Friday, August 2, 2013

And now we talk about Sparring Camp and Ryan Gosling...

So we used to do this thing with Ryan Gosling ages ago…  A bunch of Special Needs bloggers would all link up and share the same image of Ryan and add our own twist to that same image.  Well, I’m happy to say it’s back. 

The kids have been in a Tae Kwon Do Sparring Camp for the past few weeks.
Sparring Camp.
I’ll just let that sink in.  My kids, with no gross or fine motor skills to speak of, are enrolled in a class where they are being taught to beat the crap out of each other.  They are being taught to respectfullybeat the crap out of each other. 
Read more here: Four Sea Stars

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When the load lightens...

For as much as I’ve been complaining and making noise about summer vacation, I have  a little secret…..I like summer.

We’ve stopped going to therapies for a bit and we’re taking a bit of a break.  There comes a point where you have to be happy with where you are, and where the kids are.  I can’t keep making the kids to go to places they don’t really want to go.

Because what does that say about me if I insist?  That I’m not happy with my kids, as they are?
Read more here:  Four Sea Stars

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer can suck it, part deux.

And then we fast forward to our summers now.  I can’t leave the kids outside to play by themselves.  I don’t dare.  The kids are dysregulated, we’ve had meetings about Lizzy and her Dyslexia, we’ve been going to therapies and Tae Kwon Do camp.   And after this weekend I’m calling to a halt to everything but the Tae Kwon Do camp because I’ve already paid for it and every child needs to know how to spar with their siblings, right?
Anyway….I took the kids out to our local blueberry patch on Saturday.  It was nice, not too hot.
The kids started out, “I’m hot.  It’s too hot.  Can’t we just go to the store and buy some blueberries?”
“No, we are not going out to the store to get blueberries, you need to see how these things are made, out in the wild.  Well, not really out in the wild, but you get my point.”
“No, I don’t get your point, Mom.  Why can’t we just get them at the store?”  Alex stated, one last try to get us to stay at home.
Read more here:  Four Sea Stars 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer can kiss my a--

Dear God in Heaven, we aren’t even half way through July yet???  Someone please pass me a drink, a soft mallet, a hammer to drop on my foot, heck anything to put me out of my misery...  Read about it here:  Four Sea Stars.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The thing with public education.....

So we’ve been keeping this under wraps because, well because.  I found out early on that talking about Special Education can get you in trouble.  You just don’t do read more go here: Four Sea Stars.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation in numbers...

And we’re back home.  Having been gone for two weeks, it’s nice to be back, to have my own coffee maker and sleeping in my own bed, without kids blasting in at two AM asking where in the hell they are in a confused and cloudy haze.  I was able read more go here: Four Sea Stars.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sometimes my world crumbles...

There are times when I feel worn down, tired and exhausted.  Where it feels as if I’m swimming underwater and I can just make out where the water breaks above me but I can’t reach to the continue reading go here:  Four Sea Stars.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Does anyone even like pudding???

We managed to finish out the last few days of school with Alex home sick, Gracie sick and Lizzy going into school blissfully unaware.   We’re now looking down the barrel of the gun called Summer Vacation and I’m a little concerned for my sanity and the number of cuss words that are currently flying out of my mouth.
With two other kids, I though I’d give Lizzy some air time as I can’t do Autism, all the time, I’d go insane.  I had this happen a few weeks ago....continue reading at Four Sea Stars.   

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

There is no cure...

There was a time I wanted a cure.  I wanted something to fix my child.
I did, I’ll own and admit that.
I wanted to take away some of the things I didn’t understand.  I didn’t want my child to be grabbing his ears when there was a loud noise or flinch when we walked outside into the sunlight.  I didn’t continue reading please go here:  Four Sea Stars 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Are you sure?

I had an interesting encounter with another parent and it left me wondering, what do other people see when they see me, my son?  What do they really think?
We were at an extracurricular activity in the morning and....
Go here to read more:  Four Sea Stars

Monday, May 20, 2013

When a child runs....

