Monday, November 28, 2011

Counter Offer

We have lived here, in our new neighborhood over three years now. We were lucky to get out of there when we did. The last time I drove by, at the request of the boys, the graffiti was rampant and even the nicer homes seemed more rundown. Our house seemed okay, although the dead plants and wet newspapers were pretty ugly. I really missed that house for a while, I mean, I brought three children home to that house, but after that last trip, well, I just wasn't feeling it anymore. This is our home now and we love it.

There are, however, two things I miss about that house: the upstairs laundry room and the laminate countertops.

Yes. I am the one person in America who is hoping granite goes out of style very soon.

It's funny because the granite was one of the things I was most excited about when we found this place. Then we ate on it and I wasn't so excited anymore.

That stuff is hard to clean.

Did you know you can't use Clorox wipes on it? Oh no. They leave a nasty film and the alcohol in them strips the sealant. My husband will only allow me to use a wet rag which, well, doesn't really do the job. I've been known to sneak a wipe or some Windex, but I usually regret it as I'm scrubbing the scum the next day.

This is why I was happy to accept a bottle of stone cleaner from The Fuller Company a few weeks ago. At this point, I'll try anything once.

I wish I could show you the pictures I took, but all you see is the flash in the shine of my nice, black granite countertops.

That stuff not only cleaned the stone, but also polished it smooth and gave it a nice shine. It also stayed that way a few days, making my wet rag cleanups after meals a lot easier. Now, it's not something you'd have time to do twice a day, you have to wipe on, wipe off, much like Ralph Macchio did in the Karate Kid, but once a week should give you a pretty nice table.

Who has granite and wants to see for themselves?

Just leave a comment and tell me how you're cleaning yours now and you could win a full size bottle of The Fuller Company's Stone Cleaner yourself.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Heart

I hope they always love each other this much.....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Secret to Good Pumpkin Patch Photos....







Take only one child.
Preferably of the female persuasion.
Purchase frilly pink costume on the way.

Finally.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Hairy Situation

I know what you're thinking.

Cut that child's hair already.

It's just that I really don't know what to do about it....



You see....



Elizabeth developed a new habit over the summer.

I think the official name for it is trichotillomania but she refers to it as "the crazy finger".

About July I started to notice her hair would have tiny little knots. I didn't think too much about it at first because we were swimming at the pool daily and I figured it was just a side effect from the hours of wet hair. One morning I was combing her hair and the entire left side of her head was covered in them along with a few very small stark white bald spots. I blamed myself, thinking I was combing too hard, felt very guilty about it for a few days and then noticed the bald spots were spreading. All the way around her head. By mid-August she was almost completely bald on one side of her head and I had filled two sandwich bags full of the knots she'd pulled free that I'd find on the floor, in her bed, or in the tub.

And this was the other side of her head. The one not effected by her brother's Zohan auditions.

It's actually starting to grow out some and what you see here is not near what it was like this summer. We would go places and people would stop and coo at her and tell her how pretty she was and once I even went to our local consignment shop and let her pick out some books and the lady gave them to us for free and told us she'd pray for us. I thought that was mighty nice and it did not dawn on me until a friend pointed out that she looked like she'd had recent brain surgery.

When I'd catch her with her hands in her hair she'd tell me, "Mom, I can't stop my crazy finger!". And now I wish I had a picture of her waving the crazy finger in the air so you could see why I'd fall on the floor laughing. Yeah, yeah, you shouldn't laugh at your possibly mentally ill child, but it was funny.

Inside, though, I was sick. Maybe she was developing anxiety, depression, OMG what if she has some sort of metabolic, vitamin deficient, tumor-growing, drop dead illness??????? Really?

And just about the time I was making doctor appointments, school started and we don't see Crazy Finger so much anymore.

Schizophrenia or boredom? Hmmmm.....

So another year of lopsided hair. Another year of wacked out school pictures. Another year of whispering, pointing parents wondering.

One day this will be hysterically funny. These pictures will look awesome in her wedding slide show I'm sure, but right now I am just looking for a way to cover up the bald, hence, the long bangs that I use as a comb over.



Kinda like this.

I wonder where I can find a child-size wig....

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Is This Thing On?

Did I even post in September?

*sigh*

My official excuse: The beginning of the school year is chaotic and busy and lasts six long weeks.

The truth: Facebook ate my blog.

Oh well, where've you all been all this time? I sure do miss ya'll. Remember when we chatted everyday? What happened to that? Oh, yeah, Facebook.

Anyway, who wants to hear how the summer testing turned out?

You don't? Well, tough.

If we rewind back to late June/early July you'll remember that Jacob was unmedicated for almost three solid weeks due to four different days of testing with a new psychologist. Short back story: Jacob was diagnosed with severe ADD in April 2007 at the age of six and we've struggled with that for a while. His therapist has always believed he has Aspergers Syndrome (Google it if you're living under a rock and never heard of it) and recommended he be retested by this new psychologist. Since I'll try anything once, that's what we did.

After the testing was over, new psychologist said she'd call when she calculated the results AND when my crappy insurance ever called them. That was July 8. On September 19 I finally heard back from her. You'd think I'd be crazy pissed about that but see the beginning of this post where the beginning of school is chaotic and you'll see why it did not dawn on me until that day, that, well, what happened about all that new testing?

Fast forward a week and Kid Number One and I are sitting in her office for a 7 a.m. appointment to read our future.

You want to know what the test said don't you?

I wish I knew. New Doctor will be typing up a comprehensive (i.e. understandable) interpretation of all the raw data, standard deviations, mean, median, averages, do-a-little-dance, whatever the heck it said.

This is what I took away from it (and remember it was 7 a.m.):

(and I don't know how to make points, so we'll use numbers, k?)

1. Jacob DOES NOT have Aspergers. No way, no how, who said he had Aspergers again? Do they have a degree? Wow, no, he absolutely doesn't have Aspergers. I can't believe anyone even suggested that......as New Doctor shakes her head confused.

2. See this number here? This says he's in the 98th percentile for problem solving skills. That's great. That means he should be able to do most anything he wants to....IF.....

3. We deal with this number here....see this number? I would diagnose a child with ADHD if the score were somewhere between 70ish and 80ish. Do you see your son's number? The 4? Yeah....he scored a FOUR.

4. You realize this means he is the most severly ADHD child I have ever seen or tested in all my 32 years of doing this?

5. I mean, WOW, FOUR. I have never, ever, ever seen that.

6. And something, something about the synapses of the brain not meeting and getting where they need to be kinda like frayed electrical wires all over the place not having the outer cover of the electrical cord. Jacob's meds are like the cover of the cord, his brain is the frayed wires.

7. Oh, see here, these other numbers you can't really see through your tears and the glazed over confusion? These mean that there are TWO types of ADHD and, whaddya know? Jacob has BOTH types, BUT he's only being medicated for one. So you know what that means? You won't be able to discuss this with the overbooked psychiatrist until your December 15 appointment so we'll just hope someone cancels.

8. And did I show you the FOUR? Yeah, that means you can medicate him until the sun don't shine (which is what we actually do!) and it still won't do enough for him.

9. Because, I mean, did you see that? FOUR!!!!

10. Oh, and since his brain is basically fine and what's truly messed up is his nervous system dealing with his brain function, I can almost certainly tell you that this is a result of his very early birth, so SEE, it IS your fault.

*sigh*

We were there for an hour (did I mention it was dark outside?) and she gave me soooo much information, but since her mother is dying and she spends four days a week in Dallas, well, she didn't have the written report that dumbs it all down for a non-PHD like me. She swears she'll have it to me by Monday. We shall see.

