Hey, Mom?…..

You have to know that any conversation that starts with Hey, Mom…………is going to be an interesting one.  It could be deeply revealing, like:

Hey Mom, did you know that I think you are awesome? 

or a little nasty like

Hey Mom, can you get me a kleenex?

or worse,

Hey Mom, come look at this….oh and bring a kleenex…..

Or, as I hear in my office, the teenagers breezing in with

Hey Mom, can I have: 5 bucks, the car keys, permission to sleep at Joe’s….

But you know what?  This ”Hey Mom’ loves this phrase the best:

Hey Mom, can I have just one more hug?

Summer is Here!

Summer is here (Finally!) and with it comes the dreaded summer vacation.

Ok, the kids love it, but yikes.  Who’s babysitting, who’s on holiday, where are the kids going to be…..I like the structure and routine of the school year.  Hmmm, maybe a little spectrum myself?!?

We took the boys to a local area pool yesterday. What a joy!  Nathan still refuses to float on his back but is pretty close to swimming on his own.  He spent as much time with his head under water as on top of it!  He does a front crawl(ish) but when he runs out of air, he can stand up to breathe.  Well, it’ll come! Neither boy quite got their SwimKids 1 badge, Eric was close but won’t do front floats.  Next time.

They both passed their grades without trouble.  Nathan is reading at or near grade level but really struggling with math.  Addition is coming, subtraction is beyond him right now.  Eric is right at grade level and learning everyday. Nathan needs to keep practicing his skills & Eric demands to have Learning Time too.  So, I’m sorry Ms.W, but he’ll be coming to grade 1 a little over-prepared.  What can you do?

Swimming Lessons

We’ve been doing swimming lessons every Tuesday now for 8 weeks.  What fun!  The boys love the water but are not very confident without life jackets.  Eric is managing to do a front swim, starfish and back swim.

Nathan?  Well, he’s stiff as a board.  Terrified if you let go.  Arms flailing, legs kicking, panicked face.

But he loves the water.  Go figure.  There’s no way he’s going to pass Swim Kids 1.  He needs another 10 weeks just to get comfortable, I’m sure.   So, while you might guess it is wasted money, I disagree.  I wanted to get him a ‘first try’ at the level before summer lessons.  I knew going in there was little chance of him getting his badge.  We’re there to learn, not to earn “no stinkin’ badges”

We went public swimming last night which was awesome…..until they cleared the pool for vomit.  Lovely. 

We were getting out in 5 minutes anyhow but ewwwwwww………………..

Lost & Found

Yesterday I stumbled on a miracle.

You see, I have a sister I have never met.  She lives in another country & my father and her mother divorced before I was born.  We were unable to visit her for political reasons, not because we didn’t want to.  My Dad always told me we’d bring her to see us when she was an adult and could choose for herself.

Growing up, I always knew I had a half-sister.  I knew she lived with her grandmother and that she didn’t write very often.  We had a postal strike and the letters stopped coming.

Then, we got a phone call.  The caller demanded to know why Dad hadn’t responded to the invitation to his daughter’s wedding.  And, didn’t he know how much that hurt her?  Poor Dad.  He had no idea.   The invitation had never arrived & now his baby was married……..and pregnant.

I was 9 when my niece was born.  I felt very grown-up.  After all, no one else I knew had a niece yet!  Didn’t matter to me that we’d never met, I was someone’s Auntie.  The next surprise was when my nephew was born, on my brother’s birthday!  And, finally she surprised us with another boy, many years later.

Contact with my sister & her family was pretty sporadic over the years. Mostly her husband would write & never often enough for me!  Suddenly, the letters stopped coming about 8 or 9 years ago.  We thought maybe we did something wrong.

I’ve been on Facebook for a long time now & I have spent many hours trying to find any of my family there, through Google, yellow pages and etc.  I always hoped that it would happen.

And yesterday, I found my gorgeous niece & her handsome brother.  And, guess what?  I’m a Great-Auntie.  My niece has a 5 year old son & my nephew, an 18 month old daughter.  I was a great-aunt at 27.  If you think that sounds funny, my Dad was a Great-Grandpa at 55.

Dad & my Mom were so excited.  We all cried.  My niece says her Mom cried too.  It feels like a miracle.

Give Me Another Chance??!??

Ok, I know it has been a very long time between updates.  It’s just that I’ve been really busy.

Or something.

Nathan is doing so well that I hardly feel the need to blog things off my chest.  Maybe the lack of posting is a good thing?  I don’t feel the need to pour my heart out on a constant basis.  For that, I am grateful. 

