Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Unplanned Fire Drill

When we were first married, Adam always used the buzzer on his alarm. I HATE buzzers...ever since I was a teenager and my parents made me use this alarm clock from 1979 with a buzzer that sounded like a rabid bird. Needless to say, I quickly won Adam over on the idea of waking up to the gentle sounds of the radio.
This morning I would have even taken the rabid bird over what I got. Adam woke up early and was in the shower, and C and I were snuggled in our beds still sleeping in the cold house. (We left the heat off last night and it got a little chilly.) All of the sudden I heard the smoke alarm start blaring in the hall outside our rooms. So, so loud...I swear I can almost still hear it. I jumped straight out of bed, and if the adrenaline from the alarm wasn't enough then the blast of cold air from throwing off my blankets gave me just what I needed to go racing out of our room.
As soon as I got to the hallway I could see the smoke, but I quickly determined our death wasn't imminent. Apparently, Adam had kindly started the fire in the living room when he got up to warm up the house...not knowing that last night I closed up the flue to keep out the cold air. So instead of the smoke being pulled up the chimney it just made its way through the house.
I started batting at the smoke alarm with a blanket, but being vertically-challenged I wasn't quite making it. After a few jumps I finally got the thing to shut off, but being in my half-asleep stupor it didn't occur to me that if I didn't stop it at the source the problem would continue. After a few off-and-ons of the alarm, I finally clued in to what was going on and went to shut off the fire.
About this time Adam finally heard the alarm in the shower and came out less-than-fully dressed to make sure we were all okay and take a few swats at the smoke alarm himself. C was also obviously awakened by the alarm and was yelling at us from his behind the door in his bedroom, the door I didn't want to open to let smoke in his room...unfortunately a week or two ago was "fire safety" day at school, so he was pretty freaked out.
A few minutes later we finally got ourselves together and got everything shut off, got dressed, and were snuggling on the couch with the doors open sending smoke out and 30-degree air in. Now I think I still smell like smoke and my toes are frozen, but I believe the smell is out of all the rooms in the house. And, as Adam said, at least we know the smoke alarm is working just fine.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bad and Worst are Good Again

Tonight I am thankful for my husband. We got some really unhappy news tonight, and I told him with tears running down my cheeks how I just didn't know how to deal with it on top of all the other things we're struggling with. So he looks at me with a goofy smile and says, "You can just do what I do. When another really bad thing happens, I just say, 'Well this really sucks but it's still not as bad as ____.' So sometimes we can be grateful for the worst trial happening to us cause when a new bad thing happens that worst trial makes the new thing not look so bad."
So I actually laughed out loud. And then I felt much better. I'm really not sure if he's a genius or going insane...all I know is if that's insanity it's making me smile and I wanna be wherever he is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Day of School

I know it might be October now, but I figured better late than never, right? In August (yes, I'm a slacker) C started preschool. I wasn't really worried leading up to this event...I've left him places for three hours before, and he always does fine. The school we chose for him was Friends School, and we truly love them. Their student population is 80% typical, 20% special needs...so with C's issue being a purely physical disability we figured he'd have lots in common with the kids there. Before school even started, we had a meeting with the Special Needs Coordinator & his teacher, a Parents' Open House, and Kids' Classroom visit/Open House, and a home visit by his teacher.
So, when the first day of school rolled around, I wasn't worried at all as I dropped C off in the classroom. He was so interested in all the new friends and new toys that I literally had to physically turn his face to mine so he would hear me say "goodbye" and know I was gone. As I walked down the hall and toward the front door, I was very impressed with myself--no tears, not even a sniffle. Then, as I took a step outside the glass door and saw my van parked across the parking lot, it suddenly hit me that I was getting into a car alone and not buckling anyone else in. I started to have this panicky feeling I didn't recognize....I knew I was leaving him in capable hands and I wasn't worried about that...and I finally realized that feeling was pure old loneliness. I was now a mom without a kid for three hours, twice a week.
Well, at first it was pretty depressing. If we had been able to keep to our original plan, I would probably be pregnant with our third and last child right now, and not waiting around for someone to choose us to adopt their baby. So then, that--of all things on this day--was what set off the tears.
But, I am happy to report now that preschool day is one of my favorite days. C LOVES school, and always has something cool to tell me about his day...he painted with apples or rode a fire truck or played musical instruments. I just can't feel guilty about being away from him...in fact I know he is getting things from school that I never could have given him. And...I now grocery shop alone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How Goldfish Make Us Happy

