Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Morning! WW

Good Morning!
My view while having breakfast this morning
Love it!

Check out other Wordless Wednesday participants.

Monday, August 29, 2011

How Many People Can I Confuse?

Its not random though Tuesday yet but I have lots of little things to share.  Remember its just Monday!

We came home last night around 9 pm.  The power finally came back on and I wanted MY bed.  Jakes wasn't happy about leaving the hotel but he packed up and came home with me.  Dad, ESM and Kathy stayed the night at the hotel.

The Compound survived nicely.  There was minimal flooding, mainly in the storm cellar.  The Fire Department came over and pumped it out because without power, the sump pump wouldn't work.  They were pretty busy yesterday with de-watering assignments around the township.

I thought my anchor buoy had gotten taken away in the storm but it turned up at the top of the steps last night. YAY!  I worked very hard to steal that one and wasn't looking forward to having to steal another one.

Jakes is going tomorrow for his 24-hour EEG.  We've postponed it twice this summer and since school starts next week, we have to get it done this time.

My friend from AZ flew out right before the hurricane and when he flew into Phoenix, there was a dust storm.  He has all the luck!  While we didn't spend as much time together as I would have wanted, he had lots of friends that he hasn't seen in over a year to catch up with.  He and I talk every day (usually) and I was just out there in May.  Next time he comes East, he'll be able to stay longer and we'll spend more time together.

JF and I actually had a civil conversation, via Text message this weekend.  He was worried about us having to evacuate.  He wasn't mean or demanding, just wanted to make sure we got out and where we would be.  And this is not the first civil communication we've had recently.  I've even said please and thank you to him about schedule changes.  I'm a little scared!!!!

The new cat, Shadow and Saylors stayed at the house while we were gone.  I thought they would bond and become better friends.  WRONG!  Saylors is still growling at Shadow.  Shadow on the other hand just wants to be friends. 

Remember to check out the other random-ness out in bloggy world!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Aftermath

I am sitting safe and dry in my hotel room on Sunday after Irene blew through the area.  She has flooded many areas of my county.  They have only just removed the order for everyone to stay off the roads.  OEM still doesn't want you to be on the roads but if you must, you can be.

We left the house yesterday at 3 pm.  Jakes, Jaxon, Kathy and her dogs, Dad and EMS and myself all gathered our important stuff and headed for higher ground.  Our newest neighbors, Melanie and John stayed behind.  Not 20 minutes after we left than Mel messaged me that the electric was out.  We had good timing for leaving!  The electric was off and on all night long, more off than on.  Its off right now.

At the hotel, we all got settled and then gathered in Dad and ESM's room for dinner.  I had cooked a chicken, ESM brought hot dogs and mac N cheese.  Kathy brought chocolate stuff for desert.  Our three dogs actually got along very well, which doesn't happen at home.  We had a great time listening to Dad's fire police radio at the chaos happening in the county.  And the storm wasn't even really here by then!

After dinner, Jakes, Jaxon and I went back to our room to relax for the evening.  By 10:30 the storm was raging outside and the bathroom was leaking.  YIKES!  The front desk brought rags and buckets to catch the water.  There are no open rooms to switch us to because everyone evacuated.  We met our neighbors here at breakfast!

I was checking the weather channel and facebook to see what was left.  Irene hit for the second time in Little Egg Inlet, NJ.  This is a little town 90 miles almost directly EAST of my town.  We were SO close to the center of the storm!  That's a bit scary and I'm glad I didn't know it before it happened.  I think if I realized how close the eye of the storm was going to be, I would have paniced.

I imagine we were fortunate that the storm had decreased in strength so much more than when it hit NC earlier.  We are waiting for the next high tide, which will be even higher after the storm, with all the run-off.  We are waiting for power to come back on so that we have drinking water at home.  I have to go back and get clothes for work on Monday.

All in all, I know I made the right decision to leave.  I was torn on whether to leave or not.  Part of me was scared to be there during the storm and part of me wanted to be there to see the excitement.  But I had to think of my child and animals.  I did the smart thing.

