Thursday, April 30, 2009


I know I know....I must be drunk. But, I'm not. It is just that I have had to do so much paperwork today that my brain hurts and well, when I thought about how much paperwork I've done today, my brain literally said...silently...pappywook, instead of paperwork. Did I chuckle at myself? Ummmmm.....yep!

I've had work related pappywook to do. I've had enrollment pappywook to do for my kids. I've had other pappywook to do for Shawn's upcoming transition on his 3rd birthday, from the Federal Early Intervention program, into a metro pre-k. I've dated and signed my name a thousand times. I've read the finest of fine print. I've had to look up digits and dates, go through files to find minute details of data from way back when. Shewwwwwwwww.......... I'm tarrrr'd.

I love when wonky words invade my brain. Makes me giggle. I'm just glad I didn't spit coffee out all over my pappywook.

What fantastically fun stuff did you do today?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

grace.... pass it on

I witnessed something sad recently. Someone with a bad attitude taking all of their woes out on innocent bystanders.

I'll be honest. I'm having a bad attitude at the moment. Is it just me, or do you ever want to fix people? I get so tired of people being rude, or people acting out their feelings of entitlement. It especially bothers me when these people are old enough to know better. People; hear me: Yelling won't get you anywhere. Rage will not solve your problem. And lastly, sometimes, it just doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong. At the end of the day, it is what it is. When screaming starts working for know...winning you friends and influence, let me know. I'll not be holding my breath. And for goodness sakes, if you are going to continue to scream and yell to make your point be known and to get your way in life, please don't come bragging to me about it...because I am not going to be throwing you any parades. If this is how you "think" you are winning influence and getting things done, I'm not impressed...and I don't want any. Thanks anyway.

God has given us His grace. In fact, He has poured it over us to overflowing. Individually, and collectively, we have done some pretty crappy things that are not glorifying to the Kingdom of God...and yet, He offers us His grace, through Jesus. When we accept His grace, and then turn around and treat others like mud and scream like is as if we are saying, "Thanks Lord for accepting all of my imperfections, cleansing me and giving me another chance, day after day.... hope you don't mind that I'm going to live my life expecting perfection from everyone else, and not giving an inch in my mentality". Do you know what God says about our enemies? He says we should pray for them and love them. He also says we should turn the other cheek. And He also says that if they ask us for something, we should give it to them. He isn't saying we should be a floormat, or take unnecessary abuse. He is them the grace I have shown you...and do it in love. He also says we should encourage each other and that it is good to speak truth into the lives of people who maybe do not see the damage and destruction in their own personal behaviors. But if you are breathing, you probably know that there are people out there who are right all the time, and they just don't want to hear anything...not even in love. I honestly don't know what we are supposed to do with those people. Just pray for them I guess. Try to be an example of light and love.

Sometimes I just get fed up with bad attitudes. Lord knows I had a chip on my shoulder for a long time and the cure for that did not come easily. In fact, it was utterly painful. But the beauty that has come out of that negativity is that I now know that my days are woven with events that were permitted by God. He blesses me with precious moments and he allows me to be shaped, molded, affected, and effect others through some of life's more unpleasant happenings. Nothing in my heart or in my mind wants to deny that this is a story written by God himself, and that I am a part of it, and no matter what happens in my day, my week, my year or my life.... that if I remember He is with me and if I can be willig to let Him shine through me, that He is accomplishing something for His kingdom, through me.

I am trying to pass along grace today, without passing judgement. I realize that there is not a simple formula for this, but that it requires intention and it requires tapping into the grace that Jesus has to give to me. I am asking. He is giving. The magic and the mystery truly is that the more I pray for grace in my own life, the more abundantly I have to share it with others.....even screamers with bad attitudes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Well yep, there's a howdy and a hello.

I am sitting in my garden chair. In case you think that means I am sitting in my garden, in a chair...that is not what it means. It means that I am sitting in a lazy-boy brand chair that is actually a slighty overstuffed chair with an ottoman, that was once yellow, but is now more like khaki, thanks to the magic of slipcovering....and said chair, is positioned next to the window, that provides eyes to the garden I have planted outside. And in case you are wondering if it is a vegetable garden, because we love the earth and we value our God-given ability to fertilize soil, plant seed, and harvest a crop....well nope, you'd be wrong again. It is a haphazzard flower garden. And by haphazzard, I am simply stating that when I planted it, I didn't have a stinkin clue basic understanding as to what I was actually doing....but all in all, it has turned out okay and it makes me smile.

