Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11

You know, sometimes I really have to call upon that verse, a whole lot, and remember that God has this whole thing figured out. ["For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."]

I could probably stop this blog right here and that verse would mean different things to me at different times of the day - and I'm sure you can relate.

But I'm thinking about my kids right now. And something that happened at church just tears me up (you could use either tears as in rips, or tears as in boo-hoo and they would both fit.) The other day in children's church, Zach had gas and all the kids around him were making fun of him. I know this is normal childhood behavior, but a normal kid would know what he did and why it's so funny. But Zach isn't normal and didn't get it. So he probably responded in his usual happy way but kinda wondered why everyone was laughing. I don't know if Zach internalizes this as being picked on or made fun of, but it sure bothered the adults in the room.

So last night at our church supper, Carla the children's director, told me about the situation. Some of the kids who have been the nicest to Zach were the meanest to him in that room. So on Sunday, I'm going to go to Children's church and explain to them about Zach and how God loves us all and has made each of us different. I'm excited about this and planning what to say.

But (there's always a but...) it just brings up all of my insecurities and worries. I am so thankful that Zach has joy and doesn't appear to get it when he's the butt of jokes. When does that change? And when it does it will rip me apart even more. Then I think, oh man, I have to go through this with Ryan, too. I think kids - and even adults - don't know how to react to my boys. I really wish that people would ask questions so they understand. I think if people understood, then they wouldn't tease. But I really fear middle school. And this is also awful and I know - but I wish my kids had Down's Syndrom - because then we'd have a label and people would know what to expect and there would be physical signs. Maybe that's it, maybe part of me just really wants a box to fit in. Want's to know what's causing my children to be developmentally delayed.

So I cling to the Lord's promise in Jeremiah and I know that God has a plan and he never promised us an easy life. But I just wish I had "normal" kids. And I know there are people out there that aren't able to have kids, but sometimes, I can't see that and I'm swallowed up in my self-pity. And it's all because I want the very, very best for my children and I don't know what that looks like. I know that doesn't make me different from any other mom, but if you looked into the future and saw what I see, you'd have tears too. Do you know how hard it was to finally come to the conclusion that Zach doesn't need a college fund? And then to wonder what to do with that money? Wow, that was tough.

I'm not looking for sympathy, just love my boys and treat them with extra kindness. And, know that if Mark, the boys, and I seem to disappear from the face of the earth, we are actually on some secluded island sheltering our children from life. Yes, I know that's not the answer either, but it's tempting! Maybe I can buy the island with Zach's college money?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have a few thoughts tonight, they are more like ponderances. They are, by no stretch of the imagination, deep thoughts. But they are things I'm wondering about.

First and foremost, why am I getting the "karmic revenge" for things my brother did? I was not the child who flushed things down the toilet, so why am I the one who has to take the toilet off the floor to remove a toy fish? Hellooo... DOUG was the one who flushed rocks down the toilet. Why am I the one who has to scrub Sharpie off the wall? I was not the one who wrote colord his baseboards with pencil during nap time - Helloooo people... that was DOUG! I wasn't exactly perfect, but I should be paid back for the things I did - like being cute and adorable, being a good student, and always sharing my toys. Ok, so maybe not - but still...

Then, after my second batch of "Amish Friendship Bread" I am wondering how it got it's name. It's name should have something to do with a food version of a chain letter. Also, it's disguisting, so why would you want to share it with a friend? This batch wasn't as bad as the first, but it's still not something I would pass along. I mean seriously, I can't imagine saying, "Hey friend! I am so thankful for your friendship. Try this bread. It will sit on your counter looking like barf in a bag and then you can bake it into a tasteless brick. But I really appreciate you." But furthermore, if I know it's yucky, why do I still eat it?????

Next thought is why is facebook so engaging? Do I really care that some person I haven't thought about since high school graduation is going to work? Why do I feel the need to have 437 friends? (I really don't have that many, but I could see it heading there.) Then I wonder, why aren't some of these people asking to be my friend? What's wrong with me?

Why is that kids are quietest when they are doing the worst things? Why do my boys have this need to turn everything into a wrestling match? And finally, why is the outside of my refrigerator rusting - the water doesn't drip out of the water dispenser, nothing sits in the little resevoir, and it's only 5 years old - (well, 5 years and 5 days since we moved into the brand-new house)?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me Monday

Can you believe another Monday is here, on our dooorsteps? The only reason I love Mondays is because of this blog carnival started by MckMamma at Hop on over to her blog when you are done here and see what the rest of the crazy-bloggers are denying. Because... this is our chance to deny what happened this week - free therapy!

