Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Part 2

The kids were finally healthy for Christmas, meaning we got to do all of the things we like with my family. We didn't get up to PA because we're going this weekend to meet the new baby (more on that later). Before we went to do the family stuff, though, we had to get a hair cut. It was semi-traumatic for me because... well.. look at him!!

He turned into a handsome little man in 20 minutes. He was an adorable baby! Look at this. And he knows it. He's so smug.

And this was a little before that, but I got him eating some table food. It's not any sort of huge revelation, but... a cracker is adult foo, and he ate it, and that was pretty cool. I really want to transition him to more table foods, so at least it was a start.

I just threw this picture of Evie in here because she's so beautiful.

I tried to get pictures of the kids in their Christmas outfits, but... yeah no. Evie was jumping around like crazy. .She was so good but so excited. I got her a basic knit dress, but it had a super frilly bottom that was so cute. I tried to add a picture of Andrew in his outfit but the firewall at work said no, so I'm going to put one in of him later. He had a bowtie!

Christmas Eve we got home really late after dinner at my brother's house, but Andy had to do our traditions with Evie. Andrew was way too tired. Here they are writing a letter to santa and setting up cookies. And maybe eating some. They also put out "reindeer food". Santa couldn't eat all the cookies because Evie tried to give him too many.

Santa brought lots of toys for the kids, and the sweetest little blanket for Andrew. It's a hand-made Chuggington blanket with his name embroidered. I'm not sure who likes it more - him or me. They got this Paw Patrol ball pit and Evie is so in love with it. She also got a Rapunzel tower that came with a little people Flynn Rider. Yay!


But Christmas is wasn't over then. On Christmas day we went to my aunt's house. The kids were super good and I got to eat! And my parents brought Evie another present, so she was happy. And Saturday we're going up to see Andy's family, and they're getting more presents. They're spoiled and it's ridiculous, but I'm glad they're happy. But the other cool thing is that Andy's sister had her baby, Hope, yesterday. So we get to see her on Saturday! I can't wait! She's so little and my kids have a cousin which was something I wasn't sure would ever happen. I'm so excited to hold her and love on her and for the kids to meet her.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Post-Christmas Update Part 1

Happy Holidays and I guess Happy New Year everyone! We all know I won't post again before then so I might as well say it now.

I wish I could say it has been quiet, but boy would that be a lie. The truth is, things have been nuts since vacation. Between the four of us we've had 2 cases of bronchitis, one broken arm, 2 pink eyes, 3 infected ears, 4 stomach viruses, and one virus that I'm positive came straight from hell. But, by some miracle, it was all cleared up for Christmas. And it hasn't been all bad. I guess I'll go kid by kid, and we'll start with Evie, because the thing you're probably wondering about the most is the broken arm, and that belongs to her.

Other things belonging to Evie include 1 of the infected ears, 1 case of bronchitis, and 1 stomach virus. Since this all occurred over the course of about 5 weeks, we really didn't sleep... like.. at all... for a while. The night before Thanksgiving I got a phone call on my way home from work. "Hi, it's [Evie's daycare]. We just wanted to let you know that she fell on the playground. She's OK! But she's babying her arm a little". I'm already on my way, so there isn't much I can do. But I did have 40 more minutes of drive to be upset about it. When I got there, she was laying down on a table looking a serious mess. As soon as she saw me she said "Mommy I hurt my arm. I need a doctor". And of course I could tell by looking at her that she did need a doctor! So I scooped her up and we went straight to the hospital. She wasn't crying, but she was clearly in pain. I couldn't tell where it hurt, so I just held her. The hospital was full... like.. patients on gurneys in the hallways full. The waiting room was full as well, and nurses were coming around to take vitals. Evie had fallen asleep in my arms, but she kept moaning and groaning, so one of the nurses asked me what was wrong. I told them, and they told me to hold on a minute. I did, and while I was waiting, people around me were saying things like "Oh that poor baby" because she's 3 and clearly hurt. So the nurse comes back out and motions for me to follow her. They'd somehow moved me up in line and gotten us an actual room. It only took a few minutes to get us to X-Ray, where I had to hold Evie's arm in a million different directions. She was so good I can't even explain it. Not ten minutes later we got the official word that it was broken. I was kind of infuriated at first that daycare wasn't more concerned. But I was also thinking "Oh it's probably a sprain or a pulled muscle" so I couldn't be that mad. You don't expect a person of any age with a broken arm to keep trying to play afterwards. It was a rough month trying to keep a sling on that child, but it's done with now and she's back to herself.

