Category Archives: Marriage

Words words words

Words are failing me lately. I have thought of so many things to blog about that I don’t know where to start. None of these things go that well together, yet on their own, they would each make for a pretty lackluster blog.

And yet… I feel odd not writing for days on end. 

We’re still struggling with medication issues.  Colin seems to be sleeping better, which is good.  He’s still wandering out at lord-only-knows-o’clock to sleep on the couch, but at least he’s sleeping.  He seems – to me – quite out of control on the 20mg Adderall XR and yet he’s having “green” days in school, so I’m not what we should do.  Mornings and evenings are more of a terror than usual.  Even sending him to his room doesn’t work, because he physically can’t stay in there for more than a few seconds at a time – door open or shut, it doesn’t matter. He will pop his head out or ask a question or tell you something every flippin’ 30 seconds.  I would honestly say mornings are better than evenings, but even that’s a struggle.  Within 5 minutes of waking up (if you’re lucky) he’s at 10 on the hyper scale. 

Evenings? He’s on 12.

The mixed blessing is he’s become a bottomless pit.  He’s out-eating all of us at most meals and constantly asking for snacks!  Hopefully he’ll gain a few pounds!

We won’t see the Psych until 5/31 due to scheduling issues.  Phone calls haven’t seemed to cut it – again, I never feel like we’re explaining things quite right.

 

Last Friday was Robbie’s Kindergarten Graduation.  So much cuteness.  I wish I could share some pics without violating the privacy of others, but I’ll just keep them to myself for now.  They put on a little production to show off what they’ve learned this year.  This school has been so good for Robbie. He’s learned a good bit of Spanish as well as improved his handwriting and spelling. He’s learned dance, theater and art basics.  He’s just blossomed in ways he never would have at the daycare we had him in last year. 

I was surprised to learn that most of the other parents are holding their kids back and repeating kindergarten in the fall – even kids that are technically old enough to be in 1st grade without any testing.  Here I am testing to push him ahead.  I don’t feel that my choice is any better or worse than those parents holding their kids back.  Sure, he may mature a little slower than the other kids in his class, but what about the ones being held back? They’ll be hitting puberty before any of their peers.  I have to imagine that it all evens out somewhere along the way.  As long as he’s capable, I want to give him opportunities to excel.

 

The other thing that’s been weighing on my mind…is me. In fact, I’ve been pretty self-absorbed lately.  Not entirely a bad thing from time to time.

I was going through the process to get the Lap Band procedure done.  Rick had it done almost 2 years ago and has just done great.  I even started a little side blog about it – http://eyeononederland.wordpress.com

Today, I got the call that I don’t meet insurance requirements.  No lap band for me.

However, through the past two months of working on the insurance requirements (the ones I was able to meet), I learned a lot about myself.  I’ve had a mental switching of gears and – lap band or not – I’m ready for change. I’m taking better care of myself and I have a goal in mind.  I want to lose 70-80lbs over the next 12-18 months.  Not unrealistic. 

I have studied nutrition so much over the past 15+ years – I know the ins & outs, I understand why I crave the things I do, etc.  I have always approached this part of my life scientifically – I’m not one for “fad” diets or insane exercise routines.  I love attending boot camps when I can afford to, but we also have a regular gym membership and my office building has access to a great walking path with shade that winds around a pond.

In anticipation of getting lap band, I had Rick take “before” pictures for me.  Front, side, back… the view from all angles were such a painful reality check.  The next day, I renewed my vow of fitness and nutrition.  I’ve been journaling my food and exercise – today is just day 4, but I already feel a difference.

I’m rambling. If you want to know more about all that, please take a look at the other blog… I ramble there even more. 🙂

 

I’m feeling a bit deflated at the moment.  Stress with Colin, summer approaching, lap band denial… I’m ready for that week in July when Rick and I can just relax and escape from everything for a bit.  I need to recharge.

My kingdom for a nap right about now. 🙂

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Applying to Summer Camp

Last year we weren’t sure what we would do during the summer.  Rick works nights and two of the three boys were out of school.  (We’d tried paying for daycare the summer before, but Colin was kicked out within weeks and Ryan spent the better part of the summer acting out because he thought it was a privilege to be at home with Dad.)  I started researching camps left and right. That’s when I found out about Charis Hills.

