Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

It has been really difficult for me to get any pictures of Evie lately. At least non-blurry, non-cheesy-face photos. She's always moving, hence her nickname "tornado". She's so beautiful but I can't do her justice in pictures. I think it's time to break out the SLR and do some things for Christmas (with Andy's help) because I don't want to forget anything about this special time in our lives - our FIRST Christmas as a family! But first things first - updates!

Evie is doing a lot better with her motor skills. She's starting to feed herself a lot more these days. Her Occupational Therapist says she has all the knowledge of what things are and how to do them, but can't translate it into her movements. She's "locked". We think it's because she has ADHD and has impulsivity issues so when we ask her to draw a circle, she knows what it is, but her hand just wants to go and she ends up scribbling. We're working with her on that. She has so much knowledge, though, that she tested above her age in speech. She knows all her colors and shapes and asks for them by name. She knows a cylinder! How cool is that? She's completely in love with My Little Pony and Frozen, and she LOVES to sing. It's hilarious and adorable. She's become incredibly affectionate and she's always looking for me and talking to me and being amazing. She loves to give me things for her brother, and she gives him kisses all the time. When she wakes up she calls for him "Hi Bwubber!!" and she always wants to touch him. If she thinks he needs a jacket she'll bring it over, or a bib or something. It's so sweet.

Andrew, meanwhile, is growing up so fast. He's started saying "mama" to go along with the "dada" and it melts my heart into a puddle of goopy mess. I get to spend time with Evie every night when he goes to bed, so whenever Andy is home to play with Evie, I try to spend some time with Andrew in his room singing andplaying  and working on skills. I just want him to have some special mommy time as well. He's such a sweet boy. He sleeps all night just about every night. He wakes up happy from every nap and every night. I put him in his crib smiling at night and he puts himself to sleep and wakes up smiling, too. He's crawling and can get to a sitting position on his own now. He's not pulling up but that's mostly because there's so little to pull up on. He pulls up on my shirt, and he tries on his toys, but they aren't stable. When I stand him up at a toy he will try to reach for things and take a step or two. He's not walking or standing on his own, and I get a little nervous about that, but then I remember he wasn't supposed to be born until March, and I wouldn't expect a 9 month old to be walking! But he's spot on for his actual age for most things. He's eating some little solid foods like puffs and teething biscuits. He doesn't like the texture of things like banana so we're just trying every day until he gets used to it.

Since this year is our first year as a complete family, I got them a ton of stuff for Christmas. I can't wait until Christmas morning with both our babies. We're doing Santa, and Evie is starting to catch on that Santa brings her toys, so she gets super excited about Santa and Christmas. It's just such an amazing time for family and togetherness and celebrating our faith. I feel so blessed, especially now, to have my sweet little ones, and the ability to provide a Christmas for them. To have a church I really like to take them to, and so many people who love them to celebrate with us. It's a nice time of year. Buuuut I still can't wait for the weekend.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Holiday Ramble

As Christmas approaches, I'm finding myself in an interesting spot this year. I've been thinking a lot about my impending kidney transplant evaluation, and it's been a little depressing. I've found comfort in shopping to relieve the fear. So I may or may not have spent way too much money on my kids for Christmas. I decided to consolidate the boxes of gifts, and I kept pulling toy after toy out and saying "I forgot about this"! My mom encouraged me to take some of it back but I can't bring myself to do it. I want to give my kids the world, and I want to see them happy. It's not difficult to make them happy - I'm pretty sure we made children with souls of saints. I'm not sure how this happened except by the grace of God, but I'm thankful for it.

This weekend we went through the kids' clothes and toys and donated a gigantic box of things we don't need to Goodwill and to a local family who needs help. This week we're putting up the tree and decorating, and I was feeling pretty good about my chances of decorating the lower portion of the tree since Evie seems to have a better handle on "not everything is food" these days. But then this happened:

He's been "crawling" for a bit now. Or at least I thought he was, but it turned out that he was rocking on his hands and knees and then rolling over when my back was turned and then getting back on hands and knees. He's a little trickster. But now he really is crawling. He's incredibly unsure of himself, but has no problems lifting an arm or leg up to reach things, and he's most definitely not out of "not everything is food". So I guess we'll have to watch the lower branches after all.
My parents were over to watch the kids while we organized their rooms. My mom's one wish for Christmas was to get a picture of the kids with her and my dad. This is the best I could do:

At least Evie's finger is not in her nose. It usually is, and is followed by sticking it in my face and yelling "BOOGER". She's so lady-like. I let her play with my phone a lot and every time I take it back it's covered in boogers. Mom life is glamorous.

