Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mother of the Year!

Since the three of us have been holed up at home with nasty coughs and breathing treatments for a couple of days, my parenting skills have hit an all time low. Limited contact with the outside world and Keagans sensitivity to drugs- especially those with red dye in them, has made for some times that I'm sure all three of us will try hard to block from our memories forever!

Keagan goes crazy after a couple of days on cold or cough medicine. And I do mean crazy! The 30 minute insane tantrum, throwing shoes and jumping on furniture kind of crazy. I'm talking more like the kitchen counter then the couch. And I'm the genius mom who chooses to forget how bad her reaction always is and I continue to drug my child. Yesterday I had to deal with the consequences of my doping. I'm just glad we both survived. But the way I handled it all isn't what would be written in a parenting how-to! I just might have raised my voice once or twice. Let's just leave it at the fact that Riley continually looked back and forth between her sister and I, trying to decide who was crazier. As always her response was a hearty laugh, which makes Keagan so happy to know her sister is laughing at her! And the cycle continues.

During quieter and nicer moments, my mothering has still been stellar.

Right after finishing a serious talk with both girls about sharing the crayons and markers with each other, I snuck into the laundry room to hide and eat m&m's. Just so we are clear, that's totally not hypocritical.

I locked the bathroom door the other day! Yep it's true. I needed to be all by myself for 3 whole minutes. I guess I can count a door separating me and my knocking and yelling children as being alone. Right?

Riley hasn't been to a therapy session for almost 2 whole weeks! Her doctors aren't releasing her to go back until Monday. But a good mom would be working at home with her to fill that void. Instead I haven't put the girl in her walker even once or forced her to use her left hand. I'm sure her therapists are all going to be thrilled with my laziness! I gotta say that I think at least Riley is.

And finally I have gotten so tired of cleaning up the kitchen lately that this morning for breakfast I appeared to be a fun mom but I was really just acting out of pure selfishness! We had a picnic breakfast of cold pizza on the entry floor. Yep, you read that right! I gave my children left over pizza at 7:30 in the morning and forced them to eat it on a blanket that I could shake off outside and then throw in the washer!

Today appears to be a little better. The girls are feeling much better and playing somewhat nicely. I am thrilled that we haven't had a single tantrum yet! But it's still only 11:30 so I probably shouldn't get my hopes up. Now it's time to figure out how I can feed them lunch without having to clean the kitchen. I would say wish me luck, but I think it's Keagan and Riley who really need it! This week they have had a mother of the year!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Take That Pneumonia!

Texas Children's and Miss Riley are quite the team! Pneumonia is no match for that pair. Those doctors pumped some serious drugs and oxygen into my baby and she pretty much conquered pneumonia really quickly this time!

The 3 days there were full of excitement for sure. We had a total of 4 IVs! I despise doing just one! Pinning my baby down while they search for a vein and ultimately stab her and still search in her arm, is more then brutal! One of them Riley pulled out at 1am! That was fun. We had a visit from Nana, Kellie and my Keagan which was great! And Gama Linda not only followed us to the hospital in the ambulance the first night, but also came each night we were there. We also had visits from Brother Childs, Sister Turpin and Melissa and Amira Sauter. We are truly so blessed to have such a great support team!

We were also able to squeeze in all of Rileys cardiology tests so that we dont have to go to clinic in two weeks! We love TCH, but the less visits there the better! And finally, Riley absolutely fell in love with this riding police car on the 15th floor where we were. On our last day when she was unhooked from her many tubes, she stayed in it for 3 hours!

Kellie and Nana did such an awesome job filling in for me at home! But we were able to leave the hospital on Monday night! I was SO thankful to be home! Being with both my girls under one roof is so comforting! Not to mention sleeping in my own bed without beeping ringing in my head and people coming in all night!

But of course things can't always be so easy. I have been worried about Keagan, so today I took her to our pediatrician. Turns out she has Bronchial Pneumonia and a double ear infection! Poor girl! Dr Reed felt if her breathing gets any more labored then she would need to go to the hospital. Im sure we are going to be able to avoid that. But since all my back ups are either out of town (Nana, Sa and Kellie) or having surgery tomorrow (Gamas) I kinda freaked out a little from being overwhelmed. Now we are back on track and ready to help Keagan conquer this stupid thing and start to have a better summer! I'm just so thankful we are doing that at home!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Difference a Day Makes

Thursday and Friday nights were pure bliss of vacation days! Nana sent me away for a much needed and incredibly appreciated little break. I had a total of 49 hours to do as a wish! And that meant sleeping, shopping, a pedicure, room service, dinner with a friend, a massage, a movie, and long hot baths! Heaven, despite terribly missing my sweet girls.

