Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time Just Slips Away

Well, sir, I just blew the whole month of June off with the blogging deal. It definitely wasn't on purpose, people.

Summers are good. I truly like spending time with my kids. I love sleeping in a later and not having to rush to get people dressed, papers signed, and out to the bus on time. I am not a morning person. At all. I rush around sipping a cup of coffee and my anxiety goes out the roof because Paige is so SLOW moving and she can't miss the bus because the other two take a different bus and I start hollering up the stairs for her to hurry up and then I get louder and louder until we end up hollering at each other as she runs out the door to catch her bus. Most mornings end up with us texting "I love you." to each other so we know all is cool for the rest of the day. See? Summers can be a lot less stress in The Edge household.

Then, we moved.

You'd think if you move your children from one school to another in the same state, the school would be on the same education page. Nope. Not in Georgia. Paige is in summer school this summer because one county rolls differently than the other. She is a credit or two ahead of her class, but behind a half credit in math. Oh, math, how we hate thee. Her guidance counselor was nonchalant about it and said she would just take two maths in her Senior year. Uh....no. Paige is a gifted child but math is her nemesis. She can do it and do it well, but she has a block about it. I wasn't going to take the chance of stressing her out her Senior year with TWO maths. Senior year is supposed to be fun! I told her to go ahead and get it taken care of since she really wants to work next summer and I surely don't want to stop her.

Now, I'm getting up in the mornings so I can take her to the bus stop. There are something like six high schools in this county and they take turns hosting summer school. This summer's host is about 30 minutes (traffic-wise) away. They run buses that pick up kids at certain points. It could be worse, though. I have to have her at the bus stop by 9 a.m. and pick her up at around 1-ish. Her first day, she came home and was all "Woe are we! Our teacher just graduated college...we'll never make it!" Yeah, about that. She has the highest grade ever in math because she GETS this teacher completely. Her teaching style clicks with Paige and she is breezing through math like never before. To the tune of a high A, my friends. She has come home with amazing papers that go immediately on the fridge to be proudly displayed. I kid you not. I'm all about displaying the good stuff. I have begged her to get this teacher's name, number, email, and address so if she has future problems, I can bribe this teaching genius to maybe tutor a little bit. I want to stalk this woman who has given the love of math back to my child.

We now see a light at the end of the tunnel as summer school ends next week. She has full confidence about her grade and almost looks forward to going each day because she's going to be able to do her work without stress. Man, I love that.

Did I mention she went to driving school this summer, too? She sure did. Thirty hours of driving school goodness. For six days straight (starting on a Sunday), she went to driving class from 1-6 p.m. That meant rushing to pick her up from summer school at 12:35 to have her clear across a lunch traffic infested town by 1:00 p.m. Those were some busy stressful days. She hasn't quite finished her class yet as she has to do her six hours of driving with them to receive her certification. We have to get her new glasses first. That appointment is Wednesday.

Does it ever end???

I hate my TomTom, too. That son of gun has let me down more than it has helped. I live in a new place, Sir TomTom. I NEED you to know where we are specifically because I DON'T. I can't tell you how many times I've called my husband at work rantin' and ravin' and carryin' on about that blasted TomTom. If we had a nickel for every time I have threatened to throw that blasted thing in the trash can?

*Deep breath because I get really upset over that little piece of technology.*

If there is one thing that'll send me over the edge? It's being lost. I get so angry because I don't know my way around and I just lose my cool because I really didn't want to have to learn a new town at this stage in my life. I want familiarity, okay? I want to know the streets and landmarks in my life.

Poor Makenna. She has been such a trooper. All she's asked for is to go to the library. No joke. That baby of mine loves to read more than her next breath. She has done nothing but read books online all summer long. She begged and begged to go to the library because, as she puts it, "There's nothing like holding a real book in your hands." After I dropped Paige off at driving school one day, I decided to try and find the library. Stupid TomTom. While on the phone with my husband and trying to figure out where the heck the TomTom was taking me....we found it.

