Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

Nap Time? Not Really May 29, 2010

Filed under: Kids,Love — Steph @ 11:27 am
Tags: , ,

Yesterday was a LONG day.  I will write about it tomorrow.  I just wanted to say apparently Mother Nature was reading my post yesterday because she took her meds.  It was a gorgeous day!  I even dare say it was a bit too hot!  No rain as was predicted.  We did have some rain in the middle of the night but none to spoil our fun day at the school.  Also?  The weather report has changed for the weekend and while it’s supposed to be cool it is NOT supposed to rain!  I am awesome that way.  You’re welcome!


I live for Elizabeth’s nap time.  It drives my mom and my MIL crazy.  She doesn’t nap in her own bed.  She did until after the fire and then she didn’t anymore.  At first I thought it was the upheaval.  Then I thought, well duh; she napped in my bed or my mom’s bed the whole time we stayed there after the fire, she’s just confused.  Not only will she not nap in her own bed but she insists I lay down with her.  This is where my mom and MIL enter in.  They don’t like to lay down with her and she doesn’t nap well for them on the rare occasion she’s at one of their houses during nap time.  I don’t mind.  In fact it’s my favorite time of day.  Why?  Because nap time = snuggle time.  Elizabeth is a lot like an unbroken colt.  She’s always kicking and bucking and trying to run through fences but at times you see a glimpse of the heart in her.  Nap time is one of the few times I see that glimpse.  She’s not a snuggler, she never has been.  Not even as an infant.  She snuggles when she’s sick and when she’s exhausted.  Never any other time.  Any other time she’s testing those fences for weak wire or a gap big enough to fit through.  So when I say “it’s nap time” and she says “you coming to lay down with me” I say “of course” and I relish it.  I lay next to her and she snuggles up with me, laying as close as possible without actually laying on top of me.  Before she falls asleep she talks while we snuggle.  It’s usually a very deep conversation for her.  Whatever has been going on in her amazingly active head that day comes out at nap time.  The other day?  It was monsters.  Here’s the conversation:

E: My baby needs a bandaid for her broken heart

Me: OK, but where is her heart?

E: I don’t know mommy

Me: Do you know where your heart is?

E: I don’t have a heart

Me: Of course you do, everyone does.  It’s in your chest.

E: I don’t have a chest, what’s a chest?

Me: Well it’s right here above your tummy

E: My heart isn’t in my tummy, I don’t have a heart

Me: I promise you do, right here

E: No, because there’s cheese in there and I pooped out the cheese

Me: *snort* well you can’t poop out your heart

E: The monster stole my heart

Me: What monster?  There’s no such thing as monsters *she DOES NOT believe this no matter how many times I tell her*

E: Yeah huh, in my closet and he stole my heart.

Me: *laying my head on her chest* I can hear your heart beating right here where it belongs

E: It’s a pink, poofy heart with sparkles.

Me: Of course and monsters that don’t exist certainly don’t like pink, poofy, sparkly things.

E: I hope I don’t poop out my heart tomorrow *she says it like tamarrow with a short ‘a’ sound for some reason she has a bit of a Texas accent a lot of times despite being a Wyoming kid*

Me: Me too

How can you not live for that time of day?  They say I am missing out because I could use that time to do housework, have some downtime, take a shower, etc… They say she’s too old to nap in my bed.  I say she will never be too old for my favorite part of the day and they’re the ones missing out.  I so hope I’m right!

PS/I did NOT explain the digestive system to her.  I have NO idea where she learned where poop comes from, I’ve actually been contemplating that since this conversation took place.


My Day part 1… April 22, 2010

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — Steph @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

So Elizabeth and I have been hitting the park this week.  It’s been very nice out, but in typical Wyoming fashion we now have like 5 days of rain forecast.  That pretty much sums up my day so far and it’s only 1:00 in the afternoon.

The day started off OK, Elizabeth wanted to go outside or go to the park.  I said ” we can’t today sweetie it’s cold and rainy out, we’ll have to find something to do inside.”

So she decides to eat breakfast and watch cartoons and I’m all “OK, you do that and I’ll catch up on folding some laundry”.  I’m in my bedroom folding laundry for about 20 minutes when I realize it’s awful quiet in the living room and there’s no way the Imagination Movers are THAT engrossing.  So I finish folding the shirts in my basket and come out to the living room to check on Elizabeth and….