So what I think this all means is that Jacob is very severly ADHD, both the impulsive type and the inattentive type. Currently he is being medicated for the impulsive type. The reason he is failing math, history, and quite possible language arts is because the inattentive part of his ADHD is not being addressed and, well, he's inattentive. He spaces out during the tests, forgets his books at school so he can't study, doesn't actually study even when the books are in front of him, and generally acts as if the actual school portion of actual school is optional. We can get a dopamine based medication (such as Strattera) that will supplement his Daytrana patch but he will still need to find a therapist or someone who can teach him concentration and study skills. Oh, and it might be a good idea to enroll him in public school so that he can be enrolled in Special Ed. And I really do think that's where my own head hum took over.

When (and if) I ever get the comprehensive report, I'll summarize it for you then. Are you as confused as I am?

So for now, I've talked with his teacher (whom I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE!) who is going to try to help him out with the inattentive mess and who tutors him once a week after school. For free. He's still taking the 15mg Daytrana patch plus 10mg Methyphenidate (Ritalin) to overlap those two hours the patch is kicking in. On the weekends he takes a 10mg Daytrana with no overlap pill. You should have seen our CVS bill this month.

I don't feel like I can really make any decisions until I understand it all better. I'm trying not to lose my cool with him because now I know his brain is like frayed electrical wire that isn't getting anywhere, but I do have to wonder if that FOUR really makes you mock your mom behind her back when she asks you to pick up your socks.

And Adam's teacher asked me yesterday if I had considered having him tested......

*beating my head against the wall*

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The First Day

Fifth Grade....



First Grade...




Preschool....


Sunday, August 14, 2011

That Was Fast

Here are the pictures I took this summer.....

My sister's birthday...



And the weekend trip to the fancy hotel down the street....



Which was not so much fancy as it was scrungy, but, you know, live and learn.



Summer passed me by yet again. School starts Tuesday. Work starts Wednesday. *sigh*

It seemed like we spent much of our days driving Jacob from one appointment to the next. He saw two different psychiatrists, two different therapists, and a pediatrician. Then our insurance balked at paying for most of it, so we stopped hearing from most of them. Jacob spent almost two weeks completely unmedicated due to being retested on five different days. We were pretty much trapped in the house because we couldn't take him anywhere. Oh, he wanted to go places, he just wanted to go places while doing somersaults and jumping jacks and screaming at the top of his lungs. It was worth it, though, to get a better diagnosis, better prognosis, better plan, or it might have been. The psychiatrist doing the testing won't return my calls since the insurance company won't return her calls. Apparently she's holding the results hostage until she gets paid and our actual money isn't good enough for her or she has some sort of grudge to work out with Aetna. Whatever. Soooo......we still don't know what is wrong with my kid and he didn't get to join any of the social skills groups she promised either. He starts fifth grade in two days and has pretty much nothing to show for it but a bunch of wasted time.

Yay.

The other psychiatrist lowered his Daytrana dosage by half (10mg) and we're happy with that. The paranoia is gone and he can sleep in his room again. I don't think he'll be able to function at school on this dosage because he's still quite busy and so, so talkative, so we'll try him on 15mg on Tuesday and see how that goes. I was a little peeved that she would only write the prescription for tomorrow so I couldn't try it out first, but whatever.

Adam goes to school all day this year and I am sick over it. Kindergarten was sad, but not so much because it wasn't much different than preschool. We were still able to eat lunch and watch Dinosaur Train and do art projects or go buy cake balls all before Jacob got back......I enjoyed his company. If I weren't working, I'd seriously think about homeschooling him a few years. I am going to miss him like crazy.

You know, until he starts fighting with his brother and pisses me off and then school will sound good again.

But right now he's being so sweet that, yeah, I'm going to miss him.

And maybe I'll have more time now to blog with two in school full time......

Yeah. Okay.





Monday, July 11, 2011

The Other Side

Adam was supposed to spend this week with his grandparents.

But he's not.

Although this week has been crossed out for him for months, his summer school class cancelled for this week and the soccer camp he was going to attend scrapped because it interfered, he still isn't going to spend the week with his grandparents as planned.

Abigail, my neice, will be spending this week with the grandparents instead.

I love having my sister and her daughter so close I can see them every weekend . It's just...well....I don't like my neice very much.

ssshhhh...don't tell anyone.

Oh, I love her. She's family. I can take her in very short increments, but when she's here for hours and hours I want to claw my eyes my out and run screaming into traffic.

Abigail is an only child. Kinda. She has a seventeen year old step-sister she sees twice a month. In that time she has apparently learned enough teenage attitude to adopt it as her own. She is eight. It's annoying.

This Saturday she decided she didn't like Jacob anymore. He isn't cool enough for her. She snuck around all day whispering nasty names, pushing him, stealing his things. Of course he is ten and acts like he's five so it was quite loud here with all the upset which was his day. Also...he's off his medication COMPLETELY until we finish up retesting sometime this week. Anyway, it was ugly. And then she brought Adam into it. Adam does not need a reason to pick on Jacob. He's his brother, that's what they do, but she helped amp it up a notch. The two of them...together...relentless....doing all the things I demand to be stopped at school. There were punishments and separations until I felt like a Super Nanny parent just dragging my kid back to the step over and over. For Adam. Abigail was told repeatedly by her mother to "stop it". And that was that. I attempted to throw some consequences her way but the Miley Cyrus wanna-be would throw me some 'tude and then revert back to her own age and cry to her mom about how mean Jacob was and then my sister would stomp up and yell at Jacob. Did I already say how ugly it was? That's the only word I have for Saturday. I should buy a thesaurus.

Anyway...

A few weeks ago my sister scheduled a business trip this entire week. There's no one else to watch Abigail so guess where she gets to go? Yes, the grandparents. Adam has been waiting for his week since he missed his last summer. He was allright sharing it with Abigail so I was too....until Saturday.

After spending the same kind of day on Sunday except with now NEW! attempted drowning, and with plenty of warning I put the kibosh on the whole shared grandparent week.

Abigail screamed at me and declared it unfair, threw a pool ball at my mother and told her she'd be bored at her house now. My sister couldn't understand why I'd suddenly change my mind. My mother still stopped by this morning on her way out of town to see if I was "serious" since now I have to take both littles to all the appointments I scheduled for Jacob this week when I thought I'd be one less. She just kept shaking her head and I know she was worried about how she's going to keep her granddaughter from destroying her new home without someone to occupy her time. Because, yeah, she destroys things too. I guess I should be grateful for all the things I've had to trash makes us look less like hoarders, but damn, my kids liked those toys.

Adam was a wee bit sad this morning and I considered relenting all the way out to my mother's car until she saw Jacob standing behind it and told him to move away she didn't want to run over him and Abigail said...

"Oh, can we?"

I will probably hear from my sister tonight when she finds out I reamed her child out in my driveway.

But I no longer feel like I may have made the wrong choice by keeping Adam at home.

I'm sad for him, yes, because he won't get another chance this summer to have his week, but I just don't want him soaking all that attitude in for so long. I also love my parents too much to make them have to deal with the double trouble I am sure they'd have to endure.

He doesn't seem to upset about it. In fact, he might even seem a bit relieved.

And now, he's upstairs playing Wii with his brother. No one is fighting....so far.

It's strange to be the one pulling her child away for a change. We're usually the ones others break friendships with because they can't deal with Jacob. It's weird.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

What Are YOU Looking At?

Is what crosses my mind every time I see this picture.



Poor little baby....just pitiful.

