Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday Wist

See, Amy, I told you I'd get into the swing of this!!!!

So how do you participate in Wednesday Wist? You take your ipod, winamp, windows media player, mp3 player, itunes player..whatever you use. Put it on shuffle. Grab the first 5 songs and write what that song makes you remember. If it’s a new song…and you can’t relate it to a memory….do you like it? Leave me a comment if you do it on your site and if you don’t have a site, comment what you would leave if you did have one. Oh…and feel free to comment about my songs as well!!! Here are mine for the week!

Midnight Rider - Allman Bros.
I got to run to keep from hidin'
And I'm bound to keep on ridin'
I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me no
I'm not gonna let 'em catch the midnight rider.

Ok, not much I can say about symbolism or in depth meaning, this song just ROCKS.

Itty Bitty - Alan Jackson
It's alright to be little bitty
a little ol' town or a big ol' city
Might as well share, might as well smile
Life goes on for a little bitty while
LOVE AJ! LOVE country...and my sister is about 4inches shorter than I am, so she's adopted this song as her "theme song". It makes me think about her. Love you Chica!

My Best Friend - Tim McGraw
You stand by me, you believe in me
Like nobody ever has.
When my world goes crazy, you're right there to save me
You make me see how much I have.
I still tremble when we touch
I know the look in your eyes when we make love.
You're more than a lover
There could never be another who makes me feel the way you do
Oh, we just get closer
I fall in love all over everytime I look at you.
I don't know where I'd be without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense
You're my best friend.

On top of the fact that I would jump Tim McGraw if given the chance and if he and I were both single, this song has particularly special meaning. PC and I are truly best friends. It's an amazing relationship that formed quickly and deeply. We were married last New Year's Eve and chose this song as our first dance. I had a really LONG day at work and couldn't wait to get home to my busy evening tonight when I was in the car and this song came on. It just makes me so happy. Even better, still, is that I've realized I CAN sing it without sounding like a moron...maybe another song for the band!!!

Who Says You Can't Go Home - Jon Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland)
Who says you can't go home
There's only one place that calls me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home.

Ok, this was just WEIRD...Bon Jovi & Sugarland...Bon Jovi & Country. Heard this for the first time today and just about freaked....It weirded me out.

Clint Eastwood - The Gorillaz
Hey, I'm happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on.

Ok, again, no particular meaning. It was the 5th song I heard - and, in the true spirit of Wednesday Wist, it was TOTALLY random. When I got home, LargeBoy & Girl were on the computer and had the disc playing. Again, another song that reminds me of my kids....I kinda like those.

Ok, you're turn now!!!!


DUH! Why didn't I see this before...well, I knew it, it just wasn't clicking. It seems that most of us have been having a trying last couple of days/weeks with our ASD-ers. Why oh why are they so off? Why are we seeing the worst from them? HELLO, DUH! I am SO dense sometimes. As I was commenting to Gretchen about planning for next/recovering from this Thanksgiving, I began to think of how frustrated WE, as adults, as NTs, get with all of the holiday craziness. Think about it....clean the house for relatives, make travel plans if we're going out of town, finish up that project at work, make arrangements for the pets, get the turkey, find the china, make room for the out of town guests...oh GOD...SHOP FOR FOOD!

OUR heads spin. I can't evin imagine what our poor littles are going through. Mid-comment I was reminded of Sal's post about what it feels like to be autistic, when she equated a terrifically horrible moment for her with what our ASD-ers must feel like. Read it. It explains a lot.

We get so terribly upset and frustrated when our kids are "off" after holidays or time with someone other than us. I never really sat down and thought of it in such a way that not only does their world turn sideways on a regular basis, but that there are times when it turns completely upside down. Getting rightside up - or at least sideways - again, takes a LOT of effort and stress.

The Thursday before SmallBoy goes to Ex's for the weekend is typically when things start to deteriorate and they don't come around again until usually Monday evening once his routine has had a full day to re-establish itself. I cannot even imagine what length of time it takes to readjust to, and from, the holidays and the disrupted routine. And yes, ladies, I ask the same question...WHAT are we going to do over the holiday break?????? Anyone? Anyone?

Let's Play, "What's Bothering SmallBoy?"

SmallBoy has been bent out of joint for a week or two now. Not terribly, but definitely "off". I chalked it up to the pending "unknown" routine of the holiday, being off of school for 2 1/2 extra days, not knowing if he would like the food, funky sleeping hours, the onset of a cold, etc.....Well, it finally hit a head yesterday at school.

SmallBoy is brilliant with math, and I've heard other parents and children say that as well. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I was speaking with his teachers on the phone today and they mentioned that he became agitated when he did not come up with the same answer as the rest of the class to the problem they were doing together. He raised his voice and told everyone they were wrong. He knows that the teachers are very accepting of his need to have a quiet place to chill out, so he went and crawled under their desk....they kindly shooed him out and let him know a couple of places he could choose to regroup.

The same thing in reading. They were doing an exercise in main ideas and supporting details. As a whole the class was having difficulty with this. I was concerned at first, that this was the beginning of the hyperlexia I have been expecting, so I was feeling a bit more at ease when she told me it was difficult for everyone. SmallBoy was stuck and the girl sitting next to him leaned over and offered to help. The poor little girl didn't know what she did wrong when she found herself listening to SmallBoy yelling at her " I DON'T NEED HELP! I CAN DO IT MYSELF!" The teacher told me that they talked to him and explained that the girl was simply trying to help him out because everyone seemed to be having trouble and she wanted to do something nice for him.

His desk is on the end and near the teachers' desk. Unfortunately, that puts him sort of in the line of view of the assignment board. Children are frequently asking him to move, or are crowding around his desk, so that they can see what's there. SmallBoy does NOT like his personal space invaded. Mind you, he doesn't get the concept of personal space when it comes to others, but HIS space is HIS space. This closeness and constantly having to move for others was really starting to grate on him when he finally complained to his teacher about this, "Mrs. F, Gabriel's always in my way...Mrs. B, Jack keeps asking me to move...," you get the idea.

This is all without mentioning the sensory overload in the classroom. The heat, of course, is not regulated correctly, so it's always steaming hot in the classrooms. This results in the windows being opened to try and create a more comfortable temperature. Well, in Chicago in the fall and winter, it gets windy. Windy occasionally means noisy. So here, we have a triple whammy in the sensory department...heat, wind, and noise. Poor guy, no wonder he's been overloaded and cranky.

Tonight is a crazy night: art class, cub scouts, and a basketball game for Girl (which of course coincides with scouts). Poor boy is going to be exhausted, but I think that having his routine getting back in order might do him a world of good. Friday is a visit with his behavioral therapist. I'm hoping that she might be able to fenagle some more info out of him and teach him some more strategies for expressing his needs, frustrations, emotions, etc. I may call the school district and see if I can arrange for a re-evaluation to see if he's eligible for any services, especially OT and I definitely plan on working some social stories with him.

