Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jason - Month 11

Every other day I catch myself thinking I've missed his 11 month mark, but nope, it still hadn't been a whole month since the last time I posted about him. We've been busy, too, so I don't know why it wouldn't feel like it's gone by faster. At any rate, it's been another month. I'm sure I can stop counting months soon, but I know I will never forget what the 13th of any month means to our family.

This month, we experienced pilonoidal cysts, migraines, and London (and their social healthcare). Fun combination, huh? He started waking up in the middle of the nights with fever and chills, but they would go away during the day. He was taking motrin every morning to help with his migraines, and so I think that was masking some signs of infection brewing. He started complaining about his tail bone hurting, and I just thought that was weird, and that it'd go away within a couple days. It got to the point that he couldn't sit down without being in pain, though. He was also feeling nauseous all day long for at least a week. We were supposed to go to a parade of sorts that the WTU was sending soldiers to, and he made the decision at 0630 to call and see if he'd be able to stay home. Woo boy, maybe not the best time of day to be calling - some yelling was involved, and some cuss words were thrown around when they probably shouldn't have been, I may or may not have said "ya'll are parading him around like some dog and pony show, and I don't appreciate it..." and it ended with him having to go to the ER to prove he wasn't lying just to get out of going to the parade. And that, in a nutshell, describes our experience in this WTU. Miserable.

Anyway, it's a good thing we did go to the ER, because he ended up getting 10 days worth of antibiotics. The doctor tried to lance the cyst, but it wasn't ready yet. I got a text the next morning while I was at work saying "it just exploded everywhere..." I was so wishing I was home to witness that. Not to worry, it would come back while we were in England of course. So his mom and I got to squeeze some more gunk out of it. They should add this to wedding vows. "to have, and to hold, to squeeze pus out of your butt, honor, cherish..." He experienced real socialized health care there. I didn't go with them, but he said the facility was really run down, but the care was good. He got more antibiotics, and then got some more when we got home. He's been on antibiotics for a month now. He takes them like vitamins. He's started taking probiotics because he was having such digestive problems, and I honestly think that's helped immensely. He's really excited about being on a regular pooping schedule, in case you wanted to know that. I mean, it's kind of a milestone, if you remember last year this time - we were doing enemas and suppositories and struggling to get to the toilet, so just settling for the bedside commode instead while your wife sits on the other side of the room keeping herself busy so you don't get too embarrassed.

One more infection tackled. The trip to London was awesome. We were there during the Paralympics and that was a lot of fun. People just thought Jason was one of the athletes. We went to a day of track and field, and there were so many people in Olympic Park it was crazy. They built a mall right in the middle of it all, which of course was packed too. We were on the escalator, and I was standing behind Jason. There was a father and son standing next to me, and the father poked the son and pointed to Jason's leg (right next to me!). Really? Way to set an example. I like to walk a few steps behind him when we're in the mall or any other place with lots of people, because it's almost guaranteed that someone will stare. They always look down first, then up at the man with the fake leg and see that he's pretty young, get a surprised look on their face, and look back down at the leg. I always try to make eye contact with them just to make them feel uncomfortable. Like, 'yeah, I see you staring and being annoying, any questions?' I hope I'll grow out of that immature phase soon.

In England, we celebrated his birthday, did all the touristy things, and met all kinds of family. Jason played golf with his grandfather, and I bought all different kinds of chocolate to try. Cooper learned to sit himself up from crawling, and started standing. It was a very productive, and eventful trip!

In about a week and a half, we'll travel to Texas to watch Jason play in the Warrior Open with George W. Bush. We are really excited for that trip. Right after that, we'll travel home for a wedding. We're hoping to go home for Christmas too, so I'm hoping we'll be able to stop by Walter Reed again soon and visit with Joe and Bob. Jason has decided he wants to try for a career in prosthetics, and I would love for him to go talk to his old prosthetist about where to start. I'm really excited for him if he does follow through with that goal.

All in all, another good month with only a few setbacks. Hopefully they will become fewer and farther between!

Now, excuse me while I go change my shirt from four hour old partially digested peaches and breast milk. Ugh.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One for Me

There's a small box in the bottom left corner of my screen with my mom jabbering away as I write this. She's checking up on Dad and making sure I ate lunch today. I love her. But I can't say that I love that I showed her how to Skype. It's taking over our lives. Nevertheless, I certainly hope I can have this relationship with Cooper when he gets older. I had a realization today; I'm trying to keep my baby a baby forever. I picked him up from daycare, and a couple babies were sitting at the table eating lunch. A grown up lunch, with spoons and everything. I'm still making his baby food, and feeding him, and crying on the inside every time he sits up on his knees inspecting a toy. So, I need to stop the baby food making factory, and start introducing more finger foods. We've done Cheerios and bananas. Maybe pasta?

