Please Don’t Change Who You Are

Please Don’t Change Who You Are…

 

I love you – for all the things that make you special. For the Sass that makes you Sassy.  For the way you smile.  For the way you frown.  For the way you cuddle and for the way you run from all things too little for you.  I love you – for all the times you try something new and all the times you sill need my help.  I love you for all the times you are growing too fast… and all the times you are still my babies.

 

Please don’t change who you are.

 

I love you. For you. Because you… are pretty amazing.

 

IMG_0815 copyIMG_0798 copy 211 copyIMG_1119 copy 31_edited-1

Thanks, Shell… for giving me a place to write a love letter to my children. What would you tell your children?

Something In the Eyes

Happiness… it’s in the eyes.

 

Sometimes, our eyes are like a window into our soul. They see things we would never reveal out loud.  The tell people the things our heart would like to keep hidden.

 

I’m doing a quick wean from Effexor.  I was put on a high dose after Alexander’s birth.  I’ve gained approximately 3-5 lbs. a month since I began taking the drug. … Yes -do the math.  Alexander is over two years old.

 

Finally, this spring, I caved and began to see a psychiatrist.  Not only was he able to adjust my dose so I FINALLY felt some relief, but – we were able to then discuss how this drug was really reacting to my body.

 

The truth is, it is probably not the best thing for me at this point.

 

The migraines are hell.  But the possibility of getting my life back is just to tempting.

 

So, today – I write to you about happiness.  Sometimes, when you don’t see it in a smile – you can still see it in the eyes.

 

1

“I am content.  I am Loved.  I am Happy.”

 

I took this photo this past weekend and … she is so beautiful.  Even though she is not smiling – she is happy.

 

This is me.  I might have a migraine and not be smiling… but I’m happy.  My heart is full.  My eyes show JOY.  I know the love of my children and my husband.  I am content. I am EXCITED about the possibility of losing this excess weight that I cannot seem to shake.  I am EXCITED about the possibility of taking less drugs.  I am EXCITED about the possibility having more energy.  I am EXCITED about the possibilities….

And that makes me happy.

Who or what makes you happy?

Kicking It Off!

This is the “Official” Kick off – Even though I’ve done 4 photo shoots already and have 5 more scheduled.

 

I’ve decided on pricing.  I’ve discussed it with my husband.  We are “going for it.”

 

I’m going to run a Special

Until September 1 – a 30 minute photo shoot, with edits: is $50.00

 

A CD with all copyrights is available for purchase for $50 upon completion of photo session.  Smaller packages are available upon request

 

Want to see a sneak peek of what you might get for that price?  Here are some different shots I took this past week. 

 

1 copy 3_edited-11 copyDSC_0496 copy 33DSC_0501 copy 5DSC_0525 copy 21_edited-1DSC_0545 copy 22bw_edited-1DSC_0545 copy 221_edited-1DSC_0602 copy 31DSC_0624 copy_edited-11DSC_0653 copy 5121_edited-1 copy

 

I even made the twins be my models this week. 

 

DSC_0481 copy 61DSC_0499 copy 21

 

If you would like to contact me about a photo session – please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at alittlesomething(at)yahoo.com

 

If you happen to know where I live, please don’t announce a “town” close by that we could meet on the blog. I will be forced to delete that comment.  I still desire some privacy for my family.  If you cannot drive to Pennsylvania, you live too far away for a photo shoot.

 

I’m excited.  I’m excited to take this journey with you. 

 

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page to see photos and other updates!

 

 

Because it is Time for a Change- And I mean with Passion

I’ve got a few posts rolling around in my head that aren’t quite ready to come out just yet. Alexander’s possible GJ tube. Life Changes.  Career moves.  Time – it ebbs and flows – and all of it – somehow ends up here.  But, for now, I want to smile on the blog. I’m not ready to think about the tube change or the implications of it.  Instead, I want to warm my heart.

 

I’m practicing some new editing techniques. I dug out some old photos.  I hope you love them as much as I do.

 

DSC_0951-001P7180044-001P7290316-001

 

And … then I took a leap of faith – and bought Photoshop. Here are a few old photographs I edited after I made my new purchase. I’m so excited to embark on this new journey. Like … pee your pants excited.

