It's New Year's Eve. Tomorrow will be the first day of 2009. Here's to hoping that it will be a better year for us. 2008 kinda blew chunks.
In this new year there are many changes coming. I know we will be moving, but where is still a question. The hubby is still holding out hope for Michigan and starting his business, but I have my reservations. The kids and I have friends here, and after four and a half years, are finally kinda settled here. The thought of starting over again in a new town scares the crap out of me.
The move date is quickly approaching, and so we need to make a decision. Right now the house we have been renting is in escrow and the new owner should take over mid January. If so, we can stay until the middle of March, but no longer. If for any reason the sale does not go through we will have to be out by the end of January.
I've been looking at other houses out here and yesterday found a really nice one. It has a lot of really awesome features that I really love. I like the built in desk in the kitchen where I could put the computer for the kids to use where they could be supervised. Plus it has a 5th bedroom that I have already claimed for an art studio. The room even has wood floors. No worries about glitter in the carpet.
This past year I've really been noticing that there is something missing in my life. I feel like my entire identity is tied to being a wife and a mom. I'm wondering who I am. I realize that the one thing I really miss is my art. Whether it is doing crafty Christmas decorations, sewing, scrapbooking, or painting, I find that even though I have all the supplies, I don't have a place. Starting a project means finishing it and cleaning it up before dinnertime, so most of the time I don't even start.
Thinking about possibly having a place to call my own, a place where I could have all my stuff in one place and not have to dig it out of the garage when I want to work on something, makes me giddy. I don't want to get too excited yet, it's a little early considering I've only seen pictures of this house, but I can't help it, and that makes me nervous. Even as I write this I worry that I may be jinxing it.
And then there's this blog. When I started it in January, I had some vague ideas of what I wanted it to be, but it too has evolved and changed over the last year, becoming things that I would have never imagined. I feel that it too is having an identity crisis. On one hand it's a mom blog, complete with stories and anecdotes about parenting, but on the other hand, it's becoming a crafting blog, as I find more and more other crafting blogs, and get inspired to bring out the long dormant artist in me.
So the question is this... Do you find my blog to be a little schizofrenic? Should I split my blog into two? Should one be more of me on parenting the ADD child, and the other for me the artist showcasing my projects? I'm putting a poll in my sidebar so you can vote.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's New Year's Eve. Tomorrow will be the first day of 2009. Here's to hoping that it will be a better year for us. 2008 kinda blew chunks.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
One of these things just isn't the same.
One of these things is not like the others.
Can you guess which one??
If you guessed the ice cream sandwich in the medicine cabinet, you would be correct. The ADD child took it from the freezer, then decided that she didn't want it right that moment, and thought that the medicine cabinet would be a great place to keep it until she did want it. THEN she forgot all about it.
Technically the cup with a penny rusting experiment next to it doesn't belong there either, so I guess I'll give credit for that one too.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I actually wrote this about 4 months ago and it got lost in draft land. I would guess that I wasn't done, got interrupted, had every intention of finishing it later, and promptly forgot. So I give it to you now. Enjoy.
Today another parent asked me if my ADD child had trouble making friends. Of course she does. ADD and social awkwardness go hand in hand. That was an easy question to answer. She then asked me what I did to help her. Not so easy. Not that there aren't a bunch of things I do daily to try to help my daughter make (and keep) friends, just that it was hard to come up with them on the fly like that.
The summer before 1st grade we moved to Arizona, my daughter was diagnosed with ADD, and began taking medication. Her teacher expressed concern that she didn't play with the other kids and preferred to spend recess on her own hunting for bugs. Her teacher also wasn't too thrilled that she liked to bring the bugs to class after recess was over. I will never forget the day she came home and told me she had made a friend. I was thrilled. My joy was cut short by the words that followed. She said "she takes pills too, so we play together so we won't make anyone else sick". We had a long talk that night about ADD not being catchy, that her pills weren't like the kind you take when you are sick, and that they just helped her pay attention better.
