Monday, December 28, 2009


It's only Monday, but it feels like it's been a long week already. That means the rest of this week is going to drag. Go figure. 2009 wants to go out kicking and screaming. Been trying to to stay constant with my diet, but cheated the other day when hubby brought home salami from work. Mmmmm. Missed weighing in this morning, because I totally forgot about it til about 5 tonight, so I'm weighing in tomorrow. I don't expect much of a loss, it's getting close to that time of the month so I feel horribly bloated and uncomfortable.

Not doing much else, just dealing with the kids and special people around here. Made brownies tonight, because I noticed that the more I bake, the more weight I seem to lose because I keep busy and don't have time to snack. You'd think it'd be the other way around, but I don't like eating while I cook, so that's a good thing I guess.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Amazing Cornbread Recipe!

Ok, so technically it's more of a cheat, but hey at least it's something different! I used my mixer with this, because it's easier than using a hand-whisk.

I took regular cornbread mix and souped it up some so there'd be something different for tomorrow. I make cornbread in a 13x9 pan, so we used 4 boxes of mix.

Here's the recipe:

4 boxes cornbread mix, made as directed. Mine calls for 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk per box.
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp honey, any flavor (the one I used this time was buckwheat, we get ours from a local guy who keeps bees)
1 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c oatmeal

Mix the eggs, milk, honey and flavoring first til well blended. Then add your box mixes slowly. Once it's fairly smooth, add nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar. Blend well and add oatmeal. Bake in greased pan at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes (depending on how reliable your oven is!). Cool before serving (or serve up hot with butter!).

This came out so well! The kids like it, Mike and I like it, and even the picky ones ate it!

Is It Really Going To Be Christmas Already????

Can't believe it's going to be Christmas already. Just doesn't feel like that time of year yet. So much going on, so little time to do it all in. Making cookies again, chocolate chip oatmeal this time. Made a double batch so I could take some for a holiday get together. So about 6 or 7 dozen all together. Baked 1/2 to take Thursday when they had the get together and baking the other 1/2 today. It's trying to snow here, and they're saying we may get up to another inch or so.
Not really much else going on, just making sure that the kids are all feeling better and getting the house ready for Thursday when Dad and Colleen will be here. Got a ham from Mike's work for Christmas, that's their usual gift to employees along with $10 in coupons for Tyson products. Cleaning and trying to banish Mount Laundry again. Seems like every time I turn laundry over to the 12 yo, we get more and more backed up. So, I've decided that I'm going to permanently have that job myself. I do normally 3 loads a day of laundry, but that's mostly because I wash a LOT of towels and washrags and things like that. I do my laundry once or twice a week, it's pretty much 1 load, unless I've been doing a lot of baking or cleaning, then it's maybe a load and a half. Mike's clothes get done at least 2x a week, because it's mostly work clothes. The kids' laundry and Jane and Adrian's make up the balance of the loads, along with sheets and blankets at least 1x a week (or more for the bed-wetters).
Been in a really funky mood this week. I was happy to see that the scale had moved again, even if it was only another lb or so. But I know I'm getting to the point where I'm going to be slowing down in my weight loss, and that's where I usually get discouraged and think about (or do!) quitting trying to lose. My goal right now is to make it to the 30# mark. Then to the 40# mark, and then 50 and so on. In the long term, I need to lose about 135lb more. That's a LOT of weight. It's a scary number for me. The last time I weighed that much, I had just gotten pregnant with James. It was 13 yrs ago. I so want to be under 200#. I haven't been under 200 since I had James. I was 163# the day I came home from the hospital.
Sitting home with him and just eating whatever I wanted, combined with my hubby never saying a negative thing about my weight, is what let me allow myself to get this heavy. Mike's never said a thing about not being happy with me or my size. But I know in my heart that he can't be happy with it. Because I'm not happy with it. I miss being able to buy clothes that fit nicely and being happy with the way I look when I'm dressed up. We don't have a single family picture in the house. Anywhere. Because I hate the way I look in pictures. Always have since I started gaining weight. I love getting the kids' pictures done, and showing people how beautiful they are, but I always feel out of place, and in some pics, just plain nasty looking. I see all the bulges, and the extra fat everywhere, and it just makes me sick to look at it.
He's always saying I look fine, and that this outfit or that look great on me, but I don't see that when I put something on. I look for clothes that are baggy, that at least partially hide my belly and butt. I wear 1/2 to 3/4 sleeve shirts all year round because I hate the way my arms look. That's changing now though, because I'm using 5lb weights right now, starting to tone my arms a little. I hate the stretch marks though, and I'm not sure if I'll ever get them to go away.

This post kind of got away from me, so I'm going to go think about what to put in the next post...maybe I can start posting every week on weigh-day about my goals for the week and my feelings about my weight loss so far.

Until next time I guess, hoping that the scale moves in my favor tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Week...

So, now that I'm done being sick, and the kids are (mostly) done being sick, lets try another update. Or something.
Caleb and Caitlin started it off last Thursday with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They gave it to me, and I passed it along to Gabe and James by Saturday night into Sunday. Then Mike was sick Monday night into Tuesday. Now we're all feeling better...I hope. Except of course for James who has a couple pulled muscles and a case of strep.

I got my new barbells today. One is green and sparkly and the other is white and green with a star in the center. They're shorter, so hopefully I'll stop hitting them on my teeth and having the ball rub on the bottom of my mouth.
And I'm now down 26lbs!!!! Talk about boosting my self esteem. With everyone being sick it's been a really long week. Still feels like Monday, go figure.
And, today is my baby brothers' 21st birthday! Happy Birthday Nick!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Been A Long Month...

Haven't posted on here in the last month because I've been taking some time to reevaluate my thinking on some things and take some time to figure out where some things are going from here.
Been quite busy in the past month. Had dad and Colleen and some friends for Thanksgiving. The kids have been doing fairly well, and are pretty much keeping the same pace they've been doing at their schoolwork. Mike and I are fine. SSDD.

I am now down 21lbs since October 2nd. Wow has that been a rollercoaster ride for me. Thinking of how far I have yet to go, and how far I've already come has been a scary thing for me. The lowest I've gotten since I've been trying (which has been about 10 years) has been 220. I'm now at 279, though I suspect that once my little monthly friend leaves that number will inch a little lower.
Since I hit the 20lb mark, I decided to do something that I've wanted to do for some time, but haven't because I never felt good enough about myself to do it. I got my tongue pierced. Boy did I get a LOT of reactions to that one. You'd have thought I decided to cut my ear off or something. But I did it for ME. Not for anyone else.

I've decided that when I hit the 40lb mark, I'm going to do something else that I've wanted to do for me. I just haven't decided what yet. Maybe get my ears pierced again, or cut my hair different, or a perm or something. I just don't know yet.

I know it's going to be a long journey, not just a short trip, but I can't help but get discouraged sometimes when I try really hard all week and the scale doesn't move. Some days it's really hard to keep going, because I don't feel like I'll ever get there. I still hate the way I look a lot of days. I hate the way I feel. But it's getting better. Slowly.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Can't Believe It's Only Been A Week!

Wow has it been crazy around here! Lots of stuff going on, school and kids and laundry and all that jazz. Gabe has now been sleeping by himself for 3 weeks! And in that time, he's only come in and tried to sleep in our room twice! Talk about a milestone, and about time too. His disposition has gotten so much better since he started sleeping more. He's calmer and easier to redirect towards another activity. Not that it works all the time, but hey its a start.
The other kids are doing well, and we had a great visit to the Library on Friday. Gabe has been very interested in Harry Potter, as has Caleb, so we checked out a couple of the books and movies.
Things have been running smoothly around here, and going well with Mike and I. Although, right now he has a cold and is home from work. He surprised everyone at home and at work when he shaved his head Friday night. We went to his mom's for dinner, and she was less than enthusiastic about his hair cut. She used his FULL name. And then she looked at me and said, "You helped him didn't you?" I wasn't sticking around for any more of that conversation, so I hightailed it to the living room to hide from her.
We also cut and dyed mine last week, turned out well, a nice burgundy color that looks reddish or purplish depending on the light.
I'm still figuring out the new computer, trying to figure out how I can add a new profile pic, and try out my new webcam. It's easy enough on Facebook and Myspace, but it's set up different on here.

As far as life goes, we are adjusting as a family to having 2 extra people here. Adrian has been a handful, and has been hitting and yelling, but I figure that's because he's getting used to the changes around him. Jane also got her due date, May 15, which is the day before Adrian's 3rd birthday. The question now is will she go early or late?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Changes Around Here

Well things are going well, and amazingly there have been very few bumps lately. I've been trying to lose some weight for the last couple of months and I'm proud to say that its finally happening. I'm actually able to fit in a sports bra, which I haven't been able to do for quite a while. You see, when you go from a 48 to a 44, things suddenly fit. Like all those shirts I bought last year on sale, the ones I said I'd wear when I lost some boob. Now I can actually try and do that!
And, I'm actually wearing makeup! I haven't bought makeup in at least 4 years, and probably worn it only once or twice in that time period. Well, I bit the bullet and actually forked out the cash to buy some, and have been actually WEARING it! Totally amazes the hubby, and has gotten me more than a few looks from a lot of people.
And I also cut my hair. I've had long hair since before hubby and I got together. When we first started seeing each other it was all the way to my butt. It's usually stayed in the mid-back range in the last 12 years. Not anymore! It's now about shoulder length, maybe a little shorter. And tomorrow, we're coloring the gray that I started to notice yesterday. Hows that for change? I've lost about 2 sizes in the last few months. Not a lot for some people, but when you consider that I've struggled with my weight since my oldest was a baby, it's a big deal to me. I'm aiming for a size 20 by January. That's not a ton of weight loss, because I'm a 22-24 right now, but it's hard for me. That's been at the root of a lot of my problems for a long time. I'm not comfortable in my body, so its hard for me to think that anyone else finds me attractive, including my hubby. I'm finally to the point where I'm taking care of ME for a change instead of just hiding and trying not to be noticed. I normally am always home with the kids, I don't go out places, except for shopping which we do as a family. But that's slowly changing too! I've actually left the house alone a few times in the last month or so, and had FUN! Weird for me, because I always feel like people are staring at me, making fat girl jokes or something.
The best part of all of this is that hubby has told me that he's proud of what I'm doing, and that he likes the changes. It's taken a lot to even ask him how he felt, because of how low my self esteem has been for a long time. I'm not agoraphobic, but I hate being out in public. So it takes some doing for me to WANT to leave the house by myself, without using him or the kids as my shield from people's eyes.
For the longest time, I've been living vicariously through the blogs I read. I live through some of the experiences that I read others doing. I'm finally living myself, instead of wishing or thinking about it.
As a good friend of mine said: "About damn time!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Long Weekend

Spent a busy weekend with the kids and friends. Went trick or treating with the kids, but James decided that he wanted to stay home and play video games with dad. So Jane and I took the others out and had a fairly decent time.
The kids got plenty of loot, and had a blast in the process. In fact, the boys keep putting their costumes on and running around playing ninja's.

