Just call me Jiji

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

Archive for the tag “Disney”

Gettin’ my Creative Juices Flowin’

I have often heard;

“you are so talented, you should start a business”.

That would be WONDERFUL, I’d love to do that.

The question is; how? I have no business sense and the coin purse is empty. And you know the old adage; it takes money to make money.

And then, there is the lack of confidence in my talents

It’s not that I do not believe that I have any talent, it’s just that I feel there are people out there that are so much more talented than myself.

It doesn’t stop me from enjoying the creative process though. And sometimes I even impress myself with the outcome 🙂

My creative talents have included:

Drawing – it’s been a while, I did a lot of drawing as a child and in my teens. I have only recently taken it up again. I even tried some creative drawing on the computer to make some matching t-shirts for our trip to Disney;

Trip Planning – YES I definitely consider trip planning a creative talent!! And I do it well, especially when traveling with a highly sensory child with ADHD/ODD. Accommodations for travel require quite a bit of creativity. Like the badge I made for him to wear that clearly outlined the rules with a visual prompt.

Badge that "MICKEY" sent to Leon

Event Planning – like my DIY wedding where I made everything from the centerpieces to the floral arch to the ring box to the 150 hand-painted Champaign glasses I made to give as wedding favors to each of my guests.

The wedding arch

Close up

One of my centerpieces and a set of hand-painted champaign glass favors

Enough people told me that I should go into business selling my Glass Painting that I decided to give it a try.  I successfully sold a few pieces but in the end I wasn’t making enough money to cover the time, effort, and money it took to not only paint each piece , but then to pack everything up and transport them to a little craft fair, where I paid $60 for a table, only to sell a couple of pieces that maybe made me $40, and then have to pack it all back up and bring it back home. It just didn’t pay.

I also have helped to plan a few showers, my sister’s wedding, and quite a few themed birthday parties for kids. I love doing it. Especially the themey stuff

I was very proud of the School Bus cake I made on Leon's 1st Day of School

Leon’s 2nd Thomas Birthday Party  – he didn’t know how much I put into this party but I had fun doing it

I made one cake for the adults and little individual ones for each child

Leon’s 5th Pirate Birthday Party – yes my spoiled little child had 3 parties and 3 cakes

I hand-painted this shark to use as a game, it was fun as a photo prop too!

Leon’s 8th Lego Birthday Party;- this was a really fun party!

Lego Mini Marshmellow heads - real easy to make

Kiera’s 1st Ladybug Birthday

Ladybug Themed tutu I made for Kiera's 1st birthday

If I knew how, I would love to make money as an event planner.

Photography  – …is another talent I have. More specifically I have an eye for. Ron, often tells people that I am a photographer, and it bugs me, because I am SO NOT a photographer. I WISH I was, but at best I am a photo enthusiast. The difference being that although I thoroughly enjoy photography, and have an eye for capturing great shots; I pretty much have no education in photography at all.

I can really relate to the guy in this Panasonic Lumix commercial:

..see it’s not me,  it’s my camera! (which btw is a Canon)

…plus some creative digital photo editing too.

Basically I am just winging it.

When Leon was born, my love for photography grew, and my need to share it grew too. I started showcasing my photos on my smugmug website for all my friends and family to see.

First time using a spoon

(btw -gardening is NOT one of my talents)

As a result I was asked by two different sets of friends to photograph their weddings. Of course I said yes, it was an honor to be asked. I never expected to be paid, but when one of the couples thanked me with $1000.oo check , it gave me the confidence to try to make some money doing what I loved.

I got a few jobs and made some money, but most of my jobs were for friends and I had a hard time charging them, so that didn’t last too long. I also  needed better equipment in order for my photography to live up to my own standards.

In general I don’t know that I am so much talented as I am creative and crafty

And recently I have been inspired to try a new craft;

I was honored when my sister -in-law asked me if I could make a few things for her wedding. She pointed me in the direction of Etsy.com where she had seen a few things she had really liked. I was already familiar with Etsy, but I had never really perused the wedding category. One of the things she had pointed out to me, started to get my creative juices flowin again. It was something that I have tried my hand at before, but I didn’t really feel that there was a big demand for it. But with the trend of weddings being a bit more green, the rustic look of woodburning seems to have become a bit more popular.

Woodburning – is now a talent I am trying to cultivate. And I am really enjoying it. And who knows maybe I can even sell a few pieces on Etsy….

This is just a practice piece - but it gives you an idea of what I am going for

Besides what else is there for this SAHM to do?…uh, besides taking care of an ADHD child, managing my Fibro, keeping track of $800/month medicines, PTA volunteering, School Newspaper editor and author, caring for my 3 year old niece, plan playdates, etc.., etc…, etc…                            …oh yeah and maintain this blog.

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Yipee Skipee it’s Halloween!

I love Halloween! It ties with Christmas as my favorite holidays..

Both are fun and festive! Christmas lets me get my shopping on and Halloween lets me get my costume on.

Last weekend we enjoyed yet another Halloween Celebration. I say another, because this year is no different from any other year, where we attend many different Halloweenie events.

Traditionally Leon gets to go trick-or-treating at least 3 times each year.  First Leon starts his candy collecting in PA at Ron’s parent’s summer retreat, a campsite on the Delaware river, that they have been seasonal members of since Ron was Leon’s age, that hosts a costume parade, trick or treating, and a Halloween party at the close of the season in the end of September. His second T.o.T. collecting is usually at Pumpkin Park, a local amusement park that opens itself up for safe trick or treating every year, however there was scheduling conflict and we did not get to go this year. And lastly we always enjoy having a few friends meet up at our home for a light snack before we roam the neighborhood on Oct. 31, forcing our kids to collect candy for our – umm I mean their enjoyment. 

