Monday, October 26, 2009


Well, I think I'm finally starting to see the end of this stupid flu. Almost two weeks and my chest is still congested and I'm still tired. UGH! I don't know how people with chronic illnesses do it. All I want to do is rest. I feel so bad that I just can't keep up with the kids. Thank goodness I'll be back to full energy soon.

e likes to count....a lot. I don't think it's an obsession in an autistic way. I think she just likes to count. I have a hard time getting her to go to sleep at night. At daycare, they still let her nap for a couple hours during the day. I have asked them to not let her sleep, but the most they will do is wake her up early. On days when she has an hour nap, she'll go to sleep around 9:00 or so. On days when she takes the full two hour nap, I can't get her to go to sleep until about 10:30. So, when we all lay down to go to sleep (I lay down with them until they fall asleep), E is out pretty quickly and e just wants to fool around. She knows she has to be quiet so E can sleep, so she always asks if she can count "in her head." Well, she hasn't quite gotten it that "in your head" means silently. So she whispers.

At her three year check-up, the doctor seemed really surprised that she could count to 12. Now, she can count really well. She can count to 29 without help, and then she just needs help figuring out which set of numbers comes next. She'll say ...28, 29...then wait for me to give her 30. Then she'll count to 39 and wait for me to give her 40. When she says her 30s and 40s they sound the same, so she always says "again?" when I say 40. I keep trying to tell her that 30 and 40 are different, but I guess since she can't hear a difference when she says it, she doesn't get that there is a difference. When we get to 100, she has figured out that we need to start again. I wonder if all this counting is helping her math skills. It appears to be helping her logic skills at the very least.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Birthday Party That Was...And Wasn't

Well, last Wednesday, I started to come down with something...feels like the flu, but I'm being told it was not H1N1...but he didn't do a swab. I had the fever, the sore throat and congestion, but not the aches...with all this paranoia about H1N1, when I went to the doctor's on Thursday, I was given a mask to wear in the office. I kind of felt like a leper! He gave me an antibiotic and some (really great) cough medicine to help me sleep at night. Here it is Monday, and I still feel like crap!

The two most challenging parts about being a single mom are trying to keep an eye on my children while in public places, and being sick. When I don't have the energy to keep up with them, or even get out of bed, for that matter, things are really tough. I slept all day Thursday and Friday...luckily, one of my friends picked up the kids from school and kept them for an hour or so before dropping them off at home. It's good to have good friends to help out when things are tough!

Saturday, I was still having trouble getting out of bed, but E's birthday party was scheduled for that evening. I put E in the shower and e in the tub to get them clean. E is finally doing everything for himself in the shower, so I didn't have to worry about him, but once I got e in the tub, I didn't have the energy to get her clean! So, I just laid down on my bed and let her soak for awhile. Then E comes out of the shower and says that he'll wash e's hair for me. How sweet. He got her all washed and dried and even helped to get her dressed.

Then E started complaining that he didn't feel well! Oh no...not on party day! He was running a temperature of over 102. I had no way to get in touch with all the party-goers, so I had to let the party go on. I decided to just tell people as they came in and let them make their own decision as to whether to stay or not.

E gets to the party, puts his bowling shoes on, and is all excited to get going when he breaks down and says that he wants to go home and that he's just not feeling well. And he was still running a fever, even after giving him some tylenol. So, I packed all the presents into the car and told everyone to please stay for the party even though E wouldn't be there. I had already paid for the lanes and ordered the pizza, so they may as well enjoy it. That was that...E had a wonderful birthday party (so I hear) without him. Poor guy.

His fever broke yesterday and was feeling fine, so he went back to school today. Phew. Glad he's feeling better. Still keeping my fingers crossed that e doesn't get what either of us went through!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Like Trying To Herd Cats

For my own sanity, I try to make sure the weekends are full of activities...especially in the winter. Around here, there is very little to do once the snow falls and the days get shorter. The kids have swimming lessons on Saturday morning...this weekend was the last lesson until after the new year. Saturday afternoon, e started her dance class. She loves it, but it's a challenge to keep E occupied for the hour while we watch. Before her class, we spent a couple hours at my office to get some pictures of the kids. A friend of mine needed to take some medical looking pictures of kids getting shots to help promote her company. So, she asked if E and e could be the models. The kids had fun, but were well sugared by the time we finished!