We’ve lost three children in the last few weeks due to elopement.  They saw something that interested them like water and wandered away.  They didn’t come back.  A little piece of me dies when I hear that.  I can’t imagine, I just can’t.
Because that could be us.
To continue reading, please go here, to my new site.  Four Sea Stars.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

I wrote about Mother's Day and it involved Walmart...

So I wrote about Mother's Day over at my new place and it involved going to Walmart and Lowes on Sunday afternoon but you have to go to my new site to read it.  Click on the link and it will get you there.

Four Sea Stars

And if you want, when you get there, hit that little follow button so we can stay in touch!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Can you be both?

I wrote a post over here about how you can be Autistic and be an ass.

Oh yes, yes I did.

Note: if you haven't already, please try and follow over at WordPress.  I don't know how much longer I'm going to be doing a double post.

Find me here at Four Sea Stars.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I just have to survive...

Yeah, the weather was nice so I took the kids outside to play.  And it didn't go so well.

Get going over here, to my new place, and read and follow.  I can't keep updating this forever.  OK, I may keep doing it forever.  Or at least until I forget.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

I messed it I moved.

Yeah, I messed up the blog up over the weekend.  I managed to muck things up so bad I couldn't fix them and the only logical thing to do, well it seemed logical at the time, was to move.

So I did it.  I moved.

I'm now here over here:  Four Sea Stars.

Please come over so I don't feel like a loser.

Note: I've retrospectively changed the wording in this post.  In light of what happened in Boston, I felt it was necessary to remove certain words to respect those involved.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nothing to see here, please keep moving...

Did you have a good Easter?  I bet yours was better than ours.  Matter of fact, I would place a sizable amount of money you had a better Easter than we did.

It all started after the kids went to bed and I had to grab the Easter baskets and candy.  The baskets were no problem.  I had them up in my closet so I didn't have to have what happened last year---which was not find a basket, throw a fit and run to Target at frigging midnight, only to find the offending basket full of Barbies in Lizzy's room the very next morning while we were looking for the new Easter basket.  Ironic, no???

This year I thought I had everything where it was supposed to be and it was going to be easy.  Throw the candy in the baskets, hide the baskets and chuck a few plastic eggs around the house and I'd be in bed by 11:00, tops.

Yeah, no.

I couldn't find the candy.  I hid the candy too well and I couldn't find it.  I hid the candy from myself.

You should have heard the language.  I vowed I wasn't going to run up to Target again this year.  I VOWED.  I searched from one end of the house to the other.  Cussing the whole time, "Where in the fuck did I put that candy?  God damn it, how can I be so fucking stupid to hide the candy from myself?  I am a full- fledged, card carrying member of the Idiot Society.  I hid the candy from myself.  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?"

I was not going to Target.  I was not.  I looked in cabinets, the pantry, the car, my closet, the bathroom, the laundry room and even in the laundry bins.  Nothing, no candy.

I gave up, I used Valentine's Day candy instead.

By the time I had stopped sobbing, cursing and the getting baskets together, I threw plastic eggs out around the house and I went to bed.  Not before I called my husband and told him, "FIX THIS."

It was 1:45 AM.  

The kids were up at 5:45 AM.

They hunted for their baskets, found eggs and life was good.  And then I heard Lizzy scream, "Mom!!!!  The Easter Bunny gave me Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I hate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!!"  Then the crying started and didn't stop.

And from another corner of the house I heard Alex wail, "Mom, the Easter Bunny gave me chocolate lambs!!!  I hate chocolate lambs!!!"  The basket got chucked in a corner and he went running and sobbing in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, Gracie was sitting at the kitchen table eating everything in her basket, happy as a clam.  The other two were freaking out.

The Easter Bunny, in her sleep deprived state, mixed up the baskets so my husband, after he went to Target, put the wrong candy in the wrong basket.

I screamed at them, "You guys, just switch baskets.  You can do that, right?"  Neither one of them heard me over their own wails.  All I kept thinking was, "Sue me, I got your baskets wrong.  There are starving kids in China who would LOVE to have your chocolate!"  Deep down, I felt horrible.

I gave up, went to the kitchen and thought I'd get an early start on the dinner.

