Monday, August 04, 2008

Where has summer gone???

What a summer........... I've spent most of it working my butt off with not much to show for it except a cranky disposition.

My sister & family went to Costa Rica to visit her in-laws & check up on their home there. Just after school got out her step-daughter was given a puppy. I volunteered to watch it for the few weeks they were away from home (along with the ferrett). Sis got REALLY sick with a throat infection & couldn't come home last weekend so now we're babysitting the pooping-machine puppy (now 7 mos old) until mid-August. She really is an adorable pup but we're hiding her from the landlord because we're not supposed to have a dog here. It's been dicey a couple of times but, we've managed so far.

We were also supposed to go visit her in Missouri for a couple of weeks after they returned home. Since they arent' coming home on time (darn sick cooties! how dare they infect my sissy!) we won't be able to visit them before school starts.

Oh, well, at least we have central air so it hasn't been so bad this summer - we get a nice cool sleeping temp every night. And, of course, the puppy takes turns sleeping with everyone for a few hours each night before she wakes up & poops on my carpet.

We have taken some short video of the puppy so I'll have to try to upload it - she's too funny when she gets all excited & charges around the house bouncing all over the place. For all I complain about her, she fits in well with my aliens, she belches, farts, and snores more that both aliens combined! (Wow those farts will peel paint too! NASTY stuff for sure!)

On that note, have a lovely rest of the week............ :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still alive & kickin...

Well, we're still alive & kickin here. It's been a busy summer & every time I have something interesting to blog about, I'm just too tired to do it.

Been working lots of hours which sucks for a relaxing summer but the bank account (and landlord) are happy about the size of my checks. We finally got Dad to clean out Grandma's house. She is in a group home setting due to memory problems & age (92 & counting). Of course, Grandma wanted the grandkids to have as much of the furniture, etc. as we needed so that was fantastic for me - I now have a washer & dryer again. No more laundromat!! YES!

Alien #1 turned 14 this month & is pushing 6' tall. It's hard to believe he's that old. I swear it was just a couple of years ago he was a baby. Alien #2 is catching up to big brother in size, he's 11 years old & is over 5'3" now. I'm amazed how they both seem to grow overnight sometimes.

My younger sister & her family are visiting her in-laws in Costa Rica for a month & checking on their property down there. While they're away, we're babysitting their 6 month old pit bull, Manchita & Fang the ferret. This is in addition to our two cats, two hermit crabs, & two fish. It's like a small zoo at my place once you add in my aliens! It's great fun having the puppy around but a bit tiring too. She has to "go" every morning the minute I get up. I'm up at 5am for work & need my shower first. Well, not anymore. Puppy gets to go potty before I do now. Oh, well, she's way too cute to care too much.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer & I hope to blog a bit more frequently.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Long time, no read, or post....

Wow! Last post was in April - been a long time. School is out for me for the summer, aliens are done next week. I'm working over the summer, trying to find a second job.

Lost a dear friend of 27 years a week ago, was going to post here & Mom called to read me the obit from the local paper. Tragic end to a wonderful person. I'll miss being called "Shorty".

Hair is still growing - I'm up to 14" to donate to Locks of Love, trying for 16" before I cut it off. Will be interesting to see how long I can stand the heat this summer. Now the aliens are both going to let their hair grow out so they can donate the minimum 10" as well. I'm hoping to hold off so we can all three go in and donate hair together. Would be kinda cool in a way.

Hope everyone is off to a good start this summer.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A WHAT Flower? You keep a straight face!

Picture this: class of 5 & 6 year old kids busy writing everything they know (and can't spell) about seeds & what happens to them when they grow.

Ms. ~C~, in her clinical assignment looking professional and very collected is approached by adorable, quiet, and very smart child, "Billy".

"Ms. ~C~, look at my flowers I drew to go with my story."

"Very nice, Billy. What kind of flower is this?" (points to pink flower)

"We grow those at our house. It's a penises flower." (stops short with eyes bugging out and face frozen realizing what he has just said.)

"Oh, do you mean a peony flower, Billy?"

"Ah, yea." (Runs back to seat & colors furiously)

Like I said, you try to keep a straight face!

