Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year . . .

I am not one that celebrates a bunch on New Year's Eve. I never really have been. For me, it's simply another night. I am not certain if we are doing anything tonight, but whatever we do I will spend it with my wonderful husband and and my darling children. . . and possibly a bottle of Brico Riello.

As I think about all the festivities that are happening tonight I pray that if a woman is pregnant or could possibly be pregnant she does not TOAST the New Year. I know, most would think, "One drink really couldn't hurt could it?" Why, yes, yes it could. Please tell anyone and everyone you know tonight about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. It is not worth the 2 minutes of enjoyment toasting the dropping-of-the-ball or an entire evening of inebriation to spend a lifetime regretting the harm you may have done to your child. And you know what, if you ask a mother of a child effected by Fetal Alcohol, it's worth pissing off a friend on New Years Eve to tell them not to drink while pregnant. . . I swear they will thank you later.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A big project . . .

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the least patient person around. That's why it is so funny that I am crocheting like crazy. It is super slow at work this week, so I decided to take what I had done in to my mom for a few pointers. I was having extreme difficulty in ending rows and I kept getting a smaller number of stitches for each row so everything I did ended up looking like I was making Robert a crocheted tie!

My mom gave me a few pointers and I figured out where I was loosing a stitch each row. I also realized that I was doing things far too loosey-goosey. I got a good lesson and now I've embarked on a big project. I am making McCartney an afgan.

I went to JoAnn's today and bought a bunch of yarn and I have become a needle-crazy mama. You may have to get used to pictures of my progress. I hope I find it relaxing, right now it makes me nervous because I am still trying to find my stride. I also need to figure out how to keep my tongue in my mouth when I am concentrating!

Regret . . .

Here is some true honesty, if you don't wanna hear it run away now. . .

Sometimes I think about regret. Do I regret having adopted Dustin? Not in the least. I love him beyond words. There are sometimes that it pains me to be near him or I am so angry at him I don't want to look at him, but I don't regret adopting him.

He is frustrating the heck out of me right now. He is struggling with his school routine being uprooted for break and he asks "When are we gonna open more presents?" about 37 times a day. He cannot cope with the change and the excitement of the holidays. He will not leave the littles alone. He picks at them, torments them and thinks he is in charge of their every move. It drives them to yelling and me to tears. It probably didn't help that I had a 5 day weekend and so the kids were home during that time also.

I guess if you asked me about regret I would say that I regret that the little ones do have to put up with his behaviors. I regret that we as parents signed them up for this. We made the choice and it effects them. I worry that they will not have a "normal" childhood, then I wonder what is "normal" anyway. When I sit and think about it rationally I can see that they are much more tolerant of differences in kids from living with Dustin. I read Kari's blog and see that she is a more patient mom having grown up with siblings that were from special needs adoptions and her grown home-made children seem fabulous with her adopted kids with special needs. Then I read Cindy's blog and see that she has many successes and has to live through many failures as well. So, something must work. . . sometimes. . . eventually.

Right now we have a 5 year old and a 6 year old. Since Dustin is at about a 4-6 year old level, it is like we have 3 needy triplets. Harrison is terribly bright and can keep himself busy, but he likes to always show you his game, read you a book, have you come look at the computer game he is playing, and help him with this or that. McCartney is very clingy and always wants to be at my side. Stuck to me. On my legs, my lap, my shoulders. She is quite afraid to be alone, and will no longer play in the upstairs playroom without someone with her. Dustin needs CONSTANT line of sight supervision. It becomes quite tiring. The three of them wear me out.

I do not regret having Dustin in my life. I do regret his disorder. I wish far better for him than I fee like I can provide most days. I regret that I am not a better parent, mother, spouse. I regret being ME most days. Logically I know I am doing the best job I can, but emotionally I feel like an utter failure. I love my kids, I want the best or them, and I always feel like I an ruining them. Is that normal? Who knows. But it is my normal.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday fun. . .

We are dog sitting for a friend. He is a great big sweetie! McCartney LOVES Bogart.

