Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blessed

I read blogs like this one:
http://balefulregards.blogspot.com/2008/10/special-ed-lite-pt-1.html
and this one:
http://madgetastic.typepad.com/madgetastic/2008/03/picking-it-apar.html

and I am all the more thankful for where we landed to form roots for our family and for the people who helped me with Lion and getting him into the school he needed to be in with teachers that are good and kind and love him and are patient.

Just thinking about how all the puzzle pieces slid so effortlessly into place for us and it give me a lump in my throat and makes me want to cry and run to the roof and scream how wonderful Brian's therapists are.
Truly...
We are very very very lucky.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Must posess these...

Surely I will perish if these do not find their way to my feet.
I wear size 6 in ladies and size 4 in mens...



The best Sesame Street guest maybe ever...

I really hope you can see this video.
Just in case you can't here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esnDnIK2v1g



I adore Cab Calloway. He is one of my favorite big band leaders. Follow closely by Glenn Miller. Cab take top spot on my list because he was SUCH a showman. From birth to death he was on stage.

Here is another video of him on Sesame Street:



Apparently he appeared in 3 episodes of Sesame Street in 1978. Born in 1907 that makes him 71 in these videos. Man can still move and dance with the best of em...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

He SPEAKS

As we were sitting here this evening just hanging around Lion said We. Are. Going. To. The. Park.
Clear as a bell. It took about 10 seconds for my brain to process what I'd just heard and I grabbed my camera to get him to PLEASE say it again. He did but he shortened it a little bit and it's not as clear as it was the firs time but here it is!
We also have no light in our living room beacuse some smarty pants kid decided to take apart the remote control to the light/fan and now we can't turn it on. Sorry it's so dark...

video

It's not even 7:00 yet!

When the kids are in school I have 6 hours of "me" time. I tend to be very very selfish with this time.
It took me 4 very long years of never having a single second to myself to get here and so I want to selfishly enjoy it. I don't get to relax on weekends and I don't get "down time" or time to relax other than that 6 hours.
When the boys are home they are 100% my responsibility. PT claims he needs his down time on the weekends and while he will take PJ out and do stuff with him most of his weekends are spent right here on his laptop with his headset on playing Warcraft.
I don't want to spend this time doing laundry or cleaning.
This family accumulates more laundry than any other family I've ever seen. It's amazing to me the mountains that pile up.
I usually get up at around 5:00 to start doing laundry. Laundry is in the building's basement and there are two machines down there.
Usually the kids are asleep when I start this whole process and Lion isn't aware that I'm out of his sightline.
Except this morning. Humphrey our resident Basset Hound woke up at 4:30. I had to take him out.
Lion lept out of bed and when he realized what I was doing I began to protest. This continued out in the very quiet hall where he followed me waiting, howling, rattling the doorknob sobbing.
We came back inside and I calmed everyone down gave them breakfast and proceded to collect the bag of laundry and drag it to the door.
No protest from Lion so I thought we would be okay and I could sneak out.
I'm in the basement knee deep in laundry when I hear my door rattle and slam shut. Then I hear the familiar "mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy" (sniffle, snortle, sob)
Deep breath mommy.
"Lion I'm down here. I'll be up in a second"
"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" and then it's quiet.
I grab the clean laundry and carry it up the stairs two at a time like baby. I hear Lion's faint voice which now sounds confused and VERY scared but soft like he's whispering
"Mommy? Mommy?"
I run into the building vestibule thinking he somehow got the front door open. No Lion.
I run to the basement stairs and call to him "Lion?? Where ARE you?"
again the soft "Mommy?"
I realized it's coming from upstairs. I start to take the stairs 2 at a time (which if you've seen me lately you will know this is all momma bear adrenaline ) all the way up to the 5th floor where I find my sweet scared Lion huddled waiting and very confused.
"MOMMY"
I've never been hugged so tight by him ever. He had a choke hold around my neck as though if he let go I would disappear again.
My poor little lion. What on earth can the rest of the day hold if it's started out in such a dramatic fashion?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Playdates...

PJ started school last year (Hoboken has an Abbott program that accepts 3 and 4 year olds) but because The Lion and his intense therapies were my primary focus, I did not have time for the park and did not have time for play dates.
This year I have both The Lion and PJ in school same building, two different programs a floor apart.
After school at the start of the year we were at the park every single day and so was it seemed half of PJ's class.
I found this really really really really groovy mommy that wouldn't accept my being a loner on the other side of the playground.
PJ LOVES her son and I love her and her son is really good with Lion so it's cool.
My concern was that PJ and this other kid play VERY rough with each other.
I mean rough to the point where other parents were giving us funny looks for allowing the behavior to go on.
This is going to sound like a typical mother "my kid can do no wrong" but I SWEAR it's not.
PJ is rough and can hold his own but in this relationship he's the submissive dom. (IS there such a thing? For the sake of this situation there is now)
His friend is clearly clearly Alpha pup.
Other parents have eluded to not wanting their kids around this kid beacuse he's so aggressive. (They know I'm good friends with his mommy though and so they don't say too much)
I don't want PJ to have the same reputation beacuse I KNOW he is a multi-faceted kid.
I know he can be kind and gentle and compassionate and I've seen him be kind and gentle with his brother and other little kids.
I was going to have to suck it up and make nice with the other parents.

