Saturday, May 27, 2006

Yesterday was such a hard day; it was one of those days when I questioned whether I was capable of being a parent. We had a lot of things to do, including a trip to the doctor for Tess’ 4-month check-up, and then Owen’s rescheduled speech. When we got to the doctor’s office, we were kept waiting. As Owen played with the communal toys (which I hate, because they are such a germ fest, but what can you do?), I glanced over to a couple who had brought their young child in. He was tugging at his ear, and then I saw him throw up all over the floor, and the chair. I was so freaked out, I almost left, not wanting my kids to catch something. It was then that it occurred to me that everyone else I know goes to doctor’s offices that have “well entrances” for when your kids are not sick. So, after we finally got in to to see the doctor (stats: Tess is 24 inches long and 12 pounds, 12 ounces), we went home, quickly ate, and left for speech. I should have known something wasn’t right with Owen when I made his favorite “pizza”, (basically anything I can cobble together that is healthy, hidden in cheese, and baked in a tortilla). I had asked him to sit nicely at the doctor’s office, and he did, without a complaint, while Tess was checked out. In fact, I asked his doctor why he kept rubbing his eyes and she said it was probably allergies. She said I could give him Claritin, over the counter. I asked if that was really okay for a child this young, and she said yes. So we left for speech, and Owen fell asleep in the car on the way there (it was only 11:30 a.m….).

I didn’t really think it was a problem, since he was up at six and had gone to bed late the night before. Then his speech therapist commented that he seemed really tired. Still, I didn’t get it. When we got home, I tried to entice him with chips, and milk, but he didn’t want either. He wanted to cuddle with me while he watched The Wiggles. That was when I started to notice he was hot. I thought it was because our house was hot, since the weather had changed so quickly and it was now in the upper 90s. But, the listlessness was new. I saw his eyes water, and thought it was the allergies, so of course, I gave him the Claritin. When I read the box, it said for under age 6 consult a doctor. Well, I did, I asked my doctor. So I promptly gave him an adult’s dose.

The next half hour, he went downhill quickly. He became much more feverish, and he wanted only to sleep. I got really concerned. I took him in my room, with Tess crying because she was tired too, and told him we were going to take a nap. Almost instantly, his head hung back and he was in some sort of doze. I thought for sure I had poisoned him. I called Erik, frantic. He came home right away and said, “he’s burning up, we have to get him cooled down.” I got a temperature of 102 degrees, and I was so upset I almost started crying, but then I thought ,what’s the use? It will only make things worse. We called the doctor, who took TWO HOURS to call us back (so much for pediatricians being available. I’m blaming it on Bush and HMOs). Meanwhile, Erik called poison control and they told him the fever was not because of the Claritin (thank God, at least I hadn’t poisoned my child), but we knew now we were dealing with an unknown. We tried to give him a bath, and he didn’t want it; he cried when I tried a wet cloth; and I couldn’t get a temperature to save my life. Finally, I just sat with him and sang to him. Erik had to run to the store to get baby Tylenol because of course, Owen hadn't been that sick since he was a baby, so all our medicine was expired (note to self: always have baby Tylenol on hand, until they are in the teens!). I was so upset, and felt so inadequate as a parent (Owen is a relatively healthy kid, he’s only had one fever that we know of). I felt like I had no idea what to do, and that my son could die at any moment (anyone else feel that way?)

We finally got him calmed down, and his fever down a little, and he went to sleep. Meanwhile, Tess, the awesome baby that she is, went to sleep right away with little fuss. Erik and I ended up making dinner, having a glass of wine, and eating outside on our porch as the sun set over Universal Studios, the mountains outlining the hills, the succulent jasmine sending it’s perfume to us. For a moment, I felt like Erik and I had escaped to a restaurant, for dinner, with all this unstructured time where we actually could have a conversation. We both were a little rattled from the day’s events, but oddly enough, we were having this amazing dinner.

The next day, Owen’s fever subsided, but it kept coming back. Tonight, again, it’s in full force. I finally got him to sleep. He wouldn’t eat anything, and even though I tried to fool him that it was a pacifier (those new pacifier thermometers), he knew better. He wouldn’t suck it. He finally took it from me and threw it across the room. When I offered his regular pacifier, he took it. He’s smart, that one. Better watch out, world, Down Syndrome kids are much smarter than you give them credit for.

