Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions and Hope

Just about everyone makes resolutions for the New Year. And just about everyone fails to follow through on them by the end of the month. I know that I am one of those people who fail at my resolutions. In the past, I have made resolutions to loose weight and learn Chinese. FAIL times two! Many years in a row.

This year, I am not going to make what I consider petty resolutions. To me, in 2011, loosing weight is petty. In 2010, I have seen many friends’ loose loved ones and I have almost lost my son. In 2010, I have seen many relationships fail and jobs lost. In 2010, I have seen too much negativity in the world. In 2010, I have lost the peace and serenity within my home.

So, while I may still work on improving my health and overall look of myself physically, I have bigger things I want to do for 2011. I want World Peace. Think that’s a big task? I do too. So I’ll start smaller.

In 2011, I want peace and serenity in MY home. If I can get that back, 2011 will be a success!

A few days ago, Jakes pediatrician put some hope and strength in my well. He also said that Jakes ears are messed up again. That I can handle, call the specialist and do what they say. Back to the strength and hope….. Dr. P put some in my well. He listened to me, read all my reports on Jakes and gave me hope and strength. Since then I have found some patience also and with what Dr. P offered, I can do this.

In 2011, I will have peace and serenity in my house again. I will be able to concentrate on something other than Jakes and surviving each day with my sanity intact. Hell, I might even find time to get laid!

For all of my readers, friends and family, I wish you some of my peace and serenity. If all of you find a little bit of my peace and serenity, we can work together for World Peace!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Science Fair Project

January is the time for Science Fair Projects to be turned in.  Jakes has been working on his.  Unfortunately, it has taken up most of my house.  Just in time for Christmas, too!

Here's a picture story:

I found my dining room table and we got a plywood base
Thanks Aunt Neicy!
We have to build THIS
Plus another one
From this.
I spent 2 days sorting this and another tub just like it.
But it made building MUCH easier!
This thing is HUGE!
We had to move it to the floor.
The car REALLY runs on it!
video

We finished it on Thursday, called the grandparents to come and see it.  G-Pop helped to trouble shoot a couple of things and it WORKS!  After taking measurements, test runs, LOTS of pictures and video, we had to take it down to make room for Santa to come.

We have to build a second one and hopefully will be able to transport that one to the school for display.  Don't ask me what Son's hypothesis is, all I know about the project is we have to build and take one into the school.  That's more than enough for me to know!

I will post pics and video of the next one, plus the results of the science fair in January.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Digging Out - the first of the season (and the last I hope!)

We had our first (and if I get my way, the ONLY!) snow storm of the winter.  After carefully watching the weather people tease with large amounts of snow fall, we ended up with maybe 3 inches.  Its hard to tell with the 40mph wind that is out there.

With Dad's heart problems, Renie and Kathy being unstead on their feet and me being the youngest and healthiest around here, its up to me and Jakes to dig everyone out.  sigh.  On Christmas Day (when they were calling for 12 +) G-pop showed Jakes how to work the snow blower.  After Christmas Dinner on Sunday, Jakes and G-Pop headed out to clean the driveway.


Jakes did a great job with the snow blower.  I think I'm going to like having a kid that's big/old enough to play with the big toys!



Of course with the wind and blowing snow, Jakes was a popicile when he came in.  He was disappointed that the driveway wasn't totally clear but the wind was blowing the snow right back on after he cleared it.

If you were snowed in, I hope you were safe and warm!

Monday, December 27, 2010

All About Christmas at MY House!

We had a wonderful Christmas!  Filled with presents, family, and love.  Christmas Eve, Jakes spent with his Dad as per the court order.  I gave up Eve in order to have him wake up in his Home on Christmas Morning.  When he's older and doesn't believe in Santa, I might have to share Christmas Morning.  So I really cherished this one!

