Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fun Run

I don't think I ever posted pictures of Olivia's Fun Run at school.  I think she ran about 1 1/2 miles!  Way to go, girlie!




She did so good and I was so proud of her! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Visual Learning

When Olivia went through the psychological testing last month, we discovered that she is brilliant with pattern recognition and spatial awareness and other visual learning tasks. Do you remember in school where they'd show you a shape and you had to pick which one was the same shape flipped and rotated 90 degrees, etc? Olivia is amazing at this.  For example, Abigail has started playing with mega blocks so Olivia has started playing with them too.  She created this in her room and took a picture.


Later this evening, with almost complete memorization, she recreated a flipped U shape with the end piece now at the beginning. Without even thinking about it, she knew which way to orient the pieces.  I even had to think about which way they would go.  It was astonishing to watch.  Then she had me make blocks and we paired them up in partners.  When it was time to go to bed, she told me to put my blocks back in the bag, but I couldn't remember which ones were mine.  She had no problem, of course, telling me the 13 blocks that were hers. LOL!  And you should see how she puts on her shirts. . .face up and upside down on the floor in front of her.  Then she scoops it up and puts it on. Never gets it wrong. LOL! Smarty pants. 

March of Dimes Update

Our team is looking great this year!  I don't think there is any way we are going to pass the number one team as they are one awesome team!  Isn't it great the money they are raising?  I believe they walk in memory of their little boy, Miles.  God bless them. 


If you haven't donated yet, however, please consider a small donation.  Olivia is the ambassador this year and it is quite an honor.  We walked into Famous Footwear last week and they are one of the March of Dimes' sponsors.  It was neat when they found out they were meeting the ambassador.  I walk every year to honor Olivia and all of the premature babies who have been through so much.  But I also walk as one of the few ways I have to remember Logan.  I feel that because he lived his short life within the NICU walls, not many people got to meet him or develop memories with him.  So it is up to me, his mom, to remind people that he is worth remembering. Please help me do that every year and especially this year as I wish he could be standing on that stage with us as well. 

Thank you all for your support and for reading my blog.  You can donate or sign up to walk by clicking the badge on the right sidebar. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Turning A New Leaf

I’m currently reading a book about living in the present (or the now) and not in the past or the future.

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I’ve found that I spend most of my time allowing my mind to drift into the past with regret or guilt or in the future with unease and worry.  Every single day of my life.  It is so hard for me to be still and not allow my mind to wander.  It’s interesting because whenever I attempt to do so, there is always a cat in my lap. . .as if they can sense my availability.  I could learn a lot from them I’m sure. 

Recently I was listening to the clock tick and the refrigerator hum and I looked over and noticed that my beloved plant was almost dead.  How did I not notice before? I bought Hilga (yes, my plant has a name) in February 2001.  I bought her the first weekend in my new apartment over 13 years ago and now the poor thing was near death.

So, I repotted her, moved her to a new part of the house, watered her and I’ve enjoyed watching her.  I analyze each branch for any sign of life. 

Olivia has enjoyed it too and even drew a picture of her. (And, yes, she probably had about that many leaves. LOL!)

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Her bare, brown branches are turning green with the hope of new leaves.  This has been quite therapeutic for me.  If a plant can come back after years of neglect, maybe I can return after years of neglecting myself? Maybe there is hope for me?

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Olivia looked adorable for Workout Wednesday at school. On Friday her school has their first annual Fun Run!


This morning, we repotted Hilga, my 13 yr old plant. I bought her the weekend I moved out of my parents' house in February 2001. She has needed a lot of love lately. She now has a new pot and a new place in the house.



The rest of the day was pretty crappy. I managed to lock myself out of the house. Abigail and I were going for a walk and when I got the stroller out of the back of the van, I left my phone. I had my house key, so I went around to the front door and found that I had locked the storm door. So I could not get in the house and I didn't have my phone to call anyone.

I ended up going to a neighbor's house to use their phone to call Ryan who had to leave work to let us in. We played in the sandbox a really long time. I sifted out like one hundred rolly pollies. It's a breeding ground for them apparently, but not a very good one as they were all dead. And then Abigail had a big blowout and I didn't have the diaper bag. Ugh. It's been an awful afternoon!! I'm happy to be inside now. ��

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Little Sweetie




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Sunday, April 6, 2014

First Pigtails






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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Not Giving Up

It has been much harder than I thought to start running. First I had tons of knee pain. I figured out that I over pronate and needed shoes with more support. So I bought new shoes and still had pain. I had to completely rest my knees for a bit. I had gotten to week 4 when I had to stop. I bought a Gazelle Edge to use that is easier on my knees and added in some strengthening and a lot more stretching.