I took the kids to High School Musical 3. During the show I acutally crocheted. It was actually a cute movie and man I love movie theatre popcorn! So I finished the scarf. It's a little short, but I thought I would add some fringe. To tell the truth I just wanted to see it done, it should be about 6 inches longer.

Blog Letter Game . . .

I saw a fun game over on Kari's blog and thought I would play along. My letter is "T". I am supposed to come up with my 10 favorite things that start with the letter "T".

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I LOVE to talk. I always have a story to tell and sometimes it even involves you, my dear bloggy friends. I always say things like, "I have this friend, well this woman whose blog I read, who has this kid who . . . "

I love me some TV. I know I should be this wonderful mother like Torina and have little TV time, but I am not. Our DVR is usually full of wonderful things to watch. We love the news channels, History Channel, all Discovery Channels, HGTV, DIY, reality TV, and a myriad of other shows. I usually don't watch sitcoms, except for the Office. My kids are real TV connoisseurs also, but I require educational mostly, with a little Disney and Nick thrown in for good measure. I hate Cartoon Network for the most part.

Tasty Smelling Candles.
A stretch for "T"? Maybe. But I love candles. We live in an old house and I swear if you light enough candles you can raise the temperature without turning up the thermostat! Bonus. I love fruity candles, baked good candles, and coffee flavors.

I am a grazer. I would rather eat a bunch of small "meals" (I use the term loosely) than a large meal any day. It doesn't have to be sweets, I like crackers, cheese, nuts, celery, carrots . . .

I like toast. But I has to have lots of butter and strawberry preserves.

I was brought up with music. I love that music can take you back to times you remember hearing it for the first time. I love reliving memories through music. There are many songs that take me back to growing up at home with my dad. It helps me remember him and his tastes. Music can even invoke smells and sights for me. I don't know what I would do without music. It reminds me of who I was and who I am now.

My grandmother was ornery. She would always swat you or grab you if you walked by her. I call it "the butt grabbing gene". My mother has it. So do I. I am touchy. If you are grieving and you are standing near me, I will touch your arm. If you tell me good news I will try to hug you. I have really tried to stop this if I don't know if it's okay with you. My husband cannot walk upstairs in front of me without me pinching his butt. My kids will NOT go up in front of me. It's bad. Oddly enough, I hate being touched while I sleep. I am not a cuddler.

I think I am tough. I think I am resilient. My dad went through a long haul with cancer and finally lost. I saw my mom be stronger than I ever thought possible. She is a strong woman and I have learned a lot from that experience. I used to think I could never survive anything that hard, but now I know I could. Being a mom made me tough and being a mom of a special needs child made me invincible.

Terrific Earrings.
Once again a stretch. I have hundreds of pairs of earrings. . . the danglier the better. (Is danglier a word?) I love to wear loud, tacky, dangly earrings. McCartney is definitely inheriting my penchant for earrings. She has quite the collection already. We had her ears pierced when she turned 3 months old.

I always have my toenails painted. I will not wear sandals with naked toes. I have about 40 different bottles of nail polish that I have collected over the years. I am obsessive about polishing my toenails, but hardly ever paint my finger nails.

Wow. That was hard. Anyone else want to play? Leave me or Kari a comment and you can be assigned your own letter!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas that was . . .

Well, it's over. Months of shopping clearance isles, months or hoarding gifts in the attic, months of listening to "Mommy! Put that on my Christmas list!!" and weeks of hearing how much my children want a "snuggie" and it is over. I always worry about the kids. Will they be happy? Will they be disappointed? Will they compare gifts and prices? It is stressful. I'm secretly glad it's over.

The kids of course are never disappointed. They love the surprise, the unwrapping, and the putting-together-of-the-stuff. I love watching their eyes light up. I love the wonder, the awe and the excitement. I detest the wrapping and the cleaning up of hundreds of tiny scraps of decimated santa and frosty paper bodies.