This year we have a packed Halloween schedule once again. In September, we had fun at the campground as usual. Leon wore a grim reaper sort of costume because as much as he wanted to be Emperor Palpatin from Star Wars, I knew the make-up involved in it would try his patience and his sensory issues. So I nixed it for the campground. He enjoyed himself none the less.

He’s the one all in black

Two weeks ago we went upstate to enjoy the fall scenery and do some apple picking as described in my previous post.

The 3 of us collected twigs, acorns, and leaves and put them together; and Leon snapped this photo.

Last weekend I spent Friday and Saturday putting our costumes together. I’ve always enjoyed making costumes and dressing up in either couples costumes or coordinated family costumes, and luckily Ron and Leon enjoy it too. Our theme is usually determined by what Leon chooses to be and then we work around that.

Being HUGE fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, it was only natural that we would portray characters from the movie. I am the Lovely Sally, Ron is Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, and Leon of course is Oogie Boogie.

Putting costumes together for Jack and Sally was simple enough. Ron’s was completely store-bought and in the interest of saving money, (along with having an excuse to wear my leather corset) mine was put together from pieces of clothing that I already own (with the exception of the wig which I borrowed). Leon’s costume of the other hand was something entirely different. Oogie Boogie is not a readily available costume, in other words it had to be made. And Leon was very specific about it looking true to character.

I spent four hours creating Oogie’s head on Friday and about five hours creating his boogie, I mean body on Saturday. It turned out truly amazing if I do say so myself, I am quite pleased with the result!!!

You’re joking, you’re joking,
I can’t believe my eyes”

Mr. Oogie Boogie, Nightmare Before Christmas

We wore our costumes to a friend’s Halloween party Saturday evening and had a blast! Leon’s favorite part was getting to watch Nightmare Before Christmas and Scooby Doo with the other kids. My favorite part was the look of surprise on people’s faces when they found out Oogie Boogie was not store-bought. Well, that and getting together with friends.

On Sunday, Ron’s parents joined us at a street fair. We went in costume to participate in a costume parade and enjoy the farmers market and a wonderful musical group, The Bari Koral Family Rock Band. They were terrific but we had to leave early, Leon was having an off day due to the previous night’s activities.

Ron, Leon, my niece Kiera, and myself

You will notice that I did not go as Sally in the pictures; instead I was an eco-friendly witch. I felt that it was more appropriate daytime attire, and it gave me an excuse to wear my green dress that just happened to match my green witches hat that I had received as a gift from my sister a year or so ago. Hmmm.. Do you think she was trying to tell me something?

This whole week continued to be about Halloween festivities for us. Leon’s school hosted a pumpkin patch for the students during recreation time on Wednesday. He was happy to come home with a pumpkin, a pint of apple cider, and some candy corn. We decorated the pumpkin when he got home from school

It’s Not So Spooky Snoopy!

On Friday, Leon went to school in costume, as did the majority of the other students in his school. The principle, whom I adore as y’all know; led a costume parade in front of the school, and invited the parents to come and watch.

Jedi Leon

It was just so adorable to see them all dressed up and enjoying themselves. Our principle by the way dressed as Sponge Bob, which I thought was great. So did the kids, they just love her! Leon was excited to come home with his “crabby patty” prize for scariest costume. Funny enough, Leon did not wear his Oogie Boogie costume.  The student’s were not allowed to wear masks, so he donned a previous year’s costume, Jedi Luke Skywalker. Which, isn’t a scary costume, however, knowing my SPD son and his issues with clothing, I allowed him to wear a pair of skeleton pajamas as a costume underneath his Jedi costume, in case all that extra fabric was too much for him. So he went to school and marched in the parade as a Jedi; but by the time the principle got to his classroom afterwards he had stripped done to his bones, won scariest costume, and came home as a skeleton.

That same evening the PTA hosted a Fall Harvest Costume Dance. We  really, really wanted to show off the Oogie Boogie costume, and even though masks were not permitted, I allowed Leon to walk in as Oogie, knowing that my extremely hyper-active, run wild as soon as he hears music, ADHD child would take it off within 10 minutes of getting there. I was right, of course, and Leon spent the rest of the evening as a break-dancing skeleton. Which is quite funny to watch! Ron and I attended in costume as well. Ron as Jack, and I as the Green Witch, once more – I figured my leather corset would raise more than a few eyebrows in a school setting.

Conga!

CIt was very nice to see some of the other parents wearing costumes as well! My favorite adult costume was the Sleestak! As for the kids, the home-made Sally was great, as was the Mini Mad Hatter, the Peacock, and my favorite Little Witch in Training (just because she is the sweetest little girl).

Sleestak and Jack rev up the dance floor

The funniest part of the evening was when the DJ called the Sleestak and Beetle Juice over to help lead a dance. Funny because, he was pointing at Ron (aka Jack Skellington) when he said Beetle Juice.

You could not see his face under that mask but I am sure Ron was cringing every time the DJ (who was really great with the kids) said Beetle juice, which he said a lot. At one point Beetle juice, I mean Jack; I mean RON was asked to lead the conga line.

Conga, conga!

