Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today's Theme: Leaks, Laundry, and Lowered Expectations.

I love themes. I love themed dinner parties, birthdays, and really any sort of themed event.  Today's theme? Not so much.

Right now it is 2:32pm. I have cleaned up:
-Nail polish, head to toe, on a 2 year old girl. Cherry red, too. Nice.
-Nail polish, again with the Cherry red, on berber carpet, an end table, and the wall.
-Two dog accidents. The dogs? They are now in a crate, and lucky to be alive.
-A 4 year old boy accident. It required a bath and a pair of scissors. I will let you use your imagination.
-A 2 year old leaky diaper, which required an outfit change in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

The living things in my house are setting the bar high today, I tell ya.  Can't wait to see what the husband and the cat can bring to the party. *shudder*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have A Laugh At My Expense.

For what seems like a month, I have been battling a sinus/allergy attack.  Spring usually brings with it all things I am allergic to, so it was no surprise that I was hitting the Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, and any other antihistimine known to man pretty hard.

And then my voice starting sounding all raspy, like the 70 year old, 4-pack-a-day smoker waitress in your hometown's favorite truck stop.  And then I couldn't breath while I was power walking my neighborhood.

And so I did something unimaginable; something that I hate doing more than life itself.  I went to the doctor.

Gasp! I know! I hate going. I hound all of my friends and family about going, and my kids go for all things questionable. But I never go myself. I don't have time, I'm not that sick, blah blah blah. I hate it.

But, it turns out I have a really super bad sinus infection and bronchitis. So I am on all sorts of crazy medicines now. I am finally starting to feel better!  And then I look in the mirror yesterday and I am blotchy. Like, big red, you-just-got-slapped blotches.  I have a rash.  Lovely.

The rash sends me into a panic, and I again, for the second time in a week, go to the doctor to see if I am dying. Nope. Antibiotic side effect.  It will get worse, and will last as long as I am on this medicine, and a few days after I stop it. You know, for like 2 weeks.

My raspy voice and leper-like rash should be a HUGE hit at the Easter egg hunt this weekend. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Parenting is challenging, even on a good day.  When your child has special needs, it becomes really really challenging.

Our son Sam is classified in an IEP as "developmentally delayed."  He qualified for special education services through the school district here, and has been going to his special needs classroom for the better part of this year.  The teachers in these classrooms are worth their weight in gold, and I am thankful everyday that Sam gets to be a part of the classroom.

Next year, life gets complicated. Sam will be four, and can go to preschool.  The special needs preschool at Kennedy is wonderful, but Sam is too highly functioning to be a good fit there. It would be inhibiting to keep him in that classroom, because he is not "special needs enough," says his teachers.  The other problem is that Sam is not "fully functioning enough" to go to a classroom with typically behaving children his age.

So what the hell is a parent to do? 

It is like I am setting him up to fail regardless of the choice I make.  Stifle him by keeping him with kids and teachers that "get" him, or make him the trouble making, inattentive child by putting him in with typically developing kids his age.  He'll be stressed out because he isn't good at social relationships, and will probably be reprimanded often because he has zero impulse control. 

I have toured countless preschools. None of them so far feel like a good fit for my son.  School will be good for him, I keep repeating to myself. Maybe he'll surprise me, and be really happy and excited and love it and get along great with everyone. I just hate that nothing screams out "PICK ME. I am great for your autistic kid."  Parenting is hard, and this is absolutely breaking my heart. I'm told by other parents with Sam's issues that it is just getting me prepped for teachers and life in the school system.  Yay for encouragement.

I just feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mars and Venus

We are leaving this weekend for a visit to my folks' house. We leave this afternoon sometime.

How Mommy Gets Ready For A Trip:
- 2 days before trip, make a list of every possible item the kids will need, and writes notes all over everything like "don't forget to charge camera" and "wash lovey blankets"

- the night before, washes every shred of clothing and fabric in the house and folds. Leaves for husband to put away, which he ignores.

-Day of- puts away clothes and curses husband.

---packs a bag for herself, with an extra outfit for when her kid smears chocolate cake on her shirt at 10am.

---packs bags (notice, plural, as in "more than one") for each child, with extra diapers, medicines, toys, wipes, loveys, videos, snacks, and every other freaking thing imaginable that they might want

---packs more diapers, because the memories of "that one time we went to St. Louis and baby got sick" are still fresh in your mind

---packs cameras, video equipment, computers, phone chargers, and Ipod. So that when you get to your destination, you do not use any of this. You forget to record, or snap a picture, or check your e-mail. This step is a waste of energy, but we do it every.single. time.