My mom, stepdad and brother came over Christmas eve. We eat a small dinner and treats. My mom decided it would be fun to tell the kids that Santa was doing a "fly-by" and putting the gifts in her van while we were eating so that we could eat without them asking 560 times if they could open presents. She made this big productions of hearing reindeer bells and looking out the back door for Santa while my bother and stepdad went out the front door to get the gifts. It was cute. While the kids were upwrapping the gifts in a frenzy, my mom said to the adults, "All that time and energy it took for me to wrap and it's done in a half hour". About 30 minutes later Harrison said, "Nanny, you said you wrapped the presents. Santa didn't bring the presents, you revealed the secret! These presents are from you!" It was darling! The other highlight of the night was when Harrison opened lightbulbs. He said, "Santa gave me lightbulbs?!" You see, he likes to read in bed so my mom bought him a clip light and lightbulbs, but he opened the lightbulbs first. It was too funny! Dustin's favorite gift was Pringles and McCartney loved a Barbie and Barbie car.

Christmas morning they opened the "real gifts" from Santa. Harrison got a Nintendo DS finally and McCartney LOVES her Hannah Montana CD player. Dusitn got clothes, a few toys and more food. He loves food! We went over to my uncle and aunts for my lunch with my mom'sside of the family. We still have Christmas with my step dad's family on New Years Day and my mom and stepdads house with my siblings on January 3rd. Shoo, we won't actually be done for some time!


Tonight I was so bored that I went to Meijer (a everything-in-one-place regional chain). My mom happens to live nearby, so she went with me. I was walking around when I went down a craft isle. I am not too crafty. I can sew. I like to paint things. But, I am not patient enough for most crafts, especially scrapbooking. I decided to buy a crochet needle. I have never crocheted, so I also bought a book called, "I Taught Myself to Crochet".

My mom always crocheted when I was little and tried to teach me a little when I dropped her off at her house. I could NOT get it. My brother was laughing at how terribly badly I was doing. I decided to go home and try out the book. Yeah. Apparently they taught themselves how to crochet because the book is utterly useless.

I started over about 300 times, but know I think I get the hang of the stitch my mom was teaching me. I have no idea if it is right or if it is even a stitch, but it looks remotely like crocheting.

We shall see.

I am returning the book!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tell me . . .

Look at that adorable face! How could this sweet, charming child make his old, fat mother chase him through Wal-Mart? I am amazed at his beauty!

Impromptu pictures . . .

Momma and the kids.

Momma and her darling girl. (She's a camera hog)

The trio of beautiful children.

All of us!

The waiting game. . .

Dustin saw the psychiatrist and he did a little med tweaking yesterday. I am curious to see if it helps or not. I hate waiting around scrutinizing every move he makes to try to decipher if it's meds or behavior. We shall see.

The mother of all understatements was made by the psychiatrist yesterday. Robert told him that Dustin had been running out of the house and away from us in the house and in public. Doctor said, "It seems he is still quite impulsive" (in his thick indian accent)

Ya think?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Run, Run Rudolph . . .

Tonight we took the kids to the mall. Not a good plan. We never go to the mall. I remember why now. Anyway, we went to the mall and it definitely overstimulated Dustin.

We had to run an errand so, when we left the mall we went to the dreaded Mart of Walls. I could see "it" in Dustin's eyes. When we were in the electronic department he began playing the Nintendos that hang on the wall. When we went to leave he refused. I walked away which usually makes him come very soon.

Not this time.

I chased him around the electronics department.

About 4 laps.

Then he laid on the floor and refused to come with me. It was spectacular. Oh, no. I mean we were a spectacle. It was fabulous.

So I held his hand the remainder of the shopping experience, once I got him off the floor by threatening to pick him up and put him in a cart.

We went home and I thought it was all over. He sat down in the living room chair and he and McCartney got into it about something and he said, "Nobody likes me, I'm outta here." and he proceeded to walk out the front door. Robert went out after him and he took off down the street. We figured he didn't have a coat and it is bitter cold so he would return soon. I got into the car and watched, hoping beyond hope he wouldn't run.