I’m worried, though. I keep wondering why Owen is getting sick so much lately. I keep trying to make those thoughts that maybe he has leukemia go away. They always pop up when Owen gets sick and then I start thinking these horrible thoughts that he has it and this is part of the symptoms (demons: go away please, I don’t need you feeding me horrible thoughts right now).

Erik said to me this morning, when we were talking about Owen and him being sick, “why do I love that little guy so much?” and I said, “it’s because he doesn’t complain. He does everything we ask him to do, and then when it’s unbearable, he snuggles up to us and asks us to notice. He doesn’t cry, he doesn’t scream. He just patiently waits for us to help him.” And it’s true. He doesn’t demand attention until he really needs it. And it makes my heart ache when I see how patient he is, and how accommodating. He is truly amazing.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Someone Else's Words

I was sent this story by e-mail recently, and it just hit me how true it is about motherhood, and how fleeting each phase is with them. I just wanted to share it:

On Being Mom
by Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of dark bangs and the black button eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringlets and the high piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin.

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too. Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were....

Monday, May 22, 2006

I feel out of control right now, as our lives swing into overdrive. I just feel as if life as we know it is going to change. At least Owen's life will. As of the end of June, we are cut off of the services offered by the regional center. Sitting in speech today with Owen, as he laughed so hard with Jana while she coaxed the words he knew out of him, I suddenly realized how fleeting this all is. In just about a month, we say goodbye to Jana, his speech therapist, Lisa, his occupational therapist and Patty, his child development specialist who has been with him since he was about 8 months old. It made me a little sad, knowing that we are entering the next phase of his life. I had gotten so used to our routine: on Monday he had speech and OT, Tuesday was school, Wednesday was child development and speech, Thursday was our free day and Friday was when I went to work and he spent the day with his babysitter, who he loves (he follows her around when she sweeps or vacuums, and then will run up to her and laughing, hug her). But now, our lives will change. Erik and I will look at schools on Wednesday, and determine what the best program is for him. This afternoon, I got a call from the team who evaluated him, and now they want to see him at his transition class, indepedently. I mean, I won't be there, and they will just observe. I feel like this is more of a test than I am ready for. Why are they doing that? Didn't they have enough time with him when we brought him to them? Is it because they don't believe us when we say he does well with other typical kids? Are they going to use a bad day in school against us to say he can't function around typical kids?

Of course, my husband always sees it differently (bless him!). He said, "Maybe they see how special he is, and how much potential he has, and they are going the extra mile to make sure they find the right place for him." Of course, if it wasn't the Los Angeles Unified School District, I might buy that. But I know that they are so overwhelmed with kids in their progams that they don't have time to go the 'extra mile.' But maybe I'm wrong. The only thing that makes me nervous is that Owen has been having this separation anxiety lately, and he had a really bad day when I took him to school. So I am making Erik take him, just so he does okay. I think there is a lot going on, and that is what is happening. Not only that, he knows when I am upset about something, and he takes it personally. When I was nervous about this whole evaluation thing, and about transferring to school, he internalized it. I know he did. See, Erik is the parent who is much calmer. Let's just say that when I get anxious about things, I go to Erik because he will always calm me down.

Other than that, Tess will be four months old this week! Yikes...and I have already had to pack away her size 0-3 clothes. Talk about entering a new phase...

I want another baby already just to keep the march of time from invading my life.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Getting Older

Tomorrow night is my “39 Forever” birthday party, and probably the last party we will have in this house. If we sell it. Today we had open house and nobody showed up. Well, one agent who was sitting open house up the street, and one neighbor. I’m not sure if it’s the holiday weekend coming up, or that people are suddenly gun shy, especially the way the economy has turned. But like I said to Erik, I wouldn’t be upset if we didn’t sell. I kind of like having the kids share a room together. I know they are a girl and a boy, and more than likely they will each need their own space one day, but for now, I can handle the two of them so close together. Besides, every night Owen wakes up and comes to my side of the bed, and I like that.

I am sad about selling this house. There are so many wonderful memories for me, and my family. I am sad each day when I watch the sky change from the den, and the trees blow in the wind, I know I will miss my view. I know as sure as I am sitting here that I will miss the afternoons spent playing with the kids in the den, the hills sending down their afternoon breeze, I will miss the mornings writing in the dining room, watching the sun wash over the hills, and the cozy nights in front of the fireplace. I like having everyone close together; I feel that the minute we buy a bigger house, we will have more space between us all. Maybe we will just have to have more kids, then.