We started the day early (ugh).  Jaxon goes out for potty around 6 and when I was sneaking out with him, I heard a little voice "presents? presesnts?"  (ugh).  I asked if Santa came but Jakes hadn't been out of bed.  When I came back in from walking Jaxon we checked out the living room.  Sure enough Santa had come!

Remote SVU with a water canon.
What was Santa thinking?

Mythbusters Adam Bobblehead

Mythbusters Jamie Bobblehead


Happy Child!
 Then the Grandparents and Kathy came over for breakfast of homemade cinnabons, cookies and presents!

Jaxon even had presents to share with the grandparents

I waited to give Jakes my present so G-Mom could get pictures for me.  This is a combination Christmas/B-Day present for Jakes.



What's this?
  
Bon Jovi Tickets?

I'M GOING TO SEE BON JOVI!

OMG!!


Jakes and I are going to see Bon Jovi and Friends on January 27th (Jakes B-Day)!!!!  I don't know who's more excited, him or me!

All in all, we had a great holiday!  How was yours?


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Checking in........

Just wanted to check in. Had a great holiday and Will post about it soon. Spent today digging out from all the snow. Hope ya'll are safe and warm!
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Desperation? Maybe

Yes, I am desperate to make my life with my son work better and be happier.  I have tried everything I can think of to make it work.  I have asked his father for help.  I have a diagnosis that recommends medication for Jakes but have to fight to be able to administer the meds.  I pull my hair out, I cry, I scream, I fight, and I quit.  And then I come back for more.  Can you say Masochistic?  Or is it just being a mom?

I have been asking everyone I know for advise in helping me get through this.  Family, Friends, Drs, Therapists, co-workers, everyone.  I finally talked to my mom about it.  She may not be here but she is still looking out for us from heaven.  I know she is.

I was not the easiest child to raise.  I was a lot like Jacob, smart mouthed, argumentative and just plain aggravating.  Then Mom saw a TV show that changed both of us for the better.  Not the best, I was still a bit difficult but was more manageable.  Mom watched Phil Donahue regularly and this particular episode had Dr. Doris Rapp, who was an allergist.  She worked with kids and their parents and believed that behavior problems could be caused by an allergy.  Dr. Rapp brought several families to the show with her and shared their stories and even showed how the kids allergic reactions could cause unruly behaviors in the kids.

Now, I was growing up in the age of Kool-Aid and pre-sweetened cereals.  LOTS of artificial colors and flavors.  There was ALWAYS Kool Aid in the fridge for us to drink.  And breakfast was cereal. 

After seeing the show, Mom decided that there would be NO more kool aid in the house.  I was not allowed to have pre-sweetened cereals or dark colored sodas.  She sat me down and talked with me about trying it for a while and seeing what happened.

What happened is that I turned into a different child.  A much better behaved child, a much more pleasant child.  So we stuck with the special diet and life was better.

In raising Jacob, I have always tried to avoid the artificial colors and flavors with him as well, just because natural is better.  Recently, he has gotten into liking Pepsi (ewe! Coke is better!) as well as V-8 Splash.  I know that the Soda has carmel color and caffeine in it.  I recently read the label on the V-8.  I had read the label for the sugar content and it was WAY less than the other juice that I had been giving him but I didn't go so far as reading the ingredient list.  There are SO MANY artificial colors and flavors in that juice!  I was shocked!

So today, I talked with Jakes about my food allergy and what Grandmom Kathy did for me. I also suggested that we would try to eliminate those foods from his diet for a week and see what happens.  Then we would add ONE back in and see what happens then.  We are also going to remove milk products from his diet for a week.  In Dr. Rapps book "Is This Your Child?", she said that milk and artificial colors and flavors are some of the biggest allergy offenders.  I am going to finish reading the book to see what else we can do.  While reading the book, it was like I was reading about my child.  There were completely accurate descriptions of him in there!  Scary!

I am looking at this experiment as something that is easy to do, should produce almost immediate results, and is safe to do for a week or two.  If we find out that milk and milk products are a problem for Jakes, I will consult with a nutritionist for advice on getting him what he needs to be healthy without milk.

