Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm Back

I know I have been very negligent about posting. I have just been so incredibly busy since the school year started, so I will try to update on everything.

Sissy is doing great at day care. She does cry some mornings when I leave her, but I know that she is fine by the time I get to the car. She also loves her speech therapist, Leslie. She has not started saying anything new, but she is doing a few simple signs, which seems to be helping to decrease her frustration level.

Zee loves preschool. She is constantly pretending to play school and imitating her teacher. She asks me every day if it is a school day. When I told her today that tomorrow is a school day, she told me "It is tomorrow." She cracks me up!!!

Jay is doing well in junior high. We just got his first progress report in the mail yesterday and he is doing well. His lowest grade is a "C".

School is going pretty well for me. I had a bit of a rocky start with my student teaching. I have had some trouble adjusting to not being in charge of the class. I have not worked as an assistant in about 14 years. When I began my career in the Early Childhood field I was promoted to lead teacher after only working in the field for about a year. I took my first job in a day care center about a month after I graduated from high school, so I have been in a position of authority for the majority of my career.

I meet on campus one night a week and that is going pretty well. I have only 6 others in the class with me. They have all taken classes together for several semesters. I am returning after 5 years. The instructor calls upon me to share my experiences as a director quite frequently. She has also recommended to another student that she ask me to come to her home day care and help rearrange things. This student told me that the instructor said that she is very happy that I am in the class, that I am a great resource.

I had better get back to my homework. Hopefully I will find time to post more frequently.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day of Firsts

Tuesday, August 28th was a day of Firsts in our house. It was Zee's first day of preschool. She had fun on the 27th while the two of us were in her classroom for orientation. On the 28th I got my hug & kiss in the hall and sent her into her classroom. She did such a good job!!! She loves school.

It was also Sissy's first day of day care. I dropped her off after I left Zee at preschool. She did not cry when I left her. When I got back to pick her up, I got a glowing report of how well she did. I am so happy that she is liking day care.

Tuesday was my first day of my internship. I did not spend the entire 3 hours in the classroom. The classroom teacher thought it would be best for me not to start on their first day of class.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 is a day that needs to be put in the record books. I dropped both of my babies off at their new schools and I did not shed one tear. If they had cried, I am sure that I would've joined in.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Call

I received the call today. Zee is going to preschool!!! She is sooooo excited. I was in such shock that she got in that I forgot to find out if she would be in the morning or afternoon class. Her teacher is coming in the morning for a home visit. I guess I'll find out then when she gets to go.

This might throw a wrench into my plans though. I am supposed to be doing my internship/student teaching at the school in one of the preschool classrooms. I have not heard back yet from the principal, but he did see Jay at school today and told Jay the following. "Tell your mom I have not forgotten about her." I was planning to either call or go in tomorrow to find out what was going on with my placement in a classroom.

If this is going to be a problem I guess I can have my instructor help me get placed in another program. I'll do whatever is necessary. I am just so glad that this is working out for Zee.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

B's knee surgery

B had his knee surgery on Thursday. He was supposed to be at the hospital at 11am and have his surgery at 1:30. I got him settled and then went home for awhile. L & Sissy were with me. I had to get L back so that her mom could pick her up at about 12:30 and I needed to feed Sissy some lunch before going back to the hospital.

Figuring that B would be done is surgery sometime between 2 & 2:30 I got back to the hospital at about 2pm . I checked in with the volunteer and she told me that B had been taken to recovery at 1:30. At about 2:30 they called & said that B was heading back upstairs to his room in the day surgery dept. Since the doctor was ahead of schedule and I was not there when he came out of surgery at 1:30 we do not know anything about what he found or exactly what he did. On the discharge paperwork there was not any info on when B could go back to work. The nurse assumes that he will get released after his follow up appt. on the 30th, which pissed me off.

When we went for B's initial appt. the Dr said that if he had surgery on a Wed. or Thurs. he would be fine to go back to work on Monday. He kept saying 2-3 days off would be all that would be necessary. So why now is it 2 weeks +???? B called the office on Fri. morning before 9 and the nurse informed him that the Dr would be in surgery all day. She finally called back at about 5pm to say that the Dr indeed wants him off until after he is seen on the 30th. This sent me into a major tailspin. I was PISSED!!!! I said, not so quietly while the nurse was on the phone, "What the hell happened to 2-3 days?? Is the doctor going to pay our Fucking bills?? If I had known that it would be 2 weeks + we would have waited." This did not make B very happy. He got pretty mad at me.

You have to understand that I was already stressing about paying the bills this month and now we may have 2 weeks that we will have to survive on my minimal income only. B does not have any vacation pay left. His employer doesn't give any sick pay either. I wish I had gotten short term disability through the company with the silly duck in their commercials. God willing we will make it through and I will not get any new gray hairs or a new ulcer.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sissy's Results

Our meeting yesterday was very productive. Sissy will begin receiving speech services in a couple of weeks with the ST who came and did her evaluation. I am happy that she decided to pick Sissy up as a client. The ST needs to receive her authorization from the state before she begin providing services.

Each therapist had a report that outlined what area they evaluated and the scores that Sissy received in each area.

The DT used the Battelle Developmental Inventory. Sissy's scores are as follows:

Adaptive (self care) 20 months

Personal-Social 19 months
Adult interaction 16 mos
Social Role 23 mos

Receptive Lang. 23 mos
Expressive Lang. 14 mos 26% delay

Gross 24 mos
Fine 28 mos

Cognitive 22 months
Attention/memory 21 mos
Perception/concepts 23 mos

The categories that are underlined are the major categories with their subcategories listed below. Some areas gave the average for the development for that category (like cognitive). As you can see from the above information, Sissy is above average in all areas except Adult interaction (She still has major stranger anxiety.) and her expressive speech. A 26% delay is still a significant delay according to the DT.

The ST used 3 different tools to measure Sissy's speech. One listed her at the developmental age of a 13 1/2 month old. which would be about a 23% delay. Another tools that was used was based completely on questions that I had to answer regarding her development. This found that Sissy was above age level for receptive language and at about a 9 month old level for expressive which means a 50 % delay. The last test used was the Rosetti.
Subtest /Score/ Age Performance(mos)/ % delay
Interaction /18/ 15-18 mos/0%
Pragmatics / 12/ 12-15 mos/ 33%
Play / 18 / 15-18 mos / 0%
Gestures / 18 / 15-18 mos / 0%
Lang Comprehension / 12 / 9-12 mos / 33%
Lang Expression / 9 / 6-9 mos / 50%

The ST said that at 18-24 months of age Sissy should be beginning to use some 2-3 word sentences, imitate environmental noises (car, animals, etc.), have a vocabulary of 20+ words, refer to self by using her own name.

She says "woo woo" for a dog sound and she does that for any animal she sees. "Mama" is clear, but she also says "ma" for just about everything else. Zee gets mad because she thinks that Sissy is calling her mom. You can distinguish between to two and you know when she is saying Mom & when she is just babbling. Dad is either "ada" or "da". She doesn't even put it together to make it "dada" like most kids do. She has recently started to say "ball". At 18 months she should have been saying at least 8-10 words.

Hopefully, under the guidance of the ST Sissy will begin to make more recognizable sounds and words soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Update on Sissy's evaluations

I received a call from Sissy's SC today about the evaluations that she had done last week. The developmental therapist (DT) scored her at a 26% delay and the speech therapist (ST) scored her at over a 30% delay. With at least one of them scoring her at or above a 30% delay Sissy qualifies for services.

We have our IFSP meeting tomorrow afternoon. The SC told me that at this meeting we can decide if we want Sissy to receive services (Of course we do. Why else would I have started the process?). We will also set up the plan for what we want to happen with these services, etc.

The SC also asked me today what I thought of the therapists. She wanted to know so that if I was not comfortable with someone and they offered to provided services she could help with handling that situation. I loved the ST and would like it if she were to offer to provide services. I like the DT well enough, but I was more comfortable with the ST. I will update again tomorrow night or sometime this weekend with what was decided and possibly with more details of the results of the evaluations.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm Melting

I don't know about you, but I am positively melting!!! It is so damn hot here that I can't stand to be out of the house. I live in the St. Louis metro area and we are in the midst of a major heat wave. We have had temps in the high 90's & low 100's for the last few weeks and there is no relief in sight. We have had heat indexes above 105 most days.

Some of you might be thinking that the 90's are not that hot. Our summers are full of heat and major HUMIDITY. We are in desperate need of several days of rain. Last summer we were wanting the storms to stop and this year we are wishing they would come. Last summer we had several severe thunderstorms that hit our area that knocked power out to TONS of people. In one storm we lost ours for over 5 days.

