Monday, February 28, 2011

Game faces

We had a basketball game on Saturday. T has been very hot and cold about attending practices and games. The debates on that subject for R and I are extensive. T really struggles in a team environment IF he's not the one calling the shots and if his performance doesn't live up to his expectations. For his age, that's not necessarily an unusual behavior, but what concerns us is the way he deals with that frustration - which is usually by breaking down in tears and refusing to participate. If that doesn't get him my or R's undivided attention, then he'll start acting out more.

R and I have our hands full trying to manage 8 kids, so when T does this it's a struggle for me to balance coach with Mom. I want him to be able to express himself fully and openly, but at the same time using emotion to manipulate others is not acceptable. And often, it's hard to tell the difference between the two.

Since T's last big outburst, every time he shoots or throws the ball, it's underhanded and with little to no aim. So when he was playing Saturday, if someone passed him the ball, he'd just immediately toss it up in the air. I mean, really...just go ahead and shoot me the finger or something because he was determined to make his point. I was determined to not battle with him over it, especially since he started off not throwing underhanded and was making baskets and passing with great accuracy with no problem.

Unfortunately, his team mates dealt with it by not giving him the ball - and I don't blame them. Why should they if he isn't even trying?!? This, of course, gets him upset and he ends up in tears on the bench. He tells me he isn't going to play anymore, takes off his jersey and throws it down.

Oh boy.

Deep breathing.

I get him to open up enough to tell me that he's upset because they won't give him the ball. I can understand that. So I explain to T that no matter what you are doing, different people have different strengths. It's unusual that one person can excel at everything, but it's completely possible to be really good at many different things. We watch the game for a bit and I'm speaking softly into T's ear about the game and his team mates. One boy is our star ball handler, one hardly ever misses a shot, one is good at rebounds, one is good at finding team mates to pass the ball to, etc. And I explain to T that his excellent skills are his speed, agility and height.

There was more to it than that, but he agreed to go back out there and play with a minimum of convincing. We play a basic man to man defense and the kids wear different colored wrist bands. When T got out there, he ran the poor kid he was matched with ragged. It was amazing to see him play the rest of the game. He played excellent defense, and even though he was still throwing underhanded, he was at least trying to hit the basket or pass directly to his team mates. And the running? Oh my gosh, it was amazing to see. Seriously, the poor kid that had to keep up with T probably went home and slept for two hours.

This was some serious progress. I hope.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stumbling in the dark

S went to bed all teary eyed and full of indignation. Her heartless mother tucked her in, said prayers with her, sang her the good night songs she requested, kissed her on the forehead....and then left the room. S was not in the mood to go to bed at bedtime tonight, so I thought if I went into our bedroom and read quietly, she'd give in to her exhaustion more easily. Not so much with the giving in. Eventually, she gave up getting out of bed (thank you Supernanny) and sat on her bed and whimpered.

I feel awful, even thought I know I did the right thing.

I checked on her after I finished my book a little while ago. Sound asleep and looking peaceful as all get out.

Only now I'm restless and unsettled.

Since I was awake and thirsty, I decided to go downstairs and get some water. On the way down the steps, I stumbled and almost fell.

We've lived in this house for over a year. In every single other place I've ever lived, I could find my way around in the dark within a month, no matter how many times I rearrange the furniture. 

But not in this house.

A couple nights ago, I turned off all the lights to go upstairs to bed. I stumbled for the umpteenth time. I didn't trip over anything specific like a toy or shoes, just over...something. Every time that happens, I wonder what it is about this house that makes it impossible for me to navigate in the dark. The number of stairs certainly doesn't change, neither does the location of the walls or doors or cabinets.

But I'm still stumbling, fumbling around for something familiar that doesn't seem to exist here - at least not in the space I'm in at this particular moment. I don't even really know what I'm looking for or expecting to find or not to find. I just know that lately, that whole lot of nothing seems to be directly in my way.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I will survive

Remember that song by Gloria Gaynor from the 70's? Looooove that song! I actually heard it on the radio the other night and impressed if not R, then at least the kids with my lyric knowledge. Not with my singing ability, though, but what else is new? But how much singing ability do you really need to belt out a classic anthem? What I lack in talent, I make up for in heart. And possibly in entertainment factors. ::Snort::

And while this has for sure been a rough week, it's been full of potential blog material.

I still can't get S to pee in the cup. I'm ready to go and beg the lab techs to make her do it, but that's not their job, and frankly? After her last impressive vocal chord pyrotechnic show, can't say that I blame them or that I'd be surprised if they all disappear when we show up again. I know if I were the tech, I'd hide.