I've had a lot on my mind the last few weeks, which has made keeping the blog up and running a bit of a difficulty. So many things that I want to post and the words just don't work. I've been trying to get all the things in my head down on paper or on here, but so far it's just not happening.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Well that was too long of a break! I just (tonight!) got my netbook and set it up. So now I'm getting used to the smaller keyboard and how much faster than my old laptop it is. Amazing. And this one has a built in webcam, and of course wireless so I can take it anywhere!

James' birthday went well, and he did get a few things like an rc car from us and my mom and stepdad got him a couple little cars as well. We've been running around like crazy getting things ready for winter, and fixing the car again. Go figure! So far we've managed to avoid any major illnesses this fall, which is unusual for us. I can only attribute it to us being home more since they aren't at public school now. There is a lot of it going around in the neighborhood right now though and I'm grateful that we haven't caught it.
Not a whole lot else going on right now, just getting ready for Halloween and planning on having Dad and Colleen down for Thanksgiving. He's excited because this will be the first Thanksgiving he's spent with any of his kids in a LONG time.
Hope to post more since this thing works sooooooo much better than the old one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laptop Died!

Not sure how often I'll be able to get on here in the next couple of weeks, as my laptop decided to die a fairly slow and painful (for me!) death. It's no longer even turning on, so my wonderful brother in law is going to salvage what he can off the hard drive and help me to put it on a new computer (when I finally manage to get one!). Right now I'm using hubby's not-so-ancient-but-very-slow desktop. It has brainfarts, so when I type anything it takes two to three times as long as it normally would because I have to wait for the computer to catch up. So not fun!

On the plus side, since I'm on his computer, I don't have to try 20,000,000,000,000 times to get it to turn on and then hope that it doesn't shut itself down while I take a potty break like my laptop was tending to do towards the last. I'm hoping that he can salvage my pics and files, but not overly hopeful at this point, given the fact that as of late, whatever can go wrong does go wrong.
For example, Mike fixed his car last week right? Wrong! The bearing that he changed is shot too, and we don't know why, as it's only a week old. He bought rotors but why put them on when you'll just have to tear it all apart and do it again? So this weekend has been spent, not with family time, but with him still trying to fix the car. It sucks, because the weather has been especially crappy, going up and down all the last 2 weeks, and I may be walking everywhere this week if he can't fix the problem.

Not much else going on here, we are doing things for James' 12th birthday a little late, because with all the car troubles we just don't have the money. So I told him that he and I will go shopping on the 30th and then the whole family will go out to dinner where he picks. What should I get for a 12yo boy? He likes cars, but I worry about Gabe messing with them. He likes games, especially racing games, but that gets expensive quick.

Quick Note: In case my sis is reading, Happy Birthday Brianna!!!!! Would have messaged you, but like I posted, the laptop is D-E-A-D! Happy Early Birthday to You too, in case my computer problems aren't fixed before then! Call me at home some time sis!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 More Days....

...And James will be 12 years old! His due date was the 17th of October, and by then I was 80% effaced and dilated to 2. I spent the next 6 days dilated to 2, so we thought when I went in for my induction that it would go smoothly. We were sooo wrong.

Went in at 7am and filled out all the paperwork, and got into my room and gown. They did all their usual stuff, checking me and giving me an IV and hooking up the monitor. After a bit, we started walking the halls in an attempt to get him moving and on his way. No such luck. I labored all day, and the doc broke my water at 6pm. I'd gotten to 6cm at about 4pm and was stuck there. Labor was SO intense after that, and by 8pm I was BEGGING them for an epidural. I still hadn't progressed beyond 6cm, and I figured I could at least get some sleep before the really hard stuff started (ie pushing). By 9 pm, James had started having a few decels here and there (times where his heart rate would slow). The doc came in and said if I didn't have him by 11, they were going to start prepping for a c-section. Needless to say, nothing happened! And James was born at 12:22 am on the 23rd of October via c-section. He weighed in at 8lbs 10.5 oz, and was 20 inches long. He had a full head of hair, and beautiful blue eyes that later changed to brown.
Now, he's almost as tall as me (and I'm 5 ft 2 or about there) and weighs in at about 110 lbs or so. He's grown so much, and matured some, and is starting to show an interest in girls. Particularly a certain 17 yo girl that lives 3 doors down from us! We keep joking with him about her and telling him that she's WAY too old for him. But I'm sure it's just a crush, or at least I hope it is.
I just can't believe that my baby is going to be 12. God, I feel OLD!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wow Have We Been Busy!

Wow hard to believe how fast the last couple of weeks has flown! Took Mike a while to get the car fixed as he broke a couple of bolts and also messed up the wheel bearing. So he had my van for a few days and we got to catch up on things at home, and I even took the kids for a couple of rides on the city bus. We've tamed the laundry monster, and even washed the blankets and quilts already that we've had stored away waiting for winter.
Last night our low was 27 degrees, and we have a freeze warning and a frost warning that started yesterday and goes through Monday. We even had it trying to snow today! Just little flakes that didn't stay long on the ground, but enough to tell us that winter is on it's way.
Today Caitlin and I went to the farmer's market, and we spent about an hour just wandering around and picking up veggies for the rest of this week. We picked up cabbages, squash, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and from the Mennonite stand we picked up strawberry cream cheese bread and spicy apple cinnamon bread. From the last stand we went to we picked up big apples that we're going to use tonight for baked apples for dessert, and small apples for the kids to snack on.
Along with the baked apples, we are having turkey tenderloin with bell peppers done in the crock pot, and baked cabbage and corn. The house smells sooooo good right now. I've been baking more the last few weeks, making up banana bread, blueberry bread and corn bread, as well as making biscuits. It helps warm up the house and also gives the kids a great treat for lunch or dinner. They've been helping me with the baking and cooking, and we count the reading that we do as part of our school day.
Nothing tastes better than something you've helped make! Tomorrow I plan to make up another big pan of corn bread, and maybe do up a pork roast if we don't go to the in-laws for dinner.
School has been going well, and Gabe has been "reading" on his own, mostly picture books and Disney books. His favorites so far are The Lion King and Pinocchio. He's had dad and I both read them to him over and over. He's also showing an interest in doing journal time with the other kids, with his favorite thing to draw being faces. He draws like a preschooler, with people being big circles of mostly head, with lines for the arms and legs coming right out of the head. It's great to see him being so interested in the books, as before he would have thrown a fit if I'd suggested that he pick up a book (much less read it!).
He's also started doing some simple chores around the house without much of a fight. He puts socks in the basket, calls the other kids for me, and takes dishes to the sink. He also has been eating better as of late, and sleeping a little better. Weird how all of a sudden things are going so well, but I'm not complaining!
That's all for now I guess, can't wait to see how dinner and dessert turn out!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Long Weekend!

Well, the weekend went fairly well. No major issues, just a couple of smart-alec comments and attitude problems. Sunday we went and looked at a house, but decided that even though we could make it work to suit us, we're just not convinced that it's where we are meant to be at this time. Monday wasn't so great, as when Mike was fixing a part on the car, another part broke off. So he's been using my van this week, and will get the part that he ordered on Thursday or Friday.
Fixing the car means we probably won't be doing anything longer than a day trip this month. I had planned on maybe taking in the museum and the Domes, and maybe a few other things on a 2-3 day trip, but financially it just isn't feasible right now. I want to concentrate on getting all the little things done that we need to do before winter. Like getting his tires, and getting the salt for the sidewalk. We usually get a few 25 lb bags, and we each keep one in our vehicle, plus we have a few for the house. We also want to get a few windows covered with plastic, to help insulate.

But, the best news that I've gotten so far is that my dad is getting his books published! He got word this morning that Barnes and Noble and Amazon will both be carrying his book within the next week or so! And he also gave his publisher some other manuscripts and they will be starting production on those within the next few weeks. They are supposed to be sending him a list of 50 of the 200 companies/people/groups/whatever that will be carrying his books within the next little bit.
I'm so happy for him, he deserves to be happy with all that's gone on in his life.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Busy Day Yesterday

Every time I get ready for a trip back and forth to Milwaukee (or more precisely, several in one day!) I forget how tired I am by the end of the day. Wow was I wiped lout last night. Got home about 7:30 and was asleep by 9:30, finally woke up about 7:30 this morning.
Left home yesterday about 9 in the morning to go and get Dad and Colleen. Had Gabe, Caleb, and Adrian with me for the trip. There was a lot of construction on the way up and back. Finally got back with them about 12:30 or so, between the construction and potty breaks on the way there and back.
Went to David's birthday party and had a great time! Cake, ice cream, presents and pinata. Lots of chatter and playing. Catching up on what all had happened in each others' lives since we last saw each other on the 2nd. Left to take them back up about 3:30 because there was a game Dad wanted to catch last night. Pretty uneventful trip back, aside from the construction.
Took a side trip before I went back home. I drove by the school I used to go to, our old house and my grandma's old place. Just remembering how things used to be. I never missed a visit with her, every time I was up I went to see her. Usually at least once a month, sometimes more often, we'd make the hour trip to see her and spend the day in Milwaukee. I spent most of the month up there when she was in the hospital the last time. I'd leave work on Thursday or Friday depending on my schedule, I'd stop back home and grab one (or more) of the kids and grab mom and we'd all head up there. We'd come back sometime Monday morning. I'd grab a power nap and be ready for 3rd shift and do it all over again. I'm glad we got to spend all that time at the end with her. I think about her every time I go to Milwaukee. The way I would take to her house, the way to the hospital, to Kevin's work. The way grandma would laugh when the kids were goofing around.
Makes for lots of memories on every trip. Not all great memories, especially the ones about the last few days of her life, but a majority are great ones.
I'm planning our next field trip for October and I think it's going to be a few-day-trip to Milwaukee to see the Museum and the Domes, and of course Dad and Colleen. Maybe we can even catch a fall festival or something. All I know is if things work out the way I hope, we can have a lot of fun and enjoy our few days up there.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Changes..And Good Ones!

The wheels of change are working in our favor right now! I can't go into details, but suffice to say that things are getting better. Financially, things are getting caught up, vehicle-wise things are getting straightened around, and there may also be a move in our future.
I know, we already moved, and yes we're happy where we are. But IF we move, it will be a better environment neighbor-wise for the kids. And we'll be closer to Grandma. It's not a definite thing yet, but it is "in the works" so to speak.

Saturday will be busy, as I have 2 trips to Milwaukee and back to get Dad and Colleen. And again sometime between the 24-27th so he and Colleen can come back down and meet my sister's kids for the first time ever.
School is going well, kids are doing well. Mike and I are doing well. Hope to post more about our experiences and what will hopefully be happening at our place soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bugging Me...

Okay, so there's a few things that are bugging me right now. One, is people who say that their only child is so hard to deal with, but then in the next breath tell me that they're trying for number 2(or 3 or whatever). If you can't handle the one you have, why are you trying to have more? Only children can do fine, they don't HAVE to have a ton of siblings to make things ok.

Two, the way that my own kids act when I tell them "one more time and you lose xyz privilege for the day" and they feel the need to keep at whatever they are being told not to do in the first place. Today for example, Caleb is making LOUD obnoxious noises, I tell him nicely to stop please several times. Then, I tell him this is his last "nice warning" and that if he continues to make those noises he will lose the love of his life (which right now is Xbox). He looked right at me, opened his mouth and smiled while he made the same noises over and over again. So obviously he has lost that privilege for the day, and possibly for tomorrow if he doesn't straighten up.
Ok, all better on that one too.

Three, people who think they have to tell me every time they see me that my child should be doing xyz because their child is, and how slow my kid must be because he's not. Mind your own business and take care of your own kid. Yes, your little booger may be able to add 3 digit numbers, but he can't operate the washer or dryer, nor can he make (or even pay attention long enough to help) dinner. My kid may not be the next Nobel Prize winner, but he's not the next little thug that's gonna get picked up for throwing bricks through windows and snatching stereos either. Yes, I'm proud to say that I'm the most over-protective mom on the block. But that means while your kid is out running the streets and catching god-knows-what from his little girlfriend, mine is at home, staying out of trouble, not taking a chance with his health or getting some girl in the family way.
My kids may be naive, but I'm proud to say that I'm hopefully not the one who's gonna be a grandma in a couple years when my 13-14-15 yo gets knocked up or gets someone else's little girl knocked up because he/she/they were not being properly supervised and taught that those activities can cause babies (or diseases that can harm or kill later down the line).
I'm not trying to play holier-than-thou games. Kids make mistakes, and it is our job to teach them the correct way of doing things. I was a teenager once, been there done that. I wasn't a perfect child, I made plenty of mistakes, but I was also taught to learn from the mistakes I made.
When Mike and I got married, we were 18. He had already graduated, and I was in my senior year of high school. When we married, we had just found out a few weeks before that I was pregnant. Was it a good decision to mess around and get pregnant? Not really, but the fact of the matter was, I wasn't going to not have the baby. I knew that once I made the decision to have sex, that it was my responsibility if I got pregnant. That's not to say that there weren't times where I wished that I wasn't pregnant. There were, plenty of times in fact. But I don't believe that it was an option for me to not have the baby. It's just the way I was raised. If I had it to do over again, would I do it the same? Probably not. I think I would have waited to be with Mike, waited to have a baby. But I wouldn't trade him or the other kids for anything.

Sorry, I'm just in a rant-y type mood today. Dealing with a lot of things right now, and very frustrated with the way things are going.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Weekend!

We had a great weekend. We took the kids and Scooby to Heritage Days. They got to dog for potatoes, ride in a horse drawn carriage, see a blacksmith work (actually 2 blacksmiths!), and see an old Mill. They got to watch some people grind corn into meal, and see an old cooperage. It was an awesome day!
Scooby was very well behaved, and got plenty of compliments on how well he was behaving with the other dogs there and other kids. Caleb found half of an old hinge, and the blacksmith straightened it out for him and told him he could take it home. Caitlin found a dead bat (no she didn't take that home!), and all the kids got to look at it. We visited the people that run the honey stand at the Farmer's Market downtown. Bought more honey and got to taste several different flavors.
When the kids dug for potatoes, they got about 40+ in 10 minutes of the 4 of them working together. They also got to look at all the different crafts that people did during the fall/winter season when they spent more time indoors. Basket weaving, rug making, re-caning chairs. We got to watch some of the older men carving on wood and making little trinkets. There was even a man there who carved a beautiful chain out of one solid piece of wood. The little links in the chain were just awesome!
Scooby was very intimidated by the horses, and sat there hiding behind my legs while the horses whinnied and neighed at him. He did seem to enjoy meeting all the people, especially the other kids.
And the kids got to see a mock-up of the Civil War era tents and weapons, along with how they built fires and cooked their food. They were amazed by the way things used to be back then. And last night for dinner, we made a beef roast with the wonderful fresh potatoes that the kids dug. All in all a good day together. Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, even Gabe, up until the last few minutes when he decided that he'd had enough and wanted to go home.
I think we have enough to work on in our journals for the next week or so, and we'll continue to learn more about the early 1900's and how they used to amuse themselves over the winter, what they ate and how things were done back then.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Got bored, so I figured I'd use my time to mess around on here and change things up a bit. Not too bad if I do say so myself. We've been adding to our school day little by little during the week. Most of what Gabe's been doing school-wise is "child-led" type stuff. He's been willing to work with me on counting, as we use skittles or m & m's or other small candy pieces to count. He's also done the alphabet (repeating) on average of 3-4x a day with me. The other kids are doing journaling, and we do it first thing in the morning before our workbooks.
Attitudes still need some adjusting, but all in all it was a pretty laid back week. We got a lot done, and also did our regular housework and laundry.

Today was Scooby's first vet visit. He got his shots, was weighed (27.5 lbs) and was generally checked over. He's in perfect health, and goes back in 3 weeks for a booster shot. He and Shorty are getting along fairly well, no major issues there. He's very food-oriented and is willing to sit or lay down if he thinks you have a treat for him. I'll be getting their licenses on Friday, and plan to start walking them more then. They both walk together well already, bit Scooby needs to learn to not walk in front of me when we're walking.

Not much else going on, just sitting around today watching the kids play video games and the dogs sleep.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


As some of you may know, we've been Home-schooling the kids since December. It's gone pretty well for the most part. We have more time to devote to the areas that each one needs extra help with. Mostly anyway. James has struggled with his reading since Kindergarten. It's gotten a LOT better, but in all reality he really reads at about a 3rd grade level. When he was in public school they had him held back (they say no learning disabilities), and if he were still in public, they would have him going into 4th grade this year instead of 6th like he should be going into. I'm looking for ideas to encourage him to want to read more.
Caitlin is about 2nd-3rd grade as well, she's had some issues as well with reading, but with her it seems to be more of the not wanting to sound it out in case she's wrong variety. I'd love to hear from any of you on ideas for motivating her to want to learn to read better as well.

My big problems right now are Caleb and Gabe. Caleb is currently doing 3rd grade work (as well as Caitlin), except in reading. In reading he's at about a late kinder level. He's learning, but very slowly. Math isn't a problem, he's great at it as long as it's not story problems lol. What I've been doing with them is if they need help reading something, as long as they're willing to try and read it and make the effort to sound it out etc, I will help them figure it out (book reading wise, for workbooks I read the directions and then help individually with issues as they arise).
Caleb doesn't seem to have any "drive" to want to learn things on his own, unless it's about snakes or scorpions. I've tried to make things about his preferred subjects, but there are only so many things that you can do.
Gabe is the hardest, and the reason that we break our school day into 30 minute (or less some days) increments. He HATES school of any kind with a passion. It gets better sometimes, but that's usually very very rare. He knows the alphabet, although he still reverses letters (usually p, q, r, m, w), can count to 10 with help most days (has even counted to 15 on occasion). But he has no excitement to learn, he doesn't want to be made to do things that seem to have no meaning for him.
He's working on pre-k to kinder level work, and has made alot (for him) of progress since December. But I'm really worried that maybe I can't do a good enough job with him. I worry that he'll never learn to read, never potty train all the way, never talk clearly enough. You name it I worry about it.
It's gotten to the point where I really wonder if it was so bad sending him to school everyday. The screaming and biting and tantrums and throwing things and all that. He got to the point for the longest time where we had to spell out the word school or he'd totally flip out and cry/scream/hit. He's getting to the point now where we can go past a school without him getting anxious, but it's taken since I pulled him in December. That's a LONG time to be worried. I don't want him to be like that again, but I also don't want to fail him as a parent or as a teacher. He's so hard to teach, and some days I wonder if I can reach him with as far away as he seems.
I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance that it does get easier, that he will learn.

Monday, September 7, 2009

New School Year

Not a whole lot going on here, just gearing up for another school year. James is doing 5th grade this year, the twins are doing 3rd, and Gabe is doing 2nd grade. Or more correctly, he's in 2nd, doing Kindergarten age work. But it's better than it was at this time last year. I've gotten a lot accomplished with him. He's also much happier with how things are going now.

Shorty is home, he's doing great. I went and got him on Saturday and I couldn't believe how happy he was to be home. He and Scooby are getting along fine, almost as if he missed Scooby as well as the rest of us.
Gabe is finally feeling a little better, no more fever, but very chapped lips. And the more chapped they get, the more he resists my putting anything on them. They were getting quite cracked for a few days there, but are starting to heal now. Still has a cough, and a bit of a stuffy nose. Hoping that all goes away soon.
And the boys all got haircuts tonight too. Buzzed it right on down lol. This will probably be the last haircut for a while, maybe till Spring.
We're going to do a bunch of Fall stuff for the first couple of weeks for school. Then about Mid-October we will start doing Halloween things. I plan to do studies on the origins of Halloween and then Thanksgiving in November, and then on the origins of Christmas and New Years celebrations. We aquired a book entitled "Holidays Around the World" and we plan to do a number of lessons out of it.

Guess I need to get moving and finish finding the pencils and sharpeners before we start our studies in the morning.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not Much Going on Here

We had Mom's birthday party (surprise party!) on Wednesday. I drove up to Milwaukee to get Dad and Colleen, and took them back up after the party(and didn't finally get home until a little after 11pm!). Dad got to meet some of the people from the VFW/American Legion post where mom and Dave go, as that's where we had the party.
They also got to spend some time with the kids and have dinner with us. Gabe wasn't in the best of moods, as he's working on another cold/sinus infection/plague. Seems like every time the weather changes dramatically he gets sick again. But this time I can partially blame it on Adrian. He was over last weekend hacking and coughing with a runny nose and bad attitude, and gave it to Gabe. Problem with Gabe being sick and feeling crappy is that since his nose is running all the time, he's always wiping it on his sleeve, and he's been licking his lips CONSTANTLY! Poor thing looks like he's been rubbing cherry koolaid all over his mouth and chin, that's how red it is. And with the runny nose also comes the drooling.
We've had the drooling under control for the most part, but when stressed or sick he drools more, and chews his shirts more. He's ruined at least a dozen since the beginning of the move.
We started going through our books for school today and even managed to read some. I'm planning on formally starting on Monday, and from there we will be on a 4 day a week school schedule. I'd like to do 3 weeks on and 1 week off, ideally. But we all know how things work out when we want to do something a particular way around here.
I'm hoping that Gabe will be feeling better by next week. For all our sakes! The more icky and out of sorts he feels, the worse he makes every one else feel. Tonight we went to Walmart to pick up some last minute things for dinner, and to pick up some school supplies. That went pretty decent until he decided that it wasn't fair that he wasn't getting a toy. Wow, you'd have thought I said that we were going to amputate his feet and make him walk over hot coals! All hell broke loose - at the checkout of course - and Mike had to take him out to the van to calm down. The cashier was very nice about it, and we talked about autism and mental retardation while she scanned our things. But the "lady" in front of us in line wasn't so nice about it. Kept shaking her head at us and mumbling things about kids these days and needing a good butt-warming.
Of course to top off the wonderful week I've been having, my computer is acting up. Sometimes it just doesn't want to turn back on and takes a few tries to get up and running. I'm actually thinking of buying a new laptop when we get taxes back in February. Maybe.
guess that's all for now, gotta go give the little monster his cough meds so he can hopefully sleep a little better tonight.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Been a While.

Wow what a month it's been. Not all of it great, but I guess it could have been worse. Somehow. Maybe.

Our move went fairly well, no real problems there. Just lots and lots of small trips over the space of the month, and then a couple of weekends worth of HUGE trips. We are getting settled, and into our new routine. The kids' beds came on the 18th, and we got them set up and looking great in no time. Our room is slowly getting unpacked, and little things all over the house are finally getting put where they need to be.
The boys have the big loft bedroom upstairs this time, and we have it separated into two bedrooms. I shouldn't say WE have it that way, it's naturally that way. The smaller room is on the right at the top of the stairs is James' room, and also has Adrian's toddler bed in it, along with James' dresser. The larger bedroom has the boys' and Adrian's dressers, a captain's bed with trundle, and a full size futon. And of course all the seasonal clothes that I need to switch over in the next few weeks.

The last week has been really hard though. I posted before about the neighbor kids, and how he was coming over all the time. Well, I'd been hearing from the neighbors that he wasn't to be trusted around the dogs, as he's been caught mistreating several of the other neighbors dogs. Hitting, kicking, throwing rocks and sticks, running at the fence, etc. I figured maybe it was exaggeration, and that as long as he was supervised, it would be fine.
Guess what? I was wrong. Very wrong. He's been caught several times over here being rough with the puppy and the dog, and been told to settle down and not be so rough. Last Tuesday, he and Caitlin were on the back patio playing with Shorty (our 100+ lb shepherd/mastiff mix). The playing got rough, and the neighbor boy was "pretending" to kick and hit at the dog. Well, the dog turned around, and one of the kicks connected. With the dogs FACE! Shorty grabbed him by the leg, and let go. No punctures, no stitches, only a couple of scratches and a bruise. If he'd WANTED to hurt him, he could have done so with no problem. Shorty came in and hid, he knew he did something wrong. The kid was fine, said he was ok and it didn't hurt. He didn't even tell his mom until almost 8 that night (this happened around noon). His mom took him to the clinic to get it checked. Fine, no problem, I would do the same thing if it were my kid.
The problem came Thursday, when Animal Control came to the house. The lady was really nice, and explained that when a dog bite is reported, she has to come out, and all that jazz. That wasn't a problem for us, we understood. The problem was that she showed us the paperwork from the Dr visit. The mom apparently (according to the paper) told them that the dog was "a purebred pitbull" and "ran out of the house unprovoked and bit him". And since Shorty was overdue on his shots because of all of our funds going for the move, he needs to be quarantined for 10 days at the vet's office, at a cost of $400+ to us. A whole lot of freakin drama. And of course his mom is apparently expecting me to foot the bill for this. I told her that I'd be happy to HELP pay for the visit, but she's beating around the bush about wanting me to pay the whole cost for the visit, and any and all other bills that she can claim to be related to this. I understand about being morally responsible for my animal, but really? To expect me to pay the whole cost, for a couple of scratches that were incurred when your child was causing the trouble in the first place????
That's like me saying my kid beat up your kid on the playground, and since my kid also got a broken nose out of it, you should pay for your kid and mine. Talk about some BS. Especially since her kid has been caught doing this crap before, and SHE KNOWS ABOUT IT!
Shorty should be coming home sometime Saturday night. As of right now, NO child is allowed over here without his/her parents unless we are both home. And no child is allowed in the yard if the dog is outside. It's not for their protection, it's for the dog's.
So, yeah this month has really sucked. September HAS to be better than August was.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Been busy packing things into boxes and taking them little by little across town. Mostly 4-5 boxes at a time, and unpacking what I can, and stacking what I can't. We moved the dressers, leaving just enough clothes here for the kids to wear till we are fully moved. My brother in law is putting a new back door and screen door on, and should be done with that this weekend.
The kids' new beds will be delivered this next week sometime, and as soon as that happens, I plan to move the rest of what we have left here over there. I already p
ut in the change of address forms, just waiting for them to change it now lol.
Met the new neighbor, she has a kid who is 7 and another who is 13 I think she said. Whenever we come over with more boxes, her son comes over and asks to play with Gabe. It seems like the more I pack and bring over, the more crap there is to pack.

In other news, we have a new puppy. His name (chosen by Gabe) is Scooby. His birthday is May 17, and he is a beautiful fawn color. He's mostly potty trained, and we are crate training right now. He's also learning to walk on his leash, come when he's called and not chew my shoes.

Not too much else going on, just packing, packing and more packing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We're Moving!!!!

The best call in the world came today, just when I'd resigned myself to staying here another year or two. My sister called, and we were offered a chance to rent the house we were in before, without the drama from before. And, for less money than before!!!! We are going to meet tomorrow, and we can have the month of August free! Wow, words can't express how thrilled I am right now.

I've been going over in my head the things that I'm going to get rid of, either rummage sale wise or by donating/junking/giving away. And what all I need to pack, how long it will take to move, and all that jazz. Last time, we moved EVERYTHING in a matter of 3 days! The whole house, in 3 days. Not happening this time. I've already got 1o boxes packed and stacked in my closet and room, and another 8 packed and stacked on shelves in the kitchen. Not to mention the stuff I've had packed away upstairs that was never unpacked in the first place. This should be fairly painless and easy.

