Sunday, May 24, 2020

My not so relaxing long weekend................

How are your my friends?  Any news?  We here in the US are enjoying a long weekend and in my usual style I have been way, way to busy!  

But first a picture of my darling boys last weekend.  This is how they sleep in their crate, hugging each other, or face to face with their paws touching.  They are adorable or they were until they got a much need, but very drastic hair cut.

These are not the same boys I dropped off at the groomers that is for sure.  They took everything off, and I mean everything.  Hair fur, leg fur, belly fur and chest fur.  And no they did not trim a heart in Hank's chest, that is just a reflection of the lighting.  I was a bit shocked when I first saw them to be honest, but am trying to get used to it.  They certainly don't have any mats now, and they should be cooler for the summer but still they don't even look like the same dogs!

Friday after we finished all of Little Buddy's schooling he took a break and did some weaving, well sort of.  He can't quiet get the over/under part so he just pulls the loops across the loom.  It is a great fine motor task so I encourage him to do it as much as I can.  I love it when he really concentrates.  One more week of school to go!  Woo Hoo!  We have handed in all the graded assignments so now it is busy work until the end of the week. 

And just so you all know this superstar rode his bike one mile last Saturday!  It was amazing!  Yesterday he rode it a half mile but rode so fast I had to jog to keep up with him for most of the ride, which he thought was hysterical.  Time for Mom to get a new bike too so I can keep up with this boy on his.  Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on my last post about Little Buddy's new bike.  And thank you from the bottom of my hear for those of you who donated to One Simple Wish, it is such a worthy cause. 

In typical Meredith fashion I can't sit still on a long weekend, so I decided to recover my kitchen chairs.  It has been on my list of things to do for over a year but when I look at fabric I can't find any I like.  I also wanted to wait just a bit because all the chairs I have are frayed from the velcro on Little Buddy's braces and I wanted him to grow just a wee bit more so he his brace would be past this part of the chair.  On a whim Friday I went to Joann's for just a peek and of course found exactly what I wanted, and it was on sale which is a big bonus.

Here is one of  the finished kitchen chairs, there are six in all.  Of course I underestimated the fabric so I had to go back and get more.  I also used Scotch Guard on all of them to make sure they would be protected from Little Boy spills.  My husband helped me screw them all into place which was a great help to me.  

I even did my office chair.  And of course this new fabric makes me so happy I went back and got even more to redo a very old antique rocker I have.  But that story is for another day.  I have now ripped that chair apart and oh my, well my friends lets just say it is really, really old, and needs a lot of work but I am up for the challenge.

This Little Boy has had several days of back talking and not being the nicest boy when he is asked to do something.  And to be honest  after a long day at work, working with very difficult children and sometimes difficult parents my patience is not the best.  So I thought he really just needed to get out of the house.  I decided that since the beaches are open with social distancing rules that I would take him very early today before the crowds.  We left my house at 8:15, ready for a 25 minute drive and well I guess I was not the only one thinking this because the roads were packed!   Even on this very cloudy day.  We were waiting in one lane traffic for close to 45 minutes just creeping up slowly in line.  Finally I pulled off and we went to this little patch of sand on the causeway and had a little beach time.   We filled buckets with sand and rocks, we chatted and walked in the rocky water.  Then we headed home to jump in the pool.  Even if it was not the beach morning I had planned we still got out and we were safely away from others.  

I am still trying to be as cautious as can be but I fear others are fed up with restrictions and are going about life as they used to.  At Joann's most people had masks on and kept a bit of space between people, but at other stores I did not find this to be the same.  People are just shopping about, no masks and no distancing.  They get so close to you, don't wait for you to pass, it is all so crazy.  We are nearing the 100,000 death mark in the US and should reach it this weekend.  It is thought to be much, much higher but that surely would not look good to publish for our government.  So I hope you are staying safe,  wearing masks when you are out, sanitizing as much as you can.  It is so  much better to continue to take this seriously my friends.  Be well.

Friday, May 15, 2020

A feel good story to warm your heart.................

Well my friends I have a feel good story for you that will warm your heart.  Little Buddy got a brand new bike and it is amazing!  But there is more to it than that.  I have been trying for months to get a new bike for him paid for by his insurance.  I went to the top of the top, and even though he needs this for endurance, trunk control, balance, visual orientation, lower extremity use and independent function they would not pay for it.  Here is the thing, special needs bikes are super expensive.  You can't go to the local bike store or even your local Walmart and buy one.  You can if you are an adult, but not a child with special needs.  

