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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update on Sod Saga and Other Stuff

Well, TJ's teachers e-mailed me and said he could use his sod house for his STEM grade.  He can either finish it with its summary or he could finish it for extra credit and do the barn for his grade.  Since he loves the building part, we are going to finish it he will do his summary and we will build the 16 sided barn just for fun.  I am glad they saw it wasn't fair to him, just because he got started early.  

My aunt will be here tomorrow and I have clothes to put away on the rocker.  I have one load in the dryer and luckily, my other sheet set is clean so I don't have to wash the sheets on my bed.  As soon as I get up tomorrow, I'll re-make the bed with the clean sheets for her.  We have done NOTHING else on the house for like two weeks.  Either Mom has a problem with one of her many health issues or there is some doctor appointment, clinic class, etc.  Its getting frustrating even though its nobody's fault. 

Our floor still isn't here.  I figure with the way Murphy has been hanging around that it will come in tomorrow about the same time as my aunt's plane!  I know we will moving in June, so at least we won't pay rent here but one more time.  Paying bills here and there has been real fun.  I look around and we are just so crowded.  I have to move a box off the washer to fill it with laundry and I have to move his sod house off the dryer to move the box over.  The counter where we fix meals is filled with bread, chips, oats, etc.  We just don't have any room to put things away properly.  Our house not only has tons of cabinets, we have a real pantry!

I think Mom and Dad are going to Home Depot after her nap to get the paint they are going to give us.  I have no clue what good that is going to do when we really don't want to re-paint everything.  I still need to re-paint TJ's room since it was mine and green.  Plus, my aunt's room still has bleed through after about four coats.  Not to mention re-painting the living room that has bleed through after two coats.  Ugh, and finishing the school room.  That one hasn't even been cut in yet and will most likely need touched up as well.  However, as I moved his sod house yet another time to get to the laundry, I daydreamed about an entire room where he could have all his school stuff and it wouldn't be on my washer and dryer! 

Dad's sugar is sky high because he had diabetic class yesterday and had to leave at six am, too early to do his insulin.  It was still around 300 by dinner and this morning was like 250 something.  The insulin today should settle it back out.  He could have had it last night, but we changed it from evenings because it would dump him too low.  Mornings seem to work better.  I finally bought Mom another bottle of that neuropathy stuff yesterday at CVS.  She didn't want to pay the $30 but I couldn't stand her being in so much pain again.  Some really nice girl is sending me a couple of free bottles but this will help till they get here.

I have seen all the info about different vitamins that help but when I read further, Mom can't take them because of either a medication she is on or another health problem she has.  I hope she discusses some meds with her doctor next appointment because she can't go on like this.  The Cymbalta was making a HUGE difference.  Unfortunately, its a choice of her eyes or her feet and she doesn't want to chance losing her vision.  I can't blame her for that one but its really hard to see her in so much pain.

She's too funny though.  Every day she asks me if I have blogged again yet because she reads these and the comments.   She complained last night because there was no new blog post to read!  So, hi Mom!             (:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sod it all!

I am feeling so bad for TJ.  He has these projects with his school called STEM for Science Technology Engineering Math.  They are projects he builds that use all of those elements.  For example, last year he built an African double house and the Panama Canal.  This year he has built Fort Sumter and a Sod House.  That last one is the problem.  Its pretty late in the year so we wanted to get a jump start.

The sod house seemed to be a mistake because they built one of those earlier this year.  The projects are done when they are studying the right time period or geographic location.  Well, westward expansion and sod houses were months ago.  They are in Women's Lib, Transcendentalists, etc., right now.  But we gamely put our "construction" hats on and made a mess on Monday.  I was soooooo proud of him.  He used paper mache to make a hill and his craft bricks to make the house.  I was proud because he hates messy stuff.  Last time we used paper mache, I had to do that part.  But he put on a pair of dish gloves and got to work.  Even with gloves on, this is BIG. 

