Monday, November 23rd, 2015

9 Sept Max: I feel like a Christian in modern times.
Me: Why is that?
Max: The burden on my back (I was going to Bible study and he was carrying all his school books in his backpack).

Jack said, “I want snow time.” (He has continuted to ask for this, and now that we’re wearing jackets and coats he keeps saying “Winter time! Snow!” I keep telling him to pray and ask God for snow…God’s the one who makes it snow.

11 Sept Jack can’t say, “Pjs are for sleeping.” He’s been getting dressed all by himself, including picking out his clothes…so he’s been wearing a lot of pjs lately. I told him to say “Pjs are for sleeping” to differentiate from ‘day-time clothes’ and he just couldn’t get his tongue around those words. Sometimes it surprises me how much trouble he still has even repeating what I say at 8 years old. If I say it super slowly pausing with every 2 or 3 words he can repeat it, but if I say that exact sentence in normal cadence he can’t get it out right.

26 Sept Me: Why didn’t you just tell your friends you were making waffles instead of playing with them?
Max: Cause I didn’t want them to get jealous. I’m just joking.

1 Oct Max got an inhaler refill. She said use 2 puffs before mowing grass, and 4-6 puffs after as needed. Also, he needs to wear a mask while mowing.

3 Oct Started out wonderfully…I read in bed till 11am, I only had to get up three times to fix Jack up with some breakfast and his learning DVD. After lunch Dan McC came by to weed eat…
Max hit Jack in the head with a shovel, Max hit himself in the back of the head with a hammer, Jack pulled the water hose out from under the porch and had to thread it all back through, and I discovered that the water leak is real and it’s on our side. Ugh. When I kiss Jack (out of the shower and clean now) he says, “Poor Jack” in a truly pitiful quavery voice, I think his head hurts. About the water leak: Friday night around 9pm I went out for a walk and saw a paper on our porch. Turns out the water company came by that Monday and left a note saying they thougt we had a leak. Max had been out on our porch almost every day that week and never brougt that paper in or even told me about it. The water guy came out Sat and said it was our responsibility to take care of. Ugh. I don’t want to be an adult.

Just found 2 old emails and just in case I never put the info here, here goes:

1/18/14 Jack’s speech has really taken off! He’s eating breakfast and just said to me “Hey Mama, Jack yucky hand”!!! (His hand was dirty and he wanted it wiped off.)

3/2/14 To J’s teacher L Schneider: What are y’all reading that goes ‘Shadow, poor Shadow. For Pete’s sake!’?? Jack’s been repeating that all weekend!

6 Oct I’m playing ‘Voice of Truth’ now while J and I finish up some school…he’s singing that tune, but the words are “…down slide…party Rachel…green down slide…humming…party Rachel…”

12 Oct Max: “Part of my prod-i-cure of taking a shower is getting clothes.” Procedure.

2 Nov Jack randomly stood up in his co-op class and pulled his pants down!!!

3 Nov Jack threw the ball over the fence and their dog barked and barked. After 5 minutes someone there threw it back over and Jack said, “Thank you, dog.”

In the last 6 months or so he’s taken to saying, “Thank you sir” whenever he thinks the need arises. It’s never very often, and it always takes me by surprise.

He’s really starting to try to make full sentences, and trying to use the word ‘are’ properly. Yesterday he said, “It’s too heavy” about a pumpkin he was carrying. And he’s said, “my are socks”; but he’s also used ‘are’ correctly sometimes with pants or socks. He’s still really hit-or-miss about you/I and mine/your. He’s making an effort and noticing, though.

3 Nov At the pool store I realized he was saying O-P-E-N. The sign was backwards but he was reading it in the correct order. I asked him what it said and he said, “O-P-E-N, nipple”!

11 Nov talked to the Preacher about sneakyness.

While we were eating once Max came out with these three things that made me laugh:
Will turner burped 10 seconds straight, and drank a bunch of hot sauce out of his ice cream cone.
I wish your will said if you die while I’m young I could live with Aunt Kelly cause she lets me watch all that TV.
Do you think you could really cut your hand off with a sword?

7 Nov Here’s why J is so hard. He wants to go outside. I tell him get your shoes on and you can go. He goes to his shoes and after a minute I hear him fussing. I call him back after a bit of fussing and ask what’s wrong. He just gives me one word replies…most of the time I can figure it out…but only because I usually know what’s going on in his world. He tells me wet and outside…I tell him a couple of times to go put his shoes on and he can go outside. He finally goes to the back door and tries to open it so I get up and then see that his shoes were left outside last night. This took so much longer than if when I’d asked where his shoes were he would have told me outside.

When you ask Jack what a chicken says he says “Cock a bok!! Bok a bok!!!” etc etc etc and dies laughing. Probably because we’re all dying laughing by that point.

M/J and I came home from church one Sunday and I was making lunch. J went to the bathroom and then I told him to go sit to eat. After I finished my meal and was putting stuff away I noticed J’s pants/uw on the floor right outside the bathroom. I walked over to his seat where he was still eating and yep, he was sitting there with just a shirt and his socks on and was almost finished with his lunch. Some parenting!!!

19 Nov J flooded the upstairs bath again, 3rd time. I sent him up Wednesday night after church to take a shower after Max. He can do a good-enough job on his on with everything but fixing the water temp, so Max did that part. After he was done we heard the water running still so Tj told him to turn that water off and get to bed. He did. The next morning when Tj went up there the floor in the bathroom was wet and the sink was full…we think it was the sink we were hearing, not the shower. I checked downstairs and there was water pooled on the floor at the laundry room door like before. There are also new stains over the built-in armoire, the movable armoire, in the guest bath downstiars, the library bag got damp, the floor in the pantry was soaked. Over the next few days I’ve noticed the doorjamb in the bathroom is swollen, the baseboard in the living room is swollen and cracked away from the wall, etc. And what makes me really sick is I kept smelling what I thougt was poo, but turns out it was musty/mold smell!!!!!!!!!! I made J sit and watch while I cleaned up…the cabinets under that sink were flooded, all the rolls of toilet paper were swollen, the humidifier was flooded, the drawers had standing water in them. It was a nightmare. After I took care of that and got M set up with school I bought 3 doughnuts and ate them while doing school with Jack. There, I showed them!! After we realized what we were smelling we put a fan directly on the carpet for several days. I’ve been gone all day and don’t smell that smell, so I’m praying it’s drying out enough for us not to have to worry about it. Please, God!