Charis Hills is a camp for ADHD and Autistic kids aged 7-18. They have 8 weeks of camp over the course of the summer – some for ages 7-14, others for ages 13-18. It’s an impressive camp…with a bit of a hefty price tag.  It wasn’t a viable option for us last year, but I told myself I wanted to find a way to make it happen this year.

Well, here we are…ready to commit.  Today, I went online to fill out the camper application and give them our $200 deposit.  There were a trillion questions! (Okay, maybe just a few dozen!)  I felt like I was taking an essay exam, but I understand why all these details are needed.  When I got near the end, I saw something that caused me a bit of worry.  They would email me and let me know if Colin had been accepted (and not charge my card until then).

Accepted?? I thought just being on spectrum and ADHD would get him in.  Well, that and our chunk o’change, of course.

It had never occurred to me before that there would be an acceptance policy.  Had I made him sound violent?  Did I over-exaggerate his meltdowns?  Should I go back and downplay some of his personality quirks??

No, no… of course it’s better to be honest – I wouldn’t want him to be accepted only to be turned away two days in.  I had detailed every possible concern as best as I could.

I shouldn’t have worried.  It’s not as if he’s running around stabbing people or bashing his head against walls.  The camp has a 1:3 ratio for most activities (sometimes lower), so that’s about on par with  a weekend with family.  And these people have training under their belts!

Long story short, we received our acceptance letter. *sigh of relief*

Colin will be going to camp in July.  I’m so excited for him!

I’m also excited for us, too – Rick and I have had offers from our mothers to take the other two the same week!  What on earth will we do for a whole week without children or work?

Is it July yet???

Happy Easter!

Our boys woke up this morning full of excitement to see what the Easter Bunny had hidden in our yard. They were convinced the eggs were hidden out back, however Mr. Bunny was worried the dogs would get to the eggs before the kids ever did, so he hid them in the front yard.

We let them check out back first anyhow.

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Excuse the state of our fence...we've had to do a couple of quick patch jobs recently due to a neighborhood dog busting in

It only took a minute for them to realize there were no eggs out there. They headed back through the house and out the front door.

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I’m amazed I got any pictures considering how fast they swooped in.

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48 eggs found in less than 5 minutes.

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Robbie's haul

We went back inside and each kiddo got to pick out four eggs – the rest went into one bucket for sharing later.

Now…off to do the family thing and have lunch with my mom! I’m so very blessed to have a husband that loves – or at least tolerates! – my family.

Happy Easter, everyone!

…part 2

In 2007, we moved into a house – brand new construction in a great little neighborhood. My job changed again and I found myself commuting in the opposite direction. I was still working crazy hours and going to school part time. Robert found a job stocking at a grocery store at night. It didn’t pay enough to cover a 2nd car and daycare. He swore he could make it without daycare and his shift meant another car wasn’t necessary.

After 2 days, he realized it was too much. We found a daycare for Robbie that was somewhat affordable.

Three weeks later, Robert was fired. We pulled Robbie out of daycare and were back where we started.

I’m not sure if that’s when the drinking got worse…or if it just took me that long to notice.

I tried to reason with him. I tried to set limits. At first, he just had a problem with hard liquor, so he agreed to no hard liquor in the house. Then one day he polished off three bottles of wine in an afternoon – while I was at work and he was alone with our baby. So I changed it to “no more than one bottle of wine or one six pack if beer in the house at a time.” I was so young and naive.

I begged him to get help. He finally agreed to attend a few AA meetings. One weekend, he asked me to go with him. I was so glad he was trying and willing to let me be a part of this. We went to a meeting and listened to everyone share their stories. I spent most of the meeting in tears.  On the drive home he explained that he brought me so that I could see that he doesn’t have a problem – he wanted me to see just how unlike those people he was. I was crushed.
I opened up his AA book that week and found a chapter for spouses. Granted, this chapter seems very outdated and culminates in a “stand by your man and do your duty as a wife” mentality, but most of the chapter was painfully accurate. It explained what it feels like to be married to an alcoholic. I went through and underlined every passage I agreed with…and then gave it back to him.

He was very surprised to hear the pain he was causing. He still felt he had control, though.

Robbie continued to be a happy little baby, but I grew more and more nervous about leaving for work each day.

On New Years Day 2008, my family wanted to get together, as my family is apt to do since we’re all very close. As usual, Robert wanted nothing to do with them. I left him at home with the car and jokingly said, “Try not to get into too much trouble!” Robbie and I went out with my family for the day.

