Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting up for an angel

Tonight Jeff and I debated who was going to be up with Jason. It was technically my night but Jeff said he'd do it since I'm not feeling too well. We laid down around 8 and I slept well until 11 but after that I was awake. I tossed and turned.

Jeff woke around midnight and said he had trouble sleeping too. I knew he had a big day coming up so I offered to take Jason tonight. Sure enough as I was drifting off, we heard him on the monitor. In my groggy state I wondered why I gave up a good night sleep.

My selfishness changed in an instant.

When Jeff laid him down for me and our eyes met, my heart melted. Jason gave me a big smile, and I thought how could I miss this?? When I look at his sweet face, it's like looking at an angel.

Jason fell right asleep after his bottle. I know I should lay down too but I just had to share the moment. It's easy to get caught up in the daily routine of taking care of a child, but don't let it slip away too fast. Enjoy the moment.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Time with Laura

Laura never ceases to amaze me. I know I always talk about how smart she is but its true. However, Laura's short term memory needs improving. She can be told to do two things and will forget.

Last week I made her a morning and afternoon to do list. She enjoys reading it and getting her stuff accomplished. I don't have to worry so much about if its done. To my great surprise, it has worked better than expected. Even when she gets up early,she finishes her list before playing.

On Wednesday, Jeff took Jason after lunch so I could work with Grace on cleaning Jason's room. It needed some TLC and organization. Then we picked up Laura from school and Laura and I played outside. When Jeff and Jason came home, Jeff cooked a steak dinner. Very nice!

That evening I was working on my computer in our bedroom when Laura came in with s'mores! She wanted to hear stories about Israel (she loves that!) Then she wanted to share spooky stories so we did. We laughed and laughed!

Any time I can spend with Laura is so precious. She's in school until almost 4 and bed at 8. Those 4 hours go too quick between dinner, getting her ready for the next day, Jason and other evening tasks.

A few mornings ago, she asked me about hair. She wondered how it came in the scalp and out if hair is dead. Jeff's brother shaves his head - something that always perplexed Laura. She said, "I wonder if Kenny's scalp holes are clogged?!" I cracked up inside when I tried again to explain he does it by choice. Her eyes glazed over.



Jake's, Zerns and finding his tongue

Today Jeff and I went to Jake's Flea Market and then Zerns Farmers Market. I never been to Jake's but I have been to Zerns many times. As a little girl, I remember being pushed in my wheelchair around the indoor and outdoor flea market. My mom,grandmother, brother, sister, aunt and my cousins would all go.

After I got my motorized chair, I liked strolling around. My mom would usually buy me something small like a Cabbage Patch figurine. I remember buying the Bruce Springsteen tape Born in the USA and playing it repeatedly. The ice cream was also always delicious. The funny thing is the trip always seemed so far and I'd fall asleep going there and coming home. However, it's not that far at all.

Jake's was fun but not enough tables out yet. Jeff and I figured that it was still early in the season. But we both had fun walking around both Zerns and Jake's. We didn't buy one thing.

Jason was an angel. He mainly slept mixed in with some eating. Laura stayed with my Dads because they were going to playgrounds all day. We stopped at a diner on our way home and hung out in the afternoon with Jason and catching up on TV shows.

Jason discovered his tongue. He knows he can control it and move it. We played tongue in and out. Jeff played with him as well. Toward the end of the night, I felt a cold coming on. I was sneezing and just felt icky. I took some night medicine and slept pretty ok.


The calm after the storm

A baby changes everything in your life. In our situation, Jason is really our first baby. When I met Jeff Laura was two years old and already had a good foundation. There's a huge difference between a very independent two year old and an infant.

Having Jason has made us closer. However, lack of sleep, added stress, added business and added work pushed us apart. The children were first, our jobs second and our relationship last. A successful happy marriage doesn't last too long with that formula.

After some not so pretty arguments, we realized that without a strong marriage everything suffers. We started two weeks ago when my mom babysat and we went to a dinner and movie. We felt a little ashamed that we were waiting for her with our jackets on. It was a great start though of finding us.

