Friday, February 28, 2014

The little girl that made me a momma is 3

Last weekend was G's third birthday. This is both welcomed and shocking. I "can't believe how big she is" but I also can't believe it's "only" been three years.

I can totally remember life before her, and in some ways my husband and I yearn for those years....because ya'll know being a parent is just tough, especially when they are so demanding of your time and energy....marriages are forever changed by kids. But in way more ways, we are so blessed, lucky, and happy to have her in our life.

This past year was such a huge one of growth for her.

First, she made potty training seem like it was like learning to fly without wings. OMG it was so hard. I'm sure you remember all of those blog posts....
But, she did it, we did it, it was a team effort. No accidents since last summer. Just today she wiped her own bottom for the first time & I had no clue! I was down turning on laundry (I knew she had gone to the bathroom) and when I got upstairs she was flushing! I mean...#cool. Can't wait for that journey with J....not.

Second, she went from barely saying words to telling stories, singing songs, pretending, having a vocabulary of probably thousands of words (who's really sitting there counting?), "reading" books, etc.... She is an individual person with all of these emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas.... I love it. Seriously, I cannot believe she was in my belly just 3 years and 1 week ago. And then for her first 6 months of life she was TOTALLY dependent on me and my milk (God's provision, of course). I kept that little person alive...and now she is thriving. It's so miraculous.

Third, she started sleeping in her 'toddler' bed. She'll probably sleep in that thing for years...she's so petite, I don't know why we'd need to buy a "big kid" bed until she'll too long for it....that won't be until she's probably 6.

Fourth, she started "writing" and "drawing." She's pretty good at tracing letters, but only a few are distinguishable on their own. She draws pictures of stick people, with huge heads of course. She is pretty darn good at coloring within lines, and she can "cut" and use glue.

Fifth, gross motor wise, she's all there. skipping, hopping, dancing, etc...

Her personality is in full force, and it's all her. She's got 90% me and 10% my husband. I told him the other night, what did he expect since he "let me stay home and raise her myself." HAHA... he gets a good deal of quality time with her, though, and plays with her more than most working fathers do. I'm really proud of the effort he takes to be present in her life. I really don't feel like she is lacking in that department, which is good, because I wouldn't accept any less from him. Girls need their fathers. Her relationship with him will have more of an impact on her life than any other human relationship, in my opinion. Yes, her relationship with me or with her brother are very important....it's just my belief that a girl and her father is the relationship where she solidifies her self confidence in "male" subjects (not that I can't model that, it's just my belief that her relationship with her dad solidifies it), where she learns appropriate respect to demand from future love interests, and where she comes to respect or not respect her self worth.

To summarize G at 3---

food-- oatmeal with blueberries is a solid choice, she'd love to eat junky food all the time (like chicken nuggets) but that doesn't happen. She is pretty picky with meat. She likes cereal, eggs, carbs anything (pancakes, muffins, etc...)
song-- ABC song
color-- red
book--currently it's this 5 story collection of Bernstein Bears, but she loves just about any book you give her
show-- daniel tiger and super why
clothing item-- comfy pants
drink-- juice (but she only gets that at breakfast)
snack-- happy family anything, annie's homegrown cookies, fruit, yogurt
friend-- Levi
activity-- doing school cards or pages, she also enjoys playing "big kid" things with us without J around (like jigsaw puzzles, candy land, match game, doll house....)

She doesn't really nap these days, about 2/7 days she takes a nap, other than that it's "quiet time"
She sleeps about 10 hours over night. She takes showers every other day with our help.

least ideal attributes; TANTRUMS, duh. She gets REALLY set in her ways and won't change her mind for anything. Independence....but that's both good and bad. I want her to be independent, so I don't want to "break her of that" but it can be REALLY challenging
best attributes; she's a great helper, a really good big sister, aims to please, for her age is pretty reasonable, she minds me fairly well in public, she's cautious and observative, has a really good attention span

Basically she's really awesome but can throw the biggest fit you've ever seen. It's a passionate person problem. I'm the same way. Still.

For her third birthday I hand crafted a Daniel Tiger theme (thanks to PBS parents for the free printables)

Rare Gene Disorder Day

the two CDPX1 boys in my life & my hubby loving them both
A few years ago, February 29th was deemed Rare Gene Awareness day...since it is such a rare day itself. There is no 2/29 this year, so 2/28 is the date.