This summer makes me remember a T-shirt that my brother had when we were kids. It had an illustration of the St. Louis Gateway Arch melting. There was a saying like "I survived the summer of 1983 (I think that was the year.) in St. Louis." I'm beginning to think that they need to produce them again changing the year to 2007.

I had originally thought that we were going to have a flood this year. In the spring it looked as if the area rivers were going to continue to rise and spill their banks. In our area we can expect the worst to occur each summer. It is either tons of damaging thunderstorms, floods, or major heat & drought. There are times that I wonder why I stay in the area. But then I remember that this is where my family is and I wouldn't want to be too far from them.


I know, I'm a posting fool tonight. I just have not had much of an opportunity to get on the computer in the last few days and alot has happened.

B did not have is surgery on Wed. They realized late Mon. that the facility where it was scheduled is out of network for our insurance. So he went for his pre-op appt. and was not able to get his lab work done. They rescheduled his procedure for Thurs.

I have gotten the OK to take my internship class. I just need to go to the campus and finish up my financial aid stuff. They said they mailed me a letter stating that they needed some further information, but I never received it. As long as I can get it all taken care of I this week I can start classes the following week. I know I'm doing everything last minute. I still have to find a preschool or day care where I can get my hours. I was told that the one that I wanted to use would not work if my girls we in attendance. It is too open and the college will not allow you to work with a group that your own child is in. I put in a call to the principal at the elem. school to see if I could get my hours in one of their preschool classrooms. He was gone for the day, but hopefully I will hear back from him early Monday.

We got Jay signed up for junior high. He is not ready to go back to school though. On one hand he seems exited about certain aspects of JH, but on the other he appears to be apprehensive. The JH & Elem. schools are connected and all of the kids eat breakfast & lunch in the JH cafeteria, so he is familiar with the school. It is just that he will no longer be in the same classroom with the same teacher the majority of the day. I think this kind of scares him. In some respects he does not deal well with change. Pleas keep your fingers crossed that he makes a smooth transition into JH.

Sissy's evaluations

We had Sissy's developmental & speech evaluations on Friday. She was slow to warm up to the two therapists that were here. They were both very friendly. I really liked the speech therapist and hope that if Sissy qualifies for services that she will pick her up as a client.

The ST has a daughter who has the same auditory processing disorder that Jay has. She is also getting ready to start junior high. The ST recommended a psychiatrist that really stays on top of the kids meds and tries to tweak them so that the child is getting the most benefit from the meds to help them succeed in school. I am thinking that maybe it is time to go down that road again with Jay. We took him off of his ADHD meds about a year ago and there did not seem to be much difference in him. So we thought why medicate if there's no benefit.

Anyway back to Sissy. Both therapists commented on how smart Sissy is. She is not delayed in any other area other than her speech. I think that she will qualify with a 30% or great delay. The ST told me that she would bring me some information that might help us with Jay the next time she sees me. Well, she won't be back unless Sissy qualifies.

Sissy decided to start babbling up a storm today. It is the most verbal I have ever heard her be. She even told daddy "Some" multiple times today. She was wanting daddy to share his sunflower seeds. I guess she'll talk when she's ready.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lice-- Round FOUR

Yes, I said ROUND FOUR. And I am PISSED!!!!!!

L came over late on Wed. Her mom let her sleep in and had L's older sister bring her over at about 11:15. She has been nit free since coming back after last week's nit-fest so I didn't worry about checking her right away. I checked her at about 2:45 and you guessed it, I found nits AGAIN!!! This is getting to be truly ridiculous!! I am about to the point of telling her parents that I can no longer take care of her.

It is not that I don't like L or her parents. It's just the fact that I am having to spend so much time, energy and money on trying to prevent my family from getting lice that it just does not seem worth it anymore.

Here is what I have to do each time she comes over with nits.
  • Wash all blankets, towels, etc. that L may have come in contact with.
  • Remove all stuffed animals and baby dolls that have hair. Put them in trash bags and store them for at least 2 weeks.
  • Buy spray for the couch, chairs, van and car seats.
  • Remove and wash Sissy's bedding. (She is now sleeping in the playroom.)
  • I clean Sissy's bed, in the playroom, kitchen, dining room & bathroom with a bleach solution.
  • Vacuum, vacuum and vacuum some more.
  • Check my entire family for signs of Lice.
  • Wash everyone's hair with coconut shampoo.
  • Throw away any hair ties that were lying around.
  • Soak all combs & brushed that may have been removed from the bathroom cabinet in alcohol or a bleach solution.

I have yet to bring any of the girls' toys out that I bagged up the first time L came over with lice over a month ago. My girls who are used to having lots of babies and animals to choose from now have 2 naked baby dolls that they can play with. I bagged up all of the baby clothes too. Nits do not need to eat and it takes about 14 days for them to hatch, so any that are laid on any kind of fabric, synthetic hair, etc. can still cause an infestation to occur later. Once the nymphs (name for an immature louse) have hatched they will die if they do not feed within 48 hours. I have decided that I will not open any of the bagged up toys until about the 3 week mark, just to be safe.

I know L's mom is extremely frustrated with the situation as well. I know that she is spending a large amount of time and money to take care of the problem. But on the other hand, there is something that has been over looked. They either have not treated something or L is coming into close contact with someone else who has lice. Nobody in her immediate family or my family for that matter have lice. So we know that she is not getting it from any of us. I know she is tired of having to send someone to pick L up or leaving work early to do it herself, but if she were in school right now she would be sent home each day that they found evidence of head lice.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lice -- Round 3

We are now on round three of the head lice situation. I checked L's hair this morning to see if she was still nit free. Guess what. She had a brand new batch of nits in her hair. I picked at least 6 out and then stopped. I called her mom to have someone come & pick L up.

I feel bad that I keep having to send her home, but as I've said before I do not want anyone at my house to get lice. So far, I have done a good enough job preventing that. How long will that last if L keeps coming over with lice?

This whole situation is getting so F***ING frustrating!!! The girls have very few toys to play with. I had to put all of their stuffed animals and most of their dolls in plastic bags and store them for 2 weeks. Well the 2 weeks has now become 3 weeks plus. I have bought Sissy 2 new dolls through out this ordeal that I have also had to put away. In addition to the effects on the kids, I have been loosing alot of money. I loose money not only from not having L here but also the money that I have to spend to treat my house each time that L comes up with nits/lice. I have done so much laundry in the last 3 weeks that I'm surprised the washer has not given out due to pure exhaustion. I am about to the point that I want to just stop babysitting her. I am looking into a few part time job opportunities.

Tonight's Work Experience

I went to work this evening and discovered that someone has been screwing with me. I do occasional work for a real estate office in the evenings and on weekends. I am in charge of putting together their listing packets.

In this packet there are many different forms that are required to be completed when a client lists their house through our office. We have mail slots like you see in a schools for the teachers' mail. We have a slot for each individual form that the agents need. I usually make sure that all of the slots are stocked. Even those that are not part of the listing packet.

I guess I should explain something about myself before I go any further with what happened tonight. I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I like things to be just so. If you looked at my house you would never believe this about me, but it's true when I'm at work. I keep the forms going all the same way, I punch the appropriate holes, and I make sure that the forms are professional looking. I have also voiced to some of the agents that it irritates me when people throw pieces away that are not needed for the listing that they are currently working with. I have also said how their messes and unprofessional manners irritate me.

When I started working on the packets tonight, I did things a little different than normal. Lately I have just been copying all of the forms that I need. The copier said it needed toner replaced, so I didn't make very many copies. I used the forms that were in the slots. When I got to one particular form the stack was a mess!!!! There were 2 pages on way and 10 the other, then 4 the opposite way. Some had holes some didn't. Most of the ones that were mixed every which way were ones that were copied at the same time (There was a lighter portion on all of them that was from a poor master copy being used.) and punched at the same time. All of the holes lined up perfectly at the same off set slant.

This really pissed me off!!! I hate it when these people do things like that. I'm sure someone heard me complaining about behaviors that are exhibited in the office and decided to screw with me. Some of those people can be so juvenile.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Please Excuse My Typos

As I have reviewed a few of my previous posts, I have realized that I have had a few typos. Most of them come in the Title. I usually do a spell check, but it does not check the title. I usually forget this fact and don't check it myself.

I have noticed that often my fingers get ahead of themselves. I have not had any formal typing class/training. I have just gotten better over time. I can type much faster than I used to but my accuracy rate is not that good. (I really need to work on this before I start back at college.) I have noticed that one of my most common errors is typing the word form instead of from.

Please understand that my blog is not called The Insane World of Motherhood for nothing. Here are a few of the normal circumstances under which I am writing my posts:
  • With 1 or 2 whining girls on my lap (this is often one handed typing).
  • Catching a few quick minutes during lunch or nap.
  • Stopping to break up sibling spats.
  • Stopping to change a stinky diaper.
  • Stopping mid-word because it is too quiet.
  • Stopping to kiss a boo-boo.
  • Stopping to do numerous "mommy jobs" (far too many to list separately, but you have the idea of what they are.)
  • Late at night when everyone is in bed.
  • In a sleep deprived stupor.
  • While a million other things are racing around in my head.

So if you do see a typo, please have a laugh on my expense and understand that I try my best to catch them, but they occasionally slip by.

General Updates

I know I have discussed things that have been ongoing so I thought I'd update on a few of them.

The bathroom project is just about finished. All I have left is to paint the door frames and put the trim boards in. I will try to get some pictures taken and post them this afternoon or tomorrow.

I can't remember if i had posted about B's knee, but he can't wait for the 8th to get here. He is having the screw removed from his knee. It is working it's way out of the bone and causing soft tissue irritation. We are hoping that as soon as it is gone he will have better range of motion in the knee. We will not know what time his surgery is scheduled for until the evening before. That's the way the surgery center schedules things, which I think is just stupid.

On the lice situation, L has been back since last Tuesday and had appeared to be nit free. I found one nit in her hair today. Obviously they have not taken care of the problem at home. There is something that they have neglected to treat. It is getting so damn frustrating on my end. I hate to send her home for one nit that I removed, but I really do not want to get them started in my house. My girls have thin hair, so if they get it I will not have much trouble finding and removing anything. My hair on the other hand is very thick. It is currently about 4-6 inches past my shoulders so it would not be fun or easy to get rid of any of those nasty things. I would have to ask my mom to come over and take care of it for me.

Kay has gone home and so far I have not heard from her. I'm sure they made it back alright and she is busy getting the boys' school year started early. She is doing this so that she can take about a month off to come help her dad when he is ready.

Sissy has been having horrible reactions to mosquito bites. She got bit just under her eyebrow last week. Her whole eye got so swollen it looked like someone clocked her. We were outside the other evening and she got about 12 new bites. I put hydrocortisone cream on them and gave her some antihistamine. This really helped to keep them from getting as bad as normal.

If I have forgotten anything that you want to know about, just post a comment and I will address it.


Sissy has started saying another word. We are so excited!!! She brought me her cup pointed to the fridge and said some. She also brought a package of pretzel sticks & cheese to me pointed to it and said some. She has done it a few more times so I guess it's not just a fluke. I guess she has heard me say "do you want some juice, etc." enough times to associate some with what she wants.

I guess grandma was right. She predicted that as soon as we made the appointment to get her evaluated for a speech delay she would start talking on her own. I did get a call today letting me know that 2 of the therapists that I chose have accepted Sissy. The SC will send them the folders with Sissy's info and they will set up the appointments with me.
Hopefully we can get it all done soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Back to "Normal"

Since Kay's mom has passed and she has returned home things are beginning to get back to "normal" around our house. She was planning to stay to start the process of going through her mom's things but her dad is not ready for that to happen yet. She told him to just call her when he is ready and she will make the trip back up and stay as long as is necessary to get it all done. I am sure that it is very hard on him.

With normalcy returning the kids are settling back into their usual routines. One of these is fighting constantly. Jay loves his sisters, but he does not know when to leave them alone. Zee will scream and cry when he is trying to hold on to her and even with us telling him to let her go and leave her alone he will not stop. He spent 2 days with grandpa and it was so quite around the house. As soon as he returned her started picking on his sisters. School starts in less than 5 weeks and I cannot wait!

Samantha's Appointment

We finished with Samantha's intake appointment. We filled out all of the paperwork and picked some developmental & speech therapists. They will be contacting the ones that I chose and one from each category will be coming to evaluate Samantha. If she has at least a 30% delay, she will be eligible to receive services.

The service coordinator (that's what I was trying to come up with in the previous post) explained the process which is as follows:

  1. Referral -- Call made to EI by the parent, physician, etc.
  2. Assignment to a Service Coordinator (SC)
  3. Intake Appointment -- SC comes to child's home to gather all needed info & explain the process to the parent(s)/guardian(s). P/G selects therapists to evaluate their child in the areas that delays are suspected.
  4. Evaluations
  5. Reports from eval. sent to SC
  6. SC reviews reports and determines if services are needed.
  7. SC lets p/g know the results of the eval. & whether or not child qualifies for services.
  8. A IFSP meeting is done to determine what the goals are for the child's therapy. (This is very similar to the IEP we do each year for Jay's Special Ed. & Speech services at school.)
  9. Therapist(s) begin to see the child.
  10. Case review every 6-12 months.

I believe I got all steps in there. She also explained that there is a Family Fee that would need to be paid to help cover what insurance does not cover. I know that our insurance does not cover speech services, so I figured that we would have a large payment to make each month. Well I was wrong. The fee is based on your income. The monthly fees are $0, $10, $20, $30, $50, $70, $100, $150 & $200. It does say that families who are on Medicaid, KidCare or WIC, or whose income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty level are not required to pay a fee. Considering that the maximum monthly family fee for a family of 5 is for those whose income is over $144, 780 per year.

I am hoping that we can get the evaluations done next week. I would like to get things going before school starts. I will definitely post again once we have acheived the next step in the process.

Yah, Right Mom

This is the precise phrase that my 3 year old said to me yesterday evening. She is developing quite an attitude; she is 3 going on 15. This phrase I'm sure she either heard from her brother, cousin, day care friend or the TV.

It still amazes me on how quickly she picks up on things and uses them in the right context. Many kids will hear a phrase or word and use them incorrectly or with the wrong inflection. It's the opposite for Zee.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Head Lice - Round 2

After sending L home last week on Monday with head lice her mom decided to keep her home all week. She said that she wanted to make sure that she had gotten rid of all of the lice before sending her back over. I was very appreciative of this.

The problem is when she arrived this Monday I took her mom's word that she had gotten everything out of her hair. She told me that the lice was gone. About an hour and a half later she started scratching her head. I decided that it would be best to fully check her head. Guess what I found. You got it. She was not free of the "headlights" as she calls them. I spent about an hour and a half going through her hair pulling out nits. I found at least 2 dozen of them. I called her mom and her older sister came and picked her up.

Her mom said that she is embarrassed that I keep finding them in her hair. I feel sorry for what she is going through with all of this, but I really do not want to get an infestation at my house. I gathered up the few babies and stuffed animals that my girls had been playing with over the weekend and stashed them away in a trash bag. They joined the others in the basement. I vacuumed everywhere that I could. Sprayed the couch & chair with an aerosol spray that is for killing lice. I washed & dried all of the blankets & throws that I had around, including the ones out of Samantha's bed that L decided to take to use for the baby dolls.

She was free of any signs of lice on Tuesday, she stayed home today and we'll see if she is still nit free tomorrow. I sure hope so!! I am tired of treating the house, just in case.

18 Months

Sissy turned 18 months old this month. I cannot believe that my baby is a year and a half old already!! She went to the pediatrician last week for her check up. She is about average for her height and still below average for her weight. She was 23 lbs. & 31 1/2 in.

One of the things that the doctor said to me was "Tell me she is talking more." Unfortunately she is not. The Dr. L said that Sissy needs to have a speech therapist work with her. She wanted Sissy to get a referral for the program that services children under the age of 3 in our area. She had the receptionist call in a referral. I had already called one in, so they would not do anything further.

I finally talked to the case worker/manager (whatever her title is) late last week. I made sure to let her know that the pediatrician was very concerned as well. We have our intake appointment in the morning. That is the time that they come out and gather more info on the child & family. They also explain the whole process and schedule whatever screenings they feel are needed. I believe they do a developmental screening with all children and then also for whatever area(s) that their delay(s) are in. I hope that they get this process going quickly.

I almost forgot. Sissy started saying a new word. She says ball. It is not as clear as it should be, but it is progress. It brings her work count to 4. Momma, ball, see and either ada or da for Dad. I guess you can't really count ada & da as words, but those are the consistent sounds that she says when she means Dad.

I will definitely update later on how the process is going.

Monday, July 23, 2007

In Memoriam

Kay's mom Pattie lost her battle with brain cancer early yesterday morning. She was taken from this world too soon. She had so much more life to live. The silver lining to all of this is that she is no longer suffering.

