We haven't done a Q&A in a long time! So I thought, "What the heck, we are so interesting I'm sure people have millions of questions!".... NOT! But we do have a new little surge of friends following along who did have some fun ones. And some personal ones, too! Good thing I'm an open book. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. This was fun.
In order of timing, I'll start with something that I've never really talked about...
1.) What is the story with you and your husband? Scott and I lived in the same apartment complex when we were in college. We had a million mutual friends and our paths crossed often. The first time we saw each other was at a friend's birthday party where I was cuddling another guy (insert slapping forehead emoji)! Scott wasn't scared off by a little competition and asked a friend to set us up. She fell through and we continued to run into each other at events and around town. He later asked another friend to set us up and she came through with a fun double date. I remember thinking he was so attractive and sweet but that he was a little too shy for me. Plus I was kind of dating someone else at the time.
Our circle of friends often overlapped and we started hanging out in groups. He made it clear that he was interested and I made it clear that I wanted to date around. He says that I was a tease but I will deny that to the grave! Deep down I think that I just wasn't ready to get married and I knew he was the real deal. Scary stuff for a 23-year-old. We went on a couple more casual dates and then kind of let things fizzle out. Later that year we started hanging out again and became great friends. Literally three or four of my friends casually dated him in that time (shy? I was wrong about that, clearly!), and I teased him about all of the girls who adored him. He was so humble and kind and always blew off those remarks. One night we were going to "jam" on our guitars together, and while at his apartment a cute blonde showed up who had serious heart eyes for my "pal", Scott. We all started watching a movie with his roomates and I watched as she snuggled into him. All of the sudden a very jealous feeling came over me and I was so embarrassed that this was what it took for me to realize how much I wanted him for myself! A year later, we were married. His casanova days came to a close. Three kids later, I love him three hundred times as much as I did back then.
2.) How do you balance (split) time between all three kids? I don't. The reality is that some days one kid needs me more than the others and some days I'm forced to give more attention to a specific child because of schedule demands.
A couple posts back, I wrote about my highly emotional daughter. No matter what the day entails, I try and always give her some undivided attention and extra time. Her little soul needs and craves more time than the boys, for sure. She feels love through words of affirmation and quality time. Some days I fall short but my goal is to always have at least two activities with just her and me each day. Whether that's snuggling and having "girl talk" while the boys are napping, watching a movie together in the evening, or laying in her bed after tuck-in reading extra books. I try and I try and I try to make sure her emotional cup is full. That being said, she does have two wild little brothers that require a lot of physical attention and wrestling around! Between diapers, keeping them from destroying the house or hurting themselves, I am running around with my head cut off all day! Not to mention, working with Welles and his developmental needs can be time consuming. On those days, I try to constantly recognize Scarlett with words of affirmation. I make note of her little tasks, like sharing a toy with a brother, putting her plate in the sink, helping Welles reach something, grabbing me diapers, etc... I try to constantly to verbally recognize her little accomplishments so that she still feels loved and connected when I simply don't have a lot of one-on-one time for her that day. We are finding what works!
3.) What is currently the hardest part about Welles' diagnosis? I'll be honest. Welles is by far my easiest child right now. He is happy more than 90% of the time. He makes me feel so loved and he is such a content child. He kisses and hugs the other kids when they're upset or throwing a tantrum. He goes to bed easily. He loves school and working with therapists, and his language has come so far! I feel like he has made some serious strides in the last six months and I am so proud of him. Not really answering the question, am I? Okay, okay, what's hard? Communication could be better. Sometimes when I see other kids his same age, I wish he could talk to me the way they talk to their parents, even with the strides he's made. But while I don't always understand what he's trying to say or what he wants, his emotional expressions are so easy and I feel so connected to him that way. I never have to guess how he's feeling. One other difficult thing... most kids LOVE and gravitate towards him... but some kids don't understand why he is big but not acting like a big kid. It breaks my heart when kids aren't kind, get frustrated with the way he plays or just stare at him. But honestly, that is so rare! So super rare. And when I see it, I try to help them understand. I hope that all parents will take time to explain Down syndrome and other developmental diagnosis' to their kids when given these opportunities.
4.) What do you do to re-charge? Like Scarlett, I'm a "quality time" kind of person. When it's been a long week (most weeks;)), I like to do a date night with Scott. There is no other person that I would rather spend time with. I love getting away and having time to focus on us and our relationship. Our week is consumed with the kids and we love it. But those nights away really give me fuel. Also, unusual family time does something for my soul! That can be road trips, hikes, family picnics, drives up the canyon.... just activities that get us out of the norm. Then, of course, having those core girl-friends and sisters to escape with. I'm such a social person and socializing with adults, not having to worry about poopy diapers, feeding kids, or doing laundry is really good for me once and a while. Scott is good about letting me escape with pals whenever I need it. Also, running.
5.) Are you planning on having more children? Getting personal! And I don't even mind it. The answer to that is, yes. Probably. We would love one or two more children. Once it's chaos, what's a couple more?! Jk. But kind of serious. We would like to do this down the road. Hopefully when these three are in school and I have a little more time on my hands. Ya know, just as things start to seem a little more relaxed (less baby work) and everyone is sleeping through the night... then we'll start all over again! That's the plan right now, anyways.