Friday, February 27, 2009

More Thoughts From The Beast

Caleb received an unsolicited 'pep-talk' from The Beast. It went something like this.

Caleb: "Mom. I am hideous. Why did you make me brush my hair? It's hideous now. (hideous, is Caleb's new favorite word to use when describing his dreaded hair)
Me: "Caleb, your hair is fine. I know you don't believe me, but someday you will like your hair. I love your hair." (Caleb's hair is the best shade of red and curly. Someday. Chicks will dig-it.)
Enter The Beast.
She sizes Caleb up from head-to-toe. I am waiting for some nice words, because as much as she is a stinker, she loves to dole out compliments.
Beast: "Caleb, we think you are handsome on the inside and that's what really counts."
Me: Suppressing laughter at the look on Caleb's face as a result of his sister's 'pep-talk'

This is Caleb and Stella during a moment when they were getting along. I never imagined that two kids could butt-heads as hard as these two often do. I love that she is wearing her pink tutu and he is wearing his baseball shirt in this picture. They are so different and yet so much alike.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I feel like I am sinking this week. Everywhere I look there is something calling, no shouting, to be taken care of.
I started babysitting again, after a few glorious months off, and I am finding it hard to get back in the groove of having a 2.5yr old around the house. He got the boot from his last sitter for being too 'active'. I am starting to feel her pain. He has some things going on that are all too familiar, speech delays, sensory processing disorders, so I know I will stick it out with him. The underdogs need love too.
My freakin' mop, even once forcefully assembled by the hubby, is still not working.
I dread the phone call to the company. I am going to try the super-nice approach first. We will see how far that gets me.
Miles is still not wanting to go to school. I don't know what is going on with him. What I wouldn't give for a peek into his mind. Today it doesn't feel fair. Today, no fooling around. I need to be able to talk with my son. Today, I am struggling.
Miles just qualified for a level 1 medicaid waiver. It is supposed to be better than the family directed resources we were receiving, but so far it has been a lot of dead ends. None of our current therapists or doctors accept medicaid.
We do have a wonderful team of teachers who are becoming certified medicaid providers so that they can start tutoring Miles at home. I am hoping to keep him nearly full-time this summer, or at least a few days a week. I think it will be so important that he not loose any of the skills he learned this year if he is to be successful next year.
I am going to take today, one thing at a time. I need to accomplish something, or seriously, I might sink.
I read about Olivia today in Jodie's blog. She touched my heart. How could she not. See for yourself, and say a prayer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm not stupid. Just weak.

In November, a surprise landed on my doorstep. An H2O mop. Like the kind you see on t.v.. I had drooled over this mop for months. My Dad, over-indulgent as ever, bought it for me.
I loved it. It worked great. On the dreaded, but tolerated because we are poor, linoleum. On the carpet, stains came up like magic. Magic, people. Seriously. My kids could eat off the floor without me wondering what disease they would contract.
Then, it died. No heat. No steam. No magic. Damn.
I called the company and explained the situation. They said it sounded like the boiler died. Fine, whatever, just send me a new one. Need. Mop. Now.
I was too excited at the prospect of getting my mop back in working order to argue about the fact that I had to pay over $13 for a product that is under warranty. Why should I have to pay shipping and handling for your broken product? In an effort to be nice and maybe expedite the shipping of the new 'body' for my mop I let it go.
Monday, my new mop 'body' arrived. Yesterday the pup ate a marker and in the process turned the carpet red. Later he threw up red banana peels.
Definitely time for the magic mop.
I started taking apart the old mop so that I could attach the new body to the old handle and mop head. Much to my frustration the water tank would NOT fit on the new body.
I rarely loose it. I mean really loose it. After red carpet, red pup and red vomit and a magic mop that would NOT fit together. I lost it.
I called the company again. I was quickly in touch with a costumer service lady. She assured me that the water tanks were interchangeable. I assured her they were not. We went back and forth like this for an uncomfortable amount of time.
I finally said, "Look, I am not STUPID. I can attach a water tank to a mop. I can attach it to the old mop just fine. It will not fit on the new mop."(I was repeating this action, as if she could some how see me proving my point)
At this point she asked me to "Please Hold."
She came back and said that her supervisor said that she could send out a new tank. She added, "The tanks are interchangeable though."
I swear, I tried to shove the tank through the phone and up her nose. It wouldn't fit.
On my way home from the dentist last night, I called the hubby to say I was on my way. He said he had assembled my mop for me. ( I had not told him about my phone call)
In my defense, it was really hard for him to get the tank on. He had to force it. I still say, "Interchangeable, my ass."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Smelly Cat

