Sunday, October 15, 2017

Us, Lately

Jimmy all transferred into his seat and ready to fly!


Spencer helping out around the new place


#12. 

I feel like a general update is due.

Jimmy: he's going through a weird spell right now, and it's no fun.  He's fatiguing badly, having extremely uncomfortable muscle spasms in his abdominal area for the last 1-2 weeks, and he's been miserable. A doctor visit may be in the future if he doesn't see some relief in the next few days.

We've also learned a surgery is on the horizon.  Nothing too urgent, but something we maybe knew was coming. He has to have some scar tissue around his trach stoma cleaned up. The last five or so trach changes at Shepherd have been awful for him and it's not going to get any better until this surgery happens. One of them, they had to overhead page a doctor stat because Jimmy's RTs could not get the trach back in. So dangerous. During his ENT scope last week, we also learned that he has really bad heartburn (it probably doesn't feel like regular heartburn to him). We've been wondering why his voice was so hoarse for awhile; Doc said that was why. He was given meds for that, thankfully.  It's already gotten better.

We had a really great stretch for awhile, and a successful flight to NOLA with him feeling well in spite of extremely early travel times. Nothing happened to his wheelchair (go Delta!) and we found a company that delivered/picked up an accessible van to the airport for us to rent while in town.  Delta actually has a great accessibility department that was easy to work with and bumped us up to Delta comfort so Jimmy could have plenty of room -- at no cost.  It was so nice to sit next to my husband, so normally, if that makes sense. No aluminum between us. Gah, it was so nice.

This was Jimmy's first flight, post-injury. Fun fact: the last flight we took together was to New Orleans, as well, on our honeymoon about two months before the injury. 

Once we got past a certain little hiccup that may have involved me forgetting my ID at home, taking the MARTA back to Decatur, sprinting across town, learning that I wouldn't make it back in time, and finding a later flight while Jimmy went ahead and flew with his nurses -- yeahhhh, once we got past that craziness, it was a phenomenal trip. (I was so mad at myself. But, so busy making sure Jimmy had everything he needed, forgot to double check myself.)  Needless to say, when I finally got to the hotel and got settled, I had the best bloody mary of my life.

We ate at some of our favorites places, Jimmy got to meet Tony Romo (totally nice guy!), we got to sit RIGHT BEHIND the Pats bench for the Saints v Pats game (bucket list!), gambled a smidge (I was infatuated with the Anchorman nickel slots - hilarious!), and uh, did I mention the FOOD there and, the bloody marys that have fun things like bacon growing out of them?! Heart eyes.

The cops in NOLA were super accommodating to us as we walked to the Superdome from our hotel, stopping traffic for us as needed. And once we got to the tailgating courtyard, a nice fella wanted to offer NOLA hospitality and buy Jimmy a beer.  We were extremely in awe of how nice everyone was to us, considering were were both decked out in Pats gear.  The perfect end of that day for Jimmy, aside from the W: the Pats Defensive Coordinator came up to our seats after that game, and thanked Jimmy for coming!!! What?! I really need the Pats defense to get better so he keeps his job because I LOVE HIM. So mad I didn't get a pic.   

Spencer:  I cannot believe this one will be 3 in a few weeks.  She's going to school (Children's Morning Out) four days a week and it's the best thing for our little social butterfly. She adores it and it keeps her busy in the best way.  She's also "playing" U3 soccer once a week. Translation: I chase her around 30-40 minutes while she tries to constantly bolt to either playground located on each side of the field. Toddler soccer definitely sounded like a cute idea when we were signing her up. Yeah, no. Kill me now.

She also loves helping my to feed the fishies and water the flowers at the new house.

Me: So yeah, we bought a house! Our first one!  It's a few blocks from where we live and a complete time capsule. Never been updated, built in the 50s, super mid-century with tons-a-wood-paneling. So, we're gonna update it a bit and make it a little more wheelchair friendly. It's a ranch with a lower terrace level. It's got a massive yard (!!) and a beautiful back patio that basically sold the place for Jimmy. Selling point for Spencer? The fishies in the back fountain left by the prior owners and the chickens next door. 

