Monday, June 30, 2008

Zoo Zoo Zoo

Spent the weekend cleaning the house. I mean hours. We rearranged the dining room and family room furniture so we would have more room to replace our TV in. That's right, I told Pops he doesn't have to have a tv that only fits within the 32" space of the entertainment center. He is a happy guy. He has been drooling over the flat screens. But we couldn't justify replacing a working TV. OH ya baby.

So that meant cleaning out the side broad and the entertainment center, which lead to cleaning the counter which led to cleaning the explosive toy pile etc. Pops helped too. But my goodness. Junk everywhere. It looks only slightly better-but if you open those drawers involved, they do look better.

Went to the zoo today with the kids and Granny. We had a nice time.
Tomorrow kids and I drive up to Napa to stay with my dear friends, and Ki's God mother and her family. Kids are beside themselves with excitement. Aj has been studying maps and reviewing various route options. What a good time. I could take Granny and stay at a motel up there. But I just can't do it. It is too wacky. We have been leaving her home more and more. It just gets to be too much with the whole wacky gang. Especially in a less familiar environment. I feel guilty about that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

ya, I want one of those

Now here is an invention that I need for my own personal use. This pic is from a Oaklandd A's night game. That, my fellow coffee drinking friends, is a man carrying a coffee keg (for lack of a better name). Yep, volumes of coffee strapped on his back in an insulated container. There is a hose that comes off it with a spout allowing him to serve up hot java right from his hip. While I am in awe of this tremendous invention, I am also a bit surprised that I didn't think of it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kids first live musical production

For Pops birthday I gave him tickets for the four of us (he, the kids & I) to see the production Hairspray in SF. I rented the movie a month ago and the kids seemed to enjoy it. So today we went to the performance. We drove part way and then took BART into the city. A fine lunch at Burger Kingg, and then over to the Orpheum Theater. Aj particularly enjoyed it. He clapped and cheered after each song. He pointed out to Pops and I, "Those two are punks!" in reference to the character and her daughter who were unkind to fat Tracy and in favor of segregation. We bought the CD after the show. I was pleased with myself for exposing them to performing arts and that Aj seemed to enjoy it so.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hey a picture!

I figured out how to post a pic! Yeah!
Well check this one out-
There is nothing more touching than a man snuggling a baby. A close second has got to be a Daddy carrying his hurt boy on his back in the woods.

Wed June 18th still in Tahoe

Well Aj's splinted foot changes how we approach this vacation. We decide to drive over to Emerald Bay. So very beautiful. We go thru a couple park and view vista places. Then we park at Eagle Falls. Pops carries Aj on his back (piggy back) and Ki, Granny and I followed with lunch stuff. Turned out to be a great time. We hiked down (VERY short distance) to the edge of a waterfall and had lunch and hung out and took lots of pics. Aj was pretty happy sitting in the sun and throwing rocks and twigs into the water and watching them catch the current and disappear.
Reading, watching the lake, video games, a movie and dinner back at the house.

Tues June 17th

In the am Aj jumped off the half-way point from the stairs in the house here at Tahoe. Of course he was not wearing socks, because a few years ago he was running in our house in socks and slipped and fell and broke his arm. So he was safely barefoot. Now I had told him not to jump from this spot previously-turns out I was just spittin' in the wind.
So he says his foot hurts. Well I was half asleep and a bit pissed that he was bounding around like a tiger. Finally, Kurt looks at his foot and says he thinks AJ might have hurt one of the metatarsals (bones) in his foot. mmmmm
We decide to go ahead with our plans for the day and keep tabs on him over time. We all pile in the car and head off to the glorious Cabela's store some 40 minutes away.
Now most likely you may not know what Cabela's is. It is a store for "sportsmen" (and women). They carry everything related to hunting, fishing and the outdoors that you ever needed or dreamed of. And then some. But I am married to Pops who hunts and fishes and back packs. So going to see this recently opened mega-store was like a trip to Disneyland.
The store is an experience in itself. Huge collections of taxidermied animals from everywhere in the world (tiger, rhino, hippo etc), a room-sized fish tank and a large section in the store simply labelled "CAMO".
While there, Kurt had a Buffalo Burger for lunch and I had cheese curds (a throw back from my Wisconsin days).
On the way home we dug out the name and location of the hospital in Truckee. We thought we should get Aj's foot checked out. So we head in and it is dead quiet so Ki, Granny and I wait while Pops goes back with Aj. And results of the Xray show...drumroll....

