Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy f&#(*@ng birthday to me. . .

Okay, so I am pushing 40, officially 39 today. I am feeling terribly sorry for myself. Not about the age, I couldn't care less how old I am, but right now my life seems to be spiraling out of control.

Robert is down for the count. He has necrosis in the other hip (opposite the one from January) and from the looks of the MRI it is quite extensive. Dr. Arrogant says he has never seen anything like this. Transient osteoporosis doesn't typically repeat in an opposite joint. It doesn't typically repeat at all and certainly not in 6 months. He could have regional migratory osteoporosis, but Dr. Arrogant doesn't think so. We shall see. Anyway. he is on no weight bearing restriction indefinitely until it heals or the bone marrow weakens to the point of collapsing and he gets a new hip. Fun times. I am back to doing everything on top of the killer summer schedule and it sucks.

Dustin is also in a downward spiral of behaviors. He has been running out of the house. In true cyclical fashion it had only been into the backyard and into the doghouse until today. Today he ran outside to the front yard this afternoon. Tonight he took off at 10:00pm and was GONE. I waited 10 minutes. Hollered things like, "Honey, come home. No one is mad at you." and "Dustin, mommy is worried about you, come on home." When I wanted to scream "You better run and not come back or I will tan the dickens out of you!" Nothing worked. Caught a glimpse of him once around the block, but he saw me and ran down an unlit alley. I had to call the police. Sgt. Perturbed did not seem to think it was his business to search for him and seemed quite irritated at the fact that he had to. He was missing for over one hour altogether. One of my neighbors had seen him a couple times running around the block. At one point I saw a skinny person get in a car with 2 adults and I freaked out thinking it was Dustin. He was found hiding in my neighbors garage.

I feel like such a failure. I feel like there is nothing I can do to change this behavior. I hate that he runs from us. I hate that I cannot keep him safe. I am terrified that he will run into traffic or into someone's house of get into someone's car. I am fearful he will tell someone a whopping story and cause trouble for us. I hate that the police don't get it. I am scared and I am pissed and I hate it.

I am whiny.

I am feeling sorry for myself.

I am pissed off that his mother drank while pregnant.

I am 39.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Busy and productive day . . .

This morning I woke up and decided I needed to be creative. I recently received my free quart of paint from Glidden. My brother and my neighbor so graciously gave me their quarts that were ordered by yours truly and sent to their addresses randomly showed up at their houses as well. So I was the proud owner of Fresh Tangerine, Spring Green and True Turquoise. Those quarts were just sitting in my basement mocking me to use them.

Harrison loves all things orange and has been begging for an orange room for a year. Today I rearranged his room and painted one wall in these vibrant stripes. Don't look too closely they are not perfect since the walls have a bit of texture, but I have always wanted to do stripes! The other walls are not done. I have enough paint to do each wall in a full color. I think I may also want to add thin stripes in back as well, maybe even squiggly to hide any imperfections.

The project didn't start off so well. I was downstairs collecting all my tools for the project and sending Dustin up with loads of junk. He took particularly long the second trip and I assumed he was watching television. He comes downstairs after I called him and told me "Mom! One of the paint's spilled all over on their own!" ACK! I have no idea how he did it, but it only spilled on the roughly finishled wood floor we have upstairs and not on the carpeting in the hallway or even the oprange rug that graces Harrison's floor. McCartney, a girl after my own heart, ran down and got my camera and snapped a picture while I was cleaning it up with a rubber spatula, a joint compound spatula and well, my hands.

I saved almost the whole quart!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fine tuning . . .

Okay, well some changes made to help with the food issues helped but mostly a change in my attitude. I have decided not to stress about it and go with the flow. I suck really bad at that mostly. I went to the grocery last night when the kids were in bed and I had plenty of time to stand in the isles mulling over choices.

Other than the attitude change, I made some other changes. I emptied out a drawer in the fridge to make a snack drawer. I bought those little snack zipper bags and made a ton of refrigerated and non refrigerated snacks. I am too cheap to buy things pre-packaged in snack sizes, and I think Harrison needs smaller sized portions right now anyway as to not get overwhelmed and so it is not wasted. Here's what I made if you are interested. . .


He loves those Lunchables, but once again I am cheap so I made baggies with Bologna quarters and ham slices. As well as colby-jack square and muenster square baggies.

