Thursday, February 9, 2017

In His Shoes

He holds it together during the school day.

He's the student who always has the answer, and always has something to say. But he tries his best to remember to raise his hand.

He worries a lot. We're working on that.

He worries about things he can't control. He worries about things he CAN control.

He worries.

He's happy. It's hard to tell, but he is. His meds just make him super focused so he looks upset all the time. It's been hard to get used to. He doesn't even smile in most pictures. I cherish the pictures where we catch him smiling.

He's a quick thinker.  Be prepared to take it as well as you dish it out with this one.

He's brutally honest. Don't ask him for his opinion on something unless you're prepared to hear the truth. Except about brushing his teeth - or changing his clothes. He'll lie about that. Every time.

Early mornings are so hard. Evenings and nights are hard too.  With no medication in his system, he has a very hard time following directions or being respectful.

We fail as parents nearly every day. Sometimes in the mornings, other times at night. Sometimes both times in one day. But we're trying.

Having a child with ADHD is hard.

Having a child with ADHD is a blessing.

Don't assume he's being naughty when he's acting out. Don't assume we aren't parenting him.

Don't assume.

Ask questions if you don't understand something about him.

Don't assume. Ask.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Uneccessary Inspiration

Okay moms, we've all been there.  The phone rings and it's someone you adore who says that they are on their way to your house for an impromptu visit.  You immediately go into "oh crap" mode once you hang up the phone, after of course reassuring said friend that you are thrilled that they are coming over.  You look around and wonder just where in the world you are going to put all of the unsightly clutter that you don't want your friend to see.  Far be it that she sees how you actually live, right?  Well, I am in that mode currently.  Not a great time for inspiration to strike!  But here I sit anyway, instead of racing around like the proverbial chicken with it's head cut off.

In my case, no one is coming to see us.  I am trying to get ready to leave home for eight days.  This daunting task is made even more complicated by the fact that the day after we return, the school year starts up again and my laid back summer schedule comes to a screeching halt.  So, on top of making sure we have enough clean laundry to pack, bills paid, garbage taken out, someone to watch the pets/house/plants, I am also having to do this under the radar so as not to tip off my very nosy children.

No.  They have NO IDEA we are taking a trip.  We have been planning and saving for this trip for over a year and we are set to leave the house by 10am TOMORROW MORNING.  I can't believe that we have made it this far with no one spilling the beans!  (SO HUSH!)

We are surprising them with a trip to Orlando, FL (Disney World!!) and Tampa, FL (Beaches!  Oh, and their Unlce, Aunt, and little Cousin too. LOL)

Am I ready for this trip?  Ummmm.  Hmmmm.  Depends on what you consider ready.

Are we packed?  Nope.  The hubby plans to take the kids swimming when he gets home from work so that I can do just that.  Do we have an itinerary?  Not really.  We have a small plan about which parks we are doing and when, but other than that we are just going to relax and enjoy.  Did we save up enough money?  Pretty much.  We are going to be able to have a great time, but we will have to watch our spending a little.  That seams reasonable to me though.  Did I lose those 20 extra pounds that was my goal when starting the planning for this trip?  Nope.  Sigh.  But. . .this trip is not about me. 

It's about seeing the kids' reactions tomorrow morning when we announce the trip to them.  (I can't wait to see their faces!)  It's about holding their hands during take off and landing and playing card games with them during the flight.  It's about how their faces are going to light up because of all of the magic that they are going to experience this next week.  But mostly it's about being together, as a family, for one last week of summer before the school year gets going full time and we have less and less time for each other.

So, if you see me on the first Monday of the school year, and I don't seem quite as chipper, put together, or alert as I normally am, please be kind.  I'm just coming down from a Florida high and my brain is still in vacation mode.  Poor me another cup of coffee, nudge me awake during the in-services that are usually so tantalizing, and don't be offended if I ask you to bring me another mojito.  I'm just confusing you with that cute cabana boy I met on the beach. ;)

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

At one time in my life, softball WAS my life.  I loved everything about the game: the fielding, the batting, the sliding, the uniforms, giving my coaches gray hairs with the frequency that I stole bases, and most of all, the many, many friends I had because of the game.  But it wasn't until this year, watching my kids play ball, that I really understood just how invested my parents were during my playing days.

