Saturday, April 20, 2013


This post is all about honesty.  I have a lot floating through my head, and if nothing else,  I just need to write about it for therapeutic reasons.  I have always prided myself on "saying it like it is" and just being honest.

Today has been really rough.  I have been on the verge of tears all day and have been a bit out of sorts. I think everything from this week has all started to hit me, and I haven't been handling it very well.  Between the bombing in Boston and (even though I know it is SO minuscule in comparison) the entire ordeal with Evie and her stitches has all been weighing on me.  

In general, I am not a helicopter parent.  I really allow my kids to explore and I don't hover over them.  I don't tend to get overly worked up over minor injuries, and I try to not baby my kids when they hurt themselves.  Since Thursday, when Evie fell down the stairs, I have been on edge.  I have been hovering over her like crazy to the point where I bring her into the bathroom with me.  I constantly picture her falling headfirst into the corner of the coffee table or smashing her head into our play stage from a simple misstep.

Today, I knew I was on the verge of losing it.  Yes, I have a prescription for Xanax as a PRN.  I have had it for over two years and haven't refilled my script yet, but I sure use it when I feel like my nerves are getting the best of me.  Today was one of those days.  Thankfully, my mom and dad took Belle overnight, but for some reason I was overwhelmed with how to manage Evie.

Let me first explain a bit about Evie.  She is a girl with a VERY high pain tolerance, a knack for climbing everything, and a love for being kind of naughty.  She will literally shake her finger and say "no-no" as she is doing something she knows she is not supposed to be doing.  All of this is a recipe for disaster.  I had felt like I was JUST starting to trust her on stairs when Thursday happened.

I know some may think I am being crazy, but again, I am just being honest.  I have kept myself up at night trying to shake the image of picking my 17 month old up off the floor while blood is literally pouring down her face.  I have been trying to think of other things when I remember the noise of her falling down the stairs.  I hate it, and it all gives me an awful sick stomach, but for some reason my thoughts have tended to come back to Evie falling.  

The biggest battle of mine has just been the utter guilt I have been experiencing.  I know I really could not have prevented her fall (overall, at least).  I know she is going to be just fine.  I know that this is life, but I seem to be really struggling to just "let go."  There is a part of me that DOES feel guilty that I couldn't prevent her fall.  I feel guilt that she will have a scar on her head forever.  I feel angry that when it did happen, I handled it so terribly and completely panicked and lost my cool.  I feel scared that when my daughter physically needed me I couldn't get it together. 

Today I was emotionally not okay.  I cried a lot.  I felt down.  I felt depressed and I couldn't put my finger on what my deal was, but in thinking back, I truly feel that I have just been feeling helpless.  I have been feeling so powerless in being able to keep my children safe, and it has been hard for me to swallow.  Evie and I were in the car today and the Jeremy Needham song "If I Ever Needed Grace" came on.  I sat and listened...and cried.  The third verse and chorus read like this:

Nine short months 'til she arrived Little hands and lion's eyes 
And I'm so scared I don't have what it takes 
But I hear Your voice Sunday morning 
Father give me eyes to see 
All I need's the power of Your name 
If I ever needed grace, it's now  
You are strong when I am weak, somehow  
I am weak enough to see I need You to cover me  
If I ever needed grace If I ever needed grace  
If I ever needed grace, it's now
If I ever needed grace in this parenting journey, it was now.   Parenting is hard.  It is scary.  It is unknown.  Lord help me, but I sure need your grace...and I need to give myself grace as I go through this.  Today I feel weak.  Today, I feel as though I have failed and that I let my kids down.  Thank goodness there is someone far greater and far stronger than I, so that on my weak days He is strong.

I know that I cannot protect my kids from everything.  I know that my kids will get hurt.  However, SEEING Evie SO hurt hit a part of me so deep that I have not been able to imagine how parents do it with kids chronically and terminally ill.  I know that it is then that the lyrics "You are strong when I am weak, somehow" really take flight.  

My scariest parenting moment has been hard to swallow, but I know that it is going to be okay. I know that Evie will be all good and I will eventually be able to watch her crawl down the steps without hovering over her, but until then I hold onto the grace that God grants me that I won't be perfect at this parenting gig.  That my kids will get hurt and there will be nothing I can do to protect them, but that it will be okay.

It. Will. Be. Okay.  


Thursday, April 18, 2013


I think I always knew this was bound to happen, but I never really prepared myself for what I would do IF it happened.  Today Evie fell down the stairs, which resulted in 3 stitches in her forehead.  She handled it like a champ, but unfortunately her mama was a disaster.

This morning I had my niece, Maia, here and I was getting ready to head out to bring her and Belle to school.  I ran upstairs thinking that Belle, Maia, and Evie were on their way down to the basement.  Once I was up there I heard the loudest bump-bump-bump ever.  It is one of those moments as a parent where you wait to hear the scream afterwards.  At first I heard nothing, and then Belle was screaming, "EVIE!  EVIE!"  I knew it was bad.

