Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday fun

Friday turned out to be a surprisingly good day. I got a chance to visit with a few friends. Kathy Bell came over and visited me in the morning. And then, Sara Smart came over and brought me lunch!
Can you believe it? I couldn't. It was a most unexpected surprise and a true delight. She called me up in the morning and asked if she could come over and bring lunch and her 2 sweet little girls Caroline and Gillian. It was the highlight of my week to have the opportunity to visit with another person over the age of 4 and who possessed more vocabulary than the words no and more ( I am exaggerating, of course, but I hear those words the most throughout my week).
Friday was a fun visit. Sara brought chicken salad sandwiches with craisins, beautiful dill pickles (which I don't eat because I'm picky- silly me), chips, sierra mist with a hint of cranberry in it (it was very good), and cupcakes and brownie bites. Sara brought all of her goodies in this very cute picnic basket. And she left the brownie bites for the kids which they have enjoyed.
But I was touched that someone went out of their way for me. It was great. We talked about jewelry and my chickens. I sent her home with almost a dozen eggs. The girls played a little outside and us moms got a chance to visit. The little girls enjoyed watching the chickens and petting them just a little.
I think the funniest part of the visit is when the chickens got out and attacked my last remaining garden patch. I planted broccoli, onions and bell peppers. My chickens know where to find the good stuff. They made a beeline for the broccoli and my lone little stalk of broccoli (smaller than the size of a quarter) is now no more. RIP dear broccoli plant. There seems to be no escaping those chickens.
You see the chickens had gotten out before and completely decimated the foliage on the broccoli plants and they haven't recovered since. I think at this point I need to just pull out everything except the onions and start all over. We laughed and he girls laughed as we chased them around. It was funny. Unless you are accustomed to handling chickens you are afraid to grab them. But, the chickens took advantage of our hesitance, and would run off or ruffle up their wings so we'd have difficulty capturing them.
Most of the time my chickens are pretty well-mannered. I am the source of all good things. On a daily basis I take out our table scraps and give them little extras. Recently we had a #10 can of 7 year old elbow macaronis from our food storage that did not fare well. It is inedible to us, but I cooked it right up for the chickens and they love it. Remnants of old oatmeal is also thrown their way or potato and carrot peelings. A lot of our unwanted food goes straight to the chickens. By the way, Saturday I got 6 eggs from them. Woohoo!!
I wandered away from my original topic. Back to Friday fun.
Friday evening at about 6 pm Robyn Lemelin called me up and invited us at the last minute to an Ontario Reign hockey game at the Citizens Business Bank Arena; they had 4 extra seats and since Peter was working at a football game, Steven, Aeron, and I went. It was fun. I think I mostly appreciated getting away from the same old 4 walls I see on a daily basis. Robyn and Bob had amazing seats I think we sat in the 3rd row. We had a great view of all the action. I brought my camera with me because Robyn had told me that her youngest son Zach would be skating on the ice at the end of the 2nd quarter. Happily, I got a few shots of him. That was an interesting undertaking. The action is so fast on the ice, a lot of the photos were blurry, much to my dismay and disappointment. I had the my programmed auto mode set to action but even with that, the shots of Zach on the ice didn't come out as nice as the other shots I took from my seat. Oh well. The art of photography is a learning process, obviously I have a long way to go.
To sum it up, the hockey game was a serendipitous surprise. A nice way to end a grueling week. It was fun for Steven to go and hang out with his friend. Robyn spoiled him and bought him a drink and candy and a mini hockey stick. Steven just ate it up. I truly appreciate Robyn's generous love for her friends and family. It is a wonder to see; she is an example to me. I have been blessed by her love and generosity as well. They are constantly doing good for those around them at home and in the community.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kids say the darndest things!

