Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Poop Happens!!!!!!!!!!!!

I must say that having six children with five still in diapers / pull ups I feel I can say that POOP HAPPENS!

Actually it happens quite a bit in our household, usually about two times a day for each child! That is a lot of POOP!

Yesterday I swear within one fifteen minute period each one of my children filled their pants or the potty…depending on the individual child. It was that horrid smelling, you would have thought I feed them fish sticks, grainy green pooh! I usually refer to this as dark matter (one of them makes it on a regular basis in little balls no much larger than bunny poop) and it can clear a room in a matter of milliseconds!

So to cheer me up….Eric pointed out the following link on You Tube! In a “cheer me up” email!

Lil' Pooey Poo: I will run from you!


I actually really enjoyed getting this in my email from him! It is hard to believe that such a funny cartoon could brighten my day….but I really felt like running away from all the diapers and the stinky bottoms yesterday.

Also another funny was Eric trying to convince me that since Adrian is potty trained and Melea is part way there …my “poop” filled days will likely be getting fewer and less hazardous…course he probably doesn’t get to wipe as many bottoms as me either.

This brings me to the next logical step…..toilet paper. This happened last week. I sent Eric for toilet paper the other day in Wal-Mart and he came back with the “triple rolls”. I really looked puzzled. He knew they were the brand we buy…but I never by anything but the “little” rolls. He said so proudly “Look these will save us 59 cents than our usual other one”. ….Usually that would be a great thing….and I was really excited he was thinking …but I know now that he doesn’t take the kids to the bathroom enough.

The rule of thumb for toilet paper use in our house seems to be: one roll per week for the adults in the house and 6 rolls for the children. No you would not think that so bad unless you realize that only Adrian uses the potty consistently.

In fact Adrian uses enough paper to measure 3 times her height for each potty trip! If she pooey’s it is almost double that! All I could see was how stuffed up Adrian was going to make our toilets…the added cost of toilet Drano…and possible the plumber…plus the need to get the septic pumped more often!

How many mornings have I awoken to find an entire new roll on the floor….I even have a special spot I put this paper in and just use it for myself…..because I would like to say I am environmentally conscious…but I AM JUST A CHEAPSCAPE!

I often wonder why children are so enthralled by unrolling toilet paper, I marvel that they love to make flowers or other things with it (that was my specialty as a child…it drove my grandma crazy too) … I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Adrian likes it too. I should not complain too much because I even been known to get excited because of all the fine motor control and physical stamina it has taken for Miranda to stand an unroll a whole roll of it…..

But still the thought of a wasted triple roll just made me grimace….cause I new it would just make a bigger mess…but at least I could get given one whole dozen of Adrian’s toilet paper flowers instead of the usual two or three…and they will make me smile the next time I am changing all those diapers and wiping the stinky bottoms!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Two steps forward and one step back…maybe

When you are a parent of a child with special needs and have formal school IEP’s your child’s academic ups and downs can seem to be governed many times on how other people do their jobs. This is such a feeling of powerless on our part as parents. No matter how great of a mood the kids are in before they leave our house it is possible for one little change to bring down a whole day for Colin.

Colin is very flexible with me and Eric. He seems to be able to change and go with flow almost all of the time when we are with him. I know that is related to the amount of trust he has with us…and how we have always here for him for 24 hours a day for almost seven years. It takes him a long time to build up and trust others.

But when simple things change in his normal routine…example an extra day off or a substitute teacher ….it really can cause a small problem to escalate really quickly into a "bad" day for him and all involved.

To fill you all in. All of my chromosomally enhanced children have more than just one “teacher”. They have bus drivers, bus aides, classroom aides, nurses, social workers, diagnostic specialists, audiologists, counselors, Adaptive PE people, and lots of therapists (music, speech/language, PT and OT). There are also all of the normal auxiliary school personnel…the librarians, the lunch people, the maintenance staff, the secretarial/support staff. They also have a classroom teacher(s) and a resource room teacher. This also doesn’t take into account all of the other people who assist my children outside of the school setting: doctors, respite workers, more social workers, child care providers, relatives and dmh workers…..

