Posted in Kids

If I Could Talk to Me Back in May

I would put my arms around that poor woman, who was totally freaking out, and tell her that not only would it be ok, but it would really, honestly, for-true-and-for-real be REALLY OK.

Ethan and Laura have been learning some amazing things–so many skills that will take them through life. In the way of things, I’ve actually learned a really important thing as well.

I will be able to handle them going away to college. All of them. I will not die in the process.

This summer has not broken me. Sure, I’ve missed them off and on. Sometimes quite a bit off, actually–meaning not at all! I’ve visited Ethan each Sunday since he’s been gone (He and I even went to McDonald’s yesterday!), and we’ve texted/talked with Laura a few times each week. While I really look forward to having them back on Friday and finding out what all they’ve been up to in person, not seeing them all day long has honestly been fine.

Who woulda thunk? ME! Saying THAT!

So, basically, this summer’s programs? Win-win all the way!

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Posted in Kids

Down to Two Kids

Last Sunday we dropped Ethan off at his summer program, IDEAL, for four weeks. I cried. It was HARD.

Yesterday we dropped Laura off at her summer program, The Summer Academy at Penn State. I didn’t cry. It was still hard.

So much had been leading up to those two events…mental energy, worrying, shopping, physically gathering everything needed, worrying some more, planning….both of them have been on my mind for the better part of probably 9 months, and definitely in the forefront for more than a month.

And now both are gone. I made dinner tonight for just the four of us. Two parents and two kids. It. Was. WEIRD.

For his part, Ethan seems to be really enjoying the program and getting stuff out of it. He’s learned how to make sandwiches (!) and does so each day.  Today he did his laundry for the first time. He’s tried–and liked–granola bars, french fries, garlic bread and lasagna. He had SECONDS of lasagna. He has NEVER EVER EVER EVER had seconds (and not for lack of me trying to get him to!). My mouth literally dropped open when his dorm manager told me about it.

I had–and still have–high hopes for these summer programs and how well the kids will do. In 20 short days we pick both up (splitting the job unfortunately because both end on the same day). I can’t wait to see how they’ve grown and changed!

Posted in Kids, Me, Vacation

We Made It

Whew! The hardest academic year–by far!–is finally finished. Bennett and Laura are now seniors (Ahhh!), Ethan is a junior and Catie is a sophomore. While the greater part of me is sad, there’s a tiny part that wonders just what this upcoming year will bring. What will I be typing here next June (through a heavy veil of tears, I’m sure!). What they will experience and feel as they come to the end of high school. I’ll let you know in 12 months–we’ll meet back here, ok? 🙂

In the meantime, we have a small breather of a few weeks for them. Physical therapy for my back continues–some days very well and some days (like today) slowly and painfully. We meet with our lawyer on Monday to start our wills and special needs trust. Trying to made decisions with 60+ years in the future for Ethan is somewhat daunting. I hope and pray that we are able to fund that trust and that it is enough. A few dentist appointments, med checks with the psychiatrist, and bloodwork and endocrinologist–well, there goes June.

Ethan leaves on June 30th for his summer camp, comes back on the 7th and then leaves on the 8th for his 4-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. Then Laura leaves on the 14th for Penn State for her 3-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. They both come back on the 3rd of August and then we leave on the 9th for Michigan. Wheee! There goes the summer!

I’ll do my best to post–I’m not that great over the summer, but I’ll try. I know, I know, “Do or do not, there is no try.” But still, I will.

 

 

Posted in House, Kids, Me

Mayhem

SCREECH! It’s MAY!!! The busiest month of the year–even beating December, and that’s saying something y’all! (The title of this post is courtesy my friend Julie, who named it such and I’ve now adopted it. Thanks Julie!)

I’m looking at my calendar that hangs on the wall to the left of me at my desk. With the exception of the 20th and the 27th, EVERY SINGLE DAY has something written down in their date square. And that’s just the stuff that has been scheduled ahead of time. That doesn’t include regular school carpooling and things that will crop up as the month unfolds further.

Breathe. Breathe. In. Out. Every year I get here and every year I wonder how I will get through this month. And then I think about next year being senior year for two of my kids and start to flutter in panic, and then I stamp it down because “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”, which is a beautiful King James version of saying “STOP WORRYING ABOUT NEXT YEAR YOU NINNY!”

I started back to PT on Monday and go again tomorrow. I’m definitely starting right back at the beginning. The shots did a little bit–I’m more aware of my back in a general sense and it only spikes up a bit when I’ve been walking or standing for a long time.

In house news, well, we’re the owners of a brand new dishwasher and a brand new pipe going from the water main into our house. Neither of which were planned or expected, but this is why we have an emergency fund!

I’m falling asleep at the keyboard (I’ve had to retype this sentence because my fingers are forgetting how to spell and type correctly!), so even though it’s not even 10, I’m heading to bed. Night, y’all!

Posted in Church, Family, Friends, Kids

Visits

Sunday after church (more on that below) we spur-of-the-moment had lunch with my sister and brother in law. Living in our old house, quite far from both church and even farther from my sister, would not have encouraged us to do that.