*Cue heavenly angels singing, please*

My girl was in heaven. She would have stayed there all day if I had let her. I could probably drop her off at opening and pick her up at closing and she would be perfectly content. The Boy and I picked out some books for him while she got her limit of 12. They were all read by end of weekend. I kid you not.

She's really stepped up this summer helping me out around the house. With Paige being gone most of the time, she's helping me clean and not complaining a bit. Should I wonder what she's building up to ask for? My bet is it will be a kindle. Being eleven really is a growing year. She has a quirky sense of humor and loves to tell you in full and complete detail about the book she's reading. To the point where your eyes glaze over. I've learned to nod alot and say, "Seriously??" It's a good working situation for us.

My boy. My sweet little boy. This has been the Summer of Meltdowns. I like to be a cool Mom, you know? Sleep in a little later...stay up a little later. It's worked wonderfully for the girls for many years. Then, we have The Boy. Evening meltdowns were becoming a norm. Bad meltdowns. To the point where I was sure the neighbors were going to call the law because of the screams coming from our house. I got to the point where I'd rehearse my speech if the law showed up. I'd offer to let them take my son for an hour with the smug knowledge that they would bring him back home QUICK. It has been that bad. I started fretting over his medications. Were they not working anymore? His appointment with the new psychiatrist isn't until August and that was the first available we snatched up. Hello, rising stress level!

Finally, I told The Man that maybe we needed to just put him back on a schedule. Here we go to bed again at 8 p.m. (ish) with a book read in his bed. It hasn't fully solved all the problems, but it has helped tremendously. Bless his little OCD heart. He just has to have routine and order in his small world. He plays so well by himself during the day that he is a pure pleasure to watch. I keep the t.v. on educational channels and he flits from the DS to board games to his action figures. He really hasn't even bothered with the Wii, which has shocked me. I noticed the other day that when he plays his DS and gets to a screen that has words (like directions on what to do), he is reading it out loud. Score for reading! My fire place has a stone front and it's the perfect mountain for his action figures to climb and play rescue to those stuck up on the mantle.

I wish he could go outside more but it is HOT in Jaw-ja (Georgia) this one summer. It's like when your body hits the front door...it says "Sweat Glands: ACTIVATE". I can't believe how miserably hot it has been. To the point where you go to the pool and the water is hot. Therefore, we hang out inside and try to do yard work in the evenings. Before the magnificent thunderstorms hit.

We are now counting down to our first real vacation since The Boy was 3 months old. Hey, vacations cost money and we didn't have much of it the past few years. When Paige finishes her summer school, we are heading to God's Country. That would be Nebraska. The Man's parents live there and we haven't had a chance to visit them since they moved there. I'm excited over a road trip and seeing a couple of new states. Even Miss Prissy is going with us!

That dog of ours. ~sigh~ I love her. She loves me. She has personality and spunk and loves to go for a ride. I can't get over what a good traveller she is. She rides with me to take Paige to the bus stop and pick her up. If I have to run another errand and leave her at the house? She is just heartbroken and will literally cry and mope around. Even The Man has a soft spot for her. He's off on Fridays and will give me a break taking and picking up and what do I hear as he walks to the door? "Come on, Prissy! Let's go!" Yep, we have all been suckered in by that sweet little face. She snorts and does her best to talk. She's not a barker at all unless she's playing. She'll lick you to death if you walk in our house. If you take a nap? Make room because she's coming, too, and will snore worse than any old man in a nursing home.

I told you aaaallllllll of that just to show that I truly haven't been neglecting my blogging duties. It's hard to sit down and write a cohesive blog post when you have a six year old lurking around waiting for you to get up and go do something so he can play a game on the computer. Drives me crazy to no end when I get up to do laundry or another chore and that boy will jump in the seat right behind me and pull up his game sites to play. It wouldn't be so bad if he wouldn't close my windows to do this! Therefore, I can't move once I start writing because sure as I'm sitting here, the auto-save feature won't work that one time.

