Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My hips used to hurt and now feel better

A few months ago, I could barely crawl or straighten my right leg. Whenever anyone put me in my wheelchair, the pain was striking and I couldn't even straighten my leg. I feared that being forty plus all of my sitting in the W position had caught up to me. It got to the point that I needed to take an Aleve daily. I know doing taking one daily isn't very good for your liver, but I needed it just to make it through the day. The pain made it difficult to sleep.

The first step I took was doing range of motion. I had my attendant stretch my leg in an up and down motion. Even though it was pretty painful, I started to feel better. I didn't give up just because it hurt. Although it was tempting, believe me.  I also would do leg lifts in the afternoon on my own and in bed.

 I also bought glucosamine and take two of them each afternoon. I've heard many success stories of people who took glucosamine that had joint pain. They told me how much better they feel.  One day we were at Costco and I remembered to buy some. When I came home, I noticed that they were huge white pills.  I decided to take it during lunch time. I believe they helped me a great deal.

Just like that, it seemed, I was back to myself with being able to move my right hip. Now I can crawl all over my house without any pain. It's so nice to be able to "run" down the hall to the kids rooms.  Plus I can help whoever puts me in my wheelchair by fully extending my legs. I know this makes people happy who is picking me up. 

So, if you're in a similar position, please try the steps that I took. I hope you find it successful.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

9 year old girls

Laura has always been one of the kindest, thoughtful, intelligent, loving and funniest people that I have ever met. I remember looking in her eyes at a week old and knowing she has the most amazing soul.  But like everyone, we grow and change. And in the last three months, Laura has done both and I'm trying to learn the best way to guide her.

I've heard all the horror stories of tweens. Like most parents, you always think that won't be us. We are closer than that or I parent differently so that'll never be me.  I was wrong.  No matter who you are, hormones happen and that can make someone a bit crazy.  As her mother, I want Laura to be happy and feel loved.  So, of course, I want to do everything I can to help her with that.

Sometimes she's fine, sometimes she cries, sometimes she sobs and sometimes she screams- all in five minutes. Then it continues all night long and the more you try - the worse it gets. It's all very new and frustrating for both of us. The saddest thing to hear is that she doesn't want to be this way but doesn't know how to stop. I can't make it stop. We just need to figure out methods that work for her while still being respectful to us.

Last night was a fail for both of us.  This morning and mid afternoon seemed pretty touch and go.  The rest of the day went wonderful. I did a few things differently thanks to the advice from my friends.  

I didn't esculate it by prodding, I just told her what needed to be done.  I ignored dirty looks and sighs to get to the bigger picture- getting out the door.  I compromised with her on times and how she did things. For example, I asked her to finish cleaning her room and she asked me if I was going to help. I told her no that I felt she was more than capable of doing it herself.

Laura said okay but then asked if she could watch a show on iPad while doing it. I normally say no, but instead I said the job only should take 20 minutes. If she can get it done to my approval, it would be okay.  To my surprise, her room looked great in less time. I could tell she felt proud and happy that she met the goal.  No tears or fights.

I understand this might not work each time and every day is different. However, I know we love each other and we will get through this. Also, I need to embrace that she's only nine once. Even though there are and will be lots of rough times - there is also lots of cuteness, coolness and intelligence to witness too.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Jason at two but almost three

Jason is growing leaps and bounds. Everyday he's saying new words and sentences. He's making new and logical connections.  Jason is just a neat boy to be around.

Jason knows his letters, can count to ten, recognizes numbers, and picks out letters from words. He showed me the other day that J is for Jason! He counts cars and other objects. Jason is a the type of boy that you can show him something once and he remembers. In fact, he has one of the best memory that I have ever seen for a two year old.

Jason is also a man of routine. We have hardly ever had any difficulty to get him to nap.  He knows that shortly after lunch, he can play a little more than nap. Jason tells others the routine too, and he could probably tell you the whole house routine if the vocabulary was there. 

Jason is usually easy going but sometimes he just wants to insert his stubbornness.  Luckily, it usually passes quickly and we move on. He definitely reminds you of what is important. He asks you to play with him and your immediately drawn in and centered to what is important.

When he wakes up in the morning, he calls Mommy. During the school week, Laura opens his door since it's around the time that she wakes anyway. Laura says, "hug to pass!" And they hug each other before he leaves the room.

He likes to clink glasses, plates etc and says, "Cheers!" Laura taught him this.

I ask him to let Lady and Lucky out in the morning and he runs to do it and usually says, "okay!!!"

When we've been out on errands, Jason will ask, "Mommy, want to see Lady and Lucky?" Translation: I want to go home.

He knows directions pretty well when we are out. He will tell me when we are about to pass a river or over pass.

He tells me when he sees a jeep, fire trucks and other vehicles.

Jason likes to say, "Mommy, will you play with me?"

He likes to sit next to me when I eat breakfast.

He helps me play with him by guiding my hands.

He says please and thank you.

Jason says, "Merry Christmas!" To people walking by.

He says Hi to people when we are out.

Jason says I love you so cute.

He likes his stuffed kitty, blanket and dog.

Jason loves showing all his cars.

Merry Christmas a different one, but happy Christmas

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We had an interesting one but fun and worth it. I had to use my manual chair twice during the last two days. As some of you know, being in a motorized wheelchair and then a manual plus being carried up and down stairs can really throw a body off. But it was worth being with some and making others happy. When I was young, I was carried constantly and in many situations that never bothered me. Now I'm 40 and two kids later, my body says, "what are you doing??" 