I also bought those yogurt tubes on sale (and no spoon to wash) and individual applesauce, because they were the same price as a jar (which always tends to mold on me before we finish it)

I put banana and watermelon and grapes in that drawer also. I am going to boil eggs later tonight as well. He loves eggs, I think I will peel them and put them in baggies for quick access, maybe even cut them in half.

Non-refrigerated: (in the pantry in a "snack basket")

I wanted to make some different things to shake things up a bit. I bought those cute pretzel squares (can pretzels be cute?) and drizzled them with white bark. I put 5 squares in a baggie. I had a bunch of broken ones left so I tossed them in a bowl with cheerios and walnuts and drizzled them with bark as well. About a quarter cup went into baggies.

I also did butter crackers for my version of Lunchables.

He loves grahams so I did 4 squares of plain, cinnamon and chocolate grahams in baggies.

We eat a lot of cereal and my kids even eat it plain so I made some cereal mix. I grabbed the boxes that were almost gone, fruit loops, honeycomb and mini-wheats, tossed them in a bowl and put the mix in baggies.

I also did Oreos because he never refuses Oreos and I am desperate now.

I think I am going to try my hand at homemade granola too because Harrison loves granola bars, but once again, I am cheap so I thought I could make some. Anyone have any recipes? I also considered making some drizzled chocolate popcorn or maybe carmel. I will see what works from this batch and come up with more choices for the next round. Ideas?

As far as meals go, I decided I would rather have him eat those nasty pasta meals in cans he likes as opposed to eating nothing so I stocked up on ravioli-os, spaghetti-os, and Abc and 123s all with meat balls because that's how he rolls. (I like that saying more than I should! LOL) I bought frozen burritos and pizza rolls too because I would rather be a short order cook right now than worry about him eating.

We went shopping with my mom last night and out to a local pizza place. He ate a piece of pizza. My mom talked to him about his spacers because she thought he may be freaking out about getting food stuck in them. He tolerated that well. He was unmedicated and freakin' bonkers, like off-the-wall-thank-God-for-medication bonkers! She talked to him about his attitude and some of the things he has been picking up from other kids at daycare making him less than desirable to be around lately. Today has been good. I can only hope that the talk form Nani made a difference. I think it may have. He's been respectful and pleasant to be around.

And most importantly, he's been eating. . . a little.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saw this one facebook . . .

Ahhhh insomnia. Usually I don't watch this stuff, but I saw it on one of my Facebook friend's doohicky and found it charming and sweet. Too cute . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Maybe I am extra sensitive right now . . .

MRI update first, I am by no means a radiologist, but I took a peek and the MRI films that they gave us to take to the doctor and Robert's left hip looks strangely like the right one did on the MRI from February. If I was a betting woman that means that he is suffering once again from necrosis, meaning the bone marrow is dying. The real question is . . . will it self correct like last time with NO weight bearing, or will it continue to die and require a hip replacement? The good thing, I think to this untrained eye that the right hip looks healthy. We see the doctor next Thursday.

So, on to the topic at hand. I think I may have broken Harrison. Okay, do you adoptive parents who also have biological kids feel differently when your bio-kids have issues than when the adopted ones do? Like I have no issue with telling people that Dustin has all these issues, but when it comes to the behaviors or issues Harrison has I get all flustered and almost embarrassed. Like one reflects directly one me and the other I have an excuse for. Oh Lord, that sounds so bad. Do you get what I mean? I may be horrible for admitting it, but it is true.

Harrison went on meds a year and a half ago for ADD. He was struggling with paying attention and being obedient in school. He was physically unable to be still. He was becoming a problem child. Even though he could repeat everything the teacher said, he was driving everyone else around him nuts. I have no problem with medication. I will not hesitate to give my child chemical assistance to help him be successful. The first med we tried worked fabulously. We have increased the dosage 2 times and he is still on a low dose for his weight.

Ah weight. Since he started the med he has not eaten well. I know these meds affect appetite and we tried everything we thought of to increase his intake but he is super stubborn. He has always been a grazer since he was little, but some days he will not eat breakfast or lunch and will not eat dinner until late right before bed. It is getting worse. We are now dealing with refusal to eat and almost an aversion to certain textures. For the past few days he is absolutely refusing to swallow. He cannot do it. I am super frustrated and scared for him. He has to eat. The pediatrician has told me before he will not starve himself, but it seems like it is getting beyond that point. I am afraid he isn't getting nourishment and he is getting more grumpy because his body is hungry. I have ignored it, given positive reinforcement, bribed . . . everything I can think of.

