Friday, August 26, 2011

My daughter is a master manipulator, drama queen and I can not stop cracking up...

So it was my daughter's sixth birthday.  She woke up like a little princess and came down the stairs like a fairy floating on air.  Weightless.  A thing of beauty.  A wonder to behold.

And then she started talking.

"Mom, it's my Birthday!!!  That means I get to stay home from school?  Right?"  She's all super excited and is  wearing her party dress.  Her hands running down the sides of it so the layers underneath crush and poof back out.  

"Um, yeah, about school.  Hon, you still have to go to school today.  Mrs. Abram's has all sorts of great stuff planned for your birthday.  You can't let her down, can you?  It's going to be great and I'll stop by at lunch to eat with you."

"Mom, my throat hurts...."


"Mom, it really hurts.  I can't swallow.  It hurts really bad."  And just like that she starts sobbing and drooling and acting like she's dying.

Anyway, the rest of the morning routine went out the window and, don't call social services here, but I hauled my little drama queen out of the house, into the car and stuffed her in her classroom all the while complaining she was going to die.

I'm not home from school for more than thirty minutes before I get a call from the school nurse telling me Lizzy's in her office complaining of a sore throat.  I told her what happened this morning and we both got a good laugh and she turfed her back to the classroom.

Then I go into see her at lunch.  Her teacher sees me and tells me how she thinks Lizzy's really sick and should go home.  She even tried to get her to color and she just started sobbing and exclaiming how her thorat was killing.

And I'm all like, "Really??  You think she's sick??"

And her teacher's all, "I think she may need to go home, she doesn't look good and she's just so upset.  Poor thing.  And on her birthday."

And I'm still all, "Really?  We're talking about Lizzy, right??  You're buying all of that, all the tears and boo-hoo-ing??  How bout I go eat with her and see what's going on?"

So, in good faith I went over and had lunch with Lizzy.  And here's what Lizzy had to say:

"Mom, it's so great!!  It's my Birthday and I told Mrs Abram I didn't want to color and I started to cry and I GOT TO MEET THE SCHOOL NURSE!!!!!  She's so neat!  And then I came back to the classroom and I didn't have to do any of my work when I started crying again.  I'm soooo hungry.  Can you open my ketchup?  Thanks so much for Wendy's for my Birthday!  I bet I won't have to do anything if I keep crying.  This is the best day ever!!!!"

She's saying all of this while stuffing in four chicken nuggets and a handful of fries in her mouth.  It reminded me of one of those contests where someone stuffs as many cigarettes in their mouth as they can.

"OK, lets back up here, honey.  Does your throat hurt?  At all???"

"Huh?  What??  No, I'm hungry.  Can I open my presents when I get home?"

And that is the true story of how my daughter played her teacher like a violin on the fifth day of school, on her Birthday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I love that Nutty Dingo so much I packed up and spent the day!

I'm over at Flannery's!  I forced my way over and I'm over at her house guest posting!  I guess after hanging out on her front porch and moving my RV in her driveway she decided to let me in the hope's I'd eventually leave.  

See, I want a dog.  My kids are allergic to everything including the control strip and damn-it I want a dog.  And Flan has the Dingo and that Dingo is one crazy dog and I wanted a piece of that action.  So I invited myself over and I'm settling in.

As a bonus, I hear she's wicked cool to drink with and since it's Friday and school started, I really need a drink.  I thought I'd start my binge early, sweat off my hangover off till Sunday and be out of her driveway by Monday.

Pop on over and visit Flannery at Living on the Spectrum: The Connor Chronicles. 

As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."  I'm only stealing her quote.  Martha really makes my butt pucker.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Go on and touch her already. Just a little touch.

Do you ever just get to the point where you go, "Eh, Christ, I'm sick of this and I want to go home."  Only you are home and there really is no other place for you to go? Anybody?  Anybody??

Or is it just me?  If its just me, please be generous and lie and make stuff up in the comments.  Tell me about your pet pony, I don't care.  

So I've gone on and on about how blissful our summer has been and like a vise grip getting tighter and tighter I can see my happy little boy slipping away from me.  Out of my grasp.

Our window is closing in on us.