Friday, August 26, 2011


This storm is freaking me out.  Its the first time in all my life we've been advised to evacuate.  Dad's not going but then he's on the second floor.  They are predicting 4-7 foot storm surge in the Delaware Bay and I live on the Delaware River. With a Marsh on the other side. 

The Marsh is what always floods.  It flooded yesterday at high tide from all the storms and rain.

I don't know what to do.  Stay or Go? And if I go, then I have to find somewhere that takes animals.  And mouthy tweens.  That might be harder to find.

If I go, what do I take?  How do I protect what I don't take?  I don't like to have to make these decisions!

I'm off to charge my iPad, iPhone and eReader.  I have to help Dad batten down his decks and the rest of the yard and then at low tide, make some sand bags just in case.  I am cooking up a storm (not literally!) so I have food to eat if we loose power.  The cooler is washed and ready to go, there is a bag of ice in the freezer.  I've started collecting containers of water for drinking and I expect there will be plenty of water outside to dip a bucket into for flushing of the toilet.  I have candles and batteries.  I have the animal cages ready to go, if necessary.

I am considering putting my car at a friends house, just to be safe.  But what if I need to leave.... 

Anyway, I hope and pray that everyone else in the path of Irene stays safe!

UPDATE:  We decided to leave after the township ordered an evacuation of my road, plus others.  I will be taking the Dog, the Cat and my friend from AZ with me.  I'm gathering up pictures and important papers and packing the kid off to his Dad's for the weekend.  We will be safe and I'll check in as soon as I can!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jakes Vacation

So, I'm a little scared at the moment.  While Jakes was on vacation with his Dad, they shared a couple of pictures with me of what they did during the week.  There are two things that amazed me about this.  First, he sent pictures.  Second, he DID stuff with Jakes.

Our little county has been hit pretty hard with storms over the past week or so.  Lots of rain, fast and hard, making it difficult to run off without washing out roads and bridges.  We've lost 3 little bridges and there are still several roads closed due to undermining.  There are estimates of $5.5 million in damages and that's just to roads and doesn't include private properties.

All this rain and flooding left the fields where Jakes does riding lessons a mess and lessons were canceled.  So JF and Jakes went fishing instead.  Sounds like a good deal to me!

Jakes has been bugging me to take him to Joe's Crab Shack or Red Lobster.  I haven't had the time or the money.  But his Dad took him to a place where they had King Crab Legs and Jakes was a Happy Boy.  Here's the picture his dad sent to me.

He Ate Them ALL!

I'm working today and part of tomorrow, taking Jakes for a hearing test and after-surgery follow up, then I'm off the rest of the week to spend with my friend from AZ.  We're planning a trip to the beach.  Should be FUN!

have a great week everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm outta here for a few days.  I've got a friend coming to visit and I don't know how much time I'll want to spend in front of the computer.  I'm taking some time off work and plan to do some relaxing!

Tah-tah for now!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Scenes WW

Roadside scenes in the summer

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are Dandelions Weeds or Flowers?

Most people think of dandelions as weeds and do everything they can to rid their yards of them in the springtime.  But if you were to drive by a field covered in a sea of yellow dandelions waving in the summer breeze, wouldn't you think this is beautiful?  I know I would.  And it would all be a matter of perspective.

Sometimes we allow other people to determine what we see as weeds and what we see as flowers.  I know that I have a propensity to see weeds in everything, I see parts of my life as such struggle.  But there are others in my life that see me as an amazing woman to be able to do such wonderful things with my life.

I tend to see my struggles with my AS, ADHD tween as a huge struggle and view all most some of my actions and reactions with him as near failure. (weeds) I compare my mothering skills with my memories of my mother (who was a saint in my memories!) and see so much lacking in my skills.  I consider that Jakes and I need so much outside help a failure.

