A glimpse into the world of the handicapable.

…And It Begins…

Caiden is sleeping in his own room.  He is in his own bed.  My hand was forced!

It started out like this…

I put Caiden in his little bassinet three days ago.  I turned around to clean off the coffee table and I look back and not only has Caiden sat up, but he started pulling up on his legs.  He was leaning over the side of the bassinet onto the couch arm rest (luckily, that’s the side he chose for this death defying trick!).  I quickly rolled to him and put him on my lap.  Sadly…an end of a stage.

My heart broke a little bit.  My baby, this precious little boy that was in my tummy, is mobile.  When Chris came home, I had him lower the crib and the pack and play.  We are now in the process of baby proofing the house…this will be our next adventure.

The crib is a bit deep for me to get Caiden out of, however, I can get him out by myself.  He usually sits up for me and then I stand him up and lift him onto my lap.  It’s awkward, I admit, but effective.  I’ll need to get used to the height, and the feel of the crib.  Another factor to consider…his weight.  Luckily, I am adapting well to his continually changing body and mass.

With each new skill he’s picking up, I can’t help but fall even more in love with this baby.  Who knew…?  Me…married…and a mother!

Oh what a night!

I’ve been so busy reading everyone else’s blog, I forgot to write in mine. I guess I’ll give it a shot today.

I had one of the most interesting experience last weekend. Chris had promised that we could take a trip to Barnes and Noble last Saturday. We packed up the baby and set out to the long trip (a whole ten minutes) to BN.

We arrived and got the baby out, then realized in horror that the baby was sitting in a pool of poo. His little legs were kicking in it and all the while my baby boy was as happy as could be. He isn’t disturbed by much…and clearly dirty diapers/poo pools are included on this list. His little hands went from the little puddle of poo… straight to his…gulp…mouth! I’m gagging. Chris is disturbed. Caiden.. squealing with delight. We contemplated going back home, but I didn’t want to risk him ingesting this mess…so into BN we went. Poo and all.
I split up the job…Chris would take Caiden and I would take the baby seat. Both equally and disgustingly poo filled.  I had never been so frustrated in my life. The seat was bulky, stinky and hard to maneuver. The restroom doors were awkward and heavy. I was clearly struggling and people would see me and turn around without offering assistance, encouragement or the like. Sigh. Anyways, I made it to the sink and set up camp. Luckily, I carry baby shampoo in the diaper bag…HOWEVER I forgot to put the wipes in the bag. The counter was covered in poo, I was covered in poo. And I don’t want to get started on what remnants of Caiden had been exposed to this poor bathroom… and as ladies (this is Highland Village, mind you…) were leaving the stalls, I couldn’t help but notice..I was being judged. A lot! Who could blame the innocent bystanders that skipped the hand washes in fear of contamination. I wouldn’t want to wash my hands while the little girl in the wheelchair with a baby seat (and no sign of a baby) washed out poo and sloshed brown water every where. By the way…I ran out of paper towels in mid washing…and resorted to a onsie…what a sight!

When I finally completed my task to the best of my ability (I did ask God for his forgiveness for the choice language and glares I inadvertently let slip), I met up with my husband,  collected my half naked baby and fully clothed husband (in case that wasn’t clear) and allowed the seat to air dry in the car.

I realized that Caiden was still a bit dirty (I hadn’t packed wipes, so I can only imagine what Chris did to get this poor baby clean) and went back into the bathroom and (much to the dismay of the BN staff) I set up yet another camp and “bathed”poor Caiden. After ten minutes of repurposing burp rags into bath clothes, using old blankets as towels and dressing Caiden in an outfit I had luckily packed…we were ready for some book shopping!

My husband was covered in dried baby poo…for the rest of the outing (which included book browsing, cookies and a short stroll) and never once complained.

No matter how stressful the situation became…and it was STRESSFUL… We worked together and got what needed to be done…done. :). We ended the night reminiscing about our adventure after showers and and a baby bath. At least we could laugh about it…now!

I married the perfect man for me. God gave me the perfect son for me. I am truly blessed.

My family!

Mini-sode 3: Mallrats

My Holly Days Mini-Sode 03: Mallrats from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

It’s a Sling Thing!

Episode 02 from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

Mini-sode Episode 1: Going for a Roll

My Holly Days Mini-sode Episode 01 from Holly Cates on Vimeo.

What was I so worried about?

Caiden is a little over 5 months now.  He is so happy, just smiles all the time.  He is also just a laid back kid, nothing seems to faze him too much.  He is a social little bug!

Since the summer began (2 weeks ago!), I get to stay home with Caiden and just hang out with him.  I LOVE being at home with him.  I get to see him try to crawl, give me the MOST DRAMATIC frowns, and give me the happiest squeals and giggles.  I am also VERY protective of him.

I think the reasoning is that, well, first off, I’m a mommy.  Secondly, I feared (okay, I admit, I still fear) what others would say or think of him having a mommy in a wheelchair.  I get the vibe at times that some people are not too pleased that I made a conscious choice to get pregnant.  I could have “spread” my disability to him, or made his life harder than it needs to be.  WELL…to be honest…who’s life is NOT hard?  Seriously…!

However, the thought still stays in my head.  I keep thinking…well, I grew up like this (you know…not walking) and I’m used to the stares, the nervous smiles and the “OH @#*&$ how am I supposed to handle this situation” looks.  Chris (the hubby) married me knowing he would have to deal with the above types of people.  He is used to it.   I am quite in awe of how brave and self-confident he is about the whole situation.  It never bothered him, even when others were worried for him.

BUT…I brought a baby into the equation.  Caiden wasn’t really born into it (not really), and he didn’t choose this lifestyle or his mommy.  So, I fretted (as any normal mommy would do) about how others would treat him, what other people would say to him, or how others would treat me when he’s around.  I know I can do anything I set my mind to.  If you give me a challenge, or just tell me I can’t…well, I will do anything in my power to prove you wrong…and then some.  Still, you have people out there who do not know me well, and will still try to limit me.  Not really on purpose, but trying to be the good Samaritan, or trying to “help”.  It’s condescending.  Plain and simple.  I do not need to be taken care of and I usually don’t need assistance…unless I specifically ask.  =)  I don’t want Caiden exposed to that type of mindset.

Yesterday, for the first time ever…Caiden and I went out to a place that wasn’t with my husband or family members.  I took Caiden to the store.  Just me and Caiden.  I was so nervous and scared.  I wasn’t nervous because of the transferring in and out of the car, or being able to carry him around, that’s EASY PEASY!  It was how I thought people were going to react.  I thought people might stare at me or at Caiden and judge us. I thought people would be rude, or disrespectful.

I got out of my car, put Caiden in his front carrier and we rolled in to the store.  This is the store that Chris, Caiden and I usually go to every week.  It was so intimidating at first.  But everyone cooed and smiled and played with Caiden and greeted me in such a respectful manner.  The employees were so nice and friendly.  The customers were hilarious.  Chris was right…they weren’t judging, they weren’t disgusted.  They wanted to help.  They wanted to see what they could do to make things easier.  Why was I so worried?  I forgot, most of this world is actually…good.  =)

God knew what he was doing when he gave me Caiden.  We are a perfect match.

So, that’s one fear confronted….so many more to go.  But you know what?  I’ve got time.  =0)


Today was a good day. School is almost at an end, and summer vacation is fast approaching. It also means that Caiden is getting older…and more mobile.
Yesterday, I sat him in his pack and play and watched as he rolled from back to tummy and back again. He sits on my lap and we ride. He also nurses with his feet on my wheels. It’s amazing how adaptable babies are. Caiden somehow knows what I can and can’t do, and seems perfectly fine adapting to me.
I can’t wait to see what he will be like when he’s a little older (although parts of me want him to stay a baby!).
Ok…time for bed!

I’m back!

Caiden on our first family vacation!

It’s still hard to believe…my baby boy is almost 5 months old. He gabs, rolls, laughs and grabs. He is a bouncy baby boy, and he is ACTIVE! He loves to jump (with help from his mommy and daddy) and dance, sing and play. It’s amazing how much this little Zoomie has grown.

