Friday, December 22, 2006

Does it ever warm up in this country?

The coming superstorm has come and superstormed all over us. The city of Denver has been ransacked. Chaos reigns in the streets. I fear that I will never get out of my parking lot:
The Kid screamed in anquish:

Okay, not so much anguish. But at some points in his trek about the snow covered condo complex we call home, all I could see was the blue hood of his parka. It was up to his head, yo.

And while I secretly, or not so secretly, love the weather and excuse to stay in my pajamas at all hours of the day and night, I did not like spending hours trying to dig my car out of this snow, only to realize that my HOA would not be coming to plow our parking lots until tomorrow, or possibly ever, rendering my hard work and sore muscles all for naught, as I will never, ever be able to back into (and then drive out of) the 4 foot drift of snow that is directly behind my vehicle. Or, I will have to shovel out my parking lot my damn self. But at any rate, I will not be making it to work tomorrow either. But I still need to work. So, please, call a whambulance for me immediately.

Also, because of this storm, my playdate with Mr. Lady, Alison and Sarah has been indefinitely postponed. This really sucks because I've not been able to hang out for an entire evening sans children with Mr. Lady for approximately 5 years (I'm so not kidding about this, am I Shannon?), nor with Sarah for any appreciable time since we were in Indiana at a wedding, and her friend and I saw fit to laugh at her when she broke her thumb the night before she had incredibly important guest book duties at a wedding we would be attending the next day. Alison, however, I've seen recently, thank GOD, but I simply don't see her enough. So anyway, I'm bummed about the postponement. However, it WILL happen. It must.

So, I guess, watch what you wish for. On one hand, I've got all the pajammy jam time I've been praying for as of late, but on the other, I'm stuck in my house with an junkie who is going a little bit stir crazy. He also eats me out of house and home, so much so that he has turned to eating snow to fill his insatiable appetite:

I actually love blizzards, however, for this exact reason: it's the best excuse to be stuck at home for days with just me and The Kid. The Kid and I have had so much time on our hands, we've developed a new sport, Snow Wrestling, and we've figured out that The Kid can "oink" Jingle Bells, while I simply cannot make my pig noise go fast enough to create any kind of rhythm. It's really hard to explain, but it's simply awesome. The Kid completed a charming art project, I've eaten about 3 candy canes today because The Kid always decides at the last minute that he actually does not want a candy cane in his hot chocolate. Basically, all moms need ME time. It's huge, in trying to keep the semblance of sanity in family life. But all families also need US time. For us, this blizzard is a time out. No appointments, no rushing around. (I'm so about to go all Goonies on you here). Out there, it's "their time" (their time!). During a blizzard, well, you get the rest.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snow Business

This post is brought to you by the BLIZZARD OF 2006. We're having a white Christmas in Denver, y'all.

See, I wouldn't normally have time to write this post. My life has been a flurry of errands, driving The Kid to and fro, and work. But Blizzards? They prevent us from running errands. Both of The Kid's schools are closed today (both of them, that's right. I'll get to that later...). My friend Shannon wrote today in her blog that this must be proof that God hates Christmas, because now the last minute shoppers (okay, I'm so included in this category) will not have time to purchase all that they need before Sunday. I think an alternative theory on this is that God hates last minute shoppers.

I take it to mean, however, that God really loves me, because I really really really needed a day where I stayed at home in my pajamas all day. So, well, aw shucks, God, you must really like me. Thanks a lot.

So. On to what I would post about had I the time.

The Kid.

He's really doing remarkably well. Something happened shortly after Thanksgiving. He honestly had a completely crap Thanksgiving weekend, and it was right about then that I noticed how chunky the boy had become. Like not fitting into his jeans. Like I could see chins, in the multiple, where in past months, it was hard to find anything chubby about The Kid ever, on any part of his body.

