Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Staycation phase 2 : family style (scroll down for photos)

The four days away that Dan and I had were just wonderful... I would do it all over again in a heartbeat... thank you so much to the people who helped make it happen for us.  When I think back to last week and close my eyes I can feel my bloodpressure drop and a nice relexed sigh flows from my lips....  Good thing we built up our reserves for Phase 2!

We arrived back to the homestead on saturday and were reunited with the kiddies.   We did a unpack / repack marathon for all, loaded the van and we were ready to go after church on Sunday.  The kids and I hit Letournea and awaited daddy's arrival late in the night after he finished up with some work / church duties.

As we drove to camp, shea's first question was... "will they have a ramp for my chair"? Ahhh the concerns of a babe!

I was a bit whooped getting the kids into the cottage settled, unpacked, fed, changed, etc etc, but had a fun break as my good friend Deb and her son Ben were brave enough to come visit us and have a play date.  There are many categories of friends at this stage in life.  One main category:  the friends who are still brave enough to come hang out for play dates with the crazy kulp crew for more than half an hour!  If you are one of the brave souls in that group give yourselves a pat on the back! 

The kids were very excited to explore the new surroundings of the cottage, play on the enclosed porch, set up the "big kid bedroom" camping style, and in general, run, jump and climb.  Simon especially seemed very content and happy to be king of this new castle.  One of my favorite features was a comfy rocker, that simon liked as much as I did.  A few times a day he would come sit with me and just rock and enjoy each other.... just being still.

That is one of the necessary reasons for a staycation with the family... it is still a ton of work, there are still medical routines to perform, dishes to wash, diapers to change, meals to prepare.... but the rest of the world is not pulling on you.  You sit and enjoy each othera bit more easily.  You may be thinking about the million things that need to be done, but you are not home so you don't feel guilty about not doing them!  You can be still with each other just a bit more, play with them just a bit sillier, and breath just a little deeper some of the time.

Grandpa Button came for a fun surprise visit on monday.  The boys had long overdue haircuts.  The rec hall was explored.  The playground was played on.  The lake was admired!   Emily seemed to be the most entranced by the beauty of the water.  She asked (insisted) repeatedly to go "out out out" to the porch.  She would climb up in a chair and look out at the water over and over again.

Mommy's favorite quote of the week... "oops a doosie" from our Shea.  He used this phrase repeatedly.  I don't have the heart to tell him it's really oops a daisy...because I don't want him to change how he says it!  Too wonderful!

Surprise winner in category of "favorite toy":   The platic kitchen ladel that was transformed into a sand digger, worm finder, dirt soup stirrer!   Ahh what a young mind can do with a kitchen utensil.

Unexpected skill discovered:  my boys kind of kick butt in air hockey!  Simon has quite the arm, and scored on mommy a few times.  I loved watching him gaze intently at the way the puck hovered over the hundreds of tiny holes shooting out air.  Yes I know he was intently studying this because of his autism, but he let out a happy squeal, was good at something while having fun with it... and it was something NEW!  I love it when simon will allow a new joy to enter into his routine.

Award for best ploy:  Danielle was intent on "arresting" mom and dad, and throwing us into "jail".  Dan came up with the brilliant idea to make his prison the park bench... He could be doomed to punishment of sitting down and resting while the others played!  I married such a smart man!  He did deserve some rest after all the hauling and packing i've made him do lately!

Tuesday was honestly quite hectic... the norman rockwell of it all had to fade in the background as mom and dad figured out how to watch the gang and pack up a whole cottage, load the van, do the normal routines etc etc....and Emily was giving us a run for our money :)  We did leave a few hours early as this all became a bit overwhelming.  We did however go out for a "grand" mexican meal at Taco Bell on the way home. It was a hit for all.... especially simon...BEEF!... a kids best friend. 

