Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

It’s A Birthday January 10, 2019

cuphead bday.jpg

(Cuphead, pictured above, is Jays current fave video game)

 

 

Jay was 3 years old when I began blogging.  He turns 11 today.  Crazy right?

What a wild 8 years it’s been.

There’s so much material I could pull from if I wanted to reflect on how far he’s come.

 

I will instead focus on just 2 pieces of info.

Last week Ace and he had doctor appointments.  Even though he is 16 months younger and about 2 inches shorter, at 70 lbs, Jay now outweighs his brother by 3 lbs.  He’s not overweight at all but we now frequently have to deny his requests to eat MORE (because we know he’s full) and we sometimes have to hide snacks so he doesn’t inhale them all leaving none for his lunch box at the end of the week.  We also had to put restrictions on his school lunch account because he was really over doing it with the giant chocolate muffins they have there.

It is a JOY for me to write that.

You guys KNOW how much of a struggle it was getting him to eat.  You know he used to eat literally NOTHING but cheese doodles.  You know we were so concerned about his nutrition that we had blood work done on him twice in 3 years and tried to take him to an eating disorder clinic but we were denied coverage.  It was a S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E.

He has become a kid who eats chicken and rice, tacos, fish, pizza, lasagna, hamburgers with ketchup, bacon, pancakes, beans, carrots and a long list of other items.  He willingly tries new things on a regular basis.  It’s thoroughly amazing!

 

Two days ago he said to me:

Mom, my birthday is coming up and I know I had asked for a *Robux gift card but I don’t need it anymore.  I got one for Christmas and there’s still $4 left on it.”

That’s him.  He’s not the one to take advantage just because he can.

 

He did ask for something though.  He wanted to bring cupcakes to school for his classmates.  As he put it:  “This is the last chance I have.  I can’t bring cupcakes in middle school.”

 

He’s still getting more Robux and yes, he’s absolutely getting cupcakes at school – and then whatever he wants for dinner.

Happy Birthday my sweet, funny, sometimes snarky, affectionate, talented, stylish, handsome, love bug of a son.  You are a wonder.  It has been and continues to be the joy of my heart to watch you grow.

 

 

 

 

[If you are new to my blog and want to get a feel for how drastic Jays progress has been over the years in other areas, I suggest you read this post from 5 years ago.]

 

*Roblox is a video game that he plays and Robux is money you can use only in that game to enhance your experience.

 

Exactly the Labor Day, Birthday day that I needed September 4, 2018

The last couple of weeks have been good in some ways but trying in others.  Even though I share a lot, there are some things that are way too sensitive for public consumption so my blog has been quiet.  Ya know; while I stewed and processed and deep breathed and soaked in the fabulousness that was getting to spend time with my best friends from near and far.  That part (the time spent with best friends) was truly awesome.

 

Yesterday Ace turned 12 years old (Yay!) and it was exactly the Birthday, Labor Day, Unofficial End of Summer day that I needed.

Shaunie had left out 2 new boxes of Legos and a new book for them the night before so they’d have something to occupy them until we woke up.  At 7:45 on the morning of the birthday, I walked into Ace’s room, to find him and Jay in his bed, reading the new Dog Man book and laughing together.  Swoon.  I wished my boy a happy birthday and then Jay told me that he had offered Ace his new Lego as a gift.  Seriously … How sweet!

Next, we revealed Ace’s real gift – A PS4 gaming system.  To say he was happy is putting it mildly.  He then opened a birthday card containing a Game Stop gift card so yeah, later in the morning, after he came back from getting a fresh to death haircut, we went to Game Stop and then to Target where Jay spent his own pocket money buying Robux (video game currency) and Ace splurged on the biggest Nerf gun they had.

Back at home, everyone just kinda hung out.  The boys were happy to play with their new toys, I was happy to have them home and know that they were happy.

In the afternoon, we hit the pool for a bit, made a cake, had a Nerf war, played a board game and chit chatted as we all got ready for the next day.  Jay wants to be something scary this year for Halloween.  Possibly that guy from Scream.  Ace initially thought he wanted to be a paper boy, but has now switched to Dead Pool.  Quite the pivot.  Jays really big news is that he has expanded his food repertoire and now eats rice, chicken, sausages, scrambled eggs and corn.  What in all the hell???  For the first time EVER, we all sat at the table and ate the same meal for dinner.  This is great but I’m still kind of stunned.  Ace will need to change clothes for gym class this year and he’s not excited about that but he IS looking forward to all the other things that 7th grade has to offer.  School did not used to be a place he felt comfortable.  How far the boys have come.  I love it.