We made some notable changes to his medications, as in dropped completely the evils of the atypical antipsychotic (which, while it is as scary as it sounds, is a very normal prescription med for pediatric bipolar disorder) and switched back to Abilify, which is ultimately an antipsychotic med as well, but seemingly without these scary side effects. A "new generation" med for crazy kiddos.

He's also not taking as MUCH medicine, which is always cause for joy.

And you know what? He's loads better. We're still seeing some troublesome stuff, however, so we're not done. He gets really sleepy in the late afternoon, which, funny enough, is when he has the least amount of medication in his body. The doctors are confused, but they are committed to figuring it out at least.

We've also found a school placement for him after the holidays. It is a special classroom, a special school, in fact, for kids that can't quite handle all of the 'inclusion' of a regular SIED program. It is very much a "self-contained" program, which a lot of SIED programs call themselves as well, but it is truly "self-contained." The SIED classroom The Kid was in back in October when all of the hospital talk began spent a great deal of effort to get the kids to be in the general education classroom settings. So, the most sensory overloading parts of these children's days would be spent with the rest of the school: Art, Music, PE, Recess, Lunch. I've always assumed that this choice for 'gen ed' time was more because of scheduling issues than for "concern" to get the kids included in a general ed program, but that's kind of beside the point right now. Basically, The Kid can't handle a classroom of more than 10 kids. All of the good things that have happened to him, all of the strides he's made, they go out the door in large settings.

We've visited this school twice. Once, I drove him there and we all met with the staff and it was just them, me and The Kid. The second time, I did not go. The Kid will be taking the bus (an hour long drive!), so he tried that out, and spent the day with them on Monday. He was supposed to go today, but oops! Snow day.

The best news ever? I told The Kid this morning that he didn't need to wake up early, that we had a snow day today. Know what he said, "No! I wanted to go to school!"

Music. My ears totally heard music there.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I've outsourced blogging about my son...

I have no energy to post on this blog apparently. So, Mr. Lady wrote a really lovely little snippet of what life is like with The Kid. Please go read it and remember how I used to write with gusto about how much I love him. I still do love him, it's the writing with gusto part that is hard for me.

See, I'm writing this from my mom's house. Things had been going reasonably well for The Kid at hospital school, and still are. But life is always ready to throw a curve ball.

My mom, my awesome sweetheart of a mom, had surgery to repair a detached retina two weeks ago. It's really not the worlds worst thing that can happen to a body, as long as it is caught early and is repaired well. However, this happened to her before, when The Kid was a baby. We lived here then, too.

A retinal detachment is repaired by inserting a bubble of gas into the eyeball. After the procedure, the recovering eyeball needs to have the pressure of the gas against the effected area. Usually that effected area is at the back of your eyeball. Quickly do the science experiment (use a snow globe with a little bit of air in it perhaps?) in your mind... To have the gas bubble touching the back of a person's eyeball that person must have their face down. When my mom had this happen the first time, she was face-down for about three months. She had the surgery, I think, three times. But the retina never re-attached, and she is now blind in that eye.

But the good news about this time is that she caught it within days of the detachment, the surgery was almost immediate, and it was successful. But she has had to do the face-down thing again.

For a few days there, she was almost completely blind. Every day since, however, she sees more as the gas bubble 'resolves' (that's what the doctors call it), and she is able to be more independent.

The Kid and I have been staying with her since the night of her surgery. We have basically moved in. I like it here for the nice washer and dryer, and the big kitchen. The Kid likes the multiple televisions. I hope that my mom likes us here for the home cooked meals and the company. What I don't feel like I can do here, though, is my blogging habits. And so, a little drought creatively as well as in quantity.

I think we'll go home tomorrow, as she's pretty much back to kicking this thing, and we really need to get a Christmas tree put up in our probably very dusty and sad little dark home of our own. And so, hopefully, we'll get back to our routine, and I'll be back to blogging about the wonderful things that come out of The Kid's mouth, although Mr. Lady is so very good at it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Goodbye again, John Lennon

So, it's been a while since I blogged. I guess one should not count a survey of Christmas habits as a real post, what when my last posts described The Kid's jaunt through the hospital and all that.

