Wednesday, April 30, 2008


After talking to the Special Education teacher who will (and has been) working with Ryan at school, I'm a little less confused. She's actually a good friend of mine that lives down the street and Ryan adores her, so that works in our favor. She explained to me that Ryan's test scores aren't really as low as we were led to believe.

While there may be a learning disability, it's hard to know for sure, since he was already 5 years old when we figured out that he had hearing loss. There are other factors in play here such as 5 years of catching up on hearing that he missed out on before getting his hearing aids. Then there is the delay at the beginning of the school year of getting the proper fitting FM System so that he could hear his teacher talk into a microphone that goes straight to his hearing aids, which may be why he fell behind in the first place.

The problem with all of the testing that they did on him is that they are standard tests that they use on every child that is struggling. They don't take into account that he has hearing loss. The same is true when they do these tests on a child with autism. I have a hard time understanding why they would use the same tests on both kids.

Regardless, I have a lot of faith in Ryan's Special Education teacher. She has goals set for him and high expectations, too. She's said that Ryan has made great progress since she's started working with him and that he should continue to be able to catch up.

Someday, when he's a doctor or a lawyer we're going to look back and shake our heads. We probably still won't fully understand it then. I'm just thankful that we live in such a great school district.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Today was the much anticipated IEP meeting at school. All sorts of people with important looking initials after their names had done a full range of evaluations on Ryan and today was the day that we learned of the results. Or were suppose to, but really I only feel more confused.

Ryan's evaluations show that he has a learning disability. Only I don't really understand what kind of a learning disability he has. Shouldn't that be obvious? Isn't the term "learning disability" a pretty general condition? (See, you're confused now, too, aren't you?)

He struggles in Reading and Math. He has Motor Planning and Sensory Issues. I did pick up on some low scores regarding Auditory Processing. I may have also heard someone say "not related to his hearing loss" at some point during the meeting. They all seemed to rush through their reports or were speaking another language all together, and I had a hard time making sense of it all. The part I did pick up on over and over again? "Bottom line of average. Below average."

This all important meeting is being concluded in two weeks because his Speech Therapist didn't show up today. So I'm pretty sure I'll be on the phone with the person in charge of all of this tomorrow - asking her to go over all of this in English because I want to know what is wrong with my baby!

Bottom line? My son is struggling in school and it's not his fault and I have to force myself to believe that it's not *our* fault. He qualifies for Special Education, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and a Hearing Consultant. Their major goal right now is to close the gap from between where he stands right now educationally to where his peers stand. I should be glad they are so proactive, but I just wish I could understand more of what is going on. I wish I knew what to do.

This is where it really hits home that my mother in law isn't with us anymore. I'd give almost anything right now to be able to ask her for help. She was a Speech Pathologist and knew her stuff. We'd always go straight to her and have a pow wow when these meetings were over.

Where in the world do we go from here?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Unlucky, Part Two

I guess when you shake over 200 hundred hands at your mother in law's funeral, it shouldn't surprise you when you end up with a fever, chills and body aches a week later.

Saturday, April 26, 2008



Someone to clean my 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom ranch style house because apparantely a calf injury makes that a wee bit hard to do. Please be advised - a 7 year old can't hit the bowl for the life of him little boy resides here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I may just happen to be the most unlucky person ever. Just over three weeks ago, I sprained my calf muscle, which forced me to discontinue going to the gym for awhile.

Then I sprained it again last week, when I wasn't thinking and tried to run to the the ambulance and my father in law's car the night my mother in law passed away. I felt it snap again that night, but ended up ignoring it and limping around until it started feeling better again.

So, that brings me to today. I tried to run again without thinking and then SNAP goes my calf. And can I just tell you that it hurts like a bleep bleep bleep?!

Moving on...

It took me awhile to unload pictures from my camera, but I thought I'd share a couple.

This is one of the angel statues that was removed from Sally's casket before her burial. One was given to each of her grandchildren since in essence, they were her angels. They sit on our mantle for now. Also you'll see two of the flowers that we saved from her casket spray.

