Wednesday, February 29, 2012

snow day

This winter has been lame.  I mean come on.  I love the 30's and sun too, but for kids, LAME!  And to finally have a 4 and 5 year old that are big enough not to tip over with the push of a pinky because they look like this....

So this year I was really looking forward to enjoying and embracing our snowy, freezing cold conditions, and well, where have they been?  The warmest winter on record is awesome for adults, we love it!  But, it gave me a new perspective about moving to places with not a lot of snow, something Jeremy and I talk about, because really without snow, what is the point of winter at all?  I mean really, you still have to be inside, there aren't many activities to do without snow?!  So, a couple of days ago when all the meteorologists were up in arms about "snowmageden" we chatted about it, in stores, with friends and family, people were "preparing".  It does seem funny, I mean how long have we lived here, through -30 below temps, 30 inches of snow in 24 hours, you name it, we've seen it!  So, a little storm, so what?  But it was awesome, the heart pounding anticipation!  How long till it arrives?  So, when Audrey, who is 4, oops, correction, 4 1/2 asked, "did you hear a storm is coming?" I said, "Well yes I did, and how did you hear?" Ms. Tammy at school and I said, "oooh did she tell you about snow days?"  Which then led into some wide eyed children, who go completely deaf to anything around them unless it involves treats or toys, let's just say I had their attention!  I said, yep, if it snows SOOOO much they cancel school!  "REALLY?" Graham shouted with glee.  So, this was Monday night, no snow showed AT ALL for Tuesday, what appeared to be a media hoax and total misuse of a billion dollars of weather equipment bust, I kissed them goodnight and as I was walking away, Graham shouts, "it's gonna be a snow day tomorrow, right?"  Well, with not a flake in sight, I said, "Buddy, no I don't think so, sorry..." which was followed by, "ughhhh...".  So, when my preggo body required it's 2 hour potty break at 2 am, and I heard the ticking sound of the snow/ice hitting the windows, I thought, well, that sounds promising...again the bladder called at 5 am, and I still heard it, I stood up, grabbed my iPhone and checked the weather and sure enough school closings....
and it brought me back.

To a time that we would sit in front of a tiny little tv in our kitchen waiting for OUR school to be listed, patiently ALL morning.  We would wait.  And right as it was about to hit the M's for Mahtomedi, it would commercial!!!!  And when they returned it'd be on P's...what happened to the M's!!!  And you'd have to sit there all over again!  Those weren't the days of rewind, or skip or now geez, they show the list during the commercials!  But, really who needs tv or radio anymore, you just go online to your schools website and bing bang boom, you have your answer in seconds.  I must say, as nice as it was to see quickly, it was almost a bummer, missing out on the anticipation.  Who knew a stay at home mom would watch and listen as closely as the kids.  Jeremy woke to the glow of my phone around 540 and said, "what are you doing?" I told him how excited I was to find out about school closings, he laughed and said, you and your obsession with weather, it's like you are 90!  (he didn't throw in Wheel of Fortune, that'd just be mean, me and Pat...) anyway, I was just SO excited, hoping, crossing my fingers that when their sleepy little bodies awoke, I could give them the sweetest news, SNOW DAY!  And, after taking a bubble bath, making a haystack for the hubby and I and feeding Nolan, the 2 hour delay start shot up to what dreams are made of status, a real, full fledge SNOW DAY!  So, I waited, painted my nails, cleaned the kitchen, made pancakes for the kids, and they slept until 8:20, I mean I thought it only to be perfect on a snow day that they lay in bed as long as possible and THEY DID!  They slowly walked into the kitchen with their tussled locks and I video taped their arrival....I know I am nuts, but truly I was so excited!  I can just remember the feeling of that moment seeing Mahtomedi school district....trail across the screen.  The funny thing is I loved school, as does Graham, so what was the mad excitement about?  It's the unexpected, the excitement of something different, out of your routine, that surprise and really the only time that happens in school is sick days, which well, are no fun at all!  