You know what, though?

I don't have time or energy to update you now.

What I do need to do today is to wish my dear friend Sarah a happy birthday. I know Sarah doesn't mind the whole 'keeping you updated on every detail of life' thing, as she is the kind of friend that could talk to you every day and it would be awesome; you could even crash on the floor of her apartment for the majority of a summer and she won't even be outwardly be annoyed with your sloth, depression, or strange baked potato eating (I did this to her and Mama Cumquat in 1997); or you could not get in touch for the larger part of a year (or more!), but when you did, it would be the same, strong, great friendship. She and I have alternated between those modes of communication for the last 10 years or so.

That said, I'm really really grateful that 2006 has been a year that I've been in close touch with Sarah. I couldn't do what I'm doing if I didn't have the wonderful support that I get from her. She's a pretty rocking friend.

Happy Birthday, Sarah. I can't wait to see you and give you the world's biggest hug when you are in Denver for Christmas....

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am incapable of writing about real life, so I'm giving you a meme, Shannon.

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? (And 'fess up - do you spike your drink, and if so - with what?)
Eggnog. Because you can drink Hot Chocolate all year 'round. Actually, for real holiday-only beverages, I'm partial to our own family holiday drink, The Nutty Irishman, baileys and frangelico... Mmmm.

2. Colored lights or white lights?
I like white lights on the outside of a house, it just looks cleaner. Colored lights on the tree. I'm all about the messy family home made decorations type tree.

3. Does Santa wrap presents at your house, or sit them underneath the tree unwrapped?
He wraps them. Last year, I did my santa wrapping at mom's house and left the santa paper over there. The Kid discovered it late afternoon on Christmas, and came and got me and said, Look! Meema has the same paper as Santa! She always knows the best places to shop!

Phew. That was a pass.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. I'm pretty minimal on the christmas decor.

5. When do you put up your decorations?
Usually the weekend following Thanksgiving. I got my balcony lights on that weekend this year, and if I remember right, last year. But the week following Thanksgiving this year and last year were a little too tumultuous personally and I was late last year getting my tree up. This year, I've not even been home enough to even think about the tree. So, from the outside, though, my house looks decorated for Christmas. My dear friend Jaci reminded me that this is a good thing, as it is always better to look good on the outside. ; )

6. What is your favorite holiday food?
Moose munch. Who invented chocolate covered popcorn? I will marry that guy. Shoot, I want to marry moose munch.

Well, and Hamloaf. It's a family delicacy. God I love that stuff.

7. What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
My sisters have reminded me of playing Name that Tune with our Uncle Bob. I've been laughing all day about it. It's hard to describe, but his humming... Oh, funny, but indescribable.

Basically, Christmas memories mostly center around my sisters and just being super duper silly with them. Every year we have some kind of running joke going... Last year? 'That's cool." In two thousand fizzle? Ah, shizzle it was return of the kizzle. Oh, and it is an annual mission to quote Elf as much as possible.

8. Do you believe in Santa? If not, why?
SANTA! SANTA!!! I know him!!!! (see what I did there? Did you HEAR THAT?)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No. We don't do that. I think we'd have a hard time stopping if I allowed that.

10. Describe your Christmas tree:
It is 4.5 feet tall. I place it on a little ottoman table thingie I have so it will feel bigger. Most of our ornaments are lovingly home made, or candy canes. There were a couple years there where I was making my friends make ornaments for us if they came over to my house. Jaci and Erin, I still have the ornaments you made for us. Our angel will have to be remade this year, I'm just remembering. Hmmm, sounds like craft time! Whoo hoo!
Most of the stuff on my tree is sentimental. My favorite ornaments are the ornaments I made as a kid, the ornaments from our family tree that my mom has given me (nothing valuable, I assure you), the holy family Jaci gave me, the Tiger Jaci gave me and most of all The Kid-Picture-Wreath he made two years ago.