I don't remember if I mentioned it in the past, but my kids have warts. My late neice Laura got them at some point during her illness and passed them along to Jacob right before she passed away. Or maybe he caught them from all the junk he picks up, but the Laura story makes them more bearable on everyone so we'll stick with that one. Anyway, Jacob was mercilessly bullied teased about his all over his fingers and arms back in second grade so we had them removed and that was no big deal. Adam started getting the warts last summer and until a few weeks ago there were only a few on his knees. On the last day of school I noticed he had a small one right on his bottom lip. Ugh. If Jacob was bullied teased over finger warts what in the world would happen to my sweet baby over face ones? So I took him to the dermatologist last week to have them (there turned out to be three of them on his face) removed. He was all for it too. When he found out Jacob got a prize from the toy store after his procedure, he was all bring it on .

Until that first blast of whatever that freezing off stuff they shot him with was.

Traumatized I tell you.

But to his credit, he laid (lain, lay, lie? I missed school that day) there and took it for the entire three minutes it took to get them all frozen. Three minutes is a long time when someone is squirting pain into your face.

He would not take the sticker the nurse offered him. Sticker? You're giving me a STICKER! FOR THAT? The absurdity of it all.

He refused to stop at the toy store. Someone! ANYONE! Might see me. And I'm mad. So. Very. Mad. At. My. Mother.

He wanted to go straight home to cover his face with bandages although the bandages were strictly forbidden. What if SOMEONE SEES HIM? OMG. Why did you do this to me? I want a new Mommy. I NEED a Cars 2 bandaid. Stat.

He didn't even want one of his favorite red velvet cake balls I ran out and spent too much on to relieve my guilt over screwing up yet another of my children.

He hated me. He told me so. Over and over.

Two hours later he climbed into my lap in the recliner and sobbed. His Finn McMissile bandaid quivering as he cried. He still hated me, but he still needed me. I felt so badly for him, but at the same time, I completely savored that moment.

His face has completely healed now. I think his soul has healed too. I know my heart is full just being able to soothe my children and do what I can to heal them of their hurts. I know one day soon he won't want me like that.

Then who will soothe me then?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thirty Days

We were able to get in yesterday with the child psychiatrist due to a cancellation. Thank you canceller.

I liked her much better than the last guy. We met with her an entire fifty minutes as opposed to the maximum six with the other guy. She also actually spoke to Jacob and asked him how he felt which, wow, yeah, maybe the kid going through it all can give some feedback for once. I was, however, a bit confused when she refused to prescribe some anti-anxiety medications. She agreed he has anxiety and ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) but we're going to lower his patch dosage and supplement that with a three hour pill in the morning while the patch is taking effect.

O. Kay.

We haven't been anywhere today so I can't say anything about the anxiety, but the ADHD? It's there. In full force. In fact he's screaming just for the pure hell of it as I type. That's what $180 buys me I guess. Thirty more days of this.

Oh, joy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interesting Development

The husband and I moved to Texas over eleven years ago. Just he and I and our very young pets made the 24 hour journey completely away from everyone and everything we knew.

We landed in a shitty neighborhood thanks to our stellar realtor who assured us we were buying in a very desirable area just to make her last sale before she caught a flight to begin her new life in Puerto Rico two weeks later. Of course, I guess you could consider it desirable, you know if you were a thug or graffiti artist. Anyway, living there for so long we didn't make many connections and if you go back to the very beginnings of this blog you'll see how very needy I was for human companionship, some friends, maybe some family.

Thank goodness we found this home when we did. It really has been a tremendous blessing. Can you believe we've lived here three years this weekend? I swear, I can still smell the new house smell when we walk in the front door. I love it here, I really do. I am surrounded by wonderful neighbors who I can honestly say are my friends. I am lonely no more.

But when I lived over there, I always wished I had some family nearby. Someone to call when I needed an egg or a babysitter or just someone to grill out with on a nice spring evening, but I knew that would never happen. My sister had a great job and loved where she lived and my parents did move closer, just not close enough.

Until now.

My sister's company was bought out by a different company that happens to have a location right smack here in the very town I live in right now at this moment. She was told in April in no uncertain terms that, well, if she wanted to keep working for them she would accept the very generous promotion they were offering her.

And so she did.

She's been here working for a month now already. Tonight she'll be back with her daughter and some belongings and get settled in an apartment not nine hours away but down the street. Her husband will be coming once he finds work and/or sells their house and although she is bummed by this, I, in fact, am not, but that's all I'll say about that.

Down the street.

How long do you think I have to let her get settled before I start dropping my kids off there?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Parenting......

It ain't for the weak.

You have to prepared for everything and sometimes, well, you just aren't.

I just returned from a pool party. An hour early. Elizabeth pitched a fit of epic proportion over, well, I'm still not quite sure, but I told her once to either go back to the pool or walk with me to the showers where she could get dressed and when she refused both I added the old, we-can-go-home-if-you-don't option thinking I was all smart and she'd make a choice and I could then go back to sitting on my ass gossipingchatting with the other parents.

Guess who didn't follow the plan?

And you know what? I really, really didn't want to pick her up and take her home because her brother was behaving like an angel in that pool and, whoops, didn't think about him when I threw out that threat. I

And there I was, squatting on a wet floor in front of ten other parents who were trying desperately not to appear as though they were watching the whole thing.

Let it go or follow through?

Man, I really wanted to let it go. But I didn't. And to be honest, if all those eyes weren't watching me out of their peripheral vision, I might have, but I knew if I did, the next party would be even uglier.

So as calmly as I could I had Adam exit the pool. I squeezed all three of us through the crowd into the extremely tiny party room where the rest of the parents and our things were waiting. I attempted to explain to the hostess what the hell was going on amidst the chaos, but I think all I got was a half-hearted wave as I literally dragged one screaming child through the parking lot with another repeating "I want to stay, what did I do?" over and over while the whole party had their faces pressed against the glass watching it all.

At that moment I could have melted right into the pavement.

What do you think the odds are that they'll all move away before school starts?

I am so embarrassed. My heart is still thumping hard two hours later.

I am not strong enough for this. My weak is showing. I am waving my white flag.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Adam....

is such a sweet little boy.

Oh, he isn't perfect. He can be stubborn. He sometimes sneaks out of the house to play with his friends without telling me. He knows where Jacob's buttons are and pushes them regularly. For the most part, though, he is a sweetie.

This morning as I was dropping off Elizabeth at her stop at bible school Adam says, "She is such a sweet little girl, I love her so much and miss her when she's not with me".

And I know he meant it with his full heart.





I have hundreds more pictures just like this.

Adam has adored Elizabeth since the evening she was born. The morning of her birth he wasn't so sure, but there was true love at second sight and since then I have known G*d sent Elizabeth not to me, but to Adam. He will even tell you himself that she was G*d's most perfect gift to him.

I mean, what six year old says that about his sister?

It's easy to focus on what is not going right in my life. I pray hourly daily for strength and guidance and, well, just a little bit of peace where Jacob is concerned. I tend to forget how so very blessed I am. It may not have been completely as I imagined, but it's a blessing.

All of it.

"For we live by faith, not by sight" II Corinthians 5:7

There is a reason to my current season. I may never understand it, but I have faith it will get better.

And I am forever grateful for my sweet little reminder.

Selective

My baby graduated from kindergarten.



Like, four weeks ago.

Although it was Adam's evening, the focus quickly shifted.

We let Adam pick the dinner choice that night and, of course, he chose Panda. It would've been really nice too if Jacob hadn't decided the only other people in the place were after him and spent the entire dinner growling and rocking back and forth and demanding we bag our food to take home. Which, eventually, we had to do. By the time we got to the ceremony I was sobbing and not completely all because my darling was suddenly a huge first grader. How in the world did this sweet baby become a kindergarten graduate? Ah, I love him so.

A week later Jacob had no problem whatsoever attending his own non awards night and even requested a special dinner himself. At Panda. WTH? You really should have seen the look on my face.

