Monday, May 28, 2012

How Hilarious Is The Ocean?

I don't know....why don't you ask Addison:
(I dare you to watch this without smiling)

One of the biggest things that Addison has taught me is how to laugh-truly laugh- even when I have smoke blowing out of my ears and frustrated stomps pounding from my feet. 

I swear, I was a few days away from a stress induced stroke before Addison's amusement at the waves made me laugh. It's all about focusing on whatever is in front of you at the minute and finding joy in the littlest of things.

Except sometimes it's not so little.

Like the ocean.

The hilarious, hilarious ocean.




Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Favs and THE WINNER

A HUGE thank you to everyone who entered the caption contest! Addison's face is always cause for great inspiration over here, so I was more than happy to share that with you and your witty selves. (-:

It took me a few days to come up with a winner because there was SO MANY fabulous ones, but after much deliberation, here are the top 5 (in no particular order):
Beth:
Megan:
Renaissancemommy:
Lori:
Erika:
and the winner is??????

Megan Landmeier 

Megan- shoot me an email (dsmith0806@gmail.com) so that I can send you your $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations!

Thank you everyone for the laughs. I think maybe we should do this again sometime soon.

(I did an Almost-Wordless Wednesday post yesterday....I think the last three pics provide great practice for future caption contests) (-:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Random scribbles and Awesome Pictures

It's late.

I'm tired and still have too many things to finish up before heading to bed.

But these pictures from the past few days are making me smile, so I thought I'd share with just a few words because I have already waaaaay hit my word limit for the day. (just one of those days)

Lunch Date
Fat Lip
Trouble
Wearing Mommy's Shirt
with attitude
Almost to the long weekend....we can make it; I know we can; I know we can.
(hopefully will have the winner caption post up tomorrow! Stay tuned)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Handpainted NON Masterpiece

I try so hard.

I find time to shower. I keep my clothes washed. I curl my hair under in the morning. I wear enough makeup not to be scary. I smile and look pleasant.

But no matter what I do; no matter how much effort goes into choosing that day's outfit,

I end up looking like a human version of an overused rag.

Every single flippin' day.

In fact, by evening, if you examine my clothing you can probably guess EXACTLY how my day went "and clearly, Addison had applesauce and greasy chips for snack today" "Oh, and Carter spit up on you...about 1:00?" "Hmmmm, sandbox day?"

I lie not.

EXHIBIT A: Today.
(EXHIBIT B: Every Other Day)

While Addison was finishing up her breakfast, I carefully put on a newish white patterned tshirt with brown capris. Today was a therapy day, so I had to look ready to see PEOPLE. Also, I had to vacuum my house because nothing is worse than therapy down on the floor when you can start doing "connect the dots" with the crumbs lining the floor and when therapists stand up to leave and have a crumb shower when they brush off their you-know-what. With hardwood floors, crumbs are as visible (and speak as loudly) as fireworks in the middle of the night.

Anyhoo, Addison was done with breakfast and she was parading around the house wearing one of my sleep wear tshirts that she picked up along the way. Carter was trying to grab the extra baggy material from her tshirt in one of his meaty paws in an attempt to bring her down.

I had finished my usual IV drip of coffee and set off to do the vacuuming.

Looooooking good. Hair is curled. Makeup is applied. Both kids are fed and happy.

Just had to vacuum and the therapist was set to arrive.

The Living Room was done. Oh wait. There's an ant.

I quickly squash the intruder and then vacuum up the carcass. Whew. Crisis averted.

Wait. Another ant? And another? And another? WHAT??? There's an ENTIRE ANT COUNTRY in my living room!

WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM????

I pull aside Addison's picnic table to spot a few carefully well placed snacks (such as chips and granola bar pieces) that she set aside to retrieve for the days that I am thoughtless enough to give her an unacceptable snack like a cucumber wedge or a grape tomato and she wants something else (yes, she actually does this).

To my horror, I spot BILLIONS of ants flooding the floor under the picnic table, fighting for a piece of the goods Miss Addison left behind.