 

 

DSC_09761_edited-1

I really don’t know what I’m doing yet….

 

DSC_0465 1copy

 

Ok. I promise… I will get better… when It is not 1am.

 

What are some tips. I’m open. Oh – and someone – please! Tell me how do I know if I installed my actions correctly on Photoshop Elements?

 

BTW… did you all notice? Bucket List # 8 is in the process of being checked off! Woo Hoo!!

It’s Not Too Late for a Bucket List

Arizona trip 2004 134Could it really have been eight years ago that Ray and I took our first vacation hiking through the Midwest?  The vacation that coincided with the summer Olympics and, more importantly, gave us three weeks to solidify our love into a forever love? 

 

Those years just slipped by so quickly…. 

 

Last year we took the kids to our local fair.  I wrote this post about taking the kids to ride all the rides and bask in all the things that a small town fair screams ~ I LOVE SUMMER!

 

Did that year really just scream by so quickly?  Did I really just blink and my two year old twins became three?  Did I really get another year to cuddle my baby miracle?

 

That year just slipped by so quickly…

 

 

 

DSC_0300-001

 

Another year has come and gone, another small town fair has arrived.  Tonight we took the kids make new memories.  As we walked around, I spent some time reflecting on the changes of this past year.  I spent some time thinking about all the things I want to do before the next “small town fair.”

 

DSC_0257-001DSC_0332-001DSC_0340

 

A few blogs have made bucket lists.  Some are large: Bucket Lists before “I Kick the Bucket,” and some are small: Bucket Lists for the next year.  I chose to make one for the next year.  I hope you enjoy reading mine and maybe are inspired to make one of your own.

 

My Bucket List for 2012-2013 (In no particular order)

  • Strengthen my relationship with God.
  • Focus on my marriage. Make it a Priority. Make a date night at least once a month. Make it a Priority. Make it a Priority. Make it a Priority.
  • Compliment my husband every day.
  • Make prayer before meals a regular habit.
  • Try harder to make house cleaning / cooking / and laundry a daily chore so our house is less “cluttered”DSC_0320
  • Finish our basement “remodel” in preparation for the winter months
  • Embrace our new roles as at our church (more on this later.)
  • Pursue my passion for photography/Begin to charge for photo sessions /Purchase Adobe Photoshop
  • Set specific working hours for the blog and put down my computer / cell phone during other hours
  • Find a way to begin to save money again. (With one income)
  • Plan a vacation… (Possibly to Disney?)
  • Read books for pleasure.
  • Stop taking naps. This means I need to find a way to sleep through the night.
  • Stop just Pinning things and actually make some things from Pinterest
  • Craft some things. I love to craft.  Make some jewelry. Paint some things. Hang some pictures
  • Feed my soul.  Experience JOY in everyday things.  Make time to spend with friends.  Fill my time with things that make me happy.

What’s on your bucket list? Thanks Shell, for giving me a place to share this.

The Great Debate:15.32

Am amazing blessing has started to happen.IMG_0341

 

People with Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome have found this blog. 

 

I’m not even going to pretend that it doesn’t bring me Joy to be able to give back to other families the Love and Support we received upon finding out our diagnosis.

 

I love talking to people who have traveled this path before us and learning new things to try for Alexander.  I love learning about diet and nutrition and therapy and all things possible to help Alexander.

 

I love believing in him.  I Love passing that passion on to other new families. 

 

It is an unusual place to be… an experienced mom – instead of a new mom. One with a few answers instead of one who is always seeking.

 

The biggest question most new parents want to know is – what will my child be able to do? That is often followed by the great “Chromosome Discussion.”  People want to know… What does this deletion mean?  Does a big deletion affect things?  Does a small deletion make a difference?  And finally… again – What will my child be able to do?

 

I expected these questions.  They are the same questions I had two years ago.  I remember looking through old CD’s … looking at deletion sizes.  Trying to figure out the magic formula that could predict how much Alexander would be able to do.  Trying to figure out how many people with his deletion size walked or talked.  IMG_0278

 

I remember the day I decided to accept the official finding – that deletion size did not effect the severity of the syndrome.  That all the other chromosomes and genes in the body could impact development.  That Alexander could do anything.  This is the message I have shared with other families who have asked my opinion.

