Friday, April 29, 2005

Run-A-Thon Day

It is Run-A-Thon day as my children's school today. LargeBoy is in 8th grade and gets to count laps this year. Oh, he still has to run, but he intends to walk it. Girl's goal this year is to do 40 laps, and SmallBoy hopes for 24. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, the children have 15 minutes to run around the gym and get in as many laps as possible. It is, of course, a fundraiser, but the kids love it - well, most do.

Run-A-Thon Day is an out of uniform day for the students - well, sort of. They do not have to wear the required uniform, but need to dress appropriately for running around the gym. SmallBoy's teacher told them to be sure to wear shorts for running today. He thought that was the best thing since sliced bread. As we do live in the midwest and we only have 2 seasons, Winter & Summer, the weather is still relatively cold at the end of April. Last night I discussed with SmallBoy that he should wear his sweatpants over his shorts to school so that his legs would stay warm until the Run-A-thon. That was a GREAT IDEA. That was last night.

This morning we began our usual morning routine: 1) wake up, 2) get dressed 3) put on shoes and socks. As we reached 3/12, Kiss Mom goodbye, I noticed that he had his shorts on and was beginning to put on his shoes. I asked him why he didn't have his sweat pants on. That was a mistake. That lead to a meltdown precisely at the moment that I needed to be walking out the door. I explained to him that we had discussed last night how he should wear his clothes and that last night it was ok with him. I gave him the example that this was one of those times he needed to be flexible. We've been trying to use key words like flexible to help him be less rigid. Girl was a big help when she stepped in and showed him that she, too, was wearing her shorts under her sweats. We discussed that if the weather had been warmer, that perhaps he could have just worn the shorts without the sweats, but, as it was, it was cold, cloudy, and damp, and that required the sweats. This meant that he needed to be flexible just as the weather was being flexible. He seemed to chill out after that. I gave him a big kiss, wished him luck, and left for work.

PC has not called me to tell me that things were rough later, so I'm assuming all went well and that the focus then turned back to the Run-A-Thon. I really hope he makes his goal!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Team SmallBoy Update

Children with Asperger's, regardless of the degree to which it affects them, tend to respond better to visual cues. This means pictures, modelling behavior, and making checklists (with pictures if necessary or age appropriate). SmallBoy has had tremendous difficulty getting organized before bed and before school in the morning. Last night he and I sat down and made checklists. We used silly voices and gave each number a specific color (which I can't remember, but he will), so that he can associate that with the task at hand. I began to make him up the list on my color printer at work and could only remember the before school list, which, is actually the more important of the two lists.

1.) Get UP (it is important to get up before proceeding with the rest of the list)

2.) Get dressed (because going to school naked would just be plain silly)

3.) Put on socks & shoes (well, you don't want your feet to get cold, do you?)

3 1/2.) KISS MOM GOODBYE (the goal here is to have the first three done before Mom leaves for work, not to mention that I like to get a kiss goodbye to start my day)

4.) Check backpack (because going to school without your things would make the day a bit difficult)

5.) Put lunch in backpack (we do this after the initial check to leave a window of opportunity for double checking the backpack)

6.) Eat Breakfast (if it's on the list, he'll do it)

7.) Do your own breakfast dishes (this just sort of goes without saying, but helps to establish the routine of cleaning up after one's self)

After he gets the checklist complete and if there is time left, he is allowed to do a favored activity for a portion of the time left before leaving for school (eg: play GameBoy for 15minutes, read, watch morning cartoons, etc...)

I am taking the list home to put in a laminate covering so that he can check off each item as he finishes each day. There's only a bit of time left until school is out, but at least this will give us the chance to try it out. If these schedules work, then we'll know that we can do something to help structure his summertime activities.

"Take Your Child to Work" Day

Today is National Take Your Child To Work Day. All but one school in my town - the one my children attend - are closed to give kids the opportunity to go work with their parents. My children are not at work with me for various reasons:

1). Even on National Take Your Child To Work Day, and even though there are children flooding through my office, it is against company policy to bring your children to this company unless they are under the age of infant. The irony of this is that I would LOVE for SmallBoy to see what goes on here, as he may, one day need the services offered here if his Asperger's Syndrome ever begins to cause a learning disability.

2). I love my children, truly, I do. My work, however, as insane and crazy and headache causing as it is, is my time. It is my time when I don't have to ask them to do homework or clean their rooms. It is my time to not be worrying about what the next meal is going to be or what last minute paper is due tomorrow that hasn't been started yet. It is my time to be sitting down instead of playing sports shuttle.

