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Sunday, 4/3 Life isn't dull here!!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Hi everybody,

What a week... I think when you "sign on" to have 8 children, it goes without saying that things won't be quiet. However, I mistakenly believed that when my children started growing up that things would mellow out a bit. Ha Ha Ha!! I think it is a good thing that I have lost weight and gotten active these days because with all that they keep me doing now, I need the energy and ability to get around more than I did when they were toddlers. That might be because a parent hasn't any choices when they are small, we stick to them to keep them safe. The places and activities that my life has dished out this week, however, has made me understand a couple of life truths. The first is that when we sign on to be a parent, it is definitely for life. The second is that I don't think our kids ever seem to be "grown up" in our eyes.
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Highlights of my week include Matthew's birthday with his cake and all 29 candles, getting my 25 year pin as an elementary teacher in our district complete with a hug from the principal I work for (?? people are still teasing me about that public display from her given our recent history,) Miles' trip to the ER and his surgery planned for Tuesday morning, Marissa's shiny new class ring that is so big that it might act as a bracelet for one of the dogs and she told them it "was fine," Trivia Night at church with my family and all of the giggles and fun that went with that, and then yesterday...
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Yesterday started during the night on Friday. I woke up with severe pain in my tummy--cramps that were maybe in my upper intestines, I'm not quite sure for much except that it HURT. It may have been what I ate Friday--I chose going to the pool over grocery shopping Thursday, so there wasn't anything I would eat for lunch. My daughter said she would bring me a salad or something, but got called in to work, so I didn't eat until after I got home. I am typically a very slow eater, but I was pretty famished and I ate more quickly than normal. (baked chicken and peaches...) I had a few bits of some snacks at church that weren't my usual choices and then had fresh strawberries when we got home. I don't quite know which change in my usual habits might have triggered this, but I am so afraid it is also connected to my new medication. (Savella) This med is maybe helping to take the bite off of some of my fibromyalgia pain and it certainly is helping me to sleep a bit linger at a time, so I don't want to blame it right away, but I have had several episodes of tummy issues since I started taking it that it is making me think it is the culprit. I thought I could live with it, but what happened Friday with what is still lingering tonight might be convincing me that I have to give this up. It doesn't seem fair because every medication that might have given me relief from either my arthritis or my fibro has been a problem. Vioxx was pulled from the market, Celebrex gave me serious edema that triggered congestive heart disease, Steroids/ cortisone causes me to swell and to eat, etc, etc, etc... I am going to give this a few more days because there was enough to leave a question in my mind that maybe it isn't the Savella.
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I got a haircut yesterday because I was looking pretty shaggy. I took Marissa with me--she has such beautiful hair like several of her brothers. It is thick, long and naturally curly. She complains about it constantly. My hair is thin and well, unhealthy. I lost so much after my big surgery on Oct. 2009 that it hasn't come back. I used to have it permed for some body and to make it look more full, but it isn't strong enough to endure that--so I had her take an inch off of it. Maybe it will strengthen up soon, but for now, I am thankful to have the hair I have. I can look at my daughter and be thrilled for her. She doesn't understand that she might have gotten my hair like Megan did. Megan has teased me a lot lately about her getting all of the "bad genes" from me. We still haven't proven that I am the contributor of the gene that caused her blood clot. I will get the results of that test when I have my physical in a week and a half.
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Finally, no comments from me would be right without a rant about the weather, well, just because. Everyone here sees me as some kind of wimp because it is still too cold for me and I won't give up my winter coat. It has dropped into the 20's several days this week. Come on folks, it is now April. I want to see buds on trees and the grass turning green, and for it to be shirt sleeve weather--but it hasn't done that yet. I hurt in the cold, and to top it off--the sauna broke down at the fitness center sometime before I got there on Thursday. (I was the first person to turn it in, but it was cold, cold, cold when I went in, so it hadn't been working for hours.) I enjoy that dry, warm heat so much--it is my reward for working out. It takes the cold away from my lower back after my time in the pool. Our pool is an indoor pool, not a "warm" one with its temp usually from 87-89. The hardware in my spine seems to adapt to that and chills me from deep within--so I spend some 20 minutes in the sauna with a soap opera magazine and that is my lazy time each day. I want it to be warm. I want to spend my 20 minutes of "me time" out in the sunshine getting natural vitamin D and feeling warm all over. I know we are in the midwest and that this weather might be similar to what we usually have, but after the tough, cold, LONG winter that this past season has given us with mountains of snow that started earlier than usual--well, I want sunshine and warmth and I would like it today, please. Oh well. If you pay attention, I will not complain when it is over 100 degrees for day after day in July and August around here like many people will do, even with the high humidity we get from our location between two rivers. I love the warm weather--bring it on. (The positive around here is that we seemed to have missed out on the record flooding they predicted and have had people in both IA and IL sandbagging for relentlessly for the past 3 weeks.)
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I have rambled enough for now, I am going to try to go back to sleep like I should be doing right now--like everyone else in the house but Scooter and Lady. The doggies seem to know when I can use their company. Chloe went back to sleep already and Frankie won't give up his special bed with Marissa just because I'm awake, lol.