The thing that's strange is that her self-regulation abilities seem to have multiplied 10-fold  almost overnight. She hasn't had a meltdown in a while. I haven't had to carry her out of any public places, including doctors and hospitals, restaurants, etc. She had a huge tantrum in Target because I didn't buy her a toy, but we've been back twice since with no toys and no tantrums. She's been such a joy. She has days where she acts out, but for the most part she's just been a wonderful little person who wants to play and cuddle. I had a conference with her teachers at daycare (which they run like a preschool) and they said the same thing. She's been much more calm and willing to participate. I mean she clearly still has ADHD and sometimes wanders around, but less so than she used to. They also showed me some of her "tests" for letters and numbers and things and said she's actually ahead in math and literacy. And that she's hilarious, sings all the time, and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. It's amazing for me to think of her at 2, barely talking, not knowing how to play with toys, not cuddling, not singing... and then to think of her at almost 4, ahead academically, talking non-stop, and using all her toys as designed. She knows her letters and numbers by sight. She knows the sounds for some letters, but her teacher admitted she thinks she knows a lot more. It's hard to test E because she wanders off after a few minutes. Which we're working on at "big girl" school. She's just so funny and sweet and smart and every time I look at her I melt. I just want to kiss her all the time, and sometimes she acquiesces. Sometimes she looks at me like I'm a moron, but it doesn't matter. She's my best girl.

I feel terrible sometimes because she wants to play ALL the time, and sometimes I am just. so. tired. I can't explain to  a 3 year old that mommy's kidneys don't work right so mommy doesn't have energy. I just want to sit on the couch and I feel like a failure to my kids for that. She wants to play games and make up stories (she has the most vivid, wild imagination) and I... can barely keep my eyes open. I have no doubt she knows how special she is, and how much I love her, but I wish I could be there more for that kind of stuff.

And the same goes for Andrew. Only with Andrew, things are more complicated.

We saw a neurologist earlier this month. At the beginning of the appointment he was leaning in the autism direction, but by the end he said he was not comfortable with that because he was seeing too much eye contact and looking for affection, so he went with Global Developmental Delay. Which is such a scary thing because there's no way to predict an outcome at this point. Evie technically had GDD as well, and now she's ahead instead of behind. But she also had some words, which Andrew doesn't. There are a lot of similarities, but a lot of differences as well, so at this point we are looking for a cause for the GDD. He had an EEG last week which we're told was normal. So that's a relief and one box checked off. Next is an MRI and a SNP array (a basic genetic screen). If those don't show anything, and we're hoping they don't, we're... stuck. When there is a designated cause, there is usually a predictable outcome for where the GDD will end up. When there isn't, you just have to wait and see. Which is terrifying for me, but I'd rather he didn't have something specific. Because then at least he has a good shot at catching up. People keep telling me stories of their kids with language delays and things, and it makes me feel like I'm being kind of an overbearing jerk for putting him through the testing. But at the same time, I'm his mother, and I KNOW my son. I know something is not exactly "normal" and I want him to have every opportunity to acquire the skills he needs. I want my son to live a normal life. I want him to be happy. I want him to have everything he wants and needs in life. I'll do anything to get that for him. And if it turns out that it was a simple delay - well OK! Great! But if not, I want to know I'm doing everything I can.

