Can I have one? Pretty please?

Ok, I don’t normally do this, but I want this diaper bag so badly. Go here to enter too. Since Owen’s in the midst of potty training, I’ve had to resurrect the diaper bag, which I had stopped carrying for a long time. We need spare clothes and pull ups, plus the travel potty seat thing. All these things would technically fit in my purse, but who wants that? So I’ve entered to win a fab little diaper bag and want to win it ever so badly, since I could never in a million years convince Heath I need to buy another one with Owen on his way to being out of diapers.

 Steph of Strollermama has such awesome taste. I totally wish she was my best friend. Hey, since we have the same name, think anybody will believe it’s me? No? Ah well, worth a shot. ;]

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Time flies when you’re in over your head

I’ve been wrestling lately with feeling old. Every time I tell someone how old Reed is, or what grade he’s in, it hits me square in the face. My little brother is getting married, and while it seems like he shouldn’t be old enough to do that yet, when I was his age, I had been married for 4 years and had a 3 year old and another one on the way. My little sister will officially no longer be a teenager in a few weeks. She’s the baby of the family. Where has half my life gone? I swear time has sped up on me the last 10 years or so.

Oops, enough pity party for me. Things are great here. My computer is up and running again (well, sort of. I have a completely new one and no access to anything that was on the old one, but it’s better than nothing -which incidentally was what I had before, lol). I was referred to a possible job lead by a friend this week, so I’m excited about that. Reed’s school is having a workshop for parents of kids with special needs and the staff that works with them. I’m really looking forward to that.  There are very few major medical dramas in our immediate future (Owen has to have a repeat MRI but that’s it). What more could I want?

Well, other than for stupid Michigan to get it’s act together and warm the heck up! LOL

Here is my annual scrapbook page in honor of Autism Awareness month. I’m using it as the profile picture for pretty much every site I belong to this month.

April is Autism Awareness Month

Thank you, my friends inside the Internet!

Your comments on my last few posts have made me feel so much better. It generally feels like I’m talking to myself, so a little feedback was just what I needed this week. I just wanted you all to know how much I appreciate your support.

Great Big Cyber Hugs for Everyone!!!!

The chaos in which I live

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To say that I am not a domestic goddess would be putting it kindly. I am not good at housework. It’s not that I don’t want to be. Really, I love nothing better than a tidy house. I am a perfectionist through and through. I get it from my dad. It’s just that housework doesn’t come easily to me. No matter how much time I spend tidying up, it never seems to make a dent in the disaster area we live in. There are many factors that contribute to this problem, but the main one is me. I am not good at managing my own time. Time slips away from me too easily (while doing rather non-productive things like blogging, for instance), leaving me feeling behind before I’ve even begun. But to make myself feel better, I’m also going to fill you in on a few of my other excuses.

  1. My house is old. Yes, this is a valid argument. Our house is 83 years old. It was built in a different time for a different family. It is not as functional as it once was. We are severely lacking in storage space, and have a floor plan which is not conducive to quick cleaning. There are high ceilings which are hard to dust, and the most obnoxious textured paint inPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting every single room.
  2. My children are Steven Spielberg in the making. They are not the sort of kids that play with one or two toys at a time. When my boys play, there are epics in the making. They are not satisfied until they’ve incorporated every single toy they own into their play. Attempts to sidetrack the madness are met with swift and decisive tantrums. This makes it much more difficult to make them responsible for their own messes. It takes them literally hours to clean up everything they’ve gotten out. They know this, and like to take even longer, so as to get out of going to bed on time.
  3. My husband is a messy guy. He throws things on the floor, even if where they belong is just as close at hand. He does lots of things well, but picking up after himself is not one of them. I love him anyway.

About a year ago, I was introduced to a fabulous system called Flylady. Her system is simple: tackling the mess in small doses. I love that concept, but it’s not working for me. This is because my kids can make a mess much faster than I can clean it up. It takes me more than 15 minutes just to clear a path to the toybox most days. Add to that the fact that when I am finally free from my demanding chidlren at the end of the night, the last thing I want to do is spend the next 3 hours picking up after them. I know that the house will look just like this by breakfast tomorrow anway. It all feels a little pointless. When the kids are finally asleep (no small feat in itself, I assure you), all I want to do is collapse in a chair. If I can find one. Somebody help me!

