Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Progress and Autism

I seriously just typed the majority of a post entitled "Progress" and then accidentally deleted it.

So when you haven't updated your blog in a year and a half, you would think a basic overview would be needed. I would love to do a big ole update, but I'm tired. Recapping the last 18 months would only add to my fatigue. So for now suffice it to say that life these passed several months has been wonderfully hard. There has to be a better word than 'hard'. Just know that I am using it in the truest sense of the word.
Life has been hard.
However,it has not been void of great joy and triumph. It's ironic just how closely and seamlessly joy and sorrow, struggle and triumph are intertwined. One only magnifies the other. Such is life.
I have avoided this blog except to receive updates about others' families.  This blog is so incomplete. My children are no longer the babies pictured in the sidebar. Their legs are longer (even Jack's) and bows in Ellie Kate's hair are a thing of the past. Sigh. This blog has been a reminder that life goes on whether or not I record it's happenings.
I have so much regret in not having written about our day to day lives.
Birthdays have taken place.
Milestones have been reached.
There's just something that happens as life takes it's course. We aren't given timeouts or do overs.
I have a rather extensive list of unpublished, unfinished posts. The hardest thing for me to do is sit down and systematically write out my thoughts. That requires acknowledging all that's taking or has taken place in my life. So instead of trying to bring anyone up to speed, I'm just going to write. It's therapeutic and needed. Here I go...

 He stood at the top of the stairs and got everyone's attention .  I was walking up behind him. I watched as the room full of smiling, family faces turned at the command of his little six year old voice. With all eyes on him,he began having a meltdown complete with loud yelling. I did what I knew to do. I scooped Emmett up in my arms. He used to be lighter,but in that moment my mommy adrenaline was pumping. I took him into the sunroom away from everyone. Ross met me there. We spoke words of reassurance to Emmett. He soon retreated in his mind to a movie. I don't know which one. He does this often. Quoting lines and acting out parts. I think it soothes him. I decided to go and get my Mom who is better known as his "Nana". He loves her. And just like that he seemed okay.

The scene would replay itself later. He would fall to the floor and yell. I would once again take him to a different room. There I would just hold him. I would then press my face next to his and pray. I would allow the warm tears to trickle down as I thanked God for the gift of Emmett. I would simply ask The Lord to help him. I would want to stay in the room and just cry,but this was Thanksgiving day and we needed to return and visit with family.
So after Emmett calmed down,I returned to the living room. He went to the adjoining kitchen. There he darted or paced back and forth,back and forth while flapping his hands. He was stemming.  It's his way of self soothing. Typically I would try to pull him out of these odd behaviors and try to make him be fully present. But today I knew that he was overstimulated. He was out of his routine and surrounded by a lot of people so I gave him a break. I let him retreat into a world that only Emmett knows.
We've been on this journey with autism for a few years now. I've described it as unwrapping the gift of my son. He is so precious and amazing. He is a sweet, affectionate child. As my Grandfather recently stated," If he could really talk,I think we'd find out that he's smarter than all of us."
While Emmett is verbal, he often speaks in scripted tones and quotes phrases from movies. He has a serious love for the alphabet and the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  It overwhelms me to write about him, because like any child he is complex. 
Days like Thanksgiving take me back. Those days take me back to an uncomfortable place. A place where meltdowns were the norm and recovering from them took many more agonizing minutes.  It's in statements like the former that I have to stop and have a realization.
Progress has been made.

There is this thing about me that drives me crazy. I've known it about myself for some time and it's never served me well. I am an all or nothing person. The thing is that in the world of autism progress comes incrementally and often I don't even stop to recognize improvements as they are taking place. 
There is an account of Christ in the book of John that I heard before Emmett was born. It takes place in chapter 9.
As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
I love Jesus' response in verses three and four..."Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
I can recall the first time that I ever heard the concern of autism with Emmett. I was in a restaurant. I didn't fall apart there, but you can bet that the car ride home was tearful. In my mommy mind I had failed my blonde haired, blue eyed boy.  I was eight months pregnant with our third blessing and here I was unfit to be the mother to my first two children.
As Emmett's mom, I needed this uninvited visitor of autism to be my fault. It was an unknown, scary invader. I needed someone or something to blame. I felt that the responsibility needed to rest squarely on my already weighed down shoulders. Oh how I wish John 9:1-4 had been my first thought.

