Step 2?

Felix had his follow-up with his developmental specialist last week. All genetic tests came back normal. Imaging and other tests were normal except reflux, which we already knew. Great and consistent progress and improvement during physical therapy. So Dr. Noble said unless we wanted to chase any genetic anomalies, he wouldnโ€™t see him back for another 6 months. Which we chose not to do since he seemed very optimistic and not at all worried any longer.

Things Felix has left to do in November:

โ€ข Othamologist

โ€ข Audiologist

โ€ข GI Specialist

โ€ข Neurologist and EEG

โ€ข Continued physical therapy

No new specialists beyond November at this point. We may have follow-ups, and of course continued physical therapy, but nothing more referred by Dr. Noble. Weโ€™re making progress!

Video: Felix, October 2019


Over the last few days, even weeks, I have been trying toย find who I am.

When I was in high school I was goth/punk.ย  I had friends, I had a social life.ย  I went to concerts.ย  I went to movies.ย  I had a boyfriend.

Once I entered my 20s, I settled down and had babies.ย  When that first marriage didn’t work, I dated around.ย  I didn’t know who I was anymore at that point.ย  My social life got flushed down the toilet when I gave birth to my first baby.ย  I didn’t go out and do anything anymore.ย  I stayed home with my kids and did what I could to give them a good upbringing myself rather than have a child care provider raise them.ย  I didn’t even go out or do anything, as family wouldn’t even keep an eye on the kiddos long enough for me to do anything.

Once I reached my 30s, I found a guy who would be my 2nd husband, and my boys were old enough to leave alone while I worked.ย  I found identity in my work and marriage.ย  I was a wife, a mom, and a veterinary assistant, which I LOVED.ย  I gained a couple friends so I had more social interaction again, and became slightly wider known and respected in my community.

Then due to physical limits from a slowly progressing disability, I lost my job at the vet clinic.ย  Then my husband left me.ย  I ended up dating someone who should never have been anything more than an old friend, and abuse ensued.ย  I lost a lot of my identity again.ย  I pushed away friends and family.ย  I neglected the emotional needs of my children.ย  I neglected all of my own needs.

When I finally snapped out of that pit of despair I found the love of my life, Jarrod.ย  He threw me a rope, so to speak, and pulled me out of that pit.ย  We got married, had surgery to be able to expand our family, and had our baby.ย  The older boys are teenagers now, and my husband’s daughters are also teenagers.ย  The boys and girls had very different upbringings, and clash with each other.ย  The rules the boys were raised with were very different than what the girls were accustomed to when they moved in, so things got lessened and a lot of slack was made for everyone to adjust to the new arrangement.

Now, 2 years later, its IMPOSSIBLE to tighten up rules to fit everyone.ย  We have tried and tried, and no one follows any rules.ย  Our house is a lawless wasteland.ย  No chores get done by kids ever, no matter what punishments or rewards, so if I want this house remotely tidy or sanitary, I have to do it myself.ย  Being a stay at home mom again, you’d think I have all the time in the world to get the house at least somewhat tidy.ย  But no, my baby is extremely demanding of my time and energy.ย  Most days I’m lucky to be able to feed myself supper, let alone scrub a toilet or mop a floor.

So since I had our baby, I’m having a crisis of identity again.ย  I’m a wife.ย  I’m a mom.ย  And that’s where it ends.ย  And I have a hard time even calling myself those two things…

To me, being a wife is being able to be my husband’s companion.ย  To talk to him, support him, enjoy time together with him (and him reciprocating those sentiments), and being a team when it comes to parenting and all the big and little decisions in life.ย  But instead, I feel like it has become an odd partnership, where he works and busts his ass for this family, and I’m at home not accomplishing anything that needs done, while the kids do whatever they want, whenever they want and I cannot keep up or enforce any sort of order.ย  When he comes home from work he is annoyed by kids’ behaviors.ย  When we do get a chance to talk, rather than text, its mostly made up of he and I both venting about our frustrations, and not really having much else to say because frustrations aren’t exactly conversation fuel. Also, by the time he gets home from work in the evening, I may have just laid down the baby and he will likely wake up and need put back to sleep 10,000 more times before I give up and just go to bed for the night.ย  Therefore leaving no time for us to just relax and watch a TV show, talk, or anything else married couples do in their time alone.

To me, being a mom means understanding the needs of the children and doing everything I can to meet those needs within reason, teaching the older kids life skills that will help them survive and thrive on their own such as cleaning, cooking, money management, appropriate social interactions… but this is where I’m failing miserably.ย  Every single one of the children who live in our home have serious issues with several of these things.ย  None of them follow rules.ย  None of them are motivated to do well in school.ย  None of them have any inkling of what should be a priority.ย  They have zero respect for adults, especially Jarrod or me.ย  And they do pretty much whatever in the fuck they feel like, all of the time.ย  The baby is just a baby, so I can’t be upset with him… but he is very needy.ย  A “Velcro” baby if you will.ย  He wants to be held, and when he is on the floor or somewhere playing, he wants me nearby and giving him attention still.ย  In the evenings, he gets fussy because he doesn’t nap during the day and doesn’t typically sleep well at night.ย  So I cannot make supper most nights due to trying to console a fussy and very overtired baby that fights sleep like it is the worst thing in the world. So the older kids end up fending for themselves for supper.

