Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy 2015!!

I'm only a month late on this ;-)  But better late than never (great motto to have as a parent, by the way).  I intended to do this post a month ago, but things got a little crazy around here!  After my last post we decided to take Stella in to the doctor.  I know I've mentioned it randomly in posts, but Stella is pretty far behind with her physical development.  It has now reached the stage of concern.  Her hip X-ray was clean, and there are no indications of any physical problems so that is a plus, but she is around the growth stage of a 6-7 month old as far as movement goes.  She was late to roll and sit unassisted, but since then she hasn't progressed at all.  If she falls to her back or tummy she can't transition back to sitting.  She can't pull herself up, and has never tried to get on all fours or crawl.  Let alone walk.  So the evaluations begin.  The doctor put in a recommendation for PT (physical therapy), and we were soon contacted to see if she qualifies for the state funded program for kids ages 1-3.  You have to be a certain percentage (I think she said 30) behind in order to qualify.  A coordinator came out and gave us an overview of the program and she is fairly certain Stella will qualify.  So we signed our life away on Stella Anne's first "IEP".  It almost made me sick.  I thank God everyday for a healthy baby, but even something like this breaks your heart.  I just want to know what's keeping her from moving.  Hopefully she's just stubborn.  On the plus side the coordinator told us her language is off the charts (she just uses that gibberish and social-ness to tell us she's NOT going to move!).  Now I'm sure you're thinking "you're a stay at home mom, just work with your kid!" (and if you weren't, now you are) but let me tell you Stella REFUSES to move.  I have tried.  Her legs lock up, she points her toes, and she screams.  And cries.  And buries her face into whatever is nearest and screams and throws a fit.  Does it hurt?  Does she just not want to move?  Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!  So frustrating.  For all of us.  Sure, it is nice we haven't had to baby proof yet.  And it's a heck of a lot easier to get stuff done while she just sits there.  But now she wants to move but can't.  So she fusses.  And she's not learning and exploring like an almost 15-month old should be doing.  So it was just time to start the dreaded process.  They called a few days after the consultation to schedule her evaluation...which is not until February 17th (coincidentally her 15 month birthday as well).  I hate waiting that long.  But wait we shall.  I will update on that scenario after her evaluation results are in, but that was the first thing we were dealing with after the new year started.

Then the sickness began.  Again.  I didn't think there was anything left to catch but I was wrong!  Stella got a nasty cold after the new year.  Drippy nose, watery eyes, sneezing like crazy, a cough that wouldn't let her sleep...and this doozie lasted about 10 days!  Poor sweet girl.  I should also mention Stella's constipation decided to make a return visit.  Her doctor said to try Miralax, so I add a bit of that to her milk each morning now.  Before I started that, she pooped anywhere from 10-15 times a DAY!  And I do cloth diapers!  I was LOSING my mind and my fingers were a mess from washing them a million times a day.  After we started the Miralax she went heavily for a few days (getting it all out finally) and now goes 1-2 times a day like she used to.  I didn't realize what a challenge that was for us, but boy was it nice when she got regular again.  So my poor babe had a rough start to the new year!

And of course the sickness couldn't leave the house without visiting me as well.  I was sicker than a dog (what does that even mean?) for about 10 days.  My ears almost exploded, my throat was on fire, and Stella and I had a runny nose/sneezing competition.  I survived on OJ and ibuprofen.  It rivaled that nasty flu bug.  And the swollen face/ER trip.  And the croup.  And Stella's constipation.  It was one serious bug!  And then finally one morning I woke up and felt better.  Stella felt better.  It was February.  Things were looking up.

Enter snow storm 2015.  We got a nasty blizzard at the beginning of the month that had us snowed in for 2 days (in Mark's opinion).  But we live in the middle of nowhere, so with my driving confidence and a baby at home we were "snowed in" for about 6 days.  (Hey, I wasn't taking any chances on the roads...or getting sick again...if I didn't have to!) 

Which brings us to today.  February 9th.  That was an awful long pity-party intro, sorry about that.  Just a rough month/start to a New Year.  But it's done now and I'm looking to the future.  So I will get on with my normal New Years post...

2014 did not go as I planned.  Refer to this post for more on those plans. In my head I was going to bounce back from the pregnancy and have an amazing year.  In reality I did not bounce back from the pregnancy, but still had an amazing year.  It was a year filled with changes and adaptations.  Last winter was long and cold and we had to deal with several septic problems (not fun in case you've never had the pleasure).  I spent the cold days forming a routine for Stella and just enjoying quiet time at home.  In the Spring my sister and nephew moved back home, which was a tough time but I am so happy to have them back.  Ryder is Stella's idol.  Mark also worked long hours in the Spring.  The Summer of 2014 brought several weddings and lots of playtime in town for Stella.  We also took a family vacation to Cedar Point, my first time back there in years, and it was so much fun.  Fall saw the return of long work hours, and lots of time spent preparing for and then celebrating Stella's 1st Birthday.  It has been a pretty mild winter so far (until recently and with one really cold week at the beginning of January), but all the illnesses and evaluations have made it a pretty challenging winter.  I am proud of the fun year we created for Stella Anne.  I am proud of how we've adapted to being parents, and done so still very much in love (most days haha).  That first year is full of fun, but also of change, fear, compromise and learning.  So much learning. 

With all of my energy focused on the chaos that is learning to be a mom, I didn't bounce back from the pregnancy like I planned.  It was a heck of a lot harder than I thought it would be!  My 5'3" self is struggling to get back to normal.  So my goals and resolutions have been set for 2015.  Honestly they don't look much different than my goals for 2014.  But my primary focus is to manage my time better.  Now that I've adapted to being a SAHM, I was able to set a better schedule for Stella and I to follow in 2015.  Not having a schedule didn't work well for my Type A brain, so I didn't get as much accomplished (outside of being a mom) for 2014 as I set out to.  I really think my schedule (which I'm pretty good at creating thanks to being a former Elementary teacher) will allow me to speak differently at the end of 2015.  My other focus is to just live in the present.  I'm always reflecting on the past or planning for the future.  When you don't live for today, your life passes you by.  You can't be truly happy unless your mind is focused on right now.  By spending my time wisely and living in the moment I am set to have a pretty fabulous 2015!  Ready to tackle those resolutions...and of course update you along the way ;-)

Before I go, here's how we rang in the New Year (nothing too fancy this year)...

Ready to party with Grandma on New Years Eve!

Happy 2015!

On NYE we hung around the house all day.  In the afternoon I got Stella and myself ready and we headed to town.  My mom watched Stella for a few hours while Mark and I went to dinner.  We splurged on a fancy meal at Duck City Bistro in the Quad Cities.  It was really good food and we even ordered an entire bottle of wine!  We don't go out all that much, which is what I prefer because when we do go out we do it right!  Then we picked up Stella after dinner and headed home.  After putting her back to bed we opened a bottle of champagne and watched the ball drop.  I had ordered dessert to go, so we enjoyed some chocolate cake with our champagne. 

New Years Day we usually spend the day at the local bar, but it was closed this year.  I made some food (which I had gotten for Christmas, but you know we missed that holiday) and we went to my sister's house.  We spent the day just hanging around with my cousins and our offspring while enjoying some good food and cocktails.  It was a nice, relaxing way to bring in the new year.

I hope everyone had a safe and healthy New Years and are a month into rocking your resolutions.  Let's make this year awesome! 

Coming up next:  Stella Anne's 15 month update...

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