Baby Maverick

This blog was created to keep family and friends updated on what's going on with the pregnancy, birth, and surgical plan for Maverick. We'll also be able to keep everyone updated during his surgery and recovery and hopefully be able to show you some cute pictures of him, Maddie, Carter and Chloe along the way.

This was the original intent; however, when we started this blog we had no idea the twists and turns our lives would take. Our sweet baby Maverick was born September 12, 2008 with Transposition of the Great Arteries, ASD, and VSD. We expected to have a baby boy to bring home three to four weeks after his surgery. He had numerous complications after his arterial switch and fought through many that would have taken the life from an adult. He passed away February 24, 2009 - without ever coming home.

This blog is now a place I share my feelings, work through the grief, remember Maverick, and try to make sense out of our life without him. I hope in doing so I am giving a name and a face to babies everywhere born with congenital heart defects.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Handsome Boys and a Crazy-Haired Girl

Isn't he handsome - even all dirty and sweaty.

This was after practice. He even put the black stuff under his eyes - it was a bit smudged off by the end.

Pitching like a pro - okay, I really don't know how a pro pitches, but it looked pretty cool to me.

The first practice of the season was tonight, and Carter had a great time. I think all of the kids did. He loves to play any kind of ball. I know some of you might not believe me, but he threw his first ball when he was nine months old. I'm being serious. I think we even have it on video somewhere. Their Poppa James came down tonight and watched him play. Then we went to get snowcones afterwards. It was after 8:30, but what the heck.

This is a picture of Chloe playing with the sidewalk chalk at the snowcone stand. She told me she was going to draw her picture. She started out with purple chalk hashing lines back and forth. She said, "Dat's my hair all crazy when I wake up."

Chloe and I just ran some errands today and I had some things to do around the house. I also had to make my coupon rounds to CVS and Walgreens. Oh, and I had to go pick up my meds from the doctor's office. I did leave them there. I was relieved when the receptionist told me they were there because short of some closet in the garage, I had no idea where I would look next. Considering how it's now 12:30, I suppose I should go ahead and take them. I've been up visiting with James and haven't taken them yet.

I downloaded some pics of Mav that were on the internal memory of my camera tonight with Carter's pics. I also came across a couple of videos. So, I was thinking, if any of you who sat with Mav or came to see him have some pics of him on your phones or cameras I would love to have them, too. If you don't have my email, send me a note here with yours (I won't publish it) and I'll send you mine. Here are a few of the ones from the camera.

Me and our sweet boy on his three-month old birthday. The staff ordered him a cake - for us to eat. But, we did put a bit of icing on his paci. He wasn't really sure about it.
The three-month-old celebration with some of the wonderful staff in Dallas.

Mav got to see some of the Dallas Cowboys and Cowboys Cheerleaders before we left Dallas.I love this. He's sleeping so well with his monkey and his frog snuggled up with him. He loved to feel of them. This was one of the first - if not the first time he had clothes on. I remember crying because he was almost three months old and had never had on baby clothes. You mamas of little bitty ones, give them an extra smooch for me tonight. I miss having those tiny cheeks to kiss. Love you all, jc

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sweet Baby Boy, Mama's not asleep yet

We found this sweet picture on Maddie's phone this evening. It was taken just minutes after he was born, before he was whisked away to the NICU.

Well, it was rainy most of the day here. Actually, rainy is quite the understatement. If we lived closer to the coast, I might call it a tropical storm. The wind was awful. I went to see the practitioner this morning and we had a good visit. She lost a son several years ago, so she had some good advice. She gave me some samples of sleeping medicine, but after searching the house and the vehicle I've come to the conclusion I must have left them at her office. I sat the bag down to write out my check. Maybe I left it there. I have retraced my steps after coming home haven't been able to find it. Sometimes, when I'm sidetracked and preoccupied I'll lay things down and forget where I put them or put them in strange places. I thought I might have done that, so I looked in the laundry hamper, pantry, trash, bathroom, refrigerator, and any other odd place I thought I could've placed it. Still no luck. I'll call the office tomorrow and see if they're there. So, for now, I'm awake and waiting for the Excedrin PM to kick in...

Chloe went to Mother's Day Out since I had the appointment, so I was also able to have lunch with some friends by myself. I love taking Chloe with me, but you know, sometimes it's fun just being with your girlfriends. She was a bit upset when she found out I went to Benedict Street and had coffee without her. She was asking me this evening if we were going tomorrow for lunch, "We go to Ben Stweet tomowow for lunch?" Probably not tomorrow, but maybe I'll make a pot of coffee in the morning. That should make her happy.

