Monday, July 30, 2012

Like you couldn't see this coming...

I went back to the pool.  I took all three kids back to the pool to see what would happen.  I had to get that image of my daughter floating lifeless on the bottom out of my head.  I'll tell you now, it didn't remove the image, but it did bring my comfort level back at taking all three of them to the pool by myself.

Go here if you want to get caught up.  

At some point in our marriage, my husband bought each of the kids their own kid size broom.  You know, so they could help me clean.  Most of you know, I have a few issues about keeping the house clean and I can't stand having dirty floors.  Consequently, I'm always sweeping and mopping.

Now I'll let it be known right now, I'm not missing out on the kids formative years.  It's the only thing I know to do to de-stress while I have the kids home with me twenty-four/seven.  Since I've been a bit stressed with all our fun going on this summer, you could eat off my floors right now.  

Anyway, I told the kids they aren't allowed to have their swords in the house.  They can practice in the garage or on the porch, but I draw the limit at having swords in the house.  Last time they had camp, they had nunchucks and it was a colossal mess.  They brought them in and were nunchucking everything in sight.  I think the only thing that saved us was the fact our gross motor skills suck so bad.  You should have seen how clean my floors were then.

The brooms have left the building.  

Anyway, at some point, all three brooms made it into the house and Alex and Lizzy were practicing forms in the family room---with the brooms.  I let them practice because it was the first time that whole day they were actually quiet and to be honest?  It's was too damn hot outside.

Out of nowhere I hear a THWACK then, "Ouch!"  Immediately followed up by another THWACK then, "Ouch!"

I heard all sorts of commotion, a little rolling around of the floor and I think I even heard Lizzy saying my favorite expression, "God Bless America!"

Then I got bombarded with complaints from Alex, "Mom, that's not fair!  She didn't do the forms at all!  Gracie just came in and hit us on our heads.  That's so not fair!"  To which I turned it into a bit of a life lesson and said, "Well honey, sometimes life isn't fair.  Do you think when you get into a fight people are going to follow the forms?"

Alex looked at me, looked back at the two year old, his wheels turning.   Without missing a beat he goes, "Like this?"  And he thunks the baby on the head with his broom.

And do you know what I thought, smack in the middle of another cat fight???  I thought, "Yay!  He's generalizing!"

Shortly after that, all three of the brooms made it back outside and in the garage.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just reaffirming you're glad you're not me.

Is it wrong that I've been letting Gracie think a Mylar balloon is really a pet?  For the past two weeks?  And she's given it a name?  And it goes to bed with her?

Yeah, probably.

We went to the dollar store and she immediately saw this balloon and said, "MINE PET!"  After realizing negotiating with a two year old was not within my grasp, I settled on buying some balloons and got out of the store before she found something far worse to latch onto.

I will love it and stroke it and call it George. 

I had to get two more balloons because, really, it was the path of least resistance.  The last thing I wanted to do was to haul my ass up back there, two hours later, with all three kids.  There was no way I was going to live through that.

I got three balloons and got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

And to totally change gears, our daily mecca to the pool has come to an end.  I made the rouge decision to take the kids on a play date at another neighborhood pool.  I think that was my first mistake.

The thing is, when someone asks if Alex wants a play date, nothing short of a prison sentence is going to stop me from going.  He gets so few invites that when someone does show an interest, we're banging on their door before the phone even gets hung up.

He was so excited he couldn't sleep the night before and I think he burned more energy flapping than he did swimming.  It made me smile to see him that excited.

See?  We had to go.

So we went.  We will never be invited back.  Ever.  Gracie made sure of that.  Within the first five seconds of getting there, Gracie saw the water and just waked right on over to the edge of the pool.  I saw her and started screaming at her, "Gracie, get away from that water.  You don't have you floaties!  You get back here ri-----"

And she went in.  Head first.  In the deep end.

I stood there for a minute and I think I thought, "Did that really just happen?"  I knew it did but it wasn't computing.  And then it did.  It clicked.


I could see her floating, face down, slowly going down to the bottom.  She wasn't fighting, wasn't swimming, nothing.  Just sinking.

Her hair was wisping, beautiful black wisps, in the current.  I remember thinking how beautiful that was.  I will never get that image out of my head, ever.

I dove in, grabbed her arm and pulled her out.  She was so heavy.  I was heavy, I still had my clothes and shoes on.  It was all so heavy.

