We have some sort of plague here people and it is my strong recommendation that you do not come over to my house right now because it’s been 3 weeks and we’re still dealing with coughing and congestion and fevers. Lanie’s pediatrician looked her over and said she looks great and it’s just a long cold and to give her a little more time.

I say boo to that. Not because she looks great but because I really, really don’t want to wait any longer for her to feel better. Does somebody have a magic potion cure for annoyingly long summer colds?

She seemed to be in decent spirits most the day. This was the only non-blurry picture I got.

It’s the nighttime hours that find her crying non-stop and fighting me because she doesn’t want to be held but hollering to be held when I put her down.

For now, I think we’ll be sticking to saline spray and eucalyptus rub.

And steamy showers.

Because I love it when she presses her little hands against the shower glass.

Isn’t she just the cutest thing?

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Filed under: Lanie

Will I ever learn how to take a decent picture?

While I have committed myself to blogging every day for right now to try to bring back the habit of posting something here regularly, I normally wouldn’t feel compelled to blog on a Sunday. I did miss yesterday, however, because yesterday was just so…

This.

Yesterday was a blurry, sticky hair day covered in tomato sauce and prune juice. All day long.

So I am going to go ahead and write something today since Rabbit is out of town and many of us are home from church again with this crummy cold we’ve had for 3 weeks and just when I started to feel human again Lanie, who is only slightly congested, decided to stay up almost all night fussing and I feel hungover but without the fun party memories. Unless you count the Fixer Upper binge I had while I held Lanie as she slept because that was the only thing that I could do that seemed to help her. Thanks for the good times, Chip and Jo.

Lanie being up at night is very unusual. She has always slept well – too well at times – so when she is up in the night for more than just the occasional sleep-eating episode, it means something is really bothering her. I gave her some ibuprofen a the early hours in hopes of getting at-least an hour or two of sleep and it really did help so my best guess is all the teeth she seems to be cutting at once are causing her some mouth pain.

And why does my life look so blurry in pictures? We really aren’t that blurry of a family in real life.

I may have mentioned this before but my dad is a photographer. A pretty good one. He owned a 1 hour photo service lab and studio when I was a kid and even though I am a lot like him in a whole lot of ways, I absolutely did not get his talent in this area. Kait did, however, so I guess photography skills skip a generation.

I did read that if a bad photographer points and shoots a Nikon D810 they can, in fact, suddenly become a good photographer. Anybody have $2500 I can “borrow”?

I’m going to go drink coffee now.

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Filed under: Lanie

Bed hair don’t care

Good mornings have never been sweeter.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Still sanding…

And when Rabbit can’t be here to sand because he has a job that actually requires him to go to work, he uses a stand in replacement (Joe-19) to keep the job going.

This job has proven to be incredibly taxing and detailed and truly annoying. I am thankful for my 14-foot long table, I really am, but this is maddening – and I’m not even the one sanding!

And because we’re realistic, we knew from the start that this job would have to be done in the house and not the workshop where the sawdust belongs.  But even with the sander’s dust collector, there is this light dusting of sawdust on everything and that is particularly irritating.  It is a full-time job keeping the dust from taking over our lives. I am so glad this is almost finished.

I am so glad this is almost finished.

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Filed under: I tried to do a projectJoeSometimes we do stuffThe Rabbitthis house

Lately it’s been all about the dinosaurs.

One of my younger kids’ favorite activities is cutting construction paper with scissors and pasting the pieces together to create dinosaurs.  I don’t know why it’s specifically dinosaurs but it is always dinosaurs.

Yesterday, just after showing me yet another construction paper dinosaur Sam asked where I keep the pins and I said I love your dinosaurs but you are not pinning them all over my walls.

The kids seemed to respect my desire to not have 500 tiny holes in all of my walls. However, unbeknownst to me they had started brainstorming about other ways to hang their dinos.  Since I had earlier vetoed the tape everything to everything idea, they opted to just use paste.

Gabe (16): Mom, are you aware that there are a bunch of dinosaurs glued to the walls and doors all over the house?

Me: What do you mean?

Gabe: I mean that the little kids are making many dinosaurs and gluing them to the walls.

I was rocking a fussy baby at the time and I didn’t get any pictures before I had them remove the quickly drying creations and for that, I am sorely disappointed in myself. I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it was for real a historically accurate portrayal of The Land Before Time up in here.

Today I’ve decided that we’ll be taking a break from cutting paper and gluing all the things so now the kids have turned off all the lights in the house and they are playing some sort of ninja/manhunt game with flashlights and Nerf guns because it’s storming outside. They’ve even roped Gabe into the game and that is helpful because he tends to be good at keeping things from getting too out of control.

I think I’ll just hide out in my room with Lanie while she naps.

It is too quiet though. Not sure if I should be worried or just keep hiding and hope for the best.

Edit: As soon as I hit publish there was a loud eruption of laughing and confused conversation so I think we’re all good here.

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Filed under: BoysFriends & FamilyGirlsJesseSamSometimes we do stuff

Her brother and sister were calling her to come play with them.

I can’t! I have laundry to do! She called back.

Maggie is a unique 3-year-old in that she’s my first kid to make me question whether or not I actually have the ability – nay, sanity – to raise children. Yes, she’s one of the cutest people ever but she’s also stubborn and dramatic and one day she took all my parenting knowledge and flushed it down the toilet while I baked her cookies. She’s the child that humbled me.

If you ask her how she got a bruise or a scratch she’ll often make up dramatic stories about what happened to her. A bully punched her. A dinosaur bit her. Or her go-to answer – Jesse did it. (note here – Jesse is the most mild mannered child in the family.)

