Thursday, July 28, 2011

Drs, Drs, and MORE Drs.

I have said in the past that I like to be busy cause the time flies.  Especially at work.  This week has been almost CRAZY busy.

I had a grant application due on Wednesday but I was scheduled to be off work on Tuesday and Wednesday.  So my boss and I worked together to get it completed by Monday but I had to come in on Tuesday after Jakes appointments to put it together.

On Tuesday, Jakes had an orthodontist appointment in the morning and a pre-op testing appointment in the afternoon.  I ended up working until 7 to get the grant application completed and submitted.  Fingers crossed that the agency gets it!  If I do say so myself, it was an awesome proposal.

On Wednesday, I took Jakes over to the hospital to get tubes put into his ears so he can hear again.  The last hearing test he had he scored 35 decibels.  Normal is 20 decibels.  He failed the test miserably which is why they recommended the tubes again. 

This time they put in tubes that will stay in longer.  Usually the tubes stay in for 18-24 months but the ones they put in Jakes yesterday are designed to stay in for 3-4 YEARS.  Of course, they can still fall out on their own but typically Jakes has had to have them removed cause they stay in too long.  So far, he's had 6 surgeries on his ears over the last 10 years.

He is on ear drops for the next 7 days because the fluid in his ears was nasty.  They also gave him morphine in the OR, which is something they have never done before.  And he complained about having pain in his ears when we got home.  Poor guy.  This morning he is fine.

I canceled my therapy session for this week because I didn't do my homework.  I started yesterday at the hospital but they move you through the services so quickly!  We got there at 9 and were discharged by noon.  But at no time did we feel rushed out the door.

I am almost done with Drs appointments for Jakes this summer.  I have used most of my vacation days for Jakes appointments this summer.  I'm glad I took time for myself in AZ!  Jakes has to have a 24-hour EEG done because of his seizure in March.  We're having that done next Monday and Tuesday.  I will be taking both mornings off.

I can't wait for the summer to be over so I can stop taking him to Drs appointments!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did I REALLY pick this up? - WW

Baby eel found on our beach
I still cannot believe I picked it up
I guess I'm a mom of a Boy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Defining Paradise

There is a paradise out there for me.  It might even be here in my little hometown.  I most certainly will not be making hasty decisions to move and loose the wonderful connections to parents, friends, family and other supports I have in place for Jakes and myself.  My paradise series here will be an exploration of my resentments, finding my happiness and hopefully deciding what is missing in my life.

I realize that I am harboring resentments, many resentments toward things in my life that I cannot change.  I just need to figure a way around or through those resentments, figure out what is keeping me from what I consider "my true happiness" and how I can make that happiness happen for me. 

I seem to think better in words.  They are concrete and changeable.  I can put my disjointed thoughts down here and come back later to organize them.  If I leave them in my head, they continue to be jumbled and disjointed.  I just don't seem to be able to organize them in there.  Its a mess in my head!

I know that I have a good life in my little hometown.  I have my own place on the river. Its usually a peaceful place, when you don't count Jakes outbursts and meltdowns.  I have parents and friends who help and support me with the trials and tribulations of being a single mom to my wonderful child.  There is an Autism Center in my little hometown, something that is very unusual for bigger cities, let alone my little place by the river.

My friends are there for me in the bad times, but we also are there for the good times.  I have friends that I can exercise with, go to dinner with, travel with, spa days with, or just hang out at their pools!  And even my friends who I don't "hang" with regularly are there with words of support and encouragement for me when I need it.  And I hope that I am able to be there for them in all the same ways.

I have a job.  Its not a job that is exciting or thrilling, in fact I am rather bored by it.  But in this economy, its a job with a paycheck and health benefits.  And that is very important.  I can provide everything Jakes and I need and even lots of extras, like a trip to Disney.

Spelled out like this, it sounds like a fabulous life, right?  Who can ask for more?  Family, friends, built in babysitters, fun, laughter, and so much more.  I have all this right HERE, RIGHT NOW.  It seems a little ungrateful of me to want more for myself.  But I do.

But this is where I will talk about my resentments and hopefully find solice from them.

The other thing I am looking for in my "paradise" could possibly be different climate.  That's why I would consider moving.  I am sick and tired of the winters here.  I don't like the humidityor the heat.  I would love to find a place to live that is low humidity and ranges from about 40-50 in the winter and up to 80 or 90 in the summers.  Someplace that doesn't get an abondance of rain and if there is any snow, it would melt the same day.

