Thursday, February 18, 2010

28 hours

I calculated this while I was sitting in class yesterday. Ideally, that's how many hours I think I need in a day. 24 is just not cutting it.

I need 24 hours to do the things I usually do... commute, classes, clinic, commute, pick up Caroline at daycare, make dinner, feed both of us and the pets, clean up around the house, wash diapers, give her a bath, put her to bed, study. (Most nights, Tyler doesn't get home until she's already in bed.) Then another hour so that I could spread out my day and not be constantly on the run, or maybe even use my lunch hour to actually *gasp* eat lunch. Another hour to spend with Caroline. Another hour to have some time to myself. And the last hour to SLEEP!

I love my life. I'm glad I went back to school, and the reason I'm constantly racing around is because I'm being productive, and I like that. But I have to admit I'm feeling a little run down these days. I came down with pneumonia last week, and spent the week in bed. Once I stopped feeling like I was literally going to die, it was kind of nice to just lay there and play on the internet and sleep whenever I wanted. Of course I had to pay for it when I finally went back to school on Monday, since a whole week off has caused my schedule to explode in my face, but it was still nice while it lasted. I am pretty sure I went back before I was fully rested and healed, but I couldn't really justify taking any more time off.

Have I mentioned how awesomely productive I am these days? It is pretty satisfying how quickly things have come back to me after being gone for so long, so quickly after starting clinic. I guess a year isn't really that much time after all. We get letters evaluating our performance every couple of months, and my latest letter congratulated me on my progress. Which made me very, very happy. I have to admit that it's not really me being successful, though... it's been a huge advantage to be good friends with people in my old class, because when they need to give something away to an underclassman (like a denture patient), they think of me first.

Whatever. I am still patting myself on the back. :)

In other news, today is the anniversary of Caroline's coming-home day! We got to take her home from the NICU exactly one year ago. The nightmare was over, exactly one year ago. I smile whenever I think about that day. We were so nervous to have her away from the nurses and the monitors, but so happy and excited to finally have her home with us. I never really allowed myself to believe that she was coming home until we actually had her in her carseat, and we were walking through the hospital lobby, grinning at each other. It was the first day I really felt like she was mine.

We didn't do anything to "celebrate", since her coming-home day is relatively close to her birthday (even though it seemed like years at the time), but I did give her extra squeezes and love today. Even though I'm sure it will be just another day to her, I know I'll always remember February 18 as the first real day of our life as a family of three.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ladybug, ladybug

We had Caroline's first birthday party yesterday at my parents' house, with a ladybug theme. Here are a few pics. It went really well, and everyone seemed to have a great time!

Cupcakes, jellybean guessing game, and red and black licorice. I showed Caroline that bow after I made it and she clapped her hands for me. Ahh. I've trained her well.

This banner was theoretically easy to make. Unless you don't buy enough ribbon and have to cut it into pieces, and then the pieces all fall apart when you try to hang it, and then you beg your husband to go out and buy more ribbon at 8pm because you have to study for a final on Monday. And then you still don't have enough so you just hot-glue the whole thing together.

Me, getting ready for the party while Caroline took her pre-party nap (the nap timing worked out perfectly, which thrilled me)

Dining room table, before we set out the food. It was a brunch party, so we had three different quiches, an oven-baked French toast dish, a huge fruit salad, and assorted breads and pastries. YUM. Oh, and cupcakes for dessert, of course. Also, that Mylar ladybug balloon was by far Caroline's favorite part of the day. She would look at it and laugh hysterically, then do something else for a minute, then look back up at it and crack up again. And repeat endlessly.

Opening presents. Yesss, a book!!
You can't really tell, but her skirt was this adorable little black tulle thing with ruffles.

She loved this birthday card, more so than a lot of her presents.

Ditto for the wrapping paper:

One of her favorite gifts: a giant penguin, bigger than she is:

And finally, she wasn't a huge fan of cake, but at least she tried it! Look at those chub cheeks.