Greg, all the kids and I made a quick trip to OKC after school today to get Carter a baseball glove for his practice tomorrow. He is so excited. It will be fun watching him play. I'll try to put some pics of him on tomorrow. My phone isn't cooperating again, so I have to upload the pics to the computer to post them. The last time it stopped working and was giving me the "memory" issues, the guy at Subway fixed it for me. I was paying for my sandwich and the guy working asked how I liked my phone. That got my attention. I said, "Why, do you have one?" It was my lucky day - he did. I told him the issues I was having and he fixed it in about 15 seconds right there at the cash register. Maybe I need to go back tomorrow.

Just FYI, I'm still waiting to hear from the pediatric nurse practitioner program. I think I should hear something in the next few weeks. If I don't get in, expect a pity party to be thrown. You'll all be invited. I'm just kidding, but I really don't have a plan B right now if this doesn't work out, so I'll just wait and see what happens.

Before I stop for the night, I just wanted to say thanks to those of you who are still praying for us. We need all the prayers we can get. We have a few up-and-coming issues that I'll share in a later post. Love you all, jc

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whatever You're Doing

Just thought I'd share this song with you. So many of the sentiments in it ring true for me right now.
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lyrics :

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing in... more
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
"Here's a flower, mommy." This was from our walk this evening.

The whole gang on the walk. Chloe was pushing her baby in the stroller, Carter rode his scooter, and Maddie jogged. Today Maddie said, "Mom, maybe in the next few years we could run a marathon together." My answer was, "Maddie, I have no intention of running a full marathon." She replied, "I have every intention of running a full marathon." Carter is looking forward to starting baseball this week. We're on a team with several of our friends' kids. His first practice is on Thursday and he can hardly wait.

Me at McDonald's getting ready to slide down the slide in the big climbing toy. Details below...

Chloe getting ready to slide.

This morning I went to a friend's house for coffee. There were six of us there. We sat and visited for several hours. Greg dropped Chloe off with me on his way to work. She had decided to stay up late like me last night and was still asleep when I left a little before nine. Before she fell asleep, she was talking about going to our friend's house. She asked what we were going to do. I said visit and have coffee. She gasped loudly then said, "Can I have some?" I said, "We'll see..." She kept asking and I finally said "Okay, you can have some." You would have thought she won the lottery. She was screaming and laughing and saying, "Yea!" She had her coffee when she got there.

After we left I had a few errands to run, then took her to McD's to get a bite for lunch. The place was desolate. It was so nice. We obviously didn't get there until after the lunch rush, so she had the entire play place to herself for awhile. She asked if I would go up with her. This is normally not my idea of fun, but there were no other screaming, running children around. I thought to myself, "Why not?" So, I put my book down, and for the first time in my adult life I climbed right up in there with her. I promptly bumped my head. Those things weren't exactly built for 5'8" adults, and I quickly learned to "duck" lower. She was proud to tell me which way to go to get to the slide, and we slid down and did it over again. I really can't remember the last time I slid on a slide. Then it was about time to pick up Maddie and Carter from school, so we left.

Not much excitement on the home front this evening. The kids and I went for a walk while Greg rested after work. Now everyone is in bed. It's nice and quiet.

Chloe is going to Mother's Day Out tomorrow and I'm going to see the nurse practitioner to get something to help me sleep. Maddie told me a few times today, "Mom, you look really tired." I'm trying my hardest to find some kind of normalcy through all this; but, honestly, it's not easy. I think about Maverick every day. The late evenings and around bedtime are especially difficult.
This morning as I was getting ready, I thought about the question I'm asked so often. "How are you doing?" My usual response is, "Oh, (pause) I'm okay." I thought to myself a better response would be, "Do you want the abbreviated, make-you-feel-good version, or do you want the truth?" The truth is, no matter how I think about this situation, I can't make sense of it. Maybe I should add "yet" to the end of that last sentence. Maybe someday I will, or I'll just quit trying. Really, I'm don't even want to verbally go into the truth with most people. I'm a person who has to think things through and make sense of everything. If something doesn't go as planned or there is a problem, I have to figure out why. The main idea I'm coming up with right now is that no matter how easy a procedure seems, things can go wrong. Going into this, I didn't expect "easy". I did know that 95% of transposition babies survive. I knew that they usually did really well. I didn't expect his heart to be as difficult as it was. All this said, this is just my way of working through things - my thinking out loud on paper. I've been looking online at different groups that support congenital heart defect awareness and/or research. I'd like to get involved with one and do something to help make a difference.
Well, I should go for now. Love you all - jc

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Milk Moustaches

Today Maddie and I went to the OKC Memorial Marathon. This was at the "Got Milk?" booth after we finished. We had a great time. We ran the last 1.2 miles for her to complete the kids' marathon. I thought about Mav the whole way - about his fighting spirit. We ran then browsed the marathon grounds. We toured the OKC Memorial. That was the first time we had been there. It was amazing. It was first class all the way. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't been. I still remember where I was when the bombing happened. I was just out of nursing school and was working for Dr. Robert Buchanan at St. Anthony's North. He is a plastic surgeon. I was in the office looking over pre-op charts and felt the building shake. We were at 63rd and Centennial Expressway. We turned on the television and saw what had happened. Dr. B and I went to St. Anthony's to help however we could. Greg was already there working. It's horrible to think how one person could cause so much harm.

