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Endometriosis Awareness!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

March is Endomtriosis Awareness month. I think the actual "awareness week" is the 2nd week of March, but this is a serious disease that I personally think deserves an entire month in the spotlight.

Here are a few basic questions, followed with some Tia-speak type answers. I'm not a doctor, I don't claim to be one, but I do suffer from this disease, and I have done my research. This is not a post sharing my story, although that post is soon to come. This is just a post to tell you what Endometriosis it is, in hopes that I might be able to help you or somebody that you know.


What is Endometriosis, you ask? Basically- its when the lining of your uterus grows where its not supposed to. On your ovaries, in your fallopian tubes- anywhere and everywhere.

What does Endometriosis feel like, you wonder? Like hell, I say. The number one symptom of this disease is pain. Some women will have little to no pain (its still unknown why), but the majority of women who suffer from this disease will feel it. Imagine the worst possible period that you've ever had. It usually feels like that, or worse. Very severe cramping, very heavy bleeding. Seriously, the best way I can describe it, is saying that its like the worst period of your life. Every month. Pain in your lower back, pain with bowel movements (just keepin' it real here), pain during sex, pain pain pain. And not just like "ouch, a paper cut" type pain, but... deep, stabbing, you might feel like you're dying, type pain. Please visit this page, for more information on the pain, and how you can manage it (ladies, don't be afraid to ask your doctor for something stronger than over the counter pain killers).

How do I know if I have Endometriosis? Well... typically getting diagnosed isn't easy. Really, the only way a doctor can determine if you have Endometriosis, is to see it. Since its something that grows inside of our bodies- seeing it might be kind of hard. For most women, a diagnosis requires a laparoscopic surgery. They insert a camera through your belly button, look around, and if its there, they'll usually see it. There are other methods of catching the disease- sometimes a simple physical examination, sometimes an x-ray... but please be aware that this disease is tricky, it hides, and sometimes remains invisible for years. Getting a diagnosis can sometimes be exhausting. If you're aware that it exists though, and that it might be your specific issue- then you and your doctor can work together to get your diagnosis that much faster. Click here for more information on getting diagnosed.

How is Endometriosis treated? Before I give you treatment options, I have to tell you- there is no cure. Its not a disease that will kill you (although it may feel like it), but its not a disease that can be taken away with a series of antibiotics either. The number one treatment for Endo, is pain killers. No, I didn't make that up. Other methods of treatment are hormone therapy (birth control, mock menopause), pregnancy (you don't have cycles when your pregnant, and your cycle is what this disease feeds off of) laparoscopic surgery to remove lesions, endometrial ablasion, hysterectomy, and changes in diet. For more information on the treatment of Endometriosis, click here.

Wait, what are some of the other symptoms? I know pain can't be the only one? No, pain isn't the only one, there are several symptoms and health issues that result from this disease. Endometriosis doesn't follow a specific pattern though, its different for everyone. Infertility, IBS, fever during your cycle, depression, a wounded immune system, headaches, heavy bleeding, irregular periods. There are so many symptoms that mimic other conditions, you really need to listen to your body and do your research. This disease is hereditary a lot of the time (not always), so make sure you ask your family members if they were diagnosed, or suffered from similar symptoms.


I wish I could cram all of my knowledge and experiences into this one blog post, summarize it so that you might be able to find some kind of relief or comfort as your eyes glance through my words- but I think I've done all that I can do for this one post. I truly hope that some of you might read what I've written, found me through a Twitter friend, stumbled here from a random google search, whatever- and will maybe take a few minutes to evaluate your own personal experiences, or the suffering of a friend that may have. I hope that for somebody, this post puts two and two together, and you start on your journey to getting answers, and finding peace with your body.

Sometime in the next couple of days, I'll share my own personal Endometriosis story with you. It won't be kittens and rainbows, it will be very real, but hopefully it will help another woman, maybe two, realize that their story is an awful lot like mine- and maybe, just maybe, they'll get a diagnosis of their own.

If you'd like to help spread the word about Endometriosis this month, or any month for that matter, please feel free to use the image that I've used on this post, in your own post. If you're unable to pluck it right off of my page, please email me- Christopherandtia@yahoo.com. I've also made a button to put on your website or blog, that will link back here to this post- you can see it over there on my sidebar (looky over to the right?), and you can grab one for yourself by just copy and pasting the html code below, into your own template.

Endometriosis Awareness

For more information on Endometriosis, please visit a few of the following websites:
-The endometriosis Association

Week 31

Friday, February 26, 2010

Its Friday already? This week has flown by. Christopher went TDY overnight on Wednesday into Thursday, up at Sheppard Air Force Base (where we both lived for our first Texas summer, and where we welcomed our beautiful Eleanore into the world) for an awards luncheon. He wasn't the one getting award, he was just speaking, but- he did get a free Olive Garden steak out of the whole deal, so, its not as if it were all for nothing, haha.

This weeks optional Flashback Friday theme, is anything black and white. Mostly because I had found this picture last week, and was just dying to post it...

Who's that cute little boy? Oh, its baby Christopher! Well, not a baby, but- gosh he was a cute kid, wasn't he? When I stare at this black and white image of his round baby face, I can see where my kids a lot of their features from. Its true, that our kids look a lot like me when I was a baby, but there are features associated with the face above that are slowly peeking out from behind the Tia.

There wasn't a date written on the back of the picture, just an address and phone number. I'd ask Christopher himself, but hes off at work of course. He had told me about how his mom had played around with photography as a hobby for a little while, and I remember seeing large black and white pictures in her living room of both him and his siblings. Ok the only one I actually remember seeing, was a beautiful picture of his big sister Steph. I remember very clearly hoping that someday I'd have pictures just as perfect to remember my kids younger years by.

Flashback Friday Button


Now won't you share a picture with us? It can be of anything you'd like, but it might be fun to play along our black and white theme this time around, if you so feel inclined to. You don't need to have a blog, you can post on your facebook, twitpic, myspace, wherever. Just make sure to add your link to the list below, and add our link to your post. You can use our fancy "Flashback Friday" button (which can be found wayyyy down at the bottom of our page, below all of our posts), or you can do it the old fashioned text link style- its up to you. The more players, the merrier! Can't wait to see every ones flashbacks this week!

Next weeks optional theme (seriously guys, don't stress if you can't find the picture that you have in mind, there will always be more themes, and really, you know we'll love whatever you post anyways) is going to be friend related. Any ol' picture of any ol' friend, with a story to go with it. You can be in the picture with your friend, or it can be just of your friend. Happy, sad- we'd love to look into your past if you'd be so kind as to share it with us.