Ummmmmmmm. Not good.

Making a quick decision, I put Addison in her room and shut the door (she immediately started crying, but I didn't have time to fight her off the remaining pieces of chip which all of a sudden looked irresistible to her) and I put Carter (sitting up) in the Dining Room.

I vacuum quickly, getting every ant that I possibly could. I then sprayed the rest with a bleach/water solution that seemed to do the trick nicely. (If you are an ant lover...I am sorry)

Efficiently, I got down on my hands and knees and wiped up the entire area with a paper towel.

Good.As.New.

I replaced the picnic table back over the spot just as I hear a big THUNK and SCREAMING!

Carter can now go from sitting to crawling, but this morning he decided to do it really fast and aggressively soooooo his face smacked into the hardwood floor in a way that caused teeth to cut through a lip.

I run over....and blood is gushing out of his mouth and all over his face.

He is WAILING. Addison is still crying in her room.

I whisk him off to the bathroom where I wipe down the worst of it and try to determine the source of the blood flow. I place a cold, wet washcloth in his mouth and he calms down and sucks on it a while.

I now have 3 minutes before the PT arrives and Addison is not dressed yet.

I place Carter back on the floor with his washcloth and run to find a clothes for Addison and release her from her "prison" (full of toys and books).

We go back into the Living Room.

The therapist is here.

At the slightly shocked look on her face, I look down to realize that

1. My white tshirt is covered in blood from Carter's episode
2. My brown capris are spotted in bleach marks.

No time to change. It's time for therapy (and plus most all of my other outfits that could be worn to see PEOPLE were downstairs in the laundry load that I started a half hour before).

We spent the entire therapy outside, so add in large patches of dirt over the now speckled capris.

After going back inside, Carter finished his pears and then wiped his face on the one clean spot of my shirt (smack dab in the middle) and of course my hair was a mad sight from being whipped about from a "fake choking" Carter and a "MORE SLIDE PLEASE" Addison.

By the time therapy was finished and both kids were down for naps, I looked like something you might find crumpled in the street with a discarded sign weakly proclaiming "WILL WORK FOR CLEAN CLOTHES"

-or a paper towel in an ad that claims it can get up even the worst of spills (right before the paper towel is about to be tossed)

-or a completely messed up modern painting that makes everyone cry and even causes even the most liberal to doubt innate goodness.

-or a kitchen backsplash after a particularly rambunctious pan of spaghetti sauce did "the splatter"

I might as well wear all brown with WELCOME inscripted across the front so that people can just go ahead and wipe their feet on me when they come in the front door.

I try. I really, really do.

But sadly, the world will never know.

p.s. hopefully I will have the caption contest winners announced in the next couple of days. SO hard to choose!






Monday, May 21, 2012

Tricked

Please tell me I'm not the only one...

Who realizes at the start of a busy day that CLEARLY little boy is in a lot of pain. He's grabbing his ear; he's not interested in food(!); he's crying; he's screaming. He yelled bloody murder when he heard the vacuum- he is hurting!

EAR INFECTION. OH NO!

Who remains hold forever with the nurse at the Pediatrician's office feeling stress levels rise to stroke setting while missing Addison's therapy in the next room. MUST HELP BABY!

Who cuts sister's therapy short to RUN the hurting boy and sister to the doctor.

"I WANT THE DRUGS!!!" You hear him scream in anguish.

Who chases Addison down the hallway of the waiting room soooo many times that you finally put her in the large wooden toy bin to contain her curious self so that you can sit quietly and comfort the one who is suffering. Large blue eyes stare helplessly at you full of tears and a warm little body digs deep into the cuddle.

Who drags Addison down the hallway (exhausted from therapy) by one arm and cradles the sick boy in the other.

Who watches the little boy who had been screaming for the past two hours suddenly be as happy as Addison when she gets her grubby paws on chocolate.

Who stares in disbelief as he smiles, coos, talks to and charms the doctor. WHAT?