After we finished, we went home and planted some flowers in the window boxes. I went to the cemetery this evening. It was so windy, I didn't take flowers this time. They would've blown away. As I was pulling up, I thought how wrong it was to have to visit my baby at the cemetery. This has been so difficult.

Yesterday, the girls and I went to see my Granny and Pa in Tuttle. We had lunch with Gran and went shopping for awhile. It was fun. Granny made us a lemon pie - one of my personal favorites - that and coconut. Everyone should have a Granny like mine. I'm a lucky girl.

Well, I better go try to get some sleep. Love you all, jc

Matching tattoos

Ok, they're just temporary, but we thought we were pretty cool sporting matching tattoos for the marathon.

Maddie and Her Medal!

Yea, Maddie! She and I went to the OKC Memorial Marathon today and completed the kids marathon. The kids train for 25 miles in the month or so prior to the marathon and complete the last 1.2 miles on the day of the race. She was so proud. She's such a sweet girl.

OKC Memorial and Maddie

Maddie by the reflection pool.

Multimedia message

The entrance to the OKC Memorial.

Multimedia message

The Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City Memorial

Friday, April 24, 2009

Monkey Boy at the Zoo

It was nice to have a day with Carter at the zoo. It kept my mind occupied with the exception of the ride up there and back. It's hard to believe it's been two months. Here is Carter the Great in action. Climbing is one of his favorite things to do.
Here is Carter with his friend, Jack. They were climbing and having a great time and I heard another mom scold her child and tell them, "The sign says 'no climbing on the rocks'." I thought to myself - what is she talking about? Then, we walked out of the area and saw the sign... Oh well!

Here they are riding on the eagle. I didn't see a sign with this one.

Here he is petting an alligator. That was pretty cool. I learned something new at this program as well. Owls' eyes are fixed. They can't move them like we can. That's why they turn their heads like they do. I may have just made myself look really stupid for not knowing that, but I had never heard it before.

Here's one of Maddie with her chalk-self from this evening. It was a beautiful day today. After school, we went to a friends and Carter and Maddie swam for awhile. Then we went home and played outside some this evening.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busy days and sleepless nights

Today Chloe and I met my sister, Heather, in OKC for the art's festival. She brought her baby, Addison. I brought the nice double stroller my friends at Mediflight got for us, and Chloe and Addie got to stroll in style. I was pushing it as we were going back to the vehicle and Chloe looked up at me, scrunched her eyebrows, and said, "This stroller was for me and Maverick." I said, "You're right."
Little Addie, isn't she cute!

We had fun while we were there. Chloe painted a piece of pottery and it was fired while we walked around. She was so meticulous with her painting. She followed all the instructions to a T and reminded me of them several times, especially, "Not paint the bottom." She's a bit like her mom...

While we were there, we had to eat, of course. We had a gyro and a huge chocolate sundae. She loved them both. I have the cutest pic of her with the sundae. Here it is.

Tomorrow is Carter's second grade field trip. We're going to the zoo. He's looking forward to it. Maddie commented to me today in the vehicle that I didn't get to go on her field trip. I told her that considering everything that was going on, I thought she should understand. She made a little comment, "I'm just saying, I'm only in sixth grade once." I said, "Maverick was only here for five months." That was the end of the conversation. I know they're just kids and it was very hard on them not having us around much, but I still wouldn't have had it any other way. No regrets, that was my goal and still is. I've told Greg one of the things I've regretted is not being able to hold Mav more before the first surgery when he was first born. I held him in the delivery room and again for about an hour or two before his first surgery. I should've been more assertive and told them I was holding him everyday, lines or not.

Greg and I were talking last night - while neither of us could sleep - that we have really learned to enjoy each moment. I remember being in Mav's room several different times when things weren't going so well. If I looked at the whole picture, it was overwhelming. I just told myself, "Focus on now. Enjoy this moment." That would usually help me. It's helping me still, but for the complete opposite reason. "Focus on now with the kids. Enjoy this moment, instead of..." I will be telling myself that frequently tomorrow. Tomorrow it will be two months.