The truth is, I love Andrew... I don't even know how to say it. I can't quantify it. I look at him, and just like with Evie, my heart swells and I think "You are the perfect child for me". Any challenges are really inconsequential in the long run because both of these kids have stolen my heart and run away with it.

Here are a couple of sick pictures :( He saw 4 doctors in 4 days. The bottom one was right before his EEG when he was feeling better.

With Andrew, I spend most of my time holding him, cuddling him, and tickling. We do hand-over-hand playing with toys, but it doesn't make him laugh the way he does when he's on the floor and I give him little tickles. He'll hold his arms and legs out for tickles and it cracks me up because I do the same thing to Andy. And he (the baby) will just stare at my face like the sun shines out of my eyeballs or something. Like I'm his world. And I think I am. He always runs to me, lunging for me with outstretched arms, burying his little face in my shoulder, giggling at my snuggles and kisses. He still loves Chuggington, but it's hard to get him to play with most toys other than chewing on them. We keep trying. He'll get it eventually.

Sometimes I feel like my time with these two has just gone by too quickly. If the first 4 years have gone this fast, what will the next 4 years be like? Pretty soon they'll be 18 and 16 and out all the time and not wanting to hang out with their silly old mother. And I am already trying to prepare myself for that. For the teenage years, for college, for weddings... for a time when they don't just want to be with me all the time. Part of me wishes I could keep them 2 and 4 forever because I love this age so much. Because they love ME so much! But I know they have so much to go out and accomplish in this world. I just hope when they're older and out doing their own things, that they still know I love them in this... unfathomable way. This solid foundation of neverending love that I could never express to them in a million years with  a million words. To say they're my everything is not enough. They're... everything and more.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

We did a thing! A vacation thing. We went to visit my parents in Florida for a week. It was fun but also stressful and... about as unrelaxing as a vacation can be. I suppose that's life with two small children. We flew in on a Saturday afternoon. The kids were pretty good on the plane. Evie was a little whiny but no big deal, and no one broke down through TSA this time. OK I almost did, but people were being so rude. The kids were fine. Andrew was happy to watch tv and squirm and grope his neighbor, but she said it was OK because he's little.
When we got there we just got everything situated and chilled out. It's tiring flying with kids! So they promptly put themselves in front of the TV. 
The next day we were still too tired to do much. The kids went to sleep really late, and we had a pool, so we just went there. Andrew loves water, but he doesn't like to sit still, so it's tough with him. I had to follow him everywhere and he kept getting out.
Evie thought she owned the pool and did not care who was in it or what they were doing. Including us. She just wanted to run around and she didn't have swimmies, so eventually we had to leave because she wasn't listening.

The next day we went to Juno beach. Evie LOVES the beach, but she is so drawn to the ocean that she has a hard time staying away. I think it meets a lot of her sensory needs, but we had to have 2 people with her at all times, and eventually we had to leave because she couldn't stay away and the currents were strong. I hated taking her away but it was getting dangerous and this child can't listen. Honestly I think she just doesn't understand that somehing that feels good and meets her special needs can be dangerous.

Andrew was happy just to walk. Honestly this kid is just a happy guy. He wants to run and climb and as long as he can he's cool. He usually likes water but he couldn't understand why the water kept chasing him, so he mostly stayed on dry sand. Here he is with my mom, who is NOT an ocean person.
The water there is amazing. It's so clear and blue. I can't wait to get back to the beach by myself/with Andy. And with the kids when they understand danger a little better.


The next day we took the kids to a playground. It's not really a November activity up here, so it was nice for them to get to play and climb and run. The park is huge and enclosed and has tons of stuff for Evie. She had a blast, and Andrew walked around until he found a patch of flowers to sit in, and he just sat and watched the world. He's so sweet.
Tuesday night Andy and I went to happy hour on the water and got drinks (he may have had a few too many) and delicious food. And 2 hours to ourselves.