So while I am exploring my resentments, I will also be searching for a place with my criteria for weather conditions.  If you know of such a place on earth, let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hugs & Kisses, I Love U's, Communication, Cooperation and Compromise

Jakes is home from his dad's.  I think I did miss him a little bit.  Just a little.  He said he missed me too.  Lots of hugs and kisses from him.

He also grew again.  When did I get a kid who is tall enough that I have to look UP to him to talk to?  sigh.

He was un-medicated when he got home but his behavior wasn't too bad.  He was well behaved for the most part but a couple of things he did or said made me want to ask if he has taken his meds.  But I didn't.  When he was unpacking his bags, he said he hadn't taken it.

But, he did the chores I asked of him, as well as other stuff.  When he didn't like it, we were able to talk about it and compromise.  No meltdowns or screaming matches!!  He got his stuff done and was able to ride his bike around the neighborhood to catch up with his friends.

This morning was more of the same, hugs & kisses, I Love U's, communication, cooperation, and compromise.  He was ready for camp in record time and I allowed him to watch TV for a little bit.  And got no arguments when it was time to leave!

I like my kid today!  I hope I continue to like my kid!

We do have a busy week ahead of us.  There are 2 Drs appointments for tomorrow and surgery to place ear tubes in both ears on Wednesday.  Of course that means 2 days off work for me.

It definitely does Jakes and I good to have extended time away from each other.  His next week long visit with his dad is in the middle of August.  In the meantime, we'll get back into the swing of things at home.

Peace and happiness is what I want and what I have.  I'll take it for as long as it is around!  And I'll fight to bring it back should it ever leave again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let Me Help, Mom - WW

Kitters wanted to help hook the TV up after the new carpets

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mommy-hood Guilt

*** This week Jakes is with his dad and it gives me lots of down time and time to think about things in my life.  And to hopefully figure somethings about my life out. ***

My Mother was a wonderful woman.  She was great at everything she did.  She was a loving wife and mother, she kept the house, sewed beautifully as well as grew fabulous vegetables in her garden.  Mom was a stay at home mom and was there for everything my brother and I needed.  She was the healer, the disciplinarian, the inspiration, the cheerleader, the taxi driver.

My brother was the slug, the one who would prefer to sit and watch TV all day long.  I was the adventurer, the one to climb trees and jump off chicken coop roofs.  I was the cheerleader, the one active in 4-H and other clubs.  I was the headstrong one that challenged my mothers authority. Many, many times my mother said "I hope you have one just like you!" to me when she was exasperated.   My mom lived to be a wife and mother.

Through it all, the love shared with Dad, the raising of the children, the lean years, the teen years, and finally her illness, she was never mean, negative or seemed to struggle with anything.  I can only remember her crying once and that was because Dad lost his job.  They worked through that and they were stronger than ever.

I am constantly comparing myself to Mom.  How she was as a wife and mother and wishing I had half her skills at both.  When my marriage was failing, I held on and fought to make it work for many reasons but one was because I was afraid of what Mom's opinion would be if I failed.  (mom had passed several years before my marriage failed.)  Mom and Dad (and most of my friends) didn't want me to marry him, they saw him for the crap that he was, but I was blinded.

I know that I am not as good a mother as she was.  I don't have the patience for being a mom.  When I am struggling with Jakes and his behaviors, I try to think how Mom would have handled it.  And I fear I don't measure up to her expectations.  In my head I know that I am not my mother, that I am a completely different person than she is, that I have been raised in a different time.  Mom was raised with the expectation that she would marry, stay home and take care of the husband, babies and the house.

I was raised knowing that I would have a career outside of the home and I would have to work with my significant other to care for any children we would have together.

It doesn't always stop the guilt and expectations I place on myself.  I don't think I will ever stop comparing myself to my mother and her skills as a wife and mother.  I just have to find a way to not allow the guilt to paralyze me when I am living my own life.
I am ME and I have to do things differently from Mom.  I have to hope and pray that she would be proud of how I am living my life and raising my son.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Looking for Paradise

I have lived in almost the same place all my life.  Its a small town, with limited opportunities for work, social life and recreation.  I am fortunate that the autism center is here.  Son goes to the same elementary school I graduated from and even has some of the same teachers I did.  In a way, I love that.  In another way, it reminds me how little I've moved in my life.

I have always lived within a 5 mile radius of my parents, right now I live in the same apartment building as them.  After my divorce, I sold the house and moved closer to my parents.  At that time, I needed the closeness and comfort of my parents to heal and find myself again.  With all that's been going on with Jakes, I've been relying on them for support, comfort and babysitting.  I am very grateful for my family.  They have been my salvation through the trials of the past few years.

I have been asking myself lately if I am truly happy with how my life has played out, with the choices I made.  Are my troubles with Jakes in part because I haven't truly moved on with my life?

