Monday, July 11th, 2016

At the end of April Gmom came for a visit. During that time we had our first brush with poison/kids!!! We’d been having problems with ants in the Morgan Bldg (after having no pests in there for 7 years!!). We tried a few things, and I’d gotten some poison from Home Depot. After using it one time I left the jug on the back porch. A day or two later Tj sent Jack out to play for a bit. Later Tj looked out and saw ant poison all over the back porch! He called Jack in and J had 2 or 3 grains of poison right next to his mouth!! We looked in his open mouth and it was pristine, nothing was in there. Ugh. We hemmed and hawed for half a minute about who to call, and then I got the number off the box. After I’d said I had a 9yo with poison on his mouth but before I could say he had DS the guy asked me why I didn’t just ask him if he’d eaten any. Heh. Of course I’d asked and Jack said yes he had, but that doesn’t really mean that he ate any. The guy said J would’ve had to have eaten a large amount (2T, Ha!! that’s not large for J!) and it tasted really bad so he likely hadn’t eaten much. He doesn’t know Jack. That boy eats everything! The guy said if he’d eaten a substantial amount he would be vomiting, and that we’d only need to treat the symptoms. I was so glad to hear that! He never vomited, and we’ll never know if he actually ate any.

21 June After Jack asked to pump the blue ball several times we told him not to talk about the blue ball again or there’d be consequences. He didn’t mention it again for several days! That boy understands more than he’s able to communicate.

23 June Jack always makes up his own songs. Today we were listening to “Even So, Come” and Jack sang, “Even So, Basketball”
Max has really made a turn-around with his money. Yesterday he knew he had about $70 and heard the ice cream truck. He asked me if they could have ice cream and I said, “Do you have enough money?” and he said no! Last year he would’ve had it spent so fast! It’s like a switch has been flipped and he’s ready to save money now. He has bought a few things with his money, and I tell him that’s why we earn money, to buy us the things that make us happy (after tithe and savings, of course), but he’s not burning all his money the instant it hits his hands anymore.

4 July Jack helped me get breakfast ready (while I was reading in the bedroom) by taking out 2 cast iron skillets, climbing up on the cabinets to get 2 plates, got the mayo and a cheese stick out, and got out the tortillas (?). He also got the milk, a cup and a straw out.
Yesterday at lunch I taught him how to open an oatmeal cream pie, and then at supper he was able to open one all by himself with no other instruction! Those fat little fingers still don’t do what he wants them to do always, but they did a good job then.

4 July Jack knocked the mirror down in the bathroom. The full length mirror. That crazy kid! I was so thankful that the prongs that were holding it to the wall at the top were on the sides…so it just slid down the wall and landed on the baseboard, not the tile in our bathroom!

6 July Jack’s reading. The whole page was: Israel’s First King 1 Samuel 8-10 When Samuel was an old man, God’s people said, “We want a king to rule over us.” Samuel asked God for help. God told Samuel to warn the people about all the trouble a king could bring. Jack only had trouble pronouncing: rule, warn, trouble and could. Could he pronounced ‘would’ and then guessed ‘cloud’. He’s doing such a great job reading! He’s been reading stuff around him when not in ‘school’ for a good while…like barbecue sauce bottles on the table when we eat, signs on the side of the road, etc.

7 July Jack was reading and it said, “…would have to give the best things…” After he read that he patted me on the shoulder and said, “My best mom”!!!

9 July Jack climbed up onto the counter to get the bowls for breakfast and couldn’t get down. He sat there for at least 10 minutes and never thought to call for help. I called him a few times and and he answered. I figured he was stuck, so I waited to see how long it would take for him to figure out to call me. He never did.

11 July Today’s the first day (of probably his last week) of sports camp. He made himself throw up in the pool because he didn’t want to swim…he wanted to play basketball!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Here’s a quick run-down of our vacation we took this month:

Thu 2nd
Drive to st Louis, @5 hours
Couldn’t get either DVD player to work
Max forgot kindle
Ate burgers on the way at Hayden’s
Walked a block and back to the restaurant while Ted payed
J threw up inside!
Fudge at the flea market
Hotel and swim
Pizza next door for supper

Fri 3rd
Early breakfast at hotel fulfilling J’s desire to “eat breakfast otel!”
Jack threw up his boiled egg
St. Louis Arch 10:10
J freaked out going down the stairs to get back on the train, I think because of steep steps and dark tunnel feel
Walked around St. Louis
Monty’s Sandwich Co for lunch
Federal reserve bank tour
Bags of shredded money
Butterfly house and playground, dippin dots for the boys
Max totally lost it in the butterfly house!!!
Salt and smoke for supper, they brought me the wrong meal, so I got two! Awesome brisket.
Hotel and swim
J asleep 9:30, awoke 7:30

