Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, 2012

My thanks to those who have served and lost.  
My thanks to those who are serving.  
My thanks to all of the families.  
You are what makes this country great. 

Thank you.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've moved out for the day....

Every once in a while I like to get out of my own blog and go and harass other bloggers. I've worked my way into the SPD Blogger Network today.  It's a lovely group and a great network of parents who deal with Sensory Processing and all sorts of other issues.

This group has been a great support to me and I have made some wonderful friends in the process.  I have received some great advice and help over there---everything from validating that tags are a pain in the ass to realizing it's OK to take a little time off and drink that cup of coffee.

Please stop on by the SPD Blogger Network today and see what I'm talking about.  I'm not going to tell you what it is so you have to go clickety-click on over there to find out!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tubes and Pipes.

We have this game we play every year that started about three or four years ago.  Alex loves to do in the summer, every summer without fail.  It's called Tubes and Pipes.  I have no idea where the idea originated from but my guess it was out of sheer desperation.

Anyway, here's what you'll have to have your husband do.  Go to one of those big home improvement stores and hit the plumbing section.  Get the longest section of 1/2 inch pipe that will fit into your car.  Don't do what we did and get the longest section that's available.  You will have to cut the damn thing down in the parking lot but first cuss like a sailor because the pipe cutter is, ironically, in one of those packages that's hermetically sealed and takes a miracle and about a thousand cuss words to open.

Get valves, spigots, three way connectors, four way connectors, T-connectors and anything you think your kids would like.  Better yet, have your kid go with your husband so they can pick them out together.  Just make sure all your connectors are for the same size pipe/tubing.  Again, you can benefit from our mistakes.....

Pick up that pipe cutter and some sandpaper as well.

Also, don't forget to ask Bevis at the store for a connector to hook this whole mess up to your hose.  This is very important.  You will have one pissed off kid if you make it this far and can't get the damn thing hooked up to the hose.  Please don't ask me how I know this one small, yet very important, fact.

See those gold metal things in the upper left?  That's
what connects the whole mess to your hose.  

When you get everything home, cut the 1/2 inch tubing down to smaller sections with your pipe cutter.  Use sandpaper to soften the edges of the pipes---they will be sharp!  Throw them all into a big bucket or some other storage bin so you can drag them out and into the yard.

This is what it will look like, a big mess of tubing, valves and connectors:

But this is what you kid will be doing all summer:

We've been doing this for the past three or four summers now.  As soon as it gets remotely warm, Alex asks to play Tubes and Pipes.  I've never really figured out what the appeal is to this project, all I know is he enjoys it immensely.

He goes out and builds things and makes the water travel through the pipes.  He makes structures and tests its stability so it will hold water when it's applied.  He changes the water pressure and alters the direction of water flow by plugging sections of tubing and using his shut-off valves.

I know Alex is not so interested in standard toys so when he gets excited, and I mean really excited, about something, I figure there's a high possibility that someone else may find this helpful, or at least that's my hope.  

If you have any questions or if I missed out a vital part, which I'm sure I did, please ask me in the comments and I'll see what I can do to help.

As an aside, I'm not trying to take credit for this project/game as I know its been done before.  Seriously, I'm not that creative.   I honestly have no idea where we got the idea from so if you're out there looking for a Copyright infringement let me know who you are so I can link accordingly. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

The day that would not end.

You know what day it is, its Friday.  That means only one thing, I'm hooking up with Sunday over at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood for today.  Go on over and see how the rest of us play with Ryan.  

Ever have one of those days where you want it to end before you even get out of bed?  Yeah, that was this past Sunday.  I think it all started on Saturday because I washed my car.  I never wash my car.  But this past Saturday, I got a hair lodged up my ass and decided it was car washing day.

Five-fifteen Sunday morning I get bombed with both kids, "Mom!  There's thunder!  And lightening!  AND WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!  Scoot over."

Yeah, five-something in the morning.  

Then, "OMG today's the party for Jack.  We have to get ready for the party.  GET UP.  We have to get ready for the party!"  Forget about all the thunder and lightening and the dying stuff.  We have a party to go to.  

The party was not till four PM.  It was five AM.   

All day, "The party, the party, the party's today!  Hey mom what time is it now?  Is it time for the party?  Now what time is it?  Party time yet?"  

And all day I kept thinking, "I know these kids, I'm not too fond of these kids.  This is going to end in tears."  But since this was the only party he's been invited to all year, we had to go.  Saying NO was simply not an option.   

I pulled this out of Alex's backpack around noon.  You can call it a tornado, I call it foreshadowing.  

Look ma, a meso-cyclone! 

