photo by Surely Sweet Photography

Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Monday, October 24, 2011

Babytique Review and GIVEAWAY!! -- CLOSED

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER AS SOON AS THEY CONTACT US.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Last week I visited Babytique, a chic baby boutique with Mama Earth in mind!  I found an array of adorable baby items, from cloth diapers, to eco-friendly toys, to the softest crib bedding I've ever touched!  Babytique is the very first brick and mortar store to carry the Not Finding Out line of products.

The space for classes & baby showers!
Babytique offers space for baby showers (how easy and fun is that?!).  They offer fun classes through out the month on various parenting topics.  For the most up-to-date information, visit their Facebook page!

I was offered a $25 gift card for doing a review of their store.  I wandered around, with the help of my boys, to decide what to get.  Well, Riley and Eli decided for me!  They had their hearts set on the Twilight Sea Turtle.  It has been a big hit!  They love laying in their beds watching the stars.

If you have not heard of Not Finding Out, it is an amazing concept!  As more and more parents are deciding to keep their upcoming baby's gender a surprise, their family and friends have a difficult time finding gifts.  Not Finding Out has a unique way of offering shower gifts without the traditional yellow ducks and green frogs. 

While shopping at Babytique, you can pick out an item, like these adorable knit booties.  You will walk out of the boutique with a gift box, which includes a card with a photo of the item.  Once the baby arrives, the new parents can visit Babytique to pick up their blue or pink gift! 




Here are some of the great products you will find at Babytique!






GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
Babytique has offered a $25 gift certificate for one of my fans!  To enter, you must do the following.  Leave ONE comment per person, stating that you have done each of these things:

1.  Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

2.  "Like" Adventure's of A Crispy Mama on Facebook.

3.  "Like" Babytique on Facebook.

4.  Go to Babytique's website and share with us your favorite item!

The winner will be drawn via random.org on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm CST and announced on my Facebook page.  The winner will have 48 hours to email me at dfwclothdiapergroup at hotmail dot com to claim their prize. 


Disclaimer:  I was offered a $25 gift card to do this review and giveaway.  All opinions are completely honest. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Call me crazy...

I wasn't able to sleep last night, so I figured I would utilize the quiet time and get some work done on the DFW Cloth Diaper Project.  As I thought about everything that needs to be done, I became a little overwhelmed.  This, is in addition to family life, church, both global and local committees for the 2012 Great Cloth Diaper Change, the DFW Cloth Diaper Group (which has 2 monthly meetings, and a very active Facebook page), and recovering from the motorcycle accident.  Any one of those things is a job in and of itself.  I sometimes think I have lost my mind.

So, why do I do all of this?

When I started the Cloth Diaper Group in August 2010, my hope was to meet a few local families with similar interests.  While visiting online cloth diaper forums, the common theme was that everyone felt alone in their choice to cloth diaper.  They felt isolated when their family and friends disapproved of their choice to do what they felt was best for their family.  While I didn't feel this way (I knew a few people in real life who also cloth diapered), I thought it would be fun to have a local group.  So, I started one, unsure of where it would lead. 

It was a slow start, with only 1 person at our very first meet up (followed by no one at the next 4 meet ups).  But in January of 2011, we grew to 100 members!  Suddenly, people showed interest in this little group that I almost regretted starting.  We had about 15 mama's and their babies at that meet up!!  Now we have nearly 800 "likes" on Facebook (and a very busy page!) and two monthly meet ups.  I am blown away, and deeply humbled, by how amazing the group is now.  It is more than I had ever imagined.  I am learning as I go with the group, as I have never done anything like this before. 

I had hopes of what the group would become, but I never thought it would be a reality.  In April 2011, we participated in setting a Guinness World Record (tm) for the most simultaneous cloth diapers changes around the world!  A global event to promote the use of cloth diapers, and we were part of it.  How cool is that?! 

The DFW Cloth Diaper Project seed was planted in my heart a little over a year ago.  I was in line behind a young woman at the store.  She had two young kids with her, and only a few items in her cart.  She had food stamps, but did not have enough cash for the food and diapers in her cart that the food stamps did not cover.  She stood there, trying to decide what to put back.  I told the cashier to add something to my bill, but she ignored me.  I asked her again, but she refused to ackowledge me.  The young girl made her decision and rushed out of the store.  I knew even if I purchased her abandoned food, I would never find her by the time I got to the parking lot.  It broke my heart to think that she had to choose between food and diapers. 

I contacted someone at a local non-profit about possibly leading classes on cloth diapers.  The idea was not supported, though, since they didn't feel their clients would be disciplined enough to follow through.  So I shelved the idea for awhile.  In the spring of 2011, I had the idea to start the Project for a program that helps homeless teen moms.  In the end, that did not work out.  But the idea was there, and we are moving forward, though in a different direction than originally planned.  We will soon be accepting applications for those who are unable to afford both diapers and their household bills. 

I was overwhelmed with how the DFW Cloth Diaper Group responded to this little idea.  Diapers were sent to me in boxes and bags to be used for the families.  We even hosted an online auction to raise money for the Project, where we raised over $350!!! 

I have a passion for sharing the "fluffy love" that has become part of my life.  It has not only given me a hobby, but it has been a great way to meet the most wonderful people!  I have the opportunity to share something that is not only better for our babies, but for our planet and our bank accounts!  Imagine, the very first disposale diapers ever made are still in landfills across the globe.  What kind of world does that leave our grandchildren and their grandchildren?  We did not start using cloth diapers for environmental reasons, but it has become a reason to continue using them.

I do what I do because it has been placed on my heart to help those around me in my community.  It just so happens that it is fun!  I am not paid a penny for any of this, though it sometimes feels like a full time job.  I seriously love what I do. 

Even if I do feel a little insane sometimes.


Fortunately, there are some wonderful people who share the same passion for cloth diaper advocacy that help me out!  I could not do any of this without them.  They keep me sane, simply by knowing they are there to help.  A very special thanks to Elise of Baby Rear Gear for taking everything over last minute for the Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011, since I was in the hospital and unable to attend the event.  She did an amazing job, and it could not have happened without her.  I also want to thank Lori (the Gnome's Mom) and Tara of Diaper Solutions for serving on the Project Committee.  I am in the process of creating a committee for the 2012 Great Cloth Diaper Change, so I want to thank all of you in advance for doing your part in being advocates for modern cloth diapers! 