I've been busy coordinating all of the things that come with new home-ownership, and renovating. Construction should begin in 3 or 4 weeks and we're hoping to be in the house in January. I think Spencer will love having her own room, Jimmy will love having his own man den and I will love it all. I'm thrilled. It's very exciting getting to work with someone who is helping me with layout, etc. and a contractor who is familiar with disability modifications. We cannot wait to finally be in our home. The next few months are going to be a whirlwind.

All of this + more is keeping us busy these days.

Excited to share some before and after pictures of the house as the work begins!

XO,

Monday, August 7, 2017

SRM


This pose, this little one. So much personality.  My Spencer.

This was right after ice cream, and a quick run around a hot Square. She's so curious and beyond enthusiastic about most aspects of life.

We love her so very much.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Two and a Half


Spencer Rosalyn, 2.5
Decatur, GA
My Spencer is Two Point Five! There's NO way she's a mere six months from THREE. Nope. Nope. 

Annnnnywho, her well check-up went great! She's a healthy, bright little girl. And tall!

Size 6 diapers.
Size 3-4T clothes.
Size 7-8 shoes.

Still no back molars yet, but I think they're coming. 

So what is Spencer doing these days?

She loves:
"Dorothy" (Wizard of Oz)
Mary Poppins
Moana
Elmo
Sara & Duck
Daniel Tiger
Bookaboo

My FAVORITE thing she says right now is: I wanna jump in the CUDDLES! (Instead of puddles - I die.)

She also said for the first time last evening, "I love you to pieces!"

She has recently picked up on this: when I'm trying to discipline her, she'll quickly say I LOVE YOU MAMA! And hug me around my neck. Howwww has she learned this tactic, already?

When her Dadda has bad leg spasms, and his legs flail uncontrollably about, she gets truly concerned and says, "Mama help! Mama help!" She pulls me to him and puts my hands to his legs as to help put his legs back up. She knows he needs some assitance.

Naps and bedtime are not her favorite. Tears. Angst. Diversion tactics such as sudden thirst, hunger and the need to say goodnight to Dadda. Again.  It drags on and on... aggghh!

Sharing is tough at this age for ole girl.  The temper and tantrums have also started. 

She loves being tickled.

She loves playing dress up with costumes, hats, crowns, jewelry, and Mama's shoes.

She loves to dance and sing and she LOVES music.

She started her first swim lesson recently and adores it. She's progressing quite well and likes going underwater.

She goes to Children's Morning Out 3-4 times a week, for a few hours a day and loves, loves it! It's her happy place. She has completely blossomed in this environment. She has art, music, snack/lunch, outdoor time, circle time, etc. She comes home dirty and exhausted. It's wonderful.

She's a social butterfly, as she always has been.

Pure joy to be around, even when she's not.

Love you Spencie!

Mama

Monday, March 27, 2017

Yep, A Stroke

Friday, less than 24 hours after his stroke.
Emory Midtown
Atlanta, GA
Stroke. What a scary word, right?

This past Thursday evening, Spencer was up late. Past 9pm. And, while I was begging her to go to bed, she asked to go say goodnight to Dadda (magical stalling tactics).  So we did.  I let her creep in his room.  He was very tired and had dozed off.  So I figured I'd let her wake him up so she could see him.

She said something, it didn't wake up him, and I remember thinking, he must be exhausted. Shortly after she did happen to wake him up.  He woke up and greeted her happily, normally. But then, the more him and I were talking, the more we both realized he was mumbling.

He managed to make it clear he wanted to come off the ventilator.  This has happened before where he's had a bit of carbon dioxide build up from the ventilator known as Hybercarbia. What have we done in the past to fix that? Take him off the ventilator.  This time, it didn't help.  We thought it did for a few minutes, I even turned his light off to say goodnight and was about to be on my way out.

Went to say goodnight again and he said something that triggered me to turn the light back on and mute the TV.   I went by his side to look in his face and see if there was more to this.

He was getting more scared as the minutes passed, as we were talking about what to do, what could be happening, trying to rule out the possible vent issue.  I remember him looking at his wheelchair ventilator trying to tell me something and he just couldn't do it. He was confused and scared.  He did say a few times, "I don't know what's going on!"  He had killer head pain... he was screaming and nearly crying because of it, pleading for help.

