Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays

The grandkids at my moms for Christmas. Curt starts his new school Monday. If you're scared, say scared. Ok. I'm scared.

There was drama at both my parents' and at Cowboy's mother's house, but it will have to wait. Too tired. Merry (belated) Christmas. (We have traveled about 700 miles this week...)






Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't Be Sleepin at My House

Or you will be photographed..

Had to delete. Too embarrassing, even though I was the photographer...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Milestones

It appears Curt will begin his new preschool Dec. 29. I am calling the owner this afternoon to confirm.

I talked to her again yesterday. I'm sure I sounded like an old, overprotective mom (ok, ok, I am), but I wanted her to know the good, the bad, the ugly.

What I told her:
  • Speech delay makes him frustrated at times
  • Very impatient
  • A very picky eater
  • May sleep at sleep time, may not
  • Went through a pretty bad biting stage which has improved
  • Just now potty-training for poo
  • Transition will not be easy, most likely horrible for 2-3 weeks

She was non-plussed. Ginger (and if I could tell you the name of this place, you would think the fact that her name is Ginger is a little comical) responded as though most kids have one or more of these traits (and it seems they do). She told me, "We're pretty laid-back." I think that will be a nice change from the military schedule of his current school.

I'm a little sad. That sounds weird, even to me. I will miss the student teachers.

I'm more excited about new beginnings. I feel I am making the right decision. God, I hope so.

. . . . . . . . . .

Milestone #2

Curt has not had an accident since Saturday. He is telling me when he has to poo. Thank God he poos like me (quick and to the point) and not like Daddy and C1 (takes 30 minutes and reading material)

We are making light-speed progress! And it only took 4+ years.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Success at last!

Curt pooed in the potty! Curt pooed in the potty!

I know we're not out of the woods yet, but this shit is big! (No pun intended.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lemonade...part deaux

(Prelude) Thanks to those who made comments. I appreciated all of them, but I must say Brenda's "That Bitch" really made me smile...

We met with the new potential pre-school Tuesday as planned. It all went well. The owners and the teachers were nice. The schedule is similar to the current school except they allot TWO HOURS for naptime versus 1.5 hours. She did say if they were quiet, they were not expected to sleep.

Curt, quiet? Give the child a book and pray.

One unexpected item did take me aback. They have an opening NOW. As in now. I told her I would have to talk to my husband and get back with her. I did say if he started, I would start him the week after Christmas. Short week, etc.

PROS for new:
1. Close to home (Cowboy can easily pick up as needed).
2. Smaller classroom.
3. Seems to be more laid-back; not so militarily -oriented.
4. Curt will go to pre-school with the kids he will go to kindergarten with.
5. $20 less a WEEK.
6. No more Dr. B (different town; can't do it with work).

PROS for old:
1. More structured (I am crazy).
2. Sterile environment.
3. Supposedly best.
4. Dr. B.
5. Had him on waiting list for two years to get in!
6. No transition heartaches.

Thoughts?

Should this be a no-brainer? Perhaps. I will tell the owner/director ALL Curt's idiosyncrasies before I sign the line. There is no going back.

Plus, I am no at good at change. Curt is no help. Do you like this school? "Yes." Do you want to change schools? "Yes." Do you like your old school? "Yes."

Did I mention he's a "yes" man?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

in which we may be making lemonade...

Wednesday afternoon was another bad afternoon. When I entered the preschool to pick up Curt, he was lying in the floor. He wasn't screaming or crying, just lying there quietly whining. The head teacher (with her back to me) told him harshly, "You didn't sleep -- that's why you feel that way!"

When he does nap, (which has been almost every day the 1.5 years), he is up until 10 p.m. at the earliest. There have been times he has been awake at midnight,. I'm sorry to screw up your day, but most times - you really screw up my night. Screw you. Sorry, but I now hate this bitch. She is mean to any child who requires any work. Screw you again. I am the customer. I pay you almost $100 a week -- not to be mean to my child. I hate you.

She then proceeded to then be short with me, telling me how he hasn't been sleeping this week and "this is what is was today." Perhaps she should consider retiring.

Instead of feeling really sorry for myself, for Curt, and crying all the way home (as per usual) -- I had an epiphany: Now may be the time for a change.

There is a preschool three blocks from my house. I had inquired before Curt started with the PRIMO preschool and the owner slightly irritated me. She said, when I was interviewing her as the children lay alseep, "Yes, that's the only time they're good."

I called. They have a new owner. Ginger. The 4yo class has 9 children; the pre-k has 13. Curt's current class is 40.

I told the new owner, "Curt is speech delayed. Do you have any SD children in your program or do you have any experience with speech delayed children?"

She answered, "Yes, my son."

They may have an opening in January; we are visiting on Tuesday.

We'll see, but it seems to be meant to be...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Freedom

I'm getting emails (forwards, of course) from "friends" about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). They are outraged and request my help in stopping this blasphemy!

Do they not know me at all?

Apparently not, because if they did, they would know that I am and have always been, pro-choice.

The copy in these emails is scary and designed to provoke knee-jerk reactions. The talk of 13-year-olds getting abortions and Catholic hospitals losing federal funding if they refuse to perform them.

So, I've begun reading up on ole' FOCA, in the hopes that I learn what its really all about and have an intelligent response.

. . . . . . .

Expect more regular posting now that the honeymoon phase is over with Facebook. I enjoy it, but it's like making small talk at a cocktail party when you would really prefer to hang out with your best friend, drinking wine and talking until 2 a.m.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What I Want

What I want for my child, who is now four years old...

I want him to live in a country of which he can be proud.

I want him to know a time when people who love each other can marry, or at least, be able to have a union where they can count on health insurance.

I want him not to know his friends by the color of their skin, but by their names.

I want him to feel confident that the decisions of women's bodies are made by those individual women, and not some man in his 70s.

I want him to know people of all colors, religions, and ethnic groups (and sexual orientations) and not be afraid of people, but to embrace our differences.

I want him to grow up healthy and happy. This is what I wish for you, the love of my life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two years ago...

Two years ago on a warm October day, Cowboy and I took Curt to see the Camaratas. It was a good day and they were wonderful to him. We drove home that afternoon. As I was unpacking, "Oprah" was on television. As a working woman, I rarely watch Oprah. She had a young senator and his wife as her guests.

Although I had the TV on for "background," I had to sit down and watch. I loved his charisma and his thoughts. When Cowboy came into the room, I told him, "I just saw this senator on Oprah who is going to be our president one day."

And, now he is.

(Or soon will be.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bunnies, Doggies, and Bears, OH MY!

I hope you had a Happy Halloween.

Time is going by so fast and incredibly slow at the same time. How is that?

Two years ago, 2 year-old Curt was a bunny. What's up, Doc?


Last year, he was a beagle. A sweet beagle.

This year, he says the words candy, pumpkin, scarecrow and uses them in short sentences.
.
This year will probably be the last year for a "sweet" costume. Next year, he'll probably be a superhero or the newest television marketing scam.

I will appreciate this year. I'll give it my Bear-y best.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Voted!

I may be old, but I vote young.

A brand-new NBC/WSJ/MySpace poll illustrates not only McCain’s challenge come Election Day, but also the challenge the Republican Party could face in future elections. In the poll, Obama enjoys a more than 2-to-1 advantage over McCain among first-time (read: 18-21 year olds) and lapsed voters, 69%-27%. These voters have a much more positive view of Obama (64%-27% fav/unfav rating) than average voters do
(56%-33% fav/unfav in last week’s NBC/WSJ survey). What’s more, they have a much more negative view of McCain (29%-59%) and Palin (23%-54%) than average voters do.

