Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lights Out

So weirdest thing ever happened. Friday night we went out to eat with 3 other couples. We got to the restaurant and were having a great time. It sounded like it was raining but no big deal. We asked for boxes and checks and the lights go out. Uh-oh. So miraculously the restaurant let us all just go and dinner was on them! I feel bad for them but evidently they had no way of handwriting out a check???

So on our way home we noticed that things didn't look so good. Trees were down everywhere. There were trees on houses. It was scary. My mom was watching our kids so we were anxious to get home. There was an art fair going on in our neighborhood park and some of those poor people's tents and art were completely destroyed. Thank the Lord our home was okay. We had some very sizeable branches fall and the electricity was out but other than that no damage.

We were having everyone over for dessert (I made creme brulee and chocolate cake) so everyone was awesome and came and hung out in the dark. It was fun.

What was not so fun was the fact that our power was out...really, really out. The days were the thing we worried about as it was supposed to be 90 degrees every day so we stayed out of the house during the day. The nights were fine with the windows open and the candles going.

Everyone kept offering for us to stay with them and while we really, really appreciated it, we didn't need it. I am not a wuss. :) We had hot/cold water and a stove (thank the Lord for gas powered appliances).

It sounds really stupid but I liked having the power out. During the day we made sure to stay busy and we were all together. It brought our family together. At night after we got the kids to bed Nick and I sat on the couch and had nothing to do but talk. It was amazing. We talked and laughed so much and I just really relished it. We fell asleep on that couch every night and every night he would wake me up at about 2 in the morning and we would go upstairs to bed. It was just fun and simple.

The night we got power on (late, late Sunday night) we kept seeing the electric company trucks drive by so we knew it was coming soon! They cut everyone's power and it was so, so dark! Please let me explain that up to this point everyone on our street on the OTHER side of the street had power, snickering at us with their airconditioning and working washing machines! So when they cut their power too it was super, super dark which is pretty creepy when your houses are so close together. We could hear people everywhere but couldn't see them.

Half an hour into not having power a guy across the street was out on his porch singing the "ain't got no power blues" to which I wanted to throw something at him (especially as he wouldn't have been able to see it was me!). The people across the street were without power for about an hour while we were without power for 3 days!

In that time I need to thank our inlaws who were rockstars offering their house to us and allowing our food to stay with them for a while. We would have been out hundreds of dollars of food if we couldn't have taken everything down there.

I'd also like to thank my Grandma who had us over and entertained the kids while we were trying to find fun things to do.

It amazes me how spoiled we are with power...my Aunt Jan is definitely right! I love air conditioning and my dishwasher and my washing machine. Ah, and not reading by candle light. Yikes that hurts my eyes.

Hooray for God and for power!
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

That Devil

This week I spoke with my editor and brought up the idea of writing Cal's story out for everyone. She loved it and we are going to be splitting it up into a series. I started it Monday night when Nick was in bed. Tuesday morning I woke up in the worst mood imaginable. Tuesday thankfully Nick's mom was set to take the kids so I went back to working on it and it just sucked the life out of me. I have no explanation for this other than that sneaky devil. I know it sounds weird saying this but I really think he was attacking me. It must sound like I was just having an off day or was in a bad mood but I have NEVER felt like this. Even talking to Nick and trying to explain it to him that day I couldn't find the words. It was as if I was having the biggest pity party for Cal and was terrified about him and what was going to become of him, which is weird because you've read my previous blogs about how hopeful we are. I also physically felt like I was having a panic attack...all day long. I couldn't breathe. I was finding myself freaking out about things like "oh my gosh! I have this laundry to put away!!!" I was also having a terrible attitude about people in our lives. There are some people who we don't agree with their lifestyle or get a long with but for some reason geesh they were just on my mind and it was DRIVING me crazy. I logically was thinking, we hardly know these people, we almost never talk to them, they are secondary or third string people in our lives, they don't matter. Its not my business. But ten minutes later I would be seething. Weird I know.

All of this sounds like gibberish but here is what I know: I have a ton written and I haven't even gotten to the part with Cal's first evaluation. Plus this is the dumbed down version that is long, it doesn't have anything about our faith or my passionate love for Nick.

I guess all of this leaves me with wondering if I should write a book. We know that God doesn't do things without having a purpose. The purpose of Cal having apraxia might be to stand as an example of God's healing power and Majesty. I don't know, maybe nothing will happen but I feel as though I was being attacked by Satan when I sat down to write.

So please be praying for me. I haven't written anymore because honestly it sucked the life out of me. I need strength to get through this. We've had a ton of response from local moms anytime I've mentioned apraxia so I am confident my story could really help someone. I know how frustrated I was when I started researching that I couldn't find much first hand information. Grrr.

