Saturday, December 24, 2011

Visions from egg nog dance through my head...

~"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukka' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukka!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'~Dave Barry

Last Christmas, as lay sprawled among the wreckage of wrapping paper and boxes I thought to myself -"Next year will be so much easier"... All of the kids will be in school full time..I will be able to leisurely shop, wrap and bake while fully(and fashionably) dressed with combed hair in a sparkly clean house... I will send Christmas cards and packages- EARLY!..In the evenings, I will greet my husband at the door with a cocktail and a "Darling-how was your day?" and as I sashayed into the kitchen to check on the roast.. my angelic children (washed and in clean pajamas) would gleefully announce(for some reason in British accents) "Oh Mummy..Father's come home!" Later on, after the children were tucked into their beds...we would sit in front of the fire sipping eggnog...just enjoying each others company. 
  I have absolutely no idea where this fantasy came from.  I blame the egg nog.   I mean, I don't even have a fireplace!  I certainly don't know how to sashay..and at the end of the day-I'm just happy that Omar is home and I have another adult to talk to. I have been alone-with children..for if anyone is going to get a cocktail it will be me. Especially after getting the kids (well, really just the girls) to put on their pajamas-something which can take mediation skills and intense negotiation. (Although, it is very good training if I should ever find myself in a hostage crisis)  So, when the kids finally do get to bed-we both kind of collapse on the couch together..
  No, holidays at my house are chaotic events. ALWAYS.  That is just the nature of things.  Although, I did start the month off with a clean house. There is something to be said for that.  I don't know "what" exactly ...but something.  Unfortunately, by the third of the month, it was a mess...and has remained that way ever since. I have tried to keep know-moving piles of things from one place to another...but the next day more stuff seems to magically appear to take its place..until I find myself cramming things in drawers and closets..that I swear I am going to clean out "once the holiday is over".  But I never do. No-I just keep cramming more stuff in them. Some of my cabinets are packed so precariously (I wouldn't be surprised if there were a fifth child stuffed somewhere in there)-that I have developed actual techniques of how to open and get them to shut again-without (hardly) anything falling on my head. But I digress...
  The month of December started with a clean house...but then Zoe got sick...and then Lily...and then Oscar..and Sam..and Oscar again.( Thankfully, they are all hale and hearty now-just in time for school break.) Having sick kids at home meant I could not Christmas shop very easily. Oh-I got it done..but it was very rushed.  Thankfully, I had their Christmas lists to guide me.  Lists that they start writing in June.(Only because there are times when I need a moment to think-and this can occupy them for a whole five minutes).   The girls wanted every Littlest Pet Shop...Oscar-every Angry Bird..and Sam...well, his list was 32 very detailed items long...which, he informed me was only half of what he wanted. Don't get me wrong-my kids aren't demanding..nor are they spoiled. This is the one time of year that we go all out with gifts.  They do appreciate it...although they think that Santa is their benefactor (except for Sam) . Which can make for some interesting conversations.."Mama, I'm asking for a new Nintendo 3D for Christmas." "Well..remember, you don't get everything on your list...and those are kind of expensive." "Well..I think I'm going to get one." "I wouldn't count on it..they are expensive." "So. It is from Santa..he just has to make doesn't cost anything."  *sigh* Kind of hard to argue a fantasy that you have thoroughly encouraged.  "Well..we will just have to wait and see.."
  Besides shopping, we have had many extracurricular activities.  I have had meetings and appointments and my girls have had scouting. This year, both of them decided to join Girl Scouts.   This month, besides their regular girl scout meetings...there was the Christmas party( and the singing to the seniors.  Maybe it is just me...alright, I KNOW it is just me-but, when I think about being elderly..the last thing I would want is 20 or more young girls singing loudly at me. VERY loudly about red nosed reindeer..and Santa..or the weather. To me, it feels almost like..well, punishment. As if we are saying "we had no place else to sing and you can't run away- ha ha!"  I must say, the people did seem to enjoy it...although, I suspect many of them took out their hearing aids beforehand. 

  We also did quite a lot of baking. I thought it would be a good way to teach measurements and how to follow a recipe.  I wound up doing the majority of it as my kids ran screeching through the house pumped full of sugar.( Sometimes I think that they would make a wonderful alternative fuel source. Feed them lots of sugar and then put them on a treadmill-which would be connected to a generator. Voila! The worlds energy problems would be solved.)  They did enjoy decorating the cookies-between bouts of sugar induced hysteria.  I was left with all the broken ones. I think I did a nice job. 

  So here it is..Christmas Eve.  The tree is up, the presents are wrapped..the house is a mess (I'll clean it after the holidays) and my children are insane excited. It certainly didn't happen the way I fantasized it last year. But that's o.k. because there is always next year-and besides, I have plenty of egg nog.  
To everyone-no matter what you may celebrate-I wish you all happiness and peace.  "May the road rise to meet you-and may the wind always be at your back." (from The Irish Prayer)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thankful...for the predictable..and the not so...

~" You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."~

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

     Sometimes it's hard to be thankful...well, not so much hard.(to me)-as it is to forget to be.  I know that in my life, I can get so caught up in the "what's next"..that I forget to look at the "what's now".  There are days..weeks..when all my time is spent planning for the next IEP, the next hurdle to get over ...the next "thing" that needs to be done..that I rarely take the time to stop and see where I am standing.  That is why I like Thanksgiving.   Spending a whole day with (most of ) the people who are important to me.  It is also the only day of the year that we eat as a family. What with food issues and Omar's work hours..we rarely sit down together-much less share a meal.

  With the herd-I'm a short order cook. Texture, taste, smell...all those things effect how the herd eats. Sam likes some chicken, burgers, mac and cheese and pizza...Oscar likes bagels..tomato soup..and pizza...Lily-my adventurous girl..will try anything (even the heart and liver Omar cooks from the turkey on Thanksgiving...ick!!!!!!) and Zoe..she likes Pizza and chocolate-not in that order. They do get fruit and vegetables(well, carrots) and plenty of yogurt. They are all growing and healthy-so I'm not going to complain. Why mess with something if I don't need to?  That doesn't mean I don't...suggest that they might like to try something different..
"Hey Oscar...on you think that you might like to try some turkey and potato's?"
"O.K. sure"
"Great...what about you Sam?"
"Of course I will."
"Wonderful...Lil.I KNOW you'll enjoy our feast..."
"I can't wait!"
"What about you Zo?"
"No. I don't like it."
"Well alright then...everyone except Zoe is going to try Thanksgiving dinner this year-I'll make sure there is pizza for you Zo.."
"Pizza!...I want pizza."
"But Oscar-you said you would try turkey this year..."
So..I left it at that...even though I knew that it was more than likely that three of them would wind up opting for pizza..which really is fine by me.  You see,  I HAVE to ask if they will try turkey-it's kind of like a holiday tradition in our house- just like the "annual making of difficult costumes" has become for Halloween ...or the "I'm going to call Santa if you don't stop doing that" threat at Christmas.  It is just how we do things.  Although sometimes I wonder if I'll be asking the same question when I'm eighty....I'm hoping that by then they are cooking for me. Or at least ordering out for pizza..I definitely hope I won't be using the Santa threat...

