Sick

We are all sick (except M, he has an amazing immune system). He took Charlotte to the ER last night about 11:30 pm and they admitted her to the Children’s Hospital after doing 2 breathing treatments and she was not better. She had 2 before that at home, so the total was up to 4. They put her on oxygen. I stayed home with our son because well, we are sick too and honestly I did not want to spread this any more than we had to. This morning I made calls to our appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday to cancel. M just called a bit ago and once the attending doctor comes in and looks at Charlotte they will possibly take her off the oxygen and then the timer is on, with watching her be sure her oxygen levels are stable. They want to watch her for 12-24 hours then they will release her. Hopefully, by tomorrow or Wednesday, she will be home. This has been super hard on us of course. Jeff is not taking this lightly. He was recently diagnosed as mild/moderate autistic. So, I am working on some things for him. Not a great time to be sick! Gotta run! 

-Ciao!

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Happenings

We have officially moved. If you do not follow me on Facebook, then you most likely did not know. We moved into a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse. It was not what we were looking for, but it was in a way perfect. The stairs might kill me in the end, but it is a great exercise I guess. We do have baby gates, three in fact. One at the top of the stairs, one at the bottom of the stairs and one to keep the munchkins out of the kitchen. Our new stove is gas, so the knobs for the stove are within Jeff’s reach, a definite no-no. Speaking of Jeff he will be three later this month! I can not believe that!! 

He is doing really wonderful in speech and is now saying momma consistently, which thrills this momma to no end! We are working on other words many times a week and he is learning at a fast pace! He has an occupational therapy eval coming up soon, so I am sure that will help too. He is not really doing well with all the changes that have happened as of late. Moving and new house. It has been rough on all of us especially him. 

Charlotte is doing fantastic too! She is learning to come down the stairs in a safe way. She has no issues getting up, but getting down is a problem for her. She has started using a fork sometimes. She has trouble but is getting the hang of it. 

M lost his job this past Wednesday. It has been hard on us having just moved and all, but we are surviving. He has applied for unemployment already and put some resumes in for a few jobs already. The story behind the termination is a stupid one, but for right now I can not get into that. 

We still need a few things for the house, like a storage thing for the kitchen for extra can goods and pans. I have a solution until we can find something that I like and we can afford. It will not be perfect but should help some. Another thing we need is a table to eat at. right now we are all sitting in the living room on the floor. I do have our first real adult dresser coming from Ikea, which we bought before the job thing. We got the kids their own beds, which are in the process of being put together. 

I have started a new business. I am now selling Pampered Chef. Which I love! The Facebook business page is here. My Pampered Chef website is here. I am doing my launch party now, so if you or anyone you know needs anything, let me know! Well, I am gonna go, so much to do today! 

-Ciao!

A Whirlwind!

It occurs to me that I have not done an entry here since the beginning of November! A lot has happened since that time! Not sure where exactly to begin because honestly, I would be here typing all night! LOL. So, Charlotte turned 1 on Black Friday! She is doing really good right now. I mentioned the big hearing test coming up and guess what?!?! SHE PASSED IT ON BOTH SIDES!! She is hearing on her left side perfectly now and has absolutely no need for the hearing aid! Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes, it totally worked! 

As for her blood doctor, we are now six months out for those appointments, she had the most recent one on December 2nd and it is in fact, confirmed that she is making red blood cells on her own! YAY! She is continuing with physical therapy and is crawling on all fours consistently now, so we are working on the walking part now. I am so excited for her! She has also started speech and occupational therapy as well this month. She is doing well in both of those. We are teaching her to sign in speech so that her needs get met and I know what she needs instead of guessing. 

Jeff also had his speech evaluation and we are progressing with a combination of sign language and pictures to communicate with him. In the new year, I will be making an appointment with his pediatrician to find out how to get him tested for Autism. Once we know what we are up against, we can make plans and move forward. 

M got hurt at work on the same knee he had surgery on last year. It seems that we are destined to be in fire mode! He is fine and they sent him back to work this past Wednesday. He was out of work for a couple of weeks and it was very stressful for us and especially when it is near Christmas! Christmas will be pretty lean this year but our family has helped out and the kids will have a few things to open, so that is good! A church here in town brought us all we need for Christmas Dinner and breakfast too! Which was a major blessing! I have not been sleeping well because we are back on M’s work schedule and he is working 60 hours a week and is gone before 6:30 am in the mornings, which is hard on me because Jeff lately has been not going to bed until midnight or 1 am. Not sure what is going on with him, hoping it stops soon! 