He went running and I followed with the van. He would stop and holler at me and I stayed calm trying a new technique. I kept saying things like, "I'm trying to make sure you're safe" and "I want to make sure you don't get hurt." Instead of my usual, "Get in the car now!" It didn't matter and he kept hollering and running. He turned and ran down a side street and then he took off down the one-way street that runs a block from us. I kept thinking he would get tired and scared and cold and get in the car, but if I followed too closely he would dart around and I was afraid he would run into traffic. Then he did it, he began to run the other direction. I turned the car around and drove done the street in the wrong direction. It was fabulous. He turned back in a block and I got to be legal again.

Okay, so I decided I would bluff him and head for home, knowing there was a side street very close. I pulled in, jumped out of the car and then hide around the small business there to grab him as he walked by. I almost worked til he got spooked at the dark corner, screamed and ran. I waited for him to turn back and he didn't. I peaked around the corner and he was gone. I panicked and ran around the corner and he was hiding on the other side of a soda machine. He screamed. I snatched his arm. And unceremoniously drug him to the car.


When I got home I stripped him down to his underwear. I figured he wouldn't run like that.

I am tired. I am not looking forward to the holidays. I really hate FAS.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What more can go wrong . . .

Okay, so Robert informs me at 8:00 tonight that Dustin's morning meds are out. What you say? Was that you I just heard from across the country screaming Sheri? Yes, yes it was.

Okay. So it was a blessing in disguise. It made me get my whiny-ass, bitchy, pouty face (oh, I am so gonna get a lousy rating the next time I check that bloggy rating thing) out of the chair and have a change of scenery. I just about cried when I got in the cold van and drove to the pharmacy, but once there I decided to hit the Mart of Walls and go buy the Dark Knight. I left the Mart an hour later. Nothing changes your mood like Beatles music and a Cyndi Lauper remake late night at the Mart with obnoxious college kids running the isles and a cart full of unneccessary stocking stuffers (like the cutest punching/boxing santa, rudolph and frosty pens!). I was dancing in the isles in my fuzzy leopard ballet slipper shoes and my purple hair.

Seriously. I am in a far better mood. Screw strep.

By the way . . .

Why do they have to make L-Lysine tablets HUGE? I have 3, count 'em 3, huge fever blisters popping up on my upper lip so I am taking L-Lysine like candy. Which is very difficult when you have a sore throat, a huge gag reflex and tablets the size of Montana.

NOTHING is going my way tonight.

Strep 3, Rouses 2 . . .

Here's the rundown. Sheri wishes for death on Tuesday. Robert comes down with Strep on Wednesday. Dustin comes home from school today whiny and crying about some random thing. When I asked him why he was so upset he says "Cause my throat hurts when I yawn, REALLY BAD". Okay son, how about when you shout at me?

So, we are three with Strep and two littles who have yet to get the wretched throat ailment. Please, O God, pleeeeeease, no more Strep. We now have enough Amoxicilin in the house to stave off cholera in the an entire third world country. I have no idea what that means . . .

Anyway, it is a rare thing indeed when Dustin gets sick. Okay, let's explain. It's not that he doesn't get sick, but he typically doesn't know it. Remember the lessened pain receptors that make him CONSTANTLY hungry? They don't always allow him to feel sick. It must be a wicked case of strep if he is actually sick enough to complain. He is fevering and miserable, but it still is not curbing his CONSTANT hunger. Tonight it is driving me batty!!! Let me break it down for you . . .

He ate 7 chicken rings, 2 large scoops of oven baked macaroni, 2 giant rolls, 3 additional large scoops of macaroni for seconds, and the remaining chicken rings his sister did not eat. Oh, and 2 juice pouches, a glass of apple juice and 2 glasses of water.