I couldn't wait to plan our day of fun!  We ventured onto the stormy roads, and I warned the kids to bundle up and hang on as you never know if we will get stuck in a snow bank...I like to add to the suspense!!!!  You only get to mess with them for so long, ya know?  Let's just say the "storm" was more like a sloppy, wet mess and the only thing treacherous about it was the amount of water that my Uggs soaked up....but soaked up fun we did!  We went to Target, and it was a ghost town, we drank Icees and ate popcorn, played the DS and with all the toys, it's awesome when they are 4 and 5 and think that's fun, isn't it?  Then we went to Michael's to find a string of lights and some pretty felt colors to make star and moon lights for Graham's bed and flower and heart lights for Audrey for new night-lights, well, no lights and when I mean none, I mean here is a list of the following places I called....Lowes, Target, Walmart, Fleet Farm, Michaels in two locations, Joann Fabrics, and then I had an idea, our porch has those lights hanging that have those little wood cages around them, I could just strip them of the wood I did, and we cut and designed, I say we, but really it was me, for almost the entire time, I got ditched for Mario figurines in the bathroom sink, yeah, I don't know where they get these ideas either!  Audrey came up with the idea of tracing her hand and cutting those out for the strand, it was brilliant, they are so cute and what an adorable memory of her little hand imprinted in each light!  They turned out beautiful and I was going to take a pic of them glowing in the night, but guess what, THEY BURNDT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know right?  They lasted all of two hours, and for some reason, didn't last anymore!  UGH!!!  So, this is right when I finished it, and turned it on briefly, for a post on Facebook and that's all I have...

Anyway, the kids went out and ventured in the snow from 4pm-620!!!!!  They couldn't get enough, their daddy joined them around 515 and built some snowmen, had a snowball fight and Graham came in, exhausted and freezing and said, "this is the bestest day in my whole life!"  And that is what you call a successful snow day memory....even if the damn lights did burn out!  

Monday, February 27, 2012


I love to dream.  It's amazing how different they all can be.  But, it's fun, to imagine your life totally different.  Like when you are on an airplane home, I think of all those around me and where their travels brought them and what their purpose is for coming to our little state, in the heartland.  It's fun to feel like I am a CEO coming back from a long week of conferences and negotiations, of what I have no idea, but it's a dream, OK?  So, I can swing from that moment, to driving through a northern Minnesota town and imagine being a waitress at the local diner, the breakfast shift, renting the apartment above the diner and playing local gigs on my guitar, single and singing my soul no I don't sing or play guitar, unless I am imitating torturing cats!

My point is, it's fun.  To imagine life different.  Think about all the different ways that people live right around us.  Sometimes when you live in middle America and have a blessed life you can get surrounded by those that are like you and forget a whole world of people who aren't.  Who took different roads.  It's a great thing about Facebook, seeing friends from near and far living their lives to the fullest, filling their dreams.  Taking risks and chances that I didn't take.  Sometimes I just want to sit down with random strangers and give them a full 20 questions.  What is it like to live on a farm?  What is it like to be a powerful CEO and a mom?  What is it like to be single at 35 and explore the world giving back to others?  I find it all so fascinating.  Maybe because my life is rather predictable.  It's vanilla.  And I'm not knocking vanilla.  I mean I love some consistent, traditional, loving environments too, but sometimes, you gotta dream....

It brings me to last night.  It's my night of the year.  The Oscars.  I love them.  Not because I have real aspirations to win one, but it's a great night of dreaming.  Picturing my 5'2 frame next to George Clooney and how I would fit so much easier into the crux of his arm than that what's her name? LOL she did look gorgeous.  I love to imagine talking to Meryl Streep and just sucking the very being out of her, she seems like such an amazingly interesting person, talented and humble, and how does one do that after 40 years of straight success?  I want to imagine hair extensions, make up artists, red carpets and everyone begging to get a shot of me?!  I say often that one day, I am going to save my pennies and make the trip out there and somehow, someway make my way to that red carpet.  It's shallow, it's not curing cancer, ok, I get it...but it's a dream people.  So our friends were over with their little boy and I had to say, "hey! come on over and hang out, but ummm, so yeah, ummm, it's Oscar night, so then you gotta go by 6!"  I know, aren't I nice??? What I love about friends is they know I am a little crazy, no questions asked, instead the most appropriate desert was brought in preparation for the night of my life!