A fracture to a metatarsal in the right foot, on the growth plate.
Pops was, unfortunately correct in his diagnosis. Aj still is in a little pain, but doing well. They splint his foot and give him crutches. Pops defers having them call to Physical Therapist to come and do crutch training, as he is a PT. The MD had deferred casting or putting on a walking boot at the time as he was concerned there might be swelling. The short if it-no weight bearing for 4 to 6 weeks.
The long of it:
I have a kid with ADHD and SID who is supposed to sit on his butt for a month. HAH

I have a kid with ADHD and PDD who is a wild-ass on crutches

I have a kid who can weight bear on his foot if he puts it on the ground, & he does

I have a broken-footed kid signed up for sports camps over the summer while I work, Uhoh

I have a kid who is not in pain. That is good. I keep putting his crutches 10 feet away from him so he can't get up. Then he says, "You always forget to put the crutches where I can reach them!"
"Yeah, I seem to have a tough time remembering that."

Lake Tahoe Arriving and Day 1

I am catching up on posts and dividing them out.
School finished Fri July 13. We went and saw Kung Fu Panda. Very cute. I wish I had seen it with Bea and the boys. She, too, laughs out loud and often in movies as I do. So she is fun to enjoy a movie with.

Sun June 15
Sunday at noonish we loaded kids and Granny in the car and headed to Lake Tahoe. My dear friend, Brook, very generously lent us her recently purchased home for a 5 night stay. What a gift this turned out to be. The home is directly on the water with a 30 second walk to the water itself. The home itself is as beautifully appointed inside as is it's location. The essence of peace and beauty inside and out.

Mon June 16
Monday morning we walk along the lake and are joined by a Golden Retriever named Chico. It is dog heaven here. Later we drive to do a 1/2 mile flat nature walk at state line. Incredible views of the entire lake. Lunch out and home to play in the water, for only 5 minutes as it is snow melt. Then TV, movies, games, walk and razor rides to a park, a nap, reading and left over pizza. Of course a few melt downs here and there, but all in all a great day.

Ki and me

Ki ended her 1st grade year and did well. She has come out of her shell a bit and will greet classmates when she sees them. She did the same last year. I hope there is not the same extended ramp up time next year. Summer for her is a number of camps. Most with Aj or one of the boys she enjoys playing with.

Kids and I attended a bday party last week. There were 3 other kids there. The one who was not family was the mother and son we knew. She and I are much more alike then the host family. The parents and grandparents of the bday boy are VERY conservative in their views and HYPER cautious. No running, bouncing, dirt or loud noises in any excess, if at all. Kids are home schooled and protected from the realities of the real world. As we sat around the table none of the kids were talking. So I engaged them in a conversation about pets. My friends son announces at the top of his voice,
"We use to have 2 rabbits, but one died. It kept humping the cat and the cat scratched it."
Audible gasps from the host parents and grandparents.
Then my darling Ki, not wanting to be out done chimes in,
"We went to my Grandpa's duck club and he shot a duck and he killed it in one shot!"
At this point I am fairly certain I am going to need to resuscitate the host family. But they are on there own as my friend and I are boiling over with laughter but trying not show it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Last Game of the Season

I've moaned about Aj and baseball (little league) before. Last Sat was his last game. Like the school play, he is always in the outfield and the first to be rotated out. But again, I seem to notice more than him.
His coaches have been tremendous with him. Three men and the team Mom. They work with him to calm him when he melts or explodes and talk to and treat him respectfully and expect the same of his team mates. An experience I could have never imagined could go so well.
But then there was Aj's regular striking out at bat. It broke my heart and I could tell, Pops too. Pops would practice with Aj and Ki on his day off. Pops was a good ball player himself, having played catcher on his UC Davis team in college.
Last Sat was Aj's last game. My boy was up 5 times and he hit that ball 5 times.
One of them was even a double! Now 2 of those hits resulted in the guy getting out at second, so technically it was 3 hits.
But I am not a technical score keeper.
My guy was 5 for 5 and got a double in his last game. I am so proud. And so is he. Pops might still say he was 3 for 5. But he would have that half-squint, watery-eyed look he gets only when he talks about tender moments for the ones he loves.


Aj has been on this medication for 1 week at 1/2 the recommended dose. His attention is pretty good. Better yet he is not so agitated. Don't get me wrong, he still has melt downs and ragers, but seems better in general now that he is off of Focalin. He has also had 3 sessions with an SLP at She and I met ahead of time and planned to have these initial sessions really focus on anger and emotion management and understanding how his emotions/reactions effect others. He really seemed to carry info over from one session to the next and was able to integrate his own experiences. When she talked to him about brainstorming, he correctly drew, explained and used the model his classroom teacher had taught him about brainstorming for ideas when you were working on writing a paper!
So I think all of this has helped. Also, he is probably ready for a break from school. He is excited about summer camps.


Lots to report. But I will back track first and divide out entries.

Aj's teacher had his class do a musical
Celebrate You and Me - Helping Kids Build Self-Esteem (Musical)
. It is a great 30 min musical designed to promote kids' self esteem. It also promoted acknowledging each others differences. Which of course I noted. Aj knew all the words and hand movements for the songs. She gave him a small, one line role. And he delivered it perfectly. At first all I could think of was how he was in the back and, of course, didn't have much of a role. But later I thought back about how great he did. No one but those "in the know" knew that he was the included kid. His teacher from last year and ki's teacher from this year both commented to me on how wonderful he did. And he did, and he had fun. I don't think he had higher expectations or wished for more spoken lines. That was my thing. To him and most everyone else, he was just one of the regular kids.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Day off

I had a day off today!
I spent time with Granny in the am and then was alone from 1 to 6!
In am took Granny to bank, farmers market and store. I picked up Aj's prescription of Concerta.
Then I went and had a pedicure. Purple- "deep amethyst" with white flowers on my big toes. Then I went and bought some new Clinique on a Nordstrom's gift card-and got the free gift! B-day gifts for friends at the Disney store. A skirt at Macy's on a gift card. Finally, iced vanilla latte and toffee bar from Starbucks, on a gift card. A very cheap shopping trip.
At 7ish Signora Blog joined me at home and we walked to Mom's Margarita party a couple blocks away. It was all Mom's from the school our kids go to. A fun time. Nice to hang out and catch up.
Pops and kids left this am to go to the annual Marsh Party. A bunch of duck hunters labs and such. There is a duck calling contest. I got the word that in the 6 to 11 year old age group Ki was one of the 5 or 6 finalists of 50 kids. Pops must be so proud. She took a duck call into school on Fri for sharing. I asked her how it went and she said, "they went wild!"
I'm off to sleep.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fri am

I am "off" for most of Fri. Unfortunately I didn't make any plans in advance and was left with no social outlet. I am still feeling overcome. The thought of actually being productive and doing some of the millions of things I need to do left me frozen. Frozen for a 4 hour nap and now dawdling on the computer.

House feels heavy in my mind with all of the crap everywhere in and out.

Work is busier, which is good, but lots of evals this week to pull together and others to write up and plan further for: artic with autism, plain ol' artic, picky eater feeding eval, feeding eval write up, likely language processing diagnosis that needs further research and write up, beginning a PECS system, form creation, lamination and labelling of picture icons. Oh, and I need to bill so I can get paid. The good news is I like my work. Both the actual contact and the above.

Ki has Brownie ceremony today. I never put her patches on her vest. I can hardly sew on a button. And now I can't find her vest for the ceremony, even without the badges. So she will be vestless. Loss of mommy points, I feel bad.

Update on Aj.
Every am there is a fight about getting him dressed. Yelling every morning. I hate it.
Yesterday He had to miss recess for kicking a girl on purpose. I thought he might go crazy at school about losing that. But it worked out fine. He did some other stuff with his aide was okay.
TH am his class did a play-mostly songs. He did great singing and swaying with the songs and executed his 1 line perfectly. And he enjoyed it. I was still feeling particularly black at the time, but in hindsight. My quirky kid was right in there and great. You couldn't tell he was the "special one".
Th afternoon we had appt with developmental ped. I had Aj stay with me and we talked that Aj has difficulty with managing anger and emotions, but that lately it seemed to be daily and often very big issues. Also, I think he started biting his nails. Pops and I were ready to take Aj off of Focalin (med for ADHD). MD agreed that there was likely a correlation between the two.
While Daytrana had worked great (attention was good, no other mood issues) it ate the skin on his butt. So we are going to try Concerta. It lasts up to 12 hours. So a common side effect is that kids may have trouble falling asleep. I am going to turn it in to the pharmacy today. I am sure all of his yelling etc is not going away, but hopefully some of it will fade away with the absence of Focalin.
I am off to pick up Aj run to the store then back for Ki's Brownie ceremony then off the meet Bea and the boys at Maddux to play and eat pizza. Ki is very excited.

Granny wants to go pick up Aj to get out of house and I already feel tense. She has asked me 5 times "When do the kids get out of school?". She wants to go to the store because she is out of wine to drink. Having all 3 of them (or just Aj and her) can be such a nightmare. Off to check the garage for wine and sherry stock for Granny.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tonight I feel sad

In the last week or so and especially today I just can’t keep pushing it all away. It is there and big and in my face. Things are hard and sad here at home.

Aj has been so volatile lately. Pretty much daily episodes of screaming or raging. Some episodes worse then others, some days with a few.
Last week at basketball with Park and Rec he was distressed that his team lost and threw a bottle of gatoradie across the gym. When confronted by myself and someone from the gym to clean it up he just unhinged. Screaming, crying, trying to run away from me. I ended up wrestling with him on the gym floor while others looked on in shock. Fri night at a local church carnival the guy who was in charge of a jumpy-house thing told Aj to get out because he had jumped over a small wall. Aj went ballistic and ran screaming thru the fair and continued to yell as we walked him out tightly grasping his arm. It sounds like we have beaten him or are threatening to.

Now things are also happening at school. That use to be our safe zone-he was always the good kid that everyone enjoyed working with. He has pushed kids. Today he supposedly kicked a girl during soccer. He denies it was on purpose and is distressed because he said his aide doesn’t believe him. He was taken to the office and told no recess tomorrow. Pops said some kid said to him on the way out "Aj that was really mean". There is more to the story , but that is the gist.

He is a quirky guy. I was told that in third grade was when the other kids really notice. It is true.

Today I asked him what friend he would like to take to visit our friend Officer Bob. He said, "Ki."
I said, "Yeah, she'll go, but who did you want to bring?"
Aj, "No, I meant I'll bring Ki. She is my friend."

But really, it is because he has no friends. And now he really knows it. You see that is the definition of a "high level kid". It is a kid who can do lots of stuff but is aware that others don't want to play with them and that they are mocked and teased.

Most the time I am just pissy about Aj being so difficult to live with and how my Mom makes me crazy. Ki talked about how awful it was being here tonight with Granny, that she asks them the same silly questions over and over and she can't remember anything. Then she asked my why Granny can't remember anything. They have never asked that question. WE talk about that she has trouble remembering, but not why. Aj is obsessed lately with illness and death and so I chose not to talk to her about how Granny has dementia. It makes my heart scream out that this wonderful woman who is my mother is now a kooky old lady. That they will not truly know her witty, loving soul. Most of all I am sad for Aj because he needs all the love he can get and this is his only dotting grandparent and she is fading and he is only nine.

guilt, sadness, anger, self pity, over whelmed, despair, tears and snot