I'm hoping that with our experience getting through these last couple weeks, we'll learn from it and be better able to handle the Christmas craziness.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Can't Talk to You! :-(

Laura & Marti - HELP!!!! I can't comment on either of your blogs. When I click on Add a Comment, it brings me to 404 Not Found! No prob with anyone else. I've been out so long I need to catch up. LOTS to say!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back to Life

Oh LORD! Did everyone else have as difficult a time getting out of bed this morning as I? After such a wonderful break from work, it was incredibly awful getting up and going back to the real world this morning after listening to the morning news (my alarm) telling me how awful the weather was. Well room was dark and cold. It had just finished storming. How's that for a slap in the face?

I wanted to thank all of you for your birthday wishes and uplifting notes. My Wednesday/Birthday turned out lovely after all...I was just cranky, I guess. When PC and SmallBoy arrived at my office on Wed., they brought me, in lieu of a pumpkin pie, a pumpkin pie milkshake from the dairy across the street from my office. Imagine my happiness when two of my favorite guys walk in and bring me ICE CREAM that tastes like PIE!!!! The best part was that even though we weren't going to a movie, I left work at 3:00 anyway! Got to spend some time alone with just my two guys, then Largeboy came home and it was me and my three guys!

Later, after Girl got home (and finished RAVING about) Harry Potter, we fixed them some dinner and headed out to our favorite Mexican restaurant. I was still so full from my shake that I could only manage two tortillas full of queso fundido (we affectionately call it fun with cheese), and one of my three tacos. I was very appreciative that PC did not surprise me with anyone clapping and ringing out Feliz Cumpleanos. I did, however, go home with a big plate of leftovers. We stopped in by my in-laws for a bit, as they had invited us over to a pre-turkey day gathering. Well - we walked in to a house full of their friends singing karaoke and having a blast! Meem & FIL were singing up a storm - so much so, that PC and I were actually able to enjoy a beverage without getting the drinking lecture (for pete's sakes - I'm 36 years old!!!). Anyway, we had a ball.

Thursday we gorged ourselves silly, played the most hilarious game - Apples to Apples - and just generally had a ball. Girl held court with the adults while the boys and Princess hung out downstairs playing pool and having fun.

I chose not to do the early morning shop on Friday morning, but opted for sleep instead. We hung out and rested up for our gig that night (sorry, I don't have pics yet). We had a really great show and were surrounded by some great fans - and made some new ones, too. The only downside of the night was when PC's glasses broke - fortunately, though, after the gig was over and we were finally settling down....which leads to our Saturday.

Spent the whole day getting PC new specs, but we were busy having fun. Ran over to the mall while we were waiting for the appointment, acted like goofballs, listened to him whine all day about how he didn't want new glasses - all in fun, of course. The frames are great, almost identical to his old ones. Sadly, though, it meant an extra unexpected expense at a time when money is beyond tight. But, it was a necessary expense. Saturday night we had family over for some relaxation and giving the dog a pedicure - oh yeah, THAT's fun! Sunday, we rested and well, here we are back at that, too, it's Monday night and I'm finally settling in.

The kids are all settled, and there's a really cute guy on my sofa looking all lost and forlorn. I'm gonna go keep him company! Hope you all had a great weekend too!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

One of Those Days

Please forgive me in advance for this totally selfish rant. Feel free to skip down to the next posting if you wish. It's much more fun than this one.

It snowed this morning. On November 23 it has either snowed or rained for the last 36 years. It was kind of nice to see the fluffy, almost cloud-like, white stuff coating the lawn this morning. I still felt just as crappy as I did when I went to bed last night. Not sick-crappy, but crappy-crappy. Perhaps it's because I'm no longer mid-thirties, perhaps it's PMS, perhaps I'm just tired. Today, and last night, I've just been feeling like I can't please anyone. My husband, my mother, my father, my kids.

PC was going to pick me up early from work today so that we could make a 3:00 show of Harry Potter. The kids have a half day today for the holiday....Girl and SmallBoy, that is. LargeBoy will be at school all day. Ok, so plans changed, no biggie. Well, I had forgotten that Girl had made plans last week to go see the same movie. Those plans had to be changed because of a conflict with church and, ultimately, were changed this afternoon...makes sense, no school. Apparently, I didn't do the math. Girl out with friends + PC & I out at the movies - LargeBoy at school = SmallBoy home alone. Not an option.

PC had an appointment that he needed to keep today so, I offered to come home at lunch and bring SmallBoy back to work with me for a couple of hours. I've got nothing to do anyway, so it's not like he'd be keeping me from getting anything done. PC insisted that I stay at work and that he would stay home. So now I feel like crap, because the last few times something's happened where SmallBoy would be alone, he's stayed home and, therefore, missed other appointments and opportunites. I can't ask Girl to change her plans because I made her do it once before and, when she rescheduled for this afternoon, I assumed LargeBoy was going to be home. Now, Girl feels like she's letting us down.

That was #1. #2 - Missing Thanksgiving to be with in-laws instead of my family. I love my in-laws and I can't wait to be over there tomorrow. We all have a blast!! Unfortunately, there's a bit of stress in our lives with other family members, and Poor Fabulous Mother is in the middle of it all and hardly ever gets to see her grandkids. It's a long story, but my poor mom is stuck smack in the middle of it and I feel horrible that I'm letting her down - and my sis.

#3 My half-sis, KR is going to be in town on the 27, 28, & 29 of December, leaving again on the 30th. We're trying to find a time that works for my dad & KR, my sis, and us to get together. Well, I can't find a time. I don't know what Girl's basketball schedule is until, literally, that week. Not to mention that it's nearly impossible to get together on a week night to do anything, let alone Christmas. 30th would have been easier, but KR needs to get home, so we'll punt. But I feel like I'm letting my dad & KR down, cuz I can't make any plans yet.

GRRRRRRRr I could really use a good glass of wine right now. Nope, can't. Still at work. CRAP.

Thank you for letting me vent. I know that I shouldn't worry about pleasing everyone all of the time and that I should have "me" time. I don't know what it is about today or yesterday, even, that's making me feel this way, but I don't like it. Only two more hours until PC comes to spring me from work, though. So THAT's A good thing.

Wednesday Wist

Now I can't promise this every Wednesday, since I've been promising Amy I'd do this for a month and am just getting to it now. This came from her site. Jump in and see if you like it. Here's how:

So how do you participate in Wednesday Wist? You take your ipod, winamp, windows media player, mp3 player, itunes player..whatever you use. Put it on shuffle. Grab the first 5 songs and write what that song makes you remember. If it’s a new song…and you can’t relate it to a memory….do you like it? Leave me a comment if you do it on your site and if you don’t have a site, comment what you would leave if you did have one. Oh…and feel free to comment about my songs as well!!!<br>
Ok, so here's mine - weird combination. I don't have an anything shuffle, so theser are really the last five songs I heard yesterday:

455 Rocket - Kathy Mattea
In my 455 Rocket
The biggest block alive
I couldn't hardly wait just to take my turn.
Cuz she was made for the straightaways
She grew up hatin' Chevrolets
She's a rocket, she was made to burn.

This is just a fun fun song. Makes me think about summertime and fast cars and a girl showing up a guy who thinks he's all that cuz he's got a fast car. And, of course, car going buh-bye to the great junkyard in the sky.

