Friday, August 27, 2010

Should I have to have the conversation ? . . .

Last spring Dustin came home from school saying that he was going to college. OK, back up. . . anyone recall when I had a freaking hissy fit that the recruiters were at his high school and actually talking to the MoMH (Moderately mentally handicapped) kids? If you want to read it you can go here, if not let me just tell you it was ugly! They had Dustin convinced he could join the military. Dustin cannot read. He can barely walk across the room without knocking into something, falling down, or kicking someone or something that is in his way. Dustin with a firearm scares me. It took MONTHS to get him to understand he would never be able to go into the military and we were the "bad guys" for squashing his dreams in his eyes. His aide was next to him the whole time and in my opinion she should not have let that continue.

So, in the spring Dustin comes home and asks, "Mom what college should I go to?" My first thought was that there were some college sponsors at school and that he had seen others kids making some choices. I said, "Well Dustin, you will get a job when you get out of high school. Remember when we talked about Vocational Rehab at school? You won't go to college." He says, "But mom, Ms. XYZ says I need to decide which college to go to!" (Ms. XYZ is his one:one paraprofessional) I was pissed. It was very near the end of school so I let it go. I think I may have mentioned it in his IEP meeting briefly, but I also chalked it up to him misunderstanding something she said. It took nearly 8 weeks for him to drop the college thing. Once again, in his eyes, we were the horrible people who would not let him go to college!

Yesterday, the fourth day of school, Dustin comes home and says, "Dad, you know how I want to work at the dog pound when I grow up? Well, Ms. XYZ says most of the people who work there are vets and I should go to college to become a vet! She says I would be good at it!"

Holy hell!


After I stopped sweating and my vision returned when my blood pressure reached normal levels, I called the school and left a message that his teacher-of-record was to call me first thing in the morning.

We talked this morning. I made my case very clear. He was as astounded as I was. It best not happen again.

He is perseverating on going to college and becoming a vet. This is not going to remotely happen. I have goals for my child and I attempt to push him past his limitations, but he has an IQ under 50 people! This is not ever going to happen. And by the way, if you have been reading here for a while you will recall he is awful with animals. He has no boundaries, he tends to hurt them and poor shampoo on them and trap them in objects. He has attempted to strangle animals in the past and kicks our dogs regularly. He has killed chickens in a prior home and several fish with us by popping their heads off. The cat, who loves everyone, HATES him. The African Grey tells him to "Go to timeout" and "Get away!" This is not a good career path!

I swear to goodness last night was AWFUL! He was so pissed. "Ms. XYZ is nice and wants me to be a vet, you are mean!" "I should've picked a different family!"

This is gonna be one heck of a weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just asking . . .

Have you ever wanted to squeeze someone's head so hard that it popped off their shoulders like a ginormous zit?

I have! And this time it's not even my kids that make me want to do this!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cancer sucks . . .

I wrote this 4 years ago on this blog. I decided I would share it again today since he passed away 14 years ago today. . .

Gary Romine. My dad passed away 10 years ago this fall. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1994 and had a radical neck surgery. The lymph nodes on one side of his neck were removed along with a large tumor in his tonsil that wrapped around the jugular vein on the same side of the neck. He went through radiation as a precaution because they did biopsies on his lung and were certain that they got it all. Later that year he started fainting and had some MRIs. They attributed it to scar tissue and he resumed work and normal life. He began to eat well and began purchasing natural products such as deodorant and toothpaste to avoid cancer causing agents.

My dad changed during this time. He was given another chance and was a better person for it. He lived for his family and friends. He became even more involved in our church. He apologized for the things he did while we were growing up. You see, my dad was super strict. He made me tow the line. He was all about earning your way, respect and following rules. It was a difficult childhood, but I believe I am better for it. I believe I had values instilled in me that I hope I can pass to my children. Dad, however was not an easy husband to live with. There were times when I was a teenager that I questioned why my mom stayed. Now as an adult, a wife and a mother I understand. You love someone and you deal with what comes. That was yet another value I had instilled in me . .. you don't just quit and leave, you fight for your marriage and you fight for your happiness. I suppose it wasn't until I was older that I realized what a strong woman my mom was.

