Sunday, February 05, 2017

green sneakers and perfection



as we were getting out of the car today and rushing into church, i noticed that reagan, instead of putting on his church shoes and socks, had put on his everyday green sneakers untied and he wore no socks. to say i was frustrated was an understatement. why am i so fond of unnecessary pressure and expectations? reagan's brain is an interesting machine. it can be sharp as a tack and remember explicit details and in the next moment not recall very simple and basic things, depending on current distractions or environmental conditions. how reagan looks is extremely important to me. i've noticed with myself and with reagan, people treat you better if you look more presentable. i like to get dressed and wear makeup when i need service in public because i get better response and attention than when i'm in sweaty gym clothes or grubby around the house clothes. it goes a step further with reagan. when you look at reagan, you don't initially grasp that he has special needs. after a few minutes or even seconds of interaction with him, most people quickly figure out that he functions with a different operating system. however, i find that people are more patient with him and tend to not talk to him in exaggerated syllables or juvenile tones if he looks more aesthetically presentable. sadly, that's just how it works. it's a lot of pressure on an innocent boy who lives with zero guile. however, when i saw reagan's sartorial misstep, i snapped at him. i immediately thought of other people's reactions to him or their reaction towards me as his mother. i'm weak. i want him to be universally accepted and respected. 
during sacrament meeting, there was a baby blessing of a baby born with down syndrome. i was trying to listen to the words of the blessing but also reconciling myself to how something so infinitesimally small as the wrong shoes at church was bothering me so much when the father of the baby said that she would be blessed with the opportunity to be married in the temple for time and all eternity. i'm embarrassed to say that me of little faith scoffed at that notion. me, who lives a special needs life, who wants that same blessing for my own child, would scoff at that blessing for someone else with special needs. my faith in what my own son can do and become can be so weak sometimes that i have little faith in the power and magnitude of our Heavenly Father's plan for each of his children. i get well intended comments all the time from people who have little to no experience with living with people with special needs. these comments are meant to be uplifting and encouraging, however, most of the time they fall flat to my ears. "of course reagan will live on his own someday!" "of course he will have a job!" "of course everything in his life will be just like that one inspirational movie i watched one time!" i appreciate the sentiment but people see such a small slice of reagan's life. plus, reagan can be absolutely charming. he's darling! but i wish i could be allowed to struggle. sometimes i just want to hear, "wow. that's tough. tell me how you feel." and that's it!

after the blessing, we partook of the sacrament and then the father of the new baby bore his testimony of how he wrestled with the surprising news of his baby's birth and impending struggles. how he thought he was ready to be in a different stage of his life at this point. that he should be preparing to be having an older family, not preparing for a special needs baby. he spoke tenderly of how people said that baby charlotte was going to a family that she needed. but how in reality he found that they really needed her. that she brought peace and a special spirit into their home. i was immediately humbled because i know that has been the case for our family as well. wonky, green sneakers at church be darned. 

i have a recurring thought when it comes to the resurrection. perhaps i've mentioned it before. we talk all the time about how exciting it will be to see all those with infirmities be made perfect in the resurrection. i've had dreams where i am talking to reagan and he doesn't have autism. they are fleeting and rare dreams but they always leave an impact. the more i ponder the resurrection though, the greater difference will be with me. i will be made more perfect, because i am so much more inherently flawed. when i see resurrected reagan, he will already be recognizable to me. i know his spirit. reagan is already way beyond me. he has no guile. i've been made better by being his mother. he hasn't been made better by being my son. sure, i'm guiding him with the complexities of life, but he has no desire to do evil. 

like noah and nephi, we have been asked to build a ship and we also have to build the tools. we have parts we don't know what to do with. sometimes those parts are people. sometimes those parts are our fasle expectations. sometimes those parts are us and our weaknesses. those parts may just be the most important parts because we have to pray to know how to use them. and like noah and nephi, it will be very difficult, we may question our role and our abilities, but if we have faith in our heavenly father's plan, we will be prospered. 

