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Saturday, April 15, 2017

14 years

I have been a mom for 14 years, in fact it has been 14 years 4 months and 18 days. Some days I can't believe it has been that long and other days I feel like I have been a mom forever. My youngest just turned 2 years old 3 months ago. Since Brendan is disabled and requires a ton of assistance I have never had a break from dressing/bathing/toileting etc. I have been changing diapers/wiping butts for 14 years! I have been trick or treating, finding Easter attire, baking cookies for Santa and watching my children eat a mere few bites of their Thanksgiving meal for 14 years. I have been holding hands, carrying children on my hip along with a purse and diaper bag, pushing strollers and acting silly just for smiles and laughter for 14 years. I have had kids at the same school for 7 years and the rest of them will attend the same school for another 8 years. That is 15 years of going to parent teacher conferences at the very same school. This often astounds us. I have been taking little kids on walks in a wagon for 14 years. I have been sitting on the floor getting little kids dressed, tying shoes over and over again, holding a child in the pool and calling my mom with questions because she is a nurse for 14 years. I have heard the word 'mom' and answered more questions that I could possibly imagine over the last 14 years, actually a bit less since Brendan couldn't speak for the first few years. I have held a crying child, given kisses and found ice packs, checked temperatures, driven hours upon hours to doctor appointments and have worried endlessly for 14 years. I have helped hide teeth under pillows, held their hands or more like entire bodies for immunizations and watched nervously as my children learn to cross the street by themselves.

Sometimes it feels like an eternity especially when I realize we still have another 16 years of raising our children. In 16 years they will all have reached adult hood. Funny thing is that we will most likely have grandchildren by then as the older two will be 28 and 30 years old. Some days it feels like it will never end. I want to be done with changing diapers and not have to navigate through gates on the stairs while lugging down 4 baskets of laundry. I want to move on from this stage which is full of sippy cups, cutting grapes and freaking out while they run around a playground. On the weekends I want to watch the news instead of the same toddler television shows and to listen to the stereo while driving instead of hearing the same movie over and over. Some days I don't want to be exhausted after an extremely busy day and yet still have to bring two children upstairs, change them into pj's, brush their teeth, tuck them into bed and then run up and down the stairs another 3 times before they are finally asleep. It is 8:18 pm right now and I have already been up twice. But most of the days I don't want them to grow up at all. Most days the future scares me to death. Most days I rather them stay little then be learning how to drive or to leave an empty room behind to attend collge. Most days I want to stay right where we are and take care of them forever. Most days but certaintly not every day!

I love watching my kids grow. I love watching them learn new skills. I love hearing their adorable laughs. I love when they run up to give me a big hug and kiss even if they catch me off guard and knock me over while picking something up off the ground. I love seeing their infectious smiles over something so trivial. I love hearing "I love you mommy, your the best mommy in the whole world". I love going on walks with all 5 with some on a tricycle, others on skates and one still in a wagon happy as can be. I love hearing them learn to count for the first time, repeat funny phrases or sing along to popular songs. I love watching the older siblings play with the younger siblings or take on a parental role without me even asking. I love it all, every single phase, and I know one day I will miss all of this. One day they will be all grown up. One day they won't need me to kiss them better. One day they won't need me to make them a birthday cake. One day this house will be quiet, too quiet. One day life will be completely different than what I have grown accustomed to over the last 14 years.

I don't always like seeing my son grow up before my eyes. I don't like that my oldest is turning 15 this year, how can that even be happening? I don't like watching my 12 year old step daughter transform into a woman. I don't like having discussions about alcohol and drinking and driving. I don't want to lay in bed wondering when they will be home. I don't even know how I will survive their teenager years and they are already upon us. Maybe I will just keep enjoying these innocent days because before I know it I will have (hopefully) survived 16 years of raising teenagers!

I do look forward to being able to think for a full 5 minutes without being interupted. I look forward to not procrastinating at making a phone call because I never have a moment to myself. I look forward to not always being exhausted. I do look forward to being able drive in the car without Nemo playing on my stereo for the 100th time. I look forward to not wanting everything to be just right but often failing at making it so. I look forward to sleeping all night long and even past 7 am once in a while. I look forward to being done with changing diapers and adding to the landfill. I look forward to wanting to go somewhere and just grabbing my keys and head out the door. I look forward to many things but I will never wish my children's live's away because these moments are precious and I will enjoy my 30 years of it! I may be exhausted, I may get tired of the same monotonous daily tasks, I may dislike the 7 weekly loads of laundry but I love my family. They make me smile and laugh and they are the ones that make this life all worth it!

14 years down and 16 more to go! I got this!

Friday, April 7, 2017

What a week! Vasectomy, Softball and nonstop as always

5 kids is enough for us! We are done. We love our children but we can not handle 6. We have been talking about a Vasectomy for years now. Lily was actually a surprise. We were done at 4. She definitely fits right into our crazy family and I can't imagine life without her but 5 kids is way more exhausting than 4. We were supposed to get this done while I was pregnant with Lily, never happened. She is 2 years and 3 months old and we finally got it done. He is definitely going back for a recheck because I have read many stories about post vasectomy babies being born. I do not need another surprise, one was enough for us!

Why did we wait so long? #1 Reason is that Derek is deathly afraid of needles. He doesn't go to the doctors. He doesn't go to the dentist. I got him to go to each once in the last 10 years. #2 We totally procrastinate when it comes to anything to do with ourselves. #3 Neither of us like to make phone calls. We really hate making phone calls, we fight over who has to call in the pizza order. We love on line ordering! Pretty bad, huh?

