The Boy I Love

Here are a few photos of Teddy... standing strong, cruising more and more and learning to walk with his walker. The boy is a trooper. I'm so glad he is mine -- I'm so in love with the little rascal.


Us Lately

I know I haven't blogged in ages. My apologies. I've been busy! Here's a little mish-mash of photos of late...

Here's Eric and me. In early November, we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary.

Here's Teddy, sweetest baby boy ever. The kid melts my heart a zillion times a day. For real.
He's recently learned to pull himself up from kneeling to standing, which is huge for him!!! Here he is trying to help unload the dishwasher.

The boy LOVES to eat. He's still a bit small for his age (21 lbs., 13 oz. at his last doctor's visit), but the pediatrician says a lower weight is normal for kids who are a little developmentally behind.

 And Miss Greta. So independent. Loves all things Dora, including the shirt she is wearing in this picture. The same shirt you might have heard me mention -- the one that gets dragged from the dirty laundry over and over again. She wants to wear it dirty. One time, she wore it three days in a row. Yes, I know, we're gross.
We had a great Thanksgiving, spent with family and lots of delicious food. Teddy wasn't into his get-up, and that's fine. I only dress him like this because one day he won't let me .

 Here's our Christmas tree. We get a live one each year, and I love it!

 Miss Greta, making the Joseph and Mary Little People kiss. I don't know who teaches her this crap.

 Did I mention he likes to eat?

 Teddy is doing physical therapy 2-3 times a week, and he's learning to crawl. So far, he's mastered slithering on the floor. It's pretty cute, even if it's not what the PTs want him to do. Lately he's started getting up on all fours. We're elated with his progress!
 Meanwhile, he loves loves loves the computer.

They love each other.

 but maybe not so much with the matching jammies!?
 Greta had her first pre-k Christmas concert. She was an angel. Oh, the irony! Ha!

 Christmas brings out other props, too, like the Santa hat.
 We got together with friends and made gingerbread houses. Mommy did most of the decorating while Greta taste-tested the candies.

I hope to write more soon. Hope anyone reading this is having a low-key holiday!



Greta - October 2011

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Teddy - October 2011

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Teddy's First Haircut

Teddy had his first haircut this past weekend. He was overdue, as shown in this first photo where he looks like he's growing a mullet. You can tell by the second photo that he didn't enjoy it much. I just sat there and prayed he didn't get poked in the eye by those sharp sheers. (He did not.) 




And back to his happy little self!


The Heart of Life

Today marks one year since we first met with Teddy's neurologist and received news that his illness may be fatal.

Those words -- THAT word, the F word -- it's a hard one to type, even 365 days later. At the time, the neurologist was unsure of Teddy's diagnosis. It could have been a life-threatening genetic disease or a bad virus. Even though we now know that his illness was an enterovirus that caused the encephalitis.

The day of finding out that the results of our son's brain MRI contained massive white matter. I type that and can't even come up with a comprehensive sentence because I can't get past the prepositional part of it. I guess the verb is that it was the scariest moment of our lives, one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, one where I'm glad I married my best friend and had him right at my side to get through the terror.

That moment that led up to many more moments of waiting has bruised my heart forever, I must admit. That bruise, though, is also surrounded by a toughness that I never knew was there. I wish I could say it was all me, that me, myself and I am just some super strong force that can't be reckoned with, but that's a lie. The truth is, there's a circle of people, friends and family and even complete strangers, who prayed and prayed for our son's well being. Countless thoughts and prayers later, here we are at a year. Teddy is alive and well. Thank you, God.

This past weekend we celebrated Teddy's life with friends and family. It was a party to wish him a happy birthday, but it was also our way of saying thank you to all those dear to us who reached out and got us through the darkest hours.

There's a song that I sang to Teddy while he was in the hospital. It's not ever played on mainstream radio so many may not know it. It's John Mayer's Heart of Life. I've copied the song's lyrics below. It says exactly so many things that I thought and felt and still think and feel. Pain threw our hearts to the ground, and it hasn't all gone away even though it should. Bad news never did have good timing, no; but Eric and I have a circle of friends who've defended the silver lining. For them, I am forever grateful. There are no words for me to ever adequately thank each person, but I hope you can hear it in the sincerity of my voice and the lingering embrace of my hug. Only life is good. And THAT is because of our circle of friends and family.

So, tonight, when I say bedtime prayers, my first and foremost will be for Teddy's health, closely followed by thanksgiving for all of you.

