Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Resolutions.

It's New Year's Eve and I am excited! That means it that time again! New Year's Resolutions. I love it. This might be my favorite holiday because it's all about dreams. goals. follow through. all very important things. This year, I'm taking a new approach to making resolutions. Usually, I try to improve on my job performance as a mother, this year, the kids can make do with the mother they have and my only goal as far as parenting is to not sell the little jerks on e-bay. I do have some wishes for them that I gave to the crumb diaries for her post Our 2013 Wishes... but my focus isn't on them. It's on me.

I'm hoping the boys learn from watching. I'm hoping when the time comes for them to figure out how to raise their kids and take care of their families that they remember to do for themselves, too. Flight attendants will tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to help others and there's a good reason for that. If you don't take care of yourself first, you aren't going to be in any shape to take care of anyone else. How much good will you be to your child if you crash and burn? Do you know your child will imitate you in their own relationships? Do you want them to take on so much stress and pressure that they crash and burn because they didn't want to be so "selfish" as to meet their own needs? And, how can I shove socialization down their little throats if I don't do it myself? Lead by example, right?

Children aside, I deserve to be happy with my life. with my friends. with my husband. with my children. I deserve to have a bit of fun with them. I planted the seeds, harvested the wheat, ground the flour, and baked the bread. I did all of the work and I'm going to eat the bread. Isn't that the purpose in the work?

So, my resolution for this year is to be a little more selfish. to take more time for me. to do the things I like to do. to win friends and influence people ;)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Falling behind on blogging... blame the kids, as usual.

Ok, so I've been a little, um, lax in my writing and I'm sorry. Just so you know, it has nothing at all to do with my childish, unfettered joy at being responsibility free for 2 and 3 weeks (2 weeks for 3 of the heathens and 3 weeks for my angel buddy since he flat out refused to be my baby anymore because he's a big boy now. big for his britches, I say. hit the double digits and they all think they're hot stuff.) and everything to do with the kids' unruliness. yes. that's it. for example, remember back on the day everything went wrong with the fight Walter had with his friend over his "girlfriend" and my pole dancing co-op with the neighbor(ish) mom? As I expected, all has blown over and they are now BFFs with throat kicks and sucker punches forgotten and Walter absolutely had to go spend the night because he was invited. Invited. because, apparently, "invited" is a big deal. oops. my bad.

***note to self: invite some damned kids over.***

So, I did what any responsible parent would do. I rolled my eyes, heaved a sigh, and said, "I don't care. KAHFOOTY and come take your meds in the morning."

Morning comes and at some point before afternoon I realize there's no Walter. Where is Walter? So, again, being the responsible parent that I am, I text my brat.

***note to you: ignore the PJs! it's winter break. that's my story and I'm sticking to it.***


Am I doing it right? ;)
notice what's on my head? If you ever want to see it in one piece again...
I suggest you text your mother with proof of life and a declaration of eternal love.

Walter texts back quick: Mom im alive and i love u and u can keep the hat.

WHAT!? Fine...


How 'bout now? Am I cool now?

Walter: ew im scarred for life

You know, there was a time that I was the coolest person this child even knew. I was the smartest, prettiest, wittiest, most amazing woman in his life and no one could hold a candle to my awesomeness. Never should have let him start preschool. I knew that crap was a bad idea.

So, the kids have been keeping me tied up and forcing me to act foolish and blow off my responsibilities. all of them. even cleaning. especially routines. and often my position of authority. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Guest Post: Full-On Fit: Make a New Year's Resolution to Fight Type 2 Diabetes in Children


It's that time of year again! New Year's Resolutions. I love it. This might be my favorite holiday because it's all about dreams. goals. follow through. all very important things. Today, Carolyn from Full-On Fit wants to share her dream. Carolyn's dream is important to me because Alex's Mommy (his step-mom, but whatever. woman's been his Mommy for 10 years now) is diabetic. She was diagnosed at 3 years old. She's told me stories of growing up diabetic, I was right beside her through a rough diabetic pregnancy (is there any other kind?) after the doctors told her that because of her diabetes she would never have children, she desensitized me to watching the whole finger pricking process and I know more than I ever would have expected about insulin and insulin pumps. She is constantly watching her sugar, watching what she eats, weighing this food against that food because, even with insulin, if she only eats this much of this, she can have this much of that and still ending up in the hospital at least a couple of times a year over her sugar. Then, sugar isn't the only problem, it leads to more and more. It's rough. So, when Carolyn messaged me, I had to say YES! to a guest post. Check it out...


As the days grow longer and a new year approaches, our thoughts drift toward making fresh starts for ourselves. For my family, healthy changes are critical this year. Not long ago a young cousin of mine was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In addition to helping my family make positive lifestyle changes to combat this disease, I decided it was important to raise awareness everywhere I went. During November, American Diabetes Month, I worked alongside my family to do so. In the New Year, I plan on working at this project all 12 months.

