Wednesday, June 17, 2015

summer ramp up.

This summer has already been so full. We haven't done a ridiculous amount of things in the past 2 weeks, but every day is a happy one. They fight, they complain, they cry over nothing... they don't take naps and make me want to scream, but reese feels good all of the time, it seems. Dance recital came and went and we've already started summer classes. And the last day of school for the girls warmed my heart enough to last me a long time.

Recital this year was The Jungle Book and my kids were in a slew of dances. Besides the dances that aidan was in for her classes, she was also the baby elephant ;) and while small, it helped her be so much more confident in herself and her [amazing] abilities. Reese and Miller bounced around like the monkeys that they were supposed to be with the biggest smiles on their face. Sawyer shined in ways I had not seen before - she loves being on stage in any which way.

(all [terribly lit] pics taken at tech rehearsal)

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the last day of school, I ran around to each kid at their LDOS events. reese was first.

I cried.

I remember crying the first day in January 2014. When I first dropped her off at lawson, she didn't walk, she didn't even have a walker. She had the same teachers that day that I hugged and cried over the last day of school this year.

I can't explain to you what it feels like to absolutely trust your delicate child into people you don't know, at first. Reese was still on her babyPOG chemo, harsh, but working its way through her brain and a kid who could, only for a few mins, hold herself up against a table. One of her first goals was to sit in a chair.


That seems so long ago.

Soon, she was using her walker, but I'd have to take her across the street, first. Then she started to go across with her walker. Then one day... she walked across with nothing. Not her walker, not my hand... and they were there to celebrate with me.

Her teachers, the people in PPCD, the other inclusion teachers, all of them, they were my lifeline. They were with her for so much of the day and now she goes to kindergarten where I need to learn to trust someone else. Someone else to talk me down and send me a picture of a perfect 4 year old, when I was worried that something may be wrong. Someone new to tell me how she is advancing and to relax. Someone who will let foxy join the class.

They had a small "graduation" where they walked around the school and waved and traipsed to pomp and circumstance. I couldn't believe that we were finally here, in life.

For many months, I could not picture what reese would look like, older. I don't know why. I don't know if my brain just wouldn't let me or if I was scared to. But on the last day of school, this year, I realized that this was exactly what I thought she'd look like.

Sassy, almost bob-cut hair, her high cheek dimple flirting with the camera. She is exactly who I knew she'd be. She looks just like she did at 2, but only older, wiser, even more awesome. She has a ponytail.

Aidan and Sawyer are reminders that time flies too quickly. I see Aidan growing up into this... pre-pre-teen or whatever 8-10yo is. It is funny and awkward and full of the in-between that I don't want to forget. She is silly and giggly and embarrassed. She is confident and nerdy and worth every bit of eyeroll she gives me.

Sawyer shows me that, besides that kids can be totally different than their siblings, that a little pause in life for a hug and a kiss can go a long way. She is an old soul trapped inside a bouncing ball. She loves life and it loves her back ten-fold. Almost 7 suits her well.

But it has been too fast. EJ made the comment this week that aidan is almost half way to leaving the house... to going to college.

I can't even comprehend that. It feels as if each day is so long, but the years keep passing and I can't make them stop no matter how hard I try. So for now, I just go to the their school lunch parties while I am still invited...

So. First day of school 2014

and now.

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Since then, every day is documented on instagram or with my underwater camera, at the pool (those coming soon. man, I love that tiny thing).

Dance is 4 days a week. Chemo is 1 day a week. Gym is as many times as I can get my butt there. Pool is the same. Yesterday we had our first ophthalmology appointment for reese, though.

They told me nothing that I didn't already know. A while back, the doctors realized that reese wasn't following their finger out of view on the left eye. I did my own test at home. I would cover her right eye, make a silly face and tell her to copy. She did. I would cover the right eye. She would not.

"I not see you, mommy!" she'd say giggling about how silly it was.

She can't see out of her left eye. 

