Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

My health has been a struggle lately, so I will count my blessings today. Here we go:

1. My adorable little girl, one of the reasons I motivate myself to get out of bed every day, despite the debilitating pain,

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2. My awesome husband, who recently wrote to FMS specialists all over the country to ask for their help with my situation,

3. My massage therapist, Thea, who is actually coming to my house to give me a massage today. Matt can't take me, and I can't handle the hour of driving it would entail to get to her office. When Matt told her about it, she offered to come here. Did I mention she lives in another state and had to juggle her day around me? Amazing...

4. My MIL, who regularly offers to come help with Audrey when she knows Matt will be late,

5. My mom, who asks me each and every day how I am...and she actually cares about the answer,

6. That I finished writing a paper for my class that's due this week, even though it involved a lot of staring at the computer screen and took HOURS longer than it should have, and

7. That I could write this post today, since I haven't been able to blog for so long. And I miss it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My ray of sunshine

I've been depressed lately. Very down. I had a stomach virus (I guess that's what it was; I'm no doctor, obviously), but it wore me out. Then, I did a sort of "cleanse" that my massage therapist suggested. I won't bore you with the details, and I'm sure you're eternally grateful for that. Anyway, it was necessary (and still ongoing), but it's made me feel so much worse. I'm weak, and I haven't been able to take Audrey anywhere by myself for 2 1/2 weeks.

And I don't have to tell you how hard (and boring for both of us) it is to be stuck inside the house all day and all night. It can lead to very depressing thoughts. I feel like Audrey is suffering as a result of my illness, that she's not being stimulated enough here at home, even though I try my best.

There were a couple of times when Audrey and I didn't leave the house for four days straight. Last weekend, I was too sick to even go anywhere with Matt. I haven't even felt like blogging, which is usually one of my favorite activities. I've been so weak that it's hard to type for any length of time.

But, I'm hanging in there, trying to remember this verse: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). It's hard, since I'm a chronic worrier.

The other day, though, I was feeling so bad. I was lying on the floor with Audrey, my stomach cramped up, but still trying to play with her. So, do you know what this sweet little girl did?

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She crawled over to me and kissed me right on the mouth. And it made my day, drool and all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New game

Gramma came over yesterday and introduced Audrey to a new game. I guess we could call it "Chase the Turtle" (I know; I'm so clever). Papa brought her a sea turtle from the Cayman Islands (I think), and it was bigger than she was at the time. Not any more, though.

I'm always glad for a new game. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I'm boring her with the same old toys and books.

So, the game consists of chasing the turtle and catching it:

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giving it a little pat,

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and then pouncing on it for a good snuggle.

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Ahhh...I love my soft turtle. Maybe I'll just take a nap now.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Never missing a beat

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I had lunch with an old girlfriend on Friday. When I think about how long I've known her, it makes me feel ancient. Let's see; we met in 6th grade when we were 11, so that 27 years. That just seems unbelievable. That, my friends, is absolutely nuts. Because Matt is only 29. Okay, I must stop thinking about that before I have a breakdown.

I hadn't seen her in over 2 years, even though we live maybe 40 minutes apart. There are a lot of excuses we could give for that; she has three very active boys, two of which are in middle school. How can I have grown up with someone who has kids in middle school? One of them is playing football, for goodness' sake.

Plus, we have my health to consider, the fact that it's so hard to make plans when I never know how I'll feel on any given day. In fact, the last time we were supposed to meet for lunch, I had to cancel because I just wasn't feeling well. I had a good reason, though...I went into labor that night. I still think it was a stellar excuse.

She'd never even been to my house before, so she got lost on the way over. But I can't even describe how much fun we had. I have very few friends like her. You know, the ones that you could go months (or years) without talking to, and then, it's like you've been in contact every day. You never miss a beat. There's no awkwardness, or long silences. Just wonderful, deep conversation that can turn light-hearted in an instant. And then we're giggling like we did back in high school.

When I first met her, I didn't like her. But in high school, she became my best friend and, later, my college roommate. In other words, she knows where all the bodies are buried. We know things about each other that would, if known to anyone else, make them wonder if they ever knew us.

How great to have friends like that. How wonderful when you have make the time to see each other. I felt so great when she left, like that feeling you get when you leave the salon with a fabulous new cut and color, like you can take on the world single-handedly.

