Monday, December 29, 2008

Not Me Monday

Not Me! Monday is a blog “carnival” started by and McMamma uses this as a chance to deny things that happened over the week.  Go over to her blog (or click on the link on the left) and see the entire rules and hundreds of other people who play along…  [update: She is not doing the Not Me! Monday this week because her baby is pretty sick.  Please lift a prayer for baby Stellan.  You can the details at her blog...]

But my game shall go on...  A whole week off of work and spent with 2 children that I love dearly…  Go grab a cup of Chai tea and settle in for awhile.  This is a long list…

I did {not} almost pee my pants when Mark told me about a recent trip to the playground.  The boys were playing with this other boy and Mark asked Ryan if he wanted to go down the big slide.  Ryan answered, “No.” in his usual way.  This other boy said, “I’m surprised he said ‘No’ to you.  I wouldn’t say ‘No’ to you, you’re scary looking!”  And Mark, a.k.a, Scar Head thought he left that reputation behind when he left his job in Corrections. 

I did {not} find my children’s main Christmas gift at Goodwill for $2.  I did {not} buy a similar toy at Toys R Us for $49.  Mark and I did {not} decide which one to give them until we opened the box of the new one.  We did {not} see 10,000 pieces and decide that the Goodwill toy is the one they get.  I did {not} have to search everywhere for the receipt of the expensive one.  I am {not} excited about the fact that I totally cheaped out on two gift giving occasions in a row – Ryan’s birthday and Christmas.

I did {not} drag a feverish child to 4 stores in search of Mark’s Christmas present - the day before Christmas.  I was {not} thankful that Ryan was sick because he was so mellow.  Shopping with a mellow 4 year old is {not} my idea of the way to shop.  Zach does {not} feed off Ryan and if Ryan is well behaved so is Zach.

I did {not} have to take Ryan for stitches on Monday.  Ryan did {not} get a big gash under his eye and a purple shiner.  I was {not} a freak at the hospital because I was upset that Ryan needs stitches.  I was {not} more upset about sending Ryan back to school with an injury than the fact that he was hurt.  I was {not} mildly concerned that Ryan wanted to be held the entire time; I am {not} used to him running around like a maniac in the ER.  I was {not} excited that we were in and out of there in record time – like an hour and a half.  I did {not} have as my only goal for this break to send Ryan back to school injury free.  If I had been able to do that then I guess pigs could fly…  I was {not} frustrated when he scraped the other eye at Mayakka River State Park.  I was {not} relieved that he spent an entire day playing – sometimes near sharp corners, hot grills, and other hazards - and only scraped his eye.

As a result of the stitches, I did {not} have to take Ryan to Zach’s autism appointment.  I am {not} frustrated that medical professionals don’t seem to see the signs of autism in Zach.  I am {not} frustrated that it is only parents or teachers of autistic children that see it.  Ryan was {not} a horrible little urchin at this appointment.  He did {not} rip a certificate off the wall of the doctor’s office.  He did {not} grind pretzels into his carpet.  I was {not} completely horrified.  And thankfully, the doctor was {not} a saint and completely patient.  We did {not} later send Ryan to the waiting room to play.  He was {not} perfectly behaved until Dr. Kadison was around.  I think Ryan was {not} showing off for him!  I’m serious, every time Dr. Kadison was around, Ryan was a stinker.  Dr. Kadison would go away, Ryan would settle down…

I am {not} in a total clean out mode, again. I did {not} get rid of any Christmas ornament that I’m not emotionally attached to.  I do not get emotionally attached to objects, so I did not only get rid of 7 ornaments.  (We do {not} throw our old tree in the wooded lot next to our house.  We do {not} justify it by saying we are creating a habitat for squirrels and birds.)  I did {not} make Mark spend a good chunk of Saturday afternoon putting up a cabinet in our laundry room.  He did {not} use his drill as a stud finder.  We do {not} have about 30 little holes all over the wall.  They are {not} in plain view.  We do {not} have to go back and repaint and patch that wall.  A free cabinet has {not} turned into a painting project.  When we put the cabinet up, we did {not} accidentally remove the washing machine hose from the drain.  When I did laundry on Sunday, water was {not} spilling out of the washing machine.  It was {not} at least 3 minutes before we realized this.  I did {not} have a wading pool in my laundry room.  I did {not} have to move my appliances to clean.  I did {not} find gobs of dog food under both appliances that have now expanded into dog mush.  I was {not} thoroughly grossed out.  Moving the dryer did {not} prompt Mark to clean the lint out of the dryer vent.  This did {not} further cause him to go get a new attachment that has {not} made our dryer more efficient.  We did {not} make at least 4 trips to a home improvement store in the last two days!  When we bought the paint for the laundry room, I did {not} find out that the stuff we are using for our closet re-do is on sale!!  Mark is {not} dreading the size of his honey-do list.  Speaking of {not} redoing our closet…  I am {not} excited about little bins, drawers and baskets.  I am {not} thankful that I have most of that stuff anyway, it’s just a matter of getting rid of junk!  I could have a garage sale, but the last one only lasted 2 hours…

I am {not} frustrated that Mark has lost our only garage door opener.  We do {not} have to spend $70 for new ones because our garage door is {not} some fancy-shmancy type…  I do {not} think we even need a garage door opener – have you seen our garage??  I do {not} want a basement to store all this stuff.  Hmmm… junk?  Garage sale?  Good idea…  Oh wait – too much work for 2 hours!  Anyone having a garage sale out there?

I did {not} have 3 hours Saturday of uninterrupted think time as I ran 14 miles without my iPod or running partner.  I did {not} have a chance to really think about what I could do to be a better wife and mom.  I am {not} excited about some of the ideas God put on my heart.  I did {not} choose to play Dominoes with Zach over cleaning my house.  I do {not} think that is the best use of my time anyway…  I am {not} making my “Not To Do list for 2009”.  (Please note that this list is breaking from the style of Not Me Mondays.  These are things I really won’t do in 2009).  I will {not} post it on my blog when I’m finished.

So how about you, what did you {not} do this week?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

My prayer is that you and your family are having a very blessed Christmas.  I also pray that you are able to find the best gift under all the wrapping and bows.  The gift of Baby Jesus and all the peace He brings.

On a more secular note...  I thought I would share some pictures from our morning.  I was slightly worried that my holiday-homesickness would be tenfold today.  But as of 1:31pm, I'm still smiling.  We have been blessed with tons of toys from the grandparents and aunts and uncles.  The boys got a few things from us.  Perhaps my favorite is the Shake-n-Race set.  Let me tell you the story...  I bought it at Toys-R-Us on Monday.  Later in the day, I was Goodwill's Bargin Barn (gee surprise?) and I found the earlier ve
rsion with 4 cars for $2!!  Last night we were deciding which one to keep.  The expensive one had a few features we thought were pretty cool -mainly a big jump and a tunnel.  We figured we would give the boys the cool one and I would sell the other one on Ebay (gee, Surprise??).  But after opening the box, we saw 10,000 pieces and decided that we would keep the simple one.  Fortunately, I found the receipt.  So managed to spend a grand total of about $90 on the boy's gifts.  Thank you Goodwill!!  I love being cheap...  Needless to say, the boys LOVE their $2 toy...  I think the pictures will speak for themselves about how much they have enjoyed their gifts.  It took us only 4 hours to open everything.  I'm bles
sed with the kids that appreciate the little things and want to play with something as soon as they open it.  That works for me...

These are a few highlights of our Christmas.  They pictures are in reverse chronological order and I'm too lazy to fix that.  I figure at some point, Mark will "bust me" for spending too much time on the computer...
The shiner doesn't look too bad in this picture...  Tryst me though, it's about a hundred times worse in real life.  I told some lady in the story the other day that she should see the 4 year he was fighting with...  At first she thought I was serious, so I had to add something about a bar fight over the honor of Ryan's girlfriend...

I don't think you can read what Ryan's pajamas say... "I Do My Own Stunts".  Too bad Ryan can't wear that on his first day back to school.

