Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Crazy Life

I just wanted to write a little update on our lives right now. Things are crazy. More crazy than usual, because lets face it, we're always crazy over here in this house!

So, I got the fan-freakin-tastic news that I was accepted into the RN program here a few months ago, and I took a nice little break this summer in preparation for the chaos that would ensue this fall. Getting in to the program here is a huge deal. It is highly competitive, 48 spots with over 300 applicants. You really have to be prepared and on your game and well, I've been working towards this for about a year and a half.
--Anyway, I am in my third week and it. is. brutal. I am quite worried about the stress that I will be under, let alone trying to raise my boys and work.... but this is what I've been working towards so I'll do what I gotta do.

Speaking of work, I got a new job. It has been weird adjusting from 12 hours a week to 30+ and starting school. But I can handle anything, right? Ha, yeah.

Joshua started a new school this fall. He is going to Faith Fellowship Christian School. My almamatter. I am excited for him because he really needs that love and support that a public school can't give him. I know that each teacher that is with him, will encourage him and help him succeed. He has my parents and I helping him along this transition, but having even more love and guidance can't hurt, right? So far, he likes it and its fun because he is in school with my friends kids as well. Sort of how I grew up!

Lucas is still at JRC and still has his amazing aide, Kelli. He is receiving speech 5 times a weeks and PT/OT 4 times a week. He is running wild and I am constantly yelling at him to 'slow down' or 'come here' or 'NO, stop'.  Who knew I would ever have to say that to my little man?!
  But because of his constant wandering and mischief I am finding it hard to do anything without being on top of him every second. And I promise you, that is NOT an exaggeration, sadly. So trying to study at all while that monster is awake is impossible.
I was offered the assistance of an aide earlier this summer, but it seemed silly and unnecessary. Having another body in the house just wasn't going to be compatible. BUT now.... I'm game. She is coming over to help with Lucas for 2 hours tomorrow, while I study and JP does his homework.
  I feel really guilty about having someone come and help me with my own child. But I guess if Lucas were an average child, he would probably sit and play, or watch a show or know some type of boundary. I am grateful for any help I can get, but slightly ashamed as well.

Anyway, that is it. Wish me luck on this next journey. My 5 year plan has started and I can't wait to see it unfold!!!

Steps for 5 year plan:
Start nursing school
Graduate nursing school
Move to Rochester
Get a great job
Settle into a place with my boys
Get plastic surgery for my 35th birthday (totally happening, FYI)
Find a HOT doctor who is amazing and will be a spectacular step-dad
Live happily ever after....?

Friday, June 8, 2012

A New World

I have always hoped and believed many things for my child.
When I was pregnant with Lucas, I was told he probably wouldn't survive the pregnancy.
I hoped and believed that he would.
I was told that he might not live outside of my womb.
But I hoped and believed that he would.
I was told that he couldn't hear or see us.
But I knew he could. And I believed he'd prove them wrong.
All of those things weren't true. He was born alive, breathed on his own, came out of tests and surgeries and thrived like they told us he wouldn't.
I have kept hoping and believing as the years have gone by. Simple things like; pooping, swallowing, drinking and eating. Little things that you never imagine your baby NOT doing. I remember his first goals in therapy were to look at me and possibly, eventually, smile at me.
And I'll never forget the moment he followed something and the when he first smiled at me. Those moments will last forever.
As Lucas got older, the milestones grow further apart. Seeing progress gets slower and you start to just settle where you're at. We still have goals in therapy, but they are broader and will take much longer to achieve.
Or so I thought.
Lucas got a walker this past summer. It was a a small, little compact walker that was a struggle to use in the beginning. He couldn't turn and didn't look where he was going. But I knew that we had to use it all the time in order for it to serve its purpose. As he started school, the walker was part of his everyday routine. Mommy wasn't there to carry him and help him navigagte as much, and so, he learned to use it on his own. And quite well actually. The little bugger can basically run in it now!
But in all honesty, I never imagined Lucas without a walker. When I looked ahead at his life, I saw him as a teenager with a walker. I saw him talking, and doing every day tasks on his own. But I just never pictured him walking without assistance.
Here is where I have failed. Did I not hope and believe what I should have been? I feel strange and sad, that I never gave him that dream or allowed myself to even think to that point. Because you know what?

It has been an amazing few months watching Lucas learn this new world of exploration. Every time I see him walk, it still blows me away. I am beyond proud. What a miracle.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Simple words

There are days where I doubt everything.

There are days when I don't know what I am doing; how I'm going to make it another day; how I'm going to handle this life that I live.

I struggle with being scared.
I struggle with having enough strength.
I struggle with being able to be alone.

But there are days....and there are weeks, when I am thrown back by the words of my friends and family. I am so lucky to have people in my life who speak words of kindness and encouragement to me that help me get through the simplest, and the hardest days. I don't know if they realize what an impact their words have on me, but they keep me going. They help hold my head high. They carry me when I feel like I am falling.

Sometimes its the simple words.

I was speaking with my best friend and I was amazed at a girl that balances full time nursing school, work and coaching a lacrosse team. I just didn't understand how she was able to handle it all and I just thought she was amazing. Jenni said to me: People say that about you ALL the time, Rachel.
    --- those are words that give me encouragement.

