Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Baby is 2!

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My baby, Lincoln, turned 2 today. As with his last birthday, I have done lots of laughing and lots of crying. This birthday is waaaayyy different than his last, however, in so many ways. And it is because of those ways that I am most thankful to God. But I will get to that later.

First, I want to do a quick re-cap of his unique entrance into this world. I'll be as brief as possible, because I'm tired. I've waited until the kids are asleep and I picked up the house to sit down and take the time to write this. Here is what I wrote in my online journal: (easier to just cut and paste)

With NO warning, after a really easy pregnancy, Lincoln was born with horrible complications. I knew the minute I laid eyes on him that something was not right. I can't explain it. They barely let me hold him before he was whisked away to the nursery. He was kept there for 10 hours. I was allowed to visit him, but not hold him. Aaron left to go check on Abbey and Luke. During that time, the Neonatologist and a nurse came in with Lincoln (I was alone) and handed him to me. The Dr. rattled off around 10 things that were wrong with Lincoln. I was in shock. They said he had low muscle tone, a simian crease in his hands, large fontanel, dysmorphic features, low-set ears, protruding tongue, micrognathia, and windswept hands. Am I forgetting anything? It's been so long - I listed that from memory. Anyway, though he never went in the NICU, he began turning blue and passing out whenever he ate. They sent us home anyway. ??? 2 days later, we went back to the ped. to get checked on and ended up at Vandy for numerous tests, because the doctor witnessed Lincoln turning blue while attempting to eat. We left home that morning (Oct 31)not knowing we wouldn't return for a week. Once we got to Vandy, he received Chromosome tests, Metabolic scan, EKG, met with a dozen doctors in 5 or 6 hours, then we finally got admitted into the hospital on Halloween by a guy dressed in a Davey Crockett outfit. It was weird. When he was a week old, they dropped an NG tube down his nose and wouldn't let him take anything by mouth until they could figure out why he was having trouble eating. For 5.5 weeks, we attempted to get a good swallow study done without suffocating him. Finally ,one was done, and he was also seen by an ENT who told us that Lincoln's soft palate was paralyzed and that he had life-threatening reflux. Every time he would try to swallow, milk would go up his nose and down his windpipe and choke him. Likewise, everytime he would reflux, because he couldn't swallow, it was choking him. Poor guy!!!! At 10 weeks of age, he had a surgery to put the feeding tube in his tummy instead of down his nose, and they made a "sphincter" at the top of his stomach so he couldn't reflux anymore. He also couldn't ever burp or throw up... but that was alright!

OK, this is turning out to be a NOT so short story, isn't it??? Let me cut to the chase! After many many months of battles and doctors and specialists (tube feeds, surgeries, trying to get him to like a bottle on my own once he could eat by mouth)... the Lord did what the doctors said couldn't be done for my baby. He is totally healthy and normal and ALMOST too normal now! ha ha ha He's the most rowdy of my 3 kids now! They thought he may never hold his head up and if he did it might now be until he was 18 months old. He was sitting up at 6 months old. Walked at 13 months. Now, he's running, climbing, getting into trouble. Oh, I totally forgot to mention that his palate began moving when he was 5.5 months old and he started eating on his own and now he's a human garbage disposal. He'll eat ANYTHING. It was hard to get him used to taking a bottle at first - he did not have anything in his mouth except a pacifier from 5 days old to 5.5 months. But once he got the hang of it, he really liked it! The doctors say there is no known cure for "hypotonia" (low muscle tone), and yet we had a Neurologist deem him CURED of Hypotonia. Hallelujah!

OK, so that is a very basic synopsis of what we went through. It leaves out a LOT... but it gets the job done.That's what life was like for us then.

NOW is soooo much different! I really thought every minute of each of those days would be seared into my brain, torturing me forever. I was wrong! God is so good. I'm only reminded of those days when I need to think of them in order to properly give thanks to God. I don't ever really want to forget what He brought us THROUGH.

There was a time when I would have to explain Lincoln's "condition" to people when I would leave him with a new nursery worker, etc. (Lincoln has low muscle tone, so don't let the other kids knock him over. or Lincoln is fed through a tube, so beep me at feeding time. etc!) However, it just occured to me that I put him in a Mother's Day Out that he went to for the past 2 months, and I never had to say a thing to them! It just rarely comes up! It doesn't have to, because he is healed. He is a miracle and an inspiration.