 

I didn’t expect the others.  The other families that I love who also give out advice and encouragement.  I didn’t realize how many of those families believed deletion size really does make a difference. 

 

It hurts.  It makes me question what I believe.  I want to dig out my biographies.  I want to look at the deletion sizes all over again.  Because the implication is: Alexander won’t amount to much.  It hurts.

 

Thanks for listening. As Always.

Linking up to Just Be Enough… because – this is hard. And I want to be… Enough.

Sometimes I Miss It

I didn’t have easy pregnancies. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it.

The feel of a baby growing inside me.

Knowing that our family was going to be blessed with another person.

 

Sometimes I miss it.  Sometimes – I want it.  The pregnancy I dreamed of.  The one without all the complications. 

 

But life isn’t about wanting the things you can’t have.  Sometimes life is about finding joy in what you do have.

 

So, instead… I celebrated the pregnancy of our close friends.  These last nine months have been thrilling for me as they have allowed me to live vicariously through their pregnancy.  What can I say? She’s having the pregnancy I always wanted… Look at her – she radiates.

 

I love the expectation. Remember those days right before you brought home your baby?  When you really had no idea what life would be like?  Everyone says it is going to be so amazing.  Everyone says it is going to be so hard.  How can it be both at the same time?  How can you love something instantly?  How does it all work? 

 

DSC_0188-002

 

And yet, you have this amazing bond.  This special secret that only you and him share…. A BABY.  You are having a baby.  Only he knows every sick moment.  Every fear.  Every joy.  Every wish.  Every dream.  You hold hands a little more. You smile a little more.  Because you know that together you are making something special.

 

DSC_0035DSC_0160-004

 

And you know he is going to be this amazing dad.  He might not be quite sure of his dad skills yet, but you have no doubt.  He goes out of his comfort zone just for pregnancy photos.  He gets down on bended knee for his unborn daughter.  You can see him dancing with her.  You can see him holding her in the middle of the night, even though he swears he will be sleeping through those hours.  You know she is going to have him wrapped right around his little finger.

 

DSC_0114DSC_0166-005IMG_0097[1]-001

 

Because she has already captured your heart. Completely.

 

DSC_0084

 

 

A big thank you to my friends for allowing me to use them as subjects for my first photo shoot.  I hope you enjoy the photos.  I would love some feed back.  Even constructive.  (Keep in mind> we do not own Adobe at this point, so all “actions” are just mine. Winking smile)  But, any tips about exposure, lighting, positioning, or anything are welcome!

 

 

 

 

How to Mother the child when you are not the Mother

When I was in college, my best friend’s mom raised foster children.  Walking into their house was like walking into the Twilight Zone.  I’m not going to lie, for a twenty-something know-it-all, the parenting style was drastically different than anything I’ve ever been exposed to.

 

One thing that really startled me were the lists.  Lists were everywhere.  Lists on the fridge about how much food was allowed at a meal time and what an appropriate serving should be.  Checklists in the bathroom for personal grooming tasks.  I mean… come ON… there were procedures explained for everything!

 

 

The grown up me would like to apologize for the arrogance of my twenty-something know-it-all self.

 

If you read last week’s post, you know that we were rejected over and over again. We believed we would not be getting a kid from the inner city.

 

The night before the program started we received a surprise phone call – one family finally selected us!  We were getting our kid from the city!  Woo Hoo!!! 

 

What I learned in the next week about “Mothering” a child of whom I am not the “Mother” would change my life.

 

Expectations from both sides are easily built and quickly crushed. 

 

We asked for a six or seven year old boy.  We knew Andrew liked to think he was about ten years old, and thought he would enjoy having a boy to play with.  We also wanted to avoid the conflict/drama from Addison if she felt another girl was getting her share of cuddles or attention.  Finally, Andrew sometimes has girlfriend crushes… we wanted to avoid those. 