21 Nov Max opened the door while J was going to the bathroom and found him squatting on the toilet!! What am I going to do with that kid!!??

23 Nov J went to 1-day sports camp and M and I had a date! I told M he could have $5 to spend, and I’d buy him some clothes at Goodwill…for the last few months he’s been asking for more name-brand clothes. He shopped and picked out a few things and ended up with a skull shirt and sports pants. He didn’t even pick anything out of the toy area…that’s a first for him! Next we went to an Arabic grocery store and I got a handful of things including zaatar to dip my bread in. We stopped at Dollar General for him, and then went on to the mall. I gave him some choices for lunch, but he’s not an adventurous eater so we had the Crazy Hibachi for lunch. We went to Books-A-Million and saw tons of stuff we both wanted to buy, but I bought some many-sided-dice for J’s school and a disposable fountain pen for me. We went to another Goodwill and I got a corduroy jacket and a b/w skirt with a cute print. M only had $4 left (he’d spent one on the claw machine and then griped so much when he [surprise] didn’t win) and of course he found a gun he wanted that was $5. He asked if he could ask them if they’d take $4 for it and I said yes, but this isn’t that kind of place so don’t be surprised if they don’t go for it. He asked me to come with him but I wouldn’t. It took a lot of shenanigans because he couldn’t find the woman the first woman told him to look for but eventually he came to me with the biggest smile on his face. When we checked out the lady there complimented him so much on his manners and said that’s why they let him have it for $4. When he asked them about it a guy there gave him $2 in quarters, and then he found $1 on the floor which no one claimed! He thinks it’s his lucky day! I hope it is…he entered a drawing at the mall for $1,000 and then he stopped about 20 steps away and said we should pray that we win it, so we did. After Goodwill we stopped next door at Dollar Tree and he blew his $3 on candy and then we went to pick up Jack. We came home and played outside for an hour and then went to the library for chess club (our 3rd time there). Max won against Mr. Robert 2x (with R’s help) and lost 3x. We stayed till they closed at 7pm, came home, ate and boys are upstairs now. What a day! What a good day.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Tues 18 Aug – We went to the new library and that afternoon J got sick. I was reading on my bed and he came and laid his head on my arm and it was burning up! His temp was only almost 101, but he wasn’t running around as much as usual.

Wed – Gmom came in around 10am

Thur – Max started his new young coders class, and that night we went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus!! We had such an awesome time. It’s so amazing to see the acrobats, and the guys riding the motorcycles in the sphere were breath-taking! At one time they had 3 motorcycles in there; another time they had 2 and a girl standing a the bottom that they rode around. That sphere was barely big enough for them all! Another part I really enjoyed was all the basketball players on unicycles; they looked so graceful! But our first shocker of the night wast the $20 parking! Grandmom brought her handicap tag, but that didn’t make any difference, we all exclaimed several times how expensive it was. :-) We’d just gone the week prior to the yearly church baseball game and chuckled once again that the first parking you see for that is $10, then $5, but if you wait till the parking associated with the ball field it’s $3!

Fri – We had a birthday party for Gmom and Tj (I made Too Much Chocolate cake with walnuts per Gmom’s request) , then Tj packed to leave.

Sat – Ted left, and we lazed around all weekend.

Sun – Gmom and J stayed home, his temp was spiking to 102 (twice) and 103 (once).

Mon – J and I went to the doc. She said it was probably viral but if left long enough it would turn bacterial. His ears were looking a little bad too, getting infected. We got some antibiotics, pain meds and more medicine for his spots under his nose. By this time his symptoms were occasional spiking of a fever, napping, not jumping as much (but not laying around all day yet), decreased appetite and a cough. I should’ve gotten cough syrup for him…by the time this whole ordeal was over we’d gone through the remainder of the cough syrup we already had (who knows when it expired) and another full bottle. He would be sound asleep and coughing. Poor bug!

Tue – J was on antibiotics for 24 hours so we all went to Chuck E Cheese. That morning before we’d said anything to the boys Gmom, Jack and I were having breakfast. At one point I asked J to bring the little vacuum and clean up around his chair; he did that happily. When I told him to put up the vacuum he balked obstinately. I told him to do it now and that I was getting his breakfast. Only after I’d threatened him (one more time?) did he go to put it up. I had my back to him and then I heard a crash! I stormed over to him (knowing he’d “dropped it” as he often does when he doesn’t want to comply) and told him in a super stern/loud voice to pick it up and put it on the shelf! Then I walked with him over to his chair where he sat. I told him to stand up on his chair so I could hug him…he was looking contrite. He started looking wobbly all over. I couldn’t tell if he really didn’t have the strength to stand or if he was just balking again. I finally helped him up and then hugged him, but he started really coughing. After a couple of seconds he started acting like he was going to throw up! He was really gagging and heaving. I sarcastically said ‘great, if he throws up I’m gonna feel like it’s because I yelled at him!’ and Gmom said something like ‘there’s no way you could’ve known it, but I think he accidentally dropped the vacuum, he didn’t throw it down in anger’. Awesome. He gagged a few times, and when it got even more serious sounding I rushed him to the toilet. He continued gagging and swallowing it down for a bit, but never actually expelled anything. After it was all over and he’d calmed down I brought him back to his chair and he was sooo pale! I really thought that anxiety had brought all of this on, but it wasn’t acting…I think you can worry yourself sick enough to throw up, but I don’t think you’d be that pale in the process! Things calmed down after that; he ate a little, and proceeded to act like his old self all the way through Chuck E Cheese’s. When Max came down for breakfast I told him to hurry and eat/dress so we could go somewhere. Instead of just talking it over with me he proceeded to scrunch his face up to cry that he didn’t want to go anywhere! I had had it with the emotions that morning! I told him to keep his face just like that I was going to take a picture of him! I found my phone and took a pic and said, “This is how you look when you do that. This is how you look when I tell you we’re going to Chuck E Cheese’s. If Gmom wasn’t here we definitely wouldn’t go, but I’ve already told her we’re going so get your stuff done so we can go.” Well that really brought on the tears; now he full-on cried in embarrassment that he’d cried about CEC’s. He apologized after a while and all was well. We had a good time at CEC (except for J pooping his pants…the antibiotics were starting to get him since he was hardly eating).