I am sitting here at home, by myself, the kids asleep since 8 o’clock, and Erik out for the night. It was so nice to just indulge in having a nice dinner with a glass of wine, and reading the paper, something I never seem to be able to accomplish anymore. I looked in on Tess and Owen a few minutes ago, and I noticed Owen’s belly hanging out over his pajamas. I know that kids have that pooch, but sometimes I wonder why all his body seems to be going so soft. His arms are still fleshy, and his stomach seems to grow while his chest becomes more concave. It makes me wonder if he is going to be an overweight Down Syndrome child, since so many of them have issues with weight. And I can tell you why: when I see my child compared to other 3-year olds, he doesn’t have nearly the energy they have. He doesn’t expend as much energy running around, therefore, he will is less active and holds onto more weight. Maybe I am just being too subjective, and not keeping in mind that he was only born three years ago, and maybe it’s just baby fat still. I hope…

Tess was laughing today, and it was the cutest thing. I can already tell that at four months old she is ahead of where Owen was at then, although I didn’t want to admit it. Owen didn’t look at me and laugh out loud for a long time, or maybe I don’t remember. I just know that Tess is the norm, she is what people get to experience every day, and I look at her as this complete miracle. Wow! She can grab that toy! Wow, she rolled over…there will be more as we continue on, but for me, she is such a joy to watch because that painful way of thinking, “will he do it? Or not?” doesn’t make me cringe, like I did with Owen. She will do it, and she will do it naturally. That is why I want another child. To experience the miracle of nature. Not that Owen isn’t a miracle, it’s just that I see how hard things are for him sometimes and I want to help him all the time. He has learned how to walk up and down the back stairs from our deck to the lower deck without assistance. He slowly, ever so slowly!, grabs the next part of the railing and precedes one step at a time. Sometimes he gets stuck and calls out for help. I am so proud of him, and yet a part of me feels so badly for him that it had to take him so long. I feel that way every time he learns a new skill: pride, but the pride is at war with pity. And I don’t want to pity him, because I’m sure that he doesn’t want my pity. If he is Erik’s son, he will never want pity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thank You for Reading

I got a few comments on my blog the other day, and I have to say it made me feel good that people were reading it. I thought that I was pretty much writing for myself, and was pleased to hear from some other moms...

As I said in my comments, as parents of children with Down Syndrome, we certainly put new meaning in the term "mother," especially since there are plenty of women terminated their Down Syndrome baby because, God forbid, their child had special needs.

I took the child that God offered me. I don't have much sympathy for women who think that children with Down Syndrome will have "awful" lives and therefore shouldn't be allowed to even live and be given a chance. I'm tired of defending my choices while there are women out there who think that by terminating they have released their angel back to God (it's true, if you read and check out the "terminating for medical reasons"). Actually, don't go there. It will just make you sad.

Brighter post tomorrow...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day to Me

My moods have been so strange lately: one minute I'm loving my life and the next minute I am in such a pissy mood. I don't know if I am about to get a visit from AF for the first time since I was pregnant with Tess, but it could be. It's one of those things where I wish I knew, so that I could prepare for it. Of course, nothing every prepares me for the vile mood I get into, the crying jags, and the fits of feeling fat and wanting to stuff myself with food anyway. I sure haven't missed it. That's one of the things that I loved about being pregnant: I was so even-keeled. My emotions were in check, and I felt as if I was floating with all those good hormones.

So on Mother's Day, I realized I had forgotten the Baby Bjorn at a friend's house, and as Erik slept in (yes, I am going to sleep in on Father's Day), I had to get everyone packed and ready for the beach house. All I really wanted to do was have coffee, read the paper and relax by myself. For once, I really did just want a day to myself with nothing to do but meander through it. That's what got me so irritated. I feel as if Erik doesn't understand sometimes all that goes into getting ready with two kids to go somewhere. He just takes his shower, drinks his coffee and says, "okay, I'm ready." It's not that easy. But after we talked about it, I decided I didn't want to be in a bad mood, and the rest of the day was great. I got a chance to take a long walk out to the Point in Malibu, where the fog finally lifted, and it actually was almost hot. Erik had a small pool for the kids, and they all just played together. Tess slept most of the day. And I got a chance to play Scrabble, which I haven't played in so long. It was so nice to have time to just enjoy a game that involved words. I don't know why I love games like that so much, except that I'm good at them, and I really do love words. I love the sound of some of them. So the day did meander, and I felt rested. We did leave at about 8 o'clock, which was my target time, because Owen needed to get his rest for...

