Nov 29, 2008

Doing Better

Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement when I was having my little "melt down". Not to minimize it....I was in a bad place at that time. Your comments made me feel not so alone.

Funny thing though....not too long after I wrote that post, somehow I just felt.....better. Not sure exactly what happened, but I quit worrying about things so much. A lot of the issues I was having at the time I published that post had more to do with former in-law issues than kid issues. I was expending a large amount of time trying to figure out where I fit in within this new and strange picture. Most of the time when couples divorce, the ex-husband and his family continue on, and the ex-wife and her family continue on. In my case, I continue on with both sides, but don't feel like I fit in so much with them anymore. But my children are still blood related to them. So I have felt a little awkward at times. I have some current issues with my former MIL that are still on-going, and I am not going to get into them. But somehow, I quit worrying about that, too. I just decided one day, "I don't know what these people think about me; I don't know how they feel about me, and quite honestly, I really don't care anymore. Like it or not, they will remain a part of my life because of my children and I might as well make the best of it." So I have. And since I made that decision, life has become significantly less stressful.

Don't get me wrong; I still have the on-going daily stress of raising four little girls on my own and a four year old who is still dealing with some major issues, but those issues are getting taken care of as well, and all I can do is leave her in God's hands and trust Him to take care of what I can't for her.

In summary: for now, I feel better. Still stressed, but much more relaxed about it, if that makes any sense. Not to say that I will never again have another melt down. Pretty much par for the course for someone in my current situation. But it sure does help to know that there are people out there that love me and are praying for me; even those that I have never met before. So thank you.

And now, for some adorable pictures from our very relaxing, enjoyable Thanksgiving.....

Care Bear's braids courtesy of Aunt Sema

Feisty's braids courtesy of Aunt Sema

Katie playing with Grandpa P's mustache

Care Bear's fancy letter to Santa. Yeah, I know....her real name. No mistake.

Quite honestly, I didn't feel like taking the time to block it out. I trust you all.

I can trust you all, right?!?!?!

Oh, and incidentally, since you now know the other 3 girls' names, it hardly seems fair to leave Feisty out. Her real name: Olivia, but she insists on being called "Livi". So, there you go. But just for the record, should I ever go public again, they will resume as Care Bear and Feisty. Those names are still extremely fitting.

Nov 20, 2008

Wow. Tell ya what. If I had only two words to choose from out of the English language to describe how I have felt the past two weeks, here they are: Beaten.Down. Isn't that just a fantastic, upbeat way to start a post?! Serious, though folks. I have spent the past two weeks in fields with the groundhogs looking for one that is roughly the same size and weight as me so I could follow him to his hole and go underground with him. For an indefinite period of time. But whoa is such groundhog exists! Who knew?!

Unfortunately, when you are a single mother of four young children, such luxuries as burying yourself underground are not practical. A short reprieve here or there, long as you have a compassionate, understanding and caring mother such as I do. But it doesn't last forever. And I don't want it to last forever. Because I love my kids; I need my kids; and they need me. But's been rough.

I posted this song awhile back (a long while back) when I was dealing with other difficulties, but as I was driving home today after picking up Feisty at school and had received yet another emotional beating, this song came on my favorite Christian radio station and it is so much more apropos to my life now than it even was then. Not because I'm dealing with an emotionally abusive situation, but just because. It is perfect and I plan to keep this song in the back of my head at all times, if possible.

My girls are worth it and the reason I wake up every morning. Thank God for them!

If you were too busy reading my post to listen to the words of the song, refresh and listen again to the words. It's a great song.

Nov 7, 2008

Hurray for Poop, Pee, and Sweet Dreams Juice!!

We're throwing a little party in here today!! Hurray for poop and pee in the potty!! Miss Feisty, as you know, has had her share....more than her share.....of health difficulties over the past year and a half. Twelve (12) UTIs to be exact. Doctor after doctor....ER visit after ER visit....more well meaning words of advice and tips than you can many antiobiotics that I would be surprised if she hasn't become completely immune. X-rays, invasive and uncomfortable tests, "pokies" (Feisty's word for shots and IVs) and two hospital stays.

Last month, when she was infected with her 10th UTI, she was finally able to see her primary care physician. We belong to one of those pediatric clinics that employ at least a dozen doctors, and unless you have an appointment booked way in advance, you better pray your lucky stars that you actually get to see the one you want. Well, it never happened that way. Every time (almost) she saw a different doc and we had to re-invent the wheel. Finally, last month, she got to see her doc. And thank the Lord for him. Stuff started to get done for her and she was referred to a pediatric urologist in Denver. She had that appointment yesterday. Unfortunately, for her, she had to endure yet another renal ultra sound and a horrible VCUG (uncomfortable and invasive for an adult.....much less a teeny four year old girl). The good news? No kidney damage, no urinary tract damage. Just a simple case of a vicious cycle of constipation, fear of potty, constipation blocking her bladder, fear again, more constipation causing the UTIs and on and on and on. The doctor yesterday gave us wonderful tips, advice, words of wisdom and (drum roll please....) a medicine that will prevent her from getting UTIs. Huh. What a concept. I believe I recall requesting this medication for her over a year ago after UTI number 3 or 4. I feel optimistic for the first time since this battle began. I feel hopeful and I feel in control of the situation. When you don't know what you're dealing with or what steps to take to make it better, its rather hard to feel in control; thus leaving the control in the hands of a very stubborn, willful and feisty four year old!!

