Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

I am at work in my pajamas today. This is cool. It's my costume - a slumber party participant. I've got my slippers on and I brought SmallBoy's teddy bear. I vote for Halloween dress up at work everyday! SmallBoy is going as Darth Vader (complete with the voice changer helmet that he got for Christmas last year), Girl still hasn't made up her mind and LargeBoy - well, he and a bunch of friends are going as each other. Cute, huh? Sitting on my desk is a giant bowl of candy. Bad. But wait - not five feet from my desk is a basket of chocolate - no wait, there's more - one of our students brought donuts, and one of my colleagues brought cupcakes! No time to work out tonight, since trick-trick-or-treating starts at 3, and I'm not out of here til 4:30. No time tomorrow since I have to sing at church at 7- YIKES!!!

On this Monday, I'd like to introduce you all to Sullen Bunny. She is brand new to the blogging world and has recently had her 6 y/o diagnosed with AS. She is in need of some major support. I know we're all tremendously capable of that. Please stop by and say hi. She's got some serious "Autism Sucks" going on and could use our "ears". In the meantime, have a great Halloween, Dia de los Muertos (is that correct?) or whatever you chose to celebrate. This evening I will be busy gobbling up - I mean checking my children's candy for safety.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Wow! You guys are amazing. I cannot thank you enough for the flood of comments and support. Some of you I haven't even read in depth yet, but I'll be there as soon as I finish this post. It's rare that I get a REALLY REALLY bad crappy day that I can't make it over, but DAMN was that a doozy. Most things concerning my ex are doozies.

Through all of these comments, I have found some new blogs that you all must really check out: Astryngia, Moi at Bloggg, Cheryl at Mad Baggage (and oh she's got a lot more than Aspies on her blog - be prepared to CRACK UP), and Mrs. Aginoth at Musings of a Juggling Mother.

To everyone who commented and to those who may still comment: You're all truly blessings. I'm glad we all have each other's shoulders, ears, support, even though it's via the computer. I know that I didn't get back to each of you individually, but know that I totally related to and appreciated every single word that you said. Oh, and yes, I will be informing stupid Ex that AS is passed down through the male genes! You are all so PHENOMENAL!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm Having an I-Hate-Autism Day

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! I'm going to try, my dear friends (and you are all my friends by now), not to rant and rave and get to down, but las night was REALLY shitty. Not SmallBoy, but with Ex's take on Asperger's.

He called last night and asked me about SmallBoy's behavioral therapy. I told him that it was going well, but we've only been twice, since insurance only allows so many visits/year, not to mention that in the second visit, the therapist is still doing background work with him. You see, SmallBoy has issues listening when he is at his dad's for the weekend. He just doesn't do it. Ex also has a new baby, about 3 1/2, 4 mos old. SmallBoy doesn't really know how to interact with the baby, nor does he really know how to express his frustrations that he really likes the baby, but can't play with him. SmallBoy also doesn't understand that he can't really get right in the baby's face or play rough with him like he does with his brother and sister. Not only that, but there is always that underlying issue of jealousy. The kids are with their dad only two weekends a month, so SmallBoy a) still hasn't adjusted to the new baby, even though he loves him to pieces (he told me that he thinks being a big brother is wonderful and that he loves having a little brother. In fact, he asked when PC and I will be having a baby - not gonna happen, but still....), and b) still wants his time with his dad - alone, without baby in tow. I told Ex that perhaps time alone with SmallBoy would be a good way to make him feel special. As a matter of fact, I suggested that Ex take SmallBoy to his Cub Scout meeting tonight.

Ex went on to express the fact that he and his wife are concerned that SmallBoy defies them and won't listen to either of them when he is at their house. He said that LargeBoy and Girl constantly have to yell at SmallBoy, that he flips out and has tantrums like a baby and makes up his own rules, not abiding by the house rules. He says he has mood swings. (Is anyone else thinking, "Hmmm, isn't that all about ASD?") I explained to Ex that SmallBoy is on the spectrum. I had to cut it to the quick for him and say to him that Asperger's is a form of autism. He replied to me with, "We've read that book on Awsperger's and we know all about it. He shouldn't act like this."

Wait. It get's worse. He then went on to say to me that, as much as it pains him to do this, that if SmallBoy's behavior doesn't change significantly in the next visit, that he will not be able to have him on the weekends because he fears for the baby's safety. I was FLOORED. My SmallBoy wouldn't hurt a flea. He needs assistance with social skills, with how to act in certain situations. He needs to learn how to find the language he needs to use to express himself properly. I told him that he needs to do a lot more research on ASperger's. I said that I communicate with other parents every day who discuss all of these same things. That SmallBoy is not just being a problem child. That he is not just defying his father. Hell, he listens to me. Yeah, we have our bad days and our good days, but that's the nature of Asperger's. I know what to do, how to work with my little man. Ex does not. I told him about blogs and Asperger's and autism sites.

I told Ex that I am doing everything that I can to assure that SmallBoy lives a very successfull life, but that takes MONEY - something I don't have. Ex refuses to contribute anymore than he is legally required, which makes getting SmallBoy help extremely difficult. And I told him that. I said that insurance only covers so much. I was just absolutely fuming. I know that I'm still missing elements of this conversation with him because I'm so infuriated.

After I hung up with him, I told PC what was going on and he just held me while I cried. How can he deny his own son simply because he is "difficult" (or because he doesn't know what to do because he's not fully educated in the ways of ASperger's). I likened this to people who would institutionalize family members because they were "weird" or "off" or "strange" or "difficult". And please forgive me if this sounds awful, but I have to say, that I'm extremely lucky that my child is "easy", as far as the spectrum goes. His receptive and expressive language is for the birds, his social skills suck, his mood swings are godawful, but he is such a wonderful boy. He is loving, caring, compassionate, sweet, friendly, for the most part - happy. But you know what? Even if he was "difficult" or more severe, as we say in the ASD community, I would still love him and do everything in my power to see that his life is as perfect as I can make it for him. He is my SON. God, I'm just SO livid.

