Monday, June 17, 2013

what if he dies.

Last week, Max had a cardiologist appointment. It was just a check up and everything looked fine(ish) but it was a tough one. Our Cardiologist rocks. She has become a new friend, a familiar face to Max, and a cozy comfort to me so when we wrapped up and she didn't offer the typical "see you next week!" I lost it. Not in front of her...but in the car

because that means we won't see her until after Max's surgery

and that means that his surgery is close. SO close...

and that makes this all very real.

and maybe...I'm just not equipt to handle this afterall.

How the FUCK do you pack your sweet little baby into the car and drive him into the hospital on purpose? How do you hand him over to the person who is responsible for making his heart work?

I want to check out. I want to run away and come back when everything is all better..when he's "fixed." I want to not have to do this...

but I am Mom. Not only do I have to go through the motions but I have to smile at Max (this comes easily, actually) and be calm and comforting so that this fear that is consuming me is never felt by the innocent little human that has no idea what is going on.

When he cries because his diaper is a tiny bit wet, or because he isn't being held, or because I am changing his diaper, a piece of me is heartbroken because I want those to be his biggest discomforts, but I know that they won't be.

What if he gets sick and the surgery gets postponed?
What if they can't get the repair they want and we have to do this all over again? (which is a real possibility.)
What am I going to do when he is laying there in pain and recovering, looking at me with those big sweet eyes, wondering why I let them hurt him and why I wont pick him up?
What if he dies?

I can't say it out loud...and it almost hurts as much to type it. It's a real fear though, and every time I feel it, it gets topped off with guilt too because I should be busy enjoying my baby, not worrying that I only have two weeks left with him.

Up until now, I have had on my business face. I sit through appointments and listen to specialists tell me what is wrong with my son and together we draft up a plan about how we are going to fix it. I chart medications like it's my job. It is my job.

This is not a "leave it at the office" job, though and emotions are flowing pretty heavily now.

It is sinking in and it sucks and I hate it and I am really just ready to let it all out so I can move on.

So, this is my rant. This is it and then I will find my strength again and stopping complaining. I'll be damned if I let this kid see me cry or if fear is ever written on my face where he can see it. I will kiss him and smile when they walk down that hall, so that he thinks it is all ok. When I tell him that he is going to do awesome, I am going to believe it.

Today I cried while he napped. I wrote this and a list of things to pack for the hospital. I folded some 12 month outfits and wondered if he will ever get to wear them.

Tomorrow I am going to sew some baby hospital gowns so that he is the most stylin' baby there. I am going to get the house ready for when he comes home, and I am going to tell him how strong he is and how loved he is and how adorable his sweet little smile is.

I am going to put all of my strength into him and all of my energy into rooting for him, because I can't wait to see the kid he is when his heart "works" and feed him solids, and watch him crawl and tell him someday what that scar in the middle of his chest is from.

When I do, I hope he glances at it for a second, feels proud of himself for a bit longer, and then bounces off to play while he forgets all about it.

a party for heroes.

Hi, I'm Jenelle and I'm a party-a-holic. We party big around here and planning get togethers is quite possibly my favorite thing to do, so when I realized that Eldon will be turning five while we are in the hospital for Max's surgery, I wanted to throw him a party that would make him feel extra special, because he is.

He is big into all things superheroes and I can't think of a more fitting theme for the hero in my life. The boy with the shield of adaptability, who can't be touched by worry or change. When the world is in turmoil and hurling new homes, new brothers, and new schools at him, he just stands sturdy with his cape...ready to charge right in and show us all how living is done.

Words can't express how proud I am of this boy of mine and how happy my heart is to see his giggling smiling face every day, knowing that to him...this is all just mighty fine. He is my best medicine.

So...what's a mom to do on a super tiny budget? Get super crafty. (and talk dad into paying for a bouncehouse.)

Here are a few of my favorite frugal decorations from the party.

{posterboard signs}
Easy peasy. I bought a bunch of posterboards from the dollar store and cut them up like this. I will guess that the total cost of these was $10.00 and I made a bunch of them and used the scraps for other crafts.

{the backdrop}
My family is pretty much full of asskickers so even the adults answered the call for superheroes and came dressed to impress. I love this bunch SO much. For this, it pays to have a stepdad in the siding business. I took a big piece of Tyvek and painted a city scene on it. I threw a couple of the homemade posterboard signs on it and viola! we have incredible photos like these.

{cut up comic book stuff}
I'm sure that this is sacrilegious to some people, but I totally chopped up some used comic books. I grabbed the most child-friendly comics I could find at Half Priced Books for 25 cents each. That's a grand total of $1.50, ladies and gentlemen. Then I mod podged them onto some dollar store vases, cut some out for a banner, and backed my favorite full pages with some posterboard.

{the phonebooth}
Hey, friendly local appliance store! Score! Free refrigerator box and leftover paint in my parents basement. BOOM. Free. It's a good thing we had this thing handy because Clark Kent WAS in attendance. The kids LOVED running in and out of this thing. Cardboard box wins every time.

{food table}
This was so cheap I can't even stand it. I used the vases mentioned above, a dollar store tablecloth for the "sky" and cut out a made-up Seattle-ish skyline out of a black posterboard.

{newspaper poster}
A friend posted this link to my wall on facebook the day before the party...but I had to have it. So, I threw it together suuuuper duper fast (using publisher, saved it as a PDF) and uploaded it to Staples online for printing. Want in on the best tip ever? For black and white projects like this, call it an engineering blueprint and Staples will print it for around $3.00. Yep, this super cool project was less than five bucks! Since I wrote it so quickly and didn't take a lot of time to get the design just right, I am going to make a more polished one to hang in Eldon's room.

Of course, there was the bouncehouse which is far from frugal but worth every penny if you can swing it. The kids decorated their own masks (which can be cut out from a pack of foam that you can get at the dollar store) and the grown ups had just as much fun, I think. I made Eldon some sweet new capes to wear, but he insisted on a batman t-shirt and mask from target and well....birthday boy rules.

Here a few more pictures, including a couple of the birthday boy who must have been busy saving the world, because I hardly saw him all day.

THANK YOU to all of the superheroes in our lives, who swooped in to make Eldon's party a success. This theme was so much fun we may be repeating it in the future.