Shortly after the beginning of 1996 my dad had another MRI. He was given the results to take to the doctor on Monday morning with him. Of course he opened them. IT said that he had a massive tumor at the base of his brain. What a way to find out. He was home, alone. I drove up shortly after he read this, and he collapsed in my arms telling me it was back.

He fought. He fought hard. The doctor's said there was nothing they could do. It was terminal and they couldn't do another round of radiation on the same area. Mom and dad began visiting clinics that specialized in experimental therapies to see if he could be accepted. One by one they denied him because he was too far gone. See, clinics such as this rely on good outcomes so that they can get their treatments approved. They need a high success rating. Dad would not be a good candidate for recovery so he could not participate. My parents decided that dad would go to Tijuana Mexico for alternative treatment. He received experimental and natural drug therapies. He was there for about 5 weeks. By this time he had a traecheotomy and a feeding tube. Dad was a fighter. I'm not so sure he believed that this treatment would cure him, but it definitely made the remainder of his life a bit better because his body was healthier and stronger. He did not simply waste away.

The tumor was growing through his throat and would cut off his airway. The doctors would go in, cut it back, but it would slowly grow back. Once the tumor began growing so quickly that they could not keep up with it, it had gone too far. Dad went into the hospital on a Wednesday morning. He was last aware of his surroundings on Friday evening. During this time he spoke with our pastor about his assurance that he would go to heaven. He didn't open his eyes again until about 2 minutes before he breathed his last breath. We didn't leave his side as a family. We were there from Wednesday to Sunday evening when he passed. That's how my family is . .. we are hospital sitters from way back.

It funny but I can remember every minute of those 5 days even 10 years later. They are embedded on my brain. It still seems so unreal to me, like I was living someone else's life even after all this time. I can remember the conversation the doctor had with us about not giving life sustaining electrolytes and basically making the decision to discontinue life support on Thursday morning. Even though dad had a living will that said he would not to sustain life above and beyond fluids, I still struggle with having to make that decision. You do feel as though you have caused death. I knew dad was fighter, but I knew dad wouldn't want to hang on for 3 more weeks with support simply to lay in a bed and waste away, but it still haunts me.

I gave the eulogy at dad's funeral. We buried him on a Wednesday. I still take my kids to the gravesite to visit grandpa Gary. I wish Robert had met him. They would've been close I think. I would've loved for dad to walk me down the isle, to hold his grandbabies, to see me grow up and become a wife and mom, to see me make a place for myself. I was 26 when he passed away, but I was still his little girl.

I love you daddy!

Updates on the lovelies . . .

Harrison has entered third grade. Of all my kids, he is the one I worry about least. He makes fast friends, has NO worries academically and is fairly low maintenance for an eight year old. I know that this year will be a good one for him as he learns more things to fill up that sponge in his head. He is still on an ADHD med and does really well with it. He definitely needs it! You should see him in the morning and the evening . . . yikes that boy's brain can go in 88 different directions at once.

McCartney is my girl. She started first grade this week and really likes it. On Sunday night she had quite a bit of anxiety about school starting and she only slept 2.5 hours! She spent her whole first day asleep at school. The teacher called me and told me that she even sat on the floor and fell asleep waiting for her turn in the bathroom! She got much more sleep the last 2 nights! She is lovey and cuddly and can still give the boys a run for their money playing outside! She likes to pretend she is a girly-girl, but she holds her own. She fears very little and makes friends easily. She tends to be more assertive than Harrison and is way more maintenance than her brothers . . . go figure!

