Jun 29, 2011

Consume: "The Act Of Going Somewhere Special And Coming Back Soon."

This morning around 2 AM I woke up with The Baby sleeping on my right arm snoring loudly, The Boy lying on my left arm and The Cat sleeping on top of my head. I couldn't feel either arm and the top of my head itched. Probably fleas. Could it get any worse?

And then i swallowed.

Terrible sore throat! Ack.

And to think I thought I woke up abruptly because I was being compressed to death.

In preparing for The Teenagers 18th birthday in 2 months I was fortunate enough to obtain an appointment to have her IQ tested at the same time as The Boy's routine behavior specialist follow up at noon today in the Big City. Of course i would wake up sick,The Boy lost the battle with cold symptoms over night complaining of earaches this morning and The Baby's left eye is practically swollen shut while the right eye is draining goop. Before we leave for the Big City I schedule a pediatricians appointment for The Boy and The Baby. Four appointments in one afternoon in two different cities. Even for me this is pushing it.

We make it to the Big City on time. I am pumped up with Motrin, Claritin and saline nose drops. I think I can do this.

The Boy is doing well in school and not so well at home. I don't even have to say a word to the behavior specialist, however. He walks in the room and says:

"Summer is here. He's driving you crazy right?"

How did he know...

"Do you suppose he has fetal alcohol syndrome?" I ask. I explain how he keeps bringing snakes into the house telling me they are non venomous. There is simply no cause and effect or sense of danger. I am still groping for a diagnosis other than the obvious ADHD and brain fried by birth mother with street drugs and booze in utero.

"Possibly but fetal alcohol is just ADHD on steroids." He answers. He tells me I should get some behavior therapy and I inform him there is no funding for behavior therapy. He suggests a place and I tell him no way am I taking him to a place where everyone wears turbans and the only diagnosis they seem to know is "Bi-Polar Disorder."

"Chicken." he responds.

I inform him if he can come up with a name he approves of...any name...turban or no turban I'll make an appointment. He can't.

I see the psychologist waving me down out of the corner of my eye. I leave the behavior specialist and follow the psychologist into her office to hear how The Teenager's IQ test went.

"She is so cute and she has an answer for everything." she smiles.

Yes, that's The Teenager in a nutshell. No pun intended.

"I asked her who Martin Luther King Junior was and she told me he was the Son Of God."

"I asked her to define the word consume and she informed me it was the act of going somewhere special and coming back soon."

We both burst out laughing.

Only on the way out the door, however, I begin to panic. Not only am I a failure as a Christian mother but I'm a failure as a black history teacher as well. This can't be good.

"Teenager? " I ask. "Who is Martin Luther King Junior?"

"I don't know. I think he's the son of God." she replies.

"Well then who is Jesus if Martin Luther King Junior is the son of God?"

"That's the same question the doctor asked!" she exclaims.

Thirty minutes later I try a new approach.

"Teenager?" I ask. " Who is Jesus?"

"Oh, He's the Son of God," she replies matter of factly.

"Well, then who is Martin Luther King Junior?" I inquire.

"I don't know. Was he the President of the United States or something?"

I'm exasperated at this point. I ask the Teenager if she has forgotten the parade we attend every year on January 16th and studying about Martin Luther King Junior and what a great man he was in the 60's working for equality for black Americans?

Crickets chirping.

"Remember? I HAVE A DREAM?" I conclude dramatically.

"Yeah I remember. And then he went and got himself shot," she answers somewhat sarcastically.

I pop a few more Motrin while swerving down the interstate. I've lost count at this point of how many I've taken. My throat is killing me. I have chills and a fever. I haven't had breakfast or lunch and it's 3 PM. We are on our way to the pediatricians and I have to get something to eat. I am soooo hungry. I make the mistake of saying this out loud.

"Are you thirsty, too?" The Boy asks.


"Are you thirsty enough to drink your own urine out of a snake skin?"

"No. I will never be thirsty enough to drink my own urine out of a snake skin and I think you've been watching too much Man vs Wild"

I pass on the urine and get a drive through sweet tea instead.

We make it to the Pediatrician where The Boy has bilateral ear infections and The Baby has an eye infection with no other symptoms. The doctor e-files the prescriptions to the correct pharmacy this time. By now it's 6:30 and I've been on the road since noon. We finally make it home thank you Jesus and Martin Luther King Junior.

"Whats for dinner?' asks The Teenager.

"Motrin," I inform her.

Jun 25, 2011

The Baby Begins Music Therapy!

Nina Simone sings my favorite song.

When siblings are home from school I like to include them in my client's sessions. After all we are supposed to be working within the "natural environment" of the child which includes sibling competition and chaos.

