July 13, 2009
We’ve got a lot of firsts going on in our busy house.
Tomorrow my oldest goes to camp for the first time. He’s my cautious, must be comfortable and have done it a couple times already before he wants to do it child. Which is just like me. Sorry, dear boy.
So we’ve been getting comments like, “I hope Monday doesn’t come,” and “Can you all go with me?” He’s going with a couple friends, and since he’s only forty-five minutes away, my husband plans to swing by and say hi to him on Tuesday, but nervous son just won’t be excited until he finds lots of other boys who play sports too. Then he’ll forget all about us.
So there’s that. While he’s gone, my daughter is going to have her first overnighter with a friend. She’s my daring, laughs in the face of danger child that has my husband and I most on edge. Talk about opposites, huh? She’s dying for older brother to leave so she can get this overnighter started already.
Even my ten-month-old, the hyper diaper as we call him, has a first. He’s giving kisses! To my husband. Only. Of all the nerve.
Still, it’s adorable. Steve asks him, “Kiss?’ and the hyper diaper puckers up and leans half an inch toward him. I tell you, it’s a real “Awww” moment.
The sad thing about firsts is that they soon become the norm — and routine. Before long, my oldest boy won’t be so sorry to leave Mom and Dad. My daughter will want to do sleepovers more and at our house (I’m so not ready for that!). And the hyper diaper will give so many kisses that we’ll forget their charm.
That just makes me want to savor these moments even more. Tomorrow I’ll give long hugs, enjoy a quiet evening with my husband, and do my bestest to get the hyper diaper to give ME a kiss.
I’ll let you know when I get my first.
October 8, 2008
My son was sure this baby had decided not to be born, after all.
It’s been a busy year, and I’m sure that with another child, it’ll only be busier, but I hope to get back to blogging more. At least once I get some good chunks of sleep in.
Here’s to sleeping on my stomach again.
July 30, 2007
I got quite a number of comments on last Monday’s post where one child asked me to make the other child stop using the force on them. And yes, that really was said to me in a most serious manner.
Want to know the story behind it?
We have a Legos Star Wars video game, and my kids were playing it together. One of them was Darth Vader whom we all know has force powers. Evidently “Darth” wanted to get into whatever Child Two was doing in the game, and so “Darth” used his force powers in the game to move Child Two elsewhere. This happened over and over and over until Child Two got upset and called for me to make him stop using the force.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’re not as talented as all that!
June 11, 2007
Other than the first three years of my life, I’ve never lived near my grandparents. We saw them once, on occassion, twice during the year, and it was always a highlight.
When I was a preschooler, one of my grandmothers made a tape for me. She read storybooks and poems and talked about the lake behind their house freezing over. I think I was three, almost four, when she sent the first one, but I listened to it over and over for years.
After my sister came along, Grandma made another tape for both of us (along with a comedy routine from my grandpa and aunt), and we listened to that one too, somehow not wearing either tape out.
Which was great because this past year, my mom had them converted from tapes to MP3s. She gave them to us for Christmas, and they were such a special gift since my sister and I have kids who are the same age as we were when we listened to those tapes.
One great gift turns into another great gift!
So now my kids listen to Grandma’s stories. And they have their favorites, just like I did. Thanks, Mom and Grandma!
What about you? What are some special gifts you’ve given or received?
May 16, 2007
Last week I invited you to a fundraiser/book launch party for Maureen Lang’s book The Oak Leaves.
Here are the details again.
THE OAK LEAVES
By Maureen Lang, Tyndale House Publishers
Talie Ingram’s world is shattered when she discovers a shocking family secret in the 19th century journal of one of her ancestors, Cosima Escott. Only in reading Cosima’s words can Talie make peace with the legacy she’s inherited, and the one she’s passed on to her son.
Where: The Libertyville Civic Center
135 W Church Street
Libertyville, IL 60048
When: Sunday Afternoon
May 20th, 2007
Stop in between 2:30 and 6 pm
Why: To benefit the National Fragile X
Coffee, tea and cookies will be served.
The content of this Inspirational novel includes characters with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the brain. Books will be on sale at this event for $13.00 each and all proceeds will go to The National Fragile X Foundation for research and education.
If unable to attend but would like to donate, please send your tax-deductible donation to: The National Fragile X Foundation, PO Box 190488, San Francisco, California 94119-0488
SB: Why did you write The Oak Leaves?
ML: Mostly to bring attention to Fragile X Syndrome and let others share in this life experience. Even though I believe one of the most difficult things in life is to face a serious diagnosis for your child, it was helpful to me to look at how it changed my life — and try to find something good to say about it. At the time of the diagnosis I questioned many things, not the least of which was why a good God would allow this to happen to those He supposedly loves (my husband, my son, my other children, our extended family, myself).
Writing this book helped me to assimilate all the sermons I’ve heard about how God gave us free will in order to teach us to love. Free will brought all kinds of havoc — but without it, we’d all be robots without the faintest idea of what it means to love God or each other. And that would make the world a far different place than one in which we have to face evil and disease.
SB: How much of the novel is true? Did you find a journal and learn that Fragile X had been in your family for generations?
ML: Although Fragile X must have been in my family for at least three generations before it displayed itself in my son, the journal and everything else in The Oak Leaves is pure fiction.
