Sept 20, 2015: Back to the Real World

Well, I’m back from my retreat, and I have to say that re-entry into the real world has been a little tough! I’ve felt a bit emotional all week, but at least I know I’m not alone. Several other moms from the retreat have mentioned feeling the same way. It’s hard to be in that wonderful, safe little bubble and then step back out into the real world and back to the day-to-day.

But anyway, we adjust, because we must! And if you haven’t read my post about the retreat, click here. Lots of fun pictures in it!

I also wrote another post inspired by a comment heard during the retreat—not a positive comment, but one that has been niggling at me all week. Click here to read it—though I’ll warn you that it’s a bit disjointed. I had a hard time getting my thoughts on “paper” for that one.

But aside from retreat bits, what’s new? Let’s see…lots and lots of boogers. So…many…boogers! That’s right—Sam has another cold or allergies or something. It’s seems we’ve had nonstop illnesses between the two boys since early August, and it’s getting rather old. I fear for the upcoming cold and flu season, what with all this illness already! It reminds me of two years ago, when Sam and I were sick all winter long. Last fall/winter/spring was so nice, because we really didn’t have much illness beyond just a couple of mild colds. So far, this year is not off to a promising start. Argh.

Anyway, Sam is fine and relatively cheery—just a leaky snot bucket, as my mom would call it. Hopefully the snot will end sometime soon. If not, I will buy stock in the Kleenex Corporation.

Don’t ask me how Chris isn’t sick—he’s been pulling late nights for weeks now. It’s not unusual for him to stay up working until 1 or 2am, and then he has to be up at 5:30am for work. Yuck. But only another week or so, and his yearlong project will finally be out of his hair. And his boss told him to take some time off when he finishes it, so yay! I have already decided that he can get the tires rotated on the van while he’s off! See how nice I am—finding fun projects for him?!

In addition to working like a madman, Chris has been doing extra daddy duty. I don’t believe in the whole “Dad is babysitting the kids” thing—I figure if you’re the dad, then watching the kids is just being dad. But sometimes a dad goes above and beyond the call of duty, and that would be Chris this past week. Not only did he have the boys from early Friday morning (I left the house at 3am to catch my flight) until late Sunday night (I got home at 11pm), but he also watched the boys on Monday night so I could go to a work function and Friday night so I could go to book club. So three cheers for Super Dad! I owe him one. Or three. Or five. 😉 But he does get payback here shortly, when he heads to Germany for a week. I will be doing Super Mom duty that week. (And because I’m a nice wife every once in a while, I encouraged him to spend a couple of extra days beyond his business trip, sightseeing in Switzerland. But he turned me down, saying it’s not particularly fun to do on his own. But hey—I offered, so I get bonus points for being generous on that!)

My Monday night work function was actually super fun. I went to a meeting of a group of area medical professionals who have focused at least a portion of their practice on Down syndrome. I was there to present what I’m doing with the Down Syndrome Information Bill, which is the legislation I’m working on. And I have to admit, I was really intimidated. My boss was supposed to go with me, but she ended up being unable to, so I just had to show up at the house of the director of genetics for a major area hospital group…which felt very, very much out of my league. But as it turned out, you could not ask for a nicer, more down-to-earth group of folks. The director of genetics is apparently a gourmet cook in his spare time, so he had prepared for us a fantastic Thai meal that was as good as anything I’ve eaten in a restaurant—so decadent and elegant! We had this lovely dinner together before getting down to business, and the doctors and other medical professionals there were just so warm and welcoming and friendly that I felt right at ease. (Actually, I’m hoping they invite me again sometime—it was fascinating to listen to their research on various topics related to Down syndrome!)

So as much as I’m sure Chris wasn’t overly thrilled to have me bug out again right after returning home, it was a good thing I went, and I had a great time. 🙂

We also had Theo’s first pack meeting of the year for Cub Scouts. Well, Chris and Theo did—I stayed home with Sam. I’m told the boys had a good time, and Chris may get roped into being the assistant Cubmaster for the pack. I’m hugely in favor of this because it would mean I’d get to see him wear his spiffy green Eagle Scout pants from high school. 😉 (Someday, I must share the story of when I learned Chris is an Eagle Scout. Only he might shoot me, because he doesn’t find the story nearly as amusing as I do!)

The boys have a campout in a couple of weeks, and Theo very much wants to go. Chris is on the fence. I told him Sam and I would graciously volunteer to camp here at the house. 😉 I don’t mind camping under the right circumstances, but camping with a whole bunch of seven-year-old boys…um, well, I can think of things I’d rather do. Anyway, camping will require us to actually buy camping gear, so we’ll see. At some point Chris would like to do it, but I don’t know whether that time is now. Camping gear doesn’t come cheap, and we’ve got a potential plumbing problem to fix….

Theo continues to enjoy his piano lessons. It’s funny—we’ve tried several different lessons of things for Theo. When he was very young, we did Little Gym. When he was a bit older, we tried soccer. And Taekwondo. And guitar. And Odyssey of the Mind. And Cub Scouts. And kids’ chess. And piano. And of all of them, piano seems to be the one he’s really taken to. He likes Cub Scouts, too, but motivating him to go is…challenging sometimes. But piano, he actually seems to look forward to. He doesn’t complain about practicing (yet! but maybe that’s because I only make him practice for short intervals several times a week), and he seems to have really taken to it. So we shall keep it up. I love watching him learn to play songs—he is actually picking it up pretty quickly. Very cool!

Our other weekday fun was on Thursday, when I took Sam to be a model at a local college’s physical therapy class. Sam’s PT is married to another PT who teaches at the college, and he asked if Sam could come be a model for his students, so they could see what working with kids with disabilities was like. On Thursday morning, it was a total booger-fest in our house, so I messaged Sam’s PT and asked if they still wanted him to come—and yes, they did. So off we went, with Kleenex in hand, and Sam just ate up all the attention from the PT students! He spent an hour showing off his skills and charming the pants off of everyone. That kid knows how to work a room! I was particularly delighted when I overheard one PT student say, “Wow, nice problem-solving skills!” Every time I hear that, I cheer inside, thinking of that one geneticist who told me that Sam would never be able to problem-solve. Proves you wrong, sir!

Our weekend fun included a trip for me and the boys to see Grandma Diane for her birthday. We took up brownies and flowers and visited her for the day while Chris stayed home and worked. Not a particularly fun day for Chris, but the boys and I had fun. 🙂

Anyway, time to sign off for the night. Hope you all had a great week!


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