Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010



I'll never get a decent picture of my kids on Christmas Eve will I?

Oh well. These rotten ones are starting to grow on me.

I didn't get many pictures of the present gluttony. No one else would help me take any and I was spending to much time saying, "Show me what you got" and "Look the hell at me!" so I gave up. Plus I had to sit down a lot. That was day six of the virus. But because we are such givers, we went ahead and went to church AND to the Christmas party down the street. Everyone was fever-free at that moment. How was I to know they'd all start sporting them again the next day?



See? They looked fine.



Santa brought a nice dollhouse for Elizabeth. She loves it. She doesn't even mind that Santa just picked up any box willy-nilly not realizing there was a choice of families even though the picture was plain as broad daylight on the box. While we were skeptical of the outcome upon first sight, she never even noticed the difference. Elizabeth's loving family gets along just fine with her new Strawberry Shortcake and Toy Story 3 Barbie and the mama has a delightful weave extension that they all just adore. I hear them complimenting her on it all the time. Really.



Santa brought Jacob a nice, new DSi and the Kingdom Castle Lego Sets ($$$) he desired but they played second fiddle most of the day to the creepy toy hamster he picked up on sale on a whim (yay! a bargain! must get it!). Five dollars. O-Kay.



After we empty the stockings and inspect all that Santa supplied, we eat a short breakfast and then get back to business. The kids are usually fine with this although a bit antsy but this year Adam drove us absolutely batty wanting to open this one gift. I don't know what he was expecting, he never would say, but when we finally let him go first and rip that thing open he was in a rage. Adam. Was in a rage. Easy-going, laid-back, aw-what-the-heck-I'm-good Adam flew completely off the handle when he saw Sword in the Stone (which he loves btw). I should include the poor kid had a fever of about 101 and coughed the whole night through, but still. Completely out of character for him. Needless to say he missed five minutes of the festivities.



Aside from the funky dollhouse, Elizabeth had a very Belle Christmas. Three Belle dolls, a Belle barbie, and a costume, plus jewelry, cosmetics, and paper crafts all sporting the current favorite Princess. Santa had a hard time finding the right Belle baby because he kept sending his elves out for it who returned with not quite the correct replica and the coveted one could only be found on Amazon for quintuple the original price so he had to make some choices. Imagine his suprise when he found it at the grocery store of all places and the little Belle fan was right there! Screaming to take it home no less. It took some manuevering, but the big elf left his post at his very important job, sped all the way to the house to stay with her for fifteen minutes so Santa could go back and retrieve the ONLY BELLE to be found before someone else realized what a dusty gold mine they had there. It was worth it too. She rocked and cooed to that Baby Belle all day long and declared her "perfect". She has since included all the other Belles and is currently having a tea party with all three upstairs.

I must go get their picture.

The husband surprised me with a Kindle although we'd decided not to exchange gifts this year. I love me some Kindle. When it works. I'm going to let him go on his annual one week ski trip and not complain about it. I'm figuring that was his angle all along, but what the heck.

Another Christmas down. 363 more days until the next one.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And It's Only Day Five

Our family has been blessed this Christmas. One of my precious students, whose mother just could not let her miss the holiday party even though she had a 104 degree fever, graced me with not only a huge hug but a parting uncovered sneeze resulting in all of us being diagnosed with the 11-day virus which is currently making it's way around southeast Texas.

Yeah us.

At least that mama rewarded me with a whole $1 Target gift card before she drove away in her bright blue Hummer.

I mean, seriously, I just would've liked to have seen the look on the cashier's face when she requested ONE dollar. Really?

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but dammit. She made me sick. On Christmas. Bah, Humbug.

Anyway....

I need another week.

I have done no baking. There has been no decorating. Our tree is up but it's missing an entire box of ornaments that is still sitting outside the attic door waiting to be carried downstairs. Only half of the outside lights are strung. I forgot to buy Elizabeth's music teachers gifts. We haven't looked at Christmas lights. Our Christmas dinner needs to be started.

I am completely overwhelmed with all that needs to be done before tomorrow.

I'm still trying to figure out how we'll get two sick kids out of the house long enough to bring the big stuff out before midnight. I don't even feel like digging out the big stuff.

You know what else? My mom was here last week just long enough to be coughed on and now both my parents are sick as well. Too sick to make the three hour drive to see what Santa brings.

And the ham is staying with them too.

Wah.

I want a Christmas do-over.

Wondering if the kids will notice if it doesn't happen until New Years this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas?

It's the first day of winter!

Brrrr....well, more like whew.

It's 85 degrees outside and I'm enjoying the weather my sweet little terrors babies.

They are currently painting an early Christmas gift of wiggly wooden snakes stripped down to their underwear while listening to Let it Snow. Don't want to get paint on their clothes, you know.

If the neighborhood pool weren't locked, we'd head over there for the afternoon. And you know what, if I can figure out how to climb the fence it might still be an option.

I could bring my radio and turn it to the all-Christmas song station.

That would be a hoot.

Of course, we can always go sledding.....



Hohoho! AHAHAHAHAHA!

Excuse me while I set up the sprinklers between our holiday decorations.

Happy Winter Solstice from Texas ya'll!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Kitty Love



My cat and my doll.

This is a nightly occurence.

Phoebe was never interested in the boys. In fact, she spent much time hidden in closets or under beds while they were tiny. She still doesn't seem to notice them much, although she doesn't hide as much as she used to.

The day we brought Elizabeth home from the hospital we placed her in her crib and went back to check on her ten minutes later and right there beside her was that old cat. She was purring. Of course we didn't leave her there, but every chance she got she tried to sneak in.

It was like she was so grateful to finally have some more estrogen in the house.

Do cats have estrogen?

Anyway.

Elizabeth drags her, brushes her, puts stickers on her, rocks her, and attempts to dress her like a princess and that cat just takes it.

Twelve years that cat loved only me. She was part of our family, but she was my cat.

I think she's Elizabeth's cat now.

And you know what, I'm okay with that.

As long as she'll snuggle with me now and then.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

As If I Don't Have Enough to Do

Ya'll are so good to me.

Your support during my pity party was greatly appreciated. It's nice to know a girl has someone out there. Even if we haven't formally met yet.

Things are a little better this week.

I actually kinda like Jacob's new medicine even though it takes over an hour to begin working in the morning and the patch leaves raw red spots on his skin. It lasts longer than the last one so he is more tolerable in the evening. Of course, we saw Santa last week too, so I am sure that is helping some.

Yes. My kid is in fourth grade and still thinks Santa is one hip dude. I will milk this for as long as I can because as unpredictable as he is, I wouldn't put it past him to ruin it for his siblings.

That, and I really just enjoy seeing him get excited about something. He rarely does these days.

My MIL was here for over a week. I'd like to say these visits get better but they don't. My husband is always so pissed off after she leaves blaming me for the shambles that was his vacation week, but you know, I wasn't here a lot then. Thank goodness for that low-paying job. She has taken to lying. A lot. And wandering around the house all night long. Ten days of little sleep and complete confusion will wear at people. My husband is still an ass, but at least he's a less furious one.

I am kinda ticked off that Frontierville is requirine 200 side dishes and 20 RSVPs (THAT DON'T WORK) to complete the Thanksgiving feast mission. I mean. C'mon.

Oh, and the whole nobody stepped up to be kindergarten room mom leaving me to somehow being delegated the position.

Get this...

(And why I'm surprised about this, I don't know. Adam does go to Jacob's school)

Today is Grandparent's Day at the school. It's really a huge plea for donations masqueraded as a salute to the previous generation, but they make a huge deal over it. Kindergarten especially.

Last week a mass email was sent out by Adam's teacher requesting help on the day of and then another request when no one took her up on the first one. I shot back a reply all letting her know I could be there ONLY if Elizabeth was welcome too since, well, what would I do with her? She said that should be fine and I would be getting an email shortly from the room mom to let me know what my duties would be.

A couple of days later I went in and asked the teacher quite casually, yet a bit concerned, "Hey, what's up with the Grandparents Day thing?" to which she replied, "I have no idea".

