Monday, February 28, 2011

The Boy and OT...the Conclusion

First of all, for those of you who took the time to text, email or call me today going..."I read your blog and I can't stand it! Is he okay?"...thank you. And I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make anyone worry. And yes, he's okay. He's the same little boy he was a week ago (at least that is what I keep telling myself), he just got a crappy diagnosis in the meantime. So I won't try and leave you all in suspense or anything. He's fine. But he is severely lacking in muscle tone. And he needs OT therapy. A lot of it. But overall, hopefully, he will be fine.

So, now onto what happened. First of all, let me touch on the tricky subject of discussing any sort of an evaluation with a 5 year old. They are old enough to know what's going on. The Boy has been in some sort of therapy at this particular place since he was 12 months old, so it isn't new. But he also knows he has to go to speech to "get help with his words." And sometimes he asks me how come none of his friends need to get help with their words. So this was difficult ground to tread for me. If I tell him too little ("we're just going to go play in a fun room with fun toys" for example) then he's going to know I'm full of shit. He's going to be scared and want to know what's REALLY happening. But on the flip side, if I tell him too much ("Mommy's really worried because you don't seem to be as strong as your other friends and you can't do a lot of the things they can do...") then I am telling him something is wrong with him. Obviously the correct answer is somewhere in the middle. And that's what I went with. He walks past the OT rooms all the time when going to speech so I asked him if he remembered those rooms and he said yes. I told him we were going to meet with Miss C, and do some exercises in those rooms and see if we could do all the things she asked us to do. He was stoked. Like I said, he walks by those rooms all the time and now he finally got to go PLAY in one? Hot damn. He was in.

So "in" that even when he woke up with a horrible cold on Friday, the first thing out of his croaky little throat was, "Can I still go to the gym today Mommy? I promise I will cough and sneeze into my elbow..." So off we went (ball of Kleenex in Mommy's purse to catch the snot...). I had never met this particular therapist before, but she was great. I want to say that up front. I love, love, love this place where he goes and have yet to meet a single therapist that was not fantastic. So she was awesome. I'm going to try and remember the things she had him do, and then I will tell you how he did them. First she had him go from a standing position, to laying down flat on his back, and then back up to standing. Of note here was that he rolls and pushes off the floor to his side to get up to standing. Doesn't ever just come straight up or use his stomach muscles at all. Then she had him lay on his tummy on an elevated mat and put his arms out in front of him and legs up in the back (flying like Superman) and count to ten. He could only hold it until about 4. Then she told him he was going to be a rolly polly bug and had him lay on his back, then roll up like a bug, and bring his knees up and try and touch his nose to his knees and count to ten. Again, maybe 6 or 7. Then she had him jump on one foot, and he seemed to be able to do that. The next big exercise thing was to jump on a trampoline, then walk across a balance beam to another little platform thing and then jump off. He seemed to do okay on that, although his lack of balance was very evident.

Then she hung up the little trapeze thing and I knew things were going down hill. My boy does NOT like to have his feet off the floor. Not at all. Immediately he said to her, "Why did you put that up there?" Very hesitant. But he listened well, and I reminded him that we were here today to see if we could do everything Miss C wanted us to do. He reluctantly jumped a few times on the tramp, walked across the balance beam and then sat down at the end. No way he was going to swing from that thing. But like I said, the therapist was fabulous and she eventually got him to hold on the bar with his hands and allow her to move him from the mat to the floor. I was shocked he even let her do that. Again, no way he had the strength to hold on with his hands by himself and support his body weight.

Of course by that time he had found some sort of large sand-filled lizard thing and was attached to it, so she put that on the top rung of a ladder and asked him to climb up the ladder to get it. He nicely said that it would be helpful if she would move the lizard down a rung or two so he could reach it while standing on the floor. I laughed a little. Gotta love the bargaining power on that kid. Again, he hemmed and hawed and made all sorts of noise (nicely), but eventually did try and get up the ladder to "save" his friend the lizard. His legs shook horribly and the look on his face was pure fear. I had to look away. There were several times during this evaluation that I had to look away and think of puppies and kittens so that I did not cry. I didn't expect that. I really didn't. But was hard to watch. I'll get more into how this all effected me later.

