Friday, November 25, 2011

One day down, two to go...

I've never been a big fan of the Venn Diagram.  I could never understand them.  But then I had an epiphany.  I finally figured it out.  It helped that we lived in the grey area most of the time.  I take that back.  Alex wasn't in the grey area the whole time.  I was.  

I've been on pins and needles trying to get the kids through this visit.  See, all of my husbands family traveled here and that makes the time spent together more intense.  I've been trying to give the kids breaks, walks and private time just so they can be better able to handle things.  

Alex finally lost it at diner time when it was time to come inside and eat.  He stomped and flapped the whole way in and I could just tell by looking at him he was imploding.  I hurried him to the laundry room, turned on the dryer and held him.  Scratch that.  I didn't hold him.  He wouldn't let me.  He quickly worked his way to a corner and started rocking back and forth.  Trying to calm himself.  Trying to block things out.    

Every fiber in my body wanted to reach out to him.  To hug him.  To hold him.  But I couldn't.  Touching him at that moment would have been like trying to hug a cornered panther.  He would have attacked.     

For as much as I wanted to hold him and tell him things were going to be all right, I didn't, I couldn't.  It would have helped me but not him.  

So instead I told him how well he was doing, how loud it was and how hard it was to just be in the same house with all the noise, smells and other kids.  That it hurt my brain too.  He just started crying.  Hot tears went streaming down his cheeks and he was still rocking and holding his knees, working himself into a tight little ball.  I slipped his headsets over his ears and we sat in silence listening to the hum of the dryer.    

And I think that was the worst part of the day.  Sitting in the laundry room, silently cursing the Gods.  Wanting to take it all away but knowing I couldn't.  

Normally there is all sorts of pomp and circumstance about who gets to go first with the food and all sorts of other BS and by the time they're all through patting themselves on the back, the foods all cold.  Not this year.  As we came out of the laundry room, I gave everyone a big fuck you, got my kid a plate of turkey, ripped open a baguette to get to the soft inner bread he likes and, with me as a human shield, we sat down at the table and he ate. 

With a wave of my hand I told them all to help themselves and to stop staring.  And with a look in my eyes, I dared them to say anything.  Anything.  I got him the remote and we watched re-runs of How It's Made.  And I dared them to turn it off.  

They didn't.

And it was at that exact moment I knew we were going to survive this.  

Note: We still have family here and its been it harder and harder to get a few moments to myself.  I am finding I simply cannot do everything so I'm going to take this next week off and get the kids sorted and take care of  them.  I will be back next Friday.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wiggle, wiggle wiggle, yeah.

I have so much to say and well, sometimes, life and rules about what I can and can't say just get in the way.  I'm not going to talk about Autism today.  I will give you what has been giving me a giggle when I need a break.

So I give you this.  A video from LMFAO.

Now this is not for the kids or the faint of heart.  Click that Next Blog button up there and come back later.  But for the rest of you, I'll just say Speedo's, pelvic thrusts and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah.

Your welcome.

And thank you LMFAO for helping me survive the Holiday.

No go and crucify me in the comments for my music selection.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Puppets are the work of the Devil.

So my husband had the insight to tell me that sometimes I can, "Really put my foot in it."  And I can.  There are times when I can see myself, like an angel looking down from above, talking and I Can Not Stop.  I really want to, trust me.  For whatever reason I just don't have the ability.

Anyway, this all started when I got the release form for Lizzy's field trip.  They have this extra section that if parents want to come along you sign up.  The teachers pull your name out of a hat and off you go.  I signed up but never thought I'd be going since Lizzy goes to school with a bunch of overachievers.  The mom's that is.  These lady-bitches have beaten me out of every trip so far this year.  

Well, I got picked.  I had no idea where we were going but I was so happy I finally beat the lady-bitches at their own game.  We were going to see a puppet show.




So there I sat on a bus full of screaming kids thinking to myself:  "Who in their right mind decides they want to have a career playing with puppets?  I mean, what in the hell would possess a rational, able bodied person to wake up and decide they want to make their life's ambition to provide puppet entertainment to the general population?  And that's assuming they're rational.  And in the ghetto, inner city or urban core, where ever.  But really, what kind of person besides Mr. Rogers, wants to go into puppet work?  For children??  Its just not right."    

So there I sat with a bunch of Kindergartners praying to get out of the place alive and unharmed by rogue puppets or snotty six year olds.  Speaking of which, all my friends who are Kindergarten teachers?  You ladies are Saints and should be Canonized or you're crazy.  I'm not sure which.  I just know I could not do your job.  

Look at these freaky-ass things.