The other mom was at the edge of the pool and grabbed her as I thew her out of the water.  There was a pause, the single most longest pause in my entire life, and she coughed.  She coughed up water and puked and then without missing a beat said something like, "Whew!  Dat's wet!!!"

Mine watering cans.....
Totally taking a whiz...

And that is how you lose ten years off your life, your hair turns white and you never go to the pool again.

As it turned out, the kids had a great time.  They invented a new game called, 'fake drowning.'  We stayed for an hour, that's time limit before it all goes pear shaped, and we went back home.

I'm pretty sure we won't be invited back though.  Something about one of you kids having a near drowning experience is a bit of a turn off.  And honestly, I can't say I'd blame them.

Small blessings though, Alex just looked at her when it was all over and said, "Well, it's a good thing you're not dead.  That would have really interfered with my play date."

Ya think???

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who knew the pool pop machine could be so interesting?

It's been hot here and my only recourse, other than keeping the kids inside, thus completing their plot to drive me completely insane, is to take them to the pool.  Normally I don't like going to the pool for a number of reasons.

Here are just a few:

  • I don't like being in a swimsuit.
  • I'm not really a fan of water.
  • Taking all three kids to the pool is a borderline recipe for a murder/suicide.
  • There is usually puke involved.
  • Followed by copious ammounts of swearing.
  • One of them invariablly wants a snack, the only snack we didn't stuff into the frigging pool bag.
  • Followed again by copious ammounts of swearing.

But it's been a long hot summer.  The only thing to do when it's this hot is to go to the pool and stay in it.  So that's exactly what we've been doing.  Right after sword camp, yes that is still going on, we get a quick lunch and head to the pool.

And even at the pool the kids have been fighting. "That's my floatie!  I had it first!"  Alex exclaims, exasperated, pointing to the baby, who realizes pretty quickly a conspiracy is about to happen and takes off running.  

"No, Mom, that's mine!  Make her give it to me," screams Lizzie, grabbing the baby, followed by, "Mine, Mine, MINE," from the baby who is now fighting Lizzy on the ground.

"Mom, my ears hurt!  Make her give it to me!  I had it first!" Alex screams, feverishly flapping.  Lizzy's still claiming its hers and the baby's now screaming rapid fire, "MINE, MINE, MINE!"  Both girls are now entwined, werstling to the death.

"No, you didn't you didn't have it first, I had it first...MOM, it's mine!"  Lizzy screams one more time followed by an, "OUCH!!" from the older two because the baby has slung the offending toy,hitting them squarely in the face.

And all of that was before we had gotten in the water.

So when this guy showed up, it was like Jesus Christ coming down from the Heavens giving me a brief respite from my own kids.  Thank you Jesus.

See, he even had a beard and everything.

Alex rounded on this guy faster than I don't know what, he never saw it coming.  I did and mentally said, "Ah, fuck it."

"HI!  My name is Alex and OH MY GOSH are you going to open the machine?!?  He is!!  He is!!"  Alex screams, "Mom, come over here, QUICK!!!  He's going to open the machine!"

"This is soooo cool!!!"

And before I could even get to him, Alex had worked his way into the pop machine and was telling this guy how it works.  "Did you know when they money comes in, there is a scanner???  Yup, there is!  And did you know, when it comes in there are different spots for the money to go, depending on the currnecy?  But not Canadian money!  Did you know you have the most aswesomest job in the world?!?!"

"Look, is that where the cooling
agent is kept?  Is it freon?"

This went on for what seemed like hours and I tried to get Alex out from underneath this guys was so not going to happen.

Vending machine guy said it was all right, he'd talk to Alex for a bit.

And for the next twenty minutes or so, he and Alex were knee-deep in conversation about the finer points of vending machine mechanics.

He was my savior.  Sweet Jesus came to me in the form of soda stocking man.

When he was all set to leave, he came over and said, "You got yourself a real special kid there, take care now."  And with that, he left.

I didn't have a chance to say thank you, or to say anything, he had gone that quickly.  I was left thinking how kind he was to listen to Alex.  To interact and engage him.  To give him the time of day and make him feel special.  He has no idea what it mean to me, to Alex.

I think he's pretty special too.  And I'm not talking about my son.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Even an Autism Strong Mom needs a little help.

I've managed to get a few minutes to myself which I find ironic since my kids normally won't leave me alone to go to the bathroom.  I figured something out and that is, if I stay near them for a few hours they get sick of me and retreat to their rooms for a few minutes.  So I took them to the pool, wore their asses out and now they're off destroying their rooms.