 I am very lucky to have a husband who is such a good sport (and doesn’t mind working up a sweat! – that is a rubber mask he was wearing). I think he really enjoyed it too, the notoriety, not the sweating.

On Saturday, Leon and Ron started their day early. Aside from Leon’s first Drawing class, they went to the Boy Scout Jamboree for the day, which being scheduled for Halloween weekend had to of course include a Halloween parade. Unfortunately they missed the parade, but they enjoyed the day none the less.

Happy Birthday BSA!!

When they returned, we got ready for a party at the haunted house across the street. Our friends (who are also our neighbors) go all out on Halloween. The outside of their r home gets totally transformed a week or two before Halloween, and is ever-changing. The house draws a lot of on lookers. This year the theme was a Cannibal Cafe and aside from the typical masked persons scaring the bejeebers out of passerbyers, including one who chases them down the street wielding a real chainsaw (sans blade); they added a new character to the mix. The zombie chef was working up his magic for the crowd, offering up; grilled upper intestines (because the lower ones taste like crap), liver and fava beans, fried fingers, leg of Sam, eyeballs, s.o.s. (shit on a shingle), and “The Exorcist” special. He was a crowd pleaser for sure.

The Spooky House day & night

(click pictures to enlarge)

Sunday, Halloween; was a very long day for sure. We spent the morning preparing for a Pre-Trick-or-Treat Get Together at our home. I planned games for the kids to play for prizes, including the ever popular mummy-wrap game which was a ball. The kids enjoyed a few crafts, some games, some chicken nuggets and cupcakes, and spending time with each other, at about 3ish we set out on our merry way, around the neighborhood. Keeping up with the kids was a task and a half. We managed to hit quite a few houses, some of them more than once, before we made it back.

Trick or Treat!

(click pictures to enlarge)

We had been invited back to the “cafe” across the street to enjoy yet another party because this year they decided to host a party on both nights of Halloween weekend, rather than just their usual one party on Halloween night.

Par-tay!

The second night was by far more crowded and busier than the first night, with both the invited guests and the passing onlookers. The live entertainment was a huge draw. Even Ron got in on it as kids high-fived him and asked to take pictures with him.

Ron enjoying the spotlight

And now I get to suffer the Day After  Halloween Hangover….

                                                                  ….that’s okay I got the cure

CANDY!

Cleaning my plate – part 3 ~Chaos!~

….continued from Cleaning my plate – part 2 

I have another appointment with my doctor in two weeks to discuss how things are going with the Lyrica. Hopefully all will be well and I can go ahead with my next concern, which is Adult ADHD. I really want to get a handle on it. I think the combo of ADHD and Fibro is really throwing me for a loop. And the fact that I am getting older isn’t helping either. It was pointed out to me by someone who has been diagnosed and is in treatment for Adult ADHD that, as women age, our hormone levels start to change and it effects our brain chemistry in such a way that the coping mechanisms that we’d developed through the years to help us adjust to life with ADD start to fail.

That was like another A-HA moment for me.

Given the bad winter and the constant fibro flare-ups I put a lot of blame in that direction, but the facts just maybe that ADHD is also to blame for these feelings of being broken and life falling apart on me all the time. I feel like this whole clean your plate thing is my way of getting my life back in order.

I am not the type of person who thinks a pill can solve every problem. But I’ve had to come to rely on medication for so much. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of medication in both myself and in my son. And when it comes to medication for ADHD, I’ve seen it work wonders for Leon. So that is the direction I want to take in treating my (so far self-diagnosed) ADHD.

 
 
Took a quiz and this was my result:
Serious ADHD Likely!
 

Of course I have developed a coping system over the years but lately I feel that it has broken down, so maybe there is something to the whole changing hormones/brain chemistry thing. 

In the meantime though, as I said I am looking to find new ways of dealing with what life throws at me so that I can make, not just my life: but my family’s (Leon’s in particular) lives more manageable and organized.

Structure is key for people with ADHD, I know I function much better with structure in my life, and so does Leon. I haven’t been able to give that to Leon lately, because I haven’t had it myself as of late.

Some of the things that need working on include:

Getting rid of the C.H.A.O.S …..aka Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (cute huh – I borrowed that from Flylady.net). My house is always such a complete disaster that I am too embarrassed to ever have anyone over. And that includes playdates for Leon.

When he asks for a playdate, I really hate to say no, especially since it is pretty much a basic necessity for him given his need to improve his social skills. I hate it even more that my reason for saying no is because the house is a mess.

Clutter is a major cause of all the chaos in the house. We just have too much “stuff”. A lot of it we don’t need or even have room for.

I am always behind on paperwork, there is piles of it all over the place; a lot of which are projects I intend to get to,but don’t have the time for. Like scrap-booking my last 3 Disney vacations, digitally; or the plans I have to make a behavioral chart for Leon; or the binder of Leon’s ADHD/ODD Medical and Behavioral History. Much of this stuff ends up getting moved to boxes, that I refuse to put in the basement for fear I will forget about them.

I am also suffering from packus-ratus, I save EVERYTHING! Like memorabilia, collectors items, Tchotchkes, sentimental items, even empty boxes 😕 . unfortunately it is a trait that I have passed on to Leon. He has a collection of collections. They include; Thomas trains, Pixar CARS, Pokémon cards, Club Penguin Cards, Silly Bandz, Bakugan, Rocks, Snapple Caps, Magazines, Stitch toys, Tags, Gift Cards, Star Wars Lego’s, and yes, he also collects empty boxes and containers.

