Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Volunteering

Today I began my journey on the 'kindergarten volunteer' road. And already, what a long strange trip it has been.
Several times, notes have come home that there were still spots to fill in the area of volunteer if any parents would be willing to step up. Against my better judgement, I stepped up.
So today, I loaded up the small one and off we went to do our volunteer time.
I arrived and was informed that my job for the day, if I was willing to do it, would be painting each child's foot and stamping it on a paper for their 'all about me books'.
Let me just say, some kids are much cleaner than others, and some are much less capable of not wiggling than others, and some share much more information about their personal lives than others.
First day out and I already have some serious dirt on some families. Makes me want to accompany my kids to school everyday just to monitor what they share.
We successfully painted 23 feet and took a few groups to the library and sat through one 'all about me' presentation, that made me feel a little bit better about our presentation.
Over all a great day. I think one of the best ways to feel better about your own kids, is to hang out with other kids. It's a little wake up call that you are not such a bad parent, kids are just kids, and painting their feet with cold blue paint will make them laugh. Loudly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All about her

This is the very happy kindergartner on her 'All about me day.' She loves days that are all about her. Very. Very. Much.



This is the family in which the Mom is pretending she is not really irritated with the Dad for being late to the 'All about me day.' After all, it's not about her.




This is the boy who insisted on helping make the life size portrait of his sister and then complained the entire time that I clearly loved her more than him because he clearly remembers that we spent way less time on his life sized portrait 4 years ago. Oh, and I purposely made his lips ugly and girly in his portrait just to be mean.


This is the portrait. I think it's kind of cute. Um, sideways but cute.


This is a close up of the curly hair which the kindergartner protested about, as she felt long straight hair would be more reflective of who she really wanted to be.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

He's a stickler for traditions

Autism has changed just about everything in my life. I have met people that I would have never met, researched more than I ever did for anything in college and learned to be more flexible than I ever thought I would have the ability to be.
As we are making our way through this holiday season, I have noticed more and more how OCD my son has become and how this new development is changing our lives. Or, rather trying to keep it exactly the same.
With Halloween it was the peel and stick window clings. We have had the same ones for years and I do generally put them in about the same place, so this year I thought I would mix it up and bought some new peel and sticks. I'm wild like that.
Stella and I thought we would surprise the boys and have the house decorated when they got home from school.(Really, this was my attempt at not having to decorate the house with all three of my super helpers present)
As Miles came up the driveway from school I could see the panic on his face. He nearly jumped out of the moving vehicle when he saw that not only had we added new decorations, but had moved the location of the old decorations. I spent the next 45 minutes consoling Stella over the destruction of her had work and consoling Miles over the window that I promised Stella I wouldn't let him disassemble.
Later, he dug through the basement until he found the third wooden pumpkin to complete the set from the year before, as I had only brought out two of the original three.
We managed our way through Thanksgiving with little trouble. Apparently, he is not as attached to some of those traditions. We did however, have to say a personal good bye to each and every pumpkin and gourd in the house before sending them on their merry way with the garbage.
Christmas is bringing it's own challenges. You would not believe how difficult it can be to decorate a Christmas just as someone remembers it in their own mind from the year before. He did chill once we got Thomas the Tank Engine safely in his predesignated position. What would I do without Thomas?
I was surprised too when this morning he did not want to go and get the tree because the moon was not out. We did eventually convince him that it would be okay to get the tree in sunlight, but he muttered about the moon the entire car ride and said he was scared when we got to the tree lot.
He is in bed now, after asking for the 5,000,000 time what day it was. He was not satisfied with any answer that involved the word November. Apparently, we can only buy trees in December.
After trying to reason with him and showing him the calendar to no avail, I just proclaimed it 'Tree day' and saved us all a lot of grief.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Then the wrath of God struck the bad Sunday school teacher down...

Oh, Sundays. I have very little affection for Sundays. I wish I could say that I love herding my kids off to church mostly against their will and that I love teaching Sunday school and I get a big kick out of trying to catch up on laundry and I wish doing homework, that has been left for the last minute, with three kids, was a hoot for me, but it's not.
Today church was really bad. We have a new director of children's ministries and she felt the need to team teach with me. I think she was observing me. Awesome.
I struggle 'teaching' in front of other adults. I am not a fan of talking a lot in front of other adults and unfortunately teaching requires one to speak.
Oh, and there is the little matter of how I don't agree with all of the lessons hammered out in the old testament, and I prefer to skim over things rather than explain how God brought his wrath down on those who chose not to believe in him.
When kids ask questions about what happened to all of the people who lived in the city of Jericho when the walls came down, I would rather sugar-coat it, and not explain that as non-believers they met with the wrath of God.
I don't know whether or not I lived up to her standards, but I hate to tell her I have been teaching for the past 6 years because they can't find another sucker, I mean good Christian, to teach.

Anyway. My hubby is face down on the couch. Sacked out. He rolled in from his limo run around 3:30am and then had to play in the band at church. I envy his ability to sleep anywhere at anytime. He feel asleep in a bar once. Not passed out, he actually dozed off while we were with a group of friends listening to a live band. He is a serious sleeper.

I am going to go upstairs now and try to convince Miles that homework is super fun. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I heart Ben and other random tidbits

I have been trying so hard, most likely way too hard, to try and think of something to write about everyday. I am not doing well.
It's not that nothing interesting has been happening, it just all seems a bit blah.
I did go to a Ben Folds concert a few weeks ago. It was everything opposite of blah. He rocked. I love how he plays the piano. He stands up and well he rocks. We saw him with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, it was a gift from my hubby for our 11 years of marriage.
Was it wrong that I was crushing on Ben, while celebrating 11 years of marriage to my hubby? I am a sucker for a boy and a piano, or guitar, or violin, okay pretty much any instrument makes me a little swoonish.
Ben played with the orchestra until they tired of him and then he played on his own once the orchestra had retired for the evening. I had an awesome time. Thank you hubby.

This week we had parent teacher conferences. I find it excruciatingly hard to not make excuses for my offspring as I sit across from their teachers and listen to what they have to say about my kids.
Kindergarten is especially hard because they put you in those tiny kindergarten chairs and you are physically and mentally uncomfortable. It's like a crazy form of kindergarten torture.
In truth, the conferences went fairly well. All of the kids have areas where they could use some work, but I have learned to expect that.
I think having kids made me realize how wonderful imperfection can be. My kids are far from perfect and yet I couldn't love them more or be more proud of the people they are becoming.
My oldest can't spell. I have to take full credit for that. I can't spell to save my life. It is like I have a block on certain words and no matter how many times I write that word I am never quite sure how it is spelled.
His teacher said in her opinion by 4TH grade you can either spell or you can't, but don't give up. I thought it was a weird thing to say considering my son is a 4TH grader and all. Thank God, I have embraced imperfection.
Miles just came downstairs dragging pillows and a blanket and he is doing this thing where he has both sides of a conversation. He is saying something about how he is going to sleep on the couch and I am apparently giving him permission, because he just said "Thanks, Mom. That makes me so happy."
"You're welcome?"

The hubby was not supposed to have to work today. Then he had to work from noon until 4. Then noon until 9. Then he called around 9:30 and said someone had called for a limo from 10 until 4. So, he ended up working today. Bummer.

Have your kids started making their Christmas lists yet? Mine have. The top item on Caleb's list is an Easy Bake Oven. He thinks it would be awesome to be able to cook a cake in his room. I love it. He is that kid who can go from talking smack about baseball to making cupcakes in one fell swoop.
Love it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Daisy Girl

I just dropped Stella off at her first ever Daisy Girl Scout function. She was so excited she could barely contain her adorable little 5 year old body.
I am already much more keen on Daisy Scouts than Cub Scouts.
Stella's first event is the 'Spa-spectacular'. The girls dressed in jammies and the older girls are doing the little girl's nails and toes and giving them glittery hair and such.
When I dropped her off there was a line up of older girls waiting to escort the Daisy girls back to the 'spa'.
They were polite and sweet.
They had fancy spa music playing and everyone looked too cute.
This is a far cry from Cub scouts.
At Cub scouts the boys wrestle and punch and laugh at each other's bodily functions.
Their events consist of things like 'The Cold Toes Camp-out'. Their favorite song is 'Great Big Globs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts'.
I have told Caleb and Miles that I will do my best to make it to this years 'Cold Toes Camp-out'.
Who am I kidding. I am not a girly-girl, but if I have my choice of camping in Ohio in February or going to a girly spa night, you can bet your sweet cheeks I will be getting my nails done by some 9 year old Girl Scout.
Maybe next year boys!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If it itches....

