Archive for March, 2012

She Knows!

A friend of ours is our number one respite care provider for our kids. Zippy refers to her lovingly as his 2nd mama. She adores my kids, and the feeling is forever mutual.

This week she bathed Chloe. During the bath the bath water got dirty, as is often the case with bathing a dirty child. She was draining the dirty water and planning to refill with clean water so Chloe could continue to play in the bath tub. Chloe started to put the washcloth in her mouth to suck on it, but the sitter told her NO, explaining that the water is dirty … you don’t want that in your mouth … that’s yucky … don’t put that in your mouth … I’m draining the water to get some cleaner water … this water’s dirty … we don’t want this water in your mouth … it might make you sick … it’s yucky … this is very dirty … don’t put that in your mouth …

And Chloe turned and looked right at her, and clear as a bell and with a little exasperation in her voice said, “I KNOW!

As you can imagine, the sitter thought it was hysterical and very clearly got the message that Chloe wanted her to shut up about the dirty water and the washcloth!

Love my girl making herself perfectly clear! 🙂

I Finally Did It…

I finally did it.

I committed the unpardonable sin.

I’m not surprised. I figured it was coming, and I knew I was completely capable of doing it. Any mom is in danger of committing it; and probably most of us eventually follow through and actually do it.

Yes, I committed the unpardonable sin.

I completely and totally –100% entirely — embarrassed my child.

The scene: dropping off my junior high son in the drop-off line at school; several other junior high students milling about on the sidewalk and porch; Elliot walking to the building, approximately 35 feet from the car.

I suddenly remembered that I didn’t know what time to pick him up. Was he staying for student council after school, or did I need to pick him up at the regular time?

And then I did it. I knew at the time that it was probably a mistake. My heart knew that I was messing up and that I would not be able to turn back or take it back.

But I did it anyway.

I rolled down the window, and hollered out the window: “Elliot!”

And there. It was done. It was unpardonable. And it was done. It was out there.

I watched as Elliot melted with absolute and utter embarrassment right there on the porch of the school. I watched, wincing with pain, as he turned his face to the bricks of the porch and attempted to disappear from sight. Realizing he could not disappear, he proceeded to nearly turn himself wrong-side-out and shoot me the quickest of tiny glances to see what in the world could be so dire that I would dare shout his name in front of all of these people.

It was too late to turn back. I knew it would be.

So I shouted again. “3:15?”

Elliot stood, still attempting to melt into the bricks, not even looking my way. And I thought I detected the very slightest of nods, agreeing that 3:15 was the correct time. But I couldn’t be sure that that really was a nod.

He was beginning to convince me that the entire world was staring, pointing, and laughing at us both for this unbelievable act committed by a dorky mother right here in the drop-off line in front of everyone.

“3:15?” I shouted again, this time also signing the time just in case he couldn’t hear my yelling voice.

I immediately got the message that signing while yelling at a junior high boy is even worse than just yelling at a junior high boy. Oh, boy. This was getting worse by the moment.

I would surely burn in Hell for this.

Elliot looked at me ever-so-slightly with a look of sheer desperation and gave me a nod that accompanied a look of … well, a look that said something that Elliot is really not allowed to say to his mother.

Elliot once more stuck his face in the bricks of the building until he was sure that the insane yelling from the mini-van had stopped, and he turned and headed into the building, out of sight of the multitudes of teenagers who were surely laughing and pointing and texting and tweeting about the horrific scene out in front of the school.

And I sat there, alone in the pick-up line, ashamed of how I’d behaved. I knew that I had finally committed the unforgivable sin — the one that Elliot will probably hold against me until I go to my grave … and perhaps even beyond the grave.

Yes, I was one of those moms. And I was ashamed.

(Or at least I pretended to be ashamed after I laughed out loud at my funny, horrified, ruined-forever pre-teen boy!)

What A Week!

Glad it’s over!

A week ago today, Elliot got stung on the eye by a bee and swelled up like a great big red and purple balloon. A couple of hours later, after who-knows-what-the-whole-story-is, Chloe had to be on the school bus for TWO HOURS. I was not a happy mama.

The next day started with Chloe and a stomach virus. Elliot later joined her in the fun of the virus.

Paul was the next to fall, coming home from work and going to bed.