Third Times a Charm

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The quest to find the very perfect ultimate blueberry muffin, has come to an end. I've done it. The muffin that I was imagining, was similar to the kind I used to get at the deli behind my studio. There was nothing I loved more about a Saturday morning, than walking around the corner, and stopping in to buy a cup of coffee and a muffin. The muffins were always so good. Turns out they were from Costco, but- no matter. I still loved overpaying the man at the counter, and walking away with a smile on my face, and a warm spot in my tummy.

Some of you might have tried my first attempt, and thought it was pretty good. You're right, it was "good", but it just wasn't quite what I wanted. A pregnant woman knows exactly what she wants, and unless its exactly that, its useless. Its annoying how particular and demanding my taste buds become when I'm growing another person. I can't explain it. I think they (whoever "they" is) do a pretty good job in movies when they show a demon possessed mother shouting into a drive thru window. When I watch scenes like that, I think to myself, "that looks and sounds about right".

I won't make you wait any longer. Enough of my talk, talk, talking. Lets make some muffins!

The Very Best Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin

-2 1/2 cups baking mix (I prefer Pamela's)
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup melted butter (smart balance over here)
-1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract (this is the secret ingredient, don't leave this out!)
-3/4 cup milk (we like soy)
-3/4 cup frozen blueberries


-preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
-line your muffin/cupcake pan. This should make 12 muffins exactly.
-mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
-pour in your wet ingredients together on top of the dry.
-mix mix mix with a wooden spoon.
-fold in your blueberries at the last minute.
-fill muffin papers 3/4 of the way full, maybe a little bit more. These are egg free, but they're still going to raise.
-bake for 22-24 minutes.
-DO NOT open up the oven door until that timer goes off, or your muffins will cave, and you'll be sad.

*Note* These muffins are good warm, like most muffins are- but they're much better after they've been hanging out in the fridge overnight. Just sayin'.


Another Snow Storm

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yesterday was another cold day at Dyess. The clouds rolled in, and before we woke up, the sky had already started dropping glittery droplets of snow. It continued throughout the day, piling up and covering every surface it could wrap its cold frosty fingers around. I of course took the kids out to play in it, even though Eleanore couldn't keep herself standing, and Charlie screamed in my arms the entire time. Hot chocolate and warms baths were quick to follow.

Since Charlie had spent the entire afternoon in my arms, I didn't get a chance to catch any of it on camera. No pictures of snowball fights, no pictures of snow castles- nothing. Luckily, when I woke up this morning, there was still quite a bit left.

I scampered outside in my penguin pajama pants and big green slippers, ignored the fact that it was only 24 degrees, and took a couple of pictures of our house and street before the big melt settled in. You can see where the kids had left their marks the day before- where the blanket of white was tossed and ruffled.

I wonder if this will have been our last dance with snow this year? This is apparently the 8th snowiest winter in Abilene's history. The kids sure are loving it, so for their sakes, I guess it wouldn't be so bad to see another snowman or two before spring arrives. Until then, maybe another round of hot chocolate...

I Heart Faces: Hands-On Fun

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I don't always participate in the challenges over at I Heart Faces, but it sure is fun when I do. This weeks challenge is "Hands-On Fun". The first picture that came to mind, was this picture of Eleanore, taken sometime this past summer, playing with a set of vintage Disney toys.

Because really, whats a childhood without Mickey or Minnie?

A Saturday Trip To The Zoo

A few weeks ago, after Eleanore's first Kindermusik class, we meant to go down that week and officially enroll her during office hours. The day that we had planned on doing it, it had snowed. We went the next day, and they weren't open. Meaning- we failed as parents, and weren't able to get her into the class this semester.

While Christopher and I argued in the car about who's fault it was, and what we could possibly do to make it up to her- the brilliant idea of buying a zoo pass popped into one of our heads.

So that's what we did. For just $35, we now have unlimited access to the Abilene Zoo, 4 guest passes to take friends or family when they come into town, a discount in the gift shop, and a discount at several other zoos across the US (including the Ft. Worth Zoo, which we'll be visiting in April).

While its another snowy day today, 3-6 inches of the white stuff expected, I thought today would be a nice day to post some pictures from a few sunny Saturdays ago...

Our Valentines Day

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentines Day was different for us this year. It was carefree. I had plans to make Christopher his favorite childhood cookie, a Jim Jam (my first attempt at making them gluten free, and only my second time making them ever), and I had told him I honestly didn't want a gift, I was still more than happy with the recent purchase of my Canon Rebel (which is no lie, I'm so in love with it). Both of our kids needed new hoodies, so I had picked some up the last time I was out shopping, and would set those aside for Valentines morning. No boxes of chocolate for them, hee hee. Besides, I had made some homemade heart shaped chocolates and peanut butter cups, with intentions of shipping them off as gifts to my sister in laws- the kids could just have one or two of those, right? Soon after making the candies though, I realized they weren't ship worthy, and I'd have to come up with a backup plan, which I did, and that, will hopefully hit the post office tomorrow- 2 weeks later than they should have.

When I woke up on Valentines Day morning, Christopher was already hard at work making pancakes in the kitchen, and topping them off with red jams- raspberry and strawberry. We've just recently found a brand of jam that is fructose free, which means there aren't any added fruit juices. This has been like a gift from God. It had been years since I was able to have any kind of jelly or jam, and it truly is the little things in life that brighten your day, ya know? We ate our delicious breakfast, and then opened presents. Great Grammy and Grandpa had sent some little gifts as well, so that really added to the event.

And even though I had told him not to get me anything...

He pulled out the most beautiful necklace I've ever seen in my life.

He had gone onto etsy, and had a necklace custom made for me. As I clasped it around my neck, I took note, that this was my very first piece of adult jewelry. My first expensive silver pendant, my first custom piece, and look... the chain isn't made up of tiny silver balls. Its gorgeous.

And by now most of you know the story behind the heart and the 2 gulls, right? If Christopher is a gull, then I'm a gull.

Oh! I forgot to mention the part of our day where I whipped up a scrumptious chocolate cheesecake, made of cashews (gluten free and vegan). Mmm. Theres still part of a piece in the fridge, but it seemed to give me heartburn (what doesn't), so its just sitting there waiting for Christopher to gobble it up.

For dinner we made Egg Foo Young. I had been craving it the night before, but hadn't had it in more than ten years. I don't even know what made me think of it?

Finally, I got to use the wok that I had gotten for Christmas! And it turned out sooooo yummy. We made a brown sauce to go over it, and cooked some rice to make up a nice bottom layer for the meal. But of course, the egg foo young gave me heartburn too, and... so it turned out being a not so comfortable night for me. Christopher on the other hand, feasted.

