Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ear Infections

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Remember those sensory issues?  Amazing how they manifest…  Two weeks ago, I took Robbie to the doctor for what I thought might be an ear infection.  It was, and we treated it and moved on with our lives.  Until yesterday, when he was sent home with a fever.  This afternoon, I took Robbie to our new doctor, where he was, once again, diagnosed with an ear infection.  In each ear.  That had been festering for the better part of a month.  And he never once complained about his ears hurting.

Incredible, isn’t it?  We know he has vestibular issues (this is why he feels a constant need to jump, climb, do somersaults, and role down the car window when we go fast).  He does not get enough input here, which means ear infections don’t bother him.  He never once complained of his ears hurting.  Until tonight when we got home.

I tried to give him a bath but he would have nothing to do with it.  After managing to wipe Robbie down with a washcloth, he attached himself to me.  Naked except for his socks.  We cuddled on the bed for a minute, and, all of a sudden, his breathing slowed and he was asleep.  It was all I could do to get him in a diaper and pajama pants before he was asleep again.

Robbie woke up again when it was time to give him some medicine, and he’s been asleep ever since.  For eight hours.  I just went up to give him another dose of medicine, and he finally told me that his ears hurt – down along his jaw.  Robbie begged me to please just leave him alone and let him sleep.  So I did.

The worst part?  Tomorrow is Halloween, and all Robbie has talked about for months is trick-or-treating.  His preschool Halloween parade is tomorrow, and I think he’s going to have to miss it.  I’m just glad that he’s not old enough to know what he is missing.  And he’ll get to trick-or-treat tomorrow.  There’s no way for me to take that from him.

As much as I hate to be away from work for another day, I love being home with Robbie, especially when he is cuddly.  We have two movies and three holiday crafts to work on.  I’ll put chili in the crock pot for Halloween dinner.  And we’ll get this kid ready for Halloween.  Take that, ear infections!

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Melt Down

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It’s happening less and less at our house since Robbie started OT, but we still occasionally get some super melt downs.  Tonight was no exception.  It started simple enough, with Robbie telling me that I needed to sit, not lie, on his bed.  Then it escalated because girls were not allowed on his bed (ironically, girls are not allowed to do much, including carving jack-o-lanterns).

The melt down culminated in our bedroom, with Robbie screaming not to touch him and that he wanted to watch a movie.  Over.  And over.  And over.  I sat about six feet from him, trying to explain, rationalize.  Trying to do all the things that you can’t really do with a child in the middle of a melt down.  And, it was all I could do to not cry myself.

It is heartbreaking to hear your child beg you not to touch him, when that is all you want to do.  All that is in your core to do to make it better.  But he screams as if it physically hurts him to be touched in the middle of this, and I believe that it does.  Robbie knows what is happening in the middle of these episodes, but he can’t do anything to stop it until it has run its course.  As an adult, I can’t begin to imagine how terrifying that would be.

I’ve learned how to deal with these melt downs, although it still feels like I’m not really doing anything.  Robbie and I have talked about them after they pass a few times.  The best thing to do, hard as it is, is just to sit and wait.  As he starts to calm down, I offer a few choices.  Tonight, the choice was for Justin and me to leave the room and let him cry or to cuddle either in his bed or ours.  Robbie kept crying, and so we got up to leave.  That’s when he came over and stood in front of me.

“It’s a little scary, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Can I hug you now?  It really looks like you could use one?”

And then he fell into my arms, breathing heavily.  He asked me to lie with him for a little while and to make sure we were tucked under the covers because he was cold.  Eventually, his breathing slowed and he fell asleep.  And we’re OK.

 

Settled

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I’m not sure that I would be able to fully appreciate our lives now if it weren’t for the struggle we faced to get here.  In the scheme of things, I know it wasn’t that major.  We could have faced the same dilemma our new neighbors faced; when they moved here, they had to pay a double mortgage for a year until their old house sold.  Nevertheless, Justin and I still survived our own personal nightmare.