Zach plays basketball for Special Olympics.  We also received a hand-me down toy net and hoops.  So when he opened this from Aunt Carla and Uncle Doug (who I inadvertantly may have referred to them as "freaks" in my Christmas letter.  They are NOT freaks - I meant the other people in Key West.) he wanted to play immediately - even though it wasn't bath time.

The boys (including Mark) got Nerf toys for Christmas.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to shoot them, so I was helping Zach.  I should have bought extra darts, a few them are already lost!

Ryan had a blast with the tunnel that Meg got them.  I mentioned this in a run awhile ago, and she remembered!  

Nice shiner, huh?  Ryan wasn't all that into opening presents.  It might be his fever or cold that made him less "fun".  You can slightly see the gap fromhis missing tooth.  I told you - lovely pictures, huh??

Mark got juggling balls in his stocking.  Zach got bouncing balls and wanted to try juggling too.

See, they had fun with their $2 toy.  If I take pictures of Ryan from this angle, you can't see the eye or tooth.

When Zach saw what Santa brought, he was initially upset because he didn't get his Cars movie.  That's really all he wanted.  He opened the movie a bit later.  I don't know if you can see his pout.  

Cindy, Missy and me after church on Christmas Eve.  We are headed to Missy's Dad's house for a get away in February.  It ought to be fun!!

I love the candles when we sing Silent Night.  Zach had one too, but he just wanted to blow it out.  I thought he was going to set someone on fire...  When he couldn't blow mine out, he was going to lick it - fortunately, I saw it coming and moved it out of the way!

Mark is wearing Ryan's costume for the Paper Bag Pagent that was part of the service.  The kids each got a bag with a costume in it.  When their part was called, they open their bag and head to the stage.  

Here are the kids gathering around the stage.  Can you see Ryan's swollen, purple eye?  I thought the purple/red was a festive touch that showed up on the 24th.  Please pray that it goes away before he goes back to school!!

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The best Christmas pictures/When does it get better?

Ok, so just imagine our lovely Christmas pictures when our boys look like this:
Ryan the Hockey player... Goober hat, missing tooth and stitches on cheek.
Zach has the scrape on his lip from wiping out in PE.

This evening, I was trying to do too many things and the boys were playing on the Lanai. I told the boys to settle down because someone was going to get hurt. I should have brought them in the house and gotten them playing something quite. But no, I continued with my laundry...

Not five minutes later I hear a weak cry coming from Ryan. At first I thought it was the normal complaint, but when I went to check, I saw Ryan on the ground with a chair over his face and Zach sitting on the chair. Upon closer inspection, I see blood pouring from Ryan's face! I have no idea how it happened, but Ryan got a cut on his cheek. A big cut. Mark's out of town, of course... So I scoop everyone up, strap them in the car, make several trips into the house to get shoes, leg braces, jackets, ice pack, wet wash cloth, jackets, purse, sanity, and cell phone. As I'm driving to the hospital, I get a hold of Missy and ask her to watch Zach...

The hospital "visit" was pretty quick. I think we were in and out of there in less than 2 hours! Needless to say, I was a wreck. It wasn't because my child was hurt. It was because I only wanted to send Ryan back to school in one piece with no major injuries. I can't deal with the "fear" and frustration of Venice Elementary School and boo-boos.
I'm not looking for sympathy, maybe just understanding. For giggles, let's recap my last 7 years of motherhood:
3 CT Scans of little boy brains (2 Zach, 1 Ryan)
3 EEG's to look for seizures (2 Zach, 1 Ryan)
3 Ambulance Trips (2 Zach, 1 Ryan)
1 two-night stay in a rural Jamaican Hospital (Ryan)
6 Sets of stitches (3 Zach, 3 Ryan)
1 Upper endoscopy to remove quarters from Zach's stomach
1 Round of serious dehydration resulting in a hospital stay - during the stay, one IV that was infiltrated causing Zach's arm to expand
16 X-rays of every bone in Ryan's body
10 total years of Physical therapy, hippotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy (7 for Zach, 3 for Ryan) We had therapy 3 days a week for 6 years!!
Countless seizures where Ryan would just fall over backwards with no warning.
A collection of medical specialists - including a neurologist whose secretary recognizes my voice!
When it all comes down to it, I don't find my children's situation funny. But I use humor as my coping mechanism. Either laugh or cry - and believe me I do my share of both - tonight there's definitely much more crying - but tomorrow, there will be laughter again.
So, I just wonder... when does it get better? I know God did not promise an easy life. He promises to always be there for us. He promises to make things work out according to His plan which is infinitely better than what we could dream up. He promises that we will feel better when we praise Him. And He promises us eternal life.
I get really excited thinking about eternal life. I mean - FOREVER in heaven. I imagine my boys having perfect bodies. I imagine my boys being able to talk to me - and the conversation revolves around more than wanting to see the Cars movie. I imagine Ryan staying upright and not having seizures. I'm not wishing my time away, I'm just living in the hope of eternal life and the love of the father. I couldn't imagine walking this road without Him!!

Not Me Monday part 2

This is like a P.S. For all the rules and disclaimer information, see the "real" not me Monday post...

So I did {not} finally do my Christmas Shopping today. I did {not} buy this really cute race track thing for the boys and then I did {not} go to Goodwill and find the SAME THING for $2. Yep! I didn't find anything to sell on Ebay, but I just saved $43!! Unfortunately, no bargains to sell...

I did {not} get my Uncle's Christmas letter in the mail. I was {not} happy to see that I made his letter for visiting in June. I was {not} later TRUMPED big time by my brother. I only got a half sentence... He got a whole paragraph. I am {not} still competing with my brother over numbers. I am 35 years old. I am {not} a mature mother. I do {not} compete with my brother. Doug spent this past fall at the FBI academy and visited with my Aunt and Uncle. But he fixed their house and did all sorts of projects. So... I did {not} call Doug and razz him. Since Doug is a nicer person than me, he did {not} shrug off his efforts. Doug still thinks I won since I went for a birthday... At least I am no longer counting the number of presents we each get...

p.s.s I did {not} just leave my children to their own devices for 5 minutes to blog. I did {not} find them both in the shower. Fully clothed. The thing is... they each only have one pair of shoes. And Ryan has special braces so he can't even wear his old shoes anymore... When will I learn??

Not Me Monday!

Guess what day it is?? It's Monday. Guess what that means? Yep, time for Not Me! Monday. This is a blogging game/carnival that was started by McMamma on her blog, My Charming Kids. Basically, this is a chance to deny things that happened over the week. I, of course, can not remember a whole week, so here are the things that pop into my head...

I am {not} proud of the fact that my uncle called me to compliment my Christmas letter. You see, for the longest time he has written the funniest letters. I know this does {not} sound cheesy, but his letters were my inspiration. I have {not} made it! Perhaps he will like my blogs…

I am {not} “jonesing” to go back to Goodwill and find my fortune. I have {not} just sold the last of my stuff hanging around here and now the hard work starts. I was {not} getting used to selling things that did {not} go for $50 and higher. I did {not} sell my old breast pump for $42. I did {not} accidentally sell some woman a pair of shoes in “excellent but used condition” only to have them fall apart the first time she tried them on. I do{not} make mistakes!!

I did {not} willingly put off my Christmas shopping until the 3 days before Christmas. I would {not} normally still be buying stuff. I do {not} think that I will spend less by simply waiting to shop. I am {not} sending my kids to their old day care so I can shop in peace! I am {not} doubly thankful I have the chance to spend a day without them because Mark is out of town. I did {not} harass Mark to do my shopping yesterday. I am {not} hanging it over his head that he forgot my birthday three years ago. I am {not} so childish that I want to have presents under the tree. I did {not} tell him that he doesn’t have to buy them – he could just wrap stuff up from around the house. Seriously – that would be fine!

I do {not} have high-hopes for Zach’s doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. I am {not} asking that you pray that Dr. Kadisan can figure out the nut that is Zach! I do {not} want at least one “box” that my children can fit in – I do {not} want it to be autism so we have more services.

I do {not} get frustrated when my four year old gets out of bed 6 times every nap time and bed time! I do {not} want to find some kind of over the bed tent that I could lock him in! I do {not} need those naps more than he does. I did {not} feed Zach only tortilla chips last night at dinner – I do {not} consider tortillas and salsa (with tomatoes!) to be a well balanced meal.