While type 2 diabetes can often be managed and treated with diet and exercise, these same healthy activities can actually prevent the onset of the illness. According to
St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 of today’s kids are diagnosed with diabetes – and this number continues to steadily increase. The old saying tells us, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Why not start now to secure the healthy future of the children in your life?
 
Importance of Getting Active
Increasing physical activity helps keep kids healthy, and for those in cold-weather climates, winter can be the best time of the year for getting exercise. Parents can enjoy spending a snowy afternoon with the kids sledding, rolling up snowmen or having a snowball fight. If snow doesn’t fall in your part of the world, other outdoor activities can provide much-needed physical activity as well as family fun. Take a bike ride together, go rollerblading or spend an afternoon romping in the park. For indoor exercise you can try out some active electronic dance games on your gaming console (my cousins happen to love Just Dance!), pop in a parent-child yoga video and follow along, or simply put on some music and get into the groove.

A Healthy Diet
In addition to proper exercise, kids need a well-balanced diet. A few little changes will make a big impact. First, encourage your kids to choose whole-grain snacks and sides in place of more processed carbohydrates. Then, make sure the kids are drinking plenty of water. If they don’t care for the taste of tap water, help by offering purified drinking water or adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to the drink. Good fats from whole foods such as olives, avocados, fish and nuts should be chosen over fatty foods containing butter or anything listed as "partially hydrogenated."
Take care to guide your children toward these healthy options, but be careful to also lead by example. So they whole family can be healthy, and the kids can start to see it as a lifestyle choice instead of a short-term thing. In helping kids make healthy decisions, you could be saving their lives. That’s definitely worth the extra effort!

For ideas on how to help your child eat better, check out this article from Bec at Snagglebox- Autism Parenting Support on Helping A Selective Eater.


Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/
! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let it be Christmas...

Let me start by saying that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. and in this family, we don't do anything halfway so when I say went wrong, I mean went wrong. Christmas Eve, I had a list and I was determined that we were going to do every flippin thing on that list and this was going to be the Best Christmas Ever. We were going to get the house cleaned during the day so that I wasn't up all night giving my husband his annual gift of a seriously scrubbed house and then we were going to make cookies for Santa and Alex was going to get to help and I bought extra mix so that he could lick whatever the heck he wanted to lick and not have it "ruin" Santa's cookies. after that, when Dad got home, we were going to see Christmas lights and then pile up in Mama's room to watch a Christmas classic. It was going to be epic. and the kids would never forget this Christmas as long as they live.

Not so much. I couldn't get the house cleaned. I'd clean, they'd mess. I tried to get them to help and the goofy child opted to take the coal instead of cleaning. I tried to set up a section of the basement with a table and some broken down office chairs for their new X-Box system to go with Dad's new pool table and was questioned every step of the way because "Dad said..." Boy, I don't care what Dad said. He's not boss, he just thinks he is. 5:30pm, I'm waking the Goofy child up. 6:00 wake the Goofy child up. Now, this is the boy who roams the house all hours of the night playing musical beds. What the hell? We never did get to go see lights because Dad worked late and we ran out of time. 9:30pm Santa's cookies were coming out of the oven. We didn't get to watch a movie because the sound in the TV broke, like the speakers blew or something, and it took too long to get it fixed. By the time bed time rolled around, I was very pleased to have "special coffee".

Christmas morning... Alex woke up with a bloody nose, the kids were crazy hyper, the bacon was burned, batteries were missing, several trips to the gas station to get items that cost 3 times the amount you would pay in a grocery store, several toys came out of the box not working, clothing was the wrong size, Alex spilled his soda all over the both of us... man, the list could go on forever. It just was not a day for ANYTHING to go right! Except the important things. The things that make Christmas... well, Christmas.


Christmas Eve






Making cookies for Santa
I love that Santa knows just what Alex likes-
 no paper, no packages ;)

Good morning!



Santa came!!!





Designated Decoy
 Alex tested, Alex approved.
and no finger prints in the pie :)


 Poor fella. we wore him out.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas: Round 1

Alex isn't going to his Daddy's house this year- they have too much going on, he doesn't like being away from home without me and his brother, sister has special needs and the two of them together are a hand full... take your pick. But, so that he gets a bit of time with Mommy, Daddy and Sister and they get to see him open presents, they came here last night.

One thing I have to say is that they don't just do for Alex. When it comes to siblings, we are of the same mind... a sibling is a sibling. Sister is Alex's sister so that makes her Walter's sister. Thing2 is Alex's brother, that makes him Sister's brother. So, they do for one, they do for all.

The Goofy One... wow. That child takes not understanding social interactions to a whole new level. He's happy to get presents but he's not happy that he *only* got these presents. and he loves his presents, they are exactly what he loves but it's not fair that everyone else (Alex) has more presents even though Alex's presents came from a whole family and Goofy's presents came from Alex's Other Parents. So, there were some embarrassing moments there.

