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Thursday, April 26, 2012

4th Grade Goes To the Birmingham Zoo

I think my daughter has been excited about this trip since she got her permission slip about a month ago.  I have to admit I was excited too.  Her dad, brother, and I all went with the 3rd grade to the McWane Center last year, so it was only right for us to make the trip this year.  I have a wonderful career that allows me to go on the school trips, it's called being a stay at home mom.  Luckily, as long as there is enough notice, my husband is able to take off and go on these trips too, without missing pay.  In our house all we have heard is "there are x number of days until the zoo and x number of days until the circus", which we will be going to tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One of THOSE Moms With THOSE Kids

You know when you go out to eat with your family and there's that screaming crying child? You know, the one that makes you not enjoy your meal, makes you roll your eyes and think to yourself, "why can't you shut your child up?" Well, I never could understand that crying child or their parents, I never had a problem with Ellyssa, she was always so perfectly behaved. It wouldn't be until many years later that I would realize she was an EASY baby. The reflection of a good parent that I thought I had because she wasn't that child was false.

Although I hope I'm still the good parent that I thought I was back then, I have come to the realization that the screaming child is not always a reflection of the parents. Alex is different, or "special" as I call him. Now, I try not to make excuses for him all the time because he's very smart and can understand me, but the fact is, there's a communication barrier between us. The things he thinks he can't put into words to tell me what he's thinking or feeling or wanting. As said, I still try my best to understand him and try to help him. I do everything in my power to not be the ones ruining someone else's meal. If I just can't get him quiet I rush my meal and we leave. I try so hard to be respectful of others. Yesterday was a different story.

After all of us being sick for two weeks, I decided it wasn't allergies like I had thought it was, so off to the doctor we went. Luckily my mom was off work so I asked her to go with me to help because as much of a handful as AJ is, Lyssa is worse if she hears the word, "shot." The drama began in the waiting room.

AJ will only sit still for a maximum of about five minutes, so when we hit ten minutes I was very impressed. He wiggled and squirmed and just had to get down. He harmlessly played with some blocks and some toys that were attached to a wooden fire truck and then that got old. It was time to climb on and off the table that you are supposed to play with the blocks on. I just sat and watched while my mom and I talked. That got old and he started crawling under all the chairs then a couple of laps around the waiting room then back to on and off the table. My mom, knowing how I am about noisy children, asked why I hadn't told him no at this point. My response, "I have to pick my battles with him and him being loud and playing is a lot better than the alternative." At this point, I'm just physically and mentally exhausted, barely have a voice, and was being one of THOSE moms, just letting my child run wild.

When the laps around the waiting room started, I intervened and picked him up. That's when the battle began, the kicking screaming and WW III temper came out. To my mom's shock, she laughed. She couldn't believe what happened when he was told no and was stopped from doing what he wanted to do. She couldn't believe the thrashing he was doing in my arms. The only way to make him stop: stand up or walk around. Yes, I'm fully aware that is what you do with little newborns, but it's what works with AJ even though he's twenty months old. Keep in mind AJ still cannot talk.

My mom and I kept him occupied by switching back and forth holding him, standing and walking with him until time to go into a room where there were no toys. He tried to empty the garbage, he opened every drawer/door, and tried to pull all of the table paper off the roll. He likes to tear the paper up, so I thought it might keep him busy to put him on the table and allow him to tear the paper up. No, he wasn't interested in the paper, he wanted to jump to the ground, head first. After the third time I caught him, I took him off the table and that was another fight.

He began to fight to try to climb up on the table himself and when he couldn't, he threw himself in the floor and kicked and screamed. My mom then said, "I can't imagine you doing this by yourself." I said, "I do it all the time, Benji only comes when it's a check up that is planned and he can request off work." I guess now I understand THOSE moms, some don't care it's true, but some do try and they are just tired, just don't know what to do. So, before you judge THOSE moms and their children, and think your children are so much better and you're so much better of a parent than someone else, just realize you're blessed to have the perfectly behaved children. I have one of each and yes, I'm one of THOSE moms.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Angels Two Children

First, I want to welcome all of the Kelly's Korner readers.  This is only my second linked blog, but only first for Kelly's Korner.  Welcome to Tesha's Treasures as well.  This is a topic that's very hard for everyone who has lost a baby or a child, but I'm glad to share my story.

It was 3:00 am on August 17, 1998, I was 25 weeks and two days pregnant and I saw blood, lots of it.  I screamed for my mom, because I was only seventeen and still lived at home.  With panic on her face, but not in her voice, she woke my dad up and they drove me to the ER.  I was in the most pain of my life.  We walked in and told the nurse I was having a miscarriage.  She asked my due date, which was December, 9, and I was then told, that no, I was having a baby because I was more than 20 weeks.  So it was off to labor and delivery.

