Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I've been sick all day...

so I don't have a clever title, just some random pictures of goings-on around here

My mom has so much hair that Brother has to help her out with a second blow dryer. He loves this chore.

Sister found a spider man mask in the dressups

Baby didn't want her picture taken

Finally got her.

Here's the intense look as she rides her rocking horse

This is the other thing we love around here, the rocking horse is right up there with the rocking chair and the trampoline
Good night. I'm going to bed... again... been there all day... aw who am I kidding, I am still in bed.

I love laptops.

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Room at the Inn

This house is so crowded and packed with stuff that my dad has no where else to sleep.

I've heard counters are good for your back... I just hope he doesn't wake up too quickly or he's gonna have a nice ding on that head of his...

Just kidding... my mom flooded the counter and we had to take everything off of it to wipe up all the water and we were just enjoying how clean it was while we were talking. I guess my dad decided he was tired of our conversation but, still wanted the company so he just made himself comfortable.

I'm tellin' ya, my dad is full of surprises!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hammock Hero

There are a few things I miss about having my own house.

One is the kids hammock we had hanging from the ceiling in the storage/therapy room downstairs.

That hammock was a life saver.

Sister falls apart... hammock.

Sister can't calm down... hammock.

Sister needs a transition point... hammock.

Baby always wanted to join her just because she enjoyed it so much and the extra pressure for Sister when Baby would be on her actually added to the therapy.

So while here at my mom's where there is no room for the hammock, we wrap up in a blanket (to simulate the wrap of the hammock) and we rock on the small, creaky rocking chair in the family room.

Of course Baby has to join in.

My mom got such a kick out of all 3 of us piled on this little rocking chair so she took a few pictures on her phone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Serving 3

I had a full day for the kids and instead of picking up the kids at Lynne and Gary's I decided that I would try to get an earlier start to the afternoon's commitments and pick up the kids from school.

I was a bit early so I waited in the parking lot with Baby while she snarfed a sucker and I checked my email on my phone.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw an older white truck pull up in the stall next to me.

It was our good friend Andrew.

Andrew is everyone's friend.

And if he isn't you want to be.

He is the janitor at Brother's school and a good friend to all the kids there. Andrew gets quite a kick out of watching Brother play horses down the halls and at recess and always asks Brother what kind of horse he is that day.

Andrew is one of the most down to earth gentleman cowboys I have ever known.

He saw I was waiting in my car and came to say "hello."

We got chatting about various things and eventually the conversation turned to my kids.

I began telling him about how I feel so bad because I don't serve people anymore like I used to. That I miss taking meals to people, helping people with cleaning or organizing, or just remembering to write a little note telling them what a great example they are or what a great job they do on something, etc, etc. I proceeded to tell him that I am just so consumed by my own kids that I can't seem to muster up the time or energy to serve much anymore.

He looked at me and asked, "Did you know you serve one of my good friends everyday?"

I was trying to think of who I had done something good for that was friends with Andrew and thenk it quickly clicked...


He was referring to my son.

His friend.

photo by Pointe Digital

It took some effort to keep the tears from starting because I had never thought of it that way.

I am serving.

Thank you Andrew for your words of inspiration and wisdom.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kids and Cardboard

This is Baby's latest invention.

Can you guess what it is?

It's a phone.

I had torn some kind of cardboard something-or-other and as I was throwing it away in the trash bag she began screaming. I figured out that she was crying for the two cardboard pieces I had in my hand. When I handed them to her she was elated and was "piecing" them together until she came up with this...

I love the imagination of children.

I love what can be created with cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes.

When I was a kid my mom was able to finagle some large refrigerator or washing machine boxes and boy oh boy could we make the best cardboard houses ever. (We also built some great hay huts, but that is a whole other post.)

We had a really large box from our 42 inch TV that we moved here to my mom's and the kids went to town with that after Marc and my mom cut out some windows and doors. When the cousins came over it was, again, a hit.

Imagination rocks!

And for me, as a mother of 3 children with the world's most common cause of inherited mental impairment and the most common known single gene cause of autism, it is miraculous and appreciated to see my children use their imaginations.

It makes my heart leap to see such a developmental milestone that many take for granted become a staple for my children's play.

Can imagination be called miraculous?

In my house it can.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A colorful swirl of random thoughts

My mind is everywhere.

