Yes, it is!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's the Christian Thing to Do

Oh really, Hubster?  Wow, that's the first time I have EVER heard that coming out of your mouth.  I never dreamed I would ever hear that coming from you. But, I guess you're right.
This morning was spent with Jackie going to the post office to mail off her birthday party invitations, going to Sam's Club to pick out a cake, and going to a craft store for party ideas.  Almost the entire time, Jackie asked me if I sent any particular person an invitation.  She just wanted to make sure I didn't leave anyone out.  I had to remind her a couple of times that those invitations that didn't get sent out are those that are going to kids that we will see within the next couple of days.  As soon as we arrived back home, Jackie insisted on taking the remaining invitations to a couple of her friends who happen to live on our street.  Can you tell that Jackie is very excited about her birthday party?  Then before I knew it, Jackie had taken one of the extra unaddressed invitations over to another particular neighbor girl with whom I've had some issues recently.  I have written about the situation in the last few blog posts.  What's done is done so now I just wait and see what happens with it.  It really doesn't even matter to me at this point if the girl shows up.  Jackie is oblivious to what is going on and I'll be happy to keep it that way.  She's just too young and innocent to get caught up in all the crap that has happened. 
So, tonight at dinner, I told the hubster about how Jackie took one of the invitations to this child and Tim's response nearly sent me into a state of shock.  He NEVER, EVER says anything like that. So, I will try to be a good, christian girl and welcome this particular child to the party if she should show up.  Thankfully, the party is not at my home and is in a public (and hopefully safe) place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Must Read

I recently read a blog post that touched on so many issues that I face as a mom.  This particular mom has 4 children, 2 of whom are special needs.  So many of the words she wrote could have been written by me.  It definitely should be read by everyone, especially those who think any person with any type of disability is less worthy than themselves.
I am so thankful for my beautiful children, even with all of their needs and therapy appointments.  Yes, I have my bad moments where I just feel stretched to the max and think that I just can't take anymore.  But, once I get through those moments, I look at my children with such awe.  I can't help but think, "are they really mine?", "did I help create these beautiful little people?". I often find myself sitting on the edge of their beds at night, in amazement at what I've been given.  And, I admit, sometimes a twinge of sadness will come over me just thinking about our struggles during these last few years. Then, just as quickly, I feel amazement that those 2 beautiful little beings are such gifts to me.  I love my children and I wouldn't trade them for anything.  My daughter may never be a world class gymnast.  She may never be a world class pianist.  But she is perfect to me and she has so many other talents to offer. My son?  Well, only time will tell.  I never dreamed that I would have a child with special needs, much less two of them.  But this is the life I've been handed and I wouldn't have it any other way now. My children are just perfect the way they are.
Have tissues ready and enjoy this blog post: my-angry-down-syndrome-awareness-post

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Am I Teaching Her?

Or is my daughter just a little clone of me? 
Jackie has been on a roll lately. Tonight, during the kids' bedtime ritual, Jackie said her prayer first.  Then it was Ben's turn.  At first, he didn't say anything so when I said, "Ok, then it's time for bed", Ben decided he was going to pray after all. But again, he stalled.  During this time, Jackie and I were sort of snuggling together.  But, when I tried to look at Ben to see why he still wasn't saying his prayer, I heard Jackie quietly telling me, "just ignore him, don't look at him, don't say anything to him, just ignore him."  It was very difficult to stifle the laughter.  She sounds just a little too much like me when I'm trying to encourage (and of course, telling her to ignore him, don't say anything to him, don't look at him)  Jackie to just ignore her brother when he tries to antagonize her.
I realize that so many people (well, just about everyone) think Jackie looks exactly like me (I disagree), but dear Lord, please help me to raise her to NOT be like me.  My prayer is that she will be a MUCH better person than I'll EVER be.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Inspiring Story

Being from Tampa Bay, Florida, I still keep up with the news from back home.  Today, I had the pleasure of reading a very inspiring article on the website of my home newspaper.  Although my daughter is not as severely impacted by cerebral palsy, she did have problems with balance, just like the young man in the article.  I can relate very well to his mother in regard to the frustration and the fear for our children's futures.  Like the young man's mother, I never dreamed that I would have a special needs child, much less 2 special needs children.  But, I love my children and they are perfect to me.  I wouldn't trade them for anything.  Well, maybe sometimes. Have tissues ready and enjoy!
Here is the link to this beautiful story.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Have Too Much Time On My Hands?