I know I still owe you the second part to the YardWork post. I got the pictures downloaded and promise to do that soon. I just had to let you know how busy Summer 2010 has been around The Edge and how I'm looking forward to school starting back so I can get back on MY schedule!

You go on now, and keep it cool. I know I have and have the electric bill to prove it!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tasty Good

We interrupt our regularly schedule programming to bring to you a cute pet moment.

We are in a new world here at The Edge. The world of raising a puppy. How educated we have become since Prissy has joined our family. She's cost us money we didn't know we'd have to spend and has brought great entertainment value to our evenings.

A week or so ago, we were all settling in to watch some television. Most probably, it was a season finale we were looking forward to and excited to see. All of a sudden, Paige hollered and jumped up off of the couch.

There was a huge green spot on my light colored carpet. Apparently, Prissy had found Makenna's watercolor paints and chose the green one as her new thing to gnaw on. Oh, what a fun marvelous time she was having with that little square of green goodness. When Paige finally got it away from her (it was half way gone), there were more than one green spot for her to scrub up immediately so as to keep it from settling in and staining the carpet further.

Our focus was on getting the carpet clean...then we saw Prissy.

We were laughing so hard then, it was hard to breathe.

We started asking her if she enjoyed eating the leprechaun as she had a green beard around her mouth. Her tail would wag like crazy and she literally grinned. This was caught on camera.

Therefore, I find it necessary to share with you what your pet would look like if they, too, were able to enjoy a leprechaun snack.

Why, thank you! That leprechaun snack was tasty good! She may have been yawning when Paige took the picture. I choose to believe she's grinning.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Flower Bed Saga- Part 1

We did our house hunting in October and November. Which is great if some houses you view don't have electricity. It's easier to take a coat off than to try and get cool. Curb appeal is very important because we gravitate towards things that look nice. When we bought The Edge III, the yards were freshly done with sod, shrubs, and straw. There's not a lot you can do for color in November/December and it all looked fine so we didn't think twice about it.

Wish we had.

When it started warming up, weeds started popping up. I'd constantly walk in the flower beds pulling one here and there trying to stay ahead of the game. Finally, I realized something. Our flower beds sucked. It was the work of cheap labor. Our grass had weeds that were ridiculous and my husband fought them to the bitter end with all kinds of weed killer.

I got sick and was pretty much stuck inside for over a week. The flower beds took full advantage of this and sprouted over night, much to my dismay. When I finally walked outside and looked, I just about deflated right there on the spot because the front of my house had turned into a hot mess. I then decreed that we would start work as soon as possible on what was becoming (in my eyes) a neighborhood eyesore.

Then it rained for two weekends straight.

When we were finally ready for action, we discovered that Spider Town resided in the flower beds and around our foundation. A trip from the exterminator and it was suggested we wait another week for the poison to work since we had an abundance of black widows. I don't know about you, but I was inclined to listen to the fellow.
While we waited on Spider Town to be evacuated, I fretted over how I just knew we had become "that house" in the neighborhood where people would drive by and purse their lips in distaste over the condition of our flower beds. It was a right stressful time, Internets.

We took that time to get a few things done around the house and plan what we were going to do with our Hot Mess Flower Beds.

First chance the weather cleared and worked with us, we were on top of yard work. I deemed it necessary that we would clear out all the nasty straw on Friday and prep for planting on Saturday. I believe some home improvement shows would call this the "demolition phase". Trust me, it was demolition. We were just beyond mad when we finally got the straw up and saw the condition of the shrubs they had put down. The landscapers (and I use the term very loosely) had just dug a small hole, pulled the plant out the pot, and plopped it down. I kid you not. You could just pick the plants and shrubs straight up with no problem. Sorry shoddy cheap work. How these shrubs were able to grow is beyond us.