A little rewind on my history before the present can make any sort of sense:
I am the most anti-social mother out there. Actually truth be told I've always been anti social or awkward in social situations.
As a little girl I was the most unpopular kid in school.
I had no friends, I was invited to parties beacuse I had to be and when that rule didn't apply then I just wasn't invited.
I ate lunch alone and was picked on and made fun of.
I finally figured out that I am no good at being social. Being around people exhausts me.
I am happiest when I am alone.
I am uncomfortable with small talk and my humor tends to be on the brash side.
I am not a girly girl. I am a punk-ish mommy and while I'm comfortable with who I am not everyone else is.

Normally I'd tell the world to go fuck itself and slam the door but this time it's not just me. My two small guys need friends. They need to be social.
The playground is really rather painful for me. I have no catchy opening lines to start a conversation with other parents and am usually good with the "Hi, how are you's" and then that's it.
I can usually be found sitting on a bench by myself.

I learned a long time ago that Shakespeare was right "To thine own self be true" and so I don't pretend to fit in or be like the other mommies.
I wear my pink docs and my black patent leather docs to the playground and while the other mom's are carrying Coach diaper bags I have my custom hot pink and white glitter vinyl monster with faux leopard lining. One of my very astute friends commented that I'm the poison dart frog of the playground.

While other animals use camouflage to blend in and not be eaten the Poison Dart Frog wears bright colors to tell predators don't come near me. I'm icky and dangerous.
Maybe she's right.

So now here I am, as introverted as they come, and the mother of two little boys who crave social interaction.
As I said I didn't want PJ to be blacklisted or branded as something he is not thereby ruining any chance of other friends and other play dates.
Thankfully there is a wonderful mother to a beautiful little girl in PJ's class who mast have taken pity on me after a few superficial conversations in the park invited us to her house for a play date.
I was nervous. I begged the boys in urgent hushed tones to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be good and play nice.
Thankfully it went really well and the mom made me feel very comfortable and it was very easy to be with her.
I immediately invited them to our home for a reciprocal play date. That too went well. Is this what it was like? This wasn't too hard to do. I could handle this!
Lion's classroom is a whole other ball of wax. The mothers in that room are bonded and have established friendship and have made it clear that none of them want to get to know me.
I've been to two class events (A field trip and a Thanksgiving party) and both I spent alone or with Lion.
If his teacher didn't talk to me I wouldn't have said a word to anyone that whole day.
I just don't think they know what to do with me.
I'm the mother who drops and leaves. I don't hang around the classroom. When Brian is having a tantrum I don't stay to console him because I know it won't help. It must look horrible though.
It really feels like junior high in that classroom only this time when I'm ignored it makes me laugh and shake my head...

100 Things about me

Another idea yanked from my friends blog but I really like it...

