What's Going Down

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hopefully, My Final Word on this Subject

Today, Lucas took a swim test at the YMCA. If he passed, he would earn a Green Band. The green band enables them to swim wherever they want (in whatever depth) without me having to be with him. The test is that he has to swim 25 yards (the length of the pool) without touching the bottom or lane lines.

He did it! I wasn't worried. He has been swimming that distance all week. Multiple times. Back and forth.
Pretty good for a kid that drowned less than 2 months ago. The other kids are little fishes too. Libby isn't quite green band material, but she'll be taking a couple more rounds of swim lessons this fall. We aren't done.
School starts on Monday. Lucas will be starting Kindergarten. I don't wonder what his answer will be when asked what he did with his summer vacation. The answer is Swim.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


My word, these kids are cute! Libby doesn't actually like cuddling while she sleeps (much like her mother). But Lucas would be completely content to just sleep right ON TOP of you. And all night long. Don't bother trying to slip out, either. He'll find you. And smother you with his "love."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moving On Up

 Did I mention Abbie's starting MIDDLE SCHOOL in a couple of weeks?
We're over here taking deep cleansing breaths. And buying bras. And deoderant. And scraping pennies together for braces, and reminding her to wear her glasses. Sheesh. I keep hoping she'll get more unfortunate looking so the boys won't pay her any attention until she's 23. No luck yet. She'll be starting band soon, so at least there's that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Theme Parks Look Like with Five Kids

We took the kids to Universal (for free, thank you employer) back in April. This is largely how we spent our day: eating junkfood and waiting. Riveting.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's a Drive By

We're back to business as usual around these parts. The business of summer. Which means lots of swimming (no drowning allowed) and popsicles. 

School starts in just under one month and there is still a ton of stuff we want to cram in. Better get my act in gear. 

Some pictures:
Surprise. We adopted a dog. She's the sweetest little who-cares-what-breed dog who tolerates our children exceedingly well. We renamed her Mimi. Who names a dog Khloe anyway?
 Group shot.  Both of these pictures are from March...that's why my children look cold. It was probably even 60 degrees outside. Brrr.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Where Do We Go From Here?

I think I've decided to keep blogging. I know I hadn't posted in six months. I'm not going to apologize. My heart just wasn't in it.

Even if no one reads here, I'm okay with this. I need this for me. So, I'll post when I feel like it, and won't when I don't.

Today is for picture sharing. I finally downloaded pictures from my camera, which hasn't been done since November 2012. I'm only going to share the most recent stuff right now and maybe I'll come back to some of the older stuff... maybe.

The husband decided to join me in my Triathlon Fun. So, we've already done three races this season and we have at least three more scheduled. He's a machine. It's so awesome to ride or run or swim together during training! Best. Date. Ever.

 Just a current picture of all of us. This particular picture was taken at the Orlando Florida LDS Temple. I have big hair.

 Another picture of us. Please remind me that Abbie is now too tall to stand in front of me in pictures. Curses!
 Picture of Lucas taken four days after he nearly drowned. He is obviously in perfect health.
 I have taken the kids to the pool almost every day since we got home. It makes my mother-heart hurt but it must be done. I refuse to allow my children to have fear rule their actions. All three of the younger kids are enrolled in private swim lessons. They will learn to swim, damnit!
Ha! And then there's this girl. What a perfect little nerd! ZOMG.
And finally, a video to put your mind at ease (if that's even possible).

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Full Report

Where do I start?

Last week, we stayed at the Marriott Sabal Palms Resort in Orlando with my husband's entire family for a family reunion. On Friday morning, the women of our group decided to go shopping at the Outlet Malls while the men would take the kids swimming at the resort pool. We left around 10:30am. 

At about 11:20 I received a phone call from by brother in law, Marshall. He very calmly said (something along the lines of), "Alissa? There has been an incident at the pool. Lucas went under water. He is not breathing. There are emergency people here working on him right now." We immediately took off for the car. I had handed my phone to one of the other women as I hyperventilated my way through the maze of an outlet mall. Before we could even reach the car (maybe three minutes later), Marshall called my phone back and relayed the message that they were able to get Lucas breathing again. I immediately dropped to my knees in the middle of the mall. I was not okay. 

We got the information that Lucas was being taken by ambulance to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital with Matt. We got in the car and took off for that hospital. As soon as I arrived I noticed Matt getting there at the same time. I ran to catch up with him. As it turned out, Matt had run into our hotel room to get his wallet and the ambulance had taken off without him. Which was fine. Fix my baby. The resort had immediately offered a towncar to take Matthew to the hospital. The wrong hospital. The ambulance had taken Lucas to Celebration Hospital. Both my ride and Matt's had dropped us off and left. So, we were stranded at the wrong hospital. I was able to get ahold of our car and had them turn around and come back. 

