Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kid Quotes 7.25.12

My kids say some crazy shit.  Now, I know everyone thinks their kiddos do, but I just have to share some things.  Here I'll present you with a few weekly.

* * * * *

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen while singing at the top of my lungs.  I do this often.  Coop mumbles to me, "You know, even your angel thinks you're awkward."

I stopped dead in my tracks.  Definitely not because I don't think I'm awkward, but rather, I didn't remember teaching him about angels.  (Dammit.  Catechism.  Need catechism books this year.  One more thing for the budget.)

"What did you say to me?"

Guarded, but firm, "Even your angel thinks you're awkward."

"What does this mean?  What angel?" I played along.

"Well, we learned at church that everyone has a guardian angel and yours probably thinks you're weird."

I slumped my shoulders and sighed.  "Eh, Coop, that's just one more, eh, 'being' to think so."

I turned the music back up.

I have been (trying to?  attempting to?  pretending to?) potty train Maximus.  This has not been easy.  At.  all.  But at least he's gotten on the pot.  Since he's on the big pot... because Lola took over the little one...  it's important we keep the bathroom quiet (as far as the Awesome Abode allows) so I can hear if he potties.  I explained to him, "Shh...  listen for the 'tinkle, tinkle, tinkle'!"

When Daddy got home that night... and Max was again on the toilet... I said, "Tell Daddy what your potty says!"

"Drip.  Drip.  Drip."

All I could think was "ouch."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Warm and Cozy Place, Episode 2

The Hubs and I are a lot alike.  I've been preaching that we need to declutter the classroom for days now.  It isn't horrible up in there, just, well... shouldn't part 2 be the decluttered clean room and then part 3 the painted room???  We are impatient people I think.  We like to hop to the fun part.  Let's just paint right around that junk!  Problem is, we'll either put off the decluttering for a long, long time or pretend it doesn't exist. 

Alas, here's what it looks like now.  I was told to not take the Hubs' picture...  I told him he wasn't in these.  Our secret, mmmmkay???

The yellow looks great!  I wanted a warm yet somehow bright color and this one worked perfectly.  It also doesn't stick out with the colors in the rooms surrounding it.  (Well, maybe my bright orange laundry room, but that's MY laundry room and MY orange... stay the hell out of the laundry room... ahem.)  While at Home Depot picking out colors, Coop decided brown or black would be the very best colors and nothing else will do... he's learning to deal.

A really unique and special add on to our "classroom" is the water hose running through the middle of it, don't cha think??  Really spectacular.  This is our "repair" for the effed-up-laundry-situation... straight out the garage and watering the grass... and driveway... and whatever.  It's a new external pump we need.  We also need 12 more hours a day and 2 more days a week.  No big whoop, right?  We'll get there.

So, next few steps...  rug, armchair, bulletin board, big ol' map... oh, and decluttering... argh.  Almost there!  I think we'll be starting school August 8th!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Squeakiest Wheel.

I try not to blog when I'm irritated about something.  However, lately I'm afraid I would just have to shut the whole damn thing down for lack of material.  One of my favorite blogs lately is:  People I Want to Punch In the Throat.  She did it the right way... she lets ya know straight out the gate she's going to bitch and bitch a lot.  Maybe I should have done that.  If anything, I guess it is truly "always one more thing".  Well, anyway, if you don't want to hear another rant, you should probably exit here.

So last Friday we were kicking it.  I got Max off to the pediatrician, albeit... dangerously...  I thought, anyway.  The man of the house fixed those brakes right up.  Things were looking up.  At least if the school system was going to suck it, I could find help medically for Maximus.  The pediatrician I love so much had her nurse call me MONDAY to get the ball rolling on a referral to a developmental pediatrician.  Done and done.  It was good to sit down with someone who knew me, knew my kid, heard me out and woah... hold the effing phone... did what she said she was going to do.

