Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today I am blessed!!!!

I wonder sometimes if it us, our hormoneS, our brains, and our viewpoints that decide how we look at things or is the outside world that influences us most.

Today I have to assume it is us, or me to be more precise, because today, even though every thing is not peachy keen,(in fact far from it) I am happy.

My sister is struggling with the fact that her life might be shortened due to a cancer her body is fighting with all it's might, yet today I chose to overlook the fact that they found hot spots in her brain and that she will have radiation to eliminate them and instead I concentrate on the positive. The fact that it could be so much worse. They caught it early, it has not metastasized, she is young and her body can better fight it, and she will be around to welcome her first grandchild into the world:)Brings me hope for those days ahead.

Second I always worry about Keaton and today I am very at ease about him. Yesterday he went to a bday party with trepidation because they where going to Victoria Gardens, to walk around, something that makes him nervous because it is new. he had a blast and "laughed the whole time there". What was even more gratifying was the comments about Keaton from some of the parents at the BBQ afterward and the kids who he hung around with. They praised Keaton for his quick wit, his manners and his ability to make them laugh. The boys are ones from his soccer team a few years ago and are two to three years older then him, yet all I heard and saw from them was mutual respect and friendship. I have realized that I need to take keatons opinion more often. He knows the kids he fits in with and were he feels comfortable. Even though I know Keaton's I.Q. is high. I worry because of his inability to learn in the meaner that most kids do I worry that information we be lost to him. However I have seen how this week implementing the rigYht learning environment can allow Keaton to excel. I am so excited for his future and my abyility to see it clearly.

Lastly, today I got to spend some early morning time with Kellan as he got ready to go to the academic decathlon. Usually, it would make me realize how short amount of time we have together before he goes away to college. Today it just reminded me how lucky I have been to have him all these years. I enjoyed the fact that he still took my opinions to heart and was thankful for them. When he came home, he told me everything that occurred, just as he does everyday when he gets home from school, but sometimes I took take advantage of what a gift this is. Hearing him want to tell me all the details was like receiving a rare jewel. At the end he stated that his English teacher reminds him so much of me. When I asked him why he said she is smart, easy to talk to and a good listening and (this is Kellan) she is short.

Today I am so blessed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Many things have resolved this week, some of which I never thought would be resolved, for this I am very grateful, but I also realize some things are just a part of my life, my brain wiring, and from these I may never be totally at ease.

This week I was directed by a friend to a blog of a woman whose daughter has NLD. She writes so eloquently and I feel her pain for I have felt it too, as a dr she knows the reality of her daughters disability, but as a mother she aches every day for her inability to make things better. Reading her blog has made me realize I am not alone and also has made me realize how lucky I am that Keaton is very dis-similar to her daughter. It got me thinking that perhaps Keaton's disability, which I know is caused by his hydro, may not be the typical NLD, but one that has more to do with hydro issues vs genetic. As I dug deeper and researched it more, I found that many drs feel the same way.

Imagine my surprise when I complimented her on her blog and mentioned that Keaton hydro had contributed to his issues, and she responded that she too had a son born with hydro. When discussing it further we realized that our stories from pg thru birth are almost exactly alike, down to what drs told us and how amazing our ysbo are doing now. They even both have hyper sense of smell and very easy gag reflexes. At first, I was sad that even though they were so much alike her son( who is several years younger then Keaton) has no issues, yet Keaton does. But as we continued our conversation, I realize that perhaps they are very similar and that she only compares him to her daughter and that her son is more normal then different. It made me see Keaton has more normal than different and I was able to finally put his issues in perspective. Learning will be harder for him, but he does not have many of the trade marks or severity of other kids with NLD. I now believe in Keaton's issues being more about how he learns, oral and verbal learner, and that he can learn anything if presented right and repeated enough. This can be seen in how quickly and well he is learning to fly.

She was also able to give me medical information, such as the fact that kids with ventriculomegaly(a term I have never heard of and different than hydro because it is just enlarged ventricles, with no genetic or physical reason why, which is what Keaton has), tend to do very well. She also led me to sites that shows that nothing I could have done would have contributed to it. A guilt that has been haunting me ever since Keaton's second grade teacher suggested it.

