Strange Movies…

I’ve gotten really good at being functional on very little sleep. Considering there’s usually some reason I’m not getting any. Be it the boys, Milo, my own thoughts or worries, some evil mutant bird living in the gutter over my bedroom window…

I’ve learned to adapt to a world with little sleep.

But every now and then my lack of typical sleep catches up with me. Or, I guess I should say, it hits me like a freight train. It happened a few nights ago. Both of the boys have a cold – Kaleb’s started up about a week ago, and Mason has picked it up now. Neither of them is feeling particularly bad, but they are a bit more cranky and confrontational than usual. So of course that means no nap for the tired, pissy, cranky Mason Bug. After dinner that night Mase grabed his cup and his cars and headed straight to bed. By 6:30 he was out like a light, surrounded by his cars and snoring away.

Kaleb and I sat up and played with one of the houses for a while, and then off to bed he went. He’d been yawning and rubbing at his eyes for a good twenty minutes, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before he passed out. Only, I can’t guarentee that, because I crashed before he did. I put a movie on I’d been wanting to watch for quite a while and finally had my fingers on. I figured I’d wait for him to crash and then I’d go to bed too. I made it fifteen minutes, tops. The only thing about the movie I remember watching was the opening credits.

I know I woke up a couple times to Kaleb’s screaming – I mostly remember the one time because I walked face-first into the pocket door in the hallway. I know I managed to drag myself to bed at somepoint – but I must have made it without walking into anything because I don’t even remember doing it.

I slept like the dead. It was beautiful. After all of the stress, the drama, the worry, and the sleepless nights of the last few weeks basically hit me like an anvil in an old acme cartoon. coyote-under-anvil

Of course, that glorious night of sleep cost me. I woke up at 6am to a whopper of a meltdown. Kaleb came into the bedroom to get me up, and for whatever reason just started to completely freak out. I don’t know if he tripped over something, or if something spooked him, but it was a giant meltdown – before the sun was even up. The day didn’t get much better after that. Between him and Mason it was one thing right after another. Fighting over the swiffer – so I give Kaleb a mop of his own with a little solution dispenser. Then they mopped my kitchen – which, by the way, I was totally cool with. Except I forgot I had the dispenser filled with vinegar water and the whole house stunk like a pickle factory.

Then they started fighting over the toy vacuum (Daddy, just going to go on record here and say I told you we should have bought two of them). At first Kaleb was mad because it was too loud and tried to take it from Mason. Kaleb got in trouble, Mason started doing it just to get Kaleb worked up, Mason got in trouble. Then they were fighting over who was going to get to use it. Give Kaleb a small battery operated vacuum (okay, obviously I have a thing for cleaning gadgets – even though they never get used), they vacuum the living room. Again, I’m not complaining.

Basically, they just tore at each other all day. The only thing I managed to accomplish was to finish painting the letters for Mason’s room during quiet time. Of course, now I have to do the shadow boxes and all the other nonsense, but at least the most tedious thing is done. And it was a miracle considering how many times Mason decided to have a strip show in his bedroom throughout that two hours. So, of course, no nap for him.

The chaos continued throughout the night. Kaleb starts a fight with Mason, Mason starts a fight with Kaleb. They were like mortal enemies all day. Fighting over the doll house (we have three of them – why can’t you both be happy with your own??); fighting over the Little People (we have four thousand of them – why can’t you both be happy with your own??); fighting over a seat on the couch, the space on the floor… you get the idea. By 6:30 I was seriously drawing up blueprints for a velcro wall in my mind (and yes mother, I know I’ve been saying it for years and we still haven’t built one – but one of these days it’s going to happen).

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Finally, it was bed time. Mason passed right out (this no napping thing is really starting to work for me). Kaleb on the other hand, wasn’t so quick to sleep. I had been anxiously awaiting for the stars to align – and by that, I mean I wanted Kaleb to be asleep and the storm that was rumbling off in the distance to roll in. Because I had finally gotten my hands on a copy of The Strangers, and I was determined to scare myself silly.

I realize how crazy that sounds. But I’ve always been a horror buff. I was reading Stephen King at 9 and grew up with a cat named Krueger (those are both true facts about me by the way). Over the last couple of months I’ve had a handful of people tell me I have to watch this movie because it’s terrifying. I’ve been told not to watch it alone, not to watch it in the dark, and so on. Naturally, I had every intention of watching alone in the dark. It’s taken me forever to get my hands on the movie, but I finally did.

So, Kaleb falls alseep, the storm rolls in, and I’m beyond excited to watch this movie. It’s been a long time since I actually found a scary movie to be scary. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t an exception. I won’t say anything to spoil it for any of you out there in case you’ve yet to watch it – but I will say that the only thing I found frightening about the film was how absolutely stupid Liv Tyler’s character was. Seriously, when are they going to make a scary movie that doesn’t include the people being completely stupid??


