Monday, June 27, 2016

"Labor" Day Antics

We...our family...try to keep a "running tab" of the funny things Joshua says on a daily basis...and then we share them with each other. We do have some completely "normal" days, but we also have those days when comedic material just presents itself...one thing after the other.

Holly's "Labor Day" was one of those "write that down" days. But it wasn't just Joshua saying the funny things...it was all of the kids. And it helped to ease the nervousness of some parts of the day.

I remember when we walked into Holly's labor room. I wrote here about how she kept telling us "not to come right now," so by the time we finally were able to come to the hospital, she'd been in labor for at LEAST 8 hours. She'd had her epidural, so she was hooked up to that pump. She had a catheter, an IV, and was also hooked up to a monitor that watched her vitals, as well as the baby's vitals...and it kept track of her contractions.

When Jim, Joshua and I walked into her room, the first thing Joshua said to her was, "hey, Goup. Comfortable?"

Because: naturally.

(I wrote here about "Goup.")

He also asked Aaron-the-son-in-law if he thought the baby would have fur. Aaron said, "FUR?" Joshua said, "Yes. Or a tail." Aaron said, "Well, I HOPE not."

Joshua said, "I was just teasing...for the humorous."

Aaron and Joshua sat over on the little couch in Holly's room, and passed the time by talking about sports. At one point, Joshua told Aaron: "I'm leaving when the yelling starts."
Aaron: "Yelling? When will that start?"
Joshua: "Labor."
Holly: "Joshua, I've been in labor this whole time, and I haven't yelled or screamed ONCE."
Joshua, looking straight at her: "YOU WILL."

More fun started when Logan and Morgan arrived. They had planned on spending a rare moment off of school and work...at a neighborhood pool. They had plans that night, and were looking forward to a quiet, relaxing day. And then I called to tell them about Holly...and they jumped up and grabbed all of their stuff. She said one of the people at the pool said, "where are y'all going? You just got here!" Morgan said, "BABY!" And they ran out.

Logan said that when they got home, they were changing clothes, and throwing clothes into a bag...trying to get ready to go. He said, "you make the coffee...and I'll make sandwiches!" And they took their food and ate in their car on the way. They are so cute.

This was after I had told them to not feel like they had to come...or that they didn't have to come RIGHT THEN.

But, hey...I get it. I'd been waiting at my house all morning for the "go-ahead."

But Logan and Morgan got there, and, true to Logan-form said, "there's a soccer game on...mind if we turn on the TV?"

OH DON'T MIND US, LOGAN. YOUR SISTER IS JUST TRYING TO HAVE A BABY HERE.

Logan is the most curious person ever, and he is not one to sit still. He was walking around the room, looking at all of the equipment. He wanted to know what everything was for...what it did. They checked out the baby "giraffe" warming bed, where they would put Rhodes after his birth...and a bunch of other supplies and equipment in there. He walked over to the monitor by Holly's bed. He said, "does this thing get FACEBOOK?"

By this time, Clark had made it there from work. He and Logan together...in one small room...with a ton of sensitive equipment...and a sister who was "incapacitated?" Well, it was the perfect storm. Plus, those two feed off of each other. At one point, Logan walked over to where the contractions were being printed out on a continuous roll of paper. He pulled out part of the paper to look at it, and goes, "Is this your receipt? GOOD LORD, what did you buy?"

And we all busted out laughing.

But the funniest thing was when Morgan asked Holly, "this might be a dumb question, but I've always wondered...when they check to see how far you're dilated, do they actually measure it...or do they just 'eye-ball" it?'"

I seriously almost lost it.

Because she was so innocent and sweet about it, and she didn't know. And how would you know, if you don't ask or read about it?

I tried not to fall on the floor laughing, because I didn't want her to feel bad...but it was seriously the best thing EVER.

And, of course, I can't forget about the Subway man. About 8 p.m., the baby STILL wasn't born...Jim and the kids decided to head down to the Subway that is located on the bottom floor of the hospital. They were going to bring the food up to the waiting room. They offered to get something for Aaron's parents, but they said they weren't hungry. Well, about 10 minutes went by, and they decided that they'd better eat...so Aaron's dad went down to the Subway, too.

Aaron's dad was wearing a plaid shirt. In his front shirt pocket, he had a baggie...like a Ziploc bag. When he went down to the Subway to place his order, the Subway man asked, "you got weed in that bag?"

Seriously?

Aaron's Dad showed us what was in the bag. At the moment, I can't remember what it was...but I can most certainly tell you that it was NOT weed!

Gotta love people.

"A joyful heart is good medicine..." Proverbs 17:22

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Camp Barnabas 2016: Bad People Skills

So there was a boy in Joshua's cabin this year...and yes, they are not "boys." They are MEN. I know this.