Sister, as usual, was amazing. She got things like lip gloss, finger nail polish and fairy wings. and she loved them :) I love having a little girl to buy for!


Alex loved this train ...


and he tried like hell to get this truck open. He's loving cars lately, pushing them around and spinning the wheels.

Walter loved his presents, of course. and, every year he gets a box of those chocolate candies with the cherries in the middle because he loves them so and every year, he scarfs those puppies down in 3 seconds flat. This year, he shared with his little brother and sister :) My baby's growing up.   







Considering the fact that we were at home and that it was just Mommy, Daddy and Sister, I thought this would be easy for Alex... not so much. He still got overstimulated pretty quick and started throwing toys and running around like a little mad man. He had to take several breaks in his room throughout the evening but he never once refused to come out of his room and try again! woot! Looks like we may be on the right track to learning what he needs the holidays to be and finding a middle ground. That's called progress *smug grin*

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today everything went wrong...

Oh, I did not want to get up this morning. My bed was so nice and cozy and it pleaded with me, "Please, don't go." I should have listened.

So, Alex has this thing going, I'm pretty sure it's allergies because it's not just Alex. There's me, too. and Goofy and the Little D. and it sucks. The amount of slime running through this house would put Figure It Out to shame. Anyway, so, Alex needs meds. We have liquid. Liquid is fine for everyone BUT Alex, so Thing1 picked up some orange koolaid mix to hide his in. and the heathens found it. This morning, I'm on a frantic search for anything to put these meds in and the only thing I can find is hot chocolate. Alex can't have milk, he can't have chocolate and he can't go without meds so, the lesser of the evils, hot chocolate mix in water it is. Alex balks. He throws the sippy cup and it starts gushing everywhere. Fine. I fix another drink and put it in a glass. I turn around to grab his oatmeal, he sticks his hand in the glass and it overflows all over him, the table, the floor... Fine. I get the oral syringe. Mama "wins" but neither one of us are happy about it. I just barely get him on the bus.

Then, you know those kids that are just SLOW in everything they do? Like dragging feet, take an hour to get dressed, didn't brush their teeth before school, eating at the bus stop because they refused to get a freakin move on slow? Yeah. The Goofy one had yet another one of those mornings.

When the kids are out the door and I think I've got the morning to myself and there's not a single thing aside from my lovely cyber-friends that needs my attention for the next few hours, I get a text request for a phone call. I don't like phone calls. It's been a while since I had a good rant on exactly how much I hate my phone but no worries, I will not subject you to that now, I'll just say... Walter's sooooo gonna get it when he gets home. Remember I was telling you about Walter shocking the hell out of me with his argument with a friend? It was a stupid one but jaw dropping just the same considering the fact that I thought I taught my boy better... Walter's friend popped off with a joke that he was "straighter than the pole your mama dances on" which Walter didn't find funny at all and shot back a comment that at least his mama could get on a pole. I thought, you know, kid stuff. They'll fight it out and be back to playing whenever. The phone call says different, that the bickering goes beyond pole dancing mamas and extends to "girlfriends" and $40 hats and physical skirmishes. The "girlfriend" gets quotes because 1) he's 12. 2) He's in Missouri, she's in Texas. 3) I'm not completely convinced that his duck faced, oddly posed, skimpily clad, pre-teen "girlfriend" isn't a a fat, balding, middle aged man with a hankering for little boys. but, anyway, I hate my phone. and I hate when my child goes to someone else's house and ignores my parting shot of "Don't embarrass your mother." Do they think we say these things just to hear ourselves talk? As with in any story, there are 3 sides- his side, the other side and the truth. I'm betting the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

There's no way this day can go but up, right? HA! Next came the thing on my page. well, not so much a thing as being unliked loudly. twice. by the same person. In a post where every single one of my rules were broken with "moron" and "idiot" being thrown around and people shouting here and there and outrage running rampant and I said  f--k it! have at it. open season. All rules are out because as far as this subject goes, I'm just too damned tired to fight it. For the record... There is no connection between planned, violent behavior and an autism spectrum diagnosis of any kind.  Just go ask Jim, he'll tell you.

By the time I'm done with that, I'm good and mad and looking to vent my frustrations. With 30 minutes left before the Goofy child gets home, I'm going for a workout. a hardcore, kickass workout. and let me tell you, 2lbs makes more of a difference than you even know. 2lbs on the hips is nothing but when it's dangling at the end of your arms while you twist your body into poses it was never ever meant to contort into, that 2lb effing sucks! I was cussing that woman up one side and down the other. a 20 minute work out gave me 10 minutes to lie sprawled in the floor gasping for breath before I had to drag my sweaty self out in the cold air to get my Goofy child off of the bus.