Mercedes Benz - Janis Joplin

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime with no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Gotta love the car theme here, huh? Not only is this a fun song, but it makes me feel like I'm not the only selfish-hey-I've-worked-my-ass-off-I-want-something-of-mine-now kind of person. I mean come ON...we all have days when we feel, " now where's my piece of the pie?"

Sugar We're Going Down - Fallout Boy

We're going down down to an earlier round
And Sugar, we're going down swinging
I'll be your number one with a bullet
A loaded God complex, just cock it and pull it.

( I LOVE when my font & color change on their own)

This song doesn't have any particular meaning to me, it's just one of the ones that my kids play over and over and over and I get stuck in my head from time to time. The really funny thing is that when my kids aren't with me and one of "their songs" comes on, it always makes me think of them and I listen to the song even if it's not one I like.

Southern Cross - (as done by Jimmy Buffett)

When you see the southern cross for the first time
You understand now why you came this way
Cuz the truth you might be runnin' from is so small
But it's as big as the promise
The promise of a coming day

We usually listen to the CSN version, but PC got me a Buffett CD for my birthday, so that was the last one I heard. I LOVE this song. I mean, look at just that verse. It's so powerful. To me, it says, listen, you may have things that are troubling you that are so minor that no one else could give it a second thought. To you, however, it's HUGE. The harmonies on this song are fantastic too!

Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters

Lookin' for the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life,
Looking for something to help me burn out right.
I'm looking for a complication
Looking cause I'm tired of life.
Make my way back home
And learn to fly.

Again, a kid song (this one is more LargeBoy's), but still a song that says to me, "yep, you're not the only person who's fed up and frustrated sometimes." Need to learn to fly to get through all the things that make me just that little bit insane or frustrated every now and then.

Ok - your turn. You don't need to add pics, I just did cuz it looked fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Girl's Big Night

I almost forgot...BAD BAD MAMA! Girl's basketball team played the first home game of the season to start of the second of their three leagues. There has been a rivalry between our school and this other school for a LONG time, especially with these particular teams. The games get ugly, the parents (typically from the other school) get ugly, and there's usually a lot of skin left on the floor.

The teams were squadded "right" last night so that a good majority of our key players were there and the girls went out to an early 6-0 lead. As the half went on, the other team caught up, and before we could blink we were down 19-10. After a bunch of terrible calls (both ways) and a pep talk and refueling at halftime, our girls came back to tie the game 20-20 at the final buzzer. OT. Ok, this was good, but nerve wracking. OT ended in a tie and we went to another overtime period.

The girls on both teams were tired, but we had more players, thus, more subs, so we had much more spark left...not to mention determination. After two thwarted fast break attempts during the game, Girl totally SWOOSHED a three-pointer!!!!!!! The other team managed to hit one free throw after that, so the margin of victory was 2points, but Girl nailed it and saved the game! We were all up screaming and yelling and jumping....while the parents from the other school were complaining that their daughters got fouled and the COACH for the other team was ripping the girls a new one. We were appalled...the game went to double OT, both teams worked their butts off!

It was AWESOME. I'm so proud!!!!

Michelle's Discovery

I think today's posts are going to turn out to be referrals to everyone else's posts. YOU MUST go see what Michelle found in her back yard! Let's just say it's supposed to be a mushroom.

Mother of Teen Takes Action

Thank GOD my parents never met this woman - I'd have been in HUGE trouble in college! Check out Julie's posting about a mother frustrated with her teenage daughter consistently getting poor grades on her exams....then see what she made her do! This is a hot headline in the UK and apparently is drumming up some controversy over child abuse (although, I think Mom had it right!)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Think of Today as Wednesday

It will help make the rest of the work week/school week go that much faster. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We did. Girl had two basketball games this weekend. She played her butt off. The coach has them squaded, which they've never been before, so they're not playing as well as they have in the past. The school's all uppity about this equal playing time (they don't do a cuts system), so now, these girls who have won for the last two years, are all of a sudden losing every game. They're SO mad, but there's nothing they can do. I'll fight for them though, since it really was the parents (and I'm definitely one of them) complaining about how many games the girls played and how much it interfered with the rest of their lives, including schoolwork, that caused this in the first place. Even the girls who are not the "best" players have said that they'd rather be sitting on the bench and be on a winning team than getting equal minutes while they lose. Different rant, different day.

Stayed up too late watching movies last night. NEED COFFEE!

In my incoherence this morning, I almost forgot the reason I'm posting today. I want to introduce you to two more ASD bloggers: Tina at Autism 911 is fighting for the rights of ASD children, particularly Native American - school programs, outside of school, ABA, etc. Her blog is rivetting and will keep you coming back for more. Lora is Griffin's mom. She is a phenomenal woman - single mom, working part time and raising her son while fighting for him.

Read these. They are wonderful, moving, inspirational and I think you'll find them very informative. OH...Laura, Lora also suspects that SHE may have Asperger's. The blogging world is amazing, isn't it?

Friday, November 18, 2005

For Sal's Bday

Sal - I wish I could have figured out how to fed ex you one! The pic does it no good, but it IS Red Velvet! Happy Bday (in case I don't get online tomorrow)

Friday Fun

This graphic meme came from Cheryl. It's a lot of fun. Go to google images and grab the first image you see for each of the following. Then post in your site and let us know where to look. If you choose your favorite graphic as opposed to the first (that would be cheating), let us know that, too. Find an image for each of the following: The town in which you were born, the town you live in now, your name, your grandmother's name, your favorite food, fave drink, fave song, and fave smell.

Here goes:I was born in the town of Justice, IL...actually, the hospital was in Hinsdale, but born and raised (til age 9) in Justice. Favorite part was the amusement park down the street. They've since knocked it down and put up a trailer park.

Next you see Chicago's skyline (the first pic was just a map..BOORING). I am JUST west of the city in a fantastic little hoity toity 'burb. Can't afford it, but due to Ex's supreme wisdom (and I say that FULL of sarcasm), I am legally required to stay there until SmallBoy turns 18.

Gee, my name...I didn't get any cool pics like Cheryl did...I got Christina Aguilera. I share the name, I share the passion of singing. I USED TO have a body like hers too...then I had kids.

My grandmother, rest her soul...Marge. I think she would have hated the Simpsons (the show, not her family Simpsons). She would have liked Marge, though. Strong, dealt with a lot of crap from a lot of people, but took it all in stride, raised bart (which, I suppose would be the equivalent of 7 daughters), and maintained her sanity.

Ok, so my absolute to die for favorite food is chocolate. My favorite comfort food is pot roast and dumplings. That will make me feel better MOST of the time, but Chocolate will ALWAYS make me feel better.

Beaujolais is my favorite drink. It's red, but fruity and, if you get the noveau beaujolais that comes out right around NOW (HOORAY), there is little to no heartburn. I LOVE this stuff, and I'm not a fan of red wine...I'll drink a good merlot or even a cab, but give me beaujolais anytime.

Me & Bobby McGee - Janis, not Kris Kristoferson (who originally wrote it). If memory serves, Kristoferson heard Janis' recording of it AFTER she died. PC & I do this song with our band and it ROCKS...our families actually made us sing it at our wedding reception.