I started running again last week, but had to start completely over at week 1. My knee pain, thankfully, is gone. Today, however, I've hit another brick wall. I checked my blood sugar before I left and it was 104. When I returned from my 30 minute run/walk, my blood sugar was 46. A blood sugar of 50 is hypoglycemic. A blood sugar of 40 is critical and puts you at risk of losing consciousness. So. . .great. Apparently now I get exercise induced hypoglycemia. I knew exercise lowered my blood sugar, but didn't think it would drop it by 50! Now I have to make a few more changes. I'm going to monitor it more closely, eat carbs beforehand, carry glucose tablets and possibly wear a diabetes bracelet. If I were to collapse, no one would know what was wrong with me. I also might get a running buddy or run at the Y.

Running has proven to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated. But it has lowered my blood sugar (albeit too much) and helped my restless legs and my mood. So I will continue and someday I'll run a 5k. It may be awhile, but someday you'll see pictures of it on here. At least that's the plan.


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Best Little Sis Ever

See? It says right here!


So it must be true!


I won't lie. The first year or so was tough. Olivia does not do well with change so you add a major life event like a new baby sister and it's gonna be hard. She had a lot of jealousy and felt Abigail took her mommy away. I am so happy that they now seem to absolutely love each other. They both learn a lot from each other as well and that has been such a blessing. Olivia often calls her the best sister ever and can't imagine life without her.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

World Autism Awareness Day

I thought this would be a tough blog post for me to write, but as I form the words in my mind, I don’t believe that to be the case. 

For years after Olivia was born, I wondered what she would have been like had she been born full term.  If I could take away her rough start and have her grow up with Logan, I would do it in a heartbeat.  But, as Olivia grew and her personality emerged. . .I fell in love with exactly who she is.  I don’t care what she “would” have been like because she is perfect as she is.  She is the Olivia we all know and love.

Recently, we took her to a child psychologist so that we could help her in some areas that are difficult for her.  She has some sensory processing difficulties and breaks down in tears over a pair of jeans or a shirt that doesn’t feel just right.  Eating and gaining weight are still challenges and her anxiety can be pretty severe.  I feel that life is only going to get tougher and I want to give her all the coping skills and strategies available. 

We found that Olivia does have autism spectrum disorder.  You never want to use your child’s name and the word autism in the same sentence.  However, I don’t see it as anything “wrong” with her.  Olivia is Olivia and I love everything about her.

I debated about whether to discuss it on the blog.  On the one hand, this blog is meant to raise awareness and educate people on the effects of extreme prematurity.  Autism and extreme prematurity go hand in hand quite often.  I always want to help others going through a similar journey.  But, on the other hand, I want to protect my child from being labeled before people get to know her.  The scary incident a few weeks back helped me to decide that it is worth sharing.  It takes Olivia a little bit longer to process information such as “Look out! There’s a car!”  As she stood frozen, trying to process what was being said, a car backed into her, knocked her down onto the concrete and she suffered a mild concussion.  She does require a bit more attention than your normal 6 1/2 year old. To keep her safe, I feel others need to be aware of this and it is what prompted me to share the news of her diagnosis.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day so I thought today would be appropriate to share the news. Autism has many faces and no two children are the same.  Olivia is at the high functioning end of the spectrum with fairly mild characteristics.  As her mother, it’s my job to make sure she gets all the tools available in order to be successful. I’m not content with her being successful “as a 23 weeker.”  I want her to achieve all that she wants in life. . . as a person like you or me.  I hope her diagnosis helps people understand what she needs and not define who she is.  She is an awe-inspiring, sweet, funny, energetic, one of a kind girl.  High functioning autism is just one tiny facet of who she is.  I hope everyone who crosses her path in life is able to see just how amazing she is.   

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

I love Spring! But for entirely different reasons than I used to. Spring means short sleeved shirts and leggings and socks are soon to become optional. These things are Olivia's forté! LOL! Getting dressed will become less of a challenge!






And Abigail decided she no longer wanted to be in a high chair! She wanted to sit at the table like the rest of us. She was overjoyed with her booster seat. . .as you can tell.




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Friends Forever

We met up with Olivia's friend from preschool yesterday. They go to different school districts this year, so they don't get to see each other often. However, they seem to pick right up where they left off. And look at the joy on their faces!













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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hippity Hoppity

Easter's on its way!










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Friday, March 28, 2014

Sisters and Best Friends







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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday

To my husband, Ryan. Hope you had a great birthday (even with a pouting wife whose team lost.) We love you so much!