So this week I am trying not to drown in my guilt by simply assigning myself the "Bad Mom" award and moving on.
This is what happened...we have been working on getting C a mobile stander. In case you don't know what that is it is basically a manual wheelchair but you are in standing position instead of seated, which is much better for bones/muscles/breathing. He had a mobile stander before and could push it short distances like around a room or two, but not at....say the zoo. It has been in the works for months now, but we are still trying to get the right documentation to submit to insurance for prior authorization.
We have been anticipating this for a long time. We purposely found a home with wood floors and very low profile carpeting so it would be better for him and he could use it some to get himself around the house. Since he can't crawl anymore, he now just bum scoots around as far as he can which isn't always as far as he needs to go.
So, the other weekend Adam decides we need to clean out the garage--the last big stronghold of unpacked things. I reluctantly agreed, though I was really glad we did it once we were all through. About halfway through, I noticed our old manual wheelchair in the corner. Our First Steps physical therapist had given this to us as a donation from another family when C was about two and a half. It has all its parts, but has been well loved. When we initially got the chair, we put C in it but his little arms were too short to really get a good push in the wheels. So in essence it was a glorified stroller, but we wanted to have it for a backup in case the power chair was in the shop and he was too big for a stroller.
So there I am, staring at it collecting dust in our garage, and it occurs to me that the last time he tried that chair was a year and a half ago, and his arms are bound to have grown since then. And if he can push the mobile stander wheels, he can push the wheelchair wheels. I wish I had better words to explain my feelings at that moment, but "duh" seems all that is really appropriate. I cannot believe it never occurred to me to let him try it!!! So we pulled the chair into the house and wiped that baby down with Clorox wipes, and put C in it.
And what did he do? Started pushing himself, albeit slowly, around the house. He was so, so happy. He drove himself all the way into the kitchen and said, "Mom, I'm gonna get myself a snack" and when I walked around the island, he had pulled the lower cabinet door open and was just leaning up with an orange bag of goldfish in his hands. And then he just wheeled away like it was nothing and it happened every day and started stuffing his face. And I cried. He GOT HIS OWN SNACK!! I know I'm such a softy, but I am so proud of my sweet little boy and his strength...not the strength of his muscles, but the strength of his heart and his desire to grasp for whatever independence he can get, even when it's hard to do.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bemembering the Cooler Days

So since I haven't blogged in forever, I thought I'd post a few pictures of some cooler days earlier this year. I saw these when I was finally able to load what was in my camera, and believe me--with this heat wave I am longing for these days to return. (C always says "bemember" instead of "remember" so we've all taken to saying it, too.)

C is the one on the left. You'll have to excuse his snowman-like appearance...it was pretty cold that day and I got a little paranoid about him being too chilly playing in the snow with Dad. I can't believe how much snow we got-this doesn't even show the half of it. At this point we only had enough for a little-boy snowman.

Why yes that is my ruggedly handsome husband posing by the crazy fence at my mom's house (which has now been torn down and replaced!).
As cute as my boys are, this might be the best picture of all. Before the snowfall we left a paper plate with some birdseed on it on the table. Somehow under all that snow this squirrel could smell it there and dug it out!! He was only about two feet from the back window where we were watching him and you'd think he would have been afraid, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.
Is it too early to be looking forward to Christmas??

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blog Depression

So...anyone who might have been looking at our blog has probably stopped...because, well, I've been taken over by this sort of blog depression. First, my camera cord that downloads pictures to the computer disappeared somewhere in my parents house when we were staying there waiting to close on our house. So I couldn't figure out a way to upload pictures (though I have since discovered an easier $10 solution). Then, we started using Gmail...which is awesome except that since we signed up on Blogger using a different non-gmail address, there is apparently no way to change the email address you sign in with to a gmail one without starting a whole new blog. I looked into this for days and emailed people...and then I was just mad at google for not being able to tackle that small problem. And somehow in the back of my brain I subconsciously decided if I refused to blog it would be punishing them in some way...when in reality they could care less what I do and don't do.
So anyway, now I'm over my anger and I've decided to start blogging again. Now I'm excited to see if I actually follow through. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Day We Met

So for some reason I've just been thinking over and over about posting the story of how Adam and I met. I just started this post yesterday, and then this morning before I finished I read my awesome sister- and brother-in-law's story of how they met and now I am happy to be part of a trend. So here goes...

It was the fall of 2002 and I had just graduated from BYU. I was kind of exhausted with relationships, working on getting over someone I couldn't let go of and someone I couldn't hold on to. I was planning on going to graduate school, but after much prayer I decided to take a year off and work. I met an awesome friend, Kristen Curran, and we almost immediately became inseparable.

