Sunday, August 26, 2012

Being on the Outside

I'm feeling it more and more these days - how some of our experiences have shifted me to the "outside" looking in at where I once comfortably sat.  How disconnected and different I feel from lots of other moms...I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

This weekend was difficult, bothersome, tear-invoking.

We had a meet-up at our local park for the incoming Kindergartners - and I felt so out of place.  The topic shifted from thing to thing, it seemed like each one was pulling me further and further outside.

Talk of dual-language kinder programs and where the zones will be for middle school (middle school?? they aren't even Kindergartners yet?!), and other academic accolades and things to strive for, etc.  Dual language?  I've fought so hard just for my boys to learn to speak English (and still am fighting that battle with Corbin).  I definitely want my boys to do as well as they can academically (and they ARE smart cookies!) but my heart won't be crushed if skills aren't mastered perfectly.  With Corbin's childhood apraxia of speech it is very likely he will also struggle learning to read and even dyslexia - we will cross that bridge when we get there.  I fought very hard to put that type of striving in it's place over the past few years.  My heart no longer struggles to have my kids compete with the Jones kids.  Corbin and Hayden are wonderfully made souls and I know God has unique plans for them!  And I can't wait to see them unfold. 

Topic then switched to Pegasus - the program Corbin is in.  Pegasus has dual function: 1.) For children with disabilities 2.) Typically developing children populate the class for modeling purposes.  My understanding is that the program is so well-liked that it can be difficult to get in for kids not needing services.  I briefly mentioned Corbin would be in Pegasus again this year.  The moms quickly jumped on the bandwagon about what a great PreK it was and how they knew someone that drove all over to sign up and get in, etc.  In other words, I don't think they realize that Pegasus services kids with disabilities and that my son has disabilities.  When I mentioned later that he had a speech disability (among other things, but who wants to bring all that up at a playdate) they literally were speechless.  I got a few "oh"s I think. 

And finally - because I'm just lucky like this - the topic changed to PEANUTS!  Argh, can't we just talk about the weather.  They went on and on about how they couldn't imagine packing a lunch without peanut butter and glad they could etc etc.  So I mentioned that yes, I have even more shocking news, my son is allergic to peanuts.  Seriously allergic.  I've never seen faces drop so quickly.

My biggest fear for Tuesday, is not the fact that my son is starting Kindergarten, it's that somehow, someone is going to feed him peanuts and something horrible could happen.  It makes my heart stop just thinking about how I can't control if some kid gives Hayden a piece of candy with peanuts in it, or if some mom brings cupcakes for the class and they have nuts, or there is some special event and they "forget" that Hayden is allergic...My biggest fear is that I could drop my kid off at school that morning and he could die. 

There.  I said it.  I don't have the luxury of worrying about if he adjusts to school or not, or the typically first day mommy fears.  What am I thinking about?  Is he going to get hurt?  Or even, is he going to feel like a freak or be "that kid with the allergies"?  It's not his fault his little body swells up with one bite of peanut butter.  I'm not an overreacting mom, or making a big deal out of nothing.  Anyone who knows me, knows this about me.  But this is a serious issues that a lot of people don't take seriously or make light of.  I would give anything not to have to deal with this.

Anyway, I left that conversation feeling like a bit of a freak myself, but mostly, just feeling different.  I've lost my ability to get overly passionate about some of those things, and find myself fighting for my boys in other ways - their health mainly.  Really, just surviving childhood is my goal these days! ;)

If you have any stories of your own allergy/disabilities kids that came through the school system in one piece I would appreciate them.  I could use some positive stories and I know they are out there.  Just the first day jitters! :D

Monday, August 6, 2012

These Are The Days


These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you
~10,000 Maniacs, These Are The Days

It feels like the days are just pouring one after the other like the waves on the ocean and I can't stop them, just hold on for the ride.  I blinked and my boy is going into Kindergarten.  I have a thousand different emotions about this, as I'm sure all mothers do at the beginning of this new phase.  One of the feelings I wasn't expecting was a bit of identity crisis.  Yes, I am of course still a mom.  But not in the sense of having little ones pulling at my clothes, needing all of their basic needs met, rocking to sleep, etc.  That part of my mothering is done.  And that is such a sad feeling.

Now, I am the mathematician - "Mommy, what's 1,000 plus 200?"
I am the warrior - "Mommy, let's play swords!"
I am the encyclopedia - "Mommy, what do rabbits eat?"
I am the spiritual advisor - "Is there just one God?"

I am many things that are still wonderful and oh so "mother-ful".  But that doesn't keep me from aching a bit as I watch them grow up a little more each day.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Steve Lives!

So, you may remember me writing a couple weeks ago about our failed plant project - lovingly named "Steve".  As I predicted, my poor son ended up bringing a cup of dirt in for his final result.  But, I watered and cared for that thing quite well, and NOTHING happened.