Someone powdered the cat.
She smelled really good. She doesn't typically stink, but she doesn't always smell like Victoria's Secret 'heavenly' powder either.
Curious about who felt the need to gussy up the cat, I questioned the most likely offenders. The short ones.
Caleb claimed innocence, but thought it was funny.
Stella was also innocent. This time. She did wondered why Myrtle was allowed to use the powder that she herself had been told to get permission to use.
Miles. By process of elimination.
Unless. Is my husband is so discouraged that I never use the powder that he has resorted to this. Powdering the cat?
I asked Miles first. He said, "No Mom."
Then, as I walked away, I heard..."Mmmm, Myrtle smells good."
Nice. Since no harm had been done, and the cat did smell good, I let him off with a warning.

In other pet news, the brown and white puppy, is now the RED, white and brown puppy. He ate a marker. The carpet is red. The dog is red. All morning I had to reassure the kids that the dog was not bleeding. Yet. UGH.

Also, I must share that I am forcing myself to wear jeans everyday. It is much harder to fool yourself into thinking that you are comfortable with your weight, when you are uncomfortable in your jeans.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I know I am the Mother of Boys Because..

*The smell of public restrooms makes me feel right at home.
*I find myself allowing a bearded dragon to take a nice warm shower several days a week.
*Food that once fed five now barely feeds two.
*I have learned the hard way to ALWAYS check pants pockets before washing. (oh how I loathe cargo pants)
*The sight of dried blood found randomly around the house no longer shocks me.
*Barbie would never willingly hang-out with a bunch of Ninja Turtles and army men. Clearly she is being held against her will.
*Underwear, in a pinch, can and will double as toilet paper.
*I am no longer shocked that people enjoying wrestling one another 24/7.
*I am fairly sure I now hold a degree in Structural Engineering, based on how many lego cities and Bionicles I have built.
*I now know that anything can be made into a weapon.
*I am used to hearing sentences that begin with "Does this hurt?" and "What does this smell like?"
*I know the Cub Scout promise.
*Around here, even hop-scotch is a contact sport.

This is Tonks. He likes his showers very warm and steamy. For all the other 'Potter' fans out there, Tonks was originally thought to be a girl. Hence the name.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pretending to be Kitties

Stella and Miles are fascinated with Myrtle's ability to sit in the window sill or perch on the arm of the couch. Our only pet before the kitty and the pup was a big dog. He wasn't perching on anything. They like to pretend to be kitties.

On this day I came downstairs to find the bunch watching their cartoons like this. I thought it was funny.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Beast

A conversation between myself and The Beast (Stella)
Me: "Beast, this basement is a mess. I think I'll clean it up."
Beast: "Okay Mom. I will help you. I am your super helper. Maybe I will get a star. I won't ask though, because I am not supposed to ask. Right? Will I get one?"
M: "Well, you can help. I can't guarantee a star. You're right about not asking. Sometimes we help each other just to be nice. This isn't really my mess, but I'll clean it because I want to be nice." (also, I might shit an egg-roll if I step on one more freakin lego)
B: "I'll help. I can't carry blankets though, or fold blankets. (from the fort making) I also really can't pick up anything right now. My arms are tired. Really tired. Feel them."
M: "Uh-huh.It's up to you."
B: "I will talk-it to you while you clean. I talk-it good. (oh, no shit. It's getting you to shut-it that's the problem) I will talk-it to you, so you are not sad."
M:"I'm not sad. Thanks though."
B:"Actually, I really can't even talk-it to you right now." (Yay!) I think I will just play Polly Pockets."
M:"Cool. Make sure you pick-up when you're done. Since I just cleaned up."
B:"I was hoping you would still be nice, and just do it for me."

Good help is hard to find these days.

Friday, February 20, 2009

You've got a friend in me.