Thank you Alicia!  And Travis, it was worth driving to Woodbury! :)

I don't like to do the party thing, or the big group, I like to watch, to absorb it all, to dream, alone.  Jeremy used to go all out on Oscar night, the most beautiful roses, a delicious gourmet meal.  After children, it involves more simple things, like a bubble bath and going to get take out and letting me eat and absorb it all in peace, that means minus three children!  He then comes and sits with me and chats about the awards, the best dressed, etc, he tries and it's another reason I love him, because as much as I care about March Madness is how much he cares about the Oscars.  Enough said.

I was thinking last night, during it's rather lack luster telecast, why do I love this so much?  Why is this my night of the year?  And that's when this all came to me, that it really is about dreaming.  Transporting your life to another world for a few hours.  So, until next year, I will have to resume dreaming about more local lives and imagining what it would be like to walk a day in the shoes of another.  For now, I will put on my old comfy ones that I have been wearing for 35 years and are treating me rather good right about now!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

power of moms

I wrote a little while back about living in your own truth.  I realized that part of that really involves, vulnerability.  The ability to put yourself out there and in front of others in a position that may be uncomfortable.  That can show up in all sorts of ways.  It can be standing up for a cause you believe in, it can be telling a dear friend your most intimate fears, it can be sharing your story on a blog.  In any case, the best part, the most rewarding, fulfilling and ultimately positive thing about being vulnerable is connecting with others.  Having someone 1/2 way across the world, cry as you write, or laugh as you speak of your struggles.  It's such a beautiful thing, when you truly let go and live your life.  Without reservation of keeping up with the "Jones's."  When you stop worrying about losing that last 10 pounds and eat the box of girl scout cookies.  When you love you for you.  But, honestly, for me, it's about connecting.  Feeling that bond when you found that friend, in that moment that "gets it".  Really gets it.  Maybe you connect because your marriages are on the same crash course, maybe you connect because your children are at the same stage in life and it helps to know you aren't crazy.  But, there is nothing more rewarding than mom's friendships.  Because as mom's we are all on this journey and hoping to end in the same place, with happy, healthy children.

Lately I have been struck by how awesome the internet is.  How you can connect with others in a way that 10 years ago, was nearly impossible.  I can't imagine how lonely I would have felt 10 years ago with having a child with Down Syndrome.  How isolated and difficult that may have been.  Instead I was a voyuer on many blogs, forums and groups, to get a sense of my new reality.  It helped a lot.  I rarely reached out.  Liked it in my shell at first.  Scared to offend or admit my inner most thoughts online.  That's the thing about truth and connection, it's work.  It's sticking your neck out, it's stepping on toes, taking risks and knowing it's worth it.  But, the coolest thing I think about the internet, is there is ALWAYS someone JUST like you.  Feeling JUST the way you are in that very moment.  And to know you are validated, not crazy and not alone, it's priceless.  This recently came full circle for me.

A year ago I was knee deep in this journey of being a mom to a child with special needs, I spent many a night scouring the internet for photos of babies with down syndrome not smiling...not cooing, not really doing anything.  I was obsessed for someone to tell me that Nolan's behavior was normal.  I needed a mom who lived it.  Who knew.  I went to doctor after doctor.  Put my baby under sedation for a comprehensive hearing test despite the ENT's recommendation that I don't.  I researched and made goat's milk formula, convinced it was a gut issue.  I paid private therapists to have him evaluated.  And in the end, 5 long, laborious months later, one Thursday afternoon, I googled, "baby flinches."  I saw a youtube video that a mom posted of her baby having Infantile Spasms and bam, it was Nolan.  I immediately went to Children's Hospital ER and within 12 hours had my answer, it was Epilepsy.  I have discussed Nolan's seizures on here before.  It is a rare condition, very rare, so most doctors won't see it in 40 years of practice, I couldn't blame them, but I wanted to.  I wanted to be angry and scream at everyone in ear shot, "why didn't you listen to me?!!!!!".  Armed with a diagnosis, I felt relieved in some ways, we had a plan and then the miracle of Nolan coming to life began and my heart started to heal.  But, now I returned to the online forums and groups that I had often gone to in my own despair and now I knew it was my time to give back.  I didn't start a revolution, or post every day, or make best friends with someone, I simply answered posts that I could.  Reached out when I thought it necessary or helpful.  And one post, "6 months and not smiling" My heart sank.  I immediately posted all I could, urging her to seek a neurologist, this stranger.  And I got an email this past weekend.  It was filled with gratefulness.  It was filled with thank you's.  I am so sorry that we share this journey.  It is not one that I would want to share with anyone.  But, what I am grateful for is the circle of moms.  Who know when to reach out.  When to intervene, when to hug and when to push.  It doesn't take a lot to give back and contribute to this circle of mom's.  It is as simple as posting something online, making a meal, giving a call, we all can do it.

