Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

That's it, no complaints, no insane stories of being verbally abused by psychotic men in parking lots, no holiday sadz, just a plain and simple happy holiday!

Have a wonderful time with your families, enjoy the time together!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yeah, whatever....

I have been struggling with Christmas this year. I think me being an anxious type person, I have always kind of struggled with it. Don't get me wrong, my memories are happy. I come from a big Italian family and we had lots of wonderful times together. I think though as a kid, I recognized the planning involved and the sadness of it being over. As I get older, I really try to enjoy it, but it just seems to remind me of the passage of time, and in my attempts to relish each moment, I am reminded that we are all getting older and things are constantly moving forward, for better or for worse. Wow, that's really cheery and uplifting, isn't it? I am sorry. This is a very pathetic post. There are bright spots though. Watching my son get excited about Santa is really wonderful and I am very thankful for that. Very.

That said, today I decided I was done with Christmas shopping. I am sorry if there is any body who doesn't have a present. I am just not stepping foot into a store for a long time, well, actually it's the parking lot that I am going to avoid.

Today I ventured out to Toys R Us in search of the Indiana Jones Mr. Potatohead that my sweet nephew put on his list. Of course they did not have it. Why should they? Why should any store have what I need at this point. So I leave and walk to my car. As I get closer to my car, I see a guy roll his cart directly in front of the back end of my car. Look, I don't care if you go the extra mile and actually put your cart in the corral designed for them. I don't even expect that much out of humanity at this point. But for God's sake, wheel it out of the way, it takes just as much time. Well the guy goes back to his car, which is two cars away from mine, and is getting into it. I said to him 'why did you move your cart right in front of my car?'. It wasn't mean, or nasty, just direct. I really am not a confrontational person, I think I have stated that before. I just am direct.

Well, you would have thought I said 'Your momma wears combat boots' or something far worse because the guy went ballistic. Every curse word you ever wanted to hear came out of him. So I said 'Merry Christmas' and went into my car. He didn't stop. He then honked his car horn (repeatedly), rolled down his window and said 'why didn't you park further away you fat f*ck'-you need the exercise'. Really. I mean, you did not just say that to me? Over a shopping cart. He then rolled up his window and gave me the finger. Shocked. I was shocked. Then I was a little scared. He didn't pull out right away. I was afraid he was waiting for me. I quickly pulled out and went the other direction.

So then, I had to go to the supermarket. My husband had called me while I was there, as I started to tell him this story, I started to cry. I don't even know what people were thinking of me as I am telling my husband that someone called me a 'fat f*ck' with the ugly face crying happening. Ugh. I just don't know what the heck is the matter with some people. How angry can you be? Has life been that bad to you?

So I went home and ordered the damn potatohead on amazon. Thank you internet. I am never leaving my house again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Facebook...


I haven't been around much here lately. My site meter stats are sad. I was sucked into the vortex of total time waste that is facebook.

To be honest, about a month ago, I really didn't know what it was. I never caught on to the myspace craze either. I felt a little too 'long in the tooth' for that. One night I went out to dinner with some friends and they were talking about it, and a picture that one of my friends had posted of himself. I wanted to see the picture. So I signed up.

It was overwhelming at first. Also, seeing all the pictures of people I went to high school almost 25 years later was kind of frightening. It brought back lots of uncomfortable memories. I know it might be hard to believe, but I wasn't exactly popular. I also felt like I was coming down with early onset Alzheimer's due to the fact that I vaguely remembered half the people on there that I supposedly graduated with. The names were kind of familiar but the faces, no. It was strange.

Then I started a farm. I really don't need to start a farm. There are much better things I could be doing with my time. I get terribly caught up in things like that. I have a self imposed ban on all Sims games. I must not be allowed anywhere near a computer with that installed on it. You would not see me for a few days and I would emerge from a binge with a large red diamond spinning atop my head. Back in the day before any real responsibilities, I would come home from work and start playing that game, only to realize that I hadn't eaten dinner and it was now four in the morning and I would be getting ready for work in a couple of hours. I can't say I love that game, it really had some kind of sick power over me. I am veering off topic. I guess my point is that I have to watch myself with computer games.

It's all in the applications. Super Poke me, pass me a drink, throw me a snowball, help save the rain forest. How old am I again? Well, lol, roflmao, and all that other good stuff. Care to take a quiz? What, laundry? Later for that. Dinner? Have some cereal. I have to pick my virtual strawberries before they rot.

I think that I feel most depraved and voyeuristic when I am looking up other people's friends. Really bon, don't you have better things to do with your time? Isn't Dog the Bounty Hunter on? Sometimes though, you can find out some really interesting things. One of my facebook friends, has a friend on her page who, well, I can't really say what it is about her, other than she is not operating on the same system as I am. I have seen her 'in real life' dressed up in clothes that I have only seen in magazines, with makeup on that rivals boy george. So I took a peek into her world and dare I say I am really jealous of her assortment of friends. My proud little box of 27 friends pales in comparison to her pages and pages of semi famous faces. Some of them I didn't even know were people. I guess I always figured that Christian Loboutin (or however you spell his name) was just a figurehead for a bunch of shoe snobs who came up with the brilliant idea of red soles on really pricey pointy shoes. I didn't imagine he could possibly be a mere facebook account having mortal. There were more too, I think a few magazines, and Lindsey Lohan's girlfriend.

I could go on and on about this. Don't even get me started on the instant messaging feature. It's a little too stalkerish for me. There must be a way to not announce to your 27 friends that you are indeed wasting time on facebook. This prompts another time waster to contact you and waste even more time.

I don't know if I have any readers left. Probably after this post I won't for sure.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I think my son is a republican...

My friend Leslie had an Obama victory party today. I took bubs with me as my date, since my husband had to work. When we got to her house, I explained to him that we were going to celebrate our new president Barak Obama. I took him with me to vote, so we have discussed this before, and I know they talk about it in school. I didn't know to what extent, but I believe I do now.
After I told him about the cause for our party, he informed me that he no longer liked Barak Obama. He said, and I quote:

"Me and Zachary, we don't like Barak Obama".
"Why not? Said I.
"Because he is going to take away all my money and my toys". (I should add that he was really concerned about this!)
"Not all of them, I said, just 20%"- Ok, I didn't really say that. I don't remember what pearls of wisdom I offered up.(For the record, I did vote for Obama)

I was stunned on many levels. Stunned to know that my boy is discussing politics with a 2nd grader on the bus. Stunned at his ability to recall. Stunned that he seemed to sum up what my father has been trying to drill into me during the whole election, and probably stunned that he is able to have that kind of conversation with me, and stunned that I could have given birth to a conservative republican. I really do take it for granted that he is paying attention to what people say. That's scary- I better watch what I say around him.

It has been a tough week for me, I really appreciated this little conversation with my sweet son today.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Who's that knockin on my door????