Okey-dokey then.

And I promptly forgot about it because I have three kids, a job, meals to cook, and a house to clean.

Fast forward to yesterday, oh ten am-ish, when my email dinged with I can only describe as a vindictive nasty-gram from our "room mom" letting me know that

OUR CLASS IS IN CHARGE OF BRINGING TEA AND LEMONADE FOR 150 PEOPLE. THERE IS NO WAY I CAN DO THIS AS I WILL HAVE A HOUSE FULL OF GUESTS AND I ALSO HAVE CHILDREN. I NEED SOMEONE TO TAKE THIS ON ASAP. OH. AND WE NEED 3 LARGE RECTANGULAR TABLECLOTHS. I CAN'T BRING THESE EITHER BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN.

And following that well-written piece of information was all the forwarded emails between the four kindergarten room moms and the organized of this fine event. There had been meetings. Our class was delagated to bring the above. Four weeks ago. I am guessing since room mom has kids it has taken her this long to forward the emails. Or, heck, even show up at any of the meetings because in the transcript of the holy Grandparent Day scribe it was noted, NO ONE FROM MRS. B'S CLASS WAS IN ATTENDANCE.

WTH?

Why sign up to be room mom if you so obviously can't take that on?

And do you have to be so capital-lettery bitchy about it?

So not wanting my kid's class to look bad today with bare tables and no drinks, I shot back a reply all email to the entire class to let them know I could stop at the store and get some tea and lemonade but I absolutely, no way in h-e-double hockeysticks had tablecloths, could someone else bring those?

And you know what?

Not one email back did I receive.

So I bought $20 dollars worth of beverages and brought them to the special Grandparent's Day room this morning where one of the other teachers was also dropping off her own stash of drinks because she was told our class wasn't participating.

WHAT?

So we had a lengthy conversation about all that was missed when "room mom" chose not to attend the meetings and let us know what we needed to do and apparently we're going to a Christmas tree farm and we have to buy our kids an ornament for the Nutcracker field trip and there's that party in a couple of weeks.

Okay then.

So I take my kid late with his Gammy in tow for the big beg fest program and I stop in to ask his teacher if she, in fact, has an actual room mom. To which she replied, "Well, not really....."

Seems "room mom" was gung ho to do it at the beginning but she's been having trouble even speaking with her much less getting her to do things.

She had to rely on her child's teacher's room mom (got that?) to help her with the grandparent day gifts they gave out this morning. They were so cute, too.

Guess whose kid didn't get one?

Guess whose teacher is busting her hump getting it slapped together before it's all over at 1?

So it turns out no one is putting together a Christmas Party. "Room Mom" is too busy with her children to do it. My mouth jumped ahead of my brain and told the nice teacher lady that if she'd just send me a list of parent emails I'd be happy to start that up.

Someone should really stop me from talking to people.

Of the fourteen kids in Adam's class, he is the only child whose mama works. Granted, it's only three days a week, but still, those three days a week are pretty full for me. Where are the other thirteen mamas? Damn. When Jacob was in kindergarten I couldn't volunteer for anything because someone else had already gotten to it. This time you can't even get anyone to bring a snack for those poor hungry boogers. (I bring most of the snacks too).

So this is the story of how I became kindergarten room mom.

I promise never to send out capital letter emails.

And I will stalk those who do not sign up to bring party goodies.

And I will do it all with my tiny child in tow and after work when I am bone-tired, just so you lazy other mamas don't have to lift a finger.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Uncle

I give.

I'm done.

I'm tired and I don't think I have another ounce of energy to devote to anyone or anything else.

After all that bitching fighting and the belief that maybe I got somewhere with the school administration, Jacob was pushed down into the dirt and forced to eat some and the recess aide gave him a demerit. I'm guessing she's still a little pissed about being called out on her lack of discipline. Oh, and one of the bully's moms? She's now a recess aide. Of course she is. I think the principal, teacher, and headmaster must have had a good laugh about us after we left that day. Gotta love Christians.

I took Jacob to the pediatrician yesterday in hopes of a miracle cure medication adjustment and we didn't see eye to eye about it. I wanted one thing, she wanted another, so obviously, we did what she wanted. I haven't tried it yet since it's more than half the dosage he's receiving now and don't anticipate he'd have a good school day, but I might, next week. Maybe.

We should be going to my parents to spend Thanksgiving with them and we will. The kids and me. My husband. He will stay home. Alone. You know, I even hesitate to even call him my husband anymore because it certainly doesn't feel like I have one. He leaves the house before 5 a.m and returns after 10 p.m. You might want to feel sorry for him because he has to work such long hours but really? He stays there because he wants to. Seems he made a mistake marrying me. Having kids....well, that really ruined his life. I'd leave him if I didn't know for full certain he'd use that against me to take the kids in spite. That and I need his money. And his health insurance. Oh, and a place to live. He won't leave me because to him, this all belongs to him. So we live in the same house and rarely speak. If we do speak it's rarely cordial. My stomach is in knots and I'm uncomfortable in my own home. It sucks pretty much.

As I type, my kids are fighting and screaming and possibly beating each other to death. I should get up and do something about it, but really? What good would it do? They'll just turn around and do it again. They learn a lot at that Christian school.

I have failed at being a mother. I have failed at being a wife. And because some of my three year old students can not yet read, to their parents I have failed at being a teacher.

I suck.

Can it all stop now?

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Aftermath

It wasn't that bad, really.

I wish they would've said they'd expel all the bullies right away, but of course, that's not feasible. Nice, yes, but feasible, no.

They (the teacher and the principal) were both very nice and very seemed to really want this behavior to end, not only with the kids Jacob deals with, but with the rest of school. They agreed this type of behavior has escalated in the five years Jacob has been there and the principal has said she has already dealt with many of very similar issues already this year.

You know, that's just sad. Why do you think so many kids are behaving this way? Discuss amongst yourselves. I have an strong opinion on this. I'll share it another time.

Anyway...

This is what the administration has agreed to do for us:

1. Monitor the three main bullies and contact their families to let them know what is and has been going on.

2. If the behaviors continue detentions will be given and suspensions after that if necessary. As per the school handbook, three suspensions will have them expelled. The parents will also be notified of this.

3. There will be a meeting of the school committee to address the lack of a bully policy or even ONE bully rule in the school handbook. Something will be added for the books next year detailing the consequences of such actions (the detentions, suspensions, and then expulsions as mentioned previously).

4. The school will use one of the weekly chapel meetings to address bullying and respect for others. (This was something I REALLY wanted them to do. Right now their chapel time is filled with mission trip slides and many sleeping children).

5. The principal will meet with each recess aide to discuss their technique with dealing with bullying. They will all also attend a training class to teach them how to handle bullies and victims.

I am pleased with how it went. If nothing else, it brings to the principal's attention that this is happening, has been happening, and we don't want it to continue to happen.

Also, the looks on the bully's faces when they saw my husband, the teacher, and I standing outside the principal's door was priceless. I figure just for that they'll be on their best behavior at least tomorrow.

You'd think so anyway.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Tomorrow

We meet with the school principal tomorrow afternoon.

The teacher will be there.

My husband will be there.

My notebook full of detailed infractions will be there.

I am strangely calm about this now, but I hate and avoid confrontation so things may change by 2 p.m.

And after that my mother-in-law will be here.

The sun will come out. Tomorrow. And hopefully tomorrow, I will have something positive to tell you.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Surrounded by Flamingoes

Damn. I should sign up for NaBloPoMo. I'm on a roll.

I feel like I should get a flag for my yard like the one that says, "Don't Tread on Me" (whose flag is that), but instead say "Don't Fuck With Me".

I am going in the morning, marching right up to the head honcho's office at Jacob's school and demanding an appointment with him ASAP.

Right in front of me as I was sitting in my car, three boys attempted to trip and shove my kid to the ground and then turn to me and make sure I saw. Then the recess teacher came out to me after she brought them in to let me know that the same three boys were shoving Jacob's face into the water fountain and he never could get a drink. The best she could do to them was to tell them to stop it. She relayed it to the teacher who, best to my knowledge, did nothing and dismissed them for the day. I won't bore you about how the same kids pushed mine back and forth because they are forced to let him play sports with them yet no one wants him on their team.

