Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another New School!

Catie no longer accepting of change.

No doubt about it change is hard and every time we have moved the kids have had to change schools. Catie has been in seven schools since we started educating her.   She is a pretty easy going kid for the most part and for the first few moves didn't protest too much...the last few moves have been pretty much war in our house.   We had to make some pretty big promises to get her to agree to this last move.   We are in the process of adding a new dog to our pack...ugh!  The pup has her own issues...I won't even get into that right now!  We had to promise to buy a house...done...we bought our house...and I love it!   I can't wait to share it with all of my family and friends.  The last one was we promised to take her back to Illinois to visit her best friend and see some of her favorite places...that got side tracked a little and we had to put it off but we plan to make it happen.
Alex rolls a little easier with our changes.
  Alex was a little easier to convince...he was even pretty easy going about it...he said "mom dad where ever you are that is where home is"   a pretty grown up statement from an eight year old.  Of course he had just had the hardest school year of his school career yet and was ready to get the heck outta town.   He really struggles with school sometimes and could really give or take being in the school setting for the most part.  He has asked me to home school him several times...I don't feel like I am cut out to be that kind of mom however,   We did get so much accomplished with him and much of it was not at the school request or involvement last year.  It was with counseling and hard work.  We learned a great deal about Alex in a short period of time and he is an amazing little guy.  


Ready to be a Wildcat! 
We have had some great things to start this new school year so far...Catie has made some friends!   PRAISE GOD!  HALLELUJAH! She got on the bus home and we didn't get a phone call that she was having any form of a panic attach and she made the whole trip home.  She even got back on the bus the next day and has done it every day since then...griping about every single bus driver the whole time.  Apparently they change drivers for the middle school buses frequently.

Alex has also had some great thing in his first week of school. He loves his new teacher...I have to admit I am quite liking her as well.  She sends an email every day telling us what they have done at school and what they should be doing that evening.  This is so nice...since my son has a tends to tell me another story entirely every night. He also has one of the neighbor boys in his class and that has made the transition from home to school much easier I think.  He seems to be settling in quite well.  

The not so good...Both kids have trouble getting up in the morning...one way more than the other...we have way early bed times...my husband thinks it is too early but if these kids go to bed any later I am going to have to drive them across town myself to get them there on time.   Alex needs a lot of rest...or I should say a lot of time in his room to unwind or he just doensn't get the rest he needs...Catie would probably be ok if she would just get up when her alarm went off...Mom is not the alarm.
Rusty misses the kids...we tried very hard to get a puppy over the summer some of you will remember the cute pictures of Catie and Alex holding a sweet little pointer mix puppy.  Well we never got to bring her home...she had and still has a really stubborn case of giardia a parasite and we couldn't bring her home until she cleared it. After weeks and weeks of waiting we felt that we wanted to talk to some specialist and when we did they told us if we brought her home it could be months of waiting, Rusty could get very sick and we might have to wait for her to grown out of it.   We had to back out of the adoption...so we are on the look out for another dog.  You will just have to wait and see what we bring home.  
 
A little more skeptical of this whole Wildcat thing! 



So happy to cuddle a Roo!
I have changed my morning walking routine a little to accommodate two kids waking up in the morning...I try and get up at the same time as Catherine and out the door in time to get back in time to see her get on the bus.  Sometimes I am getting back to see the bus drive away and sometimes I see the bus pull into the neighborhood.  It really kind of depends on how fast little Rusty legs are moving and how many times he wants to stop and pee on the little things we pass.    
Older kids are getting home...just not his kids.
Rusty is waiting patiently.

He is getting a little older and a little slower but you couldn't tell for the most part that he is 8 years old.  He keeps up with the kids most days and is a busy little pup.  He is enjoying the kids being in school a little bit it gives him a change to sleep most of the day away.  He gets very excited when he hears the school bus though.  He might be little but he thinks he's mighty and his kids love him. 
My favorite time of day is when the kids are coming home form school...they tell me about the things they did, the exciting stuff they experienced, and the people they talked to.  We are connected and I love to connect to my kids!



A happy boy has arrived.
/

She really tried very hard to make the volleyball team.  Next year?

