Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Confirmation

Although Sunny got sick on Friday night he behaved really well during the confirmation of my nephew and the lunch afterwards. Because his last time in church had been quite challenging since he always wanted to get up and run around and, therefore, was disturbing the service we chose to sit on the balcony of the church this time. I thought it would be a better place because the space is not as open as it is on the ground level next to the altar but rather limited and that this would certainly help him to stay calm and focused. And it really was the best idea ever. For the first 30 minutes he was delighted to have such a good view across the whole church and the trombone orchestra that accompanied the service, being right on the same level with our balcony. After that time he started to get a bit restless so we left the balcony in order to spend some time on the stairs that lead downstairs.

There was another woman with her toddler on the stairs. He had just fallen asleep during the service and I had seen her leave the balcony with the small, sleeping child in her arms just some minutes before. We sat down on the stairs next to her and we started to talk. She told me that her son had just woken up again. He was still a bit sleepy and cranky but otherwise a really cute kid. She told me that he was 18 months old when I asked her about his age. Sunny loved him immediately as he always loves babies and toddlers. He made cute sounds as he saw him, wanted to touch him, brought his face close to her son's face and beamed with happiness. Her son started to stand up on his feet and crawl up the stairs and she told me that he could not walk yet because he has some kind of muscular weakness but that he was working hard to improve his walking skills. She was a very nice lady and started asking Sunny some questions like his name and his age. Because I always feel the need to explain why my son does not answer questions I told her that he does not talk yet and as soon as the words left my mouth I welled up with tears. She looked at me ever so kindly, touched my arm and said "I am sure he will work it out" and I said "I hope so" and the tears started streaming down my face. I was embarrassed to cry in front of a complete stranger and I apologised and then she smiled at me with a gentle smile and said "Don't be sorry! If this isn't the right place for it I don't know where it could be!" and she squeezed my arm again. And then, after watching Sunny for a while, she said "Your son has everything a child needs to have. He is gentle, kind, happy, and he treats other kids so lovingly. He is perfect."

She just knew how to say the right thing at the right time and to give me peace and gratitude for all the things that I love about my son. Her soothing words helped me to calm down and comfort me like a warm blanket around my shoulders. And while my nephew had his official confirmation from church I had my own confirmation of a different kind from this beautiful woman whom I never met before and most likely will never meet again: in the end it will all be okay. I know it is true. And I will never give up hope. 

As the trombone orchestra started to play another song the kids wanted to go back inside and listen to the music. We spent the rest of the service sitting together on the stairs of the balcony next to a church window, our kids happily enjoying time together, playing with each other, loving on each other and looking out of the coloured glass windows, watching the tree outside move gently with the wind.


Monday, 29 April 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 17/2013

Hi there,

I am pretty late with my wrap-up post today. Sunny got ill while we were at my parents' place and we only returned today instead of yesterday, as originally planned. Apart from that the streets were crowded so it took us much more time to drive home than usually. Therefore, I had a lot of unpacking to do and laundry and all that stuff and I am still not finished yet. We also had an appointment at the paediatrician this afternoon to rule out bronchitis because he is coughing really hard.

But now I want to post the pictures of the last week.

I ordered 1.8 kg of dark chocolate truffles and they came in the mail on Monday. Massive chocolate overload! :-)

In the evening I attended yoga class again

Our cherry trees are finally in bloom

In the woods while doing hippo therapy



Shadow games
Large traffic jam on the way to my parents

Sunny loves going to the swimming pool!

On Sunday we attended the confirmation of my nephew...

... and enjoyed great food afterwards



Friday, 26 April 2013

Five Minute Friday: Friend

Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again.


Friend...

GO

Friends are an important constant in my life. I give a lot to my friends but I also ask a lot from them in return.