I am not going to add pictures later, because I am not at work doing this before my day gets started... Speaking of work... I am not sick and tired of hearing about the horrible budget and all the cuts that have happened/are going to happen. I do not just want to lock myself inside a little bubble and forget about the looming gloom and doom. I am not thrilled that I passed my middle-grades integrated curriculum test. I did not sweat it for awhile because it was not harder than I expected. I did not listen to people when they said it was easy. I am not feeling like they set the bar low! But then I'm not feeling vainglorious about the fact that several people say that I'm the smartest person they know. I do not have them fooled...
This "not me" is left over from last week. I did not knowingly send my child to the church nursery commando... Yep, I did not take his pull-up off after he pooped in it. I did not shrug my shoulders and say, well, he's done pooping for the day, he'll be ok. I was not later interrupted during my dominoes game and told that Zach wet his pants. Bless the nursery people's heart, they did not think I sent him commando. They figured he did it himself... I did not confess that I was a part of this one... Fortunately, though, when Zach did not have more poop that evening, he made it in the potty. So it was only a pee accident. It could have been worse, much worse...
I did not skip out on my family Friday night to go to Missy's dad's house. Linda, Cindy, Missy and I did not drink wine and eat homemade potato chips and cheese fondue for dinner. We did not play this game called Kokology where you answer a seemingly innocent question only for the answer to reveal some deep, dark, quirk in your personality. I did not realize that reading a magazine from front to back and only reading what interested me mean that I am a cheapskate. I did not know I was a cheapskate and I did not need a magazine reading analysis to let me know... But some of the other "revelations" are not fit for my blog... Sorry folks!

Then, when I got home from the slumber party, I did not "forget" to call my family to find out where they were. I did not enjoy the peace and quiet for 2 hours. I did not clean my house – I do not get frustrated when 5 minutes after the family returns, the house is a wreck again! I am not frustrated with my refrigerator… it does not leak water when Ryan leaves the door open for a minute or two. You know why it does not leak water, because Ryan does not, ever, stand there playing in the refrigerator – no, not Ryan…

My ankle is not still bothering me. Ugh. I am not totally stressed about the marathon in April.
And finally, I do not feel that working in the church nursery is a prison sentence. I do not look at my opportunity to volunteer as “doing time”. I do not prefer 100 middle schoolers over 10 preschoolers.

So what did you not do this week?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Four Year Old's Quest

Yes, yes, isn't he cute? Don't you just love that smile? If you pick him up, he just melts into your shoulder and hugs you back. And his belly laugh, I love that sound! But don't be fooled. I have come to realize that Ryan has a quest - to take over the world. He is starting small, but his sphere of influence is slowly getting wider. Here's his plan [using the voice of Ryan]:1. Smile like an adorable child and laugh and giggle appropriately. Then when least expected, inflict some physical harm. Hitting someone on the head with a book works. An elbow in the solar plexus is another good trick. Or once in a while, a bite in the shoulder is a good trick. Also, don't be afraid to pick a weapon of choice.  Nerf dart guns are one option.  But these outbursts let the people in your sphere of influence know that you are a bit dangerous. But you can't use violence all the time, because then you end up in time out.

2. If however you do end up in time out, try this trick: Cry like you are completely innocent and shocked that anyone could punish sweet, little you. Try to get so upset you hyperventilate. This trick doesn't usually work with the parents - but works great with babysitters, friends of the family and sometimes at school. If you are trying it with your parents, it will probably play out like this:
Mom: Ryan, please pick up these books.
Ryan: No. [Spoken matter-of-factly]
Mom: Ryan, please come here.
Ryan: [Walk away or continue doing whatever it is you are doing]Mom: Ryan, you have a choice, either pick up the books now, or go to time out and pick up the books after time out. It's your choice.
Ryan: [keep ignoring]
Mom: So, you're choosing time out now?Ryan: YeaRyan: [Go to time out, sob hysterically]
Mom: [Wait the full 4 minutes] Ok, let's go pick up the books [take him by the hand and lead him to the books.]Ryan: [Pick up one book then walk away]
Repeat entire sequence 2 or 3 times hoping to wear out mom. 

Finally give in when you realize that she is more stubborn. She might have one the battle, but believe that you will win the war.
3. Another way to wear your parents out is to get out of bed eight or nine times a night when they put you down for bed. It's even better if you really are tired, but still get up. Interrupting their evening time alone is great fun! Also, wake up at 2 am, turn your lights on and start saying, "Hi". Another good trick is to go into your brothers room at 3 am and start waking him up.

