On this day of thanks, I wrap up a discussion of some of the things that keep us going in our new life...
Nov. 19. Being self-employed
Mostly, this started out as a way to not have to pay for day care. I could work from home and be with Elyse when she was born. So I opened Linzey Appraisal Associates, LLC in July of 2007, just weeks before Elyse arrived. Little did I know how important it would become that I have a means of contributing to the household income and still be in control of my schedule. Anabelle arrived with her own agenda, that includes regular visits with 8 different doctors, weekly visits from 4 different therapists, and the countless hours needed to accomodate phone conversations with insurance companies, medical and equipment supply companies and doctors' offices. Not to mention the times when we have no nursing, or, God forbid, she should require hospitalization. It would simply not be possible for us to hold regular 9-5 jobs and properly care for Anabelle's needs. So, I am very grateful that I already had a business with a small, but reliable set of contacts and humble reputation to keep us going.
Nov. 20. Sushi
Never failing to cheer me up, always guaranteed to get a friend to accept a lunch date! On the expensive side, but also a much healthier comfort food that chips or ice cream, I am thankful for the wide variety of sushi vendors available in my area. Now if only they could figure out how to make a discount sushi that wasn't scary...
Nov. 21. Facebook
I trepidaciously add this to my list, because, over all, I do agree with my husband that social networking sites are going to be the downfall of modern society. How many marriages have you seen crumble over it? How many times have you seen people say things on Facebook that they would NEVER DARE say to your face? However, that being said, in my new time-sucking life, without Facebook, I would never talk to ANY OF YOU. I would be so out of touch with what is going on in anyone's life, as I rarely get to see anyone, and phone conversations (unless they are with a doctor's office or insurance company) are a luxury. It really helps keep the isolation bubble from closing around me when I can spend a few minutes each day and keep up with what's going on "out there", and maybe even exchange a few words with friends (I mean conversation, not the game ;) ). Facebook has also allowed me to connect with a lot of other special needs families with kids who share Anabelle's conditions and who know what it means to live our life. They have also helped save her life many times over with suggestions and advice when the doctors have failed. So while I'm sure that one day, a horse-riding monkey will be standing on a beach staring at the head of a Mark Zuckerburg statue, today, I am thankful for Facebook
Nov. 22. Bunnies
Anyone who has been to our house is familiar with the family of bunnies who live in our yard. We are on the 3rd generation now, since we've moved in. They are not your typical brown wild bunnies. No, these bunnies are apparently descendant from pet bunnies who were let loose one day long ago. They are white, black, grey and orange. They are so docile that many will eat out of your hands, and a few have even gotten so brave as to run up to you and prop their paws up on your leg looking for food whenever you come outside. The only time Elyse does not argue about eating her carrots is when she can sit outside and share them with the bunnies. It has been a real treat to watch this bunny family evolve over the past few years. I will miss them when we have to move.
Grey mommy, white daddy, orange uncle (a littermate of white daddy's) and two orange babies
Nov. 23. Daddy
I'm not talking about my own daddy, although I am surely thankful for him as well. I am talking about the daddy of my daughters, otherwise known as my husband. Here is a man who grew up with only brothers, playing sports and video games, watching Star Trek and football, reading comic books. He is now the braider of pony hair, painter of toenails, "best pony-tailer" (and only one allowed to touch Elyse's hair), and purchaser of tiny dress shoes. And his highly refined contracting skills have now made him designer of sensory play stations, adjuster of wheelchair and master of all medical equipment. My girls are very lucky to have a daddy who would give up anything to give them the best lives possible
The day "Brian" became "Daddy"
The Hiccup Whisperer: only one who could get rid of baby hiccups with a patented rhythmic back-patting technique
Up all night, building yet another toy
Daddy and his girls
Nov. 24. Sisters
I never had a sister, so when I found out I was pregnant with my second girl, I was actually a little upset, because it meant that Elyse was about to engage in a life-long relationship that I had absolutely no basis of understanding for. I have a wonderful brother, but there has always seemed to be something so mystical about the relationship between sisters. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to relate to my girls, because such a big part of their life was going to be something I could never fully understand. As it turns out, of course, that fear was DRASTICALLY UNDERSTATED. What Elyse was about to experience was so much more unique than I could ever have imagined. And yet now, I could not be more grateful that my girls are sisters. That mystical bond is magnified ten-fold in their bond. Something so special, really unspeakable, exists between them. And I truly feel that this bond would not have existed, to this extent, if one of them had been a boy. Without the magical bond of sisterhood, I don't believe Elyse would ever have adjusted as well as she has to our new life.
So, there it is. A month-long peek into what keeps me going each day. The people, places and things that make our new life manageable and let us keep LIVING, instead of just surviving