Monday, September 26, 2016

Wish un-granted

Well as they say, be careful what you wish for... shortly after the last post, things have seem to unravel here at the Smith house, and as I hope things weren't too "normal," that wish was granted. It has felt eerily like we are living back three months ago. Not only has it been unseasonably hot (which makes my autumn heart melt), but Levi is now throwing up most of his meals throughout the day. Both my boys contacted the usual fall head cold. The difference between the two of them ten days into the cold is that Silas coughs normally to clear his throat, while the extra mucus that makes Levi coughs triggers his gag reflex. Some of this is completely mental as we seek to distract him by all means necessary. However, nine times out of ten, the battle is lost because he has learned that throwing up will solve any blockage issue. Unfortunately, as we've seen before, now Levi doesn't want to eat as much, and he seems to have much less energy than normal. My mommy heart is sad, but I also know that we will face many, many battles in our lives with each of our children. A parent's heart is heavy for many harder issues, so I trust that this is simply a bump in our road that I can't let spiral my thoughts out of control. "Taking my thoughts captive" is exactly what I'm trying to teach Levi right now. While maybe a little young for the life lesson, he understands almost everything we say to him, so I know he is getting lost in a mental web of how to refrain from losing his lunch. His mental comprehension is remarkable considering his physical abilities, and his fight for life is encouraging to everyone.
Please pray that little Levi will get past this bump and start holding down his meals again. Sweet boy really can't afford to lose any weight right now.
Also, thank you so much for praying for our third baby boy! I cannot believe I've made it to week 31 already. What a blessing that most of my discomfort is completely "normal;" a normalcy I will gladly welcome in my life these days! We are scheduled to meet this little nugget on veteran's day, November 11 (crazy to actually have a day set). I hope the baby keeps cooking until 11/11, but I am so thankful to have made it this far! I know God's timing is always perfect.

Thank you so much for continued prayers for our Smith clan. We wouldn't make it without them!

While I try to limit all screen time significantly in our household, they are a great distraction for gagging, so I'll take that all day long! Thank you iPhone camera!

~Normal Buster

Monday, September 19, 2016


It only seems natural to hope for seasons and circumstances that are relatively normal and problem-free. However, I'm learning that I'd rather have larger, rarer difficulties in my life than constant normalcy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not requesting a life of exhaustion that could be written into a major motion picture.  I think God gives us all times of respite for recovery after a storm. Because we live in a fallen world, hardships are simply part of life. Every single person will face problems, big and small, and if you live long enough, trying to avoid all things negative or difficult is an impossibility. Although, when problems arrive in the form of a familiar package, like minor health blimps on the radar, financial strains on the bank account, uncertain future employment, or relationship tensions, I begin to feel more stress, anxiety, and frustration than if a problem suddenly appears without notice or warning in an oversized, abnormal box. Yes there are similar emotions at first, even if shock covers a few for a time, but my natural response to the two different boxes after fully exploring the contents is very different.
I think when problems are more common, it is easy for me to think I have some sort of control over the outcome. I begin to hunt for solutions, look for the most knowledgeable person on the subject, and carry the burden on my own two shoulders, which inevitably creates less sleep, more stress, and a tiresome toil. Yet when the problem is life-changing, I begin to see my very human inabilities. I am humbled to the point of peace. I am speechless to the point of quiet simplicity. I begin to draw close to what really matters and find joy in trusting faith.
For this reason, I see the true gift of certain hardships. While I don't wish for shocking uneasy packages to arrive on my doorstep any time soon, I do truly hope that I can respond to any size problem with humble and quiet trust, seeing the good in experiencing God so closely. I do not want a life of ease where I begin to slip into lukewarm joy. Such an existence lends itself to create problems in order to feel something hotter or colder, and self-induced problems, I believe, are the worst kind. May I never let life's daily irritations become a source of strain for it is the narrow less-beaten path that leads to true life.

Don't let the huge smiles fool you. We all face hard days, these sweet happy boys included. But those days pass away, and these moments are blissfully burned in memories.

"What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" -- Ecc. 2:22-25

~Counterintuitive Buster 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Labor on Labor Day

I heard a radio contest last weekend for any woman who went into labor on Labor Day. I can tell you, from personal experience, the money they were giving out would not have covered the NICU bill that I would have received had I actually gone into labor. We did have a little scare with baby boy 3 last week though, but thankfully it's just the pains of carrying a third child in half a uterus. :)
I've practically given up any physical labor on my own part in hopes of cooking this cookie for at least two more months, but when you have a little one that can't walk yet, it makes resting nearly impossible. At least voluntarily giving up laboring has kept me off of bed rest and enjoying every possible second with our family of four while it lasts. When I feel those aches and pains, I praise God that I can have another baby. What a gift the past couple of weeks have been for us!  Bring it on third trimester! These boys make me tough- bring it!

I love how much my boys love music! Great hand therapy for Levi too!

Silas wants to be a train conductor for Halloween, so when his daddy found an awesome train museum in Duluth, we couldn't resist. I see many trips to this cool Southeastern Railway Museum in our future of boys.

The ole mail car!

It really was a great history museum. I think I loved it just as much as the boys!

Love their opposite personalities!

Happy Labor Day!

Love visiting the lake and how well these boys sleep there!

Thanks for a great weekend Dee Dee and T Pop!

Levi went back to the nutritionist today. He gained a few ounces since our last visit, so still hovering around 17 and a half pounds, but thankful he's doing well. We are going to try to increase calories a bit, and possibly double up on feeding therapy, but no other big changes. He will see the hand doctor on Friday to re-evaluate if we need to do anything at this point, but so far all he's said is that he's still too little for any serious therapy. Thank you for always checking on our little Levi. We love you all and can't wait to see what our upcoming favorite season holds.

~Laboring Buster