So there was a boy in Joshua's cabin named Matt P.

Matt P. has been in Joshua's cabin before...and I've written about him before. Unfortunately, I can't find that exact post at the moment...but it's from several years ago. Matt P. likes to jump up from his seat, before every meal, run up to the stage...and lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

And then he follows that with a rousing rendition of "How Great Thou Art."

Every.single.meal.

Every.single.day.

For the 12 years Joshua has been coming to this camp.

And, to quote Joshua: "I love Jesus, and my country...but I just want to eat."

Every camper at Camp Barnabas has a "helper." They used to be called, "Christ in Action," or "Christians in Action," I can't remember. "CIAs" for short. Now they are called "missionaries."

Each missionary is responsible for his/her camper for 23/24 hours a day. The missionaries typically get an hour to themselves each day, but the rest of the time? They are to eat, sleep, work, play, help, support, and encourage their camper.

In the 12 years Joshua has gone to Camp Barnabas, he's had really great helpers. Really great. They've all been younger than him...but all really awesome kids. Once or twice, he's had a female helper, and even that worked out okay. Female helpers are not allowed to sleep in the cabin with the guys, obviously, but Joshua is so low-maintenance, that is not even a big deal. Each cabin also has a "staffer" person in it...as well as a Cabin Dad (or Mom, for the girls). Camp Barnabas provides lots of help and support for all of the campers.

But sometimes, I guess, like in everything...you can have a helper-camper team that doesn't work. Maybe the helper signed up with a church group because everyone else was doing it...or they had good intentions, but no clue what all was involved with special needs...or they had a boyfriend/girlfriend who was going, and signed up...or they were pressured by their parents to go and volunteer at the camp. I don't know. Those are just my thoughts. It could be that the camper assigned to them just rubs them all the wrong ways, AND VICE-VERSA...and neither one can get past it.

This is where maturity, on the part of the helper, is a must.

Because being a "missionary" at Camp Barnabas involves laying your life down for someone else...over and over and over again. For the duration of the camp.

Apparently Matt P. and his helper did not get along from the get-go. I don't know what the problem was...I just know there was a problem. And my only reference is from what Joshua said.

There's this old tree-house on the Camp property. Actually, I don't know if it's old or not. We saw it when we were in the long line of cars in the field...on the first day. Joshua said they went to the tree-house, and were "playing a game he didn't understand." But, as they were ready to head back, Matt P. said he wanted to go down the slide at the tree-house. Joshua said the slide was covered in moss and dirt...and Matt P's helper said, "no."

There could've been more reasons than the moss and dirt...I don't know. Could be that it was unsafe. Could be that Matt P. had been acting out or not following directions, and his helper saw the slide as a "reward," so he said, "no." I don't know.

But it flew all over Matt P.

And, Joshua said he didn't hear the words that were said by Matt P. OR his helper. All he knew was that, in a split second, Matt P. had hauled off and punched his helper...right in the eye.

And then, on the way to the nurse to get an ice-pack, there were more words...and, according to Joshua, Matt P. "clocked him again."

Listen, I know this isn't funny...but I could not stop laughing.

I tried to hold it in. I mean, I was driving and all. And, maybe I was just really tired. I had gotten up at 4:30 a.m., after a fitful night's sleep...but this whole story just hit me funny, and I started laughing. And I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. I had tears rolling down my face. I thought I was going to have to pull off the road for a minute.

Because, in my world, when someone has a child with Down Syndrome...or when people find out we do...one of the most common things that is said, is: "oh, they're sooooooooo loving."

So the thought that this sweet and loving individual, who has Down Syndrome...hauled off and "clocked" the person that was supposed to be helping him...is so completely opposite of what everyone, everywhere, would think.

Side note: I did not know Joshua knew the word, "clocked," or that he could use it correctly. So there's that.

I did recover myself, and told Joshua that it is never, EVER okay to solve problems with violence...and that if Matt P. had a problem with his helper, he should've gone to the Camp Dad. Joshua agreed.

Which, it's easy for me to say what should've been done, because I'm speaking with Joshua as my reference point...and I know that he's been taught to go to someone with his concerns or questions. Not saying he WOULD go to the proper person, just that he has the communication skills he needs, if he did.

From what Joshua said about the situation, Matt P's helper was just as much at fault...and Matt P was given a new helper. I don't ever remember this happening before, at least not in Joshua's cabin.

I asked Joshua what he thought about the whole situation. I said, "WHAT in the world happened with Matt P....to make him hit his helper?"

Joshua's response? "Bad people skills."

"...Those who love God must also love their fellow believers." 1 John 4:21

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rhodes: One Week (BEST DAY EVER)

So, on Friday, Aaron-the-son-in-law went back to work. He had been off work since last Friday, when Holly went into labor...the day Rhodes was born.

