And these are not even their Halloween costumes, they are...just because...costumes.
They had a great time at the Ren Fest. Woohoo!
No I have not been ignoring you, I have simply been crazed...but then aren't we all?

My husband has been dealing with an untimely patient death (nothing to do with him)that may be the result of nature, or not. Anyone who thinks doctors are not affected by what happens to their patients is on crack. This is a small community and everyone is hit hard by tragedy. I really can't go into specifics, but suffice it to say everyone around here is sad and freaked out, especially all of the doctors at the hospital.

I am dealing with notes sent home from pre-school about Connor hitting, kicking and not listening to teachers. Part of the problem at first was an ear infection that would not go away with regular medication. We finally got that taken care of and he was good for a week, but today he had an outburst that almost had him sent home for the day. By the time I got there, Connor was remorseful and was allowed to go back into class...but hitting a kid over the head with a medical kit because the kid put a strainer on his own head and looked silly...UM,NO. Not acceptable. Then he tried to kick his teacher and told both the teacher and the pre-school director that he didn't like them.

We have been working on immediate rewards for good behavior, eliminating ALL yelling at home, showing as much love as humanly possible, consequences for bad behavior...nothing can overcome the fact that I was the same way as a pre-schooler. Both Jason and I are prone to keeping a very even temperment and then flying off the handle, we try not to show this as a model of behavior, but I think that even if Connor was raised by the most saintly of saints he would be this way, to some degree it is just in the genes. We have thought about just pulling him out of pre-school alltogether, but does that really solve the problem? Nope, just delays it till the next time we try. On Thursday we are going to try using a rewards chart that he will use 7 days a week so that he knows that his parents and teachers expect the same behavior, modeling some positive frustration behavior, and having him scribble in a quiet place to release his frustration.

If this does not work, I will go to class with him a few times. Beyond that I am thinking of taking him to a child psychologist. He is a happy healthy 3 year-old, but one who might get kicked out of pre-school and more beyond that one day if we don't teach him some positive ways to deal with his anger. He'll end up living in a van down by the river. Man, I miss Chris Farley.

Beyond all of this....................

I am throwing a Passion Party. I have never been to one, but hear they are a lot of fun. One lady I know volunteered to have it at her house since her husband is deployed for 6 months and she has no kids, as long as I invite everyone and get the Passion Party lady there. Should be fun. It sure does "Out" all of the prudes though. Like I thought this was a liberal community anyway, NOT. It is just funny to see how many people have issues about dealing openly about sex, but that's America right? We broadcast violence and death on TV shows for our kids to see so that they become immune to it, but Janet Jackson's nipple during the SuperBowl was a huge moral outrage in this country. Here's a secret the religious right does not want you to know: everyone has nipples, genitals too. OOPS! So keep your frigidity in the closet, and keep making your children ashamed of their own bodies. Anyway, what was I talking about before the RANT began?

Here is where you get to help. Give me some good anger management approaches for a 3 year-old. I have some books, and more are on the way but I need help now!
(from an e-mail)

If you have been secretly wondering what is wrong with me, I now have the answer...

Recently, I was diagnosed with C. A. A. D. D. (Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder) This is how it manifests:

I decide to do the laundry. As I start toward the basement, I notice that there are cheerios all over the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl. I decide to pick up the cheerios before I do the laundry. I lay my car keys down on the counter, put the cheerios in the trash can under the counter, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to take out the trash.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay the bills first. I take my checkbook off the table,
and see that there is only one check left, my extra checks are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I go to my desk where I find a sippy cup full of juice. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I decide I should put the sippy cup in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the sippy cup a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the counter, and I discover baby wipes that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the wipes back down and splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I get some paper towels and wipe up the spill.

Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the laundry isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm cup of juice sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered,
there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the wipes, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
Spread the word. My entire Beanie Baby collection is going to poor children in Iraq, it is the nicest way to try to make the best of this situation. Sorry about your country in turmoil, here are some toys. At least it is a start.

Support the troops too! Send a care package directly to a soldier in the field. They need basic stuff and to know that we still care about them back here in the states. Make that "support the troops" bumper sticker count for something!
I know the title of this blog is about Joy, so I promise I will post good things soon ok? I just have to get this off of my chest.

The day started with Connor's oldest fish dying. Not a good sign. Then the details about the complete sicko who killed the Amish kids comes out. Planned down to the two tubes of KY jelly. Fricking lunatic, sick bastard. Just hits me in the gut. Then I see my neighbor who has had a really ouchy child delivery last week, and it is worse than I imagined.

I see the look of intense pain and trauma in her eyes as she talks to me. She almost got a blood transfusion yesterday, that after her 4th degree tear...tearing all the way down to the rectum and more folks...last Monday. She had a really awful delivery after over 3 hours of pushing the baby literally exploded out of her. The baby also had the cord wrapped around her neck and there is some worry of possible future damage to the baby.

All of that took me back to that place in my mind where I store the experience of Connor's birth. I am right back to the intense pain of the vaginal hematoma, the awful pushing for over 3 hours...the horror of finding all of Connor's congenital differences, the snatching of my baby away from me and not knowing whether he would live or die. Yea, it all came to the surface again.

I wrote my neighbor a 2 page letter telling her about my experience and what she might go through. I kept asking myself what I would have wanted to hear when Jason and I were in that long dark tunnel of shock for the first month. Just to know that we were not alone in our feelings, and to understand what we were feeling would have been nice. I told her about grieving for the birth experience that she hoped to have, she needed to mourn it. I told her about the 5 stages of grief and how it was ok if she did not yet have boundless love for her newborn, that it would come in time...after her body started to heal. When you are in severe pain and going through the mental trauma of a nasty birth experience, you can barely function, let alone bond with your baby. It took me months to bond with Connor. Having another mom acknowledge this is important. TLC's "A Baby Story" gives you the wrong idea about birth, a lot of births are really traumatic.

So after all of this Jason comes home and tells me that he had to tell a lady 6 weeks pregnant that her fetus was not living baby in the gestational sack. Uh, too much trauma.

Hug your children, it is a miracle that they are here and alive.