Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Think Caden's retarded?

You're right. Think it's ok to use the word "retard(ed)" outside of a medical description? You're wrong.

When you saw the title to my post I bet you wondered how to feel. You wondered if I was joking or if I was serious. I'm serious. Caden is considered mentally retarded. Problem is, in this society, which claims to embrace and encompass those with any kind of disabilities, the word "retard" has been changed to mean stupid, and is typically flung around as an insult at those with normal cognitive levels. No one wants to be CALLED a "retard" but yet it's fine to say "that's retarded" about something. No one wants to be CALLED a "retard" yet it's acceptable to say "you're retarded" if you're just joking around with someone.

Today, I am asking you to change the way you feel about this word. It's used as an insult, and it degrades those who are mentally handicapped. It's not "fine" to use it as long as you're not talking about a person, because it perpetuates the stereotype that people who are mentally retarded are somehow stupid and incapable. Let's end the use of this word altogether. If you use it, will you please stop? If you don't but you hear it used, are you brave enough to say something? Today, March 31 2009 is the day to end using the word "retard(ed)". It's not about being oversensitive. It's about respect for all. http://www.r-word.org/

Monday, March 30, 2009

You take the good with the bad!

No, I'm not talking about the facts of life. I'm talking about developmental milestones. They are wonderful little marvels to brag about and enjoy experiencing with each new child, but they are also intrusions into life as you know it.

Take today for example. Declan is now quite adept at getting from a laying position to a sitting position (it only took 14 months). Problem is, now he sits up in his crib instead of napping. Hey, isn't seeing the world from a sitting position more fun? He thinks so. He's been in there for nearly 1.5 hours and is still just talking away. He NEEDS to sleep, but I suppose I'll get to enjoy that later, around suppertime when he's a total bear to handle. He is growing increasingly frustrated at not being able to crawl around, but I think moving to the sitting position has built up confidence in him.

I told James around the 1st of March that Declan would crawl "this month". Well, unless he really gets a move on today and tomorrow that is unlikely. Wait, he's probably crawling all over in his crib right now and I have no idea!

And now onto my next random thought - decorating. I need some help with something. I got this beautiful mirror and thingys (are they sconces? I don't know what they're called but they hold candles I think - so candle holders? I'm clueless.) at a garage sale this past summer. James finally hauled out his tools and put them up for me:
Very nice above our fake fireplace (though last summer's appraiser listed that we indeed had a fireplace...I'm not sure where he received his credentials) but I'm wondering a few things. First, should I take the mirror out and paint them a bolder color? They seem really bland on that light tan wall. I don't feel like painting it but I would. Also, I am ordering red/white checked curtains for the windows (there are windows equally spaced on either side of the fireplace) so maybe that'll make this pop more. Also, what the heck do I stick on the candle holders? Before you laugh and shout out the obvious, keep in mind that these holders are curved throughout, so flat-bottomed candles won't work. I was thinking of some spheres that have greenery hanging down from them but again, where on earth to get them? Any ideas??

Edited to add a pic of the curtains I'm ordering:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another ultrasound this morning!

Things look very good in there. It's just amazing to see what God is creating, changing every time! Today both twins are head down (hooray!) but through the course of the ultrasound they moved a ton, so head down was a matter of that moment in time. They are busy little girls! The perinatologist agreed that there has only ever been one placenta and everything still strong points to identical twins. I had to have my cervix length checked (it SOUNDS a lot worse than it is) and for those of you who might know, it was nearly 5cm (anything over 2.5cm is good, so again, hooray!). Baby A still has the 2 vessel cord but it doesn't sound like anything to be concerned about. They were laying so so so so close to each other, you could see they were both girls in one frame! The tech said that doesn't happen too often. Also wanted to add that I am 22 weeks today!

In other news, just before I came over to blog Declan was rolling around, and when I looked over at him a few minutes later he was sitting up! Yay! He's spending more time standing up too (with us holding him of course) and getting stronger with stuff like that. Still likes to scream and shriek and is very "talky".

