When it rains it pours

That old saying is ringing true in our lives right now…

When it rains, it pours…

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Moving, trying to get settled, adding a new puppy, crazy times at work and the end of the school year fizzle is all taking its toll on us.

Too much change at once has been a bit of an overload to say the least. It is raining and pouring in our world.

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Friday night though was an awesome night. Sylas and I got flowers planted and the yard mowed. We got the last of the boxes unpacked. We even planted some tomatoes and zucchini. We were rocking and rolling.

Then the rain came. Literally, it stormed and poured and poured some more. While Sylas K enjoyed dancing in the rain Saturday morning I used the time to pick up things inside the house.

I bent down to pick up a blanket off the floor and it was like fire in my back. I seriously could not stand up! What the what!?! I yelled for Sylas and he came running. I am sure he thought he was in trouble at first the way I screamed.

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He came running into the living room and I told him I needed help. He bent down and made eye contact with me.

“What game is this mama?”

Sweet Jesus child this isn’t a game! He helped me to the couch and fetched frozen peas from the feezer so I could ice my back. And then he spent the rest of the weekend on caretaker duty.

Oh that child. If I wasn’t hurting so bad all weekend I would have been laughing like crazy. The things he said to me over the weekend…

“Mama, I’m sick of getting your shoes for you so you just need to leave them on until bedtime.”

“I will take good care of you but no matter what I’m not changing your diaper.”

“I get so tired of picking up after you.”

It may have been a very good lesson for him on how much I really do around the house that he never realizes.

By Sunday afternoon I was exhausted. So I laid down on the couch with my ice pack and turned on a movie for him. He was watching contently when I fell asleep. When I awoke he wasn’t in the living room…

Right about the time I was going to panic he came running through the front door with an empty bag and a spoon in hand.

“You won’t believe it mama, I got all the onions planted and it’s just now gonna rain on them.”

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Yes indeed folks. While I slept he planted 40 onion bulbs randomly throughout the front yard. There are onions around the trees, onions around the mailbox. Onions all over the place!

He did a great job! During the process he rewarded himself with four popsicles. I’m so thankful he made the decision to do something productive rather than something naughty. Heck it will make the summer an adventure as we find onions here and there.

This morning he carried my backpack and purse to the car and got it all loaded. As I dropped him off he gave me an extra hug.

“You are gonna miss me today mama. How will you ever survive without me?”

I’m not quite sure how I managed but I did. I do however still have my tennis shoes on.

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Some kids have music programs…

Tonight at dinner Sylas K and I had an interesting conversation…

Sylas: Mama did you know that some kids have music programs?

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Me: Yep some kids do.

Sylas: Why don’t I have music programs? I really like to sing.

Me: Well because of the class you are in at school they just don’t have music programs.

Sylas: Why not? I want to have a music program. All my brothers have music programs.

Me: Well I’m not sure exactly and I’m sorry you don’t have one.

Sylas: I think I’d be pretty good at music programs.

Me: I think you would too buddy.

I fought back tears as we talked and finished up dinner. Then I let the tears flow as I washed the dishes and he was occupied with something else. I’m not sure exactly what I was crying over.

Were the tears because he really is missing out on things like music programs?

Were they because he realizes that he is missing out and his heart is hurt?

Were they because I’m a little sad I’m missing out too?

Were they just because FASD sucks and once again stupid brain damage is robbing him of something?

Were they because special education, though it’s come such a long way, is still exclusive in so many ways?

I’m not sure why exactly I cried. Probably a combination of all of the above. But once the dishes were done I dried my tears and came up with a new plan. I called Sylas into the kitchen.

Me: So what if we had our own music program?

Sylas: You can’t have a music program with one kid. I think they even get drums and shaking things and maybe a flute.

Me: Just think about it. We could pick out your favorite songs and practice. And then the next time Aunt Heather and Papa and Granny are here we can put on a music program all of your own.

Sylas: With instruments?

Me: We can find some instruments.

Sylas: I think I’m gonna tell my friends that I’m gonna have a music program.