On October 26th, we decided to attend a young single adult activity our church was having at a church member's farm. We all sat in a circle around a campfire and introduced ourselves. I have lived in this area since about 13 so most of the people I already knew. But one stood out--this tall, attractive guy who was talking to an old friend. I assumed they were probably there together, so when he got up and introduced himself as being a member of our church and having lived here since he was 10, I was completely surprised. But I figured he was probably too cool for our little group and sort of dismissed him. My friend, Kristen, however, was super friendly and at the end of the activity we ended up inviting him to come with our group to a haunted house (that ended up being really lame) and later to Denny's.

A few days later we all got together again, and then Adam became a permanent fixture in our group...and he and I really hit it off. I was SO not looking for a relationship, and I think it ended up being the perfect set-up for me falling deeply in love because I was completely disarmed. We became good friends and I realized I was falling in love and he was coming, too. I think the point when I really came to the realization was a time when we were sitting across the room from each other at yet another single adult activity playing games. Adam caught my eye and winked at me, and that one wink felt like the best hug I ever had.

Our first kiss was in a friend's grandparent's house...bizarre I know. Everyone else was in the basement and we both came upstairs at the same time. Adam swears he kissed me first, but that's not exactly how I remember it. He got himself really close to me (which was good because I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do that) and then since he was already there I just leaned a tiny bit closer and made it happen. I consider this as one of the best compromises of our life together. :)

Our first official date actually came after that. I know that sounds scandalous, but we just sort of got together while hanging out with friends. After we both sort of accepted we were an item, we went on our first official date to Ruby Tuesdays.

By the end of the first quarter of 2003, I think we both had a pretty good idea where we were headed. And then on a Monday in May, a day before the birth of our third nephew, Adam proposed to me while we were eating DQ Blizzards (still our favorite) at a beautiful state park near my parents' house. He had wrapped up the ring and buried it in the blizzard. When I found it he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and when we got back to the car he handed me some roses (that I had somehow overlooked?!? in the backseat). We initially thought we would be married in December, but once we looked at all the scheduling, we decided August would be better.

On August 9 we were married in the Louisville, KY temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have had an amazing 6 1/2 years. I can easily say that marriage is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. We have had some incredible lows that I never would have predicted or expected, but also the most fantastic highs that were better that anything I could have imagined. I think I've decided that our lives are sort of like a cup that is sometimes really full or really empty. When we get married, and again with each child, our cup grows a little bigger...so that when it is empty it is truly empty and you feel it so much more than you would a smaller cup...but when it is full you have a greater joy than you ever could have known alone.

I am so grateful for my husband. He makes sacrifice after sacrifice for us, and makes me smile every day. He is a perfect father to our little boy, and is a great example to me. It is so amazing to me how well he complements me. I knew I liked him on that day back in October so many years ago, but I don't think I knew myself well enough then to even understand fully just how much he is exactly what I need. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knew me well enough to place someone in my path like him and I am thrilled to be able to spend forever learning just how much fuller our cup can get.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Progression

Adam and I have the same issue that so many couples have...where he hits the pillow and is asleep two minutes later (not an exaggeration) and I take forever falling asleep. Inevitably as I am trying to convince myself to sleep, my mind starts to drift to both our hope for the adoption and C.
I feel so much more in control of my life that I did a year or two ago. C's doctors are all settled and we have regular appointments. For the most part, I know who to call for what he needs...or at least who to call to tell us where to look. But the part I still struggle with each night before I fall asleep is the part I can't control--the progression.
When C was diagnosed, he still stood and cruised along the furniture. I knew he had stopped walking out into the room but, knowing so little about SMA at the time, I thought maybe we could do intense physical therapy or maybe I could work with him a ton every day and he would be strong again and walking in no time. We have several friends and family members with children with different diseases and syndromes, and so many of them had made great leaps and bound over what their doctors thought they would physically accomplish...and I thought "My son can certainly do that too!"
And then, I learned about just was SMA was....A "progressive" disease. In January it will be two years since his diagnosis, and not only does he no longer stand independently, but he has recently stopped crawling. He has lost a ton of arm strength and falls over easily from a sitting position. The disease is such that it only gets worse--and you might be able to maintain for awhile but it is never getting better.
This is a fact that I fully understand and accept, but I won't say that personally that's not hard for me. I am a problem-solver and a fixer, and to give me a problem that can never be solved that involves one of the people I love most in this entire world is probably the greatest trial I will ever have. So at night when I'm trying desperately to go to sleep, I start thinking back about my day and wondering if I did all I could for C today and if there is anything I am forgetting. And I start to worry about his future and what strength he will lose next and how we can best help him. I never want to think or feel that things progressed with his disease and there was something I could have done to stop it, or that I didn't provide him with every opportunity. Even typing that now seems silly, because of course it is the disease and not me...but the thoughts still go through my head. And then, inevitably, I convince myself to stop thinking about it all and go to sleep because there is nothing that can be done about it right now.
So then the other day, I was eating a Dove chocolate (cause they're awesome) and there was this little quote inside, "Do not pursue the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. The past no longer is. The future has not yet come." And after a brief moment passed where I wondered if God made chocolate, I was thankful to Dove for giving me just what I needed to hear. And I started thinking about that word "progression." Back in History class the word always seemed to have a much more positive connotation and the teacher was always using it to describe the invention of the printing press or the railroad spanning the country. So maybe I was thinking about it all wrong. Maybe if C's muscles pull off some backward progression--well that's their loss. You can go back to thinking the world is flat, but it won't do you much good. But my son can still have an amazing and overwhelming amount of positive progression in his life. He is very intelligent and compassionate, and I know he will accomplish much. And someday soon our family too will progress, and C will have a new brother or sister we will love just as much who will be a shining example to him and a best friend.

