Saturday, December 23, 2006


Dinner out as a couple using a gift card ...
Time relaxing together on the couch at Border's while reading magazines . . .
Coming home to a quiet house with all three kids asleep . . .

What a nice evening!

Bumped into one of my good FLYfriends at Border's who complimented me on my writing here. She has an incredible memory and started commenting on some of the things I've written, things I hardly remember anymore. It blows me away that anyone actually reads this and remembers things that happen in my life, especially since my memory is so bad I usually DON'T! But what blows me away even more is the fact that someone (even if it's just this one friend) reads my blog and thinks that my writing is good. Trust me, I'm not fishing for compliments here.

I read some blogs that virtually every post feels like a potential essay to be published in a magazine (like Anjali's and Lauren's) or some that have such huge followings (like Rocks in my Dryer or The Reign of Ellen) and I think my blog just doesn't compare. And there are some days where that makes me feel inferior, and I question why I'm doing this in the first place. But for me, it always comes back to the fact that while I love having people read (and comment - hint, hint!) my blog, that's not why I write it.

I write so I have an outlet.

I write so I have a record of my life and my kids' lives.

I write so I can connect with other moms out there going through similar experiences.

I write so other mom's know that I'm NOT a supermom.

I write so I can work through my thoughts and feelings that often stay jumbled up in my head.

I write so someone else out there in the blogasphere might say to themselves, "YES! That's exactly what I was feeling too. Now I know I'm not the only one!"

And I write so I can remember what I did last week (I'm serious - my memory sucks!).

I think I just need to remind myself of that next time I look at my sitemeter and see that not that many people stopped by, or see that only a few people commented, or read other blog entries that blow me away with their style and polish. That's not me - definitely NOT polished - and definitely not doing this for other people.

But what about you? If you are reading this and have your own blog, why do you do it? And whether you blog or not, what do you hope to see when you go to other blogs?

And if you DO have a blog, could you make a mention on it to stop by and respond to my question here? I would love to see what other people think about this.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Was that a seal barking?

No, it was just A!
We were up a lot with A last night, even resorting to the good old sit in the bathroom with the door shut and the hot water running full blast. Of course, once DH set up the shower and went to get A, he told him to go in. A hesitated in the hallway, clearly not knowing exactly where to go in the bathroom. DH told him, "Go sit on the potty." Poor A started melting down in the hallway, clearly thinking this was yet another attempt to potty train him - waking him up in the middle of the night to go in the bathroom with the shower on.

We took all of them to the pediatrician today. B to make sure his lungs were still clear and that the goop coming out of his eyes was truly because of the virus or if it was now pink eye. Nope, still the virus. J was retracting when we got her dressed this morning (you could see her ribs with each breath she took) so we started her on her inhaled steroid. We haven't had to do it for a really long time luckily, so we just wanted to have her lungs listened to - all clear. And A, even though when he woke up this morning seemed fine, we wanted to get his throat looked at to make sure he didn't have strep too. All clear.

On the bright side, DH's last day of school was yesterday, so he was able to go with me to the doctor and will be able to stay home with the kids while I go teach my afternoon Shabbat Parent/Child group.

We will be going to my parents' tonight to celebrate the last night of Hannukah together. Woohoo! I just have to finish my dad's present. I ordered these easy calendars from Miles Kimball (catalog) where you simply select a photo for each month and peel the adhesive and stick it on the themed page. Simple. Except the December page is, of course, a Christmas page. Ooops. Won't work so well at my parents' house! So I have to figure out how to fix that, probably by attaching a Channukah themed page on top or something. Better do it fast since we're giving that tonight!

Okay, back to the kiddies who are all over daddy who is putting together two Thomas the Train sets the boys received from one of his colleagues. Extremely generous and unexpected - bigger than any gift WE gave them this year! I have not heard any coughing in a while, so hopefully that will continue. Maybe the seal that was resting in A's chest overnight has waddled out of the house for good.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tired Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Things in RACHEL'sMind This Week

1. B is FINALLY feeling better. I kept him home from school to be on the safe side today, and while he is hanging out on my bed watching tv, the way he is bouncing around shows me things are improving.

2. I think one of the worst things to do as a parent is to hold your child down while someone inflicts pain on them. Had to do that with all three this week - flu shots for A and J and a strep test for B.

3. When B feels lousy he whines. A LOT.

4. When B doesn't feel well, he becomes nearly impossible to understand. I don't know if he stops moving his mouth or his tongue or what, but it's very challenging.

5. Made a whole bunch of delicious chocolate candies yesterday (Thanks Tracy!) to give as gifts. They are so good!

6. Stayed up too late making a whole bunch of delicious chocolate candies yesterday. I'm tired.

7. My kids show incredible gratitude for things we give them it's wonderful.

8. Even with that, I'm getting tired of giving them a present each night for Hannukah and after they unwrap it and they thank us, they ask what else they're getting that week.

9. Next year, we're going to have some alternatives to getting gifts for each night of Hannukah (if I can get DH to agree). They get tons of presents at my in-laws for Christmas.

10. The synagogues sent home a gift of candles this year with ideas on alternatives for presents. Some of them were things like a game night, a movie night, going to a bookstore and selecting a Hannukah book to read, going to an ice cream parlor, things like that. They suggest doing these things after you light the candles each night.

11. I think taking the focus away from receiving presents and putting it more on spending time together as a family would be a great thing!

12. Do you think the kids would totally rebel if we did that?!!

13. Argh! I wasted this morning with the majority at school because after sorting all the laundry in the house, I laid down next to B on the bed. Next thing I knew, an HOUR had gone by. And now it's time to pick them all up again.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works-For-Me Wednesday

To get the kids to open their mouths while I brush their teeth, we play a version of name that tune. The song can only be sung with "Ah" sounds. When we started the game, I sang the song and they sang along. Now I ask them to sing one and I try to guess what it is. I guess it all comes down to distraction (and singing a song that forces them to open their mouth), but it works for me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tryin' to Tackle it!

In addition to 400 more loads of laundry (give or take) to totally demolish Mt. Washmore, my goal for today, with B watching tv in my bed right behind me because he's sick, is to select all the photos I need to get prints of to complete all gifts I'm putting together. None of them have to be scrapbooked or I'd REALLY be stressed.

I have some adorable pictures like:

The tough part is I have to figure out which picture belongs in each month for the calendars and which calendar should get each picture and how exactly to send each picture to get the prints made - I feel like such a novice when it comes to working with digital pictures. I'm learning as I go on how to save a photo that was e-mailed to me to my computer and then transfer it to snapfish or kodak or some place like that so I can get a print made. I'm sure I'm making this tougher than it needs to be! In any case, I'm shooting for getting them all sent off to get printed by the end of the day today.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gotta Whine

My ears hurt. I keep getting ear infections (or one big one that just doesn't go away). I have an appointment for a ENT specialist, but it's not until January. I'll keep trying the ear drops that the doctor prescribed, and I'll call her again tomorrow if it still hurts this much. Blech. And I just finished a full dose of antibiotics for this, though it clearly didn't do it.

B is sick. I feel bad for him, but he is so whiny when he's feeling sick it's so hard! Plus I had some fun things planned for this week, both with the kids and without, but now probably won't be able to do any of them.

I did not do a good job prepping for the holidays this year. I still have a ton to do, and it's all my fault for just not being on top of it this year. I still have gifts to make, cookies to bake to give as gifts for a bunch of different colleagues of DH. I plan on making a holiday control journal after the holidays this year, a way to help me remember all those little things that I forgot this year, like a gift for my teaching assistant (oops) or when to start baking.

Had to take the kids to get their flu shots this afternoon. I'll have to call in tomorrow morning for a sick visit so they can check B out to determine if he's well enough to get it. I HATE holding them down so someone else can cause them pain.

