Monday, October 29, 2007

A Few FAS rants . . .

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Yucky! Yucky for Dustin to live through and yucky for us to deal with. Yucky to see my 12 year old boy struggle with simple tasks a 5 year old can accomplish. Just plain yucky.

Let's review . . . FAS = yucky.

I had a co-worker tell me that her daughter's midwife told her to drink a glass of wine. She said her daughter was overdue and that this would help her go into labor. HALT. You are telling a pregnant woman to drink alcohol. These professionals who tell their patients that's it's okay to drink any quantity of alcohol at any time during pregnancy should spend one day with Dustin. Let alone one's who suggest it. AGH! Stupidity abounds.

Let's review . . . professionals who advocate for alcohol = stupidity.

Dustin returned this weekend to the special needs program at church. We have been absent for a few months since his behavior was so horrible there. He did well. They had a Harvest Party on Friday evening and they had someone to escort all the kids around to each game. He had a blast and I love it when he gets one-on-one time with another adult and has as successful trip into the "real world". I took the other two kids to a birthday party at McDonalds and then we went shopping without Dustin. It was nice to have the littles alone, and I think it was good for them as well. All of us need respite every once in a while for our sanity.

Let's review . . . shopping without Dustin = calm.

I spent the other day talking to a friend about Dustin and the road we have been down with him thus far in our lives together. It is always nice to not only educate people about the struggles these children deal with, but how far he has truly come. It is so difficult to see the larger picture when you live through it daily. He really has come a long way. Hopefully the coming years will allow him the opportunity to grow and flourish even more. I have been noticing in the past few weeks the beginnings of reading skills. Dustin has come a long way when it comes to "functional literacy" with the curriculum in his MoMH classroom. They teach things like in/out, push/pull, open/closed. They also work on food site words and things that will help these children be more independent when they grow to be on their own, whether that be independent living or a residential facility. He has done well for the most part with the memorization. Lately I have seen a HUGE increase in print awareness and him trying to decode words. He doesn't have the skills to decode phonetically, but he does use the words that he does know or the pictures to attempt to decode what he wants to read. Oddly enough he can read most of the titles of shows on our DVR menu and our onscreen guide. It is amazing! I will take any little glimmer of hope I an get if it means his reading skills are finally emerging.

Let's review . . . Hope = peace.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A man of God . . .

Today I was decidedly not going to church. I was tired from a day at home with the kids while Robert traveled to the windy city for a peace rally, and I had one wicked headache that I had been nursing since Thursday. I had gone to bed late, and I was not going to get up early for church. Do you hear me . . . not.

Well, my dear sweet children had different plans, and thus, we went to church. I was so happy that I got my lazy butt up, because an old friend was a guest speaker. We need to go back about 15 years. . .

I was involved in the youth group at our church when I was just out of college. We had a new youth paster and he wanted some older "twenty-ish" kids to help out as "youth leaders". I becam pretty close to Pastor Tim, or PT as we called him. PT had a desire to reach others and really connected with the kids. He was also a bit unconventional, and didn't care much what the older generation thought of him. He instilled in our youth a fire for the word of God. Our little youth group grew from about 40 weekly to well over 200 weekly. PT left after about 4 years, but he definitely made a difference in the youth of our church. PT once brought a man to our church to speak named Roosevelt Hunter.

Roosevelt became a good friend of our head pastor and he comes to speak every now and then. He is a wonderful man and I am so glad I did not miss him this morning. He has a unique ability to transcend barriers of race and generation and even denomination when he speaks. He is a sought after speaker. He spoke this morning about being REAL. His one comment I really liked was "In a world where we crave reality TV you would think people would be looking for authenticity."

I am not known for my tact. Pretty much what you see is what you get when you meet me. I think being "plastic" is far more difficult than being "real". I don't have time to try to shmooze you, and then remember it for next time. I hate fake. I am by no means saying I am perfect, but I do not fake anything. I hate something, you'll know. I like it, you won't wonder. I think that my father really instilled that in me. He was pretty upfront as well. For me it's about simplicity and effort. It's easy to be real, hard to fake it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Let the whining begin . . .

My mother is super close to my kids. We see her daily since I work with her. The kids HAVE to give her a hug before school and one after school. On days she leaves early I have a chorus of whines and cries on the drive home that they didn't give Nanny (pronounced like Bonnie with an N) a hug! The weeping and gnashing of teeth may soon ensue if I can't get them side-tracked.