 

We expected he would just fit nicely into our family.  We expected he would understand things of value to us… like sitting at the dinner table during meal time.  We expected he would respect our wishes and accept our affection.

 

I doubt we were the only ones with expectations.  I imagine he expected our house would have similar rules to his own.  I imagine he expected we would respect his wishes and conform nicely to his idea of parental figures. 

 

We were both wrong. 

 

Our expectations were just wrong.  What I learned was – he had a lot to teach me.  I had a lot to learn about patience, forgiveness, love, and acceptance of someone who wasn’t raised with the values I instilled in my children.  I learned that teaching these things at age seven could be frustrating and possibly futile.  And the truth is… while I wanted him to say please and thank you at my house, I really struggled with how much to “enforce” this because I didn’t want to change the value system his own parents held dear.  It was a lesson in patience and acceptance. 

 

I realized why those lists existed at my college roommate’s parents’ house.  “How would those children know the expectations of them if not reminded?”

 

There were many times this child from the city and I were at odds over different things and I offered forgiveness in a new way – because this he just needed it.  And finally, I found myself loving a child I did not give birth to, asking him to return next year, and grieving just a bit when he left for home.

 

I write this because I feel people find themselves “Mothering” a child with whom they are not the “Mother” of… and expectations is the one thing I would change about our entire journey.  I would change my expectations of what he would be and how he would fit. I would focus more energy on loving the boy from the city.

 

I hope you decide to participate in some program that allows you to open your hearts and homes to other children.

 

I hope you can expect … nothing and receive … everything.

 

Thanks Shell, for letting me share the second part of my story.

 

Why a Girl Friend needs girlfriends.

I was the girl who never never needed girls.  Girls were petty.  Girls had silly squabbles. Girls gossiped.  I could hang with the guys just as easily as anyone.  They were generally too uninterested in girl things to share a secret.

 

And then I got married.

 

And… suddenly – hanging out with your four best guy friends didn’t sound that cool.  Besides, my husband is my best guy friend.  And so I discovered the power of girlfriends.

 

Choose well.  They can be amazing.

Choose well.  Sometimes they still gossip.

Choose well.  A great girl friend inspires you to share your heart, your secrets, and your laughter.IMG_1598[1]

 

It has been a stressful few weeks.  A Girl Friend needs girlfriends to monitor these things.  To:

  • Bring her a gallon of wine when times are tough.
  • Remind her of all the things they once did that you now can’t share on the internet. (legal purposes, you know) Some of those things might have happened after the gallon of wine… just sayin’
  • Text her funny pictures of herself doing ridiculous things – just because
  • Kidnap her and take her to do crafts while drinking wine. (you know… cause’ we try to stay legal now.)
  • A girlfriend will make sure you don’t get stuck without a plunger… because that is always awkward: (Actual Conversation from Saturday Night…)

Girlfriend: Hold on, I’ve got to rip a huge fart.

Me:  It’s ok.  I totally blew up your toilet earlier.

Girlfriend: Awesome! I put the plunger down there just in case.

Me:  I saw that!  You put the plunger in the bathroom just for me?  That is so sweet!

Girlfriend: I know how you roll sometimes.

Me:  No worries… I didn’t even have to use it tonight.

 

And that – is why a Girl Friend needs girlfriends.

Linking up with Yeah Write

What do your girlfriends do for you?

We Might Be in Trouble with This One

DSC_0543My son, Andrew – …

is one of the great joys of my life.

He doesn’t have the medical concerns that Alexander does.

He is more independent than Addison and doesn’t cuddle up to me as often.

 

I don’t write about him as much.

 

But man, that kid rocks my world.

 

He is 3 1/2 years old… going on 16.

 

He regularly asks me if he can drive. The car.P7071026

He tells Ray to share his tools. The power ones.

He desperately wants to mow the yard.  With a real mower.

He tries to pick up girls. Like it is his job.

He wants to be big.

He hears everything.

He repeats the things he shouldn’t have heard.

 

He is hysterical. See for yourself…

 

 

 

Do you have a “might be trouble with this one” child?  Who kind of slips into the crowd… but knows his own mind?

 Tell us something about him or her! I can’t wait to read it!!