Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009 - Update

My daddy is finally home! Don't I look like a big girl?

This dress was a present from a special person. It reminds me that God is awesome. ;)

Snacks? What snacks?

Are those butterflies on my jumper?

We're both glad that daddy is finally home. He was at a Microsoft convention in New Orleans all week. Not too fun to have a guinea pig die while he's gone as I usually don't have to deal with that sort of thing. Luckily, my dad was over when I found Taryn and he took care of everything and buried her outside. Ryan felt bad that my dad had to do it, but I reminded him that someday if Olivia's husband is out of town and her guinea pig dies. . .I'm sure he would do the same. Ryan got home and I put him to work making our March for Babies t-shirts. We have about 8 shirts down and. . .quite a few left to go. I still haven't been able to find plain toddler size shirts, but I'm still looking. Although today was the original deadline, it's not too late to request one. I still have a couple of sizes that I need to pick up this week.

I haven't felt quite as "energized" the last few days. I felt really good for about a week and then I'm not quite sure what happened. It's always hard having Ryan gone and not having the extra help from him. I do appreciate everyone who came over to help and to keep us company, however. In other news, I got carded the other day at Office Depot while buying canned air. Yep, you have to be 18 years of age. . . .and I'm. . .well, much older than that. It must be the new thing that teenagers are abusing these days. So, even though I feel like I'm 80 years old and have been through a lifetime of pain and heartbreak. . .I guess you can't tell too much. That's always a good thing. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Olivia the Genius

video

Okay, so maybe I just know my daughter so well that I know her favorite letters and the order that she likes them. Maybe she really understands or maybe it's a combination of both. Either way, I still think it's pretty impressive.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009 - Update

Hello there new friend!
Are you real?

I dusted off the 'ole Fur Real Friends Luv Cub today to see what Olivia thought of it. Yes, it was mine. . .that I got as an adult. . .don't make fun, I thought he was adorable. Hmmm. . .can you not buy the Panda anymore except as a collectible? Olivia thought he was pretty fun and would sniff when he did. Still not as great as Funshine Bear, but not everything can be yellow. Next up. . .Furby.

Now, a subject that's been weighing on my heart . . I have often been confused about the purpose of prayer. Surely, if it truly worked, God would have heard my pleadings and saved my son. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pray. . .I only question as to whether it makes a difference in outcomes. The other day, as I was staring at my amazing daughter, I became angry with myself. Every day, I experience one of God’s great miracles and one of the greatest prayers ever answered. I prayed every single day for the chance to be a mother and I am. It was a very difficult journey, but I am a mother nonetheless. After Logan died, I prayed and prayed for God to allow me to keep my precious Olivia and He did. I firmly believed that He healed her because every day there is less evidence of her premature birth. Sometimes when I talk with other preemie moms, I even feel guilty that she is doing so well and has escaped many of the disabilities that being born 17 weeks early can bring. I wonder why God couldn’t do the same with every premature baby or why they are even born so early at all? I’m sure others wonder why they have their son and I do not. Or, why their children were born full term and mine were not. I wonder why infertility, premature birth and infant mortality even exist. These are questions that I will never be able to answer. There is a part of me that will always be angry about losing Logan and a part of me that will always be empty. But, Olivia fills me with so much hope and happiness and love and I’m so grateful for that.

I do know that Olivia’s life is a miracle and a testament to God’s goodness. Her life has inspired so many and truly is an answer to prayer. I think many people go through life completely uninspired and devoid of the emotions needed to feel anything. Olivia seems to bring that goodness out of people. I love sharing her story. I love for people to be able to experience her love of life and her smile and her laugh and exuberance. . .something that I can’t always relay on the blog. She’s amazing. . .the perfect daughter that I always wanted, my miracle and an amazing answer to prayer. I love you, Olivia Paige!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our New Project

For those wondering what our new household project was. . .here it is. We've decided to paint the interior walls starting with the entryway. This is huge because Ryan is a very white walls kind of guy who hates doing anything with walls. . . painting, hanging pictures or blinds, etc. On Sunday, he looked at me and said, "If you wanted to paint the entryway, we could do that today." I had to take him up on the offer, especially since I finally had the energy to do it myself. I'm so excited, especially since I can't stand to stare at the same white walls any longer. Who knows when we'll finally finish it all, but it's a great start!

BEFORE
DURING

COMPLETED


And Then There Were Three. . .

Taryn as a baby.
Taryn, the lioness

Taryn, the lounger.

My sweet Taryn, you'll be missed.