Saturday, February 04, 2017

a series of unfortunate events

that's misleading. but a really good post title.actually, scarlett has been watching the new "a series of unfortunate events" series on netflix with neil patrick harris and i do not like it. in the same way that i don't like looney tunes cartoons. things aren't going to work out unless you're bugs bunny and that drives me crazy. 

this week has only been about 50% unfortunate events. but they were bam bam bam right in a row. 

nothing unfortunate about this. we played "name that tune" in primary and athena blythe was so excited for her turn. she just kept hitting that bell but couldn't name a single song. but had plenty of opinions. she's off the family feud panel for a few years.

unfortunate event #1- when i was singing to reagan at bedtime i leaned forward quickly to give him a kiss and i hit my nose on his bunk bed and totally busted nose. i heard the crunch and then the pain set in. the bridge of my nose was swollen and bruised for a few days. 
luckily, unfortunate event #2 and #3 kept me from seeing any people for 3 days as i was stuck at home nursing vomiting children. hersch threw up all over himself in the car on the way to the gym on monday. i still had to hit up the grocery store so i buttoned up his jacket all the way to his neck and stared down everyone who dared give me the stink eye because of my stink baby. 
the next day athena blythe was living the same life except for the fact that she was insisting that she was not sick and perfectly happy. she hates missing school. 
unfortunate event #4 was when i was touching up some paint and i bumped the paint that was balancing on the ladder and i decided to break it's fall with my face. luckily, it was just my face and i was able to avoid and major damage to the hardwoods.




before:

midpoint:
walls finished, next week is painting the bookshelves black to match the dining room. 

a really great event of the week was the daddy daughter dance at scarlett's school. scarlett talked about this for weeks on end. she has developed a really great group of friends at school and they have named themselves "the silly squad" or the SS. she has no idea of the other meaning of SS, thankfully. they few things in common with the other SS, except for the fact that their motto is, "let
find trouble". maybe a little in common.
the SS all met up at the dance and took lots of pictures and laughed and didn't dance at all. my 9 year old self is very jealous. i always had friends, but my innate shyness preventing me from enjoying them and getting together with them very often. i'd rather be at home and read. some things never change.


I LOVE THAT MAN THERE! next to the shiny 9 year old.

scarlett is always funny and always "on". i have to tell her to dial it back at least once a day. ME, i have to tell HER to dial it back. the irony is not lost. i apologize to all of you who have wanted to say the same to me. lesson learned. but i'll probably ignore it. 



our other really big event of the week was hersch's 2nd birthday TODAY! we had some small festivities planned with friends but we had to cancel after scarlett woke up at 4 am and announced "i just threw up and i feel so much better!" i'm glad she felt better but she had thrown up on everything. her bedspread, extra blanket and sheets, her stuffed animals, her pillows, the wall, her alarm clock. scarlett is a talker so she was chipper as can be giving me the play by play the vomit events. at 4 am. 
after i spent all morning doing laundry,
i spent almost ALL DAY I KID YOU NOT cooking and baking. we all like pancakes but athena blythe is really into pancakes lately and brings them up all the time and so i made our traditional big pancake and eggs and bacon breakfast. plus we had pizza night on friday so i spent a fair amount of time prepping specialty pizza ingredients. i must really love this family. 

we also did our traditional breakfast present opening.

his new set of "vrooms". he likes to have at least 1 in his hands at all times. 




i spent HOURS on this cake. i don't mind making cakes for the kids, but i just don't enjoy eating cake much anymore. especially store bought cake. no thanks. i think it's because my poor stomach can't handle much beyond eggs and broth and boringness anymore. i get really excited about apples though. and the heartburn from nachos is totally worth it.

final note, since christmas, reagan likes to take a saturday nap. i get it and i appreciate it. i wish he'd just sleep in past six, but he has some serious hopping around in his room to do at the crack of dawn. he needs new sheets. these old red ones look terrible with the his lovely curtains and rug and new bedspread. so many projects. such a cute boy. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

boudoir black is good as gold


i ordered my first new pair of glasses in almost 10 years this month. i took the plunge and ordered them online. i screwed it up and ordered the opposite of my prescription and ended up with glasses for a far sighted person and i am very near sighted.  
i guess i'm more vain than i thought because i couldn't even muster a joking smile for a full 24 hours after these glasses came in the mail. i already dress like a weirdo. i love hair scarves. plus my hair is naturally puffy. i can see the future on occasion. and people think i'm a british witch all the time. what is the universe telling me?

