toddler

Journey to Gratitude: Days 45-51

Still catching up from the past two weeks…

Day 45:
Today is Valentine’s Day. I learned a long time ago as just a little girl that this day (and the expectations that come with it) can be very disappointing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped expecting anything from the day. Instead, I have created my own traditions, which NEVER disappoint. 🙂  Every year, I make red velvet cupcakes, homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries, and enjoy takeout of some kind. I kick back with all of my treats and watch the ridiculous Valentine’s Day movie marathons. I know what you’re thinking: “You’re married now. Don’t you guys celebrate.” Quite simply, no. Since Blaine is a baseball coach, he usually has games, and might not even be home. If he does happen to play at home, he gets home late. So no, we don’t celebrate. We celebrate “our love”, if you will, at other, non-commercial times of the year. Trust me, it’s way less disappointing this way.

So today, I am thankful for simple traditions.

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Day 46:
For as long as I’ve known Blaine (going on 5 years next month), he has always had what I like to call “freak-outs” over major life decisions. At first, it was very frustrating. Five years later, I just know that it is bound to happen – and more importantly, that the moment will pass. Today, Blaine had his “freak-out” over the new house. Thankfully, I’m becoming a pro at how to navigate these moments, which require me to remain calm, drop nuggets of logic into the conversation at very choice moments….and then leave him to marinate. Once reason kicks in, he starts to realize how ridiculous he’s being, and we are able to move forward again. Today, I am thankful that I was able to remain calm and weather the new house “freak-out”.

Day 47:
The terrible winter that had been foretold finally arrived today. It came fast and hard – so much so that my boss decided to close the store early and send us all home. So first of all, I am thankful for the fact that my boss is able to put safety above sales.

Secondly, I finally caught a touch of whatever Bella had (or at least I think that is what has happened), and I felt AWFUL today. So I was thankful to be able to head home to my warm house, slip into my comfy clothes, and crash on the couch. Even more of a blessing, Blaine was also home, so he was able to help out with Bella so I could rest.

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Day 48:
Still snowed in, I was thankful to stay home and rest today. I think OJ and chicken noodle soup gave me life.

Day 49:
Today I was thankful that I awoke feeling MUCH better. Hallelujah!

Day 50:
We had a nibble and a showing on our house today, which is currently only listed on Zillow and Craigslist. Though it was just a nibble, I am thankful that someone noticed it.

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Day 51:
Today, we broke FREE! Having been snowed in all week, we were all getting a little stir crazy. So I dropped off Bella at school to play, and I went to Starbucks and the office to catch up on some work. Once I picked her up, we did a little shopping for some crafts and activities (because more weather is coming tomorrow), picked up McDonald’s for dinner, and headed to a friend’s house for a playdate. Today, I was thankful to escape the house – if only for a day.

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Journey to Gratitude: Days 38-44

Once again, life has deterred me from keeping up with my posts. I had a sick toddler for a week, then I got sick, and then Snowpocalypse 2015 hit. It’s been busy. But amidst all of that, here’s what I can be thankful for….

Day 38:
Now that Bella is getting older and understands and communicates more, I love our outings together. Today, we went shopping for some new appliances for the new house. While we were out, we also went and had lunch at Chick-fil-A. Just a fun girls day out and about (and apparently, very tiring).

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Day 39:
So a few days ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Vegucated,” which was about a 6-week challenge for 3 folks to try the vegan lifestyle. It was very eye-opening and really got me thinking. I’ve always been health-conscious, so I am always open to trying healthier options. That being said, I don’t know that I could ever go vegan or vegetarian indefinitely, as I do actually enjoy meat. But I am capable of eating vegetarian meals, or even going through short spurts of being completely vegetarian. In an attempt to try some new plant-based protein options, I bought some tofurky and soy burgers and what not on my latest grocery trip. I was amazed at how easy it was to find quick-serve options at even the local Walmart. So today I am thankful for how far we’ve come with vegetarian and vegan items, that they are easily accessible even in smaller towns where I live and without going to the local “health foods” store.