The hubbbeeeeeee is outside mowing the lawn. He keeps looking at me through the window to see if I'm going to wave paying attention to him, and I am, but I am pretending that I am not. (snickers)

My snowball bush has bloomed this week. The Eastern Snowball bush, IMO (in my opinion) has to be one of the jolliest plants I have ever seen. First of all, it is the only blooming species I know of that produces WAY TOO MANY blooms. It kinda reminds me of the way Shawn crams entirely too many grapes in his mouth and then the juice just comes pouring down his chin, shirt, pants, legs, toes, and onto the floor. He just cannot fit that many grapes in his mouth and it makes me completely giggle. (A complete giggle is more intense than a partial giggle). Likewise, my snowball bush is only about 3 1/2 feet tall and as big around as a large truck tire....but it has literally about 100 large blooms on it. Imagine....say....a snowball...but 100 of them, hanging off a bush. They are heavy and it weighs the whole bush down. It should be called a Heavy Eastern Snowball Bush on Steroids, but, I do not normally win naming contests.

That's it, really. It is Sunday. Daddy is home today which is not the norm, as he has worked almost every Sunday for the past 3 years. He has already taken the boys to the playground for well over an hour. I have been reading most of the day, and now I'm selflessly focusing on your joy and amusement. Oh, and about that..... Asher shared with me this week several ways that we can save the earth. I think he may be going green.....but his first earth-shattering revelation this week was that we can save the earth by not "glittering". Hmmmmmmmmm...... I think he might be right. (wink)

So, have a great day, and please, for the love of Jesus, please don't glitter.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

oooops, there goes another one

I've spent too much time on the internet know....killing some brain cells. I even read some celebrity gossip which doesn't much float my boat these days...but I fell into the trap. You know...I can admit I occasionally take the bate when lured by headlines about Brad and Angelina. They're pretty.

Today, I admitted on facebook that I am fat and must lose weight. I exchanged emails about frozen strawberry margaritas, and read countless facebook status updates about my friends getting ready to run the 1/2 marathon this Saturday, all while I ate a piece of leftover cake from Spencer's birthday. You know.....just to feel good about my baking skilz.

Moments ago, I blew zurberts into Asher's belly button and perhaps I hopped on one foot in the living room to show off that I can do it better than he can.

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo C.O.O.L.

Now, I am going to turn off this poisonous contraption called a laptop, disconnect from the world, and go live in my house with my youngins. I need all of my remaining brain cells and cannot risk losing even one more.

Have you had an "off" day?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Today, my oldest son is 20 years old. This is rocking my world. Oh, Lord help me!

Today, my heart is heavy for many challenging situations that I have been made aware of. Today, a baby I am praying for is having a very risky surgery. I'm on pins and needles for the udpates.

Today, I am in prayer for friends who are trying to raise thousands of dollars to adopt 4 (FOUR) children in Ethiopia. These children are siblings, young, on the streets waiting for a place in an orphange...and then eventually to be able to come here to their forever home. For now, they wait and they pray that their children will be safe until that time.

Today, I am grieved over several friends who are going through divorces, and knowing how they are hurting, how conflicted they are feeling, and knowing that in some cases, glimmers of hope are just slipping away.

Today I am grieved over people who are confused about Christ Jesus, feeling empty and hopeless. And I am praying for people who have recently suffered loss or abandonment.

Today, I am grieved over finances. Our life is becoming so complicated. I pray about it. I give it to God.

Today, I am in prayer for various friends facing various challenges with their own families. There are surgeries to pray about, finances, marriages, health, dysfunctions, addictions, and salvation.

It's a heavy day.

I'm okay that I'm feeling this heaviness. I'm thankful that God would allow me to share in some of the pain others are experiencing, because my hope is that there is some transfer and shift of grief, and that the people I am praying for today, will feel lighter as a result.

God is good, even in grief. He allows pain to strengthen us. He allows us trials so that we may grow, perservere, and develop the maturity in faith that He designed for us.