But no. We went for the awards and that was it. I still wonder if we should've even skipped that. Sent him some sort of message but it's over and done with. We went. He was thrilled and happy over his one award and showed no evidence of fearing everyone around him which, of course, he did the next day when I had to buy groceries insisting the terrorists were coming for him very loudly near the Muslims who followed us around with their carts.

*sigh*

The child has been diagnosed with ADD, not ADHD, although I am thinking he's gained an H since we was last tested, Auditory Processing Disorder, which, WTF? I don't even know what that is and I have a Masters Degree in Special Education, and mild anxiety which I believe has escalated over the years to moderate anxiety or possible selective anxiety.

He takes a 20 mg patch of Daytrana daily that takes almost two hours to begin working. Those are some pretty fun two hours I tell ya. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

I tried halving his dosage to see if we'd be able to actually go anywhere but while he wasn't afraid of the neighbors anymore we still couldn't go anywhere because it's a bit embarrassing when your ten year old is doing somersaults in the Target.

So he went back on his original dose.

And he fought me the next four mornings on, well, everything.

On the fifth morning he arose early, put on the patch without a fight, completed ALL of his chores and school work before I even awoke, and FLUSHED THE TOILET which apparently frightens the shit out of him because he won't ever do it.

Why was Friday different? New dosage? New discipline techniques? Suddenly cured?

No.

The night before he asked to play with some girl he adores that day and I told him only if he did his chores and straightened up his attitude.

Hmmmm......

And it didn't even scare him to ride his bike to the complete opposite end of the neighborhood to go find her. Amazingly, just that day there were no people out to get him.

Sadly, said girl left that day to go spend six weeks at her dad's so guess who's afraid of everything again?

*sigh*

Selective anxiety is my official diagnosis.

But just to be sure, we are keeping the July 18 psychiatrist appointment, we have a Monday appointment with some sorta social skills coach? I am not sure what she actually does but the sweet therapist lady seems to think it will help.

We'll see.

And again, something that starts out about Adam turns out about Jacob. It's no wonder poor Adam picks on Jacob every chance he gets. But that is a whole other story.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Only 96 More To Go

Jacob received ONE award this school year....



Perfect Attendance.

In all honesty, I feel like that is really my award because, I mean, how the hell did he get there if not for me?

I did not even want to go to the awards ceremony. In fact, I almost didn't. This is the only picture I took and even then my husband forced me to walk up and take it.

It takes a lot of effort to NOT make honor roll or superior conduct. Shoot, his bullies all got an award for superior conduct and they supposedly saw the principal at some point. Of course, I realize now that may have just been a story told just to shut me upto appease me. But that's a whole 'nother story.

We are on day five of summer vacation and I have to say, it pretty much sucks.

I got all ambitious like on Friday and drove the kids to the teacher store where I doled out sixty bucks on books and charts and fun stuff to begin Fourth Grade Remediation 101. I spent Saturday morning planning our week's activities plus an extensive check chart of chores that aren't really new but a huge reminder as to what is expected of each and every child with shiny stickers to trade in for allowance quarters. I mean, what child doesn't want money?

My big one doesn't apparently.

I think "I don't have to do any of this crap snd you can't make me" was what he spewed as he stomped up the stairs.

And really, I guess he's right.

He has never done time-out and don't tell me to spend eight hours chasing him back to the spot because I've tried that. I have two other kids I have to feed at some point. I know that mysteriously works for the Super Nanny kids but it never has with him.

I can no longer drag him anywhere. He's too strong for me. We used to put him outback and pull the blinds for his time-outs and that worked until he realized all he had to do was drop and drag.

I could spank him with a belt but the last time I tried that he kicked me so hard I coughed up blood and dealt with searing rib pain for two months.

I don't know what to do with him. I've tried nice, I've tried mean, I've tried sweet and understanding, and I've tried ambivalent and nothing works. My child is a lazy, sullen, rude, smelly teenager already and he's only ten.

I have a MASTERS DEGREE in this shit!

Seriously. I have a masters degree in special education with emphasis on....get this....BEHAVIOR DISORDERS. WTF?

I completely integrated a child back into the mainstream classroom using all these fancy techniques I learned yet I CANNOT get my child to feed the damn cat or talk respectfully using the exact same crap.

He has no more stuff since he refuses to clean it up. He has no sheets on his bed since he refuses to make the bed. He is down to only a few items of clothing since he refuses to walk the three steps to the laundry chute. These haven't done anything to change his ways.

This weekend he peed all over the bathroom floor and wall out of spite. What do I do then? Lock him out of the bathrooms?

His therapist wants to admit him to a facility in Austin. Austin is three hours away. It's a nine month program. It costs over $50,000. Our insurance will not cover it. When the sweet doctor lady wants to send a kid who has to attach himself to my arm just to walk the grocery cart fifteen feet to sleep away from home for nine months, it just defeats you.

We can't afford that. And really, I don't think we can afford to chance what might happen if we'd actually drop him off there and drive away. The nice therapist lady seems to think we don't have any other option.

This was definitely not what I imagined when we decided to have children.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Life as photographed by Adam

I couldn't find my camera most of last week. I finally found it today. Under the bed. And this is what I found on it.....












There was another really interesting one I had to delete once I figured out what it was.

I just hope he doesn't continue that when he gets a Facebook page.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are There Really 101 Days of Summer Vacation?

So today was the last day of school.

It was pretty unremarkable as last days of school go, well, aside from the huge water gun fight and having to watch my child be sprayed mercilessly yet not spoken to at all for the entire hour I put up with that shit before leaving early.

I really thought I was doing a wonderful thing for him by taking him to lunch at his fave greasy pizza palace afterwards.

I was so wrong.

As I was ordering my ten year old child bounced himself off the wall, threw paper napkins, screamed in, what I can only guess was, tongues, growled like a dog, and told me he'd kill me if I didn't leave that place RIGHT. NOW.

Um...yeah.

This is Jacob's new "thing".

Remember last year when he went all crazy bat-shit on that funky Concerta?

Yeah. Kinda like that. Except, there is no rhyme nor reason for this behavior. On the Concerta he was consistent with his agorophobia. Is it agorophobia that makes you want to not be near people or go places? Or is that arachnophobia? Well, whichever, he's afraid of spiders too.

What was I saying?

Oh....Jacob has developed the paranoia again when we go places although it really just depends on the place.

If it's one of Adam's soccer games and the inevitable Chick-Fil-A feast after then he has it.

If it's Target and we promise to buy him something. Hmmm....not so much.

Anyway....

Although he is losing weight, he is still almost as tall as me and much stronger already. I attempted to take him by the hand and escort him from the building but he pulled the drop and drag (which I find extremely ironic from a kid who just demanded to leave). I eventually got him to his feet and out the door but I'm sure to the owners of that fine establishment and the video cameras they use it appeared I was probably abusing him. It didn't help that two teachers from his school walked right in just as I was getting him to the car. I might have said f*ck about that time too. Oops. It's very difficult to refrain from profanity when you're being kicked in the gut.

I keep wondering if the cops will show up.

I am bummed that this yummy pizza will be my last. You know I ain't setting foot in there again.

So here we go again.

I got the first available appointment with the only other child psychiatrist who takes our insurance. July 18 at 1:45. The child has refused to go on our annual trek up to the fancy water slide. He will be staying with his grandparents. I have been told he'll set fire to the church if I even attempt to drop him off for Vacation Bible School in two weeks. He screamed for a solid five minutes when I told him I'd signed him up for ONE three hour art class. He loves art. WTF?

I don't know if he's playing me or not. I kinda feel like he's using last summer's meltdown as an excuse to get out of doing anything. I also feel like he sometimes needs to be committed to a mental facility. I don't know what the hell is going on with him.

