Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Megan Goes to ECHO

Megan has some good news to share. She started going to a day program for adults with an ID, Intellectual Disability. The program is called ECHO, though I don’t know if that is an acronym or just the name they chose. There are about eight participants, including Megan. She and I shadowed the program one day, and decided she’ll go there on Fridays to start with, and then add Wednesdays. 

Her first day was four days ago, the day after Christmas. I almost felt like it was back when she had turned 3 and aged out of the Early Intervention Program and started going to an integrated preschool program. You know, wondering if she’d be okay, if she’d fit in, would she be safe…all the things a momma worries about. 

No matter how old her baby is. 

But she did okay, and she made it back home, and I thought I’d share it with you. 

I got Megan up at 6:30, and she got dressed and we started making her lunch. She peeled the cucumber and carrot…

…while I made her a ham, cheese, and lettuce sandwich.

We packed it securely in her new backpack that Phil and I got her for Christmas (regularly $18.28, we got it on clearance for $5.00!!!). 

I gotta tell ya, Megan spent Christmas night going over what she’d put in it, and that morning I discovered that each and every pocket/compartment on that thing held a sandwich bag with a new hair scrunchie, hair elastic, and/or barrette from her Christmas stocking. She is well prepared to do her hair…at least a dozen times a day if she so chooses. ;)

As I opened the front door to let a cat out at 7:19, I discovered that her bus was here! It was supposed to come at 7:28. I told Megan to get her stuff, and I scrambled to get my crocs on and a coat. And snap a pic!

We walked onto the porch, Megan in front, and before she stepped down, Megan turned to me. She said, “Alright, Mom.” and hugged me…expecting me to go back in the house! 

I told her I needed to meet the driver and take a picture of her getting on the bus. Secretly, I wanted to size him up and make sure I didn’t see the tips of any horns sticking up in his hair, or any fangs, or perhaps a GPS bracelet on his ankle. 

He looked relatively safe enough to transport my firstborn. I don’t even remember what his name is now. Megan and I introduced ourselves and she got right on that bus.

She chose a seat and got right into it. She was ready to go, and I realized this was my cue to go back into the house…

…and trust her in God’s hands. I couldn’t help taking one more photo of her bus leaving, though.

And at about 4:35, Megan came home, safe and sound, with stories to tell me about her day, as we hugged and walked to the house, chattering all the way.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

So, another Christmas has come and is all over again. I guess that’s the way of things. ;) We had a nice Christmas, a comfortable one.

Comfortable in the way that traditions and a relaxed schedule make it. Starting with the tree, which we always decorate at night on my birthday. I sit with the great Christmas box, handing out the ornaments while the children put them on.

Unbreakables on the lower two to three feet of the tree, and the more expensive and fragile German glass ornaments on the top. Caity and Ryan are the privileged ones who handle those expensive ones, while Megan and Tornado Timmy do the less delicate ones.

Christmas morning dawned with presents under the tree. We got together for the fun at 9 in the morning.

Ryan and I handled the handing out of presents. Chaos reigned as I had four children clamoring for my attention, to “Look at this Mummy!” as they each wanted to show me what Phil and I bought them. ;)

Megan opened a huge Crayola art set that Caitlin had given her. “Sweet niblets!!” she said, followed by, “It has pencils, and kwayons, and pencils!!”

Ryan loved the And1 pants and shirt set Caitlin gave him. He also got a football from us that he loved, and wanted to play with right away, but he’s, um, grounded at the moment. We just won’t go there about that, though. ;)

Yeah, grounded at Christmas; it does happen. ;)

Look at my daughter Caitlin. Isn’t she beautiful? She had taken the kids out to buy sibling and parent presents the night before. She’s a brave soul, that’s for sure!

After we were done unwrapping presents, Megan handed out some extras I had neither seen nor helped her wrap. She gave Caity a DVD that Caity had bought her earlier this year. She gave me one that *I* had bought her at some point. And she gave Timmy one  that Caity had bought her over a year ago. It’s the one she had wrapped and given me a week ago for my birthday. ;)

Oh my, but does she ever make us laugh!