Finally, we arrived at the hospital. As soon as we did, they took us to Lucas. He was sleeping. I walked over to him and fussed and rubbed him for a moment and called his name. He woke, opened his eyes and started crying for a second and then went back to sleep. Within a couple of minutes, my husband and his brother, David were able to give Lucas a Priesthood Blessing. They placed an NG tube up his nose and down his throat into his stomach to remove the contents of his stomach. He had swallowed a lot of water. He started screaming. These are good things. He cried for about twenty minutes saying over and over, "Take it out of my throat, you're hurting me, please!" I am told that the fact he was talking so quickly after was a VERY GOOD SIGN.

From there, we were transferred (again, by ambulance) to the Florida Hospital for Children (Walt Disney Pavilion) Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Best hospital ever. By about 5pm Lucas was waking up enough to request a movie (and food which he wasn't allowed to have) and by 9pm, they had removed the NG tube and was allowed some apple juice. All miracles. 

The next morning they took him off of oxygen and he was on room air only. Around 10am they allowed him to have a bowl of Fruit Loops. By 11am, we were cleared to go home. We left the hospital at 1:05pm. About 25 hours after it all started. 

We don't know how long Lucas was underwater for or for exactly how long he had not been breathing. The doctors estimate that it could not have been more than a minute or two (too long in my opinion, obviously). My husband was at the other end of the pool when it happened. He was swimming with one of our other children. Lucas is a very adventurous kid and had been practicing underwater swimming in an area of the pool that was three feet deep. Where he could touch. He does not know how to swim by himself. He wears a floating device when we go to the pool. He had been wearing it, and took it off. My husband told him several times to put it back on, but Lucas is Lucas.

Lucas doesn't remember much about the incident. What he has said was that he was jumping up and down in the water. We think he just wandered into an area that was above his head (he's not very tall). 

Lucas was pulled from the water by Dr. Robert Kazim and his sister Dr. Debra Kazim who just happened to be 1.Staying at our resort 2. At the pool at that moment. Dr. Robert is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist. His sister is also an anesthesiologist. I am told if you want anyone in the entire hospital doing CPR on your kid, it's a ped anesth. My pediatrician started crying tears of joy when she heard. The Drs immediately started CPR on Lucas. Chest compressions, breathing, everything. They saved his life. It is estimated they did CPR for about 5 minutes when Lucas started breathing again on his own. 

I am also told that of the adults at the pool that day, over half of them were Physicians. 
My son has a host of guardian angels watching over him. Our Heavenly Father has just made it abundantly clear that my son is a very important person and that He has something special in store for him. 

I know that a lot of you who will read this are not of my faith (Latter-day Saint - Mormon) but I need to take this opportunity to bear testimony.

I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I feel of His love every single time I look at my son. I know that He has brought my son back to me for a reason. I know that I need to be doing a better job as Lucas and ALL of my children's mother. It has been made clear to me that other things in this life are not important. Nothing is as important as these little people we are raising. I know that my greatest joy in this life and the next will come from my family and I need to be making a greater concerted effort to make them my first priority. Things don't matter. Money is unimportant. Fame, fortune: irrelevant. 

I also know that the Lord has given me the amazing gift of seeing the way His hand is working in my life. I am so grateful. I have never felt more loved. When I look in the mirror, I see myself, but I almost don't recognize myself. I look like a different person. All things in my life will be forever colored by this incident. I see things through the lens of the near-death experience of my son. No one in our family can ever be the same. 

We are different. We are better. And we are working to become people worthy of the blessings that we have ALREADY been given. 

I'm sure there are things I have forgotten, but for me the main point of all this is that MY SON IS ALIVE and GOD IS GOOD!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Little (or a Lot) of Perspective.

Today, my son, Lucas, drowned.

But he is going to be okay.
We are staying at a resort hotel for a family reunion. I was not there. I was shopping. SHOPPING. While my son, quite literally, died.

And then was brought back to life.
In what I know to be the biggest tender mercy from my Heavenly Father, there happened to be 2 pediatricians at the pool at the exact time it happened. They are the ones who discovered him. They pulled him from the pool. Started CPR. These doctors saved my son's life.

My life will never be the same.

Lucas is currently at our local Children's Hospital. He's living it up with all the jello he can manage and every Disney movie at his fingertips. He is going to be okay.

What have I learned?
Things don't matter.
People do.

My husband is an amazing man and I love him so so much.
He is my rock, but sometimes I need to be his rock.

The Lord has big things in store for that little boy.
And for our family.

Nothing you do in life can prepare you for something like this.
And everything is different after.

My son is alive.
God is good.

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