Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Husband Builds Stuff..........

So on to some more 'fluffier' stuff on this here blog..........

My husband has built us a patio table. Now if you have been reading the blog lately, you know that we had our patio and backyard done as well as the flooring (some of which insurance picked up, although I am frustrated that insurance did not pay one bill to the company that dried our house out, and I am still asking to get it paid - as the company needing to be paid has hounded me....but that's a whole other post.).

The backyard is narrow, you might have found a post on here where I showed how narrow it is.  There is a huge retaining wall also.  So, we have been limited in what we can do with it.  We decided to cut our yard in half (there was also a saga about the sod we got that died,etc., that might have appeared here - I'd have to search it and I'm too lazy to do that right now)and put down a concrete 'pad' for an Intex pool to go on it.  The girls love to swim in water, and we thought as temps have been rising here (expected to be 108 on Saturday, but it's not the norm for this type of year.  We are just getting hotter weather earlier, which means it's going to be a hot summer) and we figured having a pool was a good option.  We got one similiar (but with more depth) to this one, but not from this company, but I had researched it so still had the link (see I really am lazy this week, I think I'm in denial for school ending!).


If  you are thinking of getting a pool like this, it's really worth it for some backyard fun.  We had hoped to get a larger size than this, but we can't because we need acces to the side yard, and we had no more room.  But this will be fun for the girls to play in and we can spend some time outside now that we have a patio table to do projects on.

Now I scoped out the neighbors' pool (just like I scoped out their patio cover and copied it, although it's sturdier than theirs is) and they have not quite upgraded to the pool we have, they have the one we had previously, which I believe is this one:

In looking at patio table sets, I found they were super expensive for what we wanted.  We wanted a wooden set and a very sturdy set (Dave's 6'2 and a bit on the 'husky' side, so we wanted something to hold him).  Most of the sets I saw were really flimsy (really?  You want me to pay $400 for a set that the mesh could rip and be destroyed in seconds???).  The wooden ones were higher, and we just couldn't see spending that kind of money when we wanted to do stuff on it, like paint outside,do crafts, etc.  So Dave decided to build one.

We had left over wood from our patio cover and we had some wood cut.  The table is very basic but it seats 6 and it will work for our needs.  Dave still has to sand it down and we have to stain it (as well as the task of staining our patio cover).  I like how it came out, and I think it will work for us.  It's not super pretty (as I think some people were expecting. I sent it by phone to my friend who really didn't comment on it, other than saying, "well I'm glad you have a table, and you could get some chairs from the thrift store and maybe a chandelier.") but I like it and that's all that matters.  The girls can do stuff on it and if they spill I won't care, because it can be sanded down and when they are older we can get a nicer set.  So at the bottom I will share a little sneak peak of it with some new plants we bought to hang from the patio cover.

Dave's getting very Home Improvement as he was talking about making some sort of shelving unit from the left over wood.  It's fun to see him doing some projects.

I need to find some chairs. I'd like to get basic ones that I can spray paint in some bright colors and then put some chair pads on (or not).  Our little yard is shaping up.

An update on the chores:  going well, the girls and I rocked the housework this weekend and I think they will get to go get something from the toy/game aisle when school lets out.  They have done work for a solid month and have done a great job.  I will say that there is a difference in how they do chores.  LGA is VERY OCD, and she does a great job.  The cat has taken over the computer chair and there was some hair on it.  I gave her a hair pick up pet thingy and she went to town on the couches, chairs and computer chair.  She finally decided to pick the hair off the chair by HAND when she found the pet tool wouldn't work.  Then she took cushions off the chairs and couches and I had to vacuum inside them (so now my couches are nice and clean under the cushions).  She then went to swiffer the family room, living room and hallway, that have the laminate and she covered every inch.  What she couldn't get she used the broom and a dustpan to pick up. She dusted and cleaned the clutter in her room as well. What a good helper.

Now BGA on the other hand, tends to have a more 'stuff thrown on the floor' look to her room and while it's not a sty, and it is fairly neat (due to asking both girls to clean rooms at least once a week/two weeks) just things end up on the floor (and the dogs chew them) and she has a habit of leaving stuff (like video games) in the chair/couch cushions and a game has been chewed by the dogs.  We finally took a game from her that we found in the chair cushions and hid it.  She frantically searched for it on Saturday, and I could see how she didn't want to say it was lost, LGA picked up on it and began in her loud voice to draw attention to it. I made out that I had no clue where it was and she finally asked Dave and admitted (huge jump for her) to him that she lost it.  But her ADHD is full blown at times and she exhibits all the tendencies to forget stuff, lose focus, etc.  So when she cleans she does a good job, but not the detailed job that LGA does.  I know that's part of ADHD so I don't make a big deal unless I can see she really didn't take the time to do it and then I make her re-do something (and she sighs but does it......we are full throttle in the eye roll, muttering under our breath, sighing, etc.) a 2nd time.  She does a very good job, oddly enough, on the dishes.  She really takes time to wash them and now that she knows how I want her to clean the bathroom, she does a great job on that too.  But I realized I had shown her basics of cleaning the bathroom but then things would be skipped so I outlined each part of the bathroom in stages (finish one, then she'd come back to me and I'd explain another part) and she got it that way.  I guess because BGA doesn't exhibit too many ADHD traits all the time I get lulled into thinking she can do things and then I realize I need to tailor my explanations to "ADHD" type of explanations.