It seems as if our past has not left us. I knew we were never safe from the old issues that haunt us, they are a part of us, the thread of our being. I guess you never are prepared for a slap in the face though, right?
Well, I can't be so sensitive. I tell myself that over and over again, but it is also part of my thread.
What's the matter? I got a phone call from the kindergarten teacher today. The phone call I was anxiously awaiting back in September. I was prepared for it back then. I thought since all this time has passed that we were safe. Hah.
The teacher wanted to touch base with me and inform me that my son has been an impulsive hyper fiasco the last three weeks. Those were not her words, and I am not mad at her at all. I know how my son can be and to be honest he has been off for a while. He gets up really early full of crazy unbridled energy. My parents noted it too the other day. We spent the day there and I got a 'boy, he never stops does he'. My father said he had to do a head count to make sure there wasn't more than one child in the room. The teacher said it seems impossible for him to sit still, he must be moving at all times and that it's becoming more and more difficult for him to get his work done. She also said he is up in other kid's faces. Ugh.
I know what she is saying, I also know that the kid has had someone on top of him since he was 18 mo of age. I kind of feared that this new found freedom would backfire. She feels he cannot help it. Me being ingrained with the behaviorist philosophy is not so sure. I think it's a combo of a few things operating. I think there is an adhd component, I think there is an immaturity component. I think there are significant ot/sensory issues that need to be addressed and I think there is the fact that my son is a self-directed control freak. I think he needs to have some support in place and I feared that taking it all away in June would somehow have negative impact on us, I think I am almost surprised it took this long to unfold. The honeymoon is over.

It's hard, it hurts, I feel like I am failing my son. But I also know that it's part of his personality, it's part of what makes him awesome, it's also part of what makes it hard for him. Is it spectrum? Is it adhd? Who the hell knows anymore. I just think it's time to take a step back and put some of the old things in place that helped. I suggested a token economy stat. Nothing whips my boy back into shape better than a little index card full of smiley faces with the promise of a treasure box. So she is going to do that on Monday. I also think some o.t. is in order. I would also like a social skills class to work on 'proximity issues'. Should I start writing a list to Santa? Here is where I slip into advocate mom mode. I will tap into my inner pit bull (in between crying).

It makes me so sad/anxious/horrified to think about my son not being able to function in his classroom. I don't want the kids not to like him. I was really worried about this and it seemed like as soon as I was able to relax a little bit, it busted open the door without a warning. I guess I needed to be humbled.

So we will plow on. My husband and I are really going to buckle down on the consistency and structure at home. It's going to be tense, my son is a real ballbuster sometimes and he knows how to play us. We haven't been real great in the past as co parents, we kind of do our own thing, but I think it's time for a united front.

I have thought long and hard about any thing different over the last few weeks, food wise, or otherwise. I can't seem to come up with anything. I pretty much fried my motherboard doing the gfcf biomedical protocol. I am wondering if we are dealing with anything in that realm. Maybe cod liver oil will make it all go away.....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

My son has graduated from the noggin channel to discovery channel kids. I am so proud... It seems just yesterday we were watching blues clues and oswald, and now, well, now we are enjoying shows such as 'grossology', and 'kenny the shark'. We are also enjoying commercials. This has been my son's first exposure to commercials. I will describe to you what happens now. My son will be sitting on the couch, enjoying his show. A commercial will come on. I watch his profile, the concentration is so endearing to me. Then I see his mouth move, and the words 'I want that, Mom!' are produced. If I don't respond, the cries will get louder..."I want that MOM!!!". I usually just say,' Ok'. I acknowledge the want, yes, but promise nothing. It doesn't matter what the toy is either. My son is not picky. He loves all plastic crap equally, pink and sparkly, or rugged and tough. He saw a lovely cupcake machine that he wanted the other day. It brought back such memories of my betty crocker oven. I even imagined owning it. He wanted a nail polishing machine too, but after the commercial was over, he sadly muttered "I think that's for girls mom". Trying not to gender stereotype, I said 'yes, but you can want it too, that's ok'. Am I lame or what?

I have been trying to turn this into a language arts assignment. Now when he sees something he 'wants' I tell him we can add it to his letter to santa.

Now I don't know who the target audience is for the discovery kids channel is at 7:15 on a weekday morning. I kind of thought it was kids, but maybe it has been learned through rigorous market research that a large portion of the immobile elderly are also tuning in. There were quite a few commercials for the 'scooter'. My son sees this and of course wants it. I told him that it was for old people who couldn't walk. He insisted it wasn't and told me he was putting it on his Christmas list to Santa.

I hope he is not disappointed on Christmas morning.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The do over...

So sometimes my sweet boy turns into a monster. He can be very demanding, and sound terribly bratty. It comes over him like a sudden storm and leaves just as fast. It really makes me feel like an idiot as far as disciplining him is concerned. I find myself taking a moment in the midst of it all and wanting to just walk away from the confrontation. Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I just feel stupid and inept at this whole parent thing.
Tonight after watching the obligatory video, and putting on the pj's, it was time to brush the teeth. Needing to be independent, and me respecting that need, I let bubs squeeze the toothpaste onto his toothbrush. I think it's also good for his fine motor skills as well. Bubs has some trouble with this, and it's so hard for me to let him do it himself. Tonight I did, and he squeezed out quite a load of toothpaste. I wiped the overage off the counter and some off the brush (fluoride is a neurotoxin, ya know). That didn't sit well with my son the control freak and a mini tantrum ensued. He wanted to 'do it over' and honestly, the lovaas brainwashed part of my brain didn't think that was such a hot idea, even though the lazy part of me was like 'why not'? I wouldn't let him start over. So he screamed, yelled, kicked. Ran in the other room. I told him if he didn't come back to the bathroom and finish up, by the time I counted to three, he wouldn't get a goodnight story. So he didn't come in by three. In fact he counted to ten after I stopped at three. He came in the bathroom eventually but refused to cooperate. Finally I just stuck the toothbrush in his mouth and brushed. Yeah, not my finest mothering moment but I just didn't want to continue with this crap all night.
He got mad. It took another ten or so minutes to just get him up the steps. He came upstairs and was seriously shocked when I told him no story. He was surprised. Then he was truly sad. Real tears sad. Sobbing. Then he went back downstairs. At this point, I am just seriously worn out with this nonsense. That's when planned ignoring comes in handy, but I think once kids catch on to the concept of it, it becomes a colossal time waster, which they love. He comes back up all calm and composed and happy. He tells me, "I listened now. I went and started over. I brushed my teeth again and I listened this time". He was so pleased with him self.
He then put the book in my hand. He also asked me if his 'land before time' computer game was gone forever (I also took that away in the maelstrom of activity). I explained to him that if he didn't listen to me, and yelled and screamed that he would get things taken away. He would have to earn them back. I made him tell me in his own words what that meant. I told him that yelling, kicking, screaming are not ok. I can't tell if he was yessing me just to get me to shut up. I feel that way about all the men in my life lately.
Then I did something that I would have screamed at my husband for. I read him the damn story. I am sure I'll be paying for that move dearly sometime in the near future.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I picked a winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my first bloggy anniversary giveaway extravaganza. I love reading comments and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that you guys are out there in cyberspace! I wish I could send you all a present! But this time, I only have one person, but in my book you are all winners!!!!(How's that for schmaltz?)

Drumroll please.......... The winner of the 'prize pack' is none other than ......



Melissa!!!

My next order of business is to email you! See it pays to come out of lurkdom....

I will definitley be planning more giveaways in the future, perhaps a holiday goody?

Love you all!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A heads up...

It's my first bloggie anniversary on Tuesday and I am gathering some goodies for a giveaway celebration! Stop by then for the deets...

Monday, October 6, 2008

The fruits of my labor...

So I had my first official table as a vendor last week. I was so excited, I sewed my little heart out. Details were paid attention to, tags were added, pricing was done. It was a ton of work but I truly did enjoy the whole process. The turnout was kind of grim, everyone stayed home to watch Sexy Sarah duke it out with Joe 'I had my eyes done' Biden I guess. That and the fact that our economy has crashed and burned before our eyes. But in spite of that it was fun and I sold some stuff to some people who were really excited about my things. I made the cost of the table back, and a little extra for Panera money and hopefully I helped a good cause (it was for the building of a new school for children with autism).

