Monday, February 23, 2009

Special Schools

MD and I have been doing some research on "Special" schools for Devin. Everything from Military Schools to Schools designed to help troubled teens with ADD/ADHD, ODD and such.
What I want to know is how the average family could afford these schools?! The cheapest we have found is $3,100 a month in Louisiana, the average cost is in the area of $4,000 a month. And to keep him within a 3 hour drive of home it will cost $16,800 a year for the closet Military School. This of course is way more than I make a month.
So how can these schools stay in business? I mean they all seem to have pleanty of kids in the school to sustain them, so who are paying these kind of tuition prices?
So, we are at what they say .... an impasse. We can not afford to send him where he will get help on our own, and he is progressively getting worse in traditional school. Sad is it not?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Morning of Quiet

It is very quiet here at the MD house this morning! All 6 girls still are sleeping (who knows what time they finally fell asleep) and Devin is still sleeping. MD is off to work in someone's bathroom and I sit here on the couch writing to you.
The girls were very noise until I threatened to wake them when MD got up (6 am). They finally got to a noise level that we could sleep through around 12:30 - 1 am. Or I should say that MD could sleep through. He woke me several times to tell them to quiet down. Ugh why can men not do this?
Then we find out this morning that Mr. Devin snuck out last night. And who knows what time he got home (I plan on getting him up soon and suffer). We found his coat and shoes by the basement door. Dope, like we would not notice. Then I went in his room and you could smell the fire smell on his clothes. Wonder if we will be getting another visit from the sheriffs department. We will definitely be grilling him on that when he awakes.
MD and I have decided that we will be putting the alarm back on the noisy setting. That is going to be a nuisance every time the door opens ... beep beep beep. But what are you to do? MD said that putting him through the wall will only damage the wall not do anything to straighten him out.
But at least for now I get to relax.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Envasion of the Teenage Girls!

The squeals, screeches, and giggles, not to mention the ring tones. We have been invaded by Mikayla and her friends. She is having a sleep over for her birthday. MD has been evicted from his theater room (that I can not believe happened). They are watching Eagle Eye (someone brought it). They devoured 2 large pizza's, a 2 liter bottle of soda, and 2 orders of cinnamon sticks from Domino's, also the entire cake I made, tons of ice cream, bags of chips and several boxes of candy. Who knew that young girls could eat soooo much. MD is down there now making them popcorn. And all of that was consumed in less than 3 hours!

He is a sucker for the girls, anything they ask he provides. I still can not believe he gave up his room. But we did get to watch a movie first.
Devin just shakes his head when they are around him, he is trying his darnedest to hide. Since he has been grounded he can not escape very far though. Luckily the girls went outside for a while, the house was quiet at least for a bit.

Since we have been demoted to the living room we are watching Terminator that we had recorded. The Theater is sound proofed and we can still hear them. Ugh girls are loud high pitched squealers!

MD and I were discussing something the other evening, we are sort of torn.

We are a house with no more children. We only have teens now.

On the one hand we are nostalgic for the time when the kids were easier to deal with, fun, and did the cutest things. It was exciting to watch as they discovered something new they could do.

On the other hand, we are excited that we are getting close to a time when it will be just him and I. Time to ourselves, we have never had that time alone. Never had time to get to know each other without a child around. It will be another adventure to learn together.

Saturday Adventures

It is Saturday, another week here and gone. I will have to say it was an interesting week. Well maybe not interesting, but definitely not boring.

1. Tuesday My sister was nagging me into making a Facebook account. So I finally broke down and did. And Wednesday when I checked it I had people I have not seen in 20 plus years leaving me notes, and wanting to be "my friend". One in particular, a boy I use to babysit when I was in 7th grade (mind you I graduated high school in 1984 so that was a VERY long time ago) put a note on my board. "The best babysitter ever" It amazed me that he remembered me much less my name! He remembered things I did with them and meals I made for them. I do not have pictures on this page (as I am always the one behind the camera) so I could not believe that he remembered me.

2. Had to roam around a Landfill in Illinois Friday appraising broken wells that needed fixing, and rummaging through the Environmental Manager's office deciding how to update his files. This was actually not to bad as it got me out of the office. I just am not looking forward to the hour drive back and fourth for at least three days to the site when I have to amend their filing system. Brian has more faith in my abilities than I do.