Finding things we can all do together and where I can watch them to make sure they are safe is a challenge...I can't be in two places at once. I avoid taking them to amusement parks by myself because E is a runner...I turn my head for a split second and he is off. I can't run after him and watch e at the same time, so those kinds of activities have been off limits for awhile. E is starting to get better at staying close to me, but he still runs off. Only once have I had to call security (at a mall) to help me find him, but there have been plenty of other times that I was REALLY thankful I had a second set of eyes watching him and keeping up with him.

So, after e's dance class on Saturday, we went to a small local Fall Festival. I should have known the kids would be tired and that the sugar would take effect. Usually, they don't have bad reactions to sugar, but I think the fatigue was starting to kick in, too. As soon as we got there, we got some hot dogs and pizza for lunch. e ate half of her hot dog and them gave it to me. E looked at his pizza and said he didn't like it...these kinds of things make me crazy. I just bought the pizza...couldn't he have told me he didn't want it before I bought it rather than insisting that that's what he wanted? I waste enough food in a week to feed Somalia, I think! Actually, he is getting better, but it still makes me nuts! So, I gave E e's half of a hotdog. Then e claims that she wasn't done with it and she wants it back. But, E dropped it on the ground, so then neither one got it. Then e didn't want to share her french fries with E even after I told her that they were for everyone. So, E and e started fighting over the fries. You know, of course, what happens next. Yes, all the fries end up on the ground, too. So, after all the arguments about the fries, the hotdog and there were some arguments are who is sitting where, I said it was time to go.

Well, you would have thought I had just cut up her favorite stuffed animal. NOOOOOOOOO, I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME! The two of them started to run away from me as I was trying to get them into the car. It was like trying to herd cats. E is running in one direction while e is running in the other. I finally catch E and put him in the car while keeping my eye on e (luckily, the car was close by!). e continues to cry and scream that she doesn't want to go home. I go back to get her and chase her around the pizza stand a few times before a finally catch her. You can imagine how entertaining we were to everyone sitting and watching. Me running in one direction and then the other, trying to catch a screaming three year old. I found it pretty funny, too, which makes it more difficult to discipline them!

When I finally get her back to the car, E is hiding. So, after finding him and calming them down, we had a little talk about behaving and hiding and left the festival. Phew.

Sunday mornings we have Sunday school. When e is in the more advanced class, this will be a great time for me to have a couple hours to myself. Right now, though, she likes me to stay with her. So, I help around the temple. We tried another festival after Sunday school with much better success. The kids had a great time, then it was off to rock wall climbing (a regular post-Sunday school event) for a couple hours, then to a reptile show with a gourd hunt. A very busy Sunday but the kids were great. E's birthday party is this coming weekend, so that should keep them busy on Saturday! I got more RSVPs but still only about half at most.

Oh, and Bugsy died...he is now buried next to Redhead...maybe my flowers will grow better in the Spring.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Okay, E's birthday is coming up next week and I'm having his party next weekend, the 17th -- a Spongebob party at the bowling alley. I sent out about 30 invitations. The RSVP date was today and I think I've heard from about five people so far. WTH? How am I supposed to plan a party when people don't RSVP. Do I just assume they are coming? Assume that half of them will come? Now, I know people are busy, but come on! All they have to do is send me an email or give me a call. Maybe I sent the invitation out too early, but I figured three weeks was about the right time. I guess it's also enough time for people to forget about RSVPing. Maybe I'll have twenty phone messages on my machine when I get home. Ugh. Well, the good thing is that instead of goodie bags, this year, I got Target gift cards. I bought 23...hopefully, that will be enough. If it's too many, I can always use them myself. Ordering the pizza will be a challenge, though....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Go Fish

Thanks to everyone for the condolences. In the Jewish religion, it is customary to bury a person within 24 hours of their death, or as close to that time as possible. So, her funeral was on Friday. Funerals are always a great time to see people you haven't seen in a long time. I saw some people I haven't seen in probably 30 or more years. She had quite an impact on so many.

