Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What Time Zone Am I In?

My interal clock is WAY, way off!  I have no idea whether its time for lunch or dinner.  Sleeping?  Right.  I have no problem falling asleep.  But waking up 3 hours (and being READY to get the day started) before the alarm clock goes off is frustrating.

I have tons of pictures and stories to share.  I just don't have the energy to get it together.  I have so much to get caught up on, at home and at work. 

I'll find my way back to East Coast time and out of the piles of stuff that need to be done soon!

oh, and I have no idea what messed up my blog layout but they'd better fix it! grrrrrrrrr

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Over

I'm packing my bags up again to head for home. I have had a wonderful week here in AZ, especially the past couple of days. We took off outta the desert for Sedona and it was so beautiful!

Once I get home, I'll share some pictures.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm outta here!  I'm dropping all my Mom Stuff at the door!  See ya in a week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Dear Choir Members

My Dear Choir Members,

In September, you welcomed many new members into your group. They were welcomed with open arms; it didn’t matter if they had talent as long as they brought with them a desire to sing.  I was just such a member.

I want to thank you for welcoming me into your family. This experience has been a fabulous one for me. I have been thrilled, amazed, and humbled to be a part of such greatness. I have had experiences with you that I would not have had the opportunity had I not joined you. Knowing that every Tuesday evening, I can come to sing, laugh, and enjoy myself has been a blessing.

So many people work hard to bring us together, physically and musically.

Our fearless leader, Maestro Chuck manages to bring all our voices into harmony through the toughest music pieces while laughing with us over missed notes and entrances. Maestro Chuck, who makes us laugh when he misses an entrance or a breath, showing us that he is not infallible either.

Karen herds and gathers us all to the proper place each week and for each event yet doesn’t pull out her hair! Her emails and organizational skills are definitely needed by those who show up to sing.

Laurie, our accompanist, amazes me each week with her ability to not only follow Maestro but also manages to be right on track for anyone who wants to review a part. It’s like she is psychic!

The Board Members who work behind the scenes to ensure we have music, funding for advertising, and costumes to wear.

I am humbled by the many talented people we have in the choir. Everyone has a fabulous voice and those who share it with the world in a solo part are AMAZING. Each evening we practiced with the soloists, I was in awe of your talents and bravery.

I have enjoyed the many hours shared with my seat neighbors, both in the practice room and on stage. You have made me feel at home and given me lots of giggles. You have taught me so much about singing.

So while we are off for summer break, I will be remembering you all fondly with a smile. I will miss you and the fun evenings. I cannot wait to be back with you all, singing for the Holiday concert. Have a wonderful summer!

Thank you so much for having me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

OH The Ears!

Over the years, Jakes has had numerous problems with his ears.  Lots of infections, lots of antibiotics.  Many operations to place tubes in his ears. As of last count, 3 placements, 2 removals.  His last set was placed in June 2009, with one being removed in March of 2011.

When we went back in April, the ear looked good as far as healing, but there was fluid in the ear already.  sigh.  Dr didn't want to do anything about it yet, just monitor it.  Unless Jakes had problems, we didn't have to go back until August.

Yesterday, we were at the pediatricians for a medication check up and the Doc gave Jakes the Once Over.  Doc is very aware of Jakes ear problems and doesn't mess around with them, just sends us over to the specialist.  Doc said that BOTH ears have fluid in them and Jakes is complaining of hearing loss.  sigh.

Doc prescribed a nose spray for him and said to put him on Claritin, as well as for me to contact the specialist.

BIG SIGH........

Do you think the speicalists can find a way to make Jakes ears grow so that they drain properly?  So that he doesn't have to continue to have surgeries to place the tubes? 

Sigh.......   Off to call the Drs.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

SO much running around in my head the past couple of days.  No wonder with all that is going on in my life! 

I have five days to get everything ready for vacation.  I have to get the phone numbers of all the therapists together for my parents, notify the therapists and school that I won't be around, getting ME, JAKES and JAXON packed.  Also this week, I have choir practice and the therapist visit tonight.  A concert for the college graduation to sing in tomorrow night.  A therapy appointment for me and a Drs appoinment for Jakes on Thursday.  OH and I need to go shopping for some shorts that actually fit me! 