I asked him if he wanted me to call. He said yes.

911.

The operator gave him a speaking test over the phone. "The early bird catches the worm." It took Jimmy four tries.

When the medics arrived, they seemed a little.... not phased.  Jimmy was talking, but was still stumbling here and there. I think they assumed... sick/paralyzed dude, on a ventilator, pretty normal sounding to them.

I had to explain he didn't have a brain injury, he was usually very quick-witted and quite frankly, a smart ass. The delays and absence of words/phrases was not normal.

Some of the normal tests given to possible stroke patients... limited with a quad.  No raising of the arms or anything of that nature. Although his smile seemed even to me.

Jimmy was talking to one of the guys getting medication notes. He asked Jimmy when his last dosage of pain meds were. Jimmy attempted to say his nurse's name who gave it to him (a veteran nurse of ours) and he couldn't say her name.

Yep. Time to go.

Off the ER Jimmy went.

I stayed home with a sleeping Spencer while his nurse on duty rode with him.

I sat on the couch in my suddenly all-too-quiet house. Tears. Fear.  This was new territory... did my husband just have a stroke? Is he gonna be okay?

I kept my phone on all night, tried to sleep a little but was looking for updates from his nurse. Thank god he was so good about answering me promptly and with details.

Jimmy was stable.

He was kept in the ER all night, waiting for an ICU to open up. One never did, so he was transferred to a different Emory campus, but not until morning.  I think the reason ICU was warranted was due to the fact that he used a ventilator.

They didn't formally diagnose him yet, but so far we had heard the term "ministroke" thrown around.

Not surprising. But then the Googling happened. So, it was hard not being there to have someone to ask my questions to once I started reading up. Ministroke clearly sounded better than stroke, especially the big scary ones.

I arranged for some help with Spencer (and thank Jesus Mary Joseph to those who saved my booty!) so I could go to the hospital to see Jimmy. He hadn't been transported yet, but I went and waited. He didn't arrive until 10:45a.  He was on a stretcher and passed the waiting room I was in. His eyes were closed. Why were his eyes closed, I had wondered. I didn't get to see him until past 11:30, once he was settled and they did their check-in requirements.

It was so dang good to see him. He sounded so much better, verbally, since the last time I saw him.

I stayed with him much of the day. He was able to make a few phone calls, holy amazing! To his mom and mine. He was able to eat and read some Facebook.

The night prior, they had done a CT scan -- results were good.

The plan going forward was to get an MRI, a more detailed view to see what else they could see. Turns out, with Jimmy's DPS (implanted diaphragmatic pacer) MRIs are not a good idea. So they ordered a repeat CT scan.

Second CT scan came back showing he did indeed have a stroke.  His doctor called me at home Saturday (I was home with a stomach bugging Spencer) to give me some info.  He had 1-2 spots where there was a blockage/clot. It was left side, where the language center was -- hence the symptoms we were seeing.

Jimmy happened to recover relatively quickly from this event.  We were lucky, considering.

Jimmy also had an echocardiogram that day.  They wanted to make sure his heart wasn't producing any clots.  The echo showed it wasn't. So, he was eligible for discharge.

Jimmy got home very late Saturday evening. He was so happy to be home and chatting it up with the EMS ladies who transported him back.

Sunday, he was up in his chair, extremely weak and I was shocked he got out of bed at all! Think the Tarheels were calling, he probably wanted to be up to watch. But GAH he felt awful and had bladder issues which made the day even more awful for him. I'm sure still a good awful, since he was at home with his girls, and ya know, alive and all.

His head was/is still a little sensitive and tender and he still needs help with some words... words and phrases he normally could get by himself.  His doctor said that should iron itself out over time, but could come back when something else is going on in the body. ie, bladder infection. Soooo, that could be uber scary.

His doc told me having a stroke does put you at higher risk of having another one. So, we'll just be over here trying not let our worry and fear show.

What caused this stroke?  For Jimmy,  two big risk factors: immobilization and diabetes.  Both from the injury.

He's okay. We're okay.  I know many wanted to know bunches about what happened and this is most of what I can remember.

Happy to have our Jimmy back home. And feeling pretty lucky.