This is a lot of people for me to remember….let alone all of my children. Funny thing is Colin does remember them all!!! It may take a few weeks each fall....but he learns signs for them and recognizes their faces ...especially at Wal-Mart.

These people usually do wonderful jobs for my children (and all others in their care), but they are just human and they have their good and bad days too.

I am a selfish parent….I want my children to learn…I am proud when they are doing good…..and I feel bad when they are not. So last week I got a wonderful hand written note from the terrific para professional who has helped my son all of last year and this year. She is transferring to a new school….. I really wanted to be happy for her…I knew how much she wanted to be closer to her home…but I just can’t!!!

I am a horrible selfish person and I burst into tears as I read her note!!! Then I just wanted to scream!!!!

Colin is finally seeming to be back into the swing of things for the first time this school year. I really want him to keep going the way he has been for the last week. He has been “talking” and interacting with his regular classroom peers…his participation level is getting closer to what it was when we ended school in late May. He basically is finally getting used to school again…almost 8 weeks into the year.

My son really seems to loves Mrs. C, and occasionally he worked well for her…though I am sure he will love the new lady too! Colin is usually easy to deal with ....but you have a very small window to prove yourself....if you fail or treat him like he can't do something...he seems to shut you out.

So now my son gets to learn a new sign / name for this new para professional. I have heard she is young and energetic…just the kind of person Colin likes to wrap around his finger. I know soon he will likely be smiling and winking and saying his “buggiedillydiddly dee” for her too.

Then I remember that he doesn’t like change and this will take some time. I just don’t like wasted or lost time….I feel like he is going to get further behind again. Then the rationale former teacher in me kicks in….I think OK, we will give it some time….. then I realize that I DON’T LIKE CHANGE EITHER!!! Just when I think we are all settling into a routine…. something upsets the apple cart.

I then realize that the neurotic crazy mom is here to stay…. I feel helpless cause he will likely suffer academically again… More flash cards or extra signing practice just won’t work. I can’t fix this problem…. I wish I could …but everyone has their own lives…I do realize in my head that no one’s life but Eric’s and mine revolve around my children (though I wish they did)….selfish mom…you bet I am!

I realize all of these “extra” people who interact daily with my son have different career goals, families and desires and they will be moving in and out of his life all the time. This is going to be one of those lessons Colin & his mom will have to get used to together!

We will miss you & the little pig so much Mrs. C ...or as Colin signs her name as "CHEST" & "KNEE" !!!! Good luck!

Know that for about 14 months you were one of the reasons my little guy smiled every day! If you have a bad day try to remember Colin's infectious giggle... it always makes my day brighter, and again thanks so much for being such an important part of my son's life.

Lots of Wiggling, Snuggling...and Santa!

Eliza and I had a fun night…. She really is a great snuggler now! It was also good that I did let her have that extra special time yesterday…cause this wonderful late fall heat we are having here brought on some bad wheezing! The Albuterol makes her so “jumpy” and panicked. That it is almost impossible for her to sleep.

We snuggled a lot and read a few books, then she fell asleep and I could watch TV. I am really happy she at doesn’t watch TV (especially like Adrian does)….Eliza just seems to ignore it…so I could still see Bill Maher and a few “grown up” TiVo ‘ed shows!

Today we are playing outside and having fun on a wonderful and awesome hot fall day …feels so much more like summer… All the kids were outside playing in the sand box or the swings or their castles. It really is amazing how much they can really entertain themselves.

However thanks to our “Lowe’s” shopping experience yesterday and seeing al the Christmas items and trees up in Lawn and Garden. It was actually a lot of fun and Melea yelled “DER is Santa!!!! At the top of her lungs every time she could see him!!! It sort of made me want to hide…but at the same time was really funny.

