A Modern Mom Managing Multiples

A Beautiful Day

For the first time (ok, except for the Chica Show), Ethan has shown an interest in something extracurricular. A few weekends ago we attended an open house at the farm where Catie takes horse riding lessons. Ethan rode around a circle two times and then wanted to do their mini-lesson. He loved it. LOVED IT. And then asked if he could have lessons like Catie. Could he? OH YEAH!

He had his first lesson today. I didn’t know what to expect–maybe just them leading him around–but it ended up being a proper lesson. He learned the different parts of tack, how to climb on (that was very shaky!), how to start and stop and how to turn. It was amazing! And he is so excited to go back for his second lesson in two weeks. Love it!

Stuck

Emotionally that’s how I’ve felt lately. Very, very STUCK. Whether it’s unwillingness or inability to get past these issues in my life, I don’t know. Hence counseling that starts tomorrow night.

1. 13 years and still having difficulty with my son Connor’s death. We had, I guess, miracles with the others. Why couldn’t God have made HIM a miracle too? And while I get, on some level at least, that our life here is fleeting and like the grass withers and dies and heaven is forever, I don’t think it’s wrong to want to know your son on earth instead of waiting until you die and actually go to heaven. I want him HERE. And that’s impossible. And I can’t get past it.

2. Pursuant to #1, my relationship with God is rather strained. As in, nonexistent. There is no church. There isn’t much praying. There isn’t any reading of the bible. There is some listening to Christian radio–both music and teaching. There is some willingness to talk to a friend. 

3. Pursuant to #2, Sex addiction. Yeah, that. If it wasn’t for the fact that both my PC and cell were completely monitored, I would most likely still be off in the deep end. I lost most of August to it. Not exaggerating. In a rare moment of sanity, I had Jim disable certain things on my iPhone and now I only have access to monitored internet and no book apps. And I cannot add apps. And I am not so far gone that I don’t care that Jim or my AP sees the filth that I was reading online. But it’s still there. And it still needs to be dealt with.

And I need to get UN-stuck.

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Screech! It’s past the middle of September! How did we get here?? We’re finishing up the third week of cyber school and I’m STILL trying to get some semblance of routine with driving, home facilitating with school and housework. Oh, and laundry. I’ve had to re-wash laundry 4 times this week because I kept forgetting about it. And I can’t even blame it on the washer–it’s on the same floor I’m on practically all day (not in the basement, where I forgot about it all the time).

2. On a more serious note, I had an intake evaluation for counseling this week. Deep breath. Boy, was I nervous! I have done counseling off and on for more than 20 years for all sorts of things: family relationships, addiction, marriage, etc. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve done it. Talking about any of my issues, especially addiction, is difficult. But I had reached the point where, honestly, what I’m doing is just not working anymore. So I think a professional’s opinion and input would be rather helpful at getting me past where I’m stuck. (which I will cover in a future post, I promise!)

3. This was a banner week in my extended family. My parents celebrated their SIXTIETH wedding anniversary. SIX ZERO, people! That’s amazing! According to Google, without which I would be completely lost, it’s their Diamond anniversary. Way to Go Mom and Dad!

Also in my extended family, my sister and brother in law celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. On the same day. I remember being so happy for my sister at her wedding. We adored (and continue to adore!) the man she chose to spend the rest of her life with. May they one day celebrate their 60th too!

4. I had a neighbor over for coffee this morning. While that doesn’t sound like much, we’ve been in the same neighborhood for 6 years or so, have children the same age and are even both believers. And this is the first time we sat down to chat. Ever. So yeah, I’m looking forward to more coffee talks with her. Women friends ROCK.

5. I made these Fish Tacos this week. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!! One of the best things I’ve had in a long time. I love when what I make at home is restaurant-good! Mine weren’t QUITE this picturesque, but they were delicious!

6. The girls and I watched the 2nd half of Singin’ in the Rain this week. a) they both loved it b) they want to watch the rest of it c) I wonder if I can translate that to seeing OTHER wonderful musicals? Because there are so many out there!

