Monday, January 31, 2011

Hush little baby...

It has been two of the longest weeks of my life, (and I can say that with zero hesitation). Coming off these meds is eqally as hard (if not harder), as getting on the meds. Withdrawals are TOUGH! And no tougher (for me anyway). After trying everything under the sun, we have found something that is working for Sydney (and myself). Melatonin, and a lazy boy recliner. (After much investigation and finally talking to a pediatric epileptologist (thanks Tim), we found that low doses of melatonin are safe, so we went ahead with it!) Sydney has slept 2 nights in a row without waking up at all! It is a miracle! I don't know if sleeping in the chair is all that great, but I am not messing with it as long as she sleeps. It has been a life saver.

We initially borrowed the chair because in the middle of the night I was having to rock Sydney to calm her down . When she would fall asleep in my arms I was unable to go back to sleep myself sitting in her bed. Heidi, my fabulous sister in law had the great idea to let me borrow her recliner so that I could lay back and sleep. I couldn't be more grateful! It has solved so many problems. I hope that this lasts! Between Sydney and Macey waking up, I have been averaging 3-4 hours a night. My house is a disaster, my patience is gone, and my moods are...not so good.

Please oh please make this stick! Here's to many more long nights of sound sleeping!

*Notice that Sydney is sleeping on her shoes. She can't go anywhere without her boots. She is a girls grl thats for sure!

Share the wealth!

I was giving Sydney a bath the other day and couldn't get over how amazing her eyelashes are. Check these babies out! I'm sorry, but she is gorgeous! Who did she get those from? They are NOT West thats for sure! They must be Scottish, everythings better in Europe...right Jim?

MILF contest 2010

Last week I was invited, or rather challenged by some of my girlfriends to come and participate in Alley Cats (local bar) annual charity event. It was an arm wrestling contest for all those hot moms out there. I of course never turn down a challenge. I am not really into the whole bar scene, but I thought it would be fun to get out with the ladies and see if I have any muscle left in these guns. AND BOY DO I!

My friend convinced me to sign up in the heavy weights division. After arguing about it I decided to just play along with whatever. There were 25 people in the light weights and 6 in the heavy weights. After signing up I was informed that the heavy weights division consisted of all yoga/pilates instructors. I WAS SCREWED! My competition was tough, and with my background consisting of zero workouts in the last 4 years, I was doomed.

This is Angie, my first competitor. My friend, Laura, looked at me and just laughed saying "uh yeah, you are so screwed". Guess what though... I WON! Next off was my friend Laura. She was convinced she would win the whole thing, and honestly she probably could have, but her arm was tired and she was up against me next. I took no prisoners. I beat her and the following 4 girls. It was hilarious! I had no idea I was this strong, and in fact when I told Cameron I was doing this he laughed thinking I was just going to embarrass myself. HA! I was a great arm wrestler as kid, and I think that I ave some muscle due to lifting two kids all day up and down stairs, but come on, really? How did I beat these ladies? I still have no idea.

Last up was the reigning champion Johnna who hadn't had to wrestle anyone all night. Her arm was at its best. She was buff, she was tough, and she was ready to crush! I looked out into the crowd and people were wild and cheering for me to beat down this champ. I wanted it so bad! I think I started getting a little cocky, the fame was getting to my head. It was sad because within seconds my hand was down. Knuckles to the table. I got slaughtered!
It was fun, and I felt like a celebrity for just a few hours. People were coming up to me telling me I got "robbed", and "we were rootin for you". It felt good to feel important and respected for something even though it was so useless and lame. I haven't had that in a long time, and I was so proud. The best part about it though was that poeple in my community now knew who I was and was asking my sister in law (Jasons wife), are you related to Britney Mount? (FYI, anyone who is anyone knows Jason Mount, and we are always asked if we are related to him). Hurray!

Oh and yes those are shoe laces that I had to untie when my muscled started popping out and hurting. Yikes! And no I did not paint my face by myself...they had a lady there doing it. Doesn't it look great!?

Maddie Moo's Baptism!

My darling niece Madelynn was baptized a few weeks ago. It was wonderful to be able to be there to support. We love you Maddie!
Look at all the beautiful girls in our family!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

10 Minutes

I am changing Sydney and mid diaper I hear a cake dish break on the ground in the kitchen, (it's a friends, not mine). Sydney and Macey scream and cry. I go running to find Dylan standing trying to take his pants off on top of the counter top (don't ask). He begins crying because he has gotten scared. I quickly clean it up when I realize that I need to dump out the trash real quick outside so as to clean up the rest of the glass. Sydney follows only to step in Marley's poop and walk it around inside without telling me. She then screams as she realizes she has something yucky on her foot. I clean it off her foot then proceed to clean the carpet. I see Marley cowering in the corner. She has peed on the floor (probably because she too was scared of the noise). I go to clean that up and I hear, "Mommy, Sydney peed in her bed". UGH! I forgot to put her diaper on! I go put her on the potty, strip her bed, and I hear Macey crying because Sydney is closing the door on her face...ouch. I put her in time out and go back to get Macey and she has taken all of the toilet paper off the roll and has a fist full of it in her mouth. Oh, and I almost forgot, I walked into the kitchen and Syd is standing in a pool of juice with her cup in hand. Fantastic!

