Sigh.  Where to start?!?  It’s been awhile since I sat down to write and ponder what’s been going on in our lives, so, I guess, this post will be a bit of a hodgepodge as these last couple of weeks have just rushed on by…

Well, last week was Christian’s spring break.  It was a struggle.  From a former-teacher’s standpoint, I understand the NEED for a spring break.  From Christian’s standpoint, I wish there was NEVER a break from school.  Our routine get SO messed up that it’s hard to get anything done.  It’s hard for Christian to stay dressed.  It’s hard to keep the peace between siblings.  It’s hard to keep my patience and sanity.  It’s hard to find something to do that pleases both kids.  It’s hard to keep up with the toileting issues that always rear their ugly heads anytime a major routine change happens, such as a LONG break from school.  Sigh.  We did manage to move a few of Christian’s therapy shifts earlier to help eat up some of the length of his days.  The kids and I went to visit my parents 45-minutes away and made animals at Build-A-Bear Workshop for their early birthday gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.  Christian was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices at the store, so I started making executive decisions for him, which turned out fine in the end.  (Especially when we got home and I realized that he wasn’t playing with his animal because I had put jammies on it.  Come on, Mama, animals don’t wear jammies!  I took them off the dog and then Christian LOVED his puppy!! 🙂 )  Liv got really shy there.  She refused to interact with the ladies in the store, but she knew what she wanted and found a Hello Kitty and dressed it in Hello Kitty jammies.  Yeah, she LOVED it!  🙂  Liv then stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s overnight.  Her first night EVER away from us.  She did great!  She did so well in fact that she didn’t want to come home the next day.  😉  Who can blame her???  She had TWO WHOLE people’s undivided attention!  She certainly doesn’t get that around here.  Liv is looking forward to the next time that she gets to do that!  🙂  Oh, and the weather last week was BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn’t have ordered better weather.  It was warm.  It was sunny.  We were able to spend time outside.  🙂  (I just had to keep an eye on my little nudist.  He’d run out there with his clothes on and a minute later he’d be running laps in the yard TOTALLY in the buff, losing his clothes somewhere under the slide all while the neighbors were outside eating their supper.  Sigh.)  Christian started refusing to use his words towards the end of the week making it extremely hard to communicate effectively.  One of Brian’s grandmas broke her leg and ended up needing surgery.  (It went OK.  She is still recovering at the hospital.)  We had an Easter egg hunt with the kids in our living room on Saturday (since we were going to be gone most of the day on Sunday).  They had a blast.  Then we celebrated Liv’s Golden Easter Birthday here on Saturday, too.  She was excited!  🙂  Gifts, pizza, some soda, cake, playing with Neighbor Girl…Liv was a happy girl.  On Sunday, we rushed out the door after Brian was done milking to get to church.  We got there a few minutes late and didn’t get to sit in our usual spot.  Sigh.  Christian did OK, but struggled after 20 minutes.  And as pretty as Easter lilies are, they make me nauseated and headachy as I am very allergic to them.  We ended up leaving the service as communion started as wrestling Christian was getting harder and he was starting to “wet-noodle.”  We wanted to get out before he started his angry screams with hitting.  So, back on the road to my parents for the day.  I brought C’s jammies as I figured was better to have him wearing the jammies than streaking around all day in his underwear (or less).  I was happy that I thought of that before we left the house.  Liv enjoyed playing with her cousins, and celebrating Easter, and being the “Birthday Princess Flower Girl” for the day.  I enjoyed seeing my family and chatting a bit.  And it was nice to have some extra help in the backyard when everyone went out.  I stood on one end of the yard while the other end was guarded by other family members.  Thank you!  We only lost C once when he stealthily snuck through the house without making a sound.  Thankfully I found him hiding in the back of one of the cars in the garage inside of running down the street!  😉  After awhile, C wanted to snuggle with me in the dark, quiet basement, so I obliged.  We fell asleep just before supper, so when Brian woke me we decided to just let Christian sleep since he was tired enough to be napping and couldn’t eat anything that the rest of us were having for supper anyway.  Well, perhaps that was a mistake on my part.  I woke him a 1/2-hour later and then couldn’t get him to settle down once we got back home.  One day I’ll learn my lesson.  😉  I was a little nervous on Monday morning about getting back INTO our routine.  C wrestled me a bit getting into his clothes, but as soon as we pulled into the parking lot at school, he giggled.  He smiled.  He did his happy dance and then ran and galloped while “happy singing” all the way up to the school doors!  Amazing!  He was SO happy to be back!  🙂  (And I couldn’t have been happier for him, either.)  Therapy went well on Monday afternoon.  All back to routine!  🙂  Liv spent most of the day playing-up her Diva attitude while I attempted to pick-up the house and run errands.  Then she and Neighbor Girl played a LOT, which is wonderful, but they were also fighting and Neighbor Girl asks a LOT of questions.  More than Olivia does.  I didn’t know that was humanly possible.  And C went back to having accidents in the basement after his therapist left.  I was a bit frazzled.  (OK, that’s an understatment.)  I was ready to have everyone turn in for the night, so I could have some quiet solitude.  I basked in it before bed.  It was lovely. 🙂  Unfortunately, 1:30 rolled around with a wetting accident in one room, so I immediately started laundry.  2:30 started vomiting in the other, which continued for the next few hours.  5:30 came with a cry about the couch being peed on and then the vomiting started again.  Then I started not to feel so well.  Some of that just stemmed from major sleep-deprivation and having dealt with the middle of the night pukes.  I happily accepted Brian’s offer of taking Olivia to the store with him while he was home over his break.  Yes, I would rest with Christian.  And we did.  For 15 minutes.  Then I heard THAT sound.  Then I was covered in THAT stuff.  Eww…that didn’t help me feel any better.  😦  Poor C.  As I was getting myself out of my icky clothes, my phone rings.  C’s senior therapists.  Yes, we will cancel therapy today.  Thankfully, she was nice enough to come and stay with C for a couple of hours while ran to the store to buy additional carpet cleaning supplies.  I had used a week’s worth in 12 hours!  Oh, and she brought me Starbucks! 🙂  Thank you, AZ!  That really made my day!  🙂  Liv and Brian headed out to a Brewer game with some of his family after milking, which was fine with me.  I really just wanted to rest.  (And so did C.)  And that’s what we did.  I kept Christian home yesterday, too.  He just wasn’t himself yet.  I’m glad I made that decision even though that meant that I had to miss meeting up with a friend.  😦  (SM, I hope we can make it work out sometime soon!)  Liv was bored, but such is life some days, right?!?  But, today…Today Christian was back to his normal Christian-self.  He fought me getting dressed, (I mean, REALLY fought me!) but we finally managed to get out the door, and into the car, and then the kids fought ALL the way to school, BUT as soon as we pulled into the parking lot Christian was happy! 🙂  SO HAPPY!  🙂  And I was glad, as I wasn’t sure how it would go, but he dragged me up to the school building.  Happy screaming.  Happy running.  Happy jumping.  Sigh [of relief!]  I’m so excited that he was happy to be back!  🙂  And now, I should get back to my Liv, who has been hanging on my arm for the last 20-minutes…  😉