I got a phone call from the school clinic yesterday informing me that Miles seemed to have a persistent itch down south. His APE (adaptive physical education) teacher had brought him into the clinic.
I was later told by a friend who teaches at the school that she indeed saw Miles and Mr. I in the gym. Miles was trying to persuade Mr. I to take a look at his itchy parts and Mr. I was adamant in his refusal.
So, off to the clinic they went.
This is when I received the phone call. The 'nurse' informed me of the apparently unscratchable itch and expressed grave concern.
My thought was, he's a boy, he probably didn't wipe well, he's bored......
When I asked if she noticed any rash, I was informed that she was just a sub and not an actually nurse at all and checking random boys for rashes was way out of her area of expertise.
It was decided that he should be sent home so that I could properly investigate the rash and apply an anti-itchy cream.
My question is what is the use of a substitute nurse if she is not even willing to take one for the team and investigate a little rash.
There was no rash. Maybe some dry skin. Maybe.
He came home. He played on the computer. I think he secretly laughed about the nurse who refused to sneak a peek at his bum. He did not scratch his itch.
I actually wrote a note in his notebook today that if he is to start itching again, maybe suggest that he itch in the bathroom and then wash his hands.
My hubby of course thought it was hilarious and called him Mr. Crabs all night. The kids of course, thought we were referring to Mr. Krabs on Sponge Bob and Stella started calling herself Sandy.
Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad dog, Good Halloween


Some of the neighborhood kiddos at the annual Halloween pre-trick or treat party.


Caleb as a 'killer clown'.

Stella and Miles. Army guy and Flora the Fairy.

My computer monitor blew up leaving me temporarily stranded in the big bad real world. It was not fun.
I am thinking about 'accidentally' leaving my back gate open so my dog can 'accidentally' escape and find another family to torment.
You would not believe all of the stuff this dog can eat. The kicker was last week when I poured myself my beloved bowl of Special K with berries and was distracted by the general chaos for a moment, and he stuck his big mush in my cereal and quickly sucked down as much as possible.
If you see a brown and white dog running down the street, think twice before taking him in.
It will never happen. He has been left out front several hundred times by the kids and he is always there, nose pressed to the front window, "let me in, I'm hungry."
Enough about the dog.
We had a great Halloween. The kids were over their sicknesses and healthy enough to run the neighborhood and gorge themselves on all the treats they could carry.
We actually let Caleb go on his own with a group of kids this year. We live on a big figure eight and they stayed on the figure eight and were generally somewhere within our view. He thought it was the coolest thing ever. The first taste of freedom and a giant Hershey bar. Life doesn't get much better in the world of a 9 year old.
Stella and Miles actually fizzled out after the first loop and asked to pass out candy instead of walking anymore.
My Mom and Sister dressed up like a witch and vampire and took maybe too much pleasure in scaring the kids that came around.
There was one group of high school boys that were dressed as the Jets from "West side Story" and they came snapping up the driveway only to be stopped in their tracks by Mom and Sister, who soaking wet don't have a combined weight over 150lbs, but apparently make for a mean witch and vampire.
It was a good night. Enjoyed by all. Even the Jets, who eventually worked up the nerve to take candy from the witch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just holding onto a moment

This morning I had one of those moments that was just right.
I stood alone in my cleanish kitchen. Clean, if you avoid looking down.
The boys are well and back in school.
Laundry is nearly done.
Dustin stayed home and took Stella to the doctor as she seemed not quite back on track.
I made a cup of tea. It was hot and really good.
The sun is shining really bright in through the windows.
For just a moment everything and everyone was mostly taken care of.
It is moments like this that allow me to keep going.
They may be small and fleeting, but it is usually enough to keep me going.
This just in: Hubby called. Stella has a double ear infection. Yea, something treatable.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Hiney Flu is Here

We are on day 10 of our battle with the H1N1 flu. This is not a confirmed case. However, our doctor said that is 'probably' what we have going on.
My Grandma calls it the 'heiny flu'. She is pretty much so deaf and has closed caption on her television. When she sees H1N1, she reads it as hini, and calls it the 'heiny flu'.
I think this may be an appropriate name for this flu, as it has indeed been a pain in my heiny.
Caleb was the first to go down, and he went hard. He ran a fever for several days that reached over 103 and was barely effected by Tylenol. He is allergic to ibuprofen, so Tylenol is our only choice. He mostly just slept, and when he woke up he complained that every part of his body hurt. He looked miserable.
Miles fell next, but went down kicking and screaming. He would take his Motrin or Tylenol and then insist he was good to go. I would find him face down in the carpet a few hours later, burning up, but not willing to go to bed. He would just lay on the floor, near his toys, relentless in his need to play. He told me he was 'broken down'.
Stella was, of course, next and has been very high maintenance. Apparently, the heiny flu had an impact on her ability to walk, because I have been carrying her around the house for the past four days. At least I am finally getting some exercise.
I have washed a lot of sheets and blankets, and powered through many containers of Clorox wipes.
I have been in my pajamas for days.
We have a pile of missed homework to plow through this weekend.
If this was indeed the H1N1 virus, I must say, that it was not as bad as I have heard it rumored to be.
We have the luxury of being close with our pediatrician, and being able to call her on a moments notice helped to calm my fears when fevers seemed to go on and on.
We are now in the stage of, still not feeling quite ourselves, but feeling good enough to fight and whine. Super.
I called my neighbor and talked her into going to a bazaar with me tomorrow. I am pretty sure if I don't get out of the house, I will loose it.
So, that is my plan. Get out. Enjoy the company of an adult. Then come home and finish my fight with the heiny flu.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can you hear me now?

There are all kinds of reasons why I hate going to urgent care. My co-pay is higher, the people in the waiting area seem sicker and the doctors seem like they would rather be just about anywhere else in the world.
So, when Miles stuck a bb in his ear the other night, I quickly weighed my options.
* leave the bb and play dumb until my husband is around to go with him and sit in the urgent care.
* try to fish is out myself.
* heck, the Dyson has some serious suction, I could always......
Although I seriously thought about the vacuum and even held it up to my ear to see if it would hurt, (it kind of did). I thought I would rather go to the urgent care to get a bb out than have to explain why my son had a bb in his ear and his eardrum had been sucked from his head.
Also, the other kids knew about the bb, so I figured they would call me out if I tried to play dumb and pass the job to Dad.
Three hours later after sitting as far as possible from all the mask wearing, feverish, flu symptomatic sickos, we got our call to see the doctor.
She came in and I think she was like 14 years old, and she says, "I hear someone has something suck in their ear, which one of you gets to see my cool 'light-saber'?"
I thought she was kidding, but she made no move towards Miles, so I kindly directed her away from me and toward my 7 year old son.
Really? Do you think they get a lot of adults in the Children's urgent care to have bbs dislodged from their ears? Apparently.
For the record, her 'light-saber' was cool. It was a little wand that glowed so she could see into the ear while she was fishing out the bb.
But then she stumped me again when she handed the glow stick to my son. Which he promptly stuck into his ear.
If he busts his eardrum, they better not charge me another co-pay.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This is the story about why I no longer use the 'silent treatment' when I am angry

