Wednesday, May 21, 2014

8 days a week

times they are a'changing. but the more things change, the more they stay the same. 
a couple of weekish recap:

scarlett passed her 30 math problems in 3 minutes test. bless scarlett's heart, this was a TRIAL for her. we worked and studied and she would be able to pass her practice tests with ample time to spare and then she would go take the actual test and get 29/30. week after weeeeeeeek. in my efforts to encourage scholastic excellence, i promised her a trip to the ice cream station on the day she passed the test. 

well, mission accomplished.

and the kid who does not like ice cream got a milk shake and tolerated our presence. 
 this day was the same day we had the first part of reagan's IEP meeting at the school. big things could be happening. reagan has qualified for a satellite autism program at another school. we just need to decide if the program and the school change will make a big enough difference for him. there are lots of factors involved and it breaks my heart to think that scarlett and reagan may attend different schools but it could be a really great opportunity for him. there are two school options and i'm touring one of the school possibilities tomorrow. unfortunately, the other school choice is the one we are "officially" zoned for but it is a terrible school and is far away from our house and in the opposite direction of where scarlett will go. so, the choice may already be made if they don't relent on where reagan can attend. so, there's that to think about. 

i think i had my last official "rock blythe to sleep for her nap" session. now my life is over. i shall mourn this passing for the rest of my life. nothing will ever be the same. the sun isn't quite so bright. flowers wilt when i look at them. when i turn on the radio, all is hear is noise(which has always been true. pop music is terrible these days and naturally my kids LOVE it.)

mother's day. pretty accurate capture. reagan smirking and stimming(repetitive body movement that can calm the senses) with a pencil, scarlett crying because i had accidentally stomped her toe, blythe blything it up. i'm a proud mother.
i've wanted a magic bullet since reagan was a newborn and i would watch the infomercials for it during the middle of the night. well folks, this was the magical year i finally got one! happy mother's day indeed. now i can cook even MORE food the kids don't want to eat! at least i like it.

 scarlett has been on a bit of a stars wars kick lately. especially return of the jedi. we've watched more than some people bathe. she's come up with some classic questions and commentary,
"why does princess leia wear metal underwear?"
"why is she laying on jabba the hut?"
"han solo doesn't like hugging ewoks, but he doesn't want to hurt their feelings."
"the emperor must not want to scare children, so he covers his face up."

blythe has been the most constipated child i have ever had. just can't seem to work things out lately. this is her hiding and embarrassed inside a rack at old navy, biding her time with her arms folded for leverage.

saturday morning she woke up at 430am screaming her little heart out because of the pain. i guess i spoke to soon about rocking her to sleep, but this was less enjoyable than before. 
thankfully, things started mooooving along later that evening. but it was a pretty pathetic day. plus, poor thomas has been getting home from work around 11pm each night and going in at 730 each morning, so between the two of us we are going on negative integer sleep each night and this is just what i look like now, half dead. 

 my mom used to always take pictures of us in the bathtub. i am now officially a mom.

and finally, 
this just motivates me to paint all that much more. i've already scheduled the carpet cleaners. this was the last straw and they were already waaaay overdue. 
and on the 8th day, satan created beige carpet.

i'll break it down forensically for you, like the crime scene that it is:
the big kids were dutifully cleaning their rooms and bathroom so that we could commence friday fun. i was so proud of those little whiners because this was the fastest they had ever worked on cleaning up. 
all the while the marker thief started by dotting the carpet and moved steadily onto, striping the carpet, and then finalized her work with large sweeping strokes on the wall. 