All in all, it was the perfect Valentines Day. Filled with lots of love, and good food.

Week 30

Friday, February 19, 2010

This weeks flashback theme is pets. I don't have any pictures of pets from my childhood, well, a few from my teen years, but no photos of the dogs that we had while I was in elementary school, or the rabbit that I had in middle school (poor bunny, I was a horrible owner). I had hamsters and fish and salamanders. How do I not have pictures of any of them? Cameras weren't readily available when I was a kid. And if they were, somehow the film always disappeared before getting developed.

Before we had Eleanore and Charlie, we had "Babies". Little Boy Babies, and Little Girl Babies, both of them referred to as "Babies", even when calling just one of them, not both. We smuggled them into our no cats allowed apartment complex when they were just a few weeks old, and raised them as our own. We loved these cats. They tore the place up, they got their white fur all over everything, they howled at the door like dogs when anybody would come up the porch stairs- we loved them.

And then one day... Babies... had babies.

Oh gosh. How did this happen? Oh that's right, we never got them fixed. Even though they were brother and sister, they still... had babies.

Wonderful. Heavy on the sarcasm.

They were extremely cute, those little inbred kittens, but, only 2 out of 4 survived past the birth, and the 2 that were left were a little... slow, for lack of a better word?

When Christopher went away for basic training, I moved in with my parents. At the time, I was pregnant with Eleanore, and planning a move across country. I couldn't take the Babies with me. None of them. Not the older ones, not the younger ones. None. How could I put a cat through that? Caged up in a packed car, in the summer heat? I couldn't.

Just days after Christopher left, Little Boy Babies (the Daddy cat, in case anybody has gotten confused by all the babies yet) died. It was horrible, and completely unexpected. I cried for a week straight. My eyes were so swollen shut I didn't want to go into any rooms with light. He had been my baby for so long.

Theres a picture of Little Boy Babies snuggling with his little boy baby.

Little Girl Babies, the Mama, went to live with my best friend Kalii, in hopes that she'd fly her out to us after we got settled into our new home in Texas, and after the baby had been born, but it turned out that Kalii couldn't continue to care for her either, and Christopher's sister Steph agreed to take her in. Thankfully, she found a forever home with Steph, and they've lived happily ever after, ever since. It broke my heart having to say goodbye to Babies, and for awhile I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to get another cat again, feeling like I'd be betraying her by doing so.

We've since adopted a cat from the local animal shelter, and shes turned out to be the most loving cat I've ever known. But I still think about Babies, all the time, and miss them so.

Flashback Friday Button


Want to flashback with us? Post a picture, this weeks optional theme is pets, from way back when- your childhood, a year ago, last week. Write a little bit about your photo, grab our button from the bottom of our blog (waayyyy down past all of the posts) and center it somewhere in your post (or you can just link us the old fashioned text style way), and then add your link to the link list below. If you've got a minute, browse through some of the other flashbacks, we've got a great little community going, and seeing treasured photos and the stories that go with them is a great way to get to know somebody.

Next weeks optional theme (seriously, if you don't have a photo that works with our theme, post any old photo, we love to have you play along no matter what), is going to be black and white photos. Any old black and white photo will do.

Red is Rad

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The truth is, I've secretly always wanted to be a red head. My natural hair color is a medium brown with a redish highlight. When the sun hits it just right, it has a shimmery flickr of auburn- its pretty, but...

My hair was black for years. Most of the time I kept it in a classic Bettie cut, occasionally experimenting with shorter A-lines, but... for the most part, I kept my hair the same. I always felt comfortable with the Bettie. I felt like myself.

This past fall I saw a picture of myself, and wondered who that washed out older gal in the photo was. Oh ick- it was me! The black had to go. It was time for a change. I took myself down to visit my favorite stylist here in Abilene, Miranda, and we gave me a layered cut loaded with highlights to lighten things up. I left the salon that day crying, partially because I was in the middle of yet another identity crisis (babies and toddlers, kids in general I guess, will do that to you), and partially because I thought I looked like more of a "mom", than I did "Tia". I played around with it and within a few hours I loved it.

I meant to get my highlights touched up before Christmas, but when we found out I was pregnant again, it got put off. And then at our first doctors appointment, our doctor gave us some interesting facts about the new studies done that link hair coloring (while pregnant) to autism. By this time, my highlights had grown out for over a mile, the blandness of my natural brown was taking over my entire head, and I was approaching my self esteem low, quick. Maybe a trim would help?

I bet a trim would have helped, had I gone to Miranda, my hair BFF. Instead, I just sat down in the chair, without really thinking, explained what I wanted, and then cried for an hour that night over the loss of my 4 inches of length, and lack of layers. I spent awhile on the internet the next night, trying to demise a plan to fix it.

The plan? ... I'd go red.

On Valentines Day, I went down to the salon bright and early, and was the first one there when they opened. I knew about the studies done that linked hair coloring while pregnant to autism, but I had colored my hair with both of my kids, there was no proof, and... "Make it red?", I asked. Miranda's eyes lit up. She had mentioned something about wanting for me to go red back when we had put in the highlights, but at the time, I was just too scared. She showed me the brightest red they had, and I nodded. If I'm going to go red, I might as well go red, right? While I waited for my color to turn (I'm never going to forgive myself if baby number 3 ends up to be autistic, but the likely hood of that is...), I kept my nose in my book, and constantly glanced up at the ticking timer, waiting for my 30 minutes to be over with.

*Ding*, it rang.

...would it be ok for me to say that, maybe I'm a natural when it comes to being a red head? If so, I'd like to give credit to those highlights hiding between my boring brown strands. Without them, I'm not sure I would have been able to pull it off.

I love my new hair.

Unlike all of the times I've attempted new hairdos at home (I only recently started going to a salon), there was no crying, there was no "adjusting" (grabbing the scissors and snipping away at random strands day after day, because it still isn't right), there were no regrets. For the first time ever, other than when I would get a fresh Bettie cut... I love my hair.

**Oh, and that cute headband that I'm wearing? Its courtesy of Etsy seller/fellow blogger- MammaTown. The pictures in her etsy shop don't do any of her adorable accessories justice though, so don't turn away, take a second look won't you? Visit her blog here, and her Etsy shop here.

Thank You

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

picture taken April 17th, 2009

Opening up emotionally, to anyone, is not easy for me. It used to be easy, back in the day before I was hurt by the ones who loved me, and by those who pretended to care for me. As I grew up, I shut down. I started keeping everything inside, learning that as soon as things were out in the open, they'd only get worse.