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster for us. When we fix one issue another weed springs up in our beautiful garden. I know we are both are perfectionists with our house, work, and making sure our kids are taken care of. Our house can look very good to most people but bother us.

We decided to shift our perspective. Our marriage first, children and work. It's not easy to do, but we need to know that our marriage will whither without attention. Everyone will get hurt in that. So hopefully and with prayer, we can stick to it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Family is the best

This morning I woke up about 6:30. I guess it's just habit now between Laura's school and Jason's schedule. I'd imagine I would sleep longer if Jeff was next to me, but he was in Jason's room because it was his turn last night.


I heard Jeff and Jason so I offered to help but Jeff said no need yet. After using the bathroom, I heard my little girl come out of her room. We hung out in the living room and about ten minutes later, Jeff bought Jason out to me.m


Jason slept for 30 minutes and then we played. Laura sang to him and I taught her how to change his clothes. She did awesome. A few weeks ago, I taught her how to change his diaper. This is very helpful having her help me once in awhile.


Jason fell asleep around 9:30 so I quick took a shower. I get around on the floor better and thankfully my shower controls are lower. I love this independence. Jeff woke up and took over so I got ready.


After breakfast, we all cleaned because Jeff was assisting my brother in law to pick up a heavy kiln for my sister. My sister hung out with me and the kids. We had fun. We did crafts and played Scrabble Jr.


When they returned, we ate a late lunch and hung out. Jeff did housework as I took care of Jason after they left. Now we are all calm and relaxing (or writing.)


Days like these remind you what family is all about. Working as a team, loving each other, having fun and enjoying time together.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Bombing in Boston

We are praying for all involved in the bombings at Boston. I have no idea why anyone would even think of doing these things. Why would bombing innocent people even come to mind? It's becoming a scary world but we need to have level heads. Media doesn't help and often gives terrorists fame.

Other people who might want their fame for evil deeds see all the new and those watching it. They probably try to out do each other to capture the worlds attention. I'm not saying to be oblivious to world news but following each second and hearing about it 24/7, I think adds fuel to the fire.

Neither Jeff or I watch the news on a daily basis. We are too busy,but it's annoying too. I read it online. Laura isn't exposed to it but it's amazing how many children are drenched in hearing the news.

We received an email from Laura's teacher to all the parents explaining that they discussed the bombings because children were talking about it. They focused on the good and kept it simple.

That night Laura asked me some tough questions. She asked me why are bombs made? She also asked why would someone do that? I tried to keep it simple. I explained that they made a terrible choice and I don't know why people hurt others. However, we should be very grateful for those who helped each other, and we should pray that others won't make terrible choices.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Carnival night

Laura's school had carnival night last night. It was a nice ending to the day. I wouldn't say it was an overly productive day, but it was pretty good.

Jason turned 8 weeks old. We spent a lot of time with him. I felt tired because it was my turn to be up with him at night. It was rough because Jason seemed to wake every thirty minutes. I have a feeling he wasn't eating enough so he kept waking up.

Whoever isn't up with Jason, takes care of Laura in the morning. She is quite easy. All you really need to do is make sure she stays on task. Jeff was on Laura duty as I just laid on the couch. He thought I was taking his job but no I just needed a change of scenery.

Jason is playing more with his activity mat. He coos and babbles at the hanging animals. It's fun watching him change daily. I think he will be an early talker like Laura. Laura talked at 6 months.

I walked to my doctor office to get his evaluation for my wheelchair. People are so strange when they see me alone. There were two nurses behind me walking probably on lunch break. They came up and said loudly as if I couldn't hear, "Look at you out here by yourself!! Do you know where you are going??" I just smiled and nodded. I was running late and wasn't in the mood to educate. Plus I thought they were hopeless in understanding anyway.

After I came home, my new attendant came and filled out her application. I'm excited for her to start! Her name is Jennifer and I believe we will do great.

