Archive for May, 2011

Home With a Sick Kiddo

May 31, 2011

No matter how meticulous I am with scheduling, there’s always some kid related thing that springs up and has me adjusting. Today it’s the fact that Gabi has a fever and a pukey stomach. She’s not keeping the Tylenol down, so I’m not sure how the fever will go. Bottom line, I’m home with her. Yes, a day at home is ALWAYS something I can use, but I can also use my paycheck! So, I’ll be keeping a close eye on my sick lil girly and hoping no one else gets it.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Max and the Music Game

May 30, 2011

Music can be so powerful and a key to many emotions.

Max has always been really in-tune to music. Even as a really small kiddo, he’d let me know if he wanted to hear a song or if it brought up strong emotions and he wanted me to change it. The song “Jamaica Farewell”, sung by Harry Belafonte, was one he had particularly strong feelings about. He’d listened to the words and decided they were just too sad to listen to. Within the first few notes of a song, he knows if it interests him or not.

Recently I decided that when he and I are alone in the car (or at least without the older kids, who don’t enjoy this) that we should play a game-I hit the seek button on the radio and he tells me whether to stop or keep going. What we’ve found is that he really enjoys Jazz, Classical and Big Band music. He’s mostly drawn to music without words. The words seem to get in the way of what the music has to say to him. This is the boy that told me that sometimes if you listen to the wind, you can hear the music in it. So, we’ve been playing this game and when we stop on Jazz or Big Band music, he takes time to listen to each instrument and identify it. He’s actually really good at hearing each of them. And if we stop on a classical piece, he tells me the story as it’s happening.

This has been such a great little game for us that lets Max show me a piece of him that I can appreciate. And amazingly, I’ve noticed that no matter who’s in the car, if we’re listening to classical music, no one complains. Good Stuff!

I will continue to nurture Max’s love of music and after our move I intend to get him back in piano lessons. I think this will be a great way for him to express himself.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Listening to the Music Along the Way~

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Mariah’s High School Graduation, In Pictures

May 28, 2011


The 2011 Cathedral Catholic High School Graduating Class (Mariah receiving her diploma)


Family, celebrating Mariah on her day


Sushi lunch! The owner of our fave, PB sushi spot brought Mariah a special roll in celebration. If you’re in town, check out Kabuki Sushi on Garnet. Good Stuff!


Mariah with her cake

Now she’s off to celebrate with most of her classmates at Grad Nite. It was a great day!

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Mariah’s Graduation Day!

May 28, 2011

Graduation Day!
The High School years FLY BY! Mariah is my 3rd to graduate and with each one I stand back and wonder how that time went so quickly. The Frosh year is full of getting into the routine and it zooms by. Then they’re Soph year shows up and they’ve got the whole thing down and seem to sail through the year. All of a sudden they are in their Junior year and everyone is thinking toward the upcoming Senior year. They continue to work on grades and enjoy sports and BAM! They’re Seniors! The Senior year is so full of planning and paperwork and college that it passes in a blink.

So here we are. Mariah will be heading off to Bryant University in late August. Between now and then I’m sure she’ll try to soak up as much of So. Cal. as she can. I’m so very proud of her, her accomplishments and all she has ahead of her! One step at a time and I know she’s on the road to a bright and promising future.

Today we celebrate!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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And It All Worked Out-Cutting Myself Some Slack

May 25, 2011

After spending 24 hours feeling like the World’s Worst Mother, I got the word that they were able to make room for “Your Senior and 1 adult”. Ok then! Whew! Not ideal, but at least one of us will be there to let her know that we’re proud of her and are looking ahead to her future.

On the other hand, my Kindergartener ended up in the office for a 2nd day in a row. I gathered her up, spoke with the Principal and headed home to have her write some apology notes and spend time in her room thinking about the better behavior that she’s capable of (so far, today, she’s doing great).