Here's what I've heard for the last 15-20 minutes:

Mom, I'm hungry
Mom, are you gonna eat that?
Can I have the rest of the macaroni?
Hey, I want an orange!
But, I'm hungry!
I'm starving.
Oh, my stomach. (crossing his arms over his belly and bending over)
I'm just hungry.
You never feed me. (with an added "Hrrmph" like little girl)
I am gonna die. (at top decibels)
You don't even care if I'm hungry.
Mom, can I eat that food on the floor?
Dad, mom is starving me.
(singing) hungry, hungry, hungry
(chanting) starving starving STARVING
(crying) my stomach is killing me!
You are dumb, I'm hungry
Mom, can I have a snack?
Mom, I am sooooooooooooooo hungry.

It is not stopping! Typically if I ignore I can stave off the whining. Or I can bribe him with a snack from "the basket" if he will be quiet for a time. Not tonight momma! I think I'm actually gonna have to leave before I blow up.

Wait. Shhhhhh. It has stopped for the moment. He just looked at me and glared like he knew I was telling you this. But, it has stopped. Mercy. Oh wait, there's the little Hrrrmph and a knee smack. And now, my favorite when he claws at my leather furniture making this horrible wolverine sound.

Oh Lord, I HAVE to be well enough to go to work tomorrow because I know I am not well enough to stay home.

Well, I'm off to clip some fingernails, wanna help?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh crap, it's back . . .

I have a horrible history with Strep. My mom and I are both strep carriers and we tend to get really bad bouts of strep on a regular basis. Not only are they wicked versions of strep, but they don't seem to go away the first time with meds. They kinda go away and you get back to normal life then BOOM it comes back with a vengence. You can read bout my struggles with strep here, here, here, here and even here.

Last night I began feeling all crappy and all the sudden my throat was hurting. By about 2:00 am I was in full blown wishing-for-death mode. I got into the doctor this afternoon and get some meds. A little Vicodin has allowed me to come downstairs and check my email.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Chillin' and Watching TV. . .

I uploaded a whole slew of new pics over at Rouse Family if you happen to be interested!

Who says . . .

. . . we can't all get along?

Oh the torture. . .

Tonight we went the the Christmas Program for Harrison's school. It would've been fine if the three grades that were performing tonight sang their songs and we all clapped and said goodnight. But they did a play also. And oh my gosh, I thought it would never end. . .

Ssshhhh . . . don't tell, but we snuck out and went to get Ice Cream.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fun with FAS . . .

Dustin gets home from school at 2:00. He spent all afternoon before I got home at 6:15 perseverating on his glasses. He left his brand new glasses at school. He spent all afternoon begging Robert not to tell me he left them at school. "Don't tell mom! She'll be some mad!"

So, I get home and sit down in the chair and begin talking to Robert. Dustin keeps interrupting, "Mom, Mom, Mom. . ." I keep talking since we are trying to get him to stop interrupting. I finish my thought and say, "Yes Dustin?"

He shouts, "I left my glasses at school!"

Robert bursts out laughing. Then he tells me about the afternoon.

Ahhh, FAS.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Just horrible . . .

I just remembered something funny we did the first Christmas we had Dustin. It was a particularly difficult time with Dustin and I was 5 months pregnant and horribly sick with all-day sickness. We have always said that if you don't laugh you'll cry with Dustin's behavior.

One particularly difficult trip to the store we convinced Dustin that saying Bah-Humbug meant Merry Christmas. He walked around for days saying, no actually shouting, Bah-Humbug to anyone and everyone he saw. It was hysterical. I think I nearly pee-d myself a couple times.

We are horrible parents, funny, but horrible!

Bwahahahaha! I so needed that laugh tonight.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer . . .

. . . is singing loud for all to hear.

Bah . . .

I am in one craptastic mood.

I do not want to decorate my Christmas Tree, I do not want to do laundry I do not want to do anything.

Dustin's behavior has sent me over the edge. I canot get Harrison to remember to turn his homework in. McCartney has started this thing where she grunts and sticks he tongue out when you ask her to do something.

I am tired of oppositional behavior.

I am grumpy.

How's your day?