Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Around Here

I believe it is time for an update. I do realize that for those of you who read my blog regularly, I've left you "hanging" with regards to the progress of some things I've posted about in the past couple of weeks. So, here's a warning for you: This is going to be a long post. However, I am going to try to organize my thoughts and have "sub-titles" along the way . . . mostly for my benefit (in order to keep this post on track), but partly for your benefit. If you don't want to read all the way to the end of this epic tale, just search for the topics you want info on, and read.

Okay, here it goes.

I posted some pictures of our pups a few days ago, and yes, they are as cute as they look in the pictures, if not cuter. I've got an ad all set up and ready to go in the paper this weekend, so hopefully by Sunday night I'll have half as many pups as I do now. YES, it's extremely difficult to let them go. And as silly as this might sound, I actually pray that God would send the right people my way to buy them. By "right", I mean, families (or singles) that will put the required amount of time and energy into raising their puppy and giving him/her lots and lots of love and attention. I don't sell my puppies to puppy-mills, and while that may be difficult to determine, I actually have turned down potential buyers in the past due to their intentions with my puppies. If you think of us this weekend, please pray that we are able to sell all of our pups to good homes.

On another puppy-related note, this litter has been challenging due to the fact that their transition from mama's milk to puppy food and water brought about severe constipation. Consequently, I had to take action and give them a laxative in order to help things along, plus I had to bath them all and clean up their backsides, if you know what I mean. I've also had to apply an antibiotic ointment in order to relieve their pain and sensitivity. Thankfully, it appears that my efforts to remedy the constipation have worked, but now I've got to be on poop patrol constantly!

And one more sad piece of info about my puppies. A few weeks ago we lost one of the pups due to an unfortunate accident involving my boys and an elevated surface. I won't go into all the details, but my favorite little pup, Gilmour, suffered injuries substantial enough that he did not live more than 12 hours after the accident. It was a very sad week in our house after the accident happened, and my boys feel horrible about it. So do I.

After leaving the parent-teacher interview with Mitchell's teacher last Thursday, I felt worse than I did before the interview started. Not that the teacher intended to make me feel worse. I'm sure she didn't. But she revealed to me that in the last couple of weeks prior to our meeting, Mitchell did not seem as happy-go-lucky and positive as he had near the beginning of the school year. Plus, he has recently decided to become the playground and classroom "policeman", which the teacher isn't too impressed with. He's been making everybody's business his own, and as result, tension has risen with him and some of his classmates, and this has, in turn, resulted in him being more unsettled and unfocused. It broke my heart to hear from the teacher that Mitchell hasn't been himself lately. But to be honest, I was noticing the same thing myself, so why should I have been surprised?

My 20-minute interview time was spent focusing and dwelling on the negative, and we didn't have much time to get into the good parts of Mitchell's year and the areas in which he has been successful. I know he's bright. I know he's well-liked by the kids and teachers. I know he's charming and funny. I know that deep down he's trying his best, and really, that's all that we can ask of him.

Following the interview, Mitchell had 4 days off from school and he and I were able to chat about some of the issues and we've come up with a plan of action to motivate him to stay more focused and improve his listening skills. And wouldn't you know it, so far, so good. I haven't spoken to Mitchell's teacher about his week yet, but from my perspective, things are improving. His behavior at home this week indicates to me that he's making progress. He's had a bit of homework this week, and he's doing it without eruptions and outbursts. He's been cooperative and has been especially obedient the last few days. I'm hoping this new-found attitude has carried over into the classroom.

All we can do is keep praying. And that's exactly what I've been doing more of. Praying. Praying more intentionally and specifically for my boys with regards to school. And we've been talking as a family about how Satan tempts us in all ways, all the time, and how we can combat him both at home and at at school. And I think it's working. Go figure.

Thankfully, Thomas' Social Services worker and his group home facilitator have been able to put a kibosh on his plans to move in with his birth mother and her family. At least for the time being. This is a huge answer to prayer! We are so grateful that someone was able to get through to Thomas about how detrimental a change like this could (and would) be to his future success. Unfortunately, his new-found obsession with his birth mom has caused Thomas to put Wayne and I and the boys on the back burner for now, and we're not even sure when we'll be seeing him again. I'll be surprised if we actually get a visit prior to Christmas. Thomas is so focused on his mom right now that it feels like we don't matter anymore.

I'm thrilled to report that as a result of some major discussions with Wayne, my support group and some other close friends, I'm not feeling like a failure anymore. A month or so ago I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with life in general, and one thing just seemed to be piling on top of another. My relationship with God is back on track and that feels so good! I am so blessed and I just keep reminding myself that I am not Superwoman. I am human. I have limitations and I am not perfect. BUT, by God's grace, I have the ability to be all that He has planned for me. I just need to allow Him to carry out His plan, instead of trying to derail His plan all the time. It feels good to be able to share this with you. I hope you will feel encouraged and blessed by God's love, forgiveness and acceptance.