During the day on Saturday, Makenna wiped her brow and said, "Why don't we just get a landscaper??" I told her that we were going to do the work so we could look at it when it was done and know we worked hard and take pride in our hard work. Shoot, I'm not hiring yard work out until all kids are grown and gone. Until then, there are lessons to be learned!

I now know just how out of shape I really am. I have dug. I have raked. I have hauled mulch. I have drank gallons of gatorade and powerade and water. I have laid on my front lawn like a redneck because I was so flippin' tired.

We aren't quite finished yet. We ordered 6 cubic yards of mulch to be delivered and methinks it might have been a tiny tad bit too much. I have a few ideas left to complete before all the mulch will be gone. We've had some rain that has shown us where we'll have to make the mulch deeper in the flower beds so that's good we have some extra left.

This home ownership deal is wearing me out. I hate yard work. Despise it. But, I've been doing it my whole life. I know my husband appreciates the fact that I'll put on the yard shoes and head right on outside to help even though I hate getting dirty. *Side note: Mama said when I was a young child, if I got my hands dirty, I'd come to her with them upraised exclaiming they were dirty and wanting her to clean them. Smart Little Me.* The only thing I truly can't do is the weed eater. I just don't have the upper body strength for it. I can work a lawn mower (push or riding), a blower, a water hose, and assorted hand tools like nobody's bizness.

So, in keeping with the spirit of being a two part post, here are the before pictures of The Hot Mess Flower Bed.

This is the biggest part in front of the dining room window. The tall shrub was taken out (Lu will be happy as she hates these particular shrubs!) and relocated over to the side of the house near the heating and air units. There was still straw to be raked out after taking this picture. I believe we got around eleven lawn bags full out of the deal. I'm sure the garbage people just loved us that week.

Oh, how this picture makes me cringe. By the time we came in Friday evening, all weeds were gone and we had a plan on where the new plants were going to go. Did I mention we have some hard butt clay kind of dirt? Yeah, that was back breaking work for The Man to try and even it up to a decent level since CLB (Cheap Labor Boys) covered up the holes and such with straw.

I thought the hardest on this corner here. I wanted something pretty but not huge as I didn't want to cover my window. I've driven by many houses where they have a tree or shrub that covers up a window and that makes no sense to me.

Finally got some control over the weeds on this end. Wait til you see what I put here!

The mulch was delivered a week later. This is one dirty kid here, Internets. I discovered that if there is a hill, little boys will climb it. He has thoroughly enjoyed this hill of mulch. He has dug and dug with his little shovel. I told the rest that I have never seen a little guy work so hard and get nothing done with all the digging he has done. We literally have to hose him off when we go in after he finishes playing king of the hill.

So, now you see why I called the front of my house The Hot Mess Flower Beds in all capital letters. I think it fully earned that title. Next post? Working, the flowers, and finished product!

Friday, June 04, 2010

What do You Think?

Since moving to our new town, it's been a high priority to find The Boy a doctor so we can keep the medication train going. We found one out in town that I think may just work out. *By "out in town", it just means he won't be seen on a military base.* She is a Mom herself with six year old twins so that helps the Mom in me feel better. She took a long time to listen to The Boy's history, asking questions along the way. Instead of the quick allotted 15 minutes, she was very generous with her time and wanted to know all she could about this boy and his medical history. That scored some brownie points in my mind.

As the conversation progressed, she furrowed her brows and asked The Question.

"Are you going to medicate him during the summer while out of school?"



My reply? "If he were an asthmatic or diabetic, I wouldn't quit medicating him since he's out of school. He will definitely be medicated during the summer as it helps him maintain control of his hyperactivity and impulsivity."

I was honest with her...we can't live with him if he's not medicated. You might think badly of us, but I'll tell you like I tell everyone else. You don't know him. You don't know how fast he can get out of control. He doesn't like losing control. He likes being able to focus. With medication, he can sit on the floor and play with his cars and action figures without having to get up and run around.

