Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Days like this

Days like this is where I really miss my Mom. She died when I was 11, so I never knew her as an adult. Given that, I have no real idea of what my mom would be like. When the kids are giving me attitude or Im struggling keepign things together, its easy to fall into thinking Mom would have known how to help.

In reality, that might not have been the case. The fact remains, though, she isnt here to prove me right or wrong. Its just that hole that never seems to be filled. Im at a loss. Most days, I can make it thru with Gods help. Every once in awhile though, it just all feels like too much to handle.

Perhaps its the culmination of the first week of school. I was determined to keep on top of things this week. Im really trying to sign things right away, make sure the little kids get their homework done, house stays picked up and laundry. Self disclipline is not my strong suit. So I have to work harder at keeping things in a scheduled routine manner. I did 24 loads of laundry, everyone got to their practices/meets, supper got made and the house was clean. As well as one of my sons had a birthday party on friday evening as well. It just might be the downside of all that busyness. The school year has a much different rhythm than the summer routine. Its not really bad, just different.


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Its been a long time since I posted here but I guess today I just felt like blogging.

Most days go by in our household without a real sense of noticing Gideons disablity. Things have been incorapated into our life like his compression stocking or his braces but he can walk fine without them as well. So apart from putting them on in the morning -- it doesnt make much of a difference in our day.

His vocabulary is expanding rapidly - at least 250 or 300 words. He says most in single word shots like car, road, bad. That means that going out in the road with the cars is bad. He gets the concept of having to stay in the yard and not going into the road. He can say some 2 or 3 word phrases like jump down or more milk. He often comes in and says sorry before hes even caught for doing something naughty. Still he can communicate fairly easily his wants and desires. Its not often anymore that I dont know what he wants or needs from me.

At home, the structure is loosely defined. We generally keep to the same type of schedule. Gideon generally knows what to expect and when. Its not until we go somewhere, out of our norm, that his disablities are more glaring. Its not that they arent there at home, they are, but its just far more pronounced when we are elsewhere.

We went to the Forest City Stockade event today and enjoyed ourselves. Though just after we got there, Gideon was already asking to go home. Thats pretty standard for him away from home, when the schedule is disrupted. He did okay for the first hour or so. There was a barn that had some old tools, a cannon, a carriage and some wooden horses in the stall area. He was fascinated with the wooden horses. He wanted to pet them and touch them and go back into the barn over and over again. It was cooler in there as well, since it was more shaded. So that may have been part of the allure as well.

There were far more fit throwings, behavior challenges and redirections. At one point, he started touching everyone he passed or hitting at them. Yep, time to get out of there!

As a family,we used to be able to plan a days worth of things to do without much trouble. Yes, finding time and places for littles to nap was challenging but in general, the kids were flexible. Gideon , just cant do the same, as the other little ones could. This is where I remember his special needs and remember that he has a disablity. Just a little challenge to work around, I guess. We just have to plan more breaks or find sitters so he can stay home. I dont want to stop taking him out though, he needs that as well.

And he does like to go, its just the amount of time that he enjoys staying away from home is shorter.


Friday, May 21, 2010

BWCA - Day 2

Andrew was up with the birds but since the temperature was a balmy 28 degrees, I had no desire to crawl out of my sleeping bag. I enjoyed sleeping in that morning til around 8 o clock when the hubster called out to say the oatmeal was ready.

The lure of a hot breakfast pulled me out of my sleeping bag to get dressed and start the day. It was beautiful with the sun shining and a new start to the day. I was looking forward to a relaxing day in camp with my hubby. He had been productive that morning, getting his hammock up and the laundry line strung and had the fire going. While it was chilly, it wasnt nearly as cold as the day before with the rain bearing down. Eventually the temps soared into the 70s with a nice breeze all day.

We ate breakfast, yummy blueberries and cream oatmeal and bacon! We took care of clean up and then hubby took a nap in his hammock while I pulled out a book. I found a tree to lean on, got some dried fruit and my cup of java and began reading. It wasnt completely quiet, of course, the birds and loons making sound, as well as water lapping at the shore. It was very peaceful and relaxing. I told Andrew that I might go off hiking and he reminded me to take my safety whistle and have fun.