So yes I’m a mom, and I’m a wife, but I don’t feel like I’m doing well at those two things.ย  And that’s all I’ve got.ย  I don’t have any control over my household or my life.ย  I don’t have me time anymore.ย  I don’t get to watch TV.ย  I don’t get to watch movies.ย  I don’t get to listen to music.ย  I don’t get to go for a walk.ย  I don’t get to hang out with friends.ย  I don’t get to pursue any interests, passions, education or career.ย  If I did, this household would fall further and further down this spiral of chaos.ย  The only reason I even had time to sit down and type this is because I am on the brink of a nervous breakdown and I got pissed, screamed, stomped to my bedroom and slammed the door, like the teenagers do.ย  Honestly, due to all the difficulty with everything I attempt right now, I’m feeling like a failure as a human.

And while I’m going on about all this other shit, I might just throw in there that when I got pregnant, supportive people came out of the woodwork.ย  Family, friends… everyone was so happy and couldn’t wait to meet the baby and play with him.ย  And when he was born a few people showed up at the hospital.ย  But since then?ย  Nothing.ย  Literally even those I was closest to just vanished.ย  So yeah, I can’t even turn to anyone for emotional/moral support.ย  Jarrod and I are really on our own.

So, what is this blog post going to accomplish?ย  Is it going to make the teens or anyone at all give a shit about anything?ย  Is it going to make the house clean?ย  Is it going to make the baby sleep?ย  Is it going to make me feel better about myself as a parent, wife, or human?ย  Nope.ย  There is no point really.ย  So if you made it this far, I’m surprised.ย  Sorry to say, there’s no point to any of this.ย  It’s just one big long ramble of a woman with a missing identity, purpose in life, and support system.

The Stories Iโ€™m Told

I met a gentleman today. Like many elderly before him, he saw me walking around in hyvee with Felix in his carrier, and said that it wouldโ€™ve been nice to have when he had been raising kids. He then went on to tell me his life story.

His wife passed away when they were both 35 years old. They had a son and a daughter, and the daughter was still a baby at that time. So he raised his kids alone. He never remarried.

He had polio as a teenager and beat it. He joined the Army when he was young and was in the Korean War. He enjoyed the Army, and worked with explosives. Not explosives like we have nowadays he said, but the ones with glycerin, that can go off for any little reason. He enjoyed traveling and all that he was able to learn and do.

Then he jumped ahead to talking about his wife passing away, and raising and taking care of his son and daughter. He said his son passed away at age 51 to MS, and his daughter passed away at age 46 (I donโ€™t remember why). He said he took care of them as long as he could, until he could no longer. He then helped raise his grandchildren, and they all look out for him when he has medical procedures. He also helps with his great grandchildren now.

This gentleman was proud to tell me he is a born again Christian, and when he was diagnosed with cancer he certainly was not afraid. They told him he had it everywhere, including his lymph nodes and many organs in his body. He had 10 surgeries and watched every one of them he was awake for. He said the nurses and doctors got a kick out of it, but he said itโ€™s his body and he wants to make sure theyโ€™re doing it right. Plus he was fascinated to watch them work. He listed off all the organs affected, which included his pancreas, liver, and intestines (plus several others). Many surgeries, many ICU stays, and even life support. Doctors told him he would never survive it all, but years later he stands there in hyvee telling me about it, cancer-free. He told me about the surgery sites not healing properly and needing to care for it at home. And then he told me about being diabetic and needing to change his diet in order to have a final surgery to repair the open wounds. He changed his diet so much that he no longer needed insulin.

He claimed to never have drank soda, coffee or alcohol other than tastes earlier in life. He said thatโ€™s why he believes he does not have dementia. He currently visits folks at 3 different nursing homes here in town.

He said he drives a pickup truck now because itโ€™s easier to get into. But until recently he had a Mustang. He said just once he got it up to 140 mph. He said heโ€™s heard youโ€™re supposed to die with grace, but he wants to go out with a bang. He wants to enjoy life, every moment of it, and live to be 120! He said the hardest part about being as old as he is, is watching all of his loved ones pass away or lose their memories. But heโ€™s happy to still be alive at AGE 91!!!, against all odds.

I couldโ€™ve listened to him talk all day long. Iโ€™m absolutely fascinated with his stories. And I didnโ€™t even catch his name. Just a photo of him as he left.

Felix is 8 Months Old!

Felix is 8 months old today! In the last month he has really blossomed. Whatever funk he was in for the first 6 months of his life has definitely passed.

Things he does now:

โ€ข Looks at faces, makes eye contact, smiles, and has stranger anxiety.

โ€ข Rolls front to back, back to front.

โ€ข Reaches up and out with his hands to grabs objects.

โ€ข Sits for a few moments at a time, with improvement every day.

โ€ข Stays on hands and knees for a few moments with help.

โ€ข Squeals, babbles, and razzes all the time.

โ€ข Enjoys bath time (and swimming at the Y).

โ€ข Likes playing games and singing, like โ€œPat-A-Cakeโ€ and โ€œItsy Bitsy Spider.โ€

โ€ข Actively and happily participates in physical therapy at appointments and at home.

โ€ข Drinks breastmilk on demand, and eats purรฉed baby food twice a day.

โ€ข Sleeps in his crib (no longer his bassinet) for longer stretches of time at night. But still doesnโ€™t nap well.

โ€ข Still prefers the outdoors.

Iโ€™m sure there are a few things Iโ€™m missing. But these are all big changes that came all at once. He also got his 6 month shots today since he was on a delayed schedule due to his previous CMV infection. At his appointment he weighed 18 lbs 1 oz, and was 27 inches tall.

Now if I could just get him to smile for a picture, it would be really helpful for these monthly updates. Haha!

A blog about my life as a devoted wife and mother…

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