I don't know if she was going to suggest taking him off of medication or not...but she kept her thoughts to herself, nodded and wrote a prescription.

We now have a referral for a child psychiatrist that he will see in August after school starts back. Some times I wonder if it will always be this way. Will my child need a psychiatrist his entire life? Will he ever be able to get off this medication? I don't mind him going to the psychiatrist at all. I don't mind the medication now that I know how much it helps him. I just hope and pray and pray and pray that one day he won't have to have these things to function. I guess time will tell.

Oh, did I also mention we're waiting on a speech therapy referral, too? This kid talks so fast because his brain goes ninety miles an hour. He's so intelligent, but you can't understand a word he says when he gets wound up. Therefore, here we go with speech therapy again to help him slow down and communicate.

The Boy is such a light in our lives. He and Paige call each other "Best Friend" when they call one another around the house. Makenna has this magic way about her with him when it comes to taking his medication in the mornings. I don't know what kind of voodoo she uses, but she can always get him to take those two magic pills without fuss...when minutes before he's fighting us to the ground. I have a path worn in my carpet from times where he and Prissy chase each other around the entire house. Prissy always loses traction when she hits the hardwood in the hallway and she skids a foot or two before catching her feet to keep chasing. This usually tickles The Boy to where he can't run so she catches him in the end.

So what if he has to take a few pills the rest of his life? So what if he has to see a psychiatrist once in a while to make sure all is well in his world? It is what it is and I'll do my best to make sure I do my part to make it happen.

I thought I would share a couple of pictures of my handsome boy from 5K. Moving an ADHD kid who is a tad OCD in the middle of the school year is a bad ordeal for a Mama. God had His hands all over the situation when he put my baby in Mrs. P's class. That teacher was a Godsend and she worked and communicated with us religiously with helping him adjust to his new class, teacher, and school. He never complained about going to school (I think because Mrs. P. is a looker and he appreciates a pretty gal!) and we were amazed at how fast he was learning. Now, my baby reads and to keep him entertained in church, I give him math problems to do. I kid you not. He loves doing addition and subtraction..maybe I'll introduce multiplication this summer? I made sure to tell Mrs. P (and Mrs. S., the aide) how much we appreciated all they've done. In fact, they might have gotten tired of my continued thanks by the end.

Now, we head to first grade and a whole new level. I am sitting here now with hands paused over the keyboard as I look up at him playing with his trucks, cars, and action figures...in his own little world of make believe. Two weeks from now I'll be writing about his graduation from high school (at least it'll feel like that!), and sad at how fast time flew by.

Isn't it just crazy how much love you can feel for a child? Each of my three and a few adopted ones I've gathered along the way just keep my heart full to bursting and I am just a better person because of that.

*I do have some really cute group pictures of his class, but I can't share. I don't have permission to put someone else's baby on the Internet. I'm sure you understand!*

The Man took a day off from work to go with The Boy on the field trip to the zoo. I don't do field trips if I can help it. I mean, I will, but it's not my favorite thing to do. We felt one of us needed to go since we didn't know if all that stimulation would make him go in to froot loop mode. He did wonderfully and had an awesome time spending the day with his Dad. I'm so glad my husband can do stuff like this and make some great memories!

My little town boy doing country stuff! He really liked this and had to tell me all about it.

Two very awesome teachers. I do have their permission to put their picture up on the blog. Mrs. S. is to the left and Mrs. P. is to the right. She received the Teacher of the Year award this year (well earned!) and one of the parents gave her a tiara to wear the day of the 5K program. (You all know I just adore a tiara so I thought it perfectly fitting.) I am in prayer now that my son will be blessed to have another teacher in his learning pathway like these two.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Day for a Memorial

We went home for the Memorial Day weekend since The Man had the day off and it was my parent's birthdays (same day- year apart (I always feel like I have to explain that so people won't think it's a typo!)) and my beautiful niece had her dance recital and first solo. It was a busy weekend like always. I was happy to see a few people at the recital I haven't seen in a while...almost like a mini reunion. Add in going to our home church on Sunday and we were the last ones to leave the parking lot as we were talking to every person we could as we miss them so much.