I'll take it.

Most of you know my mom lives here with us.  As in, she lives in the same house with us, under the same roof.  Sometimes people ask, "How can you live with your mom?"  I know what they are implying and I oftentimes get an eye-roll or a snide remark.

I let it all slide.

I don't have the heart to tell them, we can't live without her.  She helps out with the kids and she helps me in ways only another Autism mom could understand.  She gets it.  She knows the other two suffer when I'm pulled to therapies, meetings and when I'm up with worry, trying to sort things out with school.  She knows what its like when Alex is having a bad day and she's there to help.

She gets it.

And I've been struggling lately.  I have a sister who lives in Australia and last week my mom went to visit her.  She'll be gone till almost the end of August.  For me, an eternity.  And I encouraged my mom to go.  I think she should go and I don't want her to feel like she has to stay here and help me, at her expense.  I never want that and I want her to spend time with my brothers and sisters and her other grandchildren.

So if you're wondering where I've been lately and why I've not been around, its because I'm without reinforcements.

How to scare the crap out of yourself?
Put all three in the pool at one time. 

Add to it, its been super hot again here and the kids are reacting.  Alex hasn't been happy with the heat and having to share me completely with the girls?  None of them are liking it.


Alex has been stimming and constantly negotiating a better hand at Monopoly.  It never stops.  Every moment of every day, Monopoly.  While I joke about things most of the time, I'd be a liar if I said it didn't wear on me sometimes.

This is one of those times.

And this brings me to a bigger issue, one I know we all think of, and right now its keeping me up at night.  I often joke that I cannot die.  I have to live forever, or at minimum, I have to live long enough to give him all the skills he needs to survive in the world.

I can't die till my job is done, until he can fly.

So I'm trying to get to you as best I can but please know my absence isn't for a lack of trying, its simply from not being able to do everything for everybody.  Sometimes I have to take care of myself, and my family, and right now that's what I'm trying to do.

You see, my son has yet to fly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm hooking on a different corner.

There has been a metric ton of stuff going on this weekend and I feel like I'm running around brainless but I will talk of none of that today.  No, you can't make me.

I'm over at Living on the Spectrum: The Connor Chronicles today, talking about safety.

Cool pic, huh?  Now go click on that link and check her out.  

I will be back on Wednesday talking about my usual things such as giving my daughter more crabs, having the baby climb out of her crib and scaring me shitless in the middle of the night and how Alex could give a rip about anything other than settling the score.

Now go to Flannery's and show some love.  Please?!?  Just click on the sentence and it will take you there.  Like Harry Potter but not.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I can't think of a good title. Anybody? Anybody???

We're still on a Monopoly bender in this house.  My kids are watching TV and I think I'm slowly going insane watching all the old cartoons on Boomerang.  They have found Tom and Jerry and Scooby Do.

I'm in hell.

My kids think the Mystery Mobile is fricking awesome and thank you very much Tom and Jerry for introducing my kids to the phrase, "Come here little pussy, pussy, pussy."  Now they are chasing the baby around calling her a little pussy.  They think its frigging hysterical and I'm less than impressed.

(And I know what the p-word is going to do with the search engines.  Every frigging wack-job is going to come her looking for some action and boy will they be sorely disappointed.  I don't care, I'm that worn out.)

I got so desperate to get out of the house that when we ran out of popcorn, I schlepped them all up to Target and I bought a popcorn maker because my kids eat popcorn like Jerry eats cheese.

All the frigging time.

And since I bought the popcorn popper I had to buy the popcorn, and because I bought the popcorn I had to buy the seasonings, and because we had the seasonings, we had to have something to put the popcorn in.

And that is how it came to pass that I have about three million pictures like this:

I can't show you the first few pics---I burnt my arm on the
steam, dropped my phone, cussed a few good ones and
now I have pics of the ceiling....

And this:

Don't let the pic fool you--there was
popcorn everywhere...

And now I have to go up to Target to get more popcorn because my mice ran out of cheese and in a house full of mice, a girl can never run out of cheese.

On the upside, I finally beat Alex at Monopoly.  It was the worst example of social skills ever.  For both of us.

I may, or may not, have said something along the lines of, "BOO-YA!  Sweet Jesus I did it!  Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.  I did it, I did it, I well and truly did it."

And I may, or may not, have done a victory dance, or three, around the basement.

I will never tell.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

He hit the mother-load.