I'll give our 30 day notice on the 1st, and fix whatever little things I need to fix here through the month. We need to replace a couple blinds, and patch a bit of plaster where it's cracked. And of course give the house a final cleaning once we have stuff outta the house and outta the way.

We decided to get the kids new beds from the rent a center place here, and I'll go on the first to arrange that, they're called captain's beds with a trundle underneath them. And once they're paid down, we're going to get the kids new dressers too. I'm so full of energy right now, I just can't sit still. The other place isn't carpeted so I'll have to look for some area rugs and maybe a nice large rug for the living room. So many things that I'm thinking of right now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Loving Memory of Mildred Mae Roberts

Four years ago tonight, at 8:16pm, my grandma passed away. I still can't believe that it's been that long. I can still feel it like it was yesterday.

It all started July 1, 2005. We'd gotten a call from my uncle Kevin, telling us that grandma was in the hospital. She'd had a heart attack and fell and broke her hip, although they weren't sure if the fall had caused the heart attack or vice versa. Her hip was broken so badly that there wasn't a whole lot they could do, she had lain there all day until Kev had gotten home and her leg was already turning black from lack of circulation. Her other leg was turning black too, she'd already had a massive sore on it that had never healed properly and her circulation was so bad that they weren't sure if she would keep either leg.
By the next day, her left leg (the unbroken side) had swelled to twice it's size and was completely black. They had to take the leg. By the next weekend, it was clear that the other leg would have to come off, as it was doing the same. She had an infection that was making her very ill. She gave up when they took her legs, and we knew then that she'd probably never make it home.

She ended up on a vent, after the surgeries, and it was like she didn't care anymore if she came off or not. She let the vent breathe for her, after the initial fight when she woke up unsure of what all the tubes and wires were. She didn't want to live that way, and the decision was made to make her comfortable and take her off the vent, and let her spend the rest of her time with her family surrounding her.
My mom, her brothers and sis, all their kids, and my sister's kids and Gabe were all there. I'd brought the other 3 up to see her on the previous weekends that we'd been there. I'd taken Fridays and Mondays off since it happened, and we would leave Thursday after I got off work and we'd drive back down on Monday evening, so she wasn't alone.
They took her off the vent about 11am, and we all spent time talking to her about our favorite memories. We talked about grandpa, and mom and her siblings growing up. Talked about all the things that we'd always hoped she'd see. Most of all, we let her know that we loved her and that it was ok for her to go and be with grandpa.
My sisters left in the late afternoon. And my aunt and uncles followed about 7-730 or so. Mom had walked them out to the car, and grandma started slowing down. It was just me, Gabe and my brothers, so I sent them for mom, told them to hurry because I thought this might be it.
Gabe and I held her hands and he gave her kisses. I tried so hard not to cry, I wanted her to remember us happy. I told her it was ok if she couldn't wait. That mom and the other kids would understand. And, at 8:16, she closed her eyes forever with a long sigh.
Mom came in a few minutes later, running as fast as she could. She knew before she got to grandma though, and sent the boys for the nurse.
Mom told me she thought grandma waited till she left, and I know that it hurt her feelings. I think grandma was trying, but just couldn't hold on any longer.

Rest in Peace Grandma!

Mildred Mae Roberts
FEB 9 1937 - JUL 15 2005

We miss you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thinking About School

Been trying to write this post for a while, and keep getting stumped as to how to word it. Colossal writers block. I've been trying to figure our schedule and curriculum for this coming school year. I know, kind of late in the game for some and early for others. I had planned to start our school year on September 1st, just like the public schools here. But I don't know if I want to start at the same time or start a week or 2 later.
I already figured that we are going to do a 4 day school week, with Fridays off. And am tentatively thinking that we are either going to do 3 weeks on and 1 week off, or do 5 weeks on and 1 week off. That way we have time planned to do field trips, and visits with grandparents and all that jazz.
James is really thinking about Unit studies, which I think is a great idea, but I want to make sure that he's getting work in all academic areas. I'm also thinking of doing the same with Caleb and Caitlin. So I figure that we'll use our free Friday's to pick what the next weeks topic will be, and go from there. I'm also picking up workbooks - thick ones lol - that have a variety of lessons that will help them with grade level appropriate skills.
Gabe is the hard one, he is progressing at his own pace, but it still in the "fight with mom about doing school" phase. I've got some great learning cd-roms for him, and a Hooked on Phonics program, as well as a ton of games for his V-Smile, including numbers and letters and such. He's just recently (in the last week) finally shown an interest in any of the games and has even started playing a few of them. His fav's so far are Thomas and Scooby Doo, and the Scooby one is the one he is the best at.
My biggest fear is that with as slow as he is progressing he'll have a hard time learning to read and write clearly, since James learned to read late and had a really hard time with it. James reads fairly well now, so I know once we get past the hard part things will go smoother, it's just getting him to the point that he can recognize that letters make words, and words make sentences that's hard. He knows the letters, can even tell me the sounds most days, but doesn't seem to make the connection that c-a-t is cat. It took quite some time for the twins too, and both of them are still having little problems here and there sounding things out. Caitlin is reading at level, but Caleb isn't, he is more at a late kinder early 1st grade level, and has been there for over a year. That was also a deciding factor in bringing them home. He simply wasn't getting the help he needed at school, or the one on one attention to help him progress. The just read it to him and said what do you think is the answer. If he got it incorrect, they told him the answer. That doesn't teach him anything, it's really just the same as doing it for him.
With him and Gabe being at a lower level than the other 2, I'm working with both of them together on Reading skills, and phonics. Caleb can read some easy books, but gets frustrated easily. He can't spell easy, but he can spell b-e-c-a-u-s-e! I have to laugh because when he spells it out loud he sings it. "B-e-c-a-u-s-e spells because!"
James is reading chapter books, and so can Caitlin, IF it's something she WANTS to read, otherwise she pulls the "but I don't know how to sound that out!" or the always wonderful constant asking of "what's that word" over and over.
All in all, I know some of our goals for this year:

1) Gabe will learn to consistently make all the sounds of the letters.
2) Gabe will learn to consistently write all letters. (at this point I dont care if lower case or not)
3) Gabe will consistently copy and say all letters to 20 (he repeats up to 20, sometimes even higher depending on motivation, but has only written to 10)
4) Gabe will learn to put letters together into words. (ideally, i'd like him to learn at least 1 word a week, but i don't know if that's pushing to hard or not yet)
5) Gabe will learn to do simple chores (without having constant hand-over-hand to make him)

1) Caleb will learn 5 new words per week (and still be able to spell previously learned ones)
2) Caleb will write on the lines with correct spacing so it can be read
3) Caleb will control his body ( a BIG one, he has no concept of personal space!)
4) Caleb will rotate chores and learn to properly do them
5)Caleb will raise his reading and comprehension level by practicing reading at least 20 minutes each day.

1) Caitlin will learn at least 5 new words per week (see above)
2) Caitlin will write on the lines with correct spacing so it can be read
3) Caitlin will sit quietly when doing schoolwork (constant chatter, kind of like Caleb's lack of concept of personal space)
4) Caitlin will rotate chores without complaint and learn to do them properly
5) Caitlin will raise her reading and comprehension levels by practicing reading at least 20 minutes each day.

1) James will learn to write paragraphs with correct punctuation and grammar.
2) James will work on his handwriting skills and improve them.
3) James will stay on task and complete things in a timely manner.
4) James will rotate chores without complaint and learn to do them properly.
5) James will raise his reading and comprehension levels by reading at least 20 minutes each day.

Pretty simple? Yes, but it lets me know what is the most important thing to be working on at a particular time. Goals change, quite often in fact, but this it what we are starting on. I think about what we are having problems with both academically and family wise (see #4 lol) and go from there.
Right now we are having a lot of issues with calling names, shirking chores and not doing things correctly the first time they are asked. In my opinion, learning to do chores is just as important as learning to read. Who will hire someone that will not do what they need to get done? No one! A big rule around here is if you chose not to do things at home, why should I believe that you will so the same thing elsewhere. I.E. if you can't behave at home, why should I think that you will behave in public. Or if you can't manage your assigned chores, why should you be allowed to mow lawns for money, or help clean at someone else's house for money.

I'd love to hear input on what people think of our plan for school and our goals.


You ever get so frustrated with someone who's supposed to be a friend? Ever have a "friend" who's completely clueless as to how to behave, either in public or in the privacy of you or their own home? Or maybe a fellow mom who has absolutely NO clue as to what to do/how to do it with her kid and calls all the time about how overwhelmed/stressed/ready to scream/ready to spaz that she is with her 1 child, whereas you are just fine with your 4 - plus extra kids some days!
Can you see where this post is going? Yeah, I have a "friend" like that. A "friend" that's driving me nuts. A "friend" that calls when she needs things, or a ride, or a sitter, but never returns my calls to hang out, or go to the park together with our kids, or any little things I might think to invite her to do. She does gladly come over for dinner, as they are usually short of money/groceries. She is more than happy to leave her kid with us, as she says it's "a safe place where he's always taken care of" and "he's treated like one of your own".

Don't get me wrong, I love the kid dearly, and I do treat him as one of my own. I've had him for weekends and overnights since he was born, and even for a week or more at a time when they were both working. That's not the problem, the problem here is, it's almost like I'm jealous that she can act the way she does with no consequences. It's like I'm jealous of her lack of parenting skills and lack of parenting period. Being jealous is new to me. I mean I've been jealous before, who hasn't, but not over stupid things like this. I actually envy her ability to just drop her kid with someone and trust that he'll be fine and taken care of whether she's there or not. Her ability to sleep all day if she wants to, and not worry about whether or not her kid is wreaking havoc on his room when he's in there supposed to be taking a nap or sleeping, or her room while she's sleeping.