Okay I need to skip past some of this stuff or this post will be way too long. But he ran up and down the hall, "galloped" up and down the hall, "skipped" up and down the hall... He threw a ball, caught a ball from her, stood on those little dots on the ground and jumped from one to the next, then jumped from one dot over to the mat...etc... Then they did a little simon says type thing where she stood in front of him and asked him to mimic what she was doing. Then she clapped 4 times, he clapped 4 times, she crossed her arms to go to the opposite knee, she took one arm and wrapped it around the top of her head to touch her ear and then took the other arm and crossed it across her chest, she did arms out to the sides and then twisted the body, and then the last part of that was to keep everything still and just follow something with his eyes. I would say he did about half of them correct.

Then she brought out a desk. And they sat down and I thought, "Oh, thank God the physical stuff is done. Bring on the fine motor skills...he kicks ass with these..." She had a worksheet that was divided up into different sections. The top section had some sort of shape or line in it and he was supposed to copy it onto the bottom section. I was watching and he did all of them great. I was smiling with joy. At least he "passed" this portion. (Wrong). He got to draw a picture at the end. She told him to draw a picture of himself. He drew a spider. Then he wrote his name. Then she had him cut out a circle. He did all of that great. And here's where I could have been knocked over by a feather.

She looked at me and said, "Did you see how he did all of that?" I told her I thought it all looked pretty good....??... She said that while he was drawing he was completely leaning into the table. He was stabilizing himself. And that he switched hands because one side got too tired of holding up his body. Wha? Huh? I thought he was ambidextrous. Apparently not. And when he went to use the scissors, he brought his elbow all the way up in back and used that arm to stabilize himself on the chair. He physically cannot just sit straight up in his seat and write his name. He physically can't sit in a chair without stabilizing himself.

He physically can't sit up straight in a chair without stabilizing himself?

And that's when I almost lost it. I knew that he had gross motor skill issues. That wasn't a shock to me. But what WAS a shock was that the physical issues have now gotten so bad that they have effected his fine motor skills. Of course I immediately went through every single time I have seen him sit at any table in my mind searching for a vision in my head of him sitting straight up without leaning or stabilizing on anything...and of course I have none. He has never done it. He can't.

When we first got there she asked me about any notes or anything from his teacher. I told her that the main thing we had talked about during our last parent/teacher conference was how even though he was clearly really bright, he took a long time to accomplish the tasks. She thought this was because he seemed to be a perfectionist. She told me he was really smart and that he NEVER got any answers wrong, but that he was one of the slowest ones in the class. She thought because he was so concerned about getting it right that it was taking him a long time. She said he was a perfectionist and didn't want to do it at all if he wasn't going to do it right. I had told the therapist this when we first started. She now told me that it probably wasn't that he was being a perfectionist. It was because the habits he has gotten into to make up for his lack of muscle tone make everything take twice as long. His physical limitations are making everything much more difficult to achieve. And THAT was probably why he was doing things slowly.

Fuck. This was much worse than I thought. And I sat there wanting to shoot myself for making the decision to take him out of OT when he was two. What had I been thinking? Look how far behind I had put my son...I can't believe I allowed it to get this bad. I had no idea. I really didn't...

So we wrapped it up with her telling me that there was no question that he needed OT. Not only did he need it, but he needed it pretty badly. And no group either. He needed one on one therapy to catch up. Apparently the "tricks" that he has been doing over the past few years to be able to do everyday things have taught his body and muscles really bad habits. And without some serious intervention the gap between where he is physically, and other children his age are physically is just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And what is going to happen (if that happens) is as he gets older and ego and pride start to come more into play, he is going to disengage from kids his own age (and intellectual level) and lean towards kids much younger that aren't such a physical threat. I see that happening already when the kids his age go off to play soccer and he just quietly retreats.


So...that's where we are. He needs to get OT. And he WILL get OT. But you guys...I know it isn't a politically correct thing to talk about when we are talking about the well being of my kid, but...OT is $99 a week. Add that onto the $66 a week I am already paying for speech and my child is now requiring $165 a week worth of services. That is $660 a month. Do you know all where I can find $660 a month? Because I sure don't.

And here's my disclaimer: I know things could be MUCH worse. I really do. And I also know there are TONS of people out there who would KILL to have a kid that "only" has the issues my son has. I know that, I really do. And I am honestly thankful to have the amazing kid that I do, and I'm so sorry to any parents out there that have to go through so much more than we do. That being said...this is really hard. I am so freaking sad for my son. I look at my daughter and things that just come so easily for her are things that my son is going to have to fight SO hard to achieve. And it breaks my heart. She is seriously already way stronger than him and can already do many things that he can't. And I'm afraid to celebrate her achievements because I don't want him to feel bad...but then that isn't fair to her...Ugh. Just a hard situation.

On a lighter note: My son has NO idea he has any issues. When I told him we were going to start to do OT weekly he said, "Hooray! I love the gym room." He tells me all the time to feel his strong muscles because he is a big, growing boy... He is fine. More than fine. One of the happiest kids you will ever come across. But his Mommy? She's not so happy right now. And thus we'll end this downer of a post. Again, thank you for those following and those that were concerned. I just need to process this for a while and then I will bounce back up and put that smile back on my face. I will put my arms around my little dude and thank god that he is smart and that his brain works great and that mentally, he is a rock star. And I will thank my lucky stars that I am blessed to have the amazing son that I have.

Getting Up To Date...

When The Boy was a year old I mentioned to his pediatrician that he couldn't swallow a cheerio. He would put it in his mouth and chew and then it would fall right out of his mouth. My pediatrician immediately got us into a therapy service where we started dealing with his suck/chew/swallow issues. One day while undergoing regular "food therapy" his therapist called someone else in who watched how he sat in the chair, and watched how he moved. I remember her taking her hands and squeezing his calves and then his thighs and then looking over at his regular therapist and saying, "as you suspected...severe muscle tone issues." I had no clue at the time what that actually meant because I was in the middle of being traumatized that my son could not swallow anything that wasn't pureed.

Fast forward about a year and the feeding issues had basically been dealt with and, of course, those issues had translated into speech issues, which was at the forefront of what I was dealing with at the time. That, and trying to make up for my son not growing at all for an entire year. Oh and that little thing they like to call, "failure to thrive." You know, those types of things. But since he was "in the system," he was constantly being evaluated on all sorts of fronts. And that's when our muscle tone issues came back up. He had essentially no core strength. And so now we weren't only dealing with speech issues, we were now in OT as well. This was during the period of time where The Ex and I were trying to work things out (we all know how that ended) and really I remember this period of my life as one of the darker ones. It was tough. And when The Ex finally moved out for good, financially things took a turn for the dark side as well. And I had to make a tough decision. I couldn't afford to do both speech and OT so I had to make a choice. And I chose speech. It was more important at the time, and I don't regret that decision. I signed him up for Little Gym in an attempt to make up for taking him out of OT, but that didn't work out the way I wanted it to. He spent most of his time during Little Gym telling the instructor, "No thanks, I watch," and then doing his own thing. Although, of course, his own thing didn't involved actually building muscle. And that is basically where things stood for a long time. I knew he wasn't as strong as the other kids, and I knew that we needed to work on it, but he was doing all the things all the other kids were doing and I never saw anything major that I felt showed me we needed to do anything different. I never really made a huge effort where his core strength was concerned. I assumed it would work itself out. (Insert HUGE guilt right about here please...)

So now that The Boy is 5 it is becoming hugely apparent how many things his friends were doing that he was not. When he took soccer last summer he lagged behind the kids every single time they did anything. He would prefer to lay on the grass and pick a flower for me (how sweet is he?) than kick the ball. Nearing the end of soccer I asked him if he enjoyed it and if he wanted to do it again and he said, "Well I really like the water breaks, but I'm not so sure about the kicking part." Go figure. Then I saw all his friends riding bikes. He has never had the leg strength to actually pedal his weight. If you remember, over Christmas, "Santa" bought him a balance bike because I thought that might encourage the actual riding of the bike without the pressure of pedaling. It worked to some extent. He loves his little bike, but again, not much muscle building going on.

And then recently, you know how something so innocent and small in the general scheme of life seems to somehow become a neon arrow pointing at something? That is what happened. An innocent text of a good friend's son riding his bike without training picking The Boy up from school early one day and watching him play with his friends for a few minutes before he noticed me. They were all running and playing together until one of them said, "Let's get the soccer ball!" and they all yelled YAY and went in another direction. And I saw my son quietly slow down and drift off and go in another direction, away from his friends to go sit quietly with his favorite teacher. And then one night while playing with the kids in the living room, my daughter went over to a big clear container filled with Thomas the Trains and said, "I wanna pay choo choo..." and then she straight picked up that container. It is FULL with trains (The Boy was obsessed with Thomas so we literally have them all) and is damn heavy. She picked that sucker up, carried it over to me and said, "Wow. Dat heavy." And then set it down. Holy crap. The Boy could NEVER carry that thing, and here was his 22 month sister trucking it around the living room. And then later that night, when reading books, The Boy went to get a reef book out of his bookshelf. It is a relatively thick book and kind of heavy so when he slid it off the bookshelf a couple of smaller books came off underneath it. I told him to pick up the books he dropped and he said sure and went to pick them up. And for reference, these were two very thin, very small books. He went to pick them up and he was at a bit of an angle but when he picked them up, he literally toppled over the back of his chair. The weight of the books was too much for him and it made him fall over. Two small books. All of sudden, like a movie montage playing in my head, all of the above examples came flooding into my head. The other kids riding the bikes, the disengaging from his friends at school, his sister being far and away stronger than he has ever been at less than half his age...and I knew something was wrong.

I called my mom and said that I thought it was time to get him evaluated for OT again. Something was just telling me to do it. I told her about all the things leading up to my decision and, of course, she agreed. She said, "I'm sure it's nothing major, but yes, it can't hurt to have him evaluated. Maybe they'll come back and say that although he isn't the strongest boy in the world, he is fine for his age." "Maybe," I answered back. But in the back of my head, I just knew that wasn't going to be what they told me.

The next morning I called and scheduled the eval for where he gets his speech therapy each week. And we scheduled it for Friday morning. Although The Boy is sick with a yucky cold, we went on Friday morning. And the results? Well let's just say they certainly didn't say, "He's fine for his age."

This is already ridiculously long, so we'll continue tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sassy versus Sweet

Here is The Girl looking ALL sassy...with her sunglasses, her hat and her purse... Check out the look on her face too. If looks could kill...
...and then here she is being the sweetest, cutest version of herself. LOVE this picture!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mug Shots

A couple of weeks ago we were going to a party for my brother's 40th birthday. The kids looked semi-cute so I thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of the two of them. I told them to stand up against the wall and started snapping, hoping there would be a good one in there somewhere... Here's the most "normal" looking shot.
They were standing so far away from each other so I said to them, "pretend you like each other," and then they went in for the hug...
"See Mommy? See how much we love each other? Aren't we cute?"
...and then The Boy decided it would be fun to start making crazy faces...
...and of course what one does...the other one has to do
..and we finally end with The Girl looking up at her brother like the crazy kid that he is...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Still Here...

My computer is still hanging in there. Although in some of my attempts to back everything up, I ended up screwing everything up. Namely my pictures and my iPhoto program. It took quite a while to get it all back (and there is still some wonky stuff going on...) but I am happy to say that I did NOT lose three years worth of pictures. Whew.

Still need a new hard drive. I have it purchased and am now trying to figure out the logistics of getting it installed and whether I will have to re-load everything on there from backups, or if I want to copy all the data and put it back onto the new drive (thus bringing whatever bad things with it), and basically how I am going to make it all happen. But hopefully it will happen in the near future and all this computer nonsense will be a distant memory.

But the main reason for my blog silence is because I got really sick. Like sicker than I have been in...perhaps ever. As I wrote about before, I worked my literal ass off in the month of January. And in doing that I allowed my body to get more run down than ever before. So when my daughter brought home what (for her) was just a simple chest cold, I wasn't surprised when I felt myself getting it. Not surprised at all. And when it was taking a little while to shake it and when I noticed myself feeling sicker and sicker rather than better and better, I wasn't all that shocked about that either. So on Valentine's Day, when I finally decided to go to the doctor I expected she would just say, "Yeah, you're's no wonder it's taking a while to work this out of your system." That's not what she said.

Instead she told me about all the fluid behind my ears and in my sinuses (huh? I thought this was just in my chest...), and when she got to the part where she listened to my lungs she visibly groaned and sat down and said, "okay this is bad." Apparently if I had waited a few more days she would have been checking me into the hospital. I had severe asthmatic bronchitis/pneumonia. I needed several steroid breathing treatments and a course of antibiotics so fierce that it was recommended I not drive. I was forced to take a couple of days off of work (something I have not done because of sickness in as long as I can remember) and the simple act of breathing was enough to exhaust me for hours.

So as of now, I am done with the steroid breathing treatments and am now just to use a regular inhaler...the MAJOR antibiotics are done and I am just on a regular, secondary course of them now. And I am starting to feel a little bit better. In the past when I have been sick I usually get on antibiotics and start to feel better within a couple of days so I was down right pissed when that didn't happen this time. But apparently that's simply because I was so sick this particular time. Either way, I have turned the corner and am finally starting to feel more normal. I can take a deep breath without losing a lung, I can laugh sometimes without is returning to normal.

So lesson learned. Must make different plans for January next year. It literally tried to kill me this year. Damn that January.

Kids are good...still sick with the regular winter crap. I remember with The Boy that the year between one and two he was sick ALL.THE.TIME. It appears The Girl is following along in that vein. She is a trooper, but she has been sick for months. Seriously months. Sometimes it is worse than others, but she has had a runny nose and a cough for as long as I can remember. Poor little sweetie. But she's tough. She has been dealing like a champ. So we are all here...all alive...and hopefully all starting to get better. The Boy has (amazingly) been mostly healthy through it all. Go him!!

What about you all? What's been going on in your world? I have been reading everyone's blogs (I can do that from bed with my google app on my phone) just not writing on my own! Hopefully that will all change very soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I think I Can...I Think I Can...

Just a short post to tell/warn you all that REALLY bad things are happening with my iMac right now. Like serious hard drive issues. And a few minutes ago while working on the Windows side (I have to do all my work over there as my work programs don't run on mac) I got the blue screen of death and everything shut down. This combined with weird clicking noises...random halting of all function, and a VERY regular appearance of the beach ball from hell have me more than a little bit worried. I am backing up and backing up my back ups. I have a new hard drive and all sorts of new memory and an appointment to take her to a fancy place that apparently knows all things mac, but I can't help but still be worried. If I disappear from the blog world for a little while, I promise that the kids and I are perfectly fine, but that sadly, my computer probably is not.

Think good thoughts for my good friend iMac. She and I have been through a lot together. The birth of two children to name a couple...and like the Little Engine that could...I am hoping she can as well.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great School Debate

I have been wanting to write about the process to get The Boy into a good kindergarten for a while now. It's a tough subject to tackle. Of course we all think that our children deserve the best education, but actually making that happen is hard. And when I think about it I tend to go into a rant and I really wanted to write a post that was more informational rather than bitchy. But let's face it, I am totally bitchy, so if that comes out a bit in this post? Well...reality people.

I live in the "Bay Area" section of Northern California. Silicon Valley, if you will. And while the charming economic climate of late has really slaughtered things here (like everywhere), those of us that were fortunate enough to keep our houses and stay current with our mortgages are paying an INSANE amount of money for the privilege of living where we do (it was 72 degrees outside yesterday so admittedly we have fantastic weather). But if I told you the amount of money it takes to simply pay my mortgage and my property taxes each month, most of you would lose your shit. I even flirted with the idea of actually putting that amount on my blog just to make my point, but really, even I don't need to get that petty. But what I am trying to say is that those of us that live where I live pay a pretty high amount of money to live here. You would think that would translate into some awesome schools, right? Wrong. So, so wrong.

The schools in California are, for the most part, complete crap. I am not taking the time to look up numbers and be all official, but I know we are amongst the lowest scoring schools in the entire country. And I have heard that on the news for YEARS now, but see things have changed around here. After years of attempting to get pregnant, and then being THRILLED that I was able to have a real, live child is now of the age where he must enter those schools. And when I bought my house, back in 2004, The Ex and I had been trying to get pregnant for just a year and it would be another two years before The Boy actually arrived. We were feeling pretty smug, back in 2004, after having lived in our first house for two years and then sold it for enough of a profit to "move up" a notch into the current house. And back in 2004, the plan was to do the same with this house. Live here for no more than 5 years and then sell, make a profit, and buy into the REAL house. The one where we planned to stay and raise our kids etc... So all that to say that when we bought this house we weren't overly concerned about what school district it was in. It was, after all, just a temporary house.

Well, fast forward to 2006 when we had The Boy, and then later in 2006 when The Ex left me, and it became a huge challenge for me to simply stay in my house. And like I said above, I feel hugely grateful that I was able to do that. I am proud of myself that I worked hard and was able to buy The Ex out and now "own" my own home (quotes because we all know that the bank technically owns my home). So here I sit. In a house that is great and that works well for my family. But. (And this has turned into a HUGE "but"). The school district sucks. Super, super sucks. As in scores in the 400's when 1000 is a "perfect" score.

Most of the people I know (save one friend who ALWAYS makes good decisions and was able to sell her house and buy into the school district of her dreams thus ensuring her children's fabulous education at little to no cost--I hate her BTW), send their kids to private school. In fact in my son's parent/teacher conference back in October the first thing she said was, "Where are you planning on sending [Boy] to kindergarten?" I told her I would love to send him to Harvard, but that he would most likely end up at the neighborhood school down the street. She then proceeded to tell me all the reasons why this was NOT the best option for him. (She wasn't being snotty at all, btw, just super informative. We all know my kid has some issues and she is probably right that neighborhood school is not a good fit for him). So...what to do.

I have a couple of options. First, I petition to get him switched from his neighborhood school to another school in the same district. Second, I apply (with many, many other people) at an out of district charter school, and cross my fingers and toes and hope.

I have done both of those things. When I turned in his paperwork for his current school district along with the petition to have him moved to another school I...had a really bad experience. The guy accepting my application was answering some questions (when do I find does the lottery work...etc...) when it became clear to me that he viewed me as some pretentious lady who only cared about scores and race. Yes, he played the race card. This is such a touchy subject I'm not sure I should even go there but...I asked him if my son did NOT make it into the school of our choice this year, was I able to petition again next year? He said no. He told me if he doesn't get in this year, he is going to be at his neighborhood school until middle school. I was shocked. I only have one try? That's it? He said to me, "We don't have any interest in moving kids all around the district simply because you don't like the scores of your neighborhood school and want your kid to be around all white kids." Yes, he actually said that. An employee of my son's future school district.

Do I even need to explain? I LOVE the diversity that my son experiences on a daily basis at his current school. I love that they celebrated Chinese New Year and Diwali Festival and Cinco de Mayo at his school. I LOVE that he looks around and sees kids of all shapes and sizes. I do NOT want him surrounded by "all white kids." Quite the contrary actually. But what I do want? I DO want him in a school that will provide him with an excellent education. Plain and simple. And no, I don't think I am a monster for wanting that. So I left the school district feeling like an asshole. And feeling like HE was an asshole. And feeling like the entire situation is just an asshole situation.

Last night I attended an informational meeting for a charter school nearby my house (but in a different school district) that I simply LOVE. This school would be PERFECT for my boy and his unique situations. Absolutely perfect. But will he get in? You be the judge: Last year they had 225 applications for kindergarten. They have 55 spots. 53 of those applications were from people within the same district. So essentially there were 2 spots open for roughly 175 kids applying. They are expecting about the same this year. Fuck.

So that's where we are. I am beyond frustrated. And I am trying not to get ahead of myself (after all, there is a chance that we will either A) be granted our petition to get into another school within the district, or B) be one of those TWO lucky kids that gets into the charter school of my dreams). But the chances are pretty great that both of those options are going to fail and he will be admitted into his neighborhood school. And once he's there, the only way to change anything before middle school is to either move, or else shell out the bucks for private school. Moving isn't a realistic option right this second because, although I am not "underneath" in my house, I would simply break even and not be able to pay Realtors etc... so moving probably isn't going to happen.

I've done all I can for now. I have filled out all the paperwork, I have gone to all the required meetings. I have turned everything in. And now I wait. And hope. And then, come August, perhaps have a REALLY freaking big decision on my hands.

This is what The Boy thinks about all this school nonsense:
I agree with you buddy. This just simply sucks. I SO want the best for him...and to live in one of the most expensive places in the US with one of the worst school systems in the US just seems so wrong...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Well Hello!!

Anyone still there? Crickets? Bueller?

So yeah, as usual, January almost killed me. Seriously. You probably saw bits and pieces of it through the little snippets I put on the blog, is just no way to explain it. I'm going to moan and vent for a few sentences and then I swear I will be done. Being a single parent is tough. I don't think anyone questions that. But being a single parent to two small children, when BOTH of them are sick, when my only help is sucking up cocktails in tropical Hawaii, and when there is absolutely NO down time for the Mommy AT ALL, is just a killer. And when I say "no down time," I really mean it. I can say with my hand to my heart, complete and total honesty, that I have not sat on my couch for a month. I have not turned on my TV and sat down with my feet up to watch a program for over a month. Have I seen TV? Yes, I have. But it was on in the background while I sat at my desk in front of my computer. Or while I folded laundry. Or while I fixed dinner for the kids. And I have seen A LOT of PBS. More than I ever wanted to. But on the flip side, there is a new show called "Wild Kratts" that makes The Boy's heart go pitter patter so that has been a bonus. But all joking aside, I need to find a better solution next year. Every person needs some down time. Even if it's just half an hour a day. It's needed. And I didn't get it. And I'm still a bit pouty about that (can you tell?) and I am still recovering a little bit, BUT I am here. And I lived. And there were times over the past month that I didn't think that would be the case.

Okay rant over. I feel so out of touch with everyone. There are so many posts floating around in my head. I really want to do a post on the trials and tribulations of trying to get my son into a decent kindergarten without having to suck the bank account dry. I could fill up an entire page on the crazy hysterical thing my daughter says everyday. She's seriously funny. And at 21 months she honestly speaks like a 10 year old. It astounds me on a daily basis. And believe me when I tell you that I am not trying to be that braggy "my child is so advanced" mom. Because I am quite sure that most girls at 21 months speak like my daughter. But remember where I come from. I still, to this very day, shell out $66 a week for my son to go to speech therapy and he's 5. At age two he still hadn't put two words together. The other day my daughter was waiting to get some food at our favorite restaurant where we know the server pretty well. She said, "Mommy, I want Keisha hurry up and bring me my french fries and ketchup." That's 14 words. Crazy insane. She also says things like, "Mommy...come here..." (I was in the middle of something and ignored her...) "MOMMY!!! Come HERE!!" I replied, "[Girl], I can't right now. Give me a minute." She yells back, "But you HAVE to!" What?!?! Where the hell did she get that? I have to!?!? What the hell? Anyway, I could go on all night but I'll just leave it at she amuses the hell out of me with an insane vocabulary.

And because January work, and sick kids, and a blown up sink (which is now fixed thank God!) isn't beloved iMac went wonky on me. And here is where I sing the praises of Mac's versus PC's. It was totally my fault. I was syncing my iPhone when the children started doing something so unbelievably cute that I couldn't possibly miss it. So I slid the little bar on my iphone to cancel the sync and clicked on the eject button on iTunes and then disconnected. In case you are considering doing this? Let me save you A LOT of time. DON'T. Seriously. Don't. Everything went to hell. But. BUT here is where it gets good. Of course from that moment on my iPhone wouldn't sync at all and every time I opened iPhoto or iTunes (the two main programs I use), I would get the evil rainbow roller ball from hell. Bad things were happening. Now if this happened to my PC, I would have NO clue what to do. I am not very "tech savvy" so I would have had to call someone and pay someone to come out and look and blah, blah, blah. But since it is a Mac, I made an appointment at my local little Apple store with an apple genius and just got back with a full understanding on what happened. I corrupted one of the pictures and it basically made everything go screwy. Long story but the moral is: I got it fixed, it was completely free, and while I was with the apple genius guy he taught me a ton of new little things to do on my computer that will save me mass quantities of time in the future. Did I mention it was FREE? Love my Mac. It's true when they say you go Mac, you don't go back.

Can you tell that I have a thousand little stories to tell you all and I feel like I have been gone forever so I just want to type and type and type and make me feel like I am a living, breathing human being. But I won't. January is done. And while I am not completely caught up I am close enough that I can see the surface. So hopefully my posts will pick up again.

So what have I missed? What's been going on with all of you?!?! :)