Thursday, July 2, 2009

Six Months later...

It is amazing how much can happen in your life over the course of six months! As noted in my last post, I have a tendency not to post anything personally when life seems to be moving along smoothly. So, for the most part it has these past few months. However, I have experienced one devastating loss and an unexpected surprise.

After the new year, we enjoyed some fun times with the snow and visiting family. Tim changed jobs and was able to use some of his down time to visit his parents in Florida. I had a week to myself to read, work and then read some more! I read all four books in the Twilight series that week, and I hate to admit it but I loved all of them! Then, March arrived and we enjoyed a birthday weekend with my mom and some unseasonably warm weather for Ohio. On Saturday, March 7, we were enjoying the unexpected 70 degreee weather at the zoo when I received the call from my brother. My dad had unexpectedly died that morning from a heart attack. We were visiting the penguins when I took the call; and I didn't know what to think. It was so sudden, and the zoo was crowded and I'm crying. Charlie wants to know why, and I simply told him we'd have to go home. After reaching Tim at work and with the help of a good friend, Annie, I was able to get the kids home and begin packing for the week. I knew I'd want to be there with my siblings, and I couldn't think about teaching for at least a week. The services for my father were exactly what I imagine he would have wanted. He looked, and I know this might be morbid but it's true, great. He had his hat and little bling to go with his nice suit. The service really captured a lot of the truths about my father because he was one to tell it like it is, and he did live the life he preached. He was real and so generous with his time, laughter, and money. I remember standing with my nieces at the receiving line and mentioning the old wives tale that with death comes life, meaning babies. Well, that is the unexpected surprise.

After a good Easter and nice break with my mom and sister's family, I headed back to finish the school year. I kept whining about this flu bug that had made me ill at my sis's and just kept lingering. I felt tired. I was tired. I had decided to sell Pampered Chef and with the end of the year approaching I was busy. Charlie played soccer, and he's improved so much. He's so cute on the field and Abbi loved playing on the sidelines with the extra balls. She actually gives them a pretty solid kick. Plus, Charlie was finishing preschool and screening for kindergarten. Abbi is getting reading for the IEP transition meeting, and I was just preoccupied. Therefore, it never occurred to me that I might be pregnant. We had decided after Abbi that two children were enough for us, and I was planning to make that a permanent choice after school let out in June. So, needless to say, after doing a PC party at a girl friend's home, I immediately went to buy a test. At the party, I became dizzy and I was really unable to do the usual clean-up from the cooking show. She just joking said that I acted like I was pregnant. This really sent my mind racing. After taking the test, I was in shock. At one point in my life, I was told that I might not be able to get pregnant. Then, I easily fall pregnant with Charlie after marrying Tim. Then, we proceed to have several miscarriages. I'm delighted when I carry Abbi to term, but completely thrown by all of the intial issues she had as an infant. Then, I'm content to say that I have two wonderful children and I don't want to throw the dice again. I'm too scared of what could happen. And what happens, I accidently or unknowingly get pregnant and don't even realize it until I'm 12 weeks along! I really felt like an idiot. I had always known with each of my earlier pregnancies and eagerly anticipated taking the test. This time I didn't have a clue.

In fact, I still don't. I immediately thought of the negatives to this pregnancy, like would this child be healthy, is it fair to Abbi or Charlie, the cost, ect... Now, I'm past the inital shock and I think this is definitely a blessing for our family. Charlie and Abbi will benefit from having another sibling; no one can ever truly afford to have children; and my Dad is probably smiling because he toasted our wedding with the wish that we might have a family of at least six children! My only worries now stem from the unknown. Will this child be healthy? I thought an amnio would provide the answer, but so far I'm too chicken to find out. I'm afraid of losing the baby ( 1/200 with an amnio) and I don't know what I'd really do if I did find out something was wrong. At first, I would have said there's no way I can parent another special needs child. In fact, I still don't think I truly can, BUT I also can't imagine the alternative. So, I'm left with prayer.

