Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 14: Yes we are still here

The mold test in our kitchen failed eventhough the numbers were greatly reduced, so we are still banished from our home as the restoration team continues to remove more drywall and use an "ecapsulate" or something like that. They retested yesterday and we should find out today if we can move back in.

Granted, if we are let back in we still won't have a functioning kitchen or basement, but I think all we want right now is our own space...our own beds!

Everyone is holding up, but we're all pretty tired. Of course we've been here for two weeks, which is long enough to develop new routines even if they are defunct. This means that the change in routine when we move back will again upset the apple cart so to speak.

It sounds like our house is covered in mold, but there were only a few small areas. Actually, I doubt that any house in our neighborhood would pass an air-quality mold inspection. But since our insurance will not pay for any structural repairs from the water leak until the air test is free and clear of mold, we are stuck in this situation. It's not a fun one to be in, let me tell you that.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jesus Saves

So we're in the car and Bubba is throwing a fit about one thing or another, and we are reprimanding him about something probably completely unrelated to what he's carrying on about. He starts to cry crocodile tears and then emphatically exclaims "But I can't be patient. Jesus didn't make me that way!"

Of course Hubby and I were too busy giggling under cover to reprimand Bubba any further.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 6: The Honeymoon is Over

It's day 3 of school and day 6 of being out of our house, and both boys are DONE with both. I'm too exhausted to write anymore. All of us just want to sleep in our own beds. Bubba was screaming about wanting to sleep in his Nascar bed, Moosie just kept saying "ome" [Home].

It's going to be a long week.

Grant's Farm

We visit Grant's Farm at least once a year. I forget that it's a tourist attraction and that people from 'out of town' actually come a distance to visit. I suppose we're spoiled since we have the option to feed nasty goats and see various misgrouped species of wildlife anytime we want.

I was reminded of this as we rode the tram around the property. I was just enjoying the peaceful ride. My boys love trams and trains, so as long as there are no tunnels, I can check out of reality for a few short, lovely breaths. But this time we had some folks from Wisconsin behind us exclaiming loudly every time one of them spotted an animal.

"Look, a deer!"
"A [insert type] cow/steer/bull!"
"Look at the goldfish."

It was getting ridiculous. Of course we see deer, otters, fox and the like weekly, if not more. Granted they aren't always alive, but you get the jist.

The boys and I had a good time and knocked a decent 4 hours out of the day. Some days that's all I can ask for.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Day 5: Grateful

As we begin to Day 5, I remind myself that we are very lucky to have family who provide us shelter, food, beds, love, and a place to shower and do our laundry (apparently laundry still multiplies uncontrollably even when you do bring much of a wardrobe). We are also lucky that we have friends who provide us respite and refuge from family.

Friday, me and the boys spent time at our friends' house playing and swimming. By the time me arrived at the in-laws' house, we had movie night and then everyone was fast asleep.

We were up early the next morning, off to vision therapy, and then off to Grant's Farm (pics to come later). Then it was swimming and back to the temporary homestead where Bubba was excited to find his cousin. The rest of the evening went smoothly with the help of movies, baseball, and food.

Today, some minor blow ups (that could've been major). I took a slight beating on the back moving Bubba into the back room to deescalate an explosion. But now the boys are fed, watching the 'classic' cartoon version of Charlotte's Web. Another day of swimming planned and then it's off to my parents' house for a visit.

Hubby works the entire weekend, which is typical. At least he is off on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nothing else exciting to report except that I cleaned the in-laws' bathroom and some of the kitchen, and did some of their laundry, so at least I don't feel useless. Also helps that I am actually sleeping some now!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 2: Refreshing, sort of

We successfully made it to our house and got both boys on their respective buses at their respective times.

I did my tour in spinning class (I love the lady we had today. She always has great music and orchestrates the entire ride like we are a cycling team. Um, I hate the sprints though. Holy cow!)

I forgot to bring a change of clothes, so I had to wear my stanky bike shorts and t-shirt for the rest of the day, which was pretty funny later on.

I worked at a friend's house and then went to get my hair cut. After the haircut, we ran to Costco. This is where it was interesting since I am in my smelly, grubby workout clothes accompanied by a freshly styled haircut and doo (or "don't" as my father-in-law says).

I made it back in time to get Bubba off of the bus, but since we couldn't go inside our house, we had to wait outside for Moosie to get home from school. Normally, this would've been fine; however, thunderstorms rolled in and Moosie's bus was 1 hour late (it broke down before leaving his school). I spent about an hour in the car calming Bubba down.

