Monday, June 29, 2009

Frankie Gets Her Groove Back

I've just been feeling so ... alive lately! Really! More motivated than I have in years..since my Dad died. Dh said I went on autopilot, and I feel like I'm waking up from it. I've apologized to dd, but she says there's nothing to apologize for. I've worried over what I would have done diff these last five years differently for ds, but dh said autopilot or not I've done more than he would have thought to. I still wonder....

When Dad died, dd was 8 and ds was 5! I wonder if those VERY IMPORTANT years slipped by me..they went so very fast. But I've let it go because there's nothing I can do now and I did my best. I was just so...shocked when Dad died. My whole life was about making him proud. I don't think I realized HOW MUCH until he died.

Anyway, dh has been commenting on my bounciness lately. I'm laughing more, even when I'm worried. I used to take the kids " 'Splorin" - something dh and I used to do when we dated and were first married...taking unknown dirt roads or going somewhere you haven't been just to see it ... but we haven't really done much of that over the last few years.

Well, today we went 'Splorin!! There's a big lake you pass on the way to dd's Bible camp (she opted not to go this year) and I've always wanted to go to it and have a look around. So, I filled up the van with gas and away we went!!

Its beautiful!! Its a lake by a dam and it was quiet and peaceful and the day is just GORGEOUS!!! Blue skies....high 70s, low least when we went around lunchtime. I sent a pic and text to dh "Pretty!" He texted back "You are pretty...where are YOU?" I texted him back a pic of me smiling and "Flatterer!"

On the way home we saw this HUGE perfectly triangular pile of sand and so I texted him a pic and "Look! We drove all the way to Egypt!" Mr. Literal texts back "What's with the pic of the sand auger??"

It was supposed to be a PYRAMID. Use your IMAGINATION! Geez. LOL

Anyway, we did that ... ate lunch... paid some bills...mailed the Netflix back...and visited the Library.

All in all, a good day so far!! I'm really happy lately in general and I just wanted to share!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hillbillies on the Corner

"I wanna be a hillbilly, prayin’ for the rain
Drink corn whiskey, raise a little cane
You can have the big city, I wanna be a hillbilly.
When I die, throw me a big fine wake
And have a party in the barn
Let me lie in state
Plant me under that oak tree
I wanna be a hillbilly" - Billy Carrington "I wanna be a Hillbilly"

My yard is pretty!

We've always pretty much been the "Hillbillies on the Corner" (as we've dubbed ourselves).

With our half-dead yard and out of control mutant bush/tree...our dead flowerbeds full of weeds and the "dog yard" - which is a fenced in backyard holding the dogs and copius amounts of dirt splotches and masses of weeds - all we're missing is a truck up on blocks and my dh sitting in a lawn chair in the front yard in a wife beater shirt, scratching his belly as he swills beer.

Everyone EVERYONE around us has a kept yard. But I just haven't been able to go out there and really work without fear of ds bolting and getting run over or getting away. I'm at work when he's in school during the day. Dh is always exhausted. He works his 12 hour shifts and has a second job on his days off that can sometimes go for up to 5 hours or so. He also attends training on his days off. And then when he's TRULY off...he just wants to play XBox or be with us.

Well, we occasionally used to call out a yard service to keep the yard passable. We gave up on the dog yard years ago and just let the dogs have it. Everyone seems to understand and pretty much everyone loves our dogs, thank goodness.

This summer, dh and I for some reason both got sick of being a joke...albeit a good natured joke. Everyone seems to get we don't have time or money. We didn't want to pay the yard service. And, I think the road construction this year that seriously killed the corner of our yard made dh mad. It was like the last insult.

He wondered if he should raise the blades on the lawnmower and if that would make our yard more lush and green. We were cutting it really short because we figured we'd have to cut it less often. Dh was right!! Raising the blades and putting the sprinklers out more often has made my yard lush and green just like our neighbors!! Just like that!! AND he sprayed weed and feed spray stuff and weed b gone (we were lucky that the main yard didn't have a whole lot of weeds anyway..some dandelions mainly) and grass seed. The dead corner isn't totally back, but it looks a lot better.