I also want to thank each and every member of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and all of our local cloth diaper shops.  You are all amazing!  Just by doing what you do, you are making this world a better place.  Yes, that sounds cheesy and mushy, but it is true.  So, thank you! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I was just a biker.

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by. But you didn't see me, driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn't see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair. But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves. But you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn't see me cry as my children were born and have their name written over and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn't see me pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you reading the map as you drove down the road in the rain. But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But, you didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn't see me.

I saw you go home to your family. But you didn't see me.

Because I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker.



I have recently seen this floating around Facebook.  I do not know who the author is, or I would love to credit them. 

Bikers are some of the best people I have ever met, who would give you the shirt off their backs.

Please keep your eyes open on the road.  That person you don't see has a family, too.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Flip'd out!

Riley woke me (and Eli) up at 7:15 this morning by yelling, not really sure what was so important.  So by 9:00 am we were dressed and ready to run some errands.  I realized when we got to the second stop that I left the diaper bag at home.

Uh oh.

The fully stocked diaper bag... sitting at home alone.

But I saw I had the trusty back up Flip cover and 2 stay dry inserts in the car, so I knew we were fine.  The disposable wipes I keep in the car as backup were dried up, but I knew I could just use wet paper towels if/when I needed to change his diaper. 

After a couple errands, we had lunch at In N Out Burger.  Yum!  The boys ate well, and drank lots of lemonade.  Then off to the mall to play for the boys to run off some of their boundless energy.

I changed Eli into the Flip cover and 1 stay dry insert, and put the extra insert in my purse.  Just in case.  I didn't think we'd need it.  After all, they were just going to play for a bit before going home.

Fast forward 20 minutes when I smell something stinky when E came to get a drink.  But I knew we had the extra Flip insert, so we were okay.  A quick change in the family restroom and a "borrowed" bag from Gymboree, and the boys were playing again in no time!  Crisis averted.

It was almost time to leave when I smelled it again.  I checked, hoping it was another kid, but I knew it was Eli.

Okay, now what?  I don't have any blankets or shirts in the car, but we are at a mall....

We went over to Sear's, bought some receving blankets, and I changed Eli again.  I just pad folded a blanket like a flat cloth diaper and reused the same Flip cover (which was still clean enough to use -- no poop got on it!).  And now we have some uber cute "flats"!


Three of the four adorable new "flats" we have.
Bonus:  they were on sale!

I called Ryan on the way home and told him how glad I am we cloth diaper!  Our day would not have been so productve otherwise.

If we still used disposables, I'm not sure we would have finished running our errands today.  Once I realized I left the diaper bag at home, I probably would have just gone home.  If we had made it as far as the mall, I know I could have asked someone at the play area for a diaper.  But we would have gone straight home after the first offense.  Instead, they got to stay to play! 

Making the switch to cloth diapers has made me realize that there are so many things that can work in a pinch!  Blankets, towels, t-shirts, pretty much any cloth item!  So if you're ever in a bind, be resourceful!

From now on, I know that the one cover and 2 inserts are not enough.  In addition to those, I will also keep several flats (either blankets or actual flats), cloth wipes, and a gallon ziploc bag in the car.  Enough for a full day out in case I forget the diaper bag again.


What have you used as a diaper in an emergency situation (of the real kind, or like my situation today)?



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wool: Part 1

I have found a new love that I haven't even shared with you yet.  It feels like forever that I've done a post on diapers.  In fact, I wrote this last week and haven't had a chance to take some super cute pics to add to this, but that never happened.  Time got away from me.

So, you want to know what my new obsession has been for the last few months? 

Wool!  I even love fitteds now, too.  I wish I had listened to everyone sooner and tried wool long ago. 

E wearing wahm knit shorties.
I had tried fitteds last year, but didn't really get the point of them.  I tried them with PUL covers, and it was like putting on 2 diapers under his shorts.  It was just too much.  So in January, I tried another fitted, the Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted with a PUL cover for overnight.  That didn't turn out so well.  The microfiber caused major stink.  So I sold them and moved on.  I kept using a pocket with a gflapper, but wasn't very happy with it anymore.  It seemed E needed something better for all night.

My wool love started with a visit to the Just Between Friends Consignment Sale in Fort Worth last spring.  I found a pair of lightweight green wool shorties for $6(!).  So I figured, what the heck?  For $6 if I don't like them it's no big loss.  Everyone had told me that wool and fitteds were bulletproof for overnight, but I was skeptical and wasn't sure about it.  Wool is what I wear in the winter, so wouldn't they just be hot?  We live in Texas, not Canada!


I also thought that wool would be hard to care for.  They have to be handwashed (I hate handwashing anything!).  And lanolized.  I thought that was just too much work.  But for $6, I'd give it a try.  In the back of my mind I just knew I wouldn't like it.

I held on to the wool for several weeks before even opening the bag it came in.  I finally did, and then lanolized them.  I had bought some Eucalan wool wash, and just used some spare Lansinoh brand lanolin that I had leftover from the early nursing days.  I line dried them in the bathroom.  I was surprised when they were still damp 2 days later. 

When they were finally dry, I put a spare fitted diaper that I had laying around under the wool.  E didn't seem to mind it at all.  I thought, okay, maybe this isn't so bad.  When it came time to change his diaper, the wool was still dry on the outside.  I guess I was a little skeptical and thought it wouldn't really be waterproof.  But it was.


Interlock wool
Wild Child Woolies

So I decided to break down and buy some wool and a fitted for overnight.  At a trip to Babies Bottoms & More, I bought a Tiny Tush wool cover and a Tiny Tush Trim fitted diaper.  I figured I would add a gFlapper to it and it would be good for overnight. 

But I didn't get the chance to try it for a couple months.  I didn't lanolize the wool right away, and then Ryan and I were in our motorcycle accident.  Life was turned upside down for awhile, and my mom took over diaper laundry.  So E continued to wear a pocket with an added gflapper for overnight.

Once I was feeling a little better, I lanolized the wool and waited the few days it took to dry (which is my biggest complaint about wool -- the long dry time).  Then I put the Tiny Tush fitted on him (with the trusty gflapper) under the Tiny Tush wool.  The next morning, I knew we had finally found the best night time option.

Why didn't I listen to everyone sooner?!