Have a wonderful week as we get April going in style. I am looking for all of the green to start showing up!!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It is always interesting to see what you are up to and this is not exception. You are always busy. I agree about the weather and I want SPRING. Not winter, not fall, not supper. Spring!!!

My hair gets thinner as I get older. As does my husbands and sons. LOL.

Sorry about the G.I. issues and I hope it's not the med.

You were meant to be a mom. God gave you 8 kids for a reason. LOL.

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TLCFME 4/5/2011 7:40PM

I hope and emoticon that sun is warm grass is green is more than a good mantra soon. I need the warmth too. Best wishes and lots of emoticon for you and yours!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 4/4/2011 1:39AM

    I hope its not this medicine giving you grief :(( I so understand the need to feel heat. We haven't had a normal hot summer in five years, cloudy and cold. Gets hard to tell the difference between the seasons. I know I would feel much better with 80-100 heat. Visiting FLA in summer was one of my best feeling trips ever. Our temps right now are around and below freezing, but at least its melting..
Here is to getting the green!!
I wonder if any of the biologics would work for you? They made a huge difference in my life..
I hope you have a good week and that they get that sauna fixed pronto..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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EMRANA 4/3/2011 11:24AM

  I'm so ready for the green too! We got more snow this weekend in southern Alberta. ICK!

I can't even imagine what it feels like when your spine hardware chills. Goodness, I never even thought of that when the question of surgery was posed for me. I hope they get that sauna fixed soon! With all of your other full life, you deserve that 20 minutes with the soap magazine!


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    Hope that you have a wonderful week too! good luck to Miles on his surgery Tuesday. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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BAYSIDE07 4/3/2011 6:22AM


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3/31 Lost in the moments

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hi Everyone,

This has been a week of events...and it is just Thursday. We had an inservice day on Monday and they honored retirees and those of us receiving our service pins. (Mine was for 25 years.) There were two teachers who received pins for 40 years of service, that's a life commitment to education in our district, without a doubt. It was nice, but I am always a bit uncomfortable trotting myself with my walker in front of so many people. I wonder if I'd feel quite the same without the walker? Hmm, maybe someday, it is in my plans!

We had technology inservice after that. emoticonPart of it went well and part wasn't so great. I guess that is always the chance we take with a menu of activities to choose from. I have been trying to find out how to add photos to my web site. Our district uses "word press" and what I think I have learned and understand is that it isn't possible to add a really decent photo because of the restriction on pixel sizes. That seems silly because some photos would improve the entire experience. However, it is the best I can do with what is provided. I miss our former format when I had a lot more creative control over what we could do, but our tech people moved to this program and that's what we have.