I pulled out the school handbook and where there's lots of consequences for wearing jeans (detention) and not completing assignments (suspension if it happens three times in a row), there was not ONE THING about how to treat others and what would happen if you didn't make a good choice there. In fact, the only mention of how to treat others states:

Students are expected to act in an orderly and respectful manner maintaining Christian standards or courtesy, kindness, purity, morality, and honesty. Students should demonstrate respect for teachers, staff members, other students, parents, visitors, and others at or away from school. Students are not to talk or be out of their seat without permission.

Of course. That stipulation at the end will get us kicked out of there, but nothing specific about how maybe you shouldn't spit on your classmates.

No bully policy whatsoever. Just gotta have respect for others but I'm sure that will be open to interpretation.

Who wants to bet we get asked to leave while the bullies get to stay? They really needed to add that little tidbit about how, well, if you donate tons of money and your kid is big and will likely help us win a regional football championship in a few years, ya'll can do whatever you want. Christian, Schmistian. Jesus was bullied so it'll be allright.

My kid could've lost a tooth today on that water fountain. You can bet I'd be asking those mamas to pay for his dental work. I may need to have him stitched up the next time he hits the pavement because those little devil's feet mysteriously were in the way. I WILL NOT pay for his funeral because some administrator sat there with his head in the sand pretending his school was a wonderful place. I may lose my job and my kids may have no place to attend school after next week, but dammit, someone has to make a stink about this.

Looks like no one else is going to do it, so it may as well be me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Just Wanted to Squeeze One More Post Into October

We had plenty of uncostumed adults come around, and this year the added bonus of scantily clad preteens and teenagers. I mean, who buys naughty nurse outfits for their twelve year old? Really?

But anyway, it wasn't all bad....



I did let Jacob earn a few houses with extra chores and a hundred sentences detailing his remorse for his crimes. I probably should've stuck to my guns and denied him, but I figure I only have a few Halloweens left with him and I know he wouldn't fit into that 75% off 2009 clearance costume next year.

When we returned home, the kids found a Christmas show deep within the DVR and are already making plans for the Christmas tree.

Does that officially make it the holiday season?

Deck the Halls ya'll.

Happy Helloween.

I still feel bitchy.

So....


You know what? I don't really care for Halloween. The best part about it is seeing my kids in cute costumes but they do that everyday. If we want candy, I buy it at the store, so really? Halloween doesn't do much for me.

The kids, like all kids, think it's full of the awesome. Never mind that half their candy gets thrown out because they don't like that kind or the ends of their favorite costume gets frayed from dragging it down the asphalt street, but since everyone else loves it and is doing it, they must too.

Nine years ago when child one was a wee tot, I dressed him up and handed out candy to our old neighbors and was surprised to find so many "babies" trick-or-treating. I mean, my kid was eating solids at that time but there was no way I could make the argument that he was gumming caramel chews for dessert, yet there were newly birthed, still wrinkly red babies whose daddies were holding out their bag "for them". Really? I don't remember anyone doing that when we were kids. If you could walk, hold your own bag, and chomp the goodies, then you trick-or-treated. That was that.

As the years have gone by, I've noticed the adults are just scrapping the babies all together. Shoot, they don't even wear costumes. They hold out a used grocery bag and shoot me a scowl that says to me, "drop the Snickers or your dog gets it later", which from a thirty year old is kinda like extortion and isn't that a crime? I mean, shoot, we even taught our dog it wasn't nice to beg.

We now, and have for the past three Halloweens, lived in a gated community. The premise of which means you need to live here or know someone here to cruise our streets but, oh, to all the candy beggars it means we must have better candy than their place because each year someone actually jimmies the gate open and the whole town comes barreling through....MOST of them without actual children. On November 1, our homeowners association will have to pay part of our dues to have it fixed. Again.

Last year I bought ten bags of good chocolate candy. It was gone in fifteen minutes. I probably handed out one bag to our neighbors. Maybe four bags to kids.

I just don't understand why a grown adult would think it's okay to hijack a child's holiday just to save a few bucks at the supermarket. Or why they or their kids need so much of it. Wonder why America has an obesity problem? Maybe it started with Halloween.

This year my oldest has had his trick-or-treating privileges revoked so he will stay home with me and our bucket of candy. The good stuff. My neighbor's children will be treated nicely. I have another bowl filled with the apples and oranges that were on sale this week. I am just looking out for the gate-crasher's health.

Looking forward to November ya'll.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Intermission

I'll get back to my Jacob story soon, but right now, I'm kinda pissed and what good is a damn blog if I can't bitch about shit here?

And really? I'm probably the only one who reads me anymore anyway.

But if you do happen to stumble across this post, it may not make much sense because I'm writing from the hip in a snit so....you've been fairly warned.

Jacob had a field trip today. I HATE field trip day. Shit, I hate pretty much any school day where parents are invited to tag along because where some of their kids are little demons in size 1 sneakers, the parents, well, I guess it stands to reason those little devils had to learn it somewhere.

As you know Jacob attends private school so there's no bus so parents have to drive the kids to, well, everything. I could let him ride with someone else, but I'm not entirely comfortable with that especially since the last time I allowed it the mother held his lunch box hostage for three weeks and then excluded only MY KID from the huge birthday bash she threw a few weeks after that. The other "Christian" parents, well, they apparently have perfect children because after an afternoon with my kid, I start getting "the look".

I got "the look" again this morning while stomping through some wretched excuse for a nature trail while my excited fourth grader ran away from the pack to see a huge spider, pick up some cool acorns, and gather some trash. I got it again as his arm continued to shoot up to ask a question that never really was a question, but a story, and, OMG, how dare he try to share a story. I got it again when he put ten paces between himself and the girl in front of him, that girl, and stuck his fingers in his ears when I tried to reason with him.

To all these perfect parents, and I've encountered millions of them in the almost ten years we've lived with our son, I am subpar parent. They shake their heads at my supposed lack of discipline, they move away from us little by little, they shield their children from us with their arm and lead them away as if what my child, what WE, have is contagious or maybe I'll run over, the awful parent I am, and eat their child because, well, why did an animal like me have a child?

We were kicked out of Mother's Day Out because Jacob wasn't "capable of instruction" and "couldn't follow directions". He was two.

We were kicked out of Sunday School because Jacob was "too rough" and "made the head deacons a child cry". He was three.

We were not invited to one birthday party in preschool although the rest of the class was because "there wasn't enough space". He was four.

We were asked to change Gymboree classes because another mother "was scared of him". He was FOURTEEN MONTHS OLD.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. All. His. Life.

You know what? I'm fucking sick of it.

Yes. My kid is weird. He talks a lot. He has TONS of exuberence over EVERYTHING he sees and you know what? What the hell is wrong with that?

Why is my kid getting the shit beat out of him on a weekly basis because he runs funny and can't play football? Why the fuck do we give a shit if all the boys can play football? All the football stars from my high school are now fat and living off welfare, the welfare my non-athletic husband is paying for with the 45% taxes he donates every paycheck.

Why am I a bad parent because my kid talks to your kid, oh exalted Christian school mother? Why are you not the bad parent because you drag your kid away with "the look"? My kid doesn't know a stranger. To him, everyone is his friend, well, until a few weeks ago when he learned to be mean to "that girl" thanks to your kid who taught him the meaning of ugly, stupid, and retard and who now thinks this is the way boys are supposed to act. But go on, keep giving me the look, your child is "cool" and has many friends so therefore you must be doing something right.

Also, maybe next time look behind you before you start calling my kid a retard to your giggly friend. I heard every word you said. Well, at least the English part. Maybe next time speak it all in Spanish because I know there was more I didn't catch, but the finger pointing is usually a pretty good give away. I'd bring up how it was YOUR kid burying himself in pebbles and rocks on the playground after lunch and that's pretty damn weird, but you know what, he's a kid. Kids are weird.