I love kids. Happy Friday & have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

De-stressing & Anti-Monkey Butt

After the meltdown on my post a few days back I'm probably starting to look like a real mental case to you. It seems like there's some really tough spots this semester & I was beginning to think I'm just insane. After talking with the student advisor, she's assured me there have been more students in her office either in tears, near tears, or so angry & stressed they should be in tears this semester than in the last 5 years combined. I believe we're all affected by the Feb. 14th shootings more than we realize. Combine that with inept instructors and it adds up to a real mess.

So... my decision is to just do what I can & let the rest go. I can't do anything about the garbage going on so I'm just lettin
g it go to focus on my studies. Life will go on and this semester won't be the end of my world.

In honor of the more relaxed me, I'm posting something that I've found really funny even if it is a bit obnoxious. Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. A real product sold at my local store.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

About the New Picture...

This is what happens when you fall asleep on the sofa at my house, you end up breathing in 12 lbs. of fur.

Will it ever end???

My classmates & I are now in what are a "block" of classes. We all trudge to the same classes together every Monday & Wednesday. Tuesday & Thursday are reserved for going our separate ways for our clinical assignments all over northern Illinois.

This semester we have two professors that are just downright horrible. Descriptive words we often use regarding them and their behavior are unorganized, contradictory, unprofessional, disrespectful, unprepared, as well as others that are not acceptable to list here. We have contacted the proper people about them but not much is being done. We are just now finding out that this is an ongoing problem with these two professors, apparently they can't find anyone else to teach the classes so we're stuck. I'm disappointed that the only reason they find these instructors qualified is because they're a warm body to fill the space.

Our two "favorites" have recently started to add projects that weren't on our syllabus at the beginning of the semester. As if things weren't already difficult enough with missing classes due to the closings for bad weather and then the entire university being shut down for an entire week due to the shootings. We're still recovering from that shock. Now they decide to add more projects as if we don't already have enough to do!

In addition a lesson plan and a 4 page report due Monday, we now have another lesson plan and another 4 page report due on Wednesday. This does not include the previous assignments of a behavioral assessment of a student and a write up of a behavioral plan (another 4 pages), an assessment of the reading levels of our clinical students (6 children for me) and a 4 page report on that, and an assessment of their spelling level with two complete spelling lesson plans due on Tuesday to present to our supervising teacher at our clinical site. Did I mention I would like clean laundry & a couple of hours sleep in there sometime???

This has happened the last two weeks in class. We're all so stressed over these same two professors that we're starting to really get on each others' nerves. The tension is so thick you can almost hear peoples' nerves snap! Classmates that were once good friends are now starting to bicker and fight, in some cases they're barely speaking to one another.

..... and I'm sure everyone's next question is with all this going on, how do I find time to blog?? Well, it's blog about it or cry about it. Blogging doesn't use up tissue, make my eyes red, or upset my children. My stress over this semester is already reflected in the fact the kids are acting like, well, aliens! They're behavior is starting to reflect the fact they're feeling my stress.

God bless my best friend & her hubby, she took them for the night tonight so I could work until my eyes bugged out on my homework & go to bed in peace & quiet..... and no fighting first thing in the morning when I wake up either. I love them.

Thanks for letting me rant on about the garbage...... feeling better able to concentrate on the mountain of homework waiting for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hair, Hair, Everywhere is Hair!

My current big project is to grow my hair long enough to donate 16" to Locks of Love & not be bald when I'm done. The minimum is 10" in length but, that is for a short wig. I would like to donate a much longer ponytail if I can.

My hair is now down to just below my waist and it's getting annoying to take care of. Due to the fact that it's curly, I can't cut if off above my shoulders or I'll end up looking like a big strawberry-blond poodle. Not a pretty picture. So, I keep it braided up and am trying to keep it for just a few more months before the big cut.

I'll have to post before & after pics. Wish me luck that I can keep it growing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break

The aliens have spring break this week, mine is over so I'm in classes. Decided to let alien #1 sit for alien #2 for the day to see how it worked out. After my first class & a tough exam, I'm sitting in the computer lab with classmates studying for the second class of the day and another horrible exam when my cell phone rings. It's alien #2 & here's what my classmates hear:

Hi how are you?
Good. Did you eat breakfast?
NO. That is not breakfast. (pause)

Sorry, the chocolate from your Easter basket does NOT constitute breakfast. (pause)

No, jelly beans aren't breakfast either. (pause)

Did you almost lick it or did you lick it?
Did the cat lick it?
Did you drop in on the floor?
You're sure you didn't lick it?
Thank you for saving the pink jelly bean for me...... you're sure nobody licked it? Ok., thank you. I'll call you later. Love you bye.

