Friday, December 28, 2007

Wow, this is really sad!

A new post every 10 days or so, how do you like that? LOL! Lots has happened in the past 9 days, just no new baby yet. We'll try to update as soon as he arrives (yes, HE). Let's see...I've been in the ditch with Avery and Caden in the backseat, did I tell you about that? That was embarrassing and fun, though very short-lived which was a blessing. The 2 vehicles behind me that witnessed it pulled me right out so thank God for them! Long story short, we lost control a bit (James thinks from hitting a rut or something - it was 100% ice on the gravel roads) and I corrected once, then started skidding the OTHER way and panic-breaked, which sent the car completely around and into the ditch facing backwards. From the backseat Miss Avery pipes up - "Mommy? Where we at?" Ahh, outta the mouths of babes. I told her we were in the ditch and she said, "Oh, can you turn the music up?" I guess she was really rattled, huh?

We've had a good Christmas, though it's now the 28th and our kids still haven't opened the gifts from James and me or the gifts that came anonymously at 9:15 on Christmas Eve. That was a HUGE blessing - yes, we know who you are and you will be thanked, but wow, we've never been so touched in our lives. We plan to do that tonight as a family...

I'd write more but my FIL is here installing our new railing/balcony and little 3 year old girl doesn't like the noise, so we need to head downstairs to pacify her. How was your Christmas?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm still here!

Haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just busy I guess - you know that Christmas season kind of busy? Oh, plus we were without power on Tuesday which I wrote about, but then again on Thursday for 12+ hours (and of course those hours were 6am-6pm or thereabouts).

So this morning Caden got off on the bus without a hitch and Avery is still sleeping as of 8:15, so here I am. I'm sure it doesn't help that both kids were still wide awake and hollering (playing) at each other across their bedroom last night at 9:30. I think I'd want to still be sleeping as well. *yawn*

We really need to get milk and juice this morning so I'm headed to wake up the girl in just a bit. Hope to update later!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How do you spell ICE STORM?

"Pain-in-the-butt." That's how. This is the 2nd major ice storm we've had in 2007, but this one was a doozy. Our power went out around 6:30 this morning. I knew school had been canceled so I was lazing in bed when James poked his head in our bedroom to tell me the power had gone off. Great. Last time (I think it was February) we were without power for 2-3 (I can't remember) days and it was so frustrating. (Good glory, I can't remember ANYTHING lately, lol.) So I was praying for the best but expecting the worst. Living out here in the country is not always a little slice of heaven. So, the kids got up around 8 (yay) and we got our glamorous breakfast of Pop-Tarts straight from the box (who am I trying to impress? That's every day's breakfast!) and started our day.

Avery wanted to watch Dora. "Dora's broken." Caden wanted the Christmas tree lights on. "Lights are broken little man." We hemmed and hawed about that for a while but then, much to my amazement, I watched my children play, not fight, not scream, not hit each other for the next 4 hours. Yes, I did type that correctly. 4 hours of that. So, I hoisted my pregnant self out of the chair and decided it was time to actually do something around here. I was not about to waste their good moods. I spend way too much time at the computer and that was simply not an option this morning (I have mentioned my lack of internal motivation which directly corresponds to my inability to tell myself no, right? Right). We traipsed downstairs and I tackled the kitchen. Cluttered counters, drywall dust on everything, just a mess. My dad brought over some of my mom's cute snowman stuff last night that she doesn't have room for anymore, so I set about putting that all up in the kitchen - stuff like cookie jars, mugs, salt and pepper shakers, very festive. I got the kitchen counters cleaned up, put up the snowman stuff, cleaned the top of the fridge (I know, nesting much?) - and the kids were still in great moods. Well, Caden had stripped himself down to just his diaper and tee shirt, but he was still in a great mood.

At this point, Avery proclaimed it was time for lunch with a can of ravioli in her hand from the pantry. Caden proclaimed it time for Dora yogurt with the grab of a spoon from the drawer and an emphatic "uh UH!" pointed toward the fridge door. So, I rummaged around for the hand-held can opener, all the while staring longingly at the electric one hanging idly from the upper cabinets and lunch commenced. Never mind the ravioli was cold - they like it that way. Plus I always rinse the ravioli with hot water to rinse all the sauce off so it's less messy - so that sorta warmed it up. James had called at this point to tell me he wasn't coming home "for lunch" as per usual but would be home early afternoon for the day.

We finished up lunch and they were back to the races with playing nicely with each other. BONUS! I sat at the table, willing the lights to come back on. Nuttin. I looked outside and noticed we had an actual power line down in the front yard/ice hole. So I called the power company right away - that should put us at top priority, right?

Next I decided to tackle the mound of medical paperwork waiting to be filed. Guess what? Didn't take me that long and it's done now!!! And THEN I got out the Avent bottles we have and sorted through those (long story short, I am bottle feeding this little boy because of the meds I am taking for my bipolar - really difficult for me, but I am happy with our decision and I know he'll be just fine. I'm just very used to breastfeeding and have no IDEA how to bottle feed!). Sooooooo much got accomplished today, and I'm really proud of that. Now, if I could only just force myself away from the computer at least 2 days a week think of all that I could get done! Nah, let's not think about that too hard.