I immediately went on a search for new fitteds.  I also bought my first Sustainablebabyish (aka Sloomb, aka Sbish) wool and fitteds (and this, too!) from Baby Rear Gear.  Elise, the owner, warned me that the Sbish sized fitteds run a little small, so I ordered the large.  She was right, it does run small, but it is my favorite fitted for overnight!!  I do not have to add any inserts, it is plenty absorbant enough for all night.  I now have 3, and absolutely love them!  The snapless multi is also very absorbant, and good for overnight (though I do add a gFlapper for that).

Custom Shorties by Fluffabebe.

I have added to E's wool and fitted stash.  In fact, I sold literally half of my stash of pockets and AIO's to make room for fitteds and wool.  I found Little Fancy Pants fitteds, which, next to Sbish, are my favorites.  I also found FluffaBebe woolies.  She is local, and shared her brand new business when I asked on the DFW Cloth Diaper Group's page asking about wool.  In fact, the green woolie and the shorties you see on her Etsy page belong to E:)

I do not find the wool hard to care for.  In fact, it's easier than the diapers!  While we are at home and at night, E wears fitteds and wool.  Out of the house he still wears pockets or AIO's, since they fit better under his regular shorts.  But in this heat, the wool is breathable and keeps his bottom cool.  He's had some nasty rashes from his very acidic teething poo, and the fitteds with wool have helped clear those up quickly (with my favorite rash remedy, Grandma El's!) since the heat is not trapped in the diaper.

I'm glad I finally broke down and tried wool.  My only regret is that I didn't try it sooner.

I will explain how to care for wool (complete with pics!) in an upcoming post!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4/16/11

This post is mainly for me.  I debated keeping it in a private journal, but ultimately decided to share it here, for anyone who is interested.

This is my account of what happened the night of April 16, 2011.  I still remember the details as if it just happened.  Today is the 4 month mark since the accident.  It's been a long, hard 4 months.  I feel very blessed that I am still here to share this.

WARNING:  I will share some photos.  Some are not very pleasant to look at.  I will post them at the end, so if you do not want to see them, do NOT scroll to the bottom of the post.


Ryan and I hadn't had a date night in awhile, I'm not even sure exactly how long it had been.  We asked Ryan's parents to come over and stay with the boys so we could have a night out.  Riley was nearing 4 years, and Eli was 17 months.  We wanted some time for us in our always hectic schedule.

I had worked all day at the Nappy Shoppe.  Ryan was home with the kids.  Towards the end of the day at work, I stubbed my big toe, and it hurt like hell!  When I got home to change for our night out, I decided to wear my flat slip on shoes, since my boots have a heel that hurt my toe too much to walk in them.  Normally, I do wear boots while riding the motorcycle, but I didn't really think much of it.  We were always safe, and I trusted Ryan 100%.

It was a rush as I arrived home from work.  The kids were excited that their grandparents came over, while Ryan and I tried to get ready.  At some point I nursed Eli, who was down to just a few nursing sessions a day.  I don't remember the details or the last time I nursed him.  It was so routine, I didn't really think about how special our time was.

Ryan and I told the boys goodbye, put on our leather jackets and helmets and hopped on the bike.  I waved goodbye one last time as we drove off, with the kids and my inlaws watching and waving from our front yard.  It was my first time riding with Ryan since before getting pregnant with Eli, so nearly 2 years.

We went to dinner, then decided to take a ride around Grapevine.  We had no plans other than to enjoy our date.  We rode over the dam, then headed back to downtown Grapevine.  I wanted to visit the wineries and buy a bottle of wine I had tried on my birthday.  A couple hours later, we decided to head home, a bottle of a blackberry merlot in my purse, tucked under my arm.

It wasn't even 11:00 pm, but I was tired after a long day.  So I relaxed and enjoyed the ride, laying my head on Ryan's back, with my eyes closed most of the ride. Soon, we were just a few miles from home.

A pick-up truck exited the tollway to merge with the service road, so Ryan changed lanes.  We were now in the middle lane.  He decided to stay there since there were only a couple of cars, both behind us.  The left lane is left turn only, and the middle lane can either turn left or go straight.

The light ahead was red, so Ryan and the other cars slowed down.  As we approached, the light changed to green, so Ryan acccelerated and started to make the (legal) turn left.  My eyes were closed again at this point.  I was ready to be home so I could finally rest for the first time all day.

The bike leaned for the left turn, and suddenly I felt the worst pain of my life.  It was excrutiating.  My immediate thought was That car just tried going straight in a left turn only lane...  I didn't see it coming.

The next thing I remember was laying on the ground, in the middle of the road, hearing Ryan calling out to me.  I opened my eyes and saw him running toward me.  In a state of shock, and fear that a car would run me over (I was in the middle of the intersection), he was yelling at me to get up.

I tried lifting my legs and the pain hit me like a ton of bricks.  I couldn't do it.  The pain, well, there are no words to describe how bad the pain was.  I guess you could say it felt exactly how you would expect it to feel to have your leg crushed between a small SUV and a motorcycle.  I rolled back and forth on my back, unable to stop.  I yelled and cursed at how bad it hurt.  I think I would have offended a sailor.

Ryan was there, asking if I was okay.  Then I heard 2 other voices, one male and one female.  I never saw their faces.  I was too distraught, in too much pain, and my motorcycle helmet blocked my view.  The man talked to me, trying to calm me down and get me to lay still.  I settled on my left side, clinging to the bottom of my full face helmet.  I tried to focus, but I was scared, hurt, and trying not to completely freak out anymore.

Ryan was behind me, and I kept asking if he was okay.  He tried to reassure me he was fine, that he was concerned about me.  I kept hearing the man and woman who stopped to help talking about how there was so much blood, they couldn't stop the blood.  I honestly thought they were talking about Ryan.  Later I found out it was mine.  My left leg felt like every bone had been crushed into a million pieces from the knee down.

It wasn't long before the ambulance arrived, only a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity.  Once they arrived, things moved quickly.  They took Ryan to an ambulance.  I was put on the backboard while they worked on my leg.  I didn't know what they were doing.  I just felt pain.  They moved me to a stretcher, and took me to the ambulance.  Ryan was inside, waiting for the second ambulance to arrive.  We kissed goodbye, and they took him to the hospital in the other ambulance. 

An officer asked if there was anyone they could call.  I told them to call my inlaws, who were at home with my kids.  And also my parents.  I knew that this was the call every parent never wants to hear.  And then it hit me just how hard this was going to be on my kids.  How was this going to affect them?  I was hurt, but I was worried for them.  My heart ached and all I wanted to do was hold them.  I also wanted Ryan there with me to hold my hand, but he wasn't.  I felt so alone.

