Life On The B Side

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

Is August Over Yet? August 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — The B Side @ 5:18 pm
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This August has been rough.  And we’re barely half way through.

There have been a lot of things causing stress, not the least of which was the moving situation.  The thing is, even as we started packing and bought school supplies, we didn’t know where we were going to live.  Our current home owner decided to sell and that left us scrambling to find somewhere new.  Should we rent again?  We know the area now and have a good idea of what we like and where we would or would not want to be.  So then, should we buy?  But it felt rushed and we didn’t want to settle.  It was difficult to find somewhere that was in our price range and that was in decent condition and that kept the boys in their current school zone.  With each day passing that we didn’t have a new place, time was moving more quickly.  I got more and more stressed out.  I laid awake at night wondering if we’d be homeless and worrying that we’d have to move to a different town and uproot the boys all over again.  I don’t handle lack of sleep well.  I’ve always been a good sleeper and I’ve always needed 8 hours to feel my best.  9 are better.

We have now found a place, in our price range, and no changes need to be made regarding the boys schooling.  Whew!

 

While that was all going on, Shaunie was preparing for a business trip.  It was looking like a real possibility that she would leave before we secured a new place to live so I would be left to do it all alone.  Adding to the fun was that there were internal issues with her travel plans which were causing her a lot of stress.

I am still left to do most of the packing by myself.

 

Then there were things like the Charlottesville protests.  I have so much I want to say about it.  I’m hurt and angry and disappointed and disgusted and scared.  I’m disappointed in a handful of people for not checking in to see how or if we were affected by the protests since they know we live in Virginia.  I’m hurt by the people who say they love me and my family but won’t say anything about the Nazi salutes or the violence that was perpetrated by those a-holes.  They had a lot to say about the black lives matter riots and about Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the anthem and in defense of police though.

I’m angry that we are dealing with this crap at all.  I live in a country where the President lashes out at people ALL THE TIME over trivial things but then when things like what happened in Charlottesville happen, he keeps his mouth shut until he can’t stand the pressure anymore so he makes a weak statement (days later) blaming “both sides” and to add insult to injury he then says:  “When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts.”  As if that’s been his M.O. so far.  I just CANNOT with him or his supporters.

I’m disgusted with people who are not white, actually defending the white supremacists – claiming “freedom of speech needs to be awarded to everyone even if you disagree with them.”   Here’s the thing though, freedom of speech does not extend to speech that incites violence or to actions that lead to the extermination of entire groups of people.  That’s common sense to me, but it also legally defined and has already been decided by the supreme court.  Nazi flags and salutes are considered hateful and inciteful.  If you are endangering people with the things you say and the actions that you hope will come out of the things you say, that’s not covered by our beloved first amendment.  And to the ones who say that people who support “black lives matter” but not “white lives matter” are hypocrites, come close and listen up:

 

#ONLYwhitelivesmatter is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from #blacklivesmatterTOO

 

The words “only” and “too” may not be in the hashtags but they are very clearly there in meaning.

I’m scared for my sons because they are cute, sweet little boys now, but every day that goes by, they are one day closer to being adult men.  Black adult men.  These same fools who went to protest waving their confederate flags and holding their hands up in Nazi salutes with torches burning are the people my sons will have to deal with.  They are neighbours and teachers and police men and loan officers and landlords and bosses and jurors and the fathers of girlfriends.  My boys don’t deserve that.

They certainly don’t deserve the silence of the very people who they will expect to have their backs and who they will turn to for support.

 

 

Thankfully, there were other moments in August as well.  Moments filled with love and laughter.   Moments of dancing and celebrating a newly wed couple.  Moments of spending time with family who are visiting from The Cayman Islands.

 

Thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with someone who, 24 years ago, (and for nearly 10 years) was one of my closest friends.  I am very happy about that.

 

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll get to do more hanging out with loved ones.  I’ll spend a few days in a state I’ve never been to before which I always appreciate.  I have to finish up my packing and then there’s middle school open house and the actual move.  We will make the drive up to New Jersey for an engagement party and to pick up the kids.  Then it’ll be September and back to school and hopefully, back to some semblance of peace and normalcy.

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The Good (?) Part About Moving July 26, 2017

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 11:22 am
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If there is a good part about moving, it’s this:  Finding lost treasures as you sort through, throw away, pack up.

 

I was actually going to get Ace’s birth certificate (to renew his passport) when I saw a plastic bag overflowing with papers.

Well, I thought, I might as well go through this mess and get rid of whatever junk I can.  There’s no point in bringing it to the new place.

