I Can See Why You Would

I had had two terrible night sleep in a row because Emmeline has been waking up around 3 or 4 am and crying off and on every 45 minutes until morning.  I was really looking forward to getting some good sleep and doped myself up with some phenergan before dinner last night.
As I was tucking Isabella in bad she said she didn't feel safe.  When I asked why she said it was her window and someone could come in. After explaining that she was 3 stories up and it was very unlikely that someone had a 3 story ladder to get to her window she asked if it was "hammer and bullet proof".  She really is my daughter.
After laughing about this with Josh a bit we watched our shows and went to bed.  Half way through the night one of my biggest fears came as close to being true as I hope it ever does.

At around 3 am I heard several people yelling and running through the breezeway that connects that two stairwells and runs the entire length of our apartment.  This isn't the first time this has happened but I still snap awake every time.  They were banging and screaming and I was thinking "great!  they are going to wake up Emmeline!"   Then came one of the loudest bangs that I have ever heard and I realized something way worse might happen then Emmeline waking up.  By then Josh was awake and up out of the bed.  I'm not sure why I thought he was going to go outside but I still begged him not to.  All I knew was that as long as we stayed inside there was at least a door between us and whatever had made that banging sound.
Josh called 911 and I went into the hall to try and hear what was going down.  It didn't register with me why the door looked funny at first.  I'm not sure I was totally awake yet.  After I stared at it for another minute I was awake.  They had tried to kick in our door.  The whole bottom half was bent inward and the hinges were broken from the door frame.  I stupidly inched forward to look though the peep hole to see if I could see anyone.  If they were going to mess with my family I was going to make sure I could ID them darn it!!  Some troublesome neighbors(I would later learn this was all their fault) were out in the stairwell as well.  The kickers had already trashed our other neighbors plants and some blood had gotten sprayed as well.
Thankfully the police responded super fast and were there within a couple minutes.  Which was really good because the kickers were getting worked up again and yelling.  Once they saw the cop car they scattered.  Luckily the police saw their car and hopped in and removed their car keys.  This did not stop them from running on foot however.
In the end it was just some stupid drunk people yelling at other stupid drunk people until they decided to get physical about it (and not the good kind).  In their drunken state they got turned around and thought our door was the other drunks door and decided to invite themselves in.  Thank goodness drunk people can't shut up because the other drunks came out and asked "what the BLEEP they thought they were doing?!" after that first kick to our door.
I freak out just typing it.  One more kick and they would have been in my house.  There was nothing I could do about it.  Nothing to keep them out.  No way to protect my thankfully still sleeping children (this would not have helped my third floor case with Isabella).  Total helplessness.  I have never loved the police more.  Still I felt guilty asking them to protect my family for me.
This terrifying experience has been a deciding factor for me.  I want a gun.  A big one.  I want Ronan's gun.

That way, if something like this ever happens again there wont be much of the kicker left to ID.


Closed When It Should Be Open, Open When It Should Be Closed

Emmeline had her first check up with her Opthamologist on Monday after getting her glasses earlier this year.  After writing that her eyes were constantly over tearing since she was born, I finally made him check them and...he can't find her tear ducts.  On most kids it would just be a blocked tear duct which is easy to fix under sedation.  Sine it's Emmeline though he thinks it is actually an atresia of the drainage canal.  This basically means she doesn't have an open passage from her eyes to her lower sinus so it can't drain properly.  It kind of feels like if is should be open then it isn't and if it shouldn't be open it is (her heart).  She has rotten luck.  So now we have another surgery to look forward to.  Not until this fall though because the specialist we need to see it going on vacation for 2 weeks in June so they are booked until sometime in August and that is just for the initial work up.  Who knows how long it will take to get her in for surgery.  I will be glad when all these openings and closings are done.  I'm sure Emmeline can't either.  I wonder how she will feel then?


Never Too Late For Now...Or Is It?