XO.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spencer's Christening

Spencer Rosalyn, 2 years old
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Decatur, GA

Spencer was baptized this weekend! It was such a sweet little ceremony, and we shared it with another local family, baptizing two of their children. Family and friends were there to witness it, many traveled hours and hours to come. There were tears, laughter and love.  She's still little enough for me to hold her over the baptismal font while the Priest poured the holy water over her head, and still little enough to also cry bunches as he did it.

Happy Baptism, my Spencer love.

"If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there." - St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Five Years

Here I am, the morning of our 5th accident anniversary. Sipping coffee. Waking up. Watching Olympic highlights, still getting organized after a weekend work party while the overcast lighting pours into my room. The baby is still asleep. Letting me have a morning. We've arranged for Spencer to hang out with our neighbors while do something for two hours to commemorate life, later today.

It's Life Day.

It's the day where Jimmy nearly died. He lived through a catastrophic car crash. He never saw it coming when he got in his car to go to a work assignment on that Monday in August 2011. We carried on that early afternoon getting ready for work together as we did everyday.  He left to go to work, and then a short time later, so did I. For him, it was a spare tire that flew and would change his life. What it looked like for me? A normal drive to work, and then? Brake lights. The traffic that was caused by my husband's wreck. A text asking me if he was okay. And then the calls. Updates from the news desk where we both worked. He was being life-flighted to the local trauma unit.  That's where I was told to go. After sitting in my car still while they collected his broken body and smashed car, I eventually passed over the very place where my husband was changed forever. I didn't know the scope of it yet, didn't know what we'd be up against. Never could have imagined paralysis. I don't even think I thought death was in it for us. I just... didn't know. Perhaps I thought broken legs, other broken bones.

I arrived at the hospital to see my boss standing there waiting for me; he told me where Jimmy was and I could go right in and see him. Jimmy was awake and saw me. He smiled and gave me a "hey, honey."  His head was hanging open. I looked at it too much and broke out in a warm sweat. Had to go to the bathroom, get some air and take a breath or two. Not too long, had to get back.

The waiting began as they assessed the damage. They would put a Halo device on him to straighten out his spine so they could see what they were dealing with. At that time, I got my first private briefing.

We don't know anything for sure yet, we're running tests. There could be some spinal cord damage.

Is it permanent?

The look on her face might have given me some indication.

We can't say for sure, yet.

Over the course of the next few -- longest days of my life -- I would learn he cannot feel past his chest. He now has a room in the Neuro-ICU where I would spend my days and nights. I would go home and try to sleep and shower since I only lived a quick jaunt away.  The doctors would give me very doctory updates. Formal and technical words that I tried to make heads and tails of, eventually taking notes every time someone would pull me aside.  Friends and family were asking me, calling me and messaging me for updates. I would read what was on the paper, not always fully sure what it all meant.

I remember one of Jimmy's friend point blank asking me, "what's the prognosis?"  I felt so much pressure by being asked that.  I don't know yet. And, maybe I should know. I should be that hospital spouse who responsibly disseminates information to all that wants to know.

It was all so confusing and hard.

What do you need? What do you need? I was being asked and being cared for like I was the one who was injured.  I was given so much food I didn't even know what to do with it all, so I began offering it all to the different rounds of people who would come sit with me in the hospital waiting room.

The evening of the accident, I was pulled and briefed yet again. I came out to the group of people who were there at time, I was trying to eat the McDonalds someone gave me.

They officially told me that night he couldn't feel from his chest down. He couldn't move anything. But earlier that day he was moving his arms. It didn't make sense. As I was giving my friends an update, I broke down. Finally. Head between my legs, and loud sobbing. Might have held off until then. Maybe it was all starting to sink in. He wasn't coming out on the other side of this the same. A friend comforted me by saying do not feel bad for crying; if it were my husband I'd be on the floor.

The next morning began a long day of several surgeries. My poor husband. He's broken. He doesn't know it. He doesn't know what's happening. I love him so much.

We were married just two months earlier. We were still in the honeymoon glow. Just settled into our new apartment we had worked so hard at getting. Before that, we slummed it a bit in a cheaper place, where both my license plate and hubcap were stolen.