My mother in law came to help me, it was very nice of her to support me and it was good to have the company on my maiden voyage into craft fairdom.



I still have quite a bit of stuff left. I am going to do an etsy store update tomorrow, that has been neglected for a while. I am also going to do another couple of craft fairs in November.



I am also going to do a bloggy giveaway. I have to check and see when my official 'anniversary' is. I cannot believe a whole year has evolved since I decided to spill my guts on the internetz.

Thanks for looking!!!

eta: October 14th will be giveaway day!!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Enquiring minds...

This kindergarten/real world business is hard for me. Last night bubs' school had something called 'Family fun night', it was like a mini carnival for the kids and it was held in the gym and the cafeteria. Me being in need of control of my surroundings volunteered to work it. It was my first 'pta event'. I feel like I need to get a handle on this school and maybe make some friends. But I find that we are straddling two worlds here, not entirely comfortable in each. We left the autism world in which we were immersed to join the land of the neurotypicals. Not sure how to toggle both.
First off, I was in the gym manning my bean bag station when a little girl came up to take a turn. Her aunt was with her and I could tell she was in kindy. She had a somewhat unusual name, which I will just abbreviate as 's'. So after hearing her name, I asked 's' if she was in bubs' class. She said yes, and I told her that bubs came home with a picture she made him the first week of school and it was beautiful. She proceeded to tell me how annoying my son was. She actually said 'bubs annoys me'. I asked her just what did he do to bother her so much. You know what her answer was? 'He always is saying 'hello' to me and wants to play with me'. She went on and on and on. Ya know we spent the better part of the last 4 or so years trying to get my son to say the word 'hello' and navigate the maze of social interactions involved in getting someone to play with you. It is hard to kind of regulate, and my bubs does need to learn some boundaries and improve his ability to read social cues. I just don't believe he is as horrible as this little princess made him out to be. In all fairness, her aunt was mortified and she did report back to the girls mom who was manning the popcorn station in the cafeteria.
So now I spent the duration of the evening wondering if my son is socially inappropriate. I got transferred out of the gym and moved to a table in the cafeteria. A woman came up to me and asked me if I was bubs' mom and I said yes. It was 's's' mom. She profusely apologized for her daughters remark. I of course told her it was no problem and that she was just voicing her opinion and that my son is super friendly and doesn't always know when to quit.
I must also explain that bubs' is in the inclusion class. Which means that there are 12 'typical' (and I use that term loosely) in the class and 8 classified. I feel like I need an instruction manual on how to deal with this. At some point in the convo with 's's' mom she of course had to ask me where we lived. This is not our neighborhood school. I told her that, and I told her that my son was one of the inclusion kids, because she looked like she already figured it out. Of course another mom close by who has a daughter in bubs' class scooted on over to join in our convo. Look, they were really friendly but I just felt like I was cornered. 'S's' mom proceeded to ask me what was the matter with my son, and why was he in inclusion. She said she noticed that all the inclusion kids seemed fine and that none of them 'had a third arm growing out of their head, or anything'. Gee, think of all the countless hours of therapy I wasted on my child, since he didn't have the requisite third leg growing out of his skull. I think I had a 'look' on my face because she then said I didn't have to answer if I didn't want to. Oh really. I made up some vagueness about speech delays and early intervention just to end the conversation.

I am VERY proud of bubs and under the right circumstances I will share. But this woman should have controlled her curiosity, and I really think that was all it was. She wasn't mean, just overly nosy. But it was the third time that night someone asked me what bus stop I was at/where I lived/ who is my son's teacher. Normal questions I suppose. Nothing outlandish. But it was a real conversation killer when I delivered my answer. You can almost hear the crickets chirping.
I know I am super sensitive. I probably sound like a paranoid nut job. I just don't know how to handle all this.
We were super insulated, super nurtured and I had a really tight (and still have)bond with some of the moms I met at bubs' old school. It was a wonderful support system. I am now in a world where people don't know where we came from. They think that I came from where they came from. I am not ashamed of my son at all. I am just fiercely protective of him. Fiercely. I never want anyone to not want to be his friend because of a label or to gossip about him, or to even look at him with a strange curiosity. I want them to see the goodness in him, to know that he is an individual. I am afraid people will just hear the word autism and think of rain man or headbanging and be frightened. I also feel like the burden should not be on my child to change their mind about it. I don't know where we are headed down this road, and into or out of those proverbial 'woods'. Once you are 'out of the closet' you cannot go back in.
It's different for everyone. I have friends who have cards they hand out in public places, for the very same reason I don't want to tell anyone. So that people will treat their children with kindness and understanding. They don't want anyone judging if their child is stimming, or having a meltdown. It's really all part of the same post traumatic stress disorder we are collectively going through.
I know I am reading way too much into this. I know most people aren't that judgy (or at least I hope not) . I know that 's's' mom was just being nosy and trying to gain an understanding of what makes a child qualify for special ed, although I really did think her daughter was 'one of us' and perhaps had some social issues. I know. I just don't know how to handle it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This n that..

So it's been like forever since my last post. Every time something happens around here, I'll think to myself, I should blog about that. But do I? I guess I thought I'd spare you all the minutiae of my every day life (plus I really wanted to use the word 'minutiae' in a sentence).

I have my first event tomorrow for my 'bee happy' business. I have been sewing like a fiend this month. I have officially re named my little sewing sanctuary room into 'ye olde sweatshoppe'. I saved a lot of money on gas this month because as soon as the school bus pulled away I went up there and slaved away. I didn't leave the house for days at a time.So tomorrow is my big day. It should be fun, and hopefully profitable although after all the time and money I have spent sewing my little heart out, I don't think profit is something I can hope for. Especially since the world as we know it is coming to an end. I am just psyched to have my stuff 'out there' for people to see, and if they are kind enough to buy it, then my fragile ego will be soothed (momentarily). It's my first show so I am really doing a little market research to see what sells and what doesn't. I will report back with pics on Friday.
I also want to celebrate my first year blogaversary. I blew off my birthday giveaway that I wanted to do and I want to make it up.

So what else. Soccer is a minor fiasco. We are 'ok' with it, but I feel like a deranged soccer parent sitting in a fold up chair screaming directives at my son. I want him to enjoy it, I don't want to scream. He has this cute habit of playing nicely for two or three minutes and then getting tired and walking off the field as if a game wasn't going on. He insists on sitting down while one lone kid dribbles(or whatever the hell that is called) a ball around a field. My husband cannot take it, it makes him nuts. I admit it's kind of a puzzle (no pun intended) about what to do. I mean I cannot bodily force him to play soccer. I also cannot force him to pay attention. I think it is just magnifying our strange place on the spectrum and it really stresses me out. It's one long hour, I'll tell you. He does seem to 'get it' more a little each week. My goals for him regarding signing up for this nonsense was: to get exercise, to have fun, and to be part of a group. I am not sure we have accomplished any of these goals yet, but we are only heading into our third week. It's a fine line between making him accountable and making him miserable. We are not sports people here.

