Date Night,What?!

After more than two years, my husband and I had a date night. That’s right; more than two years! How life has gotten so involved that a simple thing like that could elude us, I don’t know!

We got to see the movie “Murder On the Orient Express” with basically an all star cast. Neither of us had read the book, so it was a new story for the both of us. We also had a quick dinner and squeezed in some Christmas shopping before the movie. It was nice to be out and not have to play hall monitor to two boys for once.

Usually even a trip to a restaurant and shopping can be spent with us running around and telling them to stay close, sit up straight, not make lots of noise, etc.. Having the time just to ourselves was great! In fact the only time we even pulled out our cell phones was to show each other what we wanted for Christmas.

Luckily I had a friend, who had the evening free, and she so happens to have a son who is best friends to my oldest, Henry. John is pretty content to play on his own and doesn’t need too much in the way of attention. In the arena of having a special needs child, we got very lucky with John.

Now, with November coming to a close, it’s time to look forward to December-yeah it’s coming everyone! Christmas. So it’ll be shopping and internet searches and comparisons, We have taken on the tips for educational reasons on finances that Santa makes the little gifts and that Mom and Dad buy the big gifts. It’s a tip I read somewhere a few years back.

It’s been great in teaching that IPads and electronics do not come out of thin air, and that money is actually involved in getting those big items. That way it’s better understood why we can’t always get what is wished for. Henry, who is now 10, understands this, and better appreciates the times he gets a big ticket item on Christmas. Thank you whoever thought of that idea!

So to those who continue to brave the stores, wait for internet sites to load, happy shopping and good luck!

Thankful But Sad Day

Thanksgiving Weekend marks a day of thanks and family, but for us also marks the first anniversary of my Mother-In_laws passing. Last year at this time, we were headed to her apartment to have Supper and it was my husband that found her.

So needless to say, we had a quiet dinner, of pan fried chicken (she used to alway make that), with little to say the whole evening. We all knew what the day marked and talking about it would seem to ruin the meal. But we enjoyed out food, in relative silence together as a family. Eating together at the table is a RARE event in our house-especially all eating the same thing!

The rest of the day was spent quietly as well. We talked some, but the boisterous household was toned down quite a bit.

I took off for a quick while to the Memory Care Home to visit my mother (who has advanced Dementia) and snuck in a slice of thick crust pizza. It’s one of her favorite foods that she doesn’t get in the Home. She was so glad to see me me and really enjoyed the pizza surprise. Afterwards she fell asleep (what she spends 90% of her time doing now), and I took my exit to get back to my family.

Today will be a day of rest while the rest of the country is busily on the computers, shopping, and in stores crawling over one another. No Black Friday shopping for us!

I hope all had a good Thanksgiving with family and friends, and can survive the shopping craziness of today.

Quiet Thanksgiving Holiday

This end-of-week will be a quiet one; and first anniversary of my Mother-In-Law’s passing. It’ll be a simple chicken dinner for the family at home, may some ham to boot.

Been making, twice a week, meals from HelloFresh.com. It’s convenient, and although not gourmet, it’s good eating for the family with simple ingredients. I love to cook, but often find that getting specific recipe ingredients to be troublesome since I can’t buy in small batches and most of the produce goes bad. This way I get only what I need and can always refer to the recipes in the future if I want.

The kids get holiday from school starting tomorrow, so will have to plan accordingly; gonna be tough since getting cold out and John’s hesitation to go anywhere. But may get an outing squeezed in to avoid kids getting cabin fever and driving me bonky.

Avoiding Black Friday- which now starts on Thursdays these days-like the plague, I have never participated in the hustle of store shopping on Black Friday. Yeah there are deals to be had, but just not worth the stress for me. I think it’s finding parking that bugs me the most about the whole shopping event, not the people crowding the stores. For such a time of giving, people can be so selfish, and rude.

Just having Henry take screen shots on his iPad of the things he wants from Santa and will be added to his Santa book that we started a few years back. We will be doing our family tradition of the pre-gift Christmas Elf present. Basically if he gets a gift on Christmas Eve from the elf then that means that Santa will stop by the house, if not, then Santa passes us by. Needless to say, Santa has never missed our house.

So, this is wishing everyone a HAPPY Thanksgiving holiday, and hoping that not everyone eats themselves crazy 😛 .