The big evaluation day. Of course, he slept badly, waking up three times in the night. The first time, he went to the bathroom, then he hit his head on the headboard of his bed. The second time, he fell out of bed, and when he fell asleep in our bed, he was having a nightmare and crying in his sleep. Of course, Tess woke up twice, which she never does. So, we made it to his evaluation, and I have to say, he did really well. I think they were all impressed. Of course, we weren't sure whether he should do well, or not, and I'm sure we will not get a lot of extra services because they were pleased with how well he does. But, I also need him to do well so that they can agree that a typical classroom setting is what is best for him. It took about 2-1/2 hours, but in the end, I felt so much better. I was so dreading this, thinking that Owen would just shut down, but he didn't. He played and did what they asked him. Of course, he is delayed in some areas, but I feel like he did well. The only person who irritated me was the school nurse, who wanted a detailed rundown of Owen's medical history and family history. When she came to the part about whether I had taken the amnio, I politely said no. Then she asked how the AFP tests came out and I said we didn't do any testing. She looked at me a little funny, and when she asked about Owen's sibling, and the testing we did for her, I said we didn't do any testing with her either. I said, "There was no point. We decided to take what God gave us." "Oh," she said, "very religious." Then, she asked me if there were any Down Syndrome people in my family, and I said no. So she said, "So it's not hereditary." Okay, people, come on. It is a FLUKE. It happens. Even I paid attention in science class when they talked about Down Syndrome and explained how it's not hereditary.

Now stupidity, that's hereditary.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

It seems as if life has been so incredibly busy these days, with work, and therapies, and weekend events. I feel as if I can barely catch my breath. My hands have broken out again (I have eczema, and it gets worse when I am stressed) and I have to figure out what the source of the stress is. I think I am stressed out about all this IEP stuff that is about to happen. Owen has his evaluation by the school district next week on Monday, and I am not sure if he will shut down, or perform beautifully. In some ways, it would be good if he doesn't perform that well so he will get more services, but you hate to watch your child underperform, too. I want the best for him, but I feel as if there is nothing that will be as good as I think it should be. I know that I am afraid of the whole idea of change, and as soon as he turns three, our lives as we know it now will change. The carefully orchestrated days with certain therapists will now all be lumped into school four or five days a week. I will actually have to let my son go, and deal with the next step of growing up (hmm, what a concept).

I took him for some cranial sacral therapy yesterday with the therapist who worked on him when he was a baby, and I learned a lot. This is the first time she has seen him since he was just crawling, and he is such a little man now. I think she was really impressed with him. But because he is a child, and doesn't want to be worked on, she had to take her hands off him and work in his energy field (I know, it sounds really corny). At one point, she told me that I needed to watch what I think about because Owen can sense my fears. At that point, he got up and walked away and put some distance from us. Jennifer asked me what I was so afraid of. I told her about the whole school thing and she told me that I need to understand that Owen is very intuitive and picks up on that. Of course, now I know why he had such a hard time at school yesterday. In fact, the teacher said she almost called me because he was upset on and off all morning. I think he does sense my fears and he reacts to them. Jennifer told me that Owen is here to teach me things, and possibly he is here to teach me how to let go of my fears, let go of things that I cannot control. I think she may be right.

So last night, after his afternoon of cranial work, he went to bed. He woke up once to go the toilet (way to go, my little man!), and then he fell right back asleep and slept the rest of the night. If that's what we got out of his therapy, then I am happy. It was the first good night's sleep I have had in a while. And, of course, my little lady just slept through the night and woke up at 7 a.m. with a smile on her face.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Little Olympian

Today we took Owen to the Special Olympics Mini Meet. We saw at least three other families we knew, so it was kind of nice to spend the day with them. We entered Owen in three different events, and I was so proud of him for running the 50-foot run, and then he did the basketball hoop (which he was very good at!) and lastly, he did the T-ball. Of course, Erik helped him, but he hit the ball. Then they gave out little ribbons. It actually ended up being a lot of fun, and I was glad we brought Owen. I think that it taught him a little bit about competition, even though he's so young, but at least he wasn't scared off by all the people. He actually did run down the lane that they drew in the 50-foot run.

