Sunday, March 15, 2009


As I watch Adrian grow, it's bittersweet for me. He's already doing so many things that Gabe never did at that age. He's social, happy and verbal. Gabe never was at that age. He would cry, scream and cling to me. His version of verbal was whining and grunting, and the occasional half word. He was a late sitter, a late crawler, and a late walker. He didn't talk for the longest time, and when he did start, he was terribly hard to understand. Even now, he is understandable mainly to people who know him. Don't get me wrong, he's come a long way and I wouldn't trade him for anything. I guess I'm just wondering what I missed out on with having a "normal" child.
I know that "normal" is relative. James is "normal" for the most part, but has difficulty with reading and with controlling his temper, which we believe may be related to lead poisoning when he was little. Caleb has autism like Gabe, and ADHD. Caitlin has motor and speech delays and is very small for her age. She also has delays in bone growth. Normal is one thing we strive for in the world, what all kids want to be. My kids will probably never be the picture of normal. But we are trying to teach them that normal is a subjective thing, and that it doesn't matter if they aren't exactly the same as every other kid they ever meet.
That doesn't mean it's any easier when they ask why Gabe has so many problems, and why he isn't anything like them. James understands better than the rest, that Gabe may never leave home. We hope he will be able to, but we are prepared for the eventuality that he might not ever live on his own. I don't mind, and I've explained to James that Gabe's brain doesn't work the same as his. He accepts it, and every once in a while, we talk about it and I ask if he has any questions. He knows it's not fair, and he knows that Gabe is starting to understand that people don't always want to play with him, that some are making fun of him. James has tried to shield him from some of it, but sometimes it's hard. Especially when the kids are making fun of him for trying to protect Gabe.

I try sorting things out in my head, but that just depresses me more. When I write here, I can erase and re-write as many times as I need to, to make it make more sense. I can vent here, without hurting people's feelings, and I can get my feelings out without having to yell or scream or throw things. I can take a break from the "real" world and just relax.
I don't even know how I get to where I'm going when I'm writing. I just let the words fly off my fingers and onto the screen. Usually not reading or proofing till I'm done. Then I go thru and spell check and make things make more sense if I can, or just leaving it if I can't.
Somehow this post went from being about the difference in development between Gabe and Adrian, to being about how I write and how things make me feel. Reading this makes me realize just why Mike thinks I have ADHD. Enough for now, need sleep I think, to make sense of things in the morning.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Random

I've been trying to figure out what to post, and been sitting here for way too long without any ideas. I could post more about how the kids are doing, or what we're doing in school. I could post about Gabe's ever growing obsession for Lego Star Wars, or his slowly diminishing hatred for anything school related. He did actually do all his work today without any screaming, kicking or throwing a fit. And he now knows most of his letters. I could also post about how my baby will be 8 years old tomorrow. But when I write it I end up deleting because it doesn't come out right. Heck, I could even post about a certain 11yo boys complete and total lack of respect for anything I say. And how he goes out of his way to start trouble with Gabe and the other kids on an almost hourly basis. But I figured that was a post better left for a day when I wasn't already ticked off about the way he was behaving.

Really, there is sooooo much that I could write about, but then I start thinking about whether it's too personal to share with perfect strangers, or with certain other people that may or may not eventually find their way here and read it. I mean after all, how many people do I really need to share my personal issues with before it gets to be old news?

Mike's been having health problems on and off since the beginning of February, and has another Dr appointment tomorrow. Hopefully that is good news instead of bad. Gabe will be 8 tomorrow, and my friend Missy is having her baby boy tomorrow as well. Plus dad has his appointment tomorrow with Social Security.

