Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family pictures . . .

A couple weeks ago, McCartney was with me on a picture session. She said, "Mommy, you never take pictures of us anymore!" Well, today was the day. . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love these . . .

This old house . . .

I live in a home that is 120 years old. The upstairs floors are wood, but have been left unfinished. When we moved in there was this terrible orange and brown and white shag carpet that was badly damaged from the years our house was a frat house. (oh if these walls could talk) I yanked that crap up in the first week while we were still renting. I had grand plans to sand and finish the floors, but they were pretty far gone and I could not spend the money at the time. (or not) I bought some commercial grade carpet that does not need to be stretched and cut it to fit the hallway and the stairs. In the bedrooms I used area rugs. Not too many people go upstairs so I didn't really care.

About 3 months ago I decided it was time to rip up the carpet and live with the unfinished floors. They were bad, but at least they had been unfinished so long that they were easy to clean with my steam mop even though they were unsealed. I bought long runners which quickly got the boot since all I ever did was trip over them and the dogs used them to poop on.

Since I made my doggie door a few weeks ago, I thought it was time to address the hallway floor. I briefly considered sanding and staining, but once again, not really anyone goes up there and I figured it was not worth the time or effort. I went and bought some porch floor paint and gave it a good coat. I know I should be ashamed, but really they were pretty bad.

I bought some pre-tinted paint because the paint department was super busy and I figured dark brown would work good anyway. I really like it and it almost matches the trim, I think I may go ahead and paint the trim also just to freshen it up. It covered really well, (I used way less than a quart of paint) and I may just do the parts of the floor that is not covered by the rugs in the kids rooms. I think I will give it al little time to make sure it holds up. This is the same paint I used on my porch floor outside and that lasts well over a year in the elements and with constant wear and tear, so I hope we are golden.

I love a freshly painted room. Everything seems so clean . . .and this floor looks really fresh and clean . . . for $23. Yay!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Parts . . .

Thank God we are all more than just a sum of our parts. But some parts are awfully cute!

Healing . . .

I have made many a post on Christianity and my struggles with organized religion. But let me bore you again with some random musing on Christianity, special needs kids and healing.

Let me fill you in quickly on my beliefs. I believe that Jesus is the son of God. I believe that he was crucified and rose again to save me. I believe that it is my responsibility as a Christian to follow his teachings. I believe that I am not infallible. I sin daily. I ask for forgiveness when mistakes are made and try the next day to do better. I believe God is a God of healing. I believe I will go to heaven when I die. That's it in a nutshell.

In addition to that I believe God is a God of peace. I believe he tells us to love others. I believe we are supposed to show people love and understanding and have tolerance. I believe that people have free will and while I may not agree with their decisions, I cannot judge them for making them. I believe that they will not consider my view on things if I choose intolerance. It is my job to be the hands and feet of Jesus on Earth with kindness, charity, benevolence and love being of supreme importance. I also believe that God knows what is best for me. I believe that things are done in His timing and because He knows the big picture, it's always best. I believe it's not my job to question that.

All that being said, I would love for Dustin to be healed. I have no idea if that is in the cards or not, but I don't pray for that. He was born with organic brain damage. I don't look at him like he is ill. I see him for who he is and who God allowed him to be. I accept him and his disability. Do I pray that he will get better, yes! But I never have prayed that the FAS goes away in the same way I have never prayed that Harrison's ADD goes away. Could God do that? I believe he could. Does that mean I don't have faith that he will do it for Dustin? I don't think so. God doesn't need me to heal him if he wishes.

I have faith that our life will get easier. I have faith that things will work out. I have faith that while I continue to trust daily in God that life will go easier than if I didn't. I rely on therapy, medication, kind thoughtful doctors, and lots and lots of patience. I pray for guidance and direction. I pray for peaceful spirits and a hedge of protection around my family.

Does that make me less of a Christian. I don't think so. I think God gives us things like therapy and medication to facilitate what he has for us. I think refusing psychiatric medication, chucking away therapy and simply relying on God to fix things is just as dangerous as those religious zealots who refuse medical treatment for illnesses.