I try to not be a complainer. I try to 'look on the bright-side'. I think if I didn't, I would go down. Hard.
Miles has been having an 'off' couple of weeks. He has been getting notes home that say things like, 'Miles needed a lot of extra sensory input today.'
Which means he is doing a lot of flapping and running and squeezing. He also started having accidents at school this week. He has been potty trained for over three years and I can't tell you the last time he had an accident. Until now. Four. This week. Three at school.
I took him to the doctors thinking maybe a UTI? I was reaching. Grasping at straws. Trying to supply the school with an explanation.
It was a no go. Sorry, no medical explanation.
I wish I could sit him down and say, "Hey look. Unfortunately you already have a long road ahead of you. The last thing you need is to be known at school as the pee-pants kid."
I know this seems harsh. But, that is how much I love him. As much as I want him to succeed academically, I also want him to be accepted socially. I want him to have a friend on the playground.
When I was in high school, there was this kid. His name was Lucas. He was tall and strong and he used to move his fingers in front of his eyes. Sometimes he would reach out and try to touch you. I was afraid of him. Looking back now I am certain he was autistic. Just like Miles.
I had a friend who wasn't afraid. She would always say hi to him. She would yell at people who teased him. I pray every day that Miles has someone like her to be his friend at school. Someone who is braver than I was back then.
I am making up for it now. I am not scared any more. I am so proud to be his mom. I bet Lucas' Mom felt the same way.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

All proceeds will go to Charity

Caleb came home yesterday with a form for "Jumping Rope for Heart Disease". He really wanted to participate and asked if I would read it over and fill out the on-line form.
Upon reading it, I found that the company encourages the kids to sign-up on-line and send out pre-written letters asking people for donations to help fight heart disease. While of course I think funding research to fight any disease is a worthy cause, I did not feel comfortable with the fact that the minimum accepted on-line donation was $25. Really. I could feed the family for at least a few nights on $25.
You can also go door-to-door asking for donations. Again, I just don't really feel comfortable. We just finished peddling cub scout popcorn to all the neighbors. Is it really fair to hit them up again? I am thinking no.
I told Caleb that I didn't think he was going to be able to participate in the jump-a-thon, to which he replied, "But, Mom it's for hearts and stuff."
Suddenly, my son is passionate about heart disease. I am sure it has NOTHING to do with the 'prizes' you can earn by collecting donations.
He was positive that is was not about the prizes, he just really wanted to help.
I tried to explain the state of the economy and how I wanted to stay friendly with the neighbors, and was met with eye-rolling and deep sighs.
He said,"Mom, I am sure that people will want to help."
"You know," I said. "You are right. People will want to help. This is a good cause and I am glad to see you are so passionate about something other than playstation. Your birthday is just around the corner. Instead of asking for gifts, we will ask everyone to donate to the heart disease fighting cause."
"Mom, the jump-a-thon will be over. It will be too late."
"I am %100 certain that they will be happy with your donation no matter when they get it."
(At this point there was a stare-down, so he could try to asses my seriousness)
"I guess your right. It might not be fair to ask people for money right now."
The family and neighbors can thank me later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Never stop learning

Well, look at that. You do learn something everyday. My brain even feels a little less fuzzy.
Big thanks to autismomma.

Fuzzy Brain

My brain feels fuzzy today. Sluggish. So I am going to regal you with some fairly useless information.
*I need a dictionary. I am using a Scrabble dictionary. While my vocabulary is still stagnant, my husband better watch out because I am memorizing the Q without U words. Also, I now know several Z words.
*We got a free sample size of lady's shaving cream with our Sunday paper. I was really excited. Maybe a little too excited. My kids thought maybe we had won some grand prize. Really my husband was the winner. I shaved.
*It is official. We need a new roof. It took a hit with the 'Ike' winds and the winds last week finished it off.
*We need to have work done on the van. Coolant leakage. Radiator crude. The mechanic suggested we not take any long road trips. Great.
*I have been trying to figure out how people 'cross-out' words in their posts. Stumped. Anyone?
*My brain is moving so slow today that even this list feels like a chore.
I am going to go move my body, and hopefully wake up the brain.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just call me Supa-Nanny