As for me, I looked around and realized how lucky I am. The Mini Meet was not just for Down Syndrome but for all special needs kids. I saw some kids who were in wheelchairs, who couldn't communicate, who couldn't walk, who were much more severely handicapped, and they were there, with their parents. Being cheered on. And their parents loved them. But more than anything, I felt so grateful to have Owen and Tess. To have this amazing little boy who can do everything he can do. And I remembered in the back of my mind after Owen was born how jealous I was of every parent that had a typical child, but I forgot about those parents who had children with other disabilities, who didn't know either until after birth, and who had to deal with much, much more than I ever did, and they probably still thank God for their wonderful child. I think we are given children who teach us many things in many ways. I think that children with special needs, or "handicaps," teach us about life, and about how "handicapped" we are in our own thinking. There is nothing my child can't do if he wants to, and every day, he teaches me about patience, and love, and acceptance. I watch him with his sister Tess, and when he hears her crying, he comes running, saying "baby, baby," or "okay, okay," to let her know that it's okay. He has never once tried to hurt her (as I heard so many other parents say of their older child when a new baby comes along), but he only wants to make her laugh, or touch her. In the morning, when he gets up, he wants to just sit with her and stare at her.

Every day, I am reminded how lucky I am, and I hope I never forget that.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Down Syndrome Overload

This past week, I attended the Down Syndrome Assoc. of LA's spring luncheon, attended my MOMs support group, and we are heading to the Special Olympics mini meet tomorrow, and part of me feels like it's Down Syndrome, all the time. I know it's just been a busy week, but I feel as if all I have been doing is talking about Down Syndrome and I feel as if I need to go away for a little while from it, and just be a family, with no talk of abilities, or disabilities, therapy, education, milestones, etc. Sometimes I just want to not talk about it, and instead dwell on the normalcy of my child and his life. But it's hard not to, especially when people ask me about him, or comment on him...

I brought him in to work the other day because I needed to check some e-mail, and he enjoyed it so much. He loves to run down the halls and laugh. Everybody thought he was so cute, and my boss was entertaining him so much that he didn't want to leave. Then the next day when I went into work, everybody comments on how well he seems to be doing, and how much he's grown, and I wonder, do people comment like this on other kids who come in? Other 'typical' kids? I mean, I guess it's flattering that they all seem to be so enamored of him, especially since he is such a charmer, but sometimes I just get tired of the questions, and having to explain the therapies he is in, and where he is at in comparison to a typical child his age.

Anyway, I met some really great parents on Tuesday at the DSALA luncheon, and in some weird way, it feels good to be a part of something. I mean, I didn't ask to be involved with this group, but nevertheless, we are a part of it, and somehow I feel that by being a part of it we will be enriching Owen's life in ways that we can't begin to fathom right now.

On Wednesday, we had our MOMs support group, and it was so great. I never laughed so hard, and yet, our conversations got really tough and really gritty about some of the issues our children will face, including health issues. But, as moms, we never lose sight of the fact that there is a lot of hope for our kids, especially given that we are one of the first generations utilizing the early intervention, which is helping our kids advance much more than DS kids in the past. Plus, I feel that as a group, we are carving out our specialty in Down Syndrome so that we can educate other people. As I said before, though, sometimes it gets to be a chore educating people, especially when I find so much ignorance out there. But overall, I am excited about the possiblities that lie ahead.

As for Owen, he is sick again, and I just don't understand how he can have so many colds in such a short time. Then people tell me that the more sick he is now the less sick he will be when he starts school. Hmmm... I'm not sure I'm buying that one, because he is barely in school as it is. So where does he keep getting these colds from? And, of course, Tess is congested as well. But for some reason, I feel like she is a stronger, healthier kid, and I'm not so worried about her. Owen's breathing is so labored at night when he has a cold, that I wonder if he can even breathe. Sometimes I hear him hold his breath, and then I wait for him to start breathing again. It scares me, and the other thing is that it keeps me awake all night. Meanwhile, the newborn who is supposed to be keeping me up all night is actually sleeping through the night until 6 or 7 in the morning. I truly think she is the only one who gets a good night's sleep.

The funny thing I have realized is that Owen has now started to wake up in the middle of the night, and come into my room, because he (drum roll please) is potty-training himself at night! I couldn't figure out why he was waking up, until I realized it's because he has to go to the bathroom and doesn't want to go in his diaper, because he is potty-trained during the day. So what I thought would be a long time before we potty-trained him at night, is actually happening now, and he is self-training. Can you believe it? My superstar child is actually waking up to go to the bathroom. The problem is that he has a hard time falling asleep again. But I can't ask him not to wake up since we have trained him to tell us when he has to go during the day. I'm sure we'll get through it, as I walk through my days sleep deprived, but also cheering my son on for the amazing job he's done at something other parents of typical kids have had a nightmare time with.

Besides, before I know it my children will be grown and I will be saying, "Remember when?"