Wednesday, September 21, 2011

one hour sugar rush & ten things I love

Am stuck in the lab this morning... it is 1-hour glucose timed test day.  Yuck.  For anyone who has not had to experience this... you guzzle, college-beer-chug-style, the most sickly sweet drink in 5 seconds flat while a lab tech watches to be sure you consume every last drop.  Then you wait, in the lab under supervision, for one hour.  Then they draw your blood to see if your body is doing what it should to process the sugar.  With my two previous pregnancies I remembered the gross drink & the waiting, but totally forgot about the under supervision part.  My plans to sit in the sun surfing the net catching up on favorite blogs & editing a photo book thwarted... here I stay held captive in the basement with no wi-fi... what a drag.

So... it is the perfect time to think about 10 things I am loving right now:

~ My new ipad - best birthday present EVER.  Thanks babe!

~ This song by The Head and the Heart.  It has been a long while since I've fallen immediately in love with a song... but this one totally hooked me.

~ The amazing support our Down syndrome group has received for the Buddy Walk this year.  We surpassed our family goal of $500 and have so far raised $781!  A huge thank you to all who have donated already... your generosity & support mean so much to us.  There is still time to donate to Team Quinn... if you have a few bucks to spare... even $5 or $10... every little bit helps!  Click here to go directly to his fundraising page.

~ The way Remy snoozes every morning... we were beginning to think that maybe he was switched at birth due to his extreme dislike of chocolate.  But the snoozer gene is definitely ours.
First day back at pre-school

Quite the opposite of his brother... this one actually asks to go get his haircut.  He loves the attention & pampering.

Or perhaps it is more that he loves the lollipop at the end?!?

~ Making myself a priority by finding ways to fit exercise in on a regular basis.

~ Feeling this little guy inside me moving more & more.  I get nervous when he is quiet.  (Then I get nervous when he is moving "too much"!)  My mind so easily wanders to all of the things that can still go wrong.  He has started responding when I sing or rub my belly... his little kicks, pokes & rolls are so reassuring.  Our own secret messages that all is well & starting to get a bit crowded in there.  We are getting excited about actually meeting this new little person....getting closer every day.

~ Gathering pictures & ideas for the boys new room.  We are clearing out the back corner of the warehouse - a storage area for the past 10+ years - to make a larger room for the monkeys.  Littlest brother will take over the nursery.  Am looking forward to having more living space... much to husband's annoyance with giving up storage.  This is one of the many times that being an antique dealer & treasure collector comes in handy.  Aside from construction & paint, we have everything we need to make a sweet room for our guys.  A few sources of inspiration...

I really don't want bunk beds... but thought this was a really cool use of space.

Am in love with these colorful shelves & the bed set up.

Will definitely find a way to use blackboard paint somewhere.

Our stuffed animal rescue society is a bit like this one.

One of my all-time favorite songs... am thinking of getting a print of this... so sweet.

~ Quinn's passion for books & reading.  We had a special date last week & went to get his very own library card.  He loves to pick out his own books & use the machine to check them out himself.... beaming with pride as he carries his newfound treasures to the car.

~ Watching my boys be kind to each other.  They still fight like little puppies with one bone a lot of the time, but they can also crack each other up like no one else.  I love bearing witness to their deepening bond... it feels like such a gift.  Their imaginary games are lasing longer & becoming more detailed.  When I rounded the corner to check on them a few days ago I found this...

~ How very grateful I feel to have such a supportive, loving, nutty husband... a man who is not afraid of feelings or talking about them.  We are both far from perfect... but together we fit.  Each bringing our own strengths, foibles & perspectives to build the foundation of our little family.
Remy on his way to pre-school... lovin' riding in Daddy's "racecar".

Five minutes to go... turns out an hour flies by when you are thinking about all of the things you love!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glimpses of faith

Last night I got an unexpected treat... when dinner plans with a friend fell through, I grabbed the opportunity of already-scheduled-away-time and took myself out to the movies.  The salty popcorn, icy soda & an escape to another world is my kind of heaven.  I saw a movie called Higher Ground.  A slice-of-life, window into the world of a woman on a quest for faith, it is one of those films that has stayed with me throughout the next day.  Her journey of salvation found & lost (based on a memoir by Carolyn S. Briggs) and the larger theme of the gap between ideals & reality is what has really stuck with me.  I love all sorts of movies, but the kind that make you think & reflect for days afterward are among my favorites.

The main character's quest to feel something real... a tangible connection to something larger than herself... is so beautifully & honestly portrayed.  Driving home I couldn't help but think of the moments in my own life when I have felt that kind of connection.  Moments brief & fleeting, where a sense of being a small, but important, part of a larger whole, takes over.  That elusive place of quiet, still, balance... filled with an overwhelming feeling of "Everything is going to be okay."

The first memory I have of a moment like this is when I was around ten years old.  An Alaskan winter day, I remember sledding with my brother in our front yard.  The steep, sloping driveway and banks on either side made for a quick, thrilling ride.  The air that afternoon was thick with falling snow, an infinite white-gray sky with an endless supply of puffy flakes drifting downward.  My brother went inside while I did one last run.  At the end of the ride, I rested on my back, cradled in my hard-plastic sled, catching flakes on my tongue & eyelashes.  I vividly remember the intense quiet of the moment, looking up at the frosted trees, the chill in the air replaced by an inner warmth throughout my entire body.  I remember thinking I could die at that moment & all would be fine - not in a morbid way - but more a feeling of a complete sense of peace.  I don't know how long I stayed there... time felt non-linear... like I was briefly connected to something un-namable, un-knowable and yet, somehow, also completely familiar, even to my ten-year-old self.

Other flashes of clarity & well-being followed... seeing my husband for the first time, being at my Grandfather's funeral, holding Quinn three days after his diagnosis with Down syndrome, the first time Remy nursed, a random night driving home by myself with the music blaring & windows open feeling young, alive, free... and a million other fleeting snippets of connectedness, a patchwork of perfect moments that help me find my way through the not-so-perfect ones.  My faith might not be grounded in religion or tradition, but it is what keeps me afloat in rougher waters.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

48 hours & 42 candles

Am nearly giddy with freedom as the boys head off on their own adventures and I am left with the house to myself for 48 hours.  Alone, save for one clingy black dog & an expanding belly containing a future break-dancer.  Have suddenly acquired severe ADD and can't seem to decide what to do first.  I want to clean the entire house and organize everything we own. And make bagels.  And work on the photo books that I have been meaning to do the past few months (okay, years!)  And watch movies & read books.  And... lay down for a nap because all of that is really way too much to fit into 48 precious hours.

Thank you Honey for the amazing cupcakes... and for my birthday dinner!

Woke up to find a 42-year old staring back at me in the mirror.  How the heck did that happen?  I swear just a few years ago I was 17 and ready to head out into the world.  Or was it a couple of months ago when I was 24 & I started my first "real" job?  Or a few days ago when I was 32 and met the love of my life?  Because I am quite certain that just yesterday I was only 41.

I make it a point in my life to never wish away time.  Even in the dentist chair or during something not-so-pleasant... I truly believe that each second we have is that precious.  Too precious to waste or wish sped-up or passed through.  But the urge to freeze time? To stop it and hold it in my hands/head/heart for just a little bit longer... now that comes over me on an almost daily basis.  Those times when you wish you could push the cosmic hold button & savor sweetness for one more moment.  But all we can do is breathe deeply & tell ourselves "remember this. This is good."

Driving to pick up the boys I am refreshed & excited.  As I pull into the driveway I have that butterfly-stomach-kind of excited that I will soon see my littles.  It always amazes me the way I can miss them so terribly while still thoroughly enjoying my time away.  That the two conflicting emotions are so comfortably fused inside a mother's heart.  There is no sweeter reunion than the excited hugs & enthusiastic greetings of two little boys who have been out on their own adventures.  Adventures to magic places called the Funky Monkey and the big park and the back-yard.

Quinn has always loved his books... right now he is totally into all things Curious George.

Ever his father's son... Remy decided to take his bike apart so he could "fix" it.

Thank you Grandmas for making my annual break possible!