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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Semmes' birthday party

Semmes had a really fun birthday party!  It really happened... a month ago.  We had a puppy-themed party, which was perfect for him, as his love of dogs has not diminished.

For his cake, we did a cake that looked like dog food.  Like, people really thought it was dog food.  It was pretty amazing.  We also did cupcakes with little dog toppers.

For snacks, we had "fetch sticks" (pretzels)...

...and puppy chow.

For the thank you party favor, we made dog bone and dog shaped cookies.  We put them in Pet Smart treat bags that our local Pet Smart donated.  

We had the party at our church, which has a really nice playground.  So for the inside, all I had was a bucket of balls to play fetch with.  Semmes loved this.

The birthday banner that I made for Cooper's first birthday and has been used at every party since.

Hanging with grandpa.  This was the only picture I took of people.  We don't even have one of the family or us with Semmes.  Parenting fail.

See what I mean?  LOVED the balls.

Cooper had a really good time at the party.

Lastly, Semmes loved his cupcake much more than his smash cake.  It was the perfect size for him and he devoured it.  Yummy!

The aftermath:

And that's all I've got.  Really, it was a whole lot of fun.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the guests, but I can only do one thing and I wanted to be present, you know?  Plus, we didn't have presents (I definitely don't need another baby toy or any boy clothes).  Instead, we had people bring a donation for a puppy in need.  We delivered everything (my car was filled with stuff) to the Pulaski County Humane Society.  They were surprised and happy by the big donation and the fact that it came from a one-year-old's birthday.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mom Identity

There are many things I need to blog about (you know, like Semmes' birthday party that happened almost three weeks ago), but time is in short supply.  However, I was talking with a friend yesterday morning and we were discussing how we almost can't remember who we were before we were moms.  It seems like so much of our identity has been lost to the needs of our very young children.  And for me, this goes a step further.  I am not just a mom; I am a mom of a child with special needs.  Sometimes, it seems that 99% of my time, my thoughts, and my efforts go toward my children.  Semmes is in the throes of separation anxiety; not even Brad can make him happy much of the time.  He needs his mommy ALL THE TIME.  I know that this is a short season of his life and in some ways it does make me pretty happy, especially when he sees me across the room, throws his hands up in the air, and moves as fast as his little legs will let him go toward me (I would say run, but that would esteem the movement).  And with Cooper, it seems like there is always a doctor's appointment, or a medicine to give, or his oxygen levels need to be monitored, or he's crying for absolutely no reason, or he's overwhelmed and needs to go off by himself and lay down.  You know, things that normally aren't on the mind of a mom of a three and half-year-old.

In many ways, being a mom will always be a big part of my identity.  Obviously.  But as my children get older and need me less and go off to school and become their own little selves, I will be less needed and will less identify that way.  Except for Cooper.  I will always be needed with Cooper.  And I will always be a mom of a special needs child as much as I am right now.

At book club last night, we were talking about how strange it is for us to realize that our parents were PEOPLE before they were parents.  They had relationships, opinions, lives.  And I think it takes having a child of your own to really realize that.  Because you know that you were a person before you were a mom and you know that being a mom isn't 100% of you.  But when your children are young, it's hard to remember that.  Some days it's all I can do to keep my head above water.

Anyway, those're my ramblings for the day.  As soon as I get the party pictures off of my camera, I'll do a post about that.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Awesome things

My kids are awesome.  And they're doing lots of new things.  Semmes is waving goodbye and clapping when you tell him "good job" or say "yay!"  But the best (and cutest thing) is when you say, "Hello," he holds his hand up to his ear like it's a phone.  I must talk on my phone around him too much...

He has also started pointing at things when we ask him where they are: Cooper, me, Brad, and the catfish on the wall.  We have a folk art catfish on the wall between the living room and the kitchen and Semmes is obsessed with it.  No matter where he is in the house, he will point in the right direction when you ask him where the catfish is.

Cooper is doing lots of great things too.  He has discovered his feet and wants to play with them all the time.  At night, he grabs our arms and pulls himself toward us so he can snuggle (awesome).  In general, he has been in the best mood lately which is wonderful.  He smiles at people and is much better at acknowledging when people are around, especially "his people"  He still says "mama" all the time, but lately he's been saying "nonono" and shaking his head when he's doing something he doesn't like.  

Feeding wise, we're working on Cooper realizing that having food in his mouth is an enjoyable thing.  Se we're feeding him frosting.  And he loves it... as long as it's not on a spoon.  Baby steps.

The funniest thing that Cooper has done lately was yesterday.  We were at a friend's birthday party.  Everyone was outside on the playground and it was a little chilly and there were a lot of people around, so I think he was a little bored and a little overwhelmed.  So he went to sleep in my arms.  Or at least, that's what I thought he did.  But as soon as I put him down in his car seat, he opened his eyes and started laughing.  Little trickster: he faked sleep so we would leave!  This is not outside of his range of abilities; he's faked sleep during therapy for years.  Oh Cooper, he really keeps me on my toes!