Wed – Gmom left

Fri – Jack pooped in his bed and was just laying there curled around it. I told him to stand up by me so I could clean him. The poor boy wanted to hug me, but he was covered in poo! I told him to stand but he fussed and whined, he was also wobbly again…I’m just not sure how much was actual weakness and how much was acting. We went back and forth a few times and I got louder and sterner till he stood still so I could wipe him off. I finally got him clean enough that he walked downstairs and got in the shower. I never fussed at him for pooping his bed, just for not standing long enough for me to clean him off. After a minute or two in the shower he started heaving again! I could see him gagging and practically throwing up and then swallowing it back down! Again I thought it was because of stress/anxiety.

Sat – this morning he made it to the toilet and as he was sitting there he actually ‘threw up’ a bit. I think now that he just has such congestion and doesn’t know to spit it out that it manifests as vomit. Poor bug!

Sun – Tj came back around 9pm.

Mon – We started school and Max started his Monarch placement test. I promised to make 2 meals for a family of 9 Tuesday, and 2 Friday.

Tue – 10am Tj left, I grocery shopped and cooked like a fool (pinto beans, rice, cornbread, asian coleslaw and cherry fluff; meal two was stir fry, quinoa, bagged salad, bottled dressing and a chocolate cake. I was 5 minutes late showing up and hadn’t frosted the cake, but I brought them the frosting).

Wed – Tj came back, sick as a dog

Fri – The boys and I checked out Huff n Puff gym…Max is going to start taking gymnastics every Friday morning! Jack can play on the trampolines and in the foam pit while M is exercising! I can read! Win win win! We came home at lunch and I cooked again (double batch of jambalaya, bagged salad and marshmallow frosted brownies; meal two was chicken enchiladas, pasta salad, no bake cookies).

Sat 5 Sept – Tj left at 7:30am, and then again at noon. Crazy airline sent him a message when we were 3/4 of the way to the airport saying his flight was delayed. The thing is they found out it would be delayed at 10pm the night before…why didn’t they let him know then?

6 Sept – Jack was napping with me and as he rolled over and was waking up he said ‘ironing board’ twice. That kid makes me laugh so hard sometimes.

When Tj’s gone I’ve taken to sleeping with the door open…I like being able to hear Jack, although that’s not always a boon. He came downstairs yesterday morning at 3:30am to get in my bed! I love snuggling with him, but I sent him back up. That’s not a habit I want to encourage!

Speaking of snuggling, since he’s been sick he’s been even more of a Mama’s boy. He’s taken a 3-hour nap almost every day, and the days I thought he wouldn’t want to nap he’s fallen asleep on the couch around 4 or 5 pm! When we snuggle down for a nap he’s sooooo sweet! And even when we’re not napping he gives me lots more kisses than usual, and the usual was already a pretty high number!

This morning he got up at 6, went to the bathroom, and started playing in the guest room with the noise machine. When I called his name he shut the door! Hardhead!

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Life has been crazy these last couple of weeks. Here’s a little of what’s been going on:

Max randomly asked me if pepper spray was just an old fashioned taser.

Max and I have really started playing cards a lot. One day while we were playing and Jack was playing by himself with a flashlight Max said that he wished Jack didn’t have DS because then they could play a lot together. I said I completely understood what he meant, but to be sure that he never said anything like that once Jack was able to understand; we would never want Jack to have his feelings hurt or feel bad that he has DS. Max immediately started crying so hard and said “I would never want Jack to think I didn’t love him!” He was so upset! I hugged him and we talked a bit. He loves his brother so much! He’s an awesome big brother.

I told Mom what I was putting in J’s smoothie these days and her laughter prompted me to write it down: 3 ice cubes of stir fry I had leftover, oatmeal, an ultra ripe banana, peanuts, ice, water, milk, vanilla protein powder and a spoon of chocolate chips. I think that was all. I didn’t finish all of the stir fry before Tj came home from a trip, but I hated to throw it out, so I froze it. I tasted the smoothie after I mixed it up and it tasted fine, but it stunk to high heaven! Jack drank it through a straw so the smell didn’t get to him. I told Mom he deserved my deviousness after all the stubbornness I have to put up with him!

14 Aug Jack called me stupid! He was being fussy about putting up the utensils which has been a chore of his for about a year now. I held him gently by both shoulders and was telling him to stop being fussy. He said ‘stupid’…kinda muttery, but definitely not under his breath. I said ‘What is stupid?’ and he tapped me on the arm with the spoon he was holding!!!! I absolutely couldn’t hold it in…I smirked! It was all I could do not to fall down laughing! Then he smirked!! But I can’t have him calling people stupid! So I mustered up all the seriousness I could and glared at him and told him to NEVER call me stupid! He immediately looked like he would cry. I put his spoons down and walked him to the bed and snuggled with him. Crazy kid!!!