  On Thanksgiving, we all sat down at the table-that held a beautiful meal cooked by the obligatory pizza. Sam did manage to take a few microscopic bites "It is really good-but I'm more of a pizza kind of guy" Oscar and Zoe didn't even try to pretend..and Lily had a bit of everything. As I do every year-I went around the table asking everyone what they were thankful for...and as they do every year..I was told.."I am thankful for you and coming..Mario..-predictable but nice.  Later on, Sam came to me and asked "What are you thankful for Mama?", you have to this point it had been a long couple of days. The holiday had started with Oscar coming home sobbing(carrying a crushed box) on Tuesday because he had dropped the pie he had made us- on the of course I grabbed a fork and started to eat his smashed pie telling him it was perfect and delicious while ignoring the boot print on it and smiling as I convinced myself that the crunchy parts were just bits of under cooked apple...and then the next day it snowed and school was was gloomy and cold out...and the herd had been stuck inside..and they(the girls) had a bit of "cabin fever"... I had just broken up the zillionth fight between my banshee's screaming mimi's daughters.....*sigh* of course it had to do with "littlest Pet Shop" maybe that's why I answered the way that I did........"What am I thankful for?.." "yeah"..."Well, I'm thankful for our family..and coffee..and......that there aren't any werewolves living by us." (Really-I am..with all this "Twilight" movie obsessiveness going on-you'd think that werewolves would be great-hello?  They are predators! They EAT PEOPLE!-so I am glad that they aren't around..besides I already have three dogs..and could you just imagine how much a werewolf sheds?)  I really have no idea of WHY I said the minute it came out of my mouth-I regretted it. I was(selfishly) afraid it would lead to a discussion about Big Foot...something that Sam is very interested in great DETAIL...with charts, graphs, eye witness testimony and video clips...along with the "Loch Ness Monster" and the "Chupacabra"...But-he didn't take the bait. Instead, he looked at me and said "We have a weird family"..."Ummm..I guess?..does that upset you?" "No-I like it." "Me too certainly keeps life interesting huh?"  " really does"

   Just like my girls, I have a hard time sitting still..Most days, I feel like a racehorse being released at the sound of the alarm in the morning. Truth be told-I like it that way.  Which makes days like Thanksgiving a little more special for me.  That does not mean however,  that I wasn't thankful to see them get on the bus Monday morning..I was(after being stuck inside for five days)..truly thankful (especially my girls!) almost as thankful as I am about the werewolves...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This post brought to you by the letter "P"

 ~"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now... only much, much better~" Laurie Anderson

                   P is for plumbing- A year ago I wrote this was all about renovating our house..and about getting a second bathroom. Actually, I have written about getting a second bathroom many times over the might even say that I Perseverated on the Project. Well, I am Pleased to Proclaim that this week I have become the Proud Possessor of a second bathroom-a Porcelain Paradise! Although, I have to say that even though we now have two-my children always seem to know when I am in one of them. It is as if my crossing the threshold turns on some sort of homing device..
"I'm in the bathroom.."
I'm in the bathroom."
"I AM IN THE BATHROOM!" knock knock knock..."Mama? Mama are you in there?"
"But the door is locked!"
"I'll be out in a minute."
"What are you doing?"
"What do you THINK I am doing????"
"I don't know...what?"
As I forcefully swing open the door..."O.k...what is it that you need so badly????."
"Oh...I was just seeing where you were."

I know that this bathroom phenomena is not unique to my family. In fact, I am sure parents have dealt with this situation since the...way back to the cave man days "Mama?"... "I'm in the bushes..." Maybe even to the beginning of time.."Eve? where are you?"  "I'm behind the tree..." "What are you doing?"..."What do you think I'm doing?" "Can I come back there?" "Go eat an apple..I'll be out in a minute.."

P is for podiatrist. *sigh* Yes, I have a podiatrist.  Due to a series of unfortunate events-or my lust for a potato chip...I have wound up under the care of a foot doctor. He has advised me of all the different torture treatment options he has for my foot...and I..very graciously listen as my eyes glaze over..while I slowly but  figuratively put my fingers in my ears and say "lalalalalalalalalalala".  I believe that he thinks I am a crack head..or mentally unstable....or weird.   I on the other-hand, believe that he has poor taste in footwear. (This is an actual picture from his office-don't they just scream "old and complacent"????)
 Not that he has suggested I choose anything from his cabinet of undesirable shoes....yet.  Although, I probably wouldn't hear him if he did.  Sometimes having to take four kids to any kind of appointment has its advantages. But only sometimes...

P is for Puzzle and Perplex and Promise.  This week, Lily had a brownie meeting. (A younger version of a girl scout)  They are learning Christmas Carols-to sing at the senior center next month. Now, Eight year old girls are lively and energetic...or at least they are supposed to be..So, you can imagine my dismay when I walked in and they were singing these songs as if they were funeral dirges. I mean come on now! Are the seniors at the center already dead?  Do they want to sing them to their eternal slumber?  So....I did what any carol loving woman would do.  I hi-jacked their rehearsal. Me and another mother decided to show these girls what singing was about!  So what if it involved interesting dance moves. We showed them the way it should be done!...much to my Lily's absolute humiliation...heehee  "You are the MOST embarrassing mother in the WORLD!!!"  "Well...not really...there was another mother singing with me."  "I can't believe that you did that to me!!" "Oh come on Lil...the other girls had fun."  "Not me!"  (this from a girl who has absolutely no problem singing at the top of her lungs with me in the car..or at home...or the supermarket..)*sigh*.."Alright..I will never sing like that again." "Promise?" ..."I promise"...She is at that age(between 8 and 30) where she is becoming so very self conscious and self aware-an age where ones mother is someone that should only be seen and never heard... I totally get her embarrassment (and will respect her wishes)  Although, I'm still going to sing in the car .  I just hope that she still sings with me.

  And finally, P is for patience and persistence is for being pissed off(my dryer broke) and pleasantly surprised.  It is for pacing, pondering and porcelain...and as pleasing as much of it has been-I am ready for this P filled week to be over. I am going to go and enjoy my lovely new shower...perhaps I'll even sing.  I hope that Lily hears me. That would be Perfect.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

They shoot (My Little) Ponies-don't they?

  ~"All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them"~Erma Bombeck

   My daughters have been tap dancing on my last nerve. When they aren't at each others throats...they turn their attention to me .Let me tell you- it is a sad day when a mother has to hide in the garage-just to get away from her daughters.   "Mama!...Mama?....Mamaaaaaaaa!!!! Zoe's copying me!' "Well you're being mean to me!"  "I am not".."Yes you are!..Wheres Mama?  I'm telling on you!"..."NOOOO!!!!" "Mama!...MAMA!!!!!!???..."  "I'm in the garage."  "Where are you? I can't hear you!!" "I'm in the garage."  After a good ten minutes of not coming for me (which I don't understand- but don't question!...I mean they KNOW where I am...sort of)...they give up..and I have gotten some much cleaning done.  Hey-it works for me!

