Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

Dylan: Mommy, who gives presents to Santa?
Mommy: I don't know, maybe we should leave a present for Santa. What should we give him?
Dylan: Well, Santa doesn't have a mommy so maybe we can give him one.
Mommy: Where will we find a mommy?
Dylan: We can just give him one of our babies. Maybe Sydney.
Mommy: Why would we do that?
Dylan: So that she will grow up and be his mommy. It will make him really happy mommy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Terrible Twos

The best and worst thing about Sydney weening of her medications is that now I have a two year old who acts like a two year old. Seriously, I think in the last 5 days Sydney has truly come into her body as a toddler. I had forgotten how difficult this stage was! Here is just a glimpse of what I am talking about (I honestly NEVER had problems with any of this until this week...the last 5 days to be exact!):

1.She is so destructive: Two plates (one decorative, one dinner), broken. Ceramic salt and pepper shakers, broken (the Beatles ones from G-mama. I tried to salvage them but the damage was too great :(). I turn around for literally 1 minute to grab the baby or get a diaper and bam...broken.

2. She disappears. At home this is great because she is playing by herself A LOT more. But, in stores her wandering eye leads to wandering feet and I have already lost her twice. Looks like I officially can't handle 3 in public.

3. She thinks she is done with naps. I knew this day would come, and I prayed it wouldn't be from the meds, but yes, taking away drowsy induced meds leads to a more alert child. I can't complain right? Right?

4. She has become a nurturer and is seeing outside herself. She is playing with her baby dolls a lot more which in turn compels her to play with her own baby sister more often. This is great until she thinks she can feed her sister her cereal and juice when I am not looking.
5. She has a new awareness for things and has to touch everything in stores. This along with her disappearing act do not make for a panic free trip to the store. Today I was at the cash register paying for an item and not 1 minute after getting my wallet out of my purse the employee turns to me and says, "mam, your daughter?" I turn to find her eating the head off a 5 dollar chocolate snowman that she has ripped the tin foil off of. Are you kidding me?

I was prepared for a lot of things when this weening process began, but not the terrible busy twos! I really forgot how hard it is when you really can't take your eye off a kid for even a second! Wow. I do love seeing these incredible changes in Syd, and I do have to admit I love how sudden they are occurring. It has only been a week since we lowed her dose again (she is at 1/2 of what she was a month ago).Wahoo! I guess though that it's time to re-adjust my mothering strategy. Ugh. (And right when I thought I was getting accustomed to it all.)

A Galloni

Dylan is super creative and super artsy, (he definitely has the Spransy gene (my mothers side) in him). He loves drawing, making up names for things, and telling stories. Here is his latest:
"This is a Galloni. A Galloni is something inside a robot. It helps the robot move and it keeps the robot alive. It has a lot of power and makes it own engines. When the battery cracks it makes a new one that won't ever crack. It is even inside a human robot too. It does everything that it can do. Some people need to mix water with apple juice and when this happens the robot cleans them out. And, when it sees candy, it won't ever eat it because they don't have teeth or mouths but they have pointy things to chew other things. Some robots dont even have eyes. If they break, someone can even fix it for free."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

I think I am finally getting the hang of life with three children. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I know what to expect on a daily basis, I am just more prepared and accepting of what each new day will bring now that I have 3 kids under the age of five.

The Good:

-Seeing my children all interact with one other is amazing. It truly brings me so much joy. No matter what else I say in this post, this one pro outweighs any and all existing cons. It is THAT incredible!

-There is NEVER a dull moment anymore. EVER. (This doesn't mean that they are all good moments, just not dull.)

-I am getting a lot better at multi-tasking. Two years ago it was a rare occasion that dinner would be served without parts or all of it burned. Now it's only about once a week. Progress!

-Each new day brings something new and wonderful. Even on the worst of days, there is something new that brings happiness into my life. It only takes one moment of Syndey saying "I love you", Dylan telling me what he learned at school, or Macey cuddling with me on the couch to make it all worth it.

-I am cooking! It took me a long while to start this (mostly because I was cooking for two, myself and Dylan since Cameron worked nights). But alas, I am cooking now every night even with three kids crying at my heels the second I take out the food. (How does this happen every night without fail?)

