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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lazy day Saturdays

Today I just feel like being lazy. Just hanging out in my Pjs with a hot cup of tea and a good book (BTW I'm reading The Lovely Bones, so far very interesting). Alas I cannot be so lazy.

I have a bunch of things to do. Plus it is just way to cold to lazy around comfortably.

Our apartment doesn't like to have functioning heat until October-ish. I complained several times directly to management about it last year to no avail.

So today I will make myself a to-do list and see what I can accomplish.

Today I need to do:
Tidy the living room/dining room
Take care of the pile of boxes in my bedroom before they fall over.
Put away some clean laundry
Clean kitty box

Today I should also do:
Gather the laundry for washing
Scrub down my tub and toilet
Pack at least 2 boxes worth of stuff up

What I'll probably do and forgo the rest of my list:
Finish Philip's new CARS outfit for Monday
Make a shirt I've been eyeballing for my unborn nephew. (Can't wait to snuggle his squishy face, December can't come fast enough)

So that's today's game plan. Matt's at work this morning then he's going to work on our house. Time is rapidly running out on that major project as we have to be out of this apartment in about a month and a half. My mother in law is supposed to take the boys but after the fight they had this morning I don't know if I still want to give them the treat of spending time at Grandma's. They woke me up this morning screaming and yelling at each other and before I could get out of bed they were both crying. Philip was crying because Nicolas bit him right under his armpit and Nicolas was in tears because Philip punched him as retribution. Definitely not how I wanted to start my Saturday morning but such is life with 2 little boys. Apparently the fight started over the fingerpaints which they weren't supposed to have anyways. So they both got time outs and I know SuperNanny would freak but I doubled the time for the double offense of fighting/hitting/biting and for getting into the fingerpaints. Then I sent them back to bed because they were clearly tired and didn't get enough sleep to start fighting right in the morning. They didn't actually go back to sleep but they did calm down and recenter themselves. After apologies, hugs and I love you's were enchanged they played together nicely but they're still a little bratty today. Chalk it up to a really long week I guess.

Tomorrow I'm hoping Matt doesn't have to work so I can have the car. I know he'll be busy at the house but that's fine. I know once we're in there we'll have lots of time together so I can spare him for now. I just want the car to take the little ones to Strong National Museum of Play. Our membership expires at the end of October and while we have definatly gotten our money's worth out of it I'd like to still go a couple times more since we won't be renewing it. At least until the new year when things begin to settle down. With Philip in school and me not having a car during the day we don't get as much use out of it anymore anyways. Plus after 2 years of going at least once a month and sometimes as much as once a week I'm kinda bored with the place.

Well suppose I should get up and start my list of things to do today. I suppose I should start motivating myself by finding some good music and getting dressed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chaos Perseveres.

Chaos...such is my life. It's a'righ. I've learned to deal with it.

So what kind of chaos has been going on??? Well Philip turned 5. Big deal big deal. We had a good time celebrating his birthday by taking him out to buy his first real bike, even though it has training wheels it is a big boy bike and it's in his favorite color, green. After we purchased that we took him to the play ground where they have a nice paved wide path all along all four sides of the soccer field so he rode around in big circles as fast as his little legs could peddle.

We stayed at the playground just about all day then went home to dinner, movies, tons of stories and bed.

The next day was his birthday party and I feel wretched about it but I only got a handful of pictures and lousy ones at that. It was a simple party, a bunch of friends and family. Snacks, pizza, cake. Bubbles to play with, kites to fly, a slip 'n' slide for the big kids, a kiddie pool for the "babies". A good time was had by all. Philip was super excited he got to invite not only his lifelong family friends but his preschool classmates as well and 2 of his favorite friends actually made it to the party. He had a blast. My mother in law and I worked it out that Matt and I would buy the bike for Philip and she'd get him his helmet and pads. The helmet she had bought him included a bell for his bike so of course that was attached ASAP and the bike is his new favorite toy. Philip turning 5 was a big deal and sorta emotional for me. It signifies him leaving his baby/toddlerhood and becoming a big boy. A child. In a physical way he's no longer my baby. What slammed that message home was the first day of kindergarten....
This amazing little boy is old enough for kindergarten. He was really excited about it. Has been looking forwards to it all summer. The moment was kinda dampened by the fact that his "home school" is responsible for transporting him to RSD and even though I worked it out when we had the last IEP meeting somehow the address changed to the apartment 2 years ago never went through to the transportation office.