  There used to be a time when all of there problems were solved with a hug and perhaps a "My Little pony" video.  But those days are long over.  Oh, they still like's the ponies that have gone by the wayside. longer can they be appeased by Pinky Pies adventures..or the hi-jinx and hilarity of Tula Rula.  No longer do we hear the ummmm...dulcimer tones of the ponies singing their theme song.  Nope.  The real world and all its drama.(well as much drama as a six and eight year old can conjure...believe me-it is a lot) has crept up on my girlies-and they aren't quite sure what to do about it....neither am I...well, except for hiding in the garage.

  This year Zoe is in school full time. Although she does love going, at the same time,she is quite anxious about all of it.  Social situations...reading..and the dreaded scissors. "Zoe...stop hitting Lily!"..."Well she has all the markers and won't give them to me!" "She doesn't have all the markers.." "Yes she does!"  "No, you decided that you didn't like your markers and threw them all over the floor before we got in the car."  crying now..."Fine! Now no one likes me!" "What? This has nothing to do with liking you..?????" "Yes it you don't like me!"  No Zo...I don't like your behavior right now...but I love you with all my heart."..."Fine! Then I'll never be famous!"..."What???" still crying.. "I'm not famous!"   ..'...Well...umm...what?..What does being famous have to do throwing your markers on the floor?" "It's a secret."..."I'm really threw your markers...hit Lily..and you're crying because you aren't famous?"  "Well..WELL...famous artists know how to use scissors!!!"  Are you as confused as I am? This is NOT typical behavior for my girl...But as they say  "Life imitates art"..sigh.but in our house..Zoe imitates Lily...

 My  Lily has undergone a major transformation this past Summer.and it would appear (from what I have heard from other parents) that she is not the only one. EVERYTHING is a battle...a struggle...a fight. From the time she gets up in the morning-till the time that she goes to bed.  I really think that it would be worth the Discovery channels time to film a documentary on this phenomenon. You know, there is a very good reason why eight year old girls don't have children-simply because they would eat their young.  My girl has gone from joyful to incredibly anxious in just a few short weeks. All of a sudden her friends have become enemies...and social status is everything. The world as she knew it is upside down and she doesn't quite know how to handle things.  Besides pick on me.  I'm doing my best to teach her how to survive adjust...and for the most part she listens.  It really is a terrible time for her-and I worry that I'm not as helpful as I could be. It is just so hard difficult hard when your girl is hugging you one minute and yelling at you the next. I am so not looking forward to adolescence..

  For the most part, my girls do get along.  Seeking each other out to play..sing really around like wild women. Their bond is magical. They will spend hours together thinking up adventures for their latest obsession.  "Littlest Pet Shops"  Have you seen them?  Small, plastic-large headed oddities( in the shape of various animals) with enormous eyes.  My girls think that they are cute..I think that they are trying to kill me. Really I do!  I keep finding them in strange places...the top of the stairs...the bottom of the instep at three o'clock in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I have tripped over, knocked in to, or sat on top of one of those enormous headed bits of seething evil. Far too many to count!  Sure, I could blame my girls..could say that they just hadn't cleaned up after themselves..But-they insist it isn't them. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that "Littlest Pet Shops" want me gone...You don't believe me do you?  You think that I am exaggerating... Well, this morning, I walked out my bedroom to find this outside of my door. All of
them just sitting there...watching...waiting and watching.  I fear my days are numbered.  Please let me know  if you have any words of wisdom or advice. If you want me- I'll be in the garage.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tumultuous times and other tails....

~“There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.” ~

When last I left you- I was stuck on the couch watching countless hours of mindless television (As a rule, I generally don't watch much t.v.-I thought that it was because I am way too hyper to sit still- but after having watched seemingly endless cycles "America's Next Top Model" I changed my mind... ) in a huge and heavy cast..In other was just no fun..neither for me or the herd.  Since then I have gotten rid of the cast (for now)...all of the herd are in school full time..Sammy..I mean, Sam has become a teenager..And we recently celebrated our eighteenth anniversary. Oh..we also have mice.

  School started off like it does every year.  Everyone excited about seeing their friends..wearing new shoes...using new lunch boxes. But, after the first week (which was only three days long) Sam asked if he could be home schooled next year, the girls hated their new shoes (shoes that they had spent the entire summer begging for..really expensive shoes that light up when they move causing the parent who ties them (me) to have blinding headaches-or burnt retina's..really-they ought to have seizure warnings on these shoes) and Oscar..well Oscar-was Oscar..recess is still his favorite part of the day. This year, the school district changed its entire format..from the way that they teach to how they test. These changes primarily effect Sam more than the others...and Sam just ADORES change-not.  He is a teenager now-or as he likes to say "A young man"..and times are not the easiest for him. My boy young man works so very hard-so I'm hoping that things calm down for him a bit. Because home schooling is so not an option! I mean I JUST got them ALL in school full time! I would make a terrible teacher..we'd probably wind up watching "America's Next Top Model" all day.. It would be a terrible thing.

   The beginning of the school year also brought about the dreaded IEP meetings(cue screams)  For the most part, they went o.k. We got the services that we needed-the kids are set for the year. There were however, a few glitches...minor snags...things that you might say.. royally pissed me off. Oscar needs occupational therapy. It isn't something that we ask for because we are bored..or have nothing better to do. In other words, we don't gleefully rub our hands together chortling   "Hee hee! Lets think of ways to make the school pay for things that we don't need!"  No, we request these services because our son requires help with his fine motor skills. Crazy-I know! Which leads me to a topic I think needs addressing.  "Things that special services coordinators should NEVER upon pain of torture, NEVER EVER say to a parent of a special needs kid."  1)" Maybe it isn't O.T. that he needs...maybe it is his stimming that needs to be addressed"  2) "Sure it is nice that his friends accept his stimming now-but it won't be so cute when he is an adult" 3) If he were in a Autism School they wouldn't let him get away with stimming."   I stated quite firmly (but *sigh* not as coherently) to the special needs coordinator "Firstly, he isn't in an autism school-he is here. Stimming isn't your problem to worry about. He works exceedingly hard at controlling it in class-he does a great job. Furthermore,  He is MY son-It is MY job to help/decide what is best for him in the world." Just as a heads up to any coordinator reading this-if a child's entire team (teacher, aid, O.T., speech therapist and service coordinator) says that said child NEEDS a specific service.-it might be worth your while to actually listen-(especially if you have never met said child) instead of trying to think of excuses ideas in order to save the district money. It doesn't make you look very good...and know...appearance is everything. *sigh*

  So it has been a tumultuous beginning of the school year..Although it hasn't been all bad.  Sam-my wonderful boy young man, has turned thirteen! I still can not believe I have a living breathing teenager.  Why If he were a houseplant-he'd have been long gone by now. I mean, no matter how well I take care of my plants-they all eventually wither and die.  Thankfully, I am so much better at child rearing than gardening. The same goes for marriage.  Omar and I celebrated our eighteenth anniversary last month. (Same day as Sam's birthday). After eighteen years, four kids, three dogs, three cats and numerous "fixer uppers"...we still really like each other.(Love is a given-I'm madly in love with my husband..and he with me) We certainly have had many an adventure- although we've had more good times than bad.. it only keeps getting better and better...well, with the exception of the mice. Which brings me to the tail end of this tale of tumultuous tails...