We were back to business as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids are always awesome after a break, eager to be back and learning. Behavior has been outstanding and interest has been high. My daughter came yesterday to videotape some of my lessons for my National Boards. I had a few kids absent yesterday which didn't make sense to me, but I guess some illnesses are still going around. (I have had the sniffles for so long that I can't remember not having to replenish tissues before leaving the house.) I haven't seen the videos yet because I couldn't download them, I left the cord at home, lol. We are planning to do one more day of this on Tuesday and then, I am going to use something I have. I don't know how to "plan" a lesson to put in a video because I try to do the BEST stuff in each of my lessons. emoticon emoticonI don't know if I can share one as a video blog or not--all of my kids have a parental permission slip for videos, but putting other people's children online is a bit of a worry for me.

Wednesday is an "early dismissal" day in our district--we add 15 minutes to the other 4 days a week and then the kids get out an hour and 15 minutes earlier on Wednesday so that staff can work together and have meetings. Our building had science things to work on, so that gave me a chance to work on things pertaining to my students. I made a phone call home to check on some technology things (that earlier mentioned cord and a emoticonabout burning DVDs from a video recording) to find out our 20 year old son had an accident. My friends who are parents of kids with Aspergers and AD/HD might understand the added element to this.

He used his own money to buy a pellet gun last fall. I hate anything to do with any type of guns, my husband sold most of his stuff when we married and what he has left is so disassembled that I am not sure even he could put them back together if he could find all of the pieces. However both Miles (20) and Mason (18) have been doing target shooting since the fall without any big issues. Yesterday, Miles was out walking with his pellet gun and he dropped it. As he grabbed the barrel, it discharged and he shot his hand. The pellet entered his left hand at the base of the middle finger and is now wedged deep inside it. I called just after this happened and of course, I told him he needed to go to the ER.

He drove to school to get me--it was almost the end of our work day anyway and the minutes that I left early have been more than given back each day as I teach before and after school on my own time, so I left with him. He hadn't washed this up much and there was a lot of bleeding. We checked in at the hospital just before 3. We waited almost an hour for the triage and the nurse laughed at him a bit. He had a good sense of humor about this and takes responsibility for his mistake. The ER began filling up with a ton of people, seemingly for the most part to be parents with sick children who I think belonged with a doctor at an office more than at the ER...About 5, they took him for some x-rays and he told me that he got to see them, and the pellet was exactly where he knew it was. (OK??) Anyway, it was 6:30 when we finally got to see the ER staff. The nurse discussed what choices the doctors had in caring for him--and remember, this still hadn't been cleaned up yet. He still had the paper towels around it that he brought from home. The PA checked him out next and told us that he thought it was wedged too deeply for them to pop it out. Finally, we saw the doc and he agreed that it needed to be taken care of by a surgeon. At this point, they gave him a tetanus shot and cleaned him up. We left with a prescription for an antibiotic, pain meds, ibuprofen, and the number of the orthopedic surgeon on call. They also put his finger in a splint. (He is part of the group I use, but a doc I haven't seen before. That took some doing, lol.) We got home at 8 PM.

I didn't get to go to the pool and was just achy and grumpy. I did as much moving and walking at the ER as I could, but it wasn't the same as being at the pool. I had a burger for dinner--it was easy and fast enough because I was starving. First thing when I get to work today, I need to make Miles an appointment with the doc so they can take care of his hand. He has acted as if it doesn't hurt and he begged them to just take it out last night, but I am glad they were more prudent. My 20 year old doesn't understand the consequences of permanent damage quite the way that I do. emoticon

I guess there wasn't enough commotion in my life right now, so Miles stepped up to the plate to add some. He is sure remorseful and did a lot of talking about "do overs" and what he should have done. I am thinking there is some maturity in that part of all of this. I do know that he is going to get a lot of teasing by his siblings with references to "shooting himself" for a long time to come.

Oh my.
I am glad that the rest of my week is going smoothly!!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 4/5/2011 11:46PM

    Yikes! Sounds like it was a challenging day but you made it!!! And i so miss the pool too, and know the difference the "buoyancy" makes! (Glad for you it was only for a day...

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    I hope that Miles' finger will be okay when all is done. Bright blessings to you all! -Dawn emoticon emoticon

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    Poor Miles! Im sure he will be much more careful now with the pellet rifle. Your life is certainly never dull!! LOL.

