Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Technologically Challenged

I love using technology (who doesn't right), but I am terrible when trying to figure out anything do with with widgets, html, javascript, codes, etc... You name it and I will most definitely be lost, a tad confused, and then so frustrated that I walk off to do some laundry or bake something (now there's something I totally understand). I just don't understand the language!

Today, like many days before this, I almost gave up trying to figure out how to add a widget to my blog. The widget is for the YouCaring site I set up to help raise funds to build Rae's wheelchair ramp. My attempts at finding help through the "help" searches on Blogger proved futile...everything was written in such a complicated manner (would it be too much to ask for pictures?) it is no wonder my poor brain got confused. I was a History student for pete's sake not CIS! I posted about my lack of technical savvy and two women quickly came to the rescue! (Thanks Sharon and Nyssa...I honestly couldn't have done it with out your help) I promise I am not a complete ditz.

In short, (shocking I know) the widget is up and active and now that I know how to add widgets (which doesn't require me to enter complicated codes that I don't understand) I will probably be widget happy for the next couple of weeks!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Getting Ready for Wheels

I'm a planner (I think I have admitted this to you before). I consider myself something akin to a lookout. Kind of like that guy in the crow's nest of a ship making sure the path is clear & alerting the crew to potential dangers ahead or a military scout boldly going ahead of everyone else to make sure danger isn't lying in wait. Getting ready for Rae's wheelchair has not been an exception to my obsession with planning or plotting our next move. As a result, in the last two weeks we have made some pretty decent strides in achieving our goals.

Step One:
Get a state id card for Rae. After four tries, we finally got a halfway decent picture of Rae. By the time we did it was with great relief that I was able to sit her back in her stroller. Holding 30 pounds up in the air for a picture and trying to stay out of it at the same time is no easy task. I can't blame her frown though...we waited for an hour before our number was called and she was over it.


Step Two:
Get a disability parking permit issued for Rae. I actually had the paperwork for this back in December, but misplaced my lockbox key and couldn't get to the required paperwork in order to obtain an id. Of course it was in the most obvious place and I overlooked it three or four times. Duh!


Step Three:
Order Rae's tilt and space wheelchair...the only decision I had to make was selecting a color. It will take three to four months for the wheelchair to be built and delivered. I'll wait until the wheelchair has arrived before I unveil the color I selected (gotta keep something a surprise).


Step Four:
Organize fund raising events where all proceeds go towards the purchase of materials to build a wheelchair ramp. We are having a yard sale on March 23 (unless it rains and then it will be on April 6) and I set up a account.

Double Check

Step Five:
Work with Mom and sketch out plans for the ramps design. Yup, she is just that talented. In fact, she even designed floor plans for a house (the architect the drew up the official plans wanted to keep a copy...she said no). Both of my parents are pretty darn awesome when it comes to designing and creating solutions. I guess that's where I get it from.


Step Six:
Pick dates for ramp construction. This is tentatively scheduled for two weekends in May. I will be serving light breakfast fare and lunch to my volunteers. It is the least I can do for the men coming to swing hammers, set posts & lay shingles (slight roof extension is needed to protect Rae for the torrential Florida downpours), and pour an extension for our driveway.


Step Seven:
Price materials, pull permits, and...

Okay, you got me...we're not quite at 100%, but we're chugging along and I know we couldn't do it without the help of family, friends, and a few kind strangers.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Extending Invites

Years ago a friend called me and I could hear the hurt in her voice. She was a single Mom at a time when most of her friends were either single without children or married without children. At times, that became very frustrating for her (understandably). She felt alone and left out. Friends and family would make plans and not even ask if she would like to join them. Whenever she asked why they didn't invite her their response was, "Well, we didn't figure you'd be able to go." This really hurt her because they weren't even giving her the option of declining or trying to make arrangements for childcare.

I was one of those single friends without a child. After she confessed this hurt to me, I tried to remember to give her the option of accepting or declining any invitation. I no longer wanted to arbitrarily dismiss her (because of an assumption on my part) and unintentionally hurt her feelings.

Fast forward several years and now I feel like I am in a similar situation. I have a young child. She has special needs. Her care can sometimes be complicated (we have 4 therapy appointments a week). She has to have medicine twice a day at a specific time (so I'm always on a schedule). Her liquids have to be thickened so she doesn't aspirate and develop an infection in her lungs. She isn't mobile so her activity level I spend the vast majority of my time taking care of her or taking care of something related to taking care of her (making appointments, organizing her medical binder, on hold with insurance/doctors, researching diagnoses or assistance programs, therapy, etc...) Going out with her can be a production and going out without her requires someone I am confident and comfortable with caring for her while I'm away.

Any "extra" (hahaha!) in our bank account usually goes towards the next doctors appointment or miscellaneous bill. So, our nights of partying, going out for dinner & drinks, or checking out the latest movie is severely restricted (yes, I know we aren't the only ones having to cinch our belts). We have become homebodies...partly by choice and partly out of necessity.

But, here's the point of this story...I'm lonely. I try to remember to call friends, but when I'm free to talk (usually during the day) they're at work. When they're free to talk I'm in the middle of dinner, trying to spend time with my husband, in the middle of Rae's night time routine, or cleaning up before bed. By the time I'm finished with all that business, I'm ready for bed or it's too late to call anyone. I find myself wondering if I have now fallen victim of the aforementioned assumption. Everyone knows our life is a little hectic right now (seriously, I blog about it so there are no secrets here) and maybe they just don't want to upset me by extending an invitation that they think I won't be able to accept. I get it. But...

Years ago, this assumption was brought to my attention and it changed the way I related to my friends. I may be privy to some of their struggles in life, but I don't have the right to decide whether or not they are able join me in a particular activity. That's their choice. Making the assumption that someone else is not able to accept an invitation and deciding not to extend the invite can be hurtful. Give them the option...they'll probably appreciate that you thought of them...even if they do end up declining.


I wrote this months ago and never posted it...don't know why...but the message is still the same and universally applicable.