And I promptly dropped the ham on my foot.  The brown sugar glaze packet broke the impact and in the process exploded all over the refrigerator, floor and my foot.  I cursed the ham to hell and decided to work on the deviled eggs.  And I couldn't get that thin layer, you know that membrane thing?  I couldn't get it off the egg.  I broke two eggs right off the bat and on the third one, I melted down, smashed them all in the sink, turned the disposer on and sent them on their merry way.

(And, yes, I soaked those damn eggs in cold water.  I even did a trial run so this wouldn't happen and it still happened so don't tell me to soak them in cold water, I got that memo.  God, that still pisses me off.)

At that point I gave up.

I took the kids to Wendy's and we had chicken nuggets and french fries for Easter.  I put all the candy into one big basket and let them play Minecraft till their hearts content.  I collapsed on the sofa and flipped back and forth between HGTV and DIY and after that we decapitated the lamb and ate it.

And that was our Easter.  I was sad, angry and upset that I couldn't pull it off.

I was getting ready to call the kids up for bed and I heard Alex say, "This was the best Easter ever!"

And just like that, all was right with my world....but I'm still pissed at those damn eggs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why yes, I am Autism Aware.

April is Autism Awareness month.

And every April, I'm never quite sure what to think about it, to be honest.  When you live with something every day, and it's such a big part of your life, you tend to just man-up and deal with things.

And every April I tend to get squeamish and just wish the whole thing would go away.  Sure, I think the idea of awareness is a good thing, don't get me wrong.  I just don't like the spot-light shining in my windows.  I feel like what I do, what we do and how we do things, is on display for everyone to see and go "Ohh" and "Ahh" and exclaim, "This is Autism....I get it now."

But the thing with Autism is this---its all the time.  It's not one day or even one month.  It's all the time.

It's late at night when sleep is elusive and just out of reach.  It's the routine we follow and it's the clothes we wear.  It's the food we eat and what we don't eat.  And more specifically, Autism is what we eat on a certain day, a certain way, and how the plate is set with the milk at exactly eleven o'clock, as if the plate were a clock, every single meal.

Autism is taking the exact same way to the store, never deviating.  It's going up certain aisles and down others.  It's the same DVD that's been in our minivan since 2010.  (Megamind, if you're curious.)  And it's also knowing which store to go to and when, and which one has paper towels in their bathrooms and not the sonic air blasters.

Autism is dealing with meltdowns and people staring.  It's sometimes feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and wishing like hell, just once, everyone would mind their own business.

Autism is the flapping, toe walking, lining up toys, singular play and lack of interest in others.  It's hours and hours of therapy, IEP's and wishing that sometimes you could catch a break---and realizing that the only break you may get is the one in the therapy waiting room.

Autism is all that.

But it's also something else, something more.  Something you won't see in a single day or even in a month.

Autism is coming to terms with a new life, a new way of living.  It's letting some people go and drift out of your life, while finding others.  Autism is sometimes being alone when things are at their worst, yet knowing deep down, you would never dream of being any place else.  

Autism is looking at your child and laughing at their joke and being amazed, truly amazed, at the child in front of you.

Autism is getting that first smile, that first word and that first look into their eyes.

Autism is being comfortable in your own skin and helping your child grow into the person they are to become---because you see potential.  You see their greatness.

Autism is finding out that things are different but its also knowing you wouldn't change it for the world.

It's finding out too, that you're a different person---a stronger, wiser, person.  A person you never thought you'd be.  And to take a minute and look back and remember your old self?  It's like looking into someone else's life, peering into their rear view mirror and realizing that what's come into focus is different from what you expected, but not completely foreign.  And it's realizing that this, this is where you belong.

And that is Autism for us.  That's what you'll find when you peer into my windows and take a peek into my life.  You'll find Autism, but you'll also find much more.  Much, much more.  

Autism is a part of us and a part of our lives.   Autism just is, it's who we are.  And I wouldn't change that for the world, I wouldn't want to.

Autism simply is.

Autism simply is, us.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I have been bested by Minecraft.

It's no secret our new thing in this house is Minecraft.  We held out as long as we could but we finally caved at Christmas.  Santa brought the kids Minecraft.  It was quite a letdown because all we could wrap was an envelope with the authorization code that needed to be entered into the computer to get the game started.  Once they figured it out though they took the envelope and ran with it.

