Almost Christmas

How is it almost Christmas??? I can’t even tell you what happened to the past several months since school started. Nadia turned five and now Nora is already half finished with first grade! I have lots of wrapping to do yet, gosh, I don’t even know if I’m finished shopping for everyone! I’m even behind with Christmas cards, which are actually happy new year instead, which aren’t addressed yet. I’m hoping to do some baking with the girls this week, as they only have school today and tomorrow, and maybe watch a cute Christmas movie. One of these years we will slow down and enjoy the season…

School has been a struggle. Nadia is actually doing really, really well, but she’s only going to the actual preschool sessions which are in the afternoons four days a week. The rest of the time she is home with me. I wonder how she will do next year in kindergarten full days..? Nora is still very, very sad each morning at drop off. Her separation anxiety seems worse than Nadia’s lately. Sending Nora back after the long Christmas break will be hell.

We had COVID at the beginning of November. And while it was an incredibly LONG ten days home together… we survived. I felt really crappy, but thankfully had been vaccinated and thus survived without any medical intervention. The girls seemed completely fine and rather enjoyed the ten days home playing Barbies.

Nadia’s health is ever so slowly improving. Although with anything, there are setbacks along with the small steps forward. She’s still on a ton of medications, immune therapies, and supplements… And now we’re focusing on eliminating gluten, dairy, and processed sugars. Which is basically her entire diet, so it’s been very, very hard for me. I really am trying, but feel like I fail every time she refuses a new food we try, and hence I go back to the old standby crap that is awful for her.

We’re starting to investigate Nora’s health, just to make sure we aren’t missing anything with her severe separation anxiety… more to come on that. We have some lab orders, but I’ve been dreading it, so maybe over Christmas break as she needs to be fasting for them anyway.

Eric has been working like crazy, but thankfully is off for a week starting Christmas Eve. The time together will be nice as I feel like his schedule takes him away from home more often than not. How long until he can retire?? Ha, just kidding. Years and years I assume.

I wanted to share a few pictures from the past several months, but I got a new iPhone and I now realize it’s taking pictures in some weird format that isn’t compatible with this blog. Ugh. I need to figure that out. And I’m not that techy, so wish me luck.

I’ll write more again soon…

And… It’s Over

And just like that, Christmas is over. How, I have no idea. I swear I was just sitting at my computer frantically searching Amazon for the perfect gifts. I guess I was… Below are some very random pictures I took over the past week. I’m realizing more and more I need to plan my photos a bit better! We did end up having my side of the family over, despite COVID, and because Eric was on-call and couldn’t leave the area.

Nadia is doing remarkably better. Although hard to tell what helped, as she is on several prescription medications and quite a few over-the-counter supplements. I’d list them all, but it would take me forever… Nadia still has some angry outbursts here and there, but not like before. Way fewer meltdowns, although she is still quite physical sometimes, hitting, slapping, scratching, kicking, usually Nora. Hand washing is much less frequent now, and she doesn’t have much of an issue going to the bathroom, and has only said she felt ‘wet’ once in the past week. She even put on pants a few times all on her own. Of course, she knew we were doing something fun those days… Putting on underwear and pants for school might be very different. The girls are off this week and then our plan is for Nadia to start back next week. I’m nervous, for her. Her anxiety around school is so great. I did just email a play therapist, hopefully she is taking new patients.

I’m sitting here staring at my new, still blank, planner, wondering where to even start this year.

  • Continuing Nadia’s treatments and getting her closer to 100% better is definitely a priority. I’m not sure if we still know what exactly caused all the inflammation in her brain… we are still awaiting a few more test results.
  • I’ve been working on a business venture. More to come on this as I need to find time to actually proceed with it, hopefully once the girls, both of them, are back in school. Could be really exciting though! Well, if it works out.
  • We need new furniture. We still haven’t ordered anything from the interior designer who was here months ago… I really don’t know how to decide. I thought having her come would make it a lot easier, but so far, that hasn’t been the case. I feel like most things she suggested are more appropriate for my mom’s house than mine.

The girls need lunch… always something!

More Catch-up

I was looking through pictures on my phone and realized I still have so many to share, so much catching up to do. Okay, actually half of the good pictures are in some strange extension that WordPress won’t upload… Because, of course.

The days surrounding Christmas were filled with lots of eating. Which is very apparent from the weight I gained over the holiday season. Only five pounds, but feels like so much more. And today was the first day I worked out in the past almost three weeks. I mostly skipped because my girls don’t do great in new places, thus I didn’t want to take them to the daycare at my gym. They went back to school today, so to the gym I went.

We don’t have a ton of good restaurants here, and plus, with taking a three and four year-old out… well, we don’t go to fancy places! But over the girls’ Christmas break we found ourselves at Texas Roadhouse (they might have worn Christmas PJs), a Chinese place I can’t even remember the name of, for our annual Chinese Christmas dinner on December 23rd, Olive Garden, and Longhorn Steakhouse, just to name a few. The girls have a thing with acting crazy at restaurants, and of course climbing under the booths.