My head HURTS! I have an appointment with a neurologist for the end of the week to check on my frequent headaches, which I bet are connected to the frequent ear infections.

The house is all messy yet again.

The dryer is not working at top capacity, making the time it takes to get through my Mount Washmore even longer.

I STILL am not taking care of myself like I need to. Obviously I need to do this!!!

I just am feeling very overwhelmed. That probably goes along with the whine above. All I want to do is pull the covers over my head.

Okay, thank you for listening. I need to add warm water to B's bath (finally found something that stopped him from whining - playing in the bathtub). Time to get off my butt!

Illness Has Struck


B woke up at night coughing, coughing, coughing. Any cold he gets goes right to his lungs ever since he had RSV as a baby. So he's home now, chilling on the couch, and I'm pushing fluids (which he doesn't want) and trying to keep J from torturing him. Hopefully we can keep him out of the hospital. I'll work on staying on top of his treatments, doing the breathing nebulizer treatments every four hours. He just came up here to complain that "It's hard to breathe when the cold is in your lungs." I know. Sneaky mom that I am, I just gave him a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast (he wouldn't eat earlier) so he'll get thirsty and want to drink. Whatever works. :)

The main reason I want to keep him out of the hospital is we were just there on Saturday with DH. We had friends over to celebrate Hannukah with us (Hi, guys, two of my faithful blog readers!). DH had been feeling like he had yet another hernia (he's had two surgically repaired in the past) for about a month, but yesterday it suddenly got really bad. He wanted to just see if it got better on its own, so he waited until after everyone left (and we got our kids in bed) to decide to go to the ER. We were there until one in the morning and they feel it's not a hernia but an inflamation/possible infection around his prostrate that is giving him a lot of pain. He's hopefully getting an appointment this morning with his urologist. When they first did the ultrasound, they had to come back to do another because they saw increased vascular flow and were concerned. Then the radiologist said that he had to confer with some colleagues because he wasn't sure what the problem was. Man, it was hard to relax and think pleasant thoughts while we were waiting for the results of that! But they didn't come back with anything too scary. Hopefully we'll hear good stuff from the urologist too.

Alright, time to go fold and put away laundry and clean the kitchen and put in a new load of laundry and sweep the floor and . . .

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Hannukah!

Last night was the first night of Hannukah. I finally bought an electric menorah so we could have it shining in the window. After we "lit" it and put it on the windowsill, I realized that DH finally got his wish of putting up lights for this time of year.

After we said all the blessings (it was actually our third time for the day, and we would still do a fourth time at the Hannukah dinner at the Temple - once during the day at school, where A was the Shabbat King, once during Yaldai Sholom, the preschool service I lead at lunchtime, and then once at home), we gave the kids their presents. They each got a stuffed Disney character. B got Mickey, J got Minnie, and A got Disney's Pixar's Speed McQueen (he cannot refer to the movie as simply Cars, it always must be Disney's Pixar's Cars). The kids LOVED them. B declared, as he hugged Mickey, "Wow, this is the best present a boy could ever get!" Doesn't get much better than that.

And now, as I sit at the computer, attempting to relax as I post this, the three of them are in front of a large mirror near me, holding pencils as microphones, singing Electric Company songs at the TOP of their lungs. Well, they started that way. Now J is singing "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel" and B is pleading with me to introduce him so he can sing "Is It Love?" from the Electric Company. Duty calls!

Friday, December 15, 2006

This Little Light of Mine . . .

I'm gonna let it shine. . .

This song started floating around in my head the other day. I couldn't figure out why, but I knew it was important.

Then I heard this song and made the connection.

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me....

If I want peace in my life, it has to begin with me. I have to take care of myself. When I had gone to the doctor to figure out what was going on with me feeling tired, I found out that my bloodwork was totally normal - no thyroid problems. My ears were still infected and have been for awhile, so that very well could be part of what was causing the problem, so I will be seeing a ENT soon, but that wasn't the whole issue. I have to take care of myself more. She asked if I drank enough water. I always intend to, but do I REALLY do it? No. She asked if I took a multi-vitamin. I have a box of them just sitting there, but when was the last time I actually took one? She asked me if I am eating well. Some days yes, some days no. How about exercise? Well, I'm trying to get to the gym, but some weeks go by without me making it at all. She asked about how much sleep I'm getting. Besides the days when I was thoroughly exhausted and went to bed by seven, I have not been consistent with bedtime, which means the number of hours of sleep I get each night varies dramatically. In other words, I've not been taking care of myself like I know I need to.

Clearly this is not a new thought. Heck, you can read through many past posts on this blog and see that I go through this whole eye-opening revelation a few times a year. I just need to stick with the resolutions I keep making.

As for now, my little light is tired. To let it shine, I have to take a nap right now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Works-For-Me Wednesday

Each night I tell my kids a bedtime story all about them as superheroes. In the stories, they are superheroes that help other kids get back to sleep. Sometimes they help kids who wake up with a bad dream and sometimes it is just a baby with a messy diaper (they love that one!) that they have to change to make that baby feel better. They look forward to this each night.

My FLYlady addiction

For all of you out there that think I'm crazy with my FLYlady addiction, check out what was on the news last night:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Show Some Love

My friend Anjali is going through an incredibly tough time right now. She recently miscarried a three month old baby and now got pregnant and miscarried again. Please go over and tell her that you're thinking of and/or praying for her. She needs all the positive vibes she can get.

So Tired

Yesterday I went to bed at 8PM. I slept through until 8 (DH got up with the kids today) so I could get dressed and go teach religious school.

It's 7:15 right now and I'm getting ready for bed again. I ended up taking a nap this afternoon because I was having trouble making it through the afternoon.

I feel as if I could have mono again. I had it when I was in high school. Boy, was that a bad time. I was also anorexic at the time, so it took me a while to recover, mainly because I was severely underweight to begin with and then lost an additional ten pounds being sick. Hmmm...maybe it wouldn't be all bad if I had mono again. Just kidding!

It could also be my thyroid. I just finally went about getting a blood test to check all that out. I haven't heard back from the doctor yet about it. While I would hope she would have contacted me if there was anything wrong with the test, but in reality, I know she has a lot of patients. So tomorrow I'm going to make an appointment for a physical. I hate to complain about myself, but clearly something is going on!

Good night.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I wish we could move

B said as we were driving this afternoon. We have been checking out construction on a house near the kids' school, so we were doing our daily inspection when this popped out of his mouth.

I was really thrown for a minute. I thought he liked our house. Is there something going on I don't know about. I decided to explore this comment.

"Why, B, why do you want to move?"

"I want to have a house like that one," he replied, referring to the one we were driving by, that had the bottom level still open as the workman installed insulation but the top all closed up.

"What is special about that house?"

"I want a house like that because it doesn't have a bedroom. If we didn't have a bedroom then we could stay up all night and never have to go to bed."

After laughing out loud, I quickly explained to him that even if there wasn't a bedroom, we would all still have to go to bed at night, no matter which house we lived in.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things RHas Learned This Week

1. When feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to ask for help.

2. Admitting that watching five kids under the age of five when one has been diagnosed with Asperger's has gotten too hard has clearly made a lot of moms feel better about themselves.

3. Telling my sister that I couldn't watch her kids anymore was really, really, really tough.

4. See my sister with tear-swollen eyes and knowing that I caused that felt like a knife in my heart.

5. Sometimes speaking up for yourself ends up having positive results for everyone, even if you can't see that right away.

6. Getting a bonus morning by having J attend preschool on Wednesdays as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays is incredible!

7. This has been the first time that I have ever had time to myself during the day since having kids. When the boys entered preschool, J was already born, and when J entered school, I was watching the baby. Last Thursday was the first time I dropped the kids off at school and left empty-handed.

