Friday, March 30, 2007

Lions, Tigers, & Bears

I have been diligently working on gathering research for a paper on inclusion practices for students with autism and mental retardation. I was required to turn in a draft to my instructor this past Wednesday. I met with her today to go over the draft and left her office surprised, yet cheerful. She was very pleased with my research and, in fact, wants me to prepare a PowerPoint presentation to present at the State Conference for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) next spring. Needless to say, I am very excited about this.

I have often thought that I am putting so much effort into my school work and missing out on my family. Don’t get me wrong, mothering definitely comes first, but I have spent countless hours while my kids nap during the afternoons, evenings, and weekends reading, writing, or researching. I love doing all of those things, but I also miss just being able to relax and hang out with my kids. I guess I sometimes wish I could just be like a “normal mom” and do “normal mom” things instead of worrying about school. “Normal moms” find time to pursue activities and hobbies, right? I love to scrapbook but don’t have the time to put into it. My scrapbook table is literally piled with JUNK, some of it mine, some of it everyone else’s in the family. At the same time, though, if I wasn’t going to school, what would I be doing? Probably not scrapbooking or pursuing other hobbies. Oh well, only a few more classes to go and then I will become a “normal mom”. . . and probably hate it!

I am very excited about this weekend. We are camping with our T-n-T (20s -n- 30s) group tonight. We have a lot of fun because most of us have kids about the same age. It’s a nice break to be able to hang out with people our own age and do fun stuff WITH THE KIDS! I do love to go out alone with TJ but found out shortly after having Th, babysitters aren’t cheap! It’s nearly impossible to find a sitter who is willing to watch 3 kids for less than $5 an hour, and you can imagine the quality that amount of money affords! TJ and I only get out about twice a year alone, so when those opportunities do arise, we eagerly jump on them. I’m not too sure how I got on this topic, so now I'll get back on track.

This will be the first time camping with all 3 kids. We had a campout last September, but I was pregnant so I brought Ta home with me; only TJ and Th camped. Tonight should be interesting. It’s at a friend’s house and they live on a large pond. Fishing hooks, fire, and a bunch of kids- a recipe for disaster! Check back to see how we fare. . .

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sad

I just checked Carole's blog and read her entry dated yesterday. Riley, another CDH baby, died on Saturday. Riley's 1st birthday was coming up on Wednesday. Needless to say, after reading about Riley (linked through Carole's blog) I am even more determined to spread the word about CDH.

My heart breaks for these families who have lost precious children, and although I can't change their circumstances, I can support and love them as best as I know how. You know, as a future special educator, perhaps I feel more of a connection than other people would. I don't know. What I do know, however, is that all children, especially those with special needs, must have an advocate on their side, and that is my goal in life. I hope you will take the time to learn about CDH and other abnormalities that affect so many in this world. Just by knowing about them, you will have more compassion for these families, and in turn, make the world a better place to live.

Carole

CDH is short for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and Carole's son Joseph died because of it. Until learning about Carole through a friend of mine from church, I had never heard of it. Carole's hope is that Joseph will not have died in vain, which is why I am adamant on spreading the word about CDH. I have linked Carole's blog to mine. I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to read about her incredible journey, but make sure you have a box of tissues near by; you'll need them!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Time Marches On

Even though it's the weekend, I am just now finding time to write here. I look forward to writing, which surprised me, because I have found that I am much more candid and open about my thoughts in writing as opposed to speaking. I think many people are like that.
I have lots to report, well maybe not lots, but some.

First, Th started playing "Blastball" through our community league here in town and had his first game on Saturday. He was very good, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom. He played soccer through the same league last fall and he just isn't aggressive enough to be considered a good soccer player. He dribbles very well and can kick great, but getting the ball is a whole different story. Anyway, in this form of T-ball, he is good at batting, fielding, and running to the base. I think we have found his sport, and that excites me! He loves sports and I want him to not only enjoy playing them, but be good at them, too.

The second piece of news I received is that one of my friends will be moving to Utah this summer. I have a lot in common with her (3 kids, both of us going back to school to finish our degrees) and she is probably one of the funniest women I know. She has kept my kids for me on occasion while I was at school or running errands. Her youngest son and Th were in the same preschool class last year. I will miss her dearly and have this to offer her: “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” - Ecclesiastes 4:10 Thank you, M.B., for being my friend. I pray the Lord will lead you wherever you may be.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What Can Brown Do for You?

Well, it finally arrived yesterday - TJ’s long awaited birthday gift.

He ordered it Sunday evening and all week has been checking the front porch in case I happened to be upstairs and missed the UPS man.

I was sitting on the couch nursing the baby while Th was playing with the dogs. I heard the rumble coming down the road but didn't think anything of it. The UPS man drove, well, sped is probably a more accurate description, past my house and I watched him as I do every weekday. Suddenly, I heard the familiar warning beep as the truck began to go in reverse. He stopped in front of my house and I scrambled to get myself in a position to open the front door.

About that time, the dogs noticed we had company and jumped on Th, scratching him with their claws. He screamed and scared the baby, who, by the way, was mad because I had to stop nursing. At that point I had 2 barking dogs, 2 screaming kids, and my bra was not latched because I was trying to handle all the other commotion and didn't get around to latching it properly. Also, all that noise woke Ta and I could hear him crying through the baby monitor. It was no wonder the UPS man took one look inside my crazy house and decided he'd be better off leaving the package on the porch!

After the dogs calmed down, Th stopped screaming, and the baby was latched on to me again, I was able to have Th bring the package inside for me. He so desperately wanted to open it, but it was not addressed to him. It was what TJ had been waiting for, and I knew that because Penny's was printed all over the outer wrap.

So what was it, you ask?

It was the Rowenta "Focus" iron. TJ has been dreaming of this iron for a very long time and he finally received enough Penny's gift cards for his birthday to purchase it. After opening it, he permitted me to touch it, and I must say it is a very nice iron. I thought I would pass out last night because he actually read the little booklet that came with it!

This is the man who wouldn't read an instruction manual if his life depended on it, BUT, he is very gifted and usually doesn’t need to spend the time. He figures out whatever it is we're trying to do by the time I even get the instructions un-taped and out of the plastic that manufacturers insist on wrapping them in. Sometimes it seems the instructions are packaged better than the item they go with- go figure!

Oh, he used it this morning to iron his shirt and I am happy to say, he was not disappointed!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Here I Go!

Without going into all the details, I know of a woman named Carole who has a blog and I read it as often as I can. Her family has been through, and continues to live through, a horrible experience. Because of it, I like to read about her daily ups and downs. Anyway, TJ found me once again reading Carole's blog and asked if I'd like one. I was quick to say no, but then after thinking about it, I changed my mind. The computer is where I spend many hours working on homework assignments and checking my email. But, as Carole has shown me, it can also be used as an outlet, and I need an outlet to remember God's goodness! So, here it is- my first blog entry. I hope this will meet my needs and satisfy your curiosity. It won't be anything extravagant but it will provide you with an inside look into my life as a wife, mom, student, friend, etc. I hope you come back soon!