Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Broken

Oh look at that, it's been 5 months since our last post. The new year has come and gone, Bailey's THREE, and spring is right around the corner. 

A few days after Bailey's birthday, I broke my ankle playing rec-league soccer...the same day I decided to brag to Jenny that we had made it through January without meeting our health insurance deductible. The break required surgery and I've been on one leg for the last month. I'm now second-guessing why I decided to take up a new sport at 33, one as grueling as soccer. But I loved it! Up until my legs got swept out from under me, flipping me into the air, landing on my foot bent the wrong way. And so my soccer career ends as quickly as it began...

This is my first major foot or leg injury and honestly, it's made me feel old. I've gone from running around with reckless abandon to counting down the days until I can just walk again. The damage could take the better part of the year to heal, so I don't know when I'll be able to resume playing sports. 

This injury has had its way with me. After the surgery, pain meds were my new companion. Those thinks are blessing and a curse. Numb my pain, sure.  Screw with my psyche, you bet. I'm so thankful to have Jenny pushing me to recovery, to take care of me, but to also not feel sorry for myself. When you go from being really active to not being able to walk, it's easy to wallow in self-pity or slip into some level of depression. I'm lucky to have the family and friends around me to support and encourage me. I'm praying for patience as I take baby steps toward recovery. 





One of the most difficult aspects to my current reality is how it has changed how I can (or can't) interact with Bailey. I can't pick her up, I can't dance with her, even sitting on the ground takes work. I can't run to her when she gets hurt. I hate telling her I can't do something and that is now my answer more often then it ever should be. I can't wait until this reality is behind us. 

What's been precious has been Bailey's concern for me and her desire to help make me all better. She helps my put my walking boot on and take it off. One day with my foot elevated, she came up and gently kissed it.  It was so precious. 



Last weekend, I had Bailey to myself for the weekend while Jenny was away at an adoptive mom's retreat. I wasn't sure how well it would go, me being one-legged and all. Bailey was so good for me and we were able to have a lot of fun together! That kind of prolonged time together, while exhausting, was a nice change of pace from the brief time I usually get after work each day. We had so much fun laughing, playing, singing, reading, cooking, cleaning, eating, and so on.  Not to brag too much, but our little girl is so smart, so funny, and generally so well-behaved. I love her little personality and her little spirit. 




We'll be posting again soon with an update on our plans for adoption #2! Until then, enjoy these pictures!


Happy Halloween from the Wiggles!

1st Starbucks (hot chocolate!) while driving to see Christmas lights

Fun at the North Pole!



Merry Christmas!



So cute in her little workout suits. Future mall walker in 60-some years??
1st time ice skating!


Baking with Mama!
Celebrating No More Waiting Day 2015!
Not sure why Penny isn't smiling too...

Fun in the snow!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Goodbye, Abby


Two weeks ago, we celebrated our family dog, Abby, turning Sweet 16. Today, we had to say goodbye. Two weeks ago, we thought she might just live for 16 more, but in two short weeks, she lost 20% of her weight, stopped eating, and blood work confirmed that her organs were shutting down.


So we said goodbye today to our sweet Abby. Goodbye to a furry friend that has been a part of Jenny's life for 16 years. To a frenemy of mine for 11 years, the duration of my relationship with Jenny.

I call her my frenemy not from my perspective but from hers.  I disrupted the happy little dynamic duo that those two had 11 years ago, and she's been stuck with me ever since. I kicked her off the bed, I made her the 3rd wheel. It was always clear where her allegiances were.

But Abby and I had a special relationship too. Working from home, we were forced into coexistence for 8+ hours per day, and I was her source of food, water, and doing her business. We formed a nice little bond during the work days, though I knew she would fight me to be the first in line at the door when Jenny got home each night.

We shared a love for food. I loved double-doubles from In-N-Out, and so did Abby. She had no qualms about helping herself to a burger or two that weren't being attended to. Bagels, Funfetti cake, Krispy Kremes. It really is a bit of a miracle she made it to 16!

And yes, she wore diapers. Diapers that have saved us thousands of dollars in carpet cleaning and replacement.  

I loved Abby. Saying goodbye to her has been difficult for me. She brought smiles to our faces so often, and was a quiet comfort when we needed it. When we couldn't conceive and struggled through infertility test after infertility test, she was the deserving recipient of that extra helping of love that we so desperately wanted to give a child.  When the wait for Bailey rolled on and on (and on and on), Abby provided a little bit of solace in those times of pain, frustration, anger. She was a source of laughter and happiness. When we started to take life a little too seriously or got a little too stressed out, there was our little diaper-clad Bichon, armed with a smile and a rapidly wagging tail, ready to soak up any affection we wanted to send her way.

Any time Jenny would get sick, Abby would jump on the bed and curl up right next to Jenny, loving on her as she was in pain. To me, it was just a beautiful image of their relationship.

This is the Abby I'll ever forget:



Perhaps the most beautiful part of saying goodbye to Abby was Bailey's response. Jenny told her (because I was a blubbering mess and probably would've said something not-so-age-appropriate) that Abby was very sick and that she was going up to Heaven to be with Jesus. Her initial response was "She gets to go to Heaven and play with Jesus? COOL!" What a refreshing reminder of the perspective we should all have of our own lives.



After a few hugs with her "little puppy" as she calls her, she said goodbye and went off to her nap, giving me a few quiet moments with Abby. There's nothing fun about loss, even if it is "just" a family pet. Abby was just that, a member of our family. She will be deeply missed, but so joyfully remembered.




