable, right?... Or maybe just unpredictable.