Since I didn't have a camera with batteries that would function properly, I had to swipe these off of Calli's blog! (Thanks Calli for putting them up!)
My mother in law has ambition. She decided for our family reunion this year that she wanted to hold a Daddy-Daughter Dance and that she would sew each one of her five granddaughters a play dress and a princess dress. The dresses turned out perfect! Before the dance she had the little girls go to the MATC college (where Nicole, our babysitter, goes to school) to get their hair done, a little bit of makeup put on, and to have their finger nails painted. The little girls ATE IT UP! It was so fun watching them get ready and to feel so grown up.
My mother in law didn't stop there though. Before the dance we met at her house and had a lesson on modesty. My cute little nephew, Keaton, made us all die of laughter. You have to keep in mind that he is 5 1/2 years old. This is Calli's (his mother's) account of what happened:
Grandma wanted to teach her grandchildren about modesty. She had the children tell her what dresses were and weren't modest. Grandma then asked, "What if you can see her belly button?" Keaton replied, "Well then you could see all the way down to her ninnies!" Everyone about fell off their chairs laughing, guess I should have just told him what the real name for them was!
You know something though? Each of of those children older than 2 understood what Grandma was telling them and several times Elisabeth has pointed out to me people in magazines or even at the grocery store who aren't modest. She has also been a little more careful about wearing shirts under dresses and other outfits that aren't quite as modest as they should be. I think its a lesson that will stick with her.
The dance was wonderful! We waltzed, did the tango, the Bunny-hop, swing, you name it! It was just fun to get up and move with the family where no one cares what you did. My mother is law also had each of the dads get up with their children individually and tell everyone why that child was special to the family. Ellie ate it up that her daddy had good things to say about her. A couple of weeks later Ellie said to Jake, "Next year at our dance, you should tell everyone that I'm a good swimmer and that I can be helpful sometimes too!" Ah kids!
We all had a good time! (Although now that Grandma has done so much sewing for the girls, Ellie wants Grandma to make MORE dresses for her!) I married in to a great family!
It’s not that we have fallen off the face of the planet, but life has been fun and BUSY. I was cleaning out my purse this morning and I found this letter that Elisabeth (dictated to Grandma) had given me to give to Nathan when he was in the Intensive Care Unit at Primary’s. It was so sweet I had to put it here.
I LOVE YOU. I want to tell you that I really miss you. I really love you and miss playing with you. Cassi misses you too. Sally really loves you forever. Mickey Mouse really loves and misses you forever. Raggedy Ann and Cinderella really miss you too. I really love you and miss you.
I want you to know that I have a light blue, white and dark blue new dress that has shiny lines in it that Nicole bought me yesterday. I want you to get better so that you can see my new dress.
I slept over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I really love you forever. I really really miss you. And I really miss you because I really love you. I miss you when you make a mess with my Barbies and Polly Pockets. I miss watching you crawl and me catching up with you and being in front. I love you Nathan.
Grandma cries when she thinks about you and she is sad that you are so sick. She wants to be there with you and sing songs to you. And Grandpa wants to be there with you too. All my friends really love you.
I wanted to come and see you in the hospital but mommy said that you are too sick and I can’t come but I wanted you to know that I wanted to be with you. All of my friends want to be with you too because they miss you.
I hope you enjoyed the hugs and kisses that I sent to you last night. Nathan do you want to be with me because I miss you and want to be with you. I have to end now.
Ellie was a month shy of being 3 when Nathan was born. Even though she's four and a half now, I think that she is frightened every time we go up to Primary's with Nathan even if it is just for a check up. She really loves her little brother and just wants him to be home and to have a normal life. I don't think that families were put together in randomness and chaos. I firmly believe that Nathan and Ellie were meant to grow up together. She is his little protector.
I have to recommend a book that child life gave us at Primary's for Ellie. Its called, "Hi, My Name is Jack". Its one of Ellie's favorites and talks about feelings of the siblings and how its ok to feel sad, angry or scared. It also teaches the kids that they should talk to someone about their feelings. This letter was a good little exercise for Ellie with Grandma because she got to tell Nathan how she felt.
Anyway, I thought it was sweet and something that I want to remember later in life.