Christian LOVES his "Kipper" from Build-A-Bear now that the jammies are off! 🙂

Liv with her "Hello Kitty." Yep, that's what she named it! 😉

In an extremely sleep-deprived state last June, I wrote a post to Starbucks pleading for free coffee.  Specifically their iced nonfat caramel macchiato.  (Ohhhh, just imagining one can soothe my frayed nerves.)  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), I have not received the free coffee invitation.  (Yet.)  (I can hope, right?!?)

What is this strange hold that Starbucks has on me??  When in an uber-frustrated state, when crap (literally and figuratively) is taking over my world, my body craves the silkiness of this delicious cold drink.  Excuse me while I daydream about it…ahhhh….

In my line of work (SAHM), I can’t afford this indulgence daily.  So, Starbucks, please, please, let go of this crazy hold you have on me (or give me free coffee when my world turns to poo 😉 ).  Love ya!

Ah.  The dentist.  Not a favorite person in our house.  However, today both of the kids had appointments with him.

I had recruited my dad to meet us at the office, so that he could stay with Olivia and color while I took Christian to the back and wrestled with him to get into the chair and the horrible, yet necessary papoose(?) board.  Christian did put up a fight.  With huge tears.  With terror in his eyes.  With the word, “scary,” coming out of his mouth.  With Mama’s heart-breaking.  😦  But he actually calmed for the tiniest bit towards the end of the teeth-brushing.  That was a first.  That made me SO proud of him!  🙂  And NO cavities.  Hurray!  Now we don’t need to go back until August.  Whew!  🙂

Christian’s turn was first today.  I was thinking that I would take Christian back with Olivia and I while her teeth got counted in the dentist’s office, but my dad said that he would stay with Christian in the waiting room.  (Bless his heart!  I could hear Christian through the door running laps in the waiting room and dashing up the stairs to the employee lounge/lunch area.  Christian’s speed cannot be underestimated! 😉 )  Anyhow, Olivia picked her toothbrush out, had her teeth counted (very nervously), and had NO cavities, too!  I was one happy Mama today!!!  🙂  In about 5-minutes time, we were done. Yay!

(Thanks, Grandpa, for helping out today!  I really, REALLY appreciate it!!!  🙂 )

Funny thing…because of the no cavities the kids received coupons for a local restaurant for a free hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, ice cream cone, cookie, etc.  Since Christian can’t really have any of those things, we settled for the free soda (just seems ironic coming from the dentist).  The kids were so happy on the way home.  🙂  Except I was a little nervous when Liv announced that she had “pee in her butt” when we were 10 minutes from home.  Thankfully, she was able to hold it until she got in the house and on the toilet.  Whew!  😉

I consider this surviving the dentist with flying colors!  🙂  I’m so thankful that the day went SO well, that the snow stopped before we had to get on the highway, that we didn’t run out of gas, and that my vehicle found its way to a Starbucks drive-thru on the way home.  (Sometimes, Mama needs a treat, too! 😉 )

Christian has been having a hard time falling asleep the last few nights.  I have resorted to just letting him run in the basement and spell with his blocks until he’s finally able to sleep, while I veg on the loveseat. 

