Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life is Full of Questions

Why does the IU need to meet with me in July to write an IEP for A to ensure he receives services over the summer (you know, for the month of August) when the school district and I are meeting in June to write his IEP for the upcoming school year?!!

Why do people leave their telephone number so fast on my machine, making me repeat it several times before I get it, and when I copy it down and then erase the message, why do I find out that I must have copied it wrong and now have NO WAY to contact them?!!

Why did I take so much time to fill out the financial aid form for the camp I want the kids to attend this summer if they were going to lose it and make me fill it out all over again?!!

Why did someone steal my debit card numbers and buy over a fifteen hundred dollars worth of stuff that comes out of my bank account, thus making it impossible to pay our bills this month until we get credited by the bank for the stolen amount?

Why can't I download my financial info onto a CD so I can use it on my laptop?

Why am I still sitting here asking why? I need to fold a load of laundry and sort through two baskets worth of papers before I go pick up the kids at 12.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's All About the Clothes

And now we're on to Day Seven: Pick out tomorrow's clothes before I go to bed at night. This will definitely be a good habit to get into, making the next day easier. Yesterday I didn't exactly tackle my hotspots the way I intended, but I did get the dining room table and the console table in the living room, and continued cleaning the living room and dining room this morning. Bottom line, they look good. But I'm going to work hard to stay on top of all the hotspots, keeping them cleaned off so they don't become full fires taking over the house.

In other news, I met with A's team at his elementary school for September this morning. Since DH couldn't get off work, my sister went with me as an additional pair of ears. The meeting went extremely well. The report results painted an extremely accurate picture of him, acknowledging all of his needs and strengths, even pointing out any discrepancies between very superior scores in many categories in one area (like speech) and average scores in another category. While average scores would not normally indicate a need for services, the fact that there is such a discrepancy does indicate that, and the speech teacher and psychologist both saw that. So far, so good! His IEP meeting is in June.

Since A is now reading over my shoulder, I am ending this post so the kids can begin "quiet time" and I can return some business related phone calls.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Putting out the fires

Day six: Hot spots. My job today is to spend two minutes on each hot spot around the house. Hot spots in my house include: the dining room table, the console table in the living room, and most of my bedroom. Okay, if I had to narrow it down in my bedroom, it would be the rocking chair that ends up holding everything we can't put somewhere else and the floor on my side of the bed. Two minutes for each, that's doable. The kids are currently playing on their own (not sure how much longer that will keep up) so I better get started. Then I'm off with them to K-Mart (never made it yesterday).

Here goes.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Steps two through five

Okay, Day two of babysteps: Get dressed to lace up shoes. This is one routine that I started doing when I joined FLYlady and it has stuck with me. I used to be a barefoot girl. And I had incredible foot and back pain which got worse as the day went on. When I started the day my first steps were extremely painful. When I started consistently wearing shoes, the pain stopped. I'm a believer!

So moving on to Day Three: Do what we have already done. And read some of the website. Well, I've read the website plenty of times, and I have done what we already have done. My sink is shiny (except for the stuff DH left in it this morning - grrr) and my shoes are on. I'm moving on.

Day Four: Write these things down. This is the start of a control journal. I have one already, written out on my white board. Next...

Day Five: Write down what you hear. This one I can do. Write down those negative voices inside my head and answer them. Okay, here goes:

Why are you bothering with this? Why not just get off your lazy butt and go clean the house?

Because I could clean the house right now, but I don't have the routines in place to keep it clean. I need to build that into my life so it will be my autopilot to follow.

But look at all this crap around the house! It's really not that complicated to just pick it all up!

I know HOW to pick stuff up. But clearly it gets overwhelming. And after keeping three young children alive and relatively happy all day, preferrably better at the end of the day than they were the day before, feeding them, cleaning them, reminding them to go the potty (still dry!!!), following up on phone calls and inquiries about my new business, keeping track of the money coming in and out of our house, trying to exercise, cooking, gardening, I'm just tired by the end of the day and it's easier to just ignore it all. I don't want that anymore.

Well, there you go. I don't want the house to overwhelm me anymore, so I believe FLYlady is the answer.