Some things are getting better. I realized last night, as I was awake in bed, that I held a friend's newborn a few days ago and enjoyed it without relating it directly to Maverick. I did the same today with Addison. Every baby isn't such a jab to my soul as it used to be. That's good, because I love babies. It felt so foreign and wrong to be put-off by them.

I'm having sleep issues again. I was taking nothing at all, then went back to Tylenol PM, now that's not working. I'll be a grumpy mom at the zoo if I don't get some sleep tonight. I'm looking forward to my time with Carter tomorrow. It seems like we don't have a lot of time with just the two of us anymore. Well, I better go for now. Love you all - jc

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wow, Wednesday already

This week is going by fast. It won't be much longer and the kids will be out of school for summer. I'm looking forward to sleeping in some - hopefully. Here's the wrap-up of the week so far...

Monday Chloe and I just stayed around the house while the kids were at school and Greg was at work. I was having a hard day. I had Maverick on my mind a lot. Chloe was putting on a talent show for me, all dressed-up in her ballerina attire. I turned on the radio and she found the station she wanted. She started to dance, then the song changed. She danced for just a bit and got a funny look on her face and said, "This a sad song. This is for Maverick." It was Garth Brooks' 'Unanswered Prayers.' Then she walked straight over to the radio and changed the station.

I did finally get the blinds up in the living room. They look nice. Heck, anything is better than the circa 1950's pull-down shades that no longer pull down. Greg really likes the new ones. I was expecting them to be a bit more concealing. During the day you can't see into the house from the street; however, at night it's a different story. Oh, well. They look nice.

Tuesday Chloe went to Mother's Day Out and a friend and I went to OKC to a fabric store. I love fabric stores. I finally got some fabric for the window seat in the living room. We've had the foam for the cushion for years, and I've never picked out the fabric. It was fun looking at all the neat ideas and the beautiful fabrics. My friend and I had lunch and then rushed back to get our girls from MDO. I told myself all day long that I had to choose to be happy. It was a choice. That worked while I was busy. It seems like it's in the evening when things are slowing down that I start thinking and get really sad. Greg and I sat up and talked last night. I can't imagine going through all this without him. He's such a great support for me right now. He understands.

We are putting the other house on the back burner for now. I don't think either one of us could handle the stress of getting this one ready for showing or potentially packing everything up and moving right now. It was something to think about for awhile, but I think reality has set in. It would be a big hassle and a lot of time.

Today Chloe and I stayed in most of the day. I have many tasks that I should have completed by now, but haven't. I worked on some of those today. Maddie made me laugh out loud today. After she came home from school, she told me about her social studies project. Their class was divided into groups and had to form a country with a government and laws. Her group consisted of some of her friends and was all girls. There were some laws that brought a smile to my face, and one in particular that was hilarious. Here are some of them:
No child abuse
No drugs (but you can have medicine)
No littering
No throwing oils in the oceans
No gangs
No going over the speed limits
Men and women should have the same rights
No kidnapping
You should recycle
You have to wear clothes (except for jogging men)

Are you laughing? I was. She explained what they meant by that last one, "You know, how men jog without their shirts on?" It still just cracked me up. I talked to one of my friends on the phone tonight and she died laughing as well. Here's a line from their constitution: "Most people in EMRA should have the right of speech." Maybe that's how ours should read as well. I told Maddie I would have to take her picture with this document. I would post it, but for now, you know my excuse - it's the phone thing. I can't even send a text. It says something about the memory. I have a memory card that barely has anything on it. Maybe one day I'll be more technically inclined and I'll be able to figure this thing out. Hope you have a good night. Love you all - jc

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Maddie and I went to church this morning. We were there for most of the music, and thankfully it wasn't sad. Greg's back has been bothering him, so he stayed home. Carter and Chloe were still at their grandparents.

When we got home, the kids were back. We had lunch and then looked at the newspapers. Carter and I went to Walmart to pick up a few things, including some white tulips for Mav's grave. While we were there, we saw a few people we knew. They both commented on the tulips. I just said thanks and didn't divulge the reason I was buying them. No need to make other people feel bad. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with Carter. He needs that every now and then, too. I think I'll start rotating who goes with me to the store.

After we returned home, I gathered my coupons and made lists for CVS and Walgreens. It's become quite a fun game for me to see how many things I can get for free - or close to free. Maddie and I went to those stores and then went to Mav's grave.

At Mav's grave, we just pick up any sticks and remove the old flowers and replace them. I sit and think and cry. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him - and I know it's the same with Greg.