School has been wonderful though (knock on wood). It's super laid back which is totally not my style but I am trying really hard not to be annoying about it. They are giving bubs speech once a week for now, and the beautiful part about it was that I didn't have to ask and it didn't require a change in his i.e.p.. It was just a matter of 'he needs speech so the therapist cleared a spot for him'. I thought that was unheard of in district. Bubs has never gotten speech believe it or not. He also got an o.t. eval but they are going to call me with the details. He is just filled with such joy waiting for the bus. He absolutely loves everything about school. That is my communication book for now. He comes home with stars on his worksheets and projects in the backpack. It's almost surreal how the slate of the last three years appears to have been wiped clean. I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out. That's how I operate.

Well gentle readers, I hope all is well with everyone. That's my story for tonight.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

If you love something set it free...

My husband found a caterpillar on a plant at work a week or so ago. He thought bubs would really enjoy seeing it, so he got a coffee can, some leaves and poked some holes in the lid and stuck it in his car. By the time he got it home it had turned into a chrysalis. So we moved it into a mason jar, and vented the top. Bubs was beside himself with joy. He had to call up everyone and tell them about it. I did some Internet searching and determined that it was indeed a butterfly and not a moth. Do you know how to tell the difference? FYI a moth spins a cocoon out of silk like thread. This cocoon looked more like a leaf, it was green and of course we talked all about camouflage. I felt like a homeschooler.

So we kept the thing on the shelf. High enough so that it was out of danger from bubs' not so gentle touch. It has been kind of damp around here lately and mold kind of grew all over the leaves. This was shaping up to be quite the science experiment. I was kind of expecting this to not be a positive experience. Our catfish died in the tank the other day, so we were fresh off of a strange kind of explanation/conversation about death. That's a subject that has me stumped. Considering religion isn't something we haven't embraced and we haven't even begun to to discuss the concepts of heaven and afterlife (which quite frankly was not anything I'd ever thought I would have to explain for some odd reason) it really became the lamest teachable moment I have encountered (so far) . But I veer off course here.

Friday when I got out of the shower, I just had a feeling that I should go and check out our jar. Lo and behold I see a beautiful monarch butterfly right here in a jar in my living room. I was humbled. I put it on the table. Then I started to worry. Would the mold kill it before bubs and my husband got home? Would it get claustrophobic and do grievous bodily harm to itself trying to escape confinement? Would the noise from the vacuum hurt it's ears? Do butterflies even have ears?

I called my husband who was thankfully on his way home so I wouldn't have to deal with this kind of pressure on my own. Bubs got home a few minutes before. He was so thrilled to see his butterfly. Thrilled. A thrill that was short lived till we told him we were going to set it free. He started to protest, the bottom lip started to quiver and the tears of real true sadness came pouring down. It broke my heart. My husband who wanted to film the release for posterity caught the sadness on video for us. It was quite the scene.

The went into the backyard. My husband had the jar and the camcorder. Bubs was screaming. They found a stick and opened the jar. It was like those wildlife shows where an animal is raised in captivity and finally let go into the wild. They don't want to go at first. This butterfly planted itself firmly on a stick that my son held tightly in his little fist. He stayed there for quite some time, either in some kind of crazy attempt to console my son, or torture him. Again, all filmed. The thing finally flew off the stick and flew around the backyard for a while. Bubs was inconsolable.

I was going to purchase one of those store bought butterfly hatching kits. I think I have changed my mind.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anniversary

Today kind of snuck up on me. I knew it was coming. I saw it on the calendar. For some reason it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I was listening to the radio this morning and they were playing people's requests all morning. They played songs like Marvin Gaye's, 'What's going on?' and Elvis Costello's, 'What's so funny bout peace love and understanding', and things like that. I was overcome with emotion. Probably more so than that day. That day I was numb.

I am sure everyone has their moment. Where they were, what they were doing. It's like this generation's Kennedy Assassination, in the sense that time is frozen in that moment forever. I was teaching. It was second period. The attendance woman came in to collect the folder and said that she hear a plane attacked the World Trade Center. My immediate thought was that it was a small aircraft, one of those crop duster things. One of my students went into the hallway to look. I taught in a school on the border of Queens, very close to Kennedy Airport. You could see the towers from the school. He came back and reported that he saw a lot of black smoke in the sky and that the building was very clearly on fire.

I taught computer graphics, so we had computers in the room. I also have to say that I taught high school students. Had it been elementary students, none of this would have been discussed at this point. So we went on the Internet for more info. Internet was down. That was my first clue that this was bigger than a Cessna. We did our best to keep calm, and to comfort each other. Later on that week I told them all that we would forever be cemented in our memories. I told them that when they were older, retelling their story to whomever, they would talk about being in Miss C's Media Arts Class when it happened. The bell rang and we were all off and running.

I had a prep period so I went in search of a t.v. I found one in the gym teacher's office. Crowded around the set with a group of my co workers we watched it all unfold. It was just too horrible to watch, yet we watched it. I really thought the world was ending. And if the world was ending, that place was the LAST place I wanted to be. I wanted to be home. I wanted to be with my husband (who wasn't my husband yet).

The phones were down so we couldn't even talk to our loved ones. Then we heard the fighter jets overhead. I didn't know whether to feel safer or more terrified. We had to go on with our day and try and maintain a sense of calm. Those were the orders from administration. It was just too hard to pretend that it was all OK, and I think the kids new that, but they did not want or need to see their teachers freaking out. We all did the best we could that day. Unfortunately every time the bell rang, the students walked in the hallway and could plainly see the black cloud of smoke that would linger for months after that day.

My husband was on a job interview. Can you believe they still went on with it? I think it was at like 9:30 in the morning, in the height of all the mayhem. He didn't' take that job. He had my car so if I wanted to leave I couldn't. We listened to am radio the whole day trying to get information. Of course there really wasn't much at that point. I really hate am radio. I think the frequency does something to my insides, and especially on that day, it was awful.

I finally got to go home and while it was the end of a horrible day, it certainly wasn't the end. The smoke lasted forever. The supermarkets had pictures up of people still missing. I also think it was the birth of CNN overdrive with all the bands of words moving across the bottom of the screen, information overload. It was 24/7 Osama Bin Laden. American Flags. Hatred of anyone wearing a turban. Insanity.

My husband went to work cleaning up the area around Battery Park. His friend had a restoration company and he took a temporary job with them. He saw lots of destruction. He also came back with bronchial asthma. For quite a long time after bubs was dx with pdd-nos, I often blame the toxic mess he inhaled on a daily basis.

I was totally numb that day, and I think as each year passes, it seems to hurt me more. I wasn't a mom when it happened. Being a mother really changes the way you see things.

I have the tv on. For the 6th year in a row, I am listening to them read the names of the people that perished. I am so thankful for all that I have. I am so sad for the people that lost their loved ones. I am also very sad for us as a species today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hell has frozen over



I am now a soccer mom. Yup. We are digging out the folding lawn chairs with the beverage cups in them.
I was watching bubs last week at a family picnic. He was kicking a ball around and running at the same time. I thought to myself, 'wow, he's really got that down.... we should sign him up for soccer...' Lo and behold in the backpack on Friday there was a notice about a CYO micro soccer league on Saturday mornings at our neighborhood elementary. So I discussed with my husband.
He takes things very seriously. So I am kind of afraid that if my son doesn't like it, this could be a fiasco. Like he blew a gasket when I told him that we couldn't make the first game because bubs has a birthday party to go to. Seriously. So I am kind of apprehensive that if it doesn't go well, between bubs and my husband, I might have the life sucked out of me. But I'll do anything for bubs, even suffer the wrath of my intense husband.