I have decided that I will NOT give up my blogging, although there will be some changes in the near future.  I'm still working on some ideas.
In my Farewell post, I had talked about some reasons about why I was going to give up blogging but I have since decided that I am NOT going to allow other people to dictate what I should or should not do.  I don't particularly care if I don't have the support of the hubs, either.  He has his hobbies.  I have mine.  I haven't demanded that he give up his dirt-biking even though it takes away from family time.  So, therefore, I will continue on with my hobby of writing, especially because it does NOT take away from family time.  (In fact, I'll let you know, Neighbor ((since you think I have too much time on my hands)), most of my writing is done late in the evening or into the night AFTER everyone else is asleep.) 
There was a comment left on my Farewell post that I am going to cover in this post.  I'm fairly certain that I know who wrote the comment.  So contrary to them thinking that I have too much time on my hands and that I should drop every single thing that I am doing to hover over my children so that they won't be kidnapped, I am going to cover what my weeks consist of.  So take that, commenter, Neighbor!
Apparently, this particular person thinks I have too much time on my hands.  They also think that I must think I'm a martyr.  And, they apparently value their own children more than I value my own children. And blah, blah, blah.
This person apparently has no clue how much I truly have going on in my life.  I have 2 children who require special services.  My daughter goes to physical and occupational therapy appointments, in addition to whatever specialty appointment she may require.  My son goes to speech therapy.  In addition to that, my son attends a 2 1/2 hour per day program where he receives additional speech services.  Just this past week alone, I had to drive my daughter over to St. Louis Children's Hospital  3 different times for different appointments.  Three times in one week!  I burn up a lot of gas just taking my children to appointments. In addition to that, I take Jackie to gymnastics one night a week.  She is also a Girl Scout and I take her to those meetings and whatever activity they have.  We have temporarily stopped piano lessons due to conflicts with all of the appointments. Jackie and Ben also go to children's choir practice on Sundays after which they go to another program (Awana).  Every day after Jackie gets home from school, I supervise her as she does her homework and in the evening, I supervise as she does her reading assignments.  Ben goes to private speech therapy once a week.  It was initially recommended that he receive private therapy 3 times per week but there was no way that I was able to fit that into my schedule with all of Jackie's appointments and activities.  As a logical person can see, there is no way that I am able to work full-time at this time.  On the occasional days that I don't have an appointment to rush to after school, I substitute teach if there is a need at one of the schools.