After a long day of therapies, my son looked at me and said, "Mom, I hit the mother-load of special needs, didn't I?"

My heart dropped to my knees.

We were in the car and I couldn't see his face as clearly as I wanted to (damn you stupid rear-view mirror) and I had no idea where he was going with this.  I said the first thing that came to mind, "Whaaaat???"

"I hit the mother-load of special needs.  I have to go to OT, Speech, I saw Dr. B today and we just now came from Group.  And when I'm at school, I have Friendship Group, Gifted and I go and see my other teachers.  And I have asthma.  I just hit the mother-load of problems."

I still wasn't sure where he was going with this.  We've talked before about how he's different and how everyone's different.  That if we were all the same, it would be pretty boring and we all know how much we like being bored.  We've had these conversations and he's uncomfortable.

He knows he's different.

He struggles with knowing what other boys are doing and how most of the time he gets excluded or he just doesn't get it.  He wants to have friends, hell a friend, but everything just moves too quickly and he becomes lost.  Overwhelmed, and eventually on the periphery.  He hurts and my heart aches for him.  

He looked at me in the mirror, with a little smile, and said, "Well, if we were all the same how would I beat you in Monopoly?  I guess my mother-load isn't so bad.  You stink at that game.  You want to play when we get home?"  

"Yeah, sugar-bug.  I sure would."

And that's exactly what we did.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I will beat boredom with a stick if I have to. Someone hand me a stick.

Remember last week when I wrote this post about how my kids were bored and driving me insane?  Well I was out at a store and found this:

And I was all, "Boredom, I'm going to kick your ass.  Thank you very much Table Topics, you have saved my life and together we are going to survive this summer."  And I picked those things off the shelf faster than my kid spying a box set of Lego's.  And for a brief moment I was happy.

Happy to have something new to do and secretly?  I was lying in wait so the very next time my devil-spawn issued that horrible whine of, "I'm bored" I'd be ready.

And of course it took two whole days for them to utter that little phrase and when they did, I pulled that box out of hiding.  Alex started giggling and Lizzy started eye-rolling.  Gracie, I don't know where she was.  I think she was napping.

Anyway, this was the very first one we pulled out:

Are you fucking kidding me?!?  A ninja?  Seriously?  Did they not read my last post???  I swear the world is conspiring against me.

We did it anyway and they found a spider behind a chair in the living room (mental note to call Orkin) and a few lost Burger King toys and then somebody touched something and before I knew it, I was separating them to opposite corners of the room.

Moving, on, we pulled out the next one:

We did and our cake turned out like this:

Awesome.  Pure awesome.  My husband's birthday cake, a complete and utter mess.  It self destructed in the most unnatural and horrible way I've ever seen.  We could only get like five candles on that thing before the rest of it slid right off the top.  We still ate it and best of all?  We laughed.

Then we pulled out the next card:

My short answer on this is, "No, no she does not like surprises and no she most certainly does not like balloons.  And blowing up her own frigging balloons for her own frigging surprise?  No, no, no."

Moving on....

Now we're talking.  Silence.

I will tell you, this lasted for about one minute before I heard, "Ugggh, this is sooo boring!"

Note: I was not endorsed for anything here.  Table Topics probably doesn't even want to know what else we did with their little cards.  I link to them as a way to give credit,  where credit is due.  And we did have fun with them, we still are.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

This is what happens when you don't pay attention to your husband.

My husband had a great idea for the oldest two.  I wasn't listening when he mentioned it and I gave him a, "Sure babe.  Sounds great.  Whatever you think hon," and finished dinner.  Since I was being an exceptionally good wife, I promptly forgot about it.

And that's exactly why my kids are now in Sword Camp.  Let that be a lesson out there to you ladies....listen to your husbands.


Yeah, you read that right, Sword Camp.  My kids are in Sword Camp.  Remember how much fun we all had when they were at Nunchuck Camp over Spring Break?  It's like that but with big swords.

Look ma!  Free tee-shirts!

I've had to repeat that several times because I can't quite process it.  Swinging swords around, clobbering each other.  We're actually spending money on teaching our kids how to kill each other with swords.  Nice.

Because one sword is never enough.

It's like natural selection at its best.  I feel like I'm Darwinizing my own children.  And because it's a camp, and at camp kids get free things, they are now the proud owners of two swords.  Each.

They each have two swords. Oh-My-God-Un-fucking-Believable.