We went and signed up. Bubs was more interested in the dragonfly that he saw buzzing around. Not a good sign. But he liked the outfit. They tried to entice me into coaching. Please, I am not qualified to even teach five year olds soccer. Hopefully that is not indicative of what kind of person will be coaching bubs' team. I didn't' say anything about bubs. It's sensitive information not to be shared with just anyone. I need to see how it pans out. Bubs shadow this summer told me just to sign him up for stuff and he will be fine. As a teacher and as a parent, I am not sure how to handle this. But seeing how this is just kids running around chasing a ball, I think we might be OK. I'll play it by ear.

So I took bubs to get cleats and shin guards and a ball yesterday. He did NOT want to go. He told me he was scared of cleats. I think he was just yanking my chain because he didn't feel like going shoe shopping. I am just not sure if he will wear those shin guards. They looked uncomfortable to me and I am not wearing them. They go on under the socks, which are gigantic. I am now getting ahead of myself here with worry. We are operating under many stressors here-sensory objections to uniform, objections to just being told what to do, intense pressure from spouse,attending and behavioral issues, over stimulation..... ahhhhh, somebody stop me.......

So I am a soccer mom. A neurotic soccer mom.

edited to add: I look JUST like that picture by the way.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Freaky Friday

click on the picture for all the deets

I was looking through one of my farty housewife magazines (I think it was Women's Day) and I came upon this ad. Usually you see them for things like the m & m candies babies, or the little cute dolls that you can hold in your hand (and I don't mean cute in a good way). You know them, they could be yours for 3 easy payments of $24.95. I usually just glance at them and think about what kind of person might want one of those. An adult I mean. I imagine a house filled with creepy dolls and lots of ruffles on the couch and windows. Some E'au de Mothball.Someone I probably wouldn't hang out with. Don't get me wrong I like dolls, but the lifelike ones totally creep me out. My husband told me a story about how someone had one of them in their car and the cops shattered the window to try and rescue the baby in the car.
OK, back to Umi. I came upon this picture and I have to say, it really jumped out at me. I mean who is the target audience for this? Is it for an animal lover? I don't think so. It's not for a child because even though it's made out 'lifelike silicone', it's way too delicate and chokable. A Paris Hilton wannabee? Who is going to want a lifelike monkey doll dressed in baby clothes with a bow in it's fur? Oh and it comes with a free pacifier. This kind of crazy doesn't come cheap though , it's only five monthly payments of $27.95, which if you do the math, comes to a whopping $139.95 It moved me though, I have to admit. Enough to show it to my husband (I told him I wanted it for Christmas) and enough to take a picture of it, download it into my computer and share it with you.

In a totally unrelated note, my son did well yesterday. He didn't want to talk about it to much but from the snippets I got out of him, someone named Andrew wasn't being a good listener. He got to go to music class and play with the instruments, and he sat with a girl from his class on the bus ride home and her name was Hannah Montana. This morning when he asked me what he was doing today, I told him he was going to kindergarten again. He said 'but I already went there already'. Apparently once was enough for him, although he seemed to forget that when the bus pulled up. He skipped happily down the driveway and onto the bus. Thank you God.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Swimming with the sharks

This morning at 8:24 am the bus came and picked up my son to take him to the big bad world of elementary school. You know it should be easier for me to deal with seeing as how he's been going on a bus to school for the last 2 years. Should be, but it wasn't.

I remember back when we started all the home therapy. I just couldn't imagine this day. I didn't know where he would be. I just could not picture it. It's almost surreal that it is here now. Simultaneously a blink of an eye and a million years ago if that is entirely possible. It was hard enough sending my 3 year old on a bus to go to school all day, but at least I knew exactly what he was doing for most of the day. We had the little black and white communication book. I know I have one of those now, but it's not quite the intimate portal into my son's day that I am used to. I think it's kind of a vague thing that I'll be lucky to get a morsel of info at the end of the week. I know that it's supposed to be that way, what we had wasn't typical. There's the thing. I am not used to typical. I am scared of typical. Terrified to my core.Whew, that feels weird to admit.

My big fears for today are: did he eat his lunch, did he listen to his teacher, did he keep all of his clothes on when he went to the bathroom, was anyone mean to him.

He'll be home in around 20 minutes. Hopefully my sanity will preserve itself till then. I can't wait to see him.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cottage Industry

So while I haven't been able to get much sewing done this summer, I have certainly thought a lot about it. I am going to have my first 'vendor' experience though. I saw in the local pennysaver that a school in my area was having a fundraiser. It's a different autism school from the one that bubs attended, but I figured my first foray into craft selling might be a little easier if I was around my autism peeps. My sister is going to sell her jewelry too, she purchased a table as well. Even if I don't sell anything, it will all be for a good cause. It will be on October 2nd.

I really wanted to do it, not so much to make money because I am learning that it's somewhat impossible to make any doing this. When you purchase materials retail and then spend hours sewing them yourself, it's not really to get rich. For that you need lead paint and sweat shops, I think. For the most part I am doing it for the thrill, for the joy of making things and the even greater joy of people wanting to pay hard earned monies for the stuff I make. So I sent in my check. Then I started to freak out. I have been squeezing in a little creating time as of late and my inner voices are pretty harsh. I find it best to just keep plugging along and trying my best. Then I must leave the projects in the room and go and do something else. When I come back things look better as if little elves came and cut away all the loose threads. Hey, it's not brain surgery and it's not really a big deal if no one buys any of it (although it would be cool if they did). Worse case scenario is that I have a store room of ready made (with love) gifts.

I am excited though. I remember as a little girl I would always try and make stuff to sell to stores. When I was really young I made little miniature food out of clay and I sold them to a local dollhouse store. When I was in high school, I created these little tchotzkes called 'uncannies' where in I took a crushed soda can and painted it to look like a person. I made cheerleaders and football players and I got a local gift store to buy a few. I once went to someones birthday party in high school and someone got them one of my cans as a present. So the entrepreneurial spirit is part of my being. It's more of a 'you like me, you really like me' kind of thing, as opposed to a 'money money give me money' kind of gig.

Maybe it's part of me trying to get my mojo back. I am going to be going back to teaching in some form or another, but this adventure is different. It could be filed under 'personal growth' maybe? I don't know. All I know is right now I have not much to sell and as soon as that bus pulls away on Thursday morning, I will be sewing away like a madwoman. Inventory. I need inventory....

I dabbled in matryoshka dolls. They are very in on the etsy scene. They along with toadstools, gnomes and hedgehogs are the trend for crafty gals. I thought they looked like bowling pin dolls, but I was pleasantly surprised when my husband saw them and said 'they look like those Russian nesting dolls'. So they passed the first test. I haven't decided what the second test will be yet.

This is a little kidlet tote that I made for bubs' friend's graduation party. I thought it came out cute, although it does have it's issues but it was a gift and gifts don't have to be perfect. They are made with love. And love doesn't care if your seams are wonky and your handle was too long and needed to be chopped and sewn back together.



So this is where I am at these days. Maybe I will be so busy sewing that I will forget to eat. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a winner...

The lovely Rae at Not Perfect Parenting has bestowed upon me this lovely award. I believe the rules involve answering these questions with one word answers and then giving the award to seven more people. I am afraid I don't know seven more people I could send this to without them going 'who the hell is this person'. I am a bit insecure these days in case you haven't noticed. I could not possibly deal with rejection at this time. Plus my computer has some issues and it would take me ten years to try and link everyone. But thank you for my award, I am needy and I love the attention.