Once there and in a gown, I was presented with all kinds of forms and nurses came from every direction with needles.  In my pain I wanted my mom to sign the paperwork, but I was told no that I was "the mom" so I had to sign.  My doctor wasn't on call, his partner, Dr. Stutts, was so my first time to meet him I'm doing so in this situation.  My contractions were lasting approximately 20 seconds, which wouldn't be that long if they weren't 30 seconds apart.  I kept being told not to push, but as hard as I tried not to, my body did anyway.  Dr. Stutts checked me and I was not dilated, so he said to hang tight that he had the c-section team on their way.  He reached for the door knob and my water broke.  All the pain and pressure was gone, and I was relaxing.  However, Dr. Sttuts turned around and all I could do was say I was sorry for pushing.  He checked me and I was fully dilated, yes that's right, zero to ten in about 2 minutes.  My relaxation, was now a dire emergency.

My son's heart rate went from 150 to 80 and I wasn't even aware that during all of this I was losing too much blood.  He told my parents that he couldn't wait for the c-section team any longer, or he could lose both of us.  This was how I left my parents, standing in the room scared and me crying for them, I was 17 and didn't know what was going on.  I was rushed away from them and into a very cold very busy operating room.  I poked and prodded and was in pain again from everything they were doing.  I then heard, "c-section team is here put her out."  Someone put a mask over my face and said breathe.

I woke up to hearing the best sound in the world, at that time, it was my doctor, Dr. Richmond's voice.  It's funny now, but wasn't then, my comment was, "Finally a familiar face."  But I was actually so out of it I didn't open my eyes for another hour.  My concern at that time, breastfeeding my new son, because he needed those vitamins.  I was told I could pump later, but he was critical and I couldn't touch him.  After finally coming out of recovery, I got to see my parents and that was so wonderful, for all of us.  Still scared I had no idea what was going on with my son.

Finally the door opened, in came nurses and this little clear box, with this tiny little baby doll in it with a lot of tubes.  It was my son, all one pound and fourteen ounces of him and stretching to a whole thirteen inches.  They wanted me to see him before he left for Huntsville, as I couldn't go with him.  He was on his way to Children's Hospital to get the special care that he needed.  Oblivious to what day or time it was, I called my best friend in the area, Susie, but she didn't answer.  So, I called the next best thing, Beth.  Beth's mom answered and sounded puzzled that I called because school started back that day.  Yes, our senior year.  I actually wasn't going to go that year because I received my GED at the end of May and was registered for classes at the University of North Alabama, that were supposed to start the next week.

I received a call to the room to let me know that my son was leaving the hospital, then another one when the ambulance was half way there.  Then another when they arrived, that call was from my son's new doctor.  Each time the phone rang, my dad answered as the phone wasn't near me and no one knew I was there.  Each time he said, "One moment." and handed me the phone.  The next time the phone rang I tensed up and said, "You talk to them Daddy."  My dad tried to hand me the phone and I had tears in my eyes and said, "no Dad I don't want to hear it."  He told them that I wanted him to talk to them and yes, it was what I thought.  When my dad hung up he just looked at me and began to cry.  He then said, "He didn't make it."

My beautiful baby boy, William Adrian, born at 7:24 am went to Heaven at 1:45 pm that afternoon.  This was SUCH a crushing blow to me and my family, but what made the day worse was that no one contacted the hospital that I was in to tell them.  So, I continued to get the, "how is your son?" question.  I was then confronted with people from everywhere on if I was suicidal and depressed.  I calmly looked and them and said, "If it hurts me this badly after knowing him for six months, do you really think I would take myself from my parents after 17 years?"  Socked by my mature answer, the questions stopped.  All of a sudden the most wonderful nurse appeared in my doorway, her name was Joyce Mize.  She held my hand and comforted me through everything.  She even came to his funeral and kept in touch over the years.

That night, I called my life-long best friend, Karen, to tell her what happened.  Again oblivious of what day it was, she was celebrating her 17th birthday.  Now, those two events are linked in my mind forever.  Being the person she is, she walked away from her party to talk to me and comfort me.  We now lived four and a half hours away from each other, so the phone was all we had to communicate.

Days passed and even the funeral, but things didn't get any easier.  Susie came to the funeral along with Nurse Mize and some family and Judy McMeans, my parents' life time friend.  My days were complicated by harassing calls from the high school because apparently someone took a newspaper to school and decided it would be fun to laugh at what I went through and just pass it around the school and people took turns using the payphone and calling my house.  Time went by and things in my life began to change for the better.  I decided God knew I wasn't ready to take care of Adrian.  I was in an abusive relationship, not just mentally, but physically as well.  I was only 17 and with the health problems that he would probably have had, he was definitely better, "in the arms of an Angel."