8. Dropping off all the kids at school and thinking, "I'm free!" when I left the building does NOT make me a bad parent.

9. I love my kids. I love them a lot more when I am able to have a little break from them during the day.

10. I feel so wonderful when I am actually able to get some stuff accomplished during the day.

11. I don't sleep well when DH is out of town.

12. While going to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon is not normal, it sure helps you catch up on sleep.

13. When I am caught up on my sleep and able to have a few hours to myself during the week, I actually feel human.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bonus Day!

As of today, J is going to begin going to preschool on Wednesday mornings as well. DH does not seem too keen on the idea when I told him last night (money is going to be tight when I stop watching DN-A) so my goal is to be super productive this morning to show him the benefit of me getting this bonus morning. The way I look at it, I reached my frustration level a few weeks ago, when I made the decision to stop watching my niece and nephew. I just can't do it anymore. Unfortunately, my sister can't just instantly stop working - she has to give notice, blah, blah, blah. So that means that even though I already reached the point where I can't take it anymore, things are not changing as fast as I need them to (in other words, DN-A is still with us full time). And that's why I feel J starting a third morning at school is totally justified. Plus the fact that she loves school and leaves each morning significantly more verbal than when she went in. So I know it's good for her.

My plan for today is to order our groceries (gotta love, sort through all the paperwork around this computer (DH "cleaned up" the other day), do lots of laundry, complete my report cards for Hebrew School and Religious School, pay the bills, and at least begin putting together our holiday cards. Sound okay for two and half hours?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not quite so tired anymore

Yesterday I slept in. We won't even talk about what happened before the kids were allowed to get up (see yesterday's post), but come 7 they all came in my room and watched tv while I slept some more. Slept too late and woke up to my BIL knocking on my front door with DN-A - oops! Then we all got dressed and ate and started our day. By the time we had lunch, I was so tired again I had to lay down while the boys watched TV for quiet time - kept my door open and told them to get me when the show ended. When that was done, I was STILL tired, so I laid on the couch with them and dozed. As soon as DH got home (4:30) I went to bed. I slept until 9, got up, had a bowl of cereal, watched a little tv, and was back in bed by 12. I slept through until 7 this morning.

So....I'm finally feeling a little more awake. Whew!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Did you see the fireworks?

That's how A woke me this morning.

After much investigating, I discovered that he had managed to go to the outlet whose cover broke off yesterday and reach behind it and pull out some large piece of metal. In doing so, he blew the circuit and created a fireworks display in our hallway. And somehow he was completely uninjured.

I am so kicking myself. I knew he was up, but it was earlier than he was allowed to be up (it was around 6), so I stayed in bed. I yelled through my door that he needed to go back to bed, but he didn't. He could have died. All because I wanted more sleep.

I'm not sure what to do about this. Of course, DH is repairing the outlet cover tonight when he gets home. But what's to stop A from yanking it off again (he's done that before)? Should I put a hook and eye lock on his door to make sure he doesn't wander again in the early morning hours?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

And then there were four

My sister called me last night to talk about the current kid situation. She's not planning on giving her notice at work for another couple weeks due to some financial stuff, and plans on giving four weeks notice, so it's not looking like I'll be down to just my three kids until mid-to end of January. Anyway, she called because she feels bad that this is taking so long, knowing that I wouldn't have told her that I couldn't do this anymore unless it was really tough. Soooo...she offered to have her niece, visiting from St. Lucia, watch the baby each day so that I would only have to focus on the other four kids. Today was my first day without her. All the other kids were in school for the morning. Aaaaaahhhh...

I met up at Starbucks with two great friends, totally unencumbered, able to give my full attention to their stories of their sons without having to keep the baby happy.

I then went to Staples to do a bunch of copying and I did not need a cart or have to talk baby talk to appease a cranky baby even once.

Afterwards I went to the produce store and did not have to juggle with the stroller or comfort a child who, if she had been with me, would have been miserable due to missing her morning nap.

It's a nice feeling to be free for a little bit!

Tonight I hosted a Moms' Night Out for the MOMS Club (Hi, Beth and Jean!) at my house - a wedding theme. We all brought our albums, had some champange and cake, I had my video playing in the background, we all shared our "how we met" stories - a great time was had by all. I just finished cleaning up and am now upstairs about to get ready for bed. I'm glad that I got it all cleaned up - it's always so much nicer than leaving it for the morning. Morning is going to come way too soon anyway. I decided to leave our old coffee table back in the living room (we had moved it into the playroom for the kids to use as an activity table and had left the living room free of extra furniture to give the kids more room to play). I hope it won't throw A off too much when he goes downstairs in the morning.

DH is out of town until Sunday. I sincerely hope that J stays in bed all night tonight. Last night she got up five times. Luckily we "take turns" getting up to put her back in bed, but I always am the one to wake up and nudge him when it's his turn. Tonight, on the other hand, it's just me. And I'm tired!

Okay, enough writing, I've got to get to bed. I plan to write a belated Thursday Thirteen because SOME people gave me grief tonight about not posting one. :) Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Works-For-Me Wednesday

I got a great dieting tip that I've been using like crazy. As soon as you are done eating, go brush your teeth. Not only will your dentist be pleased, but most of the time, the taste of the toothpaste will remind you not to snack. Works for me! And did you see my weight ticker up top? Yes, I lost 2.5 pounds this week, even with Thanksgiving. Go!!! :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Last Straw

When I joined Weight Watchers about a week and a half ago, the leader asked me what was the "last straw" that had brought me there. I didn't really have an answer. There really hadn't been a defining moment for me - I'd been trying to lose weight for awhile, had tried a variety of things, and thought doing WW in person (instead of trying it online again) would be a good idea.

Well, today was my last straw.

After having a "family day" walking around a big mall and playing at the train table at a large Barnes and Noble, DH decided to drop me off at a Kohl's so I could buy some clothes for myself, something I haven't done in about a year. I walked around, marveling at the incredible deals, picking up a few stylish (for me) shirts and then even a few not so stylish but practical bras, something I don't usually wear but need to wear certain shirts that I own, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I just guessed at my size, thinking that I was at least up from last year. Well, after trying on a variety of things, I realized that I really didn't guess high enough. At all. Nothing fit. At all. Nada.

Boy, do I feel big.

Now, I do know that it's just a size, a letter on a shirt, a number on a bra, it's really not that big a deal, but to me, it was huge (pardon the pun).

If ever I needed a splash of cold water to my face to wake me up, it was now and I got it. So, that was my last straw. And I'm using it for mucho motivation. As of this afternoon, I'm journaling what I eat, making better choices, and drinking lots of water. I'm getting to the gym as much as I can. And I'm rewarding myself: for every five pounds I lose, I earn a new shirt.

Next time I enter that scary dressing room, there will be a little less of me hanging over my waistband as I try on the clothes. And this time I will go straight for the "large" size without even looking at anything else. And if it doesn't fit, I'll know that it obviously was marked wrong.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things R is Thankful For

1. My Husband
He is letting me sleep in for all four mornings of this four-day weekend. Of course, I had to promise certain ... favors, but it's not like I mind!

2. My children
It took us five years to finally conceive the boys, and then J just "happened" - and I couldn't imagine my life without them.

3. My faith
I LOVE that I am delving more and more into my Judaism, committed to reading the Torah and attending services as often as I can. It makes me feel so good.

4. TiVo
A fabulous thing!

5. Medical confirmation/diagnosis for A
It's so nice to have a name for the behaviors he has, and to be able to research it and understand why, for example, I can't just ask him, "What are you supposed to be doing right now?" but instead, get his attention by getting in his face and telling him, "Eyes on me." and after he repeats it and is actually looking in the direction of my face, tell him with as few words as possible what he is supposed to be doing and encourage him to repeat it as he does it. I think if I had never read about Asperger's I would be going out of my mind right now trying to figure out his impulsivity and inability to follow directions and a whole lot of other things.

