Monday, December 31, 2007

Poopy Puppy

This morning i was rolling and playing with the kids in bed. I noticed Java hadn't been around, which is un usual. I called her a few times. No go. Suddenly I heard her zip thru the doggie door and then she bounded onto the bed. She had wet paws and legs and a dirty, wet snout.
Then the data collated in my head.
toilet plugged up in our bathroom... shower not draining... sump pump on and off since yesterday-when it was not raining...that is not mud on her snout
I went in the backyard and found water and sewage flowing like a river across the yard.
Now for the good news. I put in a call to a plumber and Pops called the county. Mr. County plumber arrived first. So while the crap that is flowing all over the yard may be the neighbors-it is due to a problem in the line on the street versus a pipe in our yard! So there will be no cost to us!!!!!!!!
So that is good news to me. I guess it is all in perspective taking. But I won't be inviting anyone over for a backyard picnic anytime soon.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year is Upon Us

I feel like all of my creativity, time and energy for more then the the last month was devoted to the holidays and Christmas. Of course that was my choice. But as a result I have taken a huge mental vacation from: working on plans for Mom, my therapy practice and necessary work to expand and move, Aj's IEP, cleaning and organizing home and office, Aj and meds, Special Ed PTA, local school PTA, outline for a talk I am giving and the play dates I say I am going to organize and never do. So it is time to crack down. Many parts of it I look forward to. I like having projects etc that I am working on. But I must admit I prefer my work, presentations and PTA stuff to figuring out my kids and Granny. Oh and I prefer most things to cleaning. I also have down the ol' try to get more healthy. I am not going to commit myself to fail by saying I will exercise tons and diet. That is not real. My plan is to eat well, not excessively and poorly, and perhaps squeeze in some walking and yoga.
My practice continues to be somewhat slow. I am going to expand my practice into the area of pediatric feeding and swallowing. Given my training, teaching and clinical experience with adult swallowing disorders, motor speech disorders (apraxia and dysarthria), and SID (sensory integration disorder) this is not really much of a stretch. I have 3 courses I am looking into. From clinical reports for feeding/swallowing clients I have read from clinicians area, -this will be an area I feel I can take on and do a good job with. In terms of knowledge and experiences, I have most of the big pieces already. My confidence often runs behind my skill level. We'll see how it all plays out.

I love the two year olds

The other day I emailed a Mom whose two-year-old son I see for speech. I have been off for over a week, I wrote that I missed them. She replied:

we miss you, too. boy and i were playing up/down with some toys and i think he asked for you today. well, he either asked for you or a yogurt. i am still figuring out his language.

I will take that as a compliment-because I think he likes yogurt.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Granny's Arm

Ended up with a 4:30 pm MD apt. for Granny. Double Trouble graciously took and kept my growling, ungrateful children. Granny has lymphodema due removal of lymph nodes when she had a mastectomy 10 years ago. MD said she had an infection and that it was quite common in individuals who had lymphodema and was surprised she hadn't had it before. She got a shot of antibiotics and a perscription for abx pills. 24 hours later her arm looks better and is clearly improving. Good news. If that wasn't the case she would have needed IV antibiotics, meaning hospitalization. Nice to have avoided that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Update

In no particular order:
=Aj got a CAL jersey and wanted to call jennyalice right away and tell her
=Pops got me a cooking class at Williams and Sonoma (he knows I like to cook), a lovely basket of my favorite scent from Crabtree and Evlyn and reservations for us at a place in Cambria. He is such a sweetie
=14 for dinner a group of somehow kinda maybe related people and some extras. I was a little worried when Cousin Harley Davidsonn and his fiance started doing vodka shots at 2 pm-but no worries after all.
=Pops father, whom I call The General (and he likes it), gave us a trip to Disney land last year. That was a 3 day trip with The General, Pops the kids and I. And actually it turned out great. So today for Xmas he gave it to us again. The kids are thrilled. Last year we went over spring break. This year I want to take them out of school.
=cookies and milk left out for Santa and carrots for reindeer
=Making as much food as possible in advance for xmas dinner is a good idea. But not if it includes a Butternut squash and banana puree dish. Despite its containing alcohol and orange juice and being covered and refrigerated, it will still turn and dark brown and resemble baby poop. We had a little less food than I orginally planned.
=I love it when the kids yell,"Oh Santa, this is SOOO COOL!'
=On Christmas Eve pops had Ki call NORAD, who is known for tracking and providing current up to date info about the where abouts of Santa on Christmas Eve. Working Elves answer the phone. Ki said she wanted to know when Santa was going to be at our house. Ms Elf asked her, "Where are you?" Ki told her Deadwood City in CA. Ms Elf then told her SAnta was due at our house between 10:30 and 11:00 and that she should probably go to bed soon.(You'll have to try it next year with little one
=I think I wrapped a trillion presents
=Granny's arm was swollen and red and very hot Xmas night. I kept waking up during the night trying to come up with who I could dump my kids on the next day to take Granny to the MD (Pops at work)
=Over all things went well for XMAS