And then we went to the party, and true to form, the kids were little shits.  Of course they were.  Playing this game where you had to have a pass-code and they wouldn't let you in if you didn't know the pass-code.  Thing is, there was no pass-code.  They just said "no" to letting Alex join in.  

I caught one kid in the act and hissed, I actually hissed at him, "You let him in, do you hear me?  You let him in."  

But it was too late and the damage was already done, I wanted to gut-check every one of those kids.  Hard.  Gaw, they were such little assholes.  All I kept thinking was, "Is it wrong to gut-check an eight year old and if so, what would the jail time be?  I need to see if I can be away from my kids that long...." 

Alex was sad, hurt and confused...a meltdown ensued.  We went home but not before we ate our own bread sticks, watched a movie and gave everyone the proverbial middle finger---all out front of the play gym where the party was still going on.  

When we were leaving it started raining.  I got pinged there was a severe thunderstorm warning and right when we got home, this happened: 


(If you can't click on that because you're at work or if noise is an issue, I get it.  They issued a Tornado Warning and I was on the front porch tooling around with the kids.)

And then we lost our minds running down to the basement.  We all ran into each other and I would have been laughing, if it weren't for the simple fact we were running for our lives.  

Other than by the grace of God, I still don't know how we made it downstairs.  

Then I had another heart attack when Alex started running back upstairs to protect his i-thing from the tornado.  

You know how weird it is to see your street being called out as being in the direct line of impact?  Trust me when I say you don't want to know that feeling.  Ever.  Well, that's what my husband said.  I was outside taking pictures.  You sooo know I was.    

Then when it was all over, and the tornado fizzled, we went to bed but not before I had this vision of Ryan: 

Why yes, I do believe that would do the trick.  

And that is the true story of my last Sunday.

Thankfully there is nothing on the agenda for this weekend.  I suspect the kids will be bored and over it by dinnertime tonight... 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How cool is that?

You know all those inspirational quotes and pictures going around Facebook?  Well, I have a hard time relating to some of them.  I'm not a really rainbow and glitter kind of girl.  I'm more of a straight shooter and undercover sailor.  

I made a few pictures that reflect me and how I feel and put them on Facebook.  I didn't think much of it.  I ran out to get the kids from school, took them to the park and Tae Kwon Do.  Did the usual things.  

I never bothered to check on things because for the most part, I'm oblivious.  And busy.  And tired.  

That and I broke my i-phone so I was not connected, at all.  I was off the grid.  

When I came home, I couldn't believe it.  

The sayings I put up on Facebook have been shared over and over.  

Honestly, I'm a little surprised and humbled.  It's just how I feel about my son.  About my kids.  I really feel I've struck the jackpot with them.  Sure, there are days when I'm PMS'ing and if a child asks, "What time is it?" one more time, I very well may drive chicken skewers through my ears but for the most part, I'd not change things for the world.

And the fact I'm not alone in feeling this way gives me goose-bumps.

I don't know how to say thank you for sharing.  I guess maybe this is it.  Thank you.

I've come a long way since my son's diagnosis.  He has come even further.  I've learned to love him for who he is and he's teaching me more about life and love than I could have ever dreamed of.

And really, how cool is that?

And I know this horse is dead but I'm going to beat it anyway...this all started with Facebook....if you want to, go up and click on that "Like" button, up there on the right, so we can complete the circle and stay in touch.  I'd like that.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

He said what? I wonder where he heard that from....

Today's Friday so can I get a big AMEN?  In the blogging world, or in the cool blogging world, that means we're doing horribly fun things with Ryan Gosling.  Visit Sunday over at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood and see what I'm talking about.

Alex's teacher met me at the flagpole for pickup yesterday afternoon.  I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Having the teacher come out and meet me at the flagpole used to make my stomach swirl with nausea.  A whole host of scenarios ran through my mind.  Did he lick someone?  Did he Tae Kwon Do anther kid?  Did he correct a teacher or tell them their lesson plan was inferior and subject to his review?  Or did he stop, drop and roll minus the fire?

You just never know.

Anyway, his teacher comes out to meet me every day now because we're in a sort of holding pattern.  We're stabilizing somewhere between full on benders and a variety stims.  He has about six stims going right now so in my mind I call it a six-pack.  Honestly, we're just biding out time till school lets out.

Fourteen days left if anyone's interested.  And yes, I'm counting each and every last one of them.

So she comes out of school with a small smile on her face, kind of laughing, so I knew it couldn't be that bad.

Alex?  Well, he wasn't smiling.  "Mom, Mrs. Smith says I said a bad word."


"Err, you said a bad word?"  Now, a whole host of bad words went through my mind, rapid fire, in under a tenth of a second.  We all know I'm pretty fluent in the base vernacular of the English language.

