Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am jumping ship

I've been toying with the idea of moving my blog elsewhere for some time. I am going to leave this one up for a short time until everyone links on over to my new blog:

The Domestic Goddess

I just feel it is easier to use, has more capabilities, has more design choices and is easier on the eyes. This blog is ok, but I wanted something a little more. I am also going to try to change my style just a hair. Once I go through some old posts I may delete some of what I've written, mostly because I do not want other people reading it and associating it with me. You know, like the negative, poor-me posts? GONE.

Anywho, please check me out on my new site and fix yer links/bookmarks accordingly. I'll still keep my google sign on, may change it to Domestic Goddess. We shall see

Friday, April 27, 2007


Sorry for the txtspeak, but I've always liked this song and now I like it even more. If you have ever heard KT Tunstall and "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" (and I don't mean the Americal Idol version, folks), please, PLEASE go here and watch this. This girl has more talent in her pinky fingernail than most people have in their flipping body.

Flippin' sweet link:


I tried putting it right on my blog but it kept freezing up. Dang blogger. But anywho, enjoy your moment of zen. And may your basement not be full of water today.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Surviving the MRI

I did it.

I got the MRI for my lumbar issues. Once they get the results we can find out if it is truly herniated (as they suspect) or if I am just a big hypochondriac (unlikely, since I have a high tolerance for pain and went through medication-free labors until I had complications and ended up with emergency measures. And I once pierced my own ear cartilage without any numbing device, just a potato and a needle. Don't ask.).

I decided to cancel my appointment for the regular MRI and went to their open MRI instead. On my way there I was attempting self talk and praying, trying to psych myself up for it. This is no easy task. To make matters even more difficult, I am in my "manic" phase of the month, which means I am jittery, anxious and irritable to begin with. If that wasn't enough to derail my efforts to get through the MRI, I decided I was hungry on the way there and stopped at Wawa to buy a hotdog. And I don't like hotdogs. Yes, I am confused, too.

Once I arrived and sat in the parking lot eating my hotdog I reminded myself that it would be over quickly. It is just a machine. I can do this. I can get through this test. I took a deep breath, walked in and registered. I was the ONLY one there, which made it even easier for me. As I waited in the entrance I noticed a sign with a picture of their brand-new, state-of-the-art Open MRI. It was square, open on all sides and looked fairly harmless. Until I was called back.

By then, my heart was in my throat and I could feel my hair tingling with every beat. I slipped off my bra (because, when you get an MRI, they want you to be as embarrassed as possible) and locked the door behind me (because they give you these nice little changing rooms to lock your stuff in and there are inspirational posters hanging in there, and signs that say you will be charged if you don't get through the MRI without having a panic attack). The technician was so sweet and understanding. When she asked me if I was claustrophobic, I blurted out, "YES!" before she had a chance to finish her sentence. Gulp.

Once I was on the table and she adjusted pillows and such, I was relieved to see I was going in feet first. I mean, I was still going to be UNDER the machine (very creepy) but I just kept talking myself into it. You can do this. You will get through it. My heart was still pounding and felt like it was leaping out of my chest. The hotdog was a biiiiiiig mistake at this point. I kept tasting it in my mouth and felt like I was going to dry-heave. I can do this. I can DO THIS. It is just a machine! Take a nap, I dare you! Now, who did I sit next to in 9th grade English? What should I make for dinner? Before I knew it, the headphones were on, the music was started (XPN, w00t!) and I was given instructions. The first bit was six minutes long...

The next thing I knew she was starting the next round and I must have dozed off. No, really! I did! The LOUD white noise was actually soothing. I had my head turned to the side to see out of the machine and my arms were hanging out anyway. My feet were also out of the machine, so it wasn't so bad. I just ignored the fact that my hips were restrained, concentrated on the wall next to me and watched the technician again until...

Must have dozed off again. Test is over! I was being rolled out of the machine. Of course, I was groggy and tired but it was over. OVER! DONE! I should have the results in two days.

My complaint with these tests is that they KNOW how uncomfortable people are. They know it is scary. And yet, no one has bothered to come up with a better way to get this info? I mean, they did it on Star Trek! C'mon people! Gene gave us great ideas on that show! If we can invent a door that says, "Schweeeee" then we can make a body scan like Bones' tricorder. Right? RIGHT?

My boys are lucky. The get Versid squirted up their noses when they get MRIs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh Linen, How I Love Thee!

My name is M-j, and I am a recovering linen addict. I cannot help myself.

I love linen. I love the way it feels on my body. You know, being a natural fiber and all. I know it wrinkles easily, but that is part of the beauty of it. No one expects you to be wrinkle-free in linen! And I rarely iron it...

In a store, I can feel the linen vibe three aisles away. I can sense it. I can spot it. I HAVE TO HAVE IT. These days linen comes in many fine colors, not just the drab earth tones of yesteryear. I have found PURPLE, FUSCHIA AND CANARY linen. I kid you not (Yeah, it hurt my eyes, too. I do not know why anyone would consider owning this colors.)! In the past two weeks I have found affordable and SUPER CUTE linen at Tarzhay and ON, my favorite cheapo haunts. Tarzhay had the CUTEST linen skirts and this weekend they were on the sale rack, meaning, I got them for 40% off. I wore said linen skirt to church with cute little brown Mary Jane-type heels and a nice short-sleeved sweater. I felt so trendy.

The linen you find these days is softer, easier to wear. It is "washable" which means it doesn't fall apart the first time you wash it, just the second or third. And who the heck would take linen to a drycleaner? Certainly not Moi. Not since I invested in Dryel! Which does not work, by the way. I often use the handwash cycle on my new-fangled washing machine. Can you believe the irony in a hand-washing cycle on your AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE? Oh yes, it exists. Hey! I just said irony! Iron-y. Get it? Do ya, huh? Well, I thought it was ironic. There I go again! IRON-IC! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm killing me, here! HAHAHAHAHA!