The Goofy child is not a happy camper. Didn't see that one coming, did ya? First, some other bus gave out balloons today. but not to Goofy. and that was just not fair. Even though his own bus driver gave him a fire truck to make up for not having balloons. Then, I get hit with the news that today was a pajama party and he didn't get to wear his pajamas because I (with the implication being the worst mom ever) didn't put any on him. So, I, being the adult in this duo and perfectly capable of owning my mistakes, shoot back, "Well, what did you want me to do, send you in your diaper?" (while thinking, damnit! that would have made this morning so much easier!!!) "Mom, it's a pajama party. you wear your pajamas. not what you sleep in. you should have give me pajamas." Since my little spawns of darkness didn't pull their tricks out of thin air, I reach into my vast inventory and pull out the decoy play. which leads into negotiations. I offer the library, he counters with the park. I tempt with no story time, he sticks with the park. I counter with computer time and he takes it. So, I lost my computer for the afternoon but didn't hear another word about pajamas. win/win. I get him set up and moan and groan about my legs being jelly. He takes a good long look at my legs and says, "You filled your legs with jelly?" um, no. "Well, I thought you said your legs were jelly?" I love that kid. and I love that he's fully engrossed in Sonic long enough for me to shower.

So, things are looking up. It's turning into a fun filled afternoon of hilarity ... until Trouble walks in the door. According to Walter, he's the injured party in this whole thing. and I don't even care. Here's the bottom line... There are rules for everything, man. You have to know the rules to play the game and you have to master one level before you move to the next. You can't keep a girlfriend until you know what friendship is, you can't know what friendship is until you can deal with your own disagreements, know when to pick your battles and still have affection for the person when it's all said and done. When you argue over something, you argue over something. you don't start insulting mothers and bringing other people into it. You don't get bragging rights for a cheap shot. You want to kick a man while he's down, that just makes you a pussy. You want bragging rights, wait till he gets up and then take your best shot. What your friends think of your "girlfriend" doesn't matter. Your friends have nothing to do with your relationship and your relationship has nothing to do with your friends. Your "girlfriend" will deal with your friends out of respect for you and your friends will include your "girlfriend" out of respect for you no matter the personal feelings on either side, if they can't do that, then you need to reassess your relationships, not necessarily fight to the death over who says what. and above all else, don't embarrass your mother.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas for Alex

This year Christmas shopping for Alex, or Christmas for Alex in general, seems to be a bit harder than ever before. Not because his interests have changed much because they never do, but because my view on his interests has changed a bit. There are 2 words that will pretty much guarantee a result of my going for your throat in a vicious attack... "age appropriate".

It has recently come to my attention that my oversensitivity to those words may be because there's not a thing age appropriate about this child- even less so as the years go by, and being told that his interests or his needs or his behaviors don't meet those specifications is being told that he is not the same as everyone else. He's not typical. He is different. He is abnormal. Even for a child that is autistic. That I should be doing everything I can to make him more age appropriate. More typical. More normal. Because he's not good enough as he is. I should be ashamed that I am not working hard enough to potty train him, make him eat with a fork, make him walk nice, make him use his words, make him play with toys that a 10 year old plays with- don't give him what he wants because what he wants isn't right.

I'm standing in the toy section in Wal-Mart, planted right in front of the toys labeled 6-36mos, and I see a woman off to my right. She's looking at toys. and I wonder who she is looking for. Is she looking for toys for a child in the age group listed on the box? I think of who I'm buying for and I feel a little bit bad, a little bit sad until a thought smacks me upside the back of my head... I wasn't thinking of who I was buying for, I was thinking of the dream that was. Not my son. My precious boy.


When I thought of my Alex, suddenly, I'm right back where I should be. I'm not doing this. I'm not going to feel guilty. This is his life. He is who he is and he is perfect. Who gives a crap what he wants? what he likes? "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." This is my son. I make the decisions for him. and if I want to give him what he wants, well, then, I'm damned well going to give him what he wants. It doesn't need to be age appropriate, it needs to be Alex appropriate. He sets his own bar. He beats his own drum. Anyone who can't see the beauty in the rhythm he taps out... well, that's their problem. There's not a thing wrong with him, not a blessed thing that I need to change. Alex is Alex and I like him just so.

I knew what he wanted. What was appropriate for him. I smiled and started choosing things I know he will love no matter what anyone else thinks.







This little guy is the big present. The one he wanted the most.

and I'm not going to wrap them either. because he hates wrapping paper.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My thoughts are with the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

I logged off of my computer yesterday heartbroken, confused, and so very thankful that my children were home safe and sound, determined to spend the evening loving the crap out of them.

This morning, I log back in ready to listen. To give you a place to share your thoughts/feelings and to take comfort in each other. and what I find is that the mourning for these children, their teachers, and their principal has turned, for some, into something horrifying. A blame game. with parts of the autism community up in arms that someone would dare blame this on Asperger's or mental illness.