  We seem to have acquired some mice. Now, we live in an older house (132 years old)..and older homes, much  like older people can have "issues".  One of our homes issues is that every fall, all the neighborhood mice, looking for a winter home-think our house is the place to be. I disagree. Strongly.  In fact, I disagree so much that in a preemptive strike/forewarned is forearmed sort of way (remember-experience is a mother) I set out six glue traps...kind of like little  unwelcome mats for our mousy friends.  Well...yesterday morning...much to my horror..I found one little mouse stuck on a trap...and yet the persistent little guy(I think it was a guy-definitely not looking) insisted on dragging his mousy self across the floor in an attempt to escape. All while he was still attached (quite firmly) to the trap. EEK! He was so intent on making his escape-that my presence didn't appear to bother him at all. He just looked at me(with disdain) as he dragged his little mousy self across the floor.  He even posed for this picture.  See the attitude?  The contempt? The utter disregard for my mental well being?  I immediately did what any other savvy and sharp minded person would do.  I went upstairs and woke Omar up. Who promptly rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.  But I was insistent! "You must get rid of the mouse" I proclaimed.  "I'lldoitlater.." he mumbled..."I can't relax while he drags himself across the floor!" I yelled.."I'll take care of it when I get up..." he sighed.."It's freakin me out!" I cried..I began to jump on the bed.. fiercely and with great emotion.."I'll do it now" he said resignedly..As he got out of bed and down the stairs..

Moments later, he "disposed" of our little friend.(you can see why we have such a great marriage. Teamwork!)  The problem is..well, remember I set out six traps?  One was "disposed" of..that should have left us with five. Much to my dismay...I can only find four. Which means that there is a mousy somewhere roaming my house attached to a glue trap! ICK!!!!!  We have looked EVERYWHERE...well..Omar has looked everywhere..I him suggestions of where to look...from another room. Ah  teamwork. It is the basis of a happy marriage.

  So, another school year has begun. Halloween has come and gone...and soon it will be Thanksgiving. For as tumultuous as times have been lately-I really can't complain. I have got great kids and a fabulous husband. All together- a wonderful family.  Mice not included.




Monday, August 15, 2011

When you give a mother a potato chip....

  It has been a very busy summer for us here. Between family trips, summer rec and swimming-there hasn't been a whole lot of time for writing.  I do have quite a number of half finished posts in my drafts file-I just haven't had much time or patience to finish them.  You'd think that because of recent events-(ESPECIALLY because of recent events) I'd have written post after post. Because I have had nothing but time on my hands...You see, for the past three weeks, I have been stuck at home-actually more like stuck on the couch..STUCK ON THE COUCH and at the total MERCY of my four children.

  Oh, it started innocently enough. There was a request for snacks.  Now, having grown up in a house where the word "snack" was..well almost considered a sin (my mother did not believe in eating between meals.) If you insisted that you were hungry, her stock answer was to "have an apple" apple.   O.k. fine-apples are good..but come on!  When you are outside with your friends and they are all eating a variety of salty or sweet kind of feel deprived..sitting there with your slightly bruised apple..It led to an adolescence..a CHUBBY adolescence of indulging in candy and snack cakes.  So,  I decided to do things differently with my kids.  A couple of them are very picky eaters. We are talking a menu of about five things   So, if any of them request a new kind of snack or junk food. I let them try it.  Funny thing is-because I am open to having junk in the house...they choose yogurt or granola bars as equally as they choose chips or candy.  Except maybe for Oscar-who would live on "Flavor blasted Gold Fish" if I let him.  But that's another story.

  Anyway, there I was in the kitchen getting my girls their requested potato chips..when I noticed the front of one of the kitchen drawers was very loose. sigh..Alright..I didn't just notice has been loose for months..and I had been meaning to do something about it...eventually..I happened to notice it was "more" loose than it had been.  "Lil..don't touch looks really loose".."It's o.k. Mama..I'm just fixing it.."  "No honey, I think we need Papa to take care of it when he gets home" I also happened to notice that the potato chips looked really good...extra crispy and a little burnt around the as I was stuffing a handful into my mouth Lily said.. "No..really Mama..I can fix it.." at that moment BAM! the drawer front came down like  guillotine on my naked foot. I fell to the floor...bits of chips and expletives spewing simultaneously from my mouth.  A potato laden stream of curses that would make anyone blush...if they understood what I was screaming. Scaring the crap out of my daughters...especially Lily who felt horrible about it.  So of course my first (coherent) thought was to try and comfort her.."It's o.k. honey...sometimes people yell scary things when they hurt themselves...I'm sorry I scared was an accident..I should have fixed it months isn't your fault.." I even tried to "walk it off"...big mistake. Because here I am three weeks later stuck on the couch looking like an extra from "Star Wars"

Oh it hasn't been all kids have all been extra "helpful"'s just that they tend to get easily distracted..Like when vacuuming-it is amazing how clean a 12 inch space can get when you don't actually move the vacuum from the place it is standing....Or folding laundry-"Oscar, why is the laundry in a twisted pile on the table?" "You told me to put it there.".."O.k...but do you think you could fold it?" "Sure Mama.."  and off he went..away from the pile of laundry .. Thankfully, Omar has been able to take a few days off here and there-so things have been getting done.  Although he thinks it is absolutely hysterical to leave advertisements for elderly exercises and scooters where I can find the basket of my kneeling walker.
  I have to say that although it has been hard-the herd has done pretty well.  Sure, they still ask me for everything that they need (even with Omar sitting right next to me) but they have also been forced into doing some new things. I can't really complain that there is peanut butter all over the kitchen-because Oscar decided to try and make his own lunch...or that there are crumbs everywhere-because they have all learned to get their own snacks..or laundry piled on the table-because they all now know how to run a load-AND put it in the dryer.  Sometimes I take on too much.  Not because I don't think my kids can do anything...sigh..but because I like to do things my way. I just didn't realize how much that could hold them back-stop them from trying.

  I have an appointment with the doctor next week.  Hopefully I will be done with this cast.  As Sammy so aptly put "I'm getting kind of tired of your broken foot" sigh... Necessity is a mother...on so many levels....just don't feed her potato chips.

Friday, July 15, 2011

So many little time...

  It has been quite the busy summer so far...I only have four kids-but right now it feels like forty..So, to all my blogging and reading friends-I am not ignoring you!! I swear!  I'm hoping to have a few minutes to write later this weekend...AND some time to visit all the blogs that I enjoy so much.. I hope you are all having wonderful July's. I look forward to catching up with all of you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


~"Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell"~Emily Dickinson

 When I was a little girl, my parents had one of those large cabinet stereos. The kind that stood on four legs-with a turn table on one side and a place to store your albums on the other. On the bottom right hand side of it was a little red indicator light. I used to lie on the floor and try and stare into the light-because I thought that there were tiny people behind it, making the music and I wanted to see them.  I don't know where I got this idea-but, I always did have an overactive imagination..At least that's what my imaginary friend Gengi told me at the time..

