Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hissy Fits

When I mentioned wanting to have one the other day, Kyle wanted to know what a Hissy Fit was.

Well, have you ever seen a cat that's been startled or aggravated enough that they start doing that little dance on their toes, backing up as if they're on little bitty springs, switching from their left side to their right, switching their tail all over, and hissing and spitting? Yes? Well, there you go.

Lots of noise and complaining and posturing, but really not much substance. It seems to me that it's a cat's way of saying "darn it all, I don't want to!" or "no, that's not how it's supposed to happen!". That's pretty much how I've felt, lately. Not a pretty or encouraging sight, I know. Sometimes I just feel like hissing and spitting and growling and waving my hands in the air going "no! no! no!".

Of course, I'm not allowed to do that, since I'm a Mom. We won't even begin to go into how silly it would look if I did, and how utterly ineffectual it would be any way. However, sometimes just the secret wish of doing so is a stress reliever, and makes me laugh because I think of my cat doing her little toe-dance that looks so funny. Once you can laugh, it's easier to let go of all the frustrations that build up.

I think I could use a good laugh about now. I think I'll go have myself a little hissy fit :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


With all of the drywall sanding going on in my basement today, I've had a chance to make a few observations.

First, the dust never really settles, does it? It just moseys about, looking for a new home on which to rest. Despite the vacuuming, and fans, and dusting, and wiping, something always remains. How true for events in our lives, too. We probably don't even realize how much residual "dust" will be with us for the rest of our lives, from events and projects that we've completed. I suppose this could be good, so that we never forget and can learn, or bad, if it was a negative experience.

Second, dust is something you push around and sweep away, but if you get too much of it, it chokes you. There's a metaphor for you. Think about it.

Third, dust changes the way you look. The contractor came up for a break looking like a cartoon character that had fallen into a flour bin. Does this mean he's been changed by the dust, or just hidden from view for a while?

Last, in the most practical and mundane sense, dust means that the project is almost over! Once you get to the dusty part, it's the beginning of the end. The light is at the end of the tunnel, even if it still is a little bit diffuse.

The good news is, the dust will always (sort of) settle.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cards and Carpets

Today was an eventful day. First off, my husband (drum roll please....) let me sleep in until 10:00 am! That is SO very rare for me. Abigail was up last night at 1:30 and again at 6:00. I'm not sure why. She cried a bit, then settled back to sleep.

After I finally got out of bed and dressed, we loaded the kids in the van for a family shopping trip. We ran a few work errands, then off we went to select color sample cards (we needed these to pick out everything to match!), outlet covers, carpeting, and a couch for the basement, despite the kids' complaints of starvation (yes, we fed them- Wendy's- and they survived). We found the perfect carpet to match our color cards.

Now, we have to hurry up and wait for the carpet order and to pick up the couch. At least we have the color cards to show the contractor so he can paint the walls. It will be SO nice when the basement is finished, and all of our stuff has a place, and we weed out lots more stuff, and I have a decent work area.

The anticipation is killing me ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Little Things

Another hectic week over, another about to begin. Already the calendar is filling with work tasks, school meetings, appointments, and chores. It's what I do :)

Today I took the older 3 swimming at the Y. They had tons of fun, and I found myself enjoying it quite a bit, as well. It's music to my ears to still hear "play with me, Mom!". I figure I'd better do so while they're still interested in paying attention to Mom. My legs are soooo tired from dragging them around the pool, playing 'fetch' with the water toys, and racing. I don't mind. It's a good kind of sore, knowing every moment of effort was worth it.

I did get in my therapy exercises, too, which is a big bonus. My knee has been giving me trouble again and I find being in the pool really helps.

At school and home, we've been pushing Abigail (more than usual) to SAY things when she signs them. Happily, she's trying to do so and it's really very cute. On of my favorites is she now points to things and says "lookit dat!". When you thank her for something, she takes a bow. Such a sweet pea.

Jakob has coined many phrases over the years that we now use in our household. The Blues Clues notebook is known to us as the "mip mop". Doors that open when you get near them are "automagic", and we have Easter "bastiks". Believe it or not, he still uses "amn't" as the contraction for "I'm not".

Kyle's big thing is nicknames. He's got about 30 of them, now. He collects them. He loves to try and think of all of them. He's just a lovable kid, and a bit of a goofball. Gotta love him.

Cassie is still known (and I'm sure always will be) by her Bear Bear. Ah, Bear Bear. What in the world would our lives be like without you? Cassie's best buddy, confidant, and moral support. She still rides in Cassie's back pack every day "just in case, Mom".

