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Honeymoon's over...

Firstly, let me just say that I recognize she is trying and likely doing her best...just as the kids and I are doing our best. She is just SO sarcastic and passive aggressive. Coupled with my sensitivity and parnoia...well do the math. We tried to do way too much today. First, the Science Center at 10 for two hours, kids got to do the moonwalk and planetarium (WAY COOL with over 6 MILLION stars!), followed by a trip to Opry Mills mall where mom wanted to go the The Children's Place for backpacks...the kids wanted wheels. Well, mine don't walk that far and as far as that goes the heavy work is good for them sensory integration-wise. In fact they don't even need new backpacks. Their TCP backpacks from two years ago are still in great shape. BUT socially, it is important to them to have a new backpack this year and they don't ask for much as far as that goes. So..a meltdown on KC's part because mom and I had agreed not to get wheels...at $36 vs $14...so we check out with a messenger bag for KC and a backpack + lunchbox for Caelan. There were no matching lunchboxes for KC, Austin got the last one. KC was super sad about that and felt it was unjust as his school already started and Austin still has over a week. and could get his at either another TCP or online. So he was pissy and my mom doesn't do realy well at accepting that kids don't have to be happy and that it is ok to validate those feelings. OH THEN mom comes out, and A and B are sporting the backpacks with fucking wheels. After making a huge deal about how she would not buy the $36 backpacks. Well, with her TCP card she got a discount and decided late in the game to let them get the wheels. And the light up. So KC was SUPER upset about that. they only had one color of wheeled backpacks anyway so he and Caelan would have had the same backpack which seemed to me like a recipe for disaster. Oh and it was camo. I HATE camo and everything it stands for...be it military camo or the hunting camo.

So next up was glow golf, that was fun except that Caelan had lost a couple holes to play as a consequence of previous misbehavior. He was pissed. And KC was still in a bad mood. He had lost one hole. So A and B went, then the next hole KC tried to go second and mom wouldn't let him "because he lost the first hole now he has to go third." and KC said (a little too sassy but to his credit he was on the verge of tears "does it really matter? And it was my opinion that it didn't matter. At all. He had already been punished by missing the first hole did he really need to go last to make a point? Sigh... The place was overstimulating and istracting for Caelan and he was all over the place.

A couple quick stops here and there and we were off to Costco.

I forgot my GPS and hadn't mapquested the trip and I get lost every time I drive in Nashville. We took a long slow route to Costco. Caelan was pissed when we got there too. Ranting about how I am just making him do all these things he doesn't want to do and I know he doesn't want to so I am just being mean to him for now reason at all. And on and on....

We made it out and home though, had a nice dinner interrupted about every 12 seconds by a child doing or saying something he shouldn't...usually Caelan who got up too many times to do things like run out the front door to look for lightning bugs or lay down on the floor (?) or someone complaining about this or that. I felt so out of control like I couldn't even manage to have one meal where we all sat at the table. I was constantly reprimanding Caelan or sometimes KC for something or other.

Mom went to bed early and for once I was glad...it's ten and everyone is asleep I think. KC and Bri in my bed, Austin and caelan in the kids' room, mom in the guest room, and I am not sure where I will fit.

I know she is thinking an awful lot of things and biting her tongue for which I am grateful. I still feel her judgement every time something goes awry and it seems like something is going wrong about ever 2 to 8 minutes all day long. Caelan is off today, about as much as usual...which is better than last winter but still not making life easy for anyone. KC is trying, doing pretty good all things considered. I am asking myself if I am depressed and realizing just how stressful parenting these boys is and that it is no wonder if I am.

Back to Caelan, he has been goofy manic a couple times a day for the past few weeks with this purposeless giddiness, like giggling in a really repetitive and out of context way for 10-20 minutes at a time concurrent with floppy spinny or otherwise odd movements and unresponsiveness to me. The p-doc got to see an episode of this and said it was likely either yeast or a seizure. Well, treated for yeast and have had TWO mania free days. Still having the short fuse and mood instability but the other stuff is gone. We go back later this week to talk about a mood stabilizer. Something needs to give, I am worried he will fall apart at school and end up kicked out or in the BA class again. He deserves a chance to succeed.

And I deserve a good night's sleep so I am not even going to log onto chat.

Nighty night to all of you. Please send a prayer or white light or just plain well wished to me tomorrow as I take four kids and my mom to a water park. A small one thankfully, but still another big event.