We are also dealing with peeing of the pants. I know, like I need more pee in my life. He was a LATE potty trainer because he couldn't care less about having wet pants or a load in his pants. He wouldn't even tell you he was wet. Didn't even care. We are STILL dealing with peeing of the pants at daycare. Oh my Lord. I am so tired of telling him to go to the bathroom, and I am so tired of telling the teachers to send him all the time. He still pees at least 3 times a week maybe more. I think this is directly related to the stress of social interactions and his immaturity. Maybe I am simply over thinking it all. Today he peed twice and never told anyone. I didn't realize it until he changed for the pool and handled me wet drawers, and when he was getting undressed for the shower and gave me wet undies for the laundry.

Today I decided I wouldn't give him his pill so that he would eat. Nope. Not only did he not eat, but he acted like a fool on the field trip to the pool. I was super embarrassed and really frustrated. He is so stubborn he refuses to do anything I ask of him. I have broken him. I have no earthly idea what to do.

I know I was just complaining about my kids a few weeks ago, and I promise things are getting better at home, but I don't believe these things Harrison is dealing with are simply behaviors. Do you? I think they are some . . . issues, for lack of a better word. Have any ideas on how to handle them? Think he has some OCD like me that is manifesting differently? Think he has some sensory stuff?

I'll try anything. I'll embrace any and all suggestions.

Dustin, o Dustin . . .

Holy mercy. He is driving me bonkers. I am thrilled that he is going to special needs VBS 4 nights this week, but a change in schedule and an exciting one makes for a nutty boy! Don't get me wrong, I LURVE the fact that he is enjoying himself for 2.5 hours nightly (especially when we don't get any respite, that is a MARVELOUS thing! 10 hours of peace for $10 VBS, woohooo!)

With Robert down for the count with his hip, Dustin' routine is already screwed up. Tuesday morning Robert awoke downstairs at 6:00 AM to the front door open. Dustin was dressed in his VBS shirt and waiting on the porch for his ride that was coming at 6:10 PM! Yikes! 12 hours of, "Is it almost time?" "I think I hear a car." and "She's waiting for me!" I am so glad I was at work or I may have let him walk to VBS! (just kidding)

Tonight is a pizza party at VBS. Do you know how much I have been hearing about that one?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Busy . . .

Can I tell you once again how busy my summers are? I do NINE field t rips a week people. NINE! And now that RObert is once again off his feet, that means I have to do all his jobs. You know, the jobs I hate, like laundry and dishes, and appointments. Argh! I am certainly not mad at him, he is in a ton of pain, but oh my mercy I am soooo busy. I cannot possibly keep up this summer. He must get better soon!

He has a MRI scheduled for tomorrow to see what we are dealing with. Harrison has a the third of his 4 dental appointments this Friday, the second this week. Dustin has special needs VBS all week requiring rides both ways. I have to work crazy hours because so many people are on vacation this week. NINE outdoor field trips, do you know how much energy that zaps out of me? And dishes, laundry, and KIDS! AHHHHH! I am not cut out to be a single mom. . .

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday musings . . .

McCartney loves playing in the rain. And boy o boy did it rain here today!

We also had the ending to our local festival, Three Rivers Festival. It has always ended with fireworks for as long as I can remember. Thankfully we can watch these from right down the block on the corner, and the rain stopped a hour or so before. . .

Not much worse . . .

There is not much worse than being sick in the summer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is this week almost over ? . . .

It's only Tuesday? Ugh. I have been avoiding posting about Robert's issues because I figure if I type them out, they may actually be real. Remember back in January when Robert had issues with his hip? He had transient osteoporosis and it cleared up with 6 weeks of total bed rest. It was really miraculous that it didn't take the 6 months they thought it may. Transient Osteo is fairly common in middle aged men, and comes and goes randomly. Once you have had it once, you may never have it again.

Well guess what? It appears it may not have been transient osteoporosis, but regional migratory osteoporosis. It could be hopping around in his lower joints for some time. He has an appointment this Friday with the orthopedic doc, who I lovingly refer to as Dr. Arrogant. We shall see what happens. In the meantime I am doing everything, on top of the crazy summer schedule I have. So frustrating for me and for Robert who is in pain.

Today I also had to take Harrison to the dentist for the first of 4 visits to fix his teeth. My mom and I have horrible teeth and no matter how much we brush or floss, our teeth rot. Unfortunately my kids have my teeth-genes. Today he had a molar "wiggled out" (the pediatric dentist's nice way of saying YANKED), another tooth capped and one had sealant put on. I loved this picture of McCartney surveying the damage.