I was talking to a woman who is helping us with Little Buddy's subsidy and while I was talking about his need for a new bike, his need for a new bed which has to be lower than a regular bed and has to have a really good mattress for his tight muscles, and while I discussed how much his special needs camp will be this summer, twice the amount it was last year, so we are restricted in the weeks we can afford for him to go.  While I was upset about how much this will all cost, when I am not working as much and paying my babysitter twice as much because my boy is home from school due to the Coronavirus and we all have to work...............well she had an idea. 

She told me about an organization that helps children in foster care or who have been adopted out of the foster care system get one item they need. It is called One Simple Wish and it works with children throughout the country.  She contacted her friend who runs the organization and then asked me to submit a photo and a little background information about my sweet boy.  So I did.  I checked their Facebook page a few times but I am not a big Facebook user so I did not keep checking.  It seemed that there were emergencies for kids needing laptops and tablets due to online schooling from the Coronavirus.  Little Buddy was not an emergency.  So you can imagine my shock when I got home from work last Tuesday and there was a big box in my garage.  I opened it and saw the most beautiful blue bike.

My husband put this beauty together on Sunday with a little help from Mr 26.  It is a wonderful tricycle that actually rides like a real bike.  The pedals are hooked up to the chain and your legs have to move independently of each other unlike a tricycle whose pedals are hooked up to the front wheel.  When that wheel moves the pedals move so you don't have to use your legs independently of each other, your legs keep moving as long as the wheel is moving.  Little Buddy was so excited to try his new bike but it was really hard and he just could not get that right leg of his to move up and over the rotation of the pedal, it just kept getting stuck.  He had a complete meltdown and said he never wanted to ride his bike again.  After talking about working on things that are hard, practicing until you get it, which might take some time, and a nice break he decided to try again.

We went outside and my friends he did it!  He rode 3-4 rotations at a time with help getting his right leg to move only at the beginning of the ride.  I screamed so loud the first time he did it he almost fell off the bike!  Since that ride on Sunday afternoon he has improved so much.  He can ride it two and a half times around our cul-de-sac without stopping.  He is even starting to start his ride with no help if his right leg is not at the top of the pedaling cycle.  He is getting so much stronger and he is so, so proud of himself, as we all are.  Riding a bike is so hard to do for a child who has cerebral palsy.  You have to make those legs work independently of each other, especially your weaker side. You have to balance on the seat, control your trunk and head, hold onto the handle bars with both hands, even your weaker hand, visually attend to where you are going, and you have to have the endurance and strength to keep going.  He is amazing and getting stronger every time he rides it.

There are such good people out there in this complicated world of ours.  As I did not know he was even on their site I have no idea who contributed to help him get this bike.  The day after it arrived I made a nice contribution to help other kids in need.  It is the least I can do.  All I know is that someone out there, or many someones out there helped my special boy get something he so deserves, and helped to ease some of the financial issues that we have to give him the life he so deserves.  

This amazing bike is such a blessing to him and our entire family.  It is good for him therapeutically but will also make him feel more like a normal child, just out riding his bike like other kids do.  It will last him years and years because it is positioned at the very smallest it can be and has room for lots and lots of growth.  It is our feel good story of the year.  Well actually Little Buddy and his perseverance in all he does in life is our feel good story every year.  

I hope this story has warmed your heart as much as it has mine.  I feel like crying every time I think of how strangers have helped my son.  I hope my contribution, in some small way, will help other children to be as happy as my Little One.

If you are interested in One Simple Wish just click on the link and you will be directed to their website.

Stay safe and well my friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Women's Day.................

You all know I am not a fan of Mother's Day.  There are way too many women out there taking care of children, the environment, partners, parents, friends, animals and the world to be celebrated if they only have the title of Mother.  So to all of you taking care of everything, to all of you working hard to make this world a better place, to all of you stepping up and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, yet still making it though each and every day I send you my heartfelt thanks.  Thanks for being women the world needs right now more than ever.  Women who love and try to make the world a better place.  You are my heroes.  And to all of you missing your mom's, well I am right there with you today and every day.  I am sending you all a hug of gratitude for all you do each and every day. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

A normal week, well our new normal anyway................