4. When at school, act cute and wrap everyone around your pinky finger. Then slowly add the defiant behavior. Start small - maybe wiggling during circle time. Each day for a week add something new. Maybe saying "No" all the time in therapy. Then lay off the annoying behavior for a day or two. Just when they think "Sweet Ryan" is back, add some more defiance. Refuse to nap. Start hitting. And go limp like a jellyfish when they want you to walk. Do this for a week or two. Then once again, take a break from the annoying-ness. Repeat cycle and expect Mom to be called for a parent conference.

5. Also at school, try to climb everything in sight, fall a lot, and shove your entire lunch in your mouth at once. If you can manage, have a few seizures. Just make sure that the three grown adults in your classroom are watching every move you make. That's when you know you have them under your thumb.

6. After you've mastered school, start working on the other adults in your life. For example, in the church nursery, be adorable! Be cute! Play nicely with the kids! After this becomes your norm, start introducing the climbing - scale a few walls, get on top of the toy refrigerator. Take other kids' toys. Bring it on... Then, suddenly, switch to cute Ryan again.

7. Don't forget your allies. Namely your brother. Get him to do your dirty work... If you want the adults within your sphere of influence to be annoyed, but you don't want to do, get your brother to do something wrong. A few ideas include: have your brother soil his pants, get your brother to climb to the top of the TV Armoire, start wrestling with your brother -but make it look like it is his fault, or have your brother talk non-stop about the bus and Car Movies. The important thing here is that everyone needs a side-kick. You are the alpha, he can be your minnion.
8. When around your parent's friends, be adorable and compliant. Then when your parents complain about what a terrorist you are, no one will believe them. This works well with the Diefenbachs!
9. After alternately charming and being a "bugger" start expanding your sphere of influence. For example, while at a neurology appointment, if the doctor asks you to do something, smile at him and then sweetly say, "No." and go sit down. He'll think you're cute, but your mom will still make you stack the blocks or whatever it is he wants you to do.

10. This pattern will continue to expand and play out the alternate sweet/bugger behavior everywhere you go.

Here are some pointers:
ALWAYS smile sweetly.
ALWAYS make it look like the adult is being the rotten one.
Remember, when they are flustered, you're winning!
When in the car, scream in a fun, but high pitched way.
Don't forget your side-kick.
You have to have moments of sweetness, perhaps hug your mom, sit with your dad, or behave for an hour.
If all else fails, start having a seizure or do a big-time fall and you can get them under your thumb in a blink of an eye.
Hope this helps! Love,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Can you believe it... another Monday is here... another chance to deny the events of the week.  Not Me! Monday is a blog carnival started by MckMamma and  So when you are done shaking your head at what I did not do, hop on over to her page and see her blog and links to hundereds of other people's!

I am not having trouble, as usual, coming up with things to deny this week.  Perhaps this means I'm getting close to perfection... NOT!

I will start with the good and perhaps it will not spiral downhill.  I am not completely amazed that I was able to run a half-marathon.  I was not sweating it earlier in the week because of an ankle injury.  I did not tape my ankle and I was not pain free for the majority of the run.  I was not surprised that running 13 miles would be so tough.  I have not run more than that and been less wiped out.  I guess there's something about a "race" that makes it tougher.  I did not feel slightly guilty for not running a full marathon.  I did not feel like "lesser" of an athlete because I wasn't doing the full 26.  I guess I am not still struggling with the head-game.  I am not happy that I finished before several people that I know!  I did not proudly wear my t-shirt around yesterday, hoping someone would comment.  I am not disappointed that no one read my shirt!

I am not completely annoyed by Valentine's Day.  But at the same time, I am not too involved in "mompetition" that I bought my kids cards for school.  I did not wimp out and only tape candy on to the cards.  I do not feel horrible that I forgot a card for Ryan's girlfriend!  In my not-defense, her name was not on the list from school and she was not in Ryan's class picture.  I was not upset because I thought she moved.  But I did not realize she was still around when I was not eating the candy from her!  I did not want to go out and buy her some little gift from Ryan.  (If you read my previous post about eliminating Valentine's Day, you would be embarrassed for me!)  I did not happily sort through my children's loot and hide the candy I did not want to eat.  And...  I did not happily receive chocolates from my sweetie, but then give him a hard time for the price he paid!  I did not say that I wouldn't eat them only to devour half the box.  I did not laugh my head off when Zach took one and then drool chocolate goo all over the tile.  The funny part was not Mark's reaction.  You'll have to ask him what it looked like to him.  But I also do not consider the can of pepper spray he gave me to be a present too.  I do not like saying that was my gift from him - even though he says it was not...  I am not the meanest wife/mom - well maybe not...

