The Big 4

Four years!??! Can that really be?!  Will, my boy, turned 4 years old today.  He came into our life during some tough times and here we are again, in a similar situation....Daddy is in surgery recovery so there is no "normal" to come home too.  But this boy brings so much love into our world that no amount of upheaval at home can change how awesome his birthday is!

Will is ALL boy --- cars, trucks, dinosaurs, superheroes, Ninja Turtles.  He never walks - instead he runs.  He wakes up at 100% energy and maintains that level all day long.  He idolizes his big sister and is such a sweet big brother.  When he lets me, his cuddles light up my day.  And he is an amazing bear hugger...again, when he is in the mood of course!

The past few weeks he has grown up so much - he is doing more and more for himself and gets excited to do "big kid" things around the house.

Happy birthday my boy.  Love you super much!!!



I wish I could be in two places at once.  I wish I could pack up my whole family and just never have to split time or efforts between them.  But whether its a job or, in our current happenings here, a medical situation, it's a never-ending, always-losing battle I fight.

For 3 1/2 days, I left the kids at home and went with the Hubby to the hospital 55 miles away.  The kids weren't alone -- they had their very loved grandmother (aka MoMo) and spent the days with friends. Pretty sure they were more spoiled in those days than a normal week.  From-scratch dinners every single night?! Only when MoMo is in charge. Baking cookies just cause? Yep - with MoMo of course!  Even my "other-mother" MoMo's BFF came over (we call her Bop).  If you add "Bop's Special" or "MoMo-Made" in front of any meal, the kids will eat it, even if 5 minutes ago they swore it was the most horrible meal ever.  So I know the kids were okay. But that didn't stop the guilt.  It didn't stop my heart wanting to go home to hug them, to tell them Daddy was hurting but okay, and that I was okay too.  The texts and the phone calls begging me to come home were so hard - made the tears come each time.  My mom  put her own life on hold for these couple days to help me out and that made me feel bad too...especially when my boy caught a stomach bug.  I was away from my kids and it made me sad.  I sat in hospital waiting rooms, ICU halls, and finally in-patient rooms missing them and feeling so guilty that I wasn't home.

The hubby needed me.  It wasn't a "just to have someone to talk to" kind of need.  It was a need to have someone there able to make important decisions; someone who could fight for him when he or I disagreed with recovery plans; someone to literally help him sit up straight for the first time.  It isn't fun. It is not a time I wish anyone to have to live through - seeing your loved one - your husband - in pain like that, with scars and tubes and beeping machines - is not something I want anyone to really be able to understand.  It's hard on your heart and on your mind and on everything.  He needed me these couple days.  The hard recovery is starting now....and just as it is starting, I had to leave him behind.  Alone in the hospital.  Sure he has nurses to give him meds and make sure his sheets get changed every 24 hours and to page the doctor as needed.  But he is alone in that hospital room as he experiences the beginning of what is going to be a painful and long recovery - just typing that makes my tears start.

I am split between both worlds. While I was at the hospital, I was on my phone - texting, calling, emailing - home all the time.  Now that I am home again, my phone is always in hand so I don't miss any notes from nurses or the Hubby about his progress and the recovery plans.

I miss my kids.  I miss my husband.  I miss my family being together.

No matter what, I am guilty of leaving someone or something behind.  I am running on empty - my emotional tank is so full that it has overflowed with guilt and stress and sadness and exhaustion. But I put one foot in front of the other and march on.  Because that is what is needed. It's what we do when we are pulled in different directions - do what you can with what you have in that moment.  I am trying hard to accept that I cannot be in two places at once, that I need to focus on the most important items and let the rest fall away, and that there isn't anyway to really explain this to anyone.  Learning to just keep moving is so so hard.

The guilt is the worst.


Waiting in Pictures

A 13 1/2 surgery for the Hubby in the OR means 15 hours of waiting for me. Here is my day in photos.

Have wireless - can work anywhere! Not a bad view either.

I don't remember how it started but I have a thing about pudding.
Anytime the Hubby is in the hospital, I must have pudding from the cafeteria.
The addition of the cookies on top make this pudding a winner!!!! 

Damn this board!!! Its the OR Status Board.  See that LONG green line on the top.  That's the Hubby.
See how part of his green line is shaded - that is the "extended OR time" based on
original plan and schedule.   I hate this board. It just stares at me and adds more and more and
more green.  What I wan to see is brown --- that means patient is ready for visitors in ICU.
I got a baby visitor in the waiting room - made that hour pass quickly.
And really - isnt he just so adorable?!?!?!

A waiting room all to myself.  Fully prepared for a long day of waiting -
magazines, iPad, snacks, work projects, and music.

My favorite place at Hopkins - the original hospital building.  It's good luck to come here, say a prayer,
and rub the foot of the statue.  And so, every time Hubby is in the OR, I come here.  Its gorgeous and peaceful.