Take a look at my closet (please don't). I have a whole skirt rack of linen skirts, another one of linen pants. I even own linen shorts (and I do not typically wear shorts). I have a few linen shirts (that I rarely wear). I even have...wait for it...a linen bathrobe! YES! YOU HEARD THAT CORRECTLY!

No linen underwear, though. Aren't you glad you asked? You didn't? Well then. Moving right along...

So, I am obsessed with linen. I love Easter, when you can traditionally wear linen and white shoes again. This year I took a walk on the dangerous side and wore lined, linen dress pants on GASP!!! Palm Sunday! With off-white shoes. I know, I know, fashion faux-pas! Since when have I been fashionable?

What's the big deal about linen? You can find out everything you want to know (but were afraid to ask) here .

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bug Boy Can be Charming

Bug Boy would do anything to play video games. I am not kidding on this one. We can write a list of chores as long as his arm and he does them, without complaint, and sometimes we reward him with a turn on Playstation. He is rarely allowed to play on a school day. Heck, he NEVER plays before school and only once in a while plays in the evenings. On weekends we stay busy. The grand total for the week (seven days) is somewhere in the vicinity of one to two hours, maximum.

In honor of National Kill Yer TV week, I've decided that it will ALL be off, minus the computer. He is not allowed to play the computer but it is on. This really is not all that difficult, the boys are not television junkies. The watch maybe a total of an hour of the idiot box per week. They are extremely active boys so a certain amount of outdoor time (or basement trampoline and playtime on rainy days) is necessary for all of our nerves to avoid being frayed.

This week, for some strange reason, Bug Boy has been relentless on his quest to play video games. He has always been obsessed with electronical devices (hallmark of ASDs) but this goes beyond the usual eating, sleeping and breathing. He is sneaking around. He is saying and doing anything to be allowed time. He even wants to cash in his reward tickets for extra video game time. Here is our conversation from yesterday morning before school:

Bug Boy: Mooooooom. Pleeeeease. Please, Can I play video games? I'll turn them off on time, I promise! (whining the entire time)

Me: No, Bug Boy. We've talked about this. We've also talked about the way you are asking me.

Bug Boy: Oh. Then MAY I PLEASE play video games?

Me: No! You know the rules. You need to stop asking. The rule is that there are no video games on school days and NEVER before school. Never! Now, go and get dressed.

Bug Boy pouts and hangs his head. He stomps up to his room, disappears for twenty minutes and comes back down, fully dressed. He has also brushed his teeth, washed his hands, combed his hair, washed his face and put his shoes on. This is typically something that takes us over an hour with FIVE PROMPTS and a check-off list to do. Proof that he can do it when he is motivated enough!

Bug Boy: Ok, Mom! I'm READY! I have TONS of time to play now. Hmmmm...what can I do?

Me: Bug Boy, I am glad you are dressed and ready but you are not playing video games. You know the rules. Why don't you get out a library book and read it with me? Or get your lincoln logs out?

Bug Boy: Mom! You are SOOOOOO pretty! You are pretty mom! Mom! I like your hair today! Now, May I please play playstation?

This is, coincidentally, the first time my son has ever told me I am pretty. Which I told him I appreciated. And then I told him he would not play playstation. I am a heartless woman.

This morning we had to drag ourselves out of bed, hitting the snooze several times (who invented that? I want to talk to that person!). While we were busy showering, dressing, ironing, etc, Bug Boy must have decided to sneak downstairs and play, you guessed it, video games. We both tip toed down when we went in to wake him and we was not in bed. The look on his face is one that I will never forget!

When we confronted him he knew he was caught. He also said sorry. He also asked if he could just play for a few minutes. He also told us we looked nice today. Sigh.

I know kids sneak. I know kids lie. I also know they misbehave. But sometimes it is more difficult to get through to Bug Boy. Even though he could recite a list of rules VERBATIM he still stretches or disregards them when he sees fit. That is the egocentric thinking that he possesses. That four-year-old mindset. You know, the one where THEY are the most important person in the universe and therefore whatever THEY think is good and appropriate must be the correct viewpoint? Let's just say for the sake of argument that the powers that be estimate Bug Boy's emotional and social skills to be that of a four-year-old. At the age of six. This does make things difficult. I must remember that I have to explain to a very intelligent six-year-old in a way that makes sense to a four-year-old with consequences appropriate for his age.

So, no video games. In fact, he has lost them this weekend. I am happy since I don't have to hear the music for Star Wars Lego for a while. Killing the zombie machine is not so hard to do.

Totally off topic: we received Bugaboo's progress report yesterday. For the first time in eighteen months of early intervention our child has MADE PROGRESS! I mean, I know he has made progress, but we are talking real, measurable progress towards his IEP goals. This is a grand thing, indeed. Bugaboo has had plenty of regression and difficulties this past year, the report is the best thing since sliced bread, in my opinion. He has mastered or possesses over half of his goals! WOOOHOOOO!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sleepy Guys

The weekend was glorious! Warm weather, fun outside, plenty of playing and plenty of things on the Honey-Do list finished. We now have bunk-beds in Bug Boy's room and mulch around our playset. The house is relatively neat (except for the oft-untidy basement playroom, but that is nothing new) minus the floor, which looks like a protest against Martha Stewart.

The boys played HARD this weekend. They were filthy-dirty, covered in mulch and grass. The sunblock seems to be a dirt magnet. My tub has RINGS, folks! I kid you not!