SHE’S GONE!!  The front door is standing wide open and she’s nowhere to be found!!

I enter full on panic mode.  She’s tried to go out the front door a couple of other times so we put one of those Safety First door things on.  They make the doors really hard to open, you have to squeeze the plastic thingy to turn the nob.  She CAN NOT work that thing!  So I figure Joey must not have pulled the door all the way closed when he left for school.

I run outside (still in my pajamas by the way) and I’m calling and calling her and she’s nowhere to be seen.  Some guys working on the house across the street say “we didn’t see her, she isn’t out here” so I run back in the house and search it from top to bottom.  In my gut I KNOW she’s outside but I dutifully search every nook and cranny and cupboard.  Then I am really panicked so I throw on a sweatshirt and some shoes and fly out the door.

I go down the street where she and her brother sometimes ride their bikes and she’s not down there.  I turn around to look up the street toward the main road that leads to our subdivision and my heart drops.  There’s a police car up the road at the fire station which borders the main road.  I swear I lost 10 years off of my life walking up that road.  I just KNEW she’d been hit by a car up there and I am cussing myself like crazy for not being more diligent, not making her watch cartoons in the bedroom with me, not hearing the door open, etc…

Thankfully when I was about 50 feet away they heard me frantically calling her name and the policeman and another man came to me and I say “do you happen to have a 3 year old little girl up here??!!”  the policeman says “yes and she likes candy!”.

I can not even tell you the emotions at that moment.  Fear, relief, self loathing, you name it I felt it.  Thankfully two passers by happened to see her at the fire station and stopped with her.  They took her in to the fire station and called the police.

I am a crying, shaking, blubbering mess when we get in to the fire station and I go running to Elizabeth and scoop her up in what I’m sure was a choke-hold/hug.  I say “Elizabeth you scared me to death!”.  About that time they all look at me funny and I’m like “what?”.  Then one gentleman says “what’s her name again?”  I say “Elizabeth”.  He says “huh, she was saying something like Missy”.  DUH!  I say “did she happen to say Sissy?”  He says “Yep, that’s it!”  I say that’s her nickname.  (Note to self we have GOT to start calling her Elizabeth or she’s going to kindergarten as “Sissy”).

So, the policeman then gets my vital information and says “how did she get out?”  I sheepishly tell him what happened and that we have taken precautions to keep her safely in the house.  He then says “do you have a sick baby at home?”  I’m just dumbfounded.  I say “Um, no sir, SHE is our baby, the youngest we have, her brother is 10 and at school”  Then it dawns on me.  She’s been playing non-stop with her all better baby.  It’s a baby doll that comes with a doctor kit because she’s sick and they have to make her feel better.  I explain this to the policeman who looks at me like I’m completely off my rocker.  At this point I just burst out in hysterical laughter.

After considering that for a few minutes he finishes getting my information.  I get down on my hands and knees and kiss the feet of the two gentleman who stopped to whisk her to safety and thank them profusely, so they can be on their way.

The policeman asks if he can follow us back to our house and I of course say “sure”.

On the way back down the street I am giving Elizabeth a stern talking to about NOT EVER going outside without mommy and daddy.

By the time we get home I’ve stopped shaking and am starting to regain my composure.  The police man is not far behind us and comes in to speak with us.  He tells Elizabeth she CAN NOT go outside without mommy and daddy and MUST stay in our yard, etc… and all the while he’s kind of taking in the house and me.  He asks to see the safety thing on the door and I show him and I tell him that the funniest part of ALL of this is that we discovered the safety latches several years ago when Joey at almost exactly the same age did the EXACT same thing!!  The difference then was he took the dog with him and the neighbors called the animal control to get our address.  Also he was only outside for about 5 minutes and it was a big neighborhood with no really busy streets and lots of concerned neighbors who helped him get home safe.  Just to add to the irony, I was doing laundry that day too!!  The laundry room was in the basement and Joey was napping on the couch upstairs.  I literally turned my back for all of 5 minutes and he wanders out of the house!  <sigh>

So the policeman tells me they had the exact same thing happen yesterday and it’s “that time of year” and I thank him again and he leaves with another stern word to Elizabeth about staying in the house and yard.

