Little Ninja

This little Ava of ours LOVES “American Ninja Warrior!” I know it’s been on for years, but until this year, I’d never seen it. My aunt and uncle watch it. We started watching it when we stayed with them.

Ava was amazed. Kept “ohh-ing” and “ahh-ing” the entire time. Kept shouting “WOW” and clapping for them! It was so cute.

Now, we record it and watch it at home together.

I think aside from Sesame Street (specifically Elmo), it’s her favorite show! Who knows… Maybe she’ll be a Warrior one day!

Advertisements

Settled

We’re trying to settle in at our new house. We’re loving it there. It’s been a little tough with either Ava or myself sick the past few weeks though. I still can’t get rid of this wretched cough I have!

Steps here and there are over. Little Ava is walking around everywhere! She’s still quite wobbly. Sometimes she’ll still sit and crawl, but she walks all over the house. She’s also climbing more and more. Adventurous. Strewing toys all over the living room again and again.

 

Sweet girl still loves to eat. She gets so excited over food. She repeats “me, me, me” over and over again when she wants something. If it’s food she says something that sounds like, “mee-dow!” That means she’s hungry. Silly girl. Cracks me up.

She’s generally sleeping well, though sometimes she doesn’t want to go to bed as early as she used to. We’ve seen no “weird” electrical issues or strange blinking on the baby monitor. So… I don’t know what’s going on with that…. or what was I guess.

Things are good. I’ve started the new medication… and I can’t tell it’s working, but I do feel better. So… I guess time will tell. God’s got this. He’s got us. We’re blessed.

Help is on the way, Dear!

I went to the doctor yesterday. I made the appointment for my mental health, but in the meantime I’ve been pretty sick.

Ava was sick. She was sick for about 10-12 days actually. I took her to the doctor last week and found out our poor girl has both a cold and a UTI.

She’s been so pitiful. Fever. Up crying several nights. No energy. No appetite. Poor baby!

Sometimes, when you’re sick you get to sleep with Mommy and Daddy

She’s now finally starting to feel better… But I think she got me sick.

Germ Buddies

My doctor didn’t officially say if I have bronchitis (which is/was my self diagnosis) or not… I was too busy sitting on her table crying about my anxiety and depression. She gave me meds (a Z pack and a steroid) for it, so I guess that’s what I have? She’s also starting me on Zoloft. She said because I’ve had depression in the past that it could take longer for postpartum to present. Or it’s just a high possibility that I’ve had so many huge life changes in the past year and a half that I just surpressed it until my body literally couldn’t take any more.

She’s smart. I think she’s really onto something. I mean, in the last year and a half I’ve lost a parent, had a baby, sold a house, bought a house, moved, watched my mama go through huge changes with her job and such… It’s a lot to deal with. Now that I think about it, I’ve always been the kind of person that’s pretty good in a pinch. I’m the person that falls apart after the crisis is over. Is that not exactly what’s happening?! All these changes… And we’re finally starting to settle down. Feels like we’re home. No worries about moving or selling or buying. Life is settling down… And now I’m falling apart. Go figure.

The stress feels like a pile of bricks on my chest. It’s hard to breathe. My chest feels tight. I feel panicked… like my adrenaline is pumping… like I’m in danger or something, being chased. I hate it. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I can’t continue this way.

So… meds it is. For now. And I’m okay with that. I don’t want to have to be on medicine every day… But there is NO shame in needing help. No shame in letting people know when you’re not okay. In fact, I’ve let everyone around me know I’m not okay!

I need those around me to keep an eye on me! They may see things that I don’t see myself!! I don’t want to be that depressed person I used to be. I don’t want to come home from work and take sleeping pills with alcohol to sleep my life away. I will NOT be that person again. So… I’m reaching out for help.

She handed me a tissue, hugged me, and promised to help me. To help me find myself again. I’ll be me again. In time. I see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Survival

Well, we survived. All of us. My aunt and uncle survived us living with them. We survived digging through bins for an entire month to find everything we owned. We survived moving. We’re home.

Yes, we have a home. Our home. Together.

Friday, the 14th, we signed the papers for our new home!

Being a first-time home buyer, all of this was pretty overwhelming process for me. Our amazing Realtor, Michelle, was with us every step of the way. I could not be happier with her or with Derek, who worked for our lender. They are an amazing team!

We then spent all of Friday night moving! Though we got there super late, we did stay our first night that night. Saturday was the biggest moving day! Lots of our family came to help—especially my (not-so) little cousin Zachary! We would have been totally lost without him. We’d probably still be moving stuff. He’s a pretty amazing guy!

Saturday and Sunday were super overwhelming to me. Everyone was trying to help…and I appreciated it so much… and yet, they were all asking me where to put stuff. I had no idea. We’ve gone to a slightly smaller house… and way too much stuff… and I was overwhelmed. The anxiety got me.

The Dish Network guy came to set up television for us. Honestly, I think he was rather rude… but the short version of the story is that he couldn’t get a signal. Too many trees. Uhh… okay.  Never crossed my mind that that would ever be a possibility. The only other thing offered in our area is Century Link. Sigh. Everyone has told us over and over again that they’re awful…. But we had no choice. Called them. Guess what—their services are only run through DirectTV—also a satellite. So… this should be interesting.

My sister came Monday—she’s been a GIANT help to us also. She set up Ava’s entire room. Set up our bathroom. Amazing.

That week… I can’t remember what day, and it doesn’t really matter… I went to wash clothes. We started the washer and put Ava to bed. A little while later Chandler went to get something from the kitchen and there was about two inches of water all over the laundry room. Oh no. Panic. He spent most of the night cleaning up water. I spent the night trying to calm a screaming toddler who didn’t want to go to bed. It was stressful. Wednesday, our dear friend Ken came to help. He did what he could (he’s an electrician, not a plumber)… to no avail. The conclusion was that the drain line was clogged. So, he and Chandler tried to un-clog it. Next thing I know, a grey sludge is all over the laundry room. Foul smelling. We were able to clean it all up… but our entire house smelled. (Still kind of does, honestly.)

I made a panicked, half-teary call to our Realtor… who contacted the sellers… who contacted their plumber… and sent him the following day to our rescue on their own dime. Hallelujah! After a while, he was able to fix the issue. Sigh.

Ava helping Daddy put the legs back on our couch so she can shove toys under it again.

Thursday, the DirectTV guys showed up. Hallelujah! They were able to find a signal (while managing to be super nice) and we have tv. Not a huge thing… but certainly helps to distract my messed-up mind.

Lately, depression and anxiety have really hit me. I even chose to go to work for a few days instead of being home with Ava. I needed to be around other people. For my sanity. When I was there in the house with no other adult, I had too much time to think.

What’s going on? I’m not really sure. I think it may be a side effect of a medication I’m on… but my depression is back full-force. And, of course, I still have the anxiety that’s haunted me ever since I gave birth. So… I’m a disaster lately. To any/all of you that have reached out to me and gotten shot down or even no response at all… please forgive me. Lately, I’ve struggled to even get out of bed or off the couch. My brain tells me that it must be chemical. I have way too much to be thankful for right now. Ava alone should be enough to make me overjoyed. Chandler alone. A new, beautiful home. A Savior that is way more than I could ever deserve. And yet, I’m struggling to find light and joy. This too will pass. Please, please, be patient with me. And pray for me. Also, pray for my sweet, loving Chandler? I know that living with me can’t be much fun right now.

We did go on a date night Friday though to see if that helped. It did… some. Maybe. We had dinner and went to see the new live-action Aladdin. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with it. I wasn’t too optimistic about Will Smith filling the shoes of Robin Williams but I’d say he did a decent job. Anyway… not the point.