Solution found. Just because some kids have music programs at school doesn’t mean we can’t have a music program at home. Heck he can be a one man band!

Moving… Moving… Moved

Sylas K and I loved our little apartment. It was a great place for us to get back to being just the two of us. We had some really awesome neighbors and quite possibly the best landlord in town. We liked it.

But the opportunity to get into a house presented itself and well we just couldn’t say no. Or maybe I just couldn’t say no. Sylas K was originally not to keen on the idea of moving. He hates moving! Obviously, we all hate moving but he really hates moving.

When I told him we were moving to a house he was ticked off. He tried all kinds of tricks to get out of it.

“I don’t think living in a house is a good idea mama. Whenever we live in houses they burn down.”

Well we have lived in one house since he was born and yes it burned down. I tried to convince him that I have lived in lots of houses that didn’t burn down. So that passed.

“I don’t think we should move because you know the hermit crabs don’t like riding in the car.”

Yeah the hermit crabs can move just fine.

“Fine mama I’ll move but only if I can have a puppy and a garden.”

He didn’t think the puppy thing would fly. HA! Guess what folks. We moved last Saturday and the boy had his puppy on Sunday! Yep I rock like that. Or I’m crazy like that. Nothing like a new puppy in the midst of unpacking and settling.

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Regardless, he sure loves his puppy. He named her Lily because that was the most beautiful name he could think of for a girl. That was after I vetoed Flash.

The dog follows him everywhere! Who needs an expensive therapy dog? This little pup has convinced him to sleep in his own bed again because she will sleep with him.

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We are still settling in but we are loving being in the house. We love having a fenced yard and a front porch. And honestly we really really love the puppy!

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My Grandpa is retarded…

Sylas K has been missing his Papa since we returned from Texas. After spending almost a week straight together he is having withdrawal. Luckily for him Papa must be missing him too because yesterday Sylas received a note in the mail from Papa.

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I think that may be the sweetest note my Dad has ever written! Sylas was so excited about getting the note that he had to take it and the stickers around to show our neighbors. They are so good to humor him. I heard him clomp down the stairs and the following conversation ensued.

“Look, look my papa sent me this note.”

“Wow Sylas, your Grandpa must love you a lot to send you a note like that.”

“Yeah he does and my mom said he has a lot of free time now because my Grandpa is retarded.”

“Oh Sylas, I think your mom probably meant retired.”

“Nope he is retarded so he sends me really nice things and he loves me and he goes to the beach a lot now.”

By this time I was down the stairs trying to salvage the conversation. Thank goodness the neighbors have a good sense of humor and understand kid speak. After Sylas walked off we had a good laugh.

Then at dinner time we did the best part/worst part of the day routine and Sylas said.

“I’m so glad Papa is retarded and has time to send me notes.”

I spent the entire evening explaining RETIREMENT! I’m hoping he has it straightened out now…

Ghost Towns of Lyon County: Bushong

The Ghost towns of Lyon County are so much more fun to visit in the spring! It was a beautiful weekend so Sylas K and I went on an adventure to Bushong. I’ve previously visited Chicago Mound, Alda, Badger Creek and Lang. So far Bushong has been the best find of all.

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We pulled into Bushong, got out of the car and saw a person! Not only a person but a person we knew! Our family friend Christina and her family have a cute little house in Bushong. People actually still live there. Not many about 40 people.

Sylas checked out Christina’s yard and flowers and she told me about the Bushong Garage. The building has been maintained well, has original signage and even has the rings on the side of the building to hook up horses. Really cool!

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The old bank building is partially standing. The vault is still intact. There are also trees growing in the middle of building which Sylas thought was pretty impressive. Most of the buildings were built in the early 1900’s and I was impressed with the number still standing.

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The church is beautiful and in great condition. The school however is a crumbled mess. It is falling apart and lots of bricks. We walked inside a bit but I didn’t really feel good about having Sylas walk around inside too much. The structure didn’t seem very stable in some part.