This move, as any large move is, was all-consuming.  And, in all honesty, we weren’t sure it was the right choice.  When you are doing something because you think it’s the right thing to do (which, incidentally, is much different from moving because the military tells you to or you get a new job), there are so many doubts.  You will never actually know if you made the right decision until it is too late to go back in the event that it was the wrong one.

As you may remember, in early June, everything seemed to fall together.  The day I accepted my current job at Crawford, resigned my former job in Lawrence, and agreed that two of my cats could permanently stay in their temporary homes, we also accepted an offer on our condo.  It was meant to be.  Until our buyers backed out the day Justin flew to Lexington and found a house he was ready to put an offer in on.  At that point, our world collapsed around us.  It was too late to get my job back in Lawrence, and we didn’t have any other buyers lined up in Boston.

We did the only thing we could.  Panicked, really.  And then figured things out.  We started to pack up the house and continued to show it.  We found another buyer.  Which fell through again.  And then we found a third buyer.  We moved to Lexington and started our life in limbo, living in my parents’ basement, not sure we were ever going to leave.  Still making mortgage payments in Boston, despite my pay cut in Lexington.

Of course, on our first day in Lexington, we found our dream house.  We put in an offer, hoping that our condo would close, as planned on 30 August.  It didn’t.  The closing was delayed five more times.  We nearly lost our house, having to pay the seller’s a month’s mortgage with no access to the house.

The stress wore on us.  We had very few conversations that revolved around anything other than real estate.  Robbie fed off our stress.  In short, it was nearly unbearable.  Without family to lean on, I’m not sure what we would have done.  More times that I care to admit, I doubted my decision to push for the move.

And then, suddenly, it was over.  We closed on the condo 04 October and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  If, after all of this, we lost the house, there would be other houses.  We simply needed to be rid of the albatross, and, by the grace of God, we were.  Inevitably, there were more hiccups.  The pay-off was short $290, continuing to jeopardize our purchase in Lexington.

Even more suddenly, that was solved and, forty minutes beforehand, I found out that we were closing.  Justin was out of town, and I had no idea where a checkbook was.  Mom flew across town with a check, much to my eternal relief and temporary embarrassment (after all, I am a grown woman who should know where her checkbook is).  But it was nice to have her there, giving me a supportive hug before she jetted off to pick up Robbie.

There was a pizza dinner at the house the first night.  A late move the next night, involving three stops, gracious movers (Hometown Movers if you need them; ask for Otis to be one of your men – he’s moved us twice), and hundreds of boxes.  And then, finally, Justin flew home, and we had breakfast as a family, our first meal in the new house.

The place was a disaster for six days.  It was bizarre walking through the front door, knowing it was ours.  All of it.  Nothing had to be shared.  We could be as loud as we wanted as late as we wanted.  There was room to put everything away and still have empty closets (we currently have six along with six empty cupboards).  Sure, there’s still work to be done.  The dining room furniture is being refinished and Justin’s office in the basement needs insulation, drywall, paint, flooring, and a ceiling.  But the living room furniture came today, so Justin and I are enjoying a little time just, well, enjoying a little time.

It’s a bizarre feeling, relaxing in our own house.  Knowing all the drama is behind us.  For all the wonderful things that have happened, it has been a positively brutal eleven months.  But you know what?  It lead us here.  Home – on so many levels.  And together, more so than I may have ever thought possible.  We aren’t all fortunate enough to make it through the extreme challenges, but I’m grateful for where they have brought me.  Even more grateful for where they have landed us.

Marriage

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The other night, during one of our conversations, Robbie rolled over, put his hand on my face, looked into my eyes, and asked me a very serious question.  “Mom, are you married?”

Caught off-guard and trying not to laugh at the question, I replied, “Yes, honey.  Mommy’s married.”

He continued, “OK.  Are you married to Daddy?”

I replied that I was, indeed, married to Daddy.  Robbie proceeded to give it some thought, mulling over this whole marriage business.  Not sure where this was going, I waited for a few moments.  And, sure enough, Robbie continued.

“Yeah, I’m married, too.  I got married at pre-school today.”