Got my car back. A la Forrest Gump, and tha-at's all I've got to say about tha-at.

I also managed to leave S's booster seat in the rental car when I picked up my car. Way to GO, self. Of course, I didn't figure it out until I was almost home. At least we confirmed the rental place has it and I can go get it tomorrow which works out well because I need to go back to the repair shop anyway. Hooray.

The good news is that T gets a redo on the student of the month breakfast he missed last month, so I get to go to school with him in the morning and celebrate his achievement. Frankly, he could use the pick me up. He got in trouble last week at school two days in a row for the same behavior, which is extremely unusual. Since this has been a much better week for him, I'm hoping the trend will continue for all of us.

Either way, though? We will survive. Especially if I don't sing about it.

Workout Wednesday - let's talk about Yoga X

So, yeah, TonyX - creator and face of the P90X series - and I settled down to do some yoga last Thursday. And by yoga, I really mean plank, upward dog, plank, downward dog, plank, runners pose, plank, building up to warriors pose 1, 2, 3, and reverse warrior, plank, twisting, more twisting, plank, and then it just gets plain difficult.

And that's just the first part. Part two involves more balance moves, which I found much easier than the eternal plank section, and then the third part concentrated on abs.

Like most people, I'm more flexible on one side that the other. TonyX, the poor dear, mentions a time or seven that he's also more flexible on one side. I really struggled with the 'basics' of this workout on my right side, but I figure that will just improve with time. And I can't wait until I can do the hand clasp move while in a lunge twisted from the side. Let me try to find a picture to illustrate...

He's so twisty!

I have tightness issues with my lower back, and reverse warrior especially seems to bother it - but - honestly? When I did Yoga X for the second time it was actually easier than the first time. I also like the fact that this is a no/low impact workout. Lately I've been awfully hard on my feet and ankles with my workouts so it feels really, really nice to stretch everything out and focus on breathing in the context of deep breathing to relax into the moves and push myself versus deep breathing to avoid passing out or, you know, dying.  I also did the Stretch X video, and it was easier than Yoga X for the most part but still provided many of the same benefits for me personally.

I can guarantee you this, however. If I ever can get my fingers to touch in the above pose? I'm SO having someone take a picture and posting on on this blog - large sized.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The business version of "he's just not that into you"

I admit this with a touch of embarrassment. I hate making phone calls. I will put it off until the last possible minute 9 times out of 10. Okay, if I'm being totally honest, it's 9.9 times out of 10, even when I really want to talk to the person that I'm calling. I don't know why. I do know that the phone calls are why I wasn't enamored with being a key spouse. Nothing worse than calling someone you don't know and having an awkward, stilted, and uncomfortable conversation with them.

Ironically, the last few jobs I've had involve me being on the phone most all the time, which could also be why I have such a dial phobia these days. BUT - for business purposes, if I ever said I would call you? I called you. Personally speaking, my track record is less than perfect, but I do tell people that don't know me well yet about my phone issues. And I'm great about emailing and facebooking and I'm getting better with texting, even if it still takes me for-evah to text.

And as hypocritical as this is, my biggest pet peeve is someone not communicating with me like they say they will. (Pot and kettle issues anyone?!!?? ) I do, however give big leeway. If you say, 'I'll try to call you next week' then it doesn't bother me in the slightest if you don't call. If it's for something specific like setting up plans or whatever, then I do get irritated if you don't call and I'm stuck in plan limbo waiting on you. Apparently not enough to call you myself most of the time, but it is what it is. I'm working on it.

Now, if I'm paying you money for something? If you say you are going to call me and don't? I'm irritated. If you say you are going to call me more than once and don't more than once? I'm pissy.

Case in point: Friday morning, I called our insurance company about my car. They gave me the name and number of the guaranteed repair shop. I wrote all the information down, left to go to the Y and right after I walked back into the house, the repair shop was calling and wanting me to bring it in for an estimate. Impressive. So I did.

They wanted me to bring the car in on Monday to be fixed. So we did. My contact there told me that he'd call me and let me know the progress and if they found additional damage to the car other than what was visible to the naked eye. I assumed he'd call Monday, but he didn't specify so by Tuesday afternoon, I was getting a little concerned. The repair estimate said 2-3 days and since the shop got my car when they opened on Monday, I should be able to pick it up on Wednesday and that's with the worst case scenario. At least according to the estimate paperwork and my three conversations with the repair shop guy.