Blue is one of the colors in the rainbow. I'm feelin it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

see with your heart, what your eyes cannot

this sentence crept into my heart, just now
i couldn't begin to know why

...see with your heart, what your eyes cannot...

i just have an image of a generic person. she is a woman. she is attractive, dressed well, and her exterior suggests life is good, or at least, life if okay. what i cannot see are the scars from the wounds of her past...maybe even, her yesterday. what if she was abused by her parents? what if her mom never really hugged her? what if her father valued his success more than her, and she fell into the arms of every accpeting man, her whole life....only to be disappointed? what if she cannot have children? what if she is married to an addict? what if she has children, but they are not living up to her expectations? what if she is lonely?

what if she is offensive when she speaks? what if she demeans women who are less attractive, or whose clothes may not be as fine? what if she gossips about everyone, every chance she gets? what if she is working really hard to mask her exterior so we cannot see her interior?

people just offend me sometimes. but i know enough to know that there is something going on, on the inside, that would explain everything....but i may never be privvy to the details, or even the snapshot. i just know that with my heart, i need to be willing to see the brokenness, the victim, the defeated. i need to look with my heart instead of my eyes. if someone offends me, i need to love them the most.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Same....But Different

Now that Shawn is 17 days post-op and he has officially had a great follow-up visit with the Cardiologist, earlier today.... I can finally say it.... I'm so thankful my sweet baby did not die. I'm so thankful he did not die in my womb, at birth, or during surgery. His genetic disorder could have led to a miscarriage, as many do. His heart defect could have been more severe. And let's face it, surgery can go wrong. Was I thinking it? Yes. Was I fearful? Yes. Somehow, I managed to trust in God, anyway. Somehow, I managed to hide my very deepest fear from everyone else. But I am human. I am a mommy with great passion for my children. I have suffered traumatic loss before. I am aware that no one is immune from loss.

Did I mention before, during surgery, the surgeon took Shawn's heart out of his body to repair it? She did. Maybe that doesn't come as a shock to you... but I did not know until just a couple of days before his surgery, that this would be the case. I knew they would go through his chest bone, but....oh my. His body was connected to the heart-lung bypass machine. A skilled, God-gifted surgeon took out his heart to repair it. His heart is no larger than his tiny hand. She put it back in. And it works. The cardiologist is VERY pleased. Shawn's heart no longer has a murmur. His EKG looked great and his heart rhythm is excellent. Now, they just have to monitor it for a while to make sure that his heart chambers are decreasing in size...because they had become very enlarged.

From my mommy perspective....Shawn is a new person. His energy level has doubled, and his appetite has tripled. He is a very hungry boy. His vocals are louder and stronger. His laugh is from his gut now.....not his throat. He could win a giggling contest, if there were such a thing. And his "fun scream" is perfected. He is as sweet as ever, with 10 doses of WILD! In fact, sometimes he gets hungry in the middle of the night. It is a blessed problem to have..... I can sleep when I'm dead.... which hopefully won't be anytime soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Today is the 1st birthday of the Jasper Walls blog. I really can hardly believe it. I have journaled about nearly everything in my life, publicly. At times, this has invited criticism, but the positives had far outweighed the negatives, for me. Because really, even the negatives are positive....when you learn from them.

The greatest thing for me about blogging has been relationships. I have met some incredible people through cyber-space, whom I never would have met were it not for my blog, and blogging in general. I have also reconnected with old friends and stayed more closely connected with my extended family. My close friends have learned more about me, and have grown to love me more, in spite of myself. For my children, this is a documented memoir. I have explored many many many ideas that might not have served as revelations to me, had I not taken the time to write them out. But the greatest thing about blogging has been that some people, after following along, have felt comfortable approaching me about my faith, while trying to discover their own. I have been reached out to, and in return, I have done my best to share my faith and my story in a way that honors God. I have tried to share the light of hope, with others.

I have also had some fun. I enjoy being silly, when I have it in me. I enjoy poking fun at myself.

When I posted my first entry, one year ago....I had no idea where this would go. I have no idea yet, where my life will journey between today and April 13, 2010....but I know that I'm hoping you'll continue to experience life with me...and share yours with me too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Notice a change? My blog needed a makeover!

I was in need of something fresher and light. I think this is the perfect fit for me, and for my mood... um, well, today at least.

Let me know what you think..... and if you missed the Easter photo's video, make sure you scroll down to the last post and see my amazing boys! Doesn't Shawn look FANTASTIC?