Yesterday the girls and I went over their “aunt’s” house. She’s such a great friend of our family that they call her Aunt Judy and her kids call me Aunt Tina.

Today my brother is coming (unless it rains) and taking the sighted kids (Ethan is at his summer program) to St. Peter’s Village where they will climb all over the rocks/boulders and have a great time (this is the girls and my brother from last month).

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Meanwhile, I’ll be having lunch with two moms of Catie’s friends that I’ve become friends with.

Friday we are heading to our old neighborhood and visiting with their close friends there.

Not having to care for a home and deal with selling sure makes visiting easy!

Regarding the abovementioned Sunday church thing, we visited a church for awhile where my sister attends. We liked it. Then the pastor went on a sabbatical. And then stepped down for stress reasons. Dealing with personal stuff in our lives, as well as the whole house stuff (kitchen last year, selling this year), we took a break. Now we are in a much different place and decided to try it out again. Last year, Ethan needed to wear over-the-hear-sound-blocking headphones to deal with the worship time. This year, he was completely fine. It was WONDERFUL. In some ways (TRAINS!), his autism is somewhat worse than it used to be, but I’m loving how he can handle doctor and dentist appointments, deal with life not going exactly how he expected (although we sometimes have to explain things more than once to get that through), and apparently, being able to ENJOY the worship time instead of withstand it!

Posted in House, House Hunting, Kids

Waving at You from the Chaos

We have reached mid-May, people. Oh people, my people, May rivals December for the crazy-chaos factor. Seriously. I think it’s worse. Today we have Laura’s art show, Catie’s play (that we will miss and see tomorrow) and Ethan’s spring concert. I also managed to fit in a visit to my mother in the hospital (been there since last Friday with REALLLLLLLY bad asthma/possible pneumonia) and getting a new-tire-that-replaced-the-flat-I-got-a-week-ago put on my SUV. And taking out all the cardboard/trash associated with building an Ikea dresser and installing a new toilet and medicine cabinet in our powder room and medicine cabinet in our master bath. We are swimming in cardboard!

I hope they take it even though it’s not broken down. Because no. Just…no.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

We are still deep in the midst of getting the house ready for sale. The main floor powder room is completely finished. As I type, the painter (and his son) are tackling the mess that is the master bedroom and bathroom. We’re camped out in the kids/hall bathroom so the drywall mud can dry and get painted.

I’m starting to hate this house. Which is sad, because it’s a really cute house and we’ve spend many, many years and memories here. But I’m tired of working on it to get it ready to sell. The last BIG thing is this weekend with the two decks. The back one is rotting in places, which makes it somewhat unacceptable with listing. The front one needs some tweaking.

Then there’s just the giant punch list, which I want to punch…..but enough of that.

We have visited the house we are putting an offer on four or five times now, with an electrician and a contractor. We’ve put together an offer, as well an an explanation of what all we are going to have to spend (specifics as well as guesses) (aka $32,000 to bring the electric UP TO CODE) so why we are offering much less than their asking price.

All that to say, life is up in the air right now. I’m so busy I’m not freaking out, or going running to my security blanket (can I get an amen?!), just mostly putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with today. Hmmm, does that sound familiar?

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I’m not usually very good at that. But life is forcing me to do it now.

Posted in Health, Kids

Anxiety

I wrote that title with a certain anxiousness, not to be silly. That word has wormed and weaseled and made its way into our home, our lives, our days and our nights and our schedule.

It’s not something I am well-acquainted with. At all. And yet, I am learning.

Laura has general anxiety, which is currently being treated with both counseling (2x/week) and meds. The meds made an amazing difference. For the most part, she is even-keeled again and even the storm a few weeks back didn’t reduce her to worrying that the house was going to fall down and we were going to die. And I say that without a trace of mockery. That was where her brain went. All. The. Time.

Catie does NOT have general anxiety. She does, however, get panic attacks. Last night was another one, which is what prompted this post. She just started counseling and has her first medication meeting later this month with a psychiatrist. Her medicine journey will be different from Laura’s–she can take pills (something Laura can’t do), she’s younger (so we have to be a little more careful about side effects) and she’s doesn’t have the general anxiety. I’m curious as to what he’s going to try first.

When my kids were tiny and in the NICU and I was utterly powerless to do anything for them other than pray and cry, it was a very helpless feeling. As a parent one wants to HELP and FIX and MAKE IT BETTER! Last night, watching Catie shake and try to use breathing to calm herself down and being utterly unable to do anything for her other than be there with it, again, there is that helpless feeling. We have “rescue meds” in the house for if and when Laura would need them. Catie took one last night. I know, I know, but you know what, you would have done the same thing. She finally slept. I went to bed around midnight with her permission, there to pray and hope for the meds to kick in. When she wakes up this morning I’ll ask about what happened after I left.

I can only hope and pray that Catie’s doctor quickly finds the right meds and dose and that she is able to learn how to cope with the attacks. And maybe even not get them anymore. And that Laura’s meds continue to do their job.