Then there’s the fact that it looks like a whole daycare center threw up all over my house.  All the baby items, (from clothes, to high chair, to bouncers and toys) that I had packed neatly away in the hopes of having a second child, can now be found in nearly every room in the house for use with my niece Kiera and my girlfriend’s baby, Nico; whom I babysit everyday.

I am sure I’ve said it before, but after a whole day of keeping the kids happy and busy while cleaning up after them all day, I am just way too exhausted by the end of the day to get everything picked up and put away properly. The end of my day is around 4pm when, all at once my son gets off the bus, yelling something about wanting a playdate, as he dashes by me to get his homework over with so he can move on to better things; while both my sister and my friend come simultaneously to gather up their kids and all that goes with them. I’ve got people coming and I’ve got people going and for some bizarre reason it is also the time of day that I get phone calls, usually from someone whose just wanting to chat (RON!). It is a very chaotic time of day. I just get soooo frazzled.

I just hate that feeling, and I am sure I am failing at trying to keep my composure for Leon, who should and needs to be able to come home to a calm, clutter-free, organized enviroment for him to be able to concentrate and complete his homework and shed the stress of always having to be “on” at school. 

My goal is to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff. And I’ve already started…

….more coming in Cleaning my plate – part 4

Just a Quicky!

Been up to my ears in activity!!

I haven’t had time to breathe let alone blog about whats been going on. It seems everyday there is something to do. It’s life getting in the way of life. Today is just another really busy day, but I thought I would stop to take a quick breath and jot down a quicky blog post.

Boy this summer sure went fast! It started with crummy rain storm after rain storm, leaving us wondering when it would actually start to feel like summer. When the weather finally improved and summer activities could truely be enjoyed, we were busy with day camp, and summer festivals, days at the local pool, camping in PA with Leon’s grandparents, and of course all the regular ole’ daily grind stuff.

Camp ended last week just in time to remind me that “Oh crap, summer is almost over and I am not even ready for that!!”  

There are :

5 weeks till the Kids Kloset Consignment Sale – which I haven’t even started to prep for yet. Nothing like waiting till the very last minute. But I am hoping the $$$ I make will be enough to plan the next Disney trip — yes I am Disney Addicted

25 days till I start caring for my good friend’s 5 month old Nico – a new baby in the house!! Yay! I just hope Kiera and Leon feel the same.  I am thrilled about this. Not only am I helping a friend out, she is helping me out more than she knows. When I stopped watching V it put a huge dent in our finances and fueled quite a few arguments about money between Ron and I. After catching up from being so far behind in debt, we really don’t want to slide back into them again. PLUS – Nico really is the cutest baby ever (after Leon that is, of course!)

18 days till school starts -EEEEK! I mean YAY! I mean EeeeeeeeK! — yeah I have some mixed emotions about this, BIG TIME!  I worry so much about how this year will go for Leon. And I know the first few weeks will be busy just getting into the swing of things, I will have a CSE meeting to look forward to or to fear, I don’t know which yet. And to top it all off Leon just started a new medication today. Here’s hoping he tolerates it well!! I’ve got mixed emotions about this too.

8 days till we leave for Disney – I can not wait!! I still have so, so, so, much more to do before we go – packing, tie-dyeing, costume making, crafting, and more…

1 Day till our weekend in PA camping trip – I’ll admit, don’t love camping , but I do love getting together with family and makeing memories. It reminds me so much of my childhood with my grandparents and Aunt Kathi and Uncle John. GREAT MEMORIES! I am so grateful that Leon gets to make such wonderful memories.

2 hours till Leon’s “Almost 7” Birthday Party – decided on and planned at the very very very last minute – 5 days ago to be exact- because Leon “really really really wants a pool party and not just a boring party at home” – I think I am offended at that.  After all I am: “Da Mom!!” I throw the BEST birthday parties! Seriously if I were to start a buisness, that would be it!  Theme Parties are my specialty. I’ll have to share some pics of past parties some time.

But right now I have to get Leon’s Almost 7, Lilo and StitchStitchcopy Luau Pool Party packed up to go set up at the local pool. Fun, fun, fun!!

So much to do… so little time

tinkerbellkitchenBusy, busy, busy…

I feel as if I am always busy, always trying to accomplish something, finish something, start something, organize something, or clean something. Yet none of it ever seems to get done?

There are the things I don’t really want to do, but I have to do; like cleaning up the house, and grocery shopping. I am very very lucky in that Ron helps out around the house A LOT. I mean A LOT, a lot! And for that I am very, very grateful but I often feel guilty, embarrassed even. I love that he is so good to me and helps me out so much because of my Fibro, but sometimes I secretly wish he wouldn’t talk about it so openly to everyone else. Like when someone calls and asks what he’s up to and rattles off a list of household chores that he is planning on doing. Granted he is doing it to alleviate me and keep me from doing so much that I get a bad flare-up. But not everyone remembers that. I am the SAHM, I am the one who is supposed to be taking care of the household while he brings home the bacon, (although I do bring in some bacon). So I try to keep up with the house as much as I can on a daily basis. I hate when he gets home from a long day at work and sees the house is a mess and feels he has to clean it up even when I insist he leaves it because I will get to it.

