That MOM Style…

That MOM Style….I know I am mixing it up a bit but I feel like I really need to touch on this topic. 

This photo taken about 4 months ago, when I was in the midst of baby madness and post-partum craze, and physically now where I wanted to be……BUT it shows the essence of  MOM Style. 

This photo is scary but true….

I see all these fantastic photos of instabloggers on social media….They are momstoo  and their houses are cleaned and in pristine condition, their closets are organized, they have perfectly curled hair, and they wear perfectly contoured make-up and most of them are always traveling with their littles. 

This isn’t real life….they have to have help… RIGHT?? 

OR…Am I the only one in the first few months after giving birth….heck even after…..that is falling apart with spit up and milk on my clothes and the only thing I got accomplished for the day, for myself was straightening my hair…

I am trying but I am sure that insta-perfect will never be me….

Before the boys were born I was a shopper, I liked my high priced staple items BUT also finding a deal. I would try to have several cute mix and match pieces. I was into watching and looking for what was “in” and then finding a way to make it my own. 

Most of the time I enjoyed being overdressed.

Since having the boys and having my body change and then change again, I was lacking style. And CONFIDENCE….

Plus the budget had to change. 

Well, ya know, because we are now buying clothes for two other people…and I LOVE baby clothes.

BUT…..

I mean Momma’s let’s get REAL……

We can’t call yoga pants/sweatpants and a Piko top ….style.

Nonetheless, that was my “uniform”.

For a while I felt unhealthy and lethargic. My style and myself wasn’t on the top of my priority list. I wasn’t sure why I had to wear something cute when I was just chauffeuring my son to therapy, running errands , going to doctors apts, and cleaning and organizing the house. 

But now I see how it affected my mood. 

Now that Theodore is 1 year, 9 months and Oliver is 8 months, I finally am beginning to find my “mom style”. It is more practical and subtle but I am beginning to have fun again. 

I am beginning to accept my imperfect, scared, blemished and YES cellulite body. I now just find pieces that help me feel comfortable in my own skin. 

I worry less about what is in style or on the runway, and focus more on what makes me feel beautiful. 

I still have my eye on this high priced items, but I either search for them on eBay or other shops where I can get them at a great discount. 

Most of the time I try to find items I love just at a great price. 

Sometimes, I find an item I love and buy it in EVERY color. I don’t fret as much anymore about the size but how it fits. Before children I may have been ashamed BUT now I DONT CARE.

If I think it’s cute, it fits and it is practical for therapy for Theodore and chasing two boys around………. I buy it.

I still wear many dresses and skirts, ( bc I really hate jeans) but they have to be more flowy and a bit longer. 

I still wear jewelry, but it has to be JUST RIGHT so I don’t scratch the boys. 

I still wear heels and wedges, but they have to be comfy and just not so high. 

I still love purses, but I have resorted to a big diaper bag and a wallet I LOVE!!! 

I still wear hats, but I know they may get ripped of by my boys. 

Now don’t get me wrong I still DONT wear make-up often, I cut my hair short because you won’t catch me curling it into loose waves, sometimes I forget deodorant, I put dry shampoo in my hair most days, converse are often a part of my outfit, I love  black yoga pants, I have clothes I still wear from high school, I repeat many outfits and sometimes still wear yoga pants and work-out clothes bc I feel to tired to change clothes. 

I will, Report to Duty, MOST days to put an outfit together. However, I will still have days that I wear comfy ill fitting clothes. From now on I will post my outfit and will always be open to recommendations. Style, shopping and clothes are things I find to be good for my sole and I want to be accountable more often. 

I have discovered that in this life I need to find things I enjoy more often and follow through with them MORE OFTEN. I hope you can do the same! 
Until Next Time,
Reporting to Duty
Xox

Through Theodore’s Eyes

Over 20 months ago our journey began, in part because we needed more answers to why he wouldn’t grab toys or why his eyes “shook”. 

We thought it was many many scary things but now we have more answers and are making progress towards better health and strength. 

On Thursday, we will take an aggressive step in helping Theodore view the world from another perspective. 

Theodore is having what is called as strabismus surgery to correct his gaze. He will continue to need glasses but the surgery will steady his eyes. 

We are hoping that once the surgery is completed that he will be more willing to turn his head to the left. Eventually, and HOPEFULLY it will help release him of his torticollis, and he will be able to physically do more.

They do believe the surgery will not change his prescription and he will continue to wear glasses for farsightedness and astigmatism. But they do believe is have MANY benefits for his concentration.

During the procedure an opthamologist, who specializes in strabismus, will go in to loosen the muscles in his eyes. This procedure will help control his nystagmus and help him so he can gaze forward. 