No call on Tuesday. In fairness, I didn't call him either. R and I decided not to rent a car for a variety of reasons, and R's been a really good sport about sharing his vehicle with me, even though it's interfering with his schedule a bit. Thursday and Friday are crazy busy for me this week and having to share a car just isn't going to work. So if my car isn't going to be ready, I need to know so I can make arrangements.

I call first thing this morning. He's not in yet. An hour later, he calls me back and leaves me a voice mail, but I'm working out so I don't get the message until almost an hour after he calls. I call him back immediately, but he's not there but he should be back in 15 minutes. I give him 30 and then call back. This time he's there and he's all, yeah, I was gonna call you today....

Uh huh.

So what I find out is that even though there wasn't the damage behind the bumper that he expected, the car is JUST NOW going in to be painted.  I'm suddenly pretty certain that I'm not going to be happy with the repair job on the car but I'm trying to think positively. He says that he'll call me around lunch time and let me know for sure when the car will be ready. No indication of whether that's today, tomorrow, next week, or never. It's about 10:45 at this point. I wait until 2:30 to call him. No answer.

Really? REALLY!?!?!?!

I call back 15 minutes later and talked to the other guy and explain that I was supposed to have been called around lunchtime to let me know about my car. Other guy tells me that the painting is finished, but its drying and I can probably pick it up around 5.

Umm, probably? And don't you guys close at 5?

Also, I have basketball practice at 5, which I tell the other guy and ask him if there's any chance the car could be ready by 4:15-4:30ish. He tells me to call back at 4 and check.

Fair enough, and also? Thank you for not saying you'll call me because we both know it ain't true.

A few minutes later and I'm emailing R for the millionth time today keeping him updated on my last car conversation when the phone rings. Surprise, surprise. It's MY car shop guy. He's all, "Yeah, other guy said you called and want to pick up the car early."

Le sigh. 

Dude. You've had my car for 3 days. If you couldn't fix it in 3 days, then don't tell me that you'll have it done in 2-3 days worst case scenario, then tell me it was far from worst case scenario - but my car is not done yet. It's false hope, which really pisses me off. It's also unprofessional.

I explain why I need to be somewhere at 5 and he's all, well...I'll call you by 4. When would you need to come and get the car to get to basketball practice?

I can make to practice in 15ish minutes from the shop.

'Okay' he says. 'I'll call you by 4 and let you know if you can have it today. If not, you can pick it up first thing tomorrow.'

uh huh.

It's 4:03. Guess who has two thumbs and a phone that has not rung?

Thankful Tuesday

Yesterday was a holiday, and I swear it just makes today feel like Monday. So schedule-ly speaking, I'm all confused.

Plus, my car is in the shop. Yay for prompt service from both the auto body shop and the insurance company (seriously - thank you SO much to both of them), but we chose not to rent a car and are trying hard to work out how all of us can use one vehicle and still accomplish everything we want and need to accomplish.

Really, though - how lucky are we that this is currently our biggest concern? Reliable employment, a roof over our our heads, food in our bellies, clothes on our the face of all that, what's a little inconvenience? Nothing, that's what.

Also? I haven't almost burned the house down or ruined a meal this week - wooooooo! After last week, I was getting a little concerned.

 But tonight what I'm most thankful for is my husband. We went out to dinner a few weeks ago and I asked him based on some conversations we've had and some comments he's made if he thought I was depressed. His answer shocked me. "I don't think you're happy."

So what kind of a be-yotch have I been that he would say that? And yes, I already know the answer. No need to discuss that any further. I've been giving his response a lot of thought. Am I happy? Am I unhappy? What's the deal?

I don't think I'm unhappy overall. I do think I tend to say more negative things to R because I'm happy enough to be who I am with him and say what I really feel. But I also realize that no one wants to be around someone that's negative all the time (ahem - myself included) so I'm taking more time and care about what I say. I'm no less honest with R, but I am more mindful about how I react to things. Really and truly? Most of the stuff I bitch about doesn't even matter a couple hours later. So why am I getting all bent out of shape?

I think I need a new hobby. Something to keep me busy so I don't make a big deal out of the small, unimportant things. Like I tell S, "no point in wasting your freebie tantrum on something silly" Eating is obviously not a good idea for a habit, so I think I'll try push ups this week. Or maybe the crane yoga move from Yoga X.

So R, in case you read this entry (and you'd better, LOL)- thanks for being there for me, for loving and accepting me, and for being honest with me. I'm a lucky, lucky girl to have you as a husband.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'd much rather have gone to a sample sale.