I was hurt terribly by my ex's betrayal and the end of my marriage.  I have been so scared to move on romantically with anyone.  Oh, there have been a couple of guys that I was seeing but it was only for fun, definitely not anyone I'd dream of spending my life with.

With Jakes diabilities (AS and ADHD), I kinda figured what man would want to be in the middle of this turmoil.  It just didn't feel right to think about bringing someone into all of it.  I didn't feel like I had the time to devote to someone other than Jakes and all the therapies he needs.  Plus, now that Jakes has had me to himself for all these years, he's not going to easily accept someone in my life.

When Dad was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, I decided that I wasn't going to even consider moving or changing my life while he was still here.  He and Jakes have a special bond and I didn't want to hurt Dad by taking Jakes away from him.  But now, Dad is stabilized on his medications and doing pretty well.  My grandmother lived with CHF for over 15 years before she passed from another ailment.  With proper medical care, Dad could live at least as long.

I have a lot of resentment inside of me, resentment toward Jakes, resentment toward my ex for being able to walk away and move on, resentment toward my parents for their happiness, toward my step-brothers and step sister.  For a long time, I have done for everyone else, to make everyone else happy. 

I am the only child who is close to the parents.  My brother doesn't have anything to do with Dad and Renie, no one knows why.  My step-sister lives in another state, but close enough that she could still keep in touch, and my other step-brothers live in other states and keep in contact as best they can.  I am still living close to the parents, still there for them when they are sick or just feeling old, still there with a grandchild that they can be close with.

My siblings are off living their own lives and I am stuck where I am.  Is this the life I really want to live?  Is this the life that is really going to make me the happiest?

My trip to AZ opened my eyes to a lot of things.  I am questioning a lot of my choices.  I am questioning if I am meant to stay here in my little hometown or if there is a different paradise out there somewhere.  Then I question if I am brave enough to seek it out.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This is what I call DINNER.

My Step Brother and his family are visiting this week.  I haven't been home much to visit with them.  They live in Iowa.  He came home with a list of things he wanted to eat and places he wants to visit.  One of the things he wants to eat are crabs.  The first night he and I talked, he yelled (not really) at me because my crab pots weren't in the river collecting crabs.  I guess he thought since I knew he was coming, I'd rush right out and get the pots in the water.  hahahahahahaha.  Well, the next day I stopped home for lunch and they were in the water!  Awesomeness, Picklehead!

Everyone has been so busy with visiting and running around that no one has checked the pots for three days!  Yesterday, my therapist pushed back my appointment which gave me an hour to kill.  The tide was out, perfect for walking out to get the pots and see what's in them.

Here's what I found:

two pots, 10 crabs in each
3 females and 1 small male that I tossed back

This was dinner last night:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Riding Lessons Part 2

Jakes has been counting the days until we could go back for his next Riding Lesson.  I can get him to do almost anything with the threat that he might not be allowed to go riding next week!  Not that I would do that to him, well.....   maybe. 

When we arrived, Ms. J asked Jakes what he remembered from last week and he rattled off several things.  She was thrilled!  She also commented that his posture was much improved and was pleased with his efforts.  So the lesson started out on a very good note.

Jakes went into the ring to get acquainted with his horse and for the life of me, I can't remember the name of the horse!  Anyway, Jakes started with brushing the horse and checking his feet to make sure they were clean.  He did such a great job!  And he loved being brushed with the horse brush himself! 

Brushing the horse

Checking his feet

Using his muscles to put the saddle on.

After putting the Bit in and climbing the steps, Jakes is up
And so happy!

learning the commands and walking around the ring

They wandered out of the ring and followed the driveway.
Jakes liked the sound of the horse's hooves on the driveway.

After removing the saddle and sharing treats,
a hot and sweaty Jakes gets to
lead the horse back to his field

Ms. J. is very impressed with Jakes focus when he's with the horses or just listening to her.  She says he has a sense of the horse and what to do with them.  Once he learns basics, he will be a fabulous horseman.

While Jakes was working with the horse, I texted his father to ask he if would take Jakes to the riding lesson next week when Jakes is with him.  He agreed!  I'm scared!  And Jakes is so excited to be able to ride again next week and to have his father watch him.

Jakes good behavior carried over into home life. We stopped for dinner and we were able to be a little silly with each other without Jakes getting over the top.  Once at home, he listened to instructions and did his chores without too much argument and he even left me alone so that I could sit with the family and watch the beautiful sunset!  See....  so many positive things from this!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Officer Daddy - WW

Officer Daddy, 1977

Check out other Wordless Wednesday entries........