Then came me. I am not one to miss a party! I spent a day in the bed with the virus and the next day in the bed with a migraine — probably from dehydration.

Elliot and Chloe were home all week from school. Ugh. Makeup work won’t be fun.

And then yesterday, one of my children got provoked by a particularly maddening student in his class and responded in a way that was unwise. (Being vague purposely for protection’s sake. 😉 Some of you detective-types may be able to put the pieces together, I realize!) My child was devastated by his choice and by his pronounced sentence: detention during recess and lunch. He literally cried himself to sleep after school. While inside I think this particularly maddening student got what was arguably deserved, I mostly just hope this terrible experience will keep my child walking the straight and narrow for a long time. Like forever.

To top it all off, today it’s cold and rainy. I’m a wimp and don’t like the cold.

But it’s Friday. And next week is spring break.

I love Fridays. And I love spring break even more!

Bring. it. on!

The Bed Tent Saga Update Part Five

Have I told you lately how much we LOVE Chloe’s bed??

We love Chloe’s bed SO MUCH that …. well, I can’t even describe it! The peace. The sleep. The safety. There is nothing like it. There is really nothing like it.

Every night, we zip Chloe in her cute bright pink bed that she loves (that’s a bonus! not a requirement, but a bonus!) and we know that we know that we know that she will be there safe and sound when we return in the morning. No need to go check on her ten times every night. No need to worry if she’s safe.

It. is. crazy. awesome.

And you cannot put a price on safety and peace and sleep. Period.

But TheSafetySleeper has a price. And the price at first seemed way too high. The price at first seemed like a no-go for our family. But please let me urge you to consider and research your options so that you, too, can experience this peace, safety, and sleep. It really is amazing!

First, I must say that we didn’t have the money for the bed. We loved it, and we wanted it, but we knew we couldn’t afford it right now. I am assuming that many of you who are experiencing sleepless nights and are wishing you could buy The Safety Sleeper for your child are in the same boat. I’ll bet you’re thinking, “Great idea, but I will never be able to afford that bed.” So I wanted to talk about that a bit.

I know that some of you have already checked out The Safety Sleeper website and drooled over that amazing bed but have already decided you can’t buy one. I wanted to help you get past that and see if I can help you figure out a way to get one for your child … for your family.

Ultimately, my parents actually helped us a lot! They knew the need. They saw the bed. And they wanted to help us out. And they chose to give us a chunk of money for the bed. So that’s my first idea for you — is there someone who loves you or loves your child who might want to help you pay for the bed? I’m not condoning begging; nor am I encouraging you to mooch off your folks. I am saying that there are people who love you and there are people who want to help you. And those people would maybe love to have a chance to give to you. Before she found out that we had already ordered the bed, one of my best friends said that she had already started the conversation with another friend of ours about raising the money to buy the bed for us — they were planning on pitching in and seeing if other friends wanted to pitch in, too! So … seriously … don’t decide against the bed just yet because your friends and family may want to help you buy it.

Is this an uncomfortable conversation to have? It’s very weird to admit that you have a weakness –being poor! 😉 — and that you need help! I don’t guess I should pretend to speak for us all.  I should just say that for me it is hard to admit weakness and the fact that I need help.

Another thought that Paul and I had was to have a garage sale. We always have junk laying around and piled around that we are ready to get rid of. And as they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Or at least we hope! So a garage sale is a great way to earn some cash. Probably if you asked around and explained the cause of your garage sale, probably your friends would bring some of their junk over for you to sell, too. Depending on how long it’s been since your last sale, and depending on how much junk you have piled around, you could make a pretty little penny to put toward the purchase of The Safety Sleeper.

We even thought of doing some sort of fundraiser event. A bake sale? A silent auction? A lemonade stand? Okay, so those were my only three fundraiser events that I thought of.  But I’m sure there are plenty more that someone with a creative mind could think of. Great ways to make some money.

Here’s an idea that isn’t very popular: get a temporary parttime job. I know, I know — it sounds crazy. But seriously, if you got a parttime job and saved every penny that you made to put toward The Safety Sleeper, then before very long, you’d have a chunk saved up to help pay for the bed, and then you could quit your 2nd job again! Someone do the math and figure out what I’d make in a department store and figure out how many hours I’d have to work to get a chunk of change. Whether you worked enough to pay for the whole bed or just worked enough to pay for part of it, it is a great way to help out financially and to make this bed a reality for your family.

