Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I have totally neglected this blog of late. Can't even muster up an apology either since we've been enjoying some quality family time, as Hubs has had some extra days off around these holidays.

Christmas was a blast in this house. The kids were royally spoiled by Santa and extended family alike. With our Anniversary four days after Christmas, I have to admit to having been completely spoiled myself over the last week or so, too.

As of now we have family already in the New Year in Australia and South Africa, the rest of our immediate families are about to celebrate in Ireland, and I am willing to bet that the four of us will be ringing in the New Year in snoozeville!

Miss E has developed an allergic reaction to something and is constantly breaking out in hives - over two week's worth of hives! This is affecting hers, and our sleep and so we have bumbled along the last while in a state of semi consciousness, desperate to catch a nap or a large dose of caffeine to stave off the yawns. We are investigating the source of this reaction - but to date, changing the laundry detergent and washing every stitch she wears or uses has yielded no improvement. Neither has switching to sensitive skin body wash. We can't pinpoint anything she's eaten either which makes me worry that she has perhaps developed an allergy to something that heretofore hasn't caused problems?

Miss E gave up a blood sample on Friday (with nary a whimper I might add!), to see if that will give the doctors any pointers.

If any of you have any experience with anything similar, or have any tips on how I may ease the itchies - please share! Benedryl is only working for her maybe 50% of the time.

Jay is going to take 2008 in his stride, literally. He toddled off on his first steps last night - AT LAST! At 15 months it's about time boyo! However, I think the 5 minutes of 'Yahooing' that his Dad, his sister and myself rather vocally engaged in right after he did it may have traumatized him because he hasn't repeated this performance at all today.

Anyway - to all of you (if there's anyone still reading!) Here's wishing you all the very best in 2008!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crawling into a bubble.

This is what I plan to do for the next week or so.

I am not going to read or watch the news for the immediate future. I can't cry anymore.

Examples of some recent, local news stories:

Mother arrested in drowning death of her 10 month old baby after she left him alone in the bathtub for 10 minutes while she got her other kids ready to bathe.

Man in custody charged with shooting two gas station workers dead, and setting two women alight in a separate incident and seriously burning them, and shooting another man in the face as he tried to help the women. One of these women was 5.5 months pregnant - her baby was born by emergency C section and died a couple of days later. The other woman died last night.

School closed down yesterday as a result of rumours spreading that some kid was going to shoot someone. These rumours spread by cell phone text messages, and thankfully school officials took it seriously - but, what about the next day these kids have to go to school?

I know that these incidents are a harsh reality, and happen all too frequently across the world. I can't process it any more, though.

For just a few days - I want to take myself back to that fizzy anticipation of Christmas that I experienced, and enjoyed, as a child. Those feelings of pure delight and agonizing suspense where in my innocence, oblivious to the darker side of life, I waited for Christmas Eve and the often futile attempts to get to sleep early, lest the big guy in red catch me awake.

I want to relish in those same feelings that I see in Miss E, for the first time as she really grasps the idea of what Santa is all about.

I want to languish in the feelings of pure pride I have in watching her at her Preschool's Christmas Program, and that I am happy that in addition to the gift giving and receiving side of Christmas, she knows we are also celebrating the birth of Christ.

I want to hold on to the hope that Miss E and Jay represent for a future generation. That they will learn from us the value of their lives, and those of others and that they will never ever be so careless with them as others seem to be in this age.

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about what I can do to help those less fortunate, and I have taken a few (albeit small) steps to actually do something. I will not stop thinking of these people, but I recognize that my own family are important, too, and I want this to be a truly magical time of year for all of us. I'm letting go of the guilt I have felt that depsite what I may sometimes dwell on as shortcomings in my life - I have it a LOT better than other people - I can't carry that anymore - yes I have it better than many - but it doesn't stop me wanting to strive for something better - I'm not going to feel ashamed of that any more.

