Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back on the horse!

I have not blogged in so long.  Our lives are full of adventure and there is constantly something to blog about.  When I think that I need to blog about something, I say to myself, "Dang! I haven't blogged in months and I am so behind that I can't possibly start now" My mom and mother in law are hoping for these updates.I get emails from people in the blogging world what is going on and where have I been?

Blogging is my therapy.  I love blogging.  I always have.  So, my first therapy session is here.  I will resume a post I started in September and go from there....

It's amazing how so many things in life take you by surprise...

Austin left for Boot Camp for the National Guard on June 18th.

 Really, it was no big deal.  He is 17 after all and lives independently in our basement.  He went to school, worked a lot, and spent time with his friends when he wasn't at school or work.

I, of course, knew he lived here because we would wake up to a messed up kitchen or would be woken up at 10:30 at night by my teenager asking for money that he needed for such and such by 7am.  (Do I have an ATM in my bedroom??)

Really, it was no big deal.  He would be gone for 10 weeks learning the skills to become a soldier. Not much different than now.  Really.

So, on June 17th, Mike and I took him for his last meal at his place of choice..

He ate so much his stomach hurt. Perfect.

The next day, I drove him up to the Brainerd airport, that would have transported him to the Minneapolis airport and then to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

No big deal. I've got this.

"Don't Cry! Don't Cry!"
 Not so much! After THREE days, Austin finally found himself in Fort Leonard Wood. Long story. It was a complete Goat Rodeo getting him there to say the least. 

During those three days, we exchanged many text messages.  Then.....silence.

Followed by even more silence.....

I was able to talk to Austin for 15 minutes THREE STINKIN' TIMES during his 10 week stay at FLW.

It was hard.  Very hard.  He was essentially getting his butt kicked by drill Sargent's in 100+ degree heat.

Every. Single. Day!! Yet, I could not talk to him. To support him. To encourage him. It.Killed.Me.

It was hard. 

The day finally came that I was able to see my boy.  His graduation from Boot Camp.

Mike, Gavin, and I made the 15 hour treck to Missouri.  (Stopped in to spend some time with my bestie from High School---total bonus! More on that later!)

Words cannot depict the emotions that I felt that day.  The moment I saw him. My hear and soul were swelling with pride.  Remember, he did this on his own initiative.  No influence on me or Mike.


This child, gave up his entire summer between his junior and senior year to become a soldier.

Wow! There really are no words.

He is an amazing kid. I love who he has become.  He is so hardworking and respectful. I would like to take some credit here but not sure if I can. 

I know, I know, brag, brag, brag.  Let the blogging world see all the happy and sappy stuff.  But really, I am one proud mama! Yup.

End of story. No apologies needed.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Few Proud Mommy Moments!

We had Molly's IEP meeting yesterday to go over what the plan is going to be for kindergarten.
We've decided to separate the girls.  That is their recommendation and I agree.
I think that having them together will be a crutch to both of the girls.
Molly will be in the regular classroom 70% of the time and pulled for therapies and such 30%.
She will continue to have a one on one para for the next year being it is something completely foreign to her.  New building, new people, new environment!
She will also continue to ride the special needs bus next year but all agree she will more than likely transition to the regular school bus in first or second grade.

Each day that Molly arrives at school, she sits down and Bonnie (her para) helps her trace her name.  Little Missy is really fighting for her Independence this year.  I was told that she pushes Bonnie away repeating, "No! Stop it! I do it! I do it!"
They showed me this:
 Look at that! The "M" is hard for her but this is the first time I had seen how awesome she did on independently writing her name!

Then she showed me this one:
 The head teacher was sure that Bonnie had helped her with this drawing and Bonnie assured her that nope, "Molly do it!" and she did. All by herself with no prompting or assistance!
I am not gonna lie.  I cried as I stared at this piece of art that will be framed. 
I was so proud. Look that the hair and eyes and the arms and legs all in the appropriate spots!

My teenager.
You know the one.
The one that lives in the basement of our house.
The one I see for, ummm, maybe 10 minutes a week.
Well, he decided that he was gonna join the National Guard.
All on his own initiative.
He took the written test and blew it out of the water! Scored an almost perfect score!
He then did the physical portion. I guess that they are extremely picky these days.
You have to essentially be in top notch condition to be considered.
He passed and was sworn in:
I am one proud mama!! (Daddy was more excited and proud than me!)
And so he will be shipped off the basic training for 10 weeks this summer.

Mr. Gavin continues to Rock It in Tae Kwon Do! He has worked very hard over the passed for months and obtained his YELLOW belt this past week!

The instructor was a little less forgiving this time and only a handful of kids actually got their yellow belt. It was a tough test.
So proud of my big boy!

And Miss Mag Pie. She has been dancing her little heart out this winter.
She has had several shows and loves it! She can hardly wait to start ballet and tap next year!

(I just had to throw this one in! Maggie was made me laugh out loud with her "model" pose for this picture. "Mom, let me see! Am I cute?"
"These are the moments, I thank God that I'm alive.
These are the moments, I'll remember all my life."
--Edwin McCain

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thoughts and Rants!

There is an article that hit the press yesterday.  It'sbeen  all over facebook so if you have a child with Down Syndrome and Facebook, you have seen this article.  For those of you that haven't seen it, let me catch you up to speed.

