Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Train 'em Early On!

I once read an article about relationships that said, "start it out the way you expect it to continue". Basically, the whole gist was that if you started out trying to impress the new guy with foot massages, coffee in bed, and laundry service (trying to show off what great wifey material you'd be), you'd be stuck doing it for years.

Hubby and I had a 3-month courtship before we stepped it up a notch. He was a long-time bachelor, and I was a newly single mother of two. He was very correct and somewhat prim in his wooing of me---a true gentleman. We met when I had been contracted to provide an entertainment service for the restaurant/bar he co-owned.

We had a laugh over the fact that we both were raised on the east coast, about a half-hour from each other. How weird was that we'd meet up here? Reminisced about how we both spent our summers in the same place (Ocean City), and watched Captain Chesapeake and Ultra Man as kids. I thought he was adorable.

He called my answering service and left a message saying it was a "social call". I tried to call him back for two hours and kept getting a busy signal. He was afraid I wouldn't call him back right away, so he took his phone off the hook and went out to wash his car. LOL

On our first date, he invited me to drop by his restaurant after work. He had closed the establishment to the public and treated me to an incredible candlelight dinner and dancing for two. The next day I baked a dozen long-stem cookies and had them delivered to thank him for his hospitality, which he thought was utterly charming.

We went out off and on for the next few months when our schedules permitted. He wanted to take my guys with us, but I demurred. I didn't want my guys to meet or get attached to someone I wasn't in a serious relationship with.

Finally he invited me to his little house in the mountains for a weekend (he rented a condo with a roommate in town across from the restaurant during the week). Since it was going to be our uh "first time" together, I was spritzed and poofed and shaved and had picked out my sexiest lingerie.

Man plans. God laughs. Sometime during the week while he wasn't home, his power went out. It's amazing that his pipes didn't freeze. Not only was the place colder than a witch's---you know---but the heater in his waterbed was out too. He was able to get the furnace started, but the bed was like an ice cube.

Instead of a sexy encounter in my racy undies, I ended up bundled up in a pair of his sweats. We snuggled up together in several sets of comforters to keep warm. He was embarrassed and kept apologizing. Not the romantic evening he had planned. It was a little awkward.

Then to top it off, right after I dozed off, I farted. I can't control it when I'm sleeping. It wasn't some ladylike fluff either, but an event that shook the foundations of his house.

I was thinking, "I'm never going to see this dear man again. He's going to drop me off and run screaming for the hills."

I blurted out, "What in God's name did YOU eat for lunch?" He snorted and we laughed ourselves silly. Awkwardness over.

Since then, if I inadvertently have an attack of the barking spiders, I blame him, the boys, the dogs and my girlfriend from Alabama. Even when she's still in Alabama.

So in the wee hours, some 18 years after our first night together, I rolled over and woke myself up from the equivalent of a sonic boom emitting from my heinie.

"Oh My God", I muttered.

Hubby, that sweet, well-trained spouse of mine, stopped snoring long enough to respond.

"Excuse Me," he said in his sleep.

I laughed so hard I woke him AND the dogs up. Not so sure about my friend in Alabama though.

Train 'em early! LOL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Family Frustrations

Recently, Little Guy has been driving me crazy. When he gets stressed he becomes either really touchy or really needy. Although he is excited for the semester of culinary school to begin, he's nervous about the new classes and new people. He has mantras that have expected required responses, and if he doesn't get them, he becomes upset.

For example, he'll say (twenty times a day):

"You're my baby."

I'm expected to respond with, "No you're MY baby!" (I'm not sure if this exchange is just rote on his part, or if he really needs an assurance that he'll always be my baby).

If I don't respond correctly, or if I'm on the phone or distracted and don't hear him, he gets frustrated and acts like I've deliberately set out to mess up his day. He'll silently stand there and shoot me hairy eyeballs until I get it right. Even if it takes a half hour. I'll be obliviously loading the dishwasher and he'll be silently standing behind me glaring at me. When I turn around----gah! There he is with the ol' stink eye.

Another one is his constant use of the word "sorry". He picked it up from a peer in his transitions class a few years ago and hasn't stopped since.

Every time I ask him to do something---put the folded towels in the bathroom/let the dogs out/put the milk away/whatever and he'll say:

"Sorry, Mom. Sorry."

Zillions of times I've explained to him that he doesn't have to be sorry, he did nothing wrong.

Wrong answer. I'm supposed to say, "It's ok. I forgive you."

Well, I'm not going to do that. So it's another 20 rounds with the glare for the day. He'll even stand in the hall when I'm in the bathroom and shoot me the stink eye through the closed door.

