Moving…

August 8, 2011

I’m moving my blog- wordpress is causing me a few problems, so we’re just up and leavinūüôā

Please continue to follow us here:  http://parentingbuildscharacter.blogspot.com/

You can add us to your feed or subscribe by email once you get there, thanks!


Baby Caden

August 8, 2011

I met Becca through my friend Danielle- we’ve been blog friends for a while, and I love that because Becca is a great commenter and what blogger doesn’t love a great commenter?

Anyway, Becca birthed sweet baby Caden last Wednesday and after a short cuddle session, he was wisked off, only to discover a major issue with his heart- this was not known in utero and it totally blindsighted everyone- especially his mommy and his daddy.

Today he is having major surgery- they got word  few minutes ago that he is now on by-pass- only one of the many stages of this major heart surgery.

Please follow along here: ¬†http://thestanleyclan.blogspot‚Äč.com/

Update 1: http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2011/08/caden-thomas.html

Update 2: http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2011/08/update-from-adam-on-caden.html

Update 3: http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2011/08/cadens-heart.html

Update 4: http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2011/08/worth-every-tear.html

Info on the surgery: http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2011/08/cadens-surgery-tomorrow.html

And pray as you see fit- over the family, theirs hearts, the doctors, the nurses, and mainly Caden- the surgery, the recovery, a healthy heart, and for many many many more breathes!

God is the giver of life, healing, peace and love- we beg Him who is capable to heal sweet baby Caden!


The Special Van

August 6, 2011

Honestly, this post is a long-time coming. ¬†And I’m not sure my storying telling will do it justice- but this is a moment in the Bowman family story that I don’t want to forget… it’s all about the special van…

Back in January, Chad sold his truck- which was quite a feat considering it was a huge diesel and the economy stunk and gas prices soared. ¬†So we thanked Jesus and move right along, before anyone could change their minds. ¬†But this left Chad without a truck- and honestly, we didn’t have our money saved up for another and we were only paying cash- no loans- no matter what! So enter Chad’s friend (also named Chad) whose Dad had a work van that Chad could by for $500…. Chad saw it and decided this was the way to go for a short time and brought that puppy on home…. to our driveway…. what looked like a child molester van, with rust on the bumper and dents all over it. ¬†There wasn’t a key to the doors, so he couldn’t lock it from the outside BUT you could get locked on the inside. It was straight scary.

Now my husband is a manly man- he can rough it if necessary– he went down to New Orleans to clean up after hurricane Katrina and lived in his truck and showered in an out-house like building. ¬†He can wear the same 2 outfits for a week if necessary and can find a way to fix things, at least for the time being, even without the proper tools. ¬†He’ll climb on roofs, clean up bugs, wipe off spider webs, and even clean major poop explosions with no problems or complaints. But he can also be high maintenance- for instance, his food can’t be too cool and his coffee has to be steaming. ¬†He stomps around like a small child if the house is too hot when he’s trying to fall asleep and if you try to have a conversation that he’s not ready to have, well, he might as well just lay in the floor and throw a temper tantrum, because that is better than what will actually happen. And his pillow is a big deal- we’ve cycled through several in our marriage that just were unacceptable until I finally took him to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick his own– the perfect pillow was $100… and we bought two of¬†them. ¬†But if he’s in the driver’s seat when I need to make a Starbucks drive thru run, there will certainly be a comment about the price that makes me and the Starbucks employee turn as red as tomatoes.

As if that’s not enough- the man is so sensitive and will do ANYTHING and I do mean ANYTHING for me and our boys. ¬†A sweet moment will always bring a tear to his eyes and anytime he has to apologize, it’s SO sincere that it leaves everyone involved with a tear or two. He tries hard to meet my needs and speak my language- he even left me a sweet card filled with a love note for each day that he was gone last week- now that’s a fun thing to wake up to- and words are so not his thing. ¬†He’s quite possibly the hardest worker you’ll ever meet as well. ¬†I’m telling you, he’s the guy you want supporting your family. (He’s taken, so you can’t have that,sorry.) Needless to say, Chad is in NO WAY a cookie cutter man- he’s well rounded with a new adventure around every corner– but there is no amount of manly or hardworking or high maintenance or rough and tough or laid-backness that would make this van a pleasure… or even bearable for that matter!