It seems I just can’t ever get it all done. Having my 18 month old niece (whom I babysit on a daily basis) running around undoing everything I do gets exhausting. I feel like I am never, never done cleaning. It seems like while I am busy cleaning up one mess she is busy making another. My day pretty much consists of me sweeping up after her 2 or 3 times a day (she’s got a good arm, I’ve seen her fling chicken clear into the next room); mopping up spills, feeding her, changing diapers, picking up her toys over and over and over  again, all while trying to keep her entertained at the same time. By the time I am finally done and ready to hand her over to her mom, it’s time to pick Leon up from camp. Now my attention is turned to him. Given his ADHD and his need for things to be just so and for immediate gratification, life gets even more demanding and exhausting. I am his mom, his playmate, his personal chef, his maid, his sounding board, and his entertainer. By the time Ron gets home there’s a new mess to clean up and I am exhausted mentally and physically. With all the running around I do all day I end up with nothing to show for it. I HATE THAT!

Then there are the things I need to do but have a hard time accomplishing it. Like finding a good doctor for Leon to manage his ADHD/ODD meds that won’t cost us a fortune. This week alone I have spent about 6 hours on the phone between doctors and insurance, and CSE just trying to get what Leon needs. And I still have NOTHING to show for it. I need to find a child psychiatrist that works with children with ADHD/ODD and takes my insurance. I also want to get Leon in a social skills class. That should not be too much to ask, right?. Wrong. I started with calling MDs that were recommended to me by other MDs and parents of children with ADHD. That didn’t work. Then I called the insurance company and got a list of names. Most of the doctors are too far away, or don’t take my insurance anymore and the rest have yet to return my phone call. All that time and aggravation and still nothing! The MDs that come so highly recommended and don’t take my insurance or any insurance are unbelievably expensive. One quoted $675 for the first initial visit and $190 for every once a month visit there after. The one that CSE was helpful enough to recommend is in Manhattan and would give me a discounted rate of $200 (instead of $400) per visit –  Add the commute by train or gas and tolls, not to mention travel tome – it’s a steal! NOT!!! My insurance will cover 80% of what they consider  is reasonable and customary for out of network costs but only after we meet an additional$2300 out of network deductable.  So given the options the next step is to find a neurologist in network that has knowledge of children with ADHD. Hopefully this will go better.

I also feel I need to find a way to make more money. The obvious choice would be to get a job, but I already have a job – two in fact. my #1 job is as Leonsmom. Being a mom is an extremely hard yet fulfilling job. Being a mom to a child with special needs, a child who is disabled is a bit harder (and still equally fulfilling). My second job is helping my sister out by providing childcare for my niece (and for those of you who know me well and know my sister – you all know how difficult that can be).  Up until recently I was providing childcare to another little girl. But that ended in May around the time Leon was having so much difficulty with his ADHD. At the time I was fine with her leaving because I really needed to focus on Leon and what was going on with him. But now that things have settled a bit, we are really feeling a loss of that income. Idealy I would like to find another child to care for but I want to wait till school starts for that. In the meantime I want to find a way to earn some money for the little extras we want to do this summer like camping and waterparks and cub scout activities and our trip to Disney at the end of next month. The trip itself is all paid for already (less than $100 a day for all 3 of us including tickets, airfare, and hotel – can’t beat that!) but we still have to eat. Some things I’d like to do in the hopes of making some extra money is have a garage sale, collect empty cans for deposits, and create tie dye Mickey shirts to sell. I just don’t know where to find the time?  

Lastly are the things that I want to do, but just can’t seem to start, or if I do start them I just can’t seem to finish ’em. For lack of time, or funds, or talent, or whatever. Like have the garage sale or make the tie dye mickey shirts (not just to sell but for our trip as well). I also want to create some iron on designs for our trip.I want to find time to actually sit down and plan out our Disney trip and what we are going to do there. I want to put together an ADHD binder, with all the information that I have collected about this disorder and how it pertains to Leon. I also want to write up a detailed history of Leon’s ADHD in a handout that I can just give to whatever new doctor will be treating him. Something I can keep updated through out his life for whatever come up. I want to put my pictures together and make scrapbooks rather than just leave them in my computer.  Additionally I want to find time to blog. I want to blog about how well Leon is doing since being completely off the Zoloft, and about how our summer is going and the camping trip we just took, and my plans for Disney, I want to blog about the results of Leon’s assessment with the amazing Dr. Petrosky, and my hopes (and fears) for our CSE meeting. right now I am using Kiera’s nap to write this instead of making calls or cleaning 😦    And I want to do so so much more……

I have to…,

                       I need to…,

                                                 I want to…

                                                                   …but when???

 

There is some GOOD news. Ron and Leon are going to be away for the weekend on a Cub Scout camping trip, and I will be home all by my lonesome. I can not wait!! I plan to unplug the phone, blast the music, dance in my underwear, paint my nails, and oh yeah, one or two of the things listed above 🙂

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Bright Side of the Day.

The Bright Side of the Day is that I am now finally, FINALLY alone, by myself with my tears and my computer.

I am feeling like an awful, awful mother right now. I know I try my best and I do my best. But I certainly am not feeling my best.

