Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pops out of town for a week

That means the sleeping arrangements change.
Kids alternating between sleeping with me or sleeping on the family room couch.
Sleeping has been exciting this week. Generally the bed has been occupied by me, one kid, Tess, Annie, Java and Bear. Every so often I roll over and inadvertently eject some poor sleeping creature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Water, water everywhere

Our front yard late this afternoon
If you're gonna come by-don't forget your row boat
And watch out for the puppy

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Letter Home

Aj wrote a ltter to me when he was at outdoor ed camp for 4 days. I got it today. It reads as follows:

Dear Mom,
I like Outdoor Ed!!
I love going to Ocean Oydessey.
Do you know who got elimited (eliminated) on Dancing with the Stars?


Friday, October 09, 2009

My Baby is Back

My beautiful boy is back. Aj was at 5th grade outdoor education for the last week. I dropped him off at school at 8 am on Monday and picked him up today, Friday, at 1 pm.
He went without an aide. Which is good. I send him to sports day camps and there is no additional staffing. I was most concerned about him following through to get dressed in the morning when he woke up full of energy and without ADHD medications. They did increase the the high school staff in his cabin from 1 to 2 high-achieving teen girls. As well, the staff was altered that Aj may need assistance.
I'm not sure who had more of an "experience" the 14 boys in the cabin or the 2 gals spending every night with them.
On Wednesday I had an email forwarded to me that said Aj was doing great and enjoying himself. That night we got a call from the teacher at camp. Aj was crying and homesick. Pops and I talked to him for a awhile and told him how proud of him we were of him. We talked about what he had to look forward to the next day and that after that he would be coming home. I asked the teacher if he'd had any "altercations". We had a few in the last week so I was worried about a command performance in the presence of additional stress. But she told me -no he'd been great. Today the teacher said Aj was fine after our Wed evening call.
Today at 1 pm in the school playground I was greeted by a dirty-faced smiling boy. He immediately launched into a story about the raccoon that got in their cabin last night. Evidently Alex forgot to take his Monday lunch left overs out of his lunch bag. Seemingly the 3-day-old odor drew in a raccoon. Other portions of the story included the raccoon throwing up and later peeing on one boys clothes. Alex is cautious and fearful of animals other than cats and dogs. So I was not surprised to hear he was distressed by the presence of the masked food thief.
"The cabin leader gave me 6 Oreos to cheer me up."
I am guessing beautiful-boy did not go right to sleep after the excitement of the raccoon and the sugar of the Oreos.
As we were driving home Aj said, "Are these my shorts?"
He said the shorts were falling off.
"Alex, are you thinking you might be wearing someone else shorts?"
Upon examination at home I think the waistband was not cinched on the inside of the shorts. It is also possible that my already-a-bit-too-skinny guy lost some weight. I think the shorts are form our house!?

At home I unpacked Aj's bags. I had given him 2 disposable cameras-but no pics for us.
I had packed a ziplock of clean underwear, another of clean socks and a large trash bag labelled "dirty clothes". The dirty clothes bag was half full. As was the ziplock of clean underwear.
I see a bath in his future.
Aj is reading over my shoulder. I asked him what his favorite part of the week was. He said Beach Day was his favorite. The best part of that was when one of the teachers and some other kids buried him in the sand up to his neck. (An SI kids idea of heaven).
Two or three years ago I would not have believed that my guy would go to outdoor ed without and aide and have such a successful and great time.
Pops and I are so very proud of our boy.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My letter to little Grace's mama (see prior entry first)

Well this all sucks no doesn't it?

I had a life situation similar to yours on an odd level. But certainly not as scary-and I am not dismissing the potential madness of what you will going through for the next 6 months.
I don't know if I ever told you-many people know this story. Sorry if it is a repeat or feels like a downer.
At 8 weeks pregnant I found out I was pregnant with twins (surprise! You've been there, done that). It was my pregnancy with Aj. At 19 weeks we found out that his twin sister had non-functioning kidneys. We were told she might die in utero, which could throw me into early labor. Or that she would die during or following delivery. At 25 weeks or so I started contracting and was told to quite work and go on bed rest. They started doing "stress tests" every week on both babies. Basically, for weeks I knew I was going to give birth to a baby that would die. I also knew that there was a chance that the baby girl could die in utero and I could go into labor and he would be a preemie. Or that she could die and his blood supply could be altered at that time period. (That would cause brain damage in my book). He was receiving stress tests so there was general concerns about the whole pregnancy. After all that I was INDUCED at 38 weeks. So you know my big guy and know that he is here. (Are his issues related to the pregnancy-I do not think so. Not when you meet our other quirky family members!)

Anyway, the part I get for you is the worry, sadness, fear, and playing-out-of-situations in your head that can eat you alive.
Trying not to totally succumb to that is the challenge.
It is hard to "cope" because you are not sure exactly what it is you are coping with, or if it is going to change.
I tried to tell myself I had to have faith that it will all be okay.
It became mantra in my head.
I tried to turn off the audio tapes in my head that played the "what if" scenarios.

Drugs. There are many of us out there that take antidepressants. Myself included. It can help and it doesn't mean you need to use forever.

Surround yourself by people who can listen to you and who get it.
You know-not the ones who say:
"I don't know how you do it"
"I couldn't manage everything you do and still be sane."
"God doesn't give you more then you can handle"
That only makes me want to say-
"I am barely "doing it" some days. I have to "do it" because the little faces
wake me day after day.
You only think I am sane because I haven't barfed the contents of my brain
into your naive ears.
And the God thing? If you even say that then your life has not yet had a crises.
And God was never really a parent.

Thinking of you.

Let me know if you want a visit or a chat-

Today October 8th 2009

A strange day
A heavy day
This afternoon I will attend the funeral for a 10 year old boy who died in his sleep last week. A totally unexpected death. I cannot fathom the pain of his mother. How do you go on when there are mothers and sons everywhere in the world to always remind you?

Yesterday little 7 year old Grace had her second brain surgery for Moya Moya disease. It is a situation where the blood vessels in the brain are malformed and misconnected. This often results in strokes. Turns out she'd had a number of strokes but the last one where she had some weakness was brought her into the hospital and the Moya Moya was discovered a couple weeks ago. Last Wednesday she had surgery on the right side of her brain. She came out of it pretty well! This Wednesday's surgery was on the left side of the brain. Evidently it was not successful as the blood vessels they were going to connect was too small. So the plan is that they hope it will continue to grow and they will try again in 6 months. So this family now has to wait and wonder if or when their little girl is going to stroke again. And of course they know about the boy who died in his sleep. How will she face each morning, each day with an eagle eye on her daughter while also trying to care for her 4 boys ages 9, 4 and 14 month old twins.

Friend of jennyalice is in the ER with severe abdominal pain. Jenny is with her now. Her friends 3 kids are home with their Daddy

Tell your babies you love them. Tell them now. Tell them over and over.