Long over due for an update...Wes has been busy living life. As I sat in the audience watching him in his little cap and gown singing of how he is ready for first grade, I realized all this time we have been living life he has overcome and made known so many unknowns that I once feared. The nights he crawled into my lap to read to me, the days he recited, "Short neck, tummy fat, Number 5 wears a hat" or shared the sweet note he wrote to his girl friend and when I asked who was in the drawing on the back he replied, "me, Olivia, and our baby", the school Thanksgiving lunch he stood to tell everyone he is Thankful for his mommy, daddy, and brothers:)... There were challenges and obstacles that other 5 years old do not have to face, but he did with the strength and determination I have come to expect of Wes.
Yes things I wondered and worried would not happen or times I feared would not come for him, he had accomplished. Pre K, then Kindergarten, and on to 1st grade. In many ways he is a typical 6 year old boy, he would rather be home playing in the playroom or watching a movie or swimming or simply doing what he wants when he wants to. Sometimes he does so well we forget the obstacles he is overcoming daily.
Medical recap: we saw the team in Seattle and a doctor in Texas. I was a bit reserved about the doc in Texas because he felt there was no concern with Wes' palate which is definitely affecting his speech and we did not see a full team. The team in Seattle was impressive and had a comprehensive plan. As with any surgery this is a huge decision. I have read of and spoke to a mom who lived the unimaginable risk that are briefly reviewed as if it never happens or at least not with your child. The risk that leaves an overwhelming fear in your heart and mind as you wait and pray for the doctor to tell you of a successful surgery and then watch and support your baby through a painful recovery. The team in Seattle recommended that we see the team at Boston and CHOP before making a final decision. The distance is a major concern with the type of surgery Wes needs. Wes has an appointment in Boston in September and an appointment in Philidelphia in October. We have to make some decisions and move forward with a plan for Wes.
Adjusting to big changes...
Welcome to the world and the Taranto family Cooper Scout, May 12, 2012 at 8lbs 3oz. Wes has gotten down being a little brother, now he is mastering being a big brother. Of course a sweet big brother who loves to sing and play with Cooper, sometimes like he is Wes personal little bendable super figure. Bam is the snuggling big brother, always holding him and the sweetest baby talk for Cooper. Chase is the pleasant poker, tickling his stomach and giving him that Chase dry humor that Cooper seems to enjoy. All three big brothers steeping up and definitely inline for a father's day gift next year, especially being the men of the house.
Cooper, did not come to the world without medical concerns. During one of my ultrasound with the perinantologist, we found that his right kidney was enlarged, but hoped that this would subside as he grew. Instead it increased a significant amount and he now needs 3 additional scans next week at Sacred Heart in Pensacola with a pediatric urologist.
Yes another adjustment in the Taranto house. Daddy is not there in the mornings when the boys get up to make Wes‘ favorite, Waffles, or at night to crawl up in the recliner with for some cuddle time...Daddy time now is a phone call or skype or adding something special to a care package. It is going to be a long 9 months, but we are staying busy and counting down the months and weeks. We are one month down today.
Anyone who has ever gone through a deployment knows it is so much more than the length of the actual deployment. We have been preparing and dealing with this long before he loaded on that plane, 6 months spent dismissing reality, 6 months tearfully denying and begging against reality, tearful see ya later, 6 weeks alone with away for training for Joey and training at home, 4 boys facing reality, reunion for a few day, then another tearful see ya later, all leading up to 9 months living in fear and then who knows how long adjusting to life on the other side.
Wes is g-tube free. As much as you may think of this as an exciting event, it took
some adjusting for Wes. As long as he could remember it has been there, when he did not want to or could not eat or when he did not want to take or taste his medicine. It was not in the way and trust me did not stop or slow him down from anything. He knew how to maneuver around that thing like a pro. Shortly after it coming out in bed, he got a stomach bug and it was missed. It has been there through viruses and illness and helped him avoid IV's many times, but not this time. He missed the first 3 days of school and was very sick for over a week. After 6 attempts to get an IV, we missed that g-tube dearly. He is well now and enjoying school as much as any boy. Haha! He likes weekends and loves days off, even starting to listen to the news for the hope of a hurricane day with his brothers already.
There is this empty house that we pass on the way to school that used to make us all smile, but at the summer end we said good bye to our buddies. Guess some trips to Tallahassee are in our future.
Yes, big adjustments at the Taranto house, so what do we decide to do, stay busy. Before Joey left for training and Cooper joined we packed in lots of family time and fun. A trip to Universal Studios and Island's of Adventure and stayed at Wes' dream luxury hotel Nickelodeon Studios, haha. This summer I have tried to keep the boys busy and moving, not slowing down enough to really think about our adjusting life during daddy's deployment. We started the summer with lots of swimming, beach some, but mostly pool time with buddy's, then trips, to Nova's Bar Mitzvah in Crystal River, Uncle Johnny's retirement party in Pensacola, birthday stay on Panama City Beach, which included Wes' first meal at Hooter's (Brandon's birthday request), a week in Crestview with Joey before he left for Texas for his final in country training, and of course the best trip of the summer to El Paso. Not because it is this wonderful magical place, but we got to spend a few days with Joey before his flight to Afghanistan. First flight for Wes that was not tied to some medical visit. Actually flying for pleasure, who does that. It was such a bitter sweet visit. Saying "see you later" so many times really wears a person down. There was not a dry eye in the van as we drove away from Fort Bliss and our countdown to homecoming began.
So here we are celebrating one month down and dreading many more to come all the while trying to balance life full of changes.