Image result for professor trelawney
i am professor trelawney! thomas couldn't stop calling me that and laughing and i felt like stabbing him many times in the nose with my magic wand so that he would end up like voldemort. needless to say, i reordered a pair with my proper prescription post haste.

 last weekend, thomas and i painted the dining room! good bye puke country green walls! i hardly knew thee and i don't miss you one iota. 



one room down, all the rest to go!
boudoir black by behr. i love love love it. dark paint is the only drama i want in my life. next, thomas and i need to agree on a light fixture. i'm leaning toward a couple of really colorful abstract paintings for the biggest wall. 


athena blythe has come to terms with wearing pigtails. she's still not a fan, but when everyone exclaims what a living doll she is, she can't help but preen. 


Sunday, January 08, 2017

the year i started filling in my brows and other developments

resolutions update:

running: running went well last year during the summer and especially during the fall but i couldn't figure out a half marathon that would work for my schedule. so, there's that. mileage goals met but no official half marathons. just a christmas 5k.  

small choices mean a different direction with a huge impact: 
these people read the the book of mormon as a family. we set the goal. we read a little every day. we did it. and now we're going to do it again. and then again. it wasn't easy but it also wasn't hard, like anything worth doing. our family is stronger and i'm grateful for my kids who made sure were kept going. do you want answers and to feel the Spirit and to have a chance to really talk scriptures with your children? make this your goal this year.

Book of Mormon finishers!

weightlifting:
i was nowhere near where i'd hoped to be on squats, but i was consistent and learned a ton(punny) about form and ability and embracing beautiful, thick thighs. currently at 115x10. squat goal for the year: 135x10. 

i ate zero potato chips. feel free to roll your eyes but that's an accomplishment.

no junk january- check. no fun but neccessary and worth it. 

i never went to bed at 10:30 unless i was sick. it's  11:19 right now and i know where i should be but here i am. here i am.

said yes to being fun yet i was still punished with a lot of errant poop. sometimes from the kids.

i said no to a lot of people wanting me to do things. it felt great. i said yes to enough things too.


one development that was not a resolution but a happy accident was my attempt at slowing down on my makeup application. splitting the atom is next. i watched a bunch of youtube videos about makeup whilst prego with hersch and i just kept trying to hone my craft. this year i ventured in filling my brows without looking like tom selleck's mustache took up residence on my forehead. (but could you imagine how lucky i would be if that did happen?!)



no dead caterpillar or sharp 90 degree angle math equation rectangles. just a nice filled brow thanks to an angled brush and youtube.

this years goals include a lot of the same. 

1. no junk january

2. no PIRATE'S BOOTY. which is a pretty big deal for me but i'm dealing with a pretty serious addiction that needs to be nipped in the bud. there is no vape equivalent for pirate's booty.

3. make it lovely-i have a dear friend, shalynna, and everything she touches is beautiful. she really inspired me because she has no interest in being a pinterest sensation, she does it because she likes to show her children she loves them by doing beautiful things for them. i'm not a perfectionist at all so it makes my desire to make things perfect is really low, however, i'm hoping to make sure i plan enough for activities and occasions to make my kids feel special. everyone wants a bit of fuss and to feel special. i know i do. i'd like a lot of fuss, in fact. 

