Sunday, March 25, 2012

Awesome sauce

Friday evening I was upstairs in a room when I heard the sounds of Molly close by. Since she was watching tv when I went upstairs, I became concerned she was stuck on the stairs and asked the eldest to locate her. When she couldn't find her I came into the hallway at the top of the stairs, where we found Molly sitting by the girls' door!!!

After recovering from the heart attack, I picked her up, and she just started clapping. Of course it turned into a celebration for the whole family. I was so proud of her!!! And doing it only a few days after her therapist and I were trying to figure out what bump in the road Molly was hitting with her gross motor skills.

I told Adam I think Molly just missed her therapist. Once she got her fix, she was ready to go again. Another big step forward for our little Chubbylumkins! Now to put up the baby gate and work on standing....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This and That

Another big week at our house. Last Friday was my 11th anniversary. Since we just got back from San Francisco we didn't do anything big, but we did end up with a baby-sitter and got to go out for a little while. It's crazy to see how far we've come together now. Especially the past couple of years. Trials and challenges have kept us on our toes, but really brought us closer together at the same time. Yay for us!

Last week also marked the beginning of us doing P90X together. Even though I'm super sore, I've been pleasantly surprised at how well I'm keeping up with everything. Adam is still working on it. It is much more intense than what he used to, and he has to take it easy with a bum knee still. The hardest part of doing it with him is that we have to do it at night after the kids are in bed. I've never been a night exerciser, so it's really messed with my sleeping patterns. It's fun to do it together though, and I think Adam has gained a new appreciation for the effort I put into it last summer. Hopefully we'll both be feeling great and looking ready for the summer when we're done.

Yesterday was physical therapy for Molly. We talked a lot about her lack of progression in her gross motor skills. She's getting so much better at putting weight on her left leg, and her crawling is much smoother now, but she's basically refused to try walking or going up the stairs for the past month or so. There's a part of me that's freaking out a little bit, but my 'mommy radar' tells me there's nothing to worry about.

After observing her for a while, her therapist noticed that when she does attempt to walk her left foot is turning completely out and then she rolls from the outside to the inside of her foot. We are hoping this can get corrected by wearing shoes, so now Molly is a shoe wearing little bitty. They really throw her off. For the first hour she just stared at them. It was pretty funny.

Another thing mentioned was that sometimes people with brain damage can't progress in verbal and gross motor skills at the same time. It's like it's too hard to focus on both simultaneously or something. Tiffany said she's seen it in toddlers sometimes-they start talking, but go totally silent before and during any attempt at walking. So it could be that Molly's brain is focusing on language right now because let me tell you, that girl is babbling ALL DAY LONG lately. She's even started waking up in the middle of the night just to babble for an hour or so. It's so stinkin' cute, but I was really hoping for a quiet baby for once.

The third scenario that was brought up was that there might be fluid building up on her brain. I mentioned that her head jumped another line in head size at her last check up after going down for a little while. At this point she wears about the same hat size as me. Tiffany said if that's the case, it would be changing her sleeping habits, making her fussy all the time, and basically stop her gross motor progression. I countered all the symptoms with 'she's also trying to teeth several incisors right now'. Which also makes perfect sense. So it was left that we'll watch it closely and I am having a little sit down with her pediatrician at her next check up(he already warned me that if it goes up again, we'll probably need to do an MRI just to make sure nothing's going on).

Moments like this make me thankful for my 'mommy radar'. Doctors and therapists are great. And they've helped our family a ton, but it's not the same thing as truly KNOWING a person like I know Molly. My heart tells me she's ok, so I've decided that's what I'm moving forward with. Her behavior is more in line with a true toddler lately, and to me that shows that her brain is cruising along. It just might be at a different pace than 'normal'.

So far I haven't completely given in to the stress and caved to the comfort food. I do feel like last week I was on top of the world and this week I'm struggling to keep my head above water. The groove I found last week apparently didn't last very long. I'm thinking a vacation or trip every month is probably overdoing it. I'm kind of excited to get back from Texas and have a couple of months to figure everything out and find my rhythm again. At the same time, the trips and getaways have done wonders for me mentally and emotionally.