Then last night he started on the other part of his assignment which is a summary of how you built it, the math you used, etc.   Sound great, right?  This morning there is an e-mail from his teacher that they had the wrong assignment and he is building a 16 sided barn.  Um, what???  Yep, he did the sod house for nothing.  Well, not nothing.  He has a lot of extra credit in math now.  Did I mention he doesn't NEED extra credit in math?  Yeah, he's not a happy camper.  I asked him if he had fun making it with me and his words were, "I thought it was fun when it was a grade and my STEM was going to be done!"  :: sigh ::

Murphy doesn't seem to be leaving us any time soon.  Our flooring was supposed to be here on the 28th and they said HOPEFULLY in four or five more days.  Mom called about the paint and they are going to give us free Behr paint.  That would be great except the Behr reviews are just as bad as Glidden right now and I don't want to re-paint the darn house!!  Basically, they said its just our own fault for not stopping the painting when it didn't seem to be working right and reporting it then.  Boo to Home Depot for attitude.  My aunt will be here June 1st and we are still in the mobile. 

Dad is doing better with his leg, the support hose are really working.  His sugars bounce but not as bad as they were.  Mom's stomach seems to be more settled than it was.  Although that may change with all the problems we are having.  She is still smoking!!!      UGH.      I am trying not to say anything because it doesn't help, but its hard.  She did tell me she has a day in mind to quit, but I haven't pushed her yet to tell me what it is. 

Sod House

Fort Sumter

African Double House

Panama Canal Lock
My dieting is still going really well.  I have had a day here and there where I have gone over calorie but it doesn't seem to be de-railing me.  I still haven't taken a picture in my size 14 dress but I'll try to get that done before the end of the week.  Its still too small but you can tell I'm close!  I lost another pound so I'm now at 187 but I won't record it unless its still that way on Sunday.  That way I account for all the fluctuations.  I need to exercise tonight, I was lazy last night!  Anyway, I am going to end here because I think that was everything I wanted to say right now.  I'm going to add some pics to this of T's projects.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spotlight on TJ

I thought I would tell you a little more about my son.  TJ is 13, he'll be 14 on June 19th.  He has Asperger's and some days he acts 24 and some days he acts about 9.  From what I understand though, that's a peculiarity of teenagers as well as Aspies.  He went to a public brick and mortar school from Kindergarten until two weeks after he started seventh grade.  For years, we would get calls that he had an entire desk worth of (finished, no less) homework sometime in the middle of the year.  I would get so frustrated that they wouldn't tell me when one or even two assignments were missing.   His grades were always pretty bad and he really didn't seem to know what was going on in class.  I could get absolutely no cooperation from the school.

Additionally, I would be informed he was getting bullied but he wouldn't even be the one reporting it.  His friends would tell the teacher that he was being bullied.  So the school decided that it wasn't important if he wasn't going to report it.  We knew something was wrong but had trouble getting his pediatrician to listen.  We also have lots of mental illness in my family and didn't want to see something that wasn't there in my son.  Does that make sense?  I didn't want to look so hard for something wrong that I imagined it was there.  I'm not sure its coming out right.  Anyway, I tried so hard to not see something that wasn't there that we missed a real problem.  There were so many signs.

TJ hated the classroom.  It was way too noisy and he couldn't concentrate on the teacher.  We thought the kids must be talking and causing commotion.  Nope, my kid couldn't cope with paper shuffling, pencils scratching, desks creaking, etc.  But I still didn't know what I could do.  Then he came home with bruises.  Of course, there was the time that some kid was harassing him and he called him a "*igger".  Yeah, its the word you were thinking and he was black.  Is TJ racist?  No, he didn't even know what it meant, he was repeating something he had heard the black kids say to each other that made them mad.  In fact, his black friends defended him.  This kid nearly started a race war in his middle school at 12 years old.  The kid called him a cracker and my literal kid said, "Well, I do like club crackers but I don't know why you are calling me a cracker."

You would think that would be the limit, right?  Almost.  The day they took the kids out to pick up the lawn after they were done with a test and he got hit in the eye with piece of metal pipe.  That didn't get him pulled out either.  I really, honestly, didn't know what to do.  But two weeks into seventh grade, he had had a headache every single day.  Some days he missed school, other times he would get it after school.  A doctor's appointment resulted in him getting an acid reducer because my 12 year old was under so much stress that he had ULCERS!  The school is still trying to figure out how to punish him for the n-word and I have just had enough.  We were going to put him in another school and figured out that that would not change his behaviors.  He still couldn't stand normal class noise and we would still have no clue how he was doing.

