A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The House Where Everyone Plays


When I was little, I had the house where everyone plays. In fact, it was the house where everyone plays outdoors, not so much indoors. But we had outdoor games of all sorts, tetherball (yes that DEADLY playground sport) and other games always ready. We would play outdoors for hours, me and the random kids from our neighborhood.

We didn't HAVE little kids around this neighborhood for so long - or they were wee little ones and we didn't know it. But thanks to folks moving, and kids growing suddenly - we have kids. Today we had squirt guns and the bubble table, and sidewalk chalk, and just general running and screaming and playing.
The neighbors grandkids who also happen to live there came over and add them to my four we had crazy times today in the sun. I think I got a little burn. 

It's so exciting to me, because we never had this for our kids - nice neighbor kids to play with. The people on one side of us "won't let Louis play" over there now because they don't like us. That's the short version. That's ok, I don't like them either. 

I want to be the house where everyone plays. 

I'm going to be.

That was the most fun two hours ever.

Her Birthday Joy

Yesterday was HER day. She say "Happy happy JULIA Birthday!" on and off all day. She had a special bath with fancy bath confetti that looked like flowers and made her feel like a princess. We did our nails together, a lovely shade of soft lavender. I let her help. This is why my nails are simultaneously terrible and awesome.

She ordered a carrot cake at the bakery, and had it decorated like with Princesses. She then decided she doesn't like fancy carrot cake with walnuts and raisins and actual carrots. She likes the crappy carrot cake from Walmart.
There were presents and hilariously despite getting things she asked for and really wanted, her favorite thing was a Doc McStuffins backpack. She wants to set it with the boys backpacks - lined up for school.

My favorite thing she got is this gem.
Scott found it at an antique market, and yes, it's a Barbie lamp. We put it in her room with a dim bulb and GUESS who slept in her own room until 6:30 am WILLINGLY? That's right. This time we were both ready. And when she came to snuggle with me, I was glad to see her.
We went to her FAVORITE place for birthdays, and she couldn't wait to see and dance with Chuckie. She literally started screaming like a Beatle had entered the room when he showed up.
Miles proved he's not too big to ride the clock face thing, and he won tons of tickets because he's insanely good at some of those games. Charlie likes to ride things best of all. He thinks that's great.

They are all still sound asleep at 9 am. I think that means it was an awesome birthday.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Four Years of Pink

Four years ago she was brought into the world, and was mighty annoyed with us all over it. She was comfortable, cozy and wasn't interested in coming out doing what we wanted.

Nothing has changed.

She's independent. She can do it herself. She's mouthy. She carries a purse. Often it's full of Matchbox cars. 

She's the person who was missing from our family, but we just didn't know it yet.

Today is her special day, and we're celebrating by giving her a party and a girly day made just for her. 

I have trouble remembering much of the day, yet I remember every minute of that day. It's weird how time works.

She's cut throat at CANDYLAND, people. I gotta warn you, don't bet money. Nobody gets to candy castle faster.

Happy Birthday little girl. You are exactly what we needed around here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Terror From The Top Bunk

My only solace in the last 48 hours of death's grip has been that no one else had it. A week or so ago, they all had it but me. That sucked. It's far better for one soldier to fall than five, and so I figured it was just my turn. Somehow, the virus had lingered around and just chosen to hit me alone a week later.

I should have known that this was wrong in every way.

Shortly before 3 am I heard my husband say " Oh GOD I SMELL POOP" as he came down the hall. I sat up groggily, and wondered briefly had I crapped the bed. I had not. This was the good news. It was the end of the good news.

What had actually happened was that at some point Miles had thrown up in the night. Miles, who sleeps on the top bunk had rained down vomit all over his brothers below him and the room, and neither of them had so much as stirred. It was everywhere. Did I mention they had lasagna for lunch? Kids only puke when you have served them some sort of red sauce, that's a fact.

Kids came my way for wipe down with soap and water and changing of diapers and new pajamas. My husband, the ever able puke warrior went into the room and came out with the bedding and all casualties for washing. We rounded up extra sheets, pillows and blankets and sent Louis and Charlie back to their room, their somewhat puke + Lysol scented room. Miles we made a pallet on the floor next to us using the princess fold out sofa and blankets, plus a trash can nearby.

I would like to say I'm glad to report that he's moved on to the horrible gripping diarrhea, while it is true he has (I've changed 3 diapers in 10 minutes) I'm not glad to report it because I know the misery that's ahead for him.

As for me, I'm up. I'm so exhausted. I just drank a large glass of ice water in an absurd amount of time, hello dehydration. I may go get another.

I made myself a latte, but didn't bother with but half of it.

