Beach Life & The Complications 

As parents, everything we do takes time. Those who have children, more specifically small children, or children with special needs understand this task. 

Nothing, is easy anymore and even going to the bathroom could cause a meltdown.

This process never stops it becomes a part of everything you do, anywhere you go.

I think it gets easier.

It is that time of year again where the beach becomes our second home. 

The beach has always been a favorite spot of ours. I have been going since I was little and both the boys have been to the beach since they were just a few weeks old.

Taking a baby on the go and one toddler with special needs it is a great deal of work, but it still manages to be a special place. 

Nonetheless, is has had its moments.

When Theodore was a year old we had a beach incident. Although, we had been a million times he still managed to spice things up. 

This particular time he ended up in the sand face first, all because he wiggled out of his seat. He had sand in his mouth and throat. He was not breathing and barely responding.  

9-1-1 was called.

Finally, we were able to get the sand out and he came back to us. What was probably only a minute, felt like a bajillion and his life flashed before our eyes. 

These fearful things can happen right in front of you. It happened to us. We were simply setting up the umbrella and he decided he didn’t want to be in his seat anymore. Although, we were right there I know we weren’t fast enough. I know we could have done more. I know we could have been watching him closer.

Most children would have been able to get themselves out of this incident, but because Theodore was so small and weak he wasn’t able to save himself. 

I’m thankful we were there. I’m thankful we decided accidents happen. I’m thankful we continue to face our fears and head to the beach. 

I fear many incidents and daily tasks, but I can’t let my fear keep us from showing the boys the world. Although, I still have fear, I have a new found joy for the beach.

As if I didn’t love it before, I now have found it more special. It has become special because I see their joy. 

The boys have changed our beach routine.

Sometimes heading to the beach takes forever, and other times we work like a well oiled machine. Each of us has a job, we always pack everything including the kitchen sink……. BUT we love their excitement of the sand and the sea.

Both of them love the beach in their own ways.

This is good for my soul.

Oliver is everywhere, eating the sand, digging with his hands, nothing hold him down and this will continue as he grows.

Theodore loves the sand between his toes, and throwing his toys in the sand. He is now getting stronger and I trust him a little more around the sand, but I still fear. 

Oliver loves the rushing water on his bum and Theodore loves being in the waves. 

They both love the sound of the ocean and beach naps.

I am thankful I get to watch their joy grow. I am anticipating when they will start making their way down the beach and when they will begin exploring sea life in all its beauties. Sometimes, I wonder what this will look like for Theodore, but I have to stay hopeful his strength will come. 

I will, Report to Duty, in pushing aside fear and focusing on the joy. I will continue to take them to the beach and share this love. I will teach them and promote exploration. I will surpass my anxieties and I will show them the world. 

I hope you all can do the same. 

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

 

 

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

Happy Mother’s Day 

I have had the opportunity to look up to some pretty great mothers in my life. They have taught me a great deal and have showed me unconditional love. 

Before becoming a mother I knew I wanted to cherish these role models, and tools of motherhood. BUT…. I also knew I had to make my own rules and guidelines. 

I have to think just two short years ago I was not even a mother. I had not been through the trudges of motherhood or knew what was coming to our life. 

We were expecting but I had no clue how UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL our life would become. 

I had no clue that you could love so much that it would hurt. 

I had no clue how much responsibility it is to take care of such a tiny life. 

I had no clue that no other job would be as gratifying as being Theodore and Oliver’s  mother. 

However, this has been the hardest most rewarding job and role I have ever done. 

Some days it has been significantly lonely, and it has been many times thankless. I have bawled, screamed, ugly cried and cursed. I have fought depression, anxiety and have struggled with jealousy. I have felt alone, judged and hopeless. I have wanted more support and struggled with the WHY.

It is the scariest thing I have ever done being these boy’s mommy.

This job… being a MOTHER has changed who I am deep into my soul. 

Although, it has been hard I wouldn’t change it for the world. I would not have it taken back and I am NOT giving up. 

NOW…TWO years later……I like to think that I am an improved version of myself. 