After he left and I managed to calm down I had a few thoughts:

1. These kids are trying to kill me, seriously

2. While he was talking to Elizabeth in my living room I didn’t think about it but after he left it occurred to me he was looking at the pictures on our wall.  No doubt trying to make sure she really did live here.  Also, he was probably listening for the sound of our “sick baby”.  I just realized there’s a picture on my wall of my kids and my nieces and nephews, it’s quite possible he thinks I lied my ass off about the sick baby!  Hopefully not!

3. Laundry IS the devil!!

4. They took Elizabeth in to the fire station where she played with the kids who belong to the gentleman who found her and had candy.  She’s going to think the fire station is the best place in the world and I am going to literally have to sleep with one eye open.

Thankfully she really can not open the door by herself.  I had her try after I shut and locked it.  I always check that door when Joey leaves in the morning to make sure it’s shut tight for this very reason, apparently today was just my day to be a complete and utter failure!!

As soon as the policeman left I called my mom to tell her about all of this and while I’m on the phone with her Joey’s teacher’s cell phone comes up on the caller ID on the other line.  I put my mom on hold and click over…



Disneyland! April 10, 2010

UPDATE: You can view the photos here: Disneyland Pictures

I could NOT get them to upload to Facebook, I tried 10 times and finally gave up so I went with flickr.

PS/When did Yahoo acquire Flickr!?  It was way more user friendly before

We had such a good time in Anaheim!  We didn’t do so well at the hockey tournament, we won one of 4 games.  Apparently “b” bracket means something different in the Southwest than it does here.  It was so worth going though, ALL of the kids had a great time!!  We are still all recovering from the week, it’s amazing how exhausting a “vacation” can be!!

I could probably write 50 pages and not cover everything so I’ll just give you the highlights  🙂

Elizabeth got to meet Tinkerbell which was her main reason for making the trip!  She saw her twice, got pictures taken with her and got her autograph.  The first day Fawn and Terrence were also there.  The second time she met Silvermist.  She was SO excited she didn’t even mind standing in line for 45 minutes both times!!

She also got to meet several of the Disney Princesses.  If we had it to do again I’d spring for the lunch with the Princesses.  Some moms at our hotel were telling us about it and apparently we missed out on that one!  She met Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, and Princess Jasmine at the royal Princess walk.  Sleeping Beauty is one of her favorite movies so she was definitely NOT disappointed!!  Before we left for the trip she was talking about how she was going to give Tinkerbell and the Princesses big hugs and I thought “yeah right”.  Most kids her age are a little shy and overwhelmed in situations like that.  Joey definitely would have been at her age!  She was NOT, not at ALL shy!!  She walked right up to each character she met, hugged them and presented her autograph book like they’d been friends for years!!

She HATED most of the rides, even the ones for her age.  She didn’t like anything dark and loud which meant she cried through both the Alice and Wonderland and Finding Nemo rides.  We stood in line for 2 hours to ride the Finding Nemo sub so that was really disappointing!  She LOVED the Teacup ride and Autopia.  She rode the Teacups twice.  I “think” she liked It’s a Small World as well but she was REALLY quiet the whole ride.  We can’t decide if she didn’t care for it or if she was just overwhelmed with all that was going on in there.

I think her favorite parts of the adventure (aside from meeting the characters she met) were the Monorail, the buses and trams to the park, and the fireworks show.  She LOVED the fireworks show, she was just spellbound the whole time!  She also loved all of the little shops and thought she needed one of everything she found!  She’s definitely her dad’s daughter in the shopping department!  I HATE to shop, she and Joe LOVE IT!

I did have a good time getting my face painted with her and helping her choose a dress from the Princess boutique.  She was really, really blown away with those dresses, it was a really tough choice for her, they were all so intricate and realistic.  She finally settled on the Snow White dress which was good because it’s one she doesn’t have the Toys R Us version of at home.

The weather was decent while we were there it wasn’t overly warm but compared to the Spring storm they had here, we couldn’t complain!  The kids got to swim at the hotel all but like one or two evenings which we couldn’t have done here this time of year!  The last two days we were there were the nicest weather wise.