3. Wednesday I had a visit from a police officer at 7 am wanting to discuss my son. Joy Joy Happy Happy. MD and I knew eventually this would happen with the crowd he hangs out with. As it turned out I had to come home early that day so the officer could interview Devin. That was not a fun afternoon, I am hoping with every part of my being that he has/is learning a lesson. A asked the officer to give him a "what for" lecture. And he did not disappoint. I hope it did not fall on deaf ears. Time will only tell.

4. Today Mikayla and I are going shopping for her birthday slumber party tonight. MD and I are dreading this, 5 13 year olds spending the night. The squeals, giggles, and all night laughing. I think we are going to ask her to camp out in Felicia's room as Mikayla's room is right next to ours.

5. MD had to go out of town Monday. Sleeping without him does not go well, dreams, getting to sleep, tossing and turning. Oh and not to mention the fact I had to deal with the Devin thing on my own. He finally came home Wednesday evening, then we had a good night sleep.

My week in a nutshell.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What is the Best Road Trip You Have Ever Been On?

With the kids still asleep, MD gone to work, I have been surfing the blogger world. Also this helps in avoiding the dreaded tax preparation. I fell upon a blog that asked about "The Best Road Trip you have ever been on?"
Since I became a responsible married person we have never really spontaneously just jumped in the car and took off for a weekend trip. When the kids were young, there was too much baggage one has to take to care for the little ones. Once the kids were old enough to just jump in the car and go, THEIR social calendars made it so that we were always running them around. So again no spontaneous get aways.
So my answer to this little question would have to be from my late teens, early twenty days. My fondest memory of a road trip was with one my many roommates (the only female I could stand living with) Jennifer. I met her though one of my male friends, Jon who is by the way now my cousin by marriage. Jennifer was from Indiana and how she ended up in St. Louis I do not remember. But she was the best roommate ever (as far as female roommates went). She was a lot like me, mostly male friends, liked sports and outdoor activities. She disliked shopping as much as I did, and dressing up and makeup were something we made fun of often. We also respected each others space, we could sit in the same room watching TV or reading with no need to fill quietness in with needless conversation. She made having a roommate easy, when she was short I covered her and when I was short she covered me.
Oops I did it again, see how easily I get sidetracked...
Anyway, one Friday evening we were sitting around with nothing to do. We really did not want to go to a club (we both did not like the noise and did not want to deal with guys hitting on us), or just "hang out" at any of the local spots. So we just decided that we would get in the car and drive, before we knew it we were on our way to Indianapolis. The ride was nice, it was dark out and cool enough to have the windows down. not too hot nor too cold as in the three bears it was perfect.
Once we got to Indianapolis (a place I had never been) we just drove around the city. We noticed that 7-Up was having a convention at one of the local hotels. So we decided to check it out. We visited, played games, and mingled. I guess we stayed there for about 3 or 4 hours and then headed back home.
Though it does not sound like much, that is one of my "fun" memories. Jennifer and I ended up going on several spontaneous little night or weekend trips throughout out stay together. Sometimes other friends went with us, they were always relaxed and enjoyable. I believe they come back as such fond thoughts because they were not planned, not rushed, just go by the seat of your pants kind of trips. That way you could not be disappointed by missing something planned.
What is your best road trip memories? I would love tp hear them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The History of Saint Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feast. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

Now to me, I have never been one to side with the celebrating of Valentine's Day. To me it is an advertising nightmare to make women feel they deserve and men to feel guilty. I set forth early in my dating years to ban this holiday. First and foremost it is an incredible waste of money, a Hallmark Holiday, retailers jacking up prices on very cheesy items of "affection", florist charging outrageous prices for flowers that inevitably die (I always felt this was a sign of relationships, beautiful at first then withering and gone in such a short time).

I would explain to MD in the beginning when he brought gifts to me on this day that I loved him for the effort but they were meaningless on this day when men "HAD" to show they loved you. I wanted him to show me 365 days a year he loved me and not because society said he had to but because he wanted to. Flowers just because, and not $100 bundle either, everyday flowers for no apparent reason were the best. MD caught on quickly, he would occasionally bring home a bundle of flowers from whatever supermarket he was in on that particular day. Presenting them to me with a card stating "love you all 365 days". They were and still are the best. Just because he thought of me that day. Emails from him work the same magic in my heart. Just a note "I was just thinking of you". That is all they say, but it says so much to me. And makes my heart sing, my eyes water, and my mind wander.