So I set off exploring, I took the camera to see what shots I could capture. The landscape is a bit unique in the BWCA, in that the forest is really allowed to decompose naturally. Lots of downed trees and unique brush. I had a blast climbing over and on trees and seeing how far back into the woods I could make it! One of my favorite parts of this trip was the hiking and finding spots that I could use the self timer on the camera to take goofy shots. Some worked out great, others a bit dorky and some, well not at all. I really had a lot of fun doing that. I made Andrew come with me later to some of the same spots(not nearly as far back into the woods though) to take some nicer posed pics!

By the time I got back from hiking around, it time to start lunch. I was glad we had decided to wait til today to eat our fresher packed in meal - fajitas! I love fajitas anyway, but after all the hard work to get to our campsite and being out in the beautiful BWCA , they tasted even better!!! Andrew did some fishing, I did some more reading and even napped on a rock. I tried the hammock and it was nice but the breeze was just enough to make me feel chilled. So I elected to nap with my head on a boat cushion on a warm sunny rock. It was fabulous!

Then it was off for more hiking together and fun with pictures :) We gathered firewood on the way back. That of course was an almost constant chore. I didnt mind, generally if I hiked up to the latrine, I brought back firewood. I figure, there are no wasted trips. I was looking forward to a hot supper. We had cheesy tuna helper -- not andrews favorite -- but I thought it was very tasty! Hubby did the dishes this time and then we finished out the evening playing cribbage. We used to play that game all the time, it took a bit for us to get refreshed on the rules and the game was on. Andrew won! I really enjoyed just hanging out together and having the day to relax.

I knew that we would be up early for our day trip the next day to the pictographs, so I hit the sack relatively early. I think it was between 9 -930. Again, I totally heart my sleeping bag. It kept me really warm on those really cold nights!

Day 3 to come tommorrow!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boundary Water Canoe Trip May 2010, Day 1

Wow its been a long time since I blogged~! This past weekend my husband and I were blessed to take a trip into the BWCA, just the two of us. My BIL and SIL watched the crew and they did a fabulous job with the kids. I wanted to capture the experience of my first trip. I plan to blog each day separately.

Day 1 -- The plan was to leave at midnight of Friday morning in order to be at the ranger station promptly at 7 am. That really left little time for sleep. I dozed a bit on the way while my husband drove but not well. I think that made the first day much more challenging, not having full capacity since I was really really tired!

We got off pretty timely, just a stop back for a map and a brief stop at a 24 hr walmart. We pulled into the ranger station at 630 am. Woot -- that left time for a half hour nap~! I didnt quite know what to expect. I had been warned by my husband that I would need to watch a 15 minute video but beyond that, this was all new. The ranger that gave us our permit was a lot of fun. He was lively, funny and engaging. He went over the rules and even gave me an orange smoky friend bracelet. I proudly wore it the entire trip~! I watched the video, most of it being common sense stuff.

I really was excited for this adventure. The only damper on the enthusiam was the cold and the rainy weather. I started out the morning with 5 layers - tank top tech shirt, long sleeve tech shirt, fleece button down, fleece vest and a rain jacket. And then sometimes the life vest as well! My hand gear consisted of fleece gloves and fingerless canoeing gloves. I did not realize what I was in for at this point. Im thinking we will canoe until afternoon, make camp and have a grand ole time. It was slightly longer than that lol.

The rain would come and go. Sometimes it felt slightly warmer, somtimes not. The first lake was hard. Maybe not so much hard as big. I really underestimated distance when thinking of this adventure. We went too far and missed an area -- at this point -- Im still thinking thats okay, we are on an adventure. Remember its still like 9 am :) Im asking Andrew all kinds of length questions, I found it really helpful to know how many miles I had to go. That first lake, I canoed I believe was close to 4 miles. Now that doesnt seem so bad but for a newbie in cold and rain, it was tough!

In the beginning, I was looking forward to the break of a portage. All of you, who have done this before, are laughing right now. It didnt turn out to be the break I envisioned it to be. It was just a different kind of hard work! I began learning the fine art of portaging. This first portage is the only one we didnt double portage. After that, we both double portaged our way there. I did my fair share of carrying thebackpack, the bear barrel or the dry pack. The first one was short. Im thinking , okay that was hard but I can do this.

So I say, we are in lake 2, how many more lakes to go? Wrong question! At that point, we needed to make it thru lake 2, 3 and 4, at least 3 more portages and then lake insula. The adventure is seeming a little tougher! Hubby is encouraging me to drink more water and Im thinking of digging that hole in the woods. I managed to avoid that fun, the entire trip.