Happy every Christian reader that I have, I celebrate with you, the joy of our salvation. For every reader who may not have accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as the Lord and Savior, God's only son...... He gives Hope to the Hopeless... and He's waiting for you to invite Him in. He is!

My Boys On Easter

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Heart is Traveling A Lot These Days

I have been all over the place this week. Geographically, I have barely traveled a mile. I have mostly stayed home with my kids, monitoring sweet Shawn in his recovery from surgery. I went to (1) very important work related meeting with some of my Real Estate Peeps, and I went to (1) very important Jesus related Bible study with some of my very very very special sisters in Christ.

But in my heart and in my spirit, I have really traveled.

I can't be specific about where I have gone, because even in this moment, I'm not sure my desitination has been revealed. I feel like I am the racquet ball, in an enclosed court, and someone slammed me with full force up against one wall...and I'm now haphazzardly bouncing between all the unpredictible direction....but unlike the racquet ball that will eventually slow down and rest, I'm still bouncing at full momentum speed. What does all of this mean? I have NO idea! Except that I think I'm just trying to go beyond the walls (outside of the box), and instead, I'm trapped in the walls.

I have spent my week digging back into the scriptures that I abandoned for nearly a week while Shawn was in the hospital. My bible was with me in the hospital room. It was always laying out and close by. I had the best of intentions. It is a tragedy to me that I would fail to open the Word of God and allow it to pour over me and through me, especially during a difficult week....because there is always a message of Love and Hope in the Word of God, and I just failed to receive it. Maybe I was just taking control on my own. (Oops)


There is so much going on in the world, in our lives, all around us. It is a wonder that we aren't all on anti-depressants. Tornados all across America. Earthquakes and high death tolls in Italy. Pirate activity on the ocean waters, seemingly every week. Housing crisis. Bankruptcies and foreclosures. Death. Cancer. Divorce. WAR....did I forget to mention WAR because it has become so standard? North Korea missle testing. Alcoholism and porn are on the rise. And all the while....there are STILL children starving and dying in Africa (where my heart is)...and all over the world. This earth is in a shambles. It's a wreck. WHERE IS MY ZOLOFT?

The truth of all of this is that it is really no surprise. The Bible never indicates it is going to get better. Until Christ comes, there will be no world peace. There will be no end to suffering, crime, and pain. But He WILL come! And until then....this life is not a is a project and a process. We have to actively LOVE each other, SERVE each other, HELP others, and teach/share/testify/minister the word of God. We have to put others before ourselves. Jesus put every one of us before Himself. He stood before the Heavens and He agreed willingly to take the burden of ALL of our SINS. We say we would die for our children. Well, HE really did. He died so that we could live. He endured an extremely prolonged period of physical torture. He died the most gruesome death one could die....and He did it all so that we could have life, and eternity. That just blows my mind! When I committed my life to Him, He took up residency in my heart and He guides me. That, almost blows my mind even more. HE was raised up from the dead. AND, HE raises OUR lives, up from the dead, for a new chance at life, with Him. (HAPPY EASTER)

(Back to Traveling)

I would like to know where I am going to land. I would love to know what God has planned for me next (and my family). I would love to know my desitnation and go directly there. But something tells me ,that in my travels, He wants me to have a bigger story than just to say, I left...and I arrived. The detours and roadblocks are always the most interesting part of the story.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mind Blank

I got nuthin!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thank You

Here is a photo montage and video of Shawn. The beginning shows Shawn shirtless a day before surgery. I knew his little chest would never be the same, so I captured it in snapshot. You'll see him cruising through the waiting area before surgery, strutting his yellow Vandy duds before anesthesia took him away, and some snapshots resting in the hosptial. Please enjoy the video at the end, showing Shawn yesterday, just 5 days after surgery. It's a blessing to be home. Most of all, thank you for your prayers and for your gifts and encouragement. We needed you. You were there for us. We're grateful.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


We're home. Shawn enjoyed our walk through the hosptial where he got to see something other than his crib. The ride home was nice...he was making lots of sweet noise.

At home, he drank tons of milk and even ate a little bit of solids for dinner. Shawn had a nice quick bath, a does of Tylenol, and now he is in the crib.

He is still very is scary to watch him walk, so we're having to stay close by. He just needs to build up some strength....which hopefully won't take too long.