The Good and the Bad. The Ups and Downs-that’s life, right? And when you’re dealing with so many different personalities and schedules, somethings are bound to fall by the wayside and sooner or later someone’s going to have to be disciplined. ~Sigh~

I was really hard on myself and once it got worked out, I thought a lot about how hard us moms are on ourselves. We have so many expectations for ourselves and our kiddos and we face the expectations that all those around us have for each of us. It’s a big load! Then I spent a little time breaking down all that I’m dealing with right now and I decided that the fact that I’m still making it, successfully, through each day is something of a miracle! I’m gonna break it down here so that I can come back when I feel like I’m falling short and I can remind myself that I am, after-all, merely human and a step in the Great Dance of the Children is bound to be missed from time to time.

Graduation-This means juggling 1/2 days for my Senior, while my other kids have regular school days. The juggling of schedules has been a little tough. Then there’s the Mass on Thursday evening, the Luncheon on Friday afternoon, Graduation on Saturday, A lunch out with the family afterward, Grad Night that evening-with a 3am pick up and a power-shopping trip for outfits for it all.

Aspergers-I’ve been getting Max to appointments for counseling and evaluation. I just finished getting GATE testing set up for him so that I can have all the documentation I can possibly gather on what Max needs to have a successful schooling career from here on out.

Mariah’s “Seizure Like Episodes”-We made the 2 ER trips last week and then made a 3rd trip just to verify that she was allowed to go to school and participate in her regular activities. We are now waiting for the neurologists’ follow-up. In the mean time, she lets me know if she’s feeling “weak” or “odd” and we to be precautionary.

Mariah going off to college-Where do I begin?

JJ going off to college-Sometimes I feel lost in a sea of the unknown! He’s done a great job of getting most things done himself (as Mariah has), but there’s paperwork that still has to go back and forth between his father and myself and the school.

Moving and Divorce-I really don’t know where to begin on this one! I still don’t know if I’m staying in San Diego or leaving the area for Northern California. We have an appointment on Friday, that I’m hoping will answer ALL questions. I work until June 17th, so I can’t really begin digging into the house and looking at what needs to be done to have everything prepped and ready to move, after living in the house for the last 10 years. We have to leave the house by the end of June. SO…too many unknowns and too many other things to take care of between now and then to really begin giving it too much thought.

Finding New Schools and A New Job-Well, I can’t really give these things too much thought until I have the above ironed out.

Uh, yeah, that’s a lot! So, I’m gonna cut myself some slack and remember that I’m here, taking care of all the needs I am able to for my children and my house and even myself and then I’m gonna have a glass of wine!

Ok Mamas, let’s all try to be less harsh on ourselves and focus on what we DO get done instead of what we DON’T!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Worst M.O.M? Quite Possibly!

May 24, 2011

Yup! Feeling like an epic FAIl as a mother today. I’m usually so on my M.O.M. game! Here’s why I failed today;

My 6yr old was “suspended” from school for the rest of the day (after I got off and could take her with me) for flipping the bird to a friend at snack time. Really?! You had to test the waters?! She let the office know that she knew it was “bad” because her brothers had told her never to do it. My biggest concern is that she doesn’t really feel like having to leave school was a punishment. She’s been begging me to take her home with me (I leave when it’s her lunch time) before the end of the school year.

And if having my 6yr old daughter “suspended” for the day didn’t make me feel like a bad enough mom, there’s this story;

Mariah’s graduating this Saturday. There are various special events that happen around the graduation. One of them is the Senior Luncheon that’s held at a local hotel. Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, godmothers, etc tend to want to be there to enjoy the luncheon and celebrate the graduating Senior in their lives. We received the invite and RSVP card in the mail quite some time ago. It got put in the “to do” pile and for various reasons got shuffled back and forth between something her dad was to take care of and something I was to take care of. Ultimately it landed in my pile and in the last week, I’ve realized it hadn’t been taken care of. Today I made the call (the luncheon is in 4 days) and was told that they are full. THEY’RE FULL?! But…! The woman in charge is seeing if the hotel will allow more tables to be added (I’m not the only one that still wants to go, but I’m betting I’m the only MOM that’s still trying to get in!) and will let me know tomorrow.