We've all written about people who don't get it. Never once, however, have I seen a parent of an ASD child who doesn't get it. I understand that he is not with SmallBoy on a regular basis. I understand that it's a really hard thing to accept, that your child is "different" than other kids. So what should one do in this case? Research. Educate yourself and others. Make an effort to understand what causes this and what to expect from your child and, more importantly, how to teach your child, how to understand your child, how to work with your child, how to make sure your child knows that you love them UNCONDITIONALLY.

I could rant on long and loud, but my head is really starting to throb with anger right now. HELP.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

A while back, in this post, I was discussing the inner conflict I was having in regards to filling SmallBoy in on our mythical holiday figures. At the suggesting of PM, I had him watch It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, last night. I questioned him as we went through, "So what do you think? Is the Great Pumpkin real?" The beginning moments had SmallBoy answering a resounding "YES!" to that question, while the ending moments had him saying, "Nope. It was just Snoopy in the patch."

I then asked him something along the lines of, "Was it ok that even though Linus believed that there really was a Great Pumpkin, that it was just pretend?" "Did anything in Linus' world change because there wasn't a Great Pumpkin?" Get this: He was totally fine with that! THANKS PM - and thanks for the call! Now, I'm still not quite ready to broach the subject, but at least the groundwork has been laid. Hopefully we'll have this figured out before Christmas.

Losing Sleep Over the Series

What a late night last night! Great game. SCARY game, but a great game, nonetheless. I'm glad my Sox won, but geez o petes! Did it really need to go THAT long? And with THAT MANY pitchers (on both teams)? Girl & LargeBoy managed to stay awake for the whole thing. Round about the 12th inning, PC and I went up to bed and turned the TV on in there. We totally dozed off, but woke up for the commotion at the end. I heard "White Sox win Game 3, " and I was out like a light.

I'm now faced with a dilemma. Potentially, the Sox could win the series tonight. This is an incredibly historic series since the Sox haven't been in forever, and this is Houston's first time. It's really quite cool. Obviously, we won't be in Houston to witness Game 4, so we will be watching from home with the rest of the nation - or at least Texas & Illinois. I would LOVE for SmallBoy to stay up and watch this game, especially if the Sox win it. Problem: Even if the game simply goes 9 innings, it will still be over after bedtime and we will all be either on an adrenaline high or a total bummer low. More than likely, he won't be able to sleep. Late bedtime plus high energy keeping him from sleeping could make for a REALLY nasty day tomorrow. The flipside is - this may not happen again in our lifetimes! BUT - by the same token, if the Sox lose tonight, and I let SmallBoy stay up, do I then let him stay up for every "they-could-win-it-tonight" game?

This would be so much easier if tonight was a Friday or if this were game 7 - although game 7 is supposed to be Sunday, right? My motherly instincts are telling me to put him to bed. My excitement and Wow-I-Really-want-him-to-see-this-It's-historic instincts are telling me, "What the hell, let him stay up. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

I can already hear what a few of you are saying, (PM, Meem) - and they conflict with each other! YIKES

I suppose I'll just wait and see what this evening brings. Either way, I will NOT let him stay up for a ridiculously long game tonight. Let's win or lose in 9 innings tonight! PLEASE!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Profile Pic

Thanks to Barb for the picture. Just so y'all know, though, that was PRE-haircut. We took the photo so that we had something to post on the band's website, but in order to do that, I have to publish my whole profile. Don't wanna do that, wouldn't be just SO does not fit the band. So, until I figure out how to fix that, it's here, hanging out at MommyGuilt. Someday I'll have a pic with the short hair. It's growing out quickly too, so the soccer mom part is pretty much gone. Definitely a workable rockstar mom hairdo, now!

A Little Sickly Selfishness

Still sick. Yep. It stinks. Feeling better than last week, I can breathe through my nose, I can hear, and my sinuses have stopped hurting. My chest, however, feels like it's been hit with a ton of bricks and then run over by a mack truck. My colds ALWAYS follow this progression, head first, then chest. I suppose it could be worse and I could get nailed with both at the same time, but I like bitching & complaining when I'm sick.

When I'm sick, I'm a very big baby. I need to be taken care of, snuggled until I fall asleep, catered to, and have PC stay up with me in the middle of the night when I'm totally miserable. He does, too. There seems to be a secret signal or trigger or something in my house, though, that goes off when I'm sick. I like to call it the Mom's-sick-and-trying-to-steal-some-much-needed-rest-so-WE-must-get-sick-or-injured signal. It never fails. I have never been sick or injured by myself. Right now we'll dwell on the sick part.

SmallBoy and I have been miserable for the last week. When SmallBoy gets sick, though, it's a BAD thing. He has cold-induced asthma, so I am at his side with his inhaler constantly when he's sick. Middle of the night or even bedtime itself is awful. It scares the crap out of me. I stay awake either with him, taking care of him, or listening for him. IF I'm lucky, I can get maybe an hour of sleep before I have to get up and try to drag myself to work - assuming I don't need to take a sick day for my child (which, in turn, does ME no good, because I'm still taking care of him...he'd rather lie on the sofa and watch movies and be catered to - like his mama - than to nap so that I can nap too).

If PC gets sick, I wake up and take care of him, too. Not because he asks me to or wants me to, but because I'm a mom. It's a maternal thing. I take care of people when they're sick. PC tells me to go back to sleep, I need my rest. Well, that mommy thing in me keeps me up, too.