We thought that since they spent the majority of their time outside this weekend, climbing, running, riding bikes, playing with friends, pulling wagons and just generally being kids, they would become EXHAUSTED by bedtime. N.O.T. We thought a warm bath and a good meal in their bellies would be the catalyst for getting them to sleep soundly. W.R.O.N.G.

For some odd reason it was nearly impossible to convince them that the day was done and the mommy and the daddy were tired. All three evenings this weekend were a chore. They were literally bouncing off the walls. The fact that it is still light out when they are crawling under the covers does not help our slumber cause. Since they are up in the wee hours with the roosters and sparrows (and rabbits and the *^&$% squirrels eating my trash) they are not getting much sleep. In fact, we aren't getting much sleep. And who is more important? That's right. Me.

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. If I do not receive the required (not desired, required. Let's be honest here!) amount of sleep, I do not function. At all. Add in the cold that has lingered for a month, the second round of antibiotics, the muscle relaxant for my current back issues and it all makes for one tired momma. Eight Hours. I need EIGHT HOURS. I managed to make it through the infant years because Bug Boy sleep every two hours and so did Momma. Bugaboo was one of those dreamy babies who slept seven hours his first night home and kept that up until toddlerhood, when we first suspected the seizures. Even still, he sleeps solidly through the night these days, rarely waking. When he does stir it is for a mere moment and he drifts blissfully back into slumber wrapped in momma's arms with his little feet tucked between my knees.

The past three nights I figured out (because I am a math tutor, and I am good at this stuff) that they have each received a whopping 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Since it takes me over an hour to get through my routine at night, picking up the floors and finishing chores, that leaves me with about seven hours of sleep (this is the Mj version of math we are talking about, if you are lost). I am often up before them to start breakfast or hop in the shower. 8.5 hours is not enough for these active boys. I mean, some boys can function on that. My children cannot. They are beyond reasoning with , super cranky, puffy-eyed, whining and miserable. Every little thing is a major ordeal. Here are some examples:

  • Since our niece was with us Saturday evening and we did manual labor for twelve hours, we decided to go our for pizza. Bugaboo normally does well at this local, family-friendly pizza joint that we frequent. At five in the evening (when kids are hungry) the place is dead. Bugaboo even sits most times, but not this time. He insisted on being in the lobby area where the take-out customers wait for their food and wanted to peruse the soda and chip section. He does not drink soda, just molests Pepsi bottles. He then found a brand of chips he recognized (because he is so picky that he can distinguish between brands of food and drinks) and would not give up. To get him to return to the table I handed him a small, blue bag of chips. He seemed satisfied. We got to the table, he had a meltdown in the booth (luckily there were only two little old ladies giving me the hairy eyeball that evening, I may have flipped them the bird). He dragged me BACK to the chips and sat and felt up the bags. After picking up three or four and hurling them behind his back, he finally found the color bag he wanted. RED. Never mind that he has never in his life had a ruffled potato chip. Tonight he was going to open that red bag at all costs. And we did. Upon returning to the table he parked himself on teh booth bench, reclining with his chips. I could not move him. I ended up sitting at the end of the table on a chair. At least he was quiet. Until he climbed under the table and ate things off of the floor. Things we did not order. Ewwwwww...

  • We go to TJs every week (sometimes more, because I am addicted to that place). There is this great guy there who makes balloon animals for the kids and always remembers their names. Bug Boy loves to go in with me (while Darling stays in the car with Bugaboo because Bugaboo hates to food shop) and loves getting a balloon animal or light saber, whatever is being twisted that day. We arrived at home and it was nearly bed time so Bug Boy put the animal down in order to get ready for bed. He put it down. On the floor. We have a dog. You know, with claws? Yup...let's just say that a three-hour bedtime battle ensued. He could not go to bed without a balloon animal! It was important! He would NEVER fall asleep without it! He is staying up ALL NIGHT! ALL NIGHT! He was NEVER going to bed again! We had to drive RIGHT BACK TO TJ'S!!!
  • More examples: Bugaboo insisting on being barefoot with no pants but had to have his winter coat on. In 80 degree weather. Bug Boy wanting to wear flip flops to church. Bug Boy sneaking binoculars into church and was surprised at my reaction. Bugaboo climbing up and bringing me every single one of his clean, empty cups from the cabinet when I told him he couldn't have more juice. Bug Boy wanting chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. Cold. Bugaboo wanting M&Ms for dinner. It got better and better all weekend.
So you see, they can be a wee bit inflexible when they are tired. Who am I kidding? They are always this inflexible. I just think it is magnified to a certain degree when they are exhausted. And when Momma is exhausted it is even MORE fun in Chez Bug Boys.

Can we reverse daylight savings time. Pleeeease?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Incarcerated Animals

Back in my vegan/WWF/Save the World Days (no, not World Wrestling Federation, World WILDLIFE FUND) I would never dream of going to the zoo. My parents would take all nine thousand of us (kidding, just nine) and I would pout and dream of going to Kenya to build natural boundaries for the wildlife parks there. At the time I was completely obsessed with Elephants, knew everything there was to know about them and even sponsored one at the zoo. Although, on my teenaged babysitting salary, I was able to buy one skin wrinkle for three months.

It's all about the elephants.

The zoo is sad to me. Yes, I know, it is America's oldest zoo. I know that they work diligently on preservation. I know they participate in worldwide efforts to stop animal poaching and participate in animal husbandry to thwart our best human efforts to destroy the planet. Because, after all, if the bees start to die, so will we.

Off the soapbox we go...

