“The Alarm went off and Mom has lost her mind”

What day is it

Have you ever come across a meme online that has you convinced that the creator must be following you, or spying on you – because obviously this meme was created just for you?

Today my friend, Audrey shared this meme on Facebook, I don’t know where it originated but I laughed out loud because this just happened to me.

Wait....Wait.... What Day is it?

Wait….Wait…. What Day is it?

First,  a few back story notes that I have to make before telling the story:

As a rule, I don’t get very much sleep on Sunday nights. No matter what I do, the utter excitement of having to go to work the next day keeps me awake… This also happens to a few co-workers – so it’s become somewhat of a “thing” on Monday morning to discuss who had the least amount of sleep the night before. Usually *Cracker wins the contest, but I believe this week, I was the winner. Unfortunately, there is no prize for winning.

By the time I got home from work Monday evening, I felt like I could fall asleep standing up. I do have to add that historically I am not a “good sleeper”, but once I am out, I AM OUT!

Another thing I have to mention is that DC has refused to sleep in his room at night since Christmas Eve. Once he gets nervous about a storm or a cloud because that could mean a storm or if the power should go out for a minute, or a truck going by because it sounds like thunder….. (you get the picture)….that’s it. He’s on the couch! I just can’t wait for the 4th of July fireworks that usually start going off about now. This also means I must sleep on the couch. We have a sectional so he sleeps on the chaise lounge end and I sleep on the other side.

no power

Coincidently I made this meme just a few days ago due to a very quick power outage.

So back to Monday.

By 6:00 pm I knew if I didn’t take a quick nap I would never make it until DC went to bed. I told DC I was, to use his words, “going to get some rest”. He was sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos on his phone. I laid down in my spot. I even set the alarm because I didn’t want to sleep too long. In the meantime, DC went upstairs to put his pajamas on and gather his pillow, sheet and blankets. When he puts his pajamas on that early it is his way of telling me  that he doesn’t want to go anywhere else that day. He’s done.  I was done too, so he did not have to worry about that. I must have been really over the top tired and really ‘out like a light’, as they say, because I really don’t even remember if it was the alarm that woke me up or not….

but…..

I woke up, looked at the clock – it was 8:00! Panicked, I jumped up, and yelled “Oh my God!”. Of course DC has no idea why I’m yelling “Oh My God!”, so he’s just looking at me, confused.

Now this was not your typical “wake up on a Saturday thinking you are late for work and you figure it out within a few seconds” kind of panic. This was a full on “I can’t figure out what is going on” kind of panic.

I ran to the door thinking that DC’s transportation to work would for some reason still be sitting in the driveway a half hour after they usually arrive. The car wasn’t there. I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. If they arrived to pick him up and no one came out, they would first beep the horn and then have dispatch call on the phone. How did I not hear the phone? How did I not hear the horn beep? Why didn’t DC wake me up? He hates the sound of my alarm, he hates the sound of the phone. Why wasn’t there a message or a missed call showing on the house phone or my cell?
I turned from the door and yelled to DC – who was right where he would have been in the morning, “What day is it?” – DC answered “Monday”. I yelled back “No! It’s Tuesday!” (good going, let’s just totally confuse him).

If there was ever a look that said “This woman has lost her mind”, DC had it! He would never have the words to say that or really understand what loosing one’s mind means,  but he had that look.
I went back to the door to stare at the empty driveway. I looked at the clock again, thinking I had just misread it being half asleep and panicked, but no, it still said 8:00. DC is still looking at me as if to say “What is wrong with this woman?”

At this point I am even starting to second guess what time his transportation comes in the morning, as if I would forget that or get it wrong, but I was half asleep, so who knows. I mean at the time I didn’t think I’d taken a nap and slept through the night, I may have been able to figure it all out sooner if I thought that but I didn’t even remember taking a nap! I just thought it was a regular morning and I had over slept!

Now I am trying to figure out what to do. Should I drive DC to work? If I did that I would be hours late for work myself. Should I just call him in sick and take him to work with me? Fortunately before I made the call and left a message at his job, I happened to look over at the TV….

Channel “Two-Five” – in DC-speak, TNT to the rest of us, was on. I’ve probably mentioned more than once that TNT is our default channel. DC always likes it on, even if he’s not watching. He likes to watch Smallville also known in our house as “Somebody Save Me” in the morning (not his first choice of shows, but they took Angel out of their line-up – Boo!). I noticed that a show was on that usually only plays at night – I think it was Major Crimes. It took a second but I finally remembered that I had taken a nap and it was 8:00 at night and it was still Monday, just as DC told me while I insisted it was Tuesday.