When I came home that night, Robert was smashed. He’d bought a handle (1.75L) of bourbon and had easily finished over 1/3 of the bottle at that point. He thought I was giving him the ok to drink when I left. He told me to hide the bottle from him and that way he wouldn’t drink more the next day while I was at work.

Of course I didn’t hide it well enough.

When I came home from work the next day, the oven was on – I remember thinking that was odd. It was set very high – 450 or so. I called out to see where my guys were.

“I’m in here, playing with Baby,” he called from Robbie’s room. He never would call him by his name. He still doesn’t.

He also rarely ever played with Robbie, so I was skeptical, but hopeful. Maybe he was trying.

I walked in and saw him leaning against a wall, coke in hand, while Robbie played on the floor.

I sat down to play with my little guy. Robert was grinning ear to ear.

“Why is the oven on?” I asked.

He gave a little nod if his head and made some swooshy gesture with his hand. I both had no idea what that meant…and exactly what it meant, all at the same time.

I stood up and sniffed the can in his hand. Bourbon.

I ran to where I had hid the bottle. There was maybe four fingers’ worth left. I’ve never been so upset in my life.

I called him into the kitchen. I issued my ultimatum.

“If you EVER drink ONE MORE SIP of alcohol while you are at home alone with OUR BABY, I will leave you.”

I poured the rest of the bourbon down the drain. I can’t tell you how much alcohol I poured out over our short marriage.

The next morning, he snuggled up behind me, trying to be sweet.

“I meant what I said last night. I wasn’t joking,” I said.

“What did you say?”

He had blacked out. He didn’t remember any of it.

“I told you that if you ever drink another drop if alcohol while you’re alone with Robbie, I’ll leave you. I’m serious.”

The next Friday, he walked with Robbie to my mom’s house (1/2 mile away at that time). He drank a beer. He left the empty bottle on her counter.

When he got home, he messaged me at work and told me. I started crying right there in the back if my training class.

Locked doors

I mentioned before that there used to be a lock on Colin’s door. There isn’t anymore – hasn’t been for over a year now. He’s no longer what schools call a “runner”. We don’t use the house alarm as a way to know he’s making a break for it and no longer worry that he’s going to run off in public. He stays with us for the most part and listens to us when we ask him to play closer to us, etc. – although sometimes he does so grudgingly.

However, there is still a lock on our bedroom door – installed to keep Colin out if our room when we’re not in there – a safe haven for things we don’t want him to break or dismantle.  We currently have two desks in there along with a bookshelf and two dressers, in addition to our queen sized bed and nightstands.

It’s not that big of a bedroom! We can hardly walk in there.

Recently, our two youngest boys let on that they’d like to share a room and really wanted some bunk beds.

Realizing this might be the only time in their lives that they WANT to share a room, we figured we had better jump at the chance!

We found a great deal on a great set and sold Robbie’s car bed. We’ve actually got everyone’s clothes in their own rooms now! (Long story, but we’ve had to ease Colin into having things in his own room – both because of our trust issues/his behavior and because, well, Colin got so used to having an empty room that it really bothered him to have things in his room. More on that later.)

This has led us to feel we needed another locked door in the house. If we’re planning to put hundreds of dollars worth of electronics (and possibly some invaluable memorabilia as well) into a room that’s out of our line of vision, we need to protect it. Colin LOVES electronics. If he finds a charger or a plug/cord of some kind, he will find something to plug it into. I’m scared to death he’s going to electrocute himself someday.

And so we’ve replaced the doorknob on the spare room with a doorknob that has a key lock.

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I did it all by myself! Aren't I handy?

I’m pretty excited about getting more space in our room. It will also be nice to have a place – outside of our room – where we can let the kiddos have some supervised computer time. I’m hoping to get a futon in there, too, at some point so we can have the room double as a guest room.

And now…I leave you with a glimpse inside what I’ve deemed as “The Boy Cave” (Robbie & Ryan’s room).

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Crazy Antelope

One day my husband and I were doing the kissy-face thing as newlyweds are apt to do.

Him: I love you.

Me: I love you, too. So much.

Him: No, I mean… I love you like a CRAZY amount.

Me: [confused] Wait, what?

Him: What? I said I love you a crazy amount.

Me: Ohhhh! I thought you said, “I love you like a crazy antelope!”

 

And…it stuck.