Around 4:30 our house temp was getting chilly, so we decided to head in to James' parents to spend the night. We got there, had a wonderful supper, and around 7pm my phone rang - it was our neighbors with the good news of power back on!!! Plans changed, we came home, put the kids to bed and now here I am, James fast asleep on the couch. Some things never change.

We have possibly lost at least one really big shade tree. Many more of them aren't looking good - the ice is very thick on the branches and they are hanging down touching the ground. I hope we can save them, but we're thankful to be warm and safe here at home.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Now WE'VE been elved!

Thanks to my friend Lynnae, I just had to try this out for our family. Never mind that it took me a stinking long time to do.....The kids adore it! Caden starts signing "more" almost as soon as it begins. Hope you get a giggle, too.

And perhaps I remember why

blogging was difficult for me. I spend days on end thinking of something witty and fun to post about, and absolutely nothing comes to me. So instead I think I will just make an effort to write at least 3 times every week, and whatever comes to me, comes. Sound good?

This morning was the first morning I had to send my boy to school all dudded up in his winter attire. For us this meant snowpants, coat, hat, mittens and boots. Now, if you know Caden at all you will know that he doesn't like what's not familiar to him. So the snowpants were an issue at first, and of course they go on first. He didn't like the feeling of them being over his shoulders and the zipper being zipped up. We got past that, and then came the coat. No problem there because we've been wearing that for months now. When I was shopping on Tuesday of last week I found a new hat and mittens for Caden as he's been wearing the "old ones" for the better part of 2+ years. Well guess what? Caden no like the new mittens and hat. He tore those mittens off with tears faster than I could get the next one on. So, we went back to the old ones, and then Caden was happy. Whew.

Twice this school year Caden has gotten on the school bus (actually a suburban with carseats) sobbing inconsolably. Both times were when he had a new pair of shoes on. And it's not that they hurt his feet, it's that they are not what's familiar. The final thing to be donned on his little frame? The snowboots. *deep internal sigh from mommy* I had to stand him up on the floor in order to get enough pressure down on his heel for them to slip on. This was not an easy task what with him being completely bundled up. And the sobbing commenced. I refrained. They were on, we were ready - and the bus was late. At least 5 minutes. So we stood in the front room and waited through the tears. But I will say that once he saw the bus, things did improve quite a bit, so thank God for that!

That is probably one of the most frustrating things about being Caden's mommy. Most of the time, I do understand what's upsetting him, which I am thankful for. However, there is just no reasoning with him. There's no explaining that he needs to wear boots so he can have fun at the playground once he gets to school. The understanding of the "why" does not come easily to him, and that is very, very difficult. I do pray for that to get better as he ages and I see glimpses of it getting better at times, but it's a hard thing to deal with.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So, I've tried this before...

This blogging thing, that is. I tried it, and I liked it, but I just wasn't motivated. It was probably due to the fact that 1) I'm not very good with intrinsic motivation and 2) I was off my meds for bipolar at the time and all my blog posts were incoherent ramblings about how perfect I was and how lowly everyone else was. So when I decided to get back into the swing of things, I changed the title of the blog, I changed the look and layout, I changed it all. I am not that person anymore - God has blessed me beyond measure and I am thankful for this little life of mine.

I chose lighthouses for my theme because I collect them. They also have a poignant attribute of God attached to them - He is always faithful, always true, always helping. He never fails. And I want to be like that. Lighthouses remind me that when we need help, all we have to do is look to the True Light - that is, Jesus Christ. I hope that this blog also allows me to share my faith with others and make it more alive to me.

Why the blog title? Well, because this IS our normal. Everyone's normal is different, right? And sometimes I wonder what life would be like without a special needs child. But you know what? I'm not meant to know, and I'm glad for it. Caden is 5 and he is a true little lighthouse. The radiance of him shines through in all he does. He has a rare syndrome called Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome which means that he is mentally retarded, has slower-than-normal growth, a heart defect, chronic ear infections and a host of other issues. It also means that we've learned a ton about special needs, IEPs, social security benefits and a host of other issues. He is a champion. At 5 Caden doesn't talk yet but he is getting there - more and more words seem to come and his sign language is improving as well. He's a little guy, wearing 2T-3T clothes, but his heart is as big as they come.

I guess I don't want to share everything about everyone in post #1, huh? We are a busy family, ready to get busier with the impending arrival of new baby boy in a few short weeks (due date is Jan 10). We are also very busy with a large house addition that James and his dad have been doing for the better part of the past nearly 3 years, but the progress is amazing and we are already mostly moved in to the new addition! I just wanted a place to update about what we've been doing and who we are, and to let you know that normal is whatever you make of it!