My BFF's, Neicy and Kimber, see ME as Wonder Woman.  As the ultimate mother who does such amazing things with her child.  Things that they cannot imagine having to do and believe they wouldn't be able to do.  (Flowers)

To me - its just another day in my life. 

I have been trying to change my way of thinking about my struggles with Jakes and our life.  I have been trying to concentrate on the good things.  Like his being all hug-y and hanging on me before he left for vacation with his father.  I think he was missing me before he even left.

My life should be filled with dandelions and other flowers.  I AM an amazing person, mother, daughter, friend, sister.  I am Wonder Woman. 

Now where's my golden tiara?

Monday, August 15, 2011


We have a new family member!

He's a Love Bug!  I rescued him from a friends garage.

I don't know how old he is, I'm guessing under a year.

He needs to have his eye checked by the Dr.

Jakes LOVES him and was disappointed that he had to leave for his dads almost as soon as we brought Shadow home.

The other 4-legged kids are still adjusting to Shadow.  In time, they will all be curled up together.

Welcome to the Nest, Shadow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally Friday

Its Finally Friday!  This has been a long week.  I think its the first week this summer that I have worked all week, didn't have to take time off for Jakes Drs appointments!  Wooho!  No appointments for him next week either cause he'll be at his dads!

Yes, another vacation week for me.  His father is picking him up sometime on Saturday for the week.  Peace and quiet will reign in my house!  Gotta love vacation time.

I'm a little scared because JF has said that he will take Jakes to riding lessons on Wednesday AND he asked to have Jakes for an extra weekend.  um, that's never happened before.  I hope it keeps happening.  I hope JF is going to start including Jakes in his life.

This week is our county fair.  I've managed to avoid it so far.  I am going to get stuck going tonight though.  They are having the antique tractor pulls tonight and Jakes wants to go.  So, I'll take him and a book.  Usually I am very interested in wandering around the fair grounds but this year it just isn't holding any interest for me.  Oh well, I have a book I've been wanting to read so this will be a good time.

Jakes has a new obsession and its making me crazy.  Aspergers kids usually have a subject that they are passionate about and learn every little detail about.  Then when they are nervous or scared, they can call upon this knowledge to comfort them and bored the crap out of everyone around them.  His obsession, you ask. Well, he is naming trucks as we drive along.  He sees a Peterbuilt (or whatever the make of the truck is) and recites everything he knows about it along with how many are at his dad's work place.  He does this for every truck we see on our drives.  And if he sees multiples, I get to hear the same facts again and again and again.  Makes me want to hide in the trunk when we are on a road trip. I suppose I should be grateful he's moved on from Thomas the Tank Trains. At least trucks can be considered more age appropriate.

I am looking forward to the end of next week.  My friend from AZ is coming for a visit.  Its going to be nice to have an adult close to my age around to have fun with!  I almost want to wish away next week so he'll get here sooner but I don't want to miss my Jakes-free time.  Its a hard choice!

Well, I guess I have to get back to work.  I have a grant that is due in a couple of weeks but I have about 7 tech manuals and white papers to read to educate myself on the content.  Time to sleep!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Speech But What About the Kids?

There has been lots of talk on the Internet about the father who created a blog where he bashed his ex-wife.  He thought it was anonymous but the ex-wife found it and supposedly shared it with the kids.

This is not going to be another blog protesting what he did, she did or the judge ordered.  I am going to turn this to be about ME.  Its MY blog after all......  Where I try to learn and grow into a better person.

This situation is one that made me go "hummmmmmmm" because I blog, somewhat anonymously and I take my Ex to task for what I perceive as bad parenting, inhumane actions on his part, and so much more. I know Jakes knows about my blog, but I seriously doubt he reads it.  Only because I know how I have the net nanny set up on our computer and I strictly monitor his time on the internet.

I wouldn't have a problem if JF found the website and read what I wrote.  I mean, he might even learn how to be a better parent to Jakes.