 

I spent a little one on one time with each boy before they went to sleep and everyone was out like a light by 9pm.

It was a simply delightful way to spend a day.

 

This morning, Ace was up and ready.  Jay let me know that he would not be posing for any pictures because he was not happy about going back to school and this was not a day to celebrate.  *spoiler alert*  He posed for pictures because this mama is not above bribery.

In the end, he was glad to see his old friends and the day started just fine.  I got my first pumpkin item (a muffin) of the season and there are no work events on my calendar for this week so it shouldn’t be too bad in the office.

I’m looking forward to seeing the boys later and hearing about their first day.  Oh, and also, eating more of that birthday cake.  🙂

 

A Birthday In Reviews March 12, 2018

It’s safe to say my person knows me pretty well.  As such, she knows exactly the kind of things I enjoy and what would make for a good birthday outing.

Two days ago we went to the Newseum in DC.  We followed that up with dinner and then closed out the night with a play.

I’m gonna talk about them in reverse order though cause the Newseum will take up most of the post so I might as well knock the other 2 out of the way.

 

The Show

We went to see Chasing Mehserle.  I do not recommend it.  I really wanted to love it but … oye … they made it impossible.  They bill it as a “new play for our times about a young man trying to come to terms with gentrification, injustice and violence in his community.”

Sounds deep and profound and like there is some lesson to be learned.  The truth though is that the actors were all reading their lines from note pads they held in their hands.  Yeah, seriously.  Also, the language was very stereotypically urban and I think the N word and other profanity was way overused.  I felt nothing.  Learned nothing.  Laughed at nothing.

We actually considered leaving at intermission.  For some unknown reason we stuck it out and it was as much a waste of our time as the first half had been.  Do yourself a favour, if you see this play advertised anywhere and feel any desire to see it rising up in your chest, chase that feeling away.

 

The Dinner

We went to eat at Floriana in DC’s Dupont Circle neighbourhood and it was da bomb.  Full disclosure:  I was really hungry when we went and you know that tends to make food taste better but …

The service from start to finish was good.  The pesto that they brought out with the bread was delish.  The calamari appetizer we got was delish.  The lamb and gnocchi that I got was delish.  I’d 100% go back there.  I don’t know if Shaunie would second that only because the smell of garlic was still on me the entire next day.

 

The Newseum

After 10 minutes of being there, I already felt like even if I didn’t see anything else, it had been worth the visit.  They describe themselves as “a dynamic, engaging and interactive museum of news that allows visitors to experience the stories of yesterday and today through the eyes of the media while celebrating the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.”

The first exhibit we went to was “Pulitzer Winning Photographs”.  Wowza!  It was heavy.  There were SO MANY amazing photopraphs in the gallery but it quickly became clear that the vast majority of them were taken during awful tragedies.  War, famine, genocide, apartheid.  It was really hard to say “this is a beautiful shot” when the picture is of a starving child but the truth is that the photos were stunning and often highlighted in a way I had never fully appreciated before just how dangerous the job of journalist can be.  The picture that really hit that home for me was one that showed a journalist on the ground taking a picture of a rebel shooting a gun at his enemy.  The shooter was an arms length in front of the photographer.

We needed a little pick-me-up after that so we took a tour through the “Comics in Newspapers” section.  It brought back a lot of happy memories.  Who here is old enough to remember Beetle Bailey and Hagar The Horrible?  We posed for pictures in front of the Peanuts gang.

Next it was back to the serious – and perhaps the highlight of the museum for me.  They had a whole section of the actual Berlin wall.  When you walk up, the wall is full of colour due to brightly spray painted pictures and messages.  Then you walk to the other side and it takes your breath away.  It’s grey and depressing.  It’s kind of shocking to the system.  There is a giant guard tower and you immediately feel the oppression.  There were videos playing that show what was on the news at the time.  I vividly remember what a big deal it was when the wall fell.  In actuality, I think that wall coming down was 1 of the first big news stories that caught my attention and sparked my love of news that persists today.