I did {not} have the slowest run this morning. Ugh. I even increased my intervals to 4-1. And since I did {not} eat my way through last week – I do {not} need to burn as many calories as possible!

Friday, December 19, 2008

What's Up?

On any given day at any given hour, if you ask me that, here’s what you are likely to hear:

3:00 am – “Ryan! Go back to sleep. It’s the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!” or “Ryan! What are you doing?? Go back to bed. GET OUT OF YOUR BROTHER’S ROOM.” Yep, sometimes, he’s up and he’s partying! I don’t know if the little trolley that comes around and picks up/drops off preschool party animals just returned and if Ryan gets caught as he sneaks back in the house or what. I think it's time to teach the kid how to read a clock!!

4:00 am – I’m up! I’m ready to run or lift weights. Ok – so maybe not that cheerfully, but seriously, this is the ONLY time that I have to work out. Thank you Mark for taking care of the boys in the morning.

6:30 am – “Zach, pull your pants down then go pee-pee in the potty.” (And they wonder if he can follow multi-step directions!) Sometimes, that request precedes cleaning carpets and stripping beds…

6:45 am – Mark sings the breakfast song. Ryan is usually tugging on his pants anxiously awaiting his bowl of generic Captain Crunch. Zach is busy getting spoons. You can’t forget doling out the medicine and vitamins. The reminder vitamin comes from a seven year old, “I wan ba-ba, I wan ba-ba!” That translates to, “I want my Sponge Bob Vitamin!”

7:35 am – the boys are outside anxiously awaiting the bus. This is a GREAT time of day!! When you ask us what’s up – Mark is smiling. Even though I’m already at work, I’m smiling too – and wouldn’t you be if you finished a work out and are spending your day with 800 middle schoolers?

3:50 pm – What’s up is usually answered with something about Ryan scaling the walls. Yesterday, I turned my back and he was standing on the computer desk trying to figure out how to get even higher. If Ryan is not climbing, he is off on adventures that include hiding keys, rearranging cupboards, or annoying Zach. Zach is usually taking his shoes off and is either trying to play games on the computer or begging me to put a Dora the Explorer show on. I’m usually trying to check backpacks, get snacks, clean up the house and make my “fortune” on Ebay. Before I figure out what the afternoon is going to look like, I need to see what kind of day the boys have had. I can tell immediately if Zach had a “grumpy” face on his report – he hides his backpack!!

If I am suffering from insanity, we usually go to the store and run an errand or two. The majority of the trip goes well, but by the end, I’m ready to run away. The boys are climbing under the check out lanes and rolling on the floor. Why is it that only my kids are crazy? Ok, don’t answer that.

4:25 pm – Mark is home! Aaahhhh… sweet relief. We can go to zone defense – one deals with the boys and the other deals with the house. Mark is much better with the boys and I’m much better with the house. This is when we have to reassemble the beds, make dinner, and triage situations in what I consider to be a crazy life – although you might not think so…

5:30 pm – A yummy dinner is on the table and Zach is begging for “Ah-ah’s” That’s right. I can make a gourmet dinner and my kid wants a hot dog.

The next few hours, the question, “What’s up” can be answered with - “Oh nothing. The kids are just…” racing/crashing cars on the tile, re-enacting the latest WWE moves, dumping matchbox cars on the floor, hiding car keys, opening and closing doors, kicking all the bathwater out of the tub, whining because they are thirsty, playing with the radio in my room, being sent to time-out, being sent to their room because they are whining, or piling on the couch reading books. Yes, that last one is cute –but then the cuddling turns into elbows flying, bickering over books, and one little 4 year old taking much delight in climbing up and down out of your lap. But because he has to wear his shoes and braces, he doesn’t just gently climb into your lap. Oh-no, he has to use your shin as leverage as he his foot slips down your leg!

Hopefully, the question is not answered with, “Well, we are putting ice on Ryan because…”

Around 7:30 – 8:15, “What’s up” is usually answered with a parent or two sighing and saying… “Ryan’s up. It’s your turn to put him back in bed.”

8:30 – the only one up is Mark and you can ask him “What’s up” and you might not get a response because he is totally tuned into the “History of Cheese” or other such stupid stuff.

What’s up at your house? Is my day much different than yours?? And I know it sounds like I'm just "surviving" parenthood. I am actually enjoying the little moments because I know that little kids equal little problems. I'm just praying that God is giving me the problems early because I don't think I will survive big people/big problems!! Here's hoping all the developmental delays, doctor's appointments, dreaming of new dreams, and disappointment in the lack of "normal" is front-loaded and the teen years will be a walk in the park. Yea, I'm dreaming, but hey God's done bigger miracles. I guess I would settle for just one of our faucets turning water into wine!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Guess what day it is?? Monday... Do you know what that means? It's true confessions time... This blog game was started by MckMamma at When you are done with my blog, hop on over there and see her blog as well as hundreds of other not me's!

Most of my confessions center around the cookie party I had for some friends at church. I would {not} host a cookie exchange just so I could get a variety of cookies to give to teachers. I am {not} that cheap! I also do {not} remember hating getting cookies from kids - but I think it's better than cheesy decorations from the Dollar Tree that I have gotten. I was {not} a wee bit disappointed that only 8 people came. I did {not} procrastinate on the invitations and only give people a one week notice. But I did {not} have a great time with the friends that came!

I did {not} seriously think it would be an "easy" day if Missy and her kids came over on Saturday to bake with us. Our kids were {not} self-entertaining. Ryan was {not} pushing Gavin for no reason. And sorry, Missy, Gavin is {not} a tattle-tale. I am {not} secretly thankful that my kids can't talk because that means they can't tattle! Missy's cookies were {not} high-maintenance. She did {not} take 5 hours to make 6 dozen cookies. I did {not} enjoy hanging out with her and I did {not} drag secrets out of her! She did {not} have her husband call me and tell me to get the wine out because she did {not} have a bad experience at the grocery store.

Mark did not get a gigantic hammer out to break up peppermints for Missy's {not} high-maintenance cookies. He did {not} end up putting mints in the blender. The boys did {not} thinkt hat was the coolest thing ever.

Onto a new topic... I did {not} wake-up on Sunday with another sore throat. I am{not} sick again. I am {not} upset with Ryan for giving me this stupid cold. I did {not} walk instead of run this morning. I am {not} going to let the lack of running get me down. I am {not} needing to run an extra 10 miles because of the cookies I did {not} eat! I am {not} proud of the 12 miles I did on Saturday. I am {not} seriously having trouble finding a 13 mile loop that does not go the same place twice. I do {not} hate running laps - I would {not} rather do a loop.

So what haven't you done this week?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The thing about forgiveness...

Well, Ryan officially looks like a hockey player. The blue goober hat alone looks like he plays a mean game of hockey - but add the scar above the eyebrow and now a missing front tooth and you have the whole look. Yep, his top front tooth fell out. I'm not surprised, but I'm still disappointed! I hate that he's only four and won't get the permanent tooth for two more years. The tooth was damaged in October and so it actually lasted 6 weeks...

But the missing tooth set off a cascade of emotions and it gets all jumbled and leads to my point. You pretty much have to be privy to our horrible situation this fall to fully appreciate what I'm getting to - but you probably can piece the situation together just from reading this...

Yesterday, the nurse from VES called and said that the speech teacher reports that Ryan's bump is pretty big. I don't recall him falling - but then again, it's pretty much permanent. So I did a mini-freak out (about a 4 on the scale of 1 to 10) and asked a bunch of questions. Mary was pretty much like, stop worrying this is just FYI. So I sent the speech therapist an email and said, "You know, you can call me or send me an email." I think it's pretty obnoxious that she doesn't have the guts to contact me herself - she has to go through the nurse. (Area needing me to forgive number 1).

Then this afternoon, Mark picked the boys up and noticed that Ryan's bump got bigger during the day. So I wrote a note in his folder saying such. I don't want to be accused about it. (Area needing me to forgive number 2).

Then when the tooth fell out, I figured I needed to report this to the masses (teacher and nurse). This is according to the "plan" we established. (Area needing me to forgive number 3).