In the early years of my marriage I would often use what I thought at the time was a sly punishment when I was arguing with my husband. And in true 7TH grade mean girl fashion I would stop speaking to him.
The silent treatment.
I thought for sure that this was just horrible for him. Having to sit in silence. Without interruption. Watching television without having to listen anything I might have to say.
Hind-sight being what it is, I now realize he probably did something on a Saturday night to make me angry so that he could watch Sunday football without any interruptions or obligation to make husbandly small talk.
I had not yet realized that I was actually rewarding my husband with my lack of ability to share my feelings with him and so was still using this tactic when I saw what I saw.....
On one particular afternoon, still convinced that the silent treatment worked, my husband and I had to leave one of my family functions early to go to a party for a friend of his that I had no desire to attend.
I was very pregnant, very upset, in serious need of a toilet, and then we got lost on our way to the undesirable party.
Cue the silent treatment.
I was done trying to convince him to ask for directions, I was too proud to admit that I had to pee and was going to just let him drive around in circles until we could all agree that he was unreasonable.
I was staring out my window, because that is where you stare when you are riding with someone that you are not speaking to, when I saw it.
A lion. No joke.
A flippin' lion. It was walking along a tree line and appeared to be kind of be stalking something. It was big and I think it was a mountain lion. Seriously.
I said nothing. I was too angry. The silent treatment was in full swing. I just double checked what I saw and said nothing. Too mad to share my lion.
We eventually found our party, I peed, and realized that maybe it was me that was being unreasonable, but I still didn't mention the lion.
The next morning I opened the newspaper to see on the front page a story about a possible lion sighting.
The story reported that a few calls had come into the the police station about a lion. They could not confirm, as no lion had been found.
I called my husband and tried to tell him that I had seen the lion while we were lost and driving around in circles and he was like "okay..., whatever you say crazy pregnant lady."
To this day he laughs and claims he thinks I saw 'something', but the lion only popped into my head after I saw the newspaper article. I don't know if he claims not to believe me just to make me crazy or if he really doubts me.
Oh how the silent treatment bit me in the ass. I chose not to share something really cool in a moment that I was angry about something silly. Bit. Me. In. The. Arse.
My husband pines for the old days of the silent treatment. Now I share how I feel. A lot. Especially during football games.
I try not to hold grudges or get angry about the small stuff.
I actually start sentences with "I want to tell you how it made me feel when..."
The silent treatment did not end immediately after the lion sighting. It took some time to change that habit.
I did change though, and I have the lion to remind me to never hold anything back.
The next time I see a mountain lion in suburban Ohio, someone will hear about it. Immediately. Before the paper picks up the story.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't care how thick my skin is, sometimes it just hurts.

A few years back a pediatrician that we had landed with for the moment and thought, for a moment, we were happy with gave me this less than stellar advice..."Miles is just different. He will always be different. So instead of focusing so much on how to change him, you would be better off just growing some thick skin and getting on with it."
I can't remember what my question was that prompted her to say that. I just remember leaving there with my head sort of spinning, wondering if I should take my kids medical files with me now or pick them up later, because I sure as hell wasn't coming back.
Well her advice was crap. Except for maybe the 'grow a thicker skin' part.
I have found that I have stopped noticing as often when people stare or respond in a less than sensitive way to some of Miles' behaviors.
I don't have the time or really the desire to explain to every person that seems uncomfortable around my kid what exactly is going on.
For the most part he pretty much blends right in and save for some random flapping in most situations you wouldn't even be able to tell that he has autism.
So when I got pulled aside a few weeks ago at his gymnastics class to be informed that they did not any longer feel he was a good fit for the class I was shocked and happy for my thickened skin.
It took every ounce of will power and energy I have to not bust out crying as I was being told that the coach running Miles' class wasn't used to working with 'special' kids. Any other coach would love to have him, but this just is not a good fit and could I please get him out of class now and maybe try back another time for another class, where he might fit in better. He is doing great, blah, blah, just not a fit with this class, blah, not fair to the other kids. Ouch.
The worst part was that when I walked up to pull him out of the class he was fully participating, as he had been each week, and had the biggest flippin' smile smeared across his face.
When I asked him to come on because we had to go home, he responded with,"Mom, not now I am doing my gymnastics."
Thick skin or not. That hurt like hell.
My husband met me in the parking lot. He was coming to take over so that I could head off to a curriculum night at school.
He dropped the kids off with his parents and then went back to the gym to let the staff and owner know what we thought of their lack of sensitivity.
We had after all spoken with them before the classes started about our concerns and we were assured it would be fine.
There is just nothing like the disappointment of your own child to break through even the thickest skin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The wheels on the bus go round and round.....


So here is a little diddy that made me laugh after the fact. I was too stricken with anxiety the day it played out to see any humor in it. Now, I think it's kind of funny.
The first day of school the kiddos and I gathered in the driveway to wait for Miles' school bus. He was anxious. I was a wreck and there was a lot of tension in the air. We were strangely calm and ready early. Way out of character for us. As we stood there in a sort of huddle waiting for the bus, this conversation ensued....
Me: Okay Miles, your bus will be here soon. hand wringing
Miles: No Mom. I no go school. hand wringing
Me: School is fun. liar You will be fine. doubtful
Miles: No Mom. I stay home.
Caleb: It's okay Miles. You get to ride the bus. The bus will be so cool. I wish I could ride a bus to school.
Caleb: whispered to me. I hope it's not a short bus.
Me: Evil glare, but thinking the same damn thing.

Now before you think I am a horrible person let me just tell you this. Do you remember those little jerks that you went to school with? They made fun of you for not having the right outfit and they made fun of your bff for her frizzy hair? Well, they also made fun of the 'short bus'. Well, guess what. Those jerks grew-up and some of them had kids and some of those kids go to school with Miles and I don't want them to have anything on him. Not funny clothes, not goofy hair, no short bus.
In case your curious. The bus was medium. Not full size, but not quite short. And he loves it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh baby, that's some big forehead and some mighty fine artwork.

This post is not about the size of my son's giant forehead as this first picture may imply. It is about the son with the giant forehead and his art work. He took a cool art class this summer that lasted for a week and he just loved it. The classes are run by a small art studio in Uptown Westerville and the kids work on a different project everyday. At the end of the week they get to choose one of their pieces to have framed and then their art is on display at the gallery for a time.



This was his favorite. I seriously thought he traced it at first. The kid has some talent.


Here he is pointing out his Master-piece. He was really proud of himself. Still, he managed to be a goof-ball though.


The piece in the lower left hand corner is also his.

I know it's totally cornball, but it is so awesome to get to see your kid do something that they love and take pride in. He will chatter on about art all day if he can find someone willing to listen. This was his moment, his night, and he really shined. It's good to shine.

I think I am being watched....

Shhh... I have snuck down to the basement to quickly post that I am being watched.
I started babysitting new kiddos at the beginning of the school year and the four year old boy is totally tracking my computer time.
He says things like "Isn't it your job to play with me?"
When I get on the computer he hovers over me and inquires as to what I am doing and why it doesn't involve some sort of entertainment for him.
I haven't locked him away in the closet yet because, well his mom is paying me really well and I need the job.
Anyways, I am trying to devise a plan in which I have some actual free time during which I can post without my little audience.
Hope to be back soon......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am still here. Just spread really, really thin at the moment..

I love referring to myself as 'thin'. Even if I am just referring to my time and my emotional well-being. Myself and thin in the same sentence feels good.
I have been crazy busy lately.
We did indeed lay some floors. Grouting was a bitch. I will post some pictures soon. We put tile in the kitchen, hallway, half-bath and foyer. We put new carpet in the family room. It is the shaggy kind. I love it. I can dig my toes way into it and the kids can flop and watch t.v..
The plan was to put wood in the dining and living rooms. However, I decided that I would rather remove the wall between the two rooms and make it one large space. We were running low on time and even lower on money, so we decided that project would have to wait.
Now I have worn-down ugly ass carpet meeting my new beautiful tile. Pretty.
I made a mad attempt to shove a bunch of fun activities into the last month of summer. August was busy. Fun, but busy. I will fill you in on some of that soon too.
Someone lifted my bank account information when I order supplements for my son online. They drained our bank account. Twice. We were well over $1000 in the hole at one point.
Thanks to my generous donation, I think half of Miami is now signed up for some network called i-friends.com. Glad I could help.
The money, including the hundreds of dollars in insufficient funds fees was reimbursed. Fairly quickly. Woo hoo!
School started. Miles is pissed. He is currently working from a desk in the hallway, as he refuses to go into the actual classroom. That won't make him stand out at all.
His teacher reports that he is doing his work, and comes into the class only when necessary. She is cool with his baby-steps. Thank goodness.
Caleb is happy. Loves his teacher. Loves his friends. Hates that I won't let him pack a soda for lunch.
Stella has her 'slow-start' day on Monday. She and a handful of her classmates will go in on this day to be assessed and get acquainted with the room.
I vote for full day kindergarten and a 'quick-start'. No such luck. She is very excited and already has her outfit all picked out.
I will start posting regularly again soon. I feel the comfort of my routine settling back in. I miss reading what everyone else has been up to. Feel out of the loop. I will be back. (that was said in my best Terminator voice)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Will work for floors