---packs the magical, all powerful DVD player. And brings extra batteries, just in case. And every movie the kids own.

---if dogs are travelling, there is an entire other bag of stuff for them. And a giant dog kennel.

---on packing day, mom still manages to clean up house, feed kids, answer e-mails, cook, shower, and get the oil changed in the car. And write a blog.  Then she sits quietly, waiting for dad to come home, so she can pack the car and leave. She's mapped the route, and knows we will be "here" at 5:15 for a dinner at Wendy's before the kids have a total meltdown.

How Daddy Gets Ready For A Trip:
-goes to work. Works.
-comes home. Sees that wife is completely packed, as is his entire family. The bags are waiting by the door.
-sees the laundry has been put away. Ut oh. Wife is mad at me.
-is questioned by wife: "where is your bag, dear?" He told wife he packed last night. He didn't. Ut oh, it's that bulging neck vein again. He's seen it before. He is scared.
-Quick! Throw some shit in a bag and get the F outta here before she freaks out.
-Gets to destination, and realizes that he didn't pack socks. Or a tooth brush. Or any pants.

And he wonders why I drink wine. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things That I Love: Tuesday Night Supper Club

For what I think has been the last 8-10 weeks, my friends and I always seem to gather for dinner at my house on Tuesday nights. Some different friends come and go every week, but the usuals are always here. It started out as random chance, and has developed into an every week thing. And I freaking love every single minute of it.
I love that the simple aspect of people gathering around food can be so wonderful.  Our children play together and have grown to be close, and we have all grown closer as well--even the newer, or not as often members of the club.  We laugh, we share fears, we toast to another day of surviving life.  It feeds more than our bellies; it feeds our souls too. 

Sometimes I forget that there are people in the universe that do not have this. They have the same "stuff of life" happen, but don't have a group of friends to share in that with them. It makes me ever-more grateful for these wonderful friendships, and wonderful meals, and wonderful support.

Here's to you, Tuesday peeps!  Pass the salt and pepper.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life: Hot Mess Style

Life is in full swing here at the Casa de Hot Mess.  There hasn't been a lot of time to even do all of the laundry, let alone get a whole lot of blog postings out. So, sorry. Monday recap, here we go:

1. My kids do not listen. I try to keep from complaining about child rearing too much, mainly because my children are walking miracles and I know there are folks out there who would give their leg so they could scream at their darling daughter about playing in the dog water. Honestly though, I am fed up. I know it is their ages, and I know a lot of it is Sam's autism, but I can't tell you how many times a day I hold my tongue and the top of my head so that it doesn't blow off.

2. Speaking of Sam's autism, April is autism awareness month. Every day with Sam is a challenge in some respect, and I do hope that the therapies and school and research studies and money that I'm paying out the wazoo help him to be "just another kid" some day.  The University Daily Kansan newspaper interviewed me about autism this weekend, so when they publish the article I will be sure to link it here. I'm past the anger stage of Sam's disease, and also past the sadness of it. The uncertainty is still there, and probably always will be, but the more I can get the word out about autism, and how important therapies are for kids (are you listening Kansas state legislature?), the better I will feel about it all. For now, we do the best we can and I try to immerse myself in research and new therapies for our son.

3. I got a new refrigerator last Thursday. It is the coolest thing ever...literally. :)  Yep, I am old. New appliances excite me. She's stainless steel and her name is Bertha, since she's got a wide berth. I had to sledge hammer a wall in so that it would fit, so Bertha is not going anywhere. If we sell this house, she stays with it. ;)

4. Saturday I had the first of many (I hope!) Mamacitas and Margaritas patio parties.  I've got lots of lady friends from all walks of life that have needed a good old fashioned breather these days. So my friend Megan and I threw together some taco stuff, guacamole, and made a pitcher of margaritas, and all of our stressed out women friends came over to chat, vent, laugh and have a great time. Just what the doctor ordered for a lot of us.  I think it is important to have a breather every once in a while as a mom/parent/wife/member of the female race, so I was happy to host. It was also a great opportunity for many of our friends to meet new people/eachother.  Good stuff.

That's pretty much what's been going on the past week or so.  This week will bring more adventures I am sure. Stay tuned.