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!!