Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saying hi to swingsets.

Karin is asleep upstairs, Liam is asleep in his crib next to me and I am going to post quickly before trying to get some sleep myself.

Haven't put any photos up in a while. Let's fix that shall we,

Want to see the Greatest Picture Ever? I thought so...

That's the greeting I got from my boy when I met him and his mother at the Dr.'s office on friday afternoon. Most of his Doc's have offices within a couple hundred yards of my office and so Karin packed him up and brought him all by herself and I met them once they got there. Karin snapped this with her phone when I sat down with Liam in the waiting room and said hi. Look at that grin. The picture, of course, has been on my office computer screen ever since.

Over the weekend we also got a chance to go to a special park that featured swings and playground equipment for kids of all ages and disabilities. The event was put on for families of the VIP program (Ventilator Integration Program) and was a chance for us to hang out and meet families going through very similar situations. We were able to finally meet in person a family that we have only known through facebook and text messages who have very similar circumstances. They're good people, and I'm happy to have friends who understand what we're going through right now.

Liam got to ride on a swing for the first time! It was a neat swing that held his whole stroller on a platform chained to the swingset. His mother and I took turns pushing while the other snapped photos. He seemed to enjoy the breeze while swinging through the air. Awesome stuff indeed.

I'm tired now and need to get some sleep so I'll put one more up and bid you all a good night. Sleep tight.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


An employee surprised me the other day by playing this song in the kitchen the other day. I'm sure I haven't heard it in years and I forgot how much I love this tune. Its been running through my head ever since. Because of that I put it here for you now. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Back 40.

Last year I planted my first garden. I thought that was pretty neat. I had big plans on eating smarter again after spending 5 months eating almost nothing but hospital cafeteria food. So in the middle of June with visions of august meals, I planted three types of tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers and summer squash. I didn't know at the time that I would go on to spend the next 4 months eating nothing but a different hospital cafeteria's food. Bummer.

All of the plants grew surprisingly well given my level of neglect. Had I watered them during the dryer weeks of the season we would have had fresh ingredients for a majority of the summer and late into the fall. Every plant grew large and fruitful but was never harvested. Alas, I let a lot of crops die on the vine but all of that dead fruit helped to fertilize the soil in that area. This year I am eagerly anticipating the growing season. I've done more yard work this spring already than I did last year and hope to continue that all year. I can't wait to get the garden really going again. Next weekend the plan is to move my compost pile and turn the garden's soil. Hopefully I'll have enough of my own compost to hit all the areas but I'll probably need to hit Benny's for some fertilizer.

My father has a bunch of tomato plants for me that he grew from seed in the greenhouse. He also has some spinach plants and I'll steal a few of those as well since spinach currently is the base of my lunch every single day at work. I'll definitely go with green beans again since I love eating them and there were tons of them last year. But after that I am not sure what else I'll be growing. I'm open to suggestions. I also have to find a place for my two gooseberry bushes. When I was a kid I used to make myself sick eating gooseberries in my nan's yard and now I have a few bushes of my own from her yard. They're still in buckets as we speak though and I'm not sure where I want them yet. Already got fruit on them though so that's cool. Gooseberries were the crazy special ingredient on a recent episode on Chopped - also cool.

In the year before Karin was pregnant with Liam, she and I had each lost 50 pounds by exercising daily and eating all the right things (fresh, fresh, fresh and unprocessed) while staying away from all the wrong things (fast, processed foods). Then we had a child; and stress dictated diet more than anything else. We're just now getting back on track. We both have been getting to the gym 5 days a week and the snacks in the house right now are limited to fresh fruit and greek yogurt. While last year I was glad I planted even if I didn't end up harvesting, this year I am excited to create meals with my own produce. Right from my own garden.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When you believe in things that you don't understand,Then you suffer.

Growing up I don't ever remember being a superstitious person. I guess my only superstitions have come from times of great stress.

I won't ever shave or cut my hair when Liam is in the hospital. If the itchiness gets really bad I will shave just where my shirt collar rubs my neck but no shaving of my face. You should have seen me the day we left the Nicu after 153 days. Grizzly Adams had nothing on me.

I only cut my hospital bracelets on discharge day. When you're seen in the E.R. they give you a bracelet and then you get another when you are admitted. Once admitted the ER bracelet can be removed but I never do. On long hospital stays bracelets can get kind of gross. Nicu bracelets used to have folded pieces of paper under clear plastic. The paper would start to stink after it got wet from hand washing. Nurses would constantly be asking to give me a new one but I always refused. Sure, bracelets can wear out and snap off, its inevitable on the long stays, but I only cut off hospital bands on discharge day.

I guess I only mention this now because last night I got to cut off a few bands and this morning I finally got to shave. Liam spent most of the last week in the Intensive Care Unit at Hasbro Children's Hospital. He's home now. It was a long, trying week and I am glad its over.

Mother's Day this year was supposed to be a very big deal because it was to be the first Mother's Day that Karin didn't spend in a hospital but unfortunately that didn't end up being the case. Liam's gift to his Mom though was getting well enough that she got a few hours at home with him in the evening of Mother's Day. The Kid always gets us the best gifts.

He needed to go into the hospital because of some GI problems. He's fine now and I'll spare you the boring details and medical talk.

I will tell you though that the universe works in very mysterious ways. Almost immediately after being admitted to The Unit (its what patients and employees call the ICU) we were approached by a few nurses and the unit's social worker and asked if we wouldn't mind talking with a few different families whose children either just got trachs or were about to get trachs. When Karin and I grappled with the difficult decision to put in Liam's trach it was conversations with another family who had been through it that got us through such a difficult time. Liam must have known that there were families in the hospital that needed our help. In only a few days we became very close with a few families. I am sure that we will see each other again as we already have plans to get together outside of the hospital. Being through what we have been through has given our families a common bond that few people in this world can relate to. You can never truly understand what its like unless you've lived it and so talking with anyone else in a similar situation is a blessing.

I do believe that we were sent to the hospital at this particular time to help these families but I'm not sure that the families know how much they helped us. Talking with them gave us a purpose while in the hospital. A mission. A distraction. If nothing else it made the time go by quicker and before we knew it, it was time to go home. Thank you Morgan's family and Becky's family. We will always remember how our families met. Don't ever forget that as much as it may seem like it sometimes, you are not alone.

It will take a few days for life to get back to normal. All three of us are exhausted and the house is a complete mess. Liam is sleeping now and Karin is upstairs doing the same. As soon as I publish this post I will stretch out on the couch next to Liam's crib and try to be the third. It shouldn't be a problem I'm not superstitious about sleep.