I was walking around like a plump peacock all impressed that I was owning it and putting life where it needed to be.  (a little life maybe, no, not the effing laundry situation.  we're still baffled.) But at least some of the more important things.  I was chilling out at my desk, vegging out to some Facebook Tuesday morning when a call came through from a number I didn't recognize.  Yes, I screen.  After I got my voicemail, I was winded, shaking, seething and sensing a bit of a puke-tickle.

The driest voice says something to the effect of...  'Hi, Mrs. Awesome.  This is so-and-so's office.  I was calling in regards to Max's referral for a developmental evaluation.  Please give us a call back at your earliest convenience to set up Max's appointment.  Please note, we accept ONLY Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.  If you have any other insurance you will be expected to pay the out-of-pocket charge of $1,200.'

She went on to say that I could make payments of $400 each.

And then I dropped the phone.

I'm sorry, what was that???  How can a person get away with that?  $1200 for ONE visit.  I can't describe how pissed off I was.  Is this normal pocket change for others?  I felt preyed upon... or something...  there aren't any words.  Except 4-letter ones...  I certainly did not call this insane woman back.  I couldn't think of anything decent I could possibly say to her... I knew diarrhea of the mouth would suddenly take over and I would scream at her for every little shitty thing that had happened in the last week.

After sharing a bit of diarrhea with the Hubs, I decided to use my ferocious momentum to call the school system.  I knew they weren't at their desks yet, but I would leave messages every fucking day until someone finally called me back.  I started with one hand written phone number on our IEP.  I have literally 5 different numbers and 5 different emails and 10 different faces from our last meeting.  I figured I would just keep calling numbers until someone knew SOMETHING.  Imagine my surprise when someone actually answered the phone.  THEN I was mad because they WERE there and hadn't called.  Oh, the nerve.

I left a message for the contact who actually called back within 10 minutes.  She had the very best possible excuse as to why the school system never called back regarding more specific testing for Max:

'I am so sorry, Mrs. Awesome.  We had lost his paperwork and forgot.'

What do I say here?  My feelings have ranged from homicidal to down right sad that no one seems to care... or that they'd rather make a buck.  Everything regarding 'special needs' seems costly, or slow, or overwhelming or just... careless.  I said to the pediatrician the other day, 'I just need the TOOLS.  I can do whatever the hell I need to do with the TOOLS'.  Can someone please just stand up and tell me what the hell is going on here???

I went to sleep that night with all these seething thoughts marinating in my brain.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had requested referrals for audiology and speech pathology in the first place.  The pediatrician was taking me down a whole other avenue.  Developmental Pediatrics???... they diagnose... autism.  Is this what we're doing now??  Maybe I'm just jumping to conclusions.  I'm probably jumping to conclusions.  But there's a huge difference between googling 'autism', talking about 'autism' and actually pursuing 'autism'.

I've since found my own Developmental Pediatrician.  One who actually accepts insurance... including mine.  My doctor called me back within 15 minutes with a new referral.  And after a broken promise that someone from the school system would call me back yesterday in regards to the next phase of testing, I called them again too.

I've heard it and I knew it... but I didn't really know it...  YOU are for sure your child's only ally.  The only one that will speak up for them.  The only one that will fight.  You cannot sit back on your haunches and assume ANYONE will voluntarily do the right thing for them.  I am in the midst of this lesson.  I've been pretty naive, but I am coming around.  It is true, the squeaky wheel gets the most attention.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Itsa Poop Fest!

Tips for hand washing cloth diapers.  Because maybe you like to pretend you live in the 1800's.

1.  Approximately 1 week before attempting to wash your cloth diapers by hand, begin feeding your wee babe a diet of cheese and apples.  This will ensure they create those cute little turdlettes that roll right into the toilet leaving the diaper nearly clean.*

2.  Approximately 3 days before attempting to wash your cloth diapers by hand, use your tub to shave your legs.  I chose 3 because you don't want to turn into Chewbaca, however you don't want to give your husband the expectation that you'll be shaving your legs any more often.  Also, after you see what floats in your tub, you won't want to take a bath in there.

3.  It should go without saying, but every time your little darling poops, flush it down the toilet!  The job is long, nasty and TERRIBLE if you don't.  This is true whether doing this by hand or using your washer.  Even if you use disposable diapers, you're supposed to do that.  No, for reals.  Go check the side of the package...  I'll wait...



see????  No, no one does that... but you should.

4.  I keep my diapers in a 'wet bag'.  They are AMAZINGLY awesome. I used to just throw them in old grocery bags 'til wash day, but that was just nasty.  The wet bag keeps the smells to itself.  Of course, after a few days of sitting in a bag, the dirty diapers could very easily burn your nose hairs.  I filled the bath tub for the first soak, set the wet bag in there and filled it up with water.  I never smelled a dang thing.  'Twas a better smell experience than using the washer!

5.  I use a big paint stick to slosh 'em around.  Not because I'm worried about getting my hands dirty...  I long ago gave up on that...  it's the bowling ball that prohibits me from bending over correctly.

6.  Approximately......  *here*'ll be glad you shaved your legs.  Drain tub.  Fill with warm water.  Use detergent.  Soak forever.

7.  Drain the tub.  You're nearly there.  Fill back up with warm water and detergent.  Scrub 'em up!

8.  Drain the tub, rinse 'em out and SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE.  You'll never do as good a job as your washer.  (frowny face.)  Hang them out to dry and fluff them in your dryer so they're soft for the lil' one's tushy.  Your electric bill will thank you.

9.  Get yourself a cold drink.  You'll feel like you worked all day, but you only did one measly, very specific laundry load for the day.   Everyone else still expects clean clothes too.

10.  Don't feel bad for me.  We just haven't had the time to fix the effed-up-laundry situation.  We're thinking 'pipe-snake' before we go full-on new pump.  We've got A LOT of ridiculous stuff (no, really, you wouldn't believe me if I told you) coming to a head (gross analogy) this weekend... then it's project laundry and project classroom.  Hell or high water.  Really.

*Don't be a moron.  Some of these things are just silly.  Don't really feed your kid a diet of cheese.  Although it may seem handy.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Five For Friday

What, what??  it's been awhile since the last Five.  This has been the week from... eh, hell.  Yup, I think that sums it up.  It has not only felt like hell, see as how the temperatures have been in the 100's... but it's also been a psychological hell.  Yay!  oh the fun!  Next week will be better.

I command it so.

1.  I just got done taking Max to the doctor.  Yesterday, while grilling, The Hubs remarks, "we need new brake pads tomorrow."  See as how I have already budgeted his paycheck to zero, I go a smidge nuts-o because the kids had already gotten me teeter-tottering right on the edge anyway.  I put myself in timeout.  This equates to me just sitting in the bathroom staring at a wall.  Now, the children get a minute of timeout for every year of age.  I find it unfair that I do not get 31 minutes of timeout.  When I was back to homeostasis, I inquired about any squeaks that the brakes were making prior to the big announcement.  I got a manly, "yeah.  They've squeaked a bit."  I got in to take Max to the doctor and HOLY SHIT, BATMAN!?!  Grinding.  Wailing.  Squeaking.  Rubbing.  I damn near turned around to head home, but so desperately needed to get to the doctor.  So now the weekend will consist of the Effed Up Laundry Situation and The Car Situation.  Sounds like fun to me!

2.  If you know me, you know I freaking LOVE OUR PEDIATRICIAN.  She has literally saved the life of Max when he was just a little newborn.  She is freaking amazing.  I cannot say it enough.  I love her.  I love our rapport.  I just want to kiss her cheeks whenever I see her.  (I will stop.  I sound like a stalker.)  Anyway, due to a school system that frankly, doesn't seem to give a fuck, I took Max to see the doc to see what she had to say.  I've often wondered about apraxia or his hearing.  The kid is as smart as a whip.  I wonder if he's not just a little Stewie all locked up inside simply because he cannot speak adequately.  She heard me out and we'll be on our way to the Children's Hospital here in Atlanta sometime soon.  We'll probably swing by our audiologist too.  Ima need a nanny though because I'm already anxious about how we're going to get anywhere with 5 kids, 1 vehicle and a Hubs that works constantly.  It'll fall into place.  Right?  (right???????!!!!??????)

3.  Caleb goes home tomorrow.  I haven't told you guys all the drama that has surrounded his visit this time.  ...And I'm not gonna.  so there.  Suffice it to say, there will be a lot of tears and it may be the very biggest, bravest thing the 'Awesomes' have ever had to do.  He is going back to a home that simply isn't good enough.  Isn't warm enough.  And is not supportive enough.  It makes me sick.  Whatever you believe in... juju, prayer, chicken sacrificing... please send a little my way.  We're going to need a little extra ooomph this weekend.

4.  This happened yesterday:

I'm pretty sure I'm going to use this against Coop in a few years.  I don't know why the goofball chose the dress, but it was hilarious.  I highly recommend a costume box for my peeps with kids.  Every so often they just come up the stairs as someone else.  It's good for letting the ol' imagination wander.

I too have worn this dress.  I think it was... mmmm.... circa... one million years ago.

5.  Something positive.  Something positive.  Let me see...



I love the Hubs.  Yes, this should be obvious.  But life is never easy and we just keep trucking, most of the time with laughs and silliness.  It is true that I am still a kindergartener when it comes to affection.  If I pick on you... I must love you.  I never grew out of it.  The Hubs will often force my hands around him in a hug and say, "Let us begin affection class."  I am awkward when it comes to showing affection.  I blame this guy:

That's muh Dad.  It has been said between the Uncle Bro and I that we knew Dad was dying when he said, "I love you."  It sounds sad, but that in absolutely no way means we didn't already know he loved us.  You didn't need to hear it.  It was all around you.  Yet apparently 'normal' families hug and what not...  this is where 'affection class' from the Hubs comes from. 

During this phase of life, when each day brings some new ridiculousness I just want to say to the Hubs... Thanks for that surprise Coke here and there...  Thanks for understanding I have a hyper-vigilant anxious reaction even with things I cannot control...  Thanks for just getting the fact that I 'need' 'affection class'.  and I.... I.... I... LOVE YOU.  phew!

Have an awesome weekend.  I hope I haven't whined too much.  Ima bust through this weekend and come out a brand new sparkly person.  This is my plan.  It is also my plan to stay in air conditioning at all times.  We'll see how all that goes.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Warm and Cozy Place, Episode 1

We are a bit like goldfish, my husband and I.  Back in 2006, due to a flurry of family emergencies, we were in a hurry to find a new home for our family.  I remember looking around our present home, just one of many we had checked out that particular day, and thinking, "this place is so huge!  There's no way it could be ours."  Fast forward five and a half years and three kids later and no, it doesn't feel like that anymore.  Neither does my van that seemed so spacious when we purchased it around the same time.  You could faintly make out an echo when we hollered back to a little Coop.

So we've grown and grown and grown.  There's no "new" space in the house.  No place that has not been conquered by someone and all their... stuff. 

Except one.  It looks like this:

We've called it 'The Classroom' for the past two years.  Before that, it was the 'Massage Room' and no, it didn't really resemble that either.  But I am bound and determined that it WILL actually be a 'classroom' by August 1st.

When I first began this crazy homeschool journey, I began Googling and researching 'home classrooms'.  Yes, because I am a nerd.  ...But also because I really don't have any design smarts.  Whatsoever.  My design plans usually include a lot of sporadic 'throw-that-over-here' and 'doesn't-that-look-purty'.  Anyhoo... the Googling was really interesting and made me begin dreaming of huge decorated bulletin boards, maps, posters and cute little desks all in a row.  Then, I ran into articles AGAINST  making a homeschool classroom in your home.  Shtuff I hadn't thought of.  The line of thinking was this...  if you're going to take your kid out of the public school environment... the 'sit-down-shut-up' environment... then why would you sit them in a desk for hours in your home?  So my brain scrambled itself for a while and continued to just throw junk in the junk room.  We 'do' school everywhere in our house...  the couch, our bed, homemade tents, our back porch, a whole bunch of it at the dining room table and we've really enjoyed it.  But in our goldfish way, we've spread out and gotten noisier.  A LOT noisier.  When the Coop is trying to learn phonics rules or complete math problems, it's just too much.  Here's my new theory then...  time for a classroom for quiet time and the rest of the house for... the rest of it. 

Over the next few weeks we're going to try to transform this pig sty into a warm and cozy place to read and be 'alone'.  As alone as possible anyway...  (I don't get to pee by myself, let alone read so I may have to use the space myself!)  With the Coop getting older (2nd grade) I will need an area that he can retreat to after I've given him his initial lessons. I do believe the Z will need more of my time too as he is wanting to learn everything under the sun and has nearly conquered his letters and their sounds.  Oh, yeah... and I'm going to pop another baby out in September... anything I can do to promote a little quiet in this hizzy is going to come in handy!

Now if you're here with a big interest in homeschool classrooms, I've Pinterest-ed (yeah, I made that a verb) some classroom decor I've liked.  Feel free to check 'em out.  There isn't a bunch there... and most of it's just dreaming, but I'll keep pinning!  I'll also post how we're gettin' along on our journey every so often so you can be jealous, jealous, jealous of my new space!  (or rather, hold me accountable...) 

Monday, July 02, 2012


I'm in a bad mood.  Period.  A fantastic time to blog, eh?  Currently I've been sending out emails around my county to figure out what the hell *I'm* supposed to be doing next regarding Max and speech therapy through the public school system.  I am beginning to form opinions.  I was the cool homeschooler that was open and casual regarding homeschool vs. public school.  ...was...  They are not making this easy for me.  I left Max's IEP meeting with a promise to further testing along the autism scale in a convenient and timely manner.  A very re-assuring "WE'LL call YOU."  One chicky got back to me the very next week.  After that test she even admitted, "I don't know why we have to drag you through all this.  He obviously needs Speech."  That was May 15th.  What... hmm... 7 WEEKS AGO?  Max's case worker through Babies Can't Wait once told me, "The squeakiest wheel gets the most attention".  That statement is amazingly valuable.  I'm not good at being a squeaky wheel.  In fact, I find it to be embarrassing.  However, I am about to get hella squeaky on their ass.  Vent over.

Well, the weekend was fantastic.  I took a few pictures for you:

Mmm... hmmm... that about sums that up.  Mess.  Mess.  Mess.  Yes, we are still working on the effed-up laundry situation.  So the first picture, my friends, is... a load of laundry... in my bathtub.  Do not underestimate the weight of a few wet towels!  I do not have a damn clue how the previous owners of this house did laundry, but since the laundry room is down stairs, it needs a way to pump water UP to the pipes to go OUT.  Our washing machine is working just fine... our pump... not so much.  Being on the ol' cash plan, its going to be interesting pulling it together to buy a new pump... but... I have no idea when the Hubs will have the time to put it in.  Just as an example, the guy worked until 10pm Friday night!  (After getting there at 5am... you'd think he was the dang CEO or something.)  The psycho part of me thought, "Hey, it might be fun washing clothes like this!  Just like the pioneers!"  A few minutes later, the normal part of me thought, "damn. this sucks."  Always something, right?? 

I did get out this weekend.  If only for a little while.  I put a few more minutes into my 'Don't-go-ape-shit-crazy' bank.  When things have gotten nutty on this fine 100 degree Monday, I have whisked my brain back to the dim light of the Longhorn Steakhouse table featuring grown-up conversation.

The three older kiddos got out to see Madagascar 3 this weekend which fueled my spontaneous, "POLKA DOT, POLKA DOT AFRO!" outbursts.  I can't help it.  It just comes to me.  Maybe because my life is a circus.  And by the way, my Siskel and Eberts highly recommend it.

So I will leave you now with a few pictures.  While not exciting for you, I love to log this shit so that one day, while sitting in the lap of luxury (or what is left to FEEL like the lap of luxury), I will look back to this day and proclaim,


And Edith will add...

...those were the days!

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