Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our Big Announcement

At work on Friday September 25th, everyone kept telling me how beautiful I looked.  I hadn't done anything different.  I don't even think I had washed my hair that day (I wash it every other day).  It was so very odd.  I texted one of my good friends, and she laughed and told me that I am beautiful (I concur), and that I should just relax.  But something was nagging at me.  I texted my friend back, and said, "I think I am pregnant."  She texted back, "go take a test."  I texted the same conversation to another of my good friends.  After all two opinions are better than one.  She said the same thing. 

So bought a test on the way home and followed the instructions.  The second line was so faint.  I texted both friends and said, "whew.  In the clear.  There are two lines, but the second is so very faint."  They both texted me back and said, "Congratulations, you're pregnant."  No.  This couldn't be.  It just couldn't happen.  I am 34.  I tried for two years with my ex husband to have a child and (thank God) it never happened.  I haven't been on birth control for 7-8 years (sorry if that is TMI).  The test had to be faulty.  I wasn't going to believe it.  I would take precautions to care for myself if it was true, but it couldn't be.  Had to be a fluke.  I have spent most of my adult life believing that I couldn't have children biologically.  I had accepted this, and jumped into raising someone else's biological children.

About 3-4 days later, I had really bad cramps, and other fun things that made me believe I was either not pregnant, or losing the baby.  M (who by the way was estatic about the news) ran out and bought me a pint of Phish Food Ice Cream and another pregnancy test.  This time digital.  This time it was unmistakable.  I was pregnant.

I called the office I wanted to use, and they sent me out for a blood test.  Two days later, a doctor had confirmed the pregnancy, and that I wasn't miscarrying it.  

I am pregnant.  I am 14 weeks along now.  On Monday M and I were able to hear the heartbeat.  No ultrasounds have been done yet, but the unmistakable "lub dub lub dub lub dub" rang loud and clear on the sonogram speaker.  I am pregnant.  We could hear the baby move around, and even brush up against the sonogram wand.  Then the noise all stopped.  The midwife explained that the baby must have moved deeper into my uterus at that point, she joked that she scared it.  M kept saying, "I can't believe how much it moves all ready".  I believe I have felt it on a few occasions, so I can believe it.  I haven't seen this child growing inside me, but I have felt, and now heard it.

According the the e-mail updates I get frequently, the baby is now the size of a large lemon, and weighs about an ounce and a half.  I however have gained a pound since finding out I was pregnant 8 weeks ago.  I am trying to gain as little weight as I can, and be as healthy as I can, so I can deliver at the holistic birthing center I want to.  I won't be allowed if I become diabetic and high risk from what I understand.  I assisted a friend of mine at a birth there and it was amazing in contrast to the three I assisted at a regular hospital setting.  I hope to have a natural and loving birth.

Three of my closest friends have known since September 25th/26th.  My mom figured something was up with me the weekend after that and I spilled the beans to her because I just can't lie to my mom.  About a week later I told my co-workers because they know me well enough, they would know something was up anyway.  I told my dad the weekend after that.  We told the girls on Tuesday evening after school (Thanksgiving break started then).  Here is a video clip if you want to see how DQ and V reacted to learning they will be big sisters in May.  It was adorable.  V kept saying she wanted the baby to be born now, and I had to keep explaining that it isn't ready to be born yet, and needs a little longer to keep developing before it can live independently from me.  Like a caterpillar in a cocoon, we have to be patient to see the beautiful butterfly.

DQ and V learning about the baby

I wanted to tell M's family in person, so they made the 5 hour trip on Wednesday, and we broke the news to them with a gift on Wednesday evening. The gift consisted of a photo frame that says "grandparents", and a picture of the girls holding up this photo:

So the cat is out of the bag now.  We have an ultrasound on 1/10 to learn the gender (hopefully) and see the baby for the first time ever.  I plan on having a gender reveal party the Saturday or Sunday after for our family and friends, where we will all learn the gender together.  This will be grandchild number 13 for my parents (a tie breaker as they have 6 boys and 6 girls), and grandchild number 5 for M's parents.