Now I'm off to K-Mart to pick up costumes for the princess party I'm doing on Saturday. I'm picking up four packs and possibly an instant polaroid camera to take pictures for the Annie party I'll be doing the following week. Then I'm picking up J and taking her to my sister's where we will all travel to Jersey for a cousin's BBQ. DH will stay here with the boys at his parents to have dinner. And that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I'm jumping back on the Flylady bandwagon. Inspired by Mommy Brain, I'm going to start over by using the beginner babysteps. Luckily so many of the steps have already become ingrained habits, so for those, I will just acknowledge and move on to the next step.

Anyone interested in joining me on my journey? Leave a comment to let me know how you're doing. I would love to have friends accompany me along the way. I highly recommend the process. And my house right now is crying out (or is that just me) for me to do something about the chaos. So here's my answer: shine my sink. And clean off the counters in the process.

Miracle of miracles Part Two

Yesterday A started the day with again peeing and pooping in the potty. He stands there waiting very patiently, straining his muscles until finally a couple drops, then a couple more, and then a whole stream comes out. It seems to take him a lot to get it started, but he clearly has made the mind/body connection and is able to make it happen. Finally. Yesterday he was so excited about his accomplishment, he left the bathroom shouting, "Now I get to wear underwear!" I wanted to wait a few days to make sure he stayed dry longer, but he was so excited I decided to just go with it.

I prepped him on what to do if he felt like he had to go, told him that it's okay if he makes a mistake and has an accident, and brought him to school with a full change of clothes wearing Thomas the Tank Engine underwear.

He was still wearing the same dry pair of underwear when I picked him up at school. He had peed in the potty at school about five times (in three hours).

At night when we were getting ready for bed, he took off the same dry pair of underwear he had started the day wearing.

I had suggested a few times that he go to the potty, but most of the trips to the potty were his idea. All day long.

Could it really be this "easy"?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My heart aches

Yesterday a letter went out to my congregation stating that our rabbi's contract will not be renewed next year. The Board of the Temple had been working with the rabbi for months and very intensively for the last week behind closed doors, and ultimately the decision was made. There are many reasons why this happened, and it did not happen over night. The rabbi will still be our spiritual leader for the next year, and the elected Board, representative of the congregation, people who stepped up when asked to help lead the congregation, participated in a long, drawn out, excruciating process, and made the decision that the details surrounding the reasons for the contract to not be renewed be kept confidential.

I just returned home from the annual congregational meeting. While the president of the congregation tried to keep to the agenda, so many of the people attending the meeting wouldn't allow that to happen. The yelling and anger that I saw in our sanctuary, in the place that we pray, our holy place, made me cry.

I personally stayed a member of my synagogue in spite of the current rabbi, not because of him. I contemplated leaving many times, but ultimately decided to stay because I have been a member my entire life. I have so many connections to the synagogue, feel such a connection to so many people within the congregation, how could I leave? I stayed in spite of, not because. But I stayed.

My heart aches.

The anger. The power plays I witnessed tonight, the threats to leave. The knowledge that so many of the people there tonight were riled up because they spoke to the rabbi and received one-sided information that I truly believe was inaccurate. I believe that our spiritual leader purposefully called our major financial contributor to get him on "his side" and encouraged him to gather supporters, creating a rift. How can a holy man act like this? I don't know all the details, but personally I am so relieved this decision has been made.

I know this is rambling. My heart truly aches over what I just saw and over the repercusions from the devisive actions that have occured and I'm having a hard time calming down from what I just experienced.

I come to the synagogue to pray, to feel closer to G-d, to be connected with other Jews, to teach, to feel a sense of community, to be with my other family. Just as a child is traumatized when the parents get a fight, I am traumatized to see so many members of my extended family fight.

I don't even have a point or a way to summarize this or even an idea on how to end this. I am feeling so unsettled and so upset I just need to end it. I'll write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Check this out!!!

I can now easily have multiple to do lists and keep tack of them all on the computer. So easy to use and, oh yeah, did I forget to mention, it's free!

J's tired

Last night J was so tired she began crying as we were getting ready for bed.