Philip gets on the bus insanely (to me anyways) early at 7 am. This lack of communication between the IEP board and transportation department resulted in the bus needing to pick him up at the house where we lived 2 years ago (this is the house we are remodeling and moving into in a month and a half, confused yet lol). Philip being picked up at the house meant I had to get him up at 5:45 in the morning to get him bathed, dressed, fed, hair styled and at the house by 7 am. I don't have a car during the day. Matt takes our family car to work at 5:30 every morning. He works on the far side of Webster in what is really 315 area. It takes him 45 minutes to get to work. Needless to say I'm not dropping him off at work just so I can have the car to go 3 miles to the house. I arraigned it with my mother to come get us and bring us to the house.

He picked his own clothes for school that morning. A Mickey Mouse short sleeved, cotton shirt (which by the way I made :p ) and denim shorts. I don't think it got above 65 that day and once I realized that it really was that cold and it wasn't just because I was in my shorts and tank top PJs we were already at the house and it was too late to go back to the apartment and get something different. Poor kid was freezing waiting for the bus. Luckily mom had a jacket in her car so it wasn't too bad but I did feel awful that he had to go through his entire day being cold. Now I check the weather first before getting him dress. Thank goodness I learned that lesson before winter hit.

He was so super excited seeing the big yellow bus pull up. He couldn't wait to get on it. I had to pull him back for my hug and kiss good bye. He simply started walking up to the bus, throwing a "bye mom" shout over his shoulder. No fear on this kid. He got on the big yellow big kids bus where there were already big kids waiting for him.

He did pause long enough to turn around and say "I love you" before the bus carried him on his first step towards adulthood and total independence.

The frustrating part of the day came later in the afternoon.

Matt came home in time to see Philip get off the bus. Came straight to the house to see our little man. I had walked up there with Nicky to make sure someone was able to get my precious guy. The time the bus garage said would be dropping him off came....and went. I understand the bus would be a few minutes early or late depending on outside circumstances like...oh I don't know, it being the first day of school maybe? But when he was 15 minutes late and still no sign of that damned bus I got worried. So I called the transportation office.

The woman I spoke to said the change of address I put in finally went through and he was being dropped off at the apartment. I got pissed. I told the woman, clearly angry but calm and polite, that the person I changed the address with promised someone would call me with the new time and the confirmation. She responds with "well I can call the driver and see if she's already dropped him off." My reply "dropped him off? By himself?" Her: "Yes she might have dropped him off at that address, I can call and get back to you." Me...shrieking: "HE'S FIVE YEARS OLD!" Her: "Oh. Well yes, you said kindergartener. Well he should be getting dropped off at the apartment." So now I'm royally pissed, I jump in the car with Matt and Nick and we fly, speeding the whole way to the apartment to get our son. As we pull up to the light right before we get to the complex the transportation woman calls me back to tell me my son's bus is minutes away from the street the house is on and will be dropped off momentarily. Now I'm super pissed because we've got to turn around and speed back to get him.
We get there to find the bus waiting for us. Poor Philip was being very patient.

Just hanging out on the bus waiting to grace us with a smile and a wave when we finally do arrive. Oh I've never been more happy to see him.

I've had words with the transportation department and now he is being picked up and dropped off at the apartment, at least until we move back into the house at the end of october. Fun fun for me. All that just to change it back later. The important thing is everything got straightened out and on the second day of school Philip was dressed appropriately and the bus picked him up and dropped him off at the apartment.

He loves kindergarten. Loves his new teacher and his new classroom. Loves the new freedom like being able to play on the playground between the bus dropping him off and the start of class, also loves being able to have a recess after lunch. He loves that he's learning to really write. He won't tell me anything else about kindergarten but I'm sure he will someday.

