Sunday, August 02, 2009

The new bloggy is here! The new bloggy is here!

This blog has been pretty much defunct since I joined Facebook, but my Sweetie has started a new blog at as a way of journaling our experiences with the boy and I will be guest posting there.

I will cross post my guestposts here. So here goes my first:

I have had some reservations about creating a public (we have tens of readers) journal of our life with Dakota. These reservations stem from my constant struggle with whether or not to try to "explain" him to others. Dakota has no physical characteristics that hint to his disabilities. In fact, it is my total unbiased and objective opinion that he is a beautiful child. People who experience only brief encounters with Dakota walk away with the impression that he is reserved ... and beautiful.

When it becomes apparent that Dakota is "different" than other kids - that's when I'm never quite sure what to do or say. For instance, there are no indications of Dakota's physical limitations until he tries to run or climb or play sports. Then it's quite obvious that he can't keep pace with his peers. At the park one day when he was about age seven some younger kids (ages 4 or 5) tried to engage him in a game of tag. It only lasted a little while before one of the kids asked why he couldn't "play right." Looking back on it ... I probably shouldn't have stuffed the child in that trash can.

Other kids have asked questions like, "Why can't he talk right?" And adults have asked if English was his first language. I give vague responses. Some along the lines of, "He does the best he can." or "We're getting better every day." But I never know how much information to give. What is fair to him? I suppose I could say, "He has an auditory processing disorder and speech apraxia." Or, "He was never allowed to crawl or try to walk so the neural pathways in his legs didn't develop properly." But then I feel like I am labeling him ... putting him in a box.

Frankly, it's not as difficult now as it was that first year or so when his behavior was more "challenging". When your kid goes from zero to complete meltdown in 2.6 seconds in the grocery store part of you really, really wants to let the people around you know that this behavior is not the result of inept parenting.

Oh ... speaking of grocery stores, a quick diversion. Sometimes you can't just throw the little darling over your shoulder and take him to the car for time out. When Dakota was small he rode (like most little ones do) in that little seat behind the basket. Well, Dakota craves attention more than anything else in the world, so when he started acting out I would tell him that he was in "grocery store time out" and I would spin the cart around and push it backwards so that he couldn't see me (or better yet - he couldn't hit me). It took a few times, but eventually just the threat of "grocery store time out" would settle him.

Okay ... back on topic. I haven't really settled anything here. I"m still not sure how much information, if any, I should provide when others notice Dakota's differences. Any thoughts?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Check out the the website. I guess if she's brave enough to drive her fagbug, then the least I can do is support her.

Oh, bummer ... now that I look at this photo I can see that the bumper sticker isn't exactly straight (no pun intended). I guess my fagbug is going uphill a little.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Great Kitten Washing

My neighbor Paul has a heart of gold, which gets him in to trouble when he lets his heart lead the way in certain life decisions.

For instance, last year he took in a new tenant. She had four cats including two un-spayed females. Sweetie and I were able to catch and spay one of the females, but not the other. So sure enough the one we didn't catch had a litter of kittens. That was last year. This year the kittens are all grown up and three of them had litters of their own. That's an even dozen kittens.

I went to Paul's house on Friday to talk to him about the kittens. I asked him if he would let me take the kittens to a shelter where they could be adopted. He agreed. Saturday evening was round one. We brought home five kittens, washed them, treated them for fleas, and put them in the bathroom for the night. The next morning I took that batch to the shelter, then Sunday afternoon we did round two (four more kittens). Only three of those went to the shelter. My nephew had expressed an interest in an all black female so we are holding on to one in hopes that he will take her.

Having a kitten is rather like having any baby creature. They don't sleep through the night, and neither do you. This one likes to get under the covers and crawl up and down the side of your body, digging her tiny razor sharp claws in to your skin. It's hard to get angry, though, at something that is barely bigger than your fist and weighs all of two pounds.

While at the shelter I picked up some information on low cost spaying and neutering, and Paul agreed to let me take them to the vets, so hopefully this will be the last of the kitten litters. And if anyone is counting - there are still three kittens at Paul's house. He didn't want to let those go. We'll have to work on him a little more I guess.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's all relative

Earlier this week we wrapped up a five day visit from my Sweetie's two sisters, one of whom is Super D's biological grandmother. It gets a little confusing to try to explain to people how D's aunt is his grandmother. It would make sense in Arkansas, but not here.

To put it bluntly, life has not been kind to my son's grandmother. And, to put it even more bluntly, she's not the easiest person in the world to love. In addition to whatever pain and abuse caused her to turn to a life of drugs (first illicit; then, after she found Jesus, prescription only). It might be easier to love her if you could get to know her, but she has existed in a chemical induced haze for the better part of the last two decades. Part of people's frustration with her is her complete refusal to take care of herself. She removes her oxygen tube to go smoke. She takes drugs to the point that she is incoherent and passes out at the most awkward moments (like in her dinner plate). Her family loves her, but for them it is not an easy task.