Okay, you know how the Super Nanny is always coming up with all these great ideas to help families just like mine?
Well, this past summer I pulled out my own Super Nanny skillz and came up with with the idea of the 'star chart'. It is probably a bogus rip-off of some idea I saw, but I am totally claiming it as my own. I need to be recognized as brilliant every once in a blue moon. So, if you have already seen this, throw me a bone and play along like it was all my idea!
We recently reinstated the 'star chart' and I had forgotten how well it works, so I felt I must share.
We have tried all kinds of systems around this house. Mostly, they revolve around what you are not supposed to do, and you get punished accordingly. I found myself doing a lot of threatening with these programs and very little action. We tried the 'three strikes and you are out'. My kids would all be 'out' by like 8a.m.
This would result in a bunch of even whinier kids and I would be all, "Okay, today only, you get four strikes," and so on.
So, the star chart is all about catching the kids doing good things. Which can be at times really, really hard. Really. Hard.
It forces me to see that my children do have some good in them. It can be as simple as a kind word or someone sharing without me having to give a speech or dirty look. They get a star.
I ask, "Hey, will go and check the mail," child does it without whining or claiming they are too busy. They get a star.
There are catches. They can not ask for a star. They can not negotiate a star.(I will stop kicking and screaming if I get a star). They do not get a star for everything they do, or every kind word. Good behavior is always expected whether they get a star or not. Sometimes a star is just a bonus.
Once they get 10 stars they get to choose from the treasure chest. (box of cheap crafts and candy).
It works. They love it. They do things just to see if it will result in a star. I find myself complimenting them more often than I threaten them. Trips to the store are quiet and behaved. It only costs me a star.

Monday, February 16, 2009

All you gotta do is ask

Sometime around the beginning of October I usually start asking my kids what their little hearts desire for Christmas.
From Caleb and Stella I quickly get lists. Complete with a power point presentation and a pie-chart allowing me to see order of importance and such. Catalogs are reviewed and revisited several times until the decisions are firm and in a notarized letter to Santa.
Miles. Not so much. He is a man of few words that one.
That doesn't stop me from asking and suggesting, only to be met often with "No thank you Mom."
After several weeks of asking, all the kid had requested was, "Some white paper." Sweet. Done.
However, one package of white paper under the tree for Miles would leave the other kids to wonder what bad deed could have been so unspeakable as to cause Santa to leave such a bogus gift for their brother.
I racked my brain, but I refused to buy stuff just so he would have 'something' under the tree.
Then one day in early November Miles walked up to me and said, "A brown and white puppy, Mom."
"What puppy Miles."
"I want a brown and white puppy."
We lost our brown and white dog in July. He passed due to age and illness. He was a beloved pet. My husband had a picture of the dog on his cell phone. Miles asked for the phone every night when my husband came home from work. He would look at the picture and inquire again, "Lewis in Heaven Mom?"
Every night. For months.
So, I went shopping. At a farm. Brown and white puppy. Check.
Because pups don't wrap well and because when someone you love asks for so little you just want to give them everything, the brown and white puppy became a Thanksgiving Day gift.
The white paper under the tree would just have to do.
The day the puppy arrived Miles, as usually, asked for the hubby's phone. He showed the new pup the picture.
He has some big paws to fill.

Miles and the pup! Love at first cuddle.

The Pup is getting bigger. He is NEVER allowed on the couch! Never. Ever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lord forgive me please.

I find a lot of my prayers begin with this initial request. "Lord, please forgive me."
"Forgive me for wishing my kids would just be quiet. Forgive me for yelling. Forgive me for fantasizing about running away and starting that new life. The life where no one calls me 'Mama' and no one needs a single thing from me and I am back in school and preferably living very near the beach."
I am thankful my God is a forgiving God. I need to be forgiven. I am thankful some fantasies are never fulfilled.
Today, on our way to church, Miles said "Mom, show me a happy face."
This is what he says when the face has been too angry for too long. I responded with a smile that was too toothy and big to be taken as the real thing, and then I quietly prayed.
"Lord, please forgive me. For my impatience and for my feelings of frustration over kids just being kids. Forgive me for the curses I thought about my husband, as he is already at church doing your work, and he was not there to help poke and prod the kids through breakfast, oh Lord."
I know that he heard me.
I apologized to the kids for the harsh rush out the door.
"Sorry guys for the angry face and the too loud words, but please next Sunday let's plan better."
They too are so forgiving.
We got home feeling better for the prayers and the fellowship. We bundled up and took the pup to the park. We ran a lot. We stopped for ice-cream on the way home.
I am working on forgiving myself. That is the hardest forgiveness to come by.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Stella and Caleb made their own cards. Stella's were inspired by a craft Jodi did with her kiddos, and Caleb folded origami dragons and put suckers in the dragon's mouths. Super cute.
We also tried the melted crayon hearts from Jodi's blog. I am not sure she will want to be pinpointed as the source of our inspiration. Ours did not turn out quite like hers. My kiddos had trouble understanding that less was more. They also insisted on rainbow colors.
I guess what is important though, is that they enjoyed doing the craft and they were proud of the results!