Last Friday was busy. I made an appointment for S to see her pediatrician because she is still complaining pretty often about her stomach hurting. And for a variety of reasons, I think she might have a urinary tract infection. I also had to take the car for an estimate after talking to our insurance company and just a bunch of other things I just was not in the mood to deal with.

So yada, yada, yada - we go to the doctor's appointment at 2, which in military time is 1:45. Now, let's establish that the day before did not end well, I was feeling harried and grouchy today, and by the time the pediatrician actually came in to the exam room, I'd explained why I thought S needed to be seen by a doctor to about four different people - who obviously do not communicate amongst themselves whatsoever.

It's also a fair statement to say that S runs a bit towards the dramatic, so she flipped between loving the attention and being really helpful, to wanting the attention and saying whatever just to keep it. Not the best situation to be in when you are trying to convince your kids doctor that you really think there is a problem.

He mashed on her belly a bit and then pronounced her as fine as far as stomach concerns went. Fair enough. Then he said he wanted a urine sample (not completely unexpected) to determine if she has a UTI. And, we needed to sit and wait for the results. Did I mention our appointment was at 2 and that T gets home from school at 3? So, time wise, this was not the ideal scenario.

The one thing that I have pretty much across the board experienced from military doctors when dealing with the kids is this: either they act like I'm a hysterical parent for bringing them in (T's delays, sensory issues, behavioral problems, various head or face smashes come to mind), or they act like I'm a horrible parent for not bringing them in sooner.  This visit I got both of those experiences in a 15 minute time span. When the doctor told me we needed to wait for the results, I explained that I needed to make sure and be home when T got off the bus. He got snappy, I got bitchy. I'll spare you that recap.

Pissy from that little exchange, S and I headed to the lab. We got the cup and the antiseptic wipes and headed into the bathroom. I have to say that the lab staff? SO much nicer than the doctor's staff. S and I go into the bathroom and I explain what needs to happen. Which was basically said this way: 'Honey, I need to get a urine sample from you, so you are going to sit on the potty and I'm going to hold this cup and when you pee, it goes in the cup and the doctors outside will test it and make sure everything is okay.'

What does S say? "Okay, Mommy. But you go potty first."

I can do that. I don't pee in her cup for obvious reasons, but I do all the other steps.

We get her settled on the potty, I'm all impressed with how well this is going, and then I put the cup under her.


She starts to wail and scream like someone is slowing pulling the veins out of her body one by one. And the bathroom is a pretty decent size and all tiled, so it just echoes like crazy.

I try to calm her down.

She scoots to the back of the toilet seat and starts kicking at me and trying to smack the cup out of my hand while screeching and yelling and carrying on...dare I say a fool. Come on, kid! You aren't even  the one having to hold the cup and best case scenario about to get peed on. Sheesh.

I'm trying to use my calm, soothing voice, but when her foot connects purposefully with my face, I lose a great deal of motivation for trying to calm her down and start to speak to her more sternly. I tell her she has to do this, I'm sure she's freaked out that I'm holding a cup under her bottom and that I'm sure she's scared because she's never done this before, but it's not the end of the world and once she pees...we are done and outta there.

How does my darling daughter reply to me?


Yeah. Good times. My head started pounding and I just wanted to curl up on the corner and cry. Seriously S?!?!?!  At no time had I been even the least bit threatening towards her other than insisting she pee in the cup before we could leave. But hurt her? No way...although the thought did appeal to me for a second or two as I contemplated whether or not rolling toilet paper around her mouth would muffle the screaming.

At that point, I was just done. If S does have a UTI? Well then, she can just live with it for the rest of the day. If she's still complaining in 24 hours about it hurting when she goes to the bathroom (which has been an inconsistent complaint compared to her stomach complaints) then we'll take her to the ER and I'll totally let them put a catheter in if she won't cooperate.

For pete's sake S - help me help you. Yowza.

I tell her to get off the potty, we are leaving. She's still screaming and crying and refusing to cooperate in any fashion. So I lift her off the potty and pull up her pants, wash both our hands, and we try to head out.

I wouldn't exactly say we were swarmed, but several lab staffers were right there looking awfully concerned. I'm assuming they weren't the least bit concerned about me. ahem.  I explain - and somehow manage to do so calmly - that she is unable to provide a sample, I have to get home before my son gets off the bus at 3, and that we'll have to try this again on Tuesday.

They try to get us to stay. They offer a different urine collection device. That's great, really it is, but she's not going to go at this point and we have to leave to be home in time.

More jabber about needing to stay, which I hear as blah blah blah blah blah. 

I take her hand and start to walk out, apologizing to all the other patients in the area about the screaming.

