Friday, February 26, 2010

Bucket List.....

Visit as many of the wonders of the world as I can ( I have seen the Grand Canyon many times, and I have been to Stone Henge so far)
Do Humanitarian work in either Africa or South America
See stem cell therapy become approved treatment for children (any adults) with Cerebral Palsy
Parent a child(ren) (through adoption) that may not otherwise had the oportunity to have a forever family.
Play the bagpipes
Have a honeymoon
Build a house on our land
See my son outlive anything the doctors could have predicted
Get my degree, either in nursing or special ed
Push my grandchildren through Hyde Park in a 1967 Wilson high coach pram
Be to the point where we are completely self sufficient (other than Ethan's ongoing medical needs)
Spend a whole day where I don't have to worry about anything or anyone, maybe relaxing in the hammock and read a book uninterrupted.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Special Angel Girls, Special Angel Boys....

So I was very motivated this morning....I got up from infront of the computer and washed the dishes and started working on getting the kitchen tidy'd so that when Nancy comes today, she can focus on the rest of the house rather than the kitchen sucking up all her time....also I wanted to have a clean place on the kitchen table to set up my sewing machine and get a few projects done.

THEN...

I decided that I would just check my email because I am having a problem with a litter of rabbits which I would really like to get solved ASAP, then I noticed something was wrong with my blog feed on facebook....then I found another blog....a blog about special needs adoption, something my husband and I have been working on. But this one had a photolisting for kids with Down's....oh how I would love to bring all of them home. As it happens, my husband would like to focus on children with CP like our oldest son, but I have such a soft spot in my heart for these sweet little kids. Not to mention that they were all international adoptions, and I have next to nothing to spend on an adoption. I have a big heart, but a tiny pocket book like so many in these difficult economic times....and without subsidies, an international adoption would be impossible. I guess I just need to push forward with our current plan and finish our homestudy for a special needs fost/adopt right here....but if I won the lottery (pretty impossible as I don't play) I would be bringing home atleast three or four of those sweet faces home to be a part of our family.

I guess I had better get back to what I was doing :-(

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nesting....

No, I am not necessarily talking about that period of time when you clean like mad just before giving birth.....nor am I talking about rabbits. I am talking about that perpetual need to nurture and the pursuit of being “the perfect parent”....which by the way is a pretty UNREALISTIC goal. But for me it is a kind of madness, stemming from a broken childhood riddled with difficulties, a way of healing my own scares by providing them with the love and nurturing I still feel I was shorted when I was growing up. But I love my children with such intensity I can not contain it inside of me, and I find that I love them more and more each day. I have worked VERY hard on open communication, something that was crucial for me, and also very difficult because I DID NOT have this when I was a child and it damaged me....finding someone I could actually talk to was key in finding a companion I could spend the rest of my life with....and something I have found in precious few individuals....less than I can count on one hand in fact! I did not want my children to feel silenced like I did....and they don't, we talk about everything, and I hope they never stop. The other mania in my life is that I MUST NOT EVER forget one of my children, I never want them to feel alone, or invisible, or like they don't matter. This would just be the end of me, reminding me that though I seem strong, and feel safe that I am ever so vulnerable.....and it doesn't help that I am a bit absent minded and that I am not very focused most of the time. Sometimes I look back at my own life growing up, and I feel like the baby rabbit that was born on the wire floor of the cage instead of that warm and cozy nest surrounded by the safety and security of my family.....and I have made my whole environment around me that nest so that one of my babies could not possibly even find their way to that cold harsh place. Thank goodness for fathers...because I am so aware of our need in our family for that balance....I am just so frightened of falling short in some way because they are my life now, the life I have chosen for myself.....so I pluck my own fur and discard my own discomforts to make sure this environment is ideal for raising happy and healthy children the best way I know how....and while I know I fall short in so many ways I have every faith that there is always someone there making up for what I am not able to do and I thank you for that, this was never meant to be a job for just one....

Forgotten Child....

Innocence lost
Never remembered
Vulnerable but hard as stone
Insecurity masked
Self reliant by necessity
Artistic by divine calling
Black sheep
Lost
Ever searching for a way back

Monday, February 22, 2010

An end to a very successful breeding season...

