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Monday, August 21, 2017

NO, I don't want to help orphan children with rare diseases!

When I used to go to the grocery store it went like this:

"That'll be $135.62." Swipe my card, sign the thing, get a receipt, done. 

Now there's this extra step: 

"That'll be $135.62." Insert card in chip reader (well that's different, but I'm getting used to it), and then, instead of handing me a receipt, the cashier starts judging me:

"Are you a nice, charitable person who likes to help others or are you a selfless, greedy bi#c$? I mean, I see you can afford five bottles of wine that aren't even from the lowest shelf, they're from the SECOND to lowest which is where the fancy people shop! Oh, and this mac and cheese? You just HAD to get Kraft that's $.80 more? We have a Kroger brand that is just as good, that is, if you're not a mac and cheese SNOB."

I know. It catches me off guard too. Oh, the shame!

What they really say is something like, "Would you like to donate a dollar to the Salvation Army to help people have blankets this winter?" Or "Would you like to make a donation to breast cancer research?"

I did say yes for awhile. Cause it IS just a dollar. But I've grown tired of it. And now that I am saying "no" it sounds really mean.

Cashier: "Would you like to donate a dollar to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes?"

Me: "No, thank you."

So now he thinks I don't care about the kids with diabetes, or the breast cancer victims or the cold people on the streets! And that's not fair. Because I DO care. He doesn't know how much I give to organizations. He doesn't know how much food I donate to the community pantry. He doesn't know we have not one, but TWO, of those Save the Children kids! He doesn't know that I have donated my children's bodies to diabetes research! For all he knows, I could be out there every morning serving food to the homeless.  (I mean, I'm not, but that's not the point!)

Since I started saying no, most cashiers don't say anything; I can just feel the tension of judgement in the air after I say it.

But then, someone did say something. At Jiffy Lube. Yes, even at Jiffy Lube they hit you up! Nowhere is safe.


"Would you like to give a donation so that kids with muscular dystrophy can go to camp?"

"No, thank you."

"Really? You're the first person today to say no."


Oh. No. She. Didn't.

"You know, I'm just getting a little tired of always being asked to make a donation every time I buy something. I actually already give a lot to charity."

She said, "Well the other people probably gave because of this coupon book you get if you give $3."

Um, she didn't tell ME about the coupon book! (Just for the record, the coupon book would not have swayed me but STILL, she doesn't know that!)

I am DONE with these grocery store/drug store/oil change place donation requests. But still the issue remains: How can I say no without looking like a total b*t#h?

A friend gave me a great response: "Not today."

I love it. It doesn't cut as hard as "no" or even "no, thank you." So from now on, that is what I will say--well, maybe not to the homeless pets. Who can say no (or "not today") to them?


Monday, August 07, 2017

The BEST FDOS ever!

All First Days of School are fun and exciting but this one, this one we have been looking forward to for six years! Or maybe just I have been looking forward to it for six years :) 

Because today BOTH kids went to real, big kid school. Gus started kindergarten! And since we waited an extra year to send him, he was more than ready to go. 

Here are some pics from this epic FDOS! 



Gus, the night before Kindergarten, putting his "ready confetti" from his teacher under his pillow. He commented that "Donald Trump doesn't need this because he has already been through all the grades." 

Both boys ready for school--Smitty wishes he could go to dog school.



 I'm gonna be honest. Gus was just adjusting his backpack here but I blasted it on social media like he was all, "I've got this! Woo hoo!"


Gus LOVES going to the same school as Leo! 



Gus cooperated for the pictures...until he didn't. 



All smiles after school!


With his kindergarten buddies at the bus stop

And a little Twitter update from Gus' Kindergarten teacher!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Fun, Mom Style

It is my favorite week of summer! I have been looking forward to this week since school got out 54 days ago (not that I'm counting).

Here is my sweet life this week: Leo is on an adventure with Granny Jo and Popsy in Pigeon Forge, TN. So I know he is having fun, well taken care of AND out of my hair for six days!

Gus is in an outdoor day camp from 9-4 everyday. So I know he is...well, out of my hair for most of the day for five days!

During this week I have lots of plans to be productive, including, but not limited to, re-organizing the kids' sock drawers. I know; it sounds like a lame excuse to get out of a blind date but it is a real thing and it needs to be done! Those socks aren't going to organize themselves, ya know?

I have already accomplished 95% of a big task which is buying the kids' school supplies.  I have a few random items to pick up still (who knew hand sanitizer would prove to be so challenging?) hence the 95%.

I actually look forward to school supply shopping thanks to a little game I call "The School Supply Drinking Game." It is a brilliant and fun game except for the tiny problem that it doesn't involve alcohol. Because it takes concentration. And that would be frowned upon at Target.








