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

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

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

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

Finding New Shoes

Shoes have been a HUGE part of my life. When I am happy, sad or angry I buy shoes. Some of my shoes are pricey designer shoes and others are DSW clearance rack. I enjoy all types and sometimes I have even bought shoes when they are uncomfortable….Well because I needed them for an outfit or they were just too good to pass up.

When I open the doors to my shoes closet( as we are preparing our other spare room for #babymiller2) I realized there are several pairs that I have not worn in over 18 months.

Some are covered in dust, and others remain in their boxes in the dust cover. Each pair beautiful and unique in their own….BUT many of them make me anywhere from 2-6 inches and right now I don’t feel like juggling in heels.

However, my shoe closet is beginning to look a little different. Both literally and figuratively.

Life is different now as a mom and I need different shoes. I have realized that most of them do not make me any taller and most of them are practical. Do not get me wrong, I still deal with a little pain because I will never give up on a cute outfit or a great pair of shoes, but all shoes appear different to me.

During my pregnancy I was ignorant and I believed that after I was done having the baby I would resort back to my impractical shoes. I was wrong…life looks different.

Months went by after I had Theodore and some of the shoes I used to wear I still put on, but they have felt different. Some have felt unnecessary and others felt more exciting. When this happened, I knew my life had changed.

All mothers go through change and now I understand. Change has been needed in our lives and I admit that becoming a mother has changed my life. Before Theodore I was adamant about staying who I was and not changing, and when he arrived I was a little sad about the new me. It was confusing, sad and frustrating.

When I gave in to the change and differences, I began to understand I have changed and it was needed to become a better me. I am still the same person BUT different. None of this is bad, and at first it was uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I have embraced the change and made it a part of the new me. I believe this change has helped me accept the challenges we have faced and has prepared me for those we have not.

Now…..I think the heels on my old shoes would have broke, and my new d’Orsey flats and my Converse are standing pretty strong….

As we continue our journey with Theodore and #babymiller2 I know more change and shoes are to come, but I am prepared. I am never willing to turn down a new pair of shoes, and now I know they will look a little different.

A pair of shoes will always look different on my feet than they look on others. I never expect others to understand the difference or how they feel.

BUT…….I never want anyone to judge my shoes, because they are not walking in them or putting them away in my closet.

Standing in front of my closet I realize it is time to clean out the old, move over the old faithful and put away the new. I will Report to Duty, in accepting new styles and sizes and understand that the change is good. I will continue shoe shopping and working to be the mommy and the best me.

Until next time!!

Reporting to Duty

Xox

 

Firsts, The Fourth and Our Friendship

I have been MIA and it has been wonderful!

Theodore and I took a trip to see daddy, my love and my best friend in North Carolina. We all spent some great one-on-one time together.

We escaped doctors visits, therapy and added the ocean and the pool to our daily routine.

All of this sounds easier than it actually is, because we still spoke to doctors and worked on therapy every day. Now at 11 months old we are understanding of what is needed and what has to take place to keep Theodore on his toes( well getting him to be on his toes).

With Theodore some routine is necessary and other routine he develops on  his own, based on how he is feeling. Sometimes the transition is a bit hard for him and it affects his immune system and breathing. Now that we are WORLD Travelers…wink wink….we know what is needed and necessary. Let me tell you, this was not always the case….

After many struggles and strides we now understand and are more calm as we wait for him to develop an understanding of where we are(in the world) and how is routine benefits him. We are glad because we are many places and have a few BIG changes happening over the next several months.

Luckily, Theodore has been adapting to some of these changes well, with his schedule.

While we were at our other home in North Carolina we tried to work on the #babymiller2 nursery/bedroom. This included several trips to Hobby Lobby, Target and Babies RUS….I would like to say the room is complete BUT it’s not…..

Instead I snuggled with Theodore, laughed with Keith, went to the pool and mossied to the beach and READ…an actual book which I have not done since WAAAAAAAY before Theodore was born and it felt wonderful to do nothing.

There are many loose ends and HONESTLY the freak inside of me is CALM….I KNOW RIGHT…but I have to accept the peace and know it will be done…well Hopefully, it will be done.

While we were visiting with daddy, Theodore had MANY FIRSTS…

His FIRST big boy haircut….went off without a hitch…I was fearful the clippers would scare him, but it was the opposite…Loved the clippers and hated the scissors. Now he just looks even more handsome and I didn’t know that was possible.

His FIRST time saying MAMA and DADA…Yes, it was wonderful!! He said MAMA first and then started rhyming everything and ended up at DADA…plus now we say..lala, nana, gaga and many other rhymes. Recently he has started making SSSS sounds…I feel he will talk before he walks.

His FIRST Fourth of July…Yes this time last year I was a mere 36 weeks pregnant lounging in a baby pool wondering about his arrival. This year we enjoyed a fun day at the ocean playing in the sand, taking beach naps and splashing the water…Wow what a year brings!!

His FIRST fireworks show…I was terrified..Theodore has some issues with low loud noises and I was fearful he would HATE the fireworks…Nonetheless, he proved me wrong AGAIN….Before we even sat down in our chairs the fireworks began and he started squealing with JOY and Excitement…he did this the entire time and when the finale began he was so excited he clapped!!!

His FIRST time clapping his hands…YES we have been working on this since day ONE. As a baby with low muscle tone it takes a lot of energy to hold his arms out or up. Clapping was always physically impossible and we often could see the struggle in his eyes when he wanted to try. What started out as only reaching in from of him has developed to clapping. Yes, it is still very slow and makes no noise but maybe to a humming bird but he claps!! This is a HUGE accomplishment in our world.

After many firsts and two and a half weeks home it was time to leave. We were all so sad, but knew it was back to the grind for a few more weeks. Before it was time to leave, Keith and I reminisced over the past 2 weeks. Then moved on to the past 11 months and our joys, sadness and strengths. We have had to push and pull on each other a lot, and although it has been a struggle we know it has been for the best. We know that because of our sacrifices Theodore has been able to prosper and this was and will be our goal.

Theodore has reached many FIRSTS and will continue to reach many as Keith and I work as a team and best friends. It is not always perfect, but we will Report to Duty, in ensuring our relationship and our children come first.

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

xox