My mom once told me a story about how the first summer that they didn't have any of my games to go to anymore, she and my dad walked the dog down to the softball fields to watch a random game just because they missed being there.  My kids will play their last games of the season tomorrow night.  And while I will be glad for life to slow down a little bit, I am really going to miss watching them play.

Braden is six and in his last year of Tball.  Lauren is 8 and in her last year of coach-pitch softball. 

In Braden's league, the coach pitches to them several times, and if they can't hit it, they then use the tee.  Last year Braden couldn't hit the pitches to save his life, but this year he hasn't used the tee at all, and Jason has started pitching the ball faster and faster to him.  He has become such a great little ball player that he actually got asked to sub on a team a league up from tball!  And let me tell you, he really held his own!

But there is a down side to Braden being such a great ball player:  he's in Tball.  If you've never watched a tball game, you simply must.  It has got to be the funniest sport to watch.  For example, during the last game that Braden had his team was out in the field.  Braden was playing 2nd base, was down and ready, watching the batter.  His teammates were doing everything BUT getting ready: twirling, playing in the dirt, watching the sky, picking their noses.   His "coach" (I use that term loosely because she doesn't really coach them) yells out for them to be ready to throw it to first base.  The ball is hit to the cute little girl playing third, who has to stop twirling ballerina-style long enough to field the ball, bobbles it all around, seemingly not knowing what to do with it.  And then all I can hear is my boy yelling at her, "Throw it to first!  Throw it to first!  Throw it to first!"  His voice gets louder and more frustrated each time he yells it, going from being a helpful teammate to being downright disgusted with her existence.  She eventually throws it to first as best she can, overthrowing it of course, and Braden throws his hands up in the air like, "I give up."  So funny.  I wanted to tell him that I felt his pain. LOL  It's a good thing he will move up next year.

And then there's Lauren.  I have been so excited for Lauren to play softball because I loved the sport so much.  But part of me is very worried that she will never really be quite the player I've been hoping for. LOL  Don't get me wrong, she is quite good!  She has an arm on her that 11 year old boys have commented on when they've watched her throw, she fields hard hit balls like they were nothing, and her hitting has improved so much this summer that other parents have commented to me about what a good little player she is.  But it's always like her little mind is somewhere else.  In the clouds, daydreaming about who knows what.  In the dirt, drawing with the tip of her cleats.  Last game she was last batter and after rounding third to go to home all the players on the field started heading to their dugout, and Lauren just fell right into step with them...heading for their dugout!  Not HER dugout....THEIRS!  "Lauren!!", we called. "That's the wrong dugout!"  She just smiled and waved and continued on.  Finally you could see her figure it out, the "oops" registering on her face.  She smiled and laughed and headed to her dugout.  Sure, both teams were wearing red uniforms, but seriously?! LOL  Oh how I love that girl.

It's fun to watch them play different sports, and wonder just what sport they are going to remember as fondly as I remember my softball days.  Who knows, maybe in 10-12 years when my kids have left the nest, Jason and I will be walking the dog down to the ball fields to catch a game and reminisce. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sweet 16

For my 16th birthday my mom had my cake say: Sweet 16 and Never Been Kissed.  LOL  She's so funny. ;)  Anyway, I was reminded of that this weekend watching my daughter, her good friend, and a BOY hang out together for three days straight.  Oy.

Now, my daughter is only 8, so I hopefully have a long time before I have to worry about her kissing boys, but watching her this weekend I discovered that when the time comes I will be ready for it.

We went camping in Niobrara this weekend with two other families.  We had Braden (going into 1st), Morgan and Gavin (going into 2nd), Lauren, Josie, and Ethan (going into 3rd), and Cameron, Cole and Nolan who are 5th or 6th graders.  Lots of boys, and two lovely girls. 

Lauren, Josie, and Ethan were inseparable!  They went everywhere together!  They even formed a little club, where apparently the purpose of the club was to talk about things happening in their lives.  Sounds a little like therapy to me, but whatever.  They rode bikes, played in the sand, and just hung out.  It was cute.  The funniest part of it was that to us adults it was like watching a little love triangle.  Ethan and his girls.  LOL  But to them, they were just hanging out and having fun! 