Now I had to make a joke out of the whole thing because he was still looking at me like I had really lost my mind. “Ha Ha, DC! Mom was confused! You were right, it is Monday! Mom made a mistake, I must have been very tired!”

He laughed. I don’t know if he really understood how funny it was, all that he knew was that Mom made a mistake, and he always thinks that is funny!

Looking back though –
Did I notice that I still had my work clothes on? – No
Did I notice it was 8:00 pm when I checked my phone for missed calls? – No
Did it occur to me that DC would never be sitting quietly at 8:00 in the morning? – No

So the conclusion I have come to is –

NAPS……

BAD, Very BAD!

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The Honorary Swamp Guard

Some time ago, I wrote about our Disney Cruise, in January, 2013 – where the rule, “Don’t pick up the Princesses” was born. At the end of that post I mentioned that there was another great story to be told from the end of that trip….. so finally, here it is.

After spending 5 days on the Disney ship, our plan was to stay in Orlando for  an additional 3 days to visit Disney World and Universal Studios, because, you know, we didn’t get enough Disney on the ship……

We arrived at Gaylord Palms in Orlando. It was a beautiful place, and truth be told, I would have been perfectly happy to have skipped the cruise and just stayed there all week, but 3 days would have to do.

gaylord palms

We arrived in time for dinner – a late dinner – so we didn’t get to explore all that much on the first evening. The next morning we were planning to go to Disney World. Doug was on the balcony – he called me “outside” and said he had just seen Shrek walk though the restaurant down below. This was the restaurant we were heading to for breakfast as soon as DC was out of the shower, so I figured I’d ask about it when we went down to eat.

When we got down to Villa de Flora, I told one of the waiters (Matt) that we noticed Shrek walking by earlier. I asked if this was some sort of character “meet and greet” that they have for the kids, and if so, would they be coming back anytime soon? DC was sitting at the table away from the conversation. I didn’t tell him we saw Shrek earlier and I didn’t want him to hear me ask about it in case they wouldn’t be making another appearance.

The waiter explained that the characters did not work for the resort. They were hired for an early marketing meeting and we must have seen them on their way out.

Then he said “Let me see if I can catch them” – it had been a good while since we saw them from the balcony, so I really didn’t think he’d be able to catch up to them and I wasn’t asking so he’d have to go out of his way, I just thought they were part of the resort. I told him that it was not necessary, he did not have to do that, I hadn’t mentioned it to my son at all, so he didn’t have to worry about disappointing him.

He went to talk to his manager anyway. I didn’t really think much about it after that. DC went and got his mountain of bacon and his bagels. When I got up to get some more coffee, Matt came over to me and said he had been able to catch up them in the parking lot. Again, I said it really wasn’t necessary for him to do that. He told me his manager insisted. He said that by the time he caught up with them they were all already out of their costumes but agreed to put them back on and come back in to meet DC!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I went back to the table to try to tell Doug what was happening without DC hearing any of it.

DC had his bacon and bagels – I believe this may have been the trip where he discovered bacon – so he really wasn’t paying much attention to anything else that was going on.

I saw them coming in on the other side of the restaurant….. Shrek, Puss n’ Boots and the Swamp Guard. I tried to remain calm as not to give it away, but it was difficult.

I started taking pictures. DC was smiling because he saw me with the camera, and that is what he does….. stops whatever he is doing to smile. He was unaware of anything going on behind him.

 

He was so surprised and excited when they made their way to him. He didn’t know what to do at first.  I was taking pictures with my phone. A waitress grabbed my camera from Doug and began taking pictures as well. The staff and customers seemed to be just as excited for him as we were!

 

They were wonderful, the staff and the characters! I couldn’t believe that they would do this for him! The characters stayed and talked with him for a good long while. He was in his glory!

They presented him with Shrek ears and made him an “Honorary Swamp Guard”. Teaching him the Swamp Guard Salute was also included. DC was so excited and happy that he even offered to share his precious bacon with Shrek. Of course Shrek had 2 swamp rats earlier so he was quite full already.

 

He had the best time with them.

He wore his Honorary Swamp Guard, Shrek ears for most of the remainder of the trip.

 

I still can not believe how these wonderful people went so far out of their way for DC. I mean, I only asked a simple question. I never expected any of this. This made his day – it made his trip!

I thanked everyone I could find to thank and went back the following morning to thank the people I could not find the day before.

I tweeted, Facebooked and wrote an e-mail to Gaylord Palms. I wanted to be sure they were aware of the wonderful staff they had working in their resort.

Then, just to add the cherry to the top of this sundae…… I found these on my camera when we arrived home……

 

 

 

I can’t ever thank these people enough…………….

 

 

 

“Hi, Mom! Did you have a nice day?”

only to dollars

Many of you may know that DC is obsessed with food. He has breakfast and he is already worried about lunch. After lunch we move on to:

“Dinner is later after that” he always seems to add “after that” when he talks about “later”.

He must give me his breakfast order before he goes to bed every night. There is never anything different about his order from one night to the next, but he feels compelled to tell me every night before he goes to bed.
There were a few times (very few) when DC forgot for one reason or another, to remind me of his breakfast order before he went to sleep. On those occasions, he came into my bedroom to wake me  up in the middle of the night so that he could give me his breakfast request.

Most days, when I get home from work DC does not even say hello. He gets his wallet, holds it open and says “Only two dollars”. This is his way of telling me that he wants money for lunch at work the following day (and for some reason, there always seems to be two dollars left in his wallet).
His only concern at that moment is his lunch the next day.
My reply is usually “Hi, Mom! How are you? Did you have a nice day?” – at this point he realizes that he did not even say hello before asking for money, he says hello, but then gets  right back on the subject at hand – his wallet.

We run through this same routine very often…..

…………………..until the other day, that is.

DC came over to me, with open wallet in hand, as usual.

But instead of telling me that he only had two dollars, he ran through every greeting he could come up with all in one sentence as if he was just trying to get it all over with. It was such a monotone, run-on delivery, that it took me a second to understand what he doing:

“Mom, how are you feeling, hello, nice day, yes, nice to see you, good day, happy, hi there”

Then when he ran out of random greetings……

“Mom, only two dollars”

 

ATTENTION NYC PARENTS : Avonte’s Law – Rally JUNE 12, 2014!

Dear Supporters:
After the NY Post exposed the New York City Council for stalling on “Avonte’s Law” this week, they immediately scheduled a hearing date on Avonte’s Law.
The hearing will be at New York City Hall on June 12 at 10:00AM.
We will have a press conference and rally for “Avonte’s Law” at City Hall at 9:30AM. We need you to come to the press conference and hearing on June 12.
 If you can’t make it, you can submit testimony via email to Daniel Dromm, Education Committee Chair at ddromm@council.nyc.gov Please CC us so we have a copy of your testimony at admin@nycparentsunion.org
In the meantime, please post and forward the petition to everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter and via email.
If you’re on Twitter, please tweet your support of “Avonte’s Law” and demand Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Viverito pass the law to @BilldeBlasio @MMViverito #AvontesLaw
With your help and support, we will pass this law to protect our children.
Thank you.
New York City Parents Union
(received via e-mail)

The GREAT BOOK PURGE of 2014!

20140505-220210.jpg

Finally our Town scheduled a “Big Trash” pickup. These pickups used to be an annual event – when I say “event”, I mean an “event”. It was as if a newsletter went out to all of the surrounding towns and as soon as one piece of “big trash” hit the curb, the caravans of cars and pickup trucks descended. DC and I moved to this town 20 years ago, for the school system. At the time this town had the best special education  program in the state. We moved here from a relatively big city, where to be honest, I thought I’d seen everything, until “Big Trash Day” came around, that is…….. I had never seen anything like this… but I digress.

Due to budget cuts, “Big Trash” pickup went from every year to every other, then finally there was no pick up at all.  This year, the town decided to schedule a “Big Trash” event in April. It has been about 5 years since the last one.

As many of you know, DC loves books. His favorite activity is going to the bookstore. I’m sure he averages 3 or 4 visits per month. This means we have hundreds of books squashed in our little house. He has so many, that I really can’t keep track of what he has. If he’s picking out a book at the store, I don’t really remember if he already has it at home and he really doesn’t care if he already has it. Obviously if it is a Disney book, I know he has at least 4 or 5 versions of the particular story but I really can’t remember if he has the version he wants to buy…..or……… I know he HAD it at one time, but we may have gotten rid of it during the last “Big Trash” event. Needless to say, we end up with many duplicates.

His books and his DVDs are two things I will never be able to keep track of.

Because DC “edits” all of his books, they really can not be donated. They are just unreadable to anyone else but DC.

Book Editing

Book Editing

editbook

I have taken some flack over the years for letting DC write in his books because they can not be donated later. This is true, we can not donate them and I am left with a large amount of books that I have to get rid of without breaking the recycling and/or garbage man’s back.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always purchase items based on if or where I can donate them later. If an item can be donated later, it will be.

DC is allowed to write in his own books, he does not write in library books, he does not write in books that do not belong to him.