I am not neglecting my regular life to continue reading vampire novels!  I do not justify it by saying at least I'm using my brain when I read.  

I am not enjoying my day off from school.  I did not spend the better part of the morning at the playground reading my book while the boys played.  I did not find the "safest" playground for Ryan.  Ryan does not love to hang out of openings that are at least 5 feet off the ground.  So I did not find a playground that doesn't have openings other than at stairs and slides.  I did not turn my back on him for 3 minutes today to find him on a counter about to go through the cupboard with wine glasses.

I am not sure if there is more to add - or deny.  But the boys are not getting too loud outside and I am not worried about their activities...  I'll probably not add more later as I think of it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A grassroots effort...

[Blogger's note: I'm grumpy today. It has to do with the achille's tendon. Today's victim is cupid... I know there is no correlation between cupid and a runner's injury, but this is my blog and I can make any crazy connection that I want...]

I want to start a grassroots effort to end the Valentine's Day madness. I have never liked Valentine's Day and this holds true whether I've had a "valentine" or not. It's an overrated Hallmark holiday. I have felt this way since high school. My mom is fantastic, she always gave us little gifts, but never went "over-board." My husband would also get me stuff - if I would let him. In fact, one year, he showed up at my work and brought me a thermos full of M & M's and there were earrings in thei bottom of the thermos. It was very sweet and my students loved the M & M's.   This year, being the true romantic that he is, I got a can of pepper spray for my early morning runs.

So why do I want to eliminate this holiday? Because of the mompetition! Everything changed when my kids entered school. No longer is a little card sufficient. Oh no, now you have to have a little present to go with it. A piece of candy taped to the card is not sufficient either. It has to be a little bag of candy in a cute little heart bag tied with ribbon. Or it has to be a little beach pail with a cute card that says, "Valentine, I dig you..." or Bubbles that say, "Valentine you blow me away..." I can't do it !!! (Although I will admit that the bubbles was something I did a few years ago) I'm not creative, I'm cheap, and I have to do the work. I have enough stress in my life - I don't need the additional stress of coming up with gifts for my kids' classmates! (Halloween costumes fall in this category too)

For example, last night, I wimped out and attached candy to a cheesy little card for Ryan's class. With Zach, I made him write his name on the cards and taped M & M's too it. I should have just signed his name because you have no idea what effort it takes to get Zach to write his name. NO IDEA!!! (Sorry Amanda, I'm one of those mom's who would sign the kids name GLADLY!!) I mean come on people - there are bigger issues out there to deal with - and more important things to do with my time, like Facebook, blogging and selling things on Ebay (just kidding, well - sorta).

But I rest in this knowledge, when the moms of Zach and Ryan's classmates open the backpacks and find the Valentine's loot, they will feel much better about themselves. I will be the loser in this mompetition because all I did was tape candy to a cheesy little card... I should also be happy that someone got my kids something - because I didn't.

Oh, and what about the parents that buy their children expensive jewelry for Valentine's Day? They are totally setting them up for major disappointment and heartache down the road! I'm all for low-maintenance children that don't expect big things for little holidays. Or even big things for big holidays... I mean seriously folks, diamond earrings for a 13 year old??

Also, thank God for Grandma - she always sends things to my kids for the holidays. Some one has to look out for the little Hallmark holidays... I could go on about how her presents make up the majority of what my kids get for birthdays and Christmas. (But that would be another blog for another time - topics that would include taking advantage of my children's developmental delays and cheapness...)

Anyway, I want to end the over-doing-it-ness of Valentines Day. I'm all for love and appreciation. I'm not for the craziness of parties and little gifts for classmates.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Praise God!

Look everyone!! My blog is back!!!! Yippee... There really are people at Google who check each blog. See... I'm not spam. I think I will continue to post here and every now and again post on Mark's blog. His is way too serious!

I am pondering a post in my head, but I should be working, not blogging. I know you will be waiting with baited breath (what ever that means) for my post... I hinted to it in my Not Me! Mondays. Oh, and sorry, but no more maps in my blog. You will just have to dream about my long runs...