Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - but with Words.

The early intervention program in our county has gone bankrupt since we used their services for Ben. It is now run by Easter Seals. They called me today for an interview to see if Clara will qualify for therapy services with them. The criteria is much more stringent and she may not be eligible because her delay is only in one area. I have to run some simple tests on her this evening and speak to the evaluator again tomorrow for her determination. Unfortunately private therapy for Clara is not covered by our insurance.

Momentarily, I found myself actually hoping that she would score low in other areas so her therapy would be covered by EI. Then I recognized the absurdity of these thoughts. It is a blessing that Clara is thriving in every other way. I can't let the bureaucracy of government early intervention make me forget that.
If there really is only enough funding to help the children with the most severe delays, then I would hate for Clara to take a spot from someone who needs it more. And so we will wait. And explore other options.

Now for a confession:

I went into Google Reader this afternoon and marked all 200 unread posts as "Read". And just like that a weight was lifted off of me. If I haven't made it by your place lately, I am going to try to do so going forward. It was just adding too much stress to try to go back.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the upswing

My week of chaos has come to an end. The neuro evaluation, D & C, consignment sale, Easter celebrations and voice recital are all behind us. And I feel a sense of peace and gratitude that I made it through everything so well. Each thing on my list went, while not perfectly, far better than I had anticipated. And I cannot help but praise God for one answered prayer after another.

I recovered quickly from my D & C on Friday and by Saturday I was out running Easter errands with the rest of the parental universe. Although, I do admit to a wee bit of disappointment that I was only able to milk one day in bed out of the ordeal. I didn't even get to finish my novel. Maybe I shouldn't have prayed so hard on this one.

While I haven't received my check from the consignment sale yet, I was pleasantly surprised by the small stack of items left to be retrieved on Saturday. Most of my things sold. Including a couple large ticket items.

And Clara's neuro evaluation, my biggest source of anxiety, went as well as could be expected. The doctor saw a couple things that could be reasons for concern, but is not yet ready to take the steps to explore them. She didn't see any glaring problems and her gut feeling is that with a little physical therapy Clara will be a walker before we know it. She gave me a referral to an early intervention program for these services. That referral alone - the golden ticket her pediatrician had refused me - brought with it a sigh of relief. If, after a few months of therapy, Clara has still not made any progress we will return to the neurologist for more tests. (i.e. an MRI) I was even very surprised to find that when we went to her appointment the doctor's office had a change of heart on their strict "payment in full at the time of services" policy. In some ways that was the biggest relief of all.

And my mailbox has been rebuilt. And Ben's school called me today for a job interview.

And lastly, Allison had her recital last night. She did a lovely job, as usual. So for the sake of the friends and relatives that were unable to make it, I am posting this video. The sound and picture quality are poor because I took it with my digital camera and not my video camera. I have yet to figure out how to transfer videos from my video camera to my computer.

And now I will return to the typical level of busyness that is our lives. Basketball and t-ball practices, orthodontist appointments and 15 loads of laundry. A choir lesson to plan and 200 posts in my Google.reader.

But today I am unusually thankful for the mundane things I have to do, and the time in front of me to accomplish things like laundry and blogging. And for the gift of God's presence and grace last week when I was without time for any of it. And for all of you who prayed, and encouraged, and who will rejoice to hear how well things went. I am thankful for each of you as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We intererupt this blogging break...

to bring you these moments from the Chaotic household. Because even if the middle of my crazy busyness my kids are still really. freakin. adorable. Oh I know my life would be substantially less stressful without them, but nowhere near as much fun.

Ben and Clara and I lounged sleepily together on the sofa this morning, enjoying a rare moment of passive togetherness. Ben looked over at Clara, slumped down and earnestly sipping her milk with her belly protruding out of her shirt. He looked up at me perplexed. "Girl's don't have Bebos."

(Bebos = Belly buttons ala Sandra Boynton).

"No, Ben, they do. We all have Belly Buttons." We all lifted up our shirts and examined the proof of this statement.

"Ben..." I queried, wanting to relieve his confusion about gender specific body parts. "What is it that boys have that girls don't?"

He responded without hesitation.

"Cool toys."


We will now return to our regularly scheduled blogging break.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This week might possibly be the busiest week of my life. Or at least of the last year. With the exception of Christmas week. And maybe the week before school started. Oh whatever. It's busy. Crazy busy. And very, very stressful. I was going to list all the things I had to do, just so you would all overflow with sympathy for me, but I don't have time. So just take my word on it and send your sympathy in good faith.

On top of the 1,432 things I have to accomplish this week, Clara has her infamous neurology appointment on Wednesday. Because now she is 20 months and still not walking. And it is time to find out if there is a reason why. And on Friday I have my D & C Hysteroscopy thing. Which I am not worried about at all. But might make it hard to accomplish anything on that day. Anesthesia and all.

So basically I am saying that I won't be here at the blog much. Or probably at your place either. But I still love you. And I will see next week. And don't forget:
He has Risen, just as He said.
Matthew 28:6
So Have a happy Easter.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Sunday Morning Incident.

When we pulled back onto our street from church this afternoon we saw three vehicles parked in front of our home. One was parked in our driveway, and a group of about half a dozen people were mulling about. "This can't be good" The Man muttered. "I wonder what's going on."

As we pulled up in front of our home we saw this: Do you see that brick square at the bottom of the picture? That's where our mailbox used to stand. Apparently a teenage girl was driving home from her friend's house this morning, fell asleep at the wheel, and plowed into it. They had cleared the debris all out of the street and off of the sidewalk and were waiting for us to return.

When we got out of our car the girl came up to us, her face stained with tears, and apologized to us profusely. I couldn't help but give her a hug. Poor thing. Then we talked to her parents. Apparently she had just been in a wreck a couple months ago and they didn't want to claim this accident on their insurance for fear that they would cancel their policy. So we exchanged information. The cost to replace our mailbox. Approximately $1000. The cost to repair their truck. They guestimated at least $4000.

Here's the girl helping her family, The Man, Brandon, and some of our neighbors load the bricks into the back of their truck. They seemed like very nice people. Nice. Broke. People.

Suddenly, even having Brandon drive at seventeen seems to soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A gambler, I'm not.

I left the family sitting at the dinner table and got in the car to drive across town, following directions scribbled onto a sheet of notebook paper. I got lost twice before I finally turned my van into the driveway and climbed out into the dark. A light was on inside the house, but he met me at my car. He handed me a paper shopping bag, and we self-consciously rifled through it's contents together. I thanked him nervously. Then I handed him $300, and drove away.

All my son's money, along with what we'd contributed for his birthday. Handed to a teenage boy in a driveway, for a used video game system with two games and all the trimmings.

"A steal!" The Man and my son had insisted. It was just listed on Craigslist hours before. Driving away I was sick to my stomach. The entire ride home thoughts battled through my head.

'I should have made him set it up for me and show me it all works. What was I thinking? What if it doesn't work?'

'He seemed like a nice boy. Plus I know where he lives.'

'Did he really even live there? I didn't even go in the house. I am sure there is some rule about that. I should have at least made sure that was his house.'

'Lord please let this thing work. Please don't let me be the mom who spent my kids savings on a scam.'

'He really did seem like a nice kid.'

When I finally walked into the door to my house and handed the bulging American Eagle bag to my husband, I snapped. "Please set this thing up and make sure it works before I throw up."

He did. And it did.

And Brandon played his game. And I sat on the sofa silently giving thanks for my temporarily restored faith in humanity. While watching him perfect gunning down aliens with a machine gun. The irony was not lost on me.

Happy Birthday Kiddo. Fire away. Tomorrow, we'll be getting you some sports games for that thing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's your birthday...

I have about 356 things to do today. It's 2:00 and I have accomplished 3. Good progress I think. One of the 3 things I have accomplished was to go to the store and pick up the cheesecake Brandon wanted for his birthday today. He's sixteen. And apparently at sixteen he was gifted by God with the wisdom that cheesecake is one of His greatest creations ever. I have been abundantly blessed with this particular kind of wisdom myself. I am also very wise about pancakes.

So Brandon is sixteen. I have a sentimentally reflective post planned on this topic but it falls somewhere around number 200 on my list of things to do, so I may not get to it today. People keep asking me how I feel about having a sixteen year old, and well, surprisingly, I feel pretty darn good. Of course this may have something to do with the fact that, no, he will not be getting his driver's license today. Or next week. This great country we live in gives parents the power to decide when they think their children are ready for this huge responsibility. The Man and I agree that, for Brandon, this will probably be closer to his seventeenth birthday.

But despite that, we are all excited. We love birthdays around here. And driver's license or not, sixteen just feels like some kind of milestone. A big day. So, I want it to feel like that for him as well. So I am doing that by being as obnoxious as possible with my birthday wishes. Because nothing says "I love you" like hearing "It's your birthday. It's your birthday" 124 times. Besides cheesecake that is.

Well onto item #4 on my list. It's take a shower. When did that become something I had to put on a list?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Clara is teething. So, despite her typical sweet and easy going personality (HA!) for the last week month she has primarily looked like this:
or like this:
And most often like this:

And I have looked like this:
Anyone want to babysit?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring Pictures & Teacher Love.

Ben had spring pictures at preschool today. The preschool had a photographer come in with live bunnies. They do this every year but, even in Georgia, it's rarely warm enough at the beginning of March to send your child to school in their Easter finest for a spring picture. Especially since they have to wear their outfit the rest of the school day, including out to the playground. So we always end up with an odd picture of him in an artificial grassy meadow, dressed in cords and a button down, holding a frightened looking rabbit.

But this year, the pictures just happened to correspond with a early warm front. The weather man forcasted a balmy 65 degrees. So last night I decided to let him wear khaki shorts and a baby blue polo to school today, our first delve of the year into his spring wardrobe. It was also raining so I knew that even though it was still a bit chilly for the shorts he wouldn't be going outside for recess. Suddenly, I was actually excited about pictures. I even ironed everything the night before. Shocking, I know.

Then, this morning I helped him get dressed and carefully styled his hair, gelling it into a little boy side part. He looked like such a handsome little man. He was quite proud of himself and new dress sandals which were really left over from last summer. Hurray for toddler sized memories.

Then I went to get dressed myself. When I came back into the living room with lotion for his dry winter legs, I discovered that, in just the short time I was gone, he had covered his arms and legs with a spiderweb of orange marker.

I didn't handle it well.

I started yelling almost immediately. "Ben what did you do? WHY DID YOU COLOR ALL OVER YOURSELF???" To which he responded fearfully,

"Miss Lisa likes me when I'm orange"


I am not sure exactly what he meant by this statement; if it was that he actually colored on himself to impress her or just that She would not have reacted as harshly. Either way, it way it falls under a theme that has been running strong around here lately: Ben worships his preschool teacher, Ms Lisa.

I let out something between a sigh and a growl, scooped him up, stripped him down, threw him in the tub and had him scrubbed down, and redressed in five minutes flat. The orange would not come off completely though, so he looked like he had orange veins running through him. Hoping it wouldn't show in the pictures, I brought him to school.

When we saw Ms. Lisa I shared with her with the story of our morning including Ben's explanation. I even managed to keep my tone from sounding the least bit accusatory. She looked at him sternly and said, "Ben!"

"You know it's green I like and not orange."

Ben broke into a fit of giggles. I made a mental note to rid our home of all green markers.