Pattie we love you and we will miss you. Please watch over us until we join you in heaven.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Time to Laugh and a Time to Cry

I sent Kay a bill for her time that she was here. It totalled over $1400.00. She replied that the check was in the mail and she is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail. I told her that her stay here was going to be VERY expensive. I hope it gave her a good laugh. She needs it.

She told me today that her mom left notes for all of the kids. The ones to the boys said that they were her pride and joy. Kay's said that her mom was sorry for not getting her quilt done. I can imagine how sad that made her feel. When I read her email it made me cry. Kay said that she wished that mom had just once told her that she was proud of her. I quickly emailed her back and told her that I'm sure her mom is proud of her and that she loves her. I also told her that I was proud of her. She is a very strong woman and a great mother to her boys.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where Are The Bugs, Mommy?

That is the question that Zee has been asking constantly for the last day and a half. It is a result of her little friend, L (who I babysit), bringing along some uninvited guests. You guessed it Head Lice.

I have been trying everything that I can to prevent a lice infestation at my house. L ended up with lice last week. She had not been here that much last week and not at all the day that the lice were found, so I was not overly concerned. Plus, her mom said she only found 2 or 3 and I know how meticulous her mom is about treating everyone for lice. Her step-daughter has come to their house for her scheduled weekend many times with head lice. She has always been able to keep it contained to the one child and has been able to get rid of it fairly easily.

Well, I guess there is something different this time. L arrived at my house at about 8:30 and sat at the table to eat breakfast. She reached up to scratch her head, so I decided that it would probably be best to do a head check. I have done so many of these in my years of working in daycare that I know exactly what to look for. I found one louse (singular form of lice) and 2 nits. At that point I stopped looking. It was more than enough for me to decide to send her right back home.

I had to take Jay to his summer day camp or he was going to miss his field trip. I very reluctantly loaded everyone in the van and headed across town to drop Jay off. While on the way there I called L's mom. I let her know what I had found and told her that I could drop her off at home. L's teenage sister was at home, so I dropped her off there. I them came home and started vacuuming like crazy. I went and bout spray for the van and the couch. I bagged up all dolls and stuffed animals and took them downstairs for their 2 weeks of isolation.

As a preventative I bought coconut scented shampoo for everyone to use. I have read that lice do not like the smell of coconut. If anyone has any other suggestions of how to prevent head lice I would greatly appreciate them. Also, any suggestions of how to get rid of head lice that I can pass on to L's mom would also be appreciated. Just leave any of these as comments.

Kay is Heading Home

Kay called me on Sunday to say that her mom is doing better. She is more alert and is again taking liquids and some nourishment. There are alot of things that she needs to do at home, so she has made the decision to go home for awhile. She has lots of things to get done at home. She said that they left in such a hurry that she wasn't able to get everything done that she should have. Also she is wanting to start preparing her lessons for the boys' upcoming school year. She usually starts in early to mid August.

She said that the family was given some literature on the dying process. Her mom is following the process almost to the letter. Kay said that they believe one reason her mom was not taking in nourishment was due to the fever that she had for a few days. They say that running a fever during the process is normal. It is basically one of the stages of dying. Kay feels confident that her mom will be with us for awhile longer. She had originally planned to stay in town until her mom passed, but that seems to be further in the future than we had first thought.

Kay plans to come back afterwards and help go through all of her mom's things. Her mom was an avid crafter. She has TONS of craft supplies, finished projects and unfinished projects. Kay was asked to catalog, write descriptions and photograph each item so that her brother would be able to post them to a web site to sell them. This will take quite some time on her part. Her dad also wants her to research the retail cost of each item, so that they can price them correctly to get at least half of the regular retail on each item. Kay was telling me yesterday that she found a bag of misc. yarns that don't really have any specific info on them. She was saying how hard it would be to research the value of these items. My suggestion was to just keep them together as a grab bag or mystery lot of yarn and pick a price for it.

Personally, I think that the men in Kay's family are expecting her to do too much. I have volunteered to assist as well to help lessen her burden. She wanted to get started on the process while she was there this past week, but her dad did not want her to do that yet. I guess he doesn't want to see his wife's stuff leaving until she is actually gone.

So if any of you are interested in buying some craft supplies I can give you the information of where to find them once the family is ready to start selling.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bathroom Update

I went and bought a new gallon of paint yesterday. The color that we were planning to use in the bathroom ended up being way too dark once it was on the walls. I choose another light shade of purple. I wanted to go with something completely different from what I have in any of the other rooms.

I put the first coat on most of the bathroom this morning and had to wait 4 hours before re-coating. While I was painting the first time B was upstairs trying to replace some of the parts in the tank of the toilet up there. That particular toilet was in the house when we bought it and was in ok shape, so we left it. I have no way of knowing just how old that toilet is, but I do know that it is not one of the water saving varieties. Well, B was having some major difficulties with parts being too corroded that they did not want to come apart. I suggested that maybe it was time to go ahead and replace that toilet. B agreed, so we went off to the local home improvement store and brought home a nice new toilet.

Knowing that I was not happy about having 2 toilets out of commission he kept telling me we still have one working toilet. After getting that toilet installed I went to put on the second coat of paint. I decided that since we were taking things apart upstairs that we might as well replace the faucet as well. I got one for free that was new in the box as a left over yard sale item. B was having some trouble getting this task taken care of in the confines of the vanity so I finished it up for him. B is not the most handy person, but he is getting a little better.

I am not the most handy person, but I am more so than he is. I remember when we were first dating her needed to replace the wheel bearings on his car. His dad tried to help him as well, but I was the one who ended up doing most of the repair. My dad and brother always did all of the repairs on our cars and I often was needed to assist. Dad also did almost all of the repairs around the house as well. Another example was two years ago when we had only a few days left to get the car's emission test done before facing the possibility of a revoked license. The car needed and EGR valve replaced to pass the test. I was pregnant with Sissy at the time and I believe it was November or December (Sissy was born in mid January). B was having alot of trouble getting to the parts that needed to be worked on in the tight confines of the car's engine compartment. His dad also tried to help, but had difficulties as well. I have somewhat smaller hands and ended up again doing the majority of the work. That is a prime example of what a pregnant woman can do. I hate it when women say they can't do anything because they are pregnant. If there are complications and the doctor put restrictions their activity, fine I understand. But when the doctor doesn't give activity restrictions you can do just about anything that you were able to
do pre-pregnancy. This really pisses me off. I have worked with too many women like this. OK, I will get off my soapbox now.

We also got the toilet put back in the front bathroom. All I have to do is finish the painting in there. I was going to do it tonight, but I decided to relax for awhile. I can always finish it tomorrow. I will then be putting a cute butterfly wall paper boarder up in a few days. I also need to get my house back in order. With all of these repairs projects going on I have been neglecting the house cleaning a bit. I am sure that Kay will need to send the boys over again before long. So far her mom is still hanging in there. I haven't heard from her since Friday morning, so I figure that no news is good news.

Kids and Their Pranks

As I am typing this I am waiting for tonight's prank to occur. The last 2 nights I have had a knock on the door and items left in the mailbox or on the front step. Each of these happened between 10:15 & 10:25.

On Thursday night there was a small knock on the storm door at 10:15. I was not fully dressed. I was getting ready to go take a shower, so I decided to ignore the knock. I figured it was a kid due to the lightness of the knock. An adult would have had a louder harder knock. Friday morning when I was checking to see if the mail had arrived yet, I found a note. It said "I Love U Jay. From Ashley". We teased Jay about having a girlfriend, not knowing what Friday night would bring.

Friday night at about 10:25 I was on the phone talking to my brother and trying to get the bathroom painted. I happened to be in the kitchen and heard something hit the glass on the front door. If something hit the glass that meant that the storm door had been opened. I went to the front door, flipped on the front light and looked outside. The storm door was wide open and on the front step was a white plastic Walmart bag. I decided to just leave it sitting there until morning when I could get a better look at what it was. In retrospect, the dog had been barking prior to all of this happening and I just thought she was barking at a cat or something. I guess I will take her barking a bit more seriously from now on.

She was barking just a few minutes ago, so I got ready to take action. I have a flashlight with brand new batteries in it and my cell phone ready. If there is another incident tonight I am prepared to have the local law enforcement get involved. I believe all of these things are coming from the kids who live two houses down from us. One of those girls is named Ashley. My brother wanted me to call the police last night. I decided to wait and see if this was going to become a nightly thing. He argued with me and said that before long we might have a flaming bag on the doorstep that could catch the whole house on fire. I would hope that these kids wouldn't do something like that, but it is a possibility of something that could happen.

