Monday, April 9, 2018

Update on My Girls

I am apparently no longer a blogger, but I wanted to at least give little snippets of life since my baby girls just turned 4 and 2!!!

Current interests/likes: mermaids, Paw Patrol, Octonoauts, Animal Mechanicals, chapter books (we went through the Mercy the pig series together), dinosaurs (mostly longnecks from Land Before Time), crafting- mostly scissors, glue, and paint currently, board games, Go Fish, mazes, workbooks, pretending to be a dog, playing rock, scissors, paper, having "movie nights" with her friend Aubrey, having mommy or daddy dates (just her and one of us), folding my cleaning rags for me, making her own pbj.

Dislikes: being bathed (she likes playing but not being washed), sleeping alone or going to bed alone (after 2+ years of no problem!!!), writing letters even though she knows them, getting ready for bed, having her hair brushed.

Favorite sayings: Compellor for propellor, vamilla for vanilla, gorilla bar for granola bar

Medical things: My poor girl is dealing with anxiety and we are treading lightly and lovingly, waiting to discuss with her doctor at her well check to see at what point we should be getting outside help for her. She's incredibly afraid of being anywhere alone; hence the sleep struggles I mentioned. Or even where she perceives she's alone but she's really not, like her being in her car seat, me telling her I'm grabbing something from the back of the van, and then disappearing from her sight for 30 seconds to do it. And she went from playing alone in her room 2 or so hours a day to not at all. It's been a few months of this so... my gut says it may not get better without some intervention (besides us trying to love her through it). Otherwise, she's very healthy and is right on track developmentally.

General: Felicity is my rule follower and little helper. She says so many things that Steven and I say she's "my" daughter... IE she is my mini me. She wants to help, please people, and keep the peace. She also likes to make sure other people are following the rules. Felicity is SO smart and learns so easily and quickly. She's all about work books and, for the most part, has no problem with kindergarten level workbooks. She loves being read to and making up fairy tales to tell each other. She's gotten super cuddly and touch needy, so we get a lot of snuggles together. Felicity is my little buddy and I love running errands with her.

Current interests/likes: anything resembling a piggy bank where she can insert small objects into a containers, any tiny things whether they are toys or not (for ex, she loves the tiny Calico Critter babies and bottle/pacifier), her play kitchen and Melissa and Doug cookie set, pretending to be a dog, climbing, jumping, swinging, snuggling, books, snacks.

Dislikes: any arts and crafts besides the rare occasion where she participates for a few minutes, messy hands, having her hair washed, not being held on demand, sleeping alone.

Favorite sayings: She calls my parents "mammy" and "boppa", short for what Felicity calls them, "meammy and meampa", touch (rhymes with couch.... for couch lol), tup for cup, she calls herself Wara, meaning Clara which is our fault for calling her that when she's naughty lol, "Wara do it", and very favorite and longest lasting is "naynayne" for airplanes, which she is OBSESSED with! She says "bapple" for apple, "oof one" for other one, and "oof-fly" for butterfly. She has the SWEETEST little voice and I love hearing her talk, especially now that she is starting to string words together.

Medical things: After a year of struggles meeting Clare's needs and feeling like there was something just off, we had her evaluated through early intervention. She is right on track developmentally, but is very sensory seeking, and mildly sensory avoidant. We are so fortunate to be receiving developemtnal play therapy one hour a week and OT one hour a week. I didn't even know developmental play therapy was a thing, and it surprised me to hear them say she needs it... but the more I thought about our day to day, they are totally right. She's extremely disorganized with play and doesn't usually seem to 'get' it. Felicity can do very little with Clare around because Clare rarely can join in in any meaningful way, which is especially frustrating for Felicity as she is too afraid to play alone in her room right now. So I am really thankful to be getting services started for her (next week!) to help her play better, feel better, respond better to stimuli, and for us to be able to help her.

General: Clare keeps us on our toes. She is NOT a rule follower :), and prefers to do her own thing her own way. She will run as far away as she can one second, and not want to be put down or have me out of her sight the next. Clare likes to do things on her terms and knows what she wants. Clare is so inventive and resourceful that it shocks me. She can get anything from anywhere, even when I feel like I've fully "Clare-proofed" something. Watching her wheels turn is fascinating. She will stack furniture in a heart beat to get over gates, onto counters, open door knobs, etc. She is very emotional and does an amazing full body pout, and equally amazing head-only pout. It's a little sad and a little funny at the same time. Clare is such a funny little girl. She's always made silly faces, and now she tells knock knock jokes that make zero sense but are hilarious in their delivery. I can be on the brink of so much frustration with her, and then she does something so funny I can't help but laugh and squeeze her. She stretches my 'parenting muscle' daily, and I am mostly glad for that. I can't really parent her by the book, or at least not just by ONE book. It takes a lot of forethought, compassion, empathy, creativity, boundary upholding, and love to get through our days, and she makes me a better parent every day. Love my silly little bear!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coming Out of a Fog

I can't promise I am back to blogging with any regularity (in fact, I can probably promise that I'm not), but I am climbing out of a year and a half funk of post partum depression and thyroid madness, and it feels good to feel like myself again. My pregnancy with Clare was pretty rough, as well, so the "me" I am finding was buried quite a ways down there! I suspected, after the fact, that I had some degree of post partum depression with Felicity, so I figured I knew what to look for after Clare was born. Except I guess I still didn't! After about 9 months of feeling like I was a terrible mother, couldn't parent these children of mine, kinda wishing for a different life, and sleeping a lot more than is normal for me (well.... a lot less than is normal due to a baby, but taking advantage of any opportunity to nap during the day with the house semi falling down around me), I finally went to the doctor. It took a bit to get my thyroid back in business, which was one piece of the puzzle. My doctor was impressed I was functioning as "well" as I was with a TSH of 12! But things still weren't quite right, so she recommended I try an over the counter supplement called 5HTP, which is a serotonin booster. I have to be careful how I take it due to interactions with my thyroid medicine, but I noticed an almost immediate improvement. After a couple months, I started feeling that feeling again, and upped the dose. I'm now at the highest dose, and feeling really great. (Side note: do not take without asking your doctor, especially if you are already on other medications.) The next step (because I can't take any higher of a dose) would be antidepressants of some sort, but I will cross that bridge if and when I need to.