The girls did a great job on the house though and all 3 of us rocked the house work on Sunday (while Dave built our table).  It was great to have their help, I was so glad we could do it together and I remember the days of doing it all by myself and am glad they are at a stage to help me (especially since I hate housework and they don't seem to mind it, LOL). 

Here's the pic of our table......rustic, but homemade and fun, just what we needed.  Now what type of chairs to get???  And I guess the girls and I will be doing some thrifting after school gets out.  Also Dave picked out the flowers and we have a red rose bush in the corner of our lawn, so we have yellow, red and white colors.  At first I wanted to go bright colors for the chairs, yard, but we really liked these plants, so now I'm thinking maybe spray paint chairs yellow and red? Thoughts, anyone?

Happy Weekend, everyone stay cool (our temps are supposed to be in the 100's, up to 108!!!).
Photo: Pretty flowers on the almost complete patio table.  Need to find some thrifted chairs to go with it.  Table needs to be sanded and stained.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Talent Show Pic

I will say that she's growing, but still very petite. Her hair is pulled back because she was doing a cheer during the Talent Show as well and now she's into pulling her hair back.  This is the same dress she wore for the Talent Show at the old school 2 years ago (she still fits in it).

Notice the cat and dog toys by the fireplace and the laminate flooring.  We really need to paint our living room, too.  But that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

I will take pic down soon, so look fast.

And yes, that's a zit on her chin, which she totally picked.  Ugh.

There's A Lot of Change in the Air.........

First one is another passing.  A sad passing for Dave and I. 

Dave's best friend's mom, R, passed away today. I don't know if it was sudden or the details, just that 5 of her organs failed and she was taken off life support this afternoon. R was a wonderful woman, a real mom, in the sense of the word.  Her husband was a teacher (as is Dave's best friend) and R supported him in every way, even when in his later years he had a stroke and she accompanied him to the classroom.  R had recently become a grandma over the last few years and I think she was a great grandma as well. 

When I first met R, I was dating Dave.  He introduced her to me at a festival, and then I believe I met her again at the wedding. She was so much fun.  We then had a joint birthday party for Dave and her youngest son at our house, they came to Thanksgiving one year, and we met at various parties, get togethers, etc.  R was very inspiring to me during our fertility years.  She never once lost hope that we would be parents.  Unfortunately we sort of lost touch with her when we started the adoption process as Dave wanted to ask her for a reference, but instead of talking to her personally he sort of brushed it off and left a voice mail.  Her son, Dave's best friend and his wife offered to sit down and write it but they say she didn't want to.  Well, it was sort of not the same since, although we did sit with her at her youngest son's wedding reception, 7 mos after the girls came home.  But things just weren't the same when she met them, and we just never really connected again. I know this made Dave sad, and it made me sad.  But we still cared for her very much.  Dave had more time knowing her as he spent a lot of time at the B home, almost like as one of the son's friends called himself, a '2nd' son to them.  Dave's at work so I haven't really talked to him about it, and we just found out last night she was in the hospital, so it was sudden, I think. Hopefully we'll find out more info later. 

It seems that all the women who were inspiring to me have passed away within a year of each other.  The first two, my mom and my cousin from England (who was like a 2nd mom to me) 4 mos of each other and now R, who I had always thought of like a mom, a year later.  But you know, it is the passing of life, and we know that is how life works. It's just hard when it's someone you care about and you know your friends have to mourn the loss that you have already been through.  But we'll be there for them, if they need us.

Also sad to hear that one of our adoptive moms who passed away in 2009, her cat, who went to one of the other adoptive moms, also passed away from cancer.  It's so sad as it was a link to the mom who passed away and the adoptive mom who cared for the cat, feels like a double loss.  The girls were sad as we lost our Lucy cat to the same kind of cancer in 2010.  Huge loss for us all, so we know all about cat cancer and loss.  We send hugs out to the families who loved this cat.