So when it is all said and done...yes my kids have been in 8 and 5 schools each...and yes that is a lot...but they are strong independent individuals that make friends fast and they are resilient.  They will go so far in this world.  We never ever intended for them to be in this many places by this age but it is what is and we can't change any of it.     

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Crash...Seat belts...angels and common sense! Photos are graphic

I have to be completely honest...this is not going to have my my normal light hearted tone.
I have an important message to get out and I have been sitting on it  for two weeks.   I was scared to write to put this out there...I am worried the pictures are too graphic. My husband has had them all over Facebook though...I want to tell the story of wt happened the say our lives were saved.
On July 5th, 2015 it was clear and dry and we were excited to be going home.  We had a car full of fun things to do.   We had some new plants and the kids had a new Wii.  We were excited to get home to our dog Rusty Roo.   He had been at the vet's office for boarding all weekend and the kids were ready to play with him.  We stopped to grab a quick lunch on the way out of town...we had our food and our iced tea.  We were ready to go...the Doug had plenty of gas and we listening to the tunes.   We were just cruising along...the tolls came and went...as we pasted Wanamaker...haha....that's a funny name for a street...Nathan asked me if the tire felt low....I said no...the road was just really rough there. We crested the next hill and the road got smoother and the ride did not...worry crossed Nathan's face...he asked "are you sure? if this was my car..."
"I said no"...worry now in my voice too " you should pull over"
Nathan began to decelerate...I felt than he signaled...and I saw him change lanes...first one and then a loud pop..what was that...what was that...a slide the car (Doug) is sliding!  We slid across the next lane Nathan corrected because the car was sideways...we hit the grass still facing westbound...I think, best we can tell from skid makes and where Doug landed.  We slid though the grass for 15 feet and boom we were in the air.  "Oh my GOD!  Yes I said GOD, I said a dozen prayers in 12 seconds...then as if it was all ok I kind of relaxed. I pulled in my armed and we hit the ground...the side I was sitting on hit the ground and the window exploded on me.  I picked glass out of my arm yesterday...still coming out of all of my body.   It has been two weeks.  The second and third roll were very quick only second between the two of them.
  Nathan swearing the whole time.  As soon as the Doug came to a rest the kids made some noise...the first sounds we heard from them.   They made no sounds during the accident.  Catie asked "what just happened"  We had to ask Alex if he was Ok...he took a minute to respond.  Both kids were asleep when were we had the accident...so they were taken by surprise by the whole event.
Catie unbuckled and helped Alex unbuckle and they scampered out of Catie's window.  Catie stood outside the window crying for just a second then as if there were angels there were 4 men at least  2 women ushering the kids away from the car checking them over for injury calling for help.
Nathan asked if I was ok...I kept saying "I don't know."
There were people all around us telling us help was on the way and we were going to be ok.  I was so dazed...Nathan just wanted to know if I was ok...and I couldn't get him an answer because I was hanging from the ceiling and I couldn't free myself.
As I was hanging from the ceiling I remember a few things.   1. Nathan told me over and over to not stick my feet through the window...apparently when you are hanging from the ceiling your feet tend to stick out the windshield. 2.  My weight is a huge issue...lol...pun intended here.  I am grossly overweight...I have been my whole life...no jokes.  I know you and most of you know that I have always struggled with this.  I am done with this...I will never ever have that issue again.  I see my doctor on Thursday to see what I can do to make serious changes.   I have already lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks.   This is going to happen.  My weight will never be a factor again in escaping a car accident again.   Mind you I don't plan on doing this again.  3. Seat belts are awesome and I am so glad I am a hard ass about the kids wearing theirs.
So I had to do a push up and Nathan had to unbuckle me while we were trapped in the car...I was freaking out at this point...because the guy on the outside said there is no way to get you out.   I said "oh yes there is...do it now"  and turned to Nathan and told him to find me a way out.