16 Aug was promotion Sunday at church. I took Jack to his new teacher and tried to keep the monologue about him to a minimum. I told her he could obey if she was stern with him blah blah blah. A quarter of the way through the G-lab song service someone came downstairs and said that Jack was missing! After making sure they were serious I ran up to his room to check. I started checking some rooms nearby, and went to the room he’d been in the week before, but then figured that any of those teachers would have told someone that Jack was in their room. I took off toward the commons thinking that someone should look outside, but that he’d likely stay inside so I didn’t have time to worry about that. I was telling everyone I saw that he was missing…practically everyone at church knows him, thankfully. When I’d made my way around the commons and up the stairs he likes to go up I was close to Tj so I popped my head in the tech room to tell him. I was sooooo out of breath it took me a few minutes to say it. I wasn’t panicking, but I knew the sooner we found him the better; he can move so fast, and he has no fear of traffic, or getting lost, or much of anything, really. We started heading back towards his room and when we were halfway there someone said they found him! I don’t even remember if I hugged him, but I had to see him to be sure. He was in the very room next door!! With his helper!!!!!! ARGH!!!! When I dropped him off his helper hadn’t been there…so I guess his helper just went into J’s room when he got there, and then followed J when J went out. Since he was with him he wasn’t worried about J, and the people in the room next door said that J had gone in their room the previous Sunday! I think his old teacher used to let him just go wherever he wanted to go though I asked her so many times to please keep him in his room. If they wouldn’t let another 8yo wander around and do whatever they want (which they don’t) then please could they not let J have the run of the place? I was really shaken up the rest of the day. I was never upset with his teacher; on the contrary I felt so bad for her because I’m sure she felt like dirt!

One day Max was downstairs playing and it was after 7am and Jack hadn’t come down yet. When I asked Max about it he said he’d changed Jack’s clock so he wouldn’t know it was time to come down! Stinker!

3 Sept Max said, “I wish there were no laws…….then you could just shoot random people, but I would only shoot people I really didn’t like.” Sometimes I worry about this kid!

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

This is a blog post I started months ago. Life is crazy and a little hectic (and I’m a huge procrastinator) and I’ve never gotten around to finishing/posting it. The boys are at WOPWOP now so I have about an hour to get this blog caught up!
Well, there have been big changes here since mid Feb. Tj got a call Jan 30th from Atlas Air offering him a job, and telling him to go into work that day and give his 2 weeks’ notice! Two weeks later he was packed for 2 months and drove to Miami (a 19 hour car trip) for training. I was very optimistic and even cocky about him being gone for two months…he’s had 3 6-month deployments that we fared well with, 2 months was gonna be a breeze!

The week he left the water heater sprung a leak and filled the pan so much that it put out the pilot! I spent several hours on the phone with my dad troubleshooting till he said I needed a man to come fix it. I knew what the problem was, but needed someone stronger than me who could tighten the bolt up top. Tj put the call out and JT came and fixed it in just a few minutes. Woot! Then the next week we had a huge freeze and my heater stopped working! Another long phone call to my dad and much going in and out ended without success. Tj put out another call and JP and Jenn came by to see what could be done. Many hours later he figured out that snow had covered the vent and wasn’t allowing enough oxygen to let the furnace burn well enough to heat the air. I’d already packed to spend the night at their house, so they drove the boys and me there for the rest of the afternoon. JP took all the kids except Jack sledding, Jack played out in the back yard, Jenn made brussels sprouts for me to try, all in all that day ended better than it started.

Despite that rough start it wasn’t too bad having Tj gone. We had school to occupy us, and lots of snow to play in. One day the boys and I played outside with the neighbor kids and built a snow fort. Max spent 6 straight hours outside that day, only coming in for about 15 minutes once for some cupcakes and hot chocolate. I never thought about it but he got severely sunburned that day!

Things were rocking along, and then they weren’t. Tj was supposed to start driving home April 22nd, but about 2 weeks before that I hit a real low. It started with Max’s trouble with math and Jack in the backyard. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth it seems like I need to sit with Max while he does his math, or at least go over it all with him before grading it. He just keeps getting so many wrong, but practically none because of not knowing how to work the problem…it’s all simple/foolish mistakes. He spends long minutes staring off into space and then working quickly and haphazardly to finish his math. So while I’m sitting with him I’m not doing what I want/need to be doing. I try to remind myself that this is this time. This time will pass. This is my job, to train him and Jack, and there will be many years without him, but for now he needs to take the priority. Some days I remember this better than others. Annnyyywayyyy… while I was helping Max Jack was in the back yard playing. At a stopping point I turned to check on Jack and saw his very shiny white hiney with a large brown streak from his butt to his knees!!!!!! Ugh!! He’d pooped in his pants and then taken all his clothes off and was trying to push the big yoga ball over the neighbor’s fence. Ugh again. I was totally frustrated! I got a big towel and wrapped him up and carried him to the shower.

After that I just couldn’t get my good attitude back. I tried really hard but the next few days were just miserable! I finally quit homeschooling Jack and just focused on Max, but even that wasn’t relief enough. I was just trying to hang on till Tj came home.

March 22 my two gf’s and their families and the boys and I went out to eat lunch after church. Before the meal was fully underway they said they had something for me and handed me an envelope and then everyone sat there watching me expectantly. It took me a few minutes to understand, but they’d bought me a ticket to go see Tj! What utterly awesome friends!They’d worked it out with Tj (and he worked it out with my folks) that I’d drive the boys to my parents’ house and then fly alone from there to Miami. At that point Tj had 3 days of training left, and then we’d drive back to Atlanta. What a wonderful time of rest I had! I hardly left the room all day while Tj was at work. That’s my kind of vacation.

That’s all I had typed so I’ll try to fill in the rest now. I really can’t express how grateful I was for that ticket. That time was one of the lowest I’ve been in my life, and to see the care my friends had for me…I’m so blessed to have such friends.