Ugh!

Just slap a Worst Mom badge on me now.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mommy of Many Morning Short-2 Kiddo Cutes To Start the Day With

May 22, 2011

Last night I came home from dinner to find a large pile of blankets in the hall. Next to it was a handwritten note (that was clearly written by Gabi) that read
“Cashin Chiled Under”
It took me a minute to figure out that I had better step around the pile!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just finished feeding the kiddos their breakfast and told them to go get dressed. Lex pointed out that he was already dressed. I looked at him again, realized he had daytime clothes on and asked if he’d gotten them on his own. He had. I said, “Good job! Did you remember underwear?” He let me know that he had carefully chosen what he was wearing-”Mom, I’m wearing my soft pants. If I put on underwear I can’t feel the softness”.

~sigh~

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mariah’s Ideas About Doing Laundry

May 21, 2011

This morning Mariah brought her laundry basket to the laundry room to do a load of her dirty clothes. When she opened the cupboard she asked if we were out of Color Catchers. I told her that we were and that she’d just have to separate her clothes by color. Then I gave her a rundown of what colors could, safely, go together. She listened but said that she didn’t know how to do it. Then I said that she better learn because I’m pretty sure that she’s going to be the one washing her clothes when she goes off to college. Her response?

“I’m not going to be doing laundry at school.”
Me-”Who do you think will be washing your clothes?”
Mariah-”No one. I’ll just bring enough clothes so that I only have to wear each thing once.”

Ok then.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Breaking the Silence-Owning the Truth

May 19, 2011

I’m realizing that silence can be heavy. It makes you internalize everything and makes you wear a mask. I didn’t mean to be silent. I just meant to be cautious, respectful, private. But I’m seeing that my silence is spilling over to those around me and it’s ultimately screaming a message I didn’t mean to give. So to give the message that I’ve meant all along, it’s time to break the silence. Time to own the truth. I don’t want my kids internalizing so much and I want them to understand that speaking is not only good and important, but encouraged.

For the last 2 1/2 years I’ve been separated from their father. We’ve lived with a less-than-ideal situation during this period of time. But ideal or not, we’ve done it and now we are in the middle of our divorce. I’ve come to see that we haven’t been using this word and this has given it a lot of power and it’s attached it to a lot of fear. My sole purpose for writing today is to own the word. Accept it. Understand it and not fear it.

Divorce-scary, sad, unknown and for me-inevitable.

I will not be sharing personal details about my divorce, because I can’t think of a single reason to do that, but I need to break the silence so that the power and fear are lifted. I’m seeing and feeling too many negative things because of the silence and because I can see that my children have felt that they too needed to be silent. Not so!

Yes, there are many changes in the very, near future. Many are scary. Some seem sad. But there IS a future and I’m going to work hard to see, feel and find the beauty in it!

Silence-it serves no one but itself~

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Mariah & the Day Full of Ambulances

May 19, 2011

~Sigh~

Let’s start way back in last September…

Mariah headed to work after a stop at the Starbucks near her. After drinking her beverage of choice she worked for awhile and then was found by a coworker, passed out in the back room. We were called and her dad picked her up and off to the ER they went. She was ultimately admitted, spent 3 days there and was put through a battery of tests for “seizure like episodes”. Nothing was determined. She followed up with the neurologist, went through more tests and STILL nothing was found. So…she avoided caffeine-completley.

That is, until yesterday morning.