One thing that has contributed to her trouble making friends is her lack of ability to read non verbal cues. Kids with ADD see the world very black and white. Concepts like sarcasm are hard for them to grasp. Why anyone would say the opposite of what they mean confuses her. She also isn't good at reading body language and frequently misses clues that the kids she is talking to are bored with what they she is telling them, or are getting annoyed by her actions. So we work on communication skills. How to say what you are feeling, how to express when you are annoyed, and how to tell how tell when others are annoyed with you.
Groups are another thing kids with ADD have trouble with. It's very hard for them to keep up with a conversation with more than one person at a time. It's total sensory overload. Either they shut down and the other kids think they are ignoring them or don't care, or they blurt out something at an inappropriate time. If the group is talking about tv shows, the ADD child may get lost in her own thoughts about her favorite episode of Sponge Bob. By the time she blurts out "wasn't it funny that time Sponge Bob did..... " the group has moved on to talking about the coolest new shoes at the mall. They don't realize that her Sponge Bob comment has to do with the tv discussion of 10 minutes ago, and she can't understand why they are all looking at her like she just landed from Mars. So I explain to her why this happens and try to practice listening skills.
When working or playing in a group she always tries to take over. She wants to pick the game, and make the rules. It's not that she is pushy or bossy, it's just that she needs structure so desperately that she will try to impose her own if none exists. Learning someone elses game or rules is too hard for her to process quickly enough to be able to participate. We talk about how everyone likes to have a turn being the leader and how she can play someone elses game if she takes the time to learn it. I coach her on how to feel confident enough to say "I didn't understand the rules, can you explain them to me again" rather than getting frustrated and walking away.
Even if they all agree to play a game everyone knows like tag or hide and seek problems can occur if the child leading plays differently from the way the ADD child learned the game. I can't tell you how many times my daughter has come to me accusing some other kid of cheating because they learned the game differently. Something as simple as counting to 10 instead of 20 can lead to total melt down. There aren't many kids who will repeatedly come back to play with a kid who constantly accuses them of cheating, so I explain to her that sometimes people learned different ways to play, they aren't cheating, and how to be flexible and play even if they only count to 10.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Secret is in the Sauce is giving away this coffee maker.
I've been seeing the commercials for this thing and it's beyond awesome. Makes one cup at a time. No more stale coffee at the end of the day. It comes with these little single serve things of coffee or you can use your own coffee. My mom got one a month ago and she loves it. To find out more about it you can click here. Then go enter the contest.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
1. Don't bother getting expensive video games and mp3 players for the youngest. She will just bitch that you didn't get her that crap she saw on TV that she asked for. The crap you didn't get her because you did that last year (quick gems). You told her it would pull her hair, and she assured you that the commercial insisted that it didn't. Well sure as shit, if you put something with a tiny spring in your hair, it doesn't come out without pulling. So after one quick gems removal session, she didn't want that thing anywhere near her head. This year you thought you'd be nice and not get her crap, and instead got her something expensive and cool, but she had the nerve to come and say "Why didn't you buy me the crap I saw on TV?". Now of course she didn't actually say crap, but since you weren't really listening to which crap in particular it was that she was upset about not receiving, you can't write it here now. Next year remember, the youngest is the TV commercial queen. Get her a Chia Pet, a Snuggie, or that Mighty Putty, she'll be happy.
2. Of all the weeks to forget to put out the trash cans for collection, this is not the one. Yesterday the oldest child actually saw the trash cans inside were full and emptied them without being asked, but when she took the trash out she put it next to the can because the can was full. It was so much fun waking up Christmas Day to the remnants of the party the dogs had the night before with the two bags of trash. Make a note to yourself or something, set up an Outlook reminder now, just don't forget to take the cans out next year.
3. Make the kids wear face masks to prevent infection the week before Christmas. Being up with the youngest child until midnight in a steamy bathroom so she can breathe makes Santa reallllly late. Consequently it's really hard to get up in the morning. Plus it made your hair look so nice for Christmas morning pictures. If you dig the frizzy look.
4. No matter how late Santa ends up being, don't forget to make sure the reindeer eat the food that was left out. Telling the reindeer feeding child that the reindeer were already full from all the other reindeer food they had been eating in all the other time zones didn't fly so well.