4. universal forgiveness- no grudges, no gracias. i can finally go back to academy sports and outdoors. i forgive them for treating me so shabbily 4 years ago. plus, i'm acting like everyone has forgiven me for all the dumb things i do on the regular. i had this epiphany a few weeks ago that i needed to slough off all the grudge and annoyance baggage that i carry around. i realize this will be something i have to start over again and again, but i have to shower every day and that's no big deal so figure i'll treat it the same. just keep trying.

5. 2 half marathons

6. read book the mormon as family again

7.1030 bed time. a girl can dream. hopefully!


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

a nutella sinus infection christmas, lyrics by dolly parton


so many activities from year to year are identical at the holidays. riveting concerts of transcendent musical talent, sugar-laden school parties, and lots of christmas movie watching. 

even athena blythe was yawning through her concert. she was super cute, but we all know we're there for our 5 minute act and not the 47 minutes of pre-school drivel of the kids we're not related to. 


this is reagan's favorite friend at school. her name is sarah d. and reagan says, "sometimes she just wants her quiet time and doesn't want to talk to me. but she still likes me." undaunted. 


i didn't yell more than once about this broken vase from our wedding. got it out and then i felt better then i cleaned it up. one loud feral cat in the alley screech and all was good again.


i ran a 5k christmas eve morning and when to my wandering eye should appear, this grown man dressed EXACTLY like reagan. reagan in 15 years. 
reagan even sported a very similar pair of shoes a few years ago.






Georgia Man was greeting race finishers with his sidekick, little hersch. i think he liked me best. i didn't see him tongue kissing anyone else. he said it was a prize for the 115th finisher, but that seems pretty specific. 


my mom is the best person to have at a finish line. she makes you feel like you just beat ivan drago in rocky 4. i saved america and democracy!


my brother in law, dan, works in the grocery industry and gets the best samples. and he brought them to my house and i didn't talk to anyone else for the duration of the visit. it's good that my family is good at deciphering closed mouth grunts and pointing. no one came between me and my friend nut-ella. he was a better tongue kisser than Georgia Man.



possibly the cutest picture ever of my kids wearing their pajamas. 


possibly the cutest picture of cousin gwen wearing a bear beanie on christmas morning. it says, she's tough, but also likes to cuddle.


scarlett seemed a bit disappointed with her gifts because we got her exactly what she asked for. and that's no fun. i'll have to remember to have a few more tricks up my sleeve next year. 


reagan was super easy this year. normally, he's a bit of a puzzle but green sneaks and queen stuff.







despite the gifting extravaganza just a few days prior, today athena blythe and scarlett spent a good portion of the morning hiding an old box of plastic easter eggs around the house. glad i went to so much trouble to make all their dreams come true.



just the best, nicest little family. 


and an okay family with medium niceness

something special with these two

this is my favorite picture we took with grandma and her east coast grandbabies. hath a greater family action photo been wrought?



photo dumping:



being the cynical jerk that i am, i don't get too choked up by celebrity deaths. i don't know any celebrities except for my sister who went on a date with donny osmond's son, 10 years ago. but princess leia is kind of a special case, so we watched a lot of star wars movies and did our hair in cinnamon buns for multiple days after hearing of carrie fisher's death. next week on the agenda is a family viewing of the 'burbs, carrie fishers most underrated role. 
 "i want to kill everyone. satan is good, satan is our pal." 
it's a movie quote, not a lifestyle.
 and of course, singin' in the rain is in the plans for too. we're supposed to get "snow" (which means moisture but will be treated as a blizzard because we have zero snowplows here) in georgia so it's the perfect weekend to watch movies.

my body was just waiting for christmas break to get sick so our fun christmas break activities have been limited. i get drunk on dayquil so i can't even drive very far but we made it to our favorite bakery, special kneads. 




sharing a chair and eating bang bang chicken

light reading, plus a topknot. 


thomas, being the ultimate surpriser, brought home a ping pong set for our kitchen table. between illnesses and eating leftovers, this has been quite the highlight.  

and i've already acquired one of the kid's stocking stuffer headlamps for my own personal use.
because there is something really great about reading a printed book. no offense to my faithful kindle.