Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stages

There are all kinds of stages...

I've seen a few stages of parenthood -- babies, toddlers, teenagers, tweeners, then back to babies, toddlers and tweeners (see HERE if you are confused about why I have had experience with teenagers).

I have also seen some different stages of Fragile X in each of my kids. Stages where it affects them so much that they can't even seem to function socially or emotionally. Stages that bring them soaring to height I, nor they, even expected.

Stages that our marriage has gone through from newlyweds to parenthood, to fostering other children, to dealing with the news of a Fragile X diagnosis of 1 child, then 2, then 3.

We have gone through different stages of homes and neighborhoods.

We are trying to broaden our stage here in our new neighborhood by meeting new people and making our neighborhood family bigger. So what better way than to have a BBQ and karaoke?!

This, is definitely our favorite stage...

the one we can sing on (OK so it's our back deck, good enough).

You will love this video of Brother in his element dancing and singing with his friends.  Sister was trying to emulate her friends and was having a blast at it. Baby was gettin' down and shakin' her groove thang (you'll have to watch them behind the railing, Brother will make himself known).

Watch!
video

Monday, May 28, 2012

One-liners and a Ham

Sister loves to line things up... in one line...

Anything, really.

But, lately, it has been books.

She loves books.

She loves reading.

So why not line them up, right?




I know what you are thinking:

"You have too many books."

or

"You should put the books up higher so she can't get them to line them all up."

Well, guess what, I thought that too.

I sold a BUNCH of books at our yard sale. And I have put almost all of her books up in the top shelf of her closet.

Now she is lining up all the DVD's and videos that we have on the shelves.

So I talked to her about those, and today it was the coloring books and crayons.

Eh, either way.

And Baby's one-liners are just hilarious.

video


Mostly because they are just jibber-jabber and full of facial expressions and hand gestures.

I always try to record her but she usually stops so when I had the opportunity at my moms I just had to record it.

I also wanted to share some fun pics and a video of my mom with the little granddaughters. So cute!

(Oh and just a side note on the video or WARNING you could say: you will have to listen really close to here the little girls' giggles but, I am warning you that you will hear my voice and it will blast your ears because I am the one holding the phone/camera. AND watch Melly at the end... ha ha)

video






caught my mom mid-fall

Yaya was so happy to swing and Baby had fun with her too

And here is sister piling up rocks to make, what she told me, is an ANT house...
maybe she was saying AUNT house... that's a pretty big place


And of course Baby just has to ham it up all the time and of course I have to get pictures.

grandma Judy has lots of costumes and the kids love to rummage through them... this is what Baby put together herself...


Here she is in the toy room with the play phone... she looks just like me... no really, she does

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I LOVE family videos especially when they're professional

Pointe Digital put a new song to our family video from last year so that I can now share it on my blog! Yay! I love this. I love looking back on it -- a little over 7 months ago and seeing Baby's sweet little feet, Sister's long hair, and Brother's antics. I especially love being reminded of how in love I am with my husband and what a great dad and fine looking man he is. (smile)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pretty, Pretty Princess

You would think she is my first girl...

I am so excited that she wants to wear princess dresses!

It makes me laugh because she finds her dress and then brings it to Marc or I to put it on her and then she wears it the rest of the day.


This "scrunchy face" is my favorite... makes me laugh every time. That's why she does it.


The only way I can get her to take it off for bedtime is to let her pick one of her pretty night gowns to wear.

Oh how I love this stage she is in.

Not to mention she now requests quite a few things by saying words (in her own way).

"Mommy, I wah mik." = Mommy I want milk

"Mommy, side." = Mommy, I want to go outside.

"Mommy, I wah soup." = Mommy, I want food.

But my favorite part of it all is still when she grabs my finger and pulls me to wear she wants me to get her stuff from or where I am supposed to take her.

Last night I had music on while I was cooking and this time she came and grabbed both my hands signaling for me to dance with her.

So we danced in the kitchen.

With her princess dress on.

It was sweet.

It was fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

He's making friends!

I cannot tell you just how exciting it is to watch Brother accumulate friends here in our new neighborhood. He goes out riding his bike around the loop and he ends up having friends riding with him.

Typically it's the girls he attracts on these bike rides (OK, so maybe he latches onto them while they are riding--especially our sweet, sweet neighbor girl his age), but tonight he had some boys who are part of his Deacons Quorum join him and even had him over at their house for a while riding bikes! One young man in particular hung out with him for a good hour and when Brother came home with his new friend in tow he just couldn't be happier. He was so proud to be able to say goodby to his new found friend as he pulled into our garage for the night.