God Bless the precious souls who have already brought us meals and some snacks. We are so blessed.

I'm hoping to sleep all night. Yep....that sounds good.

Home Sweet Home ~ Soon

We're not outta here just yet, but the ball is definitely rolling. Today, we needed poop. We got poop. Now, the probes are off, all of the assorted tube portals have been re-bandaged, the heart monitor is no longer connected, and the oxygen sensor is off. This boy has nothing connected to him....not a single thing.

Paperwork is next. Instructions. Follow up appointments scheduled. Meds prescribed.... and we'll be on our way home.

I am almost too numb to even know how much joy I feel....because I hardly feel any....but I know that when Shawnie and I walk through the door of our home, where Daddy and Asher will be waiting for us....I'll probably break down. I'll need to. It is FRICKING OVER!!!!! YAHOO!!!!!!!

Happy tears.


This saga need not be continued.

Praise you Jesus.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Shawn got EVERYTHING out today. No more chest tubes, no more pacemaker wires. It is awesome! He got a great sponge bath, but he's still rocking the bad hair because he slept funny on his wet hair and it looks all crazy again, but at least it's clean. All that is connected to him now is the heart monitor, which is just standard policy after you've have heart surgery...(DUH!). He still has an I.V. in his foot just in case they need it, but they haven't needed it. They are even saying we might go home tomorrow.

I'll learn more about his heart rhythms tomorrow....not sure yet. I know you are wondering too, but that's all I got for now.

Asher came to visit, and for a moment, Shawn got excited. He even made loud noises pointing at his brother. It was beautiful... then Shawn went back to sucking his thumb and chilling out.

I've been able to hold him a few times today and that is just so nice. Never take holding your kids for granted. It is a gift and a blessing. We're are such a huggy lovey family that not being able to hold Shawn was really hard for me. I'm so relieved now.

Joe is going back to work bright and early in the morning. Looks like we're gonna be getting back to something more like life, very soon.

We've had many a visitor today. Thanks so much for everyone who has stopped by. I know we missed a couple of pop-ins because timing wasn't right, but I am thankful, nonetheless. I've also received a couple of care packages today that totally rock....and I'm just truly speechless. I've received everything from gossip magazines to Reeses Pieces and some Starbucks, and much in between. It's good. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Praising sweet Jesus.....BIG TIME!

Friday - Shawn stuff

I spent the night at home last night with Asher while Joe stayed with Shawn. On a side note, Joe also ate everything in the fridge, in the goodie bag, everything he could reach. He even ate the crackers I was planning on having for my morning breakfast.....but hey, who's caluclating 36 assorted crackers with peanut butter, cheese, etc?

Can I just mention here also that I'm having a very bad hair day? Well, I am.

Shawn....... oh this sweet boy. He is getting at least one tube out today, and also possibly the "wires" and maybe all the chest tubes....but we know a lot of things can change in a few hours, so I'm not holding my breath. IF he does get all of his tubes out today, there is a chance he can be discharged at the end of the day tomorrow....but again, no breath holding.

I'm so excited about the possibility of tubes coming out because that will mean much more snuggle time with him. This smells very good to me. He is enjoying watching some Elmo DVD's this morning. This can only be concluded by his attmempt at making some animal sounds earlier....i think a quack to be exact. We still haven't seen our sweet boy smile or heard him giggle......he might be mad at us. But his thumb sucker is working beautifully.

Can I mention now also that Shawn is having a very bad hair day today? Well, he is!

Thanks so much for continuing to pray for us and follow along with the details. We are so so so blessed. Thanks also to Frank and Tamara, Pat, and Pam who all popped in on us yesterday and surprised us with sweet smiles and goodies. Ya'll rock.

Now, having said that......please no pop ins today, because with the looming probability of tube removals and such, we know it could be very busy in here, and we might get kicked out of his room a bunch.

Love love love! God bless all of you. And thank you Jesus for incredible reports for our baby.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Uh Oh

So.....I am home. That's right. I picked up Asher from his little school across the street from the hospital at 3pm and we came home. It's a momma/asher night. Shawn has done so well all day. Daddy is with him. The idea of leaving Shawn was not a comfortable one, but more a plan out of necessity. Our house is for sale and a showing has been scheduled for Friday. Quite honestly.....I need to turn our house into the showplace that it can be. I'm the only one who can really pull that off. I have to hide the trains, planes and automobiles, sweep up the animal cracker crumbs, polish the puppy kennel, and I'm pretty sure there are a few things that may need burned.