All 3 of my kids are miracles... I really believe that. They are so special. I tend to think that my kids ROCK and that they are the most amazing humans on the planet. Most people would agree with me. (Especially family members, and those who do not have children of their own, ha ha!) I am blessed and I know it.

And let me just add this: I know that if Lincoln had not made the progress he has, God would still be God and He would still be good. I came to a point rather early on, where I stopped really wanting Lincoln to get healed and just fell in love with him for who he was at that moment. Yes, it was hard going... but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Perhaps we put too much emphasis on physical healing. I mean, God can do it, there's no doubt about that. But in instances where a particular ailment is not terminal, who's to say that this being needs to be healed to be normal. For instance, I know of a person who has a child with a noticable deformity. After bringing the child to the alter week after week after week, with people laboring in prayer over him, I heard that he finally looked up at his parents and said "What's wrong with me?" It was as if he was saying, can't you just enjoy me for who I am and let that be that? Ouch. He was happy - why couldn't everyone be? I'm just rambling. Don't hold anything I say against me. It's late and I'm tired.

Anyway, I'm so thankful. And blessed. And I'm going to bed. Happy birthday, Lincoln. Thank you, Lord, for an uneventful, normal year! I look forward to many, many more.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I had the scariest spider experience earlier today!!!! First, let me say that Luke somehow got a HUGE suspicious bite on his forehead mid-morning. I couldn't figure out where it came from... we hadn't been outside. Later on, I walked into the kitchen and above the cabinets (where the border is SUPPOSED to be, but 2 years later we still haven't gotten around to it) was the most enormous hairy black ferocious spider with a yellow dot on his back. We watched each other for awhile until I could figure out what I wanted to do about it. I was almost afraid to do anything. He was indeed scary. I finally got some newspaper and rolled it up real tight. He was fast, and knew what I was doing. Several times, I thought he seemed to "lunge" at me! I climbed up on a stool to get to him and I swear he rared up on his hind legs and started spinning a web and staring at me! I hit him with the newspaper, and he attached himself to the paper and in a Spiderman move, swung down onto an obscure corner of the kitchen counter. I frantically started moving things out of the way, looking for him. I found a few of his legs first, then finally found him. I started hitting him while whispering "Die, die, die" and splattering blood around the counter. At last, he died. I grabbed a paper towel and put him in his grave, which was my trash can. The End.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Episode 5

First, let me just say that the whole weekend has been a huge JOY. This is the most rewarding and fun thing I've ever done. It is certainly GOOD to be in God's will. Now I truly know what it feels like!

Let me just quickly tell you a few of the highlights:

It started raining last night and didn't stop. It rained and it rained and it rained. POURED. Our "parking lot crew" was fabulous! They had umbrellas ready, and made sure everyone got inside as dry as possible. They even parked some people's cars for them!
As I got ready this morning, things went so smoothly. The kids were in a great mood, and I wasn't nervous like I usually am before something this big.
We had 86 people there this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!
We had an awesome alter call!
Worship was soooooo good! Considering we only had 2 rehearsals and had never played together before. We did a lot of new songs, and still the congregation was really into it! Praise the Lord!
Here's the biggest praise report: I am ALWAYS nervous before singing. There are times when I literally feel as though I'm going to throw up I am so nervous. I had every right to BE nervous this weekend... but I WASN'T!!!!!!!! Not one little bit! There's no explanation for it, except it is the Holy Spirit!
My kids were SO HAPPY! When I picked up the boys from nursery, they were happy and in great moods. Luke was able to tell me everyone in his class (which included Lincoln!), even his teacher's name! Lincoln was flirting with everyone after church.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Episode 4

OK, here we go! Tomorrow is the BIG day - our first service at Sumner Life! We are so excited! We had setup today at the school. It went great! So many people showed up!

I'm not going to write much because I need to get in the bed. I love the people in our church. They are so awesome. God is so good to us! Thank you, Lord!

Until next time...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Episode 3

I feeling a bit raw with my thoughts right now. If this was a TV show, it would be one of those "Moment of Truth Lifetime Movies". Speaking of which - I'm not really a fan (who is, right?) of Lifetime movies... or any other made for TV movie for that matter. But, why is it that I get hooked if I somehow land on that channel? Hooked as in rubbernecking to see a train wreck. It ain't pretty, but you just can't stop watching.