Except for that boy.

D adores his grandmother without reservation. I have never seen anything like it. He is mesmerized by her. He gazes lovingly in to her eyes. This rough and tumble boy is tender and gentle with her - always willing to push her wheelchair (very cautiously) or tote her oxygen tank. With most everyone else in his life he teases, running away when you try to hug him; or hiding his face from kisses. With his grandmother he is affectionate, offering soft hugs and sweet kisses.

I am not one to say this lightly, but (as my next door neighbor would say) I think it's a God thing. I don't believe in angels per se. I don't believe there are mystical beings in white robes floating about, but I do belive that there are times when any person can be be a conduit for the love of God, or the Universe, or whatever you want to call it. For Grandma, Super D is this conduit. And now, at what is most likely the end of her life, she finally gets to experience a little unconditional, unrestricted, uninhibited love.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Give a Hoot - Don't Commute!

About a month ago I decided to start commuting to work on bicycle a few days a week. My goal is to bike to work at least three days a week: weather and schedule permitting. This was all made possible when my Sweetie had a change of jobs and can now take The Mighty D to school/child care in the morning. Since I have to leave the house at about 6:20 when biking - it wasn't possible when I had the morning duties.

After work I ride my bike to TMD's child care center, which conventiently enough has a bus stop directly in front of it, and we take the bus home. All city buses have bike racks on the front of them. TMD loves, loves, loves riding the bus. To him it is all one great adventure. I recognize that riding the bus isn't an option for everyone. I live in the center of the city and I can walk about four to six blocks any direction and hit a bus stop. It is my hope that when TMD is about 14 that he can take advantage of this and use the bus to develop some independence. He can ride to the mall, the movies, the pool, or the library.

So ... we've been doing this for a few weeks now. Last week Sweetie was taking The Mighty D to school when he told her, "This is my town and Meme's town." (He calls me Meme - it's pronounced just like "memo", but with a long "a" sound instead of an "o"). Sweetie said something like, "Oh, it is? It's your town and Meme's town." "

Yep - you know why? Because we ride the bus."

I knew that riding the bus had given me a greater since of community, but I had no idea it was having the same effect on him. I no longer get frustrated when I am "stuck behind a bus". In fact, instead of being an annoyance it is now a pleasant familiar feeling. When TMD is in the car with me we always say, "There's our bus!"

We'll see how long I keep up with this. Hopefully long enough to lose a few pounds, because let me tell you this: When you are an overweight, middle aged woman, huffing it up a hill on a 20 year old mountain bike - you pretty much left all of your pride back at the house.

My sweet ride!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

All In A Day's Work

One day last week The Mighty D (formerly known as "the boy") and I came home to every boy's dream: huge construction equipment in front of our house. Our street is being re-surfaced, at the rate of about 10 feet per day, and we arrived home just in time for our own personal monster tractor show. As luck would have it, we have a hammock in our front yard. So, The Mighty D chilled out and enjoyed the show.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ice Storm - Day Two

It's getting old. Very old. All things considered the child has been good as gold, but he's bored, the dog is bored, the cats are bored, I just want to work on the 1000 piece puzzle I started and my Sweetie just wants to watch football.

Tex suggested that I load my MP3 with podcasts. This makes sense. It seems that I never get a chance to listen to This American Life, so I could load up on those and probably enjoy it more than "Closer To Fine" for the 10,000th time.

Thanks, Tex!

You learn a lot about yourself when you are stuck in a house with two other people a few days in a row. Mostly you learn these things because other people reveal them to you.

Things I Do That Annoy My Sweetie:

When I wash dishes, I don't put away the big pans. There is a reason for this. Our "big pan" cabinet space is quite small. At first glance it would appear that the space is far too small to store the pans intended for that space, but after consulting with an engineering firm we were able to develop the perfect pan stacking sequence wherein all of the pans will fit in the space provided. This sequence is only slightly less complicated than the sequence for solving the Rubik's Cube. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for that.

I tend to leave cabinet doors open . I have no excuse for this. I just do it. It annoys me, too.

I leave empty Diet Coke cans laying around . But, hey, now it's only one a day.

I have the ability to tune out the child at will . She lacks this skill. I once sat in the kitchen and drank coffee while, from the bathtub, he repeated my name for 20 minutes. I never once responded. She feels an irresistible compulsion to respond to everything he says. On this one, I think she is just jealous.

Goals reached this far:

Spent 40 minutes outside today (three different episodes). Made up for yesterday.
Started a puzzle.
Attempted to cyberstalk co-worker. Still no luck.

Jerry Helps Me With My Puzzle: