Sunday, December 5, 2010

A for effort!



I have lots of catch-up posts to do, but probably won't happen---you'll understand by seeing the results of a simple desire to get one picture of the kids before church.

I'm setting my sights on a nice family picture in about 10 years, until then you'll understand why the Christmas card will be full of candids!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Living Miracle

Jack's part for the Primary Program this year is:

"A miracle is something you thought was impossible, but happened because of the power of God."

One year ago, Luke was life-flighted from Logan to Primary Children's Medical Center and we were told a whole host of things that may be impossible and/or improbable. We desperately wanted a miracle. On that day, my repeated prayer was simply, "please let him live, we can deal with anything, please just let him live", over and over again.

Well, indeed he did live and indeed we have dealt with some things and continue to do so. I have really felt that Luke had the choice whether to live and press forward or to be released from the pain. While I know ultimately it was the Lord's will, I do feel that there were several moments of choice involved in Luke's situation. This creates this driving force for me to help him have the best life possible. It has helped me realize that there is so much opportunity for growth, joy and hope in life. What a blessing it is to feel so much increase in life's meaning--to learn and grow and become all that we can.

I am happy to report that Luke is pressing forward and doing very well. First and foremost, he is happy, strong, active and adorable! He is sooo much more responsive to sound and is learning more everyday. His laugh is the most wonderful thing to hear! He does all the actions to a few songs, just from listening to us sing---receptive language! He grabs my hand and takes me to everything he wants. He gives me a huge hug when I reach out my arms and say, "HUG!". He is vocalizing more and more all the time and last week in therapy he said his first distinct words, "up, up, up". I was overjoyed, I was so proud of him!

The more I have read, it seems that most children begin to say words about one year after activation of their implants. This was last December for Luke, so I feel like he is certainly on his way.

It has been a big struggle this last year to keep a steady positive attitude, but I have learned the power of a positive attitude. I used to think it was a nice idea, but it was better to be completely realistic. However, I now realize that there truly is a power in being positive, hopeful and keeping your faith steady. It becomes a fuel that puts you to work to assist the Lord in making the miracles come to pass. Ultimately, it is all in His hands, but there is so much through his inspiration that we can do to contribute. I cannot begin to list the times that I have received bits of inspiration for little ways to help Luke this last year from ideas about a little song to sing or a little toy that would help develop this or that.

I don't know what things will look like in a year, but I am certain that Luke is trying his hardest and he will be blessed for his efforts. His progress to this point is a testament of his strong will.

We love you Luke!

I didn't catch his famous smile in this picture, but it shows how big he is getting and what a handsome boy he is!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Eight Months Old




Oh My Ezra---I'm almost speechless, seriously this baby is just strickingly handsome! I just love his deep blue eyes and his cute smile. He has two teeth now and is babbling away. It is so fun to see more and more of his personality everyday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slow and Steady wins the Race!

Luke is making slow, but steady progress and steady is a BIG deal! I will never again have one of my children have one of those standard hearing screening tests where they drop the object in the bucket with every sound without being totally grateful for their gift of hearing. This has been hard work for battery operated ears, but Luke is finally getting the idea of hear the sound, drop the toy in the bucket.

video

There are six sounds that make up all of language: ahhh, oooo, eeee, mmmm, shhhh, ssss. So, we do these listening checks everyday to see if Luke is picking up on each sound. This has taken months to get to this point where he will respond to each sound---again, slow, but steady!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Day of School




I know I'm a few weeks behind, but what else is new? Backpacks, school lunches, a million worksheets everywhere---school is in full swing around here!

Adam wanted to be part of the fun, so he is in preschool.



And Luke decided to take the fast track in life and head straight to the university--so, he's there most days of the week. He's already picking up on all the elements of being a cool college dude: too cool to hold mom's hand, tries to skip class by running out the door and of course, doesn't want any homework! And sweet Ezra is bright eyed and along for the ride!

Monday, August 23, 2010

As promised....





So I'm a month overdue, such is life these days! Anyway, I promised to update with some pictures of Luke, well our computer has crashed over and over again this last month and Dell has replaced just about everything other than giving us a whole new computer, I'm sure that will be next's week visit from the Dell guy.

Anyway, our little Luke is doing really well. He has always loved to be outside, more than any of our other babies. Well, here's the dilemma, this smarty and too active little pants wants to climb up onto the tramp and then roam around on that for a while before climbing back down. No big deal, huh? Well, he technically should not be on a trampoline because of the static electricity that it can create, therefore creating the possibility that it could trip up his programming on his cochlear implants. Sounds very technical, huh? I don't really understand how, but I just know it could happen. However, some parents say that's old news and with these newer models you don't have to worry as much, but me, not worry? Not typically an option. But, today he was just the picture of childhood and I couldn't resist just smiling at him being so happy!

