Sunday, February 22, 2015

Portland, Poop, and Unconditional Love.

Yeah, today was a day.

Landon is coming off a week of being sick. It started with a stomach bug, then went in to sinus/respiratory/coughing crud. 



I'm super happy to have him well. Truly. I have to say, the adjusting back to real life has been somewhat challenging today. That boy has some serious sass in him. Couple that sass with a strong will like nobody I've ever met. Whew. 

There were time outs today. Tears. Fits. Screaming. 

He even fell asleep in time out, because he's that stubborn. 






I made a dinner I didn't even eat, because I had no appetite after being yelled at by a 4 year old dictator. Then, that tiny bi-polar dictator, began to tell me how I made the most delicious rice, and the best carrots he's ever tasted, and that cauliflower was just oh so good. *sigh*

So yeah, it was stressful. I decided that I would be having ice cream for dinner, after the kid went to sleep, because I'm a grown up and all. And because, dammit, I want it.

Then, just like that, it was time for bed. Landon was back to being sweet and compliant; jammies on, teeth brushed, smile on his face. He chose a few books and crawled up in to my lap, settling in his cozy spot on my left side, where he always sits. His head resting just below my shoulder, blanket and froggy in hand. I read to him, silently reminding myself just how precious this time is. Then, he wanted songs, so we turned out the lights and I sang. As I was about halfway through Somewhere Over the Rainbow, his breathing changed, and I knew he had drifted off to sleep. I finished the song, cradling him in my arms. Then it hit, I realized what day it is. The day 3 years ago, he and I flew 1748 miles to Portland, OR in hopes of healing his little body. 

You see, I'm very much an in the moment kind of girl. I tend to not dwell on the past, or think too far in to the future. Sure, I have dreams and goals, I just choose to soak up the moments I'm currently in, good or not so enjoyable. When we were in Portland, I had dreams of where I wanted Landon to be in the future, but I was very much present where we were.

Tonight, as I held my healthy son, remembering where we've been, I began to weep. I pulled him in tight and hugged his little body next to mine. And cried. I let those tears flow. I held him for a while. Then I carried him to bed, laid him down, and cried some more, as I gently stroked his hair, whispering 'I love you' over and over again. 

The trip to Portland changed me. Scott had already missed so much work, that he was unable to accompany me. I remember arriving at PDX, with Landon strapped to the front of my body, fighting with 2 large checked bags, a carry on pack on my back, my purse, his car seat, and a diaper bag. Not one person stopped or offered to help me. Landon said 'shit' for the first time that day. I walked through that airport, fiercely on a mission. I had this. Fuck all those people who couldn't be bothered to even look at the mom by herself, struggling with everything, and her baby, who needed a diaper change for the 8th time today, because he had just soiled his pants with the stench of another bowel movement full of blood. It was the most alone I've probably felt in my entire life. It was a kind of stress I had never experienced previously or since. When we were hospitalized with Landon, it was lonely emotionally at times, feeling like I couldn't properly communicate to others what I was dealing with. But, we had visitors, family, friends, nurses, doctors. Many people in our presence each day. In Portland, it was just Landon and I. In a hotel room. He was hopped up on steroids and having fits of rage. The kind where his eyes would go blank and I knew my son wasn't in there, until the rage lifted. I was alone. At one point, he raged for over 4 hours. We were in a hotel, with very thin walls. I tried everything I could think of to help calm him, all the while he was physically attacking me, biting, hitting, kicking, not even realizing what he was doing. There was a point I curled up in a ball in the fetal position, praying for patience, for him to calm down, for him to be healed. Finally, I put him in to our rental car and drove around downtown Portland in rush hour traffic, while he thrashed around, screaming in his car seat. After about an hour and 45 minutes of driving, he finally calmed down. We had been there for 4 days at that point. My sister flew out the next morning to spend the remaining 2 days with us. I'm not sure how I would have survived without her. Remembering those times, make me realize today was just a blip. I AM thankful for where we are. Believe it or not, I am also thankful for where we've been.


Pretending to talk on the phone, passing the time in our hotel room. I love those baby blues.

He spent a lot of time standing on that chair, watching the traffic and trains pass by.

I packed toys and books and made him play on the bed because his immune system was whacked and I didn't want him on the hotel room floor. Gross.

