THANK YOU for joining our family and making our family complete. From the moment you were born I felt an amazing feeling of peace and awe. You have a very special spirit and I know our Father in Heaven has some big plans for you. I'm not sure if I am worthy enough to be your Mother but I am so thankful that I was given the gift of raising you. One thing I do know though is that you will always be loved. You have two big brothers who already adore you and protect you, you have a big sister who will always be willing to lend a hand or give a love. You have two parents who love you so much it hurts. Your Grandma has probably already kissed you more then any other baby on earth, you have a Grandpa that loves you more then you will ever know and the countless numbers of cousins, aunts and uncles you have cheering you on through this life. I can't wait to see who you become and what you accomplish because you, son, are amazing.
We celebrate the life of the best man I ever knew: a soldier, a father, a husband, a man of faith, a great friend, a warm heart, and the biggest smile ever - my nephew Ray Wallace. His cousin, Cameron Ray Wallace joined our family at 1:32am this morning. May he be as happy in life as his namesake!
Okay, you know that illusive 'list' I've been refering to for a while now? Everyone here has been working like dog to get as much done as possible...
Flower Pots Planted? Yep. Beautiful and growing great.
Everyone's haircuts? Yep. Check that one off! (Thank You Keali!)
The house cleaned? Yep. That's done too! (Thanks Marixa!)
There might be more left on the list but, Frankly, if it's not crossed off yet, it just isn't going to get done before baby arrives. Yep, yesterday I had a pinced nerve in my back. (soo much pain!) so I called the Dr. and he moved my induction date up... to TODAY! My Mom (who's amazing) was able to change her plans for the week, switch a few appointments and get on the next direct flight out. She arrived late last night and I'm off to the hospital now. Wish us luck, Baby Cameron is on his way!
I realized after I posted about The Kitchen Island Upgrade last week that I hadn't actually posted about the kitchen originally and since I just got my house cleaned top to bottom, today was a good day to snap a few shots before it doesn't look quite as sparkly.
The kitchen is one of the things that sold Husbandface. He loved it from the minute he saw it, I had to have it grow on me a little. It's not quite part of a great room but it is very open and the flow is perfect for us and all our entertaining plans. I love the granite counters, the travertine floors (that are addly heated... hello, people? we live in HOTlanta!) and the color they had it when we moved in.
The view from the living room;
The view as you walk in from the garage door;
See that on the right? The HUGE sink? That is single handedly one of my top 5 favorite things about this house. Let me go on record now, experience one farmhouse sink and it will change your life, FOREVER. You'll never go back. (just sayin'). It's black and while I thought I wouldn't like that part of it, I love it too!
And the view of the breakfast nook and bar;
You can see a another angle here. I love how much natural light there is and I love the windows going all the way to the floor and looking back on our adorable backyard.
By the garage door there is a pantry.... and the doors to the 1/2 bath, the laundry room and the bedroom/mudroom.... A lot of doors in a little space..... Don't worry, we're going to fix that.
I show you this horrible picture to inlist your help... Yeah, I'm starting to formulate a new project. (just when that baby list was shrinking, I go on and make a new one....) Right now the pantry space is completely under utilized. The shelves are bad, the wasted space is excessive and the competition for space in a hallway is maddening. So we're planning a semi-big project. A BUTLER'S PANTRY. We're hoping to put it together 100% ourselves (and by we I mean he) and keep the budget to under $2500 while still getting a custom-high-end look oh, and we want to get it done before school gets out in May... accomplishing this with a newborn in our arms. (yes, to answer your question; most of the time we do realize we're slightly crazy.)
I fell in love with Bulter's Pantries when we lived in New England and up there every old house has at least one. Tons of storage, tons of personality... in every single personalized spot! They're hard to find pictures of to explain but, Here's what my first round of reseach has thought up.
I have no idea how it will actually end up but it should be fun to see where this process takes us! So, any ideas and links you want to share before the demo and ordering takes place? Check out my Pintrest Board; To Plan - Pantry. Feel free to send me any ideas for simplifying, making the most of our money or for utilizing the space that you have? We're open to anything.