Well, it's about bedtime for me. More tomorrow - love you all, jc

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Girls day

Maddie and I had our "girls day" today. She had some birthday money that was burning a hole in her pocket, so we went to Penn Square Mall and then had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Then, we went to Quail Springs Mall for a little more shopping. She got several cute outfits.

Chloe and Carter went to their grandma and grandpa's house, and they're staying the night there tonight. Carter went fishing and said they caught 60 fish. I didn't hear the true count from grandma, though.

Greg has had a couple of rough days. He's had some dreams about Mav. We were talking about the little guy this morning. Losing him is something that will be with us for the rest of our lives. I know on every holiday,birthday, or special occasion we'll think about him. We'll wonder what things would've been like if he was with us - if things were different. We still don't understand why he had to go through so much. It's still very difficult at times.

One thing I've been thinking about a lot today is how I should enjoy every moment. I think about the time I've spent stressing out over little things - even big things. Did the time and energy I spent stressing change the situation? No, but it probably impacted my health in a negative way. It's just not worth getting upset over. So, that's my goal for this next week - no stress. We'll see how that goes... Love you all, jc

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I actually wrote this on Friday...

Here's Chloe yesterday. She stayed at home with her daddy while Maddie and I went to her 12-year-old check-up. Maddie had to get a couple of shots yesterday. One stung pretty bad. As she was trying to hold back tears, she said, "Mom, that really hurt. Will you take me to Benedict Street?" That's the lunch spot I like sooo much. So, we had lunch before I took her back to school.

We've had a pretty busy week. Maddie's birthday was Wednesday. She wanted to go to McAlister's deli for dinner, so we did. We had cake at home afterwards. We had issues with our camera, so we had to take pictures the old-fashioned way with real film. It will be a while before I can post them. She's not having a big party this year. Carter didn't get to have one because Mav was pretty sick at the time and we really couldn't plan anything. So, it wouldn't be fair if she had one. She wants to have a "girl's day" this Saturday. She and I will go shopping and get her nails done.

The kids have had friends over the past two nights. Their friends, Tommy and Jordan, have a new baby brother. Their mom and dad are at the hospital, so they've been with us. We went to see little Noah yesterday after school. He is adorable. He's the same size Mav was, just an inch shorter. Sigh... There is nothing sweeter than a newborn.

Speaking of babies, I spoke with the medical director of Neoflight on Wednesday. They need a person .75 (which is almost full-time) on nights. That won't work for us right now. So, for the time being, I'll be at home with the kids. I should find out in about a month if I'm accepted into the pediatric nurse practitioner program. If so, I'll just enjoy the summer with the kids - the fall will be hectic with school. If not, we'll decide what to do then.

For now, we have quite a few projects to work on around the house. We're still playing with the idea of moving, so we need to get things in order around here. I've finished one project today. We live in a 1950's ranch style house that we renovated about five years ago when we bought it. It has a small wet bar area. I've always stored our wrapping paper and gift bags there. It's now cleaned out and spruced up. It's our coffee bar area. Chloe is thrilled. She was "helping" when I was taking everything out. She saw the sink as I removed a storage box and screamed, "There's a sink!" It's pretty bad that she has lived here all her life and has never seen the sink. She had fun playing with it after I finished up. Tomorrow I'll be hanging new blinds in the living room. Love you all, jc

Monday, April 13, 2009

The kids had a good weekend. It was a bit cool on Saturday for the Easter egg hunt, but it warmed up nicely after that. Sunday was cool and rainy. We decided to stay home from church - Mav would've been seven months old on Easter. It was a difficult day for Greg and me. We watched a sermon on the internet, and I made lunch. The kids hid eggs in the house and had plastic egg fights. We all went to the cemetery late in the afternoon.

The internet sermon was by Craig Groschel at We used to attend there several years ago. The series was titled "Can You See Him?" and was from Luke 24. He talked about how God is there in the difficult times, even when you can't see him. He said the more difficulties you've been through, the easier it is to see him in the middle of your difficult times. I'm just paraphrasing, but that's what it meant to me. It really hit home with the emotions we're going through right now. They'll still have it online to check out if you're interested.

After we went to the cemetery, we drove around different neighborhoods and looked at houses that were for sale. We love to look at houses. When we were still in college and dirt poor, we would go to the nicest neighborhoods in Edmond and go through all the model homes. We love to remodel and add our own style to houses. We're on our fourth one here in Shawnee. We found one on Sunday that interested us a bit. It has potential. If you would have asked me one week ago if I would consider moving, I would have said a big "no." Today, I'm wondering if it might be good to have a new start and a new project. We're both thinking it might be good. We'll see what happens.

