musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the month “September, 2010”

i did it! hooway!

Of course, what is so exciting is that she took out a puzzle piece and put it back into the puzzle.
Today was preschool orientation for Toots’s class.  When the first week of April rolls around next spring, there will be cupcakes galore.  Every child is aging into the class next week at age 2.5. 
Toots met two boys and their baby siblings, and one young girl.  There was folder with another girl’s name on it, but that family was a no show for orientation.  It’ll be a small class for a while, until some more kids age into it.
Toots was very excited, the rain came down on us for the drive there and back – and in the parking lot from the van to the door and back – in sheets.  I felt like I was standing at the base of Niagara, as I tried to coax her to buckle in or out. 
She has to do it herself.
But she was not going to miss this for anything.  She cracked up all the adults, as she was the most engaging kid there. She’s a born leader, apparently.  She was very polite to the other kids, and took everyone’s picture with the toy cameras – “Say cheeeeese!  [click] Thank you.”  Gee, I wonder why?
She and her new friends all played very nicely near each other, and sometimes even together as they all explored their classroom.
A little while after we came home, she was awfully quiet, so I went looking for her to give her some lunch, and found her passed out across the arm of the sofa. This never happens anymore.
It was a very exciting morning.

see my subtitles

This morning I had an IEP – for those unfamiliar with SPED speak, that’s an Individual Education Plan – meeting (which I had called) re: Captain Comic at his middle school to make certain we were all on the same page re: his special education support.  It seemed to go well to cement some things and work on others for his most appropriate success in school and out.  He’s working really hard at school without the supports he is accustomed to having from elementary, so has been having a rough time once he is home.  In their eyes, he’s doing great at school, but what I see at home is a completely different expression of how well he is doing.

Toots is nearly potty trained to the full extent for her preschool start next week! 

This afternoon I start a new student in tutoring.  I am very excited, if a bit rusty.  I had a good conference call with her parents the other day and it sounds like this will be an interesting challenge.  They all are, but she reminds me vaguely of only one student I’ve worked with in the past.  I will have to feel out her areas of need to find tools that will work for her – though I do have some ideas going in. 

I have started working out regularly at a gym to take care of myself better than I have been able to in recent years.  I am sore but excited. I found a personal trainer who is also a physical therapist, so she sees my areas of concern appropriately.  She gave me homework for my ankle, too!  I have to write the alphabet with my toes, pick up and place marbles with my toes, and soak the dang thing in a warm salt bath. 

This is a fairly dry, business of life post, rather than my usual sparkling wit, but this is my life today, with the rain, and all. 

I feel the burn – on my way back to superwoman.

The only thing I seem to not be tending to so far this week is my manuscript.  But it is always on my mind, hovering somewhere behind my ears.

rainy day

Okay, first I was going to post about the shower that was taken by Captain Comic at 5:30am, because last night when he reappeared for the 18th time, well past his bedtime, and he still had not showered, I told him to take it when he wakes at 6am; and the importance of keeping regular routines, especially for kids who have Asperger’s Syndrome….and the fact that after that 5:30am shower, because he was too anxious about it to wait until his usual wakeup time of 6am, so when I came downstairs at 7am, Mr.Cynic was already gone, and all the lights and TV were off so I said to myself:

What is wrong with this picture?  Then groggily walked back up the stairs to find Captain Comic asleep in bed.  He is supposed to be outside waiting for his bus by 7:15, with breakfast eaten, and lunch made.   He made it out there, without socks, but with rain coat, and  dare I ask if he even considered brushing his teeth?  By the time I brought a pair of socks for him, he was gone.

But I couldn’t make much sense of it beyond the above horrendous sentence structure, etc.  So I said, ah, forget it, and hit delete.

Then I remembered that Toots made a funny segue from a knock-knock joke to an entirely different joke during dinner last night and after a brief and unusually silent pause at our usually rambunctious dinner table, we all cracked up.  Then she told it again.

So I started to type out:

Dinner convo with Toots last night:

Toots: Knock-Knock!
Mom: Who’s there?

