Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do You See What I See?

It is 5:30 on Saturday evening.  I'm sitting at our kitchen table, staring out our massive picture window in our dining room.  I've been sitting here since 5 o'clock, when I suddenly realized it was still light outside.  I see pretty white snow, thick solid icicles hanging from the gutters, willow trees, a massive field, and cars passing to and from on the 4-lane highway that runs past our house, each with white and red twinkling lights.

If you were sitting here with me, would you see the same things? 

I would venture to say no.

Not all of us see eye to eye. 

AJ's life is filled with countless professionals.  Physicians, Therapists, Teachers, and More.  Almost sounds like a store title.  Pick one from this aisle of expertise.  Complete with tags declaring a guarantee that aisle 2's ideas won't line up with aisle 5's.  And lets not even start on the the other departments.

And here I stand, with a shopping cart, ready to fill it with anything and everything to help my little man succeed in life.  How do I choose between whats just icky, processed generic fit-into-a-mold information and natural, certified organic information? 

I suppose it would be safe to assume that my shopping cart would be where everything melds together and ends up looking as beautiful as Sunday Dinner.  The truth is that sometimes I'd rather just be a 5-year-old with one foot on the base and my hands steering the I zoom through the store of professionals not stopping to look back.

All these different hands, different opinions, different backgrounds of expertise.  All with the best of intentions.  A big kettle of brew and I'm standing with a giant spoon.....

I've struggled over the past few weeks to inform, condense, and make sense of our recent happenings.  Which means a lack of blog posts. After telling my husband I was having trouble with posting on the blog, his answer was this:

"Life is grand. We're going to Hawaii in 4 days. End of story."

Quite a post, hey?

Our house has been on the market for a month already.  Of course there is drama surrounding that...of course. 

Last week I received a call regarding AJ's transportation to school that completely threw me for a loop...and made us do some serious thinking.  AJ's made it through two winter ear infections, and is still walking despite his continuing growth spurt.  A recent follow-up with his CP doctor allowed me to look at things from the "CP side" of AJ's life.  It was a refreshing and eye-opening visit.  It was another appointment where I left in tears.  GOOD tears, knowing he is in the best of hands and that she's truly in his corner. 

I've been busy prepping for our vacation, which is finally upon us.  Printing detailed instructions, packing, and doing last minute errands.  We are so excited to spend time, just the two of us.  While we are gone, AJ will be partyin' it up with Grandma Cindy. 

AJ's doing ok at school.  We've had some bumps in the road recently.  His therapy sessions are either fantabulously great or horrible.  There has been no middle ground to speak of.  We're beginning to think about his next IEP, which will be in the Spring.  AJ's tall enough to get off the toilet by himself-which is really freaky when you're not expecting him to come around the corner.  He can sign "open" and is emerging with "push".  He's holding his arms up and vocalizing for "up".  He's doing this waving thing...although I'm not sure what it is for certain.  I'd like to think its waving.

He's displaying a not so great behavior of taking his implant off...and pulling his glasses off.  Which means he's maturing, but the behavior is not so welcome.  We're looking at adding a therapy to his schedule and doing a disco-shuffle with all of his therapies.  I'm not sure how this is going to work out yet.

Like I said, big shopping cart and giant spoon.

But you know what? 

We're going to Hawaii in 4 days...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Loose Reference

I found myself overcoming yet another bout of writer's block today.  So after dropping AJ off at school, I'm home, for about another minute or so, and I've been writing. 

I'm sifting through the early chapters rearranging, adding, subtracting, editing, and using the printed copy of our old website as a guide.

And kicking myself.  Oh, Heidi.  I can't even follow it.  It's so sugar-coated.  Sugary sweet.  Like syrup all over the counter and you just can't get your rag, soaked with hot-hot water to clean it all up.  I didn't write about how anything felt. Was I numb?  Where we numb?  Probably.  Tricking ourselves into seeing past reality and our ever present fears.

I read things like "He can sleep through anything!"...followed by a cute smiley face, and groan.  Oh its so wonderful!  It's like envisioning myself hosting a party, not really wanting to host a party, putting on a fake smile and being an oh so wonderful hostess.


That doesn't mean our parenting journey has been all bad, because it hasn't been.  I just wish I would have been honest back then.  Both with the website, and with myself. 

So, I'm using the website printout as a loose guide.  Very loose.

There will be no syrup in this book. 

Just Jello.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Amberwood & Canister Thoughts

Since my eyes are starting to do googly tricks while painting, I figure its a good time to stop for the night.

Last year we made our first trip to IKEA down in Illinois. We met up with friends and happened to wander -ok, I saw the sign and gasped, causing Jeremy to hit the breaks and begin checking me over for medical issues.  Oops.  Anyhow, I saw a Tuesday Morning sign and we were soon browsing the aisles.

I found three short pillar candles, brown in color, with a divine scent of Amberwood. 