I ran downstairs as fast as I could and as I approached the top of the basement stairs I had that sick feeling in my stomach of what I was actually going to see.  At first, it was just Evie laying on the floor. It didn't look like any limbs were out of place, and she was moving.  Once I picked her up I realized we were headed to the doctor for some stitches.  The blood.  Holy moly-the blood.  I am not a blood person.  I am not a gash in the head person.  I picked her up and saw so much blood dripping all over her face, but couldn't quite figure out where it was coming from.  Her lip was fine.  Her nose looked fine.  I dreaded to move her hair to look at her head because I knew any cut creating that much blood was going to be big.

I ran upstairs with her while Belle and Maia followed.  I was scared.  I laid Evie down and the only thing I could think of was "what the heck am I supposed to do?!?!?!"  I grabbed my phone, but for some reason it was SO slow it took me at least a minute or two before anything would come up on the scream.  During this time I was shaking it, banging it on the floor, and cussing at it.  Evie is bleeding from the head and my phone decides to take its sweet time to pull up a phone number.  It probably didn't help that my hand was shaking so bad that I could barely see the screen.

Once I made a couple of phone calls, the kids were thrown in the car.  At one point Maia said, "Aunt Betsy, what is that big black thing on Evie's head?" "Um....that would be a big owie (or awful bleeding gash), Maia."  Ha!  I forgot to mention that while the kids were getting in the car Belle felt it was a great time to come to me screaming that she hurt her finger.  Didn't go over so well for her.

Cricket took the kids and I headed to the doctor.  I walked in knowing Evie and I looked like we had just endured a battle.  Her face still had blood all over it because I didn't take time to wipe it off, and I had blood all over my shirt and chest.  Rosie and Cheryl at the front desk of my doctor office know my kids and I well and they just looked at me and asked how we were.  I started to cry, which made Rosie cry.  Evie's doc came out to us and I felt so much more calm.  Finally, someone who knew how to handle this situation.

Evie laid on me as they cleaned her up, and they mentioned that it was pretty deep.  Evie was a champ during all this and literally didn't make a move.  Once they needed to give her the shot of anesthetic, Paul walked in.  I was instantly relieved, because I was really debating if I was going to be able to handle holding her during the shot and stitches.  Paul grabbed her and I walked out for a bit to get her pacifier, and returned to her screaming and bleeding all over again.  Once they started the stitches she didn't make a move and sat perfectly (this is when I took the time to take some pics to document).

As I mentioned, I am not a blood person, let alone seeing it all over my 17 month old daughter.  I had a major panic moment today and I had a hard time keeping it together.  I realize that Evie was going to be just fine, but in the moment I felt at a loss for how to help her.  I couldn't gather my thoughts enough to think forward to the next step.  I wish I could say I was totally cool, calm, and collected, but I wasn't.

Now, I know no one would expect me to have it all together, but I wish I could say that in an emergency I would.  If any of my kids needs stitches again, I will be all set :-)  However, it has gotten me thinking about hypothetical emergency situations that could come up and if I would be ready for them.  Thank the Lord my Evie was okay and is clearly much more resilient than her mother (she takes after Paul for sure).

Overall, if it wasn't for my family, EVERYONE in my doctor's office, and my amazing husband, I may not have held it together at all!

I am thankful Ev is okay, but I am even MORE thrilled that she decided to do this AFTER she had health insurance :-)  

JUST got her stitches.  Not so thrilled.
Totally didn't act like anything happened to her today.  If it wasn't for the band-aid you would never know.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Girls

Lately, I have been going back to look at pictures of Belle when she was the same age as Evie.  It's crazy to me how alike, yet different, they are.

By this point I think Belle had many more words in her vocabulary.  She was saying loads of animal noises, and repeating a lot of what we were saying.  Evie, not so much.  She has a few words in her vocabulary, but I notice that she doesn't soak words up and repeat them like Belle did.  She is just not interested.  Evie has the basics down, and I think Belle was actually advanced in her verbal skills, so I'm not worried.

Looking back at old pictures I also found this of Belle.

She is the same age as Evie is currently.  The thought of Evie sitting down and even KIND OF painting is hilarious to me.  I can't even give her a crayon or marker without her biting the end off.  Belle did, and still does, well at focused activities.  She likes to sit and do a craft or paint a picture.  Evie---not so much.  I have found that Evie is a wanderer.  She is much more of an explorer than Belle was.  Don't get me wrong, Belle used to get into things (we all remember the vaseline and permanent markers, right?), but she didn't constantly go from room to room looking for what she could climb, throw, or fling herself off.  

Belle's Vaseline Victim

Another difference I have is that Evie has a MUCH stronger personality than Belle.  Belle has always been pretty stubborn and head strong, but Evie is in a different realm!  This girls knows what she wants, and very rarely am I able to distract her with something else.  This often leads to many temper tantrums, but thank goodness they are short lived :-)

I know it is so cliche, but I really am amazed at how quickly things go.  I cannot wait to see what crazy things Evie has to say once she starts really talking....we all know Belle has quite the one-liners!  I also can't wait to see watch as Belle continues to become more independent and capable of doing things on her own.

As it currently stands, I foresee Belle being my actress on Broadway and Evie will be my Olympic athlete.  Here's hoping they both get college scholarships!

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