My favorite smell will always and forever be my grandmother's kitchen. I miss that smell, but catch it every once in a while if we're cooking something that my grandmother used to make. THAT is comfort. This is followed immediately, with no breathing room whatsoever by the smell of my children when they were babies, freshly bathed...don't you love that baby smell?

Now, you...go do this!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Seeking Girl Aspies

Hi all! One HUGE favor...Laura is a mom of of whom is an Aspie...daughter...Yep, Asperger's is typical to boys. Is there anyone out there or in your circle, that may have an aspie daughter? Laura is REALLY cool. Met her through Marti's blog and they met in the maternity ward. Both have Aspies. Weird, huh? It's amazing how our little circle works. Please stop by and say hi to Laura. You'll love her. You can also find her on my links under Puddle of Consciousness.


Because today was MY ETA ( I decided to hold off, though and not be born for another 6 days), I choose today to celebrate all of us with November birthdays! Sal, PM, KC, (Felicity are you November too?). I feel like I'm missing someone. If I did, I'm terribly sorry and I'll make it a point to eat extra birthday pie/cake for you (which means I also take the fat, calories, carbs and other bad things, so that's my bday present to you).

Birthday Update: I have to share with you, because I cried with her while reading her blog, Sal got THE BRACELET!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!!!

Welcome A New Member of our Family

I would like to welcome Tina, (site: Child With Autism) to our blogging family. She has an adorable 4 1/2 y/o son named KC. KC is nonverbal at the moment, as Mom so optimistically puts it. Stop on over and say hi if you haven't met her yet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Parents of SpEd Kids - UNITE!

I just read something that Moi;) posted, here, and it made me ill. All about how the government is once again screwing over the families of children with special needs and IEPs. All about how the government is making it OUR problem to prove that OUR children are not learning from what THEY'RE supposed to be teaching. Hmmm....let's see, if my child's IEP program is WRONG, or no longer current, or not being FOLLOWED correctly, I'd want to see some change. No, we as parents have to fight the system and the courts are going to stand by and let our children lose precious years of education (as if they're already not far enough behind). I URGE you to click here and read Moi's post, post it on your blog, and let's write letters to the Supreme Court! It's time we stand up to them and send them a nice big GFYS letter (pardon my french).

Thanks, Moi ;)for bringing that to our attention! You rock!

UPDATE: Brian and Andrew's Mom has also taken off on that tangent. She is speaking about how we already feel like we need to do more or that we're somehow failing our children by not doing enough and not the SCOTUS goes and does THIS to us!!!!!!!! Come ON people! I really wonder when they're going to decide that the schools get to raise our children also! You know, and if we don't like the way they're being raised, well, then we'll have to prove the schools wrong.

Ok, time to go home now. Done ranting. Please feel free to continue your commentary.

Movie Review Time

OH. MY. GOD! What an amazing film this was. David Duchovny's big screen directorial debut, House of D (and please, click on the link and read Duchovny's blog or read the reviews at Amazon - which won't play nice with the link, but look it up on Amazon under -House of D David Duchovny-, cuz I can do it NO justice at all). This movie about a boy, "almost 13", Tommy, played by Anton Yelchin, and his 41 year old mentally challenged friend, Pappass, (Robin Williams), will tug at your heart strings as a parent, a friend, a child. You'll laugh at the coming of political correctness as the school's Bible Study class is changed to Ethics class and how Williams' character goes from retarded, to something else, to mentally challenged. You'll cry as Tommy endures some of the greatest tribulations in his life - things no 13 year old should ever have to.

There will be no fluidity to my review, so please bear with me. Set in 1973 New York, you will see how Tommy's life changed at 13. Not like an average 13 year old's life changes, though. Tommy is being raised alone by his mother, as his father has recently lost a battle with cancer. Mom (Tea Leoni) is still struggling with that herself, while trying to raise Tommy. By day, Tommy & Pappass share the same school, St. Andrew's School, where Tommy is a student and Pappass is employed as the janitor. After school, they work together as delivery boys for a butcher shop. Together, they are saving their tips in a tin buried near the New York City Women's House of Detention (House of D), which is were Tommy meets Lady (Erykah Baydu). who gives Tommy advice throughout the movie. Together, Tommy and Pappass yearn to own the beautiful Green Lady - a new bike in the window of a shop on their delivery route. Their friendship is unfaltering until one day, Tommy falls for a girl. That seems like a typical movie story line, but Tommy's whole life is changed forever by this girl.

rOh I want to tell you so much more, but I can't give it away. Suffice it to say that "coming of age" is putting it mildly. This movie is powerful. Williams is spectacular. Duchovny plays Tommy, all grown up, narrating the story. All I can tell you is RENT THIS MOVIE!!!!! If my review is too vague and hasn't convinced you, read Duchovny's movie blog by clicking here, and THEN go RENT THIS MOVIE!!!! It's wonderful, truly a work of art. Trust me on this. I really want to hear what you think of it. We borrowed it from Meem, but we're definitely adding this to our wish-to-own list. I KNOW you will too!

Monday, November 14, 2005

TAG! You're IT!

This came from Cheryl at Mad Baggage. Meme is this - If you were to wake up tomorrow morning as a character of the opposite sex, who would you be and why?

I've gotta go with Sam Seaborn from The West Wing. Why? He's smart, a quick wit, works with some very brilliant people, and can write you a phenomenal speech at the drop of a hat. Not to mention that he's STILL just as HOT as he was when I was a teenager - you notice that he hasn't aged at ALL?

Ok - I'm tagging YOU! Yes, YOU! Who would YOU be? Let me know in your comments, but I'd REALLY like to see it on your blog. ASD moms, I think a brief moment of humor like this in our lives could give us all a good start (and chuckle) to our week!

The REST of the Weekend (aka, my brush with fame)

Friday night came and went...very quickly, I might add, and blended itself right into Saturday morning, as you can see by my previous post. After a few hours of sleep (I woke up at some ungodly early hour and couldn't go back to sleep), PC and I did a bit of running around and ate a bit of food, worked some more on our stair project and then set about our evening plans. Nap on the couch and more food before deciding on the rest of the evening.

The nap was unsuccessful - we BOTH managed to stay awake during whatever it was that we were watching on the tube. We gave up on the nap attempt, made some fried chicken, mashed potatos and gravy (O.M.G!!!) and pigged out. After dinner I hopped online to check if my new email address was working (HOORAY - thanks J!!!), and found an email from my karaoke friend, B. She mentioned that she was going to be at a bar about 10mins away from our house and that she'd love to see us if we wanted to come out and play. OF COURSE WE DID!!

A couple cups of coffee later, PC and I were over at this little bar looking for a place to park...TOTALLY PACKED. Once we managed to find our way through the door, we found B enmeshed in her discs, wires, and microphones. The place was a flood of people and there was barely anywhere to walk, and definitely not a seat a the bar. While PC and I were waiting for our drinks, B came up to us and asked, "Hey, did you see Red Kerr?" Being a Chicago Bulls fan (at least in the way back), I knew that she could only be talking about Bulls commentator, and former basketball star, Johnny "Red" Kerr. She took us to meet him - she knows him well and mentioned to him that I sing and LOVE country music. He said he couldn't wait to hear me.

Hear me he did. His stool was right at the curve of the bar - which happened to be right in front of the microphone. I think I sang, "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me," (originally by Linda Ronstadt, redone by Terri Clarke). He turned around and told my husband that I was fantastic. I was like, HOLY CRAP - I just got a compliment from RED KERR!!!

Wait! It gets better! He sings! We got to hear Red karaoke! He sings very well, mind you AND he listens to country music! It was truly an experience. PC and I stuck around long enough to sing one more and to hear him sing a few more. We said our good nights and Red told us that he can't wait to for us to come up again. He was actually kind of disappointed that we were leaving, as he had a few more songs in reserve left to sing. I told him that maybe next time he and I can do a duet. I'll DEFINITELY have pictures for that one!

After another late night, we opted to do absolutely NOTHING on Sunday. We had a grand scheme of getting more work done, but, well, we NEVER do nothing and figured just this once, we deserved it. I don't think we even left the house until 6 or so when we ran out to the grocery store to pick up some fixins for dinner (we just HAD to make more fried chicken so the kids could taste it).

Before I forget, it seemed that this weekend was "success" with SmallBoy at Ex's. I didn't hear any complaints or frustrations from Girl or LargeBoy and usually they will just jump in as soon as they get home and tell me if things were ugly or complicated over the weekend. They told me that it was ok with SmallBoy this weekend. I hope that's a good sign. I certainly hope that doesn't mean a follow up phone call from Ex telling me what horrid things happened. Well, we'll see. But boy, won't HE, KING of All Things Sports be jealous when I tell him about Red Kerr!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Therapy update

I know you're all waiting with baited breath to hear how it went tonight...ok, so, last night - it's now 2:30 in the morning.

Dr. M met with SmallBoy while we waited for Ex to get there (we were early). She chatted with him about his feelings and, it seems, that she prepped him for his weekend at his father's. When they finished, SmallBoy came out to play a feelings game with his brother and sister while PC, Ex, and I went in to meet with Dr. M. She started the session by saying "Let's talk a bit about Asperger's," with emphasis on ASperger's since Ex insists on calling it AWSperger's. She explained its ins and outs in very very simple terms. We talked about how we felt SmallBoy would grow and learn throughout his life. She referenced Bill Gates and how he has Asperger's and, hell, look where he is! We talked some more about how he is very high on the spectrum. BlahBlah Blah...we went into questions and asked about things like how we can make transitions easier for him and how he works better visually than verbally.

She opened the floor for questions and I made sure that Ex had a chance to address his issues. This, of course, took prompting from me, but I wanted to make sure that he heard from a professional, not me, what really works and all of the things that I've been saying..which are fact and that I have learned through my thousands of hours of research, but would mean shit coming from me...simply because I truly believe that Ex wants to find something wrong with my parenting. We talked about how SmallBoy hates to wash his hands or follow direction at his father's. Dr. M said, as have I, that a) it could be attributed to the typical manipulation of child of divorce pitting one house against the other and b) it could be that he's being thrown from his routine and has this feeling of jealousy or pandering for attention, even if it's negative, at Ex's house. Dr. M suggested posting a chart in the bathroom...gee, simple enough, but had I suggested it, would have been shot down...list the steps: use the bathroom, flush (which he also forgets frequently), wash hands.

Ex, I think, was still convinced that I'm not teaching him to do these things. What was awesome was that PC chimed in with, "He ALWAYS washes his hands at home. If he's come out of the bathroom too quickly after we hear the flush or the seat drop, I ask him, to make sure he's completed all of his steps in his routine, 'SmallBoy, did you remember to wash your hands?' He'll go back without even questioning or whining an do it if he hasn't." Gee...go figure. He responds better to gentle prompting or making sure his routine is complete than, "SmallBoy! Go and wash your hands! You always forget! You have to do it! It's the rule in OUR house and I don't care if you do it at home or not, that' s the rule here!" What would any Aspie respond better to!

On that same note, I made sure that Ex had a chance to bring up any questions about SmallBoy's behavior at his house. He actually said this: "It all goes back to the handwashing. You know, if people don't wash their hands, they can pass disease, and there's a large chance that he can pass on a fatal disease to the baby." I was PISSED! First of all, he wasn't NEARLY that anal about that when our children were babies. Secondly, that showed really how much he's wrapped up in this baby and, thirdly, he didn't even address the one issue that he brought up with me - that he's afraid that SmallBoy is going to hurt the baby. GRRRRRRRR!

I brought up how his showering is akin to an old Bill Cosby skit where he's giving his children the steps to take a shower: "Go in the bathroom. Turn ON the water. Take OFF your clothes. Get IN the shower. Get wet. Wash your body...USE SOAP! Rinse. Wash your hair WITH shampoo," etc...She suggested, and also for the handwashing, a laminated visual chart -like a checklist of steps. Post them in the bathrooms at our house and at ex's...make sure they pertain to everyone in the house so it doesn't seem like SmallBoy is being singled out. Hmm...makes sense, huh? Eventually it will become routine.

Somehow, I don't think that Ex took it all in. As Dr. M was speaking, I could pick out exactly the parts that he, Ex, would take out of what she was saying. I know my Ex, and I know that he will hear the negative things. I'm certain that's what he took out of all of this. We'll see. When the kids come home, I'm certain I'll get a phone call saying all of the "bad" things that SmallBoy did this weekend and that he can't possibly keep having SmallBoy over for the weekends anymore. GRRR

We talked about SO many other things that I can't remember. I'm sure I could, but right now my husband and his brother are standing in my kitchen being, well, twins...Meem, you're the only person who can truly get this, but the rest of you, just understand that my husband and his brother are really one of a kind and are such trouble (but fun trouble) when they are together. I'm losing my train of thought now, so tomorrow or maybe even Monday, when I'm more focused, I'll finish this post and make more sense. Marti - are you sure you REALLY want to be related to these two?

Friday, November 11, 2005


We had parent-teacher conferences last night for Girl and SmallBoy. We all went, PC, me, and Ex. Girl had rave reviews from her teacher who just thinks she's fantastic, always challenging the teacher and continually asking questions about everything she says. Serious higher level thinking going on there. I'm so proud.

As usual, I went into SmallBoy's conference with a little trepidation. I knew his teachers were versed in the Asperger's (as I had supplied them with a lot of good information -which they had taken the time to read!), but still, you never really know what to expect. I knew that his grades were fine, as report cards had come home earlier in the week. His academics AND his social were all wonderful, so I don't know really why I was nervous.

The teachers had high praises for him. They said that the AS sometimes works to THEIR advantage, keeping them on track - as Aspie's are so structured and schedule oriented. They said also that when he feels frustrated or starts coming apart, he is able to go off to a quieter place in the classroom and, get this, compose himself and then he's FINE! I was so happy to hear that. What HUGE skills he's developing. When the room starts getting a little too loud for him, they let him go out in the hall to work. They told a story about one time that SmallBoy needed to work in the hallway they had forgotten to make sure that there was a chair and desk there for him. A few minutes later, when they went out to check on him, they found him sprawled out on the floor doing his work, all nice and comfy.