Over 6 months ago I called regarding music therapy for a client's foster sibling who is quite delayed but shows an appreciation for music. I adore finding the little switches in special needs children that trigger light bulb moments but unfortunately due to high costs ($70.00 an hour) and lack of funding it is often impossible to implement the therapies they could benefit from.

I just got a phone call from the foster mom who informed me that after all of these months the music therapist phoned her with a scholarship and they needed more children to partake in this scholarship.

The Baby will begin music therapy the second week in July! I am thrilled.

I do have some concerns. however, since her music tastes are a little more sophisticated than the average 3 year old. She scan scat as well as Ella.

And do you think the Suzuki QChord plays Nina Simone?

Jun 24, 2011

Trampoline Thursday On A Friday...Again.

I know. I know. I'm late again. I've been busy.

Now there's a surprise.

The first week in June The Teenager had a 1/2 pound weight gain due to bloat so I didn't get around to posting. I was pretty impressed, however, since the average weight gain during menstrual cycles ranges from 1 to 4 lbs. I think the pediatric nutritionist told me the average weight gain for The Teenager's age group was approximately 2lbs but I can't remember exactly as my short term memory is shot thanks to the 60's and my days as a "flower child."

Had I known about the long term side effects of picking flowers in the 60's I would have picked more. That way I would be totally senile now and not just partially senile. There is something quite disturbing about being partially senile and having that vague recognition that your brain cells are only flying at half mast.

The second week I don't think we weighed in as we were at the hospital all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with The Boy for his Pamidronate infusion. Eleven years of infusing. Eleven
looooong years. I had a sitter for the girls on Wednesday but on Thursday and Friday I had to bring the entire brood and sit for 5 hours in a hospital room. Pure hell on earth.

As we were leaving on Friday one of the nurses pulled me aside and informed me that she was "so impressed" yada yada yada with how well I handled the three little maniacs angels. I was truly speechless. Was the woman deaf?

"That's it! I've had it! I'm ready for the psyche ward and some I.V Valium and a Morphine pump! If you three don't stop these behaviors I'm calling in the flying monkeys...NOW!"

Anyway, we finally made it to Publix for the big weigh in today.

Beginning weight on April 17, 2011... 138 1/2 lbs

Today's weight...132
1/2 lbs. Wowza!

We drove right to Cracker Barrel to celebrate with pancakes, syrup and fried catfish.

Why the Trampoline?

In researching forms of exercise that The Teenager could actually successfully navigate with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, patella alta...oh I could go on and on....one of the many reasons I chose the mini trampoline was for the actual jumping itself. Tooling along the autism spectrum disorder highway, The Teenager can be a sensory seeker who often needs proprioceptive feedback in order to calm down and re-equilibriate. Too often these kids gravitate towards less socially acceptable self stimulatory behavior so it is a challenge to guide them towards more appropriate outlets. Thus, the mini trampoline and jump, jump, jumping.

Some changes have occurred in recent weeks since The Teenager has been jumping before meals.

1.) She enjoys jumping now. I haven't heard peep one of heart, liver or respiratory failure complaints in 2 weeks.

2.) Her stamina has increased from a very painful 5 minutes to a smiley 8 minutes.

3.) Her appetite has decreased. She is pushing away from the table without asking for those 2nd or 3rd helpings.

4.) Her cholesterol has fallen by 20 points and her HGB A1C has dropped to 5.5 from 6.9. That's right. She is no longer "pre-diabetic." Interestingly, her thyroid levels have also returned to normal. Go figure.

Go, Teenager, go! Mama is so proud!

Happy Weekend Shopping!

Jun 19, 2011

Gulfport, Florida

Gulfport, Florida was originally named Disston City in 1884 when Hamilton Disston purchased land there. Hamilton Disston (August 23, 1844 - April 30, 1896), was a wealthy industrialist and real estate developer who purchased four million acres of Florida land in 1881. Reportedly this was the most land ever purchased by a single person in world history. Hamilton was a fun loving socialite who owned a yacht named, Mischief. He lived in the city he founded for many years.
Hamilton Disston

The United States Post Office failed to recognize the name Disston City due to a conflict with another area in the Tampa, Florida region so it eventually was re-named Gulfport in 1910. For the past ten years the population of Gulfport has hovered around 12,400 give or take a few folk. It is a quaint "Old Florida" feeling town that is populated by artisans and free spirits much like Mr. Disston

After years of bickering with the locals, the Gulfport City Council recently passed legislation legalizing the keeping of up to 10 chickens in your backyard.

No roosters.