Here we have Ashley and Ryan looking way older and more mature than they have the right to look on the morning on her funeral. Ryan was pretty proud of his tie and kept trying to swing it without using his hands.

Two days after Sally passed away, we had an earthquake that measured a magnitude 5.4 or something. We rarely have earthquakes here in the midwest so we ended up having a good laugh and determined that Sally must have just been given a list of all of our dirty laundry up there in heaven.

Well, I'm off to ice my calf again!
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Trying For "Normal"

My mother-in-law's funeral services this weekend were beautiful. No one has counted, but if I had to guess I'd say there had to have been over 200 people that came to say goodbye to Sally at her visitation on Saturday. That day was a lot easier to get through than I thought it would be.

Yesterday was the most difficult day yet for me. I've always been a very spiritual person and I believe that there are things out their that we can't not make sense of or understand. Since she passed away last Wednesday night, it feels likes she's been with us. Maybe she has been or maybe I just need to feel that way so that I can get through this, but it really has helped. After our final goodbye's at the funeral home yesterday morning, we waited in the foyer while they closed the casket so the pallbearers could carry her out. During that exact time, the grandfather clock near us started chiming. It could have been planned or it could have been coincidence, but it felt to me like it symbolized her passing. It was almost as if at that moment, she was telling us that that she was moving on and that it was time for us to do so as well.

We went on to her final resting place after that and had a quick blessing. The ceramic angels were taken off of her casket and given to us for each of her grandchildren, along with a flower each from the casket spray. We stayed to watch the casket put into the vault of the mausoleum and it was during that time that I lost it. When the granite stone was being placed over the opening of the vault and I could no longer see her casket, I broke down and let it all out.

Things have gotten better for us now. Bret tried to go back to work today, but may come home if it gets to be too much for him. I went over and got his Grandma out of bed and bathed and dressed her this morning. The kids went back to school and Ashley has Volleyball practice tonight, but we'll all gather at Bret's parent's house again tonight, I'm sure. Life goes on, but it may take a bit longer to get back on track.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting By

It's only been less than 4 days since Sally passed away, but it feels like so much more time has passed. It's been a roller coaster of emotions and I'm sure we've only partially made our way through them. All of the busy work of planning has helped - I never knew how much planning went into a funeral.

One of the things that we've been putting a lot of work into are picture memorials. We have 3 huge collages made of pictures of Sally from birth to present to show how much meaning her life has had. Some of those pictures and her obituary can be viewed at Her last name is the same as ours and her first name is Sally. I will warn you that the movie is difficult to watch - it will be playing at the funeral home and we've all broken down when watching it already. If you don't know our last name and would like to visit the site, just leave me your email address in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

The kids seem to be doing much better. We've all been surrounded by family, and being able to play with their cousins from sun up to sun down has really helped them get through this. The rest of us still have our moments when the water works come with no warning, but I think the shock is starting to wear off and the acceptance is beginning to come.

Visitation and funeral services are this afternoon (with the burial tomorrow morning) and will probably bring the grief back all over again, but hopefully closure will follow. We've all been putting together mementos that are important to each of us to place in the memory drawer of her casket. Also, her casket will have four removable angel statues on each corner that will be given to each of the grandkids. Sally especially had a thing for angels and I can't tell you how perfect this is. Those angels will be priceless to us.

We have had an overwhelming amount of support come in from cards to emails to meals to well wishes. I can't tell all of you how much this has helped us to keep moving forward. Your words of comfort have been wonderful.

I've also found that it just doesn't feel right to be here at home. I feel like our place right now is over at my in-law's house. It's still hard to walk in the door there because you were always greeted by her with a big smile and welcome, but her presence is definately there and it has a calming effect on all of us. It just feels right to all be together right now. I'm not ready to go back to the "real" world yet.

My mom came down first thing Thursday morning and that has been a blessing. We've been able to get preparations taken care of without having to worry about which one of us would have to stay behind and take care of the kids or Sally's mom. She's also kept up our laundry which is a good thing or I'd be wearing blue panties with khaki capri's right now. (Humor has been key to getting us all through this.)