I comforted her, and told her that she was crying because she was just so tired.

"That doesn't make any sense!" J wailed.

Everyone's a critic.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Miracle of miracles

A peed in the potty this morning! Now he is laughing and smiling beside me because he read the first sentence (and what I'm currently writing). And now he is screaming and crying because I can't find where Daddy last put his Gameboy, A's prize for when he does anything in the potty. And now he's laughing through his tears because I just found it. Wow, fast mood swings!

A has been trying to pee (his own idea) the last few mornings. He'll stand at the potty and push using all the right muscles. He will usually end up sitting on his special potty seat (has handles and step up to rest his feet on). Today he actually was able to get a very short stream (the pee lasted for about a second, maybe less) but it was actual pee and he was so proud.

So was Mommy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A B Funny

The boys' teacher pulled me aside Friday to tell me my son's latest ego-centric conversation (my words, not hers):

The teacher was talking to another parent, telling her that, "the good news is (her son) did not use his hands but instead used his words."

B approached her very excitedly and asked, "But did you tell her the REALLY good news?"

"No, B," his teacher turned to him, "What is the really good news?"

"Our daddy is directing Seussical this summer!"

To B the best thing in the world is that daddy is going to be directing one of his favorite musicals again. It doesn't get much better than that for B, and he just had to share this amazing news with everyone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Three-Year-Old's Body Image

Last night J broke my heart.

I had taken her out of the bathtub and she was wrapped up in a towel on my lap, looking down as I brushed her hair. "Mommy, why my belly like a baby?"

"What do you mean?" I really had no idea what her question meant or where it came from.

J was poking her belly as she replied, "When will it go in?"

I really couldn't figure out what she was talking about. The questions seemed to come out of nowhere. Trying to get more information out her, I asked, "Can you show me what you mean?"

At that she sucked her belly in and asked again, "When will it be flat and not stick out like a baby?"

My three-year-old daughter is expressing disatisfaction with her body. How is that possible? Where do those thoughts come from? I was anorexic for about five years growing up - I'm hyper-aware of the different things that a mom can do that might trigger unhealthy thoughts in their daughters. She doesn't watch commercial tv - I don't think she's really seen that many images of models or teen actresses. I don't talk about losing weight; I talk about trying to eat healthy. I NEVER express disatisfaction with my own body in front of her. And somehow she still picked up that her body is still round with a little baby fat.

As shocked as I was when I finally realized what J was asking, I knew I had to respond. I wrapped the towel more tightly around her in a hug and whispered, "But J, your body is perfect just the way it is. Your body is the perfect J body. When you get older it will change some, but right now it is exactly the way it is supposed to be. You're beautful."

Within minutes of our deep, heartfelt conversation my J was streaking through the upstairs, clearly not concerned about her "baby belly" while running naked through the boys' room.

I will do everything I can to keep her feeling that carefree about her body.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sweating at Home

I found a FABULOUS website (well, my fabulous neighbor sent me the site, but still) that I'm really excited about it. It's called and it has a food tracker and a fitness tracker and it tells me exactly how many calories I have eaten and how many I burned. It even inspired me to exercise tonight while I watched tv. Woohoo!

And I learned that even if I can't go walking/jogging around the neighborhood like I want to do early in the morning because DH leaves before 6, or in the evening because he doesn't always get home too early, but I can jog in place and still work up a good sweat. I'm thrilled that I have found a relatively easy way to do cardio at home.


Click below for a new contest:

Trying to Keep Moving

Of course I missed the return call from the doctor yesterday, so I'll need to call her back today. I had the phone next to me for all but forty-five minutes yesterday while home, even brought it outside, so it's just my luck that I missed the call. Hopefully I will be able to talk to her today and work out the appropriate dosage for my meds. I have no qualms admitting that I need some chemical help. Major clinical depression is a condition that runs in my family. It has to do with an imbalance in my brain that the medication can make right. I have a hard time understanding why some people are so resistant to either admitting there is a problem and/or accepting medical help for this medical condition. Do they think that because it's in your brain that it's all in your head?!!