When I returned home, I found we had two new pets for the house. A friend of mine, who had been watching the kids while I was away, bought E two fish - a white one with an orange head and a black one. They are appropriately named Redhead and Bugsy...Bugsy because the fish looks like it is bug-eyed. They apparently didn't last the night before they made it back to our house, though. I got a call from my friend saying they were sick (she was on speakerphone in the car, so the kids could hear her) and that she was going back to the store to get them some medicine. I guess the two fish she returned with looked very similar to the original two because E didn't know the difference. Hopefully, these two will last a little longer!

UPDATE Oct. 6: Redhead went belly up during the day. We buried him (her?) last night in the garden. E dug a hole and put some rocks on top for the gravestones. Then we said some words..."Redhead, you were a good fish. You were a good swimmer and a good pet. We loved you and we'll miss you. Goodbye, Redhead." E didn't know quite what to say, so he asked me to go first. After I gave my little epitaph, he said something similar and we went inside to eat dinner (don't worry, it wasn't fish!). He went out ten minutes later to check on Redhead...who was still dead....and say some more words. Very cute.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Circle of Life

e with Aunt A -- taken about a month and a half ago.

My aunt is on her deathbed. All of her children (except for one, and I can't figure that one out) have gathered for the vigil. She has been slowly withering away in the Hospice ward in the hospital for about five days now. She can no longer talk and just slowly goes downhill every day.

She is the last one of her generation. It's always weird to see an entire generation die. My dad (her brother) passed away six years ago. I was three months pregnant with my first child and he didn't even know. It was a very emotional time for me. One of their sisters died just before dad, from cancer. She had fought it for many years and just decided it wasn't worth the fight anymore. I think she was probably in her mid to late 70s. Dad was 88 so he lived a good life. Always healthy right up to the end. He had a brother who died probably in his 60s and my aunt, who is now in the hospital, just turned 84 a few days ago. Not the greatest way to spend a birthday, but at least she hit it.

In just less than two weeks, it will be 11 years since my mom passed away. Watching her die was, by far, the most painful thing that has ever happened in my life. She fought diabetes and heart disease for so many years. In the end, we took turns taking care of her, bathing her, feeding her, helping her go to the bathroom. It just really sucks getting old. Eleven years later and I still think of her pretty much every day. I still want to pick up the phone and call her...tell her about what the kids are doing...tell her about my day...tell her how much I love her. When she died, she was the last of her generation, too. No more of her brothers and sisters around.

Aunt A. (the one in the hospital) was always one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Even after five kids, she had a beautiful figure. In her old photo albums, I see her on her safaris in Africa...she looks just like a young Katherine Hepburn, but even more beautiful. Even as she age, she was one of the most beautiful women. I always wondered why she didn't go into modeling or something like that. I will always remember her that way and the wonderful things we did together.

When she was younger, my father gave her a book for her tenth birthday. Inside, he wrote her a poem. She has since framed the book (so we can't tell what book it is) to have the poem as a keepsake. Here is the poem (I believe my dad was 20 at the time):

To A on her 10th birthday. From S.

To A in rounding out half a score:

From now till when
You are three-score-and-ten,
May this book's light
Guide your steps right;
For after the biblical three-score-and-ten,
You'll be what is known as "just an old hen."
And though surrounded by wine, men, and song,
If you stood on your ear, you couldn't do wrong.
The moral of this pretty ditty
Is live and laugh; be gay, be witty.
So that when your life is claimed by the reaper,
Every friend will be a weeper -
Weeping not because you are dead -
But ended is the pleasant life you led.

As I have written this, apparently she has passed away. Earlier this morning with some family by her side.