I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Mental Health Day


Funny Weekend Ecard: woo hoo it's Friday!! oh wait...I'm a mom.


Two posts in 24 hours? I know! Might as well sit down and type while I've got the gumption.

The other day Sim took a day off work because he said I needed a "Mental Health" day. Bwahahaha! Ya think?!

It happened to be on a day that I was already scheduled to drive to Dallas for a doctor's appointment. But, Sim, being the awesome guy that he is, agreed to come and keep me and the kids company. Yes! He drove the 3 hour round trip drive on his day off. He's a good man, Charlie Brown!

On the way to the appointment, we made a quick stop at my friend Liza's house. She was at work, but she had some stuff for Nandi, and her parents were home, so we ran by for a few minutes.

Okay, let me explain. Liza is originally from Uzbekistan. Her parents are Russian. Have you ever attempted to make a "quick stop" at a Russian's house?

We walked in and there were plates of Russian meatballs and little bowls of fruit and vegetables and slices of lemon and bowls of olives and all sorts of wafer dessert-y things. Y'all, we had 10 minutes. TEN minutes!

No! No! Eat. Lez-lee. See-me-un. Stay! Eat!

I love the way they say Simeon’s name. If I don’t pay attention, it sounds like they’re calling him Semen and because I’m really just a 14 year old girl at heart, it makes me giggle every time.

And then Liza’s dad was all,

See-me-un! You drink! Russian beer. Gut stuff! Meatballs. Russian beer. You like, no? Eat! Drink! Jeers! (which was really “Cheers” and again the giggles just overflowed).

And Sim turned to me and was like,

Why don’t you go ahead and take Noah and Naveen to the doctor and come back when you’re done.”

Say what? It’s MY Mental Health Day, dude. MY MHD!

But what was I going to do? I didn’t want to be that wife. You know, the one that tells her semen that he can’t have his Russian beer and meatballs (giggle giggle snort snort). And besides, Liza’s mom really did go out of her way to prepare everything and it would have been rude. And, dang, those meatballs were good. So I scarfed one down, took the kids, and hit the road. Leaving See-me-un and Mikhail toasting each other and knocking one back.

So, after the appointment, I decided to take a shortcut back to Liza’s house (aka.. the highway) and don’t you know there was a wreck?! What should of taken me 10 minutes took me 50 and by the time I arrived, we had to drive straight back home to pick up Nandi and Eli from school.

I was so bummed because I had all these visions of looking at the Halloween stuff at Michael’s and dragging Sim through Hobby Lobby and pointing out which garden gnomes I hope he gets me for Christmas. Especially since an evil troll, oddly named See-me-un, keeps breaking mine with the lawn mower. But, nope, no time. We had to head back.

And then, because I’m doing my best to see the silver lining in everything and I didn't want to spoil the day, I just decided to keep my mouth shut for the whole ride home. Some may call that the silent treatment, but I refer to it as just being really smart and not saying something you’re gonna regret.

Then when we got home, it was time for the kids to get out of school and Sim got to see firsthand what goes on from the hours of 3.30 – 8pm every day. First of all, progress cards were sent home that day. And Sim and I immediately decided that the word Progress Report is a complete and total oxymoron.

Progress? We don’t see no stinking progress!!

The results of the progress reports (1 kid failing 2 subjects and passing 1 by just a point and another kid failing just one subject but in a very big way) caused the first mentioned child to roll around on the floor screaming and crying for OVER AN HOUR. This set off Noah, who is doubly cursed not only with a sensitive heart but  auditory issues, as well. He can’t stand to see someone upset and he can’t stand to see them cry. This made HIM cry and he proceeded to scream, bawl, and bang his head for a mighty long time. And the child who is failing only one class didn’t get upset at all. In fact, this child bragged to the other child that she’s only failing ONE class and he’s failing TWO and la-di-da-di-da, that means you’re stupid and I’m not.

At this point, Sim looked at me and said,

Is that what it’s like every night??

And because I’m desperately trying to watch the words that come out of my mouth, my body went into some weird involuntary movements that could only best be described as a massive eye roll and a smirk. And if it’d been 1989, my helping of eye rolls and smirks would have been dished up with a whopping side of “DUH!”. But it’s not 1989 and as I’m desperately trying to watch the words that come out of my mouth, all Sim got was the behavior of a 12 year old child.