I know when we were kids the worst thing that I participated in was TPing a house or two. I think we may have also soaped a few car windows.

Oh, BTW, the bag that was left on the step contains something stinky. I did not open it to see exactly what. I carefully moved it this morning when I went out to get the newspaper. I left it out there but a bit away from the steps. I did this so that if something happened tonight and I called the Police I could show them exactly what was left on my doorstep the previous night.

I wonder if the pranksters will make an appearance tonight. It is currently 10:30 and so far nothing has happened that I know of. My fear is that all of this will next be directed at our vehicles or the dog. She is usually left outside. I want her out there right now, so that if these kids return, she will very likely will warn me that they are around by barking. The only problem with that tonight is the neighbor in between our two houses is dog-sitting again for his daughter. When that dog is in his back yard Jasmine and that dog bark at each other.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sissy's Speech Issues

All of my posts lately have been so focused on other matters I almost forgot to post about Sissy and her speech issues. I have made the decision to finally make the call to have her evaluated for a speech delay.

She will be 18 months old next week and her vocabulary consists of mom/momma, ada (this means dad), see (she uses this for everything. ie: when she wants a drink or something to eat, when she needs anything, when she finds things.) She has said what somewhat sounded like "juice" a time or two as well as something that kind of resembled "that" (it sounds more like "at".)

I have been told that the first thing that will probably be asked of us is: Has she had her hearing checked? I have not done this, due to the fact that I know her hearing is fine. I was in the living room one day and said something to Zee about going bye-bye. Sissy was in the playroom, which is 2 rooms away. She came running in the room, grabbed her shoes and wanted them on so that she could go too. Once I have the appointment set and have her evaluated I will definitely post about the results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Company Update

Things have somewhat calmed down around here. Kay and her boys stayed at her parent's house last night. She did bring them over for about 2 hours. She wanted to see her mom and she took her grandma (mom's mom) with her.

You would think that taking care of an additional 5 kids would be tough, but it really hasn't been. I guess all of my years of experience working at day cares has really helped. The only real problem I had today was with the 2 oldest boys, Jay being one of them. They were throwing toys, choking others and biting others. This is not behavior that I will tolerate from kids, especially from a 9 & 11 year old. It really infuriated me when I heard that the 9 year old was biting. I hate it when Sissy bites and she isn't quite 18 months. As part of his punishment he was told that he was not going to be allowed to spend the night here tonight.

I can't remember if I had said in a previous post that B decided to replace the flooring in one of the bathrooms. He thought that we would have it done by Sunday night. When I say "we" I mean his parents. They are the ones who did all of the work, with the exception of removing the toilet.

Well.....We just got the vinyl laid yesterday evening. I tried to paint the area that will be behind the toilet this afternoon. I figured that I would get it painted before putting the toilet back, especially considering how small of a room it is. I have a can of light purple paint that I thought would be great in that room. The color is so pretty in the can, but once it was on the wall it dried very dark in comparison. I borrowed a can of primer from the in-laws and have put one coat over the purple. When I finish with this post I will put a second coat and hopefully get to paint in there tomorrow morning. I really would like to have the toilet working again. B always decides to do these projects at the worse times and they never go as smoothly as they should. Oh well. I guess I should be used to that by now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One Hell of a Start to My Week

My day started out with a phone call at 7:20. It was Kay letting me know that she was about 200 miles away and was heading back to my way. She had gotten a call Sunday night that her mom had taken a turn for the worse. She was wanting to come back and spend some time with her mom and help her dad with some things. She wanted to stay here for a few nights as well as spending some at her parents' house.

She arrived at around 12:10 in the afternoon. I had to pick Jay up at 2 from day camp. After I got back she left the boys with me so that she could go see her mom. She arrived back at around 7:30. We got the kids ready for bed and cleaned up the dinner mess. B went to bed at 10 something and Kay and I stayed up talking. We finally went to bed around 4 or 4:30. Two of Kay's boys woke up shortly thereafter, but she was able to get them back to sleep for a bit. I was up for the day at about 7:30. Needless to say, I was dragging all day long today. I really should have gone to bed already, but I wanted to check emails and do some blog writing.

Over all the boys have been pretty well behaved. They tried testing me to see what they were able to get away with. I laid down the law right away and they decided that they had better follow the rules.

Now on to Kay's mom. On Sat. she was alert and recognized her husband, but not her kids. By Sunday she was did not recognize anyone and became unresponsive. She also was not eating or drinking anything. The family has been told that with her not taking in nourishment she will be gone in 2 to 14 days. I believe that today is day 3. It seems a cruel way for someone to die. She is essentially starving to death, but these were her wishes. She had stated that if she got to the point that she had no chance of recovery, she did not want any artificial means of support, including a feeding tube. But if that is her wish, I can respect her wishes.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Kid Free Weekend Postponed

I'm sure this does not come as a surprise. Kay and I have postponed our weekend out to a yet to be determined later date. It will all depends on what happens with her mom and how much help her dad needs after the fact. I'm sure Kay will need some time away after her mom dies even more than before. (It seems so callous to talk about her mom's impending death. We know that it is coming and we are not expecting a miracle recovery. I know that miracles happen, but I'm not counting on one. God's Will will be done.)

I know Kay loves her family, but she really needs, no I think deserves is a better word, a break. Her husband travels with his job, so 80-90% of the time she is essentially a single parent. She is a stay at home mom with 5 boys and she home schools them. I have to say that she is a better woman that I am. I don't think that I would be able to handle all of that.

We will get our weekend sometime. It might be several months down the road, but that's OK.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Kay called me this morning. At that point she had not decided whether or not to stay beyond Sunday. In addition to the 5 boys she had the 2 dogs in tow as well. Jasmine would not be very happy if she had to share her territory with 2 other dogs.

Kay's plan was to see her mom and then talk to her dad to see if there was anything that she could be of help with in the coming week. If he didn't need help with anything she would go home Sunday as originally planned. She called me back a few hours ago and let me know that she was indeed heading for home in the morning.

They all got to see her mom and had a chance to say their goodbyes. Her mom didn't recognize any of them though. I'm sure she is being heavily medicated and I'm sure the size or placement of the tumor is also having an effect on her memory & other cognitive abilities. Kay is somewhat resentful of her dad for not letting her come visit sooner. She wanted to come for a visit as soon as her mom was diagnosed. Her dad thought it was best for everyone to stay away while her mom was dealing with recovering from surgery and the effects of chemo and radiation treatments. Her mom had said that she didn't want people seeing her in that way.

I pointed out to Kay that she shouldn't hold it against her dad. He was in some respects abiding by her mom's wishes by keeping everyone away. Plus, nobody knew that things were going to turn out this way. Everyone was operating under the assumption that the doctors were right. That her mom was going to live another 2 years or longer.

Today Kay has come to the conclusion that her mom will be gone very soon. I hate to say it, but I hope Kay is right. I don't want her mom to suffer. It is horrible when people linger for a long time suffering. If it were my mom, I would rather see her go quickly than see her suffering for a long time. I just cannot imagine what Kay is going through. She has been her normal upbeat self when I've talked to her. I would be a basket case if I were in her shoes.

Kay will be coming back sometime to help go through all of her mom's things. At that time she will probably be staying with us. She said that she can probably swing a hotel room for a night or two. I told her that is not at all necessary. Why go through that expense if you don't have to. It might be quite crazy at times with all of the kids, but we will survive. Let's just hope that when they come I'm not premenstrual. I actually think I need to get on that new birth control that they keep advertising on TV. Well, that story is a good topic for a later post.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I have come to that conclusion after I offered to let Kay and her 5 boys (age 1-9) stay at my house anytime they want to. I want her to have as much time as possible with her mom. B is not happy about the offer, but he'll get over it.

If we lived hundreds of miles away and one of our parents was terminally ill, I would be very thankful if someone made the same offer. But B doesn't see it that way. He doesn't think of anyone but himself alot of the time. I guess it has to do with being the youngest and having such a large age span between him & his brother.

Kay and her immediate family are getting together this weekend. Kay, her husband, and the kids will be staying at a hotel for the weekend. Her husband has to travel to the East coast for his job assignment Monday. She is thinking about having him catch a flight out of STL that way she and the boys can stay for at least a portion of the week. She was supposed to call me this morning, but I have not heard form her yet and it is after 2 her time. I am planning things as if they are coming to stay, that way I am prepared. If she decides not to stay she might want to a week or two down the road.

