You see, I take on too much and I'm a procrastinator at heart. I try and counter these tendencies by doing everything just as soon as it's presented for doing.... read: NOW. I know, of course, that it's not possible to sustain this practice or mindset indefinitely so, inevitably, I crash. And I've been crashing lately. All the things that need to be done that I'm not getting to -- in favor of the more important tasks like caring for my children and being involved in their lives -- are weighing heavily on my mind. And, my mental health and house are suffering for it! Generally, I'd spend what could have been a rejuvenating mental health weekend trying to catch up on the housekeeping... TRYING and marginally succeeding before inviting our "regular" life back in... And the cycle begins again.
Then something or someone reminds me by telling their story -- either about how much cr*p they're going through or how thankful they are for the blessings in their lives -- and I get hit with a 5 ton brick of guilt. My moment of questioning why I feel so overwhelmed is inevitably followed by a good soul cleansing that only thankfulness affords me.
That's when I know I'm on the right track again... I just have to keep reminding myself that it feels good even though it appears, on the surface, like one more unnecessary thing on my to do list. (Kinda like exercise! LOL). Anyway...
 The boys are having their potty epiphany... At age 5 (and not a moment too soon with Kindergarten just around the bend)! I was beginning to think my Potty-Epiphany method of toilet training might not be possible for my identical twin boys who happen to have Down syndrome. Shame on me for ever thinking that my extraordinary boys, blessed with an extra 21st chromosome, might never have the potty epiphany.... Proving true once again that children with Down syndrome can do everything any other child does but they do it in their own time and in their own way. So, 5 is the magic number for us and I'm potty training. I'll let you know how it goes...
[Hold on, the 20-minute timer is going off. Gotta go put them in front of the potty.]
 I've been yelling a bit too much today and it's not making me feel very good about myself or my parenting skills. Why? You ask. Because my Old Soul is being 8! She has some nerve acting her chronological age instead of her old soul's age. Not doing what she's told and then complaining when my ignored advice turns out to be just what she should have done. It's no fun being ignored. But it does prove that she has a mind of her own and she is willing to risk everything to use it. That bodes well for her future... My present? That's another story.
[Needed a nice-sunny-day break but I'm back after taking the kids for a visit with Grandpa in the nursing home, a jaunt on the playground and a walk at the Nautical Mile waterfront.]
 Yes, we're just back from taking the kids to visit my Dad at the nursing home and I'm feeling pretty lucky to still have my Dad to joke around with. That's more than many of my friends can say. Though he's drugged and deteriorating -- succumbing to the evils of Alzheimer's and the meds necessary to control his sun downing behavior -- he still recognizes us. He lovingly kissed The Boys' imaginary boo boos, played that pull-your-hands-away-before-I-can-slap-em game with the Old Soul and demonstrated his warped sense of humor is still in tact in between momentary drug-induced naps. He's alive and kicking [though barely] and I'm glad for the few moments of pleasure I witness as he plays with his grand kids. Needless to say, my Catholic guilt comes bubbling to the surface when I miss several weeks of visits when my crazy ol' life gets in the way, but his lost sense of time makes him think we've just been there the day before... even if it's been several weeks since I've come. It's hard seeing him like this. But, I am glad he's still here.
 The nice weather is finally, hopefully, seasonally upon us to stay, I think... and pray! That's important because it's a surefire way to lift my spirits. I LOVE to be outside with the sun shining in my eyes, feeling its warmth on my skin, going for a run-walk in the neighborhood, gardening. Hitting the beach, jumping in the pool or runing through the sprinkler with the kids. We go to church carnivals, street fairs and medieval festivals (goofy but we LOVE them!). I'm committed to getting back into kayaking and SCUBA diving this year (I promised The Old Soul she could give the latter a try.) More daylight hours, less coats, warm days and cool nights, no school (at least for the Old Soul). Oh, the potential for fun is endless. Yeah, Summer's in the house! Woot Woot!
 I know this sounds trite and I know every mom must feel this way at least 99.9% of the time. But I've got to say it... I've got the best, most amazing kids. Seriously, they're growing up big and strong and healthy. They're gentle and kind and loving (except when they're really tired, like right now, LOL). They're learning, progressing and becoming beautiful little men and woman right before my very eyes. They blow me away! I am in awe of each and every one of them... with their understanding of the world and the consistent love they have for all living things all demonstrated in their own unique way. I am truly blessed!
May I never take any of these extraordinary gifts for granted.