Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hesitantly Carefree

I love this recent photo of Boy. I love the way he is looking over his shoulder with that perfect little smirk. He seems so carefree. The truth is, I know in reality that "carefree" is the furthest from what this boy is. He is cautious. He is shy. He is tentative. His little mind is always running so fast. He is always perseverating on the details of everything that interests him. "Mama, what is that orange water called again? When the fire turns to water?" (Lava) "Mama, did the pilgrims sleep in beds? How many beds? There were 31 kids on the Mayflower". "Mama, the T-Rex has a big strong tail and powerful jaws and tiny arms. The dinosaurs are all bones now". In truth, until he started school, Daddy and I had no idea he may be a bit different from others. We knew he was "temperamental" and "shy", but the idea that he was any different from other kids never occurred to us. His aunt noticed he has a lack of eye contact. ...and in hindsight, I suppose we noticed those things too... I agree, he has some oddities. But for the most part, they are endearing. He is probably the only four year old child who takes his class list to his room and memorizes all the children in his class, including how to spell their names. He can walk into his classroom and immediately know who is in the room just by glances at the cubbies. He comes home and draws pictures for his friends, and carefully draws two lines in order to write their names straight and with consistency. He tells me details about people, such as their siblings names, that they just had a dog die, that they had on purple socks or a superman shirt or hair that was red like Ariel. He doesn't tell them he is taking in these details. Sometimes at school he may answer one question several times, or not answer at all. He may not jump in and lead the pack, but he follows closely and observes. He transitions slowly and likes consistency. He trusts slowly and does not wear his heart on his sleeve. But he shares freely and eagerly. He prefers dinosaurs and robots and super heroes, but willingly plays beauty shop and knows the princess names by heart. He even told me that there was two Belle dresses at Target that Bluebird would like(he was right, I had noticed them too). I hesitate to write more, because he has no clarified diagnosis. Our visits with doctors and specialists still have not given us the answers we need. I cannot say we want a diagnosis. It is scary because it gives a label to something that in truth, is beautiful and amazing. Yet to identify and label it immediately gives people a level of discomfort. However, this year has already proved to us that there are people that are uncomfortable with the unknown. There are people who will refuse to take an extra step when needed. There are people who will see him as different and want to single him out, regardless of his intelligence and perceptiveness. These questions have been under evaluation since August, but we still have no final answers. I have not written of it because once something is written, you cannot always get it back. We may never have definitive answers, because in truth, they are mild symptoms. However, they are pronounced enough that the expensive private school he attends is unsure whether or not they are able to handle his needs. This is so frustrating to me. We have been on field trips and have seen children hanging on their mother's legs and continuing to cry the entire time. We have seen kids bouncing off every wall and needing two people to keep track of them. We have seen kids that we cannot understand when they speak. We have seen kids put goldfish up their noses. BUT, our son, who "may or may not" have an actual diagnosis of something, even though it does not impair him academically or behaviorally, may be too difficult. I know that despite where we go from here, we will have this opposition. It is due to misunderstanding and misunderstanding makes people uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable too. I worry about long term friendships and love. I have read about the great people who have suffered spectrum disorders. Albert Einstein. Thomas Jefferson. Bill Gates. Isaac Newton. Steven Spielberg. Benjamin Franklin. Leonardo Davinci. Virgina Woolf. Emily Dickenson. The list is long and I see the struggles and opposition some of these people faced and it makes me long to pull my boy close to me and never let him out of my sight into this world that will be hard and cruel. But the lists are also encouraging. Because despite opposition, they went on to do great and amazing things. And so, when I look at the photo of Boy above, I see that. A boy! A beautiful, perfect boy who rides his scooter right past his mama who always has that camera aimed at him...and so he decided to look back smirk because he knows it will make her happy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First haircut

I was hesitant to cut Bluebird's hair. She has those baby fine curls and it seemed that there was not enough to cut. I gave into Daddy's request though...and I think the results may be the cutest thing I ever laid eyes on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Picture Perfect

This photo just makes me smile and get all gushy inside when it pops up on my screen.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dinosaur thigh highs anyone?

I enjoyed another perfect day with my kiddies today. I had so much fun leading Bluebird's class in reading and singing.