On Wednesday we went to a lagoon, which we had to leave early because... surprise! Evie wasn't listening. She kept running next to that wall on the left and I didn't want her to fall onto the big rocks there. She refused to listen, refused to not climb the lifeguard tower... etc. She had the biggest of big meltdowns when we left. Again, because there's so much sensory fulfillment and she just doesn't get the concept of danger. Prior to that, though, she played in the water, which was only chest height on her, with no waves or undertow. Andrew and I sat in the shallow part and saw crabs and fish. This place was awesome.   

My mom and I took Evie to a nature center. She was great on the tram ride and inside the center. We saw this cool turtle named Sirena, and I got a Christmas ornament for me and a fake snake for Evie. I don't know why she wanted that but.. she likes it, so it's cool.
My dad and I went snorkeling at the Blue Heron Bridge twice. The first time we didn't see much because the tide went out before we found what we were looking for. The second time we saw the whole thing and got video I'm waiting for my dad to cut for me. He saw a stingray but I missed it. I did not, however, miss the jellyfish. They're so cool to look at but not so much to get stung by. Ow.

This guy is Blue Heron famous. He's everywhere. He's in pamphlets, and was there when wer were down in March. People try to take him out further to keep him away from all the kids that pick him up, but he's having none of it.

My mom and I took Andrew to Juno pier on Friday. I was really hoping to see some huge fish or a shark fin, but no luck. It started storming as soon as we got back in anyway.
He did, however, get to use a super cool chopping cart, which, as you can see, he enjoyed.

This is Evie and daddy on the plane home. We were in the first row so she didn't have a tray but they made it work.

And this guy? Well... see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkin Patch and an Update

This weekend we took the kids to the pumpkin patch with our friends Eric and Caitlin. It was interesting. Andrew loved it. He did an amazing job walking given all the obstacles, and he was so happy to be outside. Evie fell in love with the slide, but didn't understand taking turns, so we had to tell her to stop going up there, and she had a meltdown. That part kind of sucked. Three is a tough age for any kid, but especially a kid with sensory issues. I think slides really tick some boxes in her daily sensory necessity list, and taking that away was rough, but she can't just do anything she wants because she needs sensory input. Still, we got some good pictures and both kids were great at dinner afterwards. I mean honestly Andrew is always so well behaved, and Evie isn't badly behaved normally. She's just 3 and we really need to think about the things that are going to occur when we go out. Most places aren't an issue, but if we go somewhere that she can get sensory input, we need to make sure we have ample time to transition her into leaving!

The kids have been tiring us out a lot lately, but is anyone surprised? We have two kids less than two years apart. It's wonderful, but exhausting. And unfortunately Andrew seems to have something going on neurologically. We think he may be having absence seizures. The other day his SLP and another therapist were there when it happened, and confirmed I'm not crazy. They're hard to pick up on because they're so short and kids are so easily distracted, but this time he was sitting in the high chair and just stopped responding in any way. He just stared into space and nothing could break him of it. They were very concerned and told me I have to discuss it with the neurospychologist next month.
I'm worried about my little boy, but he's happy , and that's the most important thing to me. Yesterday when I came in the house he just ran to me and put his arms up to be held, and I could've melted into a puddle on the floor. He's such a darling little one. We just need to figure out what's up before I lose my mind. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Long Overdue

