Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Memorable Moments in 2008.

A list…..

…and being that my memory sucks, whether it be the Fibro or the self diagnosed ADHD, I will do this systematically month by month:

January – My journey to a whole new world began. I read my brand new Disney tour books I had gotten for Christmas non-stop. Once I had started reading them it became my mission to get us to Walt Disney World. That’s when I discovered that planning a trip to Disney is half the fun of it all. From that point on Disney had become my obsession. 

I began working again. Finally I had my own money again!! Granted I was ‘just’ babysitting twice a week on a regular basis for the nieces of a former co-worker. I soon realized there is no just about it. I wasam a childcare provider, and a darn good one too! I now had actual greenbacks to contribute to the Disney fund we had started 3 years earlier, which was btw really just a spare change fund.

February– On Feb 5th 2008 we welcomed my beautiful niece Kiera Noel into the world. I became Tante Jill, my husband became Uncle Ron, and My son became CoutherLeon (he came up with that one, he says he is part cousin and part brother to her). Too cute, and very true.

Leon at age 5 and in kindergarten attempted to walk out of his school and walk home on his own. There is a whole story to this that will probably come later. It was very scary for his father and I. Stress and worry became a permanent resident in my life in my life. This was definitely a very memorable moment for us. And while it wasn’t a great moment, it was the wake up call that led us to eventually get some answers and a diagnosis of ADHD for Leon.

I also became another year older so as a birthday gift to myself I booked our trip to Disney. Woo Hoo!

Oh and I can’t forget that this is when I also discovered the DIS!! my most favorite Disney website www.disboards.com. Granted not necessarily a very memorable moment, but an important moment in that, from then on my obsession grew. I became a DISigner, creating fun graphics for personalized Disney T-shirts, I made some good friends, and started haphazardly writing a PTR (aka PreTrip Report) and all of this in the name of planning our trip to Disney World.    

March–  Not so memorable as it is noteworthy in our journey to find answers for Leon. He (we) began seeing a social worker.

April– I began providing regular childcare for my niece. Five days a week, 9 hours a day, in addition to the two 10 hour days of childcare I provided for 2yo V. Neither of them were (are) paying me as much as I’d like to make but at least I was making some money again and we were not struggling as much financially anymore. Being able to contribute more financially to our family definitely is a memorable moment and quite empowering.  Working, from home no less  did wonders for my self-esteem. I got to be both WAHM and SAHM. Annnd I got to spend more time with my baby niece. At this point in my life I knew we were not going to have another child as much as I wanted one, so having Baby Kiera in my life on a nearly daily basis was as close to having another baby as I would get. I gotta say she truly is like a daughter to me.

May – Leon is officially diagnosed with ADHD. Wow! so strange to feel devastation and relief all at the same time! Devastation at the difficulties my poor baby was having, and would continue to have. Relief in that we had some answers. Knowing that Leon had a neurological disorder put a lot of things into prospective. It also allowed me to cut him a lot more slack. I began reading all I could find about ADHD.

June– Nothing too memorable in this month. Leon graduated out of Kindergarten. I had worried a bit that he would stay behind, given his behavioral and social problems and the fact that I would get a call from his school at least once every one or two weeks. We put him into a day camp at the suggestion of his Psychologist to get him more socialized and to see how well he would do. Camp was rough to say the least. More than anything he needs a truly structured environment and this was not it. He had a very rough summer, and his self-esteem went way down. 

July – Ron hosted his 20th Annual July 4th Weekend BBQ! We had a great time amongst many friends. It was wonderful

My computer goes kaah-plooey. I was without a computer for a few weeks but it felt like much longer. In the end I was lucky enough to have a very good friend who was willing to perform some surgery to retrieve my data which was lost and put it on a new hard drive. (YAY Laurel!!!) 

