Friday, January 30, 2009

In Which Peregrine Discovers His Purpose, and is Abandoned by His Mother

My Sweet "Sickie"

I'm not sure where to start this story. I should preface it by mentioning that my firstborn is a bit on the, how shall I put it, dramatic, side? And that he has a tendency to make things seem much worse than they really are. And I should probably tell you that he was the very excited owner of a brand new Playmobil set, one he had saved up his own money for, then had to order from the store and wait until it came. And you might want to know, that after having the above mentioned set for a mere couple of hours his mother made him eat dinner. I think those are the relevant details; now, for the story.
A while after dinner Peregrine mentioned that his tummy hurt. Honestly, I didn't think too much of it. After all, the kid had just inhaled two pieces of pizza and joyfully returned to his Playmobil. A few minutes later he popped back into the kitchen with a secret. "Mom," he whispered in my ear, "I have low blood sugar. I think I need some sugar so I can feel better." I, being the compassionate, uh, er, cynical, mother that I am, burst out laughing. Nice ploy for trying to get dessert buddy, but you'll just have to wait. A few moments later he was back again, with another secret. "Mom, I think I'm going to die!" I assured him that he'd be fine, and didn't think much more of it. 
The next thing I knew Peregrine was standing on the floor throwing up. All. Over. The. Place. Poor little man, I guess he really hadn't felt well. I chalked it up to the rapidly devoured pizza and took him to the bathroom to get cleaned up while Erik, my hero husband, proceeded to clean up the mess. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, my love!) I had Peregrine come sit down on the couch while the adults visited. (We had company.) He threw up two more times, and still I thought it was just a case of unchewed dinner. After a while we put him to bed, relaxed a while and went to bed ourselves. 
Thus began one of, what is so far, the worst nights of my life. (Yes, I've had a very blessed life, and my children have always been healthy, thank God.) Just as we settled down we heard Peregrine getting restless and calling out. We raced across the hall into his room, only to see him throwing up- over the edge of his bed. We cleaned him up, cleaned the floor up, reminded him that there was a bucket right there if he needed it and that we were only in the next room. This happened again about 45 minutes later, and again, there he was, hanging over the side of his bed. It seemed that whenever we were finally settling down he would call and one or both of us would jump out of bed to go to him. At some point Raphael woke up and needed to be settled down as well, and then a while later Poppy was crying and needing some care. After a couple hours of this we made Peregrine a bed on the floor next to ours and settled in. Again. 
He continued to throw up every 30 or 45 minutes. And my sweet, melodramatic boy, said at one point "I feel like my purpose for being born was just to barf." And then there was "I think it would have been better if I wasn't ever born!" Or this one: "I think my intestines were coming up that time." 
At 2 in the morning I called my Mom, my dear sweet mama who is still there for me, even in the middle of the night, just like she always has been. She comforted me, encouraged me, and prayed with me, and gave me some practical advice. (Make him some ginger tea with honey.)
It was shortly after that I noticed flecks of blood in his vomit. I tried not to worry, but my mind raced ahead of me. I was trying to figure out how I would manage if we needed to take him to the ER, when I would need to get back to nurse Raphael, etc. Mostly, though, then and throughout the night I felt peace, and even thankfulness to the Lord for His care and for my family. I found comfort in praying the Jesus prayer for Peregrine. (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on Peregrine.) In my sleepy state, I could wrap my mind and heart around those simple words and know they were enough. At about 4 I decided to look online to see if I should be more concerned about the flecks of blood, which had continued. I was relieved to read that it was likely just a small tear in his esophagus muscles. It was also around then that I finally got a little sleep. Still though, once or twice an hour he would stir, and I would sit up and stroke his head and comfort him while he threw up. Finally, at 5:30, the vomiting became less frequent. He stirred a few times and I felt like all I could do was lie there, exhausted, and mumble a few words to him.
At 7:30 Raphael woke up for the day. I nursed my sweet baby boy, who was snuggly and delightful and ready to play, and then my dear husband got up with him and let me sleep. Another hour, and Peregrine vomited again. Then, more sleep. I finally got up a little before ten. When I heard Peregrine calling, in his most pitiful voice a while later, I went in, expecting to find him throwing up again. Instead, he said to me "Mom, I never would have thought you'd have abandoned me like that." Yup, abandoned. Just like that, I left the poor sick, sleeping boy in a room alone. Can you believe it? 
Thankfully, he has only thrown up a few times today. This is the sickest he's ever been, and I am so, so thankful for the good health he, and all of us, have been blessed with. And, I know he's not trying to be funny, but he sure keeps me laughing with all his theatrics! I am very, very tired today, but still so blessed. Blessed that I have this precious boy to care for, that there's no one he'd rather have run to him in his moment of need. I'm blessed by my wonderful husband, who was also up numerous times in the night, who let me sleep in this morning, and who stayed home from work today to help care for us all. And I'm blessed that, just as my boy doesn't hesitate to call his mama in the middle of the night, I can do the same. I still hope to be like my dear Mom when I grow up. (It's times like this, when there's throwing up involved, that I feel a little grown up; often, though, I think I might just be playing house!) And above all, I'm blessed that my feeble cries for mercy are heard, my tears are kept in a bottle, and I and my little family, are loved abundantly. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Get Up, Stand Up

