Friday, August 31, 2007

31 Things I've Learned As A Mom

1.Patience is a virtue. It is also something that I struggle with and probably will for the rest of my life.

2.People are ignorant. They say dumb things and use words like "retard" and "spazz" without considering how offensive those words are to others. The best thing to do about those people is ignore them. WRONG. The best thing to do is educate them, in a polite way. I can't be offended by ignorance if I sit on my butt and do nothing about it.

3.No matter how insignificant the trip, always pack a barf bucket.

4.Worrying is wasted why haven’t I wasted away???

5.Be willing to fail. If you live your life always worried about failing, you will never try anything new.

6.You no longer have to lock up your favorite candy stash. Just put it on the couch under the pile of laundry and no one will touch it

7.Friendships are rare gifts. I have been blessed in my life with having some of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. To network is to survive. Find others who have things in common with you who can lend some much needed support. Find those who are different from you to help you gain a different perspective on life.

8.Ask for help. It’s NOT a sign of weakness, rather a sign of intelligence. It is also a gift you give to those who get the opportunity to provide you with some kind of service.

9.Smile first – it will be reciprocated.

10.Take the time to stargaze or watch a sunset. Clear your mind. Let yourself feel how big this world is that we live in. It helps to put it all in perspective.

11."An object in motion tends to stay in motion" is a law written by a parent with toddlers.

12.Pray for help, pray for forgiveness, and pray for comfort....He’s listening.

13.Write a real letter on real paper and send it with a real stamp. You'll make someone smile.

14.I've learned to quickly tell the difference between a good disposable diaper and a bad one.

15.Be organized and prioritize. I am not the cleanest person in the world when it comes to housekeeping, but I learned quickly when I had my 3rd child that I had to learn to be organized. I learned to plan ahead. I lay out clothes and prepack lunches. I keep a meticulous calendar to keep track of appointments and play dates and everything else. If the choice is cleaning your home or playing with your child...let the dust accumulate.

16.The only way to sing along to the radio is loudly.

17.Follow your instincts. Life as a mom is full of unsolicited advice. Listen to what people have to say. Some will be helpful. Some will be offensive. Some will be down right preposterous. Then go home, and follow your instincts.

18.Babies don't read books. They don't understand that they are supposed to sit at a certain age according to page 27, column 2. They will do what they will do, at their own pace.

19.An Emmy is never more deserved than by a 4 year old just asked to clean up their toys.

20.People are not disabilities. CP is not who Mikaily is, it's just simply part of her life. She is not a disability. She is a little girl.

21.Teamwork is key.

22.Standardized tests are crap. Don't let them change your outlook. I can remember when Mikaily was young having to go into the meetings after they had done an evaluation on her. I would be so happy she was doing so well only to go in and have my hopes destroyed by test scores. The numbers they would give me were more than I could handle. Does the fact that Mikaily can't catch a ball change who she is? She is still a determined little girl who loves spending time with her siblings. She still loves to paint. She is still so shy she will hardly talk to people she has known for a year. They would slap a label on her one year only to remove that label the next. Does that change how much I love her or how I feel about her? It does not. Assessments don't determine who your child is.

23.Boa feathers look good on me.

24.It's called "practicing" medicine for a reason. If you don't like how a doctor handles something, find another.

25.Snot is never ending.

26.All of my children are gifts from God. They will grow and be whatever He intends for them to be. I am meant to enjoy having them in my life and help them to grow and become the amazing people they will be, regardless of any disabilities or shortcomings.

27.Play places smell like urine. You will learn this the first time you have to crawl in after your screaming child who is stuck up 7 platforms, thru 2 twisty tunnels, up a rope wall, half way down the blue slide.

28.There is no such thing as buying too much cereal.

29.Let go of control.

30.There are no instant replays. You will say the wrong thing. You will do the wrong thing. This is true of many aspects of life, but as a parent you are responsible for setting the example for the child who is watching your every move. It isn't important that you made a mistake...only how you recover from it.

31.Your baby (or child) will insult you, eventually. Whether it be when you are singing him a gentle lullaby and he puts his hand up to your mouth and says "Stop that!!" or you spend extra time cutting her sandwich into an adorable princess hat shape and she screams "That isn't what a sandwich looks like!!" It happens. Don't let it get to you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We have had a great summer! I am so glad that Mikaily is back in school now though. I can't believe she is in 2nd grade. Kyle starts Pre-K next week, so we gave him a haircut. Evan is still the "class clown" and is always doing something to make us laugh. Alaina is getting so big and is doing things like starting to roll over and she is giggling now. I made another montage of a bunch of random pics from the past couple months. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Celebrity look alikes

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Different isn't bad, it's just different

Alaina is doing so well. She is growing so fast and she is sleeping through the night now. She has started to hold her head up better and has now started to roll over to one side. That is why I haven't been able to figure out why I am having such a hard time the last week or so. I seem to be in the "baby blues" rut a little longer this time I guess. I think that maybe I am feeling sorry for myself and for Mikaily. "Why?" you ask. I just have a hard time not feeling like Mikaily (and the rest of her family to a certain extent) has been jipped. She was so fragile when she was born and although she is doing amazingly well now, we have had to work so hard to get her here. We have been through more than 2 dozen doctors, 15 therapists, walkers, leg braces, breathing machines, hearing tests, vision screenings, feeding tubes, hand splints, trips to the ER (too numerous to count), blood tests, IEPs and AIPs, botox injections, and so many other things that a child should never have to be put through. I think that, since Laney is doing so well, it just reminds me of what a tough life Mikaily has had and what a long road we still have in front of us. So, whenever I start feeling sorry for myself I like to read this article called Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley:

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

I am sure some of you have read it before. I think it can be applied to many aspects of a persons life, but it hits the nail on the head when it comes to having a child with special needs. I hope that I can teach my daughter to understand that I love her MORE because she took me to Holland.

Different isn't bad, it's just different.