I don’t remember the exact dates (and if I wait to clarify with Tj I’ll never post this!) but we drove back to Mom’s and stayed a couple of days there. On the way home we stopped halfway at a nice hotel in Al for a couple of nights. We expected to be home for another several days before they called Tj to work, but he got a call while in Al I think and accepted a trip for two days after we got back home. It was so rushed, but we were excited for him to have his first flight, and to really get into this job. We were also excited for him to finish his training and get off of training pay!

His training flights didn’t go quite as expected. There was a moment there that I think he feared for his job! The dude he was flying with seemed to have it out for the company, and in trying to stick it to them he stuck it to Tj. In the end it turned out not to be a big deal, but Tj had to go back to the sim in Miami for additional landings and our training pay lasted a month longer than we expected. He’s off of training now and we never had to use our reserves, which was another great blessing from God. He loves this job, and he flies everywhere! I love that he loves what he does, and him being gone for 2-4 weeks at a time is ok. But I think the greater toll on me is the constant change of back and forth…him gone then home then gone again. It’s taking me longer to adjust to that than I ever expected, but I think this is just what comes with a new job and totally new lifestyle. We’ll get the hang of it.


Some highlights since the last time I blogged:

Mother’s day. Max fixed breakfast for himself and Jack as he usually does now when Tj’s gone. I came out of the bathroom after a while to check on them and Jack’s breakfast was just sitting on the stove…Max was just about finished eating. I asked about what was going on and Max said, “Oh, I wondered why I was eating so fast!” I have no words.

14 May Jack’s prayer for lunch: “mumble mumble mumble down black slide. Not full sentence. I want down black slide please, Mama. Good full sentence. I want down black slide please, Mama. Good full sentence. Good boy! Good boy! AAAAAAAmen!”

Friday May 15 Tj just txtd me: I did notice the Burger Beast Burger Brawl is tonight at the casino within walking distance. Is that why God brought me back to Miami?

There was a curriculum sale at church and I made $74 selling books!!

Talking to Max about camp after he came home (his biggest gripe last year was that he never got enough sleep): Me “Bet you fall asleep quickly.” Him “Well, there are a bunch of hopped up kids.” Heh, isn’t he too young to be referring to other kids as ‘hopped up’?

Max and I were talking about the ball pit that used to be at the skating rink. He told me he found a Twix in it one time. I cringingly asked him if he ate it but he said Tj “con fist i cated” it.

Jack talks in his sleep a bit. One day I went to wake him up and he said ‘David’s’ twice as he was tossing and turning. David’s is a restaurant with the best hamburgers and fries!

23 July I heard Jack from the bathroom saying “Beard is on. Beard is on.” At first I thought he was saying ‘bear is on’ which made as much sense as ‘beard is on’, actually. When I went to check on him he was rubbing his neck where he had a scratch…he thought he had a beard.

2 Aug Jack and I were laying in bed looking a pictures on my phone…our nap-time ritual. I had a web-page open to “Worst actual names of schools”. I wasn’t lingering on any picture too long, and one of them was ‘Krap’ written on the side of a school bus. Jack sounded it out perfectly! I laughed but just praised him for his great reading skills. That same nap there was an incident with us locating his car, but I don’t want to post all of that.

Yesterday the electricity went out. Later when Jack flipped the light switch and it didn’t turn on he said, “Light switch doesn’t work”!!! What a great full sentence!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

I told Max Sunday  that our friend Jerry would be having surgery on Tuesday (today), and that we should pray for him. This week is VBS so it’s crazy, but I’ve thought about him and prayed for him and his family several times. I thought this morning that when we got in the truck to go to VBS I should have us all pause and pray for Jerry and for Tj (who’s flights are crazy and out of control!), but of course I didn’t remember it again till halfway through VBS. When we got in the truck on the way home I said when we got home we would pray for them and Max said he’d already prayed for him that morning! He remembered during song time and prayed then! What a blessing.

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Here’s my backlog of blogging:

An infuriating thing about Jack is whenever I tell him to do something or go get something, he either stomps his foot and fusses, or he changes the subject as slowly and “politely” as possible. I said to Jack, “Go get me a kleenex” and he immediately said, “Mama,” in a super-slow voice, and then he just waits for me to say, “What?” and then he changes the subject. I guess I need to nip that quickly!

Max said, “Don’t you think it’s kinda weird that I can sing opera at the age of 10? I think its even more surprising that I can sing in a lady’s voice!” and, “Why aren’t you surprised when I tell you cool stuff that I can do?” I don’t really know what to say to that last one (or any of them, really).

We were all in the living room and out of the blue Max says, “In Max’s circle, pants are for squares!!” and took his pants off!! What a crazy kid! He really makes me laugh often.

Jack calls ice “mice”. I guess it’s because we always say, “Do you want some ice?”

13 Feb Jack read “You are the best”. Max wrote this sign and it’s been hanging from Tj’s mirror for a few years. I think it’s amazing that Jack could read Max’s handwriting, and that he has the desire to read things that are around him! I really hope he has a love of reading like the rest of us.

15 Feb was a hard day. I woke up to the sound of J hitting the glass shower door upstairs. Later I sent him out to eat while I finished up in the kitchen. I think he spit up every pancake he ate! I finally took the rest of his pancakes away and gave him a banana and peanuts for breakfast. Ugh! Later he unplugged Momee’s fan and it took me forever to get it to start again. (He’s been on a spitting up streak this week…three times.)

18 Feb The Jones girls have come over a few times for Friday Funday. When I told Max they were gonna miss one Funday Max said, “I hope an amazing change of events happens and the Jones girls can come over again.”

25 Feb Amy gave me several gallon ziploc bags full of letter stickers and Jack has been playing with them for fine motor exercises. This morning while in the drive through for doughnuts he read aloud the OPEN letters on the building; I helped him sound the word out and he read it. After we ate doughnuts while playing with the stickers he actually spelled OPEN!! That’s a first!