My point is this. I’m depressed. For absolutely no reason. I’ve made an appointment with my doctor. I’ll see her next week, PTL. I’m hoping that she can help. Again, please be patient with me and forgive me for being a lousy friend lately. I can’t promise that I’ll be much better soon… but I can promise that I’ll try. I’m in survival mode. I have a husband and a sweet little girl to get up each day for.

Wait, let’s back up for a moment…                               

The weekend before we moved, we went up to Virginia to visit my aunt and uncle (my daddy’s brother and his wife). It was a long drive and they are now living in a place we’ve never been before, so it was all new to us. I was thankful that they’re not still living in Richmond. I don’t think my heart could handle navigating those streets to see them without my daddy there. Too hard. There was a moment (or a few minutes) where I thought we were possibly being chased by a maniac in a truck around a remote mountain area. (We literally passed a sign that read “GPS not recommended for this area.” Uh… huh? Never seen that before.) Anyway… that’s a story for later, if you’re seriously interested. (I mean, I was picturing scenes from Joyride.) We got to their house and knocked on the door. My uncle Bruce answered the door.

Oh man… seeing him took my breath away. I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t seen him (or my daddy) in a while… or if it’s just worse than usual… but he looks so much like my daddy that I had to stop for a moment and collect myself to keep from crying. He talks like him. Says things that I know my daddy would say. It was hard for me. Especially seeing him play with Ava. We spent the night and spent a little time with them. I think it was good for all of us. Before we left, we took some photos… and this one is by far my favorite. Ava was clearly not thrilled.

Also… oh man… Uncle Bruce looks so much like my daddy. It’s scary. Sigh. Love them so much!!

Somewhere amid all of this, was Father’s Day. I miss my daddy. A lot. Being around Uncle Bruce made me miss him even more. The good news is that Chandler can now be celebrated on this day and that’s a welcome thing. He sure loves his little Ava so very much. I’m so blessed and thankful to have him in my life. (And Ava’s!)

See how my thoughts are all jumbled? Sigh.

The summary here is this… As a whole, we’re okay. Me? I will be. We have a beautiful family and a beautiful new home that we are oh-so-thankful for.

Growth

Hello from the middle of almost nowhere. As a reminder, we are currently staying with family… And they live pretty far out, so we get basically no service… hence the lack of posts recently.

Things are going as I expected. Okay. It’s pretty tough living out of bins and tubs. Not knowing where half of your stuff is… or realizing it’s in the storage unit twenty minutes away. We’re thankful that we’re with family that loves us, has room for us, and has been gracious enough to let us stay. It’s an adjustment for all of us.

Ava is doing well. Still not walking, but taking steps here and there. We’ve gotten about six steps in a row at most but she’s standing on her own (and even dancing sometimes) more and more.

We watch each time expecting it to be the time she just goes for it and walks completely across the room on her own. Not yet. Soon though, I’m sure.

She’s started feeding herself with a fork. She’s doing so well with it! I’m proud of her!

We’ve also officially survived our first temper tantrum.

We’ve been beyond lucky with her sleeping. I know just how unusual it is to have a baby that cries to go to bed, to be left alone. Well, that’s changed. As of this week, she hates bedtime. Not only cries, but stands in the crib– sometimes jumps up and down–and screams! She’s been calling out “Daddy!” It’s killing him, I know it. It would me! Oh, joy. It takes an hour or so for her to finally give it up and go to sleep. Until then, we just try to keep her reassured that everything is okay and she has not been left alone. We are there if she needs us but we don’t pick her up. I think she just wants to know that we are there because standing next to her crib and talking to her calms her right down most of the time.

And then she sleeps like an angel! Ha! She wakes throughout the night crying too. Only for a few seconds, but still. Restless all night. Her and her parents!

