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.