....ok - so I woke up and got out of bed at 6:30 this morning because our car is on empty and I knew if I didn't go first thing that gas would be gone by noon again!!
The gas station I went to had gas. We had to prepay inside and could only get $20 at a time!! So I got gas, then got back in line and got more...I did it 4 times. Luckily I learned the trick of going to the middle pump...the one that no one was using because it wasn't right on the entrance.
I told Eric tonight that I might cry everytime Amber reads to me this year. She brought home this worksheet that she had been practicing and it had these sentences on it:
See the airplane. I see the fish. I see the box. See the boy. I see the horse. See a box. I see the girl.
There were pictures of the nouns, but she had to match which picture went with which word, and she read the slight differences in each sentence. It was real reading and I was just thrilled...I cried. She is reading, she is writing, she has confindence and excitement in what she's learning.
HAHAHAHA!!! No - not flatulence!! But that was kind of funny!
Do you know that we are having 30-40 mph gusts and it's a BIG deal here!? I remember in Colorado that was a common, no-big-deal thing. Kind of funny.
Do you know that I can drive 14 miles, pass 8 gas stations and they will ALL be out of gasoline? And if a station happens to get gas overnight, it's all gone by about 10:30 the next morning. Crazy huh?
Something to do with the gas pipelines to this area aren't up and running fully since hurricane Ike. Luckily I have avoided the waiting-in-line-for-an-hour thing. Not so funny.
I have been on empty lately, to the point of making me physically challeneged in areas. When I was at my bottom this week, Eric swooped in like super hero. Going to work late, driving the kids to school for me so I could just lay down. The last night he left work 30 minutes early, arrived home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a chick flick that he knew I wanted to see, then took us all out for dinner so I didn't have to cook.
Then he even watched the movie with me! Well, he sat there "pretending" to read, but I know he was TOTALLY into the movie!! HA!! Ok - maybe not, but he sat there with me. That's what counts.
It doesn't take much to fill my love tank, but, it's almost overflowing now.
...never leave the box full of styrofoam peanuts accessible to the kids.
I should have taken a picture. And those things aren't easy to pick up either.
But God also used it as a love lesson.
I could have easily made my daughter pick it up by herself. And she would have been there all night crying and telling me it was hard work and she can't do it by herself. And I could have yelled and put her in time out and insisted that she clean it up.
But then it was as if God was standing there next to me in the entryway looking at the mess and saying, "Hmmm...that's a big mess she made. It really is too big for her to pick up by herself. You love her right? I love you and I help you with all your really big messes...you couln't clean those up by yourself...you need me, just as she needs you right now."
So I knelt down and helped...because sometimes that's just what a parent does.
I wanted this "post" to be a reminder of how far we have come. Today, in talking to the girls, Amber's favorite color is purple, and she wants to make birthday cakes when she grows up. Camryn's favorite colors are red & pink and she wants to take care of sick babies when she grows up.
Camryn has wanted to take care of sick babies ever since she learned she and Amber were sick when they were babies, probably 2 years now. It never changes...that's what she wants to do.
So, these pictures I'm about to share haven't been seen by many people. They are pictures of pictures because I don't have a scanner, so the quality isn't great. But like I said, this post is about remembering how far we came.
Today was the day, 5 years ago that the girls were born - 10 weeks early. We started out good, but quickly took a turn for the worst. Here's our story in a few pictures:
I am emotionally drained on all levels and in all ways. Just drained. My kids have been relatively happy and well behaved which is good for them and for me!
Maybe that allows for a slow refilling of my emotional love tank. But I haven't had an opportunity to have a large deposit for awhile. I just don't have anything extra to give. Now, if you just wanted to hang out with me and have no expectations from me or needs from me, then I'd be the life of the couch party.
But live in my house and need me...even if you don't have expectations, then I'm struggling. I'm needed to get kids up and going, to love and support my husband with his long hard days. I'm needed to drive kids to school and get them when it's time. I'm needed to feed the family and to get the laundry done and to organize the house and keep it clean. I'm needed to walk my dog so she doesn't get fatter. If you spent some time in my house you'd see that I'm "needed" much more than I'm available.
Does every mom get like this occassionally? I think we do. We all get into ruts and as we try to get out of them, it starts to rain and then it gets muddy and then we just feel like sitting there until the rain stops so we don't have to exude more effort...mainly because we can't. Sometimes it's all we can do to just maintain.
