Thursday, August 07, 2008

6 days to go

I know I've been horrible at updating this blog recently. I've been very stressed out and just haven't had time to blog. I just sent off an email to two of my bff's :) and thought I would just copy and paste some of it here so you at least know we are still alive. Here's a little of what we've been up to:

I've been stressing myself out recently and actually making myself sick over it. I've really been trying to relax a little and breathe but it's difficult for me when I have so much to do and only one week left to do it. I just keep thinking recently, "this may be the last time I do this (i.e. visit with my good friends I visit teach) before I leave." I have to choke back the tears because I absolutely hate crying in front of people. I'm sure I'll be a mess once I'm home alone in the Netherlands and it all sinks in. Ah, I just called the Netherlands "home." Gotta start some time. Hopefully we have internet pretty soon after we leave so I have at least some connection with people.

(I was asked what I am looking forward to the most and what I fear the most about the move.)

What am I looking forward to the most? There are a few things. I'm really looking forward to having more of an opportunity to share the gospel. Well, who am I kidding, the idea actually kind of freaks me out but I know it'll be good for me to have more of those opportunities. I'm looking forward to being exposed to a whole new culture and many new cultures since we'll be able to travel and see so many new and different places. I'm looking forward to having a tiny house. That probably sounds weird but I'm thinking it'll be kind of nice to have just a cute little home and not so overwhelming when it comes to decorating and cleaning. I'll let you know if I still feel this way after living in a tiny house!

What am I most scared about? I think that would have to be transportation. That probably also sounds weird but I'm really nervous about being alone with my two boys and being able to get around to places that I need to like the grocery store and other places. It's hard enough here when I'm able to just drive somewhere and feel secure where I'm at and know where I'm going and how everything works. I'm nervous about driving because the signs are all in Dutch and the cars swerve in and out of each other so quickly, the roads are incredibly skinny, I have no idea where things are at and there are so many bikers and pedestrians just inches away from the cars. I'm nervous about riding a bike with two kids strapped on because I haven't ridden a bike in years just by myself and I've never ridden with two kids "attached". I'm nervous about taking the tram/metro system because you have to know exactly where you're going and how to get there and which metro to take. Plus if I'm alone I've got to be able to get both kids out of the stroller and fold up the stroller and then help them both on the tram all while carrying a diaper bag and double stroller. Yikes! I'm sure it will all just come with time and I'll need to just take baby steps.

Here's a quick update on the boys:

Time to start blocking the stairs again. Glade is now crawling! Oh, it's so cute. Jimmy will sit on the floor and call to him, "Tum to me bebe, tum on, tum on!" And he gets so excited when Glade makes it to him. Glade has been happier with his new-found independence although he's always been a really happy baby.

I took Jimmy in to see all the cleft doctors/clinic on Monday. We saw 6 doctors/specialists, which makes for a very long day. We were at Primary Children's Hospital for almost 4 hours. I had both boys with me and thankfully they were really good considering. The speech therapist said Jimmy needs to work on some of his consonants. He says his "g's" like a "d" sound and his "k's" like a "t" sound. Nothing I'm too concerned about. I still think he's pretty up to speed for his age in regards to speech. The ENT said both his tubes have fallen out but he won't put them back in unless Jimmy starts having problems (with hearing or ear infections). The plastic surgeon said Jimmy's scar looks excellent and he doesn't anticipate any revisions...yay!!! He will however need the bone graft surgery when he's around 5-6 years old. I was anticipating that though. They generally take bone from the hip and put it into the mouth. I've heard that's the hardest surgery of them. We'll just take it as it comes. I'm not going to worry myself with it yet. Jimmy passed all his hearing tests so now I know when he doesn't respond to me he really does hear me he's just choosing to ignore me! :) The orthodontist said that Jimmy will most likely be missing a tooth where his cleft was and it's possible he can use a tooth bud from somewhere else to help one grow. I don't know if I'm describing it right. I figured we're a ways away from any of that so I didn't bother to probe for more explanations. He was the last one we saw and at that time I was pretty frazzled as were the boys. We were all anxious to get out of there.

It's such a sad place. I saw a few people holding little babies and just wondered what they were there for. One lady had tears rolling down her face in the waiting room and my heart just broke for her. I also saw many little kiddos being pushed around in the little wagons. They had their little hospital gowns on and some were happier than others. It just brought back so many memories of when we were there for Jimmy's surgeries and all the feelings and emotions. I felt a connection to all the people there even though I had never spoken to them. It was sad when the little kids' names would be called to go back and some of them would start to cry. I could tell they were too familiar with what happens there. I really think those kiddos have such a sweet spirit to them though, Jimmy included. I don't know if it's because of what they've been through or if it's just the way they came.

Here's a picture of our little angel just one day old. We've come so far since then. Well, I suppose I should get to bed. It's almost 1:00am. I've done this the past few nights because I can get so much accomplished once the littlies are in bed. And I wonder why I'm so tired! Hopefully I'll have a more exciting post soon. Most likely my next one will be written from my computer in the Netherlands...weird. Yep, it still has not sunk in.


Chris & Amy said...

I had no idea about Jimmy's cleft palate...I would have never guessed because they did such a good job!!! I am excited for you and scared for you too...You'll do fine after you get the hang of it! Just another move...right?

Kenna said...

You're an incredibly smart, courageous woman! You will figure out all the traveling in no time. Think of this time you're going through like the day before High School. You're so overwhelmed because you just KNOW you're going to get lost. And then you get to school and by day 2 or 3 you've got it down pat. So, okay, an entire country is bigger than high school... so give it 2-3 weeks instead of days and you'll be golden! I'm excited for you and will be thinking about you and hoping that you don't get toooooo homesick!

Chira said...

i love you! i hope everything is going well and you get a second or two to feel normal!!!

The Murdocks said...

I can relate to the feelings you had at primary children's. Logan was there for 1 1/2 weeks with RSV. It's hard being there, but at the same time I'm so very grateful for the place!
I'm sure you're in the Netherlands now. I hope all is well! We miss you!

CurlyJPS said...

Hi I got your blog from Cleft Notes blog and your son is adorable. Althought his cleft lip isnt as complete as my son I know what you are talking about going through the surgeries, no matter how big or little they are stressful. I swear the last one I was so stressed I couldnt move my neck for 2 weeks I had to go to the chiropractor 5 times in 1 week to get some movement out of it!

Jared & Tristan said...

Hi Erika!
I was randomly going through your blog (mostly to look at pictures of your family) and when I saw this post I just had to comment.
Did you know that Jared had a cleft lip and palate? I think he was actually 12 when he had the bone graft surgery.
we are in Iowa right now where Jared is getting his Master's degree. He'll have one more year after this.
How much longer will you be in the Netherlands?
Sorry this comment is all pretty random, but I don't have much time to write. I'm sure you understand how it is with two boys :)