Monday, August 31, 2009

ANOTHER CHECK UP

Emmie had an appointment with her Developmental Pediatrician today. I went with Emmie & Aidan & Emmie's Physical Therapist, Jill. Overall, Emmie is doing great!! She is very alert, tracks things well with her eyes & can grasp things very well. There is some concern with her left hip. It is clunking, coming out of the socket. It could be from her low muscle tone or something else. Emily will get an ultrasound this week to get it checked out. I am trying not to worry about it, but it is on my mind.

Emmie has some delays with her speech. This seems strange since she is only 5 months old. She is only making low tone sounds, no high tones yet. No high pitched giggles. The dr. also said Emily will be delayed with sitting up, crawling, & walking. It could take her up to 24 months to walk. These are all delays we expected, but it hits hard when it is put in front of me again. I felt like saying, "Do you know who Emmie's Mommy is?" :) I will work with Emmie for as long as it takes. It doesn't matter if she reaches all those milestones on time or not. She will do it at her own pace, when she is ready. I will be with her every step of the way, helping her & cheering her on.

Aidan was such a good boy during the appointment. He played with cars & trucks. He was so sweet to Emmie. He hugged & kissed her & said, "There's my girl!" The love he has for her is so sweet.

Daddy is due to come home for Labor Day weekend. We are very excited! Aidan has been having an extremely difficult time. He is very angry & wants his Daddy. He screams for Eric, bangs his head, cries, bites himself. It is heartbreaking to watch him go through this. All I can do is be there for Aidan & tell him that Daddy will be home soon. I hold him & let him scream it out. He needs to get it out. He knows that Daddy is away with the Army. He talks to Eric on the phone & we are going to start using the webcam soon. It will be good for us to be a family again, even if it is for a few days. We all need it. Saying goodbye again will be hard.

That's the latest. I feel like I haven't blogged in so long. I have been so busy now that Aidan is on vacation from school. Not a moment to myself! I will be writing more often once he is back in school.

Before I sign off, I want to thank my family & friends for all of their help & support. You are all amazing!! We couldn't get through this without you!! The phone calls, emails, babysitting, visits, dinners, venting sessions, hugs.......We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

One more thing.....This weekend I went to my first training session to be an advocate for Parent to Parent, an organization that helps families with children with disabilities. I attend 20 hours of training & then I will be connected with 3 families throughout the year. I have found my calling! It was an amazing day...emotional & empowering. I will blog about it next time.

Wish us luck with Emmie's ultrasound on Thursday!

Good Night!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

HANGIN' IN THERE

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever!! Life is pretty crazy these days. I feel like I don't have a moment to myself. Taking care of 2 kids alone is not easy. It's stressful & exhausting! I have a new respect for single parents....GOD BLESS YOU!!


We are doing fine. The kids keep me very busy & I am grateful for that. We have been talking to Eric pretty much every day. At times, it seems like the time is flying by. Other times, it feels like the days never end. Somedays I find myself trying to do just about anything to fill up the time. I hate to live my life like, "another day down & cross it off the calendar", but it becomes that sometimes. It's hard to fully enjoy life when the other half of my life, my partner, is far away & won't be back for a while. This is also making me think about the year deployment that is to come. How will we survive it? Are we strong enough? Right now, it's important to just get through the next 2 months.

Believe me, we aren't sitting around her moping. We live our life. Aidan goes to pre-school everyday, we do playdates, Emmie & I meet friends for walks, we go shopping, have dinner with friends, attend Emily's therapy sessions. I am so grateful for all the good people in my life....family & friends. They help me find joy, when I think I can't. They make me laugh, when I want to cry. They call & talk to me, even when I want to shut out the world. They help me feel complete, when I feel empty. How lucky am I? :)

My kids!! They are everything to me. Even though I am stressed, they bring me joy every day. Their smiles, their snuggles...I can't get enough. I hold them even closer when Eric is away, just to feel connected to him. My heart aches that they are without their Daddy. I feel a sense of pride for what Eric is doing for our country, for our family, our children. After all, where would we be if our soldiers didn't do their job? Someone has to do it. In the end, I believe Eric should be with his wife & children. We need him. We are missing out on time we will never get back. As a wife & mother, I struggle.

So, if you want to know how I am doing, the truth is, I am hangin' in there, one day at a time. This is not easy, but I am pushing through. I believe I have a fighting spirit that never quits. I have my mother, my grandmothers, my aunt, & my great-grandmother to thank for that. Strong women! They have shown me the way. I hope both of my children will have this same fighting spirit throughout their lives & be able to take whatever life throws at them...the good & the bad.

