Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wrong Place, Right Time

Right place, right time.  

Wrong place, wrong time. 

I hear those two sayings used frequently.  A right place, right time moment usually leads to something positive.  A wrong place, wrong time moment has usually led to a negative outcome.  Earlier this week, I had a "wrong place, right time" moment.  I'm glad that I did. 

After getting Ronan buckled in the car, I said to one of our therapists who had come to the house to work with us that morning, "I have to run back in to get my coffee.  Oh, and the iPad, too.  He'll use it on our drive back."  As I remembered here we were headed, I realized that we were coming straight home, not going off on the errand that we sometimes do after this appointment.  We'd be back sooner than I thought.  Realizing that I wouldn't need to bring the iPad, I said, "Wait. I don't need the iPad; we're coming home right after his appointment." 

I went back in the house.  

I grabbed my coffee.  

Then I grabbed the iPad.  

As I unplugged the iPad from the charger, I remembered what I had just said.  "I don't need this," I said to myself and walked out of the house.  Saying goodbye to the therapist, I got in the car, put on my seat belt and drove off.  I was a minute later in leaving the house than I'd planned.  

Ronan and I got on our way.  About to turn out of our neighborhood, I saw traffic immediately slow down.  Then, it completely stopped.  I could see why.  Creeping very, very slowly past the scene, my heart skipped a beat.  A car had flipped and was facing on-coming traffic in the exact lane that I was traveling.  A sedan, with what looked like smoke coming from the undercarriage, was resting on its side half in the lane, half in the shoulder.   

Traffic was heavy that day, and it was raining.  Maybe those were factors that contributed to the accident.  Surely, other factors could've contributed to the crash, too.  Perhaps it was a distraction - like texting, or putting on make up, or reaching for something that had fallen, or reading a book.  As odd as that sounds, it's not too far fetched.  My kids have seen a few drivers holding and reading books while driving!  I didn't see how it happened, but whatever caused this car to flip and land in our lane, I believe that we missed being hit by mere seconds.  

People were starting to park along the side of the road.  Some drivers were coming out of their cars and were running to assist.  Others cars had also stopped, but they were still in the roadway.  Those drivers, likely involved in or witnesses of the accident, were beginning to get out of their vehicles.  They looked too stunned to do anything though.  One on-looker just stood and stared.  Another began to cry.  



Once we cleared the area, I focused on where we were headed.  Safely past and able to resume my speed, I got us underway again.  

Daily, we say the Guardian Angel prayer.  Angel of God, my guardian dear... I actually say it quite often.  I'm in and out of the car several times a day as I pick up kids from school, take them to or from after school activities, as I run errands, as I get Ronan to therapy.  I'm on the road a lot.  The kids and I are on the road a lot together.  I can be as safe as safe can be while we're out and about, but I make sure to be on the constant look out for potential trouble spots and for bad drivers wherever we go.  Before even getting on the road, I know that I ask for some spiritual assistance and oftentimes do.  
  

I don't know how the driver of that wreck fared.  I'm hoping well.  He or she has been in my prayers for a few days now.  I've had another prayer running on repeat, too.  That Angel prayer.  It's a simple one and offers me great comfort.  With how many miles I log, and with how many distractions there are out there on the road, I think I'll continue to keep it on repeat.  With how quickly something can go wrong like it did for that driver, it feels like the right thing to do.  

xo, Cat







Tuesday, July 4, 2017

and Sat and Sat and Sat

We've had more bathrooming woes than victories lately.  I've written about messy bowel movements and pee accidents before.  We talk about those here at home quite a lot.  Not because they're such a fascinating topics, but because we can't seem to catch a break on toilet training Ronan.  

If ever you're visiting us, more than once a day you might hear:  

"Mom, I think Ronan needs a diaper change!"  

"Mom, he leaked out on the couch.  Again."  

"Honey, get me another outfit for Ronan, please.  This one is soaking wet."

Earlier, I was bemoaning how dependent Ronan still was in the toileting department when he came up to me and signed that he wanted juice.  I thought to myself, You want juice?  You're going to get juice, buddy.  But, you're going to sit on the toilet first.  

I thought Ronan would protest - he usually does when it comes to going into the bathroom.  No matter how many times we encourage him, Ronan always seems to hesitate going into that one room in the house.  Working through sensory issues (it's small and the flushing sound can be quite loud) and the unknown (why would he need to sit on the toilet when the diaper catches what his body expels?), we've always hit more roadblocks than successes when attempting to get Ronan to use the facilities.  

Until today. 

Today, after Ronan confidently walked into the bathroom, I helped him sit on the toilet and quietly talked him through the process - first sit, that's it, careful now, you got it... and then handed him the cup of juice he requested. 
Three cups of juice later, out came the pee!  Since it was the first time he'd peed today, quite a lot came out.  Ronan wasn't phased by it, but I squealed and jumped for joy.  Then I ran to where the siblings were and told them.  Then I ran to where my husband was and told him, too.  We all jumped for joy. It's a huge accomplishment and one we hope continues.  

Ronan took just one very teeny tiny step closer to independence, but I'll take it.  I'll happily take it and excitedly hope for more.  

xo,
Cat  
  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Prayerfully Consider


Jacksonville, FL has a population of 853,382 (2014). When I was there a few weekends ago, I was hoping to find one of those 853,382 people - a man named Patrick Flynn.  

Patrick is the guy who's fighting a diocesan ruling that's denying unvaccinated children their education.  They've been barred from enrolling in Catholic schools for 2 years now.  Ever since I heard about Patrick's case, I'd been praying about contacting him.  

Should I?  His fight is a good one, but it's not my fight.

Why should I anyway?  Even though the Bishop's ruling directly affects family members living in Jax, I didn't know what to do beyond encourage family to fight back.  