I put out a hanging pot with flowers and IT IS LIVING!!! I usually kill flowers, but I finally found some that like me!

The dog yard is still the dog yard, and there are tons of weeds still around the base of the house, BUT its looking pretty good. When I drive past our house now, I'm not embarrassed at our yard compared to our neighbors anymore.

I'm thinking of painting the shed psychedelic colors like one of those hippie buses from the 60s... hee....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

R.I.P. Itsy Bitsy Spider

This morning, ds and I were in the bathroom (We only have one.). He was using the facilities and I was washing my face. So, I rinse my face and look up and ds is standing there with a towel and starts drying my face for me - like I do for him after his bath. I let him dry my whole face and he did a very good job. :)

BUT then, he reaches over on the sink and PICKS UP a black spider. I have no clue what he was going to do with it. I think he was giving it to me because it was crawling across the back of the sink.

Without thinking, I yelped and shook his hand and the spider fell. I got a piece of toilet paper, smooshed it, and threw it in the toilet. I said "Flush" and ds did. Not until I told dh did I rethink my actions.

Dh said, "Oh great, you've taught him to kill. I don't know if we want that to be his first reaction, do we? He was curious because it was moving." I said, " But, what if he picks up something that BITES him???" Then dd said, "Great! You killed Itsy Bitsy Spider!!"

I know they were just giving me a hard time, but I got to thinking....that's one of ds's favorite songs. What if he picked it up because it was Itsy Bitsy Spider and then I KILLED IT???? Ds seems totally unaffected and I know its silly but I've worried about it all day now!

Someone tell me I didn't kill Itsy Bitsy Spider!! LOL

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wanna Pway?

So, every since we got the Wii and hooked it up, ds has been watching. Sitting and watching. I tried to show him how it works. He totally didn't get it. Then he watched some more and said something to me and was looking at me like he wanted me to read his know just staring at me.

We decided to make him a Mii. He figured out finally how to choose his own favorite color. He chose green. AND he helped us type his name! He knows the letters in his name. If you get him started by saying the first letter, he'll say the rest or write the rest. But you have to get him started. So, I taught him to point the wiimote thing and click. He has shaky fine motor control so I helped him steady his hand and he clicked. He kept stopping to tap the wiimote against his cheek of course, but he did a pretty good job.

Then we tried to find a game for him to play. He walked off uninterested, so I went back to playing for me. The only thing I hadn't done yet was boxing. So I was boxing. Ds thought something was wrong with me and walked up and grabbed my face and pulled it down to his like he does for comfort and said "I seeeeeee you." We've always said that to each other. :)

I said ds, you wanna play? He said wanna pway? Usually if he repeats it means yes and if he squeals and gets upset that means no. LOL So, I showed him how to box on the Wii and he did a pretty good job! I know he doesn't totally get that his actions match on the screen...aaaand he kept accidentally pausing the game because he likes to push buttons...but he was so excited and jumping up and down!

After he was done, he was smiling and laughing and flapping his hands. He was so happy. I asked dh if the BOXING game is a good idea. We're still not sure if he'd equate flinging a couple of remotes around to hitting. We are going to have to give some though to that. Anyway, looks like ds might be able to participate on this thing too!

Things that make you go Wiiiiiii.....

Today we did a bad thing. A very bad thing. We used a credit card.

We haven't been living on credit. We screwed up with credit in our 20s and have been pretty good with it since...barely using it at all. My dd's 13th is coming up. We wanted to get her something nice to mark her 13th. We asked her what she wanted and she gave us a very reasonable list. We asked her again without being worried about money and the Wii appeared on that list.

Dh and I discussed it. We hemmed and hawed. We thought of saving up but tons of other things are coming up that we will need the cash for. It certainly isn't an emergency and I won't make it sound as such. Its just that dd is so responsible. So helpful with her brother. Such a really good kid all around. We wanted to get something COOL. So...we did. :P

And dh cannot stand waiting ..ever. So, we gave it to dd today, even though her birthday is over a month away! LOL

She's thrilled to PIECES! We also chose the Wii because we live in an area that has long, harsh winters and we thought this would be a good way to stay physically active indoors. We didn't get any fancy package or anything. Just Wii Sports. But WOW its fun!! And I worked up a sweat!