 and that's a wrap.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

the day i lost reagan and found the Spirit

two fridays ago, i took the kids to a new park in celebration of friday fun. we met with friends that reagan especially enjoys playing with. i love them too. they are some of the most accepting kids we encounter. the mom, julie, also tolerates me pretty well. 
after spending time playing on the playground equipment, the boys ran off exploring in what can only be described as a sweaty herd of boys. reagan loves any game that involves treasure hunts, exploring or adventures. when we attend our regular park haunt, the boys often run off into the trees and look for snakes and do whatever it is that boys do. at this park, reagan attempted to do the same thing, but with less uneventful results. we could see the general area the boys were playing in, but eventually all the boys but reagan trickled back to the playground area. one friend announced that, "reagan is going into the forest but i didn't want to." i wasn't too concerned at this point, but julie and i collected the other children and we headed off to the woods in pursuit of reagan. when we reached the edge of the woods where the boys had last seen reagan, i could feel fear creep up and started to squeeze my throat. we were standing at the trail head and and i could see that the trail broke off into several different paths. the further along we walked, i could see that we were nearing a bridge and several areas of water. at this point i abandoned the group(sorry julie, who was now stuck with 6 kids) and i started running and shouting for reagan. there is a certain point when your wandering child changes in your mind's eye from, "that darn reagan!" to "where is my child and how did i let this happen?" for me, that was this point. my mind turning into a news crawler, thinking of kids lost who never made it back home, especially kids with autism who simply lose their way and are taken advantage of. as i was running through the woods, i was bordering hysteria. i passed a man and a woman who were finishing their hike. they split up and the man went one way and his wife and i went another. (will i be this kind when i encounter another person in need?) she and i started to run down the trail to where it ends at the river. halfway down the trail, i had a feeling of, "heidi, what are you forgetting to do?" i knew i needed to pray. the woman prayed with me. it was so wonderful to have someone hold hands with me while i poured out my soul in prayer.  i had never met her before but at my suggestion, she immediately replied that praying was the right thing to do. tender mercies. as i prayed, i felt calmer and i immediately felt like we need to head back to the restroom area. instead, we keep heading toward the water. my mind seemed to think we had to check the worst case scenario first. but my heart kept saying, "you'll find him, but not this way." and since i was still not embracing the Spirit that was so obviously prompting me, i thought, "but how will we find him? elizabeth smart was lost for 9 months." again, i felt that we would find him. he was nowhere to be found at the river's edge. at this point about 15 minutes have passed, and i know this because i keep checking my watching, thinking all those things you shouldn't thing as each second ticks by. we started running back up to the trail and the park area. then my phone rings and it's a number i don't recognize. i almost let it go to voicemail but i pick it up. i yell into the phone like a maniac, "i can't talk right now, my son is missing!"(clearly very rational at this point). thankfully, the woman on the other end of the line is calm and replies, "i know, he's with me up at the playground. he said you were lost." and so i yelled into the phone again, "i'm coming!" and i run like i've never run before, in sandals and jeans and a lightweight trench vest(because it was april 25th, the perfect date "because it's not too cold and it's not too hot and all you need is a light jacket." my exact rationale that day.) sweat is pouring off me because it IS too hot. it's funny to me now that i was running even faster at this point, because i already knew he was safe. i just couldn't get to him fast enough. when i finally get to him i just hug the breath out of him. reagan is NOT a hugger so he only tolerated this for a few seconds. but he was safe! i asked him what happened and he said, 

"mom, why did you get lost?"

i just wanted hug his little body more. i spoke with the woman that reagan had found to call me and she said that he approached her and asked if she would call his mom. the thing about reagan is that sometimes you don't know who you're going to get. we've practiced our address and my phone number and safety measures time and time again, and he always acted put off or like he wasn't listening. i think only a handful of times has he actually repeated my phone number back to me. the autistic brain is such a mystery! before that day, i honestly couldn't tell you if he actually retained that information. but when the time came, he rattled that number off like he says it every day. complete with a look of disbelief, "of course, i know your phone number." 

i'm so proud of reagan. 
i'm so proud of reagan.
he did the right thing.
 everything we practiced, worked! i was scared, but now i know reagan is listening and learning. apparently, he just needed the right moment to put all the prodding from me into action. 