I definitely would hate to have Jakes read some of the stuff that I write about his father.  I try not to bash his father when Jakes can hear (I'm not perfect though).  Jakes loves his father and just because I don't doesn't give ME the right to ruin Jakes image or relationship with his father.  If Jakes was being hurt, physically or mental, by his father, that's a different story.  But Jakes loves his dad so I try to respect that.

My blog is about things, good and bad, in my life as a form of therapy.  I have not really given thought to being "found out" here in my nest.  I share my links on my personal facebook page, I know that I am friends with people who are friends of JF, who could easily report back to him what I am saying. 

After reading all the hoopla created around the psycho website, I am going to think more carefully of what I say about JF, not because I care what he thinks or if he reads it.  I am going to be more careful for my kids' sake.  He already has enough to deal with in his life, Aspergers, ADHD, Puberty, divorced parents.  He doesn't need me bashing his father in public just because I don't like him or agree with JF's life choices.

My life has been about putting Jakes first.  This is another way that I will do that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Choices

Some Choices are SO HARD to make.....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Merciful or Not? Am I Ready?

Over the weekend I read Betsy from My Five Men when she guest posted to Chicken Scratchings: Life with Autism and was so moved by her description of what Autism means to her. If you don't read Betsy, she has 4 boys and her teenage triplets are autistic. I have read Betsy almost from my blogging beginnings. She is so calm and serene in her description of life with triplets, let alone triplets with autism. I wish I had her peace of mind to help deal with my single Asperger's tween.

In her post, Betsy described some differences in her boys and how she and her husband cope with day to day living. Each boy has different puzzle pieces that Betsy and her family are working each day to put together.

Betsy talked about the hand that God played in her life with her boys. She doesn't believe God gave her boys autism, she does believe that he knew it would happen, allowed it to happen and has given her the tools necessary to cope with it. She has great faith and courage to ask for Him for strength and grace to be able to face each and every day.

Where's this post going, you ask? Keep reading. I'm getting there.

I wasn't raised in a religious home, meaning we didn't attend church services, we didn't pray before meals or bedtime. That doesn't mean that I don't believe in God or His powers. In fact, I have not had a good relationship or view of God for a very long time. In fact, you could say I've been angry with God.

Why, you ask. I grew up thinking that God was merciful and would protect us from bad things, like cancer. Mom was diagnosed with cancer for the first time right before my senior prom. She came home from her first surgery just in time for my pre-prom festivities.

Fast forward a few years. She was diagnosed with cancer the second time right before my wedding. She was so sick and couldn't do much to help with the planning. She couldn't make my wedding dress like we planned all my teenage years. She suffered and fought this ugly disease for another 3 years, not making much progress.

Finally, when I was 5 months pregnant, she was put on Hospice to finish out her days in peace. During my pregnancy, all I wanted was Mom to be able to help me shop for the baby stuff, to plan my baby shower, to make beautiful baby clothes, to be happy for me and to look forward to the birth of her first grandchild.

But she was sick. And depressed. And miserable. I remember one night, she called me and said she wanted to die. I think I had some contractions that night. I wasn't ready to loose my mommy. I hadn't accepted the fact that she was going to die yet.

Then she died three days before Jakes was born. She never got to meet him, hold him, kiss him. I know she loved him. I know she keeps watch over us.

So, there are my selfish reasons for being angry with God. My theory (not necessarily a good one) is that if He were merciful, He would have given me at least ONE milestone that wasn't overshadowed by this horrible disease.

PLUS, Mom was in tremendous pain. The cancer started in her colon but metastasized to her sacral nerve. She lost control of one foot and had shooting pain down her butt and leg all the time. Pain meds only dulled the pain, never took it away completely.

My other theory (again, not necessarily a good one) is that if he were merciful, He wouldn't have let Mom linger so long in such pain before taking her to heaven.

All of these things combined to make me very angry with God. Praying to Him didn't and still doesn’t feel "right". Asking Him for help and guidance with Jakes didn't and still doesn't feel "appropriate".