So now we are home... mostly unpacked, and reality kicks back in tomorrow. No more playing hookie from school I am afraid! I am very thankful for the last few days to give us a boost during this long winter....memories were made. Hopefully the kids will be recharged and refreshed too! Now we wait for Spring!!!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pinching Myself

Why is Liz pinching herself you may ask?  She has been "childless" for over 48 hours now.  Gasp!
My wonderful husband Dan has arranged a staycation for us.  We have been looking forward to these 4 days for months and it has finally arrived.  We are incredibly appreciative to the "village" at home helping to manage the kids, "auntie Ann", grandparents Button, Carli and Ann Marie, Jeff and Joey... all a part of the plan to keep the boat afloat while we are gone.  Dan and I realized this is the first vacation we have taken since 2010 thats main purpose wasn't traveling across an ocean to add a family member to our home!
I have been wined and dined, took in Le Mis, a bit of shopping, a hair cut, brisk walks, naps, observed fillabusters, read, and even attended a protest rally in regards to my children.... I am enjoying myself thouroughly and am so thankful for this time to be refreshed.  Dan and I are careful though not to get too rejuvinated.... staying slightly overwhelmed and frazzled keeps us from making any silly life changes, grand plans or decisions! We have though enjoyed talks and sharing about our past, present and future....
It's so nice to have long uninterrupted conversations with each other, and long uninterrupted silences as well.  My devotion today reminded me to not be anxious or fearful for anything, but to trust in God, and transform those anxieties into petitions of prayer, and pledges of trust to Him. 
So, yet again it's been MONTHS since my last blog post.  Here are our "immensly exciting" life updates of late. 
Dan:  some of you may know about his new job that he started back in July.  A surprise to us, Dan was asked to interview for the position of interim pastor at the Manchester Baptist Church.  It made good sense because of the long history of church jobs and his comfort with speaking and teaching, but it was something we hadn't though about before.  It seemed like God was telling us to "go ahead".  Dan has been there now for some months, and is thouroughly enjoying his post.  Our family enjoys it as well, and we have made many new friends.  They lovingly tolerate our crazy family just like our FUMC family does.  I'm not sure though if they know about his tattoos yet.... hee hee well now they do!  Come visit us there anytime :) 
Mr Simon:  he had his time in district at Pal Mac, and Dan and I decided it was in his best interest to return him to Holy Childhood on our dime.  It's not easy, but it's what is best for him....we have some battles ahead of us on this topic, that I am not looking forward to, but as you know a momma will give her left arm for what she knows is right for her child...and so it goes.  He has been more vocal this month sharing some words with us we haven't heard before!  also lately he's been trying some new foods for us.  He's enjoyed wrestling with shea, and playing chase with his sisters... for him all is well in his world currently.
Danielle:  still growing about an inch a month!  She's going to be catching up to me soon.  She thrives when given helping jobs or nurturing tasks.  Her health has been good, except for a recent bout with flu.  Her most recent triannual ear surgery was in January.  The Kirsch Center has been working closely with us to help us address some of her mood and behaviour issues, and dare I say it outloud... the last few months have been milder.   She is a great sister, especially to emily, at times helping to keep her little sister out of trouble, and at times teaching her how to make the trouble!
Shea:  He certainly keeps mommy busy... between his medical needs, his extracirrics, and his social life, we stay hopping for this one!  At this time Shea is again active in his Rookies wheelchair sports team.  His hip surgery from last may has healed remarkably well, so well infact that now it is time to schedule the removal of his hardware for sometime this summer.  If the hardware isn't taken out before bone grows over the top of it, then we run into trouble, so back in we will go.  Also on the schedule are meetings with the pediatric urology team to discuss when we will start to move forward with his bladder surgeries.  He had a pretty rough february in regards to his respiratory illnesses and asthma...but is now back to his old self.  He keeps us laughing, and is booked up with birthday parties and play dates.  Does anyone want to volunteer to be his booking agent?
Miss Emily:  wow what a blossoming personality.  She is happy when she is making people laugh.  She is happy when she is climbing under, on and around things that she should not be.  She is happy when being chased in circles around our home by her siblings.  She is happy when she figures out how to say a new word... in general for the most part she is just happy!  and yes... LOUD.  She did get another ear infection a few weeks ago, but that too has passed.  Also, did I mention that she has her daddy completely wrapped around her little finger?
As for "mamma":  what is new for me?  Aside from my Physical Therapy work which I am still doing half time I pretty much just sit around eating bon bons and painting my toenails.   Just kidding, actually not too much is new.  Being the nurse / secretary / planner/ maid / equipment manager / driver / advocate / caregiver / hugger / and smoocher of my family keeps me booked from dawn till dark and then some.  Also I must mention Heath... we continue to advocate for this boy.  God has laid him on our hearts heavily.  We are feeling very called to advocate strongly for him and to keep sounding the alarms about his fate.  Please continue to help us share and to pray .... and even if you think you are not the family for him... stop and think about it again...
As is my custom...I have rambled on much too long, and if you are still reading and awake I commend you!  hugs to all... and see you again on this blog...."sometime"