This wouldn’t be SO bad if I could sleep until he wakes up in the morning.  Unfortunately, Liv’s a pretty early riser (actually having gone to bed at a decent time).  Sigh.

I feel like I shouldn’t complain too much because even five hours of sleep at a time is more than what I used to get on a consistent basis for years, but now I have tasted what a full night of sleep feels like and I LOVE it.  I love sleep! 

So, here’s to hoping that Christian’s sleep patterns turn around again!  (And that Starbucks would donate espresso drinks to the Moms who have sleep disturbances on a regular basis.  OK, well, that’s a long shot, but this Mama can always dream, right?!?)

Olivia is busy building a contraption.  Yep, that’s exactly what she’s calling it.

My hubby gets to attend his very first season Packer game in Green Bay.  For free (minus the cost of gas).

Christian loves to dance, and I love to watch him.

Therapist, WD, brought me a Starbucks drink when she came to work with Christian this afternoon.  Yum!

I got a workout (and tired out Olivia) by shoveling our driveway/sidewalk for an hour+ this morning.  I’m thankful that it was only 3″ of snow.  😉

I totally promise that I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  😉

I am still recovering from that sinus infection.  It just really blew me off of my feet.  I feel like I could just sleep.  For a week.  Seriously.  Today was the first day in a while that I actually felt like I had some energy and could think a bit more coherently.  I will be praying that things only continue to get better from here.  🙂

I am more busy than I expected with Christian in school and then receiving therapy.  I was thinking that time wouldn’t slip away as fast, but, instead, it seems to be flying even faster!  I really don’t know how that is possible, but it’s true.  I am also trying to do my best to do something with Olivia every morning (story time at the library, errand running, walks in the woods, baking, etc.) so that she isn’t so “bored” around the house.  That is keeping me very busy, too.

And to veg (when able), I have been playing the online game of Latte Land over on CafeMom.  (Thanks, KK, for getting me hooked! 😉  )  It is right up my alley, as I loved working at a coffee/donut shop at one point in my life; almost applied for a job at Starbucks a couple of years ago; and have joking talked about opening a family-friendly coffee shop/juice bar playdate hangout.  Now, I can do it all online and not have the headaches of finances/supplies/employees/etc.  I am having TOO much fun playing, but it is also just a fun way to unwind and “meet” other moms. 🙂

I have also spent the last few days writing responses for the online book club that I belong to.  We read 2 autism-related books this month and, well, I seem to have lots of opinions and experiences that I just can’t keep to myself, so I have been writing non-stop over there.  (Sorry, ladies, if you’re tired of hearing from me. 😉 )

Oh, and then there is the thing with the therapy and getting Christian “pulled out of school to start therapy earlier thing.”  Yeah.  Headache.  I’m not really sure what is happening with this right now.  Unfortunately, I think it will involve keeping Christian in school full-day and then therapy after and more on weekends, giving up his free time and some of our “family time.”  Sigh.  With this we could also lose some therapists with scheduling conflicts, which TOTALLY makes me upset because we actually have an AWESOME team working with Christian right now.  That doesn’t come along everyday and I would so, So, SO hate to lose that!  So, yeah, busy working on this all, too.  And praying for the wisdom to know what is the right thing to do.

Surprisingly, Starbucks has yet to take me up on my offer of shamelessly promoting them in exchange for free coffee.  However, I had something VERY cool happen to me this morning involving a free Starbucks drink.  Here’s the story…

I had made a quick run into town this morning when Christian’s first therapist arrived.  (I was able to leave Olivia with her today, too.)  I needed to pick-up a small list of things from Wal-Mart and was in the “zone” — ready to just get what was on my list and come back home.  I was still “in the zone” when leaving the store when I was stopped by a lady who introduced herself as Jean.  I wasn’t really sure what she wanted, but since I didn’t have the kids I thought that I would hear her out today.  She asked if I liked Starbucks.  Silly question.  Umm, why, yes, I do.  (I was starting to jump to the conclusion that she may be a survey-taker.)  Then she just explained that she had $4 left on a Starbucks card and insisted that I take it ‘cuz she couldn’t use the rest.  Huh?  I had to ask her again what she had just said.  Seriously?  You want me to take this card and get a free drink for myself?  Really?  Am I dreaming?  Nope, not dreaming.  She was serious and stuck the card in my hand.  Wow!  I think I managed to thank her a half dozen times as she walked away.  Thank you, Jean!  I made a pit stop on the way home and had my favorite, which just REALLY made my day.  Thanks again!!!  🙂