Back to the land of the living

So, it’s been months since I’ve posted.  MONTHS.  Not days or weeks…  but months.  I can’t believe the time has gone by that quickly.  About time for me to get back to it dontcha think? 

What can I say about life in our home now?  It’s hectic, busier than I ever thought life could be with, seemingly, no space for anything other than what we currently get done.  That being said, I’m happy.  Happy Happy Happy.  It’s a cold, wet day and I have to bundle the kiddles up and walk down to the shop to buy a few things (a prospect that doesn’t neccessarily make me want to jump for joy) but still – I’m happy.  My months away from you have been interesting to say the least.  None of them have been easy but there has certainly been laughter and joy.  It’s been the biggest roller coaster I’ve ever ridden.  (And for you Jess – of the blog “Diary of a Mom” – I hate, hate, hate them too!) 

We’ve had an amazing amount of teething happen and it’s taken F O R E V E R.  There has been croup, colds with scarily high fevers, a mouse that won’t get out of my pantry no  matter what I do, bush fires galore where we had all of our things packed for over 6 weeks “just in case”, a sad dog story that’s still in the works and a myriad of other fun little ditties.

So,  now that I’ve hopefully succeeded in whetting your appetite for the tales to follow – I’ll leave you for the moment to get to that shop so I can come back and sit down with you over a nice, steaming cuppa to tell you how it’s been.

I can’t wait to get this party started again! 

 

Finally here… sort of

So.  We’ve moved.  And finally, after just over four weeks, we’re ‘home’.  It’s taken this long for the settling in process to happen and to be honest, we’re still not all the way there.

Our little house with the wrap around porch is beautiful.  The mountains that we look across while sitting on that wrap around porch are beautiful.  Our tiny little town that has taken us on as one of their own – is beautiful.  I love it here.  I recently told my mother that I was made to live in a small town like this.  That I was made for simple, country living.  And I believe that with all my heart.  I feel so at home here it’s amazing.  I hope we get to stay here for years and years.

The “I’m  not so sure” part comes from how our little man has taken to the move.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazingly obvious that he loves having the space to run around and play.  That he loves his HUGE new room and all the toys that it holds.  The thing is, there were too many changes in too short a period of time.  And now not only he, but we all, are paying the price.  I feel for him so completely.  His inability to express himself verbally just makes things harder for all of us.  But I know that he’s a survivor and has the strength and fortitude it takes to work through it all with our love, support and assistance.

It’s been hard for me to write because of all the challenges that have been part of our daily living.  Even today, I’m not really quite sure how all these words are hanging together, but here they are.  Today I thought I should at least attempt to put into words how we’re doing so you’ll just have to bear with me while I try to morph feelings and happenings into words that make sense.

On that  note, here ends my attempt.  Short, I know.  I’ll attempt more again soon but both my beautiful littllies are near begging me to take them outside.  And I love that.  :-)

 

Packing packing and yet, more packing

We’re moving. 

Need I say more?  If I look at another box, get any more packing tape stuck on me, spend one more night up until all hours packing and scrubbing because it’s easier to do it with the little ones asleep – I think I might just drop into a Sleeping Beauty type sleep and not wake up for 100 years.  Actually, that sounds pretty good right now!

We’ve recently donated SEVEN skips/dumpsters to the powers that be.  (Now really, who even owns that much crap that you can THROW AWAY seven loads of stuff and still have your whole house full of normal things?)  And even with that generous donation it still seems like we’ve got an enormous amount of stuff.  The children have taken to playing hide and seek in the gaps that have somehow been formed in the huge wall of boxes that is steadily growing in the garage.  At least they’re having fun. 

All I can say is, while I’m really looking forward to this move more than I have with many of the other moves we’ve made, I’ll be SO glad when it’s over.  I think I’m going to soak in my nice new claw foot bath for a week and let Dad and the children sort themselves out.  Calgon – take me away.

So, this move is the reason why I’ve been so slack in writing and is the reason that I quite possibly will be slack again for another week or two.  Once I decide to remove myself from the bath (ha!) I’ll get back into my weekly writing routine.  I look forward to writing while gazing out over the snow capped mountains as I drink a cuppa on the balcony.  It’s so totally worth the poo going on right now. 

Happy moving to me!