I made oatmeal cherry cookies and took a batch to the office. It seemed only fitting since I dehydrated the cherries with a dehydrator that was a gift from a dear co-worker. Buttercup helped me make cookies and she is starting to develop her raw egg tolerance, she loves the cookie dough as much as I do.

I then picked up the other monkeys and we went and found silly socks for "silly sock day" at school tomorrow. This is not easy because there just don't seem to be any silly socks for boys. We settled on a pair of ladies socks, but they have blue and green "dinosaur stripes". They go all the way up his thighs. So tonight, Boy ran around in thigh highs and underwear and roared like a dinosaur.

Bluebird has been having a hard time getting in bed and STAYING in bed....she comes downstairs and then cries and tells me how she just wants to snuggle me. Seriously, how does one argue with that?
What is more interesting is that when I put her to bed, she is in PJs, but when she comes downstairs, she is always in some church dress with some sort of sweater. When I go upstairs to tuck them in one last time before I retire to bed...she has changed into another dress. Instead of sleeping, she is upstairs doing costume changes. Between her love of tattoos, her taking the mattresses off the bed for "partying" and her wardrobe changes, maybe the girl really is a rockstar....

Here's some photos of the rugrats this afternoon. What a beautiful day it was! (except a bit too hot in January for my taste).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Perfect Day Disclaimer

I did not mention previously, that as I enjoyed my perfect day, my college roommate was saying goodbye to her sweet baby boy.
I came downstairs from my snuggles to a text about their loss.
And I cried and cried and cried. I have been crying about this for some time. Praying for a miracle. I truly believed there would be one. I once received a miracle with my baby and he was resilient.
The odds were against him from the beginning, and the struggle was long and hard...but everyone was hopeful. His sweet mother was pumping breast milk for him even this afternoon.
I think this fact hits me the hardest.

The hope of a mother.
Hope is the cruelest of virtues.

I won't go into this more because it is her story to tell.

But I will say that my heart is broken for her. There is nothing more painful to me than a broken-hearted mother. And father. I will continue to pray for some sort of peace....These sorts of things will never make sense to me and I struggle to see where peace will exist...but I read Rachel Kin'g blog and she gives me hope that it does lie somewhere within:

Warrior Pose

I do yoga with my kids every night. It helps us all settle down and relax and try to be present in the moment before our devotion. The love it and hold me to it. They are pretty good too.

Skip to Power Rangers...

Boy is now into Power Rangers. In truth, he has never really seen Power Rangers, but I think they "play them" at school.

I asked him, "Boy, what do the Power Rangers do?"

His response: "Mostly they just do warrior pose."

Rockin in my School Shoes

Tomorrow I read in Bluebird's classroom and Friday I read in Boy's classroom. I chose the book Pete the Cat Rockin in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin. We bought it in New Orleans and reading it almost made me cry. I know that sounds stupid...but when you have a son like Boy, well, it felt like it was written just for him.

When I read it I sing, and I make up my own tune because I don't know the actual one...

so...hopefully the teachers won't laugh at me.

Am I worried? Goodness No!

I am going to laugh and sing and read that book!

A Perfect Day

I have a few days off this week...just because...

After driving kids to school bundled in coats and gloves and blankets (it was 15 degrees and the car took a while to warm up), I came home and snuggled on the couch with Buttercup. She is the snuggliest sweetheart in the world! I promise...such a lovey dovey.

Then I took the day with my good friend Rachel and my sweet Buttercup. I never get out with Buttercup alone. In fact, the last time I had breakfast with a friend on a weekday with only ONE baby was when Boy was a baby. I miss those lazy days.

We ate at a joint called Skillet. As soon as we got out of the car we knew Panera was probably more our style, but by this time the baby was awake and we decided to go for it. I like to eat off the beaten path and avoid commercial chains when possible, so here was our chance.

First, the great news, kids eat free! FREE! It isn't often kids under 5 eat free and I have bought my fair share of $5 PB&Js and $3 hotdogs. I hate it every time, but what's a mom to do?

Second, everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING tasted just like a big griddle, or skillet, hence the restaurant name. The pancakes, the grits, the shrimp...tasted like a big black skillet and had lots of black skillet specks throughout.

Third, the staff was sweet and even though we will probably never choose it again, we left with full bellies.