Since we got Satellite, I hardly ever see anything I don't INTEND to see. The reason for that is the "Guide display" through our satellite. I can see a list of channels and what's on, what year it came out, who's in it, how long it's gonna last, etc. without actually going to a particular station. I love it - you waste far less time this way. You surf less, if you will.

Today, however, I found myself longing to curl up in a blanket on my bed and tune into a cheesy Lifetime Movie and not have to use a single brain cell in the process. We're starting a church instead, ha ha! Scary that I could be feeling so burnt out (if that's what this was) before we even have our first Sunday am service. I'm just tired.

Let's see... I had a great day with the kids today. Life has definitely turned a corner for us! Luke is semi-potty-trained, and Lincoln is walking more each day. It's just downright fun! Abbey and I have done a lot of cuddling and watching fun stuff on TV lately. She is really amazing. It's hard to have a conversation with her without your jaw dropping to the floor from something she said.

I'd like to talk about Abbey for a minute. I've caught myself being rather hard on her lately. I think it's a habit... because she's a girl, I want her to be tough. Well, let me rephrase that. Subconsciously, I want her to be tough. But really, do I? Anyway, I've tried to make an effort to just laugh at her when she does something funny, instead of correcting her. She's an amazing person. I love her so much. We are buds.

Luke is cracking me up lately. He has changed his personality like you wouldn't believe. Not that he hasn't always had a great one - don't get me wrong! He's always been a stinker. But, he has come out of his shell, and has started dancing, singing, cracking jokes, and just being REALLY cool.

Lincoln is in a class by himself. I'm trying really hard not to spoil him... but I don't know how good of a job I'm doing. He's downright irresistable.

Side note: Chris and Brandi Exley adopted their China baby a few days ago. They are keeping a web-journal. I'm hooked. I'm telling you this right now - I didn't expect that baby to be so beautiful! She is just breathtaking! I'm in love with her! They named her Melia. I keep going back to their website and just looking at her. Aaron got all nervous that I was going to want to adopt one. Nah! I'm open to adopting... but I don't want to have to go through all the international red-tape. Now, if the Lord wants us to, then that's another story.

Ok, this episode is drawing to a close. Aaron needs the computer and I don't feel like going down to the playroom to write more from my computer.

Until next time...


Episode 2

Hello again! This has been a weird week. My writing will probably not be very comical or interesting... and could possibly not even make sense at this point!

We're counting down to Sunday! Our first-ever Sunday service as Sumner Life is right around the corner. Yay! I can't wait to get it under our belt.

Wednesday, I woke up with a horrible headache. I mean horrible! Within 30 minutes of getting out of bed, it had turned into a full-fledge Migraine. Yuck! Taking care of kids is hard enough (though rewarding and great!), but taking care of kids while managing a migraine headache is... well, impossible! I know Aaron wanted to just run from the house screaming. This week is stressful enough without me getting taken out of the ballgame. To make matters worse, we were to have a prayer meeting at the Barriero's house... and they called to say the youngest daughter, 9 yr old Anna, was in the hospital with dehydration. Well, they stuck it to the devil and let us have our prayer meeting there anyway! And it was AWESOME! I love the people of our church. They rock!

Today was funny. I'm so used to Lincoln waking me up at 7:20 (like clockwork) every morning. I take him a bottle, and while he drinks it in his crib, I get ready... then get everyone else ready for the day. Well, this morning, he woke up at 6:00am (!!!!) to take his bottle and fell back asleep. At 8:20, I woke up frantic! Abbey had to be at school at 9am. Usually, I throw the boys in the van in their pj's and we come back home and get ready if we have to go somewhere. Today, however, we had to go straight from dropping Abbey off to somewhere else. Lincoln would've slept the day away, I suppose! So, I jumped out of bed and coaxed Abbey awake. She wasn't too thrilled with the idea of getting up and going to school for some reason. By time I got all 4 of us ready and downstairs, she was already late for school. I hadn't made her lunch.

We took Abbey to school, and then I drove back home to make her lunch. I grabbed the boy's clothes so I could get them ready at our next destination. Also, I threw a bunch of toys I was donating to the new church in the trunk of the van. We took Abbey her lunch at school (she was having a blast), then drove to Gallatin to Cheryl Linz's house. There, we met up with Cheryl and Linda, who were already cleaning nursery toys like crazy. Go, girls! ;-) They are awesome! Lincoln had pooped, so I had to not only change his clothes out of pj's, but also diaper him. Fun. The boys had a blast playing in Cheryl's driveway while we all pulled out toys and cleaned them. I noticed Lincoln was getting sleepy and so I told the ladies I was gonna have to scoot, since I had 2 other errands to run.