And I couldn’t for the life of me remember the rest of what she said.  I called Honey at work, and he said, I don’t know….ask her.

I tried, and she fell back on her old reliable Knock-knock which is not what she said last night.

Mom: Who’s there?
Toots: [Toots] the Windowwasher!

Don’t ask me how she came up with that one.  I think Honey helped her come up with it a while back.  Clearly he is not the writer in the family.  Stick to design, Hon. That’s where you excel. Love ya.

So, between the achy muscles from yesterday’s yoga class, the 5:30am shower alarm and the rain we haven’t had all summer and are getting now, I can’t rub two halves of a thought together, so this is what you get.

Hope it made any kind of sense at all.

Some days are just like this.  Now you may have a partial picture of what it’s like in my head.  Trains of thought are often derailed.  I’d like to go back to bed now.

new leaf

I tend to start new things in September, with the start of the school year. Always have.

This weekend, Honey and I joined a gym.  It’s a struggle to fit it into our already stretched budget, but we both recognize if we don’t prioritize our health and wellbeing, everything else falls apart, too.

Honestly, at this point after the myriad health issues I’ve had for the past few years in order to bring Toots into our lives, I’m so back at square one physically that I really don’t have the stamina or physical capability to work at a job on a regular basis. I need help getting back into a normal gear.

We found a gym that has personal trainers who are also Physical Therapists.  I signed up for one of them to start me off gently and consider all my weaknesses, both generalized weakness and specifics from my back issues, surgery healing and my torn ankle tendon that is resisting healing.

Wish us luck!  My PT health assessment appointment is tomorrow morning.  Today, I am going to go to the morning Gentle Hatha Yoga class for a kickstart.   Let’s see if I fall over in Warrior Pose, like I did at home last week….

My objectives with gym membership:
1. strengthen and build endurance
2. lose 15 pounds
3. reshape body parts and put some back where they belong – or  a close approximation to their past positions.

Honey is looking to lose weight and feel more on top of his physical wellbeing.  We both know we have let things go way too far while we were trying to take care of everything, everyone else. For Honey, that included me a lot, too. 

Thanks, Hon, I really appreciate all you did and still do.

Addendum:  Back from yoga class.  Great class, but I must say my ankle is the worse for wear after that.  I tried very hard to not wonk it, but it is highly wonkable at this point. 

convos with the kids

Having a talkative two year old who was a former silent baby makes it nearly impossible to catch all the brilliance that comes out of her mouth.  But I’ll try.

Yesterday, we were playing ball in the backyard, when she walked into a spider web.  She stopped in her tracks, backed up, walked toward me with a discerning look on her little mug, and declared, “I ayyergic to dat pider web.”

Moments before, she stopped suddenly with a surprised intake of of breath, and looked at her arm. 

Mom: Do you have a little bug on your arm?
Toots:  Yes, it’s otay.  I yuv dat yiddo bug. giggles sweetly
Mom: Does the little bug tickle?
Toots: Yes, da yiddo bug is tickwing my arm!
Mom: Is the little bug an ant?
Toots:  Yes. Yes it is an ant.  (pauses, smiles adoringly at the ant) I yuv dat yiddo ant!

In Mommy and Daddy’s bed for morning cuddles today:

Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]  I’m wondering about now where she is going with this.
Toot: I yuv you, too!
Mom: I love you, too, too!
Hugs and giggles and more I love you, too, too, toos.

Captain Comic:
Has been having a tough week at school and trying very hard to hold it in there.  Then he comes home and lets it loose. Poor guy.  Tuesday afternoon, over something very small, he growl-screamed through gritted teeth at me:

Captain Comic:  Can’t you just leave me alone for one single minute – PLEASE!  I have had a Very Stressful day at school today!

I am actually quite proud that he was able to express so clearly the real source of his emotional outburst.