We went to a Memorial Day party yesterday. As usual, I was a bit trepidatious taking all three kids out and about, but Miss Lisa and Uncle Ed were both going with so I wasn’t as worried as I would normally be. Kaleb immediately honed in on the other kids and was off like a shot. Mase and Leah kind of alternated between chasing around the big kids, playing with eachother, and climbing on the adults.

But they all did phenomenal. No major issues, meltdowns were completely nonexistent. It was, in a word, awesome. And yes John, I’ll totally go ahead and say you bring peace to the world around you!

We all got too much sun, and once the kids actually fell asleep last night they slept like very tired rocks.


We are planning on spending today playing in the pool, and with any luck they will sleep just as well tonight.

I’ve been trying to write/post this for days so I’m going to wrap it up now and say Happy Memorial Day!!


History Repeating…

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  ~ Albert Einstein

This is how I feel at least twice every day.

Why did I just pick up that bin full of potato heads?  They’re just going to dump it out again.

What is the point in folding Mason’s clothes and putting them in the dresser?  You know he’s going to pull them all out and pee on them as soon as you put him to bed.

How many times are you going to say “Use your inside voice!” before you learn that the children don’t have inside voices?

Pick up this, put it away.  Step on it again in twenty minutes.  Pick it up, put it away, step on it again in twenty minutes.  Pick it up, put it on a shelf, step on it again in twenty minutes.  Pick it up, throw it in the garbage, go hide in closet.

Don’t jump on the furniture!  Stop throwing things at the television!  Don’t hit your brother!  Stop screaming!  Leave the dog alone!

These things.  These ridiculous things just keep happening over and over again – yet I continue to try, over and over again.  Hoping, with some sort of sich masochism that one of these days I will actually get a different result.

Who knows, maybe one day I will.

Anyway, we went to the library Friday to pick out some movies for the weekend.  It occurred to me, while standing there listening to Mason scream at Kaleb and Kaleb scream at me in the middle of the children’s section that the kids have never seen Mary Poppins.  Oh, wait.  I have never seen Mary Poppins.  I know, I know, major Fail.

I was too preoccupied falling in love with Beauty and The Beast and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Both of which my kids have seen at least five times each.  I wasn’t the “Spoon full of sugar” kind of kid, so to speak.  I was definitely more “Time Warp”.  But still – what kind of self respecting movie-night making mother am I if I don’t sit down and watch the lady with the crazy umbrella (Mary Poppins is the one with the umbrella, right?) fly around the tv?

Right then I decided to remedy my Mary Poppins problem and borrowed it from the library.  Since we’re spending the weekend celebrating Kaleb’s graduation to Kindergarten I figure it will be a perfect addition to our party.  But first things first, we needed Shrek 4.  Last week was so rough I opted to make this week as much like a vacation as I could.  Which meant 7 days of movie nights, favorite foods, fun and games, and lots of low key fun.

We watched the first three Shrek movies throughout the week, at least three times each, and now we needed Shrek 4. We took a break from the movies on Wednesday since Uncle Ed came into town to play, which was awesome.  It’s been years since we got to see him, and the boys certainly did their best to make up for it!


So when we went shopping on Friday after the library we picked up Shrek 4.  Unfortunately, by the time we got home both of the kids were walking nightmares.  Screaming, fighting, throwing, kicking, you know the drill.  Mason screamed for an hour because he wanted cereal, Kaleb screamed because Mason was screaming.  By 6pm Friday night Mason had put himself to bed and was sound asleep.  So, our celebration got postponed until yesterday.

We spent all day yesterday making a mess of the house we had just cleaned.  We made our fruit fondue dip, and while it was setting Kaleb and I set to making some spinach dip.  Though he suddenly stopped me and said:

“Mommy, I don’t want spinach dip.”
“Oh? What do you want instead?”
“Peas dip.”
“Peas dip? What would you put in something like that?”
“Peas, tomatoes, cheese, milk, cookies, and olives!”
“Buddy… that sounds really gross.”
“No! Everyone loves peas dip!”
“Okay, let’s just stick with spinach for today, what do you say?”
*sigh* “I guess mommy. But only because you’ve been a very good girl today.”

My kid is truly silly sometimes.

We filled up on our dips and snacks and settled in to watch Shrek Forever After.  Fifteen minutes in, Mason jumped up, ran to the popcorn machine, grabbed his favorite popcorn cup and started screaming for the popcorn machine.  So, we took a break and made some popcorn.

Settled back in to watch Shrek 4 – and didn’t get very far.  Fighting, fidgeting, screaming – oooh my.

Both boys went to bed around 9, and I vowed to finish this party today.

So, we’re going to make puppets with paper bags and have a puppet show.  And we’re going to watch Mary Poppins.  And we’re going to continue to completely destroy the house – because, well… the bins are already dumped out everywhere, we might as well play!

Then we will get up tomorrow, and clean the house again.  Wreck and repeat.  Insanity I say.