The best part about it was that when his friend was leaving he hollered to me, "It was a lot of fun!"

My heart just soars to see him making friends and feeling at home here.

And when Brother makes friends he holds onto their friendship for life, regardless of what kind of reciprocation he receives from them or how often.

He is such a great example to me that way.

I want to be like him and regardless of what things have gone on that I can just pick up where it was good and go from there.

And it is not just friends he treasures, but family -- to him, each time he sees Bryan, Kelsey and Junior I still see the love he has for them now the same way he did when they were living with us.

I guess that is why we are taught so often that those with disabilities are not here to be taught by us, but, instead to let us be taught by them.

I have yet to download Kelsey's image on the receiving end

Here is one she got of them together when we were out visiting Grandma and Grandpa

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sister's Spectrum

Sister has Fragile X Syndrome.

She doesn't have Autism.

But, she has autistic-like tendencies or could be similar to Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD.

That isn't something I really tell people all that often.

So there it is.

For everyone to see.

Most importantly, me.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around it.

Besides, I have learned and read all along that girls with Fragile X are typically higher functioning than boys with Fragile X.

So why is she my hardest?

Is it because I have always expected her to be easier than Brother, therefore I see her as being harder because she is not what I expected?

I have fought hard to keep her out of any Autism Classrooms because I see so much desire in her to follow those who have autism. It's as if she sees their habits and thinks, "oh, that would really help me out if I did that too." Not to mention that children with Fragile X Syndrome are mimicker's. Brother, as a 3 and 4-year-old could impersonate Harry Potter's accent and would do the English bow and the whole nine yards. He was quite the half-time show when we would have everyone pause to watch his impersonation when he said, "Harry Potter" in his English accent and then bowed. He could barely talk but he could do that without a hitch. He loved the movie and he LOVES british accents so he followed it. Sister is the same way but she tends to impersonate people in real life rather than in movies.

When she was first being placed in her current class environment I was very concerned because her classmates didn't seem to be as high functioning as her, but I was very impressed with her teacher so we went forward with her placement.

Within a month she started reading and is now reading books with 4 to 5 words a page and is approaching a first grade reading level. She is comprehending math using touch points and her writing is improving. She tested higher than she did previously, and not only higher that she was at previously, but her IQ was head and shoulders above the rest of her class.

Her teacher called me a few weeks ago and let me know that she is testing so much higher than her classroom peers that her team at school felt she needed to be placed in an Autism Unit classroom that would be able to help her thrive academically and also help her with her behavior issues.

I was panicked and scared.

She has been doing so well.

She has been thriving in her current class.

I can't have her in with children with Autism where she would follow their behaviors when I am already dealing with her own behaviors. How could they even think that this could be the right placement for her? My initial thought was, "Heck no! She is NOT going into an Autism Unit. She does not have Autism. She has Fragile X. Period."

But, then I thought about it and realized how Heavenly Father has really had a hand in everything that has happened in our lives these last 7 months and decided I should at least go observe the classroom and give her teacher and her team the benefit of the doubt.

Last week I observed the classroom.

All sweet children.

All diagnosed with Autism.

No one diagnosed with Fragile X.

Yet, it was like watching a bunch of little Sisters. So many of the same mannerisms and personalities.

It scared me.

This is exactly what I am trying to avoid.

At the same time, though, I felt a certain peace about the classroom, a sort of feeling of ... home.

I talked to Marc about it.

We mulled it over.

We prayed about it.

I went to the temple and prayed about it there. All along I didn't feel any real answer any different to what had been offered as an option and just felt a general peace that it would all work out.

Then Marc and I attended a transition meeting for Sister's placement for the upcoming school year.

I was scared and confused and nervous because my mind was saying to "fight" for what was right for Sister, but my heart felt at peace with whatever was to come. It was kind of weird.

As the teachers and staff sat at the table with Marc and I, I could feel my emotions coming to the surface. I have never been emotional at any of my children's transition or IEP meetings and wasn't about to lose my composure at this one. But, as we talked and her teacher laid out her test scores and explained how much more she was doing than her classmates and her possible "future" teacher explained to me all the benefits of placing Sister in an Autism Unit I began to get emotional. When I asked Marc how he felt he so simply and eloquently explained to those in the room, "I hope it is OK to say that, I often pray that our children's teachers and educators will be inspired to do the right things for our children and I hope that you, in turn, pray for our children and know what to do for them, " (I know, bold, right, Loved it! He goes on.) "I think that the issue here, may be, that Rachael and I are just scared for the change and the leap of faith that this placement will take for us."

