Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas the final edition with maybe one more coming.

Having a 2 year old is kind of a roller coaster, you love them, and then other times well... could we just have some cooperation and quiet. All the same, I have to say I am more into the toddler stage than I was the infant stage, her quirky little personality just tends to keep me laughing all the time.

These are some of the day of Christmas pictures. We cheated a bit and let her open presents as they came, just to try and spread out some of the fun and ease on the hour of present opening that she'd get bored with. We were having a low-key Christmas here, as bed-rest is not exactly budget friendly and combine that with gestational diabetes there just wasn't a lot of the fluff and fancy of Christmas.

That said it was still an amazing time. Kate gets as excited about a new tooth brush as she did other things. Though the cat-piano, microwave, and music player are being used non-stop. I just can't help but feel excited when I watch her do something, because she is so excited. Absolutely contagious positive attitude.

How much would you pay to have that type of joy at all times? To really be excited when you got a new tooth brush in your stocking. To laugh because your dad said silly-billy and then entertain yourself by repeating it for the next 30 minutes. To have minimal expectations or what your day "should" be like, and just enjoy the stability of life around you.

Toddlers aren't perfect. Far from it. They are a lot of work, they require consistency of food, activity and lots of sleep. They tend to get frustrated quickly some days and lack the skills to tell you why. They can really be spectacular though with their live in the moment pure enthusiasm and that is what we could all use on any day. It just makes Christmas shine a bit brighter.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Christmas Fun... what is she thinking?

I give all my neices matching pj's and a book for Christmas, thus why the two bookends are matching. This was actually Christmas Even night, and I am just not sure what she is thinking in this series of photo's.
This one scares me, because I completely see myself in it. Yes, I make weird faces in photos but I never imagined having a child that had such a resemblance to myself. Her personality is a mix and unique, but there are times I look at her or look at a picture and I feel like I am looking at myself.
Now she is finally starting to act a bit more normal, but what is her cousin on the right up to? All I can say is we are in for it with all these girls running around in the coming years!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Fun.

I am going to have to have several installments for Christmas pictures and fun because there was just so much fun (especially for the youngest member of the family). It is typical Western Washington weather and we woke up on Christmas Eve to rain, rain, and more rain. Not a problem, time for the REI rain gear and out we go for some fresh air.

This was a psuedo-present, something we've been talking about doing for awhile and just didn't get around to it until now. For five dollars, we now have a steering wheel in the upper portion of the play fort. It was both a dump truck and a garbage truck and mom's car during this play period of time. Defiantly a happy five dollars spent.

Drive on little lady.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hard Mommy Lessons.

As we know some parts of parenting are harder than others. For me, even though I haven't had my second daughter I already feel the pull between being there for each of them when physically I can only do so much. When I have those big brown eyes with tears, and the 'momma, momma' coming from her pleading voice it truly makes me want to be and do more. I just can't do it all.

Luckily I have only been in the hospital twice thus far for this pregnancy, and neither had a very long stay. This is something that I pray for every night, that I can stay at home for as long as possible if not my entire pregnancy. Bedrest at home is one thing, but to be honest bedrest in the hospital is hell. Last time, I didn't think I would survive (my poor husband barely survived my sobbing phone calls). This time being separated from my daughter would probably break me in two.

That being said, nearly daily I have to do something different and hard for the health of our baby over the happiness of our older daughter. I haven't picked Kate up in so long, and at first she was great about it. Now it has just gotten old for both of us. We go somewhere and there is something to look at, or she has a boo-boo, or she is just tired. You can only comfort kneeling down so much. She has adapted, and has learned how to climb up into my lap, onto the bed and couch and so on. We still both miss it.

She has learned new phrases, which she comforts herself with but break my heart to hear over and over. "Mommy, go rest now", "Mommy go to doctor", "Mommy not feeling good.", "Mommy get shot", and then "Mommy, come back?". She being 2 1/2 repeats these a 100 times for their full effect, and heart breaking quality.

It might be coincidence but, we are going through another period of separation anxiety. We have had it show its ugly head a few times, but you combine it with a hormonal 8 month pregnant woman who is contracting all the time it just gets even uglier. I know the rules, I don't feed into it we keep it simple and no drama. It still breaks my heart. Last weekend if I even went into shower, there was crying and drama from the hallway.

Time after time over the last several months, I have had to choose to go lay down to ease the contractions and keep our new daughter safe while at the same time feel like I am letting down our older daughter. I know that this is a lesson that I am going to have to learn over and over being a mother of two.