The girls finish up school this week.  LGA got the teacher's reading award as Most Improved, so I was very happy for her.  Her teacher says she will really miss her.  She will miss her teacher for sure. There are also grumblings of moving the kids around again (this happened last year and we are in school #3 for her) so I had to call yesterday and talk to the Program Specialist who said they would make her an exception and we'd find out in July if she was being moved or not (so I guess we requested the exception).  The Specialst also made mention that there might be Special Ed Learning Centers and they would do away with Special Ed Day Classes and the kids would all be mainstreamed.  I cannot tell you how against this I am.  I'm still pretty peeved about it and so I'll save it for another post.  I just don't have it in me to write it all out.  BGA has some bullying going on too, and I'm beyond mad about that so I have left voicemail for the principal and will update if we have a meeting this week. I know it's the last 3 days of school but I want this handled.  So, a few unexpected finishes for the school year.

LGA got invited to one of her autistic school mate's birthday party.  It was very interesting as the school is still (so was the last school the girls went to- well 2 for LGA) in a bit of a lower income housing area, so even though the school is a magnet school, it's still in a lower income area.  So the duplex we pulled up to was not what I expected (there are houses in the area).  I was sort of nervous to leave LGA, because I have never met the mom, but she reassured me LGA would be fine.  Another classmate (also autistic I think) showed up, so there were 3 girls from the class, the birthday girl's siblings and kids in the neighborhood.  LGA is in the lying part of FASD (they are consistent in lying) so she has been in a 'way' out there lying phase.  She told us the mother took her to the nearby park (which was not cleared by me) so I'm not sure that is true.  The birthday girl had a meltdown so when we picked LGA up 2 hours later, they hadn't cut the cake.  Darn!  Last bday party BGA went to they sent us home with cake.  But the mom said, "well you know she's autistic and she's up/down a lot" and then asked the dad who said she wouldn't come out of the bedroom, so the mom asked me if we wanted food. I didn't want to say no, because you could tell they had a lot and a lot of it was home made. I think it was Philipino food but it was very good (I had it the next two days, yummmy!).  LGA was sucking on a hard candy (can you say 2 hours past bed time she crashed?? ) and running around outside when we got there.  The mom sent LGA home with some ice cream in a cup, and told me that LGA was a good girl (so glad to hear that as the teacher thought I should stay with her but Dave said he thought she'd be ok and she was).  She had a blast.  LGA was very hyper for a week and a half, from what the teacher and I could see.  We finally figured out she was not taking her pm med at school.  Well Dave and I figured it out.  The teacher maintains that she goes and takes it after recess because the teacher 'reminds' her (ie, Dave thinks she's wandering around and I think he's right). Teacher said that she could by hyped up by the upcoming carnival (yesterday) and the party (Thursday).  So when we made sure she got her med on Thursday she was NOT hyped up before the party and was not hyper yesterday when she got home, either.

I think it's a matter of needing someone to go with her to get her med as she never can remember on her own.  Even though the teacher has taught Special Ed for 20+years, the teachers still don't know much about FASD and brain injury and that kids with ADHD, and FASD, cannot remember to take meds unless they are reminded.  The teachers I have come across, half of them forget to remind the girls to take meds.  BGA refuses to take hers at school, and so she can't focus the last half of the day, even though her teacher this year insisted that she doesn't need it, "if I just mention to her, to focus, I can get her back on track."  Last year's teacher who taught math at the end of the day, insisted she needed meds to focus in the pm.  So, not sure how we will handle that one next year.  But when I sent a note back (after talking to LGA's teacher on Thursday) on Friday, I got no response, when I said it might be that she needs help going to get her pill and obviously she was not taking it as Thursday when she should have been climbing the walls from excitement for the party she was calm (until she got sugar AT the party and was up 2 hours past bedtime).

I finally thought we were at a school the girls could stay at and do well in.  They both had great years, but now BGA has a friend/bullying issue and wants to leave and LGA could be transferred. So I'm kinda bummed.  I guess we'll see how it all ends, but what a way to end the year. 

And to close this, there is a blog out there that a mother wrote for the end of the school year. I will link to it and you should read it........I bet you'd agree with it. I know I do.   Read this blog:

Hope you are all faring well with the end of the school year.  I was a bit overwhelmed on Friday, but hoping all the ducks are in a row for end of school.   I will write more about BGA's bullying once we have contact with the principal and teacher. 

Oh and I will finish with a pic of BGA ready for the talent show. She wore socks with her shoes because it was cold in the am. I told her to take them off when it got hot or she went on stage, but she kept them on and got teased about it.  A girl came up and said, "BGA, that dress is pretty but your shoes would look better without the socks.  Just a suggestion."  SO who got blamed for that one? ME!  Even though I told her to take the socks off when it warmed up.  Oh, the hormones are starting.  Like how I got blamed for that one........"Mom your outfit was a bust.  Well, the dress wasn't but the socks you told me to wear were."  Hahahahaha.  Oh boy. I'm in for it soon.  12 will be here before we know it.

Enoy your weekend folks. Close to 100 here already.......yuck.