Its Today!!

The Man burns tonight!!  

If you’re a past burner or wanna-be-burner or curious burner-to-be, check out the height of Burning Man on the live feed here.

So, dear hubby is probably out there whopping it up – hope he is having a good time!

You can also listen to BMIR Burning Man radio here.

 

And…. I have 3 more days until dear hubby gets home!  Woot!  2 days with family here and 1 day solo…..  This has been a long, but educational experience.  I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Be.  Fierce.

#IamAFierceMom

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Achooo!!

Ergh.  Sneeze.  *sniff*  I think I have a cold.  Or allergies?  Or something.  A cold I think.  So, short post.  

Uh, so I wrote the special needs T.A. in question (from previous post) a nice note and we’re going to start off on a good foot this year!  *crosses fingers*   And I *did* go to that exercise class (Zumba!), and I did feel better afterwards.  Love a good workout.  Its like pulling teeth to get me there, but once I do it, it feels great.

 Today was a big day, I have family that arrived in town today and the children had their Ice Cream Social at school, so we ran home, got M through most of his homework and ran back to the social at school.  (new PTA car magnet!  woot!)  Ice Cream!!  Before dinner!!  O.o   <— Wonky eyeballs.  What could go wrong??  O.O    <—- Big eyeballs.  So, got the kids nice and sugared up, let them run around the playground, ran home, ate dinner, bathtub,  bedtime routine and bed.  Whew!  (an hour late.  boo.)  

I think when you have a mom-cold, you should get a pass on doing dishes.  Don’t you think?  Anyway.  Most of my dishes are done, but I just couldn’t do anymore of them so I just left them and will have to work on it in the AM before breakfast.  Right now my sinuses feel like they might explode.   So that also means I have laundry half-finished and lunches that aren’t packed for tomorrow and I’m basically just going to take some cold medicene and pass out.  Moment by moment, maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.  Right now I have clean, fed children who have done their homework and right now with the way I feel, I’m taking that as a win.  #win!

Family is settled in downstairs and I just now realize I have not the foggiest idea what we’re all going to do this weekend.  Ha.  *deep breath*  I’ll figure something out I’m sure.  

1 day left until the Man burns at Burning Man.  You can watch the live feed here.  

I’m on day 12 of 16 with handling my mons-ners by myself although I do now have some family in town to help deflect the questions, juice requests and lego battles.  

Be Fierce Moms!  *sniff*  Take those vitamins!  

#IamAFierceMom

 

Playing Grown-Up

Have you ever heard that if you smile, even when you don’t feel like it, you will eventually feel happy?  (or at least happier?)  Its supposed to be true.  So, I’m trying this.  I’m going to pretend that I feel like a mature adult and hope that I eventually actually feel that way.  Think it will work?  Yeah, I know, I’m not 100% convinced either, but I’m going to give it a go.  

First day of school went so smoothly for my mons-ners, M seems to have jumped back in like he’d been gone a week.  A switch went off in his head and suddenly he’s in school mode.  Awesome-sauce.  “A” seems to be enjoying it, but more gradually easing into the routine, in the meantime enjoying his new lunchbox and new salad box to bring to school.  (He loves salad so much, he asked if he could start bringing it for lunches.  As long as he eats, I don’t feel like I can complain.)  Miss. S had her meeting with her preschool teacher and she will start in about a week or so.  We’re enjoying some quality time together this week.  I did however find out the afternoon of the first day that M has a special education T.A. that I am not really on good terms with.  We don’t have a good history.  I tried to think of how to handle the situation and went over a bunch of scenarios in my head.  The best I could come up with was to start out on a positive note and hope that the situation works well for M.  I mean, after all, its not really my situation.  It’s M’s.  He has different relationships than I do.  He can make friends on his own, he can handle his own schoolwork (when at school anyway), and I am just going to take a deep breath and wait it out.  The T.A. seems to have a good rapport with him and I feel like she’s a good person, its just me that she’s not nuts about and you know, that’s ok, as long as that doesn’t interfere with anything and I’m going to go for positive and say that I think its going to be ok.  The “mama bear” approach isn’t going to always work and we’re all in this together for the next handful of years so I think erring on the side of caution and good intention is my best choice.  As a friend of mine just reminded me, its difficult being a parent and being a special needs parent sort of ups the ante on that.  I feel like I always need to be there for M, always explain things for him, sort things out for him, but you know, I’m not always going to be there and although he handles situations differently than I would, he is now old enough to be able to speak for himself at least a little bit.  So, I’ll keep tabs on things and monitor his progress and we’ll see.  Mature adult on the outside, crazy childish ravings on the inside.  Yay me!  