Fast forward to later in the evening when I dropped Lizzy off at a birthday party.  The party mom's all, "How were the puppets?  It must have been soooo much fun!"

And I was all, "No, it wasn't fun.  It was downright unnerving.  Scary even.  I mean, there were freaky puppets looking down from the walls and everywhere.  It was the weirdest place I've ever been and I think I'm going to have nightmares and post-traumatic stress from the whole thing.  Gawd, just thinking about it now gives me the shakes.  Uggh, I mean a whole puppet show on Go Dog Go?  I thought time stood still and I was trapped in hell with some wacked-out puppeteer and bunch feral six year olds.  What time to I get Lizzy?  Seven o'clock, right?"

And she's all, "You don't like puppets?  What's not to like about puppets?  What kind of person doesn't like puppets?"  

That's when I realized I had said too much.  

She was looking at me like a deer caught in the headlights, looking into my soul and seeing Satan.  She was truly concerned for my well being and my utter disdain for all things puppets.  I even saw her flinch and take a step back.      

I'm sorry but I don't like puppets.  

And I hate clowns too.
Thank you Google Images and Steven King.  

Wonder what she thinks about that.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Like a horse, I'm spooked.

Remember when I schlepped my whole family down to Sanibel last month to appease my shelling habit?  I'd like to say we went down there because the kids like the beach and it's a great family getaway but the stone-cold truth is that I like to shell and damn-it I'm in charge of this family.  If they want to come on vacation, they can come down to Sanibel and shell with me.  Or they can stay home.  Their choice.

Funny how they all came along with me.

Who wants to see a picture of me?

If you really want to know what I look like and how dolled-up I get to go shelling, go visit Pam's blog, here.  Scroll down, you'll find me.

Pam has this great shelling blog called i Love Shelling and I have been stalking her since, easily, last November.  When we went down to Sanibel this last time I met up with her.  Really, I think she only relented to meeting me in the hopes of serving a restraining order but strange things happen and I ran smack into her on the beach before we were to meet.  Since the cops weren't around and her husband was off too far to hear her screams she had no choice but to say hi.

All kidding aside, I really like her.  I was a little nervous meeting her because I didn't want to be too stalkish but I think I fooled her.

The other lady in the picture I'm with is a wonderful friend I met back in June and I talked about her here.  Funny how you can make such a good friend while looking for a few shells.  Anyway, she came down and we went shelling and hung out.  Can I just tell you how much fun we had???

Anyway, I tell you all of this now because I'm stressed.  Stressed about Thanksgiving and how Alex is going to respond.  And too, I'm worried about how my husband's family is going to respond to seeing the inner workings of how we live.  Because lets face it, our house is set up to live with Autism.  We have index card schedules at the table, taped on the wall where we do homework, where we load and unload backpacks and at the back door where we come in and out of the house.  We have certain times we do things and specific routes we take. We have routines.  We have preferred foods.  We have foods that cause puking just at the mere mention.  We have meltdowns, tears and then we have hugs.  We have a way to do just about everything and that's just us.  And the way we lives brings us peace.  But it's not the way everyone else lives.

Add school and the home construction and I'm a little spooked.

So when I'm stressed I like to go back and think of times where we didn't have any cares other than what's for dinner, when the dolphins going to arrive and how drunk I was going to get.

So that's why I'm looking back a bit right now.

So I can calm down to move forward.    

This little son-of-a-bitch is the reason I have crabs
in my house.  He was Lizzy's "pet" the whole time
we were there.  Serves him right.  

Some of my shells I keep on my desk.
That one with dots in the center?
Shelling Gold.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In our house it all comes out in the minivan.

So if you saw me on the other day in the car stopped at a red light and I was repeatedly banging my head into the steering wheel, there is a simple explanation.  Really.

We were in the car to go to therapy and Alex asked a very straight forward yet loaded question.

"Mom, did you bring the I-pad?"


"No hon, I totally forgot but you can use my phone, OK?"

"Did you bring my I-touch?"

Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

"No hon I didn't bring that either.  I'm sorry.  I'm really sorry.  Mommy got busy and I just plain forgot and I'm so sorry.  You can use my phone, right?  Right???"

Please God, just use the damn phone.  This one time, please.


Everything with-in arms reach was suddenly being thrust toward the front of the car.  Backpack, shoes, socks, headsets, yo-yo.  I know, a yo-yo.  You name it, it was being lobbed my way.

Thank God we were going to OT to work on gross motor skills because not a damn thing came close to hitting me.


More things being launched from the back seat.  Sparkle nail polish.  A fake spider.  Pencil with an eraser chewed off.  Clearly I need to clean the minivan more often.


