Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav A Go Go?

For anyone who does not know, I live in Mississippi. We are about 60 miles from the coast. We moved here in the aftermath of Katrina so did not go through that storm here. But, I grew up in Florida. I was in Central FL but my husband is from Miami. Both of us are used to hurricanes and preparing for the worst while living our lives normally. I have heard some major horror stories of Katrina over the past few weeks. The storm was not the major problem here. It was after the storm that caused the most problems. People from the coast evacuated to our area. The power was out (in some places) for up to 10 weeks. The water had to be boiled for months. People were sleeping int heir cars in the parking lots of grocery stores so that they could get in as soon as they opened and try to get supplies. Other people were shooting each other over generators or ice.



The panic set in here this past week. The stores started running out of canned goods, batteries, bottles water and toilet paper. Gas stations were out of gas. Prices soared up 0.35 per gallon and there were people filling 10 - 15 gas cans at a time at every station I stopped at. Women I know were talking about evacuating north as early as last Wednesday. Teachers at the school were talking about if school is not in session we should do such and such.

Don't get me wrong, I am paying attention and we are prepared. But, I have been prepared, mostly, since Hurricane season started. Why are people just now getting ready for a storm? Why is everyone panicking? Panic is not going to help you. I have a plan in mind and if the worse happens and we need to evacuate, I have the plan ready to go. I have batteries, food, water, gas, everything we need for up to a 2 week stint of no power. I have discussed with my daughter what to do if we get hit hard and she is cut off from our end of the house.

I am cautious but still calm. We are having guests over for dinner tonight. No biggie.

I guess, the people here are reacting this way because of trauma. They were so traumatized by the situation last time when they were not prepared that they are now panicking. I hope this panic does not cause more problems. I hope they everyone is prepared and cautious and calm and the aftermath is easy. Mostly, I hope we are not hit hard. I hope it blows itself back down to a smaller storm before it hits land. And I hope everyone has evacuated NOLA and the coast before it hits.

So, keep us in your thoughts. I will post again before it hits and keep doing so with updates. If we lose power or internet, I will contact someone else to post updates for me. If I can.

I am sure we will all be fine. But, hey, positive thoughts coming my way are always welcome! Everybody be safe and stay sane!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Books, Behavior and Birthday Bashes

"If I had not been what I am, what would I have been?"
Excerpt from Elizabeth Moon's wonderful, compelling novel The Speed of Dark. I just finished reading this book for the second time. It is such a powerful and well written book that it affected me just as strongly the second time as the first. Isn't that the true test of any story? Even knowing what happens.... are you still on the edge of your seat? Do you still turn each page with bated breath waiting to see what happens next.... even when you already know? Love this book. It is set in the "near future" and is the story of an autistic man and his struggle to find who he is and decide whether an experimental "cure" is the right path for him or not.

Just thought I would share. Anyone looking for a great story that will make you think.... go read this one!

The Boy started speech therapy at the elementary school this week. He is going twice a week for 1/2 hour sessions. We will see if it helps him or not. His old therapist who came to the house each week is wonderful. We will really miss her! She came by Tuesday to see how his first day went and recommended a book for me to read. It is The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late by Thomas Sowell. She said that as she was reading it, all she could think of was my boy. Here is the description:

The Einstein Syndrome is a follow-up to Late-Talking Children, which established Thomas Sowell as a leading spokesman on the subject. While many children who talk late suffer from developmental disorders or autism, there is a certain well-defined group who are developmentally normal or even quite bright, yet who may go past their fourth birthday before beginning to talk. These children are often misdiagnosed as autistic or retarded, a mistake that is doubly hard on parents who must first worry about their apparently handicapped children and then must see them lumped into special classes and therapy groups where all the other children are clearly very different.Since he first became involved in this issue in the mid-1990s, Sowell has joined with Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has conducted a much broader, more rigorous study of this phenomenon than the anecdotes reported in Late-Talking Children. Sowell can now identify a particular syndrome, a cluster of common symptoms and family characteristics, that differentiates these late-talking children from others; relate this syndrome to other syndromes; speculate about its causes; and describe how children with this syndrome are likely to develop.

Sounds like a book I need to read. I plan on picking a copy up sometime fairly soon. It may just help me understand and deal with my middlest child. One can only hope.

Last week he decided to push his brother over in the high chair. Scared the hell out of the baby and me. He is fine, wasn't hurt at all, but I thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so scared. These behavior issues that The Boy has, and the aggression and violence, may be part of his speech issues. Or they may be separate issues altogether.

All I know is that it definitely makes for stressful times. And interesting!

My birthday was low key and mostly quiet. We may have a little celebration this weekend. Steven got the whole weekend off so we could do something and now this damn hurricane is threatening the area! So... I think we may just have some friends over for dinner one night and have a cake and I will get drunk here at home and molest my husband and then pass out. Sounds good to me!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad Blogger

Every day over the past week I have come on here and tried to post. It has not worked. Either the boys would not leave me alone for long enough or I just could not get anything out. It has been a slightly crazy week.