In between tending to my children's needs, I must make time to keep up with my fitness routine.  This is so important to me on so many levels, mental health being one of those reasons.  And with the cold weather arriving soon, it is even more important for me and the kids to get to the gym where the kids can play in a warm, safe environment while I work out.
And somewhere in the middle of all of the above, I still have to find time to grocery shop, do laundry, cook meals, shop for shoes.  So, tell me, do you think I have too much time on my hands?  And martyr am I?  No, just a mom trying her best to take care of her 2 kids with special needs in the midst of a chaotic life.
In fact, Neighbor, I'm going to provide a run-down of what the past 7 days have been like for me, starting with last Friday.  Friday afternoon, I had to pick up my daughter from school and drive to St. Louis for her 3-month eye appointment.  I had to remind the hubs to pick up my son from a babysitter. Then I had to rush home and prepare dinner for the family.   On Saturday, I cleaned house in the morning.  I had to get groceries.  Then I had to go shopping for shoes that I could fit onto my still-healing fractured foot.  The hubs took the kids to his dirt-bike club event.  Then I had to drive out there to meet them and do the wifely thing and hang out for awhile.  On Sunday, I attended church with my family.  Then we came home and I had to feed my family some lunch.  Then I went to the gym for a class.  Then I came back to take  my kids to their Awana club.  On Monday, I took the kids with me to the gym for a class.  Then I rushed back home to prepare dinner.  Then I had to rush back out to take Jackie to gymnastics.  Then we had to rush back home so Jackie could do her homework before bathtime and bed.  On Tuesday, I had to pick up Jackie from school early, again, to take her to yet another appointment (neurologist) in St Louis.  But on the way there, I had to stop at a Metrolink station to pick up Mother who had just arrived here from Florida.  The doctor was a bit delayed so I had to rush home again.  Because of the time constraints, I went ahead and got take-out for our dinner that night.  Then I had to set up a temporary bed for Jackie since Mother was taking Jackie's bed. Then homework time.  Then I had just enough time to get to another class at the gym. On Wednesday, I had to run several errands with Mother. Then I picked  up the kids from school and supervise Jackie during homework time. Then that evening, the hubs and I went to look at some property and take care of other matters while Mother took care of the kids.  Then we came home where I did my motherly duties of getting the kids ready for bed. On Thursday, I rescheduled Jackie's occupational appointment (again, in St. Louis) so that I could attend her parent/teacher conference after school dismissed.  But before that, I had to pick up Ben and rush him home to his grandmother and then turn around and go back to the school for the conference.  Then I had to go to the grocery to get additional ingredients for dinner.  I had to prepare dinner and get my family fed.  After cleaning the kitchen and leaving instructions regarding the kids, I went to the gym.  Today (Friday), thankfully, there was no school but I still got no break.  I had to drive to St. Louis again for Jackie's occupational therapy.  Then while I was over there, I took the opportunity to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  Then I had to get home because Ben had a speech therapy appointment in the afternoon.  Then I had to prepare dinner for the family.  After the kids played outside for awhile after dinner, we left to do some much-needed shopping elsewhere.  Somewhere in the middle of all that, I had to  do the usual household stuff.  So, tell me Neighbor, do you still think I have a lot of time on my hands?
As far as the possibility of my children being kidnapped, children have been kidnapped from under a caretaker's nose.  I don't want my children to be kidnapped, but good grief, I am not going to be a helicopter parent.  My children are supervised well enough for me to be comfortable.  And beside, if this other neighbor truly valued their children more than I value mine, then they would perhaps make certain that their child would not ride their bike in front of cars.  If I was a helicopter parent, then meals would not be prepared, laundry would not be done, house-cleaning would be even less than it is now.  I feel safe enough in our particular neighborhood that I can continue to allow my children to play with their friends outdoors if I feel the need to visit the bathroom, check dinner that might be cooking, put away laundry, let the dogs out, etc.  Oh, and by the way, Neighbor, the hubs does not value my children more than I do.  Who is the one who takes care of most of their needs?  In fact, Neighbor, I have to remind him that he ought to keep a look out for the kids whenever I leave the house.  Think about it.  It's too bad that you feel the need to judge my parenting skills when you really should step back and take a look at your own.  Not that I'm judging, though. My own children are not allowed to play unattended inside of my vehicles and invite their friends inside. 
There is more that I could say about the ridiculous comment that was left by this person but I'll just leave it at that.
This evening after dinner, another one of Jackie's friends came over to ask if Jackie and Ben could play outside. I told Mother to hover over my precious children outside while I finished cleaning up my kitchen. After I finished in the kitchen, I went outside where I noticed the neighbor kid, who is twice as big as Jackie, riding on Jackie's scooter.  I let her know that she should get off the scooter because if she breaks it, she would have to replace it.  My children still have their toddler scooters and this particular child is over the weight limit for these scooters.  Then she got on Ben's scooter but this time, I reminded her to be careful to not break Ben's scooter.  Then she ran off but I didn't think anything of it until the father came over and told me that if I didn't want his child on the scooter, then to tell her to get off.  Well, I did that the first time when she was on Jackie's scooter.  It's really a shame that what started out to be a blog post asking for advice on handling the conflict between two neighbor girls (before it involved my own child), turned into a neighbor dispute all around.
Thankfully, I've had nothing but support from my own friends (especially my bloggy friends) and that's all that matters.  And despite the negativity from the neighbors,  I still care enough about ALL of the neighbor children that I won't hesitate to come to their aid if the need arises.  In fact, since Jackie still thinks of this particular neighbor kid as her best friend, I have told her that she can play with her but it must be outside and where I can see her. 
It's a real shame that this whole situation has just turned everything upside down.  And it's too bad that the hubs thinks that this is proof that we should always be anti-social.  To be honest, for a few days, this whole debacle had me a bit depressed.  But, forget him, forget the neighbors, I still have good friends within my neighborhood whom I enjoy seeing and exchanging pleasantries and vice versa.  For that I am grateful. And I'm happy again.  Thank you God!