In a way, we’ve been enjoying the elusive “normal” life that I have craved.  The boys are doing well in school, Nathan is making appropriate progress, not fast but definite progress.  He is nearly at grade-level in reading, math is behind as is gross & fine motor.  I’ve come to accept that this is a long process, not a race.

Sure, I notice things are still hard for him.  He can’t keep up to his peer group.  But, he is happy.  He is thriving.  He has friends.  What more can an ASD mom ask for?  What more can a mother ask for? 

Though Autism has shaped our lives, we are grateful that Nathan & Eric are both healthy.  A friend of ours was just diagnosed with cancer this morning.  She’s 10 years old & although the prognosis is good, we’re still terrified for her & her family.  I was at her baptism, I’ve watched her grow up.  Now, I have to trust that God will allow us to see her through to adulthood.  Please, as you pray, remember us.

Not Better, Not Worse

The darned pneumonia just won’t go away. I still feel dragged out today, yet here I am at work. Might as well do something productive at the computer as opposed to surfing e-bay.

But, enough about me.

Let me tell you about my Nathan. He is jumping on one foot! This is a BIG deal, he’s only jumping an inch or two off the ground on 2 feet and has never had the coordination to jump on one!

He is reading “B” books. His teacher says grade 1 students read between a B-I book level. He started at (struggling through) A level, but after 2 months has moved on to B. The difference is more words and more words per page, as I can tell. They are still basically dealing with sight words, but are more interesting. His teacher’s goal is to get to I books at H comprehension by year-end. At 2 months per level, this could be a stretch but she says he can do it, so I’m gonna believe it and support it.

Also, he is singing. Constantly. Every song he learns in music class is coming home. The Pizza Song, the “Back to School Again” song and all its derivatives (like The Farmer in the Dell), Twinkle Twinkle -which he loves to sing in a “mad” voice, so funny.

He’s off key, misses a word or two and is so proud of himself, I can’t help but grin.

Happy Friday the 13th. Hope it is lucky for you!

I’m Sick

Well, I’m not really sick anymore,  but I’ve been sick.  I went to my cousin’s wedding, which was beautiful and a whole other post….. and came home s-i-c-k.

I could barely get out of bed.  Fever, chills, body aches.  That lasted about 3 days, I started to improve, and woke up having trouble breathing.  So, off to the ER we went and I was diagnosed with………drum roll………. pneumonia. 

I’m off to the doctor again today for the “all clear” to go back to work and hopefully find out just what all the test results were.  I’m thinking it was H1N1 because of symptoms.  I really hope it was because I don’t want to go through being that sick again.  Two full weeks off work, even with sick benefits, is a long time.

The pneumonia was a bit of a shock – I’ve never had it before.  Literally, you feel like you can’t breathe or take a deep breath.  If that isn’t bad enough, your chest also hurts and weighs a ton.  Yet, very little coughing.  I might have coughed 10 times in 3 days before developing the pneumonia. 

For all those who are pro-vaccine and are now quietly chastising me for my anti-H1N1 stance, I’d remind you that I’m not even eligible for the vaccine yet anyhow.  It’s not as though I had a chance and passed it up, I haven’t actually had the opportunity to decide.  We’re still busy trying to reach the most vulnerable & I am not one of those.  Also, I’m not anti-H1N1 for everyone else, just my own family.  You do your own research, make your own decisions.   Don’t substitute my choices for your own.

One thing I would point out, (assuming I had H1N1) is that the complication of pneumonia was brutal to me – who has lost 15 pounds, runs 10 miles a week and is generally is excellent health.  If you do have an underlying medical condition, I would think hard before saying no to the vaccine.  The flu snuck up on me in about 6 hours and the pneumonia symptoms developed in 2-3 hours.  I woke up feeling pretty good and by 11:00 a.m. was in the ER.

Fortunately, I got a nebulizer, strong antibiotics and probiotics and am well on my way to recovery.  The kids are fine, hubby is fine, the preggo in my office is fine.  Thank God I didn’t expose her to this.  Take care readers, wash your hands and watch for symptoms!

Random Thoughts

I can’t seem to hold a decent thought in my head long enough to write a post these days, so I’m about to do a brain dump on you all. Let’s see…….