Time passed and I eventually began to heal.  I got away from that abusive relationship for good.  Then in May of 2000, I was cramping and hurting and couldn't explain it.  My mom took me to the ER and found out that I was six weeks pregnant and now had another Angel.  It wasn't until the next year that I would welcome my first baby.  She was beautiful, happy, and very healthy.  Ellyssa Jo was born by c-section at 7:34 am on November 20, 2001.  She weighed in at seven punds and nine ounces and was twenty inches long.  She was born at 37 weeks two days.

When everything was falling into place in my life I was pregnant again.  It was March 2005.  My boyfriend was amazing and moved in with me to be closer to me, Lyssa, and our new addition.  I was due December 19th.  I barely told anyone because of things that happened previously.  My mom also decided to start a new business and I may have overdone it helping her, but at thirteen weeks, I had another Angel.

It wasn't until 2010 that my husband and I would complete our family.  It seemed odd that when I didn't want to be pregnant, I was very very fertile, but when we wanted to get pregnant it took almost 5 years.  We welcomed Alexander Jacob on August 18, 2010.  Yes, one day after my baby boy's birthday.  AJ weighed in at seven pounds and thirteen ounces and was twenty inches long.  He was born at 37 weeks one day.  You can read more about the complications with him here.

Our family is now complete and I have two Angels in Heaven and my husband and I have one Angel in Heaven and two children.  I look back now and see the path that losing my first born started.  Moving, jobs, choices, everything I have now is a result of what happened when I was seventeen years old.  I am blessed beyond and one day I will meet them again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4th Grade Does the McBride Mile

For those of you not from our city, we have an elementary school named McBride, it's where students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades attend.  As part of physical fitness tests each year, children have to run one mile.  Last year, I didn't attend the McBride Mile as I knew I wasn't able to run a mile and thought I would only hurt my daughter's time.  She ran it in about 20 minutes, which is more like walking.  Don't get me wrong, my daughter is very capable of doing anything that she WANTS to do.  As a six year cheerleader and five years playing both basketball and softball, I would tend to think she would have been faster than that.

My husband is never off on Wednesday because that's when his Boss is off, but today he just happened to be off.  To Lyssa's joy and delight, her daddy was going to do the McBride Mile with her.  So, to the school we went.
Lyssa entering the stadium
Walking out to the starting point
and they are off
Here they coming walking 
Her daddy is SO good with motivation and he had her doing intervals of 45 seconds of running and 15 seconds of walking.
She thought she would show out for the camera
and leave Daddy in the dust
The home stretch
with a finishing time of 11:27, I'm very proud
it's over
Baby AJ is ready to go
 Now, I'm the first one to admit that I don't actually know the reason for the "McBride Mile" and why the school has parents involved, but I know as a motivation it really helped Lyssa today.  I like that it encourages parents and kids to run together, to exercise together, to compete against each other, and to stay active.  I am hoping to be able to do the McBride Mile with Lyssa next year, since it will be her last year at McBride.  Her time may not be 8 minutes like some, but she did her best and ran with her Daddy.  She also shaved almost 9 minutes off last years "walking" time.

Wordless Wednesday - A Boy and His Pickles

Friday, April 13, 2012

Daddy Turns 28 and Mommy Has a Birthday Too

On Monday, Benji turned 28, which he thinks is just SO old. We don't do big birthdays for ourselves or our children. I know birthdays are special, but we view them a family things, not big spectacular events that are put on more for the adults than the children. I guess it has just always been that way in my family, I remember one or two skate center parties growing up, but no real imprints in my mind. I've raised my two children the same way. The first one I do for the adults, the smash cake and all, but after that it's more about small family get togethers. My husband and I don't do big birthdays either.

We started the day by going to AJ's speech evaluation. That went well and we received good news on his frustration level with not being able to communicate. We then met my husband's dad, his wife, and my husband's sister at Logan's for a birthday lunch. We had good conversations and a good time, I believe that's the most relaxed in all the years that I've know my father-in-law. I'm not sure if it's because a lot of my tension was relieved at the speech therapy appointment or if I'm just learning to relax in general. A few things have happened in the last few weeks that has me a lot more relaxed and calm about life in general and I'm so glad to have experienced a relaxing lunch with my in-laws.

We then went to Lyssa's softball game at 5:30. There are a lot of new rule changes that everyone is having to get use to, but I think as a team they did great. I was proud that our baby girl stole home plate when the pitcher through a wild pitch that the catcher didn't catch. It was a good game and we only lost by 1 run and it was because the time ran out, we didn't run out of innings. That night he received some chocolate and cupcakes.