Unfortunately like much of motherhood, I just didn't know how hard it would be.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Pregnancy the Longest Race (ever..).

For the last week, every night when I do finally sleep for a bit of time I dream of running. I have had a few dreams of running on trails, combinations of trails that I've been on and those I have only read about. One dream was somewhat a nightmare, where I was doing a track work-out at my current state. From the tight running shorts to trying to waddle my way around the track, I woke up somewhat disturbed. Last night, I was simply running down the sidewalk of where I grew up.

Obviously I miss running. I miss the freedom, and adventure. I miss the time with friends to talk (vent), and just get away for awhile. Oh, to get away from life for a few minutes, that sounds like bliss. I think I really miss believing in my body and myself too. Knowing that I can do it, that my body and inner self is strong enough to at least do what I want it to for an hour or so.

Not to even mention all those great chemicals that are released during the run and post run. Oh, and eating of goodies that don't feel so guilty to indulge in after the run. Instead I have traded those in for hormones (lots of them), and injections of more hormones, little to no activity and thus little to no feel good chemicals and very strict diet that makes me feel sick most of the time. And of a course, unfortunately too I have developed a nice sense lack of trust or respect and appreciate of myself.

There are some similarities to this pregnancy and running though. Not your average going for a quick jog, no my pregnancy could only be compared to a marathon. And for that matter it might even be an ultra-marathon. I have done four marathons, and each time I finish one I am proud, sick, hurting and asking why did I do that? I have not mastered this race by any means, in fact I still feel pretty defeated by them. I would say I feel pretty defeated by pregnancy too.

In the marathon, the first half is hard but, well not that hard. You are pretty excited, anything seems possible, and your are enjoying the view(s). You might even think, geez I don't know what everybody was talking about this is easy. And then you start on the second half, and your legs aren't feeling so fresh anymore and the thoughts are turning to how many more miles do I have to go. There aren't as many water stations around and you feel like you haven't seen friends and family for awhile.

But, you keep going. Cerclage, pain, and bedrest. I'll keep going no problem. I can do this I know I can. 17 more weeks no problem, its just a short period of time really. More pain, more infections, more hospital time. No problem. This isn't going at all how I thought it would but I am still going. I am still going.

Every marathon I have hit what is called the 'WALL'. This is dark time in the race. Defined in running circles describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Some say it can be avoided with proper training, and nutrition during the race. I think this is a bit of bull. I have trained, I have eaten the gu and drank my water. I still hit the wall. For me this is a dark place, I am usually a bit angry (at everything) and I really want to give up. Sometimes I had to walk and cry for a bit, drink my water and eat a gummy bear before I finally start to do it again.

Post wall, the race does not get easy. It continues but, at a typically a slower pace. I start having strange negotiations with myself. If I run to the that lamp post, I can take it easy for a block. I just try to get from one mile to the next, so usually for five more miles. I will remind myself that that is the same distance as some run I do every week. Somehow I waddle on and slowly get to the last mile.

The 'WALL' period of this pregnancy seems to be here. Long and hard. Dark and bleak. The wall was brought on my getting the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. I really had to say you've got to be _______kidding me! Really?!? I have had one bad result, after another, one review of this and review of that. Appointments here and appointments there. No running, no working out, no lifting. No lifting up your daughter. No taking care of your daughter or family. Sitting, sitting, and sitting. No going to work. No seeing friends and family. Disrupted sleep to minimal sleep. Panic in the night. Desperate calls to friends and family to cover child care so you can go to the doctors, hospital or appointment that just came up because of something that happened in the night. Pills, shots, injections. Week after week after week. And now you have something else. Something that requires you to draw blood four to five times a day. A diet that takes away all the holiday goodies, all the last things you held onto to bring a smile to your face (hot chocolate, a cookie). But, really it could be worse.

I know it could be worse. Believe me, I know with every panic attack and nightmare that brings me rushing back on a medical helicopter and standing in a NICU. I know that just still being in the race is a success, and something to be proud of. I don't need anyone to remind me of that, I still look at the scars of IV lines on my daughters hands to remind me of where and what we still could face.

Eventually the miles do end. I have never quit a marathon, though I thought about it in each one. The ending is always a bitter sweet finish of tears, and food and family. A pain in your body that is unique to the race.

I know that this pregnancy will come to an end as well. Unfortunately it is not an ending that I know when is going to happen, though I know it won't be longer than 8 weeks away. For now, I need to just keep working through this wall so that I can keep working my way to the end.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Talker.

