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."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Note to my Children

Dear Children,
Just so you know, I was not always this crazy. I was, once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, a lovely woman with a college education and a job outside of this house. I had good okay hair and a waist.
I was also able to shower without anyone busting into the bathroom to announce that someone found a piece of cat poop and ran around the house with it before they threw it in the storage closet in the basement. Why. Why would anyone touch cat poop? Can this wait until I have a least gotten the shampoo rinsed from my hair?
I used to be able to form full, coherent sentences. I did not sputter, or stutter. I did not mix-up words.
No one ever made me so out of my mind crazy that I could not speak. No one ever stared at me blankly like I was speaking a foreign language when I explain for the umpteenth time that it is not okay to sit on your sister's head. Even if it is the only way to get her to stop talking. Not breathing and not talking are not the same. Do not kill your sister. It is not okay.
There was a time when I enjoyed reading and exercising and long talks with your father.
Of course, I was getting more than five hours of uninterrupted sleep back then.
Not one person would come into my room during the night to announce their bodily functions. I did not share my bed with multiple short people. I did not (well maybe once or twice) wake up and wonder where the heck am I because someone had taken over my side of the bed and I was forced to another bed. I did not have to wonder what was making my leg feel suddenly warm. It was never some other persons urine. Never.
When you wonder what happened to your Mom, take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself if it was all worth it. And you can bet your ass I am coming to live with you when I am old and loud and can no longer control MY bladder. Oh, and scoot over because I will be getting in bed with you.
All My Love,
Your Crazy Mom