Well if they come, it will be quite chaotic here with 8 kids running around. I hope that we all come out of the experience with our sanity intact. I will try if I can to post how things are going while they are here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cancer SUCKS!!!!!

Just to recap what I wrote a few weeks ago. My best friend, Kay, is dealing with her mother's battle with brain cancer. Her mom had surgery to remove the tumor and was given a pretty positive prognosis. The tumor was not as bad as they had first suspected and gave her a prognosis of 2-3 years with radiation & chemo. They also said that it might be possible for her to get 5 years or more. Well, all that has changed.

I just received word that Kay's mom is not doing very well. She was taken to the ER on Monday with a suspected UT infection. She was transferred to the larger hospital where she has been receiving her cancer treatments. They did multiple tests, including an MRI. The brain tumor that she had had removed is back and larger than ever.

The doctors say that radiation and chemo are pointless. With the rapid progression of the cancer it is just a matter of time. They have given her only a few weeks. Arrangements are being made for hospice care. The family (Kay & her brothers and their families) usually gets together over the 4th of July every year. They had postponed this get together until Labor Day weekend knowing that mom would just be starting out with her treatments. They are now making arrangements to have the get together ASAP.

It just seems so unfair. They were so positive after her surgery and now everything has gotten so much worse. All I can really say about this is CANCER SUCKS!!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Not Got Pimples

This evening I was sitting on the couch and Zee climbed up on my lap. She started poking on my checks, so I did the same to her. She looked at me and said, "I not got pimples." I asked her who did, to which she replied, "That boy." I asked her were she learned about pimples and she told me on TV.

I never thought that my daughter, who turned 3 in March, would be talking about pimples at this age. I'm going to have my hands full with this one. There are times that I think she's too smart for her own good.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away....

The guys left Friday night. Zee did not get to go. Grandpa didn't really want her to go, so she went camping with my parents instead. My mom took her Wed. evening and I picked her up Sat. afternoon. She told me at one point that she was camping all summer.

Once Zee came home she and Sissy have been fighting like cats & dogs. If Zee is sitting in a chair Sissy thinks she needs to be on that particular chair. That's just one example of what's been going on. I have a new appreciation for what single parents go through. B is not the most helpful when it comes to the kids, but I can occasionally leave the kids with him and do something. Even if it is as simple as him taking the kids upstairs while I do the dishes it helps.

I will finally get my break away from the kids next month. My best friend will be flying in on a Friday and leaving on a Monday. She's getting a hotel room and the two of us will be spending a glorious kid free weekend there. I hope to get tickets to a comedy club and a musical for Fri & Sat nights. During the day we will go shopping, sight seeing or whatever we want. I am SO looking forward to this.

The last time I got any time away was an overnight trip for a bowling tournament. That was over 5 years ago. Jay was 6 and we had finally gotten pregnant again. We told everyone and within a week I had a miscarriage. That was just a few days before I was scheduled to leave for the tournament. B wasn't happy that I was going, so we were fighting as well. Needless to say, it was not a very enjoyable trip.

B is not happy that I am having my weekend away, but I don't care. I need a break. He does not realize what I go through on a daily basis.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Crazy Summer Days

I know that I have been neglecting my blog lately. Summer has hit and I have even less time to get everything done. The kids are keeping me on the go.

Jay started summer day camp last week. He goes M,W,F from 9am-2pm. I have to drop him off and pick him up each day. When he's in school, we are so close to the school that he walks to and from there each day. Zee has been attending day care on Tuesdays. I usually drop her off around 9am & either pick her up by 12:30 or grandma drops her off around 12:45.

I am still babysitting 4 days a week. I am also trying to get things together for me to finally finish my degree at the end of the fall semester. I had another yard sale, well actually 2.

A friend of mine wanted to have one at her house on Thursday. We scrambled to put things together in about 2 days. It was so HOT that day and we only made a total of less than $5. After seeing in the paper that someone down the block from me was having a yard sale on Sat., I decided to take advantage of their advertising and had a sale at my house too. We live on a one-way street, so anyone who went to their sale had to drive past my house when they left. Jay had a lemonade stand and make about $6. I made about $100. My friend had some of her stuff here and made only $6.25, $2 of which was stuff that I had bought of hers.

I am trying to help get things gathered for a benefit yard sale that my work does every summer. We will be having it on the 30th of this month. This year all proceeds will go to local food pantries. I have been going through my stuff and donated several trash bags & boxes full of stuff that was left over from my sale. I still have ALOT of stuff that I want to try to sell before getting rid of it. I have winter clothes that I figure people might be looking at yard sales for closer to Sept. I will have another sale then. Hopefully I can get my mom motivated enough to get some things gathered to sell.

I hope that we can get things calmed down a bit, so that I can get things caught back up. The house is a mess from the boxes of yard sale stuff. I'm trying to clean out the basement too. I guess I'll have to be happy with baby steps. It is impossible to do everything in one day. Maybe I can get some things accomplished when Jay is gone on vacation with his grandpa. B might also be going and he said that he was thinking of taking Zee as well. He needs to hurry up and decide because they are planning to leave either late Friday afternoon or early Sat. morning. I need some time to get everything ready for whoever is going.

My question is, when does mom get a vaction???

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some Good, Some Bad

My best friend's mom saw her oncologist last week. She will begin having chemotherapy & radiation treatments soon. The doctor also believes that she could have 5 years maybe more if the treatments are successful. One a less positive note, as a result of the tumor and/or surgery to remove it she has experienced some loss of cognitive ability. The doctor has assured her that with some work she will be able to relearn the things that she has lost.

The problem is that she is currently very depressed and in the "Poor Me" mode. You have to understand that this women is a VERY stubborn and strong willed person. Once she decides that she going to do something she does not give up until the task is completed. I just wish I knew of a way to get her motivated. I told my friend about my FIL who had a non-cancerous brain tumor over 20 years ago. He is now legally deaf, one side of his face is paralysed and he is almost blind in the eye on that side. He has over come these obstacles and continues to lead a very productive life.

Bug Bites

On Friday night we all went for one of our "short" walks that end up taking us all over town. Sissy and Zee each ride in a stroller. We've found that it's easier to take 2 instead of the double stroller. It's difficult to get the big stroller up and down off of the curbs.

While we were walking Sissy received several mosquito bites. When she woke up Sat. morning she had one, or at least what I thought was a mosquito bite, on the top of her left hand. Her had was a bit red, but that was about it. By that afternoon her had and 3 of her fingers were swollen. My mom thought that it might have been a spider bite instead.

I'm wondering if she has an allergic reaction to the mosquito bites, because whenever she gets bit they get big & red. She has had one other bite, that again I thought was from a mosquito, that got big & ugly looking king of like this one.

Thankfully her hand looks much more normal today. I guess I need to make sure that I put insect repellent on her when she will be outside.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Biting...Help Needed

We are having a major problem with Sissy. She has decided that the best way to communicate is through biting. Zee has a large bruise on her leg from where Sissy bit her the other day.

Zee has bitten her back on occasion, but it doesn't seem to stop her. If I send her to day care, like I plan to in a few months, I'm afraid that she will be kicked out for biting. I know with her lack of vocabulary she can't express exactly what she want to, but this is getting to be too much. Any advice would be appreciated.

Friday, June 8, 2007

What a cute boy......NOT!!!

Well, we did it again. Much to the grandmas' dismay we had Sissy's ears pierced. She's 2 months older than Zee was when she had hers pierced.

B took Zee when she was 14 mos. old had did it. He was tired of our almost bald baby girl, who was often dressed in pink and/or a dress, being called a boy. We have had the same problem with Sissy. Although she does have a bit more hair than her sister did, it's still quite short and I guess a little boyish looking. I had her in a dress one day and she was called a boy by 3 people!!! I know the dress was a pale blue, but COME ON, it was a DRESS with FLOWERS ALL OVER IT!!! Are people just stupid or what????

If I am unsure of the child's gender I always either say "What a cute BABY." or ask questions that the parent might respond with a he or she. When you see a child in a dress, wearing pink, or with flowers all over the outfit I think it's safe to assume that you are looking at a GIRL.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sick Babies

I have been dealing with sick babies since Friday. 3 of them to be exact: Zee, Sissy & my husband. Zee must've brought home a virus from day care. She has been attending a small family run day care center one morning a week. They've sent several kids home with fevers lately.

Zee had a fever for about 24-36 hours. B was home sick from work Mon & Tues. (Wouldn't it be nice to be able to call in sick??? When I'm sick I still have to do all of my regular duties, regardless of how bad I feel. It can be hell for us stay at home moms when we are not feeling well. ) He said he had a fever and just felt achy. Sissy has had the worst of it.