Well, I think that is all I have right now! If I do not get back here before Christmas, have a Merry Christmas! (if you celebrate) if you do not, Happy Holidays! 

-Ciao!

Rough Ride

Life here has been really busy as of late. A lot of doctor appointments for Charlotte as later this month she will be turning a year old! Coming in the next week or two we have a major hearing test, an ear doctor appointment, physical therapy sessions, and then there are other doctor appointments in the beginning of next month because her birthday falls on Black Friday this year! 

Getting to this point has been a very long road. I honestly was not sure if we would ever get here. With so many different health concerns and doctors, I am very proud of where we are these days. She is finally making her own red blood cells, which means that the blood doctor appointments are being pushed out two months and not every month like we had been doing. Her heart doctor did not want to see her back for a year. If we can pass this hearing test coming up, hopefully, that doctor will not want to see her for a good while too! 

It has been a rough ride for us here. Jeff has no idea what has been going on just that something has been going on. It is difficult to explain all this to a two-year-old. He is still not really communicative, although he has started to say ‘Da’ and ‘Ma’. Which is great progress! I am hoping to get him in for an evaluation sometime this month  too. He will go to where Charlotte gets her physical therapy done. People ask me why he is not in daycare or in a tots program, well because he does not talk mainly. I think it would be beyond frustrating for those people and for him as well if no one knew what he needed. I just do not want to put him or them through that. 

Charlotte has come so far in a few months! She is doing so many things that she could not do before physical therapy. Now we have an appointment for First Steps to come in and give her some therapy here as well as going to physical therapy. Which I am sure can do nothing but help her! I am hoping to see her crawling soon. She has not mastered that quite yet and I can’t wait to see it happen. She is getting so big! We are giving her table food nowadays because she refuses to eat baby food and she is doing really well with that. She has three teeth in already and I am sure there are more trying to pop in soon! I am just in awe of my little girl. She has been through so much in her short little life and she is still her smiley self every day! I can learn a lot from her for sure. 

My business is doing well. It has been a struggle to get it started for sure. I had a goal of making $99 in October since I got a late start and I met that goal! So, for November I have a goal of $250 and I am working it! I love selling Origami Owl.I Have a facebook party already booked for this month and I am looking for more! So, if you know someone who wants to host send her my way! Oh and if you book with me before Nov. 18th I am throwing in a special free gift just for you! You can find more information here https://tawnyagardner.origamiowl.com 

Crazy House and Crazy Life

So lately we have had a flurry of doctor appointments for the baby because it is coming (way, way too fast I might add) up to her first birthday! Charlotte’s first birthday this year is on Black Friday ( yes, I think it is some kind of cosmic joke that this has happened to me). I look at her and see how far we have come in this almost year, but it has passed so quickly I often wonder where it went! I know that most parents will say that, but for us, it is especially true because we have literally spent more time with her doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals than we have with her at home. For quite a while we were at a doctor office every two weeks or so. It was exhausting and scary. I am not sure I can even put what it feels like into words so that others can really understand it. 

In this almost first year of life for Charlotte, I have had more people look at me like I have not fed my child than I would ever wish on anyone enemy or friend. The feeling when people in a position to make that kind of call and ruin your life when you are doing the best you can for your child is to be trite, scary. It gets so that going to the doctor made me cringe because I knew inevitably we would get around to her weight or lack of it. When they weighed her, I would see the recrimination in the eyes of the nurses, until I started going through all the health issues we had discovered. Then the recrimination quickly turned to pity. I never wanted pity. I never wanted any of this. All I wanted was a healthy child, which I had no control over. So, I had to learn to deal with all the scary stuff. The every two weeks of blood doctor appointments where they would stick my daughter multiple times because they would not listen to me when I told them that she had fragile veins and that they would blow out easily. At one point, trying to get a port for a blood transfusion in, it was 7 sticks in her body. All the while she was screaming. I wanted to snatch her up and leave, but I knew I could not, so I had to sit there and deal with it. 