I have always thought it strange for me, a female, to feel this way. I thought I was all alone in feeling the way I did, that there was something wrong with me. Maybe that I had too many male friends that influenced the way my brian worked. I would listen to other female friends and co-workers "gush" over what their boyfriends got them and what they did on Valentine's Day. I very much felt sorry for these men. As it sounded like something of "mine is better than yours" type of discussions. These guys really had no idea that it is a contest of who could out do who? I have had heard several male friends complaining about how their girlfriends liked what they received at first but then all of sudden it was not good enough, or they always had to do better the next year (or holiday). I vowed then and their I would NEVER put a boyfriend through that kind of punishment. Most time than not I made sure I had become single before this holiday came. I do find that the older I get the more women I find that also have the same distaste of this same holiday. Thank goodness I am not alone.

But with MD, it was funny at first, he made it so hard on himself, and of course I was no help, I did not like receiving those kind of gifts. Over the years he has gotten use to the fact I do not like these types of holiday gifts. He does still get up and tells me "Happy Valentine's Day, Love", give me a generous hug and a kiss. Now that I can live with and enjoy.

Today will be like every other day, for one thing MD is working, dinner will be had at home, no waiting 2 hours to get a table in a very crowded restaurant, to end up getting poor service from some swamped server. And then paying way to much for way to little.

What ever happend to showing love and kindness to your loved one every day, not once a year. Really how have we evolved as a society that thrives on the material things.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tax Time Is Sneaking Up On Us

Mikayla and I just got back from Target. I had to pick up a few things, catchup, ice cream, laundry detergent and such. I also picked up Turbo Tax software. Wow that thing is getting expensive. I remember just a couple of years ago you could pick it up for $20. Now for the same thing I paid $60. And I got a new book, The Shack. Of course I tell Felicia and she already has the book.

Felicia comes home this Friday, yea. She wants to do her taxes too. So I guess I will be spending the weekend doing taxes, yea fun. So Much fun to look forward to.

Another exciting night hu?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Boring Old Tuesday

It is a Tuesday evening, Mikayla is playing on the computer, MD working on a bathroom somewhere, Felicia away at school, Devin......who knows where he is, just not here.

Me, sitting here reading about other people's day. Work was uneventful nothing interesting at all except for the fact that it was absolutely beautiful outside. It was hard to sit at my desk all day.

I am bored but do not have the drive to go do anything, anything constructive that is. The house is straightened up, so nothing there to do either.

OOOOO MD just got home, maybe he will play with me!

Let's hope he is not too tired.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday to the best most wonderful husband ever!!

Do not look at today as you are getting older, but that you are getting better. Just like wine that grows better with age.

I could not imagine having a more perfectly matched person for me to spend my life with, I love you always.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Shopping Event

Mikayla had me at the mall today. The MALL, a place I am very uncomfortable at. Cannot tell you why, maybe it is all the people always around, or it could be just the plain fact that everything there is so expensive. In the end I just do not like the mall, but it was a good way to spend a little time with my youngest.

Our first stop was to Hollister.. here are a few things she picked up:

There was a book bag and an additional shirt purchased and $80 something later we left.

We then went on a hunt for a particular pair of shoes. A certain pair she just had to have, she found them on the Internet but refuses to buy anything on the net. Total opposite of her sister who LOVES EBay.
4 stores later we finally ended at Journey's and bought these two beauties:

Then another $80 something later we left that store. I explained to her that she had blown past her birthday money and grade money so she was sooooo done shopping.

See I told you the Mall is expensive.

But we still had to find something for MD his birthday is tomorrow! Off to Macy's. Two dress slacks and two dress shirts later I finally got to go home.

Hey anyone have book suggestions? I am once again out of items to read. I am actually tired of Steven King books and that is all I have (besides Stephanie Meyers). I need some escape time.

Is There Hope?

