Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Call Me Mrs. Doctor T.

It's been so busy that I almost forgot to announce that I am now Mrs. Doctor T. Yes, the husband finally defended his PhD dissertation and was successful. So, I'm now married to a doctor! What a pity it's not the kind of doctor who goes on to earn tons and tons of money but I still love him anyway.

White Christmas - Fail

It's December 29th and so far NO measurable snowfall in good old Milwaukee. I see this as a good thing. Sure, there was no white Christmas this year but since I know it will eventually snow, and snow a lot, the longer we can put it off the better in my book. The way I see it, now when it does snow I can take comfort in knowing I just need to get through January, February and a little bit of March before spring arrives.

Christmas turned out to be quite nice. The kids were thrilled with their gifts and I feel like the amount we got them was just about right. QT got a scooter, SB got a Mario racetrack and the Sully, well, he got some fun animals to hang on his car seat and play mat. Oh, and he'll be getting a helmet in a few weeks to help round out his flat head.

Sully has been in physical therapy for torticollis for three months now and although his neck, head and arm movement have all improved, the flat spot on the right side of his head is not improving. We took him last week for measurements and as we suspected, he has moderate plagiocephaly. The therapist explained that everyone has an asymmetrical face and head and so any measurement 6mm or less is considered normal. Thankfully, Sully's face is within that normal range. But, when his head is measured from the back to the front there is a 17mm difference between measuring the left and right sides. That's a pretty big gap and so he will definitely need a helmet. Right now we're just waiting to find out from our insurance company how much, if any, they will pay. Helmets aren't cheap.

So yesterday was the day - the two year anniversary of me losing Trey. I thought about him from time to time and am sad but time really does begin to heal all wounds. Obviously, having Sully makes it less painful but I can honestly say that you can't just replace one baby with another. Having a baby can bring such joy but it doesn't just automatically dispel the sorrow of having lost a child and I wish more people understood that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Memories

It's coming upon Christmas which seems to have snuck up on me this year. Perhaps that is because it has yet to snow more than just a dusting and the temperatures here are still in the high 30s and not in the teens as is so common during Wisconsin winters. It seems strange to not just not have a white Christmas but to have a "warm" Christmas.

The closer we get to Christmas the more the memories come flooding back to me. Memories of when I was kid running downstairs to a room full of gifts left by Santa. Oh, the wonder of a Barbie dream house so big it needed an elevator, a globe with bumps marking the mountain ranges, a big head with hair I could style any way I like...........Christmas definitely is for kids. I can't wait for my kids to come downstairs this Christmas and open all of their gifts. The wonder and excitement of children just can not be matched.

One memory I'd rather not have is that of my first miscarriage. I remember small details of those days two years ago as if they just happened yesterday. Seeing my doctor for a regular check-up, listening to a nice strong heart beat and yet leaving his office feeling as though he knew the baby was going to die and he just didn't know how to tell me. Sitting at a friend's house eating lunch and thinking how strange it was that my food aversions had seemingly disappeared. Lifting QT in her car seat and lugging her up to the door and later wondering if that didn't cause the placenta to pull away. Putting together toys for the kids for Christmas and then just seeing blood everywhere. Hearing the excitement in the ER nurses voice when she found the baby's heart beat. Seeing the ultrasound tech shake her head no a few days later when I asked if everything was okay with the baby. The ante-partum nurse handing the husband and I a little box where our dead son lay tucked into a little flannel sleeping bag. Going home to a house filled with leftover Christmas joy only to feel completely empty inside. Even two years later it's hard. Even with Sully's smiling face it's hard. People have said to me "oh, but at least now you have Sully" and although I understand why they say that, Sully hasn't replaced what we lost. After all, you can't just replace one child with another.

I can't wait to make some new, joyous, memories this Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Christmas

While reading books to the kids last night I thought back to what was one of my favorite Christmas books:

Then I grabbed my iPhone, clicked on my Amazon app and with one or two clicks ordered it. Tomorrow night I'll be scratching and sniffing the orange, peppermint and Christmas tree. Ahhh, the sweet smells of Christmas. I can't wait to share it with the kids.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Actually, I don't really like Rum but lately I've been thinking about starting to drink a little more. Things around here have gotten, well, a tad overwhelming. Here's something I've learned: having a baby is sometimes hard; having a baby, an almost three-year-old and a five-year-old is sometimes hard; having a baby, an almost three-year-old, a five-year-old and a husband getting set to defend his dissertation, all the while working full-time, is always hard!

The holiday season seems to just bring so many things with it. There's decorating to do, presents to buy and wrap, cookies to bake, visits with Santa to set up and all the while the laundry piles up, cheerios mark the living room floor begging to be vacuumed up and new bills arrive daily that need to get paid. More and more I've been stressing over money. Normally I'm a big believe in everything will work itself out but at the same time we've been hit pretty hard this past year with medical bills, some expected and some unexpected, which have sucked up the little extra savings I had. Add to that now making a car payment for the first time in quite a few years, a pay freeze at work, school tuition and daycare for another child, not to mention the diapers and formula and things have gotten a lot tighter. A lot tighter.

One unexpected expense has been physical therapy for Sully's torticollis. And now, although his neck muscles are loosening, his head is not reshaping how it should and so he will be fitted for a helmet. The helmet is $3,200. I feel like waves of bills are just crashing in on me. Every time I come up for air a new wave comes crashing in. Hopefully this will be the end and the tide will go back out and we'll make it a few months without any new, big expenses.

In more joyous news, the kids are super excited for Christmas. We are opening multiple Advent calendars each night and talking about how soon it will be baby Jesus' birthday. Saturday we attended a pancake breakfast with Santa and great fun was had by all:

Okay, so Sully doesn't look all that happy to be with Santa but trust me, he had a good time. QT was a little shy when it came time to sit with Santa so no pictures of her with Jolly Old St. Nick, but she did take a minute to tell Santa what she wanted when he got up and walked around. I guess I should be pleased that she's not willing to just sit on any old man's lap.