My husband has officially become a new floor ho. I will pimp him out to just about anybody willing to lay down the cash.
After an old dog, a new pup and three toddlers, our carpet has just had it.
On warm humid days there is a distinct urine smell that seeps from the padding below. I don't want my kids to go off to college only to be reminded of home every time they smell urine.
Okay, so I don't actually pimp him out, he just works a lot. He is a teacher by trade, which leaves his summers wide open for work.
He works for a friend of ours who owns several campus area rentals and he helps with maintenance and such. I use 'and such' loosely. Last week he packed up and discarded 54 trash bags of cockroach infested clothes and household items from an evicted property.
The same friend also has a contract with the Ohio State beauty schools so they maintain those buildings as well.
He also drives the limo, gives piano, violin, guitar and sax lessons, and just this week he started helping at one of the local high school's band camp.
The man is a work horse.
People often ask why he works so much in the summer. The truth of the matter is, we wouldn't make it through a summer with him home all day everyday. We love each other dearly, but who doesn't need a little space. He takes Friday morning and afternoon off, and that is just enough.
We usually have a project each summer that we work on. This year it is the floors.
We have been saving up to purchase the materials, because my Dad will be here in August and he has some serious skills.
I will keep you posted and hopefully have some pictures to show by the end of August.
In the meantime, I better get back to work myself....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My daughter has that crazy ability to always know just what to say..

Today I was feeling a little tired and bloated. Still on a mission to use the air conditioner as little as possible, I was feeling a bit hot and sticky as well.
So there I was, tired, bloated, hot, sticky....when Stella asked me for help squirting ketchup from our ridiculously large ketchup bottle onto her plate.
I helped her out, cause that's what I do and she said, "Mom. I love you. You are as strong as a hippo."
This of course sent the boys into hysterics and Miles kept repeating through his mouth full of food and giggles, "Mom's a hippo."
As strong as. Let's not leave that out of the sentence thank you very much.
That's me. Super Mom. Strong as a hippo.
Oh, she makes me laugh, that silly girl.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Top Five List

Top five ways that I make Autism work for our family:

1. When the caller id shows a 1-800 number I let Miles answer the phone. The conversation that follows goes something like this:
Miles: "Hello? HELLO?"
Miles: "I have a Mom. Hello?"
Miles: "Welcome to Miles' house."
Miles: "Ummm, I fine. Yes. I have a mom."
Miles: "DAAAD. MOOOOOM. Yep. Okay."
Miles: "Yep. I find Nemo. Can you say Dori?"
Miles: "What color Dori? Say Blue."
Miles: "Good-bye"

2. I happen to show Miles how he can scrub the grout in the shower with a tooth brush and it comes clean. Occupies his OCD (and mine) for hours.

3. Entertain myself and the kids by allowing Miles to 'flap' too close to the children of overly protective moms at the park.

4. Dad can be easily convinced to eat at Pei Wei due to the GF menu.

5. Great excuse to surround ourselves with cool people who never cease to amaze me with their ability to positively affect my boy!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just some tidbits

Since I no longer have the ability to form full thoughts these days, I have some random tidbits to share with the world.
First, get this. My hubby was working last night. Limo run. He called me and told me that his party had tipped him, wait for it, $600.
That's what I said too!
I am starting to wonder if he is offering 'other' services on the side. Hey, if it puts groceries in the fridge.....
The same party booked him for tonight. (should I be worried) They are going to the movies and then 'out'.
Do you remember when you used to go 'out'? You would be leaving and your parents would be going to bed? Crazy.
Speaking of parents... Have I ever mentioned how dysfunctional my family is?
Probably not. We are so dysfunctional that I tend to keep it on the down-low as to not scare away potential friends.
We are crazy, but we love each other. I could do just about anything and my family would be like, "That's nothing. Remember that time when....."
So I was at the mall with my Mom, my Aunt (my Mom's twin) and my Sister. My Sister confessed a big secret over flavored lemonade while we lounged the food court.
My Sister, who is 11 years my junior is dating someone 10 years older than myself. He is going through a divorce, has kids and, best part, it's her boss.
Being as we are, we decided to talk it out right there in the food court, amongst the scantly clad teenage girls and the pimply faced boys checking them out.
At one point my Mom made some reference to having been with a man that had brought out the worst in her.
This caused me to bust out in uncontrolled laughter. I didn't mean to, it just hit me funny. Probably because she has been married many, many, many times. Each husband, save for my Dad, almost worse than the last.
My attempts to hide my laughter were feeble and my Mom started to cry. My Aunt, I swear because they are twins and that is how it works, started to cry too.
It only made me laugh harder.
My sister, who may be the most sane of all of us, could only shake her head.
We regained control shortly thereafter, and gave my Sister some 'sound' advice.
Then we threatened to show up at her work often and with my kids, if she doesn't at least consider our advice. That's just how we roll.
Anyway, if you happened to be at the mall and saw a group of women laughing and crying like ninnies....yep, totally me and my Family.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pierced Ears

When Stella was all of 3 years old, she started asking to get her ears pierced. I told her she could get them done when she turned the ripe old age of 5 years old. That seemed at the time to be way far off and I figured by then fear would kick in and we could wait even longer.
Not so much how it happened. The day that she turned 5, she reminded me of my promise from almost two years ago. I asked if she would want to wait another year and told her that it hurts, but she still wanted to get the earrings.
We made a trip to the mall for the big event with Dad and brothers in tow. She took her favorite stuffed cat with her to help calm her worries.


We requested that they do both ears at once, as we did not want to walk out of there with only one ear pierced. And I would have felt really bad if I would have had to pin her down for the second piercing. They did and were very nice.


This was the worst. She looked up at me and mouthed the words, "That hurts!"
I was glad Caleb was there to see this. He has been determined to pierce some part of his body for awhile. When he was about 6 years old our neighbor got her nose pierced. He was so fascinated that he walked around with a round gold sticker stuck to the side of his nose for days.
He is, thankfully, a bit of a pansy when it comes to pain. I think he will be holding off on any piercings or tats for the time being.
I felt horrible when I couldn't make the hurt stop. We ran right across the mall to the Disney Store and bought a new bathing suit. It helped us both.



Now she looks so old. Not quite my baby anymore. *Sigh*

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Berry Pickin' Good

I promised myself that I would post today, whether or not my mind still feels like mush. So here is my best effort. Some words interspersed with photos.

We went berry picking. This is Miles being his silly self. I would check his basket and ask where all his berries had gone. He would show me his mouth and say, "spell tummy, Mommy." That's his way of saying, "Why pick them and take them home when I can stand here and eat them right off the bush?"


This is Caleb, Stella and Ms. Bre. Bre was Miles' preschool teacher for 3 years and Stella's teacher for 2 years. We love her. We can't let her go, so we make her hang out with us in the summer. Really, she is one of Miles' summer-time tutors. She is always willing to field trip it with us and we always have a blast.
Notice the ear-bud protruding from Caleb's ear. He is not in training to become a member of the Secret Service. He IS getting to 'that age'. Lord help me, I can only hear 'Boom Boom Pow' so many times before I want to boom, boom, whack somebody.



I'm sorry, but how could you not love the person that belongs to these legs. She picks out her own outfits and these are her favorite socks. They are black and red with silver dots. They are so Rock-n-Roll, and so is she. As far as she is concerned, they match everything. Don't bother trying to tell her otherwise.



The fruits of our labor. Black raspberries and they are soooo yummy. We ate them over vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce.