As I said earlier, religion never played a huge part in my life so it didn't seem like an issue that I had to deal with immediately. Reading Betsy's post has made me question if my life would be so stressful if I were able to put my trust in God and ask for His help. Is it possible that with His help, would I be able to see the bigger picture, not worry so much over the small things and be content with life as it is?

Betsy points out to me that no one is promised a carefree life, life is full of ugliness, hurt and hardships. But if I had a better relationship; trust in God, would my hardships seem less significant? Would I have more strength and grace to deal with the hardships in my life?

And the biggest question I have is: Am I ready to trust in God once again?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Unconditional Love

I started thinking about unconditional love because a friend on facebook frequently posts about how much she loves her daughter. She is so eloquent in her posts that I can see the love flowing from her heart toward her daughter, even through the computer screen. She describes her love for her daughter as "love you to the moon and back".  So sweet!

Every parent has unconditional love for their child. Even me for Jakes, even when he's driving me crazy! And we all express it differently.  My friend can say it and I've seen her kiss and hug all over her.  She has no problem with showing her unconditional love.  Me on the other hand, I tell Jakes I love him and ask for hugs and kisses from him.  But I don't usually proclaim my love to all my friends and family on facebook.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with how either of us share our love for our children.  Its just a matter of how comfortable we are with the various ways of sharing.  I love reading her posts of love for her daughter.  It makes me smile and warms my heart.  It also reminds me that I really do love my child.  Even when he's being a big pain in the butt.

Thanks, Kris.  You're amazing in so many ways!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let's Get Organized - Randomly

Its going to be a crazy, crazy day!  Jakes 24-hour EEG was canceled yesterday so I at least didn't have to deal with that today.  They rescheduled for next week.  I am very grateful that my boss allowed me to switch my time off around and for me to make up the time I was late yesterday.  I love that she is so flexible with me.

Today at work is going to be nuts.  I have stuff to get done, plus a meeting at headquarters this afternoon.  I haven't even STARTED prepping for this meeting.  Since I am the one that called this meeting, I probably should get ready for it.

After the meeting, I have to run over to the airport to pick up my Daddy.  My neighbor, Kathy went to Florida to stay with a friend so Daddy drove her down and now he's flying back.  I think ESM wants someone to pick him up, I think she wants Daddy home.

Once I get Daddy from the airport, I'll have to make my way through rush hour traffic to come back home to get Jakes from summer camp before they close.  I should be able to make it.  Hopefully.  Fingers crossed and I will be activating my cop-shield!

I hate when my subconscious mind takes over.  I have a situation which I'm trying to step back from to protect myself but my dreams won't let me.  When I'm awake I can control myself and put the wall up.  But when I sleep, my dreams take over and while I like those dreams and wish I could make them come true, I can't let them take over.  Last nights dream was so perfect and heavenly but I need to let it go for now.  I need to put that wall back up around my heart.  How do you do that when the wall came down so recently and when I don't really want to?  be strong and just do it.

I joined Google+1.  I got an invite from my friend, Annabelle Archer.  I don't know how to use Google+1 yet.  And I don't have many friends on it yet.  I still prefer facebook.  Maybe in time I will get the hang of it and it will become the New FaceBook.  We'll see.

I'm on vacation count down!  Not too many more days to go!  Can't wait to see my friend from AZ when he gets here!

Ok. I think I have everything organized in my head.  Now time to get organized for my meeting this afternoon.  Happy Tuesday all!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Letter to JF - resentments

Dear JF.

As I sit alone in the various waiting rooms at the hospital with Jakes, I am reminded of one of many reasons I resent you and how your choices in life still affect Jakes and myself. I sit here alone watching the other parents waiting together for their child. Who knows if they are all intact families or not, it doesn’t matter if they are or not because they are both there for a reason, to care for their child.

When you left, you not only left our marriage and family behind, you left fatherhood behind as well. You are somehow able to walk away from being a father and not seem to have any regrets over it. Yet you seem to have this inflated sense that you are a superior parent to me. You can’t be considered a parent if you are not there for the child in as many situations as possible.

