Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Twins

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who gave me tips on finding twin boys that lived next door to us about 25+ years ago. I haven't connected with the family yet, but I do have a few leads! Thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Her New Fridge!

Beth added a little more cash to her stash over the weekend so we went shopping for a new refrigerator! I wanted her to check different prices and styles so we went to Sears and Fred Meyer. We had looked at Target and Wal-Mart a few weeks ago so we knew what they had and what their prices were. 

Beth doesn't really like to use the computer so I knew we needed to actually drive to each store so she could see them with her own eyes. She would have loved a fridge with a separate freezer on top but those were just too expensive. Most of the ones she could afford had a small freezer inside the fridge. Which she was okay with. We were debating about getting the one at Freddys, but Diana got on her phone and checked prices at Home Depot and they had one on sale! Beth saved between $30 and $60 compared to the others we were looking at. Thank you Diana!

As we were walking back into the house, I handed Beth the rest of her cash. She folded it out like a fan and squealed, "I'm rich!"

 We ended up having to lay the box down to get the fridge out.

 She had to take off a lot of plastic and wrapping.


 It even came with a tiny ice cube tray!

More protective wrapping on the shelves.

She has it stocked with cheese, soda, yogurt... 
We've talked about her getting a fridge for a long time!
I'm glad it's finally happened for her.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Might Not Be As Bad As She Thought

Beth got her uniform for her job at Little Caesars! Okay, so it's only a too-big t shirt, but it's hers!  And she's so proud of it!

When she got home last night, she showed us her paycheck, then pulled out an envelope her boss had given her. "I got a tip!" That girl got $20 in tips this weekend!! She IS the genius!


Friday, June 21, 2013

4... 3... 2...

For weeks now Beth has been counting down to the first day of Summer. Calling me at work, "Mom, two more weeks!" The texts, TWO MORE DAYS FOR SUMMER MOTHERA OK.

I finally asked her why she was so excited about the first day of Summer. It's nothing we've ever celebrated or even really acknowledged here. Except for the occasional comment, "Oh look. Today's the first day of summer." Truly nothing to create a buzz by any means.

So I asked her why she was counting down. What happens on the first day of Summer? She looked at me all excited, eyes wide, "No more work!!"

"Umm, Beth, well, see..." I hated to give her the bad news. "You have to work during the summer. School is out for the summer, but after you graduate and get a job, you no longer get summer vacation."

Her countdown ended. Today's the first day of Summer and she hasn't said a word about it. :(

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Our church serves dinner on Tuesday nights. Lots of food, for not a lot of money. Tonight there was lasagna, garlic bread, caesar salad, corn chowder, potato salad, pasta salad and brownies and ice cream for dessert. And you don't have to choose. You can have the pasta salad AND the corn chowder AND the lasagna AND the caesar salad... plus there's coffee or tea or ice water or lemon aid. All for $5.

We usually eat there once or twice a month. And every time, Beth races us from the car to the Commons, the room where we eat. It's our gym, multipurpose room... we call it The Commons. She gets out her money and pays for herself, before dashing to the buffet line.

There are servers who put the main dishes on your plate, then they hand it to you and you help yourself to the salads and drinks. Beth will often get plastic ware and napkins for all of us, then head to a table to put all her stuff down. Chuck and I get to the table and as we settle in, Beth heads over to the drink table. And every time, she'll bring back two glasses of lemon aid. One for her and one for Chuck.

Every single time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Isn't It

If you're looking for a post that is gonna make you feel good about your adult with Down Syndrome, a post that talks about the huggy-bear kissy-face life with an adult with Down Syndrome, this isn't it. If you don't want to hear about the hard stuff, you may want to stop reading here.

The last couple of weeks have been hard to understand with Beth. Mentally, physically. I don't know whats going on but, well here, let me just tell you.

As she was leaving for work recently I asked her if she had her phone. When she's on her phone, talking or texting, she feels like everyone else. It's her lifeline and she hates to be without her phone. I know this, so I wanted to make sure she had it. She told me, "Uh, yea!" in a very snotty, I'm-an-adult-and-I-don't-need-you-telling-me-what-to-do kind of way. She left and a little while later I walked into the office and lo and behold, there was her phone hooked up to the charger. Later that night she called the house and Chuck could tell she had been crying. I guess when she tried to call us and realized she didn't have her phone, she had to ask a co-worker to use theirs.

A couple days later I got a call and she was sobbing. Absolutely sobbing. Through her tears she told me that she had forgotten her bowling ball. She goes bowling in the morning, then straight to her job class. I figured she left it at the bowling alley and I just figured I would call them right away to make sure they knew it belonged to someone from the All Aboard group. I finally got it out of her that she left it at job class. Whew. That is a small office that works with adults with special needs. A safer, calmer place and I knew they would still have it. They did and her job coach brought it to work later that week. But Beth was a basket case on the phone. I had to calm her down and reassure her that she would get her ball back.

