Saturday, June 23, 2007


Steven took off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, to stay home and take care of some things around the house that have been needing to be taken care of. Including, but certainly not limited to: 1)Finish painting the cabinets and shelves in my studio; 2)Painting the laundry room and; 3)Painting the stairway and the rest of the upstairs, minus the kids' rooms. That means he has 5 days to do these few things...FIVE days...FIVE whole days! I was going to be able to finish up a couple of purses that I owe people; work on the Doll Quilt for the swap; and work on things in general that need to be done, like PUTTING ALL OF MY FABRIC AWAY IN MY STUDIO AND GET IT OUT OF THE HALLWAY, along with the sewing machine, soldering iron (!yea! So I can actually use it without worrying about burning the house down!)-basically, getting all of my stuff organized, plus working on some other little artsy/crafty things.

Today is Saturday. Day FOUR. Ninety-six point seven percent of our time has been spent dealing with the kids who are fighting over things like who gets to vacuum what, who gets to wipe the baseboards along the stairway to remove all the dust so the tape will stick for when we paint, and who gets to sweep under the kitchen table. Of course there are other things we have to do with them, like, keep them from killing each other. Sometimes I'd like to just say, "Have at it! Survival of the fittest!" But, I think CPS and the police would become involved. But I know you are reading this thinking, "Her kids are fighting over who gets to sweep and wipe the baseboards and she's complaining???" My kids will fight over ANYTHING. Particularly anything that involves taking something away from the other.

Claire absolutely loves to clean things with wipes...anything, anytime, if she can just use a wipe. She must get high off the smell or something. Wipes clean up baseboard dust really well, so, when I said, "Hey Claire! Go get a wipe and wipe the baseboards up the stairway for me.", that pretty much ensured a fight between Claire and Ethan, because he only wants to take things away from his sisters. If I had said, "Hey Ethan! Go get a wipe....", it would have been a whole different scene. The crying, the whining, the falling down because his legs just cannot hold him up one second longer, the "you make me do eeevvvvvvvvvvvverythiiiiiiiiiiinnng!" short...The Death Scene. But, by my asking Claire to do it first, there is fight that results in needing 2 adults, 1 psychiatric professional, usually some kind of First Aid-maybe even stitches, and lots and lots of meds to resolve. So, there goes 96.7% of our time.

We do need to eat occasionally, so there goes another percent. I've only had one shower in the last 4 days, so I'm not using up a lot of time on that. But, Steven and I do have to clean up after ourselves, and what we can't get the children to do...I'd say, what, 2%? Sounds good. And saving the best for last...sleeping! What's left, about 1.3%? Yep, that sounds about right.

So, how much has actually been accomplished these last 4 days? Well, the laundry room got painted. And Steven is painting the shelves in my studio as I type. I have yet to complete a project. A small portion of the baseboards got dusted and taped off...a very small portion. Not a drop of paint has hit those walls yet, though.

Silly me! And I thought Steven and I would be able to actually sit down at night and watch a few of 'The Soprano's' DVDs that I got him for Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thinking about things...

I've been sewing a lot over the last few days...that kind of mindless, straight line sewing that gets you to thinking about things. Lots of deep life questioning things. Things like: why am I am who I am; how did I get to be this way; why do I have certain children; what do I want to do from here on out and be known for when I'm 55 years old-because I am 40 and REALLY close to 41...which really translates into "What do I want to do with my life?". And then of course, the truly thought provoking question...why am I not a 'Commercial Lady' like I wanted to be when I was a kid?

And that may sound like a really funny question, and taken at face value it is. So I've been thinking about what being a 'commercial lady' really meant to me. I've decided that what being a Commercial Lady really meant to me was that I would get to stand or sit there and talk...a lot...about anything. What I liked, what I didn't like, or whatever someone else needed me to talk about, but couldn't bring themselves to do it. Of course, I would have been more of a 'Solo Infomercial Lady'. So obviously the perfect job for me!!! I never did believe that test I took in high school that said I should be a Mechanic! (An if you're wondering yes, that is absolutely true and yes, I can hear you laughing all the way over here!) But, I think I finally got to the root of that this week...sometimes it takes a 40 year old woman to get into a 6 year old's head.