11. SNOW. Love it? Or Dread it?
Dread, I think, is the most perfect word for how I feel about snow. I don't hate snow. I enjoy it often. Snowmen, snowball fights, I like to ski, etc. But even on nice peaceful nights, when the city is being blanketed in snow, all I can think about is scraping my windows off the next morning. And then driving my ten miles to work with 100,000 freaking a-holes.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes, yes I can. I'm all like that Sasha Baron Cohen bitch up in an ice rink. Like, exactly, sexytime, fo sho.

13. What is your favorite Christmas gift of all time?
Wow, I had so many. There would be the boom box I got in 10th grade, I was all psyched about it, but then quickly turned to brat because it wasn't accompanied with The Police Box Set, but then my family tried to give it to me all Christmas Story AFTER all the other presents were opened, and I felt like a poop. But both of those things gave me endless joy.
I also remember getting my doll house that had working lights.
Oh, and every girl has their "my first ambulance toy" story, right? All girls pine for and pitch fits about model ambulance toys with little working stretchers and comes stocked with super beefy EMT's? Well, yeah, I was lucky enough to get my very own ambulance toy when I was about 7 or 8. I was also a complete brat about it because it didn't have a siren (as I parent now, I understand that!), but then I played with that sucker for years and now all of our children have played with it too. It's a pretty kick heinie ambulance.

14. Which do you prefer: Giving or receiving?
Oh, without a doubt, giving.

15. Tell us about your favorite holiday tradition.
The Kid and I haven't truly developed a tradition. We usually read The Night Before Christmas, and we ALWAYS set out cookies and milk for Santa, and spread oats out front of the house for the reindeer. Beyond that, not too much.
What I love to do, and what I have done since I've been old enough to acheive it, is to be the last one to go to bed on Christmas eve. I just LOVE to sit in the dark (well, all dark but the tree), sometimes listening to Xmas music, sometimes silently, just basking in the glory of the tree. In fact, I used to sneak out of my room early morning as a kid so that I could do that. It's not really a tradition, because it isn't shared, but it is by far one of my favorite things about Christmas.

16. What tops your tree?
Well, we made a big yellow star out of construction paper and glitter, and then glued together and stuffed with cotton balls, and it was kind of ugly, but we had so much fun making it, but anyway it totally kicked the bucket last year. So, The Kid and I have a job cut out for us. Angel or star? I'll leave it up to him.

17. What is your favorite holiday movie or tv special?
It's a Wonderful Life. That movie truly has no equal. Second place? Elf. Third? A Christmas Story.

18. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Bing's White Christmas, isn't it just a yummy song? I love the Charlie Brown Christmas album so very much as well.

19. Candy canes ... yuck? or yum?
Yum! I'm surprised that people out there think they are yuck!

20. Describe the oddest or most unique Christmas you've experienced.
21 years old, I traveled around Europe with my ex-boyfriend (and technically, he was my ex even then, so that was something, like straight out of the freaking Amazing Race). We spent Christmas skiing in clouds at Chamonix, France. We stayed in a youth hostel with a bunch of insane ski bums from around the world. There were a bunch of amazingly sustained-drunk aussies (and some possibly british, it was honestly difficult to tease out the accents between the slurring), two really sweet japanese girls, a kindred spirit of an argentinian girl that I shared a bottle of wine with after sourpuss ex boyfriend went to bed. It was incredibly lonely, and the only Christmas ever that I haven't spent here in my mom's house, which I love.

Merry Christmas everyone!
And, since I'm supposed to tag people at the end of a meme, if that is what one could consider this, I will tag all of you. Mr. Lady's unique take on Christmas as a recovering jehovahs witness will be good, no doubt. I want to hear from Caty, Sarah, Alison and Diane too!!!