Sometimes I wonder if it is healthy. They truly stress when they cannot see her. I'm sure it is fine. I like they we are close. I was extremeley close to my grandmother and spent tons of time with her. I have posted before that she was the matriarch of the family and once she passed away the family pretty much stopped spending time together which greatly saddens me. But I digress . . .

My mom, the infamous Nanny, is leaving for Florida tomorrow. Three weeks of whining and crying for Nanny, counting the days until her return. Ugh! I do love that we can pretty much reach her at whim since she most always carries her cell phone. I can usually even reach her on the beach since my step-dad's cell phone seems to be surgically implanted on his hip. So, I let the kids bother her as they want. What is a Nanny for? Especially one who has forsaken you for sand and sea. This time may be particularly bad since the last time they went on the bi-yearly trek we went also. The kids are asking when we are leaving. Not this time sugar. As much as I'd love to go, it's not in the cards this season. We are however planning for next spring again, but as Harrison says, "That is forever." Especially to a kid who's Nanny is there right now.

Anyhoo, not only do I get to hear the whines, but I get more work as I step in for most of her jobs while she is gone. Whoppeee.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stiller does Manning

The opening to Monday Night Football on ESPN featured Ben Stiller attempting to duplicate Peyton Manning's movements on the line of scrimmage.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A busy weekend . . .

This weekend was wonderful. Busy, but not overwhelming.

First, I helped a friend with a Children's Clothing Resale at their church. I am a super fan of Kid's Resales. I get most of my kid's clothing at resales and we have quite a few in the city. I also sell my kid's clothing at some of them as well. Most sales you can purchase a seller number for $5 - $10 and get anywhere from 90% - 100% of your profits. You price it and deliver it and they do all the work. This weekend I took 14 boxes and came home with only 4. The best part was that I made more than I actually spent. I love when you can get good quailty brand name clothing that is gently used for a fraction of the price. I have a whole system in my attic where I put back sizes that will fit them in the future. If I can get it now for $1 and they can wear it in 2 years, I certainly will.

I came home a spent most of the day on the couch dozing. You gotta like that. Dustin was having a difficult day and he does well with pressure. So we cuddled up on the couch and layed across his lap. He stayed out of trouble and I could doze knowing where we was.

Today I spent the morning in church with the two littles while Dustin and Robert slept in. Then we went over to John Good's house for a meet and greet with Chris Stewart and Tom Henry. It was an intimte gathering and I am continually impressed with Tom and they way he communicates his goals and visions for our city. He is knowledgeable, personable and will make a fabulous mayor. I also got to to meet a few blog-o-holics from the Fort Wayne 'Sphere. The "two littles" enjopyed playing with the "two witches" and Dustin enjoyed having my mother all to himself. When we got to my mom's to pick him up, Grandma offered to watch all three while we went grocery shopping. Woooohooooo! Grocery shopping without the kids!

The worst part of the weekend was the Dallas crumbled to the Patriots. Can anyone stop them? Hopefully November 4th will hold the answer to that question. I hate the Patriots.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a weekend . . .

Ever wondered how much the awesome playgorund e quipment your kids love at the park costs? I can tell you it is a pretty penny. When we left our old building, we let behind a playground that reached $100,000. That playground was bought in peices and was done over about 8 years. This weekend we put in 5 LARGE peices of equipment at the new site. All totaling over $55,000. It was a HUGE project and this record breaking hot and humid weather did not help. There are still many things to finish before all the peices are functional, and about 30% of the mulch needs moved back, but it is mostly finished. It was back breaking work and I'm tired.

I did manage to get up and attend our first church service in our new building this morning. When I left the building at 8:30 last evening I thought there was no way I could make it this morning, but I was up and wide awake at 7:00 this morning and then was joined by McCartney, so we got dressed and went. We are pretty much unable to attend church as a family since Dustin really isn't able to go, which breaks my heart, but maybe someday. The service was fabulous, and the new digs are great. Working in the new place for the past 2 months, it has been great seeing the final touches going into the building. I still have some sewing to do this week for a couple awnings that the decorating commitee asked me to do, but I plan on knocking them out tomorrow.

