Saturday, April 28, 2012

hurray i'm smart again!

or just less dumb!
i've already noticed an increase in my brain capacity in the few days since athena blythe was born. 

on monday morning i called my doctor because i had thought that my water had broken. turns out it had, the day before. who knew? apparently not me. i thought i was simply having bladder control issues about 30 years too early. my doctor told me to head over to the hospital because "we" were going to have a baby that day. i'm not sure where this "we" business came from, because i didn't really notice him gaining a bunch of weight, losing equilibrium, being forced to wear unflattering, elastic waist pants or questioning his bladder control on a long hallway or during a funny story. 

before i headed over to the hospital, i headed over to cold stone for a final meal to keep my strength up. i sat outside for a full 15 minutes looking like a crazy person until the proprietor finally unlocked the door.

during my ice cream waiting interlude my contractions started. as a bonus i told the cold stone proprietor that i was in labor and i was able to walk out of the shop with a chocolate cookies and cream and butterfinger waffle cone for free. boom. to top of a delightful morning, i heard 2 phil collins songs and a hall and oats song on the way to the hospital. it was going to be a great day!

my favorite person in the whole world(thomas) met me at the hospital and we had a nice few hours of chatting, texting and book reading, interspersed with contractions every 5 minutes. 
after 6 hours of labor(which really could have been much faster had the doctor listened to me and got my pitocin and epidural started about 4 hours sooner. i went from a 4 to a 10 in about 30 minutes. i may not be a doctor, but i play one of tv.) and 20 minutes of pushing, we had athena blythe. it must be because i am 5 years older than i was last time i gave birth, but it was a lot harder than last time and it hurt. even with my epidural i could still feel a few things that i did not want to feel and i thought a few words that i don't like to say. nevertheless, it was a pretty incredible, spiritual experience. can heaven be any closer than when a baby enters the world?

 she was a screamer. 

there has been some discussion about the similarities between a photo of scarlett and me in 2005 and a photo of athena and me from this week:

what can i say? poofy buns and sweaty skin are a way of life for me. 

the troops have given their approval,

but babies are only so cute for so long before other entertainment devices needed to be employed:

we're home now and we are starting to fall into the familiar pattern of feeding, sleeping, pooping and wearing sweatpants. the only thing that makes it different is that we now have a baby. 

we've been very blessed. so many people have stepped up to help us. i am ESPECIALLY grateful for those who have watched reagan and scarlett while i was in the hospital. their care was my biggest concern and i felt so much peace knowing they were taken care of. even when reagan threw up at school and thomas had to go pick him up. it wouldn't be a family event without a little vomit. scarlett had already made her vomit contribution on sunday during church. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

simpson, party of 5

athena blythe simpson
born april 23, 2012 at 5:51pm
6 pounds 10 ounces
19 3/4 inches
lots of dark hair!!!

more details to come. 

my favorite quote:
"i don't want to see her poopy diapers anymore." -reagan

Sunday, April 15, 2012

i'm just thinking of ways to be bad

since april is autism awareness month, on saturday we participated in our local strides for autism walk. i really enjoyed it because we were able to be around so many other families like ours. 
it's been almost a year since reagan's official diagnosis. we've spent a lot of time meeting with different doctors and therapists and trying new things. but mostly we have been enjoying our family. 

best quote of the day: 
dad-"reagan, what are you thinking about?"
reagan- "i'm just thinking of ways to be bad."
he has a thing for villains. 


we started out fine:

then things quickly deteriorated:

and then i just didn't want to be involved:

also, scarlett's nemesis the chik-fil-a cow was at the walk. he is pretty scary.

this first year of "official autism" hasn't been that different from the years of "unofficial autism". we have had many highs and lows. i worry a lot about reagan. it's my hobby. 
 i worry about his inability to share everything that’s going on in his brain.  i know he has lots to tell us, but his autism hinders him from getting it out. sometimes he will just look at me and smile and i feel like he is talking to my heart with his eyes. he can't get the words out, but the occasional look with tell me that he is okay or happy or that he knows i'm there and that i'm trying to help him. i feel like i have developed a special sixth sense with him. in certain situations that we may be in, i feel like part of me can intuit what he needs or what he can't say. perhaps it's purely my projection of feelings on him, but it has really helped me be more patient and try to help a situation be something he can adapt to. i don't want to avoid certain situations, i want to meet them head on and conquer them. i appreciate people who are so patient with and reagan and me. especially me. i'm not the easiest person to be around. stress and worry are my constant companions.

