Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I was looking at some blogs today and stumpled upon this story by another triplet mom. Nevermind that I was sitting at the front desk at work, but I had tears running down my face as I neared the end of this "story" of hers. I think tonight before I put the kids in bed, I'll let them all sit on mommy's lap and we can read a story together. So precious are the moments I have with them while they are young and still WANT me around...

"I just wanted to share a perspective on the wonderful gift of motherhood.

Back in 1988, the book Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch hit the bestseller list for the first time. That was the year my son was born and the year I bought my copy. Without exaggerating, I believe I must have read that book a thousand times since then. Already having had one child, I was beginning to see how quickly kids grow. That book holds a very special place in my heart.

When I first read that to my older kids, it seemed a little creepy to me that the mom would drive across town and crawl into her grown son’s room so she could rock him while he slept. Now, it seems I’ve become that creepy mom. No, I won’t really stalk my adult-children, but I can fully relate to sentiment. If I could, and I thought I could get away with it, I’d get in my car and go rock each one of my children to sleep. Tonight, even.

Time passes. We blink and our children are celebrating yet another birthday. Sometimes the most precious moments we get to experience as moms get shuffled in with the day-to-day obligations and are forgotten.

I wrote this for my older children, who turned from babies into adults when I wasn’t looking:

I remember the first time I cradled you in my arms, but I can’t remember the last. Guess I always figured there’d be a next. If I had known it would be the last time, I’d have taken time to breathe in the sweet smell of your skin and hair, feel the heavenly warm weight of your little body in my arms. I’d have tried to burn that feeling – that image – into my brain, my heart, my soul.

When was the very last time I carried you to bed, tucked you in and kissed you goodnight? I wish I could remember. If only I could have known it would be the very last time, I’d have curled up next to you to on your bed, watched the rhythmic rise and fall of your chest, and let myself be lulled to sleep by the sweet sounds of your gentle slumber.

I can never forget the very first time I rocked you in my arms and sang to you – Hush Little Baby. It was as though no song before had ever had meaning. I can’t remember the last song I sang to you. I guess I figured there’d always be one more song to share – one more time that your little smiling eyes would tell me that your mommy had the sweetest voice in all the world. If I had known it would be the very last time, I’d have squeezed you just a little tighter, rocked you just a little longer, and sang another song and another and another…

When, my sweet child, was the very last time I swooped you up off of the floor to the heavenly sound of your squeals of delight and twirled you and dipped you and danced with you until I was out of breath but you were pleading, “Please, Mommy. One more time.” Always to some silly tune. I wish I would have known it would be the last. If only I had known…I’d have picked an endless song and we’d be dancing, still.

Things you’ll miss (among the many), believe it or not:

Trimming fingernails and toenails – those tiny little girl and boy hands – perfect little hands.

Gently putting a Band-Aid on a boo-boo – even if the boo-boo is only in their head.

Your little ones’ fuzzy little legs. I love fuzzy little legs. When my kids sit on my lap, I am tickled to see the golden peach fuzz on their legs. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it screams innocence.

And toys. You’ll miss toys – even when they’re scattered all over the floor. Because when the toys go away, so does a lot of the magic of childhood.

You'll also miss pushing your kids on a swing: The day Angus learned to swing by himself was one of the sweetest, saddest days of my life. I can’t believe the way my emotions tugged at me in two totally different directions at the same time. I was thrilled that my boy had mastered one of the greatest joys in childhood. My little boy had grown wings. I still remember that feeling from my own childhood when I thought that I could touch the clouds with my feet if I only could only swing high enough. But even as I was thrilled for Angus, an equal part of me was sad. I knew it was the end of “Push me, Mommy.”

To be completely honest, the end of the “push me, Mommy” stage for my triplets held a different meaning. I’m sure I was quite a sight on the public playgrounds, running the gauntlet between three different swings – each swing with the potential to send me flying into a face-full of rubber mulch. I was a bit more relieved when they learned to swing on their own. But there is still a twinge of sadness there, too. Sadness because my babies don’t need me for that anymore.

You’ll also miss hearing “Mommy, look at me!” and “Mommy, do you know what?” and “Mommy, I want that!” Basically just the constant chitter-chatter of your little ones. This one’s a biggy for me. My kids are huge talkers. When my older kids were younger, I used to kid with them that God gave them each a certain amount of words and if they used them up, they’d never be able to speak again. But, even the sweetest, chattiest child turns into a teenager who will seem to have lost all ability to communicate, resorting to one-word sentences, body language, grunts and clicks. Trust me when I say, you’ll miss your chatter-box.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it all goes by so quickly. Don’t forget what a gift motherhood really is. The real gift of motherhood is in the tiny things – in the actual mothering.