 










Sunday, August 10, 2014

Potty Time

The flood gates have been opened. Bailey decided that this weekend would be the weekend to embrace "girl potty".  Jenny's hard work and patience over the last handful of months finally paid off and she wasn't even around to celebrate it.  Jenny decided to crown me "husband of the year" but let's be honest, I'm just riding her coat tails.  She's been so persistent and patient with Bailey, and we've been expecting a breakthrough any day.  Thunder officially stolen.


With Jenny away at a MOPS retreat this weekend, it was just me and Bailey for a couple days.  I had been away for a few days prior, so Jenny informed me that Bailey had moved from the practice potty to the "big girl potty", a smaller seat on top of the regular toilet.  What I didn't know until today was that the first attempt at the new seat resulted in Bailey promptly falling off. Probably better that I didn't know that...

Before Jenny left for her retreat, she chaperoned Bailey on an unsuccessfully 30-minute potty-fest at Bailey's insistence. So, come Friday afternoon, Bailey and I were playing and she announced that she needed to go potty.  I marched her into the bathroom and told her to grab a seat on the practice potty. After she so gently corrected me about her new "big girl potty", I plopped her down on the toilet, grabbed a seat on the little step stool, and settled in. It wasn't more than 3 minutes when Bailey hit pay dirt. At the sweet sounds of peepee spraying the sides of the toilet, I let out a little shout of joy while Bailey gave me one of the biggest smiles I've seen from her.  After she finished, I help her off the toilet so she could view her accomplishment and then flush it away.  After a little celebration we added a sticker to her potty card and went about our business.

The potty card - a genius idea Jenny's been using - is a card that has 3 spots for stickers.  Bailey gets a sticker each time she goes in the potty, and for every 3 stickers, she gets to pick something from the "special toy" box - a collection of garage sale finds and consignment sale bargains.  A little incentive/positive reinforcement never hurt anybody.

After round one, I was pleasantly surprised and even more so that I didn't have to invest 30 minutes sitting there, watching and waiting.  

I'll spare you the details but between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, Bailey dropped it like it's hot (peepee and poopoo) NINE TIMES!!! She only cried wolf once and every other time, she told me she needed to go and took care of business within a few minutes of sitting down, usually just a few seconds.  I'm so proud of her.

Jenny captured #10 for me this evening to give you a glimpse of where I spent most of my weekend.


So I won't take any credit for the potty training, but after this weekend I can take credit for:

  1. Bailey learning how to stand on my back.
  2. Bailey sitting on my head.
  3. Bailey somersaulting over my knees.
  4. Bailey enjoying watching golf, and sort of knowing that when the ball disappears into the hole, it's a good thing.
  5. Bailey climbing up a metal ladder at the park all by herself.
  6. Bailey melting down in the church foyer last night because there was no music on for her to dance to. I wasn't too concerned about all of the eyes on me until Bailey took the cry to the 2nd dimension. You know what I'm talking about - after the initial outburst, there's this calm before the storm as she sucks in all the air she can, only to let out a scream that seems to last for days. 
As you'd expect, Jenny was more impressed with the potty training than when Bailey and I showcased her new talents (#1-3) this evening. 

For those looking for tips - I have none...sorry to disappoint!  She told me she had to go, I listened, and she did all the work. I guess I tried to encourage her and I made a ridiculously big deal about how exciting it was and how proud of her I was.  After the first couple times I think maybe she's seeing it as more fun then walking around in a diaper full of excrement! There's so much fun associated with going in the potty - she gets to flush, she gets a sticker, we do the "peepee in the potty" dance (Abby even does it sometimes!), she gets toys.  Not a bad gig. Oh, and I'm pretty sure she's using it as a way to get out of eating food she doesn't like and to delay going to sleep.  Whatever the reason, it's progress.  I'm ready for Abby to be the only one in diapers. :-)

Friday, July 25, 2014

I found my nickels!

Ah, toddler discovery...Bailey is SO curious these days. About food, people, animals, nature, BODY PARTS.  Oh, and she's not just curious, she's incredibly verbal (read: loud) about it.

Mama, I found my "nickels"!! They're so bumpy!!!!


And the parroting - not just of us, but of anyone within earshot of her.  It's not uncomfortable at all when she yells bits and pieces of conversations that complete strangers are having.  So thankful for a sense of humor.

I never could've imagined that Bailey would be as talkative as she is. Although there are moments of awkwardness, it is so much fun to see her be curious, express herself, and verbalize so much of what she sees and does. 


Over the 4th of July weekend, Bailey experienced a number of firsts:

First light rail ride & first Rockies game - shocker, they lost.


First hike up to the rock in Castle Rock and her first walking stick, because what 2 year old doesn't want a walking stick?






We've had Bailey home for almost a year and a half.  Good friends of ours left a week ago to go meet and bring their little boy home.  When I heard their news, I was quickly transported back to that afternoon in Dallas when I got the call from Jenny that it was go time.  I remember how the next 48+ hours were a total blur and before I knew it, we were in a van on the way to meet Bailey.  I remember holding her for the first time, finally having the child in my arms that I had been thinking of and praying for for months.  

And, I remember that "oh $*!t" moment when we walked into our hotel room with Bailey for our first night together. I was thrilled that I was finally able to care for my child, but also shellshocked that, just like that, I had a child to be responsible for, to love, to care for.  All of those months of waiting so quickly morphed into a new reality as a family of three.  I am so excited for our friends - will you please pray for their travel, their process, and their bonding time with their little one?  Such exciting, important days for this family.