Monday, April 30, 2012

I broke the cardinal rule...

I did something I swore I'd never do.  Did it without even knowing or without even caring.  I slowly progressed down this steep hill and found I couldn't get out.  And truth be told, I kinda liked it down there.

I stopped taking care of myself.

I've never been a big fan of winter.  Not that I'm a fan of summer humidity either but I'm not a big fan of those cold, grey days of winter.

They do something to me.  Something bad.

This year it happened so slowly I didn't even know.  With all the mess at school coinciding with the time of year Wyatt died and my husband being out of town more than in, it all just blew up in my face.  I guess all the issues at school tipped the scale.

See, I'm a good cover girl.  I covered it all up.  I always have.  So in real life I was doing what I normally do, going through the motions.  There are no words to adequately describe depression, if that what it was.

I don't know.

I just know I was in a place I didn't want to be.  A place I knew I shouldn't be but I was there anyway.


Going through life with no real interest.

Wanting to leave, to run.  Run far, far away.  This time I wanted to run and not look back.  I wanted to be free of the cold, the grey, the memories and most of all, the stress.

All the stress of trying to help my son who just couldn't figure it out.    

But I've come back.

Back to a better place.  To a better frame of mind.

And I hope it stays that way.

Note: I wrote this several months ago and trust me, I'm back to my old self.  Sometimes it takes a kick the pants, a good friend, a trip to the doctor, whatever, to get back to where we need to be.  

I'm sharing this because it is so important for us to realize we have an overabundance of stress on our shoulders.  We have to take care of ourselves and each other.  And it's OK to ask or seek out help when you need it. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I don't have a daughter. I have a mule or a llama, whatever.

We were getting the kids ready for bed last night and the next thing I knew, Gracie bitch-slapped Alex across the back.  I guess he was doing something she didn't want him to do.  I think it had something to do with not wanting him to ride her giraffe or some such nonsense.  Either way, bitch-slapping is not allowed in our house.

"Gracie, go say your sorry to your brother right now,"  I asked.  I promptly received the classic "up yours" look from the two year old.  She shakes her head and very clearly says, "No."

"Say your sorry to your brother, right now.  You slapped him and that's not nice, you apologize right now."

Another shake of the head, another "up yours" and another, "No."

"That's it.  You're in trouble.  If you don't say you're sorry but the time I count to thr--," before I could finish Alex chimes in excitedly and says, "I'm waiting, Gracie....still waiting over here for my apology...  Hey Mom, can you spank her now?  I wanna watch you spank her.  Make sure you hit her good and hard where there's no diaper.  That'll teach her the best lesson."


"Go on mom.  You just told me at homework-time to finish what I started.  You said you were going to spank her, so now you have to finish it.  Go on mom, finish it."

So this is where I say a mental., "fuck me" for telling my son to finish his homework and beating it into his brain that we don't give up and we try as hard as we can.  At homework I think I said something along the lines of, "You really have to finish what you started and if you don't there will be no ice cream or i-thing after dinner."  Since that got a luke warm reception I said, "I'm going to email your teacher you're not finishing.  Would you like me to do that?"

He holds his teacher right up there next to God, and the creators of his favorite app Spice War's, so he gave me a huff and the, "Sweet Jesus whatever you do, don't tell my teacher," look and got cracking.  

I knew when I said it, he was going to use my words against me at some point.  I just wasn't ready to hear them back at me so soon.

But really, he was Jonesing for me to spank the shit out of his sister?  I hadn't even gotten to three.  I didn't even think of what was next.  My exact thoughts were more along the lines of, "Gaw, you little turdball, you blew it with ten minutes left in bedtime.  Shit, now we have to play a round of dodge ball and you're as stubborn as a Tennessee mule. I'm going to be really, really pissed-off if you puke on me."  That, right there, was pretty much what was going through my mind.

For the sake of argument, this llama will now be called a mule.
It's late, I'm tired.
Work with me people, work with me.   

I'm a deep thinker.  

Sure, it had flashed across my mind to spank her but I was thinking more along the lines of just chucking her in bed without saying goodnight.  We really don't spank in this house.

"No Alex I'm not going to spank her. This is not really a spanking situation."  And with that I set the bar pretty low and chucked her in bed.

She never did say she was sorry.

Fricking Tennessee mule, I'm raising a mule.

I have no idea where she gets it from.

It must be her father.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm in the dumps, somebody get me out of here.

So our little world is crumbling all around us and I'm doing everything I can to help Alex hang on by a thread.  His SPED teacher went on maternity leave yesterday and he'll be without her for the remainder of the year.  

One day into this and he's already had his first meltdown while at OT and it was a good one.  A doozy even.  So bad he lost his mind and didn't even know it. I was just thankful it wasn't at my house.    

We talked about it later and he said, "I don't even know what happened to me," and started crying.  

