Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stress and Dave

Ah--Even the never stressed out Dave can lose it and it is worth a second blog entry on this very busy Wednesday.

I just sent him off to the office--but only after a solid 20 or 30 minutes of speed whining. Peppered with comments like "you know none of this is directed at you." Ah--it was bliss. 99% of the time I'm the one in our relationship venting and whining and telling him that he just needs to listen and not take any responsibility for any of it. I know it is all related to being overworked--but still I marvel at his threshold for stress and pressure. I would NEVER let myself get into the jams he gets himself into because I couldn't take it. He is so relaxed and easygoing all of the time that he just takes on more and more and more 'till finally he has to let off steam. The sad thing is that he will be fine tomorrow, or maybe the day after. It would take me days or weeks to recover and I'd expect to be treated with kid gloves until I did. He ain't perfect, but I count my blessings!

Messiness is not all bad

I read a great article about being messy the other day. The gist was that some clutter is a good thing for children--helps them be creative. Also, we can find things faster if they are not "organized" because our filing schemes--like alphabetizing--are random and not intuitive.

I wish I had a camera in my office, 'cause the piles of junk on the floor are getting way out of control.

Meanwhile, I spend every possible moment at home packing, sorting, stacking, moving, and wondering if the green couch will really look okay with the new blue carpet, or will it bug me and I'll end up putting the green couch in the basement anyway so I might just as well have the movers put it there in the first place.

My dear friend Lynn Anne visited over the weekend. We moved kitchen things and started organizing the new kitchen--and then we sat on the screened porch. Just sat and looked at the trees and enjoyed the light breeze the ceiling fan on the porch makes. She wondered where Dave was going to take the children when she visited the next time. It is not that she doesn't love our children. She does. She treats them as if they were her nephews. But, she sees the value in sitting on the porch listening to the birds and not doing a blessed thing.

As you can see, even my thoughts are messy and disorganized these days!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Joseph

Joseph is 10 years old today!!! I can't really believe it. I remember this day in 1997 so clearly--so many details.

A lot has happened in these ten years--99% of it good.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Moving fun

Well, the estimate from the moving company has me hauling a few more boxes than I'd planned on my own.

I took Dave's mom out to the new house with Joseph and a load of boxes last week. Grandma loved the place. Joseph seemed to like it just fine. There is a loft off the master bedroom that overlooks the family room. I was in kitchen talking with Grandma Helen when I heard a thump, followed by another thump, as I walked into family room to investigate I was hit by flying shorts and underware, follwed by shirt. The thumps had been his shoes. Joseph was in the loft getting naked. He was pretty pleased to have a big stage on which to dance and frolic--knowing that the only way I could get to him to give him back his clothes was to go back through the house and up the stairs... He had a good 20-30 seconds to dance for the imaginary admirers below. Remind me to lock the door to the master when we have company lest this becomes a habit!

We saw two deer in the back yard that afternoon.

I was back over the weekend twice. My new exercise routine is to carry boxes up and down stairs. Perhaps after we are all moved in I keep a few boxes loaded up and ready to carry up and down.

Had an honest chat with the realtor over the weekend. I told her that I really could not keep the old house clean enough to show on a moments notice. She advised that we might just as well wait 'till we were out to list... Just don't think about the money. If I move a few more boxes the savings from the moving company will cover a week or two of extra mortgage payments...I hope!!!

Alex has requested that his new bedroom be blue. I think that is a fine idea and in uncharacteristic moment of generosity I said, sure. The room doesn't need paint, but it the boy wants it to be blue, he will get blue!

Anyone out there want to come over and carry some boxes? The mover mentioned that we have a lot of stuff. Doesn't everyone have boxes and boxes and boxes of books???? I thought that was normal?!? I've even given away 8 or 10 boxes of books and 6 or 8 boxes of LPs in the last two months.

Now I'm thinking we will have enough furniture left over to have a yard sale.... or maybe just a give away... MaryAnn--will you come help with the yard sale? Maybe the guy on the bike will come to my yard sale!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm not much of a blogger these days, am I.

