January 31, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Due to icy conditions, church services were cancelled. We had a nice day of staying in our pj's for longer than usual, resting, and having fun together.

I love to watch Grant look at his books. I often find him pulling a pile of books out and looking through them for long periods of time.

Wrestling with Daddy: male bonding and a great way to expend some energy.

January 30, 2010

Update 1/30/10

'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Monday & Tuesday: I honestly cannot remember a single thing about Monday or Tuesday. Hmmmm... must have been pretty uneventful - that or I am blocking it from my memory. I am assuming I did my normal crazy day at work and then came home to cook, clean and crash. :)

Wednesday: Everything happened today. It was a huge emotional roller-coaster. Grant had his PT Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday and it went a lot better than the week before - Grant seemed back to his old self (even though he is still sleeping restlessly at night). He is beginning to stand a little on his own - until he realizes he isn't holding on to anything and immediately plops down. After Grant's PT, the service coordinator came to the center to observe him. She called me later that day to fill me in on her observations. I always brace myself for her calls as they thrust me into quite an emotional state of mind. The service coordinator is very kind and supportive but says things very bluntly and doesn't offer much encouragement (but does offer lots of tips & advice). I love that she says things how they truly are - it just isn't always easy to hear. Anyway. Grant is making notable progress but still has a long ways to catch up. We need to start Grant on occupational therapy (OT) along with the physical therapy (PT) because his ligaments need some additional sensory stimulation. Also, the service coordinator suggested that Grant be tested for hypoglycemia (to put it simply: low blood sugar - hopefully not tied to diabetes). This hit me hard and the rest of the day I had to fight the urge to burst into tears. Then came the level two ultrasound in the afternoon to find out if baby Wesley's kidneys are OK and to check my amniotic fluid level. I am relieved to say that the doctor at the Women's Institute cleared Wesley of any kidney, bladder, throat, or internal organ issues. He appears to be very healthy and developing well. Yeah! My amniotic fluid is still high but nothing to be overly concerned about. This will continue to be monitored by my OBGYN doctor.

Thursday & Friday
: Again - a blur. Work has been very busy and challenging but it makes me even more excited (if that is even possible) to get Grant and spend time with him and Aaron in the evenings. Oooo, I did FINALLY get to meet little Sam Schmidt! It was a quick (and scatterbrained - too much on my mind) visit but I was so glad to peek at cute little Sam.

Saturday: A day to catch up & reflect. Over the night we had some snowfall (a big event for our part of the Carolinas) and some freezing rain - a lethal combination. Fortunately our fridge & pantry are stocked with what we need (except we could use some more toilet paper...) and we are cozy in our warm house. We have so much to be thankful for. I am determined to praise God in good AND difficult times. As I was driving to my level 2 ultrasound appointment, I must admit I did let myself go and cry a good deal - I had to get it out (stress, tension, fatigue and sadness). While grieving, an unexpected picture popped into my head. It was the image of Jesus weeping with Mary outside of Lazarus' tomb (John 11:1-44). That story has such personal meaning to me. I sometimes wonder why God doesn't just heal Grant or take our pain away. I believe it is because He wants to use such situations to pull us and others closer to Himself and reveal the ultimate prize - truth, forgiveness and eternal peace. However, He still feels our pain and offers comfort and strength.

'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.' Isaiah 43:1b-2

January 24, 2010

Update 1/24/2010

Well it's been another typical, crazy week at the Mayes household...

Monday: Aaron had the day off from school and had a wonderful father-son day with Grant at home. This was a blessing as I was able to go in to work early and stay a little later - which in turned helped me out the rest of the week with all the time I have to take off to go to our weekly appointments.

Tuesday: Grant's PT did not go as well as it usually does. He hasn't been sleeping through the night very well and was tired (yeah, all of sudden - when I'm about to have a newborn to stay up all night with - Grant decides to have a case of insomnia or something). Actually, I think he is going through a major growth-spurt. He has been eating often and everything in sight. He may be waking up because he is hungry. After changing his diaper and giving a little milk cup he usually goes back to sleep until his appointed time in the morning - usually... Anyway, Grant's PT didn't go as well and he has begun reverting back to some of his old habit (ie: sitting in a W). It was very discouraging but the therapist was not alarmed. His muscles haven't digressed and she said that this may happen from time-to-time - especially if he is experiencing a little change in his life.

Wednesday: My doctor's appointment went well - the NST results were great. Next Wednesday I go back to the Women's Institute for another level 2 ultrasound to monitor Wesley's kidney. Hopefully the amount of fluid has decreased and all the internal organs & throat are continuing to work as they should.

Thursday & Friday: The same madness as usually - work as much as I can in the office so that home life can just be home life (not mixed in with working a couple hours from home for Thompson). Aaron did get a painting job (PTL!) and worked late on Friday.

Saturday: Aaron's parents came over (and later his sister, Lydia) to watched Grant while Aaron and I worked like mad to clean-out the home office/Aaron's art supply room/"let's throw it in there" room. We are converting it to Grant's "little-big-boy" room. We got the room all cleaned out (the rest of the upstairs is a bit of a disaster area now - but it's a process) and Aaron painted all the trim, walls and doors. It's looking good! Aaron is going to paint a couple stripes around the middle of the wall and then we can move all of Grant's furniture in! Yeah! I am so excited and relieved. This project has been hanging over my head for so long and, well, we only have a handful of weeks until little Wesley comes into the world.

January 21, 2010

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Yesterday was such a beautiful day (sunny and a high of 67 degrees - in January) that we decided to go on a family walk. Grant thought it was great. It was a little breezy but he loved being outside.