He's brought back some old stims and is showing all the signs of being under a large amount of stress.  

I'm doing what I can but nothing hurts worse than seeing your own child come slowly unhinged, bit by bit, right before your very eyes.  

His General Education teacher has gone above and beyond and for that I am eternally grateful.  She's been working with me, doing what she can to help him in so many ways possible.  She truly gets Alex and knows how hard these next few weeks are going to be.  I wish she could really know how much her support and understanding means to me.

I have to switch gears hear because I fear I can't get through the rest of this post without bawling.  Instead, I'll give you a picture of what Alex likes to do best.    

Double fisting, baby.  Double fisting.
I-touch and I-pad .

And I know this sounds silly but look, no cuss words in the whole post.

No offense, I much prefer the posts in which I cuss.

Monday, April 16, 2012

OMG Dorthy, run for the hills!

I have to tell you right now, if I was not laughing at this I think, no I know, I'd have been confirmed as certifiably insane.  For those of you who know me and are scratching your heads wondering, "What?  I thought she was insane, " shut your whore mouths.

I'm not sure I've mentioned this in the past.  I don't know, maybe I have---about Alex's first fear, then love affair of all things weather.  It started back when we flooded in North Dakota and we lost the house.  The kid has a legitimate fear of water.  Then we moved to Kansas and at first he had a healthy fear and loathing of all things tornado.  Then he brought home a book from school all about how tornadoes are formed and thus began his formative years in studying tornadoes.  Thank you again Overland Park School District for giving him that book.  No really, thank you.

Now, not only does he have a healthy fear of tornadoes, he wants to go out and study them.  He wants to examine wind shear, air velocity, how a mega-cyclone is formed and everything else associated with all things tornado.  

Are you as scared shitless as I am when you hear this???  He wants to study a fucking mega-cyclone.  Who studies a mega-cyclone anyway?  I'll tell you who, anyone but my son, that's who.

And then because we live in Kansas the inevitable was bound to happen.  We went under a tornado watch.

Now wasn't really a tornado watch per say, it was more like Greg Forbes saying, "you live in a zone where the TOR:CON is sitting at an 8 out of 10 right now.  That means somewhere in your vicinity there will be a tornado and those people that get hit with the tornado???  Those people?  They're well and truly fucked.  They're all gonna die."

No really, that's not what he said at all.  That's more what my son heard.  What he and the Weather Channel said was more like this:

Several tornadoes are likely to touch down in the central United States; some of which could be large, violent and travel for miles upon miles. Developed by Dr. Greg Forbes, (Find him on Facebook) The Weather Channel's severe weather expert, the TOR:CON index is an estimate of the likelihood of tornado activity within a given time period. The TOR:CON values range from 0 to 10. A value of 4 means that there is about a 40% chance of a tornado within 50 miles of a location in the specified area of severe thunderstorm activity. This also means that there is a 60% chance that a tornado will NOT occur. 

Since we were sitting at an 8 and you do the math, that pretty much meant we were fucked.  An 8 reads: A high probability of a tornado in the area of concern.  Yup, we were fucked and no, I really don't want to friend Dr. Forbes on Facebook, thank you very much.

We went up to a 9...we're all gonna die!!!

As an added bonus, the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center have us as a test zone for new storm nomenclature and wording.  Now they're using words like mass destruction, unsurvivable, catastrophic and life threatening for the tornadic event.

Mass destruction?  Unsurvivable??  Catastrophic?!?  You gotta be fucking kidding me.

Those words sent my child into a stimming fit that would have rivaled one of the goddamned tornadoes they were predicting.  Now my son was scared out of his ever loving mind.  The only saving grace was that I was pretty sure he wasn't going to run out into the middle of a storm to collect data.  Notice I said I was only pretty sure, you just never know.  

The last bit of information Alex caught was from the newspaper, "It's only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center has issued such an unusually early and dire warning more than 24 hours in advance.  The last time was six years ago this month, before nearly 100 tornado's struck south-eastern states."

Oh fuck me.

And I still had to go to Sam's Club and buy some damn milk and eggs.

When I mentioned that we needed to go out my daughter said, "Why do we need to get eggs if we're all going to die tonight?  Its just going to get sucked up and make a mess."

Nice try Lizzy, you know how I hate messes but we're still going to Sam's Club.

And then Alex hearing that last bit said, "Wait.  What???  What do you mean we're all going to die tonight?  If we're all going to die, I need to get my i-Touch.  If I'm going to die, I want to die with my i-Touch."

Well, the kid has priorities.

As a last ditch effort, after Sam's Club I had the idea to go to Tornado Alley Live on the computer and watch storm chasers film tornadoes from their cars.  Get this, these geeked-out nut-balls stream live film footage from their cars and you can text them while they chase the storms.