-Playing is A LOT of fun! Kids have contagious laughs, so imagine three kids laughing at once! Could it get any better than that!? Ok, that quadruplets clip might come pretty close http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE6PNps5N9I&feature=related

The Bad:

-Holy mother of Moles! I was ready for the saggy boobs, expected the loose skin and hormonal changes, I even have come to terms with the stretch marks. But Oh. Man. The MOLES! They are everywhere and are tripling in size! Why didn't anyone warn me of this?

-My bed in no longer a place of rest...more of a gathering place of wild apes. Legs and arms layed out accross our bodies, our faces getting swapped at in the night, It's a dream come true when we get to go to bed, and stay in bed ALONE for longer than 8 hours.

-Somebody is always getting into trouble. Whether it is getting a call from Dylan's principle at school for licking a child, seeing Sydney pulling Macey across the floor while I am cooking, or walking in on Macey crawling in the dogs water bowl, it really never ends. If I turn my head for a second the cereal is dumped out of the box all over the freshly mopped floor, the dirty diapers are strewn accross the couch and floor, and/or the moon sand is being trampled all over the house. Sometimes I wish I had a camera on just for evidence of the craziness. No wonder that Kate plus 8 show is so popular (I imagine it's hilarious to watch when it's not you).

-Leaving the house takes at least 25 minutes. If you want me to be anywhere, give me at least an hour to prepare. I can't even remember when going to the store for some butter took 5 minutes, now it's a caravan, and there is NO WAY I am taking all the kids in and out of the car just for some butter. Are you crazy!? So my list grows in order to make the trip worth it...and right there....BURN...the hole in my pocket is made!

-Laundry. A lot of it. It's a rare occasion when I can get the laundry clean and put away before the next batch of laundry is due. I hate being one of those people with laundry piles around my house, but 5 days outta 7, that is me.

-I laugh a lot more, but I also cry a LOT more too. With every great moment, there are about 5 hard moments that leave me stressed and overwhelmed and well, depressed. Did I mention I cry a lot? It is SO OVERWHELMING!

The Ugly:

-The smell of my house has become something short of the city dump. Between the dirty diapers in the trash, the cloth ones needing to be washed, the diapers needing to be changed that are on my children, the spit up, and the dog, it just downright REAKS! There are days when I walk in and think that the hobos in the alley have taken residence in my home. There are the days I try to be optimistic and remind myself that I have only 3 years left of diapers. But ONLY three? Is that really supposed to make me feel better?

-Dr.s appointments! When I can't find a sitter during the day because lets face it (they are all in school) I have to take all of my kids with me to appointments. I am THAT mom with the screaming children because one of the kids naps are being missed. The absolute worst, is when the paper gown gets been ripped off of my body leaving me completely exposed at my OBGYN(compliments to Sydney). This has happened twice now. Just last week my dermatologist was cutting off a penny size mole out of my back while my crying two year old was sitting on my side ripping my gown off and leaving me stark naked. Forget about the naked part, this was a scalpel on my back people! My dermatologist is crazy, but not as crazy as me for bringing the kids in the first place. (In my defense, I thought she was just going to look at the moles, not take them off then and there). Ugh!

-Freedom. You can forget about it! I had a ticket to a Ben Folds concert tonight and couldn't go due to babysitting issues. Cameron went without me and took a friends instead. That SUCKED BAD!

-I used to pride myself in the fact that my kids didn't break or ruin things. Ever. That all seemed to change once I had my third child. I do not have enough eyes to see all three kids at the same time. Sydney is learning how to drop things (especially glass things). She'll drop plates from her highchair (pull them from where I am sitting when I get up to get a diaper for the baby), and drop figurines that she can somehow climb up and reach. The act of destruction is my new art piece in the living room; my newly colored ottoman. Syd found a black marker and went to town. Awesome.

-Walks are no longer the leisurely activity that they once were. Dylan loves riding his bike until he remembers there are hills, the dog is pulling Sydney across the street causing her to cry and let go of the leash, we have to then chase the dog down, Syd won't walk but she refuses the stroller, and then the kids both fight over who can push the stroller or hold the leash (leaving us with a bike to carry). Once we realize it is too difficult to continue on, we are 30 minutes from home. Why do we continue to attempt this? Cause family time is SO much fun!

-Big Fun Family days out result in Big Bad Owies. Someone is ALWAYS getting hurt.

-Privacy. What is that again? Can I please use the restroom, shower, bath, or get dressed without having a set of eyeballs staring at me in all my glory?