I got to work – And along with a trash can full of stuff that I threw away, I also found a CD of pictures from my bestie’s wedding.  They’re about to celebrate their 14th anniversary so:  a) Pictures on disc were a thing back then and b) I was skinny and there are pictures of me in a bikini in which I don’t look half bad (if I do say so myself).

 

I found lots of evaluation paperwork and school reports from when Jay was 4 to 6 years old.  Back then, he was still getting “N” – Not Yet Mastered – in areas like “Writes Recognizable Letters” and “Counts from 1 – 20” and “Names Shapes” and “Identifies Body Parts”.

There were also communication logs from one of his stints in a social skills therapy group.

 

Jay was calm upon coming to the office but resists being guided.  He has begun to follow my finger pointing.”  Oct 2, 2012

Jay is very easily distracted and has difficulty regulating and getting into engagement.  He responds to his inner sensations and not outside relationships.  He is now tolerating spinning on the board and being pushed on the swing a lot better.  He did some cutting and played with putty.”  Oct 9, 2012

 

Oh sweet boy, you’ve worked so hard and I am so impressed with where you are today.  You had to learn how to tolerate spinning and swinging?  Now you beg us to take you to the “big amusement park” so you can get on the big roller coaster.  I can’t wait to see what 4th grade will bring.  I’m not nervous at all.  Just excited.  Amazing right?

 

Then there were the folders from Ace’s 1st and 2nd grade classrooms with his work in them.

In first grade, the kids were encouraged to keep a diary and write down at least one thing each day.

 

Oct 12, 2012My babae brin a pumpkin.

(I have no idea who babae is.  Wish I did.)

Oct 15, 2012why can we have a outside lunch or an art lunch. Why!

Oct 18, 1012I,m gowen to korf my pumpkin.

Jan 15, 2013I have a Bumbol Bee Transformr. I have a lagow areplan.

Mar 13, 2013I am gowing to get a bowinaroo.   I am going to the srkis.

June 20, 2013I can welcome new neighbors by saiding hellow.  I will might discover that they frendly.

 

Then on the first day of second grade there was this letter.

Dear 2nd Grade teacher,

Hi I am Ace.

I am exsidid.

I am looking forward to have fun.

What dos 2nd grade look like.

 

Love,

Ace

 

Now he’s about to start middle school and in case anyone was wondering, his spelling has come a LONG way 🙂

 

Moving is a pain in the butt, but going through all these papers was actually fun.

 

Update By Run-On Sentences April 20, 2016

Things are still going well.

 

There was that issue of Ace getting a fever when I had only been at my new job for 2 days and I had to leave at noon which didn’t feel awesome because who wants to have that conversation with a brand new boss but they took it well which may have been helped by my boss and his wife expecting their first baby this August so he is feeling soft and mushy about all things kid related and Ace is feeling better and that was that.

 

There is also the issue of Jay and homework.  He hates it.  He refuses to do it at his after-care place which means we are stuck doing it at home which we don’t get to until around 5:30pm after being up since 5:00am and everyone is worn out so as I’m sure you can imagine it’s not fun so I have added it to the list of things to talk about when we have his big 3 year evaluation/IEP meeting in June to see if or what we can do to help him with it.

 

As far as getting up at 5:00am goes, that’s new for all of us since we didn’t used to get up until 7:00am and while I will say it’s not great leaving my comfy bed when it’s still dark outside and driving out into the chilly night-time air and dropping my boys off at a before-care place before any other kids have been dropped off, it has gone smoothly and they have handled the transition like champs and have needed little to no direction once their alarms go off and so as not to be outdone I will mention that I’m proud of myself too because me and getting up early have a long-standing disregard for each other but it is what it is and it’s working so there’s that and I fully admit that it’s better to wake up at 5:00am than to get stuck in traffic and turn what should be a 50 minute commute into a 2 hour commute which is what would happen if I lost my mind and decided to work the 8 – 5 shift.

 

It’s allergy season and I don’t know what it is exactly that’s affecting us but 3 out of the 4 of us that live together are suffering tremendously this year … More than any other year ever I think and for me it’s bad but I’m used to sinus and allergy issues because I’ve had them my whole life although when I was living in Jamaica we called it hay-fever which isn’t a term I’ve ever heard used here in the US but it’s the same thing so I have a pretty high tolerance for congestion and needing to blow my nose on a regular basis and the people who have spent large amounts of time with me know and accept that this is just a part of being around me but my boys are not used to it as this is the first time in their lives they have had allergies and they don’t ever really get sick at all so they are really struggling to get through the days and nights of not being able to breathe easily which kinda sucks for them both but at least Ace will take medicine so it’s worse for Jay who refuses to drink liquid medicine and can ditect it in juice like it’s his freakin super power and who tried to swallow a pill but just couldn’t get it down but in the grand scheme of things it’s just allergies and it will pass so it’s fine.