Is it wrong of me? Probably. Am I also glad that she trusts me that much with her kid? Hell yes! I take great pride in the fact that my kids have NEVER had to worry about being fed, clothed, or left with someone just because I wanted ME time. The only time any of my kids have ever ever spent the night away from me, much less a weekend, was when I was in the hospital having a baby. Or on the rare occasions when we had them stay at grandma's for a night for our anniversary. Even when I had to work 3rd shift, they still had dad home, and I called to check on them while at work.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm mad that she's lacking in parenting skills, or mad that she gets to do what she wants and I don't.

Hubby is getting frustrated because they don't keep him on a decent sleep schedule, or feed him decent food (they mostly do microwave stuff and junk food). With him not being on a regular sleep schedule, he tends to not want to sleep at bedtime, and tries to take naps at weird times. He also has started throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way, which we also feel is due to the level of supervision (or lack thereof) at home, and the fact that he can basically do what he wants. We don't mind keeping him for weekends, but what we mind is him screaming and throwing fits at bedtime, and climbing out of the playpen and getting into things like he does at home.

Add to that the fact that Gabe is really not handling him being over well, and that Gabe acts out more and tantrums when he's over, and you can see what some of the problems are. I'm just so frustrated and annoyed right now, and am feeling so used. I just feel like all she wants me around for is to watch her kid and drive her places. I'm sure some of that is also due to me feeling quite overwhelmed as of late with Gabe and homeschooling him in particular. And all the frustration with not being able to find a place to move, and the economy and all that. But that's another post for another day.

Now, I need to go get some kids ready for bed and then finish picking up the house before I go to bed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another 2 Week Catch-Up Post

Lets see, in the last 2 weeks, Mike went from 3rd back to 1st. He wasn't liking the hours, and wasn't getting enough sleep. Our room is on the first floor, where all the noise and action is all day long, and also doesn't have a door on it. Add to that 3 boys and a girl who all like to start stuff with each other allllllll day long, and fight and scream and run up and down the stairs, and you can easily see why he had such a hard time sleeping.
We've pretty much put moving on hold, as we can't really find anything that suits us well enough to go through the torture of packing, moving and unpacking. We looked at a few places, but a good majority were the "no pets" kind of places, and he's really unwilling to get rid of the dog if it comes down to it.
So for now I'm going to focus on making this place feel more like home to me. In the year we've been here, we've never completely unpacked all the boxes. I have 10 or so in my closet and 4 or 5 more in my room, not to mention the ones in the upstairs bathroom closet and in the kitchen. I want to focus on getting things the way I want them in the house and de-cluttering to the point where I can unload those last billion boxes. I want to focus on getting out credit straight so we can get a house of our own in a few years. I want the stability of not moving for a few years. And most of all, I want a home that my kids are familiar with and comfortable in, especially Gabe. He has such issues with moving, and still cries about the "big old house" on Park that we used to live in. We bought that house and lived there for 5 1/2 years. It was the only house he knew and he still talks about how he wants to go back "Home".

Dad and Colleen are coming down for the 4th, we're going to have a big cookout with Mom and Dave and Dad and Colleen, and Jaime and her kids, and us and Adrian. Brats, hotdogs, hamburgers, pork roast, chicken breasts, macaroni salad and a bunch of other stuff!
We're also gonna do sparklers and maybe a few fountains.
Not much else has been going on here, more of the same old same old. The kids are good, and so are we. Just going with the flow, and trying to make sure that the ends meet in the middle.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So Much For That Idea...

Well, they came to deliver my washer and dryer on Tuesday, and it was going great until they went to measure the basement doorway to make sure that the dryer would fit without having to take the back panel off. Nope. Not gonna happen. And then the great news that even with the back panel off, it would still be 2 inches too big to fit. Crap.
So after taking several DEEP breaths, we talked about what we could do about it. We could either take it ALLLLLL the way apart, and reassemble it in the basement, hoping that they put it together correctly and that it would still work. Or we could have them take it back to the store, and I could come pick a different pair that WOULD fit. We opted for the latter.
And then when I was looking at the sets that they had, I decided that I only wanted to get a dryer, because the washer still works just fine.

So, they came Friday to drop it off, and got it to the kitchen, and guess what????? IT WAS TOO WIDE to fit!!! By like an inch. So, we took off the back panel, and unhooked some stuff, and Mike manhandled it all the way into the basement. I now have a dryer that works! And dries clothes!

Not much else going on here, except that I have Adrian and Austyn this weekend. 6 kids under 12 in the house, and its quieter now than with just my 4.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

This Week So Far, And My New Washer and Dryer

The dryer bit the dust again some time ago, so for the last few weeks I've been hanging things to dry. I figured with as bad as our credit was, we'd have to limp on through the rest of this year hanging things and hitting the laundromat at least every other week until February when we get taxes done. That's a LOT of laundry to hang.
Mike thought though that we might be able to get financing through the rent-a-center near us, so we stopped there on Friday evening after grocery shopping. They took our info and ran it through, and long story short, we are getting our new washer and dryer on Tuesday between 3-5pm. It's a Whirlpool Cabrio set, the only set they had there.

The kids are doing good, glad to be done with school. We'll still be doing at least an hour a day during the week, to make sure that they retain what we've gone over the rest of the year. Next year, I want to do a 4 day school week, that way we have Friday-Sunday off, or maybe Saturday-Monday depending on how things are going. We're still going through things that don't fit/aren't worn/too torn or stained. We have 2 full 30-gallon bags and another about 1/2 full.

Mike's doing good on 3rd shift so far, and is getting used to sleeping during the day. And I'm adjusting to not doing the "noisy" housework til after he wakes up. Nothing like forgetting and jolting someone out of a sound sleep by vacuuming! It's been working pretty well though, and I can usually manage now to get most of the housework done by noon or so, then we do lunch and go out for a bit so he can sleep a little longer.

Not much else going on here. Mostly same stuff different day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crazy And Chaotic, As Usual!

Another 2 weeks or so between posts, but mostly because I've been busy packing things up and looking for rentals. Plus finishing up the end of our "homeschool" year. Officially public school here ends on June 10. Been cleaning and de-cluttering, getting rid of things we don't use, or haven't used in quite some time.
Today we got rid of a frying pan (visionware) that I've had since we got married(12yrs!) and NEVER used! Not even 1 time! Also got rid of an extra toaster and a bag full of tupperware, plastic bowls, lids that don't match anything, and old plastic plates. I also have 2 big 30-gallon trash bags FULL of outgrown/barely worn/stained/torn clothes to go through and get rid of.
We also cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, swept, mopped, packed things in there, and partially cleaned and washed the fridge. I scrubbed cabinets, wiped walls and baseboards, and went through things bit by bit to see what we can pack (read live without!) and what needs to be left til we move.

This past couple weeks went pretty well. We had Adrian's birthday the 16th, Jane's 24th birthday was the 29th, the twins' was the 30th, Colleen's son Justin's 18th was also the 30th, and Daniel's was the 31st. Went up to Miwaukee the 30th to get Dad and Colleen, and took them back up the same day. Also saw aunt Rae, Pete, Aaron and Pete's son Bubba. They were moving and had to be out by Monday, so Mom and I and the kids went up Monday to help move, and Tuesday to help unpack. Kind of a crazy weekend, but not too bad. Going to call on some houses in Watertown tomorrow, and a few more here as well.

The kids are doing well, and Mike is too. Since he started working 3rd shift as a smokehouse operator, it's been a little chaotic at bedtime, but the kids are adjusting well, and we are making sure that he gets his sleep during the day by doing our quiet chores and things we need to finish for school while he sleeps, and going out for a bit near lunch time to get other things done. Seems to be working well so far, and he usually gets up around 2pm or so.

Been waiting to get my computer fixed, and until I do, I'm tethered to the ethernet cord in order to have internet. Windows 7 OS is nice, but doesn't have the drivers that I need for my wireless. So, my wonderful brother in law is going to re install Vista on it and fix my issues. Until then, I'll probably not be on too much, as chasing kids is WAY more important than updating the blog.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Thing We Call Recession...