Since starting this blog, I've come a long way. I used to blog about things that I had found or wanted to buy from the artists over at Etsy, or maybe I'd tell an old humorous story from my childhood. One day, I'm not sure when, my typing start to evolve into something else. Something with more substance.

Recently, after almost 2 years of blogging, I've been able to open up completely. I wrote about my worries and the feelings that I have towards my little Bean (which have since changed, I've grown much more accepting of our baby on the way)- and I remember as my fingers hovered over the "publish" button, how my heart pounded so hard I thought I might collapse under the pressure. That's how nervous I was, to let out my feelings.

The support that poured in, which was the complete opposite of what I had expected (I really thought that I would lose friends over sharing how I really felt), was overwhelming. I was in shock, at how supportive all of you were, and how so many of you commented on how it was nice to see a different side of me. I didn't even know that so many people followed along with my words. I'm still shocked.

When Charlie started having his seizures, I wondered if I should keep it to myself, but thought it would be best to share. See, I consider all of my blog readers "friends". I'm not just saying that to sound cheesy, I really mean it. I feel like if you come here on a regular basis, then you must connect with me and my family on some level, and for those of you that comment, I think I connect with you as well. Some of you choose to remain silent, reading from anonymous eyes, and that's just fine too. But even you lurkers, though I don't know you, I consider you friends too. So when we started our struggles with Charlie, I shared it. I opened up. I wanted to share what was going on, not only to keep everyone in the loop, but to free my feelings- my fears, my predictions, my overreactions, and one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to share our story, was for another mother that might be going through the same thing that we're going through. I wanted to help her. Half the time, I am her. I can't even tell you how many times I've gone looking for blogs, begging to find somebody with a similar story, whatever that story may be. Fructose intolerance, children with Vitamin C allergies, seizures, air force wives that just can't seem to connect with their new worlds- I've looked for it all.

We as women, though catty at times, we connect with each other. We as mothers, we bond with each other. Us military wives, we're practically of the same blood.

Yesterday when I posted about Charlie's EEG, somebody commented with a link to a forum post. A forum that I've never been to. And in that post, a reader of mine was talking about how disgusted she was with me. How could I post a picture of my son when he was hurt, and needing me? I should have put the camera aside, and focused on loving him. How dare I?

Her and other women, probably women who hadn't even read my story, women that knew nothing about me or my family, or my situation, continued to go on and on about awful I was. How if they could, they'd push me out of the way and give my baby a kiss on the cheek.

At first, I felt like I had been shot. How could these women, these mothers, be talking about me in such a negative way? Did they really think that I had hurt my child in some way, by taking a picture of him? They thought I was disgusting.

I put a note on that blog post, to kind of clarify the situation that they knew nothing about, and after awhile the thread was deleted (or so I assume, since the link to it is now broken). The heartbreaking photo of Charlie, with the tears in his eyes, was taken quickly, and with no intentions of capturing pain. As he slept in my arms, I had Christopher get the camera ready, so that as soon as they turned the lights on after his nap, I'd be able to take a picture of him. I got the 2 shots of him sleeping, and then while he was still asleep, they began to take off his head dressing. As I tried to get a picture of what the electrodes looked like under the cap, he woke up. He hadn't even opened his eyes when the first cries came, I snapped the picture, and returned to comforting my son, who was now awake and needing me again. He never left my lap (he used my left arm as a pillow, and I wouldn't have had it any other way). I never once adjusted my camera. I didn't think I would need to make this so clear, but because I realize now that there are people that look at the pictures deeper than they read the words, I should clarify. Unfortunately, I doubt those people are reading.

The woman who left the comment had the nerve to post in the comments section twice. First, mentioning how disgusted she was at the photo (shes entitled to her own opinion, and I know that it is a hard picture to look at, I should have given everybody a warning, for that I'm sorry), and then a second time to apologize that her bashing had "gotten back to me". The thing is, if she wouldn't have written it, in a public place on the internet no less, it would have never had the chance to get back to me. If she wouldn't have gone behind my back to discuss me in a high school sort of way, there would be nothing to apologize for, and the entire situation would have been avoided.

Friends, I don't ask that you agree with everything that I write. I don't ask you to support me in ways that you don't think are deserving, or at all for that matter. But I do ask that you respect me, the same way that I respect you. I don't always agree with everything that every other woman does, but I'm certainly not going to name names, point fingers, or throw anybody under the bus. Ever. To any of you. And I sincerely mean that. If I have something that I think should be said, rather than kept quietly in the walls of my head, then I'll contact you personally, and I'll say it. Please, don't ever be afraid to tell me how you feel, if you think its worth saying. My email is posted at the bottom of the page, and I'd love to hear from you, whether it be good, or bad. I prefer to not get a bad email, nobody wants to open up one of those, but I'd rather get a bad email from one person, than be sent to a forum I've never been to, and read hurtful comments left by several people.

But now, the part of this post that I've really been meaning to get to: Thank you. The supportive comments that came flooding in when I wrote about Charlie's EEG, was... what I needed. I have a weird outlook on things. While going through that with Charlie was hard, I remind myself about the other mothers in the world, who are experiencing things much harder, and then I feel silly for ever thinking I have it rough. Seeing him like that, was hard. When I look back at the pictures I get choked up. My eyes sting, and my breath quickens. It, was, awful. But all of you, even if you had been through something harder (and believe me, I know that there are mothers currently dealing with things much more difficult, and I respect them more than they could ever know), supported me. Just as I started to regret being honest and releasing my feelings, you reminded me that its ok to write about something other than cupcakes and kittens, and I just can't thank you enough for that. Every comment matters to me. Every single one. Thank you ladies, mama's, fellow military wives. Friends, family, lurkers. Thank you. I know I might not always get an email back to everybody (lately I haven't been getting them back to anybody), and I know I don't always make it back to your blog (especially if you're a new reader and you're not yet on my blogroll), but I so appreciate your words and feelings. You are all amazing.

i heart faces: i wanna dance!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This weeks photo challenge over at i heart faces, is "i wanna dance!". There are a few pictures that I have to choose from, but one that stands out more than the others. And even though air guitar might not be considered "dancing", I decided to go with this picture anyways- just because this is how my girl dances.

Charlie's EEG

On Thursday night we kept Charlie awake 2 hours past his bedtime, and then on Friday morning, we woke up him up 2 hours earlier than he would normally wake up. At first he struggled to open his eyes, leaning his head against Daddy's shoulder for extra support. As soon as he settled into a functioning and somewhat playful awake mode, we started getting ready for the long day ahead of us.

