Thursday, April 30, 2015

UPs at Night

I'm sitting here in bed trying to decide what I should post about today.

Marc is sleeping peacefully (or at least acting like it) on my right.

To my left, out side my bedroom door, across the hall in Baby's room I can here "kiddie" songs blaring on Baby's iPod.

Maybe it's not blaring... maybe it just seems like it because the entire house is quiet other than the clickity-clack of my computer keys.

She hasn't been able to fall asleep very easily the last few nights.

Really, doesn't seem like a big deal to me because I actually spent the first 7 years of Brother's life, which coincided with the first 4 years of Sister's life, not getting much sleep.

They just didn't seem to need sleep.

They would stay awake all night with hardly a moment of sleep.

I remember many nights of zombily watching Thomas the Train on the coach next to a wide awake and bouncing Brother trying to get some kind of rest while making sure he was safe—not escaping the house, getting into things he shouldn't or trying to wake everyone else in the house.

This was a really frustrating time.

I even remember times where I would be able to keep one child entertained in their room quietly while I dealt with the other one, and then have to make the switch throughout the night.

It was exhausting.

I had learned that this was very typical of kids with Fragile X Syndrome. Something about them not making enough Melatonin in their bodies to induce sleep. I've heard it happens a lot with kids with Autism too.

When Sister was around 3 or 4 we learned about Melatonin and Clonidine.

Those meds saved our lives!

Melatonin helps them fall asleep.

Clonidine is actually a blood pressure medicine, but it helps them stay asleep once they are asleep.

I really don't think that I could have done 15 years on barely a wink.

So, there's part of me as I listen to Baby lay awake in her bed watching "My Little Ponies" that makes me think back to those days, but then the logical part of me remembers the help of meds and that this "not falling asleep" phase must mean that she has grown a lot and needs her Melatonin dose upped a bit.

Oh, thank heavens for medications and herbs that work!

Anyway, that was a long tangent, but, I guess it is really an UP!



OK, anyway, my other UP was seeing Brother at his last track meet of his Junior High Career.

He tried his hardest and he was so glad that I was there to cheer him on.

He's on the far right in lane 1

He did pretty well on the shot-put today

I think he even improved in the long jump!

The real UP for me, though, wasn't even the events he participated in but seeing him say "hello" to fellow peers and seeing him, at least twice, calling someone's name to get their attention.

It is so special to see him trying to socialize.

It makes him seem so grown up in my eyes.

Then tonight just before I read him Harry Potter before bed, he asked, "Mom, did you have Child Development in High School?" I told him I couldn't remember and he then said, "There's a permission slip in my backpack," I asked him what the permission slip was for and he got really quiet and a huge smile crawled across his skinny face as he quietly said, "Baby."

I've seen kids carrying around the "real life" baby dolls that teaches them about taking care of an infant and thought it was interesting/funny. I never thought, though, that Brother would want to take care of one.

It's going to be interesting.

On the permission slip is even reminds you that the baby may be up during the night and wake not only the student, but other members of the family.

If he were a typically developing kid I could chuckle and say, "Ha! Payback!"

I think I'll just be happy if it survives for the 2 or 3 days he has it.

Then of course, I got to hang with the Mary Poppins cast tonight! I only have 2 rehearsals this week so being with the cast has been a rare experience, but always and UP.

The mirrors make some of us look a little ... iffy...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Well Seasoned

I am so thankful for seasons.

It really makes you appreciate each one when you actually get to enjoy all four of them here in Utah.

I love fall for all the colors and the family gatherings it seems to bring. I love winter for it's wonderland of white and all the adventurous and home bounding activities it brings. I love spring awakening new growth and vibrant colors after all the white turns a little gray. I love summer for it's late bright nights, open windows, picnics and popsicles.

Today was a bright spring day and I really felt the warmth of the sun and the light of its rays.

I'm glad I did.

I had Baby's IEP and 3-year evaluation this morning, and though, I was cheery, jovial and optimistic through the entire meeting, I realized, once I got home, that it really does wear me out to have to come to terms with all that our daughter can and can't do.

I love her so much. I love every quirk and every strength and I just want to squish her because I love her so much. It is tough, though, to realize that she has taken on all of Brother's and Sister's quirks plus her own. As of now, she is our lowest functioning, most affected by Autism, child.

It's always rough to be yanked from your realm of "reach for the highest and just keep looking up" to take a pause in reality and see that your child is still struggling.

My life has had many seasons.

We all have...

seasons of life.

Right now my season of life is well, not what I had forecasted it to be when I was 21.