-Exhausted is the new word for tired. Before I had kids I remember asking my sister in law (who had 3 kids) when she ever caught up on sleep and she replied, "you are NEVER caught up, sleep just doesn't exist anymore once you have kids". Dang was she right! Between nursing, sick kids, Syd, and bad dreams, I swear It is a miracle I get any sleep at all!

-I regret saying this but folks, the "fun couple" is officially gone. Cameron and I (well, maybe just myself) can't muster up the energy to do anything anymore. Our nights consist of falling asleep to a netflix movie. Even when we plan to have friends over we end up cancelling because we are too tired to pick the house up and risk keeping the kids awake. It is so pathetic. We will get back there someday right? I hope!

-I used to be a cuddly person. I loved holding hands, snuggling, the whole nine. But I am here to say, the best thing you can give me these days is some alone non-touching time. How sad is this? I am touched ALL day long by sweet little dirty smelly hands. I hold, rock, clean, wipe, play with children all day long. I too have had three children inside of me (which was amazing). But these days, when it comes down to it, I just want my own body to myself at the end of the day. No touchy!

-I promised myself I would never be the sweatpants mom that never showered or dressed during the day. Those women are pitiful and wrenched! They have no motivation, nothing to live for. Or, they just have too many kids with very little time. Right? It's not that pathetic is it? Leaving the house with wet hair pulled back in a pony? Brushing my teeth with my kids toothbrush because I mine is being used on the new baby doll? It’s just too hard. I am just too tired. Taking a shower, drying my hair? Are you kidding? Only an amateur would think these are easy things to do with three kids and a hard working husband. I manage to get my hair done about once a week...and that is when Cameron is home to keep the kids outta my bathroom for longer than 10 minutes. I am a pony tail, sweatshirt wearing gal 5 days outta 7. I have officially been defeated!

My Buddy

This picture reminds me of that old 80's commercial about My Buddy. Tell me you remember it? I am not sure why, but the song popped into my head the second I looked at this picture. It could be that my kids are my buddies, or the fact that they go wherever I go (quite literally...I can't remember the last time I was even able to use the restroom without one of them following me in). Either way, I was so excited that I remembered this commercial! I think there was a kids sister one too!
"My buddy, (my buddy), my buddy, (my buddy), wherever he goes, I'm gonna go, my buddy, (my buddy), my buddy, (my buddy)...my buddy and me!"
I love my little nudy baby buddies! I just want to eat em!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comfort and Joy

"Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself"- Mahatma Gandhi

It has been two weeks since we decided to start taking Sydney off of her anti-convulsion meds. Yesterday we were able to drop her meds another 1/4 of a dose! She continues to be seizure-free and she is making AMAZING progress! Hurray!

It has taken me a while to write this post due to the range of emotions that I have been feeling this week. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to share my joys, (or fears for that matter). Along with this, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to write or share some of the recent experiences that I have had with Sydney. Some of them are so sacred and dear to me, that I wasn’t sure that I wanted them to be kept on record. In the Bible there are many times that stories are stopped or omitted due to the sacred content. I get it. To me, this is one of those times. I have decided however to share this one particular moment because I want Sydney to look back on this process and read about the moment that we had our first meaningful connection.

Just a little back story for you: Ever since Sydney started on these meds she has had a lot of discomfort in that little body of hers. I have always chalked up her whininess and crankiness to her medication. It was the reason for everything; she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she can’t sit still, she can’t talk, etc., all because she just seemed too uncomfortable in her own skin. I gave up on all the simple mother/baby bonding moments like cuddling and sleeping together because my daughter was “too uncomfortable”.

So, last Thursday my mother-in-law took Dylan for the afternoon. Macey was taking a nap, and I was alone with Sydney. She had woken up from her nap, and if anyone has read about her sleeping routines you would know that she hates to talk, or interact right after waking up, (she is like her mama). So I opened her door and walked away as I usually do (so that she doesn’t scream at me when I look at her), and I hear her come out and say, “hi mommy, hold you?” (Which means: “hold me”). She talked! Put four words together! AND, she wanted me to hold her! I picked her up and lay down with her on my bed and began telling her the story of her birth. After about 6 minutes I realized that she was completely engaged in what I was saying. I continued talking hoping she would lie for just a bit longer. We laid there giggling, and conversing with each other…she said words and phrases that I didn’t even know she knew! SHE WAS THERE, TALKING WITH ME, THE ENTIRE TIME! After another 10 minutes had passed I began sobbing tears of joy, to which she responded, “mommy, sad.” My baby girl was comfortable in her own skin! For the first time in her life, she was comfortable enough to lay and talk with her mommy for over an hour and a half. I wanted to get my camera to capture the moment of us laughing and talking together, but I couldn’t ruin the moment. I didn’t want anyone to be a part of that moment but her and me. It was beautiful.