Three out of the four litters due today have arrived....Without taking all babies out of nest boxes for a final count we have litters of 7, 6 and 5...just waiting for Georgia to deliver her second litter for this breeding season to get our final baby count. We started off 12/31 with a litter of 8 netherland/holland cross, 1/1 with 6 Thriantas. Mid January we had two litters of Lionheads 4 and 4 as well as 4 angora cross. Early this month our other Thrianta Brigid had a litter of 9 and has 8 surviving kits. This past Friday there were 11 Netherland/Holland crosses born so that makes the count for this year to 66 plus whatever we find in Georgia's nest box tomorrow or Wednesday! We are going through food about four times as fast as usual right now....so glad it only lasts for a few months each year!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happiest Boy in the WORLD!


It is a very special day for Ethan, and he is OVER THE MOON happy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Return to the innocence

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with the mother of a very wonderful and special little girl. This little girl took it upon herself a few years ago to befriend my son, despite the fact that he was very different to anyone else, when most children her age would have just pointed and stared and maybe just said "what's wrong with that boy." But this little girl was able to look past the wheelchair, the drool, the smelly diapers, the funny way he moved and couldn't control it and the fact that he didn't talk. This sweet little girl always made a point of including my son, and helping him in any way she could, even if it meant she wasn't able to get her own work done. In that first grade year, these two sweet children developed a very special relationship, that was deeply missed and never forgotten when this little girl went on to second grade and Ethan stayed behind to give him more opportunity to learn to ready....but he left her with a gift, a symbol and a reminder of their friendship, and she has never forgotten and her mom has never forgotten and wants their story to be told....and while talking to this young girls mother about the experience these two small children had at just 6 and seven years old, and marveling at how accepting this little girl was and how special this relationship was, and how much it taught everyone around them, something was said about how we need to find a way to teach others and society these pure and precious concepts of love and acceptance that these two little children had for each other. I began to contemplate why and how things change as we age, and to try to remember the magic of my own world when I was a young child, and what changed, why we loose that innocence.

There is a magic of sorts in the innocence of youth, something very special that is somehow lost along the way as we age, why does this big magical world HAVE to grow smaller and smaller and smaller until it is no longer there at all.....as grown ups, why can't we see the big picture? What if there was a way? A way to bring back this mystical wonder of innocence. When I was growing up, my brothers and I like to play a fantasy role playing game and it designated that all children were of a selfish alignment, and while children do tend to be self indulging, I am not sure if I agree with this, my experience as a parent to my own children is they are all basically good, scrupulous if not principled.....now, in a few years when I have four teenagers, perhaps I might sway towards the opinion that they are anarchists, but for now, I have been amazed at how selfless, and cooperative young children are and how eager to please, learn, and do good....perhaps this is self serving as they are motivated by praise and reward? I don't think so. Through these delightful little creatures I get to briefly taste and experience and REMEMBER the magical world I once lived in, the world that was so vast and so full of wonder and hope, and goodness. Why do I think this happens? I will tell you.

Disillusionment....not that I think I was sheltered from something bad until a certain age than then let loose in an evil world, though sometimes it can seem that way, but rather growing up requires that one takes on more responsibility for one's self, and this means that we learn that not everything is good around us, we are exposed to harsh realities, like the fact that there are people in this world who do bad things....or should I say we are bombarded by this as 9 out of 10 stories on the news or in the media are about negative or “bad” things, adult emphasis seems to hover around things that are shocking and terrifying. But rarely do you hear about all the good going on around you, after all a neighbor helping out a neighbor is not news, but your neighbor getting robbed is....BAD has a louder voice than GOOD. Which was not the case as I can remember from before the age of ten....I would ignore the scolding (or at least forget shortly after) but the praise sang in my ears for days and even weeks or months, squabbles between friends were quickly forgotten, but friendships were treasured.