Something has to change though. He scares my little kids. Shit, he scares me.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I love him, but I don't really like him much. I want to get help for him, but damn, we've been getting help for him for YEARS and nothing has helped. He maxes out our insurance fund every year by May for all the specialists he sees. He almost failed fourth grade. He got ten demerits a day, every day. He saw more detention in one month this year than I ever did in all twelve years of school. He's been kicked out of church. Again.

What did I do to deserve this? What did my little kids do to deserve this? What did Jacob do to deserve this? Where are the answers to my prayers? His prayers?

How many days until school starts again?

Holy shit I hope we survive this summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Because He's My First Baby...

My dog almost died this week.

But he didn't.



Instead he got a $3500 spleenectomy done by a fancy-schmancy veterinary surgeon complete with new-fangled funnel alternative.

Plus the added towel since the expensive blow-up donut didn't keep him from releasing two staples in the blink of an eye.

This will give him nine more months. Maybe a year.

We had to do it though. The maybe two weeks was more than we could hear.

So we won't be going to Disney next year.

We won't be getting curtains. Finally.

But our dog will be here this summer. And possibly Christmas.

So it was worth it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Last Day of Three....Really

Four years ago today....

It really does seem like yesterday.

It's hard to remember when we didn't have a little bit of pink in our house.



And can I just say how so very much I miss that sweet little boy rubbing my hair in that chair every morning. What I wouldn't give for one more morning of that.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My Blog is Broken...

Or at least that's what I hear ;)

I have lots to write about it, but no time in which to do it. We are in the last six weeks of preschool and along with that comes Mother's Day Tea, Father's Day Picnic, Easter Egg Hunts, and "Graduation". Those also come with art projects that must be laminated, cut, magnetted, and wrapped and guess who gets to do those things? Did I happen to mention the twenty page scrapbooks I have to put together for each child? ALL FIFTEEN OF THEM????

Yeah. That's taking up all my blogging time.

But not Facebook time. I can't let my Frontier and Island die.

Priorities, ya'll.

Anyway....





I found this in my archives. I almost cried. I remember taking that picture. I remember how smart she thought she was because she could take that hat off. Now that baby can put letters together to write words. She can read a little too. She can kick a ball as well as her brothers and can put her own temporary tattoo on her arm.

She got big.

No fair.

In two weeks she'll be four. years. old.

How?

When?

Gah.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This...

Is being posted just because I like it.

Every day I get with that old dog is a gift.



And the girl too, yes, every day I get with that girl and her brothers is also a gift, but, you know, the dog is old so I am very grateful to have this picture and be able to take another today if we want.

Friday, March 04, 2011

10

I swear, I don't know who this person is. I know I had a baby yesterday ten years ago but I haven't seen him in a while.



My baby is 10 today.

10.

10 = can't call him little anymore.

I still look in my back seat and expect to see him grinning at his roly-poly self in that Elmo mirror with a pacifier stuck in his mouth.

I wanted to write about the day of his birth before it escapes me completely as I am beginning to lose details of the scariest day of my life, but that isn't how I want to spend my baby's birthday. I think there's a trip to the comic book store, the Lego store, TRU, and the best Chinese restaurant this side of town in my future.

Ten years ago I became a mom. I figured by now I'd have it all figured out. LOLOLOLOL........

Maybe in the next ten years?

Monday, February 21, 2011

13

Yesterday my furry baby was 13.



Last year he had a tumor cut off his leg. I cried the whole day.

The year before that he had a stomach bug for three days that I was sure was the beginning of the end.

I really never expected to see my sweet pup enter the "teen years". Especially after our first vet told us we'd be lucky to get ten given his pedigree Labrador status. I cried that whole day too because after only three days I was completely in love with him.

Ezra is a good old dog. He's going strong for 91. He still enjoys fetch although he has to rest a lot more. He still tattles on the kids if they are doing something wrong. He has another huge tumor on his leg that we've decided not to remove because, well, he is 13 and, well, we're still paying for the last one.

The odds are he won't make it to 14, but who knew he'd make it to 13, right?



One thing I do know is that we all love him. So much.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why?

Why are kids so fucking mean?

I thought things were going better since I went up to that wretched school and demanded he not be bullied. Oh, he isn't bullied so much anymore. Well, in the let-me-shove-your-face-in-the-dirt kinda way. Oh no. They've just decided that Jacob can be no where near them at any time so now he's the kid who sits alone with the random straw paper thrown at him. In front of his mother no less.

The very saddest thing about this is that he thinks this is all a-ok. He thinks its great actually.

I. Do not.

Jacob befriended a new kid who showed up the last day of school before Christmas break. A very fat, not too smart, trip-over-his-own-feet kinda kid. The rest of the class had nothing to do with him so Jacob bent over backward to make this kid feel welcome. For the past few weeks things have been hunky-dorey with said kid until last Thursday when Jacob climbs all innocently into the backseat to tell me that Kid told him he didn't want to talk to him at school because the other kids told him they'd make fun of him if they did and guess who's sitting with the popular kids now? Jacob? Was okay with that. He has absolutely no idea how to be treated right that he has no idea he's being treated wrong.

When I went in this afternoon to fetch him from after-school care (which, long story, he shouldn't have been there) Kid and his new side-kicks were sitting in a pack at a long table shooing Jacob even farther, farther, no a little farther away all while my 178 IQ kid just nodded and grinned stupidly thinking this is what all friends do. In fact, he stated as much. Not one child would meet my gaze when I inquired just what in samhill was going on there. Even when he got up and said good-bye to each and everyone of them they all looked away. They wouldn't even respond to me. Little bastards.

Needless to say we had a long discussion again about reading social skills until finally I just had to tell him. THEY. WERE. BEING. MEAN. PERIOD. He still thinks Kid will be his friend tomorrow. I am still beating my head on the granite.

Christian school = Christian behavior. At least that's what it says on the website.

NOT.

Fucking not.

I really want to take him out of that school but I am so, so, so, so afraid it will be so, so, so, so worse in a new place. I just don't know what to fucking do. God I wish my kid was normal. Just a little bit. I wish he had one iota of a social skill so he wouldn't be treated like this. Why does God not help him? Why does God continue to allow him to be treated that way? Does He want him to commit suicide one day? Does he want him to learn THAT way of treating others? I am so damn confused and conflicted I don't even know what to believe anymore. I understand how adults can be put through trials, but children? Why the hell is that good?

Six years. Still not getting better. I want some answers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And on Thursday....

It is funny how God works....

Today, my co-worker was taken by EMT to the hospital after experiencing dizziness, sweatiness, and severe chest pain. Thankfully, all children had been dismissed by then. Mine were there but she downplayed it and had me take them home before the ambulance arrived. Always thinking of others she is.

I can't remember any of my own problems right now even though I am running a fever and likely have the flu as of 3 pm. Do I even have real problems?

Got a text ten minutes ago that she DID NOT have a heart attack but she is being admitted. They think she is fine but they have to do those things you know.

If you pray, remember her. She has been so good to me these past few months and Elizabeth absolutely adores her (she's her teacher).

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

My Life is What *I* Make of It

I can't stand seeing the gloom on my blog. That was never what I intended when I started it. I don't want to use the spot I created to celebrate my children to focus on the shortcomings of my life. My marriage isn't perfect. It never was. I really had no business airing it on the world wide web, although your support has been appreciated.

Instead, I bring you more of this:



This.

Is why I continue to find happiness.

I love my kids. So much so that sometimes just looking at them makes tears roll down my face. They are the reason I do everything I do. I am not a perfect parent but those kids know they are adored.