My two cents, what do you think?

Hair . . .

Jenkies! It was quite shocking this morning when he said, "I think I'm gonna cut my hair off."

For those of you who don't know, my hubby has had long hair for many years. It's kinda his thing. Today was the day. We all went to Great Clips armed with the camera and he did it. Bye Bye locks. But they did go to Locks of Love so it was worth it!

Ain't he handsome?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perhaps . . .

I am at my limit with many things right now. Perhaps it is the full moon. Perhaps it is the antibiotic I am on interfering with my normal meds. Perhaps it is the fact that the tooth I had removed over a week ago STILL hurts like hell and the infection has moved into my ear and my head. Perhaps it is because that infection makes my head feel like exactly half of my scalp is sunburned and someone is sticking an ice pick in it randomly. The sinus infection that accompanies it makes me cough and when I do so, the ear that is irritated throbs and feels like the eardrum is going to shoot out of my head. Who knows? But any one of those reasons could make me lose my cool all of those together make one irritable mommy.

Yesterday when I was in Hancock Fabrics, McCartney saw the candy and decided to pitch a fit. She said, "Ooooh Mommy, can I have some Mentos?" I said, "No, we are heading home for dinner." She slammed the candy on the counter in front of the lady and said, "Ring it up." "I picked it up, put it back and she grunted something to me and proceeded to sit on the floor, back to the counter, cross her arms and whine and/or cry quite loudly until I was finished.

I ignored her. When I was done, I gently took her arm and told her to get up. I told her she would go straight to her room when she got home if she did not listen. She complied with a couple "I hate you's" under her breath. When we got in the car, I asked her if she saw kids that acted like that in the stores. She agreed that she hadn't and I asked her if she was that clerk, what would she think about that child on the floor. We had a good talk.

Earlier the kids were jumping on the love seat over in the kid's television area. I told them to stop 2x and they continued. I warned they would get sent upstairs and they continued. I got up walked over there and they continued. I sent them to bed.

A short time ago McCartney and Harrison got into a little altercation upstairs while watching a movie. Harrison hit her and she was wailing. We called them both downstairs. He came, she continued to holler upstairs at the top of her lungs. Of course we explained that it is not okay to hit at any time and I went upstairs to talk to her. She was FOUL. I escorted her to her bedroom, I attempted to talk to her about using her words, coming when she was called, not irritating her brother etc. all with hollering while I was talking. She continued to scream and when I shut her door she once again hollered , "I hate you".

I hollered. Nice. I am telling her that hollering is not acceptable and I respond by losing my crap. Stellar parenting.

My kids are terribly disobedient. I don't understand it. I have worked in daycare for 20 years. I should know what is okay and what is not. I have studied parenting styles and discipline techniques. I am raising a special needs child that needs creativity and routine and I cannot handle two neurotypical kids*. I always follow through with what I say. I do not give empty threats. I CANNOT make them listen to me, I cannot make them do what I say the first time and I they fear no discipline. They could care less.

I suppose I could be happy that I am raising independent kids with open minds and free spirits. But oh. my. word. I would love to just be obeyed once in a great while.

*please remember that I am irritable and slightly neurotic right now due to above mentioned issues. :)

SUPER impromtu sewing woman . . .

This week I caught the craft bug. I decided my kids needed some cute Halloween bags. I mentioned it to a co-worker who also has 3 kids. She said slyly, "If you want, you could make doubles and I will pay you." So I got to work making some cute Halloween bags. I went to JoAnns, which I always kick myself for. Our local JoAnn is not a pleasant experience. They are slow, rude and never have what I want. I got some fabric that was 50% and some felt and headed home. While they are not what I had in mind, they are super cute! I made 6 bags (lined) with 4 yard of fabric. Woot! I only have two really small scraps left.

The boys got bats cut out of felt and sewed on, and the girls got pumpkins.

Here's the lining. Is the squiggle fabric cute or what?