Anywho, today is the kindergarten zoo trip. This unit they have been learning about the differences between reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals. They have learned about how animals reproduce (in five and six-year-old terms, that is). And now, the culmination of that lesson, the dreaded take-two-hundred-kindergarteners-to-the-zoo-for-three-whopping-hours-and-make-sure-you-hit-the-petting-zoo-for-your-healthy-dose-of-e.coli-on-the-way-out.

Some kids love the zoo. Bug Boy cannot get enough. His favorite show on the planet is Zaboomafoo and he truly understands about conservation efforts and why animals belong in their natural habitat. Bugaboo, on the other hand, HATES the zoo. Since he has limited eye contact to begin with and has difficulty with parts of his vision, he does not see what we see. To him, the zoo is a huge sensory mess, complete with loud noises, wind blowing the hair on his arm, colors running together, ants on leaves on trees a mile away and being strapped into a stroller so as not to climb into the Hippo exhibit. Again.

I promise to bite my tongue and not get on my soapbox at the zoo. I promise not to get into a discussion about how I feel with another mother. And, scouts honor, I will not lose children, pity the animals or tell the kids how I really feel. Someday they will be able to make up their own minds about Gorillas behind glass on a monkey bar (no pun intended) and perhaps they will come to the same conclusion I did. Or they will think I am a total loony, either one.

And the elephants? As sad as it is to see them in their tiny enclosure, the good news is that the Philadelphia Zoo is shipping the elephants out in May. Two (the African ones)will go to a wildlife and elephant rescue in Tennessee and one (the Asian one, the smaller of the three) will go to a large exhibit in Maryland. Our zoo tried to rebuild their habitat here but it is too expensive to keep elephants. Even if they are the main attraction here. I am sad to see them go (because I could sit and watch them all day) but happy that they are going places that are better for them.

Don't get me started on the circus being in town this week...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Wanna Be Sedated

I made it to the doc yesterday, who confirmed that the past month has not been entirely in my head. I have a herniated disc in my back!

The good news is that is most likely will heal on its own in a few weeks, provided I am a good girl. To be a good girl, I have to do the following:
No laundry
No stooping
No lifting Bugaboo (the hardest one!)
No lifting weights at the gym
Low impact workouts at the gym to stay mobile
Sit with a pillow behind my back and my feet on something to keep my hips at a 90 degree angle
Do exercises for spine stability
Stay off of my feet or rest for 15 minutes of every hour (Yeah, I laughed at that one, too)
Warm baths alternated with ice
Sports cream or Biofreeze
Anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant (to deal with the super-intense muscle spasms)
Keep up with the chiro and stim treatments

The doc stated that I must have a high tolerance for pain, based on her tests. I kinda laughed at her. Yeah, 51 hours of natural childbirth labor followed by an epidural because they were going to rush me into the ER to deliver my first child, only to be thwarted by me pushing him out as fast as I could...yeah, I guess you could say I have a high tolerance for pain. And the second child was not much different, except that one did end in a C-section. And I took no pain meds after because I am...absolutely and completely nuts.

So I was sent home with these meds (plus a Z-Pac for the frickin' cough and sinus issues, the second round of antibiotics. Sheesh). I held off taking them for fear of being groggy or loopy around the kids. Once they were in bed, I popped the first muscle relaxant in. Nothing. I mean, I felt NOTHING. The only side effect I had was that I fell asleep immediately and woke up well-rested. I do not remember waking ONCE during the night. I get the feeling the furniture in every room could have been rearranged and I would not have noticed, I was totally sawing logs.

The best part about all of this is that I get to go get an MRI! YEAH! Just kidding. I hate them. I will be lucky if they can do it. I cannot stand being strapped down and stuck in that tube. I am currently working on dispelling my fears so that I can do this tomorrow at 3pm. Please pray for me then,will you? I know, it is all in my head. God is an awesome God and is bigger than my fears. Ain't gonna let an MRI get me. But I still have panic attacks. Luckily, I was prescribed a little mother's helper to get me through it.

The best part of the visit today is that I stepped on the scale and did not run screaming into the night. Apparently a month off from the gym causes you to LOSE weight. Nine pounds, precisely. I do not know how, only to say that I have not had any appetite since stopping the evil, hellish pills. Actually, I have had an appetite, I have just been eating what a normal woman my size would eat, rather than eating like I am carrying triplets, which is what I normally do. The doctor did warn me that I was a "good size" and that I really did not need to lose more weight. That is when I decided I needed to tell her that the last time I stepped on the scale in her office I was pigging out nine times a day and my boobs were about 3X the size they are now. I know that doesn't make that much difference, but going from a 36 DDEF to a 34 C/D is a big change, dontcha think?

The thing is I feel flabby. I haven't been to the Y in a month now, due to the back issue. Anyone that knows me knows that if I do not work out/run/walk/exercise for a minimum of 3o minutes a day, I go bat-shiat-crazy. I am like a caged animal these days, unable to do much due to my back and lingering cold. And nine pounds or no, my butt is the same size, if not larger (I know, you can all roll your eyes and cuss me out now, I deserve it.). Did you ever make a turkey??? Of course you have. You know when the grease sits in the pan while you eat the turkey, and the grease solidifies and you end up with this gelatin-like substance? Well, if you bought an organic, farm-raised turkey you don't get that. At least I didn't. Where was I? Oh yeah, the gelatin-like grease at the bottom of the pan. That is what I feel like this week. I am frustrated and ready to work, I just am not able to do it yet. Sigh. Add the lecture from the doc about how I don't need to lose weight and it sends me back fifteen years when I still made myself puke for a living.