I love my job. So much so that I don't even mind waking up at 6:30 in the morning to prepare for it. If you've read for me for long, you know this is big stuff. It is probably the worst paying job for the work I put into it, but this is why I do it:
(Sshh...don't tell...It's probably not kosher to post this & I'll delete it soon, but I adore them too)



I am far from unhappy.

Confused and frustrated...yeah, sometimes, but I learned long ago you can't rely on anyone else to make you happy and you also can't make someone happy unless they really want to be.

I choose to be happy as often as I can and that's why I needed to get my whine-fest off the top of my blog.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Monday, February 07, 2011

Monday

Aahhh....Monday.

It really is my favorite day of the week. My day off, the husband takes the kids to school, and I don't usually have any errands to run aside from fetching the school boys at noon and three. I am currently watching some strange new show on Nick Jr. with Elizabeth in our pajamas. Did I mention we slept until 10? Love me some Monday.

I am also so very relieved Sunday is over for another week. The husband came home from church and locked himself into his study until 5:30 when he went next door to be wonderful to the neighbors at their annual Super Bowl party. He even gave them my great-grandmother's serving bowl because he's so nice to others like that. Can we say passive-aggressive?

Jana hit the nail on the head when she suggested he's just a little pissed off every Sunday because he is not a part of the perfect family. It's sad, really, because in comparison to many, we have a pretty decent life. Our kids are extremely healthy, we live in a nice home in an even nicer neighborhood, and we can barely afford to send our kids to the school of our choice. We eat and have heat and have the choice of hundreds of television channels. That, of course, is never enough. What's that they say? Money can't buy happiness? I am not saying we are rich, far from it, but we don't struggle to put meals on the table. Oh, I had to go back to work to afford our health insurance, but damn, at least we have some huh? That's a whole other can of worms which does, to some extent, contribute to some of our problems, but I'll get to that another time.

Anyway, my husband would love to have the perfect life. I think it's something he's wanted all his life because goodness knows his childhood life was not even close. His mother is mentally ill. It won't matter how many medications she takes or even if she takes them religiously, she will always have problems. She will never be able to hold a job, drive a car, or make a complex decision. She hasn't been able to do that since Derick was a toddler. She's different. And weird. And it's very noticable. His dad has different issues that I have sworn never to divulge in this blog. We don't even talk about it, it's that distressing to him. I am sure it was all pretty embarrassing to the teenage husband. I'm thinking this is when his imaginary perfect life began.

So many people we meet tell me how great my husband is, because, well, to them he is. He's helpful to the neighbors, he can carry a great conversation, he plays with children, and he really would offer them the shirt off his back. Or, even my great-grandmother's serving bowl. I just smile and nod and resist the urge to tell them, yeah, he CAN be a super guy. We'd LOVE to see more of that ourselves but I think by the time he gets home and done putting on his perfection front, it's too exhausting to keep it up. Just a guess.

Today is Monday. My husband left a cup of coffee for me and made sure the boys were quiet enough so that the girl and I could sleep in. I saw him for just a bit and he told me to have a good day. Sunday is over. His demons are gone. Today.

I wonder often if he is in the beginning of his own mental illness. Maybe he's struggling with is own inner demons. Maybe he works too much. Maybe he wasn't taught how to be real with people, I mean who was there to teach him? Maybe he's just an ass.

Hopefully 2011 will bring us both some answers.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday

I hate Sunday.

I dread it all week long and not because it's the end of the weekend, no. In fact, I am a pretty big fan of Monday. It's my favorite day of the week.

I hate Sunday because it's church day.

I quit going to "our" church many years ago. I don't like it there. I like church allright, but just not this one. I left high school 23 years ago. I don't want to do it again on my weekend. My husband, though, goes every. single. week. You'd think that would be a good thing, but no. It's not.

I don't know what it is, but on Sundays my husband becomes very nasty and mean. He wakes up screaming and goes down screaming every. single. week. That is, if he even speaks to any of us at all that day. The days my husband hates his life are always on a Sunday. Right after services.

Now, I thought maybe he was being pissy because I wasn't going to church with him so I got dressed one Sunday and was happy to try it again and he told me in no uncertain terms that he didn't want me there. Another Sunday argument ensued and I haven't attempted that again. Once bitten, twice shy I think they say.

Isn't church supposed to make you more at peace? Godly? If anything, my husband comes home a demon. I wouldn't call his actions at all Christian. Why do you suppose that is?

This has been going on for yyyeeeaaarrrss. It does not change. Ever.

The only thing now, is that he drags the kids into it. He insists they go with him yet *I* am the one responsible for getting them ready. I know I should make him do it, and I have in the past, but trust me when I say he's even worse if I don't. So this morning I dress Elizabeth and he comes stomping out bitching because she doesn't have a bow in her hair. Elizabeth has no hair...remember? In fact, it's even worse because she gave herself a small trim at Christmas so what grew back is no longer there. A bow will not stay in her hair. Period. He knows this, but it's Sunday and he has to prove it. He barked at me to find a bow. I didn't budge. He stomped up to her room mumbling the whole time about how fucking lazy I am and came back with a ten dollar yellow bow that in no way matched the pinkness in which she was decked out. I removed it. He threw a fit worthy of the rottenest two year old and stomped out of the house screaming how she would NOT go to church with him with her ugly hair like that, no way, no how, and I am a complete dumb-ass and slammed the door.

Now. The thing with my husband is that you never, ever know when to believe him. Super Nanny would have a field day with him because he rarely follows through with a threat. I guess I should've realized that before I started taking her fancy clothes off, but damn, I was pissed. I just wanted that behind us. So about a minute later he comes crashing back in and sees me undressing the girl and the shit hit the fan. Mr. Christian threw some shit and slammed some doors and refused to take any of the kids with him. The boys just stood there not knowing what the hell happened. And now he's gone. I know he's in that church schmoozing with the other fake Christians pretending he's the most wonderful person. He's probably praising Jesus with his hands in the air and hugging the congregants with a hearty "God Bless You" and we'll be punished for that when it's all over this afternoon.

Why the hell does he do this?

The past month he has been pretty pleasant. When he was here. He spent a week in Vail and a week in Louisiana, but between those times we were happy. We had fun even. He actually seemed to enjoy being with us. I started sleeping without medication again. It was nice. Why did I not realize he was decent because he hadn't been to church in a solid month? Why is he NOT decent when he goes to church? What the damn bloody hell is that about?

I work at a church. I teach at a Christian preschool. I pray with my kids and teach them about Jesus and come home at peace about that most days. In fact, it has helped me become more tolerant and calm with my own kids. Most days. I mean, isn't that what church is SUPPOSED to do for you?

Why does my husband hate us every Sunday?

I hate Sunday.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why?

I am sorta, kinda, keep-my-fingers-crossed getting better. So much better I went ahead and took my kids to a birthday party on Saturday. I drove an hour and twenty minutes each way when I really didn't want to and stood outside in a park for two hours shivering deep within my bones, but we went and the kids were happy.

For my trouble, we've all been exposed to strep throat.

Seriously.

I stood for fifteen minutes talking with a friend while my kids were within breathing distance of hers. As she went to walk away from me, she stopped another friend to say she was going home to bed because she didn't feel too well and had a fever all day.

Really?

WTH?

Did she not get the common courtesy memo about fever=stay home?

This morning she announced to Facebook that she has strep throat. And so do her kids.

Yippee!

I can semi-sorta maybe see why people go to work sick. I've been on the short end of the sick day spectrum once upon a time, but why go to a birthday party around tons of babies, kids, and elderly people that really doesn't require your presence?

