Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dad - A Happy Birthday Tribute

Happy Birthday Dad-  You make 80 look good!



The 23rd of November in 1932
A year no one remembers
because no one is older than you!

80 years have come and gone
 like leaves upon the wind
Each day you greet with a smile
 for there's always a garden to tend.

Born into a depression
then 3 sisters from Gil and Sadie
whose tolerance marks them for sainthood
Janet, Mary and Dadie

The 40's came and brought a new view
people went back to work
we can thank World War II

First High school then Air Force
as those years flew by
a new dream was born when you wanted to fly.

Then came a night-
the pinnacle of your existence
To Morocco with Midnight Mass in the distance. :)

The 50's brought Auburn
and you became legal-
football and beer and yelling War Eagle!

You moved to Orlando
postcards home you would send
having parties with all of your astronaut friends.

Then finally you found her
your mustang caught her eye
Her name was Miss Peggy
and you were her guy.

"Peggy we must have children - to not would be mean.
I must pass along my superior genes!"

First Becky then Bonnie, Jenny then Jimmy
"Enough!" you told mom "I think four is plenty!"

So we gather today 80 years later
I am sure I've successfully scared off the waiter

Paw Paw, Dad, Buck or James
You are someone who is loved
and known by many names.

There's too many decades
and not enough time
for fitting a life
into words that will rhyme

So in closing I have
one last thing to say
We love you
War Eagle!
and Happy Birthday!!

Love, your kids (but especially Bonnie who wrote it :) )

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stuff my daughter with autism has broken . .

Hey there.  I am writing this post as a therapeutic count backwards from one hundred so I don't do something stupid post.  Today took the cake.  My Doodle does irrational things and tends to be destructive for no apparent reason.  Especially to items she loves.  She will shred her favorite books and take handles off drawers, throw pillows off couches and beds along with blankets or any item she considers out of place in the universe.  There is no rhyme or reason.  She just does it.  Sometimes its funny and sometimes it really p*s*es me OFF.  Today is such a day.  So here in no particular order is a list of things she has broken in my home:

1. her favorite books
2.  her favorite DVD's
3.  All the remote controls in the house. 
4.  All the Wii remotes
5.  The microwave
6.  my lap top
7.  her lap top
8.  the lap top before that
9.  the lap top before that (we buy surplus computers from the public school system for this reason.)
10.  my kindle fire
11. my kindle fire before that
12.  My 3rd  Kindle Fire which she THREW OUT THE CAR WINDOW TODAY WHILE I WAS DRIVING.  Yes, it was smashed to smithereens.
13.  All the blinds in my bedroom.  She snaps the ends off and breaks the rods.
14.  She throws forks, spoons and my good china in the garbage can and often I don't notice till the garbage is gone.
15.  She throws food waiting to be eaten in the trash like pizza or dinner I just cooked, even if she likes it.
16. My last camera (not my awesome new one Betty!! Its under lock and key.)

I can't explain her tendancy to do this and before you say, "Why do you let her touch those things ?" remember-
This child must be constantly entertained or she will go bizerk.  Screaming, yelling, turning the tv on and off constantly.  Slamming doors and flipping lights on and off even in the middle of the night.  She recently threw a full kitchen size chair over the balcony into the foyer of our house.  Luckily no one was hurt.  She hasn't killed the dog yet but give it time.

She has a 5th grade reading level, she is in 4th grade.  Has taught herself to read and has taught herself spanish.  She can program the DVR like nobody's business.  She can work any electronic device or app in the history of the human story.  She can't however remember to go the restroom, tell me why she is mad or what she wants most of the time. 

She is smart enough to know how to manipulate people into getting what she wants.  Example, if she wants  control of the tv she will ask you to get her some tea or milk and when you get up she steals your chair and the remote and doesn't give a hoot about the beverage you nicely brought her.

I could go on and on but that would be pointless.  Anyway, I am going to write Amazon a nice letter and see if they will consider replacing my poor Kindle again.  Moral of the story - Autism is expensive.  No I am not going to put a PAYPAL donate now button on my blog don't worry!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Its been a while . . .

Anniversaries, funerals, birthdays are all cause for self reflection.  There have been lots of each around here lately.  I'm not even sure where to start.  For one thing I am trying to decide the direction of this blog I have been ignoring.  I either need to abandon it and start fresh with a general direction-autism? multiples? faith?  ugg.  The problem is it started out as a sort of scrap book/ outlet for my writing and dormant humor and now it is more of a venting/ pseudo wanna be real blogger site.  I have so much to say but really not a lot of expertise in the quickly expanding mom blogger world.  I know what I like and those blogs have fantastic photography, my camera is just a small Kodak with a broken cord so it is currently out of commission and who wants to read posts without pics?  Not many people I think.  I will either continue this as a friend blog and start a new directed one or continue in my hodge podge manner.  Either way I will be writing more this year as my four year old starts his very first year of preschool. 