Right now all I want is a vacation. A vacation away from my life, my life as a mother and even as a wife (if only because my duties as a wife include being ‘The Mom”). I wouldn’t have to go anywhere special. I just want to go away. To a place where I dont want to stick my kid in a straight jacket with a gag over his mouth and tie him to a chair. Just so he will stop touching everything within 2 feet of him, so he wont get a hold of the most innocent of household objects and turn them into instruments of mass destruction, so he won’t jack-rabbit out the front door every time the urge comes to mind, so I don’t have to listen to him talking and talking, yelling and yelping, calling out, whining, begging, nagging, and talking some more  just to make noise, so I don’t have to keep up and follow every move he makes while he jumps from one activity to the next within 5 minutes of starting the first because that’s how quickly he is bored, so I don’t have to constantly be on top of everything and stay ahead of every possible scenerio that could come up, so I can breathe and so he can breathe without either of us breathing down each others necks, so I can get what’s on MY agenda accomplished whether it be working with my photos, my blog, or actually cleaning my house to the point where I can be proud of it rather than depressed by it, so I don’t have to constantly explain or apologize for his actions, so I don’t always feel as if I’ve been beaten with a bat for the hundredth time today, so there is no yelling – not his or mine, so I can sleep soundly without worrying about what’s coming next. So I can just cry.

So, Today’s ‘Bright Side of the Day” is my very very brief 2to 3 hour vacation from being Leonsmom.

Whom I kidding….

                         …………….no one not even me. I feel awful.incrediblemomretirementonlyadreamco

Anyone????

In relation to my last post, who can help me find the Bright Side of Leon peeing into his hamper and all over his wall and toys?

Hmmm?

Anyone???

Anyone??dashmotherexhausted

Buhler??

Buhler???

The Price of ADHD

It is definitely true that only the rich can afford to be sick. Cause damn its expensive.

Today I realized the cost of ADHD does not just include medical coverage for doctor’s and medications, but also for other miscellaneous items as well.

Here is my ADHD shopping list:scroogemoneybetterthanpovertycopy

Therapist $80 a week

Personal Assessment by Psychologist $2000

Medications – $70 a month

Neurologist -$120 a visit

Occupational Therapy for the summer – $?

Social Skills Group for the summer -$?

Behavioral/Reward Charts $3

Rewards – anywhere from $0.00 – $25 in a week

Special Omega-3 / DHA vitamins – $12 a month

Summer Day Camp to keep him entertained and occupied – $660

Books on ADHD – >$100

Baby Monitor – $40

Window Alarm – $?

Plumbing – $150

Now, realistically the list is much longer than this, but it gives you an idea. Some things have no price listed because I don’t know what that cost to me will be yet but I do need to find out within the next few days. It’s a pretty normal and straight forward list with the exception of maybe the last three items listed. They may raise a few eyebrows.

I am looking to get a baby monitor to listen in and make sure he isn’t getting into trouble in his room.

The window alarm is a precaution, so we don’t have a repeat of Saturday’s “Escape from Cell Block Leon”

Until we can purchase those items we are having him sleep in our room where we can keep a closer eye on him starting tonight. Last night was brutal I got NO sleep considering I woke up half a dozen times to go check his room to make sure he was still there. It was just six years ago that I was checking his crib just to make sure he was still breathing.

And perhaps the strangest item listed would be the plumbing. This morning Ron woke up to find Leon’s singing toothbrush wedged in the toilet. He then noticed that all the other toothbrushes were missing too. Leon flushed 4 toothbrushes down the toilet. Whoo boy! Was Ron pissed, calm, but pissed. Our first thought was oh no how much is this going to cost?

Right now we are just managing from day-to-day. The bills are piling and the cars are dying, while we still hope for an eventful summer and dream our Disney dreams.

So this it the price of ADHD?!?!?!?!?

My Pocketful of Sunshine! (slideshow)

Pictures from my life:

 


On turning 40…..

This has been A GOOD month, a fun month. So much has gone on, I have so much to tell,

Firstly…

              NOW…

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Funny huh? I can't take full credit though, I got the idea from a T-shirt, although that IS my real hand - LOL

 

 

 Besides turning 40, my niece turned 1. We had a wonderful Ladybug party for the little Love Bug here at my house.

I got my new computer! WoooHooo! Now I can make this site into more of a photoblog.

I got even more addicted to Facebook and passing “Notes”

I traded in the opportunity to get a new camera for my Big 4-0  for a weekend trip to Disney World on my birthday with my husband and son (sooo worth it – but still working on the camera).

Leon came back from our trip with the flu (we think) and had to miss 3 days of school (Ugh!!! I’ll be in the principle’s office soon enough.)

The monthended with me throwing myself a Narcissist’s 40th Birthday Party which was great fun! (Hey, I deserve to be Queen for a Day – or in this case a week or two or three) And the celebrations just keeps continuing.

 

I promise, I will go into our fantabulous trip to Disney in detail (and include our tale of woe which covers Leon getting sick) very soon!!! But right now I want to talk about my birthday. It is all about me after all!!!!

I have to say that this has been my bestest birthday ever!!! It even beat out my 25th Birthday which was up until now my bestest birthday ever. Ironically I celebrated that one for about two or three weeks too. My actual DOB falls on 2/21  but I would say I started celebrating it this year on 2/18 when my dear dear husband told me that I could go ahead and book Disney for the weekend if I wanted to use my birthday money towards that rather than towards a new camera. It was a hard decision given that I really, really NEED a new camera and I really, really wanted to go to Disney for my birthday, in the end I realized that I could have my cake and take a picture of it too, but I would just have to wait a bit longer for it to develop 😀 . Plus I am an immediate gratification type of girl (there’s that dang ADHD again). So we went to Disney from 2/20 to 2/22

Without going into too much detail about our trip now, I’ll just say it was nice to plan a trip to Disney that revolved completely around me, me, me! Of course I did consider Ron and Leon in my plans… but still even in doing that it was still about me, after all whatever makes my little one’s heart fill withjoy also fills my heart with joy. The planning fell into place and despite a few bumps while we were in Disney, I could not help but smile and think this is the bestest birthday ever the whole time we were there! And both Leon and Ron did everything in their power to make all three days ALL ABOUT ME (even when my poor little guy got so sick). I believed the hype so much that I even bought myself a little tiara in Disney to wear to my Pajama Party that I had invited the girlfriends who mean the most to me to. I even got caught up in the hype about the pajama party – I think it was at that point, when I bought the tiara that it became a Narcissist’s Birthday Party. Granted I was the one who hyped it in the first place but my friends certainly did help build the hype. As I stated in my previous post, my birthday wish not only included going to Disney World on my birthday but also to spend it with a small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash.