Who hears the doctor say that nothing is wrong with him except for a slight sniffle.

Who realizes that their precious little angel was actually ACTING OUT!

Whose heart is broken at the thought of the formerly innocent little boy dipping a chubby toe into the waters of TROUBLE.

Who is cranky, tired, and feeling like a fool for running an EMERGENCY visit to the doctor for the child who was only communicating anger that he wasn't getting EXACTLY what he wanted WHEN he wanted it.

Please tell me.

I'm not the only one.

p.s. this may or may not have happened this morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daddy, Mowers, and Mommy's Awesome Hat

To my husband:

These past two years of parenting have been difficult years (NOT because of you....they were just hard years. You were my rock, of course).

 I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for how hard you work to take care of us. You do so much behind the scenes that we'll never know about, and you're constantly striving for excellence no matter how diligently you have to work to get there.

You are very passionate about what you do, and I hope that our children will be the same way about whatever path they choose.
I know you want to have them start working for you SUPER young...but how about let's wait until he's tall enough to not have to ride in that little bag. Hmmmm?
Based on his response, it looks like he might be pretty excited to finally be able to work with you. (That's Addison in the background scrapping her belly to get down the stairs faster so that she can have a turn. She's such a Daddy's girl.)
Clearly, she made good use of her turn. Did you leave a little chocolate pick-me-up on the bottom of the bag or something?
Yes, it's a girl after my own heart who prefers to sit on the sidelines verbalizing witty banter rather than mowing the lawn with the boys....
So hubs, thank you. You take excellent care of us, and you set an amazing example for our children to follow. We appreciate you!

Oh, and while I have your attention. The hat I bought last week that you said "1918 called and they want their hat back"??????

WRONG. Nothing is more trendy and hip than this hat. (hehe)
I'm sure when we go to Maine next weekend you'll be embarrassed to see that all of the ultra cool teenagers on the beach will be wearing the EXACT SAME HAT! (but just in case, I guess I'll buy a back-up hat...you know, so those teens don't feel bad to be shown up so royally up by an aging 27 year old.)

Wait, what were we talking about??????

No clue. I guess those aging genes have more control than I thought...

Love you!

The Caption Contest Ends tomorrow at midnight (EST) Don't forget to enter!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Caption Contest

A reader suggested something like this a while ago, so I'm going to give it a try (why yes, I DO listen to you-gasp!)...

Leave a snarky (of course) caption for either picture. I will pick my favorite caption and that person will win a $25 gift card to Amazon.

Contest closes Monday at midnight EST (5/21) and winner will be announced Tuesday.

Oh yes, letting me know that you shared this contest or are a follower of this blog (or like on facebook) definitely puts points in your corner!

Make sure you specify which picture your comment is intended for and go crazy!


Photo #1
Photo #2
Go ahead. Leave a caption. You know you want to.

Let's celebrate Laughter Thursday.

(even if you don't feel up to entering, make sure you 'like' your favorite comment!)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Every Woman Needs

Addison has turned into a crazy walking machine. Since she started cruising on furniture exactly one year ago, you can imagine how this full time walker status has been a MUCH anticipated event. (my back would like to insert a sound "AMEN" here)

Yesterday, I was ECSTATIC that she walked alongside the grocery cart carrying her purse for TWO grocery store stops (lighting up like dessert on fire every time we came near to a candy aisle-girl knows what she wants.)

Why the purse, you might ask? Holding something in front of her helps balance her and provides a focus point for her stepping. She LOVES to walk with her purse. (today in the middle of therapy, she decisively picked up her purse, walked to the door, and waved "good-bye" before attempting to open the door by herself)

Today while I was sharing Addison's breakthrough walking status with her PT, Addison walked the purse over to her, signed "help" and then "open".

The PT glanced down at the purse, opened it, and peered inside.

Seeing Addison's carryaround stash- a diaper and a granola bar, her PT said in all seriousness,

"This is all any woman needs in her purse- something to eat and a diaper."