Well, it's time to start the day. The kids need baths, clothes need ironing and my sister-in-law and I need to go to the funeral home to set up all of the pictures. I wish today didn't have to happen, but it does and we'll get through it together.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Loving Memory

Ryan put it perfectly tonight when he said, "It's not fair that Grandma died!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

We love you and miss you, Sally.

Thank You

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes. I'm not sure how well I'll do at stringing along sentences here, but my mother in law's death was very sudden and very unexpected. While it must have obviously been her to time to go, I'm not very accepting of that.

It happened last night around 7:15pm. She had gone out to dinner with her husband and mother. When leaving, she suffered a massive heart attack in the parking lot. Thank God it was fast and painless. She most likely didn't know what was happening.

It feels like a train wreck. Like losing my own mother. (If this feels like this, I don't want to know what that would feel like.) We told Ashley late last night when we got home from the hospital. She still hasn't stopped crying. She can't stop thinking about the fact that she'll never see her again. How do I tell my little boy when he gets home from school today that his Grandma is gone? That he'll never see her again? How do I stay strong for him when inside I just want to break?

So, yea. I thought I could do this right now. But it just hurts too much. I'll be back later.


My mother in law, my friend, my children's Grandmother, my husband's mother passed away unexpectedly tonight. We are all in shock and are greiving deeply. This shouldn't have been her time. I'm not sure where we go from here as the pain and hurt is way too deep.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday

I'll admit it. I've spent the last week eating whatever I've wanted while I stayed away from the gym due to my leg injury. Yet I still lost one pound. I'm delightfully surprised. Let's just call it one last hurrah before cracking down and getting serious again. It's on!

My leg is much better, although I haven't tried doing anything other than cleaning with it. Tonight Ashley has volleyball practice, so I'm going to walk the track and see how it feels. If all goes well, I may try Body Step tomorrow. I *need* to get back to the gym - it's what keeps me on track. We'll see how it goes.

Today's update:


  • I have lost 1 pound(s) since I started!
  • I lost 1 pound(s) this week!


  • I worked out 0 time(s) this week.
  • I did 0 hour(s) and 0 minutes of cardio this week.
  • I did 0 hour(s) and 0 minutes of strength training this week.
  • I did 14 hour(s) and 0 minutes of brisk activity this week. (Spring cleaning may be what saved me from gaining this week.)


  • I did meet my last goal.
  • My Last Goal Was: To heal and get back to the gym. I'm ready to give it a go again!
  • My new goal is: To eat out less this week, which means I better crack down and plan some meals for my family that work with our "busy kids in sports" schedule.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Did I say I was ready for spring? Either the trees are finally going to start returning to life or I stired up some serious dust with my whirlwind cleaning this weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning Series

Hosted by Sarcastic Mom

Hi. My name is Lynda and I'm obsessive about having a clean and clutter free home - unless it comes to my closets and other places of storage. Some have said they'd never believe it unless they were to see it. Once upon a time I use to have the time to put things away properly. Now it seems that the basic rule has become, "If you can't see it, it doesn't count."

Yesterday our focus was on the Master Bedroom closet. It's an out of control mess.
Oh, that's where I put the sewing machine! A friend of mine dropped off a pair of pants that needed a new hem - back in January - or was it December? - and I still haven't gotten to it.

Here you have the bulk of the mess. Oh, and did you not believe that I was obsessive? Note that I have a pair of every day gym shoes and a pair of "gym only" gym shoes.

Not cold enough outside for hats and gloves anymore? No problem, we'll just shove them in some gift bags and store them in our bedroom closet for now.
There's that walk in closet that we thought would be big enough for both of us to share! Maybe now he'll get more than one wall.

Crap. There's what was in the closet.

Four hours of organizing, fighting dust bunnies and child labor super nice helpful children carrying crap downstairs later, we have a clean and organized closet. Except that I want you to know that it is KILLING me that all of the hangers are NOT white. Can someone please send me some new hangers, please?

Hubby has been instructed that the order is now work out pants, office pants, jeans, short sleeve office, short sleeve casual, long sleeve casual, long sleeve office, and then jackets - and to stay to the left my robe please. If this doesn't work, we may have to resort to duct tape down the center.

