Cavemom and Cavedad - our annual MPS Society Halloween Spooktacular was a blast!
Cuddle bugs on the couch
The boys on halloween
Dori wearing his birthday hat
Chris spending time with Dori while hospitalized
Today while I took Luna for a night walk to burn off some of her puppy energy, I was listening to an audio book of Joel Osteen. The chapter really got me thinking because it was about how we need to focus less on our misfortunes and more on our blessings. Sounds simple, sounds obvious to "focus on the positive and the negative won't seem so bad"... but when I focus on putting my mental energy on our blessings, it truly does put our challenges into a more balanced and manageable perspective.
Three years ago when we received the terminal diagnosis for the babies, it was like getting hit by a huge truck right between the eyes. Shock, anger, sadness -- you name it, we felt it. But once we got to know our lil guys, their fun personalities and the lessons they have taught us make me realize that their "illness" has given me a healthy sense of urgency to love on them and enjoy them as much as possible. In doing so, I have been able to truly soak in their love and see what God had intended me to see through their eyes. I don't focus on the painful inevitability, I enjoy the NOW with them.
When Ben and Alex are all frenzied their limitless energy (making messes in the backyard, staying up way past their bedtime building forts in their room, or sloppily rushing through homework to get to play) I sometimes have to take a deep breath and realize that it's ok. All that energy that runs through the house like a tornado is really just their passion for life and their loyal friendship for one another. All they want to do is play, play, and play! And how can I get mad at that? They will hopefully be each others' best friends for life, so I have to remind myself that they won't be kids forever and all their craziness is just good memories in the making... and I'm just blessed enough to have a front row seat to it all.
Work for me has had its peaks and valleys these past few months. Some months are super busy with business travel and conference calls, other months are very quiet and I start to get a little nervous thinking "hey! when's my next gig! Mama has bills to pay!" ... But in those quiet weeks of no gigs, I have been able to focus more on being a more responsive mom, I've been focusing more on fitness/healthy eating, and hopefully Chris would say I have taken more time to be a better partner. Just like in any relationship (whether as a parent, a spouse or a friend) -- relationships need to be cultivated, nurtured and never taken for granted. The busy phase of life that we're in has led us to fall into the traps of neglecting the life force of our relationships. Our bonds of family, spouses and parents is a sacred bond that needs to be fiercely protected and unfortunately it's taken some wake up calls for us to get refocused on what really matters.
This past month has been filled lots of ups and downs. Dorian had a 4-day hospital stay due to a respiratory virus. He was not wanting to eat, barely talking or smiling at the hospital and just not being his normal self. On his final day at the hospital, Chris disconnected Dori from all his IV's and monitors and called in the doctor to see him. He told the doctor "Dori is going home today" very confidently, not as a question but as a statement. The doctor examined Dori and said "Yep, he has no reason to still be here." So thankfully as soon as Dori came home, it was like a switch was turned on and he started singing again, talking nonstop, and he keeps calling out for a baby since the day he got discharged. I ask him "Who's the baby? Are you the baby?" and he nods NO every time. But then little over a week after his discharge, another little i-cell baby who was hospitalized with his exact same symptoms passed away. That news hit me really hard. It was hard balancing the three boys at home, and alternating 24 hour shifts at the hospital with Chris -- but the fact that he is home and healthy now puts that stressful week into perspective. The house just wasn't the same without him those 4 days.
Alex got viciously attacked by a tree (ha!) ... he had to get 4 staples in his head after a competitive game of football with Chris and Ben on Thanksgiving. He had his staples removed today. Ben and I took him and Alex went way drama-king on us and had to be held down by 3 adults in order to have his stitches removed. He screamed, kicked and hollered and you'd think we were trying to amputate his arm. I felt so bad for him and I started to nervously laugh which turned into uncontrolled hysterical laughing--- which only made the situation worse for Alex. Ben's eyes were wide open watching this whole scene unfold so he started to cry. By then the big nurse had finally removed the last stitch and she very dryly said to Alex "Getting stitches and staples is part of being a boy. You are too big for us to have had to hold you down. I don't think you should get any ice-cream treat tonight." Way to kick a dog when he's down lady! Ben just sat there teary eyed with his mouth wide open like "oh no she didn't!". So he helped Alex up and held his hand on the way out of the exam room. That sweet Ben is such a loyal protector...loyalty is definitely one of his strongest gifts... I just love him for that!
Anyways Joel Osteen has it right... the less time I focus on what's wrong, the more open my eyes are to enjoy all that is right. It's a mental trick that when a negative thought or feeling comes into my head, I gotta replace it with a better one. So far it's working through these busy months where we've been blessed with being in the good company of friends, family, birthday parties, our MPS Society fundraiser and family outings. Thank you God for all the blessings you have given us... and for giving us the clarity for the ones you keep giving us on a daily basis!