Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Double Bubble at our house.

It's no secret that my son has anxiety problems.  He fidgets, bounces from foot to foot, gets up, sits down, gets up and sits down again.  He's in constant motion until he falls asleep.  Even then, he's rubbing the blanket to determine the texture and thread count. 

I don't know why I was shocked when he started up with vocal stims.  But I was.  He had a bout with strep a while ago and from that he developed a habit cough which spiraled into a full fledged stim.  At one point he was up to over fifty coughs in under two minutes.  I stopped counting after that. 

After school turned it into a complete cluster asking him to stop, to get a drink or eat some magic mints we went into habit reversal mode.  Step one: ignore the problem habit.  That's as far as we got.  The stim went down but not away.

He started to have other vocal noises--chirps, boops, squeaks, raspberries, beeps, you get the idea.  After visiting with our child psychologist, we came up with the idea to use gum to help with the stims.  Give him the gum to transfer the stim. 

It seems to be working.

He has a preference though.  It has to be Double Bubble.  Not Hubba Bubba.  Is there a difference?  You bet your ass there is.  I made that mistake exactly once.  Double Bubble.  No exceptions.  So I've taken stock in Double Bubble and supplied the school with their own stock pile. 

We did have one blip on the gum thing.  School has a rule and it specifically states: "No chewing gum on school premises."  We had to do some pretty hard work on letting him know it was OK for him to chew the gum while at school. 

And he's going to need a mandible replacement at the rate he's chewing.  He's been averaging seven pieces of gum a day while at school so I've been bringing them in a new bag of gum every week and a half. 

The noises are down and it seems to be working so I'll brave the eternal fires of hell (WalMart) to get his beloved gum.

For future reference, Target only stocks Hubba Bubba.  Yes, I was that desperate not to go to WallyWorld. 

Don't judge me.   

Now I'm off to get more Double Bubble.

Note:  I know I'm using terms loosely here.  Things such as stim, habit, tics.  Honestly, to me, they basically amount to the same thing.  Things he does to help block or filter stress or help calm him with his anxiety.  I've not put too much emphasis on what the correct vocabulary is but rather why he's doing it and how I can find the right way to help him.  Please excuse my lack of technical adherence on this post.  

I wrote this a while ago and his vocal stims are still present.  He's added new ones such as rolling his bottom lip with his fingers and he's been twitching his neck, mainly on his left side.  He's recently added a vigorous head shake.  I know it's all anxiety related to school winding down as they decrease significantly after being home for the weekends.  

We're all ready for school to be over soon!  Two more days, a week off, then we're taking this hot mess on the road to Sanibel.  Fair warning if you live in the vicinity......

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ear rape. My poor ears are being ear raped. Repeatedly.

Since going back to school from Christmas break we've had the same DVD in the minivan playing on heavy rotation.  Let me rephrase that.  It the only DVD that's been playing since last year.  On repeat.  Every day.  Six times a day.  I've lived with listening to this thing play over and over for the last five months and I slowly went from wanting to scream to the sad realization that I was going to be listening to it every day for the rest of my life.

Ear Rape.

By definition it's the forced act of listening to an unwanted movie, song or You-tube video that your children insist on hearing.  In order to maintain a modicum of sanity, peace and prevent meltdowns, you unwittingly comply.

My ears have been raped in this fashion since last year.

The DVD is Robots. Quite a cute movie actually.  Well, again let me rephrase that.  I've only heard it, never really seen it.  You know, I have to drive the car.

I have it memorized.  All of it.

Every Single Word.

Every once in a while I try throwing myself a bone and I'm all like, "Hey guys, do you wanna watch Twelve Dancing Princesses or Swan Lake?"

My tactic is simple really, go for the weakest link.


The girls gotta cave for Barbie sooner or later.

So after I ask them about Barbie, they both look back at me, then each other, and say in synchrony, "Nope!"

I swear it's collusion. They're working together.  I just know it.

Yesterday when Alex was looking for the remote I got all excited and was like, "Hey, you guys wanna watch Barbie, right?"  Right??

"Nope!"  Again in unison.

Those little bastards.

But there was something else.  I could see it in their faces, they were up to something.

"We still want to watch Robots, mom, but this time in French.  It says right here it can be watched in multiple different languages."  Alex says while tapping the DVD case.  Clearly proud of this new found discovery.

Tap, tap tap.


They are little bastards.

So that's why my ears have been raped all over again, except this time in French.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The tale of the two robins

We have a bird problem at this house. 

On the one had, we have this little robin that keeps bashing it's brains out on our front dining room window.  Every day.  For the past two months.  This horrible little thing is crapping all over my window sills and is making a gawd awful mess.  Its disgusting and slightly painful to watch.

It was even bashing it's head in when we sat down to Easter dinner. The thing is relentless.

The other bird is dead. 

Here's its story.

We were on our way out to I don't know where and I had Lizzy and Alex in the car with me.  I was rambling on about something, probably how it was nice to finally see the sun and then I see this bird come flying at us.  I'm thinking surely to God it's going to swerve down and right up and over.  Right?  Right?? 

I mean, it can't be aiming for us, can it?  They miss cars all the time.  Right?  Right??


On The Windshield.

A small poof of feathers get swooshed up and over the top of the car, along with the bird. 

All in slow motion.

I sat clutching the steering wheel praying the kids didn't see it. 

There's silence.  I think I'm in the clear.

Please, please, please.... 

Then, out of the bowels of the minivan: 

AAAAACCCCKKKK!!!!!!  MOM  YOU JUST HIT THAT BIRD.  YOU KILLED IT!  ACCCCKKKK.  You killed it, mom!  You killed it!  Aaaaaahhhhh.....que heavy sobbing and heaving from Lizzy.

Now I just going to take a little moment here to tell you this:  That Godammed bird flew into my car.  It was aiming for us.  Jonesing.  It committed suicide.  It flew into us.  I did not drive into it.

Lizzy's sobbing and blubbering.  She's ramping up for a good one. 

I'm wondering if we still have puke buckets back there she's going at it that hard.

Without looking up from his I-touch Alex says, "Mom can you make it stop crying.  It makes my ears hurt."  He proceeds to turn up the volume on his I-touch to block out the screaming.

And that, my friends, was our drive to I don't know where. 

And no, the irony did not go past me that this was not the bird shitting all over my windows. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Nipple rings. That should get your attention.

I made this grocery list the other day.  I keep it on the counter in my pantry and as we run out of things I add to the list.  See, I've given up a long time ago on trying to remember things and I'm just old enough that every time I try to make a list on my phone I wind up loosing the phone or leaving it in the pantry and then I have to walk all the way back in the frigging house to get it.  So I stick with the paper and pencil kind of list.

Go on, read it.  I'll wait.

Aside from my horrible handwriting I didn't see anything wrong with it.

My husband came home the other night and goes into the pantry.  He comes out, stops dead in his tracks and goes back in.

I'm wrangling the kids and don't think anything of it.

He comes back out waving the list.  "Um hon, anything we need to discuss?  Anything you want to tell me?"

I'm completely clueless and like, "Yeah, unless you can tell me this kitchen's going to clean itself then I've got nothing."   "What's up?"

He's still waving the list, "I"m just curious, what are nipple ring things and where do you plan on getting them?!?"

"What?!? What are you talking about???"  I ask horrified.

Then it dawned on me.  The list.


Get your mind out of the gutter people.  They're the plastic yellow rings for Gracie's bottles that hold them together.  She's got this nasty habit of throwing her bottles and they break.  I'm down to our last two.

If you need this particular kind of nipple ring, they sell them at Target.  WalMart doesn't stock Medela.

And no, that's not a picture of my breast milk in there. Ewww.  It's soy.  The little turd has a milk allergy.

Just what kind of nipple rings were you expecting anyway???

Monday, May 16, 2011

The fat man and the deer...

I don't know how these things happen to be but they do.  I'm sorry to say, someone higher up is laughing their ass off at me right now. 

So I was out the day after Easter going for a jog and I was in the middle of a trail at our park.  It's a wooded section and it's at the top of all these switchbacks.  Since it was the day after Easter and I had consumed a good two pounds of ham, about fourteen deviled eggs and half the white coconut lamb I was extra fat and slow. 

So yes, I was struggling my ass off up the hills.  I was panting like Darth Vader, muttering a slew of obscenities under my breath and my left foot was slightly behind the right.  All the while I was dragging what was left of my bloated carcass up the final stretch. 

I was centering in on the pain, singing, farting, cursing the Autism gods, the Fates, Karma and anything else I could blame for my current state of affairs.  Looking reality in the face is not one of my strong suits.  My husband tells me bitching about it is.  

So, you know, I was generally making a fool out of myself.  But I about three miles in this trail.  There was no one else out there with me except trees and nature. 

Boy, was I wrong.