I was amazed at the accomodations they make for him and the acceptance of the class to the fact that SmallBoy sometimes has a little more leniency from the teachers on what's expected. If he needs to get up and move around the classroom, it's perfectly fine. If he finishes his work ahead of time, they let him go do something else instead of sitting there bored. If he finds something to be boring (because it's too easy), they have him do the work, but then give him something more challenging. If he's having trouble understanding the classwork, they let him go on it, but explain it to him later, when he's a little less stressed out.

We have been blessed with great teachers for him. I wasn't particularly fond of his first grade teacher who, after one outburst, took him in the hall and asked him why he couldn't be a normal child like everyone else (oh yes, I was PISSED OFF! School got a call, but I never got an apology). Granted, that was well before the diagnosis, but even then, I was still suspecting something was going on. Regardless, all went well and we were all pleased. I think even Ex was happy with the conference. They mentioned, of course, that SmallBoy often complains that his feet are itchy, but I think that's a sensory thing...he HATES wearing socks. He rips them off of his feet as soon as he gets home and will NOT put them back on unless he has to. The other thing is that perhaps those socks are just not comfortable for him - still sensory. Maybe he likes the fluffiness of new socks. Who knows. That's my next step is to just go get new socks and see if that helps at all. They also said that he often complains that he's hungry or that he has to go to the bathroom as soon as he gets settled into class. That, I've noticed, is a common thing when he's in a "different" situation other than home, it doesn't matter if it's a familiar everyday thing or not - it's just not home. He eats like a pig. He does, though, like to eat in smaller doses...lots of food, just spread out. He eats every morning before school and, of course, uses the bathroom before he goes. I'm certain that's the Aspie in him. He does the same at dinner. Gets full, needs to use the bathroom, but then 10 minutes after dinner is over he still wants to eat again - even if he's finished all of his dinner.

Tonight we have a session with his therapist. We're all going. The kids, PC, Ex, and myself. I was really hopeful that Mrs. Ex and step-sister would also be able to come, since I think it's important that EVERYONE is current on what's going on with SmallBoy. Then, too, Ex and family can ask questions to a professional about what's up, since, with Ex, my answers don't really hold much water.

We'll see how it all goes. The kids are off to their dad's tonight for the weekend, so hopefully he'll do better. We've been working harder with SmallBoy about the ways to approach his little brother -whom he adores. It's hard for him to understand that he can't get in the baby's face or that he can't play with the baby the way he plays with his brother and sister.

I'll post tomorrow (or later today) and update on how it all went. Off of work today - we work on the 4th of July, but we get Veteran's Day off - go figure! We also get President's day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day Thanksgiving holidays, day after Christmas, day after New Year's...but not July 4. Yeah, it's our busy season, but even the parents of our students think it's ridiculous....that's another post, though. I'll chat at y'all later.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Did I Tell You I Found Family?

The best part is, that I found family through our little blog world. Complicated story, and Marti definitely has it explained better than I will, so check her out, but this is kinda sorta how it goes:

Last New Year's Eve, PC and I got married. Little did I know then that less than a year later, I would hook up with new (to me, anyway) family members through my blog. I started writing MommyGuilt in March or April of this year as a way to get out my frustrations and joys about all that guilt that we moms tend to carry around. One of the things that I wrote about frequently (and still do) is SmallBoy's Asperger's. Before I knew it, I found myself surrounded by a virtual community of other moms with kids on the spectrum. I thought to myself, "God, this is incredible. I'm not so alone anymore."

Then, late this summer, after SmallBoy's FORMAL diagnosis (translate to "ridiculously expensive diagnosis for something I already knew), Meem, my MIL told me about someone who was named for her mother who had a son about the same age as SmallBoy. He, too, is an Aspie. Oh, and this mom also has a blog. Granted her blog was more an outlet for something else, but we still shared this common bond. Meem gave me Marti's blog address and off I went to visit.

We started chatting and somehow got on the topic of her being named for Meem's mom. As it turns out, and Marti, please correct me if I screw this up, Marti's grandmother and Meem's mom were sisters which, therefore makes her and Meem cousins (removed somewhere), which then makes her and PC cousins (removed another time), which makes me a cousin-in-law!!!!

I can hear you asking, hmmm...perhaps this gives some creedence to ASD being hereditary. Let me refresh for you if you've lost your place. PC and SmallBoy don't share the bloodline as SmallBoy is his step-son (couldn't tell, though, they act SO much alike). So strike that connection (at least in THIS family).

We're plotting and planning how to get together. We don't live that far from each other...what's a couple of states - hell, it's only Wisconsin between us...LOL. I think this is a must...especially when it gets warm. Marti bought a Harley and I REALLY want a ride! I think it would be wonderful for our boys to meet, too, but DAMN! I want a ride!!! Soon! Let's plan that P-Family Reunion soon!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005



You absolutely MUST go read this post byCheryl at Mad Baggage about the ever elusive Sock Monster. I know we've all got one. Just make sure to run to the restroom first because you'll be laughing so hard, even at the comments, that you're sure to wet yourself!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Birthday List

I was inspired by Sal's post at Octoberbabies. LOVED her list. Since my bday is coming up soon (11/23), I thought I'd make my list available to all of you who love to get me presents. The number of items in no way, shape, or form, corresponds with my age, however. Some are material, some are dreams, some are just WAY out there!

1. This autism awareness bracelet - which I found through Sal's list. It's beautiful and, if you read the description, is perfect for portraying autism.

2. SLEEP - I'm tired of constantly feeling rundown - even with exercise & vitamins.

3. To have my bday off work. Wed. is my boss' regular day off of work and I have to be here when she's not, so calling in sick on my bday is just not a luxury I can afford.

4. Clothes - I don't have enough. The ones in my closet are either too small (from when I was terribly sick) or too big (from when I got over being terribly sick, but before I started exercising).

5. Shoes - to go with the clothes, of course.

6. Someone to do my laundry - just to get me caught up, just this once.

7. A new water heater. I am so tired of the river that runs through my basement - which is now forming a pond at the base of the water heater. Sadly, a new one's just not in the budget.

8. To be financially able to work part-time so that I can still do all of the things I need to with SmallBoy.

9. To finish college - Sal, I'm so inspired by you. Yeah, it took you a long time, but I'm going on 7 years already, and I haven't been to school since '01 when I filed for divorce.

10. A recording contract. Working towards that more now than before - at least I have a band now.

11. Pumpkin Pie - my standard birthday cake - although, my brother-in-law makes a KILLER Red Velvet cake. I must have my pumpkin pie - cold (yeah, I'm weird that way) with TONS of whipped cream. Given where my birthday falls, Pumpkin pie has pretty much always been my birthday cake - and I sure as hell ain't complaining.

12. To learn to play guitar. PC's been trying to teach me, but I'm such a bad student that I can't keep my nails short - partially because I always cut them too short and then they look bad and hurt...which leads me to...

13. A serious gift certificate to Picacalah (translated - "Pick a color", what the ladies say when you walk in) to keep my short guitar fingers manicured nicely so I don't keep getting ingrowns when I cut them that short.

