Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Wednesday (last week) Ryder was at school and Zak had his YMCA class. They did basketball which made Zak extremely excited. He is pretty good at shooting hoops and did much better than the other kids, but he has issues with dribbling the ball which other kids were much better at. These pictures are from my cell phone...

Zak decided to lay down and wait for his turn
On Thursday Ginnie came over for dinner and bought birthday gifts for the boys. The had a blast opening the gifts and playing with the Nerf guns and remote control cars. Ginnie stayed until a little before 8pm which is when we put the boys to bed. Thursday night was a big night for new TV! We planned to watch Bones, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice. And then we would watch Fringe on Friday on the computer since it is the same time as Grey's. Well, around 9pm I was exhausted so I decided to watch TV in bed. Of course, I fell asleep by 9:30pm and missed my shows! On any other night I can't fall asleep until 2am, but that night I was passed out early.

On Friday while the boys were watching a movie I took time to watch my shows I had missed the night before. When Ben got home we then watched Fringe on the computer.

Saturday I had a meeting with the community Architectural Committee because I volunteered to help out. They did a walk through of the community and sent out letters to 200 homes (about 594 in the community total) stating violations that need to be fixed. Next weekend I am helping go back around to check to see who has made the fixes. Then we made a trip to the thrift shop and got a VCR for $3.

Sunday we spent the day watching football.

Yesterday I had to go by the action agency office to finish paperwork for our application to get financial assistance with our energy bill and then I took the boys to story time at the library. Zak did much better this week and actually sang the songs and got very involved. Ryder also did good because he sat on the carpet with the kids instead of sitting in my lap. In the afternoon we had a surprise visit from Nanny, Poppy & Haleigh. They brought a bag of goodies for the boys including lunch boxes, bowls, plates, place mats, and clothes. While they were here the boys tried on their Halloween costumes. Then once Ben got home they took us out to dinner at Cici's.

In the mail yesterday I got a letter from YMCA about our application for financial assistance. The good news is that they are offering us assistance for a 6 month membership. The bad news is that they are not offering us 100% grant for the membership. The normal 6 month membership would be $456 plus a $99 initiation fee. They are offering us a grant for the initiation fee and $232 which would leave us paying about $223. That is a good opportunity because it would be a membership to multiple locations, lots of free classes, half price other classes, use of pools, daycare in the gym and so much more. Unfortunately, we can not cover that $223 so I have e-mailed the person to find out if we can re-apply later one if we ever get back on our feet financially.

Today Ryder had school. Zak and I had a few errands to run and stopped by Kohls just to look around. Today they both wore new clothes from Nanny & Poppy...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Yesterday I took the boys to story time at the public library. They didn't want to participate in any of the songs or other things so we ended up leaving before it was over. Yesterday was an extremely stressful day for us because we discovered just how bad our money issues have become. I felt like all of the life just drained out of me after seeing our credit cards maxed out and bank account in the negative. We have been thinking about all possible options to help our situation. I have been trying to find a part-time job, but we decided it would be impossible. Having only 1 car makes things pretty difficult, but then add in the fact that Ben is on-call every other week and has no real set time off each day he works. So now we are looking into ways to cut costs on bills and food. Today I changed our cell phone plan to save some money, but once our contract is up in about 6 months we might look into switching to a different provider since Verizon seems to be the most expensive out of all of them. We can't switch now because there would be some pricey fees for early termination. I checked with Comcast and we have the absolute cheapest plan for TV & Internet. Our only option there would be to cancel TV which might be required soon. We would like to keep Internet as long as possible. We can't do anything about lowering health insurance, but I am looking into possible state assistance to help with co-pays. We are hoping that our BEG bill will go down since we have not had our AC on for a few weeks and we switched energy providers to somebody cheaper than BGE. Then there is the issue of food...we get WIC which provides milk, bread, eggs, peanut butter, cereal, juice, and some fruit each month for the boys. Ben and I have been planning dinners for a week at a time so we are not eating out like we used to. We will have to start cutting out snacks, desserts, and even meat (not at every meal) until our situation gets better. We have also made the decision to cancel Ryder's swallow study for this week since we don't have the money to pay the co-pays for his last few visits (Zak's also) and we didn't feel right about doing the test knowing a bill would be coming in the mail. We have kept the appointment for the behavior therapy for the end of October and really hope we can afford it then. I just feel like I have lost the fight inside of me because no matter what we try to do we just can't win....