My classmates were about to burst their seams laughing.

Conversations with my aliens are never dull.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flatulence (aka farting)

Flatulence: The presence of a mixture of gasses in the digestive tract of mammals. Such a mixture of gases is know as flatus and is expelled from the rectum.
Causes: According to Alien #2, age 11 - caused by wearing underwear that is too tight. Wear boxers, avoid gas.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Title: Lost Christmas Cards or The story of what happened to your Christmas card Burfica

Around the middle of Jauary, I was helping my aliens try to reorganize backpacks for the 2nd semester of school. While cleaning out Alien #1's backpack, I find a stack of Christmas cards that never got mailed!

He was to drop them into the mailbox on his way to the bus six weeks earlier. He stuffed them in his backpack because he was running late & figured he'd mail them the next day, I'd be none the wiser & all would be well. However, when you have a memory 6 seconds long, are easily distracted, and lose everything you touch, waiting until tomorrow is a long time. It never comes. He forgot about the cards & they quickly got lost in the bottomless cavern that is his backpack.

Oh, well, there's always next year to mail out cards. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank you!!

I wanted to thank you for your prayers over the last month or so, it has meant so much to me.

I'm quickly discovering so many of the things in life that I previously thought were from being over-stressed, aren't. Much of it lies with the difficulties associated with ADHD. I have spent most of my life knowing I'm not stupid but my disorganization and sometimes "flakey" personality have caused many people in my life to think differently. Much time has been spent with me doing my best to prove to others I'm not a flake.

I've finally decided that if people don't like it, I don't care. For years I've just done my best and let others think what they want but have felt the hurt because they don't understand I'm not doing things to irritate them on purpose. Last August, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Did it just appear? No, I've had it my entire life which is the cause for many of the things I still struggle with. However, there is a difference now. I now understand that it is not my lack of knowledge or effort that cause me to become distracted, disorganized, or to hyper-focus, it is simply me being me.

Do I intend to give up trying? NO! I'm just not going to let it get to me quite so much. I think in doing this, I'll be putting less stress on myself and that alone will help me to do better. Hopefully, I can teach my children this lesson much earlier in life so that they don't put the undo stress upon themselves that I have done to myself.

I'm not using my ADHD as an excuse for anything, just an explanation of why I do things a little differently than most. It is also why my "aliens" are so alien to most people. Children with ADHD just do things differently. Our brains work differently, we are usually creative thinkers which sometimes is seen as being just plain weird.

As I look back on some of my previous posts about my aliens, I find even more humor in them than I did when I first posted them. One thing I can say, life in a house with ADHD is NEVER boring, always interesting, and often tiring. However, we love one another more than most families I know. For that I am forever thankful.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Here we go again....

I called my mom this morning and asked if I could come home - and stay. Things are getting too crazy around here and I just don't feel safe anymore.

Yesterday late I found out there was a threat made regarding the high school in our school district. I didn't realize how serious the police took it until I dropped my 10-year-old alien off at school today. Every school in the district is on lock-down with police on every campus. The elementary children will not be allowed to go outside to play today. No child is allowed to leave the school without a teacher or other authorized adult (parent, guardian, etc.).

The middle school where alien #2 attends is also on lock-down, same rules. Teenage kids are being escorted to and from the buses not 50 feet from the front door of the school. No students are allowed outdoors unless escorted by school personnel, police or parent.

The high school is body-checking every student with metal detectors and pat-downs before allowing them into the school. No backpacks are being allowed into the school today. Once you are in the school, you stay until end of the day dismissal. Again, no student is allowed outdoors.

Where does this all end? Until February 14, 2008 the no one had heard of DeKalb, Illinois. This sleepy little university town was best know for being the hometown of the inventor of barbed wire. Now it's known as the site of the bloody Valentine's Day massacre that devistated so many around the world.

Now just 10 minutes from there, my town is being threated with violence. This time, it's my children. I'm not sure I'll be able to get Alien #2 to attend school after this. He is so sensitive to this kind of thing and is still having trouble dealing with the shootings at NIU. I can't blame him, I'm still dealing with it myself. It will take a long time for our community to recover from this. However, we are healing.

The love and prayers from people around the world can be felt. I believe it is the only thing that allows us to function. Students from Virginia Tech made a special trip up here at there own expense to offer support to us. Posters hang all over campus from colleges and universities around the country pledging prayers and support for us all. The outpouring of love and support has been, and continues to be amazing.

Please continue to pray for students on campuses everywhere, they need the support.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hanging in there....

We're into our second week back on campus and things still seem a bit surreal but life is getting somewhat back to normal around campus.

There are still reminders everywhere of the February 14th tragedy that struck the NIU campus in DeKalb, Illinois.

I spent the better part of one of my first classes just jotting down random thoughts about being back at school. Maybe when my nerves calm down & aren't so shaken up over the shootings, I'll post it. I think it would be healing for me to be able to do that.

Otherwise, not much to report around here except our kitties have discovered "kitty T.V." aka the patio window which looks out on the bird feeder. After two months, lots of little Junco's & a pair of cardinals have decided we have some pretty good offerings at the feeder.

It's funny to watch the younger cat, Charlotte, take a running charge at the window & stop short of slamming into it head-on. One of these days she's going to skid-out on the wood floor and find out just how hard that glass is.

My best to everyone, hope you're all doing well. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mourning Our Losses

By now, most of the nation has heard of the lone shooter that took the lives of five Northern Illinios University students on Valentine's Day. Our entire community is in shock that anything like this could ever come to our sleepy little area of the midwest.

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008
Usual morning, kids off to school & then in to work at the library on campus.
10:30am - annoying "Happy V-Day" text from crazy classmate
10: 47 am - another annoying "Happy V-Day" text from former classmate that only calls every 3 months when she's having boyfriend problems.
11:00am - call from the school, Alien #2 trying to get me to come pick him up from school because he's 'gonna puke'. This is his lame attempt to get me to pick him up because he just doesn't want to go back to school after being home sick for 2 weeks, who can blame him?
1:30 pm - clock out & go upstairs to the computer lab to study.
2:45 pm - leave campus to go pick up Alien #2 from school & go get dinner.
3:08 pm - ignore call from crazy classmate who sent text message at 10:30am
3:20 pm - arrive home & listen to voicemail from crazy classmate only to find her screaming hysterically about leaving campus & wanting to know where I was. As I'm listening to the message trying to figure out what caused her to go off her nut this time, best friend & boss calls so I answer it.

"Home, just walked in with the kids, why?"
"We're in lock-down, there's a reported shooter on campus! Lock your doors & stay home tonight! I've tried to get through to you on my cell for 15 minutes! I'll call you when we're off campus & headed home."

The line goes dead. I just stare at my phone in disbelief........

A lone gunman took the lives of five NIU students before killing himself last Thursday just after 3:00pm. There is not one person among us that has not been touched by this horrific tragedy. I won't rehash what is already in the news.

All I ask is this: Please pray for the families of the dead and injured, yes, this includes the family of the shooter. They are still on this earth and need prayers to come to grips with what their child has done. Pray for those of us blessed enough to be here to remember that terrible day, especially those students who were wittness to the carnage and aftermath. Pray for our community to heal. Thank you. God Bless you all.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm Still Alive!

I haven't died - I'm sure my neighbors wish I would. Garbage has gotten so bad with them that I've had to call the police on them. The police are working with the landlord to hopefully get the nut jobs out of the place.

We finally got grandma into an assisted living facility after much trouble. At almost 92 she didn't want to live with a bunch of "old" people. She has trouble remembering her own name - she has no business living on her own & driving. It's been a big stress for all of our family.

ADHD has been taking it's toll on my nerves. It's been a battle to get a medication adjustment for the kids.

Alien #2 is falling further behind at school & I'm having a battle to my child the education he has a right to get. It's too much for me to try to make up for the teachers' failure by homeschooling him in the evenings & on weekends. His meds have worn off by then & his nerves are shot from trying to keep it together at school all day.

Classes are going well but crazy weather has closed the university twice this semester which has put us behind in all my classes. Now coursework is piling up. Add that to the lack of peace & quiet at home due to the neighbors, getting homework done is near impossible.

We now have hermit crabs living at our home - Mr. Crabs & Hermie - pictures soon to come. Aliens can't figure out why I like these little critters but can't stand spicers.

Almost have the landlord talked into letting us have a dog.

Still waiting for internet access at home - crappy weather is a huge hold up on that one. As soon as I get the cable hooked up I can update my blog more often.

Home everyone is doing well - have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2008!

Thanks for all the good wishes for a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.