I know y'all don't know what this is like. When you live in a family where nearly everyone is over weight there is this pressure to be skinny. I was a petite little thing (with a big butt) my whole life. So going through puberty was not fun, due to the constant criticism and comparison. Stay skinny! Watch what you eat! You are SO SKINNY!!!! WOW!!!! I hated that. I consider it to be a nasty insult, this word "skinny." It makes me nuts.I hate it when people think I can eat whatever I want. Not true. I hate it when people assume I do not have to exercise. Not true. I hate it when people think I do not work at this. NOT TRUE. I work very hard at this. No one notices because I started out smaller.

Where the heck am I going with this? Sorry, side tangent there.

Tomorrow. MRI. 3pm. Pray. Let's not have it bad enough to need surgery, mmmkay? I do not think it is, but you never know...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bug Boy Makes Life More Fun

Bug Boy has some funky irrational fears. (that doesn't sound nice)

They are not irrational to him. They are to a bunch of experts who write that on pieces of paper to get services, but I digress...

Bug Boy can be afraid of things that we have never thought about. (There, is that better?)

In the beginning, we co-slept with both Bug Boy and Bugaboo. When they each turned two we moved them to the crib and then a bed when they were ready (well, actually, Bugaboo pretty much never slept in a crib since he climbed out at fifteen months and we were still co-sleeping). No, co-sleeping did NOT ruin our sex life. It did NOT make our children clingy. It did NOT cause SIDS, as the AAP would like you to believe (because, gosh forbid you sleep with your children!). It also did not cause their autism. I was just a lazy mama who was not about to walk down the hall to nurse my babies in the middle of the night. Somtimes Darling slept in the spare room if it was a particularly rough night. For the most part, our children have been THRILLED to sleep in their own beds since the age of two, and love their rooms.

The past few weeks with Bug Boy have been hairy, at best. He sneaks down to the Living Room while we are in the family room watching television or working in the kitchen. He climbs behind the couch or under the Dining Room table and falls asleep there, barricaded in by the couch cushions and pillows. When we've found him down there (after performing the nightly bed checks and realizing he has been missing for a few minutes) we have sent him right back to bed, only to find him asleep in our bed, on his floor, in Bugaboo's room, in the hallway and once asleep on his bathroom floor. He has not fallen asleep in his bed in three weeks.

A few years back we received (for free) a single-bed-sized car bed for Bug Boy. He was three and growing out of the toddler bed. Bugaboo was moved into the toddler-sized car bed that my crazy brother bought him on eBay. They seemed to enjoy the beds, although they NEVER slept (it was over a year before we found out about the night terrors and seizures). The toddler bed was uncomfortable and Bugaboo hated it. When we moved it went into the yearly borough yard sale. Bug Boy kept his bed. The only problem is that the bed (molded plastic) had vent holes in it. And our house is chock full of spiders and creepy crawlies this time of year, due to the swamp-like conditions outside. So, guess where they sometimes end up? Yup, in the vent holes of the molded plastic of his car bed. We have to vacuum it out about once a month, which requires taking the entire bed apart. How did we find out about this, you ask? Well, not long after we received the car bed (which was stored on my friend's porch) we noticed Bug Boy was waking up COVERED in bites from an unknown insect or spider. He would develop these severe reactions to them and a few times had cellulitis. He has not had bites in over a year because we have been diligent about cleaning out the bed. But a few weeks ago, Bug Boy had a nasty dream. And now he will not go to bed.

We have toyed with the idea of getting rid of the bed for some time. I have wanted to get a bunk bed or captain's style bed for sometime. I'd really like to get a bunkbed with a trundle under it so that when we have the cousins or other guests over, Bugaboo can sleep on the bottom bunk of Bug Boy's room and the guests can use Bugaboo's bed, which was the original thought behind buying him that frickin' expensive mattress. Right now Darling's Sister and her husband sleep on that gosh-awful futon in the basement, which is fine, but it is FAH-REE-ZING cold down there and sleeping on that futon is like sleeping on 2X4s. Literally. The futon is made of 2X4s.

Where was I again?

Oh yeah.

So, he won't sleep on his bed. This weekend we have decided to look for a replacement bed. In the meantime we are going to take the bed out of his room and put the mattress on the floor. I now have three days to convince my husband that we need to go to IKEA to look for the bunk beds, since it will be more cost effective (and savvy-er, if that is a word) and they will look nice. He hates IKEA, in case you are wondering. Hates it with a passion, and we STILL have the white-foil-MDF bed that he has had since a preteen, and he will not allow me to get rid of it, no matter how shabby the bed is! ACK!

Do not even get me started on the bathroom issues at school...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Get Out of The Funk

I do not know what my problem is today.

I am in a funk deeper than the water still sitting in my backyard.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that because the past two weeks have been hectic and stressful, I am totally crashing today. CRASH!

I have held it together (barely) for two weeks, through a nasty cold, through the worst back injury I have ever had, through fever, through Bugaboo peeing all over my house. I am thinking that I am entitled to a mental health break today.

I know my friends are wondering why they haven't heard from me or seen me. I do call them back once in a while, but right now I just do not have the brain function for lengthy conversations about espadrilles and preschool. I do not have the energy for long walks with baby carriages or treks to the mall or IKEA. I do not have the emotional stability to hang out with my friends whose toddlers are either younger than Bugaboo and are reciting the Gettysburg address or are the same age and have been accepted to MIT (or the preschool equivalent). Is that selfish? I mean, they are the same supportive friends who pick me up when I am down, take me out to breakfast for my birthday and bring me flowers and books just because. But today I just do not want to hear about them, their kids or their lives. I just cannot do it.