STOP. IT.

What does it matter? One small word compared to the reality of what happened in that school? This is about a school, a community, 20 children, 6 staff members, and the people who lost them.

4 months ago, these adults were getting their schools and classrooms ready for the magical journey this year would take the kids on. 4 months ago, these parents were buying school supplies, the most awesome backpacks, the best outfits, the coolest shoes ever and their children were excited for the first day of school, some of them the first day of school ever. Just like my Goofy one.

Friday morning, they got up, dressed and left for school. Elementary School. The safest of all schools. That morning, I can see some of these kids laying in Mommy's bed looking at her with their sleepy little eyes and saying in their sleepy little voice, "Mommy, I don't want to go to school today." just the same as my Goofy one did. and I can see the mom replying, "you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play. Hope that bed's comfy because you'll be spending your day there." just the way I did. and now, that mom is wishing her words back. Wishing more than anything that this one morning she had let her sleepy little child stay in that bed.

Some of these kids had siblings. They probably fought that morning about cartoons or toys, clothes, who had the coolest bowl, was served first, the best cereal... they rode the bus and parted ways in the parking lot confident in the fact that in 8 hours they would be home fighting over cartoons or toys, clothes, who had the coolest bowl, was served first, the best snack... and instead, their innocence is gone, their sibling is gone, ripped away from them by an individual who made a decision.

There is not a person in that community that has not been touched this day. There is not a parent in this country who hears the news and doesn't reach for their own child knowing that there is another parent who cannot do the same. That there is a child somewhere who suddenly doesn't have a parent to reach for. As Confessions of an Asperger's Mom said, "The entire country laid in bed last night with the same thought... 20 parents don't have their children to tuck in tonight..." I think of the staff members and I think about the principals at my boys' schools- parents, grandparents, favored by students, not so much favored by students... the teachers- the ones just starting out, the ones who have been teaching for 25 years. I think of them hearing gun fire, looking into the faces of the small children in their care, knowing what's happening, desperate to protect them and not knowing if they can. I think of their families and friends. I think of the people lost, the people who survived and what they are going through.

This is where my thoughts are. On these people.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Alex went to Walter's band concert

Yesterday afternoon, I zipped out text messages lining up a babysitter and letting my husband know who was doing what and what time we needed to be where when he text me back, "Do I really have to go? I have stuff to do." or something along those lines with "something" being laundry. I asked him, "Is that a serious question?" to which he replied, "Yes." I didn't bother texting back. I'm not very happy. Remember how uncomfortable the last concert I went to alone was? I do. and I do not want to go alone. So, eenie, meenie, miney, moe... guess who's the lucky one that gets to go!

Yup. Alexander the Great Adventurer. Big D's telling me, "you don't have to take him with you. He can stay here." I'm telling him, "well, I don't want to go by myself." Walter's saying, "Um, he's not going to sit through the whole thing..." *squinty-eyed-pinched-faced-glare* Did I just hear Walter suggest that Alex's disability limit him in the places he should be able to go? Surely not. "Walter," I say as I gesture toward his brother, "is he ever going to play in band?" Walter looks a bit surprised as if he'd never really considered band a privilege or that his brother might want to play in band, "No."  "So, the closest he will ever get...?"  "Oh. Well, she does have a point, Dad." Ok, then.

We get in, get settled and I start handing Alex Fruit Loops to keep him occupied. The bands are warming up and Alex get this bright, wide eyed look, looks straight at me and says all excited, "wiggle wiggle!" "YES! That's good! Walter is going to play music so you can wiggle!"

A lady behind us caught my attention, "Is he autistic?" yup. She nods at her daughter, "so is she." YAY! This is so exciting, as if you don't already know, lol. For 1:88, it sure does seem hard to find people off line who share your life. Her little girl, I tell you what, she is amazing. Her mama was telling me some of the things she's accomplished in her short life (she looks to be Alex's age, maybe a year or so older) and how hard she's worked to get where she's at. While I was talking to her mother, the girl leaned over and asked me what school Alex goes to and responded to my response with her school name. That's big. HUGE. Well, YOU know.

So, the bands are warming up and Alex is all "wiggle, wiggle!" and the lady behind me draws my attention to her girl who is rocking away, hand flapping to the music. A beautiful sight. It's like she was overflowing with joy and just had to express it. That girl made my day.

Toward the end of warm up, Alex started getting antsy. and loud. The mom behind me said, "I hate it when they stare." as she glared at the offenders. Oh, shit. people are staring? at us? I didn't know they did that! Goes to show how well I pay attention to what's going on around us. But, yeah, seems I do hate it when they stare.