I was looking over a local ad of ours and saw something for a Mercury Academy Online School.  I called them up, talked to them, and pulled him out that same day.  And we have never looked back.  The kid that rarely got a B and mostly had C's and D's was all A's by his second semester.  This is his second year with the school and he's never had lower than a B.  This quarter he is headed for another report card of all  A's.  I can sit with him and help him with school work if he needs it, I can check on his progress through my own account.  I can communicate with his teachers by e-mail or pager with a no more than 24 hour turn around time, most times a lot less.  Its changed his life.  I am going to finish this with a Bio-Poem he wrote for Language Arts because it says how he feels now.


Thomas

Hard worker, intelligent, caring, impatient

Son of Michelle Bogart and Tom Bogart

Who loved video games, his two Chihuahuas: Snowy and Peanut, and pizza.

Who hated school (used to), loved visiting his cousins, and loved his room made three summers ago.

Who feared bad grades in public school, feared losing his other two dogs (Little Bit and Docker), and feared pain.

Who got straight A’s first year of school here.

Who wanted to see a future with no wars between countries, states, or the world, who also wanted to see teleportation in the future.

Born in Missouri and living in California

Bogart

Thursday, May 24, 2012

House Update

The floor is moving!  Now in Southern California, this can be a bad thing.  But this time its not an earthquake, I mean our flooring was finally shipped.  They told us it would be here the 28th and since this is the 24th, they are likely right.  It just took so long that we were all beginning to wonder if it would ship at all.  The other good news is we don't need to seal the floor.  It wasn't expensive, but its $36 we can put back into our budget.  The bad news is my uncle is coming on Saturday with his boyfriend to see the house.  I have nothing against his boyfriend, as a matter of a fact, I like hm better than my uncle.  We are afraid though, that he will make comments about how little we have done.  Yeah, like its been our choice to have a house for two months that we still haven't moved into.  Dad threatened to go fishing and we told him he would have to come.  If we can't escape, he can't escape!  Wish us luck, if my uncle is stupid enough to say something, my Dad is going to blow up. 

He had his last wound care appointment today and is on his slow way home.  Seems the bus driver is new and got lost on the way home!  Poor guy, two days where he's been on the bus most of the day.  He does that so my Mom doesn't have to go down our back steps.  Between her neuropathy in her feet and messed up knees, we are never sure she if she is going to end up on her face.  The house has no steps and it will be so much easier.  We did get her some spray on stuff called Neuragen that seems to be working well for her.  I don't get any money for you clicking on that by the way.    :)   Don't buy it from them, if you do a search for it you can find it a lot cheaper.  Just be sure to get the 0.5 oz size so you get the spray top. 

Our friend from the other night has been by twice.  Turns out his Mom wanted the $216 he earned while he was gone and hid his daughter to try to extort it.  I don't agree with him taking off for three days, but I agree even less with her dropping a three year old off at a tweaker friend's house.  Then she stole his girlfriend's car so she could tell the police HE stole it!  So yeah, I don't advocate pushing people but I can see how it happened.  He did get the baby back and the police were not thrilled to hear where grandma stashed her.  They won't even prosecute her son because they really didn't blame him.  Now, his ex-wife has said he can't have the baby if he is going to leave her with grandma and I can't blame her for that decision either.  Of course, he started talking about our spare room in the house.  Its NOT a spare room, its TJ's school room and will remain that way. 

Dad is pretty upset.  He had blood sugars of 300 and better around Christmas time while we were waiting for his insurance to fix itself (long story).  He didn't want to go to the emergency room for one shot of insulin, he needed long term care, so he tried to lower it by himself.  Well, they told him in class yesterday that was the worst thing he could have done and he shaved about 20 years off his life.  I don't agree with this fatalistic stuff they keep telling him.  He is already so depressed that he can't work anymore.  A lot of guys have this family provider is my worth outlook, but my Dad's is worse than most.

The short version is my Dad was a post-menopause baby.  His oldest brother was born a psychopath and literally tried to kill him from the time he was little.  As in, tossing firecrackers in glass jars inside forts Dad made, etc.  His pediatrician said the man would kill him if they didn't remove him and if his Dad didn't do anything, he would have him removed from their care.  So at eight years old, Dad was put to work hanging doors for his Dad's construction business.  Any time he was tired or sick, his Dad would say, "Oh, well, I guess we will have to bring your brother home from college because I won't be able to afford to keep paying his tuition if you don't work."  Yeah, what a prize.  Work or your homicidal brother comes home.  ALL of his self-worth is in what he can do for you.  I've tried and will continue to tell him that his worth is in him BEING with us, not what he can do FOR us, but its a hard road.  His brothers and sister treated him the same as his parents. 

