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Archive for the ‘Goodness’ Category

At night, they sleep in star fields, by day they run with wildflowers.

10/14/2000

Lily Rose 2/8/2005

 

A gift from my sister. If you are remembering anyone today, I’d love to know about it, to hear your story. You can leave a link or just share in the comments. As you can see, I am 10 and 5 years out from these pregnancy losses of my girl children. I’m upright and alright. If you are needing support, I recommend Share and Glow in The Woods, a best friend, some brownies, maybe a glass of wine.  Beyond that I have no advice, I’m just listening.

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Another round of 7 Quick Takes, hosted by Jennifer!

1. Birth

I just got back from a pretty short birth. I can’t share too much, but I will say that the mom shares a name with a Disney character with red hair and a fish tale. My children believe I a birth doula to mer-mommies & animated characters everywhere now. I rock! Tomorrow I will make cookies and they will know themselves to be the luckiest children in the world and enter into an era of no whining or fussing! Also they will sleep past 7am.
Anyway, the birth was lovely, though labor was pre-term & I started having deep thoughts about the NICU. The baby was born in excellent condition, tiny but strong. I hope all are having peaceful night.

2. Good-byes

Henry had his last day of preschool, after 2 years with the same teacher. Jen is one of the only other adults who has shown a no fear attitude towards Henry & his Sensory Processing stuff and towards whatever behavioral component is kicking along side it. The gift that has been to me in the midst of diagnoses and specialist and PPT and IEP, is indescribable. Henry loves her and can’t wait to see her in Kindergarten…except, she won’t be there and I don’t know how to break the news. In addition to which, his preschool is changing locations. Even though we are moving on anyway, it is strange to think of our preschool to visit. Our ten year old Isaac went there eons ago. Later this summer, we will say good bye to Henry’s occupational therapist when we move to Northampton. Christine understood Henry from the moment he first screamed “no swing!!” and then climbed on it & laughed like a giggling chubby baby. I will miss her. Isaac’s viola teacher is moving to the west coast. I’m not quite sure how to thank these women who have invested their time, love and passion into my little ones. Any thoughts?

3. The Mommyblogowaromarkesphere thing is back again. Hide! or Write!
Insert my total intimidate re: all debates about mommy bloggers, product give aways, reviews, promoting, press passes, etc….. Um, hi! It’s me, Karen. I blog here. Hope you like.

4. More Birth
I love my work. I love going to births. I am now free in late June/early July. Any takers?

5. Money
Last week Catherine posted about the recession, wondering if she is alone in feeling the pinch, knowing she couldn’t be, but reaching out in the dark for a hand of assurance. I’ll extend mine out there…yes, it hurts. More energy than I care to spend has gone to finding a doctor who will take our rather shabby insurance plan, a plan we have in order to have more money for food, rent and clothes….more later, I promise.

6. Joy
Is it possible that I have not told you about the Coldplay concert we went to see? A sweet friend gave us her extra tickets. I’ve spent the last week trying to explain to my friends and family how amazing it was. I’m at a loss for words. It’s a bit like trying to describe a spiritual experience. It was the most joyful rock concert I can imagine. At one point, Matt said, “Church should be more like this,” to which I heartily concurred. It was loud, beautiful art that included video, large helium balloons and millions of paper butterflies….um, so, it was really great, yeah. (See, it always ends flat. I cannot describe it. Writing fail.)

7. New York
Got a chance to be in New York with my best friend last week. It was terrifically fun until I started to violently vomit on the highway as soon as we left the city…um, suburbia allergy? Only Sarah could get me laughing, stripping down in the parking lot of a Sports Authority in the dark to change, telling me she’d outed me to the employees – giving them a good story in exchange for help finding cheap clothes fast…so even that part was as fun as it possibly could have been, because I was with her (see my grudge match with Italy post for more).
So, I woke the next morning with a migraine & Matt took their car to the fancy new car wash in town. I took a pain pill from my wisdom tooth surgery, at some toast and was cured by Coldplay that night. Life is good.

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Another round of 7 Quick Takes, hosted by Jennifer!

1. Birth

I just got back from a pretty short birth. I can’t share too much, but I will say that the mom shares a name with a Disney character with red hair and a fish tale. My children believe I a birth doula to mer-mommies & animated characters everywhere now. I rock! Tomorrow I will make cookies and they will know themselves to be the luckiest children in the world and enter into an era of no whining or fussing! Also they will sleep past 7am.
Anyway, the birth was lovely, though labor was pre-term & I started having deep thoughts about the NICU. The baby was born in excellent condition, tiny but strong. I hope all are having peaceful night.

2. Good-byes

Henry had his last day of preschool, after 2 years with the same teacher. Jen is one of the only other adults who has shown a no fear attitude towards Henry & his Sensory Processing stuff and towards whatever behavioral component is kicking along side it. The gift that has been to me in the midst of diagnoses and specialist and PPT and IEP, is indescribable. Henry loves her and can’t wait to see her in Kindergarten…except, she won’t be there and I don’t know how to break the news. In addition to which, his preschool is changing locations. Even though we are moving on anyway, it is strange to think of our preschool to visit. Our ten year old Isaac went there eons ago. Later this summer, we will say good bye to Henry’s occupational therapist when we move to Northampton. Christine understood Henry from the moment he first screamed “no swing!!” and then climbed on it & laughed like a giggling chubby baby. I will miss her. Isaac’s viola teacher is moving to the west coast. I’m not quite sure how to thank these women who have invested their time, love and passion into my little ones. Any thoughts?

3. The Mommyblogowaromarkesphere thing is back again. Hide! or Write!
Insert my total intimidate re: all debates about mommy bloggers, product give aways, reviews, promoting, press passes, etc….. Um, hi! It’s me, Karen. I blog here. Hope you like.

4. More Birth
I love my work. I love going to births. I am now free in late June/early July. Any takers?

5. Money
Last week Catherine posted about the recession, wondering if she is alone in feeling the pinch, knowing she couldn’t be, but reaching out in the dark for a hand of assurance. I’ll extend mine out there…yes, it hurts. More energy than I care to spend has gone to finding a doctor who will take our rather shabby insurance plan, a plan we have in order to have more money for food, rent and clothes….more later, I promise.

6. Joy
Is it possible that I have not told you about the Coldplay concert we went to see? A sweet friend gave us her extra tickets. I’ve spent the last week trying to explain to my friends and family how amazing it was. I’m at a loss for words. It’s a bit like trying to describe a spiritual experience. It was the most joyful rock concert I can imagine. At one point, Matt said, “Church should be more like this,” to which I heartily concurred. It was loud, beautiful art that included video, large helium balloons and millions of paper butterflies….um, so, it was really great, yeah. (See, it always ends flat. I cannot describe it. Writing fail.)

7. New York
Got a chance to be in New York with my best friend last week. It was terrifically fun until I started to violently vomit on the highway as soon as we left the city…um, suburbia allergy? Only Sarah could get me laughing, stripping down in the parking lot of a Sports Authority in the dark to change, telling me she’d outed me to the employees – giving them a good story in exchange for help finding cheap clothes fast…so even that part was as fun as it possibly could have been, because I was with her (see my grudge match with Italy post for more).
So, I woke the next morning with a migraine & Matt took their car to the fancy new car wash in town. I took a pain pill from my wisdom tooth surgery, at some toast and was cured by Coldplay that night. Life is good.

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I just wanted to follow up on this post because it truly is so lovely here with tall trees, green grass and a newly shored up brook on the property. Wildlife in all its forms finds a home here. We arrived home on Sunday and since then have seen two deer, a fox and entire flock of wild turkeys. I have every confidence that our juvenile hawks are still around and I don’t even count butterflies, dragonflies, squirrels, chipmunks or other types of birds which are ubiquitous.