And I'm scared.

I can see Alex's sphincter tighten as we get closer to next week and I'm dying a thousand deaths for him.

We had our last swim lesson and he was so sad and mad and I don't know what that he went up and slugged his instructor.  Normally he loves this girl.  Not today.  He didn't know how to tell her he was sad and mad and I don't know what and the next thing I knew he hauled off and just slugged her.

Even with his back turned
I know.  
Everything has been so rough on him in the past few days.  He's been trying desperately to hold it together and he just fell apart today.  And of all things it was when we ran out of cookies at the pool.  Cookies.

And he melted.

"Mom, Lizzy ate all the cookies and I'm hungry."  He's already started bawling, his chins quivering, snot running down his nose, over his lips and down his chin.  Rivers of tears streaming down each cheek.

Like a switch that's been turned on, I can see what's coming.

"I'm so hungry, Mom.  I want to go home."  He's pacing in circles.  Flapping.

"No babe, we're not going home.  Lizzy's not done with her lesson.  We have to stay."


He's going in circles, faster.  He's still sobbing.  And flapping.  He gets to our stuff and starts throwing the empty cookie bag and launched it across the pool deck.  Moved on to tossing the water bottle and all the goggles in the pool and got part way through our bag, chucking things out before I could get to him.  And I was all of one chair down.

Lizzy, not a care in the world. 
What he lacks in coping skills he makes up for in speed.        

"No.  No, hon.  We're not going home.  We have to wait."


He's moved on to sobbing hysterically, his whole body wracked with waves of angst.  "I WANT TO GO HOME."  I'm trying to hold on to him.  He's pushing me away.

He's moved on just that quickly from throwing things to curling up on himself, on the pool chair.

It always amazes me the fury that can be unleashed in a split second.  And the next, yet just as startling, is the child curled up so tightly in a ball, so vulnerable.  Scared.

"I know.  I know.  I know.  I'm sad too."  I say sitting next to him, trying not to get too close for fear of setting him off again.  "It stinks that Tracy has to go away for college and this is your last lesson.  I know that.  It makes my body sad too.  And I'm a little mad and a scared too.  Ya wana go over and tell Tracy you'll miss her?  You don't have to say anything you can just go over and touch her.  Just a touch.  She'll know what you're saying."

"NO.  I WANT TO GO HOME."  He's not moved an inch, just talking to me through the slats of the pool chair.

"I know, I know. But listen to me.  Did you know if you use your words, she'll understand your feelings?  She will.  Trust me.  I bet she's sad too."

He sat all though his sister's lesson curled up in the fetal position.  Was a moody as a feral cat coming back home.  Refused to talk to Tracy the rest of her time with us.

Right as she was walking out the door he went up to her.  Touched her on her hand and walked away.

He's been up in his room on his computer ever since listening to his music and making mazes.

There are so many things that are upsetting to me about what happened.  I know this scenario will replay itself all day, just with a different trigger.  He was unable to use words but for him to make that move, that touch, gives me pause.

It gives me hope.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mom Fail

Just as a warning this is a little ranty today.  Shocking.  I know.

Its amazing how things can go along just great one minute and the next its all just blowing up in your face.  Blamo.  Lets just say I got mine yesterday.

Anyway, I'll get right down to business.

If another person asks me when "we're going for that forth child" I'm going to punch them in the throat.  Hard.

First off, it's none of your business.

Second off, as I told the lady who would not crawl out of my ass-hole about it yesterday that I did in fact have four children.  Since she clearly could not count to three and subtract one, she kept persisting.  So I got sick of it and blew a fuse.  After repeated attempts to change the subject and when she would not stop pressing the issue I told her again that I did have four children and, "my third one was up in my an urn."

Nothing kills a conversation like bringing up your dead baby.

And third, I don't want any more children.  Just the thought of another baby makes my ovaries shrivel up, my fallopian tubes close in on themselves and I spontaneously start cramping.  I am done with kids.  I am beyond done with kids.  I do not want any more.  Every night as I pop my pill I secretly thank those evil geniuses who found it their life ambition to mess around with hormones.

Furthermore, I do not feel the need to speak about this with random strangers at the pool.