Our new place made us so happy.  It was an adult apartment that marked the beginning of our marriage. We unpacked the wedding gifts into this place. When Jimmy left for work that day, he'd never see our cute little apartment again.

Never could have imagined that five years later we'd be living in adorable condo in Atlanta, have a 1-year old and be doing okay with everything that has happened.

So yes, if you're wanting to know how we are five years later? We're doing alright.

We get called on once in awhile by the fine Peer Support organizers at The Shepherd Center to come and talk to some folks who maybe having a rough time adjusting and needs to see some who have been through it and is now "getting on with your business."

That's what we do. We have to get on with our business. Jimmy got to live so we owe it to ourselves to get up and give each day a fighting chance.

We have a daughter now. If the injury feels like it's suffocating us, we still have to raise her. If Jimmy is having a sucky sucky injury day, he still has to be a Dad and keep an eye on her playing if I'm cooking or doing laundry.  If I'm sick, I still have to get up and be a Mom. There's no other option.

Getting on with our business.

Okay, so we can't go swim in the Caribbean together. We can't procreate the old-fashioned way. We can't leave Jimmy alone to watch Spence while I go get groceries. There's a CRAP TON of can'ts.

But. We have broken down some of our the most amazing barriers and goals. We've managed to get through some extremely scary moments of sickness. Pressure wounds. Surgery on top of surgery. Bouts in the ER. Near-death infections. New ailments. Broken wheelchairs. Daily sadness associated with the the injury. There's a lot of silent suffering and personal grieving that hits us on the regular. If I'm not sad, I'm sure Jimmy is. There will always be a layer of sadness in this life. I'm sure it's natural. I'm not saying that because I want you to feel sorry for me. You probably won't even notice it. It can come at a moment's notice. Something I see out and about might make me cry, you won't know why. But then I'll enjoy a latte made just perfectly and all will be okay with the world.  Jimmy will wake up sad because he dreamed of being able to wake up on his own, shower and go put gas in the car. By himself. He wakes up to reality. But, by the time he's done with his routine he'll roll out into the living room to be greeted by his cackling daughter and will make him forget, if only for the rest of the morning, that he was overcome with sadness just an hour ago.

This is real life.

But, in our new life, the little things become the big things -- and that's okay. We find nuggets of happiness all the time.

For the people who understand if we can't get to the phone, return a call, cancel something that was planned, don't hear from us in awhile - thank you for being understanding and knowing we're doing the best we can.

And for those who check in an make effort to stay a part of Jimmy's life, I thank you. He needs you and you've been there. Jimmy likes to slowly slip into hermit mode sometimes, forgetting that he's absolutely still a social person, when the injury allows. Even when it doesn't, he's had some wonderful friends who have been just fine sitting next to his bed -- and talking.

So yes, we're getting on with it. I'm loving my business as a fashion consultant for Lularoe. It kicks my ass most of the time, but it's surprisingly rewarding. Spencer will be starting a Children's Morning Out program this week where she'll go for several days a week. And Jimmy is pushing himself to become more independent, finding ways to do things without having to rely on me to drive him places.  He's in a good place physically, with no major issues to speak of. He comes off the ventilator almost daily, after a year of not being strong enough to even entertain that thought. You should be proud of ole boy. He's doing it.

We're doing life.

I'm looking forward to our day of mall, Costco, Pinkberry, naptime/me time, and babysitter so Mom and Dad can enjoy an adult beverage and cheers to the freaking fact that we've survived FIVE YEARS of this. We're still married and EVERYTHING.

Thank you guys for five years of support!

Love,
The Moores



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Church

This photo pretty much sums up our morning in church.


Home girl was all over the place. Dropped Cheerios like it was her duty. I tried not to let anyone hear them crunch under my feet as we stood. She was jabbering to the family behind and in front of us. She would basically only stop when I brought out the treats or when the music started. But, we showed up. She sat with me. And, I was able to get something out of the mass that I could take with me.

Don't just go through the motions. It's not worth it unless your heart's in it. And also, get to know your community. Let them in.

***

There was so much kindness shown to me and restless Spencer in that short amount of time at church. Those who would try to distract her and entertain her over my shoulder. Those who would smile at me, letting me know it's okay.  