We spent the next hour or so touring through the 911 gallery and “Inside The FBI” and  seeing the shoe that the shoe bomber used and the backpack from the Boston bomber and the vehicle used in the Times Square bomb attempt.  We saw a world map that outlined all the places where the press is free to work and the places where they are restricted.  They had a section of newspapers from around the US and the world.  Yes, I posed with the Jamaican Gleaner.  Lastly, I got to pretend to be a news anchor – complete with a video recording of my performance.

Even the gift shop was entertaining with the items they had.  I loved all the references to strong women and to the importance of correct grammar and to how important freedom of speech and freedom of the press is.

 

Overall, I would for sure recommend it.  The one downside is that unlike most of the other museums in the city, this one is NOT FREE.

 

How Did We Get Here? January 10, 2018

I started looking through old photos.  I was looking for the one that felt like the right one to post online today.

 

There are a lot of things I will always remember about raising my boys.  There are feelings I will never forget having.  Good and bad ones.

Looking through the old pictures, I was hit with an unexpected wave of emotion.  It’s been such a long time since I got misty about Jay and his maturation.

 

He’s ten years old today.  I can scarcely believe it.

According to Google, typical 10 year olds, have pretty well developed gross and fine motor skills.  They are also getting to the age where peer pressure may become an issue.  They tend to prefer friends of the same gender and they are getting better at handling their emotions.

 

By these accounts, I’d say Jay is a typically developing 10 year old.  There are no concerns about his motor skills.  He has oodles of self-esteem and a generally good sense of himself.  He notices and is aware of what other people are wearing and what games they are playing and he is interested in joining in and being part of the crew – but he is not afraid to do his own thing.  He’s not a “follower”.   He’s empathetic.  When he and his brother have been fighting, he tells the story in such a way that makes him look like the innocent one – *spoiler alert* – He’s not always the innocent one.  He’s mostly friends with other boys.  He likes video games.  He hates homework and chores, but he does them.

 

The old pictures though – They tell a different story.  They show a little boy who focused on things no-one else cared to notice.  A single blade of grass at the park.  A chip in the wall at the museum.  A butterfly outside the Church at my sisters wedding.  A broken piece of glass in the sand.

They show a little boy who experienced the world in a totally different way from other children.  In a bouncy house, he is sitting in a corner watching his beloved Thomas train bounce up and down as other kids jump.  In Jamaica, he is mesmerized by the ants on the sidewalk.  At the aquarium, he holds his hand up to the sun and plays with the shadows it makes.  At the camp site, while the other boys are racing, he is drawing circles in the dirt with a stick.  At the bowling alley, he is on the floor, staring at the swirls in the carpet pattern.

 

The pictures (and Shaunie) reminded me of the time we stopped at Walmart and he decided he wanted a bag of cheese.  He didn’t eat cheese then.  He doesn’t eat cheese now except on pizza.  But he wanted the bag of cheese.  He got it and it made him happy.

The pictures reminded me of a boy who would not wear short sleeved shirts or shorts no matter how hot it was and a boy who would rather roam around the produce section of a supermarket than the aisles of a toy store and who would be happier playing with a bag of carrots than a transformer.

 

He is not that little boy anymore.  I kind of miss it.  It’s a weird feeling – Me missing that Jay.

It was not an easy time.  But it was a time filled with a total and complete love.  I was consumed by him.  I thought about him and worried about him every minute of every day.  Now, of course, I still think about him a lot, but it’s different.  He’s growing up and he doesn’t need me in the same way anymore.  In a way, I feel almost like I have lost something.  But I have my pictures (and this blog) to hold onto – and even as I have lost 1 thing, I have gained something more precious in it’s place.  I now have a son who is happy and content infinitely more often than he is sad or frustrated or angry.

 

He asked to have a birthday party this year.  He’s never asked for one before.  I had to do it.

This Saturday we will host a sip n’ paint party for 13 kids.  7 of them are kids from his school who I have never met.  They’re his friends.  He made a list of invitees (5 boys and 2 girls) and we made invitations which he handed out.

He’s very excited about the party and I hope all goes well with it.  There will be no singing of the birthday song.  But there will be presents and cake and art and goody bags buckets.