5. Use duct tape to wrap packages so the middle child's wrapping doesn't accidentaly
on purpose fall off. Or put them in other boxes, like for crock pots like your aunt did to you as a child so even if you peeked, you still didn't know shit.
6. Even though you normally don't give the middle child her ADD meds on weekends or school vacations, today probably would have been a good exception to this rule.
7. Don't try recipes for the first time Christmas day. Although you lucked out with the Sweet Potato Casserole, the Potatoes Au Gratin needed serious help.
8. Make sure you are fully stocked on the essentials before Christmas day, because the only thing open Christmas night will be the little mini market in the ghetto.
9. One bottle of wine was not enough.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Today is a melancholy day for me. Sure it's Christmas Eve, the kids are all excited that Santa comes tonight, but for me it's the anniversary of one of the worst days of my life. 12 years ago today my greatest ally passed away, my dad. My dad was my rock. He was there to take care of me when nobody else would. Even though he wasn't my biological father, he was there at my birth and for 22 years after.
He was the person I could turn to when my mom was acting crazy, and always knew what I should do to calm her down. He was the one who approved of me no matter what crazy shit I did.
It's been 12 years and today I realize that I have lived a third of my life now without him. I miss him. I wish he had been able to meet my other two children, and I hope he would have been proud of the adult I have grown to become. Actually I know he would be proud.
Twelve years ago yesterday was the last time I saw him. I stopped at the hospital on my way to work to visit him. Visiting him in the hospital was no big thing. He had been in and out of the hospital more times than I could count those last couple of years. We knew he was dying, he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness several years earlier. We just didn't know when. That night when I visited him in the hospital, I knew something was different. My normally stoic father did something out of character. He told me he was in pain. He told me it had been a rough day. As I left for work, on some level I think I knew I would never see him again. At the time the hubby and I were living with my mom and had just had our first child 7 months earlier. He and I were working opposite shifts at the same company so we wouldn't have to pay for childcare. My mom watched the baby from the time I left for work until my hubby came home. I got to work and my husband wanted to stay and work overtime. I insisted that he go home so my mom could go visit my dad in the hospital. They both told me I was being silly, that she could go tomorrow, but I wouldn't give up. He went home and my mom went to the hospital.
She hadn't seen my dad in years. They had broken up when I was 13 and with the exception of my 16th birthday and the time I ran away a few months after that, they had not spoken. Everything she knew about his condition had been relayed through me. Although my mom had moved on, my dad never did, and he loved my mom until that day. I knew she needed to see him, or rather that he needed to see her. She went to the hospital and spent an hour or so with him. She fed him his jello. They talked. They had a chance to say goodbye. The next morning he passed away peacefully around 7 am.
That morning I had to work. I figured I would go visit my dad after work, but since I couldn't shake the feeling I had since the night before, I decided to call him. When I called the hospital they said they didn't have a patient by that name. Knowing that he had been too sick the night before to be discharged the reality began to sink in. I frantically started calling my step mom's house only to get a busy signal. When I finally got through I found that my worst fears were true. My dad was gone. Through my tears I told my boss I was leaving and walked out.
Through all of this I was thankful. I know of many people who have lost loved ones suddenly and never had the chance to say goodbye. Since I knew for years that he was going to die, I had the chance to say everything I ever wanted to say. There were no loose ends when he passed. Like I said earlier, my dad was very stoic. He never was much of the huggy kissy I love you type. I knew he loved me and assumed he knew I loved him too. In the year leading up to his death he was pretty much bedridden. I went to see him almost every day, and forced myself to tell him how much I loved him even though it was awkward. I told him how much I appreciated him, and how I owed the person I was to his guidance and love. When he passed, I had no regrets of things left unsaid. I share this with you today as a reminder to hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Don't take any day that you have with them for granted.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Inspired by my friend Maria, today I made this beautiful wreath.
I started with a plain wreath from Walmart for $10. Added to it about 75 bulbs of different sizes purchased from the 99 cent store. The letter R came from Michaels along with the Martha Stewart glitter. Now I really can't stand Martha Stewart, but she makes a damn good glitter. I also used 3 yards of wired ribbon, and lots and lots of hot glue.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Lena tagged me for this so here you go. 7 things you may or may not have wanted to know about me.