Sissy started running a fever sometime Sat. It went as high as 103.5. She was still running about 100.2 yesterday. I think it is finally gone today. She has been crabby and EXTREMELY clingy. I can't hardly get anything done. (Right now she is sitting in the living room with a bottle watching her sister play with her Barbie computer.) We have not been sleeping well. I have gotten about 4 hours of sleep each night for the last week. And those 4 hours are not 4 hours straight. It's come in the form of 10 -60 minute stretches with anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours awake in between.

I have spent alot of time cleaning up vomit too. I have washed one blanket everyday for the last 3 days. For whatever reason the virus that Zee had has hit Sissy full force. The Dr. said that it usually takes 3-7 days to run it's course, sometimes it takes 10 days!!! We are on day 6 with no end in sight. I hope it ends SOON. I can't take much more!!!!

Yard Sales

I LOVE yard sales. I get alot of the kids' clothes at yard sales. It is the best way to get alot of clothes for very little money. I often find outfits that are in great condition for less than $2.00. I admit it. I am cheap when it comes to many things. I will not spend more than about $2 for an outfit unless it is new, in like new condition, and/or so cute that I have to have it. I love the sales that most items are a quarter or maybe 50 cents. I do not budget in any money for the kids clothes each month, because I know that I will get tons at yard sales in the summer. The only one that I have trouble finding for is Jay. He is at that age where boys usually wear out their clothes before they outgrow them. His grandma does alot of shopping for him, so I don't usually have to worry about getting much of his clothes.

Having your own yard sale in ALOT of work!!! I had one with my MIL last Sat. That is part of the reason I have not posted in a while. I have to say that it was worth all of the work. I made about $300!!!! I mainly sold baby clothes, equipment & toys. I will be having at least one more sale this summer. We are all done having babies, so all of the baby and kid clothes that the kids have outgrown or won't wear are going bye-bye. I have also gone through the toys & books and weeded out what the kids don't use. I am hoping to make about the same at the next sale, but I'm not holding my breath. About $80 was from one person. She bought all of the baby girl clothes that I had as well as other items.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thank You to All Who Have Served

I wanted to make sure that I posted this THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served in our country's military. Many people see Memorial Day as nothing more than a day off of work and/or school.

My father and grandfather both served in the military during war times. My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII. The ship that he was on sunk. He was one of the lucky ones who survived. My father was drafted during the Vietnam War and served in the Army. Near the end of his tour of duty he was shot by enemy fire. He did not suffer life threatening injuries, but sustained injuries that were severe enough to end his military career.

When my grandfather, who voluntarily joined the service, return from war he was seen as a hero. My father on the other hand was a draftee and was called a baby killer and worse, treated as a murdered, not accepted into veteran organization, and treated badly by much of the general population just because he did his duty and served his country when he was called upon to do so.

We may not agree with the politics behind the war, but we need to treat our military men and women with all due respect. They are doing their job. If it were not for the military we would not be living in the world that we do. Who knows how bad our lives would be. We have more freedoms than most countries and take it for granted.

Alright, I will get off of my soapbox.

Again, THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served and are serving now. We also need to remember those who have given their lives as well as the family members left behind.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kids & Dog

I grew up with dogs as pets. Our first dog, P, we got as a puppy when I was one year old. This dog was not very nice. She was not at all good with kids. She used to bite us & break the skin. Despite this my parents kept her. I never really liked this particular animal.

I have been facing a similar situation with my own kids. We have a small wire hair terrier mix (J). We talked about getting another dog & ended up getting R, a beagle terrier mix puppy, without really thinking it through. I know that puppies are not perfect, but R decided that whenever Sissy was around that it was a good thing to bite, jump on or lick her. R most frequently would use Sissy as a chew toy. Now Sissy isn't much of a talker, but it often sounded as if she was telling R to "get". Sissy did not like to be outside playing if R was around. I decided that I could not have my baby being bit all the time and also chance that she would become afraid of dogs.

So, I made the decision to offer her free to a good home. Well I had a few responses to my ads and I was completely honest about what type of behaviors we were experiencing with her. I would rather keep her and try to change the behaviors than to send her to a new home that would not be a good place for her. Finally there was a couple who has 2 dogs already that was wanting to meet R. I took her to meet them and they wanted to think it over. They also asked lots of questions. It made me feel better that they were asking these things and that they were not rushing into their decision.

Well, they ended up wanting R, but wanted to wait until today to get her. I met up with them this morning and handed R over to them. They have assured me that they will send pics & updates via email. The only problem is that I have not told the kids that she's gone.

Jay has spent the weekend with my in-laws, so he hasn't been around to notice. When he comes home in the morning I'll have to handle his questions. Zee wanted J to come inside today. She has not seemed to notice that R was not around today. Sissy on the other hand is too little to really have a negative reaction to this change, although I'm sure she will be happy to no longer be a chew toy.

I want my kids to have a pet that they are completely comfortable with. J is really good with the girls, but she sometimes nips Jay. I can live with this, because it is just her warning to him to leave her alone. She has never gotten him hard enough to break the skin and it is always when he tries to pick her up. I hope that I made the right decision and that the kids will be ok with it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Some Good News

I have gotten an update on my friend's mom. Although her tumor is indeed cancerous, they have determined that it is not as bad as first thought. She has had surgery and will be doing chemotherapy. They are now saying that she has 2-3 years. This is such a relief after hearing the initial prognosis.

Thank you to all who have sent positive thoughts and prayers their way!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sleep?? What's that????

I have a 16 month old baby who must think that she is a newborn. I cannot get more than 5 hours of sleep at a time out of Sissy. She has been going to bed between 8 & 9 and she wakes up the first time between 10:30 & 2:30 EVERY NIGHT!!!!

There are many nights that I just stay up thinking that as soon as I get comfy & fall asleep, she will wake up screaming. I have been trying to soothe her back to sleep while she is still in her bed. This only works some of the time. I have also resorted to the BIG NO NO of giving her a bottle in bed. I know that I probably should just leave her in her bed and let her cry it out, but I hate to since she shares a room with Zee. I want Sissy to learn to put herself back to sleep, but not at her sister's expense. If anyone has any suggestion, I am willing to listen to them.

Last night she woke up at about 10:30 and I was able to get her back to sleep by patting her back and giving her a bottle. She then woke again at 4:30 and decided that it was time to play. I finally got her to go back to sleep about 2 hours later, which gave me a 30 minute nap before I needed to get up. I usually get up by 7 to get Jay up and off to school. Zee was downstairs at about 7:45 so that was the end of Sissy's sleeping. Sissy is also refusing to nap more than 30 minutes a day this week.

With Sissy's behavior (In addition to not sleeping she just isn't quite herself.) I am almost thinking that I need to take her to the doctor. I wonder if her ears are bothering her. She has been poking at & pulling on them this week. I don't know if it's a boredom buster or if it's because they hurt. I guess I'll wait and see how things go tonight before I make my final decision.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Too Smart for Pre-school?????

Last week I took Zee for a pre-school screening at our school district. They have begun the 3 rounds of screenings to see which kids qualify to attend preschool in the fall. The kids that have the greatest deficits in age appropriate development are given preference when they begin filling the available spaces.

Well, my normally quiet & shy little girl (in new situations, NOT at home. LOL!!) talked up a storm. She participated fully in all but the gross motor activities. I believe that the 2 boys that were there also were getting a bit too rambunctious for her. The teacher asked her name about 3-5 minutes after we arrived and she didn't hesitate to answer. Then she was asked who brought her. Zee responded, "My Mommy. My Daddy's at work." She also was working a puzzle and correctly named all of the colors on it (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, brown, & black). In some areas she did much better than the other kids in her group. All of the other kids will be turning 5 by the end of November and Zee just turned 3 in March.

They score the kids in about 5 categories. A zero means the child meets or exceeds age appropriate development in that area. Zee scored a ONE as her total score!!!! She got that in the area of social development. They also put a note in her paperwork that she has some speech issues at this time that are not a problem. If they still exist when she is closer to 4, she will need to receive speech services which would make her eligible for the pre-school program.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Do you have peanuts????

This is a question that Zee has been asking everyone lately.

She asked my mom yesterday. Grandma told her "no" and them asked Zee if she had peanuts. Zee responded that she doesn't have peanuts, she's not a bubby (this is what she calls her brother).

You may have figured it out by now that she is referring to the boy parts. Isn't it funny what names kids come up with for things????