So, is anyone tired just reading all that?  I know I am.

The therapist is coming to the house for another 7 weeks (I think).  We are also supposed to get a behavior specialist who will work closely with Jakes on certain pieces of the goals Albert has designed for us.  I found out today that there are NO MALE mentors in our county.  And if we were to ask for one from another county, they are all booked up.  So for now, we will make due with a female mentor.  This will still give Jakes time with a different adult as well as give me some respite.  We'll see how it works out.

Yesterday was Jakes class trip and I went with him.  We went out of Cape May to look for whales.  Of course, it was cloudy, rainy, and foggy.  There were plenty of dolphins but no whales.  Jakes had a fabulous time though.  I miss the sun.......

I asked the case manager to set up a meeting between me, Albert and Jakes father for after I get home from vacation.  I have some things I want to say and I know Albert wants to talk with JF as well.  Maybe we can come to an agreement of sorts to work together to have the best for Jakes.

Kimber and I are going to get tattoos at the end of June.  They are going to be matching and SO PRETTY!  I can't wait!  We're going to make a weekend of it.  I'm going to go up to her house, she will a complete Spa Day for us as well as the tats!  Girl time for just US!  So much good stuff to look forward to!  Maybe we'll fit a little dancing in that weekend too!  We'll see!

I also want to get a tat of a polar bear and paw prints for each year I have swam in the ocean in the winter.  Soon for that one.......

So vacation!  In FIVE DAYS.  Its going to be relaxing and stress free!  I have plans of sitting around a pool with books and music and not thinking about this stuff here on the East Coast.  My friend that I'm visiting will have to work but hopefully we can do stuff in the evenings. Even if not, I won't mind!  I just want down time.  me time!

A couple of years ago, I made a cookbook for work.  I had lots of help from others on the project.  ESM decided to have a cookbook fund raiser for a club of hers.  And she voluteered me to make it for the club.  Because I have experience.  Ok.  So, I drafted Neicy to help with the typing of the recipes!  I will be working on putting that together while on vacation as well.   Just relaxing stuff.......

Ok, time to get some other stuff on my list completed!  Catch ya later!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, Monday.....

Check out this weather map for today.....

Its not a pretty picture for New Jersey.

Check out where I'm gonna be today.......

On this boat, about 20 miles out in the ocean! 
With that weather map from above.

All I got to say is there better be an open bottle of wine when I get home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why I Do It Alone

A big source of frustration in my life is my ex. Jakes is another source but that's another story.

Summer is coming and so is Jakes vacation time with his dad. I sent an email asking JF what weeks he wanted Jakes. I also sent him the summer camp schedule so he would know what weeks summer camp doesn't run in June and August. In the past we have each taken vacation time so cover those weeks.

This year, after nagging JF for his answer, he has picked three weeks DURING summer camp. None of those chosen weeks help to cover the time when summer camp is not in session. Grrrrrrr

Trying to be nice and see how "supportive" he was going to be since talking to the case manager, I texted him explaining my concerns and asking if he could change weeks.

He said no. I said f-off. Not really, I was a little nicer about it. This is just another example of why I do not involve him any more than I have to in the scheduling and care of our son.  I just get more frustrated than if I were to do it alone.

Bottom line - does anyone want to babysit my kid for one week in June and one week in August?

Wordless Wednesday

Jakes at the Nicholson House
We rode 11.5 miles on bikes to get here
Check out the top of the picture.  You'll see 1722 in the bricks.  This is a beautiful example of the brick work on the old farmhouses in our county.

This house sits over a mile off the main road and the driveway is not well cared for.  I found out my 3-B's are not equipped for off-road riding!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Meeting

Last week I had a meeting with my case manager and her supervisor.  ESM and Neicy went with me for support.  We created goals for me before we can be discharged, strengths of Jakes and myself, as well as the tools necessary to meet the goals.