On a side note....guess who's potty trained!?!?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eye for an eye and the whole world is blind

Ordinarily I hate proclaiming to the world my views on religion but as this is my blog I’ll make an exception for myself.

I just read a Newsweek article in a waiting room that really pissed me off.
Yes I understand that there are a lot of terrorist attacks by people of Muslim or Islamic beliefs and yes the attacks make me extremely angry but since when are Christians so squeaky clean and pure that they can point the finger like that?!?! Hello!!! Witch hunts? The crusades??? How many innocent people have been killed by Christians due to their religious differences? How dare we say that a mosque can't be built where we would allow a church? How dare we say that Christianity is better than any other faith? What happened to religious freedom?

I am so pissed at all these people who act like their shit don't stink, that their religion is better than others. Who is walking this earth that has met God to say "yes God wants us to worship him this way". Every single major belief system believes that their faith is the "one true faith". You wanna know the Bible itself it says that the Jews are God's chosen people. So even Christians can't say that theirs is the one true faith. Yes there are many many similarities between Christians and Jews and Christianity began with Judaism but the Jewish faith has a completely different set of rules beyond the 10 commandments. So if they are the chosen people and Christians don't follow even most of their rules does that make the Christians damned?

I was raised to be a Christian. There was no other faith in our household but that of the Lutheran church and Lutherans like many others believe that a man we now call Jesus came to Earth because of the miracle of his birth by a virgin woman. This man who was a Jew was born and raised according to the Jewish traditions and beliefs. He was loved by his mother and step father and I’m sure many others of his time. As an adult he went around preaching and leading by example how to love and care for each other. How to love your fellow humans damn near unconditionally. He loved all, the poor, the wealthy, the sick, the elderly, the prostitute and the house wife. He loved the tax collector and the tax payer. A whole religion was founded upon the teachings and lifestyles of this loving, caring, compassionate man. And now his followers condemn others. A man who preached love and forgiveness, I believe, would cry tears of bitter grief for all the hatred his followers now spew without a second thought.

In the name of this holy man, the son of God himself, who died a brutal painful death on a cross to prove God’s love and devotion to us imperfect humans we go around condemning others, slaughtering others, and just being the exact and total opposite of everything Jesus would want us to be.

Aside from what Jesus taught his followers and what Christians believe, we are Americans. A country founded because a bunch of people decided that they didn’t want to be persecuted for their religious beliefs risked life and limb to sail on a boat over to an unfamiliar and dangerous new land for freedom. In 1886 we accepted a gift from France that was inspired by the Roman Goddess Libertas, a goddess of freedom. A gift that has become the ultimate icon of America: The Statue of Liberty. This is the poem inscribed and placed on the base of our beautiful lady of freedom:

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883

Every single schoolchild in this country knows at least the phrase: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
Notice nowhere in this poem does it say “But only if you are a Christian”, it does not say “Except if you are Muslim” or Jewish or Japanese or Irish or Italian or Mexican or black or a woman or gay or any other of the countless people that the people of this beautiful country has decided is unworthy of our rights and freedoms.
So they want to build a mosque in Manhattan, so it happens to be near Ground Zero. Would the people of this country be up in arms if it was a Catholic cathedral? What if it was synagogue for the members of the Jewish community? Would you protest then? Would there be countless articles in magazines and on the internet if this were a YMCA? Would you post on your Facebook how wrong this is if it were an African-American Baptist church?

Here’s a better question for you…would you even care if a group of people decided to build a Shinto or Buddhist temple at Pearl Harbor? Or if an anti-Semitism group decided to gather for weekly meetings in Pearl Harbor? Would you care then or was the bombing on Pearl Harbor too long ago for you? When is the cutoff date for hate? Is it 9 years? Maybe 15? How about 30 or 50 or 100? When you reach the gates of heaven and Saint Peter asks your name can you enter the pearly gates saying you lived a life God and Jesus would approve of? Or will Peter turn you away for being like the fallen angel Lucifer in your blind hate?