1. I am ambidextrous when it comes to using a computer mouse.
2. I use said computer mouse upside down. (Meaning the buttons are facing me)
3. I am horrible at math. I still have to do basic addition on my fingers.
4. I have an ear for accents and can mimic them almost flawlessly.
5. My favorite accent is an Irish Brogue. I don't care if you look like Billy Goat Gruff. Keep talking and I'll hang on your every word.
6. I love tattoos and if I had my way I'd have a few more than I do.
7. In the 80's I was a big hair rock chick.
8. I am a horrible liar
9. I was born and raised in Manhattan.
10.I long for the day when I can move out of the city to someplace rural.
11.I am happiest when I am alone.
12.I love to have people over to my house and have parties and get togethers.
13.I cannot stand body piercings. They creep me out.
14.My favorite color is pink.
15.I have never done a single illegal drug in my life.
16.I never drink booze.
17.I tend to be very passive aggressive.
18.I love to bake.
19.I have an obsession with Italianate Mansions.
20.I have a very hard time asking for help.
21.I tend to be lazy.
22.I would rather pay someone do to the work than do it myself.
23.I love Zoology.
24.I would love to drive cross country in an Airstream Trailer
25.I want to purchase a large old home and convert it to a B&B.
26.I drink way too much Diet Coke.
27.I frequently wonder what my life would be like with no kids
28.I love to travel.
29.I am a very uncomplicated person.
30.I'm extremely opinionated.
31.I tend to talk to much.
32.I wear my heart on my sleeve.
33.I absolutely hate my hair.
34.My eyes are too small and too close together
35.My eyes are my favorite feature.
36.I love getting massages.
37.I have an obsession with Interior Design.
38.I have no desire for any other babies or children.
39.I never felt that strong tug to have a baby.
40.I went to private school my whole life.
41.I drove an Audi when I turned 16.
42.I would rather do something that I'm passionate about and make minimum wage than do something that is just a job for a huge salary.
43.I don't have many talents but those that I do have I think are very strong.
44.I have issues with being in control.
45.I spent half my life trying to be cool and popular.
46.I've spent the rest of it going against the grain.
47.I have no pictures of my kids in the apartment.
48.I'll never be a MILF but I will be a "cool" parent.
49.I suck at doling out discipline. I'm the Rodney Dangerfield of mother's. No respect.
50.I quite often threaten my children with a phone call to their father. (It works)
51.I have spanked both boys and I won't hesitate to do it again.
52.I carry massive massive guilt for not spending enough time with Brian when he was a baby.
53.I sometimes think his PDD-NOS might be the fault of my being overwhelmed with two kids and not giving him the attention he needed.
54.I loved being pregnant and for the right price would consider doing Surrogate motherhood.
55.I realized just how strong a woman I am when I had to take the dog out the day I got home from the hospital with Patrick.
56.I learned just how far I will go for my kids when we went to the Brooklyn Aquarium a week after Brian was born.
57.I sometimes feel I got cheated having both kids via C-Section.
58.I wish I had told the Dr. I wanted to have Brian naturally since he was coming anyway. (C-Section schedule for 9:00am on May 6th and he decided he was coming naturally. Contractions, water broke, dilation and still I agreed to a C-Section)
59.I really was and still am OK with Mike's decision not to want to be present for a vaginal birth of either of his sons. Both were C-Sections and he was there for both.
60.I love that my mother, my father and my sister were all with me and stayed up all night the 15 hours I was in labor with PJ.
61. I love that I have such a close family.
62. I am closer to my sister than anyone else and consider her my very best friend.
63. I am adopted.
64. I have never had any desire to seek out my birth family.
65. I do wonder if my birth mother ever thinks of me and if she ever regrets her decision.
66. I do not regret her decision.
67. I was a spoiled rotten teenager blessed with a father who gave me everything.
68. I used to have a horse and thought that's what I wanted to do with my life.
69. I miss having a horse and riding.
70. I owe much of who I am today to my best friend who was killed in a motorcycle accident in July of 2007.
71. I still cry when I think about her.
72. I don't have any photos of my family in my apartment but her photo is in a silver frame on my computer desk.
73. I love to take pictures and do so on an almost obsessive level.
74. I often feel my life is stuck in neutral.
75. I desperately want to gut and renovate the kitchen and the bathroom in our apartment.
76. I love Basset Hounds and don't think I'll ever not have one in my life.
77. I was kicked out of college.
78. I wasn't unhappy that I was kicked out of college.
79. I haven't driven a car in 10 years.
80. As a child I was petrified of subway trains and tracks.
90. I love the way the air smells in the winter before it snows.
91. I could move to our house in the Berkshires and be very happy there.
92. It's very important to me that my children have good manners.
93. I love music from the 80's.
94. I have very little shame in my game.
95. It's extremely hard to embarrass me.
96. I want to move to Vermont or New Hampshire.
97. I am under 5' tall.
98. I can admit when I'm wrong
99. My relationship with PT is a traditional male dominated "father knows best" style and I'm very happy with it.
100. I can't apply lipstick to save my life so I usually don't wear it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A little more on the Circus folk

So you understand the dynamic of my family.
PJ is almost 5 years old and as loud and precocious as they come.
If I took him to the developmental pediatrician I think they might classify him as ADDHD, so I'm not taking him to be diagnosed. For now I'm chalking it up to a high energy almost 5 year old.
PJ takes his role as older brother VERY seriously. He loves The Lion with a pure ferocity that astounds me at times.
On the playground he always has one eye on Lion and is quick to come to the aid or defense of his brother. On more than one occasion I've seen him fly across the playground to stand between his little brother and another child and I've seen him take back toys that were taken from Lion when I didn't even know he was paying attention.
I've heard him ask Lion "Are you okay?" and say "Lion, I love you".
These moments make me so proud and always amaze me. This protection and love and "big brotherness" doesn't come from anything I've ever taught him or said to him. It's natural for him.
Of course PJ has another side too.
Have you ever seen the cartoon Cavin and Hobbes? Yeah. PJ IS Calvin.


