And yet...I feel an overwhelming urge to purge onto...well, I can't say paper, really, can I? I guess...purge onto the computer screen...in a way that FB doesn't really allow. My mind is spinning in so many directions these days that I feel completely overwhelmed and I need somewhere to put it down and get it OUT of there so that maybe my mind will slow down just a tiny bit. (Do you feel lucky? You know, to get to be the lucky recipients of my crazy ramblings?)
But where to start? Do I try to somehow quickly sum up the past 6 months of our lives in some sort of succinct way that won't even remotely begin to describe what it's really been like? Seems sort of ridiculous. But if I don't, then how will you know what I'm referring to when I refer to this event or that? So I guess that really leaves me no choice.
So here goes...ready?
-My sister and I started our own business...Ciao Sorella...means "Hello Sister" in Italian...located at http://www.ciaosorella.com. So far she's been the one doing most of the business b/c I've been busy with other life issues.
-In January, Mackenzie had her 3rd surgery; 2nd palate repair (I believe the prep for that was my last actual post). It failed. Again. Maybe my frustration with that was, in part, why I quit blogging. Why keep saying the same thing over and over? At any rate, her palate, both hard and soft, are still open. Next surgery probably in January, again.
-In January, I also weaned Makayla, much to her disliking and mine, per my OB's instructions in prep for my own surgery. Long story. She's recovered, I've recovered, but she's still very much a mama's girl.
-My dad came and spent the winter with us (he lives with one of my sisters in New Hampshire, and hates the cold weather). He was here from mid-December through mid-March. The kids LOVED having their grandpa here and were all quite sad to have him go!!!! We expect he'll be back this winter as well. :)
-As most of you know, at last writing, I had been suffering a lot of pelvic pain and issues. Finally, in March, I had a complete and total hysterectomy, ovaries and all. I firmly believe all of my issues were related to the tubal ligation I had following the girls' birth, and I URGE any mama considering tubal ligation as a form of permanent birth control to NOT DO IT!!! There are many long term consequences that the doctors will NOT tell you about which are widely experienced by women who've had the surgery, and there are many women who end up having to either have a tubal reversal (at their own expense) or having to go through a hysterectomy which would otherwise have not been necessary. Fortunately, thanks to bio-identical hormones, I have not had to experience any horrible menopausal symptoms, but did have some grief after the hysterectomy. I can say that I now feel GREAT physically, in terms of all of that - better than I've felt in a LONG time!!!
-My mom came out to help out during and after my surgery, and was a HUGE help during that time. The kids loved having her here right after grandpa left (actually their stays overlapped by a couple days), so they were totally spoiled! I honestly have NO idea how we would have survived without her here. I had a rough recovery the first couple weeks after surgery, and she was wonderful in keeping the kids occupied so I could rest. I look forward to the next time she comes so we can actually do some FUN things together!!!!
-My Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (hereditary neuropathy), however, has progressed at a rapid rate, and my hands, in particular, have become very, very weak. Typing, in fact, has become difficult (and even as I type this, I am having to correct many mistakes and my fingers are going numb!). I can no longer button clothes without the aide of a buttoner, I have difficulty tying ribbons/laces/etc., doing the girls' hair is getting increasingly difficult, and basically anything involving fine motor skills is hard. I have a hard time writing with a regular pen or pencil (I need thicker ones) and writing anything of any length ends up with me dropping the pen/pencil, and my handwriting has gotten terrible. Also, my muscles have begun spasming a LOT, so I have to now take meds for that as well. As crafting is a big part of my life, it bothers me a great deal. I have a great neurologist who is working closely with me to try to manage the symptoms as best as we can.
-The girls and Anthony are just growing like weeds!!! Anthony is in the 84th% of height/weight for his age, and will be starting homeschooled kindergarten this fall. Mackenzie is still receiving Early Intervention services due to her speech delay, but she is improving all the time. Once she turns 3, her services will be transferred to the local school district. Makayla is speaking in full sentences, though sometimes we're the only ones who can understand her. :) The girls are full on into the "terrible two's" and either love each other to pieces or love to hit each other to pieces!! Anthony's sort of the same with them - he's either the adoring big brother, or the jealous big brother!!
-I have been taking the kids to swim lessons this summer at another mom's house in a homeschooling moms group I joined, and while they are all definitely still beginners, they have at least been introduced to the water and are more comfortable in the water. At the beginning of the summer, Mackenzie spent every session on the edge of the pool screaming and refusing to even get IN the water - so the fact that she now gets in the water on her own will, splashes around, and will allow me to dunk her without crying is HUGE progress!!! Makayla is the one we have to watch carefully, because she has almost NO fear and will just jump off the step right out into the pool to try to "swim" to me, even if I'm not expecting her!!! It doesn't bother her one bit to go under the water!!! Anthony was sort of middle-of-the-road at the beginning of the summer. He wanted to learn to swim, but he didn't want to get his face wet!! LOL He's now willing to jump into the water and go under, and he can float on his back without me holding on, but he's still working on kicking with the kickboard on his own and blowing bubbles out his nose under the water and learning how to move the water with his hands.
-Darrell is doing great, and I adore him for how doting and what a wonderful father, husband and provider he is. He puts in LONG hours at work. This week we are both helping out with Vacation Bible School at our church. I am a small group leader in the Pre-K class (Anthony's class), and Darrell is helping with the big kids' games. The girls are in the 2-3 year olds class, and are always a bit reluctant when being dropped off, but have fun once they are in class. Last night they got to make rain sticks. (The them this year is a rainforest adventure.)
Okay, I think that hits most of the highlights. Next up - my AWESOME weekend this past weekend with Donna Downey. What? You don't know who Donna Downey is????? You, my friend, are SOOOO missing out!!!