Joey had an absolute BLAST and discovered a love of roller coasters!  He wasn’t as in to the characters although he did pose with a few, he refused to pose with the princesses.  He was however very excited when Snow White called him “handsome” and couldn’t stop talking about how “hot” the Princesses and Tinkerbell were.  *Note to self, teach him to not objectify women now that he’s really getting to that age!*

He LOVED Tomorrowland and would have gladly spent the whole trip there!  Not surprising given it’s all space themed and they have a huge Star Wars section.  He got to build his own Lightsaber and watch the Jedi Training camp.  He was disappointed he wasn’t chosen to train with the Jedi but he really enjoyed watching it.  His favorite ride was a roller coaster we rode one evening.  It was QUITE a ride let me tell you!!  I can’t remember the name of it but it’s a train ride through an old mining mountain and it was awesome!!  We rode it in the dark which I think made it all the more exciting!!

His allergies really bothered him the whole time we were there.  The smog is horrible, especially when you come from Wyoming!  When I was his age and we went to Disneyland I was sick the WHOLE time so I know just how miserable it was for him!

He really loved the World of Disney store, they have just a bit of everything.  He found a book about Disney’s Dogs through the ages and he really enjoys that!  He’s so my son!  Go to Disney and pick out a book about animals!!

Pluto is his favorite character and he got to “meet” him the last day we were there so that was awesome!

Unfortunately Joey and I’s fun was cut a bit short on Sunday, we planned to ride the three remaining rides on our list and had saved the “best for last” only to be caught in an EARTHQUAKE!!  After and earthquake you can pretty much just write off the riding of anything else at Disneyland, they have to inspect EVERY ride in the park.  They start with the smaller rides & the Monorail first so they can get the simple up so it took around 3 hours to get the bigger rides back up and we finally just gave up.    We were disappointed to say the least,  but overall we really had an excellent time.  One day we’ll have to go back and ride those last three rides!

He was really disappointed with the outcome of the hockey tournament.  That kind of put a damper on his fun.  He’s a year behind the other kids hockey wise since we had to take a year off for the death’s in our family, and he felt like he was not the “best player out there” and didn’t “add anything to the team”.  That really broke my heart.  He LOVES hockey and puts so much time and energy in to it.  It was very disconcerting to hear him beat himself up like that.  His dad and I did our best to reassure him but he’s 10 and I’m not sure how much he took our reassurances to heart.

I think Joey’s favorite part of the trip was the Lego store at Downtown Disney.  For a kid like him that was the ULTIMATE experience!!  He REALLY wants the Lego Star Wars Death Star and has wanted it for about a year now, but it’s $399 so we just haven’t spent the money on it.  The second he walked in to the store he saw that Death Star and it was PUT TOGETHER!!  He was SO excited!!  Of course that led right back to “please, please, please, I’ll never ask for anything EVER again and it’s ONLY $399”.  <sigh>  We told him we just couldn’t swing it and he’d have to pick something smaller and less costly.  First of all, we couldn’t fit the thing in the suitcases to get home and second of all it is just SO expensive!!  He eventually settled on some “Limited Edition” (his words I swear) Lego Star Wars guys who sit on magnetic bases.  We were actually surprised by his choice because there was a HUGE Lego Star Wars section and they had several of the sets he didn’t have but he settled on the little guys.  I think he’s saving up our good graces for Christmas and the Death Star!

He now says he thinks he would like to work at a Lego store as the person who puts together the HUGE models.  He posed with all of them for pictures and was really just blown away by them.  I can’t imagine what it takes to put together a life-size Darth Vader or better yet a 100 foot tall Giraffe!!  It was really something!

I think that’s it, there’s probably a LOT more but those are the highlights.  Joe and I had a great time, it’s a truly magical experience.  I know that’s very cliché but it’s so true!  The light in my kids’ eyes will sustain me for YEARS to come!!!  It’s pure unadulterated joy in its most primitive form and you just can’t help but be swept up in it right along with your kids!

Oh and I almost forgot we went to the Anaheim Ducks vs. Canucks game on Friday night and the kids had a blast there too!!  They LOVE professional hockey games but this one was really awesome because it went in to OT and a shootout and we’ve never gotten to see one of those live before!!  It was really something!!  The “Pond” in Anaheim is really something to experience as well.  It’s about twice the size of the “Pepsi Center” in Denver and I thought that was a big place!  There were I think as many or more Canuck fans in the audience as there were Duck fans.  They were certainly louder!  Especially after the game when the Canucks pulled out the win in the shootout!  I think Elizabeth is probably one of the only Non-Canadian 3 year olds in the world who LOVES hockey games!  She will sit through the entire game and that’s A LOT to ask of any kid, let alone a 3 year old!