Did you know women are demolition experts?

Okay, so I know I should be packing everyone’s stuff for our impending departure (4.5 hours and counting and still nothing is packed), but I MUST take a moment to reflect on the recent implosion of one of my primary support groups.

See, as I mentioned previously, I belong to a few online parenting forums. This past week, one of them fell completely apart. Unfortunately, this was also my favorite. It was a smaller than then other, with all the moms having kids within a few weeks of Owen’s birthday. I even knew a few of them personally. We have regular playdates. We talk on the phone. We attend each other’s birthday parties. You get the drift. This particular group has always prided itself on avoiding the drama that plagues so many online communities. Particularly when parenting is involved, people get very opinionated. When those opinions are questioned, they get defensive. And so imagine my surprise, when after nearly 2 years of peaceful co-existence on the World Wide Web, our little group erupted into conflict. It started with a simple difference of opinions. Although I agreed strongly with one of the parties involved, I tried to keep my comments to myself. The party with whom I agreed made her point in a less-than-tactful way, thereby offending the other party involved. Insults were exchanged, sides were taken. Within 2 days, this tight-knit community had fallen to pieces so irreparably, that the board was closed. The.end.

Wow.

I knew women could get pretty nasty when they fight, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Luckily, the rest of us who were not part of this whole fiasco, have rejoined, and so it’s not a total loss, but still it’s weird to think about how quickly it all came crashing down.

Now accepting employment offers

Anyone want to hire an over-worked, under-appreciated, sleep-deprived woman? Come on now, don’t all jump at once. I’m available to the highest bidder. No takers? Didn’t think so.

I’ve been looking for a job for what feels like an eternity. I have had no fewer than 3 interviewers tell me that I was a shew-in for the job, only to not be offered the job in the end. I have no words to tell you how extremely disheartening it is to sit in an interview for 10 hours, only to be sent home still unemployed. It’s enough to make a girl start buying lottery tickets.

Not only is it putting a strain on our already over-extended finances that I can’t get back to work, but it’s making me feel really low about myself. See, I think I’m a pretty spiffy candidate for the jobs I apply for. I don’t apply to jobs for which I don’t honestly believe I’m qualified. As someone who once had the responsibility of weeding out such candidates in a past professional life, I just can’t in god conscience make someone sift through my resume looking for the BS, so I simply don’t include any. Yes, I actually type nearly 60 words per minute. Yes, I can enter 10,000 keystrokes per hour. Yes, I have done just about everything you can legally do in an office. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the powers that be think that I actually am BS’ing, and therefor disqualify me without ever even meeting me. Monster.com tells me that I have applied for 37 jobs since August, and yet, have only had 4 interviews as a result of those resumes. If my best work isn’t good enough for anybody, then what good is it at all?

So I bought a bunch of new work clothes. I’m hoping that optimism and a renewed sense of confidence at interviews will help propel me into a job. If I don’t get a job soon, please kill me. Wish me luck.

Speechless

So I’ve been racking my brain for the past week or so about a blog topic.

I. got. nothin’.

So sorry, fellow bloggers. I am a dud this week. Nothing of interest has happened (although on the bright side, this means no major mishaps either), and I have no life outside of the craziness of my children, therefore no subject matter.

So for lack of something interesting to say, here are some pictures of the loves of my life:

Cue the chorus

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We just filed our taxes, and as usual, we’re getting a hefty refund. It’s so hard not to blow it all at once, especially since we do without so much the rest of the year. We’re trying to be responsible, though, and do things that really need to be done, like getting rid of the strange, brown mold that’s been slowly taking over the bathroom in our room. And replacing the dangerously cracked windshield on my car before it causes either an accident or large fine. But there are other things on the list as well, such as a trip to the kids’ favorite indoor waterpark. And ink for the printer (I’m surprisingly excited about this). Hey, we have to splurge once in a while, or we’ll go nuts, right?

I LOVE my husband!