As I was checking the blogs that I read daily, I came across a post that really struck home. It was a post about the recession and all the people that are affected. Usually I skip over posts like that, because I've been there first hand many times and don't really need to be reminded of how the economy is.
I've been a stat-at-home mom for most of the time that I've had kids. We agreed early on that if I wanted to work, I could, and if I didn't that was ok too. I've had a handful of jobs. I worked as a nurses aide when James was little. I worked as a temp, and then at McDonald's when Gabe was 2-4yrs on and off. We bought a house in 2002 when Gabe was about 1 1/2. The following summer, Mike quit his job of 9yrs for a better paying one. That lasted almost 2 months, just a few days shy of his probationary period being up, they canned him. Thankfully he qualified for unemployment.
It was a bad time for us, Caleb had just been diagnosed with autism the spring/summer before. We had just bought a house. If it hadn't been for the twins qualifying for SSI for their disabilities, we'd have gone under then for sure. He lost his job Aug 20, 2003. He didn't work again until Feb 12, 2006. 18 months. November of 2003 I started working full time at McD's to try and help us make bills. The kids' SSI wasn't enough to cover even most of the bills. It covered the mortgage, and sometimes the utilities and some of the groceries. It didn't cover gas, phone, clothes, or any of the other bills that were in collection. Unemployment was only bringing in about $180 a week. After gas and whatever little groceries, diapers, and odds and ends, there wasn't much of anything left. McD's was a paycheck of $200 every 2 weeks. It was a crappy job, but it was better than having nothing.
The day that he found out for sure that he would be working at Tyson, and when he would start, I QUIT! There was no way that we'd be able to cover day care for 3 special needs kids plus James for 3rd shift (both of us were going to be working 3rd), much less cover gas and everything we'd need for 2 jobs. Plus, his pay would be double mine, WEEKLY! The only really big problem now was that we had gotten so far behind on payments on all the bills that we had to catch up on them. We'd had to rob one bill to pay another quite a few times, trying to make sure that the mortgage was always paid first, and trying to make sure that it was paid in full. Juggling payments so that we didn't get the electric shut off, or the phone, or lose the van. We missed 1 payment on the mortgage, because of the van breaking down. So when we paid the next month, we included 1/2 the past due with it. And the next month, and the next. It became a vicious cycle, not being able to pay in full each month. And then the recession hit, which made it worse. The mortgage company wanted all the payment and all the late fees, NOW, instead of letting us work things out. In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise. We really couldn't afford the house, nor did we have the money to fix it. The city was nailing us left and right for fines for not painting, needing a new roof, taxes not caught up, garage needing to be fixed. So we tried to give back (quit claim deed) the house. But they wouldn't let us. So we told them that we were moving out, come take the house (Oct-Nov of 2007), they waited till Jan of 2008 to file for foreclosure. It was final in May 2008. Our finances aren't a whole lot better, but they are getting there. The big thing that sucks is, even if they get better we still won't be able to get a house loan for at least 3 yrs from the final date of foreclosure.
I know this was pretty long winded, but all that aside, I want to tell anyone reading that it does get better. You will make it, just like we did. It may get tight, and you may have to go without some things, but it can be done. Make it an adventure, learn new things to do that don't cost money. Do local things and things that give back to the community. Most of all, be happy and content with who and what you have.
To read the post that got me thinking, go to
I'm sure Catherine will be happy to hear from you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Weekend Hasn't Been Too Bad

The weekend wasn't too bad. Friday ended well, with their SSI stimulus payments coming, so I was able to go get the part for the dryer. Mike got the dryer put together and working again. We also did some shopping at Walmart. Saturday we did the rest of the grocery shopping, went to Adrian's birthday party (2yrs old!), picked up a new lawn mower since the old one broke, and I took all the heavy winter blankets and quilts to the laundromat to get them done quicker.
In 2 hours I did 4 trash bags full of blankets and quilts (enough to fill 5 of the "50 lb" washers) and dried and folded them.
Pretty much same old same old. Gabe's been unusually whiny/pouty/clingy the last few days. It seems like he's getting his feelings hurt really easily, like something major is bugging him. Just can't put my finger on it. Tonight he was crying because, "dad told me sit down!", which normally he just laughs at and ignores. It seems like this time of year is a bad time for him in general. Spring and Fall, kind of like with Bi-Polar flare ups. At first I thought that the whole fall thing was because of school and his total aversion to it, but if that's the case, then it shouldn't bother him to the same extent because of being home.
I'm trying to figure a way of helping him to sleep easier (and me!), we've done benadryl for years, and really it seems that he builds up a resistance to it. It used to be that we only did it on school nights, and didn't on weekends or during breaks. But even then, by summer break, it wouldn't seem to be working at all. Now we only do it if he's had a particularly horrible nights sleep the night before and has had a really bad day on top of it.
Last night we tried melatonin on him. That was fun, NOT! I tried to crush it and put it in his juice, but he saw it and wouldn't drink the juice. So I reverted to sticking it waaaaay far back in his mouth so he HAD to swallow it. He was out in about a 1/2 hr, but I'm not sure if it was the melatonin or the fight he put up against sleep finally being lost. I put him back in the chair when he came in our room (3x last night, usually only 1-2x), but finally gave up when he came back about 4am and just let him sleep in our room. Then he slept in till 1030 this morning! Poor thing must have been really tired to sleep that late.
He's currently sitting/laying in the recliner 1/2 out (10pm here!), as I am typing this and sitting here while the boys settle in and get to bed. He's been all out of sorts today and I'm wondering if it's related to the melatonin from last night. Another thing to look up tonight.
Thats all for now, need to play musical chairs and check on the other kids.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Long Week...

I just don't know some days how to keep going. Things haven't been the best in the last few months, but then again, compared to last year they are not near as bad as they were. How do those of you with more than one ASD kids do it? Caleb was dx'd PDD-NOS at 2y9m, and ADHD at 5y7m. Gabe was 5y7m when he was dx'd PDD-NOS, and 6y1m when dx'd Mild MR and a host of other things. Some days are so bad meltdown wise that I wish I didn't even get out of bed. Caleb is a screamer, and since starting school has learned some colorful vocab that he likes to share with anyone that ticks him off. Gabe repeats everything and I do mean EVERY thing that he hears others say. Both are hitters, punchers, hair-pullers. Caleb used to be a headbanger, and Gabe still is when upset.

It's hard enough with one kid doing this all the time, but when they both get going, I may as well pull my own hair out and go bang my own head against a wall. I've run the gamut of responses from other people, the whole "he just needs a good a** warming" being at the top of most peoples lists as to how to fix the problems.

The biggest thing we fight about right now is Gabe and his not sleeping. He is up most nights till 1130 or later, and always -- no matter what time he goes to sleep -- is awake and climbing into our bed by 3-4 am. I've done everything I know to get him into his own bed, to no avail. He starts out the night in his bed (I sit with the boys till they fall asleep or else no one gets to sleep), usually wakes up about midnight or so, and comes down and sits with me while I check email, falls asleep in the recliner. Then wakes again about 3 am, and comes in by us. Hubby leaves for work about 430 am or so, and Gabe sleeps thru till about 830-9 am (thank god for homeschooling, because in public school he had to be up by 6 to get there in time which really wasnt a good thing for him if he had a bad night!). If he has to get woken up earlier than that he is VERY grouchy and not happy for the rest of the day. He has always slept like that though, and naps when he was a baby were horrible. 20-30 minute naps and he woke whenever put down.

Caleb is not the best sleeper either, but he is waaaaayyyyy farther than Gabe, he has a hard time falling asleep, but once asleep he is down for the count till at least 6-7am(assuming that he's asleep by 1030 or so). As I'm typing this, Caleb is settling in bed, the other kids (besides Gabe) are sleeping, and Gabe is crying because he doesn't want to sleep in his bed. I know that part of the problem is that Gabe isn't functioning at *age* level, and doesn't understand some of the things expected of him. But that doesn't make it any easier.

I keep wondering what his future will hold and if I'll be able to handle either one of them when they get older. Gabe is the same size as Caleb even though they are 2 yrs apart, and when angry (or scared) is very strong. He's already started being aggressive (with the other kids and sometimes me) when he feels threatened. It just scares me to think of what might happen when he's older.
He's never been close to his dad, even when I was working and dad was stay at home. Neither was Caleb. But now, he always says for me to make dad go to work, and asks why dad doesn't like him or hurts his feelings or whatever the flavor of the day is. I keep telling him that dad does like him, but he's tired after a long day of work and doesn't want to be yelled at (Gabe has a naturally LOUD voice, almost yelling alllllll the time). He has been telling dad "you dont make the rules, mom does" and "you go away" and of course the all time favorite "you hate me". When he was in public school, he learned the phrase "go to jail", so he also likes to tell dad "you're mean, go to jail" and "I'll call the cops on you". I've corrected him that yes dad does make rules, no dad doesn't hate you, it's not nice to say, etc. But nothing seems to change what he says/thinks about dad. Dad doesn't go out of his way to push his authority on Gabe (at least not as of late), he leaves that to me.

I just don't know sometimes though, he's done so much better since he's been out of public school, but I'm not sure that the trade off is worth it at this point. I'm glad that he's happier at home, and that he's learning so much better here than he was there, but sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice in bringing him home.

Homeschooling is going well, we are getting better with letters and numbers. Now just figuring out how to teach him to read! That's a challenge, because while we are finally past the rejection of all things school related (due to some major issues with things at the public school). he is still very resistant to actively learning anything.

I think the thing that burned my a** the most about his school placement was that they told me flat out that it wasn't about catching him up to grade level, it was about putting him with kids his age.
Some days I wonder what it would be like to have kids without all the issues, and be able to go out and enjoy myself without calling every 1/2 hr while gone to make sure that everyone is ok and not killing each other. At this point, IF I could find a good decent placement for Gabe, I think I might just jump at it. Even though it would be hard for both of us to adjust, and he would probably hate me for it for a while. It hurts to say it but sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it to keep working so hard and pushing to get him to learn. I hate listening to him cry and say that he hates school, but I also hate having to force him to sit and do work with me. At least at school, THEY have to do that, it's not me having to go over and over and over the same things day after day and wonder what's going to stick.

Anyone else feeling this way? I want him to learn, but does it HAVE to be a constant battle?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Week So Far...

Things have been steady around here for the last couple days. Still tackling laundry, doing school, and keeping (or trying to!) the house straight. This will be the first set of birthdays that my baby sis has missed since the kids were born. Weird that I just now thought of that today.
One good thing today, Mike finally got his unemployment check for last month when he was off for that week. It came just in time, we are down to our last couple of rolls of TP, lol. Hoping that the Soc Sec Stimulus payments come soon, that way we can do something for the kids' birthdays and not have to wait till the end of the month.
In the last 2 days, I've washed 9 loads of laundry, and hung 7, still have 1 going in the washer, and 1 in the dryer waiting to get hung.

I just started following a new blog -
and got some bad news when I checked it today. Little Kayleigh has earned her angel wings after a courageous fight for her short life. She would have been a year old next month. So sad, please visit her site and let her family know that we are remembering her.
Not much else to post, just life as usual around here. Oh, except for one thing, Gabe had his 6mo checkup at the dentist. 2 loose teeth, 1 loose cap/tooth, and NO More Spacer!! No cavities either!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Packing, Soc Sec Stimulus and Birthdays....