 

Dear Dad

Hi Dad

Tomorrow is my birthday – and you’re still gone.  I miss you more than words can ever say.  Two birthdays without you is two too many.  I wonder how many more there will be without you on the other end of the phone.

I remember so much of you Dad.  I especially remember those special Dad smells.  The oil smell when you came home from work, the Right Guard smell when you got out of the shower, the smell of sun on you when you’d been outside working in the garden.  Remember the time you fell asleep in the chair on the deck, got sunburned and ended up with a white cross around your neck from where your necklace was?  LOL  I do.  I remember things that hurt to remember.  Good things, but hurtful things now that you’re not here.  Things that I want to remember WITH you, not just about you.

The children are growing so amazingly Dad.  Our little man will be 5 soon and he’s doing so well.  You’d be so proud of him and the things he’s accomplished.  He’s so tall and so strong now.  He’s learning to talk and he LOVES music!  He sings and dances and loves to entertain us with all of his beautiful little self whenever he gets the chance. 

Our beautiful girl – the girl you never knew about – is just gorgeous Dad.  Just yesterday I was putting her shoes on to take her outside and when she looked at me, it reminded me of that picture of me when I was her age and I was wearing your boots at the house in Aquebogue.  Remember that?  It could be a picture of her we look so similar.  Even down to the tiny little gap in her teeth.  She’s walking now – and running – and running and running and running.  She loves music too and to watch the two of them dance and sing together is one of my greatest joys.  I know it would be one of yours too.  If only you could come play your guitar for them like you did for me and my little sister. 

You’re missed Dad.  Every single day.  I’m so glad that you’re no longer in that horrible pain, but what I wouldn’t give to hear your voice just one more time.  To hug you and smell you.  To hear the pet names you used to call me.  To see that look in your eyes that told me how proud you were of me.  Or just to know that you’re at home and within my reach if I need you.  Because I do Dad.  I still need you. 

So, Happy Birthday to me – from you.  I still carry you with me every day and it’s one of the best presents I have to open tomorrow – my thoughts of you.

I love you Dad.  I love you forever.

xoxoxoxo

An open letter to my BFF

My ‘best friend since sixth grade’ has recently gone through what I would consider my worst nightmare.  We’re only in our early forties.  Too young for her to have had to endure the things she has.

I live on the other side of the world from BFF now and I miss her like I would miss the sun if it stopped shining.  I miss that someone besides my husband knows me as well as she does.  (My family does too but this is even different from that.)

It’s been almost 19 years that we’ve been apart and yet I still feel her pain as keenly as if it were my own.  I wish I could climb through the telephone line to hold her close and cry with her or to be the strength she needs to get through a day, hour or minute when she hasn’t got it.  I want to be there for her when she’s having a good day and wants to laugh and remember that the sun DOES still shine – just for her.

You know who you are.  

Dear BFF,

During one of our recent conversations when I mentioned that you’re still my best friend you said, “Really?  Even with everyone you have there?”, and all I can say to that is – absolutely.  While our lives may have moved on and changed dramatically, while we may believe different things and have chosen different paths, while there are parts in each other’s lives we’ll never be able to fully understand because we haven’t walked in the shoes of the other  – there will never be anyone to replace you.  You have always been the touchstone I’ve used when reflecting on my life.  

I love you.  I love your kids.  I love the success you have enjoyed in your life.  I love the strength that you have.  I respect you for how you’re enduring your current moments.  I respect the decisions you’ve made on this walk called life and I’m so proud of who you’ve become.  You are so worthy of all things good and beautiful.  Please – never forget that.  

I am here for you – no matter how far away.  I will walk this path with you even if we only talk once in a while.  Know that I am in your corner – fighting for you, praying for you and being your head cheerleader.  You’ve got what it takes.  You’ve got tons of the stuff and you know it.  They should have called you ‘Moxy’ when you were born cause that stuff oozes out of you like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Keeping remembering the good stuff.  Keep on looking forward.  Keep on climbing.  You won’t fall – I’m right behind you.  And when you haven’t got the strength to keep climbing – I’ll get in front and pull you.  Whatever you do, just don’t look down.  

I haven’t even come close to completely exhausting what’s in my heart for you, but given this little look I can hazzard a guess that you’ve got the picture.

I love you BFF.  I will love you forever.  Thank you – for all that you are and who you are becoming.  I’m blessed because you’re in my life.

Always,
xxooxxoo

Where does the oatmeal go?