The Lord in His goodness has shown me a different view of autism. 
You see all the times that Emmett makes noises or has a meltdown and is just different, well, those moments point me back to Christ. I have no one else nor anywhere else to look except to my Savior.  Autism shows me my need for my Lord time and time again.
God has a purpose in Emmett.  He is not less than. He is exactly as he is meant to be.
I do not always understand the struggle. I definitely do not always appreciate the struggle.
In the midst of pain and hardship, I'm tempted to just throw up my hands in surrender to the struggle itself.  God likes when I throw up my hands, but He knows that my need is to be in full surrender to Him.  I do not have to understand what we have been or are walking through. I do have to trust Him and His good purpose in it all.
I rarely get this right.
My thankfulness comes in the knowing that He has been and continues to be patient with me. 
I often pray with Mark 9:24 in mind. A father brings his son to Jesus to be healed and says..."But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
"'If you can'?" said Jesus. " Everything is possible for him who believes."
Verse 24...Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

I see myself in that boy's father. I see myself in his raw, honest statement that expresses belief and the lack thereof all the while pleading with Jesus to remedy the latter.
I want to get this right. I truly do.
There is a richness in struggle. I hate it and love it all at the same time. It causes a turmoil. It churns and changes. It brings tears that accompany joy and tears that accompany sorrow. brings progress. Progress that cannot always be measured or felt, but that is present nonetheless.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thank you for your service.

She wasn't much to look at. 
The first time I saw her I knew that she would be necessary.  I knew that she would become a part of our family. 
She represented a new stage of life. 
I looked down in hopes of seeing my feet, but they were out of view.  All that I could see was my ever growing belly.  Our third blessing would be arriving soon and that is why she would be necessary.  And so we traded in, bargained, and brought her home.  She was nameless, but that wouldn't last long. 
Besides being necessary, she was important.  When that third bundle made his grand entrance, she carted him home. 
She was roomy.  Her doors opened differently and that in and of itself made me secretly fond of her.  I could push a button or pull a handle and she went into automatic mode.  I had never experienced this luxury, but when loading and unloading two little people and a baby, well, her doors made me feel as if just maybe this mothering thing could work without me having to grow a third arm.

I appreciated the options she offered by way of seating.  A fact of life that I have come to embrace is that children get along much better when they are unable to touch or breath upon one another.  It's part of a chain with a trickle down effect.  When kids get along, Mommy's mental state is somewhat more intact.  When Mommy shows a semblance of sanity, the household functions more properly. (Coffee also plays a key role in all of for the Mommy not the kids.)
Oh, and about her name.  Well I've already written about it before.  We came to affectionately refer to her as Dory.  That would be the same Dory as the fish with short term memory loss in the movie Finding Nemo

She seemed to forget that she didn't come equipped with certain features.  The main one to speak of was the helpful little beaping noise that would sound to let you know if you were about to back over something.  Even if she had come with this option, it wouldn't have helped when you're driving 70+ miles per hour on the interstate.  And that is when she would beep.  Upon further reflection, maybe she was just trying to impress us. 
It started to become apparent in the end that her days with our family were numbered.  As Ellie Kate put it,"Dory has given up on us 3 times." 
It was also quite unfortunate that I drove her 60+ miles per hour (for several miles) with the parking brake on.  My bad.
And so in the end she struggled.  She was one repair shop visit away from costing us more than we had originally paid for her. 
She was a swagger wagon that had lost it's swagger.
But I have to say that I am thankful for her mostly reliable service to us.
And so as I drove her to the dealership to drop her off for the final time, I verbalized my thanks. I felt as if I was turning in a season of our lives.  Important things had taken place within her doors.

