Monday, November 28, 2011

Bring on the Holidays!

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

It was a great holiday, and it's passing means it is now officially time to fly my holiday freak flag. We will ignore the fact that it's currently 72 degrees outside and pull red rubber maid bins out of the attic. It's time to blast the Christmas tunes and curse the tangled mess of lights and figure out where everything will go in a new home this year.

However, I'm under very very strict instructions that I'm not allowed to do any of that until a yellow school bus brings home a certain pig-tailed beauty this afternoon. In fact, here is what I am allowed to do before she gets home:
1. go to the grocery store and purchase the hot chocolate.
2. I can listen to some Christmas music.
3. And if I absolutely can't control my urges, I can hang the stockings.

Here's what I'm not allowed to do:
1. Hang any lights.
2. Open any ornament boxes.
3. Anything else that has anything else to do with merriment and decorating without her.

(I don't usually let her make up the rules, but this is kind of our thing so I'll wait. The boys usually last about 0.34 seconds into the decorating and then the holiday decor turns into some sort of superhero weaponry.)

So, before the merriment begins at approximately 3:43 this afternoon, here's a recap of another awesome Thanksgiving full of food, fun, and family.

It started off with a rough transition for the youngest. The first morning he shut down, but after a few hours and the discovery of a nerf gun (thanks, Trevor!) he was back to his normal smiling self. Yay.

These boys were busy. Their shenanigans included, but were not limited to, wrestling, climbing dressers to try to turn on the television, torturing their sisters, wrestling, eating string cheese like it was going out of style, wrestling, boating, biking, wrestling, putting shoes on ceiling fan blades and then turning the fan on and watching them fly, falling into the pool while playing a game of frisbee, did I mention wrestling?, etc, etc.

I know. They look so sweet in the picture. Don't be fooled. :)

And these two girls?
They pretty much showed up at meal times and then disappeared again. They spent the majority of the trip downstairs for what my brother-in-law deemed "Full Contact Crafting."

The trip included venturing out to see holiday lights and attempting group photos.

Quick respite from photographing for an impromptu dance party....

And here are the hosts of the weekend with all six of their grandbabies:

Thank you Grandma and Chips for a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Thanks for the housing, the food, the frying, the new kicks for O-dawg, and especially for all the good laughs. 

We love you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nap? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Nap!

This is my third time around, Owen.

And I know you don't believe me, but I actually do know what I'm talking about. 
some of the time....

And yes, you still need to nap occasionally.

Otherwise, you just end up looking like this:

I'm just sayin'.

Don't give it up all at once. Maybe nap every other day or something?
Phase it out.

It will be easier on all involved.

And trust me, Mama knows best.

This ain't my first rodeo.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dream

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kissing Queen

"Mom, today on the field trip I couldn't tell anybody that my favorite part of the play was when the princess kissed the boy at the end because everybody else thought it was really gross. But I liked it."

Oh My.

Todd, we may need that shotgun sooner than you think.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You have arrived at your destination.

Welcome to Norming. 

I'll be honest, there were days I never thought I would get here. I mean arriving in the land of Norming seemed as far away as my dream of going to Hawaii or getting to use the bathroom in peace, both equally impossible at this juncture in my life.

But one day a few weeks ago I woke up and thought wow, I think I might be there. I think it might be time to unpack my bags and settle in and stay awhile.

And for those of you who are confused, you may want to go back and read my post from that awful day in June To Publish or Not to Publish; the one where I ended up looking super cool laying on the floor of a hotel gym with my eyes swelled shut from crying. You may remember me discussing the four emotional stages one is likely to go through when getting the news that your child has special needs. Stages like mourning, storming, performing, and finally, oh finally, norming.