Yesterday she had a doctor’s appointment. Everything is going well. She’s gone from the 4th percentile in height to 14th percentile! She is weighing in at exactly 18 lbs. Her doctor said, once again, that she is just going to be a little kid and that’s okay. Developmentally, all is well.

I think she’s going to possibly be left-handed. She normally sucks her left thumb. At first I thought this was just so she could still do things with her right, but I’m beginning to think that’s not true. We’ve noticed her putting things in her left hand more often. I guess we’ll see. I would certainly prefer if she were right-handed simply because I think lefties have a more difficult time. I guess they don’t know any different, but isn’t the world made for right-handed people?

In other news, we hope to be in our new home around the middle of June. Meanwhile, while we’re trying to buy a house and doing tons of paperwork, Chandler’s debit card has been compromised. Yep, that’s right. $500 was taken out of our account at an ATM in Raleigh without our permission. There’s always something isn’t it?

Again I’m reminded that God is in the small details. If there hadn’t been a limit on the ATM withdrawal who knows how much money they would have gotten from our account. Sigh. That would have seriously put our plans for the new house in jeopardy.

So…. We’re hanging in. Hanging on… however the saying goes… Oh, did I mention I’m currently at “home” with pink eye? Yea, ladies and gentlemen, the fun never stops for the Mosses.

Hello Sunshine!

Moving On

Last week was so stressful. Chandler and I took 3 days off work to finish moving.

“Perfect” moving weather for us too!

Among the chaos, I found myself sitting in my car listening to the local Christian radio station. The lady speaking said, “When you got into your car, did you question whether or not the seat would hold you? Or did you just sit down and know that it would? It’s never failed you before… so why would you question it now?” It made me think. She’s right. God has never failed me before! Why am I questioning him in the house-buying process?! I know better! I know He’s already got a plan!

Ava “helping” Daddy take apart the crib to move it

As for moving/packing, it didn’t seem like that much left to do but when you’re in the middle of it, it seems like the boxes and things that you own just keep multiplying when you’re not looking. It seems never-ending.

Our storage unit is PACKED.

But it did end.

We finished packing up and took the final load of things to my aunt & uncle’s house–we’ll be staying with them until we get into a new home. On the way there, our Realtor set up a time for us to go look at yet another house. We’ve actually made an offer on six now. Tiring. Stressful. Discouraging. This particular house even had less square footage than our current home! That alone made me not want to go see it…. but Chandler wanted to. So, we did. WE LOVED IT!! A LOT! So, our precious Realtor followed us back to our house and filled out paperwork on a metal fold-able chair in our empty living room while we packed and cleaned around her. (This woman never stops working and loves what she does!) We signed and she left. We packed. We cleaned. We did our final walk-through our home one last time and we cried. Okay, more than crying… we sobbed. We kissed again in the same spot where we had our first kiss…. and then we walked out. Closed the door behind us. No turning back. Cried all the way to the storage unit.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the storage unit, my phone rang. It was our Realtor. Our offer was accepted! We had a home minutes after closing the door on our old one!! We cried all over again!!

Our new home… well, almost!

My God is so amazing!! How could I ever have doubted Him?! I know, it’s only because I’m human…. but still. I know better. Most times I knew that He had this. And yet… it was hard to remember all the time. He was trying to teach me patience and trust. I heard Him. He was reminding me that He loves me and will always be there for me. For us.

Since we left our first home, I heard that the buyer is very happy. She cried all the way through her closing process and had her daughter on Facetime while she signed. Thrilled to own her own home! It makes my heart so happy to know that she’s happy. I left her a letter on the counter. I let her know that we’re praying for her and hope she has as many wonderful memories in that home as we did.

This whole thing, while it nearly killed me emotionally, has really been a God thing. I can see how He had His hand in every moment. I’m thankful.