I made a batch of chocolate chip pancakes for Eleanore to take with her to her friends house for breakfast. My friend Marisa had emailed me and asked if there was anything that they could do for us, and though I hadn't thought about up until she asked, it would be really helpful if she could watch over Eleanore so she didn't have to go to the hospital with us. It was either Christopher stay home with Elie while I took Charlie alone, or Eleanore come with us. All of the doctor visits were really starting to effect her, and as hard as I try to talk about little brother as being "just fine", with a smile on my face, Eleanore is a smart girl, and she sees right through it.

The other day I overheard her playing with her pony dolls in the living room. "Oh no, she had a seizure! We have to take her to the doctor!", Eleanore shouted, in her high pitched innocent little girl voice. It was at that moment that it all sank in. I can't keep things from her, no matter how hard I try. She has eyes and ears, and she'll pick up on things, in her own way, no matter what.

So I prepared bags for both of the kids, one for Elie to take to her friends house, full of sippys and snacks, and one for us to bring to the hospital with us for Charlie- I had no idea how long we'd be there, or what we'd need.

Eleanore was anxious to play with Gracie and Annelie, their house is like a great big adventurous playground for her. The girls keep her on her toes, and shes always got so much to talk about after shes had a visit with them. Dropping her off wasn't difficult, she had said goodbye to Mom and Dad mentally before we had even gotten there.

I had a heck of a time keeping Charlie awake on the drive to the hospital. I had turned around in my seat, tickling and bending his arms and legs, singing silly songs, talking in silly voices- yet somehow he managed to zonk out anyways. He couldn't have been asleep-asleep for more than 5 minutes though, so as soon as the car stopped I flung open his door and yelled "No sleeping tired baby!". I startled him awake with my loudness, and then rather than getting a blanket to wrap him up in the below freezing temperatures, I pulled him out in just his pajamas. Try sleeping through that, little guy.

For anybody reading this, who might be unfamiliar with whats been going on, you can click here, to read about our son's recent surge of yet to be explained seizures.

The hardest part of the EEG, was getting set up. We went into a hotel style hospital room, set up just for sleep studies. The blinds behind the tacky curtains were the thick blackout style. There was a large fan on the wall across from the bed, which looked almost exactly like a bed pulled directly from a comfort suites brochure. There was a single chair sitting next to the bed.

Christopher was holding Charlie when we walked into the room, and the nurse asked him to have a seat with the baby. I chimed in, announcing that I'd be taking the baby, we made the switch, and then I took my seat. Christopher didn't argue, I think he knew that I'd have to be the one rocking the baby to sleep when it came time, or I'd go crazy.

I was told to hold down Charlie's arms with my arms, and to hold down his legs with my legs. I held them firmly in place, so that he wouldn't be able to move, no matter how hard he tried. Christopher knelt on the floor in front of us, looking directly at Charlie, using his hands to hold his head in place. They told us we had to hold Charlie as still as possible, no matter how hard he cried. At first it was easy, Charlie was being a good sport, letting them scrub glue onto random parts of his head without questioning. But as soon as he realized that he couldn't move, the more he wanted to move. He tried, and we wouldn't let him. He screamed so hard he couldn't breathe. He screamed so hard I could feel him shaking. I could feel his body temperature rise, and I could see his skin change color. This entire time, all I could see was the back of his head. Christopher is the one that had to look directly into his eyes and watch him beg to be let go. As soon as I felt a tear start to well up in my right eye, I quickly choked it back, knowing that now wasn't the time. I replaced my tears with lyrics to Old MacDonald and the ABC song, hoping to slightly distract Charlie from the constant scrubbing and tugging that was going on around him. Mommy and Daddy holding him down, while 2 complete strangers poked at him. It seemed to go on forever.

Eventually, all of the wires were attached, his head was wrapped, and the nurses were leaving the room. They had pulled up a few more chairs, one for Christopher, and one for me to put my feet up onto. I had decided not to move into the bed, but to just rock Charlie to sleep right there in that same chair, diving directly into comforting him. I held him tight and I sang songs of love.

As the nurses left the room, they turned off the lights. And then, I was able to cry. Charlie couldn't see me, he was floating off to sleep in between the sounds of mine and Christopher's humming, and if I cried quietly enough, he'd never know. It only took about 5 minutes for me to get it together and go back to singing him to sleep, and soon Christopher and I were able to whisper freely to each other while the babe was drifting into dreams, his Lovey nuzzled against his face.

When the 30 minutes of readings were over, and the nurse made her return, Charlie was very unhappy. If I could translate his cries into words, I'm sure he would have been saying "turn the lights back off! Mommy, don't stop singing! Lovey, wheres my Lovey?! Everybody leave me alone!". They took the dressings off of his head, removed all of the wires, and then with a sponge and some baby shampoo, did their best to scrub off the glue.

We were all very relieved when it came time to check out. Being in the comfort of our own car, even though its much too small and barely holds us, on the way to pick up the missing piece of our family (Miss Eleanore of course), the baby headed back to sleep in the warmth of his car seat...

One step at a time.

Edit: For those of you bashing me over at thebump.com (thank you, to the poster that sent me the link)- my child was in no pain, while I took the picture of him crying. I took the picture just as he was waking up, right after they had turned the lights on and lifted his head dressing. His eyes were still closed when I reached for the camera. He was crying because he had been woken up, not because he was having a "surgical procedure". I snapped one single shot with my lens, and then put my camera to the side. Feel how you'll feel, but please don't go behind my back to a message board, to call me a monster.

3rd Snow of the Season

Monday, February 15, 2010

So, I've said it before, but I'll say it again. It snows way more here in Texas, than it ever did back home in Washington State. Something I never expected.

Last Thursday, in came the cold weather, and down from the sky fell the snowflakes.

My original plan was, to stay bundled up on the couch in my green comfy yard slippers, while wearing an over sized hoodie that belongs to my husband, all day. I'd watch the babies play from my thrown, and that would be that. But then the more I got to thinking, the guiltier I felt. When I was a kid, I loved snow.


"Alright kids, lets go play", I said. Eleanore jumped up and down and yelled "YAY, YAY, we are going to play, play! I need mittens, Mommy! Can Donkey come? Can Baby Skywishes come? ...", and on and on she went, about each and every item she'd need to stay warm (scarf, socks, pants, shirt, coat, mittens mittens mittens), and every imaginary friend that she wanted to come with us (Donkey from Shrek, especially. Seriously, hes her favorite).

While sister danced around making up songs about snow, Charlie has crawled over to the front door, stood himself up, and was banging with both hands on the cold surface. He wanted out, and right now Mommy!