****just a warning, don't click on the following links if you feel like criticizing my parenting or my my son, I re-read my situation or watch the video clips of him struggling and I break down into tears- and not because I'm pregnant but because it's heartbreaking to see him hurting and knowing everything I do I can't always help him to see how amazing and special he is and let us in to help.****
I thought I'd take today to give a little Ethan update. This school year and this move has been way more then just rough on him. Three schools later and he's still asking for Mrs. Lee almost daily. So right now he's at a public school in our district that is supposedly wonderful with special needs kids and has supposedly wonderful staff equip to handle Ethan and his needs (which, by the way, are not very extensive compared to a lot of special needs kids/parents I've met over the years.) He has an IEP (Indiv. Education Plan), with a few modifications, he's in a standard school classroom and goes out in a resource like setting for a few times throughout the day, he gets speech/OT services regularly there, ect. If you have a child anywhere on the spectrum, with ADHD or any delays you should totally have one. With Ethan we also set him up a few years ago with a BIP(or a Behavior Plan) again.... this isn't standard for the school to give out and come up with on their own but you should definitely have one for your child, even if they aren't having behavior problems... actually esp. if they don't have behavior problems. It basically gives goals/ expectations for a child and his/her behavior in the school but also gives a little help to the staff about what their expectations about the child's behavior and reactions will be. The reason I say do it before there is a problem is that if you don't the is absolutely no protection for you/your child in regards to discipline. Okay, I'm off my soapbox, let me get back to Ethan's situation....
Ethan had an IEP from Barrow County Schools.... It was wonderful. It gave expectations/ goals for him that the school staff was constantly working on, it gave us as parents the touch points that we needed to re-enforce and it also gave step-by-step guidelines to follow if for some reason Ethan ever had one of his Autism Meltdowns (like this or this ) at school. Let's be clear here... Ethan is 9 nine years 2 months now.... developmentally his overall age is 7 years 2 months. (We are super proud of that number) In some areas he is more severely delayed (his gross motor skills age is 6 years 1 month) His logistics and planning skills are 22% below of where they should be for his age, his body awareness skills are 32% below an average 9 year old. He does not have these fits regularly, in fact even after everything he's been through this year with multiple schools he's only had 3 meltdowns, and they were all here at home. He's gotten upset and acted out a little at school but nothing major.
Last week that changed. He completely broke down at school and this went from bad to worse. The schedule was changed, the teachers were impatient, Ethan was fixated on a library book and come to find out.... the teachers and staff hadn't even read his existing BIP. Yeah, it's the stuff Special Needs Parents have nightmares about. After picking him up and calming him down in minutes and hearing him cry all night about how hurt he was and how much he hated school and was scared to go back, my heart started breaking.
They handled Ethan all wrong and eescalated it to the point of no return. AND THEN they tried to suspend my 2nd grader for 30 school days.... yep you read that right.over 6 weeks of school suspension. For a 2nd grader? that is developmentally a Kindergarten er?! Ha! It was so ridiculous it was laughable. Thankfully we did have an BIP in place. Doug went in for a meeting with the school the next day and Ethan ended up with a 3 day school suspension so I've had him home with me this week. We have cuddled, we've read together, he's gotten in lots of Owen time and taught him how to play the Wii sports games, he's played and played with his puppy, he's baked with me and he's gotten his confidence back. Today he even got to spend time with his very best friend in the entire world.... and now he is HAPPY again!
Spending more time with him makes me realize how amazing he is. He's smart and funny and intensely loving and yes, he gets angry easily. Yes, he has a low tolerance for certain textures or sounds, and Yep, he sometimes acts inappropriately for his age but you know what? He's full of so much life and imagination and talent and love that it's nothing but contagious. He's trying so much harder then your average kid to do even simple things like learn to dress himself and express his emotions. It wears on him and it hurts him but he's fighting a hard battle and refusing to give up.
Don't get me wrong, having Autism and raising a child with Autism is hard. It sucks sometimes and it's exhausting and painful but IT IS SO WORTH IT! I couldn't imaging Ethan being anything other then who he is. Shortly after Ethan was diagnosed I scrapbooked my thoughts and they're still exactly how I feel.
Last year I left my cute house, and my garden at the most painful time. Flowers were in full bloom, tomoatos were days away from perfection and the cucumbers were literally mouth wateringly plump. As I was following the moving van I started making plans for our dream garden. Fast forward 8 months and now it's starting to take shape. I can't contain my excitement! We've ordered all the supplies, we've started our seedlings and this weekend we (and by we I mean, Husbandface) will be building the garden bed... it is times like this that I am loving living in Georgia!
Want a sneak peek into what I have planned for the backyard this spring? Check out my Pintrest Board, To Grow. You'll see the kids are getting thier own little Secret Garden, I just planted my flower pots and this is the Dream Garden being put together as soon as it stops raining.