7. My mother in law contacted me for the person I used for Connor’s gravestone 13 years ago (for her mother’s marker). I knew exactly where the information was (notebook from that time period) and she was still in business. My MIL remembered that we said how wonderful she was and wanted to use her as well. I think that people who work in the “death industry” (for lack of a better phrase!) tend to be extra-nice. I’m sure there are jerks. And maybe the people we worked with were jerks to others–maybe they were extra nice because it was the death of a baby. I don’t know. But everyone was SO kind to us and I’m glad that at least one of them is getting more business because of that.

For those of you who follow my posts, I just wanted to give you a quick shout out. It kind of freaks me out that people do that. So Hello! Thank you! I appreciate you! Feel free to comment! :-)

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. I know, I know, it’s been awhile. Sorry! End of summer + beginning of school year + a death in the family = blogging going out the door.

2. My husband’s grandmother, Grammy, passed away in August. That he HAD a grandmother at 45 is amazing to me. My one and only grandparent, Nana, died when I was 6. So when I married this wonderful man who just happened to have four living grandparents it was incredible to me. Not only that, but the ones who lived near us were terrific people. I LOVED having adopted grandparents. It filled a hole that I didn’t know I had. Five years ago or so we said good-bye to his grandfather and now have said farewell to his grandmother. The memorial service was so wonderful–she was much loved and everyone had kind things to say. Yeah, there were some funny stories, but overall the tone was one of respect and fondness for a delightful woman. You will be missed, Grammy.

3. The beginning of school has been hectic. New carpools, new schools, unexpected purchases of school items because the gifted school wants them….I really don’t miss public school. Really. But sometimes I miss that bright yellow school bus. And being alone. I’m NEVER ALONE.

4. Many years ago I attempted to be an ebay seller. Didn’t last long. Craigslist is hard because we are between the Philadelphia and Lancaster sites. Enter Facebook! Our local area has at least four FB selling sites. It’s WONDERFUL. I can buy and sell and meet the person at the local WalMart. So far I haven’t had a bad experience, which is saying something!

5. This past month we also had 6 trees removed. Five were really, really ugly pine trees lining the right backyard. The original owner planted them as Christmas trees. And they were ok until they grew and grew and grew and YUCK. The 6th was a pin oak that we actually liked, but it more than halfway died in the brutal winter of 2013-2014. Now we just have little humps of ground up stumps, which will rot away and get covered with grass seed next year or so. And our backyard looks massive!

6. I’ve got my coffee drinking down to science now. And this is huge for a former die-hard tea drinker. I completely blame Keurig. They made it possible for me to have one cup of coffee, mad with the light roast that I like. I add two level teaspoons of sugar and..ahem…three tablespoons of light cream. And that makes coffee taste wonderful. I know I can’t actually TASTE the coffee…that’s the point. Coffee does not taste good. But boy is that caffeine hit amazing!

7. Something else that happened in August that’s rather noteworthy: My triplets turned 13. Yes, people, I have three teenagers and one tween. Two of the kids are already taller than me, one is only a half-inch shorter and the youngest is only an inch shorter. THIS is why I married a tall man! I wanted to give those kids a fighting chance at some height!

I read this blog today. It’s a guest post about a women with an eating disorder and a very difficult relationship with food. And it didn’t matter that it was about food, because what she said echoes perfectly my relationship with sex and pornography. I’m never fully comfortable with it. Never. Even in a happy, satisfying married relationship with a wonderful husband, sex is a difficult topic, a over-the-shoulder lurker just waiting to stick its nose in to a previously private conversation and make everyone involved uncomfortable.

When I’ve been sober for awhile, and I really couldn’t give a specific number of days or weeks or months, there comes a time when it’s really just my husband and me in the marital bed. And I revel in that. I’m fully present, and it sort of feels like it’s supposed to, I think. Other times, though, when it’s not been long enough, well, it’s not like that.