The guy on the outside looked around a minute and he quickly figured out that the seat that I was formerly sitting in could be reclined and we could climb out the back window the kids climbed out of.  I got about half way out and had to stop...it was so much work...it was such a little space.   The people were helping me and Nathan was helping me.   I had to stop and breath and I was hurting.   I had my face in the dirt and glass...I so didn't care.   I spent a few seconds crying and and then climbed the rest of the way out...
Nathan scrambled out behind me and laid on the ground until the paramedics arrived.  That was only a minutes or two...they checked Nathan over and he got up and walked over to the kids.
By this time I had told the people standing all around us that our son had Asperger's Syndrome and he needs to know that I am ok...because of course they were not letting me up from the ground.  I could have been too injured internally to move so they kept me laying down.  I couldn't see Alex or Catie.   I needed both my kids to know that I was ok and I especially needed Alex to know I was going to be fine.
After a few minutes the paramedics asked me if I felt like sitting up and they finished their exam...I was able to sit.   Then after 10 minutes and some digging and hunting for my shoes we got me to my feet.  As I leaned against the vehicle and surveyed the damage...and it was extensive...we left our weekend along a 30 x 45 yard swath of I-70 exit real estate.  I had a life flash before me kind of moment...my family was sitting together dirty beaten and dazed in a rather shabby pile of stuff and people collected our things around them.  It was so surreal and sad.
The funniest moment and there were many...so strange....I can laugh now...and we did in those God awful moment right after in happened.  Nathan and I were so shaken.  We laughed, we cried and we did all kinds of hysterical things that would make normal people look at us in horror I am sure.  But nothing about this was normal.   Anyway the funniest moment was when the paramedic asked me if "I would like to be transported in the ambulance?"   "Um...let me see...we just rolled down a hill 3 1/2 times at least...and I spent several minutes with my feet sticking through the windshield...I then spent several minutes hanging from the seat belt and had to climb through the window...yeah maybe I should go with you to a hospital?!" "Can the family come to or should they get a cab?"
I made a very long climb up the hill...it is the edge of the Flint Hills...and it is rough ground.   I was again examined.  The rest of the family was loaded in...the sheriff collected a lot of our junk.  We made a long slow ride to the local hospital in Topeka and spent the next 5 hours getting tested for internal injuries.  I wish that they had cleaned the glass off of me at the hospital better...I might not be still removing as much from my skin as I am now.   That is not anything I can do anything about though.   It is old news and I am healing and so is everyone else.
We have hidden problems...Catie is complaining about not being able to sleep.  I am not having that problem, but the thought of driving down I-70 gives me severe anxiety.   So much that I don't want to do it alone...I am making plans this next week to drive a whole different route.   My husband is unhappy about this...it will waste time...of the precious time!
Alexander and Nathan don't seem to be experiencing anything after the event.   We are all doing our own thing.
That day is a weird memory and our life has changed.  We were saved...we used common sense and put on our seat belts.   They saved our lives...they were angel wings...I tell almost everyone I meet that seat belts save lives!  I mean it...I had one guy say "they save money on tickets"  I turned around looked straight at him and said "more important they save lives"...its true.  We are required by law to wear them...time and again they have saved lives we are just four more winners.
Please make sure you buckle up...we never ever expected to have a roll over car accident.  Nathan is a very save driver...I always knew that there was a chance that the Durango (Doug) could roll.  It was a generation of SUVs that was of poor design...many rolled over and even the visor had a rollover warning.   We never drove in way that would cause it behave that way though...the rear tire sheared off at highway speed making for a bad combination for us.    We just were very blessed to be riding with angels and seatbelts...
here are the pictures if you want to see them...


