May 28, 2014

high and low

Something I've been noticing about life with my buddy is all those highs and lows. I feel like with the girls, there are behaviors I like and ones I don't care for, but they all fall within a comfortable range. My buddy puts me through super highs and painful lows. It's hard to explain.

Last week the kids had a May Day Dance Celebration. My buddy's teacher has asked me weeks ago if my buddy could be paired up with an adult for the dance because so far he wasn't able to do it with the other kids. The morning of the dance when I dropped my buddy off in his class, a super cute little girls strides up to me and says, "I get to be his dance partner today," Sure enough, she led him around the dance floor and he participated in the whole dance just perfectly - even taking a huge bow at the end. It was amazing and I was almost moved to tears.

Here he is patiently waiting for the dance to begin.

Then that afternoon we headed back to school to watch big sis do her dance. It started off with the afternoon kindergartners doing the same dance my buddy did that morning. As soon as he heard the music, he wanted to join them. We were sitting on the floor in the gym with all the other adults right in front of where the kids were dancing. I had to push rara off my lap and use all my strength to hold my buddy down all while he screamed. We drew attention and I hated every minute of it.

Other kids might whine or complain or be obnoxious but do whatever was expected of them anyway. My buddy will just flat out refuse. I do pushups every day because soon he will be stronger than me. I just hope by then he will be able to stop and listen.


In more exciting news, the weather turned unexpectedly summer-like and rara let me put pig tails in her hair.

The big kids had Field Day at school. They were one day apart - one was 80 and sunny and one was 55 and rainy. We only stayed for a little because rara was pissed that she didn't get to play.

It can be hard, but I need to remember during the lows to breathe deeply and picture something calming:

May 22, 2014


Sometimes the stars align and life feels really good. For me, two important factors are when the husband isn't travelling and when the weather is nice. Fresh air and sunshine can do so much for me. I feel so lucky that we were able to find a house with the indoor space perfect for us that also has an outdoor space we love. Every day after school, we throw the backpacks down and head straight out back.

Even things that would have made me upset, are now really funny. The dog kept chewing on the Rugby ball so I put it up in the play house. This is what happened next:

On beautiful days, I'll grab rara and head out on an adventure. Housework can wait. You never know what you may discover.

Have you ever noticed that when your mood is light, funny things just seem to find you?

The extra added bonus is when you play hard, you nap hard.

Too bad as I write this, the skies have opened and its pouring out. I guess every yin needs its yang.

May 16, 2014


Big sis was talking yesterday about how her friends at school don't like my buddy. I asked her why she thought that. She told me one of her friends called him cuckoo. Big sis told her friends that he has Down syndrome, but they didn't know what that meant and she didn't know how to explain it. They tease her at lunch because he always comes over and wants to sit with her and the para has to lead him back to his table. When he sees her in the hallway, he gives her a big hug/tackle to the ground.

Big sis said, "He is cuckoo-funny but not the kind of cuckoo she meant." I asked her how it made her feel when her friend said that about her brother. Sad.

Yeah, me too.

May 14, 2014


If you were up at night with the youngest because she is suffering from the same sore throat as you, then you will both sleep late in the morning. Because you are pressed for time, your oldest will ask you to actually cook breakfast. While cooking breakfast, you will realize that you forgot to pack lunches last night. You will then have to take a few moments to pat yourself on the back because, hello, it's May and the first time you forgot to pack lunches. Since you actually cooked breakfast, you will use up more precious time eating. You will than have to make separate breakfast for the middle child while preparing lunches.

Because you are short on time, middle child will eat a 4 course breakfast in a leisurely manner while the youngest runs around with only her shirt on as a pair of pants. When you finally get youngest dressed, you realize the middle one has poop escaping his diaper. After poop is cleaned, a quick glance at the clock will tell you it is time to leave.

You will look down and realize you are in your pajamas and have not brushed your teeth nor put your contacts in. When you brush your teeth while pulling on some pants, the middle child (whom you asked to get his shoes on) will dump out an entire box of toys. As you get into the car, the oldest child will have twisted her seat belt strap in a manner that needs a bit of time and finesse.