She spent the night before up and working on a paper. In the morning she decided to pilfer what was left in my coffee pot. After a few sips, she started feeling “odd”. By this time, I was at work and ignored the 4 calls from the high school, because I figured they were about 1 of my other daughter’s absences and I could deal with it when I was off. Then the preschool phone went off. But we don’t answer it because it doesn’t really work well and you can’t actually hear what the person on the other end is saying. I turned to the teacher I work with and said, “Wow! I haven’t heard THAT ring in FOREVER!” Then MY phone went off again and it was my cousin sending a text that said, “call me RIGHT NOW!”. I knew it was serious! I called right away and found out that I needed to call the high school. I found out that my daughter had had an “episode” and was being sent, by ambulance, to the hospital. I, quickly, gathered my things and headed out (of course I had to make numerous phone calls on the way, so that my kids had the after-school rides they needed). I arrived before the ambulance. When they got there, she was admitted and we played the “tests” game. All came up fine. During her ER stay, she had 2 “episodes”. They went unexplained and she was released with a prescription for anti-seizure meds. We came home. I dropped her off, ran to the school to grab my 2nd grader, get him to an appointment, and continue Doing the Dance of the Children.

I finally made it home, made dinner, fed everyone and headed out to an appointment. I had made it about 5 minutes out when my phone rang. My 14 yr. old was frantic and just said, “she’s having a seizure”. I told her to hang up, dial 911 and that I’d turn around and be right there. When I arrived the paramedics where already in the house and with Mariah. She was not responding to their questions. The firemen arrived soon after and it was nice to see a friendly face. One of the responding firefighters has children who go to school with mine. That felt good! It was determined that Mariah should go back to the ER and should be transported by ambulance. I agreed to get caffeine, gear up for a long night and meet them there. I drove through my local Starbuck’s drive-thru (Hey! I was already completely drained from the day. I knew I’d need caffeine.) and luckily, my incoherence was ignored (because they know me and know what I drink) and my drink was prepared, handed to me and they told me that good thoughts were being sent her way. I got to the ER, was greeted by a corpsman that had been there when we were there earlier and I was pointed in the right direction. She was already stickered up and being tested.

Nothing!!!! Nothing!!!! Nothing!!!!

They sent us home after declaring that they really couldn’t say what was happening and that she should take the anti-seizure meds and wait for the follow-up with the neurologist. Ok Then.

This morning we got ready for school and work and headed out the door. I got settled into work and my phone went off. It was the high school. They said that either I needed to come get her or they were going to call 911. So much for work! Off I went (again making phone calls to ensure the kiddos would be ok for the day). When I arrived, they said that the episode was not the same as yesterday, but that she seemed “out of it”. They asked that I go back to the ER and make sure that she was cleared to be at school. I think I get my Frequent Vistor’s Card now.

So, they declared that she can be at school and she feels that the “episode” today was due to the meds and that she WON’T be taking them again.

I’m not sure what to say. So now we wait. We wait for the neurologist to call with the follow-up.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got to share. No real answers.

I can’t help but wonder if the initial “episode” was caused by a hypersensitivity to caffeine that was enhanced due to stress. Maybe?

No matter what it was, it was scary and it leaves me uneasy with her heading off to school in August. Hopefully there will be answers by then.

And with that I say-Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Oh Max! You Make Me Smile~

May 17, 2011

Yesterday I attended a meeting with Max’s teacher and a panel from the local, elementary school to determine if Max was eligible for an IEP.

At dinner Max was asking how it went. I told him that they were really impressed with his grades and his testing and that they all said that they’d NEVER seen an IQ as high as his before (Max has an IQ of 156). Max got a big smile on his face and said, “is my IQ higher than Tristan’s? (his 11 yr old brother). I told him it was. Then he went on to name a list of people and ask if he had a higher IQ than them and to each one I answered, “yes”. The smile on his face was huge and he giggled and said;

“Ha! Who knew Asperger’s was gonna be such a GOOD thing?!”

I joined him in happy laughter and agreed.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Believe!