They Ran.

We never saw them for the rest of Christmas.  Come to think of it, we saw very little of them in January, February and most of March.

Since then, we've been up to our armpits in Minecraft.  Every single thing in this house revolves around it.

And that, right there, is the rub.

We've had to find a happy middle ground where the kids are not plugged into the computer all day and life's passing them by.  They, on the other hand, would love to do nothing more than fight zombies and creepers, download mods and watch YouTube videos.

Truth be told, Minecraft is just one little part of the Total Minecraft Immersion.  You have mods, seeds, whole new worlds and maps.  All of them have to be thoroughly researched and examined on the iPad and then you chose which ones you want to download.

And you have not lived Minecraft till you've lived through the videos.  Oh dear God the videos.  They are a thing unto themselves.

We started off with these prepubescent teens, screaming, yelling and cussing every other word.  They would blow up sheep and use TNT and nuke whole damn worlds.  My kids were enjoying it a bit too much so that lasted less than two seconds in this house.

Then we found Mr. Paul.  He's the new man in our lives.  He's practically been living with us since right after Christmas.  His real name is Paul Sores Jr, and I can't tell you the number of night's I've spent with Mr. Paul, waiting for my own husband to come home.

He does the Minecraft videos in a nice, calm manner and he's downright easy on the ears.  That may not seem to be a big deal but when you are listening to these things for hours on end sometimes, voice quality becomes very important.  Trust me on this.

It got so bad at one point, I called the kids to come up and eat dinner.  They wolfed their food down in seconds. SECONDS.  Then, before I had had a chance to sit down to eat my dinner, I was being asked, "Mom, can I go back downstairs?  Can I, please?!?"  I brushed it off figuring if I ignored the question, I could at least get a little something to eat.

I was wrong.

"MOM, can I go back down stairs?!?"  Alex asked almost frantic, pacing, having to have an answer right that very second.

"Guys, I need something to eat.  Please look around you and put your dishes away.  Just give me a minute, would you?"

Well that wasn't even out of my mouth before my cute little kids with absolutely no gross and fine motor skills, found it within themselves to scoop up their dishes, round the bend of the island, turf the dishes into the sink, round the other bend of the island and with the dexterity of a skilled surgeon, set the microwave timer.

All in under ten seconds flat.

I remember standing there thinking, "What in the fuck just happened?  Jesus, I don't think I've ever seen them move that fast, Alex was almost fluid, even.  I could really use this Minecraft thing to my advantage."

And then it dawned on me, "Hey, why did you guys set the timer?"

"Well mom, you said to give you a minute.  I'm giving you exactly one minute.  Well, you now have forty-six seconds."  

So I stood there looking at my older two kids, all of us looking at each other, a three way stare down, going back and forth from looking at them to the microwave timer and back.  I never knew how excruciatingly long a minute, or forty-six seconds, could be until you're in a stare down with your two kids and the microwave.


And just like that, my older two ran like they had flaming fireballs on their heels, down the steps to the computers, back to Minecraft.  One of them ran around the corner, overshot it and smack-landed in the other side of the wall.  They righted themselves and kept right on going.  I could hear them in excited voices, "Hey lets see if we can get new saddles to ride the pigs!"

Gracie and I stood there looking at each other, wondering what in the hell just happened.

I stood there trying to figure out why in the hell a pig needed a saddle.

And that is one day in our life, living with Minecraft.

And I still don't know why a pig needs a saddle.  I did find out you have to have a carrot though.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What? You're not Irish?

I am Irish.  I'll wait till the severity of that sinks in.  

My dad came from Ireland and for my whole life, I've grown up around hot tea, wool sweaters and mashed potatoes with every single meal.  I've heard enough hornpipe and bagpipes to last a lifetime and I also know how to do a jig and a reel in my sleep.  If push comes to shove, I can slug out a steady stream of cuss words in full accent, always starting off with, "Bloody Hell..."  I do it much better, however, when I'm piss wasted, just saying. 
Anyway, my mom gears up for the Holy Day like no other.  Lizzy does Irish dance and she's been prostituted out like a French whore to every old folks home in Kansas City for the past two weeks.  She danced for miles and miles in parades and snow and she just keeps on going.     