1. Where is your cell phone? bag
2. Where is your significant other? couch
3. Your hair color? highlightedish
4. Your mother? nice
5. Your father? retired
6. Your favorite thing? reading
7. Your dream last night? unmemorable
8. Your dream/goal? unfatness
9. The room you're in? den
10. Your hobby? sewing
11. Your fear? death
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? skinny
15. One of your wish-list items? couch
16. Where you grew up? LongIsland
17. The last thing you did? cooked
18. What are you wearing? stilettos
*kidding, sweats
19. Your TV? modest
20. Your pet? fish
21. Your computer? Lifeline (ditto Rae)
22. Your mood? pooped
23. Missing someone? no
24. Your car? new
25. Something you're not wearing? makeup
26. Favorite store? joannefabric
27. Your summer?magical ;)
28. Love someone? yup
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When is the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? today

I don't know why 31 is acting all wonky but it will not behave. So it's by itself. At any rate, I did remember that there is someone out there who I can pass on the props to- it's Momster!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warning signs

Here's another embarrassing story that I wouldn't admit to if you were to meet me in person. I was online checking out my cell phone bill. I just got a new 'free phone' and my bill seemed a little high, so I was just doing some investigating. I was looking at the phone calls for my husbands line and I notice this phone number. The number appears over and over again on the bill for the month. I can't place it, although it looks vaguely familiar. I started to get a little concerned about it because it just showed up so damn much on the bill. I trust my husband, and the poor guy doesn't have time to breathe let alone make phone calls to a floozy, but ya know how your mind kind of plays tricks on you? I think in my mind it's April fools day every day. I think I literally said out loud to myself while on the computer, 'whose number is this, dammit?'. So I Google it, like any self respecting paranoid crazy woman would do. Wouldn't you know it, the number was familiar because it was OUR phone number. I embarrassed myself in front of myself. It's definitely time for me to get a job outside the house.

I also know I have some unfinished bizness to take care of, there is a tag and a tag/award that I am going to get to, I've been real busy being insane....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Recalculating...

So did you all think I went and ran off with Justin Timberlake? Where the heck has the summer gone? I really had a lot of plans. Some of them got done, some of them didn't. Such is life I guess but it still gives me a little grief. I feel bad about not posting here. I feel bad that I didn't do my bloggy giveaways which I had planned. The more I felt bad, the more I didn't post. So I am here to face the music so to speak and ramble on about my insanely boring life.

So our magical summer is coming to a close here. I think bubs had a great time. I had a great time making sure he had a great time. Camp turned out wonderfully. He actually wound up going without a shadow for the second half of it. That was like a dream come true, although it involved me letting go a little, which was not easy. What in my life is easy though? We are now in that purgatory that happens between camp and kindy. I am going to try and savor this week. After this week, my baby is going to be in elementary school. Whoa. Just typing that makes me think that he'll be in driver's ed before I know it.

August was nice. I had my birthday on the 9th (and I really wanted to do a giveaway and I will do a belated bday one, I just have to actually make something nice to give away). My dh got me a garmin gps system. I love it. We had borrowed my parents when we went to Pennsylvania and I really became attached to it. I think though that I will no longer pay attention to how I get anywhere which really won't help me much should the garmin stop functioning. I also think that while it's an incredibly nifty device, it has it's creepy moments, in a 'Hal-2001 A Space Odyssey' kind of way. I will put it on when I need to go somewhere new, but I take a different route starting out. When you do that she says 'recalculating' but she says it with just a hint of disappointment and disdain and it's enough for me to feel slightly guilty about veering off course. There is a way to shut the voice off, but I haven't read the instruction book yet. It also has bluetooth capabilities and an mp-3 player. It' s also forcing me to remember to lock my car all the time , which is something I never did. I have a friend who has one and she told me she keeps windex wipes in the car to wipe away the little suction cup circle you get after you pluck it off. She said thieves see it and know you have one. Hey, it's all in the name of modern convienence, right? I really do love it though, and I thought my husband did a great job! He also got me a new charm for my troll bracelet, and a nice copper watering can.

See, I told you my life was boring. We also had bubs' school graduation last Friday. It was from his center based aba school. He technically graduated in June but they had the ceremony at a local college last week. It was bittersweet to say the least. For many reasons. I think I have a form of survivors guilt from the whole experience. We have been so blessed, so incredibly fortunate. Our son has really come so far, and continues to do so well (knocking on wood). It's been such a wild ride and I know that most are not as lucky as we are. I know it and watching the kids graduate on Friday cemented that thought home. It's a chapter in our lives that will never be forgotten, but is coming to some kind of end as we move on to the next adventure. I am not sure I can actually put the whole thing into words. I am still kind of processing it myself. I couldn't even make sounds come out of my mouth as I watched bubs stroll casually up the stage and smile and wave as he collected his hard earned diploma. Choked up doesn't even come close. It was the culmination of 3 years of red alert terror combined with joy I never even knew I could feel, a roller coaster ride of emotions. I know I am not making sense, like I said, I am still trying to get a grip on it. We did go out and celebrate with a nice dinner and bubs' teachers came along with us.

I have decided to venture on into the working world. Yes, my life of leisure will be coming to a close as I try to add a few coins to our dusty piggy bank. I am going to start slowly. I have all my paperwork together to start subbing in our school district. I am not ready to get a full time job just yet but I think this will be a good start. The hours will be great and the pay is pretty damn good, and compared to what I have taken in over the last 5 years, amazing. My husband is fried and I have to help. Plus I really want a new couch.

So I am back-I have gotten over my blogcrastination. More boring stories to follow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm bringing crazy back...

Dreams are really crazy. Since I stopped taking my sleep aids (overt the counter since the ambien ran out) my dreams have been particularly insane. I can't even believe I am writing about this. I don't think I would even admit I had this dream in real life. Although I think that while this dream was bizarre, it did send me a message that I needed to get.

OK, so my dream was about Justin Timberlake. He is not someone I particularly find 'hot' and I am not really into his music. I don't hate him or anything, he just doesn't 'do it' for me, well at least for my conscious mind. My unconscious mind I have no control over.

In my dream, I somehow met JT (as he will be known from this point on). Don't ask me how. I don't know where my husband and child were during this time period, they existed though because they were conspicuous in their absence. So I met JT and ugh, I can't even believe I am typing this... We met and we 'connected' and we became 'friends'. Nothing dirty happened, and that was my dream decision. For some reason, JT liked me. I was totally myself in the dream. 42 years of age, borderline frump, at least 50 lbs overweight, in need of some highlights and a trim ... you get it? In spite of that JT liked me, he really liked me. We hung out. Perhaps he was in need of a mother figure, but it's way too trippy to try and analyze his motives for being in my dream. I remember being on his tour bus and deciding that I couldn't leave the fabulous life I already had to go and join JT and his merry hipsters on his way cool tour bus. I remember thinking (do we think in our dreams?) that I would miss my child (duh) and my husband. I felt guilty for being there (and for even having this stupid dream) and while I enjoyed the whole situation, I felt like I belonged in my old boring life. It really is a wonderful life... and everytime you hear 'bringing sexy back' an angel gets his wings.....So I broke poor JT's smarmy little heart. I think he'll survive.There was also a paparazzi situation but I won't even get into that.

OK, now that I have completely embarrassed myself, I am throwing out this question to my readers: Have you had questionable dreams about someone that in your waking hours kind of repulses you? Or am I alone on this one? I won't even begin to tell you about the eminem dreams I have had (more than once,lol).