He is allowed to write in his books because it is beneficial to his language/conversation skills, his vocabulary and his comprehension.

Yes, some of his editing is obsessive. One of the many versions of the “Wizard of OZ” that he owns was an older version where the “Tin Man” was referred to as “The Tin Woodsman”. He went through every single page of the 200-plus page chapter book and colored out (crossing out is not good enough) the word “Woods” on every page, so that it read “Tin Man”.

He also likes his chapter numbers to be written out. Chapter 1 has to be edited to read “Chapter One” and so on. Every other day he will ask, “Mom, would you spell twelve”. I do not know why after all this time he can spell every other number, but not twelve, but for some reason, he can’t. There are many other words he will me to spell but “twelve” is a constant.

Recently ~and I really think this is great because he figured it out by himself ~he has become interested in Roman Numerals.
He figured out that the V means ‘five’, so along with spelling out the chapter numbers, he is also assigning them his version of a Roman Numeral. I say his version because he knows V is 5, so Chapter 13 is edited to read “VIIIIIIII” or sometimes “IIIIIIIIV”. In any case, he is adding 5 (V) + 8 (I’s) to get to 13. He was never big on numbers, so if his own version of Roman Numerals moves his mind into “math mode”, all the better.

The obsessive editing aside, he changes sentences into new sentences that make sense. He changes words into words that mean the same thing. He will ask me from time to time what a word means and then comes up with an edit for that word that means the same thing. He is learning, he is writing full sentences, he is learning what words mean and there’s a little bit of math happening, so YES, I let him write in his books.

The problem has always been just what to do with these books when they begin to take over the house.

It has been suggested, that I should just do a little bit at a time, this way I can throw them in the recycling bin without being the cause of a Workers Comp injury for the trash hauling company.

I can not do just a little bit at a time because:

– DC gets nervous.
– We would be going through the same shelf every week, because as soon as there is a space a book or books gets shoved in it.
– If I went through all of it at one time and just got rid of them a little bit at a time I would still end up with a huge pile of books somewhere in the house and he would slowly begin to add them back into his collection.

I made the mistake of throwing away 9 or 10 books about 15 years ago. They were books I was sure he hadn’t looked at or touched in years, but he knew! For years, until just recently, whenever he left the house to get on the bus for school and then work, his last words to me were “Books are staying here”, every single day.

When I heard there was a “Big Trash Day” scheduled in April, I began getting DC ready. I talked to him about his books everyday until the week of. I explained that we were going to go through all of his books and he would tell me which ones we were going to “keep” or “throw away”. I explained that we would not throw away anything unless it was all right with him. I also explained that we would go through all of his books together and I would not do any of this without him.

We couldn’t start too early, because having the books he opted to throw away hanging around for any length of time would really bother him and he would slowly move them back to the books shelves. We had to have everything out on the curb by Sunday evening, so DC and I started sorting on Thursday night.

We started with his living room book-case. We went through each and every book. I was surprised at the amount of books he decided to throw away. I’m sure he was already planning to replace them a little bit at a time during his many future trips to the book store.

On Friday, I had a medical appointment and I was not allowed to lift anything heavy for the day, so we lost a “sorting day” right out of the gate. On Saturday we started in his room. We were attending a  fundraiser that evening so between the sorting of books I was getting phone calls and texts to look for this and that and people wanting to drop items off for the fundraiser. I started getting anxious about all of these books. This book purge had to be completed today, before 4pm when we left of the fundraiser because DC was spending the night and the next day at his Dad’s – he was going to take DC directly from the fundraiser and I had promised DC that I would not sort or throw away anything with out his approval.

His room took almost all day and in the process, I threw out my back, carrying said books downstairs. Now I thought I would not be going anywhere at all that evening, never mind  getting through all of his books, but DC was a great help.  Going through his room made me feel like I was in an episode of “Hoarders” –  it always does.  It is just amazing how many books he can fit in his little room!

You probably can't see it but there are more stuffed under the coffee table

You probably can’t see it but there are more stuffed under the coffee table

We did it! I told DC over and over again how proud I was of him, so he wouldn’t start getting anxious about all of the books that were going away and because I WAS very proud of him for agreeing to get rid of so many! The following day, Doug came over and hauled them all outside. When DC came home from his Dad’s on Monday morning in time for his transportation to work, they were all gone, so he never gave it another thought.

No worries, though. He has plenty of books left to edit and I assume he is already plotting the replacement all of the books that went away with nice, new clean versions to edit all over again.  These shelves will be over flowing again in a few months time.

DC's room

DC’s room

Livingroom

Living Room

And…… we did find 40 or 50 books that were not
edited and we were able to donate.