Long Night Ahead…

John took a nap today and what that translate into is a late night for me. As the stay-at-home parent, I get to make sure he doesn’t get into mischief while he’s awake. I have given him small dose of Melatonin to aid him in calming down for the night, but it isn’t enough to make him sleepy, not yet anyway.

Henry, has a queasy stomach so school for him if not certain. With the Flu going around the way it seems this season, I hope he hasn’t caught it.

I could wait till all are asleep to write this, but fear what may bee written out being only half conscious now. Sunday night are always tough for some reason, leading to a tough Monday morning. John will be a joy by then-not so much :-/ .

Today, Henry tried ice skating for the first time, and in hindsight I wish I went. I chose, instead, to stay home with John. That is how he got so bored he took a nap.

I’m no ice skate pro, I like to hang on to the wall. As I look a lot like Bambi’s first Winter one my own two feet, you can only imagine what putting single steel blades under my feet must look like. It’s a dangerous combination, if not hilarious for on-lookers.

Luckily for him it was a nearly empty rink, from what my husband told me, so a good time to practice. Maybe next time I’ll go too.

Repairs at the Borg Cube

So today is finally the start of the repairs on the drywall in the basement. It’s been a long time coming but, first drywaller got sick with the flu. Hopefully. We get that gaping hole to the garage patched up as last week was very cold.

The four day weekend with the kids was relatively uneventful; henry was busy creating on his iPad in an app that allows for drawing and overlays of previous screens so he can craft motion to his imagination. He quite good at it! John was having nothing to do with the outdoors with temp in the 30s and windy, so it was tickles and snuggle for him.

The first day off prove to be a bit of a challenge. No one wanted to go anywhere but was bored in the house. John was especially anxious with his week of school interrupted by being home and not because he was ill. He’s can be an attention handful to say the least.

I concentrated on housework as much as the kids would let me, but Henry kept following me trying to show me the latest steps he added to his animations and john seemed worried that i was leaving every time I moved. So, it was a trick of sorts to try and keep them occupied long enough to do the simple things like load the dishwasher, or switch over the washed clothes downstairs.

I sometimes i feel too old to be a parent with little (but quickly growing) kids, but on the flip side would have made a terrible parent if i were in my early thirties doing the same. I was not mature enough to pull off early parenting, but lack the agility that I once did. It’s a catch 22.

But I try to do what I can, and constantly remind myself that what seems like time and space to me, feels like a total brush off to my children when they want to share with me. I have to remember that they are at an age that the validation from home may be the only place they can feel safe to share so freely, and I have to be open to that.

Getting Ahead of Myself…

Not sure what will be left off me tomorrow, as John took a late nap and that equals a LATE night for me. I’m his favorite parent right now, so that will leave me to pay endless attention, that he will demand, into the wee hours of the morning.

To add to that, it’s night that Henry watches late-night Anime on TV, so he usually is jumping around from that. He gets so excited over his Dragon Ball Z and such (don’t even ask me the names of all the shows). It’s the latest craze for his age, at school. I’ve never been a fad person myself, so trying to keep with fads of his generation makes my head spin.

Funny, I can’t even plans gifts and holidays too far in advance in fear that it’s “out-of-trend” by the time giving comes around.

I didn’t get too much done today. It was one of those days. Not that it was a bad day, more a day which I lacked any motivation. So, I directed all my energy stores for the kids. Played with John and conversed with Henry. Sounds much easier done, than reality.

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Now starts the Anime Marathon (as I call it), and the endless tickle hugs from John. Even John gets into the Anime shows , it seems and gets very excited about the action scenes.

It will be a long night, but this is the typical Saturday night. I will be a tired Momma in the morning!

Spoons vs. Forks

Ever wonder where you fit in? I’m a mom near 50 and most of my peers are celebrating the marriages of their children, or ushering in the joys of grandchildren; meanwhile I’m still changing diapers at home and worried that my kids are eating their lunch at school.

It’s seem an odd place to be when those around me have long waved good-bye to events that I feel is uncharted for me. I have a 10 year old boy and my 6 year old has Down Syndrome. On the other side, parents that have children close to the age of mine are in there late 20s or early 30s, and the parenting experience seems different in perspective.

Here I’ll share some daily life events, and share my trials and joys of being an older mom. It has it’s challenges I think are unique; I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and the celebration of the gained knowledge that life has brought me to appreciate the little things that pop up.

Although the spot in life I’m in is not common, I’m sure I can’t be the only one. Maybe you’ll laugh, shake your head, or gain a few tips from my mistakes and triumphs. At the very least you may find you are not as alone as you think.