I am not having a pity day, just a "I'm-not-taking-a-shower-just-because-I-don't-have-to-go-anywhere-and-by-the-way-I-am-going-to-eat-a-crappy-lunch" day. I am having one of those days where I just need to have silence for a few hours, not answer the phone, not do anything I don't have to. Except for the three appointments I have to make today, I am not even touching the phone. I am not going out in public. Here is where I stay. Only the bus drivers and the kids I watch will know my dirty, little, odorous secret. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Darn. Already cut and dyed my hair. Can't do that today. Perhaps toenails? Hmmmm....

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Just Don't Get It

You know, this awful thing happened today.

At Virginia Tech, many people were killed (including the gunman) when someone went around the campus shooting. At last count it was 31. And, I indirectly know someone who goes there and he e-mailed and said that he was on lock down while they searched for the gunman. In the building he was in at that very moment.

Needless to say, this person is shaken, upset, sad and confused. He may or may not have lost several colleagues and students. And, while he sat there on the floor of his room away from windows with police outside the door, he was able to check the Internet for information, since no one could really tell them anything.

Nearly a half hour after it started they were already reporting casualties on CNN and Fox News. By 9am the experts were analyzing the situation. Before they even had the gunman caught (at least, confirmed). Students were in lock down. Bodies were everywhere. But the news channels already had gun and violence "experts" reporting with shreds of information. We are talking slivers here, people. They were not only making a mountain out of a molehill (not saying the situation wasn't bad, but they were fabricating 90% of their stories) but they were basically reporting every ten seconds. They were already interviewing students "eye witnesses" and victims. They were there before the police.

Want to know my problem with this? As with every other atrocity on the news, they are more concerned with getting the story out first and less concerned with reporting accurate facts. Instead of waiting until a real press conference or until they have their facts checked, they report the first thing they hear. No one, and I mean no one, knows exactly what happened yet. The police are still finding bodies and victims. They are still conducting interviews. They are still looking for evidence. Yet, the various channels, Web sites and radio stations are reporting five minute segments on the aftermath. And it is barely over.

No wonder people get confused. No wonder we get stories mixed up. No wonder rumors fly. When you have something like this reported and they say it was a student, no a homeless guy, no an unidentified Asian, no a _________, everyone has a different version of the truth. And for some reason, when these horrors occur, we have a tough time NOT reading or watching it. Remember 9/11? Who doesn't! I remember watching the Today Show that day, having it come on, refusing to watch it and take the babies for a walk and then coming back and finding myself GLUED to the television sobbing all day. And even then they were reporting 7 attacks, 5 attacks, 9 attacks. 5,000 people dead at the WTC, 2,000 people dead, 10,000 people dead. No one really knew for days, weeks and months what REALLY happened. And yet, it was on all day, every channel.

The Media isn't all bad. I just feel they have an obligation to get information to people in the best way possible. Lately it seems they are trying to be faster than fast food. That really irks me.

For respect of the victims they could at least wait until they have all of the facts straight.



There is a grand conspiracy afoot. Someone told the weather people that Bugaboo is ending his two week break today and decided to forecast this yucky wet storm. And now there is SNOW on the ground, and a two-hour delay to boot. Do y'all have ANY idea how much this messes them up? Autie's don't like changes in their schedules!

To top it off, Bug Boy has literally not ceased using his mouth to make noise since the rooster crowed. I kid you not. If he isn't talking, he's singing. If he isn't singing, he's humming. If he isn't humming he is making sound effects from Star Wars with his mouth. AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

And, I have a long-awaited doctor's appointment at 10, which I now have to bring Bug Boy to. And then hurry so I can drop him right off as soon as it is done, two hours late.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Bug Boys

We had somewhat of a busy weekend. We did not really HAVE to do much but we decided that the only way to preserve our collective sanity was to keep the kids moving. After Soccer practice we headed home, did a quick House Blessing and picked up every room. We knew that Sunday meant massive rain so we did as much outside as we could to get ready for the deluge. If Lake Erie is going to grace us with its presence in our backyard we needed to pick up toys and doggie piles (because that is really naaaasty after the rain, I kid you not. Soupy Poopy, nothing like it!). I was exhausted after a few hours because of the continuing back pain so Darling took the boys out for a short time while I napped. Once I woke up I decided that the very thought of getting my pots and pans dirty was enough to send me into a coma and pulled my best puppy-dog-eyed routine and scored a dinner to Panera! w00t! So off we went.

Bug Boy was not a happy camper. He likes Panera but wanted desperately to zone out on Star Wars Lego (his current OCD/stim/PDD fix). He complained the entire five minute drive to Mommy's favorite cheapo dinner place that he, "Did not think Panera was very healthy and might make you fat!" Once we got there the tune was changed. Suddenly a grilled cheese kids meal was the best thing for a growing boy to eat since it has plenty of coliseum to help his broken arm (never mind that the arm has been healed for eleven months now). In fact, getting a drink from the fountain was the most fun he had, "all day, no, ALL WEEK!" The boys were nearly 3/4 of the way though their food before we even sat. I barely had one bite of my soup (surprise, POTATO!) before Bug Boy looked up from his sandwich, sighed, glanced around with a huge grin on his face and stated quite matter-of-factly that Panera was, "Quite a fancy place! This place is soooo pretty, mom! It's sooooo elegant!" Yup. That whopping $15 dinner for four. That is one classy place!

Since we were not quite finished punishing ourselves taking our children out to a public place (remember, any public outing with Bugaboo comes with ear-piercing shrieks, items we did not intend to buy that he smuggled out of the store and his random disappearing acts) we headed to the mall. On a Saturday Night. Forgetting that it was teeny-bopper social time and prom season...