Of course I don't believe that anymore! I mean, I have an MP3 player and there is no way that many people could fit inside of it.  BUT... I am starting to wonder about our GPS system.  I bought it two years ago as a Christmas present for Omar.  He does a bit of traveling for his work...AND because no matter what..whenever we go someplace new with the herd-we ALWAYS get lost.  ALWAYS.  So I thought it would be a good idea to have one.  I named ours "Sheila"..she has an Australian accent (which for some reason amuses me)  Sheila for the most part has become a wonderful addition to our family.  Very rarely has she ever made a mistake i.e. directing us to drive into a field..or down a dead end street. She usually gets us to where we are going in good time...Until last week. I'm not quite sure what has happened-but..*sigh*  Sheila seems to have lost her mind.

  We were on a mini family vacation-a weekend getaway.  A friend was celebrating a birthday and invited us to his party.  It was a pretty straight forward trip-about a eighty miles or so straight down the coast.  We knew how to get there-it was when we got into town that we needed directions. I plugged in the address of the hotel and hit "go". THAT is when things got crazy.."In zero point three miles, turn right on Bow street." We got to Bow St. and made a right. "RECALCULATING"...Recalculating? Hadn't we turned where she told us to?.."In point one miles make a right on Maine st"..So-we made a right.."In point three miles make a right on Ocean st." so we turned right on Ocean...""In zero point three miles make a right on Bow St."..What...didn't we just do that?  I wasn't about to argue with we made a right on Bow St. "RECALCULATING" ..Huh? "In point one miles make a right on Main St."  But we just did that!  Again...not wanting to argue with Sheila..we turned where she told us..three more times. Until finally I had had enough. You have to understand-I am not a violent woman by nature..but it was pouring rain and pitch black outside.  I had been in a car with four hungry tired children for over two hours.  I was a tad bit on, when Sheila RECALCULATED and told us to make a right on Bow street again...I lost my temper...I smacked her the GPS-yelling.."Whose RECALCULATING now Bi**H??" and shut her down(none too gently ) Oh how powerful I felt!  But then..(because we were hopelessly lost-and the herd was stunned by my outburst) *sigh* I rebooted her..put the address in again..and arrived at the hotel five minutes later. It wasn't anywhere near on or around Bow St...or Main..or Ocean..

 At the end of the weekend, when it was time to go home..we thought that we wouldn't need the GPS -as we now knew (really well) the way out of town.  The only problem was that I NEEDED coffee-badly.  So we plugged her in and programmed her to take us to the nearest coffee place. She led us the correct way out of far so good..she informed us that a coffee place was less than a mile away..great..right?  Except that Sheila, instead of leading us to the coffee shop-directed us into the parking lot of an orthodontist ...and then to a flea market...and a furniture store... I don't understand it.. could  my GPS be holding a grudge? RECALCULATING our relationship?  Kind of makes me rethink the possibility of tiny singers in stereos...kind of...

  This past week seems to be all about recalculating. Our cat Joe has disappeared..vanished...poof..he's just...gone. I find myself at a loss as to what to tell the herd. . They have of course noticed his absence-Zoe especially..and I don't know what to tell them.  There was no body..he just up and vanished.  What do you say to that?.  A year and a half ago, when both my father and my sister died-it was simpler .. Sickness, age..those things are easier to explain. Death was not unexpected.  I could prepare them, talk to them.  Joe's disappearance has thrown us all..I hate to admit it..perhaps because I am not ready to accept it myself-but, I told them that he probably decided to take a trip, or have an adventure...I don't have it in me to tell them that he is probably dead..because they will want a explanation..and I don't have one. It has been a week now..and I keep expecting him to come in the window..or find to him on the stairs waiting for me to walk by so that he can stick his paw through the railing and grab me..I miss my sweet boy.

  So, it looks as if I, like Sheila am going to have to recalculate. Figure out what to tell the herd...find a way to explain the unexplainable....and definitely look into getting a new GPS.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Firsts. lasts....everything...

~"How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart."~William Butler Yeats

  The lovely and wonderful Looking For Blue Sky has tagged me in a meme about "firsts". I think it is nice when a blogger friend wants to know more about you.  After reading her "firsts" I have no doubt in my mind that I would certainly enjoy chatting with her over coffee..or wine.

   It's funny, but at this time in my life-I am more apt to remember my kids "firsts" more than my own.  I do remember know, the basic "firsts" everyone has.  But there are others...frightening ones, that are branded on my brain.. Doesn't it seem the most memorable "firsts" appear to be the kind where you think to yourself "Well, I'm never going to do THAT again"...First times can be life changing..lovely to look back on...or in the case of some of mine...scary...

 Like the first time I saw my Grandmother was a total accident. I happened to see her as she was getting out of the shower.  I was seven and she was about eight hundred or so.  I'm still not quite sure what it was that I saw-but it looked like she was wearing FOUR wrinkly... pendulous ..masses of flesh.. slowly swaying with each ponderous step she took. She was a heavy set woman.  That experience marked me..Perhaps it is the reason why I have always been adamant about exercising my arms AND wearing a supportive bra....Or the first time I had to make the sacrament of "confession" at church.  I was in fourth grade..and really DID NOT want to do this...Yes, penance was an issue. As was the fact that I was not as innocent as people thought.    So in order to get out of this...I did what any sensible child afraid of hell (and priests and nuns) would do...I pretended I was sick and stayed home from school. I was pretty proud of my quick thinking- I thought that I was in the clear...until the next week when those of us who were absent-had to make it up. GASP!  I remember dragging my feet as I made my way  in to the confessional booth.  I knelt down and said "Forgive me Father for I have sinned...this is my first confession"....and then proceeded to lie my way through it. I made stuff up. There was no way that I was going to confess to a priest that I had" stolen a" Playboy" magazine and set my brother up by leaving it in plain view for my mother to find in his bathroom"...or that" I had carved the same brothers name into our dining table"..or" eaten all the chocolates he had to sell for a fundraiser." (My brother was a great source of torment for me-and although I may have only been nine..I was very good at subtle revenge)  I'd probably still be doing "Hail Mary's". 

 Thankfully, those firsts were also lasts...I don't have too many of them...I think. Not all of them were scary- I do have firsts that I can look fondly on...or at least not cringe too much at..

  I remember my first real kiss..his name was John..we were twelve..and the only reason my mother let me go out for pizza with him was because he said that he wanted to become a priest. I think he told many mothers this..because, he kissed a lot of girls.  I remember my first record album-Aerosmith, "Toys in the Attic" My brother Ned gave it to me for my thirteenth birthday..(Being the youngest of six kids, I inherited lots of albums from my siblings..but this was the first one that was mine). My first job was at Roy Rogers family restaurant. I had to wear a very short frilly skirt, an off the shoulder blouse and a cowboy hat.  Times have indeed changed.  The first time I got "tipsy" was with my best friend Ursula..we drank "Southern Comfort" simply because Janis Joplin had . To this day, I can not stand the smell of it.     The first time I met was love..well really..lust at first site..I don't know what it was, but I KNEW that I had to have that man- and as we have been together almost twenty years..I would say that it worked out pretty well..The lust  love has grown even stronger .