Today Ryder went to school. He is always excited to get on the bus and seems very happy when he gets off the bus. Zak and I ran a few errands today to get WIC stuff and change our cell phone bill. Once we got home we played in the backyard for a while with the dogs. Then I told him it was school time and he was very excited. Today we mainly worked on tracing and matching colors. I had to really mess with the color while editing the pictures so his lines would show up since he draws so lightly.

Around 11:30am we went outside to wait for Ryder's bus. As soon as Ryder's bus comes into our court Zak gets very excited. When Ryder gets off the bus he usually wants me to pick him up and hold him for a bit then we head inside for lunch. While the boys were eating lunch I went through Ryder's backpack and found a booklet he made. This booklet shows some of the pictures/symbols that are used for the PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) that they use at school and we use at home...

I wanted to put this video on here because it is so funny and cute. The picture will be black the whole time because I was standing in the dark hallway videoing the boys talking while they were in the bedroom the other night. We usually put them to bed around 8pm, but recently they have been staying awake until 10pm while in their bedroom talking with each other...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week Update with Lots of Pictures

On Tuesday schools were closed because of elections so both boys were home with me for the day. Once Ben got home from work we all went to the voting location and voted. The boys were good and had fun. They each got a sticker which they loved. These pictures are what the boys did when we got home...for some reason they love to close themselves in the dog crates.

Wednesday morning Ryder went to school. Then Zak and I went to run some errands before his YMCA class. This week Zak did ok in his class. He decided to sit with the other kids while they stretched, but when it came time to do drills he ran over to me and started crying. He sat with me until it was time to actually do soccer stuff. Once the soccer balls came out he was back to being fine.

On Thursday the boys decided to do their own art project without any help. I had put them in their bedroom and been up there several times trying to get them to lay down for a bit. I went up there again, opened the door and discovered a giant mess. The boys had taken their diapers off and proceeded to paint the room (walls, floor, bed, bodies, ceiling, dresser, etc) with poop! It was a huge mess and took a while to clean up. I was not a happy camper. Rich & Laura stopped by while we were in the process of cleaning up to give everyone gifts from their trip. Then we had an AC guy come by to give us the estimate for a whole new system and water heater. We have been getting a few different estimates because our system is not working. After we had dinner I went to the monthly HOA meeting while Ben stayed home with the boys. While at the meeting I got permission to cut down the tree in our front yard. We have wanted to get rid of it since we moved in because it is almost dead, blocks the whole front of our house and seems to attract every kid in our court into our front yard. Then I talked to somebody from our community who is going to be able to take it down for us at no cost! I know many kids in the court are going to be mad, but I got the permission and they shouldn't be climbing the tree in our yard anyways.

Friday morning the boys and I had to be at Hopkins between 9-9:15am for Ryder's sweat test. We got checked in at 9:03am and around 9:30am (the scheduled time for his test) the nurse came over to us and said they were running late. She handed me two food vouchers and said to get some food and come back in 30-45 minutes. I was not happy because the boys had been behaving so far and I wasn't sure how long it would last. So we went to the cafeteria and got some fruit and juice. We came back around 10am and they were ready for us. We went into a tiny room where they had a space heater turned on to high. They cleaned Ryder's arm then put on electrodes for 5 minutes to stimulate his sweat glands. They put the test paper on his arm and then proceeded to wrap it (including a heating pad) until it looked like a cast. Then we put a sweatshirt on him along with four heated blankets. I tried to tell the nurse that my kids sweat pretty easily, but they went ahead with their normal routine. We sat in the HOT room for 30 minutes watching a movie. Ryder was obviously getting way too hot so I was happy when the 30 minutes was over. The nurse came back in and unwrapped Ryder. She commented repeatedly how they have never had a kid sweat as much as he did (he was dripping with sweat). So they definitely got enough sweat for the test. I will call tomorrow morning for the results.

Yesterday morning we headed out around 8:45am to meet Tracy, Dave & Kyle at the DC Zoo. The boys had a blast as did everyone. I took 155 pictures so here are just a few of them....

Waiting for the metro
Tracy & Dave took Kyle and the
stroller up the huge escalator
I didn't notice the bee until editing the picture!
Zak is upset because the statue was hot
This morning the boys have been in a very defiant mood. It took about 2 hours to get them to clean the playroom which ended in them losing some toys because they refused to pick them up. Ben just left the house for the day because he is going to the Redskins game. He is very excited because he has never been to any kind of football game and he is a big Redskins fan. His sister has season tickets and ended up with some extra seats this weekend and invited him to come.