Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer times four..

~"Doing nothing is very hard to never know when you're finished."~ Leslie Nielson

Wednesday morning I knew for sure that fall was on its way...the air was cooler..the leaves are just starting to change...and I was surrounded by the dulcimer tones (in quadruplicate) of the shifting time ..the lyrical lilting sounds of the end of a season...

"Uuuuuuggghh.." "Why do I have to get up now?!" and "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" 

  Yes, school has officially started. Summer is coming to a close..and I have accomplished...nothing. Well..not "nothing" per say....It's more like I got side tracked by things..I HAD intended to do all kinds of wonderful things..We were going to read..explore experiments...cook..go to the beach..sing! I... was going to be the Maria von Trapp of Maine.


  But it was not to be...Oh-the summer started off great...In June, we went to the library..we read books..we were even about to build a volcano! (*sigh* I bragged about this in an earlier piece) And then...
  I misplaced Oscars paperwork for camp...
which led to an incredible purging of every nook and cranny in my house...I just KNEW that I had put them somewhere...
I did find them (on a table) but only after my frantic email to the camp requesting a new set of paperwork-and yet again-only after the second set of paperwork arrived.. I quickly filled out all the paperwork-faxed all the info-had other info faxed back..crossed my i's dotted my t's...realized what I did and fixed it...
 Only now I had to get him ready for camp-me ready for him going to clean up every paper I had furiously torn out of every cabinet, drawer, purse..closet...
Because (aside from the fact that I was buried in papers) my house-or at least 1/4 of it decided it was tired and started sinking...SINKING..
  So-I had to hire a contractor to come and jack it up and fix the foundation and the floors and  the walls and the ceilings.....only it turned out to be more of a project than anyone expected..part of which included me emptying two rooms just filled with all kinds of crap-including..of course..paperwork.
 In the meantime...
Oscar went to Camp Capella  (I can not rave enough about how wonderful their program is) for an entire week!  He had a lovely time. He swam, he fished..he boated..he did arts and crafts, nature walks..and bonfires. I on the other hand spent an entire week (needlessly) worrying about him..had to-because...well,.it's my job-one that I am amazingly efficient at.  Oh if only worrying paid!  I would be quite wealthy...because worry overtook the rest of the Summer.
  At the end of July, I had both of my girls re-evaluated.  I did not agree with the schools assessment of Zoe last year. So I sought another opinion.( One based on the newer DSM V guidelines). As for Lily..she's been having some difficulties. She does have a diagnosis of ADHD..but I wanted to be sure that we were doing all that we could to help her.
 We weren't.
  Anyone who has undergone evaluations knows that there is a ginormous amount of *sigh* paperwork involved. Questionnaires to be filled out-and to have other people fill out..old evaluations to be found...which of course involved me digging through years (I've been doing this for at least thirteen) of stuff.   It's time consuming...and unnerving...I hate doing these things because it feels as if you are dissecting your child..picking apart the pieces that make them different but also makes them-them...We filled out the forms and gathered the info and tested the girls...and came to find out..... that they were both on the spectrum.
That's four for four now.
I want to say that I was shocked-but really?  I wasn't. Definitely a bit surprised...and definitely angry at myself. I should have seen it..I should have known. It's not like I'm new to this. My girl-my curly headed wild very full of everything- that at times she almost bursts..she trusts me...and I let her down.  I simply did not recognize just how much she has been struggling.
Crap-that hurts...stings...cuts me into a million pieces.  but I'll get over it.  The important thing now is to help her through this rocky time. To continue to build her up as we always have-only now with better information. Most importantly-to get her the support she needs.  which you know is going to require a whole lot of paperwork.

  So-another Summer has past. Once again, it did not go entirely the way I had planned. Oh well. At least the kids are happy (with the exception of school starting-they will get over it.) and my house is no longer sinking...I'd say that (with the exception of all the paperwork) it was a pretty good one.


Saturday, August 16, 2014


~“I don't like my shoes,' said Rose.

'I'm wearing my shoes and you don't see me complain.'
'You only hear a person complain,' said Rose. 'Not see.'
How has Rose lived for seventeen years and no one has killed her, not once?”
 ~Franny Billinglsy~Chime


  My daughter was standing in front of the mirror, pulling on her cheeks, when she asked "Mama? is my mouth too big?"  "What?"..."Is my mouth too big?"..."No.".."Well. I think it is.".

 It wasn't the first time that I'd heard this question. It wasn't the first time that I have caught her stretching her lips, pulling on her cheeks..and it wasn't the first time that I had asked her- "Why do you think your mouth is too big?"  "I just do."

 At first, I had thought that maybe it has something to do with growing up.  She does have an older sister who is starting to take some major steps away from little girlhood...worrying about growing up, worrying about fitting in...worrying about *sigh* everything.  So, I thought that maybe her sisters worrying was possibly rubbing off on her. Girls do seem to go through some weird stuff-especially when it comes to appearance.