When I was old enough to realize that "Commercial Lady" wasn't something you went to college and got a degree in, I moved on to becoming a teacher. Which, if you think about it, has a lot of the same things going for it that Commercial Lady get to stand up in front of a classroom spouting views and ideas and theories and opinions. However, I realized within the first semester or two of college that my type of teaching wasn't going to work in Public Schools, and it was quite possible that Security Guards would be throwing me off school property within hours of the first day for many violations!

1) I have never had a problem giving my opinion. Never. Not in any situation, public or private. I respect the opinions of others (as long as they have actually gone through a reasonable thought process and some research to get there). Their opinion does not have to be my opinion...different opinions are what makes the world go round. (I absolutely must say here, though, that some opinions are just downright stupid and ignorant!) Anyway-back to the point of me giving my opinions...if I was a teacher and a student asked me what I thought about something, I would tell them what I thought and believed. And most likely, that is not what the Public School System is going to want me to do.

2) I don't know why I said, "it was quite possible that Security Guards would be throwing me off school property within hours of the first day for many violations!"
Because the one above is really the only one I can think of. Let's just say I am more suited to teaching at the University level, and since I had better, more fun things to do than sitting around studying for a PhD, that is out of the question.

I have spent a lot of time acting on behalf of abused women and children and trying to educate the public about domestic violence. Even made it on the news in Houston for spouting through a microphone in front of City Hall. But I am wanting to do more. I want to help educate the world about things like Bipolar Disorder especially in children; what REAL ADHD is; Depression-that sometimes you just can't pull yourself up by the bootstraps, buck up and get happy; Schizophrenia-which is not Multiple Personalities!; Learning Disorders like Dyslexia and/or the fact that not all children progress and learn to read at the same exact time at the exact time the teacher tells them too! BRAINS ARE DIFFERENT! And that doesn't mean "wrong" or "bad". My two oldest children had difficulty learning to read...Allison didn't really learn to read until 3rd grade but, when it did click, she took off! Ethan is still struggling very hard and just may be Dyslexic. And Claire-who will be entering Kindergarten in two months-still shows no signs of wanting to learn her ABCs. If you ask her how to spell her name, she can tell you and she can write it out, but, if you ask her to write a 'C', she doesn't know how. If you hold up any other letter in the alphabet and ask her what it is, she has no clue. And just exactly like the other two, the harder you push to try and sneak in some learning, the more they turn off and the faster they walk away. But you know what...Ethan is a Straight A student. Allison would be if she weren't quite so social, if you know what I mean. lol! She has been before, and will be again, but, sometimes she just socializes a lot instead of doing homework. "Normal" kids develop at different rates, and it's all good as long as they are steadily developing on their scale.

Autism-that's another one that hits close to home, and people really need to learn more about that! You can check this link to the National Autism Association, also. You might wanna check out Pete, who has A Perfectly Cromulent Blog. I use him. You keep up with House Bills and all that. The whole Government, making laws and stuff, adding important issues, such as Health Insurance and Early Intervention for Austim onto other bills that have nothing to do with that...this one may be tacked on to something about how to dispose of grass clippings for all I know...ANYWAY, it's all very confusing, but, I can just go to Pete and find out what's going on with what I'm interested in. Thanks, Pete!

Health Insurance-Especially for Kids! What the fuck is wrong with our Country? A Country who will let a family lose everything they have, even their HOME, even the WHEELCHAIR that their daughter desperately needs (Yep! Someone actually walked into their door and made them GIVE BACK their little girl's wheelchair!), because the medical bills have gotten so high that they cannot afford to pay the leftover 20% of the bill that their insurance didn't cover! Try wrapping your brain around that one! What if this was your child? Would that have happened if that was the daughter of the wheelchair company's owner?

Have you ever really looked around and realized how our world treats women and children? I know we live in a male dominated, Patriarchial Society and all, and sometimes I think we, in the US, have things bad and not fair. Then I start looking around and the women in the Middle East and the baby girls in China. And then I cry. A baby girl will get me every time!

I've tried to make a my Social Work/Life Before Kids, and I've even worked a little on Ted Poe's campaign for Representative of the area I lived in. He's a great man...check him out. Because of my son's Special Needs, I have fought long and hard, AND WON, to get him what he needs at school...IEPs, ARDs, Wright's Law, a great resource for Special Education Law & Advocacym etc...a lot of research, learning and commitment. And I'm willing to (and have) help anyone else get what their child needs also. Right now I'm making a bunch of little security blanket type things for some of the orphans in China. Cindy at Skip to my Lou posted about her neice, who is working with a group called Hope's Heart . They are going to China soon to volunteer and bring over some things for the babies. I know that this is a very teeny, tiny contribution but, I'm hoping it will help a few children have something to hold that is their's and belongs only to them. I've also donated many other things I have made to several other charities to be auctioned off to help raise a little drop in the bucket. OH! And PFLAG...something else I've always wanted to do something for but don't know where to start-other than to stand up on roof or walk around downtown with a bullhorn shouting, "What difference does it make who you love?" I have marched in a Gay Right's Parade, though.