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JUSTJO66 3/31/2011 4:23PM

    Sounds like you have "had" a week. Time for the weekend. Has your son seen the surgeon yet? My son (aged 15) cut himself years ago while out hunting with my dad. My dad didn't take him to the ER but instead wrapped his hand with ducktape. 3 days later when they returned home I almost died. He had a huge deep cut in the center of his hand. It definitely needed to be seen by doctors. He ended up having surgery on his hand to try to repair the nerve damage. He still to this day at 38 can't straighten his fingers out on that hand completely. Men....what ya goin' to do with them. They just don't think like we do.

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SMILESWITH7KIDS 3/31/2011 7:13AM

    Well, you certainly had a full day. What is it with boys and guns! I thought my son would outgrow it, but he's in his 20s and now registered for hunting, keeping a pistol and when he came home at Christmas time he had a BB gun. Really. I've seen this with so many guys that I can't help but think there's a little Y linked cell that yells out for a gun as soon as they are born lol

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3/27 Sunday--Sharing the Party

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hi all,

I wanted to talk a tiny bit about wishing I had a bit more time off work for spring break, but I guess that is how everyone feels. It has been a hectic busy two weeks with some success and some disappointment and some things done and some left undone. That said--I go back to work to an inservice day in the morning with a wellness fair and continental breakfast followed by a big program and meeting, technology training, and then at 1:30 back to school to work in my room until my 4:45 doctor's appointment. I am thinking it will be a long day before I get to the pool for this body to work out and continue to strengthen.

Now, I want to share Matthew's party. It was a good time, although we didn't have many extra visitors outside our family. Some cancelled at the last minute and some had trouble finding us. However, Matthew was truly surprised and enjoyed every second down to the silly birthday hat and his cake and gifts... I'll let some of the photos tell the story:

Here is the food table along with the daffodils we got for the alter to honor Matthew on this all-important 29th birthday. I wonder if this is harder on me than him, lol.

Here are prizes and noisemakers for those who are helping Matthew to celebrate his special day..

Here is the birthday boy in his happy hat and others playing a variety of games to celebrate.

Here's Dad, still sporting his winter beard as he enjoys the party too.

The "Dream Team"(Mason and Miles) are preparing for the birthday song and the blowing out of the candles!

Matthew's beloved Packers are the decorations for his cake.

Other guests and family with Micah finally joining in after he realized everyone else really was having fun!!

I wish all of the photos would have turned out--I am not a good photographer--but it was a really good time for everyone. Matthew had a good time and it was a tough party to wrap up. I wish my spark friends could have joined us--maybe someday, huh?
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARBOYMOM 3/28/2011 1:19PM

    Thank you for sharing Matthew's party with us. And, by the way, I was happy to see the Packer themed cake!
I'm glad he enjoyed his special day!!

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60SIXTY 3/28/2011 8:18AM

    Priceless photos - whether you think so or not.

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MKPRINCESS007 3/28/2011 1:04AM

    The party looks awesome! Love the cake and it looks like there was plenty of food and fun. Glad you let the pics tell the story. Awesome~

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JHADZHIA 3/27/2011 11:04PM

    Looks great!! Nice to see everyone having fun and joining in!
I hope you get to your pool and not too tired after all those meetings..
Sleep well,
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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EMRANA 3/27/2011 10:49PM

  So happy the party was great! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    The party looked lovely, Sylvia. You were born to be a mother!!

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KNIGHTS6 3/27/2011 8:40PM

    glad you had a great time emoticon

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Friday, March 25 Getting things done

Saturday, March 26, 2011

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Hi everyone,

This day has had me on one mission after another. I have to tell this terrible tale to start with though. Grr-rr, I won't get over this for a while. I went for my appointment with my back doc. He came into the room and asked me how I was, told me that I was "normal" and "fine." Then he told me that there was "nothing surgical he could do for me." He ended this very quick appointment by telling me, "You have back pain."