Bringing another smile today....This little drool baby!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back to Blogging

I know---have I totally forgotten how to blog? Well, I guess sorta! My issue is pictures--I have been terrible at taking pictures lately, really for about the last year! Poor little Ezra, I promise to get better at capturing your babyhood through more pictures.

But, even just this one proves he is the cutest little five month old in the world!


Aaron took the kids hiking today. My kids take hiking really seriously, as in backpacks, binoculars, etc. When they got home, Julia got out a little first aid kit from her backpack to put it away and I just had to laugh inside how she is so prepared--I love it!


I took Julia to see the movie, Ramona and Beezus, tonight--it was a cute show. It was fun to go with just Julia. I loved the Ramona the Pest books when I was little. It made me miss my childhood--it's great being the mom, but I tear up just thinking about how wonderful and carefree childhood is.


And as a finale, a mom story for you!

I was brave and took the kids to Willow Park the other day. I say brave because that's exactly what it is to be alone and take 5 kids anywhere! So, when I went to get Luke out of the car, he had a poopy diaper and it was EVERYWHERE! It was one of those mom moments (which are happening to me like 25 times a day lately!), where you have to laugh, breathe and self-talk, "I can do this, I am strong, I can do this!"
So, as I am getting through this happen all too often dilema, I realized this same exact thing happened to me when Luke was only like 2 months old and I thought I would be super mom and take all 4 kids at the time to Hoogle Zoo. We were there for like 20 minutes in the 100 degree weather and you guessed it: head to toe, newborn baby blowout! I looked at the kids and said, "Pick one more animal to look at because we're leaving!"

Flash forward to the other day, I realized that all my little daily stressful mom moments are starting to duplicate! It's like when you've lived in enough places where you feel like you've met everyone's twin. Now, I've been a mom long enough that I feel like I've lived and re-lived these lovely moments of stress, yikes, what am I going to do moments.

However, there are still soooo many areas of unchartered territory for me as a mom that continue to present themselves. It is so true that as soon as you think you have your child figured out or you are in a little routine, things change! I think it's a child's way of keeping us on our toes. I have been completely overwhelmed with the demands of being a mom for these five souls, but I continue to feel the Lord blessing me and Aaron everyday with strength beyond our own and insight and personal revelation that is exactly what we need, to know how to care for the individual needs of each child.

I just realized no little Lukey Lu pictures in this post--I will get on that and post some more soon. Another motivation to not let so much time pass before blogging again!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Six Months



Tonight in the midst of evening chaos I realized that it was exactly six months ago that Luke woke up from his nap restless, hot with fever and crying. These last six months have felt like a lifetime of lessons, a lot of refining, a lot of tears from a lot of different emotions--no, tears are so not just for sadness!
While Luke was in the hospital I bought a notebook that I wrote down lists, lots of lists: lists of questions for all different doctors: infectious disease, physical therapists, neurologists, audiologists, speech language pathologists and the list went on and on. Other lists were to-do lists, idea lists, budget lists, etc. Just yesterday I noticed that my notebook was full--time for a new notebook because we all know the lists go on and on!
I haven't been wonderful at keeping a journal through this process, but I reviewed back through this notebook as a refresher of the last six months and it was such a stark reminder of how far we've come. When we first left the hospital Luke was not even sitting up independently, now he is walking, running, climbing, just like before.
I wish I could adequately say in words what I have learned about life and the Lord's plan for all of us in the last six months. But, honestly I think that would fill a book--maybe someday--add that to the list!
There have been complete breakdowns and times of overflowing comfort and peace---typically in that order, the Lord has a perfect knowledge of what emotional pain level is bearable and then when the comfort needs to enter as a replacement.
Obviously the hospital stay was a constant up and down experience, the month after that we lived in seclusion to ensure that Luke was healthy enough for surgery, the surgery was a success in medical terms, but the days after the surgery were extremely difficult for me, among the most difficult as it was so painful for me to see Luke so swollen and uncomfortable. The days and weeks after his implants were activated were extremely trying on our patience after it was an hour to hour struggle to keep them on Luke--I should say minute to minute. Then we had about two months of what seemed like back to back illnesses--two ear infections, two bouts of stomach flu. In the midst of all of this our beautiful Ezra entered the world. Then as a sign of spring, our house sold and we bought a new house in Smithfield.
All of this in six months and the most amazing part is that we have felt the Lord's hand in every step of the way. Although this doesn't take the pain, the stress or impatience away, it brings a definite sense of peace at the end of the day.
So, six months ago I put a strong, healthy boy down for a nap and when he woke up his life and ours as a family changed forever. However, we are so incredibly blessed because he is strong and healthy again. He has occasionally issues with his balance (the PT thinks this will resolve in time)and his progress with his implants is slow, but sure. What he is hearing is still a bit of a mystery, but he has made significant progress in keeping his processors on throughout the day. Most importantly, he is happy!
The days are long, we are tired a lot, but Aaron and I are so blessed to have these five beautiful, amazing children as ours.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three Weeks Old