And, since Sim really is the most awesome guy that ever walked the face of the earth, he looked at me and said,

You know what? You need to just get out! Go!

which I took to mean,

Leave these premises immediately and go have some fun before I change my mind!”.

 And before I could even protest, “But Dave Ramsey doth sayeth…”, Sim pushed me out the door and my Mental Health Day began!

I ended up calling my friend Deedra, who also has 3 kids, 2 adopted, and 1 with Aspergers (and who was in desperate need of a MHD, too) and we decided to go to the movies.

I wanted to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green, but then she told me the kid dies at the end and I was all like,

Oh, hell no!. My Mental Health Day is not going to end with me blubbering into my Kleenex like a depressed fool. I deal with 7 shades of tears on a daily basis. No thank you!”

And I suggested that new Clint Eastwood/Amy Adams movie, but she was all like,

 “Uh, doesn’t Clint Eastwood get dementia or something? I just can’t handle that right now.”

Because her sweet daddy has advanced Parkinson’s and her Mental Health Day would have turned into a Mental Breakdown, so we skipped that one, too.

Finally, we decided on the new Bourne movie. Neither of us was truly psyched to see it becase, really, how can you have a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne? But it was that or some movie called Dredd and we knew that wasn’t our cup of tea. So we walked in, bought our popcorn and sat down.

Y’all, we LOVED it! And yes, that exclamation mark at the end of the sentence is punctuated with a huge cheerleader squeal.

I guess because we live in a small town and the movie’s been out for awhile now, we were the only ones in the theater. Which meant we had the ENTIRE place to ourselves! We put our feet up on the seats in front of us and screamed and yelled at the screen and hid our face in suspense and cheered and jeered until the end credits rolled.

It. Was. Awesome!

There was no one to tell us to quit kicking the back of their seat. No one to turn around and hiss, “Shhh!”. And I think I even saw Deedra break out her phone once or twice to send a couple of text messages in the middle of the film.

And we got to scream at the screen and say things like, “Look behind you!!” “Noooo…. You idiot! RUN!!!” “Omigosh! Omigosh! Omigosh", and the all important, "Kiss her! Kiss her, you fool!"

And after we had our fun yelling at the screen, we sat there and pondered out loud the two questions that every woman who has seen the movie  pondered at one point or another…

1. Why hasn’t Ed Norton removed that mole yet?

And

2. Is Jeremy Renner really hot enough to play the lead role in a Bourne movie?

And after a spectacular fight scene where he slides down the wall in an alleyway and singlehandedly takes on five Filipino policeman without breaking a sweat, we both decided that he could totally call us maybe.

And then we went home. And the kids were asleep and it was all nice and quiet and the house was a complete tip with dishes everywhere and popcorn strewn about the floor and Sim looked so cute and disheveled from having to deal with 4 tired and wired kids at bedtime that I just loved him even more.

And when I told him that I thought that I needed a Mental Health Day at least once a week, he was too tired to protest.

And, THAT, my friends is what I call a  good Progress Report.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Of Course He Did!

Today was one of those days were I had to pull out all the stops. We were running late. I hadn't given Eli his mock spelling test yet. We were out of groceries, and the kids were starting to get on each other’s nerves. So I did what any good stressed out mom would do… I bribed them with donuts.

I promised that we’d drive through the donut shop if they could just get their act together and work together as a team.

Part of the whole work together as a team bit included Eli helping Naveen  get dressed. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a brown and orange striped shirt and blue and red plaid shorts match each other. So I left the shorts in place and quickly changed Naveen’s shirt and we were outta there!

After they scarfed down the donuts and I dropped them off at school, the rest of the kids and I decided to hit a garage sale on the way back home.  Now, if you've read my blog for a long time, then you know that garage sales are in my blood. The first dollar I ever made was back in 1978 helping my granddad sell little plastic bird whistles that you fill up with water and blow. My granddad did flea markets, my parents still set up at a flea market, and I've been going to them since before I could walk. And the kids... well, they love them, too. And since it's finally getting cool enough in the mornings to go, then I figured I might as well introduce Naveen to the power of a bargain, too.

So, today, we hit the jackpot. It's not always like that around here. We live in a lake community, where the weekenders are rich, but the locals are struggling. It's a really weird atmosphere. Most of the kids out here are on free lunches and it's a Title 1 school.  But the summers and weekends bring a lot of out-of-towners to the lake and the whole town atmosphere changes.  Anyway, one of the lake homes decided to have a garage sale, and hot diggity, was it smokin'!