Really?? Really?? I have "back pain." I don't think I needed anyone, especially a doc to tell me that I have back pain. Enough with this guy--enough. He did save my life and did this enormous procedure on me so that x-ray technicians and doctors are in awe of the hardware in my back that has "totally fused." Okay. However, I still cannot walk over 16 steps befoe my back starts to hurt and I have trouble standing upright. I can walk in the pool--and I can exercise there like crazy. I believe that there is some other step in my healing that I need to help me be as strong and balanced on land as I am in the water--and this guy isn't the one to help me achieve that. It doesn't much matter what this guy says, because I saw him for the last time ever today. That is that.

I left that waste of time to go on to start shopping for Matthew's surprise party tomorrow. I had fun spending money at the party store and have everything in shades of green and blue for the decorations. It was fun checking out all of the ideas at the party store--it would be easy to blow a pile of money on a themed party there... I still haven't decided what food I am going to serve. That is a tricky thing given the fact that we haven't any idea whether to ex[ect 10 or 50 people fr this. (If I had gotten organized enough to get the invitation published last week in the church bulletin, it would have been beter--but our pastor was out of town and i couldn't confirm things with him the way I needed to.) We have a nice cake ordered, so that will have to do until tomorrow, lol.

We went to the fitness center and I had a really good work out today. I don't know how it is that some days it seems that I do better than others--I think it has to do with the pace of things. I have doubled my amount of time on the bike--I'm up to 20 minutes now. I know that that might not seem like a lot to the way many people exercise, but for me, it is a nice improvement. I remember hurs in theray to get from 5 minutes to 6 to 8 and so on....

I wish that each of you has a wonderful weekend. I am expecting Matthew, our oldest son to be quite surprised at his party and that will be fun. I hope to have some photos to share.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I hope the party is great.

I'm sorry about the doctor. It sounds like he has reached the scope of his ability to help you and you will have to look elsewhere. Maybe a different specialty or a pain clinic.

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EMRANA 3/26/2011 5:04PM

  Have a wonderful time at your party!

I'm sorry the doctor disappointed you. I'm not surprised though. After all my spine drama, I don't have a lot of faith in the medical profession.

Maybe there *is* a better alternative than surgery. The surgeon just pretty much wrote me off and said I needed a two level fusion but he wouldn't do it due to my age. I've got my fitness level to such a great state, getting better all the time. With NO help from the arrogant surgeon. He and another doctor told me the same thing ~ it was going to be "normal" to experience this back pain due to my injury. Honestly, outdoing their expectations is just another motivation for me.

Congrats on the 20 minutes! That's exactly how I got where I am ~ start small and slowly build. Keep up your dedication to your fitness and it will probably be the best thing you can do for yourself. I read on a spine forum that most people don't experience significant pain relief from their surgeries, including fusions. They stabilize your anatomy, but don't take away the pain. I think we have a lot we can do to help with that, just through our fitness. Every time someone is incredulous that I work out twice a day, I just say that those sessions are giving me my life back.

I really admire all the physical fitness you do in the midst of such a busy life. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 3/26/2011 11:59AM

    Shame about that back Dr. -helps you so well, then has nothing more for you when the problem hasn't been fully solved.. I hope you can find an answer with someone else somewhere..
Well done with the bike! Nothing wrong with that! I too, remember when I couldn't do 5 minutes on the elliptical without feeling like I was going to die!
Love those colors you are choosing for Matthew's party! Should be a good time for all! That is really difficult not knowing how many are coming..Good luck with it..
Looking forward to the photos.
Do make sure you get in your pool time. You need to find me time in there every day..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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DARBOYMOM 3/26/2011 8:08AM

    Hey, 20 minutes is double what Spark Guy says to do every day, so you gotta be very proud of that! I hope Matthew has a great party! "My" Matthew turns 10 on April 17, and we are still deciding what to do. Whatever it is won't be a surprise, but we'll make it special no matter what. Tell "your" Matthew "Happy Birthday" from your new Spark Friend!
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Thursday, 3/24 Tired

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hello everyone,

I am tired. I wonder if I am always tired. I don't know if it is because of the terrible patterns of sleep that I have or if it is because of how busy I always seem to be. Maybe it is both things. However, I am smart enough to know that I am tired.