Since we got back yesterday Melea and Adrian have been busy pouring over the “catalogs” and making lists of the toys they want this Christmas. Adrian is trying to be nice ….or maybe it is devious…who knows for sure…but she keeps putting things like Barbie stuff or doll beds on Colin’s list “cause she thinks he wants them” I personally think Colin would rather have the matchbox cars and garage set…but lets just say Colin will be much happier that I am the one helping Santa get the toys and not Adrian.

I do hope we all tone down our Christmas “wants” this year…but since Adrian and Melea are much more susceptible to advertising…I am expecting a pretty large list …possible a notebook.

I made a promise to Eric that I would not buy or put up a Christmas ornament or decoration till November 1st, but I have already started looking too. This is one of the hardest things I promise every year too! I am as bad as my kids and probably the reason they put the stuff out so early…

Actually I already made the lists that I want the children to receive…and I started shopping for them. I always try to finish before November for all things except warm clothes (they always have great sales in December). I know I pay more for the stuff…but knowing it is done and wrapped and we can have fun is awful priceless to me!!! That and shopping around Christmas time makes me really not want to be a very nice person!!!

So thank you to Lowe’s, Garden Ridge and Wal-Mart, for bringing the 2007 holiday season off to a resounding start….just who was supposed to remind me to buy our pumpkins this week!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Eliza's "Gotch Ya Day" Anniversarry!

It is amazing to see how fast time really does fly. I am beginning to be convinced that Grandma Shaw was right…it does move faster as you get older.

Today is the one year anniversary of Eliza “physically joining” our family! It is utterly amazing to think that it has already been a year! It has been such a great one for all of us!

Eliza has brought such a joy and heartfelt enthusiasm to our whole family that after those first few days it was hard to believe that she hadn’t been here with us forever!!! Eliza’s progress has been utterly amazing and a testament to what having a permanent family can do for any child! She fiercely loves her siblings, and they love her back. She interacts and is beginning to play with then not alongside them. She is starting to acknowledge that other people exist besides her and me or Eric. But most of all I have seen her get a toy for Jordan and lay down on the floor so they are able to look each other in the eyes and then she kisses him. All of these things seemed so out of her reach one year ago when she arrived on that southwest flight from Houston!!

This transformation into a bright, beautiful little girl from a little scared and passive toddler has been utterly amazing to watch and I actually credit most of it to Colin, Melea and Adrian. They seemed to know to be patient with her when she got here….they seemed to know just how to push her to accomplish a goal , and they themselves have so accepted her as their sibling that it is impossible to believe she has not been with us her whole life….

Eliza learned how to use a sippy cup, a straw, to feed herself with fork & spoon, perfect her finger feeding, to eat all kinds of solid foods (gold fish being her favorite); to ask for most of her needs, to begin communicating through sign language, to approximate (say) about 15-20 words, to shut gates, open drawers, set the table…(though this is with every dish available)….help unload the dishwasher, sweep the floor, and put on and take off her own clothes. You no longer sleep in a crib, you try to help me make your bed and you love picking out clothes.

Physically she can climb stairs, walk everywhere she wants to go. Eliza now loves to take a bath, we have started swimming lessons, she loves to sing and do hand games …though still not keen on hand over hand… she loves to get dirty and play outside, We have conquered so many sensory issues that she can walk on almost any surface now and is no longer afraid of grass, water, baths, mulch, sand, towels, tile, or wood! Eliza can now do things with or without her shoes and is really making choices about what she wants to do!

She loves to climb up both the little slides (toddler ones) and the large ones in our yard, she can swing on all of the ones here. I am not sure which one really is her favorite, though it might be a toss up between the spinning tire and the regular sling swing. Most of the time I think it is the fact she can get on and off them by herself that she likes best. No more dependence on Mommy!
The funniest site to watch is when Eliza takes a running jump and lands in the sling swing, then she sticks her arms out to the side appears like she is flying. Then all of the other children will do the same thing and I feel I am the proud parent of four super heroes~! Who can do anything!!!! I realize there is nothing stopping her!!!! She is our little girl and their sister and

While I sit here typing …. I am watching her “smack” Melea for taking her shovel in the sand box. I probably should scream or something…but one year ago than little Eliza would have let her take it and just screamed ( maybe) but today she got up and took it back and said “mine” and “no”.