Someone in a white coat tells me that I cannot leave until they get a sample.

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA. Oh yeah? Watch this pal.

And out we go.

Oh what a day!

Last week? It just wasn't my week. And as much as I love blogging, I needed to just...not. I didn't have much positive to say, so I chose not to say anything. Yet another Kindergarten rule that just keeps on givng back. Hey, everything I need to know I pretty much learned in Kindergarten. Isn't that a book? I should totally read it.

So my last post was Wednesday. Thursday morning, I tried P90X Yoga. I do believe the torturous Tony calls it Yoga X. Catchy, right? I call it Yoga ##^@&$*&%*%*$^$%***%$###&#@!!!!!

It really wasn't that bad. Either that or I've blocked it from my memory, like childbirth. Oh, wait, I had c-sections, so I guess I can't use childbirth as an example. Okay, I've blocked it from my memory like.....having stitches after I smacked myself in the face with a pole.

But seriously, I'll go into detail about Yoga on Wednesday. I'm just thrilled I didn't die or rip or strain anything.

A few weeks ago, I signed T up for a kids' bible study class that meets on Thursday afternoons. It's only for a month, but I really want the kids to be exposed to a variety of religions. R and I are pretty slack about actually getting to church on Sunday mornings, so I'm trying to figure out better ways to get us all involved. Anyway, I wasn't sure if T rode the bus home if I'd be able to get him to class on time, so I picked him up from school. Turns out, we would have had plenty of time. Since we had time to kill, we went to the library. The kids behaved beautifully there, and we all left with something.

From the library visit, we went to the bible study, where the organizers told me S could stay too. Wooty woot woot! That meant I'd have about an hour and a half to myself with nothing scheduled. I went home and read in total peace and quiet. It was utterly blissful. Thursday was also the night that T's school rescheduled Family Sports Night, and I really wanted to take the kids to that, so we headed out right after R and the kids got home.

I think I was way more excited than the kids were about it. The school was offering Zumba demonstrations oriented towards families, which I thought was a great idea. I got S to go with me for about 3 minutes and then she abandoned me for the gymnastics area. We finally peeled them away from the gynmastics area and headed into another area that had sections for all sorts of fun stuff - jump rope, bean bag and ring tosses, fuseball, wall climbing, rope climbing, and a fitness test area for pushups and situps.

What a great way to spend an evening, right? R and I couldn't get the kids interested in jump rope, but T did try the wall climbing and the rope climbing. All the stations were pretty busy, and we left before we got to see everything. The kids were bummed (I was too) but we needed to head home and get ready for bed.

Since we were already out, we ran by Walmart and got juice and a couple other things we were out of. We hadn't had dinner yet, so S and I dropped the boys off at the door of Walmart and ran to a fast food place to grab some dinner. I rarely go to this particular place because they always get my order wrong, but it was late and we were in a hurry, and I like their salads. Well, I like their salads when they aren't mostly rotten and covered in strange sauces.

We finally got most of the order straightened out and headed out to pick up R and T and then we went home. And that's when I got a good look at the front of my car and noticed that at some point that day, someone hit my car. Well that's just great. Thank you SO much to the person or persons that did this. I realize this isn't saying anything nice, but I hope karma slaps you upside the head a few times. And I hope it hurts.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Workout Wednesday

My morning workout partner has re-started P90X. She's doing the full workout - not just the weightlifting, so tomorrow I'm headed over to her house for P90X yoga. I'm a little intimidated. It's an hour and a half and full of planks, I'm told. Yay. Planks. woooo.

Monday we did the back and shoulders workout twice and followed it up with abs. 120 push ups, 80 pull ups, and too many ab reps to count.

In a word? Ooooouch. But in a good way.

On the cardio front, I've been paying more attention to the way I run - well run is a bit of a stretch, actually. Let's say trog. Part trot, part jog. And I have to give credit where credit is due - when I use better form and use my legs to push myself forward versus trying to stretch my legs out for a larger stride but end up having to pull myself forward, trogging gets a whole lot easier. And my knees and ankles don't hurt. I'd still rather run with the kids at basketball practice (this week none of them beat me...haha!) because it's more fun than plodding along on a track or treadmill, so with the improvements in weather, maybe it's time to take the trog outside.

Can't wait to let you know how the yoga went ::eye roll::

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

Today, I'm thankful for sunshine and temperatures over 40 degrees.

I didn't realize how very much I missed the sun and the warmth it brings until it reappeared after a couple weeks of being MIA.