Y'all.  Oh my gosh, was this lady fancy. I have never seen so much high dollar stuff at a garage sale before in my life. You could tell she was dripping with money. And don't you know I did my best to squeeze my size 8 foot into a pair of size 7 gray python skin boots. I don't even like snakes. Or boots.  But I figure if I need to overcome my fear of snakes then the best way to do that is to wear a dead python on a pair of $400 boots that I paid 10 bucks for.  But, alas, it just wasn't happening. It was like the ugly stepsister trying to squeeze her manky toes into Cinderella's beautiful glass slipper. It would've killed me.  And it nearly did. It wasn't pretty at all and now my feet are cramped and aching and begging for a foot chiropractor. What's that called?

A podiatrist?

A husband?

Anyway, this lady obviously suffered from Imelda Marcos syndrome because there were shoes everywhere. AND, as an added bonus, she had a little grandson who was just a size bigger than Naveen, which meant that all his size 7's and 8's were going for a dollar. SCORE!

There were little bitty Nike Shox, and Sketchers, and some high dollar flip flops with skulls on them. I don't even like skulls for kids, but I figure Naveen's feet will hide them and they were just 50 cents. But then, my eyes spied the best deal of the day. A pair of Dinosoles! Y'all! They've got 3D dinosaurs on them! And they look like a dinosaur! And they're so stinkin' ugly that they're cute! Like a chihuahua! Or a weenie dog.  And even though Naveen's not into dinosaurs, I will force him. I WILL FORCE HIM! Because Eli still isn't completely over his SEVEN year obsession with all things T-Rex and Stegosaurus, which means I have SEVEN years of dinosaur sweaters and dinosaur shirts and dinosaur pajamas and even dinosaur underwear to pass on to this poor, unsuspecting child.  And if the dinosaur thing clicks, then that means I won't have to buy another Halloween costume or Easter basket or toy for the next six years.  And that is just too good of a deal to pass on.

So, by golly, I scooped up those Dinosoles and declared them the best things in the world and made my way to the lady with the apron.

And we got to talking... this Fancy Lady and me.... and I found out that she has a garage sale twice a year and that she always puts her grandson's clothes in the garage sale. And if I'm diligent enough and watch the signs, then Naveen Aashish Thomas is set for life. I will never have to buy him a $100 pair of tennis shoes in high school because I'll just get them from the Fancy Lady's garage sale. And if I can force Naveen into playing soccer, then I'll never have to buy him brand new cleats because I'll just buy them from the Fancy Lady's garage sale.  And, if for some reason, Naveen grows up to be a cross dresser and needs a gorgeous pair of Size 7 gray python boots or soft gorgeous brown calfskin boots with turquoise accent (oooooh they were beautiful) then I'll just take him to the Fancy Lady's garage sale and he'll be set.

The point is, the heavens opened and led me to the mecca of garage sales this morning and I'll never have to buy Naveen another pair of shoes again.

Ever.

So. We finally made our way back to the car... grinning from ear to ear and on a high that I haven't had since I went to Amsterdam back in 1995, and as I buckled Naveen in the car, I got a whiff of something.

"Naveen, what's that smell?"

"Poop!"

"What? Where?"  So I quickly checked his pants and didn't see a bit of poop anywhere. I also didn't see any underwear.  I suspect that Eli didn't put any on him this morning, the lazy slacker.

Still puzzled. I buckled myself in and started the car and then my eyebrows knit together and I whipped around and said,

"Naveen! Did you poop?"

He smiled real big and said, "YES!"

Oh sweet Jesus.  "Where did you poop?"

"Ova der!" And he pointed to the direction of the Fancy Lady's house.

And I swear, in slow motion, my head turned to the direction he was pointing and my eyes got big, as I spotted two things of poop sitting smack dab in the Fancy Lady's driveway. Honestly, y'all, time stood still. The blood drained out of my face, my whole body froze, and all I could think was... my kid sh** in the Fancy Lady's driveway! My kid SH** in the Fancy Lady's driveway!"

And I knew at once that there'd never be fancy gray python skin boots in my future. The closest we'd ever get to a pair of Nike Shox would be the shock of the full price retail tag. And as for sports? Forget soccer. He'll just have to take up barefoot running.

And with that, I drove away. I did. I totally panicked and took the coward way out. I left the poop just sitting right there for the Fancy Lady to clean up. Or some stray dog to come and eat. Or whatever the protocol is for cleaning up poop from some random kid at your garage sale.