 

So yeah, things are going well and we’re pretty much in settling in and ironing out the wrinkles mode which is a better mode than hectic and stressed and figuring out everything mode.

 

Oh and I signed the boys up for a swimming program to improve their form and teach them more strokes etc which I hope they will love since they love the water and swimming so much but it’s the first time in a long time that they will be a part of any formal group or program since none of the previous ones we tried went well (soccer, karate, choir, acrobatics, boy scouts, social skills groups) so I have shied away from any sign up sheets in the last year or two or maybe even three – They start the first week of May.

 

Ready For Back To School April 9, 2016

I’m kind of jumping ahead and skipping a lot of things that have happened in the last couple of weeks.  I’ll get back to those at some point – I assume.

 

The kids start their new schools on Monday. I was kind of hoping they would finally be in the same school but no such luck.  It shouldn’t be that bad though because the main issue with them being in different schools back in New Jersey was that they were on different schedules and that made it difficult to make plans.  Now, both their schools run on the same schedule and are only 5 minutes away from each other.

 

I can already tell a difference in the way the schools (or school systems) operate here in Virginia (or at least the part of VA we are in.)  I don’t mean to make this a “Jersey City sucks and VA is awesome” post, but I will say that everyone we’ve come across here has tried to make the transition a smooth one.  The information has been forthcoming and they have done leg work on my behalf and they have returned phone calls when they said they would.  On Monday, for their first day, each kid will be met by their respective Vice Principal and new teacher and given a tour of their school.  In NJ, the first day of school (for Jay) was so chaotic.  It was a little unbelievable that that’s how they function.  I wrote about it at the time.  Just awful.  No-one seemed to know what was going on or where anyone should be or had answers to any of my questions.  We were just kind of thrown in the deep end and expected to swim.  If it hadn’t been for Jays teacher who always responded to my texts, I don’t know how we would have made it.

Here, each VP has taken it upon herself to set the boys up with transportation and Jays VP scheduled his first IEP meeting for Tuesday knowing that getting it done sooner than later was important.  The bus situation back in NJ was horrendous.  I won’t even go into detail about it.  All I’ll say is that I ended up making alternate arrangements for getting Jay to school after they threatened to call the authorities on me.  On ME!  A total non-trouble-maker.

 

As far as the kids go – As I type this, they are enjoying themselves in the pool.  A pool, is their all time favourite place to be.  We’ve had a fun couple of days in the VA Beach area.  Later, we’ll go to a movie, or a petting zoo or an indoor bouncy place.  We will let our moods and the weather decide.  They had a week of Spring Break then another week off while we moved and got things in place for school.

It’s been fun, but there have been a lot of changes also.  They are ready to get back into the swing of things.  Especially Jay.  He’s itching to start school and get back to a routine.

 

I’ll write again soon.  I’m ready to get back in that swing also.  I need my own sense of normalcy.

With love from a Mom who thinks this life of time off from work and lounging by the pool would be awesome if it wasn’t for the part about not getting a pay check.

I start my new job next week … I’m ready for that as well.  Or, I will be by next week.  For now, I’ll enjoy my last few days off.

 

Move March 17, 2016

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 9:38 am
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We are moving.

The boys and I.

It’s good and it’s sad.

We are moving to a better neighbourhood and to what is supposedly a really good special needs program.

I have a good job opportunity.  A promotion of sorts.

We will no longer be a single parent/income family.

*****

Ace is sad about leaving his school friends and having to make new ones.  Understandable.

CC will now be 4 hours away from the boys.

That’s tough all around.

But on him especially and I get it totally.

I have promised to do my part to enable and foster an ongoing and healthy relationship between them all.

I mean it.

That does not make it any easier.

*****

There is still a lot to do and a lot to put in place.

I am a swirl of emotions.

I am overwhelmed.

I embrace some of the changes.

I am nervous about some of the changes.

*****

It is not an easy thing to make decisions that affect multiple peoples lives in a big way.

It is heavy stuff.

I pray that this all goes well.

I feel drawn to and I’m leaning on my faith harder than I have in a LONG time.