I am the proud mom of an almost 4 year old daughter. As she is getting older, I have been confronted with the fact that eventually she will not only want to dress herself, but also (gasp!) pick out the clothes that we buy for her. As of right now, she can dress herself in almost anything in wardrobe and go out in public. Except now that the weather is getting warmer, she wants to wear her swimsuit all the time. I'm still trying to explain to her that is not appropriate attire for the grocery store.

I never thought much about dressing modestly. It was not stressed in my family, and as a girl, teen, and young woman, I wore some pretty revealing outfits. Outfits I do not want to see my daughter in. I'm not going to lie, I thought buying my 18 month old daughter a little bikini was adorable. But what was I teaching her? Would I want to see her in this type of swimwear at 10 with budding breast and hormones starting to come into play? It's not only swimwear that I struggle to find a balance with. Leggings, short shorts, and tank tops are making me second guess myself these days, too. Leggings on little girls seem fairly harmless in my book. But what about when these little girls become teenagers and the leggings are skin tight? That's not leaving much to the imagination. I'm trying teach my daughter that in a place of worship and school is not a place to wear sleeveless shirts, or if you do, to wear something over them. A hot day in July when your bumming around outside- perfectly acceptable.

Of course, when I started my search on modesty, I went where any well-informed parent goes- the internet! :) What I found was both helpful and disturbing. Isn't that always the way it is with all the information out there? So many parents, parents of boys- both boys and girls or just boys- said they couldn't believe what girls these days were wearing. Their biggest complaint was that they had to teach their sons to look at the ground to avoid seeing all the skin women were showing! I'm taking a liberty here, and saying they meant cleavage. I have an issue with this. I have two kids. A girl and a boy. Let me tell you something right now. My son will show respect to ALL women. I don't care if that women is wearing a hijab or is nude, is a lawyer or prostitute. When you are looking at someone, you look at them in the eyes. NOT the chest. Same goes for my daughter, mind you. You speak to everyone respectfully and make eye contact. When did we stop teaching this to our children? And while we must teach our daughters to respect their bodies and be modest in dress, actions, and speech, what about our boys? How many times have you been to the beach and seen boys without shirts on? Is this considered immodest? Why or why not? It seems to me that we put this burden of being pure and perfect on our daughters while teaching our sons it's okay for them to do what we are teaching our daughters not to do and then judge them for it.

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Head Ultrasounds and Radiology Classes

We had a full day of appointments for Tripp today. He had a head ultrasound to see how well his shunt is working and if his hydrocephalus is under control. A renal ultrasound to check his kidneys and make sure we don't have to start cathing him to empty his bladder. Then we met with Peter (Dr. Nagib's right hand man) who is with neurosurgery to go over the results of head ultrasound. Good news is his head is growing at a steady and normal rate and is also a normal shape, which is not always the case when you have extra fluid on your brain. His cognitive function is right on track for his age. Bad news is that his ventricles are bigger than last night. But there are some silver linings to that, too. We have been a cesspool of germs and seem to have caught every bug we could this winter. Tripp is still getting over a double ear infection and an RSV-like illness. Being sick can cause your ventricles to get bigger. (Not sure if this is true in adults, too, or what causes it... Is it something to do with your lymphatic system? I would be interested to find out. Any of my nurse or PA friends know?) His ventricles are bigger, but maintaining their shape, not ballooning out like they normally do if it's the hydrocephalus causing it. And he's acting well, so they are not too concerned. But we were reminded that 100% of VP shunts placed before the child is a year old will fail. (Although, they said every now and again, a kid slips through, so we are still crossing our fingers!) He will be rechecked in 4 weeks and if his ventricles are still big, or if something happens that make us concerned between now and then, he will have a shunt revision. We are praying that it's just the infection causing this and everything will go back to normal by then!

 Next, we went to see Dr. Marker. He's pleased with Tripp's progress would also like to see him back because of the extra fluid. Darn it! We had been doing so good with making it to two month appointments.