We shared a king size bed. 


Snuggling with Aunt Shannon on the night of her arrival. We both needed her, even more than we realized at the time.

Post shower. Our hotel didn't have bathtub, and he was terrified of showers at the time. He only got cleaned in that thing twice the whole trip.

We tried to get out and do some fun stuff. Here's Landon at Powell's bookstore. We went there several times.

This was taken after a particularly difficult day. You know, the one where the 4+ hour 'roid rage fit happened.


The night we arrived, we did our first round of fecal transplant, with Dr. Mark Davis. Never in a million years did I picture myself standing in a hotel bathroom, with a doctor I had consulted with via phone and Skype, yet just met in person, stirring my own feces. I certainly didn't imagine putting that slurry in to my son. But you know what? When your kid is sick, you will do nearly anything to cure them. We did this every night, and continued for several weeks after returning home.
  


This here is what we refer to as fecal slurry. It's feces blended with sterile saline, being finely filtered, to make it smooth.

There weren't many people who knew what we were doing in Portland. Of those who did know, most were supportive, if not a bit hesitant. I know a couple who thought we were completely crazy. I intuitively knew we were supposed to be there. That knowing is what pulled me thought the roughest days. I nearly got creamed by a car while I was parked in a lot. I saw it coming at me and threw our compact rental in to drive at the last second! I also had an odd sense of familiarity every where we went. Like, I'd been there before. Although, that was my first time. There were many moments we would be somewhere, doing something, and I would realize I had a dream about the exact scenario in the months leading up to our trip. There's no doubt there were angels among us.

Tonight is the first time I've ever really written about Portland. I haven't ever felt ready to write about it, until now. It's weird how that happens. This post is just a peek into our 6 days there. I hope one day to be able to sit down and write a lot more. 

THIS is our today.


We ventured out to see a movie, on this snowy day. 

I am lucky. I have a husband who loves and supports me. I have an extended family who would move mountains for me. I have friends who get it and love me for who I am. I have an amazing, brave, strong, healthy son.

I will leave you with this. 






Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snow Day!

We got our first snow today. 

The boys had fun.

I'll let the pictures do the talking. 


















Sunday, October 19, 2014

Snacks

This year I am attempting to pack snacks for Landon's school days that are similar to what his friends are having. Thus far, I pretty much check the calendar the night before or during our morning frenzy and throw something in his back. Today, I decided to get organized and put things together for the whole week. Yeah, am I totally amazing or what?! *note the sarcasm*

Anywhoo, maybe this will help others in our situation. I'm certain having the week planned out will make our week easier. 


Yes, I realize this is all processed stuff. I do feel good knowing the ingredients and that said ingredients are minimal. 

So, tell me, what types of snacks do you pack for your kids? Does their school provide them? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day of Pre-K

Today was Landon's first day of Pre-K. You may remember from last year, I was a hot mess when he had orientation and again when he started Preschool. This year, I have to say, it was much easier. He is at the same school and has the same teacher, which definitely lessens my anxiety. As a matter of fact, I don't have any anxiety this year. I know he will be well cared for, and they will respect his food restrictions. They know the drill. 

It was a stress free morning. He popped right out of bed, got dressed and ate breakfast. As I was giving his vitamins, I also gave him a dose of Rescue Remedy, to help ensure we had an easy time getting ready. I prepared him last night, by telling him what we would need to do when he woke up. I had his outfit prepared so he could get dressed on his own. One funny thing, I had chosen a super cute button down shirt for him. He took one look at it and said, "I am NOT wearing that! It isn't even cute!" SO, plan B on the shirt, which still seemed to work out fine. What a Diva! :)

We took a shit-ton few photos this morning. As you can see, he was super excited about his first day!








"Please Mother, for the love of all things normal, let's just stop with the photos!"

Maybe we were both a tad bit excited!




Here we are, ready to hit the road!


He's arrived at school!

He even humored me and posed for several photo's in his classroom! What a kid! 








Aaaannnnd....one last kiss for Mama!