And I did each stage. Multiple times. Honestly, I think my husband tried to cheat and skip a few, but we decided that I traveled through each stage enough for the both of us. I cried and gnashed my teeth. I (and I'm really not proud to admit this) resented other families with "typical" two year old's. I cried for the struggles Owen has now and will continue to have in the future. I got angry with God. (In fact, we had to take a time out for awhile. And thankfully that doesn't mean I stopped believing in Him and His power. I made sure He still heard about Owen, just not through me. It was the kind of timeout where you text a friend and say something really mature like "Hey, could you pray for Owen for me? I'm not talking to God right now." And the friend would write something back like "yup, got you covered" because she understood that I needed to be angry and I would come out the other side of it feeling even closer to Him. And I did.) I did the storming and the researching and the googling and the trips to the special needs section at the library and the educating. I did the performing. I called multiple doctors and therapists and schools and we have a kick-butt team now. Everybody is working together and my lil' man is making some serious progress and it feels good. But acceptance feels even better than his progress. Acceptance that progress for Owen looks a lot different than progress for another child and that is perfectly okay. Acceptance that one day he will be feeding himself and using the potty, but it might not be one day soon. Acceptance that one day he may go to a birthday party and play with the other kids there, but it might not be one day soon. Acceptance that other two year old's may be more verbal and may not be obsessed with spoons and may be more "typical" but every kid is special. And my Owen? He's special in a way that makes him who he is. And I love who he is. And God knit him together in my womb and I don't think he messed up one teeny-tiny little bit. 

So am I in Norming? 

I think so, peoples. I think I've learned that norming doesn't mean I never have a moment of grief or that I never read another article or question a doctor. I think Norming means knowing this is life now and coming to love it despite its difficulties. I think Norming includes occasional fears about the future, but overall, greeting each day with hope and trust.

So we're going to unpack our bags and stay awhile in the land of Norming. We're going to continue praying and brushing and wrapping and feeding and medicating and researching and knowing that, despite all the "atypical," this life that Owen leads is going to be a great one. 

We accept.

We hope.

We norm. 

And dang it feels good.

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope."
Maya Angelou  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big Day

Any guesses what we did today?

Actually, before we made that mess in the bathroom, we did some of this:

Yup - that's my boy feeding himself with a spoon for the first time. Look at that wide open mouth and the tongue that is down and not curled up at the back of his mouth. That's just a whole lot of awesomeness right there! 

Then later in the day after naps and runs, my middle kid decided he wanted to say goodbye to his curls. And then of course his baby bro, who wants to be just like him, wanted to say goodbye to his hair too. And I thought I would be sad, but we literally had a hair cutting blast. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile. And even though they both look older, they are still pretty stinkin' cute.

And I know Owen will probably kill me for this one day, but I had to show off his outfit. He now has to wear this compression on his torso 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off all the live long day. And when he didn't want to put it back on tonight, his brother (and idol) told him he looks like a superhero in it. Thank you, Isaac!! You absolutely amaze me with your sympathy towards others and the way you always want to help Owen.

So here's my little superhero showing me his muscles:

And here he is putting plastic knives in the VCR. (Apparently his super power is putting things where they don't belong when he thinks Mom's not looking.....)

And what was the diva doing during all her brother's hair cutting shenanigans?

Coloring quietly in the corner, of course.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Third Time's a Charm

So apparently Owen finally learned that Helloween Halloween is not the worst thing in the world.

Exhibit A: The Unhappy Pumpkin of 2009

Exhibit B: The Unhappy Spider of 2010

And finally, Exhibit C: The Happy Spiderman of 2011

Aside from the unpleasant weather that rained on our parade down spooky sidewalks to gather candy from multiple strangers, last night's Halloween was quite a pleasant experience.

We traded strollers for umbrellas and on our seventh year of our Holland/Fischer Family Halloween Tradition, all six of our trick or treaters were happy. No small feat; believe me.

And here are the two that started all our Halloween traditions and adventures...then and now:

The kids also went to a Trunk or Treat at their cousin's church on Friday night. They enjoyed the haunted house, costume competition, games and candy followed by a sleepover.

And now we're all trying to come down from our sugar high.

And speaking of sugar highs, Christina stopped by for a bit with her three double stuffed oreos and I cold eat this one with a spoon.

 She's so cute it hurts.

Happy November 1st!

Happy My Stomach Hurts from Eating so much Junk Month.