I only have a few really good and close friends. Some of my best friends accompanied my life since we were in elementary school and these grown friendships are so important to me. They are like old, tall trees, their leaves moving softly in the breeze, graciously accepting the gifts of the sun and the rain, giving me a feeling of belonging and security, their treetops sheltering from the storms and the trunks deeply rooted in the earth.

But I also found new and precious friends along the journey down the path of my life and they are very special to me as well. These plants still need a lot of care and attention and every now and then it is important to shelter them. They really mean a lot to me with their new, light green leaves and tender blossoms.

STOP



Finish the Sentence Friday: I am very passionate


This week's sentence to finish is:

I am very passionate about... 

... decluttering and cleaning our house. No, seriously. I would love to live in a clean house which is always neat and tidy. No socks lying around, no Legos to trip on and then curse because the pain bolts directly right up into your brain. No toys everywhere, no laundry piles. No paperwork piling up and needing to be taken care of, no stuff to sell on ebay waiting in the corridor to be photographed. No dishes in the kitchen sink or clothes to be repaired. Yes, I am really passionate about that and I try my best to get rid of it.

But you know what? I still feel like Sisyphus with all that decluttering and cleaning going on. Sometimes I feel like it will never end. I pick up stuff, I clean, I put away, I fold, I repair and photograph but still it does not get any better. Can disorder be chronic? If yes, I guess I am seriously ill.

And there is one mighty force in my household who is also very passionate but his aim is more the opposite: cluttering and making messes. And this person is my son. And boy, is he ever passionate about this mission! And I have to acknowledge that he is good at what he does, he is efficient and determined and sometimes a tornado unleashed. I have to unbegrudgingly admit that most of the times he wins in our contest.

So this is probably why our house will most likely never be perfect. Because while I am passionate about it and will always try to keep up with everything, there are things that are more important to me. Like my son for example. ;-)


Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real and Dawn of Dawn's Disaster for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!






Thursday, 25 April 2013

Being a Mama is beautiful

Last week I was showered with kindness and two different awards. One of them is the Beautiful Mama Blog Award which was bestowed upon my by one of my best blogging friends, Kerri at Undiagnosed, but okay. She wrote a beautiful post about motherhood and you should totally check it out. Thank you so much for the award, my beautiful friend!


For a long time I was not sure if I even wanted kids. I was never that woman who felt from an early age that she was meant to be a mother. At one point I even saw it totally rationally and thought that I probably needed to have kids because I might otherwise regret it later.

Then, all of a sudden, that changed. I do not know why or what it sparked but suddenly I felt it: I definitely wanted to be a mama. I wanted to have a baby and could not wait until it happened.

And as soon as my son entered my life everything changed. I always like to say that motherhood opened a new door in my life. It was a door that I never knew even existed and that was hidden from my view. But with the birth of my son it opened widely and as I stepped inside I entered a world of new feelings, vibrant colours and a kind of love that I never could have imagined was possible. Feelings you cannot describe nor imagine until you feel them yourself. I know it probably sounds totally drippy but it is just the way I feel about motherhood.

Having a child with special needs has taken my motherhood experience to a whole new level. I know that all parents worry about their children but I believe a lot of us worry more and this for obviously founded reasons. A lot of our kids have health issues to be dealt with or they get suspected diagnoses that scare the hell out of us until they (hopefully, finally) are being ruled out or, even worse, are confirmed.

These experiences very often shift the focus from a typical motherhood experience to another one. And as much as I am naturally well aware of the hardships in our lives in my case it has also made me much more aware of the good things in our life. I do not take things for granted any more. I am much more compassionate, not only when it comes to our own lives but also with regard to things that happen to my friends or even strangers. It has made me more vulnerable and at the same time much stronger. Very often it makes me pause in my tracks and tells me to just take it all in and live in the moment, right now and here. To witness the sun reflecting from Sunny's silky, shining hair, to hear his bell-like laughter full of happiness that makes my stomach cringe for a second with sheer joy. To realise the way he looks at me, how he calls my name and tells me with no words how much he loves and needs me. To feel his tiny, soft hand slip into mine while we walk next to each other and know that he senses the security I will always offer him, that I am his safe haven to always turn to. To be glad and thankful that we had a good winter with very few infections. 