And now for the cherry on top. Constantly he asks, "Do you still love me?" or "Will you always love me?"

The expected answers to these questions are "absolutely" and "forever and ever". Any deviation from that earns the double stink eye.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out where the heck that came from. Hubby and I have never ever threatened to withhold our love from our children, yet this seems to be a constant worry for him.

I recognized how darn tired I was with all of this the other day when Little Guy and I were in the grocery store. We were shopping and minding our own business, when I noticed a woman giving me the hairy eyeball (by now I'm an expert on that). I looked down at myself, wondering if I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe or a bit a lunch on my shirt.

Nope. Then I thought about the exchange she must have overheard between me and Little Guy, who is actually a 6'1 inch 200-lb man.

Me: Honey, could you reach up and get that muffin mix? The blueberry one? I can't reach that far.

LG: Sorry Mom. Sorry.

Me: Thank you!

LG (glaring at me): You're supposed to say you forgive me!

Me: No, I'm not going to say that.

LG (changing tactics): Do you still love me?

Me: Absolutely!

LG: You're my baby!

Me: No, you're MY baby!

Then he happily marched around a little as this woman looked at me like I was a lunatic or a really bad mother. I barely noticed that little conversation with my son as we have it 20 times a day, and it must have sounded like a critical, controlling and withholding diatribe to a complete stranger.

I've tried to redirect him a gazillion times over the years, with no luck.

Anybody have any ideas?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy

At least on the Big Kid front. :-) Will update you on the other two doods soon.

Saw his pulmonologist yesterday. The news is fantastic.

There is no extensive scarring on Big Kid's lungs. Or blood clots.

He does have a touch of pulmonary hypertention, but it is not the primary kind, so it is treatable. We're going to have to work with the physical therapist on strengthening his chest walls.

He will probably have to sleep with oxygen for an extended period (or unless he moves to sea level), but we have every reason to hope that with time and treatment, he'll be able to ditch the oxygen tanks during the day.

Big Kid won't be able take stimulant medication for his ADHD, because it exacerbates the condition, but if comes between breathing and attention, he'll take the breathing. LOL

The doc was impressed with the kid's new attitude and committment to getting better. Thought he looked really good. Wants him to step up with the walking and weight loss, because that will only improve his condition.

So AGAIN, I spent the drive back up the mountain in tears. But this time they were good ones. :-)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

This and That

Sorry I haven't written in a while, but dammit, I'm just pooped.

Right after Christmas, we scheduled a myriad of tests for Big Kid. Well, I mean we scheduled them months ago, just wanted to do them after the holidays. One year after his H1N1 crisis, he's still on oxygen 24 hours a day. There are many reasons why this may be happening, ranging from pulmonary hypertension to intensive scarring of his lungs. So for the last two weeks, he's been in and out of the hospital and imaging facilities. He had an allergic reaction to the contrast dye they use for CAT scans, and boy-oh-boy, wasn't THAT fun! Not!

We were able to FINALLY get him switched on the insurance----it actually wasn't the insurance company's fault really---it was his bio dad's company that was causing us the problem. Right after he was released from the hospital last year, they said he had to continue with college to be insured. That last spring semester was a nightmare.

Big Kid took two classes online. Thankfully they were review classes (nothing wrong with his long-term memory), and his instructors were on board. Even so, he struggled and barely passed. He has significant processing problems, and was only able to complete a portion of the classwork. Luckily, since they were review classes and he maintained information he had learned before, he was able to do fairly well on the tests, which pushed him over to the "pass" section.

However, he'd never be able to accomplish that for any other classes, but it gave us time to gather "evidence" to switch him from "dependent student" to "permanently disabled". Whew.

So last fall, he wasn't in school. But this is what he's been doing:

Walking every day with his tank. He's committed to getting better physically.

A couple of months ago, his psych changed some of his meds. Some of what he's been taking has made him gain an enormous amount of weight over the years, and he was in a pre-diabetic condition. He's lost 40 pounds since July.

Big Kid has always been my "glass half empty" kid, while Little Guy is the exact opposite. Strange to think they came out of the same womb. ;-)

He started on Abilify about two months ago, and the difference is amazing. For the first time in his adult years, Big Kid has been thinking positive, and working towards improving his life. He's been working on all the goals set with his cognitive therapist, and even joined a church.

Not going to get into all the church stuff, but in my opinion, getting involved in things outside himself is a big huge plus for him.

Got more going on, but just wanted to send an update.

Catch up with you all later, Gators!