MY drinking game involves Starbucks. Any beverage you choose. You purchase it at the SB Target as follows:

--A tall if you have one kid to shop for
--A grande if you have two
--A venti if you have three

If you have more than three, then it's Venti + a cake pop. And God bless you.

Here's how it works: You get your list(s) and leave your cart and drink at the end of an aisle close by, but with lame stuff like garden hoses. You pick up three items from the list and go put it in your cart, cross them off with the pen you brought and then you have a sip of your drink!

I flew threw my list today and still had enough of my drink left to play the game in kids' clothes, grocery and later (even though I KNEW I shouldn't be there), in women's clothes. (They had rompers!!)

Btw, after trying on said rompers (and realizing the armpits were too long, is that a thing?) I accidentally put my shorts on backwards and took this amusing picture.



The ONLY thing that wasn't perfection about my solo Target trip was that I forgot my I.D. and couldn't buy wine :(  But on the other hand, the cashier's refusal to sell me wine without my I.D. was quite flattering.

Even after nearly seven hours to myself today, I STILL didn't manage to get around to organizing the socks. But that's okay. Gives me something to look forward to tomorrow!




Monday, May 22, 2017

The End of an Era

In two days we will be done with preschool forever! Leo started preschool when he was three in 2011 so we have been in preschool for six years. In total, we have participated in seven preschool classes. They have pretty much all been fantastic. And I have a special place in my heart for Leo's "Doves" class he did in Frisco cause I just loved those teachers.

But this class--the Young 5's--that Gus is in this year, is my FAVORITE preschool class ever. If you can be in love with a class, then that is what I am.

There is one amazing teacher, Ms. Morgan, nine awesome kids and eight fabulous moms. (One mom has twins so that is why there are only eight. I'm not saying there is one non-fabulous mom.) Oh, and the dads are pretty cool too!

All of the kids are such sweet friends; they even say "I love you" to each other on a regular basis. And the hugging. Oh, the hugging! They embrace at the end of every school day. They were actually kissing each other too (with Gus being the kissing ring leader), but we had to squash that.

A small class has been SO beneficial for Gus. He isn't overwhelmed; he is able to focus; he has learned a ton. And even better, they rarely just have one teacher. There are two volunteer retired teachers who come in to help. One comes in on Mondays and one comes in Tues-Thursday. They are angels! So the kids get lots of one-on-one attention.

I am excited for the kids to be in elementary school together. I am excited for Gus to go to kindergarten. I am excited to not have to pay for preschool anymore. He is excited to for all of this too, especially "seeing Leo on the bus." But oh, how we are both going to miss THIS class. It has just been one of those rare times where everything comes together perfectly. And to think, I almost kept Gus home with me this year!!

Not one of these kids will be at Gus' elementary school next year which is such a bummer. Not only for Gus but for me, cause I adore their moms!

Here, I leave you with a few pics of these cute, sweet, silly "Young Fives."
















Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gus--OT Graduate!


After a little over a year of Occupational Therapy for Sensory Processing Disorder, Gus was discharged! He really has come a long way in that time. I was looking at some notes from last school year (in the 4's class) and he was a hot mess--very distracted, playing too rough, running into things...

But after a year of bear crawls, yoga and fine motor skilled crafts, he is so much better. It is hard to explain the shift (and I saw it in Leo too since he did OT for SPD a few years ago), but it's like these kids become more comfortable in their own skin. 

Here is Gus with his Occupational Therapist on the left and the OT intern on the right. 




During the last eight weeks, they worked with him on a program about "the engine." They helped Gus understand how to make his engine "just right." Kids with SPD have trouble with regulation so sometimes his engine is too high (hyper, too silly, squeezing people and things too hard, running into things) or too low (walking really slow, dragging...) There are all sorts of ways to change your engine: doing yoga poses, hugging yourself, fidgeting with something, sucking through a straw, listening to music and even different types of food affect your engine. 

And everybody is different. Eating pretzels might make one person's engine get higher and another person's engine lower. Spinning makes Gus' engine high but might make another kid's low. 

So now we say to Gus, "It seems like your engine is a little high. What can you do to make it just right?" Even Leo and Gus' teacher have started saying it! 


Here is Gus in action on his last day. They usually do an obstacle course (starting with the bouncy), yoga poses and then move into a little room where they do writing and a craft. It sounds pretty basic but it is all very scientific and believe me, it works! 












He still doesn't always know where he is in space and has motor planning issues but I feel like, at this point, I have at least a community college degree in Occupational Therapy and can take it from here.