30 June, 2007

Ragged at the Edges

I think the last week really wore me out.. between Jake being at Camp, Lucy starting to wean, and still getting used to child care twice a week, my sister, her husband and babies in constant peril in South lake, my mother's birthday (for which I was unable to do advanced planning.. you know send a card in advance...), two major house projects that are both stopped mid-way by lack of parts and time,
I am worn down, and a bit ragged at the edges.

Jake came home with a tummy virus that went around Camp.. he got it the last 12 hours of camp, so when they called me Friday morning, they basically just wanted to give me the head's up. I bought the required Pedialyte and some Immodium and he was basically fully recovered by the time we got him home...happy kid. I know it is a good idea to send him to Camp, but I do know I sleep better when I know I've tucked him in a night.

So I am getting some of it in line now, I think...
  • Jake is home.
  • My sister's house is still standing her and the babies are breathing fine.
  • I ordered way-too-expensive flowers for Gloria.
  • I have now researched shower stalls and my city is giving away free low-flow toilets.
  • 26 June, 2007

    Jake's at Camp

    So through the wonders of the internet I am able to see Jake at Camp with his counselor Angela..because another counselor was showing the photo to Jake's counselor from last year! (with my permission)

    23 June, 2007

    Okay. Seriously?

    Okay now the kitchen sink has backed up into the upstairs tub. This is a different bathroom than the one we are remodeling downstairs... and Descartes has decided that "maybe we should just rip out all of the wall board and start over.. and let's put in a whole new shower and pan.. and well, why don't we just strip it down to the studs?" on the downstairs bath.

    Okay, so, fine.. and we should just rip out everything from the back yard and start over there too. I guess he is a start from scratch kind of guy. He pretends he's not, but I know he likes the freedom and the fear that comes with a blank slate.

    Cookie and Pap are coming over to play with kids while we clean out the garage and finish taking down the downstairs bath.. before the termite people come on Monday morning... now they will be playing with kids while we do plumbing work.

    Descartes is on his way to Triple A Rentals to get a power auger..

    21 June, 2007

    Eat Your Veggies!

    So excited. I just picked up my first Family Share box from Live Earth Farm. I am serving Descartes a Salad Nicoise!

    20 June, 2007

    The Village Idiot

    Yesterday there was a library assembly at Jake's school. Apparently he sat so nicely the entire time and enjoyed the presentation... except for one speaker.
    This speaker has a "Yuck" song, and every time he says the word "Yuck" the kids all scream and yell.

    It went something like this.

    "Okay, well I can sing the nose song, or the Yuck Song."[SCREAMS]

    Man pretends to mutter to himself, "Think before you speak Chuck, do not say the word 'yuck'".[SCREAMS]
    and more to himself:
    "Darn it, think before you speak. Don't say 'yuck'". [SCREAMS]

    Taps his head a few times.
    "Think. Think. Do not say the word "YUCK". [MORE SCREAMS]

    This happens several more times.

    Then Jake leans over towards Anna and Janet ...

    and says

    "What an idiot".

    16 June, 2007

    Applebees and No More Trees


    Okay, so I hired my wonderful gardener and his persevering team to pull out two trees.. which as it turned out was really 5 separate trees.. then while he was there
    He said, "Aren't you going to get rid of those planters anyway?"
    and I said, "Uhm Yeah."

    then he said, "Well I can have my guys do it today and haul away everything...."

    OH NO.. so I did!

    We have a sort of plan for the back yard.. but not really a right now plan.. so as Descartes said.. "We now have what one might call an escalation of commitment".

    In other news.. as a last minute what should we do for dinner we decided to go to Applebees tonight.

    We have decided that Applebees is:
  • TGI Fridays for people with kids.
  • Mc Donald's with Alcohol in terms of the health benefits and quality of food.
  • Not going to be a place we go regularly.

  • However... Jake and Lucy were such absolutely great kids that it makes me think that we are really all going to be okay. We waited for a booth so Jake would be more comfortable (and confined) and it was a very smart move. He sat so nicely and looked out the window at the trees and swaying grass plants, then ate his meal so happily that we ordered sundae's for both of the kids.

    I almost cried as we left because it went so smoothly.

    15 June, 2007

    PeePee on the Pot-TEE peeepee on the Pot Tee

    I got a great call from school today! Jake went to his own flip book and started playing with the icon for bathroom. He was also hitting his waistline with his hand.

    His teacher Janet.. who is amazing, noticed and asked Jake if he wanted to go to the bathroom.

    She got no discernible response so she offered him Free Play or Bathroom. He had been playing with another little girl before he got up to go to his flip book, so he chose Free Play. Janet said that he should go to the bathroom first then have free play so he went with Anna to the bathroom
    where he stood in front of the toilet....