The preparation involved with playing in the snow, as most of you might know, is exhausting. First, locate every piece of warm clothing necessary, for every person that will be attending the festivities. Its not fun. Luckily, the kids are usually so excited with the idea of getting to go outside and freeze, that they leave you alone long enough to collect everything needed.

So we got dressed. And within half an hour, we were outside, enjoying the crazy Texas weather that surprised us all too well.

Little Charlie, wearing both his pajamas, and his snow suit, didn't really get to play in the snow, as much as he got to sit and watch it. I started off by setting him down in a porch chair, knowing he probably wouldn't stay there for long, and within 2 minutes ended up picking him back up, after he tried to flop himself like a fish out of water from the chair down into the front yard snow.

A-ha! The highchair! Usually I'd just open up the garage and pull out the stroller, but today it just so happened to be in the back of the car, which was with Christopher, who was at work. So I carried Charlie with me back inside, which was just about to trigger a siren of screams, and pulled from the kitchen his highchair. "There, you get to sit and watch", I so nicely told him, as I set him down. No need for straps, he couldn't hardly move in his little red bear suit anyways.

While brother sat, sister got to go on several adventures...

She tasted snowflakes. This one tasted like a brownie. That one tasted like an ice cream cone.

She made snowballs. The snow was just firm enough to bend over and pick up a perfectly useful clump for throwing.

She played with her best friend. What snow storm is complete without someone to laugh with?

And then Daddy came home early! This day just keeps getting better and better.

Ok Charlie was pretty excited about Daddy coming home early too. Really excited.

After 2 hours of snowflakes sticking to our noses and eyelashes, it was time to put our favorite things aside, and head back inside for hot chocolate and a My Little Pony movie (Charlie's pick, clearly). This may have been the last snow of the season, which is perfectly alright with me, but I know that the kids are anxious to see the white stuff again. 3 snow storms in one winter is more than we expected, and if we don't see another until next winter, I think we've got enough memories and pictures to freeze our toes until then.

They Don't Just Hand Out A Big Trophy To Anyone

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For the past 6 weeks, Christopher has been off in la-la-land, also known as, Airman Leadership School. "Whats that?", you ask? The best way to describe it, for those of you not familiar with the Air Force, is- its kind of like a training program that gears you up for your first big promotion? That seems about accurate. And even though hes taken the class now, he still won't actually be getting promoted until July or August (right when the new baby comes, thank God, because we'll need the pay increase for diapers).

Christopher would come home from work every night, and basically be missing in action. He'd still do his nighttime routine with the kids- bath, story time, put them to bed- but other than that, his nose was in books, and I hardly ever saw him. He didn't respond to me when I asked him questions, he didn't care when I had something to tell him, he was in his own world completely.

One night, towards the end of his class even, I asked him if he could just come sit with me for the night. Ya know, snuggle up on the couch and maybe watch a movie. The look that he gave me, was that of shock. How dare I ask him something so big. His studying was much more important.

My eyes must have said all they needed to, because he very quickly took back what he had just said, and agreed to sit with me, apologizing repeatedly.

Was it really too much for me to ask him? To just spend two hours on a Friday night with me? Really?

In the old days, up until about a year ago, they used to have the men stay in the dorms while they went through ALS (the acronym for his class, since you're probably still not familiar with the terms). A gal that I used to work with down at Lane Bryant, her husband went through the class, and I remember how she was on her own with the kids while he shacked up in his own personal study space apartment, just down the street from her. I remember thinking it was ridiculous, and being curious by how she managed to keep it together, when her husband was within arms reach, but unable to help. If it were me, I'd be mad.

Well, I was being selfish.

By the 3rd week of ALS, I was wishing that Christopher had gone off to live in the dorms, because at least that way I wouldn't have to explain to the kids why Daddy wasn't moving from the dining room table until bath time, and I wouldn't be getting ignored every single time I spoke a word in his direction. I suddenly understood, why they would separate the families. Separate us, I silently begged.

Again, I was being a selfish Sally. I'm really good at that, you know.

On the day of his graduation, we had a snow storm (pictures soon!). At the almost last minute, they cancelled the ceremony, and the guys (our neighbor was in the class with Christopher as well, which came in handy when one of the guys would need a ride to leave us ladies with our cars) went in for a quick "here's your diploma" type run through.

Christopher had been working really hard, for the last 6 weeks, to win an award called "Distinguished Graduate". Something about being in the top 10% of the class? I'm not sure exactly, the Air Force seems to have an award for everything (to me, at least), but I supported him. I knew he wanted it, and I assured him he'd get it. How could he not? He had spent WEEKS studying. He had spent WEEKS making me crazy, with his studying.

Well, he didn't get it.

I guess when they didn't call his name, his face sank into a frown. He was devastated. I wish I could have been there to see it, because what happened next makes up for any sadness that he briefly felt.

Every class, has a top student. That student, with the best combined leadership skills and academic scores, gets handed a great big giant trophy (its named after some guy, but you won't really care if I don't go google it, do you?)- and in Christopher's case, a handful of reassurance and self esteem. He won.

Check out that guy (I told him to picture me naked, because I couldn't get a big enough smile when trying to take the picture), with all of his proudness.

Christopher, it was rough, but I'm so proud of you. All of your hard work really payed off. You scored top of your class, even when having to come home to a busy demanding family, and a somewhat selfish moody pregnant wife.

3 cheers for Christopher?

Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip ho0ray!
Hip hip, hoooorrraaaayyyy!

Bathtime for the Babies

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The kids are at the age where they can finally take baths together. I'm not the one in the house that usually gives the baths, that's Christopher's special thing that he does with them (I know, I really did score in the husband department). Sometimes I feel guilty, for resting on the couch while I can hear the splashing, cleaning, and every couple of seconds- the discipline, going on in the upstairs bathroom. Sometimes I'll get up and do the dishes while they're up there soaking in suds, to kind of even it out? He cleans the kids, I clean the dishes? Sometimes? That way I'm not just sitting (even though I know its ok to be lazy sometimes) like a pile of unfolded laundry that's been dumped on the couch, and handing over all of the duties to the man.

Of course I'm going to say this (I get payed in dirty diapers to compliment my kids), but aren't my babies so cute? Charlie was trying to "brush" sisters hair with the comb. It was all giggles and aww's, until the hairdresser got a little rough with his client, and started banging on the tangles like a hammer hitting a nail. He is only 13 months old, after all, so we shouldn't expect him to find his chosen career path the first try anyways.

