January 5, 2010

We have moved to  I preferred wordpress, partly just because I like how “wordpress” sounds better than”blogspot”, but blogspot is more flexible as far as personalizing.  check it out, it’s really cute!

I’ll probably shut this one down eventually.



December 25, 2009

It’s Christmas and I’m the only one up.  I was always the first one up as a kid on Christmas morning, and apparently that holds true as an adult as well.  Can’t believe it.  Aliza is a big talker about how she’s going to get up in the middle of the night to see if Santa had come yet.  It’s 6:30 and she’s not up yet.  I’m ready for her anytime — camera in hand.
The Christmas Blizzard of 2009 has basically lived up to expectations, so far.  It’s stunning to see all the heavy snow everywhere.  After the kids open presents we’ll have to dress them and throw them all out in a snowbank.
Our cable is out, I’m sure due to the pounds of snow sitting on the dish on the roof.  Luckily we have dozens of videos the boys can watch.  I remember one summer storm where the power went out for a couple of hours, and Zack was so upset with the change in the routine, and in the atmosphere — the darkness in the middle of the day.  He whined and cried and I rocked him and tried to calm him, and he fell asleep.  In the middle of the day.  It wasn’t unprecedented, but it was pretty unusual for him.  He just couldn’t take it, and so he “checked out” for awhile.  Poor kid.  So, good thing we can put on a video and simulate normalcy for him today.
Last night we let the kids open one present.  So this means Aliza opened one present, and I helped AJ open one while Zack was across the room, not paying attention.  AJ opened a package of soft balls with Wonder Pets on them, and we got a little paper off it so you could see what was in there and he yelled “ball!”  and got so excited he couldn’t finish opening it.  It was the most enthusiasm I’ve gotten from either boy opening a present ever in their lives.  I wish I had 10 more wrapped up under the tree.

My Dream

December 22, 2009

I have this dream, that one day I’ll have 3 children who excitedly tear open their presents on Christmas morning, instead of just 1 excited child and 2 whom we have to coax into paying attention to the presents instead of their Dora video.  I dream that all three kids will shout things like “I wanted this!” and “Cool!” and “Can I go show the neighbors now?”  They will all three then clamor for pancakes and scrambled eggs, which they will eat 2 bites of and then rush back to their new toys.  The phone will ring, it’s grandma & grandpa, and all three kids will have to talk on the phone with them.  It’ll take forever because the boys especially have a lot to say.  They will build a train track, arguing over which way the track should go, and then finally race the trains around the track and crashing them into each other.  They will harass their sister by taking her new American Girl doll and trying to run her over with their new trains.

Then they will all get their snowpants, boots, coats, hats, scarves and mittens on and play out in the front yard with the neighbor kids.  The boys will play in the snow in the yard, and not even try once to run into the street.  The girls will build a snow fort, which the boys will then destroy.  Aliza will come into the house crying.  It will be hard  for me to punish the boys for wrecking her snow fort, but they will tell her they are sorry.

Well, maybe next Christmas.

2 Books That Made Me Think

December 20, 2009

I recently read Three Cups of Tea for my book club, and was a little startled to actually like it.  It really showed me what life is like in Pakistan and the Middle East, especially for children.  I couldn’t agree more with its message:  we can best combat terrorism with education, not war.  They are teaching young children to fight and hate.  Kids are such like wet clay; we can turn them into almost anything. 

I also read Angela’s Ashes, and that, if you’ve not read it, is also a story of poverty and a difficult childhood.  Actually that’s quite an understatement.  I just read an article about Frank McCourt, the author of Angela’s Ashes, and it mentioned how he tried for years to write about his childhood but couldn’t get past the anger, until he realized he could write it from a child’s point of view.  Children don’t know anything other than what they’ve experienced in their brief lives, so as a child I guess he wasn’t as angry as he was once he became an adult.  Reading it, I couldn’t imagine how he couldn’t absolutely hate his father, so it was interesting to read that he actually was very disturbed by his pathetic childhood.  It makes a good story that much better to know it’s true, all of it, and to read how the adult who wrote it coped with things and worked through it to write this amazing story.  Truth is a better story than fiction because it’s absolutely real.