Part of the reason I haven't been blogging regularly. These swirling thoughts of Fragile X Syndrome, motherhood, being a wife, being in limbo between homes, the anxiety of my life and the thoughts of my children are all trying to find a place to settle in my head until I can sort through them all.

My heart is full.

I have great family all around me that support me. Friends surround me. The gospel inspires me and my surroundings are full of grandeur.

My body is tired.

I feel young but my body doesn't seem to keep up with all my aspirations to play sports like I did as a teenager.

My gut keeps telling me I am doing all that I can.

I have a lot that I have done at the end of each day and I convince myself that that is enough.

My guilt keeps telling me I haven't done enough.

I have failed in leading our local Fragil X Association to it's fullest potential. I can't seem to find all the time I need to do everything I should for my children's development and betterment. I can't keep everyone happy no matter what decisions I make and it weighs on my heart.

My head reminds me that I don't have to make everyone happy.

As long as I can encourage my children's happiness that is all that matters to me, and that, in turn, makes me happy.

My genetics tell me that everything is working against me and my children and our future.

I worry about whether FXTAS will end up affecting me and to what point will it affect the care of my children. Who will take care of them when Marc and I are gone.

My faith tells me not to give up.
And that's what keeps me moving forward...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Once there was a snowman

Doesn't looking at him just make you smile?

My uncle tells us that we should take it down and stop inviting the snow.

If he is right that this sweet faced little decoration could bring snow then we will leave it up.

I am starting to think that our seasons are rotating places. It hasn't snowed much at all this "winter."  It feels more like a "winger," "sprinter," or a "win-sprin."

I like the snow.

I don't like driving in it.

I liking sledding in snow.

I don't like sliding on it.

So, I guess this snowman is all there will be for now, until our big storm comes in this weekend.

Maybe this snowman will get a friend.

I gotta feelin'

This whole move started with a feeling in my heart that I knew our family was supposed to make a change.

As things progressed and we sold our house within 5 days in a market the way it is, I just "knew" that our short sale home we had an offer on would be ours by the time we had to move out of our house. After all, I had a good feeling and everything else was falling into place.

As our move-out date drew nearer I could see that moving from one house to another of our own was not going to happen. I had warned my parents a few times that we may have to move in with them until we had a house but, I assured them it would only be for a month at the most.

So when we were packing up to move that weekend, it felt so weird knowing we were just in interim and didn't have anything of our own. I felt kind of lost. It's weird to go from owning a home for 13 years of our 15 year marriage and then moving in with my parents. We had never lived with either of our parents. It felt weird to know we were relying, so profoundly, on my parents to give us a place to stay for our family of 5.

The day we moved we had so many people come to help that it was almost overwhelming. Not because of all the people, but because of all the love we felt from so many in our ward (a ward is an area of people who combine to make a congregation in the LDS church) and neighborhood. I was amazed at the ladies from the Relief Society who came to clean my house in preparation for the new family to move in. There was a LOT of work to be done and they did it. I think that I stood there, mostly in amazement and dazed stupor as everyone worked so hard on our behalf.

We moved some of our necessities to my parents and they were all smiles as we moved all our things in. It is crowded but, definitely do-able.

Our family spent one last Sunday at church with our ward that we were leaving and that was absolutely, hands down, the hardest part.

I cried a lot saying goodby to my comfort zone and circle of friends and family.

I started feeling a bit hopeless and confused as to why I was leaving such a wonderful life.

Nothing seemed sure.

Then the primary kids that I teach music to every Sunday made me a blanket with their hand prints on it and their names. The Primary Presidency gave it to me and said that this blanket was so that I would remember them and know that they had their hands around me giving me one big hug.

Then I sobbed.

Then the kids gathered around me and waited for hugs. The spirit was so strong in those kids.

Then I blubbered.

When I got "home" I felt a peace come over me.

This was so hard to leave my comfort zone but, I still knew in my heart that what we are doing is the right choice.

Things here have been going so much better than I ever could have hoped in my wildest dreams.

My kids, by default of Fragile X, have a VERY hard time with change and transition. I thought that the whole time we were here would be a mess of night wakings, tantrums, fall-aparts, and melt-downs everyday, all day.

We have had very few.

Quite miraculous if you ask me.