Alex threw his teething ring and it slid under the chairs in front of us to where I couldn't get it. A few minutes later a woman notices it and laughs at the guy a few seats over, "Hey, ___, I found your teething ring." The guy laughs and I'm like, "No, that's his." "Oh, it's his?" "yeah." she hands it over and studies Alex while I blushed like crazy and could think of nothing to say. *hangs head in shame* as vocal as I am about where everyone can shove their "age appropriate" and how quickly those words get my blood boiling, and the way I stand in front of Alex always- protecting him, defending him, defying everything and everyone for him... here I am, completely cowed by nothing more than a considering look. I cannot believe I just sat there embarrassed, I'm embarrassed  that I was embarrassed. I hope to God Alex didn't pick up on that.

Alex threw his hippo at the older lady to our left. Ohmygosh, I'msosorry!!!! She smiles at Alex and tells him he's just fine.

He burps really loud, the presumed owner of the teething ring turns around and smiles at him and the mom behind us laughs.

The Jazz Band started their show and Alex was riveted. Until he reached over to pick at the snaps on the older gentleman to our right's jacket and then twist waved his hand close to his eyes enjoying the music. During the Beginner Band, he started to get wiggly. I was trying to keep him occupied with some success, then he farted really loud and the older gentleman to our right put his head down, looked at Alex out of the corner of his eye and tried his damnedest not to laugh out loud.

Next was Walter's band- Concert Band. After about one song, Alex was getting really upset. not just fidgety, wiggly, ants in his pants upset, I mean upset. with the crying face. So I took him out to the hall where he could walk around and stim out loud and still hear the music. and that's where we stayed.

All in all, we had a good time. I learned a lesson or two. Alex had fun. Walter was amazing. A good night.

Do I regret taking Alex? No. Will I be doing it again? Probably not. Not because of the way things went for him but because there are few things that are all about Walter. Very few things that are just the two of us. This band thing, this is Walter's moment to shine. I am happy that even if it's just once Alex got to see his brother play, I am encouraged to find more new things for Alex to try but I'd like to keep Walter's time special to him and only him.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tattoos

Thing1 came visiting this weekend. While visiting, he was showing off his tattoo which made him Goofy's "coolest brother ever" and Goofy decided he must have a dragon just like that.


A shared look... a shared smile... we got the washable markers.


The Goofy child got a bit sassy when he decided my fire breathing dragon didn't really look so much like a dragon and Thing1 thought it might look more like a wounded dolphin so he did a "better" job on Goofy's other arm.


and then we forced the Goofy child's granted wish on a less than willing Alex. Which makes it all Alex's fault that the rubber duck is a bit lopsided. no reflection what-so-ever on the artist's ability or supposed lack of artistic talent.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Goofy's OT Appointment

Not having a computer is killing me today more than the past three. The first day was the urgent need to facebook, by day 2 I was seriously needing my e-mail, and today it's google and a desperate need to bitch to parents who get it.

The past few weeks Goofy has been something else. To call the boy hell on wheels would be an understatement. It all came to a head yesterday (I hope. Dear God, please tell me it can't get worse?) when he was sent to the Assistant Principal's office. The conversation about that didn't go well at all. for example...

Me: So, I hear you went to see Dr. Mystery Man today.
Goofy: Mom. *sigh* it would be a long story.
Me: That's ok, baby. I got nothin' but time for you.
Goofy: It's just... it would take all day until the night.
Me: Told you, nothing but time. I'm all yours for as long as you need.
Goofy: Mom. Did you know somebody displode your lighter? Do you have another one? or will you just use the stove?

As you can see, I need e-mail. I need e-mail from adults who don't try to distract me with exploding lighters even though I would love to know who exploded my lighter. When my husband got home, he let me into his office and unlocked his computer so I could check e-mail and I have no e-mail from Dr. Mystery Man, I have e-mail from Alex's OT. Alex is doing so much better with transitioning in the hallways. The Assistant Principal is still looking into a harness and they would like to know if I'm still interested or if they should just let it go for now. From the same OT who ... what was it? 2 maybe 3 weeks ago?... was strongly suggesting a gait belt because he was a danger to himself and staff? I can't come up with an e-mail that isn't mean or sarcastic at the moment so I just don't answer yet.

Then today, when I took Thing2 to get his stitches out I asked the pediatrician if he had a chance to look over Goofy's school evaluation reports yet because we're going to see the OT at 2pm. He says he's read through it a few times, he isn't finished but the thing he keeps seeing come up is sensory. Ok, then.

Since it's been long enough to forget the hell we went through so far trying to get diagnoses, I wasn't really expecting anything today except a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. So, when she asked me what I was looking for and I told her what I was looking for, it was kind of shocking to get the flabbergasted look and the "I can't diagnose." My heart sank, my eyes filled and I almost burst into tears on the spot. I start babbling on about what has happened and everything that's gone wrong and all the reasons I just need this diagnosis and rambling about not qualifying for an IEP without an SSD diagnoses which means he can't get SSD services including OT and they said he could have OT if I got a diagnosis of SPD. She "gets the sense" that I'm "getting the run around."