So, this time, I indulged her.  "Really?..hmmm...o.k., lets take a I  scrutinize her lovely face..tilting it left and then right, up and down, asking her to step closer to the light, then away from the light..turn to the side..tilt your head all the way back....I even thought about getting a tape measure. "Honey, I are perfect and beautiful..I see nothing wrong with the size of your fits your face beautifully.".."No, it's big."..exasperated I said "Baby girl! What in the world is making you think that you have a big.." and then it hit a load of bricks to the girl is a literal thinker..HOW could I not have realized this?  Me!- the woman who still wakes up at night relieved that she didn't answer her second grade teacher with "Don't all watches have two hands?" when said teacher asked if anyone's watch had a second hand...ME!- who thought "Euthanasia" meant-YOUTH in Asia...and Guerrilla warfare? Honestly-I once pondered   "How do they train gorilla's to fight?   How could I have not recognized this?!   

"Zoe?..honey?..Did someone tell you that you had a big mouth?: . "Well, remember that time when I was fighting with Lily......?" 

 For the record-there hasn't been much time in the past six months where they haven't been fighting. Each of them are incredibly sensitive lately-only not at the same time...which has just been so much fun-a regular barrel of laughs, a hoot if you will...Oh 2014...What a year it has been! What a time we have had!..(I've been thinking of having that put on a tee shirt or mug) I have have reached out to the U.N. peacekeeping forces-but have yet to hear back. fingers crossed! 

"Well...I'm not sure which fight you're referring to...but go on.."
"She yelled at me!"
"How unusual!"
"Wait...How is that unusual?"
"I was being sarcastic."
"So...what happened?"
"Oh..well Lily yelled at me and said that I had a big mouth!"
"Honey...that is just a "saying" doesn't really mean that your mouth-your physical mouth is big."
"Then why did she say it."
"When someone accuses someone of having a "big mouth" it means that they talk too much."
"But I don't talk too much."
"I know."
"Then why did she say it?"
"Because she was mad at you and that is the first thing that flew out of her mouth."
"Wait....something flew out of her mouth?"
"Words don't fly."

At this shoulders are up by my ears..I'm almost afraid to say anything else..

"O.K.-Lily said something in the heat of the..ummm..she was angry and yelled without thinking. You do that too.  I really wish that you would both stop. Your mouth is not big. O.K.?"
"O.K.'...and off she go tell her sister......and then...

 "Yes Lily?"
"Zoe said.........

  There is only a week and a half until school starts up again. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Full plate.....

~ "My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy the ice cream while it's on your plate"~Thornton Wilder's 9:05 on Friday night..and I'm not sure of what to write about-or really "how" to write about all that has been happening these past few weeks.  I didn't write last week for the same reasons that I'm having trouble with this week. There has been a lot happening-nothing tragic or bad-just ..just...

Oscar went to camp!  He had a wonderful time-BUT, there is more going on with this young man of mine than I even imagined. We are trying to help him figure some things out at the moment-while giving him the respect and space that he needs to process it all. His own way and his own time. It's hard to watch him struggle-but lovely too. He is coming in to his own... 

Part of my house started sinking. Yes-sinking. This picture is of the rotted sill that was holding up this part of the house. So...we had to hire a contractor to "jack up" the house and fix all the problems.  I lived in fear that the house would fall on him and I would come home to see only his feet sticking out from underneath-kind of like the wicked witch of the east in "The Wizard Of Oz"..Thankfully that didn't happen. The work should be done in a few more weeks. The only huge problem is...spiders.  It seems like all this work has attracted every spider within a five mile radius into my bathroom shower to be exact. BUT..only when I am taking a shower.  It's really creepy.  As soon as I step into the shower..I am surrounded by a bunch of multi-eyed many legged hairy creatures...There I am standing naked-NAKED! in a self imposed two inch space-afraid that if I move one will jump down onto my head-or hit me in the face as it does a Tarzan swing across the shower stall. I am starting to wonder about these spiders...are they laughing at me as I try and contort my body in an attempt to get away from them? Are they filming me? Do spiders have reality t.v. shows? "Shower Hunters"...or maybe it's a game show-and I'm the obstacle course...or spiders have...fetishes? Am I the victim of some sordid spider porn ring?  I think that I'll have Omar clean the bathroom this week...

We decided to get both of our girls evaluated. Anyone who has read this blog knows that we have been having an awful time getting Zoe the things that she needs to make school successful.  Our Lily has been having her own issues as well. So, we decided to get an opinion OUTSIDE of school.  From someone who had more experience with evaluations and diagnosis-especially when it came to girls. Some of what we have found out was not surprising...Some has knocked us off of our feet. Both Omar and I both know that we are good parents-that we have happy kids-a stable home.  We know this. But sometimes, you find things out about your kids-that just stun you. Where you think "How could I have not seen this?!" So, you beat yourself up a bit..wonder about lost opportunities..about what you should/could have been doing.  Yes, I know that hind-site is 20/20..and I know that we have done the best that we could with the information that we had. But I think that ALL parents beat themselves up every now and then-it's just part of the job. I'll get over it-I just need to think things through for a bit before I can write clearly.

After a year that included job loss...and then getting another job (that was quite adventurous) We decided that we needed to work for ourselves. So, we bought a franchise of a popular take-out chain in our area. Omar is an amazing business man. It's time that he put all of his talent-and all of his hard work where it belongs. Working for himself. Right now, we are figuring out how to balance a business a family and an impending school year. 

 There is just so much that I need to think through right now.  I have so many half finished posts..that can't be finished until I know what it is that I want to say. The important thing is that we are all o.k.  We continue to move is happening for all of us-maybe in ways that we did not expect-but, it is happening nonetheless. Might as well embrace it.   I really have nothing to complain about...except maybe spiders...I really don't like spiders...