The thing smelled and different compartments and do-dads were falling off ¬†on the inside. There was only a driver seat and a passenger seat and it was a safety hazard for anyone involved. Part of the inside had even been on fire at some point. There was no heat, and Chad got stuck on a bridge in a ice storm and had to sit in the ice box until he could get off- he wore gloves and a knit hat just to drive it in the winter. Shortly after getting the van, the breaks went out completely WHILE Chad was driving, on the interstate, IN TRAFFIC in Atlanta. He found a guy to fix the breaks and a buddy to drive in front of him (in case he slammed into him!) to drop the van off. ¬†That was fixed for a month or two before the power steering went out and the break fluid started leaking. His lats were actually sore from driving the thing and he developed new muscles trying to steer. ¬†Seriously. One day, while I was worrying about his safety he explained that “well, the breaks work just as hard as you can push them- but if someone pulls out in front of me, I’m going to have to hit them.” And two different times, the horn started going off in the middle of the night– hoooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnkkkkkkk. ¬†The first time, it took us a while to figure out what was happening and the second time it was just funny. ¬†Both times it was around 3am in the POURING rain and thunder. ¬†Chad would don a rain coat, go out to the special van, hit the steering wheel and it would stop. ¬†Then he would come back inside, crawl in bed, and we were lay there chuckling and giggling for over an hour before we could settle down enough to fall back asleep. ¬†I was pregnant and had crazy hormones and found this way more funny than Chad did…. maybe because I wasn’t the one in the rain, but still, I would laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.

BUT Chad had a certain caliber of work truck that he wanted- it had to meet certain standards and he had to be able to pay cash for it- end of story. So he never complained about the van. He just drove it. It fell apart and cost him a lot of time and energy and he just drove it.

We finally reached our cash goal and we were about to go test some trucks the weekend that Jack decided to surprise us, so that got put on the back burner. (Or so we thought!) On Monday night after Jack was born, we all headed home and Chad headed back to work on Tuesday… in the special van. Then on Wednesday night, while I was home with our new baby, Max, and my mom, watching the American Idol finale, I got a call from Chad that he was on the side of the interstate and his van was dead. Like not another bit of life left in it and could I come pick him up. ¬†I had to rush to him, in order to get back to feed the new baby that was eating every 2 hours. ¬†Chad threw his tools in my car, and hoped in. (I must say, I’ve never picked up anyone on the side of a interstate with cars rushing by- that is nerve racking!) ¬†He had to call a tow truck immediately and have it towed to our house because apparently it would be stolen off the side of the road to be sold for parts. ¬†So with a new baby, and very little sleep, Chad had to wait up for the tow truck to deliver it to our house. ¬†And of course, I was afraid that the thing would sit there forever because how were we going to move it? ¬†It was dead!

Within 24 hours, Chad found someone that would come get it from our house and give Chad $400– the guy was either going to salvage it or it’s parts, and the scrap metal. BUT I didn’t care, this was the best news I could think of- someone was going to come get it and make it disappear forever and was going to PAY us– hahahahaaaaaa– sucker!!!

So on the Friday after Jack was born, as I fed my new baby, I starred out our window as one happy lady– watching as it pulled away:

GOOD RIDDANCE SPECIAL VAN!  THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES BUT MAY OUR PATHS NEVER CROSS AGAIN!


Keep On Clicking

August 5, 2011

Today on Kelly’s Korner, we’re sharing blogging tips. ¬†And at small group on Wednesday night we were talking about blogging too, which got me thinking. ¬†I don’t have many tips- honestly I just LOVE writing and I love the funny and sweet (and rotten!) things my kids do and I’m learning SO much by being a parent, that I’m blogging for my own good. ¬†I’m not even sure if I’m doing it “right”– but alas, my “tip” none the less!