Guess I will have to change the name of my blog in the near future as the family is growing....

Aunt TT

Monday, November 25, 2013

Muffins With Mom

Friday morning, I had the pleasure of going to the school with DQ and having breakfast with her.  It would have been V AND DQ, but V was moved to another school due to her behavior the end of last year.

At any rate, DQ and I waited in line, and picked out our muffins.  She chose chocolate with chocolate chip, and I had blueberry.  We got our drinks.  She chose orange juice, I chose milk.  Then we sat down.

A few of our friends were there, so we invited them to sit with us, and we had a very nice morning hanging out with each other.

Let me back this up a little bit.  DQ has been so excited about this.  She told me all week long, "five more days till muffins with mom!  Don't forget we get to eat breakfast together tomorrow!" Etc.  Really made me happy that she was so happy to spend a bit of time with me.  Now if you keep up on my blogs, you will remember 2-3 years ago, when DQ would get mad at V for calling me mom.  Then,out of the blue, she began calling me mom.

Friday in the midst of what should have been a happy occasion, I was reminded that she doesn't really consider me her mom.  The children were all given poster board and markers to tell their moms why they were thankful for them.  The teachers took photos of the children holding their poster board, and displayed them on a projector TV in the gymnasium, so we could watch this while we ate.  It was all decorated so nicely and was so very heart warming.  DQ was pointing out her friends to me on the TV as the photos scrolled by.  Then there was the photo of my sweet girl.  I read the poster she was holding.  It said, "I am thankful for my Aunt.  She is like my mom."

My heart sank.  I realized in that moment that at home / dance she calls me mom.  But at school, she calls me aunt.  One of her friends told her a few weeks ago, "I think it's so weird that you live with your aunt."  She told me this later Friday when I asked her about calling me "Aunt" at school. 

DQ is quite the sensitive child.  She reminds me a lot of myself at that age.  She doesn't usually try to be the loudest or most visible child in a setting with other children.  She waits to see what the other kids do/say before she chimes in usually.  She likes to be accepted, and part of the crowd.  So I think she sees herself as different for not being just like "all the other kids" and live with her (in her mind) real mom and dad. 

What she doesn't understand at the age of 8, is so many children in today's world are displaced from their biological homes.  Some are in a similar situation as hers.  Some were adopted in infancy because the bio parents were selfless enough to give the gift of life to a family that could not otherwise have it.  Some children live with grandma and grandpa because mom and dad are in jail, drugs, or worse.  There are so many circumstances where children aren't at "home". 

But home is where your heart is.  Hopefully one day she will see that.  One day she will realize that she is home, and I am every bit of a mom that her mother was to her.  Some tell me that I am more of a mom than her mother is to her.  But who am I to judge that?  I am not angry at her for how she feels.  I understand.  But with all I do, I can't say I wasn't a little hurt.

V had a really good day at school on Friday.  She earned 136 points!   She starts the day off with 100 points and it was the first day all year long that she didn't LOSE any all day long.  We are so very proud of her, and hoping today can be just as fabulous.  On Wednesday last week, she didn't take her pill and instead took it to school with her.  Thank goodness the teacher found it.  So we have had to crush up the pill in a bit of apple sauce or yogurt and give it to her.  I'm really glad they didn't suspend her for it, as I know they could have.  Academically she is above where she needs to be, and is doing so well on all of her spelling tests.  Her handwriting has room for improvement, but she is a lefty, and I understand the challenges she faces.  But she seems to be doing good right now.  I should knock on wood.  Every time I brag on her all heck breaks loose. 

My next blog will be quite the exciting one!   Stay tuned!

Aunt TT

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Moooooom! DQ said the "C" word!"

We finally got V's medicine yesterday.  When she got home from school (it was 40 degrees outside), and she comes trotting off the bus without a coat.  She comes in the house, and all serenity flies out the window.  She kicks off her shoes, flings her backpack on the couch, and starts fighting with anyone she can.