 

When I stop to think about it, I truly do not know how we got here.  Everything we did and everything he learned seemed so pain-staking; yet, it has all happened so quickly.  But here we are.  Here with a 10 year old who is ready to tackle all that being a pre-teen has to throw at him.  Here with a 10 year old who has an amazing support team.  A 10 year old who makes me laugh constantly and who gets on his brothers nerves and who wears bow ties to school and who tells it like it is and who has secret goodnight handshakes with Shaunie and who now needs to get his passport renewed for the 2nd time.

I am so thankful to him for taking me on this parenting journey.  It’s not a journey I could have ever imagined and a few years ago, it’s one I would have said I didn’t want to be on.  It has, however, been the single most transformative thing to ever happen to me and I wouldn’t change it, or him, for all the beef patties or Chick-Fil-A in the world.

 

Happy Birthday Jay.  You are loved – Beyond!

 

Deen-A-Palooza March 7, 2017

 

I wrote a whole long thing giving all the details on my birthday weekend.  I had such a great time that I wanted to share it here.  As I was writing it though, I was shocked at how unexciting it all sounded.  None of the fun – And there was A LOT of fun – was making it’s way from my head to the screen and definitely none of the fullness that was in my heart fits onto a screen.

 

I think that’s because I can’t tell you all the jokes we shared.  Jokes don’t work that way.  I can’t tell you about VP or drinking poop water or introducing your girl to your cute friends; And by the way, how do you even know where my homeboy lives?   I can’t tell you about Panda Panda Panda or the frustrated George Washington buff.  I can’t tell you about the stall tactics Shaunie employed or the 4 person fake pajama party or the male nip slip.  I can’t possibly tell you about all the spilled wine and the yoga pose turned dry humping.  Seriously, I can’t.  I can’t share with you the stuck out pinkies or the Fe Fi Fo Fum or the no queso.  There’s no way the dusty law degree will be funny to you or the meme game or Indian people with Jamaican accents arguing with black Ghanian people with British accents over which one is more weird.

 

So here’s what I can do … I can tell you that my weekend was full.  It was full in the most glorious way.  My people showed up for me and I felt the love.  People came from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and North Carolina and Maryland.  They were childhood friends and college friends and work friends and friends of friends who became my friends.  We had dinner and we went to a club and we had brunch.  We had a game night and we sang karaoke and we laughed so hard that at one point I was literally rolling around on the floor.

Shaunie took me on a tour of Mount Vernon which was George Washington’s estate.  It was awesome for a history fan such as myself; especially one who is currently obsessing over all things Hamilton and the Revolutionary War.

We went indoor sky diving and to see a movie – Logan – Which is also awesome for someone, such as myself, who thinks the X-Men is the best comic book series.

We closed out the weekend with massages and then cupcakes with the kids.

I got a new bike, which I’ve been wanting and I got a stained glass ornament hand-made by the boys.  I got wine and a personalized wine goblet and nail polish and t-shirts and books and jewelry.

I loved all the gifts but none of them compare to the gift that Shaunie is to me or to the ongoing and long-lasting gift of friendship that I have received from the best people in the world.  I was (am) completely overwhelmed and full of gratitude to have these people in my life.

 

Did I mention that every bit of it, was a surprise?  Starting on Friday evening, from one minute to the next, I never knew what was coming.

 

I am sure I am leaving stuff out but hey – I’m old now so I can blame that.  🙂

 

The Honour Of My Life January 9, 2017

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,autism mom,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 1:00 pm
Tags: ,

Jay has been counting down to his birthday since the day after Christmas.  Finally, it’s tomorrow.  Naturally, because of the mush that I am., I am spending today deep in my feelings.

In both good and bad ways, nothing in my life has affected me and the way I think or operate the way being this childs mother has.

It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  Often, alone.  I have been tested, stressed out, overwhelmed and brought to tears more by being his mother than by anything else in my life.  I have felt proud,  humble, excited and grateful more by being his mother than by being anything to anyone else in my life.

I couldn’t have seen it a few years ago, but I know now that it is the ultimate and most awesome responsibility to raise Jay.  It has been an unspeakable joy and a privilege to have a front row seat to his hard work and determination and to witness his personality unfold.

This parenthood journey has taught me more than I ever imagined I could learn – Both about myself and about other people.  I am more compassionate to and understanding of others.  I am more appreciative of every little thing.  I appreciate every time he takes my hand and kisses the back of it.  Every time he masters a new task.  Every time he finds joy in a new interest.  Every time he explains why he’s upset.  Every time he volunteers to help.  Every time he snuggles up in bed and tells me good night and he’ll see me in the morning.