My next thought was, "Please don't let it be the F-bomb, please don't let it be the F-bomb."

"Yeah Mom, Mrs. Smith says I used a bad word but its not fair.  You use it at home all the time."

Oh fuckety-fuck-fuck.  It was the F-bomb.  I'm so screwed. 

"I said I was pissed off and I got in trouble for it.  You told me it was OK to say I was pissed off when I was at home but now it's not OK to say it at school."

Oh thank you Baby Jesus.

Now his teacher turns and looks over at me, one eyebrow raised, questioning, "You let him say that at home?"

I turn and look at Alex and suddenly he had these big eyes, kinda like this:


Well how can you resist that?  I couldn't lie and blame it on him.  I had to own it.

"Well, yes, I do let him say he's pissed-off when he's at home.  See, for the longest time Alex couldn't identify his emotions and had a hard time articulating how he was feeling.  Gaw, he just now started putting words to his emotions.  So when he was angry we made a scale from one to ten.  One was irritated and ten was super mad, like he was pissed off and ready to explode.  I thought it was important for him to correctly identify his emotional state, as he was feeling it, so we could work on the right calm down methods."

And that's the God's honest truth.

With that I give you my main man, Ryan.

On a different note, I wanted to thank Sunday for having me to her place yesterday.  It was a blast.  I want also thank those of you who went over and took the time to look, see and comment.  You have no idea what that means to me as your friendships are what pull me through.

If you still want to see it, I have it linked here.

And you totally know when his teacher was talking to me up there I was all, "I'm so going to blog about this."   And I did.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What are you doing here?!?

Go on, get outta here!!!  Head on over to Sunday's, Adventure's in Extreme Parenthood and see what I'm up to.  I'm squatting over there today and it's really comfortable.  She may need a crowbar to get me out.

Wait, we do Ryan tomorrow.

Haha, I said we do Ryan.  I guess I'll have to head home and get ready.

I hear he's in a pool this time....

Update: We're having some technical difficulties at the moment so the post will be up when it's up.  I'll update Blogger when that happens but in the interim, look at this picture and think warm thoughts and what all you're going to do with him tomorrow.  

The Eagle Has Landed.  

The problem has been resolved.  Quit thinking dirty thoughts about Ryan and get going!!!

Gawd, I wanna jump on in there!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Squared vs Square Root. I don't know the difference either.

On Sunday night we get a weekly class update from Alex's teacher.  I normally glance at it and see what's going on for the next week.  Then I print it out, show it to Alex and get confirmation that he's read it.  Then I get confirmation that he's understood it.  And then get confirmation that he knows what's really going on for the next week.

And then I use four pieces of tape and tape that damn thing up on the wall so I don't forget and he doesn't forget.

That weekly newsletter is my lifeline.

So little alarm bells went off in my head when I saw the words: TALENT SHOW THURSDAY.  I immediately asked Alex what it was all about and he wasn't fussed.  A little annoyed that I was asking about it, I think.

You know me, I couldn't let it rest.  I had to find out, these things tend to blow up in my face.  *See the Muffins With Mom's post if you don't believe me.*

"Hey Alex, it says there will be a Talent Show on Thursday.  What are you going to do?"  I was getting a little worked up because he was more interested in his computer game.

"Mom, I have it all figured out.  I know what I'm going to do."  And he went back to his game.


Clearly I had to get a little more creative.  "Alex honey, do you think you could tell me what you're planning on doing for the talent show?  Maybe I can help you."

My panties were in a total bunch about this damn talent show and I was going to find out what he was doing.

"Well no mom, you can't help me.  It has to do with math and you're not good at math.  I'm going to explain the difference between square roots and squaring a number.  Take the number nine.  Nine squared is eighty-one but the square root of nine is three.  See the difference?  Then I'm going to take questions and they can quiz me.  It's math and it's going to be fun."

Someone give me the answers.....please?!?  

To which I found my calculator, figured out he was right and said, "You're right, I'm not good at math."

And Thursday, I was in the classroom and I saw him do his talent and he explained the difference between squared and square roots and he had fun with it.

No, he rocked it.

The other kids and I, we didn't have a fucking clue what he was talking about but he was having fun.

No, he had the time of his life.

OMG, OMG, OMG, you totally have to go over to Sunday's place tomorrow.  I'm so going to be guest posting.   I'm going to be guest posting at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood!!!!  OMG, OMG, OMG!!!

I may have to wear a Poise and use it, I'm so excited.  And I think she even kept my cuss words in.  *Swoon.*   

There, now I'm done begging.  I must go and hook on Facebook...yes, that's you're cue to go "like" me, so you can see me at Sunday's tomorrow!!!  See how I did that?  That was awesome....