So I prayed one more time...

God, if it's meant to be, please lead me to Patrick.  Well, holy cow, er...I mean, Holy Spirit!  My prayer was answered.  I ran smack dab into Patrick in the middle of the street outside the Church where the Bishop had just said Mass. 

Talk about chills.  


I wrote about the convo Patrick and I had.  His fight is a tough one, but it's worthy of all of our attention, especially for other Catholics even if they're not living in that diocese.  How can you help?  Prayerfully consider supporting his cause.   

Pray.  

Share the link.  

Donate.
*

And believe that justice will prevail. 

xo, Cat

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* Link to the gofundme page

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Will Always

My daughter pointed out to me that it's been way too long since I've added anything new to my page here.  I have tons of stuff to share but have had no time to sit, type, and post.  I'll hopefully get some time to do that soon.  Until I can, here's something short and sweet for today.  It's some thoughts from a discovery that took place a few years ago.  

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Sometimes, I can't believe the music Ronan chooses.  Other times, I realize that the songs he picks are spot on.  I shared one of those amazing discoveries before.  The one I'm sharing today was, at the time, totally random.  Thinking it was so totally random, I'd shared with some friends:

"Ronan's choice of songs tonight  Little dude's music is amazing."  

He'd picked I Will Always by The Cranberries.  And it really was amazing.  

A friend offered some insight later that night.  She said that when kids like our non-verbal children open what we believe are just random youtube clips, they are actually trying to communicating with us.  The more Ronan's done that, including with that Cranberries song he'd opened and played for me, the more I wholeheartedly agree with her.  


Thinking back to when Ronan found that song, it made me pause.  When I listened to the song by myself, it made cry.  Ronan played it for me before a rash of sickness and seizures hit him. 

I will always
Go beside you
You will always
Understand.

Knowing that I'd never leave his side while he was beginning to not feeling well must have given him comfort.  Through the illness, through the sleepless nights, and through the worrisome seizures, I never did leave his side.  I'd promised him that I wouldn't.  It took quite a few days for Ronan to bounce back, but he thankfully got better.  

Ronan's played other songs for me since then that I know are not so random.  When I hear those songs now, like when I heard I Will Always last week, I'm reminded of a few things:  

First, Ronan really has great taste in music.  
Second, he is communicating loudly and very clearly via that music.  
Finally, and most importantly, he knows that, no matter what, I will always go beside him.  

How could I not?  He has been, and remains, my biggest inspiration. 

xo, Cat





Friday, March 17, 2017

...Is Love


So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13


I love taking photos in the kitchen as the brilliant morning sunlight streams through the window.  I thought I'd missed the opportunity today, but as I made Ronan's breakfast, the sunshine started to pour in.  It was SO bright!  I almost burned my retinas while snapping pictures today.   

You can't see the super, bright sunshine because of the way I edited the photo.  I still think it's a great photo.  I think it's perfect with the text I added, too.  That verse has been on my mind all week.  And that heart?  It was part of a Valentine's Day gift I got from my husband.  I've been staring at it all week. It sits on the windowsill where the sunshine greets me each morning.     

I'm grateful to have captured a photo where I could share the heart and the message.  Faith is important.  Hope is as well.  And love?  

Love motivates.  

It trusts.

It protects.  

It hopes.

It never fails.

Love is essential.  


Love is all sorts of things.  But out of everything, it really is the greatest.  May we all be blessed today with love.    

xo, Cat


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Start to Finish

I love watching Willem work on his art.  He is so focused and creative.  Where I can only draw stick figures, he adds artistic elements that I've never even heard of.  

Friday night, I asked Ronan's little brother to help me with an illustration.  I told him it would accompany a post I wrote that's going up today about super heroes.  He quickly agreed to help.  The finished product came out amazing!   

I took some pictures of Willem while he was work.  From start to finish, it took him about 2 hours to add all the detail.  Here's the progression.  



Ronan overheard us talking about the Iron Giant. Guess who started watching the movie a few minutes later??  Yep, Ronan!  That's him in the bottom right photo (above).  Willem thought it was neat - Ronan was 2 rooms over when he heard our convo.  He may not say much, but Ronan is so receptive! 



From a plain piece of paper to the final product, I think it's perfect.  Willem used pencil, pen, and colored pencils for this piece.  He drew freehand while getting inspiration from screenshots of certain scenes and by also watching the movie.  The final draft is in his "gallery".  You can find it and other recent creations of his by clicking this link.   

Enjoy!

xo, Cat


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Everything In Between

We grab learning moments every chance we can get, even while we're still in our jammies.  

My niece gave us this game at Christmas.  We don't play it 'by the rules' so much yet, but every morning, I take out the tiles and see what words I can make.  Ronan watches and listens as I pronounce them.  If he recognizes a word, he signs it to me.  

I love today's words!  
My favorite ones from today?  Darth Vadar.  We don't have a sign for that one though.  :)





As I snapped some pictures of Ronan making 2 of his favorite words with the tiles - dog and cat - my eye caught the letters A and Z on the kids' morning devotional.  Ronan loves his letters, and I love the sweet yet powerful message that uses just 2 simple letters. 




God is the Beginning.  

God is the Ending.  

Not only that, He's the everything in between, too! 

Because God is also the everything in between, I know that I don't ever have to go it alone.  God's here with me, and He promises to never leave me.  He is right there beside me no matter what I've done, said, or have failed to do.  I'm thankful for that.  I am so very thankful for that. 

xo, Cat


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Updated 3/4/17- my kids informed me that I have a typo, and I guess, a Bananagram-o.  I can't believe I spelled Darth Vader's name wrong!  Oops!!!