There are so many fine details to the surgery that I just try to focus on the point and the end perspective. 

We are hoping this procedure is just yet another advancement for Theodore. He has already come quite a ways and we are hoping for more growth after this procedure. 

The procedure is routine, but for any parent it is quite scary. I have been emotional about the procedure mainly because I pray he is strong enough and that he does well under anesthesia. 

He has been under many times but I don’t think it gets any easier. As a parent I fear many things. I worry about his strength, severe apnea, his asthma and well anything else I can find to worry about during the procedure. I know many of you have felt this stress and how it can be worrisome. 

I am going to Report to Duty and channel my stress and worry into strength. I will be strong for him. I will help him recover and give him love and support. I would appreciate if everybody could send love, prayers and good vibes. 

Thanks in advance and all our love!  
Until Next Time, 
Reporting to Duty
Xox

Updates, Updates Get Your Updates!! 

It has been forever, I have written so many drafts but have not published anything in quite some time. We have been running around, with appointments and more appointments.

I do apologize.

Right now we are knee deep in sleep fighting. BOTH boys, I repeat BOTH boys are going through a sleep regression. I am not even sure if I can call it that, because right now I believe they have a FULL ON strike with sleep and Us as parents.

They hate us, I know it. I thought they would be older when they declared their hate, but I am sure they hate us now. I mean if they loved us wouldn’t they sleep more???

Well,  I must say while they are not sleeping they are growing. Oliver grows like a weed, and eats like a champ! He is getting so big and sometimes I just want him to slow down… both growing and getting into things.

Theodore as we know is a bit more tricky. He is growing… YAY! He has maintained a steady weight but has been getting taller…soo he is starting to look like a little string bean.

Theodore has been eating better, but we don’t plan on taking him to any buffets anytime soon.

BUT….. I am proud of what he is eating.

Bites are getting bigger and chewing is getting better. He is picking up some of his own food with his pencer grasp. Although, he is picky about what he picks up, I am happy he has started self feeding.

I realized once I stopped stressing (as much) about his eating he started eating better. I wish this happened for everything.

I believe Theodore’s eating is getting better because he is getting stronger. He is tolerating more tummy time, getting on his tummy to reach for things, and rolling…. YES rolling!!!

Ok, I have only seen the rolling a couple times. It has only taken place when he wanted to get away from his brother and to get to dirt BUT I will take it!!! It is rolling!!

He also is chatting up a storm, not “real” words but words that he expects us to understand. Which is wonderful but when I don’t know what he is saying he gives me the stink eye. So that’s fun….

Theodore is also doing wonderful weight bearing and standing up. He loves his AFO’s (braces) and because of them he is pulling to standing from an elevated seated position. He will also go from seated to standing while playing. It may not happen a lot, but he is trying to build his endurance.

That I LOVE!

Walking is also something we have been working on developing. A few weeks ago he got a gate trainer, which looks like a fancy baby walker. This has not been beneficial for him because he always sits on the seat in the center. Knowing Theodore if you give him an inch he takes a mile… soo when he sees a seat he is sitting!!

Because of this we have tried an actual walker. The baby walker is adorable. This week (for the first time) he put pressure on his hands to stabilize the walker and took some assisted steps!!

Wooooohooooo…..

Whaaaaaaaaaat……

Our boy took steps and he was proud. He was cheering in the mirror watching himself walk and it made me all the prouder.

I can not wait to see what the future holds for our little Theodore.

We still have a lot to practice. He won’t drink from a sippy cup, still chokes on water sometimes, does not crawl yet, is not strong enough to push up or pull up to knees, hates having a good deal of pressure on his hands and feet, and doesn’t enjoy a certain amount of messy.

I shouldn’t focus on the negative because I can’t show him when I get discouraged. I want him to know I never get discouraged in him, I get discouraged in myself. I fear I never work hard enough, or work enough. I, myself have to remain positive because I know my support and joy help him fight.

Nonetheless, I am proud of of him. I am proud of what he is doing and where he is going. I have many days where I feel like nothing is changing and we are in the drudges, but I know in my heart it will get better. I pray it will get better. He will get stronger.

I will, Report to Duty, in fighting through this sleep strike and fight to make both of our boys stronger. I will help them work to be their best. I will do better at acknowledging everybody has bad days. I will do better at understanding that you have to have bad days to appreciate the good! I hope you all do the same!!!

Until next time,
Reporting to Duty
Xox

Fight for Each Other.

Over the last few weeks we have been trying to line up docotors in North Carolina.

It is something that I didn’t particularly want initially, because we LOVE our team in Indiana.

