March Madness (Deer Park, Wi)

I cannot believe May is next month.  Easter is next week.  It has felt like these warmer spring and summer days would never grace us with their presence.

But, they have.  And, I have spent a few hours outside humbling myself with the lovely chore of cleaning up after the dog.  What do you think, is a person only as good as the worst chore they have to perform?  That chore fell on a day of having the thought that our bath-tub may as well become a toilet.

Oh, poor Calvin.  I can hardly be upset with him though after a week of struggling against the powerful force of another stomach bug.  I should say though, he has sailed past the last two in the house so it was his time, right?

Between that and a yucky cough Nolan had last week, I was out for the count and confined to the four walls of the house.  Friday morning I was supposed to attend Calvin’s I.E.P. (Individual Education Plan) meeting but we rescheduled for today (Friday).  Then, I was planning to attend a Down syndrome conference in the cities with my neighbor but I had to stay back with the sick kids since Joe has been teaching Community Ed classes on how to grow a giant pumpkin.

I love Joe’s teaching side.  I keep telling him he should become a teacher and then grow the giants in the summer.  How perfect would that be?!

We are performing the typical tasks around here with readying up for the summer.  Cleaning up the junk, making room for more, isn’t that how it goes?

Before summer starts I believe Calvin will be starting Early Childhood for a taste of it.  We meet today to discuss some options and goals.  My largest goal right now to it enhance Calvin’s sign language abilities.  He can sign so well when he wants to and when it pertains yet now it is getting to the point he needs to learn more.  His speaking skills are slow to come and we cannot rely on them.  He needs to be able to hone this skill for his sake, I can tell he wants more and more to communicate his wants and needs with us.  But, big news: A few nights ago as we read Little Critters, Where is Kitty? and opened and closed the flaps, he shut the ‘door’ on the cows and said “Ba bye, Dow!”  That was HUGE!!!  2 word sentences?

But then, just like that it punches me in the stomach, a case of the “oulds”.  I ask Calvin, “Where is the tree?”.  Sure, he knows.  He can sign ‘tree’.  But he doesn’t point and I begin to doubt.  Then,  I spiral in to the awareness that my nearly 4-year-old does not know what a tree is!  And I start to panic a bit and feel a lack of control AND a lack of ability.  “What kind of mom has not made sure her kid knows what a tree is?  All the other 4-year-olds going in to Preschool know what a tree is and probably the colors of the tree and maybe even know its first letter!”

Well, this is about comparisons, again.  When I compare Calvin to another child his age (or younger) I begin to feel down.  It does not last long, but the knowledge of the facts hangs over me, just waiting for the right chemicals to mix with it and turn it in to a thunderstorm.

To be fair, I do not get down about Calvin having Down syndrome much anymore.  But as Calvin grows, the differences are more obvious.  And not just with what he knows, but how he acts.  He hates, HATES, transitions.  I have touched on that before.  He tells me he’s done in the tub and I go to get him and he has a mini meltdown.  Every. Time.  Same with going from bedroom to upstairs, high chair to out of high chair, etc.  Rarely does Calvin just go with the flow.  I do not quite get it but I do know it is exhausting and stressful on me, which is why I am ready for others to step in with him. I hope that in a year from now we are improved in this area. An issue I am having lately is that Calvin is not the only person in this house, though he thinks so! I have to focus on the other boys (Joe included) at times and Calvin is finding himself crying more and more as I let him figure things out or make him wait.

Speaking of other boys, Nolan is more than ready for Kindergarten.  He knows so many things it surprises me.  He just is not one to really share that stuff like his older brother.  Nolan is growing fast.  Too fast.  He nearly gave me a heart attack when he decided he was capable of riding bike to his grandparents the other day.  By himself.  A half a mile with part of that on a county road (highway).  Joe and I were going there and I wanted to walk.  So I asked the older 2 who wanted to go with me, biking or walking.  Evan wanted to run and Nolan wanted to bike.  I had to get Calvin ready for the stroller and Joe left.   Nolan went out when he did.  When I got out there they were all gone so I figured Nolan ended up riding with Joe.  When I got there I mentioned this observation to Joe and as we put 2 and 2 together, we realized Nolan rode bike on his own.  I was so grateful things went okay and then we talked about some new rules for him.  He said he was trying to catch up to dad and thought we left.  I kind of wonder if he thought I was in the car with Joe and I meant he could just ride bike there. You know, on his own!  Wowsers.  I feel older than my age with these 3 kids, I tell ya.

Evan is about to finish up 2nd grade.  Last night he was naming off states.  He loves to talk about the solar system and gets to thinking about how endless it is.  He is very intrigued, which is fun for Joe, too.  Joe is hoping to talk to his class about things through his new job with 3M.  Again, the teacher in him!  Our largest conundrum right now is deciding whether or not to transfer Evan to a different elementary school in New Richmond.  The borders have changed and Nolan and Calvin will be at a different one.  So, I would like them all in the same building for planning’s sake, and for each other.  Evan is a creature of habit, worse than I am, and is not excited about this.  In 6th grade they will all be back together and we can still keep in contact with the dozen boys he has connected with, but understandably this is not something an 8-year-old is thrilled about.

Yes, 8.  Evan turned 8 last month!  We had a fun birthday party for him at the NR Centre.  We ate, had a Minecraft cake, and swam.  The boys were wild.  In retrospect, I wish all my boys were born in June so they could be outside running laps during birthday parties!!

As far as my health goes, I feel like that should be another post.  I have to say, that it will be worth the read if you are looking for help yourself.  I have been doing some new things for 2 weeks and today woke up feeling better (happier and more energetic) than I have in years.  Last year I had a couple of days in June that were awesome after I started taking anti-inflammitories.  This time, I have been working on eliminated inflammatories in my diet and I have lost 6 pounds, my acne is clearing up, and I feel so positive!  I pray it continues and I feel like it might.  For the first time in about 2.5 years I think I am on the right track 🙂  I’ll post more about that in the next week.

Have a great weekend!

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photographyilisa ailts