At that moment I knew the Marc felt right about the placement with the Autism Unit for Sister and that we just needed to have faith that they also want what's best for Sister and that is what they are trying to do with this placement.

I think I mostly cried because I don't think I realized just how much Sister's Autistic-like tendencies were such a dominant part of her life, and ours.

Maybe Fragile X is all I wanted to handle.

After the meeting was over Sister's teacher approached us, not as her teacher, but as our friend and expressed how he felt that this placement would be really good thing for Sister as long as we stay in communication with the teacher and do our part in preparing her for the change. He then went on to explain that his own son has Autism and that he has seen such beautiful changes and improvements in his life with him being in an Autism Unit. It really put my heart at ease to hear that, not only was he Sister's teacher, but he was also a parent who sees the other side of it all too.

I am so grateful that we have so many wonderful people involved in our children's lives who aren't just there for the paycheck, but are there because they LOVE what they do.
She was outside playing with her friends and she wanted to show me one of her Power Ranger moves.

Sometimes the right decisions are not always the easiest.

That seems to be the theme of Our Life these last 7 months.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shifts and Tights

When you move into a new house you find that you have a lot of stuff you don't really need, or never should have had in the first place. So the answer is to either give it away, donate it, or have a yard sale to make more money to buy more stuff that you will eventually sell at a future yard sale.

So of course we chose the best option...

We had a yard sale!

We had my brother Aaron and his wife, Chelsea bring some of their stuff and my mom brought some of her stuff.

We thought it would be fun to have Aaron and Chelsea sleep over on Friday night so we could all get up early together to get ready for the yard sale.

We thought it would also be fun to take date night shifts.

How does that work?

Well, Aaron and Chelsea went out on a date (a short one because we were selfish and wanted the long one) while we watched Ya-ya with our kids and then when they got back we got our kids to bed and then went out on our date while they stayed back with our kids and Ya-ya.

It was great! Not to mention that when we got home they had cleaned the house and had chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for us. (smile) ... (big smile)

The cool part was that Marc and I got to stay out past 10:30 at night and it was quite exhilarating! We felt like teenagers being out watching a movie until 11:30 post meridian. Post, people, post! Woo hoo!!!

Ah. It's the little things, isn't it?

Then we woke up bright and early to put out the yard sale signs and get things pulled out from the garage and set up.

We had a steady stream of people from 7am till 12noon. Aaron and I switched off being in charge of the money and Aaron was actually quite the wheeler-dealer. We all, actually had a lot of fun. Marc's parents even came up to sell some items, help with the kids and other odd jobs around the house. Our neighbors brought some of their things and joined in. It was a yard sale party!

In fact my mom was having so much fun she wanted to where her party hat...





What can I say, my family and I get a little goofy when we are together. And no that is not a modern pirate get-up she has on her head. No it isn't a wig either. They are Halloween Witch Tights, duh. What else would she have on her head? Pshh.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What my Girls do

I love seeing kids on swings. There's just something about it that reminds me of the joy it brought to me as a kid. It's interesting how happy it can make a child--swinging back and forth--going nowhere. Now it just makes me dizzy...

But Sister thrives on it. Whether it is me and Marc holding What my girls her up by her arms and legs and swinging her in the living room, the hammock downstairs or the swing outside, it brings her a sense of calm.
The other thing that Sister really loves is her iPod.

She loses it quite often, though.

It is quite the devastating event when it gets lost.

Without fail, every time it gets lost, I or Marc or anyone else asks, "Where did you have it last?"

We wait intently waiting to hear if it was in the front room, her bedroom, the kitchen, etc.

And she always answers, "In my hand."

Tee hee!


And here is Baby.
In case you can't tell she has devil horns on while she is riding her horse.
Grandpa Gary put these on thinking he was quite funny.
I'd have to agree he was. She can't be a bit mischievous at times.
(Where did the devil horns come from? My mom found them at a yard sale, of course.
And of course she would think to give them to my children... was that a hint mom?)