After that and all of the traffic getting back to the in-laws, I was ready to finish my work. I finished a few moments ago after several disruptions, but that's life.

Pa Pa is restraining himself I think, but there were some comments regarding Moosie making a mess when he eats and Bubba being made to stand in the corner among other things. The boys are holding up rather well I think, but I can see the escalation of behaviors coming from a mile away. Hopefully there will be no explosions. Sadly, for many reasons, I hope that if there are any, they'll happen at school.

I have no idea how the boys' first day of the new school year turned out because neither one of them would tell me. Bubba was pretty agitated, but that is typical after school. Add a whole new living arrangement and the thunderstorms, and well... our only goal is to minimize chaos, which is pretty much undermining both boys' 'home behavior intervention plans.'

Tomorrow is Friday. I already plan on camping out at my friend's house for most of the day in between activities and errands. I'm thinking we won't come back to the in-laws until bedtime.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 1: Discombobulated

Moosie had two cavities filled. Daddy took part in comforting (restraining) him because I couldn't do it. I have enough of a dentist phobia as it is and according to Hubby, I wouldn't have survived what they did to my baby. The nitrous oxide had no effect on the poor guy. He never felt like laughing, that's for sure.

We are all moved out of our house and moved into my in-law's house. Somehow we forgot Moosie's shoes and Hubby's work shoes.

My children are still alive, but asleep. I'm pretty sure Pa Pa was ready to beat them both during dinner. I think Hubby got all of the spaghetti off of the walls. This situation doesn't help my anxiety one bit. I really get it...I really understand why placing my kids in a situation where there are different rules really stresses them out. (Edited to add, it's not the new rules that stress the boys out, it's the sudden change in our [their parents] expecatations and reactions.) Since we are living here for now I am all stressed out about the rules. These aren't my parents, so I don't know the "daily living" rules. What do I do with my meal scraps? They don't have a garbage disposal. Do I clean up right after dinner so that I don't look ungrateful? Normally I don't mess with the kitchen until the children are occupied...but here what do I occupy them with since I don't want to disturb Pa Pa's TV time? Can I take shower at night? Will it make too much noise? Is Bubba pissing off Pa Pa now? Or NOW? Or NOW!?!?! I can't help it. I can't let it go. So telling me to do so doesn't matter. I don't know what's worse--upsetting my own routine or worrying frantically about upsetting someone else's routine.

I completed 5 hours of work today, if you can call it that. Probably 5 more hours tomorrow squeezed somewhere in between getting Bubba on the bus, spinning class, getting my hair cut, and then getting both boys off the bus. Luckily Hubby is off of work so he will be taking Moosie to gymnastics and sending him off to his first day of school this year. He's even attending the requisite 45 minute parent session since I missed the meeting last night.

So I am drinking a rum and coke (Pa Pa's drink) that Hubby apparently made rather strong, and then I am going to take a shower. I already questioned Hubby on all of the possible issues of me taking a shower, and he assures me that the floor won't cave in, I won't use up too much hot water, and I won't wake anyone up. Whew.

And it all starts again bright and early tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


There's no denying it.


We have been kicked out of our house for mold clean up (from May water leak). We have been told that we will be out of our house for an estimated minimum of 5 days.

This isn't Extreme Home Makeover, and we're not going on a cool vacation. Thankfully my in-laws have room for us to stay for awhile. This is good because we don't have the money to cover living anywhere else. This is bad because, for one, the boys start school on Thursday. And the in-laws live about 30 minutes or so away from their schools, and traffic is awful.

So tonight we pack up our worldly possessions and anything we may or may not need for the next week. I don't even know what I need for tomorrow.... how am I to know what we'll need for a week? Of course I'll go overboard. I always do. No surprise there.

Our plan is to dress the boys in their next-day clothes before bedtime and to basically throw them in the car with pop tarts and juice. They'll probably be fine for the 1+ hour drive, but I sure feel sorry for whomever has to deal with them at about 1:30PM. I have to get Bubba on the bus at 8AM and then mill around at various places (my gym, his gymnastics/therapy, friend's pool, etc.) with Moosie until I get him on the bus at 12:00 or so. Then I find some place to work (with Internet connection) until it's time to get Bubba off the bus at 3:30 and Moosie off the bus at 4:15. Still not sure where I'll be during that 45 minutes in between?

And then we pack up to go back to the in-laws where we try not to cause mayhem and somehow get dinner, homework, baths, etc. accomplished without ruffling any feathers. Sound impossible? We're pretty much counting on it.