In the list of The 100 Most Unexpected Things To Be Said During Therapy this ranks in the top ten.

Stunned silence merged seamlessly into hysterical laughter as Addison's OT and I realized that she was NOT kidding. lol. Who said therapy was boring? 

Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to re-examine the contents of my OWN purse after those words of wisdom.

So proud of this little girl. I can't remember why I once thought she would ruin my life.

this?
is the cherry of awesomeness on the ice cream sundae of happiness.
(Pretty sure several people almost fainted from 'adorable overload' when they saw this ball of cuteness come sailing by them.) (-:

Happy Tuesday!



Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Mother's Day Was Almost My Last

Mother's Day marks the second anniversary of Addison's first heart surgery.
I was a brand new mother with a four month old baby on 24 hours of oxygen, a g-tube, and a medicine schedule requiring two degrees to understand. Little Addison was hanging on to dear life with smaller than usual hands.

Mother's Day to me brings to mind feelings of failure and loss.

Because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't bring good health to  my little girl.
Even though the surgery was merely to close up a large hole in her heart, her severe pulmonary hypertension ensured very high risk.

It was my first mother's day as a mother. Would it be my last?
I learned very early in my parenting career the concept of letting go.

Addison's life was not in my control. The outcome of her surgery was not something I could direct with eloquently worded prayers.

I had to trust.
Her entire first year was full of many expressions of blind faith. I wish I could go back. I wish I could tell the pale, silent woman waiting forlornly in the waiting room during those surgeries that in two years her life would be full of this:
and this:
and this:
And while I knew in my heart that God is still good even when having an unhealthy child or facing loss, living through it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Addison's life was spared. And after a long fight through a lot of physical problems.

She is healthy.
And now it's the second anniversary of that heart surgery and I feel sad and thoughtful as I think of my sister and her recent loss.

Because our children's lives are not in our control no matter how much we love and wish a long life of happiness for them.
Whether we are even mothers-whether we can conceive a baby at all- that's not in our hands either.

Motherhood in its entirety is a matter of trusting God one day at a time with the little ones that we have

or don't.

And either way we are tested and tried above what we think we can handle and yet somehow come through

stronger. braver. ready to love deeper.
To me, Mother's Day is an opportunity to say thank you, hug tight the two vibrant lives that are in my care and dedicate myself anew to not wasting a minute of the time that I have with them.
Dear Addison and Carter,

 I oftentimes feel like a failure as a mother. I fear daily that I'm not doing enough-reading enough-balancing enough-playing enough-therapying enough. And yet on this mother's day as I think how far I've come since I met both of you, I'm pushing aside my own feelings of inadequacy and promising you that every day you will see my best.

My best on some days may be foods that aren't your favorite- diaper pails that aren't emptied when they should have been- crumbs that were neglected to be vacuumed-clothes that are still in the dirty pile-baths that aren't the perfect temperature of soakiness

realizing that sometimes there are higher priorities- loving, talking, hugging, nurturing, feeding, teaching

and always putting you first in my schedule of life.

I love you both  more than I can say, and I am grateful for the privilege of being your mother.
Happy Mother's Day!



Friday, May 11, 2012

Society Blind To Beauty?

Earlier this week, I saw the "Mother's Inspiring Video About Her Blind Baby Boy" posted over and over again on facebook:
in one word: LOVE

Watching this, I was inspired, amazed and thankful. I cried tears of admiration for the strength that this mom possesses and willingly shared with us through this video.

I could see the pride and sheer thankfulness for the precious life that she has been entrusted to raise.

True love in motherhood- having a baby who is not what you expected or perhaps even wanted, looking past all of the extra baggage, and accepting him for exactly who he is.

My heart was overflowing and tears were running down my cheeks from the emotional impact of the video.
Foolishly I decided to check out some of the comments on various postings of this video.

Smiling through the tears, I read the comments of many who responded the same way I did.

Then I ran across some comments tagged "worst" and I wondered what bad thing could anyone possibly say about this heartwarming video?