This is a point in time where most people are typically still snuggled in their beds, dreaming of whatever it is they are dreaming of.  I was too.  I was dreaming about sleeping.  It was really pretty awesome.

Until a scream shattered my sleeping dream.  Not a scream of terror – no nightmares here.  Not a scream of pain – no mishaps or accidents happening.  No, the scream that woke me went a little like this:

“Mommy!!  You have to get up now because Mason is naked!”

Come on!!  You cannot be serious.  Of course, it’s Kaleb – and Kaleb does not joke about naked Mason.  He is definitely serious.

I zombie-walk to Mason’s room, mentally trying to count how many hours of consecutive sleep I actually managed to grab.  Let’s see.  I fell asleep around 10.  Mason woke up screaming at 10:30.  I fell back asleep around 11:30.  Kaleb started to sleep walk to our room and tripped over who knows what – all I know is I woke up to him crying on the floor in the office around 2.  He didn’t appear to be seriously hurt, I couldn’t see any bumps or bruises, so he probably just freaked himself out more than anything.  I went back to sleep around 3.  Mason got naked at 5.  So that would be 5 hours.  Better than it could have been, I’ll take it.  

Get Mason dressed, get the boys breakfast, clean up the kitchen, start laundry, make a cup of coffee, realize I just poured the last of the creamer in my cup.  Crap.

This is not a good way to start a day!

Of course, on top of that, I’m really sad Kaleb is going to miss his Pre-K graduation today.  I really wish he could go – but I can’t send him.  He still doesn’t understand why he can’t go back to school.  Sending him in for this one thing and then bringing him home will only further confuse him.  But it’s really heartbreaking for me.  Over the past two and a half years he has earned this little milestone, and I hate that we’re missing it.  Every time I think about it I want to cry.  I know it would be more for me than for him – things like that tend to flutter over Kaleb’s head like butterflies.  And it would be selfish of me to even consider going after all he’s gone through over the last few months.  But it’s heartbreaking nonetheless.

I can’t help but look back at where he was when he first started school.  Mason was just a baby.


Kaleb was so completely excited, but so completely confused at the same time.

049 054 061He could barely contain himself.  And he did wonderfully.  He had an incredible teacher who made all the difference when it came to my Monster Man.  She was patient and understanding, she went out of her way and took the time to understand him and his complicated mind.  We couldn’t have been luckier.  For the first year and a half of his school career she was there to support him – even when he wasn’t in her class any longer.  I’ve basically made it my mission in life to ensure that Mason lands in her class come October when he starts school.

Kaleb grew, physically, academically, and socially.  We went from being terrified to put him on a bus to him being a bus riding pro.  He began to understand the concept of sharing.  His written language skills exploded and his verbal language doubled.  He had made such huge leaps, it was incredible to see his beautiful brilliance finally shining through all of the struggles.

We looked forward to him starting the new school.  It was exciting to know this would be the last round of pre-k for him, in just one short year he would be a kindergartener.  The year started off great.  He liked the new school, and so I did I.  He made new friends, was excited to get on the bus each morning, and everything seemed to be going right.

And then everything changed.  He got a new teacher, new students were introduced, and bit by bit we watched him start to struggle.  The phone calls suggesting I pick him up started to increase.  His behavior started to deteriorate.  Getting ready for the bus became a fight.  Day by day things got harder and harder.  The meltdowns started to escalate again.  Then the suspensions started.  And things just kept getting worse.  He started regressing, behaviorally and academically.

As you probably know by now – we had meeting after meeting.  Tried all that we could think of.  Then things got so bad Kaleb nearly hurt another student badly.  And I hit my limit.  So, I pulled him out.  We’re waiting for his neurologist to fill out the paperwork for Hospital/Homebound and we’ve pulled Kaleb out of school.  For both his sake and the safety of the students around him.  It was a decision that had to be made – one that wasn’t made lightly, and one I  stand by 100%.

But it’s still sad to know that Kaleb is missing his graduation day.  Daddy pointed out that next year’s kindergarten graduation will be 100 times better – and that hadn’t even occurred to me.  So I’m grateful for the reminder.  I know that there will be graduations after this.  Milestones and events.  But that doesn’t make today any less sad.  What that reminder did do is determine what we are going to be doing today.  We’re going to have our own graduation party.

We’re going to go to the library and pick out some new movies for the weekend.  Then we’re going to buy new popcorn sprinkles, a graduation hat, some pigs in blankets and some of Kaleb’s other favorite junk foods.  No pity parties here.  Instead, we’re going to have a graduation movie night like no other!  That is, if I can keep Mase and Leah clothed long enough to get to the store.

Only Mama Knows…

Today is Mother’s Day.

Growing up I never thought I’d celebrate this day for myself.  Motherhood wasn’t in my ‘plan’.