J is seeming to be a mild case of chondradysplasia punctata type-1, x-linked. But who knows with these things... something might come up in the future, but we hope that doesn't happen, obviously.

He has a mutated x chromosome, that caused his extremely tiny nasal bridge and cute little smooshy nose. He also has some funky spine bones and some speckling on some other bones that you can only see on X-ray film.

His prognosis is great. He just has to be a little extra cautious with his spine, but no surgeries on it are anticipated right now. We will continue to see his spine doctor once a year to verify this. He sees his ENT doctor 1-2 times a year, as his small nose and airway is the biggest concern right now. He's been snotty all winter, and has been breathing fine (praise God)...he's just a major mouth breather anyways. His hearing seems just fine. So, again, we are really lucky.

Unfortunately almost every other kid with CDPX1 is not this simple. I feel for them and their parents... I just don't understand how one mutated gene produces such variety in affectedness. Everyone of them is making the best life for their kid, and I am in awe of how amazing they all are.

So my observation of Rare Gene Day is less about my baby J (thought I totally acknowledge his uniqueness and 'this could all go wrong in an instant'), it's more about his fellow CDPX1 brothers (and 2 sisters that we know of, thought it's even more rare for an affected female to survive!).

I am a carrier, which means I too have a rare gene... but aren't we all unique in some form or fashion ;-)

The observation of this day is more than just fluff.... check out the website here--- http://globalgenes.org/world-rare-disease-day/

ps. I think the most stressful time with J was the last half of his pregnancy and the first 3 months of his life. It was the uncertainty that was the hardest. God has a special plan for him, and I'm so blessed to be entrusted with his care and upbringing.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Several years ago I wrote a series of blogs about my eating disorder. I also wrote how I hope to help my kids avoid behaviors and emotions that can lead to eating disorders.

I mean....the reality is.... I can't completely prevent that from happening. As much as I will fight tooth and nail to do my best, it comes down to only them. So that kind of sucks, but that's the plight of a parent.

As for me...since it is eating disorder awareness week, and I feel specifically called to catch "you" all up on how I'm doing.

I am better than ever. Literally, I have never been at such a strong place in my life with respect to a relationship with food and my body.

I really attribute this to eating fairly "clean." As I've written before, we really avoid processed foods and I make just about everything from scratch. I'd say we strive for 90/10, but most months hit 85/15.

If I feel good about what's going into my body, how can I feel bad about my body?

As much as I'd love to say I don't care a thing about the scale...I do a little bit. And I think that's okay, because we all need some checks and balances... I want to be healthy, and not throw complete caution to the wind. I do, however, know more than ever how much weight can fluctuate and how 150 pounds on one woman looks healthy and on another it looks too big.

Eating disorders are about so much more than food. They are about paranoia, isolation, control, stress, etc...

I think having an eating disorder is THE ONLY thing in my life I would go back and change. So many negative things happened to me in my life, but I wouldn't change them because they helped me become who I am today.... an eating disorder just plain sucks and I would definitely change that. But it'd be impossible to, because as I wrote in my older blog posts, it started forming at a really young age.

The point of this post is to put it out there that if you are struggling with an eating disorder, you can get through it. There is hope and all you have to do is make a series of positive and life altering decisions. Tell someone about it. Be honest with them and yourself. Make an action plan. Know there will be steps forward and backward. I didn't get to this place over night. My eating disorder was in full force 8 years ago and until last spring, I wouldn't say I was completely "cured." Because I still had disordered eating and negative body thoughts.

My sweet husband has been my rock through it all and he is probably really happy to not hear me be so negative about my body. I love it. Stretch marks and all.

I am;
unfiltered momma of two. eats fairly well and works out a few times a week. flexing in all my glory.
It is my hope that if we talk about eat disorders, more people are likely to step forward and say... hey, you know what? I've been through that, or I'm going through that... and it won't be this big stupid secret thing that people feel like they are alone in. I think we all really need to unite together against societal norms that perpetuate disordered eating and body image.

Making people feel loved is really the key. And it has to start BEFORE eating disorders take hold, because it's much easier to prevent an eating disorder than to get over one. Even when I felt loved by my husband, I still was within the grasp of poor body image and disordered eating.... it took quite a battle to get out from under it completely.

Moral of this blog, love your kids, love your neighbors, stop watching/buying/promoting the culture of thin.