On December 29th at Jakes Drs' appointment, I also intend to talk with his Dr about getting a referral to A I DuPont Children's Hospital for allergy testing.

In order to keep fighting for what is best for my child, I will keep getting back up after being knocked down.  Its what a mother has to do.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The WaterPark

Jakes and I went to a water park last week. Yes, in December! It was an indoor was park and it was so much FUN!
Thank you Goggle Images

I learned about the event through the autism center. The water park was having a special needs night where kids and adults with special needs could come and enjoy the park. They reduced the price of the tickets and had special accommodations for us.

Jakes LOVES the water, always has. He doesn't like the slides as much but I was able to talk him onto one. It was great! For me at least. He was scared. The tubes went outside and were dark so you couldn't see what was coming at you and he didn't like that. The marks on my leg can testify to that as well. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop I didn't try to talk him into going on the other one.  I learned my lesson!

Thank you Goggle Images

We played in the playground with Jakes having a blast shooting water at people.  We floated around the lazy river, with Jakes giggling madly while he pushed me under the water falls.  He played basketball with the other kids and then we went back to the lazy river for a few more trips around.  This time I got to push him under the water falls!  "giggle"

All in all it was a great night, my biggest disappointment was that the water camera I used didn't work and I didn't know it until I went to WalGreens to pick up the film.  I am SO bummed!

But they are having another night in February, so made we'll go back.  And I'll have a new water camera! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Its Been A Rough One

I am so tired of the fighting, the disobedience, the refusal, everything. I don’t know what else to do. I have tried everything that I can think of to try to make things better in my house with my child. Nothing seems to work. And they even seem to be getting worse.

Yesterday in the midst of trying to get Jakes ready for school, he had a meltdown. His meltdowns are no longer just him sitting on the floor crying and kicking. Now they consist of violence directed at whom ever is around, the dog, the cat, ME. His meltdowns are scary, not that they were fun before, but now they are scary.

But his father still will not allow me to medicate him. Court is January 14th and I can’t wait. I have made an appointment with the pediatrician for December 29th to discuss all the reports and recommendations in preparation for the court date. January 15th, Jakes will be medicated and I hope to see an improvement. I also am trying to keep my hopes down; I don’t want to think of this as a miracle; I don’t want to be disappointed if it doesn’t work for all the things I want it to work for.

**** Please don’t judge me for wanting to medicate my child.****

****I have tried everything I know of to avoid medication****

****If you have suggestions for Aspergers Syndrome with ADHD Combined, Send ‘em!****

Jakes’ meltdown led to one of my own. I couldn’t help it, I couldn’t stop it and I didn’t try to stop it. I am so frustrated with everything in my home that I have no control over; that I am trying so hard to improve; that refuses to improve.

While I was sitting on the floor crying I just wanted to have someone there with me, holding me, telling me that it was ok, that it would be ok. But I got no one, at least not at 6:30 in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, if I called Neicy or my parents or any of my friends, they would have been there in a heartbeat, I know that.

But I am tired of doing this alone. I want someone who can help me to co-parent this child, someone I can lean on in times of struggle. I am just plan tired of dealing with this and not getting anywhere.

My facebook status for a while yesterday was "I quit".  Neicy told me I can't.  "Watch me" I responded.
I called off work yesterday because of this. When I talked with the Clinical Director, I could barely talk and she immediately knew something was wrong. She talked with me a bit to calm me down and even called me back around lunchtime to see how I was doing. She said, “if I knew where you lived, I would have come to see you.” She’s a wonderful woman!

I went to the Resource Library yesterday in the hopes of educating myself on Aspergers combined with ADHD, disciplining, just anything that might help, even a little bit.  Whenever I am faced with adversity, I research, read and educate myself.  I now have 3 books and one video to work through.  To give myself Hope.