I am not surprised, her doctors aren't, either - it is what can happen and it's likely been this way for 2.5 years at least. Anyone who knows her was extremely surprised because those who spend time w reese would know that she doesn't act this way at all - you would never know. But, remember, she probably doesn't remember having both, so that's why. Nothing changes, of course. It's just a quirk that she has and now I can just say it for fact, as opposed to guessing with my own eye games.

I am sitting at starbucks, blogging with my carb-free coffee, headphones in with pandora on because an amazing friend offered to give me a morning off.

I am so blessed. Between playing taxi, lifeguard, and maid, I am surrounded by the best people.

Thank you, Jesus, for this life. Thank you for my blessings that lift each moment that seems like a weight. We leave for lighthouse right after independence day and, while I can't imagine it better than last year, the way this summer is going, I feel like I will leave even fuller than before. This year, I have a toddler, as my youngest, not a baby. I can't wait for corbin to lose her mind in the sand with her sisters.

Back to laundry and cleaning. To summer worksheets and art projects. I'm off to make even more coffee and then sit on the couch in one huge pile of redheads - and hope they don't just kick each other under the blanket.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


It has not been much of a spring here. The rain has been insane. I am sick of running to the car because I did my hair that day and wanted to actually look nice and not slightly curly. I got rain boots for my birthday, though, which means it will likely stop raining soon.

The highlight of the month was of course reese turning five. 


That is so old.

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There are a few ages that seem "old" to me. 5 is one of them. Going to kindergarten is a huge anxiety point for me, but I know she is in good hands. There is an IEP, of course, set up for all of the questions I would have and the concerns that keep me up at night - so as long as they stay the course (and she gets a wonderfully compatible teacher), then we are golden. 

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5 brings so much independence. Everything that surrounds reese is "I do it myself". Well go on with your bad self ;) I am proud of her. 

We had a quiet birthday for her. I brought her ice cream at school, which she adored. We gave her presents here at home. It was nice. We had just had the make a wish party a few weeks ago, so I was wanting just a low-key time. 

We are all in the end-of-year spin. Miller had her last day of school, last week, and for that I am so sad. She has been blessed w such amazing teachers that I don't know what next year will bring. Recital is coming up this weekend - 4/5 of my sweet babies will be in it and my heart will likely burst. I have been planning this for the summer - volleyball, VBS, swimming, dance...

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(look at the FIRST day of school. omg)

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Daily, though, it is a lot of the same. Tuesday chemo, but the rest of the week is school and dance and running from rain. I always feel like there's not much to update, but then a random fever pops up and to the ER we go. Last night, EJ was with reese until 1am down at legacy for a fever. It is what it is and now she'll sleep off the cold. 

Today we had Sawyer's 504 meeting for ADHD. She did not qualify for the dyslexia program, but here's how that goes - she has a lot of accommodations, next year, for the rest of her things that will help her. She has preferential seating, oral responses on work if needed, graces with spelling and handwriting, breaks when needed, chunking assignments in class so she doesn't get too much at once, etc etc. the list goes on. She still gets tier 3 pullouts and tutoring during the week and if within the first 6w she doesn't improve or look like she will improve, then they'll do a full FIE for her. Our developmental doc still wants her to go to scottish rite for their dyslexia testing to bring to the school (the wait for an appt is months long, though), so we'll have that, too, eventually. I left the meeting feeling so much better than I went in. I carried my folder of facts and history on her, armed with the ability to dispute or defend. In the end, I am still nervous about 2nd grade, but I only need to get her through 6w - and then we can see how things are. She'll get the teacher whose expertise is reading and I can meet w/ her before school starts. This summer, we'll be working on Lexia, to help remediate at home. They said she is "their 911" so I am choosing to trust them and believe it will all work out. My sweet girl is in good hands.

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So that's where we are. I will be underwater with dance for the next 3 days and I cannot wait. It is my favorite time of the year.

A million daily photos, as always, on Instagram