4 March Jack knows how to open medicine bottles now!

5 March I said I was gonna put lotion on Jack’s cheeks cause they were red and he said green. I said your cheeks are green? and he said yes’m. Cheeky!

I asked him to put his socks and shoes on because it was almost time to go to church. I checked on him a few minutes later and then spent several minutes searching for his second sock. Finally I gave up and got him another pair. While helping him put those on because now we were barely on time I saw that he put both socks on one foot. Sometimes I feel like I can’t win!

9 March Jack sprayed his nose spray all up the mirror less than an hour after I’d cleaned it.

14 March The day of Rebekah’s BD pool party at (2:30pm) both boys came downstairs at 7:30am with their swimsuits on!!
Same day Jack touched the griddle while Max was making pancakes. It was red and I could see the outline of the rim in his hand, but it never bubbled up and he didn’t cry. I know it hurt, but doesn’t seem to be bad, thankfully!!! We’ve told him many times that the stove’s hot, but I’ve seen him a few times (even while I’m cooking) say ‘hot’ and run his hand along the stove edge until he gets to the hot part. I wonder if he’s trying to learn what hot is?

15 March Jack says, “I want run please, Mama.” I said, “No.” He said aloud, “Ask Mama run.” “I want run please, Mama.” It’s always funny to hear him talk things through. I’ve heard him many times tell on himself by saying aloud, “No no, Jack! Spanking!” or, “Ohhhh noooo! Jaaaaack!” really slow and drawn out. It’s so funny, except that I then have to stop what I’m doing and go check on him.

At the BD party Max says a girl with yellow hair asked if Jack was adopted. Max said it was just like the girl who asked me questions about Jack at Harp’s. She was about 20 years old and worked there and we were chatting. I said we’d been cooped up at home with all the snow and she asked me if Jack “was adopted or something?” and then asked if Max had “anything”. I didn’t have my feelings hurt but it is amazing to me that someone that old didn’t realize that whole conversation was inappropriate to have with someone she didn’t really know.

21 March Jack was playing in the other room and saying “I’m ok!” like he was convincing himself of that fact.

I was talking to Max about not getting his feelings hurt by Caleb and asked what Caleb might generally do that would make Max mad. Max said that Caleb has called Max stupid, “and when I challenge him to a math duel he says “What Stupid?” I started laughing out loud and said that yes, that was mean, but it was also really funny. Caleb is such a punk and Max gets his feelings hurt too easily.

We went to get doughnuts (I know it sounds like we eat them a lot, but we don’t really) and Jack crawled like dog on his hands and feet all the way to the truck, barking all the way. Heh.

Max and I were reading the Bible and we heard a loud thump. Jack went down the stairs in laundry basket!

Max got food coloring and bottles for Easter to make colored pancakes. He burned a bottle on the griddle and came to tell me. When I saw it I just chuckled a little…the damage was done and there was no lasting harm besides the loss of the bottle. He chuckled a bit with a worried look on his face and then said “Why are we laughing?” The night before one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) cooked a chicken pot pie without removing the plastic lid…it shriveled up and made a strange lumpy blob on the pie that took us a few minutes to figure out what it was. LOL

30 March I took the boys to eat at Popeye’s. Max had his history book so he found a seat and started reading. Jack stayed with me while I tried to figure out what to order. There weren’t many people there and Jack was walking to the Coke machine and back just talking and singing…staying out of trouble. After I ordered and was paying I realized Jack wasn’t by the Coke machine! I had a moment of panic and then the girl said ‘He’s sitting right over there”. He’d gone to sit with the last girl who’d ordered who actually worked there. She had food and I’m sure he had some designs on her chicken! That boy’s gonna be the death of me yet!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

January 23rd, Friday: Jack said “Ax the blessin, mama” and “Sit with us!” to Tj while we were on the big brown chair. That’s the best sentences he’s done on his own ever!

That night Tj worked late. I was sound asleep when about 1:30am I heard what I thought was a kid running down the stairs. I jumped out of bed to go check and saw Tj in the upstairs bathroom. I asked if everything was alright and he said Jack was taking a bath. By himself! He’d just walked in from work and while walking through the laundry room (directly downstairs from the bathroom) he heard water dripping and there were puddles at the bottom of each side of the door frame! Apparently Jack got up in the night, he took off all of his clothes and put them in the dirty clothes basket, and then he had a fun, very splashy bath. The tub wasn’t overflowing, so he must’ve used the cup in the tub to pour water on the floor. Now that it’s been a few days and the water has evaporated we still have some ceiling paint that’s bulged out.

The next Sunday as he was waking up from his nap he sat straight up, kept his eyes closed and mumbled, “Down slide…….I want………flashlight.” and then he fell over again and slept a little bit more.

That night after church Tj took Max home and I had Jack. I walked to his side of the truck and closed the door after him and went around to my side and got in. He immediately said, “Fall down” while looking out of his window. He repeated it a couple of times, and when I went to look the DVD case had fallen out of the truck without me noticing! A few months ago he would have just grunted or whined until I (maybe) figured out what was wrong. And probably a year ago we would have just driven off without him making a sound at all. It always amazes me that with how smart he is in tons of ways, communication comes so so hard to him.

Monday Max said he was cartoonifying me. He said, “Sorry Mom, I have to make you a bit deranged…one of your legs is too big and your eyes are a little weird.”

I started keeping a potty chart again because it seemed like the accidents were accumulating. In the first 12 days of January he had 3 accidents. Then he had almost 2 full weeks of no accidents. Then last week he peed himself 5 times in 2 days! Ugh!! The last day, Wednesday, after that day’s accident he went to the bathroom by himself and said to himself “Potty on toilet, yes” in a very self-satisfied manner. He makes me laugh (when he’s not making me cry!) The crazy thing is pretty much every accident is at home. He did wet his pants at Amy’s once recently, but other than that it’s at home. We’ve even stopped bringing his bag into church.