I really enjoyed being only two years older than my husband, but that ended on Thursday morning. I woke up to turn 31, yes 31, and I don't like getting older each year. I never minded birthdays until the day I woke up and I was 25... My husband looked at me and informed me that I was "half way to 50." Now, each year I wait to listen to what my husband has to say.

My day didn't start off the best since I was now sick, but I had my husband home, so I wanted to spend time with him. We played some World of Warcraft together. Then after I picked Lyssa up from school, off to softball practice we went. I must say, I absolutely love watching my daughter play softball. So, I think watching her play on my birthday was a gift. After eating supper I got a phone call from a good friend that an ambulance had taken her mom to the ER and she needed me to come get her girls. Having three girls in my living room screaming, laughing, and dancing, and then my sweetheart little son watching their every move and trying to play along was priceless. Her mom is ok now.

We had great birthdays and have to mention that Bitsey turned 5 as well.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Adventures with Alex - Speech Therapy Evaluation

Today was the day to find out if Baby AJ needed speech therapy. He's only 19-months old, but he's only saying 1 word and that 1 word is BALL. He thinks any semi round object is a ball. However, he has grown up watching his Sissy play basketball and softball. All children are different and I've tried my best to remember that, but all I could do was compare him to his sister, who was speaking in full sentences by 15 months and her is my sweet son at 19 months only saying 1 word. I guess it breaks my heart more than anything that I still haven't heard him call me Mama. He had the most wonderful Pediatricians and they recommended a speech therapy evaluation to see if they could help him, or if it would just be something that he would pick up in time. So, with an open mind it was off to speech therapy we went.
playing in the waiting room while Mommy filled out paper work
Running in the waiting room, glad we were the only ones in the waiting room
After many questions and the therapist playing with him, talking to him, and observing him, it was decided that speech therapy is exactly what AJ needs. Developmentally he is between a 2 and 3 year old, but he's way behind verbally. His brain is functioning at a much faster rate than his mouth and it would have to slow down to tell his mouth to talk. So, since he's SO smart, guess the plan of action... Sign language. I don't think I could be happier, I'm going to learn how to communicate with him and he can "talk" back. We will be going 2 days a week and I was told after practicing and practicing he will eventually learn to speak the words. He will be able to sign and when we sign we will be sure to say the words. I'm so excited and optimistic about this new communication.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

Luckily, my husband was able to change his schedule and get off work so we could spend time with the family. We started the morning with the Easter baskets.
They each got a little something from the Bunny, but of course the baskets aren't really what Easter is about.
hurry up and open it Daddy
a car
and a motorcycle

Lyssa opening her basket
a "Peace basket" and even
 "peace" suckers
poor baby is still sunburned
We then went to his mom's house and his sister came there too.  With our two children and her four children, my mother-in-law really had a house full.
Playing with Grandma's dogs
waiting on lunch, still sunburned from the day before
Hunter and Hailey
Before the kids ate and got their clothes messed up, I wanted to get a picture of all the grand kids together.  This was quite a task trying to get six children to all look in the same direction, smile, and be still, especially when two are under three years old.
Lyssa saying; "How am I supposed to keep him still?"
and one with Grandma
We ate a good meal together and then hid eggs for an Easter egg hunt.
Eli proud of his egg
Daddy helping AJ
putting them in his basket

Hailey found one
Eli found another one
AJ had a problem with the heavier eggs that didn't seem to have anything inside them when he shook them, they were hard boiled and he decided he didn't like them and began to throw them until they cracked and he picked them open.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law,
Crystal and Gary Ramsey
My mother-in-law, Vicki
and her boyfriend Nathan
After looking a old pictures, I really really wanted to see my brother-in-laws grave.  My husband's brother died in a car wreck and I never got to meet him.  I have no idea what it could be like for the Tennerys to lose someone so young.  In his pictures he was so full of life and had so much to live for.  I never knew him, but I want my son to know everything there is to know about his uncle Andrew that he is named after.

The back of his headstone
A poem that his teacher wrote.
The front of his headstone
With the last picture that was taken before he passed.
Forever and always in his big brother's heart
He will live on in the stories that will be passed down to his nephew.
After this, it was a quiet ride home.  I looked out the window and listened to the radio and my husband was "just thinking" as he put it and the kids were watching tv.  We tried to stop by and see my father-in-law, but they were headed out when we arrived.  We went and saw Grandma and Grandpa Tennery, my husband's dad's parents and his Aunt Tammy and her daughter Minnie was there too.  We had a nice visit and a Great Easter as a family.