Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another cutie

Here is my favorite picture of my clay "daughter"... Isn't she a beauty?? (aaw, melts in a puddle)
(click to enlarge)

Isabella May Rose

(a work in progress)

Good things about winter

Winter is finally upon us my friends. It's cold, it's snowing and yuck, I hate winter... lol
So I thought I would find a good thing about winter...
Get this: You get ice cold water right off the tap in your kitchen! Huh? Huh? How's that!? Preeeeetty nifty huh?

Then I walked into my bathroom and realized a few BAD things about winter.
It's SO cold, the cat refuses to go out and use his kitty litter and decides instead, like the human he thinks he is, that the bathtub drain hole is his own indoor toilet... Yuck!! Hellooooo Clorox!!

But then again how can you be mad at this face??

(yes cute baby pictures coming, I know, I know lol)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heaven's Special Child

A meeting was held, quite far from Earth!
It's time again, for another birth.
Said the Angels, to the Lord above,
This special child will need much love.
His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.
He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem, quite far away,
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please Lord, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
by Edna Massionilla

Saturday, January 23, 2010

World turned upside down...

Ok so first I promise my next post will have cute baby pictures in it :)

Secondly, I know some of you have mailed me this week and haven't heard back, I'm sorry, I am behind with my e-mails but we've had our entire world, schedule and budget (and a little bit of my faith) blown to bits this week. Let me explain.

As you know both my sons have something "special" about them. Cody has ADHD, which prior to having him, I didn't believe existed myself but once again, life has shown me otherwise. It IS real, it IS a condition and it DOES exist (and messes up lives).
John, who suffered brain damage in utero, has mild CP, vision and hearing problems, ADD and SID (and the docs can't agree on whether he does have PDD-Nos or not)

However, all of these, we have worked on since we got the diagnosis 2 years ago... and we have worked hard, and we have made TREMENDOUS progress. The boys have fit in socially just like any other "normal" (what an empty definition this is btw!) child.
They do everything, we go to swim class, we go to the movies, playgroups and we NEVER had a problem except the normal disagreements ANY child can have when they play...

So thinking it would be best, I enrolled them to a private pre-school thinking they would get better treatment and they would lean over any issue that would arise and generally take care of them better than in the overflowing and under-budgeted public system.
I talked to their teacher in the summer and truth be told, she did her research although she looked very young (and she gave me a gut feeling of being a little inexperienced) I thought we would give her a chance.
I was in very close contact with her all through the year and any problems they arose, I thought, I nipped at the bud.
Their class (which was small I must admit) had 27 children in it with a teacher and an aid.
Some of the children were born in 2006 so they wouldn't qualify for this pre-school class (pre-K). However they were several younger children in the class.
To cut a long story short, the teacher lost control of the class. The too many kids plus the younger kids plus they knew mine came with a "tag" attached, they started throwing John out of the class.

John himself was showing me in every possible way (recently he vocalized it too) that he didn't want to be in that class. He started mixing up his vowels when he spoke, even his voice volume came down to the point I couldn't hear him any more (which is also due to the fact that I have hearing loss as well).
When at school he would wet himself and recently he was SO overstimulated he started hiding under the tables and twice he hit someone who had felt offended him.

Last Tuesday, the principal called me in his office to let me know that the class wasn't working and that my two (note: Cody was NEVER part of this or a disruptive influence in the class) combined with I don't know how many more, were to blame.
We had a long talk during which he even accused me that I hadn't told him of the boys' diagnoses (NOT true as I had warned the teacher months in advance). He said he wouldn't kick them out because the teachers told him not to, BUT I was to take them home at 1pm daily because after 1pm, they have free play and my boys would kill someone or something.

Needless to say, the minute I left the school I started calling schools. I couldn't get them in public school, they were already full to the brim plus there is a special selection process, and we had been turned down already by the system (note: Pre-K is optional so the government can say no to any child but Kindergarten is compulsory so next year they HAVE To take us if we apply to Public School).

I was also on the phone with the child-psychiatrist that knows the kids and their therapist and it was decided, the "shock" of changing schools mid-year was less than them remaining another 6 months in that environment.

It was very difficult to find TWO spots in any class mid-year. Most mothers in Greece work and the government does not help in the least, mothers so all schools are full.
Plus I was very strict and I had some very specific demands: not many kids in the class and a good, experienced teacher AND the boys to be in different classrooms. (the child psychiatrist agreed 100%)
Finally I found just the school! However, it is even FURTHER away than our last school AND it's more expensive :(
But it's all I was looking for...

So in one week, our budget was blown to bits (more expensive school plus a ton more gas to get there and our car unfortunately is not an economic car when it comes to petrol), the boys had a huge shock and for the first time it was blown to my face that although we have tried, the boys have worked very hard, John especially is still not on par with his peers.

When I took him at age 2 1/2, John was scoring at 1 years old. Not cognitively but his psyche, his soul, the way he saw, understood and reacted to the world was that of a one year old. He was 18 months behind...
Today at age 4y 2m, he scores at age 3 1/2+, he is 6 months behind socially.
Instead of his "advanced" environment to help him reach his full potential, it nearly destroyed two years of hard work.