August – I don’t recall anything memorable or even noteworthy other than the computer going Kaah-plooey for the 3rd time where we had to replace the power source. (3rd time because the first was 2 years prior when we had to replace the CD rom tray and DVD rom tray)

September– Leon begins 1st grade!! How exciting or at least it should have been. He did not want to go. I remember him telling me that he wanted to go back to Kindergarten or not go at all! He was going to miss Mrs Colletta, and snack, and circle time, and centers, and everything. I met with his new teacher the day before school started to fill her in on Leon’s ADHD. I brought her a bunch of information about the disorder and I wrote up a document about what works best with Leon to keep him on track. His first six weeks in 1st grade were brutal for him and Ron and I. There were several notes back and for regarding his behavior, refusal to listen, do what he was told, ripping up tests and assignments, refusal to copy his assignments down, calling out, wandering around class, staying in his seat, feelings of inadequacies, etc, etc, …you get the idea. As his mother I felt helpless to see him hurting so badly and not be able to really make it go away. There were plenty of tears, his and mine.

October– After MUCH discussion and back and forth, Ron and I agreed to put Leon on medication. It was a tough decision for both of us. In the beginning we were both against it, especially with Leon being so young. He wasn’t even 6 yet. I eventually came to the conclusion that medication would help him tremendously. He was having self – esteem issues, social skills issues, it effected his ability to perform in school and it created tension at home. Ron on the other hand was dead set against the meds. Which of course contributed to the tension at home. Finally after having seperate meetings with the Social Worker, Psychologist, Teacher, Principle and Pediatrician, Ron came around. He realized that we weren’t looking for meds to be the end all, be all answer for Leon. Meds are not a cure and they can’t make ADHD go away. They do however give Leon a better quality of life in that he now can slow down and start learning the coping mechanisms to dealing with his ADHD. At five years old he should have to conquer all his problems on his own or without any help. That 3rd week in October that he started his medication was extremely memorable. We saw immediate results, everyone did, including Leon himself. He was happier about it too. And while I knew then and still know know that it certainly isn’t the complete answer, it sure was a relief to see we were headed in the right direction.

Computer crash #4 – My external hard drive, that incidentally had ALL my documents and PHOTOS on it, went …you guessed it Kah-plooey!  I lost EVERYTHING! ….and have been crying about it since. Yes, yes I know it is my own damn fault for not backing anything up since 2003! This has been a very painful lesson!!!  I would say that second to Leon being diagnosed with ADHD this is the worst thing that happened in 2008.

October – was a blur. Busy with PTA committees, Disney planning, Halloween, and birthday party planning, October went by very quickly.

November– a month full of family birthdays including Leon’s sixth which was spent in Disney World. The highlight was of course our 10 day surprise trip to Disney. I say it was a surprise trip because although Leon knew we had been planning a trip to Disney, he was under the impression that we would be there in December. Which in fact was true, what he did not know was that we would be leaving on Thanksgiving Day and that he would be in the heart of Disney on his actual birthday. Seeing Disney through his eyes was like going for the first time all over again. I would never trade these moments for anything in the world. This trip to Disney was definitely the most memorable moment of this year and one of my most favorite memories in my life.

December –  continues with our memorable Disney moments, as the whole first week was spent there. I do plan to go into much more detail about this trip with a TR (Trip Report) in the near future when my own personal computer is fully functional again and I can edit and upload photos from our trip.

The 5th computer crash occurs just short of Christmas with what we thought could be fixed by replacing the video card. Sorry to say that was not the case.

Christmas was a little more hectic than usual this year (and let’s just be clear here, Christmas isn’t just one day, it’s a whole season that starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends New Year’ Eve).  I missed participating in my favorite sporting event “Black Friday Kamikaze Marathon Shopping” to partake in something even better – celebrating the season with my family for 10 whole days in DISNEY WORLD!!!,  which left me about  3 weeks to shop, get a tree, shop, put up Christmas lights, shop,  decorate the house, shop, plan a meal for 16, shop, wrap presents, shop, celebrate with our whole family at our home on Christmas Eve, unwrap presents, clean up the mess, do it again on Christmas Day at my in-laws, play with new toys and goodies, eat left overs, make exchanges and returns, clean up the mess, celebrate the New Year, make a mess, sleep in, clean up the mess, take down the Christmas lights, take down the decorations, take down the tree, whew… and then get back to normal every day ordinary life.  So yeah, it was a bit more hectic than usual 

…so yeah, that was my 2008.



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