However, like Talie, I had recently found out I was pregnant again when my son was diagnosed. I went through the remainder of my third (and final) pregnancy not knowing whether I would have a healthy baby or another Fragile X child.
SB: What kind of long-term prognosis is typical for a person with Fragile X Syndrome?
ML: Since Fragile X isn’t a degenerative disorder, people with Fragile X have a normal life expectancy — which is both good news and bad. It means at some point they must receive care from someone other than their parents. A typical Fragile X’er with moderate mental impairment will always need some kind of help. My son, being on the low end of the functional spectrum, will always need someone to be responsible for him because he has virtually no language and needs help at every level of personal care. Which is why I tend to be passionate about research!
SB: How does Royboy, the Fragile X child portrayed in The Oak Leaves, compare to your son?
ML: I created Royboy to match my son as closely as possible, because my son is the Fragile X-er I know best. But as portrayed in the book, there are varying degrees of affectedness.
Many Fragile X-ers attain good language skills, can read to a limited degree, and even play some sports. This unfortunately has not been the case for my son. He is considered “low-functioning” on the Fragile X scale.
SB: What lessons did you learn in writing this story? Has it impacted your faith?
ML: I’m thankful that this challenge has deepened my faith. I’ve just finished the sequel The Oak Leaves, and this book addresses some of the things I’ve learned about dealing with a daily challenge — one of the “biggies” being that we’re supposed to strive to be like Christ, and He was a servant. There’s nothing like serving a handicapped child to remind you this is one role God wants us to be in!
SB: How do you hope this book will help others dealing with a serious diagnosis on one of their children?
ML: I hope The Oak Leaves will bring comfort to those who’ve faced a serious diagnosis on a child, to remind them God really does love them despite such an unexpected and serious turn in life. I also hope, for a moment, to take them out of themselves and entertain them by inviting them into another world. That’s why I blended the sad part of Fragile X in with the historical thread. I hope it’s a pleasant diversion.
SB: Obviously it’s demanding to be a wife, mother, and a mom to a special needs child. How do you juggle all that and manage to write, too?
ML: I don’t pretend to be the most organized person in the world, but I’ve learned to prioritize my writing. I write when my boys go off to school, and let other things wait. I tend to do laundry and housecleaning when everyone else is home, treating my writing as my full time job. It helps, although I do get frustrated sometimes because I’d prefer to live a more organized life.
I’m looking forward to this event Sunday. My husband has a softball game during that time period, but I’m hoping to manage a quick drop-in. If you’re in the area, please drop in, too. If you’re not near Chicago, you can still support the National Fragile X Foundation by buying Maureen’s book on their website, www.fragilex.org. The book will not be available there until June.
April 9, 2007
I mentioned that we went on vacation recently. The four of us took a road trip from Chicago to South Carolina and a handful of neighboring states. It was a twelve-hour drive there and back, and we spent an average of four hours almost every day driving to nearby cities. My poor husband — he figures he drove about three dozen hours during those six days.
But I think we’d admit we had fun (especially me since I didn’t drive). And the only way to explain it was that it was a technology vacation.
The kids sat in the back with a travel DVD player while Han and the Skywalker twins entertained them. My husband brought along a bunch of pastors’ conference MP3s to listen to, and I took the laptop.
Oh, the joys of a laptop.
So there we are, driving through the vast flatness of Indiana (sorry, but it’s true — not that Illinois is any better). Husband’s got his MP3s going, the kids are listening to Darth tell Luke he’s his father (sure hope I didn’t spoil that for anyone), and I’m typing on the laptop.
I love the twenty-first century.
We went throught the Smoky Mountains just before sunset. Not the best photo there, but you can see I was working hard (okay, not really) in between taking pictures with the digital camera. And when we got to South Carolina, I downloaded the pictures onto the laptop so I could fill up the camera’s card again.
Are we spoiled or what?
I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but I did grow up on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, and I often find myself wondering what Caroline Ingalls would say if she were to ride in our car for a day. What would she think while we took oodles of pictures, sent people messages that arrived immediately, and traveled sixty miles or more in an hour?
It’s a pretty cool world we live in. And yet I wonder what my grandkids will have forty years from now. I can’t imagine what could be better than my laptop, but I’m sure some new technology we can’t live without will come along.
Think they’ll blog about how rough poor Grandma Sally had it way back in the ‘aught seven?
March 26, 2007
I believe the tooth fairy of my childhood has retired.
Remember finding that shiny quarter beneath your pillow when you woke the morning after you lost a tooth? Or that crisp dollar bill? How cool was that?
I’ve recently been on the other end of the tooth fairy business. In the past seven months, both of our kids have lost their first tooth. And, boy, is it good to be them.
Child One received a video game for his first tooth. Yeah, a video game.
And the tooth fairy didn’t stick it under his pillow. Nope, he met dad on the way home from work and passed it on to him to give to Child One.
Child Two received a roll-up piano keyboard. The tooth fairy did manage to sneak that one under the pillow, not that Child Two had to wait for the next morning to look there and find it!
So I’m curious. Any of you have the same tooth fairy as we do? Any evidence that the tooth fairy of my childhood just relocated? Share your stories, however new or old. I’d love to hear them.