My mom and brother surprised me with a visit as I was rocking Jason while Jeff ran to the post office. My brother lives in Florida but comes up from time to time. We have a great relationship. He hid in the kitchen before Laura came in. She was shocked and very excited to see her uncle.

After they left, we went out to dinner at Palmero's. The kids were excellent. Laura said her Italian hoagie was delicious!  Then we headed to Laura's school for carnival night. My Dad met us there and we had fun. We thought it was a fund raiser but actually no money was needed. They earned tickets through games set up in each class.
They earned tickets and redeemed them for sweets or little toys. Laura had a blast!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nu Roo Shirt

Holding Jason is becoming easier due to to his size and my confidence level. I can now hold him while I sit on the recliner. He isn't as fragile as he used to be. I'm still surprised that Jason is almost twelve pounds! Laura didn't reach twelve pounds until maybe four months old.
After Jason was born, Jeff felt terrible that I couldn't hold him alone. He did extensive research and found the NuRoo shirt. It's a shirt that allows the baby to be up against the mother without needing the ability to hold them. On the way home from the hospital, we stopped at Babies R Us to purchase one.
The NuRoo shirts aren't cheap but worth it. Jason fit right in and we both fell asleep. Don't worry I wasn't lying down. It felt like Heaven to feel his tiny precious body up against mine. His breathing was steady and he was obviously quite content.
The only drawback is you need to be topless to wear the shirt. So it's best if I wear it at home so Jason can come out easily when we both need it. He can be in the shirt until he weighs fifteen pounds. They say sixty minutes a day is good to promote a healthy baby.
I'd recommend this shirt to mothers with and without disabilities. I feel sad that the time is almost running out for me to hold him in it, but I'm grateful Jeff found it so we could use it at all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Superhero

I try to blog at least three times a week, but I'm sadly falling behind. I apologize to my readers for that! Life has been busy! Not only having an 8 week old baby, a six year old - I took on a few more projects on the side. Great projects, yes, but also time consuming. However, you can at least expect one blog a week.

I have been following closely my friend Kate's blog. Her son has died on April 14 very unexpectedly after five and a half short years. Gavin did have multiple disabilities but he was conquering them with superhero strength. Kate and her husband are asking everyone to do something kind in Gavin's name. I am hoping that you can read her blog, Chasing Rainbows, and do a random act of kindness.

I have no idea how Kate had enough emotional strength to even write anything let alone beautiful blogs. After Israel died, I couldn't really write a thing emotionally for six months. Israel was a wonderful writer and helped me write so it just was a block for me. If anything happened to Jeff, Laura or Jason - I have no clue if I could so graciously write about it like Kate.

Life is precious and time can easily slip from us. Hug, kiss and tell your loved ones you love them!


Therapy and work

Today I had physical therapy for my neck and back. I walked there because it it pretty close to my house. The main doctor seemed good. I'm not big on the Tuesday therapists. They don't seem to really get it as far as cerebral palsy. I almost fell out of my chair. My neck felt better though.

Jeff picked me up at therapy and we headed over to the house that they are fixing. I didn't expect him to pick me up but it was very nice to see him. We ate fried chicken for lunch. I took care of Jason while Jeff did what he needed to do.

When we got home, Jeff took care of Jason so I could work. I worked with Grace too by putting clothes away and cleaning.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to the gym

Today is tax day. Our taxes were done awhile ago. We started the day at the YMCA. Jeff and I both used to work out a lot more before Jason. I would always use the hand bike and take Pilates classes.

When I became pregnant, I had pregnancy sickness (morning sickness) and getting sick at the YMCA didn't sound appealing. Plus just moving around, especially as I got bigger was hard enough.

Jeff was diligent about working out. He joined a 24 hour gym, and often went before work. He was in good shape. After Jason came, our life went crazy busy that we didn't get there.

So today we decided to go. At our YMCA they have a child watch for children 6 weeks-8 years. Laura used to go and everyone was nice. Jason handled it great

I did a 45min session on the hand bike. I thought it would be terrible getting back in shape but we did well. Jeff did an hour and felt good.

