"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our HURRICANE of a week...

“Is it a sin to wish so hard, want so much, pray for something more? Some kind of answer, some kind of sign. Send your army in ‘cause I’m counting skeletons tonight” ~ Sonia Leigh

Ok, so I know you guys are used to the happy and upbeat posts from me, so here is your warning – this has been a seriously ROUGH week all-around. There have been high points, for sure, and we have definitely gotten to do some cool things. But this Mama is worn out – physically, emotionally, and mentally, at the moment. Right this minute, it feels like the walls are caving in – I miss home, I miss my honey, I miss my family and friends, I miss the BEACH, all three of the boys have been sick (PLEASE don’t let me be next!), money is beyond tight with two sets of household and living expenses, plus ridiculous gas prices and the small fortune we’ve spent at the pharmacy in the last couple of weeks. I’m sick to death of being in the car for at least half of every day, and my back is killing me. GRRRrrrr……

Aidan has also had an EXTREMELY difficult week – and I knew it was coming. Dr. Pete gave me fair warning at our progress report meeting. Knowing it and living it are two very different things, however. He is extremely emotional, super defiant, intensely hyperactive at times, and pushing my buttons like it is his JOB! Sometimes, when he gets mad, his anger is super intense. He has even raised his hand several times toward me, in the heat of the moment. (He hasn’t actually hit me, and in those moments, I can see him REALLY struggling to bring himself back under control.) Aidan’s daily exercises are once again a source of drama and struggle, where he had been doing fairly well with them for the last few weeks. The drama is really at an all-time high, and the bigger the audience, the bigger the performance. He is also very deliberately (at times) doing the exact opposite of what he is asked to do, and trying to get his brothers to join him as well. It has really been a struggle to channel my inner Buddha and keep my calm. But I’m trying, and I guess that’s all you can do some days. I know that this is part of the process, and that this stuff has to come out in order to move to the next phase, but I am really ready to see some progress that looks and feels like PROGRESS, and not regression. I KNOW we WILL get there – see, I can be positive today!

Ok, enough griping for today…I’ll do my best to channel the sunshine and rainbows as I tell you all about our week! (We really have gotten to do lots of cool and totally interesting things – thanks again to my mom and dad for the awesome City Passes!)

Saturday, Hannah’s mom was sweet enough to meet me on the way into Atlanta, and save me the drive all the way to Lawrenceville to collect Hannah – Thanks Jessie! We picked up Hannah, and headed into the big, bad city for some Coca-Cola FUN! (Aidan actually had a pretty good morning – no fights about exercises or vitamins that day!) We toured the World of Coca-Cola, and the boys were surprisingly good. When you first enter the museum, you must first sit through a little Coca- Cola pep talk and history lesson. (Uh-oh) But our tour guide talked at warp speed, and the room was slap full of interesting Coca-Cola signs, artifacts, and memorabilia to look at. Total sensory overload, right from the get-go. See?
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Next was an animated and musical flick, that the boys enjoyed. Then, we were off on our self guided tour though the rest of the museum. (Warp speed here, folks, with constant dangling of the tasting room carrot at the end of the journey.) The boys thought the old-timey coke machines were extra cool, and Aidan was enthralled with the bottling process – it really is quite interesting how they have that set up!
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We stood in a quick line to have our picture taken with the crazy characters from the movie, but took a pass on the polar bear line (sorry Daddy!) I did manage to snap a quick picture of the bear, though!
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Then we were FINALLY at the tasting room!!
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64 flavors of Coca-Cola products from around the world to try – oh my! I played Mama Bear big time, only letting them try 4-5 things each, and only a splash of each one. And I very quickly distracted them with the newest tasting room attraction – Coca-Cola Possibilities, I think it was called. Here’s how it works - you wait in line (for quite a while) to step up to a computer screen with a fountain dispenser. You scroll through all of the different flavor options (106 in all), pushing the button to add a little of whatever flavors tickle your fancy to your cup along the way. The end result (for both boys) was truly AWFUL! (As a bonus, they didn’t drink it – YAY! All in all, they probably had less than 4 ounces each in the entire tasting room AND didn’t feel at all slighted – GO MOM!)

Afterwards, we played a quick game of free mini-golf and the boys posed with the dolphin statues.
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Then we headed to the Children’s Museum down the street for a hour or so! The boys LOVE the Children’s Museum – our membership there was definitely money well spent!

Meanwhile, my mom and Ashwin hit terrible traffic coming through downtown, and decided to head to the condo instead of coming to meet us. They made a few twists and turns along the way, and arrived at the condo after we did, at about 6:00pm. We all had dinner together, and headed to the pool to show Mimi what little fish the boys have become! (I think she was impressed!)

