This week was the much anticipated Fall Break! We were very much looking forward to this week as a family and couldn’t wait to get some things marked off the to-do list. But in true Carroll fashion for each item we marked off we added two more leading to one jam packed week.
And let’s talk about Malachi…that boy NEEDS school. He was bored out of his mind this week simply hanging out with mom and dad. Although he did love having daddy home all day every day.
So now for a brief run down of the week…
We met with subcontractors almost every day attempting to put the final touches on the house. We broke down boxes until our fingers hurt, spread grass seed and straw, cleaned, organized, hung pictures, ran to Lowe’s too many times to count, and jam packed our days hoping to gain some ground!
Malachi is a lover of all things routine and has managed to create one for the new house. He wakes up every single morning between 3:00-3:15, regardless of the time he lays down for bed. He will stay up for a spell then sleep for another 1.5 hours like clockwork. My goal this week is to modify that routine a bit but that is easier said than done when dealing with the brain of a four year old. Game on.
Tuesday was a big day for us as we tackled appointments. We started out early that morning in Chattanooga at the neurologist for a routine check-up. Nothing too exciting to report…more of just an obligatory appointment to get updated prescriptions for his seizure medications. Jake joined us, which was a pleasant change.
We had been saving a gift card to a nice restaurant in Chattanooga and we thought it would be a perfect day to have a date day and use it! After all, with Levi’s arrival most of our public appearances will come to a screeching halt. After a nice family lunch we raced to Cleveland to see my OB for a checkup. My blood pressure still looks great and Levi’s heart rate is wonderfully average. Oh, how that word has taken on new meaning for our family. We will have a high risk appointment this week and get to see his handsome face again.
Wednesday we tackled the basement and managed to make it look like a room. We had the youth group over that evening and we wanted them to have a place to hang out in the house if they weren’t interested in the bonfire. It was so refreshing to be able to prepare snacks in my new kitchen! Malachi also got to have some friends over to play and loved sharing his new toy room with them.
Before and After the basement cleanup
The laundry room (with corner diaper chute) and the office
Thursday we started the process of rolling our construction loan into a mortgage. We figured we needed to accomplish as much of the process as possible prior to Levi’s birth, and since we are hoarding Jake’s time off for maternity leave we thought it would be a good week for the initial meetings and paperwork. Building this house has been such a wonderful opportunity for our family and we are so extremely grateful for the opened doors God has provided. But we will be overjoyed to have the construction process completely behind us!
Friday was our designated “breath” day. We stayed in most of the day and played, played, played. But Malachi quickly reminded me that his little body and brain need more than just being home all day so Saturday we had a mommy and Malachi day out. We went to Target where he got to pick out a toy, ate a pancake with mom at Cracker Barrel, and found ourselves in Lowe’s yet again. He loved every minute of it! That boy is always up for an adventure.
Here is a video of him playing on his therapy swing. I want to point out his amazing head control and his ability to respond verbally!
The soccer team that we coach is absolutely amazing this year. The girls continue to impress us game after game- something that we would love to take credit for but can’t. They are just a very talented group of girls. Our regular season has ended but the girls won all of their district tournament games making them District Champions! Amazing! The games will continue through this week and next until they lose or (best case scenario) win the State Championship. I am still doing my best to coach and remain stress free at the same time. It does, however, require me to look away from the game frequently haha.
We did our best to keep Malachi engaged this week in between all of the errand running and chaos. But I think we failed haha. He is just too social for a week at home with his parents. This morning at church was the wildest that he has ever been- he was practically jumping out of our arms and belting the songs out as loud as his little lungs would allow. Everyone he meets is now a potential friend and he gets giddy when strangers say hello. He is also actively seeking attention from strangers and succeeding so we make a lot of new friends these days.
We finally got his wheelchair stroller all hooked up to accommodate Levi’s car seat- thank you special needs mommas! Malachi thought it was funny to have Elmo in there. He also got to go on some walks with daddy and Boomer this week on our new road.
He is still completely fascinated and in love with our new house. His new big boy shower is his favorite and we spent time in there this week just letting him play in the water. He giggles each time he gets sprayed and it has been such a huge blessing to be able to help him enjoy his bath time again. With momma unable to bend down, bath time was becoming a rare thing and when it did happen it was rushed and boring.
Jake had the opportunity to preach this morning at church. As he prepared his sermon this week he practiced it on Malachi and I. I guess Jake’s “preacher” voice is a little too serious and Malachi was not a fan at all of the change in his inflection. Bless his little sensitive heart. He thought Jake was mad at him, which obviously mortified Jake and led to some father son bonding time.
Today was an extra special day as some friends from church decided to throw us a baby shower. They had asked several weeks back about hosting one and I reassured them that it wasn’t necessary as we had kept everything (and I mean everything…hence the crazy basement picture) from Malachi. They decided to throw one anyway and instructed all the guests to bring diapers, wipes, or a gift card.
The shower looked like it came straight out of a magazine and we were blown away by the generosity of our church family. We are now feeling even more prepared than ever with nearly 15 packs of diapers, 20 packs of baby wipes, and gift cards to fill in the gaps.
It felt so strange to be at a baby shower for our baby. Malachi had an amazing one that we came home from the NICU for one Saturday. It was an absolute blessing as we were very unprepared to bring him home from the hospital. But today’s felt oddly different as I was actually pregnant with the child we were celebrating.
The nearer we draw to Levi’s birthday the more sentimental I find myself becoming. I decided this weekend that I needed to go ahead and pack my hospital bag just in case, and it surprised me to find that the act of packing that bag is a “trigger”. It keeps taking me back to the night Malachi was born and how completely unprepared I was.
I keep getting flooded with those emotions I experienced in the hospital- embarrassment mostly- that I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know about breast pumps and nursing bras. I didn’t know about c-sections and the changes my body would go through post-op. I am a planner by nature, yet I was completely ignorant…I just didn’t have enough time to prepare!
As I think about the next few weeks I find myself getting more and more anxious. I am already having flashbacks to the last time I was in the operating room. I remember stretching my arms out, crossing my legs like they told me to, and watching a woman over me holding a scalpel frantically asking “Can I cut?”
Those minutes were some of the worst memories I have. And as hard as I try, my mind won’t allow me to forget the fear and dread of the unknown in that moment.
I want to look forward to the moment I will get to meet Levi and hold him close to me, but my mind and heart keep cautiously warning me to not think about such things….almost as if anticipating the worst will protect me from more disappointment. It is so hard to put these feelings into words for you.
I have had to focus intently on scriptures this week to help combat these crazy and intense emotions floating through me. Here is one I keep reciting to myself…
3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”
I can remind myself of this verse every three minutes, yet I still find myself in moments of doubt. The devil is good at his job and takes it very seriously!
But I must find comfort and hope in the fact that God’s will MUST prevail. God has a plan for Levi’s life…even down to the details surrounding his birth. So as hard as it may be, my job is to continue to trust that God’s ways are greater than my own.
So the hospital bag has been packed. The plans are in place, and we are going to continue to believe that we will have a problem free delivery. We are going to believe in some normalcy….beautifully pure normalcy.
This week we will be juggling some biggies….Malachi’s IEP meeting is tomorrow and his make-up school pictures are also this week. He could not be more excited to go to school in the morning and has been doing his happy dance all day when we talk about tomorrow. He will also pick back up with his horse therapy making the day an extra special one. Jake is also just as excited to go back to school. He says that staying home is WAY more work haha! Preach it!
Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we inch closer and closer to a new life transition. Pray that God continues to provide us with the wisdom we need to raise Malachi.
May God bless you,
Jake, Leah, Malachi, and baby Levi