Because I don’t really know what it’s supposed to feel like. Too long using words and images as a crutch. I’ve never been physically or emotionally unfaithful to my husband. I’ve never fantasized about another person while I’m with my husband. I’ve never involved another person in any of my acting out. But using words written by someone else to arouse? Oh yes. And it cheats my husband. And our marriage. And myself. And inevitably leaves a very empty, awful feeling afterwards.

I say all this because addiction, any kind, is a means of escape. Of trying NOT to cope (or coping the best you know how). The drug addict, the food addict, the alcoholic, the sex addict, the workaholic…the specifics don’t really matter because all are, at the core, the exact same thing. Some are more “socially acceptable” than others. But all are just a means to and end–avoiding and escaping and numbing and not dealing.

And yes, Jesus heals. But this is something I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life.

Search Term

I was checking out my “site stats” this morning–it’s always so weird to me that people actually READ my blog (and some even FOLLOW ME?!) and I looked at the search terms that people used to find me. Most still revolve around some form of Hershey Feeding Clinic. I’m happy about that, because we had such a wonderful experience there. But something that saddened me was the following search:

“scared about being mom to baby with special needs”

Oh, Honey! I’ve been there. I AM there sometimes! Feeling so inadequate to meet the needs of someone special. Feeling like a complete and utter failure. Feeling scared that I won’t be able to “rise to the challenge” of what my child needs. Scared of the sometimes-icky things that one with a special needs baby needs to deal with (infant colostomy, anyone? g-tubes anyone? eye-care after surgery anyone?)

You are NOT ALONE. Not one little bit. Most moms of special needs kids that I know have two needs–to find someone to talk to about their experiences and find camaraderie, and to feel like they can give back–make the fact that their child has “issues” (whatever they may be) MEAN something. That it’s not just me in the trenches every day for no reason.

Let me tell you, the day I found another mom whose son was blind AND autistic I was almost crying with relief. Literally. I wasn’t alone. I knew moms of blind kids. I knew moms of autistic kids. But oh, the combination of the two! AND her kid was a couple of years older, so she understood where I was. She could illuminate the path ahead a bit. A BIT.

So, Scared Mom, please Google (or Bing or Yahoo, whatever) your child’s special needs and the words “support” or “blog”. We are out there. We would LOVE to talk. It’s still going to be scary. Not having a healthy child is often scary. But you are not alone.

And for those of you considering Hershey Feeding Clinic–DO IT. It’s amazing, life changing and WORTH IT.

aka: Making it up every freaking day.

Ethan is autistic. Most of the time his blindness is the main disability I pay attention to, but there are times when the autism just wants to be the most important. Sunday was one of those days.

We left our old church the very tail end of 2012. Ethan mostly felt comfortable there and people were pretty good with him. Everyone was in elementary school, so it was no big deal if he was with the younger ones. Our “new church”, which doesn’t really fit into that category because we attend in fits and starts and when we feel like it or I feel guilty and then not at all for months, has been an interesting lesson in “I don’t know what I’m doing” with Ethan.

Bennett and Laura, who are, remember, the exact same age as Ethan, go to the middle school program. Catie has, until two days ago, attended the elementary school program. Ethan tagged along with her because I felt that it was a better fit. Even though he was in 7th grade and elementary ends at the end of the 5th. Whatever.

But now Catie is going into 6th and has “graduated” into the middle school program. All the kids in middle school start in the main area with the adults, do worship time with them and then make their way back to the youth group room. Ethan was somewhat overwhelmed by worship–his hands were over his ears and he just sat in his seat or reached out and held my hand. I walked him back to the youth room and left him sitting next to his sister. Mistake #1. Apparently the boys and girls voluntarily sit on opposite sides of the room. Mistake #2. Ethan doesn’t understand rhetorical questions and answers them. Mistake #3. Ethan doesn’t understand  that there are things we just DO NOT DO in public and put his hands down his shorts. Yay.

So, do we just keep him with us and have him listen to the sermon? Or go back to the elementary program where the kids are a LOT younger than him  now (he’s going into 8th)? Or try again the middle school program, where he embarrasses himself and the kids around him (and his siblings)? I have NO FREAKING IDEA. There is NO guidebook on this one. Suggestions from you, dear readers?

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