Jack is in the 1st grade Sparks class and Mrs. Sue and I lead the class. One of the games we play is dodgeball. Any game with a ball (or a balloon for that matter) no matter what the rules are Jack gets the ball. I sometimes feel bad for his team because he’s in the circle with the other team throwing the balls in at them, and Jack grabs the first ball he can get and then throws it at his teammates…or whoever is near, honestly. It makes me laugh, but it wouldn’t be quite as funny if his teammates realized what he was doing.

Friday: I forget what I was talking about, but I said the word ‘sentimentality’. Max said “Yum!” I think he thought it had something to do with cinnamon.

Saturday Max made pancakes all by himself!

Sunday we had our 3rd annual Superbowl party. Everyone stayed late, and the boys went to bed around 10 pm. Jack woke up at 7am, and Max at 8. Max asked about the Oreo package in the kitchen and I told him to keep his paws off…there were 3 left and they were mine. Just about that time Jack sauntered in and there was a black ring around his mouth!! I was worried! I asked him what he’d eaten and he said, “Cookie”. An actual answer to my question! I had to ask him a few times and a few different ways but he finally said he got the cookie off the floor. Then I remembered that I’d seen a part of an Oreo under the edge of the island. At least it wasn’t my Oreos!


Friday, January 16th, 2015

The other day Max said, “When I really think about my younger self, I think I had a really low IQ!”

At some point in another conversation he said, “The only girl who my heart’s on a journey about is Rebekah”. He talked about how having a girlfriend who’s shy is better than having one who’s not because she won’t be bringing you to all her friends who are so loud and might laugh at you. We got into this conversation somehow after talking about how he wants to go visit Aunt Kelly again (but really because they all watch so much TV!). I asked if he had fun and he said they had a water bouncy thing one time, but he didn’t want to go on it because there were just a bunch of girls. He told me he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t want to go around a bunch of girls when he has a mohawk or sunglasses or something because then all the girls will be noisy about him and say stuff about how he’s cool. This is how we morphed into the Rebekah thing. When I asked him what he thought about Rebekah he said she was pretty, and shy, and had cool parents, “But really all my friends have cool parents because they all have their own iPod or iPad or something.” (If only that were the only thing keeping me from being a cool parent!) Some other place in this conversation (it was only a couple of days ago, but I was cooking at the time and didn’t have time to jot down too many notes) he said in an exasperated voice, “…and please don’t say I get all my info on romance from movies!” I asked him where did he get his romance ideas from and he grudgingly said it was movies. Humph.

Tonight at supper he asked me what age I thought having a girlfriend was a good idea. I asked him what age he thought. He said around 12 or so. I asked him what a girlfriend was for. He said to see about marrying or something. I agreed and said having a girlfriend is getting to know someone well enough to see if you want to marry her…and if you’re not ready for marrying then you don’t need a girlfriend. I hope he has friends who are girls, but I didn’t think he should be thinking about girlfriends until he was 16 or so. We’ll see where this goes.

In Jack news: I’m hoping we’ve finally gotten his allergy meds worked out. We had to go to the base to pick up a new prescription yesterday and as we were leaving we stopped to see a tiny service dog on a lady’s lap. Jack asked me and I asked if he could pet the dog, and then kiss the dog’s head, and then kiss his paw. The lady explained that the dog wasn’t around kids much and was nervous but Jack was being gentle and they got along together well. At one point I guess Jack saw the dog lick so Jack put out his extensive tongue and licked his own nose and the lady commented on how long his tongue was. We talked a bit about DS and his tongue. After a minute or two of chit chat I saw Jack lean close to her leg, and then he licked her!!! Oh that was sooooo funny! He’s licked plenty of things in his life, but the few times he’s licked people it’s just hilarious. Mom says he’s a service boy. Wonder if we can make any money lending him out? He would make other people so happy. :-) He barked loudly three times as we were leaving. That’s my boy!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Tj and I have been so blessed since we’ve been married. We haven’t struggled so much like so many couples do. He’s always had a great paycheck, if his job hasn’t been the best, and really for many years he’s had some really great jobs, too. It was a real struggle when he retired, first for a while there he was submitting resumes like crazy and not getting any feedback at all. And then when he did get a job it was non-flying, which has never been what he wanted, but he tried to make it work. He struggled, too, with just leaving the AF; it’s the only job he’s had for so many years, and he loves the AF so much, it was hard to leave it though it seemed like the best thing for him to do. We finally came through that, though, and have been settled for the most part for a while now. Life has been rocking along.

Right at the end of September of last year is when I first remember hearing serious things about his job. A new firm got the contract so there would be a changeover. Tj said everyone said generally these turnovers went smoothly with basically the only change being where the check came from and what logo you had on your shirt.

Sometime in October there was a meeting where the new firm said they were cutting everyone back to part time, no paid vacations, not hiring any schedulers, etc, etc, crap, crap, crap. We began to get a little nervous. We’ve operated with no debt for practically our whole marriage, but we went on a big cruise in May, and then both of our cars needed serious repairs, and then…and then, by the end of the summer we weren’t paying off the credit card every month like we’ve always done. It was weighing on our minds. By this time I’d cut out frivolous spending, and was trying to cut down on necessary spending as I could as well.

After trying not to spend so much for a few weeks on groceries and failing, I started thinking about a no-spend November. I kept going to the store to pick up just a few things, but would see a staple on sale and would stock up as I normally do. And then there was that last trip to Sam’s…our membership was expiring so I made a last run. It’s hard to buy just a little! So I decided I wouldn’t buy any food for me or the boys for the whole month of November. Tj was still eating fresh fruits/veggies every day so I’d get his normal things, but I thought I had plenty of food in our pantry (and the garage food shelves, and the ref/freezer, and the garage freezer) that it wouldn’t be too hard.

