Sunday, September 05, 2010

An Ode to Calvin

I have a wonderful little boy named Calvin.  He says the most interesting things.  This summer, after I told him he could earn money to buy his own silly bands by doing chores, he says, "I am not the kid who likes to do chores", like, duh Mom!  Last week, when I asked him if he had done his homework yet, he says. . . (you guessed it) "I am not the kid who likes to do homework".  But he is the kid who likes to give hugs, smiles, and lovins, so I'm a very lucky mom!
We have a special man in our ward who has developed some health problems over the past couple of years.  He is no longer able to walk without his walker.  A few months ago, he came up to me and asked me what my son's name was, as he points out Calvin.  With tears in his eyes he thanks me for raising such a wonderful son.  He then tells me what had just transpired in the mens room: 
 This gentleman had just finished using the facilities, and came out to wash his hands.  Calvin was just finishing up washing his hands and goes to the door, and opens it.  He stays there with the door open for a couple of minutes and holds it open for the man when he was ready to leave. 
For some reason, he was so impressed that Calvin recognized another person's need and answered that need, at such a young age (Calvin is 6).  This wonderful man even shared this same story with the congregation, a couple of weeks later.  Keith and I were not surprised b/c we always knew we had a special boy, but it was sure nice to hear that he shows his good side to the rest of the world, too!  I made sure that I let this gentleman know that it had nothing to do with how Calvin was parented, but that he was just born with an extra loving heart.
Keith overheard him talking on Friday to his brother Eric, who is eight, about attending a girl's birthday party.  The conversation went like this:
Eric:  She might give out goody bags with girly stuff in them.
Calvin:  If she does that, I will very nicely and politely tell her that I don't really want any.  You have to be nice and polite to girls because if you don't, they get REALLY mad and yell.
So, our little 6 year old has already figured out the mysteries of the other sex.  Apparently, some kids were throwing rocks at recess, and Calvin told a girl that it was dangerous, and she had let him HAVE IT!  He's a quick learner.
My other children are wonderful, too, in their own way.  But, Calvin is just been a special bright spot in our family and we are so grateful that we have him!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

                  What is the point of it all?

So this is the question I asked my now 15 year old son, Steven, as I am in the middle of a major funk.  His reply?  Well, there's always chocolate.

Chocolate is fabulous.  I have to melt on my tongue at least one Dove Dark Chocolate square a day in order to feel sane for 5 minutes.  It's the rest of the 23 hours and 55 minutes that I have yet to come to terms with!

Keith and I had some great plans laid out for the next 2-3 years (or at least I did, and he lovingly accepted them).  I was going to go to genetic counseling school, work for 1 year full-time, take the boards, and take a nice, kushy (sp?), part-time job doing work that I would love, and spend the rest of the time doting on my wonderful children, as they matured into hardworking, responsible, chore-doing, caring members of society.

So, that didn't happen.  I did not get accepted to any of the 7 schools I applied (got 4 interviews, did 3 of them, 2 denied me, 1 closed down their program).  Next, we decided to move to Utah.  We found the perfect house in the neighborhood where Keith's parents live.  We were going to buy it, have good friends of ours live there until they could get back on their feet, and move in after a year or two of paying off our currents debts.  Well, this didn't happen either, b/c apparently when buying a second home you need 20% down, and at least 5 of that has to have been sitting in your own bank account for at least 3 months.  We don't have 10 grand laying around right now (how shocking, I know).  And now our dear friends are not able to move to Utah right now, either.

So, I'm currently still kicking around the med school idea, but I just don't feel that drive that I used to have.  I think that what the Lord is trying to tell me right now is that I need to stay home and be the mother that I haven't been while I've been in school.  The past 6 months, the ugly bipolar has reared it's head in a vicious way.  My oldest has become unrecognizable:  skipping school for weeks in a row, blatantly defying us when we ask for help around the house, and spending hours in bed texting and listening to her ipod (which she did buy with her own money, after all).  Eric, who is 8, is being home schooled, but the minute the other kids get home, until he goes to a medicated sleep at 8pm, tortures them mercilessly with his picking, taunting, teasing, and throwing things.  When he is reprimanded for those behaviors, he turns on me and whines, screams, and yells for the next couple  of hours.

What we need is the Nanny!  Unfortunately WV does not even have licensed family therapists.  The next best option is counseling, which we are starting in  2 weeks.  It can't come soon enough!  Meanwhile, I am trying to hold it all together and not feel like I'm the lead contestant for the Bad Mother of the Year Award.

The good news:  Steven is doing well, Calvin successfully completed (almost) his first year of school, and baby Ivan is eating solids (mostly).  Allison's seizures have declined in number, but increased in intensity.  As a 13 year old, she is now wearing (oh the horror) a brassiere!

You know that show, Mommy swap?  I want on that.  Not really, but if I have any volunteers to take on a piece of my load . . .

A few recent pics (from my new phone- baby broke my old one, and Maddy and Eric broke the camera, while fighting over it).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Well, the new year is already getting old, and I'm just now posting! Forget catching up with the last 6 months- I'll just start with what's happening right now:
Started school last week. Biochemistry (hate it) and Biostatistics (don't quite get it). My original plan was to finish up these courses, use the summer to study for and take the MCAT, and start applying in the Fall to med schools.
New plan: I decided on Jan. 14 to apply for a Masters Program in Genetic Counseling. I applied the next day to the University of Utah, which had a deadline of Jan. 15 (I like to cut things a little close!) Since most of these programs only accept 6 (yes, six!) students a year, and there are over 80 applicants to each program, I found 5 more schools that had both a later deadline (Feb.1) and would not require me to retake the GRE, and applied to them! They are:
Wayne State University in Detroit, MI
Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass
Case Western University in Cleveland, OH
Arkansas State University in Little Rock, AR
University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI

Anybody want to figure out my odds of getting in? There are only 32 programs in the US. The programs that I really wanted to attend aready had their deadlines for admission, so if I don't get in this year, I have a few more options for next year.

The next big news is that my sister, Rachel had a successful IVF procedure and is now pregnant with TWINS!!!! Due in August.

Finally, I have decided (and have already begun) to homeschool Eric for the rest of the year. He was doing so well at school, but so poorly at home, I thought that if I spent some good one-on-one time with him, he would be less likely to torment his brothers and sister so continuously. I have spent the last 4 months with the psychiatrist and with a dr. of chinese medicine/chiropractor trying every treatment known to man, to try to decrease his "tendencies", but to no avail. Next stop is a naturopathic Dr. He is on some heavy duty medication in the meantime, but I don't think it is very effective. Prayer is always welcome :-)

Life is good! Love my little 1 year old. Makes me want another one (as usual!)