So we will celebrate you gotcha day tonight. I will remember who you were, what you do now and make big dreams for your future my little Eliza. Tonight….I will hold you tight and sleep on the sofa with you to remember how scared you were that first night and how I watched you sleep all night long….just you and me and a long night of snuggling to make sure we both get a chance to celebrate our “GOTCHA DAY”!

Mortality & Peace of Mind!!!

I always wonder what makes me feel more mortal. Is it my children, my lawyer, my age…which past 40 this year, or our insurance agent?

Having children, specifically special needs children, and specifically the number that we have make planning for the possibility of our (Eric’s and mine) deaths really scary. And even more of a necessity! Since I am one of those panicky people who make up things to worry about it is actually a wonder that I have been able to sleep on those few occasions when Adrian, et al will let me. By the way the Met Desk specialists are really good at this type of planning! It is amazing what parents of special needs children have to do for their kids to help guarantee their futures.

Well today my husband and I took the time to finally get the big albatross around both our necks removed! The last step in this process, to sign the new life insurance policies is done!!! We are both now officially worth more dead than alive! (Basically if they are always thinking the person who has a 50K benefit is the killer on Law & Order….I guess we will be both the prime suspects if something happens to the other!)

We have recently updated our special needs trust, since finalizing Eliza’s adoption and realizing we wanted to make sure we were covered in case we decided to adopt any other children (you never know when we might get a phone call or email). Started a new bank account, got a new EIN, got the new checks I wrote a new “How to care for the Smith Family Children Booklet”…OK really a large binder with letters of intent, and instructions and information and all that jazz, putting copies of IEP’s and goals, and all our important peoples names, and who doctors & specialist are, who you actually need to talk to at different places to get things accomplished the first time, and all the items I keep in my head regarding the kids schedules and daily routines, our bills and all that!

So today was the day we got to do the last step….we signed the papers, upped all the insurances…wrote some checks….do I feel prepared…or better…. Happy….NO!! I am a person who hates situations I can’t control, and the eventuality of “death” is a huge thing.

I am still amazed that it can and does come so unexpectedly. I see examples every single day on the news. It is really amazing how one event can change so many lives in an instant. I remember thinking so vividly one February morning when I was driving to school for a play rehearsal and passed a funeral outside a small catholic church. I thought of the temperature…it was frigid, and what an awful day it was to depart the earth…and what a crappy day for the people to have to attend this with the snow, and the dark gloom and all. Little did I know that my mother had already passed away that very morning and we would be attending one just like this…. outside in the snow and ice, cold, and the winter gloom for her in a few days. I learned every so vividly that death comes all too quickly and vividly and usually unexpectedly to so many.

So with today what I do feel though is relieved!!! IT IS DONE!!!!…I can say that I have made sure our family is protected on paper for now and that if all goes as planned all of my children will benefit from all this work someday…..I just want it to be much much much later that sooner!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Whole Enchilada!!!!!!

Tuesday evening Eric came home early and surprised me by suggesting we go out for dinner. (ok…I really think he just didn’t want the chicken I was going to cook for dinner or he would get for lunch on Wednesday)…but lets just say that I jumped at the chance …it was more like….you get in the car.

This dinner was so much better than our last one where we took all the children. Basically we decided that we would go to the Mexican restaurant if we could eat on the patio…I really hoped the sky would open up and pour on our trip over there cause I really wanted Outback or the new restaurant…but Adrian and Colin were squealing Mexican…….Actually I love our local restaurant so much…but I just want something different occasionally!

I told the children we would drive by and we could only eat there if the tables were out… well we pulled in…Eric was going to fib a little and take us to the new steak place… but Adrian started screaming “I can see the tables…they are out….the tables are out”. Colin is so excited making the consistent noise he does for Mexican and signing food and eat and Mexico!!!(I have to find out the sign for burrito!) So we are stuck!!! Oh well! And it is so economical for us to eat there with our Entertainment coupon anyways!

