A little bit of this and a little bit of that …

I’m always surprised when I don’t focus on getting any one particular thing done all day, but end up feeling like I got a lot done in general. It’s simple things like this make me happy 🙂

Well, I hope you all had a day where you did a little bit of this and a little bit of that!!!

A screw loose …

We had an earthquake last night, actually a lot of them. But one was pretty big. The biggest I can ever remember being in. I am thankful my family is OK. We weren’t all together last night which had me unnerved. Once we were, my world was somehow restored back to normal despite our mess. My Ree and Libs took it the hardest. It’s times like this I’m glad I was trained in Crisis Intervention.

Earthquakes are an interesting phenomena. We live fairly close to the epicenter but I learned that even a mile can spare you a whole lot of damage. Our pantry suffered the most damage. A screw (or two) came out of the wall holding up the shelves and they are now leaning forward. I’m thankful for so little damage. And in my hopeful style, I’ve found some humor in it too.

Wait for it …

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are grateful to have a screw loose!!!

There for my Ree …

Today I got to go to a Mother’s Tea at my Reese’s school. To put it mildly … I WAS GUSHING WITH PRIDE!

My Ree has Down Syndrome. Yes, it’s different raising her than it has been raising my “typical” kids. But I can tell you, it’s been no less delightful. I’ve never felt bad for me, for her, for us. God made her perfect just the way she is and I am so thankful He chose me to be her mommy. With DS comes delays. For us in our situation, they have been quite manageable. And for this I am very grateful. To be honest, for the most part, I have enjoyed the extended time it has taken her to get from one milestone to the next. Sure, potty training could hurry up a little bit, HA! But I love that I’ve had more time at these young precious stages than I did with my others kids and I love how little, sweet and innocent Reese has remained.

Today she was just darling on stage singing and signing. She looked like a beautiful angel.

The best part of the morning came early for me. It was when the children were being brought in and organized on stage. My Ree was quiet, looking around … for me. The other children were calling out “Mom” or “Mommy” as my Ree continued to look calmly around the room. I could tell that she still couldn’t find me despite my best efforts to draw attention to myself in the most socially appropriate way I could (it was a tea after all).

Then it happened.

My Ree, probably without uttering a sound, mouthed “Mama” and signed “mother” several times. For some reason this was one of the most adorable things I have ever witnessed. Well, at that point I excused myself from my table and ran (YES I RAN and you can SUCK IT DR. IRONMAN) to a place that my baby could see me. And she did … and then she smiled … just knowing I was there …

Well, I hope you all had a day where you were there for someone who loves you!!!!

Stopping, looking and appreciating …

I knew when I was walking (not running of course) home from the gym at 6:45 this morning, that this day was going to be rough. And it was. I had locked both sets of keys in my car. A new one for even me.

My day just got better from there (note sarcasm).

A few hours later I was in complete hysterics when my credit card was denied. OF COURSE, I had to think the worst, believing that we had been hacked, robbed, and anything else I could think of. Well, after about an hour and half of craziness it all boiled down to me not activating my new credit card. Um … my bad.

What else happened you ask? Was there more to my “rough” day? Heck yeah there was more!

My H-Crew and I were cut off and almost hit by another car on the way to school this morning. I found a hair on my breakfast plate … after I ate the entire thing. And NO it wasn’t mine. GUH. And as luck would have it, my credit card was declined paying for my hairy breakfast (see my above mishap). AND because my day was THAT GOOD, I managed to impale my bicep on a wood chip that somehow managed to become imbedded in my jacket sleeve. WHAT. THE. HECK? And NO, I didn’t make into the New York Marathon this year. BIG SIGH.

BUT … something else happened too. Something happened very early on that made this awful day … well … not so awful.

Something or someone (God, the Universe, what or whomever) told me to stay aware of the beauty that surrounded me. Now don’t get me wrong, I try to do this every day. But this was such a strong feeling I knew I had to do something more bold than just giving it a head nod and an “oh yeah, of course”. So I decided that wherever I was, no matter what I was dealing with, and no matter how crappy I felt I was going to look for flowers.

FLOWERS???

Yep, flowers.

And WOW, did is see a ton! BEAUTIFUL, COLORFUL, WONDERFUL FLOWERS! And they were everywhere.

I’m pretty sure that if that little voice/feeling/whatever hadn’t been present so earlier on, that my day would have ended much differently. For some reason I was given a gentle reminder that I should try to see the beauty in this world even when I didn’t want to. Wow. I. Am. Blessed.

So, was my day rough? Certainly. Were there things to be thankful for? In abundance. Is tomorrow a new day to start fresh? ABSOFREAKINLUTELY.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you stopped … looked … and appreciated!!!

My gas problem …

Every weekday morning I take my 4 kids to 3 different schools. This is better than it was last year when I had 4 kids going to 4 different schools. I still haven’t recovered from realizing that I was THAT parent, the one with a pre-schooler, an elementary schooler, a junior higher and a high schooler. HOLY FREAKIN’ MOLY! Anyway, mornings around here are a little crazy to say the least.

