This post is up later than I hoped it would be. Between the holidays and house guests, I am lucky I remember my own name right now, let alone how to do this blogging thing. This has been our best family holiday so far. Matthew showed an interest in all our lights and decorations, got to see Santa four different times without freaking out and even tolerated touching the wrapping tissue paper on his gifts when we were unwrapping them. Given all of his new sensory issues, I am considering this year's Christmas a big bucket of win.
2012 was a so-so year for us, more good than bad, but it was still pretty interesting at times.
January we lost a beloved grandfather and great-grandfather and celebrated a wedding
February brought a diagnosis of Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Matthew's first surgery with an overnight hospital stay. We also got our first pair of Ankle Foot Orthotics to stretch out our Achilles' tendon and stabilize our ankles.
March was our sweet boy's second birthday and a big three day Disney celebration. We love Mickey!
April Matt got new teachers to help us with progress in Vision and Deaf/Hard of Hearing and began using a stander to strengthen his legs. He also passed his swallow study and got to start eating more solid age appropriate foods. Hello chicken nuggets!!
May I got spoiled for Mother's Day by my guys.
June brought us a new diagnosis of Infantile Spasms and the start of the Ketogenic Diet where we learned to love heavy cream and lots and lots of eggs. The big news is that Matthew started pre preschool!
July we got to hang out and have family time at Lowry Park Zoo and Legoland Florida. It was also the month that this blog started and I got to meet a lot of new friends :)
August Matthew ditched the crib rails and moved into a big boy bed and got his first wheelchair
September had Matthew starting school full-time and had me getting more creative and desperate when scheduling outside therapies and doctor's appointments.
October brought lots and lots of viruses, ER visits and a hospitalization. Also Matthew got to be a super cute pirate for Halloween and use his iPad and an ACC app to trick-or-treat.
November was Epilepsy Awareness Month and we went to events with the Orlando Magic and the Orlando Solar Bears to bring awareness and raise money for the Epilepsy Association of Central Florida. We also had our first Very Ketogenic Diet Thanksgiving.
December was our 11th wedding anniversary and of course Christmas. Lots of family time, lots of shopping for gifts and lots of Santa visits.
Sounds exhausting right? All in all, it was a good year and it went by way too fast. I can't wait to see what this coming year brings--a new niece in February, Matthew getting his first gait trainer, and new hobbies starting that have the potential to become a business. Lots of good stuff. There are some things that have been on my mind for a while and since this is the season of new beginnings, I think this is the perfect time to bring them out and see if I can finally make a New Year's Resolution stick!
In this new year I want to commit to the following:
1. Recommitting myself to helping Matthew achieve his goals, whether he knows what we
are doing or why. With his schedule, we are constantly on the go--school, therapy, in-
home work with Vision and Deaf/Hard of Hearing instructors and all his doctors
appointments, by the time we get home we are both exhausted and irritable. I admit
that I am too lax at times on following through with all of the work I should be doing to
help him and that opting for the easy way isn't serving either of our best interests.
2. Spending more time volunteering at Matthew's school. We had the best time hanging
out with all of the kids in his class at the holiday party before Winter Break. I loved
seeing my little man hanging out with his buddies in Circle Time and to see what sparks
his curiosity in learning new things. I also got to see firsthand that he is a ladies' man
and that he had all the little girls in class waiting on him hand and foot and giving him
3. I want to devote more time to blogging. When I started this blog back in July, I had
definite plans in place regarding the topics I wanted to write about, how often I wanted to
post, and that I would gain tons of followers. Due to Matthew's repeated illnesses and
hospitalizations, it made it hard to follow any set schedule. So far, I have over 1,200
readers and 4 followers find this little family blog, and that makes me very happy. I have
refined my blog plan and have met some awesome fellow bloggers that have inspired
me to step up my game and work to get this blog where I hope it will be an asset to
other families and make some new friends along the way.
4. In a December post called When Parenthood is Hazardous to Your Health, fellow
special needs mom writer Ellen Seidman shared an article that found parents of
children are more likely to have high blood pressure. I am a member of that club--
I'm always on the go with Matt, deal with constant stress from his health worries
and I have gained more weight than I ever have at any point in my life,including
pregnancy. Matt is getting bigger and stronger and I'm starting to feel the pain when I
pick him up or hold him for too long. It's time to put on my own oxygen mask and get
myself in better shape so that I can care for him in the way he deserves for a very long
time. I hope that by my sharing this weight loss and health improvement journey, other
parents will join me and take steps to improve their own health.
Change isn't easy, but I am feeling confident that these are goals I can attain. Also, sharing with friends will help keep you accountable, right? That's what I'm hoping, so visit often and see if I keep up with my goals.