Friday, July 11, 2008

What's My Deal?

OK, so I finally taped Ethan walking but now I can't seem how to get it from the disk to our computer. So, the truth is, you may never see it unless I can pin down Tim to see what I am doing wrong.

This last couple of weeks have been fun. Tim's brother Matt and his family came up from Texas and stayed with us for about a week. We did a lot of fun things like fishing at the fish farm (we actually did this twice), spent an afternoon at the pool, enjoyed 4th of July festivities and fireworks, and played lots of Guitar Hero. We had a great time visiting and the kids loved seeing their cousins. They just left on Monday and we already miss them.

Since then, things haven't really slowed down much. I've been trying to keep up on the house (which seems nearly impossible when the kids are out of school), and if we get at least some of the basics done, then the kids and I have been trying to do some fun things. Today we went to the dinosaur park up in Ogden and we went to see a movie on Wednesday. This week I also had to attend scout camp (I am a Webolos leader). I have to admit that initially I wasn't all that excited about it (I hate thinking about making arrangements for all 4 kids for an entire day), but it turned out to be a lot of fun when I got there.

It has been a good thing that I've been keeping busy because if not, I think I could easily find myself in a slump. My poor kids have been yelled at more this week than they have in a long time. I find myself edgy, easily irritated, tearful, and frustrated. However, before you start feeling too bad for them, you should understand that they have not been innocent bystanders. Emily and Gavin have been so naughty lately! Gavin can get away with it because he is only 3, but Emily and I have been really butting heads. She can push my buttons quicker than any of my other kids and she doesn't know when to stop. I really have a hard time deciding if it's a girl thing, if she is at a difficult age, if she simply has a strong personality, or if I am just an inept mom who doesn't know how to discipline or relate to her. Regardless, I am scared for her teenage years.

I don't think that it helps out that I've been stressed about Ethan's last echo results. He goes in next Friday for a follow up echo (not a sedated one) to see if the med changes have helped his heart function. It just has really been in the forefront of my mind that you never know the future of these little heart kiddos. We just know of a lot of these little heart babies that are struggling right now and sometimes it becomes too much to think about. I even recently read about a little HLHS girl who sailed through her 3 surgeries and was the successful "poster child" for HLHS kids. It was only a month after her 3rd surgery that she had a stroke. I can't stand that anything can happen at any time.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I've started taking things for granted again. Our overall health has been really good and when things are not bad and right in my face, I tend to turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is OK. I don't like to constantly think about what the next day could bring. I totally fear that something will happen and I will regret the time that I wasted watching TV, cleaning, napping, or yelling at my kids. I realize that these are all normal activities in a day, but I also know how it feels to pray for just one more day with your child. I don't live up to my own promises and expectations of the days and experiences that I would enjoy knowing that our time may be limited. I can't seem to find the balance of living a "normal" life and living one with no regrets.

Anyway, I could also just be hormonal (you never can truly rule that out when you are dealing with a woman, right?) I just know that being a heart mommy is REALLY hard. I have a hard time sorting out all of the emotions (both good and bad) that have come with this unknown territory.

I am sorry that this post is so long and I appreciate any of you who have stuck with it long enough to get to this point. One of these days I will find some balance (it will happen, won't it?).

I don't want to be one of those depressing people that no one wants to be around (or read their blog), so I will end on a positive note and simply say that I love you all (really, I do!)



The Gatherum Family said...

Oh Al,
I am sorry. I don't have an excuse and I yell at my kids WAY too much and take them for granted and like you, when things are going great, you tend to turn a blind eye to trials and that's when BAM you are hit. I am so sorry that you have this constant stress and roller coaster. I know a bit about the emotional roller coaster ride and it sucks so much. I wouldnt want to be back at that spot for anything in the world on one hand but then again it is worth is for your loved one to be with you you know? I don't have any answers, but you guys are in our prayers and we think of you everyday. Let me know if you need to talk or someone to listen. We should plan something next you, Adrian

Alison (Abby's Mom) said...

You sound so much like me and all the thoughts I have every day. Thanks for putting it into words. We'll be thinking of Ethan (and you!) this week. Being a heart mom is hard. So, so very hard.

You know the best way to make sure people read your blog? More pictures! ;)

kelly said...

Being a mom is SO frustrating and SO hard. I can't imagine the added stress you feel with Ethan's heart, but as for all that other stuff. I always have to tell myself that it's all temporary. The bad and the good, so enjoy the good things and just endure the bad ones. I yell at my kids all the time too, and sometimes I even yell at them to stop yelling.
You're not the only one. Maybe we're all hormonal.
Or maybe we're just moms.

Simmons Family: said...

The words in that post describe me everyday... don't apologize. I live with guilt when I go to work because that's 40 hours I won't get back with Owen. It's aweful!

I also deal with the fear of Owen's poor function and just pray that it will magically improve someday. I understand EXACTLY how you feel and appreciate you putting it into words so I don't feel like the only one!! :)


Brynn said...

Did you just step into my head???? Only if we were all perfect..(sigh...what a dream) I know your doing a great job cause I've seen your kids.....

buddens said...

We're all entitled to feeling that way sometimes, don't beat yourself up over it! Most people have no idea what it's like to go through what you go through wondering about your child's fate every day, so don't feel bad! And it's the little moments that matter anyway, so if you can squeeze those in between the cleaning and the other mundane things, I say you're golden! Hugs and quick "I yuv you's" are some of my favorite moments in the day ... even if they do sometimes just make me feel worse about the yelling I may have just done. I think you're awesome and I'm sure your family does too!

The Hood's said...

Thank you for putting my emotions into words! Maybe it's something in the water in the neighborhood! Or maybe it's just the fact that we are heart mommies and are pulled a thousand different directions physically and emotionally! You are a great mom! As I have found out lately, kids are very forgiving! I think God made them that way for a reason, which I guess is why we should learn from them! Call if you need to vent, go for a walk or anything!We will continue to keep our family in our prayers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Al,

I love your comments, I can't believe how perfectly worded that is. I've been thinking the same along the lines of not wasting time, and valuing what is important. Kids grow so fast and it is easy for life to just get in the way. You have a unique situation but its also something everyone should try to remember, because it could happen to us at any time to... As for the patience, please let me know if you figure anything out!!! ... love you guys...Jenn

Fowers Family said...

Hey you, It's so good to hear from you again. As I said before each of us must treasure each moment and you more so, but we all must LIVE also. You are doing your best and that is all you can do. Hopefully Ethan will surprise you with a great ECHO and you will wonder why you worried so much, this always happens to me!!! I love and miss you and it is good to see that you are enjoying your summer! Love ya so much, Jody

stuart & sharra said...

Sweet Allison,
You are so awesome!!! You don't even realize how amazing you really are. The things you do inspire and humble me. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love you,