My life has been pretty good this year.  No major illnesses/changes for Emmeline.  Isa has really enjoyed homeschooling with me.  Josh finished his last year of course work for school EVER.  Sounds pretty good when I type it out.  Which is why I was pretty surprised last night when I was hit with a ton of depression bricks.  It hasn't hit me that suddenly in quite some time.
Everyone was right.  I have spent the last 3.5 years saying "as soon as this happens, I'll be happy/OK".  Well, it is happening...and I'm not OK.  Well, not right now as least. Everyone said I needed to work on finding happiness now and not base it on some future event.  I'm exhausted.  My body and mind have gone into hibernation and waking them up seems like so much work and I don't have so much energy.  Part of me doesn't even care.  I am totally OK leaving myself here.  I know, however, that eventually I wont be fine with it and by then it will only be harder.  I'm just so tired of work.  In taking care of others I let myself slip.  It just seems so hard.
I have tried expanding my horizons.  Trying and creating new things.  I thought it was working but I think all it did was distract me while I was working and then when I'm done it seems even more difficult.
I just get so angry with myself because I see people who have what I would call more difficult situations then me yet I still wallow.  I still can't snap out of it and actually live my life. How do these other super cool people do it?  Do they have days where they stay in their PJs all day, or just burst into tears?  I like to think so.  Not to know they are in pain but to make myself feel less like a loser. The plain truth is that my life hurts. To me.  It physically hurts my body to try and process my life "issues" and move on.  So, I let out what ever overflow emotions wont stay behind my emotion "dam" as quickly as possible and then ignore the rest.  It usually involves, tears, mucus and peanut butter.   It hurts and leaves me with an emotion hangover.  I hate hangovers.  Thus why I try and wait as long as possible to let any emotions out.  It's better for everyone right?  Don't answer that.  I know I'm delusional.  Wait, can I know that?  If I know it am I really?  Let's just say, I know I'm dysfunctional.  I am pretty sure I can know that and still have it.  I'm sensing another hangover soon and I dread it.


I Solemnly Swear I Have Been Up To Something Awesome!!

I have been really bursting to post about this but I wanted to get them all finished before I did in case it didn't work.  So here there are!

The trio

 I thought Hermione would be the easiest but her hair ended up being pretty difficult.

Her back

Ron's close up

The Boy Who Lived

 The pillows I saw on Pinterest ($74 for 2!) had Harry with black eyes.  Black!!  I couldn't have that so I stayed true to the books and did green.

 Isa (and I)  really like them!!  

They ended up being really difficult.  Mostly because I am having trouble with my machine.  It took a little over a week to get them done in my "spare" time with all the hand stitching I ended up dong.  I even learned how to put in an invisible zipper!  I LOVE them!


Good God Lemon!!

A very happy birthday to the funniest woman I can think of!!!

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey

Yes, that's her real name.


It Sucks!

I hate healthy food blogs.  Well maybe not hate, but STRONGLY dislike.  They always get me with the picture.  I see some amazing dessert item and think "that looks so good!  I can still eat that and be not fluffy?"  The answer is yes I can.  What you can't do is eat enough to actually satisfy your desire for a treat.
Serving size.  That's were they get you.  Yes there are low calorie cookies and brownies but the serving is a teaspoon.  Seriously?  A teaspoon?  All that will do it make me want more so bad that I will cave and either eat 4 or 5 more or just go get what I really wanted (peanut butter).  Both of those things make it pointless to even make said low calorie "treat".
Sometimes the dinners are even worse. They show a "huge" plate of whatever your favorite indulgence food happens to be and say something like "only 500 calories!!".  I'm not saying they are lying.  It probably is 500 calories.  My beef is with the "huge" plate.  On a food blog you can make things look any size you want.  I think they intentionally buy tiny plates and cups to try and trick themselves into thinking they are eating more.  Yes, I know that experts say to do this and that it actually works for most people.  It works for me too.  I get full...for about 30 minutes.  Then I go after what I wanted in the first place (yes, peanut butter).  On most food blogs that yummy looking pasta dish you thought would fill you up for 500 calories is in actuality 1 cup of food.  1 cup.  For a whole meal.  If any of you have spent more then 4 hours with a Perkins you know we lose our normal cheery dispositions when we want food.  Which is why most of our loved ones make sure we are well fed.  I can tell you that our normal desire for food is drastically larger when we are tired.  If we are sleepy and tired then just head to the panic room.
I think I have figured out a way to remedy my problem...mostly.  I only look for meals to make while I am eating my breakfast.  I find this meal the most satisfying of the day.  Probably because I am eating...you guessed it,  peanut butter.  Ultimately all I want it peanut butter.  Meal searching while I eat it has roughly the same effect as watching the food network while you are eating cold cereal.  It tricks your brain into thinking you are eating something yummy made by your personal chef.  If I pick out dinners while I eat peanut butter then my brain sees something that will probably taste like peanut butter.  I must have it.
You would think I would be really disappointed at dinner when in reality I am eating Broiled Broccoli and Garlic with something chicken or fish based, but oddly I'm not.  This system seems to work for me.  Maybe because by dinner I am feeling so guilty about whatever I ate earlier in the day that I don't feel I earned any more peanut butter?  Quite possibly.  I work really well with guilt.  It's the one emotion I can for sure identify.
  I wish these blog writers felt guiltier about leading everyone on in the mean way that they do.  Don't they know there are tons of slightly mushy people looking at that plate and thinking "jackpot!!", only to have a huge let down when they see their huge plate and tiny serving?  It sucks.  All we want is peanut butter!!!