Countless conversations had occurred during times of travel whether to school or to visit grandparents. 

I couldn't help but recount a testimony of progress in Emmett's life.  It was in her very back seat that instead of buckling Emmett in as Ellie Kate had always done, she instead taught him to buckle his own seatbelt.  Yes it was within her doors that Emmett had gained this measure of independence.  With her seatbelt fitted snuggly around his little self I had been afforded the opportunity to heap praise upon him for such a big accomplishment, as well, as assuring Ellie Kate that she was indeed the best big sister.
And so as I made the turn into the dealership to park her for the last time and turn over her keys, I think she responded to my many "thanks" with an almost audible,"I'm sorry, what's your name?"

Ah Dory you won't be forgotten. 
Thank you for your service.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome to Holland



Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I have so much to say about...

these little people. And hopefully soon I'll say it, well, write it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's state the obvious.

It really was a good my head.
Alabama in June is quickly approaching 100 degrees.
Our subdivision has a pool.
I have three children and only two arms.
I'm sure that the above mentioned pool would have something like 48 visitors on any given evening.
Not to mention that someone in our subdivision recently posted an article on facebook with the title, If you're in a neighborhood pool with three other people chances are that one of you is peeing.
I have two sons
When both of them are in the bathtub at night chances are that two of them are peeing.

Alright. Time out.
This was one of the drafts saved in my list of unpublished posts.
Never completed.
There are plenty more drafts awaiting completion.
Let's state the obvious. Most of those post will never see the light of day.

The most consistent blog is in my head.  I am constantly blogging in my noggin'. With three kiddos there is never a lack of inspiration, just a lack of time.
Truth be told, I won't give up my sleep to blog.  I just refuse.  
And that's how two months pass by with no new posts.
Also, when I publish this post, Bunny's picture is going to appear further down on the page.  I love clicking on my blog and seeing her little western themed self.  That was a good look for her. I may just have to add that picture to the sidebar. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

The one post that I hate I haven't completed is the one in which we were given Emmett's diagnosis.  I have the pictures uploaded but they aren't accompanied by words.  I must add the words before I post the pictures.  It just has to happen that way.

Here's something somewhat crippling about me.  If I can't do something the exact way that I want to then I'd rather not do it at all.  And that's another reason for the looooong silences on the ole blog.  That wonderful attribute serves me well...NOT.
Another quality that I possess has been passed on to my first born.  Her first grade teacher asked us to write a letter about our child so that she could get a better understanding of them.  And so I'm sure that it was incredibly encouraging to read that Ellie Kate often doesn't want to learn something, she just wants to know it.  I was quick to take responsibility for passing this onto Priss.  So this year we are hoping to encourage a love for learning.  So far, first grade has proven to not be kindergarten and that doesn't always sit well with Ellie Kate.

Speaking of Ellie Kate, today is her birthday.  She is turning six years old. (Sigh.)
This week in the car on the way to church she told me,"Mama, me and Nicolas talked about gettin' married today. We're gonna grow up and catch alligators together. We don't know what kind of stuff we'll have, you know, like a house and stuff.  We'll have some kids. We don't know how many."  To which I replied,"Does Nicolas love Jesus?"
Me:"Did he say that?"
EK:"No, but I can tell that he does because he does nice things."
She also included a description of this boy,"He's got brown hair, a freckled nose, and peach skin."
I gave Ross the heads up at church that night.
Ellie Kate wanted to ride home with him.
When he asked her about Nicolas, she responded,"How did you know about him?"
Ross quickly let her know that he knows about everything.
She went on to tell him that Nicolas is an expert in science.
And when she was giving her Daddy the description of Nicolas, it blew her mind when he already knew that that boy has a freckled nose.
After that Ross made Ellie Kate hold his hand all the way home.
It's always something with that child.
Glory be.