And this isn’t just a tip on blogging, but more the blogosphere– my favorite blogs that I read are by people I’ve never met and have only stumbled upon– and it’s just because I keep clicking. ¬†I read something and click a link…. which leads me to another link…. and then another– and then I find someone who is just like me or so intriguing to me or has a story that touches my heart- and then I add them to my blog roll and they’re my blog friend foreverūüôā Granted they don’t know I exist, but that’s not important!

There is a girl named Brittney who stumbled upon my blog and we connected because we were both stepmoms to adorable little boys… and then we both had baby boys ourselves. ¬†AND it’s such a small world, that we actually know some of the same people. ¬†I’ve never met her, but I love her and was so excited when her baby was born. ¬†And today I was giddy because he finally slept through the night after MONTHS… and of course I can relate because Max didn’t sleep through the night until he was 5 mths old and that’s only because I gave him formula. ¬†So now me and Brittney (who I’ve never met!) are facebook friends, and twitter friends, and I love pictures of her sweet boys!

So my tip is to keep on clicking… you’ll never know how many blog BFF’s you’ll discoverūüôā


Say What?! Copy Cat

August 5, 2011

On Wednesday, Max woke up from his nap super cranky. He was whiny and clingy and very high maintenance which is very abnormal for Max. Chad got home a few minutes before dinner and noticed rather quickly how foul Max was being. ¬†And then my brother Eli got to our house too (he’s staying with us right now, as a gypsy, as he figures out his next steps in life) and Max fussed at him too. ¬†We sat down for dinner and the cranky pants did not stop- he was a booger, like the real obnoxious deal! So Chad says “why is my two year old so whiny?” ¬†To which I replied “you answered it with your own question– he’s two!” ¬†And Eli said, “well he’s as smart as a four year old” and I replied “emotionally he is two!” ¬†And Max screams “EMOTIONALLY” and starts giggling.

Then later I was taking Max upstairs to change his diaper and he didn’t like that plan. ¬†He told me “no no no no!” And so I laid him on the changing table and I said guess what? ¬†And he stopped his no’s for an emphatic “what?” And I told him he wasn’t the boss, that mommy was the boss and he thought for .25 seconds and got a stricken look on his face and said “oh no!” ¬†HA!

Lastly, Max only napped for about 30 minutes in the car yesterday. We were out and about, so he never made it to his bed and those darn car naps are always short. ¬†So about an hour after dinner, he came and found me with his “Kiss Goodnight” book in hand- that’s the book we read every night before bed. ¬†He asked me to read it to him, and he even wanted it read in his bed– he was putting himself to bed and choosing his own bedtime- SWEET! ¬†Anyway, I got some pj’s out of his drawer, stripped him down, and then he sat in my lap so I could pull his pj pants on him. ¬†As quickly as he sat down, he jumped back up and said “Mommy’s legs hurt!”…. my legs were super prickly and in need of a razor… oh how I love the honesty of children- keeps you humble, that’s for sure!


Update on Jack

August 3, 2011

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for praying with us! ¬†We’ve been surrounded by answered prayers these past couple of days.

On Sunday night, we took Max to the Spivas house- he spent the night with them (although he fought tooth and nail before falling asleep!) and Jill took him and Hudson on some adventures during the day Monday. ¬†On Monday morning, Chad and I woke up at 4:50 and left the house by 5:20 with Jack. At 6am we began checking in and at 6:30, Kellee showed up to sit with us. ¬†Around 6:40, we were ushered back to a room where they began prepping, taking Jack’s vitals, giving us the scoop, and we got to meet all the doctors and nurses who would be with Jack. ¬†The staff was absolutely wonderful. ¬†I canNOT gush enough.