Either way, I'm struggling. Big time. Just a month ago, he wasn't crawling, sitting, climbing, or eating by himself. Now he's doing all of those, and learning new things every. single. day. It's seriously killing me. I love watching him learn new things and figure it all out. I hate seeing him grow up. All I picture is him driving away in my Jeep, which will be the old ugly hand-me-down by then, off to college or wherever he decides he needs to go to be a grown up all by himself. It all flashes before my eyes when he sits up on his little knees and picks each toy out of his box one by one. Today it's toys and cheerios, tomorrow it's college and girls.

Lately I've really been feeling the emotions that come with a fast growing son, and a husband who is still not 100%. It's draining. How do you motivate someone who is so far down on themselves, without being a nagging wife? How do you push someone to better themselves without pushing them away? How do you ask someone to help you without making them feel like they're worthless for not helping? (that's a little extreme, I don't really do that, but it's how I feel sometimes) I've been praying for compassion and patience while he figures this all out on his own. I'm not feeling the answers to those prayers anywhere right now. I'm trying to be encouraging and positive about his choices. I'm just tired. The hardest part of this 11 month old life changing event is only just beginning! When we were sitting in the hospital a year ago, and we never thought we'd see this day, I never imagined the emotional obstacles we'd have to overcome too. I'd much rather have it all done and dealt with than this long, drawn out process. I'm sure it happens this way for a reason. Humans probably cannot undertake all that stress at once, and so here we sit 11 months later, still trying to figure out our emotions about it all.

I've been calling to make a counseling appointment, if for nothing else, just to vent without offending my husband. But they're always busy, or never get back to me. It's just one of those things that just gets put on the back burner as we try to have a normal life at the same time.

Maybe I'm picking up a lot of his emotional stress for him. He just shuts down, as most men do. I choose to stress for him, about deciding on a new job in the Army, about which classes to take in school, about which school to go to, when to start, how to start, life after the Army, etc. If I don't, he won't either. And then we'll just be back at square one.

All this stressing will make me go gray way sooner than I anticipated. I have been going to the gym much more, and that helps. Just leave it to me to find stress in every situation; I will. A trait I hope to NOT pass on to Cooper.

Long, somber entry ends now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cooper - Month 8

Dearest Cooper, 

You are really starting to express yourself these days. You are still a very happy baby 99% of the time. You really only cry if you're tired, or when Mommy leaves the room (which makes Daddy sad). 

You traveled to England this month, and you got to meet your Nana's side of the family which was very exciting. While we were there, you learned to sit yourself up after crawling, and now you look like such a big boy every day. You went on the London Eye, and saw Big Ben, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, went to the Paralympics, and ate British baby food. The plane rides were a little tough for you (and your parents), because you just love to crawl around and explore things, and you weren't allowed to do that on the airplane. 

You are now a professional crawler, and sitter. You've started pulling up on things and getting up on to your knees. Sometimes when you're too far away, you'll try to take your hands down and then bump your head on whatever you've pulled up on. That's how you got your first incident report at daycare, and bruise on your forehead. 

You've got your first tooth coming through, too. It's your bottom left, front and center. Mommy is not excited about teeth - it's only another indication that my little boy is growing up too fast. 

You're very talkative, and making new sounds every day. "dada" is still your favorite. I'm still waiting for a "mama"! I'm convinced you're still the favorite at your daycare, because let's face it, how could you not be?! 

Your favorite foods are mommys milk (in any form), pears, peaches, bananas, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and mangoes. You're really not as excited about peas, green beans, or avocados, but mommy still makes you eat them since they're good for you :) We've tried yogurt a couple times, but I think it might upset your tummy a little bit. You still love it, though! You've gotten so good at picking up your little puffs, and have gotten even better at chewing them up instead of gagging on them! It's probably about time to start giving you more finger foods, but that's another sign that you're growing in to a little boy, and it makes mommy depressed. 

This month, you will fly on a plane two more times,  get to meet President George W. Bush, go back to Virginia and see more family, and probably start pulling up to standing soon! Mommy and Daddy have to start really baby proofing now, not just the locks on the cabinets either. Some furniture might have to be rearranged so you'll have more room to explore without getting more bruises! 

Please stay little forever sweet handsome, you are so fun at this age, and you are so snuggly with your mommy. It makes my heart melt every time you nuzzle in to my chest, and I already dread the day you grow up in to a man even though its years away. 

Your Daddy and I have very high hopes for you, you will be a joy in everyones life, and we are already SO proud of you!