However, while we were home, in Indiana, we had a couple cancellations. This messed with a few medical questions and urgencies. Since we were there only a short period of time we were unable to see them….. stressful, I know!!!!

Soooooooo……Now, we decided we needed to build our team of doctors for Theodore in North Carolina.

You would think this would be rather simple, but because of this tedious process My hair started falling out, I questioned God, the medical field and increased my wine intake.

These people have been infuriating to work with, they are slow, rude, do not follow through and question my own knowledge.

A great deal of them have been disrespectful and I am not sure how some of them have their medical license.

……….

After many useless appointments and tons of paperwork we have asked to see specialists at Duke Medical.

Ummm…. that wasn’t easy either AND it was as if I asked many of them to cure cancer.

One doctor read Theodore’s charts/notes incorrectly and before they even seen Theodore they gave him a diagnosis. The others wouldn’t see him until I dotted every I and crossed every T.

1. I understand and appreciate efficiency, but what about emergencies and the urgency of the situation at hand?

2. They diagnosed him with something he clearly did not have and when I told them they questioned me….whaaat?

3. They wanted us to wait EIGHT months to see a doctor. No sir that isn’t happening!!!

……….

I have fought, argued and challenged many medical facilities, because of these mishaps.

This should not have to happen, we are dealing with actual lives. Shouldn’t it be more efficient, no matter who it is shouldn’t we care MORE??

……….

A medical professional actually told me that I fought only because I was educated.

Not sure if that was a compliment or them being disrespectful BUT…..

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!

No…..I fight because I care!

I have a lot of fight and a lot to fight for ….but what about all the other children in this world.  What about all the other PEOPLE in this world??

Shouldn’t we all have someone fighting for us??

Just because I am educated you recognize my fight.

……….

I have come to learn that racism isnt just black or white. It is educated, uneducated, black, military, non-military, poor, rich, white, northern, southern, red, green purple  and blue.

What are we supposed to do?

All lives matter right?

I know this is a topic that has been popular over the last year, but I never come to recognize its importance until I had to fight for my son just to be seen at a specialist.

We are all so afraid of fighting, and if we’re not fighting then we are challenging EVERYTHING!

I understand the fear…

We are in a constant push and pull!!

I don’t have the answers but DAMN IT I will find the answers and I challenge everyone to speak out and find answers.

In our current situation it is the medical field.

But ….many others struggle in different areas.

We have had the privilege of seeing the best medical care in Indiana and I will fight for nothing less.

……….

I fear for those who know nothing different.

I fear for those who have no more fight.

I fear for those who are bullied.

I fear for those who are challenged.

……….

I am, Reporting to Duty, and asking you all to challenge the fight. DO NOT give up or give in!!

We all need to fight for EACH OTHER. I am going to continue my duty. I am going to write a Thank You letter to those medical professionals that have helped us and I am going to write those in charge of the medical professionals that have challenged us. Something needs to change and ALL LIVES MATTER!
Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

Thankful for those TINY little things! 

In all of our lives things become OVERWHELMING.

Sometimes we are going too fast, working too hard and concentrating on things too long to see what makes things go, work and turn.

I am definitely one of these people. 

I am constantly focusing on the BIG goals and the BIG steps we have taken to get where we all need and want to be in our lives. 

I forget about the TINY little things.

However, this year on Thanksgiving I am trying to remember all the TINY little things and BIG things we should be thankful for this year. 

1. I am thankful for our two beautiful boys. A year ago we only had one and now we have two. Each very individual of each other, but equally special. Theodore is spunky, loving, strong headed, courageous and unpredictable. Oliver is brave, predictable, loving, he already idealizes his big brother and we continue to learn more everyday. I am thankful God chose us to be their parents. 

2. I am thankful for my husband. This last year has been interesting to say the least  and I am glad that I get to have him as my partner. He was especially strong and supportive while Theodore and I lived in Indiana as we figured out/researched Theodore’s health. During this time I had our family near but he was all by himself and remained our strength. I am thankful for him everyday, even when I don’t show or say how I feel.

3. I am thankful for my family. They have been so supportive and helpful. I don’t take much time off from fighting or being a mommy but if and when I do they have been there to help (sometimes they even force me to take breaks). Each one of them celebrates our wins and encourages through the losses. I am thankful for each of them and their uniqueness. My family is like no other! 

4. I am thankful for the doctors that believed me, faught for us and broke boundaries to find Theodore’s rare chromosome deletion. We never wanted something wrong with our child, but  we knew something wasn’t right. I am glad they took the time to figure out the cause.  I continue to be thankful for their input and support with not only Theodore but Oliver. Not all doctors are equal and when you find those that REALLY care, you found a rare gem. In that, I am thankful for our team of docotors!