So, when your little one begs, “Pick me up, Mommy,” pick her up and whisper in her ear that she is the most precious little girl in the whole world. Make it your little secret. A confidence. Someday, when she’s grown, she’ll give you a call when she’s down and say, “Pick me up, Mom” and you’ll share a funny story to make her smile, and you’ll tell her that she is the most precious girl in the whole world.

When she says, “Watch me, Mommy,” watch her. Someday, she’ll march down the aisle in her cap and gown and her eyes will search the crowd to find you. And when your baby’s eyes meet yours and she smiles, you’ll hear her heart say, “Watch me, Mommy.” And you’ll watch. And you’ll cry tears of joy for what she’s become and tears of sadness because your baby is not your baby anymore.

So when you have those stressed-out days when you want to hang up your mommy-apron for the day, don't lose sight of how fleeting childhood is. It will help you remember what a wonderful gift motherhood really is."

"As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." - Robert Munsch

Lesa Rhoton

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A little guessing game...

Can you tell which boy is which? Daddy and I couldn't right away, we had to use some elimination factors to figure it out!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three Years ago yesterday...

Here's an excerpt from my journal that I kept 3 years ago, I was reminiscing tonight and started going through some old pictures and stuff I kept about the pregnancy. I can't believe it's already been 3 years!!!!!!!

March 23 2006- We went to the OB for our first appointment today. I told her about the bleeding on Monday night and the trip to the ER. I also told her I had a small amount of spotting again last night. She wanted us to have an ultrasound so we went and ran some errands and came back for our ultrasound.

The tech was very nice, asking how we became pregnant with twins, "was it naturally? Oh, you have Cystic fibrosis, I've heard of that but not too much, why the IVF?" Very inquisitive (in a good way) and very friendly.

So she starts the scan and immediately sees baby A and the heartbeat. She points it out to us on a screen that is set up so Mark and I can see it. Then she sees Baby B and points out that heartbeat. She goes back up to baby A and A is dancing around bouncing off the "walls" (it was so adorable). Mark and I were oohing and ahhhing and talking and laughing and, "oh, they are so cute...."
All through this she's been asking us a lot of questions about the spotting, IVF dates and such, so when she asks "how many ultrasounds did you say you've had?", we didn't think much of the question.

I told her what I had previously said, one in the IVF clinic at about 6 weeks and one this past monday in the ER. She said, "oh, because this is very uncommon but they missed your THIRD baby both times". Mark and I said "WHAT!!!!!!!!!!, You are kidding right????" She was dead freaking serious. She went back up to baby A, then down to baby B and then further down to Baby C, who is an identical to baby B but they DO NOT share the same sacs so there is less risk for complications to the babies. Since we only had 2 eggs transferred, the only logical conclusion is that one of the eggs split-which is exactly what happened.

I just started laughing, like the kind of laughing that they should put me in a padded room for. Mark just kept stepping closer to the monitor saying, "are you kidding me, seriously, oh my gosh" over and over again. I told her, "I'm sorry, I don't know whether to laugh, cry or scream so I'll just stick with laughing hysterically". She totally understood.

I'll spare you all the details of the phone conversations to our family this evening, but it took both my husband and myself and about 15 minutes to make my
mom believe us that we were serious and not kidding (Mark jokes around with my mom all the time so it's understandable for her to think it was a "haha, got

So, we are now going to be parents of triplets. HOLY COW!!!! And to think, in the waiting room before the ultrasound Mark just blurted out, "it's 3 babies
honey". (He still claims he has no idea WHY he said it, it just flew out of his mouth). I said, "Haha, very funny. I think I'll just stick with our twins". He couldn't have been more accurate.

We are thinking the identical babies are girls and the singleton is a boy, but who knows. We haven't decided if we are going to find out yet. I really want to
know but Mark is pretty sure he doesn't want to know. We'll have to resolve this pretty quickly!!!!

