Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Murphy's Law is Just a Huge Conspiracy Against Parenthood...

Let's face it, if you have little kids and are forced to take them to a place that is not set up for them to succeed, the waits will be long and everything that can possibly go wrong will.

Last week, while in the midst of voting, I lost my driver's license.

In case you have been living in a hole since 9/11/01 I will let you know that due to potential threats on our country and really bad problems with identity theft, regular non crimimal, non terrorist, legal citizens are facing ridiculous flaming hoops when procuring the very ordinary piece of plastic that is a Driver's License. Oh yes I had to proove my citizenship, my identity, my legal name change and my social security number... all on separate forms of identification. I also had to proove my current address from two different sources. What a joy.

However, tracking down all this paperwork was not half of the headache, because let me remind you of an itty bitty detail... I have a three year old. Oh yes, I have a three year old who is with me all day because his November birthday makes him too young to start preschool. Now don't get me wrong, I love having my little dude with me. He's my buddy and we have a blast. However, he is a little imp, has zero patience and is extremely loud. In other words, Jack and the DMV go together about as well as drinking and driving. To say going to the DMV with this child was a car accident, was an understatement.

Now the line wasn't insanely long, but Jack was out of control. I am talking in rare form. It was aweful. He was tearing around and screaming his head off. However, what was I supposed to do? I needed a license. I could come back later, but it would be more of the same. So I gritted my teeth and tried my hardest not to turn into psycho mom and I listened to the numbers inch up to our number.

At long last they were helping the lady in front of us and I was gathering up my documentation and preparing to be called next when I heard the announcement, "We apologize but the driver's license system just went down and we have no idea when it will come up. The last time it went down it was down about 2 hours. You are welcome to wait or come back later."

I will admit. I started crying. I did go to the window and checked to make sure my documentation was correct before leaving.

Determined to avoid this scene once again, I arranged for my husband to watch Jack while I tried again. I decided to make this as relaxing as possible and came prepared with Starbucks in hand and smartphone to Facebook.

Wouldn't you know it but I was barely in the door when one of 8 idle clerks called me to their window. I was out in 5 minutes. It is a conspiracy I tell you... a massive conspiracy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

When the Clock Strikes FEAR

So let's talk about Jimmy and his latest obsession... clocks.

A few weeks ago Jimmy came home with a book about a little boy who stayed up all night. Completely ancillary to the story was the extremely minor detail that the background art showed a clock reading a different time on each page. Well for some reason, unable to be understood by neurologically typical people, this sparked and obsession as strong as the great ceiling fan obsession of 2008.

Now no matter where we go if Jimmy sees a clock, even if it is someone's watch or high on a wall, he makes a beeline for it and plays with it until someone intercepts it or he breaks it. In fact, I am quite certain his goal is to break it. The obsession is only for analog clocks, digital is safe. It is so bad that the clinic where he has therapy takes all the clocks off the wall before he comes for his session.

Anyway we are working on this issue. Today I did what I try my hardest to never to do, which is take all three of my children into WalMart. We had to go to pick up a perscription that could not wait and due to timing I did not get there before the school day is over. Now when we go to Walmart I try to get the cart with the bench on the front so everone has a seat. Today they wer e left out in the rain and I had to use a regular cart. Cristin was fuflilling her daily quota of 5 year old drama regarding not want to walk so I let Jimmy walk. Note I avoid at all costs having Jimmy walk, even though he usually can be trusted.

So imagine this picture: I have the younger 2 in the cart and Jimmy is standing on that little bar under the handle, leaning against me so he doesn't fall, and I am pushing all 3. Now it is all going well until we approach the pharmacy, when out of my periphrial vision I discover where the clock aisle has be RELOCATED! A sense of dread washed through my entire body and my heart started to race as I imagined the catastrophe that would unfold if Jimmy saw it. There were dozens of clocks of all shapes and sizes. I reached deep down and tried to calm myself as I determined the only way to avoid certain disaster would be to act like I saw nothing and keep course.

Thanks be to God he didn't see them... Crisis averted for today.

Oh and Polly this story was for you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sorry I Dropped the Ball

We have been having some technical difficulties so I haven't been keeping up. I hope to be posting more regularly now.

The biggest news is that Jimmy is passing on grade level all disciplines other than Writing, Art and Music. He even got a B in PE. Oh my word! We are loads excited.

I also learned at the beginning of school that Cristin could read. I keep getting acolades from everyone on this super fantastic job I have been doing with her and I keep thinking to myself, "should I let them in on the reality that I was an enormous slacker and that she taught herself?"

Jack now has an official diagnosis of Verbal Apraxia. I am cool with it because Verbal Apraxia is fixable with therapy and is not a permenant problem. I am also thrilled that we know what it is.

Things are crazier than ever around here. It is a good sort of crazy in that I can manage it. Jack is now 3 and he is getting so big.

Will have more to say later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Imaginary Call to Holiness

Cristin, the 5 year old in the middle, has a very elaborate and intricate network of imaginary relationships.