I’ll edit the post with pictures in a few.  There are WAY too many to upload on here so I’m uploading them to Facebook and then I’ll link to them on here!


My Son is Different March 21, 2010

Filed under: ADHD,Kids,Life — Steph @ 10:23 am
Tags: , , ,

I have been debating writing this post for a while.  A part of me feels it’s not my story to tell and another part of me wants to protect my son.  Janice over at 5 Minutes For Mom gave me the courage to finally post it.  She shared her son’s story in hopes it will help others.  I can’t argue with that logic and maybe our story will also help someone, so here goes…

For years my son has been getting in to trouble at school.  For years I’ve been wondering “does he need help?” and “does he have ADHD?”  From as early as I can remember my mom and I wondered at whether or not he might have ADHD.  Once he started kindergarten I started to wonder aloud to other people; his teacher, the school social worker, etc…  I was told he was different but that he didn’t have ADHD, he was “gifted” and “gifted” kids present a challenge all their own and often their behavior is similar to kids with ADHD.  I clung to that as if my life depended on it.  I didn’t want my son labeled at all but somehow being labeled as “gifted” didn’t seem as bad as being labeled with “ADHD” something that I knew would follow him forever.  Not that the “gifted” label wouldn’t but it’s so different.

For the next several years I would continue to wonder to myself and I would continue to deny, deny, deny.  When I look back I am ashamed.  I feel this is my biggest failure as a mother so far.  Living in denial cost him several years, years I can’t give back no matter how much I want to now.

The teachers would call, sometimes daily.  “Please help us, he won’t sit still, he talks incessantly, he is so unfocused on his tasks, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to sit still and behave once he finishes an assignment”  I would communicate this to Joe and wonder “what are we supposed to do to control his behavior in school??”  The social worker and teachers would continue to tell me he was simply “gifted”.  Gifted kids get bored.  They finish their assignments before the other kids and then they are bored.  The only way to control that behavior is to constantly keep them busy with one task or another.  From kindergarten to third grade he would have but two teachers who managed to “keep him busy”.  They would give him extra worksheets, errands, etc…  He would struggle socially.  He was disruptive, he talked too much, the teachers would be pulling their hair out, the other kids would see this.  At some point it stigmatizes your child in so far as his peers are concerned.  If the teacher can’t get along with him, why should they?

Then the house burned down and our entire lives were turned upside down.  He struggled even more.  We moved to a neighborhood out of his school zone.  There were few children his age.  He had few friends in that time span.  We kept him in the same school, I drove him across town every day.  We didn’t want to add to the already traumatic experiences he was dealing with by moving him schools mid-year.  His third grade teacher loved him.  She struggled with him but she loved him.  She supported him more than I can even begin to tell you here.  It would literally take all day.  So I will leave it at that.

Finally fourth grade comes and we’ve settled (or so we thought) and we decide it’s time to move him to the closer school.  It turns out half of his hockey team goes to this school, two of his closest friends from hockey are actually IN his class!  For the first time I had a lot of hope for him.  He would finally fit in, be accepted, he could start over fresh.  No one had to know he’d struggled all of these years.  We focused on the positive with him.  We told him this was his chance to “start over” to behave differently, to erase all of the bad behavior that followed him from year to year at the other school.  To not be the “class clown”.

We were naive.  I was naive.  Day one he picks up a bully.  A kid from my mom’s neighborhood he’d had trouble with previously.  Who starts a new school with a bully?  Only my son!  The school counselor and I work together to help him with the bully situation which became dangerous very quickly.  She was/is wonderful.  She would spend untold hours with my son for the next several months.  Helping him to deal with the fire and his feelings of loss and upheaval.  Still, he would struggle.  It was about 3 weeks in to the school year when the calls from the teacher started.  I was disappointed and lost.  What could I do to help him??  I explained to her and the counselor the years of struggle with him.  The “diagnosis” of “gifted”.  Finally the call I’d been dreading for years would come.  “Have you ever considered testing him for ADHD?”.  To my surprise I was not resistant.  I think I knew, despite my years of denial, I knew and here they were offering to help us!  So we began the standard testing done in schools and at home.

