Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Love My Husband

I'm going through the painstaking process of writing...one handed...to let you in on a little secret.
My husband is a good man and I love him.

He helps me get dressed.
He helps me comb my hair.
He puts my socks on and ties my shoes.
He massages my fingers to ease the ache.
He works the knots out of my neck and shoulders.
He does the dishes and folds the laundry.
He lets me sleep on his side of the bed so that I can snuggle Emily.
He takes care of Emily ... in everything.

And at the end of every day he hugs me and says "I wish I could do more."

I'm beyond blessed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

And I Probably Swore When I Landed

Well World ...

I slipped on some ice today.  I was carrying Emily.  As I went down I positioned myself to give Em the most protection when we landed.

I fractured my elbow and sprained my wrist as a result.

I'm in a splint and sling for four weeks.

Don't ask me how I'm going to change Em's diapers.

I was fine until the x-ray and by the time I went back to the exam room my mom looked at a pale, shaky, crying me and asked the x-ray technician, "What in the world did you do to my daughter?"

Trauma always happens when Jason is out of town.

Okay, I can't type very well with one hand.

Em didn't get hurt by the way.

Monday, January 20, 2014

First Words

Last week I asked my Facebook world a question about speech and how it develops.
I'm uncertain as to what normal speech sounds like, and I was curious.
I didn't really get answers to the question I asked, but I did get answers that were exactly what I needed.

Through the thread of conversation that happened I learned that our children's hospital has a team of doctors that deal specifically with Em's set of issues right now:

and palate issues

(We were told that Em has a short palate that may effect the way she speaks - and there is a possibility that she has other palate issues as well.)

When I first learned of this group of doctors I was discouraged.
I felt that Em's doctors had let us down - had let her down.
With Emily's issues I would think that at some point in the last two years someone would have thought to refer us to this group, but no one ever did.
I cried to my mom for a few minutes, telling her how I felt that I had let Em down.
Had we seen this group of doctors sooner perhaps we would have been further ahead by now.

I allowed a pity party for a few hours and then moved on with determination to call and schedule an appointment for as soon as they can see us.

We will meet with the team of doctors next Monday and Jason and I are both extremely hopeful that they can help us know how to best help Em move forward.

In the meantime, we've seen some leaps from our little miss all of her own accord.

Jason is out of town this week - until sometime Saturday night - and tonight as I was putting Emily to bed we went through our routine.

"Night night Mommy."
"Night night Emily."
"Night night Aunt Becca."
"Night night Daddy."

I say the words and Emily hums them back to me.
Everything Emily says is through a hum with her mouth closed...

...until I add the word Daddy.
And with that word she perks up and gives her very best effort to say the words.
We recorded this tonight and emailed it to Jason so that he could hear his sweet girl's voice.

Bless her heart.
She's an angel.

(And if you're reading this and have experience of the speech therapy variety, feel free to chime in and tell me if what you hear is typical development or the result of a palate that doesn't play nicely.)

((I apologize if you can't see anything in the video.  I can see it on my phone and iPad but not my computer. ))

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Have A Dream (Think Abba)

When I was young - 14 or 15 maybe - I started babysitting for a family.
They weren't from my neighborhood or church; they had asked for a name of a reliable babysitter and someone referred me.
I watched their girls four or five times before they moved.
I don't remember their names - I wouldn't recognize the girls if I saw them today - but I would and do recognize the mom.

She was different than other women I knew - now, looking back, I would describe her as someone not meant for her time.
Had she been born a member of the aristocracy she would have fit in perfectly - she was that proper and poised.
She called herself a starving artist, and everything she did was in the hopes of making it some day in the art world.
Her husband was an artist too.
He painted, she sculpted.

I've randomly seen her over the years, and because I have an uncanny ability to remember faces I've always recognized her immediately.
She doesn't know me, and we've never spoken...until one day last week.

Emily and I were at the store looking for something I needed to organize my office with, and this woman was in the same aisle that we were.
Em had been saying 'Daddy' over and over again, and I reminded her that we couldn't see Daddy for a little bit because he had gone 'bye bye.'

She gave me a sympathetic look and said, "Is Daddy traveling?"

I answered that he was and that opened a dialogue between the two of us.