Eric stops the van in front…all kids (Colin thru Miranda) unload. Adrian goes and gets our table, and then returns to help Melea with Eliza and the three of them walk to the table. Colin volunteers to help carry Miranda…but I talk him into the diaper bag instead. Eric is in charge of Jordan and the van.

I get the tables set and all the children actually sit….we only get one high chair (for Jordan) and everyone else is in a regular chair. Only major issue is figuring out how to get every in a seat next to “daddy” or “mommy”. Thank heaven Colin is not as determined that he needs to sit next to one of us as the other ones are (or need too).

One of our favorite waitresses is there…Miss Hannah!!! She takes the drink order…water for all accept Adrian who kept her shoes on so she picks soda! Then we order our dinners: Colin got his usual…burrito and taco; We tried something new for Melea…tostada. (she didn’t like it); Adrian got nuggets and beans & tortillas to make burritos (which she hates it I call them burritos but will make her own with the beans. go figure); Eliza got her usual taco salad…cause she can feed herself it with a spoon (she still doesn’t like touching “funny” feeling food; and for Miranda we were going to try an enchilada!

This is the first time I have ordered an enchilada for Miranda…she has eaten parts of them off my plate…but usually after she has finished her beans and quesadilla (her favorite). I was really hoping that she and Melea liked the new choices…I knew we would now soon!

Well Hannah turned in our order…brought the drinks…which mad Melea sad…cause she wanted milk. She then actually asked for milk (with her mouth) which made me have to order it for her. Her dad almost got her to sign thank you to Miss Hannah…but she started the hide you face/be shy thing... but she did actually ask for it... Melea gets so shy when we go out.

Well the meals came…the kids (especially Adrian) love the way Hannah, Ashley, Louis and the other waiters carry all the plates to there respective tables….the kids are always imitating them at home …they keep proving the law of gravity every time they do this…but it is so entertaining so I just let them keep try it.

Hannah set all of the plates down in front of the children. While Melea was expressing her displeasure in her tostada (pretty loudly) I am trying to get Miranda, Eliza and Jordan’s food ready for them…in the blink of an eye…Miranda decides I am not waiting for you mom! So while Melea didn’t like the food experimentation, Miranda says MEXICAN MEXICAN!!!!

Miranda loved her meal! All of it!!!... She fed herself (As you can see). I really felt bad and I know that Hannah was happy cause we were eating on the patio and she could hose it off… I think the enchilada was gone in less than five seconds. Miranda was so proud of feeding herself, proud of eating this…. She is beaming and just so happy that she had fed herself. I just wish she would have put a little less on herself. She even managed to get beans inside her sure step orthotics...I was so impressed or scared

After we ordered Melea her “regular”….and everyone finished there food…I cleaned of Miranda, put her in a new t-shirt (always carry a few in the car for fun evening like this) and then daddy brought the van up and we all walked to the car, helping mom carry stuff, holding Eliza’s hand and just being happy!

So last night…I may have eaten taquitos and flan…but as a parenting moment “I got the whole enchilada”

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

List Mania!

I sit her wasting time at my computer this morning before I exercise (I am going for 31 miles this October on it to support my “31 for 21” blog attempt also) So far I have 3 ½ miles since the first. I am actually more likely to walk / run that 31 miles as I am to blog every day for 31 days….but I will keep trying.

So I thought I would tell you about my lists…I love lists…. I make tons of them ….. So many that it makes Eric cringe….and Adrian has even started carrying her own little pad and pen and makes hers. I just hope I am not as bad as she is when it gets lost! ….actually I am sure I am because my whole life is planned in this book.

In my “little book” I currently have a “To DO” list for each m-f week and then another one for the weekend. I have them about 3-4 weeks out in my notebook…so I can fill in stuff as I add it to my calendar (I know it is really a sickness). My weekly list remind me of our in home therapy times, special events that week (pictures, field trips, snack days, birthday parties…etc) reminding me to pay bills and what I want to accomplish.