When we got back, we ate lunch. Then Jeff ran errands and I took care of Jason. He was fussy but I'm mastering my feeding technique so it is improving. When Laura came home, I helped her with homework.

I took a nap before we had dinner. All was good.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is it colic?

Jason has been fussy. His symptoms seem to have gotten worse since Saturday, and we are trying our best to keep this little guy happy. We tend to think he has colic but we are going to take him to the doctor to find out tomorrow.

Jason has always had belly issues with gas and hiccups. They never seemed to bother him like recently. He cries often. Jason will relax and calmly enjoy life but about 5-10min later, he cries all over again. We feel so bad.

One thing that calms him is when he hangs out with me in the nu ru shirt or in the baby carrier. I enjoy holding him and feeling his little body on mine. Plus I kiss him about 100 times!!

We tried gripe water and sensitive formula, but none has seemed to really do the trick. We know they tend to outgrow colic at 3-4 months but we are hoping to help him out sooner.

Any advice?

All night with Jason

I'm becoming increasingly independent with my son. I still can't just pick him up or change diapers but I choose to focus on what I can do for him. He is now seven weeks and is growing quickly.

On Sunday night, Jeff was totally exhausted. He's been doing primarily night and day shift with Jason. He has been working on our house plus working on a business with his father. So I said to him that I'd like to try taking care of Jason Sunday night.

Jeff admitted that he didn't believe I could do it, but didn't tell me that until after the fact. In the living-room he made bed for me and Jason. I am much more independent on the floor than anywhere else. After Jeff changed and swaddled Jason, he laid him down next to me. He also set up four bottles and a pacifier.

Jeff slept on the couch so he was close by. Other than being not great on my body lying on the floor, the night went well. Jason woke every three hours or so. I fed him and soothed him back to sleep. It's the best feeling to be able to comfort your child.

I loved seeing his little expressions and smiles during the night. Swaddling helped tremendously because his flailing arms didn't get in the way of the bottle. By six thirty he was ready to get up and a new diaper.

Jeff said he woke when Jason cried but it was nice not having to get up. He felt proud of me for doing it. Next time I just need to find a more comfortable place to sleep!

Laura can tie her shoes

Laura has learned how to tie her shoes! On Saturday evening, Laura and Jeff were practicing tying shoes. Tying shoes has been a goal for Laura so she needed to practice. Jeff said that he was helping her do the first steps when all of a sudden she just finished all on her own.

Laura and I have always learned in similar ways. Once something clicks, we get it and just master the skill. I learned like that and it's interesting to see her do the same.

I was working on my computer when she came running in very excited. She was using one of my shoes and said, "Mommy, I can tie!" Sure enough, she sat down and started to tie. I felt so proud of my daughter! The look on her face was beaming with joy and self confidence. It was the best smile ever.

Jeff and I told her that we would buy her sneakers that tie. The next day when we looked to buy them we quickly noticed that Kmart had zero tie shoes in her size. Payless only had one pair and ended up buying them even though they were over priced! I guess fewer are being bought because velcro straps are so much easier.

Later that day we went to my sister's fortieth birthday party and Laura showed everyone her new found skill. Her teacher was happy too on Monday!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sealants and Sonic

Yesterday Jeff and I relaxed a little in the morning before we cut coupons. We played with Jason. He is six weeks old. Jason is a lot more alert, and he gives me wonderful smiles. I love hearing him coo and make noises.

I still can't do lots physically, but I try my best. The absolute worst feeling is hearing him cry with his sad little face and not being able to pick him up. But I try to sing, shhhh and distract. It works sometimes!

We picked Laura up from school a little early so she could go get sealants. Sealants protect the teeth from cavities. I enjoyed seeing her and getting her early. The sealants took about five to ten minutes.

