Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A letter to my son

Dear Nathan,

I wanted to thank you so much for dumping out the entire contents of your brothers 10oz sippy cup onto your comforter. Not only am I happy that you wasted milk, I am super excited to wash your sheets (again) since it seeped all the way through the comforter onto them. 

I'm also really excited that you did this today because I haven't cleaned up enough of your mess. I thoroughly enjoyed wiping up 1/2 of my can of Diet Coke from the table in the basement. I cleaned it once today, but you're right, it definitely needed to be cleaned again.

I absolutely loved stepping in your spit after coming down from your top bunk.  My foot was in dire need of some moisture, and what better way to provide this than your spit.  I hope that next time I'm coming down from changing your sheets I can step in your spit again.  

I really hope that we can have another liquid filled day in the near future, I seriously can't get enough of it.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Storytime? More like "borey-time"

From the day we brought Nathan home from the hospital he has been read to.  As a former teacher, and having a mother-in-law who is a retired children's librarian, I totally know the importance of reading to your child.  

Nathan has been read to every day of his life.  When he was still napping, we would read him books before naps, before bedtime, and various times throughout the day.  As a 7 year-old, he still gets books read to him before he goes to bed at night.  I strongly believe that Nate's love for books stems from us reading to him so much. 

Because Matt and I want to instill the importance of reading in both of our children, we (obviously) read to Evan as well.  For the past few months, we have been having "family time" before we put the boys to bed.  We gather on Nate's top bunk and read plenty of books to the boys.  Evan usually bring 2-3 of his toddler appropriate books, and we grab a longer book for Nathan.

Lately, I have been paying close attention to Nate while it's Evan's turn to have his books read.  I wish I knew what he was thinking.  He stares off into the distance and looks completely bored out of his mind.  Why wouldn't he be bored?  He's been hearing these same stories for the past 7 years!  The one book that he's been completely interested in is his reading books from school!  He absolutely loves paging through it and "reading" all of the stories to himself.

He used to engage in his books "asking" questions, counting things, and paying attention.  For the past few months, it's been quite the opposite.  I wish I could ask him how he feels about Evan taking over and choosing what books get read and in what order.  I'm sure that it takes a lot of patience and strength to deal with a sibling, who is typical, when you struggle so much to get even the simplest words out of your mouth.  

Seeing Nathan like this breaks my heart.  His face is usually so animated and alive, but when it's time to read with Evan, his expression totally changes.  I am trying to remedy this, When we are done with our "family time" one of us takes Evan and puts him to bed, while the other reads Nate a longer book that is more appropriate for his age level.  Right now we're reading some "Nate the Great" books, which he really seems to enjoy!

I would do anything to get into Nate's mind and know what he's thinking.  I'd love to know exactly what he likes/dislikes, his dreams, and his daily thoughts.  I'd love to know these things but until he's able to verbally express them, I'll be kept in the dark.  I think that's one of the hardest things about having a child with a disability like Nate's.  

Friday, September 14, 2012


I've been asked a few times this past month "Why have you been running so much lately?"  Those people apparently don't know that for the past 11 weeks I've been training for a half marathon.  

Training for the half has been an amazing experience.  I have pushed myself to limits I never thought possible and have run distances that I never imagined.  Yes, I am running the half for myself, but I'm also running it for Nathan.

I don't know what the future will hold for Nate.  I don't know if he will have to live with us for the rest of his life.  I would hope that as he grows and matures, he gains a sense of responsibility and can move out on his own.  I don't know for sure if this will be possible.  If he does happen to be able to move out on his own, I'm turning off all the water in his place before he moves in :-)

I'm running for Nate because I know that I need to live and stay healthy for him as long as I can.  I'm still young and in good health, and I believe that running, exercising, and taking care of myself will lengthen my life and allow me to help out Nathan for even longer.

I  worry that something will happen to Matt and myself, leaving Nate and Evan alone.  I worry that when Evan is an adult he won't want to help Nate (if help is needed).  Running gives me a sense of hope that I will continue to stay healthy and that I can be there to help out Nathan (and Evan as well) for as long as possible.

When I run, I'm able to sort through so many thoughts.  I love to run with a buddy, but running alone helps me clear out all the things that are going on in my mind.  I can de-stress, have an hour to myself, and just clear my mind.  I truly believe that this makes me a better mom.  I can take a break from my kids and when I come back to them I'm a better person.  I'm healthier, calmer, and think (at least for a little while) that I have some answers.

So, when you ask why I run, my answer will be short and simple.  I run for Nate.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soap Monster

Many of you may already know about Nate's obsession with anything water. This infatuation has been going on for a few years now, and it's resulted in some pretty hefty water bills.

Well it turns out that this past weekend has resulted in a brand new, and just as messy obsession. Soap. Yes, soap. Hand soap to be precise. Who on earth becomes infatuated with soap?? Oh yeah, that's right, my son.

I have absolutely no clue how or why this started, all I know is that its annoying and totally messy.

Nate's a pretty smart kid when it comes to causing trouble. It's almost like he gets a master plan in his head when he wakes up and works through the day to carry it out. He starts by doing something that he knows we will say no to like playing in the sink, dumping out the cat food, or spitting on stuff in the house. As we are cleaning up his first mess, he moves on to something else.  Right now it's the soap. I've found puddles of it in the bathroom, on the kitchen counter, behind the bar in the basement, all over the bathroom rug, and on the living room floor.

The newest location (which he came up with while I was cleaning up all the wine glasses he took off of the shelves in the bar) is his bedroom. I walked up the stairs to see the typical 'I swallowed a canary' look on his face. I instantly knew that he did something and he was proud enough of his mess to show me.

I walked into his room to find a trail of liquid hand soap all over the floor. It was like friggin Hansel and Gretel but instead of bread crumbs, it was Method soap. I had no idea where to even begin, because cleaning up spilled soap is no easy task. Let's just say it took 5 bath towels, a wet hand towel, and my Swiffer Wet-Jet to get everything back to normal.

Nate's room now smells like cucumber melon and his floor is cleaner than its been in weeks.  Not only do we have all the water off (except in the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom), there is no soap left out on the counters.  It's all hidden, and it's a pain in the ass.