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Okay Tuesday

Today, I am going to play along with Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry, One Sock at a Time.  She is a hilarious blogger with the cutest kids and is counting down the days till her hubby comes home from a year in Korea.  She is amazing!  Check her out!

Amber got this idea from Glamour magazine. They have a section called Hey, It’s Okay and will list a bunch of things to be okay about. You're welcome to join in and do something like this on your diary. Doesn't have to be on a Tuesday either.

Its Okay To:

To be tired, especially with all the running around I've been doing lately.  Lots of therapies and activities for Jakes, all good things.

To be excited that he is excited over the riding lessons.  He can't wait to get up on the horse this week!

To be worried about my Dad in this heat.  With his heart condition, he's not supposed to be outside but he's a blockhead!

To be excited for August to get here because my friend from AZ will be visiting.  Its going to be good times!

To be happy for ESM this week.  Her son and his family have driven in from Iowa for a visit.  ESM is in heaven with another grandson around.

To be a little annoyed with Step-Brother for parking in my parking space at the Compound.

To be a little scared and apprehensive that Neicy has talked me into training for a 5K run.  YIKES!  But I'll take Jaxon along with me and he'll love it!

Tell me what you think is okay.........................   Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 11, 2011


I am so tired lately.  All I want to do is stay in bed.  Now, if there was someone in there with me, that's different.  Unfortunately, my bed is empty, except for me.  And I need to get motivated to get out of it.  Oh, I'm doing what I have to, work, house keeping, running Jakes to his therapies.  But my heart is not in it.

I know its my depression.  I don't know what to do to get myself out of this feeling. So for now, I'm just plugging along.

And counting the minutes until I can get back in my bed again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Riding Lessons

Jakes had his first session for the equine therapy and on the drive to the farm, he was pretty chatty.  But he was monotone and babbling about silly stuff in great detail.  He was acting so much like an Aspergers kid.  He must have been nervous or scared. 

But when we got to the farm we were greeted by 4 very friendly dogs which thrilled Jakes.    Watching Jakes talk with Ms J, I could still see the social awkwardness of the Aspergers.  She immediately worked to put him at ease, got him a helmet and a lead so they could get the biggest horse in the field!

Jakes LOVED it!  Every bit of it.  He didn't get to ride this time but did get to know one of the horses.  And he gained the trust of that horse.  Jakes was so good with the horse and listened to everything the instructor said.

Walking Hersey around the ring

getting the horse to back up

such concentration

Walking back at the end of the lesson

Treats between friends

What a happy face!

When we were leaving, Jakes said what a wonderful time he'd had and he couldn't wait for next week.  He said its always been his dream to ride a horse!  See, Good Things!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WW - Son's Room Before and After.......

Before  YIKES!

After - I love it!  So does he!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Random Stuff

I hope every one's Independence Day was a happy and safe one.  I had the best day!  Jakes and I walked in the local 4th of July Parade with our Autism Center's float.  They collected freeze pops to give out along the parade route.  With as hot as it was Monday morning, they were completely welcomed by all the fans along the way!  It was a blast!  Jakes really enjoyed walking along and giving out the pops.  He's such a people person!

After the parade, he watched some TV while I floated in the river with my book for a bit.  We ended the day with a cookout with the family.  Just a lazy day!

I have spent the past couple of weeks packing and unpacking my house.  I had new carpets laid and the place looks lovely!  In addition to being able to get rid of a bunch of stuff, I took the time to rearrange both the bedrooms and the living room.  In the next couple of weeks, I'll have to pack up the kitchen because I will be getting new floors in there as well.  I love my landlord!  She takes such wonderful care of my place!

Jakes came home after being at his fathers for a week and didn't even get upset over all the toys I got rid of from his room.  He was told that anything he didn't clean up from his room, wouldn't be there when he came back.  I clean his room with a trash bag!  I gave away most of his toys, especially the toys geared for much younger children.  His room is so small, he doesn't need to keep lots of stuff in there.  He spent a couple of hours in there, arranging his lights and clock and playing with his cars that he couldn't find until I cleaned.  He was glad to have the floor space to play in, which wasn't there before.

I went to my BFF Kimber's for most of the weekend.  On Saturday, she and I had a girls lunch, then went to her families BBQ. It was so nice to just hang out on the deck, chatting with everyone, eating and drinking Sangria.  What a perfect Saturday!

Sunday, she and I went for massages and facials.  It was my first facial and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!  So relaxing!  I was almost asleep and then it was over.  boo-hooo!  Of course, I loved my full body massage as well.  After that she and I went for lunch where we shared a bunch of appetizers then headed over to Cold Stone Creamery for desert!  YUM!