What a crazy 2 weeks! It began as so much fun and then went down hill from there. On June 26th we took Kathleen and Mom with us to the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti. It was awesome for Ellie to see the characters in their clothing before the performance and then to have her see the stories of the Book of Mormon come to life. We had rented the upstairs of the home of the owner of the Manti Inn and so we had to walk a block from the temple to where we were sleeping after the performance was over. I would tell EVERYONE to do this! It made the pageant so much more enjoyable! Plus it was nice to be able to brain wash Ellie into telling her that she needed to have her "prince" take her to the Manti Temple to get married. (Its been 7 years since Jake and I were married there and every time I see that temple the rush of the feelings of that day still get to me).
Monday, June 29th, came and with it the start of a scary week. Nathan was scheduled to have his tonsils taken out and his adenoids shaven. What would seem like a relatively simple operation for any normal child would turn into major drama for mine! Nathan had a late surgery and didn't get into the operating room until almost 6:00 p.m. He needed this done because he's been having major problems breathing and so it was the hope of the doctors that this would help Nathan out! The operation itself went fine, but Nathan's little body had a hard time dealing with it. His body didn't know what to do with the extra fluid and it went to his lungs. Because of Nathan's past medical history every operation sends him to the PICU just to be "watched". Its a good thing because 20 minutes after the conclusion of the operation, Nathan's little body stopped breathing and his heart rate dropped into the 20's and 30's on the monitor. He was immediately intubed and left with the ventilator do breathe for him. He spent all of Tuesday letting the machine breathe for him and then the doctors decided to try and take him off the vent Wednesday evening. Nathan had to go back to the operating room to be extubed just in case. He was kept in the PICU until late Thursday afternoon just so the doctors could make sure that Nathan was stable enough to move. We wanted home so badly that Jake and I asked to take Nathan home on Friday morning. I think they did this because Jake and I know how to care for this child just as well as the nurses on the surgical unit.
What a crazy week! Nathan sure likes to keep us on our toes!
The Head Doctor of the PICU put this sign on Nathan's bed because they had such a hard time re intubating him. I even was given a stern lecture for lifting Nathan's little body back to center of the bed when he has slumped over. I was a little upset because this child has been intubated so many times in his life after surgery and they were treating me as if I were a young dumb teenager who had no clue what was going on.
Due to Nathan's heart condition the doctors couldn't keep Nathan quite as sedated as they would have liked. Nathan has such a temper that every time he woke up he tried to pull the breating tube out. If you look on his wrists you'll see that they had to tie both arms down to the bed.
This surgery plus the past 2 cleft surgeries since March have taken a toll on his little body. He is now down to 16 pounds, 7 oz. He is on oxygen all the time for a while to help his body heal by not working quite so hard. What a little trooper!
1 in every 120 babies are born with a heart defect. What if that ONE was YOURS?
Our Little Man
We unknowingly became elite members of a world no one wants to be a part of on January 22, 2008 with the birth of our little boy, Nathan, but looking back we can't imagine life any differently. Nathan has had to endure 21 surgeries in the first 25 months of his life including open heart surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot, jaw surgery at 3 days old, 5 cleft surgeries and many surgeries involving his airway, ears, and eyes. He has a g-tube which he uses as his sole source of nutrition. In February 2010 he underwent a second jaw distraction as he was showing signs of right heart failure.
Nathan is our little hero; our witness that prayers are answered individually and that we couldn't be blessed with better family and friends to support us.
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same. They told me that my baby was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame"? I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong. It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved him for so long. I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice. I will give my son any chance. No matter what the price. I will learn all that I need To help my baby thrive. I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive! Will he need a lot of therapy? Will he gain the needed weight? Please God, help me do this. As I accept our fate. When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder. How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder. As another Angel earns his wings, I run to my baby's bed. I watch him sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss his head. I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why? Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways.... no matter how I try. And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day. My mind says savor each moment he's here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"! From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed. From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med. From wondering, "Will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands. With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands. For all who see that faded line. I look to them and smile. You see my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial. That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart). God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start). A heart mom is always a heart mom. Now wise beyond her years. For those who have angels in heaven, Our hearts share in all of your tears. Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for him (and no other). I will always embrace that beautiful day....... When I became a "Heart Mother".
~Stephanie HustedMommy to Braeden HLHS post FontanCarepage name: babyhusted
I "borrowed" this poem off of another blog. I'm not sure who the author is, but it truly touched my heart.(Original version found at http://garyandcamille.blogspot.com Thank you!) Heart Poem:
It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that she is just going for a visit. She is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."