I remember repeating I can't believe this happend.  We were just on a date  How could this happen?  I was told by the paramedics that there was no pulse in my foot, and they had to do "something" before they could take me to the ER.  I didn't know, or really care, what that "something" was.  I didn't ask, just told them to do what they needed to do.  They had started an IV at this point, but told me the pain meds wouldn't help with what they had to do.  The paramedic next to me, who had started the IV, took my hand.  I still had my helmet on, so I stared at the ceiling of the ambulance.  I squeezed his hand tight, and I remember thinking, That wasn't so bad.  At least not compared to how it felt since my leg was crushed.  I don't think it could be any worse than it already was.

They finally removed my helmet, and replaced it with a hard neck brace.  So I was still unable to look around, much less down.  I still had not seen what my leg looked like.

In the ambulance, I apologized for all the cursing I had done.  They told me I had a right to say whatever I wanted.  I think a combination of the shock wearing off and the medication running through the IV, but I was finally feeling a little calmer and not so panicked.  Talking helped, to try to distract me from what happened, and from the pain.  I even joked about how earlier that day I was worried about jamming my big toe (which just happened to be on my left foot).

Soon enough we arrived at the hospital.  There were 2 hospitals closer, but this one had the trauma center level that could take care of me.  I was later told that if we had been any further away by ambulance that I would have been careflighted to Dallas. 

They wheeled me into a room, where Ryan was laying on a gurney.  There was medical equipment between us, but at least we were in the same room and could talk to each other.  Doctors and nurses moved about, talking to me.  They cut off my clothes, which were all brand new.  The paramedics briefed them on what happened.  I don't remember anything that they said.  Except for one thing.  They told the hospital staff that I had a bottle of wine in my purse that was crushed, so that's why they smelled alcohol.  I'm sure Ryan and I both smelled completely drunk, though we weren't.

The rest of the night is a blur of doctors and nurses talking to me, working on my leg, and a lot of waiting.  I spoke with my parents on the phone, I think they said a prayer with me (but I honestly don't remember the exact conversation), and told me they'd be there in the morning. 

The morphine they gave me for pain wasn't doing much except make me nauseous.  I even got sick a couple of times.  They gave me something to help the nausea, but it didn't help.

I cried a lot, thinking about how different things were going to be.  I cried for my kids.  I knew they were safe and just fine with my inlaws, but I still worried for them.  Especially Eli.  He was such a mama's boy, still nursing, and hated to be away from me.  I worried about how he would do when he woke up and Ryan and I weren't there.  I knew that our breastfeeding days were over.  I worried about how Riley would handle seeing me in so much pain.  I worried about how I could take care of my kids.  Ryan was still on his gurney, so we couldn't even hold hands.  And because of my neck brace I was unable to see him.

I was taken to have CT scans done.  They scanned my head, neck, back, legs... pretty much everything.  Back in the ER, the doctor came and told me the news.  He said the good (and very surprising) thing was that not a single bone in my ankle was broken.  That was extremely shocking, since I fully expected it to be crushed.  So did he.  I had broken my left fibula and right pelvic bone.  He then told me about what they call a "degloving".  The skin and pad of my heel had been peeled off of my foot, exposing the heel bone and achilles tendon.  They needed to clean it up and reattach it to my foot.  Which meant surgery.

They began stitching up Ryan's gash in his leg, but it was almost time for me to go to surgery.  So they took me to a room somewhere, and soon after Ryan joined me.  I had to throw away my contacts, so everything was fuzzy since I didn't have my glasses.  My father in law would be bringing them soon, but he wouldn't be there until after I was taken back for surgery.

I was still feeling nauseous.  I even got sick.  Morphine was not what it's cracked up to be.  It's bad stuff.

Around 7:00 am, they took me to the OR.  I don't remember going.  I just remember waking up in a room, with Ryan on the couch next to the bed.  My left leg was propped up on pillows, my foot completely limp.  The pain was still horrible, despite their attempts to give me enough medication to control it.  A tube was attached to my foot.  I found out later it was a wound vac.

I slept most of the day, the anesthesia still in my system.  I was thankful I was even alive.  I found out in the next few days that it was a 16 year old girl who hit us.  I also learned that my head smashed her windshield, which is the only part of the accident I don't remember.  Thank God for helmets.  If it weren't for the helmet, I wouldn't be able to share this story. 

The boys were brought up to see us later that day.  Oh how I missed them!  I knew it would be hard for them to see me in that condition, that it would probably scare them.  But I also knew it would scare them more to not see me at all.

Riley was quiet, but would sit next to me on the bed.  Eli wouldn't come anywhere close to me.  But at least he wasn't screaming and crying.  I much preferred that he be happy away from me than not wanting to let go of me.  I was nervous that he would want to nurse, and I wouldn't be able to.  You can read more about the end of our breastfeeding journey here.

Ryan stayed with me for the first several days, even though he was never admitted to the hospital.  I'm glad he was there.  It would have been much more difficult to be there, especially at night, by myself.  I had another surgery on Wednesday, April 20.  They had to put 2 screws in my ankle since a ligament broke due to the broken fibula.  They placed another wound vac on, as well as a big heavy cast/splint. 

Our life has changed.  Our lives as individuals, and our life as a family.  It has been extrememly difficult, and while we have had our ups and downs, I believe we are stronger because of it.

Ryan and I could have easily lost our lives that night.  Riley and Eli could have been left without their parents.  Eli wouldn't even remember us, and Riley would only remember bits and pieces.  I thank God everyday that we are still here to hold our kids and to see them grow up into the amazing individuals I know they will be.

I don't think the reality of the accident set in until 3 weeks later.  I had been home for less than a week, but I wanted to help out my boss at an expo.  I was feeling okay and ready to do something useful.  So Ryan drove me to the mall and unloaded me in the wheelchair.  I was asked the same question I have been asked about a million times since the accident:  "What happened to you?"  One woman in particular stands out.  After I told her it was a motorcycle accident 3 weeks prior, she stopped, a look of realization on her face.  She asked if it was at a certain intersection, and I said yes.  My first thought was that she was the mother of the girl who hit us.  I didn't know what I would say to her.  Then she told me that her husband was a first responder, an off-duty police officer who saw it happen on his way home.

He called his wife that night to tell her that he'd be late.  He also told her that he thought it would be a fatlity accident.

