Saturday, April 26, 2008
I'll be back late Wednesday and then we have our last post-placement report with Nandi's social worker on Thursday. Can you believe it's almost been 6 months already??? Wow.
Okay, I am absolutely NOT packed and still have a million things to do. I'm gonna get about 2 hours sleep tonight - eek! I've been wasting time downloading CD's off of ITunes for the trip and the last one (The Robbie Seay band - whom I absolutely adore... reminds me of Peter Gabriel a bit) is almost finished up. Which means, I've gotta get cracking.
Hope everyone has a great week! What on earth am I going to do without the internet for 4 days????
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Sim and I came to the conclusion that I need more RPM training, so I've been busy trying to fulfill the requirements to attend a 4-day training session in Austin. It'll be in June and I'll be going all by myself. Yeah... like a mini-vacation. All by myself. That's like my dream come true. Except now that the reality is approaching, I'm actually wishing the whole family would be there. I'm not going to want to go to Phil's Icehouse by myself - sitting there eating my ice cream like a big goober and missing my kids.
Oh, who am I kidding. I'm going to have a blast!
Anyway, one of the requirements is that you video yourself doing RPM with your child. And therein lies the problem. I suck at it. I'm awful. I'm sure they are going to view the video and immediately contact me and schedule an emergency training session ASAP.
It's that bad.
I did take after take after take. Finally, last night, we ended up with a decent session. Of course, by that time, I was fed up and didn't give a hoot what I looked like. So, now, everyone at the training camp will get to watch a tape of me wearing a ratty T-shirt that says, "Campbell Soup's 1989 Tour of Figure Skating Championships", with stringy hair, no make-up, and a pair of blue shorts that I did not realize rode up so high until I videotaped myself trying to squeeze behind a kiddie table.
I guess that's why they call them KIDDIE tables... because after getting Noah all settled, I could pretty much only get one short-clad thigh squeezed underneath. The other leg just splayed out like a baby colt learning to walk for the first time.
And, it was so apparent that I'm starting to inherit my Granny Betty's spider veins.
So attractive, let me tell ya. Soooooo attractive.
I bet you all can't wait for me to represent East Texas at the training conference. I'm sure I'll do you all proud.
Let's see, besides that, we are seriously thinking of putting our house on the market and moving into an RV on my parent's land.
Seriously talking about it. I think it would fall under the category of "What's the Craziest Thing You Would Do to Get Out of Debt?" And really, it's not so much about debt, but about striving to live simply and being able to pay for things... like dentist bills for 5 people who continue to get cavities no matter how much they brush, spit, rinse, floss, and mouthwash. Ya know??? So, we are actually thinking about it. The kids love it out there. I spend all my time out there. We'd have the money for Sim to go back to England to visit his family when he wants. We could continue Noah's RPM therapies without worrying and maybe continue OT past our 30 insurance visits. It just makes sense.
And then we realize that we'd have to keep our house clean the entire time it was on the market - and then we get cold feet.
And then we look around at all the junk we've accumulated and think "wouldn't it be awesome to just get rid of all this stuff and just live simply?
Yeah, it would!
So, we are going to have a mega garage sale sometime next month. De-clutter, get rid of, and start assessing the damage... which includes lots of grubby walls dust bunnies. And then maybe we'll get the house listed in a few months.... wait 3 years for it to sell... and then be on our way.
But we're really excited because it's going to be one cool adventure.
Okay, I am running SO late. We have a cranial sacral appointment in Dallas this morning. Then, we're off to either Whole Foods or Sprouts because we're out of "fish eggs" and the kids have been beggin for them. No, not real fish eggs, but those gelly capsules of Omega Oils. Yuck. But they LOVE them, so who am I to complain. Then, we're off to see my friend, Raji, who is from India and has 2 kids - one who has autism. She lives in Irving and there are tons of Indian grocery stores there. I always feel like a doofus when I go because I just stand there in the aisles completely overwhelmed. But I LOVE the smell. All those spices mixed together. Yum!
And then off to LifeGroup - where my kids will NOT infect anyone with lice because we've finally gotten RID of it. Yea!!!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Lately, something strange has been up with my younger two kids. They decided to clean the bathroom all on their own - which actually involved soaking two full rolls of toilet paper in the sink and then stuffing a whole other one down the toilet, but they tried. And, then, not long after that they decided to spontaneously empty our dryer and piled up all the dry clothes on the couch and left them there... just like they've seen their momma do day after day.
