Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's What I Deal With

I was just talking to Jason about the frustrations I have had recently in dealing with the medical world.
I'll spare you the details ... they would probably bug you too.

Jason asked if I had let someone have it during a phone call and I said to him, "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.  I'm being the honey." 

(I realize it's flies not bees but it's late and it came out wrong.) 

Jason responded with, "Did you ever just consider being the bee? You could sting the heck out of everyone."

He might have a point. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Girl's Weekend

I just finished mopping my floor.
Considering that the majority of the floor space is tile, it's an impressive accomplishment.
...except for that part where I mopped myself into a corner and am now stuck on the stairs until the floor dries.

My sister and I are going away for the night.
We're going to a city five hours away to see Mary Poppins the musical.
When she asked me to go I told her I probably wouldn't.
Jason told her that I most definitely would.
They voted and I lost.

With the exception of the many nights that Emily spent in the hospital, I've never been away from her for more than just a few hours.
I know that Jason will take amazing care of her - but it makes my stomach have butterflies just the same.

It will be good for me to get away - it will be good for a much needed break.
I may need you to remind me of that tomorrow night when I'm missing my girl.

The lengths she'll go to reach water...

My Life's Mission

Under every other thought that drives my life, there is one that remains constant: fill Emily's life with as much love and joy as possible.
Maybe it's normal; maybe it comes because I know what it feels like to have almost lost her...more than once.  Maybe it's a combination of both.

I can tell you this though.
There have been quiet times when I've been listening ... really listening ... and have felt that God was speaking directly to my soul.

"Give her love.  Give her laughter.  Give her peace.  Give her you."  

I could never explain adequately the need I have to fill my little girl's life with as much as I can...for as long as I can.

Tonight that meant going for a bike ride and once we reached the lake, taking her shoes and socks off and letting her play.
If I had known ahead of time that we were going to the lake, I would have brought a change of clothes and let her sit in the lake, because that's all she wanted to do.

(And yes, her shirt is cut.  That's what I get for turning my back for two seconds and leaving a pair of scissors within 10 feet of her.)

It's my prayer that I'll have my sweet girl with me for years and years to come...
But it's also my prayer that on the chance that I don't, I will never let one moment with her pass me by...even if that moment is playing in green, mossy lake water.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This One Is All Over The Place

I can always tell when I'm in trouble for not getting enough sleep: my throat hurts - a lot.
It's been that way ever since I got mono, and then chronic fatigue syndrome as a freshman in college.
My mom can always hear it in my voice.
"Noelle, your throat sounds like it hurts.  Are you not getting enough sleep?"
My throat is killing me tonight - it's been hurting for a few days but tonight it's screaming at me.

And yet this time, this little window of time,  is all I have to myself from the minute I wake up in the morning.

Jason and Emily are sleeping soundly - Jason asleep on his side of the bed, and Emily asleep on mine.
Last I checked it was Jason who was holding on to Em's binky.
I'm in her room, with her lamp dimmed and her music playing quietly.  Emily's room is the most peaceful room in our home, and I love being in it.
When I'm done here, I will quietly move Emily from my bed to hers, and then spend some time reading.

My dad has just finished writing his third book and he's anxiously awaiting my report and the editing I've done.
My mom texted me tonight and said something along the lines of "You're making your dad crazy with your lack of input so far on his book."

"Has he met my life?" is how I responded to my mom.  "You should remind him that I've read less than six books since Emily was born, and he should feel honored that two of those were his."

But after that I promised her that I would finish the book this week.
I've got a busy week ahead of me; my throat may have to wait a few more days for relief.

Our girl loves to be outside.
It doesn't matter what she's doing: playing at the park, going for a walk around the block, going on a bike ride, playing with her cousins, swimming in her pool, drawing with long as she's outside she's happy.

When she's at work with me, she waits patiently for someone to open the door and then she makes a mad dash towards it.
Once in a while she'll escape with a big smile on her face.

Today she was more antsy than usual, and within just a few hours, she and I had gone on three walks around the nursery.
There were two customers who came in to my office at different times to say hi to Emily.
She wouldn't have recognized either of them, but the minute they each said, "Hi Emily" she was reaching towards them.
Both guys picked her up and both guys followed wherever she pointed.
Both guys ended up taking Em for a little walk outside.

I don't think there's a person in our world that isn't wrapped around Emily's little finger.

Yesterday at church I had Emily with me in our Sunday School class.

(They have a class for kids Emily's age but a few weeks ago she got hurt and it traumatized her and she hasn't been willing to go back.)

Because Emily is so quiet I feel comfortable letting her walk around the classroom.
At one point Emily walked up to a boy who was sitting next to his mom drawing.
She watched him for a minute and then took his pencil out of his hand and started to scribble on his paper.