Do not misunderstand; I love my children and wish that I could spend 1000x more time with them than I am able, but this is just not the place. Now here is where the Mommy Guilt REALLY kicks in. Tuesday afternoon, SmallBoy informed me that Thursday was Take Your Child to Work Day, hoping and praying that I would take him with me. It was breaking my heart from the moment he opened his mouth. I could just feel it ripping in two gigantic pieces. Imagine the angst I felt when I told him that he couldn't come. He was so upset. He was all excited to come and see where Mommy works, what I do all day while he's at school. In his mind, there should be no reason why he couldn't be here...he was able to come to my last place of employment. Heck, when he had mono, they insisted I bring him in because they couldn't be without me for 2 weeks. But, I digress...He was upset. He was hurt. I feel awful because I was not able to do what he wanted, but at the same time, I feel awful that it's easier for me to NOT have the kids here. I'm torn between hating my company policy and rejoicing in it.

Oh good grief. What's a mommy to do?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What age do you ACT?

Oh this is just too freaky. Although not accurate, it was still enough to freak me out. Try it. You could always lie!
You Are 34 Years Old
Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe. 13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world. 20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences. 30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more! 40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Player of the Game

HOORAY for SMALLBOY!!! We had a t-ball game tonight (immediately following the trip to Dr. Painless). It was cold and I was anything but dressed appropriately for a freezing cold t-ball game. The players were all munchkins dressed in their uniforms, layered over sweatshirts and sweatpants. God, it was cute! I arrived just in time to see SmallBoy hit for the first time. He whacked it and got to first base! A few batters later, he scored. Next time up, he got to second...a few more batters and another run scored by SmallBoy. One more time and SmallBoy was 3 for 3 tonight! Congratulations SmallBoy! You won PLAYER OF THE GAME tonight and you sure deserved it!

No Cavities, Mom!

Smile! I survived the trip to the dentist. My fillings are all in tact - thank GOD! Unfortunately, he informed me that I can no longer put off having my wisdom teeth pulled. But I had NO cavities Mom! I'm not sure when I'm going to get this done since I have no time now, and in the summer I'm not allowed to take time off of work - GRRRRR. But that was just the verbal pain. I ended up with a full check up, x-rays, scraping, cleaning - the works. Now bear in mind when you're wondering,
Why on the face of the earth has she put off going this long?
that since my divorce I had no dental insurance and I just received my new policy at work. So you can imagine the amount of yuck that was on my teeth, right? OH LORD! Dr. Normally Painless put the mouth sucker between my lips and started powerwashing off the tartar from my teeth. Then he scraped. Then he powerwashed again. Only stronger. And between my teeth! There was one particular pair of teeth that had a gross amount of tartar lodged in the crevice between. He took the powerwasher and physically moved it in an out between my teeth, over and OVER and OVER and OVER! But nonetheless, I came out alive and went right to a t-ball game. No more denting for 6mos. Yes, Mother, I remember the wisdom teeth need to be pulled!

Why Mommy Guilt

Another previous posting from my former site. This one is important as it gives some background into the concept of mommy guilt and a peek into my everyday world. Please feel free to leave me feedback. Enjoy. I'm off to the dentist now...GRRRRR

by mommyguilt at 02:55PM (CDT) on April 4, 2005

Many people (men ::giggle::) do not understand what makes up this crazy thing we call Mommy Guilt. Well pooh-pooh on them. Here is just a little background on why I started the site - to write about the Mommy Guilt:

I WISH that I had the ability to stay home and help alleviate some of my Mommy Guilt. As a mother of three, I am plagued with that horrible feeling on a daily basis. Since the time that my second child was born, I stayed home and ran a daycare out of my home. Then, about three years ago, I became a divorced single mom and had to go back out into the corporate world. Never having had the opportunity to complete my college degree, I had to take a job where there was no opportunity for advancement, the pay was just above minimum, and the job was relatively demeaning, as I was always treated as the lowest rung on the totem pole. There was no option. I dealt with the guilt and the terrible job by considering it as something that I just had to do. Period. End of story. It was ok, it kept food on the table and paid the bills. I missed my children terribly.