I hate to see you cry
Laying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen

Pain throws you heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But then the circle of your firends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good

I know it's good. 


All Is Well

Teddy met with his pediatrician for his one-year checkup yesterday. He measures 30 inches long and 20 pounds, 14 ounces in weight. The nystagmus in his eyes has tamed down, and his ears look great. To hear that your child is growing adequately is music to any parent's ears, yes. But in our situation, where I worry nonstop whether he is growing or developing -- well, I used all my will to not fist bump the nurse.

For those who do not know, Teddy is developmentally behind. This is a result of a bad viral infection that went to his brain and caused brain injury when he was just two weeks old. When Teddy was so sick at that time, he suffered from seizures and was placed on anti-seizure medication. That medication made him very lethargic and groggy for the first six+ months of his life. The medication, in addition to the effect the injury had on his brain, has slowed him down just a bit.

But the good news is this -- despite any hurdles he's encountered, there have never been setbacks. He continues to move forward and learn and do what babies are supposed to do. 

At the end of the appointment, Eric asked the doctor, "Can you answer one thing for my wife, to help settle her nerves? Is he going to be okay?"

And -- without hesitation -- the doctor said he believes Teddy will  be just fine. Sure, he admitted that progress will be slow. So I asked if he'd walk and go to kindergarten, in which the doctor replied that he believed he would.

This past year has been a year of slow, and although there are times I don't know how much more I can handle, I know that I can and that I will continue to handle whatever comes our way. I owe it to my little guy. I can handle slow for him. I can handle slow knowing that the doctor thinks that in time, he's going to be just fine.


Happy 1st Birthday, Teddy!

Teddy turned one this past weekend. We celebrated small and are saving the big celebration for Labor Day weekend when all my sisters can be here. Here he is devouring his smash cake. He might be small, but the boy loves his food!


Greta's a Preschooler

Today was Greta's first day of pre-k. She goes every week day for half a day. Other than me taking photos outside sans bra or combed hair, the whole thing was rather uneventful. Still, for scrapbooking purposes (!!!) I HAD to take photos!

What I Wake Up to In the Morning

This face. How could you not resist being at least somewhat happy in the morning if this is what you saw first thing?! Teddy usually sleeps until about 7:30, but on the days that he gets up earlier, he just lays in bed chattering to himself until we come to get him. He's the easiest baby ever, bless his little heart. And when we go in to get him, he just lights up like its been ages since he last saw us. It's absolutely precious, I must say.


For Sale: 11 Bum Genius Cloth Diapers


Hello, August

August is a big month for us. It marks a year since Teddy arrived into this crazy world, and it's the month in which Greta begins preschool. Real school. Like not mom's day out or play at the YMCA and jump and tumble. I'm talking with a pre-K curriculum and stuff. I'm talking I just bought a big girl back pack from Pottery Barn Kids, and the little miss will soon be toting it to and from her five-days-a-week preschool program.

I'm talking lots of big girl steps for Miss Greta, as she works on potty training and keeping big girl undies dry. Just this last month, we decided to push the envelope, so to speak, and work on getting her potty trained. We felt a little (okay, A LOT) of pressure because one of preschool's requirements is to be potty trained.) Greta has gotten the hang of things pretty fast. She tells us when she has to go and does a pretty good job at staying dry with the exception of nap time and night time, when she wears a Pull-Up.

Greta talks big-girl talk, too, telling me that such-and-such is her favorite thing or she really likes this or that. She has an opinoin about everything, and while nothing much has changed with the basic concept of that, what HAS changed is that she is now able to convey what her opinion is, and sometimes, well, sometimes that's not pretty. She thoroughly enjoys climbing on things like the kitchen table and other household furniture, and she gets a kick out of screaming random things at the top of her lungs.

Later this month, Teddy turns one year old. I always say, if you want to fast forward your life, have a kid, and this one has been no exception. I can't believe that a year ago, I was freaking out about what to do with a little baby boy, how I was going to juggle motherhood of two, could I, would I survive? And I have.

It's been the roughest year of my life, but it's been the most rewarding, too. Sure, with all the physical and occupational therapies and other miscellaneous appointments my social calendar is busier than ever, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. The little man lights up my life with his big six-toothed grin. And he's now doing tricks. Like he sits up for short periods of time, and he slithers on the floor to get to things. And just recently, he learned to clap, and he has also learned to hold his own bottle. He's behind, yes, but he's right on target in my heart.