Maybe next time I have to clean out the closet, we'll swap sides to screw with our heads. The things I do for entertainment! It sure is nice to be able to walk into the walk in closet.

My sanctuary.

Now I have to clean out the basement today where the kids and I dumped all of the crap at.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oops, He Did It Again

Bret went to the pet store on his own again. And brought home a dumbo rat. A rat! It's time to put up a "Do not sell an animal or rodent to my husband." poster at every pet store within a 50 mile radius.

It's very deceiving. He's actually kind of cute looking at first, what with his cute dumbo ears (hence the name dumbo rat).

But then you see his tail (which is hidden here in case it gives you the heebie jeebies as it does me) that is some 10 feet long (ok, it seems) and it reminds you that he is a rat.

While I'm willing to give it the two week trial time that the pet store gives you, I'm having a hard time with the whole long rodent like tail thing. Just last year when the corn fields next door were being cut down, I almost had a nervous breakdown when a mouse ran in front of me when I grabbed the bathroom trash can.

We've done hamsters with both good and bad turn outs. Just this past month alone we've had two baby hamsters die in a week's time. The dumbo rat is suppose to be more domesticated than the hamster and I do have to admit that he is. He runs right to you, snuggles into your arm and is very playful. He might work out after all, if they keep that tail away from me.

My 3rd child husband also bought a leash for the thing. We're really going to end up with a reputation around here.

Vegas Bret Style

Bret made it home safe and sound at around 11pm last night. We all had some good laughs while we went through his pictures, so I thought I'd share. They started off as the pretty and scenic kind...

(He scored big time for Ryan with the souvenirs at Excalibur. More on that later.)

Then the fun began. He partied with Hugh Hefner.

Had a little peep show with Brangelina.
Was interviewed by Al.
Got hitched to George Clooney.

Gave some much needed pointers to Tiger Woods.

The four greatest minds of the United States.

Home now from his big exciting trip, he scored big time with Ryan in the souvenir department. Looks to me like he had himself in mind while they were shopping. LoL.

My little warrior.

Friday, April 11, 2008


So, now that my husband is coming home tonight, I can freely tell y'all that he's been in Vegas for the past few days without fearing that someone reading this might try to break in and attack me in my sleep. Because I'm a little nutty like that.

He and our neighbor/friend, Scott caught a flight out there Wednesday morning and left Teri and myself home to be single parents for three days. I have to admit that I never realize just how much Bret helps out with the kids and things like dishes and homework, until he's not here and I'm on my way to the loony bin from trying to do it all.

Last night I had to take Ashley over to her Grandpa's house for help with her math homework because my own daughter passed me up in math two years ago. They say "use it or lose it" - and I'm here to tell you it's true.

This morning I woke up for the second morning in a row by almost falling out of our king size bed. Both mornings Ryan has climbed into bed with me at 4am. Does he sleep on his dad's side? Of course not. He sleeps on my side and wedges in next to me to keep warm. We end up using a quarter of the bed with the whole rest of it wide open. If it hadn't been 4am, I might have been coherent enough to realize that I could just climb over him and sleep on the other side of the bed, but at 4am I'm not running on all cylinders.

I now have the rest of the afternoon to myself since Chloe's mom got out of work early today, so I'm off to do some decluttering of my own.

Friday Fill-Ins - April 11

1. I love springtime in good ol' Peoria!
2. Cereal, pancakes and french toast and McDonalds breakfasts are foods I love to eat for breakfast.
3. It seems I'm always searching for the remote control.
4. Reading a good book or watching TV is a great way to end the day.
5. I think I may have gotten through this week afterall!
6. Chocolate is what I've been craving lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Ashley's volleyball tournament and Bret coming home from Vegas, tomorrow my plans include taking both kids to birthday parties (one is at the zoo so pray for good weather!) and Sunday, I want to do nothing!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - April 10

Thirteen Things That Have Kept Me From Blogging This Week:

1. My gym injury. Stupid calf. I still don't have a full range of motion yet.

2. Someone went to Vegas and it wasn't me!

3. Softball practice.

4. Volleyball practice.

5. Parent/Teacher Conferences.

6. Jump Start Gymnastics - no, not for me - that would be a riot.

7. Yummy Limon Electric Limonade at Buffalo Wild Wings.

8. Storms. Flash Flood Watch. Enough already.

9. My DVR. I love you, Big Brother and Survivor!

10. Hmm, not the mountain laundry.

11. Signing up for this and this.

12. Finally getting around to Scrapbooking our vacation to Disney World from last June.

13. Planning and researching our summer family vacation. I'm thinking East Coast. I still have yet to see my first ocean!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday - Week Three

So... I may be the only person ever to take the elevator down at the gym - after only getting through the warm up. Hmm.
Yesterday I was all psyched about doing Body Attack at the gym. I was a little sore from running with Ryan and his bike the day before, but I stretched for a good ten minutes while I waited for the class to begin. I got through to the end of the warm up track, when with no warning I felt my calf muscle SNAP. I was able to recover quickly and not go falling to the ground, but I knew a muscle snapping wasn't a good thing, so I hobbled out of the class quickly, grabbed Chloe out of the daycare and was on the phone with my doctor's office before leaving the parking lot.
Luckily it's just a calf strain, but now I'm out of the gym for one to two weeks and have to keep it on ice. I may have to admit that I was possibly over doing it at the gym. When I started back up, I went full force right back into these classes that aren't very forgiving on unused muscles and joints. Maybe a week or two off will make all those muscles and joints stop screaming at me, but I'm afraid the time away will make it difficult to get back into it again.
Without further ado, here's what a weekend of nachos, mojitos and getting your period will do to your Trim Up Tuesday numbers - and I even stayed active all weekend:


  • I am back to my starting weight. (It mocks me. Just a few days ago I was down a total of 2.5 pounds.)
  • I am 1 pound heavier than last week.


  • I worked out 3 time(s) this week.
  • I did 2 hours and 10 minutes of cardio this week.
  • I did 1 hour of strength training this week.


  • I did meet my last goal.
  • My Last Goal Was: To eat healthier and snack less. (For the most part this is true - up until Saturday night.)
  • My new goal is: To heal and get back to the gym.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

We'll Get There Yet

Today ended up being just as beautiful outside as yesterday so we determined it to be Learn How To Ride A Bike Day for Ryan. Bret went out and removed the training wheels from Ryan's old bike - a bike that has very obviously been outgrown since last summer. Covered in full protective gear, Ryan was ready to go.

Yes, the bike is a bit small but we figured he would feel more secure being closer to the ground.

Here we are still getting use to the feel of no training wheels. First step? Walk with the bike. "Look at me mom! I'm good at this!"

Finally realizing that his old bike is WAY too small, I ran down the street to borrow Quentin's old bike. Perfect fit until we can get him a new one. I now decide enough of this walking back and forth in front of the house stuff. It's time for some real practice.

I walked him down a few houses to the cul-de-sac and spent the next hour running with him, holding onto just one handle bar with my hand on his back. He'd do great for about 5 seconds on his own and then would wobble and freak out. Other than exhausting myself by doing this over and over, I have no idea how else to teach him. If I let him go and let him fall, he'll never get back on, so I've promised him that I won't let him fall. We are now wondering if there might be some kind of link between his lack of balance and his hearing loss because he really does not seem to grasp the whole balance thing. Something to look into, I guess.

My next thought is to get him balancing on the scooter that he won't touch either, in hopes of that helping him out in the balance department. It may take all spring and summer, but it's my mission to get him riding that bike.

Weekly Winners

Friday, April 04, 2008

Game Time

Tonight was Ashley's first Volleyball Tournament and her team won both matches.
Waiting for the serve.

Going for it.

Ashley's cheering section.

How To Excite Your Dryer Repair Man

Leave your undies behind the washer. Because, of course this time it's NOT a sock that got loose from the rest of the load that went in!

At least he had enough good sense not to say anything, because you know he saw them.

Excuse me while I go crawl under a rock and DIE!