So today I choose to embrace progression and be thankful for it, so that I might teach my children might find happiness in each day, and the great amount of happiness that is to come. And maybe eating a few extra chocolates isn't such a bad idea, either.

Reindeer Food

As I am sure people get tired of the same old Christmas posts, I thought I would just put the unique things about this Christmas. First of all, ever since Jenna (my sister) was little, she always made "reindeer food" to sprinkle on the lawn outside for Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve. This year, since we are staying at my parents' house for a few months while we find a new house, C got to join in the fun.
Needless to say, he loved it. And we all had a good time sprinkling it outside on the lawn...even though it was raining and Adam accidentally punched me in the head with an aggressive toss. (Santa took pity on him and still gave him presents, but he is definitely on the "check twice" list for next year.)

The second unique thing was that my mom, Jenna, and I all got aprons for Christmas. Jenna and I got cute pink, black and white polka-dotted ones with our initials, and Jenna (for her first sewing project) made a beautiful new one for our mom. Alyssa did not get an apron because, well, Alyssa pretty much owns every cute and fun thing (it's true--check out her new condo) and already has a super cute apron.
The third unique thing was that after weeks and weeks of tormenting each other, Adam and Maisy (my parents' cat) finally made friends. Okay, well I guess that's not really true...they do chase each other around a lot, but Adam gives the cat more treats then all the rest of us combined.

And finally, we very sadly forgot our camera when we went to Adam's parents' house for Christmas dinner. What was unique about our Christmas there? Hmmm...oh I know. I was passing out presents to everyone in a room full of about 18 people, and when everyone but Adam's sister, Beth, was absorbed in opening gifts I started to do ballet moves behind the Christmas tree. Not that I know ballet, but it was just hilarious that I was standing in the middle of the room and no one was noticing (except Beth who I wanted to laugh). That was slightly embarrassing, but said in keeping with the theme.

There were many other unique things about this Christmas, but as usual it was a wonderful few days and a perfect celebration of the birth of our Savior. And C is already making a list for next year. Why just yesterday he saw a commercial for a hair straightener on TV and told me I needed to put that on my Christmas list. I wonder what he is really trying to say.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Girls Weekend!!!

In December, my good friend, Erin, was about 8 months pregnant with her first baby, so our other friend, Lynnie, and I both flew down to Florida for her baby shower...without our kids! (I'm sure both Lynnie and Erin have appeared on the blog at some other point...we were all roommates at BYU.) Now don't get me wrong...Lynnie and I both love our children without end, but every once in awhile you need a little girl time. C had a great time at home with Dad and Gram, so I didn't feel too guilty.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous!! The day we flew in it was in the high 60s, and every other day it was right at 79/80 degrees. Very, very nice considering I left 30 degree weather and I love me some flip flops. We got pedicures, went out to some scrumptious restaurants, and shopped and shopped. And Lynnie and I made some new friends at Erin's shower! And most importantly, we talked and talked and talked. There are few people I enjoy talking to more in this world than those girls. It was just what I needed to try to make it through another year.

But...by the time I was flying home I honestly couldn't wait to see my boys. Families cause this awful catch-22...sometimes you can't wait to get time away, but as soon as your gone you miss them desperately.