Day 40:
Today I got a call from Bella’s daycare that she was running a fever. Blaine had practice, so he couldn’t go get her. Fortunately I was able to get out of my afternoon meeting to go get her. Today I am thankful that I have a relatively flexible job that still allows me to be there for Bella.

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Day 41:
Bella’s fever got pretty high last night. Actually, perhaps the highest ever – 104. Though she acted like she didn’t feel well, she did still have bursts of activity, and she was eating and drinking just fine. I wasn’t sure at what point I should be concerned enough to take her to the ER. I ended up calling a nurse line, who gave me some helpful tips on how to keep her comfy and signs for which to watch that would signal an emergency situation. She slept with me overnight, and by morning, her fever was back down a few degrees and she was acting normal. So today, I am thankful that things didn’t escalate enough to warrant a trip in the night to the ER.

Day 42:
Bella’s fever spiked again in the night, so I ended up having to stay home with her again. Today, I am thankful for not one, but TWO, awesome teammates who were willing to cover my shift in the store so that I could stay home with Bella. I am also thankful that I was able to get some work done from home.

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Day 43:
Bella’s spurts of activity became non-existent and her appetite disappeared – signals I was waiting for to know that this was turning for the worse. So I took her in to the doctor this morning, and we found out that she has a sinus infection and the start of an ear infection. She was prescribed some antibiotics, and I gave her a dose immediately. Less than 12 hours later, she was up and running again. Today, I am thankful that Bella is on the mend. I am also thankful that Blaine was able to stay with Bella tonight so I could go into work for a few hours.

Day 44:
We had our inspection on the new house today. We waited with bated breath to get the results, as we were certain the inspector would uncover something HUGE – hence why we were getting such a great deal on the house. As it turns out, he found only minor things that Blaine and his rental renovation crew can easily repair. The biggest issue uncovered was radon detection – levels at four times the “allowable” level. (If you don’t know about radon – where it is found, what it can do, and how to repair it – I highly suggest looking into it. This is my new PSA mission, as I learned it is the second only to smoking for the leading cause in lung cancer!) Anyway…as scary as that sounds, it is also easily repaired with the installation of a mitigation system, which we intend to get. So today I am thankful for a good inspection on the new house!

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Journey to Gratitude: Day 29

The prevailing theme of today was “no stress”. I would not have been able to fathom this concept even as soon as a couple of weeks ago. But I’ve cut back my hours at my “day job,” things are going well with coaching, and I’ve exercised every day for the past week. It’s amazing the difference it makes when things in your life are in balance.

As I slipped into my bubble bath this afternoon – a luxury that many moms don’t get to experience on any sort of regular basis – I thought about how stress-free the day had been and how lucky I was to have this moment. Sure, Blues Clues was adding to the ambiance from the next room, but my two-year-old is so awesome that she can behave and entertain herself for the 20 minutes I needed for a bubble bath. Many moms cannot say the same.

Today, I am thankful for balance and contentment.

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Journey to Gratitude: Day 20

Bella is struggling right now as her two-year molars try to pop through. Additionally, she may have some viral bug on top of that. So she is miserable with a painful mouth, runny nose, persistent cough, and fever.

Today, I am thankful for the ability to be able to work from home, so that I can stay home with my poor little Sweet Pea and still get some work done. Here’s hoping she is on the mend soon!

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Journey to Gratitude: Day 16

Because of her prematurity, Bella has been part of the Early Intervention program since about a month after we brought her home (i.e. about 3 months old). When she started the program, she was slightly behind in all skills, so our goals were simple things: holding and playing with toys, rolling over, holding her head up and steady, etc. We saw our Early Intervention worker weekly, and Bella made great strides. By a year old, Bella had caught up to her age group on mostly all skills, so we scaled back to bi-weekly visits.

We had a visit yesterday, and in addition to our Early Intervention worker, our state case worker was also present. Both were amazed and astounded with how well Bella is doing. Not only has she caught up to her age group on all skills, but she has even surpassed her age group with several of her cognitive and language skills!

Today, I am so very thankful for the strides Bella has made. Apart from her size, you would never know she was a preemie. Thank you, Lord, for such a blessing!

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