 










Friday, April 24, 2015

"The conversation"

I started writing this blog a little over four years ago when Nathan and I were going through what seemed like the hardest thing I could think of...becoming Foster Parents.  As it turns out that wasn't it...walking away from becoming foster parents was harder.   I shake my head in wonder sometimes at how our lives have changed show much in four short years.   I love it hear in Salina and as we get ready to move again I wonder at what changes are going to have to happen before we are going to be foster parents again.   This is so far from where I was going with this post....I was starting this really awesome grateful post about my daughter!
So here is goes!
About a week ago we were having lunch (BBQ yummm) near home and we were listening to the song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Same Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0.
Catie piped up that she didn't know anyone that was gay...Nathan and I both choked on our lunch.  We laughed and asked her what she was talking about she knew plenty of people who were gay.  She said she didn't know who was gay...I shrugged and looked at Nathan and we began to tell her who she knew.   I will not be listing out who she knows here as Kansas and not all of our friends and family are as accepting Nathan and I are.   I will not expose any of our family and they are all family to us to ridicule.  After several minutes Catie called a stop to the countless numbers of people we were telling her about.   We explained to her that she had know most of these people most of her life and I guess it never mattered much who they loved just that they loved.   We knew and she just always understood they were apart of her life.  She never knew any different so she didn't know that there was any difference.   Many of these people were integral parts of her life...she just didn't know any different and isn't that they way it's suppose to be?
I want that kind of blindness for everyone...just see everyone the same...like an 11 year old that sees you the same as the next person.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Pack...OMGOSH?!?!

This is really going to happen...we are really going to buy a house?  We are really going to move for the 10th time in 17 years!
Wow how did this happen again?  I am really getting tired of packing and unpacking.  I just unpacked didn't I?  It's really only been a year since the last move.
I am getting excited about this move...I truly am!  We are buying a house!  We are going to be home owners again.  We lost our last house during the '08 collapse.  That was so much fun(insert sarcasm) we should try it again.   We are really looking forward to having something to call our own.  It's been a rough couple of years since we lost the house...we never seemed to get things right since then.
We have just been bouncing off one obstacle after another and not really getting a very good handle on the situation.
So Tuesday was the first day off from work and I wanted to make sure I made the most of it.  I got some errands ran and I did  a few chores.  I started to pack a few boxes but I could never really get going...so two boxes later I was done and I called it a day.
Wednesday rolled around and I was more ready to get some packing done but not really motivated to do it first thing in the morning.  So I worked on a blanket I am making for one of my daughter's friends for a while.  Still not feeling it...oh crap...am I ever going to get this done?  Finally I decided I better get my butt to it and just jumped in...packing here I come!   So I packed five whole boxes.  Whoo!  I am so glad I got that done!

I am so grateful that my job gives me the flexibility to take the time to get my house packed and still keep my employment.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Do you know what a food allergy looks like???

My daughter has a red dye allergy.  Any contact with red dye sends her to the bathroom usually to spend the next 20-45 minutes with severe stomach upset, cramps, bloating, gas, and you guessed it diarrhea.  If we are lucky I can get it to stop there with a couple of Benadryl and she sleeps it off...if not she then starts throwing up and that's when I have to get out the big guns...Epi-pens are not our friends, but they do save lives.   This reaction isn't the one that people hear about so often...they hear about the mouth swelling and the tongue itching.   Well the reality is this is the same thing it just take my daughter's body a little while longer to register an allergic reaction than most...and this is pretty typical of someone who has an allergy that is progressing to anaphlaxis.  The same thing is happening to her...it's just further down in her body.

 Catie has lots of know allergens.   We had allergy testing done a year and half ago to determine what she was truly allergic to.  Unfortunately there is no test for dyes and chemicals.  She has over and over again had reactions to red dyes.  We have used elimination to  determine this allergy.
Last week after Easter Catie was upset with me because I got a bag of jelly beans.  She was well and truly pissed at me that I brought this poison into  the house.  She then begged me for a green jelly bean.  I saw no harm in giving her a green jelly bean.  So I told her to get one.  I watched in horror as she got two green and one yellow and popped them in her mouth.   She then trotted out of the house as if nothing was wrong.  An hour later she came home home complaining that she was hot and cold at the same time.  Her face was bright red and her cheeks we puffed up.  She had two hives on her face.  She started to complain almost right away  that she  her stomach was hurting.   So two Benadryl later she was ready to sleep through dinner.   I do wish she would listen to me.  
 We have had since had Alex tested and he is also allergic to many things.  He is doing very well since we found out he has some allergies.   We have both of the kids doing allergy shots and they both seem to be improving.  Catie is on maintenance and Alex is on build up.

I want everyone to have the access we do to free
 Epi-pens https://www.epipen.com/copay-offer/

Or if you use Auvi-Q  https://www.auvi-q.com/sign-up?s_mcid=AVQCO20423PS&MTD=2&ENG=1&QCPN=2

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Best Yes!