Is a mosque near Ground Zero really so wrong or do you just need a reason to spew the nastiest part of your soul without fear of repercussion?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The House.

It has come to my attention via Facebook that not everyone knows what I'm talking about when I start babbling on and on about the work Matt is doing on the house.

To the begining...

Matt love his grandparent's house. It's not his dream house or even very big but there are a lot of memories for him there. He wants to keep the house for our family to live in. Matt's grandmother no longer lives there but still owns it and since we have bad credit and cannot get approved for a morgage we decided together that this house may be the one for us. Since his grandmother owns it it gives us some leeway on payments on it. The only problem with the's out of date. The wires are old cloth covered wires, the walls are plaster and have several cracks, there were these funky arched doorways, and the insulation was so old it was crumbly and worthless.

So we tore it apart. The whole house. Tore down all the walls, all the archways, all the electrical work, the whole kit and caboodle on the ground floor. Now we have to rebuild. It has taken some time but we're making really good progress. Ripping everything down took forever. There was a lot to clean up as we tore things apart. After that Matt decided that he wanted to expand the bathroom a little bit and move the doorway for one room. When we had all the walls down we also noticed that some of the studs were poorly installed and needed to be replaced. Matt has spent every weekend the whole weekend for the last month replacing studs and framing in the walls in 2 rooms.

Tonight he is planning on ripping out the last little bit of electrial wires that we left so he could use his power tools. This weekend a buddy is helping him re install all the new wire and plugs and lights etc. We bought these nifty little outlets that have a little tamper resistant shutter behind the holes so no more worrying about lost outlet covers. Hopefully the electrial won't take more then a weekend. We want to install insulation and some dry wall next weekend before we put in the bathroom. Nothing is staying in the orginal bathroom, we are replacing everything. It badly needed it and nothing was worth saving.

It's very exciting. We hope to be in the house before our lease here is up in October. I'll post pictures of the progress we've made tomorrow. I don't have time to pull them all together because most of them are on Matt's computer not mine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Deaf vs Hearing.

Deaf vs Hearing. Something I hadn't given much thought to until Nicolas was born and now cannot get out of my head. I've been blessed, truly blessed to have these two little guys in my life and I would not change anything at all about them. Well maybe if they could not scream so much that'd be great. But there is the everyday constant recognition that there are things that Nicolas can do because he's hearing that Philip cannot because he's deaf.

I have absolutely no problem with Philip being deaf. In fact when I was pregnant with Nicolas I found myself wishing that the baby could be born deaf like his brother. It actually was a little bit of a shock when we found out that Nicolas could indeed hear, I wanted another deaf child so badly. But it was a bigger shock when we had found out that Philip was deaf.

When we finally got an answer to the big can my baby hear question Philip was 3 maybe 4 months old and had gone through numerous hearing tests. That final test was terrifying. I have since forgotten what it was called but I will never forget that day. I was not allowed to nurse my baby before the test. So that in itself was rough. I felt like I was starving my child. Then when we arrived at the appointment the very first thing they did was administer a medication that sedated my poor new baby. While waiting for the medicine to take effect they put 3 little sticky probes on his little head, one on his forehead and one behind each ear. These connected to wires that ran to ports in the wall. The poor little guy was laid in a hospital crib and we were told to sit several feet away while a nurse stood over my child and we had to remain quiet for the duration of the test. Several minutes later we were told the results of the test. The doctor was very blunt about it. Our child was profoundly deaf. He spent a minimal amount of time explaining what that meant and showed us on a chart what his hearing levels were like. The sort of things he could and couldn't hear. Then the doctor gave us instructions on when Philip would wake up and what to do and a referral to another office to get Philip fitted for hearing aids and we were sent on our way. Shock of our lives there. We were not prepared for a deaf child at all. We didn't even know it was likely. Thank god for my parents who helped us a lot get through that initial shock and to my mother for taking me to the Rochester School for the Deaf to immediately enroll Philip into their FIRST program.