I look up and I see this big guy coming at me.  I mean big, he had to be at least 2,930 pounds.  Is my first thought, "Hey wow Michelle your campaign to fight obesity is so totally working, this big guy's out exercising the day after Easter.  Good for you Mrs. President's wife. "

Is that my first thought?!?

No, absolutely not.

My very first thought was, "Holy shit.  Bet there were no leftovers today at his house."

Don't judge.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking when I look up and I see these two white tailed deer coming at me.  Fast.  The first words that come out of my mouth are:

"Fat Jesus!!"  And for good measure, "Oh Holy Shit!" 

Apparently I was still thinking of that man working off his Easter dinner and I guess I was afraid my death was going to come by mauling (how embarrassing) so I screamed out for my savior. 

In any case, the big guy turns around thinking I've just slurred him and I'm all like, "No.  No, there were some deer!  Seriously, they were coming right at me!  For real, see??"  I point over to the brush.  And there was nothing there.

I think he wanted to kill me. 

And that's why I now carry my cell phone with me when I go out for a run.  The police can contact my husband via my ICE number and they can and tell him I was either mauled by deer or eaten by a big fat man going for round two. 

Note: The IEP meeting happened and I'm not too pleased with it.  I mean, yay he's officially in the Gifted Program, but everything else was a bust.  I'm working on the paper trail and documentation so I can proceed.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big puffy clouds

My daughter and I have very few opportunities to spend time together, just the two of us.  So when the opportunity arose, we went to the park as quickly as we could. 

We went for a walk, looked at all the birds and watched the fish swim circles in the lake.  It was too early yet to catch butterflies and the few we saw, we chased after and giggled.  Reminded them we would be back when more of their friends came out. 

We sprawled out on the grass, looking up at the clouds. 


Looking for animals and flowers and all kinds of wonders to take shape and appear.

"Mom, it's nice to look up and see big puffy clouds.  Do you think Wyatt's up there?  You know, in heaven?"

The weight of his death was brought plummeting down on my shoulders and knocked the wind right out of me.  



She was peering at me, out of the corner of her eye.  Questioning.  Trying to put things to rights.  She was finally asking questions.  My little girl, trying to wrestle with something she should never have to.  Something very few adults can find peace with.

She still thought of him.  Two years later and it still resonates with her.  I don't know why it wouldn't.  I think of him every day.  For some reason I thought she packaged it up nice and neatly and moved on.

"Mom?  Mom??"

"Yeah, baby" I whispered. 

I spied her, peering at me.  Searching, looking for a sign.  I continued,  "I know he's up there playing in the clouds.  See?  See that??  That looks like a lamb.  I bet he made that just for you."

"You really think so??"

"Sweetheart, I know so."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who needs a fountain when you have the pool?!?

I don't know why this came as a surprise to me but these things usually do.  In hindsight I should have seen it coming a mile away.  Like twenty miles.  Call it a natural progression.  A transition of sorts. 

It all started the other day when we were coming home from school.  The pool sits on the left side of the car.  The same side as Alex. 

The pool's been packaged up nice and neat for the last few months and I've not given it much notice.  The only real though I'd had about it was after the hail storm and even then it just wafted in and out of my mind.  Something along the lines of, "Hummph, what is that cover made of??  Not a single tear, rip even.  Amazing.  I have to look into this..."  So aside from that one little thought it's been out of my mind since last October.

Until we drove past it and I heard all sorts of screeching and aacckking from the back seat.

"Mom!  Mom! The pool's open! The pool's open!!!" Mooommm!!!

"It is?  That's great!" 

Shit.  He thinks we're going swimming as soon as we get home.  Mamma's sooo not bathing suit ready, damn you Cadbury and your delicious eggs.... 

And there's the little mater of the pool not being open quite yet. 

Shit, shit, shit.

"Yeah, yeah, do you think they'd let me in to see how the pumps work?" he's saying breathlessly,  "Cause the pool pumps are just like fountain pumps except on a much larger scale.  You know, because of the extra water.  Do you think they'd let me in early to work with them???"  Hands waving, he's all excited.

Lord, and here I thought he wanted to go swimming. 

Gawd, I love this part of my son!


Friday, May 6, 2011

I have a little guessing game...

Sometimes my kids say the most inopportune things at the most inappropriate times.  Sure it's usually because I said it at some point when I thought they were out of range, but that's not the point. 

I'm usually standing there looking around at my kids like they belong to someone else.  It would go much better if the were milling around a little further away from me.  I'm still working on that. 