Friday Fill-Ins - April 4

1. Tonight I saw the sun set.
2. Body Step at the gym makes me wanna dance! I'm on my way there now.
3. Splitting a few appetizers between friends is pure heaven if drinks are included, too.
4. My best friend from high school is someone I'd like to get to know better. It's been so long that it makes me sad!
5. The smell of rain reminds me so much of springtime!
6. I cleaned my house yesterday and that made it all better. Anyone that dares to enter will be sprayed down with Lysol first.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my daugher's Volleyball Tournament since Ryan is feeling better, tomorrow my plans include hoping for beautiful weather and good health and Sunday, I want to get out and do something with the kids!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - April 3

Thirteen Clues That Tell You Mom Is On A Diet...

1. When you open the pantry door, it looks like YOU are now on a diet, too. What? You didn't know that if mom is on a diet, then so is the rest of the family? Shame on you.

2. You take the bag of "baked" chips down from the pantry and they are already sorted into single servings in ziplock sandwich bags.

3. The cow has been fired. Your beef supplier is now a turkey. Gobble Gobble.

4. The pig has been fired, too. Your bacon supplier is also the turkey, now.

5. She is watching Dr. Phil while munching on a bowl of green beans instead of chips.

6. The grocery bill just got more expensive. Why does it cost more to eat healthier?

7. You know what "points" are. Everything edible now has a number written on it. Unfortunatly, the highest score is not the winner in this case.

8. You know that when there aren't very many of those "points" left, you should stay clear of her.

9. You're afraid that you may be addicted to spray butter.

10. She is mentally calculating how many minutes of power walking she'll have to do while you're at Volleyball practice to be able to eat that Happy Meal.

11. You've learned how to manipulate the read out on the scale. Ok, not really - we're still working on that.

12. She actually uses the gym membership she pays for each month.

13. It starts rubbing off on you. You find yourself taking the dog for walks, too.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Winter's Last Attack

Ryan walked in the door afterschool today with a 103.4 fever. He's got some Ibuprofen in him now, so he seems a lot better for now. Regardless, he'll have to stay home from school tomorrow which means I need to wipe tomorrow's busy day clean. That means no gym for me. No dentist for Ryan. No tumbling for Chloe. No Tiger Scouts for Ryan. And if he's still sick on Friday? One of us will have to miss Ashley's first Volleyball Tournament.

Maybe we can reschedule this bout of illness until next winter, because I certainly don't have time for it to run it's course through our whole entire family now. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner doing shots of Emergen C and spraying anyone who dares to come near me with Lysol.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday - Week Two

Here we are at week two and I haven't given up yet. In fact, I'm more motivated now than ever. My mom and I took our before pictures when I was at her house this weekend. I'd like to believe that the camera adds on what you don't see when you look in the mirror, but you can't argue with something that's sitting right in front of your face.

Since quitting smoking, I've now put on 20 pounds and it's time to lose that plus more. I've done it before (right after Ryan was born) and I can do it again! As of now I want to lose 80 pounds. (Don't see it? Look again at my midsection and thighs. OMG, I can't believe I'm being this honest.)


(because putting your hands on your hips makes you look a lot thinner - lol)

I'll be printing this picture off and hanging it on my pantry door. And just in case that still isn't enough to keep me from opening the damn door, I may hang a picture of my backside inside the door, right on the snack shelf. (Thanks for the idea, Grandma!)

Now that brings us to today's reality check... Please hold while Lynda goes and strips of anything that may add any extra unwanted not really there ounce and then weighs herself... Ok, I'm back (and yes, I'm wearing clothes) here we go...drum roll please...

Trim Up Tuesday, April 1, 2008


  • I lost 1 pound this week! (I wasn't expecting to lose any, so yay for me!)
  • I am 79 pounds away from my ideal weight.


  • I did 2 hours and 15 minutes of cardio this week.


  • I did not meet my last goal.
  • My Last Goal Was: To eat healthier and snack less. (I blew it by going to Chicago for the weekend.)
  • My new goal is: Let's try this again. To eat healthier and snack less.

So there you have it. One pound gone, even on top of all that bread I ate last night. You cannot put bread in front of me and expect it to stay there! Especially if it's from Avanti's.

Want to join the fun at Trim Up Tuesdays?