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!


It’s officially fall. I think… Feels like fall here anyway, only 61F today. So certainly not cold, but definitely sweater weather!

I don’t have a lot of updates on Nadia’s health. Yesterday was her four-year well-child exam. And they confirmed my fear. She is losing weight, about 10% of her total body weight although wants to eat all the time. Even wakes in the middle of the night to eat. They ordered some blood tests, but I still need to take her for the blood draw. She got 2 vaccinations yesterday, plus the flu shot, so I felt like that was enough for one day… Otherwise her health is the same. She is still having lots and lots of meltdowns, lots of sensory processing issues, some OCD tendencies, still says she feels “wet” whenever she goes to the bathroom. She used to wipe and wipe and wipe, now she refuses to wipe at all, says that makes her feel like she has to go potty. Eric talked to his partners and they decided to try Ditropan. Per WebMD, Oxybutynin is used to treat certain bladder and urinary conditions (e.g., overactive bladder). It relaxes the muscles in the bladder to help decrease problems of urgency and frequent urination. Oxybutynin belongs to a class of drugs known as antispasmodics. So far I have noticed she asks to go to the bathroom less, which in itself is helpful, as every trip to the bathroom leads to a meltdown.

Aside from the weight loss, Nadia often complains large areas of her body itch, although we see no evidence of a rash or other irritant. And if you Google those two symptoms, scary stuff comes up. So for now, I’ll wait for the blood test results. We are also still waiting on the pediatric psychiatric referral. Our insurance denied our pediatrician’s request for us to be seen in Iowa City, but approved for us to be seen in Des Moines at Blank Children’s Hospital. I’m not as familiar, as we are in Iowa City all the time, but it will have to do. We will also see a developmental pediatrician there to screen for more general issues… whatever those are… I’m guessing Autism and such, which I don’t even want to think about right now.

Nadia still isn’t sleeping well. Which means the entire family isn’t sleeping well. I can get her to sleep, by rocking her. It’s now her only way of falling asleep. She does not like her bed, does not want to sleep in any bed, and certainly doesn’t want any covers if I can get her into bed, which is usually me laying her in bed after she falls asleep rocking. Getting Nadia to sleep though isn’t the biggest issue. It’s keeping her sleeping. She wakes several times a night, and almost always exactly at 4am. What the heck is with 4am?? And no matter how I’ve tried, she won’t put herself back to sleep. Although neither will Nora, so perhaps it’s a me issue. At this point I don’t care how any of us sleep, just that we sleep!

In other news, Nora seems to be adjusting to kindergarten well. Every morning she says she doesn’t want to go, but walks in without crying and seems excited to tell me about her day at pickup. Nadia is not adjusting to preschool well, big surprise. This morning she cried so hard I thought she might be hyperventilating. She says she doesn’t like the teachers. But I know the teachers, they are awesome, Nora even thought so… Nadia just doesn’t like being away from me, but to the extreme. I’m anxious for her referral appointment so we can talk about Nadia’s anxiety. Wonder where she gets it…

Life is slowing getting back into a routine. I’m back in Grove (Women’s Bible Study) on Tuesday mornings and MOPs (Moms of Preschools) on Thursday mornings. Nadia has speech and occupational therapy on Wednesday mornings, and both the girls have ballet on Thursday nights, although so far Nadia hasn’t been brave enough to attend. We’ll see, I’ll try again with her this week. I now have plenty of time to clean and organize the house, but God knows I’m awful at procrastinating. The laundry is staring at me right now… I emailed an interior designer that one of Eric’s partners used for their new home. I’m a little scared. An interior decorator sounds so… expensive. But I honestly have no clue where to begin on purchasing furniture for this house. The help would certainly be appreciated, if even for only a few main rooms. Below are pictures of Nadia’s bedroom curtains and bedding, my attempts at picking a paint color. I think I decided on Intimate White, which is number 8 on the paint samples. Oh, and the house we just moved from is going on the market TODAY, so let’s pray it sells quickly!

We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday. Thankfully Nadia agreed to wear underwear, since she is stuck on dresses right now. And no coats. What am I going to do when it gets colder??? We had fun, although Nora was sad she couldn’t go down the giant slide all day.

And here are a few other random pictures I found on my phone, several taken by Nora.

Ah, somehow it’s 1:30 already and I’ve accomplished very little today. I guess I better start planning dinner!

Oh Life

Relatively speaking my day is amazing. I mean, at least I didn’t slide into a ditch!

The girls were up at 6am today, which is too early for me, considering I think I’m getting a sinus infection and didn’t sleep well last night. Not to mention Kona woke me at 4am to go outside and bark at… snow? I’m actually hoping it’s just a sinus infection… I had dental work done last week, an old, cracked cavity replaced and a tooth prepped with a temporary crown. Ever since that side of my face, neck, head, and ear have hurt. Like a weird hurt, like my hair hurts… when it moves. Or would that be my scalp? I wasn’t stuffy until today, but I can only assume the girls have brought home some type of Ebola-altered mega-germ from daycare.

Now that I finished cleaning the sticky apple juice off my under-breakfast bar cabinets (Nora spilled everywhere this morning) I’m enjoying a banana with spoonfuls of peanut butter, directly out of the jar. (Never eat peanut butter at my home unless you’re okay with sharing my germs.)

We finally got snow this past weekend! The explication point is only because it allowed me to get a few cute pictures of the girls playing outside over the weekend. It can melt now. Schools were delayed today, freezing drizzle, but I didn’t notice anything… The girls did enjoy the outdoors though, and yes, I know, I should take them out more often, but I’m just so much if an indoorsey (is that a word?) person!