I am feeling very melancholic today. I turn 34 today! I am now older than Jesus. (Please no one be offended. It's a joke. Not meant to cause offense to anyone.)

I am feeling kinda old. I know, I know.... 34 is not old. But tell that to my body! My daughter is 14 1/2 and every day that goes by she makes me feel older and more like my own mother. I am supposed to be the wild and crazy one! Wow. When did I become an old fuddy duddy? A housewife?

I will not be doing anything for my birthday (that I know of) other than cleaning house and changing diapers. Same ol same ol. My darling daughter did post a message for me that made me cry this morning.... check it out here.

I will try to come back later and post something with a little substance to it. Until then.... Peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hugs and Mambo Madness

I am in need of hugs. That is what I have decided. I am too stressed out and frazzled and I just need some full body, warm, comfy hugs. And some snuggles.

And then maybe some extremely hot and sweaty mattress mambo..... what better way to destress?

I think I might need to host another question day. And let y'all give me some ideas for posts. My life has just been to incredibly boring for words lately. Well, in between all of the crazy kid stuff. I have not been doing a damn thing other than kid stuff and cleaning. And fighting with doctors on the phone....

I wonder if I can find a babysitter for my birthday? So I can go out? No. So I can sleep. That's how damn pitiful I am lately! Ha! No, actually, I would like to go out. But, then I would need a designated driver since I have not been out and had anything to drink in so long that one drink would probably put me under the table. Or on top of it. Or in the back seat of someones car! LOL

I wish my Chelle could be here to go out with me! She always takes extra good care of me when we go out. Steven could ask us if we are sisters! teehee

Yeah, it's late. I'm tired. I am waiting for Steven to get off of work so I can go pick him up. Then maybe I can get some sleep. Or some mambo madness to help me sleep. Or maybe just a hug and sleep. Or maybe all three.

I am feeling a little punch drunk right now. You must excuse me for rambling on with no point to this post. Perhaps I am just liking "p" words.

Have you ever seen "V for Vendetta"? The V speech? Ha! I want to memorize that. Let's see if I can find it..... Oh, this is a good version.... turn the music off on the side bar.... and enjoy!

While I was looking for that one... I found this. Take the time to watch it all the way to the end.

Have a great night.... a great day on Thursday.... hugs to all of you. Thank you for your words, your comments, your thoughts and your love.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Special Child

There are times when I feel like a total fraud. I talk about my son and his issues and I am so overwhelmed at times that I am just not sure how to handle everything. And then I see a child who is so much worse either behaviorally or physically and I feel like a fraud. Who am I to complain about my sons tantrums or aversions or obsessions? At least he can walk and feed himself. At least his brain functions and he is smart and will get through his issues and not be dealing with the majority of them for his entire life. A mother who is part of a playgroup with me emailed me the other day to see how I was. One of the things she said was that those of us with high needs children have to stick together and help one another. And I felt like a complete fraud. My child is not THAT BAD.

So then, that begs the question, how bad is THAT bad? When does a child become "high needs" and when is he just a spoiled brat? When do I admit that I have a special needs child? AM I in denial or is he already there? I have no clue. I do know that having someone understand why I hesitate to go on play dates or have anyone over to the house is a real help. At least I know I am not alone.

I am struggling right now with deciding whether The Boy needs a diagnosis or a label. Whether it would benefit him or hurt him in the long run. Whether he is really a special needs child in more than just speech or if he is just highly gifted with a brain that works a little different and maybe a few extra quirks to make life interesting.

There are days that all I want to do is run away. When I am absolutely positive that I cannot take another tantrum or food issue or sleepless night. When I know that someone else could handle all of this so much better than I am. When I feel that I am doing all that I can possibly do and it is still not enough.

And then there are days when I look at that sweet face and know..... that he is special in all of the most important ways. He is my special, sweet, smart, wonderful child. And whatever comes in the future.... we will handle together.

So. My "special needs" or "high needs" child is just right for me. I could not imagine life without him. Now I have to take one step at a time and find what is right for us. What is right for HIM. And make sure that I "mama bear" it into happening.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Black Eyed Boy and The Insomniator

So. My Girl is settled in school quite happily this year and I have no crazy stories or stressful tales to share about her first week. Anyone who wants to see how she is doing can pop over to her blog and say hi!

As for the boys..... well. That is what this post is all about.

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy as far as the boys go. The Baby is no longer a baby. He is a toddler and hell bent on being just like his brother. Ha. He climbs on anything, jumps off of things, runs everywhere, gets into trouble specifically to see what I will do about it and generally does whatever his brother does. It is very very tiring. BUT. He is also still my snuggle bunny. He comes up and climbs in my lap and hugs and snuggles and gives one big, wet kiss after the other. And when he is done he jumps down and runs over to his brother and tackles him! LOL He is giving me about the normal amount of toddler mayhem in my day. With an extra dose of toddler love to make up for any trouble. The main issue with him lately has been the number of bumps, bruises, scratches and general boo-boos that he is covered in from day to day. he is all boy, rough and tumble and no doubt about it. He is, however, sporting a nice black eye right now, courtesy of his brother and a frying pan. We were all in the kitchen and the boys were playing with pots and pans.... then the baby started screaming and I turned around to see The Boy with a frying pan in hand. Since I did not actually SEE what happened, I am pretending it was an accident. And putting a lock on the cabinet where I keep the pots and pans. The poor baby looks like he was beaten! It is now all yellow and green as it heals. My little bruiser!