But as soon as I got home it was shockingly back to reality. My princess Riley has pneumonia again. She had to be admitted to Texas Children's and it really breaks my heart. We did get to ride in an ambulance with the lights and sirens on, but I'm still so unhappy that she needs to be here. IV antibiotics and breathing treatments will hopefully kick this quickly and we can get back home to normal life.

Since I haven't been home in quite a while, Keagan is seriously missing her momma. She brought me to tears tonight when she called to tell me goodnight. After the sweet "I love you so much" she asked "momma will you please come home tonight?" I miss her terribly!

But now it's 4am and I haven't slept at all yet. I have way too much nervous energy. Instead all I can do is stare at my sweet girl and unfortunately worry. Yesterday I was living it up and today I'm nervous and realizing its going to be an extremely long day fighting this pneumonia after a sleepless night. What a difference a day makes!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Tiny Dancer

YouTube Video

Keagan had her very first dance class today! We were both so excited! She wanted to wear her tap shoes all day! Her class is ballet and tap at Koenig Studios with 11 other 3-5 year olds and a darling teacher, Miss Angela. Keags was a little shy but she did great! Apparently her favorite part was "the shuffle!" She was proud of her self and loved having her little fan club of me, Riley, Nana, Addie and Kellie watching through the window. I loved every minute of it!

On the way to the studio she told Riley in the car "I'm sorry you can't come to my dancing class because you don't know how to walk!" It was sweet and funny. Riley wasn't too sure about the situation and burst into tears when Keags went into the classroom. We held her the rest of the time and she was very focused on finding Keagan through the window to watch and wave at her. I so wish this was something they could both do together. But I am glad Keagan has something to be her thing and where she can shine! And shine is definitely what she did today!

This was yesterday after we had bought all of her dancing stuff. Too cute!

YouTube Video

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day Ramblings

Fathers Day isn't the easiest for me. I miss my dad every single day. So a day like today just adds extra reminders of what there is to miss. I too often think about how different my life would be if my sweet dad was still here with us. It's on days like today where we celebrated Kellie turning the big 1-3, that I can't help but think of him and how much he would love to be here for those times.

The emotions of missing him is still so real after all this time. But I also have such wonderful memories and consider myself to be extremely blessed. I have an incredible father! He lived for his family, worked very hard for us, supported me in everything I did, taught me so much, set a wonderful example of living the gospel and loved me unconditionally. I am so blessed to be his daughter!

Unfortunately, this holiday also reminds me of what my sweet girls are missing in their own lives and how I need to work extremely hard to do what I can to compensate for that. Today at church they handed out Sugar Daddy candies to all the fathers. I was so tempted to stand and receive my fathers day gift! I mean I do fill that roll for my girls. It's only fair that I should at least be thanked once a year for all those extra duties I do to the best of my ability. Right? But I refrained.

All these thoughts of how my own dad has effected me in so many ways has made my heart ache that my girls don't have the same kind of dad and that I can't always compensate for that. I am just so thankful that they do have such a wonderful Father in Heaven who loves them unconditionally and showers them with blessings from above. Now that is something to celebrate!

Happy Fathers day Dad!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Good Friend?

I really have to admit that I am just not a good friend. It's a sad reality that I've been forced to come to. I HATE talking on the phone and my crazy life does not leave me very much free time to just hang with friends. My babysitter situation is all sorts of complicated and once the girls are asleep and I could go out, I would much rather climb in bed myself.

Despite that, I am blessed with a lot of great friends from all the places Ive lived, ones at church, others I've met through my sister or other friends, and several really great friends that I've had for a really long time. These old friends are the ones I cherish the most. These are a handful of women who are low maintenance friends that love me despite my short comings on the friendship duties. These are friends who I don't often see (only one lives in the same city) but when I do see we just pick up right where we left off.

Today was a day full of fun with one of those great friends. Haircuts together, lunch and an afternoon at the pool with Taryn and her sweet kids was so great! There is something amazing about having a friend that you can really talk about anything with! And I do mean anything.
I may slack on other friend duties, but I can always promise a good listening ear, someone to laugh with or at, a shoulder to cry on, and some take it or leave it advice. I'm truly so blessed to get the same thing back from some wonderful women!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Struggle

For months I have painfully watched Riley struggle with a seemingly simple task in Occupational Therapy. Most typical children develop their pincer grasp before they are a year old. But sweet Riley of course isn't so typical. Months ago her therapist, Miss Minnie set a goal for her to be able to pick up five small beads and place them in a small container. For a little girl with CP, a fine motor skill like this takes some serious effort!