My initial intentions of having a just a small get t0gether of 4 or 5 friends grew to about 11 or 12  friends. I realized that I wanted a fun ladies night in with the people who I feel a close or growing friendship with. Woman who have touched my life in a positive way at one point or another. I don’t neccesarily consider myself to have a lot of friends.  It can take a while for me to consider someone truly my friend. What can I say I don’t fall into friendship lightly – plus I kinda think that sometimes I just don’t generally like people 😉 – so for me to consider someone a friend they must be truly a genuine person. So while I may not have many friends, the friends I do have, fill my life with love and laughter and a genuine feeling of friendship and family. I could not think of any better way to celebrate ME and my 40th than with people who help make me who I am.

My close girlfriends are made up from different parts of my life and have all influenced me and become a part of me. I have known my closest and best friend for well over 25 years, we are so close that not only is she my best friend but we have become sisters by choice, she is my family. The only friend that I have known longer and felt just as close to as we’ve grown up together, is my actual sister by birth, whom I feel so close to, that she is not only my sister but also my best friend.  Another long time friendship is with someone I met when I started working for the airlines 20 years ago. We’ve worked together, traveled together, SCUBA dived together, and shared lots of laughs. We get together once a week to play games or watch movies. Then there are “my mommy friends”, a great group of  5 gal pals that came together from different but nearby towns and grew in friendship,  first by way of a mom’s yahoo group and then through the local Mother’s Center, because we all had the same thing in common, we were all first time moms looking to share our experienceswith other women who were going through the same things we ourselves were. We’ve all grown togetheras moms and as women over the last 3 to 4 years. And more recently I’ve been bonding with two women who started out as my neighbors and I am pleased to say have become good friends. I look forward to our friendship continuing to grow as we bond at the school bus stop over stories about one of our nutty neighbors, the PTA, how much the principle rubs us the wrong way, and on occasion a margarita or sangria (not at the bus stop of course). We are The Real Housewives of Blankity-blank Avenue & Blank-blank Dr :P.   …seriously you didn’t think I would give out my real street names. We watch out for each other’s kids and have get togethers for them and for us. And last but not least is someone whose company I have always enjoyed when our husband’s got togetherand we tagged along. I’ve always felt from the start that she is a genuine person and would make for a wonderful friend. Most recently she has come to my rescue more than once when the gremlins would attack. And for that, along with her friendship I am truly grateful. These are the woman who I invited to my Pajama Party on 2/28

My request of each of them was,  NO GIFTS!!!! Just indulge me in the whole Potluck – Pajama – Game Night– Party thing, by bringing a yummy appetizer, wearing pajamas, and be willing to play games. I was sad to see that not everyone could come in the end. The fact that my PMS hit that same day didn’t help when I started counting up all the cancellations. Let’s just say I was a little irrational and there were some hormonal tears and some mutterings about “nobody loves me, no one wants to come to my party” 😥 . But then people started showing up and I got over it. Besides those who could not make it all had very good reasons. I missed them and they missed a good party but I am sure we will make up for it.

We had a BLAST!!! The food was great. We had bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, brie & raspberry wrapped in filo, hummus, bruchetta, potato skins, shrimp and asparagus salad, taco dip, spinach dip and chips, brownies, and let’s not forget the CHOCOLATE FONDUE. Do you know how good Peeps are in fondue????? And then of course there was the Verdi (which I will have to admit I started early) and the Sangria!!!!(which became my drink of choice), regretfully I never did get to have a White Russian. Everyone came in their jamies and I of course wore my tiara with my favorite candy stripe PJ’s.

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

We played a game that I had put together called “You’re how old?”. Basically I printed out about 30 pictures of famous celebrities and everyone had to try to figure out if the person was older or younger than me. We also played “The Game of Things”, my new favorite game (although, apparently not everyone elses 🙄 ). I had another game that we were going to play called “How well do you know the Birthday Girl” It was a question and answer game about ME,of course, you know, to fit the Narcissist theme. But I guess I got a bit self-conscious when The Game of Things kinda went south. Don’t get me wrong it was alot of fun and the game did draw a lot of laughs (and snorts – there was lots of snorting!!) but I got the sense that not everyone was into it. I definitely had an awesome time and it definitely added to the fact that this has been my bestest birthday ever.  You know you had a good time when you go to bed giggling out loud to yourself. I am pretty sure everyone else had a pretty good time too. Apparently one of my friends spent the next morning giggling out loud to herself while blow drying her hair. Now that’s a sign of a good time 😆 

I did get gifts after all, although I really, really, did not want anyone to get me anything. The whole point was to have an inexpensive night out. Plus the best gift of all, that any of them could give me is totally free and I already have it from them. That gift is thier friendship! Although I am very thankful for the scanner that a few of the ladies chipped in for, the very nice tart warmer, the wine called “Mommy’s Time Out” (how cute is that!), the gorgeous orchid plant, and the invite for a night out. But I am most thankful for thier friendship.

