Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making Memories at the Park

Andrew's job often has him working on Saturdays.  He went to work today only to find out that someone else was working instead.  Andrew was supposed to cover for this person, but it worked out so that he didn't have to.  He got an unexpected Saturday off!  After Danielle woke up from her morning nap, we enjoyed some time at the park as a family.  I get to take the kids by myself quite a bit on days that I'm not working, but it was so nice to go altogether.  Danielle loved playing in the mulch and swinging.  Peter found a really long weed that he wadded up and put in a plastic cup.  He put the cup in the tunnel, and every time someone got close to it (namely Danielle), he would yell, "Don't get my weed!!"  I think I may soon need to teach my son to "Say No to Drugs!" 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Waco Zoo with the Nolens!!

Rebecca and I have spent MLK Day together for the past few years. 

2009 - Austin Zoo
2010 - Scott and White Hospital
2011 - Waco Zoo

Rebecca's family has a Houston Zoo membership, and we were SO BLESSED to have been added to it this year!  The Waco Zoo is free for members of the Houston Zoo, so we were excited to try it out. 

It was a bit chilly, but that meant that the zoo was relatively empty.  Peter had the best time running around with Sydney and looking at all of the animals.  They stopped at each exhibit to observe the animals, trees, waterfalls, and other scenery. 

We saw rhinos, bison, and dik diks . . .

. . . but Peter's favorite exhibit by far was the lions.  He was SO excited when he heard them roaring, but he was even more excited when one came almost close enough to touch - well, except for the safety glass in between!!  The lion was licking his lips as he watched the children - I wonder what he was thinking!!

Danielle did a great job hanging out in the stroller and looking at the various animals as we visited each exhibit.  Even without her morning nap, she was such a good sport!!

There were a few indoor exhibits that allowed her to get out of the stroller and crawl around.  Danielle loved looking at the snakes, and she and Sydney enjoyed discussing the fish.

As Peter and Sydney walked from exhibit to exhibit, they collected a few sticks along the way.  The sticks came in handy when they came across these teepees!  The collected sticks became a "fire" inside to help everyone stay warm!

Toward the end of our visit we came across one of the neatest exhibits - the otters!  It was set up with a clear slide going through the water.  As the kids slid down the slide, the otters swam around in the water.  It was the perfect place to take a break, feed the kiddos, and take a group picture.  The picture took quite a bit of bribery (seems like juice boxes are very exciting after walking around the zoo for a couple of hours!), but we finally got all of the kids looking at us.

Danielle was starting to get cold by this point, so we moved on to the last activity - the playground!  While the big kids ran around and got out the last of their energy, Danielle and I enjoyed some bonding time.  I had intended to return this wrap to Rebecca because I didn't need it anymore, but it got one last use first!  I still have my original Moby Wrap at home, so I think I'll try it a few more times before Danielle decides she's done cuddling!  She enjoyed it so much that she soon fell fast asleep.  :)

We had a fabulous day at the zoo with our friends . . .

I wonder what our 4th Annual MLK Celebration will be like! :)

***Thanks to my friend Leah for loaning me the double stroller!!  The kids were starting to kick each other in the other double stroller I had borrowed, but they really enjoy sitting next to each other.  Thanks Leah!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Last Day on the Vent - A Year Ago Today...

January 17, 2010 - my last day on the ventilator.  It was the only day that I actually remember being on the vent, and it was TERRIFYING!  I blogged about it last year - -
but it was more about the facts and less about the feelings.  I'm learning now that it's important to talk about the feelings and emotions surrounding situations because they are important. 

On Friday, January 15, the hospital chaplain asked the doctors how I was doing.  She was told it still could go either way - I basically had a 50/50 chance of survival.

On Saturday, January 16, doctors noticed the first signs of progress that my lungs were beginning to heal.

On Sunday, January 17, the sedation was lowered enough for me to "come to" some and actually have memories of that day.  I still couldn't communicate, so that was so scary for me.  I wanted to know what in the world was going on, but I couldn't ask.  Andrew and my mom tried to get me to point to letters to spell out words, but that was too difficult for me.  I was seeing the letters in double, so every time I pointed to one, it wasn't really the letter I wanted.  It was so frustrating.  I felt totally trapped in my body - unable to speak and unable to move. 

I remember them suctioning out the ventilator when some part of it would have mucous in it.  I remember being so thirsty.  I finally got them to understand that I was asking for water, but I had no idea that I really couldn't drink it. 

Someone told my mom and Andrew that I could have water from a sponge dipped in ice water.  It may not have been much, but it was the first taste of anything I'd had in my mouth in nearly 2 weeks!  I remember thinking that I knew at that moment how Jesus felt when he was hanging on the cross and asked for a drink.  They raised a sponge filled with vinegar, I think, to him. At least mine was water, but it was still being put to my mouth for me.  I think my mom and Andrew spent a lot of time that day dipping the sponge in water and putting it in my mouth.

I didn't realize that I was on a special bed, so I thought that cell phones were constantly vibrating.  It was really the bed inflating and deflating to keep me moving in certain ways, but I didn't know.  I tried to tell them to turn off the phones, but again, no way to communicate.

I felt sheer terror that day as I realized for the first time just how sick I had been.  It was terrifying, but I had no way to tell anyone how I was feeling.  The last thing I remember from that day was being so scared to go to sleep that night.  I was so afraid that I would never wake up again.  I knew just enough about my condition to worry that I might fall asleep on this earth and wake up in Heaven.  I'm pretty sure that was the night that Andrew and Rebecca stayed in the room until well midnight rubbing my head to help me fall asleep.  Not knowing what tomorrow will bring makes it very difficult to fall asleep...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just Like Nana...

Dear Nana,

I LOVE Oreos . . . almost as much as you!!  Want to share some with me next time?


It could have been me...

Our church held a funeral today for an 11-year-old boy who lost his battle with cancer less than a year after being diagnosed. I didn't know the family, but I offered to make dessert for the family luncheon that was held after the grave-side service. As has happened often over the last year, I felt very anxious driving to the church. I am at a point now where driving to church on Sundays does not cause anxiety, but today was different. I saw the hurse and police escorts as I pulled into the parking lot. My heartrate increased, and I felt the familiar start of an anxiety attack starting.

It could have been me.

A year ago, this could have been my funeral.

A year ago, people could have been providing lunch for my family after my funeral.

It could have been me.

But it wasn't. For reasons that we will never know, God chose to take Nathan at the age of 11. He had fulfilled his purpose on this earth, and God took him home.

For reasons that I may never know, God chose to heal me. God chose to leave me on this earth to fulfill a purpose that he has specifically for me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Beginning

Welcome to the new Hazen family blog!!  After the events of 2010, I am definitely ready for a fresh start.  I have so many goals for this year as I seek to become the wife, mother, and friend that God created me to be.  I pray that this blog becomes a place to share with you how God is working in our family.  Even during our deepest suffering, God has been faithful to us.  God has provided in ways we never could have imagined.  It's taken me a while to say this again, but GOD IS GOOD.  Check back often, and get ready to make some memories with us!!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!