6. The internet
I don't know if I could have kept my sanity staying home if I did not have my "internet friends."

7. My friends
And you all know who you are. I love you.

8. My sister
She should really be higher on the list, but I don't feel like editing right now.
When I decided that I needed to focus on my three and that I couldn't keep watching her two, she could have made me feel guilty, she could have wallowed in self-pity, but instead she used it as an opportunity to explore new options in her life. I'm so proud of her!

9. MOMS Club/Mothers and More
I DEFINITELY would have lost it a very long time ago if I had not found these two organizations. So nice to be able to talk with other moms and have playdates to go to so I could get out of the house with the kids.

10. Library storytimes
LOVE looking on-line for which local library is offering a (FREE) storytime the next day and planning our day around it.

11. The fact that I will soon only have to be in charge of my three children
Enough said.

12. My local FLYfriends
What an amazing group of women! So fabulous to know that support is only a few keystrokes away.

13. My mom
My sounding board, my first friend, my role model

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Take Five Pose

It's pretty sad when your four year old has to teach you what to do when you lose your temper, isn't it?

I feel I'm a very patient person. I work really hard on maintaining an even tone with the kids, knowing that yelling or getting angry will simply confuse them, not teach them anything, and ultimately make me feel stressed and angry all the time. So I usually manage to keep my cool with them. But there are those moments . . .

On Monday, I treated myself to my favorite McDonald's Asian salad. I had set it on the counter and then went back out to the car to shut the door and hurry the last of the kids in. When I got back I saw the J had reached up and in an attempt to get her Apple Dippers which I had left in the bag, had managed to dump my entire salad on the not so clean kitchen floor. I saw that and lost it. I knew I had to get her out of the room or I would start screaming, so I yelled at her to leave the kitchen, which of course caused her to burst into tears as she left. I started working on seeing if I could salvage any of the salad when B called my name. I said in a relatively calm voice not to talk to me yet, knowing that I couldn't handle being nice right then. He persisted, so I turned around and yelled at him to leave the kitchen and not talk to me right then. Surprised, since I rarely yell, he also burst into tears. Yay - I'm the mother of the year.

After a few minutes I calmed down enough to explain to B that I was not mad at him, I was mad at what J had done and that I was just to angry to talk to anyone right then. He explained to me that I should have done the Take Five pose that they learned in yoga that morning at school. He showed it to me right then and there: Take five breaths and count each one. He told me that you should do this everytime you get angry or grumpy. He's so smart. :)

Since then he has reminded me of this incident at least eight times.

I bought another salad today (I splurged!). As we waited to pay, J piped up from the back seat that she won't dump it on the floor today. B then quickly chimed in that if she did, Mommy would just do the Take Five pose. Thank you, B, lesson learned.

P.S. Check out the weight tracker up above! Did you see it? Yes, I actually lost half a pound. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An update on my sister

My decision to stop watching my sister's kids might actually turn out to be a really good thing for her. She is looking into ways that she might be able to stay home full time. So right now she has started researching refinancing and ways to make money part-time.

Just had to update.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's Done

I told my sister yesterday that as of January I would not be able to watch her kids anymore. It did not go well. After telling her, it was clear that the possiblity had not even occured to her that I might even be contemplating this dramatic change. She chose to leave soon after I told her, after we had sat in silence for some time waiting for my mom to come back from the bathroom. I had been hoping we could brainstorm together some alternatives. My sister made a hasty retreat mainly because she is totally not okay with public shows of emotion. I clearly have no such compunctions because by the time my mom came back to the table I was crying. I know that this is what I need to do for my family, I know it's what I need to do for me, but it just kills me that I am adding to my sister's stress and making her life harder right now.

I went home and put my head under the covers until I had to take over with the kids again.

That night, the entire family went out to dinner to celebrate my step-niece's birthday. I could barely look my sister in the face because her eyes were all swollen and I know I caused it.

I guess I just have to continue to remind myself the reasons I made this choice. My mom's birthday is today, so we will again all be getting together to celebrate. Hopefully her eyes won't be as swollen tonight and we can talk a little on what she's contemplating.

I hope, hope, hope she is able to come up with a solution that she's happy with, and soon, so we can move forward. I HATE that I'm causing her pain!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This Is It

In less than an hour I'm meeting with my sister (and my mom) to tell her that I can't watch her kids anymore. I gave my mom a heads up last night. I know my sister is going to be disappointed, but I hope we can just brainstorm ideas together and come up with alternative plans without laying too much additional stress on her.

To say I'm apprehensive does not even begin to cover it, but I've been feeling such a sense of relief about this decision I know it's right.

Now if we could only figure out how exactly we're going to pay all the bills each month without this additional income . . .

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things R is Thinking About This Week

1. If the kids request to watch the Disney sing-a-long video for Disneyland one more time I'm going to scream. It is a half hour commercial for Disneyland!!!

2. With just my three kids here, I would not have to be rushing downstairs every two minutes to comfort DN-J or to stop DN-A from telling someone else what to do.

3. I'm meeting with the boys' teacher today because, "January conferences are coming up but I want to talk to you about B before then." Ack!

4. I called several places yesterday to inquire about obtaining Sensory Integration Therapy for A and haven't heard back yet. Boy, it would sure be easier to drive him to the therapy once a week or so if I didn't have to juggle two more kids' nap schedules.

5. My guess is that I'm going to hear that B's drooling and increased "mouthing" (he has been chewing on his shirt constantly now) are a concern, along with his sometimes garbled speech, and we should get him evaluated for speech and possibly OT.

6. That's one more kid to drive to therapies. See #4.

7. J is going to start going to school THREE mornings in January. Imagine how much more I could get done if I didn't have the baby to care for.

8. After talking it through with DH last night, I would be willing to still watch DN-A before school, drive him there, and then drive him to where ever he would need to go after school, if necessary. Just trying to think of anything that will make this easier for my sister.

9. I have to sit down and talk with her about this, without kids around. Maybe Saturday ...

10. Started WW yesterday. Planned out my meals for today last night. I really need to get my weight under control!

11. I'm going to the gym today. See #10.

12. I hope I can stay committed to WW.

13. I just had to run downstairs and fast forward through the song that scares A on the tape. He runs from the room moaning and saying incoherant things in the playroom, all with his hands on his ears. Poor guy.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time to watch my weight

Yes, I joined Weight Watchers today. And yes, my weight has gone up from what it was before again. I need to get my eating under control - it's driving me crazy! I've never actually tried belonging to WW and going to the meetings. I had done it six years ago (before I got pregnant with the boys) but did it with my mom and she never wanted to stay for the meetings. We usually weighed in and then went to brunch. Not the healthiest way to approach losing weight. But now I'm serious. I can't stick to anything and my weight keeps going up.

I didn't have enough time to read over everything today, so will get a fresh start tomorrow. I know that sounds like an excuse, but it really isn't. So...tomorrow is the first day for me!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I get asked a lot how I do it. How do I manage to keep my sanity (or at least give the appearance that I've kept my sanity) while watching five kids under the age of five? How do I get them all in the car (uh...five car seats), how do I do anything with all of them?

When A got his diagnosis of Asperger's this summer, I knew life had changed. There was an explanation finally for most of his troubling behaviors, but now there were all kinds of things that I had to research, things I had to find out so I could be his advocate, therapies I had to implement with him, routines I had to establish, potty training techniques I needed to try. I'm not complaining, but it is a lot of work and it is time consuming.

I love my niece and nephew. I love that the kids are all growing up with each other. It's so fun to watch DN-A and J in particular play together. They will come up with the best imaginative play I've seen in a while. One day I came down and the two of them were sitting on the rug in the living room, pillows all around them, with the stick of the toy riding horse over their laps representing the oar and they were rowing to an island. They're on a kick now where they want to "take a nap" together. Somehow in their minds, this means sitting on J's bed with a box of crayons, two coloring books, and three stuffed kiddy chairs coloring away. Very sweet.

