Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thurviving Thursday!

I truly take one day at a time.  I have changed so much!  I wish I was like this when I was younger.

In college I played rugby.  The sport that is 50%, well, sport, and 50% party.  I loved beer and dancing and having too much fun.  Some fun is not appropriate to shout to the world and will stay tucked away in my brain, along with Joe's, Mandy's, Jess', Lisa's, Rae Ann's, Chris', Katie's, Michael's (my brother who drank at a party with us and rode his bike home and fell, safely, into the grass along side the trail...not a good big sister!), Jason's, Seb's, Candy's, and many more friends!  I loved being social.  At times.

Sometimes I just wanted to stay back.  Read my book.  Have my routine.  Then Lisa would offer to curl my hair and we'd start laughing and before I knew it, I would be home from the bars wrestling with Mandy!  Mandy and I are the tom boys of the bunch.  Lisa sometimes, too.  Jess?  Not so much!

I really do love my friends.  I told Amanda that tonight - in a message.  I realize it is so.  I am so thankful for the close people in my life who support me and have never created drama.

I have learned to relax and let go by having that trust in my relationships with people.  My experience with Calvin would not have been so smooth if it were not for people.  They, you, have been so supportive.  Because of that, I have learned to let go and offer God the controls.

I am nervous, just a tiny bit, about my first triatholon this Saturday.  I keep wondering how I'm going to stay warm with wet clothes on.  I realize that it will be okay!  If I have to get naked and put on dry underwear, well, so be it!  I figure if people are looking, then they will just have more time added to their event, and that serves to my benefit!  Yeah, easy to say tonight!  I'll have to share how it goes.  I wish I could be snapping pictures along the way!

I said I'd share a sort of photo-dump from the past week or here it goes, enjoy your weekend:

Happy 1st Birthday, Cousin Adam!  We had fun at your party (not sure why Jacob has toys on his head?!)
*I splurged and purchased my first camera, smart phone, the HTC Amaze, and these photos were taken with it)
I spent some time on the phone with a person at NuTriVene, I will post about that next time - Cal's supplements have changed....
Joe started the giant pumpkins last Saturday night.  They are up and ready to be planted!
Nolan was upset with Evan about something...Nolan was not 100% himself on Sunday, and I'll share why in a sec.
I like the panoramic option on my phone!  Joe got the giant site ready on Sunday.  The boys played with their trucks in the dirt, below.
I had a lot of cleaning up to do after a day working on the lawn and garden!!  Yuck!
On my way to work on Monday is the time Nolan shared what was going on Sunday.  He threw up and proceeded to sleep on the couch all day.  The poor kid was not able to consume anything :(  But, I got Evan on the bus and made the most of my day.  God knows when I need a break, so I thank Him for giving me what I need.  It is amazing that when I start looking for Him in my life, I see Him all over!  It is very awesome.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Character Exam

The following little package is attached. Not superglued. More like welded. Yep, he knows who his mom is (I was afraid he wouldn't know, now sometimes I just wish he didn't)!
Now, I know what you're thinking. He's cute and all. And "he's so happy". But, the truth is he is not always happy. In fact he is very hard to please at times. He is stubborn and knows exactly what he wants and whines like a puppy until he gets it. Is that because of Down syndrome? Maybe. It can also be because he is young and I reinforce it by giving in.
I go to pick him up and he snuggles right in and wraps his stubby arms right around my neck. I love neck hugs. You are jealous, I can tell. Well, they are nice, until he decides to grab the hair at the nape of my neck and tighten his fist (he has low muscle tone, that does not mean he is weak) and pulls. Hard. And, the look on his face? You should see that, too. Usually it is a smile joined by some squeal of delight. I tell him 'ouch' and 'no' and all that. And, it usually happens again until I face him away from me. Then, Calvin will do this arch-twist, like a dolphin in a talent show, and he's miraculously back at my neck.

He takes a lot of energy.

I have been thinking a lot since my post last week. Shocker, huh? I feet like a shmuck. I know my life will be rocked again. I will experience grief and pain that will take the memory of last week and bully it to the point it will be afraid to show it's face again. It is weak. I am tough. I have always been tough.

I have been reading Kelle Hampton's Bloom. Can I just say that yes, people who don't know her want to hate her because she is wealthy and has a lot - a lot of positive thoughts, a lot of friends, a lot of family, a lot of support, a lot of time to craft and do whatever else she does. But you know, I've seen worse, much worse. AND, I try to ask myself if I feel negative toward people because I am jealous. Interestingly the answer is often 'yes', followed by 'you fool, God is what it's all about'!

Okay, back to KH. She spoke of not feeling anything, physically, after Nella was born. That is/was me! I had pain on the hour long drive to the hospital and super hella bad contractions that first night, because of pitocen, but I was good to go after that. Not like with Nolan. I had contractions every time I nursed him during his first week of life. I too think this was God's way of keeping me in the game of NICU, Down syndrome, Complete AV Canal Defect, Aspiration, not nursing, etc. Heck, I had Cal at 11pm on Friday and ran 2 miles the following Tuesday. I swear I felt ready. I needed it. I need running. I am a mental mess without it. I thank God for the ability to run and the motivation to do it.