No one escapes being dressed up 'round here. In these here parts even the littlest cowboy gets in on it. And here, caught redhanded, the little feller pulls himself up to standing for the first time. He wanted to get in on the working-in-the-hayloft-with-Pa action. Yeehaw! And Ma, you better hold onto your bonnet, 'cuz this little feller will be riding the range before you know it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Call This School

We had some friends over for dinner the other night, and the Daddy asked Peregrine what we'd done for school that day. Peregrine replied casually "oh, we don't really do school anymore." Uh, yeah, school. We've sort of taken an extended break from the sitting-at-the-desk part of school. There's lots of real-life learning going on, though, and with my oldest only kindergarten age, I'm perfectly comfortable with that. I mean, really, what was the last time your kids' kindergarten served pancakes in the shape of jellyfish and letter Js? (Jellyfish pancakes with Jam. It's J week after all.)

There. I feel much better now. We start learning at breakfast time and go all day. Just don't judge us by the lack of time we spend at the desk, okay? Here are some more examples of the sort of schooling we engage in more often than not.

Caring for a savage baby who attacks us with slobbery kisses takes up a good part of our days.

Then there's observing the wildlife in our back yard...

...and planting things in the front yard.

There's geography in the hallway, which is enjoyed by all ages.

How about field trips to see Daddy at work at the substation? We even got a tour of one they'd built (before they energized it.)

Here's another field trip to the fire station with some homeschooling friends. 

What else? There's cooking with mom in the kitchen, which is math and science. (And usually yummy.) We sometimes refer to the kitchen as my laboratory, which makes it even more fun. There's music appreciation with Daddy, who's building his own speakers and likes to help the kids identify different instruments in the music they hear. Speaking of music, we've enjoyed a couple of outings to the free lunchtime performances at our local performing arts center. After seeing a woodwind trio one afternoon we read up on the different instruments in our orchestra book, and listed to selections of music that highlighted each one. There are trips to the library, and books in abundance, stories read in the morning, and stories before bed. Oh, and stories throughout the day as well. There is Peregrine excitedly reading words on signs as we're driving. There are trips to the coast, and outings to the park. There are wild playtimes at gymnastics and lots of fun times with friends. There are performances put on by our little "students", dances and theatricals to keep us all entertained. There are puzzles put together, and games played, quiet times and noisy times in this home where we live and learn together. 
So Peregrine may think we don't do school, but that's okay with me. There will be plenty of time down the road for sitting at the desk. For now, we'll take the hallway, the kitchen, the back yard, or wherever we are, and turn our living times into learning times as well. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seven Years

On this day seven years ago, Erik and I pledged our lives and love to one another. It's been a wonderful journey, and I continue to give thanks to God for bringing these two wanderers together. As time goes on I see more and more how He was preparing us for each other, and for the life that He would give us. While our life is very different than how I thought it would be, it's more beautiful and blessed than I could have imagined. We've had many adventures, a few trials, some tears, lots of laughter and joy, and a few kids. I wonder what the next year will bring, and I look forward to each day we've been given.
And here's a random tidbit, just for fun: when Erik asked me to marry him, my response was "Really?" Here you can read the whole story of how we met and the surprising proposal

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Clap Your Hands....

...if you believe in faeries. (And cowboys.)