I also headed over to the park today with the 2 littles to meet up with an old friend. Tavia was my best friend in high school and I haven't seen her for 21 years! She was here from Arizona visiting family and it was so much fun watching her kids play with my kids. We had a blast! It was so good to reconnect after all this time. I even got to see her brother and her mom again.

Sp I get home from the park and Dustin runs out to the car to see me. He smells. He reaks of cologne. I walk into the house and Robert says he caught Dustin playing with cologne. I just got the idea that there was more to this. After some investigating I find he doused my entire bedroom in Halston Z14. He found that Robert's medicine wasn't locked properly and he got an insulin syringe (Robert is diabetic and is no longer on isulin, but we had 1 left over syringe in his med box) He drew the cologne into the syringe and proceeded to inject my pillows, blankets, carpet, his mattress, and some random clothing with cologne. Nice. Swell. Fantastic.

He spent 2 hours cleaning the upstairs inclusing my bedrooms floors, walls, furniture, and the bathroom. He was not a happy camper. I am not sure when I will be able to sleep in my room again. I washed the bed linens and they still smell of cologne. Ugh.

I also thought I would post pictures of the desk I mentioned in the last post. It is by no means fantastic furniture, but it suits our needs and fits the space.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday in pictures . . .

and of course a little commentary . . .

Harrison and Robert got up nice and early this morning for a visit to Lowes for a kid workshop. He made a little treasure chest and enjoyed every minute of it. They are headed back in 2 weeks for another project.

I was doing some repair work with the sewing machine this afternoon and felt like being creative. I went to the pile of old clothes I was saving for possible small projects and found a skirt that used to be mine. I loved the fabric, but it was too short for me. After conferring with McCartney we decided to make a sundress. It may not win any accolades, but she likes it and she helped. I think it is kinda cute. I love the long straps tied in a big bow.

Remember when Harrison made "donuts"? I have decided that we will one day perish in a microwave fire if the boy doesn't learn. Today he decided to make Easy Mac and didn't add water. Nice.

Ahhhh the joys of being a teenager. Zits. At least he is a good sport.

Robert 's computer desk and his recording studio lives in the dining room. I HATED the desk he had and it didn't really fit in the corner it was in. In was definitely not providing enough space and had no storage. I have been rolling an idea around in my head for some time. Last night we went and bought materials and made a desk. I don't think I will be taking orders to replicate it (giggle) but I like it, it meets our needs and it fits in the space. It isn't completely done, but when it is I will share pictures of that too. I was up until 2am last night! Yawn.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Update on the rottens . . .

I thought I would update you on the post that I vomited out last week about how badly my kids were behaving. We have changed things up around here. I thought I would share a few changes we have made with you.

I have made a conscious effort to get up earlier. Ever since the kids have been going to daycare with me we have a quick exit routine. I get up about 30 minutes prior to having to be at work, get them up, get myself ready in about 5 minutes while they wake-up potty and brush their teeth. I throw clothes on them, we run downstairs and grab a breakfast from the breakfast basket and eat in the car while we travel the 7 minutes to work. We have it down to a science. I value my sleep.

Well, since I had the meltdown I have decided it is time to change the routine. I get up earlier, at least an hour before work, take them downstairs to get ready so we have new scenery. I actually make breakfast! Sometimes I even make something the night before and I can warm it up. I pick clothes the night before. See, McCartney has had MAJOR fits about clothing since she could walk. Dressing time is a HASSLE, she has to choose and she takes 3 FOREVERS. I have put my foot down. She gets no choices. I choose. She lost the privilege of choosing her clothes with all the fits. She may or may not earn it back.

They get dressed and then they eat while I get ready at the new little table I put in the kitchen. No television. No fits allowed. It has been working.

We have put our foot down on just about everything. No arguing, just do it. No fits, or you go to your bed. Everything they do when they are asked earns a sticker on their chart. Brush you teeth without a fit, you get a sticker. Go to the bathroom upstairs alone, sticker. Clean you plate, sticker. Put away your shoes, sticker. Each sticker is worth a nickel. This is now their allowance. The chart has 20 spaces per line so they know that each filled line equals one dollar. Dustin is on the same program. They can earn more than one sticker for a job as well. Dustin has more chores around here to complete each day also. The other day Dustin stole a whole package of melting chocolate and ate it. I deducted it from his earnings. It was nice to try to make a connection for him.