So this whole thing got me thinking about how unfair it seems that we are held to a higher standard/expectation just because our kids can't talk. It makes me mad that everytime my child is hurt or has a missing tooth prematurely I have to report it to the school. Do other special needs parents have the same expectation. Probably not. So I wish I was the type of person that could make a fuss or sue! But nope, I work for the school district and I'm a non-confrontationalist (except with my DH). Is this harrassment or discrimination? I feel like it - but I think that's just because my emotions are raw. But I do challenge the principal and therapists to walk a mile in my shoes; I bet they would sing a different tune. It's always easier to look at someone else's life and judge, huh? Guilty... (Areas needing me to forgive 4 - 1,000).

Which brings me to the title of this post. I get why Jesus tells us to forgive 7 times 70. It's not just the number of times I'm going to feel offended, its the number of times that I have to pray to forgive! Why is keeping something forgiven so stinkin' hard? But the thing is, when you do forgive, you feel so much better - and you feel released. That person, situation, or event no longer has power over you or your emotions - and isn't that what we want? So I'm going to keep praying and keep giving it back to God. It's a good thing His forgiveness isn't as hard to get as mine is!! His just takes one prayer.

This also brings to mind why it can be so hard to live a faith-filled life. I would love more than anything to make VES squirm in retribution for the junk they are putting us through. But you know what, my job is to praise God and cling to Him. He takes care of the rest. Do you think though, maybe He will listen to some of my ideas? Nah, I didn't think so either.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday... December 8th edition

I love Mondays - ok, maybe I'm lying. But I love doing the Not Me! Monday game invented by You can go over to her blog and see the rules as well as hundreds of other denials. But please, do not compare her blog to mine... I'm seriously lacking!

I must say, this has been a rather deny-free week. I am struggling to come up with things that I did not do. I will start with one that I forgot last week. I am not the Queen of Cheap and the wanna-be Queen of No-Clutter. I did not have a garage sale last week that only lasted for 3 hours. I did not get bored and close up shop after I sold two things that took up huge real estate in my garage.

I did not whine and complain throughout an entire 12 mile run on Saturday (Only to find out that we did 11.5 miles). I did not annoy Meg, my running partner, with my constant complaints. I did not mentally fail the run. (How in the world will I make it through 26??) I do not look forward to the day that 12 miles is just a nice easy distance…

I did not forget about an important mid-year grant evaluation that is due today at 4 pm. I did not whip that puppy together in 30 minutes and then do one for another school. I am not full of flowery-writing when I need to be. And I am not rewarding myself by blogging.

I am not a procrastinator. I am not forgetting to send my niece and nephews their Christmas presents because I don’t have any Scotch tape. I am not trying to make some extra bucks this week on eBay. Although in breaking from the Not Me! Writing style, I have honestly not been to Goodwill in over 2 weeks! I just listed 21 things on eBay, so I better head over there to restock!! Back to the Not Me’s… I do not check my auction site several times a day!! I am not addicted. (Although, someone did ask if I have Restless Leg Syndrome because apparently the medicine that treats the syndrome makes you addicted to weird things.)

Well, that’s it for me! What have you “not” been doing this week?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Getting warmer?

In my seemingly endless quest of figuring out what is "up" with my boys, I have gotten another good lead. In this journey, I feel like I take two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes that backward step is my procrastination or allowing life to get in the way. I could totally beat myself up about this, but really, what good would that do? I am pretty certain that if we ever find out what is wrong with the boys, we won't get a magic pill that will "fix" them. So I guess that is part of the reason that this is a journey and not a sprint.

Last year my aunt hooked us up with some genetics information from South Carolina. They recommended some tests and a year later, I'm finally getting around to doing them. One is a blood test and one is a urine test. I finally got the paperwork together and the day before Thanksgiving I headed to the lab. Ryan had his blood drawn like a champ - no tears, no fuss! The urine collection, well that's another story... I put a urine collection bag on the little man - I put the diaper on and we went about our morning. Well, I ended up with 1 mL in the bag and about a 100mL all over the diaper and his clothing. But that didn't matter because come to find out, I have to collect 24 hours worth of urine!! So needless to say, I haven't gotten that yet. Stay tuned for those adventures.

Now, with all the mess with Ryan and the school, I've come to realize that I can't blindly trust that they are doing everything in the best interest of my child. At some point, I'm going to have to cross the line from being the meek school-employed parent into the pushy-but-kind-school-employed parent. I am going to have to push for everything I can get for my children. So this morning, I realized that the time has come and the gloves are off.

I have long thought that Zach has traits of autism, but he is such a conundrum, who knows if it is low IQ, Autism, or some genetic funk. But Ryan doesn't show the same signs, so I keep coming back to Autism. So I took Zach to our neurologist hoping for the "easy button". But, basically Dr. Fernandez said that he definitely sees signs of Autsim, but he isn't comfortable making that diagnosis because so many of the syndromes that are out there carry the same symptoms. He also said it would look funny if all of a sudden after 7 years he slaps on the autism label. His point totally makes sense and I still want to know what the underlying condition is. He said that he will write up the notes saying he sees signs of autism and he recommended a behavioral pediatrician in Sarasota.

This doctor in Sarasota is semi-retired and has been working with autism for 25 years. He was on the leading edge and is considered one of the experts in the field. So I called to set up an appointment, but he chooses who he works with. His receptionist took down our number and said that he will call us back. She was also quick to inform me that the next available appointment isn't until March.

Dr. Kadison called me Tuesday night and we talked for over a half an hour and he is completely fascinated by the boys and he wants to see us before Christmas! How cool is that?? We go on December 23rd. Maybe we will finally get Zach's brain sorted out! What excites me the most is that Dr. Kadison spends 3 hours with the kids and pours over their records. I feel like we have finally found someone who will spend the time with us and is not just a cookie-cutter diagnosis factory.

I have to say, with all this negative stuff about doctors not taking time with patients, I have found two specialists who go above and beyond what they have to do! Dr. Fernandez and Dr. Kadison are fantastic!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reactions to the goober hat

I just had a great conversation with a friend of mine, Faith. Her son has been looking for a job because he just graduated from college. An acquaintance, Cindy, more or less hooked him up with a great job. She was very tenacious in helping him throughout the process. Last night, Brad went to thank her and he said something about wanting to pay her back for her kindness. She said, "You already have." You see, Brad was always kind to her son with Down's Syndrome. Brad treated him like he treated every other kid - with kindness and respect. That left a huge impression on Cindy and because of that, she helped Brad land a job.

So this conversation reminded me of people's reactions to Ryan's goober hat that he wears. I have seen 3 distinct reactions:
1. People stare and wonder what is wrong.
2. People make jokes about it the hat. Things like calling him "Crash" or asking if he is ready for football.
3. Ignore the hat and treat Ryan like any other kid.

I understand all three reactions. I understand the desire to want to stare at something - and I understand wanting to see if Ryan has a skull or some weird malformation (does a huge knot on the forehead count as a malformation? I think it's his horns trying to come out, but that's just me...)

I understand wanting to make jokes. I usually do that as my defense mechanism or when I'm uncomfortable. I also want people to laugh with me - so I get the jokes. Jeez, I even call his protective head gear the "goober hat."

But as a mom, I've come to be really thankful for the people who treat Ryan like anyone else. If they usually ignore kids - ignore Ryan. If they usually give stickers to kids - give a sticker to Ryan. But please, see my son's heart, not his hat.

So here's the life lesson that I want to live by... treat others the same -with kindness and respect - not because they are "different" or because they are "normal" - but because we all crave acceptance and love. Besides, you never know when those kind deeds, words, or equal treatment will get you a good job in a recession!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Hi there, it's that theraputic time again. It rolls around once a week - you know, Not Me! Monday. This is a fun game started by MckMamma. Check out the link to her blog on the left. This is great fun!!

Here it goes... I would never force my child to be on a float in the Christmas parade just because I wanted to! But if I did, I knew it would be for his best interest and that we would have fun. I would also never find relief in the fact that a 13 year old boy is also deathly afraid of things in costume. I would never encourage my child to pee in his Pull-Up because the line to the port-o-potties is too long and the float is about to leave.