After the initial shock and adjustment we accepted it and moved on with our lives. Philip has never been given special treatment from us because of his deafness and we taught him both English and ASL. He picked up both pretty quickly. We knew from our interactions with the children of some of our friends who were around the same age as Philip and from his evaluations through RSD that he was behind in speech but we understood him and we were all pretty happy. To this day he is still slightly behind but he is pretty fluent in both languages. He communicates very well and has thrived at RSD.

Now Nicolas has entered the picture. My hearing boy. He took some adjustments getting used to. He would wake if we were too loud. He was more figidity as a baby which I believe was due to the stimulation he would hear. He was more easily distracted when nursing. But the biggest difference, the difference that is causing a lot of heartbreak is how much more he picks up now. Almost 2 years old his vocabulary is about where Philip's was at 3 and he picks up new words much more quickly then Philip ever did. He picks up random words in conversations that occur around him and he learned to ask "why" at a much much earlier age. We did notice these differences but it really hit home the other day when we were watching Nick Jr. One of the characters on the show we were watching directed a simple yes/no question at the audience. Philip has never talked back at the TV. Nicolas answered the question. BAM. The difference between hearing and deaf.

The biggest difference, the heartbreaking difference is not how much they talk or what they can say. The difference is the comprehension. Now I wonder how much of what I say to Philip he really catches. What does he truly hear and more importantly understand? Can his deafness hold him back in any way? It's just TV and I really don't want my children watching much of it but is it for Philip just some moving images with garbled sound or is he picking up something from it? Most of what we watch is slightly educational, stuff like Wow Wow Wubzy, Dora, Deigo, and WonderPets. Other kids his age know the character names and theme songs. They talk back to the TV. Philip does none of this. He doesn't know most of his favorite characters names. He knows the main ones for whom the shows are named but the side characters, no.

I wish there was more I could do for my baby. I want to take him to the book store during story time and know that he understands, I want him to get some benefit from the TV shows he watches, I want to be able to shout a direction to him from the other room and know he understands me. I know many adults who are deaf and most seem pretty happy with themselves but I wonder how many of them feel like their deafness has held them back in any way. I don't wish he was hearing, I don't wonder what it would be like if he was hearing. I just wish there was more I could do to help him adapt to the world around him. Even in Rochester it's a hearing world. I know TV will be different when he learns to read and can benefit from captioning but everything else.

If when he's an adult he chooses to be Deaf and prefers to use sign and go to a deaf school/college, and have only deaf friends or a deaf girlfriend/wife that's fine. I accept that it's his decision. But it is a hearing world and I want to give him the skills that he needs to adapt. I don't want his deafness to hold him back. I want him to be able to choose from hundreds of colleges which one he wants to go to and not be limited to the handful of deaf colleges or rely on an interpreter. If he chooses to use one that's a difference then needing one. I know being at RSD is helping him a lot. He's benefited a lot from being there and in the last year or so his language skills have really blossomed. He's an awesome kid and so smart. I just wish there was more I could do for him.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July

I've been meaning to post this for a couple days and just haven't had the time to actually sit down and get it up.

Our Independance Day was lots of fun. We had a simple day. This is hands down my favorite holiday. The history behind the day and the gravity of what that hits me in just the right spot. All those men and women sacrificed and risked everything to ensure that some tiny little country across an ocean couldn't control us. That we could have freedom to as a whole nation make our own laws, that's a big deal. A much bigger deal then I think a lot of people feel. Like so many other holidays we've sorta lost the meaning behind the day off, we've forgotten what it took to get this nice 3 day weekend to BBQ, get together with friends and party.
Our day was spent talking with Philip as to why it is a holiday and explaining it over and over a bunch of different ways to help him understand to the best of his ability. Matt decided to spend the morning working on the house. He's framing off the bathroom and replacing a few studs so we can start running the electrical. When Matt finished up his work for the day we headed over to my brother in law's. Matt and his brother went to visit their grandmother while Danielle, the little ones and myself went to play in the pool.
Philip knows how to swim, sort of. But not enough to feel comfortable without some sort of floatation device and of course they aren't allowed in the pool. Nicolas was terrified. So Philip hung on to one arm and kicked and splashed while Nicolas clung for dear life on my neck. Wasn't the most fun I've had in a pool but it was so hot that I enjoyed it anyways.
When the guys came back we started up the grill for some dinner. While dinner was going we got out a frisbee and had some fun.
Nicolas enjoyed watching while Shawn, Daddy and Philip played. Shortly after these pictures were taken the frisbee landed near Nicolas so he grabbed it and took off running. Uncle Bubby showed Philip how to use a skateboard. Philip was pushed around the parking lot at speeds high enough to terrify a mother as he flew from Uncle to Daddy to Shawn.