I have danced my ass off.  

But what tops our St. Patrick's Day festivities is the clothes. Aside from walking around in green for the last two weeks, my mom tries to get anyone she can to dress in green with her.  Since the three year old is still young and vulnerable, and she doesn't run fast enough, she gets stuck wearing what Grandma puts her in.  And Grandam bought Gracie this cute little green shirt.  See that thing down there?  My mom kept telling me about the, "Adorable little shirt," she bought for her.  She failed to realize that all the white shamrocks, when put together, made a shape.  


My mom bought the girls skin-head tee shirts for St. Patrick's Day.

I have no earthly clue what she is doing.
Practicing to lead jets down the jetway, I guess.  

All they needed were a few tube socks full of rocks and they could go out and raise hell, in true Irish fashion, with their brother.

Only fitting I put Creeper heads on the girls.  Bonus points because they are green.  

And then I made this:

Anyone sends this to Cake Wrecks and
I'll find you and gut you.  Fair warning.  

An Irish Lamb Cake.

Normally in our house the Sacrificial Lamb Cake is reserved for Easter but I wanted to get an early start.  Nothing says, "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" like cutting into the green guts of a lamb.

And go read this right here, if you want to hear about our past Easter fun but I suggest you stop drinking your soda because we don't do holidays in the normal fashion around here.  You've been warned.

I already know, I totally fucked up the icing.  It got all droopy and was a bloody mess.  The kids thought it was hysterical, renamed it George, and instead of a lamb it was now a sheepdog.


And what did Alex do for St. Patrick's Day?  He played Minecraft, watched YouTube videos about Minecraft, downloaded mods for Minecraft, made Minecraft skin, new Minecraft worlds, found emeralds and redstone and generally talked my ear off about?  Minecraft.

I went with it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

If this is not rock bottom I'm gonna be pissed.

You know what is awesome about pneumonia?

NOTHING is awesome about pneumonia, that's what's awesome about pneumonia.

My kids gave me one hell of a cold that turned into a sinus infection that turned into a antibiotic resistant strain of pure evil that set up shop in my lungs.  Anyone else thinking of that Musinex commercial now?  For the past two weeks I've been working on breathing.  Just breathing.

And when I'm sick its amazing what gets lost in the cracks of everyday life.

The kids had an after school art program they were begging to go to, just begging.  I signed them up and promptly, and totally, forgot about it.

So that Monday my daughter went out after school for me to pick her up only I wasn't there.  Somewhere in the back corner of my mind I knew she had after school art but here's the rub: she did not.

I didn't remind the kids what the day looked like from our daily calender and she didn't know.

After twenty minutes of standing outside, the secretary figured out what was going on and ushered her into the art room.  You know, the art room her brother was happily sitting in, crafting away.  See, he remembered he had after school art.  It just never crossed his mind to see where she was.

When she walked into the art room and saw him happily crafting away she broke down in tears all over again.

When I went to pick the kids up I was pulled aside, told what happened and again my little girl went turned into a complete and utter puddle.

I felt horrible.  She was out front waiting for me and I never came.  Talk about feeling like a shitty, horrible parent.  I calmed her down, bribed her with a trip to Dairy Queen that was mostly more for me and I thought things were right with the world.

Only they weren't.

"You don't love me.  You hate me.  I think I want a new mom.  If I had a new mom, she'd never forget me.  She'd love me...and make me cookies....and not forget me in front of school."

All the way home.

I had enough.  I snapped pulling into the subdivision.  Pulled a hard right and curbed the minivan.  All the safety harnesses were working on the seat belts.  I confirmed it.

"GOD BLESS AMERICA, I'm sorry I forgot to tell you!  Mommy's sick!  I don't feel good.  You guys gave me some horrible plague and I'm sorry I forgot one little thing.  I'm sorry!"

Cough, cough, cough, hack, hack, cough.....shallow breath in and....

"You know, you guys are old enough to look at that calender in the morning and see what is going on in your lives.  It's up there for a reason and it's most certainly not there for my health.  Now I want QUIET for the rest of the way home!"