So like I said, they play really well together, except when they're not. And then it's ugly. The screams, the cries, the shouts of "NO!" can be heard throughout the house. It gets bad. And DN-A is going through a stage (and has been for awhile now) where he is very contradictory about everything. On Monday we were all getting in the car and J said, "It's raining." DN-A responded, "No, it's not." He was actually right, it had finally stopped raining, so I confirmed it, telling him, "You're right, DN-A, it isn't raining." He turned to me and said, "Yes, it is!" AARGH!!! He is also having a very tough time with major, major kicking and screaming temper tantrums. I don't put up with that at all, but even being firm, non-confrontational, and calm takes a tremendous amount of energy.

Bottom line, looking for ways to simplify my life, it seems the only thing is to stop watching my niece and nephew. Now there are numerous negatives to this, like the fact that this will put my sister in such a tough place, and the fact that as much as I looked at our budget and cut back everything I could, we're still short each month. But the positives, having time with just my three, being able to much more easily deal with A's therapies both in the home and driving him to sessions, not having to deal with the tantrums, having my mornings when all three are in school totally free instead of being responsible for the baby, all very very very good.

First thing first - I have to figure out ways to make up that extra four hundred a month we would be short that don't involve me working a street corner or swinging around a pole. We might be able to change DH's deductions for his paycheck to make a difference on his take-home pay, so we'll be looking into that tomorrow.

Of course, if this works out and I stop watching the extra kids, I will miss the looks on people's faces when the "clown car" pulls out the kids just keep coming out of the car. But aaaahhh, the stress reduction of only watching three kids would surely make up for it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Random Thoughts (13 of them, to be precise)

Thirteen Things about R

1. Met up with M-J for coffee this morning - nice to talk about OT and PT and ASD and ABA with someone else who is going through it.

2. Missed going to the gym, so I worked out at home, even built up a sweat.

3. My eating/diet has been so out of control it's not even funny.

4. I'm contemplating using Slim Fast again.

5. I did it before my wedding and it worked, but it's hard - I was hungry!

6. I probably should join WW and do it in person this time.

7. I know it comes down to just watching what I eat.

8. And I know it's obviously not that simple or NO one would be overweight.

9. I have a tough time feeling the least bit hungry - I need to eat to fill that empty feeling immediately.

10. Wonder if that's connected to being anorexic (in the past) and feeling hungry all the time?

11. Was so tired at Hebrew School last night and one of the aides walked in and asked if anyone wanted a Chai Tea Latte (my current all-time favorite drink). Uh...yeah!!!

12. I could beat myself up over not going to bed on time the last two nights, but that doesn't seem to work. Just have to go to bed early tonight, maybe by 9?

13. And I'm hungry. Alright, need to take a shower, fold the laundry, make lunch for the kids AND something healthy for me, all in the next 25 minutes. No problem (insert sarcastic tone here).

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shaving Cream Fun

The youngest three were napping and I found a time to let A play with shaving cream (an OT idea for his tactile seeking). A and B are now playing in the tub. I sprayed shaving cream on the walls and they're having a blast spreading it all over themselves and the tub. Soon I'll turn the shower sprayer on and clean them off (and the walls). And that's two birds (four birds?) with one stone - A gets his therapy in and they both get their baths for the day done.


And I did my Organizational Challenge yesterday and today, fifteen minutes on my chosen project. What a difference just thirty minutes has made!!! I love knowing that I'm going to be working on this for the whole month. That means there is no pressure to push myself to keep working past the timer, possibly burning out before a week has even gone by. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow to decide how to use all my baskets that I got to organize my cabinets.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Organizational Challenge

I'm accepting the challenge. I got a new memory card for my camera, I've taken pictures of my laundry room (I decided that was more pressing than the pantry), went out and bought baskets at the dollar store, I'm ready to work fifteen minutes a day to organize it. The only problem is I can't figure out how to load the pictures on my new memory card onto the computer. I'll try to get DH to do it/show me how to do it tomorrow (he's at work until late tonight). goes!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Deep Thoughts with J

Driving home tonight we all watched the full moon very closely, exclaiming when we saw it appear and disappear and then reappear through the trees. I told the kids that the moon was following us, and they seemed to love that idea.

J then announced that the moon was talking to her.

Intrigued, I asked her what she heard the moon saying, wondering where her imagination was taking her.

Very seriously, J states, "The moon is saying, 'Leave me alone!'"

Clearly, the moon needed to go to bed, too.

My Miracles

I just got back from the Supplemental Jewish Educators' Conference that our religious school teachers from my synagogue attended instead of teaching classes today. The conference was all about engaging with text (specifically the Tanach) more in our teaching and our personal lives. One thing that really has stuck with me was a story that the Rabbi teaching our first session relayed. He had patients that would say to him that they were planning to do everything they could and be the model patient and get out in half the time they were prescribed, they always ended up staying extra time, mainly because they felt that they must remain in control. But the patients who prayed every day and had learn to give the control to God would often be able to leave early.

It reminded me of our long journey to conceive. It took us five long years until we finally conceived our twin boys. After trying all kinds of things on our own, including religiously (ha - good word) taking my temperature and charting ovulation, using various ovulation kits, trying different positions after sex (holding your legs in the air, putting a pillow under your butt, lying still for an hour at least), even just "giving up" since so many people end up conceiving when they stop trying, we finally sought out a specialist and began various treatments.

After three rounds of IUI with Clomid and one round of IVF with injectable hormones (fun, fun, fun), I felt the need to give it up to God. I went to a Mikvah, which is a Jewish bath house used for spiritual cleansing. For very traditional Jews it is used often, at least once a month, but for me, I had only been there once before when my husband converted (using the Mikvah is part of the process). He had told me that being in the Mikvah was the closest he ever felt to God, so I thought if there was ever a time I needed that closeness, this was it. So I went. As I immersed myself in the water, saying the traditional blessing for doing so, I added my own private prayer telling God that I was ready, but that I know it is in His Hands, and if it is His Will, I will get pregnant this next time, and if not, than it was not meant to be. I emerged feeling at peace, and feeling renewed. I put behind me all the years of being poked and prodded that brought me to that point, and I was ready to start a fresh cycle of IVF. I bought a book on Jewish spirituality and infertility which I read a lot, I even had our Rabbi write me a prayer to bring with us and recite during the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer.

And thank God, it worked. Not only did I conceive my two boys, I also ended up with a third ectopic pregnancy on my tube (very rare with IVF, but obviously can happen). They had to perform emergency surgery when I was seven weeks pregnant to remove the tube and the ectopic pregnancy, and still my boys held on. The next week my dad had a severe reaction to some of his chemo that he was getting at the time and nearly died, spending over a week in the ICU. My husband would have to come to the hospital to give me my injections of Progesterone (to increase the chances of me sustaining the pregnancy) since I stayed there with my mom in my dad's room every day and much of the night. And still they survived.

They are my miracle children and were clearly meant to be.

And J is my miracle child in a whole other way, considering that she was God's way of telling me that my body actually could work the way it was supposed to all on its own without and medical interventions and obviously I was meant to have more than two children.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Things I Need to Do Each Day

Every day, I have to:
1) Get out of bed before the kids do. This is so hard and I've really been struggling with it, but life is so much easier when I get, shower, and dress before I have to function with them.

2) Do one load of laundry. That's it. Just one. If I don't, I develop huge piles that take forever to get through, and J runs out of clean underwear since she still has lots of accidents.

3) Shine the sink. This is my habit I'm trying to develop for this month.

4) Pick up everything off the floor. When I don't we just end up starting the day with the house a mess and it just escalates.

5) Get to bed early. It will make getting out of bed early SOOOO much easier. And I won't feel this complete and utter sense of fatigue wash over me at this time of day.