Sat 4th
City Museum: closed toed shoes and pants
J freaked out walking over grills, and got lost twice
Wrote my number on his arm
Lunch there
Ice cream after, mine was only ok
Chinese for supper
Jack said, “Thanks, babe” to the waiter. Classy.
Bed around 9pm

Sun 5th
Drive to bentonville, @5 hours
We were singing Happy Day and Jack sang Jack birthday, and thanks for saving me!!
Listened to church on the drive
Gave Jack his first piece of gum. Swallowed in under 30 seconds.
The Red Barn Cafe and Hen House Bakery
Potatoes and white gravy were the best!!! I had that for dessert. We bought a giant cinnamon roll to go and ate it the next day…but it was undercooked in the middle.
Swim/hot tub 1.5 hrs
Supper at Taqueria Guanajuato

Mon 6th
Crystal Bridges 11-6pm
Amazeum 10-5
Jack said “Oh wow, a gutter” in the most bored voice ever
Saw a Frank Lloyd Wrigt house from the outside
Bought sketchbooks for Max and me, he promised to draw a human figure every day
Hotel and watched some of the Maltese Falcon while Ted napped
Swim/hot tub
Greek place in the mall with the best fries ever! Put Cavenders on fries from now on
Max new tennies like Dr. Who
Ice cream at Braum’s
Lights out at 10pm
First showing of our house tomorrow!!!!

Tue 7th
Breakfast and Swim/hot tub
Terra studios (should’ve planned more time there)
CJs Big Boy burgers
Drove to Hot Springs
Scoops ice cream for supper
Wed 8th
Zipline 9:00am with Max
Drove home
Ate lunch at Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant…tried fried green tomatoes for the first time…they were great!

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Once again it’s been forever since I blogged. I thought I was getting the hang of blogging somewhat regularly. Obviously not. Since the last time I blogged we’ve gone through a lot of changes…finally got the house painted, decided (fairly surely) that we won’t pack ourselves, Tj put a lot of our things on fb for sale and we sold the boys’ bed, and the house is finally on the market!!! We’ve even shown it a few times. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but things have slowed down a bit, thankfully, so I’m here to catch up.

5 Feb Jack said, “Tuesday, Wednesday, yesterday”

11 Feb Trying to get Jack to pronounce muffins = mum nins even after the 10th time repeating me
Also, he’s said “I going gym” a few times today. As much as he likes basketball, he likes the disco ball more.

I hold Jack’s head to brush his/wipe his face. Some times he held his head for me to do it. :-)

18 Feb Out of the blue Jack said, “I came downstairs, Mom.” He sounded just like any other boy! Obviously this is enough (very) out of the norm that I noted it.

26 Feb Tj complimented Jack on saying “yes ma’am” instead of “yes’m” and now he never says “yes’m” anymore!! I miss that.

17 March Jack is saying, “Mom, I want lost my teeth, mom.” It took me a week or two to realize he wants to floss his teeth.

30 March This wasn’t a good few days in our week:
After a play time at church this Wednesday night Max said he saw a couple of boys taking off their shirts (????) so he told them this wasn’t ‘Stripping 101′!!!!!
He was leaving the classroom early and John H told him he couldn’t leave. Max looked at his watch and told him insolently that it was 7:30, like he was free to do what he wanted when class was over.
When asked what everyone had been doing for Spring Break Max said we sat around and waited for a stupid asian(!!) to come paint our house. Boy, there were fireworks when we got home that night! I’m so glad I have friends in his classroom who will tell me how he behaves and when he needs correction.
Then Sunday on the way to church Max told me he wanted us to “Take turns spelling confusion out loud. I’ll spell the first three letters and you spell the next two”!!!!!!!!!! I asked him who taught him that and he said Aidan. I asked if he knew what he’d be having me say and he mumbled around a bit, then told me. I asked if he knew what that meant, and he knows what the word is, but I don’t know how much he knows what it means. I told him that he’d never heard me or his dad or any of our friends say that word. It’s not a word we’d ever use, and he could never use it, etc etc etc. Whew!

19 Mar Saturday Jack just climbed up in my bed at 7:15. The first thing he said was, “I am sick. I want drink waterbottle. I want Animusic.” !!!!!!! I asked him where Max was and he said, “Upstairs, in the bed.”

I asked Max if he thought he’d have a wife when he grew up. He said maybe so, he’d changed his mind after the passport to purity weekend with Tj. I asked what changed his mind and he said he hadn’t realized that sex was supposed to be fun. He’d wondered why people had sex before then. :-)

31 March Reading the Bible I say, “idolatry” and Jack says excitedly, “Dollar Tree!!”

J now closes his eyes in prayer. For at least a year he’s prayed for “all the colors down slide”. Now it’s changed a bit into listing each individual color, and then dramatically saying ” all the colors down the slide” while twirling his head around like a spiral slide. Every time he prays. And he wants to pray every time. There was no childcare for the Lord’s Supper last Sunday night and when the preacher said he was going to pray Jack got mad that I wouldn’t let him pray.