I just really wasn’t sure what to say to that.  He didn’t seem to know who he had married, only that he was married.  Which sounds like a bad decision he might make on a college Vegas trip, not a normal day at a Christian pre-school.  Even more concerning?  Robbie’s pre-school teacher knew nothing about it.  Although, I guess this could be seen as a good sign.  I’d be a little concerned if she were serving as a witness…

Conversations

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A funny thing happened when Robbie stopped going to Chinese daycare; he learned to speak English.  Sure, he knew how to speak English before, but it was more small phrases and sentence fragments.  He had general ideas of what he wanted to say, but there was no real conversation.  Within the past week, all of that has changed.

It started slowly, with Robbie saying, “Mom, are we talking?”  It was almost like he wanted to make sure that he had the right words.  Lately, it’s evolved from that to, “Mom, are we talking?  Is this a conversation?” and again to, “Mom, let’s have a conversation, please.”

And so we do.  We talk about Magic Kingdom (his favorite conversation), bad dreams (he’s been shot at by Captain Hook and bitten by the alligator on two different nights and showed me the bullet holes and bite marks on his mattress – intense stuff!), school (although I was a little alarmed when he told me he got married at pre-school yesterday…), and our house (he keeps asking if we are going to move into the old new house or get a new new house).

I love more than anything that Robbie wants me to have conversations with him.  There is nothing better in the world than being Robbie’s favorite person.  I’m trying to relish every conversation, no matter how many times we have it.  After all, chances are good he’s not going to share every detail of his life with me forever.

Fast Like Super Hero

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For months, Robbie has been asking me to run a race.  Every time I come home from a run, particularly if I’m wearing a race number, he begs to go for a run with me.  When we drive by a runner, Robbie says, “Look, Mom!  He’s a runner.  Going fast like a super hero – just like me!”  And Sunday he finally had his chance.

I wish I had been there for his racing debut at the PTSA 5K.  Robbie went with Nona, Pops, and Aunt Hilary for some racing fun while Justin and I finished getting some things for the house ready before our first family dinner in the new house.  Nona had the stroller in the back of the car – just in case.

When they got home, Robbie was fast asleep in the car, wearing his race bib – runner 789.  Apparently he ran the first two miles of the race, crouching down like a “real” runner and waiting for Nona or Aunt Hilary to tell him, “Ready!  Set!  Go!”  He showed me all his runner skills when he got home, running from place to place.  However, later, when Hilary asked him to run upstairs with her, Robbie replied, “Um, I can’t.  I ran a race today.  Really tired.”

On Our Own

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So…  It finally happened!  The stars and planets aligned.  Two weeks ago, we finally closed on our condo in Boston.  It was a brutal situation that tried Justin and myself in ways we could never have imagined.  For ten weeks, we lived in a near constant state of flux, never knowing where we stood in the closing process.  Five closing dates came and went.  And then, finally, 04 October, it happened.  We closed.  Not owning that condo was one of the best feelings of our lives.

And then the drama continued with the closing here.  Too much to really go into, but enough to make us terrified that we were going to lose our house.  The one we put an offer in on the first day we lived in Kentucky.  The one I’ve been driving by and salivating over for two months.  The one we, miraculously, closed on a week ago.

Here we are.  A week later, all settled.  Well, settled-ish.  We are still waiting on living room and patio furniture.  And our dining room furniture is being redone.  It was odd the first few days, feeling like we were living in someone else’s house.  And I still get excited when I pull in the driveway.  It’s hard to believe this is actually ours.

Coming from a 3-bedroom, 1-bath, 1467 square foot condo, this feels like a palace.  Our closet is half the size of Robbie’s old bedroom.  Our old kitchen had one drawer, half a counter, and five cabinets.  Our new one?  Seven drawers, triple the counter space, and eight cabinets plus a pantry.  We have empty closets galore – and all I want is to keep them empty.  Silly, isn’t it?  But I love knowing that I can.

So was it worth all the drama?  All the heartache?  All the stress?  Absolutely.