1. I can't stand the feeling of air blowing on my skin. It can be 120 degrees here in Arizona, but if someone throws on the ceiling fan, I cover up with a blanket.
2. I still can't sleep with any part of my body hanging off the bed for fear that the monsters under the bed will grab me.
3. I read really fast. I can read a 500 page novel in a few hours and usually read about 20 books a month.
4. I can only eat quantities of Oreos divisible by the number 3. One time I had 3 Oreos left and my mom ate one. Then she got all mad when I told her she might as well eat the other two, because now I couldn't.
5. My favorite foods are lobster and cheesecake, but not lobster cheesecake, that's just gross.
6. I'm allergic to exercise. Seriously. I break out in hives.
7. I'm freakishly double jointed.
Lena gave me this award.
Translated: "This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
I pass this award on to
Monica because she is the farthest away physically, but her blog keeps her close
Mr.Lady because she cracks me up, and I'd love to have a drink with her sometime
Molly because she is like me fighting for her child to get the right diagnosis and fighting the school system to get her son the help he needs. Her blog makes me feel not so alone in my struggles.
Maria because she gets all of Blog Land together for virtual parties
Beth because she is so honest of her
stalking love of Dooce.
Alisha because she is all over the internet from blogging to mom forums, and is the most in touch with people on the internet person I know.
So that's only 6. I guess I need to start following more blogs so I have more people to give these things to.
Tip Junkie is having a Virtual Tour of Homes. Some of these ladies have the most amazing decorations. I'm definitely inspired for next year. I hope everyone enjoys checking mine out.
I actually posted this several days before signing up for the home tour, so for those of you that are new to my blog, here's the Cliff's Notes version of my life for the last few months that will make the rest of this post make sense (or you could just look at the pictures). The house that I am renting is being foreclosed on and the owner has had it up for sale trying to save her butt. There is finally an offer on it and we had been told we had to be out by December 30th. So I wasn't going to put up a tree or decorate, and put up a Charlie Brown tree instead.
Yup. That would be my real Christmas tree, up and decorated in my house. If you would like to see more detail of my ornaments, you can click here. Last weekend we got a call from the agent representing the buyer of our house. The buyer who isn't really in any big hurry to kick us out, but was worried we'd give her a hard time because apparently my landlord has been talking shit. Telling the buyer that I was angry and bitter, and had stopped paying rent. Damn Skippy I stopped paying rent. I was pretty sure the landlord already spent my deposit and I wasn't getting it back without taking her to court, so I told her to use it for the rent for the last couple months, and I've been putting my money in the bank instead. So last Saturday the buyer came over and after a lengthy chat she said that she was in no hurry to move in. In fact she said that she wouldn't be able to move in right away because she had 23 years of stuff to go through in her current home. AND she said she would be happy to rent to us month to month until we figure out what we are doing. So with the pressure off of having to move 5 days after Christmas, we went ahead and put up our tree.
The Charlie Brown tree is still up too, but it's not the only thing now.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Ok, so my whole week flew by and I never even went near my computer. I have so many things to blog about, I hope to find the time this weekend.
I woke up this morning and realized that I never got on last night to announce the winner of my contest. I have decided that Alisha had the best story. Maybe because I know her personally and the thought of her in a pink poncho reduces me to hysterical laughing fits. I was really hoping that more people would enter my contest and that the winner would be someone way out there in blog land, but when I only have like 3 loyal readers, I guess that was too much to hope for. I'm giving honorable mention to Lena and her Harold and Kumar poster.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It's December and Christmas is coming. That means, inevitably, bad Christmas gifts. We all have that one family member that always gives crappy gifts, and that my friends is good blog material. So I'm doing a worst gift ever contest. Up for grabs is a $20 gift card to Target, so you can go get yourself something good.
Here's the deal. Blog about your worst Christmas gift ever and link back to this post. You can even steal my nifty logo that Alisha designed for me. In fact please steal my nifty logo. Make sure you leave a comment on this post so I know to go read your blog. Best story wins the gift card. I'll announce the winner on Friday December 12th.