We pledged to do better about seeing each other, and I am determined to do so. There are few things more valuable than a true friend, someone you could call in the middle of the night if you needed her, and she would be right by your side. It's a precious thing, one you should never take for granted. And my fervent prayer is that Audrey will have friends like that one day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 month letter

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Dear Audrey,

You are ten months old today! You're getting to be such a big girl. At your last appointment on September 13, you weighed 18 pounds and measured 28.25 inches long. You're so long that some 12-month pants fit you now.

The day before your 9-month appointment, you started crawling. You'd been working on it for a few weeks, and you did it! Daddy and I were so proud. I was happy that Daddy was home (it was a Sunday), so that he could witness it, too.

How life has changed since you've begun to crawl! You started out slowly, hesitantly, but now you're very fast. We have to watch you like a hawk so you don't get into anything you're not supposed to touch. You always try to get my cell phone, laptop, reading glasses...basically anything you shouldn't have! Daddy's done a lot of baby-proofing around the house so that you won't get hurt. Nevertheless, you've fallen several times and bumped your head, and it breaks my heart to see you cry.

Your naps are getting longer, but you're down to two a day, normally. They usually last at least an hour, but if you're very tired, they last longer.

Your favorite thing to do is the same as last month...standing and holding on to the ottoman. You've started trying to cruise around furniture, and you love it when Daddy and I help you "walk". You love it when we read to you, and I think your favorite book right now is On the Night You Were Born. It's so perfect because it describes exactly how special you are.

You went to your first football game this month, stayed by yourself in two different church nurseries, and experimented with Stage 3 foods. You were not a fan; you gagged and spit them out. I guess we have to try that again.

You're getting the hang of the sippy cup, although I'm not sure if you're chewing on it or drinking sometimes. You love eating puffs, and you'll shove 10 into your mouth at once if we give you that many. We don't make that mistake anymore.

Daddy and I both love you so much, and our lives are brighter because of you. The whole family adores you, and they fight over who gets to hold you next. You're such a sweet baby and so loving, and everyone wants to be around you.

Happy 10-month birthday, Bug.

With all my love,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Momentous occasion

Recently, my two nieces (Elizabeth and Nichole) decided they want to be baptized. Matt, Audrey, and I went to my parents' church so we could see them go down the aisle. I'm so very proud of them!

The day was somewhat marred for me (and the rest of our family), since SIL decided to bring her boyfriend to church to witness the event. I thought it was a bad call on her part, since she and my brother aren't even divorced yet. In fact, I thought it was absolutely ludicrous.

Elizabeth and Nichole have had a rough, terrible year. Their mother has put them in three different schools in a years' time. They've been moved from their home with SIL and brother, and now they're living with SIL and her boyfriend in a trailer. They have to deal with SIL's boyfriend's kids (two boys) who are over every other weekend and several times during the week. They live at least an hour away from where they were born and raised, away from us, away from my parents, away from my brother.

Elizabeth and Nichole's lives are completely different compared to what they were a year ago. Noah, who has health and mental issues now, is not capable of taking care of them at this time by himself, so they stay with him and my parents when's it's his weekend to have them.

They go from house to house to house, from my parents to the other set of grandparents, back to where they call "home" now, all on a regular basis. It kills me to see them have to pack up and be shuttled to and fro all the time. It kills me when I hear that they beg not to go home to SIL's, that Nichole actually hung her head as she walked back into her mother's house recently.

So, in a way, I'm kind of surprised they've made this decision. SIL doesn't taken them to church, but my brother and parents do. And yesterday, I got to see them stand in front of church and declare their desire to be baptized. It was a wonderful thing to experience.

Later, we spent the day at my mom's house, and it was a great day. Matt played basketball with the girls, we all took Audrey for a walk, I had a nap (!), and it was just a peaceful day. Elizabeth read some books to Audrey.

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Reading Little Quack

And we played on Elizabeth's bed for a while, just reading and talking. These are some of my favorite moments.

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Me, Elizabeth, Audrey, Nichole, and of course, Charlie

I love spending time with my family, and it pains me that I only see my nieces once every two weeks now. When they were very little, I saw them every other day. In recent years, after we moved 30 minutes away, I still saw them once or twice a week. So this has been extremely painful for me.

I am removed from their lives. SIL was my best friend, and I would help her with the girls. I would pick them up for school when she couldn't, help them with their homework, and just play. Now, not so much. In fact, not at all, except on my brother's weekends. It's simply heartbreaking.

I'm so happy for them in the decisions they made this weekend, though. So very proud.