Monday, April 26, 2010

Ms. Ella is growing!

Ms. Ella had her 2 month check up last week and our little girl gained 2lbs!!!  YEAH for Ella!!!  She is almost 8 lbs now. When I saw 7.13 register on the scale, I was so happy I wanted to hug the nurse. It's funny how such a small thing could make me so happy, but it did. It was so awesome. I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day. My little baby is growing just like she should. No label of Down syndrome is slowing her down! I was so proud of Ella and proud of Mike and I for not killing each other over the past 9 weeks while we have existed on no sleep and a crazy feeding schedule. 

I have been doing good these past few weeks. Not blogging as much because I am swaped with work, kids, cleaning, life in general.  I always think about posting, but when I sit down to type, I just don't have the words there like I used too.  In the beginning, I would sit down and my feelings would flow from my heart to my fingertips faster than I could type. I would just type and type and when I was done, it would all sound so perfect and so honest and I would hit submit and it was done.  Now though, I am at this place with Ella and our feelings that is more complicated than the raw emotion I felt in the beginning.  I am accepting and so in love with my new life but there are times where I will be doing just fine and then, out of nowhere, I will be at the grocery store and see a mom with her daughter and I will just tear up. I get angry for what this God we all believe in has taken from my daughter. I get mad that her daddy will never walk her down the aisle, I get mad that she will never be cheer captain. I get sad for the times that I know kids will stare at Ella and make fun of her. I feel these things, but I feel like feeling them is silly and useless.  These aren't the things that matter in life. What matters is that you are loved and happy and safe.  Getting married is important, but parents don't love their unmarried kids less. Being cheer captain is great, but I wasn't cheer captain and my mom and dad didn't seem to care. Kids made fun of me and I am a very capable, smart adult who wasn't adversly affected by it.  See, I get mad and sad for Ella but then I get mad at myself for worrying about these silly, trivial things that don't really matter.  I might dwell on what she won't have, but I need to dwell on what we will have. Love, hugs, smiles, popsicles on the patio with her brothers, shopping days with her grandmas, sleepovers with her aunt. She will be just fine, cheer captain or not but I can't stop myself from feeling this way from time to time. 

Tomorrow is our appointment with the DDD. We will spend time preparing the plan for Ella's first 3 years of life and what therapies and special services she will need and when she will get them.  It will be our first time dealing with a state agency with something as important as our daughters future. Wish us luck.... I won't settle for anything but exactly what Ella needs, so maybe you should wish the DDD luck instead! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Sir Reed....

I had started a post about Reed's birthday but ran out of time to post it on his actual birthday, please excuse the tardiness of the post, yes, his birthday was Sunday, but better late than never...

To my baby boy:

As I tucked you into bed tonight and answered the millionth question of the day about cheetahs and sharks, I started to tear up. I am so sad that tomorrow you will be four. I know you don’t understand why someone would be sad about a birthday, but one day, when you are a daddy maybe you will understand.

For 3 - almost - 4 years, you have been the baby of the family and you have embraced this role with your whole heart and soul. You are my love bug that never misses a chance to snuggle with me under the covers or kiss my cheek just because. You are my strong little boy that has had 2 surgeries in your short time here and never complained about the pain. You are the little boy that questions everything and never remembers anything. You are the little brother that drives his big brother crazy but is missed terribly when you two are apart for more than an hour. You are the reason I have gray hair and the reason I know how to get marker off of anything. Your laugh is so infectious that I sometimes say silly things just to hear it. Your eyelashes are the reason you get away with everything. Your smile is the reason I rush in the door at night. Hearing you say I love you is something that will never ever get old. Holding your hand is so special to me that I hope it's still cool to hold your mamma's hand when you are 12.

As you get older, you don't need me as much and it breaks my heart. You used to get up once a night just so I could kiss you goodnight again and while I might have acted mad, I loved that you missed me that much. You used to ask me to pour you a drink or open your snack and now you do it all on your own. You used to need my help getting dressed and now, you can even match your shirt and shorts! I am so proud of how much you can do on your own, but so sad to know that soon, you won't call me mama anymore, it will be just mom and you won't hide behind me when I drop you off at school and give me 15 kisses right there in front of everyone. I am sad that my baby boy, the little 5lb preemie is growing up. I am sad but also happy. Happy that I get to do silly dances with you to country music, happy that I have a friend to color with, happy that I have a partner in crime when I want to play a trick on daddy. Happy you are becoming you but sad that each day you grow older and more independent. If I could bottle your smile, your laugh, your laid back attitude, I would. You have taught me to laugh more, smile more, look at bugs more. You have taught me that, yes, kids do get in trouble at school. You have shown me love and the worst tantrums ever. You have tested my patience like nothing else, but in the end, you have shown me that your round belly and silly smile is all I need to be happy. I just need my Reedy.

Love you baby bubbies. Love you forever and infinity and happy birthday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So tired...

