Posted in House, House Hunting, Kids

Waving at You from the Chaos

We have reached mid-May, people. Oh people, my people, May rivals December for the crazy-chaos factor. Seriously. I think it’s worse. Today we have Laura’s art show, Catie’s play (that we will miss and see tomorrow) and Ethan’s spring concert. I also managed to fit in a visit to my mother in the hospital (been there since last Friday with REALLLLLLLY bad asthma/possible pneumonia) and getting a new-tire-that-replaced-the-flat-I-got-a-week-ago put on my SUV. And taking out all the cardboard/trash associated with building an Ikea dresser and installing a new toilet and medicine cabinet in our powder room and medicine cabinet in our master bath. We are swimming in cardboard!

I hope they take it even though it’s not broken down. Because no. Just…no.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

We are still deep in the midst of getting the house ready for sale. The main floor powder room is completely finished. As I type, the painter (and his son) are tackling the mess that is the master bedroom and bathroom. We’re camped out in the kids/hall bathroom so the drywall mud can dry and get painted.

I’m starting to hate this house. Which is sad, because it’s a really cute house and we’ve spend many, many years and memories here. But I’m tired of working on it to get it ready to sell. The last BIG thing is this weekend with the two decks. The back one is rotting in places, which makes it somewhat unacceptable with listing. The front one needs some tweaking.

Then there’s just the giant punch list, which I want to punch…..but enough of that.

We have visited the house we are putting an offer on four or five times now, with an electrician and a contractor. We’ve put together an offer, as well an an explanation of what all we are going to have to spend (specifics as well as guesses) (aka $32,000 to bring the electric UP TO CODE) so why we are offering much less than their asking price.

All that to say, life is up in the air right now. I’m so busy I’m not freaking out, or going running to my security blanket (can I get an amen?!), just mostly putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with today. Hmmm, does that sound familiar?

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I’m not usually very good at that. But life is forcing me to do it now.

Posted in Health, Kids

Anxiety

I wrote that title with a certain anxiousness, not to be silly. That word has wormed and weaseled and made its way into our home, our lives, our days and our nights and our schedule.

It’s not something I am well-acquainted with. At all. And yet, I am learning.

Laura has general anxiety, which is currently being treated with both counseling (2x/week) and meds. The meds made an amazing difference. For the most part, she is even-keeled again and even the storm a few weeks back didn’t reduce her to worrying that the house was going to fall down and we were going to die. And I say that without a trace of mockery. That was where her brain went. All. The. Time.

Catie does NOT have general anxiety. She does, however, get panic attacks. Last night was another one, which is what prompted this post. She just started counseling and has her first medication meeting later this month with a psychiatrist. Her medicine journey will be different from Laura’s–she can take pills (something Laura can’t do), she’s younger (so we have to be a little more careful about side effects) and she’s doesn’t have the general anxiety. I’m curious as to what he’s going to try first.

When my kids were tiny and in the NICU and I was utterly powerless to do anything for them other than pray and cry, it was a very helpless feeling. As a parent one wants to HELP and FIX and MAKE IT BETTER! Last night, watching Catie shake and try to use breathing to calm herself down and being utterly unable to do anything for her other than be there with it, again, there is that helpless feeling. We have “rescue meds” in the house for if and when Laura would need them. Catie took one last night. I know, I know, but you know what, you would have done the same thing. She finally slept. I went to bed around midnight with her permission, there to pray and hope for the meds to kick in. When she wakes up this morning I’ll ask about what happened after I left.

I can only hope and pray that Catie’s doctor quickly finds the right meds and dose and that she is able to learn how to cope with the attacks. And maybe even not get them anymore. And that Laura’s meds continue to do their job.

Posted in Family, Kids, Me

It’s Only a Season (right?)

I’ve mentioned in past posts (at least I think I have!) that this year I’ve been more overwhelmed than I have been in a long time. Please note the reasons why:

For one daughter, we’ve added counseling sessions (1x/week), Braille lessons (1x/week), med checks (1x/month) to this school year.

For another daughter, we’ve added physical therapy for her knees (2x/week) (for 8 weeks which we are mid-way through)

For a son we’re deep in the middle of robotics (2 evenings/week, 1 weekend day with 3 qualification matches between December and January)

Husband has the same schedule as the above son.

With the cold winter weather we’re taking a break from horseback riding lessons, thank the Good Lord.