My dd and her bestfriend (bff) came home from the pool today and here it was! And they played it until bff had to go home.

I feel a little guilty about using credit, but I think it was a good decision in the end. And I know in the winter we'll be glad!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good Day Sunshine!

Ahh...the sun. Yep, it was out today and around 70 degrees. The public pool opened and people were out walking and gardening and mowing and so forth. We packed up and headed for the park.

My kids are really a little old for the park, but they love it anyway. Dd inevitably ends up entertaining younger kids. She's so great with them. I could easily see her as a teacher someday, but she wants to travel and see the world. Well, she comes by that honest! LOL

My ds likes to dig in the dirt and drop it and dig it up again. Then he swings and climbs some. He stops and tilts his head back and you can see him breathing in deeply. He watches the leaves on the trees blow in the wind. Sometimes he closes his eyes and just feels the wind. I think ds would live outside if I let him.

Dd's bestfriend (bff) met us at the park. We ended up going for a drive and I let dd show off her driving skills (on a dirt lake road) to her bff. We went to the Library and my dd the new Trekkie (that's my girl! LOL) got three episodes on tape and a Star Trek novel. Ds and bff got some things too and so did I.

And then a quick stop for sleepover junkfood for the girls and home again.

I told you the next one would be upbeat! ;) I hope everyone had the peaceful day we did.

A Man Worth His Weight in Gold

Dh called me from work just to check up on me. He hasn't done that since the last time I was sick. I mean, he calls just to say Hi and He loves me, but he blatantly came out and said "How are you doing?"

I'm not terrific, but so far I'm alright. At least now I know why I've been complaining of being so dang tired all the time.

Then he told me that he wanted me to take myself to see "Land of the Lost." I've been talking about wanting to see it. He said he's worried I'm gonna get all isolated and depressed like last time when I had my flare-up. He wants me to go to a funny movie and laugh and take some time for myself. I love him so much. I wish he wouldn't worry.

I don't want to be treated like I'm sick. He says that we knew this was coming. Colitis doesn't go away. He said we've been blessed that I had such a long remission (about 7 years) and hopefully if I get on the right meds this time, this flare up will be short and not severe.

I hope so.

Eh. My next blog will cheerful; I promise! Enough of this depressing crap for awhile. I'm planning dd's 13th birthday bash!! More on that later...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Girl With Colitis Goes By....

That's a misheard lyric from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by John Lennon. The actual lyric is "The Girl with kaleidoscope eyes.."

And WHY am I even mentioning this?

I have Ulcerative Colitis. Yep, there's one of those chronic conditions I mentioned before. I wouldn't mention it at all, except I'm starting to flare up again and I'm TERRIFIED.

Last time I had a flare up - in the early 2000's - I had malabsorbtion and became scarily skinny. I became sick and couldn't eat. My teeth became weak. My period stopped. My nails and hair stopped growing. It was frightening and horrifying and .... anyway, it was bad.

I cannot get sick like that again. I'm calling today to make a doctor appointment. I'd appreciate any prayers. Thanks.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to not worry about it and so far it isn't bad...I just don't want it to get that way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Tooth Fairy, Mothers, Fathers and What's Wrong With the World

We went and paid the insurance bill today and swung by the theatre and looked to see what dd had been cast as. She's The Tooth Fairy in a very cute sounding play! She's known to be very sunshiney and such, so its a perfect role for her! LOL I think she's going to have so much fun! Next she tries out for the next play with her singing voice. We'll see...

We also found out when my Mom is visiting from her home in the Motherland. LOL She'll be here at the end of July into the middle of August. She's missing work as she cleans homes for a living, so we're trying to see if we can save a little money to give her when she leaves. She'll try to refuse it, but I'm gonna try my best to see she takes it.

Dh's dad is having some medical stuff going on right now. He called us today to detail the treatments he's receiving over his blood clots. I'm glad it seems he's going to be alright, but I caught myself wondering why older people want to tell you all the details of their medical ailments. Then I realized I do it too (I have some chronic issues) and shut my mouth and tried to listen with sympathy to my father-in-law and not think about all the stuff I needed to get done instead of being on the phone.