Someday, in their own eye rolling "seriously, mom?", kind of way, my kids will thank me for these pictures.

Flashback Friday: Week 28

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm kind of cheating. These pictures aren't really from Valentines Day. But they are full of red lipstick and kiss marks, and that's what Valentines Day is all about right, for us romantics at least?

This picture was taken at a summer back yard party back in 2005, when Christopher and I were on the edge of engagement, and not yet sure of our adventurous future together.

Remember how back in school we'd make some kind of "mailbox", and deliver Valentines to all of our classmates? There would always be a mom that brought in cupcakes, and if we were lucky, our parents would get us a box of chocolates and a teddy bear, that would reassure us that they loved us, even though without those material and tasty things, we knew they loved us everyday anyways?

Then as we got a little bit older, it became about the boys that we liked. We could pay money to a fellow student sitting at a table in the hallway, and have a single rose delivered to our crush, best friend, or sweetheart, during 5th period. I never had anybody to send a rose to, and I never had a rose sent to me.

Until I met Christopher.

Christopher isn't the best when it comes to being romantic. Did anybody watch Modern Family the other day? I don't think I've laughed that hard at a show, ever. The couple that went on a role playing date to the bar- the husband... him and Christopher have a lot of awkward qualities in common. Christopher tries, in his own "I know I'm supposed to do something special on this day, because I've gotten in trouble by her in the past" kind of way, but its just never really worked out the way that he thinks it will when hes planning it out at the very last minute.

This Valentines Day, I don't expect anything from him. The Canon camera that I got a few weeks ago, I consider that my everything-present for the rest of the year. Valentines Day, Anniversary, Birthday, Mothers Day. I can't imagine him going out and buying me anything from a pink cardboard display stand, that would mean anything more than "I just threw away $10 on something that you really don't want". I've got a little something up my sleeve for him, nothing too special, nothing store bought, but its something that I think will show him that I love him. He'll smile, and say something like "aww, honey", and that will be that.

Wait- this wasn't really a flashback, was it? It was supposed to be, but... sorry guys, I guess I just really needed a place where I could ramble out some words and get to my point...

I love my husband. And until I met him, Valentines Day was nothing more than a day of emptiness, and guilt for eating my entire cardboard heart shaped box of self bought chocolates. And now- its a reason to put on red lipstick and leave kiss marks all over a handsome man's cheek. Valentines Day has turned into an excuse to slide open the zipper on my heart just a little bit more than I would on a normal given day, and let just a little bit more love in.

Flashback Friday Button


Want to flashback with us? Post a picture, this weeks optional theme is Valentines Day, of you from way back when- your childhood, a year ago, last week. Write a little bit about your photo, grab our button from the bottom of our blog (waayyyy down past all of the posts) and center it somewhere in your post (or you can just link us the old fashioned text style way), and then add your link to the link list below. If you've got a minute, browse through some of the other flashbacks, we've got a great little community going, and seeing treasured photos and the stories that go with them is a great way to get to know somebody.

Next weeks theme, which is completely optional should you choose to flashback, is going to be pet themed. I was going to make it cat themed, but then realized that not everybody is a cat person, so then I was going to have it cat/dog themed, but... maybe you only like lizards? I don't know. So its pet themed, haha.

Can't wait to see what y'all come up with!!

Blueberry Muffin Failure

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm not the perfect gluten free baker. Sometimes I'm actually really bad at it. While on my quest to find the very best blueberry muffin of all time, I ran into a too-much-liquid and maybe-less-potato-flour-next-time (or none at all, I don't know what I was thinking) bump in the road. These didn't even taste good. Even Christopher, he who eats everything, couldn't swallow the texture. We ended up throwing the entire batch away.

I will not be posting the recipe for these, haha.

But! I think I made up for my disaster of an oven creation the next day when I had another go at it. And that recipe, the recipe, is soon to come...

Hello Charlotte

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm new to photography. The relationship that my camera and I have, is very similar to the relationship that I might have if I adopted a new baby kitten? I'm in love with the idea, and when kitty purrs and loves, its oh so nice, but- sometimes things just don't work out the way that I want them to. Unlike a kitten though, my camera won't tear up my furniture of mistake my dresser drawer for a litter box. It does misbehave, in its own cute digital way, from time to time. I haven't yet trained it to do what I want it to do, and even after I do, it will still have a mind of its own. I think most of our issues are, we just don't yet know each other well enough. We haven't spent enough one on one time together.

The sun did come out the other day, and it wasn't too cold, so we went on an adventure around the neighborhood. I strapped my Canon around my neck, pushed my 30 pound one year old in a stroller in front of me, and hollered constantly at my doddling three year old to keep up. Beside me, was my friend Marie, and her daughter Charlotte.

I've been meaning to do a "real" photo shoot for Charlotte, and even though these pictures turned out precious as can be, I still don't think this one counts. Next week we'll be moving into a new house (more about that later), and this next May Charlotte (Eleanore's very best friend) and her family will be leaving this base altogether. There was a lonely tree in between houses, and even though it was dirty and the girls weren't nearly as into it as they were their stuffed bunny and Elmo friends, we convinced them that the tree was the cool place to be, and while one of us held little girls in place and made silly faces (I'd like to say that was me, but, I'm way too lazy these days to lift a child up anywhere other than into their crib for an afternoon nap), the other one of us snapped picture after picture...

All of the pictures turned out really cute, but the ones of Charlotte were especially "aww" worthy. I had fun playing around with different techniques and programs, which is another thing that I'm still trying to learn. I've heard from more than one person that I should give Light Room a try (?), so that's on my overall to do list as well (remember how I mentioned that we're moving in a week? I haven't packed a single box. That pretty much makes up the rest of my to do list).

Charlotte's Mama was nice enough to let me show off her adorable daughter, by posting her precious face all over my blog for all of you to see (thanks Marie!). Its going to be really hard moving away from such great friends. Our daughter's hearts are going to crumble, not being able to meet each other out in the front yard for summer time water table play dates whenever they please. And now who will sit outside with me while the babies nap, and go through awful catalogs that somehow found their way into our mailboxes? ...Its all part of being a military family, I suppose, and this won't be the last time that we have to move away from the perfect neighbors. Or the last time that my daughters heart will hurt from the aftermath of leaving such an honest friend.

But we sure have some great pictures to remember it all with, don't we?

And if you've got just a minute, I used the same bunny picture that I used on this post, on my "Goodbye, Dramalogues" post, over at the The Mama Dramalogues. Won't you stop over and have a look? All good things must come to an end.