I am so tired of the fighting.  So tired of the screaming.  So tired of living in a war zone.  I don't know how M feels about it.  I don't think he likes it either.  I feel sorry for DQ, as I know she is building a resentment towards her sister because everything is always a fight.  Here I sit with the meds in my lap.  I had just finished reading all the legal jargon.  The possible side effects, etc.  I looked at M, and said, "Although we agreed to begin this on a weekend...  let's start this now.  We know it won't be in her system for longer than 3-4 hours.  Let's see if this will help."

M shrugged his shoulders and called V into the kitchen.  He gave her a handful of chips to munch real quick.  The medicine doesn't say it needs to be taken with food, but better safe than sorry right?!?!

I would say there was a difference in her 15-30 minutes after she took the little purple pill.

It wasn't terribly noticeable at first glance.  But she was better able to handle multiple directions.  Like put your coat on AND zip it up.  When before she may have been able to get her coat on, then be onto something else, neglecting the zip it up part.  She went to karate class shortly there after.  Sensi said she had the best class she has ever had, and he was quite proud of her.  Because she did so well, he let her be the shark in the game they play now and then called shark and minnows.  Where the shark has the same amount of moves to catch the minnows.

We went to therapy after that.  I watched her carefully the entire time.  She was able to sit more still, and handle direction better.  She did have a melt down because she wanted to look at the fish in the fish tank, and Susan had asked her to stop, and she didn't want to.  She had a hard time pulling out of it, but finally did what Susan asked and looked at her without having her hands in her face, and listened to Susan.  Susan promised her that if she could behave herself thru the session, at the end, she would take her to see the fish, but that V would have to uphold her end of the bargain.  V smiled, said yes, and was good the rest of the session.

There was a clarity in her eyes.  It was odd.  Like she was better understanding things I was saying to her.  I don't know if M noticed it or not.  We didn't get a lot of time to talk about it before bed time.  But I noticed.

Once home, I ran down to switch out the laundry.  Both girls were upstairs, and had just finished their showers.  I hear V shouting from upstairs, "Mom!   DQ said the "C" word!"  Now keep in mind... usually...  when DQ does something V thinks she shouldn't, V will hit her, push her, yell at her, or try to "punish her" herself.  I am sitting on a kitty litter bucket between my washer/dryer, sorting laundry, and am in shock.  Next there would usually be a scuffle.  In place... was the thundering of feet running to the top of the stairs to the basement, then running down.  The whole while, V is still saying, "Moooom!   DQ said the "C" word!"

I am thinking "C" word.  What on earth is she talking about?  Christmas?  That isn't a cuss word.  The four letter C word, that foul mouthed rappers drop left and right?  The one that is degrading to women?  My goodness... where did she hear that?  Oh my!  I am trying to clarify it with V (the 6 year old) and I say, "what C word?"  She says, "You know.  THE "C" word."  I say, "No sweetie.  I don't know what "C" word.  Can you tell me which one?"  "I don't want to get in trouble,"  she then lowers her voice to a whisper, and says, "she said Crap." 

Can you imagine my relief?  Not only did V NOT hit her sister.  But DQ didn't say a word that was all that bad.  I am OK with Crap.  I let V know that she shouldn't tattle tale on her sister, but I appreciate that she didn't hit her, then ask her to help me finish with the laundry.  You see if you keep V busy, with small household tasks, she stays out of trouble.   She loves it too.  I consider myself blessed to have a child who doesn't mind helping with house work.

We gave her another pill before school today.  I e-mailed her teacher, and let her know what is going on, what I witnessed, and asking her to keep in touch with me about what she witnesses.  Hopefully this helps.

Stay tuned to my blog two weeks from today!  Maybe I will unveil my recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal peanut butter cookies!?!?!