My Night

Most of my decisions are ruled by fear.  Who am I kidding.  Most of my thoughts are ruled by fear.  At any given moment at least 3 worst case scenarios are running through my head.  I tell myself that is is so I will know how to react if those things ever happened.  That by some miracle, I wouldn't be the one frozen in fear when the things in me head actually go down.  I just noticed I said "when" not "if".  very telling.
There is a lake I have to drive over every time I go south of Denton.  I always stay in the far left lane so my car is as far from the water as possible, with one hand on my life hammer (thanks Matt), while planning out how many steps it would take to get me and the girls out of the car. I do this every time.  Whenever I hear someone behind me I look around for anything I could use as a weapon.  I always check the back seat before I get in.  I try to not go out alone after dark.
Sometimes my fear planning goes to far.  It's really hard to stop my brain once it starts down a certain scenario.  It's my very own horror movie.  I think of what I would do if someone hurt me or my kids.  This of course leads me to how I would feel knowing they had been hurt.  Everyone who knows me knows I constantly say I don't like how emotions make me feel.  I have no fantasy filter.  If I see it or think it it feels like it really happened.  So for that sick moment I think my child has been molested, cut, stabbed, beaten or kidnapped.  I try desperately to stop the scenario from playing out.  It is kind of like trying to look at a word and not read it.  Nearly impossible.  So I quickly try and fill it with another "word".  The damage has already been done though.  I can't get it out.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it didn't really happen.  We are all fine.  We are all fine.  Right?
At first I thought this was a mommy brain thing I had developed along with forgetting how to add fractions.  But when I thought about it I realized I have always done it.  The first time I can really remember I was probably 6 or 7.  My mom used to walk around our neighborhood to exercise.  It would be light when she started but I knew she wouldn't get back before the sunset.  That was the magical evil hour for me even then.  That is when the bad people ran wild.  The people with no parents or home.  That only lived to torture us good people.  You know the type.  I was sure they would take my mother.  They would wait for her in that wooded patch of the neighborhood and drag her into the darkness and we would never see her again.  I would lay on the couch trying to tell myself these people weren't real.  That there were lots of our good neighbors out in their yards and they would see her.  I always told myself that if someone else could see you then you were safe.  no one would take you then.  It was the only way to talk myself down.  Every time she walked I would wait there on the couch until she got home.  A tiny nervous wreck.  I am still a nervous wreck.  Just not so tiny.
I never cared for forests.  I think it was brought on by watching "The Watcher in The Woods"  when I was a kid.  Just the intro pushed me over the edge.  I knew that whatever was watching them was no good.  It wasn't real though.  I know that. 
In college I had a friend who was beaten, raped, stabbed and left for dead in woods by a friend of a friend she had given "a ride home".  This only solidified my fears.  They would take you into the woods.  It could really happen.  It wasn't just in my head or just in movies.  Bad things do happen to good people.
My friend however, wasn't afraid.  My nightmare had happened to her.  She had a permanent reminder in her outward scars, nerve damage, and memories.  It was real for her.  But she pushed on.  She refused to let her fear cripple her anymore then that terrible man already had.  She didn't want to let him win.  She participated in several "take back the night" walks on campus.  I was too afraid.  It was the night and they were waiting.  She marched on, not allowing them to "take her night" as she would say.  She inspires me.  Granted it didn't help with my overactive imagination or my desire to "plan" but it let me know that if my plans didn't work it wouldn't be the end.  But it could be if I let it.  That I had to do my best to make the best of what I had.  Whatever that might be.  So here I am.  Taking back my night.