6) Take the time to reflect on what is truly important to me and act accordingly. It's not tv. It's not surfing through other blogs on the computer (gasp!). I need to focus on the kids.

Okay, now that I wrote that out, I'm going to sneak in a quick nap since J is finally staying in bed after fighting this nap for about half an hour and the boys are watching a video they just got from the library. I don't have much time!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thirteen Things I'm Wondering Today

Thirteen Things Making R Say, "Hmmm..."

1. Where was my Thursday coffee buddy today? I waited for her but she never showed up.

2. How long will it take my children to adjust to the time change so they will stop getting up at the crack of dawn?

3. How many ways can I say it before my kids realize they will NOT be eating candy for breakfast?

4. How does my laundry mate and multiply when I'm not looking?

5. Who knew that laundry detergent with bleach would bleach the sinks every bit as much as pure bleach? It's looking good.

6. Does everyone else trying to lose weight just count the days around Halloween as a pass? I'm looking for a do-over, or at least a start over, starting today.

7. Is my scale EVER going to move again? After all the candy I ate I'm actually scared to step on it this week, so I'll try again next week.

8. How long will it take me to order my groceries on line today?

9. Just like my laundry, how do all the papers in the house increase in random piles all around the house?

10. Why are all the inanimate objects in my house so darn frisky?

11. If the deadline for summer camp registration to get last year's prices was 10/31, and I sent it today, do you think they'll cut me some slack?

12. Who knew I was wondering so many things? These just came pouring out!

13. DN-J's down for a nap, the other four are at preschool, it's only 10:30 - what should I get done next?!!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I'm Flapping my Wings

I think I could handle the regular routines of life, like doing the laundry, buying the groceries, stuff like that, if the other stuff would just stop for a little bit. I probably could even get on top of it all. Aaaahhhh....that would be so nice.

But no, we all know that life does not work that way. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." And as I like to say a lot, quoting someone, but I don't know who, "Man plans, God laughs."

Okay, so enough philosophy.

I managed today to get up out of bed before the kids. Woohoo! I've been hitting the snooze alarm over and over in the morning, letting the kids get in bed with me and watch a little PBS (one of the only channels that come in clearly on the upstairs rabbit-eared TV) so I can sleep (kind of) a little longer. Today I managed to convince A to go back to bed (Man, this time change has been HARD on the kids!) and then I showered. I did let the boys come in my room to watch Buster while I got dressed, but then brought them into their room to help them get dressed. J "slept in" until 7:15. In any case, getting up before they are allowed to get up is huge. On the other end of that, getting to bed on time is huge, too.

I need to start focusing on FLYlady more. I know the philosophy would work for me if I just stuck to it! So here goes. It's a brand new day. I'm starting fresh. I'm going downstairs to shine my sink. Even though I don't have a pretty stainless steel one, it does make a huge difference walking into my tiny kitchen if the white sink actually does look white. And it makes you think twice about putting anything in it. And it inspires me to keep the counters clean. So here I go. If I move fast, I might even have time to come back and post a Thursday Thirteen!

Friday, October 27, 2006

This Looked Fun

This was really neat to look through and think about. Feel free to ask me about any of the ones I highlighted - I'm more than happy to elaborate.

Thanks, Nancy!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it

09. Hugged a tree-------for photo purposes only :o)
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair

146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Just read over my blog for the past few weeks and realized that I need to stop focusing on my stress. A lot of good is going on too. Like finding out the microwave has a child lock on it so kids can't make it turn on by themselves. Or figuring out how to use the new KidZone on the Tivo so A can't make anymore changes. Or restarting our "poker chips" for all four kids to reward positive behavior (each kid has two rules they have to try to do/not do - we check on it every thirty minutes and they earn a chip for each rule they did/didn't do) and having it work.

So I have not done my 30 days of peace consistently, but I'm going to try to end each day reflecting on something that made me happy that day.

And today was definitely the fact that I got so much paperwork done and redid my filing system. Much easier to find stuff, got rid of a lot of papers (have a huge pile ready for my shredder), it looks great! And what a sense of accomplishment!

I'm heading to bed now, hope to be asleep by 10. J's been getting up a lot at night. She's too young to be trying to stay dry at night! Wish I could convince her to just pee in her pull-up instead of waking us up 3-4 times so we can remind her that she can just pee in the potty, she doesn't need to tell us, and then to help her back in bed. I mean, I'm glad she's doing this and is so aware of it and all, but sheesh - I need my sleep!!!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things RACHELis Kind of Stessing About This Week

1. Look at my weight tracker. Just look at it! Did you notice it has not moved down but has actually moved UP two pounds? Yes, I had to change the starting weight! That's just ridiculous!!! Time for me to get serious about dieting. Crap.

2. A only qualifies for two half hour sessions of OT a MONTH.

3. Even his OT teacher, who we met with on Monday, thinks he needs way more than that.

4. Did you know that if you can read really well, much higher than your expected level, and you test really low for other fine motor/sensory issues, the scores are averaged together to make you average, therefore not eligible for much OT?

5. Just found out that one myself.

6. Any ideas how to get the IU to pay for more therapy when even the therapist is telling me that I should get private Sensory Integration Therapy for him at least once a week and the IU feels he only needs it once a month for half an hour?

7. Any idea how to allow A to let me do the various therapies the OT sent me home with (putting lotion on him, brushing him) when one of the therapies that she showed me (joint compression - which he calls "boom boom") apparently scared him so much he's terrified every time I touch him that I'm going to do that?

8. Any clue how I'm supposed to do all these therapies with him three to four times a day with all the other kids around?

9. One plan to get him to stop putting everything in his mouth constantly is to give him something chewy or crunchy to eat. She was really pushing for gum, but if I give him gum than I have to give it to everyone and I really don't think they're all ready for it!

10. The other suggestion was carrots, but if I give them that in the car (a prime oral time) they might choke while I'm driving.

11. The other idea was soft pretzels (chewy) but if I give them that when I pick them up from school A) they might give some to the baby who has severe food allergies and B) will they still be able to eat lunch when they get home?

12. A is really wound up when he walks in from school. He will usually sit and eat some of his lunch, but then he's up and moving and in his own world. It seems like he might benefit from some of the OT therapies at that time, but how can I do that when I'm trying to give everyone lunch?

13. AARGH!!

On the plus side, did you know that TiVo (A's newest obsession) has a password protected Kid Zone that won't allow him to do ANYTHING but watch the kid shows already recorded? That's right, he can no longer add more shows to be recorded (Why would he ask it to record the View?), delete shows from my To Do list, or add his name to the Wishlist in the hopes that there will be some show with his name in it, or add in his own password to block the rest of us out. We're safe, until he figures out what my password is.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Productive Weekend and Life Lessons Learned

I'm so glad my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon was able to provide amusement to so many of you. Glad you can all laugh at my misery.

For those of you that don't know me well and might read the above statement as a coming from a bitter, depressed woman, please know that while that might be true, I'm also more sarcastic than anything else.

Anyway. Yesterday, after teaching Religious School (Life Lesson: When making challahs with a kindergarten class of kids using refrigerator breadsticks, do NOT have them ROLL out the breadsticks to make them long and skinny. You get some very long, weird looking challahs that way. Instead, have them fold the bread sticks in half. They turn out much better. Live and learn.), DH stayed in charge of the kids while they played at his parents' house and then at the library so I could clean our bedroom. It SOOOOO needed it. I managed to get everything, every single thing, off the floor, and any other surface that should not have something on it. It looks wonderful and makes me feel so relaxed to be in it! Now to keep it that way.