14. A couple of RDI workshops, asperger's workshops that aren't ridiculously expensive AND in my area.

15. A second honeymoon with my husband.

16. OT for SmallBoy

17. A GET-OUT-OF-DEBT-FREE card (cuz Lord knows I've got entirely too much.

18. Cable

19. Time to sit down and have dinner with my family every night.

20. Happy time spent with my sisters.

21. Everything to be ok.

22. A new car. My station wagon's really just going downhill. I bought it when I had to sell my Durango after my divorce (God, I LOVED my Durango). LargeBoy was, at the time, playing the cello, and I needed a vehicle large enough to schelp it and three kids around in. LargeBoy no longer plays the cello. I no longer need the Family Truckster.

23. A Scott Podsednik Jersey for Girl.

24. To have Ex understand and "get" SmallBoy.

25. Warm weather.

26. One last excursion to Michigan to take a photo of the cottage up the hill from ours - for our "kitchen window" art - another blog for another time.

27. Happiness and healing for all of those who need it, especially those I love the most.

28. A SNOW DAY on 11/28 so I don't have to go back to work after the long weekend.

29. Someone ELSE to get up at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving and do all my shopping for me - oh, yes, with his/her own money (since I have NONE).

30. A film editing system for LargeBoy - oh and a new computer for him too.

31. CASH...Lots and Lots of CASH.

32. A free weekend to have cookie day at my house.

33. Good hair.

34. The night home alone with PC.

Nope. Not 34. Only those who know me know how old I am. But it's not 34.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Holy Bloggers, Batman! I forgot to write today!

I feel like I'm slacking today. Terribly busy at work (for once)...ok, well, kinda busy at work.

I really wanted to write about SmallBoy's Cub Scout outting yesterday. We went to visit Cantigny Park yesterday with most of the troop and some of the parents. The park is HUGE...I can't remember the acreage...full of trees (and the colors right now are beautiful), meadows, gardens, REAL tanks and vehicles from the wars. The boys gathered, did their flag ceremony and read their "research projects" on states. They had to pick a state, tell the bird, tree, describe the flag. Most of them did OTHER states, but about four, including SmallBoy, did Illinois. It was cute, though.

We moved on to the war museum. There the boys were able to see actual items used in various wars - equipment, uniforms, weapons, medical supplies, sample rations, photos from Viet Nam. They then toured a walk through exhibit beginning with a WWI exhibit, complete with a trench and periscopes. The tour continued through the wars in our history, including a stop to watch a short film about the landing on Omaha Beach, with reel footage (ha ha - sorry, PC's input), and ending with a very brief exhibit on the Gulf War. The Korean war was, as usual, overlooked.

Dismissed from the museum, the boys had free reign of the park and went exploring and climbing the tanks and vehicles on display outside of the museum. The had heard mention of the Nazis in the museum and decided to play Nazis v Americans with the tanks. Of COURSE the Americans won. The boys had a ball. We parents sat around praying that none of our children would fall off of the tanks or poke someone's eye out with a stick (GOD do I sound like a mom!). Finally building up an appetite, we settled in for a hot dog snack provided by the scout leaders.

As incredible as this experience was, I think the best part for me was watching SmallBoy interact. He was not always included and did not always make an effort to get in the game, but he DID play and run around with the boys. He had fun. He played. He socialized. I was surprised, really, that we had no inkling of a meltdown.

This morning was a bit difficult as far as getting up was concerned, though, but, really, I attribute part of that to all of the running around in the fresh air the day before (and part of it to a Monday morning). Tonight he blogged about his trip, short though it was. He's truly enjoying this writing and I'm hoping that it will help him with his expressive language. He loves it. Thanks to those of you who have stopped in and said hi. He thinks it's great that he's writing and, as I put it to him, helping other moms and other kids just like him. I think that helps him feel a little better about his "Aspie-ness".

I've got a cold beverage and a husband waiting for me, so I'll leave you with that for tonight and try to NOT do any work at the office tomorrow so that I can write and catch up with all of you!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

LONG Weekend

I'm not going to say that I'm glad it's over, just that it was long and very very busy. Saturday we were up early, Girl had to be at her music instructor's house by 8:00 to carpool out to the music festival for her concert. Grabbed some coffee, and got to work for the day. No, not work work. We rent out to our neighbors the parking space next to our garage - since parking in our town is just ridiculous. The space had gotten overgrown and we hadn't had the tools to clean it up. Friday, after I came home from work to take care of my sick boys, PC ran and picked up a saw at his parents house. So Saturday morning was spent cleaning out the spot. It was BAAAAD, I gotta tell ya!

Girl's concert was at 3:00. It was wonderful. There was an orchestra, a choir, and a band....and about 1000+ family and friends crammed into a hot, stuffy, high school gym. Each group performed 4 -5 songs. The orchestra did an absolutely beautiful piece , Ashokan Farewell by Jay Unger, arranged by Calvin Custer(click here and go to track #9 for soundbyte). All of the pieces were beautiful, but this one was just...oh WOW! Of the orchestra members, I'd say 3/4 were violins with the other 1/4 divided among the violas, cellos, and basses. Girl plays the viola -which I enjoy. The piece began with an incredible violin solo (mind you these are all middle school students) and ended with her solo while the rest of the orchestra faded out. It was breathtaking. I can't say enough about the concert. The chorus sang a piece that I had sung in high school. That was kind of fun. Girl just told me that she could see, from where she was, me singing along. The band was awesome. They started out with the song that's the theme to 2000 - A Space Odyssey (or is it 2001 - I can never remember). They also played the theme to Monty Python's Flying Circus. You saw all of the "grown ups" in the crowd sort of all nod and smile as each realized what the song was. It's really called The Liberty Bell March, by Sousa. They also did a really funky piece called Snakes, by Duffy.

Later that evening was a surprise party for our band's drummer. We totally surprised her. Both bands that she plays in, The Dukes of Wellington and Code West (which she and I began together) played for her - yes, we made her work at her own party. We were happy to see that our former back up vocalist (let me know, if you want a link here) was able to attend and sing with us a couple of times.

After recovering from the bash, PC, LargeBoy, and I went along with SmallBoy and his scout troop to Cantigny Park to visit the war museum (and to climb on all the tanks!). Finally home and pooped. SmallBoy was going to do a post tonight, but I'm not sure if he'll get to it after doing all of the homework that he missed at school on Friday.

PC is still feeling icky and is sound asleep. I think that I might make some tea, grab my RDI books, fill up the tub and do some light reading (yes, that was sarcastic). Talk to y'all from work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Missed Supernanny

Sal - I missed it. Girl just HAD to go to the movies - and guess who had to drive. Yep.

I did, however, watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape last night. It was a very touching movie that totally looks into the lives of how ASD mixes into everything else that goes on in a family. The responsibility of those taking care of the child, how the child looks at the world, how ASD affects everyone else, how wonderful those with ASD are and, the most important piece - the ability of those with autism to FEEL EMOTION and to EXPRESS EMOTION to others.

Oh, I cried, alright. I would have cried without an Aspie of my own, but I cried because I could feel all of you. I could feel Irish and Sullen Bunny and Daniel's Mum. I cried also because I felt so ...wrong word, but, relieved... that SmallBoy isn't as severe as many and, at that, I felt kind of guilty at having the mild one in the group, yet here I sit doling out advice.

Anyway, I would recommend renting it if you haven't seen it...aside from its content and the ways in which it will touch all of you, Johnny Depp is just plain HOT!