“MaMA” has been my most favorite role, job, title and life perspective.

BUT….

I have apologize to all mother’s because I thought becoming a mother would be different. I didn’t necessarily think it would be easier, or more rewarding but different. 

BUT

It is so sooooooo much more……

It is EVERYTHING.
Happy Mother’s Day to mother’s of all kinds. 

I will be, Reporting to Duty, this Mother’s Day. I will be giving my boys some extra love and spending it knee deep in motherhood. I will be continuing to try to take more time and cherish the good with the bad. I will continue to take in the scent of their skin, the rhythm of their beating heart and the warmth of their hugs. 

I will cherish motherhood. 
CHEERS! I make a toast to you!! And do something great for yourself mother’s!!!
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

Are we ENOUGH ? 

Our days are filled with therapy, docotors apts, traveling, teaching, studying aches, pains and complains, repetition and diaper changes…..many many MANY diaper changes.

Everyday,  I try to focus on a to-do list and a skill that Theodore and now Oliver need to learn.

Theodore has grown and grown A LOT.  However, he has many skills he has not yet learned. Many have been demonstrated by one of his many helpful therapists and many of them need to be practiced daily.

Oliver is growing like a weed and many of his skills he will “accidentally” learn. He will hopefully follow through many of the “normal” developmental skills. He also is picking up on things so fast because of the older people/ kids around him.

Theodore is striving and growing, but he is older and his hypotonia and other struggles have set him back a bit( as we all know)……AND he is so smart and STUBBORN soooo…..we have to continue to practice.

If a skill is hard and he knows it, he will do EVERYTHING in his power to keep from working on that skill.

YES, he creates more work for himself. 

But…..

Sometimes I forget, but I try my hardest to practice and other times we are so busy with every other task we don’t have time. 

Am I only human… YES!

Should I make excuses….NO!

On top of these teachings we have “normal” toddler/baby tasks to complete. Playing, naps, pump for Oliver, laundry, cleaning bottles, feeding(when Theodore decides to eat, and Keeping Oliver on a set schedule because he would eat all the time) and giving them a healthy dose of LOVE. 

Many days, I do not have enough time to really think or analyze how I am doing as a parent, or a person because I only have enough time to plan, task and put those plans and tasks in action.

Many nights, the quiet ones,  I lay awake worried that we may not be enough. That we could be doing more, that Theodore needs more. That Oliver is being overshadowed by the many things we have to do for his brother, that one day Oliver may resent being second. That they both may resent we didn’t do enough. 

I worry that they will not meet their milestones because maybe we haven’t done ENOUGH!

Is it possible we didn’t practice enough with Theodore? Or maybe Oliver didn’t get enough time to develop on his own because we have asked too much of him.

I worry even though we are giving EVERYTHING it is still not enough.

I worry I am not teaching them enough about life and the small things, because we are focused on the daily tasks of life.

I worry that if I don’t care enough or love enough that everything can be taken away.

I fear that striving to be “perfect” isn’t enough.

I fear if I don’t take time to be thankful is will disappear.

Are we enough? ……

Are we doing enough? Are we giving enough? Do we try hard enough? Do we love enough? Do we get out enough? Do we see family enough? Do we share enough? Do we laugh enough? Do we snuggle enough? Are we teaching enough? Do we play enough? Do we appreciate everything we have, enough? Do we pray enough? Do we share enough?

Sometimes, well a lot of times, I answer NO to these questions. However, in my rare moments of sanity (haha) I realize we are trying our hardest to be enough. Most of the time I am hard on myself because of fear and questioning. These very thoughts create a lot of tears and frustration and I begin to bury myself in a deeper hole of sadness.

BUT…

I need to know we are trying hard enough, to be enough!!

I need to know that God gave these wonderfully unique boys to us because he knew we were going to be enough!

I will try to Report to Duty, everyday in knowing we are enough! Or I will at least TRY!  I will continue to try as hard as we have been, even though we all could use improvement, to be ENOUGH!! We will continue to give them all our love and do our best!

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