Not much new to report with Caden or Avery. They seem to be just plugging along.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kids and heaven

We've been talking recently around here about heaven. It makes sense, as James' grandpa (our kids' Opa) passed away at midnight last night (we will miss you Opa, we love how you loved kids), but interestingly enough, the first questions about heaven came in the car one day from Avery. Avery told me that she wanted Jesus to come to our house so she could give him a hug. I told her that wasn't the way Jesus came to us now, but he used to in the days of the Bible. That seemed to be ok with her, but she wanted to know where Jesus was if he wasn't able to come to our house...I mean, isn't he everywhere?? I tried to explain that he was in heaven but he also lives in our hearts, and again, that seemed to pacify her, but I could tell she wasn't satisfied completely.

Last night over our McDonald's dinner (hey, it's the only "meat" Declan will eat) we talked to the kids about how Opa was not going to live here on earth anymore. We told them that his body was very sick and that very soon, his body wouldn't be strong enough to stay here. God would choose the time and God would choose how it all happened, so we didn't need to worry about it. Avery insisted on going to make him feel better so that he would start to eat again and get well. We told her it didn't work that way, when God chooses for someone to die they will die, it's not up to us and there's nothing we can do.

This afternoon it came full circle. I told the kids this morning when we woke up that Opa had died. Several hours later, just a few minutes ago, Avery told me that Jesus was going to give OPA a hug, that's how it worked.

It's always amazing to me how God works in their hearts...to give us glimpses of him, to answer any lingering questions or doubts we may have, and to show us that children truly understand more than we even imagine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So I thought my life was over...

turns out Iowa has changed their laws in July on how long you can wait until you need to renew your driver's license. I checked mine out yesterday while shopping and it expired March 7....2008!!!!!!!!! So when I got home I read everything I could find online (and you know that everything online is gospel) and they all agreed that in Iowa if you're over a year expired you have to take the written test AND the driving test to get your license back. I had visions of not driving for weeks. It took me THREE tries to pass it when I was a teen trying to get my license! This can't be good.

James in all his ever-frustrating-to-me calmness told me to relax, don't worry about it, you don't know what will happen, etc. So this morning I called our county seat's driver's license place. And, the regulations changed...you now have 1 year PLUS another 60 days to renew without having to take any tests again!! Oh I am just overjoyed!!!! Lesson learned. Please check the expiration date on your driver's license!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have to document this - Declan.

He stood up today (I was holding him under his armpits and he was between my legs as I was sitting in the chair)!!!!!!! But he actually placed both feet on the floor and beared weight on those little chunkers for like 20 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Declan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Have you missed me?

I feel like I've missed myself. We were gone over the weekend to Wisconsin Dells for the annual Midwest RTS reunion. It was honestly the most fun I've had in a long time as we could just relax and let the kids swim (the pool was wonderful for little ones because you didn't have to be in there with them) while we talked with other groovy grownups who also have RTSweeties! It was good for us to see Caden in his element - around tons of people who embraced him and loved him for exactly who he is. We both said we were very proud of him. We realize now that he is an EXCELLENT communicator. School has been telling us this, telling us that Caden tries in EVERY possible way to communicate and does eventually get his point across. He's very interactive, very VERY sociable. It was just fun to observe him! And his RTS brothers and sisters? Ahhhhhhhhhhhdorable.

The weather here just stinks. Sure, the days are longer but there's no sunshine and it's windy and FREEZING - literally. Who's ready for spring with me? Doesn't help that I am nesting already and wanting to get a TON done. When it finally warms up I will be too big and uncomfortable to do anything. Harumph.

Today is the halfway point of the dating of this pregnancy. I am 20 weeks today. Hard to believe it's only been 5 weeks since we found out it was twins, and just 3 weeks since we found out about them both being girls. It's especially hard to believe when you see the amount of clothing I have already accumulated. Now, in my defense a LOT of it has been gifts...turns out I am not the only one who thinks shopping for identical twin girls sounds like fun!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

On the mend!