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Guest Blogger

Tonight I have a very very special guest blogger for you. My very own SmallBoy would like to say hello! Go for it SmallBoy!

Hello, "I am SmallBoy."

You are invited to be part of Team SmallBoy. Team SmallBoy is all of the people who love me and help me and who all understand Asperger's. I am going to make my own blog which is about me. I'll have my mom link it when I finish this post (and I set it up).

On my blog you will see everything I have in my life. (from mom: from the point of view of an Aspie) Thank you for reading and I hope that you will visit my blog after it is all set up.

Update: we are in the process of constructing Team SmallBoy. Please feel free to stop in and say hi. I will let you know here when we are completely finished, but I'm sure that SmallBoy would LOVE to hear from you before then.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

SmallBoy at Dad's

Last posting on this subject was my I-Hate-Autism rant. I want to update you on where that's gone since then and the conversation I had with SmallBoy yesterday.

Being an Aspie, SmallBoy particularly clings to routine and reacts much better to a change if he knows in advance that it is coming. That is why he asks me every week - oh, Thursday or so - if they're at home for the weekend or with their father. The arrangement is 1st & 3rd weekends at home, 2nd & 4th's at Ex's and we alternate when that extra 5th weekend pops onto the calendar. With Oct being longer, it was my turn for the alternating 5th, so the kids are home 2wks in a row. As expected, SmallBoy asked yesterday where he would be spending the weekend, " home or Dad's?" I told him he would be home and he let out a victorious "YES!" (complete with arm pump). What does that tell you about how he feels about going to his father's?

This weekend we'll be busy, provided the males in my house get healthy - SmallBoy has some respiratory thing going which is pissing off his asthma, LargeBoy has a stomach thing, and PC has a NASTY chest cold which has made itself nice and comfy in his lungs and, of course, the poor dear has to work tonight. So, I think the Large & SmallBoys are in bed early, while the Girls hang out. Girl has to practice bigtime tonight. Her big concert is tomorow!!!!!

Going home at 1 today to take care of the sick brood.

Calling Moms of Boys

Check out Crazed Parent's posting about loving our boys, all - NT and ASD. Not to discredit our daughters, but this really hits it on the head and brought a tear or two to my eyes.

Oh! How I Want to Play Hooky Today!!!

This is IT. The end of the warm weather. It's supposed to be beautiful...72 degrees, I heard. Nice tomorrow also. I haven't heard the weekend forecast yet. If only our livelihood didn't depend on money. If only "work" was simply something to do during the day. If only....oh, ok, I'll shut up now.

If I lacked a few ethical values (I don't - usually :-( ), I would have called in sick today. Actually, I almost had the opportunity. SmallBoy has the cough that I had a week ago, coming out of that cold from HELL. He was up a few times in the night and, with him, a cough - especially the result of a chest cold, could trigger some nasty asthma. That means, of course, that even after I got him settled and quiet, that I slept with one ear open. TIRED today.

He woke himself up at about 6:15 this morning with his cough and I was worried (hopeful, maybe) that he wouldn't be able to go to school and that I'd have to stay home today. When the reality of that scenario hit me, though, I decided it best to go to work. Oh - you want to know what the reality was...gotcha.

Had I stayed home with SmallBoy, we still wouldn't necessarily have been able to enjoy the day. I would have kept him inside all day (which he would have loved - TV, video games, toys!!!), but I would have been out winterizing my garden, planting my mums for next year, and tossing some tulip bulbs in the ground. Still couldn't have done the fun things though, like walk down to the park or to the coffee shop. Can't do that with a sick kid.

He'll be fine. He stopped coughing before I left for work and was in a happy mood. Girl has a Girl Scout "board meeting" after school today, so SmallBoy is going along to play with the little boy who lives at the house where the meeting will be. The boy is in SmallBoy's class, but MUCH more advanced than he is. He does ok with this boy, and the mom knows all about SmallBoy and is very cool with it. She'll have them outside playing and enjoying the weather. That's good for a day like today...oh yes, that's right, I believe I wanted to play hooky today. Perhaps on my lunch hour I'll heat up my rice and walk over to the park across from my office and watch the leaves fall. Right now, though...MUST. HAVE. CAFFEINE!!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

That's What it's All About

Nope. Not writing about the Hokey Pokey. I encourage you to check out Astryngia's posting on what it means to be the mother of an Aspie - or any special needs child for that matter, on the spectrum or any other need.

It is taken from an article that she read, wherein another Aspie mom is talking about her child and the difficulties and joys and experiences of raising her child. In this particular posting, this mother speaks to how Asperger's really affects mothering: to watch your child for the wonderful things that s/he does and to praise them and love them for it; to expect the best from your child, even if it is the tiniest of accomplishments; to expect the worst and to love your child even moreso; to ignore the unimportant, irrelevant, sometimes annoying and irritable things that come with ASD and to - guess what - work on the big important stuff and to love them anyway.

It's truly an inspiring post. Please pop on by and take a quick read. I promise it will be worth your while.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Guess What, Shoppers?

Before Trick or Treating was over last night, and as I was getting ready to go and do a bit of treating of my own, I heard, coming out of my living room, a COMMERCIAL FOR SOMETHING CHRISTMAS!!! For Pete's sakes! Halloween wasn't even officially over! Couldn't they have waited until today, at least, to start the countdown?

How ridiculous is that? Political Correctness aside, I'm sorry, but this whole Christmas shopping countdown starting before the last of the Halloween Candy has been passed, checked, snagged, or eaten is just INSANE! I'm having a hard enough time trying to figure out how to manipulate Thanksgiving. I'm not ready for the madness yet!!!!!!1

Halloween Recovery

Ok, that's over. It was fun, though, despite the drizzle. Sorry I don't have any pics, but my memory card is full and my download cable is AWOL. I mentioned before that SmallBoy was going as Darth Vader. Well, after the first 1/2 block of Trick or Treating with the voice changer mask, SmallBoy decided it was too tight, and so PC had to carry it the rest of the way around. What was really funny was that he would get his candy, say his "thank you", and then skip to the next house. Big bad intimidating Darth Vader - skipping. It was funny. Actually, skipping is one of the GOOD gross motor skills he has (much better than running - no clumsy in his skipping).

Girl - well, how do I describe her costume? Hmmm....Ok, this is how I described it to my sister: Raggedy Ann meets Pippi Longstocking and raided the clown make up (not so clown-ish, but pale face, big doll eyebrows, pink cheeks). It really was cute. LargeBoy went this year for the first time in a long time, after a harrowing Halloween experience. He and his friends went out right after school, so I didn't get a chance to see him until he came home when he was, simply, LargeBoy.

All candy has been checked, picked over, and traded...PC is still trying to bribe the kids out of their Dots, though. We told them that if we found any candy wrappers on the floor, regardless of their owner, ALL the candy would then get defaulted to PC & me. Pretty harsh, huh? SmallBoy finally crashed out about 9:30, but then was up before me this morning...go figure. hmmm...I had something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember.

Elaine - go back to the comments from yesterday. I added a couple more answers to the knock knock joke. Marti - THANK YOU! I ordered both books this morning. Sullen Bunny - just checking in on you today!!!