Of course Hubby doesn't see what the big deal is. But he's working until 8:30PM most nights, so it really isn't a big deal to him. The only thing he's worried about is the climate control of the house. Hubby turns our air down at night. He will not have that luxury at his mom and dad's. And me? I'll be the one with the luxury of having to listen to him complain and toss and turn.

Wish us all a safe return....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hut Hut Hike


It's been 2 months and I have lost over 15 pounds. Yesterday was the first time this summer I have been caught in any pictures (or at least seen any of the pictures), and I still look like a football player. Granted, I still need to lose 30 pounds and I need a decent haircut. But what a kick in the ol' ego.

Of course Hubby says to me, "That's just how you're built--just like your dad. Oh and by the way, you walk like him too." Yes I waddle, but humor me. I have also been told that I walk like my mom did. We must be a family of waddlers. There was no hope for the offspring. I'm not sure if my sisters were spared.

I took about 10 days off from spinning because my exercise partner (the person who makes me actually go) was on vacation. But she's back now, so me and my broad shoulders are getting back on the bike.

I can't wait until I've lost another 10 pounds or so, so I can kick Hubby's ass. Jerk.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not Ideal

Today I read a post on a forum (specific to Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum [one of Bubba's diagnoses]) regarding the termination of a twenty-something-week-old "genetically and physically healthy" fetus because of the "grim" MRI findings. The fetus was suspected of having agenesis of the corpus callosum.

While I firmly believe in the right to choose termination, it saddens me that these parents are making this choice based on limited information. The poster stated the choice was made based on perceived limitations of "quality of life" and other research.

I pass no judgment as I remember thinking a long those same lines long before I conceived Bubba. But when I was offered tests to determine whether or not my baby had Down Syndrome or other syndromes, I declined, stating "It wouldn't change the outcome." When issues began arising when I was 32 weeks pregnant with Bubba, we did some testing, but only for birth preparation and to provide the best chance of survival. We were scared shitless, but we couldn't love that boy (we called him 'baby Z') more.

During the first year or so we faced the demons of "the ideal." And we continue to face those demons as society preaches "right to life" but cowards when it comes to all individuals having the inert right to equality and their desired quality of life, by their own definition... we are lucky right now. We have found ways to get the support we need to allow our family to have a good quality of life. We have found supports in friends and family; we have decent medical, dental, and vision insurance. We access resources for the community and education. Not everyone is so lucky.

Perhaps life begins at conception, but supporting life doesn't stop the minute the baby is born. Babies grow up. Some with mental illness, some with physical disabilities, some with extreme intelligence, some with super powers. There are infinite combinations and possibilities. Some of this may be genetic, congenital, post injury from a car accident or military battle, getting older, or whatever.

There are a lot of people out there choosing to terminate life (not just before birth) because disability is scary. Disability is touted as a significant cost to society, that persons with disabilities cannot contribute to society or have a meaningful 'quality of life.' Until this attitude changes, people are going to continue to choose termination.

To me, giving people reasons to choose not to terminate is much better than just telling them they can't.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not Banned Yet

I was brave and took both boys to a library "activity" by myself. I take them to all sorts of things "by myself," but I try to avoid places that demand quiet and composure--especially after 3 hours of swimming and all forms of medication, nutrition, and self-regulation have evaporated out of all of us.

According to the library flyer, we were in for a treat: storytelling and puppets. I didn't know what to expect from my boys, but we went because irregardless of my social phobias, it's good for us to visit with other crabby kids, good-doer parents, and puppets.

Bubba was enthralled. Yes, lots of laughing and clapping, chattering (he was only 'redirected' by the puppet once), and some head hitting (his own). All of this means he was enjoying himself, so all was well.

Moosie was feeling pretty confident glued to the side of his big brother. He easily separated from me and celebrated the stories by kicking his feet, flapping his hands, and shaking his head like he was saying "no" at warp speed. Again, enjoying himself. Again, all was well.

Then Moosie decided he wanted to be verbal. Very verbal. Very loud.


So I did my daily exercise and flung Moosie face down over my arms, hunched over, and swung him from side to side. I looked like an orangutan, but he was happy.

"MOWA. [More] MOWA! MOM! AYE!!!!! [High] "MOWA AYE!!!!!"

I did my motherly duty and told him to use his inside voice. He could tell by my whispering (after I said "listen to mommy's voice") what he was supposed to do, but of course he could only model me for one word before he was echoing shrilly off of the the exposed accordion walls.