I'm weak and wobbly and sweaty. I am out of sorts on all counts. We have a birthday and two soccer games tomorrow, plus Easter Egg coloring, plus EASTER on Sunday which is always a special day too.

We are at DEFCON 1 with handwashing and Lysol up in here. There isn't anything else we can do but hope.

Please go away virus. We have a special day tomorrow. We can't be sick.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Have The DEATH

On Sunday night I had this horrible feeling all evening that my food didn't go down. Horrible rolling waves of nausea gripped me but, by the time I went to bed I was "mostly" ok.

I woke up early, about 15 minutes before the kids were supposed to get up. I sat on the edge of the bed, contemplating what to do with this gift of 15 minutes when I realized I was shaking. Sweat was pouring out of me and I realized, what I was going to do with this 15 minutes had already been determined by mother nature.

I was going to be sick.

I spent Monday locked in to a spin of horrible unpleasant bodily functions.

To be clear on how unwell I was, I didn't have any caffeine and got no withdrawal headache. Since my body was performing a purge on it's own, coffee was ill advised. I have never missed my morning coffee and not paid for it with a headache that could inspire you to cut someone for saying "HAPPY HUMPDAY" or something equally inane. No headache, no desire for caffeine.

I woke up on Tuesday and made a cup of coffee - and it tasted like death chemicals. Like windex and bleach had a child, and I had just put cream and sugar in it. I threw it out, and made a second cup in case I had some how forgotten how to use the Keurig over 24 hours.

It was better, but not that satisfying AMAZING MORNING COFFEE I love.

Tuesday I was ok. I felt much better. Got stuff done. Good day.

Wednesday started out bad, so I should've known something was in the mail. I woke up very unwell. I felt shaky and out of sorts but I went to work. Again, I felt like my food wasn't going down. I mean, it was clearly IN my stomach but my stomach felt like it might just erupt at any time, that it was over full and sloshy in a horrible way. This went on all day.

When I got home, I felt chilled and terrible. I gave the three little kids a bath, because they were three dirty little kids and shortly after the last bath - I started throwing up.

I was very sorts of sick until about 3 am-ish, at 10 minute or so intervals - sometimes more. I couldn't keep down water. I felt like I was melting. It was charming.

I slept today until 1pm.

I can keep down water. And I had toast, a piece of ham, and now I'm having a yogurt. Yogurt seems well advised.

Again I haven't had coffee or caffeine. I don't even care. In fact I'm afraid of starting another round of purge so am avoiding it. I've seen the Rotovirus before, more than once and this doesn't seem like that one. Maybe the Norovirus or some other thing that makes you horribly ill is what I have. As for now, I'm going to try to rest and eat enough to be strong enough to go to work tomorrow.

A nap would be lovely.

I would post a picture, but no one wants that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's My FRIDAY!!!!

It's MY FRIDAY is the battle call of workmates that plan not to do any work that day. I used to work at a place that had rotating weekend coverage so when your turn came up, you ended up with a Thursday as your Friday afterward. OR rather, Thursday was the last day you worked that week.

We made rules for "Our Friday". We could wear jeans. Even though it was Thursday, we'd pound our chest and say "IT'S MY FRIDAY". We'd leave early, shrugging because WHO CARES? IT'S MY FRIDAY!

It's my Friday covers up a world of work sin.

Today is my Friday.

It feels weird because I took yesterday off so the husband could do another round of medical tests, and then Louis and I went to the movies for something fun to do.

I woke up this morning feeling like I should still be snoozing.

Then I remembered "IT'S MY FRIDAY!"

I wonder if I go to work in my pajamas they would accept that excuse?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

In The Silence

I love Spring Break because if I am very lucky, I manage some morning silence.

Yesterday I got screwed out of it I SWEAR they heard the Keurig warming up. Today though I'm creeping like a ninja and trying to type quietly. I normally type pretty hard, Or so I'm told.

I hear the bunk bed creaking, and I hope it's someone rolling over, not someone coming to locate the source of this clicking clacking, or perhaps the smell of this lovely mocha latte I just made.

I have to be quieter.

In a family of six, getting to be alone and just wallowing in silence is nearly impossible. It's a luxury like I can't describe. No one wants anything, no one needs me, no one is crying because something in their world isn't working as they want.

I have been awake and in total silence except for the groans of my house for 19 minutes.

This is better than meditation or yoga.

This is peace.
If I broke some bones, I could totally do that pose.

Monday, April 07, 2014

This Challenging and Rewarding Journey

I am weary of people dressing up my existence like it's some great trial and there will be a bonus for completing this level.

There is a couples retreat locally that is for parents raising children on the Spectrum. I would like to say that, even though I don't have anything like people who could or would take my kids for a weekend, I think it's a good thing. I am only marginally jealous that this isn't available to US. It would be nice, to talk to other parents, to laugh about our crazy lives with people who TRULY get it.