I wish I could say things were going along swimmingly in my life, but as you've probably come to expect, they are not. I suppose I'll start with me. The symptoms of my kidney failure have been getting worse and worse. It's hard for me to get to work on my best days, and nearly impossible on my worst. Some day it's hard to walk from the car to the building. To be fair, it's a REALLY long walk. I'm not a lot of help around the house, but I try. I have to save all my energy for my kids, and sometimes there's just not much left. I got some tests done recently and my kidneys are functioning at 22% so I'll be going on the transplant list shortly. They were holding steady at 24 since December, but between July and September dropped, and I think that's going to continue. To be honest, I'm Ok with it. I'm terrified, but I also feel like crap 24 hours a day, and I'm ready to start a part of my life where there's at least hope that I'll feel better. I know 22 isn't the worst kidney function, but it's pretty bad, and the specific disease comes with its own set of issues. Needless to say I'm on edge, so husband and I have been fighting and I had to start back with the therapist that helps with my OCD. Stress is a part of the package for me right now... for us. We just do what we can to get by. It's not easy being on the brink of an organ transplant, working full time, and dealing with 2 toddlers. There are also some issues with Andrew, but I'll give you a break from the crap and start with Evie.
Evie is my sweet, smart, beautiful girl. She's still in a half day prep program for school, but at this point it really seems like she's just got bad ADHD and some sensory stuff. She's completely caught up in speech, she seems totally on track in social stuff and has friends. She's smart as a whip. She knows a lot of her letters by sight, all of her numbers. She did addition the other day! She knows every color under the sun and all her shapes. She has outbursts sometimes. I don't want to call them tantrums because I don't think they're completely manipulative, but I don't want to call them meltdowns because it doesn't seem completely uncontrollable either. It's like.. a combination of being 3, getting easily overwhelmed by sensory things, and needing a schedule due to the ADHD. She's more flexible than I'd expect in some areas, but she really clings to some things, like going to big girl school or seeing her grandparents. She's going through a phase where she doesn't want to fall asleep without someone, so I've been snuggling her to sleep, and then in the middle of the night she comes into my bed. It's so sweet. I don't always get the best rest, but in a few years she won't want to do it anymore, and hearing her tiny voice say "Mommy I need to lay with you"! is pure joy. She's very into her mommy and princesses (especially Rapunzel) and the colors purple and pink. She still loves Frozen, she really likes Paw Patrol now, and she likes to to letter flash cards with mommy and Mickey read and learn books with daddy. And she FINALLY let me put her hair in a ponytail and she's so cute I cannot even stand it. She's also in a "I'm a girl!" phase. Somehow she feels the need to tell me regularly. I'm pretty sure I figured that out.

Andrew is the other light of my life. I'm pretty certain God hand-picked these children for us. Andrew is truly an angel.  He's sweet and special and he loves me so much. His world revolves around me. And Chuggington. He likes figuring out how to make things work. He likes cause and effect, and turning things on and off. He also loves climbing, walking, and trying to run. But that's where problem number 1 comes in. He trips over his own feet when he tries to run, and I noticed his ankles bend inward when he walks. We took him to an ortho and found out he has hypermobile joints. This makes his ankles unstable and his feet flat and he's going to get fitted for braces and use those until his joints stiffen up some. After that, the next stop we were advised to make was to a geneticist. I thought with Evie having had issues it might be a good idea and he agreed. Evie is also hypermobile, but hers seems to just come in the form of flexibility. And I never thought about this, but mommy is also hypermobile. My kneecaps pop out of the socket with relative ease for almost no reason due to Osgood-Schlotter's disease. So we're going to check out a geneticist. I suspect to test us for Ehlers-Danlos. At the same time, Andrew still isn't talking, still isn't eating table food (he will eat purees) and still won't answer to his name. He's engaging and fun with me, but it's just... it seems like he can't hear. We got his hearing tested and he CAN hear, but I don't think his brain can process the sounds. I think it's some sort of auditory processing problem, but they can't test that until he's older and can communicate. So I wonder if we should check out a developmental pediatrician or a neurologist, but since the ortho advised geneticist we're starting there. The problem is she can't see us until May, so we have to twiddle our thumbs until then. He does have 3 people that come to the house for him, but it doesn't seem to be helping, and my patience is wearing thin. I want my little boy to have what he needs. The good news is he is SO HAPPY. He is always laughing and having fun and he loves to get hugs from his mom and snuggle on your chest when he's tired. He babbles incessantly and he's just a joy to be around. I just want him to have every service/device/whatever he needs to reach his fullest potential. And waiting sucks. This is him last night fresh out of the bath in his dino PJs. The look on his face is 100% me lol. It's hilarious.