This afternoon as I avoided housework with the deck door open the usual chorus of birds and squirrels reached a cacophony, which can only mean that the wild turkeys are present. I always like to see them. They are still a bit of a novelty to me. Hedging their way behind the swing set were mother, father and 5 medium sized hatchlings all diligently eating dandelion greens and bugs. They saw me on the deck and I heard some squawks in trees. I stood quite still and the two hatchlings I had startled into the woods came swooping down to join their siblings. Three minutes later the very last hatchling silently and slowly walked across the lawn to join the family, totally 10 including tow parents puffing out their chests and staring at me as their young crossed my path. Silently and stealthily (only not that stealthily because they are brown in midsummer on the lawn) they circled the house, past the veggies, crossed the road, to a lawn with fewer dandelion greens. I hope they will be back. I feel certain of it.

The rest of the birds are still quiet and I sit here with a small set of butterflies in my stomach not entirely sure whose ground this is. Not mine.

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Today was cold and windy. A light snow had fallen overnight and was still falling around 9 this morning. The wind was creating a snowing up effect, which charmed the children to no end. The sun made its way over the tree line around 9:30, warming slightly the east facing kitchen and foffice -that’s f(amilyroom)office, ’cause we share. An hour later the snow was gone, half blown and half warmed away. We had borrowed a leaf blower from my in-laws but it was pointless to try with gusts hurling leaves into spirals all over the yard. Lots of our leaves blew across the street to our neighbors yard. Oh well. The week ahead does not look hopeful for blowing leaves around either. There promises wet, snow, rain, cold and more wind as we march towards the darkest days of our year.

Tonight we braved the cold and went to the Outdoor Live Nativity at the big park one town over. It was very cold indeed. We had on multiple layers – both little ones had on leg warmers and boots and coats with vests underneath. Tears froze to our lashes. Fortunately, there were several campfires along the way and farm animals, which generally seem to let out lots of heat. The little ones loved petting the donkey. Thinker is not that into farm animals, so he opted not to touch them. Feeling more cold than reverent, he urged us to make our way round the circuit as quickly as possible, past shepherds, sheep, goat, kings and Holy Family towards the camp fire, carolers and cookies with cocoa- the ultimate destination. I have decided not to interpret this as a misunderstanding about the true meaning of Christmas. It was very, very cold.

The baby, by the way, is the only part of the show that was not live – and frankly, I was relieved to see the doll in the hay. Happily, LP did not feel the need to abscond with this baby Jesus doll – I guess because we have our own at home. He did, however, wish the baby Happy Birthday and made rather determined effort to get into the sheep pen with the very cute lamb. Little Bear, aptly nicknamed and covered full body in red fleece, had a rather angelic glow that babies often do when out in the dark, not sure why, just knowing that this night is very, very special indeed.

He had a very similar expression when he went out trick or treating. I am also not interpreting this to mean he does not grasp the true meaning of Christmas. I will say that he did not appear to be at all surprised by the cookies. They were expected cookies. He is 20 months old.

We warmed up at my in-laws where the grown-ups at goulash and the children at some bread, bananas and then danced to the jazz nutcracker, only taking a break for ice-cream – which mommy was not to help anyone with, no thank you, very much, indeed. When our homes are cozy enough on this cold of a day to make ice-cream appealing, we are among the most blessed of all people. And that did make me think of the true meaning of Christmas. It made me think of the Christmas story, in all its reality: of a teenage girl, shifting for herself and her husband and seeking shelter where any kind soul might offer it. It made me think of a baby arriving, with pain, tears, sweat and blood -as almost all babies do – and the three of them homeless that night, but sheltered and, no doubt, grateful for miracles both big and small.