Tonight I made baked mahi mahi fillets for my fish eating family. I don't eat fish. But, they all ate it and they liked it! There's only one caveat to that. Ethan. I used cream sherry and garlic infused olive oil. I used garlic pepper and put rosemary on top.
It turned out great. It smelled good, albeit not good enough for me to partake. I just don't like fish. I wish I liked fish. But it is a dish that is not delish - at least to me. That's it for my rhyming ability, I'll leave that talent to Peter.
The point to all this is that Ethan and Jonathon made some hilarious comments about the fish. I served Rice-a-roni broccoli au gratin rice with the fish and forgot the veggies on the stove - whoops! I served leftover spaghetti to Aeron and Ethan knowing they would not go for the fish. Ethan did have some rice which he liked.
To get to the point, Jonathon liked the fish and was trying to clear his plate of his serving of rice so he could have some spaghetti. I need to tell you that my son Jonathon has NO table manners. You would think from watching him eat he was raised by a pack of wolves. He chooses to ignore table manners and often uses his hands to shove food in his mouth.
What happens next is key. Jonathon had just finished shoving food in his mouth and I had just finished shaking my head in dismay at his table manners. I made a comment about it and no sooner had I finished saying it, I saw his hands in his plate picking up more food. Next Peter got in on the action and chastised him. This made Jonathon frustrated and he said, "Dad, I was just picking the grass off my plate." Jon had this stricken and offended look on his face as he said it. How dare we his parents put grass on his plate and expect him to eat it. It took me a minute to figure out he was referring to the rosemary I put on the fish for seasoning. It was hilarious.
Ethan then joined in on the conversation and pointed out to me that grass doesn't belong in our food. When he says fish he pronounces it more like "pitch." Ethan totally cracked me up. He was so serious as he said it as he pointed to the baking dish and then to me. Ethan is very expressive when he speaks and uses a lot of gestures. Gesturing is one of the ways he compensates for his speech difficulties. There have been many, many times that we couldn't understand him and it was only by his repeated gesturing and speaking (much to his frustration) that we were able to contextually figure out what he was saying.
So that's my little entry about the things children say. It may not be that funny to you but it sure was to me. It was shocking to some of my kidlets that I used a spice in their food that resembles grass. Someday some of my children will appreciate the effort it takes to cook... I don't know about Ethan, he may never come around and that's ok.
We are training them up well. They definitely will not have my seafood aversions. And, I am proud to report that they tolerate a wide range of foods and for the most part are not terribly picky eaters... except for Ethan. Teaching kids good eating habits is hard work and takes REPEATED attempts after REPEATED refusals. The key to it all is to keep trying!
I think that's a good motto for us all regardless of the situation: Keep Trying!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Anus Award - for someone with his head lodged firmly way up his @$$!

This award is for my neighbor. He turned his lawn sprinklers on Ethan, my autistic son this morning. What was his crime? He was on his grass. Was he doing anything? Nope. I came outside to retrieve Ethan and saw my son he was standing on the other neighbor's neighboring strip of grass looking in dismay at the sprinklers. He doesn't like getting wet unless it is jumping in the bath tub or the pool. His bike was stuck on the grass getting wet too. It set him off on another tangent. But, I braved the sprinklers and retrieved the bike. I was so angry I saw red!
I have already had run-ins with this neighbor. He gossips worse than a woman. He is a firefighter and has too much time on his hands. He is a busy body. He loves to spread gossip, taking things out of context all the while wearing the white hat because he is a fire fighter and a hero. He is an arrogant, cruel man for doing this to my son.
I don't care how much someone may or may not like me. But that should never translate into how you treat a child. You NEVER take it out on the kids- EVER! He crossed the line. I would love to take a swing at him. It's just cruel. He could have walked himself over to my house to tell me he didn't want my child on his grass. But, NO, he just turned on the sprinklers on him. It's plain mean and childish. So, here's my childish response to his childish act. I may or may not give it to him. But, it sure has been cathartic creating it and writing about it. It's also funny to look at as well. Hopefully you'll get a laugh from the picture.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