Just last week we celebrated Emmett's fourth birthday. (Another sigh.) 
Emmett's life is one of celebration.  Each accomplishment. There are no small accomplishments. They are all big.
Ross and I (and many others) continue to stand in amazement when it comes to Emmett's progress.  I really do hate that I haven't consistently written down all of the things that he's learning or doing.

We were told in May at his final appointment in Birmingham that he is indeed on the autistic spectrum.
What would appear to some as being a crushing blow has instead just been an identification of where he is.  One thing that we can't determine is where he's going.  Don't get me wrong, we fully accept and are continually accepting his diagnosis.  However, that little boy, time and again, blows any expectation that I (knowingly or unknowingly) place on him out of the water.

 Ross read part of a book this summer. It talked about the way that parents respond to their children.  It spoke of how our demeanor can relate our expectations to our child.  They can interpret what we think their capabilities are and their potential or the limit thereof.
And that's why we've claimed Ephesians 3:20-21 when it comes to Mr. Emmett. The verse says,"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

HE has already done more than I ever even knew to ask.  Emmett's progress has been beyond anything I could imagine.  These verses help point us to Christ.  It is through His supernatural strength that we are able to stand. We give Him all the glory for entrusting us with Emmett and letting us watch him overcome challenges.
Emmett helps me to see that we are all uniquely made.  And so we sit in expectation of where this road will lead.  It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.

And that leaves our little Jack Jack.  That would be the one tugging on my arm as I type.  Besides sleep rivaling the blog, Jack is in direct competition for all of my time and attention.  Even now he fusses loudly saying,"Ba...Ba...Ba" (Ball), over and over again.  There's a reason I've been calling him Caboose lately.  It's like our family is a quirky little sentence and Jack is our very loud exclamation point at the end.

This is Jack (with his Meme) after his big boy haircut.
Ross decided to give him a major haircut.  We're talking remove-all-of-his-baby-hair type of haircut.  This Mama was not happy.  In the single Godliest act of my life, I halfway forgave him.  Now it looks like Emmett has a little clone following him around.  They look so much alike.

There is one thing that I have to mention.  This one thing has completely altered my life and led me to a statement that I never dreamed I would utter.  The statement I am referring to is "I want my minivan back."

You see our minivan, Dory, has had some major issues. First of all, we call her Dory because she is unclear on what features with which she is equipped.  For instance, we have been driving down the road and Dory has begun to beep.  This would be the feature in which when you are in reverse and coming close to an object, your car beeps so that you don't bump into it.  Well, Dory does not have that feature and if she did it really would not help us when we are going 75+ miles per hour on the interstate.

The other thing that she does is turn the passenger side air bag either on or off depending upon her mood and who the passenger is. At any given time the air bag button will either turn off or light up.  Don't test her.

And so we call her Dory after the fish with short term memory loss on Finding Nemo.

Well Dory has been in the shop for 2+ weeks now.  She apparently has some transmission issues.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to borrow a car from a family member.  However, in said car my children can touch each other.  Dramatic pause.  That's right.  Emmett can keep his hand on Ellie Kate's arm just because he wants it there.  And Ellie Kate can yell something like,"Quit touching me! Emmett's touching me!"  This may or may not be followed by me reaching my arm over the backseat trying to cause some separation. And that leads me to this statement.  My arms are too short.  And so depending upon the volume and level of violence in the backseat, I may have had to pull over beside the road, get out of the car, and play referee. 
I can assure you that after the above actions have taken place and we've resumed our trip, Emmett has always once again felt the need to place his hand on Ellie Kate's arm.
That's just the way it goes.
And that leads me to making the statement,"I want my minivan back."

The Three. Notice this is before Jack's big boy haircut.

Well that is a quick little random all over the place update.