1 April Jack says “thank you paint house” to the painter.

8 April I asked Jack about a picture in a book, “Who’s in the truck?” He said, “Red.” Again, “Who’s in the truck?” Again, “Red.” I give up and ask, “What color is the truck?” He gave up and said, “Orange.” It really was red. I really don’t get this parenting a kid with Down Syndrome, apparently.

18 Apr We saw a fire truck and I told Jack we needed to pray for those people. Before I even finish saying that he said he said, “Thank you Jesus for food, fire truck, amen.” Then I prayed for the people and during my prayer I said, “…Lord, please help the people who are sick to know you…” and Jack was repeating what I said except he said, “…Lord, please help the people who are sick to yes you…” That’s why his nickname is antonym.

20 May Halfway to gym Max starts going postal in the backseat. I asked if he’d forgotten to wear something with an elastic waistband (a requirement since he does the bar). No. He forgot to put on shoes. Apparently I’m not so hot at raising a ‘typical’ kid either!

1 June Jack kissed me and stuck his (long, pointy) tongue in my mouth!

13 June Jack went to sport’s camp this week…it’s his second year going and he loves it! At the end of the first day they told me his glasses ended up at the bottom of the pool. I thanked them for getting them out and we left. The next morning I asked if he jumped in with them on or what and they said no, he’d just thrown them in! I apologized for his behavior and thanked them a lot for going to get them and they said no problem…then laughed and said they’d made the intern go get them.

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Here’s the last from last year, and some from this year.

2 Dec Max asked to make waffles and I graciously said yes. It’s such a pleasure to have a kid who can cook! We were out of the box mix so he dug out his recipe and got to town. I walked into the kitchen about halfway through his process and he casually said, “Oh, is borax the same as baking soda?”!!! He was about to measure it out! I guess I need to keep a better eye on him when he’s cooking!

6 Nov My Mom sent me an email from a missionary friend of hers a while back talking about how wonderful it was to get care packages, and how they mean so much more than convenience to someone so long gone from home. I felt led to send a package to a girl I grew up with who’s a missionary to Chili. I emailed her and got a list of requests and boy did I go to town! Tj told me he gets something crazy like 75% off shipping prices from FedEx, so I thought I was golden. I sure was surprised when they quoted me $500 to ship my box! I didn’t know they only do guaranteed delivery date. They suggested I try the Post Office. When I went there I think the first price they stated was $100. I asked what the cheapest rate to ship to Chili was and she said $40, so I got busy. I was so glad only a random person or two came in during the time I went crazy with the box and its contents…and Jack miraculously played quietly during the 40 minutes or so it took. I’d planned ahead and brought packing materials and extra tape, but it was crazy what I had to do to reduce the size and weight of that box. I finally got it down to size and shipped that sucker off. Lesson learned.

26 Nov My next lesson was no less crazy. My friend’s inlaws invited the boys and me over for Thanksgiving dinner. I asked what I could bring and then we decided I’d make a pecan pie. I’ve made them before, and they’re super easy, but they don’t always set in the middle. I did some research about how to cope with that problem and thought I was golden. I decided to make the pie early in the morning so I wouldn’t be rushed at all and that turned out to be the best thing. I whipped it up, put it in the oven and started enjoying my free time. It wasn’t long before I started smelling something burnt. Ugh. After I shut the oven door (and maybe that’s what did it) some of the pie crust edge fell off and the filling started spilling out…all over my pizza stone and onto the bottom of the oven. And boy did it stink! All that sugar was just burning for half an hour or so. I was worried all the way through that the pie wouldn’t taste good being cooked in that stinky oven, but it tasted fine. I only had enough karo for 2/3 of a pie, so I decided to try individual pies. Those worked out better. I’m now sick of pecan pie.

27 Nov I took the ironing board out for something and decided to call Jack over to see it. He still has a strong attraction to our ironing board, even though I take it out only about once every other year. When he saw it in the kitchen he cried, “Cute ironing board!” Then he went into the laundry room and cried, “Oh no! Ironing board lost!!” And came back into the kitchen and said again, “Cute ironing board!” He looked it all over, bent down and touched the underside…he was just overwhelmed with the glory of the ironing board. I really don’t understand the way his brain works…why he sounded worried that the ironing board was lost when he could see it right there. Either way it was funny and cute to watch.