She’s confident that she can do anything, even while she is failing at it. She can draw a straight line. She can read. She can pick out random spices, extracts, and food colorings from the lazy suzan and create a beautiful and delicious dessert.
And the blue violin and shredded bow… if you listen to Lucy play you will hear all this squeaking but I don’t squeak when I play. All while Kait and I sit here listening with our eyes twitching.

This unique (to us) personality of hers didn’t come without its perks though.  She is the lovey-est child. Big, elaborate hugs around the neck that make a person feel so valued…  That’s what you can expect from Maggie.

And she loves to do the laundry.

Story time.

Yesterday she gathered up the dirty laundry basket from the room that she shares with Lucy, along with the sheets she had stripped from her bed on her own, and dumped them on the laundry room floor. Then she got to work moving laundry so she could wash her load.
She did not want help. I’ll do it myself, is what she said every time I asked if she needed help.

I’ve had her help me before and because she learns fast she already knew the proper buttons to push to start the towels drying and she said them out loud as she mashed each button. Power. My cycle. Start.

When she got to the point of adding detergent she animatedly called me in to lift her up. I was reminded of how quickly she grasps things because she needed no help with the process itself and when her laundry was washed she suddenly shouted, Oh! My laundry!, and moved everything again.   

And if that wasn’t cool enough, at some point I had brought my hamper into the laundry room and after she had gotten the dryer rolling she actually put all my clothes in the washer and hollered for me to once again lift her up because she needed to put detergent in.

Now, if only she enjoyed folding it and putting it all away…

I guess that is unrealistic because nobody likes that.

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Filed under: Maggie

Lucy (6) and Maggie(3) are having a scooter and balance bike race in the large open area between the wide open kitchen and dining room.  Maggie is frustrated by the whole thing and she just took a break to come talk to me about it.

Maggie: Lucy’s cheating because I want to win.

Me: What happened?

Maggie: Well… I was behind Lucy and she was in front of me and so she won because she’s cheating.

Me: You know, that doesn’t sound like cheating.

Maggie: Yes it is because I wanted to win.

Me: Do you think that maybe she won because she was bigger and faster?

Maggie: Yes.

Me: Well, that isn’t cheating then.

Maggie: But I just really want to win.

I feel like there could possibly be a lesson here that a large percentage of the population of the United States could stand to learn. But for now, I’ll just start with my own kids and teach them that they cannot get what they want just because they want it. Life has never and will never work that way.
Fair is not a real thing.

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Filed under: LucyMaggie

72 hours later… still sanding.

Refinishing this table is kicking his arse.

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Filed under: Sometimes we do stuffThe Rabbitthis house

Yesterday Rabbit, Joe, and I took a trip to the Families First Network to get our fingerprinting done for background checks because we’re becoming spies or something. We’re perfect for this because nobody would suspect a family of 12.

For real, though, this is the next step to becoming foster parents and was so much easier than the mountain of paperwork that we had to fill out and get approved through some magical chain of case workers and we only have the home study part to complete now.

While we are familiar with the process because we’ve already completed our home study for adoption through the foster care system, it’s a little different when the children aren’t being placed with you permanently and the home study will have to be slightly more involved.

Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be about fostering. It was supposed to be about Lanie but apparently, I can get sidetracked before I even start something.

We took Lanie to the office with us and I was so surprised when it didn’t seem to register with anybody that she had Down syndrome.  I wondered if it was because she was more friendly and curious than usual, or because she had her thumb in her mouth…

Maybe these were just unusual people. I don’t know. It really did appear that nobody saw it.

Either way, I was so relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to wonder what they were thinking when they looked at her. Relieved that I didn’t have to concern myself with the inevitable moment that I would have to say Down syndrome. Relieved that I didn’t need to steel my heart for when this light hearted interaction would change after those words were said. Because that’s what happens. Whether intentional or not, that’s what people do when they suddenly realize what is different about her.

And then I felt so guilty because why do I care? We love her. We love her as she is. We love her because of who she is. I wouldn’t change anything about her except maybe that her natural lenses would magically grow back perfectly without cataracts because putting contact lenses in a baby’s eyes does not get more fun as they age.

But I do care. Does that say something bad about me? Or is this normal because the more I think about it, the more I think that wanting others to value our children the way we do is normal for any parent of any child ever. Unrealistic? Sure. But true nonetheless.

While it would be great if everybody’s reactions were as perfect and normal feeling as they were yesterday, I am reminded that people have more growing to do. That I have more growing to do. And we all need to extend each other a little more patience.  A little more understanding. And a lot more grace.

 

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Filed under: Down syndromefoster careLanie

It’s about nothing.

I already had a post mostly written but I typed it out on my phone while I sat in my awesome recliner feeding Lanie and then the WordPress app started acting like a fool and now my post is in limbo somewhere and I’m not sure what is going on there so now I get to start all over.

The post wasn’t all that momentous.  I was bragging on myself for completing my 146th day of running at least 1 mile every day even though I have a chest cold and there was this picture of my running shoes because for some reason that felt like a good idea at the time but, really, who wants to see a picture of my running shoes?

Also, up until just a second ago I thought monumentous was a word. Apparently, even though I’ve been using that word my whole life, it is not an actual word. The actual word is momentous. This reminds me of the hyper bowl scandal of yore.

So, in the end this post is really about nothing and I feel very Seinfeld right about now.  Seinfeld was a very popular show so I guess something about nothing isn’t such a bad thing.

Here’s a picture of my shoes.

You’re welcome.

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Filed under: Um...

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