He's sharp and funny as hell and I love his outlook on life and hearing the way he sees the world.
If an almost 5 year old can be a friend, than he and I are buddies for sure.
He's always up for an adventure and always wants to know what's next. He's never happy just sitting still, and being quiet is a very foreign concept to him. He's a great kid and I love spending time with him.
I love him but at the end of the day I'm exhausted.

His little brother The Lion is 3 1/2. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS which means he's too young to be classified as Autistic but he's on the spectrum.
I look at him now and he's come SO SO far.
He's got more words now than ever before (Still not as many as his peers but he's getting there) and his social skills are still stunted (Sharing is still a concept that eludes him) but he's doing well in the classroom and seems to enjoy the play dates I've set up with PJ's friends.
He still throws those ferocious tantrums and needs to be on a schedule. He does best with a routine but he's leaps and bounds from where he was a year and a half ago.
Lion and I have a special bond. He and I can often be found lying together foreheads touching staring into each others eyes.
He is never too far from my side and if I try to leave the apartment to do laundry or take the dog out he will howl and wail "Mommmmmmmmyyyyy"
Even though he doesn't speak that way PJ does, he's still got an amazing personality and a great sense of humor.
He's so gentle happy to just sit quiet and play with his Thomas The Train or Lightning McQueen.
He is the absolute opposite of his big brother which is fine with me.
Having two PJ's 16 months apart would for sure have driven me over the edge.
My boys are thick as thieves and the best of friends. I hope that never changes.
PT makes the money and I run the household. Laundry, cleaning, to and from school, Drs. appointements, playdates, birthday parties it's all mommy.
Okay to be fair, PT takes out the garbage (once I've taken the bags out of the garbage cans and tied them up) and he cooks. I do not cook. I can burn an ice cube. He makes all our dinners. I bake.
I LOVE to bake.
I bake almost every single day and I would love to have a small specialty bakery of my own here in Hoboken but with the two small kids it's impossible. My support team sucks.
Ah but that's another rant (entry) for another day.

The Circus Performers

I'd like to tell you that I'm the ringmaster in charge of the big top and all that goes on here however I am not.
I am far too much of a marshmallow (or if you prefer a circus reference I'm cotton candy) to be in charge of the whole show.
The man in charge of it all, is my husband. For the purpose of this blog and for my own selfish amusement he will be called PT or Barnum. (If you have no idea why this amuses me or don't know who PT Barnum is shame on you! Go and do a Google search and come back.)
My role is more that of the behind the scenes work. I take care of the two young performers who call me mom. I clean up after the elephants and feed the lions. I keep the circus train rolling and on schedule.
I am just Mom. Not a performer and never in the spotlight but the circus wouldn't exist without me. Okay well that's a wee bit dramatic. Let's just say that without me the circus wouldn't run as the well oiled machine it does.
My littlest circus performer is my Lion. He's had this nickname since birth as his temper is the stuff legends are made of. He is ferocious when he gets going and a force to be reckoned with.
He is also the sweetest most lovable creature on the planet and I would not hesitate to stick my head between his jaws if I thought it would fit.
The Lion is wonderful and simple and pure. He makes me laugh and I have a very special bond with him. I understand him and relate to him on a level that no one else does.
His big brother is a little harder to classify as a member of the circus though he's the biggest performer I have.
My initial reaction is to tell you he's the tightrope walker because the kid is fearless and brave and agile.
He's also the clown because he's funny as hell. He will do just about anything for a laugh and craves the spotlight.
He's an elephant because he's a little unpredictable. You know he wants to do the right thing but you are never quite sure if he's going to go rouge and take the whole tent down with him.
Because I can't classify him as just one performer when he in himself is an entire circus we are going to call him by his nickname of PJ.
Now that you've met the performers on with the show!

And in the center ring...

Welcome to my blog. This is my second attempt at the world of blogs. My first can be found here:
http://www.suburbhunting.blogspot.com/
That blog started out as a diary of our house hunting adventures and turned into a place for my intense obsession with homes I will never own in places I will never live.

I recently found a ghost from my past on Facebook and was delighted to be able to catch up with her life through her blog.
I can't tell you how happy I was to find her and then to be able to follow her life from 2005 to the present was amazing.

I was inspired by her blog and while my writing skills are no where near as adept as hers I still wish I'd thought of this or done this sooner.

I love the idea of an online chronicle of the passage of time. Details are so often forgotten and events become hazy.

It will quickly become apparent to you that my life is truly a circus. Not that I have so much going on that it's as busy as a circus but rather that my life is filled with people places and events and antics that are circus-like. It's not the quantity but the quality of life that is amusing.
Stick around...you will soon see for yourself