After a day of berry picking and lunch at Whole Foods, I was feeling all green inside, so we also hit the farmers market. We got honey, straight from the hands of the bee keepers. Goat's milk feta. A savory blend with paprika and garlic and a sweet blend with orange and cranberries. We also snatched up a cherry and hot pepper jam. Seriously yummy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Splish, splash wasn't planning on takin' a bath

So my hubby left for his vacation this past week. He left on the morning of my birthday. We had a huge storm that same morning and lost our power.
Just before he left, we still did not have power and so I jokingly asked him if as a birthday present to me would he check the sump pump and make sure the basement wasn't flooding before he headed out.
Our basement has never been so much as damp.
It had flooded.
My hubby must have made 50 trips up and down our stairs hauling 5 gallon buckets of water before the power came back on and the water began to recede.
I sent him on his way to the Great Northern Wilderness and proceeded the clean-up without him.
The laundry room was hit hardest. It was, of course, Am-Vets pick up day and I had sorted through several bags of clothes to give for donation. Thankfully the donation stuff was already bagged and I was able to just chuck those out onto the front porch. The rest of the piles did not fair so well.
All in all it was nothing a lot of laundry and some serious steam-vac power didn't fix.
I set up probably seven fans in the basement to dry out the rest of the dampness in the carpet. The thought of mold gives me a serious fright.
So, while it didn't qualify as the best birthday ever. I am sure it could have been worse.
The kids were awesome during the whole thing and even sang me the happy birthday song while we ate frozen pizza for lunch. What more could I ask for.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Let's get Physical

When my hubby was lamenting over the recent loss of his regular workout partner, I threw out the idea that maybe I could take his place.
My hubby gave an enthusiastic acceptance to my offer. So enthusiastic in fact, that I am starting to doubt all those times that he has assured me that, "No you do not look fat in those jeans."
Either that or he just really loves spending some quality time together. We'll just go with that for now.
Today was the first day of our workout. We have a workout room in our basement, so it's really hard to come up with excuses as to why I can't make it. It's surprisingly difficult to lie to someone who is hovering over you with a sweatband and water bottle. I tried. I failed.
The first hurdle was the start time. My hubby is a thirty-something stuck in the time schedule of septuagenarian. In his ideal world we would all be up by 4am, dinner by 4pm and in bed no later than 7:30pm.
We agreed on a 5:45 wake up call and a start time of 6:00am. When I drug my body down stairs and he was doing an annoying bounce around the kitchen, I reminded him that I was in fact NOT a morning person, and could he please stop with the freakin' enthusiasm.
He did and we headed to the basement to start the workout. The next glitch came when he put the channel on 'Sports Center'. One raised eyebrow later, and he switched it up to Animal Planet. Ironically the show was on hippos, and I felt like they were trying to tell me something like "who cares what you're watching, get your big ass on the treadmill bee-atch."
The workout ending up being great. I would have cussed my hubby once when he told me I might want to increase my speed on the treadmill through that particular circuit, but I was too out of breathe to form any meaningful words.
I made it through and the hubby is happy to have someone to workout with again. He is even happier that I agreed to 'Sports Center' for tomorrow for our viewing pleasure. I can't take any more hippos yelling rude comments at me just yet.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A letter to the Hubby. Here's hoping that getting this off my chest makes me feel less bitter and I can stop flippin' you the bird behind your back.

Dear Hubby,
Your vacation is just around the corner. I want you to go and enjoy your time off. You have earned it. Seriously. Go. The kids and I will be fine.
Don't worry about the fact that you are taking our car, putting a bajillion miles on it and leaving me stuck with the car where the kids all sit in one row and beat each other senseless before we even back out of the driveway. No Problem. We will figure it out.
I hope you fall in the freakin' ice cold Canadian lake have fun fishing with your family. After all, family vacations are important.
The fact that you are leaving on my birthday and not going to be here for Father's day, no big deal. There is always next year.
I am fully aware of the fact that the fishing trip was planned just before we got the dates for the beach trip. You could not control the fact that the dates over-lapped. That is why I am trying my hardest but failing miserably at not holding any of this against you. Even if one phone call to see if the dates would overlap could have prevented this predicament. No biggie.
I'm over it. I am about to get my 'staycation' on baby!
It is true that I get a little tiny bit teary eyed when I see some of these pictures from last year. It is hard to imagine a reason for which we would pass on a FREE stay in a million dollar house on the beach.
Of, course I hadn't considered fishing in cold, damp weather. Apparently, that is reason enough.
Go. Have fun. I really hope you catch the swine flu a whopper. Maybe next year we will make it back to the beach.

All My Love and a good bit of sarcasm,
Your Wife





After looking at these pictures again, I might just load the kids and go without the Hubby.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

911 what's your emergency? Sucky baseball? We'll be right out.

I am always worn out after baseball night, because I expend a lot of mental energy trying not to yell harassing comments at my son.
"Swing the damn bat."
"If you watch one more strike fly by without swinging, you will have to find someone else to pay for Fall ball, because it won't be me."
"Wake up in the out-field."
"I've seen your sister throw harder than that."
You get the idea. I spend a good deal of my time chasing the two kids not on the field around the park and thinking of nice ways to tell the one on the field he's sucking it up.
The hubby throws the kid 800 pitches a night. He hits 790 of them. Still he freezes up in the game and it just gets ugly. Last night, they were behind by one run. Two outs, bases loaded. My sweet boy watched as three strikes flew by. Never swung the bat. Never. Swung.
Needless to say, I was already in a stellar mood when some woman stomped up to me, hands on her hips, "Just so you know, your son just pushed the 911 button."
"Um, okay. I'll talk to him."
"He would NOT listen when I told him to stop. The police will have to come out. You need to wait and tell them what HE did" she said as she jerked her head towards my flapping, circle running son.
"Okay. We'll wait and explain.Thanks."
She stood there staring, hands still on hips, eyebrows raised, lips pursed. I think she was expecting me to give Miles the shake down. Give it to him good.
It wasn't going to happen. I didn't even want to try to explain to this ninny that, oh he's autistic, so he wasn't ignoring you he probably just didn't realize you were talking to him you arrogant bitch.
I took great pleasure in watching her stomp off, mad that I had not properly disciplined my little heathen.
When she was gone, I explained the button to Miles. We waited for the police, glad it wasn't a real emergency as he took his sweet-ass time getting there.
We did not get thrown in jail.
I told Miles that he may need to use that button again next week, because if his brother watches one more strike go by and doesn't swing the bat, I just might beat him with it.

Please note that I don't ever actually yell those comments at my son. I just wish I could. I did however really threaten to beat him with the bat. He knew I was kidding. For the most part. Also, I don't take calling 911 lightly. I just didn't appreciate the way the woman behaved.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A few reasons why I love my hubby

I love him because he is not too cool to play 'Pretty, Pretty Princess'. This game is actually fun and even the boys like to play. We are not supposed tell any of Caleb's friends that he plays the game.


As much as we love the princess game we try really hard not to put any emphasis on how we look on the outside. It's what you are like on the inside that counts. We were at a party last weekend for a First Communion and my Hubby was trying to get Stella in the house so we could go. She was tired and cranky and told him, "No."
A friend of the hostess was standing nearby and said, "Oh, Stella, what a pretty dress you have on. You are so, so pretty and pretty girls don't say 'No'."
Thank goodness it was the hubby standing there and not me. I would not have been able to refrain from some sort of smart-ass comment. 'Pretty girls don't say no'. That might be the worst piece of advice I have ever heard given to my children.
I love my hubby because he waited until we left the party to tell me this story.


The hubby won this round. He is indeed a pretty princess.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Party day. We always celebrate Miles' and Stella's birthdays together. They are 2 years and five days apart in age. They don't seem to mind sharing their day. So far. This was the first year Miles had true friends to invite. I got all teary with each RSVP. The parents of his friends were wonderful and said how they were always so impressed with Miles and how much their kids enjoyed having him as a friend.


The gifts. Stella loved it. Miles wanted to be done after each gift he opened. We powered through his friends gifts and then let them return to playing. He is gracious and says thank you, but the kid is really happy to just be. Stella and the girls poured over each gift and they had to be passed around so everyone could see and touch everything.


The giant crocodile. It was really cool. The adults thought it would be fun to have a few cocktails and turn it into a water slide. We refrained. The kids loved it. We loved it because it entertained the kids and it was free. The friend who owns the limo company that my hubby drives for also owns the 'Jumpee Thing' company. He very generously gives us our choice of bounce houses for the kid's party.