Being a mother is the most life-changing and beautiful experience in my world and I never could have imagined it would be so good and so fulfilling and so full of love. And I know for sure now that what I rationally thought back in my 20's was totally true: I would have missed out on so many things and regretted it if Sunny never entered my life.

You think this is a cheesy post? Well, maybe it is. In this case let me tell you one more thing: I guess motherhood has also made me cheesy because these words were just written directly from my heart.


I would now like to nominate some other beautiful women for a Beautiful Mama Blog Award and these are:

Alana at Lightly Salted
Lana at Along Came The Bird
Tatum at Ain't No Roller Coaster
Misty at Meet the Cottons
Kristi at Finding Ninee

But all the mamas I know are beautiful and I would just love to nominate all of you! xo


If you want to stick to the rules of the Beautiful Mama Award, here they are:

1) Click the above award image, save it and use it in your acceptance post.
2) List three things you love about motherhood.
3) Nominate other deserving mamas; you may choose as many as you like.








PS: I will be leaving for a prolonged weekend today in order to attend my nephew's confirmation on Sunday so I might be a bit slow to answer comments but I hope to find some time during the weekend to come back. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

In love with the Liebster Award!

I was recently nominated for another lovely Liebster Award by Chris over at HyeThyme Café! Chris and I "met" at one of the blog hops I jump on from time to time. And just as Chris wrote in her post I was totally unaware that she was even following me. So this was a really sweet surprise for me! Thank you so much, Chris!

You should really check out her blog because she posts the most awesome (mostly) Armenian recipes and one day I will dare to try to cook one. American recipes are always challenging for me due to the different scale units in Europe and the USA.


Here are the rules as posted by Chris: 

1. Answer 11 questions posed by the blogger bestowing the honor
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 11 additional fellow bloggers
4. Pose a set of 11 questions to those bloggers

Okay, so let's start!


Here are the questions of Chris:

1. Do you have any food allergies?  If yes, to what? No, fortunately not!
2. Who has been the most influential person in your life, and how?  I would say it is my mother. Because she is my role model for raising kids with love and modesty.
3. Have you ever had a supernatural experience of some sort?  If yes, explain. I don't know if it was supernatural. But sort of, yes. At least in my opinion. The father of one of my best friends had cancer and one day I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. I suddenly felt the urge to call her and ask her how her dad was doing. I called her immediately and when she answered the phone she told me that her dad had just died some minutes ago. I was shocked, of course, and I still ask myself why I felt the need to call her all of a sudden. I somehow felt that something was wrong.
4. What first inspired you to start your blog? You can read about that here.
5. What is your favorite time of day, and why? The evening, when Sunny is in bed. I cuddle up on the sofa with a blanket and just enjoy some time for myself.
6. What is your favorite holiday, and why? I would say Christmas. We do not celebrate the other holidays as much as we celebrate Christmas and I love the atmosphere of that time and the magic that my son finally felt for the first time last year
7. Have you ever researched your genealogy?  If so, find anything interesting? Not yet. It was always something I wanted to do. One day when everything elso on my to do list is checked off. ;-)
8. Can you connect yourself to Kevin Bacon by 6 Degrees of Separation??  :) Um, actually I never really tried. Maybe I should? ;-) Can you, Chris?
9. What is your favorite movie, and why? It is still Dirty Dancing (hangs head in shame) because it reminds me of my carefree days as a teenager.
10. What is your earliest memory? When I was in kindergarten.
11. Who is your favorite author, and why? I like the books of Sujata Massey because she writes about Japan, a country I always wanted to visit.


Next: 11 random facts about myself.