The lack of sleep is starting to really affect me. If you call me after 7 at night, you might think I am drunk, but have no fear, I am just in some weird sleep deprivation state and it causes me to slur my words. It also causes me to forget when I schedule dr. appointments, not buy 1/2 the stuff I need at the grocery store, call my children by random names and spell simple words very wrong. It sucks. Ms. Ella must know that I was about to pass out standing up if I didn't get more sleep and she slept great last night, so I am a little more rested today, but still, I feel like I live my life in a fog now. A fog of sleepiness.
You might wonder why I don't make Mike get up for the middle of the night feedings, Ella is formula fed so it isn't like she needs me to be the one feeding her. It's actually really simple why I get up, I love it. I love the moments we have at night when all is quiet and it's just me and her and a silly TV show. She is warm and snuggly and eats slow and takes time to smile and hold my pinky in her little hand. It is a magical time that I look forward to every day. It is the only time in my day where nothing matters but me and my baby. No Blackberry buzzing, no stress of owning a business, no 6 and 3 year old tattling on each other, just a little baby who needs me for everything and doesn't even realize how wonderful that makes me feel. We watch shows like 16 and Pregnant and I tell her that boys are bad news and I cry each time the babies are born because it reminds me of how wonderful having (not carrying, having) a baby is. We watch Project Runway and her and I critique the outfits. We watch the stupidest shows I can find and I give her my running commentary on what's happening and she eats her bottle and burps and lets out gas like a trucker but I know this is her way of telling me she likes our special time too. I won't lie, every 5th night or so I roll over and ask Mike to take the feeding because I need to get some solid sleep or I might turn into the wicked witch of the west but I miss her those nights.

My lack of sleep has become a problem for my memory. Nothing I learn, see or hear is forgotten. It's stored up in my little brain for life. Sucks if you're Mike and want me to forget that time you didn't get me a card on my birthday and I was pregnant and turning 30 and on bed rest and miserable, but most of the time my ability to recall such things as my dad's work number 10 years ago is a good thing. UNTIL I woke up one day and couldn't remember anything. That state department that will be handling Ella's therapy and care plan? No idea what the DDD's stand for. Her next Dr. appt? Thought it was last Tuesday. It wasn't. Remembering to buy lunch stuff for the kids. Whoops, looks like hot lunch for you Ryan. It's like I am living the life of a pothead without the pot and munchies (oh, wait, I have the munchies, but it has nothing to do with smoking illegal substances and everything to do with my addiction to frosted flakes and Milano cookies). I hate not being able to remember anything! I am worried my skills in Trivial Pursuit will be affected and I might not pick the kids up from school one day. I start to worry that maybe this has nothing to do with my lack of sleep and has everything to do with turning 30 and getting older. I don't want to give up my magic nights with Ms. Ella so I guess I won't know if it is lack of sleep or my advanced age for a while longer.

I had mentioned in my last post that Ella's 2 month dr. appt. was this week. It isn't, it's next week. I am so nervous for the appointment. She should of gained a fair amount of weight, but her amount per feeding hasn't really increased so I am worried that she hasn't gained enough.  I am also driving myself crazy by finding developmental milestone charts and watching Ella's every move to see if she is getting to the milestones.  I was so excited to come across a milestone chart for infants with Down syndrome, but honestly, it was pointless.  For each milestone it gives a range of almost a year for the time to reach the milestone.  I was hoping there was some more solid facts on when she might start holding her head up or cooing, but nope, it could be anywhere from now to a year old.  It helped me remember that Ella is Ella and will do everything in her own time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

May the force be with you....

I buy my kids fruit snacks... Yes, I know, I am a horrible mom that allows my children to eat sugar filled snacks at least once a day.  It really has never bothered me though, I mean, it's just a fruit snack.. Until the day I bought Star Wars themed fruit snacks and I heard this from my youngest son.

"Mom, don't you think Ella looks like Yoda?" I looked over and he was holding a Yoda shaped fruit snack and comparing his baby sister's features to his lime green Yoda fruit snack.. Seruiously?  Yoda? I mean, I would love for any of my kids to be as wise as the great Yoda, but how does a 3 year old think a baby resembles a minature lime green Yoda?  I am afraid to send the fruit snacks in his lunch now for fear that he will whip out the Yoda piece and tell all of preschool his sister is Yoda. Sure, they are both pretty bald and have the same nose, but the 3 year old needs to learn you don't tell a girl they resemble a green character from a sci-fi movie....  Kids... The minute he tells me I resemble Jabba the Hut , he is out on the streets.

I forgot to mention something really awesome about our vacation. We got to see my Dad (Grandpa Jeff) and the boys got to spend time with him flying kites on the beach.  It was so neat to watch them all flying kites and bonding.  He doesn't get to spend a lot of time with the boys since he lives in California, so to get pictures of the 3 of them doing something together is so special to me.  I love my Dad (and my Mom too, but we'll save that post for Mother's Day).   My Dad is a quiet guy but he never missed an opportunity to tell me he loved me or how proud of me he was. Seeing him interact with my kids and just enjoying it so much was pretty cool.  He isn't a "kid" guy, I think their fast movements make him a little nervous, but for my boys he trys so hard and I love him so much for that.  Dad, thanks for the kites and bubbles and calling me right after the earthquake to make sure I wasn't dead.  I love you....

