A few weeks ago we took a quick trip down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA). We decided to go late in the afternoon instead of first thing. With this change in schedule we were able to see the otter feeding, something that in my delusional mind, would be fun for the girls. Claire and I went up a few minutes early to get a good spot to see the show. As people crowded around, she got overwhelmed and just as the feeding started, totally lost it, so we retreated. As soon as she had some space she was fine, so we opted to watch on the video screen below. The trainer was telling the crowd how the feeding wasn't just a play time, rather it was also a period of a rich environment that the otters learn important skills they need, and with that I stopped breathing. That sounded so familiar! Here all sorts of people were gathered around and so interested in the rehab of these otters, as they stared at Claire as she rolled around the exhibits wringing her hands. Don't they get it, she needs a rich environment too! With that, we went home, me with a pretty heavy heart. Fast forward a few weeks, the Layton family was hanging around in the area and we were able to meet up with them at the MBA. I love being around Maren and Leah and couldn't think of a better way to try my hand at being in public again. We showed them all of the highlights including the hot pink flamingos exhibit. At the end of it, is a display about changes everyone can make to help, Maren found the picture that said it all and it was then that I knew this would be my theme for the year.
It was a good thing that Maren's husband Ryan was there, he watched all three girls while we had our picture taken, which I have to say I was very impressed with. I just loved the expression on the lady in the picture, because regardless of what I look like, that is how I am feeling almost all of the time. Five days have now passed since our fabulous play date with the Layton family. Today I found myself having to wake Chloe up to go get Claire, we were already 10 minutes late when I went to get her only to find that her shirt had obviously been used to wipe off her hands after having them in her poopy diaper. With no time to spare I took her little poop cover self and strapped her in the car to get Claire. Once we were home, the first order of business was to change Chloe. Of coarse I got her completely naked before remembering that the diapers were still in the car. So I put her down to run around while I fly down the stairs, but before I go out the door I see that Claire had fallen asleep on the couch. I knew that if I left her there she would certainly end up with a finger in her eye or a naked butt on her face, so I quickly laid her down on our bed. I then again started to make my way for the car when I saw Chloe, standing on the carpet in the hall, peeing, sigh. Went down got the diapers and got Chloe dressed. By that point I was laughing, in a crying sorta way. Then I got a message on my phone and saw the picture "OF COURSE I CAN" it's my new background, a much needed reminder. I really wanted to have a giant pity party and sit in the corner and eat my weight in sugar, but Claire was waking up so there was no time for that. So I did the next best thing, I ate sugar with the girls. I think that a large part of the pity party and my frustration in general is that we are no longer in crisis and I am not sure what to do with that really. Aside from the creepy neurological activity that has been pretty random, Claire is doing GREAT!!! At school today she used her talker to get popcorn that her aide was having as his snack, she is calming down pretty quickly, standing better, getting more confident with her walking and learning a bunch of academic type stuff too. So other than the fact that she has Rett syndrome, life is actually normal right now and is scares the daylights out of me. For years I advocated like hell, pushed insurance companies and had IEP's every month or two. But I don't have to be doing that right now, it is all working like a fairly recently oiled machine. So without the need to work on sitting, standing, hand use or anything else, we made brownies. When I first had the thought it seemed so logical, Of coarse I can. And you won't believe it, I did! It was my first cooking demo with both girls and it was great! We then watched Beauty and the Beast while they baked and following that had a dance party to veggie tales while I folder little link clothes. For the icing on the cake, after dinner, Claire pooped on the potty, for the third night in a row!!!!!!! All that to say that I am not entirely convinced, but I will keep saying it out loud until I believe it, OF COURSE I CAN.