I love them all.... these little things that make up the big things that become who they are.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cloak of Patience

As I was flipping through radio channels in the van, I heard an interesting snidbit about putting on your "cloak of patience" when dealing with people. I thought that was a very nice thought. Patience, courtesy, and kindness will most often get you through dealing with people. Is this supposed to apply only to me, toward others?

As I thought more about this, I thought that perhaps it would also be a good idea to put on my cloak of patience when dealing with myself. I so often have no patience with my own little foibles and faults. Maybe that's why I feel so stressed out sometimes. I want to be able to fix it, and fix it NOW.

It's very easy to say, but very difficult to do, especially when "things" seem to be just piling up and up and up all around me. I've been frustrated so often this past month with Abigail's health that I just want to bury myself in bed. I've been trying to focus on all the other things I need to get done; aggravated with working things out with the schools (that's multiple... CSE and CPSE issues), harried running back and forth between schools and stores and appointments, and feeling impatient with myself for feeling generally run down and under the weather.

Oh, Lord, help me weave my cloak of patience, not only toward others, but for myself. Amen.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Never Ending Story

Abigail has finally been feeling better.  She's back to eating and making messy diapers.  Who knew I'd ever be pleased to type that sentence?!  Of course, it doesn't end there.  For the last 2 nights Abigail signs "ouch" and points to her ear and cries.  Today I was going to call the pediatrician to have it checked out.  Sure enough, just before I called, Abigail got herself into more trouble.

Grama was sorting a laundry pile I'd brought downstairs.  Abigail apparently jumped into the laundry pile (as she is wont to do).  Unfortunately, that's right when Grama took a step backwards and stepped right on Abbie's left elbow.  Abbie didn't cry at first.  She kept frowning at Grama and pointing to her shoe, then her arm, then fussing.  Poor Grama felt SOOO bad.

Of course, the pediatrician took a look at the elbow the same time she took a look at the ears.  Abigail has another double ear infection and is back on Augmentin again.  Her elbow seems ok; some soft tissue damage but the joint & bones seem fine.  She's a little bruised and puffy, there.  The Doc. gave us some topical pain cream and suggested Motrin or Tylenol, which she's taking anyway for her ear pain. *sigh*  Maybe tonight she'll be able to sleep, with the antibiotics and pain meds.

Meanwhile, I contacted the school about Abbie receiving Music Therapy.  Her evaluation was in December, and still nothing.  When I finally got a response from the school, they told me they never received a report.  For heaven's sake, people.  Why do I sign these papers saying you can communicate with each other when you don't?!  I ran that form over to the school and signed the necessary paperwork for an amendment to her IEP.  I also rescheduled her appointment to get her pre-op and ear tubes.  First opening is the first week of May.

Once that was done, it was off to the post office to get some work mail out.  As I ran about, the contractors began work in my basement :)  Oh, happy day!  The walls were scraped, bleached, and dri-locked.  The shelving was removed and miscellaneous, useless boards taken out of the wall.  Then they transported a bunch of wood through one of the basement windows.  I love the smell of cut wood.  It reminds me of my Dad and his workshop.  Good memories.  The basement looks so much better already.  I'm going to take pictures every evening to track their progress, just because it's fun to do.  At least this project has an end in sight.

I cheated tonight and had David pick up a roast chicken for dinner from the store.  It was yummy, but mine ended up being a bit chilly, as I had some work things to take care of first.  I just popped it in the micro for a minute and it was warm enough.  Time to have a cup of tea and think about going to bed.  Tomorrow promises to be another busy chapter in our never ending story.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Got the "Severe" Blues

Today I had a nice conversation with Abigail's Speech Therapist.  For the last few years, we have requested that her ST be increased.  After all, she's now almost 4 1/2 and she's not talking.  True, she's made some progress and says a few words, but really....she's 4 1/2!

So, the ST wanted to make sure I wasn't upset or surprised when I read in her report that she's is extremely severely delayed in speech.  I knew that.  I also know that in order to continue services, the therapists have to show a certain percentage of delay or significant deficit. 

Well, Abigail's got that for sure.  She falls in the 1-2 percentile.  Yes, 1 to 2.  Maybe they can finally get her ST increased?  As a parent, I understand and accept that intellectually.  As a parent, that also breaks my heart.  It's obvious she can understand what you're saying, and can communicate via sign, gesture, and body language and the occasional word.

However, I need for her to be speaking before she starts Kindergarten.  I need for her to be able to express herself.  I need for her to be able to demonstrate her comprehension in a way that the greater bulk of people she meets will understand.  I need reassurance.  I need faith.  I need sleep.  I need "the peace that passes human understanding", and right now it's eluding me.  I need to just hold my beautiful, amazing daughter that can't talk, and tell her how much I adore her.  I wish she were still tiny so I could scoop her out of her crib and just hold her all night long.