 Our last appointment of the day was at Gillette's to check on Tripp's AFOs. Now he has not been in any kind of bracing since he was hospitalized for cellulitis February 27th. We had to wait for his wounds to completely heal before we could even think of trying to put them back on. Well, Saturday, his feet were looking pretty darn good and I knew that I needed to try before our appointment today. Three hours in the AFOs on Saturday and his feet are still red today. Dr. Sundberg decided to modify them and move where the straps go across his feet since that is where the breakdown happens.  We need to start having him wear the braces again, starting in short intervals and working our way up. I am skeptical that they will work for him. I want them to sooo bad! I believe the Ponseti method works for club feet and I think this will give him the best chance at permanent correction, but I’m filled with doubt that AFOs are the right choice for him. At least these ones. His skin is so darn fragile that I think he’s just going to break down in new areas. I’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed, though.

Now I’m trying to study for two exams on radiology. I really don’t know if I should have taken this course. I’m beyond lost. The amount of science behind x-rays is staggering and I’m bored out of my mind reading about it. I’m like most people out there, if I’m not interested in something, I have the hardest time concentrating on it. As you can tell by me writing this, I’m very good at procrastinating. I can’t put it off any longer. The exams are going to close in a couple of hours and I need to finish them before that happens. J

My life, consumed.

When you become a parent, your life changes in ways you never knew it could. As a first time parent, you constantly wait for things to return to normal. Not realizing until the new normal has already set in, that normal as you knew it, will never return. You become a parent for the second time and you think, "I got this." You know things are going to change and that, instead of waiting for things to get back to normal, you work on adjusting to your new normal. Hopefully, this time, it won't take you so long with this realization and the transition from mother of one to mother of two will go smoother. I don't know if I had a "normal" kid, if this would have happened. But I didn't. I have a special medical needs kid. And I just can't seem to adjust to this new normal.
I'm going to address a very serious, common, hard, private topic. Depression. Not just clinical depression. Not postpartum depression. MY depression. My depression did not start with Tripp. I want to make that clear. Although, for any parent facing a prenatal diagnosis that will impact their child and their families lives, depression is not only a natural reaction, but a common one.  You are not alone. It's ok. We start planning for our child the minute we find out we are pregnant. Anything that impedes that future we have planned for them is seen as a loss. Knowing that your child will have to work harder to have what you or I take for granted can piss you off. We all want better for our children than what we had. To know that we will be bringing them in to this world with a disadvantage is enough to throw the most well balanced person off.
My depression is deeply rooted in my genetics. I don't remember the first time I got into funk I couldn't get out of. I know I was young. I know being female and having hormones didn't help. My depression is more than being weepy and sad. I get angry and agitated.  I take the most benign remarks personally and become aggressive. Not just with words, but physically. My empathy for most is gone. I don't care your circumstance. Man up. My heart hardens. It has to. For my survival. I become an introvert. I don't leave the house unless absolutely necessary. I stop conversing with friends. Showering becomes a daily goal instead of an activity. I eat. I sleep. Oh Lord, I love sleep. Except the recurrent dreams I have.  For me, it's high school. All I want to do is graduate with my class in Elmwood, but I can't. I've already graduated, so have they. Instead, I'm stuck trying to fit in with a class that doesn't know me and doesn't care to get to know me.  They have a history and I'm not a part of it. Yet, I moved, so I'm no longer a part of Elmwood '03. So I'm stuck in a sort of school purgatory. Every time I close my eyes, the dream starts again. It starts with my going away party and ends with a graduation I can't see.
Depressions goal is to alienate you. It wants you to feel bitterly alone. I know this. Yet I fight against it every time. It takes effort to text my friends. Making plans? You cannot imagine the excuses I make up in my head to cancel. The effort it takes to go out, pretend everything is ok, even laugh, joke around, is PHENOMINAL! I cannot tell you how exhausted I am after an outing. It takes me days to recover. I am so glad I went. Moments like those chase the dark to the farthest corners of my soul, but it takes a lot out of me, both emotionally and physically.
I want to thank my friends and family that don't give up on me. Those that stick up for me and have my back when all others seem to give up and walk away. You have no idea what a kind word or a stance against those that don't understand means to me. Life

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My life- as a wife, mother, sister, caregiver, daughter, career woman- uncensored.


Liberal Catholic. Working mom. Chronic pain warrior. Opinionated introvert. I speak fluent sarcasm. I'm married with two kids- a girl and a boy. My son was born with Spina bifida, hydrocephalus, Arnold Chiari malformation, and bilateral club feet. I may blog about food, politics, religion, medical updates, or our life in general.

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