Friday, November 22, 2013

our nighttime reality

There are many nights my heart breaks for Judah. His favorite person in the entire world is his daddy. Each morning when he wakes up the first words out of his mouth are "where is my daddy?". Each person we interact with through out the day Judah will tell them "I miss my daddy" and when Scott finally pulls in from work Judah runs outside to hug him and will not leave his side all night. Judah adores Scott. It makes my heart swell when I see him holding onto his daddy and never letting him out of his sight. 

We have a nighttime routine with Judah. If Scott is in a lot of pain he will go upstairs and try to grab a nap either before or during dinner. I keep Judah extra distracted and try my best to explain that "daddy doesn't feel well and needs to rest". After Scott's power nap he will come downstairs and help out with Judah while I go upstairs to crochet for about an hour (to get a little me time). Around 7:45 Scott will bring Judah upstairs and we will either give him a bath together or Scott will read to him. I know if Scott is having a really bad night when he can't read an entire book with Judah (like tonight). When I hear Scott struggling with his words I know that is my cue to step in to help out. At first when Judah realizes that Scott can't read any more books he completely freaks out. He wants his daddy time and he thinks that I am stealing that time away from him. He will get these big crocodile tears in his eyes and his lip will start to quiver as he says "I want daddy to read to me! Not mommy!". Scott at this point is typically lying down with his arms crossed and his face in pain. He is unable to respond to Judah's cries. I assure Judah that I am not stealing daddy away from him. That instead of just daddy reading we are going to hang out all together. That he can lay down next to daddy and even hold his hand and I am going to read him EXTRA books. This normally calms Judah down. Afterward Judah gives daddy one more hug and I take him to bed. He cries the entire time. Not a scream whiny cry but a sad heartbreaking cry because he doesn't understand why his daddy can't respond to him, why he can't read to him and why he can't tuck him in. All Judah is thinking are those four words that break my heart through out the day "I miss my daddy". Judah will come out of bed a few times and ask Scott for extra hugs, beg for Scott to tuck him in and wrap him up tight (like a burrito) and when he realizes that Daddy is not feeling well he will then ask for mommy hugs when I carry him back into bed. 

Knowing that Judah's heart is hurting just wrecks mine. When my sweet little boy has his head nestled against my neck as he is hugging me tight I whisper that it is going to be ok and tomorrow will be a better day. As I whisper those words into my sweet boys ear my heart wonders, will Scott ever be ok. 

Our weekends are like gold and I am happy that Judah wont be asking me tomorrow "where did daddy go, I miss him" because he will be with us all day long.  

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

little man down

Judah has been throwing up on and off since Sunday. I took him to his doctor on Tuesday and they said that he should be fine if he doesn't throw up for 24 hours. Almost 48 hours passed and I decided that I would take him out on a play date at the mall today. I should have known something was up when he didn't want to ride his favorite horse on the carousel but wanted to sit down with me. Then on the ride back home he kept complaining about how bright it was outside and I reassured him that we are almost home. Living in Northern Virginia almost home could mean 10 - 45 mins depending on the traffic and today was not our day for a quick ride home. Stuck in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic with people trying to cut me off Judah started vomiting all over himself. It wasn't like Sundays or even Tuesdays it was worse. I felt helpless as I watched him break down and cry because he was covered in his own vomit. We finally made it home. I had to strip him as soon as we walked inside because he was soaked. He was exhausted and crying. My heart just broke for him and I was angry at myself for taking him out to soon. After a nice soothing bath, toast, watered down Gatorade and a pile of his favorite library books, Judah was ready to nap. I had to wait for Scott to come home to help me with the car seat clean up. It is now its 10 pm and we just finished cleaning up the last of the vomit. I swear our home still smells.   

My little man is down and I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I have done over 15 loads of throw up laundry in the past week. I am almost out of my cleaning supplies and  my brain can't even comprehend the words I am typing right now because my mind keeps wondering if Judah is going to be sick again tonight. I will not be able to update my shop tomorrow with all things that are sparkly gold as promised. Instead I am going to spend tomorrow and the weekend recuperating with my family and I will have the shop updated on Monday at 2 pm. I am also going to give away a handful of "hope" banners on IG on Monday as well. 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

when each day is a struggle

When I first met Scott I was drawn to his smile. He has the best smile. Lights up a room. Draws you in. His whole face lights up when he smiles and you find yourself smiling back. After going on four years of marriage I see those smiles less and less. Scott normally has a scowl on his face. I call it his fricker fracker old man look and Judah likes to tell Scott "turn that frown upside down". At first I thought he was frowning because of something I did wrong or that he was unhappy that he choose me to be his wife. But Scott would have these faces around Judah as well. He would tell me that he is not feeling good and is exhausted. His exhaustion would cause him to struggle with simple things like laying down on the ground to play cars with Judah or staying up to read him books before bedtime. Over the past few years I've watched my husband almost disappear. He wears a beard to hide all the weight he has lost. He will get super low blood sugars. Scary ones. Ones where he is on the floor  drooling because he can't swallow or speak or ones where he leaves the house at 1 am in his pajamas and I can't chase after him because I can't leave Judah home alone. When he leaves the house I call the EMTs. Or he will get really high blood sugars that will put him in a bad mood. I sometimes feel like I can't win as his wife. I feel like no matter what I do to make it a good day that each day is a struggle for both of us. I don't know what to do to help him and Scott is normally in so much pain that it would be best if I don't ask him a million questions on how he is feeling. But I hate seeing him in so much pain and I miss his smile and my heart longs to hear him laugh. I completely love my husband and would do anything for him but sometimes I feel like I am putting up this wall because I am fearful that I may lose him too soon. I will find myself staying up till 4 am, unable to sleep, wondering what the next day will bring and then forcing my heart to just be thankful that at that moment my husband is sleeping next to me. But sometimes my worry overcomes me. Scott sees so many Doctors. To find out why his blood sugars are so out of whack, why he can't keep on any weight or why his back and kidneys hurt all the time. His kidney Doctor has been running tests for the past month and a half. He thinks that Scott may have lupus nephritis of the kidney. Prayerfully that diagnosis will come back negative. 