  So there you have it...some firsts that were lasts..some firsts that I can recall fondly..and some firsts that have lasted.  Now it is my turn to tag some others...I choose-
I know that all three will make me laugh...and with four kids home with me and Summer rec not starting till next week...I NEED to laugh!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

I seem to have misplaced my halo...

~"L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle."~ Dante

  It has been only three and a half  days since Tuesday- the official start of Summer vacation...which makes it seventy three days until the beginning of school next fall. Not that I'm counting or anything. I do look forward to having the herd to lazier not having to rush around so much. But on the other hand...

"Mama? We're bored...Mama?.Mama? Can I have a  snack?..Mama can I have  turn on the computer? Mama? Mama?   Mama! we are out of toilet paper!..Ummm Mama? I clogged the toilet...Mama why do you have those lines on your forehead? Mama? MAAMAA? Why aren't you saying anything? Mama?" 

                 That was Wednesday. 

  I'm guessing that a lot of parents are going through a similar time right now. The change from a solid school routine to open ended days can be rough on the best of us.  It is one off those curve-balls that parenting throws you.  Sometimes I wish there were a manual..a kind of "Care and feeding of (insert your child's name)" book that was handed out at birth. It would make things so much easier..because, for the most part I feel like parenting is a lot like driving without brakes.  Most of the time it is great fun...but at other times?  Just when you think that you have it under hit a curved section and then sometimes hang on for dear life.  Sometimes parenting feels like an extreme sport.

   Last week, I was part of an online discussion where someone posted-

 "I could not be a parent to a special needs child.  Kudos to everyone who is a better person than I am"  

   A better person?  I immediately had this bizarre image of myself wearing flowing white robes with a halo and beams of golden light shining down on my serene heavenly music played...I responded with.... 

"parenting a child with special need does not make anyone a better person. I don't think that I have ever heard anyone say "I hope that I have a special needs child"..When you choose to become a parent-that is where your choice ends. I do understand someone saying "could never"...but you would be amazed at how things change once you hold your child in your kids are my greatest joy-and privilege. My life is better for knowing them..but I'm not a better person for raising them. I'm just doing my job."

  I really do understand her saying that -and I do try not to let statements like that piss me off..because...well,  I don't think that anyone really knows what parenting is until they become a parent themselves.  I'm sure if you had asked me thirteen years ago if I'd be willing to pull poopie socks out of a clogged toilet...remove paint from a dog..or even hold on to my son for hours while he screamed himself hoarse.  I'd have said "NO!...MY kids would NEVER do that!!!"  But, they have...and so I did.  Is it because they have "special needs"... Or.. Is it  because I'm just a better person? -Neither.  I just did it because I'm a parent-they are my kids...and I love them. It's as simple as that. Holy crap-I'd move the earth if that's what they needed.

  *sigh* I wish that I had just walked away from that conversation... Because this woman, in so many words told me that  she was "different" she had "goals"..that when she had a child it would be normal- someone who went away to college when they were her her life back.....that she would NEVER raise nor love a "special needs", she would rather abort it or give it away at birth..  She ended her rant with "welcome to humanity".   Humanity?!  Is that what that was?   How does one respond to that ..besides saying  "please don't ever procreate."  I chose to keep quiet..and just walked away. It is amazing what people think is appropriate to say on a site that is for autistic people and their families...

 I am certainly no expert at parenting..there are some many days where I haven't the slightest idea of what I'm doing..really- I just wing it.  My kids keep me on my toes...even surprise me now and again-and most of the time they are nice surprises.  There are also days when I want to throw in the away from home...join a cloister..(although I really don't think the life of a nun is for me..I wouldn't look good in the outfit )  So even if I wanted to see myself as a "better person" for raising them..the white robes would never work...they'd be filthy in about three minutes and the herd would steal the halo and..* sigh* probably try and flush it.  Although I for one am not going to try and  fish it out.

  Only seventy three more days.... 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer-don't like it hot...

~"It's my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it."~ Sean O'Casey

These past few weeks have been chock full of end of the year events.  There have been concerts and conferences, recitals and well.. just too many things to mention. Sometimes I catch myself just wishing that next week were over....that Summer would officially start. I have a bad case of "The grass is always greener"...sometimes I need to just appreciate the" here and now" instead of wishing for the" up and coming".  It never fails,  every Fall I find myself longing for Spring...every Summer wishing for Winter and vice versa. Why can't I just be satisfied? I mean, here I am WISHING for Summer...and then I remember last Summer's heat wave.  I took the picture on the left.  As you can see, my local weather station made a little the time, I was not amused. I was way too miserable.

  It was so very hot outside. The kind of heat that makes things that on most days are only mildly annoying-seem exceptionally annoying.  Everything just sticks to you-your clothes, dog hair... , children-your dogs.. My kids were hot as well..I know this because they told me every thirty seconds or so.."Mama..I'm hot" 
 "Yeah, it's pretty hot outside"..
"but I'm hot.."
 "Yes, I know you are hot.."
 "I'm hot too".."Me too".."Mama we're hot.." 
 "..SIGH.."I know you are all hot..I am hot..why don't you go sit quietly in the playroom and let the fan cool you off."
"but it is blowing in hot air.."
 SIGH.."If you sit really still and don't make a sound you will cool off"
 "It's not working.."
 "Thats because you keep running in to tell me how hot you are!!!"
 "But it's not working!" 
 "Well maybe if you put on a pair of shorts and took off your pants socks and shoes you would feel better?"
  "But I don't want my feet to get cold." 
 "Oscar it is 95 degrees in the house..your feet won't get cold!"
 "But they might!"
AARRGGHH...last Summer (and all the Summer's before it),  My Oscar had problems accepting summer wear.  He would tug on the top of his short sleeved shirt-trying to pull them down to his wrist.  But hey, at least I got him to wear them-even if it was grudgingly..This is nothing like it was with Sammy-who used to mourn his snow pants in April.  So I really couldn't complain.   none of them have a problem with bathing suits..for that I can be happy.

  I am so thankful for our pool.  It has been a life saver of sorts-it both tires and cools them off-especially my sock clad boys..and it keeps them happy... for about three and a half minutes..until....
"Mama!  Lily says my zhu zhu pet is a boy but I say it's a girl!"
  "Lil..Zoe can call her zhu zhu pet a girl if she wants to."
  "But it's name is Mr. Squiggles!"
 "I don't care! she's a girl!"
 "No" Mister" means boy!"
 "But it's a girl!! I don't want a boy!"
 "Zoe! it's a boy!" (Zoe sobbing now) "Mama! Lily won't let my zhu zhu pet be a girl!"...and so it went..for the entire  two hour swim.. through getting dressed...having a snack.. and dinner....Oh I tried to be diplomatic ("girls please try to get along)"..tried to redirect the conversation ("hey-who wants to discuss folding laundry?")...tried to distract them ("I have candy!")..but when the shouting became  more than this innocent..and very hot mother could bear-I lost it...went off the deep end... I yelled... "DOES.  IT.  HAVE.  A.  PENIS????" shocking my children into stunned silence.(which was kind of nice)   Until an indignant Oscar looked at me in horror and said "That is not polite Mama!"
(I was hyperventilating) " No..It is a FINE word to use in a discussion..DO ZHU ZHU PETS HAVE GENITALS??? NO THEY DO NOT!  THEREFORE ZOE'S ZHU ZHU PET CAN BE A GIRL!"  (pant- pant)
 "Actually Mama, they don't have either..they are only toys...uhhh Mama?...Why is your face so red?" 
 "Because I am HOT!!!"
"Well why don't you go sit in the playroom and let the fan cool you off?"