 

Gone is the anxiety that used to have a choke hold on him, and by extension, on us.  Gone is the constant worry over how he will get through each day.  Each event.  Each moment.  Gone is the paralyzing fear that he will be bullied or taken advantage of or abused.  Gone is the stress of wondering when my phone will ring, with someone asking me to come pick him up from school/after-care/camp.  Gone are the sleepless nights as I lay awake wondering what his future looks like.

He is still autistic.  I am not taking that away from him.  He still scripts.   Just last night he was trying to tell me that he didn’t want to do something and he said “We just don’t have the funds for that.”  He still perseverates and still has a limited diet and has many other struggles.  I still don’t know what his future looks like.  But it’s not for me to know or worry about.  What I do know is that I trust his ability to take part in the world in his own special and unique and fulfilling way.  I can honestly say, I have come to love the way his brain works.  It is a marvel.  I would do anything to help him get through the hard days and to make sense of the confusing information.  But oh my gosh, I would not trade this child or the things we have learned or the people who have been there for us, for anything in the world.

 

The goody bags are packed.  His birthday hat (which this year is actually a crown) is waiting in the wings.  The cupcakes for his class party have been ordered.

After school tomorrow he wants to go to Chick-Fil-A for dinner.

 

My baby turns 9 years old tomorrow.  What a journey it’s been.

What a blessing he has been to me.  Being his mother used to feel like a job.  It used to feel like I had been dealt an unfair hand.  Now, without a doubt, I feel like it is an absolute HONOUR and it couldn’t be more of a pleasure.  

 

I love you son.  So much!  Happy Birthday!  And before you even ask, yes, you can get ice-cream tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

They’re Back September 8, 2016

 

They’re back home – And this mama is happy.   We are back to making grilled cheese sandwiches and to giving good night kisses.  We are back to chore lists and finding fallen ice on the floor in front of the fridge.  We are back to laughing in the evening as Shaunee drags both boys, at the same time, across the carpet as they lay on their tummies, much to their delight.  We are back to hanging out and talking about moles and birthmarks, the krill that blue whales eat or how much it would hurt to get stitches.  The boys are back to demonstrating their karate moves (neither one takes karate) and back to Jay complaining about the amount of toothpaste Ace uses.

Jay, I think, is happy to be back in his own bed.  Every night so far, he’s fallen asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

Ace, is up to his usual antics of getting out of bed for more hugs and kisses, or to get water or to show us his dance moves.

 

Some things never change.

 

It’s amazing how much can change in a month.  Jay is now interested in having a healthier diet.  I have witnessed him eating carrots, a banana and watermelon.  He asked for an apple to go in his lunch box.  I hear he also eats oranges, peanut butter sandwiches and yogurt.  He drinks regular white milk now (in addition to what he used to drink; strawberry milk).  He tasted a pretzel and declared at dinner, “The next protein I am going to try is fish.”

When I spoke to CC and tried to give him credit for this change, he said it was all thanks to his wife Emma.  I do appreciate her ability to get Jay to turn this page.

 

Ace is 10 now.  He got Legos and more Legos and more Legos.  He’s in Lego heaven.   We got him an ice-cream cake because he used to like it but apparently no longer does.  His size 10 pants are short and his size 3 shoes are tight.

 

~*~

 

They’re back at school – And one kid wanted summer vacation to drag on forever while the other couldn’t get out the door and to his classroom fast enough.   We are back to filling out tons of paperwork and sending in money for trips and *gasp* graduation gowns.

Jay came home after his first day saying it was good and telling us about the new fish tank in the resource room.  Ace left his homework at school.

 

Some things never change.

 

It’s amazing how much can change from one school year to the next.

Jay is now in a general education class all day.  He has 2 teachers and goes back and forth between 2 classrooms.  One teacher does math and the sciences while the other does language and social studies and the like.  It’s a totally new set up for him.

Ace is still kind of the new kid in school but he’s not the newest kid in school.  There was 1 new boy in his class this year and they have apparently been leaning on each other and have formed a quick friendship.  I am happy about that.