Today, Chloe and I did some shopping. I had some coupons and we got some really good deals. When we were on the way to CVS (she had her doll right beside her), she said, "I wish we had a weal baby." "Me too." I said. She still makes comments daily about Maverick. Sometimes, out of the blue, she'll say, "Some babies die, wight mom?" I'm wondering if when you experience a loss so close to you at such a young age, if maybe death seems more normal...

Greg and the kids are doing fine. Greg went back to work and had a pretty good day today. His back is sore this evening, though. The kids went to school and had nothing bad to report. I'll
take that as good. We have a big day coming soon. Maddie's birthday is on Wednesday. She'll be twelve! It's so hard to believe.

Well, enough for now. I posted lots of pics from the past week. Hope you all are doing well. Love you all, jc

The stroller brigade

Chloe wanted Maddie to take her and all her babies along for the walk. There are two strollers tied together and then tied to the wagon. Maddie is such a good sport.

Hackey sack?

I guess the hackey sack has made a comeback. Carter loves his. He'll get it and say, "Mom, watch this!"

Easter eggs

The kids had a good weekend. We went to an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, then came home and colored eggs. These were the ones that made it without getting eaten.

Her babies

I was getting ready for bed the other night and found Chloe in the hall outside our bedroom door. She told me they wanted her to lay down with them. She also said, "I had to scratch one tummy, two tummies, three tummies!" She likes to have her tummy or her back scratched when she goes to bed.

Passed out again

I went into my room one night last week and found Chloe passed out. Oh, to be able to sleep that well.

Carter and his tricks

Carter doing his string tricks. Who knew a piece of yarn could be so entertaining?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mav, fires, and what's next

This was a sweet picture of Maverick from Maddie's phone. I saw it for the first time tonight.

It's been crazy here in Oklahoma over the past 24 hours. Strong wind and wildfires have wreaked havoc. Thankfully, we missed the damage here in Shawnee.

I've managed to stay busy the past few days. Yesterday, my photographer friend and I went shopping for some props for her next special. We found some neat pieces. The photos from her up-coming white sale will be gorgeous. I'm going to take the kiddos to have their pics made. This is her blog if you're interested - After we got back into Shawnee, the kids and I had dinner with our friends, the Mays. Greg worked a little late yesterday, so we took dinner home to him. He's been busy the past couple of days and has to see patients for awhile tomorrow.

Well, today Greg and I were talking about what's next for me. I applied to graduate school, but won't find out if I'm accepted for about six to eight weeks. I called the transport coordinator (my boss) today to talk about different options for returning to work. She wasn't in the office today, but said she'd get back with me Monday or Tuesday. I think the care I provide to the babies and to the families would be much more compassionate after all we've been through. I've always loved this job and have gotten a lot of satisfaction from my work. I feel like I'm doing something that makes a difference. I've also realized, though, that at the end of my life I won't look back and wish I had worked more. That's what I meant by options. I'm checking into possibly going back part-time. We'll see what happens.

I went shopping for Easter goodies this evening. I was looking at things for Chloe, and on the other side of the aisle there were baby toys. For some reason, it hit me pretty hard - right in the middle of Big Lots. I didn't make a scene or start bawling, but it made me tear up. My heart just felt heavy. I couldn't help but think how this should be his first Easter. I've thought about the pictures I had made of Maddie and Carter when he was just three months old for his first Easter. They put him in a basket with Maddie sitting next to him. They were so cute. I just wish things could've been different for Maverick.

Today Chloe and I had some errands to run. We went to the bank and she got some popcorn and candy. We had finished there and were in the vehicle going to our next destination. She said, "Mom, I wish Maverick could go wis us. I would give he popcorn and candy." I told her, "I wish he could, too."

We'll have a pretty busy day tomorrow. An Easter egg hunt in the morning, coloring eggs in the afternoon, making a banana pudding for Sunday at some point, and getting out the resurrection eggs to talk to the kids about the real reason for Easter. I should have some cute pics tomorrow. Carter and Chloe get to hunt eggs. Poor Maddie, she's too old this year. Hope you all have a great weekend. Love you all - jc

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The past few days have been a bit easier - for me. You know Greg and I have to take turns having bad days. He had one today. Yesterday Chloe and I had lunch with some friends. I've done more cleaning - my chest of drawers and Chloe's side of the closet (Maddie's is already spotless). Next on the list: the window seat storage area in the living room, a couple of closets, and the linen closet at the end of the hall. Staying busy is key for me. If I'm still, whether driving or sitting somewhere - like lines for picking up kids - I start thinking about Mav and I get sad.