Bright eyed & chubby cheeked, just as it should be!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Experiences

Some cute pictures from the last two weeks:








Last week, ok about 10 long days ago I was at the doctor with Ezra--just for a one week check up. I was asking the doctor about something and he said something that has stuck in my head since, for better or worse. He said, "Well, you are an experienced mother and you know blah, blah..." So he didn't say blah, blah, but he just continued on with his thought.
Here are my thoughts--since when did I graduate from being a "new mom" or even better "young mom" into an experienced mother?! To me, there are implications with this label, some good, some that need a little more acceptance on my part!
The good: I sorta know what I'm doing! I feel more confident in my decisions regarding the daily care of my children. We have five beautiful children to show for all this experience.
The part that needs more personal acceptance: I have way more gray hairs than when Julia was born. I have a wrinkle by left eyebrow that has somehow gotten a lot more apparent in the last four months! I worry more now about the safety and well being of my children than I did when I was a "new mom"--I guess it's true that ignorance is bliss!
I would love to compile a list of my funniest/most embarrassing/most stressful mom moments that have gotten me to this point of titled experience. But, that could be summed up with just what I woke up to this very morning:
Jack singing the Star Spangled Banner 50 times in a row because in his words, he feels like he needs to know it! Adam complaining to Jack that he is giving him a headache, even though Adam is playing with a play hammer at the same time. Julia throwing herself on my bed saying that I don't understand how tired she is. (Really?!, try waking up 3 times a night with new baby!) Luke squealing for me to come get him out of his crib while he throws his blanket, tiger and pillow out of his crib. And Ezra chiming in, to watch all the fun.
So, the list is endless, because something new happens every single day as a mother that is hilarious, stressful, embarrassing, worrysome and heartwarming---a constant cycle, just to make it worthy to get up everyday for more!

*On the pictures, I never know how they are going to look--somehow they don't show up for me on the preview. Anyway, here is Ezra at two weeks old, possibly getting sick of all the pictures! Ezra wearing the darling hat that my sister, Cari, made for him. Luke being cute! Adam all bundled up for Joy School. And yes, I need to take more pictures of Julia and Jack--it's on the list!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Week




Ezra is one week old and so darling! We have made it through that blur of time created by the first several days of a baby's life. I love that it is still amazing to look at a brand new baby. I love that he is ours and belongs to our family. He is so handsome with dark hair and blue eyes--I don't know if he'll keep either, but I love them both for now.

When I was about seven months pregnant with Jack, I had an interview with our Stake President in Salt Lake for a temple recommend. He knew that we had Julia and she was about a year and a half. He said, "I know what you're thinking--how can I possibly love another child the way I love this child." I was kind of embarrassed to say that that had crossed my mind. He replied, "Don't worry about that--your heart will grow in ways you can't imagine right now."

At the time, I thought--that's a nice sentiment, but he must not fully understand that I have the most beautiful and amazing daughter in the world! But, sure enough--he was sooo right!

My heart grew with my precious Jack, even after being so nervous about having a boy. My heart ached for another baby between Jack and Adam. And it grew so much with Adam, my little blondie baby. With Luke, I felt a calming love for him instantly. Luke has made my heart grow in ways I certainly could not have imagined, but in ways I am so eternally grateful for. And now with Ezra, the magic is not gone! I have had such an instant love for him.

My heart is full, but the amazing thing is despite the to-do lists, etc. of being a mom, I feel completely in control and empowered by my ability to love each of these children individually. I cannot imagine life without any one of them. So often, mothers don't feel enough--not organized enough, not productive enough, etc. All feelings I have had, but I complete reject any notion that I am not enough to provide the adequate amount of love to these children. I may have stressful days, but I feel at peace that my children know how much they are loved. This takes effort, but the amazing thing is that it's the most natural effort I have to make as a mom. It's not hard, like a lot of those other things on the to-do list!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our Latest Addition...

I will have to do a catch up post about the month of January, but the first couple of days of February have shaped up to be quite eventful!


Get excited--I am no longer this...(although I may or may not still have the double chin)


The day after this photo, we unexpectedly were headed to the hospital for a long night. Then, early Tuesday morning, a very handsome little boy arrived!

Ezra Ross Chambers was born, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 20 inches. He has lots of dark hair and has quickly stolen our hearts!









Adam isn't too interested in holding Ezra, but still thinks he's cute! Luke is still just pointing at him. As long as I will still cuddle up next to Luke to watch Curious George, his world is complete! I have a feeling there will be a lot of watching Curious George in the next couple of months! And by the way, Luke suddenly looks like a giant to us!

I will post more pictures soon, as soon as I can.