Am I angry at the school and the teacher? Kind of... if John was the only one with an "issue" in the class, it wouldn't be a problem... but there were so many younger children who SHOULDN'T be there in the first place that John's needs couldn't be treated and the teacher lost it.
Kicking a child out who already knows is different and is asking questions, because that's all you can do, because you don't know what else to do and call that child "wild" is SO wrong on so many levels...

So anyway.. I've been away from home from the time I got up until it was almost time to get them to bed this week and I didn't work that much at all. I was so exhausted by the time I got home and emotionally drained... so I'm sorry if I didn't get back to you. The new school seems to be working so I am feeling much better now emotionally. I still have to deal with the financial thing so expect babies to be put out for sale this coming week lol :)
(but no, please don't ask, I don't take custom orders any more, it's a level of pressure, honestly, I can't deal with right now, I am spent!)

When they told me John would have "issues" I didn't cry... I could see his issues, I am neither deluded nor blind, but I decided to focus on the things John had similar to any other child, the positive. He is MORE like "normal" children than he is not... those who know him, whose kids have played with him, say he is totally "normal" and fine...
This week, I've cried my eyes out... it hurt me SO bad. I LOVED this school, I graduated from this school, so did my mother and my brothers (both with ISSUES -ADHD and severe Dyslexia - AND THEY WERE NEVER KICKED OUT and did you know my MOTHER is deaf!!!?!?)
I am angry, I am worried about the financial repercussions of this... and I am so sad. I feel like this was John's real test in society and we failed it. All I want, ALL I WANTED, was for John to stand on his own not apart... and that's all this school environment managed to do... I literally yanked them out, I couldn't stand the thought of the teacher dreading her day, treating my son like that, HATING her job and taking it out on the kids and I couldn't get the image of my son, on the photocopy room floor, after he'd been kicked out playing with toys... and I can't get his words out of my head "Mommy why did God made me this way?" "Mommy why do I wear glasses?" "Mommy I can never win in musical chairs, I just can't run like the other kids and I always lose :("... I always tell him he is a very special little boy, and God made him PERFECT, BETTER than anyone else.. John is scoring at the level of a 10 year old in intelligence... It's really hard to build his confidence when the school tears it down like that...

Hopefully THIS new school will be a better fit... they had a GREAT time on Friday and they seemed to fit right in... PLEASE say a prayer for us. You know how a school system/teacher even, can make or break a child... but I promise you this: NOBODY will break my child while I draw breath. I will break their back first! On the other hand, no child of mine will do something inappropriate and not be punished, I am not blind...

Thanks for letting me vent...
It will be hard but I think we can make it... please keep us in your prayers!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The funny minds of children (sick day 5)

Let's back up a few days... on Thursday morning, on his name day, John was returned to me from grandma's where he spent the night, with a slight fever... by the end of the day, he was running a fever of 103 and was sneezing and coughing and was of course, miserable.
The problem with John is, he has GI reflux so the slightest cough, makes him throw up... needless to say I cleaned up a lot of vomit these last few days and don't get me started on the tons of laundry... because despite my efforts, John cannot "get" throwing up in a bowl... or the toilet... he prefers himself, the couch, his bed... and me of course... down my back seems a favorite.

Anyway, needless to say Cody got it a couple of days later (Saturday) and now I have TWO very sick kiddos at home... I didn't send them to school of course so the school called today to ask after them...
Since this is John's 2nd time getting sick in 3 weeks and with the MRI deadline looming, the ped put him on antibiotics (Procef) which may or may not be working... he doesn't have a fever today (and only a slight one yesterday) and he seems more himself but I can't tell if it's the antibiotic of the virus has run it's course.

Cody on the other hand is in a bad shape. He went to bed at 4pm yesterday and slept until 7am TODAY... he was running a 105 fever all night and wouldn't take any fever medication so I kept vigil with a cool washcloth and tons of water and herbal tea by his side...
Of course today I think *I* got it too as I am not so much myself, I feel "fluey".

So my prayer today consists of "Please God help me through the day" and "Please God make John all better so I can send him to school tomorrow"...
I am ok work-wise I managed to do some things and if push comes to shove, I will ask my MIL to look after the boys feigning an emergency lol :) (she doesn't volunteer you see).

For now I need to pack a doll, go to the super market and hang out with my sickos (sick kiddos lol).

Oh!! I forgot:
When I was growing up, the arrival of the postman was never something to be excited about. Nothing would arrive for us kids in the mail... just the odd pen pal letter or the card from our family in the USA... But my kids, as the children of an online shopper, wait for the postman each and every day.
These days we are expecting some ELC Planet Protector figures I bought off eBay... I bought like 5 figures and the space ship for the price of the space ship off the store alone... and just as I was writing this, the doorbell rang and it was the postman... the boys exclaimed "our gifts!" in one voice and I went downstairs to the building lobby to pick up whatever it was .. and it wasn't for them :(
They are in the living room crying now :( poor things... I know in the UK the flights are canceled due to the weather and all so they have to be patient..