May 16, 2011

I’m writing this for each of you as much as I’m writing it for me. Sometimes life becomes so overwhelming and the hurdles so high that we find it terribly difficult to see beyond them-to see the horizon and all the possibilities that this life holds for each of us. I’m writing it because I need to look beyond the hurdles and focus on all the potential the future holds. I need to focus on my potential and my God-given gifts and talents. I need to look beyond the fear of the unknown and pull from the place in my heart that knows-KNOWS I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and walk the path laid before me into the beauty of the great unknown. While I was self-talking and reminding myself of all the good and all the positive and all the strength and all the accomplishments, I thought that it might be a really good thing to give what I’m finding to all of you too.

Believe! Dream! Trust!

We were not made for nothingness. Even when we feel so very small and so very helpless, our potential still lies in wait. Find your inspiration. Pull up from your memory every good, strong and positive word that’s ever been laid at your feet or thought by your mind and let them all wash over you. Let them be the loudest and to quell the voices of negativity that threaten to bind you. You know the truth! Stop begin afraid and trust. Have faith!

Believe!

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The Next Step On Our Journey For Max’s Success

May 15, 2011

Now that Max has been tested and has been identified as having Asperger’s, the next step is to have him meet with a Student Study/Support Team (SST) at a local public school. This has been set up and a panel of people, including his current teacher and me, will meet with Max and then discuss what resources are available to him and whether or not he’s eligible for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).

Forward. Ever forward!

The meeting is tomorrow. I’ll be sure to write about the outcome. I’m so grateful for the swiftness with which we are getting these things done and I hope that it means we are on track for success!

Doing the Dance of the Children One Step At a Time~

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Doing the Dance on a Busy Saturday

May 14, 2011

What a day! Here’s the list-

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner-Kiddos gotta eat every day, right? So the 3 main meals are on my list. I made pancakes for breakfast, Soup and apple slices for lunch and there are pork chops with cream soup in the slow cooker and rice in the rice pot.

Grocery shopping-As I’ve mentioned before, things are tight right now, so I’m making very detailed lists and sticking to them when it comes to the grocery shopping. I had $60 to stock up on the basics and I managed to get out of the store for $59.64. Go M.O.M! What’d I get?
4 loaves of bread
3 dozen eggs
2 gallons of milk
6 boxes of cereal
A family sized pkg of pork chops, that will last for 2 meals
2 boxes of crackers
5 lbs of apples
2 lbs of cheese
Not bad! I think I maximized my money.

Max and his suit to the cleaners to have the pants hem dropped and the suit cleaned. Max has May Crowning next week and he’s got a wonderful suit that was handed over from a friend, but he’s taller than the other boy was when it was worn. Adjustments need to be made.

Take Mariah to get her nails done, brows waxed, pick up her boutonniere and take her to meet up with everyone for pics.

Have numerous talks with Clay before he packs his car and heads out for the next month. He’s taken a job in Northern California and starts on Monday, so he’s packing his things and heading out. A lot is happening in this next month, so a lot needed to be discussed.

Write a piece about why we love the library. Eek! This should’ve been done by yesterday! Now I’m trying to get it all together in between the busyness of today. I’m BAD at leaving things to the last minute! So…writing and then off to gather my beautiful daughter and snap pics of her lovely prominess. Then home to feed my lil kiddos and try to make a plan for all I need to tackle in the next month. A move is to be made, but I still don’t know where to. Talk about last minute!

Pics of Mariah to follow.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Lex’s Big Idea

May 12, 2011

We have some transitioning happening around here and it’s caused the wallets to be much thinner and the belts to be tightened. The kids are noticing that things are different and that there’s not as much available for extras. Yesterday Lex gave me his 5 yr old idea for making some extra money-

He pointed to a guy on a corner who was holding a sign that said “Please help”. Then he said, that if I make a sign and make lots of signs for all my kids that we could all hold them and people would see them and give us money so we could buy all the things the kids want and could buy more of the things that the girls argue over. He said an extra TV and extra computer would be good.

Love it! Simple and to the point.

Oh to be 5 again!

Doing the Dance of the Children (on a street corner with a sign)~

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