It also helps me that I was reminded recently of how fortunate I am to have children in the first place and to be able to stay at home to have these challenges/opportunities to conquer.  I’m glad that I have my problems.  Actually that is not true.  I am thankful that I have my challenges.  

And let’s see – the Man burns in 3 days at Burning Man.  

I am on day 10 of 16 of being on my own with the mons-ners and it has gotten substantially easier with school being in session! Plus, I have an evening out with friends tomorrow, so I’m excited about that.  Also, I think we’re past the “scariness’ of the transition from summer to school schedule, so *whew*!  Transitions.  Transitions are hard and I don’t know about yours, but really hard for my kiddos.  

Alrighty, well I will say a little prayer that our school situation works out and I hope all of you are enjoying settling into the very beginning of the school season.  

 

The Man Burns in 5 Days…. and its the First Day of School

Like my title?  Worlds colliding!  *crash!!*  Ahem.  Anyway.  Um, so….. yeah, lots and lots and LOTS of people (approx. 35K) are on the way to Burning Man.  If that’s you, you can get traffic updates on Highway 447 and wait times at the gate from 94.5 FM BMIR.  Right now the wait time at the gate is 27 MILES long.  (as of 1 AM Central time) Yah.  Alrighty then.  That crowd includes a nice handful of my friends and dear Hubby of course.  Dear Hubby is on the way and should arrive early early Monday morning.  He called this evening because he may lose reception before he gets too far.  So, its just me then!

First Day of School for my kiddos and everyone around here is tomorrow!  (woo-HOO!!)  Except for Miss. S who starts in about a week and a half – preschool has a bit of a different schedule.  I’ve got bags of school supplies, backpacks and lunch bags ready to go!  My new home schedule is printed out and waiting for me.  I’ve got the coffee maker ready to go in the AM.  Now, if I could just get my attitude adjusted we’d be all set.  I’ve just, I don’t know, had a hard time getting over the fact that I feel so dissed by the help that I was supposed to have over this period of time, so when its gotten really hard (like this weekend  :::deep breath:::), that’s where my mind goes.  Beating that dead horse.  I know.  I do.  Still, I have felt so very alone and I have to remind myself that my feelings are valid.  Its so easy for someone “looking in” from the outside to just casually mention that I should get over it and that I should be “just fine” at handling all of this.  Its much different when you’re IN it.  My first thought is “really?  Can you do this?  I doubt that”. Its OK to feel how I feel, this is very hard.  By feeling alone, I don’t mean that I don’t have friends, or truly a great support network here – that’s what has kept the anxiety monster at bay for the most part and kept me afloat.   I just mean, that the responsibility is all mine, its a lot of hours of no adult conversation or interaction except with the mons-ners, which are lovely, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I do hit my limit on talking about the finer points of ponies and fart jokes.

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School supplies!!  SHARPENED pencils!! 80 of them!!  I have the blisters to prove it!! 

 

Today was the first time I had ever taken the children to church by myself.  I wasn’t too concerned because they’re used to going there, used to the people, it feels comfortable, etc.  Except all the change that is about to happen this week.  Its like the mons-ners are all jittery and nervous on the inside and its just seeping out.  (the Sunday school teacher actually pulled me out of the sanctuary today to “speak” to me about M’s behavior.  Dammit.  Really??  Right now??  THIS week?  To his credit, this has actually never happened before.  (and his aide wasn’t there.  He usually has an aide in church, isn’t that nice??)

M has such a hard time with transitions.  I swear you don’t even have to tell him its coming, he can smell it, or sense it, something.  He knows.  And its when he gets in his little “autistic funks” that I can sometimes really get a glimpse into how his brain sorts things.  He IS smart, its just organized differently.  During a particularly disfunctional moment Saturday I was asking him if he remembered his teacher’s name, the door he should use, etc.  “Yes, yes, but mom, what is my room number?”  Um, yeah, I don’t have any idea.  #momfail.  But I will find out!  And write it on his hand.  During one of more hysterical moments this weekend involving a gigantic container of peanuts (don’t ask), M came up and calmly offered to help me find the lid and put everything away, just as if I wasn’t shrieking at the top of my lungs and dashing about like a looney toons character.  Yup.  He just doesn’t see/feel the emotion of that.  He sees that its a problem and I am upset and instead of shrinking back like my 2 other neurotypical children who were probably sure that mommy had actually lost it time, he just offered to help me and he did and then went on about his business just like I was as normal as ever.  This isn’t the first time he has done this when I am losing it, but it is the first time in a while.  Its almost comforting.  