Nathan’s IEP was 2 weeks ago, it was very positive. I know. Shocking. But it really was. I got everything I wanted for him (more OT/PT, more focus on academics) and felt like the team really wants to see him succeed. It took about 1.5 hours in total but at the end, I felt like my kid is special, valued and fun to be around. You can’t ask for much more than that. Score: Mommy 1, Nathan 1

We went to the Eye Specialist last Monday for the twice annual vision check. Turns out Nathan’s eyes are now both working, independently. This is an improvement, but now we have to put Atropine in each eye, alternating weeks. Sounds easy? HA. Ha. ha.

Friday morning finds me pinning my screaming child to the floor, tiny eye dropper bottle in hand, attempting to force his eye open just long enough to get a single drop in. Total time required: 15 minutes. Adults required: Two. Score: Mommy 1, Nathan 0, and still really mad about it.

Saturday was my high school (mini) reunion. Now there was a blast from the past. A couple of people haven’t changed a bit. Draw whatever conclusions you want from that. But there was one who just seems so content in her life and I’ve never known her that way. What a change a little bit of happy makes. I wish we lived closer together because I think I’d like to be her friend. Score: Mommy, who acted like a teenager, just for one night: 1, Kids: 1 (they stayed with Grandma!)

My dress arrived from Ohio for my cousin’s wedding on Saturday. It is a Maid Marian-style costume & it is a size Small-Medium. You better believe I’ve been in the gym all month. I was pretty nervous about getting into it but it FITS! I guess I really am a size 8 finally. Yahoo me! The scale is still mocking me but I am going to assume it’s all the muscle I’m gaining in place of the baby bulges. Score: Sexy Momma: 1 Hallowe’en candy polluting my cupboard: 0

So, a good month so far, the eye drops not withstanding. Next up will be the plane ride to Calgary, the wedding and the hangover exhaustion that will follow.  Oh yeah, and the paper I have to write for my course by Monday, that I haven’t started.

Good News Bad News

It seems to be a good news/bad news type of week. Of course, being the cheerful optimist, I always prefer to think of it as bad news/good news. Better to see the sunny side, even if it doesn’t help, it completely irritates your enemies!

So here goes:

Bad news: It was snowing here yesterday and is cold and miserable today.
Good news: the snow lasted all of 5 minutes on the ground & there’s barely a hint of it today. (meaning I don’t have to shovel just yet which is always bad news)

Bad news: There are still 16 hills of potatoes left outside
Good news: Hey, there’s still 16 hills of potatoes – that’s probably another 80 pounds of taters I’m not shelling out for.

Bad news: My friend’s dad had surgery yesterday
Good news: She reports that he came through ok. I’m still praying for you all anyways.

Bad news: I have a paper to write due on Monday & I’ve barely started the readings.
Good news: The assignment topic isn’t nearly as horrific as the first one & I can likely BS part of the way through it.

Bad news: My family is not going to my cousin’s wedding on Oct. 31
Good news: I AM! I am flying out because she is that important to me. Hey, I can’t imagine missing the day & they’re doing a hand fastening which is new for me. Should be very fun. And, I have a very pretty costume to wear too.

Bad news: My costume is not here yet, it’s a size Small-Medium & I have NO IDEA if it will fit
Good news: There is still 20 days to go before the wedding & I have a gym membership. It’s only coming in from Ohio – shouldn’t take the WHOLE month right?!?!?!

Bad news: My gym membership has caused me to find muscles I forgot about. Ouch.
Good new: I’m tougher than any “owie”. And, tomorrow is my scheduled “rest day”. Back to the torture on Monday.

See, there’s always a silver lining!

Monday Mumbers

I think there are easily 450707079796 things I could complain about today and 4583725960483820409 things I could be happy about, so here goes at least a few.

3 Number of meltdowns Eric had over the weekend about nothing. Literally. I swear, his exhaustion makes me tired.

2 glasses of wine it took to erase those meltdowns from my memory

0 number of Tylenol I needed this morning to erase a headache from the wine (I don’t have one!)

.5 amount of wine left in the bottle. Just couldn’t justify drinking the WHOLE thing myself (on a Sunday, no less)

8 number of kids at Circle Church on Sunday

6 number of kids that bothered to pay attention

0 number of those kids that were mine

112.50 price of a 6 month gym membership that I took out on Saturday

3838506837399 number of times I swore to myself that I will be going to the gym at lunch today

4 number of bits of mold on the top of my yogurt that i was just about to eat before going to the gym

1 number of times I considered eating it anyway (I didn’t)

85.6 pounds of potatoes I dug out of the garden on Sunday

16 number of hills those potatoes came from

18 number of hills that are still in the garden

2850659043894389 times I have wondered why the **** I planted 40 hills of potatoes

There’s my numbers. What are yours?