Afterwards, we had our traditional orange cinnamon rolls, and I made some cheesy eggs to go with them since it was so late and we were very hungry. We relaxed and each did our own thing, Megan playing with her baby doll, the boys playing with their stuff, Caity getting ready to go to her intended, Tay’s, house. Phil and I took a nap.

Later I made a ham dinner that was quite delicious, followed by cheesecake that Caitlin had made. I got to talk to my mom, dad, and sister Susan, and that was wonderful. The family gave me books by my favorite authors, nineteen of them! Which I will savor and enjoy again and again. <3

It was a wonderful Christmas, and I enjoy everything about it, but it’s also nice to settle back into “everyday” life, with maybe not so much busyness. I think a lot of it simply has to do with the peace in one’s heart. That’s one gift that can’t be bought. You have to find that in your heart, by knowing that you are in exactly the right place, on the path of life that God has chosen for you, at this moment. <3

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Conversation With Megan

This is a conversation that took place recently. Megan, Ryan, and I were in the kitchen at the table, and Timotheus was a couple yards away in the living room. This is just one of the many funny conversations we have with Megan. I just love her! 

Megan: Mummy, wemember back at our church in Plainbill? Wemember the Alberksons? 

Me: Yep, I sure do.

Megan: Katie’s blind.

Me: No, she’s not blind. 

Megan: Oh, yeah, she’s deaf.

Me: No, she’s not deaf either. 

Megan: Ohhhhh, yeah, she can’t hear.

Ryan and Timmy, who have been listening, bust up laughing.

Me, trying not to laugh: Megan, she can hear. She’s non-verbal.

Megan: She has Autism, just like me.

Me: No, you have Down syndrome.

Megan: Oh yeah, Katie has Down syndrome too.

Me, trying desperately not to laugh: Katie has Autism and you have Down syndrome.

Megan: Yep, she has Autism. She can’t hear.

By now Ryan and Timmy are just about rolling around on the floor in hysterics. 

As for me, I had to head to the bathroom before I wet myself. ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Demise of Midge the Fridge

Well, all the micky mousing in the world couldn't save old Midge the Fridge. She was 27 years old, which translates to 153.9 in human years. 

I’m not making this up. Based on the average life expectancy of a human being in North America and the average length of time you can expect a refrigerator to last, Midge topped out at 153.9 years old in human years.

Dang, that’s OLD! Can you imagine living to that age? It’s not a ripe old age, it’s more like a moldy, unidentifiable, science-experiment-in-the-fridge old age! 

So yeah, Midge was old, past ready to be put out to pasture. We’ve been limping along the past 2 years with her, but we kept on, Phil working miracles time and again to keep her going. 

Unfortunately, she was just beyond repair, and life support needed to be removed. It was a tough decision, but we had to pull the plug.  

They came for her today. The morticians. They were big burly men who were dressed in chipper red vests. They kind of reminded me of delivery men from someplace like Lowes or something.

But I know they really were the morticians come to take Midge to her final resting place. I think it was Sunny View Junk Yard. I don’t want to think about that right now, imagining her sitting there all forlorn and exposed, with her door off. <shudders>

So let’s talk about the new fridge that now sits in Midge’s spot. She’s been here for less than an hour, but she seems to be content, for she’s quietly humming. 

And the way she lights up when I open her doors…that shows me that she’s happy to be a new member of our family. ;)

Megan and I had emptied Midge earlier, and we worked together to go through everything in the boxes and laundry baskets we used and put everything into the new fridge, deciding what should go where.

It’s a slightly different setup in the new one, but we worked it all out. And even though we had one space that seemed it might not be usable at all due to it being only about 3 inches high, we did discover what could go there: tortilla wraps! They are a regular member of our diet, and fit perfectly right there! 

“What a perfectly appointed little cubby!” ~Mrs. Doubtfire

So here we are, the new fridge in and running, and no more worrying if we’ll be losing food. We’re very thankful. 

And looking for a name for the new member of the appliance family. Hey, people name their cars all the time, so don’t be hatin’ on a sistah who names just about everything. I’ll be thinking on a name in the next few weeks, and let you know. ;)