It hit me then just how bad things could have been.  I hid my emotions, and told her to let her husband know that my husband and I would be fine!  She was more than happy to be able to tell him that.  But her words sank in.  I couldn't even pick her face in a crowd because I lost myself in my thoughts once I heard those words.  Again, I thought of my kids.  And about how thankful I was.

I believe the man who calmed me down was this woman's husband.


Here I am, 4 months later, and facing one more surgery (#5).  This will be an easy one, to remove the screws in my ankle.  It is scheduled for Friday, 8/19/11.  (edited to add:  surgery was rescheduled to Monday, 8/22.)  I've finally been able to start walking without the boot or my crutches in the last 2 weeks.  Physical Therapy is going well, though it's hard.  Despite the accident, life still moves on.  The world does not stop because we were hit by a car.  Riley turned 4.  Ryan has a birthday this weekend.  Our 5th wedding anniversary is in a few weeks.  We have tried to live as normal life as possible.  It's just been a new normal.

I have been asked how I can have such a positive outlook through all of this.  I answer that here.  I have dealt with people who somehow don't realize that someone, somewhere always has it worse than you.  Despite the crappy things that have happened in the last few months, I know that there are many people right now who are facing much more difficult situations than I.  I truly believe it's all a matter of perspective.  Yes, what happened to us was a horrible thing, but I will not dwell on the bad and what could have happened.  I will focus on the good and what didn't happen.

When I say certain things or write certain posts, it's not to be "holier than thou".  It's because I want to use my experience to help others realize that life, no matter how bad at times, is a beautiful thing.  Something bad happened to us.  But I have always believed that God will make something beautiful out of something tragic.  And I believe He is doing that now.  If our story touches just one person, then sharing it has served it's purpose.


Today I heard a song I haven't heard in awhile.  So I thought I'd share.


"If You're Going Through Hell" by Rodney Atkins

If you're going through hell
Keep on goin', don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out before the Devil even knows you're there

If you're going through hell
Keep on movin', face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out before the Devil even knows you're there...





If you would like to read more about the months following the accident and how it has affected our family, you can read my posts here.  I am always open to questions, so if you have any, feel free to post them in the comments or on my facebook page. 


I have been asked by countless people to see pictures of my foot.  If you are squeamish, you will want to close your browser now.









Ryan's deep gash, total of 10 stitches.
He now has a scar, but it has healed well.

Ryan's bruising, 2-3 days post accident.



My foot, between 1st and 2nd surgery.
The black you see is the wound
vac.  The rest is tape.  It was
completely limp and I was unable to move it.

4/25/2011  Inside of left foot. 
Skin is beginning to die on back of foot.






















This was about 3 weeks post accident.
The black is the dead skin/tissue.
The white is a cream I had to put on it.
This was a few days before the 3rd surgery.


This was 1 week after the 3rd surgery,
1 week before the 4th surgery (skin graft).
The plastic surgeon removed all of the dead tissue.
I had a wound vac on this to prepare it for the skin graft.

6/6/11.
This is the first time I saw the skin graft,
5 days after the 4th surgery. 

This is what it looked like with a wound vac on it.
This was right after the skin graft (4th surgery). 
 
6/6/11.  The back of my foot after the skin graft.
My tattoo is still there!
At the top edge of the photo, in the center, you can see
the incision where the screws were put in my ankle.

6/6/11.  My outer left thigh.  Donor site for the skin graft. 

This was taken about 2 weeks after the skin graft. 
Stitches are still there in this photo,
along the outside edges of the graft.
The bottom part of my heel is the one spot
that the skin graft did not "take". 
The spot has gotten smaller,
but is still open.

August 2011.  This was also about 2 weeks ago.
The outer part of my foot almost looks like
 normal skin.  It is still tender, but looking good.

August 2011.  This was taken about 2 weeks ago.
The skin graft looks great!  There is still one small
area at the bottom of my heel that has remained open.
Overall, it has healed well.








Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Changed.

Last week I had an appointment with the play therapist who will work with Riley.  The place is about 40 minutes from our house (without traffic), much further than I had wanted.  But when I have so many recommendations for one particular place, that is where I will go! 

On my way there, traffic came to a dead stop.  Behind me I heard sirens, so I pulled over as far as I could on the busy highway to let the emergency vehicles through.  I thought, uh oh.  It's been a very long time since I've driven in rush hour traffic on a busy highway.  I was quickly reminded just how impatient people are to get to wherever it is they are going. 

Everyone seemed to think that this accident ahead was just something that will delay their trip home, to dinner, a date, a meeting, wherever they need to be.  So self absorbed that they forget that up ahead, someone's life just changed.  Or possibly ended, if the accident was really bad.  They don't think about the people invloved in the accident, or those going to help them.  And it's more than just them.  It's also the families of the ones involved.  What about their kids?  Spouse?  Parents?  It effects them, too.

Maybe it was the fact that I was on my way to talk about my son's PTSD, which was a result of our accident.  Or maybe it was the fact that I was listening to Casting Crown's.  Either way, I actually teared up thinking about how the lives of those ahead were just changed. 

In the last 15.5 weeks since that night, our lives have been different.  Yes, we are doing fine and are very fortunate that we are still here to tell the tale.  But our lives are different.  My parents lives are different, as my mom is still staying with us to help me while Ryan is at work.  My kids' lives are different.  The life of the girl who hit us is different, and so is her family's.  For better or worse, we are all changed because of one moment in time. 

I've been thinking a lot recently about those emergency workers who helped us.  The police, the firefighters and paramedics.  The good samaritans who stopped to help and call 911.  The emergency workers were just doing their job.  I don't remember a single name or face (I was slightly distracted by the worst pain I have ever felt).  But I do remember how they calmed me down (I was in "fight or flight mode", as one paramedic put it).  One paramedic held my hand as the others worked on stablizing my foot (it had no pulse, my heel bone and achilles tendon were completely exposed).  I had no clue what they were doing, but the simple act of holding my hand was comforting.  Ryan was already in another ambulance on his way to the hospital, so he couldn't be there next to me. 