I Am So Grateful!!! I am way behind...but that's ok...I have no intention of trying to catch up...so I will just pick up where I am.   I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people who have supported me through another year...we have amazing people all over.  I have an amazing family mostly in Kansas City and surrounding area but some other places as well.   I have friends in all places near and far and I am so grateful to have called home Kansas City,Independence, Leavenworth, Bloomington and Salina...and soon to be Manhattan.  I have made some lifelong friends in these places and thankfully Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Pinterest have allowed me the opportunity to keep in contact with most.
This week has been so awesome...I have had celebrations of my birthday all week and I so enjoyed it.   I am not one of those people that doesn't enjoy getting older. I do enjoy my age and know that with each year it is a beautiful gift that I have been given.  I wish my mom had been given a few more of those gifts.
My title leaves so many questions...I know...
I am reading The Best Yes, By Lysa Terkeurst with my Small Group.  It is really an amazing book about choosing to say no when you need to.   Giving yourself the space to give God a chance to make things happen in your life. I am so Blessed by my small group...I love these women...they are a wonderful part of my life. If you have never been part of a small group or a women's group you are really missing out.  Small groups offer a chance to get to know your fellow church goers at a whole new level.   It also allows you to develop some friendships with people you might not have considered before.   Go ahead step out there get to know the people around you...they might surprise you.  Another thing...if you feel like you are too busy just keep this is mind.  I feel like I am on a vacation every week for an hour with my friends.  It is awesome and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Here is the book...take a look. http://thebestyes.com/
The last thing I want to share is the amazing experience Catie and I had at the Girl Scout annual volunteer luncheon and annual meeting for Kansas Heartland Conference.  I wanted her to see how Silver and Gold Award winners were honored.  I also wanted her to see how annual business was taken care of.   We had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of Girl Scouts Anna Maria Chavez.  The first Latina CEO.  She was very nice and stopped to talk to all the girls including Catie.  She was very kind and happy to take a picture with her.  She also gave Catie a very special patch for her vest signifying her meeting her.  It was a very nice afternoon.  I am very proud of Catie and the way she behaved and I think she was very impressed with the Gold and Silver awards...she was very bored with the annual business meeting however.  On the way home I was talking to Catie about what an honor it was to meet Mrs. Chavez.  To put it in perspective...the last time a CEO visited Kansas was 1990.  In 1990 I was a Girl Scout and I did not meet the CEO.  I have a picture here to prove it...I have no idea what I was thinking with this hair style by the way...


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Potty training with ADHD, no one ever said this would be this hard!

He's eight!   I never ever guessed my son would still be wetting the bed at age eight on a regular basis.   We have checked to see if something else could be wrong so many time...he's fine the doctor says.  This is normal.  He's a deep sleeper and he will grow out of it.  I consult other moms to see if there children are still wetting the bed...nope.  All of my friend's children stopped wetting the bed in the normal time frame.   My son just has pushed through to the other side and is still wetting the bed in the post normal stage.  At least it feels that way.   He is growing so there is no doubt in my mind that his bladder is big enough to handle the overnight control.  We control liquid intake and make sure he "goes" before bed. We wake him two hours after he goes to sleep to "go" again.

 We wait and grow impatient for his little body and mind to catch up to the other children so we can be part of the club.   That exclusive group that seems to be eluding us so fully right now.  The one that is just out of reach the fully potty trained club.   I feel completely helpless in this because there is nothing that I can do to make this go any fast for him.   He is going to get it on his own.
We recently tried a medication to help him sleep better and it was also suppose to help him over the hump with his bed wetting.   Much to our disappointment he is still wetting the bed and he is back in pull-ups full time.  They are costly, a pain in the butt and God help us if one gets into the washing machine.  He seems to not mind so much what is going on and is not so much worried that he is still wetting the bed.  
I wonder about this off and on...I think it is strange that at one point he was almost completely done with bed wetting and now we are back to every night and completely needing the pull-ups.   Someday...I have hope and I will keep the faith!  Until then we will keep telling him to "go" before bed, take it easy on pre-bed drinks, and waking him up in the middle of the night for a midnight trip to "go" again.