I’ll tell you where it goes.  It goes all over the ENTIRE floor,on the bookshelf, on everything on the bookshelf, on the wall behind the bookshelf, under the fridge, on the fridge and over the fridge.  It even does a physically impossible left hand turn and lands on the wall behind the fridge.

How does this all happen?  Like this…

I don’t have the best hands in the world.  I have arthritis so in the winter and on cold, rainy days (there have been many of those lately) my fingers are usually swollen like caveman clubs and I have very limited fine motor skills.  (Ask my mother to recall the time I tried to hem my sister’s pants when I visited a few years ago.  The whole caper of trying to first pick the needle up off the table and then manouver it around was a complete hoot to her.  I have to admit, it was pretty comical.)

The other little piece of history that’s relevant to this story is the fact that when both children wake up at the same time in our house – it’s basically pandemonium.  There’s no two ways about it.  It’s just a bad scenario.  Our little man usually wakes up first.  And it’s usually at some riduculous hour – like 5:30am.  He stays in his bed until one of us goes to get him but the price of that little piece of ‘I’ll just rub the sleep out of my eyes and maybe go to relieve myself’ is listening to him yell “farm” at the top of his lungs until we do.  (“Farm” is his current favorite DVD.)  We usually try to keep him in there until at least 6am when we’ve deemed it ‘okay’ to get up but depending on how loudly he’s calling, one of us might get him up sooner just so he doesn’t wake up the beautiful girl.  And of course, most days he’s either soaking wet or has poo E V E R Y W H E R E.  And I wish I were exagerating.  He’s got a ‘hands down his pants’ thing going on right now and that’s how it gets everywhere.  Gross beyond words and not something I really want to elaborate on.  I’m sure your imagination can sort it out.

Our beautiful girl is now 16 months old and started walking about 2 weeks ago.  Needless to say she’s like a whole packet of mexican jumping beans if she’s awake.  She’s got more energy than I knew a human could have.  It’s amazing to watch her.  That being said, when she wakes up in the morning she’s not happy to sit there and play for a while anymore.  She basically wakes up, rolls over, sits up, then stands up and starts yelling for someone to come and get her so she can begin the dance of the day.

So, this morning at 5:45 I hear the little man start stirring in the monitor next to my ear.  I roll over and think to myself, “Great.  I’ve got 15 minutes to take a shower.”.  (Taking a shower before the kids are awake is a huge treat for me.)  So, I drag my still half asleep self into the freezing cold and gratefully step into the hot shower.  Fifteen minutes later I’ve got my little man standing in front of the tv (the easiest place to change him) with poo all over his hands, my beautiful girl screaming her head off and Daddy nowhere to be found (but probably where most men are first thing in the morning).  *sigh*

As my anxiety level starts to rise I try to will my body to grow about 5 extra hands so I can get the dirty pj’s off the little man while wiping his hands with sanitizing wipes and trying to keep him from touching anything until he’s clean.  Way easier said than done.  My beautiful girl is trying her hardest to convey that she’s totally over being in bed and wants out NOW.  This is actually what causes me to be anxious.  I know in my head that she’s safe and that everything is okay but let’s face it, it’s cold here right now and still dark in the morning and she can hear that life is going on in the warm light that she can see under her door.  I wouldn’t want to be there either.

Thankfully, Daddy appears.  (My hero.)  He offers to finish the gross job that I’ve got going on but since I’m already up to my elbows in it I ask him to get the beautiful girl instead.  (I can almost hear the relief that I see in his eyes and it makes me smile a bit.)  I hear them talking and playing and saying their yummy little good mornings to each other in the background and my anxiety almost instantly vanishes.  I can take my time with the little man now and not be the cranky mummy that comes along with anxiety.  We start to play a little game while I’m wiping his hands and then come those gorgeous little giggles that only the two of us share.  I start to get the feeling that the morning will be okay.  Whew.

And then…  (isn’t there always one of those?)…  he brings the beautiful girl out and she starts to scream immediately because I’m busy and can’t hug her good morning RIGHT NOW!  Holy cow.  How can a house be so full of noise before 6:30?  There are tears and gentle admonishments that this is all a bit silly because mummy is right there and will hug her in just a minute when she’s finished with her big brother.  Nope – nothing.  Not even a dummy (pacifier) will do the trick.  