Thursday (okay, it wasn't the weekend, but I didn't blog about this yet!) I packed up all of their toys from the playroom except for legos, cars, train tracks, one puzzle, and three baskets of books. Everything else went into two large Rubbermaid containers. Aaaahhh. I told them that if they managed to put these toys away for a few days in a row, they could pick another toy back out of the boxes. If not, whatever gets left out gets packed up. Yes, I'm in mean mommy mode and the playroom looks great!!! I don't care if they take it all out if they're playing with it, but it seems like they have no respect for what they have. They'll empty a basket of books on the ground (by dumping it out, not by reading it) and then just walk away! It has been driving me crazy. So we'll see how this works. I have no problem with them ending up with nothing on the shelves, if it will teach them to put away their toys when they're finished playing!

On Saturday (don't you just love the oh so chronological approach I am taking with this post) I took the kids to my friend's church's Harvest Fair, a FREE fair that they give for the community to enjoy.
Lessons learned:
1) When you have a son with Asperger's who craves routine and needs to know what to expect before we get somewhere, do NOT name the various activies that took place at said fair the year before unless you have verified that they will DEFINITELY be repeated this year. When you arrive and discover that the straw maze they had last year (that the kids did NOT even go in!) is not set up this year, said child will have a total melt-down in the parking lot.
2) When your two-year-old daughter begins acting tired around her normal naptime, do not tell yourself that if home she would probably skip it anyway, as she's been doing for the past week or so. Take all the kids home. If you don't she will end up falling asleep while sitting on the concrete, waiting for her brothers to come out of the moon bounce.
3) If you told the kids that after the Harvest Fair you will be going to the library, make sure you go to the library even if they have all fallen asleep in the car, and, once awake, you move them on to the couch to just relax for a little. If there is one thing they will want to do when they fully wake up is go to the libary, and they will all freak out like you've never heard if the library actually closes before they are all alert enough to get back in the car.

As for today, I will be taking A to OT today in an hour to find out what programs I can do with him at home. Can't wait for this (no sarcasm there at all - I'm really excited!) - I really have not found the time to sufficiently research this so I'm glad I will have a professional be able to tell me what to try.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

R and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Afternoon

Sorry, Alexandar, but I've been having one of those afternoons.

When I went upstairs for a moment while the kids were eating breakfast, A pulled a chair over and grabbed my supplies of poker chips (token economy for behavior modification) and spread them all over the floor.

Then after everyone ate and I tried to put them down for a nap, only J (DN) was content to stay in bed. Both J and A (DN) refused to take a nap, and they both REALLY need it.

This interrupted the conference call I had scheduled for naptime to discuss A's OT, which they now say while they agree he would benefit from Sensory Integration Therapy, it would need to be done on a private (read - we pay) basis since he did not qualify with the OT testing done over the summer. Well, he DOES qualify for SI, but since kids can no longer receive services simply for SI. He scored REALLY high on the visual/motor (?) part of the test, so high that even though he scored low on the sensory part, the scores balance out and show that he doesn't qualify for more than he has on his IEP (huh?!), however hopefully the OT can create some therapies/strategies that I and his special ed itinerant teacher can do with him on a regular basis and that will be enough. We will meet with her on Monday.

After my phone call, I went downstairs only to find that B is toasting something all on his own (Um, hello - you're FOUR! Stay away from the things that produce heat!), A is running the microwave (Read what I just wrote for your brother!), and J and A (DN) are eating all of my bread for sandwiches (yeah, the bread that is still FROZEN).

I then went to the TiVo to put on Bob the Builder at my nephew's request, only to discover that A has someone entered in a password (that he no longer remembers) and has set a Parental Lock on EVERY SHOW on tv and that has been recorded. It took me half an hour, but I finally broke the code (4444). I now have the Tivo remote hidden on top of the microwave - please remind me when I post again that I have now lost the remote.

And I just heard the telltale click of the toaster oven - better go see what surprises they are leaving for me now.

I just don't understand when I hear other SAHMs complain that they're bored - that's never a problem around here.

A Quick Update

Since Saturday:
- B swallowed a penny which we're still waiting to pass. Love is looking through your child's poop with two popsicle sticks while he is complaining that it smells too much for him to stay in the bathroom. Yeah, because that's my idea of a fun time. At least he did say after the first time I did this, "Thanks for looking in my poop, Mommy." Aawww, just kind of melts your heart.

- I was able to fill out the reams of paperwork for the developmental pediatrician before my hand dropped off from fatigue.

- A was able to be examined by the developmental pediatrician (appointment only took us 8 months to get, so I shouldn't complain) who completely confirmed the Asperger's diagnosis. She had some new ideas for us to try, one of them being a way to get him more aware of his bodily functions. So now he gets a poker chip in a jar every time he stays dry for a half hour chunk of time, five chips equaling computer time. I'm also getting him to sit on the potty a few times a day while he plays a hand-held electronic game, something he can only play while sitting on the potty.

- Of course, can't start a reward system for one without setting something up for the others, so now we have three other jars set up with each of them having a different reason that they can earn chips. Fun, fun, fun.

- Invited J's playgroup over yesterday. Couldn't get the kitchen cleaned in time, but was fine telling them to just ignore the mess. Didn't get all bent out of shape about it - big improvement for me.

- Dealt with the 911 call yesterday (okay, actually DH dealt with it while I was at school) - see yesterday's post.

- Waiting for this day to end so I can make sure DH is okay. Apparently there are big time rumors flying around his school that someone is coming in to shoot up the school today. Yeah. That's just peachy. Hopefully it's just rumors!

Alright, off to finish getting them ready for school and then off to meet Chaotic Mom for coffee.

Not even enough time to do an official Thursday Thirteen. Maybe next week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Guess what the kids learned at school today when the big fire truck came for Fire Prevention Week?

Guess who picked up the phone and tried it when Daddy attempted to take a quick shower while Mommy was at work?

Guess whose house was visited by THREE police cars to check out the 911 hang-up call they received?

Enough said.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Super Saturdays

You know, as much as I miss having Saturday mornings to myself, like I used to, but I'm actually enjoying these Saturdays that I have the kids. DH now works every Saturday, which is tough, but at least it's just my three, so it feels ALMOST easy. Today I took the kids to get their hair cut (surprisingly B has the hardest time with that, as long as I let A have a say in which order he gets his cut). Afterwards we went to a flea market, where I let them each spend $2 (they made out pretty well and I got a new purse for $2 and a Channukah present for my nephew), then to lunch at KFC/Taco Bell, and finally, to the library to pick out new books and videos and play a little with the the train table. It became clear that I had pushed my luck when it was time to leave and A could not stop touching things. This is what happens when he's tired. He has a really hard time listening and remembering the rules.

In any case, the kids are laying down having "quiet time" (though I hear that A has found the remote that I hid and is fast forwarding/rewinding the video) so after I take care of the video, I plan to sort and do a lot of laundry and clean up as much as I can. DH is going out to dinner with friends after rehearsal (it's only fair - I had a fabulous dinner out with the ladies from my street on Thursday) so I can do a simple dinenr for me and the kids and put them to bed earlier, especially since no one is even close to resting.

I'm off!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tragedy Averted

Our Tivo mystery was solved.

Yesterday it appeared as if our Tivo stopped working. I tried everything I could think, but the screen stayed black. I couldn't figure it out! Distracted the boys and got DH to come home and check it out. He worked on it for an hour, checking every connection and cord, but nothing made a difference. Finally, on a whim, DH checked the Menu button that controls the Picture.

Yes, you guessed it, A had changed the color on the tv so that everything was black.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Son's New Love

I love my TiVo.

I really can't say that enough. It's incredible.

But no matter how much I love it, my love just does not compare to A's. He tells strangers on the street about our TiVo. He reads the manual and definitely knows how to make it do more things than I do. He has even entered various words into the WishList for the TiVo to record various topics (he entered his own name and also entered Bob - for Bob the Builder).