So she goes to find Goofy's Psychologist. Who says SPD is not a real disorder. It's not a true diagnosis. It's not in the DSM4 and that means it cannot be diagnosed. by anyone. She says I can ask the Pediatrician for a prescription for "Sensory Processing Concerns", that may work. or not. so Dr. Psychologist gave her the name of an organization called The St Louis Learning Disability Association and strongly suggested I contact someone there for an advocate.

And so, I need my computer for more than 5-10 minutes a night. I need google and e-mail and most of all, I need my peeps! My support network of parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators who've been there and know it may be hell while you're there but in the end it'll be worth the battle. ...right? I really miss you guys.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

War has been declared!

The following is a series of true events. Serious. I don't think anyone, even Dean Koontz with his twists and turns and Odd characters with downright otherworldly happenings, could make this shit up.

First was the mysterious vanishing of the shock tarts and sour gummy strips from the top of the refrigerator... twice. *Nobody* did it. and left no witnesses or clues. Not even an empty wrapper. What *nobody* did leave were 2 boys moaning and groaning, crying and mourning the loss of their sweet and sour candy. This rules out Goofy and the Little D because of the whole no evidence thing. Remember when *nobody* magic markered the back of the house and somehow left blue magic marker smudges all over the Goofy one and the LD? Oh, wait. That wasn't *nobody*, that was *I don't know* and *wasn't me*. Same thing. Wasn't the smallest heathens stealing their own candy.

Then came the disastrous disappearance of my carefully concealed Mountain Dew. I'm telling you, I hid that sucker good. real good. but, obviously, not good enough. This rules out Thing2. He stole my soda one time. A gentle reminder that he may want to be careful drinking after me considering the places my mouth roams disgusted him enough to never touch my beverages again.

Then came what I had thought at the time was the last straw. I skipped supper because we were having tacos. I hate tacos. they are so yucky. So, I go to the refrigerator and pour myself a nice cup of milk and take it to my Perfect Chair to watch The Big Bang Theory. I arrange my things just the way I want them and mosey on over to my underwear drawer- the safest place in a house full of boys- to find ... nothing! I searched that drawer and could not believe I was coming up empty handed. I looked every-freakin-where and came to the conclusion that they were gone. Gone! That is IT! I will not stand for this madness! Foolish children, you want to mess with a woman's Double Stuff Oreo's!? You're toast. I will get you, my pretties, and your plastic licking cat, too! I know that cat was in on it. I know it. I can't bring out my delightful treat without that cat snuggling up beside me to try to lick the package.

... totally unrelated question... anyone up for some Chinese?

So, my wheels start turning. How shall I get even? Oh, the possibilities! Revenge is so much more amusing than discipline. many, many more options...

Then. Instead of the simple open invitation to enjoy myself in plotting and pursuing a pleasant (for me) course of action that was initially extended by foolhardy thievery of sacred objects, the child upped the ante in a stupid way.

This morning, I put my plotting aside (temporarily) to get the boys ready for school. As my attention was diverted the demonic force in question had some moments on his own with no supervision because what 12 year old needs to be in mommy's sight at all times!? or so I thought. I got rid of a few kids (legally) and went to top off my cup of cold coffee when I saw what he had done... He had filled the 1/2 empty decanter with milk! Filled it!

So, now that you know the full story, any ideas on how the teach the impertinent child a lesson?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fighting Depression

I knew what was happening. I knew the signs, the symptoms, the pattern. It didn't sneak up on me, I watched it coming but I didn't care to do much about it, which looking back was one of the more dangerous symptoms. Not caring.

I can't sleep at night, I can't get up in the morning. I get up in exactly enough time to rush and get the boys out the door and then get angry when something unexpected comes up or they drag their feet. I get angry over the smallest, stupidest things.

I've been letting things go, not really caring if they get done. I've been doing the minimum in everything from my boys to the house to my husband... then I spent most of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. living inside my head more than out in the world. wondering. Watching the houses around me. The people who are and the people who aren't there. Watching their lives. Watching them come and go feeling confined, isolated, cut off. I need to get out of the house. there has to be something. but I need gas to go places. and a place to go. This sucks. I'm trapped. stuck. I can't get out.

I'm not satisfied with my marriage, with my parenting, with my housekeeping, with myself, with my life. Something's wrong. Something's missing. I need change. big change. something. I don't know what.

Maybe it's to the point that I need help. Maybe I need something more than what I've been doing because self medicating with new relationships, drugs and alcohol didn't work out so well back in the day and constantly being on guard for symptoms to counter now is exhausting. and if I'm getting to the point that not caring is a factor, I'm in trouble. I have no insurance. I haven't been to a doctor in 6 years. How do you get a prescription without a doctor? and even if you got a prescription, how do you pay for the meds? Shit. *sigh* it's hopeless, *wry smile*. I'm not getting meds. so what to do now?