The Boy. Well.

He has his good days and his bad days. He started seeing a counselor/ therapist for his behaviors. It's a little odd for me. We go see her and talk for a half an hour or so about what he has been doing and what I should be doing with him and then she takes him to a "play room" and plays/ observes him. And then comes back and gives me goals of things to work on for the next 2 weeks. He sees her every 2 weeks right now. I like her. She has not tried to tie him down to a specific diagnosis although we discussed several. She is very open to my opinions and feelings on what is going on with him. She listens to me and respects me as his mother and the one who knows him better than anyone else. Right now we are working on trying to give him controlled play areas. To help him focus on specific things and not get distracted and then out of control. It seems to be helping to some extent. When he has specific goals and specific toys/ activities and is not just left to play with whatever.... he is fine. He stays on task and plays nicely and is happy. Instead of getting lost in toys/ activities and then getting bored and acting out. If any of that makes sense. I'm not sure if I described it well or not.

She is also encouraging me to push his doctors in Jackson into referring him for a sleep study. She feels, and I agree, that he has a sleep disorder and that most of his behavior issues stem from being overtired. Extremely overtired/ sleep deprived. The cool thing is that when he went for his appointment in Jackson they actually wrote on his checkout form that he has a sleep disorder. This should make it easier to get them to refer him.

Speaking of the appointment in Jackson. That was just about the only good thing that came out of that trip. Otherwise it was a waste of time. And then they called me yesterday and wanted to say that they needed me to bring him back for another doctor to examine him so that they could give a recommendation on a dosage for melatonin. What? The trip takes two hours one way. So, drive a total of four hours, use about $40 worth of gas, lose a days work for Steven and drag two kids through all of that.... just for a dosage recommendation? No. I told them I needed a referral to someone in the area or I needed them to just confer with his regular pediatrician. That there was no way i could make the trip again when I had just been there and they told me they would just call me with the info. grrrrrrrr.

Anyway. So, I am waiting on the dosage info for the melatonin. Still. I am waiting on a referral for a sleep study. And, meanwhile, dealing with lack of sleep and behavior problems. He has turned three now so he is no longer eligible for the speech program that he was in. Now, he has to receive his speech therapy through the school system. He got turned down for Head start because we make too much money. (Ha!) So, I will have to transport him to the school twice a week for therapy starting in about 2 weeks.


I feel like it is just never ending.

And I am sleep deprived as well!

But, he is doing better as far as his speech goes. He is also doing a little better behavior wise. So, I see a glimmer of a reflection of a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep your fingers crossed that it is not a train. Or a dragon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The past week has been unbearably mind-numbingly boring. And I am on the downside of my life. I am feeling numb and cold and barren and just downright blah. I struggle in the day to day grind of changing diapers and fighting the behaviors of the middle child, breaking up fights and trying to cook, clean and be a "housewife" who gives a shit. I struggle to get out of bed and face the day.... without a grimace and a groan. I struggle to get off my ass and accomplish anything worthwhile in my house. I stretch my mind to try to think any thoughts that are outside of my tiny little world. And I crumble back down like a used tissue. My mind is empty. My heart is dim and my soul is sleeping.

The bright spots of goodness and of despair:

The Boy turned three on Saturday.
The Girl started tenth grade on Monday.
The van decided that it did not need working brakes. In the middle of a 2 hour drive to Jackson. In the rain. (All is well.)
The Boy had a new psych evaluation that was absolutely worthless. They did the same tests on him they have done 5 times in the past year with the same damn results. And still no answers to our sleep issues.
The computer is working!
My back hurts.
I started exercising again.
My husband and I are speaking. AND having sex. Imagine that.
$400 to fix the brakes.

So now I just need to find a way to catch up on my sleep and wake the fuck up. My life is passing me by and I am just watching it and not even caring. My children get older and grow up and I have no idea what I am doing.

I need.... something. Something to wake me up. Something to make me care. Something to inspire and drive me. Something to give me some ambition and drive and a reason to get my ass moving.

Now I just need to figure out what my something is.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm Baaaack!

I am back. My computer went down about a week and a half ago. We THINK the house got struck by lightning. We lost the modem, wireless router, 3 DVD players and my daughter's TV is wonky. AND we ended up having to get a new network card for the computer and reinstall the operating system. But, we are back and running strong.

I will try to get a chance to post a detailed story of what we have been up to for the past week or so sometime soon. For now, I just wanted everyone to know where the heck I have been! LOL