Oh yes. They are a product of their raising.
And then they decided to help us out by washing the dishes. And even though they put all the dishes back in the cabinet all soapy and sopping wet, it was the thought that counts, right?
But when Eli suggested Saturday night that I lay down on the couch so that he could rub my feet... well, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Now, honestly, I've been wondering what's been motivating this behavior. Am I going to open up a random, obscure drawer and find the remains of my favorite coffee mug? Did they break the dog's tail? Is there a pet garden snake taking up residence underneath their mattress? Is it in atonement for all the bratty behavior they've been throwing at us the last few weeks? Who knows. But when someone offers you a foot rub, it's foolish to second guess it, so I hopped myself on the couch and Eli started rubbing my feet and Nandini ran to the other end and started rubbing my shoulders and hair.
Sim even took a picture of it:
And then..... I noticed that Eli was peluch-ing my feet.
Peluche. Yep, beloved teddy bear that we sent to the orphanage for Eli's first Christmas.
This is Peluche:
In a former life, he was a cute, stunning little bear. Now, though, he is worn down to practically nothing. But Eli will never, ever part with him. I'm placing bets on whether Peluche is actually going to stand up as the best man at Eli's wedding.
They're practically attached to the hip.
Anyway, Eli has this bizzarre little ritual where Peluche "tickles" him. First, he sniffs Peluche... which, you know, cannot be all that great. He has a bit of a peculiar wet dog odor. And then he lightly rubs Peluche all over his face, ear, and neck and then will sometimes lift up his shirt so that Peluche can tickle his tummy. Yeah, it raises a few eyebrows, but we've gotten used to it. It's just Eli, you know?
Well....I've never had a problem with it until he started Peluch-ing my feet on Saturday night. First of all, he starts sniffing them - and my eyebrows raised a little bit and I thought, "Hmmmm.... what's this about?" and then he started taking my feet and rubbing them lightly all over his face.
So, I'm like, "Eli, dude, quit peluching my feet. That's nasty." and he just smiled because he totally gets into a trancelike state when he does it. So, I'm thinking, okay. Time's up. Momma's foot rub is over.
Well, then, he plays for a few minutes and then comes back to the couch and head dives straight into my crotch. Sorry. I have no other way of explaining it. And I'm thinking, "Okay now. This is not funny. What's going on here????
So I say, "Eli... honey. Whatcha doing there??!! (which, translated, means... "Get off me, you pint-sized pervert") and he says, "I'm looking for spare change."
That's right. Spare change.
So, I had to call in back-up.
Simeon. Simeon! Sim-eee-un!!!!
So, he runs into the living room thinking there's a fire or something... stops... surveys the situation and bursts out laughing. And I explain that his son is looking for "spare change".
Well, fortunately, my husband is a brilliant man and was able to put together 2 + 2 and we figured out what Eli was doing.
Here's the deal. Sim is from England. And his mom is about 210 years old. Well, apparantely, his mom's generation used to use the phrase "spend a penny"- meaning that you need to go to the bathroom. I don't know why. I guess because you used to have to pay a penny to use a public bathroom?
And has anyone actually used that phrase since 1945? Except for my mother-in-law?
Now, here's the thing. Sim's mom has been over here just once since we adopted Eli. And Eli has visited her in Wales twice - the last time being about 14 months ago. But, he has this insane ability to remember minute details of things that happened ages ago... but still can't recognize his numbers or letters. His long-term memory is fantastic. Brilliant, even. Short-term. Eh. Not so much.
Anyway... somehow... out of the blue, Eli remembered that phrase, decided that he wanted some money and figured out that I must have a secret stash of quarters stuffed somewhere in my bladder.
And he was determined to find it.
So, I did what any good mother would do. I kicked him off me. He rolled into the edge of the coffee table. Cried.
C'est la vie.
But he was in fine form that night and there was no stopping him. I don't know what was up with him. Maybe he'd been sniffing the magic markers or something? I have no idea. So, then he came up to me, lifted my shirt up a little bit and started sucking my stomach.
Feet sniffing. Crotch diving. And stomach sucking.
Um... what exactly am I raising here?
So, anyway, he's making like a vacuum on my stomach and I have to push him off before he leaves a big nasty hickey around my belly button. And he looks up at me, smiles sweetly, and says, "Why you got such a fat belly, big mama?"
Fortunately, Sim saw me eyeing the end of that coffee table and quickly swooped in and carried the kids outside to swing.