I have not yet seen my doctor about my heart palpitation/racing problem. She's on sabbatical leave until February/March, so I've decided to wait until I have my annual physical to discuss this issue with her. And, I'm pleased to report that since posting about it (give or take a few days following the post), the condition vanished. Not to say that it won't return . . . but for now, it's non-existent.

Overall, my new job is going well. I've been there exactly two months now, but I still feel so green at everything! I know it's going to take time, and I have to keep reminding myself that I have a 35-year old brain to train, not an 18-year old brain. I'm learning lots, and I appreciate my flexible scheduling SO, SO much. But . . . (you knew there was a "but" in all of this, didn't you?), there have been several occasions where I've been named the scapegoat for problems that arise because of the fact that I'm the "new girl". I don't like being the "new girl." I wonder how long it will take before I'm not the "new girl" anymore? I hope it's soon, because I really don't want to carry the title of "new girl" any longer!

A few miscellaneous tidbits now . . .

Did you notice the new picture of me at the top of my blog? Mitchell took the picture, and, well, I think I liked my previous picture better . . . but, how could I say no to his adorable face when he asked me to use "his" picture on my blog? I couldn't. I wouldn't. I didn't. I'm not sure if any of you will notice, but I'm not as blond in my new picture as I was in the previous picture, thanks to my incredible hairdresser, Jilla. I just got my hair cut and high-lighted (and low-lighted) last week, and I absolutely love it!

(Okay . . . two days of the new picture was actually driving me crazy. Not because of my hair . . . but because of the picture itself. There was just something "not right" about how I looked in that picture. Maybe it was the angle or something. Once I've got something that I'm happier with for the world to see, I'll change it. For now you're stuck with viewing Kimmy Kaleidoscope.)

I took last Friday off since the boys didn't have school, and on Monday it was our stat holiday in lieu of Remembrance Day, so I had a four-day weekend with my wonderful husband and boys. Well, Wayne had to work on Friday and Saturday (he was sick three days last week and he's bound and determined to make up the 30-hour shortage on his paycheck), so I didn't get to spend as much time with him as I would have liked, but, we had a great weekend together as a family.

On Friday I headed off to spend the day with my best friend and her two little girls (who are like sisters to Mitchell and Ty). She's about to give birth to her third daughter any day now, so we're all waiting in anticipation of that big event.

On the way in to the city, I had a tire-blow out on a grid road about 10 km from home. It was the most nasty wintry day we've had yet this season, and, well, I'm not particularly mechanically-inclined. I've changed a tire before, but not on our current car, and not with two boys who want to "help" while I'm trying to combat icy cold winds in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, some boys from school and their dad (whom I'd never met--just heard about) came along and changed the tire for me. God took care of us when we needed it the most. I was almost in tears when our knights in shining armor came along. I had just come to the realization that I didn't have the physical strength to loosen the bolts on the tire to get it off. That's how weak I am. Of course, it was no great effort for the dad who stopped to help us. He got the tire off, the car jacked up, and the donut on in about 15 minutes. Honestly, I would have been there all day if I would have attempted this myself.

So, our visit with my friend and her girls had to be altered somewhat, because she had to chauffeur us around while the new tire was being installed. I was just glad that I didn't have to sit at the tire shop for 3 hours with 2 restless boys while the car was being made road-safe again. Thank goodness for best friends!


On Saturday, Wayne and the boys taught me a new game called Settlers of Catan. We bought this game off of E-bay with every expansion set as well, so there's been a lot for me to learn. However, it's been a lot of fun and it's absolutely amazing to watch my boys play this game for 2 - 3 hours at a time and not lose interest or focus. (Yes, Mitchell was able to focus on this game.) My extended family has been playing this game at family get-togethers for a couple of years now, but I myself had never played it. Well, now I get their attraction to this game. It's F-U-N!


Aside from playing games and having some other family fun, I was able to tend to some other pressing matters around here, such as laundry, baking and painting our basement, in two amazing colors, Coal Blue and Faded Denim. I'm now down to the final coat of paint and then we can install the new floor. I can hardly wait to have my basement functional again. It's been a long time coming, but I think I'm finally beginning to see a light at the end of this tunnel of renovation.


I think I'm done rambling now. Unbelievable, I know.


stacey said...

you read my mind! i am a girl with fondness for closure ;) i love all the positive results in your updates. and honestly, shame on mitchell's teacher for not starting with the positives!

michelle said...

Wow, Kimmy! Thanks for all of the updates. You did a great job getting all of that posted. I am sorry to hear about your puppy. We lost a kitten one time, to an unfortunate accident, and it is very painful to watch them suffer. I agree with Stacey...when I taught school, you always started with the positives during a parent/teacher interview. It was great hearing from you. I appreciate you letting us know how things are going.


Becky said...

It looked long, but it felt short. Thanks for the update Kim.

Also, a bunch of camp people are planning a get-back-together, possible on the weekend of December 22 and 23rd. Would you be interested in coming?

Becky said...

Whoops. Should have proof read.

{Karla} said...

like stacey said, it sounds as if you are seeing a lot of positives!

praying for you!