Just once, ONE TIME is all I ask, JUST ONCE, I'd like to be sick by myself. Is that asking to much? I want to have time to rest and get over being sick without having to take care of anyone else. PC is wonderful and will step in and take care of whomever else is under the weather, but I can't fight the mommyguilt of staying in bed while someone else is miserable. I just can't. So, until I learn to conquer that, I WANNA BE SICK ALL BY MYSELF.


Friday, October 21, 2005

DayQuill & Chicken Soup

That is my prescription for this weekend. I gotta say, I LOVE dayquill. It works SO fast for me. Sure, it makes me a little squirrelly (we noted that at work today), but I feel 98% better. I just wish it was longer lasting. That 4hrs hits and BAM! Doesn't work any more and the cold pushes right back to the front. GRRRRRRRRR.

Chicken soup for my tummy and my head! I've been saved. Kids are gone to their dads, so I'm leaving work to go to a quiet house and do one thing and one thing only - NAP!

Vote for Them!!!

Tanya and Jim Ryno are hoping to become contestants on the Million Dollar Fear Factor for Couples. Awesome, huh? Even moreso, they are also attempting to help raise awareness about ASD, as seen here in their comment to Mama Rant's Autism Study posting:

I'm a finalist in a contest to be on FEAR FACTOR. The reason I'm writing is because on my site you will notice that my brother has autism. I have raised thousands of dollars for Autism in the past... and plan to continue doing so for the future. Possibly you could help vote me onto the show... as the more publicity I get the more Publicity CURE AUTISM NOW gets.

My site:

Thank you... I do not usually use comments as a place to get votes... I just thought that your post was appropriate in this case. Regards, Tanya Ryno

So get over to the fear factor site and get your vote in and then stay tuned to watch Tanya & Jim on Fear Factor.

Dear Marti -

Your chicken soup rocks! I still feel crappy today, but not like the walking dead I felt like yesterday. Kids are with Ex this weekend, so after work, I'm going home, napping and going on a date with my husband!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

LOOK MOM!!!!!!

It's a BOOK!!!! I had NO idea this was from "Guys & Dolls". I always just thought it was Gram's.

Banned Books Rant

You'll have to excuse me while I go on a tirade here. It all started with Anne-Marie's blog about banned books and then her follow up article (I apologize, I couldn't find her archived original article), with which I whole heartedly agree. Some of these schools, towns, etc banning books are just outrageous. Granted some of these books I wouldn't let my children read, but I'm certainly not going to ask they be banned from the library. There are some on the list about which I might be concerned if they showed up on my daughter's 7th grade reading list, but because they are SO not appropriate for 7th grade (ie: The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein), but there ARE people who want to read these books, who are in the appropriate ranges of age, maturity, and responsibility to read them. It is not Mine to dictate if others read these books. It IS mine to dictate if I feel my children should read them.

>Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Wow. Read my comment below to Anne-Marie's posting.

I feel compelled to comment on the banned books AGAIN, as I commented on the list the first time. Why is it that people feel the need to tell us what we can and cannot read? What happened to freedom of expression? What good is freedom of expression if no one is allowed to see, hear, or smell the expression because a certain group of people are opposed to it.

If my child isn't going to be allowed to read a book, it's going to be because I find it inappropriate, not because someone else does. I agree with Anne-Marie about the newspaper: there are things in there that are REAL, happening every day. The newspaper is readily available. There is no age restriction for purchase, no warning label on the paper that says, "Warning: This paper contains violence, mass destruction, sexual abuse, child neglect, controversial political beliefs, controversial relgious beliefs." No. It's out there for anyone. Why ban the books.

Personally, I went back to the American Library Association site and printed out the books. I'm going to read them all and then have my children read them - if I(captital, bolded, italicized, underlined) find them to be suitable. And Judy Blume for Pete's sakes?! I don't think I would have survived puberty were it not for "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." - hmm, let's see, that would offend those who don't believe in God as a superior being, those who don't believe that the reproductive system and all of its inner workings should even be breathed about because it might encourage promiscuity, it might encourage girls to use...God forbid....the T-word when they have their periods...

It was at this point that I figured I should probably continue my rant over on my blog instead of using up all of her comment space.

There ARE books on that list that I, personally, do not feel are appropriate for my children (15, 13, &9), but I judge that by their own maturity level, not by what society deems appropriate. Good grief, I would have loved to have given my daughter MY copy of Are You There God?... when the time came. It's almost like a rite of passage, that book. Anyway, rant almost over. There are books on there that are classics, books that are WAY out there, and books that really should only be read by adults. is each person's/parent's decision what should be read. NOT SOCIETY'S!


I can't read the words underneath the pic, but I think they say what I'm saying to PC right now, I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU ILOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.... After working almost 18hrs straight on his feet yesterday, my sweet wonderful man helped convince me that I really wasn't going to die this morning and to go to work - so as not to lose the overtime I worked (go home sick, lose the OT). The best part was when he stopped by after dropping the kids at school with hot coffee for me! I LOVE HIM!

I told him about Marti's cure-all:
Chicken broth heated all day with cloves of garlic. Promise. It'll make you all better.

I'm hoping for some for dinner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm Going to Whine Today

I don't feel good.

MOMMY! I wanna go home! Can you come pick me up? It always worked when I was a kid at school. Why not now when I'm a grown up at work? My head is stuffy, my chest is congested, my eyes burn. I wanna go home!

Can't. Need to reserve the sick hours for when my kids are sick and I can't get coverage. Elaine was mentioning this dilemma in her post about when she was a working mom, and having to make that decision. Seriously, how often do working moms get to use their sick time for themselves? We will come into work on our deathbeds, be totally useless, and infect the office (yes, we're martyrs) before we call in sick. We NEED those sick hours for the kids. Vacation hours I will save for emergencies like...oh GOD! The kids are sick and I have no coverage AND I have no sick hours! Crap! Crap! Crap!