We often are too hard on each other, get caught up in judgements, in competing to be the best in all areas.  I am not innocent on this front.  But, when I truly look out at the sea of moms that I run into on a daily basis, I am amazed at the love and support found, if you look.  If you open yourself up and share your story.  Please do, there is someone, somewhere waiting to hear it, who needs to hear it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

new vs old

Love and marriage...they don't always go together...shocking isn't it? Well it isn't if you've been together more than a decade, you know that love and marriage can get tricky.  But, today, the day of love.  Well, I was thinking about it, as I miss my man, he's on a trip for work, returning late tonight, but I can hardly wait.  I was thinking about how different it is.  This love of ours.  How when we first met, love was intense, passion filled, expressed in almost every word, that's what it seemed like at least.  I remember my heart aching to say good bye to him and not for a long trip, but for a night, a day, a few hours, it seemed like eternity.  That's the love we have.  It's real, it's honest and sometimes not so beautiful.  But, new love is beautiful.  It's addicting really, it's what movies are made of.  It sucks you in and lets you believe that you are going to be old and wrinkled one day and feel the exact same way...but you won't.  It'll be different, very different.  Here are a few examples....

Ways to express Love...

New love: Spend 1/2 your monthly earnings on the biggest, most expensive roses that can be found and have them delivered to her work to make all the co-workers
Jeremy once brought home one rose that lit up and played some tunes, gotta love it...

New love: Make reservations at the most expensive restaurant in town and spend the night holding hands and staring at each other longingly while enjoying a chocolate fondue and feeding each other...
Now....heat up a frozen pizza and hijack our kids valentines candy, lovingly sharing the only really good candy found, after they are in bed of course!

New love: Buy some elaborate, over the top, cheesy heart necklace that will surely be worn less time than it took to pay for the
Go shopping at Super Target and buy all household necessities that your pregnant wife is too tired and sick to buy in the last three months and bring home roses and chocolates to boot.

New love:  Light candles and take bubble bath together, listening to your music together and you know the
put on his old tshirt, shut off ALL light source of any kind, and well, hurry up, the kids might wake up....

So, new love is shiny and expensive, it's focused and thoughtful, but old love, well there just isn't anything like it; knowing that person loves you for flaws, loves you with your body in less than perfect conditioning, loves you when you aren't so lovable.  It takes you to a place of deep, true love if you let it.  Where you can be together and hang out with the most simple thing, like a quiet house and appreciate what you have built together.  A house full of love.

Sometimes I miss new love.  With my friends we chat about the days that are husbands did anything for us, that we craved just to be near them, we want that fantasy to last longer.  And it's true, I do miss it at times, it was so innocent and lovely.  But, love is like childhood, it's fun and adventurous in the beginning and then a lot of responsibilities, tragedy's and life lessons kick in and you have a choice to grow with it or leave it in the dust for a greener pasture.  Well, my pasture is pretty green right here, thank you very much.

Go love your man, for all that he is, and you know what he wants, yeah you know.  And for the men that read this, go love your woman, that means, do the dishes tonight, put the kids to bed and then listen to her, really listen, while you rub her feet and cuddle close to her, with zero expectation, trust me on this one.