It is working. They are not perfect, but much improved! They know we mean business and they are sent to their bed if they throw a fit. They hate being upstairs alone so it works as a major deterrent.

I am also being more active. I find one job each night that needs done outside. I love working in the yard and it is my time. They can go outside with me, but they irritate me they go right back inside. This is my time to decompress. One fight with a sibling, they both go inside. One time screaming at me, inside. You argue, inside. It works. When daddy decides you can come back out, we try again. The new little dog loves to walk, so when I run out of yard work, walking the dog will also work, but I have lots of weeds!

So thanks for all your encouragement and you ideas. We are trying. That's about all we can do!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fun Monday times . . .

There is a city pool right near my house that offers a free swim for special needs kids each week. On Monday evenings we get to swim for free with other families of special needs kids. It is fabulous for us because there are only about dozen people there so there is little stimulation for Dustin to get him all riled up. We also don't have to worry about his behaviors too much and we are not looked at like horrible people for having a really tall kid that acts like a 5 year old. Not only do the other families expect behavior like his, but so do the lifeguards. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this swim night. It is good for the littles as well since we can swim as a family and everyone has a good time together.

This pool has a fabulous slide. Usually you cannot go down with kids on your lap or catch your kids at the bottom. But, during "special needs swim" you can do both. Last year Harrison was very fearful of the slide and wouldn't do it. Tonight I finally bribed him to go down with me, then he let me catch him like I do McCartney. Finally he wanted to try it himself, not to be outdone McCartney wanted to do it alone too. They did it! (like 100 times!)

Look at that smile. Priceless!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The newest video . . .

Okay, every time I post one of these people always ask how I did it. I have NO IDEA. The hubby is the producer and the videographer and the special effects manager . . . .

He is talented and the kids love it!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Dipped Pretzels . . .

So very easy, and could be boring, but you can do some really interesting and fabulous combos if you just think outside of the box.

I hadn't made covered pretzels in years. I was in the grocery and found these adorable honey wheat mini pretzel twist rods. I thought they would be perfect for dipping. And they are festive and look great on a platter.

This was the fist batch I made a couple weeks ago. I had some Witlon melts in the cabinet so I used those. I remembered that I also had some white dipping bark left over from something or another. These are simply sprinkle ones and chocolate/white drizzled combo ones. I also had some walnuts so I dipped the pretzels in white bark, sprinkled on crushed walnuts and drizzled choclate over to hold them on. They are fabulous, chunky and I think are becoming my trademark!

We had a July 3rd party to go to last night and I decided the kids would love these little-more-than-a-bite-size treasures. I was right! They were a hit. I once again made all of the above and more. While I was standing in front of the pantry looking for inspiriation I found marshmallow-lovers hot chocolate packets. They have an entire packet of marshmallows only, so I made S'mores pretzels. They were gone in 2 seconds! I had nuked too much white bark and was out of ideas. I had been eating celery and peanut butter and the peanut butter jar was still on the counter. I decided to try to add a hunk of peanut butter to the white bark. I rewarmed it and it worked. Voila! Peanut butter dipped pretzels drizzled in chocolate. Yum!

Which bring us to today. We are heading to a cook-out at my parents house and my kids were begging for more pretzels. They would have been ADORABLE with red, white and blue sprinkles, but I am too cheap and too lazy to run out to the grocery. I did all the old favorites (using chunky peanut buter this time) and added white dipped pretzels topped with crunched up butterscotch candy canes (I know it's July don't judge) and we shall see how those are received. I ran out of pretzels so I also dipped some Town House crackers to fill the platter. I dipped those in chocolate and drizzled the left over peanut butter mixture to half. Mmmm!

I almost can't wait until the next carry-in to make more. I have grand thoughts for dipped pretzels with some ground and roasted coffee beans, Fruit Loop pretzels, toffee pretzels, Oreo pretzels and maybe even some with dried fruits! I will definintely keep you updated!

Copy posted at my recipe blog. Head on over and visit! If you have any really good ideas, send them to me in email and I will post them and give you all the credit!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Introducing . . .

Wikipedia . . . also known as Wiki. A little guy who needed a home terribly, he was found a month ago in a thunderstorm in another county. The girl who found him already has 2 other dogs and one was none too happy about the interloper. We couldn't let him go to the pound. Not too certain yet if we will keep him or if we will find him another home. (she did file a found dog report and we had him scanned to see if he was chipped)

A - freakin - dorable!