May 26, 2011

Toddler Troubles

The terrible twos. Yep. I believe we've entered them with a bang. Hitting? Check. Throwing toys? Check. Crying at the drop of a hat because we tell her "no?" Check. It seems like overnight our little happy girl has decided that she is in control and will do just what she pleases thank you very much! She likes to smack at our faces. We grab her hands and say "no." She looks at us, pulls her hand away and attempts to hit us even harder. Really?? What do we do then? Same thing with throwing toys. She'll fling a block at my head. I take it away, tell her "no" and what does she do next, she picks up another one and flings it at my head. Oh, and "the lip" is back. Remember this?

Yeah, she pulls that lip out for EVERYTHING now. It's so hard not to laugh though even when you are trying to discipline her. I have no idea how to handle these behaviors being a first time mom. I am not sure what is going to work or not work. I don't even know if I'll be able to follow through with it every. single. time. She's so cute and it is disarming!

May 21, 2011

Our Toddler

Dear Huntsville, Alabama...

Dear Huntsville, Alabama,

I am trying really hard to like you. It really wasn't easy leaving North Carolina for you so it would help if you tried a little. First off, why is the nearest Carter's and Oshkosh stores over 50 miles away? Don't you know I need my cute and cheep baby clothing fix? And why is there only ONE Krispy Kreme and it's nowhere near where we live? All I want right now is one of their melt-in-your mouth glazed donuts and I don't feel like driving in my non-AC working car through your 88 degree humid weather for 20 minutes to get one. Also, while we're at it, why is your customer service soooo horrible? I had a clerk roll her eyes at me because I didn't want to give her my email address. No one smiles at you or makes small talk or waves when you drive by. I may as well be up north again.

I am also sick and tired of your ants. NEVER have I ever been so disgusted with bugs. We've sprayed and caulked windows and set out traps and yet they keep coming. They found a way in through the electrical outlet. How do you beat that?? And I know we aren't the only ones having issues. Our neighbors have been fighting their ants for 10 years. They just now think they have them under control. After TEN YEARS!

I have gophers digging up my flowers.

I have people going 35 on a 55 MPH road.

I have neighborhood dogs that do not shut up.

So please Huntsville, please give me something. Like really good new friends. Or a freak frost that kills all the ants. Or a free trip to St. Lucia. I'm begging you. Just a little something.


May 17, 2011

Slowly Turning Around

I think our luck may finally be changing. We found out yesterday that we have a renter for our home in NC and they will be moving in on the 1st of June. I cannot tell you what a relief this is for us. It lifts a HUGE weight off of our shoulders. We have a property management group managing our home for us so if there are any issues, they will let us know. But so far, they only have good things to say about the couple who is renting and I'm hoping this year will go by without a hitch and maybe they'll stay another year. Or maybe, they will want to buy the house.
Yep, she dumps it all out and then tries to climb all over it.
This week the craziness has started regarding Rachel and her services and doctors. We met with her new pediatrician yesterday and I couldn't be happier. He seemed very on top of things and pro-active regarding some of Rachel's medical issues. He set us up with new GI, kidney, and ENT docs as well as a recommendation on a dentist for Rachel. Rachel will be seeing all of these new people in the next three weeks. Rachel and I also met with her new service coordinator and EI therapist. They actually got to meet Rachel because she wasn't quite ready to nap yet. They were impressed with her abilities so far. They said we really must be doing some good work with her. It's hard not to laugh at that. I think Rachel does most of the work. She is the motivated one when it comes to getting around. We set up a time for her EI therapist to come back and start working with her. Her coordinator will get the other therapists in touch with me to set up times to re-evaluate Rachel, see where she is at and set some new goals. I am very impressed with how organized everything is so far and I think we will be very happy with all her therapists. Tomorrow morning, I'm taking Rachel to the ARC sponsored music therapy class. I have been looking for a music class for her and I am so happy that this is available. It's free to children receiving EI therapies. We should get to meet some other members of the BUDS group (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) here in town. I'm pretty excited and I know Rachel will have a great time.
"Look at my new chair from Grandma Cooklis!"

May 12, 2011

You Know You Want To!

Take a guess at baby Flucks's stats! He is for sure a BOY and will not be born later than the due date of August 18th....and go!

May 7, 2011

Walka Walka and Step Aerobics

She gets great joy out of these walking toys. She can take up to 10 steps independently but she loves how she can walk fast using one of these.

Rachel can make it all the way up but she was interrupted by her Dada. :)

May 6, 2011

Saying Goodbye and the New Digs

On the day of the move it was just me and the movers in the house. I felt pretty lost just watching them load the truck. I left before they were done so I didn't get to see the house completely empty (or clean at all) but I did get the feeling of sadness. When it was time for me to drive away, it was really hard. I can't lie. I think I cried for about a half hour in the car and then friends called and I cried some more. I've moved a number of times in my life and I've never been sad about leaving before. Getting stuck in the tornado storms did nothing to ease my leaving either.

