Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Best Day Ever"

The three words Sarah speaks most often in a day are "best day ever." Last week I wrote a more serious post about what was on my heart at the time. If you missed, click HERE and you can read it.

So what constitutes a best day ever for Sarah?

  • simply waking up and seeing me first thing in the morning
  • letting her know minutes before we arrive that we are going to someone's house (L & K are her favorites)
  • taking her out to get fries or a slurpee
  • allowing her to watch another episode of Little House on the Prairie
  • going to a friend's house and having the horses come and love her
  • giving her the last few mouthfuls of my morning coffee
  • taking her for a walk in her stroller
  • licking the icing off the beaters
  • meeting friends at a park to play or just taking her to a park
  • having a morning bath
  • eating chocolate chip cookies
And the list could go on. My point is that something so little can make her day the best one ever and it usually takes a very small amount of effort on my part. She lives in the moment and every day brings her joy which in turn brings joy to mine. I am so thankful for this small person who can make even the greyest of days into a happy and sunny one.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Camping 2015

We thought we'd go camping for the August long weekend. We are blessed to have friends who allowed us to park the motor home near the back of their property for a few days. We are equally blessed to have been able to borrow Doug's parent's motor home. This is where the word "camping" is a little grey. The motor home is 40 feet long, has a washer/dryer combo, two pullouts and dining room style chairs. And I brought my Keurig because "camp" coffee did not cut it for me. But, we did cook all our meals outside and as long as the weather cooperated, we ate outside as well.

 Doug was cooking pancakes and Arianna held up an umbrella so they wouldn't get too wet.

There was a whole lot of relaxing going on as well. The hammock was well used and we even had a little pool to cool down in as the temperatures were in the low 30's for much of the week.

Campfires were a regular part of our time as well and I think I've eaten enough hot dogs and s'mores for quite a while now.
 Our hosts got a kitten while we were there and Arianna fell in love with her.

Our hosts allowed us the use of their quads while we were there. They have acres of trails that the kids, Doug and I thoroughly enjoyed riding on. Sarah went from being terrified of the noise from the quad to asking for rides on it. Once we realized she wanted to go riding, we did get her helmet. I was so proud of her for conquering that fear.
Naps happened too. 


Our weekend away turned into a full week. A few trips back home were made as we needed fresh clothes and some extra food. The older two kids and Doug spent a few nights at home as they had to work during the week and it was easier for them to be at home. Arianna, Sarah and I managed to stay out for the whole time though. Sarah loved being there. Even one morning while it was raining, she was running around squealing and laughing the whole time. She loved being outside and I think she ran all. day. long. Slowing down just long enough to eat a few bites here and there and then just as quickly was off to the next adventure.

 Sarah had a swing set to play on and I'm sure she spend most of her day on it.

For some reason, my older two thought filling their mouths with marshmallows would be a good idea. I suppose it was- if you're a teenager.

Lots of this happened. Sitting by the fire and doing much relaxing.

Our last trip as a family was in 2012 when we drove all the way to Alabama. This was much different as we stayed in once place, enjoying the space that we had. It was as though we had an entire campground to ourselves and it was a much needed time away. I'm so thankful to my in laws for the use of their motor home as well as our friends who allowed us to hang out on their property for a week. What a blessing that was and many great memories were made. 

This Week (A Raw and Real Post)

Lately one of Sarah's activities includes taking apart her toys. I mean she's taking the hair off her Playmobil people and disassembling every. single. item. And this week, it brought me to the brink of frustration. Frustrated that she doesn't play with toys for their actual play value, rather getting enjoyment out of taking them apart with no interest or desire to reassemble them. Why? I have no idea.

It was on the weekend where I cried to Doug after we had gone to our room for the night as the grief loomed over me once again. I was so disheartened that she can't or won't use the toys appropriately. It makes my heart ache as I watch her play in such a toddler-like fashion. I was angry that things have been bought for her and she isn't able to use them for their purpose. I ask myself many times over as to what would be a better play thing for her? What would she enjoy playing with? And nothing comes to mind. I simply draw a blank. She likes playdoh but can only do that for a certain amount of time. She loves playing in water but I can't have her sit in the tub all day either. When I see kids her age and younger exceeding her academically and developmentally I am saddened by it once again. It means that homeschooling her requires my imagination, creativity and time so I can create a unique to her curriculum that will help her learn about her world.

I have learned (and am still learning) that I can feel this way. It is okay for me to be hurt and to cry over this stuff. I occasionally feel helpless and that transforms into guilt. But I am doing the best that I can for Sarah. I am a good parent and the best one for her. I also have to remember to separate Sarah from her diagnosis's. Cerebral palsy, microcephaly and developmental delays are what Sarah has, not who she is. These have become part of our "normal" and are simply a part of our lives now. We are learning to adapt to her and her needs, like needing to go to a different park because there are too many kids already or because construction crews are running their loud machines close by. I am grateful for the flexibility of a friend who made it so simple to pack up and find a new place to play.

After I let it out, Doug reminded me of the wonderful things that Sarah does. By simply taking her camping last week, I gave her the "best day ever" every morning. It takes a drive to a park with sand to delight her and make her day complete. And when the day comes to an end and her teeny little arms wrap tightly around my neck I am reminded once again of the amazing gift that she is.

As Doug said to me earlier today, perhaps those joys are made all the sweeter because they come in spite of, and likely because of who God made her to be.


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