Miles enjoying the crocodile. At the end of the day, I scrounged up some left over hot dogs and reheated some corn on the cob for the kids to eat for dinner. Stella declared it to be the best part of the whole day. Go figure.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yawn

I am wiped out. Physically, mentally, just done. I can not wait for school to end. I have myself convinced that once school is done for this year I will suddenly regain some of my energy.
Something has been sucking my life-force lately. I have had decisions to make and therapist to line up and summer camps and swim lessons to schedule, and I can barely do it all.
I finally went and had my second blood draw last week. Apparently, not all is completely well with my hemoglobin. Is that right? Hemoglobin? Something was off. Looks like anemia, but my iron was okay. I don't know?
I think this may be part of the reason I am so tired all the time. Really. Freakin. Tired. Today I was cleaning up books from the floor and thought I would just rest my wee head for a moment. Sound. Asleep.
I am just scooting by for now. I have some great pictures to post, but not so much the gumption to do so. I will soon. Once I have rested my wee head some more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Day

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Stella. Happy Birthday to you. Do you think she enjoyed that cake?

It is hard to tell from these pictures, but the morning of Stella's party she fell head over heels down our unfinished basement stairs and landed on the concrete floor. 911 had to be called. They sent all of the big fire trucks plus the ambulance. She was fine. She had a huge bump on her forehead. It was so big, it really just looked like she had a giant forehead. She has a dent in her forehead still today.

I love this little person. She is an absolute joy. She was so excited about her big day today. When we walked into her preschool classroom this morning, they all yelled "Happy Birthday." Made her day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life is Just a .....

Well. What did you expect. These cherries cost me almost $6. Stella saw them and had to have them. I even tried to bribe her with a free cookie from the bakery. She has ALWAYS wanted to try cherries. Now she has.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

If only my bathroom smelled this good all the time

I have issues with air fresheners. In general they give me headaches and make me nauseous. I also have issues with the urine smell that tends to linger in our bathroom. They bathrooms smell good for a few hours after a thorough cleaning and then the urine stench slowly creeps back into play.
I win this battle for just a few weeks out of the year while my lilac bush is in bloom. It is one of my favorite smells. No headache, no nausea, no urine. Lilacs.


This makes my happy. I planted two more lilac bushes today. That made me happy too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

So you say it's your Birthday....

These kiddos have Birthdays this week. Miles' is today. He is 7 years old. *big sigh* He has always worked a special kind of magic in my life. Could they be any cuter?


We thought Miles might never part with his pacifiers. He used to keep two in his mouth at once and one or two in his hand. He would rotate them in and out of his mouth. At night he would have at least two in his mouth and he would tuck the extras, oh yes. Between his toes. Yummy. Of course he did give them up. Now it makes me sad to think we were in a hurry for him to do so. *Another deep sigh*


Thomas. Our love/hate relationship continues to this day. I can't believe this kid is 7. I still have that shirt tucked away. It was one of his favorites.


It is hard to imagine the impact these little people will have on your life when they first get here. I know it is a cliche, but I love them more everyday. I wish I could go back and convince myself to slow down. Enjoy the little moments. I hope I can remember that tomorrow when I am not feeling all mushy inside because one of my babies just turned 7.

Game on

Every year when the unofficial kickball season gets underway in our neighborhood I know that summer must be around the corner.
I don't know if this is just a phenomenon that occurs here in our little patch of the world, but the kids in this neighborhood take their kickball seriously.
Once the days get longer and the sun is stretching itself into the post dinner hours it's game on. At least a few nights a week there is the inevitable knock at the door and behind that knock there are a couple of kids letting us know that it's game night.
The scene is as about as 'Leave it to Beaver' as you can get. Kids running up and down the street gathering in the 'green space' within our circle of homes.
I need to get pictures. There are usually 20-25 kids and a handful of adults. The sight of it all makes me want to sit down with a slice of apple pie in one hand and a sparkler in the other and belt out my own off-key version of 'God Bless America'.
The usual routine is that Caleb plays and Stella,Miles,Dad and I are in the cheering section.
Unfortunately, during the last game, Miles decided he wanted to play. This was unfortunate only because that meant I had to play with him.
Did I mention that these kids take their game seriously? Did I mention that it is shocking how fast an 8TH grade boy can throw a playground kickball? Did you know that in kickball it is perfectly acceptable to tag a running player out dodge-ball style?
Super.
Being that I am always supportive of Miles efforts to join in any activity, I only felt mildly guilty about trying to discourage his desire to join in the kickball game.
Yet, my warnings went unheard and before I knew it we were up to 'bat'. He understood the kicking. Not so much the running of the bases. This was where my super sweet kickball skills were put to the test.
We ran the bases hand-in-hand. He cracked up the entire time. I prayed to God that I would not get tagged in the back by one of the 8TH grade boys, who apparently have caught on to the new steroid craze.
The other kids were awesome. They whole-heartedly included the both of us. They let us run the bases unscathed.
Other than being reminded once again that I need to get into shape ( I was totally huffing after my base running) it was a really fun time.
I wanted to keep playing, but Miles apparently got it out of his system and was happy to return to the cheering section.
I was afraid the kids wouldn't be as kind to me if I was running the bases solo, so I returned to the cheering section with Miles.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just one more Piece

This is my Daughter.....




This is my Daughter on crack Easter candy....



Any questions?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Can you find my Puppy?



Just in case you have ever wondered where you should hide if the very scary broom falls very close to you while you are doing nothing more than minding your own business. It's a scary world.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Brave People give me Hope

It seems a lot of people around me have been brave lately. People continue to amaze me. Amaze me so much that I think I can be brave too.
The times that are so bad. So horrific. That we would rather not remember. Not even that can keep a survivor down. The survivors always find a way to bounce back.
Whether it takes 2 hours or 2 days or 2 decades, climbing out of a pit that you have been thrown into can be excruciatingly difficult. Sometimes just when you think you have climbed out something happens and you slip back down a little.
There are things in my past that I would rather just forget. Forget. Move-on. Keep going. But, there is always that tug at my memory. Sometimes it is just a tickle and sometimes it is a full tug-of-war. Memories fighting the desire to forget.
I am encouraged by those around me. Some have come face to face with that which pushes them down. Some have made moves to leave behind that which frightens them. Some have come to terms and moved forward. All brave. All encouraging.
Bravo to the brave souls. Thank you for the encouragement. My prayers are always with you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Newbies

So, I got the first day of the newbies under my belt and it was not so bad. I went into a cleaning frenzy the night before, because that is how I deal with stress. Throwing back too many drinks, which is how I used to deal with stress everything, is just no longer workable. Now when the going gets tough, I vacuum. I don't know. It works. The bonus is a relatively tidy house.
Upon drop off of the newbies, their mom informed me to keep an extra eye on the boy. He likes to bite his sister. She went on and on about the boy and watching out for his behavior. After an hour with the newbies, I wanted to bite the sister too.
I wonder if we (parents) all see our kids through this parental fog? Had mom never noticed the fact that sister grabs and hits and bosses to the point that I could hardly blame the brother for wanting to sink his teeth into her?
I know I have been guilty of the parental fog. I tend to jump right on Caleb regardless of who may be at fault. Then I say something ridiculous like, "Well, you should just know better."
Maybe he should 'know better', but how many times can you be expected to listen to your little sister sing the Daisy sour cream commercial jingle before you just have to punch her? Seriously. If he didn't I might have.
I try to be 'fair' and see the kids behavior for what it really is. It's hard. I try to hold Miles accountable for all of his actions, but find myself sometimes making lame excuses. Autistic or not, there are some things that you just can't do.
I make excuses for all of them. Caleb is the instigator and so dramatic, Miles is the over reactor, Stella is the button-pusher and informer. I have pigeon-holed them. Labeled them. I wonder if I have it right, or am I missing the big picture.
Well, I refrained from biting the sister, but she had to hear my speech about good choices. Poor girl.
I also told mom that the boy was great, but sis needed a little re-direction. She was shocked.
I am going to try and slow down next time I point my finger at Caleb and automatically accuse him of 'starting it'. Maybe I have been too deep in my parental fog to see what is really going on?

Monday, April 27, 2009

It must be Laundry day.

