Thursday, May 31, 2012

Camp and Chickens

Well, we are officially down at camp for the next 6 weeks. This week is training week, so there's no kiddos here yet (well, besides my own kids and Zack). Jayci adores camp and all the animals and all her "friends," she sleeps like a log every night and wears me out running around all day long. Caden clings to me, as usual, and doesn't sleep or eat, as usual. We have all been sleeping in one room, which means that I'm exhausted and haven't gotten much sleep, but it's really no worse than it has been at home. Training week is fun because we get to know all the new counselors and see friends who I haven't seen since camp last year too. I always feel a little shy (I am after all an introvert through and through), and also really old. Because when we started working at camp, I was about the same age as all the counselors. But now I'm the old lady with two kids, which makes me feel even more introverted and awkward. Zack, however, isn't introverted at all - and everyone (of course) loves him. I am proud of him being here to help, I truly am blown away by the fantastic young man he is growing into. Plus Jayci has been telling everyone he's her big brother, which makes me melt a little.

I figure I also owe you a few more quick updates on life with the Stanleys. We brought Caden to the feeding specialist again last week, and they told me they were "at a loss" because he now REFUSES to eat even one bite of baby food. The specialist said it seems like it might be more behavioral, which they don't usually see in babies this young. And also that we should try giving him some mashed table food instead of baby food purees. Which we did tonight for the first time, and he smeared it everywhere but only got maybe one or two bites of food into his mouth. So I'll keep you posted on how that goes, but I'm not feeling super hopeful. I wanted to tell the feeding specialist "welcome to my life with Caden, I'm always 'at a loss.'" I'm at a loss for how in the world to get him to sleep, how to get him to eat, how to know when he needs to go to the doctor, how to get him to let other people hold him and not just me . . . sigh.
Also, I spent the entire day yesterday curled up in a ball in my bed, leaving only to go throw up the crackers I occasionally ventured to eat. I still haven't kept any food down today, despite feeling much better than I did yesterday.

Adam came up to camp last week, and was planning on driving home on the day we got "his" (ok "our") chickens in the mail. Yup, they came in the mail. I was sitting on the couch when I heard an unusually loud chirping and opened my door to a small box containing 5 tiny chicks. Adam make a "brooder" for them, and brought them to camp where they are quickly growing. We let Jayci name one of them and she chose "boingy boing." We're going to call him BB for short. I realize it's completely unreasonable and I assumed that seeing the cute little chicks would get me over my irrational fear, but they still make me jumpy. My bird fear is really more of a phobia, I realize. And I also realize I'm ridiculous.
Anyways, my energy (which was low to start with) is waning, so I might see if I can sneak away for a nap. Doubtful, but maybe. Or perhaps I'll try to nibble a few more crackers, I just really dont want to throw up again.

I actually had a little bit of a breakdown this morning over it all. I felt so close to God while Caden was in the hospital, somehow so full of assurance that He heard my cries, that He was holding Caden. But now, while I rock and rock and comfort Caden and try to make him sleep, I feel less sure. Less sure that God hears my cries for strength, for comfort, for sleep, for wisdom. Suddenly, my prayers seem to stop at the ceiling. And as much as I know that's not true, it's harder for me to believe and rest in Him when I feel like He doesn't hear my heart's cries. And when I'm tired, and sick, and feel like the biggest failure of a mom. Sigh. I appreciate your prayers friends, and I know that He will carry me through each and every season. And sometimes I just need a reminder that His promises are true, and that He is faithful.


  1. My heart aches for you, friend. I've been there. AM there. But I've got to cling to what I know to be true. God loves me, and he has big plans for me. And I'm pretty sure I hear him telling me he has some awesome plans for you too. I love you.

  2. I have been reading since Caden was born but I have never commented, but I just had to comment about the feeding thing. I nursed my son until he was 4 months old. At 6 months old, we tried every single kind of baby food (homemade, jarred) and he refused ALL of it. He wanted nothing but breast milk. This went on until he was almost a year old. I would occasionally get him to eat a few small bites of 'big people' food here and there, but nothing like my daughter, who ate everything in sight at 6 months old. He did thin out and he kind of plateaued on the growth curve for a couple of months, but he eventually did start eating and now he is 2 and eats everything in sight. He also still doesn't sleep through the night. He only gets up once a night now, but until he was about 18-19 months, it was 4-5 times a night. Hang in there, Mama! You aren't alone, and it WILL get better!

  3. 4 months should be 14 months :) woops!

  4. Oh no! I hope things get better like I always do. I love the chicks.

  5. My 2nd son refused every kind of baby food (jarred or homemade) and would only eat Annie's Organic White Cheddar Bunnies from about 6 months till about 10 or 11 months. He's 4 now and a skinny kid, but healthy. I just don't think he really liked the texture of the food, and he wanted to feed himself like big brother. How does he do with more solid type foods (like crackers, cereal, or puffs)? As long as he's getting nutrition from his bottle, I wouldn't worry so much. Eventually he'll learn that food is so much better ;)

  6. Everything EVERYTHING is sooooooo much harder when you haven't slept. I was there and am still there slightly! Please PLEASE give yourself grace.... You are doing a TON in just being a mom to those two sweet kiddos, PLUS a wife, PLUS loving a neighborhood, PLUS now at camp! I wish I could just wave my magic wand and give you 12 hours straight of the most wonderfully luxurious sleep.... Until then, give yourself grace.

  7. You are a great mama! These littles are blessed to have you! I'm praying friend, that everything falls into place, and happens the way it should happen. Don't forget Deut 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Hugs!!

  8. My cousin, a child psychologist, went crazy with her 2nd child, also a boy!(she has four!) He just wouldn't eat and he was SO tiny. Went to every specialist in the world - and she cried and worried about his growth, nutrients, his brain development. That boy, is my Godson, and he is now 25 just finished his Masters at GA Tech and working on his Doctorate with a full scholarship - Saw him 2 weeks ago and he ate us out of house and home and took ALL the leftovers with him! Just took him awhile to figure it out. As for YOU.... you seriously need some help/sleep or you are going to collapse and be of no help to anyone. You know it is true.. God helps those who help themselves. You need to be able to give yourself permission to step back and let others take over for a bit. Just bossy motherly advice - but I care about you!!!

  9. Aww I hope you feel better. Very true.. give yourself some slack.. you are an amazing mom. Truly amazing mom.

  10. I think of you often. When I'm tired and feeling shouty and when I get worried about Iris' future eating.

    You're close to my heart and I pray with and for you.

  11. My daughter (who has several medical conditions including a heart condition, but didn't have surgery) never slept either. Around age 2, I started giving her melatonin, although my pediatrician encouraged me to try it for a year before I gave in, convinced that the sleeping thing was my fault for not finding the right routine.

    It was a miracle moment for us. She now falls asleep like a normal child. She doesn't stay asleep, but if I lay down with her as soon as she wakes up in the night, she goes right back out. It was that initial falling asleep hump that we could not get over.

    I'm not sure if this is exactly your problem or not, but you may check with your doctor. I know lots of medically complex kids who take it and literally can't do without it. (We tried to take her off last summer as a trial and she was back to that same wide awake, cranky never sleeping baby the very first night.)

    I hope you can find a solution. It's so hard.

    I don't know much about the feeding issues. Was the feeding specialist an OT?


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