Every time I see any emergency workers in The Colony, I wonder if they worked the accident.  On Monday I took myself and the boys to lunch at Chick Fil A.  A group of firefighters/paramedics walked in to order as we were leaving.  On a whim, I turned around and asked the closest one to me if he worked a motorcycle accident a few months ago.  He did.  I was finally able to put a face to one of the strangers who helped us, and tell him thank you

My boys playing in
the fire truck!
Last night was National Night Out, which means block party time!  Every year, a police car and fire truck stop by to visit.  I asked the officers if they worked the accident, which they did not.  But one of the sergeants knew about the accident, and that it was a high school girl who hit us.  But 2 of the firefighters/paramedics did.  They remembered the accident in detail, and were very happy to see we are doing well!  Again, I was able to thank them for their help, and everything they do.  It was one of these 2 that told me I was in "fight or flight mode". 

A long time ago, someone suggested instead of cursing or complaining when you hear sirens, say a prayer for whoever they are going to help, and also for the emergency workers.  That has always stuck with me.  I still do it to this day.  The tricky part is to also say a prayer of thanks when you get a speeding ticket.  Maybe that traffic stop prevented an accident that could change your life forever, and the life of someone you'll never meet. 

By the way, that accident that happened last week on my way to the play therapist was minor.  A lot of damage to the cars, but everyone appeared to be okay.  I breathed a big sigh of relief for them.


What is one moment in your life, big or small, that has changed you?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freedom!

I just got home from an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon.  This was a big appointment for me, with several questions about my recovery.

First of all, it's all looking great!  My plastic surgeon cleared me two weeks ago to lose the boot I've been wearing for so long, but I had to wait for this appointment to see what the ortho said.  The 2 screws in my left ankle are still there and in place.  Problem is, with my already skinny ankles and the muscle atrophy, my ankle is down to nothing!  I can touch my thumb and middle finger together when I wrap them around it.  So because of this, and also the range of motion I'm slowly gaining, I have been able to feel the 2 screws, on either side of my ankle (inside and out).

He told me before that it was a 50/50 chance of having the screws removed.  If they broke, then they could stay.  But they are still intact.  And since my ankle has no muscle, fat, or tissue to cushion the screws (which is why I can feel them), he is recommending they come out.  So in about 4 weeks I will go in for Surgery #5 to have them removed.  It will be a quick day surgery, with a short recovery.  He also thinks I will have better range of motion in my ankle after removing the screws.

This is all great news!  Yes, it means another surgery, but it also means that I am healing and my body is doing what it should. 

The surgery will fall around the week of August 22-26, which falls right before a very busy September. There's Labor Day, our 5 year wedding anniversary trip to San Antonio, and a trip to California to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and my niece (who I have not been able to meet yet).  But the recovery time for this surgery will be quick, so he doesn't think it will hinder any vacation plans.

The biggest and most exciting news of the day is that I can stop wearing my boot!!!!  This is the best news of my recovery, especially here in Texas!  The boot is lined with "fur" (I think it's fleece).  It is the hottest boot imaginable.  Everyone tells me it looks like an Ugg.  And it's been 100+ degrees here for several weeks.  Yesterday my car told me it hit 110*.  Imagine wearing your Ugg's in that weather!  Not fun. 

He also told me to start weaning off of the crutches.  I have tried using just one crutch (with the boot on), and even no crutches.  It wasn't pleasant.  But when I got home today (wearing my regular shoes), I was actually able to walk around (well, limp around) and carry my own plate of food.  It is such a relief to know that I am now able to get myself something to eat or drink without having to rely on someone else to carry it for me.  I am not ready to go crutch-less out of the house just yet, but I'm on my way!

I don't think I'll be able to wear my sexy heels  on our anniversary trip, but that's okay.  I was told 4-6 weeks after the surgery to be careful (no dancing or twisting of the ankle), so that will be a little too soon to wear 4" heels.  I'll just have to go find some sexy flats!

Riley is doing well, too.  I had an appointment a couple weeks ago to get him started with play therapy.  Now I'm just waiting to hear back from the counselor to get him scheduled.  He's had a busy few weeks!  He's attending the Summer Fun! camps at our church, as well as Vacation Bible School.  He has had a blast, and will continue to have fun as the summer goes on!  While he seems to be doing a little better, I still want to get him in the play therapy to make sure he is able to work through his emotions after the accident.  He still holds a "grudge" against motorcycles, and seems to worry more than he should.  The anger issues are still there, but don't seem to be as bad.

Almost forgot to mention that I've been driving for the last few weeks.  Which means I've been off the pain meds for a few weeks!  Over the counter meds have been able to manage my pain (mostly). 

So that's it for now.  I'm staying busy with church, kids, the DFW Cloth Diaper Group, the DFW Cloth Diaper Project, physical therapy,  and other activities that are part of life!

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Moment: Donut Date

This moment is just a photo of a memory from this week.  A moment in time that you want to keep frozen in your memory.


This week's memory is from yesterday.  Riley and I had a donut date before he went to a "camp" at church.  It's a rare time anymore when it's just me and him.  I appreciate these moments even more now! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

fml...

Really?!

I read so many posts on facebook about people complaining about the little things, followed by "fml".  For those who don't know what that means, it is "f**k my life".  Sorry, I apologize for the language, I don't like reading blogs with it, but it has been irritating me for a long time.  So this is my vent.

Even before my accident, I didn't like reading posts with that.  But even more so in the last 12 weeks, it really irks me (I love any chance to use the word "irks").  I admit, I may post a complaint here and there, but I never even think "fml".  It is very sad to me that so many people think that small problems are so big.  I understand that there are some days where I may feel down and defeated.  But things really are not that bad.

My kids may drive me crazy and get on my last nerve on a day that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

My car may break down (been there, done that -- plenty of times).

A car cut me off today.

I got in a fight with my husband.

I got a bad haircut trying to save a few bucks.

I was in a motorcycle accident with my husband and still can't walk 12 weeks later, much less take care of my kids.

My 4 year old potty trained son is having regressions and has PTSD as a result of our accident.

It's not the end of the world.  Life goes on.

When I traveled to Nigeria in 2003, everyone told me to expect culture shock when I got there.  I did experience it, but not until returning home.  On that trip, I witnessed children running around naked because they had no clothes, yet they still had joy on their face!  I witnessed women caring for orphans (who lost their parents to illness or war) who genuinely loved what they did, despite the poor living conditions (no electricity and a hole in the floor for a "toilet").  I witnessed people singing and dancing down the aisle at church to joyfully give their offering, even if they couldn't "afford" it.  I experienced the "potholes" in the roads (that spanned the width of the road and were just as deep).

