Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Bargain!

Chuck and I have spent some time working in the yard this weekend. Nothing spectacular, just doing the basics of pulling weeds, mowing, edging. The first month or so is hard, trying to get everything tame again after the long, wet winter. Plus my muscles get sore after not using them for so long! But once it's done, and all we have to do is a little maintenance, I love it!

I was wandering through a thrift store the other day and found this bike for only $10! The tires were flat but it only took Chuck a few minutes to pump them up and she was ready to go! It fits Allie perfectly right now so I doubt she'll be able to ride it next summer. But every time she comes over, she runs to the back door, "Can I ride my new bike?" I love a bargain!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Figuring Out What She Is and Isn't Comfortable Doing

Beth works two days a week. Her DART bus picks her up at 3:00 and drops her back at home anywhere between 9:30 and 10:30 PM. Needless to say, she misses dinner. So for those two days, she eats for lunch, what we're having for dinner.

Beth has a microwave downstairs in her apartment and uses it all the time. But she's still nervous about using our stove upstairs. She likes to use it, don't get me wrong. It makes her feel SO grown up and independent, but it makes her nervous. So I only let her use it with supervision.

Last night for dinner we had turkey patties and macaroni & cheese. This afternoon I let her come up and fix her own.

She has trouble reading the print on the stove so I tell her, "Turn the front burner on 6". She'll study the knobs until she's sure it says 'front', then responds with, "Oh!" Like, 'I got this!'

She told me, "I'm gonna go get the rest of my food while I wait for this."

Awesome! Into the pantry she went and came out a few seconds later. I had to tell her it was time to flip the burger. Her coordination isn't the best and she has a hard time doing that, as you can see by the look on her face. But she did it!

After a few minutes, she turned the burger to look at the underside, but didn't say anything. I asked her if she thought it was done, "I think so."
"Yea, it looks done to me, too."
At first she turned the burner in the wrong direction but caught herself and turned it off. She put the burger on her plate and proudly took it downstairs. It's the little things. :) 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Diana and I are having some hot tea so I ran downstairs to see if Beth wanted some. There was a lot of noise, but I heard her say, 'Yes please.'

When I took it down to her I saw her TV was tuned to The Disney Channel and she was watching The Jonas Brothers on her phone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Then Tuesday

Sorry I haven't written in a week. The last 5 days have been the busiest I've had in months.

I babysat Allie on Friday and we shopped and finger painted and played and watched cartoons. She arrives at 7AM, and Ryan and Sharaya come for dinner so I usually put Allie in front of the TV around 5:00 so I can start cooking. I absolutely love having her and we have so much fun while she's here but I'm exhausted at the end of the day! My mom used to say the same thing when my kids were little and I'd think, 'Oh come on, they're not that much work.' Now that I'm the age she was, I know what she was talking about! It's not the kids at all, it's my body! All the aches and pains that I didn't realize I'd have at this age and the way they affect me.

Allie made a picture for Sharaya, then we wrapped it and took it with us on Sunday. Diana carried it into the restaurant so Sharaya would think it was for me and it worked! When we had Allie give it to her she asked, "This is for ME?" It was awesome!  
Grocery shopping
Shopping at Michaels
My Mother's Day gift was a trip to Charming Charlies. It's a jewelry store that sells thousands of pieces of jewelry, plus shoes and purses and other accessories to match. I absolutely love this store! Unfortunately there's not one close to us so we have to drive an hour or more to get to it. But the weather was nice, we went out to eat, I really had a good time. AND, Diana bought me a necklace!
Monday I walked to and from work (2 1/2 miles total). Came home, weed whacked the front yard then moved the lawn. Last night my calves were SO sore I could barely move!
Then Tuesday. Tuesday was May 13. The ninth anniversary of my moms death. I worked a long day, had two meetings, did a little grocery shopping before having to head out again, it was a very busy day. After Beth and I came home from the store and put away all the groceries, she went downstairs and I just happened to look at the clock. It was 4:42. I was on the phone with my sister when my mom took her last breath in 2005 and at that very moment it was 4:44. So I stopped right then yesterday and just began to talk to my mom. I told her how much I missed her. I told her I wished I could tell her that I get it. That I'm the age she was when I was in my 20's and I now realize everything she was trying to tell me! I've heard it said that you never get over losing your mother and I'm beginning to believe it. Yesterday was so busy I didn't really get much time to think about her, but having those few moments, and right at 4:44, blessed me so much. It was exactly what I needed. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Key or the Cart?

Once again Beth and I went grocery shopping on Monday afternoon. I got a shopping cart and she grabbed a basket.

We each got a few things then headed to the checkout.

She checks out by herself although she always wants me to go first. I put my stuff on the conveyor and she likes to put the bar between, to separate our items.

I go on through, then wait for her to finish. She puts in our phone number for the discount, scans her card and enters her number. I don't have to help her with that anymore.

As we're headed to the car, sometimes I'll have her push the cart so I can unlock the van, sometimes I let her unlock it.

After the groceries are unloaded I ask her, "Key or the cart?" Meaning, do you want to take the key and get into the van or do you want to take the cart over to the cart return?

This week she chose the key.

Monday, May 5, 2014

It Doesn't Make a Difference

Thank you to those who commented on the question in my last post. After thinking about it for a while, I think that extra chromosome could be a blessing.

Now please know, I don't know if there is a correct answer here, this is just my opinion. But that extra chromosome has opened up new worlds for us, introduced us to people we would have never met and brought experiences we never would have had otherwise.

That extra chromosome helped make my daughter who she is today. It has given her an innocent view of this sometimes harsh world and allowed her to love with a pure heart.


If I had the choice, would I choose to have Down Syndrome? Would I choose to be 'blessed' like that? Hmm, I don't think I would. The world often treats Beth unkindly, they view her as 'less than' and I don't think I would choose that. It would be hard to walk in her shoes.

Maybe, like you said, it's not a blessing or a burden.

It just is.

Some days we can see all the great and wonderful things about Down Syndrome and other days the hard things keep us from seeing anything.

I like how it always seems to come down to one word: Normal.

Substitute the words Down Syndrome with anything: some days we can see all the great and wonderful things about... marriage and other days the hard things keep us from seeing anything.

Some days we can see all the great and wonderful things about... college and other days the hard things keep us from seeing anything.

Everyday LIFE is great and wonderful and hard and scary. Maybe that extra chromosome doesn't make that much of a difference after all!

It's not a blessing or a burden. It just is.