And of course we went up to the fireworks. They were facinated by the fireworks. Nick especially. He keep going "OOOH boom boom!" The fireworks were so close that with the breeze and where we were sitting we were getting little pieces of cardboard and ash rained down on us after the big huge ones. We had a really great day with some really great friend.

Oh and to toot my own horn a little I made both the little one's shirts :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Unexpected Trip

Earlier today I spent about a half an hour typing a nice long detailed blog post about why I don't like Facebook so much any more. Well I've got fat hands that wander all over the keyboard and I accidentally deleted the whole post and replaced it with a single "n". I got all frustrated and mad then I realized "hey blogger does that whole autosave thing" so I got all happy again. Then I realized I don't know who to access it. By the time I found it Blogger had auto saved my n so I lost my nice long detailed blog. I quit on that. Took it as a sign that maybe I shouldn't post it. So I've decided to write a new post on what we ended up doing today.

I knew we were having dinner with my father in law at his new place. I knew he lived down by the lake. What I didn't know was that the lake was just down at the end of the street. Not knowing this I didn't pack extra clothes or swim stuff for my kiddos so they played in the water in diaper and underware.
Luckily it was a fairly private beach and Daddy wears dark colored tight fitting boxers so he stripped down too to get in the water as well :)
Nicky loves rocks so he was in little boy heaven, a whole beachful of rocks to pick up and admire before throwing for "BBBBIIIIGGGG PWESH!!!"

Burying little boys up to their armpits is also pretty fun.

I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time at my father in law's this summer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Good Day

I must have hit manic today. Either that or my anti depressants are really starting to hit me full force. I know those can sometimes take a while. I had focus today like I haven't had since about middle school. I got a lot done today and not once did I lose my temper with the little ones. I finished a quilt I've been working on, it turned out a little wonky but Nicky liked it well enough. I also finished the Fourth of July shirt I wanted to make for Nicky. Tomorrow I'm working on Philip's Fourth of July shirt. I'll post pictures of both the quilt and the shirts tomorrow. The camara's battery is charging right now. I was just working away with incredible focus today, lets hope that continues tomorrow.

Matt spent a little bit of time today trying to teach Philip to play baseball. It was very cute to watch, what little I could from the bedroom window as I put Nicolas to bed. I think it was a little windy out for Philip's poor little plastic bat and ball. We'll have to get him a real baseball bat and ball, maybe even a glove. Maybe he'll play t-ball next summer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello, Hello, Hello!!

Welcome whomever might read this. I've spent so long in the blog world reading other people's blogs and following the most interesting that I felt like it was time I joined in. I'll try to post something at least weekly but life is chaotic here so we'll what happens.

Today is a good friend's birthday celebration at my mother-in-law's house so me and the boogers are spending the day tidying up our apartment and then we'll head over there when Daddy gets out of work.

I have my own little to-do list of things I hope to accomplish today. The number one thing on the list is cutting out the material for the boys Fourth of July shirts. They picked their own material so they are pretty excited about it. Well more so Philip then Nicolas and Philip is really excited that his shirt will have star buttons. Fourth of July is a big holiday for us, it's my favorite holiday and we'll probably go see fireworks on both the 3rd and 4th. I wish we could do a BBQ and have a little party but that's just not going to happen this year. Maybe next. I will definitely make a cake though. There's a few things I want to try like working with fondant. I found some tutorials on making and working with marshmallow fondant so I'm excited to try that out.