Anyway, that's enough for now.  Hopefully we can get back over to the house soon.  We don't have anything going on tomorrow, just depends on how my Mom is doing.  I'll talk a little more about me at a later time if you want to know.  :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mothra

Everyone who knows me well knows that I hate things that fly.  I mean, really hate them.  Okay, I don't hate them, I am terrified of them.  I have no clue why, but who ever said fear was logical.  It might have something to do with my (lack) of depth perception.  One of my biggest fears is moths.  Again, no clue why.  This is the story of the bravest moth I ever met.

It all started last night with a tickling on my neck.  Now I am growing out my hair for Locks of Love and its nearly to the top of my underwear so I get irritated by it quite often.  However, after readjusting my hair, I STILL felt something there.  I finally figure out its a moth and do my usual freak out then calm down.  Fast forward to a little later in the evening and now my chest is tickling.  Uh... my hair isn't down my nightgown.  I pull up the neck and the moth is on my breast!  I just about strip down in the living room, not even caring where Dad is. 

Finally, I calm back down and things seem fine.  I have no clue where mothra is but it seems to be gone.  I get ready for bed and have one last bathroom run.  I see a piece of fluff in my underwear and reach to pick it out.  It moves!!!             OMG, the moth is IN my underwear and has been for who knows how long.  I yanked them off and turn them every which way I can.  Then have yet another freak out because its been in my underwear all this time and I didn't know.  I took off my nightgown and shook it out vigorously, turning it inside out as well.   At this point, I am not sure if I am more sorry for myself or the moth. 

Its now the next day and I am still a bit paranoid about it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Move From Hell

Trying to get into our new house has been one disaster after another.  It started with them accepting our offer then us finding out they were about to go into foreclosure.  Luckily, my Mom knew some magic words, "Breach of Contract" and things were fine again.  So we found out in very early March that we have a house!   Pretty cool thing to hear as well as terrifying.  We begin the process of trying to get moved to our house and encounter a funny guy named Murphy. 

First, my Dad (who seems to be the healthiest one of us) started having tons of problems with his diabetes.  Sugars over 300 were pretty common.  Then he gets put on insulin once a day and his sugars settle.  Next, his leg starts hurting and he develops a sore on his ankle.  This ankle has been broken more than once in the past and the skin tears open where the surgery scar is.  We find out its from all the swelling in his legs due to the high sugars.  He visits the doctor and is lucky he isn't hospitalized at that visit-the doctor thinks he has a bone infection.  He is admitted to the hospital the next day and is gone for three days.  He has an infection but its not in the bone after all.  He is not allowed, however, to work on the house for at least a month. 

Then my uncle comes from Arizona to help us paint.  Unfortunately, the previous owners had a certain blogger's ideas on color scheme and there is a lot to be done.  My uncle proceeds to try to paint a five bedroom, two bath house in five days.  There is disaster number two.  He is so busy directing the people he's hired (with our money btw, without asking) to do anything himself and is treating me like Merry Maid!  I want to help paint and he has me washing windows, floors, etc.  I really wanted to tell him I don't do windows just to see what he would say.  I think he forgot I was working for free.  He starts running low on time so he stops doing any cut in and in several places ends up with paint over paint.  At one point, I see the paint that is going in my son's room and tell him its PURPLE, don't use it.  However, I am exhausted by this time and was not there when nobody listened.  Granted, its a pretty purple, I just don't think my 13 year old son is going to appreciate that.  Basically, he tells us that he just needs to live with it and we can paint it later.  Excuse me??  Then my aunt and I's room turns out neon green.  Um, yeah, we had some major paint problems.  We are trying to conserve money so my Dad is going to gently pull up the baseboards so they can be re-used while my uncle tells the painters to drip paint all over them because we are replacing them.  Yeah, he was really free with our funds.