We did not get our tattoos yet.  There just wasn't enough time this visit.

All in all, a perfect way to end my child-less week!  Thanks Kimber!  You helped me to finish recharging ME so I can deal with Jakes effectively.

Now, I'm at work after dropping Jakes off to his first day of summer camp.  He was excited to be going.  this is his 4th year there and he knows the routine and the counselors know him.  I did make a point to tell the director that Jakes hearing is extremely compromised at this point.  I recommended that they get his attention before speaking to him, especially if there is background noise.  Poor kid!  He goes for new tubes on July 27th and it can't come soon enough for me!

That's my random updates from the weekend, so, how was your weekend?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th!

Here's to hoping everyone has a wonderful and SAFE holida weekend as wel celebrate the birth of our wonderful country.

Because I am lazy busy with holiday preparations, I'm re-posting a story about the unsafe use of fireworks.  Enjoy!

It was a perfect day for a party! The weather was great, the pool was clear and warm, the beer was on ice. It was going to be a great party. Jess and her new boyfriend, Kyle were planning to celebrate the 4th of July on July 5th with a bunch of their friends. Jess still lived at home but her parents were out of town. This added to the perfection of the day.

Jess and Kyle worked together to get the food going, people started arriving and the music was turned up loud. In the pool were chicken fights, splash fights and diving competitions. Kyle, who could not swim even got in the water for a bit.

Darkness started to fall and there was less swimming. Kyle's friends, Tristan, Mike and Bobby pulled out fireworks. Jess didn't want them to shoot them off, afraid that they would get in trouble. Kyle told her not to worry about it, they knew what they were doing. So Jess, went back to trying to enjoy the party.

Tristan shot one off that didn't go UP in the air like it was supposed to, instead it veered off over the neighbors fence and to the ground. It didn't explode like the firework was supposed to. Tristan and the others didn't think anything about it at the time.

A while later, they still had some fire crackers and noise makers when next door, flames suddenly shot up the side of the garage. The neighbor that lived there ran out of his house and screamed to call the fire department. Jess ran inside for the phone. While on the phone she stood watching the flames rise along the side of the building. She also knew she and everyone at the party were going to be in trouble.

The guys who were shooting the fireworks hid their supply and tried to pretend it didn't come from their yard. They did their best to cover up the smell of gun powder and tried to pick up the scraps of exploded ordiance.

Then the fire trucks came. There were 3 departments who responded to the scene. Of course, they would respond because the garage that was on fire was part of a junkyard and who knew what chemicals and other automotive byproducts were there to catch fire. It could blow at anytime!

Fortunately, the fire was quickly contained to a diesel fuel pump and the corner of the garage. No major damage and no explosions other than from the fireworks. And from the police officer who came to the party.

He walked up the driveway with an unexploded firework in his hand and demanded to see Jess's father. "I know Jim wouldn't allow this kind of thing to happen so you get him here, NOW."

Jess's father was a former police officer for the township and still kept in contact with the current police officers. Except this one didn't like her father. Jess went into the house to call her parents home from Virginia Beach, she even picked up the phone to dial. Then changed her mind. We are all adults, most over 21. Why can't we handle this with US and not involve my parents?

Jess went out to the Officer and respectfully made her case. "Officer, can you please just handle it without my parents. They are over 5 hours away so if you want to wait for them to get here, that fine. But we are all over the age of 18 and prepared to be adults about this."

While the officer wasn't happy about it, he also didn't want to wait around for 5 hours for her parents to get there. He proceeded to take everyone's information from their drivers licenses as well as what they knew about the fire. Most didn't know anything about it other than seeing flames and then watching the fire departments work. That was their story and they were sticking to it! The officer completed everything he needed to and the party broke up. Jess and Kyle cleaned up, then Jess took Kyle home.

The next morning started with a visit to the police station. Jess ratted out Mike and Bobby, which resulted in charges for them. Jess also talked with the owner of the junkyard and offered to make restitution for the damages.

Of course, Jess had to tell her parents what happened when they came home. Jess cleaned the house and the pool area, there was no evidence of a party from the weekend. When Jess told her parents, she made sure that her fahter was on the other side of the table from her and that she had a quick exit out the door. Turns out that exit was not necessary, he father laughed when she told the story. Her father had been a borderline juvenile deliquent in his youth so he was a little bit proud that his daughter was like him. Jess stood there with her chin on the floor in shock while he laughed.

Jess and the others made good on their promise of restitution, Mike paid his fines and the incident was put behind them. Until Tristan dug up pictures all these years later!

Some of the names have been changed to protect the not so innocents!