All this in just 10 minutes...imagine what I deal with on a 24 hour basis. And they say this isn't a full time job.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hello Withdrawls

I think I might have spoken a bit soon with my last post when I said that Sydney wasn't having much withdrawals from her medication. These last few days have been CRAZY hard and I am in desperate need of help, advice and probably most of all, comfort. I have read that some of the withdrawal symptoms that Sydney might experience include headaches, numbness of limbs, and insomnia. Problem is, Sydney can't tell me when or if she is feeling any of these things. She never has been able to. Ever since she was a baby she has been impossible for me to read. It has always been a guessing game. Because of this, I have questioned and doubted myself as a mother many times. Honestly, I don't think this feeling changed until 9 months ago when Macey was born. She was so easy to read from day one, and she gave me reason again to feel like a competent nurturing mother. When she cries, I know what she needs, when shes in pain, I know it, I KNOW her. I feel like I am everything Macey needs, and it breaks my heart time and time again that I can't do that for my darling Sydney. I try and try to figure her out, but I just can't. I NEVER have been able to. It has been three years, will this ever change?

At the moment we are dealing with Sydney's sleep issues, as always. She has always had sleep problems (and I have always blamed her meds) but these last few days specifically, have been so much worse than ever before. Obviously we believe this is due to the weening of the meds. Lately Sydney just screams and screams when going to bed rather than her typical cry and whimper. She can't fall asleep on her own. In the middle of the night she is waking with more terrible screams (rather than her typical cries and moans). I struggle with her in the night to give her some pain medication as she spits it out and goes into hysterics. It is just awful and I am not sure what to do. I feel like I can't complain because she is off her meds and has not had a seizure! I should be, and am, so grateful! Sure these withdraws are horrible, but it could be so much worse. I struggle to remember this, because in the moment, it is just hard and I am SO tired. At 12:45, 2, 3, and/or 6 am, it is so hard to soothe a child who can't tell you whats wrong. One who screams at your very touch. We try not to go in Syds room to reinforce this waking up, but these last few nights with these horrible screams, I have given in and gone in to lay with my baby girl. Last night after a fight with the meds, and everything, she fell asleep in my arms while I rocked her like a baby. The only way I could calm her down was to pick up her entire body, hold her tight and rock like I do Macey. I just sobbed because it was all I knew how to do. I felt/feel defeated with it all. I felt/feel helpless. I then went back to my room at 1:45 or so only to lay there unable to sleep because of my frustration with my constant inability to help my child. So I researched. More. No matter what I read and research, nothing seems to help, and honestly, it makes me more discouraged. Every one is different, everyones meds are different, and so, there are NO answers. The very medicine that EVERYONE including her pediatrician recommends for sleep has so many cons to it, (especially with epileptic patients) that I just can't do it. I don't feel right about it (and I am so sick of people knowing this and continuing to hound me about it and get me to TRY it.) This is just what I need, the judgements of others when I myself am my worst critic. Don't you think I want to give it to my kid and get her to sleep? Of course I would love to take this easy way out but I DON'T feel good about it...and that has to count for something. Right?

Anyway, so here I am, frustrated and upset, typing alone in the dark while Cameron tries to get Sydney to calm down and stay in her bed. It is 11:30 and Syd's has been in her room since 8:45. We have given her Tylenol for pain, milk for comfort, hugs, rocks, words of encouragement, words of frustration, words of discipline. I believe Cameron gave in and went to lay with her for the first time in a long while because there is no more noise coming from her room and Cameron seems to have disappeared. I was unwilling to help because at this point, I can't take another failure. Not today. There comes a point when too much failure crushes your spirit.

I wish someone had answers. I wish I could just take the pain and frustration away from my little girl. I just wish I could help her and be the mother that she deserves and needs. I wish she could just feel comfortable and at ease within her body. I wish that I could just figure it out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goodbye club MED!

It has been about three months since we began the weening process with Sydney. Yesterday was the first night that she went to sleep without any medications put into her system. Wahoo! I can't believe it! I know that there will be withdrawals (a friend of mine said that her daughter had them for about a month after taking her meds), but I am hopeful that they will be minor. Syd hasn't showed any huge signs of withdrawals other than a bit more of her usual whining, and the occasional night terrors. I am hoping it stays this way. Only time will tell, but for now I am just ecstatic that she has made it to this point seizure free. This is truly a blessing and we are so grateful. Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers...keep them coming...we are in the home stretch!