We are looking into clubs and activities for both.  Possibly 4H and the gardening club for Jay and Navy Cadets and track or swimming for Ace.  We will see.

 

Stay tuned to see how this new school year plays out and what else will change; Inasmuch as many things will stay the same.

 

 

 

Another Year … Wiser? March 9, 2016

I hope I’m wiser.  I feel wiser in a lot of ways, although there are still times when I feel like I really should have someone wiser-er come and take care of things for me.  I celebrated a birthday over the weekend.  I’m knocking very loudly on 40’s door.  It’s a little weird.

I know technically I’m an adult and I’ve been an adult for many years now, but somehow being 39 and knowing that I’ll be 40 soon makes me feel like I should have this adult thing under control by now.  I don’t feel like I have it under control.

It’s not all bad.  As I’ve made my way through my 30’s, I do feel emotionally stronger.  I’ve let go of a large amount of resentments.  I am more inclined to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done without making excuses.  I learned that making myself happy is not (in and of itself) a bad thing.  I learned, the hard way, that I need to make (A LOT OF) room for things not going according to plan.

I learned that even though I love spending time with my boys and they still need me for many things, it’s ok to say “I need a break”.

 

For my birthday, I got taken to Ripleys Believe It Or Not – without the children – And it was awesome.  I loved how interactive it was.  We made our way through the museum at our own pace laughing and eww’ing and omg’ing.  We measured our 5’3” selves against the worlds tallest man and we played up and down the musical staircase and we stuck our heads and hands in medieval torture apparatuses.  I even threw caution to the wind and rubbed a fertility idol.

Following the museum I was treated to Aladdin on Broadway – Also without the children.  Ok, let me just tell you … SOOOOOOOO good.

 

Following all the birthday celebrations, things have been pretty standard.  Studying for time tables tests … and reading 2 books a night … and talking about the difference between boy and girl private parts (yeah, Ace is heading towards 10 and I’m freaking out a little bit) … and saying things that I never thought I’d ever have to say such as “No Jay, that’s gross.  You can’t rinse your toothbrush in the toilet.”  Needless to say he got a new toothbrush.

 

I’m gonna try to make this last year before the big 4-0 a good one on all counts.  I’m gonna try to be a good Mom and partner and worker and sister and daughter and cousin and niece and friend; because I think the main thing I’ve learned in all my years, is that life goes by really quickly; And it’s way too short and unpredictable to hold on to grudges or to generally not be nice, supportive, caring and loving.

 

Not Another Birthday Post January 13, 2016

Last weekend was Jay’s birthday.  His eighth birthday to be exact.  I’ve given up on worrying about where he is developmentally every time his age goes up one.  He is who he is and he is where he is.  We just take it a day at a time and move ahead.  He’s progressing and it’s awesome no matter the pace.

 

I’m not going to spend any time saying how great he is and how much I love him … etc etc etc … That all goes without saying right?

What I can say about his birthday is that he was really looking forward to it.  He began the birthday countdown the day after Christmas.  He let me know that he’d like a birthday hat and cupcakes.  There would be no singing of the birthday song.

Since his birthday was on a Sunday we decided that I would bring party hats and cupcakes to his school on the Friday before.  We browsed Party City and chose the perfect hat on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning when I dropped him off at school, he stopped abruptly outside the front door and began yelling that he’d forgotten his hat at home and we needed to go back home for it.  I told him that was not possible if I was to get Ace to his school on time and also get myself to work on time.  I told him that his “party” wasn’t until the next day so we’d be sure not to forget the hat on Friday.

He refused to budge.  He wanted his hat.

The two of us stood there having our stand-off while all the other students and their parents casually made their way inside.

But there was one Mom who stopped on her way inside.  She gently touched my shoulder.  She smiled.  She said “I understand.  It’ll be ok.”

Days later I can’t stop thinking about her.  It was such a nice gesture.

 

Jay ended up having a good day that Thursday and a great day on Friday with his classmates and his hat and cupcakes and chips.  We went to the park after he got out of school where we played tag and we went down the slide and we climbed on the play structure.  Let me just say, it’s a lot harder to swing across monkey bars than I would have thought.

The boys spent the weekend with their Dad so I didn’t get to spend most of his actual birthday with him but there were presents waiting for him when he got home and he reports that he had a good day, playing with his brother and cousin.

All’s well in his eight year old world; And for that I am happy.