I would never buy a huge bag of popcorn at the movies in hopes that it would keep my child in his seat. I would never fear the moment he ran out of popcorn. But if I did, I would take him to see Madagascar II. I would never wish I was a hippo so that being "big and chunky" was attractive and the way to be.

I would never have to start planning my runs around the nearest bathrooms. Krystal and Meg know what I mean and are sworn to secrecy. Wait, I would never have to swear my friends to secrecy.

I would never hope and pray that my child would be labeled autistic. I would not be disappointed when our neurologist tells us that he isn't comfortable making that diagnosis and that we should seek a developmental pediatrician. I did not know in my heart of hearts that I should have done this first. I was not looking for the easy answer!

I would never consider buying extra Christmas trees because my son gets so much enjoyment out of them. I would also never bribe friends with pumpkin rolls so that we could mooch some turkey from them. And while at this friends house, I would not laugh about some "not me's" that I could post only to forget what they are. And I would not start a craft project with the kids only to throw it away later because it didn't turn out like I wanted it to.

You know, I look at all of these things I "didn't do" and I realize how much I need God's love and forgiveness!! Thank God He (and my family) love me even though I'm constantly screwing up!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Zach started basketball last night. Thankfully, it is with Special Olympics... Zach was adorable! As soon as we showed up in the gym, he started jumping, clapping and hooting-n-hollering. Most of the other people there were older and Zach was by far, the youngest. I saw a friend from work and we both just looked at each other in shock - not many kids!!

As the practice started, they quickly separated the kids by skills and ability. Zach went in the beginner's group and was just having a blast. Clueless, but having a good time. He ended up with a one-on-one "tutor" who is teaching him how to throw and catch a basketball. I guess Mark and I should have been on that more - but if you ever tried to play catch with Zach, you'll understand...

The beauty of the evening was, Zach was adored had plenty of attention, and is learning how to play basketball. It's a safe environment and the coaches aren't expecting the next NBA all-stars. I wanted to jump in and rescue the coach - not so much my kid, just the coach. (How awful is that??) All in all though, I'm glad we are getting involved. I met some great parents and I know this is the start of some wonderful things to come!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not me, Tuesday?

I did not forget to do a Not Me Monday - as started by McMamma and her amazing blog. You can see the link on the left and see for yourselves...

Since it is not Tuesday, I am not a slacker. I did not have our amazing babysitter get the kids off the bus on Monday so I could stay for a meeting at work. I did not then go to Goodwill Bargin Barn to find things I would not sell on eBay. I did not meet up with my good friend there. I did not try to out do her on the shoes to resell (because I would never buy shoes to resell). I did not try to convince her that a skirt is not her style simply because I wanted it. I did not scheme up my next little project. I am not going to buy designer clothes at Goodwill and then take them to a consignment shop. I did not get that idea from my friend I saw.

I was not worn out after two hours with my own children on Monday night. My children are not heathens that run around like crazy. They do not spill juice on the floor. Ryan does not cry and whine for hours on end (ok, ok, it only feels like hours). I was not totally glad that Mark came home. I did not check out and go to bed at some ridiculous hour. I did not tell my husband that I was too worn out to chat. I do not act like a freak-a-zoid when my kitchen floor is messy. I do not use that as a barometer of my life.

I did not jump for joy when my brother suggested a present we could go in together for my dad for Christmas. My dad is not the hardest guy in the world to shop for. I am not thankful that Carla (my brother's wife) sent me some easy things I could do for her kids' Christmas. I don't like using ideas for shopping. (Wow my fingers are hurting from all this finger crossing as I tell my not-me's)

I am not on lunch break at work doing my blog! Finally, I am not excited about not having school Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I am not thankful for Thanksgiving. I am not wishing that my kids had school on Wednesday...

Well, I better get productive... I would love to hear what you are not doing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Party Pictures

I wimped out and didn't throw a party for Ryan's birthday. In fact, I've mentioned before how cheap I was and didn't buy him any presents. If you look at these pictures, I think you will come to the same conclusion I do... Ryan doesn't mind! He had a blast with the hand me down toys and the ones from Grandma. I have to take advantage of this while I can!

After he opened the first present, he wanted to play and not bother with the others. Eventually, Zach opened Ryan's third present. Andria, our babysitter stuck around for cake and presents. You will notice how clean the house is - that's because Andria blessed me by picking up after us. I love that girl!!

Mark made the cake and Ryan really enjoyed it. He didn't exactly know what to do with the flames in his face. Zach was, of course, eager to help. The rest of the evening, Zach walked around singing Happy Birthday. He kept telling us Ryan was 5.

Just so Zach doesn't feel left out, here is the Zach story du jour... After care, he gets there pretty early. So it has become his routine to set out the coloring pages for the kindergartners, get them crayons, and then pull up his brother's chair. Zach only goes to aftercare a few times a month, but getting ready for the kindergartners has become his thing. He feels it is important for the little kids to have their papers ready before they arrive.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday baby Ryan! (and Not me...)

I am going to start with my Not Me Monday's - see for the entire rules and the chance to read a whole bunch of imperfect people report on their week! I don't have very many Not me's to tell you...

First of all, I would never give my children hand me down toys for his birthday presents. I would never not give a birthday part for him. It doesn't matter that it's always the same kids having to buy presents. Besides, why would Ryan want new presents anyway?? Furthermore, I would never go out on a date with my husband on my child's birthday.

I am never seriously considering running a marathon in April. But if I were considering it, I would look into the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. Who in their right mind runs 26 miles in one day? Not me. And if I were to run a marathon, I wouldn't start another blog to keep track of my training. And it would certainly not be called

So now onto my mostly sweet baby Ryan. He is FOUR YEARS OLD TODAY! Can you believe it? My baby is 4. I will admit that on somedays, I think, you're only 4? Surely you are older than that...

For those of you who don't know my Ryan, I thought I would tell you the things I love about him.
1. He has a devilish smile that just lights up his whole face. His smile makes his eyes squinty and his cheeks all squeezable.
2. He has the best belly laugh. He loves to lay on the floor and just laugh. Especially when it is bed time and he thinks if he doesn't go to his room, he won't have to go to bed. He just lays on the floor and laughs as you bend over to pick him up.
3. He is mischevious. He especially loves to get his brother in trouble. He has figured out what to do to get Zach in trouble. Ryan also loves to climb the furniture and take his shoes off in the car, hand them to Zach and have Zach throw them to the front seat.
4. When Ryan is supposed to be napping, he likes to sneak in his brother's room and play toys. Ryan also wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to get his brother up!
5. Ryan loves to play kitchen, trucks, and Rescue Heroes. Ryan has taught Zach how to play. Ryan also loves the playground and hanging out in openings. He scares me to death - and then just belly laughs.
6. Ryan is a charmer. I can't tell you how many girls he has wrapped around his finger. At his school, I hear aides, therapists, and older kids talk about how much they adore him.
7. When Ryan is excited, he walks really fast and pumps his arms in the air. It is sooo cute!!
8. Ryan is a snuggler when he just wakes up or is really tired. He melts into your body and rests his cheek on your shoulder.
9. If Ryan could have any toy possible, it would be a pantry full of cans and boxes to rearrange, a refrigerator to do the same, and a door to open and shut. At school, he likes to stack chairs and rearrange furniture.
10. Ryan has a girlfriend, Emma. She is in his class and is in a wheelchair. Ryan can not leave without saying good bye to Emma. He also likes to sit by her and get her books and toys. This weekend in the car, he was crying for Emma! She is the cutest thing - and she looks like a cherub. She has blonde curly hair and a round face.
11. Ryan loves to be helpful and take part in the sorting of laundry and putting things away.

I'll get some pictures of my peanut later. So come back to this post if there aren't enough pictures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not me Monday

It's that time again... Time for Not me Monday. The blogging game started by McMamma. You can see her link to the side and learn all the rules. This is free therapy and you can go to her website and see what other people are not doing!

I will start with the most current. I am not going to put Dora on TV so my kids will leave me alone to blog. I do not use the TV as a babysitter.

I did not buy my son a drum. That would be crazy and loud. Besides I don't have rhythm, neither does their dad, so it would sound horrible. But if I did buy them a drum, the joy would be all over my boys' faces like this...