We could really learn a lot from not focusing on our needs so much in life, but especially in a marriage. Focus on his needs today, and magically I know your needs will be met shortly there after, it's the beauty of old love, it works like that....

Monday, February 13, 2012

strike a pose

I have the most exciting news and it may seem shallow, seem pointless to many, but to a mom of a child with special needs, it's awesome!  Let me first begin by going back.  To a time when Nolan was first born, when we found out just 72 hours before his birth that he had Down Syndrome.  I had images in my head, horrible images.  I couldn't imagine what my baby would look like, act like or be like. Would I love him, want to hold him and call him mine?  It sounds horrible to say to people who haven't endured something similar.  But to families with children who are "different" in some way, well it's reality.  You wonder, will they ever be loved like your others?  Will you and your family be the only people to really ever truly love them?  Will people point and stare and giggle as he gets older and walks or talks funny?  You just wonder.  You can't help but think these things.  And for Nolan specifically knowing that so many people choose to terminate his existence with the mere thought of him, well, you know the answer most likely will be no, to all of the above.  So, our amazing photographer, who I mentioned in my last post, she has told me a few times to get the kids into modeling as I have admired her daughter as a STUNNING beauty, which she is and has done insane campaigns for Target to prove it!  Anyway, she said I should go for it and I don't know, one day I did, I only submitted to the one Modeling Agency that accepted online applications, a couple pics, few facts and bam.  So, I sent Nolan's info off.  I didn't send Audrey and Graham's, not because I don't think they are cute, but I don't know, just figured Nolan is more cooperative at this stage than those two and didn't know if they would like it.

I submitted the photos, and guess what!? I got the call today, I paused as she said this is blank with blank Agency, (I don't remember the blanks I was so confused and taken aback!).  She said, "Just wanted to tell you that we would love to have Nolan on board with our agency!"  She continued talking and I just wanted to shout from the rooftops, I could hardly contain myself.  She asked if I was familiar with the process or had been through this and went on to say they work with Target and Best Buy and all the large corporations, I am still speechless.  Not just because it is SO much fun to have your child potentially a part of an Ad Campaign, of course that is cool.  But this is different.  It just brings tears to my eyes to say it, but really.....someone wants him.  Someone thinks he is beautiful.  He is accepted.  He is adored.  He is so beautiful, not just to us.  It means the world to me.  Seems so silly as tears stream down my face as I write.  But I am so proud and excited for our boy.  He's changing the world.  He's dreaming big.  He's perfect in every way.  And as my bestie said shouting in the phone, "Nolan is bringing us to the Oscars one day!!!!"  Ok so, we go big, we can't help it!  Let's be honest, I'll be happy with a local ad in the dollar sense flyer.  It's not the venue, the money, the fame, it's the simple plain fact that the world sees what we see and really, it's all we want for any of our kids.  Isn't it?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Ok so here's the thing, I can tell you 100 things I do wrong, mess up or freak out when it's unnecessary, but right now, this mama is feeling rather impressed with herself!  Soooo, I must share!  First of all it's hat day at Graham's school today, they were raising money for a good cause, and with a small donation, you could wear the hat of you choice all day long!  Well, Graham's choice wasn't a pirate as you all may expect, it was Mario, thank you sooooo much Wii for taking my sweet little boy and making him a video game maniac, ugh, so annoying!  Anyway, he kept saying to me, "mama, you are going to go to the store and get a mario hat right?"  I vacillated between, really these kids are so damn spoiled and wow, he'd be so excited!  I decided against it and then came Wednesday morning, I was feeling up to it, was out and about and put a couple calls in to local Party City's and guess what, voila...victory!

And for those of you judging my entire costume purchase, the flipping hat was the same cost as the entire costume, ridiculous right? UGH!  So, if this obsession lasts 1/2 as long as pirates did, he'll be wearing it for halloween, and well, with another child equally obsessed and only a year younger, you can't give this and not something to them, right?  So, here you go....

Yep, Mario and Luigi, granted she wanted Yoshi, but I was so pumped to score two of these in children sizes in FEBRUARY!! OK?!

