Monday, July 30, 2007

My Kind of Shop

Those who know me well know that I love to shop, but hate to pay full price. I like to make a bit of a sport out of seeing how much I can buy for as little as possible (no wonder my house is so cluttered, eh?).

Anyway, today's shop was the kind of thing that I love. Braeden doesn’t need new jeans for school because we stocked up in spring for $7 a pair in his current size and the next size up. He does, however, need new shirts, mostly long-sleeve and then turtlenecks when those become available.
For today’s shop, I got:

3 new short-sleeve shirts, $5 off

7 new long-sleeve t-shirts, $14 off

2 other long-sleeve shirts, no mark down

1 hoodie, $2 off

I found a promo for $10 off

Had two $50 gift cards from credit card points

That got my total down to $5.50

$5.47 in tax

$5 shipping (gas would cost more right now)

You have to like being able to spend only about $1.23 a shirt!

C'mon Mom!

“C’mon, Mom. Let’s go find penis!”

This was today’s unique way of requesting a diaper change. I know I am not supposed to laugh, but it was funny to me and I did snicker.

Summer's Slip-Sliding Away

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Me trying to engage in some pretend play: "I'm Ollie"

Thane: "No silly! You're Mama!" placing his hand on his chest "Faney's Mama!"

It's cute as now it seems like I belong to him.

This weeks rots. I mostly have my more pleasant Braeden back, but this being in two places at once is way to much for me.

We have a partial family date for tomorrow night. Dave and I are going to dinner with Braeden while Thane plays with Kim. There is definitely something going on with Braeden so it seems like this is a good idea. Thane wouldn't do well in a restaurant because it is conventional to actually sit and eat your dinner, and trying to find things that he can and will eat in a restaurant still feels daunting. I really don't want him being glutened because he is just getting over a sinus infection and his speech clarity is not back to normal yet.

Which brings me to his speech evaluation. It was pretty depressing in its own right as he still is over a year behind in some areas. He did score as high as 3 years 3 months, which is only 3-4 months behind, in comprehension, and at age level for articulation, so those are huge leaps forward. I guess it is all coming, but . . .

You also have to love new goals such as "In a classroom setting, Thane will demonstrate ability to follow a two-part command such as "Thane, please put your Kleenex in the trash, go get your coat and line up by the wall." First, that is more than two parts. Second, he has no clue what a Kleenex is.

Oh, and my email has been out for 5 days now. I have to keep calling the satellite company, and talking to tech support in India. "Thank you very much, how may I be of your most valuable service?" I have to say that the 3-4 hours I have been on the phone with tech support, only to learn is all their problem and nothing I can do, I have to grumpily say that all the politeness doubled the chat time, maybe tripled it. There is something funny about it . . . though I realize I am being totally un-PC here:

"Hello, my name is Sean, thank you very much for calling HughesNet. How may I be of your most valuable service?"

"My email is reporting an "error, in-use, mailbox locked . . . "

"Thank you very much. I am so sorry for your inconvenience. I will help you. Thank you for being patient with me. Can you open your mail program."

"Yes, opened."

"Oh yes, thank you very much. I will help you. Do you see tools?"


"Thank you very much. Please click tools."

Duh! "OK"

"Thank you very much. Please click on"


"Yes. Thank you for your patience. I will help you. Now click delete."


"Thank you very much, did you delete it?"


"Thank you! What do you see now? There should be no mail servers. I will help you. We will set up your mail again. Thank you very much for your wonderful patience with me today."

When politeness becomes so time-consuming, I confess that I find it rather annoying.

Thank you very much for your patience!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What Fresh Hell is This?

To say I am out of sorts is putting it mildly . . . my home has been invaded once again by a friend of Braeden’s, so there is no peace to be found anywhere. It is finally a beautiful day outside and they have quite successfully ruined any chance of my enjoying it.

It started with Dave being particularly stupid. I was actually asleep. Peacefully asleep. This is pretty rare and I really needed it. I’m tired, coughing until I puke on daily basis, and constantly sick to my stomach. Why men’s brains fly out the window, I still have not figured out. He woke me up and while I was incoherent asked if Braeden could have a friend over. Never mind that Braeden’s behavior has been wretched all week and none of his friends should be subjected to any more of his ill behavior . . . nor should any of us have to be tormented into having to correct him every two seconds as he appears to have lost all ability to understand words like “stop” (I tried unsuccessfully last night to get him to define it without using the word in the definition) . . . but we had already discussed not having a play date on Sunday.