Yes we waited for several reasons:

1.  He is my baby and I wasn't ready.
2.  Money -unnecessary expense
3.  He is smart as a firecracker and didn't need it.
4.  He gets plenty of socializing time with siblings and gym nursery

I just know you were thinking that his lack of 3 year old preschool would damage his psychy and chances of getting into an Ivy League school in 13 years or so.  Well fear not he is going to be fine.  I always have to remind myself that it is ok to just do things differently than most people.  I mean heck we already have.  Even if ALL my quad mom friends are doing thus and so, that doesn't mean I am wrong if I don't.  Just kidding I don't have any quad mom friends.  A handful of triplets moms and twins -yes.  Quads - no.  We are the only ones in our county for sure and possibly the surrounding area as well. 

We have had a series of untimely passings of family members and friends recently and it really makes you stop and think.  I seriously will not live forever.  I mean seriously.  Each day is one less left in my life.  Am I living it intentionally?  With a direction in mind or is it a hodge podge of decisions and moments and random events not headed in any direction just like my blog has become? 

I would like to think I live intentionally, not just surviving, not just reacting but evolving and focused on a goal.  I need to think about this some more.  I want my children's lives to be intentional as well but childhood should be for growing and learning about yourself and the world and making memories to carry with you for the rest of your life.  Childhood forms a person for good or for bad, that's why its so important and I am realizing that my quads are now halfway through childhood, being 9.

(Cue scary music)

Sigh - too much for me to digest and there are no cool pics for you to look as so I will end for today.  Hope you are all having a fantastic summer.  Enjoy it, before you know it we will all be in Target shopping for school supplies again  btw - secret about that - never buy as many things as the school list asks for.  Its inflated just like everything else these days.  The years I have they always bring home tons of blank notebooks and paper that was never used.  Ciao!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Awesome Loganville Photographer - Melissa Brown Photography Cute pics of my kiddos

Hey there.  I wanted to share my recent experience with a lovely photographer in Loganville who happens to also be a friend of mine from church.  Her name is Melissa Brown and she is fantastic to say the least.  Let me tell you why I think she's special.

She took awesome candid and posed photos of my kids.

All five of them.

They are smiling.

They are cute.

She even managed to handle the three year old with relative ease.

And my daughter Pauli who has autism.

Now let me tell you something.  Anyone who can get good sweet photos of a special needs kid, an ornery three year old boy, three other siblings and farm animals at the same time is a talented person.

It does take a bit of finesse to handle special needs kids and Melissa Brown has got it.  Just the right amount of patience, kindness and a certain "I don't know what" (Imagine that in french, sounds cooler but I don't know how to spell it.)
Anyway, take a look if your are curious.  We took these pictures at the home of Shelley Shellnutt, owner of Country Kids Camp which is super awesome as well.  Thanks Shelley!!  If you are interested you can find her on Facebook - Melissa (Biedron) Brown Photography.  Or just send me a note and I will help you find her. P.S.  You can also find Country Kid's Camp on Facebook. Have a great day

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Things I do to stay sane . . .

It has been a while since I have done a list post and they are easy and fun so . . .

Things I do to stay sane when I have SEVEN kids at home on a cold day:
 Note- I am babysitting two children in addition to my five because, yeah, I am crazy like that.

1.  One word - IPOD

2.  Candy followed by locking everyone in the backyard till sugar spaze runs out.

3.  Going to my "Happy Place" and envisioning how quiet it is somewhere else in the world like say the top of Kilimanjaro.

4.  Wishing I was sitting on the moon.

5.  Remembering a time when I had no children and how horrible it felt not knowing if I ever would.

6. Practice being sad imagining "empty nest syndrome"  which will not happen for about 10 years.

P.S.  #6 doesn't work

7. Relive the 36 hours I spent recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica at an adults-only resort.  WOW

8. Locking myself in the laundry room and sitting on the dryer so they can't see my feet under the door.  Practice shallow breathing so they can't hear me.

9. Fake some gastric distress so I have an excuse to stay in the bathroom for long  periods of time and read.

10. Plan date night with Roy that will probably be way in to the future like say after the NEW president  is sworn in.  Yes.  I believe!

11.  Plan next Auburn Girls' trip which will also not be soon enough.

12.  Bake best chocolate chip cookies in the world. Eat. Repeat.

13.  Send annoying texts to my friends, especially Jen who is probably busy at work in the ICU trying to save some one's life right now.
14.  Plan to clean entire house but realize I am just fooling myself.

15.  Three words - Words with Friends

and the number one way I survive a cold day inside with seven child

16. Write semi-humorous blog post to entertain friends and strangers and make them happier that they are not ME!!

P.S. Kim if you happen to read this, I promise I am taking excellent care of your offspring :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Selective Reduction - My view ( ie - aborting babies in a multiple pregnancy)

I am looking out my bedroom window in to the backyard below where my five children are whooping and hollering with joy on our much loved trampoline.  Its about 60 degrees on a sunny February afternoon.  Spring can sometimes come early in the south, really early and then slap us with a freak March snow storm. 