It really was beautiful despite the rain and cold. Mostly at this point, Im thinking how far til that campsite and fire!

I really was very tired and probably dehydrated as well. I was hallicinating , I kept seeing pieces of driftwood or rocks as animals or lawnchairs or all kinds of things. I would finally come closer to something and think oh, thats just a stump. Maybe I just was looking too hard for animals and things. It really was kind of amusing. I was disapointed that no black bears were spotted though!

We made it thru the next couple of lakes fairly quickly. I think each of our crossings in those lakes was less than 2 miles or so. Im gaining hope at this point but its taken us a loong time to get to this point. Im rethinking the plan of going in all the way to insula!!! I knew that hubby was wanting to try that insula portage he broke his leg on, so we carried on. Im asking more milage questions -- hoping that we have made it at least halfway point. Most of the portages along this stretch werent long but hard work nonetheless.

Finally, we get to the insula portage, the longest one of our journey. I believe it to be 110 rods or somthing of that nature. I know my husband told me that we might find a campsite after this portage right away or we might have to go all the way across the lake. My hope springs eternal, so IM thinking of course we will find one of the 40 campsites on this lake, right away thats perfect. So we begin the portage, pause midway for some pictures. Make our way back and double portage again. It was long but it wasnt as daunting as I thought it might be. Dont get me wrong, it was a long hard walk but worth the effort. We are back in the canoe and we find the first campsite and hubby declares it too open to the wind.

Okay folks, remember this is late, probably at least 5 pm by this point. Im tired(so tired Im seeing things), Im cold and wet and my feet and hands are frozen. So I think okay ... keep on paddling, envisioning dory from Finding Nemo, just keep on paddling. So off we go. Its harder and harder to gather the strength to make the paddle dip into the water one more time. Visions of my warm sleeping bag filled my head. We repeat this scenario at least 3 more times. Each time, my hope waning. About the time we make it to the fifth campsite, I must have had the look on my face that stated, "This one better work or you are going overboard buddy" Hubster decides this one is sheltered enough from the wind and will work fine. Thank God! Im not sure I could have made it any farther. Im not sure on the exact time but it was after 6 pm for sure.

Andrew got the fire going, we started putting up the tent and finding dry socks. The relief was palatable! Andrew sent me off to gather firewood, most of which was wet at this point. I found what I could quickly and brought it back to camp. I hiked up into the woods( the latrine was 150 yards from the campsite) and went to the bathroom. I was pretty glad I managed to make it til then. It was a unique experience using a latrine without a shelter in the middle of the woods, especially after we discovered a giant spider made his home there. Literally had to clear a web out every morning.

Its still really cold at this point, but thankfully the rain had stopped, we were at our campsite and there was no more canoeing at that moment!!! We had some discussions about dinner, elected for finger foods -- neither of us had any energy at the point for anything but necesity. I know it wasnt long after we ate, that I crawled into the tent, happy to put on my pajamas and warm fuzzy socks. I totally heart my sleeping bag, it kept me warm thruout freezing winter temps. We discussed whether Sat was our in camp day or our day trip day. I was very relieved to agree on our in camp day. I was so looking forward to sleep!

Day 2 to come tommorrow!~

Friday, January 15, 2010


Elaura has been starting to talk and gaining words like crazy. She is absolute mimic and increases her vocabulary daily! Its fun to watch and sad at the same time. Its clear that it wont be long before she passes by Gideon in vocabulary and ability to speak. She has already picked up on his use of the word "mine" and uses it in context!

Gideon is gaining in his own right, hes up to probably 35-40 words. For his disablities, this is an awesome total. Compared to a normal child, who should have 200 words by now and be using phrases, it doesnt look so impressive. It just reminds me that we have different victories to celebrate and that we cant look at the "normal" ones.

I guess Im learning that there are seasons of mourning for parents that have children with disabilities. I thought, mistakenly so, that it would all happen in the beginning, as you discovered that your child isnt as you thought they would be. Im learning though, you mourn as you go along. Its not as if Im sitting around crying all day but I get a distinct sense of sadness as I witness different things. There are moments of joy in the sadness but its somtimes hard to watch.