This building was home to another congregation for many years. That church split in much ugliness. It was diffcult for many of our members that used to attend church there to sit in the service in their old sanctuary. I asked one woman if it was more difficult that so many things had changed or if that made it easier. She said, "It's just very strange to be sitting in this place again." I sat near the wife of one of the former church's pastor. You could tell she was quite emotional. I felt for her as we worshipped in this new place. It must have been incredibly difficult and yet healing to come full circle. It will be interesting how our congregation changes in this new home and in this new area of town. For me it was quite a relief, I am thankful that all the work is done and we can finally enjoy it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ever had one of those moments . . .

. . . when you come across an old friend and you get so thrilled you squeal. (Did I just say squeal? I have never thought of myself as a girly girl and I don't think I've ever squealed, but you know what I mean) Today when I came online I read a comment on the last post from someone long ago (come on Ang . . . it has been ** years) Angie is the author of Gathering Up the Pebbles blog and the owner of a bookstore here in town.

Long ago, we ran in the same circles and had the same friends. We were definitley, punk rock BEFORE everyone else was. LOL I wrote about that group of friends last year when we all were brought back together by a website and we had a reunion. What a great night! It was fun seeing that we all had grown up (for the most part *wink*), turned into fabulous citizens and have wonderful families. I remember once Angie got left at the Coliseum after the fireworks and I "delivered" her to Friemann, and you can't think about Angie without thinking PURPLE.

Angie's blog is a great read. If you get the chance to stop over and visit her, please say hello. She is the mother of 2 beautiful children and a kindred democrat, which seems hard to find in these parts. She is suppoirting Tom Henry for Mayor as we both grew up with the youngest Henry, Jessica, and had many an adventure with her. We both hold the Henry family near and dear in your hearts because it was easy to see the love and nuturing in their family through the children.

Thanks for stopping by Angie! My day was better for all the memories you prompted!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A thread on another site . . .

I was reading another site I came across this week and a foster mom asked a question about obsessive behaviors. She is struggling with helping a foster son deal with things he is obsessed about. She asked for help, and I gave her a bit of my story. I thought I'd bless y'all with more. . .

When I moved out of my house I moved in with a girl whom I was best friends with from church. She was younger than me and quite disorganized. She allowed me to take care of the house and make things just so. I did all the dishes, the grocery shopping, the cleaning and folding the laundry. I even cleaned and organized her room. She loved it and I HAD to do it or else I would go nuts. She got a good deal out of it, and I got the house into my idea of order. We had many clashes when it came to her irresponsibility and my obsession over having the bills paid on time and it got ugly on many occasions. But we tolerated one another. When she moved out her sister moved in briefly and then I lived alone for severally years until I met Robert.

By that time I was 26. Pretty darn set in my ways when it came to how I wanted stuff and how I thought things should be. I thought that's all it was, set in my ways. But alas, more and more problems occurred due to my inability to deal with changes and things out of order, or the order I had created in my head. To make an ugly story simple, it was not good. I nearly lost my marriage. We went to counseling and the counselor said, I think you need medicated.

I was astounded. She spelled out the issues I had and pointed them out. The obsessions, the ruminations, the stressors were right in line with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I had always thought of someone with OCD as the crazed hand-washing person, or the person who has to check the lock on the front door 35 times before leaving the house. I truly never had the compulsive portion, but when I started taking a clearer look at myself I could definitely see the obsessive part.

I visited my family doctor and she immediately started medication. She said it would take about 6 weeks to kick in, and about 5 weeks later my life took a turn toward calm. It is amazing. Now, I still have things I must do, but it is much easier to deal with now. If I have my mind set on doing something I am going to do it no matter what gets in my way, for the most part. I would've never thought I would be able to handle a sink full of dishes or a messy bedroom floor before medication. Now I can speak in terms BZ and AZ - before Zoloft and after Zoloft.

My doctor encouraged me to go off Zoloft a few years ago to see if I could handle it. That lasted all of about 3 weeks. Not a good plan. That time did however, reinforce to me that I am justified in taking psychotropic meds daily. I can see clearly the familial connection with OCD and my immediate family. My mother and my brother have OCD to different extents. My mother is the cleaner, and my brother simply has to have things just so. The way he eats his food in order on his plate, and cuts his food, and so on cracks me up.

Before, I was pretty opposed to long term medication. Now I see that it saved not only my marriage, but my life.