At the end of my rope

I don't think I've felt this bad in a long time. The day started out with a terrible sinus headache and then I started crying. I put on my game face and got the kids ready for school. Then, after the kids left for school, but before Ethan leaves for school, I started crying again. In the shower I was crying. Basically, even now, I'm starting to well up. I don't think I have ever felt this out of control of my own life- EVER! I look around me and feel stymied. Everywhere, everything calls out for my attention. Children - 2 of which are not mine and are the most needy, housework, organization, the list goes on and on. And my mental state is not the most healthy right now. Add to that the fact that I'm still not feeling 100% and I'm tired - both due to illness and depression. It does not make a good mix. I guess I could reach out for help. But, everyone I know of has similar responsibilities or is busy with other obligations. And, I am not exactly a ray of sunshine to be around.
I don't think I've ever felt this stuck - like a prisoner in my own house, a prisoner of my own life. Do you know what HELL it is to go out with 4 children under 4? Yesterday I did it because I was desperate. I needed groceries from Sam's Club. The infant I watch who is almost 3 months old cried for the entire time we were out. She then cried for another hour after that. Just hearing the crying is enough to fray anyone's nerves. The baby had a tummy ache and needed to have a bowel movement. She was hurting and in pain. And then dealing with the other 3 on top of that.
Needless to say, it feels like same crap, different day. Everyday is filled with the same monotony. I am not enjoying this journey at all right now. Most of the day I am taking it one minute or hour at a time. I wish there was some service you could call and say, I quit and they could come fill in for you. I think the main one is called Child Protective Services and that could leave a blemish on my record.
Yes, I guess I am having a pity party. But, I am so fed up right now, words cannot begin to even express it. I wish I had super powers so that I could be like the Flash and get everything done around the house. I do feel like I have amazing super powers of patience. After all, my children are still alive and I haven't killed anyone yet- even Ethan who daily pushes me to the brink!
This morning, he pooped in his pull-up. Went upstairs to the kid's bathroom and took off his pull up and found some wet wipes and tried to start to clean himself up. Wet wipes cannot go down our toilets. They just get stuck and clog it up and then the toilet floods. I have VAST experience with this I am sad to say. So then Ethan came downstairs with the wet wipes and told me he needed help. I cleaned him up and then went upstairs to check out the damage. Bella our dog decided to join in on the fun. She likes to chew up diapers, especially the smelly kind. Eeeew! She grabbed a couple of the soiled wipes from the toilet and started chewing. I then got the garbage can and removed the wipes from the toilet, swatted the dog, and bathed Ethan.
I am happy to report that Ethan is now safely at school. He just left on the school bus. Can I just tell you that is the bright part of every day? I can rest easy knowing that for almost 4 hours he is safely in the hands of other adults. I don't have to worry about what is he doing.
Just this morning after cleaning up the poo mess, I got in the tub and bathed the kids. I decided to be extra nice to myself this morning and put shoes on, and do my hair. I contemplated applying makeup but then realized it was way too quiet. Just in the 10 minutes of my getting dressed, Ethan had brought a chair into the kitchen and gotten into the cupboard where I keep his "blue candies". Blue candies are the mini Nestle Crunch bars. I bought some the other day on the day after Halloween sale because I use them as bribes. He got the whole bag out of the cupboard and parked himself on the couch right next to Aeron where they indulged in the whole bag of candies. The bright point in all of this is that at least they shared with Madison who was in the high chair eating graham crackers.
So there you have it. An up close and personal, albeit a little too personal, peek into just a few hours of my life. Wanna come substitute? I thought not. This little slice of Heaven (ha ha) is called my life. Everyone tells me that it won't last forever, but I tend not to believe them. Days like I have been having seem to drag on forever. I look forward to 5:30 when the children I watch will go home. Then I can start a new set of responsibilities. After that I look forward to the time that I can go to bed. These little landmarks are the highlights of my day. Yes, I admit that it's not exactly the best attitude to have, but hey, I feel like I'm living a nightmare.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that the cable company cut off our internet service today. The Verizon people have yet to show up. You see when you get cable phone and internet and cable service, they physically cut the lines to your house. So right now we have no home phone. We are giving up anyway to cut down on our monthly costs. We have cancelled our cable service and our internet service through the cable company as well. We all have cell phones anyways. We will continue to have no cable service and we are switching to a DSL type of internet service in order to save money. So, right now I have no internet. The only way I am able to post this blog entry is because I am piggy backing on my neighbor's open network. He doesn't realize people can do just what I am doing and use his network. I am grateful for it none the less. I'm not completely cut off. Just- mostly.