It was a good little slice of my day. We never get to church for so many different reasons. But I felt okay there. I felt appreciated for making the effort with a wiggly little one by myself.  And of course, it's always a comforting place, having grown up going to mass.

Spencer will be baptized in the coming months, and I'm so happy about it. Regardless of what Jimmy or I believe, there's always room for more love, acceptance and understanding.

I'm thankful for the rare amazing night of sleep I had last night that gave me the energy and idea to get us ready for church.

It was an enlightening little experience for me... even if Spencer did drink some holy water on the way out.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Husband of Mine


Grateful for another birthday! 
Today was a good day! Jimmy woke up feeling good, happy and excited about his birthday. The baby took in her gifts to him and her card where she "signed" her name. We spent the day together. Our neighbors then watched Spencer so we could enjoy an extremely rare dinner out. It was wonderrrrrful. They even sent a happy Spencer picture to assure me she was fine! I was so happy to get that, not that I had any doubts. Our neighbors are amazing! Jimmy and I came home miserably full, yet happy! The baby screamed an ecstatic scream when she saw us but we can tell she had been having all of the fun.

Jimmy and I talked about his birthday last year. What a way he has come in 365! I remember he had friends in town this time, last year. The boy was so sick he couldn't get through one slice of pizza. He was so ill and we didn't know at that point just how bad off he was. He lasted two more weeks like that before we finally did have to call 911. That eventually led to his month-long hospital stay.  

For all that have been asking, Jimmy is doing well! I know I don't update much, but usually no news is good news with us. All of the wounds he got during that scary time last year have pretty much healed up as he gained weight back. He's eating just fine! Fatigue is always an ongoing issue but trying out a new sleep med that I think he just might do well with. He hasn't been doing a ton of time off the vent, but the fact that it's an option for him whenever he's ready is pretty great. He's liking outings! He loves going on walks his girls downtown to the park or to grab a bite. He likes to sit and enjoy the fresh air on our patio. Likes keeping up with his friends through social media and calls/texts. Does he have bad days? Yep. Does he have REALLY bad days? Yep. We deal with them as they come. But the good days are more often than they used to be and that makes for a happy family of three!

He's adjusted to life with LuLaRoe pretty well. It takes up the little spare time I did have left, so it certainly was an adjustment all around. But, we've started to find a balance. I know he misses my attention, but I think he might be proud of me in my new adventure. :)

I know I'm proud of him and the fact that he's able to sit at dinner with me and be... happy. Clearly there is so much to be sad about and angry about, and we are a lot of the times - sad and angry. But, sometimes I look at him sitting in his wheelchair, unable to move, and I just appreciate the laid back smile he has on that face. It's not all bad.

It's certainly not all bad.

Happy 46th, James Water.

I love you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spencer: 15 Months

Spencer Rosalyn Moore is 15 months old!


Stats: 23.5lbs heavy. 31.5 inches tall. Size 4 diaper. Size 18months clothes. Size 4T shoe size. 5 teeth.

What she's saying: HI! Bye! Night Night! Mama! Dadda! Kitty Cat! Duckie! Cookie! Keys! Water! EEE-eee (Her way of saying Gigi)! She's also saying a bunch of sounds associated with people she knows and animals. For example: "Spencer, what does a dinosaur say?" And she'll "ROWR ROWR ROWR!"

She's learned that her Dadda clicks for his nurses to come (something he did when right after his injury before he could talk - and it stuck) aaaand so when we say, "What does Dadda say?" Spencer clicks her tongue. Y'all. Pure hilarity. I die. 

Favorite foods: Shes a great eater! She loves blueberries, kiwi, oranges, peanut butter, pasta, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, guac, beans/chili, etc. Her comfort food is graham crackers. Recently was introduced to chocolate... no looking back now! 

Favorite books: Spencer looooves her books. She brings me a book and she'll turn around and sit in my lap ready to see what the book has to say. Sometimes over and over and over. Her favorite book at the moment is "I Love You, Stinky Face!"  But also she loves Goodnight Moon, any of the Karen Katz lift-the-flap books, and her Elmo books. 