Since moving into our new place, I've been feeling better. It helps having us all together and having all of our things together. I do miss the woods in the backyard. Now we have a view of other people's homes. But this house is much bigger and holds us more comfortably and will continue to do so once baby boy Fluck arrives. This house is probably going to be up for us to purchase as well if we want to. It's in such a great area. Very close to stores, The Little Gym, a new pediatrician, parks and good schools. The neighborhood is nice too. Everyone has made a point to introduce themselves. I swear it's the cul-de-sac effect. You have to be close to your neighbors in a cul-de-sac because you are circled around each other. I don't have pics of the new place yet. We're still putting up pictures and curtains and Stephen has big plans for chopping down hedges in the front of the house and laying down some new mulch. The house was neglected by the former tenants who skipped town owing months of rent to our landlords. I think they are VERY happy to have us in this house now!

Rachel and the dogs have also settled in. The dogs did very quickly. It took Rachel a couple days to get used to her new room and settle down for bed without crying like she used to. I think it probably had more to do with the traveling and the lack of power for 5 days. But now she loves it and she crawls everywhere and up the stairs! I have video of that and I'll post it later. She is also thrilled with herself and her walking skills. She loves to push her walkers around and gets the biggest smile on her face when she does it. She also is building up independent steps. I want to say she is close to 10 total before she falls. She works so hard and it makes me mad sometimes that it just so much harder for her to do things than it is for other kids. I know she won't give up on walking. I just wish I could make it easier for her.

I've been in touch with the Early Intervention people here as well. I'm waiting on a phone call from them to set up a time to have them come meet Rachel and get the therapy ball rolling. I will enjoy having the therapist come over to work with her. It's as much social time for me as it is for her to work. I know she misses her old therapists. She loved them all.

May 4, 2011

The Terrifying Drive and The Aftermath

We are here. Were are all together, finally, in Huntsville. Hallelujah! I cannot say that it was easy though because like the entire 4 previous months of travel to and from Huntsville the actual move proved to be the final hurrah of horrible. It was planned that Stephen come in last Tuesday night to Greensboro to fly out Wednesday morning with Rachel. I was going to drive to Huntsville. It was going to be a glorious drive full of sunshine and alone time. Ha. I should have known better.

The cable company shut off our cable and internet and phone early so I had no real way of knowing that weather that was coming our way. If I had, I would have stayed in Greensboro another night. I took off for Huntsville around noon. I stopped for lunch on the way down. Stephen contacted me and told me his flight got diverted to Birmingham because of tornadic weather in Huntsville. I wasn't that concerned with my travels because I figured I could drive through one storm if it came up the direction I was headed. Ha, again. I stopped once again for dinner in Tennessee off of Interstate 75. When I left, the radio station I was listening too was talking about tornadoes but I wasn't sure of where I was exactly so I wasn't sure where they were talking about. I looked around the sky and it was cloudy but not dark and scary. I kept driving.

I think about 45 minutes after I left from dinner is when stuff started to happen. It was getting windy and starting to pour. I entered an area of 75 that had no exits and tall trees on either side. Then it started to hail and the trees were bending and pieces of trees were hitting the car. I thought I was going to die. I felt like I was in a movie and I expected a tornado to come across the road and pick up the semi in front of me and slam it into my car. I was freaking scared the tree pieces were going to bust open my car windows. I seriously have never been so scared in my life. Ever. Ever. Ever. And you can bet I was cursing the move to Alabama once again.

I called Stephen on the phone and blubbered about how terrified I was then pulled over at a truck rest stop. After about 10 minutes more the storm moved past and it was just windy and rainy again. I decided to keep going. I was only about an hour away at this point. As I got onto 24, I could see trees down and big metal exit signs bent in half. I guess I just missed something coming through there. I got onto 72, the last road I needed to get onto before getting to Stephen's apartment. It was getting dark at this point. The guys on the radio were talking about a thunderstorm coming through but how it should have any tornadoes. I was happy about that and kept going. Then I saw the dark, dark clouds ahead and the lightening. Wow. Almost every second there was a strike. One hit super close by and it sounded like a gun shot in my ear. Then I noticed that there weren't any street lights or lights on the side of the road where houses and stores were. I do not drive well in the rain at night, especially without street lights. The clouds opened up and it started to pour buckets. So much rain, I've never seen so much rain even when I lived in Florida. I'm surprised the car didn't float away. I just kept a tight grip on the steering wheel, praying that I was getting close. The guys on the radio then announced that the tornado index had risen and there was now a good chance for a tornado. Can you imagine??? Driving in pitch black with rain pouring down and now having to worry about a tornado YOU CANNOT SEE?

I finally got to Stephen's apartment and as I pulled in, the storm had cleared and now I could see stars in the sky. It was unbelievable. There was no power at all for miles around. Over 300,000 customers without power for over a week. Some still do not have it. We got ours back after 5 days. That was 5 days without a shower. Yuck. Stephen had to drive an hour north to get gas, food and ice to store our food in. Can you say "Welcome to your new home!"? Ugh. Saturday we moved into the house we are now renting. Sunday night our power came on at 11:30 pm. I woke up to lights on everywhere. What a glorious sight! I even took a shower that night at 2 am when I couldn't go back to sleep. Ahhhhh.

The entire time we had no real way of knowing the extent of the damage around us. They talked about it on the radio using numbers and such but without pictures, you can't wrap your mind around it. I went online after we got our internet put in on Tuesday and found some Google images from space. These are before and after shots and will let you know just how back Alabama got hit. Tornado Images

I am very, very, very fortunate that I didn't get killed and that Stephen and Rachel arrived in Huntsville ok. Please pray for the people of this state. It will be a long time before some cities and towns see "normal" again.