if there was something i wished other people knew it would be how much i appreciate other's friendships. many people go out of their way to be our friend and to make sure that reagan feels welcome. there are plenty of people who don't and i feel bad for them for thinking that having their child around mine wouldn't be fun or a good experience. the efforts of good friends mean more to me than anything else. i wish i could find a way to reassure more kids that reagan does like them and he does want to talk to them, he just doesn't always know what to say or have the appropriate response. i am at the mercy of other people being patient with us. but he knows other kids are there and that they are paying attention to him and it makes him happy. after some events he will come home and say how much he enjoyed being with friends, even if it seems like he spent most of his time by himself or just observing other kids playing. i know that he will learn the skills necessary to improve his social skills. i just hope other people can too. 

there are some things that make me happy in a twisted way. i find odd satisfaction when other neurotypical kids have meltdowns. it makes me feel less alone in this struggle called motherhood. when i see other moms dragging their kids out of a store, i feel solidarity with them. all kids have their moments, not just autistic kids. i don't want people to look at us and think, "well he's autistic, that explains everything." sometimes i look at other kids who are throwing a fit and i think, "well, he's a brat, that explains everything." throwing a fit is not appropriate behavior, but it just happens no matter who the kid is. 
reagan is a joy. autism has been a trial and a blessing. growth comes from adversity. reagan will be stronger than most. he is sweet and kind and loves to remind us to "choose the right". he likes to remind the neighbors of that too. and i know that he has a special purpose to accomplish in this life. i'm determined to help him find success in whatever he wants to do.

scarlett has been such a wonderful blessing. they are truly best friends. she will make a difference in other kid's lives because she has learned so much patience and compassion(and bossiness). my kids are incredibly close. they love each other and they need each other.

now if i could just get reagan to not want to be a bad guy all the time.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

not so great with child

i can't complain but sometimes i still do.
i've hit 36 weeks of pregnancy. 
or should i say, it has hit me.

the darth vader breathing(keeping poor thomas up all night).
the fat feet and fingers.
the shortness of breath when i reach the top of the stairs. 
the nightly pants-off dance-off because i'm swollen and even loose pants require a shimmy. 
the unruly emotions that i should probably obtain a permit to posses because one of these days someone is going to lose an eye. 

a few things that drive me nuts:

1. i always seem to get stuck behind this grandma on the way to school. she drives 20 in a 35 and has at least 7 cars piled up behind her. 

2. no one in our little town seems to understand how to stop at a 3 way stop. this is just a glimpse of how many cars are waiting to improperly stop at this intersection. this has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

3. this fairly new and mostly reliable vacuum has broken it's belt 5 times in the last month. it may be due to my obsessive pregnancy cleaning. i've cried about this too.

4. i banished this seemly innocuous desk chair to the storage closet because it kept following me around the house and getting stuck under my feet. every time i turned around one of the kids had pushed it into the kitchen and left it there. i think it started to do it on it own. it's lucky i only put it in storage and not out in the street.

on a postiive note, i did repaint another room in the house. like the baby's room, it's also gray. because i love gray. soon everything will be gray. because gray doesn't bother me like other things in this house.

heuvos grandes

reagan thought it would be funny to take scissors to his hair:

so we had to go PAY ACTUAL CASH MONEY for this debacle of a haircut to try and get it "fixed:", when in actuality is it merely shorter, not better:
this was as good as it was going to get for easter finery pictures:
1. messy hair
2. flip flops
3. terrible haircut. reagan is going to enlist in the army tomorrow. he'll fit right in.
i promise we pulled it together with actual shoes and hair bows for church, even me. though i'm down to 3 shirts that still fit and shoes are not my fatty feet's favorite thing. 

scarlett did ask why the easter bunny reused the same baskets from last year. because the simpson easter bunny is cheap, that's why.

post-church hangover:

and a chocolate dude bunny was specially requested and made an appearance for the 2nd year in a row:
and while we are so far from family, it is nice to be able to enjoy my little bunch on one of the most important days of the year.