I held it together yesterday until DH got home. Then I let him take over with the kids and I went upstairs to lay on the bed. It was not so great - I didn't even want a book or to tun the tv on, just wanted to stare off into space. It took so much energy keeping a smile on my face for the kids all day that I had none left for myself.

But today is a new day and I'm going to do my best to keep moving, which I've found helps a lot with the depression. The boys have their kindergarten orientation this morning, which is very exciting, so we drop J off at preschool and then head over to their elementary school. After that is over and I bring them back to preschool I plan to hang out at my favorite Starbucks sipping a chai tea latte while I sort through the pile of papers I have in my "in basket" upstairs.

Okay, A is now hanging on my shoulder reading what I write, J is begging for grapes, B is hiding upstairs, and we need to leave in five minutes! Just enough time to have everyone brush their teeth, clean up their breakfast dishes, allow me to brush their hair, and run out the door. Here we go!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Down in the dumps still

I'm down.

Just can't get over this funk.

I walked with my sister this morning. Exercise is supposed to help increase endorphins, make you feel good. And it did at the time.

But by the time I got home I felt ready to cry. No particular reason. The house is messy, but it's been worse. Maybe that will help.

But after trying to get over this on my own for a while, I'm going to talk to the doctor about upping my dosage on my anti-depresion medication.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Thank you, Nancy, for tagging me!

Here Are The Rules
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Things About ME
1) I am quite good at tuning out my children when I need to (like right now) and continuing an adult conversation with another mom even through ten different interruptions.

2) I love reading good romantic suspense novels.

3) I ABSOLUTELY love the book 1, 2, 3, Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. It saved my sanity and the life of one of my children.

4) I have a pirate ship in the backyard.

5) I used to sing professionally at weddings but haven't done that in a few years.

6) Even though my daughter was incredulous that I knew how to teach, I was a public-school elementary teacher in my former (pre-kid) life.

7) I used to pretend my bike was a horse and would ride it all over the yard (give me a break, I was ten).

8) I spend WAY too much time on the computer (oh, wait, that would be true for most of us, wouldn't it).

And let's see, now I have to tag eight people. I'm not on my desktop computer right now which has all my favorite blogs on it, so let's see if I can think of eight blogs I like to read that have NOT already been tagged. I tag:

The Adventures of Dino Boy
I'm an Organizing Junkie!
Life in the Hundred-Acre Wood
Looky, Daddy!

Mama's Ramblings
Random Musings of a Crazed Momma
Rocks in my Dryer
Your God Loves Me Too

Singing in the Choir (Just singing in the choir....)

Yesterday the cantor at the synagogue asked me to sing a solo at services because her voice was not 100% due to allergies (see, they're kicking everyone's butt). Very flattering. I had joined our all-volunteer choir when I was twelve and only recently had to drop out due to time constraints. DH's rehearsals are now at night (which is when choir rehearsal is), which just makes it extremely challenging to make it.

In any case, it was so nice to sing in a choir again! It feels like it's been so long since I've done any "real" singing, something besides singing the kids lullabies and changing the words to amuse myself. Most times if I try to sing in the car the kids oh so politely ask me to stop. I have to remind myself that people used to pay me to sing for them. It's a little bit of a kick to my ego to have my children beg me NOT to sing.

It was fabulous to hear compliments about my voice again. I'm an incredible perfectionist but even I could tell that my range has grown and my voice has gotten more resonant. I had always heard that women's voices do not fully develop until their mid-thirties. I'm a believer now! I was even able to easily hit the high g at the end of one song, something that used to always be a challenge to get a pure sound that high.

One of the ladies that I'm friendly with at the Temple is in the advanced stages of MS. She has been in an electric wheelchair-type chair for a while, but her speech is starting to be more halting and she is clearly starting to lose her memory. When I approached her after services last night, she complimented me, stating that she had never heard me sing before and questioning why I haven't sang solos with the choir before tonight. I've been a soloist in the choir for over twenty years, plus substituting for the cantor any time she can't make it. I know she has heard me sing before. That must be so awful to live with. I just can't imagine forgetting things that I used to know. I have never had a good memory, but to lose memories like that...I hope she doesn't even realize that she once knew it. Maybe that would make it easier.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Allergies are kicking my butt

The kids have their Mother's Day program at school in a little bit, so I just have enough time to check in before I run off to be blown away by their singing. I'm all ready to go, "Aaawwww...."