One night when Josie, Lauren and I were huddled in the storm shelter (ugh), I got a chance to listen to them discussing boys.  Fortunately they still think boys are yucky and disgusting.  Even when I brought up Ethan, the decision was made that while they enjoyed hanging out with him and thought he was fun, he was still a disgusting boy.  LOL  That made my night.

Right now I have Lauren's trust and she talks to me about things.  I really hope this continues as she gets older.  I know that at some point she's not going to find boys nearly as disgusting as she does now.  And when that time comes I think that she might be ok talking to me about it.

Jason says that we're going to have to put her in a box with a hole in it until she turns 16.  And once she is 16 we will plug the hole. 

LOL.....dads.  :-)
From left to right: Ethan, Nolan, Lauren, Josie, Cole, Cameron, Morgan, Braden, Gavin

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You Just Can't Make this Stuff Up!

The most wonderful part of Jason and me (yes, that is correct grammar) finding each other is that we can have fun together no matter what we are doing.  When we were first married we literally spent every Friday evening at WalMart.  Then, when we became home-owners we traded in WalMart for Menards/Lowe's/Home Depot. 

Another thing we started doing, even before we owned our own home, was to take in Sioux City's Home Show whenever it occurred.  We have learned from past experiences NOT to take the children to these events as they don't find it nearly as interesting or stimulating as we do. . .so when the latest Home Show occurred we got a babysitter.

Jason's only rule for me when going to these things is to NOT fill out ANY drawing forms of any kind.  What?!  He doesn't like free stuff, you ask?  Nope, not the case.  It seems like every time I have filled one out in the past, we have WON!!!  And by "won", I mean that someone has called the house, I answered, and "Oh my gosh Jason!  We won a cruise!!"  No, really, we "did!"  What? You ask.  You never heard about us going on a cruise?  Well, that's because we didn't.  See, when you "win" these things, it really means that while, yes, you won a cruise, you also have won the right to pay to get there, plus they want you to spend some time listening to a sales pitch and spend some of your hard-earned dollars on a vacation home that you didn't know you needed.  So, I am no longer allowed to "win" stuff. ;)

This time around I was a very good girl.  We looked at all of the cool ways to update our house, and made sure not to miss a booth.  And I only signed up for two things.....the main drawing as you walk in the door (we won a $50 gift card to a landscaping store....and it's legit) and a drawing to win an emergency kit at a booth filled with fire safety items (hey, we have to support our local fire fighters right?!)

As you can imagine, about a week later I got a call on my cell phone.  "Hi, can I speak to your mom or dad"" says the caller.  Hahaha!  I figured it was a telemarketer, so I handed the phone to Jason....he loves those calls. :)  He spoke to the caller for about five minutes and when he got off he said that it was someone from the fire safety booth at the Home Show.  We had won a safety kit!  The caller asked if he could drop it by that Friday, and also look around our house and give us some fire safety tips.  Sure!  Why not!  It sounded like something the kids would get a kick out of....a real, live, firefighter in our house!

So Friday comes and our appointment shows up.  Ummm, NOT a firefighter.  And it becomes quite apparent that he is also not from our local fire station either.  So, he comes in and gives us the safety kit, which he goes through with us to make sure we know what each part contains.  Then he has the kids walk him through the house, asking them questions about how they would get out in case of a fire.  He was very thorough and I was quite pleased with my kids' answers.  So far, so good, right? 

Then the kids get bored and go to play.  The gentlemen starts talking to us about our current smoke alarms.  He takes one down and essentially starts telling us how bad they are.  How most fire-related deaths occur because of faulty smoke alarms and how the ones we currently have fall into the category of the ones that fail.  So he brings out this binder FULL of newspaper articles of all these people, mostly kids, who have perished in these fires!  And I'm completely horrified!  OMG!  My kids are going to die in a fire and I am a horrible parent because we have these cheap smoke detectors and I am just never going to forgive myself if something happened to them!  So basically, this guy could sell me anything at this point.

Then he brings out matches, a piece of newspaper, and a glass jar.  He lights the paper on fire, blows it out, and drops it in the jar.  Then he holds our smoke detector up to it.  NOTHING HAPPENS!  OMG!  I can't believe I have lived in the house for SIX YEARS with these non-functioning smoke detectors!  Then, he brings out his product.  It's now been about an hour since he got here, but I don't even care that it's past the kids' bedtime because this man is going to help me save their lives!

He holds his smoke detector up to the jar that barely has any smoke left in it, and BAM!  It goes off like there's a three-alarm fire in the house.  HOOK.  LINE.  AND SINKER.  I'm in. 

He brings out that awful binder again, and now shows us articles about HIS product and how it has saved thousands of people over the years.  He asks us if we would like him to run the numbers and get to the bottom line of what it would cost us to have this life-saving system.  UH DUH!

$3,000.  That is what it would cost us to save our children's lives in the case of a fire.  $3,000 tonight.  Tonight.  Write him a check and we can get started thinking about our children's futures and not have to fear the worst.  Such a small price to pay for peace of mind right?  And my husband says, no thanks.  WHAT?!  ARE YOU NUTS!  DO YOU WANT OUR KIDS TO DIE!??  The fire safety gentleman can't believe it either!  He is just STUNNED that we are going to pass up this great opportunity!  And I am shooting my husband daggers.  I just can't believe that he'll be able to sleep in this house again, knowing that it's not safe.

So the man leaves.  And as Jason shuts and locks the door behind him he says, "Geez, I thought he'd never leave.  I'd almost rather the Kirby vacuum people came back than listen to him one more minute!"  (Ok, side note...that one was my fault too.  I let the Kirby people in one summer to give us a "free" carpet shampoo.  3 and 1/2 hours later.......)  I let him have it!  "I can't believe you wouldn't spend the money to keep your kids safe!"  And on, and on. and on.  He is just smiling at me.

Once I calm down, he explains to me why he is the logical one in the family, and picks apart every statement that the fire safety guy said....starting with the fact that our smoke detectors are not the same ones from any of the stories he told us about.  Jason goes online and searches out websites that do, indeed, back up what Jason is telling me.  Then, he shows me what it would cost for us to buy the same detectors and install them ourselves.  $400.  That's a LOOOONG way from $3000!

And that, my friends, is why Jason and I are so perfect for each other. :)

And darn that man for making me feel like such a horrible mother!

And ok, no more filling out drawing forms at home shows.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Demand a Recount!

My mind must be on politics lately. . .gee, I wonder why!?  I had a "giggle moment" today that reminded me of that oh-so-famous recount of years past that took place during a particular presidential election year, and I just had to share it.

For those of you who don't know, my 5 year old son is in MY Kindergarten class this year.  Yep.  I am voluntarily teaching my own kid. . .and yes my district/school/principal (and son) are all fine with it.  It's been a little challenging already, because as most of you know, my son has always been a little challenging. His biggest issue has always been that he just has to learn everything the hard way!

There have been many moments during his short little life, that I have been venting to my husband/friend/mom/the Internet, about something that he had done, or not done.  Sometimes I question things about him:  Can he see ok?  Can he hear ok?  Does he have something diagnosable, like ADHD?  Or DMMTDS (Driving My Mom to Drink Syndrome) ?  Sometimes we just want answers right?!

So last night, I got on the Internet and googled: How do I know if my son has ADHD?  Just checking it out...seeing what I can find.  Ultimately the results said:  Stop being neurotic, he's just a 5 year old boy.  Okay...check!

Then today the audiologists from our district came around testing all of our students.  One of the gals doing the testing has been coming to my current school, and my school before this one, at least as long as I've been a teacher and so we "know" each other.  She caught me in the hallway today and told me that she'd had the pleasure of meeting my son.  She asked me if I had talked to him yet.  He was in Reading with my colleague, so I hadn't seen him for about an hour or so.  She said that she had told him to be sure and tell his mom that he had passed his hearing test with flying colors!

"SERIOUSLY!"  That was my response with my jaw hanging open.  And my thought was "I demand a recount!"  LOL

So. . .let's get this straight.  He HEARS me when I tell him to put his things away.  And he HEARS me when I tell him to brush his teeth.  And he HEARS me when I tell him to stop doing something, or start doing something.  So the real problem is that he is not LISTENING!

Okay little man.  I've got your number now.  Game on!