Around 7:50am, I put Jack on a grown up size gurney and walked with him until we got to the OR door. ¬†Then they kept going with my baby and I had to stop. ¬†My chest clenched up and I wasn’t sure I was going to get another breath. ¬†This was promptly followed with tears- and by far the worst moment of the whole experience. ¬†But we were in our room about 15 minutes when they called to say that the anesthesia had gone great and they were beginning the surgery. ¬†Then about 30 minutes later, his doctor was standing in our room, telling us that Jack was in recovery and the surgery had gone great! ¬†About 20 minutes after that, they called and told us to go to our new room where we’d be spending the night and that Jack would meet us there. By 9:15, he was in my arms, awake from the anesthesia, but asleep from all the bustle and bustle. ¬†Perfect!

The rest of our day and night was uneventful– the best thing it could be! ¬†The only crazy thing was how many times Jack wanted to eat through the night…5 times between 9pm and 7am– whoa, but he was making up for the 12 hours of not eating leading up to surgery and post-surgery. His heart and breathing monitors never showed any problems and Jack never showed any signs of pain. He spent most of the day in my arms sleeping and I just starred at his sweet face.

Unplugged and ready to go home!

We were discharged by 9:30am and Chad and Max picked us up and took us to Dunkin Donuts. ¬†When all was said and done, I just looked at Chad and we decided that it could not have gone any better. ¬†Jack seems so much more comfortable, there were no problems at all, every single nurse and staff person that we came in contact with was phenomenal, and I enjoyed the cafeteria’s chocolate cake much more than I should!

We thank God for taking such great care of our baby and giving us such great doctors. ¬†We’re also so grateful for all our friends and family that helped us out, prayed with us, and especially the Spivas and Kellee for doing it with us. ¬†We’re blessed!


Jack’s Surgery

July 29, 2011

At the end of June, the day before I was heading out of town with the boys, I was changing the J-man’s diaper on the couch when I noticed a bulge below his tummy but above his privates. ¬†I called Chad to come see it and we decided that it was just his muscles because he wasn’t laying flat while I was changing him. ¬†Then, when I was in Indiana, I noticed it again and the thought of a hernia crossed my mind. Of course (because I never learn) I googled it- and within 2 clicks I knew that’s what we were dealing with. ¬†Blah! But my cousin Nicole is a baby nurse, so when I saw her the next day, I got the scoop that it wasn’t an emergency but that I needed to get it looked at by our pediatrician. Fast forward a couple weeks to Jack’s 2 month appointment, and our pediatrician took a look, and didn’t say much beyond referring us to a specialist. ¬†I asked how soon I needed to get an appointment and he said it wasn’t an “emergency” but that I should try to get in within the next several weeks.

I knew from google that Jack would need surgery to repair it, and since my pediatrician who is normally wonderful and talks me through everything was rather quiet, I knew that’s where we were headed, but since no one seemed to act like it was an emergency, after my initial freak out leaving the doctor’s office, I decided to put off worrying until we knew more. ¬†I made the appointment for the second week in August and put it out of my mind.

Then this past Sunday morning, after a night of tummy aches, I went to change Jack’s diaper and noticed that the hernia was at least 3 times the size that it was when we went to bed, and that there was some discoloration at the bottom of it. After a call with the on call nurse at Jack’s doctor’s office, we ended up spending several hours at Children’s Healthcare Immediate Care. ¬†The doctor there was able to push the hernia back in (yes! with his thumb, just right there, yikes!) and then taught us how to do it, in case it came back out again, and encouraged us to get the appointment with the specialist moved up. Sunday afternoon, I did have to push the hernia back in, OMG!, and I got the appointment moved to Thursday (yesterday). ¬†I had been told that the surgery was outpatient, laparoscopic, no stitches, and wouldn’t need to happen for several months- and altogether easy peasy. ¬†As much as it made me sick, I knew that Jack would never remember this and it would be over before I knew it.

Well that’s not exactly how it all went down.