So, what'll I do today? Will I rest when I get home and get to bed early? Nope. SmallBoy has a scout meeting tonight. He's getting badges. We won't blow this off, he needs the social interaction. It's terribly important. Will I arrange a carpool so that I can stay home and rest? Nope. I'll be a martyr. He needs to have me there when he gets this badge, he's worked hard for it. Lord, though, it's loud and crazy and obnoxious when all of those boys are in one room together. When I get home, I'll be wanting to whine some more...only this time without the "h". I may have to settle for the OTC no-more-coughing-sniffling-stuffy-head-fever-aching-so-you-can-rest kind, though, cuz I don't believe there IS anymore wine in my house. OH WHINE WHINE WHINE!!!!

So Much for That!

LargeBoy has late arrival at school this less person to wake up. Girl is sick today. Yet another less person to wake up, of course, she does it on her own anyway. One would think that with less people to wake up in the morning, I might have a few spare minutes to get ready for work. Nope! Walked in the door one minute before I had to start work.

I have to take a really late lunch today because I have to pick SmallBoy up at school at 3. PC is working a ridiculously long double shift today, so he can't do it, and Girl, obviously can't pick him up because she's sick - which leaves him walking home from school alone. Although he is 9 now, I'm still not confident enough in his street smarts to let him do it himself. We live just under a mile from the school and he has to cross a busy street - yes, there is a stoplight, but still. The Asperger's impinges on common sense every once in a while and walking almost a mile by himself is not the time I want to test it. So, I'll grab him from school and bring him either home or back to work with me...whichever he wants. He'll be bored here, but at least I 'll get to spend a few hours with him before we have to go home to the daily evening running around. Geez, I'm exhausted already and it's not even 8:15 a.m. yet!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Autism Survey

Here is a post from Mama Rant about a survey being conducted by It is a second survey, attempting to get a better grasp on causes of autism. I encourage all my ASD parent readers to go and take the survey. Lord only knows what the causes are, but if they can be narrowed, well, then, that's one step closer.


Dr. Gary Brown, Professor and Chair at the University of Tennessee at Martin asked me to publicize this study on my blog: and the Psychology Department at the University of Tennessee at Martin are conducting a second survey on the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This survey is for mothers of children with ASD as well as mothers of normally developing children who are ten years of age or younger. Mothers who participate in the survey will receive a free ABA program to teach their child to follow directions as well as free ABA mini programs for common problems like sharing. To take the survey please go to

Dr. Brown also has a blog ABA4Autism or other Neuropsychological Disorders which covers everything from IEPs to use of SSRIs.

Welcome 2 New Mommy Guilt Friends

New to my links list today are Red Sox Bat Girl and Goddess Musings. We've all put our baseball affiliations aside for the sake of motherhood and blogging. I know that you'll enjoy them! Welcome ladies!!

Congrats Girl!!!!!

Girl has been practicing her viola tirelessly for the last several months - as soon as her teacher told her that she might have a shot at making IMEA this year (Illinois Music Educators Association). For those of you unfamiliar with this, it happens once a year. I did it as a vocalist in high school. One Saturday, kids from multiple schools, playing many varieties of instrument, descend on one high school to play their scales and a piece chosen at random from the practice pieces. If the student excels, he or she is then chosen to participate in the IMEA festival. The festival consists of a day-long practice followed by a concert late in the afternoon. The kicker is that the musicians don't get their music until the morning of the concert. I am so proud of her! She's been working so hard. Once her teacher told her that if she really really practiced hard and put her heart and soul into it, like she does with sports and academics, that she could play in the chamber orchestra at school, she picked up her viola and hasn't put it down - except of course to watch her favorite shows. Then, when she found out that she had a shot at IMEA this year, she buckled down and practiced ALL the time - oh wait, get this - without being told! Girl, I am so proud of you! I told you you could do it!

Monday, October 17, 2005

SmallBoy Breakthrough

One component with ASD is not being able to reach back into the mind and pull up the communication skills needed to express things properly. When this happens, especially in a situation of discontent or upset, it just raises the level of frustration and ultimately, could set off one of the mood swings that seem, sometimes, to come out of nowhere. We had a breakthrough in this particular area this weekend.

The kids were with me this weekend, but had family things going on with their Dad. Both situations required that the kids be dressed up, as they were both involving attending church. Saturday's event went fine. It was an evening event followed by a dinner. Sunday, however, was a baptism followed by a party - on one of the last remaining beautiful days. The kids were dressed up for church, but had packed a change of clothes. SmallBoy, thinking ahead, had put on a t-shirt underneath his dress shirt so that all he had to do was take off his shirt and change his pants. Unfortunately, the shirt had was wearing under the dress shirt was not really appropriate. I asked him to change it and explained why it was necessary, but he wasn't processing it AT ALL. I could see that he was getting upset, so I tried, again, to explain to him why the shirt wasn't going to be appropriate for the party, but he was just at a loss. He was visibly upset, stressed, and almost out of sync. But then he turned to me and he said, "Mom, I just can't find the words."

I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear him say that! Yes, I hate that he can't find the words, but the fact that he was able to verbalize what he needed was SO huge. SmallBoy doesn't have any verbalization issues as far as speaking is concerned, but more in actually communicating when he's stressed. This was a giant breakthrough for him and I told him. I said to him, "SmallBoy! Wow! That's great that you were able to tell me that. I know why you're upset and you probably are trying to find out how to tell me that, right?" He nodded and we continued on with our conversation until finally he was so pleased and proud that he had communicated his frustration to me, that he had forgotten WHY he was frustrated in the first place.

