The sky is grey and the mood is nostalgic, pensive, reflective... My thoughts wrap themselves around me like a snuggly blanket. Ethan is napping and Duane has taken Anika on an outdoor exploration so I find myself in peace and ready to connect with you.
At this very moment in my life, after the chaos of these last six months, I am finding peace again. It is such a beautiful thing! Ethan is now only nursing at midnight and four in the morning and somehow knowing when these nightly interruptions will occur really help me to feel more settled.
Potty training with Anika has been great. I had the blessing of my friend Amy staying with us for the end of June and the last half of July and she really played a key role in getting the ball rolling beyond just sitting on the potty after naps... which is all we had been doing for the past six months. Thank you, Amy, for that. Anika proudly wears her "big girl panties" and much to my older nieces and nephews' chagrin, she proudly shows them off when they come visiting. Hee hee hee!
Another key role Amy played in my life during her time with us was getting back into an exercise routine. I had been so used to putting myself last in meeting the needs of my family but Amy showed me a basic 20 minute workout (intense workout) that I managed to fit into my life. This is do-able now because the little ones have their own bedrooms (it just wasn't working out with them screaming and keeping each other up until late at night) AND they are both asleep by 8:30 pm!!!
Oh yes, I am tasting freedom again... AND LOVING IT!
Isabel is in the basement which now seems like her own little apartment! Her medical bed (which was lots of fun carrying down two flights of stairs), the respite worker bed and her own TV are some highlights for her new space. And I no longer fight constantly with Anika to pull her away from Izzy's TV which was just off the kitchen before. I have a wireless camera facing Izzy downstairs which feeds into a small tv in the kitchen so I can actually "see" Isabel better than when she was on the main floor. The other piece of good news is that we are going to start building our home addition for Isabel (main floor bedroom & bathroom with wheel-in shower) this September. But don't get me started on the discrimination we're experiencing in trying to find ANY financial support through government grants!!! Apparently if your family income exceeds $40,000 annually, you are on your own with mandatory house modifications to meet the needs of your disabled child.
Melina has been enjoying her summer off. You would think she was part of some reading marathon the way that kid devours books! She grows more and more beautiful every day and her groundedness leaves me thankful that she will have a better grasp on life than I did at her age. The fact that she is only six months away from being how old I was when I started dating her father (who was 19) has left me phoning my parents randomly to apologize profusely for the stress I must have caused them. I recall those days and how I couldn't figure out why it was such a big deal... HA!
Moving right along...
I have been able to have the kitchen cleaned WHILE making my meals and have made a point of meal planning and making lunch our main course and working with leftovers for supper. This has cut my kitchen time in half! And my sister gave me her old Miracle Chef chopper which has "cut" my chopping time drastically!! THANK YOU DIANE & RICK!!!!
I have also started jogging for 3-4 kms several times a week which has given me a whole new energy. I can't believe I justified NOT looking after myself or setting time aside to tend to my needs. By simply taking 30-50 minutes for myself every day, I am able to give far more to my family than I could before. Why did I ever struggle with giving myself PERMISSION to do this?
At any rate, it has been a glorious discovery.
Slowly but surely, we are no longer simply surviving... it finally feels like we are LIVING again. Would you believe I am even on top of my laundry and have gone back to cloth diapers.
So consistent bedtimes & waketimes, one less child in diapers, some quality "me" time and answers to Ethan's allergies are some examples of answered prayer, and this is where I thank YOU for that. I am smiling so much again! I have starting singing again! And that constant feeling of "it is good" permeates my being. I can close my eyes and KNOW that who I am is returning... that it was never truly lost or forgotten.
Thank you so much for every second you spent in prayer on my behalf. I pray that my own simple prayers find you and offer you even more hope and peace than I have found from yours. Truly I say to you, "it is good."