Unfortunately, I had to send it back "no matter the condition", and so we did.  :( Boo.   His little "plant" traveled to school and back home.  I was quite surprised they sent the dirt home, but whatever.  So there it sat in a little ziplock back on my kitchen counter awaiting disposal.

Lucky for Steve, I'm a bit slow in throwing things away and in a miraculous turn of events, Steve has risen!  And he's a twin!  We now have two little seedlings growing.  I was just about to throw the cup out when I noticed them.

Hmmm...they may want to check the germination time for next year's plant project, as I don't think a week is enough for this particular seedling, HA!

All this to say....VICTORY IS MINE!!!  IT DID GROW!!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Spirit of Discontent

There are some books I go back to time and time again.  Calm My Anxious Heart is one of those books.  It's easy to live in a spirit of discontent.  The world tells us that we are always in "need".  Nothing is ever enough.  We are always in search of the next epiphany, treasure, or milestone.  Our culture craves significance and gratification.  We can't fully appreciate the blessings God's bestowed on us because our gaze is ever fixed on the future, not the present   We take each blessing, turning it over and over looking for the flaws or ways we can improve upon it.  Our minds are constantly entertained to the point of exhaustion leaving us drained and discontent.

I, for one, need constant reminding of how easily I can fall into this mode of thinking.  I have so much to be thankful for, so many blessings, I couldn't possibly acknowledge them all - we all do.  Yet, here I am asking for more, better, different

So today, is not an "I want" or "I need" or "I would really like..." day, but just.

Thank You.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Spotify!  For a music lover like me...this is heaven - I'm really enjoying having access to all the music I want.  I don't know why I waited so long to subscribe to this.  I've been discovering new songs left and right and my productivity level has probably dropped off since this discovery. 

Rolled Dates!  After going gluten-free last month, I'm enjoying finding new foods.  My latest find are rolled dates (dates covered in coconut).  Yum.

Jasmine!  Stepping out my door each morning and smelling this beautiful flower is wonderful.

African Autum Tea!  B&N Starbucks had some new teas out and this one is delicious.  A mix of cranberries and oranges. 

Allergy medicine!  Where would I be without it?

iPad and Android phone!  Hayden would not survive the waiting room each week without these.

Writing on my blog again!  I'm glad to have a little place in the world to write and share.  I've missed writing on my blog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Waiting Game


I spend four hours a week in the waiting room at Corbin's speech/OT facility, it's an interesting place to be.  

 I learn a lot.  Sometimes I'm bored to tears. 

Occassionally, Hayden drives me beyond the point of madness. 

More then a few times I've left there dragging one or more crying children. 

My children behave every now and then and I'm proud of them.  More often than not they can be found underneath the chairs while I'm on my hands and knees dragging them out. 

Heaven help the poor person that sits next to Hayden - they most certainly will have found a new chatterbox friend who will proceed to talk their ear off for the next two hours if they are unlucky enough to stay there with us. 

Most of our conversations (for two hours) go like this:

Hayden: "Mom, how many more races do I need to win until I can buy this car" (pointing at the Drag Race game on my phone)

Me: "Uh"...(check phone, he needs like 600,000 more bucks and races earn him like 100....), "like a million, keep racing"

Hayden: (after playing one race and earning 100), "Do I have enough now?"

Me: "No.  Keep racing".

Hayden: "How about now?" (x 500 until Corbin is done with therapy)

Once, I spilled my Route 44 Cherry Limeade all over their table and ruined like 6 magazines.

Very often, I see parents of the other children and thank God for all the blessings He's given our family.

At least once each time we go, my heart breaks for a mother struggling with her child.

And every session ends with an all-smiles Corbin exclaiming "Mommy!" and running back to me for a hug (and to sneak a sip of whatever drink I brought).  That part I like best. 

Then we play Frogger in the parking lot and I try to get both kids back to the car without getting run over.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Disco Inferno!

This weekend was a whirlwind.  Saturday was packed with lots of fun.  I headed out to the Strawberry Festival with a group of friends that day, and Saturday night was the annual Spring Bling Thing and this year's theme was Disco!  We survived another night of fun (mostly, I think I left a toe down on 5th street - those shoes were killer!).  I'm proud to say that I walked fairly well in my heels until the later part of the night.  We fell into bed about 2:30am, then I got up early for the kids and church at 6:30 - ouch!  However, one green smoothie and I was set for a morning of church despite the limited sleep.  It's amazing how much better you feel when you're eating more nutritious foods.

Corbin's plant is still a pile of dirt.  I've named him Steve and am crossing my fingers that he will appear soon.  Maybe a little classical music might coax him out?  I'm getting desperate, we only have four more days.  I may have slightly overwatered him yesterday...but I gave him some drainage holes and I think we're good...who knows maybe Corbin's cup will grow mold instead - that's still a lifeform!!!