Quickly, now that I've monopolized this entry with my own stuff, let me update everyone on Abbi. She's doing beautifully. In fact, she is beautiful. I'll update photos this week. We just returned from visiting Sesame Place and we all had a blast. She hugged every character and loved all the music and dancing. She kept trying to get on stage! She' s starting to have about 30+ words that she uses regularly and a few phrases as well. She's still mostly delayed in language but I'm beginning to see some improvements. She's learned to jump recently, and she loves the water. Her health is good. She's growing like a weed. She's 23 lbs now, and over 31 inches tall. Her CVAS is stable and she's eating us out of house and home! She loves chocolate and popsicles! I'm really proud of her determination and sense of strong will. At times, this makes life difficult but I know these traits will serve her well down the road. She wants to be like her big brother, and her cousin Allison. She's even sleeping in a big girl bed now, and gave up her binky for one night!

Sorry this was a long one; I'll try to keep it updated this summer. I always take time during the week to read about everyone else's lives, but I don't always write about mine. Unless, of course, things are a little rough or on a downward slide.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome, 2009!

I must admit that I'm embarrassed that I haven't updated my blog in five months; I wish I could say that I've been overly busy with school, the kids, family, and the holidays. Of course, I have been busy with those things like so many others; but, I know the real reason I haven't blogged is because life has been going so smoothly. I have a tendency to write as therapy; therfore, if things are going well, then I might not post. I apologize to all the WS mommies who are so dedicated to journaling not only the valleys in this journey but the mountain tops as well! Despite my lazy attitude to updating my own blog, I do stay up-to-date with everyone else's. I loved reading about many of the milestones so many have shared! So, here goes.

Abbi & Charlie are having a wonderful school year. Charlie is really enjoying his last year of preschool, and I'm amazed at how grown up he is already! Each day he tells us how he can't wait to go to school next year and ride the yellow bus! He loves looking for letters in signs and asking "What letter does that word start with, Mommy?" He had a wonderful fall season of soccer; his coach was sooo wonderful with the kids. He's currently taking swim lessons and an introduction to sports class at the YMCA. He's still into super hereos; this Christmas he said that he got everything he ever wanted- Moonsand, Optimus Prime, and more Batman stuff! It's also great to see a relationship evolving between him and Abbi now. He loves to run and have her chase him around the main floor. Of course, he never lets her catch him so eventually she loses interest! I get a little nervous with the wrestling, but she seems to give it as good as she gets.

As for Abbi, I can't help but smile when I think about how far she's come since last year at this time. Last January, she wasn't quite crawling yet. Now, she's mastered that skill and moved on to walking and almost a full run! She' s growing, eating well, and sleeping for the most part all night! Yeah! Life is so much better! We're still struggling somewhat with getting all the services I think she's entitled to thru the county; but overall, I'm so pleased that we decided to enroll her this year in the MRDD preschool program. She's making such improvements! She's definitely stronger and bolder in trying new things. In fact, during the holidays, I was amazed at how she kept up with her older brother and cousin Allison. She wanted to be a big girl, and she attempted to do everything they did! I loved it; them not so much! We've had her fitted for orthotics and her walking as greatly improved. But, I'll have to check in with some of you on the challenges of finding shoes that fit the orthotics. Her current tennis shoes, Saucony, are okay, but it is a tight fit! I wish she were talking more, and I know that is something I'm constantly worried about but I try to remember that though her speech is delayed, she will eventually chatter constantly. She's working large puzzles and has managed to manipulate several of the buttons and levers on her various toys, which shows that her grasp is maturing. She's becoming a little bit of a princess, with her colorful beaded necklaces and love of bangle bracelets! I loved to see her push her doll stroller and love on her bunny. She was a riot at Build a Bear!bilder
Finally, after almost two years, I'm beginning to see my little girl rather than the syndrome. Ocassionally I'll digress, but I try to stay focused in the present and the wonderful little girl she's become! With all that being said, we're looking forward to a great year in 2009! Tim is still in school, and we're busy again with all Abbi's therapies. I'm hoping to get involved in a small play group with some kids (girls especially) her age. Anyway, I'm hoping to stay on top of this blog a little better - that was one New Year's resolution. Since I basically never scrapbook anymore, at least this blog can become a written, visual document of our family.

God Bless & Happy New Year everyone!