Saturday, February 23, 2013

Turning the right corner. Finally!

Do you know that feeling when you keep thinking about something and you're feeling really good about it but you aren't sure if you should talk about it or not because it might be too good to be true or you're a tad skeptical if the whole "knock on wood" thing really works?  Yeah, I have that feeling.  I've had it for two weeks and I've kept my mouth shut but lets be honest, I can't do that for very long.  Ladies and Gentleman, I believe we have turned the corner here at the Clarks.  And no, not that horribly wrong left turn that we tend to make with our directionally challenged tendencies (with the exception of Matt who is a human atlas.)  We have been waiting for almost two years for Easton to do two things.  1.) Get out of the freakin' woods.  2.)  Turn the corner.  I'm no longer afraid to say, I think he found that corner and bolted around it as fast as he could while yelling "I'm a Miracle!", which is his new favorite saying:)  Easy will be 2 years old in just over two months.  I keep finding myself thinking about how our life has changed.  In many ways, we are very much the same.  We are still a solid family who loves to spend time together, acts crazy, dances in the kitchen and sings in the car.  You know, normal.  On the other hand, we are so completely different.  We are positive, we are thoughtful and present in our daily lives. We live with more purpose, we are more driven and our lives seem even brighter than before.  We have a deeper sense of gratitude and I personally feel compelled to try and make a difference somewhere or somehow.  Priorities and perceptions have shifted and ultimately I've gained confidence in myself.  Looking back, I don't know how I survived watching my son "almost" die day after day after day.  I don't know how I spoke on the phone to my other kids and forced myself to laugh, I don't know how I turned the corner passed the hand washing station of the NICU everyday to see if my baby was OK or if 10 people were working on him (again) but I did.  I rose to the challenge with the support of my husband, family and friends and rallied for my baby.  If that doesn't change you- I'm not sure anything will.  All that being said, I have an ultimate goal for my family.  I will NEVER forget what a miracle Easton is.  I will never forget any of the faces or voices of those that cared for him and kept him alive but you know what I really live for?  I live for the day when I'm not reminded of this when I see him.  I live for the time when he is so "normal" that I don't think about it everyday.  When we don't use inhalers, when we don't constantly watch his growth, when we don't have follow up specialty appointments.  That's what I'm waiting for.  But here is the thing... I think its coming.  I feel it.  He had pneumonia four times and RSV once in his first 8 months of life- thats after spending a month barely hanging on in the NICU.  Do you know how many times he had pneumonia in the last year?  ZERO.  Do you know how many times he was hospitalized overnight in the last year?  ZERO.  Thats right.  He just had his tonsils and adenoids out and its only been a couple of weeks and I cannot explain to you the difference.  Here is a little example... the kid has gained over 2 lbs in 2 weeks.  He is the biggest he has EVER been.  He is eating like a champ, sleeping well and with his mouth closed (gasp!) and he is happy.  So, so happy.  He is talking so well and just... I don't know... normal!  He seems normal.  I can't pinpoint anything off in him right now.  He is fighting with his siblings, cracking us up with his attempt at telling stories and so lovable.  Its like heaven.

These days life at the Clark's is still crazy busy as usual.  For the last few weeks we have had Soccer, Basketball and Swimming all on Saturday mornings before noon.  That was super annoying fun.  Things have calmed down a little with the replacement of soccer with Crossfit for Kids!  Yes, we are those crazy people that put our obsession onto our son!  No, really.  He likes it.  It's for one hour and he can go as much or as little as he wants up to five days a week.  He has only gone a couple of times and let me tell you- he was SOOO good at home those nights.  I think it is so beneficial for him to get to run around and burn some energy in a positive environment instead of just coming home and tormenting his siblings for fun.  This way he is too tired to do that which means we have a peaceful night.  Nope, this wasn't a selfish move on our part at all.  Swear:) Matt just signed him up for little league and it counting the days until he can get outside and start practicing.  Carter is kicking some major butt in school.  He is blowing through Rocket Math and I can't even explain to you how well he is writing and reading compared to when he started school.  I am SOO glad I put him in Kindergarten instead of young 5's.  Who knew he would be such a smarty pants.  Now if we could just get him to control himself and sit down in his seat once in awhile we'd be perfect.... but perfect is so boring!  Oh, and he is still gorgeous!

Paige is still Paige.  Always sassy, super funny and has developed such an interest in Easton.  They are partners in crime, tearing this place up!  She recently got a new haircut and is feeling pretty awesome about herself.  She loves for me to flat iron her hair every morning and spends a little extra time flipping it around and looking in the mirror.  She is totally into Pom Pom and Gymnastics and finally not crying at swimming (thank the Lord.)  She is even jumping off the diving board!  I'm not 100% sure but I think someone is quite the actress and knows how to get herself a little extra attention.  She's the middle child and she is surrounded by boys so in my opinion its a pretty clever life skill she has developed.  Paige is such a Daddy's girl and its no question he is above all in her eyes but I'm still the one that gets to do her hair and dress her up in hot pink faux fur vests.  She's my girl too and we are just so happy to have her put a little extra spunk in our life.  There is nobody quite like Paige Ruby and I spend each day trying to prepare myself for the ride I am certain she will take us on!

Matty and I are good.  We actually snuck away to Grand Rapids last weekend for a little break and had a wonderful time.  Well, a wonderful time after the first night when I thought I may die from something attacking my internal organs.  Sounds dramatic?  It was.  I couldn't even stand up straight.  I never over-react.  Honestly, just ask my husband.  Maybe, occasionally but not this time.  Anyways, it only lasted one night and then it was a fabulous time spending time with my favorite person!

I'm entering my crazy person stage of planning the 2nd annual Team Easton Gives Back benefit.  I vowed I wouldn't be so crazy this time but I think I may have lied.  I can't help it.  I need it to be fabulous and I just know it will.  $27,000 raised the first year.  The bar is high but I'm pretty sure its in the bag!  Mark your calendars... May 3, 2013.  See you there!

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