There were so many GD storm chasers
there was a frigging traffic jam in a corn field. 

Did I mentioned we could text them???  We totally did. Oh my frigging Lord, we were texting all sorts of stuff: turn around, get closer, who farted, backup, you passed it, crickets, ditch, watch-out for that car, downed wires.  You name it, we were texting it.  I swear, they need to put better security pass codes on that texting option. Oh well, we enjoyed it.

And then we all tired to go to bed in the lower level but we stayed up all night because "camping" isn't nearly as fun as they make it out to be when the fear of being sucked out a window is looming over you.

We were all cranky as hell the next day and guess what?  We didn't see so much as a flash of lightning.

Note: I haven't a clue if there was a traffic jam in a corn field but look at that mess.  It's worse than a  bunch of college students at a rave.  And secretly?  I'm a weather junkie and I totally want to chase storms after I fight my last IEP battle.  I may soil my pants but it still sounds like fun.   

And while I try to make light of our situation, there were over 100 tornadoes in Kansas alone and Wichita was hit pretty hard.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who suffered from this past weekend.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

The sacrificial lamb has been eaten.

We're ramping up to another holiday this Sunday and while I'm not of the Church-going variety, my kids latched on to the idea that a big tricked out bunny coming over to the house and dropping off an ass-load of candy wasn't such a bad idea.

That and I'm a whore for ham.  Not like Dairy Queen mind you but I do like a piece of pig ass every now and again.  And deviled eggs.  I love deviled eggs.

Anyway, we have this tradition in our house that we have a lamb cake for Easter.

Circa 2006.  Ignore the melting icing.
Yup, that's me and the kids in the picture back there.  

Everything was all well and good until one year my sister hacked into the poor defenseless lamb, chopped off it's head and exclaimed in her best lamb voice, "ACCCKKK!!!!  I'm dying!!  I'm bleeding!!!  Help, help me!!!  Baa.  Someone chopped off my head!!!!  Ouch, my head hurts!!!  Baa.  Anyone see my body?"

While she was saying all of this, she had the lamb head in her hand and moving it up and down on its body like it was talking, all the while still going, "Accck!  My head hurts, has anyone seen what's happened to my head?  Baa."

She thought it was funnier than shit.

Circa 2005.

This is the point in the story where my son Lost His Fucking Mind.  He damn near had a stroke.  He started screaming, flapping running around senseless all the while uttering,   "ACCCCKKKK, you killed it!  YOU KILLED IT!  Put its head back on Aunt Nichole!  Oh no!  YOU KILLED IT.  Please, please, please Aunt Nichole give its head back!  Its going to die!  Please give it the lamb back it's head!"

Then he curled up into a fetal position on the kitchen floor and started wailing and rocking.  

Doesn't matter the lamb was already dead and, stay with me here, it was a cake and we were all going to eat it.

Oh no.

Aunt Nichole brought the damn thing to life and killed it in one fell swoop.

Didn't help the lamb cake that year was read velvet.  Didn't help one bit.  So as she was banging its head on its body "talking," pieces of it were falling off making it look like it had its throat slit and blood was pouring out it's neck.  

I have no Easter lamb pictures for 2007, the year the lamb came to life.  We were too busy looking for ways to kill Aunt Nichole, cleaning up puke and binge drinking.

Circa 2009.

And the irony?  I still have the cast iron lamb mold and I have yet to make this years cake.

It probably worked out for the best, I'm sticking with vanilla.

Happy Easter everyone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our i-Things have left the building.

I have been limiting our time with the i-Things since we had a little bit of a malfunction over Spring Break.  The kids thought it was their inherent right to play them 24/7, down to bringing them into the bathroom while they were on the toilet.

After trying to explain that having an i-Thing was a privilege and not a right and after having to tell them that more times than I care to remember, I believe I made the fatal mistake of yelling out: "That's it, I've had it.  Hand them over.  You will now only get your i-Thing after, and only after, all your work is done around here."

Not that I'm all into child labor or anything like that, but I do expect my kids to eat their meals and get dressed in the morning without screaming they can't pull their arm through their sleeve because their damn i-Touch is stuck.

And like a bad case of VD I could not undo what I said so I had to stick with it.  Sure it involved more negotiating and haggling than when we bought our last car but I think we all came out the other end with a fair settlement.

So now when the kids are done with their homework and spelling words we play games and generally bug the crap out of each other.

We're using the chalk table to practice spelling words.
Way cool.
And yeah, he was super pissed he spelled 'accidentally' wrong.  