He was a little bit clingy and wanted a lot of extra hugs and kisses. I was completely okay with that. Then, all of a sudden, he was ready and he walked over to his teacher. As I turned to leave, they were chatting away and I was all smiles. Proud. That's what I was in that moment. Once I got on the highway, the emotions hit me. I wasn't anxious like last year. I was simply feeling a tug at my heart because that kid of ours, he's growing up. Yes, I know, he's only four. This is just Pre-K. I know some of you have children that are entering elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and some are even totally grown up! This is still where I am though. I truly enjoy this parenting thing, even though there are days I'm sure I'm doing every thing completely wrong. Today, I'm giving thanks for this life I'm been entrusted with and feeling absolutely grateful to have him in a school with people Scott and I trust.

It's going to be a GREAT year! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good Mornings.

You know, last week, it was VBS at our church. It was Landon's first year attending and he had an absolute blast! The mornings getting him ready to leave the house, those were the opposite of having a blast. They were challenging.

Most of the mornings as we were getting ready, he resembled something like this. 




Look how much fun he had once he warmed up though! 






Today, this very morning. It was glorious. Truly. As I was getting ready for work, my sweet boy walked out of his room, still somewhat sleepy eyed, carrying his blanket and froggy. He was wearing a mis-matched set of Christmas jammies, because that's how we roll. Our cat, Louis, immediately ran to him and began rubbing his face on Landon's cheek. This is their morning routine. Often times, I hear Landon's bedroom door open, then shut right away. I know then, Louis has entered his room and they are having their snuggles. So, back to this morning. Landon was very happy and calm. He was doing his own thing while I finished getting ready for work. I heard him calling from the kitchen, "Mommy, don't you worry, I will get all of my vitamins ready today!" And he did. He pulled a chair up and proceeded to get everything down and organized, right down to the little cups I put his vitamins in. I know it may seem silly, but I was incredibly proud of him in that moment. He has always been good at taking what we give him. Today was different. This morning he took an active role in his health. He showed me he knows the importance of getting the proper nutrition and supplements in his body each day. That's HUGE! He's four.




We chatted as I prepared his breakfast. He decided he didn't want to be clothed, so there he stood in his birthday suit, talking about how many eggs he would like and then he insisted on cracking the eggs for me. What a helper! I finally coaxed him in to undies. He walked me out to the car, climbed in my lap and gave me hugs and kisses, as I sat in the drivers seat. This is our morning routine. He scurried back to the front porch, in nothing but his Flash undies, then turned with a smile and said, "I love you, Mommy. I'll be thinking about you and missing you all day." Then he ran back for one more hug. 




These mornings. This morning. It's what fuels me. The innocence of my sweet boy, makes me stop to fully enjoy the moment. 

Happy Thursday, Friends. I hope you're all able to take a few minutes today to stop and breathe, enjoying all the blessings surrounding you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

From our family to all of you, we truly hope you have a lovely holiday!

 
Take time to be silly. 


We are greatly appreciative of our freedoms! 

God Bless America!



Friday, June 6, 2014

Blanket

Blanket. 



It's been with him since birth. 



We actually purchased an exact duplicate so we could switch it out for washings. 

He loves his blanket. 



It provides a sense of security and brings him comfort when he has to be brave. 




It has helped him through many fevers and childhood Yuckies. 




We have been working on keeping blanket in bed only, not dragging it all over the house. It's been challenging. Honestly, I don't care if he sleeps with it until he's grown, I just don't want him throwing it at the cat, leaving it on the kitchen floor, spilling cereal on it...you get what I'm saying. 

Today, Landon was playing, then started to get grumpy. I figured he was hungry and offered him a snack. He decline and asked to get blanket out of his bed. I reminded him of what we are working on and told him he was welcome to go sit on his bed with blanket. What happened next was melt down city!

I tried to explain things, I attempted to reason with him. He cried and begged for blanket. I stood my ground, until, with huge tears streaming down his rosy cheeks, he said these words. "Mommy, I promise I will do anything you want, whatever you ask, if you will just let me snuggle with blanket." 

My child was in a moment of true heartache. This wasn't manipulation, and trust me I did think about that. I've seen those behaviors before and this was different. I began to cry right along with him as I truly felt what he was feeling. I caved. We talked it through and decided today would be our last day with blanket out of bed. We will start fresh tomorrow. 




Do your kids have a security item? What is it? How long did you allow them to have it?