Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happiness is in the (not) so little things

The boys are finally back in their sandbox / construction / farm equipment phase and it is warm enough to play in the sandbox.

The garden, which turned out to be a much bigger project than we ever thought, may-- just may-- be ready for a late season planting. Square foot gardening (modified), here we come!

The Rosebud tree I planted a few years ago when it was a twig has bloomed its first pretty pink buds. Kind of makes up for the one damaged, which had been planted in my mom's memory 20 something years ago.

The rain barrel we concocted last year to water the garden yet to happen (and solve the issue of where the sump pump water goes without having to dig massive trenches)is still functional. The strainer (to keep the mosquitoes from populating) won't stay put, dang it. And it keeps filling up and we have nothing to water in the back, so I have to release the overflow down yonder. We're going to put another one on the side of the house to use for the front watering needs and to solve the water problem of that gutter, again so we can avoid trenching. Laziness and desperation are the father and mother of all inventions, right?

Oh, the laundry couch? Take a look. No small feat. (No, the clothes are not in a pile on the floor.)

Motherless Daughters

I haven't been thinking of my mom in a positive light over the past year. Maybe it's because I am struggling with my own inadequacies as a mother. Maybe it's because I've now surpassed my own mother's short 3 decades of life. Maybe it's because I know I will not be bearing anymore children, and am not pleased with the Satan-spewing hormones slapping me in the face and kicking me when I'm down. But last week as I dug in the dirt with bare hands, split and arranged perennials, and carefully selected and planted annuals, I happily thought of my mom.

Gardening just seems like something we would enjoy doing together, peacefully shaping a hole that would soon house a delicate flower. Neither of us talking, but just knowing the other is there, and then triumphantly standing back and admiring the beauty we accomplished together. I don't recall my mom gardening extensively, but I do remember marigolds in the front yard way before "curb appeal" and "garden design" existed. I also remember an abundance of house plants, mainly philodendrums and ferns. Nevertheless, I feel a connection with my mom as I work the soil and then each and every time I walk through the front door and am engulfed by my own little piece of heaven.

(It was really chilly this morning, so the blooms were not open, and much is still poking its way through soggy winter remnants.)


My sister loaned me her extra copy of Motherless Daughters. Apparently I read it years ago--even took notes and earmarked pages--and then I professed its greatness and gave it to my sister to read. I don't know how great a book can be if you don't even recall reading it, but seems like now's the time for me to read it again. Maybe I don't need to remember the words I read, but if the book helps give structure and peace to what is floating around in my head, I'll be happy enough.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Slip Up

Do you ever say things and then think "Who would've thought those words would've EVER come out of my mouth?"

In the past 15 minutes I have said:

"Bubba, come clean up your pee!"


"Mooser, get your fingers out of your butt. ... Keep your fingers out of your butt.

But sometimes the things I hear are even worse:

CRASH ... "Me OK. I ip in Ack pee." (I slip in [Bubba's] pee.)

Yeah, it's gonna be a fun evening.


When a child goes through the developmental stage of potty training, there seems to be an accompanying fascination with their potty parts and an obsession with potty part/function words.

My child is not being sassy because he says "poo poo" and "pee pee". Well, he wasn't until you kept telling him not to say those words. Since they seem to irritate you, well, why not repeat them over and over and over?

And my child is not into b[e]stiality just because he asks every 5 seconds if that's the dog's "pee-nah" (penis) and repeatedly tries to touch it.

And he's not an exhibitionist just because he likes to strip buttnaked, examine himself in the mirror as he stands on the toilet, and then happily waddle around the living room squeezing his package.

At least these are things I tell myself every day.

Since Moose is only four, I know I have years of "pee-nah" issues in the future.

Maybe I'm just jealous that I don't have one.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Meet the Machines

If there was an event tailored for my boys, it would be this.

It's supposed to be happening again this weekend. I know it's on Saturday and I have directions. But what time?!?!?!?


Spring has Sprung

Around these parts, the first signs of a true spring are not the blooming flowers, budding trees, chirping birds, or cleansing rains. Here we know it is Spring (or Fall) when Bubba enters the twilight zone, the land of many meltdowns and sensory overload explosions. I wish I knew why. For years we have tried to be proactive and to intervene before the crisis. But sometimes, it doesn't seem to matter what we do or how we react.

I sent Bubba inside to cool down when he was getting wound up outside (fire red ears). I was cleaning up and getting his brother, when I heard banging. I came inside to see him destroying our screen door (that we JUST put up). He had that glossy-eyed look that I really don't like! I sent him to time out (he went on his own accord) and in the few minutes it took me to clean up one mess, he had made another (slammed the door, ripped down the curtain rod, removed the safety glass on the window, and peed in his pants/on the floor).

We take pictures because when Bubba's punishment is long-lasting, I have pictures to remind him the reason for the punishment. He's getting better at realizing he is still in trouble for something that happened earlier in the day/week, but a lot of times he gets confused. This time he can't play with the neighbor outside all week - daddy named the punishment, and I'm the lucky one who gets to follow through with it.

Everyone is happy now.... until I have to enforce the punishment Bubba received for his destruction.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


With two boys who tend to get overstimulated, one of which has pretty poor impulse control and the other of which is four (enough said!)...well spontaneous, unstructured play time can be a little overwhelming for a momma who has pretty high anxiety.