Oh, he knows me well.
And that was my Saturday night.
So. How was yours?
And if it involved feet sniffing, crotch diving, and stomach sucking by anyone other than a four-year old then I don't want to know about it.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
For some reason, though, it's 6:30 and they're still asleep. Hmmm... I wonder if all that bird poison I put out is working.
We actually feed the birds everyday. Hey. Maybe that's it. I need to move their feeding time to around 10:00. I bet they're chirping me awake to let me know they're hungry. And I'm not joking. I once forgot to feed the squirrels in our yard and one of them went ballistic on me. Started jumping on our window over and over and over again - angrily chattering away -basically cussing at me in rodent language until I got some corn out for it.
I'm dead serious.
We've got some crazy psycho squirrels living in our trees.
Anyway, Eli just woke up. Ah, that figures, eh? So, now, I've got to make this quick.
Let's see. Okay. Noah still hasn't pooped his tooth out. Which means I either missed it or his stomach acid pulverized it. Or maybe he didn't swallow it after all and I actually vacuumed it up because I have an OCD fixation and love affair with my Dyson.
We're headed to Austin today. My mom is coming with me and Eli is having a "Special Day" with my dad. I asked Eli what he was going to do on his "Special Day" and he said he's going to drink Dr. Pepper and eat Cheetos all day long.
Yep. I just can't wait to get home late tonight and deal with a hyped up Eli. Oh boy. I just cannot wait.
I'm gearing up for my trip with Noah to TN on the 27th. When we moved there briefly two years ago, I made a lifelong friend - and so I'm driving up to see here and her kids. Her oldest also has autism. I'm really looking forward to going. NOT looking forward to the 11 hour drive up and back - but am looking forward to hanging out with a good friend, watching some American Idol (because she has TV - yay!), ordering takeout and eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
You know. All the good things in life.
I'm also highly anticipating our uber, mega garage sale that we should be having next month. I don't know when. But if I don't have it soon, I highly suspect that Sim might haul it off to our nearest charity store. In fact, he asked me how much I planned on making at the garage sale and told me that he'd be willing right now to give me that money in cash just so that he could haul it all off and get his house and garage back.
I looked him square in the eye and told him I bet I could make $5500.
And he looked me square in the eye and gave me a look that said, "What are you smoking and do you have any left?"
Yeah. You can't pull the wool over his eyes.
I think that's about it. I don't have much to say. We've been spending an obscene amount of time at my parents' house. I have a knack of going over there right around lunch time. And in doing so, I've cut down our grocery bill by a mile.
heee heee heee.
But they're on to me. My dad made some quip about how I need to start bringing a loaf of bread with me everytime I come around.
Hmmm...with the early rising of our crew, I bet I could manage to get over there and sneak in some breakfast, too. What do you think?
Speaking of which, I've got to get everyone ready. Hopefully I can get Eli to eat a healthy breakfast this morning - as the rest of his day will be filled with aluminum cans and cheesy, orange stained fingers.
And the best part of the day - that I am most looking forward to....we're going to stop off at Target in Round Rock. For no reason. Just because it's Target.
It's all about the simple pleasures in life, don't you think?
Monday, April 14, 2008
You'll have to excuse the grossness of the chewed up food. Trust me. I took a gazillion pictures and this is the best one I could get.
It's his first tooth!!! He's growing up. He's not a little boy anymore. Waaaahhhh!
On the plus side, I guess it's better to search through a diaper for a tooth than to fish it out of the toilet. Or is it? I'll get back to you on that one.
When we first moved out here (to a place I affectionally call "the sticks"), I was really upset. We moved from Denton - where everything geared towards kids with special needs was right at our fingertips. I was so mad at my husband for moving us an hour and a half from Dallas - where the school district was awful for kids with autism. Where there were no Autism Mom support groups. Where basically, in my opinion, nothing existed.
But we are very fortunate that the most incredible Occupational Therapy clinic opened up in Kaufman. And there are some amazing parents there. One of them started a local "Buddy League" baseball team for all the kids in our area with special needs - from Crandall all the way to Athens. They have these type of leagues all over Dallas and Plano, but I never thought I'd see one here. And, lo and behold, one started up.
Isn't God great!
