finding normal

So, we started the school routine again.  It's been two weeks - and I still feel like we are treading water here.  I know it is busy for many families, but I do long for the day when the day-to-day will seem "normal" and not hectic.

What didn't help matters in the first week was that Rachel (and subsequently Janneke and Emily) developed colds.... bleah.  But, we are on the mend, and so far, no more new coughs.  Rachel is still dealing with some pain, but we are able to relieve her with Tylenol/Advil and massages.

A full day for Rachel means a new bus route and new drivers too.  She was excited to see the little yellow bus come, but when the new driver and rider came out to help her, she gave them both a very serious look - I love it that she can see when things have changed.

Of course, the first day of school was also the day Blue Spruce Homes decided to work on the concrete right in front of our wheelchair lift.  After listening to the guys drill into the old driveway for three minutes, I think Rachel was relieved to get away on the bus.

Ralph hooked up the girls' swings on the deck.  What a treat to have the girls sit outside and enjoy the day without trying to find a way for one person to push two wheelchairs over the dirt into the backyard!  Now we can simply wheel the girls from their beds to the swings.  Often, after supper, all six of us will spend time on the deck, savouring the last bits of daylight before the night routine begins.

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When Rachel started her troubles with the cold and pain with digestion last week, I felt discouraged.  We often refer to our girls as being disabled, but when I am trying to understand a non-verbal daughter who is crying, I feel as though I am the one disabled, limited in my ability to help her.  Not easy at all.  Lack of sleep and trying creating a new routine quickly exhaust me, reminding me that I can't do it all.  Those are the times when I truly feel like I am treading water, trying to swim.

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Thankfully, Emily and Sophia are enjoying their time with friends and teachers at school, and they do relish the time at home - whether it is sleeping in, playing in the mud, reading, or just using their imagination.  

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Here's hoping the feelings of normalcy come soon.  Four mornings a week (starting at 7), Marlene (a family friend) will help me get the girls ready for the day.  Lists are posted to remind us of what Rachel needs for school, what the girls need for meds, etc... and Saturdays and Sundays are certainly treasured when we don't have to race the gang out the door.  We have nursing care lined up for more of our Saturdays which will help us.

Next week, Janneke starts her preschool program.  (I will be going with her and staying nearby in case there is a problem with the feeding pump.)  Janneke will be in the same program Rachel had two years ago at the Niagara Children's Centre (new name - no Peninsula), and we are thrilled to have her work with the same staff.  We look forward to the new experiences Janneke will have with friends and new caregivers.

Peace for your week.