And I pulled back out onto the street and drove the whole fifty feet to our house in silence.  Only to walk inside and to be met by a calender that looked like this:

She in PJ's....don't judge. 

And two kids, exclaiming, "See!!!  How can we possibly know what is going on, Gracie drew all over it!  This is all your fault.  Our new mom would never let this happen!"

I gave up.  I swear, one day I will have grown children that can function for themselves.  God as my witness, I will.  They may be in therapy for the rest of their lives but by God, it will happen.  

Right now I want their new mom to come in here and see what she can do with this place, she can start by cleaning that damn calender board.  That things a mess.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February you need to go away, like, right now.

February and I have a love/hate relationship going on.  For me, it's mostly an all hate kind of thing.  It's cold, dreary and even with the hint of spring right around the corner it's hard road to get to the end of those twenty eight days.

In my head, I've been telling February to go fuck itself over twenty times a day.  It's like it's on repeat in my brain.

First we got sick.  Then we got better.  Then we had Valentine's Day and I made the off hand comment at my daughters party, "Holy Cow!  It looks like half the class is missing."  Turns out, half the class was missing and I know exactly what they gave me.  A horrible cold.

And the kids have been home for almost the whole month.  They had parent teacher conferences for two days followed up by Presidents' Day.  Not to be outdone, we had Winter Storm Q pound us and the kids were off another two days.  A State of Emergency was declared and it snowed.  And snowed and snowed and snowed.

Fuck you for that, February.

I thought it would be fun to go out and play in the, you know, snow.  Not so much.  It took over forty minutes to get into snow pants, socks, boots, coats, hats and gloves and even then Alex took a single step out the back door and retreated inside exclaiming he was done.  The girls went out for ten minutes only to retreat inside when they got snow in their mittens.  Ten minutes.

And to think we lived in North Dakota for ten years.

Because the kids have been off school so much, either because of planned events, sickness or snow days, they've been dysregulated.  They don't know what day it is, if they should be getting ready for school or what they should be doing.  It's been awesome.

I took a huge leap, put us on a schedule and did some homeschooling.

They hated it.  They hated me and they hated everything about being home and having to learn something.  I was cutting into their Minecraft time and by God they let me know about it.

I turned off the computers and they suddenly realized that, by God, I was being serious.

We studied, we learned and I think they had fun.

And when I asked, "Who wants to go outside and play?"  The forty minute bitch session was pared down to ten minutes and begging to be let out.  I guess they didn't have as much fun with me teaching as I thought...

They were out the door and in the snow in record time.

We made forts, threw snowballs and laughed.

You know where this would be pretty?
Some place other than my back yard, that's where.  

We dug out from our winter storm and things were getting back to normal.  Taking the kids to Tae Kwon Do, I fell in the parking lot.  I cursed February with my middle finger and a slew of beautifully strung together obscenities.

I'm sorry if you were in the minivan next to me when I went down but really?  That hurt like a mother.

We only had a few more days.

And then they said we were going to have another storm.  Bigger and badder than the last one.  Up to twenty inches of new snow on our already foot and a half.

Again, even prettier if this was your back yard.
Someone want to help me pick up branches?

That's exactly what we got.  Additional snow, snow days and more homeschooling.

I think my kids hate me.  I think I hate February more....but now I have one day left.

Just one day left in February and I can flip the calendar.  There's something about the promise of March.  Sure we live in Kansas and the threat of tornados looms large but we'd be out of February, into the promise of Spring.

I can do this.

I'll take my chances and risk tornados any day of the week just to get past the cold, snowy days of winter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Siri is my new BFF

We have homework issues, we have them bad.  By the time Alex gets home from school, he's exhausted, his mind is taxed and he desperately needs a break.  When he gets home I quickly put some food in front of him and let him decompress.  He immediately goes downstairs to his new love:  Minecraft.


It is our new thing but it's a whole other post.  Trust me, it's a whole other post.

So anyway, by the time I can get him settled down from school we have to work on homework.  But it's hard.  School takes a lot out of him and most days we do what he can and we leave it at that.

