Monday, January 28, 2013


Today, on the way from preschool to daycare, Lola and I were talking about the letter F.

I said "fur" starts with F and challenged her to name three things that have fur.

The first two were easy.

"Kitties have fur and Abbey (a dog she occasionally sees) has fur," she said.

But she couldn't immediately come up with a third option. So she thought for a few seconds.

Finally, she had it.

"And our tire has fur!" she exclaimed.

Ha ha, yes, it does.

Left over from when we hit the deer about three weeks ago (or when the deer hit us), the deer fur is still stuck in the tire. The car can't get fixed until mid- to late February so there it remains.

At least she isn't petting the dead deer's fur every morning, like she was for the first few days...

Anyhow, she makes me laugh. A lot.

I was still giggling to myself about that one several hours later.

Oh, and when I explained that tires don't usually have fur, I asked her if she could think of something else that does.

Her next answer?

"Daddy's super long mustache is kind of like fur," she offered, referencing his goatee.

She cracks me up.
- Bethany :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Poor baby...

Millie and I spent a couple hours in the ER last night after she spiked a high fever and showed signs of seizures.

She did pretty well, but had to endure a barrage of tests.

Millie doesn't have good veins so there were a lot of pricks and pokes for her.

I'm usually quite good and holding it together during all this medical stuff. But as I watched them dig around for a vein for the fourth or fifth time, I had a miniature mommy meltdown.

When it was over, we left with a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for more antibiotics.

Today, her neurologist decided to up the dosage of her anti-seizure medication; we already had a follow-up/check-up scheduled for mid-February so we'll touch base with her in person in a couple of weeks.

Overall, I'm doing all right. I'm exhausted and overwhelmed but hanging in there. Ray is out of town for work this week, so it already had been a difficult week for me; last night tapped me out.

Millie is better today. The fever is manageable and she is, very slowly, starting to get some energy back. Her muscles must ache because she won't stand at all and doesn't want to sit on her own.

She just wants to be held, which I am more than happy to do. 

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This is one of my most treasured photographs.

Taken at my high school graduation party, it shows my three grandmothers all together.

As of today, all three have now passed on.

My Grandma Jacquie (far right) passed away this afternoon. She went peacefully, with her family beside her.

And even while not unexpected, the loss is hard.

Being away from "home" makes it harder.

I remember so many things, her laugh, her smile, her hugs.

She taught me how to play Rummy 500, all of us sitting around the kitchen table, trading cards and earning points.

My earliest memory, that I can recall, is from her kitchen. I was maybe five? My mom on one side, Grandma on the other. For whatever reason, I was trying to open a box of cereal on my own. I failed. Miserably. I think it was maybe that white puffy ball kind (Kix?) or perhaps Cheerios. Anyhow, it ended up spraying all over the kitchen. My mother was motrified. I teared up, afraid I was going to get in big trouble.

But Grandma laughed.

That's what grandmas do.

That's what I remember anyway.

The laughs.

The smiles.

The hugs.

Rest in peace, Grandma. Love you.
- Bethany :)

Monday, January 21, 2013


This is kind of funny, in an ironic kind of way.

Until tomorrow, Millie is, technically, on time for her physical development.

She is crawling, climbing and cruising, thus meeting all of the gross motor skills appropriate for an 18-month-old.

It won't last, though, as she turns 19 months old tomorrow.

And once that happens, she will again, technically, be behind because she isn't walking.

But for the past week, we've been celebrating just how far she's come.

And we will continue to celebrate that, as she has responded very, very well to her therapies in the last eight months.

She even has been throwing around a few new words in recent weeks: num-num, hi, bye and done. We might only hear them once or maybe once every week or so, but they are there, serving as proof that her vocabulary is expanding.

She now helps dress herself and is starting to finally use some of the sign language that we began working with months and months ago.

She's doing really great.

We all are, I think.
- Bethany :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lola love...

I'm in a mood today. It's a long story and I really don't want to get into it quite yet, but, in a nutshell, I'm feeling like a crappy mom (again).

As best we try, Lola always seems to get a little overlooked. It's not intentional at all, but between Millie hospital therapies, therapies at home, my weekly class on how to be a better mother for her specifically, and then taking time at home each night to practice the strategies and methods we're learning from her therapists, time slips away and a lot of the focus ends up on Amelia.

Honestly, most of the time, Lola gets plenty of attention: two parents, two kids. We can divide and conquer.

But I guess sometimes we're not doing as good a job as I think we are: I was reminded of that in a big way this morning.

So here's a Lola-centric post, perhaps to just make myself feel better.

She celebrated her half birthday at school this week. Four and a half years old. She doesn't quite understand it; she keeps telling everyone she's 5 now (like some of her other preschool classmates). But she got a special crown and was super excited about it ... and the treats.

She loves to run and jump. Or better yet, to run and then jump though the air.

Here, she is jumping from her bed to her beanbag chair, oh about 4 feet away. Trust me, the girl can fly.

You might not be able to tell so great, but in the second-to-last photo, she is sticking fingers up on either side of her head. I asked her, confused, if she was trying to be the devil, but she said no, that wasn't it.