My little girl is back. Her smile, her laugh, the spring in her step, her squeals of joy and the sparkle in her beautiful eyes. It is wonderful to see her be four again and not riddled with the misery of UTIs and constipation. She pooped twice in the potty today! Hallelujah! She did have a couple of accidents, but in her defense, she wasn't near a potty and given the fact that her doctor doubled her dose of Miralax, she's had some umm...diarrhea. But she is trying, which is more than I could've said a week ago! Thanks for all of your prayers and thoughts for my little darling girl. Don't stop now, though. This isn't a quick fix. She has to re-establish good habits and abandon bad habits that have taken her a long time to learn. She now has to un-learn them. And we have until next August when she goes to Kindergarten. (Lord willing, it will happen before January when she wants to enroll in a new pre-school that doesn't put up with un-potty-trained kids).

Another battle that we have dealt with for a long time is bedtime. For both of my girls. (The big ones that is). When I was a young, naive Mom, I had this goofy and ridiculous desire to cuddle my babies until they fell asleep and then place their sleepy little bodies in their beds. What I didn't realize at that time, was that meant that they would then expect that from me when they were 1, 2, 3, 4.....and beyond. Little did I know that my enjoyment of cuddling my babies to sleep was going to wreak havoc on future bedtime. I just recently (we're talking 5 months ago, maybe) got my children to actually learn to go to their own beds.....without me cuddling them until they go to sleep. Talk about a wonderful release of stress for me. I dreaded bedtime every day of my life.

It was going well until about two weeks ago when all of a sudden Feisty decided to revert back and decide she didn't like sleeping in her own bed. Inevitably every night, five minutes after she was in bed, I would hear, "Mommy?!" Dread filled me everytime I heard that because I knew what was coming next. "I'm scared. I want to sleep in your bed tonight." Besides the fact that I did not want to re-introduce that bad habit, I do all my school work in my room. Which requires light. And my computer. Several nights in a row, I had to forego doing my school work because my little girl was crashed out in my bed. Simply telling her that there was nothing to be scared of and that mommy is in the next room did nothing for her. Didn't matter.

One night, about a week ago, when I felt that this new problem( rather old problem re-visited) was here to stay, I had a stroke of genius as I walked up the stairs to, once again, beg my daughter to stay in her own bed. For mommy's sake, please!! She wanted some apple juice to drink. I got her some juice, and when I got into her room, I informed her very confidently that the juice I was presenting her with was "sweet dream juice". "This juice, if you drink it all" (which was also laced with her required stool softener), I told her, "will give you only sweet dreams. Keep it by you all night and if you get scared, take a drink." I got a huge smile from her. VICTORY!! It worked. Wow. An idea all my own. Not one given to me by another parent, my mother, a parenting book or a (former) sister-in-law across the street. An idea all my own. She drank it all down (which accomplished two goals; sleep and poop), and as I walked out of the room, she informed me, "Mommy! Now I'm dreaming about flowers!" I could barely contain my gleeful laugh! Woo-hoo!

It is now imperative that I have on stock at all times "sweet dream juice" (i.e. Tree Top Apple Juice.....Kroger brand will suffice). One night I ran out. I panicked slightly, and informed her that we ran out of sweet dream juice, so tonight, sweet dream milk would have to do. And it did. And it has worked every night since.

Rock ON!!

And oh yeah....the twins? They are ten months old today. Their birthday is in two months!! What?! Wasn't it just a week or two ago that I was sitting in the hospital on bed rest?! Almost a year. And what a year it has been! They are 14.5 and 13 lbs respectively. Both have their bottom two teeth, Kate is cutting her top two, and both are thisclose to crawling. Time to dig out the baby gates! I almost have toddler twins! UFF DA!!

Nov 4, 2008

My Moral Soapbox

My mom asked me the other day when I was going to do a new post. My response was that I have nothing that I want to write about. Life has taken a few unexpected and unpleasant turns for me and my girls lately and pardon me if I don't feel like depressing my few readers. I had contemplated coming on here and complaining; giving another "poor me" saga. But you don't need to hear it, and I don't need to dwell on it anymore than I have. Time to move forward and past the negativity. So, I will interrupt that thought process and get onto my moral soapbox, which is very a-typical of me, but what the hey......nothing in my life is typical anymore, so therefore, I will not be either.

America has a new President. Barack Obama.....history in the making. Extremely disturbing to me.

Colorado had an amendment on the ballot this election: Amendment 48. An amendment to the Colorado constitution defining the term "person" to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as "person" is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.

Colorado, the state I love....the state I call home.....shot down this amendment. What a blow. I was hopeful with this amendment....hopeful that our future included finally recognizing that a baby in utero is a human even before it has a heartbeat.

I was holding my precious daughter Katie the other day....watching her move, smile, look around as she discovered her world and I thought about that amendment. That little girl (who is much more a little girl than baby now), was my little girl from the moment she was conceived. I believe that with my whole heart. As is her twin sister, Emma.

Throughout my pregnancy with the twins, I struggled with the knowledge that my little girls could be born with genetic defects. That in all probability, Katie was going to be born with a defect that would render her severely deformed and she could quite possibly not live beyond a week of delivery. I was told that Emma could also face that possibility; if she even made it to birth. I was given the option of "terminating" the pregnancy. Is this something I want? The doctor asked me many times. My unequivocal answer every time was "NO." Those are living, breathing, human beings growing inside of me and regardless of the potential problems they may or may not have, they have the right to life. I am not God. It is not up to me to choose if they live or die.

And thank the Lord I made that choice. Because if I had made the opposite choice, I would not have the precious, wonderful and amazing little girls who have overcome so many obstacles in their paths. And even if they weren't as healthy as they are, I would have loved them just the same.

This amendment was deeply personal to me; and I was holding out hope that the state I love, the state I call home, would share those feelings with me. But apparently not. Apparently we are not human until we are born. Because from what I understand, partial birth abortion is on its way to becoming legal again.

These babies were once "embryos".....look at 'em now.....

Just my personal opinion, but that is worth saving......