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PROUD

Great season and an even greater team! Proud to be from Wichita!





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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Just Keep. . .Running!

So, my running hit a little snag. Well, actually a pretty big snag as it started killing my knees. They felt like they were going to collapse when I ran and hurt for days afterwards. But I didn't want to just give up. So I went into a local running store where they evaluate your gait and determine the best kind of shoes for you. It turns out I over pronate which means my foot rolls inward. So, I just needed a more supportive shoe to stabilize my foot. I bought a pair of Brooks running shoes and it made a world of difference!!




So, this weekend I begin my 3rd week with high hopes that I will be able to continue! Possible 5k on May 24th??? We will see.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Go Shox!







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Thursday, March 20, 2014

16 Months




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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hall of Fame


World Autism Awareness Day

I thought this would be a tough blog post for me to write, but as I form the words in my mind, I don’t believe that to be the case. 

For years after Olivia was born, I wondered what she would have been like had she been born full term.  If I could take away her rough start and have her grow up with Logan, I would do it in a heartbeat.  But, as Olivia grew and her personality emerged. . .I fell in love with exactly who she is.  I don’t care what she “would” have been like because she is perfect as she is.  She is the Olivia we all know and love.

Recently, we took her to a child psychologist so that we could help her in some areas that are difficult for her.  She has some sensory processing difficulties and breaks down in tears over a pair of jeans or a shirt that doesn’t feel just right.  Eating and gaining weight are still challenges and her anxiety can be pretty severe.  I feel that life is only going to get tougher and I want to give her all the coping skills and strategies available. 

We found that Olivia does have autism spectrum disorder.  You never want to use your child’s name and the word autism in the same sentence.  However, I don’t see it as anything “wrong” with her.  Olivia is Olivia and I love everything about her.

I debated about whether to discuss it on the blog.  On the one hand, this blog is meant to raise awareness and educate people on the effects of extreme prematurity.  Autism and extreme prematurity go hand in hand quite often.  I always want to help others going through a similar journey.  But, on the other hand, I want to protect my child from being labeled before people get to know her.  The scary incident a few weeks back helped me to decide that it is worth sharing.  It takes Olivia a little bit longer to process information such as “Look out! There’s a car!”  As she stood frozen, trying to process what was being said, a car backed into her, knocked her down onto the concrete and she suffered a mild concussion.  She does require a bit more attention than your normal 6 1/2 year old. To keep her safe, I feel others need to be aware of this and it is what prompted me to share the news of her diagnosis.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day so I thought today would be appropriate to share the news. Autism has many faces and no two children are the same.  Olivia is at the high functioning end of the spectrum with fairly mild characteristics.  As her mother, it’s my job to make sure she gets all the tools available in order to be successful. I’m not content with her being successful “as a 23 weeker.”  I want her to achieve all that she wants in life. . . as a person like you or me.  I hope her diagnosis helps people understand what she needs and not define who she is.  She is an awe-inspiring, sweet, funny, energetic, one of a kind girl.  High functioning autism is just one tiny facet of who she is.  I hope everyone who crosses her path in life is able to see just how amazing she is.   

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Monday, March 17, 2014

March for Babies

Please consider clicking over on the March of Dimes banner to your right. I would love for you to sign up to walk on our team for the March for Babies on May 3rd. If you can't make it, please consider a donation (no matter how small) to our team. Our family believes that even the smallest of things can make the biggest difference. I can't imagine a life without my sweet, funny and energetic Olivia. The March of Dimes played a part in that through their research and tireless efforts to save even the smallest of babies. Thank you so much for all of your support!





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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Winning The Race

For many, many years I have wanted to be a runner. I like the solitude of it. As a mom, you tend to forget what that word even means. I like how it transforms not only your body, but your mind. And for many, many years I have struggled with fatigue, depression, anxiety, restless legs, high blood sugar, migraines, etc. I finally decided to do something about it, lace up my sneakers and run! (Although I had to find the right kind of shoes because I get shin splints easily.)

I have an app on my phone, C25K, and each week it gradually builds you up to run a 5K with an initial combination of walking and running. I'm almost done with my second week which is the most I've ever done. I'm pretty proud of myself for doing something for ME, although it's for my family too. Olivia has been complaining when I leave and I try to explain to her that she should want me to go.

"Don't you want a mom who isn't tired all the time?"

It took a little convincing and then she started cheering me on. I told Ryan that is why I want to run a 5K. I want to hear Olivia cheering "Go mommy! You can do it!" Olivia then told me she would be happy to do it. . .as long as I'm winning. LOL! She'd better just hope that I finish or rather that I start to begin with.