Community....or lack there of. As we grow older and have to depend on ourselves to pay the rent, put food on the table and pay every other bill that comes with adulthood, there is rarely the same kind of support system that was so readily available as a child. As a child I had parents, siblings, friends, teachers, neighbors all looking out for me....but when I became an adult....so did my friends and my siblings, my teachers duties to me were long over and I moved away from parents and neighbors. And all the other adults are focused on the same thing as me....working and paying bills and it TAKES A LOT OF TIME, and unless we step back and make time, we are pretty alone, and a community is not very effective with individuals working only to achieve this mundane task of survival....perhaps if we could use bees as an example, all working together for a common good, they spend time together, help each other and look out for each other.....this is what community is, and what we lost after childhood was gone.....and it can be quite a shock.

Perspective....a change of focus on the small and simple things to the complicated and BIG picture, which is overwhelming and difficult to look at much of the time, which brings a plethora of disturbing things, like depression, loss of self worth, and over all hopelessness.

Poisons....physical and mental, this will be very difficult to accept for some, but take it in and ponder it deeply before you dismiss it. From the time we are born our parents or caregivers are incredibly conscience of what they put in to our bodies and minds. We are fed nutritious foods and our minds are nurtured with principles, education (generally we are not raised listening to profanities and adult themed or violent movies or drinking alcohol and eating fast food at every meal). But at 17 you are suddenly bombarded with the ability to access adult (generally unwholesome) material, at 18 you can legally by poison for your body in the form of cigarettes and a couple years later you can buy alcohol....all of the above things provide an immediate, but short lived and false sense of “feeling good”. But it is a LIE and it can be so dangerous....AND these things tend to be very addictive. How many times as a child were you told to eat your vegetables that they will help you grow big and strong, and that smoking is bad for you, and alcohol is addictive and can make you do stupid things, but suddenly, when you are an adult it is ok? And it is a perpetual downhill spiral if you get hooked on these poisons, and the more involved you get with them, the weaker and weaker you get and the harder and harder it is to break away from the temporary feel good you get, because you feel SO BAD when you don't have them that the tiny little “high” moment is so euphoric compared to the darkness you feel when the poisons are not there....and they have claws and those claws are excruciatingly painful when you try to break away.

Charity....or lack of. This small and simple thing is probably the greatest contributing factor at steeling the magic of innocence. And it goes hand in hand with community. Service is essential to human kind and the human spirit. It benefits all parties involved. We spend an incredible amount of time as parents teaching our children to share....only to forget to share ourselves. Give your time, share your talents, help each other, the blessings are so beyond measure. Do this in the quiet of your soul, be watchful and mindful and you will see opportunities all around you everyday, and it can be as simple as smiling and saying hello to a passing stranger, who unknowing to you just needed to know that someone out there acknowledged that they exist, or volunteer to read a story to a child who is in the hospital, ill and frightened to be away from the safety of home. Go through your possessions and donate something you no longer need, serve food to the homeless.....there can be angels among us, but only if we open our hearts and our minds to be those angels. Even the small and simplest thing can have an impact much greater that we will ever realize.....the stranger you smiled at now has hope and that hope turns in to an act of kindness to another and that other person's faith in human kind was restored and they came up with an idea, which they shared with a co-worker, and that co-worker expanded on that idea and founded a charitable organization, and that organization gave thousands a means to help millions....all from a simple smile, that cost nothing just a fleeting moment of time and a little courage. AND you felt great and your spirit was uplifted because when you smiled and said hello, the stranger smiled back and also said hello....and it snowballs, those that are on the receiving end of an act of kindness are much more likely to return the favor to someone else....and then the magic happens. Children have such giving spirits, they are less worried about feeling silly for doing something that cheers another soul, they are born with a strong desire to learn and help each other....are we just burned out be the time we reach adulthood?

So how do we get beyond all these things? Would we then be able to experience the magic that was so available to us in our youth? I don't know, but I think it is worth a shot....the worst thing that could happen is we might be a little happier, maybe a bit healthier, maybe a little more productive and perhaps a better society....only time will tell, but first you've got to close your eyes, and look deep into your soul and then take a leap of faith and acknowledged the unknown and imagine all the possibilities and then reach for them and never stop.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Five years....

video

Amazing that this teeny tiny little baby who arrived so early became this five years later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meet the Weaslys


When my eight year old son, Ethan, was told that he was going to have his wish granted by the Make A Wish foundation, there was no question on what his wish would be based upon. He had two passions: Harry Potter and his Thriantas. Ethan's first wish was to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and his second, or back up wish, was to have a air conditioned bunny barn built for his Thriantas. Since being told by Make A Wish that he would get to go to Florida for his 9th birthday to wander Hogsmeed Village and roam the halls of Hogwarts School, my husband and I got started on his dream home for his rabbits.