Then I came home to America, where more is never enough.  Where we complain about the tiniest bump in the road.  Where we complain about a dirty restroom at the mall.  Where we complain about not being able to afford the newest phone/tv/video game/_insert gadget here_.  Where we are jealous of our friend's new designer handbag or shoes.   Where we complain about a 5 minute power loss from a storm.

I'm not saying this to be "holier than thou", or to make you think I'm perfect by any means.  I'm not.  I do complain about these things (though I complain about potholes a lot less!).  But I also know there's no point in thinking my life is horrible because of the little things that go wrong.  Or even the big things.  Use a little perspective and you will realize that even the big things may one day look small.  Or that your big troubles in life are nothing compared to a friend's or neighbor's.  Or that stranger you passed by in the store, the one who has to choose between diapers and food because they can't afford both.


Instead of saying "fml", why not just be thankful for all of the little good things in your life?  You might realize there's a lot more good than bad.  And even if there's not, be thankful.  Always.




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sexy Heels (and an update)!


These shoes are my goal.  I could not resist these sexy heels yesterday, so I bought them as an inspiration to walk again very soon (not that I really need more of an incentive than my kids).  The price was just too good to pass up!

Once I'm up and walking again, I'm going to make Ryan take me out on a nice date so I can wear them!

Speaking of walking....  I had my very first physical therapy session this morning.  For the first time in 10.5 weeks, I put weight on my left foot and "walked" on it.  Range of motion in my ankle will be the biggest concern, as well as being able to put weight on it.

I have had continuing knee problems since the accident.  It's no surprise, since it was crushed between a car and our motorcycle.  But the orthopedic surgeon told me the x-rays were clear (but he would refer me to a sports medicine doctor if it continued to bother me).  The physician's assistant that I saw 2 weeks ago just brushed it off (I was not impressed with her and will not see her again).  I haven't really pushed it, since I knew the ankle was the bigger concern.  But it is still fairly swollen and bruised.  It also hurts if it is in one position too long (especially bent).  The therapist looked at it, and told me that I definitely sprained the MCL, and deeply bruised something I can't pronounce (much less spell!) that is connected to the MCL.  He said I do not need to seek treatment from a doctor now, only if the therapy does not help.  They will work on my knee, but the ankle is still top priority.  Once I'm up and walking more, the knee therapy will start.

I was told to do excersizes twice a day on non-therapy days.  I will go 3 times a week for about 6 weeks, depending on how things go. 

It was not painful, but extremely uncomfortable.  Well, I lied.  Putting weight on it was painful, as was "walking" on it.  I will still use the crutches, for balance and support.  The boot stays for now.  It is designed to keep pressure off of my heel.  I still have an open wound on the back of my heel where the skin graft didn't "take", so it has to stay bandaged up.  Once my heel has healed a little more, I will be able to start wearing regular shoes again.  The therapist told me about a neoprene "sleeve" that I can wear to cover the back of my heel/ankle, so that my shoes won't rub against it. 

Hopefully that neoprene sleeve will work with my new heels!  I am determined to wear them within 3 months. 

We also took Riley back to the doctor today for his 4 year well check.  He was happy that he didn't have to get shots (the vaccines are all back-ordered until late July).  We talked more about his PTSD.  His behavior has been better, but I'm still concerned about some other things (as is our doctor).  She gave me the name of a child psychistrist, but he doesn't do play therapy for children his age.  I was given some other names of child therapists and psychologists, and we are working on geting him into play therapy to help him work through his emotions.  It's been hard, and things are getting slightly better, but he still needs just a little help to figure things out.  

Riley has also been talking (mostly to my mom) about how he doesn't like motorcycles anymore.  He told Ryan and I last night that we couldn't ride a motorcycle again because it was too dangerous (his words, not mine).  This coming from a little boy who used to love his daddy's motorcycles. 

Overall, things are going very well.  Life is still very busy, and it never stops.  We will get past this chapter in our life, and we will move on.

For now, though, I just can't wait to wear those heels!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I can't believe it's over.

The Breastfeeding logo.
I never thought I'd be writing this post.  Mostly because I never thought I'd be sad about not breastfeeding anymore.  I have heard of mom's who slip into a depression after their nursling weans (for whatever reason, at any age, whether it be 5 months or 5 years).  I never understood it.  I don't want you to think I'm being insensitive, I just haven't experience that before.  While I am not depressed, I do feel sad that E is no longer nursing.

I know the biggest reason I feel this way is because it was not our choice, mine or E's.  He was 17 months.  Five months longer than I nursed Riley, and much longer than I ever expected or planned.  I am very proud we made it so long.

I can't remember a single detail about the last time I nursed him (and now the tears are forming...).  If I had known it would be the last time, I would have cuddled with him while he found both comfort and nourishment.  I would have savored every moment of it.  I would have memorized his face, the sounds he made, the way he looked at me and grinned, while still latched on.  I would have asked my hubby to take a photo to capture that moment of peace.  I would have remembered exactly where we sat (most likely the couch, where I usually nursed him, but it could have been my bed, I really can't remember).  I would have captured every second of it in my mind, to cherish forever.

It became something I took for granted, that special time for me and Eli, that happened whenever, and wherever, he wanted it.  There were times I wished he were ready to stop, so I could have my body back all to myself.  But I knew he was not ready, so we continued.  When he turned 1 year, I thought we would see how he was doing at 15 months.  Then 15 months hit, and he still wasn't ready, so we carried on.

I couldn't resist taking this photo last winter!
I absolutely love the look on his face, and will always cherish moments like this one!

Then Ryan and I were in the accident, and I was pumped full of drugs.  I also had emergency surgery on my foot 8 hours after the accident.  More drugs in my system.  I remember laying in the ER, in the worst pain of my life, and telling the nurses that I would no longer be able to nurse my baby (and here are more tears).  They said they were sorry, and asked how old my baby was.  I told them 17 months, and they were impressed (not repulsed) that we made it that long! 

Once I was in my room, a couple of my nurses offered me a pump so I could keep up my supply.  But at that point, I knew it was over.  Pumping is not my friend.  I have not been able to pump since E was about 5-6 months old.  Only a few tiny drops would come out any time I tried.  I knew I had a long hospital stay ahead of me, more medications (most of which are not safe for BFing), and more surgeries.  I also didn't know how E would take to nursing again after my long stay away from him.

I realized our breastfeeding days were over.  It took about 8 days for my milk to dry up.  I used cabbage leaves to help ease the discomfort.  By the time I went to rehab, it was gone.