It was worth it since I finally found a pair of black, heeled, low-cut boots to wear with jeans. But I digress...

After an hour of the most fun I've ever had in my life with the kids at the mall (yes, being facetious here. Does the sarcasm show?) Darling decided that since it was 8:30 he would go the shortest route home (just kidding! Of COURSE he went the loooooong way that he thinks is shorter. Never mind that I am the expert at back roads and he took all of the wrong ones!). Bug Boy reminded us that he was thirsty. And he was six. And Tyler is seven and has heelies. SEVEN. Got that? SEVEN, and he has heelies. Bug Boy also reminded us that he will be SEVEN in no less than eight months, so he will wait for his heelies. And Darling was kind enough to speak up and say that our rule was eight, at which time I gave him the hairy eyeball, which also came with miniature pointy daggers that I fantasized going into his eyeballs and face because I was so pissed about the whole heelies conversation (my child will never have a $70 pair of sneakers with wheels in them that he cannot wear to school or in public or ride on the sidewalk. Not to mention that we have a propensity for breaking bones in freak accidents in our family.)

Where was I? Oh yes. Long back roads, Bug Boy thirsty (Singing, "Da, Da, dadadaDAda" Star Wars theme), Mommy thinking about drinking (does that make me an alcoholic?) a glass a wine the moment the boys are asleep. So we did what any good parent would do, we headed to Wawa to get Bug Boy an iced tea at Nine pm. Mommy helped herself to a Decaf Mocha (homemade, half hot chocolate from the machine and half 6-hour-old decaf coffee from the pot). But they did not have the favorite brand of Iced Tea, so Bug Boy let us know he did not think he would enjoy that particular iced tea but would try. I asked him to be flexible, at which time he pointed out that he, "Would never be flexible. Because I am not flexible. I will NEVER be flexible, guys." We looked at each other with the sad realization that what he just told us was true...

After church on Saturday we thought about staying home for the whole day but once again decided we were too lazy to chase Bugaboo around for several hours so we took our aquarium membership and set out in the pouring rain. Thinking it would be abso-smurfly-crowded we prepared for massive crowds and screaming Bugaboo. SURPRISE! Not crowded! But flooded! Getting out of there without driving through rain water as high as our car took some maneuvering on Darling's part. And since he cannot find his way out of a paper bag and I was not talking to him (because he kept going left which made us go in a square, like, three times y'all! THREE! And he'd say, "I don't know which way to go!" And I'd say, " There's the river! We need to go back WEST because we live in that state over THERE!" And Bug Boy said, "You guys! Stop it! You are being rude and not using good manners! Apologize right NOW!") it took many extra minutes to find our way back home. By the time we got there we were all bushed but Bugaboo does not typically take naps, so I devised a plan to go walk around Tarzhay for the remainder of the afternoon. This was, of course, thwarted, when I dropped Darling off, ran in to use the loo and went back to the car to Bugaboo sawing logs.

So, Darling and I took a nap. Bug Boy got his electronics stim/fix in. Bugaboo took a nap (that now that I am thinking about, he may have needed because I am fairly certain there was some seizure activity with all of the jackasses attempting to take photos of fish at the aquarium. With flashes. Against five-inch-thick panes of glass. ). We woke up, had a decent dinner and decided to do Tarzhay and TJ's in the absolute pouring rain. Shopping with Darling is never as much fun because he wants to stick to the list and won't let me browse the sale racks and clearance areas. But Bug Boy helps derail that by remembering things that we need, like"" TAPE! And BATTERIES! And MATCH BOX CAR RAMPS WITH THE 360 DEGREE CAR SPINNER!!! AND I BROUGHT MY TEN DOLLARS! Look! Here it is in my pocket! How did it get in there?!?!"

Little things make Bug Boy happy, like the cool guy at TJ's who makes the food and balloon animals. "You are the BEST balloon animal guy ever, Walt!" And, "Excuse me! May I please have some stickers? I used good manners!" When we finally got home, trimmed the little Bug Boy hairs (M&Ms help tremendously to bribe certain Bugaboos from crying, even this anti-ABA girl can appreciate a little behavior mod!), trimmed their dirty nails, gave them baths after a four-day hiatus, fairly certain that the neighbors will report us to CYS for going four days without washing our filthy children, who actually get pimples and body odor, I kid you not.

They went to bed. I am elated.

Please join me in celebrating at 8:40 am Monday morning when I am FREE! FREE! FREE!! of children! WAHOOO!!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This Just In

I've figured out the source of my backaches.

Aunt Flo.

No really! Go ahead, laugh yourself silly. I'll wait. There, there, feel better?

Four weeks ago it seemed like coincidence that I hurt my back just before Aunt Flo's visit. I mean, I do not really get cramps, I usually get muscle spasms in my back. I am one of those lucky people who have a uterus that is not quite in the anatomically correct position. In other words, it is tilted towards the back instead of the front and it kinda hangs to the right. I kid you not! This is one of the reasons the docs gave me for my difficulties with labor. I always have back spasms when Aunt Flo is here. When I was in labor both time I had nothing but back labor. Nothing in the front! It was excruciating! This is what it feels like, I kid you not. Except today I am a little better.

I finally got my rear end to the chiro and it is helping tremendously. The problem lies in the fact that the chiro basically wants me to come in every other day until I am standing properly upright. He also wants me to ice and heat and then put biofreeze on it four times a day. Yes, I know, I looked at him like he had three heads, too. I mean, he wants me to SIT DOWN? And not do any housework for a week? Not lift laundry baskets or load and unload the dishwasher? And I have to sit and put my feet up for fifteen minutes an hour? What planet is this guy living on?