1. I love watching television, but I never watch TV during the day.
2. I recently saw a video on Youtube and thought that the description for Germans was pretty good. Wondering if the description for Americans is suitable, too?
3. Whenever I get flowers I have to throw them away immediately because my husband is allergic. And that makes me so sad!
4. I rarely eat fast food but I enjoy a burger every six months or so.
5. I love my car and I love to drive.
6. I cannot watch psychological thrillers. Total wimp when it comes to that.
7. I never wear eye shadow because I always feel totally painted. I like it on others though.
8. I like to try new recipes now and then.
9. I like orchids and I have several of them in the living room.
10. I totally dislike dark rooms and I need to turn on the lights very early because otherwise I feel like I have a dark cloud hanging over my head.
11. I find it totally difficult to think of so many random facts about myself.


My questions for the bloggers I will nominate are:

1. Which is the first song on your playlist?
2. Do you like to shop online or do you prefer to shop "offline"?
3. Are you a talented singer?
4. Do you like sports? If so, what do you enjoy watching or doing the most?
5. Who is your favourite actor/actress and why?
6. Which is your favourite drink?
7. Are you superstitious?
8. Name something you are really bad at.
9. Name something you are really good at.
10. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
11. What is your worst habit?


And finally to the last part: the nominees. As I already received the award before I will nominate less than 11 bloggers this time:

Rhi at Rhiannen's Rainbow
Vanessa at Journey Full of Life
Heather at Team Aidan
Mom on the Edge at Mom in Two Cultures
Lucas at abstract Lucas

Congrats to you! Please put a link to your response in my comments section so I don't miss it!





Tuesday, 23 April 2013

How animals eat their food

Hey there!

I do not have time for a decent blog post but I need to share something with you. I think this is soo funny! I cracked up when I saw it for the first time and I cannot stop laughing! Sorry, but I am silly like that!


I love how the guy on the left keeps a straight face! And my favourite animal is the whale!! LOL

Have fun!


Monday, 22 April 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 16/2013

Good morning/afternoon/evening!

We had a quite uneventful week but it was one of those weekends so I really need a bit of a break today ;-)

Have a wonderful week!

The beginning of the week brought really warm weather so we could enjoy the trampoline barefoot and I even got to wear shorts!

A friend of mine recently gave me a gift card for a spa and so I treated myself with a manicure and a "Rasul bath" which is totally relaxing. You apply different healing earths/muds on your skin and after 15 minutes they are washed off with warm water, leaving your skin wonderfully soft. I could not take a picture myself as I was obviously naked and full of mud so I googled what the room looked like (it was not that fancy but similar). Oh, of course I was in there alone!
Photo credits

I sewed my first curtain ever.

In the afternoon, Sunny enjoyed his first McFlurry ice cream ever

Nature awoke from its too long sleep and exploded with bright colours and flowers and trees in bloom. Such a treat to the eyes!








Friday, 19 April 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday: I thought I was so cool


This week's sentence to finish is:

I thought I was so cool when...

... I was in second grade. We were on our annual field day and just about to have our lunch break. The adults were making a fire at the BBQ area and my best friend and I were goofing around.

My dad had given me his old camera some time ago. It was a manual camera with a real film inside (no, digital photography was probably considered sci-fi back then and still some 200 years in the future!) and after you pressed the release you had to transport the film with a little wheel on the camera. Wow, now I feel really old. 

Anyway, my friend and I were goofing around with our hiking sticks. Now, as you know it was the last century, so it was no high-tech hiking stick like people use nowadays when they go for a simple walk....

This is called "Nordic Walking" where I live and is considered a kind of sport.
Photo credits

... no, we just had a plain and simple wooden branch each. Totally uncool nowadays, if you ask me. Back then? Coool!

It looked something like this but without the green. We found it on our hike.
Photo credits

So while the adults were busy preparing the fire for our BBQ we were posing with our sticks and taking pictures of us. My friend acted (in my opinion) super cool with her stick and sat on it like a witch and I was trying to get such a cool picture of me, too. Since I could not steal her pose (totally uncool!) I tried another one.

