Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

I've been very remiss in my blogging. I'm sorry for not keeping you all up to date in the goings on in our lives. I love to share. I have been so busy with these wonderful little boys that I haven't made the time for writing. I will do better. Now is a time for resolutions, this is one of mine.

It's a good time to give a full update, and I hope it won't turn into a novel. The boys are 2 years and 3 months old. They are running, jumping, and talking up a storm. They really enjoy pretend play so for Christmas Santa brought them a play kitchen for the house and a play house for the yard. The love them both. They call their play house "Santa House" because Santa brought it.

At just about 2 years, William was evaluated for a speech delay. He was diagnoses as on the cusp of being delayed, but since then he has not only caught up with the common expectations, but surpassed them. He and Ronan are both speaking in full long sentences, and seem to understand a great deal. It's fantastic to get to know them, now, as they are able to express themselves unlike ever before. We're having so much fun! Ronan is a crack-up. They both are. One night Ronan let a toot (okay, he farted) and then said to me "more cut cheese." I have no idea how he learned that phrase or understood the euphemism. He seems to never forget a thing. What is said at some point may come out months later. He remembers events that happened several months ago. We really need to be careful with our words.

Ronan does seem to be very interested in flatulence. My dad, his wife, and my half-brothers visited in early December. We had a great time with them and William and Ronan fell in love with all of them, especially their Uncle Richard and Uncle Joseph. One day while we were all in the same car driving to San Francisco, Ronan said very loudly "Ronan make big farts!" That was the first time I heard him use the word. Like I said, we need to be very careful with what we say! The other day Ronan came to me and said "Daddy make big farts. Needs change."

Speaking of change, I'm so ready to potty-train these little guys. I've always tried to keep them aware of their body functions and they've gone on the potty or toilet now and again since they were able to sit. They just don't seem very interested in ditching the diapers. Well, Ronan is getting more interested now that we bought a book that explains it all to him. He is starting to refuse changes and he's asking for underwear. Now if I could just get Dave on board with making the big changes. While I think Ronan is ready, Dave isn't. We may be able to make the change with both boys at once, but if one makes it then I think the other will soon follow.

William had surgery on his eyes in August. It was a great success and his eyes are straight when he wears his glasses and he no longer sees double. He handled it like a champ. I didn't. It was very difficult for me to see those blood-stained tears and red eyes. It was painful to hand him over to the nurse and watch her take him into the operating room. It was a great joy, however, to see him go to the front door not one hour after we returned home from the surgery and have him ask me if we could go for a walk with his cozy coupe. He's a real champ!

Neither of the boys take daily naps, anymore. William was never much of a good napper and he stopped taking regular naps by 19 months. Ronan stopped about a month ago. It's nice that we are no longer slaves to the napping schedule, both boys are on the same schedule, and they go to sleep pretty easily in the early evenings, at least most nights.

William's voice is angelic, Ronan's is resonating. I remember when Ronan was just a couple of days old, the nurses at the hospital told me that they thought he was a future American Idol winner. William has a fun musical way of saying things, like "no" has nearly 3 syllables and goes up an octave in the middle, though lately he's taken to saying a simple "nope." When he says "yes" he says a high-pitched "ESS!" that shows great enthusiasm. Ronan loves to shout his "hi" and "bye-bye" to people as they walk past the house - across the street.

They now watch some tv. They love "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." They also love "Thomas the Tank Engine" and "Bob the Builder." The Children's Discovery Museum has been running a "Bob the Builder" exhibit. They love it. We have a membership at the CDM and go there often. It's a great place for toddlers and young children. We also enjoy going to Happy Hollow and the California Academy of Sciences.

The boys love to play with puzzles, their train set, toy cars, toy brooms, and books. Books seem to be their favorite "toys" and ask us to read to them frequently.

Dave is doing well, but is working more and more. Fortunately, he usually gets home right before the boys go to bed, and he gets up early with the boys to spend some quality time with them before going to work. I've got the boys in the habit, though, of having me lay with them as they go to sleep. This is usually enjoyable time and I love that I send them off to sleep with love and peacefulness. This does make it difficult for me to go out in the evenings, so I miss out on opportunities to see some friends for dinner or other outings. Going out later is tough for me because I'm tired and frankly, I'd rather rest, read, crochet, or sleep.

I'm also doing well. I'm so happy being a mother. Right now I'm feeling a sense of anxiety and nervousness, however. This time of year is difficult for me. So many bad things have happened during the two weeks between Christmas and my birthday. We just past the 5th anniversary of our loss of Halie, my beautiful 2-year-old neice. That was a very dark period in my life. She died in a fire that put my brother and nephew in the burn-icu. My brother recently won a settlement against the company that manufactured the faulty gas can that exploded. Anyway, this is really not my story to tell, even though it has affected me so deeply I still have nightmares about it.

Other loved ones also passed away this time of year and my mind and heart are filled with memories and also dread. On top of that, I'm still stuck in OWCP (federal workers' compensation) hell. My claims examiner, affectionately known as NBW (nasty...) always seems to choose this time of year to throw my life into further chaos. She has scheduled me for, yet another, doctor appointment. They can do this every two years if they don't like my own doctor's opinion. I've seen 10 doctors and several physical therapists who all agree on the diagnosis of RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). I'm not particularly worried about the new doctor, but it's a hassle. It means that I have to stay alert and spend a lot of my (nonexistent) free time to check up on NBW to make sure she doesn't screw things up even worse. The last time she sent me to their doctor she sent him a lot of misinformation in my case file. Actually, she left out a lot of documentation and slipped in some documents that were not about me or from my own case file. It was really such a display of incompetence, I'm surprised that she is still a Claims Examiner. Actually, that would explain why she has been my CE for 3 years now. All my other Claims Examiners got promoted after 6 months to a year.

My 40th birthday is coming up. I'm only sad about it because of what it means for us having any more children. We did a frozen embryo transfer in June, using our last 2 frozen embryos. One of them didn't survive the thaw, the other was transfered, but I lost the baby at about 6 weeks. No, we will not do IVF again. It's not that easy. We just need to move on and completely embrace this opportunity to throw ourselves 100% into raising these two beautiful wonderful smart little boys.

Since they were born I have spent most of the last 2 years on cloud 9. There have been many downs, but they have such wonderful abilities to lift me back up. I'm sure, after we get through the next few weeks I'll be back on my cloud. I just can't shake this sense of trepidation. It will pass.