I'm not sad, I'm not depressed, I'm not frustrated or angry. I'm just maintaining. I'm just having a hard time giving extra and I feel bad about that sometimes. If they are dressed and I remember their lunch then I am doing good...especially if I'm not yelling the last ten minutes before we are needing to leave the house! If Eric doesn't run out of underwear, I'm doing REALLY good...even if he has to dig through the basket to find it. If I have the slightest plan for dinner before everyone has melted down, I should be wearing a tiara.
We are doing so much better with school. I have a drop-off and pick-up routine that is running smoothly.
The girls are thriving in school. Amber is doing amazing with speech and sounds and reading and working on writing.
Camryn is learning poetry already and working on writing and I think this week she'll start the reading too. (Her school focused a lot on basics of rules and procedures and expectations the first couple of weeks.)
Eric and I looked back on it the other day and really believe they are where they need to be. We will keep them in separate schools unless things fall apart and then we'd change, but right on we are good.
It's good to have a sense of peace and a sense of affirmation from God, knowing this is ok for now.
Tonight - I was watching TV and thought the shadow io the TV was on the camera lens from the show I was watching...but then it kept crawling onto the side of my TV. I called for Eric to help me....so for 20 minutes we chased this cockroach around the entertainment center. We lost it and couldn't find it again.
I went to grab some tongs (which thankfully my dad had put in the wrong place)...because there it was...next to the coffee pot. I caught it in a travel coffee cup and Eric and I took it outside...I shook it up really good so it wouldn't get away...spilled it out onto the driveway and Eric hit it so hard with his shoe that it sounded like a gunshot!!
Oh - I also found a funnel spider in the corner behind the curtain...he's dead.
Something we learned about cockroaches...they are freakishly fast. We have no idea how he managed to escape from the living room to the kitchen...
It's probably 3" long. And the web is probably close to 1.5' in diameter. It's attached to the corner of my chimney and house...luckily it's around the corner and I can't see it. It's impressive, and beautiful - but I'm afraid to try to kill it because...well...i'm just chicken. As long as it stays there...it can live.
Although their birthday isn't until Thursday, we had Camryn & Amber's 5th birthday party yesterday. It was our smallest ever, but it was a lot of fun.
Eric and my dad took on the challenge of a shrimp boil, which turned out really good.
The girls got a ton of new horse stuff. My sister filled a box with tinsel....and the birthday crew thought it was great fun to take handfuls and scatter it throughout the house. It was kind of funny. But my sister will be paid back!
Here's the cake I made for them....not bad for an amateur! The fence and barn are made out of chocolate and the grass was SO fun...I found this cool new icing tip that makes grass...
We'll do something small on Thursday too. It's been great having my parents here. They'll have to leave tomorrow. I miss having them closer, but it's great that they can still visit relatively easy.
I'm an easier crier - a trait that I got from my mom but not one that I have fully embraced yet!
Yesterday, Amber brought home this little 6 page book, with 3 words on each page. Each page started with "See the..." Then there would be a picture of a horse or a pig or something, and then the corresponding word underneath it.
She has been in kindergarten for not 3 weeks now, and read her first book....as simple as it may seem. When you have a kid with a hearing loss, reading is such an important foundation, and one I knew she was capable of, but had no idea how to teach her, even though I tried.
I cried, and embraced my daughter. It was incredible!
I love my husband....AND...I like him too. He is laying in bed working. He works ALL the time. He gets up early and he goes to work or works here to get some uninterrupted work done. Then he stays late, comes home to eat dinner and put the kids to bed, then he works some more. He works on the weekends so he doesn't feel AS burried on Monday morning.
It could really irritate me if I let it, but why? It's not like this is his idea of fun. He works so hard for our family and continually gives to us. Emotionally, mentally, for me, for the kids, for the dogs. He comes home exhausted and plays with the kids, helps me with dishes, helps get the kids to pick up and get ready for bed and into bed.
It never ceases to amaze me how perfect he is for me. God gave me everything I prayed for, but then He kept going. I adore my husband. I love how he loves me. I love how he loves our kids. I love how he is so true to himself. I hope one day he can relax. I pray one day he'll have a job that doesn't suck him.
I am a former Starbucks-aholic. I say "former" because they started making me mad because I was paying $4 for every drink and it was never right.
Well at Mother's Day, Eric bought me a latte machine and I've been enjoying it, but I do miss my "toffee nut" flavor from Starbucks. So, today, I went to Starbucks and got a bottle of syrup...a 1 liter bottle for $6.95!!!!