Oh and about the it seemed like a good idea at the time story above, well, let's just say that we ended up with a small inflatable pool and a crazy sprinkler.  After trying to blow the blasted thing up and getting dizzy, I loaded the kiddos back into the car and we drove to a gas station where I spent more money on getting the pool halfway inflated than the darn thing cost to purchase.  We then proceeded back home.  After getting possibly 15 good minutes of 'pool time' I surveyed the scene to note that one child was on the brink of having a potty accident in the yard. This led me to say, "Just go ahead and go." After making that statement I noticed that my neighbor heard the entire conversation and I could not even pretend to be embarrassed.
Jack was content for the most part being covered in 1,345,972 giblets of grass.  Meanwhile, Ellie Kate stood outside of the pool, arms folded demanding that everyone get out of the pool because she just wanted to relax.
After tracking the 1,345,972 giblets of grass into the house, I realized that it was already six o'clock and my patient children were crying for the supper that I was yet to prepare.  Needless to say, when Ross arrived home I was still in a damp swimsuit with smeared mascara trying to calm the masses.
Actually as I write this, I cannot recall other specifics of the evening because I'm guessing that I blocked them out.
And with that, I will not promise any blog posts until the world once again spins correctly on its axis I get my minivan back.

Making a wish.
Blowing out her candles.

Blowing out his candles after stopping to say the blessing.
Giving Aunt Jennifer some sugar.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bunny: A life well lived.

August 6,2001-June 21,2012

I remember the first time I saw her.
I was in a difficult period of my life mostly because of my own poor decision making.
I was going thru an odd, overwhelming process of recovery.
I had bought a chihuahua named Scarlet.
After just six months Scarlet was killed by a car at my parents' home.
Six months into recovery and my recovery puppy died.
I went back to the same lady who had sold Scarlet to me.
I looked over the sea of chihuahuas. 
Talk about some yapping. Glory.
And there she was.
I think it was her expression that caught my eye.
She had such a worried look about her. 
Her little eyebrows were full of emotion.
I said,"That's the one I want."
The lady replied,"You can't have her. I want to breed her."
I left.
Apparently the lady called my mom and said that I actually could have the little white one because she knew that I would take good care of her.
It was around Thanksgiving.
I was getting ready to go to a family gathering and as I stood in the bathroom fixing my hair, Bunny literally sat on my foot.
I was her person.

I didn't know what he was about to tell me. Last Thursday Ross led me to the front porch and closed the door behind us.  He had come home early from work and wanted to talk to me.
"What are you about to tell me?", I said with a nervous smile.
He took a deep breathe,"It's Bunny."
"What?", I asked as I covered my face with both of my hands.
"Your Mom found her. She died in her sleep.  I'm so sorry, Baby."

It was the second time that he had left work early...for Bunny.
The first time was when I was seven months pregnant with Ellie Kate and I had returned home from school with no Bunny to be found.
And now before me stood my dear husband.  In all of my quirkiness of love for my little Bunny, he had embraced me.
When we were first married, we (meaning me, Ross, and Bunny) moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  Remember, I was her person. 
Ross and Bunny had to get use to each other.
He told me that when I would leave for work in the mornings, the door would close behind me and Bunny would look at him as if to say,"Why did you make her leave?"  Then she would have nothing to do with him as she made her way to her bed to mope until I returned home.
She moped to the point that we considered getting her a pet.  We ultimately decided that unless Bunny could learn to clean out a litter box, she was not ready for pet ownership.
I remember laughing hysterically one day when Ross told me,"She really thinks that you gave birth to her."

