Things are happening in the Palmer house. 2 Months ago I had my heels (well, more like calves) stubbornly dug firmly into the ground on the whole "we-re getting the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of the Army in 2014" issue, I was 75% sure I was going to turn down preschool for Little until August, I was barely keeping head above water most days trying to keep my emotions, motherhood, and responsibilities as a wife balanced, and suffering from debilitating chronic headaches/migraines. (Which reminds me, I never posted about all the crazy things I tried to ease the pain - check this one out!)
Man, I look amazeballs there. I look like a bobblehead now, as you will see in some of the pictures below from Andrew's birthday party. That's a whole different issue, though, that I don't have time for in this post.
Anyway - here we are, just a few months later and just a few weeks into 2013. My headaches are better. Turns out it was my antihistamine that was causing my frontal sinus headaches. I've stopped taking it, so that part of the head pain is gone. I'll have to work with an allergist to figure out something else before spring, though, as I'm allergic to grass. I also have tension headaches, which cover tha back of my skull and my neck, so those are obviously still going strong. My migraines are better but not gone as my Topomax only covers some of my triggers but not all of them. At least they are less frequent.
As some of you know, 2012 ended on an incredibly low note for me. I was not in a good place. I was filled with grief over the way I had been putting my entire existence into Andrew's Duchenne to the exclusion of everything and everyone else - including my own husband. I had been unknowingly pushing him away with how I had been trying to survive/cope with the new life Duchenne had brought with it. I had been focusing so hard on doing what is best for my son that I had forgotten about what is best for my husband, myself, and my marriage. God lets us know that if we are married, after Him, our spouse comes next - not our children. I know, I just blew some of your minds. That concept is sooooooooo hard. It is against our very nature as mothers. Mother's instinct is to shove our children to the forefront of every priority list no matter who we have to trample over to get there. And that is exactly what I have been doing to Mister in the job department. By refusing to consider reenlistment as an option in 2 years, I have stomped him into the ground. I have added so much pressure onto his already burdened shoulders. This man allows me to stay home and raise our special needs son. He has given me one of the greatest gifts any mother could dream of - the ability to be present for every single miraculous milestone that my courageous little man fights to achieve Guess how many Mister has been present for? Yeah. Exactly. Because he's the one at work, doing his best to provide for us. And I dare to try and dictate which jobs he can and can't accept in 2 years? SHUT UP, ME.
But back to the Bible. A married man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). Christ's first priority after obeying and glorifying the Father was the church. So God first, then the church/wife. In the same way, wives are to submit to their husbands "as to the Lord" (Eph 5:22). Please don't get hung up on the word "submit". It doesn't mean bow down. The principle is that a woman's husband is second only to God in her priorities. You know the saying "Happy wife, happy life"? Well, it's kind of like that for the husband and "Happy Husband, Happy...........Flusband" for us wives. Flusband, of course, being that new hip slang for "life"....that all the cool kids are saying these days....yeah. Flusband.
So in another post or two I'll get into Proverbs 31 and what I got out of Sarah Horn's book My So Called Life as a Proverb's 31 Wife. Super cute book, btw.
Cut to today. Many realizations and apologies later (from both of our mouths and hearts) and Mister and I are both trying very hard not to let Duchenne divide us. We do not want to be another statistic of this disease. We are trying to let go and let God more, which is difficult for 2 stubborn old bats who are prone to bouts of cranial rectitus. I've also gotten a few counseling sessions under my belt now, so score for sticking to my new year's resolutions! I learned something very interesting that I wanted to share. I know I said I wouldn't share much from my sessions, and I won't but this really was an "Aha moment" to quote Oprah. I learned that one of the reasons I have been so sad lately is that I am grieving not only for myself and Andrew, but also for my husband. For everything he has/is/will lose from this disease. Every dream he had for Andrew or for himself that will not come true - even silly ones like thinking they'd be able to go take the dog for a run one day. We don't have a dog. Sam doesn't like to run. But what if 10 years from now Sam takes up running and wants a black lab and wishes that Andrew could go for a run with them? My nose is burning just typing that in here. I want to cry. What if Mister wanted to cheer him on from the bleachers as Andrew played running back or tight end? What if Mister wants to hop on a plane for an impromptu deep sea fishing trip off the coast of Florida for a surprise 16th birthday trip for Little? You can't do that without advance preparation and planning when wheelchairs and medications and handicapped accessible van rentals and arm muscles that are too week to reel in the line and who knows what other adaptive equipment he'll have at that point are involved. I am sad for my husband that he can't have everything in life that he could ever want. I don't just grieve for myself. I don't just grieve for my son. I grieve for 3 people when I allow myself to feel it.