My Goals: 
  • To have a good relationship with Son - Peace in the house
  • To have better communication with Son's father about issues concerning Son
what can help us to meet these goals:
  • Turn Jakes in a a well mannered child
  • Work on Jakes medication to ensure he is benefitting appropriately
  • keep Mom sane
  • the case manager will work to engage his father in this entire process
Things in place or to be put into place to help us meet the goals:
  • continue with in home therapy and any aftercare that is decided upon
  • mom to continue to work with the drs for medication management
  • mom to continue to attend her therapy sessions
  • mom to continue taking her meds as prescribed
  • a mentor for UP TO 10 HOURS per week will be assigned for Jakes
  • mom will get respite for UP TO 10 HOURS per week while the mentor works with Jakes
  • case manager will continue to try and make contact with Jakes father to engage him in the process
I left the meeting feeling very good about what happened.  We have a plan for helping us.  Once again, I have hope that things will get better.

When I left the meeting, the case worker still had not made contact with Jakes father.  She had left 3 messages for him through the week and he finally called her back around 4:30 but she wasn't able to take his call.  She was busy getting ready for my meeting.  Its Tuesday and I still have not heard from her that she has made contact with him.  She promised to call after she spoke with him.

So, that's where we stand.  Lots of stuff going on, lots of stuff in process.  We just have to go day-by-day to get to the end, where ever that may be.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day

Kimber and I started the morning out texting each other.  We debated whether Mothers Day is better with the Kids or without the Kids.  We decided it depended on the Kids.  ~smiles~

Jakes gave me a beautiful pop-up card that plays Vivaldi's "Spring".  That's my favorite from Vivaldi!  I open the card just to hear the snipet of the song.

I spent most of the day in my hammock swing with my book. HEAVEN!  I did bake and decorate a cake for dessert.  Daddy cooked steaks on the grill and we had potato salad, asparagus and cake for dinner at the picnic table.  What a nice dinner!

I hope your Mothers Day was a peaceful and happy as mine was!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Raising a child, any child takes courage. Each and every day, you get up and remind yourself to have patience and courage to face the day. When you add in the challenges of being a single parent, or a parent of a special needs child, you almost need to have a double dose of courage delivered intravenously.

There have been many mornings when I wish I could have just that. But I hate needles. I feel that my Jakes is an especially trying special needs child. I know there are parents out there who are dealing with so much worse and I am grateful for what I don’t have to deal with in Jakes. But to ME, he is the most challenging thing I have ever had to deal with.

My courage has to be continuing, without deviations and procrastination, without rashness and without fear of obstacles. Sounds like a tall order, right? It is except that I only need to take one day at a time. I only need courage for the current day. I can get up the next day and pray for another dose of courage. Each day my courage will be renewed and will always be fresh and will not run out.

Over the weekend, Jakes apparently talked with his father about the things that have been going on at home. The changes in therapists, the involvement with Mobile Response, how much yelling I have been doing, just about everything. And his father was already PO’d at me for what happened in Court on Friday Morning. I have more to rant about A/H but that’s another post/another day.

Sometime while I was singing, I rec’d a text from A/H wherein he implied threats if I didn’t respond within HIS prescribed time frame. I chose not to answer him. Anything I would have said to him would have resulted in him getting angrier with me and taking everything out of context because that is what he does all the time. I did say a few choice words in front of ESM and once she knew what was going on, she echoed them! Lol

On Sunday, I rec’d an email from him saying since I hadn’t responded, he was going to contact the caseworker on Monday morning. He was obviously angry with me for everything and blamed me for everything, as usual. He also said that maybe Jakes should come and live with him when school was out. HAHAHAHAH! We tried that! We didn’t even get to court for that!

Monday morning, I called the caseworker myself and asked her to touch base with him. I figured he would at least be polite to her. (I didn’t have the courage to deal with HIM and Jakes in the same day!)

As far as I know, she left him a message and he has never called her back. I am waiting for a call from her today to finalize things for our Family Planning Meeting on Thursday. Very caring father, right?

We had another session with Albert last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I consider that he is mainly there for Jacob and generally let them have time for their stuff. Last night, Albert asked me to sit with them for a check in. Jakes was annoyed with me anyway because I asked him to stay in the house while the Grandparents and I spoke with Albert first. An incident happened between Jakes and the grandparents that I wanted Albert to have knowledge of before seeing Jakes. I also wanted Albert to know that I feel Jakes is playing this whole situation in order for me to give up and allow him to move to his Dad’s house. Or if he continues to tell his father how mean everyone is to him, that his father will run in and “save” him.