I think that, here, she didn't want Marc to take anymore pictures and keeping with character she has her mouth stuffed with food. It is a rare occasion that we see her without food stuffed in her mouth.
Do you remember that my kids don't typically sleep well at night which is characteristic of Fragile X Syndrome. So we give them meds to help them sleep, but, sometimes, they still wake in the middle of the night... usually it is Baby who wakes. For the last 4 nights at about 2 or 4-ish in the morning I wake to a "creeeeeeeek, squeeeeeeaaaak... creeeeeeeek, squeeeeeeaaaak... ... creeeeeeeeeeeeekkkk..." coming from Baby's room.

It's her rocking horse.

I know because I hear it several times throughout the day.

She has been putting herself back to sleep by rocking on the horse and then she lays on the floor and goes to sleep.

Cutest thing.

I am thankful that she is trying to find ways to console herself.

It is a noisy consoling, though.

But, it is a noise that I think I may actually miss one day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Gifts

I love that my kids get so excited to give me the Mother's Day gifts they made in school that they can hardly wait to take them out of their backpacks to hand to me with a huge smile on their faces.

L.O.V.E. it!

I usually get them on the Friday before Mother's Day because there is no way they are going to wait until Sunday...

Brother gave me 5 gifts! 5! One was a cute paper cut-out of a paper pot full of flowers with a photo of him sitting in flowers glued to the pot. The other four gifts (that he wrapped himself) we other photos from his field trips over the last few weeks. Oh so cute and oh he was so proud.

Then, Sister, seeing that Brother had jumped the gun had to quickly follow suit and ran to me with her big toothy smile and handed me her paper cut-out of a pot of flowers, but her flowers had stems made of twisty pipe cleaners. She was so proud she kept smiling right in my face just waiting for the 10th time I would say "thank you, I love it!"

Then Baby surprised me on Saturday when she took a pack of gum from my purse pocket, showed it to me and said, "I wawnna peesa gummm." Translation: "I want a piece of gum."

...

What?

A request?

An actual purpose to her wording?

And not only was it functional talking, but it was a full sentence!

Wahoo!

And it didn't stop there.

Later she asked me for a ice cream sandwich in her own way when she led me to the freezer door!

Miracles!

I love them!

On Mother's Day we invited my parents and Marc's parent for the holiday and we Barbequed, laughed, talked, ate, played, and ate homemade ice cream. It was the bomb-diggity of Mother's Day gatherings!


Frank and Bryan did the honor of cooking because Marc was out on a call for work. Thanks guys, you did a great job!


Just happened to catch Ya-ya as she dumped her plate. My dad thinks it's pretty funny.



Miss Cheeto face happy that Grandpa James finally got her in




Mmmmmmm. Mom cranking away at the homemade ice cream.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I am a Mother who Loves Mother's Day

I do.

I love Mother's Day.

Always have.

I loved it when I was little because in school and Primary I got to make sweet little gifts for my mom that I could hardly wait to give her. We always went to visit both our Grandmas on that weekend to wish them a happy Mother's Day... what kid doesn't look forward to that.

I loved seeing how proud my mom was to receive a flower in church on Mother's Day.

I loved seeing how, even though she was serving us the whole day, that she was happy and celebrating "her" holiday. She was so happy just being a mom that Mother's Day just suited her.

So when my day came when I could stand up in church to receive my Mother's Day flower I was beaming because I was now a mother.

Actually, I wasn't a mother when I received my first Mother's Day flower.

I had just gotten married.

I had no children yet.

But, I had entered the world of motherhood.

Teaching Young Women and giving advice and encouragement to youth as an adult.

That was looked at as Mother enough.

And each Mother's Day after that has been a joy in so many ways, regardless of whether or not I had children at that time because I was so excited to celebrate my mom and my grandmothers and the fact that I would one day be a mother.

Now, I barely get through the day with my hair a mess and make-up worn off from helping the children, loving my family, having everyone over for a Mother's Day Barbeque (I making the man cook the main course, at least) and being overwhelmed by the hugs and kisses and home made gifts from my kids.

I love it.

I love Mother's Day.

It is such a sweet way to be reminded of our mothers (or those who mothered us) and the divine calling we have as women.

Happy Mother's Day!

my grandma holding my mom (left) and her twin (right)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Infection, Affection, Deflection and Perfection

Infection

So, you know the part about being nervous about healing from surgery? Well, my incision site got infected. It started with some swelling and pain and then got itchy. Itchy and sore is no a good combo. (Just in case you didn't already know.)