At the end of the day, life is good.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today was a big day. But first, a touch of backstory. At Molly's therapy session last Tuesday we did another evaluation. When it was done, her therapist said she's catching up on everything but gross motor (walking) and receptive learning, meaning she understands sounds have meaning and can put them together. Her suggestions to help her with this included giving her simple commands, then demonstrating them over and over; talking her through anything considered a routine; and repeating everything she says over and over again. The desired outcome is to understand if we ask to her get a toy or something, and to start stringing words together to form a thought.

Which brings us to this morning.

Adam put his shoes on, and we said family prayer. As soon as we were finished Molly started saying 'bye' and waving her hand. Adam, being the amazing father he is, starting getting super excited that she was trying to talk to him. After about ten seconds she did it again, only this time it was "bye!...BYE DAD!!"

I couldn't be prouder! It truly is the simple things that have the most meaning.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


This past week has given me so many things I needed at this point in my life. Adam went to San Francisco for the Game Developer's Conference (or GDC), and I was able to tag along Wednesday thru Saturday. My in-laws were awesome enough to come stay with our kids to give us a true break. The trip showed me a lot of things, starting with:

1. My life doesn't have to be totally consumed with Molly. And that's what the past 18 months have been. I didn't realize just how much of my existence revolved around her and her health until I was completely surrounded by people who truly could not care less or only wanted to hear she is doing okay. By Saturday I was even coming up with other things to talk about with Adam's co-workers when we went out. It was actually refreshing.

2. There is a side of me that's a city girl. In all honesty, I had a total anxiety attack when I was packing Tuesday night. I feel like I've almost become borderline agoraphobic after the past couple of years. And I've never done well in big cities. When Adam and I went to Seattle on our honeymoon, we ended up hiding in a movie theater for an entire day. No joke. But this time I feel like I thrived on all the energy from the city and jumped right in. I barely hesitated when I was on my own for a half day, and ended up having a great time exploring. Which leads me to...

3. I still have the worst sense of direction on the planet. Adam and I jokingly referred to my lost exploits as 'just wanting to meander a little more'. Without a map, the GPS on my phone, and several nice strangers I would've ended up lost in Canada I think.

4. Adam and I actually got to enjoy being just a couple again. And it was awesome. One other wife came too, so I had girl time for shopping, we had some couple dates, and we hung out with Adam's co-workers a few times. It was so nice to stroll past an art gallery and decide to go in and not worry about kids ruining things or smudging the glass or whining to go back. We even made our very first art investment purchase!!!! We can't wait for it to arrive. The artist is even Korean, so he is putting the dedication on the back in Korean for Adam. There was another piece we both LOVED, but with a price tag of $21,000 I think we'll just admire it from a far.

5. I really like going to restaurants. With our family vacations, I usually plan our meals so we only eat out for lunch, and even then not every day. It was fun to not worry about price or time, just quality of the food. And we definitely found some amazing food.

6. Riding a bike is freakin' hard in San Francisco. I thought I was in pretty good shape still until this. We rented bikes on Thursday morning and ended up going around the wharfs and piers, across the Golden Gate bridge, then down into Sausalito. It was about 10 miles, and it wore us out big time. Probably the highlight of the trip though. It was beautiful to explore the city and the bridge like that.

To add a little bit of journaling to this post, I have to jot down a little timeline for my sake. Wednesday I flew out there and I took Bart to the hotel. I was so proud of myself that I didn't end up on the wrong train. When I met Adam, we had dim sum for lunch, then I spent the afternoon arranging for a repair guy to come fix our dishwasher. That night we explored Fisherman's Wharf, had dinner at McCormick & Kaluto's, then dessert at Ghiradelli Square. We took my first taxi ride back to the hotel and he was the driver from hell. I seriously almost lost my dinner to his crazy driving. Adam just laughed and told me he was Korean, and that's how all Korean drivers are.

