Friday, November 28, 2008

How many trips to Home Depot are required to .......

do any home improvement project....... the world will never know? (paraphrasing one of my favorite tootsie roll pop commercials) Ant least in in our home it is always 2 more than you had planned on!!!!!

This is one of those things that can cause Eric and I to fight or argue more than any thing!!!!! Examples:

  • When one of us cuts the wood wrong (OK IT IS ERIC!!!!!) and I have a table leg that is 30 inches and three that are 37 inches........... and you can never glue that piece back on...... SO IT IS GRUMPILY one of us (USUALLY ME) goes back to the store for...... more wood or more screws or more wire

  • we are enlarging the kids play loft for Christmas this year...... last weekend he and our helper worked for hours (by the way Eric's estimate for the whole project was 5 hours...... and it is still not done to where I wanted it last weekend..... different story and different issue) they cut all the loft legs at 4 foot...... SOME OF MY KIDS ARE TALLER THAN 4 foot!!!!! THEY WOULD HIT THEIR HEADS!!!! and it was at 4' and the directions I left said 5 '....... but hey who reads directions....... SO REALLY REALLY GRUMPILY this pregnant lady goes back to Home Depot to buy 5 more 4" x 4" x 10' pieces .....

Now of course you would think I could find help loading my cart, or what I need is always on the second shelf up........ so no orange smocked people in sight..... I manage to get them into the lumber cart...... course then someone shows up and offers to push it up tot he front by the way!

I but the staple gun he is going to need cause ours evaporated into thin air....... and I am not coming back when he realizes it........ I also get a GFCI outlet to replace one (another project which I am sure will take 3 x as long as it should..... not Eric's fault though..... every time we mess with the electrical in this house or change something out I am surprised it hasn't burned down yet (to date over 18K in electrical repairs...... and still going by the way)......

I check out and of course she pages someone to help me load them...... 10 minutes no luck..... so I give up and put them in the van myself!!!!!!

So far we are on two trips to Home Depot and one to Wal-Mart for this project........ we have to go buy more wood for the steps and the railing today......... I am hoping for only one trip....... but I really doubt it!

And of course when this project is done...... we are knocking out / taking out some walls downstairs and that will be even more fun next weekend!

I am glad though that Colin and Adrian love going to the home improvement stores........ cause we spend a lot of time there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! To ALL!!!!

Today is the day I get to count my blessings..... and really think about all that I have and all that I am thankful for!
I have seven children and receives 4 pine cones and peanut butter covered centerpieces, three photo collages about things they were thankful for (ironically.... I was not on any of them!..... Aunt Karen....we got to talk!!!!)..... lots of beautiful hand print turkeys , a really neat pilgrim hat and and Indian head dress (with hot pink & green)...... not sure how historically accurate it was..... but Melea sure was proud to show it to me!
But today I realize how happy I am to be a mom.... 7 months of straight throwing up aside...... being a mom and Eric's wife mean more to mean than anything I have ever done to this point. So here are the nine things I am the most thankful for....... Eric, Colin , Devon, Melea, Adrian, Eliza, Miranda, Jordan and the soon to released.... Baby Emmerson!
I am including this copy of the traditional forwarded email type I get a lot of....... for your enjoyment.
Because today I am so excited!!!! Is the first thanksgiving I AM NOT MAKING PUREED TURKEY or having to put it in a blender or mashing it in the potatoes to hide it!.......
Everyone now eats solids, no more tubes or puree's or sippy cups or bottles (till Feb)!!!!!! I can proudly announce that Devon will be eating his turkey cut up in 1" x 1" cubes......
only a special needs parent would understand....... but he has been with us for 6 1/2 months and we now it chopped food and very little has to go through the blender any more...... it has been almost 2 months since anything but margarita's or smoothies have been in my blender...... something else to celebrate!
So enjoy your family and friends and have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thoughts of a Mom

By Maureen K. Higgins

Many of you I have never even met face to face, but I've searched you out every day. I've looked for you on the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores. I've become an expert at identifying you. You are well worn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be. Your words ring experience, experience you culled with your very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world. You are my "sisters." Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority. A very elite sorority.

We are special. Just like any other sorority, we were chosen to be members. Some of us were invited to join immediately, some not for months or even years. Some of us even tried to refuse membership, but to no avail. We were initiated in neurologist's offices and NICU units, in obstetrician's offices, in emergency rooms, and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with somber telephone calls, consultations, evaluations, blood tests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries. All of us have one thing in common. One day things were fine. We were pregnant, or we had just given birth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we were playing with our toddler.