I swear sometimes people are stupid.

It totally didn't help that Gracie has skipped her afternoon nap and instead went for a round of:  Lets-take-a-dump-and-smear-it-all-over-the-bedding-stuffed animals-blankets-crib-and-walls, cuz you know, mom'd like that.

So after I Cloroxed Gracie's ass and her room and anything else within a two foot arm span, I decided a change of scenery was in order.  Off to the pool we went.

As a side note, I really hope the chlorine level was up cuz I just couldn't bet the farm I got all that shit wiped off her.  What's that phrase, "you're never as clean as you think you are?"  Yeah, that came to mind.

As another side note, take a look at this plant.  Nothing gets your attention faster than your five year old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs at the park, "Hey Mom, I found a purple penis plant!!!"  

Ok, I'll cut her some slack on this one...

Anyway, I suppose I was itching to unload on someone and when this woman would not stop she got the brunt of it.

Add to it the kids have been biting at each other.  I left them alone for a few minutes in the basement and they were actually slapping the shit out of each other when I came back.  They were downright nasty with each other.  All of this in the time it took for me to use the facilities.

They were driving each other insane for the pure joy of it.

I went for almost the whole day trying to figure out why in the hell they were we having such a bad day and I couldn't figure it out.  And that in turn was pissing me off.

And then it hit me:  Alex caught the tail end of my conversation with the school nurse that I would drop off his asthma supplies and Lizzy's immunization record.

I dared utter the six letter word, school, in our house and he FLIPPED OUT.

Flipped his shit.  And you all know how that goes.  The rest of our day circled the drain.

Such a shame it took me till now to figure it all out.  I guess it falls under the category of Mom Fail.

My beautiful summer has been flushed down the toilet in under twenty seconds and my son's already twitching.

Damn it.

I've decided to link this to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out as I just posted on Monday with Shell about how great our summer has been going.  Amazing how quickly things change...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Rewind

I have to tell you I've had mixed feelings about doing this.  See, this summer has been one of the best we've ever had.  But before we get too far, don't hate me.  I'm about to get mine next week when they start school. To give you some background, Alex came out of first grade with more tics and stims than you can possibly imagine.

And it broke my heart.

It killed me to see him so anxious, so worried and sick about, well about, just about everything.  Like a slow progression throughout the school year he added stressors and anxieties.  He added too, all the modalities he uses to deal with them.  All the flapping, articulations, facial tics and stims, all the chewing gum, tapping and lip rolling.  You name it, he did it.  Little by little they added themselves to his backpack and he carried them. As the year progressed it got heavier and heavier.

This past summer I made the bold move of canceling all our therapies and let the kids be kids.  As soon as school was out we put all his school things away and went on vacation.

And seeing Alex in the sand and in the ocean, well, it was like watching a years worth of angst and turmoil falling off of his shoulders.  Like taking off that backpack for the last time, all of his worries landed with a gentle thud onto the sand.

And he didn't look back.  Like magic he was free.


So you see, I'm not too excited to look forward.  I know within twenty seconds of hitting those school doors all the anxiety and stress is going to come flooding back.  And it's going to come back with such force and fury I'm going to be swept up and away wishing desperately I could turn back the clock.

While I may not be too happy to look forward, I'll gladly look back.  Here we go.

This past summer was hot.  Really hot.  We started off going down to Sanibel and taking two weeks and relaxing.  That meant building sand castles and swimming and looking out and seeing pretty things like this.  I've sugar coated it here but if you want to read more on our cluster called a vacation you can read about it here, here and here.  And here and here and here.  And here and here.  Yeah, it was that much fun.

Then we came home and it was hot.  Really hot.  Like this hot:

And it stayed that hot, all though June, most of July and now into August.  And to think I've not lost any water weight.  I don't get it.

So we lived most of the summer at the neighborhood pool.   Got up most days and were there by 10:00AM and hoped like hell none of them drowned.  Anyone ever asks how I stay so thin it's because I'm scared to death I'm going to loose one of them and find them floating face down in the deep end.

We went out one day for a change of scenery and found this beautiful specimen of a pool.  It was probably a good thing I took them there this past week and not early June.  I would not have heard the end of it.

