Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Testing, testing, one... two... three

This last week, we got a letter from R's school asking us to meet with the speech therapist, her teacher, and the principal for an update on how she is doing in school and over all.

Jeff wasn't able to go because he was still recovering from strep A. He was still considered contagious so he was still in quarantine. On a side note, it is one thing to be apart from your spouse because of distance. It is something entirely different when you are under the same roof and can't talk, touch, or anything. Very tough!

Anyway, the speech therapist started off the meeting with the fact that I had suggested that R be tested for more than speech because she has such as hard time being able to stay on task at any given time. The speech therapist thought that R should be tested as well (as did her teacher). R isn't failing in anything but she's cutting it very close in Math. She is reading at grade level and doing well with phonics, etc. The problem is that she has a very difficult time with concepts and grasping things. She doesn't get it when you ask her who was swinging in a swing. Her answer was "swing". Math is challenge because of this.

So, she will be tested in March (the testing schedule is full for the month of Feb) and we will hopefully get the results sometime in March.

Please pray that R will get the help that she needs.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A new addition - in the works

As most of you have probably figured out by now, we are expecting! :) This came after a lot of prayers and thought from Jeff and I.

We initially planned on waiting about 3 months after we got married to try. We knew that there would be a lot of adjustments from all of us (and in some ways, we are still adjusting - smoothly tho). We also knew that we didn't want to wait too long either. After all, I'm 37 and we both didn't really want to have little ones still at home when we're in our 60's! :)

After we got married, we decided that we would just leave it all up to God and let things go on His timing. The first 2 months were tough because each month, I would have prego symptoms, get all excited and then get disappointed. So, in December, I had the prego symptoms early again but had to keep reminding myself not to get my hopes up too much but my cycle never started in Jan! Major excited and Jeff was excited but wanted us to get "confirmed" from a doctor before saying anything.

Finally got the "confirmation" this last Wed so, Jeff and I told our families (and the kids). R was sooo excited! She has already asked if it's going to be a girl and if she can get bunk beds when the baby is old enough for a big girls bed. LOL. J is clueless and could care less. My mom wasn't really surprised about the news (as was my dad). K and G seem to be happy about it and Jeff's family and friends are super excited.

Many won't understand what this means to me so, I'll try to put it this way. After J was born, I was so thankful to have him and still have a little bit of Donovan still (as I feel that I do with R as well). I also felt robbed. Robbed of hopes and dreams of our growing family. Donovan and I hadn't talked about having more than 2 seriously but three was a good number for me. When I got rid of all of R's and J's infant cloths, that feeling of loss hit hard. While friends at church were either starting their families, (or adding on) I was happy for them but not completely. I knew I'd never have that chance again (or at least that what I thought at the time.... I now know differently!). After Donovan had been gone for a little over 2 years, I had finally accepted the fact that I should be content with my two (which I was) and just make the best of it for them. Sometimes, if we just let God do things on His time rather than when WE think they should be, we just might get surprised. :)

Jeff and I had talked about having little ones while we were dating and we knew that even if we didn't have any children together, we would adopt. The 2nd time that I had experienced prego symptoms and then having that fall through, I started praying that (Lord willing) we would be able to adopt when the timing was right for Him. I made myself stop "trying on my own" and left it all to Him. Worry can be such a health hazard sometimes (if you let it). So, yes, I'm super excited about the upcoming journey (and all the changes THAT will entail) and well as what this means for our family as a whole.

More to follow.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Years - 2012!

New Year's Eve, Jeff and I managed to stay up and see the New Year in. The next evening was a wake up call for me.

R had woken up on New Year's Day and wanting some sort of party to celebrate the first day of the New Year (which she didn't get) but, we did spend time with our spiritual family which was wonderful. In the afternoon, I got the "brilliant" idea of having Jeff, R and I being able to sit down and talk about what we were most thankful for from the past year and what we look forward to and/or goals for the coming year.

Once we got J down for the night, we sat at the kitchen table and I started everything off in telling Jeff and R what I was most thankful for this past year and some goals that I have set for myself as well as what I would like to see implemented in the family in goals (ie: more organized, cleaner rooms, etc).

When it was R's turn, I asked her what she was most thankful for from this past year. She said "I don't know". We then talked about what she enjoyed the most over the past year and she brought up some good points. What hit me hard was that she didn't seem to be thankful for anything really. I then thought back to nights when R would be thankful for every single thing that she could think of and would have a long list when we had our night time prayer (this was back when Donovan was still alive).

I then realized that R and I haven't done our night time prayers like we used to. I felt bad about that realization. How are our children going to learn to be thankful to God for everything that He gives us if we don't teach them? I made up my mind that we were going to start back to the night time prayers again. So, right before bed, I asked R if she had had a good day (which we usually talk about every night anyway). Then I asked her what she was thankful for today. R: I don't know. Me: Well, we need to thank God for all the things we've been given and enjoy. R: Why? (after a few moments of silent prayer for the right words) Me: We say thank you whenever we're given something right? R: Yes. Me: Well, God probably likes to hear a thank you from us each day for everything that He gives us. R: Oh. Ok. Me: Ok, so what are you thankful for? R: My friends at school and at church, and Memaw and Papaw. Me: Ok, so do you want me to say the prayer or do you want to? R: You do it.