January 19, 2010

2010 Goals

I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions... they have a reputation of not lasting. However, I do believe (at the council of one of my mentors and financial advisor) it is important to continually set goals for yourself. The goals must be measurable, written down and cover six aspects of life. Here I go...

Intellectual: Read three books this year (I'd make it more but I'm about to give birth to my second child). Some of the authors I'd like to read are Jim Collins, Thomas J. Stanley, Dr. Meg Meeker, Zig Zigler, Amity Shlaes, Rabbi Lapin and Dr. Henry Cloud.

Spiritual: Finish two Bible studies (I'm still researching what Bible studies I want to do - Beth Moore's "Esther" is one of them. I'll probably stick to "Daily Bread" through May. Hopefully Wesley will be sleeping well & my brain will be fully functioning again by June).

Physical: Lose all baby weight by September 16 and run in the Hit the Brixx 5K on September 25 (10K in 2011).

Financial: Complete Financial Peace University course with Aaron & stay within budget every month (remind me to put new running shoes in the budget).

Family: Have one date night a month with my wonderful hubby, Aaron. Love you!

Career: hmmm... let me get back to you on this one...

So there you have it. Let's get started!

January 16, 2010

The early bird catches the worm

Grant decided he wanted to get up at 4:50am to help me feed Sadie-kitty:

Grant playing with his shadow:


Update 1/16/2010

Another week has passed. I am weary to say the least but thankful that it is the weekend and I can attempt to catch up on everything that fell by the wayside during the week.

The week in review...

Monday: Grant had an ear appointment at Charlotte Eye Ears Nose Throat (CEENT) to check his ears. His appointment with the audiologist last Friday at the Watkins Center showed that Grant's right ear tube was blocked and another ear infection was forming - oh and it appeared that his tube was beginning to come out. He passed the hearing test on his left side but failed on the right side. That day I had also noticed that Grant was a little warm and feared he was getting an infection. Aaron and I immediately began giving him ear drops a couple times a day to try to relieve the blockage and prevent a full-blown infection. Then, on Monday, the CEENT doctor said that Grant's ear was no longer blocked and there was no sign of any fluid build up - and the tube was fully in-tack. They also did a full-blown hearing test and Grant passed everything. PTL!! Also, when we went to check out the lady said that we have a credit on our balance and didn't owe anything. Yeah!

Tuesday: Grant's physical therapy appointment (PT) went really well again. His therapist is convinced he is going to be walking soon. Aaron and I are hoping that Grant will walk by 18 months. We continue to work with him every day and, so far, it is really paying off. Because of Grant's hypotonia, we have been encouraged to get neurological & genetic testing done. We are praying that Grant has benign congenital hypotonia (some hypotonias are not progressive and are of an unknown origin. Central nervous system function and intelligence in children with this kind of hypotonia is normal. Children with benign congenital hypotonia may not experience developmental delay, although some children acquire gross motor & speech skills - sitting, walking, running, jumping - more slowly than most).

: Because my pregnancy has been labeled as "high risk", I have had weekly non-stress tests (NSTs) done to monitor little baby Wesley's heart rate and movements. They have been going well. I was having some pretty significant contractions during this week's test (which happened when I was pregnant with Grant as well) and it caused the nurse to sweat a bit. But after laying on my left side for a while, the baby's heart rate stabilized and my contractions went down a bit. The doctor said the good thing about the situation was they were able to monitor Wesley's stress level during my contractions and it was all very positive and stable. Now I just have to make sure I take it easy in the evenings and rest - fine by me!

Thursday & Friday: worked fast and furious in the office so I can focus on home life during the weekend - especially with Aaron being out of town!

January 13, 2010

A New Beginning: strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow

Some might say (and I might be one of them from time-to-time) that 2009 was not kind to the Mayes family. It was a difficult year for certain but one that forced us to grow in our faith. If there is one thing I have learned from the trials of 2009 it is how to live out Philippians 4:6: "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." I've always heard not to worry and leave everything up to God - only, practically speaking, I had no idea how to do that. In fact, the natural worry-wort that I am sometimes prides myself in being stressed and always on the go - fully in-charge of course. However, there comes a point when you just cannot go on living in the "I've-got-it-all-under-control" mode. When reality catches up to your brain and you know that you are not in control one bit. That was 2009 for me. At first this reality hit me like mack truck. I entered a dark valley where I was completely terrified of the future. Then I got really angry (maybe even a little bitter). After shedding many tears and few panic attacks, I crumbled before God crying, "This is not how life was meant to be lived!" I had to relearn (and am still learning) how to live each day. I've heard and read Philippians 4:6 countless times but one day its truth jumped out at me. I have so much to be thankful for. In spite of all the petty and not so petty troubles I am going through, I am so blessed. In my light bulb moment I decided each day to write down a blessing I experience. Big or small. Then, taking those blessings I turn to God and thank him for those blessings and pray for our needs. This process adjusted my attitude. My fear turned into praising and thanking God. I wish I could say I am a completely new person and I no longer have any fears, but that would not be true. It is a daily journey - a daily struggle. But now, when fear overtakes me, I have a plan and peace knowing that it is God who is in control.

OK, I have rambled enough. The purpose of this blog is not only to keep friends and family informed about our life, but also to bookmark and share our blessings. I also want to say I am very sorry to the friends and family that I have shut-out this past year (I truly did not mean to). I was, and am, in survival mode but want to reconnect with everyone - hopefully this blog with help. Happy 2010!
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