Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Summer Time!

Summer! It's a time of transition for those of us that go from working full time to stay-at-home mom.  I won't lie...even with the adorable faces you see in the picture on the left, this has not been the easiest of transitions for me.  There have been days that they have worn me completely down before their dad has even made it home for lunch.  Days that I have wanted to scream "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT???" (Yes, FB friends, I'm referring to the day that all four of my 3 year olds pooped in our driveway!) Days that I've felt like a complete failure (Another FB story of all five kids throwing rocks on the highway in front of our house...three of which were naked from the waist down.)...just one of the many other times I've felt like screaming (Okay, I might have actually screamed a little during this incident.)

 There is a phrase that I hear almost everywhere I go with the kids: "I don't know how you do it." I'm not sure that people understand, most days, I'm not sure myself how I've survived the day ;).  But when I look back at these pictures of the adventures we've had so far this summer, I am reminded of the incredible support system we have in place.  We are beyond blessed with people that love us, and are excited for the special times that we get to spend together.

To take our mind off of the news of Ben's upcoming surgery, we took a trip to the Clinton County Fair.  They LOVED visiting the barns with all of the animals.  Petting the pigs, rabbits, and llamas. 
We didn't ride any rides, but we did some serious fair food damage...2 elephant ears, 2 funnel cakes and two large nachos!


 We're lucky to live within walking distance of the park, and we've even got some new equipment that we love to play on!

We've loved having a few play dates with friends, and are hoping for more before the summer is over.
One of our favorite summer activities has been Vacation Bible School!  We learned so much with our friends at Lebanon Christian Church.  Very grateful for the time that we spend with them.

The weather doesn't always cooperate, so we've had some lazy days!

 Some days, Mommy still has to go learn things for next year.  Then, we're lucky that Anne takes us to do things like the book swap at Blue Ridge!

And, Missy lets us stay at her house and play with Carson and Parker!

The Indianapolis zoo is one of our favorite places to visit.  We have been there many times with many different friends this summer! 

More fun at the Indianapolis zoo!

We've been to 2 swimming parties this summer.  We're grateful for our friends, Amy and Christian Perez and Sarah Spangler for including us in celebrating their own children's birthdays.  I learned my lesson at the first party (no life vests), and you can see that they are wearing life vests for the second.  Lilya isn't in the picture, but that's because at both parties, she was able to go off and have fun with the bigger kids.  Thanks to Christian, she was even able to take her first "jump" off of the diving board.  These couple of trips to the pool have definitely been one of the highlights of our summer. :)
Balloon animals, ice-cream, music and a firetruck.  Those were the highlights of the Mulberry festival this year.  Lilya got to ride in the parade again, and we collected lots of candy while we watched for her.
We kept the tradition alive on July 4th, and we watched the Lebanon parade with my dad and his family.  This year, we got to ride on the golf cart to our front row seats!  Again, plenty of candy was collected.  Later, we spent our evening with our friend, Missy, hanging out at the park, eating, and watching fireworks.

Memories have definitely been made, and the adjustment from Working Mom to SAHM doesn't seem all that bad now that I think about it. :) 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We Have a Plan

Oh, to be three again.  Look at that sweet face...and all of those Ninja Turtle stickers that are decorating his shirt.  What you can't see are the princess stickers he picked out for his sisters (before he ever chose what he wanted for his self and his brothers).  They are in his lap, but they'll soon be stuck all over the van window next to his seat. 

At three, it doesn't phase you when your doctor makes the recommendation of surgery.  You don't pay any attention to the pictures that give a glimpse of what the inside of your skull looks like.  You don't listen to the doctor explain a three to four hour procedure that involves cutting through the membranes that protect your brain or the time that it will take you to recover from such a're too busy playing a matching game on your table and only show any interest in the doctor when she mentions the word "stickers".

It's been almost four months since Ben had the long seizure that eventually led us to an MRI, the discovery of Chiari Malformation, and a trip to Riley to see Dr. Smith (this past Tuesday). While I know that he hasn't had to worry about his diagnosis, I have noticed that on a daily basis, he tells me that he is sick. Our conversations are short, and usually sound like this:
Ben:  Mommy, I sick.
Me:  What hurts baby.
Ben: My back hurts. or My belly hurts.
Me:  I'm so sorry baby (followed by lots of cuddles).
We've only had a hand full of times that he has actually gotten sick, but knowing that, at three, he doesn't go a day feeling completely normal, breaks my heart.
But this isn't what I signed up know, when we decided to have kids.  I'm not supposed to have to make decisions in which I basically say, "Sure, cut my child's skull open and work on his brain a little."  I'm not cut out to make choices like this.  But we did it.  And, until it is over and I hold my baby in my arms and see that all is okay, I'll continue to wonder if I'm cut out for this.