I'm realizing that predicting my life is about as tough as predicting the weather... I just wish I had a green screen and a cute little outfit to wear so that I could at least predict life with a little flair.

When I got home I decided I needed to enjoy the sunshine from outside and not just through a window.

I love our back yard in the spring and summer!
At dinner time I was reminded that part of the life season I am in now is that all three of our kids, in some way or other, like to hang with each other once in a while.

It was awesome because Brother set up the table (with Marc's help) and Baby pulled out a chair (with my help) to join him. It wasn't long before Sister was out there too.

I took a picture to commemorate another UP moment in my season.

How could I possibly dwell on what our kids can't do when we experience seasons like this?

OK, so this lasted all of 10 minutes before Baby decided that her inaugural bite of chicken was the famous last one, Sister began to FREAK out about the flies that came to visit and I had to get after Brother to hurry so we could make it to Mutual, but the point is, it happened.

I have to keep remembering that good does happen in every season, however short or long.

And I am starting to feel that I am becoming well seasoned.

Ah, yes, family is the spice of life!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Evil Mustache

Both Sister and I got quite a chuckle out of Ranger's "evil mustache" this morning... 

See how it curls up? It reminds my of the evil guy on the old Dudley Do-right cartoons...

That funny little UP moment this morning reminded me that I forgot to share a couple of pictures with you yesterday.

Let me give a little bit of a background before I post the pictures:

My mom is quite excited that a while ago she found this spiffy little rod iron-type paper plate, cups and utensils holder. She has it out for all our gatherings because it is cute and it is useful. It always sits on the counter.

When we all get together at my mom's house some of us sit at the counter and some of us sit at the table.

On Sunday I was sitting at the counter and Marc was sitting at the table.

We were talking and then I noticed he was looking at me funny and trying to get a "just right" view of me from where he was sitting.

He took a picture.

I laughed.

I looked like I had a mustache.

That's the handle on the nifty holder... he he! I have to say he nailed it!

After we all had a good laugh, Brother decided he didn't want to be left out of the fun so he posed too.

In this one you can see the holder and get more of an idea of why it is funny that the handle became our mustache.
So there are my UPs...

I had others too, like getting the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, getting laundry folded, getting some calls made for the kids' needs and watching a few episodes of "The Middle" while I got some exercise in.

Simple, but UP.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dizzy, but Happy

Sorry, I was feeling really dizzy the last couple of nights and looking at a computer screen was one of the last things I felt like doing with my head spinning.

Anyway, now that everything is stationary, I'll give you the quick UPs of the weekend.

Saturday started off great with a really fun blocking rehearsal for Mary Poppins.

Happy, that again, for the second time, I was able to find my green sunglasses... I left them at rehearsal earlier that week
Happy to have my bright coral lipstick match the bright coral jacket and shoes of my fellow players!

I am amazed at how much I enjoy being part of a production. I just can't wipe the smile off of my face the entire time I am there. I am really enjoying getting to know new people and feeling part of a production family.

I'm not sure if I have just been extremely lucky, but all 3 plays I have been a part of have had amazing people involved and has made every experience amazing!

When I got home I started to straighten up the table and just had to stop and take a picture of Baby's artwork on one of my folders because it made me smile.

Saturday got even better when Marc and I were able to go out to a little town called Oakley for his friend's 60th birthday party. The drive was beautiful even with the rain. Then we get to the house that the party is at and that was beautiful too! It was this HUGE home set on 25 beautiful acres in the middle of this small town of green rolling hills surrounded by mountains. I felt like I was in Europe again! So of course we had to take some pictures.

One of the big UPs I will mention briefly was talking to someone I had just met and finding out that their 3-year-old nephew had just been diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome and my knowledge and experience with it gave them excitement and hope. It always makes me feel good to foster hope with newly diagnosed families. The other plus to meeting these new people is that they are awesome and we are really hoping to get to have them over soon.

Sunday we were able to go to my parents house and we laughed a LOT!

And watching the our kids excitement as they watched Mary Poppins and exclaiming how excited they are for the play!

Brother and MrT just chillin'

Oh, and I can't forget to post the picture of the robin's nest that was made in one of the windows of my parents house. Sister was so excited she could hardly handle it. So I tried my best to take a picture through the window so that she would have something to remember it by.

Today, my up was going to take photos for my cousin in downtown Provo.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Homeless Hubby

So, I've done lots of design work for local movies.

I love being involved with local talent and I love being able to help excited directors and producers get their stuff out there.