Let's see, what is going on around here?

Closing was supposed to be today, but was changed till tomorrow because of paperwork problems.

Our tutors for Joseph have many personal issues, all of which are understandable and real, but we end up with unpredictable help. I'm really looking forward to sending him back to school. I've taken a boy to a meeting or class a few too many times this year.

Speaking of taking a boy to meetings. Alex went to work with me yesterday. He was suspended from school for one day after he was caught stealing a pencil from another child's desk. I can't get mad--I just think it is more of his "acting out," telling all of us that something is wrong when even he doesn't know exactly what it is... I suppose the positive spin is that if he works through some of his anger and fear and frustration at 8, maybe there will be less to work through at 18 when he won't be suspended from school, but thrown in jail. I tell myself over and over and over that raising this troubled boy is a work in progress, we do our best and we keep doing our best, and then we let go. (Let go and let God...) Keep Alex in your prayers for the next ten years!!! (And us, too!) We get results from the three year cycle of testing (basically IQ tests) today. I'm curious if this round will be consistent with the tests they did 3 years ago. Two data points are better than one.

The handy man finished the repair of the wall upstairs. Looks fabulous!!! Now, move some boxes once I have keys to the new house, and list this thing! Dave figures we can cover both houses for 6 months, no problem. I wish I had his easy-going attitude. I'm already in panic mode and we have not even closed on the new house!! We had a "final walk through" Sunday--and the new house is still beautiful. The trees have leaves now, but it doesn't feel closed in, just private, quiet, peaceful. Actually, this place is a bit too quiet this morning. 8:15 and everyone is still asleep. I'd better go get them moving!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Miracle League and Confession

I took Joseph to his first Miricle League game today. He had a great time. He sat and stood still when he needed to, and did some of what he was expected to "on the field."

I thought of Jerry--He wrote a thoughtful blog entry a few days ago about summer and baseball and parenting an autistic child and how we relive the lost "expected" moments over and over again with our kids. I thought of Jerry as I watched the Dads watching their boys. I think missed moments during sports activities are harder on the Dads than the Moms. But we are sort of a whole bleacher full of folks that love our kids to death... but would rather not be there... but will always be there.

I think Joseph enjoyed the game so much because he is missing school. It is hard for him to be home all day every day.

Now for the confession.

Children's services may call yet. I took Joseph with me Friday to pick up Alex at school. We walked. The other two parents from across the street that usually walk to pick up their children were late so I told the teachers I'd see that everyone walked home safely. Meanwhile, Joseph was on the playground. We started home--I was busy making sure everyone was okay with walking home with me and understood that Mom or Dad would be at home or meet us on the way and all was okay. You can see this coming, right? We were a good two blocks away from the school before I realized I'd left Joseph on the playground. Argh. Heart in throat. Panic. Turn around and move as fast as my 50-year-old not so great shape person can move... My boy was sitting on the steps of the school, waiting patiently. My heart starts beating faster even now just writing about it. The teacher standing next to him had not looked at his face and just thought he was one of the kids from the school, waiting for a late parent 'till she saw me... All's well that ends well, but... The good part of the story is that J-bear did exactly what I'd want him to. Sat and waited. However, it becomes clearer and clearer that I don't have the mental sharpness I need to stay one step ahead of him, let alone just REMEMBER him!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The New School

Dave and I visited the building where Alex and Joseph will attend school next year. Frankly, we were blown away. We walked to our cars (of course, we couldn't have driven there TOGETHER) and just looked at each other and said "WOW." I know it won't be perfect. I know there will be problems. I know Alex is having a very very hard time right now because moving is making him very very anxious and he is acting out in all sorts of difficult ways,

But--if the new school does half of what they promise--if it is half as good as it looked on that first day--if only half of the things that looked great end up being good--I'll be thrilled.

The best thing: The woman who gave us the tour and talked with us about the programs just kept reminding me "special education is not a place, it's a set of services." I kept tallking about placements, and buildings, and resource rooms, etc. etc. She kept gently correcting me "it isn't a place..."

Even Dave is excited!