    Now he has done this before of course, but never initiated so completely on his own.. and has never followed through with anyone else but me.

    When he came back to the classroom the entire class celebrated (which may sound inappropriate, but bathroom and self-care issues are a part of their learning). Other children in the class (who can speak..) were coming up to Jake and patting him on the shoulder and saying "Good job pee-pee Jake. Good job pee pee".

    Janet gave him cookies right away, and promised him that he would have ice cream when he got home from school.. which he did.

    Janet and I had just spoken about toilet training on Thursday night at Open House. She seems to think that Jake is right on the cusp of some big changes. Wouldn't it be great if he were toilet trained before our trip to Hawaii in August?!

    13 June, 2007

    Camera Shy

    I just realized that while I am quick to put up photos of Lucy, I do not really post any of Jake. This is just another sad thing for me. Descartes doesn't really take a lot of photos anymore, and I am normally taking care of the kids, so I must rely on other people taking pictures of our family.. and since taking photos of Jake is so often disappointing (though much less expensive now that digital is ubiquitous.. I used to spend hundreds of dollars to get just one photo where he was in the frame and possibly looking towards the lens)..

    I find that people don't like to take photos of my child who will not look at the camera.

    Even I struggle with my regular disappointment at not having a decent photo of Jake smiling and looking at me.

    note to self... try harder...Jake does smile, often, and at me... will try to capture it for posterity...but mostly will try to remember in my mind what it looks like. Remember that moment tonight at bedtime when we were wrestling and we both fell off the bed...that smile came with eye contact.

    12 June, 2007

    We Don't need no Stinkin' Groceries

    So we got back from Tahoe on Sunday night.. and I just sort of knew that Jake was not going to make it through school on Monday... his nose wasn't running when he left for school (I swear), but twenty minutes into it I got the call that he was snotting everywhere...he can't, or won't blow his nose.

    That's the thing about having a special needs kid, sometimes it is the little stuff that kills you..like the fact that if Jake would/could just blow his nose twice in the morning he would get all of that snot out and be able to attend school... then I would be able to go grocery shopping with only one little girl... who is trouble enough all on her own "that...that...that...".

    So I picked up Jake when I got the call (Lucy and I were at Tar-jay buying Jake socks for camp... and life since he wears holes in them at the rate of about $4.89 a week). Luckily I had already downed two shots of espresso (on ice) and scored Lucy a cup of ice ... (I know.. not a good baby food).. so we went back to school where Jake smugly got into the back seat of the car.. and I decided that we would take a shot at grocery shopping... so we invaded Safeway.

    I was hoping that the cart with the little bench seat would be available.. that would make it harder with Lucy, but that would mean Jake could sit down and perhaps just "be" while I hurried through the store... of course it was being used by a family with a seemingly normal child (I know very unfair of me to say.. who knows, maybe that kid is autistic too..but based on extensive hahahah knowledge he was just fine dammit and he coulda walked). So I had to use a regular cart with Jake walking and Lucy haha belted in to the kid seat part.

    I know that the cart does not have a sign that reads...
    "Please reserve this grocery cart for those families who are out of milk because they were traveling and it is now their baby's first birthday and the daddy has a job interview and the mommy would like to buy some tri-tip to celebrate, and some broccoli, and perhaps some yogurt as well, so that the older son, who has all sorts of special needs can take his medicine in the morning because if you take this cart it is entirely possible that this family might not get to grocery shop at all, or if they try to, people will stare at the writhing autistic boy on the floor in front of the cake mixes (because the mommy has realized that there is NO FUCKING WAY she is going to possibly make a homemade cake with two children home all day and no childcare). It is also possible that if the mommy has to use a regular cart she will need to steer it with only one hand since the other hand will be busy holding her autistic son's hand... so if her daughter tries to escape all she can do is pray that the baby (who is really not a baby at all anymore) will actually listen to the mommy and sit back down.. and if there is any sort of hill..well it is possible that the baby who is celebrating her first birthday on this very day may actually be sent flying all by herself because the mommy has to hold her son's hand ever-so-tightly so he does not escape, but sometimes he twists his arm all the way around (because he has low tone and he can do that).. so that the mommy gets confused about which way he actually goes, and has to use BOTH hands to unravel him and get him back on his feet and attached to her again. So please refrain from using this cart if your kid can possibly just walk along beside you."

    I know there is no sign like this.. but I sure could have used that cart.

    11 June, 2007

    Sprinkle don't dunk

    We went to Lake Tahoe this weekend to celebrate Lucy's first birthday and to baptize her in style. We went to Baldwin beach for a full dunking, but since the water was "headache cold" we only poured water over her forehead.