And at that point I got a little reprieve as we've been watching Megamind nonstop in the car since we started school on August 17, no I'm not counting, and even thought I love hearing Brad Pitt, quite frankly his wily charms and his sinfully beautiful voice wore off way back in September.  And yes, I still think Angelina is a home wrecker.

I did find it interesting that with all the garbage being relocated to the front of the cabin he held onto the DVD remote.  Clearly he'd managed to hold onto a few marbles.


And so that is why I was sitting at a red light gnashing my forehead into the steering wheel.

In the hopes of feeling something other than frustration, anxiety and utter pissed-offedness being spewed in my general direction I opted for physical pain.  There was nothing left for him to do but yell.  He'd already lobbed his backpack, shoes, socks and headsets my way, the only thing he had left were words.

And sometimes those hurt the worst of all.

Note:  We made it out of that car ride just fine and he wound up having a good time at OT after all.  I write this as this type of situation plays out almost every single day.  We've learned to cope with meltdowns and have strategies and tools in place for just this sort of thing.  Oftentimes now we are working on preventative rather than defensive measures.  While I never get used to these meltdowns, I have found I have more patience and understanding than I ever thought I possessed.  I write this to let others know they are not alone.  Not by a long shot.     

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daylight Savings, oh how I hate you.

I swear my kids a Vulcan.  He called me on the carpet this morning about this rule we have.  Its like house rule number 22 or something, I don't know.  Anyway here it is.

All kids stay in their room until 7:00 AM.  Period.

I don't care if you're sleeping, playing chess or dismantling an atom bomb but you stay in your frigging rooms till 7:00 AM.

We were having this teensy-tiny problem.  The kids thought it was great sport to come pole vaulting into bed with us at the ass-crack-of-dawn.  So instead of sleeping, I wound up getting dive bombed by an eight year old, arm wrestling for blankets and getting kneed in the intestines for a better spot in the bed.  The whole time Alex was telling me to, "SCOOT OVER.  THAT'S MY SPOT.  I SAID SCOOT OVER!" in something that  I'm sure was an inside voice but at the ass-crack-of-dawn anything louder than a whisper in my book is an outside voice.


All three of my children scoffed at me and were in the bed with us at 6:21 AM the next morning.  I hauled each and every one of my little ass-holes back to their own rooms, stomped my way back to my own room, slammed my door shut and proceeded to stew and cuss until exactly 7:00 AM.

At which time I was met by Alex proclaiming, "IT IS NOW 7:00 AM.  SCOOT OVER."

After a few rough mornings I thought we were doing pretty well.  Sure there were a few mornings where we were stalked outside our door like wild safari animals but we survived and they respected the door to the holy chamber.

We had an ugly truce but I was happy.  I didn't care.  I was getting sleep!

And then came Daylight Savings Time.

I cannot begin to tell you the many and varied ways I'd like to slowly disembowel, skin, cook, torture, flambae, whatever the asshat who started Daylight Saving Time.

Now, every morning, I am told that at exactly 6:00 AM it is really 7:00 AM.


This has nothing to do with anything, its just a
random photo to give you something to "Ohh" and "Ahh" over.

Note:  They are working on the window's in the office and family room right now so I've been kicked out.  It's not yet topped 45 degrees so I'm off to take the baby to Target and keep warm...I'll pop by all your blogs as soon as I can get back in my house!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do windows and Thanksgiving have in common? Well let me tell you...

We're well underway with Window Fest 2011.   Want to get caught up?  Go here and come back. 

It rained the first few days like a mother rendering me useless and screaming something to the effect of, "Now it decides to rain?!?  You have got to be kidding me.  It hasn't rained in a two Goddammed months and NOW we have thunderstorms?"  Fuck you universe."   All the while doing nothing and praying water didn't dare enter the house.  

It did.  

Then weather then decided to turn cold and now I'm freezing my ass off in my own home.  We've been relegated to wearing coats inside and Gracie's looked at me on more than one occasion like, "WTF?"

Bringing the outdoors in.

It doesn't get any better than that. 

I have all but given up trying to clean the house and I have grown accustomed to banging, ladders and man crack on a multiple of offenders and I am loving the sound of cursing from someone other than myself.  I have resorted to hiding in the office or pantry depending which is warmer.

And I was just given notice there is no way in hell the house will be finished by Thanksgiving.  I kind of sort of knew that was coming but like death, it's still a shock to have to come face to face with it no matter how much you knew it was coming.

But did I mention that every last person in my husbands family (all twenty of them and counting) will be coming in town for Thanksgiving and I kinda sorta wanted the house to be all pretty and perfect???  No, I didn't mention that??  My bad.

And I just got wind the scaffolding to work on the upper windows is coming on Monday and two of the doors and all the trim is back ordered.  