That's probably what's wrong with the world. Not enough of us shut our mouths and open our hearts and really LISTEN to each other. In the end its our relationships with each other and God that will really matter anyway...not how much laundry we got done or how clean the house was.

That's my deep thought for the moment anyway.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

So far this summer, I am soooo lazy. I stayed up late and slept in late. *Yawn* Dh took care of ds. Dd - in true preteen fashion - slept until...just now funny enough. As I was typing this, she wandered in looking like Jim from "Taxi." LOL

Dh, ds, and I are curled up in the den. We've watched "Muppets in Space" and are now watching ds's choice (I WANT COOS, PWEASE!) "Blue's Clues." Its foggy, humid, and cold outside. Where IS summer??? Dd is helping herself to some cereal...

Later, we'll be dropping by to look at the casting list for our local youth theatre program dd does every year. She's so excited! She might get to sing this year on stage. They have to hear her first though.

Beyond that, its just a typical day of house-cleaning, bill-paying and so forth.

Well, it can't ALWAYS be exciting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mother Warriors

"People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all, has happened." - "You've Got Mail"

Yes, I'm quoting that movie a lot. I'll get over it soon...maybe.

So, I'm reading Jenny McCarthy's new book "Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds. Well, I'm not really READING it as much as SCANNING it because it makes me want to choke someone. It makes my stomach hurt and makes me want to throw up. It makes my face red with anger and my blood boil and at the same time makes me want to fall in a heap and cry and cry and cry and cry.

My ds has autism. Some of you know that already. My ds after a long, drawn out process in which he was misdiagnosed a couple of times was finally diagnosed with severe autism, severe mental retardation and communication disorder. He also has picked up along the way gellastic seizures, chronic constipation, sleep problems, mood problems...

We've struggled. We've fought. I got tired and for awhile I feel like I ...well, not gave up..but lost focus. Don't get me wrong...we never stopped any therapies and we tried new ones. We went to drs and he's taken meds and been taken off meds. We've dabbled in the all-natural ways. But we're spinning our wheels these last few years in a lot of ways.

I used to get really angry at books that insinuated that if I only tried harder...if I was only a better, stronger MOM that my son would be "cured." I want to shout like Scotty from "Star Trek"...I'M GIVIN' HER ALL SHE'S GOT, CAPTAIN!!!

But then, Scotty always pulled it off in the end, didn't he?

Will I? Will ds? Is it even God's will? Perhaps my son's autism has been a gift. I know there are things I never would have learned had it not been for his autism. I know that my son is happy with the simplest joys...maybe he's really the smart one after all.

I don't know.

I just know that I feel like I'm fighting a battle all the time against these seemingly insurmountable barriers facing my son. I want to link my hands and give him a step up over...I want to put him on my shoulders so he can see... I want to take a sledgehammer to that wall and SMASH IT DOWN so he can have all the opportunities to succeed or screw up as the rest of us.

And so, we're going to really go the naturopathic route here pretty soon. It worked for Jenny and her son Evan....maybe....just'll work for us.

Please pray for us. You can never have too much prayer. Thanks :)

Dear Friend

"Dear Friend, I like to start my notes to you as if we're already in the middle of a conversation." - "You've Got Mail"

And so I will. I thought about introducing myself, but then it was all too much. So, we will learn about each other as we go, how about that? ;)

What are you doing right now? Right now I'm sitting on the couch with the laptop in my..well...lap..and avoiding housework. Right now my ds (dear son) is running around in his underwear. LOL

My dd (dear daughter) has become obssessed of late with "Star Trek" and is in the den watching a marathon of "Star Trek" the original series. She is in love with Spock - both of them, new and old - as only preteens can fall in love (He is HOT! He WAS hot!)

My dh (dear husband) is sleeping. He is adjusting his sleep schedule for switching to day shift from night shift.

And that - dear reader - is my life right now. If you want to learn why my blog is named "Mama Warrior" then you'll just have to read more as we go...