On a more personal front, I've been doing bible studies by myself, not through a church or anything. I like it better that way, and am working on little ways of changing my life to get it to the way I should be living. The problem with that is that certain family members (on his side) don't think that's what I should be doing. They want me studying with people from their "church" and going to their "church" and they believe that what they teach is the only right thing. So I'm having a difficult time coping with all the pressure and the well meaning comments that I really should start coming back to their "truth". In fact, since Saturday I've had people at my house 3 times trying to get me to commit to coming back and get me into conversations about their beliefs. I love his family, and I like the people that are trying to "help" me, but when I'm ready, I'll make my own decisions about what to believe or not believe. I'm sure that in their minds, they are trying to do what they think is best, but honestly, all I feel is them telling me that what I'm doing is wrong. It's not that I don't appreciate the efforts that they put into things, but I don't believe that their way is the only way, that they have the only "true" worship.

Enough of that for now, I have kids to chase and a house to clean, and a LOT of thinking to do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My visit with my dad went well, just needed some time to digest it all and figure out what and how to write. I learned quite a few things that I didn't know before. Like, for starters, my dad is Catholic, which I did not know, nor did mom. You'd think that kind of thing would come up when you're thinking of getting married, but not with those two.
My grandma (dad's mom) passed away about 2 yrs ago, dementia and a heart attack. Dad's longtime girlfriend that I first met when I got back in contact with him 11yrs ago passed away about 3 yrs ago, cancer and brain tumors.
It was a weird meeting, seeing him again was almost like never having lost contact. He's still the same guy I missed growing up, but different at the same time. He's been fighting for disability since 2004, and has another appointment this Friday on Gabe's birthday. His new wife, Colleen, has 2 sons, 16 and 17. They live with her and dad. They have a cat, named Booger.
When he came out the door, my heart was racing. I was thinking what if he doesn't like the kids, what if we don't get along, if this meeting didn't go well. What if he didn't want to see us again after this meeting, what if I got the kids' and my hopes up for nothing, and he's going to drop out of our lives again.
But it went well. We talked, shared and had lunch together. We wandered through the mall for a bit, catching up on what all had gone on in the past 5-6 years, who was born, who died, who moved. We even made plans for me and the kids and maybe even Mike to come back up around the first of the month. And this time maybe I'll remember the photo album.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Thoughts, Random.

I sat up thinking last night, about how things will be for Gabe as he gets older. And about the other kids. Will they grow up and be happy, or resentful of him. Will they understand that he's different, but that it shouldn't stop them from being around him or being happy with him.
I also worry about Mike. He's convinced that if Gabe is just disciplined more then he'll be fine and cooperate with whatever it is that he wants him to do. He just doesn't accept that Gabe is not the same as the other kids. And it's not just the whole autism thing. It's also the cognitive aspect of it. He is learning, at a slower pace, but learning none the less. He's come a long way as far as his behavior as well, but not far enough for Mike. He wants him to act his age, his chronological age, not mental age. Gabe can't do that.
The other kids resent him a lot of days, I can see it when they look at him. Kids show their feelings rather well whether they want to or not. Yes, I am more permissive with him, but I'm also trying to keep peace with 3 other kids, sometimes 4, and run a house, do school, and laundry and everything else. Just because he wants his way doesn't make him a brat. All kids want their own way, all kids have times where they throw a fit cause they didn't get something they wanted. Not just him. I'm sick of having to justify everything I do with him. I'm sick of being told it's not fair, cause dammit life isn't fair. It's not fair that I have 2 boys with autism and related challenges, and a pre-teen that tries to run the world and a drama queen. And a husband who doesn't support the way I deal with the kids. I'm tired of hearing how if HE were in charge of Gabe, Gabe would learn to behave, and that his misbehavior is all my fault.
I'm really having a hard time sticking to my guns with the whole homeschooling thing. I'm tired of the smart mouthed comments, tired of fighting, tired of all of it. I know the best place for Gabe is at home, but the easiest place is at school. I just don't know how I can keep doing this.
It's not fair that I can't have one day that everyone is on the ball and all the school and house work get done. Or that bedrooms don't stay picked up unless I stand over them and make them do it.
I love my kids, but some days I have a really hard time liking them. And that makes me feel like a horrible mom. And I love having Adrian, but I'm tired of getting crap from people about it. I'm getting told, make his mom take care of him, why do you do it without getting paid, he's not your problem, not your child and the list goes on and on. Why can't people stay out of it? Why do I need to justify my actions to others who have no business meddling in the first place?