That pretty much guarantees they won't be done by Thanksgiving.  Not by a long shot.  

Guess who's going to be a drunk lush in a dirty house full to the brim with Asians in-laws while passing round the turkey dressing?

Yeah, you guessed it.  

Well at least we'll have scaffolding to climb on for sensory breaks and an extra toilet on the drive.  Who knows, we may even work in a game of dumpster dive if we get a free minute or two.  Not that we'll have to go all that far....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hi my name is Lizbeth and I'm a candy whore.

Halloween you suck.  No, not because my kid went out and under ten minutes decided his legs hurt but because for the short time the kids were out they hauled ass.  They banked more candy than I've ever seen.

People were dumping handfuls, handfuls of candy into their bags.

You would never know we were in the middle of a double dip recession in this neighborhood.  Never in a million years.

I even brought extra bags because last year we had frigging meltdown after meltdown when the bag was too heavy and all I heard was, "I can't carry it anymore...this is too much like work...I don't even like Starburst."  You could have followed our candy trail all the way back home from all the shit Alex unloaded just to get back to the house.

Being the smart girl that I am I actually remembered last year (pausing for a momentary shudder) and thought to myself, "hummmm maybe I should bring an extra bag or two."

It was a good thing I did as I was the one lugging the heavy bags home.

And here's what I don't get, I'll never understand.  The kids can have two or three pieces of candy and then walk away.  THEY WALK AWAY.  How do they do that?

I don't have the desire or, and this is the important part, the ability to walk away.

I have single handedly reduced their candy supply by one-third and I'm no where near close to being finished.  I have not seen a Twix or Baby Ruth since last year and let me tell you, it's been a long time coming.  A long time coming.

They used to have two more bags but yours truly ate that too.

And here's the thing, I don't do this late at night after everyones sleeping or when they're at school.  I'm working on this stuff all day.  Do you know how good Milk Duds taste with coffee?  Or how good a handful of Snickers are before dinner??

I made the mistake of counting how many wrappers were in the trash by my own hand and I counted nineteen excluding the one that I was currently working on.


And that was before I even went to pick the kids up from school.

The only thing that I keep thinking of is, "thank God I'm not diabetic."

And I'm too weak to upend the candy buckets into the trash.  The kids could care less at this point but I don't have the ability to pitch it.  I can't do it.  There are starving kids in China for Christ's sake.  Such a waste to throw it out.  But more than that, I want to eat it.  All of it.  Even those shitty lemon Starburst.

I'm loathe to admit it but candy is my crack.  And Mama wants her crack.  Mama needs her crack.  My God, I'm a slave to my kids Halloween candy.  I actually dumped a whole bucket out on the counter to ferret out the last Twix and then told the kids to back away, nice and slow.  I need my fix.

What the hell is wrong with me???

Wait.  Nobody answer that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our driveway now has dumpster and porta-potty. Try beating that.

Because I've not yet had enough fun and excitement in my life already, I thought to myself, "Self, what can we do around here to shake things up a bit?  You know, really get the kids upset and all bent out of shape?  Something that will maximize our meltdown potential.  What?  You think we should get all new windows and doors?  Well swell, that sounds like a GREAT idea!   Cuz you know, we've just finished with the last remodel and had the dumpster removed from the driveway and now I'm bored."

And that's exactly what we did.

We're replacing every frigging window and door.

So that's why we have another dumpster in the driveway.  This time we kicked it up a notch and have a porta-potty out there as well.  Nothing says, "we're good neighbors don't ya wanna come live next to us" like a porta-potty on the drive.  It also says, "we're going to take so Goddammed long we need our own crapper."

You know what pissed Alex off the most?
The porta-potty has a lady on it.
  Now where are all the workers going to go poo??? 

And nothing kicks off a meltdown or triggers an epic upset than a change in routine or a change in the house.  I just can't wait till the kids get home from school and see the cluster that is going on in their comfort chamber.  Alex is going to shit his pants when he sees all the mess and construction.

Even better, I am waiting with bated breath till they do the windows in his room.  Lord, Christ Almighty can you even begin to see that meltdown?  I shutter just to think on it.

Oh shit, we didn't need that part, did we?
Oh shit, did she just hear that?
And add insult to injury, I forgot there were construction people in the house and went to take a pee.  I always keep the door open as the last time I closed it my little wandering gnome, called Gracie, was out the door and half way down the street before I had my pants pulled up.  So anyway, there I was peeing only to see a construction guy walk by.


Just frigging great.

Good think he was speaking Spanish.  I have no idea what the hell he just said.

And that my friends was construction day one.

God Help Us All.