Every day for the past nine years I have been judged. I have lost "friends". I've been given advice from strangers. I've been pitied. I've been talked about. I've been shunned. I've cried. I've been mad. I've begged for help. I've wondered why? why? why? And you know what? Fuck it. I teach my kids right from wrong. I attempt to instill in them good values and the importance of being kind to everyone. They've heard a few cuss words and certainly know what it's like to be yelled at, but they are loved. And disciplined. And they learn from living this life that some people are just assholes. Even the saintly Christian ones.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jacob Part One

Let's see....Where were we last about Jacob?

Oh yeah, Schizophrenic summer. Uh-huh.

So Jacob's meds were changed and he wouldn't sleep and he thought something was going to come and kill him and then we changed them back and after a few weeks he was back to "normal". About this time school was starting and the whole reason we went to that blasted psychiatrist in the first place, the ANGER, was starting again too.

I really don't know which was worse.

Of course, Jacob would be placed in a class with the same bullies he had in first grade. Of course those kids would start the year off calling him gay, pushing him down, and generally making his life miserable. Of course he's angry, I mean, if I spent eight hours a day in that kind of situation, I'd be pretty angry too, but seriously, it gets old when it's directed at ME, his mother, the ONE person who spends most of her waking moments trying to get everything fixed for him.

But anyway....

His teacher was on top of it all and did bring all of those kid's parents in and tell them she wasn't putting up with that behavior and they had detention for a while and it subsided for a time, but as it usually does, they have learned how to sneak around and continue their "antics" while making Jacob look like a liar when he begs for help. The teacher does what she can, but it goes no further. The administration refuses to believe that there are bullies in their Christian school, because, you know, Christians would never bully anyone. They are all full of love and kindness ALL. THE. TIME.

Yeah.

So he's still getting bullied, he's still angry, he's started lying so I never know when to really believe him if he says someone is bothering him because sometimes I've gone up there and, lo and behold, it's JACOB caught doing the bullying. It seems Jacob has found someone to bully.

This. Makes Mommy angry.

You'd think a child like Jacob who has spent pretty much every moment of his school life being tormented would have empathy for a child deemed unattractive, less smart, and puny, but no, you'd be wrong. My kid leads the pack in tormenting this poor girl, yes GIRL, pretty much everyday. He has even been to detention for it and you KNOW he was punished severely here for it. Privileges? LOL. Not for this child.

But you know what? None of that matters. He won't stop. In fact, he spends most of his day plotting his revenge on her because in his warped mind she is in love with him and SHE looks at him and OMG what if all those bully boys see and make fun of him????

So it all goes back to them.

Of course it does.

My kid did not make honor roll for the first time this nine weeks. My kid who made second highest average last year has second lowest average this year. He doesn't turn things in, he lies about having homework, if he has homework he fights me for hours before ever completing it, if he ever does complete it. We are paying $500 a month to watch him fail before our eyes.

He can fail at the free public school. If he won't put forth the effort, he won't be going there anymore. He has until next semester's bill is due to get it together. His therapist, though, doesn't think it matters to him. He's lost all desire to attend school at all. He sees moving schools as a pretty decent solution to his problems. Never mind that the neighborhood kids who bully him would be in his class there. Because, yes, he now has neighborhood bullies.

Of course.

Bullies, bullies, everywhere.....

To be continued.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Day of School....

was weeks ago. I mean, progress reports came home yesterday. It's safe to say I am a little behind blogily.

Anyway, here are all my school children with their teachers on the first day:

Ah, Elizabeth. I can't believe I ever thought she wasn't ready for school. Her teacher adores her and says she is so very polite and very empathetic to the other children. One of her classmates has bad eczema and was crying because it hurt so bad and my sweet baby got up, sat beside her, put her arm around her and told her how sorry she was she felt bad. Of course, she also thinks she runs the place since Mommy works there, but so far so good.

Interesting fact. Years ago when I had only one child and my husband came home before the 10 pm newscast, I went to a monthly stamping class for about a year. Elizabeth's teacher was in that class too. Who'd a thunk eight years later I'd be working right next door to her and the daughter I didn't have then would adore her so much? Okay. So I thought it was kinda neat.



OMG. I still cannot believe Adam is in kindergarten. Sometimes when he comes home with papers that are less than stellar I imagine pulling him out and sending him back to preschool and it makes me just a wee bit happy. I know! What kind of mother wishes for her child to fail? He has a permanent tooth and goes to kindergarten and I swear he could still fit in the Baby Bjorn.

I would've posted a better picture because I am sure his teacher would like that if she ever googles and finds herself here, but this is all I have. It looked good that morning probably because I thought it was supposed to look that way through my tear-clouded eyes. Yes. I cried. A lot. Not just tears either. It was ugly and it was probably a lot of the reason Adam cried the rest of the week and into the next week. He's doing better now, but I have more to write about that. Let's just say for now, he didn't ease into school as well as I always anticipated and he doesn't just "get" the school work the way his brother does. What? No. I'm not thinking how nice it will be for him to go back to preschool.

Another interesting fact. Adam's teacher lives down the street from us. We used to see her and her children at the pool. Okay. It was neat to me.



And Jacob. Oh Jacob. Sometimes I want to change the name of this blog to The Bully Blog and document every. single. thing that poor child goes through every. single. day. He misses Mrs. Kilian. I miss Mrs. Kilian, but his new teacher is a good fit for him. She is the one Mrs. Kilian requested he have and she promised she was very much like her and I already see it. There have been two physical incidents that she took care of before I could even call her about it. She's talked to parents and administration and recess teachers and lunch ladies. She likes him. She cares for him. I trust her with him. So far. One day I may start my bully blog but until then just know it's still there but we're working on it. We're always working on it.



Three little school children.

I can't believe they're that big.

I miss my lazy baby days.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Once a Month Post

Which is what it's really turning out to be. How sad.

I could still write three times a week, Lord knows we have plenty going on to talk about, there's just no time and, I swear to all that's holy, I am not giving up any of my precious sleep to indulge my own narcissism thinking people are actually reading our life anymore anyway.

So....where were we?

Oh. The haircut.

I never did do anything about it. I was too afraid of taking her somewhere, asking them to fix it, and then bringing home a child with a shaved head. I also didn't feel comfortable shaping it up myself so it is what it is. An interesting conversation piece. She's still pleased as pie with it so that's the end of that.

Jacob.

I never did do the gluten-free diet with him because my mom showed up one afternoon and took him home with her. For, like, two weeks. Until he drove her absolutely crazy and she brought him back home. By then school was starting and I just didn't feel like going there. I took his nightly melatonin away and after a few days he had no problems whatsoever sleeping in his bed, in his room, in the dark. Oh, he still prefers to sleep downstairs with us, but at least he's not clawing his eyes out and screaming when we refuse that request.

School.

Adam started kindergarten, oh, four weeks ago. I still have a hard time comprehending that he is no longer a non-verbal toddler. I mean, it just seems like yesterday I took Jacob to kindergarten while toting Adam along in the sling. He is my sweet baby. How can he be old enough for school?

So far, he's not real crazy about it. The first week there were many tears and one full tantrum meltdown. He's doing better, but if given a choice, he'd stay home with Elizabeth and me he says but I always tell him, he can't stay home with us because we aren't here while he's in school.

Elizabeth and I aren't home while Adam is in school because when he is at school, Mommy is at work.

Yes. I got a job.

I really did. Stop laughing.

Remember when I mentioned in passing that I'd put my application in at Adam's preschool and then pulled it?