This is not our neighborhood pool.  I wish.

 The kids did a lot of this:

This epitomizes my daughter.  I'm in trouble.  

Must fix goggles.

And a little of that:
You know how hard it is to get all three of them in a pic?!?

I have no idea what she's pointing at.  

But most of all my kids relaxed.  They had fun.  They taught me to have fun, calm down and to cuss a lot less.  I take that back.  I still cuss like a sailor.  I'm trying not to but its just not working.  Sigh.  

And my little boy went from being afraid of the water to doing this:

Now I will tell you, in order for me to take that picture it cost us:
  • All of last summer, just to get one foot into the water.
  • Three solid months of swimming lessons this year.
  • One good puke per day, either in the pool or out, depending on the proximity to the edge. 
  • About a year shaved off my life caused by putting sunscreen on everyone except myself.
  • Approximately thirty four bags of Bugles.  What can I say, I'm a hooker for a bag of Bugles.  Don't get me started on the joy a bag of Carmel Bugles can bring me.   
  • More meltdowns than I can shake a stick at.
  • Two really good sunburns, cuz you know, I look good in red.
  • And more foul language than I would care to admit.

But in the end it was worth it.  All totally worth it.  

And without this prompt I would have gone plunging ahead without taking a moment to stop and pause.  Thank you Shell.

 "Link up your Summer Fun for a chance to win prizes from Ubisoft." 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crazy is as Crazy does.

I lied.  I'm going to dig deep and go back and talk about my vacation for this post.  There was one last thing that happened on Sanibel that I thought only Flannery and Grace would truly appreciate.  Then I'll be all done with this Sanibel stuff.


Remember how I said I like to go shelling?  Well I do.  I go out on my own and stake out the best spots on the Island.  I bring my net, water shoes, sunscreen, power bar and some water.  I take my phone and at my husband's insistence, it's double or triple bagged in Ziplocs so it won't get wet or sandy.  I chuck it all into a small string backpack and I'm off.

Remember how I met the awesome sheller from one of my last posts?  Well, we did a lot of shelling together and she always had her husband with her.  I even mentioned that I thought he had her micro-chipped as he always seemed to know exactly where she was.  Anyway, she was telling me the reason he's with her is that she was out here one time and some guy came out buck naked and streaked from the shrubs to the ocean and back.

That freaked my shit since there weren't any houses around.

And between you, me and the walls, I was a little miffed that no one came streaking out from the undergrowth when I was around.  I mean really, he couldn't just give me a courtesy run?

So there I was, on my own, staking out shells.  I noticed this guy off in the distance and I didn't think anything of it.  I stuck my head down, found some more shells and looked up.

He was coming up to me and talking.

So much for a peaceful day at the beach.

He starts to say all this stuff and I'm stuck between this guy and the ocean.  I can't hear a damn thing he's saying with the surf smashing me around.  Against my better judgement I get out of the water and am like, "Hi!"  Trying to play off that I'm not all alone.

Did you ever meet someone and you just didn't feel right about them?  Like your gut was telling you something (like RUN) but you had to use your brain and figure it out?  The whole time you just didn't feel right.  This was one of those times.

"Hey how are ya?  Good, yeah?  Nice day to be out.  I'm in from Jupiter for the day and thought I'd see what I could find.  Everyone says Sanibel's great for shells but I'm not seeing much.  How bout you?  You finding anything?"

Ummm, yeah....Jupiter you say.  That sounds about right.  Christ.  No need to check, my freak magnet's on.

"Yeah, I'm good.  Just out for some shells.  Found a few things" I say keeping my head low, trying to ignore the shell bag in my hand.  Trying not to appear interested.  At all.

"Yeah, what'd ya find?"  He continues, looking right at my bag,  "Cool, is that a sand-dollar?  That sure is!  You're really lucky to have found one of those.  They're hard to find."

"Sure is." I say as I reluctantly acknowledge my shell bag and the sand-dollar within.  I start trying to head back to the beach with more people, starting to wonder how I can inconspicusly get my phone un-triple-Ziploced without being too obvious.  