I would never get involved in other people's dating life. I would not encourage one friend to marry some guy I've never met and I would not encourage another friend's little brother to run as far as he can from his current girlfriend. I mean, working on my own relationship should matter - not someone else's!

I did not forget my towel this morning at the Y. I go there in the mornings to exercise and I was pretty stinky and sweaty because I just finished 8 miles doing jog/walk intervals. I did not have to dry off with the extra tshirt in my work out bag. This is not the first time I've done this. I am not that disorganized!

First of all, my children would never climb on the furniture. But if they did and if I were blogging, I would not just yell at them to get down. I would actually get off the computer and put them in time out. I am not lazy.

I would not force my children to go to baseball so that they would be worn out and take a nap on Saturday. I do not need to wear my children out because they are angels (just like your kids) and they fall asleep on command. (I am not sarcastic! I do not believe that is an appropriate form of humor.)

I am not going to leave exercise class early tomorrow to go and buy apple fritters. Even if it is for someone's birthday at work. It doesn't matter to me that he is six foot six and weighs at least 350 lbs, is black as night, and is scary looking if you don't know him! He doesn't need birthday treats, even if it is my turn to provide.

I am not excited that my babysitter can now drive and we don't have to pick her up anymore. I am not disappointed that she wants to finish high school and doesn't want to drop out to take care of my children.

I would never laugh at my husband because he thought a co-worker just turned 80. CarolAnn, if you ever read this - you don't have to give Mark a hard time, I would never suggest that!

I would not consider giving my child hand me down toys for his 4th birthday. How cheap do you think I am? Don't answer that, please!!

I think this might be it for now, I might add to it if I can come up with some random things. I was a "good girl" last week and had no major gaffs!

Feel free to let me know what you "did not" do last week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The little things in life...

I must be simple minded because it's the simple things in life that amuse me. I know there are milestones in all Mom's lives that are worthy of celebrating. I am hitting most of those milestones - albeit four to five years behind the curve. Here are some of the simple things we are celebrating:

This picture relates to a major potty-training milestone... Zach pooped in the potty all by himself at school. He is averaging about 75% accident-free. I know, TMI, but to us, this is HUGE! I haven't bought Pull-Ups since August.

Zach also learned how to tattle. Zach is now at the stage where he wants to show me everything! I hear a chorus of "Look at me, look at me!" While tattling and showing off are annoying - they are stages all kids go through [ok, so Zach is 7...] This morning, he was carrying a toy catalog around and circling what he wants for Christmas. He has never cared about this stuff before and the fact that he understood what I was asking and he could draw circles! Plus he was able to find toys that he truly wanted! I was impressed... Oh - and early, he got a picture of Grandma, brings it to me and says, "I want to see firetrucks." (Because everytime we go to Grandma's Uncle Doug shows Zach his firetrucks.) Then he hands me the phone and wants me to call her. How cute is that - I think that's definitely worth a few extra Christmas presents from Grandma...

Ryan is learning to run. I will be the first to admit that this is scary and to the novice, it does not even closely resemble running. But it's the cutest thing! He gets excited about something, starts laughing and then takes off in an awkward toes pointing out fast walk. Meanwhile, he is pumping his arms in the air like he is doing some aerobics routine. I will try to get a picture... Ryan counted to four this morning and I'm not sure if he said two or shoe, but he definitely got three and four. Ok, so he's almost four - and to most this is no big deal. But to the Mikarts family, Ryan's a genius!!

The other little thing in life was the Checker's kids meal toy we got. It's called a wall walker and you stick this bug to the wall and he climbs down. The great part was how excited Zach was. He kept running to me and saying, "Look at me, look at me!"

The other day at a meeting, I was so excited that my fingers have gotten thinner and I could shake my hand and the wedding rings jingled. I didn't realize how annoying I was until the guy next to me asked what was up! The little things...

So this weekend at the Mikart's compound, we are celebrating the little things.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not me Monday!

I'm back to this game started by McMamma (you can click on the icon on the side and go to her blog and see the rules. Her blog is pretty impressive, so no blog-etition!!) Krystal W., if you read this, you need to join in on the fun! I have a had a happening 2 weeks, but I don't know that it will translate into not me's though. Here I go...

* I did not deny my children all of the halloween fun by not going trick or treating or even taking them to a church festival. I did not use the excuse that I didn't want my house egged by neighborhood children if I wasn't home to give out candy.

* I did not suggest that my high school babysitter drop out of high school so she could be our nanny. She loves the morning routine with the boys, so why would I suggest such a terrible thing - especially since I'm an educator.

* I did not cancel my Monday night date because I wanted to save babysitter fees. I would never use the excuse that since she wasn't feeling well, we should ditch the date this week. It's not like we didn't go out on Saturday night.

* I did not rejoice that the Haitians were not at Goodwill taking all the "good shoes". I mean, they send them to their families or sell the shoes to supply ships to bring to Haiti. It would be so selfish of me to want to resell the designer shoes on eBay.

* I did not secretly get excited when I found out the boys' bus is running 10 minutes late this afternoon. I do not need that extra time to blog. I am not that addicted to this silly game.

* I am not addicted to fried eggs (is that what they're called when you crack the egg in the skillet and then just let it cook so the white is cooked but the yellow is a bit runny?). I do not want to feed that to my family for dinner tonight...

I would love to hear what you guys have not done this week...

Oh - check out this link about one of my closest friends, Missy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In case you were worried... we survived Halloween

I think I'm the biggest slacker parent in the world. We survived Halloween because we didn't participate. Maybe that's not true - but we were minimalists. Ryan had a party at school and I sent in little tiny pumpkins and sugar cookies. He dressed as a cow - thanks to Cindy T. [As a side note, everyone needs friends like her! She saves my bacon daily...] He wasn't too happy about the head piece, but he kept it on for the school parade. I didn't go to the parade, but I heard some of the costumes were phenomenal. I know Ryan's was, but only because I borrowed it! One kid was a tomato - and the rest of his family completed the bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich. Ok, that's just too much for me... Ryan's girl friend, Emma, went as Nurse Mary (the school nurse).

Zach must have had a party too because he came home loaded with candy and trinkets. The bus driver and aide took his candy away because they noticed too late that he had been sitting there quietly eating chocolate and sugar. He was HYPER when he got home. I have never seen him on a sugar high - but boy was he running around the house.

That was it for the Halloween celebrations! I did dress Ryan up in his costume so I could get pictures. Zach wore the cow several years ago and so I thought it would be cute to have comprable pictures of Ryan. Later in the evening, we handed out candy and had a whooping 2 sets of trick-or-treaters!

On Saturday, the boys went to Buddy Break and continued the Halloween theme. Zach got a tatoo of a firetruck. I just put it on his arm and he is freaking out! I guess "stickers" aren't meant to be permanent. And "they" say he isn't autistic... I will spare you the pictures of Zach freaking out - it looks very similar to the halloween pictures from last year, just a different cause.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lessons Learned

My family has just finished a roller-coaster ride of a week and a half. I have cried more tears and felt more anger than I have in a long, long time. (Maybe not the tears, but definitely the anger.) I'm not going to go into detail about what has happened to us - and many of you know - but what I've learned these last 10 days are pretty huge life lessons.

* Listen to the voice of truth! God is the voice of truth and the rest of the world will try to undermine and undercut what God is saying. I have listened to so much "advice" these last few days, and the voice of truth kept repeating in my mind and despite what other people said, I knew what I needed to do.
* Revenge belongs to the Lord. This is what I want other people to know. Mark learned this lesson last year when he had difficulty with an old job. When someone hurts me or my family, I can not retaliate. I have to trust God that make things right. This is a tough one, but forgiveness is soooo important!
* I learned why the Bible says to forgive seventy times seven. I think that is how many times I am going to have to forgive a particular person before it actually sticks in my heart!
* Often times the enemy is myself. I think this goes back to the first one... Ryan's therapist wasn't my enemy, my interalizing of the situation was. The negative self-talk is my enemy. God takes care of the enemy - and in this case, the voice of truth was louder than the voice of the enemy.
* Nobody will ever understand what it is like to raise special needs kids unless they have personal experience. Walk a mile in my shoes... Sometimes it's easier, but often times it is much, much harder!
* Everyone wants to help the underdog but sometimes you are up against a brick wall. I want the "system" to change, but it might not. And that really sucks for parents of special needs kids.
* Mark and I have a huge network of people who love us, believe in us, and support us.
* I am going to have to be much more paranoid about my children. I can't be so trusting and I have to learn to live with the fact that the rules are different for us. Even if I don't know the rules!
* Starting over is harder than starting from the beginning.
* I am not alone - much of what I'm facing, others have gone through this before.
* Raising kids and trying to make the best decisions for them is really, really hard!
* Know who your friends are (or who is on your "side") and when you are right - they will stick by yourside like glue.
* Not reacting, but thinking through things is really, really tough!
* God is so faithful and good!!!
* I need to be more tenacious!