I celebrated my birthday on the next night too, with my mother and sister. We went to a wonderful Hibachi restaurant called Wasabi. It was fantastic! Luckily the fact that I was starting to get sick did not get in the way of me enjoying the food or the company. Ron and Leon came too, of course and it was fun to watch Leon watching the chef do his thing. We had a really good time. Our family has had it’s ups and downs over the years but in my “old age” I have come to really appreciate them. My mom has been through so much in her life time and has sacrificed so much for my sister and I, I am very lucky to have her – despite our differences. And my sister, well I think we are coming full circle. We’ve always been there for one another and always will be. 

Next Sunday will be the last of my 40th birthday celebrations. We will be going to Ron’s parents house for a fun day of games and a birthday dinner. I look forward to going, we always have fun when his family gets together. I am very blessed to be a part of their family.

In the weeks leading up to my birthday I’ve done a lot of thinking about turning 40. I think everyone does when there is a milestone to celebrate (or for some people, mourn) . There seems to be this fear of turning forty that a lot of people have. I didn’t have that. I thought a lot about my life and where I am, and I am happy just being me. Granted I am not exactly where I thought I wanted to be but I am in a good place. I don’t own my house but I do have a great home, I don’t have 2 or 3 kids but I do have one very amazing son, I don’t have a high paying job that affords us a life of luxury but I do work from home making just enough to help keep up with the bills and still afford a few small extras. I like myself and I like where I am. I couldn’t always say that. I can honestly say that I am much happier now than I was 20 years ago. I have a home and a wonderful family and terrific friends! It’s good to be FORTY! It’s good to be me!

For me, turning forty has been a celebration of me!

What a week!!!!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s weekend. I sure did. On Friday Leon fell and hurt his hand. When I asked to look at it he said no I had to wait till Valentine’s Day. When I asked why he “said well I’ll tell you but I can’t show you yet, it’s in the shape of a heart so you can only see it on Valentine”s Day”. I love my little man!!

christmas-002

Valentine’s Day was very nice! I got some very nice cards from Ron and Leon. I gave Ron his gift with a note attached that said “Now we both have a nice set of cans” …I gave him two garbage cans. LOL.  The best part of the day was finally getting a new computer. A friend of ours “built” one for me. I think I am a little scared of it. I’ve got to learn how to navigate Vista and Open Office now. They are both new to me. I’ve got to say I really like Vista’s Windows Photo Gallery. I can’t wait to play with my pictures. And now I can truly make this a photo blog!!

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Sunday was a nice day too. I planned and hosted a 1st birthday party for my niece. I love planning parties, especially theme parties. My sister and I decided on a ladybug theme. We toyed with a few other ideas, but then we found the perfect ladybug dress and the decision was made.

 

 

 

The party was a success and lots of fun to plan. We used red, black, and green streamers and balloons to decorate my house. I also used red and black paper plates and black pipe cleaners with some scissors and glue to make  cute Ladybug decorations. Ladybug decoration made from 1 black and 1 red plate

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ladybug-0031

 
 
I bought some sun catchers for Leon to paint so that he could be a part of the planning.
 
 
 
This is the no sew tutu I made for Kiera and the super cute Ladybug hair clip I found at www.itsy.com.
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We found some cute ladybug soaps from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com/ and my sister made cute chocolate lollipops to give out as favors. The kiddies got a separate bag of goodies too.
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We also put the chocolate ladybugs on the cake we ordered from BJ’s and set the table with a red tablecloth topped with black dots.
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The party was fun …

  …for more pictures of the party check out my photo website http://jillo.smugmug.com/gallery/7394040_dhHTR#476300226_ZXLLu

Speaking of Birthdays, mine is coming up!
I will be the BIG 4-0 this coming Saturday. Woo hoo!
I had originally planned on celebrating it with the whole family this Saturday and then on the following Saturday I plan on having a small gathering of girlfriends at my house for a Potluck Pajama Party Game Night. It should be fun. I’ve asked my friends to come in pajamas (like I said, I love theme parties)and bring an appetizer to share, I will provide the liquid refreshments and the game. It’s called the Game of Things and it’s great for a ton of laughs. I still have the decorations up from Kiera’s Party so I won’t need to decorate. Some friends (well actually only one) has expressed concern over the fact that I am throwing my own party, but really it’s just how I want to celebrate my birthday. A small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash. That’s my birthday wish, actually my birthday wish was to go to Disney World again, but I just did not see that happening, so I planned a night with friends instead. 
Well guess what, I won’t be spending my Birthday this Saturday with the whole family, I’ll be spending it with Mickey Mouse!! That’s right Ron and Leon are taking me to Disney World for my Birthday. I just found out yesterday and we Leave the day after tomorrow at 6am. WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!  So now I’ll have to write up two trip reports. I am very excited to say the least. well, I’ve got to get packing now…
TTFN as my pal Tiger would say.

I think I am addicted…

…to Fresca.

grumpynotuntilivehadmyfresca1

Yesterday I had 10 cans in one day.

Is that bad? It’s caffiene free, fat free, and calorie free. My really addiction is Coke (sometimes Pepsi) but I switched to Fresca because I could not live with out soda. But now I drink more soda than I ever did before….

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