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Update

I made a new batch of Chex mix, sans the coffee with flavored creamer. I have gotten a lot done, still more to do. Housekeepers come in an hour. I've been cooking and planning to try and get as much done as possible before Christmas. Especially for the dinner where there will be 14 of us. I am having 3 smaller tables and will have a buffet style and have people rotate seats after courses just to keep it fun and make my father in law crazy. Of course that will give him new audiences to talk about himself to. I have made peppermint bark, Christmas bark, chocolate covered nuts and the chex. Breakfast is baked french toast, bacon and OJ. Lunch is tortilla soup. Heavy appetizers. Dinner is a Honney Baked ham (paid for by one of the guests), scalloped potatoes (a guest), homemade applesauce, puree butternut squash with banana, broccoli and cauliflower gratin, sweet potatoes with apples, Christmas salad (spinach, pomegranate, avocado, pine nuts,w/ champagne dressing), fruit salad (a guest). Candy (above) and other dessert (guest).
Currently, time to rip around the house and clean ahead of the house keepers, then off to run a couple errands.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mushy Christmas Brain

Early last week I thought I was something else. I wrapped up pretty much all of my Christmas shopping over the Internet-via good ol' Ammazon. I also started a bunch of cooking- Christmas (candy) bark, peppermint bark, Chex mix, and homemade apple sauce. Today I planned to take kids to Stamford mall to have lunch at McDonald's and then go visit Santa.
This morning I told Aj about the plans for our day. He unhinged. He had been planning on going to Quizzno's. 20 to 30 min of screaming, crying... AAHHH! I had told myself I would crank out the last double batch of the Chex Mix and then we would leave - or some of us would. So feeling a bit tense from Aj's continuing blow up, I went into the kitchen and measured the seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder into the previously melted butter. I stirred and poured it over the 12 cups of cereal, pretzels and nuts. After mixing I placed it in 3 large pyrex in the oven. Then I turned around and saw on the counter the measuring cup of melted butter. But I had just poured that over the cereal mix? Confused, I looked into the sink and there sat my coffee cup. But I wasn't done with my coffee...oh dear. I had put the spices in my mocha-peppermint flavored coffee and thoroughly stirred it into the cereal before popping it into the oven. Now supposedly new recipes are born from mistakes, yet somehow this didn't seem like it would be one of those.
So we had compromised by having lunch at Quizzno's and then heading to McDonnalds and then to Santa. When we made it to Santa, there was a note posted that he was out feeding is reindeer and would be back in hour. Remarkably so, Aj did not melt down when I suggested we come back in the am tomorrow.
As we were driving home it occurred to me that I had received none of the items I had ordered from Amazon. That was odd, they usually sent things so quickly. I also hadn't gotten any of those emails lately that update you on the shipping process. It was then that I recalled that my computer was doing wierd things when I was trying to send that email. mmmmmmmmmmm. It occurred to me that the order never went through. AAHHH!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The annual Christmas Letter


Friends and Family- December 3, 2007
The annual update:
January - On New Years Eve my Mom, celebrates her B-day. She is strikingly young looking for being over 80. She is still living with us and is a big help here at home. A group of incredible women and I formed the Special Education PTA of Deadwood City (SEPTAD) and I am elected president. Ki gets a beta fish for her b-day and names him Jack-Jack.
February - Aj leaves the following note under his pillow. Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth. It is in my tummy because I swallowed it. I tried to get it out but I could not get it out. And my tummy really hurts. I hope I still get my money. Love, Aj
Pops continues work as a PT & manager at Physicall Health. He enjoys working a schedule of 4 ten-hour days. I continue to expand my speech therapy pratice. I feel grateful to have a career that I enjoy so much.
March - Aj plays little league and Ki plays t-ball. We continue to grow our family zoo with the addition of Java, a chocolate lab. At six months and 45 pounds, she is a bundle of untrained, unbridled, pure joy. On her 1st evening she jumps in the bath with the kids & later jumps in our bed and attempts to curl up and sleep on my head.
April - Pop’s father treats the four of us to a 3 day trip to Disney land. We go during spring break with 9 million of our closest friends. Even with the crowds, it is still a magical place. Although, admittedly it did lose some of the magic when we got stuck in It’s a Small World and were tortured by “that song”.
May - I attend a CA state PTA conference in Sacramento. My friend and I are both in denial that we have grown up to drive mini-vans and attend PTA conferences.
June - Ki gets bounced too hard in a jump house and convinces my physical therapist husband that her arm is broken. Once at the ER I rationalize, “Well she hasn’t had the obligatory every-kid-goes-to-the-ER-at-least-once.” Shortly after that Pops & I realize she is doing arm push ups in the waiting room chair. She’ll have to get that visit in another time.
July - I question why I bathe the kids when the days are: M pool, W lake, F pool, S lake.
August - We visit Arnold, CA & Kurt & I long to buy a home there. Aj starts 3rd grade and enjoys his new classroom aide, Patty. Ki starts 1st grade and loves school. September - A beta fish, whom Kianna names Dash, replaces the previously deceased Beta, Jack-Jack. Pops and I celebrate our 11th anniversary.
October - Pops, his brother & Dad go goose hunting in Canada. For Halloween Ki is a SWAT officer or SCOTT as she calls it. Aj is Darth Vader. He’s never seen Star Wars, but you can’t beat a light saber as part of a costume. Java jumps the fence & enjoys me chasing her up the street while wearing my head-to-toe Winnie the Pooh costume. Or at least the neighbors seem to enjoy it.
November - Java keeps me busy. One day in the car she bites a Pepsi can & sets off a sugary geyser. Two weeks later she sours the car after biting the lid off a gallon of milk.
December - My Dad & his wife, begin the process of selling the home I grew up in, in order to move to the Northwest. Two of my dear friends successfully publish a book, allowing me to call myself a “published writer.”
Can I Sit With You? Is a collection of stories about schoolyard social experiences, both good and bad. All proceeds from the sale of Can I Sit With You? go directly to SEPTAR.
You can check out and purchase the book and at:

Peace on Earth,
Pops (40 something), Me (40 something), Aj (9), Ki (6), Granny (80 something), Bear the cat (13), Sierra the lab (11), Sammy the guinea pig (6 ish),
Buddy the guinea pig (3 ish), Java the lab (1), Dash the Beta fish (6 months)

I am sorry, what did you say?

Aj and I had a very rough morning on wed. then around 1:00 I got a call from Pops who said the teacher had called him (seems she is avoiding calling me for some reason...). Seems Aj became frustrated in reading class and mumbled under his breath that he wanted to kill himself and the reading teacher.But then he returned to his happy self was appropriately doing reading work back in his regular class.
holy shit
well...aj often uses language without always understanding the full intent.I have been verbally banned from many things by him. When he is frustrated he goes to the language archive and accesses previously heard or used words. But none the less this is concerning and of course set of a flurry of calls/communications to principal, inclusion spec etc. I came to school before the day ended and touched base with teacher and aide in person. After school Aj and i went and talked to the reading teacher. I told him he should take ki and I there to meet her. She was lovely with him. We talked about how he can't be chosen every time he has his hand up because there is a whole class of 11 kids during reading time. And what could he do if he felt frustrated waiting. He still has no idea about the weight of the words he used or small storm left in his wake.
The good news was that he did say this under his breath so other kids (except maybe 1) didn't hear it. That comment would have been really awful to have a kid go share with his parents and friends on the playground.
The medication he is on, Daytrona, and many ADHD type meds can cause an increase in anxiety, and I think he has some anxiety already. Also, I gave him a nearly full dose instead of teh 80% we'd been doing. So it may be that and the bad morning and poor coping skills...I was telling Pops that I think he is having more blow ups lately but that I can't keep that math straight. If it is 3 or 7 it still wipes me out and makes for some miserable hours and I lose count. I will count more this weekend and see and also get in touch with MD.
Never a dull moment

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where oh where have I been

I haven't been posting much lately.
Crazy time of year.
Random thoughts in a stream of consciousness order with out the time needed for grammar and punctuations. followed by a healthy spell check:
i turned 44. had to do the math there for a second. part of me is sad that i am a mini-van driving, overweight, age spotted frumpy gal. i feel like i have a good soul and energy for most of the time and that beauty shines through. but it would be nice to feel prettier on the outside too. of course i know much of that i could change by diet and exercise. but i regress to stress/addictive eating.

aj has been on the meds for adhd for a couple weeks now. some help with his focus at school and home has been noted. i had wished for more. we can try another drug for a bit and compare (i have perscrip) i had hoped for a change in the daily occurring ugly behaviors of tantrums, yelling, name calling, blow ups, etc. i realize i am sad that this is not "fixed" at all. now what do i do. i know i need a good strong behavioral plan. it is SO hard to be consistent and ....all

in the paper today is an article about stress, it further confirmed for me that lately i am experiencing more stress then i ever have in my life. i could take more happy pills (anti-depressants) but that is not the answer, as the situation won't change. the combo of aj and granny is more then i can handle. or they are the lion's share. pops is working hard to help out too.

xmas is hard too. i love it and i tried to start things early. but it is always a lot. we will be having a total 14 of somewhat related people here for xmas dinner. and lucnh for some of them. yikes.

living here is like a fun house. there is furniture and belongings piled on top of everything. part of it is that im am an unorganized slob. the other parrt is that there are five people living here using 2 bedrooms, and all of my ever expanding work stuff filling the (Bedroom) office and threatening to take over the rest of the house. pops and i have talked and in the new year i have got to move my office and rent office space and really get my clinic up

also-i don't think i can have granny here 24/7. it is getting too hard. the chemical combo of her and aj and ki and pops and me and ...
she has significantly declined in the last few months she asks the same question or pursues tha same task within minutes of previously engaging in. again i say "in the new year" that feels like a relief to say not-now-but-then. except when "then" comes and I feel totally overcome by all that needs to be done.