My jaw dropped as I read the many, many, many hateful comments that people were saying about how selfish this mom was, the horrible life he (Christian) will have, how love isn't enough, how their tax dollars would have to support him, and someone just typed "Kill It!"

I found these comments to be very telling of our shallow culture and the reason why abortion of a baby with an abnormality is becoming more and more the norm.

My "LOVE" reaction then turned to "HEARTBROKEN" that so many people could watch that tribute of love and beauty and still respond so hatefully.

No longer is he a baby- but an "it" merely because of a unique design. WHAT???

First of all, I HATE how the online community allows us to go under "anonymous" or coded user names and say nasty things just for kicks (this gives way too much power to people to sound like critical experts on subjects that they really know NOTHING about)

Second, as I walked away from these comments, I found that I couldn't stay silent. Granted, those people will most likely never read my blog, but maybe they were speaking what others hesitantly thought when seeing this video but didn't express aloud.

So, in case you were thinking the same thing, this is how I would respond to those comments if given the chance. (comments taken from msn.com)

-please keep in mind my responses lean towards a somewhat sarcastic nature as that's the only way to fairly respond to some of these comments without resorting to some type of witchcraft cursing (which just isn't my thing)-

Comment #1
"It would have been somewhat different if the parents had no clue and weren't given a heads up and just found out at the birth. But, I'm sorry, refusing to abort a fetus with known severe birth defects at that early in the gestation is purely selfish on the parents' part! All you religious do-gooders are plain nuts! God didn't create this little human being to be like that -- a birth defect did. Are you going to be there to support, nurture and care for this child? WHO will care for him when his parents are no longer able? How much state and federally allocated money will he use up in his lifetime? Why should the taxpayers be responsible when the parents were so irresponsible??? WHO will support his parents when they are unable to work a productive adult job because they are tethered to a severely disabled dependent? How can this child possibly have a normal life? Did anyone happen to think of the extreme emotional pain this child will experience as he grows and becomes more aware?" 

My response:
So now it's "purely selfish"  and "irresponsible" to give your child a chance at LIFE???!! And to be clear- you're saying that God now makes mistakes? Wow, that's not arrogant at all. Furthermore, what parent is given a guarantee that his/her child won't still need support and care long beyond what society expects? Isn't that a risk that ANY parent takes? And I'm so glad that you're worried about state and federally allocated money. Heaven forbid it should go towards helping someone's life be a little easier. Perhaps we should instead put that money towards beefing up the prison facilities for all of those serial murders. Or better yet, maybe we should randomly select the babies that look like they'll be future prisoners and kill them now to avoid all that pain and so that we can best spend all of that federally allocated money on saving endangered species and such. And speaking of "emotional pain"- do they know that you have a computer in your cell?

Comment #2
"Is it really fair, to set up a child for a lifetime of rejection, humiliation and pain? When Christian gets older, beginning to understand his condition and what strength and willpower it takes to live with this, probably never being able to live a normal life and have a wife and family...we can't forsee the future, but his parents have taken a lot of responsibility and I don't know whether anyone will be able to live up to this and make this child's life bearable.
Face it: the majority of people is ignorant, cruel and there is little understanding for a condition like this. Christian will pay a high price for his mother's decision and it is an admirable decision, but was it the right one?"

My response:
I can think of many children who have a lifetime of "rejection, humiliation and pain" even though they have no physical or mental differences. Does that mean as soon as some possible "pain" might be involved that life is no longer worth living? Wow, that's a great message to send to the next generation. Just because someone's uniqueness is a little more obvious, are you REALLY going to sit on your high horse and pretend that YOU know BEST for this baby's life that you haven't even MET? Wow. Did you even think for a minute that his life could serve a purpose deeper than what might be initially obvious to YOU-the all knowing internet reader? No wonder they elected you as President of the "Ignorant, Cruel and Little Understanding" club.

Comment #3
"An extraordinarily selfish act, most likely fueled by religion. They've seen the physical problems - what happened to the development of his brain?" 