Finally the counselor called me to go over the results.  He was off the charts in almost every area.  The testing is based on a scale of 100 kids.  In 4 areas he would rate 97 or higher.  That means only 3 kids struggled as much as mine.  I was crushed and yet relieved at the same time.  Finally we could begin to understand what it was like to be him!  How difficult must it be to live in his world??  The counselor however would suggest we not take these tests at face value.  We should not ignore them, but we should be very sure the diagnosis was correct.  For the next 4 weeks we’d participate in a “double blind study”.  With the supervision of his pediatrician and a pharmacist we would “test him”.  We would have two weeks of placebo medication and two weeks of ADHD medication one low dose and one high.  The only person to know which med we had would be the pharmacist.  We would chart his behavior each week and at the end we’d see where we were.

I would begin to have discussions with him about the medication, about what it would do for him if we were right, about how it could help him to focus, to be able to concentrate on those timed tests he struggled with for so long, etc…

The first two weeks we noticed no change.  I started to think we were wrong, or that I’d been right all along in resisting this idea.  Then the third week came and the difference was night and day.  I literally can’t explain it.  He breezed through his homework, even the timed test practices he struggled with, he’d finish them with time to spare.  He was more focused at hockey practice.  Less combative at home, less likely to flit from one activity to another.  On and on it went.  I KNEW at that point.  It was a med week, I assumed a high dose med week to have changed his behavior so drastically.  Week four came, it was similar to week three but the change was not as drastic.  He struggled a bit.  I was sure it was a med week, but I was also sure it was a low dose week.  The final week would be the week before Christmas vacation.  It seemed unfair to me for us to be testing him this week.  No kids can focus that week!  Visions of sugar plums are already dancing by then.  I was concerned the test would be inaccurate.  We would have to wait until after Christmas break to get the results.  It was a LONG two weeks, all of us wondering what we’d find out.

Just to add to the drama (because we don’t do anything drama free around here) we found out on the 30th we were able to buy the house we’d been coveting, we would however have to close before the end of the year and move over New Year’s weekend.  That same weekend we had a home hockey tournament I was the tournament director of.  We never do anything half assed ya’ll.  To add to all of that we made the very difficult decision to put our oldest dog down, she had crippling arthritis, she could barely stand up.  Another move was just out of the question for her.  Joey would take that EXTREMELY hard.  I had no idea how hard it would hit him.  We’ve only had her for a little over 2 years.  She was my grandpa’s dog, I inherited her when he died.  She was one of two dogs to survive the fire and I think that would factor in to his heartbreak.  I think it felt like we were taking away one of his only remaining constants.  Had we known we still would have had to make the decision we made, but we might have done it a little differently.  Then on January 1st his great grandmother died.  It was like two fists in his gut at once.  We wouldn’t know for a few days how hard he was taking it though, he hid it well.  The day he started back to school he made an appointment with the counselor, that’s how I found out how hard he was taking all of the upheavel.  After a year and a half of constant change and loss he just broke.  I should have seen it coming.  We all should have…  It broke me LONG before it broke him.  We were so oblivious.  The final straw for him was a phone call from the school on his first day back.  He’d have to change schools AGAIN.  He was in another school area and the school he was in was already over capacity.  He would have to move, there was no way around it.

We again focused on the positive, or tried very hard to.  We promised to call the counselor and the pediatrician and get the results of the study.  He may have to switch schools but by golly he’d be doing it with the tools he needed if he needed them.

Not surprisingly he did.  I was right about the meds but I was wrong about the dosage.  The best week was actually a low dose week.  He could take low dose meds and they would make all the difference for him.  We started him right away.  He’s now on a low dose of Concerta.  To say the difference is dramatic would not even begin to adequately express the difference.  He likes to say the “buzzing has stopped” referring to the constant hum of activity that went on in his brain before the meds.

He would have several bad days before he started his meds and I am not sure he wouldn’t have had the bad days no matter what.  Two days I really, really worried about him.  He cried all day, I even kept him home from school those days, he just couldn’t stop crying.  It was all too much.

