Saturday, August 16, 2014

Emerging from the Chaos

This space has been quiet for too long.  Life has been overwhelming for too long.  That last baby threw our family in to chaos for much longer than we expected.  We have learned some new medical jargon and added things to our life along the way. We have found our new normals and dare I say we have survived!

Our baby is not a baby any longer.  He is has been walking for months now.  He gave up the highchair this month at the same time big brother gave up diapers.  Now he sits at the table with everyone else and demands to eat exactly what everyone else is eating.  His food allergies can make this a challenge sometimes.  At his 18 month well check up we got some exciting news we have been waiting to hear for a year.  Andrew finally made a positive jump on the weight charts and he is finally back on the charts.  Thanks to special formula, enzyme replacements, a milk and soy free diet.  This mama's tears where not in vain.  Our boy is growing strong at 22 lbs (19 months)

We had spaghetti this week and there would be no denying Andrew what was on everyone else's plate so he was stripped down to his diaper, and dug in.  He ate a plate full.  And of course a bath was waiting for him afterwards.  

Coming up in the next week, Kindergarden, birthday party, soccer, and a new family schedule.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The mother they need, not that I want to be.

http://supportforspecialneeds.com
Last year we added our third child to the family and I had a plan on how life would go.  Preschool at home with my two budding geniuses, who were eager to learn, with field trips to the science center, and story-time at the library.  Baby in my lap with brother and sister siting next to me listening well and participating.  This isn't my last year.

The first few months were spent surviving at home with a baby who when awake was screaming, and my other two kids pacified by PBSkids.  11 months later we learn that the baby has milk and soy allergies, and pancreas enzyme deficiency that is causing him to not gain weight.  5 months in to the screaming baby, we start noticing the soon to be 3 year old, still won't still still to color, is uninterested in dressing himself, and still needs a bib for any messy meal.  2 pediatricians later and 3 specialists he is diagnosed with developmental delays, sensory processing disorder and low muscle tone.  He begins 2x week occupational therapy, that i have to sit in the waiting room while he completes.  Leaving little time and no energy for mom to do any organized teaching at home.  Each specialist would tell us, take away his favorite toys, less time on the iPad, he'll grow out of it, do this...  And between my boys' appointments my 4 year old started pre-K which was equally draining with the short school day and drop-offs and pick ups to schedule around.

My life is looking a little different now.  I"m homeschooling the now 5 year old because its too stressful to leave the house with all 3 kids on a schedule every day. The 3 year old still hasn't mastered a spoon, watches and repeats his favorite movie lines over and over, and jumps on the couch so much he got 2 trampolines for Christmas.  He still carries his blanket around and if you don't have it be ready for meltdown.  My baby is now a toddler and starting to do some things my 3 year old struggles with.

The 3, 5 year olds are less tan 2 years apart, I imagined homeschooling them mostly together at the same level, with small differences.  the 5 year old excitedly read her first (leveled reader) chapter book this month, and can do simple addition on her hands.  The 3 year old is still learning to hold a crayon and draw a line.

Its not the life I pictured but I feel a great responsibility to care for my boys and their special gifts.  I am a researcher and Google is my friend.  I was even asked at a meeting if I had an education background for the knowledge I appeared to have.  I will fight for my kids to succeed and get the help and tools they need.  I wasn't planning on this hard work but i'm willing and able.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Thought

I had a thought reading the Christmas story yesterday, from Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

A sign, in this context, is something notable and extraordinary that testifies to something God pronounced. Now, the Bible has a lot of signs that God used throughout history: a fleece that was dry when the ground was wet, a shadow moving backward up a staircase, water coming from a rock by speaking to it, fire coming down from heaven and consuming a sacrifice. All of these signs were notable and extraordinary because they were impressive, and that was how they could be recognized as being from God.

But I find it instructive that God didn't choose a sign like that to point to Jesus. In fact, the sign that the shepherds were given so that they could recognize Christ was something so humble that it would've been remarkable: what parents wouldn't even have proper clothes for their baby, and how extraordinary was it to find a baby who didn't have a bed or a crib, but was laying in a feeding trough? The sign that the shepherds were given to recognize who the Savior of the World was wasn't something so majestic that it was remarkable, it was something so lowly that it was remarkable. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Honest Confessions

My blog has been lifeless since May, 6 long months.  In the 6 years I have had my humble little space in cyberspace, I have averaged about 1 post/ week, until this year.  Life got busy, parenting got hard, I grew up some more.  Life happened and I lived life instead of writing about it.  Nd then the writing about it piled up and I never started again.