I am a motivated, think-outside-the-box, kind of person. I realize it is not for everyone, but it is for me. I am who I am and I vow to be true to it. I tire trying to fit some mold that ironically nobody I enjoy being around really wants me to fit in anyway! Speaking of truth. I feel like I have really learned who I am through the past 2 years of this journey. I have discovered just how much I love exploring a healthy, more enjoyable way to live. I realize the whole being of my soul is coming full circle. Granted, there is still space and I look forward to the ways the slivers of the pie will be filled.

I was listening when I heard God is more interested in our character than whether or not we are comfortable in life. And let me tell you, I am in a place of great discomfort. And that is why I cannot let my character falter.

I have a lot of pictures to share - next  post.  My goal is to share the garden updates, along with tales of 3 brothers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

mega ultra stressed

Lets just say I'm mega ultra stressed out.

Adobe photoshop 4 was released right after I purchased 3 back in Feb.  Fortunately I was within the days of purchase and release that allowed me a free upgrade.  I was very happy about that.  It literally took me hours (roughly 2) to get this squared away.  Talk about a waste of time.  I downloaded it, finally - after 1.5 months of processing junk, and I found out my computer does not support it.

Done.  Just. Like. That.  I have to get over it.  I can still have this version when/if I upgrade my computer.  That's the thing though.  It all costs money!  I have to get over it and this is helping.  Process process process.

If only we could upgrade our personal/body processors.  I think my processor does not support all this learning!

This photography business is obviously taking a lot out of me.  I do not blog much.  I rarely read other blogs.  I am okay with that because I know school is out soon.  I am getting closer to a point in my life where something has to change.  And not something small.

The 3 boys are a lot of work.  As most of my readers know from personal experience.

I can say that I have cleaned my house 4 times in the last 24 hours.  Not vacuum clean - pick up kind of clean.  I am sick of it.  I just want my life to be more simple.  I always say simple is less stressful.

Sometimes I question what I am doing.  Training for a tri (which one is coming up in 1 week), nursing Cal still, working 32 hours a week, house work, kid work, photography work...too much work :(

I am crazy and stupid.  Simple as that.  Now it's time to go round up some boys to clean up the tractors and 'manure' (Rummikubs) that are spread throughout my upper floor.

:(  Please tell me it gets easier.  Please tell me Calvin will sleep through the night.  Soon.  That one night was the one that sometimes happens every couple of months.  I am tired and burnt out.

Okay, this was not a fun post!  Next time?  Fun.

And no, I have not gotten my new camera yet.  Joe and I have spent the last 3 months trying to refinance our home.  That is a whole 'nuther post.  Maybe we'll close in a couple of weeks.  Just lowering our interest rate but we thought we were going to have come up with 10's of thousands of dollars only to find out there is a program out there to support borrowers like us who have paid our mortgages faithfully for many years but just don't have 80% down (since the value of homes is down so darn much).  We have about 93% down and our appraisal dropped about 70,000 in 3 years....

Okay.  Enough negativity!  Off to round up the troops!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

goals and such

We reviewed Cal's IFSP on Wednesday morning.  He met some goals but many were not met.  This did not get me down though.  And, since then, he has started crawling some up on his hands and feet and hands and knees.  He has also started sucking out of the straw/honey bear cup.  I suppose that is most of it, but I am okay with that.  Really, I think I am realizing he will get there on his own time.  Not mine or anyone elses.  I am happy that he is making consistent progress!  Oh, and he slept from 9-6 last night!  I could get used to that!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today is the greatest... I've ever known.
(Are my boogers too distracting for you?  They wake me up at night because I can't breathe...)

Monday, April 9, 2012


Calvin had his adenoids out and ear tubes replaced Friday morning.  He came home that evening and is doing very well!  Still congested but the antibiotics should continue to ward off any infection and he should be as good as new in a week.

Calvin weighs about 18.5 pounds and is over 27".  I just got him into 12 month clothes a couple days ago - and the pants are a tad bit long.  He is tiny!

I know Calvin is doing well and has grown/gained so much since the beginning of the year BUT I must say I am warding off the negative thoughts of "he doesn't feed himself yet, he does not have a word yet, he barely signs anything".  I  know he will make gains and I'll be thrilled.  After all, he DOES have Down syndrome and this is pretty typical.  I mean, I have to give up this idea that maybe, just MAYBE he will be different.  That I will be able to provide him with something that will level him on the playing field.

So, as I go down this path, I think not what he is or is not doing, and think of who I have become because of this little addition to our family.  I love that boy and he is amazing.  That is what matters most.  I think it is just that nagging guilt of 'not doing enough for him'.

And, that is devil talk, because I am doing everything I can considering the balancing act I am trying to perform!

Below are pictures from Evan's 6th Birthday!  It was a good time - I did not make any food.  The cake is from Sam's and my mom helped make sloppy joes.  I bought a veggie tray and chips/dip.  I was thinking about how people blog these beautiful photos from birthday parties and it looks like they spent $300-400 and 48 hours of their life to prepare for.  I have neither so this is what I came up with, and you know what?  Good times were had by all!  All that matters :)

Pictures of Cal to come later!  Thanks for your virtual visit of the Ailts Family!