Shortly after stepping back into the working world, I received word that my son, then in preschool, was having difficulties and the parochial school he was attending wanted me to have him evaluated to check for learning disabilities…which I did through the public school system. He came through all of his testings with flying colors. The only thing that the schools could reccomend was 1/2 hr of speech/week to help him with the /th/ sound. He came through kindergarten just fine. He was teaching all of the other kids how to do the computer programs and learning how to do all the things a child does in kindergarten. He was ahead of his class in reading and writing. I thought all was well. In first grade we began to notice things about him, in second grade, his lack of organization and social skills became more prominent. I currently work as an office manager for a center that works specifically with students with learning disabilities and had begun to recognize some of the same signs in my son. I have not had him formally diagnosed yet, that is coming up next month, but I suspect Asperger’s Sydrome paired with ADD. MORE MOMMY GUILT!!!!!! Now the desire to work from home is even stronger, because I know that SmallBoy is going to need me and my guidance even more than before. The guilt is larger because my current job requires that we do not take vacations in the summer (which is the best time for the children, since there is no school), that we work on July 4 (again, which is good for the kids, especially when it falls on a long weekend like this year), and that I occasionally have to work longer hours than expected (which happens with most jobs).

I began writing after my divorce - beginning to chronicle the experience, but was never able to go anywhere with it, because I devote almost all of my “spare” time to SmallBoy, and whatever is left from that is divided between LargeBoy, Girl, and Prince Charming. Every once in a while, I can sneak in a moment for me - I work out on my way home from work almost every day and I sing in a band (more time away from children = more Mommy Guilt). For me, however, I truly believe that the only way to relieve myself of this Mommy Guilt is to find a way to work from home and help my son. Unfortunately, I cannot just up and leave my current job - I may need it for SmallBoy, plus, we have bills to pay. It’s hard to take a drastic cut in income and assume that the at-home job will immediately make up the difference. But it will all work out. Who knows, maybe some day my singing career will take off or I'll have enough material between my blog site and my divorce notes to actually fill a book or two.

Last Minute Plea

Someone PLEASE save me!!! I have to go to that awful place with the loud grating noises, and the tube that sucks out your mouth, and the pointed metal things they tell you never ever to put in your mouth. Oh yes, they try to deceive you with the reclining chairs but HA! I know better...they shine an obscenely bright lamp in your face, expect you to hold your mouth open while they poke, prod, and scrape, then stick big plastic things in your mouth and wedge them there til you feel like you're going to hurl and then they ditch out of the room to avoid the exposure to the radiation from the xray machine. How RUDE!

I'm really just going to see if I actually lost the filling that I think I did, but I still have a tremendous case of the willies and do NOT want to go. I am trying desperately to use my mommy guilt to get me out of this - Girl has softball practice at 6:00, SmallBoy has a t-ball game at 5:45. We have one car available since I will have the other at the dentist (oh the pain caused by that word!). Don't you think that I should go home and help my children out? Don't you agree that my children need my shuttle services and my support at their sporting events? Don't you also agree that PC shouldn't have to do the shuttling for me?

Yes, Citations, I hear you...I know, I know....Yes, Mother, I hear you too. Ok, OK, OK! I'll go already!!!!!

But I will leave you all with this- and be sure to read it with the proper inflection: Hmmmmph!


Or "Prince Charming" for those of you new to my site (that would be my fabulous Hubby) - He has not only undertaken (and completed) the front porch project, but has begun the second phase of the back porch beautification project. Last weekend with Mom's help, we emptied out the tons of crap - stuff that hadn't found a home since we moved in, stuff that migrated out there over the period of time since we moved in, etc... This weekend, we have THE PARTY. The porch is now clean enough to set cold drinks on, send children to if it's too icky outside, etc. Ultimately our porch will become part pantry, part living space and then, perhaps in a few years, an extended kitchen/eating area/porch. For now, it's really cool. PC is determined to get this looking wonderful as soon as humanly possible. I LOVE that he starts a project and....wait for it............actually finishes it! Most men won't do that, but he will he's awesome. What I like even more is that he won't let me lift a finger to help with the cleanup - even when I help out! I think I'll keep him.

Painting with Pets

This is another of my favorite posts from our old address. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to leave your comments and feedback.

Painting with Pets

by mommyguilt on April 20, 2005 08:42AM (CDT)

Have all of you pulled yourselves back up from the floor after hearing the news that our primed-but-unpainted-for-over-a-year-cabinets are done? Last night, and into the early hours of this morning, PC and I finished all of the cabinets in the kitchen. They are FINALLY done! Now that we have embarked on these home improvement projects it really is difficult to stop. The larger, more expensive projects will obviously be on the back burner for a while, but the smaller things, like the repainting, reorganizing, etc...we're on a roll.