Now I have to figure out where to go from here with all of this and pray that God gives me my next steps.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

7 things

Travis tagged me...

Here are the rules:

1) Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog
2) Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird
3) Tag 7 more people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4) Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I do have a problem, though. I don't know 7 people with blogs that I think would play along. But I will do my best!!

1. I am an aspiring neatfreak and a wanna be organized person. I have these really cool baskets for all the toys and stuff and every know and again I sort the baskets and get the toys organized. I prefer my house clean, but it isn't often meeting my standards. My hardest part is the kitchen floor. I will mop and then 3 minutes later, it's a mess. I spent last spring scrubbing my grout - and it's dirty again. I even sealed it! My bedroom closet is a mess and I need to organize that next. I've been doing one closet a weekend. Guess what I'll be doing on Saturday? Wrong... I'm going to be in South Carolina visiting a friend. Oh and I don't think it helps that the love of my life is not-a-neat-freak. He isn't a slob, but he would rather leave something that fell on the floor rather than pick it up... But to be fair, in knew this when we were dating. He had a dresser and two twin beds in his room. The dresser was more or less empty. The non-sleeping bed held his clean clothes - just piled on the bed. I don't know where the dirty ones were - I didn't ask!!

2. I sometimes get really bored at work, even though I have a ton of projects to do and there are always teachers I can work with. I just sometimes enjoy the peace and quiet that happens in my office. And I'm a huge procrastinator - why do today what I can put off until tomorrow? In fact, right now I'm in a meeting and we are talking about blogs. Guess what I'm doing.

3. I sometimes forget to have my son do his homework. Gasp - and I'm a teacher!! Along the same vein - I'm a reading coordinator (literacy coach is the technical title) and I haven't the foggiest idea how to get my oldest to learn to read.

4. I totally fell in love with my husband again on Wednesday. I always loved him - but he was exactly what I needed and he surprised me by having the right words in a really tough situation. I am confident God put the words in his mouth - and that is cool too!

5. I am way too honest and open. Surprise, surprise as I bare my soul for the whole world to see. I admit when I'm a slacker and maybe I shouldn't. I am usually the first to tell the world of my guffaws.

6. I am a pessimist. When it comes to me, the glass isn't even half empty. It's empty. This is something I'm totally working on and have made great gains -especially in light of the horrific week I've had. I have made huge leaps and bounds in this area, so my glass is filling up!

7. I hate Halloween. My hatred is not because of witches, ghosts and things from the dark side. Nope, it's the pressure to have a costume. My mom used to sew these beautiful and complicated costumes - Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, a shark, etc. I never had the costumes with the plastic "outfit" and mask. So I don't want to dress my kids in the generic costumes from Target or Walmart. But I can't sew and I'm too cheap to buy the nice ones. So I feel this tremendous pressure to make my kids look cute. Plus, Zach HATES costumes. Last year, the boys went as roads. I took dark blue t-shirts, glued two yellow ribbons down the front and glued cars on it. I figured Zach wouldn't mind. He screamed!!! I guess cars aren't supposed to be glued to your shirt. So this year, what am I going to do for Halloween?? Too much pressure!!

I am tagging, Kate, Amanda, Mark and Crystal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Me Monday continued

I just returned from the geneticist and accumulated some more to add to the list. Plus, I'm seeking prayers...

* I did not get a late start and drove upwards of 80 mph to get there. I also did not have to raid the coin jar to get enough money to pay tolls for the Sunshine Skyway. I also did not feed the boys a healthy lunch from a drive-through in the back of Mark's newish car.

* I did not drive home from the geneticist going the speed limit because both boys fell asleep and I wanted "nap time" to last as long as possible.

* I did not almost burst into tears in the geneticist because I Ryan fell. Ryan didn't bite his tongue and hit his almost smashed in teeth. He did not bleed like a fiend and he did not start screaming. (Deviating from the I didn't protocol)I pick him up, assess the situation and then start snuggling him. All the while, the doctor's assistant sat there - with no expression. No concern, no worry, no care, no emotion! I'm tearing up because I hate that he is hurt, again. The guy was all put out that he couldn't keep asking me questions because Ryan was crying! So I try to answer questions, think through the past year and tell him what specialists we've seen. (Actually, he should have asked... "who haven't we seen?") All the while, I'm tring to figure out where the blood is coming from and how to make it stop. I asked for a cup and there wasn't in the room. The guy SIGHED and got up to get one!! Um, my kid bit a gash in his tongue. How dare I ask for a cup!!

* So I wasn't already upset about all that... After the doctor's assistant grilled us, we had what didn't feel like 12 years to wait for the doctor. Ryan wasn't obsessed with throwing his books in the trash can. It was a hole in the counter and he thought it was great fun.

* Then the doctor came and I totally don't deserve "mother of the year" for this... I didn't forget to get a carbohydrate transporter deficiency test run last year. Ok, don't I feel like crap?? I know remember where I dropped the ball. All the doctors were pointing fingers about who should order the tests. So I lost track and never fell through. Prayer moment: Pray that I get it done this year!!

* I didn't get home and turn Seasame Street on so I could have 50 minutes to do the chores I didn't do this morning - only to vent on my blog. I would never do that. I am the best parent ever. Can't you tell?

* So here's where I need some prayers, please: I need Ryan's neurologist to call me because I think he's having more seizures and he keeps falling. Could it be the meds? I want to get these tests under our belt and I am praying that God would make the path smooth. I also need to figure out which splints I need to order for Ryan's legs - and that they don't break the bank. I also want prayers of protection for Ryan - he looks horrible - tongue gash, fat lip, bumps on his forehead, and a cut on his head. Each time he falls, I just fall apart a little bit more. Plus I'm just beating myself up which never helps. Oh yeah, I need to get Ryan to the dentist to look at his awful banged up teeth. I don't have dental insurance for him! Ugh another point of stress.

Thanks! I promise to laugh about all this in another hour or so.

Not Me Monday

Here I am again, doing the game originated by McMamma. I am not going to bare my soul in today's blog...

* I am not so horrible and uncompassionate that my husband drove himself to the doctor at 4:30 this morning because he was passing kidney stones. I truly offered to take him - but being the nice guy, he wanted the kids to sleep a little longer. They don't normally wake up between 5 and 6 am anyway... And I did not secretly be frustrated with the situation because I was supposed to run 8 miles with Meg this morning. Although, I was not secretly glad I could put the 8 miles off until Friday. And I was not a little (secretly) upset when Mark was going to stay home today and ruin my relaxing morning.

* I am not skipping work today. I am not excited about the genetics appointment my kids have today. I did not decide to take the whole day, send the kids to school and think about organizing closests. And I am not annoyed with a huge project on my work-plate that I would avoid it for another day. I mean, I always bite the bullet and get this stuff done.

* I am not hoping that our geneticist orders some tests to determine if there are any x-linked syndromes lurking in our genes. I am not nervous that Dr. Loscalzo will tell me to have my pediatrician order the tests only to have the pediatrician tell me the geneticist should. This did not happen the last time. I am not nervous that these tests can only be done in Miami. I do not have an aversion of going to Miami for medical stuff. I have not had 2 fiascos there already.

* I am not putting off cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, and other cleaning to blog. I love doing that stuff and the computer takes up way too much time. I should just get rid of it.