The next change in the Palmer house? Little Face turned 3!
We had his birthday party the following day. It was supposed to be from 11-2 come and go as you please, but it didn't end until about 7:30 p.m. So I'd say it went pretty well! Please don't be upset if you didn't get an invitation. We have a tiny house so we kept it to immediate family and his 6 little friends (which is actually double the amount of friends all the websites say a 3 year old is supposed to have at his/her party). Next year if we have the party at an external location, we'll be able to invite more people.
|The front and back of the invitations. I don't know why my scanner made them look dirty.|
|the mustache decor|
|A 3 for turning 3, an A for Andrew and a P for Peyton.|
|Pin the mustache on Andrew!|
|Yeah, Cheater Mghee here did not win.|
|Kayleigh gave him a marshmallow. He immediately spit it back out. But really, this is the only picture where you can see his party shirt in it's entirety. "Well, if you really mustache [must ask] I'm 3"|
|What's a party without forcing your guests to wear fake mustaches?|
|That's the spirit, Liz!|
|Even L.W. was a trooper!|
"What in the world is that on his arm?!?!?!" It's a tattoo in progress. So just ignore it for now. He's got at least 2 more sessions to go, then I will show it to you and explain if you need.
|Andrew was less than thrilled...|
|and less than cooperative...|
|and less than worth the trouble...|
|And here we've managed to capture the elusive ginger unibrow.|
|My friend Desi who is super awesome fantastic for coming over the day before and busting out some cake pops and helping me decorate and her husband George, who was kind enough to bring his own mustache.|
|Another B.Y.O.M.er (my dad) and my mom, and Andrew who couldn't be bothered to stop eating potato chips long enough to take this picture.|
I told everyone who came, that presents were NOT necessary. Little has way more toys than we know what to do with or have room for. You can always donate to Little's League if you feel like you just HAVE to do something. Did anyone listen? NOPE. So now my house is completely overun with monster trucks, Thomas the Tank Engine items, various cars, remote control vehicles, things that make terrible loud noises, and I should probably buy stock in Duracell. Thank you all. I love you, Mister loves you though he'd never admit it, and most importantly - Andrew loves you. You guys rock our faces off.
The other change here is that I did enroll Little in preschool. He started this week and he goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3 hours each. He receives physical therapy one day and occupational therapy the other. We're still keeping our precious Heady and Jiffy as private therapists here at the house once a week, too. Thank the Lord for Tricare (another on the pro column for staying in the Army if that's the choice Mister makes) bc we could never afford that much therapy out of pocket.
His first day was on Tuesday the 22nd and I almost stroked out all morning. I purposely dropped him off in the classroom before I actually enrolled him at the front office so that I would have to pull myself together and not sit in the car in the parking lot bawling my head off all day. Little was totally cool with my leaving him there. I told him I had to go and he said, "Ok! You will be back when school is over. Bye!" and gave me a smooch. I made it out the door, down the hallway, had the exit door in sight and........could do nothing to stop the tears. I cried like a fool all the way to my car and then sat there for 2 or 3 minutes and just let it go. I pulled it together after sternly yelling at myself (silently, of course - didn't want anyone to see me and call the cops about the crazy lady in the parking lot) to snap out of it and drove around to the front entrance I went to the office and got scolded by lady behind the desk for putting Little in class before enrolling him. I didn't care. I knew I did the right thing by making sure I had a way out of crying in the car for an hour. Then when I finished there, I felt the tears coming back so I texted my friend Whitney from that parking lot that I was headed to her house. Thankfully she was cool with it and I killed time with her until I had to pick him back up. His teacher said he did great! He only teared up once and he was a little hesitant to play with the other kids, but she said all that was normal for the "new kid". So we both handled his first day pretty well.
His backpack didn't arrive in time so he had to use his lunch box instead.
|Hand full of popcorn and a Lego table before he even got his coat off.|
|There's the door, Mom!|
|The picture I had wanted to take the 1st day.|
|His school PT sent me this. He's made a little buddy already. Not shocked at all that it's a girl. Watch your man, Ayla.|