6 Jan Jack cut up the beach ball globe. He’d cut the microscope cover previously.

26 Jan This was a very busy and stressful week for me. I got up this morning at 4:30 to take Tj to the airport. By this point in the week I was beginning to think that a cat was stuck under our house. It woke me up every night crying loudly but it couldn’t figure out how to get out…this is the second time this has happened to us in this house. I was also smelling something in our guest bathroom. I’m hoping that it’s the cat smell wafting up but not enough time has passed that I know what to do about it. Last week Tj and Max had an overnight trip to Hot Springs and Tj did the P2P curriculum with him. Also this night I showed up at Upwards for practice and everyone else had gotten an email saying it was picture night. I really don’t know how we’re not on the mailing list since Tj had been getting mails from Cassandra about helping…either way they lent me a uniform for Jack’s photos. I really wanted a good photo of him in his uniform since he’s wanted to play basketball for so long.

29 Jan M showed up to gym in snow boots and shorts. Yeah. Later he went under the house to get that blasted cat! I need some sleep! I told him I’d buy him a shake for doing that :-)

30 Jan I’m still doing that thing occasionally where I know we have to be someplace (the Upwards game) at 8:30am, so as I’m getting ready I keep thinking that we have to get in the car at 8:30. That never works! Why don’t I learn?! So we were 2 minutes ahead of time to the game which is fine for practice but really too late for the game. When I sent Jack behind the plastic curtain they all run out from I saw that neither of his coaches were there! So I started wondering if I’d gotten the time wrong. On my way to check I saw another mom who asked me for our coach’s number. I showed it to her on my phone, and she just took my phone and called her from there!! I didn’t mind too much, I’d seen her around, but it was kinda strange I thought. So they dim the lights and all the kids run out (this is Jack’s favorite part, they turn on the disco ball during this time…it’s the highlight of his week!) and the woman still has my phone. It’s dark and I’m watching for Jack so I just wait till it’s over to look for her. When the lights go up I see her all the way across the gym sitting next to someone and chatting. She sees me and waves me over to get my phone!! What the heck??!! She borrowed my phone without asking and is now waving me over??!! What a weirdo!

2 Feb Laundry day today. Second or third load of clothes comes out of the dryer and I see Max’s pen right inside the door on top of the lint trap!! I call him and fuss at him…I’d recently told him to start checking his pockets (story to follow) and he obviously wasn’t! He got the pen and then opened it…and it just spilled super black ink all over the floor!! It got on the little Turkish rug I had in there and on the bottoms of his socks, but I think that was it. Well, I still have a big spot on my hands and some on my feet, and I’m sure he does too. What a mess! It cleaned up fairly easily, thankfully. The other story is that at Christmas, the day we were leaving (and having such a horrible time/fight) I took Max’s clothes out of Mom’s dryer and found that he’d left 3 big pieces of gum in there! Tj and I spend the next half hour or so wiping and erasing the gum from the drum. Ugh!!!!

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Here are just a few more tidbits from last year. I have another couple of prompts that I need to write out but that will have to wait for another day.

23 Nov Jack said “I want to ride my bike please, mom”!! He’s saying unprompted full sentences about once or twice a week.

24 Nov Maca-waca: how Jack said maraca.

25 Nov Listening to K-Love and the song says ‘Cry to Jesus’ Jack says ‘Don’t cry Jesus, be happy!’

30 Nov I said, “We’re going to the library” Jack says, “3 library”

1 Dec “All I know is that Gran bought me a shirt that might possibly be cursed!” (Max’s theory about why he’s been grounded from Minecraft…it has nothing to do with his actions!)

1 Dec was Jack’s first Upwards practice! His first game is this Saturday morning.

19 Dec I asked Jack several “Where do you wear…” questions and answered them too. Where do you where a hat? pants? glasses? shirt? and a couple of others. But still, when I asked where you wear your socks he looked at them and said “White”.

Friday, January 1st, 2016

It’s the first day of the new year! Tj and Max are still asleep, Jack is jumping and watching Doodlebops, and I’m thinking about resolutions. They’ve kinda gone out of fashion lately, but I really like thinking about the new/clean slate a new year brings. The main one I’m hoping to keep this year is to be kinder, both out loud and inside, too. Sometimes I can manage to keep my mouth shut, but inside I’m full of self-righteous judgement. I want to remember that I’m not the best judge of the whole world. I like to think that Tj being gone so much now and me having to make all decisions makes it hard to change back when he gets home…but honestly this didn’t start with his new job. No one likes that kind of person. I need more humility. And quiet. So that’s my goal.

We rang in the new year well with our friends. It’s so nice to have great friends. I don’t take them for granted.

And my wonderful family; I’m so blessed. My husband is the best, and an excellent fit for me. And I love my children so! They’ve taught me so much about my relationship with God, and are (hopefully) teaching me patience.

This is going to be a wonderful year!

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!