I live in a second floor condominium. The elevator is out of commission for two days as they put new tile in it. I love that this doesn't really affect me. I can easily climb the two flights of stairs to get to my home, even while carrying John in his car seat!
When Steve and I were trying to decide if we should by this place just 2 1/2 years ago, I was using a mobility scooter and was very concerned about living upstairs. At that time, if the elevator was out of service I knew I would be stuck in my home until it was fixed.
You won't hear me complaining when I have to carry a trunk full of groceries up the stairs this afternoon, because having the freedom to come and go as I please is suck a blessing.
It feels wonderful to know that I can take my children to the doctor without having my mom or Steve take us there. The life I'm living is not what I thought it would ever be. Not once in my first six years of being a mother did I think I could take an infant to a well baby check up on my own.
While at the appointment, I was able to carry John into the office, undress him to be weighed and hold him while the doctor talked to me. These are all things that most mothers can do. It's so wonderful that I too can make sure my children are taken care of without asking others to help me in doing so. I'm also happy to say that John is 10lbs 3 oz and has grown 1 1/2 inches in his first month of life. I have so much to celebrate!
This past weekend we went to the cabin (baby John's first visit). When Steve pulled into our parking spot, at the top of the hill, I got out of the 4Runner and grabbed John and his car seat. I began carrying the heavy car seat down the hill to our cabin. Halfway down the hill, I realized that not only was I walking down the hill without assistance, but I was also carrying a 10+ lbs in my arms.
The first five years we owned the cabin I was not physically capable of walking up or down the hill that leads to our home away from home. Steve always had to take my arm and at times carry me up the hill. At that time, I had absolutely no independence at our lake place.. It amazes me how far I have come since my new diagnosis.
As I walked down the hill carrying my son all I could think about was that I used to be carried down the hill, but now I am the one carrying a heavy baby down without the fear of wondering if I will make it. God is wonderful!
The house was calm for about an hour this morning. So as the baby slept and Winona rested (3rd day of fever), I cleaned the girls bathroom and vacuumed. When the girls were babies, I had no choice but to take a nap while the house was quiet. Naps were necessary for me to function later in the day. I know it doesn't make sense to most people, but my muscles would get stiffer as the day went on. By afternoon, I would have been bound to the couch.
I still need to rest during the day so my body can produce more dopamine, but at least if I don't get a long nap in I can still function. Having an infant in the house has really made me think more about all the little things I can do that I couldn't do just a short while ago. Many of the things I am grateful to be capable of are things most people would rather not have to do. I can make a bottle, change diapers, change my baby's outfit after he has spat up on it, clear the table, cook a meal, all the laundry and the list goes on and on!! The amount of appreciation I have to do these simple tasks is immeasurable. To say I am fortunate would be an understatement.
For the first time ever I put a sheet on a crib. When my girls were babies my arms didn't allow me to lift the mattress and place the sheet over the corners of the bed. As I started to replace the sheet, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to complete the task with ease. The only thing that may disappoint some of you is that John's new crib sheet is Green Bay Packer themed. Thanks Kay, for making that for my sweet little boy!
The past two days have been unbelievably busy getting everything ready for a long weekend at the cabin. I can't believe how much I got done. I got more done in these past two days than I would have been able to accomplish in a week back when my life was more phsyically challenging. I made homemade tuna salad and potato salad. This amazes me because a couple years ago I wasn't always able to drain noodles. Yesterday, I cooked and drained the hot noodles with out giving it much thought. I didn't get frustrated with my hands not being able to cut vegetables and I didn't have to worry about falling to the floor. I was also able to make Special K bars with Winona. There's just something about baking with your daughter that I now get to enjoy. In between all that cooking, I had several large loads of laundry to get washed, folded and put away (Sharon helped me). Today, I was able to load up the coolers, finish packing and then load it into our vehicle. This was a lot to get done, especially since I had to stop and feed/change John in the middle of those tasks.
It brings tears to my eyes to know that I was able to get my family ready for a mini vacation at the lake. It was a lot of work and my feet hurt from standing on the hardwood floors for such a long time, but I did it. And I did it with ease! I have so much to be thankful for and I don't know if I will ever be able to express my gratitude enough.
I hope that over the Fourth of July weekend you can take a moment to reflect on everything you can accomplish in life. I know that raising a family is a lot of work, but it is SO worth it!!!
The kids and I took advantage of the wonderful weather this morning. I put John in the stroller, the girls hopped on their bikes and the four of us went on a walk. Even though I'm really out of shape, I kept thinking how lucky I was to be able to walk pushing my baby in a stroller. Plus, I was able to keep an eye on the girls who were riding their bikes ahead of us.
Never in a million years would I have thought that after giving birth, just two weeks ago, I would be capable of walking nearly a mile. After the girls were born, it took me about a month to get back to normal. Even then, I was only able to push their stroller a block before I had to turn around and go back home. To be able to walk 3/4 of mile today was a wonderful gift. I can't wait to take John out again tomorrow and attempt to go the full mile!
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!