I know, I complain about him a lot, but I really do love my husband. He is more than I could have ever hoped to find in one person in my lifetime. He is caring, kind, and generous. He loves our children and isn’t afraid to say so. What’s not to love? I’m sure that if he ever reads this blog, he will be ever so hurt about all the whining I do about him, but it’s not really the way it looks.

See, he’s so great that I have trouble talking to him about the little things that bug me. Like the fact that he always throws his beer caps on the floor, and I always step on them barefooted in the dark. Or how he waits until we are going to bed to mention that he has no long john’s to wear to work the following day, instead of looking in his drawer when I asked 3 hours earlier. These are minor things. He does so much around here (he is Chief Mechanic, Master Handyman, Head Chef, Bringer of Bacon, and all that jazz), that it seems kind of petty to bring all the other stuff up. But it does bug me. And if I let it bug me too long, eventually it builds up into a not-so-little thing. So I prefer to vent about it here, where no one’s feelings can be hurt, because it really isn’t so important that I need to remind him every single time to throw his Q-tips in the trash, instead of on the desk, right?

Note to self: change address of blog before DH decides to read it.

Welcome back to Junior High!

I am feeling awkward lately. It’s like being back in 7th grade all over again. I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere. I thought I had reached a point in my life when I could find my place in the world, but lately I’ve doubted my own maturity.

I have special needs children. That sets me apart from most of the others in the online communities I belong to. I am currently a member of 2 online parenting message boards, and although I love the women I know there dearly, I feel so different from them, who go about their lives with little more thought for their children’s futures than how much to put in the college fund this month, and whether their son/daughter will want Dora or Blue’s Clues for the theme of their next birthday party. I spend most of every day contemplating the benefits of occupational therapy, and whether my youngest really needs speech therapy. I am among them, and they accept me, and support my struggles, but I am not really the same mother they are.

And yet, my children’s needs are not the same as other children with special needs. I know we are extremely fortunate that their needs are small. In the greater picture, they are a mere inconvenience. My oldest is Hard of Hearing. And yet, his hearing loss is merely a Profound Unilateral loss. I don’t fit in with the parents of other Deaf and HH kids, because my son can hear. He can hear pretty well, as a matter of fact. There are a few situations in which he is a bit disadvantaged, sure, but we are aware of this, and can work around it. Again, the parents have been very kind, offering support and advice whenever they can, but I don’t really belong to their circle. Reed has recently been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, but his is a mild case, from what I’ve been able to gather through my research into the disorder. To say he’s high functioning is almost an understatement. He needs more attention than I know how to give, and he is a bit uncomfortable in his own skin some days, but he’s mostly a normal 5 year old, who loves riding his bike, playing with his little brother and going to Kindergarten. I do not fit in with the parents of those children who require months of work to look you in the eye (although he does have trouble with eye contact), or say your name. I most definitely do not fit in with those parents. My youngest has his own set of issues, mostly stemming from a sensory issue with food. He doesn’t like the feel of food, so he won’t eat it. You know how they say no child will voluntarily starve? Well, that’s not entirely true. Owen was losing weight, missing milestones, and just generally failing to thrive. As evidence of the inexperience of the other moms with matters of this nature, everyone assured me “He’s going to be fine, he’s just burning it off quickly because he’s so active.” I wish I could believe them, but a trip to the pediatrician confirmed my fears. Owen was not growing. After a battery of tests, that included skull x-rays and MRI, it was determined that his poor eating was to blame. His poor body was working so hard just to keep functioning, that it had stopped growing altogether. Now that he’s getting his nutrition supplemented, he’s make huge progress, including a 20% weight gain in the last 3 months alone. He’s making progress with milestones too, but is still somewhat delayed. He’s having his speech evaluated this week, and I’m a bit nervous. I shouldn’t be. Reed went through speech therapy, and it did wonders for him. It really shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s just so hard to hear that your child isn’t “normal”. I desperately want to hear that he’s making great progress and will catch up on his own in time.

*sigh* What’s a girl to do? I’m open to suggestions if you have any. I never did figure this out back in Junior High, and I’m not making much progress at it this time around either.

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