Moosie swung, and bounced, and hung upside down off of his portable jungle gym (otherwise known as 'mom' [acronym for "monkey on me"]). Thankfully my body parts didn't need to be used as restraints or reflectors for the older one at the same time. (This happens often, and I manage, I think. Funny thing is it all goes hazy during those moments, but we all emerge still breathing.)

And then after 45 minutes, the storytelling was over.

And then I took both wild monkeys to check out books and pay our fines. Bubba of course picked another Star Wars book (he likes the book jacket). And Moosie, sweet Moosie... Moosie is a book collector. Moosie checked out 10 books, all of which he won't look at... he'll just carry or push them around in a toy stroller. Then he'll lose them. Then I'll pay the fine.

Another day done.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mighty Fine Donations

Do you make donations to your local library in the disguise of fines?

I do.

I owe over $7.00 in fines right now. The highest I've paid so far has been $20.00, which is even more than the $17.00 I paid for the book Duke destroyed.

The thing is, I really have no excuse (especially since now there is no Duke). I can renew my items online. What is my problem? How hard is that?

Not too hard to do, just pretty darn hard to remember apparently.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Bubba and I could live in the pool. Hubby and Moosie not so much. When Hubby is at work and it's 90+ degrees, then you'll find me and Bubba happy at the pool and Moosie barely tolerating it by sitting poolside in the shade and every so often confirming his nonswimming status by saying and signing "Whaytt! Whaytt!" ["White! White!" meaning "I want to wear the white diaper. White diapers mean no swimming. Blue diapers mean you're going to torture me and put me in the water."]

Anyhow, I have been slowly acclimating Moosie to swimming...REALLY slowly. I started in June by just getting him to tolerate putting on the blue swim diaper. It is now July and I can get him to sit on the top step (1 inch of water) for about 10 minutes and hold onto my back and kick in the water for maybe 5 seconds.

When Hubby returned home from work, he asked Moosie what his favorite part of swimming was, to which Moosie exclaimed "OOWT!" [Out!"]

So Moosie's favorite part of swimming was getting out. Sigh. Next week it's supposed to be 100 degrees.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Check In

So I am down between 10-15 pounds since mid-May. I really don't want to say I lost 15 pounds because then I would have to admit to myself how heavy I was at my heaviest point. Yikes.

My Uncle* offered to buy me some calorie counting software for my Treo, but I think I am going to decline. I tried calorie counting for about 2 weeks and I became a little obsessed with it. Even though I felt satisfied, I wasn't getting enough calories so I was not losing anything. Once I increased my calories, I started dropping weight again. Who knew? So just being aware and following a low-glycemic way of eating for at least 90% of my intake seems to be doing me well.

Spinning is still going well. I am having issues with my right leg. I have tarsal tunnel, and lately my ankle has been turning in after a year of compensating for the pain in my foot. And now my knee is starting to give trying to compensate for my ankle. SO I talked to the spinning instructor and she suggested minimal lifting off of my seat. I will be going to an orthopedist soon, so I am hoping physical therapy and strengthening exercises are in my near future.

I'm bummed because I can really tell that my cardio-endurance is increasing...I don't want to lose that!

*Uncle J, sorry I didn't post your comment but I try not to include names here (for privacy) except for my own.

Getting Older

Last night I buzzed Hubby's hair, which is one of my nonpreferred monthly chores. It actually wouldn't be so bad except that Hubby usually demands (after a week of saying "I need my hair cut.") that I cut his hair at 11PM on a Sunday night.

Anyhow, I suppose we were both high off of birthday cake (I had only one small piece!) by the time we got around to cutting Hubby's hair and we were acting pretty goofy. Hubby was pissing me off because he kept bending over. Finally I demanded to know what he was looking at.

"I have this lone hair down by my ankle. No hair and then, BAM there's a hair."

Now this is where I sympathize with Hubby. When I buzz his hair, it reminds the poor guy that he is going bald, so he tries to increase his overall hair count by finding strays. Never mind the new batch that I can see on his back, but I don't want to make him any more depressed so I don't mention that. This doesn't stop me from chiding him about the hair on his ankle however.

"That's how you know you're really old--when you have hair on your ankle!"

And as Hubby is laughing, I tell him to stay still because I am not very safe with clippers.

"Stop moving! I can't cut your hair when you move--it makes your head fat wad up!!"

That's when I lost him in fits of shuddering laughter. So if you see him today and his hair looks a little scraggly, now you know why. And if you push upwards just slightly on his scalp, you will see the head fat firsthand.