First of all the kids got to bed not too late last night. They woke up eagerly this morning to have a little time to play with the cousins before school. They, including Caelan, got in the car totally willingly!

They had a good day!!! :) I didn't get nearly as much feedback as I had hoped for but neither did I get a phone call telling me to come pick up the boy.

We had a nice afternoon too. We tried to go to a water park but they were closed. :( So we took the kids to Retro's and they played unlimited 1980's video games for a couple hours.

There have been no conflicts whatsoever. I think my mom is trying really really hard to hold her tongue. But she is conscious and trying. :)

More tomorrow. We are off to Nashville to go to Opry Mills mall for a bit of school shopping at The Children's Place and Glow Golf. Then to Costco.


Mom's here

So far so good...last time we were together we ended up not speaking for several weeks. She is having a hard time accepting that Caelan has very significant challenges and his behavior is not always within his control. So...about a year later she is here to visit on our turf. So far so good.

Today also happens to be the first half day of school for my kids. Despite cousins arriving last night at almost bedtime, they got up and ready for school, played for a bit and went off to school without a hitch. It is now 40 minutes later and I have not received a phone call so hopefully all is well with Caelan at school...new school, new class, very little special ed support.

I will probably not be online much all weekend. :( I'll update here and there when I can.



OMG fun at Green Hills...

Well, it IS a fun place to people-watch and I got to do a lot of that before giving up. I arrived a little later than I'd hoped--at 9:30am. The mall was open and there was a line outside the Apple Store already. I made the cut though as the friendly Apple Store Concierge cut the line off right after me. Woo Hoo I though! My lucky day! Then she said it would probably take them about three hours to get through the line. Sigh...three hours. Did I want to waste three of my precious child-free hours waiting for an overpriced toy I don't actually need? Well....yeah. I waited. I waited four hours in fact before giving up and going to Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods for some gluten free groceries. I did enjoy hanging out with a sales rep for Red Bull, did you know they are the only energy drink without high fructose corn syrup? The only independent company, owned by ONE guy in Austria who still has the only factory making it IN Austria so he can maintain QC? Then there was Christopher, the owner of Christopher Pizza in Nashville. He was a nice guy too, apparently his 1 year old daughter put his old cell phone into a glass of water last night so he was using the excuse to get a new iPhone. Then there was three friendly Apple Store reps who took turns guarding the end of the line all day. I am embarrassed that I wasted so much time there. I just wanted to get my new toy and enjoy it before school started. AT&T stores have a 2-4 week lag time in their pre-orders but the Apple Stores get phones in most days. As much as I wanted one I am just going to have to wait. Now I shall have to go back to Nashville to finish my errands another day. Maybe Saturday morning so I can take the kids to the new Sudokem Planetarium at the Adventure Science Center.

Oh, and when I arrived at camp to pick up the kids, a counselor had just had to break up a fight. Between my two boys. :( KC had had enough of Caelan pestering him about playing dodge ball. Apparently KC and I share the same opinion of dodge-ball. Fifteen minutes later he cooled off and we were able to go home. Now they are pestering me to pay them ridiculous amounts of money for chores they *should* be doing anyway. "Mom if I take out the trash will you give me a dollar? Well, at least fifty cents?" Sigh...

I'll be okay.

I'm not insane or falling to pieces after all. Compounded with my generally Very Bad Day yesterday, I did indeed start my months late period today which explains a lot. I had three months' worth of PMS all in one day on top of two disagreeable children. I have hope that I will soon feel better with or without medication of one sort or another.

My children are (hopefully) off to day camp and a field trip today. I will participate in a bit of retail therapy by heading to Nashville's Apple Store where iPhones will be in stock at opening. I do hope there isn't a crazy line. And I hope I am dressed well enough for the elite Green Hills area. ;) After that I will stop by Whole Foods, Costco, and to pick up some fresh goat milk.

More pool pics...and summer veggies

I just can't resist. Our boys who were barely comfortable in the water last year...just beginning to not freak out about wet faces...are now going off the HIGH DIVE! We went to a different pool today, and this one has both a high dive and a slide! We decided that we would come to this pool on Thursdays, since we go to that side of town to pick up our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) veggies. In fact, we got our first veggies today! We were a part of this CSA for the past two years and unfortunately let too much of the lovely organic food go to waste. I had decided not to join this year, but as we have put a higher priority on organic foods I decided it was still worth it, that I would just need to be more disciplined.