I told PC and he was just as excited as I was. I talked to SmallBoy later to make sure he was able to recall that situation and exactly what he had done. I asked him in what other situations he might be able to use that skill of "I can't find the words." He went back to the biting issue whene he bit the girl on the playground because he couldn't find the words to express how truly upset he was with her to the teacher (who would have stopped the incident before it got to teeth baring proportions). I had to share with you my joy and my hope!


How awesome is this!?!?! A pennant in Chicago! Way to go Sox!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Take a peek over at my side bar. Notice how my "About Me" and "Mommy/Parenting Links I Like to Read" are now black-ish gray? No clue how that happened. When I was writing the post below, they were pink. When I posted it, they turned gray-ish black. Does anyone, ANYONE PLEASE, have any inkling as to how this happened and/or HOW in God's name to fix it?

My Mommy Guilt Therapy

I finally realized something and I need to share with you. It was almost like an epiphany, but not quite. Sitting at Girl's basketball game last night (more on that later), PC and I were chatting with the other parents there and catching up on summers, falls, comparing notes on our older children's new high school experiences when the conversations took a turn at the intersection of Sports and MommyGuilt. A mother, D., leaned over and inquired, "Do you ever feel like you are 'shirking your duties', so to speak, if you can't make it to every sports event that the kids play? I mean, there are SO many games and if we go to them all, we have no time with the rest of our family or for doing other things that need to get done, let alone spending time 'with me'."

It was then that the lightbulb went on! DING! Wow! What a concept! I turned to D. and replied, "You know, I used to feel just awful and have so much guilt about missing things. I've always felt it to be such a key in our children's development to be there for them as much as possible and, supporting them at their events is definitely included in that. This year, though, I think I've lightened up a little on that theory. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's HUGE for our children to have us behind them and to support them, but that doesn't mean that we need to get to every single game, especially when they play 80 games, minimum, not counting playoffs and extra tournaments, in one season." Wow! Did that just come out of MY mouth? The Queen of MommyGuilt? Holy cow! I went on to explain to D. how horrible I would feel when I had to miss something, even if there was a legitimate reason, a conflict with an activity for another of my children. I told her how it just doesn't have that hold on me anymore.

This is when your therapist looks up from the notepad and says, "Mrs. MommyGuilt, I think we've had a breakthrough!"

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Need a Prescription!!!!!!!! NOW!!!!

In case the name of the Rx is too small, it's a pill for Fukitol. Oh I SO need this today! Work bites! I'm up for my review and "raise" next week and realized that I'm almost at my salary cap (which is a pretty crappy cap, if you ask me), and then oh well....Life's a biotch! Ex makes 2x as much as me, if not more and will only shell out 32% of his income ~the legal minimum required~for child support! PC & I are working our patoots off to afford a new water heater before ours totally floods our basement, and that word-I-can't-say-cuz-my-mom-&-my-MIL-read-my-blog is getting his house sided and ALL NEW FURNITURE!!!!! Ok, really, I didn't mean to rant about that! This was supposed to be a rant about work and how exhausted I am and how little I get paid and how I try to do everything for my kids and I JUST CAN'T DO IT ALL!!!

If only this prescription could actually be filled! Oh, the money that could be made! I'd own stock in whatever company manufactured this - and then I wouldn't have to worry about that stupid salary cap!!!! This would be a lovely way to end a rough day at work or with the kids (or both!): a nice warm bath, a glass of wine and this cute little blue & white friend. Ahhhh!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Couldn't Resist

After seeing this post at Strong Coffee, I couldn't resist posting it here. It seems to tie in to my posting about unravelling the myths of the Holiday figures.

10/4/2005 He Sees You When You're Sleeping

Jackson was telling my mom about how kids at school (he's in first grade) are saying there's no such thing as Santa Claus and that it's really the parents who put presents under the Christmas tree.

"Grandma, that can't be true because my mom and dad never stay up that late!"

This Week I Feel Really Old

(pic by Dad, hair pre-cut - my sis is the one on the right) Aside from the soccer-mom meets rockstar-mom haircut, there are two birthdays this week that are making me feel OH SO OLD. On Monday, my LargeBoy turned 15. He will drive next year - in theory. I have been a mom for a long time, yet there are days when I still go rummaging through my drawers for the operations manual, as new challenges arise. Holy cow - he's 15 YEARS OLD!!

Now, on the other hand, my sister will be turning 30 this weekend (I love you, Chica - sorry about blabbing your age, but I'm older, so I CAN!) I am older than my sister, which makes me feel REALLY incredibly old - especially when you look at the age gap between my sister and my son! Of course, my life wouldn't be the same without either of them, but LORD ALMIGHTY do they make me feel old. I suppose it could be worse, though, I could have had children later than I did and then I'd be older than I am now (upon each child's consecutive birthday), but, I was a mere toddler when I gave birth, so, I suppose that makes me only 17! HA! If only!
By the way - I still need apple pie recipes. See my post begging for them!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Most of you know I've been working on writing a book (hey, I've gotta quit my day job one way or the other). I've reached a really yucky spot and I'm just STUCK. As I was running through my favorite blogs this morning, I read at A Mama's Rant about Melanie Lynne Hauser's new book, Confessions of a SuperMom. I MUST have this book. While reading through Mama Rant's posting, I clicked on her link to Angela Giles Klocke's interview with the author. It was very uplifting. I think I may pick my book back up tonight and keep going. Ladies - thank you for that indirect, inadvertent shove back on track!

Don't forget I need apple pie recipes! See the post 2 below!

