Thursday, March 31, 2016

She Just... Disappeared

Beth loves to text. She texts her boyfriend and she has a couple friends at church that she texts. She texts her sisters a lot. Sometimes it's only 'You're weird.' 'No you're weird.' But they text.

We've been emailing Diana regularly since she left and she told us that Beth texted her last week. Okay. But then she said that it's the first time Beth has sent her a text since she moved!

I asked Beth why she wasn't texting Diana anymore and she gave me her usual answer, "I dunno." I told her that I thought she did know and I asked her again, "How come you don't text Diana?"

Then she said, "I don't know where she is. I don't want to bother her."

Oh wow. I don't really know what Beth thinks about Diana moving. In her mind it seems, Diana has just... disappeared. I've gone to google/maps and showed her where she's living now. I pulled out our road atlas and we've looked at a map of the U.S. I've told her that just like my dad and sisters live their lives in San Diego, going to the grocery store and doing their laundry, Diana is doing those things in Philadelphia.  Course, I'm showing her all this on a piece of paper and I'm not sure she really understands the distance part of it. I don't really know what else to say or do.

In her mind, Diana is just gone.

So on Easter we facetimed with her and Beth got to see her and talk to her. I think that helped. Also, Diana is now texting her and telling her that she's grocery shopping, or headed to work and now Beth tells Chuck and I everything that Diana is doing.

I don't know if she really comprehends the whole thing yet, but we'll just keep trying to explain it.

A few days ago we were sitting at the kitchen table and she told me she never wanted to move out of our house. "It's too hard to say goodbye."

Friday, March 25, 2016

It Just Wasn't The Same

For the last few years our family has gone to Roozengaard to see the tulip fields. This year due to Chuck's schedule, there was only one day that we would be able to go and unfortunately most of the flowers hadn't bloomed yet. But we had good weather and it's always fun to hang out with family!

As soon as we got there, Beth had to use the restroom so while Chuck waited for her, Sharaya, Allie and I walked out a ways to the daffodil fields. It wasn't until after we got home I noticed a raindrop on my camera lens. :(

We went back up to the main garden area and took our usual family photos by the giant windmill.

Allie asked to borrow Sharaya's phone and walked around taking her own photos.

Then Sharaya wanted to continue a traditional photo shoot that they've done with Diana every year. Allie and Diana stand next to each other and make the same pose. Except, remember this year Diana has moved to Philadelphia. So Sharaya wanted to let her know just how much she's missed.

Ugh!! Broke our hearts seeing that lip out like that! We all had a great time but it just wasn't the same without Diana!

Friday, March 18, 2016

"Oh Honey Buns!"

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. We've all been sick around here. I watched Allie a week or so ago when she was sick and even though I sprayed door knobs and couches, Chuck and I still got it. I guess it's really going around. For me it's been a toss between allergies and the flu. More allergies than flu but it's still no fun. Allie is much better but Chuck and I are still fighting it. Sharaya hasn't come down with it, thank goodness. And Beth has managed to avoid it too!

Beth and I were at the store the other day and she found a new nickname for Nick:

His family has been on vacation so I don't know if she's had a chance to call him that. We sure had a good laugh over it, but we don't know how much Nick will like it! 

We got to have dinner with some on-line friends last weekend. Stephanie from The Sumulong 3 and Leah from Our Cora Bean and our families all met at the Cutters Crab House in Seattle. It usually takes out of towners to introduce you to places you've never been before. :) We had a great time and it was so fun to meet these young moms and their kids. We loved watching Owen and Cora navigate through dinner (it brought back so many memories of when our kids were small!) and Cora's little sister, what a personality! She was a doll!

Outside we took a picture of the moms with their Ds kiddos. To be honest, I don't have any friends who have children with Down Syndrome. Not ones that I get together with on a regular basis, so it was fun to meet these two! Thank you for inviting us!

Monday, March 7, 2016

I'm Not Really Sure You Can Call It A Proposal

Beth came upstairs a few weeks ago, screaming and yelling and jumping up and down. "Me and Nick engaged now!!!"

She handed me her phone and sure enough, he had sent her a text, "You and me are engaged now Beth." Oh my goodness she was ecstatic! I kind of let her have the moment because she was screaming and jumping around. "Wow Beth!! That's so exciting!!"

A little while later she came back upstairs a little more calm and I sat down with her and explained very gently that when a man proposes to a woman, he does it in person. Face to face. Not by a text.


And he asks her, 'Will you marry me?' he doesn't tell her that she will marry him. He politely asks and waits for her answer. And he usually gives her a ring.


She was still pretty excited but I think she realized there needed to be more than just a text. Her and Nick see each other a couple times a week; they're in an art class together and on a bowling league. A few days after she got the text, she came home said that Nick gave her a present. She held out her hand and showed me a ring.

Nick has given her a promise ring. Awwe! Now that's more like it! Way to go Nick!! :)

Nick's mom and I try to get them together as much as possible outside their group friends. She called me recently and invited us to his celebrate his birthday with them. We all went bowling (Nick's dad and I didn't bowl - I'm wearing a boot and I'm not sure why his dad didn't bowl) and Nick decided it would be boys against girls! The girls won, woohoo!!

Nick wanted to go to Azteca for dinner so we left the bowling alley and went out for some yummy Mexican food. We love Azteca! I planned a surprise party for Chuck once there and had about 20 people surprise him as we walked into the back room. 

But anyway, his mom and dad and Chuck and I got to talk and just get to know each other a little better. Beth and Nick are sure growing closer each week and are definitely talking about having a future together. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Day That Should Go Down in History

One of the issues we've had with Beth is her lack of speech. She can talk, she just chooses not to. I expect it's because she knows people have a hard time understanding her. She's gotten better over the years but she still chooses when and where she'll talk.

We had her annual assessment last week and she barely spoke. Trevor asked so many questions about her health and her job and her boyfriend. She hardly said a word.

I got off work on Monday and took her to the doctor. The doctor asked her about Special Olympics and Nick and exercising and music. She looked at her knees for most of the appointment and maybe said 10 words the entire time.

Then we went to the grocery store. As soon as we got out of the car:

"I'm glad I have my hat! It's windy!"
"Imma have some hot tea when we get home."
"Imma take my own cart."
"I don't want apples. Dad like that kind."
"I have licorice and chocolate." (I made her put the chocolate back.)
"I'm not getting cookies. No way!"
"I don't know if I wanna get this. Maybe I wait."
And on and on and on.

I try to respond every time she says something but after more than an hour, I was drained! I will admit I have to look at her so I can read her lips and it makes having a conversation - while you're doing something else - so difficult.

We got to the register and she said she wanted me to go first. As I'm unloading my stuff, she's still talking and since I have to look at her I unload one thing then have to look at her and ask her to repeat what she just said. Unload a little, then ask her to repeat. Unload and ask. Again and again.

Oh my goodness, I was this close to telling her to stop talking! Beth, just... stop! Enough for a while! I didn't of course, but man, I never thought I'd see the day.