But where do I start? What problem to I fight to solve? Do I do a little bit for everything, or put all my eggs in one basket? All I know is, I need to get back to doing something. I know I don't get a whole lot of traffic here, but, if any of you have a link to a group you want to help with or a cause to fight for, let me know and I'll add it into this post. And even if you don't have a group or cause you want to help with, I hope I've made you think a little. I'm not even trying to actually sway or change opinions here, but if I did make you think, you made my day!

Of course, I can't let this blog publish until I say a little something about OUR SPURS! We said, "GO!" and you "WENT!" and I am very proud to have such a wonderful, polite, well-mannered group of people represent our city! To all the Mom's who raised their boys to be these men, to all of their teachers in school along the way, to all of the Spurs Administration, to Pop...thank you all for raising and helping and teaching and coaching them all to be who they are today. A team I am proud of and a team who emulate the the social graces I want my children to learn. I couldn't be happier! Congratulations on #4!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Why am I so naive year after year after year...

Not even year after year...also holiday after holiday, event after event, day after day...I always think "THIS TIME it's gonna be better!"

I have a plan for the summer for the kids this year-basically homeschool, but fun. With LOTS of arts and crafts! For example, this week was 'Fish Week'. We learn some cool things about fish, and make a lot of things with fish on them. I found tons of fish and ocean related foam thingys at Michael's, so we were going to make "aquariums", those foam can holders/koozies covered with fish; I got some solid color beach towels that we are going to applique with fish, clam shells, dolphins, seaweed, mermaids, etc..., and also got some of those bucket hats to decorate as well-either appliqued or embroidered or both. OH! I also got flip-flops that the kids decorated, and they came out so cute! And yes, you know I got those for me, too! lol!

Sounds fun, no?

But of course, there was an incident. Tuesday morning Ethan "hi-yahed!" a perfect front kick squarely into Claire's chest. She seemed perfectly fine-breathing great, no hurt ribs or anything like that, but, all I could think of was "What if?" "What if he had broken a rib and it had puntured her heart or lung?" "What if the pressure of the kick had ruptured her aorta, like what happened to Princess Diana, and she bled to death?" (Or, maybe, just a tiny little vein???)

OK-so maybe I was a little dramatic that day.

But, I'm not a mom who takes her kid into the doctor for every little thing. I take them for their well-check visits every year, and other than that, they have to pretty much be running a fever of 105 for 24 hours OR they need stitches. The Pediatrician pretty much knows that, if I'M calling, it's probably warranted.

So I called. I don't even know the number for the pediatrician. I had to call Steven to get it. Chalk another one up for Mom of the Year.

They put me straight through to the nurse, who asked me a bunch of questions then said they wouldn't be able to work Claire in until 4:30 and she didn't want me to wait that long so, emergency room it was.

Of course Claire is fine, and apparently it's gonna take a lot more than a 126 lb. brother perfectly planting a kick in her chest to bring her down, but, it really did scare me! I know the difference between real remorse and fake remorse, and Ethan really and truly is the most sensitive, sympathetic and empathetic person I have ever known, BUT...does he have NO FRONT TEMPORAL LOBE AT ALL??? Short of shooting him with a dart that could take down an elephant, what is it going to take to get him to control his impulses? And this kind of super, really serious stuff only happens with Claire.

We did get an emergency appointment with my Favorite Psychologist Ever yesterday, and, he is going to start seeing Ethan and Claire together; which I think is a GREAT idea!

So...homeschool fun with arts and crafts mixed with Psychotherapy for the summer! Who could choose Disneyland over that?

And we are a little behind on the fish stuff, but, the flip-flops did turn out great, so I'll definitely take a picture of those! I think the towels will be cute, too. I was also making quite a bit of progress on a special "fish" game that is a surprise for the kids, but it has stalled. I think I can pick up on it this evening maybe. But, I'm telling you it's gonna be so freakin' cute, you will have to come back for pictures!