Well, I thought things were going a little too well lately. Tonight I went downstairs, like normal, to take care of the guinea pigs and I found that one of my girls. . .sweet Taryn. . .had passed away. She was almost 6 years old, but it was totally unexpected. She is always the first one waiting at the bars for her treats and last night was no exception. I knew something was wrong, however, when she didn't come out of her little timber house tonight. At least whatever it was, it went fast and she looked comfortable when she passed.

When Taryn was about 2 years old, she nearly died. We had to syringe feed her and care for her around the clock for a couple of days. As a young guinea pig, she was never very affectionate. After that rough patch that she went through, it was as if she realized that we saved her life. Ever since then, she loved attention and would flop down to be petted. If I had ever decided to show guinea pigs, she would have been my star. She was just a beautiful guinea pig, so photogenic, so sweet and will be forever missed. I hate this. . .I'm just so sad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - Update

Is that what I think it is?
Yum!

Mommy hid snacks in my learning chair!

We met with Olivia's speech pathologist today and it went really well. She believes that Olivia is on the verge of talking. . .she mimics sounds very well. I was so proud of Olivia for being able to show her the horse, bird (cheep-cheep) and frog when asked. I tell ya, Olivia is super smart. She amazes me sometimes with the things that she is able to do. We are now working on body parts and more purposeful play. I've been so thrilled that she started using her arms, grabbing toys and shaking them. . .I haven't worked too hard on making sure she's playing with them appropriately. We're trying to stack rings (instead of just taking them off) and placing items in containers. Her speech pathologist made a suggestion about starting to offer her choices. . .even at this age. It's working really well. I asked her if she wanted the Yogurt Melts or Crunchies. She reached for the Yogurt Melts (of course.) This helps build up her vocabulary and also helps her feel like she has some control. No drinking from a straw yet today, so I'm hoping yesterday wasn't just a fluke.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Look At What I Can Do!!!


Tonight, for the first time. . .Olivia drank out of a straw! Every time Kerry comes over, Olivia does something extraordinary. She'll eat minestrone soup, pizza, chicken parmesan. . .only when Kerry is here. Tonight Kerry came over and Olivia drank out of a straw. She seemed interested in my straw, so I filled up her honey bear cup with orange juice. I gave it a few squeezes, she caught on and started sucking all by herself. This is huge and something we've been trying for months. She usually doesn't let us put the straw anywhere near her mouth. I'm just beaming with pride. Great job baby girl!! Oh, and Kerry? You're going to have to come visit every day from now on. Who knows what Olivia will do next!

I've been hesitant to give her orange juice or any kind of juice for that matter, but I also want her to be interested in drinking from a straw. I diluted it with water as I know some kids have problems with the acidity of orange juice. She seemed to absolutely love it, however, so how do I deprive her of it? She probably just likes it because it looks sort of yellow. :) Do most of you dilute orange juice for your toddlers? How much water to juice do you use? Any advice on the topic is appreciated.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009 - Update

Why can't I be outside?
I really love the color yellow.

Enjoying my pony

So, I thought I would talk a bit about my newfound rejuvenation. . .it's amazing. There are certain fleeting moments where I don't think I have felt so good since high school. I still can't quite describe how tired I was. . .it was beyond tired. . .sort of like making it through each day only half-alive. It was awful. Every day, all I wanted to do was sleep and all I could think about was when I could rest again. I don't know what finally helped or whether it will continue helping, but for those interested in what I have tried, send me an email. Whether the adrenal fatigue finally improved or whether it was severe depression that was finally addressed. . . I don't know. But, the past 18 months have been brutal on me and the years of infertility before that took their toll as well. I know that I will still have my not so good days, but I praise God for the energy to be the kind of wife and mother that I have always dreamed of being. Thank you all for your kind words and please pray that I continue to feel better.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009 - Update

Me and my hubby
Our little family

We always try to snap a family picture when we can, although we've learned that we probably won't get Olivia to smile in them. We're just happy if she stays somewhat still and is facing the right direction. And, sometimes we have to bribe her with some money.

Today was an absolutely fabulous day. I haven't felt so energetic in years! It is beyond amazing, but that is for another post. Grandma and Grandpa Sailing came over to watch Olivia while Ryan and I ate some Mongolian barbecue at HuHot. Then, we ran a bunch of errands and just enjoyed being together. Later, we decided to embark on a new household project. One set of grandparents left at 4 pm and the other set came over at 4:30 pm so that Ryan and I could get started . . .it was totally spur of the moment. You'll have to wait a few days to find out what our new project is. I've waited almost 8 years to get Ryan to agree to this. Olivia enjoyed seeing all of her grandparents and I haven't seen her so worn out in a long time. She went to sleep at her normal 8:30 pm time (which would have been 7:30 pm.)

Don't forget to read the previous post about our March of Dimes t-shirts and be sure to let me know if you would like to purchase one.