September 27, 2013


I must confess:  I love having the big kids in school all day.  It feels so good knowing they are learning both book knowledge as well as life lessons.  They are being taken care of and learning how to take care of themselves.  And I feel free.

So free that I've been pulling out some Fosse moves around my kitchen while listening to Broadway Showstoppers.

I've made time for me... well not really just me since I do still have rara with me and I have to work around her schedule.  We take walks every morning.  We stretch and enjoy some daytime TV.  Perhaps we run an errand.  Perhaps we stay home and clean.  Everything is getting done and I don't feel overwhelmed.

There is time to read.  There is time to clean.  There is time to watch TV.  There is time to grocery shop.  I feel content.  I haven't even freaked out too much with all the traveling the husband is doing.  Dare I say it... life is really good.

I had a PPT this week and they added extra services!  All on their own.  It was a fun, jolly meeting.

Some joy from this week:

changing her babies diapers

they play under this tree every day after school

how wrestling ends in snuggles with the girls

showing me where she just threw her other slipper

I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  But I am really enjoying this lull in excitement.

September 22, 2013


We now have an amazing swing set in our back yard.  Today I was folding laundry while rara napped and watching my buddy and big sis playing together.  I had the windows open and could hear everything they were saying.  At one point, big sis was halfway up the climbing wall when my buddy threw himself down on the ground.  She went through a series of questions trying to figure out what the problem was.  Each question made him more upset.  Finally big sis says, "Do you need a hug?"  My buddy responded with an, "Uh huh."  So big sis climbs down, they hug for a minute and then they both climb the wall together.

I wanted to bottle up that little moment and save it forever. 

Here is my outside girl.

My buddy and rara are developing this little relationship.  Because he spent so much time pushing her down and generally making her cry, I thought they might not get along so well.  Don't get me wrong, she will scream bloody murder if she thinks he is about to upset her in any way.  But they really do love each other.  They take care of each other and love to share snacks back and forth.  They kiss each other good night every single night.  They look forward to being reunited after a long day of school.  Sibling relationships are beautiful to witness.

Since we now live in a small town, we thought we'd soak in some local flavor and headed down to Sam Collins Day.  Basically a field with some vendors, bouncy houses and food.  I think we both had visions of wandering around enjoying the sights.  We trick ourselves every single time we head out with all the kids.  First we walked by the fire station - that was a huge hit!

Then we paid $4 to jump in a bouncy house.  What the teenage kid failed to mention is you only get 2 minutes.  When my buddy is having fun, we generally don't disturb him.  It never ends well.  So 3 minutes into our day out, we had tears and a meltdown.  My husband stepped up and followed my buddy around and dealt with a series of meltdowns along with fun times checking out the police cruisers.

We got talking after how Disney is changing their policy on passes for those with special needs.  If all goes as they are planning now, we will never be able to go back to Disney until my buddy is much older.  He can't even handle an hour at a small town shin dig.  There is no way he could handle all the waiting involved at Disney.  It breaks my Mickey lovin' heart.

I am enjoying my days spent with this little personality.  She keeps me on my toes.

She thinks she is so funny when she steals my water bottle and drinks it.

September 14, 2013

new routines

The thought of decorating a house gives me hives.  The thought of leaving all the wallpaper gives me hives as well.  I thought I would dive in and see what I could do in an area we use the most - the kitchen table.  The rest can wait until November when reinforcements are coming.

Before:  (from the realtor listing)

totally blurry and with their furniture, but you get the point


I did it all myself - including installing a light fixture.

I feel like I can relax now and start inviting some friends over to see the place.  The wall paper was only on the bottom half of the walls and came off super easy.  Plus I had help.

First child I was all, "let's read."  Third child is cheap labor.

I am thrilled to say that my buddy is on his way back to me.  He spends the morning in with kindergarten, eats lunch in the cafe and then afternoons with the preschoolers.  He isn't 5 yet, so he fits well into both classes.  He loves preschool and seems to be thriving there.  I did not have to drag a crying boy out to my car at all this week.  On Fridays he has a half day (no pm preschool).  My buddy actually put down the iPad to help me make muffins Friday afternoon.

My buddy is thrilled with the freedom of getting himself things from the kitchen.  We were on the back deck enjoying the muffins we made.  He let himself inside, got his milk and rara's milk and another muffin and came back out.  Just the fact that he didn't make a bit of mischief and thought to get something for someone else is huge.

That smile I love is back.

He is zooming super fast until he gets right to my feet and then throws the brakes on.

Big sis is in a stage of adjustment at the moment.  She still misses the old house and gets scared in the new house.  Her teacher is on a medical leave for a few weeks and while she likes the sub, she knows it's temporary and change isn't her strongest suit.  She has stepped up and now takes the bus home from school.  It makes us nervous trusting a stranger to drive our most precious cargo, but it had to be done at some point.  Rara and my buddy love waiting for the bus and get so excited when it comes down the street.

He totally photo bombed my picture of rara, but I love this picture even more.

I love spending my days with rara.  She follows me around everywhere.  We take a morning walk together.  It feels so good to be moving again and rara loves the horses and donkeys we walk by.  I've trained rara to hand me my towel when I get out of the shower - if she's going to be all up in my business, at least she can be helpful.  I couldn't ask for a cuter side kick.

We are all figuring out the new routines and so far it's a good fit. 

September 6, 2013


We have been in our new home for 12 days.  Things are starting to come together.  Boxes are mostly unpacked.  We are starting to settle.  While the past 2 months have been crazy it all seems so worth it right now.  I love our new town.  Every street is more picturesque than the one before and my neighborhood walk is calming and relaxing.

The school that my buddy and big sis are going to is wonderful.  We registered a week before school started.  I was really worried about getting his IEP in place.  The wording about a 1:1 para was not clear and they didn't have someone for him.  The kindergarten is half day, I really wanted him in a full day program.  We came to the open house where my buddy was on his worst behavior.  Four days later, on the first day of school, there is his para - all day, every day, all year long.

We had a PPT first day they had available.  They offered additional services - more OT and speech - and came up with a good solution to keep him in extended day.  The principal made sure big sis was settling in as well.  I get clear communication every day on his behavior, what things he did, if he ate, was changed and what special they had that day.  They set a schedule for his therapy and sent that home as well.  It's a dream come true.

Big sis still misses the old house but that doesn't surprise me.  I am loving the back deck.  There are gates built in, so I can just open the door and the kids can run around.  Aside from my buddy throwing his glasses over the railing, it's pretty kid friendly.

We found this house on the last day we were hunting before we gave up and looked for something to rent.  As soon as we walked in the door it just felt right.  It's a ranch with a finished basement that includes a bedroom, bath and living area.  We don't know what my buddy will want when he is an adult, but it is nice to know that we have a space for him to live without being on top of each other.

Coming from a 3 floor townhouse, can I just say NO STAIRS!!!  Since that in-law bedroom is so far removed from the rest of the house, it remains empty waiting for some grandparents to visit.  We are using the office space as our bedroom and it works.

Apparently bald men require lots of hats.

My buddy's behavior is slowly changing.  I am looking forward to exploring more... just as soon as I unpack the last of the boxes.