Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mr. Mom

It's Sunday, and at our house that means pancakes. I work the griddle and flip the pancakes, Amanda pours the mix, the milk, and the oil and then mixes them with prejudice and violence. I also crack the eggs because Amanda is pretty heavy handed and that would make our pancakes a little too crunchy for our liking.

Amanda helps with most tasks around the house, in her own way of course. I do a lot of the ironing for the three of us. I play music on the Ipod and Amanda hands me hangers. Yesterday she discovered Beethoven, but normally I play smooth jazz on Slacker Radio. It doesn't take much to do ironing, especially with the new Shark iron we bought a few weeks ago. So it is a good time to visit as well as get things done. Yesterday I pressed 6 pair of paints and 7 shirts, this morning it was just 3 shirts. That should hold us for the week.

Amanda has also been know to help with the dishes. It is a little unsettling when she does this because we have to make sure all of the knives are put away before she dives into the project.

Yesterday I was cleaning the gutters, and as you can see, weekends are pretty busy around here, and Amanda brought me a big glass of gatorade. How she managed to bend a straw 7 different ways I will never know, but it was a very nice gesture.

Tina and Amanda re off buying baby clothes for Amanda's twins. She is in the mood to be a little mommy these days because of all the new babies that keep showing up, so she and Tina brought Bart and Lisa out of the closet. Yes, I had a major roll in naming the baby dolls.

I have to stop this blog now. The Colts and Jets are playing, and despite the fact that I am a Mr. Mom on the weekend, I do love football.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My wife

I seldom write about my wife on my blog for the simple reason, to describe her is beyond my abilities. But let me tell you just a little something about how fortunate I am.

A friend of ours had twin girls just over two months ago. Throughout the summer and fall of our friend's pregnancy Tina was there for her. She drove her to Little Rock and Shreveport to see specialists. She cleaned her home and helped her organize and prepare for the babies. She worked as much on this family as our own.

Now the babies are here and they are quite cute as most babies are. One is smaller than the other. A is bigger than G, and while most everyone is drawn to the loud round faced A, Tina is smitten with this little baby G.

G was twice the weight that Amanda was at birth and not any longer, but even still she scared a lot of people because she was just so small. Tina wasn't scared in the least. She held this tiny child as naturally as pediatric nurse. When Tina said that the baby was having stomach trouble, people took notice, when Tina said don't worry, people relaxed.

This morning Tina was out the door with our friend to help her get the babies their shots. Tina does this with a smile on her face and love in her heart. She is kindness.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

X-man unmasked

We were at my parent's house for dinner the other night and Mom's dachshund, the world's smallest hell hound, was barking. The sound of that animal just shoots right through my skull like a barbed spear. Tina spotted the look on my face, the look that says, "I can end this." She quickly pointed out to everyone at the table that I was about to snap. She knew that would calm me down because she just knows me. She then went on about how high pitched rhythmic noises drive me nuts.

She told stories about me battling with ceiling fan chains in the middle of the night and her father tapping a coffee cup while I was driving. I threw the cup out the window.

Then she told the family about the biggest offender:our microwave. She told them how I turn it off with 1 second to spare. But in my defense it beeps 4 times in 10 seconds. Each beep is pain in audible form. I turn it off for the sake of my sanity.

Then she popped off, "He even wakes up before his alarm so he won't have to hear it."

So much for being an X-man.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't care for the butterflies

I'm in Indianapolis tonight, Louisville, KY last night. My travel these days usually involves weekends, but since it's not like the old days I'm ok with it. I did my presentation for a customer's sales meeting and will be home tomorrow for Amanda's bowling night, which matters most.

Funny thing about travel. I always get the best rooms at the best rates when I'm only here for a night. When I have 3 days or more at a location I might as well be in my tool shed behind my house. But tonight, I have a suite at the Marriott in downtown Indy at a cheaper price than a Fairfield Inn by the airport. You just have to know who to talk talk too in this kind of situation, and my area salesman took great care of me on this trip. I'm kind of reminded of Mel Brooks from History of the World as Louis XVI, "It's good to be the king."