A few days later... I walked into the kitchen to see her fixing a tuna sandwich. I asked her if there was more tuna in a container in the fridge. She opens the door and pulls out a small container of tuna. I told her that whatever she doesn't use she could just put in that container. "Okay." Then she looks at me and slowly pulls back a paper towel that was wrapped around her thumb. A paper towel soaked in blood. "Beth, what happened?!?" She didn't say anything. Just pointed to the partially open lid of the tuna can. Oh my word! I turned on the cold water and stuck her thumb under it. I was afraid to look at it. I pulled it out from under the water and could see an L shaped cut, then the blood began pouring again. To make this long story short, we discussed, blood pressure and clots... It wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be and after a few minutes, the bleeding stopped and we were able to just put a bandaid on it. Oh my word. Seriously??

The next day... (yep, it keeps going) I came home from work and she was in the kitchen. I was gonna fix some lunch and we're talking when all of the sudden, she opens her hand to show me this long, huge chunk of hair. Honestly, I held it in my hand for maybe 30 seconds, not saying a word. I didn't know what to say! My mouth was open but no words were coming out. What...? How...? Why...? Then she said she was trying to get the snarls out. Oh my word. "You need to use a brush!" Why on earth did she think cutting her hair was the answer?!? I asked her to take out her pony tail and then entire left side of her head was cut about to her shoulder. But not a nice clean cut, oh no. Some to her ears, some to her shoulder... I told her we were gonna have to cut it short to make it all even. "Noooo!!" I asked her if she would rather have Diana cut it and she said yes. So, on Monday night, Diana got out the scissors and began to cut and trim and style.

Oh my word. Life with kids is messy. But it's different with kids who have special needs. My other girls would NEVER think to take scissors to their hair to remove snarls. If they cut themselves, they automatically know what to do. But lately Beth doesn't seem to have a clue. It's like she's lost. Like she's lost all ability to function normally. To think rationally about basic things. I'm concerned. And a little nervous about what might happen next.




Everything has turned out okay. Beth wasn't seriously cut on the tuna can. Her hair cut turned out cute. She got her bowling ball back... I'm trying to be grateful for they way things have ended up, but it's nerve-racking and emotional to suddenly have all these things happen. Especially when you can't explain it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

If I Could Go Back and Do It Again

Can't believe it's been almost a week since I've posted. It seems as we get older, our lives are getting busier. That's not how it's supposed to happen, is it?

There was an article that went around a few months ago, written by an adult with Down Syndrome and one of the things he talked about was sitting at the kitchen table and being left out of the conversation because everyone was speaking so fast. He said that he knew he was being left out. He wanted the rest of us to know it too. Unfortunately I can't remember his name (my memory, ugh) but that article had a deep impact on me. I think about it almost daily.

One thing I've started doing as a result of reading that article is talking slower around Beth. I don't slow down so much to seem obnoxious but  just  enough  for  her  to  be  able  to  process  the  words  before  I  move  on  to  the  next  thing.

I don't think others notice when I'm doing it. I try not to be one of those people who talk really loud and up close to someone who is hard of hearing, I  just  slow  my  speech  slightly  and  I  can  see  her  processing  the  words  as  I  say  them.  She  doesn't  ask  me  to  repeat  things  as  often  and  I  find  myself  wishing  everyone  spoke  to  her  this  way.

It's  been  quite  an  adjustment  but  it's  been  amazing  to  watch  the  change  in  her.  She's  more  willing  to  talk  and  is  definitely  more  willing  to  listen.

If  I  could  go  back  about  10  years,  I  would  have  started  talking  to  Beth  like  this  right  about  the  time  she  graduated  from  high  school.  As  a  kid,  Beth  was  active  and  silly  and  as  busy  as  my  other  kids.  But  as  an  adult,  she  has  become  slower,  quieter,  and  more  calm.  Not  sure  that's  what  happens  to  all  adults  who  have  Down  Syndrome,  but  that's  what  happened  to  her.  Unfortunately,  I  didn't  slow  down.  I  kept  thinking  fast,  and  talking  fast.  And  I  would  get  frustrated  when  she  didn't  keep  up.  But  I'm  trying  to  change.  I'm  trying  to  slow  down  a  little.  Trying  to  keep  her  included  in  the  conversation.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blood Draw

Beth sees her endocrinologist about every 6 months and in between, we take her for blood draws so the doctor can adjust her medicine if needed, before the next visit.

This time I had Allie with me but she did great! It's been a long time since I took a preschooler to the doctor! I had books and snacks, tried to be prepared for anything. But she did great!

Beth was only in there for a few minutes anyway, so that was good. She was willing to go in by herself this time. Usually she wants me there, even though she doesn't need me there. Needles don't faze her at all.

Heading upstairs to the clinic.

Waiting for them to call Beth.
Not sure WHAT Allie was doing with her eyes.
She's such a goober.