I took the bags to work on Friday and showed them off. This is when another co-worker asked if I could make her grand-daughter a girly-girl cape. I tend to get excited about sewing off and on and the bags made me want to sew so of course I said I would. I headed to a different local fabric store (Hancock I love you!) and remembered why I hate JoAnns! Their Halloween fabric was MUCH cuter and was 75% off! Agh! I bought 3 yards of flannel to go with some leftovers at home. I wanted to make the capes double sided. Once again I used felt for the letters and a little velcro closure so they wouldn't get choked. She has 2 grandsons also (one is just a mere infant but needs a cape too!) and thus the following three capes were born!

Modeled by my son still in his jammies and with some SUPER bedhead!

(pardon the crappy lighting pictures, I am headed to a wedding and wanted to get this done before the capes fly off to their owners!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Henry . . .

On Wednesday, October 27th at 7pm EST, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, TN will broadcast a 30 minute, commercial-free special on how drug addiction impacted one child and one family. You will be able to view the show on-air if you live in the WBIR television viewing area, or if you live anywhere else in the world, you can watch it in its entirety online at on the same night it airs on TV.

Please watch and share.

Relative . . .

So, this morning I am just getting into a work and I get a call from a friend that brings me to my knees. She is going through some REALLY tough stuff. Life changing stuff. Stuff that makes my little boo-hooey in the shower seem like spilled milk. Life is hard. Life is not fair. Life just plain sucks sometimes.

The biggest gut punch in the conversation was when I said that her issues make my pity party seem so insignificant and that I felt bad for complaining and her gracious self said, "Honey it's all relative." Her kindness to me, in the midst of her problem, reminded me why I blog. . . I meet people like this.

I think I am going to spend part of my lunch in the sanctuary (in the building I work in) on my knees for her and all the moms out there like her today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Did you know . . .

. . . that Nintendo DS games make exceptional chew toys for small dogs if they are left on the floor?

. . . that children will eat leftover pizza that has been left out on the stove all night without question? (eeew!)

. . . that if you have a stand up shower and you are laying in a fetal position on the floor crying that you notice how really dirty it is? Did you know that if it is terribly nasty, you will forget how sad you are and start cleaning it right away?

. . . that being "the meanest mommy ever" everyday weighs heavily on you?

. . . that feeling like a failure every day, all day sucks?

. . . that being thankful for the job you have makes it easier to go to work each day even if you would really rather stay in bed and pull the covers over your head and sleep forever?

. . . sometimes when life hands you lemons it would be nice to chuck them at passing cars to make yourself feel better?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings . . .

1 can of crescent rolls
1 or 2 Granny Smith apples - thinly sliced
1 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Can of Mountain Dew

Unroll 1 can of crescent rolls
Place one or two slice of apple in each roll and fold up
Place each dumpling with apple in 9x13 baking dish

Melt a sticks butter
Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 t cinnamon
Pour over rolls

Pour Mountain Dew over the whole dish
(footie pajamas optional)

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Transitions . . .

When Dustin first began this mentoring program with the new state funding, I thought it would only serve to get him out of our house and do some fun things that he can only do one on one. I thought it may trigger some issues since he is getting one on one time and doing special things. I thought it may cause problems with attachment issues, and it did initially.

I had some initial concerns about the mentor chosen to work with Dustin during his 5 hours per week. His mentor, who I will call J, had never worked with Fetal Alcohol kids. He had never really worked with moderately handicapped kids. He had worked more with "troubled youth" who were in a residential setting due to runaways, trouble with the law etc. I was concerned that Dustin would "snow" him and get away with things. If you have been reading here any length of time you are aware that Dustin presents pretty darn "normal" initially. I also thought that he would overestimate Dustin's abilities and think he was capable of more understanding than he truly was. I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised.

Dustin is doing quite well. J has a firm grasp on Dustin and his attention seeking behaviors and "gets" his issues quite well I think. He talks to him in a manner which Dustin can understand and also does well at applying some logic with him. Dustin is doing well because he is the center of attention and yet he still feels like he is learning something. He does not look at it like he is simply playing, which is good. They are working on coping skills, interpersonal relationship skills and what's appropriate in public places. It is good. Dustin says things like, "I am learning good stuff with J."