In a search for a hobby that our son, who was wheelchair bound, limited in speech, but not short on his love for animals, we began looking into showing rabbits. Ethan looked through all the breeds on the ARBA website and looked at what was available to us locally. Ethan was very insistent that he have “the red rabbit”, so I went and picked up our first Thrianta, who Ethan named Prince Lucian. During that first few months we were able to “train” him to sit on Ethan's lap while we pushed Ethan in his wheelchair, attend a few shows, where he claimed some blue ribbons and BOB certificates (as we had the only Thrianta) boosting Ethan's confidence and self esteem.

Thriantas were not always easy or rewarding. Our first two does did not want to care for their first litters and we lost one entire litter and saved two from the other litter, hand raising until another doe was able to foster when she kindled a week later. Then our summer heat in AZ claimed all but two, a buck and a doe. Resulting in Ethan's wish for an air conditioned bunny barn.

On New Years day, Ethan's new doe delivered her first litter. Thankfully she has been an excellent mother and is now working on weaning six healthy and spirited bunnies we affectionately call “the Weasley's”. Four ginger haired boys named Charlie, Fred, George, and Ron and two girls called Molly and Ginny, so named for a family of red heads from Ethan's favorite Harry Potter stories.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Special Valentine



My sweet husband surprised me with this for Valentine's this year. I haven't played in over 15 years, but it is coming back to me slowly. Now my kids all want an instrument so we can "all be in a band". They can all be happily playing a networked game on their DSi's but the minute they hear me start to play you can bet they will be out in a minute. I think my Cello is SO BEAUTIFUL and I hope that with time and a lot of practice I can play the first song on my playlist....maybe half as good as Yo-Yo Ma!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Have you ever noticed.....

How amazing dinner cooking smells on Fast Sunday??????

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ethan's Wish

I don't think I ever posted on what Ethan finally decided on for his "WISH". It was not an easy process to determine just what Ethan wanted....he changed his mind rather frequently....but when he heard that they were building a Harry Potter Theme park, that was it. So for Ethan's 9th Birthday we will be in Orlando wandering Hogsmeade Villiage and wandering the halls of Hogwarts. Yesterday evening I got an email that the Universal Studios site had been updated, and I think I am almost as excited about this vacation as Ethan is! Click the link below to learn more about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/

A Brighter Day

Sometimes I wonder how my husband knows just what I need to pick me up. I had been missing listening to my music....and having decided I AM NOT technology savvy because I can not figure out this iPod thing and I could never hope to hook up the stereo that has not been set up since before Thanksgiving when we re-arranged furniture. So last night, while I was playing Monopoly with the kids, Terry brings out the iPod with headphones attached with the latest Enya and Loreena Mckinnit loaded on it for me. I needed that so much, I could feel the stress just leaving me as I relaxed even if it was just for a little while. Music is so vitally important to the soul. At least I have woken up in a better mood and ready to get some much needed work done!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dark Side

So it has been one of those days....or several days, were despite all my efforts, my mood is dark. I am upset about Ethan's condition, and that doctors have not returned phone calls and emails so that I might get help with treatment options, I am upset with the doctors/nurses/hospital etc. that left him in this condition. I am upset that my own family is not here for me, and more supportive. I am upset that we are half a world away from my husband's family. I feel alone in this, despite the fact that my husband and children are all here loving me and supporting me. I have tried to distract myself from this mood by charitable service, attending church meetings, making treats with my daughter, making dinner for a friend who has not been feeling very well, trying to loose myself in my passions (sculpting, rabbits and gardening) but to no avail, so I am hoping that writing about it, might, in some small way help. Truly, I am thankful for the numerous blessing I have. I really need to kick this mood so that I can get on with things that need to be done, for myself, for my family and for our future.