A Lesson in Anger and Letting Go

Check out Kristina's Post about the importance of letting go of anger to find forgiveness and peace. I'm certain that my ASD parent readers have already seen this, but I want to make sure everyone does. There is such a lesson to be learned here! Thanks Kristina for writing such a marvelous post!

Apple Pie Time

One of the fun things that we did over the weekend was to take Princess apple picking. The orchard was nicely organized and it was very easy to find what we were seeking. The people that ran the orchard were incredibly helpful and gave us their opinion of the best cooking apples in their orchard - the Ida Reds. Needless to say, we picked about 30 of those -some to give away as apples and some to cook with. I really would like to make sauce, but I remember, from my childhood, that it seemed like a complicated process, of course, that was in childhood also, so who knows. We are going to bake pie, though. I LOVE apple pie. So far, my brother-in-law's (ET) apple pie recipe has been the best I've ever had, but I'd like to try something different. I'm going to look some up online and through family recipes, but if any of you have any scrumptious recipes for apple pie to share, I'd love to hear them. Feel free to send them via the comment section and I'll post the one that we try...of course, we may try them all!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend Update

Where to begin - Hair is short. I went through with it and got the cut. I still haven't quite mastered the form the stylist used when fixing my hair, but it looked like the picture below over the weekend. Until I get a good handle on it, it's going to be a combination of soccer mom meets rock star mom. It will come along, though. PC & I went back to Michigan to help Milly & FIL close up the cottage. Princess had come along for the weekend and we all had a blast. Fall up there is beautiful! I'll describe it all to you in another posting. SmallBoy had his Behavioral Therapy Friday night. His Dr. played a game with him called "The UnGame" that helped them to learn about and discuss feelings, nothing too deep, or anything, but enough to get him talking and comfortable. Oh, yes, and the WHITE SOX WON!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!

I have a lot more to write about, but for now I have to finish up here at work so I can go home. The kids are off school today for Columbus Day, but LargeBoy and Girl have things to do this afternoon, PC is working, so that means that I have to go home. Fortunately, I am working on Saturday and can make that time up, but I was SO looking forward to OT.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Things That Help

Though not at church every Sunday, I have a great deal of faith. I have to. I need someone to guide me through this ASD thing with SmallBoy. Thankfully I have a tremendously supportive family and lots of ASD moms out there to chat with, but sometimes I need a little more to go on.

Two and a half years ago when I was going through my divorce with Ex, I realized that if I was going to get through that Hell, I needed to surrender and just let things run as they sort of set things in God's hands and trust that all would be ok. No, that doesn't mean I gave up the fight, it means that I stopped fighting with ME. I do the same thing with SmallBoy. I need a little more something from somewhere to get through watching my sweet little boy go through all of these struggles, knowing that he is well aware of the difference between himself and the other kids. I hate this ASD as much as any other mother dealing with it, but to get myself through sometimes, I've just got to believe that there is a reason for everything.

Apparently I inadvertently offended and terribly upset another ASD mom, for which I apologize again. My comment to her, as she was having a particularly rough go of it, was that I believe - and truly I do - that there is a reason that we were chosen to be the mothers to our ASD kids. Sure, we may not see it now, nor care to see it now. We may fight it with everything we've got, but think about it. Just the thought that my SmallBoy could have been a child to some other parents who just wouldn't understand, who would think he's just "freakish" or weird, or stupid, and wouldn't think to get him the help he needs, well, that thought breaks my heart. I'm not saying this is an easy walk through life, it sure as hell isn't that. I am saying that I believe that there is a reason that SmallBoy and I were paired up as mother and son - call it God, call it Karma, call it Fate, call it timing...whatever you will, but he's my SmallBoy and no one else's for a reason.

I hate this stupid autistic spectrum and everything that goes along with it. I hate that SmallBoy cannot do well with change. I hate that when he goes to Ex's house, like he will this weekend, he totally misbehaves - because he can't adjust to the change, and then comes home and misbehaves until he readjusts again. I cannot stand that his father doesn't understand why this happens and just says he's acting up. I hate that it's oh so hard for him to do simple things - like throw and catch and run, and make friends. I hate that I have to take him to behavioral therapy to teach him how to cope when he's frustrated or sad. I hate that I have to work to pay for all of these things....I would much rather be home taking care of him and helping him learn all of these things that he needs. I hate that he's not like the rest of the kids. But I love him dearly and I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is MY SmallBoy and I'm his mom. I can't imagine my life without him.

This is What it's Supposed to Look Like

I'm bringing these photos with me tonight to the stylist. Hopefully, my unruly hair will work to this. I'm certain that it won't look exactly like that, especially since I'm nt a blonde, but a cut similar to that with lots of layers and not necessarily as short. I think it will be fun. It's time for a change!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

And For Dessert.....

I'd like a nap. PC just came by my office and met me for lunch. We walked to a nice little place near my office and both had breakfast (yep, at 1:00 in the afternoon). Two cups of coffee later, and I still need a nap. Somehow I have to make it 3 1/2 more hours! YIKES

I'm Getting My Hair Cut (or: I Caved and Watched One Tree Hill)

Yep. I sure did. Girl has these OTH parties with her friends every week during the season. The girls rotate from house to house every week, but more often than not, it was at our house. Sadly, I must say, I knew enough of the plot just from walking through the room, that I started kinda sorta watching it - not enough to get hooked, but enough that I could keep up with the girls when they were talking about it. Well, then, Girl got Season One for her birthday or for Christmas last year, and Season Two for her birthday this year. She watched last season's finale and I happened through the room in time to watch Dan get poisoned and "someone" set his office ablaze. As we watched, Girl sat with her notepad in hand writing down her list of supsects and their motives. Can you blame me, then, for plopping down in the chair with the girls when, yesterday, the long awaited season premiere was on?