Luckily I got in to a doctor soon enough to get the infection treated with antibiotics and I am doing just fine now.

In fact I went to a follow-up for the infection yesterday and the Doctor said I am looking and healing great and that I can start getting back into my "normal" life except no heavy lifting--I wonder if Baby counts as "heavy." Just kidding, she is a lug, so she is learning better how to climb into her car seat and my lap.

You want to know what else?

Keep reading below if you do...

She is starting to say a few more functional phrases/words. Now, instead of only pulling me to the fridge, she pulls me to the fridge AND says, "Pobdibibibabibliblibet." Which means, "Popsicle." (Insert loud laughter here) It makes me laugh because what she says and how she says it actually sounds like the sound you make when you shiver, so it is perfect for Popsicle. She also says, "Bye gampa" and "Bye gramma" when grandma and grandpa leave or when we leave them, it melts their hearts every time.


Affection

There were a lot of people caring for my family and I after my surgery.

Marc took off every morning that week to get the kids off to school.

My father-in-law was posted on my surgery day all day.

My mom had the next day so she could take care of me and Baby while the other two were in school and until Marc got home.

My father-in-law came again on the 3rd day and took care of me and Baby until Brother got home from school. Then Brother and I were on our own while Marc took Baby and Sister to the Doctor that afternoon. And you all know what happened later on that day that taught me I should never not ask for help.

My mom came on the fourth day to care for me and Baby again until 3:30 she was relieved from her shift.

And by Friday I was able to be awake enough to only need someone to help with Baby until naptime and then Marc would be home early.

My ward and neighorhood brought meals for my family for 5 days, arranged care for my children here at my home on the days that my mom or father-in-law couldn't be here until Marc got home, AND made sure to visit and call to check on me and my family.

Saturday and Sunday Marc did all the hard work of taking care of the kids and my mother-in-law came and cleaned and straightened up the house both on Saturday and Monday.

Now that's love.


Deflection

Baby is very loving and very sensory needy. She loves to be squeezed, hugged, rolled, and folded. Sometimes, though, we don't catch on soon enough that she is needing some sensory input and then she bites.

She bites hard.

I had a Developmental Specialist come visit our home  for Baby and after she tried to take a vampire bite out of my neck the Specialist asked, "Does she bite hard."

"Enough to leave bruises," I lightly replied.

Little baby teeth hurt.

Any nursing mother knows this, or anyone who has ever stuck their finger into a toddlers mouth to fish something out.

Youch!

So, often, I am trying to deflect Baby's teeth away from me but, sometimes it sneaks up on me.

She can be pretty aggressive. But, when I remember to give her the sensory input she is so happy.

See?

my favorite one

finally rigged up my tree swing


But, when I forget then all I can manage is some deflection of her bites, I have learned that the stop, drop and roll technique works best...


Perfection

Nothing is perfect. Not matter how hard I try, it just isn't.

Sometimes that's OK with me.

Sometimes it is not.

Like to day I went to observe a new classroom for Sister because she is testing higher than her peers in her current classroom.

It is so tough to try to find the perfect place for Sister to be. I just can't seem to get used to the big decision of placement for my kids. She isn't autistic but, she has autistic tendancies. She is not physically handicapped, but sometimes with her hyper-arousal and anxiety she may as well be. She is not capable of independence the entire day of school, but sometimes she fights hard to be as independent as she can at that moment. I am having a tough time with this decision, I can't figure out whether it would be best to leave her in her current placement with a teacher that has really been able to help her shine in her reading and math and she adores him and her classmates, or do I uproot her again to a school where her neighborhood friends would be attending but may fall apart with changing what she feels is "safe."

Brother tries so hard for perfection. He gets so frustrated with himself when he doesn't do things just right. I honestly wonder if that is why he didn't talk for so long because he wanted to perfect the language before he spoke it. Because once he started talking it was flowing pretty well.

In fact, just recently after a fishing field trip where he and Sister both got to go and catch fish Brother was able to show how important perfection is to him. I sent a cooler with them so they could bring their fish home and the came home with 6 because, I guess, some of the classmates didn't have coolers. Brother was insistent and having HIS fish so I opened the cooler and handed him one.

"That's not mine!"

I am thinking, they all look about the same to me...

He searches through the fish and finally grabs one and takes it out to the back yard. He knew exactly which one was his. He named "her" Jasmine.

