Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Are You Here?

"Why Are You Here?"  He asked, the sixth specialist we saw this morning.  Contrary to the words, it wasn't a rude question.  It was an honest question:  why was Chaim here?  And he didn't mean here as in alive, he meant here as in sitting in my office.  He was simply puzzled by Chaim. 

Another specialist siting at the far side of the room finally interjected:  "Hypoxic Ischemic." 

And so it was:  Hypoxic Ischemic, a condition where a baby is born under trauma, without oxygen.  If treatment doesn't happen quickly (within 1-2 minutes), brain damage will occur.  Little Chaim was born without oxygen--but looking at him now, you'd never guess it.  We still have to see specialists to make sure he meets his milestones, but we are all amazed at how strong his body is, and especially how active and alert his mind is. 

"It's amazing," the doctor went on, "The cooling cap has changed everything. Before the cap, these kids would have all sorts of brain problems.  They wouldn't grab things.  They wouldn't roll over.  They wouldn't ever be able to master certain skills.  Now..."  His voice trailed off, and we both were looking at Chaim.  Now...we have Chaim.

My Chaim.  My amazing little boy that is rolling over and grabbing things and laughing and babbling...and living.  I will never get over the miracle of Chaim.  I hold heaven every time I hold him, and he has changed my life.  He has made me love more deeply--spending time with the people I love rather than making excuses about "getting there next time".  I'm a better mom to Noel and Juliet, because somehow the fragility of life is very real to me.  I'm a better wife to Scott, who comforted me during those first hours, days, and weeks of Chaim's life.  It's an experience I wouldn't wish for anyone to go through--and yet, I'm so grateful for all the lessons I've learned about LIFE.  I am grateful for the cooling cap, and the doctors and nurses that knew exactly what to do in the moment. 

Grateful for so many things to the point that if a specialist asks again:  "Why Are You Here?" I may very well say, "Because of miracles." 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Snow Day

It has been the most un-winter winter of our lives.  Finally, it snowed in March.  We played in the snow for 2 straight days:  making a snowman, throwing snowballs, and sledding down the hill behind our house.  I often wonder why we bought this house when there are too many remodeling projects (like an ENTIRE unfinished basement).  But on our snow day, I remembered.  We bought this house to be next to a park, and to have a gate in our that opens on to a HUGE sledding hill.  We walked out the door, went sledding, and came in the house for lunch--went sledding again for a few hours, came in for hot cocoa--went sledding again, and finally came in for dinner.  Noel asked if she could stay home from preschool, and being the mom I am, I gladly said yes.  Not only did she want to play in the snow--I wanted to play in the snow!  The funny thing is that out of 11 kids in her preschool, 8 other kids played hooky that day.  Glad to know I'm in good company on the snow day policy!

 (This video is of the girls sledding down the little hill in our backyard.  They did it maybe five times before advancing to the BIG hill just beyond our gate.  It was a good "starter hill", but it was so fun to go down the big hill.  Sorry--no movies of the big hill.  I was too busy sledding!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Slice of Our Life

I made a sort of "goal" to write on my blog once a week, but the problem is that there isn't anything big to write about this week.  There were big moments--moments where I was trying to get three kids in carseats, moments when Chaim had to wait too long to be fed, moments where Noel and Juliet wanted the same spot on the bench--but nothing that I really wanted to write a post about.  So in lieu of a post that says something really meaningful, here's a snapshot of our life.  No specific order, mind you.

Conversation with Noel:

"Mom, how old are you?"
"I'm 35."
"Wow.  That's old."
"You are going to die someday."

It's nice to have the perspective of a 5-year old on my age.

I worked on Monday from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. because we hosted a FAFSA night.  My mom watched the girls during the day--letting them watercolor AND make play-doh volcanos, complete with lava spewing out of the volcano.  I usually only accomplish one "crafty" thing in a day (sometimes in a week).  Scottie watched the kids when he got home.  He made pigs in a blanket for dinner, which the girls talked about for the rest of the week.  I obviously need to up my "fun meter", and throw out the sound nutrition of meal planning every once in a while.

Speaking of cooking, I made three casseroles in one week.  This is something considering that I have never used cream of mushroom soup in a recipe until now.  I loved it.  The kids loved it.  Scott loved it.  And it made the nights when Scott was at school somehow do-able.  I have never made casseroles (a very long story that could be analyzed by Freud himself), but I've luckily turned that corner in my life.  Next week:  tuna noodle casserole.  I don't know why, but I'm very intrigued by the legend of this casserole.

One day the girls were talking with Scottie, and he said something that was different than they understood.  Jules took it in stride, looked at me and said, "Mom, what do you think?"  It's nice to know that to my four-year-old, my opinion still matters. 

We had a doctor's checkup this week.  Juliet thought the eye exam was hilarious, since she had to cover up one of her eyes with a big black spoon.  She kept saying "Aaarrgghh!" and pretending to be a pirate.  I thought it was hilarious, the nurse didn't know how to make her say "star" when she pointed to the star.  Chaim was another enigma for the doctor.  He smiles and is happy all the time, loves to drool, but he had little interest in her stethoscope.  I guess most kids try to gobble it up during the exam.  According to her, he is still in the "normal range", but he needs to be doing more with his fine-motor skills.  I'm trying to not over-analyze this milestone.

And my technology triumph of the week is that I finally downloaded new games on the LeapPad.  They've had it for 13 months.  This should explain why there aren't any pictures with this post--they are on the camera, and it might be another 13 months before I download them.