    She wore a beautiful and very formal dress made lovingly by Descartes' mom, Cookie. It actually fit her perfectly... even though it was made before she was even born! Cookie and Papa drove their RV and stayed at a very nice campground not too far from my sister's house. They were very sweet to somehow get it together in spite of having just returned from The East Coast via D.C. and Miami. They were mighty jet-lagged, but managed to happily blend in with the rest of my crazy family.

    It is actually not fair to say that they are crazy.. not this time. It all went so smoothly. I am really very very lucky to have such a great, if complicated family.

    My Mom and Step-dad wonderfully put up my family and my brother's family in a hotel we all thought was going to be amazing.. but it was really just a Caesar's palace with a name-change.. None the less my children acted like it was Christmas and had a grand time on the cozy beds and in the Gigantic two person tub (as long as you ignored the slime mold it was fine!) Gloria and P.J. were generous as always, and I so appreciated that they drove all that way. Gerard and Pinky and my precious niece, Bubsy were great to have in attendance since they do not often travel outside of the Southern California basin (except to go to Hawaii or Mexico). I actually think it was the first time either of them had been to Tahoe..perhaps even north of Fresno! Bubsy really enjoyed playing in the jump house with Jake, and taking a bath with Lucy.

    BIAD and my step-mom, Monster (by the way, not a deriding term.. I am Step-brat.. although this may be a more accurate name)stayed with my sister along with my youngest brother Albert and a friend Monster brought with her from work, Kory. She was delightful and a tremendous help with all of the kids.

    We figured out that this was the first time all four kids have been in the same place since Demanda and Jaster's wedding in 1999. How sad is that? Someone has always been away at school or sick, or dying, or grieving, or poor or angry. We were really only all in the same place for about 6 hours, but it was nice.

    Jaster and Demanda have re-organized and arranged their entire house to make it work with two little babies.. and they were amazing hosts for Lucy's birthday weekend acting as a home base for everyone. I thanked them about a million times, but there is never quite enough thanks I could give someone who actually takes care of me. Between Gloria and P.J. arranging for my hotel, Cookie making the dress and Demanda and Jaster setting up their entire house, I really didn't need to worry about anything. It felt so nice to have someone make some decisions and make it so I didn't need to anticipate every single need all by myself.

    By the way Jaster and Demanda's house is still ready for Jake at a moment's notice. They continue to provide a sanctuary for my family time and time again.

    So the weekend, overall went very smoothly. I am very proud of everyone for playing nicey-nice and I think enjoying themselves.

    Will post a few pictures if I can get some from someone else.. since we could not get it together enough to bring our own camera. oh got one....

    08 June, 2007

    Exponential Snot

    At what point does the world **not* stop because there is a head cold running rampant through the family. Jake is home from school due to green trails on the upper lip. In a good mood. Lucy does not seem to have the cold so bad as the meanies when I try to wipe her face. Descartes was a sniffly-headed goof last night and this morning barely able to get it together for work. Poor guy. and we are leaving for Tahoe in about 6 hours.

    Cookie (Descartes' mom) swears she used to just sit her three kids on the couch in front of the t.v. and let their noses run all day, never wiping them. I find it hard to believe, but it is also possible that they had a green couch and green shag carpeting at the time. (ewwww grossss)

    Lucy is currently in her crib YELLING at the top of her baby lungs in protest. She does not like to nap. She does not want to miss anything.
    She is my daughter.

    07 June, 2007

    He's a Knockout

    So my big boy Jake had to have his teeth cleaned yesterday. I don't know how it is for other moms with autistic children, but the dentist is a very difficult engagement for us.

    Noncompliant + teeth = potential injury

    therefore If Jake[clean teeth] | Jake = knocked out (anesthesiologist + beacoup d'argent)

    04 June, 2007

    Jumpy House

    Daddy and Jake bought a Jumpy House while Lucy and I were in So Cal.... good times. I told Descartes that the 200 bucks was already worth it to have Jake happy for so many hours in a row.

    03 June, 2007

    Hello Jake

    So when I called home yesterday (because I was in Newport Beach for the weekend with Lucy) Descartes put the phone up to Jake's ear.

    When I said, "Hi Jake, it's Mommy".

    Jake said, "mmph (smile) Hi".

    Cool eh?

    Jake and Descartes went shopping for a present for Lucy today since her birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

    Jake chose a Jumpy House which he tested out today

    02 June, 2007

    Friggin' Weird

    "Sure would be wonderful if they could figure out what the hell Autism is and why it happens. It's just so friggin' weird. Isn't it?-Gloria

    i love my mom
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