Okay, time to go eat some of my delicious strawberries I brought back from the festival.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Toys, Toys, Toys


Yesterday I spent 6 hours unpacking all the boxes of toys I had been avoiding.  How on earth do they get so many toys??!!!??  And no matter what your philosophy on toys is, can we all just admit that our kids have too many?  Yes, we can compare and squabble over how many more toys your kids have than mine (or vice versa), but I've yet to have a playdate at a friend's house where they just pull out some wooden blocks and dress up clothes in the spirit of simplicity and declare "this is it!".

And the toys just multiply and get smaller as they get older!!!  Sure, it's easy to police the toys when they're two - but these 5 year old toys are ridiculous.  Fifty parts, all of them under 1 cm, and they are all needed or the toy is useless. 

So I bought an obscene amount of those plastic shoeboxes and started sorting.  I'm proud to say it's done, and I now have four medium-sized boxes for selling and dontations!  You may even see some of them going for free on facebook as well.  My boys are finally getting past the age of some of their toys now that Corbin is almost four.  In the past, I couldn't get rid of anything because I needed toddler toys for Corbin and preschool toys for Hayden - which is why the toy pile got so ridiculous in the first place.  Fortunately, their maturity levels are a lot closer now and they basically play with the same things. 

The room is still a work in progress, but at least it's useable now and there are no more unpacked toy boxes!  Now, I just have to get rid of the extra toys in stealth - heaven forbid I get rid of their precious happy meal toys - broken though they may be.

Anyone have any secrets for dealing with the toys?  I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our New "Pet"

Plant day 1

Yesterday, Corbin came home with a "pet" or really a plant to water and care for.  We were instructed to bring it back on April 20th "no matter what the condition"...oh dear.  I hope this little plant doesn't follow in the footsteps of its predecessors in this house.  I really don't want to send him back with a pile of dirt - but I really do NOT have a green thumb.  I don't even know what kind of plant this is...I guess it will be a surprise, although I would hazard a guess that it's probably a bean plant.  I vaguely remember my mother killing mine when I was in school.

Things like this make me love my mom that much more, haha.  I swear I'm not a "plant killer", just forgetful.  We moms are human too!!  My first priority is to feed and water my children - and at least I'm doing that right...most of the time...

I will keep you posted on the impending doom of this plant!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home Sweet Home


We're settling in more and more in our new home.

I love discovering new little things about our house.

Like the Jasmine vine that flowered this week and smells so wonderful!

One of those little "blessings" that really made my day.

Of course, I finally sit down to blog and Corbin spills his water all over the table!!

Bye for now.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Less I Know

The older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know.  I think that's why writing on my blog has become harder.  I have no pearls of wisdom or great epiphanies.  Each new thing conquered often returns back into defeat.   I get the kitchen under control, only to have the laundry back up.  Or the kids are being (relatively) well behaved, but my quiet time is non-existent.  Or I'm spending time with God at the expense of my cleaning house.  Or some such other compromise.

I've learned that there are no 5 steps to greatness, happiness, or fulfillment.  And while my short-lived victories have me feeling on top of the world, that only means it's a longer fall down to pits-ville, HA!

If anything, I'm learning to be content (but not complacent) with where I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  If my quiet time feels like I'm reading out of the Webster's Dictionary, that's ok.  Tomorrow is another day and I can give that up to God. 

The present moment has become more and more important as I realize that I don't want to be chained by the past, and the future is promised to no one (no matter how great "my" plans are).

I'm not sure if all this is just apathy, or being finally at peace with myself.  I'm nothing, if not honest on this blog, as you all well know.  I have no wish to paint a happy, fake picture of a perfect life.  And don't believe those facades on other blogs either.  The comparison game is old...and I think I lost a long time ago, haha.

Life these days is falling into a nice groove.  One could describe it as "busy", but I'm beginning to hate that word.  I think we overuse it and even use it as a measuring stick.  As if having a busy life somehow makes you a more valuable and worthy person.  We are all busy.  And we all have a great influence on how busy our lives are.  In other words, I often am the cause of my busyness.  And does busyness prove worth or give fulfillment?  I don't think so.

Corbin is on his first field trip today.  They went to the Dinosaur Park in Cedar Creek.  I can't help but count the minutes until I go pick him up.  I'm not usually a nervous parent, but he will be gone 2 more hours than usual and driving somewhere else, so it's got my mommy radar going off.  I miss my boy. :(

I'm still slowing unpacking things from the other house and we are still working on the old house.  Our schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for that sort of thing.  But we hope to have it finished soon.  Of course that adds stress - I will be one happy woman when that is finished!

For now I'm going to enjoy my Thursday afternoon.  Thursdays are quickly becoming my favorite day because it's the only day I don't have to go anywhere.  I can just enjoy being at home with my boys!!