My response:
I'm less worried about his brain and more about worried what it must be like for you to live without a heart.

Comment #4
"I understand that you love your child, but this he will never be accepted in society. Honestly the world is full of terrible people like myself. Wherever your son goes societry, myself included will judge him based on his looks, not for his character. When I first saw your son he truly scared me, and there are plenty of others who most likely feel the same way. I truly wish that your son has a happy life, but that of course will never happen. It is every mothers dream for their child to get married, have a successful job, and to posses many friends. Those three things will not happen. Based on what society says is attractive seeing as to how you son doesn't fit that criteria he will not find a woman who loves him. Now as for a job, potential employers will not hire him for fear of his looks. Finally as for friends he will be judged as an 'eyeless freak' before people get to know him. Im sure your son is a fine boy, but I want you to understand that he will never be accepted, the world is too much of an evil place. Now in conclusion please remember right now your son is a hot topic so right now the media is all over him, in a couple of weeks you will be forgotten, and your son will begin to realize just how much his life sucks. May God have pity on your son."




My response:
How brave of you to admit how you walk around judging people by their appearances. How prophetic of you to say that "he will never be accepted". How bold of you to say that your criteria for happiness in life is "to get married, to have a successful job, and to possess many friends" I hope you never go in for surgery someday because the surgeon will no doubt be surprised to see that your body doesn't extend past your skin. I hope that all of those high school girls struggling with body image and junior high boys trying to find themselves never read your descriptions of what "a happy life" looks like. Maybe you should copy and paste a Hollywood approved image to this comment so that we can know EXACTLY what we should all be trying to look like so that we can all find "someone who loves us" and earn the acceptance of society. Here's a thought- what if we give this boy a chance to help CHANGE the society that apparently is in desperate need of a too-much-focused-on-appearances makeover???

Comment #5
"...I personally think that Christian would be better off with The Lord....because no one will be able to see him as a human being."

My response:
Everyone rejoice!!! God now has an online log in! Whether life or death is right for someone can now be decided! And who knew that the thing that decides who appears to be human and who is not is whether or not he/she has eyes. WHAT a relief to get some answers, finally. I'm pretty nearsighted. Does that make me (gasp) only half human????

Comment #6
"That mom will have such a hard, horrible life"

My response:
Congratulations to you for being able to see into the future!!! How lucky you must be to know EXACTLY what your future will look like based on what your today looks like. And also- will you rewarded soon for your discovery of what an EASY life looks like?? I had no idea that such a thing even existed!


(at this point I just STOPPED reading. These comments seemed to cover the sentiments of many)
_______________________________________________________
I realize that when anything goes viral, criticism will open up in an ugly way. But I also think that this is very telling of our society at large.

To the mom of the baby with no eyes who was brave enough to defend him against criticism:
Kudos to you.
Your son is beautiful, and your message is powerful. As mothers day approaches, I hope you are celebrated in a big way because you are deserving of whatever praise comes your way for being brave enough to put your story out there the way you have. Thank you for helping make the world aware that no matter what the diagnosis, every baby is worthy of love, respect and LIFE. Thank you for your inspiration and willingness to let your struggles crack into the hardened layer of our society so that acceptance and true love and can seep down into the most calloused of hearts. Instead of allowing the "different" to be hidden away, we need to let them teach and change us in a new way. Those who shrug away the interaction and rashly assume the different to be better off dead just show how much they badly NEED to be changed.

I hope that this isn't the last that we'll be seeing of you and your wonderful son. Love like yours deserves to displayed for the world to see. I can't wait to see the impact his life will have on so many, led so lovingly through life by such an amazing mother such a yourself.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orange Snow?

Motherhood is fickle.

Like really, really fickle.

One minute you are beaming with pride because your little girl confidently walked her plate to the dishwasher, placed it inside and then excitedly clapped for herself.

And the next?

You're standing in horrified silence as your two year old makes "snow angels" in a very large pile of throw up deposited by little brother on the living room floor.