Tonight when I got back (after showing Olivia the gorgeous moon) she asked,"Did you win, mom?"

I checked off another day, so yes, I won.



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Friday, March 14, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

15 Month Checkup

Better late than never, right? Abigail has been sick for the past couple weeks with a horrible cough so I had to reschedule it. We finally went yesterday and you know that you have no worries about your child when you spend it talking about your other child. Here are Abigail's stats (if I don't put them on the blog, I will lose the paper and forget them.)

Weight: 24 lbs - 63rd percentile
Height: 30.5 inches - 43rd percentile
Head circumference: 48 cm - 90th percentile

Holy cow, she has a big head. No wonder I can't get shirts to fit her because I can't get them over her head. But, it has to be big for her big 'ole brain. This girl is so very smart. She is very advanced for her age in the things she is able to do. She has already used the potty about 4-5 times and knows exactly what she is supposed to do. And she thinks she needs to do everything big sister does. She also already knows how to throw a temper tantrum and can be very very stubborn. And at this age she still looks really cute doing it. LOL! She is very sweet, very loving and loves cuddling up in the chair to read books.



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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thankful

I'm thankful for each and every day with my two girls and feel so blessed to be their mom.





Olivia went back to school today and is doing well.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Scary Evening

First I'll start by saying that Olivia is okay, but it's been a rough evening. A friend from school who lives down the street invited Olivia over to play. This was the first time she has been over to a friend's house to play without me there. So, kind of a big step for me (and her.) Afterwards they were just going to walk her home since it's just down the street. While walking home on the sidewalk with her friend and her friend's mom, a car backed into Olivia. It bumped her just hard enough to knock her backwards and she hit her head on the concrete. Imagine my complete horror when I heard this news (and I know her friend's mom was pretty upset as well.)

We spent the evening at the ER because Olivia was throwing up, which is very dangerous with a head injury. They did a ct scan which showed no bleeding, but she does have a mild concussion. We are home now, but have to keep a close eye on her for the next 72 hours. Please say a prayer for a quick and full recovery.

After losing Logan, I am (as expected) very protective of Olivia. And just when I feel like I'm getting a hold of my anxiety, something like this happens. And years of therapy come undone. You just never know what each day holds.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

T Shirts Are Here

The t shirts came this week. I will be busy distributing them to you throughout the next week! Here is Olivia modeling hers:






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Monday, March 3, 2014

Sick and then sick again

It's always the same: Olivia gets sick, then Abigail, then me, then Ryan. And the cycle keeps repeating itself. We are on our second round of the crud now. I'm thankful it's not the more serious stuff going around, but the amount of coughing and snot in this house is ridiculous. Poor Abigail keeps throwing up due to her congestion. I'm ready for Spring!!

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Restful Legs

As many of you know, I have suffered with severe restless legs for the past 3-4 years. I've literally taken every prescription medication for them including Requip, Neupro, Lortab, etc. Many of the prescriptions have unwanted side effects that I can't handle. On a whim I purchased Hyland's Restful Legs. If you suffer with restless legs, you MUST purchase these:




I don't always believe in homeopathic remedies, but I will never be without these again. I've gone a week without any other restless legs medication. Just these little miracle pills that you dissolve under your tongue. Amazing!!

If you do try them, I'd be curious to learn how they work for you. I am so grateful to have stumbled across them!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oh These Two

Trying to get a picture of these two is hilarious at times!

Okay, SMILE!

Huh?



Abigail clearly thinks her sister is nuts. LOL!



Apparently I said," Don't look at the camera and make a silly face."



Eh. This will have to do for now. But boy aren't they cute?





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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

T Shirt Campaign

Thank you to those who purchased Olivia and Logan team t shirts. We raised $380 and sold 34 t shirts! Wow! They should be delivered to me around March 10th and I will deliver to each of you. Thanks again for your support of our team and of the March of Dimes!


2014 Wichita March of Dimes Ambassador





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Monday, February 24, 2014

Sisterly Love

Abigail is always looking up to her big sister. She actually wanted Olivia to pick her up. Haha! They are only 10 lbs (and 5 years) apart.




Love these two sweeties. Love Abigail's facial expressions.




The face below is the one Abigail gives me when she is doing something she is not supposed to be doing. Such an ornery little thing. LOL!




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Under The Bed

No monsters hiding under Olivia's bed. There wouldn't be room. Last night I made her clean underneath her bed. That's always an adventure as she shoves everything under there when she cleans her room. So, this time, I recorded everything we found.







Yep, my daughter is a hoarder.

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