Anyway, my husband was thanked many times for his service with it being Memorial Day and all. He was kind and gracious, yet felt compelled to tell people that Memorial Day is for the fallen military members. I would then be kind and gracious enough to touch his arm and remind him of how many times he fell down on those submarines where he served many years.

I am sad to say that I never really appreciated the military and all they do until I married my submariner. You really don't have to understand the sacrifices the families make. If you haven't walked in those particular shoes? You really can't fathom their day to day lives. And that's okay. It's not a bad thing. I met someone this weekend for the first time and we got to chatting (you always get to chatting when I'm around!) and I found out that her father was military and I stopped her and said "Thank You." She got it. She simply said, "You're welcome." and we kept talking. I need to tell my Grandma "Thank You." She was a military wife for a short time and then had to turn around and let her only son go to Vietnam. She prayed all day long every day for his safe return and didn't breathe good until he was back home. I get that. My Daddy lost one of his good friends to Vietnam. Forty years has lessened the loss, but he doesn't forget. Ever.

You want to hear one of my shameful secrets? When Paige got to high school and wanted to be in the NJROTC (Navy ROTC), I was dead set against it. I hated the thought of her doing anything military. Let me tell you, my family knew exactly how I felt, too. She went ahead and did it, but I did NOT support it in any shape or fashion. I remember at the open house the school had, another parent was in the ROTC room with their kid and they were all gung ho about their kid being in the program. The more they talked? The angrier I got. We were all walking out at the same time when my temper just flared. This guy made a comment (and I can't remember what it was), but it set me off. I turned and looked at him and said, "I do NOT support my child doing this program. Let someone ELSE'S child do the military thing...my family had done enough!" I turned and walked off and left the guy standing there in shock. I'm so sorry, Mr. Guy, for how I acted. That program was one of the best things my child could have done. She excelled at it, won awards, found a family of friends, and had an amazing teacher in her crusty ol' retired Master Chief. I am so ashamed of how I felt. Looking back, I think it was fear more than anything. Fear that my child would join the military and leave me and be in danger. Now? If one of my three decide the military is the way for them? I am going to suck it up best I can, smile, and support the mess out of them...busting with pride the entire way.

I want to also mention that while we were in South Carolina visiting this weekend, my "sister" Lu's intended, Chris, lost his father in a tragic motorcycle accident. The girls were out to supper while the men were watching the kids when he got the call. Chris called Lu while we were eating and she immediately took off to be with him. It was just a bad deal. I am grateful that the way the circumstances fell, we were in town at the time. We spent some time with them before heading back Monday evening. My heart goes out to Chris and the family as they bury his father today. Please, if you can, keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. It was just so unexpected and Mr. Randy will be missed by many people.

I have a few things stirring in my blog pot that I'm going to be sharing soon. School is out now so I have company during my day. Paige is doing a summer school gig to get her credits straight so she can enjoy her Junior and Senior years. She's being a good sport about it all, bless her heart. She's doing AP English next year so she has homework the whole summer for that subject. Craziest thing I've ever seen! She has homework assignments due for that class all summer before school even starts. My understanding is they have a big test the second day of school in August when they start back full time. She's already read her two assigned books (remember "Catcher in the Rye"?) and has started the drudge work. I have issues with bogging kids down during the summer months. Childhood only lasts so long, people! As it stands, though, I will take and pick her up for the next five weeks and make sure she has internet to turn in her English work.

You go on and try to enjoy this hot weather that's going on right now. It's time for me to see exactly what these new air conditioning units can do in this house of mine!