Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Reflections

I hope all of you, loyal readers, had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (and if you are not from the US, that you had a good week)!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Despite the setback this past August, Judith's been doing really well with her health, and that's a huge blessing.  She still has a few developmental things that need to catch up a bit, but overall she's staying on track for where she should be.  You should hear some of the words she's starting to use, and the sentences she forms!  She's starting to get creative and really use her imagination, and some of the things she comes up with are absolutely hilarious.

Of course there's always the lingering thoughts over what happened 3 years ago, and those will likely always be there.  This year is the first year where it feels like it was such a long time ago, and I think I'm really starting to move past the preemie aspect of her life faster than I thought I would.

Last week I wasn't really looking forward to her birthday, but this week I'm feeling much better about it, and am starting to get excited.  Judith has been asking, "Can I go to my birthday?" for days, ever since we told her that her birthday is coming up.  Her excitement has helped me get excited, so much so that I actually wrapped her birthday presents Thursday night after we got home from our big Thanksgiving feast.  I've always been a procrastinator, but this year I'm on a roll considering I had her birthday and Christmas shopping completed at the end of October, and now have her birthday presents wrapped.

Both John and I are also in more of a Christmas-y mood this year, and it hit earlier than it has in the past few years.  Judith's way more aware of what's going on, and we're now able to do more things that we weren't able to do in the past because of cold/flu season and the precautions we needed to take.  Things like taking her to see Santa, going to Christmas Candy Lane at Hersheypark, and having her help/participate more with our Advent traditions we do at home.  She's loving the Christmas music, seeing things decorated, and has been asking about presents for almost a week.  I do admit that I've held out on playing my Advent and Christmas playlist during the day until yesterday (Friday), because I try to stick to my "not until after Thanksgiving" mantra, but it was extra hard this year with Thanksgiving being so late.  Now if we could get a small covering of snow, that would really make things festive!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One & Done

I've been running out of blogging steam lately, and am at a loss for things to write about.  Judith's still doing well, and I'm very happy about that!  Our lives are seriously kind of boring since we haven't been venturing out as much because of the weather, and there just isn't a lot of indoor options in our area (at least that I'm aware of, and I fully admit I haven't done a lot of research on this).  So rather than bore you with the mundane details of our days, I thought I'd address something that's starting to come up for us.

Judith's going to be 3 in a few weeks, and we've had a few people ask us when we're going to have another baby.  Inquiries haven't been frequent, but they're starting to pop up and I have a feeling it'll start to come up more the older she gets.  This year our situation is something I'm having a harder time with, possibly because this is around the time that we thought we would start to try to have another child.  But if you've been following our story for a while, you'll know that it's something that can't happen.  Oh, the possibility is definitely there for me to actually get pregnant, but it's not advisable for us to risk it.  I have the severe preeclampsia to thank for that.

The majority of people are understanding when we say that Judith will be our only child, and even if they press further we tell them that we can't for medical reasons they accept the response and move on.  There are and always will be the few nosy turds who insist on spreading their agenda no matter what you tell them, and to those people I want to tell them to get a grip, check their filter, and learn a lesson in tact.  I feel fortunate that I haven't encountered many of the second type of people, but I have friends who are one and done who have encountered these types of people so I've been able to build up a small arsenal of responses that are polite yet to the point.

It really doesn't matter if someone is one and done for medical reasons or if it's by choice.  Please don't blow off the person's reasons and tell them they are "selfish" for only having 1, and then go on to say how your child will be "deprived" because they won't have a sibling.  The "selfish" reasoning can sting enough when said to someone who is one and done by choice, but to say it to someone who's one and done for medical reasons?  If you want my honest opinion, that's sinking to a new low, and is equivalent to kicking a dog when they're down.  As for my child being "deprived," I can guarantee you that she is most definitely not deprived of anything.  But thanks for your asinine assessment, random stranger that has absolutely no idea about our life, yet feels the need to go on and on about the "perils" of having only 1 child.

Do I sound a little bitter?  Yep, because I am a little bitter about our situation this year since we're approaching the time when we thought we'd like to start having another child.  I was able to push that reality off for the last couple of years because we were in survival mode or working to get Judith caught up, and the reality of being one and done was put on the back burner.  There's no denying it now, and while I'm starting to get back to a place where I'm ok with it, it's been difficult for the last couple of months.  It feels like the thoughts and emotions that I had after Judith's premature birth, and the grieving process I had to go through for the loss of the last 11 weeks of my pregnancy.

At the same time, I've been having days when I'm glad that the choice to be one and done was made for us by my body, because I have no idea how the heck I'd be able to handle more than 1 kid.  Judith runs me ragged most days, and add her therapies/treatments on top of that, and it's no wonder why I'm usually crashing in my bed by 9:30 or 10:00 at the latest.  I'm sure that if we were able to have another baby, I'd make it work, and we'd be fine.  But then those complex thoughts come back: the thoughts of not being able to have the choice to have another, and at the same time being content with our lives as a family of 3.

So as I run after my soon-to-be preschooler and listen to the crazily hilarious things she's saying these days, I wonder what it would be like to have another child, and wonder how Judith would interact with a sibling, but also feel blessed that we have her and feel content with our situation.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, Flooring, and A Birthday

We had a fun Halloween, even though the weather was unseasonably warm and a bit rainy!  Judith went to houses on 2 blocks before she tired out, and she got a decent amount of candy.  She was so excited to trick or treat, and kept asking me if she could "go to Halloween"!  She's still in love with her Sofia the First costume, and I have a feeling she might insist on wearing it to her birthday party in December (I'm planning a Sofia theme for her).

Over the weekend, she visited her great-grandparents and did some trick or treating with them.  That worked out perfectly, because she was able to stay with my parents for a bit while John & I stayed at the house and worked on some other things while the contractor finished laying our wood floors.  I'm glad that project is done, and the flooring looks great!  Eventually we want to rip the carpeting off the steps and redo that, and I'd love to lay wood in both bedrooms.  We also want to put tile in the upstairs bathroom (to get rid of the hideous '80s linoleum).  This'll likely be an ongoing thing, but it'll help update things!

While the contractors were here, I decided to work on the laundry that was piling up.  Let's just say I learned a good lesson about not overloading the washing machine, because I managed to cause the suspension rod to disconnect, and it created the most awful thudding in the washer.  I had a pretty large load to begin with, but there must've been more stray clothes in the washer before I dumped the basket in so it was a really heavy load.  Luckily John came to the rescue on Sunday and was able to fix it, and now it's running much better!  I was sweating bullets trying to figure out how to get all of my laundry done without a functioning washer, and kept thinking that if we had to call a repair person that it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to fix.

Yesterday we celebrated another birthday!  Miss Lady is now 8 years old, and acts like she's still 4.  I noticed that she's becoming a bit arthritic, particularly when it's been so cold, so it makes playing a bit of a challenge at times.  I've also noticed that she's starting to slow down a bit, but when she has a ball, stick, or other toy to fetch she goes full throttle, and shows the lively spark that's always been there!  It's hard to believe the dogs are already 8, but we're thankful that they're healthy and doing well despite their "senior dog" status.