Dustin is Dustin. He is having some difficulty lately with whining and crying constantly! He started his sophomore year! I thinkthe transition to school schedule has been har on him and he really needs more sleep, problem is that if I send him to bed earlier than 9:00pm, he wakes up at 4:00 am but he is too tired to get up at 7:00am. He's an odd bird! He still cannot be anywhere near the other kids or he torments them like crazy. He is back to hitting, kicking and throwing things at the dogs and I am terrified one of them is going to bite him. He needs COMPLETE supervision at all times when the kids are home. Robert and I got to spend last Friday night alone with Dustin. We went out to eat and shopping and he was AWESOME. He was as close to normal as I have ever seen him. I loved it and at the same time it broke my heart. Perhaps he should've been adopted by a family without children, perhaps he would be happier. I asked him if he noticed a difference without the littles with us and he said, "Yes I have had a fun night" I asked what was different for him and he said, "I get all the attention!" Wow! We have vowed to make more time for just the three of us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Winners . . .

So, I neglected to tell you that I got ahold of another sand timer! So I have 2 to giveaway. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the random number generator to post here, but the winners are #2 and #5. You'll have to take my word for it! :)

That means GB's Mom (thanks to , and M ar the winners. Email me at sherirouse (at) gmail (dot) com with your address ladies and I will get them in the mail to you ASAP!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Giveaway . . .

Well, here it is! It is my first giveaway! The prize is a really cool, BIG, plastic, 5 minute sand timer. We love ours! Perfect for cool downs, preparing for bedtime, games, warning before transitions, chore timing, etc.

All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. If you have a blog and blog about this giveaway (linking to this blog), leave me another comment telling me that you blogged about it and that is your second entry!

Giveaway will be open until midnight Monday and then a winner will be chosen via random number generator.

Thanks for entering and spreading the word!

A giveaway soon . . .

Okay, so I want to do a giveaway and I have the perfect thing right now. . . I am FREAKED out that no one will enter . . . so you have to promise to spread the word and I will do my best to overcome my fear!

Giveaway later today . . . . come on back and see me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A different child . . .

I have blogged before that Dustin is what I called compartmentalized. He is a diffrent child each place he goes. The behaviors we see at home are not the ones they see at school. His likes and dislaikes are ven different in different situations. When we are home he listens better to Robert. When we are visiting relatives in Kentucky he will not listen to Robert, only to me. He is an odd bird.

I spoke to his facilitator this morning a little more about this weekend at the carnival. She asked about his anxiety about weather. I was confused and she said that he freaked out when it started sprinkling. He went into a tent and refused to come out. She said he was very agitated and very afraid. I listened to all this and said, "Do you remember when I said he acted differently in different situations?" She said yes and I said, "When it rains, we can hardly keep him in the house he wants to play in the rain at home."

She was shocked. He also kept perseverating on playing the Wii. Funny thing is, they don't have a Wii. Even after telling him that, he would. not. let. it. go. He kept insisting he had played a Wii there before. He has never been there.

That's my boy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quiet please . . .

I am heading to bed. My ears cannot take any more. Dustin is absolutely unable to stop making noise today. If he is not talking he is hooting, or tapping his foot, or slapping his wrists, or making noises with his mouth, or snapping, or humming, or clapping, or beating on the furniture, or buzzing, or smacking his forehead, or patting his knees, or shushing, or banging on the table, or hitting his open mouth to make sounds . . . you get the picture. (all those things happened in the last 2 minutes since I started this post)

Holy Lord,







New blog and cool giveaway . . .

My husband is writing a new blog and he was approached about a very cool giveaway! I came home this week to a large box of really neat stuff from the official Roy Orbison site. Go on over and check his site out and then register to win!

Saturday . . .

I can't even begin to explain the ugliness that ensued after Dustin's outing yesterday. He is U.G.L.Y. While he was there he was pretty good, but I got the RAD treatment later. Ugh! We have not had to restrain for months, yet I have had to restrain every day for 5 days. At this point I think he may be needing the connection due to school starting soon and he is doing things he knows will get him restrained.