Brother is right at home singing everyday

our room

Marc likes to help

all the kids sleep in the toy room - they aren't complaining...

the crowded kitchen

I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us.

I just have to keep holding to that good feeling I had that started this whole ball rolling.

This is a test of my faith.

A test of my belief in Heavenly Father's love for me and my family.

My parents have had the unique opportunity of getting to know my children on an entirely different level and they are loving it. It has given them a new-found perspective of their lives.

We went to my mom and dad's ward this last Sunday and we were welcomed with open arms. My kids were so welcomed in that they did exceptionally well and I was beyond impressed that we all made it through without any melt-downs. In fact, Brother went to all his classes on his own and was so proud of himself. Sister went to her classes and only needed me for the last 15 minutes. Baby didn't want to leave her class because she was enjoying it so much. I got to sit with my best friend from childhood who is also living with her mom for a time. I felt like I was a kid again seeing people I had grown up with. I was also reminded what a loving ward it is.

Marc was not there with us because he was in our old ward to serve one last time as 2nd counselor in the Bishopric and to train his replacement. I am excited for the new counselor. I know he will do an outstanding job and his family will be so blessed during his time of service.

Marc has felt a little lost without his calling. I can see that his concern for the members of the ward are still with him and it is hard for him to let go.

But, again, we both take comfort and solace in knowing that we are doing the right thing.

I wish I could put all my feelings into words but, it is so hard to express everything.

So in summation of our situation:
-We are still waiting on our short sale and it has even had a bit of a hiccup in the process with listing agents changing but it should work in our benefit.
-We are having so much fun here.
-My kids are doing well.
-I am a little tired of driving such a long distance to take the kids to their schools everyday.
-But, they are both doing VERY well in school.
-We may be here for more than a month (insert laugh here)
-We are going to Florida in 2 1/2 weeks



Yep, you read it right.

Why not?

We have no house.

Why not go have a good time at my brother's place in Florida while we are waiting this whole short sale thing out?

Woo hoo!

I have a feeling we are going to have a lot of fun!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Husband is a model

...for my camera

Maybe you could say he is my guinea pig.

Either way...

he's hot.

and the old DeSoto doesn't look too bad either

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baby wants an apple!!!

I am beyond ecstatic to be able to announce that, today, after eating Grandma Judy's homemade chicken noodle soup, Baby pointed to an apple sitting on the counter and said "A wa apple."


She not only said apple (very clearly)...

but she was requesting something she wanted using a word!!!!

And it was a 3 word phrase (if you count the "a" and the "wa" which interprets to be "I want")

Then, when my mom requested, Baby said "apple" at least 3 more times!

I was so excited when, about 3 or 4 days ago, she started saying, "hep" when she was stuck on Brother's bunk bed ladder, or couldn't get down off the kitchen stool.

Now she is giving a total of 2 requests!

We are making progress people!

Real progress!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Before the move, there was the New Year

My dad and Kirsten show just how special the family party was the day of New Year's Eve.

My dad's side of the family has been having a Christmas party around New Years for the last ... hmm... I don't know, 6 years and it is a tradition we look forward to.

This year my aunt Kelly was in charge and we had a salad and pasta bar. Mmmm hmm. It was a great idea. I tried to get a picture of her but she was always hard at work in the kitchen and was avoiding my camera at all costs...

But, here are some other ones I got:
What's a Christmas party without chocolate and kids? And what's a great photo without chocolate on a kid?

This was one of the only clean spots on him after he got done attacking the chocolate.

Cute little Ya-ya

I am still practicing with my camera and I was trying out the whole focus/blur thing. I was having fun.

After we ate we plaid basketball and Brother was having a blast and even made a few shots!!  He LOVES basketball!

This is how the kids helped clean up... they stayed out of our why while we cleaned.

The were moving so fast his hair was blowing in the wind... OK, not really. He just has messy hair.

We went and played games and ate at Marc's parents house and of course we played Scrabble! Lynne is always the most competative... tee hee!
Gary had the best of both worlds while playing Scrabble with us and online. Sister thought it was all quite interesting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are We Having Fun Yet?

You know when you tell people that you are living with your parents while you wait for your short sale to come through, I don't think this is what they have in mind...
And you all thought I got my sense of humor from my mom... pppffth... we had you fooled.

We are all having a good time, warts and all.