This evening after dinner I decided to make some pumpkin bread. I love pumpkin bread. If I go to Starbucks in the morning, I always get a piece. I tried a new recipe and changed it up a bit to make it a little healthier (added 1/2 whole wheat flour and some milled flax seed, and decreased the sugar a bit). I started on the recipe - put the sugar and oil in the bowl. Got out the eggs and realized I was two short. I hate it when that happens. I called a neighbor who wasn't home, then looked down at the can of pumpkin I had opened and realized it was the pumpkin pie mix... SO, then I decided to run to the store and get eggs and the right pumpkin. Did it. Got back home cracked the other eggs, mixed the flour mixture in, sprayed the pans (2 loaf pans and 6 muffins), poured it in, looked down and saw the can of pumpkin - it was still full of pumpkin. I should've stopped right there - if not earlier. I took the loaves out of the oven and poured the batter back into the mixing bowl, scraped the batter out of the muffin tins and added the pumpkin. Then we (Maddie was helping) washed all the loaf pans and muffin tins, sprayed them again, then poured the batter in. We decided to make a pumpkin pie since we already had opened the pumpkin pie mix can, so Maddie was in charge of that. The timer on the oven went off and the muffins were done. They turned out great. Carter, my picky eater, ate two of them! Then the next timer went off and the loaves were done. Took them out, let them cool a little in the pan, then flipped them out of the pans. One of them had gooey batter oozing out of it post-flip. I flipped it back in and cooked it some more, and some more. The other loaf was cooled, so I cut it in half, because I freeze them that way. When I cut into it, it oozed, too. Everything is sitting on the cooktop right now. I was tired of messing with it. I ended up with a dozen muffins, one loaf that I think is done, and another with the ends done, and a gooey center. I think the pie turned out okay.

As we were doing this, I said, "This is crazy." Maddie asked, "Mom, is that the craziest thing you've ever done?" I said, "No." She said, "Is it one of the craziest things you've ever done?" I said, "No." She said, "Really? I can't see you doing anything really crazy." To which I replied, "Good, I'm glad."

Enough for tonight, I'm ready to go to bed. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Love you all - jc

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pardon my language,

but this just sucks. This was little Mav from February 18th. The day of his attempted heart cath. Greg and I held him before he went for the procedure. We took quite a bit of video as well, and he just looked scared. He was looking around the room like, "What's going on?" I really think he knew something was getting ready to happen.

Today has been hard. The weekend went okay. The kids and I went to Mav's grave yesterday, and it was actually a bit easier. Maybe because the kids were with me - I don't know. Greg got the kids ready for school and let me sleep in. The morning was fine, despite the fact that I had to call the billing office of a physician group for one of Mav's bills. Next, I had to call the insurance company and fax the bill to them. I held up through all of that. Then, this afternoon I was walking through the living room and saw one of Mav's hats in Chloe's shopping cart. It was one he wore a lot in OKC. I picked it up and smelled it and started crying. I put it in a ziplock bag with his monkey and frog (thanks for the suggestion). Later this afternoon, I called the cemetery to find out the dimensions and restrictions for a headstone for Mav's grave. Poor woman on the phone - I could barely speak. I was fine when I made the call, then when I was placed on hold they had this recording about the services they offer and blah, blah, blah. It just hit me like a brick. After I got off the phone I wanted to go through Mav's things. Most of his things are in the crib. We hadn't gone through any of them. Hospital papers, duoderm, wound gel, his gecko and puppy, birthday banners from when he turned three months old. That was enough. Greg called at just the right time and told me to stop. He said there is no timeline of when we have to go through his things or take the crib down. He came home and we talked. Thankfully, we usually don't have bad days at the same time. But we both have them.

Last night we were watching tv. There was a show on about a couple who had quads and it had some of their NICU stay on the show. I always like to watch those types of shows - I guess it's just the NICU nurse in me. After it went off another one came on. It was about people who didn't know they were pregnant until the baby was already here or close to being born. I've always had a hard time believing those stories. A couple of the women had been smoking and drinking throughout their pregnancy. Their babies were FINE. We had finally heard enough and changed the channel. It's just so unfair that so many people who drink, smoke, do drugs, or don't even want a baby have a completely healthy child. My mom always said, "Life isn't fair." Nothing has changed.

I started writing in my journal again today. I'm pretty open here, but there are some things I just need to keep to myself. I wrote some scripture cards when Mav was in the hospital, and they fell out when I opened the journal. Here are a couple of them:

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

It is so hard to see the good on my side of the equation. I read through the entry I wrote the day before Mav died. Most of it was a prayer. I may share it at some point, but not tonight. It just seems like things start to get a bit easier, then a day like today comes along. Praying for brighter days to come. Love you all, jc

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The weekend

Chloe yesterday... Maddie and I were cleaning out one of the vehicles. Carter was at a friend's house. Chloe, well.... she was making mudpies or something. I was cleaning the floor mats and she came up to me looking like this. She was the next on the list of things to be cleaned.