I don't think Holly was looking forward to him going back to work, and I don't blame her. But we live just around the corner, and I had planned on spending the day at her house.

In fact, I think my EXACT WORDS were that I would be watching from around the corner, and as soon as I saw his Jeep head down the street, I would be turning onto their road...and pulling up in their driveway. Ha!

But she called, and said that Aaron was going to drop her and Rhodie off at our house! And I may or may not have done the happy dance.

I was sad for Aaron, but I think he was anxious to get back to work. After we got settled, she told me I could hold Rhodie...and I told her to take a rest if she could. She slept for 2 hours, and it was glorious for me for her, because she needs the rest so badly.

My goal for the day was to do whatever I could that would help her rest. She's got all of those new mommy feelings. At night, when the room is dark, and she can't see his chest rise and fall, she worries. I don't blame her. I want to tell her to relax...to let it go...that we can't stay awake 24/7 for the rest of their lives...and that we can only do so much, and then we have to trust God.

I believe all of that, but I've been in her shoes, four different times. And I know how hard it is.

So we hung out here all day. All morning, I sent pictures to Jim, of me holding Rhodie on my chest. He texted, "I'll be there after lunch...I can't wait to see him." I texted back, "NO. ALL MINE." Because I'm mature like that.

True to his word, he was home right after lunch. I heard him coming in the door, and hid Rhodie under a blanket. Jim wasn't fooled. He said, "let me wash my hands...and then GIMMEE."

Next to arrive was Clark. He'd had a long, hard, hot day at work...in the sun...with a bunch of kids with special needs. But his face LIT UP when he walked in the door and saw Rhodes.

We decided to order Chinese food for dinner. Aaron made it here, just as Rhodie was having his nightly fussy time. Holly is trying to nurse him every 3 hours, and so Aaron was trying to keep him occupied and distracted until it was "time." Rhodie was NOT HAVING IT. He was MAD...and he was hungry. Or, he thought he was.

At some point, I started singing, "You'll Be In My Heart," (the song from Lion King)...and Holly started crying. She said, "MOM. STAHHHHHP."

Meanwhile, Rhodie was still fussy.

Joshua said, "Aaron, I think he's mad that you went to work."
Aaron: "Well, I think he understands that I have to make a living."
Joshua: "I don't know."
Aaron: "I have to start saving for him to go to Kanakuk...he can go there when he's 5 or 6 years old."

**Holly started crying.**

Aaron: "And, not only that...but I have to start saving for his college fund...for him to go to OBU."

**And Holly started crying AGAIN.**

Joshua stared right at Aaron, and said...my Downsy man-child said, "Don't blink, Aaron, or it might be like in that Kenny Chesney's song, where Rhodie is 25 years old, and marrying his high-school sweetheart..."

**And Holly started crying.

And I may or may not have gotten all up in my feels.

BE QUIET, JOSHUA.

So, Rhodes is 1 week old today. His favorite things are: his mommy, his thumb, and making poopie diapers.

We already can't imagine our lives without him. He's what we have all been waiting for...and we didn't even know it! He was definitely worth the wait! Seeing Holly as a mother is amazing. I can't even put it into words. SIDE NOTE: She wrote a labor/delivery post over on her blog, 'Tis The Season (to be Holly), and I'm sure it's great and all...but I only made it through the first half before I decided that I just couldn't read all of that right now.

She's a great little Mommy. One week in, and she is getting to know what Rhodes likes...how he likes to sleep, how he likes to eat, how he likes to be swaddled. "They" say a baby changes everything, and it's true. I love how motherhood is changing her.

And seeing her brothers as uncles? It is so sweet. They are over the moon with him. 

We had the best day with Rhodie. :)

 "I will lie down and sleep peacefully, for You, Lord, make me safe and secure." Psalm 4:8

Friday, June 24, 2016

No A/C At Holly's House Means Baby Time For Me!

We had a great Wednesday. Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camp group meets 3 days a week. Typically, he rides in, and rides home, with Clark. But today, I had lunch plans with my friend, Amy G., so I took Joshua into Little Rock, and then hung around town until he was done with his activities for the day.

Last night, Holly texted to say they thought their air-conditioner in their new house wasn't working. I told her to have Aaron-the-son-in-law call someone first thing in the morning. I told her that I would be gone most of the day, but that they were welcome here ANYtime...whether we are home or not.

I mean, they know that.

But they didn't want to be a bother...AND, they are slowly realizing what it means to "travel with a baby," even if that trip is only 2 blocks long.

I had a great lunch with my friend. We haven't gotten together in about a month, so it was great to visit and catch-up.

And laugh. Laughing is about my most favorite thing to do.

We ate at La Madeleine, which is new to the Little Rock area. The waitress told us "bon appetit" when she delivered our food, which made us feel all fancy and everything...even tho the restaurant is most definitely NOT fancy.