So, back where I usually am. Thrilled to have AMAZING babies, thankful to God they are in my life, but in pain and waiting for things to turn around. Hopeful... hopeful for all of us that things improve. We could use it :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Letter to Andrew

When Evie was very small, I wrote her letters in this blog. I had more time to devote because I came into the office every day, and I only had one small child. I haven't written as many to Andrew as my time is so fleeting between both kids and constant illness. But I want to. So here is my letter to Andrew.

My Dearest Andrew,

I love you with all that I am. You bring me so much joy and you complete our little family. Sometimes I think about how impossible it was for you to be here. After dealing with infertility and IVF and my kidneys and your early birth, to look at you is truly to look upon a miracle. You are my sweet sunshine, and I am your world. I can see it when I look at you. When you look into my eyes it's like you're staring into my soul. You don't look through me... it's like you think you can read my mind. Maybe you can for as well as we understand each other without spoken language.

I love the way I pick you up when you're sleepy, and you go completely limp in my arms, safe and comfy with my heart beating against you. I love how independent you are - the way you walk and roam and play and always find things to do, but also always return to me - to home base. Even if it's just for a moment to stand between my knees and giggle at the chuggers on TV with a tiny bit of support for your tired legs. I love when I'm sitting on the floor and you race towards me, falling into my lap giggling, waiting patiently to be tickled. And when you're not feeling quite so patient and take my hands and put them on your legs! I love how you're a little engineer. You love to figure out how things work and solve problems. Yesterday you turned the Xbox on and off for 3 solid minutes because you figured out that you could make it light up and make noises. And you're so proud of yourself when you figure out how to do something, like climb up onto the couch. I love when I hold you and you chew on my shoulder, and when you raise up your arms expecting tickles. You're so much like me. In the morning when I get you out of your crib, you quickly roll onto your belly and wait for me to rub your back. You laugh, and when I brush your cheek with my fingers you giggle and smile the sweetest little smile.

You were such an unexpected little blessing, but you've brought more joy into my life than I ever expected to experience. This morning I forgot my phone charger at home, and when I went to get it, daddy brought you to the door. I kissed your head and you put your arms out for me, but daddy took you inside so I could go to work. I heard you whining and my heart ached for you. I never want to leave you and I never want you to be sad. I love you more than I will ever be able to express in words, my sweet Littlest. Please always know that you and your sister are the best things that ever happened to me, and I thank God each and every day for you both.

Love always and forever,


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's May Already?

OK, Ok. I might be the worst blogger in the history of the world. But to be fair, my life is pretty busy. My kidneys have gone pretty far down the toilet, but I still manage to work full time, take care of 2 babies, and be a wife. Kind of. I'm still waiting to lose a teeny bit of kidney function before testing my brother for a transplant match, but with less than 25% kidney function, I feel like crap most of the time. The good news is while I'm waiting I 'm trying to lose some weight and gather up some money and some comp time. I'm trying to trust God's timing. He hasn't failed me yet.
First up for the updates is the tiniest one. He's not completely tiny anymore. He's coming up on 16 months actual age and is 32 inches and 22.10 lb! He seems to be a little bit delayed, but nothing super worrisome. We're having Evie's specialists evaluate him just to get someone more specialized than their pedi in on it, but he was 2 months early, and 2 months is a lot of time when you're 1. He's babbling pretty much constantly, but doesn't really say words. He does say mama occasionally when he really wants my attention, so I believe he does have 1 word solidly down. For a while we were sure he just couldn't hear because he doesn't respond to his name, but he has fantastic eye contact and such which was a worry with E in the beginning. We took him to get his hearing checked and it's fine, so our case manager is thinking it might be an issue where he can hear sounds, but his brain can't sort out sounds when there is a lot going on. We're checking into that. But he's responsive and engaging and babbles a lot so they're thinking it's something to do with processing or just being a preemie. He's not walking, but he tries. He will let go of things and take one or two steps but then he falls. The pedi isn't concerned with that because again, he was 2 months early, and he's progressing, not regressing. Basically we're just trying to sort out if he's still catching up from being born early or if he does need some extra help like E did. One thing is for sure... he's a happy kid! He sleeps through the night every night. He always wants to cuddle me, and how can I say no with these eyes looking up at me!?
I took him to the park last week and he was not impressed. To be fair it was really hot and sunny. He likes to be outside when there's wind, but he just doesn't know what to make of grass yet.
He can walk across a room with his walker, and stand for a bit if he lets go. He's pretty proud of himself about it, too.
He's also a big nerd like his mommy. I know he's too little to really be into a lot of things, but his favorite thing on TV is the Star Wars Rebels commercial, so that counts for something.

