New normal

Okay...I've spent a month trying to make summertime what I want it to be instead of accepting what it is and adjusting my expectations in order to make the most of it.  Surprisingly enough, I'm not referring to the lack of summer weather we experience in northern MN, but what I want to do with my family to enjoy it.  

I think of summer as... 
  • hyper-focsued family time. 
  • Staying up late to hang out with friends or cuddling up for a family night
  • trips to the lake or beach to make sandcastles and splash in the water
  • digging in the dirt and smelling the flowers at the Rose Garden
  • The canal to watch the ships come in
  • parks, parks and more parks
  • a long drive down south and fun times with cousins we don't get to see very much
  • freckled faces, bike rides and jumping on the trampoline
  • picnics
  • drives up the north shore and throwing rocks into the water
  • Gardening with Grandpa  
  • swimming at Ms Ethel's
  • Father's Day out to dinner
  • Hoping we can soak up enough vitamin D to make it through the winter hibernation (I know it's not possible, but a girl can dream, right?)


Abby has been aggressive, but the past few days we've made some med changes and she seems to be improving which is great!  We've started a routine that includes leaving the house every morning.  She's been talking (making verbal noises) again, which is a good indication she's happier :)  Andy and I have been taking Belle and MaryAlice out without Abby and trying to get used to doing that more as their idea of fun and hers is often quite different.  We know our lives can't completely stop when Abby is like this, but how do I turn mom off and not keep doing everything I can until I figure it out? I don't like leaving her home.

New Normal

Our goal is still to have Abby live in our world, but it may look different than I wanted it to.  Just because it doesn't meet my expectations doesn't mean I spend the rest of my life sulking in the reality while missing out on other possibilities.  Our new normal might be less of her with us, but that doesn't mean she's out.  Just because I feel like a failure of a mom to have not found a way to make it happen doesn't mean I miss the bigger picture of having two other girls who need to have a childhood and the fact that Abby doesn't mind (or even know) she's being excluded. 

I thought (my hopes and dreams, not hers) that if we had a PCA with us we could include her and do anything that "normal" people do.  Sure it's a bit more costly and we get less privacy, but we've embraced the blessing of the ones that help us and focus on what they bring to our lives.  They get to see us as we are w/o make-up, spilling tears and yelling at the kids more often than I'd like to admit.  We've lived in community and have been about as real as possible with these girls over the years.  Now they not only help her be with us as much as possible, but allow us to do things without her if needed.  As Abby's needs have greatly increased, so has our lack of privacy.  I'm scheduling them for twelve hours a day this summer.  I can't even make a meal or do laundry w/o someone here.  I don't like not being enough. 

Our goal this summer is to keep her happy while keeping the rest of us safe :)  Oh, how quickly our goals change.  I intended to hit her communication device this summer.  We even purchased an ipad for her (and Daddy) to increase communication, but now I'm working on putting her Veggie Tales silly songs and Vivaldi on there to add more ways to simply calm her.  Potty training and feeding herself have been on the top of our lists for years now, but... they are shelved and that's okay. We choose peace an pray another season emerges to tackle those once again.

We had one day of "Happy Abby" and a breath of calm before things fell apart again.  Molly (PCA) walked in and told us Mik (her daughter who was supposed to be a new PCA) was leaving for the rest of the summer.  Although we are excited about her opportunity to be a trail guide in SD, I was trying my best to smolder a panic attack. 

I'd grieve this as soon as I have a moment to process it, but in the meantime it's been a mad race to figure out what to do as Danielle left yesterday for ten days.  I couldn't post my losing it while she was here or I risked jeopardizing her enjoyment of her missions trip, and that wouldn't be fair.  See, I usually start hiring for summer in March so the girls have time to get to know Abby and see if they can handle her for longer periods of time before I'd need to.  School help usually only has her for a few hours after school, but summer help has to be able to keep her busy for long periods of time.  It's just a good way to train someone slowly so they're not overwhelmed.  

Once again this applies, "It's okay to cry... as long as you stop." 

Happy Abby showed up again this morning, so maybe the meds are doing the trick?  We needed a appetite suppressant to combat all the hormones, so maybe they were a blessing in disguise because I probably wouldn't have tried them again if we hadn't needed to curb her appetite.  With a barrage of doctor appointments we found out she is progressing quickly through puberty and she could be done with all the hormones in six months to a year.  That would be beautiful!!!  We're dealing with her changing body... my baby girl in a big girl body isn't the easiest; but once again it's what is best for her rather than me :)  I'll preach that to myself again and again in the next year I'm sure. 


Control

I can't control what happens in life, but I can control how I react to it (preaching to myself once again).  This isn't what I wanted, but who knows maybe it will end up being the best summer yet?  With Daddy home working on projects we are together way more than normal.  We'll takes some trips without Abby and focus on the two girls rather than feeling guilty for having fun without her.  Belle and MaryAlice have bonded over avoiding Abby and having no other play friends around as we've stayed closer to home which is awesome for a mom to see :)

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