OK, this post might get deleted at any time due to my mortification.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Digging in the dirt...

What a difference a day makes. Today my dad called us up and said he was going to be working near us and said we should stop by with bubs so he could run the machine. I guess I didn't take it literally, I thought he would get to sit in it for a while and then we would go. Little did I know he would actually pull levers and lift buckets and scoop out dirt and dump the dirt. It was unbelievable (and probably not that safe, I promise I do make him wear a helmet when he rides his bike, and I cut up hot dogs into microscopic pieces). My dad said he was really good at it. I never really focused on hand eye coordination, I guess I never obsessed over it much for some reason. I do know that the fact that he was able to listen to directions, focus and actually get that machine to work was monumental.



It was also really nice for my dad. I know he gets a huge kick out of it. Being that he had only girls, and we didn't go into the family business, it's a lot of fun for him to share his experiences with his grandsons (and he has only grandsons, 3 of them). He used to have his own fleet of these machines before he retired, but bubs wasn't even born yet before most of the stuff was sold. Bubs had a great time with it, and my dad even paid him 5 dollars for his hard work.

My husband is home this week, he hurt his calf on his yearly 'caveman' camping trip. He was bummed, but it's nice to have him home. We have been having quality time and I have been getting a little 'me' time. Today he took bubs out on some errands and I got to completely purge the living room. It was delightful. I feel all fresh and clean inside, perhaps what I imagine a colonic to feel like (although that's not for me). I organized, sorted, and binned things. I threw out some junk, and shoved the rest into the pit of hell we call our basement. Then I even got to go to my sewing room and make my five minute skirt . That's what it's called and if my computer wasn't so screwed up I would post the link. It took a little longer than five minutes, and it might make me look like I am converting to Orthodox Judaism, but I really like it. Plus it just felt good to have the sewing machine running.

My sister had the same situation happening with her home owner's insurance and we might have found a nice company that doesn't care about our trampolines. The nice lady from the nice insurance company is going to check and hopefully call me tomorrow with her good news (see, I am optimistic again).

edited to add the link for the 'five minute skirt'

Monday, August 4, 2008

I am annoying

Ugh. I am feeling so overwhelmed. This will be a boring whiny post. I am sorry in advance. No one in my 'real life' wants to hear my sorry ass whining, so unfortunately (for anyone who decides to read this) I have been forced to take it to the blog.

Reasons I am in a stinky mood:

1) I have an escrow shortage. I am not even sure I know what that is, other than it sucks, because I have to pay even more money to live in this shack. I always think of escarole and beans when I see that word. It's not a pretty dish, and it smells.

2) On the same day I was informed of my escarole shortage, I was also informed that my homeowners insurance policy was dropped due to the deathtrap in my backyard, otherwise known as a trampoline. Honestly, why do they sell those suckers if they are so toxic. Somebody must want to insure me. I was already dropped once before due to living too close to the water and being a hurricane risk (I am not that close to the water). I think I was more insulted than anything. I now have a month to try and humbly beg some dumb insurance company to please please please sell me their insurance. Plus I get to lay out a whole new years worth of insurance, while I wait for my refund from the stupid old company.

3) I am being buried alive by imaginext dinosaurs. I have a love/hate relationship with these beasts. I love them solely for the fact that they bring my child such joy, albeit a not really functional, kind of obsessive joy, but joy none the less. But I hate them because they are impossible to gain control over. They are strange sizes, they make noise, and they are freakin everywhere. I have recognized the fact that clutter is really detrimental to my health. I have also recognized that it's particularly bad at Christmas and birthday time. So I am really trying to convince myself it's just temporary. I also get incredibly tired just looking at the pile of crap in my living area. The closets all need to be cleaned out, old toys need to be bagged up and donated (and snuck out of the house while my child and my husband is not around) and the rest of the crap needs to have homes. I can't do anything till I get this done, and for some reason, I just cannot seem to get it done. It's self loathing at it's best here.

4) I am feeling smothered. By plastic dinosaurs, and my in laws.

waaahhhh, ricky....(in my best I love lucy voice)

Deep down I know that these are stupid reasons to be upset. Really stupid reasons. I think honestly , I am just having some kind of summer meltdown. My motherboard is fried, and I think I should just go and get a spa pedicure and quit my whining. Either that or a three day nap. Yeah, that would be nice.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The dingo ate my blog

OK, last night I tried to log on to my blog and I kept getting a message that Internet explorer could not open it. "Operation Aborted", which I always find to be such a lovely saying. I was convinced someone hacked into my blog. There goes my troubled mind again. I must have some great sense of self to think that anyone would take the time to hack into my blog.

So now that I am back to reality and I did a little digging, I found out that it's a site meter problem. So I deleted the site meter, but I did save the code. I really miss my site meter. I found it really entertaining. The other day, someone googled 'pitchers of girls with bubs' and found their way to my humble abode. Boy were they disappointed. Most of the time I just see my location on there.

At any rate, I am back in business and I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My little paleontologist

On Saturday we had bubs' fifth birthday party. Yep, my son is five (officially it's Thursday). I am of course emotional about it. We had twenty one kids at a bouncy place. Honestly, a few years ago, I was really worried that we wouldn't get to celebrate a party in such a way. I didn't even know if my son would know or care what a birthday party was, let alone give me a list of friends twenty kids long. It was wonderful. Chaotic, tiring (and sweaty in places I didn't know I could sweat) and wonderful. The theme, picked by bubs' (another thing I do NOT take for granted) was his new love, dinosaurs. On the way to the party, bubs said 'I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up'. Completely unprompted, and learned from the magic school bus book that he reads every night. He even asked me 'how many numbers do I have to be to be a grown up?'. We even went to the party store and picked out the crap made in china for our goody bags.

Speaking of goody bags, how Martha Stewart am I? I sewed my own goody bags. Yeah, I was cursing myself and my great ideas somewhere around baggie number 18. Spending all those time on those crafty earth mama blogs, made me feel inadequate. I really wanted to make my own dinosaur shaped crayons (out of chocolate molds) to put inside my homemade bags, along with some organic nuts and berries in a biodegradable package,in an homage to some crazy Montessori/Waldorf goddess somewhere out there, but thankfully my good sense kicked in and I just put in some crayola colored pencils I got for a deal at toys r us with some of my favorite laffy taffy (love the banana ones!). I thought that was creative enough, and I even included a pencil sharpener. We always get those cute little themed pencils at all the holidays, but I never have a pencil sharpener around so they just sit around looking pretty.



The kids had a great time, bubs' had a great time as well. I am so grateful for everything. Tired and burned out, but grateful none the less.

We were driving home from our play date this afternoon and bubs was sitting in his car seat looking kind of sad. I asked him 'what's the matter?'. He said 'I am sad, I miss my birthday party'. I told him we still had more celebrating to do. Of course when I asked him what his favorite part of his party was, he said without missing a beat 'presents'. I think though (and I hope) that it's more than that. We are still going to have a mini celebration on Thursday, my husband is taking off from work and we will go to the beach, weather permitting and we are having a family bbq on Sunday. So the party never ends around here!

Hey Norman, if you're visiting(and I think you are)-a big thank you for helping with the computer!!!.I appreciate all the time you took ... Now get off my mommy blog and go look at some racing stuff will ya...;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bloggy giveaway goodness...

Even though I think it should be mine, if you want to win this gorgeous retro apron (to wear while you are making homemade lemonade and toll house cookies for your kids, Ward and the Beav) plus some more great stuff, enter the giveaway here at Sew take a hike.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We are having a magical summer, damn it! Now stop crying...