Week after week I have watched intently while Riley will try and try again to get a colorful bead in her little hand. She would have some success and get some in. But it was never without a struggle and many, many missed tries. Most of the time my perserverant girl would just keep raking at the bead in her therapists hand. Occasionally she would get a little frustrated and want to give up after 20 failed tries. But inevitably she would keep trying until she got it. There is so much to learn from her!

This twice weekly task was a struggle for Riley. But I dare say that it was a much harder struggle for me! It is so hard to watch your child encounter obstacles! There were so many times I just wanted to pick up the bead for her or give her something bigger, like the jax to better guarantee her success. But if I did either of those things, Riley wouldn't have developed what is now a strong grasp for those little beads. This week she successfully reached this goal and it is an achievement all her own. One that she earned by working very hard for it. Most parents probably wouldn't notice this accomplishment, but for a special needs mom it is something to really celebrate!

I have a good feeling that this is just the beginning of me feeling this way. I have such a strong desire to do everything I can for both of my girls to make it so they don't have to ever struggle. But that is definitely not how the Lord intended this life to be. Without the struggle, we may never learn the lesson. Without the struggle, we may never reach the accomplishment. I look back at my own struggles and realize that is when I have grown the most. I just hope I can remember that each time I watch them face a new obstacle.

I think I really learned this week that it will always be hard to watch them struggle, but it just makes the celebrations that much sweeter!

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

So True!

This could not be more true!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Catch Up

While I have still been trying to get over my pneumonia, we haven't been doing much of anything around here. Since the girls have been couped up at home all week, I felt like I really needed to treat them to a fun day. Try and catch up on the festivities of summer if you will. So today included the Children's Museum, McDonalds and Go Carts. I don't know who is more tired, me or my wallet! But it was worth it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wounds Will Heal

Keagan found her scars the other day.

I was getting the girls in the bath and she felt one of them. She blurted out "Hey what's this? Get it off me mom! Eww! Get it off!" I did my best at explaining to her that when she was a tiny baby the doctors had to fix her heart, so they had to make some cuts on her body. She looked at me with a wrinkled nose and these cute scrunched lips she sometimes has and said "I cried huh?" That girl can make me laugh about anything!

The long scar is from her PDA surgery on her heart when she was 4 days old. Thats where they put a permanent metal clamp on the small artery that goes from your heart and bypasses your lungs when you are in utero. The 2 other folded scars were from chest tubes that were inserted because there were holes in her lungs and her chest was filling up with oxygen while she was intubated (or whenever the large tube down her throat would breath for her). I look at this picture and think of how incredibly sick she was as a newborn and what a true miracle she is! An authentic marvel and incredible blessing!

I also can't help but think of that time in my life and realize the deep wounds that had been made on my own heart then. I was watching my babies struggle to survive, which is hard enough. But I did it as my marriage crumbled. I have my own little miracle in that all of those wounds are healed and that my girls and I have a wonderful life together!

I remember being in the NICU when the girls were several weeks old. I was changing Keagan's clothes and looked at these wounds as they were starting to scar. I remember thinking that she was going to hate them when she was older and that I wish they would blend and fade into her beautiful skin. But I know now that I was wrong in thinking that. They are an outward symbol of lessons that I have learned and ones that I will try diligently to teach my girls. Keagan's scars can be there to remind both her and I of what a miracle she is! A reminder of how blessed we are from a loving Heavenly Father! And a reminder that eventually, all wounds will heal.

I've said it so many times before. I believe in miracles, because I live with two of them everyday!

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Run Down

So here's the rundown...

Wednesday-momma gets a cold.
Thursday- Keagan gets the barfies.
Friday-everyone is really blah.
Saturday-Riley and momma get the barfies.
Sunday-Keagan finally better, momma and Riley BAD!
Monday- both girls are better, momma has pneumonia!
Tuesday-everyone feels remotely good enough to actually leave the house and venture back into the world!

Good times! Let's hope the rest of the summer goes much better then the start of it!

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Friday, June 1, 2012

1st Day of Summer

It is the first day of summer and it's 7:30 pm and everyone is in bed! Including me! I love it. The three of us spent all day at home since Keagan is still recovering from the barfies yesterday, and I have a cold. My Lysol can and I are just praying Riley doesn't get it!

So the summer started out with a bang! Keagan put Bath and Body works peppermint soap all in the dishwasher and started it! We played with every toy and puzzle they own, and had a good amount of sisterly fighting. That sounds about what I expected. It's going to be an interesting 12 weeks... yes, I counted.

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