I am not sure if many of you would (or even could) appreciate how wonderful this was for both Sydney and I, but I am here to say that it was easily the most powerfully moving moment of my life as a mother. All the suffering, tears, and discomfort led up to this very moment. These experiences continued on throughout the week. Sydney has put 4 word sentences together, she is more content during the day, she converses, she cuddles; she does it all! All this by just lowering the dose by a quarter. We went down another quarter yesterday and will be at this dose for a month before we decrease again. I can’t wait to see what my little girl will share with us next!

Of course we are still worried about the potential for seizures, but writing experiences like this one help to keep me focused on the positives. Keep fighting Sydney!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sydney vs Seizures

We have some news!

It has been almost a year and a half from the day that Sydney had her last seizure. Can you believe it!? As you all know, she has been on heavy anti convulsion meds since she was 8 months old. Because of this, her learning has been stunted, her personality hasn't been able to fully develop, and her overall sense of being has been compromised. So, after much prayer, research, and fasting, we have decided to begin the process of taking her off the medication. Her doctor recommends we wait for at least another 6 months, but we feel good about it, and feel that the risks of staying on the meds outweigh the risks of getting off at this point. The Dr. did agree that we know her best and that he is fine with us doing this. (He said that we did research well, and that Sydney is a great candidate for breaking the "2 year rule". WAHOOO!)

As you can imagine, this is a very scary time for Cameron and I. We are hopeful and extremely excited to see if Syd has outgrown these seizures. Only time will tell. In just these last 5 days we have already seen so much amazing progress. Sydney is more talkative, calm, stable, and overall, HAPPY. She isn't nearly as moody, and she converses with me in a way that I have never seen before. I was telling Cameron yesterday that for the first time in her life, I feel like she is looking in me and not at me when I talk. She seems interested in what I am saying and doing, and she is so responsive! It is a Sydney that I have yet to know, and I am so excited to see her grow and learn, and find out who she has been hiding in that little body of hers. Its crazy, but I have found that I am crying a lot this week due to not only the joy of finally seeing my daughter for the first time, but also for the the loss of 18 months with her being trapped inside herself. It is so tragic, but yet, so wonderful at the same time. (I know this sounds dramatic to many of you, but it is how I feel. Many of you know, the hardest thing for me over these last 18 months was not EVER knowing what was going on with my child. She never could show me what was wrong or tell me anything...I even have joked about how I can read my newborn better than my 2 year old. It has been a huge struggle for me, and I have to say that for the first time, I have found relief and hope that this phase is coming to a close. Sydney seems to be in tune with herself and finally able to express herself appropriately. It is a miracle!)

Cameron and I are not the only ones who have witnessed this huge change. Both Syd's speech and occupational therapists noticed an enormous difference this week. Her speech therapist even went so far to say that Sydney might not be eligible for services anymore! How great is that? She is doing so well and I can't wait to see how much farther she will come as the meds taper off. It is so exciting, but so nerve racking at the same time. I don't want to get my hopes up that this seizure disorder is gone, but I can't help but imagine it, and the life that Sydney has ahead of her.

In the end, whatever happens happens. I now have a better understanding of who Sydney is, and what kind of medications I might want to try if the seizures do continue. Mine eyes have been opened this week and I am ready to fight harder for my daughter if this disorder follow her for the rest of her life. Isn't it true what they say, "Knowledge is POWER"? I definitely feel that I have more power now that I have seen what could be and who Syd really is. Sydney deserves to have a life full of energy and opportunity, and I will do whatever it takes for her to have that.

Anyway, that is it for now. I will keep you updated with Syd's progress. It is going to take 3 months to ween off of the meds, so I am sure I will have much more to write about. Please keep Sydney in your prayers and thoughts as she goes through this process.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dylan the Artist

Dylan has become such an artist. He is so creative, and expressive. His favorite thing to do is draw and paint. Just give him some white paper and he can keep himself busy for hours. Its amazing.