Happy Day.

Today was a good day. The only thing that would have made it better is if my hubby did not have to work all day.
He drove the limo ALL day for one wedding party, popping in on us periodically between drop-offs and pick-ups.
The kids and I decided on an outing to Toys 'R' Us and Walmart. They received Valentines Day moola from the Grandparents and needed to spend it NOW!
This suited me fine, as the cabin fever was setting in and I needed to get out.
Stella and Miles found what they wanted at Toys 'R' Us. Miles chose a new Thomas. Of course. Stella got a polly pocketish deal, but it was Cinderella. Those shoes are just soooo small.
The people in line behind me were giving me the 'sigh', because I asked the cashier to do two transactions so each kid could pay with their own money.
Oh, how I wish my parents would have taught me more about money while I was young. Saving it. Spending wisely. Credit cards are Evil.
I just got the old "my money doesn't grow on trees, ask your Dad when you are at his house this weekend," speech.
Caleb, being older and wiser, held out over the shiny temptations at the first store and spent his cash at Walmart. He got his gun, some caps for said gun and two small lego sets. He is still in the market for a scope and helmet. Super.
I decided to run for Mom of the year, or at least the day, and went through Mc Donalds on the way home. It totally worked. Everyone told me this was like "the best day ever!"
It was a good day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

'To-Do" list

This 'to-do' list was on my fridge this morning. Caleb has some plans.
First, a translation.
Saturday plans.
make suit
buy gun
buy scope
buy helmet
do any homework

Second, let me explain.
We are NOT forming our own militia.
Apparently,poor spelling is genetic.
I was totally one of those moms that was all about not having any toy guns. My son made guns out of legos anyway.
This list is for a Halloween costume. For next year.
Caleb is currently really interested in all things Army Ranger.
Caleb decided not to play lacrosse this year. He thinks it is too violent.

Why I hate Thomas

I hate Thomas. I very rarely use the word hate. He makes me angry. I would like to slap the grin off that 'very useful engines' face and punch him in the nose so hard it makes his stupid eyes spin.
There(deep breath). I feel much better already. Sometimes I just need to get it all out.
Miles played with Thomas this morning before school. He hardly ever plays with Thomas anymore, but today for whatever reason, Thomas and a bunch of his equally irritating friends made their way downstairs. A train yard suddenly appeared between the living room and the kitchen. No one was allowed to touch them. Or walk near them. Or ask about them. Super.
The reasons I hate Thomas are several. Yes, he is annoying and teaches my son phrases like "oh, cinders and ashes", but the real reason I hate Thomas is more about how it makes Miles behave.
The first time I came to really realize that Miles was autistic was when I was watching him line up his trains. I knew without a doubt what the doctors refused to confirm. My kid was autistic. He would line them up and they had to be in a perfect order and of course no one was allowed within a several foot radius of the trains.
I have seen more melt-down, shit-fit, arm-flapping, shenanigans in reaction to some Thomas induced tragedy than any person should ever have to see in an entire life time.
I have put countless DVDs in the player trying to find the one with the 'boulder' while my son withers on the ground lost within himself.
I have dug through sandboxes at midnight because Miles realized that this Thomas by his bedside is not the one with the chipped paint on the corner. His favorite.
Somehow Thomas is linked to whatever it is that spurns Miles' 'autistic' behaviors. Any other toy he will happily share. Any other movie we can speak to him while he watches. Not Thomas. Thomas equals regression.
Miles loves Thomas. The love affair while still there, is fading. Thomas was also the first toy that Miles did any real pretend play with. Sometimes when someone falls, Miles will say, "luckily no one was hurt." (another Thomas phrase)
So, Thomas gets to stay. That doesn't mean I have to like him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In case you wondered what Evil looks like.