Mr. Cynic:

 ~Dear readers, remove young ones from the viewing area, please. ~

After the Homecoming game last night, I picked up Mr. Cynic and friend at the field.  They hopped into the van in the crowded parking lot, as a sea of orange and black clad people flowed around the vehicle. He loudly declared:

The Tigers BROKE the TROJANS, 24-0. 

The conversations around here vary wildly according to developmental milestones. I am never bored.

looney harvest moon

This week marks the first full moon Autumn Equinox since 1991. NASA calls it the The Super Harvest Moon.

Last night, Mr. Cynic and I saw her rise over Kmart as we ventured out to purchase sodas on sale for his Jazz Choir to contribute to Homecoming. 

The Moon was a big, round peach in the prussian/ultramarine blue twilight.  She was gorgeous and looked exceedingly happy for Fall to come. I tried to get a good picture, but this was the best I could do with the camera I had.

This has been a challenging week.  Random odd challenges that have no business conspiring to make me go batty.  Looney. 

Here are a few examples:

1. Toots has decided that potty training is more fun if she refuses and purposely pees on the rug when we just repeatedly tried to persuade her to use the potty.  I won’t mention how poop aspect is going.

2. Can’t find the envelope of family birth certificates that have been in the exact same file for over 15 years and never lost before, through umpteen moves. I will add, that is where the savings bonds for the kids are, too. I spent two hours yesterday searching every file in the home business file cabinet.  Honey spent 2 hours searching for it last night, as I not so sweetly, frantically blamed him.

3. 1 & 2 are necessary to register Toots for preschool this week.  Preferably today.

4. Mr Cynic’s girlfriend since early December 2009 dumped him on Facebook within a week before Homecoming. By the next day, she had a new date to the dance.  He’s basically fine, no teen melodrama about it, but feels a bit humiliated and betrayed.  “Mom, I’m 15.  It’s not like I was going to marry her.”

5. I work with the youth group at my fellowship on Sundays, usually a couple of times a month.  There is a girl there who sidles up to Mr. Cynic quite a bit.  During check in when we share a bit of our week with everyone, Mr. Cynic shared the Homecoming dump.  This girl pounced. “Well, I’ll go with you if you want a date for the dance.”  He said okay, and I found on the ride home that he was totally clueless as to the extent of how much this girl is into him, in the way only a 14 year old boy crazy girl can be.  I recognized it right away, because, um, let’s just say it looks familiar.

6. There’s paperwork involved.  She goes to a high school in a different town.  Paperwork involves parental and principal of her school’s signatures.  It’s due today. I heard about it Tuesday afternoon. How the heck….Stroke of brilliance: digitize via scanner and email!  Got it all done last night except for two minor details:  my printer decided to stop communicating with my computer once again and I haven’t signed it.  I fired it off to the teacher in charge as is and emailed that I would swing by the school to sign it today.

7.  Haven’t heard back yet from the teacher in charge.

8. Tuesday erupted re: Captain Comic because Monday he erupted on me because of something re: school.  Phone calls and emailed letters galore over the course of about 24 hours – in the midst of which was my writing group – as if I’d be able to concentrate on my writing.  Literally walking out the door at the end of writing group, Mr. Cynic’s frantic call came about having to cancel his bass lesson for that afternoon because we had to drive around creation to get that paperwork signed and in.  My stroke of virtual documentation brilliance occurred on my short ride home.

9. Special needs parent advocacy super powers week. See above.  Sorry to be vague, I’m pooped and some of this should remain confidential.

10.  Yesterday, Mr. Cynic awoke with a sore throat, but decided he could go to school.  Last night, he started stuffing up, but this morning, though he sounded kind of miserable, he decided he felt fine besides the annoying stuffiness and cough. 

11. Captain Comic awoke this morning with the same sore throat and decided he did not want to risk infecting the whole school so that they have to shut it down. 