I have a list for what I want to do to our house before the appraisal / construction phase…. Pay the architect, put in some new exterior doors & paint them, a new oven & second dishwasher in current kitchen, start taking out some trees, get the driveway patched in a few spots, fix the spot in the retaining wall I hit with the van the other day, get a new garage opener and

I have a planning list for Colin’s birthday party…invites…the kids…the food…web links…the snake guy….the cake design link….etc

I have Christmas lists for all the children started….as well as who we need to buy for….I also have Christmas lists to give Grandma and Grandpa and other people who grace us with presents. I also am making Eric’s Christmas list and my list too. That way I can cross off what has been purchased so we don't have to many dulicates and I can keep up to see if everyone is as close to even as they can be.

I also have a food shopping list: one for Wal-Mart, one for Save-A- Lot, and one for Aldi’s and one for Schnucks. I like cheap, but I have found that I like certain generic/ store brands of some products better than others. Specific example…Eric and the children love the hash browns from Save A lot and not at Aldi’s or Wal-Mart. So I have certain things we buy from each store and I try to shop a different one each week (except Wal-Mart…I think they should just get our paycheck and give us back an allowance)

I have a list of all the cricut cartridges and items I want for my scrap booking habit!

I have an “October list” which includes everything I want finished by the end of this month. So since my goal is to blog for 31 days straight! It is the first thing on my October list. Here are some of the other major things:

Walk /run 31 miles for DS (and my extra pregnancy bottom weight)

Blog 31 times

Exchange the winter clothes out for the children

Find all the winter coats and determine if they still fit and who need new ones

Move/ clean out under the steps and reorganize all the kids clothes bins into the utility room (so I have a place to “Lock up” the Christmas presents from Adrian)

Finish kids Christmas shopping (I usually do this Halloween no one at the stores…and I am done )

Start wrapping Christmas gifts (involves opening and putting in batteries, cutting all the expletive ties and putting on stickers so in “ready to play with condition…then wrapping

Help Eric clean the garage & install a garage door opener & get ready to put prius in for winter

Decorate for Halloween & find the thanksgiving decorations

Start our family holiday calendar (after I buy a new program)

Edit the 1100 photo files I am behind in the too be edited file

Get Colin & Jordan in for photos at the Picture People for Colin’s 7th birthday and Jordan’s 9 month photos

Buy Christmas pajamas for all

Set a time for Christmas photos which will involve Grandma and another person to help

Find a tree trimmer

Find someone to work on yard clean up or do it myself

Get fingerprints done

Meet with the Insurance guy and reevaluate our life policies and needs

Do a lot of paperwork for BFT

Clean and reorganize the kitchen cupboards (just to drive Eric and Diane nuts) and put more magnetic locks on them!!!

Also put magnetic locks on down stairs cupboards in mud room & in my office!

Register for YMCA classes

Renew memberships: Air Evac, zoo, & botanical gardens

Hopefully get a few more “grumpy” stories ready for illustrator!

Take my dh out to celebrate our anniversary and our life together

Get new website up for Princess Grumpy’s books (not just the blog)

Get a few new URL from go daddy

Get our subdivision website up w/ photos from around the area

Some work on the house: Alan’s guys @ hmc

Floor in Great room & Adrian’s’ room – FTG

School Conferences: all the children

Now you see why Eric cringes when I say “I’ll put it on the list”! I really do usually accomplish most of the things on my lists. But for some reason October’s Monthly list got really long!

So I will tell you how it went at the end of the month! I have made a dent in the clothing exchange/ moving and will start the kitchen soon! Some stuff is already scheduled and you will know if I am blogging here….so wish us luck on the rest!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

GRAVITY WORKS!!!! Incase you were not aware!

As a former Physics and science teacher you would think this would be a lesson my children would know by now....but oh no!!! Everyday all of them seem to try to prove that gravity doesn't effect them! Now why they would be any different from the other billions of people who inhabit the eath is beyond me!

So I usually get a chuckle almost every day on how my children still have to prove this every day! Whether they have that little extra piece or not, all of my kids take great pride in demonstrating on a regular basis thats “Gravity Works”!!!