Finally you will reach school and walk down the hallway to the classrooms just as the bell is ringing. You then kiss the oldest goodbye while helping the middle child hang his jacket in his locker. As you turn to put his backpack into the locker, middle child will run off into the first grade class across the hall. You will chase him in there while looking over your shoulder to make sure the littlest is following. Middle child will throw his all into not leaving the classroom. While you squat down looking him in the eyes using your serious voice to try and get him out of there, it will dawn on you that you did nothing this morning to try and conceal the fact that you aren't showered or properly dressed and are trying to discipline your child in front of 2 adults and a room full of children you don't know.

With some help from the para and teacher, middle child will finally end up in his kindergarten class. You will sigh and hightail it out of the school as fast as possible. Then you will ignore the To Do list, grab the camera, dog and littlest to enjoy a walk in the fresh air. You will not forget to breath deeply.

May 9, 2014


Mother's Day seven years ago, I was quite pregnant, petrified of giving birth, yet incredibly excited to be having a baby. I didn't really think about becoming Mom mostly because I had no way of knowing just how that would feel. Then I gave birth. By the way - it's an experience I would have over and over if I could (without actually being pregnant or have any more kids). That moment the baby enters your world is mind blowing.

Fast forward 7 years and throw in 2 more children. Mother has become almost my entire world. I have a hard time thinking of myself as anything else. We are fortunate enough that I had the choice to stay home and raise my babies. I've thrown myself into this mothering business with all I've got. Some days it doesn't feel like I have enough. Many days I wish I could escape.

Mothering little ones can be a mind numbing, time sucking vortex. Where the sheer volume of things that need to get done go hand in hand with considerable boredom. The only way to get through is to keep your humor and delight in the small pleasures. The giggles. The stolen moments between sisters. The hugs and kisses. The funny little expressions. And dancing. Don't forget the dancing.

I hit it big in the mother department myself. My mom stayed home when we were young, then worked as a Special Ed teacher when we were bigger. I always felt her love and she encouraged us to be ourselves. There were arts projects, science experiments and plenty of time playing outside. I am told that most people didn't grow up the way we did. My functional, happy family is not the norm, apparently. I plan on using every Super Mom power I have so my children grow up feeling loved and content. My wish is that they always like spending so much time together.

Motherhood isn't easy. It can feel isolating. There are countless numbers of way to do things wrong. You are in charge of forming a life. When they are little, there is so much physical labor and time involved. They just need so much. I am, thankfully, coming out of the tunnel. Every once in a while, I can actually sit and eat an entire meal. It's the little things that matter.

To all you Mothers out there - Happy Mother's Day. May you have lots of crafted cards filled with heart melting poems. May you receive countless hugs and kisses. May you dance until you laugh.

One thing all mothers know is how full our children make our hearts. And that love is really all we need.

May 3, 2014

Unified Sports Day

Today. Today was a good day. Unified Sports Day. Several different schools came together at Conard High School to celebrate. The weather was beautiful. The kids were amazing. My heart was touched.

Unified Sports is a way for kids of all abilities to come together and play. Today my buddy played basketball, baseball, track, soccer and volleyball. He loved it but, man, was he tired at the end of the day. I was moved by everyone involved - the teachers that gave up a Saturday, Special Olympics, the parents cheering everyone on and the children involved just having fun together.

More than anything, I was impressed by the High School students that volunteered. They were awesome. When we played baseball, there was a group of boys who went above and beyond. One pitched the ball and after the child hit it, the show began. These teenage boys would play fight when they didn't catch the ball or throw the ball wild. Sometimes they bumped into each other all while the child ran around the bases. They kept this up all day - just to entertain our kids and help them succeed in a home run. What big hearts. I had so much fun watching them, I didn't take any pictures!

The day started with opening ceremonies and the national anthem.

Then all the sports - some inside some outside. My buddy took several breaks but played every sport.

The girls aren't feeling great, but they were troopers.

Another incredibly touching moment was at the medal ceremony. My buddy was tired and all done standing. His teammates, all on their own, tried to encourage him. I have no idea what they were saying, but these pictures bring a tear to my eye. I love the kindness of this age.

It really was a beautiful day.