Friday, February 25, 2011

My Least Favorite Job

As a parent, my least favorite job has got to be potty training, hands down.  Jakob took about 6 months.  In retrospect, some of his issues I'm sure had to do with his having Autism.  As a first time parent, it was simply a small sample of, well, a very hot and unpleasant place.  The twins were pretty good to me.  One day I put gates up around the kitchen, put two potty chairs on the floor and told them if they wanted their toys they had to learn to go potty.  They were done, bar an occasional accident overnight, that day.  Abigail has now started this job for me.  If she's somewhere in the middle of the other two potty training sessions, I'll be content. I try to see the humor in things, so here's a little snippet for you.

After taking Abigail upstairs for a nap, it was quiet for about 15 minutes.  Then I hear "Momom!  Momom!", and some fussing.  Now, since Abigail rarely fusses I always check, since it's likely that something is bugging her.  Sometimes the kitten has sneaked into her room.  Sometimes she's missing her teddy bear.  Sometimes she's gotten her hair stuck in a button or something.

Today I open her door to a truly interesting sight; Abigail standing without a stitch of clothes on, signing "potty!".   I scooped her up out of the crib and dashed into the bathroom and set her on the toilet.  Her crib sheet was damp, but not too bad.  I didn't want her to see me laugh, because I don't want her to think that it's a good thing to disrobe and take her diaper off and parade around while she wets.

On the other hand, it was pretty funny.  I cleaned her up and put fresh diaper and clothes on once she was finished and she's up there napping (lucky girl!).  The good news is, she's wanting to use the potty.  The bad news is, I think I'll be changing a lot of sheets.  Small price to pay, in the long run, for an end to diapers :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Power Reflection

This morning/afternoon, our power went out.  It turns out the entire west side grid of Monroe county went out.  Oopsy doodles, Mr. Power Company.  Happily, the power returned just as our sump pump was reaching critical bail-out levels.  My work computer even came back up with no issues.  Oh, happy day.

This got me thinking about power.  Yup, power.  All kinds of power.  We rely on power to run our lives, but I think we lose sight of the power we have ourselves.  The lights went out, no television, no computer, no Wii, and the kids said "cool!" and went upstairs where there are windows to light their rooms, and played.  You would think it was a holiday.

Abigail and I sat in her room, playing with her lego table.  It has dinosaurs, and Winnie the Pooh, and trees, and trains, and clowns, and all kinds of fun things mixed all together from the lego sets we've purchased over the years.  The other 3 poked their heads in to ask "can we come in?".  Sure!  Before long, I had to move out of the room because I had all 4 kids in the smallest bedroom, laughing and having a blast because the power went down.  Who knew that Winnie the Pooh loves riding a dinosaur?

Now, the strange thing is, it made me think that the power really went up. The kids were animated and active and playful and creative and we were all having a blast together.  David called on my cell phone to let me know the power should be back up soon.  Bummer.

We all have the power to create what we live.  We can create stress, we can give our power away to others by letting them tromp all over us, we can make a relatively small debate into a huge production, we can decide to see beauty instead of focusing on the negatives around us.  We forget that, I think.  We forget to think positively, act compassionately, and respect ourselves for the power we really have.  It seems to get lost in every day life.  Appointments, kids, activities, doctor visits, work to be done... it never ends because that's our life... but... I'm going to try and remember to exert my own power more often to make a more positive life experience; not just for me, but for my spouse and my kids, to.

I find myself looking forward to the next power outage ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A day in the life

Finally... my updated blog that I've been planning for just ages :)  For those of you who aren't familiar with our craziness, here are the basics:  David and I have known each other for 27 years, and been married for 17 of those.  We dated 18 months before getting married.  We have four gorgeous kids that keep us very busy.    The doctors don't know why we didn't seem able to conceive for upwards of 3 years, for no apparent reason. Following many medical procedures (that all failed), and frustrations, and finally prayers (should have tried this first, I know!) we were truly blessed.

Our first miracle was our son Jakob, who will be turning 13 this year.  I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at how fast time is flying by.  Jakob has "high functioning autism".  He's a brilliant, engaging, lovable, energetic young man who has changed our lives so much.  He continues to teach us so much, not just about all of the subjects he loves to read about, but about acceptance and, mostly, patience.

Our next miraculous journey was the arrival of our twins, Kyle and Cassidy Mae when Jakob was just 19 months old.  No, we didn't expect twins.  We certainly didn't expect to have children again so quickly (the doctors seemed to think we'd have trouble conceiving again).  No, twins don't run in our family.  We just got lucky :)  They just turned 11 last month, and are truly amazing kids.  Kyle has an intolerance to corn and all products derived from corn.  Just a little ongoing issue to add to our busy lives that we discovered when he was 4.  Cassidy Mae is a true gemstone and lights all of our lives.  She's sweet, caring, very smart, and growing up way too fast.

Finally, along came our youngest daughter Abigail Rose when the twins were 7 and Jakob was 8.  She was a most unexpected blessing.  Abigail has Down syndrome and the greatest giggle you've ever heard.  She's doing very well and beginning to talk.  She had open heart bypass surgery at 5 1/2 months to repair a PDA, ASD, and VSD.  She blew the doctors (and us!) away when she came home just 4 days after surgery.  No, she is not always happy.  Yes, she loves to laugh.  No, she is not afflicted or suffering.  Yes, we all love her dearly and she has changed all of our lives for the better.

I work at being a better Mom, and I work out of our home for the Flower City Down Syndrome Network half-time.  I love to read, I enjoy writing, I like to crochet and sew, I experiment with cooking (corn-free for Kyle!), and I wish to be a better gardener than I am.  Welcome to my blog.