Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our journey home to Arizona and a Merry Christmas!

To be home. I can not express the joy that I feel as I sit at my desk in my own home to write this blog post. I have so much to tell that has happened to our little family over the past few days. So many miracles, so many kinds hearts and generous hands, I feel the love of my Savior surround me.
Emmett's miraculous healing, has caught me by surprise. In Ohio, I was talking with Dad on the phone. I  expressed to him, how unbelievable the entire journey has been, I was in disbelief of the fact that Emmett was coming home just 2 weeks post his major operation. My Dad listened then kindly said, Karla start believing because it is happening, the Lord is blessing you and your family.
 For six months we have been planning or anticipating this surgery for Emmett. We have been so blessed to have people in our lives who have so lovingly, kindly and generously helped our our family. From airplane tickets, to gift cards, financially, Christmas gifts, cleaning my home while we were away, setting up and decorating our Christmas tree. You name it is was done without Michael or I asking. So wonderful!

                                       Believe Daily Affirmation Card - Script Business Card Template
The past week our lives required a little rearranging. Michael's parent's had brought Ethan out on December 17th to be with us during Christmas. Our family was expected to be in Ohio, for Emmett's recovery, until the second week of January. Since we were coming home 3 weeks earlier there was much to do in a short amount of time. I was so grateful to have my in-law's there for help with the boys and my sanity.
The boys did great on the airplane. Emmett fell asleep for about half of the flight. Ethan made friends with this sweet elderly man sitting across the aisle from us. The man was so cute, he had his blue jeans on, a fleece flannel shirt and suspenders. He was flipping through a tracker magazine and noticed Ethan eyeing it from the corner of his eye. The man turned to Ethan with his sweet wrinkly grin and said, "Son how would you like a tracker magazine". The look on Ethan's face of priceless. Thank you sweet elderly man from Illinois.

My Dad and brother Scott picked up our family from the airport. It was madness with all of the holiday travelers. We eventually found each other and headed home with a car packed full of luggage. As the car made a turn onto our street, I noticed dozens of car's lining the side walk. I said, "wow someone is having a party". Little did I know that that party was for our family. Over 150 people young and old, filled the cul de sac we live on. With candles in hand they sang sweet caroling hymns. I could not believe it! I quickly woke the boys and  Michael and I ran out of the car to greet the crowed. It was so beautiful, reverent and peaceful. Michael and I were so touched to see such a kind and warm welcome home for our family. I know there were many I was not able to see or thank for coming out that evening. Thank you! It meant the world to our family. A beautiful Christmas gift. Thank you Wendy, my Mom and Candra for arranging such a priceless moment for us to always remember. I love you!

After giving hugs and waving farewell to our guest, we entered our home to find our Christmas tree set up, trimmed and the tree skirt filled with Christmas gifts. Michael and I just looked at each other with awe! Our home was cleaned and linens were changed. Breakfast for the next day was on the counter along with homemade bread and Christmas goodies. Unbelievable or I guess I should say believable:)

Christmas Eve was simple we stayed in our pajama's until one in the afternoon. Napped. Ventured over to my parent's and enjoyed a night of delicious Christmas ham, singing, reading the story of Christ's birth and eating Christmas cookies. All of the wonderful tradition's I remember doing since I was a little girl.

Christmas morning we awoke to evidence of Santa's midnight visit. A half eaten cookie, chocolate milk gone and Santa and reindeer foot prints marked by snow on our front porch. It was a magical morning! Christmas gifts were open through out the day. Micheal's parent's made it home safely and joined us for a Christmas feast, that she kindly prepared.

I love watching Christmas video's. My favorite is of those about the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I found this one and loved the message it shared. I just had to share it!  Christmas for me is to remember the life of Christ and to celebrate His coming to earth and to try and follow his example. I felt His presence so evident in my life these past few years as I have learned to witness his hand in my own and my families lives, through those around me, who have reached out to help. I am so grateful for all of the kind emails, texts, phone calls, fb comments that have encouraged our family along with rough journey. I am thankful for your faith and prayers. What a miracle we have witnessed. Emmett's road to recovery is not over but we are on the right path and we looked forward to a progressing future.

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Go Emmett, Go!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Being Ethan's Mom

I want to start off by saying.... I maybe a little excited that it is supposed to SNOW here this weekend! I am an Arizona girl, so a white Christmas makes me a little giddy! I am excited for my boys to see the snow too. Having said that, Mr Weather-man I really hope you are correct with your forecasting:)

I am so happy to have our oldest son Ethan here in Cincinnati with us now. He flew into town last night with my husbands parents. Michael went to the airport to pick them up. On their way back Michael and I changed shifts at the hospital. I hopped into the car, and swung myself over to give my sweet bright eyed Ethan-bug a kiss on this adorable cheeks. He squealed with excitement. He was so excited to tell me about the airplane ride and how weird if felt when the airplane took off and landed.
We snuggled in bed, until he told me, "mom you really need to sleep now, just hold my hand okay". I am so glad he is watching out for my best interest. lol.