In other news I spoke with Cal's therapy coordinator and she thinks that she can set him up with a nutritionist. I am hoping that they can maybe check for any deficiencies that may be hindering his speech. Although he is advancing our therapist yesterday said that he is at about a year level of talking...yeehaw he's a year and a half delayed. Good and bad. I know, I know keep your chin up., It could be worse. I go in every night and watch Cal sleep and I thank God that he can talk to me and that he can say those words I never thought I would ever hear: "Love ya". :)
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I broke in my new stockpot...ain't she a beaut? I love it! And I love my Mother in Law who gave me the said pot I love....ahhh, she's so sweet :)
And this is my hairbow Imade tonight...what do you think? Okay I would just like to say I think I did okay with this one...it looks like the one I bought from the store for Emma. These hairbows sell for $8.00 in the store!!! I bought a bag of 5 hair clips for $1.00 and a roll of ribbon for $2.00. Hmmm...so if I made 5 hair bows for $3.00 and sold them each at $8.00 then I would have a profit of $37.00. Geesh, maybe I should get better at making these bows :)
Happy Wednesday evening to you!
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sobbing With Thanks

Today I just started reading "Louder Than Words" by Jenny McCarthy. Have you read this? I am in the first chapter and had to stop because I was crying so hard. Her experience with her son's seizure was so much the same as mine...the feeling helpless, the feeling of your son being ripped away from you. The experience of begging God to take your life so your son can live. The fear of not knowing if your son would ever wake up. How she described the seizure too was painfully similar: the goneness of his soul, the gasping for breath like a fish out of water, the whispering to him that mama's here, mama's here. Watching the minutes pass and thinking "seizures don't last this long". All of it just ripped at my heart and although I could stop reading I couldn't stop sobbing.

You see, now we are on the opposite side of it. Calvin is healthy and thriving, and mine. All I could do is lift my hands in my dressing room and thank God for his mercies. Feeling those raw emotions again in the midst of Calvin growing and maturing was awe-inspiring. It was like God gave me his scrapbook and said "look at what I have accomplished with him". Amazing.

I just checked on Calvin tonight and he was sleeping so peacefully. Again I found myself sobbing with gratitude to God. Two months ago I didn't know what was wrong with Cal...ever. I never knew what if he was hot or cold, in pain or uncomfortable. Nothing. His words changed everyday so his word for milk could me something different every single day. It left him completely frustrated and it left me feeling like such a complete failure as a mother..."what kind of mother can't help her child?" This evening he bumped his head and was able to come to me and point to his head and say "boo boo, mama, (kiss noise)". How unfathomably awesome that he can tell me he needs me to kiss his booboo.

I know this sounds simple but watching him starting to emerge and be silly and kind is something that is just amazing to me and is such a priceless gift from God. Its as if his personality has been covered with a giant piece of swiss cheese. Sometimes I can peek through a little mousey hole and see his silliness and kindness, but most of the time its masked with this stinky cheese layer of not being able to communicate.

I know that all things are from God and all of this is God inspired and made. Our new therapist said that Calvin was healed and I believe that with all of my being. With two different therapists from two different institutes diagnosing him with severe apraixia I know it wasn't a mis-diagnosis. I know that God heard all of our prayers and has been massaging his little mind to get those neuro pathways carved out. I can't thank you enough for your prayers and support.

Here's to what God holds in our future. :)
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Friday, June 11, 2010


I don't really KNOW what we have been doing these past few weeks, but whew, we have been busy! I thought I would recap here. First of all let me tell you that we are loving the summer! I have been making peach pies and distributing them around the neighborhood. The mayor's wife says I have a pie ministry going on. :)

Tonight Nick gave the kids Toy Stors 2 to watch while he was at work...they don't look excited or anything do they? Have I mentioned that we l.o.v.e. Toy Story? We basically are consumed. But it is cute so I love it!
Yesterday we went to Chicago for a free Museum day at the Museum of Science and Industry. Since I am a stay at home mom I am considering it my "job" to snag the best deals for our family and make our money stretch the most that it can. Free days at places are a wonderful way as our kids get to still experience things and saves us a boatload of cash. By going on the free day we saved $40.00...score! Here are some pics from our trip:
We sneak-attacked her with kisses...she looks thrilled, right?

Cal was super excited about the locomotive you could go inside of. Em could have cared less so I stayed out with her but I would have loved to go in it too. Whenever Cal is excited about a train I instantly think of my Grandpa and how much he would have loved taking him to train museums and things. I know my Grandpa must be looking down proudly and someday in heaven I'm sure they'll be checking out trains together :)

There was a Navy exhibit so here is Nick practicing his salute to make sure its smart and snappy like the sign said...in a pink shirt by the way.