When the kids were brought up to visit me, E wanted nothing to do with me for the first 5-6 days.  The last day he saw me in the hospital, he finally warmed up enough to sit by me for a few minutes.  At rehab, he was much better and ran right up to me.  Once I returned home, he still didn't want much to do with me, and clung to my mom for the first few days. 
A few days after returning home from rehab, E woke up early, still very sleepy.  He cuddled with my mom on the couch, but after a few minutes, decided he would cuddle with me. 

He laid in my lap, and immediately got into the "position".  He always preferred my left side, so that's how he laid in my lap.  He sweetly looked up at me and pointed at my breast, and said "ehh, ehh" (his way of telling me he wanted milk).  I gently told him "No more milk, it's all gone."  He put his head down, as if to say "okay".  Then a few minutes later, he asked again.  3-4 times he did this, but stayed calm every time I told him "no more".  I was surprised at how calm he was.  Then the 4-5th time, he had a meltdown.  He screamed, and threw himself down.  He didn't want me to put him down, yet he didn't want me to hold him.  My heart was aching.  I wanted so badly to just pop out my boob and let him try, but I knew the milk was long gone.  He got over it a few minutes later, and was content cuddling.  But inside I felt horrible I could no longer give him what he wanted/needed.

What breastfeeding a
toddler is really like!

Only one other time has he asked for it.  He had fallen and hurt himself (mostly his ego), and came to me for comfort.  I was unable to give him the comfort he wanted, though.  Again, my heart ached.

A few days ago I was getting dressed.  When I took off my night shirt, he got all excited and pointed at my chest, as if to say "Look!  My old friends!"  Then he sat by me, still happy.  I continued to get dressed, half expecting him to ask for milk.  But he didn't. 

It's really over.  And I'm sad.  I now understand why people say they were saddened when their child weaned themselves.  When I weaned Riley at 12 months (yes, I weaned him), he was more than fine!  He honestly couldn't care less where his milk came from (bottle, cup, or boob; me or a cow).  He was fine, and so was I.  This time, it was not my decision, nor was it Eli's.  He has done much better than I expected.  I think partly because I was gone for 2 weeks, so he had time to adjust to not nursing before I came home.

I have been putting off sitting down to write this post.  I knew it would be hard.  I knew that once I put it in writing it would solidify that it's really over, that I will never nurse Eli again.  And it would also confirm that I really am sad about it.  Out of everything that has happened in the last 9 weeks, this is one thing that I wish I could take back and fix.  My physical injuries are healing and I know I will walk again.  But I cannot take back the end of our breastfeeding relationship.  I will never nurse him again.  I hate that I don't remember the last time I nursed him.  It's all gone, it's all over.  And there's nothing I can do to change it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My son has PTSD.

And he's not even 4. 

Since the accident 8.5 weeks ago, Riley has been acting out, having potty accidents, and just flat out not listening.  He also has days where he's just sad, or mad, and he doesn't know why.  He's also had several occassions where he woke up in the middle of the night crying.  He doesn't want to go to bed, although the last week he has been better about bedtime.

I know what you're thinking:  He's 4 (almost -- in less than 2 weeks).  It's just a phase, he'll get past this.  No, it's more than that.  I know typical 4 year old behavior, I taught preschool classes for many years.  This is typical 4 y/o behavior, magnified.  Plus a whole lot more.

Last week I called our family doctor, since things have been getting progressively worse, not better like I had hoped it would.  She told me that he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Those words never even crossed my mind.  I knew a lot of this was normal behavior, but more of it was because of the changes that have occurred since our accident

It all makes sense.  It's been hard, on all of us.  Consistancy has been hard with 3 adults, who have 3 different parenting styles.  My mom has been living here since the accident, since I'm unable to care for the kids while Ryan is at work.  With his increasing temper tantrums and acting out, it's very frustrating.  It's hard to find the perfect balance between the comfort he craves and the discipline he needs. 

After talking with his doctor, we are all changing the way we talk to him, and trying our best to be on the same page.  We need to stay firm, while letting him know we understand why he is so frustrated sometimes.  He doesn't know how to process his feelings.  He gets mad, then he gets sad...and he doesn't know why

We also will continue to reassure him I am going to be fine, and that I'm not going anywhere.  One day for me to be away from him feels like forever.  Ryan and I drove off for a date, and I didn't return home for 2 weeks.  He was scared and unsure of what was happening.  After coming home, I had 2 more brief hospital stays (surgeries).  The last one (2 weeks ago) really upset him.  He did not want me to leave again.  I am the one who is always here, day and night.  He's used to Ryan going to work all day, then coming home.  But he's not used to me being gone for more than a few hours. 

And I'm hurt, and can't care for him the way I usually do.  I can't get down and play with him.  I get tired easily.  The pain meds make me nauseous, so he's seen me at my worst.  I hurt, and he has to be gentle.  My mom has been here to help with those things, but it's been very different for him.  He's used to Mimi being Mimi who spoils him, not the primary caregiver who has to discipline him.  It's very confusing for him.

If in the next week things do not improve, we will go back to the doctor and talk about either play therapy, or a play group, to help him learn how to process his emotions.  She said it would probably only take a few weeks, but it would be well worth it for him.

It is hard to think about the fact that we can't "deal with" our son's behavior.  We're his parents, I'm his Mommy.  We should know exactly what to do.  I know he's having a hard time with things, but I also know we can't baby him and let him get away with eveything because of that.  That will only make things worse.  It also doesn't help that when I am in pain or very uncomfortable and tired, because my patience runs very thin at those times.  It's hard to stay calm when all I want to do is yell because I'm in pain.  So when he is refusing to listen or do what I've asked him to do, it is extremely frustrating.  There are times that I feel like the worst mom in the world because I just yelled at my kid for something as little as not picking up his toys.  This is where we need to find that balance of comfort and discipline, but it's hard.

Hearing the doctor say that he has PTSD was hard to process.  He's so young to be going through that.  I almost feel guilty, but then I feel guilty for feeling guilty.  It is so hard to know that this is something I can't just kiss and make better.  I wish I could.

I know things will get better, and that I am not a failure as a mom.  But right now it is hard, on top of everything else we are dealing with now.  So I ask for your prayers, especially for Riley.  Please pray that he is able to process his emotions in a positive way.  Please pray that we have the wisdom to parent him in the way that he needs. 

Riley enjoying Legoland Discovery Center, just a couple days before my last surgery.