He buried her in the back yard and it took him a good 30 minutes because he wanted to make sure that her burial site was perfect. It was so cute when I asked him why he didn't want to BBQ his fish with the others that were brought home and he emphatically retorted, "Because she is dead!" and then he did a little fake cry and continued on with his song for her. (So cute.)

Sister's teacher sent me some pictures of her reeling in her fish and she is too cute not to post. She was so excited to BBQ fish that night, but she didn't want to have anything to do with eating it. They all get a hat and they all get a fish. She was glad to keep the hat.



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Having fun before hernia repair surgery

Yes it is totally possible.

But, only if you have someone like my mom to be there to entertain you and help you laugh at the little things.

Starting off was not fun.

I was by myself at first.

We didn't have some one to get the kids on the bus in the morning or anyone to watch Baby until 11am and with my surgery starting at 9am it worked out that my new friend and neighbor took me to the hospital that morning after taking her kids to school and then my mom would meet me there to see me off to surgery.

I was a little early so my mom wasn't there yet but the nurses went ahead and admitted me and I guess part of admittance was a blood draw.

Eeeek!!!

Not my forté.

So I kindly warned the nurse that I am not good at this so she better be good at this or I will faint.

Yeeee-ooowch!!!

She was NOT good.

Therefore, neither was I.

I started to get very sick, and my heart rate started racing, my palms got cold and my fingers went numb.

She had to get me in a wheelchair and wheel me around for the rest of the admitting and then to my waiting "stall" until I could at least put my head up so I could get dressed in my hospital gown. (My life could be a sitcom.)

As I was waiting for my blood to come back to my head I heard my mom's footsteps (I just knew it was her) and I immediately felt relief coming. She came in. Worried.  Wondered why I didn't have the best of the best to draw my blood and helped me get dressed into my gown so I wouldn't fall over.

I don't know that the "getting on the gown" part was hard. I think it may have been standing up while it was on.

Check this thing out!

One size fits all?

Well, I should hope so!

That is what got the fun started.

We could not stop laughing about how big it was, and it was made of paper to boot!

I mean I know it has been a few years since my last surgery but, really, paper? Who's idea was that? A man's?

Anyway, then I had to laugh when I laid down because I could mold the gown...

No, really I did come in for a hernia repair, but if you want to move the fat from my stomach upwards....  just sayin'

My mom and I had a blast sending the pictures to everyone so they could see all the fun they were missing out on.

My mom even had the nurses bring in a TV and VCR (ya, we're old school like that) and we watched "What About Bob."

This is my favorite scene and I quote it often (Get out of the car!)


Man, that show is funny. And if I had any question about whether or not my hernia was still there I found out. Ah, laughter. The best medicine. Or the best hernia reminder...

We were so giggly, I don't think anyone would have guessed how scared I was to go into surgery that day.

I don't know if I was necessarily scared of the surgery but more scared of the healing process while taking care of my kids.

Looking back, I think it was the wisdom I have about my kids.

I was definitely scared for the recovery process. (smile)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Would you call the police or would you stop to help?

I know this title has nothing to do with my surgery.

But, in a way, it does.

Read on.

We have received so much help while I have been down post-op. We've had meals brought in, caregivers for the kids and family to care for me.

We are so grateful.

But, we also tend to feel a bit guilty and try to do what we can on our own, so when we realized that Baby still needed her prescription filled for her sinus infection we thought that I would be able to handle Baby and Brother at home while Marc took Sister with him to Harmon's to get the medicine. Harmon's is a grocery store with a Pharmacy inside and Sister LOVES to go to the store.

While I was here at home helplessly listening to Baby attack Brother downstairs I kept trying to muster up the strength to walk down stairs and see if I could bribe Baby away from Brother because I knew I would be able to do the usual "heave, ho" of lifting her up and off and away from the temptation of pulling his hair and biting his shoulders. But, I didn't have enough strength or will power so I just listened to him whine hoping he would finally get his whits about him, stand up, pick her up and bring her upstairs.

Thankfully, he did.

He came upstairs with Baby in his arms, face reddened and a look of exasperation... and pride. He was very proud of himself for handling the situation on his own. I was very proud of him too.

I told him to bring Baby over on the other side of the bed with me and maybe I could get her to watch a movie with me or something.

Brother went back downstairs and I was getting a movie ready on my laptop to entertain Baby.