On Christmas Eve we usually go to one of my mom’s sibling’s homes to celebrate, but this year we didn’t. We decided to stay home and just spend the moments with our little family of four. I felt a little left out, knowing others were celebrating, thinking we should have gone, but I’m beginning to realize life is too short to keep doing the shoulds… Why we didn’t go? Well, the obvious, more time with our little family, but I also didn’t want to travel, knowing we were traveling on the 25th and 26th. Our day was spent cooking, decorating our gingerbread village, making and decorating sugar cookies for Santa, and lots of relaxing. The girls opened presents from Eric and me in the morning, so they were busy playing with their new Frozen figurines, magna-tiles, and legos. After the girls fell asleep I wrapped the Santa presents, an ‘Our Generation’ doll for each of them, and a ton of clothing and accessories for the dolls. I figured I’ll wait till they’re a bit older, and gentler with their dolls, before I invest in the ‘American Girl’ versions.

On Christmas day we traveled to my mom and step-dad’s home to celebrate with my side, my sister and her family. Oh goodness the girls got so much, and my mom made so much amazing food! I know we are blessed with so many gifts and I should be so thankful, and I am, but sometimes it just feels like overload, like what do we do with all the toys?? I already packed up some they don’t play with anymore and donated. And we need to donate a lot more. Again, I had a lot more cute pictures, but all in that funky extension. I just went into my iPhone and changed the setting to ‘most compatible’ but clearly it doesn’t update the pictures already taken.

The remainder of our Christmas break was filled with odds and ends, a trip to the library, several to Target, of course, lots of movies at home, and playing in the little snow we got so far this winter.

The day after Christmas, December 26th, Eric took the girls to his hometown to see his mother and grandparents. I offered countless times to tag along, but his response was always no, that I should stay home. He knows I don’t love his mother, but I was willing to travel for his sake, and for the girls. They are getting older and I fear they will start to notice I’m rarely along on visits with his family. I rendered from my conversations with Eric that he was scared his mother might say or do something inappropriate, and he didn’t want me to be there to experience it. He told me she hasn’t been well, and while he can let her rude comments go, he knows I can’t as easily. All that is true, and I guess I have to respect his feelings, but it bothers me that he would take our girls into such a situation. I don’t feel his mother is a positive role model for our daughters in her current condition, and I still don’t completely trust that she won’t hurt the girls in some way, whether it be unintentional or not. But I know I have to trust Eric to some extent too. When they all arrived home from their visit the girls were in good moods, enjoying all the gifts they received, so I guess it was a good day for all as I was able to clean up the house a bit and relax.

Can you believe another holiday season is over???

It’s 2020

Did any of you make any New Year’s Resolutions? I made a few…

  • Less phone time, be more in the moment!
  • Exercise at least three days a week for 60 minutes.
  • Appreciate the small things in life, moments with my family.
  • Write more, and not just on my blog, but get serious about my book.
  • Read >35 books.

I only made a few, as I wanted to actually focus on them, accomplish them, I hope! We’ll see! I have a million in my head I could have listed.

It’s Thursday the 2nd of January, the girls are still off school until Monday the 6th. The house is a disaster, I should clean, do laundry, take down the tree… a million things. But ah, they can wait, right? I also have a million pictures on my phone I want to share and ideas for blog posts to go with them.

I can’t even remember where I left off writing… Did I mention the girls preschool Christmas concert that was ADORABLE!? I have a feeling I already posted these…

Mid-December was Eric’s work Christmas party which we host along with the other partners. Eric was on-call this year, so he probably didn’t enjoy it as much as he usually would, but we still had a good time. We don’t get out without the girls often, so it was nice to have my mom come stay overnight with Nora and Nadia.

The last week of school before Christmas the girls got sick and ended up missing most of the week, including their Christmas parties. I felt bad, but honestly, they didn’t seem to know they were missing out. And they would much prefer to be at home with me anyway, or so it seems. We did have a few moments of fun mixed in with the sickness though…

And we even made time before Christmas to make our annual gingerbread creation, this year an entire (small, thank God) village, and bake my favorite cookies!

Until next time…

P.S. We changed all the batteries in our smoke detectors and they haven’t gone off since. They are hard-wired in, so no clue why that would have fixed the issue…

Christmas

I think I wrote this same post last year…
How is Christmas over already?? I look back at the past several weeks and our celebrations… I feel so blessed, too blessed. Do you ever feel like you’re too lucky, like you have too much good in your life? It’s almost like I’m waiting for the good to end, for something awful to happen. Given Eric’s profession I hear of awful things daily… cancer, people who can’t afford medical care, people who have lost their husbands and wives and even children to car accidents, or worse… There is so much bad in the world, am I due for some? 
Several weeks ago when I formally started my Christmas shopping I told myself I wasn’t going to spoil the girls. And then I kept forgetting how many gifts I had already purchased for them, and just kept buying. In fact, I just took a bunch of stuff back to Target that I decided not to give them. Again we are so blessed. I forget sometimes than not everyone is as blessed as we are. If 2020 brings me anything, I hope it’s insight and time to help others in need, and to teach my daughters about sharing our wealth to help others.
I’ll write more when I have more time… That’s another goal of mine is 2020, write more!