Here is the article in it's entirty if you chose the long version:

It is written by a genetics physician and is very well written. He, himself, has a sister with Down Syndrome.

 He stated the company Sequenom announced that with a simple blood draw at 10 weeks of gestation, a pregnant woman can now learn with near 99% accuracy whether her fetus has Down syndrome.

He goes on to share a survey that he and his colleague conducted and revealed that 99% of parents say they truly love their son or daughter with Down syndrome; 88% of brothers and sisters say they are better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome themselves spoke up, too: 99% are happy with their lives, and 97% like who they are.

The other part of the article that got my attention was that he states, "No longer are people with Down syndrome "poor things," "sweet souls" or "retarded citizens." Instead, they and their families have claimed fulfilling lives, rich with "typical" life experiences"

Now for my two cents on the issue.

I am frustrated, saddened, irritated with this world's (and yes this is a world wide problem) obsession with the "perfect" child.  For arguments sake, Molly is actually more perfect that I will ever be!

Let me point out the obvious.  Individuals with Down Syndrome are not a menace to society.  They are not non-verbal, low functioning, sickly little beings.  Yes, they do struggle with speech, walking, and have a list of health issues but so do so many other kids without 47 chromosomes! 

I have said it 1000 times; Molly has enriched our lives and the lives of all that are blessed enough to know her. We have learned to enjoy the small things, slow down, and enjoy!

 It has been brought to my attention more times than I even care to mention that when an ultrasound reveals a problem and the child may have Down Syndrome, they are very quick to remind them that the pregnancy can be terminated. 
 As the educator at work says, "Knowledge is power...Only if you share it!"  So why don't these OB's refer these parents to me, to someone who has a child with Down Syndrome to educate them on what it means to have a child with Down Syndrome. This is in addition to what the article states of giving booklet, Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis, with fair and balanced information for expectant couples. I am not sure that my community does this but I am destined to find out.

When will the world realize that it is not a freaking death sentence to have a child with a disability?  When a child with Down Syndrome is born, I literally cringe when I hear someone say, "oh...that is so sad" or "oh...that is too bad".  They have no idea what you are saying.  I realize that it is just his or her ignorance talking but I do have to count to 10.

OK. I feel better now.  Off my soapbox.

For those new to my blog or just want to re-watch the most wonderful video about having a baby with Down Syndrome. Yes, it's true.  It is the THIRD time I have put this on my blog but I just love it.  So much that deserves repeating...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Maggie's First Play Date

Maggie has a best friend we call Katie Bug.  She is the cutest little ray of sunshine.  Katie Bug and Maggie have been in daycare together for the past three years.  They are also in dance together. 

Katie Bug came to Maggie and Molly's Fifth Birthday Bash (which I still have to blog about as it was a fantastic day!) and it was her first birthday party she had ever attended.  She did good.  Her mom dropped her off and picked her up several hours later. No tears. No worries. She had fun.

It's a big deal when you are only 5.  You know, to leave your mama's side and do something all by yourself.

Katie Bug's mom invited Maggie over last weekend for a play date.  She was originally thinking it could be a sleep over but we both realized that this might be a little much for sweet Mag Pie.

And so, we decided that we would just make it a play date.  Her mom was to pick both of the girls up from daycare around 4pm and drop Maggie off at home around 8pm.

Maggie was so stinkin' nervous.  Cute nervous I must say. 

"Mommy, I am just going over there until bedtime, right?" "You will be there to pick me up, right?"

I worked that night so shortly after I left for work, around 6pm,  I texted her mom to see how it was going.

The response was, "I just dropped her off at home.  She said she had to go home because it was dark outside, therefore, her bedtime and she had to go to bed"

The poor thing was just too nervous to enjoy her time away from her sister, whom steals her toys and wrecks her perfectly designed pictures and her brother whom is always picking on her and whom she is constantly fighting with.

There's no place like home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's in a name?

When I started this blog a few years ago, I struggled with what to name it. I settled for "Four Wonders of Life" because my kids are really truly my greatest joy and wonder.

But the name just doesn't fit. I am a busy woman! I work as nurse, odd hours and weekends. I have a teenager, a school-ager, and two preschoolers. Go ahead and throw in an extra chromosome into the mix for good measure.

Seriously, I live a "crazy life".

So I went to the thesaurus and typed in "crazy life" and came up with my new blog name, "Erratic Bliss"

ERRATIC: "deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion"; having no certain or definite course; wandering; not fixed"

My daily schedule is ever changing. I always have to be ready for the curve ball. And trust me, it happens daily around here. It usually revolves around Miss Molly. Work allows me to stay home for 8 days in a row and then I end up going to work for 5 out of 7 days. Always an adventure.

BLISS: "perfect happiness; serene joy"

It's no surprise that researching the word "life" produced the word "bliss". I like the word.

Granted, there are days were I need to count to 10, scream, run! The teenager, the chromosomally enhanced child, the school ager that hates to read, the activities, the finances, the job, the hubs!!!! Ugh! How do I acquire the right balance to keep it all straight and narrow?? And well, nothing is perfect. Let's be honest, but for the most part, my life is full of happiness and joy.

So, this is where we are. Enjoying the journey of life with "Erratic Bliss"