And speaking of February, Valentines Day, oh how I love thee.  I know you all are like, oh another hyped up holiday that we get sucked into and way to much hoopla, but come on, it's about love, about candy and it's all so fun for the kids, stop it and go get a juju heart, the bestie has been telling me for two days I need to go buy me some!  You'd think she'd share, geez!  So, I like to be creative and make the valentines, I do realize that this insanity will wear off, that when ALL 4 of my kids are in school I may be passing out a sucker with a heart drawn on it, LOL!  But, either way, I love these projects with my girly, she is so into crafting and would do it with me for hours, and I love to carve out activities that we both enjoy and spend some time together!  So, this year, I liked the thought of felt and a glue gun.  I went to Michaels and bought 20 sheets of different colored felts and some hair clips and here are the creations.... for the girls and bookmarks for the boys....ok fine, I have to be honest and tell you there are only 8 kids in her class, LOL, yes I know it's pretty easy to do 4 of each!  Graham's class of 29 will be getting some cutouts with Mario stickers, LOL!  I didn't want you getting into thinking that I was a true over achiever, I am a half over achiever, just a little annoying right?

When I was done with these I had no idea, how flipping simple it is to make these clips that I have spent Audrey's college fund on since her birth.  Ok I am kidding, but really, these hair clips aren't cheap and I don't know how many she has but let's say it's over 50 and that equals a small fortune!  So, who knew I had the ability to glue some together???? NOT ME!  So, seriously get some ribbon, a glue gun and go nuts, and no my hearts aren't perfect but come on their free people!  So, then one of my favorite bloggers totally inspired me with these valentine boxes....

You must go see them, I LOVE THEM...but I made one and Graham insisted I not make it, he just wanted a box he could make and glue some things on...I which I took a pic of the back, it has a pipe cleaner tail, which is a riot and no it doesn't look professional in the slightest, but he loves it!   And I thought it was rather cute!   

 So, I can't finish this blog without giving a shout out to our amazing photographer.  Not only does she take the most amazing photos that have won us contests, including the one on the banner of this blog.  But, she also, has become a friend.  Someone I admire for her talents and her genuine, honest, and loving, kind personality.  There isn't a family I have referred her to that doesn't adore her!  And is there anything better than getting a package on your front porch when you weren't expecting it?  I mean really mailing something special, just because is simply, awesome.  So yesterday, ding dong, and this is what was waiting.....And gifts such as these, time, and thought and money invested, there just isn't anything, better, seriously.

So, I must give her a shout out and she just recently jumped head first into this full time, and I love that, taking a risk and giving your talent room to grow!  So, thank you Tamika! You ROCK!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I love talking to my wise Aunt, which implies she is old and although she is no spring chicken, she isn't old per say. :)  Well we have discussed amazing topics, gay marriage, abortion, politics, religion, family dynamics, food, you name it, we've chatted about it.  And I mean for hours.  It's awesome, not because we agree on everything, in fact we often disagree, but what is awesome is that we both love that we live in truth.  She lives in hers and I live in mine and we are both navigating the world trying to figure out the best way to live and to love.  And I truly believe the number one thing that I have gained from her friendship above all else is living in truth.  It sounds all fancy doesn't it?  Like a book title.  Like a topic on Oprah.  Find your truth.  Live in your truth.  But, in reality, it's so simple.  And with all great things in life, it is those that are most simple that are the most beautiful.  Truth.  What is it?  Well, she and I have discussed that.  Is it when someone asks you if you like their new haircut and it looks like Edward Scissorhands just got done?  Is it when your child asks if you like their drawing of ummm, yeah, umm, what is that scribble, oh yeah, mommy, it's beautiful!  Is it when your parent asks you if you think they did a good job and all they could?  What about at 2 am when you lie awake thinking about something you said that just came out all wrong and may have damaged a friendship forever?  Truth.  It's tricky.