We are now looking forward to Valentines Day!

 

 

A Catching Up September 15, 2015

Now that school is back in session, everything else in our lives should pretty much also get back to normal and I should be able to write more regularly.

As usually happens when I’ve been away from my blog for too long I will do a quick run down of multiple things in this one “catching up” post.  Hopefully I don’t leave out anything too important.  Lets see …… No wait … Before I start catching up I need to go back and see where we left off.

OK.  I talked about our camping trip and Jays love of quills and Spongebob.  Got it.

.

1. Ace turned 9, which in his words means that he’s no longer a kid.  He’s a pre-teen.  I wasn’t sure what new privileges he thought would come with that new title until the following week when he asked me to leave him at home by himself for the 1st time while I went to pick Jay up from school.  Jay’s school is only 5 minutes away so after giving him a much longer speech and many more rules than I probably needed to, I said ok.  It went well and he was very proud and pleased with himself.  I was a little freaked out.  This is my baby.  My 1st baby.  This baby growing up business is hard.

As seems to happen quite often, his birthday celebration lasted for several days.  There was cake and presents at Nanas house.  There was another cake and more presents at my friends house.  There was a water park and an indoor arcade (on 2 separate days).  On yet another day, there was park and playground and more presents with Aunty Juddles.  Finally the long (holiday) weekend was closed out by a visit from Dad and more presents.

.

2. In this part of the country the kids don’t go back to school until after Labor Day which based on my Facebook news feed is late compared to most other children around the country.  Our year has gotten off to an interesting start.  For Ace, it’s been all good.  He’s excited about 4th grade.  He loves his teacher.  His best friend is in his class.  For Jay it hasn’t been quite so smooth.  There have been bus issues that had me yelling and cursing at the driver and the bus company.  Not my finest moment I admit it.  There have been issues with Jay and his lunch.  I don’t need to get into it all but – Jay no longer takes the bus to school and I am going today to buy him a container that will keep his food hot for a few hours.

.

3. We went back to the zoo that we got memberships for earlier in the summer.  Why not?  We had a Saturday with no plans and we get in for free and there were exhibits that we didn’t get to see the last time.  It was a really nice day.  Face painting, touching sharks and sting rays.  Another ride on the train.  Following the zoo we visited with friends of mine from high school who I don’t see very often.  One of them lives here in New Jersey but one was on vacation from England.  It’s hard to believe that we go back 27 years.  Yikes!  The kids did an OK job on the visit.  They were getting tired and hungry so we held it together with some string and duct tape.  We managed to stay for about an hour and half before we told our hosts thanks but no thanks to the dinner invitation and high-tailed it outta there.

.

4.  This week I became the worst mom ever.  I put back into effect the rule of “no electronics except for educational purposes during the week” rule.  I can’t properly explain the disgruntlement that followed my proclamation.  Their worlds all but came to an end.  What ever were there supposed to do?  Did that mean no SpongeBob?  What about The Avengers?  It sooooooo wasn’t fair.  What if they got all their chores and homework etc done and there was still time left before bed?

No, no and no.

Then it got worse.  I told them that even though it wasn’t a part of the school assigned homework for them to do nightly reading, I was giving them that assignment.

*WHAT???*

*WHY???*

But what followed was pure magic.  After the showers and the dinner and the other responsibilities we settled down to read a story.  Just the 3 of us.  In my bed.  Jay chose Finding Nemo.  The book is below Ace’s reading level and I thought it was above Jay’s level so I suggested that Jay read to us and Ace help him with the words that he struggled with.  As it turns out, Jay is reading at a much higher level than I knew he could.  He breezed through most of it and only needed Ace’s assistance with about 3 words.  It was really awesome.  They even admitted that it was nice.  They asked if they could alternate in the evening reading to each other.  I know that means only half the reading time for each of them but I think it’s an awesome bonding experience so I agreed.  They win and Moms heart wins.

.

5. The last thing I’ll say is that I dropped some news on some of my family and close friends and they were awesome!!!  I don’t, and haven’t always, felt like I got the best draw where family is concerned but the truth is that there are a lot of good ones and I want to take some time to acknowledge that.

CC, Mom, Sis, Angel, Sun Man, Juddles, K-Poo, J-Cuz, Malico, Ted and others.  THANK YOU for your support!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL!!!