Yesterday each of the six decided to do their six separate experiments. I really is sort of fun…

Melea proved that Gravity works by “blindly” jumping onto the fire pole on our rainbow set …something she normally does very well…but this time she forgot to grab the pole! She determined that gravity hurts too!

Colin and Eliza seemed to work on their gravity experiments together . He kept trying to push her on the swing and she keeps falling off. No tears though, just giggles…he would pick her back up and put her on the swing and try again (because this time She won’t fall off…NOT….LOL)

Adrian is really into wanting to imitate our favorite waitress and our local Mexican joint. She is forever putting two or three plates on her arms and delivering them to the table for me. But this time I needed some cups delivered! She wanted to do it like her friend “Ashley”, so she puts one cup in each hand and then puts the handle of the last cup in her mouth! (Ashley does not do this so I am not where it came from). Now Adrian does realize that gravity does work ….most of the time. So she has her head tilted all the way to the side…but the milk is still teetering precariously. She says through her clenched mouth “mom…mom…can you help please!” I think she wants me to take the cup…wrong….she wants me to drink some out so she can get to the table without spilling it since it doesn't have a lid!

But the funniest basically like this…. After getting home from an appointment, I put Jordan in his high chair and give him a toy. It hits the ground, so I make the assumption that he has thrown it!!! Jordan then squeals with delight!!! This very unique high pitch noise grabs my attention….I walk over and pick it up and make over him a little while I am trying to open a box of cherrios.

I turn around…. I hear a giggle from Miranda and then that delightful little squeal from Jordan…. And it is on the floor. I go over and pick it up…hand it back to him and now he and Miranda are giggling! I go back to trying to open that box of cheerios. Miranda crawls over to stand next to her brother’s chair….at the same time Jordan is trying to pitch that toy again….I hear that delightful squeal then I turn and Miranda is picking up the toy for her brother….

The phone rings….side note I am so tired of wrong numbers for Hulsey construction (we got their phone number 30 months ago when we moved here we still get 5-6 call per week. During this time I manage to open the cereal box and I have heard the toy get passed back and forth a few more times…I tell Miranda to go sit at the table. Well my squealing / giggling little guy still wants to play. Miranda hasn’t really moved yet….Jordan throws it again….squeals because he wants me to get it.

I go over to put the cereal out for Miranda and to pick up his toy and then I look down and realize to my chagrin that it is not only my children that like to prove that gravity works….because I forgot I was holding the cereal and now Miranda is sitting in a huge pile of them!!!!

These scene slightly reminds me of Captain Kirk in the Trouble with Tribles episode on the original Star Trek series….except she looks like she is in seventh heaven!...and yet again my floor is covered with cheerios…oh well I love the crunch!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Nutty Squirrel

Today on my trip to the doctor’s office….I stopped at the cross street at the end of our subdivision and I was awe stuck by this squirrel. It appeared to be a very small squirrel, but it was the size of a Disney chipmunk but with a bushy tail…so I was sure it was a squirrel. It was trying to drag a small branch with four huge walnuts on it across the street. (In case you are as ignorant as I was about nuts at one time….walnuts are huge till the hull rots off.)

It made me miss Tennessee for a moment….we had a huge walnut tree in our front yard there….it made 10 barrels of walnuts a year. That falling “ca-thump” and hitting our roof was a wonderful sign that fall was rapidly approaching. In a lot of ways watching this squirrel’s attempt to move this branch was amazing, scary and actually tiring all at the same time.

I was awe struck at how hard he was working at trying to move this branch. I am making an assumption that it was trying to take them home for food…I could be wrong though…but I like walnuts so why not this squirrel! I thought maybe he has a huge family…they need a lot to eat to make it through the winter….He was just so determined to make it across the road.

I wanted to help him! I wasn’t really sure how to though….so I just sat there and watched for a few minutes. He pushed and pulled, he would drag it a few feet, and then run out of the way for a car to pass, and then go back to trying to move this great treasure he had found. He was so intent on moving his prize that I saw him take chances I am sure that most squirrels would not. (SUV vs. squirrel not going to be good for the squirrel.)