This week I was looking at how different the people in his pictures have become just in the last 8 months. Check it out:
March 2010 (Mommy, Daddy, and Me!)
August 2010 (Family)
November 2010 (Daddy)

The Son of a Therapist

I don't think I have shared this yet, but Dylan has developed this new thing when he gets upset. After he has his time out (for doing soemthing wrong) he goes downstairs to be alone and calm down. Recently, (for the past 2 months), he comes back upstairs with a drawing in hand, almost always looking like one of these. He starts off with the X to show that he is "mad". It used to just stop there, but lately, he closes the X to show that he isn't going to be mad anymore and that he is going to do better. He recently started drawing faces and hearts to represent Cameron and myself, and love. Usually the face and the heart are crossed out of whoever he is mad at. Sad huh? His explanation; "well, it doesn't mean that I just don't love you, it just means that I didn't just love you a little bit".

Can you tell he is a therapists son? So in tune with his feelings.

Macey Scoots!

Macey started scooting a couple of weeks ago. Now she can get anywhere in a matter of seconds! Oh how I loathe this phase of dirtiness. Everytime I turn around she is getting into the doggy's water bowl, crawling in her spit-up, or putting things in her mouth. It's gross, but so fun to see her growing up. I love my Macey girl!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween fell on a Saturday this year which was great! In the morning we all went with Grandma and Grandpa to the square to trick-or-treat and partake in all of the fun. There were slides, games, candy, and lots of crying. Turns out, Syndey had an ear infection that we didn't know about. Poor girl. Something always seems to be going wrong in that little body of hers.
That evening we had our yearly spooky dinner at Heidi's. When all the goods were eaten we went trick-or-treating in a neighborhood that was doing in Sat night instead of Sunday. It was perfect! Sydney was still a bit cranky from her earache, so Cameron took her home while I went out with the kids (and the ladies). We took Sydney out Sunday night to a few houses to hear her say "tweet, tweet". I love it! SO CUTE!

Halloween Festivities

My Cutie Kitties!
It's Halloween again!
Here we are at the ward party. Grandma and Grandpa were in charge of Haunted Alley with the YSA's. It was awesome...and so were their costumes!
The night ended with trunk-or-treating, and with all three sets of our keys locked into our car. Ugh, go figure, I am so absent minded these days. Luckily Brother Knox was able open the door. What a guy!

Pumpkin time!

Dylan decided that he didn't want to carve a pumpkin this year because of the "gooey stuff". So instead of getting an orange pumpkin, Dylan picked out a white one so that he could have a blank canvas to paint on. Hilarious. Why couldn't he just paint on an orange one? He HAD to have white. :)
The two of them painted this together. So sweet!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

North Georgia- Apple Farm

The Georgia Mountains are known for their many apple farms. These Georgians take their farms serious people! This one that we went to had its own amusement type park attached to it. Check it out:
Carriage and tractor rides
Cow milking...yum, yum, yum!
A giant "Jumping Pillow"
Funny southern charm
Giant tricyclesSmaller tricycles
Good ol Southern banjo bands and hotdogs
Giant ghetto slides
A petting zoo with Chickens!
And goats and cows!

Pig races! (Dylan was even chosen to cheer for the blue pig...do you see him up on the left)

The day was made complete with the farms fresh apple fritters. They were amazing! I can't wait to go back next year!

North Georgia Mountains

The North Georgia Mountains are Beautiful this time of year!

This was the road back to the house/cabin that we were staying at.
We got lost along the way and stopped for lunch by a creek. The weather was perfect and the colors of the leaves were amazing. Apparently, "leaf looking" is the thing to do out in these parts. Ha, who knew there was a name for such a thing?
Super Rad!

North Georgia- Burts Pumpkin Farm

Our Friends, Lisa and Jeremy Anderson, invited us to North Georgia with their family last weekend. It is a two hour drive from where we live so trying to do everything that we want in one day is always hard. This year, Lisa was able to get her partner to let us stay in his vacation cabin for the weekend. It was super swanky, and perfect! I wish we had taken pictures of the place, but of course we forgot. We had the entire downstairs to ourselves, which worked out great since the kids had thier own room. What a treat it was for us to get away for the weekend. Thanks Andersons!
"I think I can, I think I can"
Get those hands where I can see em!
The crew waiting in line for the rockin', talkin', pumkin hayride!
Max and Macey. Sweet babies.
I'll take the two in the middle.

Dylan's face right before the hay ride. Could he be happier please?