At Adam's party last week I offered cake to a classmate who had been dropped off at the door who then told me he didn't think he could eat any since he'd been vomiting all night long. That was after he's spent two hours in the confined bouncy house with nineteen other children.

I heard a mother telling another that her kid had a fever that morning, but thankfully, was all better after she'd given her some ibuprofen.

Are people REALLY this stupid? Or thoughtless? Or so bored they can't just stay home?

I really, really hope we don't get strep throat. Jacob has perfect attendance so far and while it's not that big a deal, I'd hate to think going to a party disqualified him from probably the only award he'd get at the end of the year. I also need to go to work tomorrow. If I don't go, I don't get paid. But if we're sick, we won't go.

And THAT'S what everyone else should do.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And....

I am sick.

Who didn't see that coming?

I went to work anyway this morning since I don't have a fever and my fine motor skills have developed so that I can blow my nose AND cover my coughs and sneezes.

Three year olds...not so much.

The same parent who TWICE last week was told, HEY! YOUR KID IS SICK!, had to be called first thing after her sweetie sneezed green snot all over the kid in front of him. She showed up five minutes before pick-up time.

Three other parents had to be called for the same thing and THEY also waited until pick-up time to show up.

WTH?

And I wonder why their children do not follow any instructions I give them.

I mean, you get a call that your child is sick and you wait three hours to go and get him? Who does that? I could understand if they were working parents or maybe even had another child at home with them but to the best of my knowledge, they are home alone all morning. Must be nice. Damn, I was called a few months ago just to be informed that Jacob had a bellyache most likely due to his new meds and I left a full Target cart to rush up there. He is almost TEN fricking years old. These kids are THREE!

Grrr.....this is starting to really piss me off.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

6

Happy Birthday my sweet Addy!



You are loved by ALL of us.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PSA

If your preschooler is sick, please do not send them to school.

They will not miss something crucial. We are not studying for the SATs.

We color. We sing. We eat snacks. Oh, sure, we learn letters and numbers, but we'll be on the same letter tomorrow and I promise it won't matter much if they miss one day of fingerpainting it.

When you send your child to school with dripping green snot and are told not to bring them back until it's clear, we're serious. It's kinda mean to make your kid sit in the office for three hours because you don't believe he's really sick. Come feel his forehead, you might change your mind.

When you send your child to school sick, you make the rest of us sick also. If I get sick, my kids get sick, and I know you didn't know it was my kid's birthday this weekend, but it is and now, most likely, we'll be sick for it. What if I have to cancel my kid's party? What am I going to say to him? I know you didn't think of that before you sent your feverish kid to school, but it's possible and that will really suck for us.

When you send your child to school sick, he coughs on his friends, holds our hands with snotty fingers, and sneezes all over our toys. We had to throw things away today such as cotton and q-tips that couldn't be washed. We'll have to replace them. THAT is why your tuition goes up.

Please keep your child home when he is sick. When we point out the day before that, hey, he's getting sick, what we really mean, is, hey, don't come tomorrow. Learn it. Remember it. It won't hurt your child to miss three hours of fun time. It will also not hurt you to miss three hours of your fun time.

Please be considerate of your child's teacher and his classmates.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WTH?

Please tell me the kindergarten "room mom"** did not just send an evite to the entire class inviting them all to her son's birthday party at the SAME. EXACT. TIME. as Adam's party.

She did NOT schedule her party the SAME. EXACT. TIME. three days after receiving MY kid's invitation.

It is on like donkey kong.

How do I keep finding these people?


**Because although she calls herself "room mom" she really isn't since she doesn't organize anything, I DO. Well, apparently she can organize an effing birthday party. At the SAME. EXACT. TIME as mine.

WTH?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Stuff

1. What curse word do you use the most?

I have to pick a favorite? I think maybe I should have added swear less to my list of resolutions. I work in profanity the way artists might work in oils or clay. It is my true medium.

2. Do you own an iPod?

Yes. And when it's charged up I love it.

3. Do you still remember the first person you kissed?

Who forgets those things? Although I would much rather to like to forget it.

4. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?

I would love to be in some pictures so my kids will remember what I looked like, but no one else in this house will ever use the camera.

5. Has anyone ever called you lazy?

Yes. Under his breath usually.

6. Has anyone told you a secret this week?
Hmmmm.....I don't think so.

7. What is the first thing you notice about someone to whom are attracted?

I have three children who tag along with me EVERYWHERE. All I notice is them. If I didn't they might break stuff.

8. To what are you looking forward?

Our next scrapbook weekend if we can ever find a time that works for everyone.

9. Do you own any band t-shirts?

I just found the Rick Springfield concert tee I got from a friend who went to his show in 1982. LOVE IT! I also have a Brad Paisley one with his autograph on it. I just wish I hadn't gotten rid of the cool Journey one I had 25 years ago.

10. When is the last time you slept on the floor?

Last year when the little kids had a pukey virus for two days.

11. What did you do last night?

Made grilled cheeses, cleaned the kitchen, did two loads of laundry, bathed the children, finished the homework, watched The Middle, spent an hour attempting to get all children to bed and then finally gave up, let them sleep on my bedroom floor and went to bed myself.

12. Do you get along better with the same sex or the opposite sex?

The opposite. Almost all of my friends in college were guys. They were easier to get along with. I don't do girly drama well. Which is ironic since I have lots of girly drama now.

13. Who was the last person to make you mad?

Jacob who decided not to brush his hair, brush his teeth, put his shirt on the right way or wear socks to school today. He makes me mad most every morning.

14. To whom would you want to be tied for 24 hours?

Does an extra soft king size bed with 1000 thread count sheets count?

15. T or F: All’s fair in love and war?

No. Just because I want to say no.

16. What’s something you’ve always wanted?

I got it. A daughter. And I don't want to hear from people who think I don't love my sons.

17. Do you enjoy spending time with your mother?

My mother is my favorite person. I would move back in with her if she'd let me.

18. Do you want a bright yellow ‘06 Mustang?

And where would I put all these kids?

19. Where is/are your best friend(s)?

West Virginia, Louisiana, In the neighborhood across the street

20. Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake?

Neither. That's why pools were invented.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My New Years Resolutions

Okie-dokie then...

1. I will learn my children's love language and use it. Often.

2. I will lower our grocery bill fifty bucks a month. Once I started working I got a little lazy and the last three months were well over what I typically spend. If I can drop fifty bucks that will take me to about $275. My hope is to keep shaving as the year goes on so I can get it back under $250.

3. Which also leads me to....more home-cooked meals. That little bit of extra cash and the close proximity to the new James Coney Island and Freebirds made me quite lazy. And thirty pounds heavier.

4. I say it every year, but I am going to really try to eat and serve more vegetables and less carbohydrates and sugars. There just aren't many veggies I like so it's hard to get excited about cooking them. I am going to do TWO meatless meals a week this year. Hopefully that will help our health and our finances.

5. I will take the little children on a fun outing every Friday afternoon. Adam only has a half year of half day school left. We will enjoy it.

6. I will take each child on a solo outing for at least an hour at least once a month. I haven't quite figured out how I'll swing that since there are no other adults around during their waking hours, but I feel this is important, especially for Jacob so I have to figure out a way.

7. I haven't done it yet, but I will be updating the children's chore charts and our reward system. We will continue using the tickets for positive behavior and my goal is to be much more consistent with it.

8. I will wake up a half hour earlier (oy, this will be the hardest one) so we aren't rushing out the door on work days. Non-work days....I will continue to drive them at the last minute in my pajamas.

9. If it isn't raining or below freezing, I will walk the 1.3 miles around the beautiful wildlife refuge in our neighborhood. We pay for that might as well use it. The kids and I both could get more sunshine and exercise.