So, I said a short prayer but my heart kinda sank. After giving R a hug and kiss good-night, I told Jeff (in a nutshell) what was said and then explained that R used to go on and on with things that she was thankful for before Donovan's death. Once we got back home (from staying with K and G for about a month) I started the good-night prayers again but, her response was a very strong and resounding "NOTHING". I eventually stopped doing the good-night prayers and now felt like I had let her down. I felt like I hadn't been the kind of example that I should have been in my own prayer life for her to see for the last 2 years and now she came across as 'why even bother' type attitude.

Jeff and I talked about it for a while and I knew I had my work cut out for me. I was going to help her realize how blessed she really is. I realize that she still has a hard time wrapping her mind around everything that has happened in the last 3 years and that it's all going to take a lot of love and time. Sometimes, when people have their heads bowed down for so long, they forget to look up and appreciate the sunshine. I know she is much happier now that she has been the last two years and that it's going to take some time for her to get there completely. She has changed so much from 2008 to now and I know she will keep growing into a beautifully hearted young lady with lots of love and support from us, her family, and her friends.

More to follow.....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stopping me in my tracks (mentally anyway)

The day we headed back home to Searcy was tough in many aspects.

One thing was that K cried twice just before we left. I know it's very difficult for them sometimes to let go of the kids. They change soo much in such a short amount of time! J is developing his own little personality and sometimes, it's hilarious (case in point: Tonight, we learned that he is a comedian and will stop for a second or two and get himself into character - and he's going to be 3 next month!).

The other tough part happened the night before we left Texas. R was very upset that we were going back and didn't want to leave Memaw and Pawpaw. When I was tucking her in for the night, we had the following discussion.
R: I don't want to go back to Searcy (all said while in tears). Me: Why?? R: I want to stay and live with Memaw and Pawpaw. Me: Well, we have to be where Daddy is and Daddy's work is in Searcy. R: Well, when Daddy dies, can we move back to Texas? Me: (BIG HUGS) Sweetie, hopefully, that won't happen for a long, long time. You and J have a lot of fun with Daddy. Does Daddy make you feel happy? R: Yes (grinning). Me: Does Daddy make you feel safe and loved? R: Yes. He's funny too (some laughter coming up from both of us). Me: Did you like your school here in Texas? R: No! The teachers I had didn't like me very much. Me: Do you like the teachers in Searcy? R: Yes! My teachers like me and they help me! Me: Do you have lots of friends at school and at church and in our neighborhood? R: Yes! (she then started naming various friends that she's made in the last 4 months). Me: Do you think they would be happy or sad if you stayed here and didn't go back home with us? R: I would miss them but I miss my friends here too. Me: It's good to miss people we care about sometimes. R: Why?? Me: Because it shows them that we love and care about that and it makes our visits with them that much more special. R: (big grins)...OOOOOHhhhhhh! So, when can we come back? Me: I don't know. We'll have to look at the calender and see how things look. R: Ok (sighs) Mommy, I'm tired. Can I go to sleep now and keep growing? Me: Definitely! *hugs, kisses (but not too many kisses) and several good night's*

The whole part of her saying "when daddy dies, can we move back to Tx" make me cry for her. I told Jeff about it and he showed some concern for her (as well as for me). Both of us realized that she's still afraid of opening up completely to Jeff and that's ok. There is no set time to accept people and we don't want to make her feel that she HAS to like (or love) Jeff. The downside is that we can just pray she doesn't idealize Donovan to the point that Jeff will never be able to live up to those ideals (whether they are actual or not).

Each day, there's something that either one (or both) of the children are discovering about themselves, each other, Jeff, or me. We are all learning how to work as a team and doing so in a loving way. Sure, there are tough moments (what family doesn't have those... Right?) but, we get through them and become better people because of those moments. Live, laugh, love and the world will be a better place.

More to follow.....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas '11

We went to K and G's for Christmas and stayed for about a week. Christmas eve was a bit nerve wracking but, it all went well in the end.

The reason was because Margie (G's mom) had Christmas dinner with us and was able to open up presents along with the kids (something she told G she wanted to see). Since Margie keeps making comments about how "Donovan must be working really hard" any time she sees me (or the kids) and even tho G has told her lots of times in the past that Donovan is no longer living, we were a little worried of what Margie's reaction would be when she saw Jeff for the first time. G said later that her stomach was in knots most of the evening but Margie never said anything (in fact she didn't talk much at all on the way to K and G's house or on the way back to her facility).

Jay was also with us during the Christmas meal and presents. He has the beginning stages of Dementia so he wants to know what you are doing and why every 5 seconds. He doesn't have any comprehension of time but soo sweet! Each time he received a Christmas present, he would be genuinely surprised and thankful.

The kids had a blast and we all got some things that we could either use or enjoy doing.

Overall, a very good, relaxed Christmas (and no tears this time - at least not on this day)....

More to follow....