I put the stick on the ground and leaned on it with my full weight on my décolleté. Obviously that was a bad idea because I slipped while I tried to pose super cool and the stick ripped the skin on my décolleté open. But because I was so keen on looking cool I acted like nothing happened although it hurt like hell!

The picture that was finally taken was another one: I held the stick in my hand and stood next to it without any weight on the stick. Totally a cool pose... not. You can clearly see in my face that I was not feeling cool because I tried to hide the pain from my friend. However, when I look at the picture I always have to grin because I remember what happens when I try to be cool.


Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real and Dawn of Dawn's Disaster for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!

Next week's sentence to finish: "I am very passionate about..."




Five Minute Friday: Jump

Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again.



 Jump...

GO

When you are pregnant and give birth to your first child, you jump. You do not know what to expect but you are brave and strong, so you just jump. And, after some time, you think you will touch the ground and be safe.

I wonder when I will touch the ground. Sometimes it seems my fall will never stop. Because as I took the step and jumped off the cliff, I found out I was jumping into a void and the ground is not visible. Maybe one day I will be able to see it. Of course, I have paused on my way down from time to time. Caught a breath. Inhaled. Exhaled. Only to find me falling again after a while.

But while I am falling I found out that my way is not unpleasant. I can feel warm winds, the sun on my skin. I inhale the rich smell of blooming flowers while I fall. I enjoy the pureness of freshly fallen snow, the crisp leaves in autumn. I see the beauty of my child and his sheer love of life. I realise that falling can be okay because I see all the goodness around me while I fall.

STOP

Thursday, 18 April 2013

You just light up my life, honey!

Some of you already know how much I struggle with the fact that Sunny has to go to school after the summer holidays. And that feeling of this-is-not-fair and I-wish-it-would-be-different is still staying with me.

Today there was a kind of evaluation along with a medical consultation with regard to his transition to school in summer. And as much as I despise all that has to do with his school entry in September, I despised the appointment today as well. I was grumpy this morning and ructious and not at all in a mood to deal with officials, and certainly not for another evaluation to show me what he was not capable of (at least that was what I expected. Turns out the appointment was okay.).

So I went to kindergarten in a grumpy mood. When I opened the door to Sunny's classroom he was sitting at the table with his friends while they were having their morning break and eating their snacks. As soon as Sunny saw me his little, adorable face lit up immediately and he called out "Mama!! Mama!! Mama!!" in the happiest, most cheerful way ever! I could clearly see how happy he was to see me so unexpectedly. He got all excited, jumped up and down on his chair, pointed to me and proclaimed "Mama! Mama!" again and again so that everyone at the table would see me.

And this was when the rays of my beautiful son (whom I call Sunny for a reason) hit my heart and warmed it in an instant. I felt so proud and I was so beyond joyful to experience how happy he was to see me that my grumpiness was gone in an instant. It was so good to feel how much he loves me because it just burst out of him without further warning. It was just a natural and spontaneous reaction to "something" ;-) that my son obviously loves. And as much as I miss that he cannot say "I love you" with his voice it makes me still feel sooooo good to just feel his love and his compassion for me!

There is so much to be loved about life and about having a wonderful child who is almost always in good spirits. He is the light of my life and he helps me to see the sun when I feel it does not shine. I could never express how deep my love for my son really is. But I guess this is not necessary because I am sure he feels it, too.

   

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Boston

I have been thinking about what to write all day. But I am speechless and at a total loss of words, as many of you are, about the senseless violence that affected so many lives and killed innocent people, even kids. It is a tragedy I just cannot wrap my head around. Those were innocent people, running for themselves or for a special cause, they were simply running.

What's wrong with the world? Again, I want to go to Dreamland and live in a world without hatred and brutality. This post says it ever so eloquently what is on my mind.