I worried about my quiet daughter all the time. She has always been quiet, even as an infant there were lots of smiles but not a big babbler, or chattering sounds. As we hit 2 years old, my concerns were really starting to increase. She had about 10 words, that she would use but not many more than that. I didn't hear 'momma' until about 26 months. I felt that I was constantly surrounded by other 2 year olds that talked and talked.

Of course, I discussed this with about everyone that would listen. We had at least 4 evaluations. They all said the same thing, she was behind verbally but her cognitive (ability to understand, recognize and put into concepts) of words was off the chart. We did not qualify for services, unless she continued to be non-verbal at 2 1/2.

I worried at home, read everything on speach delays. Continued to do everything we could to encourage her to talk. And we waited.
I don't know the day it happened, and really it was over a period of a week. But, one day like so much of the things I have waited for with Kate it just happened. Prior to Thanksgiving, that glorious light bulb came on and the words just started to spill out of her. Everybody had a name and all the objects were being called things. We were requesting foods, we were demanding our needs. Then the sentences started to pour out, some making sense and some not, but a constant stream of words.

She was talking while on the potty, talking while supposedly sleeping, talking in the backseat and on and on. Now we still won't talk at toddler class, and we are pretty quiet with new people and out in public. Then as soon as we get into the car, oh the words just keep coming.
Here is an example of our conversation at dinner last night:
"Kate, what do you want for Christmas?"
"I want pants."
"You want pants for Christmas?"
"Yeah, some pants... giggle, giggle."
"Kate what did you do at school today?" (dad asking)
" Sing songs."
"Sing songs? What songs did you sing?"
"Can you sing for us."
"No, no, no..." then very quietly " jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun in a open horse sleigh"

Now you just have envision two parents that look as if their child just received the Noble Peace Prize. The bliss of worried but finally reached milestones. My little 25 weeker, just doing things in her own special way in her own special time.

When will I ever learn that she will do it in her own time, probably when I am 90 years old.

Addendum: The following day as told to me, she had a large tantrum when the class tried to sing Jingle Bells, which included trying to take other students bells away. Oh, the success and the utter failure that is toddlers.

My Sappy Christmas Tree Story

I know before I even type this that it will be sappy, corny and maybe crazy but tis' the season. This holiday season our household has been a bit out of sorts, everyone is feeling the strain of a crazy pregnancy, unexpected hospital visits and the hopeful but ever changing possible delivery date. Being that I am pretty restricted in activity and energy level, and I am typically the organizer of all holiday in our house its a little bland and off from normal around here.

I also tend to be a bit frantic between times of rest, because I am so worried that something is going to happen and then I won't be there to make a tradition for Kate. So even though I have let go of everything that I feel isn't critical, I will decide the lights need to get up outside and they need to get up now.

And that is exactly how I was about the Christmas tree. I didn't care that it was raining, it was early in December, and my family was not jolly. We were going and we were getting a great tree so that we could then decorate it, and it would be done in case I was put in the hospital anytime soon.

Now to back this story up a bit. I tend to like symbolism, and being that I am somewhat literal I will believe that I am getting signs or good omens. I know I already said this would sound crazy so stick with me if you can. For example, when I was pregnant with Kate everywhere I went I saw cranes. It was ridiculous, I would be at an intersection on a very busy road and there in the middle of the meridian would be a crane. At the time, I didn't know that a crane is a symbol of hope and a symbol of rising out of darkness. I just thought it was weird how they seemed to be everywhere. I thought for a long time it was just a odd coincidence of that time of year, so last year when I wasn't pregnant, I looked for them everywhere. I hardly saw a single one.

Well, this year and this pregnancy has been the year of the nest. Starting last fall I was having Ed do some garden things I couldn't do, and he was cutting down this big vine for me (while I supervised) and when we got it down there was a perfect medium uninhabited nest. It was just perfect, I actually kept it and it is in the garage waiting for spring. Then a month or so later we had a big wind storm and there in the middle of the yard was perfect little nest.

Then there we were in the rain. One hysterical toddler, one tired husband and a pregnant somewhat crazy mother looking for their Christmas tree. We didn't have the energy for this, and I had not dress myself or child properly. We walked a bit into the farm, and there was a great tree not to big not to small and just right, plus not too far from the car. I walked up closer and there on the ground in front of the tree was a perfect nest.

We had found our tree!

This is a little decoration my mom gave me a month or so ago, that is sitting nicely in our tree.