Bites and Braces, Floods and Fussing, Dancing and Dinners

A week in our house usually feels like about a month and this last week was no exception.

If you ever want to give it a go I recommend attempting to juggle knives, on a sinking canoe, in the middle of a hurricane, while hoping you’re not completely screwing up the lives of six other humans while trying to pretend everything is fine, you know what you are doing, and that you have not noticed there are few life jackets in sight.

The early part of our week resulted in something we all dread, walking through our basement to discover there is water rising under our feet. NOOOOOOOO

Our air conditioner pump got clogged and had flooded half of our basement before we discovered it or solved the problem. If our basement was unfinished it would have merely been an annoyance but no such luck, the rooms that flooded were our bedroom and Alizé’s room. We are still working on drying everything out and while Alizé’s room (the only carpeted one) is a mess she has been camping on the couch with me. Now, usually our kiddos go to bed around 7pm and at almost 11pm the other night she was still going strong wanting to take selfies and laughing hysterically. Mama was flagging and is missing nights of good sleep but loving the snuggles.

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The other problem with our flood is that dealing with it has eaten up a lot of time that I was hoping to use to get everything organized and together for our school year. We are using the WinterPromise curriculum this year and although it is wonderfully laid out for the year I need to gather all my supplies, that are currently in about 12 different piles around the house. I also need to tweak the curriculum for our boys, neither of whom can do a traditional approach to education right now.

In the land of therapy it was also a busy week.

Damien was able to officially start Occupational Therapy, and it is already helping him and helping us with new ideas to use at home to help him navigate things. After a week of phone tag we were also able to nail down a time for Damien to start counseling to work through the remnants of trauma, something that will make a huge impact in his life.

Perry is doing tremendously well in his therapies. This week they worked hard with him to keep him in the present and work through real life scenarios. This is a huge challenge because he has an immense inner world, to rival Ally McBeal, and when he is challenged by something he retreats to the safety of his imagination. Unfortunately, all of his siblings did not fair as well in therapy.

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Caleb had a rough start to his therapy week, he struggled with both Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. He lost it quite a few times, and was particularly weak this week. Unfortunately, this was the week Caleb was going to get his new Chipmunk Braces, something I knew was going to be a challenge. Thankfully, we are starting small and easy, the braces fit directly into his shoes. They still had to be fitted and that is when things got a little hairy. As many Autism parents can tell you, it is not uncommon to be bit/hit and hugged within second of each other. While we tried to ensure the braces fit Caleb hugged me, screamed, and of course gave me some new bruises and teeth marks. He was able to rally though and although he was still having a lot of muscle weakness he did get around the hospital in his new braces, wobbly, but he did it. He was very proud of himself by the time we made it out to the Valet stand.

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Alizé did great at therapy this week, despite the adventures of our couch camp out and her entire schedule being off. She is becoming so chatty. This week she made her first utterance that had nothing to do with what was currently going on. While driving to therapy she started (her usual) yelling “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy”. Usually when I answer she either laughs and says nothing or yells her Ze-Ze talk. This time she yelled “I anna see Kaija”. When I told her she would see her cousin again in a few days she was overjoyed that I understood what she was trying to tell me. It is great having conversations verbally and amazing to watch when other people can figure out what she is trying to communicate.

Oliver just absolutely loves going to therapy. He would go every day if he had his way. Sadly for him, he has to wait for the second appointment when we go and he spends the entire wait trying to figure out how to get through locked doors or trying to stealthily sneak in with other people going back to the therapy rooms. He is slowly making progress with verbal communication but is really getting the idea of how communication works.

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There of course was still the usual events of a life with five young children. A life of amusement and exhaustion and nonstop adventure. Oliver and Alizé have been fighting like cats and dogs lately, and simultaneously both think I should hold them (but not the other) at all times. I spend most days prepping meals or doing tasks with fussing little ones trailing behind because Mama cannot hold us every second of the day. Caleb has decided he should wear slippers at all times, like he keeps getting very stinky feet because he will not take them off. Damien and Perry got their first taste of urban farming and fell in love. They got to do their first harvest of sweet peppers and tomatoes. They could not stop eating them. They were walking around eating peppers as if they were apples. Today we had two rainstorms and Damien cheered and ran to the windows to be sure the tomato plants were getting water. While Perry came to ask me about the veggies included in dinner and if we could plant them in our garden too.

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In adoption news, we officially have all of our paperwork gathered and next week we will be officially filing to make Kaitlyn’s adoption official. Our girl will officially be stuck with us forever. The boys are so excited about it. they are really the only ones old enough to understand it and they cannot contain their excitement. Damien asks almost every day when we will see Kaitlyn again and then he and Perry divulge into an argument over who has a bigger claim to her as a sister.

The weekend is coming and is going to be a busy one. When I look forward to next week I am sure it will be even crazier. Wish us luck.

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