Anyway, to the airport in the A.M. and then home. It is one of the downsides of living in TXK, if we were in the DFW area or still in Houston, I would be home tonight. Of course there is the whole butterfly effect. If I never would have moved to TXK would I have Amanda? I can't imagine my life without her, so to hell with the butterflies, I'll be home tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sometimes I wonder

There are days where I wonder if I'm missing something because I'm on a different path. Being a parent of a special needs child really does make me a special needs parent.

Last night I watched the video of the Christmas play that Amanda was in last month. The school does a nice job of recording the production so the parents can actually watch, and not play cinematographer.

On stage were more than 100 kids who were reciting lines, singing and dancing. Amanda moved and danced some, didn't really try to sing, and mostly just had googlie eyes for the boy next to her. It was easy to see that Amanda was different than the rest of the kids. There is nothing wrong with being different, in fact she was the cutest one on the stage. But it did leave me wondering about the parents of the other kids.

Did these parents listen to there kids singing the same songs over and over again for weeks? Did they have to work the play into the rest of the family schedule because their other kids were doing other events?

We just have Amanda, so our world is isolated by her needs, abilities, and limitations, and while I don't begrudge her or anyone else these circumstances, I do wonder what it would be like to have baseball practice or scout meetings, camp outs and ski vacations where I had to work to keep up with a child instead of providing so much of her mobility.

Again, I'm not sad, just sometimes I wonder.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The way it is

Have you ever had a moment where one word allowed you to realize something you hadn't given any thought to before? Not quite an epiphany or even an eureka moment. Just a, "Well, crap, I never realized that until now."

It was yesterday morning. My family was getting ready for the day in my bathroom. The bathroom is quite large and we fit in it without difficulty and a lot of visiting goes on in the morning. Tina had finished Amanda's hair on her side of the bathroom and I was at my sink when she asked me if I wanted a particular hair product called "manipulator." I told her no. Then Amanda tried to say the word and it came out, "Many pooooooooh later." She has more than a speech impediment, but she is still understandable in most cases.

But I looked at her and I remembered something my father's younger brother told me when Amanda wasn't even two years old. He said, "You know, she is going to have a speech impediment. Just stick with it." This from a man who had what I would consider, normal and healthy sons.

Now the second thought which was almost simultaneous was about my mother's brother. He has a daughter who is nearly 30 years and has CP and other special needs. He has never spoken about it in regards to my own situation in any form other than one time that involved an inheritance issue.

For just a brief moment I mourned the missed opportunity. Then Amanda and I loaded up in my car and she went with me to make a sales call.

One of the reason's I blog so much about Amanda is I want people to know I am approachable about the subject. I'm accumulating a lot of experiences and even gathering some knowledge on the subject. If it can benefit someone else, I'm willing to share.
The more of us like that better off we all are.

Santa, we love that guy

Ah, Christmas!!!!!!!! It was a great deal of fun this year. Amanda loves Santa Claus. In fact she proclaimed in the grocery store as she was buying cookie dough, "SANTA MY FRIEND!!!!!"

Two years ago Amanda was up at 3:30 in the morning. I managed to keep in her in bed until 5 by answering the same question every 90 seconds, "Where Santa now?"

Last year she was up at 4:30 with a loud yell of , "Hey, I'm Up!"

This year she slept in, 5 a.m. She told me, "I'm not tired anymore."

Amanda doesn't ask for a lot for Christmas. But Tina explains it better than I do as to why she likes it so much. Tina says that Amanda just likes to be included. And that is a big deal for her. Santa makes a point of seeing her and that makes her feel special. In fact, if you ask her what she got for Christmas she can only tell you about the bath sponge, because Santa left that in her stocking.

Another upside to Christmas this year, besides the extra 30 minutes sleep, was that there wasn't any assembly required. I've assembled my fair share of toys, kitchens, Barbie jeeps (Not recommended for the visually impaired) and the what not. This year was easy breezy.

I hope every one else had a joyous holiday season. Now we are onto 2010.