It's nice to enjoy life again and not feel overwhelmed by every single thing that comes my way. One of my friends will see my reaction to something and joke, "wow, those are good meds!!". But it's true! I feel like a different person, or like I used to before, and I am able to appreciate my kids despite the trials of having two littles. When I began to talk to friends about how I was feeling, it was surprising how many people had been through or are currently going through a similar thing. As much as my 'village' helps in other ways, it was incredibly helpful to share resources, vent, and know I wasn't the only one going through this. I'm not totally sure what about our day and age makes PPD/PPA so common (though I have my theories), but it's been amazing to have people to push me to feel better, and to support me. If you aren't feeling like yourself, please, please talk to someone. It can sound scary, daunting, or just downright exhausting to make and attend an appointment (hand raised), but it is so worth it. I wish I had gone sooner, because I think in the back of my head I knew it was an issue, but I was just waiting for it to get better. Instead, I lost a lot of opportunities to bond with my kids or just enjoy the time with them. I am hoping a potential next time around, I'll deal with it sooner!

It also helps that I'm doing things for myself. I haven't done that great of a job of that in the past 3.5 years of being a mom, but I'm making it a priority now and Steven of course supports me 100%. My main desire is for alone time (introvert here!) where children are not needing me or touching me. My secondary desires are for relationships and faith strengthening. So twice a month, 3 friends and I get together for a Bible study. We are using the Blessed Is She series which are deep enough to be moving, but easy enough to not have homework :). We meet at a Panera for about 2.5 hours of food, chatting, and studying. It is SO refreshing!!! I'm also going to a season of plays at a local theater. They happen every other month and have multiple show times, so I should have no problem working around Steven's schedule. I went to the first one last weekend, Doublewide, Texas, and it was hilarious and so much fun! I was gone for about 3.5 hours and felt completely refreshed the next morning, despite being out late and getting less sleep. It is nice to invest in myself, and I know my family will benefit from it, too!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Current Favorites

I have come to accept that I don't have the time or energy to blog anymore. But periodically I sitll want to jot down things that I don't want to forget. These babies are growing SO fast. Literally overnight Felicity quit saying "lellow" and "Selicity" and began saying "yellow" and "Felicity".

Thankfully she is still holding onto pupcakes for cupcakes, Old Mcdonald's for the restaurant, pupperoni instead of pepperoni, and she says paper toilet for, of course, toilet paper.

Felicity went to a parents' night out recently. Well, both girls went, but we only left Clare long enough to go to dinner. Felicity was so excited that we ended up deciding to leave her for the whole thing, from 6-9. She, who even just a few months ago would not leave my side at soccer, ran to the classroom in a place she'd never been before, to people she'd never met before, without a second glance back and Steven or me. She was SO excited and had not an ounce of hesitation. It was so cute to hear her talk about the night as she's rarely away from me for me to hear about something she did that was her own thing. She talked about how the 'blue shirts' helped her... the people running it all wore blue shirts. So cute!

Felicity is obsessed with our neighbor's boys!!! We babysit them for about 8-10 hours a week and walk with them most week day mornings followed by about a half hour of play time... and she still begs to see them! It is so sweet to watch their friendships.

Clare does not talk much at all but has the cutest little personality quirks and mannerisms. She has one version of "If You're Happy And You Know It" that makes her day when it comes on in the car. She turns to look at her sister, beaming, and begins clapping. I often turn it on to boost my own mood! Clare also loves Old McDonald and sings "EIEIO". Felicity often will get up dance during the opening song of her shows, and now Clare does too, even if Felicity isn't. She smiles at me and turns circles until she falls. In fact, the only dance move she has is turning circles haha! *In the interim of writing this and it sitting in my drafts, my sweet baby has had a language explosion! She calls herself "pitty" (pretty) when she puts anything on including but not limited to Steven's work shoes, and a fireman raincoat. She says woof, her version of meow, sissy, Jesus,  and bye bye. She is also super in love with our friend's baby who she has named "me-me" and she now refers to all babies and baby dolls as "me-me".

Clare is really into whatever Felicity is into, which I expected would happen when they were older, and I find precious to see already. Because Felicity is so into Paw Patrol, Clare also likes "deedee" (dogs). Any time Felicity wears her paw patrol shirts and bathing suits, Clare runs to her, points, and exclaims "deedee!". I found a baby sized Skye shirt at Old Navy on clearance and knew she had to have it! So funny that she's "into" things already at this age, just because of her sister! She is also obsessed, OBSESSED with shoes. She wants to wear everyone's shoes, no matter how big, and the crankiest mood can be lifted by putting on a pair of shoes, real or 'dress up', and walking around the house. I have never seen a kid so into shoes!

These girls may wear me on daily... no, more than that!... but I am really loving watching them grow and change!