img_0914

I’m Not Prepared for Parenthood

I thought I was prepared for motherhood. I started babysitting in my preteens. My sister had children before I was even married. Children are no stranger to me. I have changed diapers and mixed bottles.

Prior to my kiddos, I worked at an agency that had clients with the Arkansas Department of Human Services. During my time there, I helped develop a book helping educate pregnant mothers about their health and their babies’ health. I also worked on an account where we helped educate parents about the importance of well-child checkups. Lastly, I helped a colleague on an account where we helped educate parents about how to choose a childcare provider.

Needless to say, I was educated.

I was probably as prepared as a person could get, but I was not prepared for this.

blue-baby

I was not prepared to rearrange my entire life around a tiny human and being okay with it.

baby-2

I was not prepared for how much I love him.

baby-1

I was not prepared to worry as much as I do.

img_0914

I was not prepared to discipline.

img_1263

I was not prepared to have this much pride for another human being.

img_0969

I was not prepared to say, “where did the time go?”

img_1321

My little boy turned 4 years old this week. I have 1 year left before he’s no longer a toddler. I have 9 years left before he is a teenager. I have 10 years before he goes to high school. I have 12 years before he gets his driver’s license. I have 14 years before he’s an adult.

I’m not prepared for him to grow up.

Happy Birthday Charlie!

img_1356

lucy-paranoid

Paranoid About Lucy Jo

lucy-paranoid

Here’s a news flash… I’m a paranoid person.

Since 2011 when Marc and I first started to try to conceive, the unlikely, has happened. I won’t go into every detail, but I will say that the last 5 years has made me a Paranoid Polly. I know this. I’m aware of this. I am not going to change it. This is the way I am. I Google everything. I research every scenario. This is partially because I have an inquisitive mind. I learned that this is part of being a journalist (#JournalismDegree). I am also paranoid just because I am a mother and we worry. So I am a triple threat in the world of paranoia.

Here’s an update on Lucy Jo. She had her routine AFP checked on September 1. Her level is a 3.0. Below 8 is in the normal range. HAPPY CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH TO US! She is 1-year and 1-month cancer free! She is 2-years-old and reaching all of her milestones. A lot of things are changing for my little girl just like every other 2-year-old.

  • I need to take out her 2T/24-month clothes out of her closet. She now wears 3T. She wears a size 8 shoe (almost a 9).
  • Within the next month, she will graduate to a twin bed — out of her crib.
  • We are starting to potty train.

That last one. It gets me every time I say it. Potty training is a normal milestone for her age, but this milestone is the last step to putting this stupid monster behind us.

Confused yet?

Her surgery had 2 main risks. The tumor was in her pelvis area around thousands of tiny nerves. One risk was that she wouldn’t be able to pee or poop on her own. That fear was put to an end days after her surgery when she had a wet and dirty diaper. The second risk was that she wouldn’t be able to control her bowels and urine. This would only be resolved during potty training.

Because I’m Paranoid Polly, I decided that I wasn’t going to start potty training until I was 150% sure that she was ready. I was prepared to buy diapers as long as I needed. Why? Because I did not want to set myself up to be SO paranoid that I call St. Louis Children’s Hospital because she was still wetting her diapers. I knew that if she didn’t have success from the beginning I would suspect her surgery damaged her. I did not want to drive myself crazy out of fear. I did not want to set up my daughter for failure.

Tuesday night Lucy Jo told me she wanted to go potty like she has many times before. I decided to humor her this time and set her on the potty. She wiggled and giggled and said she was done as soon as she got on the potty. I made her sit there and told her to take a deep breath. After a few tries, she finally took a deep breath and that’s when I heard the precious sound of her pee hitting the toilet water. I gave her a big grin and kissed her while she sat on the throne. She said, “Mama, I did it!” She was so proud of herself.

She did the same thing Wednesday night.

Thursday morning I woke LJ up and she immediately said, “Mommy, I need to go potty! NOW!” I threw off her clothes and her diaper. We rushed to the toilet and she immediately peed in the potty. At that moment I knew she felt the urge to pee.

This means that there are no side effects of the surgery! I got her ready for preschool and celebrated the whole time with high fives, kisses and hugs. I sent the kids to preschool with pull-ups in hand with Marc. I finished getting ready for work.

It hit me while putting eyeliner on — relief. This was the last step. This monster is gone. The monster let go of Lucy. The tears flowed. They did not stop. I was completely overwhelmed.

Four hours later I got a pounding headache. This happens every time a storm in my life is over.

God’s got this.

sleepy

Cancer is Haunting

September is childhood cancer awareness month. It’s also my son’s birthday month. It’s the month when fall begins — my favorite season. Can you tell that September is a special month to me? (I hate the fall allergies, though!)

Cancer will always be a part of our life. I’m so thankful that Missouri State University provides its employees with really good insurance. We will definitely use it with yearly MRI’s and routine blood tests. All of this is because cancer will forever be in Lucy’s health history. It will also be noted in Charlie’s health history. It will be noted in my grandkids health history too.

Cancer is haunting. Last week Lucy’s blood was tested. Her AFP is 3! The monster is still dead.

Lucy spent a full day on Saturday with her Daddy. Her brother got undivided attention from his Mama.

bubba

This was a change of pace. Mama missed her girl. Daddy was exhausted.

Life is good. God’s got this.