Wednesday is my transplant evaluation, and it's going to last all day. It's going to be interesting and whatever happens I need to keep it together and be the best mom I can be to these sweet babies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Realization

I'm glad Christmas is fast approaching. I'm honestly going through a pretty difficult, anxiety-inducing time right now. I'm happy that I've chosen this time to avoid social media. It's been about 36 hours since I deleted the apps from my phone and my ipad, and it's already making me rethink my choices. It didn't take very long before I found myself idly scrolling to the Facebook app on my phone looking for the little red bubble that indicated I have notifications. I did this a number of times the first day. And I kept finding little blocks of time where I couldn't think of anything to do - time where I would have been reading Tumblr or Facebook. I kept reaching for my phone when I was with my kids, and I thought to myself "why don't I reach for my kids instead"? How many hours have I spent with my face in a screen while my kids played and watched TV without me?

So I'm pretty happy about this change right now. I'm not saying that I'll never be on social media again, but I wasted way too much time immersing myself in the lives of other people - often people I didn't even know - when I could have immersed myself in my own life. So that's what I want to do. I want to read books, exercise, explore, and show my kids everything.

And this? This is the season for it. Saturday we're putting up the Christmas tree and organizing the house. I'm wrapping gifts and I'm going to talk to my kids about santa and Jesus and all of that stuff. We have so many traditions and I'm happy to be sharing them with my family.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Bruises

Well life is good at throwing curveballs. I suppose nothing in specific happened, but I've been feeling "off" for a bit. I'm taking a break from social media and I want to start posting here more. This doesn't feel like social media to me. It feels like a place where I can say what I need to say, and hold on to memories I want to keep. Today is an odd day, though, so I may begin with a bit of a ramble.

The last few weeks have been tough ones with my husband. I know he has depression, but he's been so angry, and I don't think there's a whole lot I can do to help him since I can't control the depression. He misses home. He wants to be back in Philadelphia, and that's not in the cards right now. He hates his job, and feels hopeless about getting a new one since he's been trying for so long. It's a struggle to know what to say or do since I can't change anything for him. He has to do it himself but he's held so far back by depression. I hope medication helps him, but he's been sort of unbearable, so I hope it helps fast.

In the meantime I'm just trying to get through each day. My kidneys are getting worse, and I have the evaluation for transplant next week. I feel like I'm getting more and more tired and weaker by the day. It's a struggle sometimes to keep my eyes open as long as I need to. I make such an effort to be everything the kids need me to be, which leaves little energy left for everything else. I nap when they nap, I sleep when they sleep. I'm blessed with amazing sleepers, but I'm tired no matter how much sleep I get. I don't have the physical strength to stand for super long periods and do things. I get bursts where I can take the kids outside, and we can go shopping, but too much more is very draining. It's hard to accept how different life is now, and I hope and pray that it is my kidneys because if this is "normal" now I don't even know what to think.

I've been gaining weight back because I'm pretty depressed about it all. Most of my friends are too involved in their own lives to be there much for me, and it sucks, but I can't change that either. All I can do is appreciate the people who are there and make time for me no matter what. The list is short but it's full of wonderful people.

I have a number of great things to be thankful for, like my job, which allows me to work from home two days a week, and of course my children. As much as I don't want them to see a different mommy because I'm so weak, I still need their cuddles to make me feel better. Fortunately they're both ready and willing pretty much all the time. Evie is a random hugger and she insists on giving me kisses all the time now. Andrew gives me kisses too! They both love to laugh and play and they bring sunshine to otherwise cloudy days.

My parents have been trying to help me out more since Andy works very late some nights. It's nice, but the less Andy/parent overlap the better, and it causes stress for me when they are around each other too much. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them get along but I can't, so all I can do is look at the good things around me. I've been spending a lot of time shopping for the kids and my family to take my mind off of things. I probably shouldn't, but I enjoy it, and I want to. Christmas is going to be really nice for my kids this year and nothing makes me happier. We're getting all the decorations out on Saturday and going through the kids' things to donate toys in preparation for the influx of new things. It'll be nice to have things sorted out, but again, Andy/parent overlap since they're coming to watch the kids for us.

In brighter news, Evie is talking up a storm. She sings and uses full sentences. She makes up little songs and games. She still adores Andrew, and asks for him as soon as she gets up every morning. He doesn't know what to make of her, but he's so sweet and good-natured. Which is exactly what we needed with Evie as.... I don't know... wild? As she is. They're a perfect pair, and Andy and I often discuss how incredibly blessed we are to have such amazing children.

Andrew is starting to stand, crawl, eat food, and do all of those things. He babbles all the time. I can't believe he'll be one next month. It's just gone by so quickly and I want him to stay little! But Evie's at an age I love, too, so I can't really complain too much. Here are the kids on Thanksgiving! Evie is with my mom.