The scariest thing I did today was "audition" for a Zumba class by leading a test song in front of a group of about 20 strangers. It was actually kind of fun. Well, I got through it anyway. :) But, it was a great afternoon and evening. My little guy was a zookeeper for Halloween. He wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up and his bday party in December will probably be zoo themed as well. Since he was a zookeeper, I was a leopard (in my mind I was more of a cougar, but that is another story-ha) and my dad dressed in a gorilla suit, which was hilarious for us, but the mask totally freaked little dude out. The Daddy-guy decided to be a Muscateer. I made "Mummy dogs" for a snack before trick-or-treet. Super easy, just wrap crescent roll dough around a dog (soy in our case) bake for 12-15 minutes and voila. Though Jim laughed at the result. But it was quick and easy and then I had veggie chili in the crock pot for an easy dinner after the festivities since it is a school night. Thankfully we got one group of trick-or-treaters to our house because that was the highlight of Little Man's evening. As they left he called to them "good choices" about their candy selection. Sweet boy!
For the past couple of years I have had a new hobby...the Latin dance fitness craze called ZUMBA. In fact, a couple of years ago I even had a Zumba birthday party. I have always loved to dance, but this high-cardio high-FUN activity is "exercise in disquise". Such a blast! Kind of like a night out dancing with the girls ... without the tequilla! This summer I decided to get certified just for kicks (or salsa moves) So, I took a day long seminar and now, voila!, I can be a Zumba teacher! It is not quite that easy. The hardest thing, for me, is to learn/remember all of the choreography--but once you do it is great. I subbed a class once about a month ago, but now I have an audition to teach a class so I am cramming to learn some new tunes...probably driving my husband nuts with the Reggaetone bass thumping from our living room. I think I would enjoy having a class though. Gotta exercise anyway...may as well get paid for it! If anyone reading this hasn't tried Zumba yet, go shake it at a class! The perfect way for a Mami to cut loose, do something good for herself and have a blast!
Sometimes my five year old amazes me with the things he says. I know they all have little nuggets of wisdom they bestow upon us. These are the kind of moments we mommies have to immortalize in journals or blogs before they are forgotten and pushed aside in time like a misplaced baby tooth.
Last night was a great family night. The kind when stress actually disolves and we can just enjoy each other. I made a veggie meatloaf with Gimme Lean (yummy vegetarian option) accompanied by roast veggies and peas. Comfort food for a fall eve. Grandbobby had just returned from a trip to DC so Little Man started asking him questions about presidents. He asked if all of the presidents lived at the White House and learned that the White House had not been there for all presidents. "Who was the first president to live in the white house?" "Why are all the presidents boys?" I was happy to see him displaying curiosity about history. He also told us who was president when he was born "George W Bush" (thanks to the President poster I put in is room from the Parent Teacher Store he knows the names of the past few presidents) He also talked about when Obama was elected when he was little--remembering small details.
Then he switched to more etherial subjects. "Before I was in your tummy I was backstage." "Backstage, where?" "In the sky." "What ... like heaven?" "Not born heaven"
After my hard time getting and staying pregnant and subsequent near-death birth five (almost six) years ago, I decided a sibling for my son would come from my heart and not my womb. My husband and I officially decided to adopt 2 years ago on our 10 year anniversary trip to Vegas (what happens in Vegas regarding adoption does not stay in Vegas). I was a woman on a mission and had taken the Chinese adoption forms on the airplane intent to get sweet hubby to decide it was the best choice for our family. He did and it was exciting and romantic to think about expanding our family. We immediately started the process with a Chinese adoption agency and then we hit a wall. Out of nowhere Chinese adoptions started taking 4 years! We decided to try for the "waiting child" program, to get a child with a minor correctible need, but alas, we found that our insurance company would not cover a child with preexisting conditions. So, we pulled out and decided to go with a domestic adoption agency where we have been on a wait list for about 1 1/2 years. We have had a couple of near-miss adoptions with them, but nothing has quite panned out. I got excited about a baby girl due this month until I found out that her birth mom is a methadone user. Bless that baby, but we will not be able to take on an infant in withdrawall as we already have a biological son to tend to as well and feel it would not be fair to him or the baby. So, now I have been flirting with the possibility of getting back into the China program since my heart was there to start with. I recently found a beautiful little girl on a waiting child list. A little older than we had considered, almost three, but we got excited about the possibility of Little Man having a playmate in his age bracket. We got our pediatrician's take on her medical charts, which the agency sent us, which included some red flags, got a second opinion from an intl. adoption clinic and it turns out that this sweet little girl (who we daydreamed about for a good couple of weeks) has mild "mental retardation". Bless that angel. I know that she will end up in the best home for her, where the family can devote all of their attention to her. Unfortunately we know our limitations now and that is not us. Soo, the search continues. I am sitting on a fence and the post is not in a very comfortable position. Who will our daughter be? An infant here in the US or a toddler overseas? OR, will we bag the whole idea and just let our boy rule the roost since we are hitting roadblocks and certainly not getting any younger? I now officially let it go and trust that the best situation for our family and to the highest good of all will happen, or not happen, easlily and effortlessly as it is meant to be. Amen!
We got a diagnosis last week that comes as no surprise. ADD-C, the combined kind of ADD that includes innatentiveness, impusivity and hyperactivity. So, now what? The pediatrician said we are on the right track with behavior modification which seems to be helping to keep him on task. He was in no hurry to try medication, thank goodness, as I am not ready for that, but we will reasses in a couple of months. I have known for some time that my little boy is off the charts impulsive--hence him being a bolter when he first started school. And when other parents have described their ADD/ADHD children to me (prior to medication) it sounds a lot like my boy. Many of theses kids are very bright. A friend said a doctor likened these kids to her with the Terminator, like they come in a room, scan it for details then they are done and want to move on. Another friend whose older son, who is also gifted, was diagnosed and before being medicated he would not look at his dad, even when his dad held his face, because he was so busy looking around the room. My kid is just like that. As our close family friend observed he doesn't stop moving in his mind or in his body. The sticker chart at school seems to be really working for him, thank goodness, as we just had three weeks in a row of smiley faces. Woo-hoo! It is kind of a relief to get that diagnosis in a way. Sometimes people, who are not experienced with this condition, may think it has something to do with ones parenting, or with the child being defiant, when that is not the case. So, now we know he can't totally help this behavior, it is in his makeup and we will do whatever we can to alleviate symptoms that may not be successful for him, while embracing the parts that go along with it that are positive. I am reading a book, Answers To Distraction by Edward Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D. and they say that people with ADD often have the advantages of high energy, creativity, a good sense of humour and tenacity. In fact when asked asked why there are more diagnosis of ADD in the US than Europe the doctors said one could consider it a case of overdiagnosis in the US, but they really think there are actually more cases here. AND furthermore believe it is in our specific genetic makeup as the founders of this country, and the kind of people who would immigrate here, were not the kind to wait around, they were the kind to take big risks and be impulsive. He proposes that many of our founding fathers may have had ADD! So perhaps it is downright patriotic to have this condition, by cracky! I'm just sayin'.... Why, it is even in our name, Br-ADD-ock! So there ya have it. Onward and upwards.
Just sending a shout out to my daddy, songwriter Bobby Braddock. We went to a champagne toast/ "million-airs" event for him at BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) the other night that honored him for being the only living songwriter having #1 country songs in five consecutive decades. They presented him with awards on nine different songs of his that have had at least a million airs on the radio and said if you put it all together it adds up to over a hundred years of airplay! Wowza ... go Daddy, go! Endlessly proud of you! And thanks to BMI for the wonderful event.
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com