So as my daughter and I immerse ourselves in gingerbread men baking today, and package up a couple of boxes of homemade treats for friends, I will pray that we can all enjoy a happy, peaceful, and Blessed Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Greatest Story Ever Told.....

....according to Miss E.

Just so you know,

"there was a sailor, kind and good, and Jesus was his name-oh, J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, and Jesus was his name-oh.

He came to wash my things away, and Jesus was his name-oh, J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, J-E-S-U-S, and Jesus was his name-oh."

And, in case you were wondering,

"Mary didn't travel to Bethlehem with Joseph - it was Roadie"

Glad she had a Roadie, I think she deserved one - he could have done a better job on setting up the accommodation though, don't you think?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fourteen Months Already?

Today Baby J you are fourteen months old. Not so much a baby anymore. Time for a name change. From here on in we'll call you 'Jay' - which is how I refer to you from time to time.

The first year of your life has gone so quickly - and has been peppered with all these tests on your hearing, and on other parts of you, many times we wondered would it ever end? While you certainly haven't endured as many tests as some little babies, the fact that you are healthy, and developing normally has had all of us question why we're putting you though it all.

You have been a trooper throughout - engaging everyone in your beautiful mild manner, and your gorgeous smile. You have had CAT scans, sedated procedures, kidney ultrasounds, heart EKGs, Genetics, ENT and Neurology exams and each time we get a resounding 'NORMAL' back in the test results (well we're still waiting for the EKG results but it looks good that it is normal, too). Your Neurologist wanted to do a brain MRI, but on learning that you would have to undergo general anesthetic - Mummy and Daddy decided not to go through with this one, because nothing about you indicates an urgent need for this test and we don't want anyone putting you to sleep when we don't consider it absolutely necessary. We have one more little test, an eye exam which we'll put off until after Christmas - we all need a bit of a break. We think this test will be fine too, and hopefully after it's over we'll be in a position with the doctors to review everything and conclude that you have a tiny little hearing loss and that it is isolated and not connected to, or complicated by anything else. We will keep having your hearing checked to keep an eye on it - but we pray always that it stays stable as it is now and that it never gives you any bother.

You have had many lessons to teach us throughout the last 14 months, and some of them your Mummy has been a bit slow to learn.

You look at me with your huge blue eyes and your big smile and you reassure me that everything is, and will be okay! You have hit all your milestones on or before the 'normal' timeframes.

While I was feeling anxious in your younger months, you were busy growing in leaps and bounds - making your mark in our little family. Interacting with your sister - and holding your own against her (which is no mean feat!).

You started to talk and will now excitedly exclaim 'DADEEEEE' when you hear the kitchen door open in the evenings. You place your chubby fingers over your face and say 'Hidey' in anticipation of Mummy's 'Peekaboo'. You say 'Hi' and 'Bye' and 'All Gone' - and you have proven to us, and to professionals that you do not need to be assessed for speech issues!

You have taught us that it is okay for us to stand up to medical professionals and say 'enough', because you are doing so good.

You are such a wonderful little person full of character and fun! You are trying so hard to walk on your own but still have that little level of reservation (you get that from me!), and so for now you just grab on to anything that will keep you upright and push it around the house - the kitchen chair, your push along lion, the toy basket, your little train (that you can only push around if you're on your knees - how funny you look).

I can't believe you've grown so big so quick - but I am reveling in every little detail and enjoying you very, very much.

You are my sweet, loving Baby Boy, and always will be, no matter how big, or smart you grow to be - I love you so much and always will.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Do I have a faulty calendar?

Shopping at the Mall today. December 1st. A Saturday. With both kids in tow.

Yes, I am insane!

Apparently not as insane as the marketers for cute baby clothes, though.

Here I am, not even a Christmas decoration in sight at my house - still debating real vs artificial tree, anticipating Christmas and knowing that it is over three weeks away yet.

So imagine my dismay - and honestly, disappointment, to see Valentine's Day clothes for sale in Macys!

Can't we just enjoy life, one lovely season at a time without always rushing to the 'next great thing'?