Now, because of Dustin's inability to transfer much of his learning from one environment to another it is not making much of a difference in his behavior at home with the exception of one important area. Finally, we have something that Dustin enjoys so much that we can threaten with! He has yet to RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE because the couple times he has tried, we have said, "You will not go with J if you take one more step!" And guess what? He stops! He has even said, "I feel like running, but I am not going to so I won't miss J."

That my friends, is progress!

I am saying all this with the thought in the back of my mind that I could be angering the blog fates. We all know that when we post about things going well, we get slammed with something that is 3x worse.

Well, blog fates, you listen here . . .

We still have mad pee-ing, anger issues, sexual acting out, talking back, whinning, crying, raging, stealing food, stealing money and a plethora of other things to deal with, so you can just back off! We have plenty of things to deal with in our lives. I am a momma who is having a little bit of progress and I am celebrating that regardless of the rest . . . so be nice.

Shucks . . .

Aw shucks! Thanks for all the comments on the roll call . . . keep 'em coming if you haven't already! It is so nice to know that we are not alone in this journey! I LOVE my Google Reader and I am not sure I could keep up without it, but it hinders my commenting as well so I need to do better.

Geez, I am so needy aren't I?

Thank you, thank you and thank you!

A post with some substance later. . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roll Call. . .

How about a Roll Call. I am feeling very disconnected from this blog lately, and while I know it is very cathartic for me, sometimes a girl just needs to know someone is out there reading my drivel.

So . . . if you are out there. . . would ya mind telling me your name and where you are located ??
You can even make up a name if you want . . . Buela is a good one so is Freeda. For the fellas I like Ulysses or maybe even Wolfgang.

Make a girl feel some love will ya?? Please don't make me pout.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Spanking in school . . .

There has been an incident in town that involves a special needs child and an alleged spanking. The other stations in town are reporting that he had his pants taken down in the classroom with the other children present.

This makes me ill on so many levels, but what stirs me up the most is the asinine comments that the articles are receiving on the television stations websites. I broke the comments down into categories for you.

1. I was whooped in school and I turned out ok.
2. Buy the teacher a beer, he didn't deserve to be treated like that.
3. Special needs or not he should behave.
4. If it was my kid, I would be mad, that is a parent's job.
5. That's what's wrong with society, we need to spank more.
6. Special needs my ass, his parents use that as an excuse.
7. Why is he in a class of normal kids?
8. It's in a bad neighborhood, the kids was probably deserving.
9. If the parents did their job he wouldn't need to be spanked.
10. It's probably a single welfare mom.

My blood pressure is off the c harts right now. Seriously. I makes me physically sick that people not only think those things, but voice them. Half of these people had a name attached to their comment. Seriously, I would hide in a hole if I said half this stuff. For flipping out loud!

Ignorant buffoons. With a few exceptions, maybe 10 of the comments, people were okay with this child being spanked . . . by someone who is not their parent . . .some even said the marks were not a big deal. Probably half said that CPS needs to mind their own business.

Holy Lord. What kind of country do I live in?

I would wager to guess that all these people would freak the heck out if it was their child who came home "walking funny" with marks on their butt. I think a few of these people would threaten bodily harm to someone who pulled their child's pants down in the class in front of the other children.

Now, I don't know if this really happened or not. It is still being investigated. I am certain that the other children will tell the true story. What I have issue with is the reactions of these people.

One person said, "If their special needs why are the even with kids who are not special needs." O. M. G. You did not just say that?!


What is your take on this?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Meal Planning . . .

Last week I decided I needed to be more organized. I get so tired of shopping for groceries, having all these great ideas for meals, and then letting stuff spoil because I am not organized. I hate throwing food away! I figured that if I made a menu, shopped for the menu, and got myself together, we could save money. I figured the beginning of the month was a good a time as any to start. So let me introduce you to the Rouse Menu Planning Binder.

I planned the whole month at once. I still have a concern that we may not be hungry for a certain meal when it comes time to have it, but I also think that having it planned will help us not only stick to it, but also make us hungry for it too. If not hungry for it, at least expect it. So far it is going great. In the binder is of course the menu page on top.