I am glad to learn, however, that there are so many good people out there. First responders who rushed to the attack site to help, hundreds of Bostoners who opened up their homes for total strangers in need, restaurants that offered food and internet access for free, big companies like Google that tried to help with lists accessible to anyone in order to find missed ones.


My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families and friends affected by this act of cowardice.


World Voice Day 2013

Today is "World Voice Day". This means that there will be events and workshops with regard to the topics "voice" and "speaking" in all participating countries.


For me as the mom of a nonverbal child this is especially painful yet important. When I read about this day I was immediately reminded that my son hardly speaks and I felt a sharp sting in my heart. He has the voice but does not know how to form the words.

I pray every day that one day he will be able to say "I love you Mama" in his own little voice. I cannot tell you how I long for him to talk to me about his day, what goes on in his head, if he feels good or bad, how he wants to talk to me about something beautiful he saw on our walk, how happy he is about his new toy. All those things that I know are going on inside of him and that he so desperately tries to tell me with his gestures, his pointing, his sounds and the few words he can say.

I hope one day I will be able to hear him say all those things to me, with his sweet voice that I love so very much and that melts my heart as soon as I hear it.





Monday, 15 April 2013

The dark side of being undiagnosed

As I mentioned in my previous post, my weekend was filled with sadness although we had a wonderful time. But there was something happening in the SN community that I could not stop thinking of. Because we are all in this together and I felt a strong solidarity and empathy with another mom who shares something with me and all of us SN bloggers.

I have been following Kate Leong's blog about her beautiful son Gavin for a long time. He is almost the same age that Sunny is, he does not speak and is undiagnosed as well. This is why I felt we were on the same team. Gavin had some kind of allergy or cold last week. Then, all of as sudden he had three cardiac arrests on Wednesday, accompanied with some seizures. He was medevaced and taken to the PICU of his regular hospital. Since then, Kate and her husband Ed have been on a rollercoaster ride until it became clear that Gavin would not make it. I cannot recount the story as graceful as Kate did. I am amazed at how beautifully she could write down what happened although her heart must be shattered into a million pieces. Please visit her blog or her Facebook page and be humbled by her strength, the love for her precious son and the way she wrote about her feelings on this most difficult and hurtful time of her life.

Kate has always been an inspiration to me. Although her life was far from easy because she had several miscarriages and lost her daughter after being 5 1/2 months pregnant she always seemed to muster her life with compassion, strength, and grace. Her son Gavin was strong-willed, determined and full of perseverance to achieve what was possible for him. He always seemed to be so at peace with himself and the world around him. To see that he passed away breaks my heart. I cannot stop reading her Facebook page, stare at the pictures on her blog and be sad. I cannot believe this happened.

Photo credits

In all of the pain they live now they made the decision to donate Gavin's organs to other children in need. Kate called this "spreading the good Karma" of Gavin, a description I really love. I am deeply humbled by their decision.

Following her updates during the last days I have been reminded once again how little we really know when our children are undiagnosed and how fragile their health is. Our kids have a higher risk for medical issues that typical kids do not have. Seeing how quickly the state of health of a SN child can change for the worse it makes having a child with an undiagnosed genetic condition more real and frightening, in a way.


My thoughts are with Kate, Ed, and Gavin's brother Brian. My heart is so heavy for them. I am sending love, prayers and light all the way across the ocean.


The Week In Pictures: calendar week 15/2013

Good morning, dear friends!

I hope you all had a relaxing and nice weekend!

Our weekend was wonderful but there was sadness lingering around me all the time. I will tell you why in a separate blog post.

Here is the summary of our previous week.

Hug your loved ones tight!

Going to our osteopathy session in the "big city"

Finally!! Blue skies and cotton clouds! How I missed you!

Driving to speech therapy. Yes, there is a castle on our way.

Enjoying delicious Panna Cotta on our girls night out

We love water!

First time without socks this year!! Yaay!