Now… for a story….
I have anxiety. During the last nine months–our house went on the market in August–I have been so stressed and cried so much. Our Realtor, Michelle has been so amazing. She’s not only our Realtor, she’s my friend. Was my friend long before I even met Chandler. Before she was a Realtor. She’s hugged me and cried with me during several of my meltdowns. She has prayed for us. Even gave us a prayer cloth that she’d prayed over for us and had us place it in our home. (And even one for my mom and all of her health issues too!) She’s so amazing. I love this woman. Anyway… during one of my meltdowns, she told Chandler it was his job to make me laugh. To calm me down. To cheer me up. She said, “I don’t care if you have to go home and put on a unicorn mask and dance around–do something to make her laugh and de-stress!” So, every time I’ve gotten really stressed or had one of my emotional meltdowns, she’s sent me a unicorn emoji. She’s so crazy. (Have I mentioned how much I love her?!)

Yesterday, standing outside of our soon-to-be new home, she handed me a gift. Some decor for our new home. A stuffed unicorn for Ava. So cute!! Made me laugh. And this little box in the bottom… as I opened the box and pulled it out, I couldn’t stop laughing. She bought us a unicorn mask!! Bahaha!! She also made us promise to keep it and use it for de-stressing when needed in the future too.

Oh, Michelle, thank you for being my friend. Thank you for hanging in there with us through all of this. I love you, girl.

Packing through tears

So…. We’ve been packing like crazy. For weeks. Our house gets a little more empty every day. It’s getting real around here. And I’m emotional. Super emotional.

The plan was to finish up packing this weekend. Didn’t happen. We went to the Blooming Festival yesterday. All day. Celebrated Mother’s Day today with our families. We have three days left in our house.

Three. Days.

The stress is getting to me and I’m crying a lot. I’m sad about leaving our home. We had our very first date here. Our first kiss. Got married. Lost a dog. Adopted Carlie. Found out we were having a baby here. Brought Ava home here. All of our memories together are here. I get it. It’s about memories, not brick and drywall. My brain knows that. But I’m an emotional woman. And it’s okay to be a little sad. It’ll pass. Eventually. We’ll find a new house and make more memories. Eventually.

I think the worst part is not having a new home to go to. I mean, I’m beyond thankful that my aunt and uncle are allowing us to stay with them. But it’s not our home. It’s not the same. And mixing families is never a good idea. I just love them so much and I don’t want to jeopardize that in any way. I want them to still love my little family after all of this. Sigh. It would just be so much easier if we knew there was an end in sight. And we don’t. We literally have no idea how long we’ll have to stay there.

Part of me feels like I’m not doing a good job providing for my family. Four days from now, we’ll have no home of our own. Sigh. The common sense part of my brain knows how crazy that is. Dummy. This isn’t permanent. It isn’t the end of the world. This is just a step to get us where we need to be. I. Know. This. And yet, the anxiety won’t stop. I keep crying. And then I feel stupid for crying because I know it’s going to be okay in the end… And I cry about crying! Ahhh! Most days I’m okay. Today has not been one of those days.

I’m also someone who doesn’t like to ask for help. I like TO help, not to BE helped. I have learned over the past few years that if you need help and someone who can help offers to help, you let them and simply say “thank you.” So, I’m trying to do that.

The next few days are going to be a whirlwind. I’m sure more tears will come. The best news is that I know Who is in charge. I know He has a plan even when I can’t see it. I just have to keep reminding myself of this. Keep praying. He’s clearly trying to teach me patience and trust. Today, I’m failing the test. So, we keep going. We’ll get there. I’ll get there.

Sigh.

Aside from the stress and anxiety, this has been a great weekend.

I found my wedding veil while packing Friday.

And at least we’ve already packed what’s really important.

Had a lot of fun at the Blooming Festival, even though we got rained on.

Mother’s Day still seems a little silly to me. We should tell our mothers every day hope much we love and appreciate them. Still, I’m thankful to spend today with my little Ava Monkin and our family.

I still can’t believe I’m a mama. Is this my (mom) life?!?!