Now he was having to tell me the news that he knew would break my heart.
And then in a statement that made me hug him tight, he said,"I want to drive you to your parents' house so that you can see her again."
 At 6 p.m we loaded up Jack, Emmett, and our best babysitter Lindsey. (Ellie Kate was already at my parents' house.)
We drove to Ariton. 
I walked in and there at the end of the counter was a shoe box.
I opened it to find my Bunny.
And then I sat for a while and cried and petted her.
When it was time to go, we all gathered around.
Ross said, "I'll say a prayer."
I quickly interjected,"First you should share some of your memories about Bunny."
He briefly gave me a "Really?" look.
Then he proceeded,"One of the first times I met Bunny..."
I interrupted,"That's not a good memory. You should share another one."
He said,"Okay, I'll share two Bunny stories."
He started again,"One of the first times I met Bunny was at Amy's apartment in Troy. Bunny was sitting in Amy's lap. I leaned in to give Amy a hug and Bunny quickly launched toward me actually lodging onto my nose.  Thankfully, she didn't bite down."
True story.
He continued,"The other story about Bunny that comes to mind was when we lived in Kentucky. I was ironing a shirt in our extra bedroom. Bunny walked into the room, around the ironing board and sneezed directly on my foot.  She then turned and left the room."
Of course, we all laughed.
Then my precious husband prayed.
It was a sweet prayer of thanks for giving us pets and the joy that they bring into our lives.
After that we left returning home around midnight.
I love my husband.

On the way home I talked about how weird it felt to lose Bunny.  It was as if a chapter of my life was closing. It was another reminder that I don't get to choose how quickly or slowly the pages turn.  As I said before Bunny came into my life when things were difficult.  My mom use to call her my little enabler because on days when I felt depressed, Bunny would snuggle up next to me and we would sleep for extended periods of time. 
She was a source of unconditional acceptance.  She was never once not happy to see me.
She has traveled extensively even taking a few airplane rides.  Thanks to my Dad she was heavily medicated during those trips. I remember taking her out of her carrier in the Atlanta airport.  I wrapped her in a blanket covering everything but her little face.  Then I sat looking proud of my bundle and watched as people rounded the corner.  They would glance down at what appeared to be an infant in my arms. They would quickly look away only to return a last fleeting glance.  I knew they were thinking,"I guess every mom does think their baby's pretty."

Ross and Bunny both hung in there and whenever a storm came, she actually would go and sit beside him.  I think he made her feel safe.
She was probably just fully accepting my husband when I brought home Ellie Kate from the hospital.
Bunny simply acted as if Ellie Kate did not exist.
Complete denial.
Of course, Ellie Kate learned to crawl.  She began reaching and grabbing.  So Bunny spent more time at the safest place in our home, underneath our bed.
And before Bunny even knew what had happened we welcomed two more bundles into our home.
Her method was one of avoidance.
With the craziness of three young children, Bunny never necessarily helped out, but she did always offer that same sympathetic look of concern with her one eye and wrinkled brow.
And when Jack would snack, Bunny knew to appear because finally we had a baby who liked to feed her whatever he was eating.  She did have to approach cautiously though.  Jack was bad about appearing on her blind side and popping her on the rear.  He always followed this obvious insult with a deep baby chuckle of laughter. But he did feed her.  Of course, he also stole her food which can explain his shiny coat  hair.
And so Bunny suffered through children.
It wasn't all suffering.
I think she enjoyed Ellie Kate's tea parties.

I was blessed to have my little companion for the amount of time that I did. 
I think she had some cat in her because she had more than one life.  Several years ago Bunny cheated death when she got hit by a truck and survived.  She lay in the road until another vehicle came along.  The driver thought she was a squirrel but his daughter who is no doubt an exceptional person recognized that Bunny was a dog.  They rescued her from the road.  She was left with a black eye that made her look as if she'd been in a bar brawl. (Of course, Bunny didn't go to bars.)  That accident left her blind in her left eye, but as mentioned in a previous post it only heightened her other senses causing her to still be an ominous threat if the situation called for such.

My college roommate called to check on me after Bunny passed away.  We laughed as we remembered taking Bunny along with us in college.  Around Christmas time we would put her little santa hat on her head. She would spread Christmas cheer as we picked up our food at a drive-thru.  We quickly realized that people are so much nicer to you when you have a dressed up chihuahua.

It seems that everyone knew Bunny.
Thank you for indulging me by letting me just be my quirky self and post about my sweet, little chihuahua. 
She will be greatly missed.