Well. I got a call in late July from the preschool director wondering if I'd be interested in working there this fall. Seems two of the teachers and most of the aides moved on to bigger and better things over the summer and she had a lot of spots to fill and she'd really, really like it if I'd take one of the three year old teacher positions. Or an aide position. Whatever. So I thought about it a couple of days and although I really wasn't ready to go back to work and still feel a fair amount of guilt over putting Elizabeth in preschool so early, I jumped feet first and went straight for the teacher job. I didn't even have to interview for it because I am so full of the awesome. The pay isn't great but the hours are and I get free childcare in the form of free preschool tuition for Elizabeth. $1810 worth of free tuition. Ka-ching. I figured since I'd be sending her to Pre-K there next year anyway I might as well join the team now because who knows if there'd be any openings next year and that free tuition looked really wonderful to me. I work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8-12:15 with a once-a-month staff meeting where Adam and Elizabeth are welcome. The ladies I work with are friendly and my boss is really awesome. The first week was rough with lots of criers and many bitchy parents, but we're getting in the groove and it's getting better so I hope we have a good year ahead. At least I get home in time to see the end of All My Children.

There is much more to post but no time. It's Sunday and my husband is home and is stomping around bitching about how lazy I am and just dropped a full basket of laundry at my feet. Maybe I'll have a free afternoon this week to tell you about Jacob's new teacher or Adam's hesitation with school or how my husband mysteriously acts like Satan every Sunday morning after church, you know, when I'm not on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors the way G*d intended all wives.

I'm going to shoot for another post in September at least.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This is Why I Don't Blog Much.....

....Because I can't keep my eyes off them for a second.







I thought it was so sweet when I walked into the living room yesterday and saw Adam combing Elizabeth's hair so lovingly. He does that a lot, so I wasn't too surprised. What surprised me was the flash of the green handles on my kitchen shears I caught out of the corner of my eye as I strolled by.

OH. MY. GAWD!

I don't have any pictures of the actual hair-cut per se since I was standing stupefied and uttering a few four letter words, but if you could've seen their faces. Oh, they were soooo proud. According to Adam, Elizabeth needed a hair cut to be ready for preschool and he was saving me a lot of money by doing it himself.

The smiles on their faces were absolutely priceless. I will carry those images with me the rest of my life. It really was sweet, you know, except for the fact that now there were two plastic baggies full of her beautiful baby hair all over our carpet.

Oh, they were so proud.

I am proud of myself because I let it go. I. Let. It. Go.

I could've made a huge, ugly scene about it, but why? Can't fix it. Seriously. You can't fix it. I can't even take her to a stylist to remedy it, she has BALD SPOTS. On just ONE side of her head. The only way to make her whole head the same is to shave the other side. Given that option, her punk rockerish style is kinda growing on me. You know, when it doesn't make me tear up a little and fill sorry for her when she actually does start preschool on the first of September.

I wonder if they'll let her wear a hat?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

WTH?

I have much to post about this week, but no time at the moment, but I wanted to leave you with this one question:

Is anyone else getting the Chinese spam in their comment box or is it just me?

And why can't I delete it?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Experiment Update Week One

So here is where we are...

Last week Jacob took half his regular dosage of Metadate, his previously prescribed medication.

He spent all last week with my parents and was alone with them until Wednesday afternoon when I showed up with the other two children.

On Wednesday afternoon he pointed toy guns at me and let me know that he would likely kill me one day and how the day his siblings were born were the worst days of his life. Typical jealousy of suddenly having to share the grandparents or medication withdrawal? I'm thinking a little of both. He was kinda scary.

He did better on Thursday, possibly having gotten used to the fact that we weren't leaving.

I left Friday to spend the weekend with my scrapbooking girls and Jacob was still getting only one pill. I felt really sorry for my mother but when I called her on Saturday she said she thought he was getting used to the half dose because she couldn't really tell a difference between them anymore.

So I brought him home last night.

We have been using a ticket system where he earns one for chores completed without complaint. If he is rude a ticket is removed. He must earn twenty to play Wii for an hour. After two weeks he finally had twenty. I think that hour of Wii motivated him because he was really good last night even though his meds had worn off at 4.

This morning, so far, he hasn't had a pill at all. He fed the cat and the dog without being prompted. He hasn't screamed or made his crazy noises yet. Oh, and did I mention he slept until 8:45? He hasn't done that since, well, ever although he did sleep on the couch because he said it was too scary upstairs by himself so score one for anxiety.

I wanted him to go without any medication an entire week but my father-in-law will be here Thursday morning until next Monday so I anticipate needing to use it during that time. Why yes. The same father-in-law who has never even met Elizabeth, who we have not seen since 2006, and has never felt the need to ever visit decides NOW in the middle of my great experiment that he can't stay away another minute. Of course.

His visit also sets me back a few more days in beginning our gluten-free diet.

Oh yeah. We are going gluten-free. And possibly after that casein-free. This is an experiment after all. We may as well try it all. I'll elaborate more on that later.

So to recap: Jacob has been medication free since about 4ish yesterday. I see no evidence of his usual behaviors in fact he's been down right pleasant. Of course, he's been awake only an hour and his brother and sister aren't here to pester him.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our Great Summer Experiment

Okay.

Two months ago Jacob's behavior started getting more erratic, more aggressive, and more annoying.

Three weeks ago we finally met with a psychiatrist who was supposed to help us through all of that. His course of action was to replace his current medications with Concerta.

Two weeks ago Jacob began developing strange fears which quickly evolved into what I can only describe as nightly psychotic episodes.

Four days ago we discontinued use of the so-called "wonder drug".

Today Jacob has slept for the past three nights hearing no noises whatsoever. He's forgotten all about the robbers and killers that were surely waiting right outside the window for him every bit of those two weeks.

Phew.

$160 for the initial psych appointment
$79 for the follow-up appointment
$26.15 for a 10 day supply of Concerta
$8.65 for 10 Zoloft
$65.00 for the 90-day supply of Concerta I never should have filled

$238.90 to drive my child crazy for two weeks.

But the fact that he is now again "normal", and by normal I mean, inattentive, loud, and a little bit lazy.....well, priceless I guess.

He is currently taking the Metadate again, although my mom just today halved his usual dose and my plan is to have him off of even that one by the time he returns home on Sunday.

The rest of the summer might be really unpleasant, but I think it's something we have to try.

His therapist really does think he has an anxiety disorder. I've always thought so myself, too, even before Medicine Induced Breakdown 2010 occured, so I want him off of the stimulant medicines that Dr. Google assures me can cause anxiety to see if he actually has anxiety.

And then we'll go from there.

I may have him reevaluated. I may not.

It really just depends on what the next few weeks bring.

It makes me so sad to think I gave my kid drugs that completely altered his thinking.

I know the Metadate really helped him and we'll most likely return to it as school starts but for now, he'll be living drug-free.

Oy.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I Need a Good Night's Sleep. Or a Banana Daiquiri

So we went on vacation last week.

Against our better judgement.

We went to The Woodlands. Again. A few photos....







You'd think by the looks of that last one that we had a very restful time.

You'd be mistaken.

If you read my previous post, then you already know that we've been having a bit of a rough time with Jacob lately. My mom was still offering to keep him with her when we dropped the animals off at her house, but I just didn't feel that was fair at all. Rotten or not, he's still a member of our family so he should be included in the family vacation. At least that is what I kept telling myself every sleepless night we spent at that serene resort. You see, Jacob didn't sleep the entire time, therefore we didn't sleep the entire time.

I can't believe I thought the attitude and anger was bad, Oh Dear Lawrd, the night terrors and paranoia are enough to make me bang my head clear through the wall. Three nights without sleep makes Mommy (and Daddy) vvveeerrryyy cranky.

The days went well. He was agreeable (mostly) and found friends at the pool (which is big for him). But by nightfall he was a trembling, freaked-out mess. If he heard a noise outside he was sure it was robbers coming to kill us, if the air conditioner kicked on he'd start to cry and beg us to turn it off, he'd cower in a corner picking his palms until they bled begging us, "WHAT IS THAT NOISE?" and there would be no noise.

I'd like to say that we scooped him up and soothed him but after a couple or five hours of that it wears you down. There was much yelling, threatening, time-outs in the bathroom, and a couple of spankings that did no good whatsoever. We gave him melatonin, and another melatonin, sleepytime tea, and an adult Tylenol PM, and that did no good whatsoever either. The kid was convinced we would not survive until morning and as much as it pissed me the hell off because, dammit, that was my vacation! I should've been RESTING!, I felt so sorry for him. He was just so pitiful. Also, he scared the SHIT out of me because, HELLO?, my MIL has schizophrenia, what if it's genetic????