We simply can’t have two successive weekend days where we’re unable to catch up on chores or go run errands – it sets us up for too little sleep all week as we try to have the house somewhat ready for the invasion of the therapists.

The deeper issue is that Braeden seems to have this brat-intensifier that hones in us when he has a friend over. So not only do we have trip over extra people, constantly feed them and find wasted drinks and food all over the house, we get rewarded by having to put up with Super Snarky Boy.

I ended up totally furious with Super Snarky Boy on Thursday. There are two pieces to it. The first is that he annoyed a friend so much that he decided he didn’t want Braeden over, which led to the boy’s mom driving 25 miles to get rid of him. How embarrassing. I would have gotten him, but I think she was trying to do me a favor since things have been so awful lately. Then Super Snarky went far enough that she said something totally offensive to him, so now I feel very angry with her as well. I put up with a rotation of children through play dates and carpools, so I know how annoying these children can be. I’m an adult, though, so I tend to vent elsewhere and keep my cool with the kids.

I commented to the mom of the friend who was over last night that he had been rather mellow and well-mannered, but Braeden was driving us crazy. We had a few instances in the pool where I had to intervene and get Braeden to stop. She very gently explained that something went on when Braeden was over at her house the other day too – that her son asked if they could call me to have me talk to him because he was being more aggressive and not listening to his requests to stop something, but then they seemed to work it out and they never called. We pretty much have consensus among all adults who have spent time with Braeden this past week that he has been unusually obnoxious.

Now that Staples commercial where the parents are dancing in the aisles while they buy school supplies is going through my head, but the reality is that I think my life is going to be equally miserable after the school year begins. The children will still be on different schedules and we’ll still have absolutely no reliable support other than a single mom who works seven days a week. When I do accept help from someone else it, it seems to bite me in the backside (Thursday) . . . not that we get many offers.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stinky Chicken

Some chickens visited preschool yesterday. I guess one of them decided to poop and Thane called it a "stinky chicken" repeatedly. I think it is funny, but at the same time it draws my attention to the fact that he repeats himself a lot and I am not sure it is fully acknowledged by his therapists. During DT on Monday he kept repeating "I don't swim." He wanted to swim, but it has been a cold July and our pool has been giving us fits.

He did get to swim today, and I took 594 photos of the guys in the pool. Unfortunately, I missed the best picture . . . I blew up an inflatable duck ring for young children after having chosen a duck since Thane adores them. Thane whipped off his diaper, wrapped the duck around his middle, and started running around the living room saying "I don't swim. I don't swim." I blew up a yellow swim boat and then he was running around naked with a duck around his waist and a boat in his hand repeating "I don't swim." He was so excited to go swimming. It's hard not to be charmed by his enthusiasm.

I also found it cute that he decided to hoard pool toys. Check out this face . . .

We also got a taste of what the teenage years with Braeden might be like.

These pictures were taken at near 8 p.m., hence the iffy lighting.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


That's the number of photographs I took yesterday after getting a new camera. I finally settled on getting a Canon Digital Rebel Xti. I got a professional CompactFlash card and found that I could actually take 43 pictures rapid fire at 10.1 megapixels, so I was playing with that as the boys made faces, and as Dave had a battle of "Diego vs. Diego vs. Diego" where one Diego figure took down two others.

The disconcerting part is that I put a picture of Thane as my screen wallpaper, but that makes him larger than life. It feels like he is staring me down. I would post the picture here, but I also transitioning to a new computer, so I don't have things remotely set up yet (and I have to say I am not convinced that my $30 investment in an easy transfer cable was totally worth it as it seems to get bogged down and just stop, but for some reason my old computer doesn't feel like it should fully function on our home network). Add to that that my Blackberry and Vista don't like each other the way I want them to, and I have lost a lot of time trying to simplify my life.

But I still managed to take 686 pictures.

Braeden quote: "All prosecuters will be shot." He was trying to say, "All violators will be prosecuted," but it came out wrong!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


We're on a roll as far as kisses from Thane go. I actually got 12 of them in the month of June and I was really celebrating. Now we're up to that already in July, including goodnight kisses each night. He still doesn't quite have the pucker down, but I actually saw him do it once when I was making an /o/ sound.

This became a game -- we walked to end of the bench, then back to give a kiss to one of us.

Of course I needed a picture of Mist getting in the act too. She's always trying to upstage people!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Nothing like coaxing your father into a small plastic playhouse.

Then inviting the 80-pound dog in through the window.

Three's company!