On to happier things . . .

Harrison got his first pet last night. He got an adorable, male, pearly pied cockatiel. He named him Sargent Pepper . . . how appropriate is that? He was hand fed by his breeder, but she said he was not very hand tamed. I brought him home and trimmed his nails and clipped his wings. He took immediately to Harrison and they are both doing really well. He has yet to eat very much, but I am not too concerned yet as he is pretty traumatized.

Robert got me a cockatiel for our first Christmas together. I was pissed. I didn't want a stupid bird! But that bird, Elvis, was the best pet ever and I miss her (yes, we misjudged her sex early) terribly. I am thrilled to have another cockatiel in the house and I know that Sargent and Harrison will be fast friends!

Friday, August 13, 2010

FAS at it's finest . . .

Earlier this week Dustin was in rare form. He was irritable adn grouchy. He got into the shower with his clothes on and then proceeded to scream and holler that his clothes were RUINED because they were wet. Of course he hollered this at the top of his LUNGS . . . for close to an hour.

He could not understand that his clothes get when they are being washed so it was no big deal.

Ahh, FAS. *big sigh*

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amazing . . .

Last night after my tattoo, I wanted Frosted Flakes because the kids and hubby were eating chicken legs and I don't do dark meat. We, of course, had no milk. Dustin has bought milk a couple times this summer. The first time was when I had just finished yardwork and I was GROSS. I sent him into the store with $3 and instructions to get "the milk with the ONE on it, and a K" (Kroger 1% milk). He still does not read, but his curriculum is a Functional Curriculum and that is what they work on . . . grocery lists and the like. I was nervous because while he had ran back to another aisle and gotten a few things before for me, he had never paid alone. He did it. I got Prairie Farms 2% milk, but he PAID for it and the $3 covered it. Woot!

The second time I got Kroger Vitamin D milk. But once again, it was paid for and he made it out with the change, the receipt and the milk. This particular store is a small neighborhood store, so it works well for him.

Last night I was not in the mood to go to the grocery, but I REALLY wanted cereal! I was on my way to the grocery and noticed the car was REALLY close to running out of gas. There is a gas station across the street from the grocery. I decided I would drop Dustin off and go across the street to and fill up. I left him with strict instructions to wait in their little vestibule until I returned. I drove back up to the store and there he stood, eyes HUGE, arms wrapped around a gallon of milk and clutching a receipt and change. It worked AND I got Kroger 1% milk for the first time! Woot!

For those of you with neuro-typical 15 year old or even average IQ 15 year olds, this sounds ridiculous to you, but to us it is nothing short of miraculous!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Am I stupid? . . .


I forgot how much tattoos hurt! Okay, this one hurt worse, right on the spine and bigger than the last. Plus, the last one we did during school hours so we went together. This one was at night so I went alone. I had no one to distract me and I was a-hurting!

I love it though.

It is a celtic trinity knot that symbolizes my faith. It is woven with a heart which represents my love for my husband. Both are never ending and wound together.

What do you think?

I am beautiful . . .

Mom in the Trench gave lil' ol' me and award! She rocks doing the hard work all of us with special needs kids do. I love her faith and her honesty. Is it funny that I get truly honored to receive this kind of stuff? I am easy to please! :)

She did mention that I need to blog more and she is right. I go through my blogging rut about this time of year. Dustin has been Dustin this summer. We have our ups and our downs. How many times can I blog that he ran out yet again in his underwear at midnight? He did the other night again. Robert chased him because I refused. He got in the van on the first request, so that is good. But, I did see him cross our busy street without looking, dashing from between 2 cars and just in front of a car heading down our street. Sigh.

