Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ocean, Restriction, and the Grocery Bill

Just back in from a four day vacation to the ocean. I'd love to post photos from a sandcastle competition, but I can't. The dog ate my USB cable. I'll have to buy one tomorrow.

Wednesday we are leaving for another great trip, five days. My husband could not get the time of work, but he'll join us Friday. My oldest son is staying home with dad Wed-Fri am. He's on restriction. Sad, but it came to that. Two of his friends were invited months ago on this trip. So I called their moms, told them my son will be missing the first two days of the trip. Do their boys still want to go with me & two little brothers, or wait until Friday for my oldest son & DH to go? The boys want to go with me Wednesday. My oldest son is furious. Guess I can't be Satan's Spawn if two teenage boys still want to go camping with me & two little brothers.

I came across THIS great article on saving money at the grocery store. However, I don't think cheese is a cheap snack (one of their suggestions), and I just can't stomach making 2-3 dinners a week where the main course if beans. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh My Dear Lord. Who is This Ignorant Fool?

Read HERE. I will have to punch this Michael person in the face if we ever cross paths. Guess he's never had an autistic child..............

Left To Their Own Devices

What does an 11yr old boy do alone in his room while on a day of restriction?

(when I'm in the kitchen) he snagged my Camcorder, tied it to string, used some tape for good measure, and was going to put it down his air vent to see what he could record. As I walked back from the kitchen past his room, I saw his younger brother walking by with the camcorder contraption. They spilled the beans.

They said: "ah mom, why can't we do that?"
Me: "because the camcorder cost almost $800."

they are highly disappointed I foiled their plans.
Aw, shucks.

Guest Blogger

I have been asked to be a guest blogger on a new adoption services blog. Boy, am I looking forward to that!

I was emailed, asking to contribute something if I wanted to be considered. I wrote back, and included my blog link. They wrote back, asking to meet in person (here in my home state) so we can discuss my contributions.

After all we've been thru, if there is something I can do to help the process, inform others, and make a contribution to the adoption world, I would be honored. I'll keep you posted, and of course share the link to this new blog/adoption service when it's fully operating.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Elle's Blog, And Apparently I "Abuse" My Child

My oldest son, bipolar & ADHD fueling him with anger, told me tonight "You are abusing me." All this because I withheld a treat from him. I told him if he really feels that way to call 911. He can go to a foster home; I'll get a vacation. Guess he didn't like that idea, seeing as he looked at the floor and slunked off.

I found Elle's blog while adopting our daughter from Russia. Please go read THIS post of hers. Be sure and read all the comments from both posts (she links to more). Funny lady, and she makes killer chocolate. You can read about my strange family over there.......

Summer Time, Smummer Time

Ever have a love hate relationship with summer vacation?

Yesterday I truly hated it. The kids seemed high on crack, seemingly daring me to throw them in jail, and the two older ones were so mean beyond belief, I'm still reeling. It was such a stressful day, my body feels so sore. Like I've been in a car accident. Good thing today is my back therapy appt.

So, as for me, I did really well yesterday, until my husband came home. I hold it in all day. I deal with it all day. I am calm all day. It's as if this eggs the kids on or something. Isn't it supposed to help diffuse them? I'm calm and deal with shit, and they act like rabid dogs.

My husband gets home, and you'd think he'd be helpful. He told them to stop, shut up, had to physically stop our older son from being violent, our middle son put a baseball thru my master bath window (broke the screen). At that point my husband finally had it. He had those two run lines in the drive way. He thinks this is a great consequence because he feels they burn off excess energy and will be too tired to be shits.

I think it wears them out. They will still have enough energy to be shits. They always muster up the energy.

It did not help that my husband came home and didn't want the dinner I prepared. This happens probably four times a week. He has had food issues since we met. His sisters told me that he never wanted what his mom made for dinner, so she would then go to a fast food restaurant and pick him up something. ARGH! We married and he told me "I'm an adult. I'm not eating stuff I don't like." So I went on the endless pursuit of finding "what he likes." Cooking and baking became an obsession (way beyond hobby). The only good thing that has come of this is that I'm the most popular person at a potluck, funeral, baby shower, and bible study. People rave about my food. Too bad I don't live with these people. I have three shelves of cookbooks in my living room. Truly, I'm a good cook. Five star? no. That would be nice. All this to say, I seriously think my husband has a touch of Aspergers too. I've wondered and thought this for quite some time. I'm not a short order cook, I don't make multiple meals in one evening. At my home I offer two things "take it or leave it." It's totally insulting that he doesn't like my cooking, when the rest of the population I know, truly does.

I did some quilting yesterday (for sanity purposes). In the meantime, since we have all our photography off the bedroom wall due to painting, the dog tried to eat our 16x20 wedding portrait. Figures.

All this piled on me last night and became too much. I left and took a walk for a couple hours. As I was leaving my husband called out "are you taking the dog?" yea, bite me big guy.

As I'm going merrily along on this walk, my shoulders and back hurt more. And more. And more. My bra straps are digging into me like fire. A great reward for dragging my butt out and exercising. My overly huge boobs are a curse. Truly the back, shoulder, neck pain while exercising with huge boobs is worse than the fire & rash from my chubby thighs rubbing together.

I decided many things on this walk. I have to take care of myself, at all costs. Yesterday was entirely too stressful. So I made some decisions:

1. There will be no tv and/or electronics used M-F. The kids play video games and become star psycho fighters. They watch tv and fight over who gets to watch what.
2. There will be no sleepovers, overnight camp, or sleeping in our trailer Sun-Thurs. If they want to do these sleep depriving activities, it has to be when my husband will be around for damage control.
3. I'm telling my husband today that he needs to provide me with a weekly menu. I will shop for that, and that's what we will be eating.
4. Perhaps I need more Love and Logic books? Then again, maybe I need the kids to sit in their rooms all day being bored. Ya know, finding it a privilege again to come out and play?
5. After I lose those last few pounds, I'm getting that breast reduction. Not kidding. Will keep you posted.

I found a blog last week. I love it. Maybe we could be soul sisters? Please read her post HERE. Too funny.

Hopefully today will be better.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What I Learned This Weekend

What I learned this weekend:

1. Sending a child to summer camp leaves them beyond sleep deprived.

2. Doing a makeover on the master bedroom/bath is exhausting. Especially if you paint your bathroom a color called Orchid, and looks dark orchid. You will have to paint your bathroom three times.

2a. Need to remove painting tape immediately after painting a room.

3. I will never paint behind and/or around a toilet in a small space, ever again.

4. Do not leave a sick puppy home alone with children. Sick puppies require adult supervision.

5. Going to Costco without my husband leaves him barking "how on earth did you spend $400+ on groceries?"

6. Going to Costco with my husband leaves us with a $500+ bill at checkout.

7. Looking for free blog templates was harder than it used to be. Many of those sites are no longer functioning and/or are their HTML codes.

8. Upon asking the trusty husband & oldest son what I should name the knitting blog, DH said it should be named "Let me sit down". Oldest son said it should be named "The worst blog ever."

9. After reworking a section of a knitted scarf three times and one is beyond tired, better to put the project away for another day when one can keep their eyes open.

10. Discovered my DH knows all the lines to the movie "Karate Kid 2." Have no clue why.

11. When you cook stew in the crockpot with cut up steak, brown the beef first. Unless you want to cook the stew all day in the crockpot, then take out all meat & brown it at that point.Probably easier to brown it before using the crockpot.

I think I learned enough this weekend.

My knitting blog is over at Nothing is there yet, but it's a start.

Friday, July 18, 2008


updates below:
To make a long story short, our puppy became violently ill yesterday. The doctor says it's a rare condition that he's never seen (but has heard of); could be a genetic disorder, could be something she ate. They had to hydrate her, give her shots in her back, sent us home with meds & medicated dog food. If this doesn't recur, then we can deduce that she ate some garbage, something in the yard/woods (rodent), etc. If it returns, it's the genetic disorder. This is a physically highly painful illness, whether genetic or not.

The quandary? If it turns out to be the genetic illness, my husband wants to return her to the breeder. The breeder mentioned several times to bring her back if she is permanently ill. Personally, I would rather put her down than let her live a highly painful life.

Pet owners, got any suggestions?

1:22pm-just got back from the vet. They want her on a prescription diet indefinitely. Um, I just spent $39 on 4 days worth of food, while they are looking into this illness further. Hopefully I'll hear more back from them today.
I do not know how one goes about genetic testing for a dog. She has highly acidic crystals in her bladder, in lieu of urine. She feels like she has to pee every five minutes, cries, and it burns her when she does urinate a tad. So, either a poison wreaked this havoc on her system, or it's a genetic disorder. The vet wanted to figure this out by process of elimination (as of yesterday), and put her back on regular food after a day. Today he changed his mind. Sigh.
Yes, she could have eaten a frog. We live on acreage in the woods. Funny thing, she is a hunting dog by breed. Why would God makes hunting dogs that are able to get ill from wildlife?

I'm preparing myself to put her down (or have the breeder do it).

2:30pm-vet just called. They want her on the medicated diet thru at least 7/28. She will have a check up then, and they will check her bladder/urine at that point. She is supposed to have her next shot series & deworming this upcoming Monday, but they said she is too ill for those. We have to wait. I guess if the crystals are still there, we will talk about putting her down. If the crystals are gone, we can try to put her back on her puppy food she is used to (Dick Van Pattens Allergy Small Bites). If the crystals don't return, we will have deduced she ate a rodent/poison.

Another point, these doctor visits are hundreds of dollars each. To me, the life of a pet doesn't come down to the cost. However, she is only three months old. If she is too sick for vaccinations, and continues to be that ill, I think we have to put her down. Just my 2cents.

I'm sad at the thought & possibility of another loss. Let's hope she ate poison in the woods. Better than the alternative.......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Day in the Life

Life has been interesting, with many ups and downs. I enjoy being with my children, but our oldest sure makes it hard! I think the hardest part is I usually feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Living with any teenager is difficult at best I'm sure, but living with one who is bipolar is at a whole nother level.

VBS is still going well. My 13yr old stated that a kid in his class ate a whole container of Playdoh this morning. Yummy. The boys each gave $5 of their own money towards VBS missions. Then yesterday I found out our 13yr old has been stealing from me. Always keeps me on my toes.

In craft news, I am having so much fun with the knitting and my knitting group, I'm thinking about starting a craft blog. Could be a "knitting blog" with other crafts touched on too. I'm a total craft junky.

Today the puppy hunted and caught a baby rabbit. Ate it half to death. One of the boys came in screaming about it, I investigated, and almost vomited and nearly fainted. The dog was quite disappointed when I took her new "toy" and threw it in the bushes. EWWWWWWWWW! She is a hunting dog, so I will need to expect this. Hopefully she'll be catching mice, seeing as that's a problem our neighborhood has out here in the country. Living in the sticks has it's perks ;o)

The best news of the day is I relocated my best friend. Sounds odd, eh? Well, in 2006 she moved to Boston with her family. A couple months ago I rather fell off the face of the earth with all the turmoil going on at home. I called her last week saying we want to visit her next summer on our road trip. What did I find? Her phone number is disconnected. ARgh! I dug up her cell number, and fortuneately it's still hers! I left a couple voice mails. Today she called, stating they moved to Pennsylvania a month ago, and just got their moving truck Monday. Anyway, I panicked there for a few days, thinking "how dumb am I to not have called/written her for a few months?! This is the best friend I've ever had! I'm such a loser for neglecting her! Maybe she's mad at me? Maybe the got divorced? Maybe they're dead?..............."
My best friend, I'll call her "P", is alive and well, and recovering from her husband getting laid off, and dealing with two moves (they lived in a hotel for a few weeks). We are SO excited to be able to see them next summer!!

Let's see. What else is new. My husband has a genius idea. His annual raise/review is coming up. He is going to ask that instead of a raise, he be given:
1. a gas card for his vehicle (he is currently using about $100/week on gas)
2. more vacation time annually (currently has 2 weeks per year)
3. a 4-5 week stretch of time off work next summer to do the whole big huge ginormous cross country road trip with the whole family. He will propose taking a laptop & working a couple hours every day or two on the road. He is the CFO of a large corporation, and the president of the company does this 1-2 days a week.

In retirement news, we have made a decision. I have a wonderfully wise aunt, who is smart on about any topic you can think of. So I've been asking her advise about retirement, and investment property. We have not been able to decide where we want to retire (does anyone know what they want to do in 20-30 years?). She said, among many things, that we should just buy something now, anywhere, and sell it in 20-30 years if that's not where we want to be. Gee, why didn't we think of that?

So we are on the hunt for a lot, or cabin on a lot. We want to be on a lake or river, within 2-3 hrs of our home so we may use this as vacation/holiday property.

Does anyone else think about retirement?? Any tips you want to share?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Puppy, Joanna Mei, a Haircut, and a Funny VBS Story

Thank you for the questions & comments about the puppy. She cracks us up. To answer questions, yes she is an English Springer Spaniel. I washed off the light layer of vaseline from the top bar (the only locale I put the vaseline) of the babygate before returning. Vaseline comes off plastic quite easily with soap & water. Couldn't tell vaseline had ever been rubbed there.

Please go congratulate my friends (in real life as well), Don & Be. Today they met Joanna Mei in China. She has been the daughter in their hearts for months, they've waited years, and today they are united forever. Congratulations my friends, congratulations!!

With the economy in the tubes, even Gene Juarez is trying to help the consumer. Check out these great coupons you may use all summer: LINK.
I went in yesterday for a haircut, showed them the web page I printed out, and they said to come back and use the same printout again all summer. I've always loved their customer service. My hair was getting long, long layers past my shoulders. It was making me look like a basset hound, unless I put it in an updo. I got a Hillary Swank cut & style, and love it. Highly recommend it. My nasty layers are gone now, all that damaged hair from the "highlighting gone wrong" escapade. I look like this: For the funny VBS story. I help at VBS pretty much every year the last ten years. This year our 13yr old is old enough to help, and he wanted to. So I dropped him off today, told him who to look for, and drove off. Our youngest attended VBS, so he was there as well. I picked them up three hours later to hear from our oldest (who helped with the kindergartners all morning):
1. "You would not believe how irresponsible and impulsive those kids are!" (I tried to not pee my pants. Maybe I did a little).....
2. "younger brothers class was the first and only class to do shaving cream art. They got the shaving cream out, and sprayed themselves & others instead of doing art. A kid (who we know) came up to me and sprayed me with it!" ...................ya think....................
3. "Mom, you should really help this year with VBS. It's really fun! There was this one class with two teachers & fifty kids. They could really use some help." uh-huh........................

I have helped for 10 years with VBS, Sunday school, and our local school district in the classrooms. This year I took the year off. Volunteering to be continued.........

Friday, July 11, 2008


Here is the puppy sleeping under her favorite tree, in her favorite bushes.

I promise this will not turn into a blog about the dog. But, I just had to share a couple pictures. I bought a baby gate so I can baricade her out of the den & master bedroom when I feel like it. Here's what she has to say about that:

The baby gates will be returned today to Target. I even put Vaseline on the top. She still jumps them.

I've gotten over my son not wanting to go on the USA road trip. My husband and I discussed it last night. Hubby is now coming on the whole road trip, which means all three boys will too (he he he he). A few of our stops will be shortened or canceled, but we will still see most of what I originally planned.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The last few days I've planned a multi-week roadtrip for me and the kids for next year. Going from the Pacific NW to TX. I was even thinking of including the East Coast since I'm not working. What a fabulous time that would be, take a month or so, visit friends and relatives, quality activities, seeing the great sites of our lovely country, catching up on some US history, and lastly, keeping the kids out of trouble.

My oldest son called my husband today at work (I was out of earshot). He told my husband, he doesn't want to hurt my feelings but he doesn't want to go on the trip.

I'm very hurt. I would kill for a mother who wants to spend time with her kids. My mom always tried to get away from us and get out of anything humanly possible.

I will probably go on the trip. Any of the boys who want to join me are welcome. I planned on using a pop-up tent & van, staying in national & state parks. This was after I realized my van gets twice as good gas mileage over our SUV hauling a trailer. Two friends in Tx are set for us to visit, and another in UT. And I'm waiting on hearing from others in CA & NC.

Ya know, my dad never tried to come over to the female side of things either. He mostly sat around drunk, or went off on some anger binge, when I was growing up. He left the home each day to work & cheat on my mom.

Further more, a 13yr old doesn't always know what's best for him. He would like to sit around, pick his nose, eat junk food, watch tv, whoop up on his brothers, and play the wii all summer. But you and I know that leads to him being ultra aggressive, frustrated, angry, and hostile. He'd probably love it if I go to work full time & not be around anyone. He wants to run his own life (which is normal for a teenager). However, he has alot of issues, which I'm trying to deal with in a positive way. I'm trying to find quality family activities to do, that are relatively cheap per day. I don't think you can get much cheaper than camping.


From, a frustrated mom...................

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bipolar Disorder & Camping

Since this blog is primarily about my life with special needs kids, I've sat down several times attempting to write a way to accurately describe living with my children. My oldest has a form of bipolar disorder, ODD, and ADHD. Our youngest son has the same form of bipolar disorder (I think I failed to mention that earlier on the blog) and Aspergers Syndrome (a form of autism). Frankly there's so much to write that I become overwhelmed at beginning that post. It could take forever to portray what it's like to live in my home. So, suffice it to say, I've opted to link to this article I read. I've done much research on bipolar disorder the last few years. I feel this article most candidly, honestly, and compassionately depicts living with a bipolar child. Here is the link:

I will follow up with a post on what has been successful for us in these adventures.

In positive news, our family of six (including puppy) went camping at Pearrigin Lake outside of Winthrop, WA. We took a five day trip. Loads of fun, lots of fishing & camping, I made a scarf and started a second, beautiful scenery, and lots of laughs. It's really good for my husband to be with the kids 24/7 in this manner. With him working 10-12 hrs a day, he often misses the true grating feeling of what goes on with the parenting special needs kids challenges. It's alot of mental gymnastics, in a nutshell. Be that as it may, we had a good time. I highly recommend Pearrigin. We will go there again next year. And speaking of the puppy, I had no idea that having a puppy on hand would lead to people engaging in conversation with us about every five minutes. Truly a conversation piece! Really, I had no idea.