It’s been 2 months (wow the time just flies).  He’s made good friends in the new school.  There has not been one single call from the teacher.  He goes to a support group to deal with his losses and he takes his meds every day.  At 10 he’s old enough and smart enough to articulate the differences in himself.  He is still “gifted”.  He still finishes his work before everyone else in class.  The difference now is when he’s done he will sit quietly and read a book rather than distracting the whole class.

He is a different kid.  Still full of spunk and still Joey, he would still swear the sky is NOT blue if I said it was.  But the “buzzing” has stopped.  That is music to my ears and I will never forgive myself for not helping him quiet that buzzing sooner.


It’s gone to the dogs! March 15, 2010

Filed under: Hockey,Kids,Life — Steph @ 3:20 pm
Tags: , , ,

One thing that comes along with pet ownership is destruction in varying levels!  My dogs spent most of the weekend stuck home alone while we were at the hockey tournament so they killed a couple of toys.  Stuffed animal dog toys are so much fun for the dogs (and the kids who love to play tug of war with them) but boy do they make a mess when they get killed!

The kids did AWESOME at hockey this weekend!  We won our first game in over time, it was a nail biter and a half, but we won!!  That clinched us an 11 game winning streak which was AWESOME to revel in!

After the game we all went out to dinner and closed down the restaurant and then we went to a little impromptu get together at one of the kid’s homes and we stayed out WAY too late!

Saturday we didn’t win our game but not for lack of effort!!  Our kids played EXTREMELY well and we fought to the last second but it was not to be.  We were playing the #2 team in the state for a chance at the Championship game, we’re extremely proud of our kids and their effort!!  They put all of their heart and soul in to that game!!

Saturday night we came home right after the last game and went to bed.  It was still a late night, the game didn’t end until 9:00 and by the time we got out of there and grabbed a bit to eat it was 10:00.  We were just exhausted!

Then on Sunday we had to be there at 7:00 and of course the time changed so we lost an hour of sleep on an already short night!  We played for the 3rd & 4th place spots on Sunday.  Unfortunately the #1 team in the state going in to the tournament lost their game on Saturday as well so we ended up playing them.  They are really, REALLY a good team so we were excited to play them again.  We played them about 8 times this season in scrimmages, state games, and tournaments.  We beat them twice and after that they just blew us all out of the water!  I was sad to see their undefeated season come to an end on Saturday.  I really wanted to see them in the Championship game!!  State is funny that way!  One game can make or break an entire season’s worth of work!

So we put up another GREAT fight, we started the game up 2 points but they didn’t go unanswered.  They scored 4 points in a row putting them up by 2.  Our lead scorer scored in the last 50 seconds to bring us to a 1 point differential!  It was a nail biter!!  He had the puck on a breakaway in the final seconds and was in their zone but he collided with another player and that was it.

Once again we fought to the end and they kept us on the edge of our seats!!  The coaches of the other team told me afterward they were really sweating us!  That’s all we can ask for!  We may not win but we’re not giving it away!

I really think this tournament shocked a lot of people.  We were the underdogs going in.  We had a rocky start to our season with the kids having to start playing games right away and not getting the time to practice and come together as a team before we just jumped in.  Then we had a couple of weeks off and we came back fighting!  That would be the beginning of what ended up being an 11 game winning streak!  (I know I said it before but I am so proud I can’t help it!!)

All in all to come in to the tournament in 3rd place in our division and be able to finish 4th in the state out of 6 teams, we can’t complain!

Next up we travel to Anaheim for our last tournament of the season!  We have two weeks off to get ready and we can’t wait!!  We really have NO idea what to expect from the other teams but in looking at the standings we think we can be competitive!  The biggest challenge for our kids will be playing as a “new” team.  We had so many kids this year we had to split them in to two teams, east and west respectively.  They have practiced together all year but they have only two scrimmages under their belts actually playing together.  The first game they had to get their bearings and they won but it was a tough game.  The second game they came together and won by a large margin.  They have the ability to do it, they just have to want it.

Either way we are going to have a BLAST getting to see teams from all over the West coast play.  There are 22 teams total from all over the place!  I think we are coming from the farthest point distance wise, so it’s going to be really fun!

I can’t wait for Cali but at the same time I am sad to go because that will officially end our season and this has by far been the most fun I’ve had in my years as a hockey mom!  It’s definitely bittersweet, but what a way to end!