I'm a mom, and I don't split my time with any other paying job, not that motherhood pays in anything but kisses and smiles.  This year my mothering has been challenged in different ways with each of my 3 kids.

2013 started off with the birth of #3 and he wasn't anything like the other two.  When Grandma came to help when he was born, I honestly didn't know how we would make it after she left.  Baby was colic.  If he was awake he was crying or eating.  This didn't end but only changed when he went to formula and changed formula at 6 months old but by then he was not growing like the Doctors wanted, so the specialist visits began and mommy's stress level about feeding her little baby increased.

Over the summer we started to notice as #2's birthday approached that he wasn't reaching milestones we thought he should and after some research we determined he did in fact have some developmental delays that he had become very good at compensating for. So the specialist visits and therapy began, and the mama bear went to work to fight for the best for her son.  SO far we have 2 hours of therapies a week, and 3 labels for him.  Our investigation is almost over and we thank God for the progress he has made with the extra help.  But mommy worries if things are too hard, and must hover over daily tasks like eating and dressing, much more than I think I should.

Then of course there is #1, this year was our first year of making meaningful choices for her education and many around us will tell you it was something we agonized over and its only Pre-K.  To homeschool or send to program?  The learning environment we have provided at home up until now has its rewards in that she is testing well above age level, and sometimes thinks she is 5 years older than she is.

And then there is the rest of life that happens around us.  Grandmas passing away, promotions at work, and a house to make a home.  So all of this finds us in November almost December, and this mama burnt out on life, wishing it was slow down and magic fairy could come and push pause until the regular chores were caught up.  That there were more than one of me to drive the carpool and stay home with the sleeping baby.  That stress over my childrens' basic needs would consume me.  (Can he eat that with out spilling?  Has he pooped today?)

This mama is done and by the grace of God eventually it will get better but in the mean time its a struggle to see past the tomorrow piles of laundry and doctors appointments and dirty dishes. HOw much I want to get out of surviving and into living with Life to share.

... Just keep living, just keep living, just keep living... 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the water spout...


Down came the rain and washed the spider out...


this moment brought to you by starfall.com  :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Andrew: 3 months

When I was pregnant I was continually told that 3rd kids tend to be the wild card, not to expect them to be like either of your other children.  I wasn't sure what to think.  Andrew has proven this to be true.  He is our first high-needs baby.  He must be held a specific way to calm down.  He hated the traditional swing we had bought for him, but we discovered he loved the Cradle swing the church had, so we went shopping again and he is happy.  He will fuss if his diaper is wet, and let us know he needs a change.  He has also had some issues with being regular so that has caused some new experiences for the family.  He seems to have some reflux so he disliked laying on his back to sleep so again we went shopping and got a "Rock and Play" Cradle for him, it keeps him at a comfortable angle and rocks gently as well.  It even seems he is picky about what mommy eats, which mommy isn't so sure she likes.

At least he is starting to coo and roll over so he reacts more to all of us.  Making the hard times easier to handle and keep us looking at the big picture that he won't be this little forever.

Andrew's happy place!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Financial Peace

We just graduated from Financial Peace University, a 9 week class on Biblical personal finances.  Dave Ramsey, who teaches in the video segments is known for his stance on debt, it all bad get rid of it.  Debt snowball and Baby steps are a few of his tag lines.  Honestly I wasn't sure what I would get out of the class since we live debt free and have only in the last year gotten a mortgage.   But I have to say I was impressed and entertained by the weekly class and we have changed the way we do our finances.

A Budget:  Somehow I never connected before this class of a budget being very specific.  We have had a family budget for most of our marriage but it was very generic so it never seemed applicable.  The main homework of this class is to make a monthly budget each month specific to that month and stick to it.  So for March our budget included new clothes and a haircut, in addition to each of us having blow money to use as we please.  It was so freeing to get my haircut and know we had the money set aside for it and at the same time, money was still going into our long term savings plans.

Using Cash:  I had heard about this from many people and wasn't sure it was for me.  Dave says, using cash makes you feel a purchase by handing over the actual cash instead of just swiping a card.  Its also easier to watch your spending when you use cash because when its gone, its gone.  I have started using the envelop system that comes with the class kit, so my cash is divided out in the categories I have pre-planed to spend it.  It gives our money purpose and we know where its going better than we did before.

I went in to the class wondering, "If we are already debt free, what will dave teach us?"  The biggest take away for us was how we communicated about our money and getting on the same page for financial goals.  And that has brought us "Financial Peace."
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