One part of his homework is doing research for each state, a weekly assignment called Spell Across America.  It's the bane of our existence.  He needs to gather information for a particular state and each week the state changes.  He needs things like: the current population, the state bird, state nickname, who the current Governor is and all sorts of other boring and inconsequential material.

He can't stand it.

I can't stand it.

Each week has been horrible.  For both of us.

For him, I've tried bribery, candy, extra Minecraft time, staying up a few minutes later and skipping showers.

For me, I've tried drinking a little, then a lot, meditation, deep breathing, cursing under my breath, counting to ten, then twenty, walking away and coming back.

Nothings worked.  For either of us.

Trying to sit down at the computer and researching each state has been an exercise in futility.  Every time I get an, "Uggghhh....this is soooo BORING.  Why do I have to do this?  If I really want to know this stuff, I'll just look it up when I need it.  Uggggghhhhh......"

And I have to tell him, "You have to do some homework, you have to at least try.  You don't have the plan.  Your teachers and I have the plan.  We expect you to learn about each state.  Don't you want to know about Ohio, where I grew up?"

"Uggggh, Mom, I highly doubt Ohio is that much different than Kansas."  

Damn it the kids right, Ohio and Kansas pretty much suck equally.  "OK, fair enough.  Lets just get this done."

Look, a  pile of pads!

And then one day I was watching him with the i-pad and he was laughing his ass off.  I mean, the kid was literally laughing his ass off.  Snorting, giggling, rolling around on the floor, the works.  I thought he was going to puke from all the laughing. 

And I watched, I just watched...

"Siri, what is the state population of Arkansas?"

"The state population of Arkansas is approximately 2,673,400."

"GAHAHAHA, snort, Oh My God this is awesome!"  More laughing, snorting, rolling around on the floor.  

"Siri, what is the state bird of Arkansas?"

"The state bird of Arkansas is the mockingbird."

"Aghahahgahaha!!!  Oh My God, this is so awesome....SO AWESOME."  Again, more laughing, snorting, rolling around on the floor.

"Siri, what is the state nickname of Arkansas?"

"The state nickname of Arkansas is The Natural State."

"OMG, OMG, OMG, this is awesome!  SO AWESOME!"  More laughing, snorting and rolling around.

Siri was doing his homework.  He was getting Siri to look up his homework and he was writing down the answers as fast as he could.  For the first time since September he was doing his homework and laughing.

He was laughing.

It was unmitigated joy.

No way in hell I was getting in the middle of that.

Note:  I've talked to his teacher and we've worked out an arrangement so that he can use Siri, in moderation.  The key for us is that he does what he can, within his capabilities.  His teachers this year really get him and for that I am grateful.   

Monday, February 11, 2013

And then I thought I died.

I got all excited and happy that I was back and then, like all things, fate slapped me around a bit and showed me who's boss.  I'll give you a clue, it's not me.  Gracie came down with the stomach bug.  Now for those of you who have stuck with me for a while, you know how much I absolutely detest puke.  How much it makes me nervous, spin out of control and generally go insane.  And you also know how that is inversely proportional to how much my kids do, in fact, puke.

They puke all the fucking time.

Gracie was so sick, I had to have my neighbor pick up some meds for her to stop hurling, I couldn't get her to the corner Walgreen's without hurling.

It was either that or we were trudging down to the Emergency Department to get an IV.  For seven hours, we'd been sitting next to each other with a bucket so she could spew.  Seven long, horrible, frigging hours.  In that time frame she nailed me in the face and at that point I knew it was over.  My only thought was, "Innoculation complete."

I Cloroxed my face, mouth, neck and even my tongue for good measure.

And she got better.  A day went by and no one got sick.  I didn't get sick.

I was happy, I thought I had beaten it.  And I got cocky.  I was all, "Suck on that norovirus!  You were on my face and I beat you.  I win!  I'm a God."

Only I wasn't.  

I got sick.

One minute I was fine and the next, well, I wasn't.

And for the love of all things good and holy, I wished I was dead.  I have no earthly clue what that child brought into this house but I was sick.  Like, I was sicker than sick.  I threw out my back puking.  I stopped counting the number of times I barfed at sixty one.  My jaw popped out of socket and at no point did I think, "You know what, one day this will be funny and we are going to sit back and laugh and laugh and laugh."

Bait and switch.  Look at the pretty ocean while I talk about puke. 

And I'll just fast forward through all the gruesome details because they were flat out disgusting.  Now I'm up and amongst the living wondering where in the hell two good days went and what in the hell happened to my house.  It was like our toy closet blew up and all the kids were sitting in the middle of it having the times of their lives.  My husband and I clearly have two different views on how to keep the house.

And then I after another day I though I was in the clear.  No one was sick.  I got all cocky.  I thought, "I'm bad ass, I cleaned that norovirus out of this house.  I'm a cleaning God."

But I was wrong, I was so very wrong.

My husband got sick.

Then Alex got sick.

And now I must go and admit my defeat.

As an update, we now have the flu, or a cold that is suspiciously like the flu, in our house.  Alex is home from school telling me all about Minecraft.  Awesome.  

I'm trying to get back to everyone's blog but I'm having a really hard time.  Some of the word verification combinations are killing me!  I know spam is an issue but I can't seem to get past some of them and for that I'm sorry.   

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's missing...

So I'm back.  I took some time away and before I knew it we had holidays, birthdays, construction, IEP's and all kinds of fun with the flu and other assorted illnesses.  Awesome.

But I miss writing.  I miss my blog and I miss all of you.  

And what I'm going to start off with is no fun and part of the delay in coming back.  I was hoping it would go away, the dust would settle and we could all go about our business.  It hasn't, it won't and I'm over hearing about the horse that's been beaten to death.    

In the Autism community, there has been a long held belief that you are either a parent of a child with Autism or you are an adult self advocate.  Well, truth be told, I am both.  When pushed into a corner I will admit that I am on the Spectrum.  I don't feel I need to wear a badge or proclaim it on the highest mountain, that's just me.  I feel it's pretty obvious when you meet or get to know me.  It's mine, I own it and I don't feel it's anyone's business but my own.

I wrote this a while back.  Still holds true. 

You see, it's taken a long time for me to get comfortable with, me.  I want people to get to know me and not to draw conclusions based on a label.  I want the same for my son, for him to be accepted based on his own merits, achievements and successes.  You see, the world does not make excuses or gives free passes for those that are different.

Which brings me back to what I've seen recently in this community.  I've seen a complete and utter lack of respect.  A lack of respect for the person behind the screen name, the individual.  A lack of respect for what another person has said and a complete disregard for everything except their own agenda.  I have witnessed name calling, calling people assholes, baiting people to attack and agenda pushing at its finest.  I've seen both sides pile-on and add their two cents and the sad part is?  No one is listening.  No one.  How can they, when attack mode has been relegated as the new norm?

And that makes me want to walk away, not to come back.  But, but...I don't walk away from things that are important to me.  Things that I hold dear.  Things that I find unsettling for me and my child's future.   

Without respect, we will continue to beat our head against a wall, beat that dead horse to a pulp.

And here's my take, and granted, you may not like it.

When you are an adult, act like an adult.  It's just that simple.  Quit blaming someone else.  Is not up to me, or anyone for that matter, to tell you how to behave.  And if you don't know?  Then simply ask.

If you're angry, then step away.  Coming into a discussion angry and baiting will only foster those feelings.  And if  you're angry and itching for a fight, please go some place else.  You're simply not going to get a fight from me.  That's not who I am and not who I want to be.

The thing with the Internet is, other people can't read your mind, they don't know the day you've had or what life's thrown at you, and really?  Everyone has their own struggles and issues they're dealing with.  Believe it or not, they may be in a worse place than you.

While the fight goes on, this is as far as I will go into it.  I will not engage.  I won't converse with those unwilling to listen and I certainly won't be baited by those looking for a fight.  And the thing is?  There are plenty of other people like me.  Parents and self advocates who want to get along and understand each other without out a divide.  Those people do exist and when  you find them, you will know.

So I will continue to teach my child how to be respectful and kind.  I will work where I know I'm effective, here, my home, with my children and in my community.  And hopefully what I'm doing will be good enough.  Hopefully my son and others will learn a thing or two.

That is my hope.