Our life has been so very difficult and crazy (there is no other word to describe what we have been through as a family) When Charlotte was just a month old, she had her first two blood transfusions. She and I were in the PICU for four days so she could be treated for her blood disorder ( in basic terms her body was not making enough red blood cells to keep up with the ones that her body was destroying, which is why she had blood transfusions). Her core body temperature was also 95 degrees, which caused some concern as well. So, for four days I did not sleep much and she was tested, prodded, and looked at. All. the. time. The nurses and doctors were amazing. She had an echocardiogram done on her heart in which they found that her aortic valve was abnormal. The eventual diagnosis is that she has a bicuspid aortic valve, which means she will have to be watched her whole life. She will also have to be monitored her whole life because of the blood disorder as well. 

She is amazing. She is a fighter. She is my hero. My 10-month-old daughter has had 8 blood transfusions so far and she may need more in the future. Right now she is holding steady. She has begun to make her own red blood cells finally and that is a miracle for me. 

See, we also have a 2-year-old son, Jeff, who has never been sick outside of a two-day fever when he was teething. So the stark contrast between brother and sister is sometimes overwhelming for me. I know that this almost year has forced him in many ways to grow up more than any 2-year-old should have to. He does not understand that his sister is very sick or was. All he saw was she was getting all this attention. He now has a speech delay that we are currently trying to work through. I am going to get him evaluated in November. 

To say that M and I are exhausted is putting it mildly. Charlotte finally started sleeping through the night about 9-months-old, but it is not always the case. I have a wonderful husband who gets up with her when she wakes in the middle of the night. So, I can get sleep because I am a stay -at-home mom. I lucked out in so many ways with M. He is amazing and my rock. Our anniversary is coming up this month, we will have been married for 1 year. It is a hell of a first year of marriage let me tell you! 

We struggle so much every day. With normal stuff. Just getting food into the house mostly. See, we have tried to apply for help but apparently, we make too much money where we live now. We barely make it every month. Sometimes, we don’t and something has to give so we lose phone/the internet or electricity. It is hard. M’s family is amazing and they help us as much as humanly possible but they have trouble too. I am not saying this to gain pity or so people will feel bad for us, that is just how it is. I made myself a promise that when I started this blog that I would be honest and show good and bad here. 

Charlotte is doing amazing these days and we have come far! She is now a whopping 17 pounds and 25 and 3/4 inches long. She has recently moved up to her big girl car seat. She is going to physical therapy and learning to crawl. We are not there quite yet, but very soon!! I am so proud of her and us as a family. We have not given up. We keep moving forward no matter how hard things get. The picture below is where we came from. 

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This is Charlotte under the lights after birth in the NICU

The picture below is where we are now.

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This is Charlotte stretching in her bouncy seat. 

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This cute boy is Jeff.

I love my family with all my heart. We have been through some rough times, but we are getting through them. If you have prayed for us or thought good thoughts for us, thank you. We appreciate it. We will definitely need more in the future. Well, it is lunch time and my boy is asking to be fed! Gotta run!

 

-Ciao~

Truly Chaos For the Moment

Okay, so let me start with current events, M has gone to National Guard training leaving me home with both kids… alone… yeah.  We had a hard day that first day he was gone (Aug. 6th.) but things got better the next few days until yesterday on the 10th. Then I had a mothering melt down literally. So many things at play yesterday. And then trying to get Jeff to sleep and the A/C quit. I called the after hours number because it was almost 11 pm and 80 in the house. They called back in like 5 minutes and were out here in about 15 minutes in the dark with a flashlight. It was fixed by the time he left at 1 am. Laid down, Jeff decided to almost roll off the bed at about 2 am and when I moved him he started screaming and woke Charlotte up. Gah! So, I got up and made her a bottle brought him up on my lap and rocked him back to sleep, it is now almost 3am. I laid him back in bed turned on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (Thank God for Amazon Prime!) and told Jeff I would be in as soon as I could be.

Went back out and tried to get Charlotte back to sleep, which did not occur until about 4am. She was rolling over in her bouncy seat (her new trick) every five minutes and I had to flip her back over like a pancake because she would start screaming! On and on.. Finally in bed at 4ish am and then Charlotte wakes up at 7 am and did not go back to sleep until almost 9 am in which case Jeff was already up. So this momma got 3 hours of sleep and I have no idea how I am even still upright at this point, I am praying that they both decide to take naps today cause I could sure use one!