I think what amazes me so much is the fact that he was in my body 5 months ago! Now that he’s older, he is able to bear weight on his legs and stand on my lap and he TOWERS over me. He is tall!

Everyone asks “What’s been the hardest part of being a mommy and being in a wheelchair at the same time?”. Well, to be honest…being a mommy has been easy. Being a mommy in a wheelchair…well, that part is easy too. After all, it’s basically the same thing…only, I’m faster down a hill.

I think I had a few concerns before Caiden was born. However, I figured it out with time and thanks to my wonderful, supportive and amazing husband. Here are a few things that I had on my mind before his birth:
1. How on earth do I carry him?
Easy peasy! When he was a bit younger (AND A LOT SMALLER), I could fit him in the crook of my arm and then push my chair by gliding along a wall or whatever free standing furniture was close by. I still do that, but not as much since Caiden is able to sit in my lap. I also use a carrying pouch. As long as Caiden is facing out, he is happy. He is definitely a great rider!
2. How do I travel with Caiden?
Again…easier than I thought. I carry him to my car with my pouch. I am fairly (and unnaturally) strong, and so putting him in the car seat was very easy. Then I load myself in the car…and voila! Off we go!
3. How would others view me? Meaning…how would other people (strangers and acquaintances) react to me with a baby on my lap?)
I’ve taken Caiden to the store, mall, park, etc. many times now. I usually get positive (or puzzled) reactions, but never anything negative (knock on wood). I can let my imagination go wild some times and it never bodes well for anyone. =)

Actually, when I post on Facebook (granted everyone on my FB account is someone I know personally), I get pretty positive responses. I am usually greeted with supportive comments and friendly well-wishers. I had noticed that a group that I belonged to hadn’t had much to say to me during and after the pregnancy. I know that there are people out there that did not want me to get pregnant in fear that I would give my SB to my son. I don’t think people realize how hard the decision was for me to become pregnant. I did worry about my health…about my mobility…about my job. I worried about finances…I worried about money…about my ability to be a mom…about…well, everything…I’m human. I worried so much about what my in-laws would think or say or react to my ability to handle pregnancy and being a mom. I worried about my family…how would they react, say or think.

But now that I have him, none of that matters. Of course…my worrying didn’t help, hinder or solve a thing. In fact…it was a waste of energy!

My sisters, bless EACH of them, would listen patiently to my worries. It was endless hours of me worrying and countering each with a sweet and loving reassurance.

But now…he’s here. He’s in my arms and made his way to my heart. I couldn’t imagine life without this little boy. I couldn’t imagine life with out my strong and loving husband. There is a reason why marriages either get stronger or break when a baby is introduced into the family. There are so many things that we have to communicate to each other. There are so many compromises and teamwork. I feel like I’ve met a whole new part of Chris. I love watching the two together, it makes me feel so complete.

My boys!

I never lost my belly button…!

As little bit sleeps, I think it’s safe to post a short little blog…

Caiden is now 6 weeks old. Time has just flown by so fast. I’m trying to enjoy every moment, the good and the bad. He is more alert and awake than before. He vocalizes a lot and tries to talk to me and Chris. He also has the greatest facial expressions! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy his little bug! =)

Taking care of Caiden hasn’t been too hard. I have figured out a way to carry him and move around the house. I actually didn’t use a sling as much as I thought I would. Instead, I have him in one arm and on my lap and I just roll around the house (usually as I am taking Caiden on a tour of the house and talking to him about everything we see!). The slings I have were made for babies over 8lbs and I was a little nervous using them.

This is the general idea of how I carry Caiden around the house.

I use the sling occassionally, if I need both hands. Especially when little bit is asleep but refuses to sleep in his bed!

Caiden riding Kangaroo style!

Now, I use the sling a lot more since he’s big enough and his neck is getting stronger. He is so laid back, it doesn’t seem to bother him which method I use to carry him.