And then this perfect, screaming little person turned my entire world upside down, and in the blink of an eye, everything changed.  My hopes and dreams were no longer for me – they were for him.  My actions were no longer a reflection of me, they were his.  Being awake at 3am held a whole new meaning.  I was able to fit the whole world in my arms, and each time I did I found myself less surprised by how absolutely right the fit was.

I watched, encouraged, molded, shaped, and spent my every waking hour loving this little person.  I was there to clap and cheer the first time he sat up on his own.  I took video after video trying to capture him standing up in his crib blowing raspberries.  I listened as he squeaked and squealed and cooed in his swing.  I barricaded my living room off day after day just waiting for him to crawl from one side to the other.  I watched him cover himself in blueberry pancakes for the first time, and laughed as I cleaned the mess.

I waited patiently for his firsts.  First time holding a bottle, first steps, first words.  Some of those came later than others.  Some came early.  And I cherished every single one.  I watched as little pieces of him developed into the independent, sweet, quirky child that he was growing to be.  I soothed and sang through the night terrors.  I watched as some of his quirks became more defined, and less ‘typical’.  I spent hours with therapists and specialists, reading books and sifting through article after article.

I fought with friends and family over things they weren’t able to see.  I fought with this perfect, screaming little person.  Most of all, I fought with myself.  Was I making something out of nothing like everyone seemed to think?  Was I overreacting?  Was I doing something wrong?  Was I doing the right things for my little person?   And then the day came – three years ago, the day finally came.  My little person finally said something I’d been waiting all his life to hear.


And I knew.  I knew I was doing what was right.  I knew I was fighting for the right reasons.  And my first real spark of confidence in myself as a mother was ignited.

Four months later I was handed another perfect, screaming little person.  And all of the worry I had carried with me for the long nine months was instantly eased.  How could I possibly worry I wouldn’ t have enough love?  I didn’t have to be afraid that my heart wouldn’t be big enough – because it grew twice as big as soon as I saw those little eyes look at mine.

Now I was given a whole new set of hopes and dreams.  Ten new fingers and ten new toes to tickle and count.  A whole new little person to mold and shape, to teach and play with.  I watched with awe as he studied the world around him intently.  As he fell in love with cars and balls.  I watched as he took his first steps and laughed with him as he promptly landed on his diapered rump.

I tuned in to the quirks and oddities as he grew bigger.  I heard intuition whispering that things weren’t quite as they should be – and I listened.  And when my own fears and worries were acknowledged by the people who had fought with me the first time around, I felt the flames of my confidence in myself as a mother grow brighter.

Over the last six years I have laughed, and cried.  I’ve celebrated and commiserated.  I’ve learned what it means to be a mother, and a friend.  I’ve learned how to teach and be taught.  I’ve discovered what it feels like to truly love someone with all of my soul.  I’ve found a strength and an inner fighter I never knew existed.  I’ve been introduced into both the magic and the cruelty of the world we live in.  I’ve developed a patience and compassion I never thought myself capable of.

I have been changed by my children, by motherhood.

I have grown to understand and appreciate all of the mothers that have walked into my life.  And my children have benefited from the traits they have given me.  The fierce protective love and loyalty that my grandmother instilled in me.  The welcoming love and acceptance that was shown to me by the mothers of my friends, both as a child and an adult.  The humor and light shared with me by my aunts.  The honesty and faith given to me by the mothers I am lucky enough to know as friends.

All of the amazing mothers I have had walk through my life have molded the mother that I am today.  They all have had a tremendous impact in how I raise my own children.

But more than anything, the love given to me by my mother.  The respect, guidance, and endless love I have been given.  The unwavering faith and hope shown to me through tough times and through joyous times.  The laughter and the tears.  Through the wins and the losses, she has stood by my side, even when I thought I was alone.  I would not be who or where I am without her.  Without all of the amazing mothers I know.

As I sit here on Mother’s Day, tired and sore from a long night of battles with my boys, I have never felt more blessed.  Even when my heart is bruised and battered, when it’s hard to find the silver lining – I am the luckiest woman alive.  Because I have the most amazing family I could ask for.  The difficult times make the wonderful times that much better.  The triumphs made more brilliant by the tragedies.

I never thought I’d be a mother.

And I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful women out there.  To those I am lucky enough to know – you are an inspiration, and I couldn’t imagine walking this unknown road without you by my side.

I love you all.


Like My Mother Does…

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and today doesn’t seem to be an exception.

But Mother’s Day is coming up, and I’d like to take some time to focus on that – instead of all the other crazy going on.

I’d like to talk about my mom.


Growing up I knew my mom better than anyone on earth.

I knew that when she put on The Righteous Brothers I was going to clean something – whether I liked it or not.

I knew that she was tough.

I knew she meant what she said.

I knew she wasn’t joking when she said she would ground me if I didn’t turn in my homework.

I knew just how funny she could be when she was joking.

I knew how much she wanted to strangle me every time I dragged her onto a roller coaster.

Before the Roller Coaster

Before the Roller Coaster

And I dragged her because I knew how much she loved them.