It started when she was only 20 months old. No that was not a typo. When Cristin was 20 months old Jimmy started Early Intervention preschool and she went from having him around all the time to him being gone 8am until 2pm on weekdays. She became lonely and compensated by creating an imaginary friend named Chip. Chip was her buddy for the year and then he disappeared when school let out for the summer. I did not think much of this, other than it seemed a little early.

Chip came and went for a while and then left completely when Cristin was 3. At this age she created Hentree, who remains the principle imaginary friend, but there is an extremely long supporting cast. I have trouble keeping track of them all but the ones I remember are Plency, Crunky, Punkin, Imaginary Brother, Good Melinda, and Bad Melinda (funny thing is Melinda was the first name of last year's teacher). Seriously, there are at least 10 more I can't remember.

The reason why it gets so confusing is because, much like a soap opera, from time to time, she kills them off at random. The cause of death is always something that she knows is dangerous like, "playing in traffic" or "sticking something in an electrical socket." Sometimes old ones that were killed off come back to life. It makes my brain hurt, especially when "Brother" is being naughty and I have to stop and figure out whether it is a real brother or imaginary one. It can be taxing when I get screamed at that Hentree is going to die in a car accident because I pulled out of the driveway before she was buckled.

I have come to accept that weird imaginary stuff is going to go down during the course of the day. However, I must say I was taken aback today when Cristin came to me, dressed in her winter Sunday dress, informed me that it was a Holy Day for the imaginary people, and that she had to take Hentree to an imaginary Church named, "Praise". I was also informed that Punkin, Brother and Melinda were sick so her imaginary husband was going to stay home with them. The next thing I know, she is in her room, telling her REAL brother that he had to go to the cry room because he was too loud. I then heard her sing the Gloria and then the Great Amen. Then I heard her sing Joy to the World.

So apparently, the imaginary people are religious and they celebrate Christ's birth in July.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When a Pull Up Takes a Very WRONG Turn

I woke up today very energized and determined to conquor my backed up laundry. I immediately stripped my sheets, tossed them into the machine and started things rolling.

I immediately returned after I fed and dressed everyone to change loads. I yanked the wet mass of sheets out, and to my horror, a gelatinous mess flew every where. Mike will tell you that I screamed very loudly several times in horror as I fished for the culprit. In the back of the machine, there it was, the empty casing that once was a dry pull up.

I wish I could say that this is the first time that this has happened to me, but in reality it happens once or twice a year, despite extreme dilligence on my part to check the laundry. Eventually a child will change clothes when I am not paying attention and put pants that contain a pull up into the hamper, or one of us, in a sleep deprived state will change a child and forget to separate the pull up. There are also times, like today, for reasons that defy logic, a child will stash an unused one in a totally random place. In this case, someone put a dry one in our sheets and it got folded in. I now know that I must shake the sheets out too. Sigh...

Anyway, now the mountain is going to get bigger since it will take all day to rectify what was a split second oversight. For the benefit of others who may not know what to do, here is the protocol:

Remove laundry from washer and place in dryer. Run the dryer.
While laundry is drying, wipe as much gel out of the washer as possible.
Run the washer with no clothes in it.
Wipe the washer out again and rerun if it still is not clean.
When clothes are BONE DRY, remove, take outside and shake what will now be lint that resembles tissue out
Clean the lint trap very well
Rerun the clothes in the wash.

Repeat the above until you have clean clothes and clean machines. This can take all day.

Now this is a disclaimer, my dryer can take the drying process without getting damaged. I do not know how all dryers will handle it, so if you are concerned about your dryer you should line dry everything instead of using the dryer. I am not responsible if you kill your machine. :)

Off to clean the machine again...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't Cast Your Shadow Over the Light at the End of my Tunnel

Most days it goes like this:

We are awoken early to various children jumping into our bed. We get up, if it is a run day I run. Meanwhile, Mike starts to get everyone ready. I take over when I get back so he can get ready. If there is time, he takes them back so I can shower before he leaves. If not I have to shower as fast as possible with the door open, fully ready to run out all soapy and wet should I hear something amiss. Then I disperse children to various locations and do chores and practice school work with whoever is home. Then I pick up people who need picking up. We do therapy if there is therapy to do. Lunch is somewhere in there. Lots of fighting, trashing of the house and screaming as the day wears on. By dinner the whole place resembles one of those "Calgon Take Me Away" commercials from the eighties. There is a whole lot of crazy. I turn into a drill sargent. Cristin tells me about 20 times that her life is so unfair. The boys do their best attempt to cause a trip to the ER. I get them ready for bed. We clean up. I tell them they have to pray and then they are in their rooms for the night. They may not go to sleep right away, but I am off duty.

Mike is in sales and he goes to work midmorning, but he is usually not home until very late. He works 6 days a week. This means I sail through the hurricane, every day, all day. When we hit about 4:30 I focus on that little light that is bedtime and I push to the finish, much like I push at the end of my run and I am sucking wind.