Did I mention that Sydney slept through the night last night? She didn't wake up at 3am! It was a miracle! The even bigger miracle is that Macey woke up screaming and was up for about an hour and still, Sydney slept. I don't want to get my hopes up but I really really pray that this is a sign of what is to come. I think 2011 is gonna be great!

Just a few things I have noticed :
-Syd is putting more words together, and is noticeably trying to learn new words.
-Her memory skills have seemed to have advanced just in the last 2 months.
-Her social skills have gotten better (especially her eye contact, sharing, and empathy).
-Her balance is better although her spacial awareness is not (this is something I am watching closely). She still walks into walls sometimes for no reason and sometimes forgets that she is standing next to a book shelf and turns right into it and bonking her head or nose.
-She is more playful with her sister, and is showing a lot of love for her and her brother.
-She is making a lot of demands to her siblings and the dog (signs of a true three year old :)
-She peed in the potty! :)
-She plays by herself a lot more and doesn't need as much attention from Cameron or myself.
-She has started to understand pretend play.
-She can undress herself, and seems interested in what she looks like (awareness of self!). She likes putting on her hair pretties and cries for dresses and skirts. Awesome.

These are just a few things that I have noticed in the last couple of months. Some would say that it is just her usual development, others that it is a direct result of coming off the medications. Whatever it is, I am seeing a lot of change, and I am excited. Syd gets evaluated by the school system in a couple weeks since she is turning 3. The state turns her over to the school system for more special education and programs at 3. I am hoping that she qualifies for at least one of the 5 areas. I hear that these programs are incredible and I would love to get Syd caught up with her classmates before starting kindergarten in a couple years. I am hopeful that she will be able to do this, but realistic that her meds/seizures may have caused permanent damage. Only time will tell. Sydney is a beautiful, spunky kid and I know she will succeed in life no matter her challenges...she is a stubborn one! :) We will keep you posted on her progress.

Snow and Ice

On Sunday night a gnarly ice storm hit the south. The stores supply of milk and bread were cleaned out, the streets were cleared, and daddy was on his way to work so that he wouldn't get snowed in the very next day. He was dedicated. Monday morning we woke up to 5 inches or so of snow. Or so we thought. We put on our snow suits and ventured out into the cold only to find that the 3 inches of snow was covered in an inch or 2 of ice. Ick! It was slippery and painful! I took the kids out anyway for just a bit while the baby slept.

It is now day three, schools are still cancelled, and there is no sign of the weather getting any better. It is supposed to be below freezing for the rest of the week and Cameron has to drive back and forth from work every day risking his life and car. Ugh, what a pain. I love the snow but not when it is accompanied by ice.

Daddy and DD ventured out yesterday for an hour or so exploring the woods. They even found cool light savers hidden in the snow away from the bad guys.

Basketball Days

Dylan had his first Basketball game last week! He loves it! He admits that he is "not the best player on the team because the basket is just so high". Despite this statement, Dylan made a basket during this first game. I couldn't believe it! As the rest of the kids ran down the court, Dylan just stood there staring at us in the stands with a big ol grin on his face. He was so proud, and we all (Ali and her kids, gmama and gpapa, and us) stood and cheered. I wish every kid could have had that moment. It was the cutest thing ever!

Date Night

One of our news years resolutions this year is to spend more quality time with our kids. Cameron and I have decided that the best way to make this happen is to have separate date nights once a month with our kids. Here is our first official go at it:

The girls had a Princess party upstairs and watched Cinderella
while the boys had a sleepover Star Wars party downstairs. I was jealous! Daddy pulled out all of his old Star Wars stuff so they could re-enact each scene during the movie. It was super cute!


Alright, now let me just say, I know this is ONLY the beginning, but I am so excited!

Two nights ago while Cameron was snowed in at work and had to stay the night, I was putting Sydney to bed and she wouldn't stop crying. This is normal. What isn't normal is about 15 minutes later I hear her at her door crying, "change a diaper, potty, potty". She manipulates a lot at night crying anything from "hold you (hold me)", "lay down", "no doe doe doe (a song in her room)", "water please", "milk please", etc. This time though the fact that she brought potty into the scenario made my ears perk right up. I went in her room only to find that she has stripped herself down to her diaper and was asking, "change a diaper, go potty?" I tried putting her clothes back on (it was freezing in the house) and she just cried and screamed "NO!" I then walked her to the potty and she proceeded to actually pee in the potty. I couldn't believe it! She then allowed me without screaming to put her PJ's back on and she walked back into bed on her own. It was silent after that! SO EXCITING!