Something I have not really talked about here is my adoption journey. Before I had Charlotte M got me a Ancestry DNA kit because I was wondering what ethnicity I was. I wanted to be able to tell the kids what I was, so they had the whole picture. Well, that actually put me in touch with a biological cousin and her family. It looks so strange to me to even type the preceding sentence at all. She has been helping me track down my biological parents because I am a huge mystery in the family as it were. So, for all of you keeping score, in my adopted family I am the black sheep and in the biological family I am a mystery! LOL. She has gone through and compared my DNA, her DNA, and her sister’s DNA line by line.

We have narrowed it down to about three people who were in the right area at the right time, now we are looking for records to back it up. So, I have been on a mission most of this week and on the phone a lot! A roller coaster of emotion does not even really begin to cover it. Some of the original information that I was given back in the 1990’s turned out to be totally false and I am wondering why someone who did not know me from Adam would tell me such a lie. Anywhoo, I digress… I was told that my adoption records were destroyed in a fire at the Children’s Services building. The only thing wrong with that information is that fire happened in 1907. Yea, nothing to do with me or my records. So, a wall of sorts, but good news is that my records exist someplace!

Called the heath department and a very nice lady directed me to another health department in the capital of Ohio, called there and got a guy who sounded really unhappy with his job choice (my inference, he did not tell me that) he directed me to a web page with information on how I could get copies of all the paperwork in my adoption file. So, I have an answer and a way to get the information that I need. I am overwhelmed because I am doing this all on my own right now and I have to be the only parent to the kids at the same time. Needless to say my mind is in other places and that is where the trouble starts.

We are having a better day today. We have the living room almost totally cleaned up. Jeff has been a huge help with that! I am so tired. So, I have been through the ringer since Monday basically and it is only Thursday and M is not back for another whole week!! Life is crazy right now and I am on a roller coaster! I guess I can scream through the ride or throw my hands up and try to enjoy it…

-Ciao!

Those Kinds of Days

I was reading a blog post over at Joy of Mom today and she wrote about a day that she was about to give up. It made me realize I have those kinds of days more than I care to admit. Especially with a toddler and a baby in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I adore and love my kids to the moon and back but some days I want to throw my hands up and yell at the top of my lungs that I quit.

I feel that as a mom I do not write about these days as much as I should. There are days that I am in tears for most of the day. With a 3 month old daughter who has more medical issues at the moment than I can shake a stick at, it is at best difficult and at worst very depressing most days. We have a ton of appointments to get to and every two weeks I have to people stick my daughter multiple times to get an IV in veins that are too tiny and fragile to handle this. All of that so she can get a blood transfusion that keeps her semi-healthy so she can gain weight like she is supposed to. On those days I know I am doing what needs to be done for her good, but as I listen to her screams and see her tears I feel like the worst mother of all.

Then there is Jeff, my perfectly healthy, active. crazy little boy. I know he gets bored being at home with us and not some place where he can run and let the energy out. Honestly, most days I do not have 1/100 of the energy that he has. I feel like I am not doing enough for him or with him. His tantrums are sometimes well deserved in my eyes. Sometimes not. I get tired of the hitting and head butting, which I thought we had left in the past, but it is coming back as is the biting sometimes. I know his life changed so much the day his sister was born and the fact she is not totally healthy means he gets less attention than I want to give him.

Most days something has to give and honestly it is me. I have damaged my shoulder some how and I was supposed to go to the hospital last weekend, but I had a horrible two day migraine. When I have those kinds of days I can barely move, but because I am a mom I keep going through the pain, misery, nausea, and everything else that comes with those kinds of headaches.  I have no idea how I get through those days at all. I know I am not giving my best, but honestly, I am amazed those days I even make it through.

I am not saying that M does not help because he does. A lot. Eventually he will have to return to work and I will be on my own with the kids all day long. Right now, my daughter mostly wants to be held all day, which with my shoulder is a challenge. My son wants to play and when I have my arms full of Charlie it is hard to play with him. We do play ball but his attention span is short as it is with all 2 year olds. I feel like I am letting them both down which leads to me feeling like crap and wanting to curl up.

I am barely running on little sleep, guilt, and caffeine. I know this will get better eventually, but right now eventually does not seem all that soon or close. Ugh. Well, off to play ball and stop the melt down that is brewing.

-Ciao!