My hubby announced that he did not have any clean undies. This morning. At 6am. He also said he could not find two movies that were over-due from the library.
He woke me up to make this announcement. I am NOT a morning person. I am at best a morning person in training.
It sort of comes with the territory of having kids. You become a morning person or you spend a lot of mornings being really grumpy. I am learning. I am a more willing learner when people wake me with hugs and kisses. Not as willing when woken with stories of dirty underwear and missing movies.
I love when people call me at like 9:30am and ask if they woke me. Right. I wish.
Anyway. I offered up a pair of my undies. They were boy-shorts after all. He opted to wear the underwear from last night. Post-shower. Thank goodness.
I went to 'find' the movies that were missing in action. They were by the television. Surprise. My hubby was born without the 'looking' gene. Whenever he is missing something he comes right to me to help him find it. I swear if I go first he will have to re-marry immediately just to have someone help him find stuff.
This morning after being woken-up and feeling grumpy I told him that I would wash his under-roos if I could manage to find them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

That Could not be my Child

I had one of those moments the other day when your kid is doing something so unbelievably horrible that you would really just like to walk away, but know you have to step up and claim said child in front of a bunch of parents giving you that 'my child would never' look.
Stella was having a fantastic soccer game. As fantastic a soccer game as 4 and 5 year-olds can have. She had scored two goals and even though we don't keep score, we were squashing the other team.
My hubby, the coach, of the 'Rocket Cars', was doing his best to pump up both teams and minding to his coaching duties, when I look up to see our sweet princess wagging her little finger in the faces of the other team, one hand on her hip and she is singing, "You guys are loooosers, yes your just loooosers."
Crap. I can handle wrestling, tantrums, potty talk, back talk, and most anything else my heathens children throw my way. I DO NOT tolerate bullying, name calling, bragging, gloating or other similarly offensive behaviors.
She came off the field. We had a 'team meeting'. I reminded her of when the dreaded 'Sharks' beat the 'Rocket Cars' silly last season. We remembered how lousy that felt. I think she felt genuinely apologetic.
When we headed to soccer this morning she said,"Mom. Even though we are going to beat this team too, and I am going to scores lots of goals. I won't tell the other team they are losers. They'll just know."
Sigh. I have to admire her confidence.
They tied the game. She was without a single goal. She was a good sport.
I think this is one of the best reasons to start kids playing sports young. They learn to loose. They learn to tie. Maybe most important, they learn to be good winners.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is He Walking a Little bit Funny?

So the pup got neutered this week. He seems fine with it. Although a few times I have noticed that he has stopped mid-stride to try and catch a glimpse of his own rear. I wonder if he knows something is missing?
We had been quoted just under $300 by our vet for this procedure. A phone call to my animal guru sister led me to a 'spay and neuter clinic'. Sweet. $81. Big difference. My hubby kept referring to it as the 'chop shop' to the point that I was feeling a little panicked. Why would it be so cheap? Did they not give him anesthetic? What kind of barbaric operation is this?
So, of course I made my hubby ask lots of questions before turning over the pup. He said they looked at him like he was nuts. Informed him that it would be a bit cruel to do the procedure without anesthetic and probably called animal welfare on the crazy man with the cute pup.
The pup is home and just fine. Well, walking a little funny, and a bit stinky. I think he will recover. We are not allowed to get him wet for now. Gremlin. We are also supposed to keep him quiet. Impossible. He is about as subdued as a roomful of two year-olds hopped up on pixie-sticks.
After this week I think I am going to turn my focus on inventing a line of febreze-like products that you spray right on the smelly source. I find myself spraying the carpet, curtains, couches, children, when it would be much more convenient to just spray the offensively smelling pup. Look for it in stores near you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At Least the Extra Money will pay for the Groceries

I woke up this morning with some nausea. I know exactly what it is from. My lack of ability to just say "No."
I think I must have been smokin' some wacky-tabacky because I find myself having agreed to watching two more kiddos two days a week.
I know there are those moms out there who have 4+ children of their very own and may scoff at my shuddering at the thought of having extra small people around the house, but I am shuddering.
Stella is beside herself with excitement. One of the newbies is a little girl. Age 4. Stella's dream date. The other little guy I was already somewhat reluctantly watching is also super excited. The second newbie is a little boy. Age 3. Perfect.
In my defense it was difficult to say no when the mom of the newbies showed up unannounced on my doorstep. (I had been given her number, but 'misplaced' it). Begging. Her sitter decided to only watch kids three days a week. Without notice. In the middle of the school year. The newbies' mom is a special education teacher at the school right behind us. Have I mentioned that I hold a special place in my heart for those wonderful souls who work with special needs kiddos? Sigh. I couldn't say no.
The school year is really almost over. I can do anything for 7 weeks. Stella and the little guy are super excited for their new 'friends'. These are the things that I say in my head to cure the nausea.
I enjoy working with kids. I love helping out families. I struggle with change. The thought of two extra kids being drop off at my home while I am using cattle prods on my own herd just to get through breakfast is a bit daunting.
Once I get the first day under my belt I will be fine. By then it won't feel like change, just routine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Break: The Recap

I took a little time away from blogging to hang with the kids during their Spring Break. I did sneak down to the computer a few times to read blogs. I just didn't write anything.
I thought I would wow and thrill you all with a little sampling of what we did with all of our free time. Fascinating, I know.
We of course celebrated Easter. Miles was the only one in the family with enough sense to recognize that Easter in Ohio does not allow for what the rest of the world deems to be required Easter attire. You know, cute sun dresses, shorts, and skirts. Ignoring the weather, as we Ohioans do, I set out his super cute plaid shorts and a long sleeve button down shirt. He came downstairs wearing the cute shirt with some not so cute sweat pants. When I asked him about his choice he said, "Mom, I freezing."
I couldn't argue with that. We did however compromise with a pair of dress pants. I also finally got him to unbutton the very top button of his shirt. My kids have it in their little heads that shirts must be buttoned all the way to the top. All buttons provided, must be used. I, their claustrophobic mother, can not stand the sight of their necks being choked out by that top button. Miles is usually the only one that I can convince that his shirt will not fall off if we leave just that one button undone.
I was very un-Jesus-like when I got to church on Easter and I kind of cursed all of the people who come to church once a year and had the fore-sight to get there early and steal my seats.
I will have to remember to add my name to the prayer list. 'Please pray for Kim. She needs to be forgiven for cursing seat-stealers. Also, for yelling at her kids to unbutton their shirts. Amen.'
It rained for the next few days. We barely made it through. I hid from the children a lot.
Back in March, I used the Jedi mind trick on Caleb. I convinced him that if he waited until Spring Break to have his birthday party, he could invite two friends over AND have pizza AND go to the movies. I told him we would buy him a gift too. He totally went for it, even though we have NEVER not bought him a gift and allowed him to have a party. The Jedi mind trick allowed me to make him think this was going to be something out of the ordinary. When all I was really looking to do was buy myself an extra month before I had to pony-up the cash for the party. So he had his two friends over and they chose a movie that was playing at the dollar theater. Total. Score.
I went to Ikea with my Mom and Sister. Totally fun. I had never been to an Ikea and although I think we pushed my Sister to her shopping limits we had a great time. I got a super cute fish rug for the kids bathroom. $4.00. Set of kids multi-colored drinking glasses. $1.99. I left with a big bag of stuff and only spent $20.00. Yay.
My Mom and I took the kids to the zoo. It was outrageously busy. There is a new baby elephant and apparently most of Ohio came to see him on that particular day. I couldn't justify standing in a VERY long line with my kids get a quick peek at the new babe. We will check him out in a month when he is 100 lbs heavier and the hoopla has died down a bit.
Something else that I noticed at the zoo was that people misinterpret 'wheel chair accessible' for huge stroller and double wagon accessible. I get that families with small children need strollers, but really does your 6 and 9 year old need to be pulled around in a wagon? And how 'bout you keep your dirty looks to yourself when my 4 year old is blocking the way of your ginormous pre-teen whom you are dragging around in a wagon. If he can't see maybe he could get off his butt and stand for a minute. Oh, and by the way, maybe you should move your off-road vehicle of a stroller out of the way of the family that actually needs to utilize the ramp. Sorry. There were some rude people at the zoo.
It was a fun time regardless. The rhino was going crazy. Rolling in a giant mud puddle and running circles around his enclosure. Note to self: if you meet a rhino in the wild don't bother running. They are really fast. We got a kick out of his antics. I think the monkeys were experiencing some spring fever. They were whooping it up as well.
We capped off the week with a party at our neighbor's house. It was great. Lots of food and the kids ran and played and generally wore themselves out.
My hubby worked most of the week. He works more hours when he is not teaching than when he is. The limo business is picking up so he is busy on the weekends as well. We miss him, but we see light at the end of the tunnel as far as the mountain of debt is concerned. And we like to eat, so we encourage his excellent work ethic.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Autism Awareness Month: part deux