It has been two days since this and Syd likes to sit on the potty but will NOT go potty. UGH! We have the sticker chart up, the underwear bought...the countdown is ON! This was all very exciting and overwhelming to me and then get this, I walk into my 2 year old nephews house (just turned 2 mind you not 2 weeks ago), and he is sitting going POOP in the toilet. Aghh, could that be more frustrating!? Syd is turning 3 in 7 weeks and this 2 year old is potty training himself. Sheesh! Syd needs to live at aunt Heidi's house...she is definitely doing something right over there. :)


1) Dylan: Mommy, you can't pray to Heavenly Father, Jesus is the special guy during Christmas.

2) Mommy: Daddy is the best daddy in the whole world huh?
Dylan: Well, he's a little bit normal
Mommy: What does normal mean?
Dylan: It means that you do everything good and you are the nicest and best person.
Mommy: Am I normal?
Dylan: Oh yes. You are a lot normal, but I am the most normal in the family.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

West Virginia Christmas Vacation-Day 8

It's 6 am...let the festivities begin.

The kids waited upstairs until the adults could get their cameras ready for the big moment. Ready, set, go! (the video of this was great...the kids reactions are priceless!)
We hid the bikes around the corner until the kids had opened all of their stockings. What a surprise that was! Santa dropped off the box for Dylan's bike and left the bike at his house set up under the tree at home. Isn't he amazing!? He knew we wouldn't be able to fit it in our car!
I love Dylan's "wow' and "oh my gosh"s. His reactions are great. When he opened his PJ's on Christmas eve there were silly bands that were attached to it and he yelled, "this was all I really wanted for Christmas!". So cute but why did I buy so much when Silly bands could get that kid of reaction? Kids really don't need much do they to be happy? Amazing.
Sydney finally got the hang of opening stuff this year. She was ALL about it! It was fun watching her get excited to open and play with each and every thing.

Dylan got everything that he wanted. Spoiled? Maybe a little. That wasn't the plan, but we had a change of plans once we knew what Santa was bringing the Curtis's. The bike became a must! He also got the camera that he had been wanting for the last 6 months (its a kids digital camera so that he won't break mine :)
I would smile too if my daddy got a dancing game. Wahooo, a knect for the Playstation! Thanks to you (you know who you are) who got that for is really fun! What a big surprise that was!
It was a great day with lots of fun, and very yummy food. It was so sad to leave the Curtis's the following morning, but we were so glad to have shared Christmas break with them. The kids did great and it was a wonderful trip full of many memories. We can't wait to go back. Thanks Curtis's! You were amazing hosts and way too generous! We love you guys!
Dylan was sad to leave his best friend. He was SO good on this trip, it was amazing! He became a bit of a tattle tale but aside from that, he was so preoccupied with Charlotte the entire time. They played SO well together! Did I mention that on the trip up he brought a picture of Charlotte so that he could hold it and look at her on the way to her house? He loves her SO much. When the picture would fall he would cry that he couldn't see Charlotte anymore. So funny. He came home asking to put Charlotte pictures all over his walls. LOVE THIS KID!

West Virginia Christmas Vacation-Day 7

Christmas Eve!
The kids played at home while the adults cooked, shopped, and planned last minute festivities. The kids all went to the dollar store and picked out and wrapped gifts for each other. It was very sweet.

We made, decorated and ate sugar cookies...
We read the Christmas story
We put out the reindeer food and caroled to the neighbors
We played outside
We opened jammies

We went to 2:30 am.
It was a long, fun filled day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

West Virginia Christmas Vacation-Day 6

Busy Busy Day!
We started our day off going to the West Virginia campus gym with the rockin vortex pool that we had heard so much about. This gym is amazing, (even though the staff is kinda natzi about everything). Here are the girls getting ready. I wish I looked that cute in my swim suit
After swimming we decided to head out to a big hill in town and have one more run at sledding before the snow melted and we would have to go back to Ga. This place was fantastic! The hill was perfect, and the fact that my girls fell asleep in the car was even MORE perfect.

I Love Dylan's little snowsuit. It was once Maddie and Livvy's and now its his little snow bunny suit. Perfect for my boy! :)
Trudging up this hill was HARD work. Luckily only daddy had to do the work.
Happy boys!
Strike a pose!
What is wrong with my husband? A Unicorn? Really? He was so proud.
I wish Syd would have been awake for the fun, but as it was we had a fun date day with Dylan. He had a blast and keeps asking to go back.
Publish Post
What were we thinking? Sorry Shar!

After getting home we decided to go out shopping for some last minute things. When we came home Sharka (the best babysitter on the planet) had all 8 kids asleep in their own beds. UNBELIEVABLE! I want her to move in with me. It was the perfect end to the perfect fun day!