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Matt was encouraging our boys to continue to help rake our 40 billion leaves up before the snow falls. The littles ones were toddling around outside finding every single toy filled with water and making sure they sat on it or poured it on each other. Inside, I was changing the sheets on all the beds in order to drown in the wash the thing living inside us giving us sniffles and coughs. Also, I needed a break from all their noise.
Trying to keep them outside and occupied a little longer, Matt was egging The Thinker on a bit, trying to increase his 8 year physical and emotional stamina for WORK. He said humorously,
“Come on, rake some more! It will give you big shoulders – and you know who likes strong shoulders, right? girls.”
To which, our Thinker responded, “Come on, dad, it’s at least three months until I’ll be trying to start attracting girls. It’s like my spelling test. It’s not til next Friday. It’s just not time to take that test yet.”

Matt relayed this to me after dinner as we sat there, having excused the kids to go play. His tale was met by my stunned, but appreciative, silence.

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Insert here my loud joyous noises about LP’s planning and placement team meeting. I can’t make any myself because this week, I caught croup from my children. And grown-up croup doesn’t sound like a grown-up barking seal, it sounds like laryngitis, ’cause it is.

And, I can’t tell you – or really, I can only tell you – how very dreadful it is to be the mother of three boys and not be able to raise my voice, or even come up with something that doesn’t sound like a croaking. The impact of a whispered, “don’t hit your brother,” is very minimal.

Ironically, I’m feeling much better than earlier in the week when my throat was sore but I had a voice. At one point the fiery burning sensation sent me running to the Minute Clinic for a rapid strep test. It rapidly told the nurse practitioner that I probably did not have strep. She recommend a DNA probe strep test to send to a lab if I didn’t improve by today – that, it seems to me, could only mean the DNA of whatever horrible bug is living in my throat, because it seems like my own DNA would be irrelevant in this situation. I find it disturbing to think about this.

So, I’m just left wondering, am I better? I feel better, but sound worse, or not at all, depending on when you catch me. Happily, yesterday I felt a little worse and sounded a little better when we were at our PPT – where to my relief, it was decided that our little one is (IS!) eligible for special education serviced here in our town.

Let me back up a moment to mention all the dire warnings I had received about eligibility -it was bad and hard to discount – and even some of them came from the staff themselves. I tried to hold it all at bay- it wasn’t easy and sometimes I lost hope. It is discouraging to hear stories from families that have been disappointed. But today, at least, our story is different.

Until now, I never quite understood that phrase from the Old Testament “God granted him favor in the eyes of ____” This kind of thing always seemed to be happening to one or another of our bumbling Old Testament heroes, getting into a potential scrape and being baled out one way or another, often by God granting him favor in the eyes of some unlikely person, like Pharaoh’s jailer. These past few months all the testing and all the specialists felt like that – like luck, but better planned than luck. (not to compare them to dictator’s jailers because that wouldn’t be nice and these people are nice – and they don’t know I have a blog, so I’m not, you know…)

Everyday that LP had an evaluation or school visit, it was his most charming, lovey self who came out to play. Each specialist in turn developed a little crush on him and his sweet ways. They enjoyed him and enjoyed talking to one another about him, dreaming up ways to help him and one-upping each other on the very best Individual Education Plan they could concoct – putting me in mind of New Testament phrase that I use to encourage healthy competition in my house: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

And did they ever. He is getting in school speech therapy from the public school therapist who will go to his private preschool – she will drive there twice a month and work with him in his class. I am getting in home consultations with the occupational therapist – who just this week went to an all day conference on sensory processing issues – and she will also consult at school for his teacher and me so we know what accommodations we might make and also start the desensitizing process….. Plus, I am getting one free hour of therapy a month from the school psychologist (remember, I mentioned needing help!) So, yes, my town is paying for my therapy.

Thank you, town, in return for this therapy you will find me cheerfully at the local Starbucks, playground and library time. I promise not to be the crazy lady muttering under my breath about sensory processing and receptive language skills. Instead, I’ll smile, wave and always head home before the all important naptime hits my charming, but easily overloaded kid.

A little charm on the part of a three year old boy cut through lots of red tape this week/ God granted him favor in the eyes of the specialists and we are warming in the glow it in right.

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