Next, Luke pooped so I stopped by the house to change his pull-up Oh, Luke is pretty much potty-trained.. but since we were running errands, I put him in a pull-up. From there, we went to Family Bookstore to listen to worship cd's. The whole time, Luke was begging me to take him to the grocery store to ride the race car shopping carts. Sorry, bud - worship cd's are first priority!

We got to Family, and the boys were showing signs of crankiness. I found about 15 cd's I really wanted to listen to... but couldn't figure out how on earth I was gonna manage hearing them and keeping the boys happy. The Veggietales TV corner was on the other side of the store. So, I enlisted the help of the assistant manager. He went completely out of his way to move the cd player to the back of the store where the Veggietales DVD was playing. He also grabbed me a chair so I could sit and listen to the cd's while the boys watched the video and played. THANK YOU, kind sir!!!! This was a huge help!

The boys were excellent while I picked out music. After being there almost 2 hours, I settled on 4 cd's a DVD, and a book. I did good!

Lincoln had not had a nap yet! And it was 1:45 and I had to pick up Abbey and Madison by 2pm at school! YIkes! We got to the school and got the girls. Lincoln fell asleep in the van.. but once we got home, he woke up. I tried putting him to bed, but he could hear the kids playing and wanted to join in!

Side note - Luke has been a singing, dancing machine lately!!!!!! He is a riot!

Tonight, Aaron took Madison and our kids to the Cornerstone leadership dinner while I went to Worship Band Rehearsal. Poor Aaron... he said Luke SCREAMED the entire way to the church, because Maddy was sitting in his carseat while he sat in the built-in one. He is a man of convictions!

Ok, I am really tired and this blog probably doesn't even make sense. I love my family. I jsut want them to know that!

Til next time!

Beth (written after midnight... but still considered Thursday night because I'm still awake)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Episode One

Life for the Allison household has just embarked on a new adventure. I thought it would be fitting to document this new beginning by starting my very own BLOG! Aaron get's his weekly rant on the Sumner Life website... so I think I'll follow suit and do my own thing here.

Some people say the Allison family house is kinda like stepping into a TV sitcom. Most of the time, thats pretty accurate. We have our share of DRAMA... but somehow we have a knack for turning even the scariest and saddest moments into laughter and slapstick. 3 kids in 3.5 years, with a healthy dose of God's unending grace will do that to ya! Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

So, to begin this saga, I'll just quickly jot down some important things that are going on right now:
  • Sunday, Feb 20th, we will have our first service for Sumner Life! This is a church that Aaron will pastor, planted by the TN Assemblies of God and Cornerstone.
  • We have about 50 people from Cornerstone coming with us! Yeehaw!
  • This past Sunday, we said goodbye to Cornerstone (Aaron preached an awesome message). At the end of service, everyone going with us came onstage and was prayed over. While Pastor Davis was praying, Luke turned his back on the congregation, stuck his ARM down his pull-up, and proceeded to scratch his bottom! When Pastor concluded his prayer, he turned around and said "Luke, give me 5!"... which Luke did - with the hand he had just scratched his butt with! The youth group cracked up!
  • Last Tuesday, Lincoln had surgery to repair a hernia (where his g-tube had been). The surgery was minor compared to everything else he's been through... but it's never pleasant. He did really good!
  • The day after his surgery, Lincoln began running a temp of 103. Turns out his eardrum had ruptured, and he had an URI. Luke had a bi-lateral ear infection as well. Everyone is feeling better now!
  • Abbey recently tested to be accepted into the Magnet school near our house. We will find out in a few weeks how she did, but we're not too worried about it. 200 kids tested for 40 available spots. We know she's smart... we don't need anyone to tell us that! [side note: Abbey tested high enough to get into the Magnet school, but was not chosen in the lottery - her name was drawn 14th out of 16 on the waiting list. We took this as God's will that she was not supposed to go there.)

That's about all I have time for right now. I'm sure I'll write more at a later time. This week will be SOOO busy getting things ready for the first service on Sunday.

Until then...

Beth & gang