Yesterday I received a text message from a friend. We don't talk on the phone or text very much, so this meant a little bit more to me. It said: I've been having a rough week and thought of you and all that you've overcome. Just wanted you to know you're an inspiration.
  ---those are words that lift me up and keep me going.

Then, there are statements like this:
Relaxing day with my friend, Rachel and her sweet boys. Many of us are moms and face the nitty gritty of all that it requires. I admire this amazing momma for the extra challenges she faces. She doesn't say it is easy but she makes it look so. This is a standing ovation to all you moms with special needs kids, all the time and energy you pour out that the rest of us take for granted. Those two boys are blessed beyond measure. Lucas is a treasure and his big brother is so sweet with him. You are raising those boys with love and it shows. Love ya, Rach... Admire and respect you.
  ----those are words that make me cry, encourage me, and help me hold my head high!

I am constantly encouraged by my parents who believe in me far beyond anyone. Without their belief in me, I'm not sure I could even continue this path I am on.

I am not sure how I got so lucky with such amazing people who love and support me. But I promise to never take it for granted. Without their encouragement and push, I couldn't make it one day.

So thank you to all who say kind words of encouragement to me. It may be small, but it means the world. My life is a little bit easier because of you! <3

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter

We had a fabulous Easter here in NNY. We had a great morning at church and a nice peaceful afternoon at home. Joshua enjoyed his little Easter egg hunt. It was pretty low key. Maybe next year Lucas and Jack will join in and it might be a bit more exciting. But for now, this works just fine!

I asked my dad if he would take a few snap shots for us. He is not a photographer at all, but he does pretty well with my little family. I just tell him to take a ton of photos and I'll find one or two that I like. :-) I always do. The boys grandmother sent them adorable matching outfits and they looked extra handsome!!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Lately, I've been finding myself getting in to some deep discussions of parenthood. As my kids get older and change, I am learning that my outlook on parenthood should change as well. Every kid is different and every parent, so no one can or will ever parent the same way.

My oldest child is a pretty amazing child. He has a lot of great qualities that I am thankful for in him. He is smart and friendly. He can be outgoing and reserved. He loves having friends and being busy. He is handsome and athletic. He is kind and thoughtful.
-- But with these great qualities he has, he is also stubborn and quick to react. He is sneaky and tricky. He is selfish and cocky.

Trying to figure out how to rein in his 'crazy' while teaching him to be a great man is tough. For one reason...he is constantly changing. He is growing and maturing. He is learning the lessons that I'm teaching. He is growing up.

There is also a struggle with raising a son as a single mom. Let's face it, his dad doesn't play a role in his life. I am not super sad that his dad isn't around. I don't think that he would actually teach many life lessons. Good life lessons, anyway. But that leaves the teachings of how to treat a woman to me; How to be brave and strong; How to suck it up and survive.

WAIT A SECOND HERE..... maybe I can teach those things. I have done them all!!!

I want my son to grow up and know that a woman doesn't need a man to take care of her. But that he should.
I want him to know that a woman doesn't need a man to provide for her.
But he should.
I want him to know how to love fully, share his feelings, be strong, kind, thoughtful, generous, confident, outgoing and reserved, athletic and articulate.

I have faith that the lessons I am trying to teach my son will sink in. I know that he will grow up thoughtful, kind and compassionate because of his little brother. I know that he will grow up strong and brave because he doesn't have his dad around. I know that he will grow to respect women because his mom used to live without it.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I had both sides of the spectrum of motherhood today. I had to punish and ground my 6 year old, and I held a sleepy giggling little 3 year old while he fell asleep. I could not ask for a better job in the world. It takes every ounce of energy and love I have, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I struggle a lot with motherhood though. For instance, last week I came down with a bad cold and felt horrible. I got a call that Lucas' MRI was scheduled for the next morning at Rochester. That's a 3 hours drive from home. So I got up and started getting stuff done. Laundry, packing, getting myself together. I was stressed and feeling horrible and all I wanted to do was crawl in bed. But I got in the car and drove to my brothers. In the midst of it, I got frustrated. Bothered. Just plain mad. How can their father just sit in a different state and not do crap? How is that fair? How come I have to deal with all of it alone? He gets one week at Christmas playing around and goofing off and looking like the hero and mom has to punish, force homework, do baths, and daily routines. This is NOT what I signed up for when I got married and decided to have kids.
Now don't get me wrong here. I do NOT want to be with my ex. And I would NEVER go back to what we had. I would take that horrible day from last week, over and over again like Groundhog's day, if I had to pick a life. But still, I struggle with the fact that this is what our life has turned in to.

But I have come to 2 conclusions....

#1. I am beyond lucky to have my parents. For a bagillion reasons.

#2. I am stronger than I even know. I doubt it most of the time, but I am often reminded by people in my life. For some reason, everyone else can see it, except me.

So today I thoroughly enjoyed the giggling little sleepy boy, who later threw a fit on the floor, grunting and hitting his head for 5 minutes; and the misbehaving 6 year old, who wrote letters of apology and went to be like an angel.

No matter what happens in my daily life with these two imperfect-perfect boys of mine, the sickness we all get, the frustrations we all get, the struggles we face each day together: life isn't fair.
But what it is, is the way it should be. I know that we are in the right place at the right time. I know that I am strong enough to handle whatever comes my way. And that I have enough love to cover both of my boys until the day that I die. <3