I wonder what the next 3 years will hold in store for us!?!?!?!?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Such a smart little princess

I just had to whip out the video camera when Cassie started doing this. I can't believe she is actually counting objects. She, and the boys, have been couting to 10 for months now, but they haven't really associated it with anything (objects) until now. She's such a little smartie pants!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nana's Last days

It's been over a decade since my entire family was gathered together in one place. I really think we should do it more often, although hopefully under different circumstances!

On Saturday morning at about 3 am my mom got a call from her sister that they were transfering my Nana from a hospital in Moses Lake, WA to Wenatchee, WA and that it was serious. By the time my mom got there my nana was doing quite well and almost her "normal" self again, minus the oxygen and medications and such. My mom called me to let me know what was going on, her first call being that Nana wasn't doing well and we might need a family gathering this weekend. Her next phone call had much better news with "nana on the mend" and that all was looking well.

On Sunday I got another phone call from her, they had done an echocardiogram on Nana and only about 30% of her heart was functioning, the other 70% was severely damaged. She was also on an oxygen machine that was blowing oxygen into her nose because her oxygen saturations were in the 40% range when she was taken into the ER. When nana was given the news about her echocardiogram, she pretty much told my mom and aunt that she was done and was ready to die. My mom called me immediately and Mark helped me pack up the kids (and make some snacks!!!!) and we were out the door in about an hour.

I picked up my dad and we drove over Stevens Pass. We got stuck on the pass for about 1.5 hours during avalanche control, and Mark's cooking came in handy for the kids, it was a lifesaver! We arrived in Wenatchee around 9pm and I really wanted to go see nana. Almost immediately after I walked in the door she said to me, "Hi sweetie, I'm dying". Leave it to that woman to be brutally honest!

We spent some time with her and then went and got dinner (yes, dinner at 10pm-ish). Monday morning she looked well and was talking and doing nana's version of cracking jokes. She was talking to the kids and talking with everyone in the room. She told my mom and aunt several times that she was "ready to die" and that she wanted to "do it right now, take the oxygen off". My mom and aunt had to remind her that there were other grandchildren and family members on their way in to see her. She decided she ought to wait for them. She did however switch from the pressurized oxygen machine to a regular nasal cannula for her oxygen. You could tell the difference within an hour, her fingertips and lips turned a slight blue tinge. As the day wore on she slept more often, but she'd be awake for about 30 minutes and then sleep for 30 minutes, repeating this all afternoon.

On Tuesday morning most of the family had arrived and by about 10am everyone was in the room to see her. She had really changed since Monday. We could no longer keep her awake for more than about 30-60 seconds at a time, and she would sleep for 30-40 minutes in between waking up. He color had changed also, she was almost an ash color and her lips and fingers were actually blue now, not just a blue tinge. Sometime around noon she started yelling out that she wasn't ready, saying "please God, please God, I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready". My mom and aunt and uncle were asking her what she needed to be ready, was there anything they could do for her? However, she wasn't responsive to their questions. She settled down for about 10-15 minutes and then started yelling the same thing again, over and over again. The doctor came in to see her and recommended some Atavan (anti-anxiety), to which the family agreed with. Nana also started saying she was having some pain, so they upped her morphine. We also called in a preist (upon her earlier request), to come read her last rites. Suprisingly she was aware of his presence and acknowledged him being there and seemed to understand what he was doing. That was around 1pm.

That was the last time I remember hearing her talk or say anything, and the last time I remember her waking up. There were a couple episodes where she didn't breathe for a good minute or so, we all fell silent and stared at her until she started breating again. It became clear to us that the end was drawing near.

JR, Uncle Lon and Aunt Sue (her grandson, son and daughter-in-law) hadn't made it yet. JR's plane got delayed, he was suppose to arrive Tuesday morning, but didn't make it in until about 4:20. They were then going to drive over Stevens Pass to come see Nana. Unfortunately they didn't make it. No sooner had JR's plane landed (this information we all discovered later), than Nana passed away in the presence of her family at 4:30 on March 17, 2009- St Patricks Day nontheless.

Something strange did happen though, I'm not sure what to call it, or if there even really IS some sort of connection, but I'll share anyways. About a minute before we all noticed that Nana had stopped breating (and my mom couldn't find a radial pulse or hear a heartbeat with the stethescope), my kids all started crying. And this wasn't a wimpery cry, they all started having a "freak out" kind of cry. I was trying to comfort all of them and my mom asked me if I needed help. She came over and grabbed Cassie, while I was on my knees hugging the boys and asking them what was wrong. At one point I looked up at her and said, "what the hell is going on?" and she shook her head to indicate she didn't know. This screaming and crying went on for about 60 seconds and then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. Just then we all noticed that Nana wasn't breathing, and called in the nurse who confirmed that she was gone. I'm not sure if the kids could "feel" something or what, but it's just to strange not to mention.