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We saw lots of houses that are still occupied but also lots of structures that are in total disrepair. It was really sad to see because I think with just a little upkeep the town could be more.

When I was looking at the school it made me wonder how many more crumbling schools we will see in small towns. With education cuts there is no doubt that small town schools will close. And most of us know that when schools close in small towns the towns eventually disappear as well. Sad to think about.

Bushong was quite the adventure with Sylas K. We walked all over town and found “treasures” including 800 rocks that were hauled home in his pockets. Not many of the ghost towns have actual buildings or people so it was a treat. I’m not sure which one we will visit next but I’ll keep you posted.

You are not your mistakes

You are not perfect but you are NOT your mistakes!

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Recently, I had a bit of blow up on my Facebook page. I posted something that I thought was funny and some others didn’t see the humor the way I did. At the end of the comment war I had plenty to think about.

Something dawned on me as I read through the comments. Many people think they know me based on what I write on my blog and in my daily job. My blog does offer great insight into me as a person and as a parent. But it doesn’t tell the whole story of me. In fact, there are so many things that readers don’t know about me.

I think that the ideas people form of me solely based on what I write may be a bit unrealistic. The truth is, like all of you, I am human.

So in an effort share some of my humanness I thought I should share some things you may not know about me….

I’m have a ridiculously inappropriate sense of humor. At a past job I was actually banned from using the intercom system due to an unfortunate event in which I pretended to be my alter ego Sun Li on the phone with a coworker. While discussing inappropriate things in my foreign accent the entire conversation went live across the intercom system.Yikes!

I also have been known to give coworkers native american nicknames, pretended to be Jewish so I could get Hanukah gifts from interns and once wore a sticker on my boob during an interview with a political candidate. Yep, totally inappropriate but incredibly hilarious.

I’m not a good step parent.. at all! It’s not something I’m good at and not something I particularly want to do again unless the situation is entirely different. I’m probably an ass for saying it outloud but I claim it.

I smoke… cigarettes… not pot or meth or crack or ice but I smoke. Media tells me this makes me a bad mom and a bad person. My doctor says it isn’t healthy. But at the end of the day I just want my damn smokey treats.

I eat to much food, some fried, some dipped in chocolate and way to much of it that comes of out a box.

When I stand in line and wait at the grocery store I break all of the candy bars in the aisle. Yes it is childish but if I can’t have a yummy candy bar no one else in that aisle is getting an unbroken one. I started doing this as a kid and it has continued into adulthood. I have no desire to stop this behavior now.

When people park to close to my car in a parking lot I want to key them. It is an impulse that I struggle to control. The nicer the car that has saddled itself up on my drivers door the more I want to slide my key down that shiny paint job. I have never done it. But I promise you the day I’m diagnosed with a terminal disease I will key every car I want!

I cuss… Sometimes like a sailor… and sometimes in front of my kid…

When people fall down in front of me I laugh. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Can’t stop myself.

I’m an outgoing introvert. I hate leaving my house except for work. In fact, I get crazy anxious about it and will come up with every excuse to avoid social outings. Once I’m there I can be on, laughing, making jokes, entertaining. But I HATE leaving my house. Most of my friends come to me.

I fail at parenting every single day. I make mistakes, I screw up and then I thank GOD I get to try again tomorrow.

I’m not perfect but I am not my mistakes. The great news is that you aren’t perfect either and you also are NOT your mistakes. We each have the choice to try harder, try differently or just embrace some of our personal failings.

Happy Birthday Sylas

I can’t believe that my Sylas K is already seven! How in the world have seven years flown by so fast? It feels like I just brought him home from the hospital.

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Seven years ago, it was Good Friday. I was reeling from three failed adoptions, heart broken and depressed. I went to church that morning to take a 30 minute shift on the Good Friday prayer vigil. I remember praying and pleading with God to send me a baby.

Little did I know, at that time Sylas K was entering the world. It was Easter Sunday when I received the call that he was waiting for me. I’ll never forget the first time I held him. My heart and life have never been the same.