On Christmas Eve, sadly, my Laura figured out that Daddy and I had the spirit of Santa.  Looking back on it, I could've covered it in many ways, but I didn't.  I think it was just that time she knew or my instincts would've covered.  Looking back on it, I could've said several things but none even entered my mind. We laughed, talked, and cried. But we talked lots about Santa and the loving aspect. We also talked about keeping Santa alive for Jason for many years to come! She said, "It sounds like a lot of work!" But she was happy to take it on. 

I whimpered back to my bedroom and cried.  I cried more than I ever expected to.  Part of it was that we were so close to the day.  I was mad it even happened, mad at myself, mad at Jeff and even mad at Laura for coming out an hour after bed.  It was late too! Then I reminded myself Christmas is about Jesus Christ and loving others. When I talked to Laura, she hugged me harder than ever that we did all of that for her.  So that made me smile.  I'm pretty sure I cried myself to sleep as Jeff rubbed my back.  No one warns you about all the emotions that a mom goes through. 

When I woke up Christmas morning, I still had that funny feeling in my stomach but no more tears.  It was just a new stage.  Then another thing happened.  Laura sleepily let Jason out of his room when she was supposed to keep him entertained in his room until we were ready for them to see the tree. Well, he wanted out and she was very sleepy. He ran right past her and right in the living room without anyone there to catch his reaction.  I just took a deep breath. I let go and embraced the moment before getting upset. I thought it is what it is.

Jason kept saying Christmas tree and was waving a little light saber around that Jeff got him.  He wouldn't let us put the lights on to see the light saber glow in the dark so I'm not sure if he noticed the impact of the gifts.  We all sang Happy Birthday to Jesus first. Then Jeff changed his diaper. We were trying to stall so my Dad could be there.

Once we all started opening gifts, love and fun were in the air. I felt very touched and satisfied that Laura gave presents that she got us all first instead of opening her own. I thought we did it and she understands that giving is just as good - if not better - than receiving.  

Laura didn't let on at all that she knew about Santa.  My dad was mad at me when he found out because he had no clue she knew plus he hates seeing her get older.  Me too, but such is life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fun December

I love the month of December. I enjoy being busy and giving to others so December has both of those things. Most importantly, I love Christmas. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is just wonderful. My childhood memories of Christmas is full of happy times. From decorating the house, the tree to Christmas morning December is great.

We decorated the house the first Wednesday of December.  Laura usually likes to decorate with me, but she told me that she only wanted to decorate a few certain areas. So, my attendant and I decorated when she was at school.  Jason was very funny in the beginning. He didn't like us moving things around and changing his house. He slowly became more and more interested and pointing out snowmen and such.  When Laura came home, she looked around and approved of our work. She also went right to work on the mantel.

Wherever we went out with Jason, he pointed out Christmas items.  He insists on calling Santa Claus Christmas trees.  I'm not sure why to be honest.  He loves looking at Christmas lights and says, "oh wow!" and "how cool!" The first weekend of December, we did lots of fun things.  We went to Sesame Place Christmas. Jason enjoyed seeing the characters, the beautiful Christmas lights, and the rides. He also liked the parade.  The next day, the was Breakfast with Santa at my church.  At first, Jason wanted nothing to do with him.  He even told my attendant that he didn't want to see him.  But as Jason turned away, I said why don't you give Santa a high five? To my surprise, he did!  Then he talked to Santa and finally sat on his lap!

On December 12, we went to pick out our Christmas tree.  I had hockey in the morning and the kids went on the Santa train with my dad.  Jeff decided to decorate the outside of our house. After Jason took a nap, we went to look at a tree.  It was so warm that I didn't even need a jacket! Jason absolutely loved looking at all the trees. It was as if he knew exactly what he was doing. He also enjoyed watching Jeff get it in the house!  The next day, Shawn and Laura mainly decorated and Jason cracked up seeing I got him a Lightning McQueen ornament and Mater from the Cars movie.  He loves seeing the tree lit each night.

Laura is also excited about Christmas.  She is getting older and questioning things more, but I believe the hint of magic is still alive.  She enjoys updating our Advent calendars (we have 4 and 2 edible.). She likes giving to people too. She helped me pick out some toys for children in need. She also went through her things for children in the foster care system.  As Laura gets older, I'm trying to teach the beauty in caring for others.

I have two favorite memories with Laura this Advent season.  The first one was when my dad dropped us off at
Kohls department store. Laura wanted to use her allowance to buy for family members and people the closest to her.  I loved how detailed and heart felt all of her choices were. She had a story or meaning behind each gift. I helped her somewhat but everything was mainly her idea.  It warmed my heart and makes me smile whenever I think about it. 

The second was last Wednesday night in my town.  One of the church's held an event for everyone with music and stories for Christmas.  Laura didn't want to go at first but later changed her mind. When she came home from school, she did her homework, showered and put on a pretty dress. They had hot chocolate and cookies upon entering.  We sat down and it opened with the song, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." It was so pretty and everyone sang. But looking at my beautiful Laura with a smile and joy in her eye - it made the night.

Both of the kids have enjoyed our elf, Jack. At first, Jason wasn't too certain about the whole idea. But then he figured if Laura was excited, maybe there was something to this little elf.  First thing in the morning they both find him and giggle when they find him. I think we will all be sad when Jack goes home until next year because he brings so much joy.

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