My kindergartner has taught me about the literal things in life, like "hold onto your hat!" when taking a sharp corner, doesn't mean much to him when he's not wearing one!  Well, truth is like that, it's not really literal, there are times in life when "fudging" the truth is needed, preferred and expected.  A pregnant woman needs this daily, trust me on that one.  But, the truth that I am talking about goes way deeper than it's literal meaning that can be weighed in a courtroom.  It's about your life.  Your day in and day out life.  Through the years I have had a variety of friends from all kinds of backgrounds, I like that.  I like to see the value of deep, rich friendships, a kaleidoscope of colors, I think it grounds you, teaches you to open your eyes beyond yourself.  For a period of time, I struggled with some of them, not respecting certain areas of their lives or choices and learning to navigate what that all really means in a friendship is interesting.  I mean how do you decide what makes a good friend for you?  For me it is truth.  Genuine living.  I can handle almost any type of behavior or mistake, but I can't handle someone who bull shits, or lives a life of falsity.  You know the type.  There are many.  Maybe it's the guy that seems so sweet, charming, and yet you find out they had a year long affair and destroyed his perfect family.  Maybe it's the mom that greets you with an extra wide grin and volunteers for everything and never complains, but behind closed doors is miserable and empty.  There are tons of these people, some with small lies invading their truth and others with huge concocted stories that go on for years, Bernie Madoff.  Regardless, I truly believe that it's that poison I can't deal with.  People who can't seem to look in the mirror and see themselves as they really are, sometimes it's not pretty.  And in our society so much value, emphasis, time, money and an energy is spent evading the truth, credit cards to hide debt, makeup for wrinkles, diamond rings to hide crappy marriages, it all exists and inevitably the truth comes out.  Don't get me wrong, I love shallow things.  I watch Real Housewives and Dance moms, enough said.  But, I don't try to act like a scholar and be something I am not.  I admit trash TV and I have a loving, close bond.  Is it embarrassing, sure, am I smarter than that, totally...(said with valley girl accent).   But, it's the truth ok, I like bad tv, so what?  

But, nothing gets me more in a tizzy then when I have to spend time with people who just can't come clean already, who have to put on a show, weather it be that they scoff at bad tv, or swearing or they would NEVER do that!!!!  I just don't believe it.  I just know that in the end we all have our weaknesses our shallow side, and just come clean already!  I can spot those people a mile away.  A feeling I get when I see them, like, mmm, something isn't right here.  But not always, sometimes they are those we love or want to love the most.  That's a tougher pill to swallow.  Either way, it's funny because this discussion with my aunt who stated that there are two huge things in life, truth and hope, she is so right.  And with truth there is always hope.  I mean, think about it, when someone comes to you in truth, genuinely sorry, there isn't much you can't forgive.  Leading the path to hope.

It's hard though, because sometimes, I am not the greatest person, the kindest, or most appropriate person.  I can be offensive and loud and think it's funny and someone else could be devastated by my "joke".  I wouldn't want that, wouldn't intend that, but still it can happen.  It's my favorite thing about my 30's and having children.  Letting go of so much time and energy I spent judging others, but also myself.  There is so much guilt in the world.  That we don't do enough, really too much guilt everywhere, I am sure that's true for working moms and how good we are as wives, I mean, it's tough.  To please everyone to constantly measure yourself.  But, what I am working on is just being me.  Just learning to accept that when my kid is annoying, I am going to bark at them and it may not be rosy.  When I repeat myself 100 times to put their coat or shoes on, I could be more patient, sound more loving, but ya know what? It's just not me.  And that's OK, getting to a place that you aren't 100 percent perfect, but you are 100 percent ok with that, it's nice.  It's nice to know there is always room for growth and at the same time, love yourself and realize you are doing the best you can.  Ok so now I sound like the Saturday Night Live skit, "I am good enough, blah blah blah!"

It's just interesting to me how refreshing it is to be around someone who is comfortable in their own skin, says what they need to and lives life to the fullest without regrets.  I wish more people did.  I wish more people realized how much better and more most people prefer REAL over fake!  Even if I don't particularly like the person, real is always better.

So go be honest, confess your sins, and for goodness sakes go watch Dance Mom's and leave time for a shower after! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

day by day

Yes I can smell my feet and don't I look like the cutest little "girl" even in the ER! 