I sure love this boy. He has been through so much these past years. I have major mommy guilt feelings of neglecting him for all the times I had to be at the hospital with Emmett. Ethan has always been in the best care while I am away... Grandparent's, Aunts and Friends houses. I hope and pray that he understands why I have to leave and be gone so often and long. He has his moment's with me, but when he takes the time to snuggle and tell me "I love you to the universe(he is a Star Wars fanatic) and back" I melt.

Ethan has never taken out any anger or resentment towards Emmett, which I am so thankful for. He LOVES Emmett and is so protective of him. Last month I had to place Emmett into time out for throwing a toy car that targeted Ethan's forehead. Ethan was in tears and I sat Emmett on a chair facing the corner. Tears then started rolling down Emmett's little cheeks. Seeing his brother's sadness, Ethan came up to me and said, "mom I am okay. You don't need to put Emmett in time out, it didn't hurt that bad, its okay, I'm okay". He never likes to see him upset.

I am thankful for Ethan's courage! He can have his feisty moments, but he sure has a big heart for his brother and for those around him.

He also can say the most hilarious comments. Today Michael, Ethan and I ran to target to pick up a little Christmas tree for our room here at the Ronald McDonald House. Michael had bought a package of beef jerky. Once we got back situated in the car, Ethan asked for a piece of beef jerky. A moment later, as we were waiting at a intersection, we hear Ethan state, "Wow! this is a really yummy cow". Michael and I just started chuckle. I will never look at beef jerky the same.

Ethan maybe the only few 5 year old's who know the anatomy of the body. A year ago, I was taking Ethan over to a friends house to play. I called for him several times to hurry and find his shoes. After the fifth time calling, Ethan walked into the room with a frustrated and deeply concerned voice, "but mom, I can't find my esophagus!" The look on his face was so honest and sincere I tried so had to hold back my smile as I tried to explain that his esophagus was in it's rightful place.:)

I know Heavenly Father blessed Ethan with great knowledge and a terrific sense of humor. He has the most infectious laugh, every time I hear it, I can't help but smile. I am so grateful and honored to be the mother of these two beautiful boys! I sure love them with all my heart!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Emmett's, Mommy Thoughts

It has been awhile since my last post. Life has been a bit crazy with making arrangements for coming out to Cincinnati for Emmett's big surgery (a new esophagus).
Today is day 7 post operation in Cincinnati, Ohio. We had the esophagram today and Dr vonAllman, Emmett's surgeon, gave us two thumbs up. He was pleased with the function and to confirm that there was no leakage at the surgical sights connecting the new esophagus.
The voyage of taking Emmett down stairs to get the esophagram was quite an adventure. Emmett is still in the Pediatric ICU(PICU). For him to travel, it consisted of 1 Resident(Doctor), 1 nurse, 1 respiratory therapist, 2 transport assistance and 2 worrisome parents. We were quite the entourage.
Emmett still depends on sedation and pain medication and a ventilation system connected to his trach to breath. Emmett also has quite a few impressive battle wounds from this surgery. During the esophagram Emmett had to be rotated from one side to the other, which is extremely painful with his incisions. I think the  most difficult part as a mother, is to see the pain and panic in Emmett's eyes. His eyes say so much and when they look at me with such desperation for help, it makes me want to crumble. But I can't... I need him to be strong and so I try and be strong for him. I whisper a silent prayer to God above for mercy and peace on Emmett's behalf. I then grab his hand and try and sing a song. His favorite is,

"Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, to shine for him each day
In every way try to please him, at home, at school at play
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, I will be a sunbeam for Him"

Emmett is definitely my "Sunbeam"! Emmett just closed his eyes and held on tight to my hand. He is so amazingly brave and tolerant. At 3 years old, it is hard for him to understand why the Doctor's and nurses need to do certain procedures. My dear friend Michelle and Emmett's previous PICU nurse in Phoenix, has taught me to talk Emmett through what is going to happen before it happens. Emmett responds real well to this. So Amazing what he understands and comprehends when he is on so many narcotic's and pain medication.
I am so grateful for all of the tender mercies we have experienced. 1. We have had two incredible day nurses that love Emmett and are very attentive to his needs. 2. The Attending Intensivist (PICU Doctor) is terrific and is patient and listen's to Michael and my concerns. 3. Emmett's surgeon, Dr vonAllman is so kind and checks in on Emmett twice daily. 4. Michelle(Emmett's Phoenix PICU nurse) was able to come out and give support for the first week we were here. 5. Emmett has recovered more stable and quickly than any other major surgery. 6. Emmett preoperation was the healthiest and strongest he has every been in his short little life so far. 7. Michael will be able to stay out with me the entire journey here in Ohio.
Our Father in Heaven is AMAZING! I LOVE Him. I know my Savior LIVES and carries our burdens if we have FAITH and believe! I am thankful for all the many ANGELS here on earth who have supported us in prayer, emotionally, physically and spiritually!
God Speed Emmett!
Go Emmett, Go!