This is Myrtle. That is the dog's leg that she is chewing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


A few days ago, I was enjoying reading a post over at Paul Newman Shirt Days, when R.E.M's 'Night Swimming' started playing from the play list. (Thank you Christy)
When I heard the song, I felt like I was coming out of some sort of amnesiac episode. I recognized the song. Loved the voice. Then it hit me. I used to love R.E.M.. I still do.
I used to rock with them and dance around the house.
It was like a fog lifting from my brain. Other songs and artist I once enjoyed started popping into my head.
Sometimes, I feel like I have lost such a huge piece of myself over the years. My identity revolves more around who my kids are and what is happening in their lives than who I am and what is going on with me.
I suppose this is to be expected. To a point. After all, they are still young and at ages where everything they do filters back through me.
I wonder though, if this is how so many marriages crumble. Will we come out on the other side, after the kids are grown and gone, look at our spouse and say "Who the hell are you, and what did you do with that rock star I married?"
I hope not.
I have decided to reclaim some bits of me. Just for me.
I will work-out without guilt. I will read. I will listen to music. I will find myself again. I will merge my Mom-self with my lost identity. I hope it will make me more whole. I think my kids will enjoy seeing a little bit of the 'rock star' me. I know my husband will.

Just a note: I am in no way a capable 'Rock Star'. I can NOT sing and should probably keep my dance moves to myself. I love music though. Love the way it reminds me of people and good-times, and not so good-times. I think that remembering is important. I think that evolving without completely loosing yourself is important too.
I think now I will go and jam to some 'Ben Folds', while I fold the laundry. Merge, baby, merge.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sure, I can laugh about it now...

I dropped Stella off at a birthday party yesterday. Her friend was turning 5. Stella is going to be turning 5. Yikes. This age for some reason seems to be the turning point. 5 years old. School aged. No longer a baby. I guess I was feeling a little blue and I started thinking about the day she was born....
She was my third born. Caleb and Miles, both arrived minus the use of pain-killers. Miles had come fast though. Too fast. Like nearly in the car, nurses scrambling to get my pants off, fast.
Stella, we decided should be induced. Safely. In a hospital. No cars.
I decided that since I was getting induced I would try out the epidural. See what everyone has been raving about all this time.
Even though this was to be my third birth, I was still nervous. (Do you ever stop getting nervous for this?) The nurse came and gave me a pre-epidural shot of Nubian. I felt like she gave my a shot, or five, of Tequila. 'Can I get a lime and some salt with that?' Seriously, I felt drunk. Really drunk.
When the anesthesiologist came in, I did my best to sober up and listen to his instructions. His needle was big. I felt it best to try and concentrate. He gave me a list of things I should tell him if I felt. If I feel pain down one side or the other, etc, etc.... I did my best to hear and retain his very important, don't want my spine severed directions.
He started his deal with me hunched over into a ball. The idea of hunching into a ball when you are so pregnant is laughable. But, hunched I was. When alas, my butt started to get warm. Really warm. I did a mental replay of the 'please tell me if' directions and could not recall if warming butt was on the list. So I did what any drunken, pregnant, hunched-over, nervous-nelly would do. I asked.
"Umm, I don't remember. Should I tell you if my butt is getting warm? My butt is really warm. Do you need to know if that happens, because I couldn't remember?"
"No" he said, "I don't need to know about warm butts."
That is when the helpful nurse with the sweet drugs piped in, "Oh. Honey you're peeing on yourself."

Friday, February 6, 2009

So this is what it's like to have an only child?

Someone in the Universe had my back today. Someone knew I was just a few days away from starting my, uh-hum 'lady-time'. Someone knew the week before said time I alternate between feelings of rage and exhaustion.
Thank you.
My Mom called last night to see if it would be 'okay' if she took Stella for the day and kept her overnight. Yes, please. Thank you, very much.
Caleb came home from school, went across the street to a friend's house and only came home for dinner. He too is spending the night away.
The Lord has been listening to this girl's prayers.
My hubby and I caught up on several episodes of 'The Biggest Loser'. I didn't have to stop watching once to break-up a fight, wipe a butt or 'come quick and see how cute the kitty is being'.
Miles, the only child of the evening, has been happily playing with what-ever the hell he wants and doesn't even have to share. Apparently, the Lord has been listening to his prayers as well.
I love my kids, but I love them even more after a break.

Good news. 'Biggest Loser' got me focused. Must eat better. Must exercise. Must someday meet Bob the trainer and lick him because he is just too yummy not to lick. Oh, lost my focus.
Something I am trying: Drinking a big glass of water when I want to snack. The time I spent at weight watchers taught me that we (heavy weights) often mistake thirst for hunger. So far so good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And the Oscar goes to....