Well my friends how are you?  We are still doing fine here with our new normal.  I continue to work outside the home making sure everyone is healthy before I go to a home to work with the kids.  I continue to work with Little Buddy on his school work online and we have had even better success this week.  We actually turned in a biography report on Neil Armstrong way ahead of time.  May is a tough paperwork month for me so I wanted that project off my  list.  He did such a good job telling me what he thought was important and picking pictures and even a video to insert.  We wrote it all out first and then he typed it into the appropriate areas and we submitted it early.  I think ours is very basic but you can imagine these amazing projects some kids submit.  Little Buddy did almost all the work with a tweak here and there from me and that is what matters.  Mona, his monkey is usually near to help us out.  He is in love with this special present from Mr 22.  We all need a friend don't we?  Especially during these times of isolation.

Little Buddy acquired a new skill last weekend.  He is now able to do a hand stand in the pool.  This is the best photo I was able to get and his hands are not at the bottom of the pool yet but you get the idea.  This is a really tough skill for a little one whose muscles don't want to behave like yours and mine.  He is still practicing picking up items from the bottom of the shallow end and doing it faster and faster every week.

These two are just the shaggiest mops in the world.  They desperately need hair cuts but that is not happening yet.  Florida is slowing opening its doors although the death tolls still are rising in the state and this country.  In more shake your head news that this seriously can't be happening.......... Our governor and the Department of Health in Florida have intervened so state coroners can't release Coronavirus deaths because they are 10% higher than the states and that does not look good for opening the state back up for business.  And the people protesting opening up states.......don't even get me started on that and their ignorance.  Can you even imagine a large group of African American's or Muslin's storming a state capitol while wearing bullet proof vests, masks and holding assault rifles?  I am pretty sure the president would not be egging them on, nor would we be just moving on quickly from that in our news cycle like it was no big deal at all.

On Friday after loads of cleaning, school work, and my own paperwork, Little Buddy's room got a bit of a redo.  I was just about to buy him a bigger bed right before this pandemic hit.  I had been working on him for months to get one because he does not like change.  Of course just when we were ready all stores closed.  I finally ordered a bed from IKEA that is to be delivered at the end of May.  We had this IKEA black dresser in the garage waiting for Mr 26 to use when he moves out this summer, but I confiscated it and brought it into Little Buddy's room instead.  I cleaned it all up and moved his smaller dresser out.  It has more room for his shoes and braces as well as clothes.  It is a bit crowded in here because his room is actually not a bedroom at all it is a media room, sort of a small bonus room off our family room.  There are no closets and the TV and large lawyer bookshelf were already in here before this little one arrived in our life.  Still we are making due and he loves his little room.  We switched the bed over to the other side ready for the new bed to come in.  We sorted some toys, clothes and books ready for donating, and here we are with the finished project so far.  I think it looks nice.

My favorite part about warmer weather are these darling freckles.  They are back my friends, ready to make us all smile.

Hang in there, stay safe and well.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Saturday ramblings........

Well my friends how are you?  How has your week been?  Any news?  We are all good here at my house.  It has been a good week even though it rained and my roof now leaks so I guess you can say it was raining inside as well as outside.  We really needed the rain outside, inside not so much.  Still it can be fixed and we don't technically need a new roof yet but we are getting close.  So good news, right?

I finished yet another shawl for a dear friend I just adore.  This is made with Berroco Pima 100% cotton yarn in the color Basil.  I love it and yes it is another Elise Shawl bringing my grand total of making these to about 10,000, I think.  I used two skeins of yarn chosen particularity for this friend and a size J hook.  This pattern is so easy and makes such a great shawl, I hope she likes it.

This little boy went to bed last night not feeling quite himself.  He did not eat dinner just acted very tired.  He slept 13 hours last night and now looks perkier but still is quiet.  His fur brothers are keeping a close eye on him as is Mom!  I actually think he is growing and that might be what all this sleeping is about.  He has declared today a pajama day and so there it is, it's official.   He is currently in my office playing on his iPad with his favorite stuffed monkey, Mona, at his side.  Two fur boys are also in here with us, it is crowded but lovely having them all so close.

Yesterday I started a new project after cleaning, schooling and ending my work week.  This is the Cannonlands Boho Top.  I found it after a pretty big search on Ravelry last weekend.  I wanted to use more of my stash yarn and this Universal Yarn, Inc., Cotton Supreme DK yarn seemed perfect.  I bought this yarn years ago when a local yarn store went out of business so I have been waiting for the perfect project for it.  Wish me luck!