Been keeping busy this weekend. Rearranged the front room because we got Grandma's old recliners (she got new ones!), and we needed to make room for them. We've been planning on getting rid of the couches before the move, so this was the perfect opportunity. They're sitting in the garage now, waiting. Took down the bookshelf that has been slowly falling apart. Boxed a lot of books and knick-nacks that we won't be needing before the move.
I've been going thru the kids' clothes and mine to get rid of things that don't fit or are ripped up. If things are decent enough I'll put them in a rummage sale before we move. Otherwise they will be trashed and whatever doesn't sell will go to goodwill.
We're getting rid of a bunch of games that the kids no longer play with, and some movies that we never watch anymore. Little things everyday to get things moving in the right direction before the move so that we're not trying to run around like crazy moving everything in just 1 or 2 days. The last time we moved, we took 3 days, and on the 4th day we cleaned things up at the old place, making sure that we had it locked up and all that. This time I want to be more prepared than that.
Still waiting to hear from the landlord on the new place, I did talk to him Wednesday, and he told me he was looking into some options and that he had another meeting on Friday. So hopefully he calls us on Monday or Tuesday.

On another note, I'm really happy that they are doing this stimulus thing for the people on SSI and Social Security. I know that it's going to help a lot of people, including us. Some people have already gotten theirs, and the rest will be staggered throughout the month of May.

And, we have a bunch of birthdays this month! Adrian will be 2 on the 16th, his mom will be 24 on the 29th, Caleb and Caitlin will be 10 on the 30th, and my nephew Daniel will be 9 on the 31st! That's a LOT of cake! Usually Jaime makes cakes and such for the birthdays, but she's got a lot going on right now, with some personal issues at home. So we'll see about that, maybe we'll just wait till the next weekend after their birthday to do something like we did last year.
Guess that's all for now, need to go chase kids and give baths and all that jazz.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is It Really Wednesday Already??

It's been raining on and off all day, making for a great amount of cabin fever. Not hard rain, at least not til about 5ish, mostly just sprinkles. But just as we sat down to dinner, the sky opened up with a huge deluge!
Gabe wrote his name all by himself without any help or prompting from me today! Talk about a big step from the "I hate school" kid, and hopefully a good start for him to actually start writing words soon.
The other kids had a good day, and Caleb's pumpkin plant has 3 leaves now. It's grown probably another 1/2 inch or so since we planted it this weekend.
Got a call from Adrian's mom, freaking out, because he fell down the stairs(carpeted thankfully) and landed on a toy truck. So now he has his first black eye! And then when they went grocery shopping today, he got his arm 1/2 stuck in part of the cart and now has a nice long scratch down the side of it. Go figure that he gets all this the week before his birthday party! I can't believe that he's gonna be 2 already, seems like just the other day that he came home from the hospital.
Hoping to get him something little for his birthday and maybe have my sis make him a little cake.
Not much else going on here, just trying to stay caught up with Mount Laundry and keep hanging clothes to dry.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trying To Catch Up!

Things have been busy around here still. The weather has been good and bad, warm and cold, and is wreaking havoc on Caleb's asthma. Gabe has been having some rough nights and some days, with frequent waking and accidents again. It's more of the one step forward two steps back kind of dance. All in all we are all doing fairly well, not overly sick or anything.
The dryer is still broken, so we are still hanging clothes. We are still waiting on news about our apps for the house we looked at. Mike is back to work full time and is even getting some Saturday work. We did finally get the van window replaced, to the tune of $100. But that still beats paying the $500 deductible.
School is hit or miss some days as far as getting actual written work done. But we always manage to get something read or looked up on the computer, and we are picking 1 thing a day that they want to learn more about and at least getting that accomplished. It takes some of the pressure off, because with it getting nicer out, they want to go to the park and be outside more. It gives us a chance to learn about things that we see or hear outside, or about the plants that we see coming up. We currently have our own plants that the kids are helping with as part of their schooling. That's another thing that is so awesome as of late with how the kids are learning.
Caleb found a pumpkin seed in Nintendo's (the bird!) dish. Neither Mike or I thought that it would grow, but we told him if he wanted to try and plant it he could. Imagine our surprise when a few days later it was already growing and had 2 leaves!! It is now 2 weeks later and the plant is like 2-3 inches tall and has been transplanted outside to its own box. He waters it every other day, and checks it daily to make sure that no critters got to it.
The younger 3 also each got a cactus when we went to Lowe's, they are called "Moon Cactus" and they only get about 5-6 inches tall, which makes them quite manageable. They came in very small pots, and we will be transplanting them soon. The plants are proving very useful in teaching Gabe especially how plants grow and how much water, sun, and nutrients they need. Gabe's learning how often the cacti need to be watered, and when to move them, how not to touch them and all that.
I've been trying to pack things that we aren't using and get rid of things that are too small or won't fit anyone within the next year or so. Just generally de-cluttering and de-junking the house. It's been kind of crazy most days, which makes it that much harder to get on the computer and post.
Hope to post more, not guaranteeing anything though!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finally Getting Better!

Well the week didn't kill me. He had his meeting at work with the managers on Tuesday, and was informed on Thursday(a week after being walked out) that he had his job back. Friday we went and looked at a house in Hanover, rent to own, awesome house. It's a 3br 2 ba, ranch style house with an attached 1 car garage. And we go Monday to fill out apps for it. A good friend of ours is willing to co-sign on the loan, and will be living with us in the furnished part of the basement.
Adrian went home to his parents on the 24th, after 12 days of being here. They've decided to get back together, and are working on their problems together. He's doing good and will be 2 in a couple of weeks.
The other kids are doing well, same stuff different day. I'm really hoping that we get this place and can move their this summer. It's a really quiet neighborhood, small town and only 20 minutes outside of the city we live in now.
Hopefully more on that later this week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crap Just Keeps Hitting The Fan...

Things have to get better instead of worse right? I sure hope so, because this last week almost killed me. Mike got up late last Saturday (he was supposed to work), and called in. Apparently he called in 3 whole minutes AFTER he was supposed to be there. Which sucks, because it put him over on points for work. Which means that he was effectively fired on Thursday, when the paper work caught up. It also means no holiday pay for Good Friday. And we won't find out until later this week if the other manager was able to get him back in to work.
Then, on this Saturday, my rear driver's side window was smashed out by some punks running through the neighborhood. The cops didn't catch anyone, and our deductible is $500. Which of course we don't have since again, no job. A used window will cost about $75, but the salvage yard doesn't have any for my van. Go Figure!
This totally sucks! Not that I mind having some help from Mike, but he drives me nuts after a while. He's been home since about 2pm on Thursday. It's only Tuesday and I already need a break! On top of all that, the heating element on the dryer went out, and of course no money for that either. So I'm (again) hanging clothes to dry. All this crap has to hit at the same time, because if it hit one at a time, I'd be better able to handle it.
It's been chaos around here, getting the plants ready for the garden, doing school and keeping up the house. The kids are doing good, Gabe gives me less of a hassle on school than he used to, as long as Mike isn't getting on him about it. Caleb is doing really well with this math game i got him for the DS. It goes from 1st grade all the way through 5th, and he can do almost everything on it! Caitlin has been doing more and more reading without even realizing it. They've all been using the magnetic letters that I have up on the door. James is working hard on 4th grade work (3rd in some areas), and working hard on doing things correctly the first time so he doesn't have to re-do them later.
Adrian is doing great, talking more and more. It really irks Gabe when he repeats whatever he is saying. His favorite is to say mom over and over like Gabe does, he knows how much it bothers him and you can see a grin on his face when he does it. Little stinker! He also sleeps all the way through the night here (at home he wakes a lot), and is taking regular naps. I still can't believe the difference between him and Gabe at this age. It's sad in a way because Gabe at this age is so firmly in my mind still.
Gabe is also getting more jealous of Adrian. When he is here, Gabe has WAY more accidents, and even refuses to go potty. He frequently tries to push Adrian away from me, and likes to get his attention and put his arms around me and say "MY MOMMY" to him.

Gotta go for now, Gabe is still awake and I need to check the other kids.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Asthma, Allergies and Potty Habits

The last couple weeks have gone pretty fast. We're trying some new things with learning words and how to spell them with some magnetic letters on the front (metal) door. Caleb and Caitlin especially have been trying different combinations of letters to see how things are (and not!) spelled. Gabe is starting to get interested as well, and has told me what a LOT of those letters say and the sounds they make.
He has also started noticing the letters and numbers on his clothing. He asks what size if he's not sure and has asked for his favorite sweatshirt (the one with the 0 and the 7 on it) several times this past week. He knows all his colors and is very particular as to what he will wear. He's also still(!) wearing underwear all day and has had very few accidents. Still in pullups at night, and when he's not feeling well (like yesterday afternoon).
Caleb's asthma and reactive airway have been acting up again, I think mainly because of the change in weather and the fact that he's been spending so much more time outside. He's been wheezy a few times, and has even had a few accidents at night from getting so tired out from not breathing as good. So we are upping the nebulizer treatments for a while to help him even out.
He is now on Flovent and Proventil (inhalers), and Albuterol and Pulmicort (nebs), and Concerta and Methylin, with benadryl at night for his allergies and to help him sleep.

He and Gabe are doing well in the potty area, very few accidents and just wearing pullups for bed! Lots more stuff going on here, but have been so busy that I haven't had time to take a breath, much less post.
The rest of this week is going to be interesting, I have Adrian until his dad gets him on Saturday, and Austyn comes tomorrow to stay til Friday night! Plus of course my 4. Just slight chaos.