We went to the mall last weekend. They had a play area in which you could climb over vechiles and had slides and the like. You had to be under 42 inches to go in, although it was supposedly for ages 2-10. He hits the hand that measures the height, which means hes 42 inches. Hes only 2.5 yrs old. It just made me sad to realize that hes going to outgrow things like this far before his age says he should.

We got him shoes a month or so ago and hes now bypassed his 6 yr old brother in shoe size. That just is wrong to me on so many levals.

On an upnote, though hes a delight and brings a smile to my face throughout the day. His long giant arms open wide for wonderful awesome hugs. And he so loves his choo choo. We have to wash his thomas the tank engine jammies daily, so he can wear them again the next night!

Im listing his words here for my own reference. I find myself often drawing a blank when the docs ask me how many words he has. It surprised me when I actually counted, he had far more than I thought. So I will periodically list them, so I can see the progress! I cant even think of all of them today, I know he has a few more that I havent listed.

Gideons words 1/15/2010 - Mommy ,ow, mik, tea,no,mine, me, neigh, moo, meow, elmo, choo choo, baa, ho ho, backpack, blues clues, blue, pink, purple, green, go, boat, bowl, engine, banana, please, baby, zombie(guess which brother taught him that one!), elijah, jo jo,

Total - 30

Thats all for now folks, God is good ... all the time!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Im really struggling right now. I cant keep up on laundry or dishes and I cant tell you how many appointments Ive forgotten over the last few weeks. Im just not holding things together very well.

Its clear to me that something needs to change in how I operate, in what I do , in who I am. By nature, my first inclination is to do it later. I do get it much later, but its harder. The mess is bigger and the time to take care of it has magnified. Ive been doing a lot of thinking. I dont really know how to go about changing oneself so drastically. How does one change from the messy monster to the cleaning guru?

Something has to give and fast. Its really hard right now and Im very overwhelmed.

That being said, Im very thankful for some grace extended to me yesterday. I didnt connect the dots and didnt realize until yesterday, that one of the kids concerts conflicted with a girl scout meeting. I really didnt want to cancel it, since thats one of the things I messed up last month. I forgot bout the meeting and had a banquet for my son, so I wasnt home when everyone showed up. Anyway -- I called my coleader and talked with her. Shes just as busy as I am and didnt get around to securing our meeting location (the libary) so she took the charge and took care of canceling the meeting. I appreciated the grace and understanding she gave me very much. She could have been angry and frustrated with me. And maybe she still is, but she extended me grace instead.

Another stressor is I need to pick up something from my brother, who lives 2.5 hrs away. The details dont matter so much but my brother and sil were frustrated that I wasnt going to be able to pick it up on their deadline. I called a friend to see if she could help, since she lives closer to where he works. She, too, extended me the grace I needed yesterday. She not only is going to help, she is going to deal directly with my brother about the arrangments, taking me out of the middle. I so needed that taken off my plate. God is good, indeed.

I still have much to do and figure out but for now, Im trusting that God will give me the strength and endurance to work through it.

God is good ... all the time

Monday, September 28, 2009

This years goals

Its taken me a few weeks to find my spot and figure out how things would shake out. The kids are settling into a routine and Im finding one of my own.

I have a few goals for each day and they are in the order that I accomplish them.
  1. Clean the kitchen and load dishwasher -- this includes picking up, sweeping, and mopping. After that as time allows(up til 1030) declutter island, counters and clean the stove.
  2. Laundry -- wash, dry and fold at least 4 loads a day
  3. Clean the upstrs -- this includes picking up the living rm, hallway and bathroom. Vaccuming and sweeping. If time allows, then tackling the little kids bedrooms with their help as well. (up til 1130)
  4. Read my section in my daily Bible
  5. Clean the downstrs - this includes the stairs, family room and bathroom. This time goal is to be done by 3 pm.

Thus far Ive been able to accomplish most of the first 4 goals. I havent gotten fast enough to get to goal number 5!! Im trying also to start lunch by 1130 and supper by 4 pm. That way it becomes more of a scheduled habit. I find if I can at least pick up once a day in each of the rooms, afternoon and evening chores go soo much smoother.

Once I master this routine and get it going well, then I will begin adding in more goals. Such as dusting,washing walls, cleaning out fridges and microwave. Stuff like that! Im trying to figure out how to do big projects too such as cleaning the storage room or my bedroom. Things that take more than an hour and really need a significant chunk or all of the day.

God is good ... all the time!