But, Baby hasn't been able to have access to "attack" me for at least 3 days and just couldn't resist any longer. She went for my face first and I was able to hold her off a little while I was trying to get the laptop off my lap so I could get in a better position to hold her off and then she noticed my weakness and started going at me full force, teeth bared and legs flailing.

I could feel my stomach muscles straining trying to to keep her from hurting me but I can't sit up like usual and have to roll to my side to get up so, of course, she held on tight as I rolled to my side and then because of her extra weight I couldn't get up. I started to panic because of the pain and I didn't want to ruin any of the work that had been done so I reached for my phone and tried to speed dial my neighbor and there was no answer.

And you have got to remember that I have a "piranha" child on me this whole time.

I finally get her off of me, don't even remember how, I think I did some sort of dive-roll off the bed thing and then decided that laying down while I was alone with her was not a good idea. So I sat at the kitchen table while she ate some cookies and I waited for Marc to get home to relieve me from the experience of being home alone with Baby... (Really how do you not laugh when you reflect on how crazy Our Life can be at times? Like "home alone with Baby" should ever cause any worry... tee hee!)

I see the red car pulling up to the garage and a wave of relief flows over me.

Then, I here the blood-curdling screaming come from the garage up the back stairs.

Sister comes in red-faced and crazed screaming that her umbrella is broken.

???

(Side note: Sister loves going shopping with us, but sometimes we forget that that means she loves shopping because she thinks it always means she gets to buy something.)

Marc comes in looking a bit frazzled yet calm.

He was trying to explain to me what had happened but, Sister's incessant screaming didn't allow for a friendly adult conversation so we just moved on to the process of calming Sister down which entailed swinging in the hammock, rubbing her face and rocking and reading.

Marc was finally able to tell me about his experience with Sister at Harmon's.

He went straight to the Pharmacy and gave them the prescription and was told it would be 15 minutes. So he and Sister wandered about the store just "shopping" around (because that is what Sister loves to do) and Sister found an umbrella that she liked. Marc made sure to inform her that they would not be buying it, but they could still look around and spend time together while they waited.

Finally the prescription was ready and they went to pick it up and then leave.

Sister would not leave without an umbrella.

Marc said they could go pick out a treat instead.

They walked to the other side of the store to get the candy all the while Sister is holding onto to "her" umbrella desperately yelling that she wants the it. By this time they have drawn a lot of attention at the store. On-lookers wondering what is going on.

Marc tells her that she needs to put the umbrella away and she can choose to have or not have a treat instead. She is still yelling and screaming and stomping and flailing. He sees that there is no talking any sense into her so he calmly takes the umbrella away from her and picks her up and proceeds across the store to the exit.

All this time she is hitting him, kicking him and then she grabs the sunglasses off his head and throws them to the ground. He calmly picks them up and puts them back on all while holding her during her fit.

Then she grabs his sunglasses again, but this time, twists them in from of his face until they break and then throws them on the floor.

Marc again, while holding her, bends over and picks them up and throws the pieces in the garbage on the way out the door.

She is still screaming once they get out to the parking lot and trying to run back into the store to get her umbrella while he is trying to unlock the car.

She won't cooperate getting in the car so he realizes this looks pretty strange as he is trying to shove her into the car and it wasn't helping her calm down so he takes her in his arms, sits in the front seat and rocks her till she calms down.

As he is rocking her two store employees approach him and tell him how impressed they were with how calm he stayed during the whole ordeal and also expressed to him that there were some patrons who were asking the employees to call the police because of the disturbance. So, I guess the employees came out just to double check to make sure that Marc was not a kidnapper or abusive. I am still impressed with how calm Marc is about the situations with the kids. It is not easy.

I am sure people at the store did not know what to think of the situation he was having with Sister. I am positive that it just came across that she was throwing a tantrum about not getting an umbrella that she wanted. They have no idea, in general, that she is perseverative and does not understand, fully, the world around her.

I am sure that most people who witnessed the occurrence will just rehearse it to others as a severe tantrum and not as a overstimulated, hyper-aroused and out-of-routine-while-her-mother-is-re-cooperating-from-surgery individual with Fragile X Syndrome. That's why I wish, so badly, that we could raise more awareness about Fragile X Syndrome and the affects it has on different people.

So, both Marc and I had a our fair share of frustration last night and we both came to realize that we do need the help while I am healing. I just hope that I heal a lot faster than I seem to be.

I will post soon more positive experiences (because there have been many), I just wanted to write this one down before I forgot and I can finally look at the computer screen without seeing double (smile).