Anyone who is deciding whether or not to have children should NEVER read my blog. I do believe that my experiences with my children is enough birth control for any woman.
I am very careful (or I try my best) to edit my conversations with my son while at work. I have a coworker who is considering motherhood. I know her husband is dying (okay not literally) to have a baby. She is very nervous and does not take this decision lightly. I envy her is some ways, I wish I thought everything though carefully before hand as she does. She tells me that when people find out they are talking of having children that these people feel the need to give her birthing stories, toddler stories, etc. They do not realize (I even slip at times) that this is not helping her husband into getting her to have children. My response to her when she makes this comment to tell me about a terrifying day spend with friends or relatives children, is that she and her husband are different people and therefore her child(ren) will be different also. And when you have your own child you feel totally different about that little nudger running around your house than she feels now about the "outside" children running around her house. It is totally different when they are your own.
At that point I make myself stop, I fear that I will spill about ALL the problems with my teens. And if I did that her poor husband would hang me by my ankles for she would never want to have children.
Speaking of my woes, we have been taking Devin to a psychologist for the last three months now. I have only one thing to say about that ......... waist of time and money! I take him explaining the problems with school work (failing miserably), the hate (and yes I mean hate) he expresses to the family at home, the disrespect to my husband and I, for any rules we try to enforce. Devin totally HATES it here and makes sure he lets everyone know this daily.
It totally amazes me when his friends parents call, they always seem to tell me my son is the sweetest, courteous, and patient kid they have met. Jokingly I ask them again with whom they are referring (with a sly laugh) that can not be my son they are speaking of. Then these parents go as far as giving me examples. Why is he so good everywhere but at home? What did we do to make him hate us so much? This is not something new, something that started in his teen years. He has always been our grumpy old man. The hugs stopped in grade school, well at least he stopped giving them. I still forced them upon him every chance I could.
I got sidetracked again, sorry. Anyway the reason we believe these Dr. visits are a waste, is we never get any feedback. Yes MD and I want to be told what to do, how to handle what is going on. We are getting nothing. Devin on the other hand is getting ... well lets just say more courageous. For example, for his January visit I am home when he gets home. That alerted him to something. He asks "why are you home?" I tell him you have a Dr. appointment. Then the profanities, and arguments start. I get him to go, he spends his hour with the Dr. and makes me pay for it all the way home. I have never heard a kid make a parent feel so horrible. I know in my teen years I was hard on my parents but I never have said the things to my parents that come out of his mouth.
I reminded Devin that he was grounded still due to his grades being below C's. Again the profanities and arguments start. When we walked in the door he immediately goes to the phone, goes to his room, changes and walks toward the door. In a last ditch effort to get him to stay without a physical fight, I tell him he walks out that door I would be clearing out his room. At this point MD gets in to try to back me up and tells Devin that if he walks out the door do not come back. We have rules of the house and he is to follow them. Devin leaves anyway.
I was sooo mad I went straight to his room, thinking he would be back in a couple of hours. It was at the time -5 degrees outside, how long could he really handle being cold. He would not want to walk home from his friends house with it that cold out there, he would call for a ride. So I ripped though his room, tearing posters off the wall, cleaning out from under the bed, cleaning out everything. Why do boys rooms smell soooo bad?
Oh, and to top everything off MD's sister was coming in from Georgia for a visit and a birthday party that weekend. I had his room cleaned and all the trash bags out by the time they arrived. Prepared myself for the onslaught I knew would happen when Devin came home from having his room "cleaned". 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock, 10 o'clock, then 11 o'clock came and went I started calling all his friends, especially when one of them kept calling me looking for him. Of course all said that they did not know where he was. MD and I went driving around looking for him at all his regular places. If it had not been so cold out I would have let him have his little tantrum and work though it himself. I thought if it he would only pull this in the summer, it would have worked better in my favor. But it was cold, very cold, the coldest night we have had in many years and I could not find him anywhere. My head was aching, my stomach was turning. I had no idea where he was. When we got home MD's sister said no calls and no Devin. Then 10 minutes later he walked in the door, his friends dad brought him home, stating that he did not want to be responsible for him.
We just had another visit with the Dr. and again I ask questions with no answers. I asked if Devin told him about his "running away". The Dr. just asks which time. My response was pick one, what do I do? He only shakes his head, and mumbles something on needed to follow though what we say. Okay I get it I should have let him stay gone? Stay out in the freezing could as far as I knew? What, what should I have done, or better done right? His response was when did I want to make another appointment? And on the way home Devin held true to form, making me pay for the fact I made him go to another Dr. appointment.
It was then and there I decided, I am done. Done trying to help, done getting him to do his school work, done trying to get him to like us much less treat us with any kind of respect. I stopped talking with or too him, would not respond to questions other than one or two words.
Devin responded with ............... being home on time, leaving a note where he was going, getting his school work completed, trying to strike up a conversation with his dad (since I would not respond to him). He kept this going for a few days, until that is I asked about his school work or I asked where he was going. He reverted right back to the previous Devin.
MD told me he heard on the radio about something called "Total Transformation". It was a program for parents who have problems like we do. He wanted to purchase the program, I explained that it is fairly expensive. He just said well how much are you paying for the Dr., who by the way was giving us no direction and who it seems was giving Devin the kahunas to stand up against us?
Point taken I just purchased the program, we will see.