(I didn't tell her that I knew her.  I've learned that it makes people uneasy when someone they consider a stranger tells them that they know who they are.)

She did her best to sell me on joining a multi-level marketing business she was a part of, and I did my best to kindly tell her that I wasn't interested.

"I'm only doing this until my other job gets going," she said.
"It's just helping me to pay the bills until my career really takes off."
"It's an exciting time for me."

I asked her what she was hoping to do with her career and she said, "I'm a sculptor...and I'm doing what I can to one day make it in the art world."

I smiled, hid a small laugh behind a cough, and wished her well in her endeavors.

It might be unsympathetic...it might seem harsh...but what I really wanted to do was put my arm around her shoulders and say, "Listen - it's been over 20 years, maybe sculpting isn't going to work out for you."

She has a dream though.
I admire that she has never given up on that dream, and just maybe in another 10 years from now we will run into each other and she will have finally made it in the art world.

It's a good lesson - here's to never giving up on our dreams.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It Won't Be My Last Failure

There was a time - once - when I tried to be crafty.
It didn't work out for me.

No really, it didn't.

I wanted to make something like this:

picture courtesy of Google

out of this:

For three hours I cut and measured and arranged and then rearranged.
I put more effort into this one thing than was worth it, because in the end all I had was a paper with the letter E on it and a bunch of crayon scraps.

I attempted a second time.
Do you know I'm a perfectionist?
I want the colors to blend nicely, not look messy...I want the edges to be smooth, not jagged...

I failed a second time.
I failed a third time.
I gave up after that.

I have a box full of crayons now.  And by box I don't mean one box, I mean a plastic bin full of boxes of crayons.
I'm happy to share if you'd like.

...please World, don't think less of me because I can't craft...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Quest

It's that time of day when my house is quiet.
Emily is sleeping peacefully and Jason is out of town.
The only sounds are that of the dryer, soft music playing in the background, and my fingers clicking the keys of the keyboard.

Em and I haven't gone anywhere since Friday.  We've stayed in our pajamas and spent a lot of time reading stories, playing with blocks, and throwing a ball back and forth.
And every once in a while Emily stops what she's doing and runs and throws herself at me, and then we cuddle.

It's during the cuddling that I do a lot of thinking.
Tonight Em curled up next to me and we looked into each other's eyes until she faded off to sleep.
As I watched my sleeping girl I knew without a doubt that what I'm doing now - how I'm spending my time - is what I spent my entire life preparing for.

I've lived such a good life.  I've had experiences and made memories that fill pages and pages.

But this experience of being Emily's mom?
It will always be my best experience and it will shape how I live the rest of my life.

I've been working on cutting out the excess in my life.
I've gotten rid of a lot of things and stuff - and I've sold a lot of other things and stuff.
I have been cleaning out drawers and corners and closets, trying to find simplicity.

And more recently, I've been searching for that simplicity in other places as well.
I turn the TV off so that I can focus more on Emily.
I spend less time worrying about what's going on outside of my home and more time focusing on my family.
When I need a gentle reminder of my search for simplicity, Emily will walk up and take my phone out of my hands and throw it on the floor.

I've quietly unfriended people from my Facebook list - I long for the genuine and for the pure, and for whatever it is that's the opposite of loud.
I want to surround myself with people who are kind and gentle.
And I want to be the type of person who expresses that same kindness and gentleness.

Emily's silence has given me much - and I want to surround my life in that kind of silence.

That's not too much to ask is it?


Monday, January 6, 2014

Merry Christmas - Wait, That Already Happened

I had great intentions to write more in this new year.
But then I got sick and those plans went out with the Christmas tree.

It happened like this.
I was fine.
We went to the Disney Store with Emily to see what we could see.
And then I was not fine.

In fact, on the drive home I was so not fine that I had to empty the bag with Em's Disney Store goodies and use it for something other than Disney goodness.

So not glamorous.

I was in bed for three days wishing I could just pass out and then I woke up this morning.

And now I'm fine.

...just in the nick of time too because Jason is out of town for a few days.

Poor Emily - she doesn't understand that her daddy isn't going to come when she asks for him.
And ask for him she does - all day long.
It's both heartbreaking and sweet at the same time.

Speaking of Emily...

Alright - I'm going to catch up with life now that I'm not dying.