5. I am thankful for our Journey. I have not been happy, thrilled or joyous everyday of our Journey. I have learned how strong I can be and how hard I can push. I have seen and been amazed with the strength that has come from such hard and low moments. I am thankful for those we have met and all we have learned.

6. I am thankful for our friends. Those that have been in this with us have been patient and understanding of our inability to be present both physically and mentally (LOL). They have checked in and sent many many prayers and I am thankful for each one of them and their individual qualities. 

 I am thankful for a great deal. I hope I am able to see the beauty in everyday and I know that I will have days where I continue to struggle with seeing the positive. 

Nonetheless, I want to Report to Duty in taking time today, and try every other day to be thankful for those things that we take for granted. Some of these things we may even find silly to say aloud, but I sure am thankful them. 

Here is just a small list…..our home, our dogs, our nieces 👯, my shoes 👠, food on our table, shelter, our dogs 🐶, my comfy bed, transportation 🚤✈️🚂🚲🚙, support, feeling loved, being an American 🇺🇸, being a women, comfy slippers, wine, love, kindness, freedom, coffee ☕️, a nice handbag 👜, lip stains, vacations, medical breakthroughs, and much much more…

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and please take time to be thankful for the small tiny tiny things. 

If we can’t be thankful for the small things then maybe we will never be appreciative of the bigger things!! 

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

Titles, Pain and Special Needs

Recently we were discussing Theodore with our team of doctors and they brought up the TITLE …..SPECIAL NEEDS.

I shook my head, complied, and we all continued discussing the matter at hand.

BUT….

Nonetheless, internally, my heart shook, I was emotionally solemn, wrecked and devastated.

Although, I knew this was a topic long time coming ( because of logistics) and I agreed on many levels… I knew I needed to face the TITLE.

Titles have been scary for me, not because we have endured a great deal of pain with Theodore and related it to this particular title…

But the fear developed from….

Other People’s JUDGEMENT!!!

……….

Over SIX months ago we were midst… KNEE DEEP in the Journey of figuring out THEODORE.

We had just just discovered how wonderful and rare he was( although we already knew how special). However, when we discovered the diagnosis we all knew there was still a great deal of digging and discovering that we had yet to do.

As you all know in the midst of this I began writing my blog, it became yet another distraction in recognizing the TITLE of our son.

I knew when I started we all could be objectified to judgement, as it was something I talked about in one of my very first blogs about our situation.

However, I never knew something directed towards my son could hurt me so bad.

……….

During this time we were in Indiana, as many of you know, working with a team of Docotors.

Feeling crazy and ready for a distraction I went where every fashionista goes….TJ Maxx for some pointless strolling and shopping. Also, I needed a new swimsuit for the growing baby bump.

Now the TJ Max isn’t just in any town, it is in my home town. A place where most people know everybody’s business, cousin, uncle brother’s sister…. ya know a “Peyton place”…

You think these places only exists in an old country song or a Kasey Mushraves album.
Do not be fooled, these types of towns do exist. YES, in real life.

In this town you can either be someone’s best friend or someone’s enemy. Ya just sometimes never know what you are, because sometimes they don’t even know.

BUT, in this same very type of town you have the good ones, the real good ones that will fight, support and stick up for you even when you don’t live in that town anymore… and those are some rare gems.

So… basically everybody knows everybody and everybody wants to know everything about everybody’s business. Can be bad and can be good just depends on the situation.

But it also can be hurtful.

……….

Now…. back to Theodore and I’s shopping trip.

While shopping at this particular TJ Max, I recognized one of those people that I was acquainted with growing up. I spoke and smiled thinking the same would occur in return…. IT DID NOT!!

Which it was fine until it wasn’t .

Both of us just happened to be looking through the women’s swimsuits, their child kept wanting to play and touch Theodore. I didn’t mind because Theodore LOVES people and other children….

BUT this other adult did not like this and kept scrambling through the area.

THEN this child tried to TOUCH Theodore (which wasn’t going to bother me, who wouldn’t want to show him some love)…

and this particular person called him SICK….

She told her young child Theodore was SICK…

IT WRECKED MY WORLD!

NO…I didn’t get my boxing gloves out.

I just tried to calmly correct and explain to her that he is/was not SICK (now if you would have met him in his first two months of life, then I would have agreed, but NOW he gets sick like a traditional child… only a little sooner, and faster because of his low tone).

BUT she ran to the checkout….and wouldn’t LISTEN.

She didn’t even have the kindness to apologize or ask REAL questions.

She just threw her judgement out and RAN.

……….