Yeah you know you love us in the clown costumes, don't lie ;)

Here they are being cute. Cal has entered the awkward smile phase of life...lets hope its just a phase at least. I think these two are just adorable
All in all we had a wonderful time. We went out to eat for pizza, stopped at Trader Joes (because they suck and refuse to put one in our area, Hmmmph!) and on the way home we stopped at a Candy Factory we had heard about. The kids loved it!


In other news the other day I came outside to the kids and this is how I found Cal. Now if this doesn't make you laugh then you must not have a soul. Cal ditches his pants all of the time so that was no surprise but the no pants/girls bike helmet was just irresistable...can't wait to show this to a girlfriend down the road, ha!

And Introducing:
I'm not excited or anything :)

What do you think and please give me your honest opinion. It has been a little bit of an adjustment because it is quite big. To tell the whole truth it is sticking out a little farther than I would like but that is because the table behind it is too deep. Once we find a new table we like then it will be okay. I just have to keep telling myself that.
For those of you who have never had the "pleasure" of seeing our old couch it was just so gross. We bought it when we first were married. Which was in college. It was denim. That should be enough said :)
Confession time here is that I called Goodwill and THEY weren't going to take it because it was too, well, gross. I held my head in shame and basically gave a sales pitch to the two gentlemen (term being used lightly here) picking the thing up. They took it, I'm embarrassed but denim-couchless.

This was our old grill...isn't it gross? First of all the ignitor doesn't work. We don't even have the button in hopes that it would work. The handle is missing so no your eyes aren't deceiving you that is in fact Nick holding the grill open with a pair of pliers. So a new grill was needed, so....

ta-da! Happy Father's Day and Birthday all rolled into one Brinkmann goodie package. He seems to be a very happy man. We broke the sucker in the other night with little packs of green beans, some fingerling potatoes and t-bone steak. It did a very nice job :)
I think that is it for now. Have a great weekend!

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Friday, June 4, 2010


Today was such a doozy of a day with Mr. Calvin. Oh boy that boy is such a boy. It is just unbelievable. Two days ago I told Cal to go wash his hands and a few minutes later I heard water hitting the floor. He evidently found it appopriate to fill one of his galoshes with water and dump it on the floor. So he had been disciplined for that and I thought we had an understanding that we don't dump water on the floor.

That is until this morning when he was washing his hands and yet again I hear water falling. He found that if you turn the water up really hard and have it bounce off your arm it will spray all over the floor. Fun, right?

So again he got into trouble. We had a lot of discussion about how to wash your hands. So at dinner time he washed his hands properly and I cheered. When I was clearing the dishes I heard him quickly wash his hands and I cheered from the kitchen. Then I went into the living room and found that he had soaked the hand towel and was walking around with it dripping from the air. All I could say was "why are you doing this???" and all he had to say was "I don't know."

Errr this kid frustrates me. I thought it was over when I put him to bed. He has been crying at night so it was no surprise when he started up. But he kept crying. And screaming. So I went up there and what did I find? Not only had he taken his diaper off but he also decided to empty the entire contents of his bladder all over everything...ugh.

I am so frustrated with him and at the same time I am somewhat in awe of how much of a typical boy he really is. I am trying not to but I am wondering if this is spite coming out. You know maybe he thinks, well you yell at me I'm going to drag this cloth all over the house because she didn't tell me not to do this. And well you won't get me out of bed so I'll just pee all over everything and then you'll have to get me out of bed. I know that's terrible for me to think as a mother but there are times I just can't come up with any other reasons why he would be doing all of this.
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Its Come Back to Bite Me...

First of all I must say that I love Nicholas more than anything. I always pick on him in fun and love. That being said I always tease Nicholas. I find myself saying things like "Ooh look at me, I'm Nicholas. I think I'm sooo cool. I am just the cutest man ever." Of course I am just picking on him and of course I really do think he is cool and cute.

A couple of days ago Nicholas was watching Food Network when the children came down from nap. They wanted to watch Caillou and Nick told them that he would change it in a few minutes when his program was over. I said my usual spastic comment about reminding him to make sure the commercials are appropriate (seriously, commercials are getting C.R.A.Z.Y!!!)

Anyway I was in the other room and we hear this from Emma "ooh look at me I'm Nicholas. I don't let my children watch Caillou so I can sit and watch commercials. I'm Daddy, I like watching inappropriate commercials." Nick and I could do nothing but laugh. Nick was crying, he was laughing so hard.

Needless to say I've stopped chiding him :)
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