This revelation allows me to look at things different. Such as this week when Keaton's soccer coach gave him the award for most versatile player and awarded him the player who put forth the most effort, I was proud of him and felt the coach had gotten him just right. But Keaton was disappointed. Why? because he would have rather gotten the friendship award, which would mean he attracted friends "like magnets". Usually I would worry that he was having trouble with friendships, but this experience with Kris and her blog allowed me to see it in a different light. Keaton does make friends, true he is harder to get along with then some kids, due to his black and white personality and loud voice, but he is also easier then others. At the same age, his brother, who is Mr. Social today, also had the same difficulties.

Then,when Keaton was hurt, emotionally and physically, by someone he thought was a friend this week, I was able to go to the parents and express how hurt Keaton felt, when usually I would have questioned his involvement. This showed me how wrong I had been towards him. And when the parent of the other child started to blame Keaton, I could, with certainly, know that the story Keaton gave me was the truth.

So, even though this has brought me some piece of mind, I still realize that it is all on my shoulders to make sure Keaton succeeds in the goals he wishes to. The weight of making sure this happens and that I don't over do things, nor under do things is sometimes overwhelming. What is too much or what is not enough? This will always haunt me as teachers look at me in annoyance when I ask for extra information to help him. or even from himself when he would rather be out playing soccer then reading "that" story one more time to give him better comprehension.

So even though I have resolved so much, I still ache over my inability to make it better for Keaton, just like Kris does.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Christmas Story

The "season" has come and gone and looking back I can say that although it was not the most enterprising year, it was the most relaxing year, due to a number of factors.

First, usually the day after Thanksgiving I start whining about getting the Christmas tree. We leave for Mammoth the day after Christmas and thus take it down Christmas night, so if I am going to put the work in by decorating it, I also want to enjoy it. But this year I decided not to push it. A week before Christmas my hubby asked me when we would get the tree, and I stated that we were not, due to the time constraints and the work involved. He stepped up to the plate and organized our tree expedition. The four of us rode the two tractors and hay wagon, down the middle of Archibald and picked out the cheapest, but still nice, tree we could find. It was a wonderful experience that I hope will become a tradition. When we got home hubby once again organized the troops and we decorated the tree, but we left the rest of the house bare.

The next thing I did that made life easier was that I started way in advance. I decided to make most of my Christmas presents this year. Even though we only buy, on my side of the family, for the person we picked, I decided to make some smaller gifts for those I wanted too. Several months in advance found me knitting hats for all the men in my life and even some that weren't, such as Kellan's teachers (who requested them after they saw Kellan's), and several of his friends. For the girls such as Fe, Jill, and Tina, I made braided knitted headbands (Fe wears hers every time I see her:) Keaton's pg teacher got knitted fruit hats for her twins, as did Michelle's baby "Nagashima". My handmade ornament this year was knitted chickens that went to all the kids. Handmade stitch markers went to all of the women in my mom's knitwit group and friends who knit such as Mary, Michelle and LaDonna. Sets of handmade cards were also a fun gift to give those who have everything. All these projects were made and wrapped, along with all the bought presents, several days in advance of Christmas. This years wrapping consisted of wrapping paper that looks like knitted garments in red and green along with homemade tags and ribbon.

A holiday free of stress also occurred in great part due to my hubby:), who took care of all the boys presents. Kellan received an iPad(as did I ), along with two large gift cards to REI and the bike store, along with some smaller presents, which I bought. Keaton received the flight simulator, which he wrote a hundred times to Santa, a xbox 360, obtained with reward points from Marriots reward system and a fishing pole he has been coveting, along with some games which he and I can play together. Kev is the only one who did not make out like a bandit, in part because I could never be as extravagant as he, but also due to the fact that he buys what he wants, such as his second John Deere 1940B tractor that arrived recently from Iowa. Plus my husband is one of those unique people who enjoys showing his love through gifts, he just doesn't realize that he is the best gift of all.

Really the only stressful thing I tackled was at the last minute I decided to have Christmas eve dinner for all of our friends who have no place else to go, to tell the truth it was one of the best times we have had, filled with friends, kids, and laughter. I think it too might become a tradition.

So all in all it was one of the best Christmas seasons ever. Next year I would like to take the lessons I learned this year; letting go of perfection, allowing others to help, and starting in advance, and mesh it with past traditions which I have let go; such as more elaborate decorating, several small get togethers, and really remembering what the season is about.

about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.