Evie is something else entirely. She's my little ball of energy. She's a topsy-turvy whirlwind. We call her the tornado for a reason. But she is SO MUCH FUN. If this little girl can't put a smile on your face then you have no soul. She's hilarious and loving and just wants to be with me all the time. She started school last month. She's 3 and she takes a bus every day and does amazingly. She never cries, but just gets on and goes to school and has fun. She's learning so much in her prep program about how to function in a classroom, so we have hope she'll be able to sit still for kindergarten. She seems to have pretty severe ADHD and some Sensory stuff, so it's tough for her, but she is doing well. Her teacher told me she's incredibly smart and knows tons of things and uses ridiculous complete sentences, which of course makes me absolutely thrilled. She speaks in full sentences a lot, and has words that I wouldn't imagine coming from a 3 year old. She plays pretend now like any other child. She knows shapes like "cylinder" and she can read a little. Site words of course, but pretty big ones, like "chicken". The other day she pointed out where her heart and lungs were. She knows most of her letters (though whether she'll tell you them is another story). She knows every color under the sun and can count pretty high. I think 20 right now. She does not stop singing. Ever. And she's on key, which is the ridiculous part about hearing her sing things like "Let it go". Yes, she loves Frozen like every other little kid. She's super into Disney Princesses right now. Movies, little people, castles, towers. Anything princess, and it's adorable. We're still working on the potty. As long as we remember to put her on it she goes just fine, but she still forgets sometimes to tell us. She doesn't seem to mind the potty but she doesn't mind going in her pull-up either. It's getting better every day though. Sometimes she just walks over and sits on the potty of her own accord. I'm confident I will not have an untrained 4 year old. I expected a delay with her processing troubles and us having to take care of the baby and unable to stick to as strict a schedule as we would like.

We took her to a small fair a few weeks ago. For some reason my mom put an 18M shirt on her that doesn't match her skirt, so... pardon that. She LOVES rides.

And this is this morning with her big girl backpack on waiting for the school bus with mommy and daddy. She's so ready to go. 

So that's us. Our life in a nutshell. Work, sleep, eat, kids, repeat. It's a pretty good place to be. It would be nice to get a break a little more often. I don't see my husband that much because we work opposite schedules. We're going to a wedding (alone!) in a few weeks, so that will be nice. We also have a family vacation planned in November and a small weekend trip this summer. He's taking Sunday nights off, too, so we can spend it together. There are so many things I want to do with the kids coming up and I'm so grateful to be able to plan little outings for us. We're tired. I'm exhausted. But we have a sweet little family and our kids are happy. I can't really ask for much more.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

I know, I know. I'm a total slacker. I admit it. The thing is, life has been pretty crazy. Andrew turned 1, then Evie turned 3. I'm still working full time, and my kidneys are still really terrible. Slowly but surely getting worse. 4% more to go and I can get a transplant!

Of course this weighs on my mind, and I'm just exhausted most of the time. I try to make life as normal as possible for the kids, though.