We meet at the Kemp baseball field on Sunday afternoons for 6 weeks, and they've even got some of the Kemp High School baseball team helping out with the kids. Each kid - that needs one - is assigned a "buddy" to help him (there are no "hers"... not yet... but Nandi turns 4 next year and will be the first girl on the team). There are about 12 kids and each one gets two turns at the bat. It's very laid back. There are no obnoxious parents sitting in the stands yelling and cussing. Everyone's so supportive. All the kids get a homerun. It's just a really great atmosphere.
Plus, the kids were wiped out afterwards and took the longest nap in the history of the world.
Yessssssssss!! Whoo hoo!
They are also looking for volunteers and more buddies, if anyone is interested. You can be any age, it doesn't matter. You just have to love working with kids.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Yes. There's nothing quite like baseball season in Texas.
Now. Who's ready for a sno-cone?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
"Where did we get this movie from?
Me: "Mommy's friend Laura"
Eli: "Where does she live?"
Me: "Up north"
Eli: "Like in heaven?"
Me: "No, Virginia"
Me: "Yeah, Virginia"
Eli: (pauses) "But isn't that where Nandi pee pees from?"
Now how can I possibly throw myself a pity party when I get to hear gems like this all day?
Anyway, the post was never intended as a way to beg for compliments. I hope it didn't come across that way. But, boy, did your comments make me feel better! I hope you don't mind if I respond to them here. Is that okay?
Christine, your homeschool posts from last week were hysterical... and so right on the money. I read them all and so identified with everything you wrote. Your post on "taking a chill pill"... well, it was as if you'd written it directly for me. So, I don't have a clue why I let myself wallow in my own misery when just a few days ago I was reading that everyone goes through a funk, no family is perfect, it's okay for 4 year olds NOT to know the alphabet, etc. But I think once I fell headfirst into the deep pity hole I dug for myself, I just couldn't think rationally. Thanks for offering your hand to help me claw my way out.
Lee, you crack me up. Thanks for sharing some of your day with me. I'm glad to know you must be as sleep-deprived as I am! :-) And you're right, it doesn't matter when Eli learns the alphabet. He'll learn it. Doesn't matter if it's today or next year. He'll eventually get it, so I need to quit stressing.
I'm glad you like reading about the skeletons in my closet. lol. And, as far as the love for my kids shining through in my blog... well, there's a reason I didn't blog yesterday. Because the love was NOT shining through, let me tell you. The morning started out great, but I was frazzled by the time the evening came around. Three year olds are HARD work!
Thank for the words of encouragement, Michelle. Motherhood is HARD! People always say that, but you don't really truly understand the full impact of it until you're thrown in the middle of it. And, you're right, my kids are happy. They're just being kids. Maybe I need to try to look at life through their eyes and be a bit more patient.
Julie, you're hilarious! You really are. I'm so glad to know you. And feel free to blog about your days anytime. Is it terrible to admit that I got some sort of sick pleasure in reading about your day? Like... yay! someone else is going through it, too! Whoo hoo!! Sorry!
But it does help to know that you're not alone. And since two of our kids are the exact same age, I know you know what I'm going through.
You really summed it all up with this...
"May we all have bad days on opposite days so that we can spend the rest of our lives lifting up one another!!"
I'm definitely going to do Nandi's sheets daily. Can you believe I hadn't thought of that? And, yeah, those little combs are pretty much useless. Our biggest problem is getting Nandini to sit still. She is the squirmiest little thing ever.
Monday, April 07, 2008
We haven't been to church in two weeks. We haven't been to Lifegroup. We are banned from participating in Buddy League Baseball (for kids with special needs) until Nandini's lice goes away - even though she's not playing and will just sit in the stands with me.
And, on top of it all, I just feel like a crappy mother.
Do you ever get that way?
When we started homeschooling, I would read all these blogs of other homeschooling families to get ideas. Now, I just don't even want to read them because they depress the life out of me.
There's a particular blog of a lady who lives up north. I swear she must be June Cleaver. She is perfect. Everything's all perfect and pristine. She has "Tea & Cake" days and does all sorts of arts and crafts. Her kids go to aquarium school. She even has a kid with autism. Yet, somehow, she has her act together. She's mentioned that she wants her blog to be a warm, inviting place for readers to sit down and have a cup of tea... but when I visit it..all I feel is stressed out. I read her blog and then look around my house and think, "Wow, my kids are really screwed".
And then I start questioning God's wisdom. Like, what was He possibly thinking by cursing my kids with me as a mom? They totally deserve someone warm and inviting who makes them date raisin cake and hot cocoa. Someone who likes to go on nature walks and knows the name of every North American bird. Someone who can make dresses out of sackcloth and knit sweaters and socks - and who actually enjoys it.