Welcome back, bright orange/red/yellow star that lifts my mood and improves my outlook. Thank you for returning without being so hot that you melt my hair. It's mucho appreciated.

Thank you for the opportunity to go outside with the kids without the threat of windburn and frostbite. I mean, the snow was pretty and all, but I think I'm good for the rest of the year on snow, slush, ice, and shoveling.


Valentine's Day summed up...

Yesterday was not my best day. In general, it was a day filled with issues and unfinished things. I started about four blog entries but didn't finish a single one, had to talk to T again about keeping his hands to himself because he got in trouble at school for putting his hands on another student, almost burned our house down, pretty much ruined any food I touched yesterday, and noticed that even though I dusted - again - that everything in our house looks like I haven't touched a duster in weeks. I'm losing faith in Swiffer, frankly.

And in case you think I'm being melodramatic (who, me?!?!), this is the email R just sent me from work:

How's your day going so far? Hope you have had a better day. I've been

worried about you and hope things are better or let me know if I can help.
Is there anything I can do to bring home for you if you don't feel the need
to go to the commissary?

Here's my reply which mostly explains my day yesterday and my attitude about it. My poor husband, man. ::shaking my head:: Sometimes I don't know why he puts up with me.

Aww, I'm sorry you've been worried. Let me explain my reaction last night.

Yesterday morning, I got up right after you left to make the chocolate cake. To make it, I had to boil water, oil, and cocoa powder. I turned the heat way down after it boiled because I didn't want to burn it, then I finished making the batter, poured it into cupcake pans and baked it. Pulled the pans out of the oven, put the big cupcake pan on trivets on the counter, put the mini cupcake pans on top of the stove burners. Got the kids in the car, dropped off T at school. On the way, I realized that nagging feeling I was having that something was really wrong was likely because I hadn't turned off the burner from where I boiled the mixture for the cake, and now there was a pan of mini cupcakes on top of it. I drop off T, haul ass back home - where the middle section of the mini cupcake pan still on the lit burner was starting to smoke because the burner was what? Yes, that's right, STILL ON. It's not like me to be that careless. But short of having to throw away the mini cupcake pan and the few really burned cupcakes, all was well.

Rough afternoon with T once he got home from school over the spanking thing. He informs me I've ruined Valentine's Day. I kind of agree, actually. This was not our best V-Day.

Then onto dinner. I burn the beans, one potato gets overdone, one is underdone. What's THAT about? THen I cut into it and realize half of it is rotten. Oh yay, more wasted food. We finish dinner and I make the chicken soup - let me mention from having the beans in the sautee pan that I left the burner on - again. Really?? Again?!?!? Then I sit RIGHT THERE and fail to notice that the chicken soup is burning. Really, what else was there to do besides go to bed, start fresh this morning, and vow not to cook on the stove today?!?!

Maybe next year Valentine's Day will go more according to plan.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm back. Didya miss me?

T was sick on Monday. I was so hoping it was allergies. It apparently was not because, yep. I'm sick AGAIN.  I feel much better today, but a lot of that has to do with my personal hero of a husband who took today off from I could sleep all day if I needed to. There are no words to express my gratitude and love for this man.

Today was mostly normal, except R was home and I took a long nap mid day. This weekend is crazy busy between basketball and babysitting a friend's kids Saturday and trying to get everything done this weekend that I didn't get done this week. Sigh....

Seriously, Southwest Illinois and my inability to fight off your yucky super germs? To quote one of S's new favorite lines, "You are not my friend!"

I'm sure Southwest Illinois is just as impressed with that line as I am. 

So yeah, not at all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

Last week, I had a conference with T's teacher and speech pathologist.

T has an IEP, which stands for Individual Education Plan. This also categorizes him as an "exceptional family member" as far as the military is concerned. This just means we had to jump through some extra hoops when we PCS'd (read: moved) back to the US.

As a baby, T was early or on schedule for most things. It wasn't until he should have started talking that it became obvious there was some sort of issue. I took him twice for screenings because I was concerned about certain aspects of his development. Both times my concerns were waved away. I get that kids develop at different rates. But deep down, I knew something wasn't quite right. I didn't know why and I didn't know what, though.

After S was born, I enrolled T in a home daycare preschool three mornings a week. Ms. Joyce was amazing and it was after talking with her about T and his development I took him back for yet another screening. With Ms. Joyce's help, they took me seriously this time. At this point, T was three but wasn't potty trained and was mostly unintelligible to anyone who wasn't around him very often. And while his gross motor skills were above average, he was behind with fine motor skills.

