Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Share the love

When Laura was born, I simply couldn't imagine loving anyone as much as her. Now with another on the way, I wonder how it's possible to love like that double. Yet I already love this baby and put thought into all I eat and do to keep him or her healthy. I know it is possible because obviously there are families of even 10 plus children and have loving parents.

I've been catching myself spending more quality time playing with Laura. She's been the only one for almost six years. That and she is going to full day Kindergarten next month. I feel every moment is precious.We've experienced death, independence, growing, learning and a new family in those years. We have quite a bond. Our bond will grow even deeper with the new family member.

Last night we played hospital with her baby dolls. I love hearing her little voice come up with these great ideas and stories. She talked about surgery, shots, and heart monitors. It's really funny to hear it from her.

She's also the most caring kid I know. I have a bag in my closet where I keep little gifts for Laura like stickers, markers and little toys. I let her pick one on days she's been exceptionally good. Well, one night she went back in her room with a zip loc bag. She was back there for awhile and came out with a bag.

Laura covered both sides with construction paper so you couldn't see inside. She put in pencils, erasers and other odds and ends of hers. She had me help her write surprise bag and gave it to her older cousin. Her loving generosity makes me so proud that my eyes tear up.

Last week one of her favorite camp counselors had to quit because she got a new job. Laura was so sad and cried. She then went in her room and came back out with beautiful paper full of hearts. Asked me to write, "Marissa, I love you because you were the best camp counselor. I'll never forget you.". How sweet!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm pregnant!

On July 12, I found out that my life had changed. God has blessed us with a second baby. I couldn't believe my eyes when that second line came up quickly on the test. I felt so happy and terrified all at once. And of course, shocked.

Jeff is very happy but was shocked as well. We've talked about having a baby for a long time but when it actually happens, it's surreal. Laura was 2 when Jeff met her so this time, it'll be from day one. My fear is nighttime. Babies don't really sleep so good at night and I'm not a big help during infancy from a physical standpoint. So that should be interesting how that plays out.

I am soon going to be 37 and have spastic athetoid cerebral palsy. So both of our concerns are about how pregnancy will affect my body this time around. The first time, I was sick in the stomach about all nine months. My arms hurt so bad about the 7-9 month because they swell instead of my ankles. Other than that, it was pretty normal.

I am almost 6 weeks along now. My lower back aches, my CP acts crazy at night so I don't really sleep and I use the bathroom more frequently. No sickness yet but I know it can hit any moment so I'm trying to eat as much as I can now. Whenever I eat, I think about how good or not good for the baby. I am also taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid so I'm trying to keep us both healthy.

Unfortunately, the second day I knew I was pregnant, I was hit hard with a cold. It kind of took away from the excitement but now I'm feeling better and can get back in the game.

Laura is besides herself excited. In a way, I wish we told her when I was further along because 9 months is a long time. However, she needed to know to be more gentle and know why I might act a bit different. Plus she would have caught on to conversations and body changes.

Laura made the baby a box and puts little crafts in it and toys. She's so adorable. Every morning she asks me how many more days and always says, "well that's one less than yesterday!" She also kisses my stomach and likes when I tell her about fetal development. I think she will be an amazing big sister.

In fact, the baby now has a heartbeat. I think it's truly amazing. Of course I still know its early and anything can happen. Each morning I wake up and thank God for letting me have one more day with him or her.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Laura earned the green band

As many of you know, swimming is a big deal to Laura. I've had her in swim classes since she was 2. She hated it then but now loves it.

At our local YMCA they have a swim band level to indicate a child's swimming level. Pink is very shallow, orange is shallow and green is deep. Since April, Laura has been working hard on achieving her green band. This was especially important to her because I'm no help to her in the pool. So by being able to swim alone is a huge asset.

Last Monday she finally did it. I have to be honest, I didn't think she would. She can swim the length of a pool with no problem but treading water was very hard. That is the only area she failed in all the other tests. Last Monday she had camp 9-4 and then before the test, she had to practice twice. I was sure she would be tired out by test time.

I rooted her on and prayed. I felt so proud of her to try and never give up. I saw kids almost twice her age fail it and cry. Laura never did cry. She just vowed to keep trying. As she treaded, I cheered her on and cheered to keep her head up. She did it!!!

The best part was that Laura didn't realize she earned the green band until the lifeguard came and I said, "Laura, look what color you earned." Her eyes were huge and she was so happy.

I never saw her smile as much. She exclaimed, "I'm proud of myself!!" She even hugged her teacher. Jeff took her out for ice cream that night to celebrate. We had to convince her that they will give her a new green band every time she swims because she wanted to keep on wearing it.

Urge for heels

On Friday night Jeff and I went dancing to see No Apology at Molly Macguires in Phoenixville. The weather was extremely hot but we went anyway. I wore a cool dress. I call it my Cheetah dress because it is leopard print. I also wore black tiny heels that I love because they fit. I feared it was going to be crowded since it was First Friday - when everyone comes out and enjoys Phoenixville. But I was wrong - it wasn't so bad.

The band was good and I was impressed considering it was so hot. I don't think I could perform for 3 hours or more. I didn't dance right away. Even though I've came along way in confidence, I still fight the demons of jealously when a woman is dancing in high heels. I so want to do that. I try to fight these feelings and do the best I can.

Unfortunately, high heels has this insane representation of looking attractive. I'm not a guy so I don't get how looking taller and showing off calf muscles is so amazing. But they think so. I am pretty muscular but it often goes unseen unless you really look or know me.

So sitting down when all these women stand around me makes me feel like a square peg in a circular board. It's easy to lose sight that I'm there for Jeff, the band and not my ego.

On an episode of Push Girls, they were discussing if a miracle came and you could walk, would you do it? It's hard to answer. Many of you might think that it would be easy to jump at, however, being in a wheelchair gives you unique challenges, experiences and outlooks.

One thing I would love is to have more control of my arms and hands. Feeding myself, writing, driving, cooking, putting on my make up and so on would be so much easier. As a mother, when Laura was a baby, doing those baby things would have been easier as well.

So after I swallowed my pride, I danced. Drive By by Train came on and Jeff and I danced to it. One guy was pretty impressed and two other guys wanted to dance with me. However, I mainly danced with Jeff. I'd sure would love to experience dancing in heels but when I looked at the girls who were, they looked uncomfortable and had the dorkiest guys chasing them. Maybe it's not what it's cracked up to be.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hockey and my Laura

My weekend was very nice. On Friday, we went to the Reading Phillies game. I already blogged about the game if you scroll down.

On Saturday, I went to hockey practice, blogged lots, and spent time with my Dad and Laura. I belong to the Philadelphia PowerPlay which is a motorized wheelchair hockey team. I've been playing for one year and a few months. I was chosen to help represent the team in Canada in August. We've been practicing pretty much every Saturday since the beginning of June.

I like playing hockey because it is high energy, mentally and physically fulfilling. I feel even to the other players because we all use motorized chairs. I felt more confident playing during the regular season than now. The talent from the other players is amazing. Sometimes I feel inadequate but the coaches give positive feedback so I guess I'm not terrible.

My Dad watches Laura for me when I play hockey. She gets bored. They had a great time and Laura wanted to sleepover. They came to my house around dinner time to take me to dinner because Jeff had to work until 10. Unfortunately, Laura had a sudden belly ache. She said she was hungry so we tried the restaurant.

Big mistake. She knew she was going to be sick. I told her to run to the bathroom and I zoomed behind her. Poor girl. She threw up right before she got to the bathroom. She was so embarrassed but I told her that it happened to me too. We wiped her tears, she cleaned herself and we went home.

Laura slept well and was all better the next day. There is something sweet when she's sick. She sat in my lap, put her head on my shoulder, hugging me. It's nice to offer some small comfort to her uncomfortable feeling. Laura means everything to me.

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