I think the littles here are getting back to normal. Caden was retching over the garbage can at lunch (I can't even TELL you how proud I was of him for running to that when he thought he had to throw up, hooray!) but I think he again just ate too quickly and was too hungry to think about slowing down. He spit out some of his hot dog during that ordeal and when he went to put it back in his mouth it was MY turn to retch over the garbage can. Gracious kid, that was sick. But I need to figure out how to best communicate with school that he doesn't need to come home every time he vomits, especially when he throws up during eating times. I think it's some of the old reflux issues rearing their ugly heads. (Lynnae, I am very sorry for this entire vomituous paragraph. You're probably retching now, huh?)

Avery looks pretty pale but she's been the healthiest of the bunch really. Other than her sasspot mouth, nothing seems ill about her.

Declan is just plain fussy. I think he's over the pukes and over the big fever, but he is certainly not over being a grouch. Pretty certain it's teeth - I see at least 4 molars and a few other teeth poking through, not fun!

Today is our usual respite day (break for mommy) and "Grandma Jean" typically comes right before Caden gets off the bus. But today she's coming early and I'm excited to get out!

Monday, March 02, 2009

One, two, THREE strikes you're out!

Declan has a shirt from Baby Gap (no more comments on my shopping, tyvm) that says this. I really should have him wearing it today. No, he'd probably throw up on it.

Yes, that's right, I have not one, not two but THREE kids home sick today. Declan started on Saturday with a 103 fever, Sunday with vomiting. Avery threatened to vomit Sunday night but never did. I got at call at 12:30 today to come get Caden from Kindergarten because he'd thrown up all over. Excellent! And now Declan is sobbing in his crib because he's all out of sorts with naptime and all of that. I really don't feel like dealing with any of them today (there's that honesty again). But I will, mostly because no one else wants to and I really need us all healthy for this weekend - we're going to Wisconsin Dells to the annual Midwest RTS Reunion, exciting times!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

If I had to be honest...

and I know this is always the best policy, I'd tell you that I am already shopping pink and subsequently hunting down the matching pieces to coordinate. So help me if a penis shows up on the next ultrasound. Shopping is my therapy. It is what helps me to focus and think and process and all of that. It may sound bizarre to some of you but it truly grounds me. Honesty again - I used to use shopping as a way to make myself feel better about things, anything. I would shop so that I could have nice things and feel better about myself. I shopped for all kinds of reasons, none of which had anything to do with me actually NEEDING stuff. But I have worked through that with some help and I am glad to say that I can still enjoy shopping without having it be something I'm addicted to. (Mt. Dew on the other hand is a totally different story.)

I am a pretty avid onliner. So I belong to several message boards, some huge, some very small. Some of my best friends I feel are online, people I've never met but I've already witnessed that they would do anything in their power to help me out and they pray for me and all of that. It's pretty neat. And then there are the huge message boards, where people don't get to know you as intimately but they have their advantages as well - namely the huge board I am on that is dedicated to Gymboree clothing. If you know me, you know I like that brand. But what's so awesome about this board is there's a huge Buy/Sell/Trade section and I get nearly 100% of my kids' clothes here at garage sale prices, yes, even including shipping. And it's so huge that I can buy one outfit for the twins that I love, then put up an ISO (In Search Of) for another of the same outfit and chances are, I will find it and get it, both for less than I might pay for one outfit at Wal-Mart. The thrill of the hunt is really what this board is about (plus there are some awesome gals there who do super sweet things for you) and I enjoy it! It's like a garage sale right on the screen, changing every minute.

I know people have asked me how I can afford Gymboree, etc. Truth be told, I can't afford Gymboree if you're talking about going in to the store and shopping from the racks. But who can't afford garage sales? Honestly, I can't afford to pass it up!