Me: "Then what's with the horns?"

Lola, putting her hands on her hips: "I was being a unicorn."

Me: "Unicorns have one horn, that's why it stars with 'uni' I think."

Lola, shaking her head: "No, Mommy. Lola unicorns have two horns."

Stubborn girl.

She's our sweetheart, she really is. She's high-energy, of course, like most kids I'm sure, but she has no fear when it comes to acrobatics. We really should try putting her in a gymnastics class this year...

The other day, she was eating an apple and she asked me if I knew where apples came from.

Me: "Apple trees?"

Lola, using hand gestures to explain it all: "A flower blooms and then a bee lands on the flower and then an apple grows."

Smart girl.

Her teacher asked her the other day, what does she want to be when she grows up.

Lola: "I want to be the doctor to get the babies out of the mommies' tummies."

Ambitious girl.

Our girl.

Love you, Baby.
- Mommy :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Our lives have changed so much in the last month or so. In so many good ways.

In early December - after we watched Millie fling herself all over the couch - I wondered, on here, whether she was turning a corner.

She most definitely did.

Ray said it best last week, "Everything has been so different since that night (Dec. 3) when she learned how to move her body around."

It's true. She went from scooting to crawling to cruising in just days, it seems. She gives us kisses constantly. It's just wonderful.

She's isn't walking (yet) but she's getting more confident each day. She isn't yet "finger-walking" but she's close, really close.

As Millie has gotten more mobile, Lola has learned new ways to play with her, which, for us as parents, is absolutely delightful. We want them to be buddies, to be close.

Lola is loving being a big sister. She is protective and instructive. She still hates to share the spotlight, but she's taking an interest in helping to teach Millie new skills.

Here, Lola is showing 'Milia how to climb up stairs:

And here is a glimpse into their relationship as they play peek-a-boo together.

Of course, there always is a downside. And, we learned the hard way this week how quickly Millie has gone from not moving much at all to moving so darn fast that we can't keep up with her.

She burned herself Monday. On the fireplace. In the time it took Ray to answer the door, she scooted clear across the living room, up onto the fireplace and touched the glass. Ouch.

After a couple miserable hours (for Ray, not me), she was back to her usual happy self.

So sweet.
- Bethany :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Will she walk?

Next month, the Wesleys head to Disney World.

It was planned eons ago, before we knew the extent of Millie's delays. We were doing pretty well financially at the time and we wanted to take a family trip that would be super special for both us and the girls (even if Millie won't remember it).

Ray grew up in a family that seemed to go to Disney World every year - and many of his family members still do - so Disney never has been that far from our minds.

After talking it over for several years (basically ever since Lola was born), we decided that early winter 2013 would be the ideal time.

Millie would not yet be 2 so she still could fly and get into the parks for free.

And, she'd be walking and running all over the place, easily, by the time she turned 18 months old so she wouldn't have to be confined to a stroller all day long.

We booked the trip around March last year.

Months later, by the time we realized Millie's struggles were more than a simple delay, we'd already all-but-paid-off the entire trip. As the medical bills mounted, we talked more than once about canceling Disney, but we'd lose a lot of what we'd already spent.

And as it came to do-or-die time, we admitted to ourselves that we want to go. After the year we had - the stress, tests and tears - we needed a fun getaway.

So, we remain committed.

And very, very excited.

Yet, I do worry some about how Millie will do.

She's doing fantastic right now, crawling all over the place at mach speeds, cruising along furniture, climbing up fireplaces. She is into everything. It's wonderful.

But she isn't walking yet.

My long-held goal has been that she would be "finger-walking" by Disney, that she would be able to hold our hands and take a few steps at a time, just to simply get a break from the stroller.

I strongly believe she'll be doing that by the time we leave.

But one of her therapists insists that Millie will be truly, fully walking by then.

Personally, I doubt it. She doesn't yet trust herself enough quite yet.

But it has me thinking.

And hoping.

How incredibly cool would it be if she took her very first steps while we were all at Disney World?

Magic indeed.
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

road trip

Well, we're starting 2013 off with a bang.


We all made a roughly 11-hour drive, in pieces, to Wisconsin this past weekend. Ray had the chance to go to Lambeau for the Vikings' game and I jumped at the chance to meet up with my dearest friend.

So, we packed up the girls and headed east. We had a great time, though Ray was less than happy about the Vikings.

I had a wonderful time, trying some new wines and catching up, in person, with my friend who lives too far away.

Millie surprised me more than once. She, twice, climbed on top of the fireplace mantel, proving that she's getting more comfortable with her mobility and learning how to climb.

Lola had a great time playing with some new toys and coloring. And she really loved spending time with their lab.

On our way there, we cut the trip in half, staying Friday night in the Cities.

But, on the way back, we buckled up and made a long drive home, taking several breaks along the way. The girls, really, did great. I was very proud of them.

About an hour from town, though, we ran into some trouble.


Yeah, we hit a deer.

Thankfully, and most importantly of course, no one was hurt.

(Except the poor deer.)

Now, we're waiting on insurance to see what happens next.

This kinda' complicates life for us on several fronts, but at least we're all safe. 
- Bethany :)