Summer Vacation is coming…

and my eldest, Henry, can’t wait. But, alas, he will have Summer School and two Summer camp programs to take up his time.

He will be going to summer camp for meteorology, and geology; two things that he’s really interested in. He will get to go to a real weather station and in the other camp he will go on a real dig. I think as parents, we are more excited than he is. This is his first year of any kind of summer camp activity, so we decided to take it slow with three-week day camps would be best.

Little John will only have Summer School, and I’ll have to think up day activities for him at home or the park. I want him to have more experiences since he’s still rather timid. I’m hoping we can get him to come out of his shell a bit (but not too much).

I find that finding good activities for John challenging; I don’t know if it’s the Down Syndrome, his age, or a combo of both, but he’s very picky about what he has interest in and his interest last for a very limited amount of time. I think it’ll be a learning Summer for both of us.

So Much Has Happened…

I finished my physical therapy for my whiplash and feel so much better. I can actually change lanes while driving without it being a crapshoot. I can finally sleep in my bed; I was sleeping upright in recliner till my neck got stronger.

I still have to get motivated enough to unpack the 40+ boxes that line out basement, since our things were all returned after the repairs from the flooding. I know I should be all over it, but to be honest, just looking at the mountain of boxes drains me immediately. I am slowly working on it, but have a long way to go.

What I have been doing successfully, is spending as much quality time and conversation with my children. My ten-year old talks on limitless topics and I try to stay as engaged as possible. I have to admit that some of the topics as those he discusses with his peers I don’t quite grasp, but I ask for explanation where appropriate. He has told me that he loves our conversations, and that is definitely enough to keep my attention.

My 7-year old amazes me at every turn. Still considered to be non-verbal, he is trying to use words for simple routine requests, and displays his understanding goes far beyond what he’s able to say. He’s proving he’s more abled than disabled, and I love that!

I’ve now got to get in the swing of writing again; so much I could put down but I’ll break it up in bits and pieces instead.

Finally on the Mend, then Whiplash!

After starting the year with great intentions-more time dedicated to my family, cleaner home, keeping up with the daily chores and visiting my Mom more often-BAM! The flu; not once but twice, then bronchitis, and then tripping into a rocking recliner and getting whiplash.

Needless to say, I was really feeling like I couldn’t get a break.

Now, I’m going through therapy for my neck, since driving is like playing Russian Roulette, especially changing lanes. It’s getting better but it has set me back a bit.

We finally, after almost four months, got our basement things back and there is about 40 boxes awaiting me to unpack right now. I might consolidate time with kids and unpacking into a single event and put them to work.

Meanwhile I’m just trying to take it easy and not get into any more trouble.

Well Out With the Old



The start of another year, and I can hardly believe how fast the last one went!

I’ve been spending the last part of 2017 finishing up the contacting (finally done) of the basement repairs, and spending all the time I can while my children are on their Winter Break from school.

I’ve made spending time with them a priority and can’t believe how they’ve grown both physically and intellectually! I see them everyday during school year and yet I find, now, that somehow this has all happened under my nose with little notice from me. So, I’ve been having long conversations with Henry (who now tells me he loves having talks with me-enter heart melting), and watching and participating in John’s exploration of the world around him.

I’ve also been seeing my Mom in the Home more often, and she is always so happy to see me that I feel guilty for not seeing her more. I wish I could give her more, but in her state of her disease (Dementia), she is in need or want of very little other than my company. So, have made it a goal to scoop things aside and make that a more common occurrence.



The new year will bring great Japanese traditions. I will be making a traditional New Year’s dinner for my Mom this evening of Rice, Salmon egg sushi, Japanese blacks beans and Fish Cake. I think she will really enjoy the meal and a wonderful change from the scheduled meals at the Home. Usually there is a small gift exchange but I got her all she needs (splurging on high end products she used to love) for Christmas. Plus I need very little from her, than to know she is doing well, and continuing her new friendships at the Home.

I don’t write about her much, but she’s one of the few residents that has a sassy attitude at the Home; the staff just love her. She often playfully sticks her tongue out at them in a loving gesture, and they do it back. She often says she wants to be tended to by the sexiest boy they have on duty at the time, and they oblige if they can. She still is a real hoot. So glad that in-spite of the advancement of the disease-she still remember family members and me, and has held on the the fun side of her personality.

It a terrible disease, and hard for me to see who was once and very independent woman, taking charge of all around her-on her own- to now need so much assistance and have very little vocabulary left. But she still can make me laugh and vice versa and that is the best medicine there is!

Christmas Done


With the tree having been decorated on Christmas Eve, yes we cut is that close this year, and gifts all opened and enjoyed; a calm has returned to the house as we await the celebrations of the New Year to approach.

Hopefully, all were able to enjoy the Christmas chaos or calm, whatever form it took, and get things a bit back to normal afterwards.

Each year it seems we take less and less pictures of the kids and everyone opening gifts, getting so caught up in the moments instead. I regret that sometimes, but love being so engrossed in the moment too.

John even got into the unwrapping affair a bit but once he got past his first gift he was done opening presents. He’s so satisfied by something new and not into the quantity of things yet.

Henry enjoyed his new Nerf guns, although they are powerful enough for outdoor use only. The shoot out balls instead of darts and I see a future of buying many back up/replacement packs for them.

Right now I’m Enjoying that my kids loved what they got and enjoyed the morning, and that with the wrappings all out of the house we can start to get the larger boxes cleared too.