Thursday morning we got an early start on the bike ride. It was beyond amazing. There was no wind at all, so we could just enjoy everything and take it in. Going across Golden Gate bridge on bike gave me a much better appreciation for its architecture and design. When we arrived in Sausalito we decided we didn't have time to ride back (the hill back to the bridge would've been impossible), so we explored the bedroom community and took a ferry back across the bay. Adam found the world's best ice cream, and I found a ton of fun souvenirs for the kiddos. When we got back Adam went to his conference and I met up with an old friend I haven't seen in YEARS. It was so fun catching up with him, and he got me a pass for the conference and tickets for the session I wanted to go to with Adam. That night we went out with all the ChAIR guys to Lark Creek Steak. It was delicious and we ended up staying till they closed just talking and laughing. Awesomeness.

Friday I 'meandered' around and got the rest of the souvenirs for the kiddos, then met up with Adam and my old friend for lunch. We had the best pizza I've ever had. Seriously. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Anyways, that afternoon I experienced Chinatown with the other wife from ChAIR. It was not what I was expecting, but really interesting. That night we went to dinner with all the Epic people at Joe's Crab Shack. It was really nice getting to know their employees a little better. After dinner, we went back to Ghiradelli Square one last time and wandered through an art gallery where we made our first big art purchase. It'll be an awesome souvenir for us for a long time to come. We even made a late night of it and saw John Carter at the theater next to our hotel.

Saturday we actually felt like eating breakfast, so we went to a place several people recommended and had the best french toast ever. We had some time before we had to leave, so we went to Alcatraz Island. I was really surprised at how much history that little island actually has, above and beyond the federal prison. We had a blast just exploring everything. On our way back to the hotel I finally saw a glimpse of the San Francisco I was holding my breath for...a nudist group doing a bike ride through the city with a police escort. It took a minute to figure out what was going on. Honestly, all I could think of for the women was, that has GOT to hurt(referring to the whole no bra thing, and it was close to freezing). We laughed the whole way back, had lunch, then made our way to the airport.

Overall, it was a great wake-up call for me. I came home much better focused on what I need to do for me, for us, and for our family. It was great to have a family day today to get settled back in again. Molly's health issues of the past few weeks now seem like little hiccups instead of massive stress inducers. I have a renewed sense of needing to get my family out of the house and active. I finally convinced Adam to do P90X with me, so we're starting tomorrow. I feel like it's 'game on' all over again and I can't wait!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Little Perspective

This past week has been one of those weeks. You know, the kind that leave you beating yourself up for not being more proactive, a better cook, a better house cleaner, a more patient mother, etc. Things are great, except for my attitude kind of weeks? Yeah, that kind. I find myself having little to no self control over food and then beat myself up over it mentally. Molly is doing SOOOOO much better, as are all of the kids, but Adam just keeps getting more and more sick.

Then good ol' Sunday creeps up on you. A day to breathe, take a step back, and realize I just need to calm down. At church I watched two little girls just Molly's age play with each other and felt my heart breaking just a little bit when I realize that Molly is no where NEAR where they are physically or developmentally. Much closer than she was a few months ago, but still has so far to go. So many struggles we need to figure out.

As I looked through our camera I realized that our other kids have picked up on the obsession with documenting Molly and her progression. Almost every picture and video is of her. So much of our lives really do revolve around her. I'm trying to be better about focusing on each child individually every day, but apparently the documentation of that is seriously lacking. Thankfully, the big kids still love and adore Molly and are still her biggest cheerleaders. Which reminds me of how blessed I am to have children so willing to grow in ways they shouldn't have to yet, and so willing to find the joy in simple things.

Then I log onto facebook to see if anyone in the support group has responded to a small question I posted and real perspective settles in. A brand new dad of a 6 week old is facing a decision I pray every night(literally) I never have to make...let his new baby pass away peacefully or fight for a 6 organ transplant with a long waiting list and low chance of survival. Just thinking of the agony of this new dad and mom completely breaks my heart and has tears streaming down my face.

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of perspective to remind you what truly matters and life is beyond amazing, even with all the frustrations.