I thought the girls were going to die! This was a combination study session/OTH session. Well! The White Sox/Red Sox game was on the same channel at the same time that OTH was supposed to be on. The girls couldn't handle the, would you believe, they studied? I actually quizzed them during the game. They did ok - Girl did well (we'll see how the test really went this afternoon). FINALLY the White Sox won and it was time for OTH.

No one BREATHED through the credits while they were waiting to see if Dan was included, and then there was this giggle, evil laugh, chuckle - whatever - when, indeed, he was there (like the writers would be stupid enough to kill off THE bad guy). When I first started "drama grazing" on the show, it took a while to know which characters were which. I remembered Peyton, because she had curly hair (like me). This season, she got a brand new "do". I want it! Its short (not short short, but shoulder length, which is shorter than mine - see pic on post below), and is has many fun layers and it's straight. I can do my hair straight when it's shorter. MUCH less maintenance than this curly ball of frizz. So, this morning, I hit all of the OTH websites and blogsites looking for pics of this new do. It took me all morning until I finally found a few that a) I could drag to my desktop and print and b)showed enough angles to give to a stylist.

Now, I don't normally follow the latest trends in hair cuts, but this one REALLY looks like it would work. PC told me to go for it and he is the one who least wants me to cut my hair. Of course, now his will definitely be longer than mine!!! I found the number of the place in LG that he recommended and I have an appt. for Friday night. We shall see. I AM excited, though. This will be something fun!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Check Out Karaoke Night

This post, courtesy of Andie at Life in The Ozarks is from a few weeks ago. She was in town on army business and stopped into the Kerry Piper. We finally got her up to sing, and then she took pics and posted them on her site for us. Check it out. Scroll through the entry...I would be the one in the cowboy hat. Thanks for the links, Andie! I'll post on our band site also! Who says a mother of three can't have fun?!?!?!

Date Night Last Night

After having Milly over for Girl's birthday last night, PC and I went off for our regular Tuesday Night Karaoke. I have said before, it is our designated date night. We met some good friends, Coolah & Cutie and found out they had gotten engaged the previous night. So, of course, we had to celebrate. Our friend and favorite karaoke lady, Lady B, was happy to see us, as the bar was crowded, but with sports fans watching the baseball playoffs, not with people waiting to sing. It looked to be a good turnout. Cutie got up and sang for the soundcheck and I followed (I'll have pics, soon). The game ended and none of the sports fans felt like singing, so they all boogied out and we pretty much had the place to ourselves! It was kinda fun.

After a couple of rounds (of singing, that is), I sang one of the songs that I have sort of dedicated to Girl over the years, "Wild One" by Faith Hill, and had PC call her from my cell phone and let her listen...kind of a birthday dedication. PC and a couple waitress sang the Hokey Pokey - oh you should have seen it. PC & Coolah sang a couple of Dead tunes. It was nice to see Coolah up and singing and dancing and smiling. Cutie and I talked about their wedding plans and the ring and....well, it was just a FUN night.

We got home earlier than usual, but headed straight to bed, since we were both exhausted. Unlike every other night, I couldn't sleep. I was pooped, drop dead tired. I finally managed to get to sleep and then I started waking up every fifteen or twenty minutes. about fun and games! Then this morning I wake up to Girl's alarm clock RINGGGGGGGGGGGGING from downstairs. Yeah, I LOVE having to work at the crack of dawn. Tonight it's early to bed. I need to play catch up big time....although, I could steal Girl's present from Milly and get started on watching the third season of one of our favorite shows - nah, I'll fall asleep two minutes in like I do with everything else I watch. Ok, ok, so a hot soak, a glass of wine (oh crap, Milly and I drank it all)...ok a hot soak, a cup of hot tea, or maybe a beer, and off to snoozeville. Sounds like a plan.

Oh could I forget - my plans will be totally thrown off tonight! Girl's favorite teeny-bopper show has the season premiere tonight which is being thrown off by the WHITE SOX game!!!!!!!!!!! She is stressing terribly over this, but I think she'll survive. The OTH-a-thon starts tonight at our house, so Lord knows what plan B is, if the Sox game takes all night. Hmm...we'll just have to see, now, won't we?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Girl's Birthday Dinner

This year we've given the kids food that they like for birthday dinner. SmallBoy was easy, burgers & hot dogs. Girl on the other hand was expensive:

absolutely evil-add-20-pounds-right-to-my-hips mashed potatoes (cheese, cream cheese, bacon, butter, more cheese)
corn on the cob, and
in lieu of cake, Girl wanted pie....French Silk.

Yep, guess what we had for an after dinner treat? Maalox! I swear by that stuff! Today it's salad for lunch and a workout - definitely a workout!

Monday, October 03, 2005

BTW, I Now Have 2 Teenagers in My House

I was going to post a headless pic of Girl, but I can't find one I like...she's beautiful, to say the least, and we love her dearly. My most difficult delivery, leaving me practically a wet noodle, and sore (moreso than a normal delivery), and sick, and....oh what does it matter?! She's my sweet Girl and she's now thirteen! YIKES!


Mom, PC, Boy, & SmallBoy

The Slumber Party From Hell

Yes, being a slumber party, I didn't expect much sleeping to be done. I must say, however, that I'm used to my, now 13 year old Girl's slumber parties (HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!!). We had four boys between the ages of 8 & 10, including SmallBoy. Simple enough, right? I figured that if we kept it small, that I would be able to keep control of the goings on. HA! Was I ever wrong!