My story is about my mother. She is incapable of giving a frivolous, enjoyable gift. She is practical to the core and her gifts are always things that she thinks you really need. A couple of years ago she got me a vinyl shoe rack that hangs on the back of a door. She decided I needed one because I had about 20 pairs of shoes stuffed into a spare closet. The shoes were in the closet because I needed to sort out which to give to Goodwill and which to throw away. I wasn't planning on keeping any of them, therefore I didn't need a nifty storage system for them. What I needed was more hours in the day so I would have time to do all the really important stuff that needs done and have time left over to sort shoes. The shoes weren't bothering me, but apparently they were bothering my mother, so I got a shoe rack for Christmas. Then my mom got all butt hurt when I didn't do cartwheels with excitement about this gift. It's a freaking shoe rack. Even if I had needed one, it wouldn't have been cartwheel worthy. So now I don't even bother to hint around about what I want for Christmas, I make sure she knows what I need. At least that way I can try to act excited and at least use the gift she gives me. This year I asked for a memory foam pillow. Still not cartwheel worthy, but at least I'll use it.
Yesterday I posted about my dogs. Lena sent me a comment about her cats. So I decided that today I will tell you about my cats. They are interesting too.
Any of you other children of the 80's will be saying "Why does that name sound familiar?" Some of you might remember even. It's from the Smurfs. Specifically the wizard. Remember the wizard had a CAT. The cat's name was Azrael. So why is my cat named after a wizard you ask? Well that story goes back about 10 years.
My sister in law had a female black cat named Princess. Princess wasn't a good name for this cat, because she was a Witch. Not a sweet thing, but the kinda cat that will hiss at you, won't let you pet her, and will swipe at your ankles with her claws as you walk by her hiding spot. So one day my sister in law tells me that they and my mother in law were going to look at some kittens that someone they knew had. They go to look at the kittens and come home with 4. Yup 4. Two females and two males. Granted, they were cute, all were some type of Siamese or Himalayan, the girls were short haired and the boys were long haired, but now they have 5 cats. A month or so goes by and I tell them "You know you should get these cats fixed right". And they say, "We don't really have the money right now, and they are too young anyway". I tell them "At least get the two boys fixed, they are old enough to get fixed, and boys are cheaper". Nope. Fast forward a month or so and SHOCKER!! Princess is pregnant. They insist it wasn't any of the cats in their house that knocked her up but instead Princess had gotten out and some neighborhood cat had knocked her up. Ok fine. So when the kittens were born, don't ya know it, they all had these Siamese markings and several were long haired. Huh. I wasn't surprised. And there were like 6 kittens. Are you doing the math? Yup, that's 11 kitties so far. One of those was Gargamel. They decided to name him Gargamel because they thought he had an attitude, like the cat in the Smurfs, but they ended up naming him after the Wizard instead. This cat didn't have attitude. He let my three year old carry him around like a rag doll. Every time we visited she loved on him and he loved her back. We wanted that cat, but couldn't have any more pets where we were living at the time, so I told my mother in law that Gargamel was Aimee's cat and I would take him as soon as we moved into a bigger place. Eventually we did.
Kasey also came from my in laws house. In 2004 my other kitty passed away. Gargamel was lonely and the kids wanted another cat. I had been wanting a Lilac Point long haired Siamese, so that's what I was looking for. One of my mom's friends was fostering a litter of kittens for the animal shelter and had told me that she had one. I told her to let me know when they were old enough to be adopted because I wanted the female. The date that she told me they would be ready came and went and I hadn't heard from her. Meanwhile my mother in law had been pestering me to come and look at this kitten that they had. She described her as "kinda ugly, but really sweet". My hubby insisted that we were only getting ONE more cat, so I was holding out for the Lilac Point. One weekend we go to visit and of course the kids want the ugly kitten, and since I haven't heard from my mom's friend we bring her home. Now remember the 11 kitties from 5 years ago. They still haven't fixed any of them, so their numbers have grown exponentially. I have no idea by this time how many cats they have. Kasey is like 8th generation inbred. She has the same sweet temperament as Gargamel, but she is as dumb as a hill billy. She's a good cat though.
