Weekly Photo Challenge: LOVE

true puppy love

In our home, love means being so comfortable with each other you can fall asleep in one big snuggly heap.

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Dude, where are my preconceived notions? No, seriously, dude…

autism home rescue 0526201201Okay, it’s my first official love post.  Gag all you want, I’m writing it anyway.  I am so blown away by what an amazing relationship the universe has given me that I just feel the need to gush about it sometimes.  Mostly that happens behind the scenes, but today it’s front and center, home page news.  Read on if you wanna discover a few of the many reasons I fell in love with my girl.  Or if you’re feeling more serious today, flip back through the blog archives and read about autism diagnoses or divorce or residential treatment.  Personally, I’d stay here to catch some gossip.  But it’s really your call.

Still with me?  Wow, cool.  Okay then.  I present to you the…

TOP TEN REASONS I LOVE MY GIRL

10.  She can use the word “dude” in context & appropriately in a clinical setting in her job as a physician.  As in:  Young & healthy but nervous patient:  “Doc, you gotta help me, I think I’m having a heart attack!”  Aubrey:  “Dude, you are not having a heart attack.”

9.  She can get Hannie out of a snit faster than anyone I’ve ever known.  She never backs down from the Taurus bull horns until my baby bull daughter is smiling.  I don’t know exactly how that works, but I love it.

8.  She lets me take her picture (get your mind out of the gutter, this is a family show) even though she hates being photographed.  How much does she love me?  She bought me a camera for Christmas.

7.  She can be tough as nails when she has to be, but when it comes to her chihuahuas she’s as sappy as the most sentimental mama.  Her high pitched “doggie voice” is so sweet that even the geckos gaze lovingly when she talks to them.

6.  She says she’s shy, but I’ve never noticed.  … Okay, I’ll wait for that one to sink in– read it again… and…. did you get the word-behind-the-words?  … There you go.

5.  She lives deliberately, makes choices thoughtfully and solves problems ethically, for the good of the people she cares for.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for her.

4.  She is impossible to place “in a box.”  To know Aubrey is to abandon your preconceived notions, because she’ll just blow right through them anyway.  An ex-military flight surgeon who’s afraid of mice?  A tattooed chick with a motorcycle who drives her fancy SUV with her tiny dogs perched on her lap like Paris Hilton?  A critical care doc who can run codes in the ICU, but who cried at the preview of “Chimpanzee?” *  Trying to capture her with a limited world view is like trying to measure the movement of an electron– the more you try, the more she’ll open your mind in the process (google “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle“).

3.  She is committed to learning & growing, she is willing to try again.  And she’ll never give up on the people she loves.  Ever.

2.  Alex and Hannah both love her.  Not because she’s in a relationship with their mother.  But because she’s taken the time, had the patience and made the effort to get to know them, to find out the individual, beautiful people they are, and to build a connection with them on their terms.  If you’ve read *anything else* on this blog about Alex especially, you’ll know what kind of person that makes Aubrey.

and the number one reason I love my girl:

1.  Her love and acceptance have brought a secure, peaceful feeling to my life that I’ve never known before, and when I think about our future together I just feel so darn HAPPY!

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*  Click here to find out how to help chimpanzees in honor of my girl

Chihuahua Glee!

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Funny things are everywhere!

Cartoon animal conga line gratitude!

Happy Birthday Hannah Rose!

autism home rescue 0510201201Dear Hannah Rose,
It is hard to believe it has been 7 years since you were born, my beautiful Hannie Bananie!  I am so proud of you in so many ways that I’m not sure I even have words for them all.  I still peek at you sometimes when you are sleeping, just so I can marvel at how tall you are getting and remember how tiny your feet once were.  You are a wonder and you constantly surprise and delight me with your views on the world and your creative ideas.  For your birthday today, I want to put into writing just a few of the many daily reminders I have about how incredibly lucky I am to have you as my daughter.

Over the last year there have been many changes in your young life.  You went from living in one home to having two homes- from living with Dad, Alex and me to alternating between Daddy’s house and my house and having Alex live away from us.  You welcomed Aubrey into our lives with open arms and a big smile.  You became an excellent caregiver for two chihuahuas and two new geckos.  You said goodbye to Mom Mom.  All of these changes had challenging moments, sadness and joy.  And we navigated them together and helped each other.  You helped people in ways you didn’t even realize, you helped just by being compassionate and thoughtful, trying again & giving people the benefit of the doubt when conflicts happened, and making us all laugh sometimes when we most needed to!

Each night at bedtime we say prayers.  We always start with something we are thankful for, and remember that we’re lucky to have each other and be a family together.  These are the things I am grateful for today:

  • the way you stole Aubrey’s hat, then told us that we could be a rock band because I had the sunglasses, Aubrey had the tattoos & you had the hat & could sing
  • your gentle pat on my arm this morning to wake me up
  • how you crawled into my lap after I lectured you about using nice words, and just put your head on me for a minute so I knew you heard me even if you were too stubborn to admit it right then
  • how eager you are to help and be part of what’s going on
  • the pictures you drew of all of our family members and how you told me that family is the people who are special to you, no matter where they live and if you were born with them or not
  • the way you talk to animals with respect and understanding, and how you always make sure they are as okay as the people we are with
  • your love of science and nature and your willingness to try new things, even if your first instinct is to stick with what you already know how to do

These are tiny examples, my beautiful Hannah Rose, of the many, many things that make me feel proud of you!  If I listed all the things I could think of, this letter would be as long as a big, fat dictionary!  For now, I’ll tell you one more thing and then I’ll leave my computer and go back to hanging out with you:

The picture below was taken at a little coffee shop a few weeks ago, on a day when you didn’t have school and we got to hang out for the whole morning together.  It was a Mom-Hannah day, running errands and laughing and planning and plotting.  When we stopped for this break, we shared a scone and you tasted my piece of quiche lorraine.  We talked about the decorations on the wall and what we liked about them, we made observations about the weather & the plates & tried to figure out what the other customers might be going on to do in their own days after they left.  We were just there, together, enjoying being mother and daughter.  It was somehow “timeless” for me, just a random moment that felt so good not for any particular reason, but because I love you and you love me.  And as you always tell me, that’s what really matters.

