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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Holidays & New School, Challenges

I realized I haven't posted for like three months, so I'll try to catch up.  Thanksgiving was small for us because Chris and one of the kids were sick, I forget which one now (lol), so we stayed home and had Thanksgiving together.  Since I don't cook, we just ordered out.  It wasn't the best day ever, but I admit I am kind of a Thanksgiving scrooge.  It's just not my favorite holiday.  Carter turned 6 in December, we just celebrated with our small family since he doesn't care for parties and can't eat cake.  I decorated his wheelchair for school.  Then of course came Christmas, and we were very blessed.  Someone did the 12 days of Christmas for us which was a lot of fun to look out for, and someone dropped off 3 wrapped gifts, not marked, one for each child; and we had a secret Santa give us a gift card so we could buy presents for the kids.  I was extremely grateful because Christmas is usually a hard time of year for us financially, with no bonus or anything.  Our kids are still young so they probably wouldn't have cared, but it's fun to spoil them.  We spent Christmas Eve with the Thorup side, and Christmas day we visited both sides.  The kids were spoiled and we all had a great day.  New Years Eve was quiet, we're not the party type especially with little kids.  

2015 was a big year for us- we went to Disneyland for the first time with our kids (except poor Carter) and bought our first home.  With those changes it has also brought one more big one, and that was Carter transitioning from Utah School for the deaf and blind to the Davis district.  One of my big concerns when we moved is that the district wouldn't have what we wanted.  Jordan school district was awesome and it was hard to leave it, where we both grew up.  After looking at our home school up the street, we settled on Carter attending Kindergarten at Parkside Elementary, just 3 minutes away.  Our biggest frustration has been transportation, but finally we have everything settled (I hope).  It's a long story, but Carter was approved to attend Kindergarten all day and have transportation back and forth, since it's in his IEP.  His teacher is great and so nice, and it's great it's closer to us now.  There are 11-12 students with 1 teacher and 2-3 aides.  He seems to be adjusting well, and they got him a push walker to work with again.

I turned 30 last month on the 30th, and I was lucky to have a girls overnight trip to The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake the weekend before.  It was so much fun and so needed!  My mom is great at putting things together, especially just us girls.  It was my mom, myself, my two sisters, and two sisters in law.  We had two adjoining rooms, had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at City Creek, shopped, hot tubbed, took pictures of course and more shopping.  When we turn 30, my mom also gets us our own Minky Couture blanket.  Mine matches Sierra's, which she thought was fun:)

We also have a close 1p36 family to us that generously donated to us their son's old walker.  Carter was excited right away to see it and use it.  He's standing a lot now at surfaces, especially the sink and stove.  He is a bit more mobile, which is actually a little frightening.  At the same time, Keaton who is 18 months, is getting closer to walking as well.  I call them my 'twins' because they are at the same stages in so many ways.  They play with a lot of the same toys, even fighting over them.  Our biggest challenge with Carter right now is that he loves to 'hug' Keaton so much.  He will give him a great bear hug but won't let go.  It's frustrating for us because he doesn't understand 'no' and seems to feed off of Keaton's cries.  He will go for him and hug him multiple times a day, so I feel like a referee.  It's also frustrating because Keaton could get away but doesn't even try to.  Carter also loves to pull hair, and will do it on purpose to his sister.  These behavioral issues aren't huge yet, but ones I am definitely not a fan of.

We've lived in our house for over 6 months now, and probably with the winter making things harder to get out, I have felt isolated and more shut in.  I feel like we are not as involved with our families as I would like to be.  It's hard not getting the breaks or help like I used to.  Now any errand I run has to be done while Carter is at school, or I just have to deal with all 3 kids by myself.  I can't wait until Chris is done with school, so he'll be home more.  I think the winter blues have certainly kicked in.  The kids are more emotional and difficult, my patience is thin, and I am not getting that help I used to, to help refill my bucket.  This move has been hard on me, and sometimes I question it.  I'm trying to just be thankful that we got a house.  Our family is just an hour away, not states away, but still...I think what keeps me going right now is Downton Abbey (which is ending soon), reading other mom blogs, and The Bachelor.  Let's cheer for spring!

Our ward has been great with Carter and I've made a few friends, but these things take time.  I have a neighbor that is always willing to help which is wonderful.  I think sometimes we get lost or it's hard to find purpose in things, and I think that's where I'm at right now.  I have a hard time with Carter's behavioral issues or why he does things the way he does and why we can't communicate, and why it's harder for me to get things done or go anywhere, and we don't have family close etc etc.  I have hard days as a Mom, I know everybody does, but it seems like mine are more frequent.  Having a child that needs me so much while my toddler is not a great napper or sleeper and is super clingy, while having a special needs kids- it's rough.  Trying to balance it all is a skill I have not perfected yet.  Trying to find time for Carter to use his walker, while working with Sierra on preschool things (she is struggling with recognizing her name and writing it herself, among other things), while trying to find time or energy to work with Keaton on walking, eating new foods and language skills.  It's all just a lot of work, and some days it's just easier to not do it.  Motherhood is a big challenge and responsibility, but especially when your kids have additional needs.

Coming up:  Valentine's Day, our 7th wedding anniversary & a new nephew:)

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