I had to make the phone call to set up the apppointment or he would have never gotten it done. He was very nervous. I thought it was very painful but later he told me that he was just freaking out about the needle. He even had to put ice packs on his head. He brought up Brendan and we both wondered how in the world he has gone through everything he has gone through and still isn't nervous going into surgery. He made it through the surgery and then was a total champ. He got to chill for two days but having 5 kids and owning our own business it was back to the grind. I won't allow him to lift Brendan. We switched our morning routines and got him dressed and ready every morning and have done everything that needs to be done throughout the day. I even had to complete his work outs on my own which totally killed my back for two days. We just do what we need to do in this house. 3 days later and he seems to be doing awesome. He said it wasn't bad at all and hardly painful. Just sore at times but he is sore from lifting Brendan constantly and it doesn't feel much different. We are so glad we have finally gotten this checked off our list.

Makayla signed up for softball again and Drew is starting Tball. Brendan is in Unified basketball and Chloe has winter cheer so we are busy! Softball practice started this past Monday, we found out Sunday night. It was pretty cold but since we couldn't fit in Brendan's work out we brought his accessible bike and he rode around the track and then I took him grocery shopping and he walked the entire time. It was the fastest he has every walked. He has a seat on his walker so he could take breaks but he kept up with me and surprised me at his pace. In the past it has been total torture taking him to the grocery store. I would have to stand and wait for him in each aisle. This day he would catch up to me every single time. I would shop and know he would be right behind me. I couldn't believe it. After over an hour of shopping he chose to walk from the check out counter all the way to the car without stopping.

Life has been a whirlwind this week yet again. We made it to Friday. The worst part is we have to work all weekend because our employee can't work Sunday.

Let's just hope for some warmer weather. We need to get Brendan outside to learn how to use his smart drive. We need to practice some softball. We need to have some fun with these kids. I have the urge to go Spring shopping too. At least I get to buy items for the little kids all the time from our own store. I am pretty sure they already have a summer wardrobe.

Even with everything going on I had him sit in his knee immobilizers for over an hour tonight and stretched his quads

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Whirlwind of a trip but we are home!

Now that was one exhausting week. Not only for me but for my husband as well. I think we both know that he had it harder than I, not to mention this is the 2nd time the 2 year old got sick while I was gone. Not that my life was easy this week mostly because my back pain is letting me know that Brendan isn't a little kid anymore. I actually think lifting his equipment into and out of the suv trunk was more difficult than lifting him all week long. I missed my accessible van every time we went out and we were out and about a lot! Everyone was extremely nice to Brendan and all of his 1000 questions. Every person made an effort to listen to what he was saying as he still isn't always the easiest to understand and they were all so patient with him. He always makes friends with the pilots and flight attendants and recieved many free drinks and snacks throughout our trip. He still talks to EVERYONE which can be embaressing for me as I tend to by shy. I will talk to anyone that talks to me but I am not the type to strike up a conversation and he certaintly is that person. I have no idea where he gets it from. We tried to have some fun while out in Texas. He loves to go out to eat. We went to the Waterway, to the mall and enjoyed Galveston.

My husband and I have been burning out recently. We have been working with him constantly since he had SDR over 2 years ago. It is exhausting. It takes time away from the rest of the family and it gets monotonous. Maybe we all need a week off here and there but then I feel beyond guilty. I never feel like we do enough. Going to Texas gives us that reboot. We get a new work out and get excited once again. Recently Derek and I have been worried that Brendan can't progress due to his weakness, hip subluxation and lack of determination. SPML and a tendon transfer at age 14 was harder than I expected. He took a long time to recover and is just now bouncing back and starting to progress. Mike Poole predicts that he will walk in canes but it will be a long term plan and it all depends on his determination. He is lazy, we all know it, 5 months later. He lacks determinatoin and we need to figure out how to help him gain motivation. He is used to everyone doing everything for him and generally lacks any sort of drive.

Brendan's week of therapy was mainly about getting him to stand correctly. We stretched him out big time and then got him to feel what it was like to stand straight and tall. Something he never enjoys or does on his own. I get him to stand tall in his stander and that is about it. He constantly crouches in his walker and this has caused his quads to become tight. His hamstrings are looking good since SPML so we need to focus on stretching him out, standing tall and moving more reciprocally.

The kids were all great for their dad. They missed me but did awesome! The 2 year old even got sick and while she was mad at me for not being here and kicked the phone away and wouldn't video chat with me she let her daddy take care of her. She was very clingy with me upon my return and wouldn't let her 4 year old brother near me but she is still under the weather so that could be why.

We all survived another week and we won't be going back to Texas for another year unless he needs hip surgery. We decided this family needs a break. I have been gone for 7 weeks in the last 25 months and our family isn't used to anyone leaving for a day nevermind a week or more at a time. We received horrible news right before we left for Texas that his left hips is 50% uncovered. The docotors here want to perform a very invasive hip surgery which I am completely against and don't feel it is the best choice for his hip condition. Dr. Yngve and Dr. Nuzzo perform a different kind of procedure that would be easier on all of us.

Unforuntately this mama totally messed up and missed his appointment with Dr. Yngve while out in Texas. I wrote down that it was on Wednesday and even had his therapy scheduled in the morning that day so we could drive 1.5 hours to attend. When we arrived I noticed there wasn't any other disabled children in the waiting room and had that sinking feeling. I was a day late. He also started vacation the following day so I was out of luck. He wasn't in the office that day and there was no way I was going to see him. I was crushed. I really wanted to talk to him about his hip and to hear how he felt his right arm was doing after the tendon bicep transfer. I am still kicking my self for that one!

So we are home and trying to rest up. I got the worst sleep all week long and am happy to be home. The kids were actually sleeping in today but the dog woke me up at 7 am to go outside which then woke 2 young children up for the day. The story of our lives!

Standing So Tall!

Goodbye Texas