I know this post is a ramble jumble mess of thoughts and I know many people out there struggle with much worse. That is why I rarely bring up Scott's daily health struggles on social media. I just feel like lately its getting harder and harder for me to hide behind my smile. What I have been thinking about is that just because we look normal on the outside doesn't mean that every day isn't a struggle with us. I struggle with knowing how to respond to my husband. Especially after a hard day with Judah. I struggle with trying to explain to Judah why his daddy doesn't feel well enough to read books to him or why daddy needs a break when he hasn't seen him all day. I struggle with sometimes feeling like the most lonely person in the world. I struggle with the feeling that I am failing as Scott's wife. This past week was especially hard because Judah was also sick. I can deal with a head cold and a fever but when Judah is throwing up while Scott is hurting its just overwhelming. I feel like every molecule in my body is just heavy from the stress of the uncertainty of Scott's health on top of me trying to disinfect everything in my house because it smells like throw up. 

Last night I was reading my bible. I write notes in the margin of my bible and find it soothing to go back to read how the Lord has walked through different valleys and peaks with me. I came across some verses that I underlined when I was single before I even knew who Scott was. I assumed these verses were promises for the future Jessica. The Jessica that would be married and happy with lots of children. I thought I would never experience loneliness or heartbreak once I was married. That life would be full of laughter and smiles. As I was rereading these verses in Psalms again last night I thought The Lord had a different meaning that I couldn't fully understand with out being in the valley. He didn't promise that I would never be lonely again. He promised that He would be with me in times of trouble. I am not lonely because The Lord is with me. He never promised a life free of heartbreak. Instead He promised that He will answer me when I call upon Him, that He will walk with me even in the valley of the shadow of death and that He will comfort me. He will walk with me. Comfort my heart. Speak His truth into my life. He will never leave nor forsake us. 

I love Scott more today then I did on that day when he won my heart over with his smile. Those smiles are rare but I cherish them more. My heart leaps at hearing him laugh and I treasure each good day like it is gold. Even though my husband struggles daily with medical issues and this struggle affects every aspect of our life I am in awe of Scott's relationship with the Lord. I am humbled by how Scott brings his daily brokenness before the Lord and leans on Him. Its not the outward appearance of Scott like his smile that draws me to him, but his heart. 

Job 13:15 (NASB)
Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. 

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

getting creative with my toddlers meals

Anyone close to me can tell you my biggest problem with Judah is getting him to eat breakfast. Each day I would beg him to eat anything. A tasty smoothie, his favorite pancakes and eggs, cereal or even a donut. Anything to get this boy to eat. He would typically take a few bites during a two hour period and refuse to eat the rest. Then while we are out at the park or running errands Judah has an epic meltdown because he is hungry. This would happen I was at my wits end and even stopped going to as many play dates because I could only handle so many major meltdowns out in public. Finally a few weeks ago after browsing Pinterest a light bulb went off in my head. I decided I am going to get a little create with his breakfast to see what happens.

Instead of making Judah his regular pancakes and eggs I made him a pancake family, walking outside near a bacon and banana tree. I left the room and sure enough he ate the entire thing! He also didn't crash later that day.

I decided to try getting creative with as many meals as possible. Instead of spending my first two hours of the morning begging Judah in frustration to eat he started eating. Not only his breakfast but his lunches and dinners. Here are a few examples of things I've made Judah in the past.

If you want to try this out at home with your child I would suggest you get some of the basics.

Wilson Cupcake Markers (you can find these near the sprinkles)
Pre-made pancakes (lifesaver since I can't make pancakes)
Cookie cutters! (you can turn a plain peanut butter sandwich into anything!)
 candy eyes (bakery aisle)
Raisins or tiny chocolate chips for eyes and or noses.
You can cut up all kinds of fruits and veggies to add to your plate.

Im not sure why this works for Judah, but its fun for us both. Instead of getting stressed out each morning my brain is trying to figure out what I can surprise my son with next. 

Get creative and have fun!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

thankful tree

Judah has really picked up on how to encourage others. He recently started telling strangers "turn that frown upside down and SMILE!".  Although my little guy is a great encourager I think I taught him a sense of entitlement of having a new matchbox car every single time we go to Target or Walmart. I know this sense of entitlement is caused by Scott and myself wanting to give Judah a matchbox car and after getting one almost weekly Judah thinks he deserves one. They are less than a dollar, we love seeing him walk around with pockets stuffed full of them and it is so cute hearing his tiny voice play pretend with his tiny cars and trucks. But my sweet little boy will turn into a toddler monster at Target when we wont buy him a matchbox. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't taught my son about gratitude and being thankful for what he has. For the month of November I decided to make a thankful tree with Judah.  Each day I will ask him what he is thankful for, write it on the back of his handprinted leaf and hang it on the tree. I put the date on the back of the leaves so I can keep them in his little art box. Of course his first day he was thankful for "trucks". 

The branches are a little bare now but in a few weeks it will be full of what a toddler boy is most grateful for. I also hope that Scott and I are strong enough to break our cycle of always buying our son a matchbox car and instead focus on teaching him how to be thankful for what he already has. 

1 Chronicles 29:13 (NASB)
Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name

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