THIS, THIS very instance is why I never think about “Titles”for Theodore. Yes he has a rare chromosome deletion, but I never think too much further…

Because it hurts and truthfully I become extremely emotional.

Yes, I let this person from my home town who claims to be a Christian, owns a company selling Christian based apparel, and speaks about kindness and religion…. affect my life.

I let this person who claims to be a servent of God, judge the child God gave us?

BUT, not anymore!!!!!!! NO SIR…

Theodore is NOT SICK!!!

I am a BILLION percent sure you or your children won’t CATCH his chromosome deletion.

……….

I have come to terms with the TITLE.

YES he is SPECIAL NEEDS and to me this means he needs MORE LOVE!!

It means that we DO NOT want negative people in his life, And we won’t have it!!

It means our lives sometimes will be extra hard, but it also means Theodore will have a great deal of people in his life that truely LOVE him.

He will have a whole army and if this is what SPECIAL NEEDS means then we are ok with it!

We didn’t pray for our child to have special needs but we do pray he is LOVED. Loved a great deal and this is already being accomplished by his team, army, and support group!

I refuse to let this situation bother how I feel about the title, SPECIAL NEEDS .

Like my sister said, and I could not have said it any better…”This meanness just makes us fight harder and burns our fire bigger. Theodore is special and we have always known this and it is not up to other people to judge”.

God knew what he was doing when he gave us Theodore.

We wouldn’t give him back or change him, because he is OUR SPECIAL CHILD.

Theodore will move mountains.

I will, Report to Duty, in fighting for Theodore and standing up for his SPECIAL NEEDS. I will accept this title, and never deny him of it again and show him the pride in these very words. I will fight his battles and teach him strength and courage to fight his own. I will ensure this title doesn’t cause him pain!!

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

Following MY Journey.

Last week my husband, Keith asked me, when the last time I wrote on my blog.

I knew I had been neglecting it and I tried giving a valid excuse, but the wonderful man ( sitting across from me in the hospital) wasn’t going to take an excuse.

Sadly and honestly I don’t remember the last time I posted a blog. I do know that I have several drafts and a few titles, but no posts.

In my mind I am stressed out, LOST,  over worked, being a terrible adult and severely OVER multitasking. In reality, I am making excuses and feeling sorry for myself.

Sooo…… I need to get over myself!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

*Adapting to Oliver and working his schedule into ours

*Learning what is best for Oliver

*My healing( after c-section)

*Theodore’s therapy

*Learning how to parent two children

*Taking a road trip to Indiana for Theodore’s schlew of appointments

*Learning about more interventions/procedures needed for Theodore  ( eye surgery, new glasses bc new prescription, hearing aids bc failed hearing in left ear, ENT bc breathing issues while sleeping… I will update in another blog)

*Keith getting put in the hospital during his short visit to Indiana interrupting my crazy plans (diverticulitis and an abscess in the colon) -Exhibit A -I should ease up on the planning.

All of this feels like a lot and sometimes I feel extremely overwhelmed, LOST , mad, sad and tired.

BUT…..I have to keep telling myself we can get through this journey, I can handle my part of the job…..

but ….DAMN IT, sometimes it is freaking hard.

I have come to realize I cry less than I used to and I pray more. I pray so much more. I pray when I am showering, walking out of the hospital, before I go to bed, grocery shopping, when I am driving and even when I occasionally drink a glass of wine.

I need to know that there is something bigger better and in more control than I am. I need to know that God is only giving me what I can handle and that Keith and I can conquer each of our challenges together.

Now I am NOT trying to get you on a God bandwagon and it really isn’t something I “preach” about, bc ya know I don’t care who your God is and I am not judging.

BUT I am sharing because I need God!

I still cuss, yell and drink (ya know we believe water was turned to wine by BIG J himself so it’s appropriate)  so I am NOT claiming to be all holly and perfect but I NEED the man! I NEED to know he listens even when I feel lost.

I NEED to stop feeling lost and out of control!

I know in my life I have said I need many things; including Starbucks and a new pair of shoes, but I truly know those are not real needs. I am just being over dramatic and probably should get over myself. But hey it wouldn’t be me without those quarks!!

I know in order to stop feeling lost I need to stop saying what if, over planning and let life happen. I NEED to trust in the plan created for me!

If you know me well those three things are VERY hard! But that truly does NEED to happen. I understand I will occasionally feel lost in my life but I know I will NEED to regroup and understand life happens! You all need to pray I can let go….GROUP WORK!!!

I will TRY to Report to Duty, everyday, in effort of letting go and following the journey. MY Journey. I will try to guide myself with the enjoyment of the unknown and refuse to get lost.

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox