Sunday, March 30, 2008

Melatonin, You're My Hero!

Wednesday night, we began G on Melatonin as his doctors' suggested for his sleep problems. Every night since has been a small miracle.

Two nights, G was asleep on his book before his reading time was over. Last night, after G bumped his head in bed, I laid down with him, and rubbed his back gently. Before I knew it, he was asleep, breathing deeply, his body still beneath my hand. I was completely stunned.

Even though there have still been meltdowns, G's overall attitude has improved. Last night when he was on the verge of a fit, he even removed himself to his room for a few minutes to shout it out, returning shortly. I've seen him sit quietly, relaxed, instead of spinning and hopping around like a mad man. He has shown me affection I haven't seen in ages, even making me a get well card for my head cold.

It's amazing what a few good nights rest can do. Now if I could only figure out how to get one myself.....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Haiku Friday- Friggin Snow

Haiku Friday

Woke up this morning
White crap falling from the sky
Spring snow is evil

Had to scrape my car
Thought that was over for now
Should have known better

New England weather
So tired of the snow fall
Beg for it to go

That's right, this morning I woke up to my car coated in snow, while more of it fell from the sky. It's still snowing as I sit here, and they're calling for several inches. Yesterday it was 50 degrees. Sometimes I really hate living in New England...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

G Has Autism

Monday was the day of G's full evaluation, the one we've waited for over a year to receive. We spent the day answering questions, listening to G answer questions, watching G be examined physically, watching as G played and interacted with the doctors. I went through it all, my stomach in knot, wondering what each doctor was writing down, if G was doing things "right".

At the end of the day, we spoke with the doctor while G played computer games in the next room. The first thing that she told us, was that G was astoundingly smart. In fact, he has and IQ of 122 (confirming once and for all that my children are indeed smarter than me). With that said, she went on to explain that G did in fact have a mild case of Aspergers.

Even though we have known that for so long, finally hearing it out loud still hit me, making my brain freeze and stealing the air from my chest for a brief moment.

We were told to start G on Melatonin for his sleep problems, and to look into getting him OT through school, and exploring socialization groups. She advised us to stay calm in the midst of his fits, to help him with joint compressions, and to stop struggling so much over food. She told us to look into the Maine Autism Network, and wished us luck, assuring us that G was a wonderful and extremely bright boy.

And G is still G no matter what. His amazing teacher called me yesterday to let me know she was having G join a new math club at school, and he continued to be a "dear" in his classroom. Last night we struggled through yet another meltdown. Tonight, we will begin the Melatonin. Now that we k now for sure what's going on, we can work to help G the best we can. And maybe find a little help for ourselves along the way.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Haiku Friday- I Did It!!!!!

Haiku Friday

Letter now in hand.
I can't believe they want me.
My dream coming true.

I did it, got in!
Grad school is in my future.
August starts it all.

Worries, money fears.
I will hardly see the kids.
Hard work and papers.

Can GH do it?
Handle the bills and the kids?
Can this all happen?

That's right, it's happened. The college I've applied to has decided I'm good enough to enter their super selective graduate program to achieve teaching certification and my Master's degree in Education. In 9 short months, they will pack me full of courses, internship hours, and general teaching know-how. In 9 short months, I'll be ready to be a teacher.

The program starts in August and runs through May. I keep telling myself that we'll be able to to it, to sacrifice, and struggle to make this happen. I know I'm asking a LOT of my family. I will hardly see my kids as the days start early and go until around 7pm. Weekends will be full of papers, and research. GH will have to go out and get a real job, and handle the finances, the dinners, the appointments, etc. We will have no money, no time.

This means the next few months will be full of putting away every penny into savings. It will mean enjoying every relaxing moment we share together. It will mean shoring up our resources, preparing, and steeling ourselves for the months to come.

But in the end, I'll be able to become a teacher. I will achieve my dream, and have a real career. I'll be able to start thinking about finally buying a house, and working on other dreams. Sometimes, good things really do happen if you try hard enough, and dream long enough.....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Being Broke 101

In the many months that GH has been without a job, I've become a bone fide expert on being broke. Yes that's right, broke, not frugal, as frugal is a word for people who actually have money but are saving up for things like a house, a new car, or a fluffy new poodle. Frugal is a word for people who choose to cut back. Broke is a word for those of us who have seen our bank accounts dip below $10.

Now that we've cleared that up, I'm willing to share my broke living tips, free of charge, though frugal people are welcome to send donations- no poodles please.

Broke Ass Tips

1. Ramen Noodles are your friend. Now, I'm not suggesting you feed these to your kids, as their nutritional value is zero, but they are perfect for a cheap lunch for grown ups. After all, I think Ramen is Chinese for "Cheap Ass".You can take them to work. You can eat them at home. You can juggle them for cheap entertainment! Add a few leftover veggies or meats and it's like eating a real meal. If people look at you funny for eating this college dorm staple, just tell them it's a new fabulous diet.

2. Leftovers are also your friend. Never throw out a leftover. NEVER. This is an important commandment of being broke ass. Leftover roast and veggies can be sandwiches, or beef veggie soup. Those mashed potatoes? Tomorrow night's potato pancakes. And don't forget, all leftovers can be put in the freezer for later use. Think like a Native American- every part of the leftover is sacred and useful.

3. Go shopping armed with a list. The grocery list is your most powerful weapon. Use it wisely. Make a list of essentials only. If you can manage to plan ahead for your week's meals, you'll be doing even better. Stick to the list. Remember, Ben & Jerry's is not an essential.

4. Change is awesome. I've always kept an "oh crap" emergency money jar of all my loose change. This is for when I have no money for gas to get to work, or run out of milk before payday. I hide this jar from both GH and the children. However, I'm not above stealing GH's loose change and putting it in the jar if he's foolish enough to leave it laying around. Love this jar. Cherish this jar. Guard this jar with your life.

5. Don't be afraid to be cold. My thermostat has only gone above 66 degrees on a few special occasions this year. Keep your socks on, wear sweaters, and curl up with a blankie. Spring will be here soon. Cheap heating fuel will not.

6. Pipe cleaners- good cheap fun. "Look kids, its a bendy worm. Now it's a G! Here's a K! And er, another worm..."

7. Borrowing. Borrow movies from friends and neighbors. Borrow books from the library. Borrow inspiration and support from other bloggers- after all, you know you'll give it back in the end :)

Of course there's more, but time is money, and I'm off to knit pipe cleaners into the new wardrobe I can't afford.

Please feel free to share your best "Broke Ass" tips.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things and Stuff

I've been a lousy blogger lately- sometimes life just gets in the way. This whole time change business has my internal workings all in a funk, and exhaustion has been killing me all week. It's amazing what a one hour shift can do.

On the bright side, I had an amazing meeting with a talented group of Maine crafters this past weekend. It was nice to chat with other crafty adults, and exchange adoration over our various items. Go crafts!

Even better however, was that this weekend I received a letter letting us know that our family is now covered by state health insurance, after applying for the second time. We're finally broke enough to qualify. Way to be poor! Money aside, at least now we can afford to get sick, which is great considering what a total klutz my K is.

And speaking of money, GH's amazing grandmother sent us a check, as she knows we're struggling right now. It's a real kick in the crotch to my pride, but a gift we can't turn down at the moment. After all, we have tons of fun things we need to buy, like socks for G, whose current socks are more hole than material. And who knows, maybe, if I'm real lucky, socks for me as well. Sheer luxury.

On a down note, I have a bad feeling I'm not going to be accepted into graduate school. I placed a call to the admissions office last week to ask when decision letters would be sent out. She asked my name, and after I gave it to her there was a pause- and then she let me know letters would be going out at the end of the month. I think if I had gotten in, she would have told me. Why else would she have asked for my name? Looks like I may be getting the fabulous reject form letter. I'm trying to prepare myself for the blow, the whole time praying out of the other side of my mouth that it isn't actually going to happen. All I can do is continue to wait, and deal with it when it comes, either way. Here's to hope!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Melt Down City

After enjoying a relatively lengthy period of no melt downs, G has decided to bring them back in full force. The past few days have been a careful dance of trying not to set him off, while still trying to enforce household rules.

The night before last, the house was ringing with the familiar shouts of "I hate this place!" "I hate everything!" etc. The walls shook as he kicked at his door and tossed toys on his floor. We gritted our teeth and waited for it to peak before trying to bring him down to get him in his bed.

As I held him and tried to ease his hitching sobs, he confided to me that he didn't want to be smart anymore. When I asked him why, he said he couldn't handle things being on his mind all the time, that his brain was too busy. I told him that is why he needs sleep, to give his brain time to rest, as I'm pretty sure he's back to not sleeping well again. My heart ached for him, as it always does.

Luckily, we managed to finally get insurance worked out for G, which means we'll finally be able to get his full evaluation done on March 24th. Until then, we go through the familiar dance, doing our best, and praying that answers, and maybe some help, is on the horizon.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Weekend in a Nutshell

Weekend Recap
- K lost her first tooth, which is a relief as her adult tooth is already coming in behind it.
- Used both the new deep fryer and waffle maker, my big tax refund splurges.
- Forced my family to accompany me to the beach, where we froze our butts off collecting winter sea glass.
- Actually made, and partially made, some new jewelry.
- Was accepted into the Boston South End Market to sell my crafts this summer.
- Sent out a scholarship application on the day it was due.
- Never got around to sewing the pants I was supposed to fix for clients at work.
- Ate fried chicken and collard greens.....mmmmmmm
- Joined Blissfully Domestic
- Didn't manage to get the nap I wanted, again.