I can't relax. My body aches because I am so uptight all of the time. So tense. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so much if I used it more. Maybe I just need to move. So, Friday, I started moving. Big D's friend gave him a video workout thing "guaranteed" to kick his ass. and let me tell you that's a true story. I definitely moved. and it kicked my ass.

Saturday, Walter went on my 10 minute walk with me before Alex woke up. We had a good chat while we spent time together just the two of us. It was nice.

 I said yes to babysitting the grandson and took him, Goofy and Alex outside to play for a while. When Alex laid himself down on the sidewalk, I took him to his bed and accepted the neighbor girl's invitation to come see their front yard because it's so cool! I spent time visiting with the neighbors while the neighbor dad put up Christmas decorations. It was nice.

After we came home to check on Alex, my husband came home and his daughter came to get her boy. I found my husband talking to the new neighbors and went to join him. I had to decline the tour of the house because Alex could wake up any minute and I needed to be able to see all doors just in case he got out of his room. but spending a few minutes chatting with a stranger was nice.

We went to the store and I used the time to talk to my husband. He knew I had a diagnosis of depression/anxiety but I've never told him what it means to me or the effect it has on my life. by extension, his life. our children's lives. or the fact that mine, according to the doctor that diagnosed me, is hereditary not situational which means it's not going away in a few months. Of all of the things I've done, I think talking to him honestly helped the most.

Sunday, I used the video, my brother helped me clean the house, I sat with him on the front porch just chatting.

I asked Thing2 to watch the boys while I went with Big D to the dollar tree. I bought cleaning supplies, lavender epsom salts, a bright fingernail polish and a calender.

I started in the bathroom and cleaned the crap out of it.

We took the kids to the playground at the regular elementary where there are always people. Big D played basketball with Thing2, his friend, Walter and the neighbor boy, I stuck with Alex and we both kept an eye on the Goofy child.

Alex was wonderful. He played here and there, did some wandering around and found a few places to sit and observe the other people there. He loved the platform swing they put up for the kids in wheel chairs. We sat there for quite a few minutes with him refusing to look at me or engage with me because he was thoroughly enjoying the swinging experience but I sure did love seeing him relax and be content to be near me. Watching him sway back and forth enchanted by the movement of the swing was a magical moment. It hurt when he would glance up at me and quickly look away if I tried to speak to him, it hurt that he was shutting me out but I tried to focus on counting my blessings. and watching the pleasure on his face and in his body language was definitely a blessing.

We came home and I started my calendar. I'm scheduling things for myself in addition to the boys' appointments and school stuff. Not every day, not every week, but regularly. I have a good start with the library and the support group. I'm scheduling time for the park- with and without kids so I can just go relax with a cup of coffee and a book. I talked to my husband about gas money and why I need it. I've gone back to flylady.net to get back on track with the house and our routines. Baby steps.

Sunday night I couldn't sleep, Monday morning I couldn't get up. By the time I got up and started on the boys I was in a funk. Things were good enough until Big D had Goofy help him hang the stockings and I mentioned that we don't have one for the Little D. That started something along the lines of doing for his family, Little D is not his family. I want to know why it doesn't matter that my brother and the Little D are the only family I have left. Why do for his family but shut mine out? He's not only doing for his family, he has one for Walter, Alex, Goofy and the grandbaby, too (because that makes it all better).Why do I have to fight for every single thing that is important to me? Why does he need to know why it's important to me, isn't it enough that it is? and this is where my issue rears it's ugly head... why am I here? If I was on my own it wouldn't be so damned hard. I could do what I want to do and not beg or bicker to get it done. If I just walked away from everything...

I'm going to have to take it one day at a time but I think I have a good start on taking care of myself so that I can take care of and enjoy my family. I'm still struggling. I have to watch my thoughts every second. I have a plan to stick to the plan but my plan sucks since it counts on me following the plan, BUT, asking for help I think will make all of the difference.

I told my husband over the weekend about my cycles, explained to him that, for me, depression does not equal sad and mopey and told him what to watch for. I'm pretty good at hiding my issues but there are obvious things to look for such as behavioral changes that you can't miss, a house that *looks* clean but on closer inspection is not the way I usually clean like a floor or two that hasn't been more than spot mopped in weeks, beds not being made in a month, doing the least amount of work possible to make it look like everything is fine when it's not, not having supper on the table at 6pm or not fixing supper at all and settling for cereal or sandwiches or waiting for someone else to figure it out when supper is always cooked and ready at 6pm, not wanting to do the things I usually look forward to, not being wildly enthusiastic about the things I'm normally wildly enthusiastic about... that kind of thing. Maybe with a safety net that knows my secrets I won't crash to the ground when I fall. Yup, when. Not if.

I'm sharing this with you because parents of children with autism have a higher rate of depression. Is it something you struggle with? How do you help yourself?

Depression
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
How to handle your depression and your child's special needs