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Sunday, June 27, 2010

I spy....

I spied on you today. I love watching you when you don't know that I am. You looked so cute sitting in your chair like a big girl eating your snacks. I noticed you made a friend. You plaid footsies with her. I peeked on you again and you were sitting in a circle playing ball. You giggled and giggled and it made my heart burst with joy. I spied on you one last time before I picked you up. There were bubbles floating in the air. You squiled with excitment as you chased each one. Finally, I revealed myself and called your name. You looked and came right into my arms. The teacher gave me your art work and I was tickled at all the blue scribbles you made. I believe it's one for the refridgerator. I love being your mom because of how simply wonderful you are.

I love you.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Invisible mother

I received this in my email and just HAD to share it. It was exactly what I needed.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel on?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude but now, they had dissappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

no one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their truth that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, no one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make everyday, even when no one around you sees.'

'No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.' At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My babies

I've been trying to capture moments just like these but can never get to my camera fast enough. FINALLY, I caught it!
These moments just tickle me to death. I'm thoroughly enjoying being a mommy to these sweet babes of mine!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

And so it began...(a story in pictures)

6:30 am - arrived at the hospital where we waited an hour and half in the cafeteria with my folks and Gemma.

8:00 am - went back into triage, put the gown on, got hooked up to an IV, and waited again until surgery.

10:00 am - Vance dressed for surgery, wheeled into surgery room, stuck in the spine with a big niddle, waited for the drug to take effect, surgery began....

10:33 am - a FLOOD of liquid later, Vance Gabriel Smith was born weighing 7lbs 15oz and 20in long and looking very blue.

I got one quick peek at him and he was off to the NICU.

After I was stitched and cleaned up, the nurse wheeled me, bed and all, down to see my sweet boy.

Vance really wasn't doing to well. His poor heart was working to hard and he had fluid in his lungs that was making it hard to breath.

Not much could be done with his heart since doctors still though it was just a VSD and double outlet. (something they said could be taken care of within a few months) But nurses would come and pat his back to help break up the fluid. They also used a CPAP on his nose to blow puffs of air into his lungs.

Poor guy wasn't eating either. He would just throw it up. They put a small tube down his throught for any fluid to have a place to go so he wouldn't choke.

We noticed that Vance's feet up to his knees was still looking blue. My mom mentioned it to his cardiologist which prompted him to look at another part of his heart. Much to his surprise, there was yet another defect that needed immediate attention. They call it Hypoplastic aortic arch in which his aortic arch was starting to narrow and close. The doctor also noticed that his pulmonary artery was to large. Later that Sunday evening, an ambulance came and picked up Vance to be transferred to UMC which is one of the BEST places to be for heart surgery.

Vance's cardiologist and his surgen over the next 2 days planned out his surgery while I was still over at TMC recovering.

Monday afternoon I got a call to my room from a nurse over at UMC telling me that surgery had been scheduled at 1pm Tuesday afternoon and that I should do what I can to be discharged so I could be there for Vance's surgery.
So that's what I did. I was discharged Tuesday and made it over to UMC around 12:40 pm.

I was able to hold and love on Vance before they took him off to surgery.

And he was off...

4 hours later...............
It was a SUCCESS! The surgeon made a horizontal incision under Vance's left arm and performed, what I think, a remarkable gift. It sure broke my heart to see him hooked up to so many tubes and wires but I am so grateful for this day in age.

Recovery was 8 days long and during this time, our social worker put us into the Ronald Mcdonald House so we could be close by. This place was so WONDERFUL! It was like staying in a very nice hotel where volunteers came in and fed us. There was cable, interent, and TOYS!! Gemma enjoyed herself.

Finally, after a grand total of 13 days of being in hospitals (TMC & UMC), Vance was discharged on Wednesday 6-9-10. It was such a wonderful day to be able to head home and start life.

Now, Vance still has one more heart surgery due within the next 2 to 6 month to fix his VSD and double outlet and when I think about it it breaks my heart all over again knowing that he has to go through this all over again. I thank everyone for your prayers! Heavenly Father sure does hear and answer them!! My heart is full.