We play games called:

  • In the Olden Days When Mom Was Little and There Was OMG Nothing to Do
  • How to Get Naked and Moon the Neighbors 
  • Now I'm Really Bored, Is Dad Home Yet? 
  • Oh God, Why Do You Cooking That Again When You Know I Won't Eat It???
  • How to Disassemble Remotes and Put Them Back Together and Hope Mom Doesn't Notice
  • and my personal favorite, Poo or Puke?  Make Alex Puke by Standing Him Next to Gracie After a New Poo Diaper Dump

And for our record keepers out there, the girls are winning 2-0.  The Poo or Puke game is not working in Alex's favor.

As I was making dinner the other night, I left the kids to their own devices with some construction paper and markers.  Alex came up with a board game that made me smile from ear to ear.  He made number cards since he didn't have any dice and even made small cards to use as playing chips.

Click on it to super size.

A player starts off with $20.00 and the player with the most money at the end of the game wins.  He has things such as renting a hotel room--loose $0.21, you get robbed--loose $1.00 and fixing your neighbor car--get paid $90.00.

Granted it's all about money and seriously, a robber only takes a buck, but how cute is that?  I love it.

He's laughing, giggling and so proud of himself.  In this moment he is happy.

Instead of playing i-Touchs in the evening while Alex is getting his asthma meds and nebulizer, we've been playing his game.

And I'm loving every minute of it.

Every Single Minute.

Monday, April 2, 2012

This falls under the category of: I couldn't make it up if I tried.

I think we all need a break from last week.  Am I right?  I'm not going to talk about it here and if you've been out in Autism Blog Land, you'll know what I"m talking about.  For those of you who don't know, send me a PM and I'll discuss it further off-line.

The rest of us, I think we need a break.  So I give you what happened to me while I was up visiting my sister in Oregon.  

I'm sorry, I didn't know I needed a flash at 10:00 AM. 

We were on some random beach Ohhing and Ahhing and I hear someone shout my name.

OK, I have to stop right here.  I don't live anywhere near Oregon.  I live in Leawood Kansas.  Kansas people, is a long way from Oregon.  The odds I'd run into someone on the West Coast---slim to none.  

My sister lives a few streets over but her job took her to Oregon for a few months and she asked me to come up and visit her.  Since I was dealing with all sorts of things here, I jumped on the chance.  The odds that either one of us would bump into someone we know on the Oregon coastline is pretty minimal to say the least.  

So, I hear someone exclaiming, "Lizbeth?  Lizbeth, is that really you?  Oh My God, no way!  It is you!"

I'll tell you right now, it doesn't take much to confuse me.  And I was thoroughly confused.

At first I thought I was hearing things, thank you Zak Bagans, and when it dawned on me that I wasn't, I just stood there refusing to turn around.  Maybe they would go away.  

Have I mentioned confrontation is not my strong suit?

And then because we've were driving through the mountains looking at all these pretty streams and we kept giggling about was how hot Brad Pitt was in A River Runs Through It and Legends of the Fall I was kinda hoping for something, I don't know, something better.   

Dude, I can totally see Brad fly fishing this stream.  

I mean, how in the hell did someone recognize me?  There was only one other family stupid enough to be out on the beach besides my sister and I, and I was in about fourteen layers, excluding hats and gloves, since it had been raining for like three months solid there.  I was a cold, damp, soggy mess.  

This was the most we saw of the sun.
Yeah, I can't really find it either.  

Eventually, I had to turn around because I could still hear this random man exclaiming, "Lizbeth?!?" 

Remember that other family?  

Turns out, it was an old boyfriend I had way back when, when I was in college in Cincinnati.  He now lives in Oregon doing God only knows what. 

I would have found out more but his wife was pissed as hell.  

Yeah, about the family part.  He was all super happy to see me and reminisce and his wife, well, she was not.  Boy, she was pissed.  We were barely through introductions before she hissed, and I do mean hissed, "It's raining, were leaving.  Now Andrew."  

Like and idiot I mention that were leaving too and I got such a glare-stare from ice wife I mumbled something about staying for a bit to look at the pretty agates and sea stars.

And the rain bit, seriously?  From the looks of the place, if you stood still long enough moss would grow on you.  The place practically bled water it was so damn wet from all the rain.   

She turned around and stomped away, two kids in tow.  Before I could even tell him how cute his kids were we hear, "Now, Andrew.  NOW."   

*An awkward moment here as we both look at each other wondering what to do.*

I told him to hurry up and catch up and off he went.

Someone remind me the next time I start a blog,
sea stars on the west coast are ugly.

And it took them forever and a day to leave because they had the kids, and they had to buckle them in car seats, and pile in all their beach shit in the back of the minivan, and since I was on vacation I forgot how long it takes to stuff everyone and everything in the minivan and quickly shut the door so nothing falls out, so of course we ran into them in the parking lot.

*Awkward moment number two.*

Man, was he getting his ass chewed.  Something about being stupid, could have left well enough alone, blah, blah, blah....God, I felt bad for him.

My sister and I?  We couldn't stop laughing.