Why I Married A Smart Man

So he could watch Inception with me and explain it to me when I kept forgetting that no, the real people aren’t in the van, they’re on the freaking PLANE.

(sidenote: if you haven’t watched Inception, do so. It will blow your mind. In a good way.)

The Kindness of Strangers

Sunday was the Annual Overbrook School for the Blind Pancake Breakfast. And annually we go to it. The meal part is always a rush and never quite something to relax and enjoy (given the fact that we have so many kids and helping Ethan and..and…and..), but the after-breakfast part of them playing on the playground is such fun. This year we met Ethan’s BFF there and they played on the playground until she had to leave. My three sighted children were playing on the merry-go-round and then I noticed someone playing with Ethan. This boy, in a bright orange sweatshirt, was actively engaged with Ethan, clapping as he walked so Ethan would have sound to follow. They went all over the playground and had so much fun. And I was, frankly, DELIGHTED. So many times kids either: Stare because he’s different, or over-help him because he’s blind and therefore must not be able to do anything for himself, or ignore him because they just don’t know how to interact with him. So yeah, I was thrilled that this boy was interacting appropriately.

At some point he left the playground and I was disappointed, but Ethan kept on playing and it was fine. Then he came back, grown up man in tow.

“Are you his father?” I asked.

“Yes….Quinn came into the cafeteria saying he had made a new friend, and I really had to see it because he has Asperger’s”


So both of us parents got to experience a thrill that day.

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. I’ll start with a familiar phrase: I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted! This is busy time at our household–school and after-school stuff, paperwork, taxes, etc. The blog tends to go to the bottom of the list and then off the list completely. But I’ll at least try to keep up with 7QT’s from now on.

2. It’s been one heck of a week here. Let’s start with the dog, Jake. He has a partially torn ACL (ligament in the knee). Thankfully it’s only partially torn, because otherwise it’s a $2000 surgery. Now it’s the nigh-on-impossible task of keeping him quiet (as I type he and Coco are wrestling in the living room) for at least a month. We are opting to get a brace, which will basically immobilize the joint and make it easier to heal while having normal life at the same time. But the appointment is two weeks away and then the brace takes two weeks to make after that. So, yeah, we’ve got to find a crate somewhere, or the partial tear is going to be full.

3. Let’s move onto the 1st child, Bennett, who went to the pediatrician first thing Monday morning with what ended up being walking pneumonia. He’s on Albuterol, Azithromycin, Robotussin with Codeine  and a humidifier. Holy COW can that kid cough loudly! He’s actually had to sleep downstairs a few times this week so the other kids could sleep. Thankfully, he seems to be on the mend. Also thankfully we are doing cyber school so he hasn’t missed one day. If he was in traditional school he would definitely have missed several!

4. 2nd child, Catie, was eating Fun Dip…you remember it from when you were a kid, right? Paper pouches of powder with a white candy stick you dip in..yeah. that. Well, she bit on the stick Wednesday night and broke a molar. Whoa. First thing Thursday we went to a not-so-close branch of our her dentist, who looked at the tooth and thankfully determined it was a baby tooth, and that it need to be pulled. But they didn’t have any availability for a few days. Our regular branch didn’t have any availability for a WEEK. Enter yet another branch, who could fit us in that afternoon. Drove home, took the kids out to lunch (more on this later), then later that afternoon got her tooth pulled out in three pieces. Her adult tooth was well above the gum line, so the tooth would have come out soon anyway. Dodged a bit of a bullet on that one!

5. So. Lunch. With Bennett and Laura doing cyber school, I try to be a nice mom here and there and take them out for either lunch or a special snack. They don’t buy lunches at school anymore, so I try to make up for it a bit. I gave in to peer pressure and we went to Chili’s. I had them order off kids’ menus, but learned the hard way that, unfortunately, we have hit the sad milestone of kid menus no longer filling up my older kids’ stomachs. We got some extra fries to help, but from now on they will have to get regular meals. :-(

6. If any of you watch The Chica Show, you actually have seen one of my kids. There was an episode called Chica’s Sense-sational Day, and had a blind boy using a cane, meeting Bunji and getting a hat. That, dear readers, was my Ethan! It was on NBC last week, but has been on Sprout in reruns for a long time. Catie and I are in the background very, very quickly. I’m in a peach top and Catie is dressed like a cow.

7. After a winter for the record books, Spring has FINALLY reached Pennsylvania.  We had tons of rain earlier this week, which washed away the last of the snow. Temperatures are regularly in the 50′s, although we keep having rain and lots of mud. We just saw the first crocuses on our front hill, but haven’t seen any grape hyacinths, which usually pepper our front lawn. Birds are regularly chirping and it’s actually starting to FEEL like winter is over. We are very, VERY thankful.

Store Mirrors Stink

aka: How I learned to hate dress shopping.

Exhibit A: My sister in law is having her wedding in 2 months.

Exhibit B: I own exactly one dress–a Christmas one in case my husband’s company has a party. Which won’t work for a May 31st evening wedding where the attire is “cocktail”.