I've been attending the Fresh Market on Tuesday's between clients, recently. Strolling along the uneven sidewalks and absorbing the creative energy of the artisans and farmers has been a spark in the gloom of the mundane tasks of my every day life.

While at the market last Tuesday someone invited me to the Growing Greener gathering...

held yesterday at the old casino...

The Boy, The Baby, The Teenager, The Genius, Curly T and myself piled into the mom mobile and took off. Although it was hovering around 96 degrees in the shade it was well worth the sweat. And most of the booths were located inside the air conditioned Casino, thankfully.

We met a bee keeper...

...who gave a verrrry long dissertation regarding the above hive, droning on and on in the heat about exactly how he removed and relocated the queen bee so that a new hive would begin and how the new hive was currently "making" a queen bee.

After he was finished buzzing The Boy asked, "Where's the queen?"


We ran into the two men I had met at the city dump over the free mulch pile a few months ago. They helped me load mulch into the mom mobile/mulch mobile and I gave one of them social worker advice regarding where he could obtain mental health services for a relative. No, I'm not a social worker. I just look like one. I've learned to live with this.

The men are involved in a huge permaculture movement in the area and were at the Growing Greener gathering with chickens. And I do believe you all have heard too many times about my infatuation with keeping chickens in my back yard...

They are beginning a new project teaching people like me to build coops out of re-cycled materials.

Be still my heart.

Which just goes to show you that one never knows what exciting divine appointments await you at the city dump.

Curly T and I are signing up.

After also signing up to have locally grown, organic produce delivered to my front door weekly (The Genius and I split the cost) we strolled the sidewalks in search of food and found scenes of quaint beauty...

Flowers in rustic window boxes

This vintage coca cola swing is a treasure in someone's yard.

We found some yummy food at Peg's Cantina where we were fortunate enough to commandeer the one indoor table that they had. Eating outdoors in this heat is for tourists.

The Boy sat at the bar socializing with a cute, young couple, discussing swimming and his plans for the future I have always sensed a career in politics for The Boy.Perhaps when he grows up he can be the mayor of Gulfport.

I could be persuaded to live here...

Jun 12, 2011

I Think I'm On Vacation

School ended last Wednesday and I think I'm on vacation.

For the first time in ten months I can sleep until 7 AM if the children let me and the planets are lined up correctly.

For four days I've had no where I've had to be. Four days, people!

No where. No work. No medical appointments. No birthday party attendance for The Boy for the first time in 6 solid weekends.

Yes, I'm grateful he is so popular but am also looking forward to saving $ 20.0 a week plus gas money spent on presents and laser tag arena destinations in galaxies far, far away.

No fund raisers at school. No school ceremonies to attend.

Yes, I cherish my bumper sticker from The Baby being chosen, "Student Of The Month ." Even though I waited 40 years for one....

No more "The Baby is acting weird and squinting and she might be having a seizure can you come right away and pick her up from school?" phone calls from teachers while I am attempting to see clients.

No more picking up The Genius from her pain management injections although the last trip was well worth it. Because I had The Baby with me whose "seizure" turned out to be a severe allergic reaction with both eyes swollen shut and we were in the middle of a tremendous thunder storm, the pain management nurse walked the wobbly Genius to my car. The Genius was still under the influences of the happy juice when one of my work puzzles short circuited and started "cocka-doo-doodle doo-ing" inside the van.

"What the hell was that? Is there a rooster in here?"

I suggested since she was so woozy she might want to come home with me and rest for a while. Then the cow started "moooo-ing."

I won't repeat her reply to my suggestion.

I felt bad yesterday when one of my blog readers asked if I was alive since I haven't been blogging recently. It probably sounds silly but the primary reason I haven't blogged is because my camera is still broken and blogging without recent photo updates is like being Italian and talking with your hands cuffed behind your back. It doesn't work.

Yesterday I worked in the garden the entire day, jumping in the pool several times to cool off. Of course, The Boy had to jump on top of me, swim through my legs, tip me over in the raft while I was dozing and shoot me between the eyes with his one dollar Dollar Tree squirt pen. Dang those things hurt.

Each and every time I jumped in.

Living proof of the "y" chromosome in all of it's annoying glory.

Today I really should put the mountain of clean laundry away and clean the inside of my house especially since Monday and Tuesday are full work days and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday The Boy will be getting his Pamidronate infusion at the local hospital. I also need to get some groceries in here as when I offered tuna casserole to the masses last evening The Boy hollered back, "Yeah, like that's going to happen...ever."

But instead I think I'm going back outside and putter in the yard again. Green beans and the pool beckon me.

I'm so inspired by the restfulness of the past four days I may even plan a little road trip back to St. Augustine.

The Artist may want to leave town before we invade.