Holy hell. Miles got the memo about it being autism awareness month and he is doing his part to raise awareness.
It has been a flappy, squirmy, whiny, OCD, filled month. And those are just my symptoms.
We need to make some changes and get him back on track. We do a lot of supplementing with him and lately have let that slide. It is starting to take a toll on his behavior. I do like to take him off all of his supplements occasionally and slowly reintroduce each thing. It helps to determine what is continuing to benefit him and what he could maybe do without. It is time to begin the reintroductions.
We also changed our funding from Family Directed Resources to a level one Waiver and in doing so had to change out all of our therapists. We have yet to find replacement therapists.
We were on a wait-list for almost three years for the waiver, which is not bad, considering neighboring counties have wait-lists that run for over 10 years. Unbelievable.
Now that we have the waiver, we are on wait-lists for people who except the waiver. I am still unsure if the benefits of the waiver out weigh what we were receiving through the FDR. I am waiting it out. Don't want to make any quick decisions and end up back on the bottom of that wait-list.
We have a new therapist/intervention specialist coming over tonight. She will work with Miles throughout the summer.
I am crossing my fingers that all goes well. I think it will. We know her fairly well and she is a trooper. We need a trooper.
I have seen Miles drop speech language pathologists like a hot potato. He is a rascal and can put even the best through their paces.
I guess that is one of the things that I love so much about him. He keeps us on our toes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shake it off

I am not going to say that I hit rock bottom on Thursday. That would be overly dramatic.
I maybe just skimmed the bottom. Scrapped my knees.
I had the adult version of a meltdown. There were some tears and wallowing and a great big pity party thrown by me in my honor.
I am hoping it cleared my system. I am regrouping. Shaking it off.
I am not sure what brought it on, but I do know my hubby was on the receiving end of some of it and I informed him that lately it feels more like I have a roommate than a husband. Sometimes this is true. It is not his fault, but that doesn't make it fun.
Every now and then I get swallowed up by the whole 'stay-at-home-mom' thing. I love being here. I think it is where I am supposed to be.
I still miss leaving the house on occasion though. Without kids. Heading to functions that do not involve kids.
Yes, I am grateful that I get to stay home. Yes, I love my kids. Yes, I appreciate all that my husband does. But, oh my sweet Lord I swear my brain is melting into mush on some days.
I have resurfaced. Back from my scrap with the bottom.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad dog

I was gone for approximately 25 minutes yesterday morning. During that time the dog ate 5 large granny smith apples. Really? Who eats that many apples in one sitting? He is a glutenous beast.
I called my sister who happens to be my 'go-to girl' for all things animal related. She told me that apple seeds are toxic to dogs. Super. She said he wouldn't die, but would probably throw up. Again. Super.
I spent the better part of the day following him through the house. He never did throw up, but he did crap applesauce. Outside. Thank you, Lord for that one.
I consulted my handy-dandy dog training manual. The book informed me that my dog was not a bad dog. I am a bad dog owner. I should offer him a safe place to be when I am gone. What do they know?
We used to keep him safe behind baby gates. He got too big and just jumped over them. We are going to have to break down and buy a kennel. Can I hear a cha-ching. Kennels are not cheap. I know, I know, we bought the dog and all the responsiblity that goes with it.
On the bright side, I can always double it's use by putting the kids in the kennel when the dog is not using it. They deserve a safe place too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A good Question

One of the questions I get most often in regards to Miles is how I think he 'got' his autism.
Was he born with it?
Do you think his vaccinations caused it?
It is the wheat and dairy?
The truth is I am not 100% certain. I of course have my theories. They are not always the most popular theories, but I say until you can show me different, this is what I am going with.
Discussing the causes of autism can become as heated a discussion as pro-life vs. pro-choice. People have their ideas and there is no changing them. No middle ground. Maybe I can see it your way since you have experienced it first hand, not so much.
The fact is my pregnancy with Miles was very healthy and he was born without much fuss and zero pain medication.
He was a happy thriving baby boy hitting all of his milestones. He sat-up, crawled, walked, babbled and would look me in the eyes.
Until he stopped. He lost his babbling and his words. He became cranky and intolerant of too much contact. He did not loose any motor skills, but sought constant sensory input. He head-butted anything and everyone.
All of this happened shortly after his MMR vaccination. I believe it was the tipping point. His body finally reacted and could not take in anymore toxins.
While I was pregnant with Miles I had the much recommended flu-shot. I also had my amalgam fillings changed out for the white composit ones.
It is my belief that these were his first exposures to the heavy metals that his body could not handle.
I know what you are thinking. My kids were vaccinated and they are fine.
Of course not every chain-smoker gets lung cancer. Not every obese person gets diabetes. Every ones bodies deal with toxins differently.
I don't think Miles' body deals well with toxins. I think he doesn't 'kick them out' of his system like you or I would. His body stores them. Unable to get rid of them, they start to create road blocks. They create permanent damage.
I am not a doctor. I am not a nurse. I have done enough reading and research and seeking of answers that I feel confident in my theory.
We did finally find a pediatrician that allows me to have my theory. She agrees to occasionally disagree with me without treating me like I am crazy. She has not insisted I vaccinate my son any further. She did not kick me out of the practice for my refusal.
I promise to revisit the idea of possibly vaccinating in a few years. I run the supplements that we give Miles by her. I listen to and respect her opinion. She respects mine.
It is the best case scenario for us right now. No one knows for sure what causes autism. It is unbelievably frustrating. Not knowing for sure.
We have been treating Miles based on the toxin/heavy metal overload theory. We are careful, cautious and respectful of him and his body. He also gets a lot of traditional therapy. He is responding. Slowly. We are happy with that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Paying down the Debt

I bought a purse this weekend and you would have thought I was trying to decide on a new home. I had to make two trips to the store before I actually talked myself into the purchase.
It is hard for me to go out and spend money on something that is not a need, but more of a want.
Granted the cat made a scratching post out of my last purse, and we were not talking a Coach purse, but an on sale off-brand purse. Still it was hard.
We have been trying to pay off some fairly steep debts for the past few years.
The fact is that we have this heinous debt because we had all kinds of wants that we were too impatient to wait for and now all we have to show for that is debt.
After three kids, lots of wanting, and the decision to be a stay at home mom family we were ass neck deep in debt. Staring bankruptcy in the face.
Then my husband discovered Dave Ramsey. We started our 'envelope' system and we don't buy anything unless we can pay cash for it. In the beginning it really sucked. I swear I had Target withdrawls.
The first Christmas was the worst. I cried on Christmas Eve as I looked at what seemed to be a meager amount of gifts. I actually filled my kids stockings with fruit. I thought they would wake up and wonder what they had done to tick off Santa.
They of course didn't. They were just as happy with their much parred down Christmas as they had been with the over indulgent Christmases of the past. Did not even seem to mind the fruit filled stockings.
It is still hard at times. We are closer, but still a few years away from being debt free. It is nice knowing where our money goes. Even knowing that it is going to a credit card company is not so bad when you know you are that much closer to freedom.
When I bought the purse, a very helpful cashier told me that if I opened a store credit card I could save 15%. I told her and would pass and then handed her my 15% off coupon I had received in the mail and paid for the purse in cash.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Autism Awareness Month




Here it is already April 3RD and I haven't even wished you a happy Autism Awareness month. Shame on me.
We have so much to be thankful for. Our beautiful boy has come so far in the last several years. He has a long road ahead of him, but he has what it takes to rise to the challenge of whatever autism brings to the table. Game on.
He teaches me new things everyday. He has brought a layer to my life that would have gone forever unknown had it not been for this kid. He makes me a better person.
He is funny and loving and consistently wins the hearts of anybody lucky enough to know him.
In an ideal world there would be no Autism Awareness month, because there would be no Autism. This world does not work that way.
I can deal with autism because of him. He makes the worst days worth it. If he can do it so can I. It is with his small boy hand that he reaches out, touches my heart and says, "Come on Mom, we can beat this thing together."