Exhibit C: I am seriously overweight. As in, sucking in my stomach doesn’t cut it anymore.

I went to Ross last Thursday and Peebles today and am convinced that my mirror at home has a very important difference–it sits on top of my bureau. I rarely, if ever, actually SEE my naked body in total. I knew I had changed from L to XL in tops. My Lee jeans have gone from 12 to 14.  Neither of which really prepared me for the sight of my body in a clingy dress. Clingy material should be reserved for sizes that don’t have two digits, in my opinion.

At Ross’s I just couldn’t get into a 14 and immediately got dressed and returned all the possible dresses to the rack and looked through the 16′s, praying that they fit. Some did. One looked decent, but wouldn’t zip up on the side. And it didn’t really look like a “cocktail dress” either. Peebles had next to nothing, and the two dresses I tried did NOT look good on me. My SIL encouraged me to go to Macy’s. Which I will probably do, although I will most likely have a heart attack at the prices. I’m a thrift store lover, and a jeans-and-tee-shirt wearer. (in other words, I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes!).

Spanx and dieting here I come.

Another Day…Shows Its Face

I’m half awake, half in space. And if you told me I was beautiful well that would just be in poor taste.

Hah. Sorry. The title just naturally led into the lyrics. For those who are clueless, that’s Pomplamoose’s Another Day. Excellent Song!

So, Day 2! Definite improvement. Well, until  dinner, anyway.

Ethan needs to get up at 6:15 to have enough time to get ready for the day. I got him up at 6 instead. Because that way I had the time to BE PATIENT and SHOW HIM the steps he needed to be shown to DO THINGS HIMSELF. Thankyouverymuch!

Let’s see….we explored the silverware drawer, got out a fork and knife. We cut up the sausage together again. We worked on getting a spoon under the tab of his Pediasure and popping it open. Still not sure he’s strong enough, but we’ll keep at it. He carried his food and drink and can over to the table and was actually very proud of himself. Which I LOVED and definitely want to encourage. I think the next time I do the dishwasher and he’s home I’m going to have him put the silverware away. We’ll have to figure out the sharp knives, but other than that I think he can handle it.

Go me! :-)

In other excellent news, I finally just sat my butt down and started reading Matthew. It’s been way too long and I’ve been actually somewhat paralyzed, not knowing where to start. Stupid, I know! So today I figured, well, if my point is to live my life like Jesus, I’d better remind myself what His life was like. And oh, it was wonderful. My spirit was just so happy. It’s been so dry and so awful for so long….first there was just no desire at all. Then there was a little bit, but I actually fought it. Then there was more and I didn’t know what to do and lacked the self-discipline. That’s been, like, the whole freaking last YEAR. Not kidding. So a few steps forward in a few good places. WooHoo!

A Journey of a Thousand Steps….

Has to start somewhere!!

After reading This Amazing Article, I was so convicted about changing how Jim and I operate with Ethan. If you opt not to read it, it talks about how we, as parents of blind children, tend to do things for them–in essence, be their fairy godmother and allow things to “magically appear” instead of making them do it themselves (much, much harder, let me assure you!).

So this morning started as pretty much every other morning. I woke Ethan up, went downstairs while he got himself dressed, made his lunch, buttoned his jeans once he came down (he lacks the fine motor skills to do it–that’s not cheating), and started to make his breakfast. DING DING DING. As I heard the microwave, the big blind lightbulb flashed in my head and reminded me that I DON’T WANT TO BE HIS FAIRY GODMOTHER, Darnit! So I had him get up, we “looked at” the microwave, he opened it, got his plate out, put it down on the counter, he held a knife (which I don’t think we’ve ever had him do), and hand over hand I helped him cut the sausages he was having for breakfast.  Then he walked the plate over to the table. I poured the PediaSure (doesn’t eat enough calories to keep his weight up) , telling him that we’ll work on opening a can together at dinner. I’m not sure if he has the fine motor skills for it. And how to have him measure his Miralax is beyond me.

So yeah, one small step in the right direction.

Sacred Scared

Glennon Doyle, over at Momastery, is doing a series on Sacred Scared…being completely honest about what we are really scared about.

That’s scary in and of itself.

But here goes: I’m scared that I’m a bad mother. Oh, not in the sense that I hurt my kids or am mean to them or neglect them or that kind of stuff. No, I mean I’m bad at being a good mom to Ethan specifically: helping him become a independent human being. Including him. Teaching him the things of life because, honestly? It’s just kind of HARD.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of soul searching lately with regards to him. Having crying jags. Feeling helpless and oh, so incredibly alone with this. I don’t have much of a support system with Ethan. I have one mom that I see every few months and we talk and talk and then don’t see each other again for a few more months.

I want to be better. I want to be that kind of mom that is just excellent with her special needs kid, doesn’t baby him and helps him become independent. Oh, and has endless patience. I’m not there, though. I’m just NOT. And I’m not sure how to get from “I want to be” to “I am”.


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