Aunt TT

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas 1987

I was eight years old.  A few months before, I had lost my beloved Alaskan Malamute, Lady.  She died at the age of eight.  She was until her death, my best friend.  Mom always said she picked me.  That they went into a pet store just to look around one day when I was around six months old.  I was in my stroller, and they had recently lost her predecessor, Eeka.  Eeka was an Alaskan Malamute who jumped the fence in our back yard, and was tragically killed by a train.  Mom's memory of my first moment with Lady, was Lady breaking free of her handler, and bounding up to me to slather my face with kisses.  I giggled and petted her face in my pudgy hands.  Needless to say after seeing this, mom and dad left the store with a new dog.

Lady and I grew up together.  I loved her so much.  I clearly remember the day she died, I remember my heartbreak.  I remember my eight year old mentality being angry with God for taking my best friend from me before I was ready to lose her.  I remember the heartache of experiencing my first real loss.  I am tearing up as I write this, remembering how my eight year old heart ached for her to come back to me.

That year, for Christmas, mom and dad asked for our lists.  I made mine out, and the only thing I wanted Santa to bring me was another Lady.  I wanted a puppy so bad.  I clearly remember how badly I wanted that.  I made quite the eight year old plea to Santa in my letter, and I believed in Santa with all my heart that he would bring me what my heart so desired.

Christmas morning rolled around, and I tore through my gifts looking for my puppy.  Mom and dad always surprised us, making us wait to open our biggest gifts last.  I thought for sure that they would take me out to the back (enclosed) porch, and I would find a Malamute pup with a big red bow tied around her neck.  Where Santa had expertly hid her from me.  I had opened every gift, and I wasn't ungrateful for what I received, but I desperately wanted that puppy.  Last was our stockings.  In mine was a letter from Santa, explaining that he couldn't make the decision to give me a puppy, that it was something only my parents could do, so to keep from overstepping their bounds, he advised me to talk to them.

My heart broke.  I read the letter over and over, in disbelief.  It didn't take me long to realize that the handwriting was my father's.  I knew very well what it looked like from all the times he would help me with homework, etc.  I knew in that moment that Santa wasn't "real".  That mom and dad carried out the spirit of Christmas every year.  That I wasn't getting another Lady no matter how hard I tried.  I know mom and dad had good reasons.  Their hearts broke losing Lady just as mine did.  They understood better than I did that every pet's life isn't long enough.  Maybe they were trying to save me the heartache of losing another animal.  Maybe we all ready had too many animals...  I expertly brought a kitten home earlier that year by getting an, "ask the other parent" answer from both parents, which by the way... she lived a solid healthy 18 years, and was my father's faithful friend.

You may be wondering why I am recounting this painful lesson learned to you now.  Well there is something special about Christmas this year in my family.  DQ will be 9 in January.  She is getting close to the age of not believing.  I know that from things she has said, and my own experience.  This may be the last Christmas I see the wonder in her eyes.  It may be the last Christmas I see the excitement at what is left under the tree.  So that has charged my heart with the Spirit of Christmas.  Right now we are watching Polar Express.  I'm contemplating getting them tickets to a local Polar Express ride.  She keeps asking about putting the tree up, and although it isn't Thanksgiving yet, I really want to get it up.  She made out her Santa list all ready, and we are walking it down to the mailbox today.  I want this season full of delight for her.  I want to get her everything on her list, although she asked for magic dust to turn her into a Vampire... thanks to the Netflix show, "My Babysitter is a Vampire", she now thinks they are the coolest thing ever....  *sigh*  Not quite sure how to fill that request, but we will think of something. 

 DQ told M the other night that he and I are the best Christmas Gifts she ever received.  That is such a huge difference from four years ago when she was really mourning the loss of her biological mother.  When she used to yell at V for calling me mommy, because I wasn't her real mommy.  Such a vast difference.  One that makes my heart melt. 

Hopefully this Christmas will be the best yet for her.  Hopefully I can instill the spirit of giving, and help her to understand that even if a jolly fat man in a red suit doesn't climb down the chimney and fill her every desire that there is so much more to Christmas than that.  Hopefully I can make her eight year old Christmas a good memory instead of a bittersweet one like mine was.  Now to make this the best Christmas EVER!