The other disaster was the paint.  I don't know what's happened to Glidden but its gone downhill.  My Dad said it used to be a good paint.  This stuff won't coat without thin spots even over primer.  I have now painted my aunt's room four times and there are STILL places you can see primer.  It was that way with every color.  You are supposed to get a guarantee but I am not sure how that works.  We still need to re-paint the formal living room (painted twice so far), re-paint my aunt's room, re-paint TJ's room (somehow I mis-measured and his room is 3 feet bigger than mine, no go since he has two rooms), paint the hallway and put in flooring.  Did I mention the flooring?

The latest mess is our flooring.  We picked out some really nice laminate and ordered it from Lumber Liquidators.  Nobody told us they only deliver it when the whole truck is full and so we won't get it until May 28th.  My aunt is coming in from Missouri on June 1st.  Yeah, you heard me.  We don't get the flooring until three days before she gets here and it needs to acclimate to the house temperature for three days.  So I guess I will be giving my room up again and sleeping on the couch.  Lovely, we will be moving while my aunt is here. 

Wanna hear something even funnier?  We don't have a single box.  Not even one.

Hello!

     Well, after being told many times to create a blog, I finally decided to do so.  I was going to post in my usual spot and realized that this post's story would be my longest yet.  Have you ever tried to do something and it just seemed like Murphy (from Murphy's Law) was camped in your backyard?  Its especially hard to do when your backyard is about the size of a postage stamp due to living in a mobile home park.  Don't get me wrong, its been our home since my son was 18 months old and its been a good one.  But with three adults and a soon-to-be 14 year old, its become a little small.  We bought a house about two months ago and its been an interesting road.  I'll go back and detail some of the problems we have run into in another post, this one is for the latest debacle. 

     We have some friends here in the park that think our lot in life is solely to make their life better!  If they need anything-milk, bandaids, vicodin (yep, prescription meds are not off the table), etc., we are their local grocery store.  Now we don't give them the meds, if they come over for things like that, they will get a couple of Tylenol or Ibuprofen!  Its gotten to the point though that we don't even want to give them milk.  The son is bi-polar and I know there are people with this illness that have successful lives, he's just not one of them.  His mother has been dying from cancer for the 12 years that we have known her as well as a drinker and speed freak.  The son is a drinker too and doesn't take meds for his illness because then he can't drink!

Anyway, last night his mother came over at 11 pm at night.  Did I mention my son is an Aspie and he goes to bed at 10 pm on school nights?  How about the fact that we have two dogs that bark when people knock?  Or that his dog will bark (in my son's room) if my dog barks?  Yeah, I wasn't happy.  She said her son beat her for five hours and broke everything in her house.  Then she wanted my Mom to call him.  So Mom calls him and as soon as he said he was coming over, the mother takes off!  WHY did she want us to call him then??  She is not bruised btw and is talking a mile a minute while holding a drink that has the suspicious smell of alcohol.  So her son comes over and says he didn't beat her up, he pushed her and another woman that just happened to be there.  Oh yeah, and he did break some of her stuff but he told her he was going to kill her because she was hiding his daughter from him.

Short back story here.  He gets her once a month for a week and this was the week.  He had a three day job about 19 miles away and instead of coming home every night, he took off with his Mom's car and stayed in other people's homes until the job was over!  Yes, while his baby (she's 3) is here for his only week. 

Anyway, the car broke down while he was gone (its about 30 years old) and he left it there.  She wanted him to promise he would give her the money he earned to fix it and then she would tell him where his daughter is.  He is far from mature and spends his money very frivolously.  I don't feel she deserved it for her car but he won't spend it any better. 

Back to the original story.  He was here till nearly midnight, hinting that he had nowhere to go and trying to get a place to crash for the night.  My favorite part was where he said if the police came by, we didn't HAVE to let them in!  Yeah, right!  I finally had to go to bed but I was a bit restless from all the commotion.  I get up this morning and find out that after Mom went to bed, the guy came back over three times and his mother twice.  My poor Dad finally went to bed at 4:30 in the morning.  And what was all this about?  She wanted his money to fix her car.  That's it.

Why do I care?  We have a house we bought two months ago and still haven't moved.  Dad has diabetic class Wed and wound care Thurs so he can't work at the house and today was the first time he had all day to work over there before the floor comes.  Is he?  No, he is in bed, napping, trying to make up for last night.   There are so many other things that have gone wrong to delay things but this is the latest.  All I have to say is, Get Us Out of Here!!!!