Anyway, I've come up with some of their phrases, and mine, over the past week to give you an idea of my glorious lifestyle.

Guess who said what:

  • Nice under panties, can I shove mine up my butt?
  • OK, who pooped on the seat?
  • NEXT!
  • Get your finger out of your sister's mouth.  I don't care what's on it. Wait, Wait, STOP!!!
  • When you're done killing Zombies it's time for bed.
  • Hey look, she ate it!  She really ate it!!!  Cooool.
  • Don't run over your sister.  I don't care how easy it is.
  • Perhaps you're not trying hard enough.  You should try again and think about that.
  • Mama...mamma....bird???
  • Stop 'Nexting' me.  It's not nice.
  • You have a big butt hole.  Did you know as you get bigger you get a bigger butt hole?  Since you have a big butt, your butt hole must be really big mom. 
  • I'm sorry at this time your request can not processed.  Please try again later.
  • Son of a bitch, now what?
  • Aaaaccccckkkk!!!!!!!!!  Mommmmm!!!  Aaaaaaccccckkkkk!!!!!!! Mom!!!!  MOM! MOM! MOM! The fontains are on!!! THE FOUNTAINS ARE ON!!!!!!!  Stop the car!!  Accckkkk!!!  The fountains are on!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oh shit, I think I just pissed myself.
  • Mom can you make it stop crying?  It's hurting my ears...
  • We've been through this before, do not yell at me while I'm driving unless one of you are puking or dying.  Those are the rules.
  • Next.  Next.  NEXT!  Flicks wrist.
  • Zac you can come over to my house and look for ghosts any time.  That's right any time you want.  Lord, those boys are easy on the eyes....
  • This is most definitely not what I had ordered for breakfast.
  • You know hon, just because I can't see you doesn't mean I can't hear you...
  • Wow mom, your legs are fuzzy as a bear.
  • I'm gliding' in your sweet little thighs.  It's such a clear day....

You didn't really think I was going to fess up to anything, did you???

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dear Mister Contractor Man...

Foul language rant. Foul language rant.  You've been warned.  Now go ahead and laugh at my misery.

I'm sorry Mister Contractor Man who's been in charge of my renovation for the past nine months that I fired another one of your workers.  I don't do it lightly.  Really, I don't.  Matter of fact, I try to be as understanding as possible.  Really, I do. 

But when I ask one of your subs to remove their shoes in the finished part of the house that means you take off your shoes.  That does not mean you look me square in the face and say "yes ma'am, sure ma'am, I can do that ma'am" and act like you're taking off your shoes off and walk away.  With your shoes still on. 

It does not mean when I come back from that hell-can called WalMart, you still have your shoes on, now having spent an entire hour in my house tracking mud all over the tile, carpet and hardwood without a Goddammened care in the world. 

It does not mean when I ask you again to take off your dirty, muddy, twenty year old has been with me forever and a day, steel tipped man boots, you look me square in the face and say "yes ma'am, sure ma'am, I can do that ma'am," and walk away.  With your shoes still on. 

So that's one reason why, Mister Contractor Man, I turfed your sub to the side of the road. 

The fact that he blocked in my garage, again, was an added bonus.  So after I spent an hour of self induced hell at WalMart with baby Gracie, I was the one walking all my shit up to the house, from the curb.  In the rain. 

Did I mention the baby?  Thanks to you, my napping little cherub woke up from the rain and has been even more pissed off than usual. 

Thanks for that.  I owe you one.

The other reason, and might I add the real reason, I punted his ass to the curb is this:  We have a house rule.  A simple rule, really.  Everyone knows it and I have it posted on every door, banister and counter top.  You have to be illiterate, above the law or a disrespectful fucking moron not to follow it. 

And it goes a little something like this:

No Shoes In The House. 
Ever, ever, ever. 

My little man-child has had that rule since he could walk and enforces it with the stealth of a Jedi knight.  He makes our Tae Kwon Doe instructor look tame and manageable.  And he's an eighth degree black belt. 

So now, when my little man-child comes home today, I'll have to deal with a shoe-in-the-house-meltdown after I specifically told your dumb-ass sub to take his shoes off.  Twice.

And that's the real reason Mister Contractor Man, why I punted his ass to the curb.  Because now, my little bloodhound will sniff out the shoe violation in under twenty seconds and proceed to have a meltdown of epic proportions and royally screw the rest of our evening.

And that's why I went to our local liquor store before school let out and will be drinking all of this:

And I didn't even get carded.  Not that I'll mind that horrible little fact in a few hours....