I mean, I don't drive around with a bottle of bleach in my car.  I don't have a Poop First Aid Kit sitting in my glove box. Shoot, I didn't even have a plastic bag on me.  What's a mortified mom supposed to do?

So, I drove off in a cloud of shame with my kid's sh** sitting in the Fancy Lady's driveway and my dreams of cheap expensive shoes left in the dust.

And, oh, how I hope karma doesn't come back to bite me in the butt on that one!






Friday, September 21, 2012

You Know You're a Lazy Blogger When...

.... you email a friend and then cut and paste it to your blog to serve as an update on what's going on your in life!

Today I emailed my friend Meredith to give her an update on what's been going on 'round these parts because I've not only been a blog slacker, but a friend slacker, as well. As I got to the end of the email, I thought, man, would it be really lazy to just cut and paste it to my blog so that I don't have to write anything for awhile?

So, here you have it. A personal look at the types of emails I sent to my friends. They're such a jumbled mess that it's a wonder I have any left!  But it also gives a quick update on how things are going around here.

Here you go!

****************************************************************************

Hey Meredith!

I'm sooo tired! Going to rent the Exotic Marigold Hotel tonight. Have you seen it? Takes place in India and just came out on DVD.

I woke up with a crick in my neck and it HURTS. No working out today. And I'm out of spinach, so no green juice. I've actually started to crave it. I know! Who am I??

Ran out of salt and haven't bought ANY! Can you believe it? Again... who is this woman??

Just had my period and... NO BOILS! Whoo hoo! (For those who don't know, I've gotten boils every time I get my period.. for ages! Gross. I know. Skip the visual. Something to do with hormones and my immune system being out of whack. I changed my diet and no boils for two months!!)

I cut full on bangs. I mean, full on! Like, I have the same hairstyle I had in third grade. And I don't know what I think about it. It covers up my wrinkles, but I think I need to cut some length off. Maybe go for a 20's flapper look. Scary! But I'm looking for ease. Still debating it.

I dyed my hair brown and it turned it black! It's starting to fade now, but I looked like Elvira - minus the cleavage - for a week or so.

Haven't watched ANY White Collar! What's up with that? Caught the first one and now I can't be bothered. Even though whatshisface is a total hottie. Nope, I'm too tired.

My house is filthy. Come over and clean it for me? =)

Sim's been sleeping on the couch for the last week because he can't sleep with Naveen. And Naveen has been waking up and crawling into our bed. So I've been sleeping with a tossing and turning three year old while my husband snoozes peacefully on the couch. What's wrong with this picture?

And I haven't found any diapers that don't leak, so I roll over in pee every single day! The other day my NECK got wet! What? Turns out, I forgot to put Naveen's willy down in his diaper and he peed straight up. It was in my hair and everything. But it was a good excuse to get off my butt and take a shower.

Eli is failing school and doesn't care.

Nandi should get an honary PhD in Passive Aggressive.

Naveen likes rap music.

Noah hasn't had any schooling in about two weeks. And his chiropracter doesn't take our insurance anymore. =(

He's also started communicating in text speak. The other day he spelled out... NO HR CT. NO TDY. NO NXT WK. NO MOM. (No haircut. Not today. Not next week. No mom). Omigosh, is he a preteen or what??

Sim is working another 7 day shift.

It is impossible to feed a family of 6 on a hundred dollars a week when that includes toilet paper, tampons, and dog food.

It's been 2 months and 2 days since I've had ANY sugar.

I still don't look 16, but my haircut is the same as an 8 year old's.

I am currently obsessed with the Civil War and might actually watch Cold Mountain. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it yet.

And...that's all I can think of at the moment. This crick is killing me. I'm using it as an excuse to plop the kids in front of the TV while I lounge on the couch all day.

Hope you have a good Friday!!

P.S. Would it be incredibly lazy if I just cut and pasted this email to my blog because I'm too lazy to give an update??

Leslie =)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding the Beauty in a Broken Glass







It's no secret that I've been in a funk lately. A big fat funk! Even Sim called today to check up on me because he's worried about me. It could have something to do with me telling him that he might come home one day to find my bags packed and skid marks in the driveway where the minivan used to sit.

And maybe a couple of kids left in the house for him to deal with.

Yesterday was rough.