Well he finally made it across the road and back onto the grass…I know he wasn’t to his home yet….but had made a huge amount of progress. I also had to make sure we didn’t miss our doctor’s appointment…so I had to go.

But that little squirrel sure mad an impression on me today!

I thought that I sure feel like that squirrel a lot!!! I push and I pull to get our kids up and out the door each morning….I try to make my children the best they can be…I am not always sure that it is really worth it. In this modern world….most of the time you are not judged by what is really important….(though I am still working on determining what that is too)…but I know most of the time it is not dedication to your family that gets you a cool car, or puts food on the table or pays for college. Being responsible is not a “desired trait” for a teenage “hogtie” list. But if you are a squirrel and want to make it to next year…you have to start putting away those nuts for later. You will spend most of your day “pushing” and “pulling” and hunting for food.

However as most parents know that it takes a lot of “good pushing and pulling” to raise children in today’s world with all the challenges facing them! There are days I feel like I am dragging a ton of "things" we need everywhere. Sometimes I am carrying 1-3 children at a time and I am always planning for the "future" . I stop a lot and look around.... but then rush off to complete whatever my task was, I am just as oblivious as that squirrel.

So today I decided I have a lot in common with that little squirrel! (Does that imply that I am nuts or is it my children who are?)

Get it Down: 31 for 21" Blogging for DS Awareness

Today marks the beginning of Down Syndrome awareness month! Our colors are yellow and blue.... though we are slightly eclipsed by the more popular pink month....breast cancer awareness month (another good cause) but you don't see a whole lot of celebrities or companies jumping behind an supporting Down Syndrome Awareness.

However Wal-Mart supports a lot of Buddy walks in smaller communities nation wide, our local Schnucks Supermarkets hire a lot of adults with developmental disabilities (including Down Syndrome) so they support awareness that way. Toys R Us and discovery toys have had children with Down Syndrome in their national advertising campaigns. I also swear the cover of our new YMCA bulletin had a beautiful young man with ds on it... but all I really can see is that this young man is just so darn cute...it takes a while to get to this point in your life when you are parent of a child with special need. It does happen...child first...not the disability. In fact I rarely ever see the ds anymore...just my adorable children!

I really wish I knew the best way to support awareness (usually just driving my van helps....I have enough stickers). As a family we are sort of an in your face type and with six children we really are hard to miss!

Actually I used to wonder why we really had an awareness month anyways...till I met people who didn't even know what Down Syndrome is! For us this list has included social workers, religious people, McDonald's employees, med students (I really hope I don't get them in the ER someday), high school students, educators, and this list is ever growing.

Since adopting Colin I found out going to college didn't mean that you actually understood what Down Syndrome is. Many people do not understand. I have met them in all paths of our journey as a parent of children with Down syndrome.

I have never seen anything these people all have in common. Except for the ignorance about on of the most common genetic abnormalites in children. These are not only people who didn't finish school, they are older, they are are younger, they are rich, they are poor, they are intellectual. They have been our friends, our neighbors, and people we have met in our general daily lives.

But the one thing they do have in common is that they just don't understand what Down syndrome is....let alone what it entails to raise a child with Down syndrome.

So I thought I would participate in the "Get it Down: 31 for 21" -Blogging for DS Awareness. Read here for further information http://unringingthebell.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/09/get-it-down.html

So for the next thirty one days I will make a point to write every day continue to tell you about our daily lives and show you that despite each my children's' extra chromosome they have more things in common with us, than differences from us. I really see this everyday when I watch them with our two "typicals". Most of the time I actually feel that our life is more closer to "normal" than what most people would think! By the way did you know that "Typical is overated" anyways.

So have a great October and please support you local Buddy Walk (if it has yet to take place) ....ours was over a month ago.....and we kicked royal booty! Thanks to all our supporters!!

So today I will kick off this off with.....the squirrel and the walnut!