* I am not neurotic enough about saving money that I'm making a list of how much our grocery staples cost so I can compare the prices at Walmart with the sale ciruclars. That would take way too much time. Besides, who needs to save money?

* After $180 I am not still battling ticks! I did not remove one from my sock today.

* I am not showing off my cute kids in the pictures below. By the way, that is not another boo-boo on Ryan's head. And he did not nearly knock his teeth out on Sunday. And I was not complaining that my life is unexciting and I did not heed Travis's warning!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Conclusion(?) of mompetition

I haven't put any pictures up lately, so I will add those before I share my latest scoop.

Ryan is running to first base at Challenger Baseball this morning.

I don't want you to worry... I have not been upset and over the edge that I'm not doing enough for my kids. I carried this whole guilt around with me for a little while. Wednesday morning, I told the story to my office-mate who is a speech language pathologist and a friend. (I call her Momma Boone because she and I have been on several mission trips together and she always manages to take care of us - like the mom in the group.) Anyway, Momma Boone reminded me that as a parent, less is sometimes more. We tend to over program and over schedule our kids - with the greatest intentions - but kids need down time. She pretty sternly (but with love) told me to knock-off the guilt and get over it. Then a little while later, my old PT sent me an email comiserating with me and telling me the story of another mom who is annoyed with other therapy moms (as opposed to soccer-moms or hockey-moms...). The mom Gretta the PT was talking about has a 2 year old with very low tone and isn't sitting yet. While waiting for PT, some other lady bragged (well, probably mentioned) that she is so tired now that her child is walking all over the place. This made the other mom end up in tears! So I immediately wanted to go hug her - although I don't know her... Then the 3rd thing that made me feel better was Open House on Thursday night. Zach's therapists and teacher were talking about how far he's come and described something he did. His OT said she just welled up with tears and wanted to cry! Ok, so I'm back to my less-psycho self.
But I did come up with an award for these "perfect" moms. I will never do this, because it's not Christ-like. But for the sake of bearing my soul (because isn't that what blogs are for?), I will share my idea and then let it go. Remember in Caddy Shack when they put the Baby Ruth candybars in the pool and they looked like turds? Well I was thinking I could carry around snacksize Baby Ruth bars and give them out as "prizes" for being such the perfect mom! In my mind, they would symbolize poop, but to the moms, I'm just giving them chocolate. Don't worry, I won't do this, but the thought crossed my mind - often enough to repeat it!

You know what, I just wondered this... a soccer mom usually has an SUV or fancy mini-van. What does a therapy mom drive? Do we get little window stickers with a silhouette of our kid doing therapy? Just wondering...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


** This blog comes with a disclaimer. You need to know right from the start that I love my children exactly the way God has created them. And I know they are a precious gift. So don't judge me for what I'm about to blog!

I thought I just invented a word, but google shows 742 hits. Soon, there will be 743... Anyway, I thought of the term this evening coming home from hippotherapy. I have suffered from mompetition from the moment I got pregnant with Zach and I think I've been on the losing end ever since. I mentioned all this to Mark during dinner and he was like, let it go! So easy for a dad to say! Who are you afraid of, momma bear or papa bear? Exactly, momma bear because our love is fiercer. I'm not saying papa bear doesn't love his kids - but our's is fiercer more often.

Anyway, I mention all this, I guess as a way of repenting. I am guilty of mompetiton more often than not - and with 2 special needs kids, it seems that most of my mompeting is who has it worse. So awful, I know - you'll hear about on Not-Me Monday. But tonight's round started at hippotherapy. (See, right there I have it worse - I have to take both kids to physical therapy on horse back!) This mom brings her son and sits next to me and she recognizes me from church. She gently asked what my kids' exceptionalities are. Right there gauntlet has been thrown, if only in my mind. I don't have a diagnosis. I know what they don't have, but I have no clue what they do have. I asked the mom about her son and she told me. She was careful to point out that he is "high functioning". Well, there's a point for her. My kids are clearly not high functioning - at least at anything appropriate, I don't think WWF wrestling counts.

So as the conversation continues, she keeps earning points. Her son is in outside therapy. Mine aren't. Her son goes to the exclusive special-needs school in Bradenton. Mine don't. She doesn't work. I do. On and on it went. Then to make me feel better, because she knows she is winning, she does more for her child, and that she's probably more mentally-balanced than I am, she starts going on about health problems to make me feel better... Her son is diagnosed with asthma. Been there... I restrained from counter-point with talk about seizures or the other junk we deal with... I imagine she didn't know I was mompeting and that she didn't intentionally try to make me feel bad - it just automatically happens to me!! I go there!! And like Mark said, I should let it go. But I can't because this is where my attitude starts to spiral downhill and I start beating myself up. Like I'm not doing enough. (And I'm probably not because right now I should be playing with them and not blogging.) I also know at this point that rationally, I should step back and laugh at myself, but I'm feeling like such a slacker that I can't.

We head home and the song, "The Voice of Truth" comes on the radio. And I just start sobbing because the song is sooooo right - the voice of truth tells me a different story - God knit my children together - just the way he wanted them. But I can't stop crying and feeling sorry for myself. At this point I realize that once again, I'm psycho. And when it's time to teach the kids how to drive the car, the first thing they will do is turn on the radio, sob like a lunatic, and sniffle - because that's what Mom does when she drives!

This whole incident reminded me again of ____ (I can't think of the word/expression/idea). I need to realize that God is in control and use this as an opportunity to once again release my boys to His plan for them - and me. I need to sympathize/empathize with other moms - not compete. Motherhood is way to hard to compete against someone else! But just for kicks (and to make you win - compare you motherhood journey to mine). I bet I will "win" this mompetition:
* How long did it take you to potty train? (I am on year 4 with Zach)
* When did your youngest walk independently (Ryan was 3)
* How many hours a week did you spend at therapy for each of your children? (3 hours/week with Zach and 2 hours/week with Ryan)
* How many receptionists of specialists know your voice? (We have at least 2 that recognize my voice - neurology and genetics)
* How many medicines have you used to try and control a child's seizures? (Ryan has gone through 5)
* How many knots the size of baseballs are routinely on your kid's head? (Ryan has at least one a week - and that is with the protection of the goober hat)
* How many of you stopped saving for your child's education because you realized they won't go to college? (I have and that SUCKS!)
* Which of you has a 7 year old in 2nd grade who still has on his IEP that he will identify his colors correctly? (I do...)
* Which of you wishes her child were autistic? (I do so I could get more services.)

Ok, I'm doing it again. It's time to enjoy my boys and play a riveting game of "cars" and it's time to appreciate the precious gifts the Lord has given me. And despite what I write or lead you to believe, I love my children fiercely and on most days, I wouldn't trade them for the world. And, what mom out there hasn't said the same thing?? So here's to laughing at the situation instead of crying!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not me Monday - week 3

So here I am mentioning some "Not me" things on a Monday... The idea came from my friend Travis and the link mentioned on the left. I have to say, this is great fun - and free therapy. There is something refreshing about admitting my slacker-habits in a denial type format... So here goes my list:

* I am not battling ticks at my home! I am not neurotically vacuuming my home three times a day. And I do not consider the cinnamon-smelling organic tick spray to be room deordorizer. I would never spray it on my carpet just to have the room smell less like dogs and boys.

* I am not obsessed with the Goodwill in Englewood that sells things by the pound. I would never go through the shoe bins and resell Mephisto sandals I bought for $0.99 on eBay and get $92 for them. I am not that cheap! I would also never sort through my children's Lego collection and keep the generic Megablocks and sell the Legos. I am not that addicted to eBay. I guess I must not have much going on in my life that I have time for that. Along the same line as the ticks and sorting toys, I would not look forward to a Saturday morning of organizing closets and toys. I am not that big of a geek. Also, I would never buy my children's birthday gifts at Goodwill for a dollar...

* I did not get on the scale 4 times to make sure the pounds it said was true. I was not excited about being down another 5 pounds. That does not make me want to run faster and farther in the mornings.

* I would never put Dora on TV so I could blog! No way... And I am not sitting here wishing that I had a more exciting life so I would have more posts.

I honestly can't think of anything else exciting in my life! So this lame list will just have to do! I am not suffering from a writer's block. Not me...