Thursday, March 22, 2012


One of the amazing things about having a child with differences is the community of support available. The hand specialist gave us a sheet with about 10 websites listed that she recommended we check out for support. All of these websites have community support pages. And the community support pages link to other pages and so on and so on. My facebook news feed has all the regular news of my friends and people I went to high school with along with inspirational messages and requests for prayers. It is fantastic!

One of these groups is a very private yahoo group limited to parents of kids with limb differences or kids with limb differences. I love this group. But, I need to set up a filter in gmail to put all these in a folder because sometimes the posts get to be a little much filling up my inbox (okay, that's done)! One of the posts recently was about staring. A new mom wrote in how she feels the need to "explain" her child to everyone she runs into on the street, which is ridiculous and also awkward for everyone. I do not really relate to this as I honestly forget sometimes that my baby even has a limb difference and then remember when people give me that "aww, poor thing, cute baby" smile/grimace thing. But then I went to a friend's house for her child's birthday party and none of the adults asked (one kid did and we explained it very quickly). After leaving the party, I felt a little strange because no one had asked. It was obvious as the baby was wearing short sleeves. Maybe no one asked because they did not want to be rude, maybe because they already knew everything from my friend, but whatever the reason I still felt a little awkward. So now I understand this new mom's desire to explain. If you just put it out there, you do not have to wonder what people think or know. I will not start explaining everywhere I go, but I know I will think about it more than I did up until now. I am feeling apprehensive about taking the baby to work next week because I do not know how many people already know (some I've told, some I'm sure heard through the grapevine). I do not know if I will be faced with a ton of questions or with no questions and I do not know which I prefer.

All this to say, my biggest issue with this aspect of my life is the emotional one. I hope I am emotionally strong enough to handle everything that comes our way, I hope I am emotionally tough enough to help my baby handle everything, but I just do not know how it will go. And those worries are the things that keep me up at night.

Thanks for listening!

Friday, March 16, 2012


The munchkin walked into our room, saw her blanket on the floor, and said "Daddy, there is fuzz on my blanket! Can you please throw it away?" It was a split second moment, but for my husband and I, it was a rush of memories. From the time she was rolling over until about 2 years old, the munchkin was terrified of fuzz. She would point at carpet fuzz or stuffed animal fuzz and screech until someone - usually the princess - swooped in and threw it away. I have no idea what sparked this incredible fear, but she was terrified. If you came near her with fuzz she would scream and cry as if it were a spider (for me at least - maybe not everyone hates them the way I do!). I completely forgot about this huge phase of our lives until that moment this weekend. I now have a mental note to make sure I include this factoid in her baby book, something I forgot to do when filling it out on her third birthday (the second child gets the shaft around here - I just filled out her "baby" book!).

Strange fear. I wonder if she will always hate fuzz just a little bit and for no particular reason!

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I feel like my last post totally ragged on my four year old for being overweight, which was totally not the point. The point was, I have this issue that I have been carrying around forever and am terrified of imparting on my kids. Lately the princess has been blowing my mind with her vocabulary (once again!). She ran into the kitchen the other day and said "mom, I am going to show you something that will really impress you" - okay, that sentence alone impressed me! Then the next day, I brushed her hair out of her face and she said, "It always falls back down, so I prefer if you tuck it behind my ear". Seriously, "prefer"?!

And then there is the talking with her hands. Not in the toddler way of flapping hands about as she tries to gather her thoughts, but more in a perfect imitation of the way I use my hands to exaggerate a point. It is so adorably distracting to watch her tell a story, using her hands to help you visualize or understand the importance of what she is saying.

And then the questions. She still has "why" as her favorite word. And sometimes I feel like it would be easier to stand in front of a firing squad than handle the question bullets she shoots at me in rapid succession. But, I cannot complain because she listens. She rarely asks the same "why" question again as she remembers the answer. Her questions follow a train of thought until she feels satisfied. We once spent 30 minutes discussing lighthouses before she moved on to dinosaurs. This morning on the way to daycare we talked about the Earth's atmosphere and she was able to ask me questions referencing other things we have talked about in space, things that happened on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Space episode, and things in the Dr Suess Space book. It was amazing to see her pulling from her own knowledge base to ask deeper questions. After we got through the atmosphere, we talked about bird migration and then where souls go after death/who goes to Hell. Of course, by the time I dropped them off - all before I had my morning cup of coffee - I was mentally exhausted, but also super thrilled with my little smarty-pants :)

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Self Esteem Issues

We talked about being fat, getting fat, getting skinny, being skinny, etc a LOT in my house growing up. I can remember my mom going on tons of fad diets, putting us on diets, rewarding skinny and being hurtful about being fat. I never want to do that to my children. I thought it would be easier, though, because I am so adamantly against "fat" and "skinny" talk. Yet, I am finding it is hard. Very hard.

My four year old has a little belly. She is by no means a chubby kid, but I see her not flat stomach and worry that she is overweight. I look at my best friend's kid, who is the same age, and she is so skinny, which makes me worry about my daughter. I have to constantly remind myself that my friend's daughter had to see a nutrionist to try and gain weight. Every kid is different. My four year old does not need to be skinny! She is freaking four years old!!! At her 3 y.o appointment the dr told us to switch to 2% milk because her BMI was a little high and I totally freaked out. At her 4 y.o. appointment she was fine. But, still, I worry. I know we don't eat as healthy as we should (obviously, my husband and I are both overweight), but we do try to get the kids balanced meals. Lately, food has become an issue with the princess. She asks for more food, but when offered only the "healthy" options, declares she is too full and so we let her get down from the table being "full". If all we have is frozen pizza for dinner and she asks for a 3rd slice, we say, "why don't you wait a bit and see if you are still hungry? If you eat that slice, you might get too full and then have a stomach ache". But that isn't really why I am saying it, in my head I am thinking "3 slices is way too much! You'll get fat!!!". We have succeeded in avoiding using the words "fat" and "skinny" to talk about bodies, which is a huge thing for me. But, I still worry too much in my head.

A few days ago a friend of mine posted about her son asking for a snack and then consuming 4 bowls of cereal. My first thought was "4 bowls?! holy cow! that's amazing!". But, then I started thinking, what if it was my kid? Would I let her have 4 bowls? Definitely not. Because that would be too much food. But is it really? If the kid is hungry, let them eat, right? I don't know. I also wonder if my kid was a boy, would I even worry this much? I probably would not. And that's awful.

I am working on being healthier. I am 20 pounds lighter than I was a year ago when I got pregnant. We bought a treadmill a couple weeks ago and I am doing the couch-to-5k program. I feel better about exercise. I feel good about talking to the kids about exercise. I am glad to have my younger sister as a role model for healthy living (she exercises and eats healthy, but also enjoys ice cream almost daily - she has good balance in her life and never stresses these things in terms of body image). So, for me, in my head, I am working on my issues. I just wish I could figure out how to change them faster for my kids sake.

Thanks for listening!