I never said I was perfect but don't I deserve a little respect? A little positive comment once in a while would be great. I'm getting all this negative from the kids and hubby and even strangers. I mean, I could understand if I was asking people for their input on it, but I'm not.

I didn't want to turn this into a pity party or a rant about people's crappy attitudes. It's not meant to be a poor me post. Just trying to get some things off my mind. I just don't know how to keep doing this anymore. I'm tired, so tired.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Dad

My dad and I haven't been in contact for at least the last 5 yrs. Right about the time my youngest nephew was born was the last time I saw him. So imagine my surprise when I answered the phone yesterday to hear his voice. I didn't know who it was that first few seconds, and then something clicked and I just knew who it was. He asked if I was curious to know how he found me again, and I said No, not really, because I'd done the same thing 11 yrs ago to find him. I went online and used one of the people search websites. He cheated and did it the easy way, white pages on Yahoo. Punk. Anyway, mom and dad divorced when I was 7 I think. Then, we only saw him once in a great while, until we moved from Milwaukee in 1988. And never saw him again until February 1998. Ten years is a long time, a lifetime even. In that ten years, I had grown up, graduated, dated, married and had a child. All those things that he missed.
My kids know of him, and have seen him a handful of times, the last time being 5 yrs ago. Since then, Mike's changed jobs, I've quit mine, Gabe was diagnosed. My grandmother died, Mike's grandfather died, Aunt Rose died. So many things that he will never experience with us. So many things that I've missed with my dad.
So this weekend, I'm going to see him. For the first time again, in 5 yrs. And his new wife, who he married last week on his 53rd birthday.
Wish me luck and strength when I see him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Random Thoughts and Constant Interruptions

So many special people, so little duct tape! It's been a long couple of days, and the kids are plotting against me I'm sure, and my dryer chose yesterday as the day to add to the anarchy. So now I'm hanging clothes to dry in the basement, in between bouts of pulling screaming writhing hellions off of each other. Adrian's been biting, and banging his head on the floor when he doesn't get his way. And screaming, can't forget the screaming. Caleb and James have been non-stop hitting and kicking each other every time I turn around. Caitlin's been getting mouthy and rolling her eyes at me and anyone else that makes her mad (or tries to get her to do anything!). Gabe's been wound up like and 8 day clock, and getting annoyed because Adrian has decided to copy everything he says and does.
It's taken me forever to get just this much done, and as I type, I just settled them with a movie (teenage mutant ninja turtles the movie), and I have Gabe on the couch nursing a scratch to the forehead (from James, with love or something). He and James got into a nice little knock down drag out over a small metal spatula, and he got the business end when James tried to get away. Go figure. Thankfully it's just a scratch, and didn't break the skin, cause then all hell would break loose when he figured out he was bleeding.
It's been getting warmer, and the days are longer, which I'm sure is contributing to the cabin fever going on. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be in the 50's, and today the 40's, spring is just around the corner.

In other news, I found out more lovely information about this neighborhood. We apparently have crack dealers across the street! And both families living there got busted, between them they have like 11 kids or something. But get this, they still have all the kids! Even after the drug bust! And there are still cars coming and going at all hours of the day. It's just ridiculous that they get busted and still have this going on. Makes me even more sure that we're moving as soon as our lease is up. I don't need the kids learning that crap.
Mike's talking about moving out of town, we had talked at first of moving closer to his work, but he doesn't want to stay working there. He's looking into a welding course, it's 2 yrs, and then he wants to move to Milwaukee. Works for me, because I have family up there. Lots more for the kids to do too. The only downside is the crime rate is as high if not higher.