  So, maybe wishing for Summer to come is just a passing phase?  I certainly am not wishing for another heat wave like last seasons.  Although I am thrilled to say that Oscar is very happy wearing his short sleeved shirts-and my girls no longer care about Zhu Zhu pets. No, this year   "Littlest Pet Shop" toys are the object of their affecions...but not to worry-they don't have genitals either.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dogs don't read and bears don't use toilet paper..

 ~"Don't look at me in that tone of voice"~ Dorothy Parker

 This morning as I was filling the bin with dog food-I happened to notice something written on the side of the food bag. "Better Tasting than ever!" and I thought to myself.."How do they know that?"  I mean really, According to who??? Do they have dog taste tests? Do they have special dogs that come in and rate the food? Do they fill out questionnaire's? Check little boxes..?  I mean dogs eat, garbage...poop-they do not discriminate. So why was this written on the bag?  My dogs don't read...nor do they shop...They certainly don't have money-or even thumbs!  I know why I buy it..twenty dollars for fifty pounds of dog food is a good deal- especially when you have three dogs to feed.  But come on now!  Trying to sway me by saying  that it tastes even better? I'm certainly not going to taste it.  And again-my dogs eat poop-by choice.

  Advertising-commercials..slogans and jingles..they are all things I try and teach my kids about. I think it is one of the first steps towards giving them critical thinking skills.  I can't tell you how many times they have yelled for me to come and see something that is being advertised on the t.v....something they just know is great..
"What! What is it?!"
"You have to see this(insert name of piece of crap here)! I want it!"
"It does look fun....for about thirty'll get bored with it pretty quick."
"No! No I won't!  Look at the kids playing with it-THEY'RE HAVING FUN!"
"Oh but honey..they are paid a lot of money to look as if they are having fun..they are acting."
*sigh* and on it will go..until one day..say a birthday or Christmas..I will get them this (insert name of piece of crap) thing. and winds up either being broken in hours...or cast aside because it really doesn't do much and they find it boring. 

  They are learning..slowly but surely..I'm finding them arguing the same points to each other - when one of them is excited about something that they see advertised.  It also helps that I will bring them to the store to actually try out LOOK at the item that they are so desperate for. As I said, it is slow going. There is one item however, that we can't seem to get over wanting..or rather- Oscar can't seem to get over wanting.  "Charmin Ultra toilet paper"  Yes, my boy is fascinated by it-always has been.  I think it is the cartoon bears in the commercials What is it with those bears anyway? They can read a newspaper, use toilet paper..yet they still s**t in the woods? And then there is the mother bears obsession with "pieces" of toilet paper sticking to their furry behinds! Well what does she expect!! They're bears using toilet paper!  Am I supposed to be able to relate to this?  Am I supposed to nod my head in agreement thinking "Yes, I too worry about pieces being left .....behind."?. Maybe if my kids had fur...but I digress. As I mentioned, Oscar has had this fascination for years. Every now and then he'll request it.  Being a "Scott brand tissue" kind of family..I've always said "No." But I thought I would surprise him. I guess I was feeling kind of reckless (as only a stay at home mom of four kids can)  I was at the store and we needed toilet I figured-"Why not?". As I went to reach for the Charmin Ultra, I noticed it had a slogan on the package.."Use less so you can go more!"  Excuse me? What does that mean??!!  Are they somehow implying that people walk around "holding it in" because they are worried about the cost?  Maybe it's me..perhaps I just have a" devil may care" attitude...because I have never once worried about the cost of a square of toilet paper nor have I giggled with reckless abandon as I wantonly pulled square after square off the roll.  It's toilet paper for goodness sake!.. Holy crap! (and I mean that on so many levels)   Needless to say, I put it back on the shelf and bought our usual brand..because "A thousand sheets last longer." Now THAT'S a slogan that makes sense.

   So this evening, as I fed the dogs their "Better tasting then ever!!" food. I watched them-to see if their was a reaction...Would they notice a difference?  Perhaps look upon me with gratitude- as if saying "thank you for this even better tasting kibble made from animal byproducts." They sucked it down in about six seconds-as they usually do. None of them said anything about the taste. Perhaps after they digest know,after it has aged a bit.  I'll let you know after their walk.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Blogger why do you forsake me!!

I'm hoping that this all my bloggy all the people I regularly comment at...Blogger won't let me!!!!! I visited-I swear that I did..but, blogger will not work for chrome ofr internet explorer.  I will keep checking...but am not gonna post till I know that it is working...I'm afraid of losing my posts...perhaps it is time for wordpress? sigh...I hope you are all doing well...and I WILL be stopping by soon...


Well I must have scared blogger with my threat of leaving...cause it is back! Damn! I am powerful!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The sound of one boy eeeing...

  ~"Worry...worry worry worry worry... worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone"~ Ray Lamontagne

 My kids are all pretty close in age(roughly 2 years between each of them)-so when one of them has a friend over, they all consider them their friend as well.  With the exception of Sam-who, is starting to separate from the pack.  He will be thirteen this year..and considers himself quite above it all mature.  A couple of weeks ago, one of the neighborhood kids was over at our house talking to Sam. This boy is one of  a pair of brothers who come over to play from time to time.  (This particular boy is Sam's age his brother is closer to Lily's age-7)  All of the kids usually ride their bikes up and down the driveway..or play tag and sometimes just run around in circles screaming...regular kid stuff.  I hardly ever have to intervene..It is only when someone is being purposely left out..or teased to the point of frustration that I'll step in and kick some butt set them straight.

  Now having known my children all of their lives, I'm pretty used to them. So Oscar's stimming and eeeeing are a regular part of our lives. The same goes for Sam's very sensitive nature, Lily's tenacity and Zoe's tendency to go mute in stressful situations. I don't really think about these things (unless they are being discussed-i.e. IEP meetings, school , therapy etc.) because they are just a part of what makes my kids...well, my kids.  So, I was pretty surprised when one of those boys said to Sam.."Hey...does Oscar have autism?" "Yes, yes he does"..."Oh."  "So do I."  "You do?.."Yes, yes I do."  "But you don't look like it."  "Well...I draw a lot." "Oh..(and after a moment), when I get home I'm gonna call my you have a girlfriend?"  "Yes.." (12 years old and already posturing!) and that was the end of it.   If only it were that simple for the rest of the world.