It was a long process. It was a stressful process. But we finally got him into speech therapy and into a Dept of Defense preschool program while we were in Germany. Their focus was on improving his speech. But his prek teacher and I talked often about the fact there were other issues too. She was the first one to mention sensory issues to me.

To get a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder for T? Oy! It was an uphill battle. But I tell you what - when I read about SPD and went through the checklist, I broke down in tears of relief. All the behaviors I could not understand or seem to correct with T were smack dab on that SPD list.  Finally! FINALLY! I could come up with a plan to help him, whether or not the stupid school district agreed or participated.

It hasn't been easy. I've been, at times, extremely defensive about T and his behaviors. Those of you reading this that are parents understand when I say that I would gladly take someone out who hurt my kid. I know that I will not always be able to protect him from being hurt, but that doesn't mean I won't try. I say this in all do NOT want to mess with my kids. I do not forget.


Anyway. Conference last Thursday with T's kindergarten teacher and speech therapist. This school year, T has also been seeing the school therapist to deal with some of his behavioral issues. I wasn't sure when I got to school if I was attending an IEP review or something else, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that T has met all of his IEP goals - both speech and behavioral - and from now on, will simply be just another kid in his class.No more special status with the military. No more being singled out for this or that. Thank goodness!  I'm so proud of how hard he's worked! This time last year, we expected it to take a couple more years to complete the goals for his IEP.

And, T was student of the month last month. My heart runneth over with pride and gratitude. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

With a wink and a smile

T woke up this morning with a fever. R felt awful all weekend. 

Sigh. Anyone want to take bets on who gets sick next?

I got T an appointment with his pediatrician today, where we found out that it's not strep or an ear infection, which is good news. T was feeling well enough to run by the BX barber shop and get his hair cut after we left the doctor's office.

S and I had to step out of the barber shop for a minute while he was in the chair, and in that short of a time span, I hardly recognized my grown up little man when we walked back in. It's crazy the difference a haircut can make.

S, who is never shy about speaking her mind, pipes up immediately with, "OH MY GOSH T!!!! (giggle, giggle) You look so good! You look like Daddy!"  And T flashes a smile at her and winks at me. 

HAHAAAAAHAAA!!! That little charmer!

When the lady finishes cutting his hair, T hops out of the chair and we go to pay. She asks him if he likes it, and he looks up at her, grins, gives her the head jerk/nod, and winks at her. It was adorable! Not that I'm biased or anything (ahem). It was cute enough that she laughed out loud. As we were leaving, he turns around and tells her, "You're the prettiest lady that's ever cut my hair."

I am NOT looking forward to his dating years.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


For three years (almost four) I've been referring to S as our resident diva. And, trust me, the name fits. She's been diva-licious since birth.


Lately she's taken to arting her self up. I'm not sure if she does it when she runs out of paper or finishes off a coloring book mainly because she has always done it when I wasn't right there watching her. And in all honesty, I do give her ample opportunities to decorate since the laundry stubbornly refuses to wash, dry, and fold itself. Annoying.

In a stunning new development, yesterday in the car I caught her and T 'tattooing' each other with an ink pen. What the foxtrot? (a little military phonetic humor) T sports a nice little "T <3 A" etching and apparently, "S <3 T" since that was what was on her hand.


This morning she got quiet and when we called for her, she rushed into the bathroom. When she came out, she had green marker remnants all up and down her left arm.  By 5 pm, she had repeated the process with the black marker and managed to also get her right arm mostly done, fingernails included. Some of it washed off, but some of it didn't.

But you know? For three year old arm doodling, it's actually kind of cool - not that I'm encouraging this in any way. She really does seem to have a talent for all things of an artistic or creative nature. I have to admit, I love to do crafty things so I'm excited that she is showing interest in this area. I just have to make sure and hide all the sharpies and permanent markers. So now my resident diva/artiste has been renamed a divatiste. Make a note people. ::Snort!::

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chit chat

I so did not want to get up today. For whatever reason, I woke up around 3 am and couldn't get back to sleep until around 5. R left slightly before six, which woke up S, who came and camped out with accessories in our bed. When the alarm went off at 6:15, I turned it off but didn't get out of bed.

Instead, I snuggled with S and listened to her chatter on and on and on. She rarely gets a chance to do this - we are always going somewhere or it starts a bickering match or it turns into a whine fest and I just tune out. (Shame on me!) It's unfair because T was so slow to talk and then to be understood that I tend to pay closer attention when he's talking. That, plus he doesn't talk nearly as much as she does. But this morning, I just listened and the funniest thing happened. When S realized I was really listening, she stopped chattering and started talking. 