Evie started a prep program at a local elementary school. She goes 4 days a week for half days and she's doing really well. She started her new daycare today, and though my husband dropped her off, I was on the phone for it, and she seems completely fine, and that makes me happy. she tends to get a little overwhelmed after a while, and cries some at school, but she's only gone 3 days, and I think she just needs to get used to the routine. At her old daycare she screamed all day for a month, so this is progress. She knows letters and numbers and shapes, and is really prepared for kindergarten already. She loves to sing and sings all day long. Her speech is wonderful now, and she's really showing interest in hobbies. She loves playing with Disney princesses and My Little Ponies. She loves superheroes of any variety. And she still loves to be outside. All she wants in life is to run around outside, and I'm so happy that that's important to her. She's really into mommy right now. Everywhere she goes she asks for me. She follows me around the house. She tells me she misses me if I go to the bathroom. It's so sweet, but also a little overwhelming. She can be an overwhelming child, but she's also the most amazing little girl I've ever known, imagined, or heard about!

Andrew is the happiest little guy ever. I mean this kid is so content to just play with toys and talk to himself. He loves to cuddle his mommy (even though he normally wants to be put back down after like 10 seconds). He always strays and then comes back to make sure I'm still there. He sleeps 12 hours a night every night. Almost without fail. We're so blessed on the sleep front. He loves Chugginton, and he loves just motoring around. He's not walking yet at 14.5 months, but he was almost 2 months early. He does pull up and try to take steps, but he doesn't have good balance yet. He also doesn't have any words. For a while I thought it was a function of his prematurity, but at this point I'm fairly certain he is partially deaf. We're going to find out on Thursday. He's very engaging, but he doesn't respond to his name at all. You can scream right behind him and he doesn't even flinch. I'm a little nervous, but whatever happens we'll deal. He's such a wondeful little man.

I really feel like I hit the lottery with my kids. Yes, Evie has sensory issues and can throw a heck of a tantrum if she's tired, but she's just so smart and sweet and Andrew is as well. They're such amazing little people. So here are some recent pictures!

The next few pictures are from Easter. Evie found a "mister egg" with a pony in it, and Andrew and his daddy are enjoying the great weather.

The next two are just Evie being Evie. We went outside to play and she declared a tree she found "my tree" and there she is pointing out which one.

We also went to Florida! My parents have a house there so we went for a few days. Evie had a total meltdown in the airport through security and waiting in line when they called us to board. At the gate and on the plane she was totally fine. On the way back we got priority boarding on the basis of disability (SPD) and it was great! She got straight on the plane and didn't have to stand in the tunnel, so she was awesome. She only got upset through security! I think she has some claustrophobia because she didn't like when I shut her window. As you can see, Andrew did fine haha. On the way home, we boarded at his bed time, so he screamed and screamed. People kept sitting in front of us and then moving. I kept saying that as soon as we moved he'd be fine, and he was. The second we started to taxi he fell asleep and both kids were quiet the rest of the flight. Everyone was looking at us in either terror or solidarity, but the kids proved they are just as good as mommy says they are! Evie does have a bit of a seat-kicking habit, though, so my dad sat in front of her seat. It worked out because E, my mom, and Andrew and I had a whole row and my dad got to sit in front and read and sleep.
It was an odd trip for Andrew, though. I just finished saying he's really good, and he is, but he cut two teeth while we were there, and he was super whiny when we were in the house. I think he just missed certain toys and tv channels. Plus the entire ordeal was a new experience. Evie has been on one vacation, but it wasn't far from home (no plane ride). Andrew has never been away from home before except for a night here or there. He'll get used to it. One thing they did love was that they could go outside. It was in the 40s for most of our trip back home, and in the 80s in Florida, so we went to the beach and the pool a lot. My parents have a huge screened in porch where Evie could safely be kind of outside, and she just loved it. I really cannot wait to go back.