Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today the Preschooler turned Three. A big number. She transitioned out of the infant/toddler early intervention program she was in and we had all sorts of evaluations and meetings to figure out how her needs would be best served now. It's not an easy answer, really. Part of her personality she came by honestly- the double dose of what we lovingly call “stubborn”. In other words, you can't get her to do anything. If she knows that it's part of a test or someone else's program, she will refuse to do anything and block it out of her acknowledgment completely. If you can come at her sideways with a task, get her involved into thinking that it's all her own idea, she will constantly amaze you with the ability that's going on behind her wide blue eyes.

She turned three and the program lets her attend until the end of hte month, but since it's the end of her month there's no real difference in it. Fortunately her needs have led the district to offer us a placement in the special needs school; they have a really good preschool program that's a fit for her needs and what can be done. Today she turned three and I dressed her up to go over and do the formal enrollment. Since the shot records were in place and the other paperwork was all done, she can start tomorrow. I'm so ready.

I'm also so NOT ready. This isn't like the other program where I had to remain on the premises. This is a school where I will drop her off at 8 and pick her up at 11. It was only yesterday that she was my preemie, so fragile and tiny in my arms.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm missing my mom already. Here we are in the first weekday after she's gone home, and I miss her. I miss getting the kids up without her, I miss seeing her drink her tea at the table as she coordinates her breakfast and morning vitamins, planning the day's errands, chores, and activities.

It is a blessing that she has merely gone back home to the other side of the country. I can still call her on the phone, I can email her any time of the night or day. I can write her letters and hear her voice. She's not Gone, just located somewhere else. In the past year I've gone through a lot of changes, and she was an ever present commodity in my life- much as she was when I was my daughter's age. Those early memories blended so well with this past routine, as long as my mom drank her tea, sat down at the table to make her list for the day, nothing could really go wrong. Everything was still in the place it belonged. No matter the challenges, the tantrums thrown by small children, the tightness of our wallets, it was all alright.

Now I'm the anchor again. I'm the one that my daughter and son will be looking to for creating those morning memories. As long as mommy does certain things every day in the morning, it's all alright. Everything works out. We all remain happy and well-adjusted.

A heavy responsibility, but it lays lightly on my shoulders. All I have to do is be half the woman and mother that my own is. She tells me that I'm up to the task. I hope she's right.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It is nice to know that the niche markets are still going strong in these days of uncertainty. There are online vendors able to fill any needs, and it can often be easier to get bargains from them than from traditional brick and mortar stores- especially when what you're shopping for isn't readily available at the local 5 and 10. For law enforcement agencies that need to consider needs such as BDU pants, LA Police Gear is a good place to visit. For those of you whose personal tastes also run towards this sort of thing- for camping, hiking, and outdoor activities, it's also great.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I think this week we're seeing the last "gasp" of the terrible twos. They weren't all that terrible, really, this past year. Not compared to some of the tantrums I witnessed other kids having- the kind that makes any mother raise an eyebrow, take a breath of relief, and thank God that those aren't HER kids and that she can walk away. My Preschooler has gone to bed for the night now, it's been a whole day of extremes from behaved child all the way to screaming tantrums while walking with the tricycle. Those resulted in her being bodily carried over my shoulder like a potato sack all the way home. Kicking and screaming the whole way. On the bright side, I've now done the cardio portion of my day. Definitely. No one can claim that this experience did not give me an intense workout.

We're all working on my diet this week. Not just for my sake; the Boy is once again approaching his mandatory weight checks and physical fitness testing. He's got to lose the handful of pounds that has crept back on since the last time. Since he wants to drop carbs and add veggies, and since I've got to drop most of my carbs and add serious veggies, and since we live in a place where they're just so gosh-darn cheap, I've been expanding the recipe books one more time. This time I've even started making some progress in it.

For one thing, who knew that me, who hates spinach with a passion, would like fresh baby spinach when it's stir-fried with pulled pork and fresh cut corn in a sesame-ginger sauce? I had seconds and thirds of that, and my glucose came in at a nice number. If anyone wants the recipe, request and I'll post it. Tonight's dinner was a variation on Quiche Lorraine, carb-light and made my glucose even happier. Lots of freshness, and it tasted yummy, and it was done in about 30minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Recently I was asked to participate in a survey of parents who've had babies in the NICU. Most of the questions were those that I anticipated would be asked. One struck me as unique- it's not a situation unique to the NICU, and I know it's felt by everybody whether or not they're parents. The question is “When do you feel the most out of/in control of your situation?”

That's a hard one to answer. I've always been a control freak. I need to feel in control of things. When I feel like I lose control of things, noticeably my house and kids, then I start to lose my marbles. Some days it feels like a very short trip.

And of course I know that I can't control my kids. That's the reality of kids. They're not controllable. They're led, teachable, they're even sometimes biddable. But not controllable. I make my peace with knowing that I have almost no control over them some days. -Discipline is one thing, following rules is enforced, but controlling whether or not the Toddler eats her meal? Whether or not she accepts the rules with grace or needs several time outs in her room? That's what I mean by not controllable.

I feel out of control a lot. I feel in control more. When I am losing my marbles, I pray. My back-brain starts repeating that one word over and over, my constant prayer for the strength to get through this life. Serenity. Serenity.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I feel so old.

Just when I think that juggling the kids is getting easier, or when I have a workable system in place, everything goes belly up for a few more days and all my good intentions of blogging and checking blogs and keeping in touch with the world outside of this household has gone. I am pleased to report, however, that we have yet to end up on the news. The baby has avoided a rehospitalization, he has been weaned successfully off the NG tube and now takes all his food by bottle, and the Toddler is still enjoying every interaction with her little brother- despite his continued refusal of sharing her lunch and snacks.

The funniest thing... she tried to feed him a corn dog. He was hungry, she recognized it, popped her corn dog into his mouth and when he stopped crying for a moment in shock at this concept she giggled and danced away. Proud of herself for helping. For sharing. I applaud her willingness to do these things even as I shake my head at the logic that led her to it.

In a few short weeks (less than a pay period- yikes!) my mom returns to the east coast. I lose my backup during the days. Let's face it; apart from the weekends I lose my backup pretty much entirely. The Boy is willing to help as much as he can, but he's working long hours with wierd people and I know he's dragging so much at the end of the day. It's sometimes all he can do to stay awake until 7 at night before he's asleep. On the other hand, he does get up at the early morning feeds so that I can get uninterrupted sleep. This is why I love the man.