So I am watching them and as occasional sentimental moms sometimes do, I had a moment.  I have them more frequently as they get older because I know these elementary school years are flying by.  I will have exactly one year with all five children in the same school.  The quads will be in the fifth grade that year and the "baby" will be in kindergarten. 

I had a moment of "what if?" 
I looked at each of their laughing smiling faces and call to mind each of their personal gifts and weaknesses.  What  I love about each of them and what drives me crazy about each of them. 

I think about how nine years ago I sat in three different specialists offices hearing lectures/ recommendations on the "advantages," prudence, of selective reduction also known as abortion.  Scared, hormonal, newly pregnant with, at the time, five babies (the quads were quints until one miscarried at 8 weeks,) elated to be pregnant and afraid to breath wrong lest I have yet another miscarriage.  Feeling frail and vulnerable and listening to the experts telling me repeatedly that "it will increase the chances of survival for the remaining multiples" or "it really is expensive to raise that many babies"  Seriously?  Like I am going to weigh the pros and cons based on a cost per baby basis? Statistics of survival a slight maybe, money?  Not on your or their lives.

I respect doctors for their ability to heal and make life or death choices, for researching and developing surgeries, medicines and therapies to make peoples lives better but in this instance my fragile heart had to decide along with my husband if I should allow all the babies growing inside me to live or have a shot at it anyway.  I am Catholic by the way so it should have been an instant no to the doctors,  but it wasn't, I pondered the consequences of each choice.  I questioned the statistics. 

What were my chances of carrying four healthy babies to term with out the reduction? I asked the specialist who routinely performed these procedures. The figure I was given was 75%.  I thought that was a pretty darn good number considering there was a 100% chance of my living with guilt and regret if I had gone through with the procedure with or without babies in the end.  At the time there was a 25% chance of miscarrying one of all of the babies because of the procedure.  The reproductive specialist I was seeing informed me that, though she recommended the procedure, she did a have a quadruplet mother chose to abort two of her babies and end up losing the other two due to the procedure itself.  I still think about that mom sometimes.  I hope she ended up with a child to hold.  I can't imagine living with that guilt.

So I actually had a flash forward during one of these selective abortion lectures.  It was to a day like today, in fact let's say it actually was today - to myself at 40 years old watching my half grown beautiful, smart happy healthy annoying imperfectly perfect children and thinking which ones would it have been?  Which ones would be missing had I listened to all that advice?  I shudder each time it crosses my mind because I know which two would be missing and I will mostly likely never tell them.  I knew this day would come as it has in various forms over the last 9 years. 

All life is precious, leave it in the Father's hands.  I know there was a likely possibility that my story would not have had such a fairytale ending and let's be real, we are talking imperfect children here.  This is not one of those blogs that waxes poetic on the perfected perfection of my perfect children and my perfect husband and my perfect home.  I have various variables and complications they have each brought to my life over the years such as filthy carpets, hand print/crayon decorated walls, huge debt because those little suckers eat A LOT, IEPs for special needs to attend, various medications to purchase for them and for me, lots of tears, lots of frustration, lots of I can't stand this for one more second moments and yet here I am staring at them lovingly out my window, my heart full to bursting because I  know I made the right choice.  Maybe one of them will be the President of the United States one day or maybe a brilliant scientist who discovers a cure for all infertility thus allowing a new generation of moms to be spared from making this agonizing decision, or maybe they will just turn out to be nice good-hearted people.  The world needs those just as much as the former don't you think?

I know I can barely stand the thought of looking at them wondering how my life would be so different without the two the doctors wanted to "reduce."  I remember when my decision to forgo the procedure cemented firmly in my heart - "I worked so hard and prayed so hard to get those guys in there and you are NOT going to take them away from me.  Only God has that right."  I told my perinatologist that this is what I wanted and I wanted to make sure he was going to give his all to helping me carry the pregnancy as far as possible.  He assured me he would and he did a great job.  I still think fondly of him today. 

I made sure to take my four healthy babies back to see all the doctors who had encouraged me to reduce, when they were about 6 months old.  No longer looking tiny and fragile like preemies, they were happy and alive.  I wanted them to see that I made the right decision and to plant a seed of thought so that the next multiple mom they counseled would have the benefit of my evidence that sometimes the best decision wasn't what medical science determined but what a mom's heart tells her.

P.S. Feel free to view the evidence of my good decision by looking at the blog header above :)

*** I have a friend who made the decision to reduce her large pregnancy and my heart still aches for her.  I respect that she did what she felt was necessary at the time and should she read this I hope she knows I do not judge her or think less of her.  In fact I think she is fantastic, I just wish she had never been put in that horrible position.