My Wednesday morning Bible study will start up again in a few weeks.

Plus we have our normal carpool-in-the-morning-and-afternoon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every-other-Fridays. Oh, and it’s IEP season again. And the winter art show. And, and, and….

Sometimes I just feel like I can’t take one more thing. Really. I find myself zoning out more–either reading obsessively or bingeing on Netflix or surfing incessantly (do you see a pattern?) and know that I’m trying to find a non-sex-addiction way of pacifying myself.

I try to remember–and freak myself out in the process–that this really is just a season. One of the triplets will get his learners’ permit in August and will be licensed this time next year. So I won’t need to drive him. In about 2.5 years (a crazy short amount of time), two will be graduated and either working full time or off to college. Lord Willing, we are selling our house this year and moving closer to school and work so the drive times to those things will greatly reduce.

It REALLY IS just a season. An insanely busy season.

Posted in Kids

15 Years

Somehow I have three 15 year olds. Three mid-teenage-year people who are all taller than me (although one by only a little) that don’t look like little children anymore. The time has FLOWN by. Someone once told me “the days go slow, the years go fast”. When they were little it didn’t seem like it, but now, just WOW. We are only three short years from college for two of them. I’m seeing posts on Facebook of friends taking their kids to college and don’t know how I’ll manage it. Really. With cyber school they are home so much and I’m so used to that. No sense borrowing trouble, though.

15 years old triplets and one in heaven. Happy Birthday to my crew.

Posted in Family, Kids, Kitchen Reno, Me, Overbrook

Why I Am OK About Rescheduling

So last week my husband asks how would I feel about changing the date that we start the reno from May 21st to May 28th. How did I feel?? NOT HAPPY. But yeah, I love my husband and the ONLY reason we chose the date we did is because it worked around his work schedule (which is crazy this year because of an audit that he is, essentially, running). And that schedule changed and that week no longer worked. So yeah, I worked through the not happiness and it became fine. Really.

And then it became so much better than fine because this, THIS my friends, is my week:

Sunday: Jim and Neighbor uninstall sliding glass door, frame in extra wall space and install new “full glass” (which ISN’T FULL GLASS) door. In between, fiddle with PC that we have had to install new hard drive on and therefore reload every freaking thing including thousands of updates onto. And yes, I ended that with a preposition.

Monday: Fiddle with PC more. Make menu, grocery list, add coupon software, print coupons, get gas, grocery shop, unload, lunch, rant about kids’ cyber school software program giving error codes at the end of the progress check and then rejoice at the rescheduled progress check, realize a chipmunk is in our house and try FOR HOURS to try and catch it. Pick up neighbor child from bus stop. Neighbor mother try to catch chipmunk. Fail. Make dinner, take Bennett to robotics, go to bed.

Tuesday: Carpool run to CPFA (Laura) and USP (Catie). Finally get Quicken to work on PC. Gather three trash bags’ worth of laundry and go to laundromat for 1 hr 5 minutes ($17) and catch up rather quickly. 🙂 Lunch for Bennett and me. Go to CPFA, get Laura, drop Bennett and Laura off for Algebra Keystones. Go to paint store and get paint for kitchen. Go to Entemann’s outlet and get donuts as a special treat for kids this week. Pick up Laura and Bennett and go home.Get home only to realize that 1) chipmunk is still in house and 2) dogs are VERY aware of this fact and have torn apart various parts of our house trying to get at it. When Jim gets home we finally join forces, use a crabbing net that I didn’t know we owned and catch the darn thing. Out it goes.

Wednesday (plans only at this point): Home in morning (put away all that laundry, maybe?) Leave at 12 for USP (Catie drama rehearsal) and Biology Keystones. Go to Lowes and get flooring that is finally in. Drop off library book, but don’t get sucked into vortex of library. Pick up all children from those at 4 plus car pool kid, drive home. Get Ethan from neighbor’s house. Dinner. Collapse.

Thursday:  USP and CPFA, home by 8:30 or so. Actually home a lot of the day! Leave at 3:15 to get to CPFA’s Spring Art Show (Nana pick up Laura so she doesn’t have to drive all the way home and then turn around to go back to school). Admire my daughter’s talent. Leave by 5, grab dinner and then head to Overbrook School for the Blind for Ethan’s Spring Concert. Meanwhile, Catie is performing in her drama, which we will miss tonight. Carpool family will drive her home. Spring Concert usually ends around 8:30, and it’s about 1 1/4 hours from home, so it’s a late night.