Yesterday, I showed up at the doctor’s office with my Jack, 30 minutes before our 3:30 appointment so that I could fill out all the paperwork. ¬†I got everything finished in time to sneak to a back room, courtesy of a nurse, and feed Jack before we saw the doctor. As is the norm after Jack’s 3pm feeding, he filled his diaper- and I’m not talking #1 here folks. ¬†When I stood up to change his duty, I looked down and “it” was ALL over me. ¬†And him. And his clothes. Ay yi yi! So after de-pooping everything, tying the dirty clothes in a bag, and getting ourselves back together, we were ushered to our real room, where we waited until 4:45 before seeing the doctor. (Reminder: My appointment was at 3:30 and they asked me to get there at 3:00.) Considering that I didn’t have a change of clothes (why don’t mom’s carry diaper bags for themselves?) and was still wearing pooh, had rushed from work to get to this appointment that was over 30 miles away from our house, was at this appointment without Chad who was out of town, and was rather sleepy from Jack’s new sleeping pattern (or lack there of) I was less than thrilled to sit there for almost 2 hours. ¬†So you can imagine how well I responded when the doctor walked in and told me that this was a rather serious issue that could cause permanent damage if not handled quickly and that they wanted to do Jack’s surgery next week- oh, and the kicker? He would need to stay overnight. ¬†I gasped for air at first, then gulped my tears down and urged my chest to loosen back up. ¬†I’m not sure how much time actually passed before I spoke but it was long enough that the doctor felt awkward and you could tell he was questioning my stability.

Luckily, I got it together and began to formulate sentences and pepper him with 1000 questions. ¬†Dr. Pitt is a wonderful man who talked me through each and every detail, told me about the risks and the reasons why this was a must, explained the in’s and out’s of it all, and by the time we were done, I was very grateful that he would be handling the surgery. ¬†There will be a cut over an inch long, with stitches, and although the thought of full anesthesia on my teeny tiny baby makes me VERY nervous, he did explain that whole process as well. We will stay overnight because of the risk of apnea (because of Jack’s prematurity at birth and young age now) and except for the 15 minutes that Jack is in prep, the hour long surgery, and the 15 minutes that he’s in recovery, I will be able to be with him. ¬†I can also feed him too, and as long as nothing goes wrong, there will be no need for a feeding tube, etc. And he will be monitored for 24 hours. Because babies heal so quickly, after the anesthesia wears off, he will probably only need infant tylenol after that.

All of the things are good news- doable- not so much a big deal.¬†So naturally I got to the car and called Chad who is in Florida and cried. ¬†Once I finished talking to him, I had to pull over ¬†because I thought I was going to throw up. I do realize that there are parents that would love to be going through this with their child instead of their reality, but for me, this is a big deal. ¬†Someone is putting my baby to sleep and cutting on him. ¬†And although he won’t remember it, I will, and that hour long wait will feel like years. For the majority of my drive home, satan was winning. ¬†Fear took over my whole body, my every thought, and I couldn’t think straight.

Luckily I had talked to Danielle on the way to the appointment about other things and in the course of our conversation she reminded me that it is my job to be the best possible mom, and to read and research and make wise choices and the rest was of it was out my control. And before I got home, I was calm again- we have a great doctor, we have lots of people who loves us and will pray over his surgery and we have an even greater, bigger, capable God. Fear still creeps in from time to time (it hasn’t even been 24hrs since I got the news), and honestly, I’m still processing it all- still in shock that it’s opposite of everything I was told it would be (by people and google- not doctors) and that it’s going to happen in just a few days, but God is bigger than all that too.

I will get a call later today with the exact date/ time of the surgery and I will be sure to add that information to this post.  We would love it if you would pray with us about this- pray for the surgeon to have perfect hands, for a super quick and painless recovery for our little man, for my fear not to give Satan any leverage, and for God to get glory.

**UPDATE: ¬†Jack’s surgery will be Monday morning at 7:30am at Scottish Rite.


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