Friday, March 28, 2008

Potty Training and a "Normal" Day

This week what once I thought was an impossible task was accomplished. Spencer is potty trained! Many of you might feel that he should have been potty trained years ago. Spencer had trouble knowing when he had to go potty. He had chronic constipation. The SC diet has cleared up all of that.

We started on Monday. He did really well. Tuesday was a bit rough, but he recovered well and Wednesday and Thursday were red letter days for him. Today I took him out in underwear and he did great! One down one to go! I should be diaper free for a few months before the new baby arrives.


Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.

-Mary Jean Iron

This morning my sister Cindy called and wanted to take Edy and Spencer to "Horton Hears a Who." I thought this would be a great idea so I proceeded to get them ready. Well, Taylor has been much more alert about what is going on around him and he realized that Spencer was going to be leaving. He proceeded to go and get dressed himself. What am I going to do with that. He was so excited. So...we all went to see "Horton Hears a Who." Taylor did really great for about 40 minutes and then he was done, so I left the other 3 with Aunt Cindy to finish the movie and Taylor and I went and did some errands. He did great. We met back up when the movie was over.

We then attempted something very brave. We took all of the kids out to Cracker Barrel for lunch. We were able to order them food that was on their diet. They all ate very well and were very well behaved.
It was as close to a "normal" day and "normal" behavior that we have had in a very long time.

We felt that Taylor had some regression this week, but he seems to come out ahead. Sometimes he takes one step back and then all of a sudden he is farther along than he was before. I just don't understand.

I have been very exhausted this week and this day really helped. You know you can be exhausted and have an enjoyable time and you can almost forget that the exhaustion is there. The Lord has blessed us this week above all I could hope for. Spencer is potty trained, Taylor is progressing and we were able to have a kids outing with good behavior and I have not yet thrown up due to my morning sickness! God is good!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Has Been Awhile

It has been over 2 weeks since I posted. Life has been fast and furious since we returned from Arkansas. Within those 2 weeks the kids finished their 2nd session of school and are now home for a few weeks, I was told that Spencer will be in general Kindergarten next year, and I have had my first prenatal check up.

I did not understand how Spencer could be ready for Kindergarten when his comprehension skills are not up to par. They told me he would be board with anything else. I did not understand what they meant until yesterday. I was doing some school exercises with Edy and Spencer wanted to "draw" too. We gave him a paper and I asked him to draw an A. He did it. We went through the whole alphabet and he wrote every letter. He even did some lower case letters. I also learned that his comprehension skills are not as behind as I thought. When we were done with the letters he turned his paper over and proceeded to write YOU. He then pointed to the word and said "you". Wanting to set a positive air to the session I suggested that he write the word WIN next. I told him the letters and he wrote them. I then said "you win". He said "NO" in the way that says mom you are not so smart and then proceeded to write the letters L O S and E. He then very emphatically said "YOU LOSE!" Thank you Monkey Ball!

Taylor is also learning to spell, which amazes me. He likes the words ready, go, and goal. He also has learned how to spell his name. I know that there is much in his brain that is just itching to escape. One day I will sit in amazement that we made it through this part of the journey.

Darrin cracks me up. He brought me home a book to help me with my blog. It is "The Book of Positive Quotations" 2nd Edition. It really is a cool book and I want to start putting these quotes in my posts. The one that I feel is very appropriate for my situation this week is this:

"The one law that does not change is that everything changes, and the hardship I was bearing today was only a breath away from the pleasures I would have tomorrow, and those pleasures would be all the richer because of the memories of this I was enduring." - Louis L'Amour

I love watching little brains at work. When the boys were little I would love to watch them figure things out. I lost this for a time and now those little brains are working again. I get great pleasure watching them learn, knowing how hard it has been for them to get to this point. There were times in the past years that I felt that these days would never come. I would be living in this cycle forever. The cycle is ending. The kids and I have been having a very nice time together this break. We do have our little incidents, but they are nothing like the past. We played cards yesterday, colored and played together. We are verging on "normal" (not that I want to get too close to that). The pleasures of these times are all the richer because of the hardship that we have been through together.

Right now Edy is sitting in the big chair with Taylor. They are looking at pictures of Disneyland. Edy is asking "who's that" and Taylor is answering her and even giving descriptions of the pictures sometimes. He is getting most of them correct. How much has changed in the past year. I am looking forward to the rich pleasures of tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

God's Perfect Timing

Many times I question the timing of things. I know that God is orchestrating our lives and we want our family to be used to its greatest potential. Many times I do not see how things that transpire are in God's timing until it is revealed at a later date.

As many of you know, Darrin and I had our kids very quickly. 4 children in 2.5 years. After Addi was born we called it quits. 2boys and 2 girls seemed like a good number and mix. Also, Addi's labor and delivery was very hard and I did not ever want to go through that again.

Edy has also been learning about God's timing in answering prayer. She has been praying for a baby for about a year now. She asked me a bit ago why God did not answer her prayer. I used the moment to explain to her that God sometimes says no and we need to be OK with that.

We arrived at Grandma's house about 5:30 on Saturday evening. The atmosphere was one of grief and depression. I found Grandma and gave her a long hug and then told her I had a card for her. She read the card and then looked at me. Her face turned from one of grief to one of joy. She then started showing the card to everyone. She would say so and so come here, read this. It will be her reason to continue through the very hard first few months without Papa.
The card read like this:
cover: A New Baby
Inside: How Wonderful!
I wrote inside:
Dear Grandma,
I will be arriving sometime between October 31st and November 12th. Please come and visit me.
It was signed: Baby T

I have 2 boys with Autism and a little girl with learning disabilities. How I am supposed to get through this pregnancy, I don't know.
What I do know:
God has never given me enough to send me to the insane asylum. (I have come close)
God has taught Edy a very special lesson about answered prayer.
This child has already given someone in the midst of grief, hope for the future.

I did question the timing of this pregnancy. I have fears of miscarriage, birth defects, one more with autism, labor and delivery and postpartum depression . We are starting over. I am almost done with diapers and life was just about to get a bit easier when all of the kids were in school this next fall.

Even with this I have to acknowledge that God's timing is perfect.
The kids will all be in school in the morning just as I am starting my 3rd trimester. Can you say morning nap?
We were able to plan our Grandma's first holidays without Papa. Thanksgiving with us and Christmas with her daughter in CA.
Darrin started a really great job in January and will be going full time in May. We will hopefully have maternity insurance.
The boys are ready for chelation. They should be greatly improved by November. (I already see changes in Taylor. It is amazing what a few days away will reveal)
He gave Darrin and I time alone together to get used to the idea. I would have had a much harder time accepting this pregnancy in the midst of screaming children. :)

Once again God is teaching me that along the way there will be things and situations that I view as bumps in the road. Looking back from this side I can see that those "bumps" are an intricate part of God's plan for our family. Without them we would not be who we are.
It is the same with this. God is changing the dynamics of our family once again. It will be interesting to see what I think about this "bump" when I am on the other side.

BTW: Alaina, do you still have the crib? :)