During the session, Jakes was obviously mad at me and didn’t want me there. He wasn’t very nice to Albert either. But Albert persisted. He made Jakes VERY mad, so mad that Jakes asked to go to his safe spot to calm down. Albert was going to let him but wanted to say a couple more things to him. Those things set Jakes off even more. Albert told me later that he wanted to see how Jakes reacted when he pushed him.

There were several times during Jakes ranting that I wanted to just yell at him to get out, go live with your father. I am tired of having to find the courage everyday. I’m tired of fighting to make our lives better. But again, I lacked the courage to say these things. I did mention my feelings to Albert when Jakes wasn’t around.

To sum it up, Jakes hates me and my rules. He doesn’t understand why I get to make the rules and yell at him. He says that I am RUDE and MEAN to him. He doesn’t think he should have chores. He doesn’t think that we should speak to each other. He thinks that I should just leave him alone and he can take care of himself completely. He also thinks that he needs to go live with his father. He was ranting about the fight we had yesterday morning and wanted to know why I didn’t have to apologize for yelling at him. Um, because you are the CHILD and I am the PARENT! I don’t remember how many times Albert told Jakes that but each time, I had to turn my head away so Jakes wouldn’t see me smiling. We have been telling him this for MONTHS and he just doesn’t get it.

At one point, Albert had to direct who had the floor to be able to talk and he wanted us to use “I” statements. By using the “I” statements, it would be more of our opinion instead of putting the other person on the defensive. I asked for the floor and then asked Jakes how many hugs did we have this morning before school. He said ONE and that was ONE too many! Ouch. Well, guess who won’t be getting any more hugs!

And since he thinks he is capable of taking care of himself, guess who won’t be getting any help with ANYTHING, anymore??!??! If only I could.

Albert and I chatted while Jakes was calming himself down. Albert wanted information about A/H and his involvement. Tee-he! Albert was disgusted that I had to take him to court for permission to medicate Jakes. He said he would love to have a session or two with his father involved. Albert also was going to talk with the caseworker and bring her up to speed as to where he’d like to go with treatment. He is supposed to recommend that the caseworker get A/H involved because anything we do with Jakes will just be derailed by his time with his father. Albert is approved to see us for 8 weeks and can get an extension for another 4. After last night’s session, he is asking for the extension. Sigh.

So for now, I will be asking for my daily dose of courage each morning. God knows I need it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saving ME

As mom's we typically sacrifice everything, from our bodies in the conception and incubation of the children, to our very identities.  We become MOM the one who does everything for every one else.  And MOM's of special needs children, single moms or a combination of both are especially guilty of sacrificing their very souls in the care of their children.

In September, I did something to save my soul, to salvage my identity.  I joined the local community college's choir. And from the moment I walked into the practice room, I felt like I was home.

In high school I was a part of the school chorus, I went to All County Chorus three out of four years.  (Would have been there all 4 but my appendix had other ideas!)  I love to sing.

The people who make up this choir have accepted each and every newbie.  We were made to feel a part of the family.  I have made several new friends through the choir.  I have had some wonderful experiences with the choir.

The first was the Holiday Concert.  I left my girls in Ocean City, MD to come home and sing. And it was a very hard decision to make.  I love my girls and the time we have in Ocean City together, but singing has become a part of ME, my identity, my therapy.

The next performance is one that I was NOT going to miss!  We sang the National Anthem at a Phillies Game.  It just happened to fall on my Birthday so that made it SO much better!  There is almost nothing more thrilling than standing on the field, looking up and seeing 40,000 people standing and waiting for you to sing and pay tribute to this great nation of ours.  Its an experience I will NEVER forget!

This past weekend, we performed our Spring Concert.  We sang fun songs such as Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat; New York, New York; Deep River; and many more lovely songs.  It was a joy to practice these songs and to perform them over the weekend.  I am in awe of the talent of the people in the group.  They are all amazing!  I'll share a couple of pictures from the concert:

The Entire Choir plus Stage Dressing
All done, waiting to exit the stage.

The choir is off now until September.  I am going to have to remember who I am.  That I do have identity outside of the choir.  I can't wait to get back to work on the Christmas Concert!