Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Please don't faint!
What a great weekend we had! Mikey had his 50th birthday on the 25th, but he was in DC that day. Jack, Janine, and Andrea were coming down for the weekend, so we planned a surprise party for him on the 28th. Although he had some suspicions, he had forgotten about them by the time he walked in the house on Friday. We decorated the house and six of the kids were there, plus my mom, sister and her kids. I ordered pizza from Giordano's in Chicago and that was a huge hit. Pizza from Chicago is the absolute best, no matter what is said about New York pizza! While I would have loved some delicious thin crust, as well, stuffed is the only kind that can be delivered and it was delicious. We also had a delicious yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting which is Mikey's favorite, thanks to Janine. I made Jenni's Cherry Cheesecake (if you're reading this Jen, I make this quite often and everyone loves it!), although we had strawberries and blueberries on the side, instead of the cherries. We all pitched in a bought an ipod, docking station, and itunes card for Mike. Unfortunately, the ipod went through China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Alaska, and New Jersey before finally arriving in Williamsburg four days after the party. I will post pictures that our official birthday photographer, Janine, took for us.
My job is going great. I cannot express how much I LOVE it! I take care of a now-15 month old baby girl and she is awesome! I had a feeling I would like this job, but I had no idea that I would fall completely in love with this little girl and that she would become like part of my family. Her parents are fantastic, kind, and wonderful. They are so understanding of my family issues and so considerate of my needs. Whenever I need time off, I can have it. Whenever I need to schedule around doctor, orthodontist, or other appointments, they find a way to accommodate me. I could not ask for a better place to work. The best part is when the baby, L, practically jumps into my arms when she sees me and puts her head on my shoulder and gives me a giant hug each day! No matter how much stress I am going through at home, I can walk into work and have an instant stress reliever in my arms.
We also do fun things at the office. There are three other women who work there. They are all very nice. The doctors bring lunch in once a month and take us out to a nice restaurant for special occasions, such as some one's six year anniversary working there and Administrative Assistant's Day. We have also begun doing holiday exchanges. Normally, I would hate that. It is so stressful, trying to find things for someone you work with when you don't really know their preferences too well. However, our exchanges have fun rules. We have done Valentine's Day so far and today is our Easter Exchange. We pull names and then pick a date for at least a week after the holiday. The rules are that the gifts cannot cost more than $6 and they have to be purchased on clearance, after the holiday. They must also include at least some candy. It is so much fun to shop around and find the bargains!
The kids are doing well. Drew moved to an apartment, with two friends, in Richmond about three months ago. We miss him, but he is doing great and loving living on his own. I have to admit that although I miss him, things are a lot less stressful, for me, now that he is gone. It is really hard to have an adult child living in the house. They want to do their own thing and make their own rules, which don't always mesh with my rules.
Jack is loving his job in Philly and has been there almost a year now. Janine is set to graduate from Radiology School in August and then start a mammogram program.
Steven is still in jail (not sure if I ever blogged about that!). He has been in since June 23rd and is doing fantastic! It was amazing to watch his transformation, as his brain slowly began to clear, the longer he was away from drugs and alcohol. He has been in the "good behavior pod" since early September and has been working 6 days a week in the kitchen. He just got approved for work release last week, which means he will be allowed to go out and work at a regular job every day, returning to jail when he is done. He has a couple possible jobs in mind, we are just working on the details at this point. When he is released, which will be either in the beginning of August or the beginning of September, he will go straight to a long-term rehab program. He will be there for 14-18 months. He hates it when I say this, but getting sent to jail is the best thing that has happened to him.
Alex is still very busy with his drama. He just finished the high school play and is involved in two more productions at the moment. He is almost ready to get his driver's license and is taking Spanish and American Sign Language at school.
Hannah's behavior has improved in many ways. Her rages are becoming much further apart, instead of daily, as they used to be. She is slowly (very slowly) learning how to control herself and monitor her own behavior. We have a lot of ups and downs, but she is more and more often showing us mature, rational behavior. She will never be "normal", but I will take as close as we can get!
Shauna is as sweet as always. She has been having issues with severe abdominal pain and missed three days of school last week. She was diagnosed with a reflux disorder and has been doing better since being on medication. She is also a teenager and has her moments of talking back and getting mad at us, but she is still on the low end of "the teenage moodiness" scale. She has a ton of friends at school and has really started to go out a lot more to hang out with them. For those who know her, I have often had to put a few sticks of dynamite under the couch, just to get her to actually move off of it!
Time to get ready for work now. (Smile!) Did anyone notice that I didn't mention how I haven't blogged in forever???? Yeah, just thought I would jump right back in and pretend that I blogged yesterday.