And then I got a text from Holly saying that they had been trying to tough it out at their house, but it was 84 degrees inside, and it was only 1:30...so they were coming over.

Aaron had called an a/c company first thing in the morning, and they said they could get to their house on Monday.

MONDAY.

Ummm...NO. It's Wednesday.

Then, he called another company, and they said they could come on Friday. Aaron said, "Okay, thank you. I'll have to call someone else...I have a 5 day old baby here." They told him they would work them in on Wednesday night...so they had hope things would be fixed sooner, rather than later.

Right after they got to our house, the a/c person called to say that they had time to run by RIGHT THEN. Aaron jumped in the car, and went back to their house. Fortunately, their unit was able to be repaired for a relatively small amount amount of money.

Which, "small amount of money" is relative...I get this. I'm just saying that our first summer in our house here...our air went out, and we ended up having to spend $9k for a new unit. So anything less than that amount is a WIN, in my opinion.

I picked up Joshua from TR, and all the way home, all I could think of was the fact that my baby baby Rhodes was AT MY HOUSE.

I just want to sit in the corner and hold him all day...is that too much to ask?

I was so happy to get home. They ended up having dinner, and staying for a long time. When they finally went back to their home, she texted this: "house is 75 degrees, and it feels amazing."

I'm really sad their a/c went out. I'm sad that they had to pay a chunk of money to get it fixed. But I am NOT sad that they got to hang out here with us. It was AWESOME! We all got some much needed, much wanted, snuggle time with our little guy. Clark came in from work hot and tired...but LIT UP when he walked in the door and saw Rhodie.

And Jim has been out-of-town for the past 2 days, and he could not WAIT to get home. He walked in, washed his hands, and said, "gimme." And I said, "no, all mine."

We love baby Rhodie!

"Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord." Psalm 22:30

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Baby Rhodie: The First Great Diaper Blow-Out

Baby Rhodie is doing GREAT! Really, he is.

We haven't seen him a lot, and it is KILLING me...but Aaron-the-son-in-law is off this week, and I feel like it's important for them to figure some things out as a family. Aaron can run the dishwasher and the washing machine and the vacuum just as easily as I can...and he can run out and grab any kind of food they are craving. He would probably welcome the opportunity to leave the house for a minute.

I have taken meals over, and items from the grocery. AND, I have offered to come over at any time...day or night or middle-of-the-night...to hold, rock, or entertain the baby.

So far...no takers...RATS.

But we have seen him every day, even if just for 30 minutes. Joshua and Clark are as smitten as we are...and Logan and Morgan would be here every night if they could.

The other night, we went over to visit with them. Rhodie was in his little swing. Holly was a little concerned, because he had not made a "big" diaper in nearly 24 hours, even tho he was eating consistently. I assured her that if he was hungry, he would be screaming his guts out...and not lying peacefully in his swing.

All of a sudden, we heard it. You moms know what I'm talking about: the sound that will bring moms running from the other side of the house: the sound of a "disturbance in the force."

Holly said, "I'll wait a second, to make sure he's done." Which, usually that is a good plan.

This day? NOTSOMUCH.

Because, when she went to pick him up, it was a mess...the swing, his clothes...and the floor, where she was standing. And then she walked through the living room, down the hall, and into the nursery...and his diaper "dripped" the whole way.

Um. Did I mention that they have WHITE CARPET in their new house?

No?

Well, they do

So, Holly started cleaning up the baby, and Aaron and Clark started cleaning up the carpet. Because Holly and Aaron have only been married 5 years, they don't have any old "rags" to use for cleaning, so Aaron was using carpet cleaner...and a roll of paper towels. And some napkins.

Bless.

And Joshua was acting super dramatic about all of it...like he thought baby poo was going to some how fly across the room, and land on him. I cleaned the swing, and then started washing the swing cover, and the clothes.

After everything was all cleaned up, Holly swaddled the baby, and put him in Joshua's arms. Rhodes laid there as still as a mouse. I'm sure he was thinking, "ahhhhh...I feel SO much better!"

Holly started writing a funny Facebook update about the whole thing, and she got so tickled. She started laughing, which made her stomach/incision hurt even more...and tears were running down her face. We looked over at Aaron, and he had his cell-phone out, looking up "places to get hardwood floors." And then, he got up, walked over to the far side of the room, and began pacing off the square-footage of the room.

I haven't laughed that hard in a while!

Baby poo on the floor...just one of many "first" parenting moments for this young family. At least this was at home...just wait until it's on aisle 4 at Kroger! Talk about embarrassing!

Don't ask me how I know!

(Also, don't ask my why I'm now avoiding Hershey's syrup and dijon mustard like the PLAGUE)

"He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21