I think frequently about all he has been through in just seven years. Dealing with FASD, the house fire, gaining a dad and then going through the separation process. Not easy things to navigate for adults but especially difficult for a little guy. While other kids head to soccer practice or boy scouts Sylas K has spent his time heading to occupational therapy or another medication appointment.

What always stands out to me is through it all Sylas K continues to laugh and love. He always finds the best of every situation. No matter what comes at him he just enjoys life and his people. I hope he stays like that forever.

Every day is an amazing day as Sylas K’s mama. For seven years I’ve had the opportunity to be mama to the most amazing little guy I know. I hope that his birthday is just half as wonderful as he is.

 

Road trip lessons

Just a few road trip lessons that may be helpful for you to know in the future…

  1. Hermit crabs do not travel well!
  2. Hermit crabs can actually get motion sickness. This sickness can lead to them puking or pooping in their container. I’m not certain which it was but I can assure you that hermit crabs expel something disgusting when traveling.
  3. Motion sickness can then cause a hermit crab to develop what I call “Travel induced panic” which will ultimately lead to death.
  4. Hermit crabs dying in transit can cause your child to have a meltdown complete with sobbing and wailing while you try to handle bumper to bumper traffic through Ft. Worth during rush hour.
  5. Bribing your child with not one but two new hermit crabs from the pet store when you return home can make the meltdown stop.
  6. Roadside burials of dead hermit crabs can take awhile… They have to include not only a eulogy but also prayers and a special musical selection.
  7. It takes forever to drive from Texas to Kansas!
  8. GPS lies! It says it takes 12 hours. LIES! LIES! LIES!
  9. If your child has hotel phobias always get a room with an exterior entrance. For some reason this is magic.
  10. When GPS attempts to route you off the highway to save time during a traffic jam don’t listen to it. This is a guarantee you will be led into the ghetto.
  11. Explaining to your child why everyone in the “detour” area is pushing shopping carts or sleeping on the street can lead to some interesting conversations.
  12. Road trips get real when you have to tackle homelessness and hermit crab deaths in the same 100 mile stretch.
  13. If your child knows every single song on the radio change to a Spanish channel occasionally to give yourself a break.
  14. Explaining that the words are actually “Uptown funk you up” and not “Uptown fuck you up” gets old after the fifth time you have heard the song.
  15. Seriously, it takes forever to drive from Texas to Kansas. Buy plane tickets next time!

Time with Papa

Sylas K doesn’t usually get much time with my dad, his Papa. We live so far apart that visits are rare and usually rushed. The best part of this vacation has been watching them interact for this many days in a row. They are a pretty funny pair.

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Sylas: Papa lets all hold hands and walk into the water together.

Papa: This sounds like a suicide pact.

Sylas: What’s a suicide pact.

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After our trip to Chuck e cheese sylas made a declaration.

“Man that was fun. Papa sometimes you are pretty crabby but today you were really fun.”

Sylas somehow convinced dad to play the hamster wheel game! The things grandparents do for grandkids.

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When I laid down with Sylas tonight at bed time he seemed a bit upset.

Me: What’s wrong?

Sylas: I’m really worried about papa.

Me: Why is that?

Sylas: he is gonna miss me so much when we leave. Who is going to play with him at the beach and color with him every day?

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Vacation success

Sylas and I haven’t taken a vacation in what feels like forever. Our last attempt at vacationing ended with me puking in the car. But not this time!

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Vacation has so far been incredibly successful. We have spent time with my Dad and Cricket, rode the ferry, been to the beach multiple times, lost a tooth and found three star fish.

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We spent two, yes two, nights in a hotel and Sylas actually loved it. The key is that this hotel room with an exterior door, no hallways. Usually, he refuses hotels, “I don’t feel good about this mom.”

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But he survived the hotel experience amazingly well. The first morning when we woke up and he walked outside he said, “I could get used to this. Palm trees, birds, the beach and my granny and papa.”

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I could totally get used to this too!