It was lovely to have a nice afternoon with my sweet Rachel. It is harder to meet friends when you are grown. Its nice to have someone that that never seems to run out of things to talk about...our conversations just move here and there and we never run out of things to talk about from kids, to schools, to religion, to chickens ...I love it.

We took a long nature walk on the property they purchased. She will be building a house soon and I sent her the must have invite to pinterest...(how did anyone build a house without pinterest?).

I loved watching Buttercup, all bundled in her coat, bending over and collecting acorns in her tiny hands. I just stood and took it in for a moment.

She fell asleep on the way home and I laid her in my bed while I folded laundry. The house was completely quiet and still. I reveled in that while I could.

Then Buttercup woke up and the other monkeys ran through the door. I played Princess, dollhouse and power rangers and we had our evening dance party. Since I wasn't rushing in from work, it lasted longer than usual.
Buttercup waves her hands in the air and bends and bounces. Be still my heart.
Boy did some ballet type moves, that he said were NOT we settled on modern dance.
When I tired of all the spins and dips, Bluebird stood on our stage (coffee table) and danced and danced and danced. Boy and I cuddled and watched her spin and kick and leap. The world was perfect at that moment.

At bedtime I asked boy which song he wanted me to sing...he said "the drink song". I said "hmm...don't know it, can you sing it for me?"

To the tune of twinkle twinkle..

Drinky drinky I love orange juice,
chocolate milk and green tea and juice box,
drinky drinky drinky drinky,
at night you have to drink water

"That is how it goes mommy, now you sing it".

We then went over that tomorrow he is wearing his gray pants and green shirt (this can cause meltdowns in the morning if not pre-established.
He said "and underwear?".
Me: "yes, and underwear and socks and shoes and a jacket"
Boy: "but on Saturday we can take our underwear off?"

I promise, we wear underwear, even on Saturdays!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! We brought in the New Year Southern style...with a feast of black eyed peas and skillet cornbread. New Year's Eve was less eventful and involved delicious Mexican food and Sherlock Holmes for Daddy and me. We came home to a quiet house, but we fell asleep before midnight.
With this year brings many resolutions...of the usual fashion involving our bodies, diet, organization, savings acct, bill pay and spiritual life. I also hope I can be part time by next year, but I may need to continue waiting for that until Daddy has his PhD.
I can say that ALMOST my entire house is organized....I keep putting off my bedroom and closet...but I promise that by next week, it will be done.
I haven't missed a day of running...of course, its only day 2.

So...some exciting things to start off the New mom found TWO Windsor chairs on the side of the road. I am not sure if I have ever mentioned my obsession with Windsor chairs, but I have one.
I also did my Saturday garage sale-ing. I didn't think New Years Eve would have much going on, but my cousin wanted to go, so I planned for it...only to have her tired little self bail on me. So...I got my chai tea latte and checked craigslist on my Droid for a sale nearby. I only went to ONE. BUT, I found a New in box pair of Five Finger Vibrams, in my size for $20 and a slew of Clemson Nike running attire in my size as well. Consider that a sign from God that the new year running resolution was not supposed to be halted when the summer heat strikes again....

I intend to write for an hour twice a week. I won't elaborate more on this, but for now...I am on track.

No lets talk a bit about these Vibrams:

I have been wanting a pair of these babies for a very long time. I tried a pair on in Oregon, but the price was just not right for something I wasn't sure I would love (hence my good bargain)...a friend of mine in Florida swears by them, so tonight, I decided to give them a whirl.
My toes have not memorized getting into them yet (I am assured that they will), but putting them on resembles trying to put a glove on a one year old child (or a 3 year old Bluebird...another story but lets just say it tries my patience).
I decided to really make these Vibrams prove themselves...and I think they did. The run was awful but that was due to the bitter cold and God awful know those kind of runs where you taste the blood in your throat? Yea, that is how bad it was. BUT, my feet felt great. I actually felt that I was able to climb hills better, and the shoes kept my comfortable even on some pretty rough terrain.
So...I think I will be wearing them for my run again tomorrow...but praying for less wind and need to remember to wear my gloves.

Tonight the hubs and I played three games of Yahtzee (another resolution involving more quality time and less TV). I won all three...

The moral of that story, sometimes focusing on the small deals adds up for a bigger win in the end!