This of course doesn’t mean I don’t like fiction.  Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, I love a good story.  I’m reading American Wife right now, and it’s a good story too.  Based on a real life, supposedly.  I’ll read more about that later.

Mizithra Cheese

December 19, 2009

See. look at me go already — two posts in one week, and it’s not even 2010 yet.  I’m so on top of things.

Had a nice dinner last night with some old friends.  Not nice to my diet, perhaps, but very nice to everything else, and what the heck, it’s the holidays, and I’ll crack down on my diet next month.   We went to the Old Spaghetti Factor, and I’m the only one who got excited about the Mizithra cheese.  My one friend who appreciates the cheese, Bobbie, could not come, which diminished the joy of the cheese for me a little.  I have no doubt she’d be thrilled to hear this.

Therapists are here in a half hour, I better get cracking.

An Update and Snippets

December 17, 2009

I intend to update this blog more often in the new year.  Call it a resolution or whatever — I’m going to do it.

By the way — the post just before this one, about how Zack was sick — he had H1N1.  A day or so after he got sick, AJ got sick, I got sick, and Aliza got sick. We all came down with it except Mark, I don’t know how he got off so lucky.  Aliza nearly had to miss Halloween, the boys did miss it.  Mainly because the only reason they were going out was for me, and I wasn’t feeling up to dragging them out.  It was a joyful 2 weeks!

Kids are doing well.  Aliza is not the smartest kid in her class, and she’s keenly aware of it.  Last night she told me that Kaleah can finish a chapter book in only one night; and Kaleah gets picked first for everything; and Kaleah always gets 100% on spelling tests…..good grief.

I had this great plan to put a little surprise in Aliza’s stocking every night, for a week before Christmas, for her to find in the morning.  And then I thought, why should I do that for her and not for the boys?  They won’t care…..but she will definitely notice whether they get something too.  I swear sometimes, half of what I do for them, I do for her benefit more than their own.

So anyway I think I’m going to go ahead and do it for her.  And maybe I’ll put something in the boys’ stockings a couple of  times too, even though she’ll have to get it out for them.

Sickness and Health

October 26, 2009

Zack had a little bit of a fever this morning — and he’s coughing a little.  No telling whether his throat hurts, he won’t say.  But at any sign of illness whatsoever, everything comes to a screeching halt.  No therapy, no school, and no free time for mama.

He seems pretty fine, though.  He’s dancing around watching Dora Saves the Snow Princess, and he ate a ton of popcorn chicken for lunch.  AJ is fine so far, although we’re on watch with him because of course they share everything.

Long Overdue

October 26, 2009

(This was written 10/19, but I “lost” it due to the computer doing something freaky, and now as it turns out, it wasn’t lost after all — here it is!  So I’ll publish it now…)


I just put tator tot hotdish in the oven, AJ is having therapy, Zack has the afternoon off but he’s happily watching Dora and the Super Babies Adventure, Aliza is down the street playing at a friend’s house, and it occurred to me I should put an update out here.  I think about it almost every day but haven’t been so good about getting things done lately.

A friend and I were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned something that has stuck in my mind ever since.  She was at a seminar for working women, and listening to a talk on how to get it all together — work, family, friends, how to have time for it all.  And what one woman in the group says “outsource whatever you don’t want to be remembered for.”  For example she doesn’t care if people remember her as someone who cleaned her house, so she hires a housekeeper.

The theme makes sense to me.  What do I want to be known for doing?  If today were my last day on earth, God forbid, what would I want to spend today doing?  It really made me reevaluate my plans for the day.

On to other things:

The boys started a new med this week — Zoloft.  So far it’s been fine, we think Zack is a little calmer.  It’s much harder to get the medicine in AJ, it is a liquid I have to put in some juice, and I just can’t get AJ to drink juice on command.  Zack will drink just about anything you give him at any time.  I spent all morning today trying to get a half bottle of juice in AJ so he’d get the Zoloft.  He was not interested.  I wonder if he could taste it.

Anyway after a week or so, I have to call our doctor and let her know how it’s going.  I think I talked her into coming to the next International Fragile X Conference, I am so excited about that.  It will be great to see her there!

I had big plans to put the boys back into the same bedroom, but I have put the kibbosh on it.  I just really wanted my spare bedroom back, but I think it might be a real disaster to have them sharing a room.  They still wake up enough at night that it might be asking for trouble, putting them in the same room.  So, no spare room in this house, everybody will continue to get their own space.

Aliza is not loving first grade.  I think it’s partly due to the fact that this is the first time school is actually work.  There is homework and everything!

A trip to Target and McDonalds

September 1, 2009

I know, sounds boring, but let me tell you how exciting it really was.

I could also entitle this “how to get school supplies for your 1st grader with two 4-year-old boys with Fragile X in the cart”

We arrived at Target and walked in uneventfully.  I got a cart out and tried to put Zack in the front part, the seat for babies and toddlers that both he and AJ are way too big for, because that’s the place he can cause the least trouble, but he didn’t want to sit there.  He screamed.  Not the “I am a bit displeased with my situation” scream, but the “I’m having the crap beat out of me!” scream.  The one that makes everyone look at us.  Luckily we are used to it, so I pulled him out of the seat, put him in the front part of the cart, and put AJ in the baby seat in the front.  AJ took that in stride pretty well, bless his little heart.  Zack continued to scream but was sort of trying to pull himself together.  I went to hug him and he pressed his forehead to mine, which is his way of saying “I’m feeling really bad, but I need just a little love here, then I’ll be okay.”

Whew.  So off we went to find a snack for the boys to eat while Aliza and I picked out her school supplies.  Both boys shook their heads “no” to Froot Loops.  They did the same for Cookie Crisp, but this isn’t my first time shopping with them, so I knew they’d eat the Cookie Crisp and keep the complaining and struggling down to a minimum with that, so I picked up a box.  Then we got some milk.  Zack had a little trouble making room for himself and two gallons of milk in the cart, but he managed to figure it out.  Off to the school supply section.

Immediately it is apparent that one should not wait until a week before school to pick up the supplies.  There’s not much out there.  But we dug through and found everything on her 1st grade list except for washable watercolor paints.  That, it seems, Target has run out of.  Oh well, I’m feeling pretty great that we got absolutely everything else on that list without anyone having a meltdown.  The boys have dropped enough Cookie Crisp that we’ve left a little trail (ala Hansel & Gretel)  through Target, in case anyone wanted to follow us.  As we are leaving the school supply section I hear a boy say to his mother “there’s Cookie Crisp all over the place!”  Yep.  We were there.

We weaved between shoppers to get to a check out line and checked out without incident; and then made our way through the parking lot to our car, and in my haste to get the boys strapped into their carseats before they could cause trouble wandering in the car, I bashed my head on the side of the car.  I fought the urge to curse like  sailor in front of the kids, especially these boys who are coming out with new words (or rather, sounds that are a lot like words) every day.  It’d be just  my luck for their first very clear word to be something that’ll get their mouths washed out with soap.

So, to make lunch a little more restful for me, I decided to hit McD’s for lunch, so that everyone would get something they could eat quickly and by themselves.  The number of food items the boys can eat both quickly and all by themselves, well, let’s just say it’s a very short list.  I ordered the Angus burger because I just cannot look at those pictures of them anymore and get a grilled chicken sandwich, but I Weight-Watchered it up by ordering it without mayo or cheese.  Just the meat, veggies, and bun.  Not too bad, right?  They asked me if I wanted the meal, and I said specifically and clearly, NO — no fries, just the sandwich and drink.  Then they went and gave me fries anyway!  Doesn’t that usually work the other way around — they neglect to give you something you ordered?  I am not made of stone, people, I had to eat the fries!  Sorry, weight watchers.

July 16, 2009