After the Roller Coaster

After the Roller Coaster


I knew she wasn’t messing around when the box from my CD player came out of hiding.

I knew what would happen if I threw food at her – she would throw it back.  And laugh.

I knew what would happen if I mentioned the name of someone famous in the car.  A game that could go on for days.

I knew that she had extra ears and more eyes than I could count.  How else could she know what she knew?!

I knew that she would watch Grease with me every single time I asked.

I knew she had my back.  No matter what.  Even when I was wrong, or stupid – she stood with me.


I knew my mom so well. 

Until I had kids of my own.

Now I know how little I really knew her.

I didn’t know about the sleepless nights, or the endless worry.

I didn’t know about the tears, and the fears, and the heartache.

I didn’t know just how much it meant to her when I took the five seconds to say “I love you” when I hung up the phone.

Or how hard it was for her to let me be independent.


I didn’t know about the battles she fought with herself, or the wars she waged with others to ensure my happiness.

I didn’t know the sacrifices she made.

I didn’t know that sometimes when I made her laugh so hard she cried – they weren’t always tears of laughter.

I didn’t know how much she longed to hear my voice when I was away.l_8279c8639c1b45e6b9c3cdd653b14b01


I didn’t know how bottomless, how eternal her love could be.

But I do know now.

Because now I’m a mom.

I’m a good mom.  Because I had a great role model. 



Because of my mom my kids will never walk away from me, or hang up a phone, without hearing me tell them I love them.

Because of my mom my kids will know silly car games and songs long before their time.  And they will probably never understand the history of those songs or those games.  But they will know them and cherish them as I do.

Because of my mom I will listen when my children speak, I will hear their stories, their ideas and hopes.

Because of my mom I will encourage those ideas, hopes and dreams.

Because my mom taught me the value of hope, and the power of dreams.

And when my day is rough, and I’m feeling lost, I will call my mom.

Because I will want to hear her voice.

Because I will want the comfort and support I’ve always known she will give.

Because I got lucky.  And I got a spectacular mom.

Glass Elevator + Vodka Whipped Cream!

Glass Elevator + Vodka Whipped Cream!

So thank you mommy.

Thank you for the three am phone calls and spaghetti when I’m sad.

Thank you for teaching me to value myself, and the people I love.

Thank you for the dumb jokes and the emergency kits.

Thank you for being everything in the world to me, even when I acted like a fool.

Thank you for singing with me, for changing that awful Pearl Jam song every time it came on the radio, because as much as you loved it, you knew I couldn’t stand it.


Thank you for The Righteous Brothers and American Pie.

Thank you for the pajama parties and the food fights.

Thank you for showing me how to be invisible, while teaching me how to be seen.

I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day.


Straight From The Jacket…


Do you know what I used to think of when I heard that word?


Suspend disbelief.  High wires and tight ropes.  Magic.

Harry Houdini suspended 45 feet off the ground as he escaped from a  straight Jacket in 1915.    David Blane being suspended 30 feet off the ground in a plexiglass box for 44 days in 2003.  Cyril Takayama suspended in midair over Mumbai for 45 hours in 2012.



Now I hear suspension and my jaw clenches shut.  My head starts to hurt.  And I think about the merits of homeschooling.

Kaleb was suspended again today.  And for the first time in a while, I can honestly say it was the right thing to do.

I was really hoping he wouldn’t have a bad day – after the chaos of last night and this morning, he was in a good mood when he got on the bus.  It was all I could do to hope he didn’t get himself into trouble.

That dream was effectively shattered.  And it wasn’t a dream dream of course, because I had just put Mason down for a nap and hopped in the shower, with the hope that when I was done Mason would be asleep and I could go to sleep.

Or not.  Stick my head under the water and the phone rings… Darth Vader.  Son of a…

I can hear Kaleb in the background.  This isn’t good.  This isn’t good at all.  Aside from him in the background, the only other thing I hear is another child got hurt.  Hop back in the shower and throw some shampoo in my hair as quickly as I can.  Jump out, throw on the first pair of jeans and a tee shirt I can find, run my fingers through my dripping hair and throw on a ball cap.  Mason had of course actually fallen asleep, so now I’ve got to wake him up.  C’mon kid we need to go bye bye in the car.

Hop in the car and we’re off.

Get to the school and we go to the office, where I can hear Kaleb clear as day from the back.  Oh man.  Mase and I get back there, and immediately I spot Kaleb on the floor slapping at the behaviorist.  Set Mason in a chair, give him Talking Tom to occupy him, and go to Kaleb, who has crawled under a piece of furniture.  Spitting, noises, spitting, noises – that’s all I’m going to get out of him.  They had to remove his shoes since he was kicking so hard.  Find his shoes, grab him, set him in a chair, he stands up on the chair.  Pick him up, sit in the chair with him in my lap.  Proceed to spend five minutes with him twisting and squirming and spitting in my lap while being told that for a reason nobody understands, Kaleb kicked another child in the back.