Today's Facebook Status is "There will be no temper tantrums or crying this morning.  Not from me at least."  And there wasn't.  I have Hope, just a little, but that's all you need in order for it to grow.

In the meantime, I am looking for a punching bag, tissues and Advil. Not necessarily in that order!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Wonderful Weekend, Part 3

I left Ocean City, MD early to come home and sing with my choir.  I have had SO MUCH fun rehearsing and performing.  This weekend we gave 2 concerts and while far from perfect, I certainly had fun!  On Sunday, my entire family and some great friends were there to cheer me on.

All of Us


Me in the Middle

My ShouldaBeenMy Sisters, Neicy and Kimber

We are off until after the new year, when we will start practicing for the spring concert.  I am going to miss the weekly rehearsals but I know with the holiday season, I will be busy enough......

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's a Wonderful Weekend, Part 2

Ocean City has a beautiful beach in the summer. And this is one way that they keep it so nice:



The Spoils of Dredging



Dredging ALL Night Long......

Into the Water We Go...
  By the next morning, they had moved in front of the next hotel.  I imagine they were going to work their way all the way up the beach.  I'll have to remember this next summer when I am there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's a Wonderful Weekend, Part 1

I had such a WONDERFUL weekend that the word WONDERFUL just doesn't do it justice!  It was such a busy, full weekend that I didn't want it to end.  I am feeling kinda hung over today, without having the alcohol.  hmmmmm  maybe I wouldn't feel so bad if I had the alcohol...  NAH!!!

There was one little hiccup in the weekend but in the end, I got to laugh about it.   Serves him right!


On Friday, I left for Ocean City, MD (OCMD) to have my girls weekend with my wonderful girlfriends. There are a couple that I only see on this weekend so I HAD to go even if only for one night.  I stopped and picked up Judy and we stopped in Rehoboth for lots of shopping.  At lunchtime, we met up with Bonnie and Sherry, then went out for more shopping.  We eventually made our way to OCMD to check into the hotel where Santa greeted us.

Judy and Santa
Judy and I were roomies and our room was the gathering place.  Such fun!!  Since I was only going to be there for one night, I wanted to go see the lights on Friday, instead of Saturday like we usually do so we opted for dinner in the hotel.  And it was the perfect choice!  We had yummy drinks and food.

The DunesBerry.  YUMMY!




The Surf and Turf Burger.  Also YUMMY!
After dinner, some of us went to the lights.  Usually, its SO packed with lines every where.  And they cram you into the tram car for the ride around the park.  Not this year.  We didn't have to wait in any line and we had lots of room to stretch out....

Renie aka Evil StepMoM aka ESM


And now for a bunch of pictures of the lights.  They were fabulous as usual!






Sorry for the blurry ones.  The Tram Car was moving.

After the lights, we headed back to the room to exchange presents and catch up on all the news.  We watched a movie, which I fell asleep on and then it was morning.
After breakfast, shopping and lunch, I had to say goodbye.  I was drving back to Jersey for my Christmas Concert.  Next year, we are moving it back to the first weekend in December and I will be able to stay for the entire weekend.  I love being with these ladies and wish we could make more time for each other.  But distance and responsibilities keep us apart.  I am grateful for the time I had with them this year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Games Have Begun

I sit here in OCMD steaming. Not because I'm in sauna but because I checked my emails. Dumb, I know but I have a child and I worry. And the machinery on the beach outside the room woke me up at 5:30 AM! Ugh. More on that later!

The ex got the court papers early this week and I have been waiting for him to start playing games to hurt me. I expected him to file with the courts to reduced the child support, increase his visitation time, take shots at my parenting skills, that kind of thing. I didn't think he would use Jakes and hurt him in his Vengeance to get back at me but A/H has now sunk to a new low.

Jakes is with him this weekend as is his normally scheduled weekend. I had made arrangements for A/H to drop Jakes off at the college on Sunday for my concert. Jakes was excited! He couldn't wait to see us sing!