Speaking of comfort, this weekend was particularly hard since I haven’t felt too well on top of everything and then I fell (I know, I know!) and hurt my foot pretty good, so I have just been focused on getting tasks done ie. laundry, dishes, school prep, and trying to give some myself some easy comforts like easy meals to get through this part.  Hopefully as of tomorrow I can really get back to the shopping for real meals and cooking.

I apologize for the whiney post.  I’m working on the attitude thing.  Maybe my exercise class tomorrow AM will help to change my perspective.  

Anyway.  Get out there and get your kiddos to school!  Find those room numbers!!  Let’s get coffee!!

Be fierce.  

:::::omg with the bagpipes on BMIR right now.  Woah.::::

#IamAFierceMom

The Man Burns in 7 Days

…. and I am sad.  

I knew it was coming, I knew it would get harder, but I couldn’t predict when that would be or how it would hit.  Today is day 5 of 16 on my own with the mons-ners.  I’ve been doing it.  #doitlikeajob.  Thursday we had a lazy morning and then attended the meeting with M’s teacher.  (Yup, ALL of us!)  Miss. S basically took everything off every shelf in the classroom, tore open a box of crayons and managed to lose some school supplies I’m going to try to pay for.  :::head desk:::  I think A wanted to try everything, and so kept coming over to ask a million questions.  But – we did manage to get through some major points of M’s IEP.  Super-strong math skills, supports in place to help focus, supports in place for his breaks, keeping him on task, reading levels, what she will put in place for his goals going forward, etc.  It was a good meeting even with the chaos and most importantly, M saw who she was so he can make that connection on Monday, the first day of school.  Afterwards, we had a playdate scheduled with our super-big playgroup, TPC (The Parent Circle), but it was cancelled due to rain.  Boo.  We ended up just hanging out at home.  It was fine, I needed to order/sort school supplies anyway.  

Today started with a playdate with my lovely friend Kate and her two girls.  (Hi Kate!  Thanks for coming over!)  The kids had soo much fun – super good.  And she brought snacks!  Yay!  Yummy bread and berries and cheese!  Everyone loved it and I’m actually going to track down that store just for the bread – seriously good stuff from Mariano’s.  After a quick break we went to playdate #2 for the day, mostly children from A’s kindergarten class last year plus their siblings.  It was hot and muggy and gross, but the kids had an amazing time together and watching it just made the problems of the day seem irrelevant.  It was one of those times where you you realize you’re watching what you’ve been hoping for, for your kids.  You hope they’re going to have friends who are inclusive of everyone and who show compassion when someone gets hurt and who run and play and sing silly songs (“Everything is Awesome…”) together.  It was great for me to see the other moms too.  The adult interaction is good for me!  

This evening though, I seem to have fallen apart.  Not sure what happened.  Maybe its a chemical thing.  I just suddenly realized its been 5 days (only 1 day longer than my normal week with the kids), but that it would be that times 3 before dear hubby got back and things would begin to go back to normal.  We have 2 more days until we lose communication for a week.  (no signals in the desert) So, I got to text and talk on the phone to him for a few minutes and I seem to have found some of my marbles again.  Maybe I’m just tired.  Maybe, I could just sleep!  Except that I can’t sleep until I’m ultra-tired because of my anxiety right now.  *deep breath*  

Still, 2 days of the weekend – which I have planned pretty well to be busy and then on Monday hopefully the stress will ease up a little with the boys at least being in school for the day.  

And my sad little self is going to still be fierce.  I’m going to get up in the morning and make those pancakes and get to that 8AM Meet & Greet and I’m going to have snacks, waterbottles, a first aid kit and extra clothes.  Cause its my job.  Even when I’m sad.  So take that #anxiety!!  And get off of my lawn!!  