After getting worked up in music class he bolted for the door, and was blocked.  He then sat down and appeared to be calming himself down.  Until he jumped out of his chair and kicked another kid in the back.  No warning, no reason to suspect he would do it.  The other kid did nothing to instigate, and everyone was completely taken by surprise.  Of course now they have to fight to get him kicking and screaming to the office.  And here we are.  He hurt someone.  And I’m sick to my stomach.

I don’t even know how to process this.

And it hasn’t gotten better since arriving home.

I had to sit on him to get his shoes on him, I then had to carry him to the car (so the shoes were totally a pointless endeavor) while the behaviorist helped me with Mase.  The entire drive home he is spitting and making noises at Mason – which has Mason all worked up and upset.  We come home and Kaleb eats the lunch he wasn’t able to eat at school, then goes straight to his room.

In the last four hours he has had three major meltdowns.  Constant back talk, constant mouth and throat noise – and good grief with the spitting.

I put a call in to the neurologist, and left a message with a laundry list of requests. I don’t even know what to do.  There’s no way I can send him back to school – not after this.  So I’m taking the advice of someone I trust, and we’re looking into our options.

This is insane.  Instead of Houdini escaping from a straight jacket, I feel like I’m working my way toward being strapped into one.


I just can’t reconcile this kid with the one who was sobbing in my arms at 6 o’clock this morning.

Dead Tired…

coffee posterTrue Story.

You ever have that feeling, that crazy tired feeling – like no matter how much coffee you ingest your eyes are going to melt out of your skull?

My eyes are melting as I type.

But not sleeping will do that to you I suppose.

It all started with Mase.  Everything was fine, both of the kids – who had been bouncing off the walls crazy all day yesterday – fell asleep almost immediately after getting in to bed.

And then 9pm rolled around and Mason started screaming.  My first thought was nightmare.  Until I saw the way he was shifting and moving around to grab at his legs.  Growing pains.  Crap.  I hate growing pains.  Because they only seem to bother my kids when the kids stop moving – and the only time the kids stop moving is when they’re asleep.  And it’s miserable.  Nothing I can give them makes it better, nothing I can do to make it stop.  Being helpless is not my strong suit.

I don’t handle it very well.

So Mason is crying out in his sleep, rolling around, trying to get comfortable, and I’m sitting there wishing there was something, anything, I could do to make it better.  I rub his back, whisper the sweet little things you say to make a kid feel better, but still he’s miserable.  There are five minutes of respite in between each bout – He calms down, falls back to sleep, peaceful.  I leave his room and go back to what I was doing – knowing five minutes later it’s going to start up again.  This went on until about midnight.  The poor little bug just broke my heart.

Then, while I’m sitting in Mason’s bed, hoping this is the last time tonight he goes through such misery, I see movement out of the corner of my eye.  I look up, and see Kaleb.

Sleep walking.

Oh come on, really?

The kid needs a good night of sleep – what he doesn’t need is his subconscious dragging his sleeping body all over creation.  Get up and catch him halfway to our room.  Grab him by the shoulders and guide him back to bed.  Tuck him in, have sweet dreams, double check on Mason, and head toward my own bed.

Before I can even get to the door of our room Kaleb is up again and heading my way dragging his blankie behind him.

*sigh*  It’s going to be one of those nights, isn’t it?

Aim him back toward his own bed, tuck him in, have sweet dreams baby boy.

And repeat.

Again.  And again.  And Again.  Every time I start to fall asleep I hear Kaleb’s shuffling feet.

By 4am I’m done.  Don’t care – no more of this.  You want to sleep in here with mommy that badly?  Fine.  Get in the bed.

Close my eyes and he starts thrashing and whining.

Oh come on!  Really?  Nightmares?  Now?  You’ve been floating around this house like a ghost for four hours, and now the nightmares come?

Oh yes.  They do.  He starts screaming and lashing out – this is going to be a bad one folks.  And it was.  Stupid, cruel night terrors.  Whatever was going on in his mind had him terrified, and by the time my alarm went off I wasn’t much better.  Two hours of holding a screaming, flailing, shaking kid will do that to you.  Then he peed.  Out and out just peed.  And evidently that did more to break him out of it than anything I had been doing.  Because the next thing I know he’s awake and clinging to me, and crying hysterically.  Then he realizes he’s wet and gets even more upset because he had an accident.

Accidents happen kid, don’t worry about the accident.  Are you okay?   In your head?

“I’m scared mommy.”

“Scared of what baby?”

“I don’t know.  But I’m really scared.”

I spent the next hour trying to coax whatever had him so shaken out of his brain – but that’s all I got.  I hate the night terrors.  I’ve hated them since he was 10 months old.  But they’ve been getting better.  They’re significantly less frequent, and when they do come they’re typically easier to break him out of.  Not last night.

By the time I got him on the bus he was perfectly fine.  And Mason was completely awake.