Sunday morning was full of llama drama – my little llama was performing BIG time for our guests, when it came to our morning vitamin/exercise routine. And anything else he was asked to do as well. Extremely NOT fun. But we finally managed to get the diaper bag, lunches and water bottles packed and we headed to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

What an awesome place! The dinosaur skeletons were HUGE and the boys loved them!
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Check out my three little dinosaurs!
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We even got to see a Mimi-asaur and an Aidan-asaurus hatchling!
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Fernbank also has a "Discovery Zone" playroom for the little monsters. There is a coral reef, a river (complete with stepping stones and a beaver dam), an archaeological learning area, a tree house, a bear cave (with super cool smoke for effect), and lots of other cool stuff to see, touch and do. In every nook and cranny there is something to play with, pull on, look through, climb up or slide down. The boys LOVED it!
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We said goodbye to Mimi, as she headed home and we went to the IMAX theater. Aidan and Hannah got to see an IMAX movie about tornadoes (Sorry Uncle Kyle - natural disasters beat out the super cool surfing movie, set in beautiful Tahiti!) and the little boys were having NO part of sitting quietly in the theater. I took them out before the show started, and we ran into Mimi buying treats in the gift shop! We helped her shop and walked her to the car, and even had a (non dairy) ice cream treat while we waited for Aidan and Hannah to get out of the movie. The rest of the museum was quite a blur - other than the dinosaurs, it was very hard to compete with the Discovery Zone (where we started, of course!) Mimi helped us get a family membership to the museum, though, so we planned to return very soon.
I'm kind of a sucker for a photo booth, so I dragged my munchkins inside for a quick photo, which turned out rather cute.
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And I did catch the big boys having a sweet brotherly moment outside, checking out the giant dinosaur sculptures on our way out!
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I'm fairly sure we swam Sunday night after dinner, too! My boys do LOVE the pool! (But we ALL miss the beach!)

A very strange thing happened on Monday morning...a very unexpected and totally appreciated surprise greeted me when I woke up at 7:15 am. SILENCE! Everyone in the entire house was still asleep! I tiptoed into the kitchen to make coffee, and then took a long, hot, totally uninterrupted shower. I started a load of laundry, and had TWO cups of coffee on the back porch - in TOTAL SILENCE! I remember thinking to myself that maybe the storm clouds had blown over and blue skies were ahead. Turns out it was just the darned eye of the hurricane, but at least there was a touch of calm to my week! We made it to the chiropractor on time, and picked up Alana afterwards. Hannah and Alana played with the little monkeys at PLAY place, and Aidan and I headed to Brain Balance - where he earned yet another apple for the Brain Balance wall! Go Aidan!
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Afterwards, everyone got a treat at Yogli Mogli - our new favorite hang out!
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That night, I cooked some BBQ chicken at the pool, and everyone swam and jumped off the diving board!

Tuesday is our day off at Brain Balance, and we decided to go back to Fernbank. Hannah, Alana and I decided that THIS time, we would END our trip in the Discovery Zone - and maybe actually get to see a few of the other exhibits. The girls were excited about the "Mythical Creatures" exhibit, and so we started there. It was very cool, and the boys enjoyed it too! Aidan wanted his picture taken with the Kracken, and I was happy to oblige.
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The boys loved the Dragons, and there were LOTS of them to see!
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The girls were partial to the horses - Unicorns and Pegasus!
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And everyone loved the mermaids, although some of them were a little creepy. Aidan only noted once, and just a little bit loudly, that you could see their boobies.
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He even posed as a mermaid!
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The little boys opted to be explorers, hunting dinosaur bones for their photo op.
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We did finally take them upstairs to play in the Discovery Zone, where Aidan and I climbed into a cool canoe and snapped this photo.
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When they had had enough fun at Fernbank for the day, we loaded them up and wnet to the Children's Museum downtown for another hour or so's worth of fun! After our museum adventures, we headed to Lawrenceville to take Miss Hannah home. The kids played in the backyard, and Amanda and Jessie and I got to visit for a few brief minutes. I'll put it mildly - my kids were a wreck, all three of them. No naps, busy day, yadda yadda yadda. Jessie cooked an awesome dinner - BBQ sandwiches, fresh corn on the cob, slaw and potato salad - I enjoyed every rushed bite, but the kids were a nIghtmare! We said our goodbyes quickly and headed home for baths and bed.

Today, Wednesday morning, Aidan woke up feeling bad - it appears he has the same sinus funk that his brothers have been battling. So this may explain some of the intense behavior of late. He rarely gets sick, and often I realize that he is sick when his behavior takes a sharp right turn. He rarely has "typical" symptoms like fever, or aches and pains, even with an active infection. But he definitely has the sinus gunk, and he felt a little better after a good saline flush. One call to my best girl Cindy, and hopefully he's on the road to recovery! (Thanks Cindy!) No major drama today aobut vitamins or exercises, so that was nice.
This afternoon, the little boys played at PLAY place with Alana while Aidan and I went to Brain Balance. I even managed to vacuum out my car while Aidan was in his session. We're heading home on Friday, and I wanted my van to look sharp for my honey! (That, and it desperately needed a good vacuuming!) All better now, though. I made my boys some chicken noodle soup for dinner, which they all LOVE, and we passed on the pool tonight. Instead, they made a holy mess with glitter, glue, paper plates, and googly eyes! We do love little art projects...;) I'm afraid we'll all be a little sparkly for days, though! Maybe a little sparkle is just what we need though!

I will leave you with another quote, by one of my very favorite artists - Sonia Leigh. (I hope by now everyone has checked her out - she is fantastic!)

"Into the hurricane, we just sing and sing and sing. A silent hope clings to everything." ~ Sonia Leigh

Much love,

Allie


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