We got through the school week pretty intact minus a meeting I just could not seem to be able to attend with a special teacher of Little Buddy's.  We could not find the invite, then could not get the iPad or my computer to allow us in, then his assistant tried to help me through text messages that didn't help either, until I finally just said we were done and that was that.  I am a bit of a pain as I am not that tech savvy and all these younger parents are, still I am trying and we are getting most of his work done.  We have school therapists to meet every week, assignments for his regular class, art, music and physical education, there is a lot to get done every week.  So we will do our best and that is the best we can do!

There are fun assignments that are not mandatory but I still like him to do them so he can get as much exposure as the other kids in his class.  One of them was this wonderful lion made out of graphing points and connecting the dots.  Little Buddy's coloring is getting so much better, I am so proud of him  We also had to make an instrument for music from things we had at home, here he is with chop stick drum sticks on a box drum.


Darling Bear had to get his three stitches out yesterday.  I can't take him into the office so the vet tech  has to come out and get him from the car.  Let me just say Bear was having none of it and suddenly this 43 pound dog became 143 pounds and planted his feet and would not move.  The poor woman had to pick him up and carry him.  He was gone all of four minutes and returned stitch free, but as you can see he is still not over the trauma.  Hank barked the whole time we were gone bless him, but now they are reunited and all is well.

As for the rest of the weekend a lot or REST is in order for both Little Buddy and me.  I am trying to get over one of my big headaches and he just needs to be quiet.  How about you?  What is in store for you today?  Stay well my friends and see you soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

I think I have completely lost my mind........

Well my friends as we are all attempting to wear many hats during these days of isolation I am failing at a few of my new roles.  I am an average teacher at best, as I have said before online school is difficult with a little one with no attention span, and a Mom with few hours to get assignments done.  Still this week was better than last week.  We found out last night our schools will be closed until next school year so I had better up my game in the teacher department.  

I have become the lead cleaning person in the family although my oldest son is in charge of two rooms and bathrooms upstairs.  He does a fabulous job, my husband is in charge of cooking which helps a lot, but frankly he has always been in charge of cooking so this is not new.  I am also a barber, cutting Little Buddy's hair with good success.  But the one job I was a complete fail at was groomer. Yup, after a bath last Sunday morning I clipped Bear's leg when I was trying to get a big mat off of it.  Off to the emergency vet we went and nine hours later I picked him up.  Not because he needed that long but there were big emergencies that came in and he was not a priority.  He was on pain medication so was asleep most of the day.  I was a wreck, a total wreck all day, and so was my dear Hank.  He was so, so quiet, not a tail wag all day long and he just stayed glued to my side.  After Bear's return late Sunday evening Hank never left his side, even for even a minute. We are all good now and the boys can even play!  If Bear would just leave that spot alone we would perfect but because he can't he still has to wear his cone on occasion.

Cutting Bear was my breaking point I'll tell you.  I have been hanging in there with all the stress of still working, schooling, house cleaning and trying not to freak out at the news, but cutting Bear is what put me over the edge.  I have to keep reminding myself that it was not intentional, he did not have a major emergency, and I did not lose him, it was just an accident.  Still it weighs on my heart.

School is becoming easier especially as I have Monday and Wednesday mornings off to work with Little Buddy.  I have only about 2/3 of my caseload right now because of the virus so this extra time helps both of us not lose our minds with school.  Teachers are trying so hard bless them.  There has even been some super fun assignments this week like watching a video on how to make this shark puppet, and a report on animals and what they need to survive.  Little Buddy picked a sloth! 

And yes my friends I have completely lost my mind.  For some reason I had my weekly calendar on the wrong week the entire week and I did not notice.  I kept writing things in and even though I write the date a thousand times day for work I still did not notice.  Which led me to take Little Buddy to get his Botox shots a week early.  Bless the lovely doctor who was at his office for seeing us on Friday instead of next week.  He is the loveliest man and decided we could do the procedure between the two of us with no nurses to help.  I have to give Little Buddy some heavy medication before the procedure and he had already taken it so it was worth getting done.  It went well and actually this little boy fell asleep on the way home and slept for 3 hours.  When he woke he was in a good mood, but we are still have occasional bouts of fussing and crying, more due to the medication he had than the shots themselves, I believe.

Despite what is happening in my life, the world, the panic, the news and constant death tolls, there are still so many things to be grateful for.  Flowers are blooming, at least where I live they are.  I have a family that is safe, we have food and shelter, we are working for the most part, and trying to get along while spending more time at home.  There is sun and a pool for Little Buddy to swim in, a new bike he likes to ride, and two fur boys who are a delight to all of us.  Even one with a shaved leg with three stitches in it.  

Have a good week my friends, stay safe and well.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from my bunnies to yours!