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

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

My Body and 2 Babies

Today I started to try on pre-pregnancy pants…..That was not smart!

It involved a lot of sighing, frustration, fear, sweating and maybe a few tears. Then I collected my crazy and talked myself out of these feelings.

I recognized that I needed time and pulled myself back to reality. Then threw on a dress.

In the last 24 months I have been pregnant for 18+ of those months!!!(yes I am a believer that pregnancy is longer than 9 months… for me I always go to 40+ weeks).

I am proud of my body and thankful for our two handsome, smart and wonderful boys.

Nonetheless, every part of my body has stretched, moved, relocated AND…..now I have a wonderful incision/scar on my lower belly that makes things even more tricky.

AND most of this transformation took about 9+months soooo………

WHY did I think I would fit into my pre-pregnancy pants just a week after giving birth…Well because I thought it was EXPECTED.

WHY did I get frustrated with myself because those pants didn’t fit….Well because I thought it was EXPECTED.

BUT…if it take 9+months to move itself, shouldn’t I have a little more than 1 week for it to move itself back????

In this world of social media and JUDGING we see celebrities, models and society tell us that we are supposed to fit in our pre-pregnancy pants immediately. When this doesn’t happen many of us feel sad, depressed and even frustrated.

BUT we must remember we are all different and fitting into those pants is not always realistic. (However, I am real proud of those who can)

As a mom of two I must be realistic with myself. I must understand that it is not realistic for ME to fit into all of my pre-pregnancy pants. Instead of calling my bigger pants, “fat pants” I should call them my “mom pants” and I SHOULD FEEL PROUD.

Personally….. I will skip pants all together and just wear dresses. 1. Because they are easier and more comfortable. 2. Because most of my dresses make me feel beautiful. 3. Most of them fit ME waaaaaaay better than my pants.

Wear and do what makes you feel comfortable. Set realistic goals. Have a plan. Don’t get overwhelmed and know you are beautiful. Splurge at times and LOVE YOURSELF. BE PROUD.

This is a topic that is often stressed about but something that I feel is not discussed from a healthy perspective.

From now on, I will, Report to Duty, in loving myself. I will try to love the NEW ME and I will work at getting to the BEST ME. I will appreciate my body for growing two unique, smart and handsome boys. I will promise not to try on my pre-pregnancy pants until I am actually ready.

My wish is for all mom’s, and new mom’s is to love yourself and be the best you. And…..for goodness sakes DO NOT try on the pre-pregnancy pants a week after giving birth.

Until Next time,

Reporting to Duty

xox

To Theodore, Our First Born.

In a little over a week you will no longer be an only child. Your short 13 month span as an only child is coming to an end. However, you will always be our first.

A little over 22 months ago we discovered you were on your way. Our prayer was answered quickly, and we fumbled around getting things together for your debut!

For those nine months I carried you, I prayed for your health and safety. I never really cared if you were a boy or girl, but that you would come into this world knowing you were loved.

The day you arrived was scary, stressful and tiring but when I first met you I knew you were special. These last 13 months have been the hardest and most gratifying months of my life.

You were the little boy that made me a mommy.

I thought I knew how the job was done, but I actually had no clue. It was you that showed me I could learn. You were patient when I needed some more time to figure things out and you understood I would eventually learn.

Also, before you came I was not a patient person (it was something I often prayed for). Often I still struggle, but it was you that showed me,at times, I can have the patience of a saint.

You showed me that I can have more than one goal path and that surprises come in all forms. You taught me that I am to always trust my instincts, that your kisses can heal my pain and that breathing isn’t the same without you in this world.

When you came into this world I did my hair less, rarely wore makeup, shopped less, and wore yoga pants more, but you taught me a great deal. Scared and worried in the beginning about motherhood and change, I now understand the old me could have NEVER handled this past year.

You showed me the world from yet another perspective. You helped me grow…….

I worry about these next couple months because, I don’t want you to feel neglected or left behind. I am expecting this to be different and I pray you are resilient( as we have seen time and time again).

I know you will be the best big brother and you will continue to teach us all. You are unique and rare and we are greatfull to have you as our first born.

Please be patient with us my dear first born son, and know I will always be greatfull to you.

Things may never be perfect, but together we have formed the perfect team. I will love you more than you will ever know. I will, Report to Duty, EVERYDAY to be your mother. I will try to teach you all I know and allow you to prosper. Things will never be perfect, I may struggle, but I will try my hardest.

You will always be my first and that will always be special.

I love you to infinity and beyond Theodore.
Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty (your mommy)

Xox