And now you know why my eyes are melting.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go hunt down more coffee.

Make it Stop…



Mason really needs his own warning label today.

And for once it’s not because he’s in a mood.

However, he is a walking hazard to himself today.  If he keeps going the way he has been all morning we’re going to end up in the E.R.  It’s actually a minor miracle we haven’t already.

First he got into the cabinet where we keep the bulk canned goods and such.  He pulls out a giant can of soup, and starts trudging across the kitchen with it.  When I tell him to put it back he opts instead to drop it.  On his toe.  Oooooh catastrophe.  He’s screaming, and hopping (honestly, if he weren’t hurt I’d have been laughing hysterically) around the kitchen.  The poor kid really did a number on his toe – though he won’t let me touch it long enough to get ice or a band-aid on it.

Twenty minutes goes by, and he runs to jump on the futon – and smacks face first into the back of it.  He jumps up to pitch a fit over his head, but trips on his leg and smacks his toe.  More screaming and hopping.

I put some bacon on the stove so I can make BLTs for lunch, and I go switch the laundry.  I walk back into the kitchen to find that Mason has dragged a chair over from his little table, and is standing at the stove watching the bacon cook… Come on!!!  You’re going to burn yourself!  Or fall and crack your head!  Or who knows what else could happen here – get down!!

He has since tripped, smashed his toe, bonked his head, or fallen down more times than I can count.  I know he has issues with his proprioception – but this is just insane!   And there he goes – he just tried to lay down on the couch and rolled right off it.  And on to a plastic picnic basket.  My word kid, should I cover you in bubble wrap??  Would that keep you safe?

Fast forward two hours – I put him down for a nap.  He takes off his diaper, I put it back on.  Repeat.  11 times.  Finally he seems to be winding down to sleep.  Then I smell something.  I drop what I’m doing and take off for his room.  AWESOME.  He’s removed the diaper, pooped on the carpet, smeared it around with his feet, and for the second time this week has shoved it inside the hole on his bed where a headlight was (which has since been taken since he opted to dismantle it).

WHY??????  Why must you do this??

“Poo!  The Poo mommy!  The Poo!”

“Yes, Mason.  I see the poo.  Thanks for pointing that out.”

Bathe kid, clean poo, dismantle headlight case, clean more poo, put case back on, place kid in bed – sit here next to the door where I can see him and guard from further poo incidents.

I really don’t care for Poopcasso Jr.  I’m cool with Mase being a manipulative little maniac.  Really, I am.  I know it’s going to give me grey hair and possibly be the cause of my vacation at the mental hospital – but I’m cool with it.  I’ve made peace with that probability.  But the poo has to stop.

For serious.




Oh, and by the way – the meeting we had at Kaleb’s school on Monday went okay.  I don’t really know.  I guess we’ll see if anything changes and then figure out what to do from there.


Hard Work…

Dear Birkram Yoga:  Screw.  You.  


Okay, first of all.  I only kinda, somewhat, sorta only mean that a little bit.


Saturday a girlfriend and I had our first session with this 100 degree torture chamber.  Did I feel inadequate looking around the room at these ladies 30 years my senior who were able to stand on one foot while fully extending their other foot in front of them with their hands wrapped around their feet?  Um.  Yes.  I absolutely did.  But I am new.  <~~  note:   this is my new mantra.

I was doing okay.  Until we got to this crazy crap that was so far out of my bounds I could barely keep my balance, let alone lock my knee?!  Yeah!  Right!  What happened to the yoga I thought we were doing?  That calming, relaxing, stretch-your-mind-and-body-find-inner-peace crap I was looking forward to?  This was boot camp.  In a sauna.  And I am not friends with sweat.  I don’t want to sound all wussy and whiney here – but my scrawny behind does not sweat like most people – in all honesty.  It takes a lot for me to break  out into an all out sweat.

So yeah, the poses were difficult, but I was doing my best, and would probably have been okay – until I got to the point where my breathing is labored and I can’t catch my breath – because it’s a million degrees in the room!  When she finally stopped with the standing up (I looked more like a flamingo than ever – Poppy would probably have died from laughter watching me attempt some of these poses) nonsense, I was stoked.  Pumped.  YES!!  I get to sit my ass down! 

Right.  Only not so much.  When she first had us laying on our backs I looked up and realized I was right under one of the sprinklers in the ceiling.  As this class progressed, by the end of it all I could think was please, please someone pull the fire alarm and set that sprinkler off.  

At one point she had us do something that was almost identical to the kind of W-sitting that both the boys do.  Holy mother of God!  My kids sit like this constantly!  No wonder they can’t sit with their legs crossed in front of them!  It feels like this!!!  A couple times she had us in poses that were just too much for my knees.  I can’t put that kind of pressure on them, they’ll shatter.

But whatever.  We persevered.  We pushed through, drenched in sweat and dying for air.  We made it.  Then we went straight to McDonalds.  Yeah.  I earned that double quarter pounder and those delicious golden salty french fries.