So anyway, I write lots of blog entries and delete them thinking that I will spare you my drivel, but I suppose I read enough drivel from the rest of you that I should just post it! *snicker* So, if you don't want to read this, blame Mom in the Trench! :)

Dustin's respite and mentoring hours just got approved through the state, so supposedly they are starting this next week. I don't want to sound jaded, but I'll believe it when they come take him. I shouldn't complain because we FINALLY get something! I just get so tired of promises to it to start and then hold-ups.

This weekend we have our 25th Anniversary Celebration at the daycare I work. I decided to throw this celebration for all of our "old" families and previous staff members. Our director (my mother) didn't want to do it, so I petitioned our board members and they approved it behind her back. I wanted it to be a surprise, but my step-father told her about it. She is happy that she doesn't have to do any work for it, but now I am freaking out that no one will come! I have cake and cookies and punch for 400 people so I may be eating cake for some time. . . We are also having a moonwalk and face painting, so it will be really sad if I have to jump in the moonwalk myself with tiger stripes on my sweaty face.

Anyhoo, Dustin's facilitator told me that her organization is having a carnival on Saturday. I told her about the anniversary and that we wouldn't be able to come. She said I should bring Dustin to her and drop him off. I asked if he would be shadowed and she said, "I'll be there. He'll be fine." Oh how sweet it would be if he wasn't driving me bonkers at my celebration! She has no idea what she is getting into. This will be he first outing with Dustin and it includes, inflatables, lunch, sno-cones and cotton candy. . . for FIVE HOURS. Remember that this is the lady who said she cannot believe he is bad enough to qualify for this program . . . Muahahaha! I am sooooo dropping him off to her for the full 5 hours. I cannot wait to pick him up and see her a sweaty, disheveled mess after dealing with Dustin all day! Tee Hee!

You're all beautiful to me! I was just joking about your drivel . . . mostly! *smooch*

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bad blogger . . .

I've been one sucky blogger this summer. I have one more week of field trips, but all combined I will have gone on about 90 field trips this summer with the schoolage kids. That's a freaking lot of driving, herding, hollering, paying, swimming, etc! So forgive my absence, please.

Dustin has had a pretty decent couple of weeks. Other than that annoying constant chatter that makes me want to stick white hot toothpicks in my ears, we've had some pretty nice days. I hope the transition to school in a couple weeks goes well. He has been driving me nuts about school, so he is at least looking forward to it.

The two littles have enjoyed their summer. Harrison chose to be in the group with the children who newly finished kindergarten this summer (we split the kids into 4 age groups for the summer program) and has really enjoyed it. He got to be a leader and a helper. There were some difficult boys in the group he would've been in and he wanted to avoid them. (oddly enough, the 2 worst ones have FAS) I was proud he chose to switch groups, and really pleased he recognized why. He has done really well! He is incredibly intelligent, but has always been a little emotionally immature so it has worked well. McCartney has had a great summer as well.

This week I have an appointment for a new tattoo and I am incredibly excited. I decided I needed to commemorate being 40. The only other tattoo I have is for the kids ( three cherry blossoms ) and this one is for God and my hubby together. I promise to post pictures.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Happy Anniversary. . .

Dearest Robert,

From our first date, I knew you were "the one". I love you with my whole heart. We have had our fair share of difficulties, but we have stuck through. We both came into this marriage knowing that divorce was not an option, so whatever it was we made it work. You have patience beyond measure and you have taught me that perseverance is a gift.

Thirteen years ago I married my best friend. We have survived my OCD diagnosis, your brain tumor diagnosis and surgery, foster care, adoption, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 2 pregnancies and the daily care of 3 children. I wouldn't change one thing. Everything we have done has not only made us stronger individuals, but has made us a stronger pair. I love you beyond measure.

I love the way you make our children laugh. I love the pride I see in your eyes when you look at our children. I love the kindness and patience you show with Dustin. I love your humor. I love your passion for justice and peace. I love your kindness and your gentle spirit. I love your positive outlook. I love your never-give-up attitude. I love the way you love me through all my faults. I love you.