The funny thing is earlier in the day Cody said, "Ok, now I will go back to sleep and in a minute you wake up me and say "The postman is here" so I can get my present".
He thinks that is he sleeps, tomorrow will come thus hasting the postman's arrival... which is only true if it's towards the end of the day, not at 9am lol... and certainly not for a "minute" nap...
I need to teach them the concept of time!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Still up...

Yeah I'm pathetic... it's 2am and I am still up mopping the floors because John just threw up for the 3rd time... please say a healing prayer. He's got to have the brain MRI by the 15th and we canceled it last time because he was sick and now we were about to have it he got sick AGAIN... so please, say a little prayer for him to be all better by Monday, please...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This and that

The "Holidays" have gone by really fast... today is St. John's day which means it's my son's nameday. I realize in the UK and US, you do not celebrate namedays so let me explain.
We are Christian Orthodox and when we baptize our kids, we must name them after a saint or biblical figure... Today is St. John's day so everyone named John, has a nameday. It's like a birthday but without the cake. It is customary to have an "open house" and prepare coffee and finger food and dress up and your family and friends will drop by without the need for an invitation.

A couple of decades ago, women would spend all day baking or making treats, then divide them in containers and spend the evening visiting all the Johns they knew, bringing a container of sweets to each Nameday boy or girl (if you are named Joanna).
Then in the neighborhoods (in the olden days!) they would light fires and they would jump over them but I am not sure why, I didn't actually witness that when I was growing up but my mom did..

The 7th January also marks another thing for decades now... it is the last day of the holiday break for kids ... They were off school from the 23rd December until the 7th January...
My kids are grumpy their break is over and so is my hubby who is also going back to work tomorrow... while I... *I* am dancing around the house dreaming of the 4 hours I will be ALONE tomorrow. The house is wrecked as, as soon as I had picked something up, it ended up on the floor again but starting tomorrow I am getting it back in shape... or at least that would be the case if... if John didn't start the day with a fever today!! I am sure it's nothing, just a little virus but it will probably keep him off school tomorrow... and I am telling myself I made it through 15 days, I can make it 3 more, right?


On another note, we had the evaluations for the boys done. Are you ready for this?
John, who we've always been told is gifted, scored at a TEN YEAR OLD LEVEL!! My just turned FOUR year old scored as a ten year old!!! Blew the socks off the doctor..
And Cody, my quiet little charmer? SEVEN YEAR OLD!!
I am officially the mom of two VERY clever and advanced little guys.. and the best part was when the doctors said "Good job mom! We can tell you have been working with them very hard." I beamed!! Mostly because the other people in my life always find flaw with how I raise the boys and they always have something negative and derogatory to say about me... it was to be acknowledged as a "great mom" who does something right for once :)

Ok I need to run, I've got a million things to do and Cody has therapy and we need to leave in 10 minutes...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Someone to watch over meeeee...

Geez, I got flooded with e-mails asking for pics of this little girl... I think I caved in after e-mail number 83... here you go kids... enjoy :)
If I find some time tomorrow I will dress her up and take some more pics...

Monday, January 04, 2010

32 today...

I guess it is no secret that I struggled with infertility for a few years before I had my boys. What is probably less widely known is, I lost a baby at 11 wks prior to having the boys and I lost their triplet while pregnant with them.
The doctor is 99% sure the lost triplet was Cody identical twin, a boy... and Cody often talks about his "sister" who is in my belly and day will be born. He talks about her with great detail and it makes my skin crawl at times because, what if, he remembers his twin and what if the doctor was wrong and it was in fact, a little girl?

Being a very busy mom of twins, one with special needs even, some times it's hard to even catch your breath and admittedly, my hands and my heart so full, I never really thought about my lost Angels... until I started getting broody again, longing for another child... it happened some time last Spring but I tucked away the desire, because surely, right now it is all but impossible to have another baby in all levels of my life... so rather reluctantly, I indulged my son, and started sculpting his "sister" using the same picture of him as a newborn I love *so* much, the same one I used to make Mommy Loves You actually...
Obligations from customers made this sculpt come very slowly... from start to finish, it was 36 weeks (!!) but not planned... I just realized it today... The boys were born at 36 weeks and late, late last night, she was born... on the 4th January 2010.. sharing the birthday with me, her mommy...

I turned 32 today and she was just born... born of my heart, my vision and my hands so technically, of my body (the hands are a part of my body lol)... Cody is thrilled. He holds her oh so tenderly and beams of brotherly pride. I'm sure he knows she is just a doll but he doesn't care... John is thinking up names and they are debating endlessly while she "sleeps" on the couch and I don't say anything, I don't try to correct them when they say "baby" instead of "doll" because they just turned 4, and when you are four, you are allowed to think of objects as real. They will be "old and wise" in no for now I allow them this and I even allow it to myself... she looks so much like Cody when he was born... she could have been my daughter... instead she is a tribute to my daughter... the angel who is watching over us all.

Poets write poetry, song writers write songs and painters paint, in memory, in tribute... I sculpt. That's all I know how to do... and I will tease you and not show you the whole baby...but I will tell you one thing... she is adorable...

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