The teacher in the front of the room was trying to have a serious discussion, and Em's antics had half of the front part of the room laughing quietly.

That girl...she makes me tired and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Last night after dinner was over my nieces asked me to paint their fingernails for school this week.

Ruthie wanted one hand painted one color, and the other hand painted a different color.
And then on top of the first coat she wanted stripes on one hand and glitter on the other.

Kate wanted one color and then polka dots on top with a different color.

Allie painted her left hand herself but needed help with her right hand.
She wanted black polka dots on top so that her fingernails looked like lady bugs.

Nick, their brother, sat by and watched.
"Noelle, remember when you used to paint my toenails?" he asked.
"Yep, and remember how your dad got mad at me and told me I could never do it again?" I said.

He laughed and said, "I wonder if I could paint my sisters' nails sometime."

I told him that when I was finished with his sisters he could paint my fingernails.
He did a pretty good job.

At one point he said, "You know Noelle, I don't think we've ever just talked.  I always just say 'Hi Noelle, Bye Noelle'.  I like talking to you."

These little people in my life?  I love every last one of them.

And every last one of them loves my little lady.
They are all so gentle and tender with her...especially my Miss Marie (she's the one holding Em in the picture.)
Emily's life will be so full of love - love spilling out of every little corner - and it makes this Mommy's heart grateful.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And PS. I Love My New Hair

My life has been in 'what comes next' mode since I last blogged.
Moms everywhere are getting their little ones ready for school, and I'm working on getting Emily ready for the next phase of her life.

I fired the speech therapist (thank you for all of your comments and support over that decision) and am now trying to come up with the best plan for Em.

We've been to the pediatrician where Em got some of the shots that she wasn't able to get when she was younger due to her crummy immune system.  

We were given a referral to a pediatric orthopedic therapist.  Em's ankles turn in and aren't as strong as they should be and now that she's older and getting bigger we need to make sure she doesn't need braces on her feet to help her walk.

I've been trying to wean Em off of one of her medications but I don't think Em's tummy likes me for it - her poor tummy has been through it!

Someone asked me last night, "So now that Emily's heart is fixed life just goes on as normal?"  
I said quietly that Em's heart would never be fixed...not completely...and that for the rest of her life we would be working on keeping it strong enough to keep Em here with us.
I think it surprised her.
My little girl runs and plays and laughs and when people see her they forget that every day of our life is in 'what comes next mode' with our little lady.

In the evenings after work I've been trying to make the transition from baby to little girl everywhere in our house.  I'm putting away some toys and getting out new ones...I'm cleaning out the closet and boxing up all of the little clothes that I love and can't part with...and I'm working on Emily proofing my life.

In my own life I'm in the 'what comes next' mode as well.
I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea of being a working mom, when in my heart what I want is to stay home with my little girl.
I'm trying to figure out how to be a better friend and a better neighbor...a better wife and mommy.
I'm working on finding the tools I need to help improve some of the very personal aspects of my life, and I'm trying to figure out how to not let the stress that is so prevalent in my life take over.

I got my hair done today by a friend of mine.
She asked about Em and about my life in general.  
There is such a BIG part of my life that I don't talk about with very many people and for some reason I opened up to her a little bit today.
At one point she just looked at me and shook her head.  "How are you doing it?  How do you even find the desire to get out of bed in the morning?  How do you keep smiling?"
I admitted that I spend a lot of time in the quiet of my life crying and saying, "I can't keep doing really, I can't keep going" and then dry my eyes and keep going anyway.
Because really what choice do any of us have?  

I do my very best to look for the blessings - to find the happiness and joy - to put away the stress when I can - a good friend reminded me the other day that Emily is the source of my greatest happiness and peace and every day of my life I'm grateful for her.  I'm her mom but my little girl has taught me more in her little life than I will ever be able to teach her.

My mom was in my office yesterday and when she was about to leave she pointed her finger at me and said "just remember..."

I interrupted her and said, "I know, I know, go forth with faith."

She said, "yep" and then she kissed me on the head and walked out of the office.

And just so my mom knows, I promise that as long as I'm in this 'what comes next' mode, I will do my very best to go forth with faith.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy Birthday My Sweet Emily

First Day

First Touch

First time I got to hold my baby

One Week

One Month

Two Months

Three Months

Four Months

Five Months

Six Months

Seven Months

Eight Months

Nine Months

Ten Months

Eleven Months

Twelve Months

Thirteen Months

Fourteen Months

Fifteen Months

Sixteen Months

Seventeen Months

Eighteen Months

Nineteen Months

Twenty Months

Twenty One Months

Twenty Two Months

Twenty Three Months

Twenty Four Months

I love this little girl - with my whole heart.