What's the difference? Good question! Here is S chattering: Mommy! Last night I went to bed and then I woke up and there was light in the room and I knew it was morningtime and I wanted to get up but I thought you were still sleeping and you don't wake up mommy when she's sleeping so I stayed in bed and then I heard Daddy leave for work and I came to your room and you were asleep but Dad wasn't here so I brought a DVD and my puppy and my bardie (barbie) and my blanket and this bracelet. Then the ding ding (alarm) went off and now you are right here and you are awake! Today is a school day and I love school. I love my teacher and my ballet teacher and last night I went to ballet and I was dancing. Daddy didn't get to stay and when we came home, Allyson and Ryner were gone and I had fun yesterday and it was cold outside and T thew ice and it hit Ally in the face and she cried but you didn't give her a band aid because you can't put a band aid on a lip and it wasn't really bleeding and then we had dinner and Ally played with me and I love Ms. Tascha and I want to do ballet forever. Mommy you aren't wearing your glasses. Do you have in your contacts? You have brown eyes and T has brown eyes and Daddy has blue eyes and I thought my eyes were blue but Uncle George said they were green and I don't know if they are blue or green, so I say my eyes are blue when they feel blue and green when they feel green and today they feel blue.

Here is S talking: Mommy, I'm hungry. Can we go downstairs and eat breakfast now? Should we wake up T so he can eat breakfast too? Mommy, are you working at my school today? I love school. I wish I could go to school all day with T and ride the bus.

Oddly enough, there's not much of a time difference in S speaking that amount of chatter or that amount of regular conversation. But the difference in her attitude? Vast.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Workout Wednesday

A couple weeks ago, a blog reader (thank you Rock, Paper, Scissors!) recommended a book to me. The book was Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Obviously, it's a book about running. But it isn't a 'buy this shoe, pump your arms this way, run at this speed' type of book. The book covers the art of ultra marathons, ultra marathon runners, and how the evolution of society and it's approach to running and running gear has affected all of us. Any more detail and I may as well read the book to you. :)

I couldn't put it down, because Christopher McDougall ended up writing the book based on what seems like a really simple question - 'why does my foot hurt?'. Exactly! My question is this: why is it so difficult for me to run?

I don't think running an ultra marathon is the answer for me - heck, I'd drop dead at a mile, I'm pretty sure. But reading about stride and the way a human foot is designed to fall when running has made me much more aware of how I run (which is very, very badly).

Last week, I was waiting for S to get out of ballet class and a high school team was running on the indoor Y track. Since I was sitting on the floor against the wall wasting time, I ended up watching the way the kids were running. The fastest runner had a distinct stride: body straight up and down (head, shoulders, back, and hips in alignment), arms pumping, with legs that kicked back (to propel him forward) instead of stretching out in front (to pull him forward). This runner was a tall, thin teenager and running for him looked not only effortless, it looked like fun. A lot of fun.


There was a wide variety of other runners, other strides, other whatevers, but the fast ones ran like McDougall describes as 'natural' in the book. Which is the same way the top runner in the group last week ran

Me? I run like a lumbering oaf trying to drag a wagon full of rocks through a swamp. Slow. Inefficient. Laboring. Could changing the way I run improve my running?

Let's find out. Come back next Wednesday and see if I've made any progress. But if I ever even vaguely insinuate that I'd like to run an ultra marathon, someone please find me and smack some sense into me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

We are smack dab in the middle of some nasty weather. To the north/northwest of us is a nasty strip of snow and ice predicted to fall at a mad rate. To the south/southeast of us is a huge band of deep snow. Both bands of weather are moving eastward. So far, it just looks like we are going to get ice, but it doesn't look like as much as we were expected to get, so I'm feeling awfully lucky. And I'm very thankful. This could be SO much worse.

School was cancelled today and the base closed down for everyone but mission essential people, which thankfully, R was not. He did, however, get called because the American flag outside his office was in danger of falling off the pole. I asked if we could go with him to fix it because I wanted to see what the roads were like, but I didn't want to drive on them myself. And besides, I figured our extra weight would help stabilize his car. While the roads were slick and slippery, they were passable. I'm still glad I wasn't driving, and I was glad to see that another guy turned up at the office to help rescue the ice laden flag. I was also thankful to get back home safe and sound.

There was something about everyone being home unexpectedly today that just warmed my heart. We played games, laughed a lot, and goofed around. It was an amazing, cozy, laid back day. And for days like that? I'm am always, always grateful.  Not having to shovel the driveway didn't hurt either. heh.