The next section is a shopping list. I organized this spreadsheet into categories and I put them in the order that my favorite grocery store is set up. I shop sales, and I am not a brand snob. . . except for paper towels and mustard.

The next section is filled with printed out recipes for the month. I figured it would be nice to have them in one place for two reasons. One, when I make my list I will have all the necessary ingredients handy. Two, the husband cannot say that Stuffed Peppers are on the menu and he doesn't know how to make them! Win-win. I also added a list of meals that can be added to as I go so that when I am making my menu for the next month (if this works for us) I will have some ideas and I don't have to pull them out of thin air.

I went to the grocery on Friday and I spent $240. With the exception of milk that will need to be bought as needed, I think we have everything we need to feed a family of 5 for 3 weeks. Woot!

Thankfulness . . .

In the spirit of msnkrey, I have decided to do a "what I am thankful for" post!

1. Apples! Apple cider, apple crisp, apples and peanut butter, apple coffee cake . . . mmmm.
2. Hats. Today is a bad hair day. I got up late, enough said.
3. Bloggy friends who sell me their old Longaberger baskets at rock bottom prices!
4. That my children are growing up and can get themselves dressed.
5. The new Santana album!
6. Having a job to go to even though I really would love to be in bed!
7. DVR
8. My new menu system at home . . . post coming later.
9. Doggie gates and the fact there is no poop upstairs. Woot!
10. Crisp fall days.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Josephine . . .

A while ago I blogged about meeting Georgia for the first time. Who is Georgia you ask? She's my Shark Pocket Steam Mop. She rocks. Since our love affair began in February, we are still going strong. I have a few tricks I use. Sometimes if I want a really deep cleaning on the floors or if I have lots of pet dirt I use my vinegar and water sprayer and pre-spray the floor. It is especially helpful in the kitchen with the grease that gets on the floor plus, we live in a 100+ year old house and have 2 dogs that go outside through the kitchen.

I have been wanting a handheld steam cleaner for some time now, as I have starting using only natural cleaning products over the last few years. Since I have been so happy with Georgia, I knew I would love a handheld version for sinks, countertops, spot cleaning etc. I was just too cheap to buy one. I kept telling myself that my love for vinegar and baking soda was strong and I didn't want anyone to come between us but truthfully I was cheap.

Fastforward to last week. I stepped into Goodwill for a quick visit on Friday. I saw a beautiful sight on the self in the housewares section. It was as if the sky opened and the angels sang . . .

I saw Josephine for the first time. And she was only $10! Woot! The tag said "Works great!" I looked like a fool snatching that girl up faster than you can say "thrifty"! I hugged her so no one could steal her put her in my cart and headed to the checkout and back to work.

My little OCD mind was reeling all day with what I could clean when I get home. (I know I am nuts!) and when I got home I tried her and she worked perfectly! She steamed gunk off my faucet, my counters, and especially well off my flat top cooker which I totally regret buying!

Georgia, you are still my BFF, but we have a new friend in our circle! Meet my darling Josephine!

Crafty solution . . .

I'm participating for the first time!

We have 2 dogs. They are a pain! I hate when they go upstairs. They are fairly obedient when they are around people, but when no one is looking they go berserk.

Robert and I were discussing it laying in bed this morning and I decided we needed some sort of gate, but one that is easily opened because we are lazy. I decided to make something. I quickly ran through my inventory of left over materials from other projects in my head and recalled that I had a couple of good size pieces of bead board panel from a project. I knew I had some 1x6 pieces and some hinges. I ran to Lowes and got a 1x6x8 board, a couple of "L" brackets, and a gate latch and headed home.

McCartney (my 7 year old) and I made a swinging door and painted the frame with the leftover wall paint. I remembered that I had an iron scrolly thing that I bought at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea what I was going to go with it, but it called to me. It looks awesome on the top of the door! Woot!

I made the whole thing and only spent $10 today and $4 on the Goodwill piece. The rest were leftovers. Yay! What do you think?

McCartney wanted me to tell you that she painted the back and screwed in 8 screws with the drill . . . that's my girl!