On our way home, we stopped at Sonic to get a bite to eat. When Laura was two, my friend and i always ate at Sonic after Laura's music class. We had lots of laughs, and I miss her now that she is in a different state. Luckily, we are still connected by Facebook and texting.

When we were at home, I took care of Jason with Grace and Laura so Jeff could nap.

When helping Laura with her homework, I was surprised to see she is learning fractions. It's still pretty early on but she knows them pretty well!

Sterilizing people with disabilities might be legal in Australia

The laws in Australia might try to make sterilizing those with disabilities legal. The law basically would give the parent of a child with a disability the right to have them sterilized or not. Parents of those with intellectual disabilities especially are advocating this right.

What do you think?

Legal sterilization in Australia

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Getting in my wheelchair on my own

Laura went back to school yesterday. I was a bit sad to see her go. I had a knot in my stomach as her bus pulled away and felt tears spring to my eyes. If anyone has seen that Subaru commercial with the father following his daughter's school bus, you'd know how I feel.  That commercial always makes me cry.

I homeschooled my student from 11-5.  Jeff had a meeting with his Dad so he set me up with food and we discovered a way I can get in my wheelchair alone.

Jeff put my wheelchair against the sofa. I get on the sofa from the floor. It's much easier now I'm not pregnant. Then I scoot onto my wheelchair.. The only part I can't do is buckle my seatbelt.

The sad part is that Jeff had to take Jason because I'm not exactly capable to meet his physical needs. It drives me crazy that I can't but I've been trying to focus on the positive.  I'm happy Jeff can take him and he's with his father.

I had a good teaching day. I enjoy teaching and having a positive impact on someone's life.

Last night was the first time in awhile that I could lay comfortably in Jeff's arms as we watched TV. Even pregnant, I couldn't really get comfortable enough to lay there. Jeff and I have been adjusting to our new roles of parents of two and an infant. We've had our rough spots especially after exhausting nights, but we always try to come back and make it right and stronger.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Fools Day

I'm searching for a morning person for a few hours a day. I had scheduled 5 people to be interviewed throughout the day. The night before I received two cancellations in email. Then that morning I received an email cancellation and two people didn't show up.

I really felt April Fools Day! I have had a few successful potential workers but none felt exactly the right fit. I did interview one person last week, and we will give it a try

The day wasn't completely wasted. Laura was able to play in the backyard. The weather was very nice until around 3:30 and then turned windy and cold. Jeff took out our deck and backyard furniture. We love spring and summer. We went with Jeff on a few errands and then Target.

Jeff is looking into buying Laura and eventually Jason a new swing set. My dad got Laura's when she was two and its pretty rusty and beat. She basically outgrew it. So we did a little shopping around for that.

When we came home, Jeff made a delicious steak dinner on our grill. Laura and I played imagination games in the living room. I had her put on plays and act out various scenarios. She had fun. If she wasn't so shy, she would be a great actress.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back to school tomorrow

When we talked about it weeks ago, spring break sounded like a long time. I thought I'd be happy when school would start again because I thought I'd run out of ideas to keep her busy. Boy, was I wrong!

I can't believe it's over. Sure Laura had moments of being bored but they were quick. She was a HUGE help with Jason.  Whenever she heard him cry, she would come running no matter where she was in the house.

I especially loved the morning when Jeff gives me Jason as he tries to sleep a bit more. I'd have both of my kids all too myself. We'd act silly as we want. Nothing like it! I feel blessed.

Laura and I both set our alarms to 6:30 tomorrow morning. Clothes are picked out, bag is packed and snack is set. I went over the morning routine with Laura before bed. Knowing me, I'll be a little choked up as her bus pulls away in the morning. Yes, I'm pretty much a big melted heart when it comes to my children leaving without me.

Tomorrow I go back to teaching the student who is homeschooled, being Jason's mommy, and Jeff's wife until 3:45 when our family becomes whole again.

Tips for establishing bedtime routine

How society views people who have cerebral palsy

Have you ever had a day when you forget that you have cerebral palsy? You simply wake up, do your normal routine and don't even think ab...