It was a bittersweet moment for me, to hear Nana express that she was ready to be done, that her earthly body was giving out on her and that she didn't want to fight it anymore, gave me a lot of peace that we were doing the right thing by letting her go. This was what she wanted. However, it's never an easy thing to say goodbye to someone you love, and it is ever more difficult (in my opinion) to actually be present when they pass. I'm sad, but I'm happy for her, knowing she's in a better place with my grandma Ann, my greatnanny and my papa!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Skinny Cow Skinny cow

First off, if you have never had a skinny cow before I highly recommend you run
to the grocery store or Costco and buy yourself a box, they are incredibly delicious!!!

Nana was watching the kiddos last night while I was at my math class getting ready for next week's final. I don't know what posessed her to go to the freezer in the garage, but she did, and she found my secret stash of skinny cow's. She cut it up and gave it to the kids for dessert.

As soon as they were done with dinner tonight they started asking us for a skinny cow. I can't believe they remembered what it was called, they are so darn smart, and they keep us laughing all day long!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Raysbrook dance off

They just kept going and going and going and going.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

He's out

Mark got discharged last night about 7pm (a little unusual, I know) and the doctor arranged for him to do home IV therapy for the next two weeks. Who knew that home infusion centers delivered boxes of medications and supplies at 10pm?????? Well, they do, which is pretty cool.

I forced him to take the day off today, and his mom is over at his place taking care of him and doing some house work.

I hope these meds continue to work for him and that he gets better soon. He really can't wait to get back into the guy, but he has to wait until he's done with the meds and they take his PICC out.

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes!!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

He's still in lockup.....

We went to visit Mark today, he's still in the hospital and the doctor told him this morning to expect at LEAST another 2 days. I can tell he's bored out of his mind, and his internet won't work, I think I'll take him my computer tomorrow and trade with him.

So the updates are that he is still on oxygen at 2.5L, and he is on IV Tobramyacin, IV Cipro and on an insulin drip because his blood sugars are out of control. When they tested him this morning when we were there it was over 400 (it should be under 100), so they upped his insulin drip. He's also on IV prednisone, which has a lot to do with his elevated blood sugars, but he needs to be on it so they just have to keep upping his insulin.

They are also waiting for his culture to come back with any growth. His last culture 2 weeks ago showed what he normally cultures, which is Staph Aureaus and Pseudomonas, but of course they want to make sure he hasn't cultured anything new.

We're going to go visit him again tomorrow morning (and take him some flank steak!!), and I'll post updates if there are any when the kids take their nap.

The kids are hanging in there, but I KNOW they know that something is out of wack. They are very clingy and there is a lot of crying and whining going on the last 24 hours or so :(. They were VERY happy to see daddy today, and we stayed for about 2 hours, which was really great for all of us! I got to see Gram B and grandpa too, and the kids were thrilled to see them, it was absolutely adorable!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mark's back in the hospital

Mark got a direct admit today from his CF doctor to Providence Hospital in Everett (the Colby campus). He wasn't feeling well again, his heart rate was really high, and he was short of breath, coughing a lot again and just feeling horribly run down. I feel really bad for him, although he IS at a much better hospital and his private pulmonologist (not from the UW CF clinic) is managing him.

Please keep him and the kiddos in your thoughts and prayers. The kids haven't seen him for two days and they are missing him (asking for/about him constantaly) and they were acting out tonight which isn't normal for them. So I think they are feeling this too.


Monday, March 2, 2009

smashey smashey

Poor Ryland has had a bit of a rough day. After class tonight I went over to Mark's to pick up the kids, and arrived to a house full of naked children. It's their new favorite thing, naked all the time all day long!!! So Mark tells me Ry was reading a book and he smashed it closed, right on his little penis. And then he freaked because he smashed it (and I imagine it hurt) so then he squeezed his legs together in shock and squished it even more (poor little guy). He's had a rough and tumble few days.

Last week he fell off a toy outside at daycare and cut open is bottom lip and sliced his upper lip. Luckly no teeth were damaged, and he just has a bruised lip to show for it now. Poor guy...rough week!