I've had people ask me how Ellie Kate has handled it.  Well do not worry for a moment about her.  Remember she was at my parents' home when my Mom discovered Bunny?  My Mom told Ellie Kate that Bunny had died.  Her reply,"She never done that before."  To which my Mom responded,"No Ellie Kate, Bunny never died before."
When I was petting Bunny in the shoebox, I picked Ellie Kate up.  Looking over at Bunny she said,"Yeah, she's dead alright."
A couple of days ago when Jack dropped some food on the floor, Ellie Kate said,"Oh Bunny will get...No. Bunny won't get it because she's dead."
And now when she sees a picture of Bunny she says,"Bunny was alive in that picture."
I asked her if she was sad at all about Bunny and she said,"Yeah, but I'm not going to cry."
And I think this event of Bunny passing has led Ellie Kate to other conclusions. Just a few days ago she told me and Ross that we are older than her and her brothers and that we would die before them.
I would like to say that she was choking back tears, but I think she was just letting us know what to expect.

And so our household carries on.
We have so many Bunny stories, songs, and inside jokes that will be told and retold.
She's in countless pictures and videos.
I am sure that at some point there will be a picture post just for her.

I'm sad but I'm also grateful that I got to be her person.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A, um, "dreadful" Tea Party

(For Rebecca)

It was to be a tea party like any other that Miss Ellie Kate had hosted numerous times before...or so one would think.  She began by whittling down her guest list to include only three guests; Miss Belle, Miss Rapunzel, and Miss Bunnadette "Bunny".  How was she to know the rudeness that would come from one of those guests?  She had never combined the word dreadful with one of her tea parties, but with table set and conversation ready to flow, sadly this event would include tense moments and would be an abrupt change from the joyful parties of old.
Miss Ellie Kate greeted her first guests and posed for a photo.  And next to arrive, fashionably late was Miss Bunny. She chatted, making small talk and exchanging pleasantries.

And then the known fashionista made her daring reveal.  Yes, today country western was her mood as reflected below.

Miss Ellie Kate was rather amused by Miss Bunny's choice of clothing and as hostess she quickly approved of the whimsy that Miss Bunny's clothing provided to the sometimes staunch atmosphere of society events.

Belle was quick to compliment Miss Bunny's ensemble.  It seemed as if Rapunzel would follow suit.

And then out of nowhere Rapunzel raised her hand and commented snidely about Miss Bunny's outfit.  Miss Ellie Kate sat with a nervous smile across her face.  She could not believe what was unfolding before her very eyes!  In her own words,"I was thinking that was mean. That's all."                          As the verbal assault continued, it was noted that Miss Bunny chose not to stoop to the level of Miss Rapunzel.  Everyone knew that the unkempt mane of Miss Rapunzel was a wide open target at which, if chosen Miss Bunny could aptly hit the bulls eye  with an unkind remark of her own.                               
And in that moment when Miss Bunny chose not to be rude, Miss Ellie Kate ever the gracious host, stepped in to the defense of her battered guest.  As Belle sat at the table with a painted on smile backed by an unmade bed and unfolded laundry, Miss Ellie Kate pointed directly at Miss Rapunzel and said,"Stop."  Never had there been a more appropriate word spoken. 

And as Miss Ellie Kate turned to speak with Miss Bunny, it was noted that in the classiest act of what was to be this season's social engagements, Miss Bunny had removed both her hat and bandanna and slipped quietly out of the party.  She did so having never spoken a word of contempt nor even disdain toward Miss Rapunzel.  No, with dignity intact Miss Bunny having made a fashionably late, grand entrance simply made a calm exit choosing to let her silence speak the loudest of all.
  When asked to reflect on her tea party Miss Ellie Kate said,"Dreadful. That's all." 
And in a daring act of loyalty toward the graceful Miss Bunny, the hostess with the mostest, Miss Ellie Kate ban Miss Rapunzel from her tea parties.  In a statement to the press Miss Ellie Kate clearly expressed her feelings,"What does banned mean? (I told her.) Oh yeah, that's it. She's not going to (attend another tea party) until it's 10 years."