If you go to The Safety Sleeper website, you will see another amazing way of getting The Safety Sleeper (or other equipment, for that matter!) Click on the “Financial Help” button to learn about different organizations that help families buy these beds or other equipment. Fund it Forward is an organization that Rose at The Safety Sleeper works closely with. Fund it Forward and the other organizations listed are great resources for families who can’t sit down and write a check to pay for their child’s bed. Check it out!

There is also information on The Safety Sleeper website about insurance / Medicaid paying for the bed. Find this information under the FAQ section of the website. Since my parents were able to help us buy the bed, I did not go this route. But I plan to start the process to see if insurance will reimburse us for part of the purchase. I will keep you posted on that process. I do know that Medicaid won’t reimburse for the purchase, but our private insurance might. Compared to the fancy medical wood bed that we were trying to get Medicaid to pay for for Chloe, The Safety Sleeper costs nothing! (And it’s portable!) So I’m hoping that we’ll get approved for reimbursement for it.

Are you as uncomfortable talking about money as I am? I think it’s yucky to talk about money. But I LOVE talking about saving money or being smart with money! So there ya have it. I thought that since some of you probably looked at the website a couple of weeks ago and immediately decided you could never get The Safety Sleeper for your child, I wanted to give you some ideas to start your thinker! We love Chloe’s bed, and I really think you’d love it, too. And I know money is tight … I can relate!

I will tell you that Chloe and I have both slept better in the last two months than either of us has in the past SEVEN YEARS! Did I tell you that we love Chloe’s bed??

And now, watch this video of Rose. I told you she was darling! Here she is talking from her heart about her desire to help families get a safe bed for their children.

The Safety Sleeper™ from Heiko Spallek on Vimeo.


*Disclaimer: Rose gave me a good deal on The Safety Sleeper and I’ll be credited a bit with every buyer who mentions me because I promised that I would talk about it on my blog. But as most of you know by now, I’m gonna tell it how it is! So you know I’m not joshing or exaggerating the truth. The truth is that the bed is incredible, and I have a feeling I’ll be singing its praises for a long, long time!  If you visit the website or purchase a bed, be sure to let Rose know that I sent you! 🙂


Update on my Word for 2012.  I am delighting in:

  • spring-like weather!
  • Chloe’s throwing a big ol fit to express her frustration
  • basketball season with my boys
  • watching Wheel of Fortune with the family
  • the boys playing together
  • Chloe dribbling, dribbling, dribbling the basketball
  • an evening with nothing to do
  • a freshly-mowed lawn
  • finally discovering what was stinking up my fridge!
  • new air fresheners
  • new batteries
  • a clean bathroom
  • a new shirt
  • friends who “get it”
  • celebrating my nephew’s graduation from Basic Training in the Air Force!
  • bedtime ritual with Zippy of reciting a special poem while rubbing his cute face
  • holding Zippy’s hand while walking across a parking lot
  • hearing Elliot practice drums/bells
  • Chloe voting NO! to going to her brothers’ basketball games
  • making progress on some goals that I set for this year
  • speaking of, feeling like I’ve conquered the new “one space after a period” rule!
  • playing Words With Friends with Elliot

… Yes, I’m delighting! 🙂

I Still Want In

I Still Want In

by Kelly Mastin

I don’t learn like the other kids.

I don’t laugh at your jokes.

Sometimes I make funny noises.

But I still want in.


I don’t answer your questions when you ask them.

You think I’m not listening.

I drop or throw my pencil.

But I still want in.


I bump into things and make a big mess.

I stumble when I walk.

I need extra support.

But I still want in.


I growl or cry or kick my legs.

I push my book off my desk.

I don’t finish my worksheet.

But I still want in.


My body frustrates me.

It doesn’t do what I try.

You don’t notice my efforts.

But I still want in.


You don’t understand my words.

You misunderstand my frustrations.

You misinterpret me and write me off.

But I still want in.


You don’t think I’m learning.

You don’t think I belong.

You don’t think I’m capable.

But I still want in.


I still want in.

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