It's only been 5 days.

I wonder if my dad will put on the rose colored glasses later...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Duck! Before we move...

I just couldn't help myself.

I had to pull one last gag before we moved.

I found these toward the end of cleaning out everything from our house.

They are real.

But, not alive.

They are stuffed.

My mom got them at a yard sale.

I don't know why.

I just had to have them so I could use them on our friends.

I think they have been under my bed for about 2 years just awaiting the perfect opportunity to present themselves in our friends' yard.

Moving day was the perfect day.

It snowed.

I even made little tracks.

They looked so cute.

Tee hee hee! How funny is that?

What would you think if you saw two little ducklings sitting on your back porch railing?

I know I had a good laugh putting them there.

Thanks for letting me have one last hoorah!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My time to cry

flashback 8 1/2 years ago
"I can't believe this is ours! This is where we'll retire. This is where our kids will grow up."

Our life was so different then; August of 2003: one child of our own, Brother, and our niece, Kelsey and our nephew, Bryan, and our horse, Golden.

Since then this house has seen 1 broken shoulder, 1 broken hand, 2 oxygen tanks, 2 apnea monitors, 2 billi-light beds, 3 sprained ankles, 3 Fragile X Syndrome diagnosis, 3 new family members, 3 less family members, 6 chickens come and go, 6 horses, 3 goats, 2 horses' deaths, 1 goat's death, 2 Proms, 4 Homecomings, 46 birthday parties, 1 amazingly huge neighborhood 40th birthday bash, 2 brand new baby girls, 4 trees planted then dug-up and replanted at least 3 times each, 2 garden spots, and countless numbers of friends, family, laughs, tears, struggles, triumphs, successes, failures, and memories.

Last night was the last night in our home.

Today is the last day.

How do you say goodbye to a home, not just a house, but, a home?

I guess you don't, you just have to say "farewell" knowing that it is going to bring memories for another family.

For the last several months (long before we knew we were going to move) Sister kept saying, "I wanna go home" even when were here at home. I didn't really wonder why because I just figured it was her way of expressing that she was having a hard time with a transition or situation at that moment and that was her way of saying she didn't feel comfortable. But, maybe, just maybe, she has felt that sense that it was time for us to find a new home, a new place to make memories.

When we drove the kids by the house we have made an offer on (and are still waiting on because it is a short sale) they got so excited and haven't stopped talking about it since.

I knew this transition would be hard for them, and I know there are still going to be many tough times ahead of us with all the transitions and changes that are about to occur.

I actually fear those moments.

I hope I will know how to handle them.

Right now they have been having a hard time at night, not wanting to sleep, waking up earlier than usual or just generally acting out.

I have basically ignored them while I have been packing for the move and I feel like a bad mom for it. I should be stressing on all their transitional needs and developmental play, but instead, I pack, and pack, and pack. I have been packing for a month and I still feel like I am in a sea of stuff that I can't believe I have collected over the years.

I already feel like a bad mom because of all the things I don't do and now I am taking my children (who don't transition well) away from familiar surroundings, good friends, amazing teachers and schools, and the most amazing community.

It is tough.

Yet, I know with all my heart this is the right thing to do.

I am going to miss this home.

But, I am excited for the new adventure in our lives.

We bought this home when Our Life was taking an entirely different direction. Our goals were different. Our outlook was different. Our family schematics were different.

It's time for the next chapter to Our Life.

I love the next chapter. It makes me feel like I am moving forward in the book, getting close to the reason I started the book in the first place; to find out how it all unfolds and then comes together.

I am excited to see how this adventure of selling our house in 5 days, moving out after having put it up for sale only a month ago, not having a house to move into, moving in with my parents while we wait to have a house to move into, moving with children with Fragile X Syndrome, and moving to be close to Marc's work. Sounds like a good chapter, I am excited to be part of the unfolding.

But, that doesn't mean I don't get to cry.

I am crying.

For the first time since this all happened, I am actually shedding tears.

I am sure I will continue to shed more tears as I take down the last family picture off the wall, move the last item from our house, say goodbye to friends as they help us move, drive away with the last load knowing this is not my home anymore.

It's sad.

I am scared for what happens next.

I hope that the author of my story has a great chapter set up for me.

I guess I will do my best to co-author and make sure it heads the direction we are hoping...