My neighbor called yesterday to see if Stella would like to come over and play with her daughter for a few hours. Hells ya! We chatted on the phone for a few minutes as I shoved Stella into her coat and boots as to not waste any time getting her down to her friend's house.
She offered to meet us half way and walk Stella back to her house.
"Sure, see you in about 30 seconds," I said.
When we met up, I was all smiles and thank you very much and keep her as long as you want.... when she said, "I just have to say, you are such a great mom. Always so happy and calm and together."
I turned around to see who else had joined us on the sidewalk because clearly she wasn't talking to me.
There was no one standing behind me, so I just gave an awkward laugh and said, "Thanks."
As I walked home doing my little happy dance. I wondered...
Am I really that good at hiding the crazy? Does that make me even more crazy? Should I be better about letting people in on the crazy? Or, should I just move to Hollywood and cash in on my obviously superior acting skills?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

IEP update and other junk

The IEP was not quite as bad as anticipated. We did have to do some negotiating, but as of right now we are happy with his plan.
His kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Owen, was a life-saver. I must remember to send her a thank you note. She repeatedly noted that he was doing a great job in her classroom and did not hinder her ability to focus on the other kids in any way.
That is the thing. I would understand the hesitance to integrate him if he had severe behavior issues, but he doesn't. He is a great kid that wants to learn. As it stands now, he will be integrated into a typical 1ST grade room with an aide and one pull-out for special ed. services per day.
I am happy.

On another note. Do you ever feel like the world is trying to drop you a hint? Over the past couple of months I have been asked by two separate people if I would like to join the gym with them, one asked if I would like to join weight watchers, my Mom asks me once a week if I have checked out the channel and my MIL bought me a Wii fit. I'm sorry were trying to tell me something? Am I missing the point here?
WTF. Then to top it all off, the damn Wii fit confirmed mine (and apparently everyone else) suspicions. I am old and fat.
HELLO, thank you very much Wii fit. I don't know if any of you have had the pleasure of using a Wii fit, but it will track your 'fitness age' and BMI for you. Lovely.
I am going to try and heed the warning of the mighty Wii (and my doctor)and realize it is time to loose some serious weight.
The truth is I have been uncomfortable in my own skin for a long time now. I am hoping that by writing about it I will be more likely to do something about it.
I am unhealthy, I am uncomfortable, I am going to make the choice to change.
Wish me luck. Also, please note that any tips and or suggestions as well as general showing of support are fully welcomed!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The dreaded IEP

Today is a day that I always dread, probably always will. We have to go in and update my son's IEP (individual education plan). Now, please do not assume that I dread this day because I don't like to be involved in my son's education. That is not the case. At all.
I dread it because I feel like I have to sit in front of these educators and prove that my son is worthy of being included in a 'typical' classroom and is worthy of being taught by a 'typical' teacher. It takes everything I have to not stand up and shout, "here is a compliant willing learner, he causes no trouble. Look past the IEP and do your damn job and teach him!"
That probably would make some people uncomfortable though. And, maybe embarrass my husband, who is a teacher. And I am all about not rocking the boat. So, I try really hard not to shout at anyone.
We had three wonderful years of 'special needs' preschool. The teacher was awesome and we never had to prove the worth of our son to anybody. So, we were taken aback when the school fought us on having him in the regular kindergarten classroom. We kept pushing though and they finally agreed.
He is now, according to his teachers, doing a fabulous job as a 'typical' kindergartner. Hitting all his marks for reading, writing, and even early math comprehension. They love having him in the classroom.
Yet, I was informed today that the first grade teachers are not sure a child with autism would be a good fit for the first grade curriculum and he will probably need to spend most of his day in the resource room.
WTH. Here we go again. So, we are gearing up again, to prove AGAIN, that our son is a fine fit for any teacher who is willing to teach him.
I will let you know how it goes.
I just don't think any parent should have to fight so hard for their kid to be included in any classroom. My son is more than capable. I would never put him in a position that I thought was setting him up for failure. I hope everyone at the meeting can see that.
Also, I have to include this because I thought it was funny. The APE (adaptive physical education) teacher included on my son's IEP progress report that, "Miles continues to move closer to the wall to make throwing the ball and catching it on it's bounce back easier".
Well, duh. That's just smart thinking!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tech-savvy I am not.

I noticed something funny today that I had not noticed before. My URL is 'stuckinthesuburgs' instead of 'stuckinthesuburbs' as is should be. This is due to a couple of factors.
*I am NOT so hot in the spelling department.
*I am not tech-savvy at all.
*I can type fast, but not always accuratly.
I realized this when I was trying to add blogs to my blogroll and happend to look at my own URL.
Oh, well. I guess it will just have to do.