Yes, one minute everything was fine. Then, whether it happened in an instant, as it often does, or over the course of a few weeks or months, our entire lives changed. Something wasn't quite right. Then we found ourselves mothers of children with special needs. We are united, we sisters, regardless of the diversity of our children's special needs. Some of our children undergo chemotherapy. Some need respirators and ventilators. Some are unable to talk, some are unable to walk.

Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live in a different world. We do not discriminate against those mothers whose children's needs are not as "special" as our child's. We have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes. We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know "the" specialists in the field. We know "the" neurologists, "the" hospitals, "the" wonder drugs, "the" treatments. We know "the" tests that need to be done, we know "the" degenerative and progressive diseases and we hold our breath while our children are tested for them. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.

We have taken on our insurance companies and school boards to get what our children need to survive, and to flourish. We have prevailed upon the State to include augmentative communication devices in special education classes and mainstream schools for our children with cerebral palsy. We have labored to prove to insurance companies the medical necessity of gait trainers and other adaptive equipment for our children with spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalities to have our children properly classified so they could receive education and evaluation commensurate with their diagnosis.

We have learned to deal with the rest of the world, even if that means walking away from it. We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during "tantrums" and gritted our teeth while discipline was advocated by the person behind us on line. We have tolerated inane suggestions and home remedies from well-meaning strangers. We have tolerated mothers of children without special needs complaining about chicken pox and ear infections.

We have learned that many of our closest friends can't understand what it's like to be in our sorority, and don't even want to try. We have our own personal copies of Emily Perl Kingsley's "A Trip To Holland" and Erma Bombeck's "The Special Mother." We keep them by our bedside and read and reread them during our toughest hours. We have coped with holidays.

We have found ways to get our physically handicapped children to the neighbors' front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways to help our deaf children form the words, "trick or treat." We have accepted that our children with sensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace on Christmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and a blazing Yule log with our words for our blind children. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. We have bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. And all the while, we have tried to create a festive atmosphere for the rest of our family. We've gotten up every morning since our journey began wondering how we'd make it through another day, and gone to bed every evening not sure how we did it. We've mourned the fact that we never got to relax and sip red wine in Italy.

We've mourned the fact that our trip to Holland has required much more baggage than we ever imagined when we first visited the travel agent. And we've mourned because we left for the airport without most of the things we needed for the trip. But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We never stop believing.

Our love for our special children and our belief in all that they will achieve in life knows no bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns and extra points and home runs. We visualize them running sprints and marathons. We dream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horses and chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voices singing Christmas carols. We see their palettes smeared with watercolors, and their fingers flying over ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed at the grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stop believing in all they will accomplish as they pass through this world.

But in the meantime, my sisters, the most important thing we do, is hold tight to their little hands as together, we special mothers and our special children, reach for the stars.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spilt milk.....and all that makes me smile (and sometimes cry)

Jordan is growing up so quickly........ I think he has really loved the kids returning to school and the magic three and a half hours we spend together..... each Mon thru Thurs!

He smiles, he hugs and he talks to me the whole time..... we play and we clean up...... we exercise...... run errands..... and basically just hang out a lot (and do tons of laundry).

Today he helped me clean the kitchen..... my 20 month old.... holds the dust pan for me..... and then today he tries to take it to the trash can....... imagine a little toddler wobbling over and spilling about 3/4 of all the stuff in the pan, but that face as he turned around showed so much pride an joy and happiness that I just wanted to hug him!!!!

I think this is one of the coolest things about being a parent! The chance to see full joy on a daily or sometimes hourly basis!

But I have so learned not to cry over spilt milk..... (even with the huge price increases this year)..... because in our family..... besides having a lot of spilt milk (and other liquids) comes a lot of joy at seeing all of the kids accomplish something new!
Sunday at Eric's birthday lunch with his children at El Nopal.... Devon made a huge jump in his developmental skills...... He drank a whole glass of lemon aide with a straw~!
What is the big deal..... he is almost 8..... BUT IT WAS HUGE!!!!! It was the last goal Eric and I had for him to complete before school started (OK again a little late it is November...... but time adjustment and dates changes are part of being a mom of my kids.....they do everything when they want.... not on my timeline!)
He has drank his juice or milk with a straw every day since..... no more sippy cups, no more remembering to bring one when go out or finding a moldy one in my van cause Eric or I forgot it!!!! I AM SO HAPPY!!!!
So today I was happy over spilt dust & dirt and thankful for a little less spilt milk cause Devon can use a straw NOW!!!
......... but you should have seen the floor in front of the sink at lunch when Miranda tried to help me clean the table........ she carried each glass over and put them in the sink....... one of them was upside down.......... but again....... that face of pride and joy and happiness for helping mommy do something!!!!
So today being a mom is also so worth a roll of paper towels!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I can blog again & Happy 8th Birthday Colin