Over the years, I have kept you informed of stuff regarding Jakes, doctors appointments, therapies, medications, surgeries, child study team meetings, report cards. Never once have you responded that you would be participating in anything to do with Jakes, other than your every other weekend, every other Friday and alternating holidays. Most of the time you don’t even acknowledge that you have received my emails with the information.

Never once have you offered to take Jakes for more than your set times, never once have taken him on vacation with you, never once have you shown up for anything to do with his school and only once did you take him for any of his therapies. It’s to the point where if Jakes wants to do something, such as tubing on the River, he’ll ask me because he knows that you will say “No.” Your son KNOWS that you don’t want to do things with him unless its something YOU want to do.
I will admit that for the most part you have been very flexible with switching weekends or taking him extra when I ask. But only when I ask. It’s like you pretend you don’t want to share your life with your child. Like you’d rather pretend you don’t have a child other than when it works for you.

Maybe that's the problem I have with you, your refusal or inability to share your life with Jakes. I live my life around Jakes. You live your life and don't seem to incorporate him into it. Do you incorporate anyone into your life or do you just expect everyone to live theirs to make you happy?

It seems to me that you are interested in playing father when it’s convenient for you or when you think you can make my life more difficult; such as with medicating Jakes. I had 2 doctors saying that he would benefit from medication for ADHD and you’re telling me to try something else. I had given you chapter and verse of what I had tried with Jakes, what had failed and even asked you to tell me what else you’d like me to try. I never received a response for what else to try. Instead, I had to go to the courts to get an order to medicate my child.

For the past year or more, I’ve been struggling with Jakes behaviors. I have asked for help from you and gotten either no response or told that you are too busy. Yet, when things between Jakes and I exploded and other agencies became involved in helping Jakes and I, you choose this chance to threaten me with taking my child. When the in-home therapist wanted to talk with you about Jakes therapy and progress, you choose to ignore those messages as well.

In a rare email, you complained to me about how mean and miserable Jakes had become on the first medication. By the time you complained about it, he was already off that medicine. Don’t you think it would have benefited him for you to notify me when you first noticed the changes? How is that supposed to help Jakes when you complain too little, too late? Or is that just your passive/aggressive way of making it my responsibility instead of yours?

The way the aftermath of how Jakes seizure was handled was atrocious, in my opinion. Why did you wait so long to call me to let me know he was in the ER? Why did Kim feel the need to hide in the bedroom when I was there seeing Jakes? How immature is she? While I am not happy that she was the only one with him for the majority of his hospital stay, I am happy that she took such good care of him until one of his parents were able to be there with him.

And when I needed more information about the seizure, you chose to ignore that request as well. It’s as though you think I am asking for this information just to bug you. Believe me, I don’t want to engage with you anymore than I have too.

For the most part, I have given up trying to engage you as his father. I had a wonderful father and for many years, I have hoped that you would be a similar father to Jakes or at least be involved with him. Someday, I will be able to accept that you will never be the father I wish for Jakes. There are times when I think I have accepted it and then you fail him once again. The most recent is from yesterday when I let you know about his surgery. It was on a Wednesday and you are off on Wednesdays. You didn’t even have to take the day off if you wanted to come and be with him. And to send a text three hours AFTER I told you he was fine, unacceptable in my opinion.

I have friends who are fathers and when their kids are sick and/or in the hospital, they have moved into the room with their kids and their ex’s. Everyone plays nice for the well-being of the child.

I don’t see you as failing me, I see it as you failing your child. He’s not going to know the security of having a father there when he’s sick or when he succeeds in school or at therapies. He will learn eventually that he is your second choice.

As you read through this, take note that my resentments are for your parenting, not for the fact that you chose to leave me. I resent you for how you treat our child, how your life comes first, not Jakes.

******  I am printing this and plan to light it on fire and send the ashes into the universe in the hopes that some, if not all my resentments will float away with them.  ******