My husband wanted to leave after the first night, but I insisted we stay. I won a free night at that place and scored a pretty awesome deal for the next two so I was cashing in. There were awesome, awesome breakfasts to be eaten, feet to be rubbed, and a poolside bar to enjoy and after seeing my little two waiting patiently in their backwards swimsuits while their parents attempted to caffeine-up, I couldn't do it to them. And did I mention the breakfast. Mmmmm.....free breakfast.

So I did what I had to do to make the days enjoyable for all. I got drunk on banana daiquris at the poolside bar. The drunk removed the grumpy so all was right with the world. At least my world. Mmmmmm......banana daiquris.

He did sleep a little better the next night, but the last night was just awful. I truly expected my husband to get in the car and just leave us there. Remarkably, the little kids slept all week. Thank goodness. I would never want them to witness their brother like that.

So after our Woodlands vacation was over, we traveled north to get the animals and decided to just spend the holiday weekend up there with my parents as it was pouring in our part of the world and dry and sunny in theirs. Jacob (and the other kids) love it there and it's pretty calming for Jacob. Usually. I thought he'd sleep better there since he's used to the sounds and surroundings but if anything he was worse. In fact, as each night passed, he seemed to get worse and worse. There was nothing any of us could do for him and I'm ashamed to say that after a week of it, none of us were anymore understanding. We were all convinced he was either crazy or spoiled and about to punish him into even a short spurt of sleep.

You try going a week without sleep. See how calm and sweet you can be. My mom is the sweetest person alive and I think she seriously considered pitching a tent outside for him. Sadly, my mom developed Shingles on Sunday. I'm sure from the stress of it all.

So fast-forward to yesterday because I got nothing different, same noises, same robbers, same bleeding palms and shaking in a corner, same OMG-WE-NEED-SLEEP panic.

Yesterday, was our follow-up appointment with the psychiatrist who felt it absolutely necessary to switch Jacob's medications yet not at all address the anxiety his therapist sent us there for because, well, all kids are going to be afraid of some things and, he probably feels anxious because of all the bullying, I mean, who wouldn't, let's just change his ADD meds even though you all state he's doing pretty well with the other one.

So the psychiatrist wants to know how the new meds are doing and I tell him, WOW, they didn't work at first, but then they worked okay, and then somewhere in there he started thinking we were all going to be the victims of a bloody massacre, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT???? Well, the psychiatrist thinks that stimulant medications such as those given for ADD can cause anxiety, *shrug*, here's a prescription for Zoloft. Bring 70 more dollars in two weeks and we'll discuss if that works.

And the truly sad thing is that I just nodded, drove to the CVS, and filled that prescription PLUS the one for 90 days worth of Concerta, put my kid and his meds in my mom's car and sent him to spend a week with her because, GEEZ LOUISE, we need some fracking sleep.

It wasn't until this afternoon after listening to my mother recount their sleepless night and her suggestion that maybe, just maybe, the CONCERTA could be causing his fears/paranoia/schizophrenic tendencies, did that even cross my mind.

*DINGDINGDINGDINGDING*

WTH? Why did that NEVER occur to me? I read the insert that came with the drugs and it didn't say anything about completely losing your mind as the sun set, but Dr. Google and all those other poor souls who experienced similarities set me straight.

Then I did something completely unheard of. I called Jacob and asked himself. When did you start hearing the noises? The day after I took the grey pill. And it also makes him feel floaty.

Damn.

I told my mom not to give him another Concerta. Ever.

She has a few of his old meds left and will switch to those. I'm keeping him off the Zoloft too until I can determine if it was the medicine causing the anxiety or if he truly has anxiety and THEN I will treat it through his pediatrician. Or another psychiatrist if I can ever get an appointment with one.

I can't believe I didn't trust my kid enough to just KNOW it had to be something. Maybe it's not, but in my heart, I know it is. I took my kid to that place, let them take blood from his arm (which all I have to say about that is...HELL), switched his medications to make him feel all floaty, yelled at him for sharing (loudly) the noises and paranoia he was going through, all the time telling him to trust me, take your medicine, the doctor wouldn't give it to you if it wasn't going to make you feel better.

Yeah. Right.

According to Dr. Google and some other doctors who have specialists of ADD and shit like that next to their internet names, Concerta SHOULD NOT be given to children or adults with known anxiety disorders for just this reason. Now, Jacob has never been diagnosed with anxiety, but I told the psychiatrist specifically at our first appointment that the therapist and I both felt he suffered from it and the main reason I was there was to find a way for him to deal with that.

He's a freaking psychiatrist. Isn't HE supposed to know these things?

I guess this is why they could fit me right in and no other psychiatrist on our insurance could see us until fall.

AGH.

If it turns out we are right, it's the meds doing this to him, I think I'm going to call that "psychiatrist" and ask for the 400 dollars I've dished out to him so we can have a do over vacation.

I already hear the banana daiquiris calling me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June Has Never Been my Favorite Month

I realized I hadn't posted all of June, so figured I better get in gear.

It's been a hard June.

I always love having Jacob home for the summer, but this summer just isn't enjoyable. There is some sort of issue every single day. He spends a great portion of his time either tattling on his siblings or screaming at them for some infraction against him, either legitimate or made up in the recesses of his constantly cycling brain.

I had plans of homeschooling twice a week and spending lazy mornings at the pool but it all came to a screeching halt when very early on Jacob got mad at Adam for something I still am not sure about and called him a f*cking b*stard. Outside. At the park. In front of, oh, fifteen or our neighbors. That's the day our attic began bursting at the seams with every. single. toy he owned. The husband thought it would be a wonderful punishment and would have him behaving in a matter of days because Dr. Phil said so and, well, what Dr. Phil says must be gospel, right?

LOLOLOLOLOL.

Guess who's really being punished?

That was June 1.

I remember that day because it was the day before I had to go in for an endometrial biopsy and was thankful for the large prescription of vicodin my oh-so-kind doctor provided me.

Did I tell you my Masters Degree has a specialization in Behavior Disorders?

What kind of karma is that?

I've reread all my old texts, copied chart upon chart, implemented a highly detailed behavior system for all minors in the house, and cracked the whip with zero tolerance.

Karma. It is a bitch.

Today is June 24. Jacob still has no toys. He has no television privileges. The Wii would be nothing but a memory if he weren't constantly reminding me how horrible his life is and how he will NOT behave until he gets it back. I am almost impressed with his resolve, but at the same time, what the hell dude? He honestly thinks we are supposed to return his things and THEN he will behave.

Needless to say, things are ugly this June.

I made an appointment with the only psychiatrist with an opening before fall at the urging of his therapist. She thinks he suffers from Anxiety along with the severe ADD and, well, maybe he doesn't really have ADD at all but Aspergers and, boy, does he need his medications monitored.

Today is Day Two of new medication Concerta.

My sister was here.

WAS.

He took the two-dollar-a-pill Concerta, but he may as well have taken nothing at all. Oh my, the screaming. The hitting. The disrespect.

I gave it to him again today.

My sister went home. I can only imagine the conversation in the car as they drove away.

We're supposed to go on vacation next week.

Supposed to.

I just don't see how much fun being trapped in a hotel room for three nights will be with him.

My mom has offered to babysit him right along with the dog and the cat, but as much as he is pissing me off right now, it's still our family vacation and I just don't yet feel like I can do that. I want us to go and bond together, but I'm afraid. Even the free pedicure and massage is not enough to make me feel like a trip will be a good idea.

*sigh*

I love my son. Really, I do. But you know what? Sometimes I just want him to be normal. I want kids to come over a second time. I want kids not to laugh at him. I want adults not to tsk-tsk me. I want to be able to drive down the road and not be yelled at the whole way. I want to be able to chat with a friend and not have to get up every two minutes to pull him off of her kid. I want to have a good night's sleep for once instead of waking up in a sweat wondering what will happen next. I know things could be much worse, but I didn't sign up for this. In my wildest dreams I never thought this was what having a child would be like. Oh, I knew there would be trials now and then, but every day? I'm tired. And sad. And sometimes wishing there was a rewind button.