Do you realize they put 2 pumps in every drink, and every drink costs $4-ish? So it costs me more to buy 2 grande lattes with syrup, than it does for a huge bottle of syrup....
Do you know how much money I will save!? And now my drink tastes just how I like it!!
Do you know how excited I am about it?!! Almost ridiculously!!
I thought I lost my camera - I haven't been able to find it for about a week now. Then I remembered I bought a new camera case and actually put it in there!! I wasn't looking for the case...only the camera!!
This is why sometimes it's better for me to stay unorganized!
I really have the itch to go camping. We had to open up our camper today to make sure nothing had crawled up inside and died. Thankfully I only found a couple of small and squishable spiders. Oh, and the baseball-size, infested wasp nest...which thanks to a good spray...was easy to eliminate.
We were moving to a friend of Eric's who said we could keep it at her place for awhile until we find a permanent spot. But being inside of it was enough to give me the itch. Now I want to find a fabulous mountain place in NC to go camping. Well...hilly place....I still can't call these hills mountains because they really aren't mountains. They aren't.
Tyler is only 3 1/2 and is turning into such a little gentleman already. He's so proud of himself when he goes and opens the door for someone. If I try to put my hand on it so it doesn't close, he says, "No, I got it!" And I didn't even teach him that!!
Today while the girls were at school, a friend and her little girl who is 1 1/2 came over. We were standing outside talking when they first got here. Tyler took Anna's hand (the little girl) and helped her up the steps into the house. It was too cute.
Then sitting at the table, having snack, we looked over and noticed Tyler just "softing" Anna's hand as he sat next to her.
I love that he has this gentle knowledge of girls and how they should be treated. I think it has something to do with watching his daddy!
I hate feeling like I'm "that" mom. The one who is confused and clueless and emotional...ALL the time!
Yesterday I was less than polite to the carpool lady at the school. I was frustrated and emotional about other things and it all came to ahead when she wouldn't release Camryn to me because I'm not on the "approved walk-up" list.
.....by the way...I am now!
Once my tears started flowing she allowed me to take Camryn inside and sign her out at the office, where I continued to pretend I wasn't crying...even if there were tears rolling down my cheek. Why? Because I'm not supposed to be "THAT" mom!!
You know...the mom that they know by name because she's a basket case. The mom they see coming and think, "Great, here she comes again...what will it be today?" The mom that they roll their eyes at when I turn to walk away. The mom they talk about being a nut case with the other teachers. We all know that happens...and there's always "that" mom....and I think I've been her the last couple of weeks.
So, today, I'm calm, cool and collected and I will sincerely apologize to the carpool lady because no matter what emotional state I was in, it was not right for me to throw a fit. I'm surprised she didn't put me in time out. HA! i probably needed it.
I should have asked more questions sooner and not just assumed that I could have my way. I didn't know what questions to ask, I don't know how to do Kindergarten. I'm learning the hard way.
I stole this from my friend's blog...I told her I was stealing it, but didn't wait for permission, so I'm guessing that's stealing.
Anyway - what a wonderful adventure we are in. So few get to experience the amazing lifestyle of Holland...I'm so glad I get to.
Welcome to Holland I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
Shots for babies are bad. But they cry for awhile and then calm down (usually) and then they forget about it.
Shots for 5 year olds (well....almost 5 year olds) is horrific. Especially when you have a nurse trying to be gentle...and she's slow. Then you have the poor nurse who volunteered to hold my children, then you have my poor girls who looked at me across the room and tried to reach me while screaming like I've never heard. I know that if they knew the swear words, they would have been using them on the lady with the needle. Oh....yea...they each got 5 shots, plus the flu vaccine up the nose.
I offered to take them somewhere that we could have lunch and ice cream and Camryn said, "Mom, let's go have ice cream first, then we'll go someplace different for lunch." My kind of kid. Dessert first it was...and I was tempted to go buy all the stuffed animals at Target too...it was so sad.
Today was the last day for the pool. We've loved it...what a great getaway it has been for our family this summer. We spent a couple hours there this afternoon.
Eric and I cleaned out some of our garage...which was SO nice!! Purging the junk that we moved with us...my favorite box that we opened...had bricks in it. no joke. We moved bricks. I'm sure the company that paid for our move would be happy to hear that!!
I'm determined to not move more junk with us to the next house so we are motivated to purge and move junk!!
That's all...I'm tired and exhausted and sleepy....I'm headed for the couch!