Aunt TT

Friday, November 8, 2013

Random Ramblings from the Mind of Aunt TT

Everyone else is talking about Miley Cyrus.  I might as well.  I watched her Wrecking Ball video because I actually like the song.  I felt like I was watching pornography.  I hope I can keep the girls from seeing that video for a long time.  If it's this bad when they're young, what will it be like in 4-5 years...   *shudder*  I like the song because it reminds me of how fiercely I loved my ex husband, and how he continually tried to wreck me.  All except for the, "I will always want you." part that is.  It also reminds me that I walked away.  That I have a new life now.  One that is all ready better.

French toast sticks from Sonic taste better, but are way cheaper at Burger King.  I know SparkFriends.  This is a really bad for you food.  I had a moment where I wanted to indulge myself.

My third grade teacher is quite the amazing guy.  I'm continually shocked at how many people he knows just because he is amazing.  Like our own local celebrity... who is humble, doesn't try to one up anyone, and takes his celebrity-dom with grace and brilliance I have seen from no other.

To my friend (whom I will not name), who is struggling with depression right now.  Things will get better.  I worried about you last night, and stopped by your house, but wasn't sure which was yours or your neighbor's.  So the car sitting outside your home for 3-5 minutes was me trying to look through my phone for the address you gave me years ago.  Didn't find it.  So I drove off.  Didn't want to leave a cryptic message for your neighbor - only you.  There is a light at the end of every tunnel.  Sometimes we just have to look really hard to see it.

I nearly cried watching DQ run her solo last Saturday.  The other moms, and all the other kids were gathered watching.  It was pretty amazing.  Sure she has room to improve, but if she keeps at it, she will definitely impress the judges.  She also looked adorable (as did the other girls) in their Christmas Parade Dance.  Speaking of which - if you would like to come see the BBDC girls dance, the Christmas Parade is November 30, at 4:00p, message me and I will get you details.  It's a Macy's Day Parade style with announcers, etc.  Hopefully it will be warmer than last year.  The poor girls nearly froze their little feet and legs off last year.  I may put two pair of tights, and find some hot pad of some sort to put in DQ's shoes this year.  I was honestly worried about her being frostbitten last year.

Sometimes it is amazing to me how very much I love V, even though she can be the most rotten child I have ever met.  The more rotten she is.  The more stubborn I am.  Sometimes I feel like she is pushing me to give up on her.  Like she is self destructive, and wants to push everyone and everything away from her.  So she hurts them in every way possible.  She starts her school day out with 100 points.  Yesterday she came home with -302 points.  The week before it was -250 points.  The week before that was -148 points.  She has been doing a steady nosedive with her behavior.  She loves her teacher Mrs. S., but she has taken to being physically violent with her.  She refuses to mind her own business, and gets in trouble often for tattling on other students, or trying to make them behave.  She can not keep her hands/feet to herself.  I honestly feel sorry for the teacher, and really question if this is the right placement.  I just have no where else to put her until she is in 1st grade.  It is so difficult.

V was placed on Ritalin.  I am not happy about this, but want to do the best for her.  She was diagnosed in July as being ADHD.  They wavered a bit between that and being Bi-Polar.  Her therapist says that this will be a deciding factor.  That if the meds do not calm her down, but set her off, making her more wild and crazy, then she is not ADHD, and I need to take her straight to the hospital.  The doctor who prescribed the medicine actually wrote me a prescription with another child's name on it.  M caught it when I asked him to drop it off at the pharmacy.  So I had to call the doctor, and request the correct prescription.  She however can not call it into the pharmacy b/c it is a controlled substance.  The doctor's office is 40 minutes away from home.  So she has to snail mail an original script to the pharmacy.  *sigh*  Always another hurdle to jump.  Hopefully by Saturday they have rec'd the script, can fill it, and I can see if this will help... or hurt her.

Regardless of what happens, I will not give up on her.  She is a beautiful child, and is capable of such good.  If by nothing else but sheer force of will, I will help her.  No matter what it takes.

A little less than three weeks till my big announcement.  All good things come to those who wait.

Aunt TT