I'm trying so hard to find a silver lining. If you read my last post, then you know that one of our kids is showing more and more signs of a mental illness. This particular child cycles and right now things are really good and when things are good, we start to doubt ourselves. But we know that it's all going to crash soon, so we're trying to enjoy the good bits for a while.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it, when that child is in a good period, our child that we thought had recovered from RAD, is in a baaaaaaddddd period. Let's just say that if you really want to know if your child has recovered from RAD then just adopt a cute and adorable toddler who demands all your attention, sleeps in your bed, and won't leave your side for months on end.

Yep. That ought a do it!

RAD. It's back!! And it's pissed!

It's not an exaggeration to say that  from the moment this child comes home to the moment she goes to bed,  it's a battle. Those four to four and a half hours are spent with her solely. Trying to regulate her. Calm her. Keep her from destroying things. Trying to build up her heart and let her know how much we love her. But it's exhausting.

If one child has more water in their glass than she does? We love that child more.
If one child runs to the bathroom to brush their teeth and beats her to it? She's a failure and obviously no good.
If our dog goes up to another child to be petted? The dog hates her. (Even though he sleeps with her each night.)

Everything is a race. Everything is a competition. And her Love Thank is NEVER full. Never. And it's exhausting. But she's worth it. So worth it. So we just keep plugging along.

But I am so tired.

Today, when Sim called, I complained, "I just want the house to be clean! It just gets on top of me and I can't get out from under it!"  And today, my one wish was to just clean the house.

But I had no desire. No energy. No will to do anything about it.

And then Noah broke a glass. Shattered it all over the table and floor. I swear it must have broke into a million pieces.  And I just wanted to cry. I just wanted to sink down on the floor and cry. But I had two barefoot kids that I had to think about, so I shooed them to the other room and got to work.

I had to sweep up all the glass to make sure nothing was left.

And did you know that in the process my floor got clean?

I had to clear away the left over dishes from lunch instead of leaving them on the table for the rest of the afternoon because what if a little piece of glass got into the food and one of the kids decided to take a bite?

And did you know that in the process my dishes got washed?

I had to clear off all the unopened mail and the puzzle pieces and the books and bits of paper and broken crayons off the table in order to make sure that all the glass was cleaned up.

And did you know that in the process my table got cleared off and those things got put back in their place?

And I had to take my spray cleaner and finally clear up the sticky patch of orange juice that got spilled two mornings ago because several teeny tiny pieces of glass got stuck in it.

And did you know that in the process that my kitchen table got cleaned and wiped down?

That broken glass... that glass that made me want to curl into fetal and sob my day away.... that glass that felt  like the straw that broke the camel's back... it turned out to be the biggest blessing of all.

There are so many things that I've wanted to write about, but I was afraid that I would sound so self-absorbed and so pitiful that I'm glad I kept things to myself. And I can't guarantee that I'll always keep those thoughts to myself, but I am trying desperately to see the positive in what otherwise seems like a hopeless situation.

So today, I'm going to be thankful for that broken glass that ended up cleaning my kitchen.

And, maybe just maybe, Noah will break one in the bedroom, the bathroom, and the living room, too....



P.S. Thank you all so much for the comments. I am absolutely terrible about replying to comments, but I read and cherish each one. So thank you so much for the kinds words of support. They are so appreciated! And if you've emailed me or Facebooked me and I haven't responded, please email me again or remind me. It's not personal, I promise!



Saturday, September 08, 2012

Hard Times



Honestly, I don't know what's happened to me or why I've fallen off the blogging train, but things just seem so busy these days.  We're dealing with A LOT of things that I wonder if I should blog about. Things I feel I should blog about it because I suspect some of you are dealing with the same things. Things I worry about blogging about because my kids' names are already out there. Things I wish I could blog about under absolute anonymity. Things that make me wish I had kept pictures and names off this blog when I first started and things that make me think that I might just start completely over with a new blog where my kids are given pseudonyms and my profile pic is a photo of a supermodel or a cat or a sunset.

I think one of the hardest things about adoption is not knowing your child's genetic background. One of our kids is at the age where we're starting to see signs of mental illness. Signs that have been there all along, but signs that are becoming more prominent as this particular child gets older. In the past, people just waved off our suspicions, but lately when we've mentioned what we think might be going on with this particular child, people nod their head in agreement or say things like "I can see that" or "Yeah, he/she does seem xyz"  Part of me wants to shake them and scream, "Where were you 4,5,6 years ago when we were saying this?? When you made me feel stupid and like a paranoid mom?"  And there's a bit of bitterness still left in my mouth from the friends we've lost and the judgement we faced.... some things I guess can't be seen until kids are older. It doesn't make it hurt any less, though.