Unfortunately I am also someone who frequently forgets to put gas in her car as well. I tend to push it off. My mother was a “never pump your own gas” kind of person and so I find the whole experience a bit icky. So therefore, I wait … and then I forget. BIG SIGH.

I had every intention of filling my car up with gas last night. But then our dinner plans changed and … well … I forgot. This morning on my first school drop off I realized I didn’t have enough gas to get 3 of the 4 kids to school. Which is sad considering no one school is more than a mile and a half from our house. So I took Ree and my two high schoolers, Sid and G3, to go get gas before dropping them off at school. And sadly, Sid and G3 were late for their first periods.

My kids are hilarious … and they love to mess with me, and I, them. It’s become a sport for us. And today, they got me good.

Sid and G3 needed a note to enter school. Not wanting them to be any later than they already were, I quickly scrawled down a generic note requesting their tardies be excused for “personal reasons”. Sid quickly said, “Mom, explain why.” I told her the generic note would be good enough and that I’m sure the attendance office could care less about why I almost ran out of gas. But I told her that if they asked to tell them what had happened. Sid said she would … and of course … only in Sid’s special way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where people don’t think you have a GAS PROBLEM!!!

Grieving and fierce love …

Tragically, over the weekend a classmate of my oldest two children was killed. He was 16. From the information I’ve gathered, he was skateboarding and was struck by a car. I am so sad.

My daughter knew him, but they weren’t close. They were both in the Digital Arts Academy at the high school, a specialized program for students who plan to pursue a career in that field after graduation.

When I worked as a medical social worker I did a lot of grief work. I worked with terminally ill patients and also with families who had lost a loved one suddenly or in a traumatic accident. Despite having walked countless patients and their families through the death process and grieving, it never got easier. Especially when it came to children. Those reactions I witnessed from their parents will never leave my heart and mind. It’s just not supposed to happen.

As a parent I can’t fathom losing a child on a normal day. I don’t even want to want to! But on days like this it’s really all I can think about … and all I want to do is to gather up my children and run away to a far secluded place where nothing can ever hurt them.

I have always tried to “stay in the
moment” with my H-Crew. Having lost my mom when I was so young I never found the desire to rush things along. I vowed to myself and them that I would appreciate every little thing, good or bad. But days like today make you scared. And even when you didn’t think you could ever possibly love and appreciate your children more, a whole new level of parent love emerges.

My heart aches for this young man’s family. His friends. His precious precious parents. May god give them strength and comfort in this difficult time. May He help them find peace in this tragedy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where
you hug your loved ones a little tighter and love them a little fiercer!!!

Getting started …

I made it two weeks. No nothing. No running. No cross training. Um. No sanity. HA! But tomorrow all that changes! Back to the gym I go to begin getting my life back.

I still can’t run or do any leg work but I’ve learned that being a better runner is an all over body experience. At least for me. All roads lead back to running for me. I don’t just work out. I’m not just a gym goer. In fact I hate the gym. Blah. Everything I do physically has a purpose and has since I decided I wanted to run more seriously 9 long years ago. I want to be the best runner I can be. Period. End of story.

This time off has not been pleasant. My sleep is off. I’m eating like crazy. And I just don’t feel like myself. But I’ve really tried to focus on the positive things. Like all the other things I do, this rest is only going to make me a stronger and healthier runner. A runner more able, and determined, to make her dreams come true.

You see, this time my dreams are kinda HUGE. Again, at least for me. I know it might take some time and a whole lotta effort to figure it all out. But. I. Am. Ready.

This time there is no TRY … it’s just DO. I want this. Badly. I am excited to start becoming the runner I need to be to chase my dreams. I know how blessed I am to have the opportunity to begin this journey. And hopefully, in just a few more weeks, the healthy legs I need to get to where I want to go.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you look forward to getting started!!!

Extra chromosomes …

Today is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). And it just so happens that I get to celebrate it with my 4 year old daughter, Reese, who has Down Syndrome.

WDSD is always on March 21 (3/21) to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome that is found in the DNA of people with Down Syndrome. There is some pretty solid evidence that there are major efforts being made in the world to better understand people with Down Syndrome. One being that since 2012 WDSD has been recognized by the United Nations as a day of global awareness. And that makes me very happy.

Any efforts made to make this world a more tolerant and accepting place for my Ree, is a good thing. I want my Ree to live in a world that she can trust. I want her to have wonderful people in her life that she she can look up to. I want people to be kind and good to her. I want her protected and loved. I want her to be given a chance to shine all that she does and hopes to do. I want her best to be good enough.

My hopes for Reese are nothing more than any other mother would want for their child. My child just happens to have a few extra chromosomes.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you love someone with Down Syndrome!!!