I started out this morning by over sleeping again. I got up just in time for the bus to pick up the kids. That was absolutely NOT what I needed to do. Now, usually I can't oversleep since I have to get ready for work, but this week has not been good for that. I am so glad that Micah has done his best without me needing to bug him. I got dressed as quickly as I could so that Megan and I could head to school for a while. We did quite a bit of work in my classroom and I spent some good time working on my writing.

Mitchell came and joined us and I helped him to select a variety of books about plants and animals to go with the unit he is teaching when he gets back to school the week after next. We ran a couple of errands after that and went to the fitness center. I am getting better at the bike and increased my time on that. It sure helps that they have a couple of bikes that have fully backed seats. Having that support helps me to be able to use the bike and increase my workout time. I went from there to the pool. After I did my regular work out and swam some laps, I showered and then enjoyed the sauna. I sure love the dry heat of the sauna, it makes my body feel better in many ways.

I had physical therapy after my workout and today, it seemed as if my shoulder was better than it has been for a couple of weeks. My PT has given me a few new things to do this week. She also increased the resistance in a couple of activities and she also raised the number of sets on a couple of other activities. We stopped and did some grocery shopping on the way home, and I am really glad that we did because I was unprepared for the enormous amount of homework Micah had to do.

We spent the entire evening on homework--and I am sorry to admit that I fell asleep for a few minutes as he was working. He had 4 science assignments, 2 social studies assignments, 2 writing assignments, and a math assignment. There was no way I was going to get all of that out of him in one evening, so we did one of everything--and I focused on the longer ones. He had this long study guide for science, and it was as he was doing that that I dozed off. He was quite angry with me, but it isn't as if I did it on purpose. Oh my.

He got finished at 10:40 with the amount that we did do--and when I finish this, I am going to email the teachers and let them know that it was all he had time for. I am not even going to ask why they didn't let me know about all of this before now, but I sure want to ask that.

Now, it is time that I could go to sleep, but I need to finish Matthew's taxes and resubmit Megan's. I have tried to submit hers five different times now and the IRS keeps refusing them. I have decided that the way to manage it is to use a different site and do them all over from scratch. I called the IRS yesterday and they confirmed the PIN, I have checked the math and the accuracy of the numbers multiple times but I cannot find any problems. That is frustrating enough!

Anyway, if I get going I should get to sleep early enough to have a decent night of sleep before I see my back doc tomorrow. I have to take care of the shopping for Matthew's surprise party tomorrow--I hope that will be fun. (the shopping ad the party!!)

The answer to being tired is to get more sleep. I'm going to try that tonight!!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 3/26/2011 12:08PM

    I agree with the others that is a lot of homework. Surely, this wasn't given to him all at once? If so, make sure there are allowances for time to get it done, it shouldn't be this heavy for a special needs child.. Poor Micah, I can see his being frustrated.. As for you falling asleep, you are not listening to your body, you need to get a good sleep and hope that happens for you..
{{{{gentle hugs}}}

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/25/2011 10:54AM

    I'm surprised at the amount of homework your son has. I'm not a teacher but as nurse I feel that is fairly overwhelming for a child with special needs. They need time for something besides homework. It's not healthy. They seldom give homework here any more and many don't do it even when it's given.

I didn't sleep well last night either. I'm exhausted. Let's hope we both do better tonight.

I hope the party is a great success.

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EMRANA 3/25/2011 9:24AM

  More sleep sounds great! A full week of sleep in your case!

How could Micah have that much work in one night? That's insane! Even if he didn't have Aspergers, that's way too much school work.

Glad to hear you are getting stronger with your PT and your shoulder!

If you like the dry sauna, you should live in southern Alberta! We have a very dry climate here, and it does help with pain. At least until we get chinook winds and it disrupts everyone with chronic pain.

Enjoy your party!

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    I think I'd be tired too with all of that going on! Hope you get a good rest tonight!!!

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