Monday, February 20, 2012


We had a hard beginning to the year. Not that we aren’t totally, utterly blessed, but it has just been a little hard. January was a hard month for us.


My grandfather was put in the hospital on New Year’s and then moved to rehab here in Amarillo for 5 weeks. Since everyone lives outside of Amarillo, I took it upon myself to go check on him twice a day, almost every day. Surely, it was some of the best hours of my day. I enjoyed hours of conversation with my grandfather that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

It was hard though. I got up early every morning to go sit with him at breakfast. Chris watched the kids and was late to work. As soon as he came home, I headed out the door to go back to the rehab facility. I don’t know if Chris and I had a full conversation for weeks. Definite strain.

Chris also traveled for about a week between Eli and Ileigh's birthday. I am really bad about worrying with him on a plane, but throw in the fact that our back fence blew down and every night he was away I would just sit in bed, staring at the back door looking for any movement at all, sure that someone would walk right up to our backdoor and take my babies.

Chris got home safe and sound and Papaw was happy to go back home two weeks ago and our daily schedules have fallen back into place.


In the middle of all of that, Ileigh still hasn’t been sleeping through the night. It was REALLY bad for about half the month. As in, Chris would lay with her on the couch and they might both sleep for 3 hours. The rest of the time, she would scream. Do you know how frustrating it is to have a screaming baby while a 3 year old is sleeping in your house? Eventually, Eli would wake up and start crying too. So, I would be lying on the floor next to his bed or he would be cuddled up with me in our bed.

Now let me just say, we let Eli “cry-it-out” and he did great. We can’t let Ileigh do that because she will pass out and hit her head if she gets too upset. Ileigh is completely different than Eli. Totally. I really feel like God gave her to me to break my self-righteous attitude about how calculated, carefully and “correctly” we raised Eli- seriously, she is bringing me to my knees and I find that my attitude towards other mothers and their baby strife is softening.

Everything escalated to the weekend of Ileigh’s party. That Thursday Ileigh had her one year checkup. It didn’t go very well. I told the doctor our concerns and she could offer few answers, only the staple, “she’ll grow out of it”. One of the concerns was that Ileigh will hold her breath and pass out when crying if she gets really upset- which she displayed for the nurse practitioner after her shots. Holy lord; the nurse flipped out and called the doctor back in the room. Again, the doctor said it was normal and that she would be fine. Overall, I am not that worried; I just thought that she should have grown out of it by now.

Then went I got up to the receptionist, she told me the doctor wanted to see us again in 3 months for a 15 month visit. Apparently, that is rare for this doctor to do because the receptionist seemed very confused and kept asking if something was wrong with our baby. “The doctor just never does that. I better call back to the doctor’s nurse to make sure. Is something wrong with your baby? Are you sure there isn’t something wrong with her?” On and on and on. I left crying. I guess we will see in a few weeks.

Anyway, later that day my aunt and cousin from Florida came into town to see my grandfather in rehab. They stayed with us. They said they couldn’t hear Ileigh screaming the entire night; I don’t believe them. They were gracious. I stayed up until 1 or 2 cooking, cleaning or decorating for the party. Chris was with Ileigh.

The pattern continued until Saturday night. Ileigh had a reaction to the shots she was given on Thursday, so we were trying to control her fever with medicine. After 3 days of fever and zero sleep Saturday night, I knew it was time to head back to the doctor. Thankfully, they had office hours on Sunday. We left Ileigh (asleep) with my mom while Chris, Eli and I headed to church. As soon as we were out I called the doctor. Ileigh had an appointment for 1:15- plenty of time to go and be back for her party at 3:00, right?

I walked in the house and picked her up- no fever what-so-ever. Dang. I couldn’t believe that after 3 solid days of 102, she had nothing. But, because of the lack of sleep, we opted to keep our appointment. She had a double ear infection. Her ears were perfect Thursday at her check-up. Because of the lack of sleep she was asleep when I got back home, 15mins before her birthday party started. Chris had done all of the cooking, my cousin and aunt finished my decorating and my mom cleaned up the pile of tissue paper mess from the poms.

It was nice to have everyone over; Ileigh slept through most of the party. We could tell that a few were annoyed that I was letting her sleep through it, but they obviously had no idea what we had just been through. Finally she woke up and instead of the adorable smocked dress I picked out just for the occasion, I asked Chris to put her in her sun onesie and leggings outfit- it looked more comfy.

After the party, Chris' oldest brother, Steve help him and my dad put up our fence that had been knocked down for almost 3 weeks. That was a relief!

The next week Chris and I were looking forward to plans to go out of town ALONE for a night. It has been over a year since we have been alone together overnight. Eli got strep; we stayed home. We were way bummed.

Now, things are settling back into a better rhythm, thankfully. Last week was really the first week of the new year I was able to head to the gym. I am a much happier person when I get out and get to the gym. Chris will agree.

I don’t write this to complain about what we dealt with, but more as a reminder to myself. With Eli, I don’t think I wrote down the hard times for fear of being judged by others and Chris and I rack our brain to remember the hard times with him. It is all a part of our experiences as parents and I don’t want to forget anything-even the bad. Also, I never want to give the appearance that everything is always picture perfect in our lives; it’s not. :) We are thankful for the experiences we go through and for the grace extended to us as we grow through it all.


Lish said...

Oh my word, you guys have had a rough time. :( I'm so glad things are looking up. Parenting is such a humbling experience, but also the coolest, most rewarding job on the planet. :) I hope your little miss is soon able to sleep longer stretches (so that you can sleep longer stretches!).

My heart was warmed thinking of the time you spent with your Grandpa. That was a beautiful gift to him from you and your family. I can't imagine being all alone in a rehab facility for so long. I'm certain your visits meant the world to him, and they will become cherished memories for you!