So, to that end I am starting a bit of a foodie blog. With Justin gone, we have been eating fairly healthy, but lazy. I think there is something to the "Slow Food" movement and that our intentions when preparing food really do have an impact on the outcome of the meal. We were out all day today and instead of picking up hamburgers we went to a new local restaurant, Ciao Bella. It was lovely! The children had yummy homemade pizzas with fresh mozzarella and I had a Greek salad with grilled chicken, also very yummy and beautiful. I was even complemented by our server on the good behavior of the little ones! Mine! :) (He must have missed the two near melt-downs that occurred...we can't remember what the first one was about but the second one was because the server brought my salad several minutes before the kids' pizzas.) It was a nice meal although a little lonely without another adult to talk to.

So, here are pics of the boys on the way-too-high high dive, followed by pictures of todays CSA bounty and the kids' plates for this evening. It's lazy but we'll get there. Leftover shells with butter and roasted garlic, fresh steamed broccoli, and sliced organic hot dogs, with a few organic baby carrots on the side. I had the same thing minus the shells and a cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Fun summer so far...looking forward to going to visit Justin/Daddy in a couple weeks!

Remember you can click on the little speech bubble to see the captions too!

OH GUESS WHAT! I just realized you can click on the videos to play them. they have the little film icon in the lower corner. Enjoy. :)

Swimming progress today...kids have been practicing their swimming, especially distance, to prepare for the diving boards--and they made it today! Great fun, they went off at least 30 times!

If you click on the little speech bubble you can see the captions too.

Is it bedtime yet?

Wow, it was a long weekend! We had family converging (thankfully at a hotel down the road and not HERE) from Washington, Indiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina. All in all there were 19 people here, including 6 kids and 3 teens. We had a good time, maybe the last for most of the family to get together. Our grandparents were gracious enough to pretty much sponsor the whole trip, paying for the hotel and most of the meals as well. Grandma was in heaven with both of her children, all of her great grandchildren there and most of her grandchildren as well. Here are some pictures:

(Oops, had the wrong code in the first time, sorry! Click if it doesn't come up right away.)

Here's mine

You can only type ONE word.
It is not as easy as you might think.
Copy and paste, . change the answers to suit you, and
pass it on It's hard to only use one-word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? Alabama
3. Your hair? short
4. Your Skin? aging
5. Your mother? aggravating
6. Your favorite thing? Love
7. Your dream last night? knitting
8. Your favorite drink? rum
9. Your dream/goal? togetherness
10. The room you're in? messy
11. Your ex? distant
12. Your fear? failure
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? elsewhere
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you're not? bored
16. Muffins? banana
17. One of your wish list items? goats
18. Where you grew up? Indiana
19. The last thing you did? organize
20. What are you wearing? red
21. Your TV? starwars
22. Your pet(s)? desired
23. Your computer? dying
24 Your life? scattered
25. Your mood? melancholy
26. Missing someone? Definitely
27. Your car? owned
28. Something you're not wearing? makeup
29. Favorite Store? Goodwill
30. Your summer? busy
31. Like someone? someones
32. Your favorite color? cranberry
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? lastnight
35. Who will reply to this? some
36. Whose Answers are you anxious to see? any

My heart breaks for this little guy...

and every other little one whose behavior differs from the school's expectations for whatever reason. Whether their behavior is because of being raised homeless, or in a dysfunctional home, because of mental illness, developmental delays, abuse...whatever! Can people not see that CHILDREN DO THE BEST THEY CAN. Can everyone not see that a child would not "choose" to behave in such a way (AT FIVE YEARS OLD!) that most of their classmates would have mean things to say and that even a kindergarten teacher couldn't muster the patience to handle more appropriately?

This is just too close to home for me. I am so thankful that despite all our other struggles with the school district, neither of our children have been neglected or abused. I learned yesterday that only four years ago, a student I worked with this year was locked in a cupboard...yes a CUPBOARD, not a closet...and the handles were tied together with string while another special ed student guarded the doors so the "teacher" could find something stronger to tie them together with. This happened four days in a row before it was discovered and the teacher was fired. Another child with autism.

I hope that this mother finds the resources and strength to press charges and wins. And I hope that because of what this little boy experienced there will be an even more heightened awareness and acceptance of children, of all people, who are different. Not just "tolerance" but genuine acceptance.

If you ever run across a parent, teacher or other caregiver struggling with a "difficult" child, please send a warm smile and understand that there is a reason for that child's behavior.

Edited to add a link with more info and some contacts for complaints.