Today is one of those days where I am ecstatic the boys are entertaining one another... but I am pretty sure one of us is going to end up the emergency room.

For now I clean while I can... and keep my ears tuned for that specific screaming pitch combined with that little boy heckle that lets me know it's not all fun and game anymore.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What's shaking?

I woke up this morning around 4:30. Hubby was already up...why? I don't know. But all of the less sturdy things in the house were shaking? We were walking around hearing/watching things shake. And then it stopped. Nothing going on outside. Nothing on inside. Nothing is on the news. Though the news is on this early, which surprised me! WTF? This is the first night in MONTHS that my children have slept more than 1 consecutive hour. *sigh* And here I am, unable to go back to sleep. Damn it. Ghost or earthquake? Or furniture that has come alive? Or a mom and dad that just need more sleep?

Update: It was a freaking earthquake. In the midwest. Weird. Makes me wish I would've paid attention in highschool during the *big earthquake* scare in the early nineties (the New Madrid fault line is in the southern portion of the state). Wonder if I should dust of the ol' solar blanket....

Oh goody, something else I can obsessively monitor! *smile*

Update two: Just felt another one. I don't like this rattling. Apparently lots of minis: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/32.42.-90.-80_eqs.php

Friday, April 11, 2008

Like mother, like son

We went to the bookstore the other day. I love the bookstore. I love books. The funny thing is, I mean actual books--the cover, the type, the layout, the design-- not the story. One of my favorite classes in college was typography, my career is in publishing. I love production and view content development as nothing more than a means to an end. Often to my own detriment, I can't get past the object to get to the meaning, but my filter has improved over the years.

I think my need for order, structure, and control is summarized nicely in the small package of a book. Having a book means that even when all else is chaos, I have something, something, that is orderly and unchanging. Books make me feel secure, which is one reason you'll find me preferring a physical book to anything online.

So, although I try to use the library (and Internet) as much as possible, every so often I go to the bookstore. I can spend hours lightly touching book covers, flipping through the pages, and yes, even smelling books. I love them. But I no longer buy books just because of how they look. That gets expensive. And people think things based on what you read, although in my case, I am not reading it! I just like the book, like it is artwork.

At our recent trip to the bookstore, Moosie picked not a storybook or picture book, but a red, short, squat bound book with fine print. He was determined that Ivanhoe would accompany him home. "No pick-ers. Us erds." [No pictures. Just words.] He proudly exclaimed to Bubba. Bubba did not get it. "But [Moose], you can't read!"

But nevermind, the boy spent the entire ride home flipping through the pages and inspecting the various angles. And once home, he carried it around much like a child would carry around a doll--his own piece of security, his own piece of art, his own mobile package of all that is wonderful.

I get it, Moose. I get it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I can't even

So much for brighter days or whatever bullshit I spewed in my last post. We had the rest of Bubba's IEP meeting today. I cried. A lot. I couldn't stop myself. And it sucked.

They took away his behavior intervention plan. Yes, the boy that was put in a seclusion room 2 years ago no longer has a behavior intervention plan. Why you may ask? Because he is not exhibiting behaviors that impede his learning or the learning of others. Never mind that the point of an intervention plan is to keep behaviors from happening. Never mind the fact that we have to medicate him. Never mind that by the time he gets home, he is so DONE he is explosive and emotional.

Actually, when it was all said and done, the accommodations and modifications were well captured. He is getting the services I feel he needs. I didn't fight about stuff that was ridiculous but whatever.

But the behavior business really set me off... It was the same LEA who set off what became the chain reaction in Kindergarten. God help me if we have a repeat of that year in any way, shape, or form. I don't think we will. I truly don't think we could possibly. But you better bet I didn't sign anything accepting the removal of his behavior intervention plan.

Hubby of course wants to strip Bubba of all his medication (he is pissed too), and although I have silently threatened to do so many a time, I can't imagine putting Bubba in that predicament (crisis and failure) just to prove a point.

And if I ever hear "He's like any other 2nd grader" in the same breath as "Well, I don't expect him to be able to do that like the other kids" ... well, I may just cry one more time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Amazing Day

I had a whirlwind of a day yesterday. And it closed (in part) with a full double rainbow.

I love rainbows. (Clarification: Real rainbows. I do not own collectible rainbow stuff, nor do I want any!) To this day they take my breath away. Flowers. Rainbows. Butterflies. Wildlife. I almost always take notice, even if it is a brief pause to acknowledge the "amazingness" of the object or creature.

To me, rainbows allude to good days ahead. I mean, come on! The rainbows end at MY HOUSE. See? SEE!!! (The 2nd rainbow was fading by the time I got my camera outside.)

So here's to good days ahead, and what I make of them.


In less than a week, I have gone from a meeting with a senator to spending 2 hours on the phone with an administrator at our state protection and advocacy center to a plan of action and the possibility of meeting with someone important at our state department of education whom I can't seem to find in any of the organization charts.
E-mails have been sent to various lists, and stories about the misuse/overuse of seclusion and restraint are starting to filter in from other families around the state. No turning back now.