In fact, ask him what he wants to be for Halloween, he'll proudly tell you that he's going as the TiVo guy. We've worked out that he will wear a box that we will paint black (anyone have a big box we can use?) and write TIVO in the appropriate letters across his chest and make antenni (sp?) to put on the top of his head (I talked him out of putting them in his ears as he initally wanted). He even has a Tivo dance!

While I'm trying not to let him, he will climb up on anything to steal the Tivo remote and call up various kid show episodes that we have recorded and read them all off to the kids in the room until everyone agrees on one show, then he selects it so they can all watch.

This afternoon, tragedy struck. When A climbed up to do something with the Tivo, somehow he touched the wrong thing. The Tivo is black on the tv screen. I can't even get live tv on. Luckily, I was able to distract both boys with extra computer time. J is sleeping on the couch and DN-A and DN-J are asleep upstairs. I'm counting the minutes until DH is home and can hopefully fix it. I can't go back to watching regular tv again. I just can't.

Bad Blogger

I know, I know, don't give me grief about it. I haven't updated in a while. I like to take time to reflect and write once a day, but that hasn't happened lately.

After listening to some of my very wise friends who left comments for me, I decided that now is not the best time to attempt life without my medicinal help, so I went back on the pills. The nauseua, vertigo, and general nasty feeling went away by the next day. What a relief! I had done some research on line and found that it takes about a month for the withdrawal symptoms to totally go away. I didn't think I could handle feeling like that for a month!

Last week I saw Barbra in concert. By the time it actually started I thought I might start hyperventilating with anticipation. When she actually appeared for the first time, rising from underneath the stage, I cried. I couldn't believe that I was actually seeing her live after having grown up with her incredible voice. I have always felt a connection to her. When I was younger and still dreaming of becoming a professional performer, I often compared myself to Barbra (I know, big ego back then!) thinking if she could do it being able to sing and act but NOT dance (it's hard doing a musical with little dancing ability!), then maybe so could I. And then I saw Yentl and could almost feel her love for Judaism, which made me feel even more connected. All in all, the concert was incredible, when she sang. She decided to do some political stuff, which was funny for alittle bit but than got a little much. She is touring with a group of incredible singers named Il Divo (I think - I'd never heard of them before). As good as they were, I was very disappointed when they took the stage alone and Barbra went off to rest. I paid all this money for Barbra, not them, even if they were great! Bottom line, I'm SO glad DH and I went - it was incredible!

One of the Hebrew School classes that I'm teaching this year is level "Hay", kids that will be having their Bar and Bat Mitzvah this year. There is no real curriculum, they don't even HAVE to be there as a requirement, so I have a lot of flexibility with what we do together, especially since these are obviously motivated kids. I decided to start each class with reading the current week's "parsha" or Torah portion (in English) and discussing it. Then we go into the Hebrew and read that, focusing on what words we can interpret. I've never read the Torah all the way through; I've only focused on "important" stories, so I'm really interested in doing this. I also bought myself a book called the Bedside Torah which has three different commentaries for each parsha. Traditionally you read the Torah three times a week, so there are three different "takes" on the portion to read, one for each time you read it. I just started that book last night, but since we're at the last reading of the Torah since Friday night ends Sukkot with Simchat Torah (when we finish reading the Torah and start all over again), there wasn't too much commentary. Can't wait to start at the beginning and work my way through! Now I just wish I could find a Jewish Torah study group I could join. Oh well, I recommitted to going to services on Friday nights after Shabbat dinner, that's a good first step.

And that's it for now. It's Thursday morning so four of the five are at preschool, so I was planning on getting a lot accomplished, but Baby J is not cooperating. She's been up from her nap since 10. I did have time to fold the laundry and balance the checkbook. Now I think I'll just leave the rest of the paperwork I was planning to do for later and focus on her.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


You'd think I'd have learned after going off Effexor cold turkey. You'd think I'd remember how nasty it was. You'd think I'd have picked a better time of the month to go off yet another anti-depressant cold turkey.

You'd be wrong.

For the record, while Celexa withdrawal is not as bad as Effexor, it's still not great. And I just looked it up on-line - it takes about 30 days to get out of your system. Great. 30 days feeling like this. I'm just thrilled.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quick update

Quick update:
Walk NOW was Saturday - a 5 K to raise money for Cure Autism Now. My family team raised about $1500. And a good time was had by all.

Sunday night to Monday night was Yom Kippor, the holiest day of the Jewish year. I was able to attend services both Sunday night and Monday morning, and then led the preschool service at 1, which was very well attended and appreciated by all. If nothing else, attending services this weekend confirmed for me that I want to attend actual grown-up services again. DH and I worked out a way for me to do that.

Today - feel like crap. Whether it's the fact that I took myself off my anti-depressants last week and may STILL be feeling the effects of that or I'm just fighting the cold all the kids have, feel blech.

Good news for tomorrow: I get to see the woman I have idolized for as long as I can remember, in concert, live, the woman who rarely gives live concerts and whom may never come to town again on tour - yes, I'm seeing Barbra. I'm so excited I cannot stand it. Obviously I will report on the concert later.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

30 Days of Peace - Day Four

I love my children. But there is something to be said about having all four of the kids who no longer take morning naps in preschool at the same time.

While DN-J took her LONG morning nap and DN-A, A, B, and J played happily with their friends at school, I was able to sort through and purge countless papers. I am down to such a small amount I am almost bouncing on air! And going through all of them in front of my new TiVo, watching shows that were on past my bedtime on Tuesday, was incredible!

Preschool - it may only be for three hours a day, and J may only be in it twice a week, but I'm finally getting a chance to truly catch my breath and it feels good.

Thanks, Chaotic Mom, for starting this!

Thirteen Things I'm Proud of This Week

Thirteen Things about R

1. I went through SO many papers on Tuesday and Thursday (when all the kids but DN-J were in school) I can't even believe it!

2. I got to balance the checkbook and found TWO mistakes in MY FAVOR!

3. I paid all the bills.

4. I purged my bill files and whittled it down to ONE file marked monthly bills. Since everything can be found on-line now, I am only going ot be saving bills and statements for one month, then shredding.

5. I talked with the OT on Monday and after observing A she agrees that he should be receiving OT at least one hour a week, which is 210 minutes MORE than was suggested on his IEP/month.

6. I filled out my jury duty form and hopefully will get excused since I can't afford childcare for all five kids for the day or more.

7. I made the decision to lessen my stress level and backed out of being co-leader of Mothers and More.

8. This decision did not appear to anger any members of the club (even though I left them hanging) and someone has already stepped up to take over for me.

9. What a relief!

10. I managed to make an apple cake (love my Tastefully Simple mixes!) for my Creative Memories party last night.

11. We raised well over my goal for our Walk Now for Cure Autism Now this Saturday.

12. I finally got around to registering DH's car - oops!

13. Cleaned up the house yesterday afternoon and it's still clean!!!

Amazing the difference a few days and two mornings to myself makes! :)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

30 Days of Peace - Day Three

I made a tough decision this week. I decided to step down as co-leader to my Mothers and More chapter. I took a look at everything I was doing and that was the one thing that I was doing just for me. That might sound silly, but that's the only thing I could really afford to cut. So I did. I'm still going to be involved as a member, just like I'm a member of my MOMS Club, but with DH' new rehearsal schedule at night, it's just too hard to find babysitting to make the meetings! I'm really bummed about not working with the other co-leader any more because I really liked working with her, but I had to do it.

Hopefully that will ease some of my stress, thus bringing me more peace.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

30 Days of Peace - Day Two

I sorted through a lot of paper today. I plan on trying to do more tomorrow while the boys are at school, if J "lets" me. One of the things I was able to do was balance the checkbook and pay a bunch of bills (many overdue - bad, bad, bad), but in doing this I discovered that I had double entered a mortgage payment, so while I thought I had been bouncing checks for a short period of time, I actually wasn't. What a relief!