Another thing that's rearing its head is loss. Adoption is based on loss. Pure and simple. It seems so easy when kids are just babies or toddlers. You think that you can just hug them and hold them and love them and everything will be okay.  I used to look at moms who adopted years ago... moms who would warn that sometimes kids go through rough times when they realize what adoption really means... and I would look at my kids, my kids who thought I hung the moon, and think, "They'll never feel that way!!"

But kids grow up. Some sooner than others. And maybe some of you will escape the wrath, but many of you will hear the "You're not my REAL mom! I want my REAL mom! I never asked for this! I never asked to be adopted!!" and your child will cry or rage or feel unloved because they just can't fathom why "my real mom didn't want me".  And your heart will break.  It will break into a thousand pieces. Because no matter how hard you try, it's hard to heal the hole they feel inside.

In case I've depressed any of you who are waiting on your sweet kids to come home, I can tell you that only one of my kids, so far, is feeling this anguish.  And when I asked Noah if he wanted to discuss his adoption story or his birthparents, he spelled out N-O.  And when I asked why, he spelled out Y-O-U  I-S-  M-Y  R-E-A-L  M-O-M.

And I'm holding on to that so very tightly.

And this is what's going on right now. We have a lot of rage. A lot of cycling. A lot of intense anger.  Our Passive Aggressive child is also back in full force. We are in the trenches right now. Every day has been a battle, so if you can spare a prayer, I'd appreciate it.

The next few months are going to be interesting for us. We've got appointments that need to be lined up. Evaluations to be made. Naveen is having surgery next month because they think they might be able to save his kidney. And I'm doing my best to homeschool Noah in the midst of it all. I have a ton of parenting books to tackle. Websites to read. I feel like I'm having to learn a hundred different languages.  It's been so crazy, and we're dealing with so much, that our social worker, who we adore, told us that if we ever decided to adopt again that we'd have to get another social worker because she absolutely would not recommend us!! lol   Full Hands. Stretched Arms.

But things are going okay, too. We're tackling our credit cards, slowly but surely. A sweet friend brought me flowers the other day after reading a Facebook update. The new TV season starts up shortly... love me some Once Upon a Time! It's in the high 80's today. And I've lost 10 pounds. The same ten pounds I've lost and gained over the last ten years, but, not bad, eh?

Naveen continues to keep us in stitches. There's nothing better than cuddling up to him at the end of the day. I absolutely love having a little one in the house. It's like I get to live things over one more time. I can't wait for the upcoming holidays and to see the excitement on his face. EVERYTHING gets him excited. You should've seen the squeals of delight when the recycling truck drove through the neighborhood today!

Noah is my sweetheart. He's starting to make more eye contact and just floors me with how easy going he is. He just takes life one day at a time. He's getting so big! His size 8 shorts are too tight, now, so I'm scouting out 10's in the sales. We're studying the Middle Ages this year and I think this will be a great homeschool year for him.  Every year I ask him if he wants to go to public school and he spells N-O. M-I-S-S- Y-O-U. M-I-S-S  S-T-O-R-I-E-S  (the books I read to him).

Eli is now in the 3rd grade. He'll be 9 on the 17th. I'm going to a meeting in two weeks to see about getting him into GT Visual Arts. He's so creative! One of these days I'll have to take pictures of the toys he's made out of scrap wood at my dad's house. He's doing better in school this year and has a good friend. He's also so good with Naveen. I think it helps to have a kid in the house who he can boss around! But he's so good with Naveen. That's been a big blessing.

Nandini will turn 8 at the end of October. She's now in the 2nd grade. She and Noah have just started doing Special Olympics. Right now they're doing Bocce Ball and will start bowling next month. Nandi's too young to compete, so she just practices. I'm not sure she really qualifies for Special Olympics, but there's not a Paralympics around here, and the group doesn't mind her practicing with them. She also started piano last month. She's going to be the best one handed player around! She's also a big help around the house and loves to feel needed. In fact, she's about to help me start lunch.

And with that, I should go. I try to look at the bright side and try to find the humor in everything, but I wanted to give an update on what's going on... to explain why I haven't been blogging and to explain a little bit about some of the blog posts you might see in the future.

Okay, I really have to go now. My rager is raging.  Thanks for listening. Maybe the next post will be lighter??