Tuesday, December 4, 2018


I have a thing for toys.  I mean, I like them as much as my kids.  Probably more, sometimes.

I am completely charmed by the faces and the back stories and the tiny proportions and the magic of what could be made up in their tiny worlds.  The itty bitty accessories and conversations that they hold in my head hold me captive, even now, in my mid-forties.  I can hold the toys of my childhood and I can smell my mom baking bread and the wet dirt under the bushes where my brother and I played.  I am completely in their tiny, fixed plastic clutches.

I hold on to a lot of the kids' toys for two reasons:  1) because there was always a sibling coming behind that would want/need them, and 2) because they tend to loop in interests.  They are completely obsessed for years, and the toys become a part of the fabric of our family, and then suddenly, a switch flips, and could not care less.  But, fairly often, they also abruptly remember them and we need to acquire them again.  These loops made me nuts because they were expensive to be purchased a second time, if they were even available. 

But as we are coming to the end of our baby years, I am facing going through all the rubbermaids that hold their childhood, and it is a daunting task.  It is horrifying in the sheer time it will require.  It is nauseating to face the things that will need to be trashed after being exposed the the swings in temperature that Georgia offers in an attic.  And the tiny friends that will need to be donated is just selfishly hard on me.  Disposing of magic feels so wrong.

But it needs to be done.  Because it's time.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Some for 21: Speaking of

You'll notice my super commitment phobic title.  I know I won't be doing 31 posts for the annual "31 for 21", so I just promise *some* this year.

As I have mentioned so many times before, Elise's speech is her area of greatest delay and struggles.  She has both delays and fluency issues.  Disfluency being the proper terminology for stuttering.

We have speech therapy both at school and outside school.  She gets it for functional reasons at school and personal expressionism and general communication outside of school.  Both therapists have focused a lot of effort targeting the disfluency.

This week, after a very severe week of gum ups, her outside therapist brought up speech devices again.  So I dug out the talk box that we got for her over 5 years ago, charged it up and let her see if it looked like something that can finally help with some support.  It looks like the buttons are still too small and the layers too complex, in short, the problems are still not outgrown.

So I guess we will have to search for something else.  I do know that Elise likes to talk.  I know that she is willing to go to great lengths to get her thoughts across.  I hope that we may be able to find something that will give her all the communication that she so desperately desires.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Putting Out Fires

For almost all of Elise's life, we have been functioning as wildfire fighters.  We were actively battling a blaze that could do serious damage, or we were looking forward, trying to cut off one early before it did damage.  Both medical and developmental.

It is exhausting and rather puts blinders on you so you miss other situations in life, simply because they aren't at emergency levels.  Sometimes it is stupid things, and you realize that younger siblings don't know how to ride bikes or swim real strokes.  Sometimes it is bigger, but you don't realize until you hit code red for someone else. 

I don't want it to be like that.  I read a book as a middle schooler that made me worry about situations like that, but as always, just because you are aware in theory, doesn't mean you will be able to stop it.  I try to stop, even in crises, to have deliberate moments with each of my kids, but stuff still slid by.

I am happy to report that we have had several fires to put out for my others lately, and Elise has had a few things forced to slide.  I know that sounds funny, especially after what I just wrote, but do you understand what that means??  SHE WASN'T AT EMERGENCY LEVELS!!!  Like it was so nice and boring that I missed her growing FOUR INCHES!!  FOUR.  I just cannot even wrap my head around that.  This also means that her health is stable enough to grow.  Unlike when she was a baby and she couldn't grow because her body was too busy keeping her alive.  Or when she was a toddler and it was trying to fight cancer.  Or when she was a little girl and it was trying to tell us her thyroid was broken.  OR when she was having such a bad time with puberty that she missed well over half of her school year.  Or when her Vitamin D levels were so low she couldn't stay awake. 

I am excited over the height, but I am most excited about what that actually means.

I am excited that she can get in on THE REASONS I HATE MY MOTHER COMPILED FOR MY THERAPIST list that every child gets to make....and that they whip out when they are raising their own kids...as their kids compile their own list.

Living life without panic is a good place to be.  I look forward to more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Talking Amongst Ourselves

Elise's biggest struggle is speech.  It has always lagged behind.  I think she is "officially" at a 3-4 year old's level.  Receptive is a little higher than expressive, but as she is fifteen, it's not like dickering over a year is going to change the situation much.  She is not even close to where she should be...and if you've ever chatted with a 4 year old, you know how much gets lost in translation.

I know that I regularly cheer over how she is playing, but the most recent play of choice is Littlest Pet Shop toys, and, thanks to YouTube, she has started casting her LPS critters in movies, which she then has them act out.  Very recently, she has started breaking away from the scripts.  They have been having conversations and even songs that do not belong in that particular movie.  I know that does not sound like a big deal.  But when her favorite drug to deal with stress is to loop 45 seconds of a movie, any kind of extrapolation is kind of a big deal. 

There have been many things that we have not arrived at on time.  Like, some milestones are literally 10 years behind at this point, and not looking like they are coming anytime soon.  There are, however, things that are right on time, that I would have loved to be delayed until we had the emotional wherewithall to deal with.  Like crushes on boys, and planning her future, and well, that list is way too long, too.  It feels like there are just innumerable things that just cannot sync up...and are exhausting on their own.  Not that they are a barrel of awesome when they come when they should, but without the emotional maturity, they are brutal to deal with,

But, honestly, that she is play acting her dreams with tiny plastic puppies is pretty precious to me.  She recently expanded her play to include furniture.  (I know, that I notice this is weird to me, too.)  The lining up and sorting into "families" is just as comforting to me, as to her, because it is the one thing I can count on.  That, and the incredible mess she will make as she sorts all her hoard of creatures.

She has fallen in love with Hulk lately.  They are getting married.  She is having a wedding cake and a wedding dress and it will be on a cruise or a beach.  I am not sure why she loves him so much.  I don't know if they speak the same language, have the same unbridled emotions, or what, but this crush fascinates me.  I will probably get her a Hulk doll, to see if she will play Barbies with him, like she did with her Ironman doll.  See if I get any clarity.

I shall keep you posted, of course.