Overall, her first party was a big success. She bounced around maniacally from the sugar high for a little while afterwards, then passed out for hours... and woke up ready to play with all her new presents!

For my part, I did better than I expected. I thought I'd tear up at least while singing "happy birthday" to her, but I didn't. The only time I got a little teary was when I went out to put balloons on my parents' mailbox and thought about how many birthday parties I'd had as a little girl with balloons on the same mailbox. I am lame and cheesy like that.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy birthday, baby girl

Caroline turned one at 6:08am today. I cannot believe it.

This year has flown by faster than any other year of my life. I have been thinking all day about how far we've come. From this...

To this...

My little sick baby is now a big, happy, healthy girl. February 5, 2009 was full of mixed emotions (joy, excitement, fear, uncertainty). This February 5 had a lot of mixed emotions too (pride, happiness, nostalgia, sadness that my baby is growing up)... I have to say that I prefer this year's mix!

I miss my little teeny baby, but I love my life with my chatty toddler too. And I'm sure I'll just keep loving it more and more.

Happy birthday, Caroline! I love you so much, baby girl.

Monday, February 1, 2010

::collapses onto blog::


Okay, so I'm still alive. And things are going really, really well. I had kind of a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but only for maybe two weeks or so. I went pretty quickly from wanting to quit every 20 minutes, to only wanting to quit every day or so, and then it was all uphill from there.

It was hard to sit alone in the lab, drilling my fake teeth (a prerequisite to clinic since I was gone so long), while both my new and old classes were up in clinic. And it was a lot harder than I expected to see all my old classmates so far ahead of me, and so close to graduation. Still is, I guess. I feel a little bit left behind, like I failed somehow. And I know that next year will be really lonely when they are all gone and have DMD after their names.

Getting used to my new schedule has been a little bit difficult, too... I won't lie. I went suddenly from staying at home all day, every day, to the insanity of clinic and classes and daycare. Caroline had kind of a hard time adjusting to napping at daycare, which resulted in interrupted sleep at night, so the first week was kind of a blur. I definitely had days where I'd be trudging up the hill to the health center, two different socks on and my hair all a mess, thinking things like "man, I don't even remember half of my drive here. Hey, what's that crud on my wedding ring? I hope that isn't Caroline's poop. ::sniff sniff:: Nope. Indian food. Phew. ...Wait, when did I have Indian food?"

But overall? I am so glad that I went back. It hasn't quite been a month yet, and I already feel like I am back in the game, and I'm loving it again. Yes, I am tired and I'm stressed and I feel like I've forgotten a lot of really important stuff. But I remember why I wanted to do this. And I'm really glad that I made myself go back and get through the first tough few weeks.

I do miss Caroline during the day. Some days I don't get home until she is already in bed... and that sucks. A lot. I go into her room on those nights and watch her sleep for a little while, half wishing that she'll get up during the night, just so I can see her.

But daycare is good for her. She still isn't mobile (a topic for a whole nother post...) and so I'm hoping that being around all the other kids will help with that.

AND. She's going to be a year old on Friday. A year old. Can you believe it? I can't. I absolutely can't. I want to type all sorts of horrendously dull cliches, like "where did the time go?" and "she's growing up so fast." She is talking up a storm these days. Her latest tricks include (very) short sentences, like "whadat?" and "wassdiss?" and, Tyler's favorite, "ohshish!" (Yes, we can go ahead and blame that one on her father. You have to watch what you say around her, even though she isn't even one yet.) Even though she doesn't crawl or pull up or walk, she is so smart... which helps me feel better about the lack of mobility. We will have to call early intervention back, though, because I'm pretty sure she's going to need some physical therapy. Oh well. At least she can curse. Right? (That was sarcasm, right there.)

What else? I know I am rambling, because I am tired. I still have to study for a final, and probably I should take a shower, because I haven't done that since... well... nevermind. Before I go, I'll share a few recent pictures of Caroline. I do have a video of "ohshish!", but we'll go ahead and keep that particular parenting failure off the internet, kthx.