This saga is just beginning I am afraid.

Say a prayer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

School's Out for Summer

It's the last week of school again. I feel like I just did this last week. Field day, awards, parties.....our week is quite full.

When I was a kid I loved the last week because it meant soon I'd be sleeping late and swimming all day.

When I was a teacher I loved the last week because I was ready for rest, yet I cried every year because I hated sending my kids, my part-time babies, on to someone else. It never seemed right.

As a mom, I love the last week because I can ditch the drop-off duty for a couple months, but I think I cry more than my child because I now hate leaving the teacher.



Here is Jacob with his teacher. I love her. She has been such a blessing to Jacob. I don't think I could've begged asked for a teacher more suited to him and his needs.

She truly loves Jacob. She gets him. Kids bother him, she takes care of it. If it's his fault, she calls him on it. She listens to him, takes him seriously, helps when she has to, and teaches him how to help himself because she knows she won't be there next year to do it.

We have had many two-hour conferences where I have cried in frustration, cried in celebration, cried in confusion of what my child's future may be. Every time she was ready with tissues, books, positive words, and the shoulder of one whose walked it before me.

Mrs. Kilian was more than a teacher to my son. She was his restorer of good faith, his confidence in the good in people,and the other woman he trusted to take care of him while he was away from home.

Last summer I prayed every night that third grade would be better for Jacob. I was so conflicted about sending him back to a place he'd been terr*rized for two years. Should I keep him home? Find another school? Take us all into a hole and hide? I asked for a sign to let me know he was in the right place. I wasn't getting a sign. Every day I waited for the answers to my prayers and every day I was sure I was never getting one. The day before school started, Jacob and I both cried all the way to that school. I wanted to turn and run with him but I knew I couldn't. If I was to teach him to face my fears, I had to do it too, so up the stairs we slowly trod like we were walking the green mile to our certain doom.

Twenty minutes later I realized my prayers had been answered.

There was my sign.

Her classroom philosophy, she explained, was to emphasize each child's differences and celebrate what each person can bring to their little class family. Every year was a new beginning and each student had the opportunity to grow and learn and change. She also told Jacob if someone wanted to bully him, they'd have to go through her first.

I slept good that night.

Jacob smiled going to school the next day for the first time in a long time.

Jacob didn't instantly become Mr. Popular and Mrs. Kilian didn't exalt him to fully mature nine year old, but she did teach him how to stand up for himself and how not to get in those situations in the first place. She drew from his strengths and tried to downplay his not-so-strengths. She loves him and he loves her.

There will be tears tomorrow. The teacher is leaving her part-time baby again.

Third grade was a good year. It'll be hard to top.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Fancy Dress Won't Make a Perfect Picture

I fell in love with this dress last fall and stalked my store until it became sixty percent off. I might have been able to wait for another ten, but as it is I had to get one size larger and Elizabeth just now is able to wear it. I trotted her to church one morning and she got lots of compliments on it and when we returned home I wanted to get a beautiful picture of her in it.

Here they are:

Look at Mommy!



Put your hand down...



Open your eyes....



No, stay there!




Oh, you are so mistreated...



Kiss her Ez!



Finally!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stuff

I stole this from Ruby Red Slippers.....

1. If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?

You know, I'm pretty happy with my physical appearance. One day, hopefully this year, I'll have Lasik surgery so I can ditch the glasses but I don't want it to improve my appearance, I want it so I can go to the pool without my contacts and get up in the middle of the night and not have to find my glasses to make it to the bathroom.

2. Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?

Is rude a habit?

3. What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?

Hmmmm....I have so many....I have a taco soup recipe I really like and also a beef strudel that's pretty good. Maybe I'll get ambitious and post them one day.

4. What was your favorite book as a kid?

Little House
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
Heck, all the Virginia Lee Burton books

5. Did you work as a teenager and if so, where?

I worked as a cashier at our town pool. I made a dollar an hour, but I really didn't do much. Stole a lot of chips and drank all the soda I could drink and let all the boys I loved in for free. I probably owe them money.

6. Did you work while in college and if so, where?

I babysat for a wonderful family and while in graduate school I worked days at a preschool and took classes at night. I just found the lady I babysat for on Facebook and really enjoyed seeing how those sweet kids turned out. Of course, the fact that they are now 25 and 18 hurt a bit.

7. When you go to sleep do you like total darkness or semi?

It must be so dark I cannot see anything around me but it hasn't been that way since we moved here. We still have no curtains and the blinds, while nice, do not keep out the light from the street lamp. Needless to say, I haven't slept well for the past two years.

8.When you go to sleep do you need quiet or is some noise OK?

I've slept with the ceiling fan for years now. It MUST be on, even when it's below freezing.

9. When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?

Depends on what I'm washing. Sometimes I use it just to make my house smell good. I like Original Downy and the Blue Sparkle Snuggle and only those, the rest are too perfumy for me.

10. Open toed or closed toed shoes?

I wear sandals all year round. Nice perk about living in Texas.

11. Would you rather be blind or deaf?

How bout neither?

12. Dangle or stud earrings?

I have six holes in my ears and haven't changed the diamond studs from them since 1994.

13. What do you put on pancakes?

peanut butter and syrup

14. On a long trip would you rather drive or fly?

I REFUSE TO FLY! Those things crash you know. Have you seen Lost?

15. Do you prefer classic old movies or new?

All the 80s John Hughes flicks and any SNL skit movie.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Don't Think American Idol is in his Future

Oh man, there are people out there. LOTS of people. They didn't say there were going to be PEOPLE out there. Who thought this was a good idea?



Maybe if I just turn this way a little bit. See, no one here but my buddy, Whassup Buddy? Let me tell you something funny.



Aw, this isn't funny. I can't believe my teacher moved me. In front of ALL. THOSE. PEOPLE.



Seriously. How much longer do I need to stand here. People are LOOKING AT ME! Don't you dare think I am going to SING! Maybe if I scoot a little closer.....



YES! No one can see me now. I'll just hide here until it's over.



It will be over soon, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'ts My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

Last week, I put in an application to teach preschool at Jacob and Adam's school.

This morning, I asked for it back.

Way back last August when this day wasn't much of a blip on my radar screen, I signed up to organize the end of year preschool party because, well, no one else did. "How hard can that be?", I said to the teacher who said, "Oh, not hard at all!", and I believed her.

So for the past three weeks I have come up with ideas all on my own, purchased supplies all on my own, emailed parents with information on said ideas and supplies with disclaimer to PLEASE let me know if you have a better idea or something else you'd like to do because I am nothing but flexible.

Everybody thought what I had was fine. At least the two emails I got back said that.

You want to know what we did right?

I bought fifteen canvas bags at 2 bucks a pop plus enough fabric paint and foam stickers and bling-bling to cover each and every one. I also sent another email to each family asking that they send a small toy to fill a Welcome Summer bag. I directed them all to the Target Dollar Spot and told them not to spend over a dollar a kid. I also put together two plants for the two teachers and let them know I was making a gift card tree for them both and if they desired, they could add to it.

Everybody thought that was fine. At least the two emails I got back said that.

I sent an email to the the five mothers who volunteered to help letting them know what food and drink I would need. They all signed up for something. We were set.

So today was the party. That party that no one seemed to have a problem with, except, seems people had a problem with it.

The bags were dumb. The colors were ugly. Who the heck thought paint was a good idea? OMG, my kid stepped in ALL. THAT. PAINT. on that bag drying on the floor, someone is going to have to pay for my kid's shoes. We're going to Ella's brother's party because this party is so lame. Who the heck thought paint was a good idea?

The small toys I requested, only five parents brought them.

The gift cards....only six.