12.  He seemed verbal and non-feverish enough to go to school to me, so I pushed him out the door.

13. Also on Tuesday, a pen exploded all over our dryer – Inside – which looked like black blooded carnage. 

14. In seeking advice how to remove stain, I instead received too many wiseacre comments and helpful hints on how to train my family to empty their pockets. Believe me, I use tools every time I do laundry, which is often, to ensure this happens, to no avail. Periodically, something turns up in the washer or dryer that I wish was cash, but is usually something like an exploding pen, cellphone, tissue scraps, load of melted lip balm covered clothes, legos, candy wrappers or rocks. Or all of the above.

15.  There’s more.  I know there is.  Beyond the usual mayhem. 

I blame the moon.  It’s the only way I’ll survived the remainder of this looney week.

oh boy

Things have been a mite stressful around here for the past 24 hours re: Captain Comic and school.  So I was grateful to have my writing group meet today.

We met.  I wrote. Really I edited about eight pages of my manuscript in the middle and then got stuck and found myself drawing floor plans of the fictional house on the back pages of my printed editing copy because while I had in mind what the upstairs looked like and that it was a Cape with a two story addition on the back, and I knew the whole floor plan from kitchen to kids’ rooms, I had no earthly idea where the parents’ bedroom was, or bathrooms.  And I have been watching them walk through this house in my head for eons!

Thankgiving dinner guest has arrived, and the mother is coming out from having just showered all the flour and mess off herself from the dinner prep.  She is pulling her long wet hair back into a ponytail, but wait – where is she walking from?  Is she coming down the stairs as she talks and walks into the scene?  Or from a room that doesn’t exist downstairs?  If it doesn’t exist and I have been so sure of my floor plan all this time, where the heck am I going to put it?

There is no actual physical need to visualize and describe what the house looks like except I need to know so the narrative will work. 

Stuck as I was, I moved on to a random document that Honey had loaded on to the laptop he refurbished for my use.  Why did he put it on there?  I’ll never know.  He likely has no idea why he did it, either, but there it was, tempting me from my task at hand that was floundering.

It was a short story I wrote a few years ago, I think.  I read it, found it quite enjoyable to look at again, and tweaked it a bit.  So though I was not directly productive on my novel, I was still productive and had some fun on a day I really needed to have a good distraction.

to sleep, perchance to dream

Honey put Toots to bed last night and found he had to fold the quilt in half to fit in her crib.

This morning, I heard her stirring and went over to her crib to take her out. 

Me:  Did you have a good night’s sleep with your new quilt?
Toots sleepily with fingers firmly in her mouth: Mm-hm. But I had dweams.
Me:  What happened in your dreams?
Toots: It had cheese in it.
Me: Was it good cheese?
Toots perking up, but fingers still in mouth:  Mm-hm!

This was her first unprompted telling of her dreams.  I believe the quilt had something to do with it.


The quilt is finished!  Phew!

And Toots is very happy.

Final ironing and pinning stage to close the open, stuffing edge:
Here it is before I threw it in the wash, so I can put it on her bed tonight.
The stitching isn’t perfect, neither is the stuffing, but you know what?  I did it.  It’s my first quilt.  I’m proud of it. 
And Toots’s toes will not be hanging out the foot of it when she sleeps for a looong time to come.
Nope.  They sure won’t!
And you know what else?  Look at the look on her face in both shots.  I’ll wait.  Go ahead.
She knows I love her, big time.

i spy with my little eye: snake attack

I looked out the window when something flew by just prior to dusk last night. I grabbed the nearest camera and:
Attack of the Giant Snake!
But who was attacking whom – Humanoid or Snake?
Soon the Humanoid had the upperhand.
Then the Snake appeared to briefly make a comeback.
But was quickly thwarted.  Take that!
And That, you you…snake!
As if fighting on sheer spite, the Snake goes in for the kill.

And then Captain Comic saw me pointing a camera through the window, and came after me with a “Why you! You’re going to pay for this!”  a la forties gangster movies.

I’m telling you, there are worlds in this kid’s head.  Worlds.  One day, they will appear on film.  I see a future James Cameron or Stephen Speilberg (the early years) in the works.  Of course, he wants to move to Tokyo and work for Toho Studios, the king of all makers of giant monster movies.

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