We are eating corn dogs for dinner. YUM!

But we might have a problem. I am supposed to be able to get a decent nights sleep. I just called Joe to check on Shawn. Joe described a pandemonium that I'm pretty sure only a Daddy can create. Shawn got tangled in his wires and tubes, unplugged something, and a couple of nurses had to get involved to work it out. WHAT HAVE I DONE? I asked Joe if Shawn has had his pain meds yet and he said he didn't know but that he got something with a syringe by mouth and something in his I.V. GREAT........HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE NURSES ARE GIVING OUR PRECIOUS CHILD. I rattled off some names of meds and he said, "yeah, that's what he got".

I'm laughing on the inside. Kinda.

If I get another report like that, Joe and I will be having some extremely intense fellowship over the matter.

Luckily, everything is calm and Shawn is not fidgeting anymore. I'll be back early in the morning, in full swing mommy mode.

Joe is a SUPER FANTANTASIC LOVING, GIVING, PLAYFUL, ACTIVE, FULLY HANDS-ON DAD. But I'm still the best nurse in our family!

Missing that sweet little Shawn tonight, but looking forward to more quality time with our funny Asher Tater Tot.

Kinda Conked

Shawn is sleeping right now, with a little help from the pain medication. While he does need pain meds, because you would too if you had 3 tubes coming out of your body....he is not in terrible pain. It is more of an annoying pain. Also, his throat still hurts from the ventilation tube, even though the tube came out on Tuesday night. He has been drinking some juice from a sippy cup, and as I expected, he has thoroughly enjoyed almost 3 containes of strawberry yogurt. It hurts to swallow, but he is choosing the yogurt anyway. What a champ. When I'm finished with this post, I think I'm heading for a nap, myself.

I got about 5 hours sleep last night with only 1 long interruption. Also, Shawn peed on me this morning, so I was forced to take a shower. I feel nice and clean. I got to hold Shawn for a couple of minutes, which is when I got drenched. A little while ago, I got to hold him again for about 1/2 hour, and there were no pee incidents. Yay! (He is wearing a diaper but the gadgets pull it open a that's why the accident happened.)

Mom brought me breakfast this morning, and shampoo since I had forgotten that. Joe is mowing the yard today because we have a showing tomorrow....and if all goes well, I plan to go home either tonight or in the morning and give the house a good cleaning and my special touches for the showing. Shawn is doing so well and as long as Joe can be here, I think it's a good plan. But I reserve the right to change my mind (ALWAYS).

Shawns heart beat is still not in the perfect rhythm, but we learned yesterday that there is a slight chance it won't fully get there. What they are saying is that his heartbeat is almost in regular sinus rhythm, but with a slight delay. This doesn't appear to be alarming anyone. They have not removed the wires yet, for the pacemaker...but Shawn as been disconnected from the pacemaker for about 24 hours. He has great pulses and stats, so he is doing just great.

I am so relieved. I'll be so much happier when the chest tubes can be removed and he can move more freely. He is such a sweet sweet sweet boy and I love him so much. We are most definitely over the hump and I am just so relieved.

Loving Jesus with all my heart right now. I might even crack my bible open today and get caught up where I left off a couple of days ago.

Thanks for reading. Loving you all!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Thumb and Other Treasures

Shawn is doing really well. His heart is still not beating in the correct rhythm, but it is beating on its own, and the doctors are very encouraging and optimistic that it is just a matter of time.

My little man is now free from the oxygen mask, the line that was sewn into his neck, and the line that was in his left arm. This means that there is nothing close to his face that he can yank out, and therefore....he has a thumb to suck. This is great news! His thumb makes him very happy. I also got to give Shawn a bottle of apple juice which he loved loved love and threw the perfect fit when it was all gone. This is a sure sign that my boy is coming back! When he rouses a little later, I will give him yogurt, and my prediction is that he will be one very happy camper.

We are getting moved soon to the PICU, which is exciting. The rooms are much more family friendly and I will have a more comfortable night of sleep tonight. Asher and Joe are coming in a while. Asher has been really very anxious to see Shawn. Shawn looks great! He is not slowen or puffy, so I believe it is going to be very good for Shawn. The chest tubes and the long incision are covered by a sheet, so Asher will not see the things that might be alarming to him.