Favorite show: Speaking of Elmo, this kid is obsessed! Spencer LOVES Elmo's World. She sings it (as much as she can without actually saying words) a lot of times a day. Sometimes I'll hear it over the baby monitor, she'll sing it while putting herself to sleep. I'm not one to plop my kid in front of the iPad all day, however... if I need to get a few things done and she's being an insane little person: YouTube. Elmo. Done. She doesn't even care if it's the same one. She's glued. She's starting to come around to Sesame Street as a whole, but Elmo is certainly very much still her homie. Once, we saw another kid holding an Elmo doll. I got super nervous Spencer would attack him. It's that serious.

What she's doing: Spencer is walking, running and climbing. Just within the past week I've found her wanting to stand on her little baby chairs, her rocking chair, rocking horse, in the tub, etc. If I forget to break down the stroller, she'll climb up that and stand in it, jumping in it. She's learned it's fun to jump on the bed. Eh. She can open all the lever-handle doors in our condo. She can push the buttons on the washer and effectively stop my load mid-cycle. She can climb steps and is now learning to climb down them. She's learning to knock on doors. She's gotten great at pushing buttons.

She waves hi and bye. She can blow kisses. She will show her tongue when you say, "let me see your teeth!" She puts her hand up to her ears (like a telephone) when she hears the house phone ringing. She can sign "more please" when she wants more or gets hungry. She also knows the sign for water. She can show you her belly button, teeth, nose, feet, fingers, etc. 

She's just learned to put items back in things. Toys in baskets, etc. That's huge! I don't think I taught her directly, she must have learned from watching me.

She loves her Dad's wheelchair. And unfortunately for him, he doesn't even have to be in it. She likes to sit in it when he's in bed. She'll sit in it so proudly. She'll play with any and all buttons, especially the ones that make a BEEP.  She's even found where his back-up manual w/c is, and likes to bounce on that.

You may or may not know, I'm now a consultant for LuLaRoe (shameless plug)  which means there are several clothing racks in the house. She loves to run through the hanging dresses and let them sweep over her. 

What she loves: She loves the Play Center at the Y where I work out. She has such fun there and is so happy with the caretakers and other kids. She loves the park; the swings, the toys, the steps. She loves our neighbors and will help herself in their house once they open the door for her. She loves FaceTiming with her Gigi and Peepops daily around dinner to see them and the kitty cats. She loves animals. Dogs. She's surprisingly gentle with dogs and will slowly stick her hand out to them. She loves music and loves to dance; she's really enjoying a Mommy and Me music class we've been taking. She loves outdoors. Loves elevators. She loves this puppy pillow (pictured above) someone got her for my baby shower which we lovingly call Puppy Brother. She really does love pillows in general. It's quite cute. She'll grab one just to sit on.

Personality: She's a shiny, happy baby. Very smiley. Very friendly. Very social. Very vocal. She will hug another kid/baby around the neck after just meeting them with no problem. Sometimes the reactions from the other kids are priceless. Like, many aren't happy about it.  She gets ornery when hungry (like her Mama) and has tantrums like any other kid. She's just learned that she can pinch, bite and slap. That's been fun!

Sleep: Spencer, overall, is a pretty good sleeper unless she gets sick, teething, or we travel, of course. She sleeps in her crib with her two teddy bears, one of which we call Night Night Bear. He plays like ten minutes of lullabies, which she loves. She knows how to turn it on for when needs the comforting tunes of ole NNB overnight. She's gotten very good at putting herself to sleep, thanks to some sleep-training. I'm now a firm-believer. She'll lay in her crib after I put her down for sometimes 30 minutes singing, whimpering, talking herself to sleep without actually crying.   

She is a gem and brightens the day of just about anyone. She is our happiness! And, I love to see all the layers of her personality as she grows. Happy 15 months, Spencer!

Quit that growing stuff right now!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

This One

This girl. Entertainment 24-7. She has a 15-month (!!) appointment coming up in a few weeks, so I'll do a good write up on all things Spencer then. Such a happy little soul with a gigantic personality.

Oh, Spencer. Never change. Hearts! 

I thought it was cute to let her run around the house nakies for a minute.
And then she proceeded to sprinkle her urine on my carpet.