We made it through the whole month…we ran out of milk 3 days before December, we were almost out of eggs, and the biggest tragedy: we were completely out of hot chocolate mix!!!! But we had veggies every day, and fruit probably every day. Heh. I’ve come to the realization that I’m a food hoarder (I won’t mention all the other things I hoard, it’s enough right now to only talk about the food hoarding.) But really, that hoarding really came in handy that month. :-) I really enjoyed the challenge. Two surprise helps: our church hosted a luncheon for G-lab workers and we got to bring home some leftover baked ziti and enough salad to last us a week. And then my girlfriend moved and I cleaned out her refrigerator. I mixed the creamer I brought home with some chocolate chips I had from my stash and made us hot chocolate. Heaven! :-)

In December I challenged myself to only spend $100/week for all 4 of us for food and whatever else I’d normally buy at Wal-Mart. I had already been price matching Kroger’s sales at WM for the last several months, but I’ve really stepped up my game. I’ve compiled a price list in Excel, and now when I go to the grocery store I pretty well know how much I’ll spend. I did go a little crazy with the sales last week: Kroger had milk for 40 cents less than usual per gallon so I bought 5, and eggs were 50 cents cheaper so Tj and I decided to make breakfast burritos to freeze for him to have on the go so I got 5 dozen eggs. Then when I was there I saw that WM was selling their pepperoni for $1 less than normal! I bought it all. :-) That combined with other sales I found I think I’ll only buy a few fresh veggies next week. I’m enjoying the thrill of the hunt with these sales, and I like being better informed when I shop about what actually constitutes a good price, but it’s hard not to stock up on a good thing if I’ve already spent the money for the week. If he ever has a job where we’ll actually have to live with this budget I’ll be a lot more prepared and confident now. Other areas we’ve cut way back on: eating out (we’ve eaten out once in November to celebrate an interview, and twice in December to celebrate him being hired and hearing from A), we haven’t opened the hot tub (we have to buy a new cover before we do), and we didn’t buy a Christmas tree.

We told Max that Christmas was going to be slim because of the job situation and he took it like a champ. Because he knows Santa isn’t real, and because Jack still doesn’t understand Santa (although he definitely knows what presents are), Christmas was almost kind of a let-down. We planned on staying home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas to save money, and really, the boys and I had a whole month off of school by then, so Christmas day was not too much different than the other days we’d had. I forgot to mention that Thanksgiving wasn’t as fun as it had been the last couple of years when I spent the day leisurely cooking after we delivered meals and then we all sat down and had a nice dinner. This year I cooked and Tj mostly filled out applications and worked on keeping himself employed. We were convinced the week before Christmas that Tj wasn’t going to be offered a job with the new firm. They had to hire in order of seniority, and he was 7th from the bottom! Finally, 8 days before Christmas he was sent an email around 9pm offering him a job! We were so relieved!

Even though we’re so happy for Tj to have a paycheck, the crap hasn’t stopped. The first thing his boss said to him in front of the other hundred or so employees was, “You don’t take a good photo so you can’t get a company badge today”!! When I asked him what he’d done that was such an affront he said that the guy taking the picture okayed the pic even though Tj had his eyes closed. Whatever. From them dangling unemployment in front of 90% of the staff for months before Christmas to them letting go of 20% of the staff to them not having good business etiquette (showing up to an 8am meeting at 8am and still not being ready for it by 9:20), they’ve really created a hostile work environment. I really wonder where this will take us.

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I’ve put off blogging about this too long. This was from Max and Caleb’s boot camp 5 Sept 2014. For some reason Caleb and Max have never gotten along for any length of time. I think Max has been basically an only child for so long now, and Caleb is out to prove himself a big man to everyone he meets. So Max gets his feelings hurt by Caleb because Caleb knows how to push Max’s buttons, and Max hasn’t learned he’s not the only one who matters yet. Caleb is the little brother Max needs until Jack grows up enough to be that brother.

Amy and I concocted this plan that for boot camp they would each have the other over for a sleepover. They would have time to spend together without Adam and Dan to buffer them…they’d have more time to spend alone to try to get along. They had to serve each other, and be super great hosts, and they had to provide a gift for the other with money they’d earned.

Caleb came over and it was fairly benign, but there were some jewels:

Caleb told me I needed to vacuum my kitchen because they broke the water balls all over the floor…they made a huge mess! That really annoyed me so I fussed at him a little bit for that.

I was fixing ice cream and Caleb said ‘Am I right that I get first pick?’

Later on in the evening I sent Amy some text messages:

Just put J in the bed (only 1.5 hrs late) (not that it really matters…) and bit Caleb’s head off. Everything I do he’s sassy about. So I told him his sassy pants had to go, he had to be happy about something. He looked at me like he was thinking hard if there was anything he could be thankful for, and I finally said, like the ice cream??? He murmured thank you. Now he and Max are cutting out pocket knives out of cardboard

Heh, Caleb told me my phone alert was annoying…it went on too long. I said so things that go on forever are annoying? and gave him a look. He got it.

Ok, they’re eating a lot of sugar and start playing truth or dare. Caleb says I dare you to take off your pants, then it escalates since they’re both laughing, your underpants, your shirt. I said I didn’t think they wanted to see each other naked and one of them said something about seeing a mom naked…I put a stop to that right then!

Since the boot camp things have gotten marginally better, although after church last night Caleb came and told me that Max was calling him names. I asked what Max had called him (not really thinking it would be something I’d think was too bad) and Caleb said ‘big butt’. I told him to tell Max his mom said come right now, so he did. When I asked Max he said yes, he’d called Caleb that. I made him sit out the rest of the time while the other boys got to play. Tomorrow I’m making him make Caleb some cookies and I won’t let Max eat any of them (though the rest of us should try them out to make sure they taste good).