Friday: USP for Catie and carpool girl. Drive to headquarters of PALCS for Laura to finish Algebra. Home unknown time. Dinner of some sort, leave and meet Jim and Nana at USP for drama at 6:30.

Saturday: Thank goodness NOT starting kitchen reno!

Posted in House, Kids, Me, School

It’s Busy Season Around Here

Sorry for the complete lack of posting. I just checked and it’s been more than a month since my last post. My only defense is: my, we are busy around here! Between school, keeping house, laundry (aka the bane of my existence), home improvements (current: upstairs hall bathroom) and just general STUFF, I’m doing a lot. So the blogging suffers.

Let’s see….Ethan’s IEP went great (as always) and his testing just got completed and we got the paperwork. Lots and lots of pages and deciphering of information, but the bottom line is: Ethan is NOT intellectually disabled. He has definite issues, but they “can be explained by the autism and visual impairment.”  So, good. I just got information yesterday from a friend about training through the state on technology for the visually impaired. Totally making THAT call today!

We’re just about to finish up the 3rd marking period at cyber school and have 11 weeks left (including a week of spring break!). I’m definitely worried about one child who is struggling way more than I expected. (More on that in another post.) My other two are doing well….it’s just lasting until the final day.

We’ve scheduled our vacation. Every other year we make the really long trek to Lake Michigan. It’s only every other year for a couple of reasons: 1) there’s so much else in the world to see and 2) it’s a really, REALLY long drive. 12 hours at least the first day and then more driving the 2nd, plus a 2.5 hour ferry ride. So yeah, I just can’t face that every year. But this year it’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten the agony and am just anticipating 9 whole days on an island with hardly anything to do. Bliss!

The Upstairs Hall Bathroom Project is coming along slowly. Much more slowly than I had expected. The tub resurfacing saga has definitely slowed it down even further. March 6th, the much anticipated day when a company would come in and resurface our tub, taking it from ugly yellowy-tan to lovely white. Well, it was white in the end, but R did a horrible job. We complained. They sent R back. He did an even worse job. We were angry and complained again. The company was going to send H out last week, but then he had a personal emergency. But they didn’t call us to tell us. So we waited for several hours. So NOT impressed with this company. Finally H came yesterday and was horrified with the job that R did. He fixed everything and now work on the rest of the bathroom can begin again.

I know it’s more of a status update. Again, posts coming up, but I just wanted to let you know that I wasn’t–as my mom often feared–dead in a ditch somewhere.

Posted in Kids, School

The Gaping Chasm

It’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) season again. An IEP, for those who don’t know, is a written-down-and-must-be-followed plan for a special-needs’ child. It tells about the child–their strengths and weaknesses. It tells where they need to improve. It makes plans for that improvement and the specific steps to follow for that planned improvement.

I just had Ethan’s 2 hour one last week and will have Laura’s much-shorter one this week. Because the kids will turn 14 within the next year they both will attend their IEP’s for the first time.

Each year I’m both filled with joy and awe AND a totally overwhelmed feeling. I see where these kids began; I see just how far they’ve come. I also don’t see the future. It’s this giant, gaping chasm of ignorance, lack of control and just plain old fear. Not so much with Laura, because intellectually she’s just fine. She will go to college. She will be able to support herself.

Ethan? Who the heck knows?

We made the decision to have his IQ tested. While the school psychologist will not be able to give us a number, she will give us a “he will qualify for ID services” or “he will not qualify for ID services” (ID being intellectually disabled).

It’s the same sword we played with all those years ago when we got the autism diagnosis. Ethan had all these quirky things–things that, to me, were disparate and didn’t fit together. The developmental pediatrician at duPont heard my list and said almost immediately that she thought he was on the spectrum. I was stunned. Somewhat horrified. But still, glad for the tentative diagnosis. All her tests were vision-based, so we went to the school psychologist and he confirmed with his testing that Ethan was autistic. High-functioning, but still, autistic.

So, fast forward some years and that’s where we are. The double-edged sword of a diagnosis. We don’t WANT him to qualify for ID services. We don’t WANT him to BE intellectually disabled. But if he IS, then we want what he would qualify for–services, support, help, planning, etc.

And the future continues to be a big, gaping, scary chasm of unknowing.