 i was so emotionally overwhelmed on that drive home. but i had to immediately pray and thank my Father in Heaven for watching out for my little family that day. thanking him for wonderful friends who like us and invite us to do things, for blessing me with peace, even as i doubted the spiritual promptings i was  receiving. thanking him for giving me multiple chances to figure things out, thanking him for people who stop and help instead of running away from the raving lunatic woman running through the forest. thanking him for the Spirit that attends us, that it is just waiting for us when we need it. 
i feel like right before Easter, i noticed an increase in negativity toward religion and the belief in a Savior. after experiences like one i had that day, it baffles me that anyone would choose to live so alone and reject the love of Jesus Christ. i know it was the Spirit guiding me that day, being patient with me that day. it's real. it's not hard to believe, we just have to stop thinking that we already know everything. the atonement is real, the resurrection is real. we're not alone and we are very much able to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

happy birthday to MEEEEEEEE and blythe

oh, sweet baby mine!

i would love you even if you didn't look like a cross between smurf and a tolkien-style elf when you wear a knit cap.

i feel complete bliss when i look at this picture. i want to nuzzle your cheeks with my nose and pick out your baby boogers with my pinky nail. 

every family needs a blythe. it's a good thing she loves hand sanitizer because she also loves the baby toys at goodwill. she's going to have the immunity of a bulldog. snotty nose is just part of the deal.

i love her, and yet i fear her. i've fallen into the trap of yelling, "JUST LET BLYTHE DO IT!" pretty much every time i want a fight amongst the children to end. and i've said it to thomas too on numerous occasions.  

"parents are not interested in justice, they are interested in quiet!" -bill cosby

this past 6 months, i started taking blythe to mother goose on the loose at the library. i forgot for the first year of her life that i was supposed to be doing those types of brain-empowering things like library time and what-not. once we started going, we were hardcore about it. we didn't miss a week! 
but then miss julie started attending at the same time we did. and blythe forgot about me! ME! the woman who sacrificed her skin elasticity to birth her! i still can't fit into some of my pre-blythe pants and i NEVER WILL! so i ended up going to mother goose and blythe would go sit on miss julie's lap while i sat by myself like some creeper who hangs out at the child's area of the library by herself. my own child didn't want to be seen with me. 
look at the smug look on julie's face! 

and then miss donna. blythe's first music idol. we talk about donna all the time. each time we go to the library, blythe starts looking for her and bangs on doors of rooms she thinks she might be in. 
"dah-nah! weh ah oo?"

blythe likes mickey mouse shaped chicken and mickey mouse on tv and minnie mouse and mickey mouse on her clothes. she calls mickey, cooka. i'm not sure why she can easily say minnie, but mickey is absolutely cooka and that is it. 

and she and i both love the small potatoes interstitials. because singing potatoes with british accents is high quality stuff.

she likes to wear a backpack filled with diapers wherever we go. 

cooka cake:

blythe's favorite people, Sissy or SeeSee and Buddy. i hope she always calls them that. 
everyone in their favorite outfit. blythe normally prefers to be au natural, so she is reluctantly wearing a diaper. seesee is wearing an old scarlett o'hara dress up i "sewed" a few years ago. and buddy is still wearing those horrible, too short athletic pants and church socks. grandpa chic. 

we're really tight.

and since it was my birthday too, here is a picture of me and my crazy long hair. 12 months since last cut. and that's directly due to blythe too. you can actually hear my split ends crackling when i walk quickly, like corduroy pants on a chubby two year old. 
my last year's birthday goals included really clean floors and abs that can be seen from space. neither of those came to fruition long term. i came close on one occasion to visible abs, but then i recovered from the flu and i stopped being dehydrated. bittersweet. and my floors are occasionally delightfully clean at night and a mess by time breakfast is done the next morning. vicious cycle.

holla! can we bring holla back now that i'm 34 and completely ensconced in being too old for hip sayings?