Tomorrow is Friday, which means softball.  I am a little nervous. I am going to be playing again and well, it has been 11 months since I have played.... Now, don't get me wrong, I suck at softball whether it has been 11 days or 11 months between games, but at least when I play regularly I am able to make it to first base without falling on my face.  If I don't post for a week, please assume I fell on my way to first, broke my wrist and can't type. I really enjoy softball as I take pleasure in sitting in the dugout and trash talking the first base coach from the other team.  It started when I was pregnant and bored since I couldn't play.  No guy would hit a pregnant girl, so I assumed I was safe to tell them their batter hit like a girl. Now though, I have to actually play so no more smack from me. Back to trying to remember to step with the opposite foot when throwing and to drop the bat if I have to run to base.

Well, off to bed and a busy day at work tomorrow. I feel like I should post something about Ella as this is her blog, but really, not much to say other than that according to Reed she is Yoda.

Silly boy, he is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy April my friends!

April is a happy month, full of sunshine, pastel colors and my baby boy's birthday.  It's the kick off to Spring and Summer and I am a warm weather girl, so I am in love with April!

We just got back from what we like to call the happiest place on earth. Not Disneyland, but Coronado, CA. I have been going to Coronado since I was about 10 or so. I am in love with the beach and the Hotel Del and the shops and the food and the jets that fly overhead and everything that is Coronado.

We always go at Easter.  I just love seeing all the flowers in bloom and helping my boys find Easter eggs on the Windsor lawn at the Del.  We couldn't wait to show it all to Ella.  She seemed rather unimpressed...

We did get to experience an earthquake while we were there and that was an adventure. I have been in one other earthquake and it pretty much scarred me for life, so this was rather traumatizing for me.  Have I mentioned I have control issues? Well, an earthquake is something you can't control. One minute, you can be sitting on a patio enjoying live music and a diet coke and the next thing you know you feel like the ground is rumbling and you wonder if the second story patio you are on is about to hit the ground.  The worst part is thinking that if the patio does collapse you will probably crush your very favorite sister in law who is is her hotel room directly below you.  No fun.  Give me a hurricane or a tornado any day, those, I can prepare for...

The trip home...Well, let's just say that we were about 2 inches from Ryan throwing up on Reed's head and for some reason Mike and I couldn't stop laughing as the whole scene played out.  I think we were exhausted and not really believing that Ryan was throwing up in the back of our new car, but it seemed pretty funny at the time.  Reed made it out OK and Ryan seemed fine too... :)

Other than that we had a great Easter and spent time at the beach and Legoland.  Ms. Ella got to experience her first theme park, first beach visit, first earthquake and first Easter all in one weekend.  We were busy bees.

Ella has entered this stage where she is more awake during the day and curious and just wants to take in everything around her. She has "cooed" a couple of times and it is so darn adorable.  I am busy at work so she has started spending some days at her Grandma's so I can focus on work again.  I miss her so much during the day and can't wait to get home to cuddle and have bath time and hang out with her. She is getting so big. 

I really don't dwell on Ella having Down syndrome these days, I tend to dwell on more important things like crushing Brigid in an earthquake or the fact that it is now hot out and I can't fit into anything but sweatpants and that sucks, but sometimes, when someone tells me how beautiful she is (which happens all the time of course!) I hold my breath and wonder if they will ask if she has Down syndrome. I don't actually think anyone would because it sure would be akward for them if they were wrong, but I wonder to myself when are people going to notice? Will they stop telling me how beautiful she is? Will they look away because they don't know what else to do? Will they whisper to their partner about how sorry they feel for us and they are glad it isn't their baby? I spend a few sad seconds thinking that people will, one day, look at her differently, but then I remember that it is my job to educate them on why she is still beautiful. I mean, Ryan is so skinny that at football I spend 1/2 the time making sure the other moms know I feed him, so really, it isn't any different, right? Instead of talking loudly to Mike about how much Ryan ate at dinner the night before, I will tell anyone who asks or looks curious that she has an extra chromosome and how it makes us love her even more. 

We have a busy few weeks coming up. We finally are going to meet with the DDD -can't for the life of me remember what it stands for, but it is the state program to get Ella her needed therapies. We want her therapy to begin by the time she is 12 weeks old, so we are anxious to get the meetings and paperwork out of the way so my little Ella Bella can get going on her strength training.  We have her big 2 month appointment next week and she better have gained weight and she finally sees the eye dr later this month.  Oh, it's also Reed's birthday soon and the little chunky boy wants a robot. See, we failed at Christmas and got him a robotic dinosaur, which, according to Reed, is NOTHING like a real robot. He wanted a real robot, that walks and talks and is white, so I am now on a massive hunt to find a real robot that is easy for a 4 year old to control. I tried at Christmas and came up with the Dinosaur robot, I can't fail again...

In parting I leave you with a picture of the boys.  Reed is going through a stage where he thinks smiling nice isn't cool....