I also sent A/H an email detailing the homework that Jakes has to finish up this weekend. In addition, because A/H has said in the past that he doesn't get my emails and if I don't list for him what the homework is, then Jakes doesn't have to do it, I sent him a text message asking him to check his email.

I received an email back from him stating that there was no way he could get all this homework finished AND still be able to drop Jakes off at the college at 2:30 as planned. This is from the man that said he sees no reason to medicate him because he doesn't have problems with him. If he doesn't have problems with Jakes then there's no reason that the homework shouldn't be finished in time for the concert. Right?

I have been to pissed off to respond productively to his email. There are MANY emails that I have written in my head but they would only serve to piss him off further and since he has my child, I don't want to make things worse for Jakes at the moment.

When I get home this afternoon, hopefully I will be able to send one that is unemotional but still put a zinger in there that he is hurting Jakes more than me. Which would be a lie. I am very hurt. But he doesn't need to know that he still has that power over me.

Well. Time for my fun in OCMD! Ta-ta for now! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

UPDATE:  I did respond very nicely, almost thanking him for caring about Jakes homework.  He responded that if Jakes got the stuff done, he would drop him off early.  And I thought we would leave it at that. NOPE.  Someone got frustrated with Jakes and took it out on me.

I was told by A/H that I MUST make sure that Jakes packs his school books or that I MUST provide him with the correct login information so they can access the book that way.  WELL!  Ok, I did give him the wrong username in this weekends email.  When I got home, I sent him the corrected version and also suggested that he check a previous email in which I had sent him the information.  He then had the audacity to suggest that this would not have happened if I had been home when he picked up Jakes.  HA!  Little does he know that I have NO control over the child.  I have been trying to tell him this!  And he's going to try and make me feel guilty that I was away for the night?!  Didn't work.  Jakes was in good hands, the same hands he is in after school EVERY DAY!

I think A/H was experiencing a little bit of the struggles and frustration that I go through on a daily basis.  Serves him right!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weekend Plans

This weekend is going to be a busy one and I intend to enjoy it COMPLETELY.  On Friday, I am playing hooky from work to go to Ocean City, MD overnight.  This is the trip that we usually take the first weekend in December but got pushed back one weekend.  I also didn't think I would be able to go because the concert for my choir group is this weekend!

So because I will be singing on Saturday and Sunday, I will only be going to OCMD for an overnight but at least I will be able to go.  After I put Jakes on the bus, I will be driving to MD to pick up Grandmom Judy and then we will head for the beach.  The plan is to meet everyone in Lewes, DE for lunch, do some shopping and when our wallets are empty, head to OCMD for the rest of the fun!

I love being with this group of ladies.  I have been going for over 15 years and I intend to continue to go for as long as they are going!  Maybe even after they stop, but I hope they don't ever stop!

Saturday after lunch, I will have to say my goodbyes to them and head back north so I can get ready for my concert.  We are singing Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  I am so excited!  We ran through the program last night and it sounded pretty darn good!  Some of the songs that I haven't been too keen on are sounding so pretty!  When the harmony is right, they are delightful to sing and hear.  I will post pictures and maybe a video!

On Sunday, my BFF Kimber is coming down to see me sing and I am hoping she will come early so we can hang out and chat.  Her kids and fiance will be farmed out to the respective family and friends and Jakes will be with his Dad.  Its been a long time since she and I have had just girl time without interruption!

Also on Sunday, Jakes father is going to drop him off at the college where we sing.  His father of course had to be difficult over it, but did I expect less?  Nope. 

I hope your weekend plans are as much fun as mine!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Decor

My living room looks like Christmas exploded there.  This weekend, Jakes and I worked together (with minimal fighting) to get things festive.  We dug all the boxes out of the shed (outside in the COLD WIND) and put the empty ones back.  It was a good weekend.

I love decorating for Christmas.  Its my chance to see the homemade ornaments from my mom and to tell Jakes all about Grandmom Kathy.  Its a happy time, yet tinged with a little sadness.

