Friday, October 28, 2016

No pain no gain?

There is some truth to the saying: "No pain, no gain." However, now that I have no choice but to schedule my c-section for baby boy three, taking much of the expected labor pains away, does that mean I'm gaining less in my delivery experience? Of course not. There is plenty of pain during the preliminary nine months, as well as the c-section recovery as I learned with baby boy two. Pain also doesn't always have to be physical. Baby boy number one has recently decided on a new way of expressing his frustration at my discipline and superior authority as he hopes to inflict emotional pain on me. When he has no choice but to submit of suffer, he likes to say, "I do not love you mommy" and now he's adding, "And I do not care about you mommy! Does that make you sad!"
The first time it came out of his mouth, I immediately felt a little sad at the quick switch to adolescence, but I quickly recognized and told him that I'd rather he hate me and deal with my punishment than hate God in the future when the punishment is much worse.
Too often, we mothers can't help but swoop in to be hero guardians for our children. We want to be loved, appreciated, and the ultimate protectors of our offspring, yet sometimes the best thing we can do is let our children suffer. Sometimes we must stand by and do nothing.  Sometimes we must feel the pain of their anger and frustration. And sometimes we must be the ones inflicting a little pain in order to gain the fruits of God-fearing adults.

I cannot believe we will meet our third son in two weeks! It's an amazing blessing to have been able to carry this little one full term! What an answer to many many prayers.

Big brother Si had a nasty cold the last week, and again, God somehow covered little Levi so that we haven't had any additional vomiting to clean up this week! I was recently reminded by our favorite NICU nurse what a gift it is that Levi can build up his immune system through common viruses without having any lung issues, pneumonia, or ER visits. Wow. I was so focused on his eating and subsequent weight-gain, that I'd forgotten how common breathing issues are the first couple of years for little ones who were on oxygen for so long. What a beautiful perspective reminder! Thank you God for Levi's strong lungs!

That said, Levi's weight has plateaued again, so his nutritionist wants to try and change out his tubal formula feeds with heavier, more caloric, Pediasure. We haven't tried it since he was little, so hopefully this time it will be easier. So far, we've traded one of the seven syringes with Pediasure, and he can handle it fine! We'll keep moving forward, praying that Levi continues to eat better, get stronger, and tell the world about the miracle God has already done in his life!

Love these new double swings!

We had a great trip to the lake and getaway time for mommy and daddy before baby three arrives!

Even though it was cold, we had a great time. Thanks Dee Dee and T-Pop

Levi figured out how to get up stairs the other day!

I hope you boys love your next brother as much as you do each other!
~Gaining Buster

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Have you ever worked your heart out to get caught up on something? I mean really dug in your heels, focused, drank an extra shot of espresso, and gave up sleep to stay on top of a job? Then just as soon as you feel a little relief and celebratory dance moves begin, you accidentally delete all your work with  absolutely no hope of recovery. This happened to me when I first began teaching high school, and I thought I'd get way ahead during summer pre-planning. Almost as soon as I pat myself on the back for being so diligent during my months off, my work was gone. Even after several calls and web searches regarding recovery, I was sadly informed by the brightest minds that everything I'd toiled to accomplish had been in vain.
Last week, I felt an equivalent sense of frustrating failure. Instead of documents and lesson plans, I watched my baby boy struggle once again with losing weight due to constant diarrhea and vomiting for seemingly no reason except maybe some budding teeth and a chronic sensitive gag. To top it off, we had just finally reached the 18 pound line at his GI appointment, and I was told he was "barely hanging on to the growth chart." While I'm glad Levi's irritated stomach occurred hours after the appointment, I was still equally crushed.  I began to hormonally spiral into a pit of despair vowing that working hard to help my sickly son eat felt futile and worthless. I felt any weight gain would just be a tease, so I stressed myself through the rest of the hard week.
As with his entire life, Levi's journey is ever-changing day by day. Since Sunday, Levi has been back to his chipper, hungry self again, and I humbly read words from God with newfound respect.

"It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep." Psalm 127:2 It is God who never ceases to work and teach me, even while I rest, He grows me in humility and trust. 

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Cor. 15:58   When I strive to accomplish something on my own strength, it is in vain. Only when I work solely for God's glory do I toil in peace. 

  We don't know what tomorrow will bring that is certain, so when no one is sick, and no one has therapy, it calls for a special day of making TY (thank you) pumpkin pie for neighbors and splurging on a solo trip to the Children's Museum. Especially since life will be changing in a little over three weeks! May I not forget when baby boy three comes home in less than a month and the exhaustion and hormones ensue, that God's mercies are new each morning. My greatest prayer is that when there are harder weeks in the near future that I would rest easy and toil only in God's perfect peace, remembering as quickly as those exhausting days arrive, they will equally vanish by beautiful memories.

~ Deleted Buster

Monday, October 3, 2016

Quick answer to prayer

Sometimes prayers are immediately answered giving us more faith to trust when they seem to go unheard for years. I am so thankful that the day after my last post, Levi stopped throwing up altogether! Thank you so much for praying for our little guy. He still wasn't eager to eat for a while, but in the past couple of days he's been extra hungry! Such a great reason to deal with a fussy Levi! Hopefully this will get our weight gain back in the positive direction before our GI appointment next week. It has been the perfect birthday gift to have all my babies healthy! What a blessing!

The typical "Levi face"

The typical "Silas face"

We went on a nature walk, and I'm sure we got some stares as to whether we were crazy trick-or-treaters a month early.

I've brainwashed my son to love fall even more than me if that's possible.

He told everyone we saw happy "fall day."

Levi double-checked we got all the listed items.

Great birthday weekend!

We took this exact picture at Burt's Farm two years ago...

Wow.... please stop growing Silas!

Even though my hubby had to leave town on my birthday, he got up at 5 am to set this up!

Love homemade presents from Silas!

Levi loved the homemade icing!

Special sugar when you are home with boys on your birthday.

Silas put all his toys in the bag for my birthday present! Sweet boy,  I love your generosity!

Even though we miss daddy, it's been the best birthday ever!
~Birthday Buster!