We have now finalized Devon's adoption, and I can blog again (it was so hard to do this and not talk about him and all of the fun we had adding him to our family! So we didn't do any)

But I have almost 90 posts I have written I can go back and add as we go along....... now that names have changed and we are all legal!!!!!

So they will slowly be popping up with the actual dates as well as new ones! Though there are many posts where I feel that we may all not survive Devon or that I was crazy to do this...... Self doubt is something that is a huge issue for me. I never feel like I am a good mom, a good wife or even a nice person. I occasionally just want to be a turtle and pull my head in and hide from everyone!

BUT TODAY is COLIN MIGUEL's 8th birthday (we had his party in late October so we could go to the train place to ride with all his friends)

...... I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!! He is doing so many amazing things this year (even if he drives his regular classroom teacher batty!) He has become the best and most awesome big brother to all of his siblings, he makes me smile and wants to help me do everything. He has developed an interest in cooking, he can unload the dishwasher and knows where everything should go! And he has developed a special love and relationship with Miranda..... he helps her and holds her and will make sure she is OK all the time...... he makes her walk down the steps and is just absolutely wonderful with her! I COULD NOT BE PROUDER TO CALL HIM MY SON !

He is starting to try to verbalize more (still no mommy..... but hey I know he is saving that for the most special moment we have to share yet!) I hear a consistent sound for "Devon", thank-you, "daddy", baby (Miranda); buba (Adrian) , Sponge Bob, and a few others. Besides the occasional word that just comes out so clearly that you wonder if he really said that....... but you never hear again!

And today marks the eighth anniversary of his birth ~! I can't believe how fast time has flown by! I can't believe that I have seven...soon to be eight children age eight or under (and most days this is awesome by the way). I can't believe that Colin loves Eric and I so much and how much he brings to all of our lives. How he can brighten any one's day with a smile or a giggle and how much I love to get those wonderful hugs he gives......

Did we make as much progress as I wanted this year..... probably not..... we are still in diapers and we aren't talking (but who said communication should be verbal) and all in all his growth as an individual and a person has been phenomenal and his changes as a big brother have made me so proud that I could never explain it...... (he accepted another young man without too much issue, shared his room, his clothes his toys and me......... this was not easy)..... but he loves and takes just as much care of Devon as he does the rest!

And today as I sit here and type ......I can't believe I managed to get Colin out the door with a huge cookie for his party there, and treats for his classmates (in both rooms)....... IT REALLY WAS A HUGE COOKIE!!!!!! That in the last week we have had three doctor's appointments, a wonderful mommy & daddy only weekend; Eric's 41st birthday (or his 14th at age 28 keep dreaming honey we are getting old!); I have a trustee / subdivision meeting tonight and tons of stuff to get finished for that; and ironed on all the daisy girl scout patches for Melea & Adrian.

But all I really wanted to do was hug and kiss and spend the day with my big guy! Tell him how much I love him and remember how small and fragile he was and marvel at how big and responsible he has become!

I love you Colin and Happy 8th Birthday~!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DEVON's Finalization Day IS HERE!!!!!

Today we went to court and got to finalize Devon's adoption!!!!! He is ours forever!

Do I know if he understands? No, I really do not! I do know the following though!

all of the kids love "D"..... they fight to carry his book bag, or push his wheel chair when needed, the want to help him no matter what he does

  • all six of the kids stood up in court to say HE IS OUR BROTHER!!!!

  • that "D" was the most well behaved in a public place this morning than he has ever been with us since he came 6 months ago!

  • that he wanted hugs and kisses all day and even gave several!!! To all of us!

  • and WE ALL LOVE HIM....... no matter what

I wonder if anyone ever thought they would find him a a forever family........ well he has one now, no matter how much spaghetti has hit the ceiling, or OJ on the floor...... how many times he has pushed Jordan down and smacked Melea......

they love him, we love him and he is OUR SON and BROTHER TODAY!!!!