Like I have said in the past, we have kind of gone 'cold turkey' on all the therapy and while I have tried to maintain some semblance of structure, it's just not the same. For the most part, I have succeeded in having fun filled days for bubs. I signed us up for some classes at a local farm, which were wonderful. On the days that we had nothing special planned, we kind of hung around the house in our pajamas, usually way too long. We watched way too much TV and we ate way too many snacks. I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed it, but in a guilty sort of way. By Thursday I had had enough though and I decided it was time for some projects.

The art teacher in me has laid dormant for a while. It's tough to do projects with my self directed boy. I have nothing but the utmost respect for any parent that home schools, but I think it would be disastrous for us here. I bit the bullet though and found some very cool projects on this website. It's tough being an anal retentive art teacher, it really is. It's a constant battle with markers with no caps vs. the wonder that is the creative spirit. I have gotten worse since staying home. All that data taking took it's toll on me I guess.

I painstakingly laid out the materials, and did a quick task analysis of the steps involved in each project. We did them outside, I also need to mention that my son hates being outside, especially when it's hot out (he inherited that from me, I was a bookworm who easily preferred a rainy day at age 4). I thought we could have one of those fun 'creative fun earthy momma' kind of afternoons, with plenty of laughs, paint and sidewalk chalk along with lots of happy summer memories. There is a plethora of amazing mom/craft/magical childhood experience blogs out there which I don't recommend anyone visit, unless they want to feel like a big huge failure.

Bubs was psyched for his afternoon of craftiness, but he wasn't prepared for my gestapo type tactics. In all fairness to me, he is a giant scutch (I don't know how to spell that word) and when I was trying to explain to him how to do this project, he just picked up a sharpie and started making random dots all over his shirt. When I nicely tried to explain that he had to wait for me to show him what to do, all hell broke loose. So after some major hemming and hawing and at least 15 minutes of crying we went inside for a breather. I was really disappointed that our happy summer memories seemed to be morphing into mommie dearest art project time.

Thankfully though, after our meltdown and subsequent recovery time, we started over, and came out and actually had fun. I am also very thankful that camp starts tomorrow. It's just a little three hour YMCA program three times a week, but I think we are both going to enjoy the time.






Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The space between



We have been out of school for 3 weeks. I kind of knew it was going to be a huge adjustment for me and bubs, probably more for me at this point. It was a highly structured program and they kept data on everything. They had a clip board on it with all the slightly quirky/annoying things my son did and they would make slash marks each time he did one. That kind of crap made the leaving easier.
Entering the 'secular' world (for lack of a better word) has been somewhat eye opening and stressful (gee, what a surprise) for me and I think it's been a little confusing for bubs. I think if you were to describe bubs' place on the spectrum at the present moment, it would be 'falls under the radar- most of the time'. First off, I need to say that him falling off the radar is not a value judgement on my part. At our home and with our friends, there just isn't a radar to speak of. It's free and easy, flapping is optional. It's more about trying to find our place in this world, in this 'do I tell or do I not tell' kind of world. I usually don't tell because I feel like bubs has a right to his privacy (although I guess I shot that wad when I plastered his pictures all over the internet, right?) or maybe it's just that I don't think it should be an issue, I think people should accept people for who they are and not need some kind of label in order to be compassionate. Needless to say, it's a loaded issue for me. I respect any autism momma's choice in how to handle the issue. I am still finding my way here.

I have seen over the last few weeks some moments here and there where it's just not that easy for my son to keep it together. I have one child on the spectrum, I do not know what is typical for a child of five. I think sometimes I am harder on him than I should be, then other times I worry that I am making excuses for him. Does that make any kind of sense?
We were at a birthday party yesterday (A fabulous birthday party by the way at a cool jump house). I followed the boy around like one of those annoying helicopter moms you want to pinch at the park (at least I want to pinch them). Basically I want to make sure he isn't giving someone his world famous love taps (I think it's sensory seeking, and I usually am the one receiving them) and that everyone is sharing and communicating. I guess I was meddling. I just didn't want my son to make anyone cry or for anyone to make him cry. I know in my tired brain that you need to let the little stinkers handle it on their own. But I think for my bubs, he still needs some help in that department.
At any rate, at one point, bubs went up the huge bouncy slide but he went in front of a child at the top of the slide when he slid down-ignoring the one child at a time ride, and probably some kind of 'cutting the line' infraction. Honestly, I don't' think he knew what he did was wrong, it was impulsive. Not a big deal. I saw when he got down that the guy running the thing was reprimanding him. Not in a mean way, nothing bad-he was just reiterating the rules. I was going to intervene, and it occurred to me that I can't hold him up to these standards all the time, and not expect him to be treated like a 'typical' kid. It's really what I want for him. For the record, he got embarrased and never went back on the slide. It's probable that he does know way more than I give him credit for.
My friend Mary, who is my voice of reason amidst this chaos, told me that I might be holding him up to impossible standards. I don't see the forest for the trees when it comes to other kids. I intensely focus with razor sharp clarity on my own little being. She said typical five year olds can be like wild banshees, especially at a bouncey house. It's tough, we have spent the last few years working on behaviors, on my boy like white on rice. I know it's time to let him fly, and perhaps shed a few tears in the process.



I think my biggest fear is that I am making my child nuts. Hopefully one day he'll be able to work it all out with a good therapist.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spelunking anyone?

If anyone would have told me ten years ago, that my idea of a fun time would be 150 feet underground searching for bats and newts, I would have said you were smoking crack. To be honest, it's still not in my top ten, but now that I live vicariously through my son, it wasn't as bad as I thought.
We had a wonderful time on our vacay. It was a little rainy, hence the visit to Indian Echo Caverns. I was really worried how bubs would be, it was a lot of walking and a forty five minute, half mile tour given by an old man who told us we were not allowed to touch the rooms of the cave because our greasy hands would ruin it. So yeah, I was really thrilled that we made it through the whole thing without hearing my sons screams echoing through the entire cave. That might have been the exciting part for me. It was kinda cool though, literally and figuratively. It is 54 degrees inside there year round. Apparently the Native Americans used it to store their food and to take a break from the extreme temps, and they have evidence of a recluse who lived (and died there). But enough about the cave.
It was really great to be together as a family. My husband and I never seem to be parents at the same time, and I realized over the course of those few days just how separate we had become. I also noticed that my son can really try to work us both over. He was relentless at times. I blame some of it on the lack of routine and the crazy hours. He was tough though and it was nice that my husband and I could deal with it together. Even better was the fact that we were able to have good times together. The cave was definitely an experience for us, and it was really nice. After the cave we went to the Wilbur Chocolate factory, which was probably my favorite place of the day.
We stayed two nights and we were sorry we didn't stay a third. I didn't get enough Amish love. I realized how excited I get every time I see them in their little buggies. Just driving around on the winding corn filled roads, it was a thrill to see the purple and black clothes hanging on the line drying, and we even got to see a bunch of kids playing volleyball. Why does it thrill me so? At any rate, I didn't get my share of souvenir shopping, although I did get quite a bit of chocolate. We decided to make it a yearly thing and stay at the same place every year.

I felt really bad that I could not send out a package of goodies to everyone. I promise that I will have more giveaways. It is fun! My birthday is August 9th and once bubs starts camp in a week, I will be able to carve out some more time with my sewing machine.

Marla-I sent the package out on Friday, it should be there by the middle of the week!