Oh sweet baby!
Well last weekend started out promising, jeremy was home after a long week away and the kids were on the road to recovery!  Then Saturday, out of nowhere, literally, Nolan was burning up, 103 temp, gave him ibuprofen and nothing would bring it down, he just wanted to sleep, ALL the time!  He seemed to be having trouble breathing and if he were my first I would have brought him to the ER right then, but I've seen a fever once or twice before, so I figured it would pass.  Sunday morning, he was still sleeping at 9, after I checked on him a dozen times throughout the night, to see if his chest was moving steadily up and down, and it was, but frequent, as if he just ran a baby marathon, only he was sleeping.  It was disturbing.  I brought him to Children's Hospital ER arrived by 940, we were the only ones, so nice.  He had a temp of 102 despite the fact that I just gave him ibuprofen about 45 minutes prior.  He wouldn't eat, barely eaten anything the day before and was limp in my arms.  It's horrible having sick kids.  I joked last week about the trials of sick kids while you stay at home, but this was no joke.  This was a really sick kid.  After our stay it was determined that he had RSV and pneumonia.  My poor baby.  He just kept falling asleep, which was worrying me more, he had no energy, wasn't eating and his breathing increasingly becoming labored.  He came home and slept 20/24 hours a day for three days.  It may seem like wow, I bet you got a lot done, but I couldn't sit still wondering if my boy was OK, should I wake him, it just seems wrong to wake a sick baby, but scary for a 17 month old who just doesn't sleep that much!

Yesterday I brought him in for a check of his Oxygen levels and just to make sure the pneumonia was cleaning and sure enough, he ate, all day, was awake and took a normal nap, it's so nice to have my boy back.  It's so nice to see his little smiles, that truly never left even in the ER and when they put this "lavender" gown on, he managed to crack one, despite wanting to deck the nurse that thought it didn't matter that he wear does, he is all boy and was not pleased...OK I am kidding, and it was cute to see his sweet little "girly" face.

Mommy I can't look at you, I missed my bear!
All of this, this past week and this past 17 months, brings me back to the lessons that I keep learning.  To take everything day by day.  Live now.  Enjoy now.  I used to get so "worried" about what our future looked like as a family, what does a 20 year old with down syndrome look like.  You may come up with an image.  You may fill in that blank for my boy.  And you'd be wrong.  I remember reading something when he was first born and I was struggling to wrap my brain around it, and a woman was talking about seeing a group of adults with down syndrome walking into a McDonalds and she stopped.  She couldn't stop thinking and crying to herself that was the future for her kid.  Here were these adults, dirty clothes, bad haircuts, overweight and just looking overall awful and imagining her daughter in that role.  Someone said the most wise response.  Did you look around the rest of the restaurant?  Because there had to be plenty of people with typical chromosomes that looked the same way, if not worse.  And there were some in suits and some beautiful, some large, some small.  It was brilliant.
I don't have time to take pictures, I am studying!

You don't know what Nolan will act like, look like, talk like or be like anymore than I know what your child is going to be like.  We have an idea in our head, that our kids will be amazing, cure cancer, be the next Brad Pitt, but in reality, they most likely will be some where down the middle like most of us.  And that's just fine.  They will have their struggles, triumphs and times that you want to look the other way and think "oh that kid on the ground screaming, he's not mine!"  Because I am at such a place of peace right now with it all, it scares me sometimes, being the ultimate "realist" I know the shoe will drop some day and I will struggle with this all again, but right now, its so easy.  So perfect.  I want Nolan as he is, not an ounce of him different.   A beautiful gift, unconditional love and how do you know you possess it if it's never tested? It's taught me to take every day and appreciate it, love my boy and smooch him and snuggle him as with all of our kids, because you don't know tomorrow and what it looks like.  I am so happy to say my boy is happy, has energy and is playing today and for that I am so grateful.  My heart is heavy when any of our kids are sick.  And when they are that sick, it aches until they are whole again and smiles outweigh cries.  Snuggle your babies, your doggies, your men, love them today and enjoy, it's FRIDAY!!!!!