I'm Back

Yes, I'm back but I'm not certain how long it will be at this URL.  For awhile now, I've been tossing around the idea of changing the format of my blog and perhaps even trying a different website.
I've heard from several friends who were disappointed about the possibility of ending my blogging.  But guess what?!  I have decided that nobody is going to stop me from doing the things that I enjoy. Nobody, except God.
I want to share a quote that I recently read that confirms my decision to continue my blogging:
  "Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it."
I love it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Farewell

I think this is my last post.  I've enjoyed writing and sharing my struggles and triumphs in mothering special needs children, being a wife, and just plain being a mess.  I've enjoyed hearing from others with whom I share a common bond.  I enjoyed the encouragement about my writing skills.  I've enjoyed the encouragement about my struggle with faith issues.  I appreciate all of it.  But unfortunately some things must come to an end.  And this is one of them. 
I had not planned to end this so abruptly but apparently, the hubby thinks that we should live in a bubble.  We should not get close to neighbors and now that there have been some issues that have transpired between neighboring children (and mine), hubby thinks that's proof of why we are not to get close to anyone. And as for my blog, well, apparently a young neighbor found it and brought it to her parents' attention.  They read the last blog post where I explained a certain situation and sought advice/suggestions about what to do.  Refer to the last blog post to understand.  These neighbors were not too pleased with what I wrote. But I'm glad they saw it, though, because it prompted these neighbors to come over and talk to me after I had tried several times to call and/or ring their doorbell to no avail to try to talk to them about how I was feeling about what's been going on between all of our kids.   It seems there are some very hurt feelings (perhaps rightfully so?) from my blog post and they felt as if I was seeing certain children as a scapegoat.  Which is not even the case.  I care about all of those children and I want my children to continue playing peacefully with the neighborhood kids. But frankly, I was at my wits' end with all of the whining from Jackie, the hitting, feeling like I'm stuck in the middle of neighbor disputes, etc.   Even though I'm glad the neighbors found and read that blog post, I was surprised that they went as far back as nearly a year, possibly in an effort to see where else I may have gossiped. They found the blog post where I updated everyone after Jackie's very scary and traumatic injury.  Apparently, my use of one word caused some hurt feelings in that post. It was a benign use of the word /finally/ and not at all intentional to negate anybody.  At. All. But that made me feel as if there could be other people who out there who might attempt to cause harm by trying to dig up old garbage.  I can assure my readers, though, that nobody is going to find garbage in my blog. 
Last night, after the neighbors left,  it was already late and I had to get the kids into bed by myself, thanks to Tim abandoning me to his room after the meeting.  I was up until past 3AM, unable to sleep, re-reading that blog post (and the one about Jackie's injury), and having thoughts running through my mind all night about what transpired during our "meeting".  I've always felt like I need to take the blame for whatever situation occurs in my life and this was no exception.  I finally came to the conclusion that my children just will not be able to play outside unless I am hovering over them.  Apparently, the apparent lack of supervision is bothersome for some people although my children are mostly supervised while outside. (Well, their dad is more of a slacker in this area) I usually sit in a chair in the garage but lately have been sitting it in the front yard while the kids are outside if there is no other parent observing. But when I need to start dinner preparations or need to do something else inside, I intentionally leave the inside garage door wide open (as well as the front door) so that I can hear and somewhat supervise the children.  But that will no longer work because that makes it appear that the children are not being supervised.  And like I said, this is bothersome for some people.  So, unfortunately, my children will have to start spending more time indoors.  Without friends.  But that's the price we'll pay to avoid further problems. Whatever their father decides to do when I'm not home, well, that's up to him but I'm staying out of it.
Now the reason I am ending this blog is because the hubby apparently thinks that we should live in a bubble.  He said that we should not become close to the neighbors (which I really don't feel too close, I just felt that we have great neighbors).  He's the type that we don't ask for any type of help from neighbors, although he is more than willing to help whenever a neighbor has asked for any type of help.  He says that our children should fight their own battles, including when it becomes physical.  I'm sorry but I have a problem with the physical part, especially because Jackie seems to be a target for hitting by too many people, including her brother.  Now I realize Jackie is a very whiny child (which drives me to the point of near insanity at times) but she does not deserve to be physically battered.  I don't make a habit of intervening between the little fights among all the friends unless it turns physical.  But apparently I'm in the wrong. No? I don't know. Perhaps reading my last blog post will help you understand what's going on. 
So, in accordance with the hubby's wishes, I shall no longer share my life or share stories about my children. Or share struggles and triumphs.  I shall go to live in my own little bubble and go back to my reclusive ways from here on out.  Having my children had brought me out of my own little world and it forced me to become more outgoing.  And for that, I am grateful. Even though I never felt fully comfortable being outgoing, it was fun while it lasted.  So thanks to all my bloggy friends for your "friendship", albeit temporary. Like they say, some things last for just a season.