I finally finish what I’m doing, get the dirty clothes in the washer, wash my hands and can give her a hug.  Instant smiles.  Dad just chucks her on the chin, kisses her and heads into the shower to get ready for his day.

Order is restored.  Again.

Things go well for a while.  Daddy gets off to work, the kids and I dance and sing to some Hi-5 and of course, the favorite “farm” DVD.  We’re happy and warm and enjoying each other’s company.  I get my girl into her chair with some toast and fruit and make the complicated breakfast that belongs to my little guy.  It’s only complicated because any form of change is unacceptable to him (one of his ‘isms’ and something a lot of DS and parents of autistic children deal with) and I’m currently trying to do just that.  Change what he eats for breakfast.

Anyway, I get it sorted and made, everyone is happy and I’m doing a happy little dance and singing a happy little song on my way over to him with bowl in hand.  In the hand that is now starting to cramp up and seize (but I’m just ingnoring like I usually do).  Everyone’s laughing because Mummy is being so silly.  It’s great.  And then it happens.  I drop the bowl of oatmeal.  From almost above my head.  And of course, it lands upside down.  Everyone stops laughing and just looks at me wondering what’s going to happen next.  My beautiful girls says, “uh-oh”, my little man looks at her and then I see the smile slowly spread across his face and the giggle start to bubble up.  And so the oatmeal goes…

It’s going to be a good, fun day.  For real.  I can already hear the laughter that’s in store for us today.

Chocolate Covered Katie

Okay, so WANTING to write a blog and having tons of entries already in my head obviously means absolutely doodly squat when two littlies are constantly vying for your attention.  (Not to mention the enormous mound of laundry so artfully placed (eh-hem) on the couch in the family room that continally calls my name.)

For those of you that know me, you’ve heard me talk about how much I LOVE Chocolate Covered Katie.  She has become my hero.  (Thanks CCK!)  Our family has recently tried to reduce the amount of refined sugar we eat (white, brown, raw, etc) and I’ve found her website to be a haven.  We’ve missed having something nice and yummy with our afternoon cuppa.  But then, seemingly out of nowhere, along comes CCK.  I can’t even remember how I came across her blog.  Quite frankly – who cares?  I’m there now.  There are so many sugar free recipes (some with sugar alternatives like stevia, agave, etc) that you’d never know don’t have sugar in them.  My sweet tooth, and waistline, have never been happier.  I haven’t asked for permission to post any of her recipes here yet but if you want to check out the yummy goodness the web address is:

chocolatecoveredkatie.com

Let me entice you with these little mounds of gold:

Banana Bread Breakfast Donuts.  I’ve made them with agave (as the recipe suggests) and also without.  BOTH are spectacular and are a huge treat.  My now toddling little girl can’t get enough of them.  Be prepared – you might need to make another batch right after you finish eating the first one so you might as well not bother letting the oven cool down!

Go ahead – I dare you!

 

Hello world!

So, I’ve joined the world of blogging. Think it’s taken me long enough. Thank you to my wonderful sister for encouraging me to get a move on. :-) You’re awesome!

Okay, as I’m just getting started here at WordPress you’ll have to excuse me as I learn how to use it and figure out the widgets and all the other little things that will hopefully make this blog a bit more interactive and worth following. Bear with me okay? I’ll get there.

My intention here is just to enjoy a bit of life, throw around a bit of wit, share some of the stories of the funny (and sometimes not so funny) things that happen in my life with a Down Syndrome toddler and a wanna be toddler. I love cooking and at the moment am really into cooking healthy blogs so there’s an excellent chance I’ll share some of the recipes I’m trying out.

One thing you won’t find here are any seriously identifying things about any of my friends or family. I recently made a very unpopular decision to delete (not just deactivate) my personal facebook account. While it does have something to do with not really wanting Uncle Sam to know everything about me at any given time, what my kids look like, what I ate today, etc, my decision was also about trying to be a woman of wisdom and maybe to use a bit of discretion. (We’ll see how that pans out here. HA!) Anyway, if you are a personal friend of mine and know my family and I, please keep our names and pictures out of the loop. I’ll find new ways to identify us that you can use so everyone knows who’s being talked about. If you do, by accident, use someone’s real name, I’ll read the comment and promptly delete it. Hope you understand.

Okay… let’s have some fun! I can’t wait to start meeting you all!