"It's really nice to see people like yourself getting out and exploring things.  Did you know there is a lagoon right up there?" he says nudging his shoulder, pointing right up and over the bluff.  "Did you want to go and see it?  I hear it's pretty neat.  Come on, I'll take you, it's right up there."

This is where I lost my shit.  Answered the question if he thought I was alone.  This freak wanted to go explore a lagoon and slice me up six ways to China.  In that time I'd be lucky to unZiplock one bag from my phone.  One bag.  I'm screwed.  And it's so frigging hot, I'd decompose in like, twenty minutes.  I know this, I've watched all the CSI's.  Some bird's going to swoop down and eat my eyeball.   I should never have watched all those CSI's.  Damn you Anthony Zuiker.  Maybe I can start leaving PowerBar crumbs.  Seagulls don't eat PowerBar's do they?  Crap, they eat anything, who am I kidding?  I just fed them half my nail polish from my toes as a joke and they ate it.  Great, now PITA's going to be up my ass-hole if I live.  And I can't even dial my phone since its bubble wrapped six ways to China to protect it from the elements.  Accckkk.  WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME???  Why am I fascinated with China, six different ways when I am about to die?  That's totally weirding me out.  That $300 piece of shit phone is going to be the only thing left of me, all wrapped up nice and neat.  Maybe the phones made in China?  Acccckkkk.  Thank you Ziploc and your I-can't-open-you-in-an-emergency-but-my-meat-won't-get-freezer-burn-but-it-won't-matter-when-I'm-dead-bags.  Maybe you can market that after I'm good and gone.  

I hate you I-phone.  I hate you Ziploc.

Crazy man from Jupiter is still NOT SHUTTING UP about the damn lagoon.  Now what??  I promised Alex I'd make home-made pizza for dinner.  Who's going to make my kid dinner if I don't get back?    

"I think I'm going to have to get going" I say.  "I bet it's nice but I have to be heading back."

This freak followed me all the way back to Blind Pass where some guy named Lou started talking to me and telling me how pretty I was.

See Spanx lady in the background???

I am not pretty.

See look.  Skinny, yes.  Pretty no.

Of course I've not shown you a picture of my face but rather my ass but hey, in my defense, my ass is prettier than my face.

And for the record, I felt like I was in some fucked up temporal vortex.  I had to actually look around and see if this new guy was really talking to me.

Yup.  Yup, he was.

Truth be told, I was never so happy to see Lou in my entire life.  He shook loose the psychopath from Jupiter so I went with it.  I let him go on with his crazy-ass self till I found my way back to the car.

The next day I went back.  This time with my husband in tow.  And guess who's naked hump I saw running out to the ocean?

Yup you guessed it.  I found my streaker.

Vacation Complete.

Note: I have no idea why I decided to share this story.  It clearly shows how much weirdness I attract and all the thing I do wrong to magnify my situation.  But in my defense, I didn't want to bring my husband with me.  Sometimes you just want to get out and be alone.  Clearly that did not happen.  I'm thinking of going back in November or December with my sister for a long weekend.  Anyone wanna come?  It would be like BlogHer, but not.  

Oh, and that sand-dollar Jupiter was checking out?  When we got home Gracie stepped on it and smashed it to a million little bits.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

See, it's impossible for me to do a wordless day...

We actually set a record high yesterday.  It was 108 degrees at the Kansas City airport and it was 111 degrees closer to our back door.  I went for a walk last night and it "felt like" 114 degrees.  That's bloody hot.  I'll do somewhat of a wordless day today in an effort to conserve energy and to maintain my sanity in this heat.

I received this award from my lovely friend Jazzygal.  You totally have to pop on over and visit her.  You'll like what you find.  Now I will tell you, I've been lame and received this award back in June while I was on vacation.  And while I never really forgot about it, I was remiss on doing anything with it.  Thank you Jazzy and sorry for being as lame as I am.

I took this picture when we were at the pool that shames all other pools.  Look off the the left of the man.

Read the sign...

That gave me a giggle.  Probably not what they had in mind...

We've had a few days where we've skipped the pool and have been out in the sprinklers.  I think most of the water evaporated before it hit the ground or just upped our humidity levels...but it was fun none the less.  