A very ominous sign for the Republican Party is how Democratic-leaning these new and lapsed voters are. Not only do they back Obama by a 69%-27 margin, they also prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress by a 2-to-1 margin, 66%-31%. And their views of President Bush? His fav/unfav among these voters is 14%-73%. Ouch. While Karl Rove had ambitious hopes of turning Bush's presidency into a permanent majority for the GOP, this poll suggests that Bush's lasting legacy could actually be turning off a new generation of voters. After all, consider what young voters who came of voting age during the past seven years might associate the GOP with -- the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, the current economy, various political scandals (Jack Abramoff, Ted Stevens, etc.), and Bush.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Addicted

I may be AWL for a little while. I am now officially addicted to Facebook and it has become my ultimate obsession.

Who knew it was so easy to make friends? Especially old college friends. This is how I find out my fraternity big bro is actually gay? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

No wonder he never hit on me. 'Course, there could have been MANY reasons for that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Personality DNA

Thanks to Bizzy for the idea, who is a Advocating Creator. You can take the test here.



You are an Analyst

Your attention to detail, confidence, sense of order, and focus on functionality combine to make you an ANALYST.

You are very curious about how things work, delving into the mechanics behind things.

Along those lines, how well something works is usually more important to you than what it looks like.

You find beauty and wonder mainly in concrete, functional, earthly things.

You are very aware of your own abilities, and you believe that you will find the best way of doing things.

Accordingly, problems do not intimidate you, as you believe in yourself.

You trust yourself to find solutions within the boundaries of your knowledge.

You don't spend a lot of time imagining how things could be different—you're well-grounded in the here-and-now.

It is important for you to follow a routine, and you prefer the familiar to the unknown.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

You are Animated

You are outgoing, comfortable with others, and up for anything, which makes you ANIMATED.

Some people find crowds and parties exhausting, but not you! You are able to be yourself in many situations.

Sometimes it is hard for you to understand why others feel the way they do, but that doesn't stop you from trusting them or having faith that they are good people.

You know the world is complicated and that there is often more than one side to a story, so you are careful not to make judgments about others too hastily.

You would rather experience the world than sit back and observe it—you are not one to sit on the sidelines.

You are an independent thinker and don't get too worried about how others might perceive you—you are not self-conscious about being the active, engaged person that you are.

Although you have a keen understanding of different people's life circumstances, you occasionally have trouble seeing why people get so upset and emotional about things—they should just lighten up and have fun!

In addition to having faith in the world, you have faith in the people around you—you trust others to do the right thing and to be honest.

...............

I've never thought of myself as an analyst and, if I had taken this test 15 years ago, I'm sure it wouldn't have had the same results.

I only wish I were as confident about my abilities as a mother as I am at my job and my other decisions. Hardest job I've ever had.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Free (at least for now)

C1 now has his cell phone returned. He already spent the night with a friend. He asked a girl to "go out with him" -- where will they go? No license.

Suffice it to say, he is no longer grounded. And, if you are a parent, you know that actually means... FREEDOM FOR ALL!

Let's face it. When you ground a teenager, even a young one who cannot drive, etc., you are basically grounding yourself. You are present for the moans of boredom, the exaggerated sighs, and just that large person who is now a permanent presence on your couch.

To his credit, he did not complain (much). He knew he did this to himself.

His progress report was not what you would call glowing, but compared to his grades on the first report card, it actually was. His teachers tell Cowboy that he is giving forth much more of an effort and, his behavior is class is very good. Let me say, Cowboy went (and dragged C1 along) to the parent/teacher conferences all by his little ole' self. He gave each teacher his business card and told them if they had any problem with said C1, they were to call him immediately. C1 was appropriately mortified. Mission accomplished.

I'm proud of them. C1 for bringing up his grades (he still has to finish the 6-weeks on a good note) and Cowboy for following up on his punishment, making the total effort to go to see all his teachers, and basically being a good Dad.

I have a slight tendency to be a tad critical (Ok, I can be a bitch). Since Cowboy reads this on the sly, this is my opportunity to tell the blog world, and especially him, I'm proud of you. You're a great dad.

I love you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let's Go Crazy!


Scene: The office. Co-workers standing around a birthday cake. A friend says, "We are gathered here today..." to which I replied "...to get through this thing called life."

We then broke into a rendition of "Let's Go Crazy." (at least the beginning...)

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here 2 tell u
There's something else
The afterworld
A world of never ending happiness
U can always see the sun, day or night
So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
U know the one - Dr Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
'Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You're on your own

(A little too close for comfort, I say)

......................

Not a bad segue way to a report on the meeting with Head Teacher.

Verdict?

It really wasn't that bad. Really.

I had diarrhea that morning from worrying.

First, she asked me to have Curt walk in the classroom as opposed to me carrying him. (In the afternoon, he walks. In the morning, I am in a hurry. Guilty as charged.) She wants the other kids to see him on their level. They have a tendency to coddle him and treat him like he's younger than he is because of his speech delay. I agreed to that.

Mainly, we discussed the biting. They don't bite him back (see above). I told her I thought the quickest way to get him to stop would be when he is bit a few times. I said, "Obviously, I know you can't encourage this, but if he's on the other side of the room, bites someone, they start to bite him back and you can't get there in time? So be it."

Don't get me wrong. I don't want my child to be bitten! However, I think he will think twice if he believes someone may bite him back. He can be the most loving child in the world. I just want others to see it, too.

I am looking for tried and true (unorthodox?) methods you've tried to get your child from biting. Someone said Tabasco on the tongue. Ouch! Please share your wisdom!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here we go again...

When I arrived to pick Curt up from pre-school, I had a note the head teacher wanted to talk with me. Obviously, this can't be good.

I will go to meet with her at 8:30 when she comes to his class. Longtime readers may remember she is not there when I drop Curt off or pick him up. If you're new here, you will need to read this post and the few following to learn of the weirdness of the first meeting they called that never happened.

Sigh. This sucks. I'm sure it's the biting.

Why can't I do this Mom stuff very well?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Scenes...

R: Well, it goes back to that night you broke my toilet seat.

D: Dude, I did NOT break your toilet seat. It's five dollars. If I broke it, I would pay you for it.

D's wife: How the hell do you know who broke it? You were out stealing beer from other campers' coolers at the time!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The West Tennessee Funk -- with photos!

I went to the walk-in clinic Monday before my trip to southwest Tennessee to speak to a Rotary Club.

And may I say I HATE that? I hate public speaking. I have improved over the years, but I still hate it with a passion.
I digress, as I have a tendency to do.

The diagnosis was what I already knew. Another sinus infection. My third in four months. Apparently, I am not alone. The NP I see deemed it "The West Tennessee Funk." It seems for those of us who have allergy problems, those will irritate the sinuses. When germs come a-calling, they don't leave. They multiply! I haven't missed work, but I'm sure my co-workers would like to hear less hacking. I know, don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Since my first sinus infection in July, I seem to have lost 7 pounds. The stress diet.

There's the bad. I'm posting these photos of Curt from last weekend. They make me feel better.

The petting zoo.
Curt, LT, and a camel. (Thanks to LT for watching him while I was in a meeting!)

As you may remember from his birthday party, he loves this shit.

See those circles under his eyes? Allergies, too. Zyrtec every day. Poor baby.


Face-painting.



Last year, he would have NEVER let anyone paint his face. This year, he asked for it and stayed perfectly still, enjoying it. That's my boy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

That's right, I have a Blog

Tidbits of note:

C1 was injured in his game Thursday night. Concussion. We were afraid his collarbone was broken, so he and Cowboy were in the ER until 1:00 am getting that checked. Fortunately, it was only bruised. However, through xrays, they determined C1 has an air bubble near his lung that could collapse it. Or, maybe not. Ok, I feel better.

Did I mention I hate football? I would bring it up, but it would do no good.

Today was my university's Homecoming. Fun for all. Curt had a blast between jumping houses, the petting zoo, face painting and balloons. He also had no accidents. Yeah! He fell asleep before 8:00 pm. Naps, I've decided ARE of the devil.

Cowboy and I have come to a better place. I don't know really why. (It certainly isn't due to the fact that we have more time or opportunities for sex.)

I am adjusting to a teenager. Lazy, moody, blah, blah, blah.

Work is kicking my butt. This task force is taking alot of time. I wish I could say it was all productive, but I cannot. Hopefully, it slow down soon.

I hope you are well. Don't give up on me. I feel creativity will surely flow through my veins at sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stepmonster

He is a good kid. He is, for the most part, respectful.

His grades are atrocious. He doesn't seem to care. (?!?) My parents were completely anal about this. I only made one C between K-12. Of course, I also CARED.

I've known him since he was five years old (He's now 13.)

His Dad (Cowboy) is so excited to finally see him play football. What he's heard about for years. We were only able to see one game ever until this year.

His Dad has missed out on a lot.

Unfortunately, we did not "receive" him in 3rd or 4th grade, when he was A/B honor roll. We got him now. And, it ain't A/B.

I'm worried to death about him.

He is grounded. No cell phone, which is his life line. When we see progress, that may change.

Everyone is on his side. He is the one who needs to get on board.
.
.
.

On a lighter note, Curt's PT is going much better than I expected. At least as far as #1 goes. Number 2 is a different story. Dr. B said if we don't see vast improvement in the next week, he has an addendum to his plan. Oh, goody. I can hardly wait. (But Dr. B praised him Friday at his appointment) Curt is really doing well.

Hey, just another day in paradise. Is it hard to believe that five years ago, I had no children?

Yeah, me too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Goodbye sweet, talented man


We will miss you. You did wonderul things, on and off the screen. And, you were pretty darn sexy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sights and Sounds

Sounds from a quiet house on Friday night...

After a week of rough-housing and stress, it's quite nice to hear almost nothing at this moment. (There is too much testosterone in this house. I am outnumbered.)
.

What I do hear is...

C1 getting up to go to the bathroom

Cowboy snoring

Refrigerator humming

Television at a soft hum as background noise (versus a loud, loud roar... that will be tomorrow. Game day, eh?) This sign was a gift to me. In sympathy.


Nothing from Curt (Thank God almighty, free at last!)

Wine glass clinking

Have a great weekend

Peace out.
.
.
ETA: (After glass two) I've actually had time to think tonight. Rare. This is hard. This is very hard. To be the mom-figure, but not the Mother. It's hard enough when you are the Mother. My boundries? Still figuring it out. I know I tickled his legs and feet for an hour tonight (at his request). How do I figure in this equation? It's tricky. It's exhausting. That's another post in itself. To come...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day of Doom

Report cards were issued today. It was not good. In fact, it was very, very bad.

Within an hour, I had an email from my MIL. It reads:

I just heard from (Cowboy) and of course he is topping trees about (C1's) report card so in saying that you are going to have help guide him in helping get (C1) on the right school track.

1. Will you please find him a tutor ( I will help with $$$ for this).
2. WIll you go with (Cowboy) to the counselor or tell him what to say.
> he needs to have each teacher send home his grades each week.
> have teacher send (Cowboy) and you a list of work each week. Put it on your refrigerator so you can all see it and (C1) will know that you know what he has to do.
> Make him bring his books home every night
> Make (Cowboy) sit in the same room with him while he does his homework
> Tell (Cowboy) to check his homework each night. No exceptions

(Cowboy) has to understand that he has run wild with no supervision for 2 years. It will take him sometime to get him straightened out.

Tell (Cowboy) he needs to be stern but not unreasonable dealing with this. (C1) will still have to know we love him and are wanting what is best for him.

Jeanna I thank God everyday for you - please help us get through this.

Have I mentioned I love my MIL?

Thanks to the football coach, who is also the assistant principal, we have several things on her list already covered, including the tutor and weekly reports.

He is fully capable, but I believe we have a long way to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lean Times = OETF

The university where I work is, like all others in the state, facing budgets cuts. Pretty severe cuts, actually.

One of the reasons I am having trouble posting is I have been appointed by our chancellor to a task force that has important responsibilities and a short time frame. Many multi-hour meetings.

The task force is made up of 12 people, one being myself. There are more than 800 employees on this campus. The odds of hiding from the pissed are not good.

(The campus email from our Chancellor...)

Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of a university-wide task force as a part of our overall strategic planning process for this fall. Based upon recommendations from each Vice Chancellor, members of the Organization and Efficiency Task Force (OETF) are: (12 names, including mine, which have been deleted.) The task force has the option to elect a chair from within the group membership if they choose to do so.

Task force members will begin meeting soon and are being asked to consider organizational structures and recommend ways to improve our efficiency. Please know that division and departmental units will be concurrently involved in making budget and operational recommendations as well. My intent is to maximize campus input and disseminate information through multiple avenues including open forums during which individuals can express their concerns and hopefully offer constructive suggestions that will help us as we plan for the coming months and years.

This special task force is being asked to explore avenues to ensure we make the best decisions that best guide and frame reorganization, consolidation, or outsourcing of activities, programs, and services we provide on and off campus. Our target for completion of task force recommendations is November 1, 2008. Once recommendations are received the Chancellor’s Staff will review all input and consider appropriate actions.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yo, Bruce!

We're in Knoxville for a meeting and a certain ball game. Expenses paid. Not a bad deal, eh? Ok, not drinks, but, hey, we're without kids (both of them) for the first time in two months! Wheee! And, I mean, Whee!

Anyway, I endured the four-hour event (which was actually fun) and then, we went out with LT and DT. They were also in town for the big game.

First, we went to Preservation Pub, which I highly recommend. The Pub had a band, "Big Bad Juke Box." Young guys who played 80s and 90s with a twist. Really, really good stuff.



Then, as we returned to the hotel, Cowboy alerted us to the fact that, indeed, Bruce Pearl was in the house. (FYI -- Pearl is UT's basketball coach.) Pearl tried to flee, but I begged, and he relented. Shown are LT and Cowboy with Bruce. Sorry, cell phone picture is not the best quality. Yet, cool!



Amazingly enough, this was second time TODAY Cowboy had seen Pearl (and spoken to him). I told him, if you see him tomorrow, please don't speak to him. He might have you arrested as a stalker.

P.S. Did I mention Cowboy bought me a new phone for my birthday? A nice phone with camera options? Expect many more poor photos in the future. Also, please wish Bizzy a happy birthday. Hers is coming up very soon! Happy Birthday, Bizzy, from one anal-retentive Virgo to another.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This Says It All

I try to avoid the election here on da blog.
However, some sentiments never go out of style.
I'd hate to be remembered for being stupid and the suckage
that is both the War In Iraq and "No Child Left Behind."

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Blog by Sue (and more potty talk)


Since Sue has had trouble with folks "borrowing" this post, I want to make sure to give her due credit. Ya'll, this post is so funny I almost peed in my pants:


The Life Cycle of a Blog


. . . . . . . .


Now, back to our regular programming...


Curt only had one accident as school yesterday! And, none at home. This peeing in the potty may actually take (she reports cautiously). Any bets as to how long the pooping will take?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Potty Training Boot Camp -- Day 4

That's today.

Let's review, shall we?

Friday - one pee less than 50%
Saturday -- also one pee less than 50%
Sunday -- 100% (pee only)
Today -- 1 for 1...so far

Positive reinforcements -- claps, hugs, high fives, sucker
Negative reinforcement -- time-out (per Dr. B)

He had three bowel movements yesterday. We're not really even focusing on that yet, as all I've heard is that the pee has to come first. Oh well. Sh!t happens.

I will be taking him to preschool tomorrow with several changes of clothes. Any and all good thoughts would be appreciated.

ETA: We were also 100% today (with one poo - may I add that is just gross? I'm not above giving a tiny shot of Imodium, and I do have it in my cabinet. At least then, it will be hard. Geez.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Food Meme

After completing this, I realize how non-evolved I am about food. I was a pudgy kid (see the "Warthog" entry). I lived to eat. Now, I just eat to live.

1. How do you like your eggs?
I like eggs cooked many ways. Poached, fried, scrambled, omelettes, hard-boiled. If they are scrambled, they must be dry. (Right, Bizzy?)

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
I take my coffee with cream and my tea, iced with sweet and low (remember, I'm a Southern gal.)

3. Favorite breakfast food:
Ummm, bacon. English muffins. I heart most all breakfast foods.

4. Peanut butter:
Creamy. I like Peter Pan or Jif.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
I never ate a salad until college because I didn't like any dressings. Ranch is my first love and the only one I could stomach for years. I will now eat fancy, smancy vinaigrette at functions -- but I would rather have ranch.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke. And more of it.

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?
If I'm really lazy, I'm not making anything. Rarely happens these days.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Here in BFE, we don't even have Domino's. We have small business pizza that is really good. I order that. Pepperoni and mushroom is my favorite.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Homemade spaghetti, lasagna, smothered steak, chili, chicken and rice. Something new.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Deviled eggs and lemon iced box pie from Christmas at Honey's (my grandmother).

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Baked beans, when my Dad forced me to eat them.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
See #10. Also, the smothered steak, my mom.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
Refuse is a strong word, but I hate slaw. And mustard potato salad. See above for baked beans. Also, I don't like catfish. I'm SOL at a picnic.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
Pop Tarts or pudding. My mom's smothered steak with creamed potatos (NOT mashed, there is a difference.)

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Many. Salads, for instance. I will also eat more vegetables.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Nope. Still like the junk.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
Ok, still hate melons. I like Granny Smith apples and grapes. I like broccoli and cauliflower, fresh, and I love fresh spinach on a salad.

18. Favorite junk food:
All of it.

19. Favorite between meal snack:
Chips, I don't really have a sweet tooth, except at certain times of the month.

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
I don't like my foods to touch each other on the plate. When I was a kid, I used to eat one food on my plate at a time, starting with the least favorite so I could savor the favorite at the end.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
Cheddar rice cakes, yogurt. I don't really diet anymore.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
PIZZA. Cheeseburgers. Fries.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
No such restaurant in BFE. I don't think I could cook it, either. Curry smells like b.o. to me.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Yep.

25. Red or White Wine?
Most of the time, white. However, merlot with a good steak. ummm.

26. Favorite dessert?
Chocolate or cheesecake. Or Creme Brulee.

27. The perfect nightcap?
The smell of Curt's head...or a shot of my special cough medicine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Long and Winding Road

I'm a workin' Mama and a firm believer in the theory, "work smart, not hard." Therefore, this post is actually my reply to email from reader Jodi, also the mother of a late-talker (Hi, Jodi!). It's also an update of our journey.

Jodi,

Thanks for writing (and your kind words). I guess I don’t have to tell you that much about me since you read the blog! When I found Ange’s blog, I sat and read the whole thing, tears streaming down my face. She was the first person (mother) I “knew” who had gone through something similar to what I had. What a relief! Before I found a network, I felt so alone. The Natural Late Talker group has been wonderful for me, even if we’re discussing potty training, picky eating or being strong-willed (which Curt definitely is). I know I’ve seen your posts on that list several times.

Funny, I too am a journalism grad, although not using it in the traditional way. I’m the “wordsmith” of my office and write proposals, news releases and features on donors, though, so I still am able to write.

Curt is doing much better at preschool in many ways. He stayed with a babysitter (who kept only him) until he was 2; he was really never around any other kids. At the time, I didn’t think too much about that, but now, I feel that delayed his social skills as much as the language delay. He now participates in circle time, sings, paints, colors, and is now writing – which I am thrilled about! Dr. B. suggested an OT eval this summer, which made me sick. NO MORE EVALS! However, since writing his name, he has not mentioned it again. Hoorah!

We’ve had trouble with biting and pinching, which I hear is quite common with language delays. That has also improved greatly in the last month. Every morning when we go into school, I say, “Curt, what do we say at school?” and he says, “No bite.” “and?” “No pinch.” If he can say it, he can live it!

About school. We live in a rural area, so I really don’t have a lot of options but public school. Homeschool is not an option for me income-wise. (Also, to be honest, I think Curt and I would drive each other crazy!) He won’t begin until age 6 (with a July 22 birthday). His SLP is through the school he will be attending and she is great. I think she will be a big help and he can continue to see her when he begins. To be honest, I am scared to death of school. Dr. B’s goal for us is to be Kindergarten-ready. He does not have the best bedside manner, but he gets results.

We saw the Camaratas when Curt was 2.3; they did not give us a “catch-up” time at that age. We really need to see them again in the next year. I believe that will also help us if we need back-up for the schools.

To summarize: He’s come a long way and still has a long way to go.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Beans, Beans (or Curt's Language is Quickly Developing)

Last night, I awoke in the middle of the night, somewhat drowsy. I wasn't really sure why I woke up.

The house was dark and quiet – the perfect opportunity to pass a little gas.

Right afterward, a little voice in the darkness said, “Toot loud.”

I was little ashamed, yet strangely proud...of Curt, that is.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whew

I'm still here. We have a big meeting tomorrow and my role was increased suddenly when a co-worker's son was in a serious accident. It looks like he will totally recover, thankfully.

This week, Cowboy started leaving the house before 7 a.m. and I am in charge of getting two boys out of the door by 7:30. One I still have to dress and waking the other is like raising the dead. Guess which?

I feel like walking dead.

I'll be back.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's a Boy

We received the papers from the Alabama courts today. Looks like Cowboy is the proud, legal parent of a 100-pound boy (me, too, I guess). It seems like yesterday C1 was six years old, now he's playing football with his own (albeit small) cheering section of screaming little girls.

I am now calling him C1, with Curt being C2, of course. This is due to another blogger who had her stepson come live with them and the mother had her sign an agreement she would never speak of her son on her blog again. Hello? Free speech, anyone? Anyway...

He has fit in very well. In the words of his football coach (who also happens to be the assistant principal) "I've never seen someone come in and fit in so well. He's run with the main crowd from the beginning."

He has a crush on the prettiest girl in school. She's a beauty. She also lives down the street. Although she has a boyfriend, they've gone on walks, gone to the park, and hung out at her house. He will not admit to this crush, but I know it's for real.

He is doing great in football. Interceptions, long runs, photo in the paper. He hasn't made the great touchdown yet, but that will probably happen. My parents came to see him in his game last night as well as my nephew. They won. He did well.

Is this too good to be true?

I guess we will find out at report card time.

He was an honor roll student, save for the past two years. Boy, did things go downhill from there. However, the grades we've seen have been good. He says it's all good. I hope he's telling the truth.

If he brings home a bad report, Cowboy will lose it. It won't be pretty. We don't know his history in school that well. This is all new to me. I just want him to do the best he can.

I hope he knows we're his most loyal cheering section.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby, Write This Down

Curt basically refused to hold a pencil by himself. He would take my hand, put it over his, and we would write his name or other letters together.

That is, until this week.

He did these at school. This one he traced (obviously) and added an extra "C."


Freehand! Ok, he started the "C" too far to the right and had to start back at the left with his "u." Also, the "4" (they said) was under the "r" isn't very clear, but I'm pretty impressed for his first attempt ever!

(However, the fact that I scanned these and posted them on a blog may have already tipped you off.)

ETA: When I picked Curt up this afternoon, I learned this certainly wasn't an isolated incident. He's been writing all week. Even the other kids were bragging on him. Now, if we could eliminate the pinching. I'm off to the middle school football game.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'll Take These Odds

Nearly 80 percent of children with language delays at age two catch up when they turn seven, according to a new study.

In the study led by Mabel Rice, the Fred and Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor of Advanced Studies and director of the Centre for Biobehavioral from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, the team examined the language development of single and twin children in the western part of the country.

They found that of 1,766 toddlers, boys are three times as likely as girls to be late-talking toddlers. Yet when the children were 7 years of age, no differences were found between girls and boys.

Rice said that obviously some kind of mechanism kicks in for the boys.

“Between the age of 2 and 7, they actually learn language faster than girls. After age 7, boys and girls stay on the same trajectory.

“For children who are still late talkers in school, it is important to provide early intervention and enrichment. “Parents should contact a speech pathologist if they have any concerns,” she added.
The data in her latest study also show that a mother’s education, income, parenting style and mental health does not predict when a child will start to talk.

“In our large and diverse sample, children in families with limited means have as good a chance at starting to talk as those in families with lots of resources,” said Rice.

The study is published in the April issue of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Awarded!

Monday mornings suck. But, not so much when presented with something like this:
Thanks, Brenda! I'm honored! Brenda is an incredible writer; her stories are so vivid, I can smell the pizza and hear the laughter. She also tagged Bizzy with this award -- and rightly so.

Although there are many blogs to which I would like to make this presentation, I'm going to pass the medal to two blogs I've stumbled upon fairly recently, drowning in kids and Second Half. Both are very well-written and resonate to me in certain ways.

It's a nice way to start an otherwise fierce Monday. Strained talk about finances is making the home life pretty stressful. Relief, hopefully, may be in sight.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Here's to the Crazy Ones

I saw this quote on drowning in kids. Great quote, great blog.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
- Jack Kerouac -

Zelda Fitzgerald watercolor, "A Mad Tea Party" (She is one of my favorite crazies.)

These are the people I like the best.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Wager

Finally, I got Cowboy off his chaps and convinced him to sell the fishing boat. It sold on Ebay. The good news (no, really, with our track record, this is good news!) is that we only lost $350 from our purchase price. Here she is in all her glory, currently on a trailer, heading to Memphis.

We recently bought a deck boat, which has most of the power of the ski boat, but roomy like a pontoon. The best of both worlds. So, the next course of business is to sell the pontoon.
Last year, we paid $3,500 for the pontoon boat and trailer. That actually was a pretty good deal. It is listed on Ebay as of last night. Here’s where the wager comes in. How much will we lose on the pontoon boat? $300? $500? Or do you think we will actually (gasp!) recoup our investment? .

Why did we have three boats? Hell if I know.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bad News vs. Good News

BAD NEWS:

1. Curt not only has pink eye, but when I took him to the clinic, it seems he has an ear infection as well. Oh yeah, and a weird rash.

2. I had to take the day off work.

3. The truck pooped. (This should really be #1.) It is most likely the motor. That's a $5-10,000 repair. Oh, shit.

4. The school called. C1 forgot his homework on Friday; he will be subjected to something that I can't remember. Basically, he has to do his homework in study hall and give it to that teacher. What sucks is, he did it, I checked it, but he forgot it.

5. Ange has quit, temporarily, I hope, her blog. Please come back soon, Ange, we need you.

GOOD NEWS:

1. We are all basically healthy, for the most part.

2. We have an opportunity to buy into an existing business that may turn things around.

3. C1 has somehow fit right in at school and seems to be very happy. He started at his football Jamboree Saturday and did well. Likewise, his grades are good so far. Curt has started speaking in sentences. Wow.

4. I had to take the day off work.

Yippee.

ETA: Yeah! She's back!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just Breathe

Thanks to everyone who repsonded to my request on their stories. I loved reading them and wish we could find a way to put them together, bound and tear-streaked free for new moms entering this journey. The network I've found has been invaluable to me, so "thank you." If you have yet to respond and want to, please do so!

My dear, sweet (stubborn, hard-headed) Curt did arithmatic today. He added and added, via computer. I cheered him on at every step. It was great.

As wonderful as that was, an email I received this weekend put everything into perspective. I didn't get permission from Heather (sorry!), but I really don't think she'll mind. Her son is almost five and doing great. It said:

"Things just keep getting better and better. He is getting more mature. He is different from other kids but I am glad. He is just "son" and I wouldn't have him any other way. Like Dr. Camarata said, the things we worry about now will keep him out of trouble as a teenager. "Everybody's doing it" will have no appeal to him. He follows the beat of his own drum."

Well said, Heather. I feel my subconsicous goal has been for Curt to be like everyone else. Is that what I really want? Maybe it shouldn't be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moms of Late-Talkers, Come on Down!

It is not my desire to turn this into a blog totally about Curt and his language delay. I have so many other topics about which I want to grouse and moan.

That being said, I've had several comments, here and there, from moms of late-talkers. For those of you who've commented, those who found me from a late-talking search, or for whatever reason -- I'd like to hear from you.

1. When did you become concerned?
2. Have you had a diagnosis? What was it?
3. What techniques are you using to help your child? speech therapy?
4. Are there any books you would recommend that have been especially helpful? (I've heard alot recently about this book, "Play to Learn" and how it is great to promote speech.)
5. How are you and your child doing now?

I'm interested in hearing your stories, ideas.

P.S. (You knew there would be one, right? Bizzy, I love the P.S./crack analogy, btw.) Dr. B praised Curt today. His compliance, his social skills, and his language. We've been seeing him for about a year now. I'm going to email him soon and request we see him every other week. Curt has progressed so much. Wish me luck.)

P.P.S. (Somebody stop me!) If you have a blog, please let me know and I will add you to my LT blog list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whatever, Martha!

I love Martha Stewart, yet, I love the bashing of Martha Stewart. Does that make me bi-polar?

"Whatever, Martha!" premieres on the Fine Living Channel Sept. 16. Now, many people could probably spoof Martha successfully, but who better than her own daughter?

Alexis Stewart comes across as one royal bitch. I like her.

Read more about the show here. I'll be there with popcorn right after I pry the remote from Cowboy's dead fingers.

P.S. Thanks for all your nice (well, mostly) comments on my earlier post. You are right. Let sleeping dogs lie and let her hang herself. It's so much more fun to watch that way.

P.P.S. Yes, yet another P.S.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flight or Fight?

I need advice.

I knew we weren't friends, even though she acted as though we were. I knew if she gossiped and criticized everyone to me, she was surely doing the same when I wasn't present.

We had a "discussion" two weeks ago, when I confronted her about several remarks. I agreed to "start fresh" with her as her family's camper is RIGHT NEXT to ours at Camp Redneck and our husbands are friends.

This weekend, I learned she is not happy dissing only a rip in one's boat seats or how many hours one's husbands works. She said the following (in a nutshell) to a small group of people in April. One individual finally told me.

"He's the way he is because they don't work with him. He's obviously autistic, but she won't believe that. People have told her, but she just wants to listen to that one doctor."

This comes from a woman who claims to love Curt. (Please note that I am showing great restraint in not calling her many, many names.)

I'm not going to defend myself here. If you read this, I believe you know differently. My question is: Should I confront her or not? Just because I sound calm, don't think for a minute her comments did not make me weep, scream and generally break my heart. She's a special kind of evil.

Oh yeah, and I listened to two doctors who are specialists, Bitch. (oops.)

P.S. This post is too damn depressing, even for me. To lighten the mood, I will leave you with words of email wisdom from non-blogger (but really, really should), Eva. Back in the day (for me, that would be to-day), we were notorious for our numerous p.s.'. I was known to open a sealed letter to Eva to add one, two, or maybe five postscripts.

SUBJECT LINE: another p.s.

I am reverting to all my old bad habits with you. What's next? Prank phone calls? Monogrammed sweaters? ABBA?

Seriously:
Late-talking retarded husband has a degree from Princeton. And enviable SATs. (I know you will take this comment as it's intended - to soothe your nerves.)

He has just chimed in from across the room: "Don't worry about it. Enjoy the silence."

Of course, the man can't change a lightbulb.

- Eva

Thanks, Eva. Clearly, your timing couldn't have been better.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Found Her

It was surprisingly simple. One Google search and I found stories she'd written for a newspaper. Those bylines make you easier to find, good or bad. I emailed the newspaper and asked her to contact me. In an hour, I had a response. In lieu of the longest email in history, I just sent her the link.

She responded
(and commented on the entry! I love comments! I'm not hinting or anything. Just saying.).

I digress. She sent me a lovely email with lots of news. She is married with two children and has returned to her hometown where, surprisingly (to her), she is happy. She just recently ditched the newspaper business to become a grant writer for the local community arts center. I will not post the mail in its entirety, but I do want to share a few things without infringing on her privacy. While we are quite different (she exercises and is a great writer, among other things), I think you may see a similarity or two.

Jeanna -

I spent way too much time last night on your blog, going back through months and months in reverse chronological order. So I have a good sense of your life now: fairly complicated, but not uncommon!

. . . . . . . . .

Life NOW is filled with squabbling siblings, a labor-intensive new puppy, a new job. Homeschooling weirdness with my eager-to-learn son. A husband who works long hours. Hot summers. A pathetic garden. Canoeing on the lovely S. River. Soccer/Swimming/Violin/Art. An Episcopal church. Beer.

. . . . . . . . .

Time is so collapsible, Jeanna. And there's no such place as far away (the title of a favorite book of mine in 1983). Toward that end:

I am two for two with late-talking children who needed intervention. Both are chatterboxes now. Ditto my only nephew and my husband's only nephew. My husband didn't speak until he was four. (His father, a real character, allegedly used to openly speculate that he was "retarded" - said in a thick Old Virginia Money accent.) I remember when "Son" was that age, all his little peers were so verbal, or could recite songs, or would say clever things, and "Son" would merely grunt! I am a tad competitive, and this just killed me.

I don't share this to diminish your struggles, but simply because misery ... loves company!

Wellbutrin?
Lexapro works for me! ;)

I look back on all my correspondence, (YOUR letters are not numbered and bound, but I DO still have them) and cringe slightly. I was so easily distracted and so ignorant of the ways of the world. Completely rudderless. But oh-so boy crazy!

Love and blessings and appreciation for seeking me out -

- Eva

I wanted to find Eva for many reasons. However, after finding out she is the mother of two late-talkers, I'm blown away. It just seems meant to be.

ETA: She has worked for several newspapers including a Pulitzer-prize winning shop. NOT just at a family-owned paper. Not that it's easier there. Nope. Not at all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dear Pen Pal

That was how we started our letters in the beginning.

Eva was my pen pal from the time I was eight years old until I was in college. I still have all her letters, bound and numbered, in a trunk in my current house.

We went from stories of girl angst to parent angst, to boys. From the first kiss to "going all the way." We told each other our thoughts we thought no one else would understand.

She was from Virginia. We called each other on rare occasion. I loved the way she talked, like Southern meets Canada with the how-se thing. This was before the times of nationwide cell phones. I had to pay my parents back for those long-distance calls. Still, it wasn't the same when we talked on the phone. We had uncomfortable silences that we never had in our letters. I guess because in our letters, we never actually had to have a conversation.

I felt I knew her better than I knew most of my "best friends." I knew she had a torn heart between the boy who was her intellectual equal and the one who made her loins ache.

We both wanted to be writers. We both majored in journalisim in college. We both worked in the newspaper industry for a while. She, at a family paper of her husband's.

She found me when Switchboard came out. We caught up, but didn't stay in touch as we were in our 30s and had family obligations. I'd like to find her again and give her this blog address.

She was always a better writer than me.

Perhaps this blog is a poor substitiute for what I had with Eva for all those years, all those years ago. I miss her.

Monday, August 4, 2008

She Signed

She signed the custody agreements this afternoon. The school is sending all his documents and immunization records 2-day mail. We will have to register him late, but it looks like he will be able to start school on time.

This is really happening.

Amazing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hick

OK, so we were on our way to Camp Redneck. That still counts, right?

Scene: McDonald's Drive-thru

C1: I want a Hick.

Semi: What?

C1: You know, a Hick!

Semi: I've never heard of that.

C1: It's right there on the menu. I had it yesterday! Look!

Semi: Do you mean a "Hi-C?"

C1: Yeah, that's it.

My stepson truly is from Alabama.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Heart Brett Favre

I'm not a big football fan. There, I said it.

I like college basketball a lot. I like college football, but, unlike some people I live with who shall remain nameless, cannot watch it all the live long day. I cannot start my day at 9:00 am with ESPN's College Game Day and still be at it at 10:00 p.m., watching teams from the West Coast.

I don't really like professional football. Men earning $50 million a year and yet, they complain. Most pro-football players act like really, really big babies. Or buttheads. Tom Brady, anyone?

Ok, there are a few I like. That Bus guy. The Manning brothers. Peyton may as well be the governor of this state. Tennessee men dream "What if he were to come to the Titans?" with that look on their face they had when Daddy gave them their first puppy.

Then, there's Brett. I love Brett because he's...

1. Damn good-looking.
2. Not 23 years old.
3. Southern (with Southern manners)
4. Loves his family.
5. Kicks butt in the face of adversity.
6. Not afraid to cry.
7. Plays for the Pack who are owned by the citizens of the city.
8. We're talking Wisconsin, the land of beer and cheese. I also heart beer and cheese.
9. Donated millions back to the community.
10. A Team Player.
11. Damn good-looking.

And, if you think I am crazy for Brett, men like Cowboy and Flack and Proud aren't afraid to show their love for #4, either.

Brett, if the Pack don't want you back, come on over to my house.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Success



How is it that I can ask someone for a $1 million pledge without getting very stressed, but planning a four-year-old's birthday party nearly sent me over the edge? Shouldn't the fact that I've planned events for two hundred adults make this an easier process?
A few of my crazy thoughts from last week...

"Can I get a cupcake cake?"

"Oh, no! Three of these glow-in-the-dark bracelets have already been "cracked" and are already glowing! They are for the favor bags! I must return to Dollar Tree tomorrow!" (Insert super-hero swoosh to that one.)

and, most importantly...

"Does NO ONE RSVP anymore? How many kids should I expect? What if NO ONE comes?"

They came. We had 16-18 kids there as well as parents and a few family friends. When they are running around these huge inflatable slides, houses and obstacle courses, it's diffcult to get a correct count.

They came. They jumped. They ate cake. They brought Curt cool presents.

Then, Nana took Curt home with her for two days. That was Semi's present.

"This is the most fun e-vah!"

This is "Miss Hallie," aptly named for a little teacher such as, well, Miss Hallie. She loves her some Curt.

And she doesn't mind showing it.

Or giving him high-fives for blowing out his candles.

Or, showing him how the toy she brought for him works.

Fortunately, Curt loves him some Hallie, too.

If you made it this far, thanks. However, you should know I actually took it easy on you. These were only a few of the photos -- I could've posted many, many more! Bwa-ha-ha!

P.S. As you can see from the photo above, C1 is still here, practicing football and charming the ladies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beautiful Boy

John Lennon says it far better than I every could.

Close your eyes,
Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He's on the run and your daddy's here,

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It's getting better and better,

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we'll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime,

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans,

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,
Darling,
Darling,
Darling Boy.



Happy Birthday, Curt. Mama loves you more than you know.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Now What?

I was worried about him coming.

Now, I'm worried about him staying.

He seems adament, but still, I worry.

We have get the processes in place to enroll him in school...this week. The first requires Cowboy to call his mom to agree to a temporary custody order. He doesn't look forward to this. So sorry, has to be done to enroll him in school, which happens the FIRST WEEK in August. So early.

He is steadfast for now. I hope he remains that way as we scurry around to get all this done.

Whew.

PS I know this may be boring, but it is my life, my blog. Sorry.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BlogHer

I would love to go. To meet the icons.

Hell, just to meet everyone.

I have a few little tidbits at home which require more attention.

Those would be:

1. Son who requires speech therapy and behavorial (Dr. B) therapy.
2. My stepson, who just moved here today (TODAY!)
3. The little inconvenience known as my J O B.

Still, I'd love to be here. I'm sure my insecurities would be overshadowed by the fun which would be had by all. Or...maybe not. I don't know that I would feel comfortable around the ladies with 1000s of hits per day.

I was a cheerleader in high school. But, it was a very small high school.

I once was cool. What happened?

ETA: I was CAPTAIN of the cheerleaders. hahahahahaha.

The Eagle has Landed

All's good for now.

Semi off.

In Route

C1 is in route. Cowboy is meeting his (Cowboy's) mother this morning at our designated half-way point. So, he's on the road. With all his stuff. "All" his stuff includes clothes, one pair shoes, one pair cleats, a football helmet, and an XBox 360.

He has a room, a bed, a dresser and a closet. The last two need to be cleaned as I have been using them for my overflow.

We need a temporary custody order (in addition to other paperwork) to enroll him in school. Cowboy called the middle school football coach and got the skinny on practice, etc. Friends loaned us a cell phone since his won't be coming with him.

Baby steps. Deep breath.

I'll let you know when the eagle has landed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Shock

He's coming. Friday.

Let the freak-out fest officially begin.

His mom said if this is really what he wants, she will not stand in his way. Although he states this is for good, she suggested he come for the rest of the summer and then make a decision. Which is a good idea.

Except...school starts in three weeks. THREE WEEKS!

He can't wait until that time to make a decision, because we will have to get a temporary custody order to even enroll him in school.

I've never enrolled a child (much less a teenager). I need to call the school. Who will take him to school? What about sports? The laundry, the food! (at least he's potty-trained.)

I feel so many emotions. I admit, I'm scared. The fear of the unknown has always been big for me.

As usual, Cowboy is thinking of the big picture (C1 living here = good) and the details are swimming around in my head so fast, I'm getting a little dizzy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Potty Talk

My baby will be four later this month. He is not a baby.

He is also not potty-trained. This is beginning to become worrisome for me. He uses his potty chair every morning and will do so if you catch him at the right time. However, he has never "BMed" in the potty chair.

Yet, he is dry, every single morning.

Dr. Brown (as per usual) has a plan. He says that Curt has trained me, not the other way around. I do not deny this. According to Dr. B, Curt is using the path of least resistance. As long as I'm willing to do this for him, he'll let me. It's easier. He says neglected children generally potty-train earlier than many others. I ask him, "As opposed to overprotective, older moms?" He merely smiles.

The plan is praise and reward when he complies, and to help clean up and time out when he doesn't. Many times I think Dr. B's methods are somewhat harsh, but this time, I think he may be right. Curt seems to have no interest in using the potty consistantly.

Curt is my only child. There was no other who came along who needed my attention more, forcing Curt to assume the role of "Big Boy." Therefore (and the fact that I waited for a baby for 10 years and was in no hurry for him to grow too quickly) I have enjoyed babying him.

Apparantly, he enjoys it, too.

P.S. Ange, what are your thoughts? (I know you've talked about this on several occasions.)

P.P.S. "Overheard" is coming....

Friday, July 11, 2008

No News for Now

Just to let you know....we know nothing.

C1 called Cowboy last night. He said he would be talking to his mom on Saturday with Aunt Sally (formerly known here as SIL). I think he wants back-up.

Please let me state this: we did not encourage this. As a mother, I can't even begin to fathom my child leaving my home. However, I must say this. Things are not good there. There have been numerous electricity cut-offs due to non-payment. There are other rumors that I won't go into because it's not my story to tell.

This ain't about fun at the lake.

On a lighter note, I feel fairly certain "Overheard at Camp Redneck" will have an update come Sunday.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Maybe Longer?

One doesn't want to leave. He wants to stay. He wants to live here.

He proclaimed it loudly and clearly. He wants to live here. We went back to the lake yesterday to meet my SIL and BIL and their two kids. They came up for a couple of days and will take C1 back tomorrow with them. C1 asked SIL to talk to his mom with him.

He was four when we met, five when we married. He was not impressed as a little guy about another woman in Dad's life (as anyone can imagine). He told me then, "I don't love you."

He loves me now. He tells others, "Kay is good to me." Kay is what Cowboy calls me, a shortening of my middle name.

He seems to mean this. He was little (seven?) the last time he said it. It is exciting, scary, and certain to change our lives. I believe in a good way. I asked him, "So, you want to do this even though Curt may bug you?" He replied, "Him bugging me wouldn't bother me. He needs a big brother." Perhaps C1 needs a little one as well.

We explained to him that his mom may be very upset when he talks to her. She recently went through another divorce. She is struggling. He understood.

I don't know what will happen. I feel his Mom will convince him otherwise. But, the fact that he wants this means a lot to his Dad, and to me.

Good luck, C1. Godspeed.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two Weeks

Two weeks to bond

One is three
One is thirteen
Both speech delayed - for different reasons

One has a full-time dad
One doesn't

One is chasing, laughing
One is being chased, screaming

Two boys in the lake, heads bobbing
The little one's arms around the bigger one's shoulders
The little one screaming his name repeatedly -- almost perfectly

One will leave
One will stay
Both are in my heart -- forever.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Overheard...

I've decided to add a new element to le' blog. It's an idea borrowed unashamedly from Bizzy, but with a twist.

Introducing...Overheard at Camp Redneck. My hope is that you'll laugh, you'll cry, you will shake your head in amazement. (See right.)

Unfortunately, it's seasonal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday?

I am planning Curt's 4th birthday party. The first "friend" party he will have.

I am trying to organize a guest list. The festivities will be held at an inflatable party place. You know, with those houses and castles and slides that are... you know...inflated? You know, where they jump and jump until they puke or pass out?

It's difficult to compose a guest list when Curt does not speak of anyone, K? Also, I'm not one of those moms who hangs out and yaks with the other breeders. I'm kind of going on guesses here since I only have 25 invitations to give out. If that weren't the case, I'd just invite the whole class and be done with it. I want the 25 I give out to be worthy invitations. You know, to those who have a damn good chance of actually coming.

Here's the thing: I am so scared no one with come. Is that weird? Am I worried because Curt is a late talker or because of my own insecurities? Is Warthog still looming in my psyche?

I also know nada about these gift bags I'm supposed to have for the guests. It will be boys and girls, ages 3-6. Please help!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just When You Think...

Just when you think you know somebody.

Cowboy and I have been married for eight years. I thought I knew what he would do in just about any situation.

Then he goes and does something like this. For no good reason. I have to admit, it came as a surprise, a shock even.



.



.



Thanks, you big lug. This is the best thing you've ever given me. Ok, second best.

The love I have for my Coach purse is not right. But, honey, if lovin' you is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This is the Short Version (no, really)

4/3/2004 -- Curt -- 3.75 months before birth

Ultrasound photos are important to me. The first ultrasound photo of Curt, or should I say, what would be Curt, was a first. I had several ultrasounds before, but this one actually had a beating heart. I was holding my breath, waiting for another round of "I'm so sorry's" when I saw the little flashing light and heard the rapid boom-boom-boom. Of course, I cried.

My journey started in 1994. "Boots" and I had been married for about 1.5 years, I was 28 and I was convinced it was time to get off the pill. Boots wasn't so sure. He said (and I will never forget this), "But, I want to be the baby!" This coming from a man who already had two children. Looking back, this probably wasn't a good sign, eh?

And, we did try. After a year or so, with no success, my doctor recommended a tubal x-ray (potential blockage). Gals, this ain't your normal x-ray. The pain was unbelievable; I've been through childbirth -- and it was still bad. We then decided to try Clomid, a low-dose fertility drug. It did work and I became pregnant right around my 30th birthday. But, it was not meant to be. The result was a blighted ovum, which is a fertilized egg which never develops. A D&C followed, which sucked, by the way.

By this time, my marriage was in severe trouble. I won't go into details, but let's just say we weren't moving in the same direction. (Time must heal all wounds, cause I could really, really blast him if I wanted.) Anyhoo, suffice it to say it was not a good idea to continue with this particular project.

In 1997, we divorced. I was 32. My divorce was final on my birthday.

In 1999, I met Cowboy. (Look in the archives for the beginning of that torrid story if you're interested.) In 2000, we married.

Within two years, I was back on Clomid. I knew time was running out. Again, I fell pregnant. I took the pregnancy test on July 2, 2001 and miscarried July 5. Devastating.

I'm now 36. I'm tired. I don't want (and can't afford) to resort to radical fertility treatments. I decide to make peace with this and move on. The following is a conversation (almost verbatim) I had with my mother that year:

MOM: You could adopt. You cousin's friend made this scrapbook about her and her husband's life. They went through an open adoption and had a baby in six months!

ME: Mother, if I were 10 years younger, I would consider that. But, I'm not. Plus, I feel like we take enough chances with our own genes. There are benefits of having no children. I could retire early!

And, eventually, I came to believe that.

Fast forward to December, 2003. I am very tired and very sleepy. I'm also late (which is not that uncommon). My friends at work tease me that I may be pregnant. "No way," I say. "God does not have a sick sense of humor."

Ha. Ha.

Fast forward through ultrasounds every two weeks (advanced maternal age), a level II ultrasound and the two-hour glucose test. I passed every one.

July 22, 2004. I finally had my baby boy. I was 38. I can't believe he will be 4 next month. I love you, Curt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Minor Epiphany

Melissa said, "I don't know why but I thought kids were born knowing how to drink from a straw and how to make a swing go on it's own. But no, these are things you need to teach them."

Reading that was an ah-ha moment for me. That's how I feel, but had never been able to put my finger on it.

I had plenty of experience with kids. Ages 5 and up, that is. I had two stepchildren the first time around who were 5 and 8 when we married. Colter was 5 when Cowboy and I were hitched.

But, they knew the basics. How to use a spoon and, hey, they were potty trained! (Still wiped Colter after #2 a few times, though.)

Oh, yeah, and they could talk.

I didn't try to learn all those things, because I didn't know if I would ever need the knowledge, I suppose. I started trying for a baby at 28. Only after two husbands and 10 years and a lot of heartache did it finally happen.

But, that's another story...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mother's Little Helper

“Life's just much too hard today
I hear ev'ry mother say
The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those
you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter
of a mother's little helper"
Rolling Stones, 1965

I returned to the OB/GYN last week and told her the anxiety medication was not working unless it was meant to *cause* anxiety. In that case, it was da bomb.

We discussed scheduling my upcoming 6-month mammogram follow-up, etc. As she was leaving, I asked if she was going to try something else for anxiety. She replied, "I could give you something like Xan*x to take when you really need something."

At that point, I fessed up. I told her my mother had a prescription for years and that she had given me a few in the past for my nerves. I told her I would take one-half and that it did help.

She wrote me a prescription. With refills. I must seem pretty batty.

Thankfully, Mick and Keith were referring to the prescription drug Nembutal, a popular drug at the time, and not Xan*x (at least according to Wikipedia, heh.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Warthog

That was my nickname from fifth grade until eighth.

It all started when we watched a film in class, "Animals of Africa." Surely you all remember the science and nature films. I digress. In one pivotal moment, the warthog appeared. Some boy in the class (I believe it was Kip) yelled out, "That looks like Jeanna!" That's all it took. Granted, I did little to help the situation by crying like a little girl. Oh wait, I was a little girl.

If you've ever been so lucky to have seen the warthog, he/she ain't pretty. Hence, the narrator of the film calling it "the ugliest animal known to man." It was quite a rotund animal. The name stuck like super glue.

All this leading to...I was a fat child. Not obese, but overweight. I will say, I was the cutest little girl. I mean, damn cute. But pudgy doesn't look as sweet at 5 as it did at 3.

My parents did what they thought was best. They did not want me to experience the trauma it is to be a fat teenager. I (and they) know now it was not the right approach.

I was put on a diet in the first grade. I never remember drinking regular Coke, it was Tab for me, baby. Imagine my joy when they came out with Diet Dr. Pepper. Diet Coke? Pure ecstasy!

The next three years were pretty rough. I was grounded, spanked, punished for eating and rewarded with money and praise for losing weight. I heard my grandmother (Honey, the light of my life) say, "Jeanna would just be perfect if she would lose weight." Gah.

I believe the worst ever was when I tried to grab my third roll (carb addict that I was...and still am) and my father took me from the table. We were at Honey's house, his mother's home. He took me into their bedroom with his high school yearbook in hand. He showed me pictures of the president of his class. She looked like "Pat" on Saturday Night Live. "Is this what you want to be?" he asked me. "She never had a date ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL!"

So, I guess she was a loser even though she was class president. Okay.

In the sixth grade, I weighed 140 pounds and I was 5 feet tall. In eighth grade, I weighed 130 and I was 5 feet, 6 inches. It makes a difference. It makes all the difference, except in your head.
My body issues have continued to haunt me my entire life. I am now a size 8 (give or take, women, you know it can go from 6 to 10). I am not overweight at all. I am also not in the best shape, but I do tend to get lots of movement from chasing a 3-year-old around.

I have been through (in the past 20 years) anorexia, bulimia and diet pills. None of that is in effect today. Yet, my weight is more stable than it ever has been. Why is that? Too tired to eat? I wonder.

Friends who have been closest to me in the past always seemed to wonder why I was insecure. That is why. Period. It made me susceptible to the wrong boys who said the right things. (See above.)

I think I've finally let it go. I'm 42, y'all. I am a professional women who does a pretty damn good job at her job. I am a wife and mother. I have much more important things to worry about than love handles or back fat.

Screw you, Warthog.
.

PS I know it's a funky photo, but Bizzy told me I was chicken! So, I had to do it. For now, however, it's there and will continue to be there until I have something better. (Do you know how many really bad photos I've taken of myself? Do You?)

PPS I actually do have an upper lip. Who knew?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Woof, Woof -- and I Mean Now, Dammit

In response to Bizzy's challenge, I had to do it. Now, my earlier comments of being a tad competitive seem pretty funny or maybe even a little creepy.



Border Collie
The Achiever
You've heard about this "second-place ribbon" thing, but really don’t ever plan on getting one. Not a chance. Highly competitive, you keep one eye on the Best in Show prize and one on the rest of the pack, making sure you're always at least one paw ahead. You love your family and enjoy the company you keep, but you'd trade all of them in a heartbeat for a corner office and some meaty stock options. When you're not licking your professional coat, naked skydiving and triathlons keep you entertained. You idolize the top dog and will do so until you sniff out a way to take over the company and do a little "restructuring."

Ange's blog this morning listed the astrological signs. Bizzy and I are both Virgos. Except for the shy and pessimistic labels, it's pretty much on the mark for me. Um, especially the beautiful part. hehe. The strange part -- it reads quite similar to the above. Geez.

VIRGO - The Perfectionist (Aug 23 - Sept 22) Dominant In relationships. Conservative. Always wants the last word. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy. Often shy. Pessimistic.