She is smiling and laughing with glee while bathing in her brother's rejected stomach contents.

You can't reach her fast enough. Your movements turn to slow motion while hers rockets into x132 fast forward.

All of the mess is soaked up onto her flailing arms as she carefully works to reach even the farthest corner of the offending pile while scooting her back around to assure best cleanup results.

And she looks pleased with herself. Very pleased.

And little brother is still covered (and watching big sister VERY curiously "Sooo, right to left absorbs the fastest?).

And you are covered from the original deposit.

And the floor is wet and discolored from where it was just covered.

And while you stare in shock, trying to figure out which disaster to tackle first, the said two year old takes those same "cleaning" hands to finish little brother's snack that prompted the vomit episode in the first place.

She grins at you while stuffing pieces of mango in her mouth with dirty hands.

And you wonder.

How do you explain that while "DISWASHER" Addison is very helpful

"MOP" Addison is the grossest thing you've seen in a looooooong time.

Motherhood.Is.Fickle.

On a completely unrelated note:

A couple of things I learned today:

1. Carter hates mangos. (really, really, really hates them-will throw up EVERYTHING after accidentally swallowing a tiny piece of the "poison" that mom forced him to taste)

2. Saying "NOBODY MOVE! I'm going to go get a rag to clean this up!!!!" to two toddlers in a room full of vomit is like saying "WHO CAN EAT THE MOST CANDY WHILE I'M GONE?" It's a stupid thing to say.Yes, sadly I learned that for the first time today.

3. Carter had carrots for his midafternoon snack (even though I wasn't here to administer said snack)

4. Chubby cuteness can double as "Chubby Pure Evil"
DON'T BE FOOLED!!!!

and....don't trust the floors in my house until I've had a chance to steam mop them a couple of hundred times...(in a few years???)

Dear Addison,

if you want more housework responsibilities, could you please leave the bodily fluid cleanup to the professionals? I hereby give you....

LAUNDRY??????
love,
Meme
(that's what she calls me now...when she's angry- "NO MEME!" rings around our house in girlish tones quite often.)

p.s. I'm very proud of you for putting a bathroom drawer back together after I asked you to clean up your mess of pulling it apart....and for licking your fork clean and putting it in the silverware drawer...but turning yourself into a human mop is where I draw the line. Horrible housekeeper though I might be, I still have a line of what is and what isn't OK....and that line? is a dot to you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A picture is worth whichever 1,000 words you want


I had big plans for today. Running with a friend, basement organization, laundry progress...

but then after Addison's orthotic appointment this morning (four more pairs of socks on the way YAY!), I just started feeling really crummy.

So I cancelled it all and played with the kids while the house fell to pieces around me (don't you just love those days?). They were playing so sweetly together that I eventually just reclined on the couch and messed around with some of their pictures to keep myself awake.

Still not feeling the greatest.

But some of picture editing made me laugh, so it was a welcome relief.

I hope they make you laugh. or at least smile. And that you don't get sick (and that "crummy" goes away for me after a good night's sleep)

without further ado....

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Blueberry Muffin

You may have heard many times something along the following lines: "Having a child with special needs has caused me to slow down and enjoy the small details of life rather than rushing from one milestone to the next."

I know I've said it before- many times. But rarely have I really specifically described what I mean by it.

Today something happened to make me feel this yet again, and I'm going to attempt to describe it to you. (It's a little difficult to put into words, but I'm going to give it the ol' college try)

here goes...


Today I was stressed.

I tend to be a rather high strung person (no doubt this is a bit of a shock as I come across so chill and calm here on the blog. -insert snort of laughter).

Anyway, today I really had myself strung tight with worries and problems in imagined scenarios 6 paces ahead of where I actually am in life.

It was the kind of self absorbed stress where my head begins to throb and my neck aches from the tension.

We had a playdate at the park, so I loaded up both kids and we met friends at a new park to explore and play (which for Carter meant three pushes in the swing and then stroller/cheerio time and for Addison meant she wandered in either direction a few feet and took everything in silently...we're not the most exciting playdate attendees I guess)

Nevertheless, it was a lovely playdate which was over all too soon.

