What this blog is for, has changed in the nine years I've been writing it. For a while it was a log of what we were doing as a homeschooling family. For a while it was following where I was in terms of my life and faith. But all along it's been a place where I've recorded the stories of my family. What makes us...us. There are a thousand things our kids do that make us crazy, or make us laugh, and the truth is we'll forget most of it. But every so often I can look through back posts here, and remember moments that would have been lost forever if I hadn't written them down.
Reagan is 15 years old now. A Sophmore in High School, and an awesome kid. We banter a lot. It would look odd, I think, to people who don't know us, but we make each other laugh almost constantly when we're together. He's not ashamed of me. In fact, we're actually really close. His idea of a fun evening is hanging out with his friends and playing video games. So far he is not paying me back for the kind of teenager I was. But I'm sure someone else will...
Piper is 10 now. When I started this blog, she was still a baby. She's sensitive and has some of the issues with socialization and organization that we found with Reagan at the same age. She's got such a big heart, though. I struggle with wanting to protect it from everything, and trying to trust that it's big enough to survive the world.
Bridget is 8. Her birth was a blog post in February of 2004. My first blog-baby. She's kind of sensitive, but a lot tougher than Piper. She gets so sick of being the little sister. She's smart and capable, but we're finding we have to push her to really make her reach for her potential. She has an awesome teacher this year who will not let her get away with anything. Between her and me Bridget is going to learn and accomplish a lot.
Ciaran is 6. My rainbow baby is sometimes the one I worry most about. I know that there are plenty of functionally Autistic adults. But I can't see the future, and Ciaran is, in so many ways, still a mystery to me. I can't get behind his eyes the way I can with my other kids. I do a lot of following his lead and hoping he'll show me what I need to know.
Quinn will be 5 next month, and he's desperate to read. We've started Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and he loves it. He's kind of bossy, but also very loving and sweet. I think sometimes he feels he has to be the responsible one, since Ciaran isn't.
Brennan is 3, and he's our family joker. I vote him most-likely-to-become-a-stand-up-comedian. That kid will do anything to make you laugh, and if you do laugh, he'll do it again and again, cracking himself up in the process. His smile is infectious. He sometimes gets away with more than he should because the cute is too much. But it never saves him when he wants it to.
Liam is 16 months old. Wow. He smiles and laughs and is addicted to patty-cake. I am his monkey, and when he sees me he starts clapping and won't stop till I do it with him. Me? I'm a sucker and now do patty-cake probably 100 times a day. There are things he's not doing. Things I'm sure we'll need to work on. But he's here. He's here and he sees and he's not having seizures like a lot of babies do after encephalocele removal. So, anything he does means more to me. Each new skill is a triumph over the fact that he shouldn't even be here. They say that only 1 in 5 babies with an encephalocele makes it to birth and that 75% of those are profoundly delayed. But without the surgical techniques which have been developed over the last century, and without the shunts which were only invented in the 50s, an encephalocele would be 100% fatal, and if not the 'cele, surely the hydrocephalus. So, he doesn't walk yet, and he's not talking. But he plays patty-cake with me, and sometimes that alone makes me want to cry for joy.
Dominic has lost about 45 lbs. in the last few months and is working really hard on becoming healthy so he can stay around and help my with our crazy circus. I'm so grateful and in love with my husband.
This is a snapshot of my family, and where they are right now. I wonder how it will change, even in just a year...