The boys arrived promptly at 7 and SmallBoy was elated. He took them all on a tour of his house - he had even partially cleaned his room for this. Then it was off to video game land. I figured I'd go a little easier on my time limit since this was his party and with that many boys, there needs to be something to occupy them while preparing food, drinks, etc...I think they started with one of the Mario games, or perhaps Super Monkey Ball 2 (none of which I am coordinated to play. My skills don't extend much past Pong...ok, definitely Pac Man, but nothing beyond that). The boys were very, um, what's the word...yes, enthusiastic. There were screams and shouts and "Oh MANs" every few minutes. As we cooked the hot dogs and the tater tots, we could hear them bouncing and jumping and just being boys.

Oh, funny side note: SmallBoy really wanted pizza for his party food, but one of the boys doesn't eat cheese, so we figured hot dogs would be great fun for them. However, PC, Girl, and I REALLY REALLY wanted pizza. Oh we were so bad! PC had a pizza delivered and, instead of trying to sneak it through the room in which the boys were playing, with the smell wafting through the air, he met the delivery guy outside and walked around to the back of the house with the pizza. Yes, we were bad. We went so far as to stash the pizza box and keep watch to make sure none of the kids were coming when we had pizza in our hands. What wonderful examples we were setting! Thank God we weren't busted.

Back to the boys....While we were consuming the contraband pizza, the boys took a break from the video games and ate their hot dogs, well, sort of. Of the four, I threw out two hot dogs that were only missing one or two bites each. The tots, well, no one touched those. It may be because they were in a hurry to get back to their games or, perhaps, because I made the most God-awful mistake of being out of ketchup. They were very open to using BBQ sauce instead, but that was for the hot dogs. I guess tater tots & BBQ sauce must not be "it". Back to the video games. This time I hear jumping, like before, but the sound was a little muffled. I went back into the living room to find one boy jumping on my sofa while playing the game. I said to him, "Listen, I know that your mother doesn't let you jump on the sofa at your house. The same rule goes at our house." This was met with a wonderful little response of "So. I don't care." I was floored. If MY child had said that at someone else's house, I would have given my permission to have taken him aside and have him chewed out. That's just wrong! You don't talk to adults like that. Needless to say, the video games went off and we opened presents.

After presents, we did the cake thing. Funny thing was, we didn't have any birthday candles. We thought we did, but we must have thrown them out after the dinner on SmallBoy's actual birthday. We punted. I thought about using a votive candle, but that would have left too big a hole in his cake. Instead we settled on a dinner candle. The kids thought it was hilarious and sang the "you live in a zoo" version of Happy Birthday....ok, I confess, I started it. All of the boys thought it was hilarious and then continued on with some other ending about cartoon characters on different television channels. It was fun. We fed them cake and had a momentary break from the screaming.

Finally, after more games, more of the same "so, I don't care," remarks from another one of the boys, and an attempt at a movie, 11:00 rolled around and I decided it was time for them to crash. The boys got ready for bed - they all actually brushed their teeth, I was shocked. We pulled out the sofa bed and made them all comfy. Getting them settled was a joke. They, of course, had the giggles and were cracking themselves up. Then there was the dog. She wanted so badly to play with them and to be a part of the party, that she curled up on one boy's sleeping bag when he got up. Of course that made them scream and giggle all over again. Finally, after sitting on the stairs for a half an hour and threatening no more sleepovers, they all calmed down enough that I felt comfortable going to bed.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!" That's what I woke up to at 1:15 am. Yep, sure enough, the boys had snuck back out of bed and hit the video games. Having a Girl who frequently has sleepovers, I expected this. However, I forgot that these boys don't have a whole lot of sleepover experience yet, especially in the how-to-get-up-again-after-lights-out-and-wreak-havoc-without-waking-the-parents department. They were toast. Mean Mom banished the games and sent them all to bed. I think that was enough to scare them into submission for a few hours, or at least until 6:30 when we were woken up from our not-long-enough-slumber to the same screaming noises. I caved finally at about 8:00 and went downstairs.

PC headed out for donut holes for the kids and coffee for Girl, himself, and me....LargeBoy was conveniently out most of the night before and still sleeping throught this noise. As the wild beasts devoured the donut holes, I made bacon & eggs for the three of us. Well, after the feeding frenzy was over, the beasts picked up the scent of the bacon and descended on the kitchen. "We want bacon and eggs!" (OH, PM I can hear you now, trust me!) Because, and only because, I had mentioned bacon & eggs to them the night before, did I consent to feeding them another round of breakfast. This time, we were all over the food consumption though. Every few minutes, one of us would go in and make sure that they were eating. I wasn't wasting my buy one - get one free bacon on them if they weren't going to eat it. I could have made Fat Sandwiches with that (PB & Bacon on toast, hence the name). They finished the food and were finally sated. While their food settled, I had them pack up their bags and then sit down and play a board game - Simpsons Clue. As we neared the pick up time (THANK YOU, GOD - yes, I went to church yesterday and gave thanks), I sent them all outside. Well Hyper boy 1 and Hyper boy 2 took off around the block on SmallBoy's scooter while SmallBoy and Nice Calm Boy played and, eventually, set off to find them. Moms arrived and HB 1 & 2 saw them, and took off. We waited them out. They left. It was over.

Lesson learned: Next year, no sleepover party. Let him still have Nice Calm Boy over to play and even to stay over. They're really good friends and, I think, they both need each other's friendship. Next year, lay out the house rules, making sure to add in that Mom will not be taking anyone to the ER, so no one had best get hurt. All in all, though, I think it was a success and SmallBoy was happy. Despite the chaos, it was really a huge step in social interaction for SmallBoy. He did try to control a few things, but I think, as with most kids, it was his house, his games, and he wanted to make sure that everyone was clear on how to do things. He didn't make up new rules (which is HUGE), he didn't quit if he was losing, and he let the kids do as they pleased. He was happy, and that is really all that matters.