Okay, truthfully though, I don’t really hurt that much.  My back, knees, and shoulders were sore when I went to bed, and a bit more so when I woke up yesterday.  But after a 45 minute spartan wrestling war with a five year old they were the least of my concerns.

Anyway, as soon as I got home I had to jump in the shower and rush to get ready.  Because Kaleb got invited to the birthday party for a classmate for the very first time.  It just so happens the little girl who was having the party is one Kaleb has been talking about endlessly since the beginning of the school year, and he could not have been more excited.  She also just so happened to have been on the receiving end of one of Kaleb’s meltdowns a few months back, so I couldn’t have been more anxious.

As it turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about.  Her parents were wonderful right from the second we arrived.  Kaleb was welcomed – literally with open arms as he and his friend ran straight for each other – and I got to spend the next few hours watching my little Monster genuinely interact and play with another child without incident.  Twice he started to become overwhelmed – once we went outside for a minute, and once he came and climbed in my lap for a while to just relax.  I really enjoyed getting to know her parents, and was blown away by how warm they were toward Kaleb.  I’m so very glad they invited him.  He was upset that we had to leave early, but handled it well, and for that I’m super proud.

Then came yesterday.  3:30am I’m being yelled at by a 5 year old.  Kick him out of my room – send him back to bed, go back to sleep.  Thirty minutes later he’s back.  Repeat.  Every fifteen to thirty minutes until then I had a wriggling, loud, whiny, half asleep Kaleb in my ear.  I finally gave up at 7 and got up with him, completely wiped out.  From that moment on it was madness.  One meltdown after another – mostly minor – until around 10:30am.  He was drawing – and something went wrong.  I don’t know what, as he immediately crumpled up the paper and started screaming.  As I walked over to see what the problem was, he was furiously scribbling with marker on the carpet.


Of course he is.  One thing leads to another.  The next thing I know he’s spitting in Mason’s face.  Fast forward three minutes and I’m doing everything I can to keep him under control as he goes into a full blown meltdown.  As I said before, my yoga pains are no longer relevant.  Not compared to his little elbows smashing into my knees, his little fists pounding and little teeth biting.  Of course, poor Daddy had the misfortune of being on the phone with me when this all went down, and instead of talking to me got an earful of shrieking Kaleb.

This lasted for more than two hours.  Every time I thought he was winding down he would turn right around and start all over again.  He was finally stable enough for me to leave him alone so I could make lunch.  Which, of course, nobody ate.  Put Mase and Leah down for a nap, and help Kaleb put his room back in order.  Well kind of.  I spent more time putting clothes back on the little kids than I did actually helping Kaleb.  By the time 3pm rolled around, both of the little kids were in nothing but diapers – having stripped down and peed on everything else they had to wear (do the laundry gods hate me or something??).  They both slept for about an hour – and woke up in worse moods than they were in before the nap.

Basically the entire rest of the day was a blur of screaming, whining, fighting, crying, throwing, hitting, kicking, and all around chaos.  Bedtime came and went, with only a slight hiccup.  Mason managed to dismantle one of the headlights on his car (Daddy – I am 100% blaming you for this!), and then shoved a bunch of matchbox cars in the hole where the headlight was.  He then proceeded to scream for thirty minutes because the cars got stuck.  I got out as many as I could without pulling apart the front end of the car (which I will do today), and he eventually screamed himself to sleep over the last three that I was unable to pull out.

I stood in the middle of the house when all was finally silent – and even the disaster couldn’t take away the joy of beautiful, sweet silence.


Then came today.

Kaleb decided for some reason that he wanted cereal this morning (at the crack of dawn since I found him in our bed once again).  Then he decided right after I poured the milk that he didn’t want cereal at all – he was going to eat breakfast at school.  I wasn’t in the mood to argue, and figured I’d just eat it when he got on the bus.  Only I completely forgot about it.

We now have three dead fish.  Thanks to Mason and the uneaten bowl of cereal.

The stool I had safely tucked away had been pulled back out by Kaleb this weekend – and left where Mason’s mischievous little fingers could get it.  I went to the bathroom, and when I came back out the sight that met my eyes was yet another fishy horror.

Evidently the Mini Monster decided the fishies were hungry.  Standing on the stool in front of the fish tank, he’d pulled off the lid and dropped the entire bowl of cereal (including the bowl) into the tank.  I walked in to see him standing in front of the tank clapping his hands and screaming “fishies!”


Act 1 was followed up by a thirty minute scream fest over his bagel.  Every time he would rub his finger in his cream cheese and the bagel would show through he would completely freak out until I spread the cream cheese back over the empty spot.  Then he went and fed the bagel to the dog.

Oh this day is not starting as well as I had hoped!

Now I’ve got to go scrub down his room since he has therapy today and it’s a disaster yet again.  Followed by another meeting at the school.  Wish me luck – it looks like I’m going to need it!