Okay allergy sufferers, this question is for you: I've been taking OTC generic Claritin. It says non-drowsy. Does it make anyone else drowsy? I've been really good this week getting to bed on time, but I'm still feeling like I could take a nap at any time. I'm tired!

I drove over to our local Produce Junction (my normal weekly Friday trip) and could not even find a parking spot. I have veggies, really just need fruit, but it was so unbelievably crowded that I just gave up and came home. Now I have no fruit, didn't have any time to clean, need to leave home and won't be back until 2 because I'll be in charge of anywhere between three to twenty preschoolers which really zaps my energy, and I have so much to do around the house to make me feel better and not leave me in a funk this afternoon before I leave for my parents' house for Shabbat dinner at 5.

Sorry this post was not more interesting, but I'm tired!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm Still Here

Don't worry, my faithful readers, you don't have to remove me from your favorites list (Okay, Kathy?!!), I'm still here! That stomach bug really threw me for a loop, and my computer is annoying the heck out of me, and I had a lot to make up for from being sick for a week, but I'm still here.

To summarize the past week:
* B sang me a "surprise" Mother's Day song (they're performing on Friday a special program for moms but he couldn't wait) which was so cute I couldn't help laughing as he sang and clapping when he was finished. Both B and A looked at me and quite indignantly told me that I was supposed to cry now - that's what their teacher told me all the moms would do.

* Got caught up on paperwork - woohoo!

* Did my first library show - 50 preschoolers from a local daycare whose teachers sat in the back and talked and I had to keep their attention, entertain, AND stop the few in the front from beating the cr*p out of the kids around them. Most of the kids were really, really into it, which was so cute to see, and the librarians and teachers all told me that I did a great job when the show was done. Not bad!

* I have been taking A for all kinds of evals the last couple weeks in preparation for kindergarten. Yesterday was speech, today is PT, last week was with the psychologist, the week before was OT. Time consuming, but he loves it!

* Been able to work in the yard a lot this week while the kids play around me. So nice that they're older now and can play more independently now.

* I've been rewarding myself for going to bed on time with a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte the next day. Two days in a row now! :)

Alright, have to pick them all up now. I'll try to get back in the habit of blogging every day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I've felt better

Why does the sight of Mommy on the toilet, unable to get up without....making a mess, clutching a bucket as she also throws up over and over again, tell children that it would be a perfect time for all of them to clamor for attention?

I started getting sick a little before six AM. When I was finished, I crawled to the bedroom and called DH to come back home. He had to rearrange his schedule a lot, but he told me he'd be back by 7:30. I was sick again at 7 (that time the kids were awake). At that point I just kept reminding myself that DH would be home soon. I kept lifting my head from the bucket to tell them to stop talking to me or to get dressed, but they were a little freaked out and weren't being such good listeners. DH got home just in time for me to run to the bathroom and get sick again.

I was hoping to be able to just suck it up and have DH drive me to my first library show, perform, and go back home to bed, but by 8:30 it was clear it was not going to happen. Luckily the children's librarian was fine with rescheduling for the next week.

Not to go into too much detail (too late) but bottom line, starting around noon I was able to start keeping small sips of fluid down, but still have not been able to manage any of the foods on the BRAT diet. I had a high fever and such stomach cramping I was totally miserable.

I tried a little toast this morning, but obviously wasn't ready for that yet as I got sick right away. A was sick during the night and again this morning with major diarhea, so he's staying home again with me, but considering how weak I am right now, he better be content to just lie on the couch! My sister is picking up the other two for school so I don't have to drive this morning, but is unable to pick them up after school, so I better feel better by 12!

Okay, let's see if I can finish getting J and B ready for school now. My head hurts, my stomach hurts, I'm hungry (but can't eat), and upstairs smells like crap due to A's problems during the night and early morning (have to get enough energy to at least wash all that stuff). Here goes!