It was 4:10 and I still had to stop at the grocery store before starting bedtime rituals at 5 and we were 20 minutes away from home....my head was spinning, jumping ahead ten paces, planning each move carefully and feeling the exhaustion from carrying both babies into the store, filling our list as quickly as possible, carrying them both out again, into the house, feeding them, bathing them, changing them, putting them to bed....all long before it actually was to occur. (yeah...I might have teeny bit of a problem)

Anyway, we were in the grocery store.

I rarely do long grocery trips with both kids because their good behavior lasts for too short amount of time (and it's difficult to fit them both in the cart just right...don't get me started on this) but when I do, I buy Addison a blueberry muffin and feed it to her piece by piece. This buys me a good 15 minutes in which to get all my shopping done before she begins "CATAPULT BODY TO FLOOR FROM CART" mission.

Well, today I gave Addison the first piece from the muffin and then put the rest in the bag next to Carter.

When checking out, I glanced down to see this:
Little girl was hungry from her playdate/fresh air and had searched out the ENTIRE muffin and helped herself.

This made me completely stop, my spinning head stilled, and a huge smile broke out on the face that seconds before was no doubt forming new tension wrinkles.

Why?

1. Eating for her is such a battle. I won't go into it here, but she has a mouthful of teeth and pretty  much refuses to use them. To see her willing search out more food (that she would have to chew) and feed it to herself was such a thrill.

2. She finished the piece that I gave her, wanted more and searched it out by herself without making a peep or asking me for help (it was wrapped inside a brown paper bag up next to Carter). Her show of independence and problem solving skills always makes me VERY happy.

3. The look of joy on her face and the way she was licking her lips as to not miss a crumb was so endearing. When I snapped the above picture, I could have sworn I heard her whispering to the muffin "hello, lover" (OK, that is a lie...but her face was saying that). Sometimes she can be very hard to read, and when she openly shows appreciation over something (especially food that is not chocolate) it always makes me sit up and take notice.

So in that moment when I looked down and saw her calmly eating a muffin almost the size of her face, my heart started dancing to the songs in my head (corny? Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way-insert some sort of joke about a corn muffin)

Out in the parking lot?
Her grubby fingers had a death grip on her muffin.

Buckling her into her car seat?
She WOULD NOT let go of the muffin. (We finally did one arm at a time)
Arriving home, I put her at the bottom of the front porch steps and asked her to climb up on her own. Trying to help, I pried the half eaten muffin out of her hands so that she could use both hands to do the climbing.

By the resulting screams and shrieks you would have thought she was on fire-or being tortured-or...well, you get the picture.

Right in the house, I put her in the high chair and she finished the WHOLE THING. Throwing the paper on the floor she SAID and signed

"all done"

I was so proud. And happy. And unstressed as my mind had skittered back to the present-to the moment-to focus solely on A MUFFIN for the space of almost an hour.

Such a small thing.

But it really made me stop in my tracks and appreciate the life right in front of me right now.

 I stopped thinking about the muffins that I need to buy next year and instead used tiny fingers to balance a delicious, oversized blueberry muffin in front of large blue eyes; study it in every glorious detail; and sink carefully sharpened (and rarely used) teeth into the soft goodness one joyous bite at a time (vicariously through Addison, of course)

While I was stuck in thinking-too-fast-and-too-far-ahead mode; worrying and panicking, Addison was focused on the one thing in front of her- a muffin.

And that is just a sliver of the pie of awesomeness that she brings to my life. (muffin pie, of course. is there such a thing???)

I know I'm the mother and everything, and I am the one supposed to be teaching HER, but more often than not, I'm the one learning from her.

Slowing down life is a good thing (especially when you tend to jump ahead far too quickly like I do), and Addison brings precisely that to my life. (hmmmm, you would think that someone who knew that about me actually PLANNED her to be my daughter! GASP. Imagine that....)