Jack, in his ever craziness decided that he no longer needs a nap. Like a fool, I kept forcing the nap because I wanted to have a break, only to realize that this was physiological, and that he could no longer fall asleep before 10pm. This became a horribl experience and I finally realized that it was time to ditch the nap. This was hard for me to do, because in reality I never really had to go the distance without at least one kid crashing out for part of the day.

Yesterday was the first day of no nap and it went fine. He was cranky but went right to sleep. Today I planned on the same. Today was particularly difficult. There was flooding of a bathroom, utter trashing of the house, crazy fights and much whinyness. I locked my sights on that bedtime and stayed focused. I put everyone in their rooms and sat down to rock Jack. Sure enough, he quickly started to drift to sleep. Just as he was about to go out...


The door chime went off. This was not good. I had to set Jack on the ground and go running. Jimmy was opening the back door. I did catch him. Yes he is still alive. But man...... ooh I was mad. I gave him a few choice words. Thankfully Jack was asleep quickly.

Don't mess with bedtime. That's my time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Defintely Worth Selling a Limb For

We saw Toy Story 3 yesterday at the full price theatre, which is something we rarely do.

Those of you who know us well know that it is quite unpredictable how a movie will go. Not to mention it seems like it is less expensive to set up a college fund nowadays than to go to a movie. We are Dave Ramsey people. We consider debt an enemy, and have gotten rid of most of ours. We do not use credit cards. It is cash or debit all the way. I coupon, and my 5 year old will tell you that the words "full price" are not a part of our vocabulary. Bottom line is if the budget won't allow it we won't do it.

After spending what seemed like forever pinching pennies to get by, and always aware that we do not know what the next medical need will be, the idea of putting out the ridiculous amount of cash at a movie kind of turns our stomachs. The reason being that if one of the kids can't handle it we are out a lot for nothing, and because with just a little patience we can see it for a dollar. In fact, for us "New Release" means that a movie just hit the Redbox. Toy Story 3, however is an exception, because all of us, especially the boys are so into the series. More importantly, we were certain that all 3 kids would sit for it.

When we told the children yesterday you would have thought it was Christmas. Jack was so excited to wear his Toy Story pull ups to the actual movie, I feared he might show them off (he didn't). Jimmy wanted to buy the movie right then. It was so exciting.

We saw the movie, in the front row of a nearly packed theatre, at 11am. Our biggest obstacle was keeping the boys, particularly Jack from dancing and running in front of the screen. I fully admit to handing my toddler my cup of Coke, which was almost as large as he, to get him to sit in my lap. Bribary is a wonderful thing.

The movie did not dissapoint, and left me with an even greater appreciation for how short this time will be that they are little. It was a blast and was totally worth the splurge.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Aliens Have Landed

It has been calm... too calm.

It started last night when Jack (the 2 yr old) woke up WIDE awake and ready to go. This usually spells disaster. When he does this he gets out of bed and wakes us up. We talk to him, return him to bed and he sits there until he gets bored and comes back. This usually happens right as we drift back to sleep. This cycle will repeat over and over half the night, until his little toddler battery finally runs out of juice and he finally passes out. He then will wake up right on schedule at 6:30am and be a speed demon all day, because when Jack is tired he gets wired. Don't ask me how this inverse of the laws of Physics works, I do not understand it myself.

Here's the deal. He was back asleep in about 15 minutes. This was strange but a welcome change from normal.

Then ALL THREE children slept past 7:30. Honestly, there is a better chance of winning Mega Millions than that happening.

Then they all sat quietly and watched cartoons while I made breakast. I kept waiting for the third world war. Didn't happen.

At this point I started to wonder if aliens had kidnapped my children while they were sleeping and had taken their form. They were obviously doing a poor imitation of their behavior and I was getting very suspicious.

But then I took my shower and I came out to find out they were back to normal.

Aliens... you are welcome to visit again anytime.


Welcome to my blog.

My name is Carey. I am a Conservative Catholic SAHM to three beautful children. Jimmy is 7 and loves to ride horses and build things. Cristin is 5 and she loves dancing, singing and drawing. Jack is 2 and he is a wild and nutty madman, as all toddlers should be. I have a loving husband, Mike, who I have been married to for over 8 years.

So why blog?

Well, life in our house isn't 100% typical and can be downright challenging at times. Jimmy has autism and brings a certain level of originality to our parenting experience. Jack has a pronounced speech delay as well. For the most part we are a regular family. We do regular things with some special needs in the mix. I used to be really stressed out almost all of the time. The boys' needs were exhausting for me and I went through a pretty rough adjustment in learning how to meet the needs of typically developping children with the special needs of another. So I started writing about our daily journey, first in little emails and later in status updates on Facebook. Over time I have been asked to write more extensively, so I am writing this blog.

Most of what I write about is simple everyday chaos with a funny spin on it. I do it to help myself appreciate my children. even the wild side of them. I also do it so that other parents realize that they aren't alone... if say.... they just caught their child cracking eggs over their carpet... AGAIN.

I hope you enjoy our adventure,