Today Greg and the kids went to his parents' house. I went to bricktown to meet some friends from work - kind of. Everyone there has worked at Mediflight at one time or another, but not all are still working there. One of the previously employed moved to Florida and was back in OKC for a few days. She was our reason for getting together. I'm guessing there were around 20 people there. It was fun seeing everyone and getting caught up on things. Once again, I will say I have some amazing friends. Several people asked me what I've been doing. My answer - mind numbing busy-work - and the kiddos keep me busy, too. There are several projects around the house that need attention. You know the ones you usually don't finish until you're having company or getting ready to sell your house. Just those kinds of things. I think this will be the week I start on Mav's stuff. There are baby clothes in the closet that need to be put up, and the crib needs to be taken down.

Greg and I were talking about the little guy tonight. It's crazy how your life can be completely changed in such a short amount of time. This time last year we just knew we were expecting a baby boy. Expecting a healthy baby boy. The timing wasn't the greatest, but we were looking forward to having another son. Greg was getting ready to have his back surgery. I was working full-time.

Our 15 year anniversary is this May. We weren't planning on going anywhere, knowing that we would have a fairly new little one to take care of. Now we're thinking we need to get away - even if it's just for the weekend. I know we're not the only ones that have to deal with life-altering changes. We have friends going through serious illnesses, divorce, and other problems. What is the deal?? It seems like the older we get, the more problems everyone has. Or maybe it's just that since we've had problems this year we're more aware of everyone else's. I'm not sure which it is. Hope your problems are few. Love you all, jc

Happy Birthday Dad

Eventhough he doesn't own a computer, I'm sending a big Happy Birthday to my dad today. We all got together in OKC last night and had dinner to celebrate. He actually had a cake, but those pictures on my camera turned out blurry.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The past couple of days

Yesterday Chloe and I hung out together while Maddie and Carter were at school. The last day of school for the week - teachers' meetings today. It won't be much longer and they'll be out of school for the summer. They are getting so big. It's amazing how fast time goes by.

Yesterday afternoon my mom and Brown came here and spent the night. Mom, Maddie, Chloe and I went to Midwest City to do some shopping for Maddie's birthday. They won't get to see her again before then, so she picked out her birthday present a little early. Clothes and the New Moon book. She was a happy girl.

Today, Carter went to a friend's house. The girls and I stayed here and cleaned - ok, so Maddie and I cleaned. Chloe, not so much. The pantry is sparkling - and the food that expired in 2005 is now in the trash, seriously. I was called, "da meanes momma evah" (translation for those of you who don't speak three-year-old: the meanest momma ever) today by that sweet little cherub. She's been full of all kinds of craziness the past few days. She told Brown she wants a ring in her bellybutton like the one she saw on a commercial. She keeps us busy and laughing.

We went out to eat with Greg's family this evening for his sister's birthday. Don't worry, Jan, I won't tell your age!

So, we're doing okay. There are still sad moments every day, but I think that's to be expected. I'm just trying to stay busy while working into this new normalcy without Mav. Love you all, jc

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chloe with her coffee milk at our favorite lunch spot yesterday. We had lunch with some friends.

Today my mom and my uncle came out to visit. They were worried about me; we talked for awhile and I think I convinced them that all things considering, I'm doing okay. Really, it's only been just over a month. I'm getting out of bed in the morning and getting around, taking care of the kids and the house, getting out and seeing friends and laughing a little. Am I still sad? Of course, and I imagine I will be for quite a while. But from everything I've read - you know I have to research everything - I seem to be pretty normal. Please don't be worried, I will get through this. We will get through this. Mav was just so much the focus of our lives for over five months, and this isn't how we wanted things to end. He is dearly missed.

The kids are doing well. I received a call from Carter today while he was at school. Here is the dialog:

Carter: "Mom, can I come home and take a shower?"

Me: "Why?"

Carter: "We had pancakes today for lunch and I got syrup on my clothes."

Me: "Do you just need new clothes?"

Carter: "Umm, yeah."

Me: "Okay, let me talk to whomever is in the office."

Carter: "Okay."

Me: "Does he really need new clothes or did he just get a little syrup on him?"

Ms. S.: "Let me look... Come here,honey. Ohh, how'd you do that? (Carter talking) Yes, he's pretty sticky. His pants are stuck to his legs; he probably needs some new

I got the clothes and took them to the school. He had syrup all over his pants legs and his shirt. Ms. S told me Carter's explanation was, "I got too much syrup." I thought that was a pretty amusing story. Love you all, jc