Another day down.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

EMMIE'S 4 MONTH CHECKUP

This will be a quick entry tonight. Just got home from a friend's for dinner. Aidan is in bed. Emmie is napping & will be up soon for her final bottle. I am on Mommy duty 24/7 now since Eric left. Not an easy day for us here. Saying goodbye was hard. Eric left early this morning & I feel like he's been gone for so long. One day down.......

Emmie is doing great. She weighs 12lbs, 9oz & is 23 1/4"long. She got her shots & was such a good girl. She has had a cough so the dr. checked her out. Her lungs are clear & she is just congested in her upper airways. Nothing to worry about. Her passages are smaller than normal so it takes her longer to clear things out. This will pass.

Emmie is almost ready to try solid foods, but not quite yet. She needs to have more head control. Apparently, that is the marker for being ready to start solid foods. We will try in another month or so. No big deal.

All is well. I am grateful for the health of everyone in our family. We have everything if we have our health!!

Time to get in my jammies. I am off to bed right after Emmie's bottle. This is exhausting, but I will get through it.....for my kids....for our family. Good Night!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

DADDY IS LEAVING...GETTING READY

This blog is a little different from the others. In a few days, Eric is leaving for 2 months. The National Guard is sending him to school for a promotion. He will be in Alabama. It also looks like he will deployed to Kuwait in January. He will be gone for a year. I am going through several emotions. I feel nervous, anxious, sad, worried, angry...the list goes on & on. Right now the focus is getting through the next 2 months. I feel like my motto has become, "One step at a time". I think about the year deployment & it is almost too much to bear right now. We already went through a year deployment when Aidan was 10 days old. Eric was in Kosovo. We will deal with the longer deployment in a few months. Please just get me to October.

Eric has been busy packing & getting ready. Our downstairs is a disaster...covered with clothes & military gear. There is always so much to do when he is going to be away for a long period of time. Take care of things around the house, arrange a lawn service (thank you Green Care for Our Troops!! I am so grateful!), make sure sitters are around for Mommy to get a break,
get reacquainted with the video camera, downloading pictures, webcam, take Eric off our Rec. center membership to lower the price, & most importantly, prepare Aidan.


Aidan was only 10 days old when Eric was deployed. He didn't know the difference. Now, Aidan is 3 1/2 & he will definitely know that Daddy is gone. Aidan's pre-school has been a great help to us. His teachers made him a "Social Story" with pictures of Daddy & Aidan, a calendar, pictures of Mommy & Emily & our house. They wrote a story about how Aidan feels when Daddy is away. It's a way to start preparing Aidan for Daddy being gone.

Last night I felt it was important to start talking to Aidan about Daddy leaving. As his mother, it really hurt to tell him. I know this is just the beginning as the year long deployment will be even harder to prepare him for. Aidan was playing with his Army jeep & we talked about how Daddy drives a jeep like that when he is with the Army. I told Aidan that when Daddy is with the Army he goes away sometimes. Aidan understood & said, "Sometimes that makes me sad. I miss him. I want him". Nothing could prepare me for that. Not easy!! I told him that Daddy always comes back & that he will be home with Mommy & Emily. He said, "ok" & continued playing with his jeep. I felt a little better knowing that I started talking about it. We will continue to talk about it, but not dwell on it. Aidan needs to know he will be ok with Mommy & Emily & that Daddy will be home soon.

The next few days will be hard. Sometimes I forget that Eric is leaving & then all of a sudden I remember that he won't be here to help with bedtime, dinnertime, our nightly walks, or swimming at the Rec. center, etc. It is is temporary, but it is hard. I try to focus on the good when I can...the money, staying home with the kids, a good opportunity for Eric. The military is his passion. Everyone says, "When is he getting out?" He will never get out. It is who he is. I can't take that away from him. It's like asking me not to dance. I do my best to roll with this lifestyle, be happy & take care of the kids. They are the most important right now. I try to stay strong, but in the end, when the kids are in bed at night & I am watching TV by myself. It can get very lonely & depressing. Don't feel sorry for me. This is the life we chose. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but it is. Just pray that my kids, especially Aidan, will be OK.

So, some of my blogs may steer in the direction of military, deployment, etc. This will be a big part of our lives now. Thank you for going on the journey with us.