  We had Oscar's annual IEP meeting last week.  Next year is his last year of elementary school so we have spent some time talking about preparing for middle school. One thing was said (that keeps reverberating in my brain) that in a way bothers me - "We have to let the teachers know that Oscar is not like Sam."..*sigh* Logically, I know what was meant by that. My boy struggles with pragmatic language . He has extreme stress and anxiety-which comes out in the form of stimming and laughing. Logically, I get it-I do....sort of.  But on the other hand...on the other hand It feels like a if they were really saying "You had better warn them not to expect too much."  It left me feeling kind of empty...and a little sad. . Yes, Oscar does face more challenges than his brother or sisters.  He does not always have an easy time of it.  The boy frets and is anxious..he WORRIES.....And yet, at the same time he has such humor..and a certain confidence in himself that none of my other kids have. "Mama?" "Yeah bud?"  "Do you want to know my favorite body part?" "Your favorite body part?" "'s my nipples! hahahahaha...I'm gonna make mine shine!" and as he grabs his chest and growls.."shiny shiny nipples..hahahahahaha! Do I make you laugh Mama?"  "You do"  "Because I'm funny!"  "You are." "hahahahaha and I have shiny nipples!" "well o.k.!."   Of course he's not like Sam. He's like himself  and that's alright.

About a week after Sam had that talk with his friend, both he and his brother came over-and everyone went out to play. Everyone.  There was no treating anyone excluding..or weirdness.  It was as it always had been..a bunch of kids playing and yelling..and occasionally one eeeing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Haunted by hummus and other tales of woe....


 I wasn't going to blog today. I wasn't. I had one of those weeks-and, I would much rather forget it than immortalize it here. It wasn't that it was was just..confusing.  Up was down, down was seemed that no matter what I tried to do-it couldn't get done..
  On Monday, I stumbled downstairs, only to be assaulted by the overwhelming scent, to call it a scent is too weak..mild. My nostrils were assaulted by what I can only describe as one of the most disgusting, horrid, stomach turning...retch inducing smells.  One of my dogs had gotten into the bin of dog food. Thus eating twice his body weight in kibble. The after effects were ASTOUNDING! Mind boggling even. THE sheer amount of poop(that he so lovingly left on the floor) was awe inspiring.  We are talking record books. If people in climbing gear had shown up at my door "because it was there" I would not have been surprised. It was THAT tremendous. I actually considered renting a back hoe. But I thought it wouldn't be wise to operate heavy machinery before coffee.  So I settled for a hefty bag. 10 gallon to be precise. The rest of the day was spent airing the house and clearing my head from the poop induced haze. I also put a lock on the food bin.

There is nothing quite as stimulating as getting a call from your kids school asking you where you are.. Yup-Tuesday morning, as I was sitting down with a coffee, cooling off from my workout, I received just such a call.  Where was I? Why, at home. Our IEP meeting was set for eleven the next morning-right?  WRONG. It had already started and I was ten minutes late....which turned into twenty minutes by the time I had arrived.  All flustered and out of breath. Only to be met by nine people sitting in a half circle waiting for me to arrive. Either they didn't notice-or they were too polite to mention My un brushed windswept  hair-and the fact that I was wearing Omar's thick wool  hunting socks with my clogs. (that I had spent a panicked few minutes looking for-as the girls had stuffed them into the couch)   But I was dressed.  The meeting went well-we got everything we needed.  But, my week went down hill from there...

  On Wednesday morning, Sammy reminded me of the "International fair" at his school that evening.  All the kids had a country that they had to learn about.  Sammy's was ancient Egypt.
"Mama..don't forget the international fair is tonight."
"I won't forget buddy"
"It starts at six"
"We'll be there"
"I forgot! I have to have food."
"Yes, I promised that I would bring something."
" brownies?"
"No...Food from ancient Egyptian times."
"So your telling me NOW that in a few hours you need to bring in a dish that was eaten in ancient Egypt?"
  Oh all was not lost.  He had recipes! Recipes for things like "Leaven" where you use barley and warm water and let it sit for a few days...and "Ful Medames" which required the soaking of beans for twelve hours. So, as soon as they left on the bus, I rushed to the supermarket secretly hoping that there was an "ancient Egyptian" food aisle I had somehow overlooked. There wasn't-so I settled for *hummus(ick) and pita.  I figured there wouldn't be any ancient Egyptians there to complain. I was right. There weren't.

 Thursday morning I had yet another IEP meeting.  This one I was on time for-and I wore the appropriate socks. Things were looking up.  Until I remembered that Lily's school concert was that day. An afternoon spent listening to the not so dulcimer tones of first through third graders. Let the headache begin! I know, I many parents are thrilled to see their children perform. They look forward to concerts  and other school sponsored events. Sadly, I must have been absent on the day that this quality was handed out-or I just got an extra dose of sarcasm.  Either way, I loathe these things. There are just so many songs about "back packs" and "flags"that I can handle before I am ready to either run screaming screaming. I don't know what it is.  There is a new music teacher this year-and although she has brought them forward musically (meaning songs from the 40's as opposed to the last music teachers penchant for songs from the year 10) The concerts remain relatively lifeless. Maybe because there isn't a real sound system and the microphones are positioned in such a way to catch every sound BUT the singers?   All I can say is that I was happy when the third graders got up to perform-because it meant I had done my duty and could sneak out the back.
  When we got home, Omar said "When the kids get in, I'll take them to the park for a little bit so you can have some alone time." I have a wonderful husband. The day was looking up. I actually had some time to myself,,I was feeling peaceful, calm...almost recovered...until they came back. Lily was in a MOOD. Nothing pleased her-especially me. It all came to a head when she insisted (after having just finished an ice cream cone) on having....hummus. That freaking hummus again! I said "Lil, you just had an ice cream, we are going to have dinner in a little is not the time for hummus.".."I WANT hummus!" she insisted. *sigh* "No Lil, now is not the time for it.  I will give you some with dinner if you like."  "I want it NOW!" She then proceeded to throw a fit like the likes of which I have never seen before-and I have seen some pretty amazing freak outs. She went from innocent seven to snarky fifteen and back again. There was foot stamping and crying..attitude and back talk. This went on long into the night...even after she went to bed. Even after I went to bed. It was a very long night
  Friday morning came way to quickly for me. For Lily as well. She just couldn't wake up..telling me "I'm sick-can I stay home?" I knew that she was exhausted - I let her.  Of course the minute the bus pulled away-she was wide awake and ready for entertainment. I was not feeling very "entertaining". So I settled her with some coloring books and decided to visit with my blogger friends. GASP! Blogger was down! I could not comment! I could not blog! I was pissed.  Working myself up into my own little fit. I thought "Fine-be down! Don't let me comment! If that's the way you want it-then I won't blog-see how that makes you feel!!" (yes *sigh* I yelled at blogger)  I think it must have heard me-because in the middle of my little tantrum, it returned to its normal self. (sometimes I need to think that I have such power)  Blogger is back-so I'm hoping that things are finally looking up.   Tomorrow, I plan on sleeping in and then leisurely catching up on my blog reading-commenting.   I think I'll throw the hummus out as well. 

*There was a summer in college when me and my house-mates were flat broke. The only thing we had to eat was chick peas. (I can not for the life of me recall why we had so many chick peas) so, we made a huge vat of hummus. For eight very long weeks we lived on that Hummus.  Morning noon and night.We had so much hummus that I swore I would never eat it again.  In fact, I struggled just buying it for Sam's school fair. I loathe hummus.