I Heart Faces: We Heart Kisses

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I had a tough time choosing between this photo, taken back in August, and a picture of Charlie smooching his sister's baby doll, also taken last summer. I decided in the end, that this picture was more appropriate, with all that has been happening this week. This is how I feel, most of the time at least, hee hee. I just want to scoop him up and cover him in Mama slobber, which I do often. Charlie loves kisses, thankfully. I think they tickle right through his baby soft skin, down to the cherry core of his perfect chocolate coated heart.

I know its nowhere near professional, and the colors are a little bit off (zombie skin tones are in though, right?), but I went with it anyways. I never enter these challenges expecting, or really even desiring to win. I just enter them for the fun of it.

Friends; I have to thank you for your overwhelming support, yet again. The emails that you've sent, and the comments that you left, regarding Charlie's seizures have been heart warming. Some even moved me to tears. Yes I know that's easy to do, I cry at everything (13 weeks pregnant and going strong), but your words wrap themselves around me like a hug through the computer screen. It means a lot to us.

Update; Charlie saw the doctor yesterday, and she took his seizures very seriously. As a first step, she's ordered both an EEG and a cat scan (for which Charlie will be sedated for the first time, and even though I've heard its easier for children than adults, still makes me very nervous), and she's put in a referral for a neurologist. She couldn't believe that the previous doctor had blown it off so easily. His taking it lightly is what had kept me calm through the worst of the episodes, so for my original fear of "this is serious", to be seen so clearly in a new doctor, filled my heart with adrenaline, and I came home with a strong grip on my son, not wanting to set him anywhere but in Daddy's arms. We'll keep everybody updated as we go through the process of diagnosis and treatment. But again, thank you everyone for your support.

Through Thick And Thin

Monday, February 8, 2010

When Charlie was born I cried uncontrollably with happiness. When he smiled for the first time, my heart leaped 10 love sizes larger. When he spoke his first word and it was "Dah-Dah", rather than "Mah-Mah", I hid my own personal disappointed and clapped for the winnings of reaching a milestone.

When he developed the Swine Flu, I sat on his bedroom floor and watched him sleep, hoping that it wouldn't get any worse than it currently was. When his Swine Flu turned into Pneumonia, I held him in my arms and prayed to God, over and over again, that my baby would smile again someday. And then when he did finally smile again, I did everything that a mother could possibly do to hold onto it, and not let it escape us.

I love my baby boy. I don't love him more than I love his sister, but I love him very differently. Its unexplainable, really.

The first time I saw Charlie have a seizure, I pulled him out of his crib, and stared into his eyes. I stared long, and I stared hard. I stared through instant tears that blurred my vision and burnt my eyes, and I stared through complete fear.

"Do it again", I thought, and then instantly argued with myself "no don't! Don't do it again, don't ever do it again". I rested his head on my shoulder, and together we sat down on the ground. He crawled away from my lap to go play, and as if I had left my own body, I floated along with him, while not moving at all.

Another one.

"STOP IT", the voice in my head screamed, without ever being heard past my own ears.

Another one.

"This isn't real", I convinced myself. "My son isn't having seizures".

I didn't take my eyes off of him for the next 2 days. My sight was connected to his every move. I wouldn't miss a single seizure, if there were to be more. And of course, there were more.

I took Charlie to the doctor, and we agreed that they were myoclonic seizures. He'll lose control of his head completely, almost as if somebody is behind him pulling on a string attached to the base of his neck, and his head will jerk up and to the right, over and over again. His eyes roll back into his head, hes unable to continue doing whatever it was that he was doing, and all we can do is wait for it to stop. Sometimes its just a single jerk, I call those "baby seizures", and sometimes it will be several in a row. Five, six- its hard to concentrate on counting when you're holding your breath in terror just watching. I call those ones "big seizures".

The doctor didn't seem too worried, saying something about how its normal to have myoclonic jerks while falling asleep. I don't think he understood what I meant, when I said Charlie was usually tired when it happened. He's tired, yes, but... hes not asleep. I'll often see him rubbing his eyes, while coloring, and then out of nowhere his head is all over the place, and hes left with a blank stare of "what just happened" on his face, just for a few seconds, before returning to his game of blue-crayon-pony-paper.

The seizures seemed to die down after the doctors appointment. I thought maybe I had been overreacting, thanked my lucky stars that my baby boy was ok, it must have just been a one time (one week) thing.

Until the other day...

I knew nap time would be coming soon, but it was just too nice of a day to stay inside. We went for a walk with some friends, we played at a nearby park, we soaked up sunshine and inhaled fresh air for as long as we could possibly stand it. When we got home, Charlie went down for a nap, and shortly after, so did sister and Mama. Usually Charlie will sleep for an hour or longer, but because his sleep schedule was off from the afternoon's adventures, he woke up screaming, and after a few minutes of continuous cries, I got up from my bed (where I was just teetering near dreams), collected him from his crib, and brought him to snuggle with me under our red flannel sheets. He flopped himself around between the blankets and pillows, like he was playing bumper baby, trying to get comfortable, but he was just oh so excited to be playing on Mama's mattress. And then, something I hadn't seen in weeks.

A big one.

A really big one.

"No, Charlie!", I said out loud.

And then another one. And another one. Three or four really big ones, all just minutes, seconds, apart.

I cried for him, as he had no idea what was going on. He continued trying to get comfortable, I let him crawl on me, and I cursed myself for not demanding that we have that EEG done weeks ago when I knew we should have.

The next afternoon, about an hour after waking from a nap, Charlie was playing on the floor in the kitchen, a piece of tupperware in hand. Christopher and I just happened to be having a conversation, Charlie in between us, me looking at the back of his head, Christopher seeing him from the front.

And then he had one.

The look on Christopher's face was something similar to- shock? Thats the only way I can really describe it. Its not a look I'm familiar with on his face. This was the first time that he had seen Charlie have a seizure, probably the first time he had ever seen any kind of seizure at all, and I could tell that everything suddenly felt very real for the both of us. This wasn't a one time thing, I don't care what the doctor had said, this isn't normal. This is dangerous. This is scary.

Today we'll be in touch with a different doctor, the doctor that we should have seen the first time, and we'll start working towards getting answers. I've done my research, and I've done it well. I'm almost positive I know what his diagnosis will be, it isn't anything life threatening, but because I'm not the doctor, I'm just a worried mother who put hours upon hours into finding out whats wrong with her baby- I don't know whats happening to my son. Until we get everything figured out, my guard is up, and I'm going to be over protective. I'm on high alert, and my emotions are stuck in silent panic mode.

Please bare with us, as we wade through dark unknown waters, holding our children as high above our heads as our arms will allow.