And yes, I let them pee in the shrubs and drink from the sprinkler.  I stand by my statement that the sun is browning out the yard.  It is not all the urine.

Drinking from a cup: overrated.  

Teaching the baby to drink like dog.  A useful skill. 


Where the "feels like" temp has been over 100 for the past month and the sun has been slowly baking the yard to a crisp yellow.  Like hay.  

Where the trees have gone into seclusion and have been dropping leaves. 

Where the kids are getting good and bored.  

And learning everything they should, without the onus of a classroom.

Where my kids are happy.

And where, at the end of the day, the house is a mess, the kids are minus a bath and the dishes are still in the sink.  

But they are happy.  

Which makes me happy.

And where I'd like to remain for a good long time.  


Note: Clearly I can not do a wordless post.  And no, I have no idea how I lived in North Dakota for over ten years.    

And a thank you to all my friends out here who have so poignantly shared their lives and experiences. Without that, I would not have slowed down enough to appreciate what is right in front of me all along.  Thank you. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm sick of our pool so I cheated. I'm a pool cheater.

So we went to another pool last week.  I shoved them all in the car and off we went.  It's been so hot here and after a while there is only so much you can do at your own pool besides burn the bottom of your feet screaming, "Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!" till you can get to your chair and put your flip-flops on.

Since we moved to Kansas two years ago we've come to find out that every neighborhood has their own pool.  Upkeep is built into the association dues and they are so outrageous I've been determined that by God we're going to use that damn pool till I feel our rates are justified.

So we've been there every day our schedule allows.

I guess neighborhood pools keep the homicide rate down.  I don't know.  I've never seen so many pools till I moved here.  Either way, our pool is within walking distance of our house so its easy for us to spend a lot of time there.  But we've spent so much time there the kids are sick of it.

And going to this other pool was like we were cheating on our own pool.  And to be frank, I want to start a love affair with this one.  A dirty piece of work that would be but this thing was HOT.  It had cool water dumping things, life guards, more water dumping things with wheels and tons of other things.  Did I mention life guards?!?  And there was another little pool that was nothing but water and only went to four feet deep.  Then there was a wave pool specifically designed for tots.  There was a water slide as well.

See, it was a thing of beauty.  Worthy of my love.

This new pool shits all over our pool.  Look at that thing.  Our pool is a basic hole in the ground with a baby hole off to the side.  I'm embarrassed to show you pictures.  But this thing?  This thing??  A thing of beauty.  Pictures do not do it justice.  

Again, worthy of my love.

But since it costs $36 admission for the day, plus food, drinks and snacks which was about another $36, it was a one shot deal.  I don't care how swank this thing is/was I'm not going broke over a pool.

Coolest pool ever.  

And the kids loved it.

I about crapped my pants several times loosing them in the water structures, having visions of them floating top-side before I could get to them.  Nothing like that happened of course but I guess that's precisely why it didn't.  I can't imagine bringing my kids to the pool and even thinking of:

  1. sitting down  
  2. enjoying a good book
  3. texting till my fingers were numb
All of which were things I saw parents doing while their children were reenacting the Lord of the Flies.  I don't get it.  

Grandma and Gracie, far right.  Her lady bush
was tucked in.  I checked.

Alex loved it.  It had this big pot at the top that emptied every 2 minutes and dumped out water.  I know this as a fact.  I know because we timed it.  A squillion times.  We then took the average of the dump times and rounded it out.  Blamo, two minutes.  Alex was not pleased with the lack of precision associated with rounding numbers but I suppose he is correct.  Rounding out numbers is quite useless.  

My favorite part?  Zero entry.  And misters at the water's edge.  Misters.  They had misters.  So your little feet didn't get all hot and burnt.  Swoon.   

This was the best part for Alex.
Waiting for the pot to empty with his swim instructor.  

While I was taking this picture I had several thoughts running through my mind but one thing outweighed them all.  And it was this: all his stims, quirks, stress/anxiety related motions, articulations and tics are non-existent right now.  Sure, we have a few bumps and last night really tanked but nothing like during the school year.  

He's relaxed.  

He's happy.  

He's having the time of his life.

And I want to take this time, stop the clock, and make it last forever.