Have Energy? N-O-T!

So, the kids have an extended weekend home, and John is proving to be a handful to keep up with! I think he’s bored from not being in the rigors of school, but he refuses any attempt to leave the house.

Piece by piece, he seems to be getting into every part of each accessible room. I’m having to run after him when he’s too quite or when I hear a big sound (seeming to come from all directions). To top it off, he doesn’t understand why I’m stopping him from having some fun.

The older he gets the more challenging his having Down Syndrome seems to get. I know he understands things I say, but to make him grasp the reason behind it is just too abstract for him. Of course there is a worse case scenario; he’s being completely defiant. Sigh.

I so wish, he could, or would speak his mind but that is yet a skill to show itself. The lack of it is becoming more and more challenging, and none of us are getting any younger. My patience grows shorter with age, but I have to stretch my limits-I just don’t know how.

Between that, and Henry needing extensive explanation on everything that is done or not done, is exhausting.

I love my children. I want to be a better parent to them than I had. I love my mom, and she worked herself to the bone as a single parent, but due to that she had very little patience or time for me. She was also an older parent having adopted me when she was already in her 40s.

I’m not single, and already my children’s’ home life is better than what I had, having both parents still together and not going anywhere soon. They luckily have that stability. But it’s still trying sometimes.

All the same, I get to spend time with both of them and marvel at them budding into their own personalities and a strong bond of brotherhood. I love watching them play, even though they can get quite aloud at times. They wrestle, tickle and John tries to imitate everything Henry does.

Henry loves to dance and John loves music, and they will often be found dancing, each to his own rhythm, side by side. I keep thinking I have to video it for a keepsake, but end up so caught up in the moment watching and laughing that I never pick up my phone to catch it.

Such times can be so fleeting and I wish I could hold them forever, but I get so caught up in grown up life—-ahh to be so young and free!

The fans are back

So the fans are back, due to clean up crew forgetting to cap off sink drain that is shared with washer machine. But they added a heater so hopefully dry enough today for them to pick up and peace restored to the house.

Meanwhile I found out that my little John has a wiggly front tooth. The first of the set, and it has him unpredictably cranky. I think he gets mad when he bumps it and it might hurt. I’ll be playing with him and then he will shout out, very loudly, into my face. Ah, the joys of parenting!

The end of today will start the beginning of a four-day weekend for my kids, and that might make for a l-o-n-g weekend for me. I could fill it with activities, but honestly, getting  John anywhere is a bit of a hassle (for lack of a better word).

He still wears diapers, and very particular about his foods and need to bring HIS cup everywhere. It’s like traveling with a 60 lbs baby! Just so much extra that still goes into outings with him than a “typical” child of his age.

I feel bad that I feel, sometimes, a bit pinned down, but it is honest. Plus, he isn’t keen to new places and once he’s comfortable he’s hard to keep track of; so it’s a double-edged sword. At the same time, I love his sense of discovery and his reaching for independence if not a bit challenging.

Henry on the other hand is full of independence! He has a mind of his own sometimes, and often that is in the opposite direction than where I’m headed. He’s a good kid, but definitely that 10 year old selfishness to boot.

So keeping track of both on outing, when I don’t have my husband’s help, is a whirlwind that makes my head spin.

Hopefully I can get a grip on myself and plan something fun for the three of us that doesn’t create too much stress.

“Crap” all gone and drying done…

The carpeting gone, walls cut out and dryers being picked up today!

In the meantime, I’ve been paying special attention to the things I CAN control; paying more attention to my boys. That included tickle games with John, and listening and commenting on the endless hero stories from the mind of my older son, Henry. Henry is quite the imaginative artist. What he lacks in superior graphics he makes up in plots and cliff-hangers.

John is getting smarter every time I turn my head. In spite of his having Down Syndrome, he exposes bits and pieces of what he knows and it always surprises us-so wish we could really know what runs around in that head of his! He is, though, turning into a big boy, at 6, still runs around like he’s 2-it’s like having that Mastiff running towards you when he thinks he’s a miniature Poodle-sometimes scary to say the least.

I have really enjoyed the time with the boys and increased conversation with my husband; just don’t realize how much I miss by constantly being on the move, even if it’s just in the house. It’s hard sometimes to show patience when I’m trying to get things done around the house; feels like cleaning after a frat party sometimes.

So I will continue to try and keep my eyes and energy on things I can handle and not stress too much on the stuff that blows in the wind.