(like these)

I'm a lover of patchouli & amber aromas, earthy smells with depth.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. And besides, they were a steal. We were just beginning to prep the house to move.  We had decided to keep the dark blue/light blue paint colors in our room, and accent with cream/chocolate/black.  Ok, I had decided.  Jeremy chipped in by saying something like Uh-Huh Ok Whatever.  His approval usually isn't a stretch, unless I suggest anything yellow or pink.  Those are an automatic veto.

I came home and placed the candles on the white shelf in our bedroom... still wrapped in their protective plastic wrapping. 

Today, I opened all three.  It was rather ceremonious to me, which can be considered to be a good thing or a bit odd as we are talking about candles here. 

Each day that goes on, that I am in hyper-overdrive move mode, makes this whole thing more and more real.  I mean, I unwrapped the candles. That have been sitting on the shelf for over a year and a half.  Things are getting done and while I'm completely exhausted, its beginning to look amazing.

My mind is full of so many memories.  Memories of when we first bought this house.  How we didn't know where to begin, and had no idea what we were doing.  No.idea. Jeremy has always been good at demolition, be it baseball bat or  box cutters (that would be knocking down things and tearing up carpet) and I've improved on the bringing-it-to-life role.  I remember standing in the kitchen with my Mom, chatting with excitment about the new kitchen curtains she was going to make for us.  Which lead to the wine colored walls that I was swearing at  battling tonight, but ya know.  Tastes change. 

We purchased our first set of new furniture for this house and spent all night painting the living room the night before an adoption homestudy.  The night before that I suckered a friend into painting our bedroom that dark blue/light blue combo. We failed sorely at "fixing-up" our bathroom for several years before we bit the bullet and hired a contractor to do the gut and remodel.  I spent hours painting AJ's nursery dresser while my Grandmother supervised and we chatted. We slowly but surely found the yard again. We've made friends with lots of plumbers and other handy-skilled workers.  We've replaced pumps, roofs, I could go on. 

We've learned a lot from this house.  We've learned about quality work and quality products.  That blood red is never a good choice of color for you living room walls.  That hard work-done right-pays off.  We've learned what its like to own a home and everything that comes with it.  We've worked with some amazing people and are a whole lot more experienced than when we started. Trust Me. We are not gardners and most certainly not tree-lovers!  That we won't ever buy cheapy-cheap faucets or cheap paint and most importantly, won't cut corners!

...I find painting relaxing.  I should say I find it relaxing most of the time.  I prefer to work without using painters tape.   Cheap paint is just that, cheap.  Buy a good brush and good paint and save yourself some insanity and money.  I spent a good hour tonight doing the brushwork above the countertop lip in the kitchen.  Without tape.  And loved every second.  It forces me to take it slow and steady, concentrate, and keep a steady hand.  It brings Zen.  I know.  I'm insane.

As I was painting, the design for our next kitchen popped into my head.  The object(s) of inspiration? 

Canisters.  There has been a set of canisters in our basement since we moved here.  They belonged to Jeremy's paternal grandmother and somehow they had ended up here, at his maternal grandparents home. 

For years he's been asking me to hang on to them.  Their base color is white, with a beautiful black paisley pattern with accents of bright blue and green. I never paid much attention, except the last few weeks I've been looking at them on the shelf each time I go downstairs.  Hm.  Weird.

And tonight, they made their debut.  Suddenly my head was filled with ideas of a  faux-granite countertop, black with a gloss finish to really fake people out on the granite thing, the large dining table in the basement black with a flat finish with chairs painted to match with grey velour chair pads.  Blue walls?   Green walls? What shade? And a pendant light at the sink.  A glass a dish...with decor balls?  No... Definitely the brushed nickel finish and oh I saw those drawer pulls at Target, those would be perfect..............................................

My mind was running wild!  It kept running, into new ideas for a living room.  How I literally want the same bathroom in our new house. And then it hit me.  Other than AJ's future room, never before had I thought about what our new home would be like.  While the decor/furnishings really don't matter, it sure is fun to dream up ideas.  I had forgotten how much I love this sort of thing.  While I'm no Genevieve, I do like to dabble in this house stuff.

It sure beats constantly thinking of therapy appointments, goals, and stressing over everything.

And those candles?  Oh, those are going with too.  I'm sure I'll think of just the place for them in our new home.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Noodle Ornaments

AJ and I made noodle ornaments for his Grandparents this year for Christmas. I got the idea from an ornament I made in 3rd grade...that I still have. 

Supplies Needed:Macaroni Noodles/Any Small Variety of Dry Pasta
Shape to Trace
Hole Punch (not pictured)
Craft Glue
Spray Paint
Cardstock or Construction Paper
Scrap Piece of Cardboard

 Trace and cut your shapes & Punch your holes
 Apply glue and smudge it all over with your fingers...
 Call your craftyman...
 Place macaroni on glue.  Try not to cover the hole you punched.
 Carefully flip to and repeat on the other side. 
 Allow time for the glue to dry.
 Adults: Spraypaint one side at a time with your color of choice. 
Metallics work really well.
 Add ribbon and a year tag, and VOILA!

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