I've always thought my husband looked like a movie star. I even wrote a post about it years ago, you can read that here.

I honestly didn't think, though, that he would ever be in a movie that I might be able to do design work for.

It all started when the movie crew were scouting for houses in my neighborhood. They stopped at our house and ... long story short, they needed a guy with a beard to play a homeless guy and they thought Marc could do it.

We thought he was just going to be an extra, somewhere in the back ground, but he actually ended up being the guy that they focused on the most out of the 5 "homeless" that were there. So, I think you might actually see him if you ever watch Tim Timmerman, Hope of America when it comes out.

Marc was called to the set at 1:30 this afternoon and they didn't even shoot his scene until 6:00 pm... the waiting wasn't really fun. He did get to meet some really nice people though and I was hanging out with him for most of the time.

I was just so excited to see him and take pictures to document his experience.

I have to admit, I wish I could have been on the other side of the camera. I would LOVE to act in a TV show or movie, I think it would be awesome!

I was so proud of Marc though, he was just so cute and so sweet to everyone.

I took more pictures than I dared and then took a few more.

I felt like his agent.

Who knows, maybe I'll have to be when everyone sees how much his face loves the camera (wink).

Just after he got into make-up and wardrobe

The stars' trailer behind him

This movie is set in the 90's and behind Marc is some of that 90's wardrobe
 Marc and his "homeless buddies" waiting for their scene...

This was their rehearsal take

I came around the other doorway to try to get shots of Marc with the camera

The director, Cameron Sawyer is to Marc's right

Marc and his new buddy waiting until the next take

This was shot in the cafeteria of the Mountain View High School

This was his 3rd take for this particular scene where he had to nod and smile to the actors serving him food

I just had to get a picture of the actual scene clicker/tracker thingy

 My best UP of the day was when I took Baby and Brother to see daddy on set. Baby just had to give her daddy a big hug even though Brother said he looked too scary.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Park Pics

I must be doing better because for the first time in a long time, I pulled out my camera just to get shots of our kids.

After dinner Marc thought it would be fun to go to the new park that is just a short way from us.

Baby is still small enough that even if she is determined not to go somewhere, she can't really stop us from getting her there.

Now-a-days Brother will go pretty much anywhere as long as we are taking the van.

But Sister has a way of making her protests pretty darned close to unbearable.

She screams at you with fervent effort and kicks the seat she is behind to the point of worrying the seams will bust. The screams are incessant and she can throw out some pretty nasty adjectives while she's at it.

Once we got to the park, we thought she would settle down, but she continued her rant by pushing Marc against the car and telling him to get back in. When she saw that wasn't helping she screamed at the top of her lungs and ran to the play ground yelling about how we shouldn't be there and that we need to go home now.

A very different girl from earlier today when I actually experienced my first UP of the day.

So, I'll reflect back to her field trip with the mainstream class by showing you the picture that my sweet neighbor posted for me so I could see how happy Sister was.

Here's Sister with her neighborhood buddies! It was so neat to think that Sister was able to have her friends with her and have such great peer models throughout the day. I received a text from her teacher that she did so well and was one of the best behaved kids there. Sister had so much fun with her peers!
For this field trip it was the entire 3rd grade—Sister is in 4th grade but the teacher and I decided she does better with her 3rd grade peers. They went to Thanksgiving Pointe for the Tulip Festival. Thanksgiving Pointe is a huge place and usually has a LOT of people visiting the gardens. So I totally understand the Sister was overstimulated and overwhelmed even though she did so well.

I understand why she didn't want to go to the park today, but we thought we'd try anyway.

Luckily, there was something quite fascinating that Sister discovered at the park. She was thrilled to have discovered a "nest" of 3 spotted eggs underneath one of the slides. I've never seen a nest of eggs on the ground of a playground before so I took a couple of pictures.

They were tucked away under the slide. It goes to show you how observant Sister is.
After the excitement of the eggs, Sister was able to calm down enough to allow the rest of us to have fun and she just had a bit of a dreary, yet tolerant look on her face for the 45 minutes we were there.

It felt good to take pictures of my family just because.

I really wanted to try to get a shot of the kids together, regardless of their clothing not being at its finest, but Baby didn't want anything to do with it

But I just LOVE this one! I do wish Sister didn't look quite so concerned though...

I got her to smile after the stress of the 3 of them together was over

It was a beautiful afternoon and the setting at the park was peaceful and serene.

On our way home
It turned out to be a great day at the park and Sister was happy she had come after all.

Day 114 of 365 Days of Up