Instead they got me. And, yes, I am throwing one big pity party for myself.
I have been so lost ever since I became a stay at home mom. Or should I say.. stay at home, homeschooling mom. I have NO routine. Noah doesn't have to be at school at 7:45 and picked up at 12:30. And now that we don't have television, there's no TV to remind me that As the World Turns comes on in 30 minutes... so, oops, it's lunch time. There's no Take Home Chef to remind me that it's time to cook dinner. But somehow, Sim isn't buying this as a reason to spend $60 on DirecTV each month.
But, my goodness, the kid must be bored to death.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
We did stop off at the Waco zoo on the way down there. We got in free because we're members of the Dallas Zoo. Let me say.. I loved the Waco zoo! Sometimes those smaller zoos have really got it going on. They have a cool little playground and this really neat slide that slides right through the otter exhibit - and the otters swim around it. Very cool. Although Noah got stuck in it and I had to squeeze my fat butt into a slide designed for size 0 models, but other than that, a good time was had by all.
We also stopped off at Target on the way back and bought the movie Enchanted. Brilliant movie the first time around. Still as good the second time. Maybe even the third time. But 3 x's a day, every day?? Oh my gosh. I have seriously O'D on this particular movie. I even caught myself saying, "Hey, babes, why don't we put on a little Barney"... so you know I must have had enough.
But that's okay because I have my NEW favorite kid's movie. Nim's Island. It came out yesterday and all the Studio Movie Grills had a free showing this morning for kids with special needs. I blogged about this a few weeks ago when we went to see Horton Hears a Who. It is the ONLY time we get to do things that are considered normal.. and I hate to use that word, but it's true. There are so many things that we can't participate in as a family. So it's really cool to be able to go the movies. Anyway, LOVED the movie. I really did. Man, they are getting good with these kids movies. Seriously. It's not like having to sit through all those Mighty Duck movies or 102 Dalmations from a few years ago. Those movie execs are really wising up.
Plus, they put in Scottish hottie Gerard Butler to entice all of us moms to take our kids and watch.
Good move, Walden Media, good move.
Anyway, I thought it was really good. Even laughed out loud at some parts. That either means it was really funny or I was just really desperate to leave my house.
Hmmm.. probably kinda both, I think.
And that's it. Not a lot going on. Going to take the kids outside to play and then pretend I had no time to cook supper and probably end up ordering a pizza. Shhhhh!
Have a good weekend!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
We're leaving early because we're making a detour to the zoo in Waco. Never been - but I see the sign everytime I head home from HALO - and since we're members of the Dallas Zoo, we can get in for free. Plus, it breaks some of the montony of driving... and Nandini's limit in the carseat is - oh - about 15 minutes. Uh oh!
As for coming back home... I am the worst night driver ever. Well... to be perfectly honest... I'm not exactly the best day driver, either. So I like to just head on home and drive straight through... we'll see how it goes with the kids. Maybe they'll all konk out in the backseat.
Hey, if any of you homeschool - or just need a good chuckle in the morning - you should head on over to Christine's page. It's Home Education Week and she's doing a post on homeschooling each day this week. One word: Hilarious! Be sure to scroll down so you can start reading from Monday.
I'm sure I'll have lots of interesting things to write about tomorrow!
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !
A child who dresses up in pull-ups instead of Disney Princess....
A plumber's butt...
A girl who likes to get dirty and mucky. And, no, this actually isn't the famous lice expedition that I've been blogging about. It's the contents of about 4 plastic sand buckets.
A raid-the-bottom-bathroom-drawer-and-play-with-all-the-tampons kinda girl...
And finally....a child who'd rather pretend to bite the head off a rubber snake than eat a pretend Princess cake.
Yes, that's my Nandi. Tomboy Extraordinaire. A fistful of dynamite packed into a petite little body. A force to be reckoned with. A girl who knows her own mind.
Don't let the sweet smile fool you....Or she'll whack you over the head and steal all your pocket money.
- Recovering Noah
- I'm Leslie. I've been married to Simeon for 16 years and we have four children: Noah (11), Eli (9), Nandini (8), and Naveen (3). Sim's from England. Noah, Naveen, and Nandi were born in India, and Eli was born in Guatemala. We live in Texas, which is where I was born and raised.
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