Let me share with you...............

Our Tree

This is the first year we've had a train around the tree.  I am not liking it cause it put the tree further out in the room and we need all the room we can get.  Son put the train together and then had trouble getting it to run.  So we called G-Pop to come and check things out for us.  After a little re-wiring, we were back in business.  Way to go G-pop!

Homemade Mrs. Claus
Mom was a crafty person.  She sewed, cross stitched, crocheted and sometimes combined all of them.  She made tons of ornaments for the tree and I took some of them her last Christmas with us. 

Homemade Santa Claus
I was surprised that I didn't have more of her homemade ornaments.  The only thing I can think of is that after 11 years of her being gone, plus however old they were when I got them, they have disintegrated.  Bummer.


Jakes First Christmas

This is another handmade ornament from my aunt.  She painted it for Jakes first Christmas.  Jakes was loved because he has several first Christmas ornaments.

Jakes First Christmas from Grandmom Judy
Grandmom Judy was Mom's BFF since 7th grade.  When Mom was dying, she named Judy as Jakes stand in grandmother.  So she became and still is today, Grandmom Judy.  I know this is from Grandmom Judy because there is a cat on it and she is a cat person.

From Hawaii
I have several of these.  They were added to the tree in 2006, the same year as my divorce.  I was sent to Hawaii less than a month after my divorce by work to attend the International AA convention.  It was GREAT!

Handmade ornament made by Jakes
When you become a parent of a school age kid, these are required to be on the tree.  All the ornaments made in school to impress the parents.  These comprise most of my tree.

Another handmade Jakes ornament
In addition to the tree with the train around it, we have the winter villages that get set up.

Winter Villages
And the manger scene.  I got this from my parents at Mom's last Christmas.

Manger scene
I HATE the moving Santa and Mrs Claus but Jakes insists that we put them out.  I think only because we have ALWAYS put them out.  Oh well.  Maybe next year they can get left in the shed.

Parachuting, singing Santa
This is strung from one end of the hallway to the other.  He usually gets stuck outside my bedroom door.  I have forgotten to move him back before bed and have gotten up in the middle of the night, only to be attacked by Santa.  NOT fun at 4:00 am.  Did I mention that he is sound activated?  So when I curse because I have tangled with him, he starts singing and kicking.  Nice.  Next year, we shorten the string and he ends at JAKES door.  HA!

That's basically our Christmas Decor.  I showed you mine, how bout you show me yours....  it's only fair!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Weather is Here. BRRRRRRR

Winter weather is here.  This is the first REALLY cold and windy weekend here at The Compound.  I love to live on the river, except in the winter. 

In the warmer weather there is so much wonderfulness about being on the water.  The warm breeze through the house, the boats flying by, the sunsets, even watching the storms march across the river.


Can you beat this view?

In the winter, though, the warm breeze turns cold and mean.  This weekend, the wind been out of the west, mostly and I haven't seen it go below 20 miles per hour.  I know what the wind speed is because my daddy gave me his old weather station.  Coolness!

Weather Station
But since its December, I will have to accept that eventually my view will include this:


BRRRR
 
And Spring is on its way, right?

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm SO Spoiled! And It's the Only Way to BE!

I randomly told you about painting my neighbors upstairs, with the HIGH ceilings and the crazy angles and such.  Any painting jobs we do, Neicy and I split everything 50/50, from the work to the clean up and the pay.  Well, this job made me enough extra dough to treat myself to this:


And I am LOVING it!  I mean, I like my electronic gadgets and all but this one takes the cake!  There is one problem and that is that I can't create a blog with it.  Blogger needs to make an app for that.  I can read and comment on everyone's posts.  I just can't create new ones for me with it.  I am going to look for an app that might work with it but for now, I am having too much fun!  For now, I will create new posts on the Desktop.  Not as much fun though!

I will put it down long enough this weekend to put up Christmas decorations!  Have a great weekend!  See ya on Monday............