One mother did bring in a bunch of cupcakes even though I didn't ask for cupcakes and I guess I acted a little surprised because according to her child who announced to every one there, Adam's mommy is mean to my mommy. Excuse me for trying to decorate, dole out food, and keep paint off your precious child's skin and not shower you with undying love for those greasy cupcakes.

Dear Preschool Parents,

F*ck your damn cupcakes. If you don't give the school your real email address, then you won't get the party information, that just isn't my fault. That goes for all of you who swore you didn't get the email yet seemed to know exactly what time to be there and when the pizza would show up. If you don't like paint, don't let your kid squeeze it all out all over the place without your supervision. Stupid me, thinking you might help him at all. I'm sorry there were not enough oranges to go around, I told the orange lady to bring enough for fifteen, apparently she couldn't read. I'm sorry your kid wanted supreme pizza, I could only afford cheese because, FYI, I dished out close to $150 for that shitty party that next time YOU can organize.

Kiss it,

Adam's Mean Mommy who WON'T be working there next year.

P.S. Maybe teach your kid to watch where he's walking. I am not paying for his shoes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vent

I took the little kids to Chuck E. Cheese this morning. I know everyone hates it, but I don't really mind it. Of course, we go as soon as they open, stay an hour, and flee before the rest of the world decides to join us. Today, we were the only customers there the entire time. It was nice. I could plug coins into the casino slot machines and not worry if my kids were out the door or eating off a stranger's table.

Except.

The casino slot machines weren't giving tickets. Oh, the tokens would fall and I'd land completely within the Spongebob block but instead of the fifty tickets I'd earned, only one would pop out. I changed machines figuring I'd found a busted one, but everyone of them did that. When I brought it to the attention of the serviceman/token counter/black-light-number checker because OH. MY. GAWD my world will quit turning if I don't have a paper ticket in which I can trade in for, oh I don't know, crap, he told me he'd get to it. I know for a fact there are no buttons to push in the back that fixes those things, I've chased Elizabeth back there plenty of times, but apparently, that's where you go to fix those things because I never saw that dude again.

So I scrapped the gambling because, really, gambling in a kid's joint sucks especially when the machines are tight.

I found Adam and Elizabeth on the rides in the bitty-kiddy section and joined them. I watched for a bit and realized that Bob the Builder was only singing about a quarter of the song he used to sing and the Teletubbies it only went as far as Tinky-Winky and shut right off. I remember her riding that back at Adam's party in January and going round and round while they sang about all FOUR of those crazy creatures and today she made two revolutions before the thing just stopped. In fact, the more I noticed the more I realized, the rides are a lot shorter, the tickets are a lot sparser, and the crap costs more.

Boo.

Fifteen dollars worth of tokens were gone in no time. I guess if I'd done what the company was expecting me to do, I'd charged another cup full, but instead, we cashed in 80 tickets on a tootsie roll and a small tube of lip gloss.

At least that got us out of there before anyone else showed up.

So then I went to the Tar-Jay right next door. I wanted to use the coupon book they'd mailed me on some household items I needed. As usual, I got not only my cat litter and laundry detergent but also a Little Mermaid swim suit, a bunch of pool toys, and the cutest little pair of shoes for Elizabeth that she so totally did not need. So after the cashier rang up my purchases I handed her my seven coupons and watched while each and every one of them rang up 0.00 and then listened in confusion as the employee explained to me that it was just the way Target coupons do. When I brought to her attention that the total wasn't changing she tried to show me where it was, but no, it wasn't. And then she didn't know what to do so she called someone over to push a few buttons and then supposedly it took my coupons off but after further inspection, it only took a portion of each one. My $1.50 coupon turned out to be 57 cents and my dollar ones were 50 cents.

Boo. So that's how Target plays now huh?

Interesting, because it's the exact same way HEB has been playing as well. For years I could show up there and EVERYTHING would ring right and they'd take all my coupons and send me on my way. Now they make their own coupons for free things if you buy other things which I do LOVE but I've recently noticed that when I should be getting free sliced cheese at $1.99, my coupon will only take $1.50 off so, really, I'm not getting free cheese, I'm getting 49 cent cheese, which is still okay, but NOT the free cheese they advertise. This has happened every week for the past eight so I'm not thinking it's a random mistake.

I haven't been to Kroger in 2 months. I'm afraid to set foot in there.

You shouldn't have to bring pencil and paper and calculators and research your way through your weekly chores, but that's what it's become. I know all these companies are feeling the money crunch, but the dishonesty on their loyal customers is disgusting.

Vent over. Thank you. I will now return to my regularly scheduled Treasure Isle programming. Geez, don't get me started on those rock paths. Energy robbery.

FOUR posts in one week. I am back ya'll.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week Two, Post Three

I found this in my draft file and it brought a chuckle. Who knew? I don't even remember writing it. The original date was 2/19/07.

OK, to answer the question that is on everyone's mind, because I get it at least once daily:

Am I hoping for a girl this time?

Well, gee, maybe. To be honest, this pregnancy is slipping by and there are moments of the day that, aside from the fact that I can't see my feet, I forget I am pregnant at all. I don't spend time dwelling on things because, basically, I don't have the time. This would explain the fact that my child will likely be nameless when it is born.

I really, really wanted a girl when I was pregnant with Jacob. So much so that I could think of nothing else. There was no way in hell I was giving birth to a boy, no matter how much my dad and husband wanted one, it would. not. happen. But, deep down I knew he was a boy. I dreamt about having a baby boy from the early weeks and couldn't shake them for anything. I told my husband the night before the "big" ultrasound that I would totally flip out if they told me it was a boy and to be prepared. Well, I didn't flip out exactly, but the blood rushed to my feet and I felt dizzy. I was not prepared. Good bye Grace, Hello Jacob. Yes, I was thrilled he was healthy and seeing his little face on that screen was wonderful, but he had the wrong parts, man, how was I going to deal with that? I eventually grew to like the idea and loved surrounding myself in baby blue (because you know I hate pink) and when my water broke eight weeks early I was just praying I gave birth to a living baby, it didn't matter at all what parts he possessed. Once I saw that kid, it didn't matter that he wasn't a girl. He was my child, a little person I brought into the world, and that was cool.

Now with Adam, well, I knew he was a boy before I got pregnant with him (cue the Twilight Zone tune). We struggled for months to have him and at one point we just gave up. We figured we were blessed to have one child when so many others continue to struggle and we were happy with that decision. Right after that I started having dreams of this little boy and, let me creep you out some more, he was usually with my dead roommate who would tell me in a round about way that she was watching my boy. Can I freak you some more? Adam reacts to her photos when he sees them, the same way he does with my sister or my mom. But, to get back on track, once we found out we were pregnant with Adam I had no doubt in my mind that he was a boy, so I never really gave much thought to having a girl. I just knew.

So we had our two kids. Our family was complete....so we thought. This child is truly a surprise in every way. I couldn't even begin to tell you what I think this baby will be. I had one dream months and months ago and even that was pretty vague. I guess my best educated guess is that it's a boy, just based on our track record, but I don't have any warm, fuzzy feeling about it. It is what it is, let's just hope it has a name.

So after six years of boydom, I have gotten good at it. I like Matchbox cars and I know every single Thomas story every written. I like overalls and muddy tennis shoes and buying truck pajamas. I like that I don't have to sit down and fix someone's hair in the morning. I like that they don't like pink.

Now, for the million dollar question: Do I want a girl? I don't know. I know I don't feel that fierce need for one like I did the first time. I do know I would love to know what our little girl would look like, but do I feel like I would miss out without her? Still, I don't know. I know my husband would love to walk his daughter down the aisle one day, but how are we guaranteed that she would even marry, or shoot, like men? I know I have a fantastic relationship with my mom and would like to duplicate that with my own child, but again, how is that a guarantee? Why can't I have a close relationship with my sons? I don't think gender needs to an issue there. Anyway, before I really get long winded, a girl would be great, but so would another boy. I have Abigail to help me with my girly girl fix so, maybe without her I would feel the greater desire for a girl, I don't know. I just know I want to survive my c-section with a healthy baby for the long haul. Case closed.