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I love you Hannie Rose!  Happy Birthday!

:~) Quote for the Moment (~:

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I have a dragon here and I’m not afraid to use it!  I’m a donkey on the edge!! 

~Donkey in “Shrek”

Lessons from my Hannie Bananie: Tell it like it is!

Hannah-isms, Part 2

Hannie fish dressShe’s still at it folks!  Through good times and bad, my little Hannie keeps me laughing and I am so grateful.  If you missed the original Hannah-isms, read about my beautiful daughter and her amazing sense of humor here.

Disclaimer:  Anything goes when it comes to Hannah’s views on the world.  I suggest you put down your beverages now, before you end up laughing so hard you inhale them.

And now for your reading pleasure:

dog sitting‎6 year-old on pets & family dynamics:  “Ok Mom pretend you have a pet monkey.  Like I’m a monkey.  And Alex is not a monkey, he’s just a regular brother who has autism.  And he doesn’t like dogs & I don’t either cuz dogs are scary for monkeys…  oh!  & I can sing and do exercises in the bathtub…” 

halloween 2011 hannie & momSix year-old on really important things:  Hannah:  “Mommy, I am sooo sad.  Do you see how sad I am?  (makes pouty face)  I am just. so. sad. because…  (insert dramatic hand gesture here)  .. I wish the smurfs were real.  I mean, I am soo into smurfs now.  I like them more than Ariel.  And I wish they were real, and they could come into our house, and I could play with them, and…”  (Mommy’s eyes glaze over… my god, what have we done?…)

hannie riding her bikeSix year-old on biking:  (Hannah, big grin in store)  “I want the cool Barbie bike!!”  (5 mins later)  “This helmet is awesome, look at me!”  (20 mins later)  “When can I ride it??”  (30 mins later)  “Hurry up, get it out of the car, I want to go biking!”  (5 mins later)  “I am NOT riding that thing!”  (2 mins later)  “I didn’t say I wanted to RIDE it, but you CAN’T take it back!!”  (10 mins & several deep breaths by mom later)  “I know how to get on by myself!”  (10 seconds later)  “DON’T let go of me!”  (30 seconds later)  “I don’t care if it has training wheels, keep holding ON!”  (10 mins later)  “Look at me Mom! I’ll race ya!”  (20 mins later, back to the big grin)  “Can you BELIEVE I rode the whole way myself??”

hannie carouselSix year-old on expressions of love: 

(Hannah, spontaneously from the backseat of the car)  “Mom, I smurfin’ LOVE you!”  (Me, eyeing my kid in the rearview mirror, pausing to consider her inflection)  “I, uh, smurfin’ love you too baby.” 

(Hannah, 5 minutes later)  “Mom, I f*#&in’ LOVE you!”

Hannie made in the USASix year-old on mainstream fashion

(Hannah walks in wearing a pink Eagles baseball cap with a purple pen clipped to the brim)  “Ok Mom, when Aubrey comes over I wanna ask her about this.  Am I off?  Am I like way off?  Am I super off?  Did I hit the bullseye?  Am I on?  Did I get it right?  Am I totally on?  Or am I SUPER on?”

dinner by hannieDinner by Hannah:  ♥  Salad greens with multi-seed rice cracker crumbs & raisins;  Gluten-free mac & cheese with a smattering of ketchup mixed in, served cold;  Hand-prepared green beans;  Finely shredded Mexican cheese in a circle;  Water service;  Mint Hershey kiss  ♥  “Mom, I read all the boxes, everything said gluten-free!”  ♥  “I snapped all the beans myself!”  ♥  “You get dessert right on the plate!”  ♥  (and my personal fav)  “Wanna know how I got those glasses down from the highest shelf??”

Hannie leopard hat(Late for the first-grade breakfast)  Hannah:  “Mommy, do you know what a truant officer is?”  Me:  “Um, I think so.  Don’t they catch people when they’re late to school?”  Hannah:  “No.  A truant officer finds all the kids who are out having fun & puts them back in school where they belong.”  (long silence)  Me:  “So Hannah, who’s the one who catches the late people?  Cuz that’s who we gotta watch out for.”  Hannah:  “That would be an *adult* truant officer.”  (knuckle bump)

han with coconut and argoblasterSix year-old on importance of sleep:  “If we sleep slow, we get more rest.  If we get more rest, we have more energy.  If we have more energy, we do more work.  If we do more work, we get more money.  If we get more money, we can buy more things.”

 

Hannie pink basketballHannah:  (one hand on hip, the other raised palm forward) 

“Ok *enough* with the tiny hiney jokes.  That’s it Mom.  Enough.”

 

Six year-old re-enactments:  Apparently we had a “situation” with the smurfs last night.  Fortunately Barbie, Ken & their trusty companion were on the case with a butterfly net.

barbie ken and smurfs

:~) Quote for the Moment (~:

autismhomerescue11241101“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

~ Dr. Suess

Click here for classic Hannah-isms!

(and stay tuned for even more!)

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