Hey! My baby isn't a baby anymore! She is potty trained all of a sudden. She can swim across the pool and take breaths in the middle (thank GOODNESS!). She even tells knock knock jokes, as you can see. Ones that make sense!
After 13 years I am done with diapers. High chairs. Cribs. I would certainly be mourning this at some level if I were not feeling so happy that my family is becoming more self-sufficient at a time when it really needs to be. What a relief it is to me that those who are helping with the children have less baby helping now, since that is so much more difficult physically. And how happy I am that my youngest and I can have conversations and read books that she will have more and more memories of to build on. It is a good thing.
Speaking of milestones, I too have been achieving some. Each day I am able to do a little more, viewed as a whole. I run the gamut from pretty good days to some still some fairly bad days, but overall am sleeping a little less and doing a little more. I have been able to make it downstairs each day this week to have breakfast with the kids before school. Today I even made their sandwiches...granted it took me nearly 40 minutes to accomplish this task that should take 5, but I am only slightly discouraged by this as I saw the pleasure the kids took in seeing me do this for them.
I have been able to have them read to me in the evenings as well and at least be near them as they do their homework (it is really, really sad how little I can help them right now. The most basic questions are stumping me and sometimes I can't even figure out what the actual assignment is even after reading the instructions. But I am sure this will get better over time.) I am definitely NOT smarter than a 5th grader right now!
The hardest part for me, besides the intense fatigue and useless feeling that goes along with that, is the shaking caused by the Decadron. My hands shake so much that it is difficult to type and text and write and hold things without spilling. I don't like it at all and hope that as the swelling goes down and I am able to taper off this steroid this side effect will soon be behind me. I tried to talk my way down on the Decadron at my infusion yesterday, but the persistent numbness on the right side of my body and some visual disturbances I have been experiencing are telling my docs that the swelling is not yet abating (which is not alarming or unusual at this stage, so don't worry) so I cannot yet cut back the Decadron. So, for a few more weeks at least I will continue to cry too easily, likely gain a little more weight which I can hopefully get rid of later, but rest assured that I am doing what I need to do to get better and stronger for my family right now.
This is also been a time of great blessings for me as I have had lots of time to rest and pray and spend with friends I haven't seen in far too long. My dear friend Jennifer flew out from Texas to be with me for nearly all of August and September and I am so, so happy to have her with me. Local friends, grandparents and neighbors are here every day too, filling in on groceries, rides, just playing with the kids or taking them out or swimming with them or helping with homework. The generous and amazing meals keep coming and are SOOOOO appreciated. I could not live enough lifetimes to pay forward the charity and goodness that have descended on my family. You have all taught me so much about being the hands of Christ on this earth. No one wants to be sick, but if you've gotta be sick, this is the way to do it. We have more help right now than we need which is amazing when you think about a family of nine with six children in three schools and football/cheer season going on to boot. Good thing since this will be a marathon rather than a sprint for us it seems, so it is nice to spread things out over many people and much time.
At any rate, just thought I'd post to let you know that I am slowly making some strides, I maintain my good cheer and strong faith completely and that I could not be more humbled and grateful for all of you.
By the way, if you found Natalie's joke totally unintelligable, here is the transcript:
(Natalie says something unclear so Jay says start over)
Don't cry, it's just a joke!