*What’s the Man?  See BurningMan.com

*Everything Is Awesome!  – song from the Lego Movie

*TPC – The Parent Circle, a play group  – Live near me?  Want to join?  Go Here!

Go out, go find OUT what is going on with/for/about your children and their world and be fierce!

#IAMaFierceMom

What’s that? I think we have some static.

*  Today marks 9 days until the Man burns at Burning Man!  Listen to BMIR (app available!) for playa updates before you go or

    on the radio as you get closer. 94.5 FM 

*  Today is Day 4 of 16 in which I  handle my mons-ners solo and all is well.  *clanging bell sound here*

 

You know, conversations online can be confusing.  You can’t really tell the person’s emotional intent from their text.  It can be easy to misinterpret words, online connections can be interrupted in the middle of conversations, and sometimes you just never know what happened.  Did they log off on purpose?  Was there a storm?  An emergency in their home?  Were they late for an appointment?  Who knows!  With practice, it can improve.  Dear hubby and I speak primarily through IMs (instant messages) on Trillian while he travels because it is the medium that works best for us.  Often I will get a quick phone call in the evening, but not necessarily every day and certainly not during this big trip he’s on (due to lack of internet access/signals in the desert).  Its not always perfect, he spends a fair amount of his day in meetings in which he can text me on IM/Trillian if I need to ask something or am just checking in, but not always.  It may be hours before my message gets answered depending on what is happening around him and vice versa.  If I’m at a playdate or out with the kids I can’t usually talk/text/do much of anything else.   It takes understanding and patience.  And practice.  I know that if I get a message, I need to answer it.  When I can.  Even if its much later in the day or the next day.  Not doing so, would set off an alarm to dear hubby and cause him to worry, etc.  We also use Swarm (app) to do check-ins so that he pretty much knows what is going on in our day, where we are, what events are probably going on, and I know approximately where he is and whether or not it might be a good time for me to call.  For example, if he’s checked-in at the office, I’m probably not going to call unless its an emergency.  If he’s checked in at his hotel or out and about, I may call to see if he’s free for a few minutes.  I would imagine to some this may sound mildly intrusive, but it works for us and its really just about good communication.  Again, it does however take practice.  Communicating well, while apart from your partner takes effort.  In addition to all of this, we also use Skype and FaceTime when we can and also so that the children can feel included.  I like to send dear hubby pictures of what the kids are doing throughout the day, to keep him in the loop and help him feel connected so the next time he skypes with them or something similar he can talk to them about their day.  

All that being said, if I am chatting with someone who is not as accustomed to having conversations online and they make a statement I don’t understand or log off suddenly in the middle of our conversation, I’m left not knowing what the heck happened.  Did I say something offensive?  Was there a lot going on where they were?  Who knows!  It can be very frustrating.  I mention this because it happened yesterday (not with dear hubby) and I just never found out what happened.  Oh well.  Hopefully if something went awry on my end someone will eventually let me know.  

Communication is difficult.  Recently I had someone in a very nonchalant way dismiss my concerns about handling my mons-ners for 16 days.  Fastforward to a week later as I am preparing to get them ready for their first week of school and they asked if I had done X, Y or Z with the children to get them ready.  I replied, “well, I can’t”.  Obviously, this had never occurred to them.  I could see lightbulbs coming on.  *take a deep breath*  I have a child with special needs who while high-functioning, has real challenges and I am not willing to put myself out there in a difficult situation with him not knowing really when my next break will be or if help will be available.  (sound like a recording, don’t I?  I know.) When its not just me, I feel like I can push my kids a little more, try new outings that may be a little more of a hit-or-miss.  When I’m flying solo, I try to stick to what I know will work, this isn’t the time for experimenting.  In an emergency, its just me to handle it all and I need to have confidence in my choices.  

 

 

The Man Burns in 10 Days

So, I’m sort of counting up and down at the same time?  Days down until the Man burns at Burning Man.  Days up until dear hubby comes home and I can breathe!  (woo!)  Day 3 out of 16 of handling my 3 mons-ners on my own!  It went well folks, we had a good day (or two, what day is it?).  This is the only problem with this being “just me” in this little child-centric world here.  I literally don’t really do anything else.  I don’t watch news, I don’t go out of our township unless I have an appointment somewhere and there is a babysitter, I literally live in a bubble of a 5-mile radius.  Oddly, most of the time I kind of like it.  I guess its not really a problem.  I know  LOTS and I mean LOTS of people in my bubble and I find that really comforting.  Yesterday I did my new-agey athletic NIA class and then hatha yoga later in the day with a play date in the middle of the day.  The kids love the gym – built in play date and I get a break!  Bonus!  Plus, it forces me to exercise.  Once I get going on a regular exercise schedule, I’m good – I’m there and self-motivated.  When I fall off the wagon, such as when I hurt my back this past spring – ugh – not easy to get back on the flipping wagon.  