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Video

You know your kid isn't going to be a kid much longer when they watch The Video at school. Soon they will be even moodier and going through the change.

I had to sign a permission slip for Jay to watch The Video with the other boys and a male teacher, since it would be less awkward than having the school nurse, who is a woman, there. When I was in school they didn't have a choice. We didn't have any male teachers, so the boys had to deal with our regular classroom teacher telling them about all of the changes that occur with puberty. We had several sessions about it and no videos to watch. If we had had anything it most likely would've been a film strip, not a video. I went to a small parochial school, so in the mid 80's we did not have a VCR.

Jay was so funny when he came home today. He told me that the teacher, one from the Junior High, shook their hands and asked them to introduce themselves. He also brought home a deodorant sample of which he was very proud of. He informed me that it was the gel kind not the white kind. The teacher told the boys that he prefers the gel kind because it doesn't stick to his hair under his arm as much. He looked at me as if he wanted to know what my opinion was. I let Jay know that this was a personal preference and he'd have to ask his dad what he thought about the subject.

The funniest thing was when he said that he learned that girls don't like sweaty, smelly boys. Maybe this will be the thing that gets him to start taking showers on his own without being told to do so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Live Today As If It Were Your Last.....

There have been several things that have happened in the last few years that have really made me fully believe in the title of this post. My husband's uncle was killed in a motorcycle accident and less than a year later his wife died unexpectedly. They left behind a grown child as well as a teenage daughter. A few years ago my mom, who is rarely sick, needed to have a hysterectomy. The doctors had told her that the problems she was having 98% of the time turned out to be cancer. She was in the lucky 2%. It really puts things in perspective when you find out that you might be loosing your mom.

This is exactly what my best friend is dealing with right now. She let me know today that the doctor has given her mom 8-10 weeks to live if she does not have surgery. They believe that the tumor she has is cancerous. If she does have surgery and goes through chemo, they are giving her 12-18 months. Her mom has said that she will not go through another surgery. I guess we will just have to wait and see what she decides to do.

Again, please, please pray that the family has the strength to get through this difficult time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

First of all, I hope all of the moms had a Wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Here's what my day consisted of

  • Breakfast with the in-laws
  • Car trip to the campgrounds to pick up the kids (Jay, Zee & my niece spent the weekend camping with my parents)
  • Loaded 4 kids in the van and then discovered that a tire was going flat.
  • Unloaded the kids and changed the tire (B actually did this)
  • Found a nail in the tire
  • Went to the tire shop to get the tire fixed (Luckily they were not very busy, so we were there less than an hour.)
  • Went to work
  • Ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (Not my first choice, but it was good.)
  • Walked around Target to kill time before dropping off my niece
  • Dropped off my niece
  • Took the kids bowling
  • Got home just to leave again
  • Went for a LONG walk
  • Gave the girls a bath
  • Took a shower
  • Went to bed

It was not the best day, but it was a good one. I shouldn't complain. My best friend did not have a very good weekend. She found on Friday out that her mom in having some serious health problems which will likely require surgery. The problem with this is that she said she will never have another surgery. She goes back to the doctor today to discuss treatment options. In addition to all of this they received a call that her mom's brother was killed in a motor vehicle accident yesterday morning.

I have a favor to ask of anyone who is reading this to please send good thoughts and/or prayers their way. I am trying to be positive, but I am also waiting for the third thing to happen. I believe that things like this happen either as an isolated single occurrence or in sets of 3.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fear of Storms

We had a thunderstorm roll through our area this afternoon. Zee heard the thunder and would say, "Oh! What's that?" When she realized that it was a storm, she kept telling me all about how the lights when out "yesterday". (You need to understand that to Zee anything in the past happened either "yesterday" or "two weeks ago". Most recently she has begun saying things happened "last year". Young children's concept of time is so interesting.) At least today she did not run through the house screaming and saying "I'm scared" each time she heard the thunder.

Jay walked the two blocks home from school just as the rain started. Once he was inside he came to me, just about in tears, and asked if I had seen anything on the news about tornadoes. I assured him that we were not expecting a tornado out of this storm, just rain. He was relieved, but not totally at ease. He then went to his room to begin his homework. A short time later he came and asked if I wanted the dogs brought inside. About 10 minutes later he came to me and said the lights in the bathroom and his room kept flickering and he thought we were going to lose power. Thankfully Sissy napped through it all.

We lost power about 2 weeks ago (Yes, actually 2 weeks, not Zee's 2 weeks) when we had some pretty strong thunderstorms in our area. I believe that a transformer was struck by lightning. About 500 residences and businesses were without power for about 3 hours. During that outage the kids kept talking about the storm that we had had last summer that left us without power for 5 days. Luckily we have family close by, so we were able to stay with them.

I cannot believe how scared my kids are of thunderstorms. I have never made a big deal about or shown any fear of storms. Living in the Midwest we are prone to lots of thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes. Right now were are dealing with flooding as well. I bet that as soon as Jay sees that on TV he'll be worried about our house getting flooded. We are close to the Mississippi River, but not so near that we would get flooded.

It seems unreasonable for them to be so afraid of storms. It's not like we have experienced any devastating storms in our area or had any injuries due to storms. I had a elderly neighbor when I was a teenager who would ask me to come over and sit with her when we were having any thunderstorms and she was home alone. I would gladly agree, because she had a legitimate fear of storms. When she was a very young child her mother was struck by lightning and died as a result. My kids' worst storm experience was last summer when we had massive wind storms, which caused LOTS of trees to fall and the major power outages. I hope they grow out of it!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Welcome to My World

For as long as I can remember the two things I wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher and a mom. I used to be and will probably again be a preschool teacher. I am the mother of 3 children, well 4 if you count my husband.

I became a stay at home mom after my second child was born. It just was not economically feasible for me to go back to work. After all of my expenses I would've been making about $40 a month, that is if I got all of my scheduled hours. Working in child care there are times that when numbers go down you go home early (plus child care does not pay that well either) or if the baby's sick you have to stay home. With those two scenarios I could've potentially been in debt each month. I found a few part time jobs to help compensate for a portion of the income that I had once contributed to the family. It has been wonderful being able to be at home with the kids. I have been able to be home when the oldest gets out of school and we can start right away on homework. I was also able to breastfeed the youngest 2 until they were about 9-10 mos old.

Our son, Jay, is 11 and says he likes school, but hates homework. Our daughters are 3 years old and almost 16 months. Zee is not the typical middle child. Sissy loves to do what her big sister does. She is quite the follower, but she will not be bullied.

Jay has only child syndrome in many respects. He was the one and only for so long. He was the first grandchild on both sides as well as still being the only grandson on both sides. He was also the first great-grandchild on my dad's side and the 2nd on my mom's. Anyway he is still quite spoiled by the grandparents. He loves to spend the weekends with them. Two weekends ago he was spending the night with my in-laws and Zee decided that she wanted to stay too. This was her first by choice sleep over. (Her first real sleep over was by necessity when I was in the hospital having Sissy) Anyway, Jay was NOT happy that his sister was invading his territory.

I had always thought that Jay would be my problem child, but Zee, AKA Miss Attitude, will probably be my biggest challenge. She wants things done her way or no way. She is very stubborn. I wonder where she got that from?????? (My MIL says that my husband and I are the two most stubborn people she has ever met.) She is such a bossy butt at times. It's hard to believe that a young 3 year old can have such a strong personality already.

Sissy I thought was going to be my calm, quiet child. Boy was I wrong!!! She has been picking us on her sister's attitude lately. She will be 16 months soon and still does not talk. She says momma & dadda, but that's about it. I'm told that it's because we meet her needs too quickly. It's funny how people can say this. How can meeting my child's needs in a quick manner be a bad thing?
Anyway, I have talk to the Dr, whom I trust completely, and she is not concerned at this point. Sissy learned how to grunt at a very young age and that is still her preferred method of communication. I have been asked if I think she has a hearing problem. To this I say a big NO. She will be playing in the other room and hear a song on the TV or radio and come running so she can dance to it. In the vehicle she gets mad when I change the radio station if she liked the song that was playing. She seems to understand normal conversation. She will respond to simple commands/requests, such as "go get you're shoes" or "If you want a drink you need to bring me your cup". She will also answer yes & no questions appropriately by shaking or nodding her head. I guess she'll talk when she's ready.

There are times that it feels as if I have another child, no not my husband. I have a little girl who is almost 4 that I've been babysitting for 3 years now. She pretty much is one of the family.

I hope you have enjoyed the introduction to my life. I will be adding more later