August 29, 2014

Project 52 {30-35}

Things have been so hectic the past few weeks that I decided to hold off on posting my Project 52 photos each week.  I did keep up with taking photos every week however, which was the important part of this goal  for me - to document the oh-so-quickly, ever-changing dynamic of this amazing little family of mine.  Here's a bit of catch-up on the past few weeks.







August 28, 2014

Five Months





Five sweet, sweet months since our little girl arrived.  Aside from sitting up on her own for a few seconds at a time, no major developmental milestones to speak of this month - we are simply enjoying the milestone of getting a better handle on her health.  The diagnosis of silent reflux and medication to control it have left us with a brand new baby, and we are thrilled to now have a team of experts behind us to get through these food allergies.

She's sleeping so much better, which in and of itself produces a much better attitude in all of us, as we are now able to get some rest.  It's so obvious in hindsight that lying flat on her back with reflux would be uncomfortable and make sleep so difficult for her.  She naps in her own crib now, is back to sleeping in 5 hour stretches at night (still waking 2-4 times to nurse), and usually falls asleep on her own with little to no fuss.

The fact that she is no longer in pain all the time has left us with a brand new baby!  We saw glimpses of this happy and smiling baby in the past, but it is the norm now rather than the exception - and what a sweetie she is!

Her biggest thing this month is playing with her toys.  Stuffed animals, rattles, teethers, her exersaucer, any type of hanging toy.  It's been so cute to watch her grow with these - from the early days of simply staring at them in amazement, to attempting to grasp them when she began to control her hands, to now attacking them with vigor, usually for the purpose of shoving them right in her mouth.  She's beginning to tolerate tummy time, and making attempts at crawling by kicking those little legs like crazy.  She loves to sit up and stand with help - can't believe how strong and determined this little girl is. We've moved up to 3-6 month sleepers and pants due to her length, but she's still mostly in 0-3 month clothing, though still in the in-between size where they are getting too small but the 3-6 month outfits are far too big.  She will be moving up to size 2 diapers just as soon as we finish this box of diapers.

It's hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we'll be celebrating Olivia's half-birthday.  In six short months she has changed and grown so much.  With her health improving more and more everyday, I'm even more excited than ever to see what the future has in store for her.

August 27, 2014

Changes


If I have learned anything in the past few years, if this journey to be a better person, to live a better life, has taught me absolutely anything - it is that I have the power to control how my life is going to play out.  I can allow a bad situation to consume me, render me powerless, and cripple me to my core - or I can use it to become stronger, to become better, to learn.

I haven't discussed our experience with Olivia's medical issues in any great detail (perhaps I will someday).  I know that relatively speaking, they are simple - temporary and not likely to have any lasting impact on her quality of life.  But that certainly does not make those issues any less difficult in the here and now, it does not make them impact our life any less, and it does not make them any less significant for us.

In the past few weeks, I have regained control of my life, control that I didn't even realize was slowly slipping through my fingers as we've fought Olivia's medical problems these past five months.  It's amazing how things can affect us on a level so deep, that even we are not aware of what they have done to our attitude, our mood, our entire worldview.  Two weeks ago it hit me like a ton of bricks how oblivious I had been to how significantly this whole ordeal was impacting me, despite my ability to appreciate and love life throughout.  And I began to slowly but surely adopt a new worldview, one that has brought understanding to my life.  I have found a new level of peace, contentment, and simple satisfaction, despite - or perhaps, because of - the difficulties.  And there is no looking back.

August 25, 2014

A Weekend Unplugged


After more than a month of being on the go, lots of excitement, more than a little bit of stress, and so many changes - a relaxing weekend just for us was exactly what this family needed.  Aside from a few necessary communications with family about our upcoming vacation, we left the rest of the world behind for a few days - the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media, world news, and even friends and family.

This little break from the world, this little bit of time to be completely consumed with my little family and my family alone, completely filled my heart to bursting with so much all-consuming love.  It's so easy for me to get caught up in the necessities of living - cleaning, cooking, preparing lunches, helping with homework - and when you throw a new baby into the mix with unresolved health complications, it can be overwhelming at times, despite my efforts to stay focused on the positives and appreciate this amazing life we've built.  The downtime we set aside to focus all our energy on each other was such a welcome change from the fast pace of life we've been living recently, and making time to feel the love is something we will be incorporating into our future daily.  Over these few short days alone with my family, I feel as though something inside me subtly shifted, some little thing that I can't quite put into words, but is sure to have a big impact on this little life of ours.