Asher has been spreading the news about Shawn throughout the preschool. He is planning a welcome back party.....and I am totally serious about this. Asher is a serious dude, and he's not messing around. He explained what he knows about the procedure to his class yesterday and he instructed that everyone make Shawn a card...and they did. I am blown away at how much Asher is thinking of Shawn and how he is rallying other peeps for this occasion. I believe Asher will most likely be like this the rest of his life. He loves little Shawn very much. It is probably the neatest thing I get to see as their mom. They share very sweet hugs everyday and they play so well together. Asher is an incredible big brother. I am so proud of him. Asher is a treasure.

The other treasures I want to mention briefly here are our amazing support system. Not only have we been visited multiple times by the incredible Pastor Tom, other church staff that have visited us include Blake, Pete, Ashley, and Jenni. We are so grateful for such a loving and support church staff. Also, my wild bible study girls called today while they were all together....and we spoke on the speaker. I am just not worthy of all this love God has gathered around me and my family. We have received countless phone calls and emails. Mr. Monty brought us cupcakes today and we have several other visitors planned for the rest of the week. I'm just blown away. I'm pretty speechless. God is so good, and one of the most amazing ways he proves this to me over and over is in community and friendships. Aside from the blessing of family and beautiful, darling, precious is the fellowship and community that blesses me more than I ever could have imagined. Good friends rock!

I don't know how long we'll be here. Shawn could go home as early as Friday or it could be Sunday or Monday. Some of this will depend on when he can get his 3 chest tubes out, and most will depend on the rhythm of his heart. We still need it to get into the regular sinus rhythm. This part is unpredictable. For now, he is sleeping. And when he wakes up, he will eat yogurt.

I love you! Whoever you are!

morning news

Please read the previous post if you haven't already.

A couple of things I didn't know this morning until after the post were, (1) Shawn's pacemaker is nearby but disconnected. This is GOOD. His heart is still not beating in the regular sinus rhythm, but it is better than the junctional rhythm. I'll keep you posted on that. Also, he has not been urinating since the catheter was removed yesterday, so they did re-cath him in the night.

Earlier this morning, Shawn got a new chest tube to drain the air that was forming around his left lung. This has already made great progress. The awful mask that he was wearing has been removed and now he just has something very simple and less annoying attached.

Shawn looks very good. We have been told he will most likely be moved out of the PCCU today and onto the PICU floor. He will be able to have more visitors there, including Asher. We're not holding our breath on this one, but the possibility is encouraging. I feel much much better! Oh, and they have already removed one of the lines that was for blood draws, which was connected to his left hand. This is wonderful because it was really bothering him.

We're looking up.

I have received tons of emails and facebook comments about Shawn and all the prayers. I am so very grateful. It is nearly impossible to get emotionally prepared to see your sweet baby go through something like this. I know there are far worse situations, right here in this very hospital. A planned open heart surgical repair seems like nothing compared to any child having cancer or another debilitating disease. This is no fun, but it's a hayride compared to what many of the other families here are going through.

God bless all the children.

through the night with Shawn

After I finished posting my blog last night, Shawn through his greatest fit to date. It was exhausting. Every extremity is hooked up to something, and so the legs and arms flailing are not good. I was so upset, I finally CRIED and started barking orders. I apologized later.

Shawn got some meds that completely relaxed him and he had a good night. In the night, they were able to take the CPAP out of his nose. His oxygen levels are good but he still needs a little oxygen boost so there is another mask on now.

The big news overnight is that one of his lungs is not functioning well, so they are getting ready to kick me out of his room so they can do a procedure to insert another chest tube so that the excess air can drain from the lung. They will sedate him for this. Also, he still needs the temporary pacemaker. But overall, he is more comfortable. They are telling me that everything else is fine.

Even with Benadryl, I was not able to sleep at all. I think probably around 4ish this morning I started to sleep from he exhaustion, but only in short periods. I'm up now and ready for my morning coffee. Joe will be taking Asher to school around 8:30am and then he will be here. We are still in PCCU, and still cannot really have visitors.

I am hoping that while Joe is here today, I can take a break and post something more meaningful.

Love from Shawn and his Mommy.