The dressing, bathing, feeding, burping, etc. has been something I have always known how to do. When you are one of the older girls in my family, you tend to become the “babysitter” of the younger ones. I remember caring for my six younger siblings (all under the age of 3) at once and cooking them dinner. Then feeding them (the twins had to be hand fed) Then bathing them (three girls in the bathtub in one bathroom and three boys in the shower in the other bathroom), dressing them and putting them in bed. Yup…I did that by myself! For me, it was second nature. For my sisters that are my age and older…it’s second nature. To top it off, the babies had either ADHD, FAS, they were drug babies (from their birth parents), or other issues, or all at the same time! For me, it was just a typical day with them. I loved them and I loved taking care of them. My point is not that I am this super woman…I’m not. But if I am having a rough day with my Zoomie, I just tell myself…if I can handle THEM…surely, I can handle my ONE little bug! I never thought of myself as a wife…nor a mother when I was in college. Now that I am both, I really enjoy it!

Well, until next time!

My husband and my baby!

Honestly, I think the most challenging thing I’ve faced was being alone with Caiden during the day. Taking care of him wasn’t an issue, but being alone was. I hate being by myself. I am an active person. I’m used to just deciding last minute that I am going to go out with a friend, or have a last minute dinner with a group, or go to my sisters house and hang out. It’s weird coming from a LARGE family and then having a tiny one!

We always tease within my own family that we can’t cook for 2. We end up cooking for 25 people…this makes fo

I’m a little behind…

Meeting daddy for the first time!

It’s been quite the adventure! So…let’s get everyone caught up!

For those who don’t know…
Zoomie has arrived! He was 6 lbs and 1 oz and 20 inches long (he isn’t that anymore…he’s a big boy now!). He arrived by C-section on January 4, 2012. He is absolutely beautiful! They allowed my husband to be in the operating room while I was under general anesthesia. He took pictures and video while I was under. After the anesthesia wore off, i was put in recovery…so…Chris made sure that we had time alone with the baby before our families saw him. I love that man! :). He took good care of us in the hospital and again when we came home. Chris had tons of pictures and video of the birth and recovery, so I didn’t feel like I missed out on the birth of my son.

Meeting mommy for the first time!

It’s been almost a month since I’ve had Caiden and he’s still just as cute and sweet as the day he was born. :). Chris has been fortunate and was able to take off four weeks to stay with us (he went back to work yesterday). It  has been so helpful to have Chris home!  He helped me get in and out of bed when I was healing, in and out of the shower (ouchie!!!) and with the baby.   I also had the help of my sister, Ash, and my mother in law. I also have awesome friends that came over to visit, bring meals and ooooh and awwwwwed over little zoomie! It’s been nice seeing everyone and breaking up the day, since I was too nervous to leave the house! It’s a new mom thing!

Gradually, we (Chris, Caiden and I) took on the real world…one retail store at a time. 🙂 Target, and the local mall. Next…the moon! Okay…a bit ambitious…but you get the idea! I’m ready for a real outing with my new little family.

Chris and I actually left our little one with a sitter (sitters) for the first time last week. I won’t lie when I say I was nervous. But I knew he was in good hands. He did very well!

The next big thing I was nervous about was Chris returning to work. Not that I couldn’t handle Caiden alone (I’ve handled 3-8 babies at once…most with disability’s ranging from FAS/ADHD/attachment disorders/drug babies or all of the above…I’m confident that I can handle ONE baby…without all of the above), but I am not used to being alone for long periods of time (big family, remember?). Chris had to return to work earlier than expected.  For two days, I figured out how to entertain myself when Caiden was asleep (THAT’S quite an accomplishment, if you ask me…!) However, between talking to Caiden (asleep and/or awake), Sydney (asleep and/or awake) and Buddha (asleep and/or awake)…I’ve managed to keep my sanity (and not annoy too many babies/animals/ghosts and/or inanimate objects) and not allow the quiet make me too sad or miss Chris too much.

So, that’s been the last month. I do need to warn you…posts will be scarce and few and far between for a little while. I hope to write more consistently later.

Have a good night! Mines just beginning! Little one likes to hang out with me (fully awake!) between the hours of 2-6am! Haha! We will get a schedule down soon! Wish us luck!

Our precious Caiden!

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