The girls are slowly adjusting to daycare. Nora is pretty good, kind of sad some mornings, but I know she is fine four minutes after I leave. Yesterday Nadia didn’t even cry, opened her arms to one of her teachers and happily walked away with her. Today, she was crying again. I really thought we were onto something… Guess not yet.

Last week Eric and I met with the landscape guy to review plans… We are set on the front I think, but Eric still needs to decide if he wants the built-in grill in the back, as it’s a bulk of cash. We are also considering ditching the ‘water feature’ as the guy so elegantly calls pieces of metal protruding from the ground spraying water. We’d need to think of something else to put in its place though, as its purpose is to hide a support beam. If you know anything about landscape, let me know your thoughts on these plans… The plants/trees selections aren’t set, so I need to think on those yet too.

Well, I have a meeting with the interior designer soon… Not sure what I’m going to tell her though. We do want to move ahead with some furniture for the living room, however, with the landscape contract being signed soon, well, it’s a lot of cash out all at once. Plus, we just put our Cedar Falls house for sale, and realtor fees on that will be around 30K 🙁 It’s only money, said no one ever. Oh, and I need to work on a cute shirt for a friend this afternoon. Hopefully I finish it today, as her daughter’s birthday party is SOON! I’ll post some pictures!

Adjusting, Sort of…

I think the girls are adjusting, well, sort of, to our new daycare center. Yesterday, our second day, Nora almost ran in, she seemed excited. Today she was more hesitant and one of the teachers had to hold her as I left, but I’m confident she perked up shortly after I left. Nora was having fun when I picked her up the 1st and 2nd day, and I assume it will be the same story tonight when I see her.

Nadia is having a much, much harder time. She screams as they pull her off me in the mornings, which breaks my heart. I know she will adjust, but still, it’s so hard. When I picked her up yesterday her class was in the gym, all sitting in a circle. She was turned away from the circle, holding her doll and saying, ‘I want my mommy.’ They assure me that she has good moments during the day, and I’m sure she does… but ugh. I want to fast forward to the part where both the girls run into the center each morning excited to see their friends. If we ever get to that! Today Nadia took a little family picture with her and her Incredibles Jack-Jack figure. I’m hoping those comfort her… Any other ideas for how I can make this transition easier on Nadia, or does she just need more time to get to know her teachers and such?

To follow-up on Nadia’s sleep, I’ll say it’s been better the past two nights, but only marginally. I did take her to the doctor Wednesday evening for a quick ear check as I wanted to make sure her tubes were still in place. I almost wanted her to have an ear infection, at least a reason for her crap sleep lately, but our pediatrician couldn’t find a single thing wrong with her. She did suggest Tylenol before bed just in case Nadia does have pain somewhere.

This morning I met with Michelle, the interior designer who is helping me make our home a little cozier. We looked through the furniture items on their showroom floor, not to pick any of those for purchase, but to try to determine my style, major likes and dislikes, etc. We also reviewed a few lines of furniture which are their best sellers, although she assured me she has access to literally millions of products. At this point we are focusing on perhaps a new sofa, loveseat, two chairs, and maybe a few accent tables for the upstairs living room. Oh, and an area rug. She is going to make some drawings also so I have a bit of an easier time imagining the furniture in our space. She said the real coziness comes from accessories such as lamps, picture frames, candles, etc., but she said those have to come later once the larger furniture pieces are in place. I stressed to her I want durable items with the girls, and the items must be neural enough to travel with us in case we do decide to move in the future. I’m excited but also hesitant. I have no idea how much all this is going to cost… although obviously very dependent on which items I pick. This is the furniture pinterest board I showed Michelle, so we’re working toward something like one of these million different looks! I need to add some dining room pictures to this soon, as that is the next room we want to work on…

Did I mention Eric finally comes home sometime today??? I can’t wait!

September 7, 2015 – 25 Weeks (14 Weeks Corrected)

FullSizeRender (49)At what age do babies become more aware?  Well, ‘aware’ might not be the right word…  I swear Nora now knows that if she cries I come running to her.  As soon as I pick her up she smiles.  The little diva she is.  Case in point, her expression in this picture.

Nora is really changing, so fun to watch her learn and grow.  Yesterday when I weighed her she was up to 11 lbs 4.5 oz, which is 11% for weight if we adjust to her corrected age of just over three months old.  She’s ‘talking’ much more now, especially first thing in the morning and after her breakfast, reaching for toys, still sucking her fingers, and mine, almost non-stop, and almost giggling.  She’s always been a smiley baby, but there is almost a chuckle now sometimes when she smiles.

I’m hoping to accomplish a lot this week.  No promises, but I have some pretty high hopes!

  • Living room sectional was delivered today.  I still need to think about the rest of the items for this room, a chair, tables, lamps, pillows, decorations, area rug, and God only knows what else.

FullSizeRender (50)

  • Oh, and there is the rest of the house to furnish too…  I think it’s easier if I focus on one room at a time.
  • Sod was laid last week so I need to call and set up lawn care, and I assume the same company will provide snow removal this winter.
  • And now that we have grass I really need to set up a fence install, walking Kona every few hours is getting to be a pain in my behind.
  • Waiting on an estimate for someone to clean our house weekly.  No clue who is good around here…
  • That ad I placed…  Yeah, I really need to follow-up with the applicants.  I’ve been avoiding it because the task seems so overwhelming to me.  I received a lot of applications, and I think at least 11 sound really good on paper.  But now to narrow them down, ugh.

Oh dear, how is it 11:30am already???  I best get to my to-do list!