Friday, January 8, 2010

Day Seven, Gift Seven

Wow!  I made it through my first week.  The original prescription of the 29 day challenge specifically states that if you miss a day, you have to start over.  That frightened me a bit since I've committed to a year.  But, I've gotten through the first week and I've learned quite a few things...First and foremost, you don't have to plan your gift!  Oh the opportunities just present themselves over and over throughout the day, even when I'm home more than most! In addition to not needing to stress about pre-planning, the gifts can be small and FREE and mean sooo much!  One of my readers gave her close parking spot away in the blustery winter of the Northeast!  What a gift to an unsuspecting recipient!

I had a pretty eventful day yesterday.  It was Tim's turn to get the kids on the bus.  We do homeschool but each of the kids have their own unique situation, Kaylee, 6, has decided to try public school this year, Abbey, 3, and Justin, 4, go to a special needs preschool three mornings per week for a couple hours, and Jamie, 7, goes to a special ed program full time with a one on one aide and surrounded by the most skilled therapists. Dakota is the only one that is 100% homeschooled. Anyway, this means three days a week, I have to get four of the children up and ready and on buses before 730am.  This was one of those mornings, however, Tim had said he would take a turn and get them all on the bus.  So I took my time going to bed and read and enjoyed a movie.  Well, when the morning came, Tim had a severe headache and asked me to get them ready...sigh...I could barely pull myself out of bed but I did it...I could tell either I did it or they were missing the bus (which has happened, by the way!)

So, my routine is I start with waking up Jamie and Kaylee who are roomates.  Jamie's bus comes at 715 and she is full special needs, so I focus on her and get her going with breakfast by 7am.  Kaylee pretty independently gets herself ready but she is sometimes sluggish and tired, she catches a ride with the neighbors at 735.  As soon as I have Jamie settled, I have to go get Justin, who is total care.  I have to get him cleaned up and dressed for the day, do his tube feedings, get him all adjusted in his wheelchair and covered in blankets, etc.  By now it is 720, Jamie is on the bus and Justin is snuggled up and waiting.  Now the real work begans, Princess Abigail.  The key, I found, is to dress her completely while she is still sleeping.  If you do this, you just might have a shot of getting her on the bus.  She also is not a "breakfast" person, so I give her orange juice and an oatmeal raisin cookie for breakfast.  I plop her on the bus and before she's even really woken up, she is off and going...sigh.  If you are wondering if I'm sweating at this point, the answer is YES.  This hour is the second most difficult hour of my day.  The first is right after school when everyone is piling in and pulling me in a million different directions, but I'll save that for another time.

On this particular day, Dakota, had homeschool enrichment that he needed to be dropped off at 830 and I had an MRI check in at 930.  Those of you who don't know Dakota, don't realize he is impossible to get out of bed.  Yes, I've tried every trick in the book, earlier bed times, pouring ice down his back, etc...nothing works.  So, my next challenge was to get him up and get myself showered by 825 to get him to his program on time.  I did...sigh...don't know how, but I did.  So my first gift, which was unplanned, was to deal with that and let my husband sleep.

During the whole morning rush, Kaylee had come down the stairs in her favorite jeans, they were a bit too short, but I was going to let that fly until the button on her pants started popping on every step.  "Sweetie, those ones are getting too small for you too..." I told her sympathetically, this was the third pair in a week!  She started crying, "I don't want to grow anymore!"...Considering her parents are 6'4 and 5'10, I don't suspect that she will stop growing anytime soon and I expect she will tower my 5'3 frame by the fourth grade.  I was able to convince her to change and decided for my gift today I would get her a few new pairs of pants that were really "stylish" as she is majorly into fashion.

Since our budget is so tight, I only shop at the high end consignment shop.  So in between waking up Dakota and getting in the shower, I feverishly dug through Justin's and Abbey's clothes to find things that no longer fit.  I planned to turn these items into the store for a credit and get Kaylee some new jeans after my MRI.  I also needed to get Abbey some new tap shoes as hers were squeezing her fat little feet.

OK, so I went to the MRI, it was a double one with contrast which meant I had to stay perfectly still for a couple of hours.  At first it was really hurting me, but eventually all my limbs went completely numb and I couldn't feel anything.  It took me a long time to be able to get back up off of the table and I was dizzy but it passed.  As I pulled out of my parking spot, a woman in another car smiled at me as if she was just so delighted to see me!  I thought, wow, that was such a kind gift and it really stuck with me.

I went to the consignment shop and found Kaylee several pairs of stylish pants and a couple tops that meet her schools dress code, a couple tops and pair of pants for Jamie, and a pair of PJ's and tap shoes for Abbey.  With my credit, the cost was only $31.  Kaylee was thrilled and we picked out her outfit and laid it out and we giggled about how her being the biggest meant she got the "new" clothes and the other girls got the hand me downs.  So, that was my gift today...hopefully, a little self esteem for Kaylee during this weird stage in her life where she is growing faster than any of us can keep up with!