We had a simple Christmas, and I think that worked very well this year. Not much family around to share with without travels, and they were mostly traveling elsewhere anyway.. So no planning lavish meals, and having hours of talks and debates through the night for us.

Just When You Thought You Were All Done…

With renovations complete from the sewer back-up in the basement, our washer is leaking! Luckily it is doing so only in the drawer below the machine, so it’s contained. It also meant an early Christmas shopping trip (that is what I’m calling it). To buy a new washer and dryer set.

Luckily they were on sale, but still a pretty penny as they are much larger in capacity than our current set. In fact the washer is so deep I will need a step stool just to reach the bottom, but it will handle the king-sized bedding of ours. No more trips to the laundry mat to get our bedding done! I just hope I don’t end up upside down in it, waiting for my husband to come home to rescue me.

Aside from that, it will be nice to be able to do less loads of laundry when I get behind, which happens more than it should! I’m not a fan of laundry, and even less a fan of folding and putting away, but it is simply one of those things that has to get done.

One way that I have saved a lot on what gets piled up is purging, EVERYONE’S clothes!. With limited clothing, it makes me more on top of getting the wash done and ensures that I don’t have 6 baskets to do at once because there is an over-abundance of clean clothes to pick from. It has also helped on the space that the clothes take up in closets and drawers.

As as the kids have run out of cold weather pants to wear, it’s off to do a load now! Yay???

Family Care

After having to care for little John last week for a tummy bug, this week starts off with his older brother, Henry, being ill.

I just don’t do sick kids very well. I have to admit the extra care, I just find a bit taxing, okay a lot taxing! It makes me feel like a failure as a parent. I don’t have a great bedside manner, and the constant making soups or putting up with crankiness is hard on me. I know I should be all motherly and giving a bunch of hugs and such, and I do some, but I just feel like I lack the true motherly patience for all of it.

I do try to be patient, I mean that is what Mommies are for, right??? But why does it feel so hard?! Why do I feel like these things are “interruptions” in my daily duties of laundry and dishes and such. If anything I should be glad that it’s a break from the daily monotonous grind, and a chance to show my children the care and love they need when they feel bad.

I think it’s the whining and crankiness that gets to me. Or the the making of the requested foods only to have it turned down when it’s made. This constant picking of gross tissues when they miss the trash can, two feet away. Or the changing of clothes when they get messed up with snot wiped off on them and all the weird extras.

But, alas, duty calls and off I go, pop tarts are now the latest request. **SIGH**

Gifts For Him…

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Not sure what in the world to get my husband for Christmas. He doesn’t really have any hobbies, take part in any sports or, other than reading news,any real pass times. I finally decided on this. He enjoys a glass of whisky occasionally and I already have the whisky cube maker, so he should be able to treat himself in style.

He also enjoys history so may get a book he’s been looking at for some time, so I’m adding that to my list for him. Haven’t decided on hard cover or kindle version just yet. He likes both, so it’ll be up to me to pick one as a surprise.

Of course I will get him some updates to his wardrobe as well for shoveling the driveway and such, as it gets pretty cold here.

So in short, still on the hunt for gifts. Luckily the kids are more decisive on what THEY want.

Now the Kids…

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So while struggling for gift ideas for my husbands, the kids are easy-staying on budget is the hard part with them.

Since John loves the mimicry of Tom the Cat app, I’m getting him the real life version. He loves that it repeats any words or sound that he makes. Most animated stuffed toys scare him, but he seems to take to these okay. Hope it’s a hit for him and can survive his dragging it around everywhere.

For henry, he’s all about animation, drawing, legos, and nerf guns. So, he has already picked out his “only things want” list with one thing. We actually got two so that the battles are fair. He’s a pretty good aim, but not yet good as me; although he loads his gun faster than I do. We got extra nerf balls because we know in the quick and fast we lose a lot of them.

For now, I’m finding all that I’m seeking and hopefully I can get them shipped and wrapped in time. Hiding them will be a challenge-gets harder and harder every year to keep them undiscovered till Christmas morning.

Thanksgiving Done. Next….

Christmas! Yes it’s less than four weekends away. So let the kids’ wishlists begin.

John is easy but hard. Since he has Down Syndrome he doesn’t know how to request things. We try to keep it educational, but we are constantly running into him being smarter than we give him credit for. He’s non-verbal in comparison to his peers at 6 years old. He does know to let us know if he likes or doesn’t like something, but we have to show him first.

He likes iPad games, so may just do that and maybe some musical kiddies toys, as he like to sing. He’s just learning how to write, so spelling apps for children may be an option as well. I currently say/sign words for him to mimic and spell hoping that he catches on, but it’s hard to tell, yet, how much he grasps.

Henry is all video games, animation creating apps, and building things with legos. He’s quite good at all those things along with drawing. So, that and maybe some Nerf shooters are in the mix for him. He’s anxiously awaiting to see if the pre-Christmas elf will grace him with a visit. He’s worried that he wont find his gift this year since he’s getting older, at 10 now, the Elf has to be very creative in leaving a small gift for him to find.

We have yet to get our tree up, and Henry has taken up the task of being the one to decorate it. Not sure where he stands on that task this year, but he’s done a good job so far. If he doesn’t I will step in and take over. I always love the look of the tree up and lit. Hopefully, this year isn’t’ the year that John takes it all down, crossing my fingers!