...where have I been? I want to write. I need to write. I just haven't gotten the right time or mental space to put words to paper (or screen). In many respects, life around these parts has been "the same 'ole, same 'ole" mish mash of drama, normal, busy everyday life stuff for a family of 7. Here are some brief snippets:
1. Last week we went to Hilton Head, SC for a family vacation (just the 7 of us). It was a great week. The weather was gorgeous. The kids all had a blast (even E). We went to Savannah for the first time. It was fun to explore a new city together. Lots of gator spotting, turtle and anole catching and most importantly for all of us...good eating. K and I worked hard to make sure the kids knew this was a vacation for us too and tried to sleep in and not stress to much about how or when to feed the minions. He and I had a great week as a couple, reconnecting and having fun away from the normal stress. D got a pretty nasty jellyfish sting, which is still pretty inflamed a week later, but thank goodness this year we made it through injury free. I'll post pictures when I get a chance to download them off the camera.
2. School starts for our kids on August 26th. All of them are in pretty important grades this year. E being a senior and A and M in 8th grade, which is the last year at our school. D starts middle school and L will be in first grade. It's going to be an interesting juggling act to make sure they are all getting the attention they need. We are certainly not ready to go back, but I still have some time.
3. L has his first baseball practice today. He is soooo excited. It was the first thing he told the dentist yesterday. He is actually going to be on his cousin W's team with my brother-in-law (C's husband) as an assistant. We can walk to practice from our house and the head coach and one other player actually live on our street. Logistically this very easy, even though we're adding another practice to our schedule (he also plays soccer). We practiced last night with his new glove and I was once again reminded what an athletic little guy he is.
4. We went to CA's cabin in West Virginia for the day before the HH trip with everyone but M (who was at soccer camp). It was a really nice day for the most part. CA is much more relaxed in her own element. The boys had a great time--swimming in the lake, catching newts (a new species for A) and fence lizards, and smores. E was quiet and pretty moody. I just ignored it and tried not to let it effect the rest of us. In many ways I don't blame her...none of us really like her sisters with CA. Sigh.
5. Speaking of soccer camp, M went for 5 days with her new soccer team (we moved her to one closer to us--same club as boys). It was a much needed break for the rest of us. The boys were so cute dropping her off. D even gave her a hug and told her he loved her. L wouldn't let go of her legs. There were also bit of a celebration when she got home with lots of "I missed you so much" getting tossed around. I need to remind them all of this when they are at each other's throats in the future.
6. We finally have a diagnosis I think for my mom. She's actually meeting with the neurosurgeon as I'm writing this. They think her shunt system for her arnold chiari (put in 20 years ago) isn't working properly and is draining away too much spinal fluid, decreasing the amount around her brain. The doctors are pretty confident they can fix it. Crossing my fingers, but I'm really hoping to get normal mom back. She is understandably really nervous.
7. We are trying some new things with M this fall to deal with her anxiety and ADHD. It sounds counterintuitive, but we're actually reducing her therapy to every other week and dropping her tutoring to an "as needed" basis. The extra time after school was really stressing everyone, especially her out. I am going to really press school for better test taking accomodations for her. Both her therapist and tutur think it's a good idea, so we'll see. I'm hoping things with her will get better emotionally. We've been dealing with a lot of fake illnesses and injuries again. It's very tiring and the boys are starting to call her out on it, which isn't good.
8. How am I? I don't really know. I'm been having problems sleeping again, even on vacation, when I wake up in the middle of the night with major anxiety about all of our family issues--head racing, major butterflies in stomach and nausea. I'm trying hard to be more patient with the kids and K. I'm tired all the time and aren't necessarily eating well again. I still think about the accident and Jeanne a lot. My grief is still filled with anger, despair, pain and confusion. I still find myself crying during songs in the car. I miss my sister.
On the positive, though, I continue to get through life. We are still functioning as a family and for the most part, our house is filled with laughter and love. This is our life. This is my life. I just have to deal with everything the best I can.