Here comes the funny part.
Remember that kitten that my mom's friend was fostering. LOL. I kid you not, the Monday after we brought Kasey home, I return from taking the kids to school and find this message on my machine. "Hi, it's Mary, I just wanted to let you know that the kittens are ready to be adopted. I took them in this morning to get fixed and since I knew you really wanted the female, I paid for her for you. I'll call you this afternoon after I pick her up." So now I have the choice to either royally piss off my hubby, or embarrass my mom by not taking this kitten that her friend has PAID for already on my behalf. Crap. I decide that my mom's wrath is going to be worse than the hubby's. So that night my hubby comes home to learn that we now have 3 kitties. Obviously he didn't kill me. Now this kitty must have come from a feral mommy, because she was scared of everything. Since Gargamel was Aimee's cat, and Kimberly claimed Kasey, this new kitty was Tiffany's. Tiff was 3 at the time. This cat wanted nothing to do with a 3 year old. She didn't want anything to do with me. Any time Tiff tried to pet her she would hiss. We were trying to think of a good name for her, and the kids decided to call her Mystery since they couldn't figure out what her deal was. Mystery has become more my cat than anyone else's, because she still hides from the kids and only comes out at night when they are all asleep.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I'm not trying to be mean. It's just true. After living in this house for over a year and repeatedly trying to teach the dumb dog how to use the doggy door, he just didn't get it. I thought maybe the door was too hard for him to push or something, being that he is a very small dog. So this summer we got the puppy. She was just slightly bigger than a soda can when we brought her home, and you know what? Within 2 days, she walked over to the doggie door and went outside by herself. So much for that theory. So now I think, "ok, dumb dog will see her doing it, and he will figure it out". Nope, he just watches her go through it and stands there with this dumb "where did she go???" look on his face.
So now it's starting to get cool at night, and I'd like to bring the dogs in so they don't freeze, but dumb dog throws a fit anytime I put him in the crate. He scratches and barks until we let him back out. So I got this idea.
Yup that would be the crate pushed in front of the doggie door, so that any dog who wishes to come in from the cold may. Notice the smart dog has already figured it out.
Monday, December 1, 2008
So today I was checking my weekly stats. I have this gizmo on my blog that will tell me how many visitors I've gotten in the last week, and how they found me. Some are clicking a link on someone else's blog (and for that I thank everyone who links to me), others come directly because they have bookmarked me (also very cool peeps), or they find me by a search engine. If you don't have one of these gizmos, I highly recommend you get one. Just for the pure enjoyment. It cracks me up to see some of the things people are searching for when they reach my blog. Here are some highlights.
A lot of people out there are looking for Cookie Dough Dip Recipies. I thank Alisha for giving me that recipe.
There are also a lot of people who want to know about lizard's swimming skills.
Others, well.... I'm not quite sure what they were looking for.
chuckecheeses' heigh ho heigh ho its off work we go snow white
What exactly was this person trying to find?
funny first day of school on the short bus for cell phones
I'm picturing a bunch of special cell phones going to their first day of cell phone school on the short bus and having hillarious adventures.
i left bananas in my car
sucks to be you. they really stink up the place.
i found a lizard in my pool what can i do?
Hmm, I don't know, how about take it out? Unless you want rotted dead lizard parts floating around in there.
pool pump keeps louder noise
Good. I'm glad it kept it. I don't want it. Some people seem to be verb challenged.
good 12 year old phone
If it still works after 12 years it's got to be good.
Several other people were actually looking for a good phone for a 12 year old and while I don't think my blog offered them any hints as to what phone to buy, I'm sure hoping they all blocked premium text messaging.
All of these I can kind of see how they ended up on my blog. Even the chuckecheeses/snow white guy. I do have a Chuck E Cheese post. But this last one leaves me absolutely clueless.
she liked it rigid
Wha??? I'm pretty sure they might have been looking for some "other" type of blog. What in the world made Google think they wanted me??