That's not my gripe.

My real gripe is how special needs literature of ANY sort always has to dress it up like we've been given some prize.

THIS IS THE WORST PRIZE EVER. I was given children with a mental disability and this is a prize? REALLY. Wow. What does the runner up get? Their head on a pike?

The thing is, people seem to be afraid to just acknowledge that your life can be very shitty but you can still find things to be happy about. You can survive and even thrive, whilst churning through the chaos. I don't look on the bright side and try to find what 's positive because this is "a challenging and rewarding journey." There is no endgame nor REWARD for doing this right. There is also really no penalty for doing it wrong.

I look for what's good, I cry sometimes, and I find a reason to be happy every day BECAUSE THERE IS NO REWARD TO THIS JOURNEY. It's my responsibility as a human, for both myself and my family to create a good world. I have to wake up and put my feet on the ground and create good things in this world. I only get one shot and I won't always succeed but whether I win or lose, it's not because of some elusive "reward" to my life.

There are people in this life who look at children needing a home and a family, children with special needs, and they take them into their homes. They make lives and worlds for these children. They sacrifice themselves intentionally, their freedoms, and abandon a life of selfish living for the good of a child who needs them. These people elected a challenging journey, and I think they probably feel it's rewarding because they are truly doing GOOD in this world.

There is a lot to feel good about in that.

But as for me, I'm simply playing the cards I was dealt. I didn't make this choice. I promise you I am far too selfish for all that.

If there are rewards, I want them to be like Greenstamps. I will cash them in for a blender or toaster.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Tarry Now, Rash Titania

Wednesday we got the call. Come get Louis, he's sick. I drove over, unprepared for what I met. He had been at play practice, and was standing outside the gym - because it had been too hot in the gym. I found him the color gray and ice cold. Slightly incoherent and mumbling. As I arrived he leaned over and puked.
As I drove home, I pulled over so he could puke again on the 7 minute drive to the house.

The boy was unwell.

This presented a challenge because the play was Thursday. Titania and Puck need an Oberon but Oberon spent Wednesday into Thursday with his head in a bucket. I am proud of him though, because Thursday night for the play he sucked it up and made it.
I was glad because he's been rehearsing since October for this night. He didn't feel well and was ready for bed as soon as it was over, but he MADE it.
It was a victory, I thought, though. And we went to bed happy for a fun night.

Until the girl whimpered, and gurgled, and splashed VOMIT all over us and her. Yes, Julia had it. 4:30 am on a night when going to work the next day wasn't optional, and she and I were hitting the bathtub to get clean and shiny. Scott was tasked with cleaning up the bedding. I got the better deal.

As he was cleaning he realized his stomach hurt A LOT.

My husband began puking as I ran to work the next morning, sending the twins to school and hoping for the best.

I got home, only to get a call - Miles was throwing up.

We made a scene on the way out of HIS school, vomiting across the school lobby and parking lot.  He got the idea of the bucket quickly, which was an amazing improvement in HIS vomit experience. Or should I say in OURS.

Miles version of the bug quickly turned into diarrhea of the "OH DEAR GOD MAKE THIS STOP" variety. My Friday evolved into a race. A race to get the bucket, a race to get the diaper changed in short intervals.

Charlie however was fine. I felt sick, and some slight illness and then recovered.

I'd like to thank the universe for that one.

About 48 solid hours of vomiting and pooping uncontrollably was fairly unpleasant. Couple that with my husband being incredibly sick and not able to help much, it was a nightmare.

We all seem well today, knock on wood. NO YOU TOO KNOCK ON WOOD.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Our Last Dance

The boy took me as his date to the 90th Birthday Party of his elementary school, which just happens to be our last elementary school dance together. He's in fifth grade now. He's one of the big kids, with a posse of boys he runs around and acts goofy with.
We went and I took a dutiful seat on the bleachers so that he could do whatever it is 5th grade boys do at dances. Part of the time the answer was climb to the tallest bleacher and WATCH everyone. This seemed to be appropriate during songs like CALL ME MAYBE.
But then sometimes, the FOOTLOOSE MOMENT would happen and the lot of them would be all LETS DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANCE.
There were even some moments I hadn't hoped for, as I sat dutifully on the bleachers being cool. There were several times throughout the night that he came over and said "Come on Mom come dance with me!" Which by the way was about the best thing in the world.
Based on the way he sticks his tongue out, I'm guessing he is the Michael Jordan of dancing. Otherwise I'm not sure what is happening. Yes - they're doing Gangnam Style.
It will be so different doing it with a girl when we start the elementary school experience at this place OVER in two years. I'm so glad we went. We had the best time.

Even he said so.