One's made out of bamboo all thatched together and the other one's made out of some random hardwood.  The kids tell me the bamboo sword hurts "way worse" than the other one.  I didn't ask how they found that out and I'm not going to either.  There are some things a mom just doesn't want to know.

I walked in early on a class one day and they were swinging around metal swords.  Real metal swords.  Oh-My-God-Un-fucking-Believable.  I almost passed out.

Like light sabers.  But not.

Alex sees me and is all, "HI MOM!  Look what I'm doing!"  All proud and happy.  He's waving his hand around and here's a key bit of information: he forgot he had a real metal sword in his hand, so he was waving that around also.  I let out an "Oh Shit" and dove on him like I was at the Who concert, trying to stop that sword from swinging.  I almost got gutted like fish in the process.

He was beaming.  Waving that big metal sword around, proud as anything.

I think I lost a little bit of my life in that moment.  And I almost pissed myself.

After that, I made a decision: I don't watch.

I have learned from their Nunchuck Camp and this time around, the swords stay in the car.  There will be no sword fights over summer break in the house.  There will be no beating the shit out of the windows, sofas, chairs, each other.  No, none of that.  I don't know how I'd explain to the Emergency Department that they got pissed and had a sword fight in the living room.  I'm sure it would garner, at minimum, a Social Services Consult and I have to tell you, I don't have the intestinal fortitude for that right now.

So I'm guessing it would surprise no one that while I was peeing, they kids had a sword fight in the garage.

No, it really didn't surprise me either.

Monday, July 2, 2012

You make up my heart.

I had another post all ready to go up today but something happened over the weekend that I'm still trying to put into words.  I was plagerized.  Flat out, plain and simple, someone took my words and used them as their own.

One of the images/pictures I made on Facebook was duplicated, without my permission, and was passed off as someone else's work.  Let me be clear--this image was not shared as is standard on Facebook.  This was someone who duplicated something I had already done and put her name on it.  

I won't go into all the details here.  I can't.  I won't.  I guess I'm not quite ready to go there and, for as much as I loathe to admit it, I'm a grown up.  I'm not going to go to a base level and start slinging mud.  I will not bring myself, this blog or anyone else down to that level.  I believe in a certain amount of respect and while others can, and do, play in the mud, I will not.

And to be honest, this will probably be one of the most disjointed posts I've ever written.  I can't seem to get what I want to say out in a coherent pattern or order.  Words fail me for many different reasons.

The thing is, those little sayings I make on Facebook are important to me.  It's how I feel.  Sure, they're sappy and they totally go against my snarky side but at the core, it's how I feel about my son, my family, my life and my friends.  I love them all deeply.

And to have someone take that, to claim it as their own, is wrong.  It's flat out wrong.

(I would love to name each and every one of you who helped but I fear we will all be blocked.  Who will keep an eye on things then?  That would just not do, not do at all.)

So those of you who saw what was going on and decided to do something, anything, I am in awe of you.  There are so many people who did what I could not do alone.  You stood up for me, stood up for what was right, and together we were able to do what I simply could not have done on my own.

I am humbled, awed and left without words.

You see, I have always grown up telling myself, "You have to do this on your own.  No one else will do it for you."  I've had that wedged into my brain since as long as I can remember, so asking for help is foreign to me.  I don't know how to do it.  I was scared to death to reach out to you.  And when you all did help me?  I was brought to my knees. 

Those of you who helped me, you know who you are.  I know you do.  Please know that you have a special place in my heart.  You are the friends I've never met but you mean more to me than you will ever know.

While one person may have destroyed my faith in humanity, you have resotred it beyond measure.  And you taught me something else, something about me.  Something that I've been preaching but too busy to hear my own words.

I'm not alone in any of this.  I have the support, friendship and love of this community that I never knew I had.  Turns out, you were always right there next to me, it just took someone stealing my words to make me see what was right in front of me all along.

And while someone may have taken something from me, you have given me my heart.  You've filled it up, handed it back and made me see there is hope.

Thank you.  Thank you for doing something that made me see what was right in front of me all along.  You.

My family. My friends.  My community.

Note: I know there are others who can put into words what I did not and do a much better job of it.  I do not own the patent on this and I welcome you writing your own posts on this matter.  Sometimes distance give clarity and right now I don't have that distance.  

Please also know while I have been blocked from this particular Facebook page, that page owner still has access to mine and thus, my blog posts.  I expect respect in the comments and will not tolerate rude or otherwise defamatory remarks.