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

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

The Inevitable Laundry. 

Let us chat… about life. I love talking about my boys but……

I HATE laundry.    

Today is a post about how I extremely dislike laundry. 

Conflicting because I LOVE the smell of clean clothes. Love, love, love when my sheets are clean smelling a bit like bleach and laundry detergent. 

But I hate LAUNDRY. 

No, I am not speaking in code… I am talking about actual laundry. Not someone’s “dirty laundry” but the stuff that piles up in your bathroom, laundry room or bedroom. 

I will do anything.. clean toilets, dust, wash baseboards, do the dishes, take the Theodore to therapy a few times a week, run errands, wash the dogs, garden, go to Wal-Mart, etc etc ….

Yes……….Just to get out of the laundry. 

I know some think laundry is easy or soothing, but I HATE it. 

Everything about it makes me cringe, folding it, sorting it and putting it away is just too much.

I hate sorting it and ensuring all items are with like colors and similar fabrics… You know you don’t want to stick those towls with a lint seeking blouse. 

I hate when clothes are not right side out. It is so tedious to go through every piece and fix each item. 

I hate when I accidentally dry something that should have been hung….and well in my mind most of my clothes need hung dry. Sooo.. that is yet another step.

I hate when clothes are washed at night, left in the washer overnight and then smell….so those usually have to be washed again. I hate this. 

I hate folding it because some of the pieces are too tiny. 

I also hate folding it because some of the tiny pieces are wrinkly and then that makes me think about ironing… which I dislike MORE.

Instead of folding I try to hang everything and I DEFINITELY do not fold the unmentionables. Mine just get shoved in their specific drawer.

Thank the heavens above I have a husband that doesn’t mind the laundry. He knows I loathe laundry. He folds everything perfectly, he sorts it and sometimes I can even get him to put it away and………

Iron!! He will Iron anything anything ANYTHING!! 

It is great! 

I will sometimes HOLD OFF wearing it again if it needs ironed or I will try to give it a once over with my straightener….. 

YES… you heard me right I use my STRAIGHTENER so I don’t have to iron. 

It is fantastic and it works!! 

Give it a try sometime. 

However, I need to get better at laundry.

Well… because it piles up. 

Then it becomes even more overwhelming. 

Sometimes I bicker and it becomes a light argument. This happens when things are not found and what we want to wear is not clean. 

Annoying…

If only I was wealthy enough to have a service………but I am not. 

Even if I was I am not sure how I feel about a stranger washing my unmentionables.

 Hmmmmm…

So I need to get my butt in gear. I literally need to get over my annoyance. 

I hope I am not the only person out there that dislikes this process this greatly. Please tell me I am not alone. 

So my goal…..

Is to, Report to Duty in being better at laundry and all aspects of laundry. I need to have a more positive outlook. Luckily I don’t wash all my things all the time, but my husband washes everything all the time. P.s. I hate this too. I need to be more patient. I need to be more understanding of this treacherous task! Wish me luck or give me a shout out if you are in the same boat.

If so, good luck to you!!
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