The End Of Another Season

Emmeine LOVES to ride.  That is a huge understatement.  She really opens but and progresses faster every time she has lessons.  Nothing can get her to talk like riding.  They only do 12 week sessions in the fall and spring because it gets to darn hot for the riders and horses.  Emmeline really misses it between sessions.  There is always a few weeks where she tries to give me directions to the stables.  Yes she knows how to drive there.  It is such an amazing opportunity that we wouldn't be able to have some where else.  We had a new instructor this session and she was great.  Emmeline really progressed this year.  We tried to new therapy where we would blindfold her while she was riding to try and develop whatever if any of her vestibular system was working.  She did pretty well with it.  She really likes to be in control so not being able to see was hard for her.  She even did two point once with it on! She is also very in to getting her picture taken lately so we did some end of the session shots today.  Pretty cute.

Her new instructor

her favorite thing about getting her picture taken is looking at them after

Picking her favorite

 This was another big step for her.  sensory wise treat time is a lot.


All About My Isa

Well, mostly.  When I was at the hospital for Emmeline's MRI and CT earlier this week I saw a lot of families come and go int he waiting area.  I found myself wondering what their lives were like.  How for some of them this was probably new and scary and for others it routine.  I was am on the routine side at this point.  The only thing that was new for me was when a Nurse gave me a Starbucks gift card because they were running late.  Never had a hospital care about that before.
As I sat their thinking about everyone else's life I found myself lingering on one family in particular.  It was a family of 4.  Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister.  The Brother had special needs.  He was scared and antsy.  The Sister, although younger, was doing her best to distract him while they waited.   She was patient, and loving.  You could really see that.  Only adults can go back to the procedure area.  When it came time for her brother to go the Mom stood up to go back with him.  You could see the little girl get upset.  She wanted to stay with her Mother. She was probably about 5 or 6 and just as upset as her Brother was about what was going to happen, she was just trying to hide it from him.  Her Mom turned and gave the same little speech I myself have given so many times "It will be fine (Emmeline) just needs me right now.  I'll be back as soon as I can.  Don't worry."  Don't worry.  Yeah right.
They worry and they worry a lot.  About their sibling, you and your spouse, about everyone and everything.  Listening to Isa tell people about her sister has been heartbreaking and heart warming for me.  It is interesting to see how she perceives everything that has happened to us.  Having a sibling with special needs is hard.  Isa would never say that though.  I've tried to have little conversations with her about how it must be hard.  How sometimes it must bother her that Emmeline needs so much extra everything.  How she wont stay out of anything.  Isa has gotten down right offended at the thought of that. "It's Emmeline" she says.  She has loved her from the moment we told her I was pregnant.  That love has never wavered.  Even for a moment.  "It's Emmeline." Nothing even resembling resentment has ever come out of Isa's mouth.  She loves her sister.  Better yet, she thinks she's cool.
She plays with her, teaches her, stands up for her, and annoys the living daylights out of her.  They connect.  All Isa wants to do is help Emmeline grow and be happy.  Sometimes to the point of driving Emmeline crazy but Isa never gives up.  Her love and devotion amaze me. She has sacrificed so much of the things I'm sure a child her age would rather be doing.  I've had to say "no we can't because Emmeline has..."  so many times I would think she would hate her.  But she doesn't.  She loves her more.  She is her playground advocate, and her best friend.  It comes naturally for them.   You can see the connection.  I must admit I am slightly jealous.  But oh, so very happy and very, very grateful for my sweet Isabella Scott and the amazing big sister she is.

When she's worried

When she cuddles

When she comforts

When she supports

When her seat on the couch gets stolen

When she has to share her blanket

When she brightens the day

 When she "loves" so much

When she teaches

Whens she just wants one picture!

When Emmeline has to be queen of the tower

When it's really her day but she shares the spotlight

When she wants to be silly

When she loves to dress up

When it's already been a long, long day

I had a very hard time choosing pictures for this post but in the end I just had to pick at random.  Just know that there are hundreds more just like these.  With a sister caring and loving so much I can' help but smile every time I see that we were able to capture one.


Emmeline "Counting"

We work on counting a lot in school with Emmeline.  Lately she has really been trying to participate in that.  The other day I found her like this.  I love when they do therapeutic things all on their own.  She is stacking some little wooden shapes.  Great for fine motor skills.