*life moments* that take my breath away:  

So the mons-ners made this really awesome apartment building-type thing for their stuffed animals and they wanted to paint it and I kept telling them to wait for a rainy day and it almost rained today so I said that was close enough.  

Here is how they decorated it:  10572242_10152329082962104_1350850395752721503_o

 

Lovely!  The end product is even more colorful.  Lots of orange and pink.  Very 60’s.  

And I got my awesome Mama Ninja shirt today from Mamapowergear.com and I flipping love it.  I haven’t gotten this much “attention” since I was in college.  LOL!  It’s a “hot mom” shirt.  Put it on, and you’re hot!  

*life moments* where I take a deep breath:

Monday at the afternoon playdate where M saw his 1st grade teacher and ran up to her and obviously wanted to engage her, but couldn’t keep focus long enough to carry on a conversation.  WH-questions are so hard for him.  (WHERE did you go this summer?  WHO did you see? etc.)  He has improved so much and can often answer some of those questions…. but not Monday.  Couldn’t keep eye contact.  Couldn’t focus on the conversation.  Kept interjecting video game knowledge to the conversation about our 7-week trip this summer.  You know, I know he has problems, but sometimes they are neon glowing colors.  This was one of those times.  Luckily, his teacher was well aware of his communication deficeits and bless her she did work well with it while trying to engage him.  

Tonight after my appointment downtown ended early (woo-hoo!  2 hours of me-time!!  Yippee skippee!) I went to Barnes & Noble of course and was perusing the books looking for a page-turner. I picked up a book and preceded to start reading the jacket and I’m skimming the summary…..  “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, I wonder what the plot is about?  Oh wait.  Oh, right.  Most people don’t actually have an everyday life like that with their child.  Ok.”.  And My head just drooped and I rolled my eyes and just kept walking towards the cookbooks.  Flipping book I picked up.  It was a FICTIONAL story about a boy with Aspberger’s.   I wasn’t sure whether to be upset or offended.  Really??  That’s entertainment??  I mean, I guess.  I don’t know.  I don’t think its entertaining, trying to get your kids to “jump into the car” only to have your autistic child have to do his little ritual things to get into the car.  Or have an order of who gets in the car first, second, etc or there is an actual tantrum.  Or heaven forbid have to try to get him out of the car when he just refuses to go.  I mean, he’s nearly 8, almost as tall as me, if he doesn’t want to go, I can’t do a whole lot to make him go.  *shrugs*  Whatever floats your boat I guess.  I’d rather read about making cupcakes.  Or you know, steampunk vampires, but whatever.  

back to our regularly scheduled programming:

And I found out today that Miss. S got accepted to preschool and our preferred time and teacher (yay!) so, very excited to hear that!  (I had to actually go to the school and interrupt a meeting to ask because I still hadn’t gotten a phone call or letter, but you know, whatever, its my job, right?  Do it Like a Job and all that? )  And I have e-mailed M’s teacher to set up a meeting so that he can meet her briefly before school starts and so that I can go over some strategies for focus during his school “work time”.  And so it starts.  I need to get organized.  Meeting is Thursday.  I’ve already had e-chats with his special ed teacher from last year to get things ready to get started this year.  Its a group effort!

 

Listening to:  BMIR

Random News:  Our glass doorknob to the bathroom uh, broke I guess?  And the babysitter didn’t really mention it to me.  Hmm.  Not sure what to do there – call her to figure out what the heck happened with my doorknob?  Ppffffttttt.  

What’s NIA?  (from NIAnow.com) Nia focuses on the sensation of being flexible in the body but also incorporates flexibility of mind and spirit.  “Flexibility is sensed as energy moving outward. It is the physical feeling of releasing power. Dynamic flexibility (the perfect action between contraction and release) relaxes your body and is sensed as opening and lengthening.” 

Be fierce out there!  The school year is upon us!

#IamAFierceMom