Saturday, December 30, 2006

A New Year

So, here is an odd tidbit about me that I bet you will say to yourself....."Ok...and what do I do with that?"

I am not a fan of odd numbers. 2006...good. 2007.....doesn't look or sound good to me.
Do I take it really serious? Do I meticulously plan outings from the home to occur only on even days? No, not really, but if I had to choose a day for an important date, I would definitely go even. As life sometimes just happens, many important dates in my life happened, oddly enough (no pun intended) on odd days, months or years. Both my children were born in odd months, on odd days in odd years, I think God was poking fun at my neuroses. I probably met SD on an odd day, month or year...Huh. Ya know what? It was an odd year that we met come to think of it! So maybe it should be the other way around? Who knows.

If you have a quick moment on New Years Eve, know that I am wishing you all well in the New Year and that secretly I am also wishing it was an even year. Just because.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Fundamental Question

"So, are you still teaching?" he looked at me, drink in hand.
"No, no I have two children. I taught for about seven years until my daughter was born." I proudly state.
"So, what do you do now?" he asks.
What do I do now? Huh. Did he miss the two children part?
And then it hit me. The little wheel turning in my head that says, "Yeah...what exactly are you doing now?"

My thoughts raced to find the answer. I let myself search through the past five years looking for something, anything that would be remarkable to say that I have done. What have I done? What have I done that would translate to the working world as something formidable, valuable to the whole of mankind or at least those that work nine to five. All I could think of was trains (I now know a lot about trains), School House Rock (I can sing almost every song) and Nemo underwear . Is that all I got? Thomas, kid songs and underwear?
So, nothing.....nothing comes out. And we stand staring at one another.

He's an aide to a US attorney, lives in a beautiful place on top of a mountain with his new wife, also an attorney, no kids. He and I are on totally separate paths, that is really apparent. I know that. But why, after five years, I still stumble when asks what I do as a mom?

He's a great guy, very funny, but it really struck a cord this time. Why haven't I gotten it together yet?

When SD and I went to bed that night, the answer finally came to me. What do I do as a mom? I love my children. I love them until I feel like I couldn't love them any more at the end of the day. That's what I do. Plain and simple.
Why is it hard to find that answer sometimes?
I wonder.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Making Friends

This past Tuesday was our last day at Gabe's ABA school. (I'll post more on that later) So, it has left a few days a little off schedule for Gabe and I. We haven't hung out at home for the past year and a half due to his school being about an hour away. I spent most days, while Gabe attended school, walking at a mall or floundering between Target and Kohls. You would think I would've done something spectacular with my time, like write a book or develop a plan to cure world hunger, but I didn't. Most of the time I enjoyed just being by myself . The stress of how our lives changed so rapidly after Gabe's diagnosis of ASD and what it entailed took quite a bit of time for me to get used to. I am stronger now and have a great exercise schedule that is keeping me healthier than I ever been in my life.

It felt really great not to do the long drive yesterday. The crazy, old people that seemed to hover around the area hospital where Gabe's school was, will not be missed. They drove without a purpose and seemed to believe that as long as they didn't hit your car really hard it was OK. It made the 20 minutes from the expressway to our destination very scary. I can not even count on one hand how many accidents I saw that happened about a mile from school. I will, however, miss the smiles from his therapists, secretary, and people from the program before. It's hard being a stay at home mom, it's the isolation that can get to you. When you know the cashiers by name at the supermarket, you have officially been inducted to the Stay At Home Mom's Club. I have my card, wanna see it?

So, with all that comes extra time. I already have a comprehensive plan, with goals, for Gabe that will begin after the holidays.But, I have two days of unplanned time. YIKES! I have managed to make it fun for me and for Gabe with these goals in mind....

1. I need to exercise 45 minutes both days in order to prepare for the two pieces of pie that SD's mom's will serve me on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Don't get me wrong, they are delicious, but two? I feel obligated. I say "small pieces, please" and I swear they are cut to wedges that look like the Titanic breaking through the ice dams!

2. Gabe is to have limited TV, computer and video game time. One video after lunch, video game for 1/2 hour when Boo comes home and 1/2 before lunch of computer time.

3. I will spend at least 2 hours of the day fully engaged with Gabe doing games, playing with toys or anything that he chooses to do. They may be broken up in 1/2 hour increments.

4. Gabe will spend some time playing with a toy independently that I have begun with him and then let him explore on his own. The Fisher Price toys and the train work well for this.

5. Both days Gabe will be given at least 45 minutes of social play with peers working on the following goals...

*Introducing himself to playdate
*Asking what their name is
*Asking if they want to play one of the following things....Chase, acting like a cat, playing dinosaurs, follow the leader (He may also just ask to play what they already maybe playing)
*Saying goodbye when they have to leave.

So, that leaves me with what happened today when we practiced our new skills.

After walking for 45 minutes (It is so much harder when you have to push a 4o lb. child in a crickety stroller), I was glistening for sure! Gabe got to chose what he wanted to do for fun, see the fish at the huge hunting store, look at the crocodile and fish at The Rain Forest Cafe or play in the play area in the middle of the food court. He happily chose the play area. Thank goodness, because it makes playing with someone easier. That is where we met Hailey. Hailey was a cute, outgoing and energetic little girl, Gabe's age, that was looking for a friend to play with. "Really?" I thought, with a smile.
"I just want to have a friend to play with." Hailey frowned.
"Hey,I have someone who would be a lot of fun to play with!" I turned to Gabe.
"This is Gabe and he loves to play." I looked at Gabe and I believe I saw a twinkle in his eye!

I prompted him to ask what her name was and it just went from there. I provided some guidance, sometimes for both of them on what and how to play together. They pretended to be cats as I fed them "treats", they chased each other, laughing and giggling. Gabe was so happy. I felt a glimmer of hope. Hope that we will be OK no matter what. And that's when I saw it....Gabe held her hand. He so very gently slide his little hand around hers and smiled. I got a lump in my throat, my little boy is growing up and he will be OK. Fantastic.

Hailey quickly pulled her hand away, not because she didn't appreciate the jester, but because she turned towards Gabe, said something, and they started running again...together.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

I was a little flabbergasted for a minute there when blogger actually posted my picture. Kinda caught me off guard! (lol)

Can you believe we were all put on antibiotics with sinus infections the next day after this picture was taken? We felt a little under the weather, but wanted to get the picture done. We got one done and immediatley left. I think Gabe looks the best out of all of us! Although Boo is a very close second. She actaully broke out in a rash on her face the day before. We thought it was allergies and gave her benadryl (She gets Contact Dermatitis a lot), but it was a reaction to her sinus infection. She's such a trooper.

I am SO excited about Christmas this year. I just want to sing Rudolf from the roof tops. Having kids is the best!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Boo's Revisionist Take on History

The other day Boo came home from school and declared that she was indeed in a school play.
Excited about our "up and coming" actress' part we asked, "What is the play about?"

She proudly stated, "Baby Jesus and the Ranger."

This is what immediatly came to my mind.

Baby Jesus

And the Ranger....