Real Moms Helping Real Moms April 19, 2009

I am blogging at a new blog as well, it can be found HERE.  I am trying to get help and offer some advice at the same time.  I hope it works!


Randomness March 10, 2009

Filed under: Family,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have discovered the only way to keep your house clean is to NOT live in it.  Seriously, I clean the whole thing, we’re gone for the weekend, it’s clean when we come home and we’re home 2 days and it’s thrashed.  WTH?

When I travel I get sick, without fail.  Doesn’t matter where I go or for how long I’ll come home sick.  I lost my voice on Saturday, I thought it was yelling at the game.  It’s not.  <blech>  I can’t even holler at the kids!

When you’re sick and your kids are sick they still want to be snuggled and loved on and it’s your job as a mom to do that no matter how lousy you feel or how badly their vomit makes you want to hurl yourself!

The weather in Wyoming never gets any less crazy, it will be 65 one day and -12 with 6 inches of snow the next.  Not even slightly kidding here.

Joey made a goal this weekend!  IT WAS AWESOME!!  His 2nd goal of the season.  Not bad for a boy who started out behind the other kids from having to take a year off!!

Joey says “hockey is his life”.  I think he might be serious.  He wants to do two hockey camps this Summer to catch up the rest of the way with the kids who have 3 full years vs. his two.  I had my doubts at the beginning of the season, he’s so just not a sporty kid and he’s so not aggressive.  I figured those two things would mean he just didn’t dig it.  I was really wrong.

Nothing is as infuriating as crappy officiating in kids sports, especially a contact sport like hockey where kids can actually get hurt really badly by the fouls against them.  When you have one kid getting fouled on over and over and OVER and a completely blind ref it WILL infuriate every single person in the stands that isn’t rooting for the opposing team

2  year olds are a force of nature, there’s nothing quite like them.  One minute you want to snuggle them and the next you want to lock them in a cage until they hit 25.

You will spend just shy of 2 years begging your child to walk on time and talk on time and you’ll spend the next 18 wanting them to shut up and sit down!

If you groom your dogs in the March it will snow the next day.  Then you’ll feel like a huge jerk for grooming them.  But LORD did she stink!!  I bought her a sweater, she lived through it.

I think it’s likely 80% of my graduating class is on Facebook.  I LOVE seeing what everyone is up to and catching up!

Animal Crossing is the most addictive game EVER.  It’s not smart to buy it for both DS and Wii because you’ll end up changing the time so you can do the things you need to do in the day.  Plus you won’t get anything else done and it’s really hard to tell your 9 year old how to play, he’ll argue with you!

My 9 year old can be a real brat, when did kids become so flippant?  Seriously, the things he says I would have been in SO much trouble for saying to adults.  They are so very disrespectful.  I spend all Summer breaking him of it and within two days of school we have to start all over.

If you have animals and you have a fire evacuation plan and stickers on your windows alerting the authorities they are there and asking them to get them out, please understand it doesn’t work that way.  Prepare yourself for it.  Install a sprinkler system.  The fire department is only concerned with putting the fire out and keeping the damage from spreading, they don’t have time to go in for pets it happens too fast, in reality there just isn’t time.  To that end, don’t blame yourself when you can’t enact your evacuation plan.  It just isn’t realistic when human lives are at risk.

If you have Allstate insurance, find a new insurance company!!  Take it from me, they’ve been run out of 9 states, if I have my way Wyoming will be the 10th.  You pay them to help you, to protect you, to take care of you in this insane trauma and let me tell you, they won’t.  Type Allstate insurance complaints in to Google and you’ll see.  I can tell you it’s been 6 full months since our house burned down and we still don’t have a settlement.  We lost EVERYTHING and we’ve been given about $20k out of the $220k policy we pay for.  $20k doesn’t replace the wardrobes and belongings of 4 people.  It doesn’t even come close.

A young boy was killed in our town a couple of weeks ago.  He was 6.  I can’t get it out of my head.  It was a really tragic accident that will change the lives of two families forever.  I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about it, but I have to say it makes me want to put Joey in full body armor and keep him in the house forever.  I was blown away by the whole incident from the beginning, but seeing his photo in his obituary just really bothered me and I feel an overwhelming sadness for his family and the other family involved even now.