Home improvement projects have their fair share of trials, but at the same time, they provide for many many humorous moments, sometimes simultaneously. The MB Family (notice I did not put it alphabetically for a REASON) has pets. We have 2 cats and a dog - oh yes, and a turtle. The cats are hilarious and the dog is dumber than a box of rocks, but we love her anyway. Have you ever tried to paint with critters at your feet the entire time, with the constant meow that says, "Hmmph. If you're not going to pay attention to ME right now, then I'm going to get fur all over your freshly painted cabinet doors," or experienced the dog who feels the need to stand up and move into the room each and every time you lean over to get more paint on your roller? Oh it's fun. Let me tell ya! How about when you're taking a break to recover from the paint fumes and you hear your cats come STREAKING across the house heading right for the kitchen where you have your wet cabinet doors laid out? Can you say PANIC?

But the kitchen painting is done. We still would like to get the wallpaper stripped in the tv room and repaint that, but not before the Communion/Graduation party. We still would like to fix our front stairs - got them painted - but not before the party. We still would like to jack the front porch up so that it's not totally slanty, and open up the ceiling in the kitchen, and build a back porch, and finish the enclosed back porch....but none of that will happen before the party....unless we can ship the animals off to some of our friends & family for the weekend...........

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


The Future Mr. & Mrs. Mike Groeller Posted by Hello

We love you both and we're so happy for you. Now let's just find you the perfect spot to tie the knot and we'll be ready to roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unpacking begins

Following, or previously, I should say, will be some of my favorite articles from our previous site.

by mommyguilt on April 25, 2005 03:20PM (CDT)

SmallBoy is making his First Holy Communion this Saturday. LargeBoy is graduating from 8th grade this June. To keep from driving myself, and my family, crazy I've decided to combine the two celebrations into one party. Woo-hoo! Less cleaning! Oh. No. Wait. There's still going to be a party....

...and it's going to be
......THIS SATURDAY !!!!!!

Ok - first things first: STOP PANICKING. This shouldn't be too difficult of a task. The front porch project is, for the most part, done and successful. All we need for that, now, is for the weather to cooperate, so that our guests can enjoy our front porch. The kitchen cabinet project is complete. The back porch project is underway. Mom helped tremendously with that this weekend. There are flowers in a couple of the pots on the front stairs and some coming up in the garden in back. What's left?

OH YES! The scary scary projects - cleaning up all the CRAP that's IN the house! That Crap encompasses mail, homework papers I can't bear to throw out, LargeBoy's graduation pictures, report cards, sports schedules, hot lunch menus, books, shoes that do not have a home, stray socks, sports equipment....ok, so the sports equipment's on the back porch. I suppose I could put all of this crap in the laundry chute and just hide it for the day!

Perhaps when I leave the office today I should have a cold, frothy beverage to help me decide. It may sway me to throw most of the crap in the garbage!


With the exceptions that I don't have any fun fonts or colors or sizes when using my computer here at work as opposed to my laptop at home, I think I have managed to figure out how to use this site. I've managed to put in links - which is more than I could on the other. My next attempt is photos. The computer system here is too ridiculous and I can't sneak enough "work" time to upload all my photos to the site that helps you with photos when working on a mac. I will try them from home tonight, though.

Attempt from Work

Through my computer here at work, I can only type in whatever font the computer wants, no colors, no links, the size is predetermined by the computer, I'm back to boring. I still cannot seem to find a way to link to other sites, but I will not give up. I'm going to attempt a few photo loads today too and see what happens. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Address Change!

Mommy Guilt has moved. We love our new home. We won't be able to publish as frequently, because our computer at work is ridiculous and won't support blogger, but I can do this at home. We moved from our previous site to this site just tonight. I hope you will spread the word. The topics won't change. Until I get the hang of this new site, I may very well be importing articles from my previous site. Right now, I'm having some major mommy guilt as I sit here next to SmallBoy as he tries to do a Spanish Word Search. I have only my Sesame Street Spanish to rely on and cannot help him with much. I should really close this up so that he can focus on finding abrigo on the word search instead of reading over my shoulder, BUT I'm enjoying what I'm doing. PC is upstairs reading this wonderful book now because I'm working on the computer. Do I feel guilty? YES! But you know, as Girl said to us once,
"You guys really need your own space and your own time every once in a while. We'll be fine."