The tapestry of the life of a medically complex family

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Sandcastle by the Sea

My kids have been to the beach a few times. Sand and water are not a great accompaniment for a trach so we typically go only after it has rained- to make the sand wet and less of a flying powder. Also, my kids have put their toes in the ocean but we give it plenty of distance because we know how each wave can be bigger than the last. Today we went to the beach to remember our friends who have died- to “send off a wish” as my youngest calls it. To remember and to hope for peace for our friends’ families, while creating some peace for our own.

Today was perfect beach weather for my kids: cool enough & cloudy enough to keep crowds of people away, moist sand after a night’s rain, cool damp air to enhance the moisture of their breath into their lungs. We parked the oxygen tank, found “wishes” and threw them into the sea. The waves covered the bottom of their boots and frightened Trachboy, so we retreated to the wet sand and built my kids’ first ever sand castle. It was a wonder to them and magical for me- I’ve never felt that comfortable with all that sand and water with my trachees. We needed today’s magic to bolster us through the week ahead. Hoping the peace stays with us a while.

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A Second Helping

This weekend we got to go to pick apples again. It was a different event than the peaceful, leisurely outing of last year. Apparently, every weekend is a festival weekend at the apple farm. This weekend was also their community craft fair which made things EXTRA BUSY.

The highlights were the 3some enjoying their first “tractor ride” on a trailer pulled behind a red tractor – the DUSTIEST experience of my trached twins’ lives- & picking a GIANT bag of apples to bring home for making Gallettes and drying to eat for snacks. We will be needing to add some recipes to our repertoire in order to use all these up! Feel free to add some recipes in the comments- I can usually modify things to meet our grain-free diet. Enjoy our photos.

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What Dr. Mom Ordered

After a stressful week of chasing down records for a medical appointment at a new medical center, THIS is JUST what the Doctor Mom ordered:

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As you were. We are watching our groundhog baby friend explore our yard. Got to go.

How it is Done

The number one question I get from others: “How do you do it?” If you want to know the specifics, you can read about one of the typical days here. But most people are really asking “How do you get ALL of it done? How do you keep going, day in & day out? Where do you get the strength to get up each morning and ‘have at it’?”

My standard short answer is: I just DO. And sometimes not very well… but when it’s a person who really cares, who may have the same things they need to do every day, who might be feeling like they cannot keep on “doing”, I try to give it more thought. Here’s how I think I get through each day:

I am aware of the “big picture” but I work to not get bogged down by the overwhelming list of things, start to “finish”, of every day. I try not to look at everything ahead all of the time- if I do it will quickly overwhelm me. I try to keep really focused on getting the next thing done. I try to remember I am only one person, I can do one thing at a time. I am bad at cutting myself some slack but I have worked to get better at it.

Probably, most importantly, I try to spend part of every day ‘being present’ – noticing what my child or children are doing. Remembering that they have each other for the future. Really watching & experiencing the wonders they really are- looking at how far they have come, the love they show for each other, caring for others. It helps to remind me that, altho I sometimes have a bad day/ horrible parenting moment, my kids really seem pretty ok- sometimes bratty or crazy in their own rite- but then they show me who we really are as a family. Sometimes, when I ready to leave for the grocery store and the twins hug me & say I love you, they call for their sister who they give the same. Something about your 4yo blowing kisses to her sibs to say goodbye, waving & yelling “I LOOOOOVE YOU!” back thru the door- it just lifts you. Days are harder when I don’t have the time to ‘notice’- and sometimes there are lots of those. There is a great blog post about parenting. It’s not exactly about my experiences, but it’s a good reminder to all parents- a quick summary is that we will look back & be happy to have parented, even if not every moment going through feels all that wonderful. (Huffington has that post here)

I always close EVERY day singing “Love You Forever”, 1-to-1 with each kid. And they sing back in their own way- they actually have become good at it. Its my way of telling them, no matter what, at the end of the day, you are the love in my heart- and you always will be.

And whenever I need a reminder of what it’s all about, why it is that I do what I do, I only need look here:

Outdoor Play

Getting outside more has been a goal of mine for some time now. This week, I finally got some time with a nurse so that I could go get the final pieces of wood and hardware for our latest outdoor adventure. THESE are the faces of SUCCESS!

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Happy Happy Birthday #6

My twins celebrated their birthday today. They woke early and had a busy day of:

  • Ice cream for breakfast
  • Opening presents
  • Testing new toys
  • Playing outside
  • Gettting reading to “party”
  • Having pizza, cake & ice cream with FIVE of our wonderful Home Care nurses- including 2 who are no longer working here
  • Getting to bed late

Let’s hope they sleep in in the morning. Be well & goodnite.

Those I Love

It’s been hard to keep up with blog prompts for this month of blogging every day! Today they want to know who I love- well, I’ve already written so much about them I can’t imagine you’d be very surprised. My kids are the most wonderful people to ever happen to me.  🙂 My oldest  is a terrific emerging adult. He’s back in college and working his way into a routine with it. He still makes me smile whenever he Skypes his younger brother & sisters – chatting with them about nothing, the objects they can see in the room behind him or answering all their young sib questions.

The twins are doing wonderfully well. Health is still an area of challenge but I’m able to keep these loves of mine home with the help of some terrific home nurses. Growth is a slow & lengthy uphill battle, but they are happy & developing. Can’t wait for their sixth birthday in 2 weeks!

My youngest is a love all her own. She is compassionate & caring and my companion on all errand runs. She adds a level of noise and energy to the playroom. I love her laugh and smile. My kids warm my heart every day.