10. I will blog once a week. This used to be my excuse for not updating the baby books, but now the baby books AND the blog are quite empty.

11. I will update the baby books.

12. I will limit my time on Facebook and all my addictions. I did better last year but I could still do better. Half hour after work, fifteen minutes during afternoon snack, and anything else after all kids are in bed. Okay. Maybe this one will be the hardest. That Treasure Isle isn't going to dig itself.

And I will stop here because I don't want thirteen.

*spit on floor and throw the salt over my shoulder*

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

You Gotta Love People

I was going to type up my New Year's Resolutions this afternoon, but I just had the strangest phone call and thought I'd share that instead.

Okay. A little back story...

I have fourteen three (some now four) year old students. Most of them are only or first born children so this is their parents first school experience with their child. Many of them STILL walk their baby right inside the classroom even though they are strongly encouraged to use our right-at-the-curb-stay-in-your-jammies drop-off which was probably the deciding factor to me when deciding on a preschool for Adam. I mean, I don't understand why some of these people are showering AND applying make-up just to walk their kid twenty feet into the door. But, whatever.

Point being....some of these parents just bend the rules for themselves DAILY and also have some pretty lofty expectations as to what their three year old should be doing at this stage in the game, which I will tell you outright in case you didn't already know, it isn't reading at a first grade level. It's okay though. When I see Kid Two in a couple years I know they'll have figured it out by then. I did.

So anyway...

I am used to having to talk some parents back from the edge regarding academics and social skills, when I got a note this morning that M's mom wanted me to call her ASAP I figured she had a concern about her inability to write her entire eight letter name or the new bad word another child learned from her Papaw over Christmas break. Seriously...I just knew it was the bad word.

No.

As I brace for a conversation I can understand, she begins telling me she'd like me to fire my room mom because she didn't want her around her child.

Seems her child who hasn't spoken twenty words to, well, anybody, that I can tell all year, looked up at her mama at the Christmas party and told her, and I quote, "Mommy, did you just see that lady press her b++bies into Daddy's face? Why did she do that, Mommy?

And I must add here that Room Mom MAY have had some work done, OR she is extremely lucky.

And it might have happened that Room Mom did not inform phone call mom about the class book exchange although I was standing right there putting her child in her car when she actually DID walk to her window and write all the information down AT HER REQUEST. She was also upset that Room Mom did not include her in the mass emails even though she never returned the slip I sent home four times asking to release her personal info.

And they showed up for the Christmas program the following night because that room mom who never included her, apparently told her it was THAT night just to be mean to her child because she didn't want them there. Never mind that every single newsletter sent home each month since September stated in bold red letters the real day and time of the event.

Now, you should also know that this is the same woman who, along with her husband, had to be removed from the church building because their four-letter word argument had escalated to the point that everyone in that section of the building could hear.

Were they fighting over the b++bies? We may never know.

My mouth is still agape.

I mean, really?

I think I was able to smooth things over. She did stop yelling after a while, but Lawrd almighty, I am askeered for the Valentine Party.

I don't get paid enough for this kind of ridiculousness.

My boss owes me hazard pay for this one.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!

I stole this from Fran. I no longer have original thoughts.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?

Drove Interstate 10 alone from Houston to Lake Charles during rush hour traffic.
Left my kids with a babysitter for two hours to see a movie.
Had a biopsy.
Became a room mom.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't even remember last year's resolutions. I will make more this year and will post them. Eventually.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My good friend Meg had a baby boy in April. Her third. She is very tired.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thank goodness, no. But a high school friend died of cancer in August and I am thankful to Facebook that we were reconnected through them before that. With FB I'm sure I'd have never "spoken" to her again or even known about her illness/death.

5. What countries did you visit?

USA

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

I'd like my husband to come home from work before 10 pm and actually help out with the child-rearing this year. I really do feel like I did it all myself in 2010.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 21, when Adam started kindergarten. September 1 when I started my job with actual kids there. Who knew three year olds could throw chairs? Each of the kid's birthdays.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Landing a job without an application or an interview just having the director like me and think I'm a good mom. I still get a chuckle about that. If she only knew....


9. What was your biggest failure?
The whole took-Jacob-to-doofus-psychiatrist-and-switched-his-meds thing. I am still pissed at myself about it. And I better never run into that guy. Ever.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Geez. We've been sick the past two weeks. Eleven day virus my ass.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Crocs sandals and the eight 75 cent Christmas dresses I bought at the resale shop in January last year. Guess where I'm going today?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Elizabeth potty-trained herself in a week, Adam learned to read, Jacob went from getting fifteen demerits in a week to about three after switching to yet another medication we like much better.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Those same bitchy school mamas. I still don't get how grown women could find pleasure in slandering children. Their bully children disgust me as well. I was also pretty upset just watching the dynamics of the school and some of the teachers and the administration getting a good inside look since I work there now. I will post about that more later.

14. Where did most of your money go?

School tuition and taxes and in 2011 my entire paycheck will go to pay our huge increase in health care premiums. Thank you Mr. Obama.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


Our Woodlands vacation until we got there. My Christmas bonus. Every Tuesday there was a new Glee on. The WVU game we went to in October.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

"Part of your World" from Little Mermaid. Nothing like hearing Elizabeth sing that all day long.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a...about the same.
b....FATTER! I've gained 30 pounds since last year.
c....poorer! More taxes, higher health care premiums, more medications we can't afford. Thank you again Mr. Obama.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I'd kept up with the Friday home-schooling and our Monday afternoon outings. I think I'm going to try fix that in 2011.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Yell at my kids (mainly Jacob) in the mornings.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With a temperature with my kids, husband, and parents and then most of the day I slept while the kids enjoyed their new goodies.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

I fell in love with my 14 preschool students. I adore them. It makes getting up and going so early worth it. I love my job.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Glee, 30 Rock, The Office (although who else thinks it's really slow this year?), Mike and Molly, The Middle

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Now, we shouldn't say hate....but I really hate dealing with Jacob's bullies. I know they are children, but I don't get a warm fuzzy when I see them.

24. What was the best book you read?

I am currently reading The Five Love Languages of Children and hope it helps some. I love me some Kindle. I have fifty books downloaded and ready for the new year. I read a lot of Jodi Picoult last year and I loved them all.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I got really excited when I downloaded Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd onto my IPod. Does that count?

26. What did you want and get?

A kindle.
A semi-sorta maybe resolution in the bully situation. We'll see how that pans out.
A tube of Crabtree and Evelyn hand lotion


27. What did you want and not get?

Some friends for Jacob. The ability for him to fit in with his peers.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Toy Story 3

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 42 on my birthday. I took my dog to the vet and had chicken wings at BW3. Woo-hoo!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If my husband would've spent some more time with us and actually attempted to enjoy us. It's hard living with an unhappy person. My hope for him in 2011 is that he realizes that although he works hard to give all his money away, that it isn't his whole life.


31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Minimalist...no make-up, no fancy duds, sandals every day.

32. What kept you sane?

I think the new job, although time-consuming and tiring, has helped me have a greater perspective on my children's behavior.

And Frontierville. And Treasure Isle.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I was sad when Elizabeth Edwards passed, but that was it. I didn't really fancy her.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don't do politics, but after seeing how much we have to pay so our next-door neighbors can get free health care, that pissed me off a little.

35. Who did you miss?

My friends in West Virginia

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My boss. I knew her before as a parent at the school, but in this new capacity I realize she will be a huge blessing in my life. I can learn a lot from her. She adores my children and is so accomodating to our needs at work with them.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

You are in control of your own happiness. Do not rely on others to make you happy.

Be frugal and save as much money as you can. You never know when the rug is going to be pulled out from under you.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"Don't stop believing...hold on to that feeling..."