I love my chiropractor. He knows what is best for me. The truth is, I had not been to the chiro in a year because of my schedule with the boys and I really wish I would get myself there more often. If I went once a week, I could keep my back healthy. The reality of it is that I just do not leave any time for me. As Mommy Brain put it, I am a card-carrying member of the Too-Stupid-To-Say-No Club, or the TSTSN for short. I cannot say "NO!" to people when they ask me for help. So I helped my sister last week when she had no one to watch her daughter for two days (which I really, honestly do not mind doing, since we hadn't seen her in a few weeks!) , I watch my friends' boys (both with autism) when she had her four hour IEP meeting, I watch Bugaboo's school chum (A) during breaks (like this two-weeker) because his mommy is a single mommy who teaches full time and has NO ONE at all for support and back-up, except for her elderly mother, who cannot watch the kid for ten minutes. I also watch the neighbor's kids (3) before and after school. And if that isn't enough, I occasionally watch other friends children here and there for meetings, appointments and the like. The short version of this tome is that I usually have six to eight kids running around this house at all times. Even on days when I am "off" I really do not ever have a break. But I keep thinking, "I can handle this! I can do this! I was raised with six other children, plus foster children and neighbors' kids! This is nothing!" And then I remember my mother's state of mind and realize that she was on her manic mood swing most of this time.

This morning Darling even had the audacity to SLEEP IN. He heard Bugaboo early this morning and completely ignored it. I got in the shower early (no, I really got in the shower ON TIME, but it is earlier than I have been!) and got out and I could still hear Bugaboo. Then I noticed the alarm was reset and Darling had the pillows and blankets over his head. He has been working twelve-hour days, and I feel badly for him, but I get NO BREAKS EVER! He has the luxury of having vacation days that he can take when he needs or wants or taking a sick day (like last Monday!) when he feels like it. Me? Sleeping in for me is him getting up, getting them juice and then sitting in front of the tv or computer until Bugaboo is pounding on the door and I come down and give him the hairy eyeball. At eight am. A day off? I have never actually had one. My sisters and I are desperately trying to plan one. If I do not get it soon I may sell my children to the gypsies and blow the money on crystal meth (just kidding).

What was the point of this before my little tangent? Oh yeah. I do not take care of myself. I pledged that this was going to be my year, my time to finally get myself together. I am not hitting those goals I set so far. Methinks I need to organize this a little better!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What I Love About the Internets

Really, people.

This Internet business is really far-out. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

I love the Internet. Whenever I do not know the answer to something or I am just curious (or have a morbid fascination with a particular topic) I just go to the Google and look it up. There are Web sites I stalk daily. There are friends' blogs I read to get a glimpse of what makes their minds tick. There are sites I read for news and entertainment. There are contest sites I check out for the fun of it.

Movie tix? Check the times on Yahoo. Need the definition for a word? Need an encyclopedia? Wikipedia. Want to find a Web site? Google it.

I have so many bookmarks on my Firefox browser my husband cannot stand it. Firefox for him? Fuhgeddaboudit. He's an IE guy all the way. I get to download all of the fun plugins and he can suffer for all I care. HA! Told him not to download the update for IE! It stinks!

The most interesting thing I have found are people's blogs. Their personal insights to a variety of topics. I visit friends and strangers alike. I have found people from across the country that share the same issues, whether it be Autism, potatoes or distaste for 24 and American Idol (sorry, folks, cannot watch. And no matter what anyway says, I love Sanjaya!). I love the fact that I can look up the obscure medical issues my children face at the click of the button. I love that in addition to the local support groups I attend, I can find people from other states (and countries!) that are going through EXACTLY what I go through. Kinda. Except in a different place, with different whether and different types of hot sauce poured on their carpets and couches.

There are drawbacks. Writing a blog almost begs for comments. You have to take the positive with the negative. I have seen other people SKEWERED on their own personal sites. That is the risk you take when you put your private life on a very public forum. Other people do read this stuff. I have many more people lurking than commenting and that is ok. I am not sure I truly want hundreds of folks commenting anyway. You can not believe EVERYTHING you read on the net, some of this is absolute garbage. If you don't believe that, I have this nifty little investment idea in Nigeria you might wanna check out.

This can be a dangerous tool, this World Wide Web. Children are stalked endlessly on it by predators. Heck, ADULTS are stalked. Your personal information can be put ANYWHERE. No site is truly secure. Even pictures of your children can be swiped and photoshopped into some nasty things (one of the reasons I took the pics of the boys down, I've seen what people do!). There are some real sickos out there.

But there are also great people. So many of the blogs I visit are a real network of support. Whether their cause is international adoption, terminally ill children, extreme medical issues, Autism, homeschooling, religion, you can find a great group of people that will stand behind you even though they have never met you. Heck, I found Flylady and trusted what she wrote and then found a fabulous group of women in the process. These girls would literally give you the shirts off their backs. They help each other out, make dinners, watch children, have coffee together, donate items to one another. A more fantastic group I have never met.

So, for all of its dangers and traps, this Internet stuff is pretty cool. It can open up a whole world to explore, if used correctly and in the right hands. For my Darling it is a way to drive me absolutely crazy shopping for cars and playing Miami Dice. Either way, I am glad I found ya!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One More Camp Idea

After discussing it briefly with Darling last evening, we have a few more tricks up our sleeves. I have to keep remembering there are a few free things I can sign Bug Boy up for this summer, like the library reading program. So, without further ado, here are our new scenarios:

-the local elementary school has a Y-affiliated camp that they run for $20 cheaper per week than the regular Y camp. It is on the school grounds, five minutes from our home, and they still go swimming, do the arts and crafts, etc. He will be inside for a portion of the day (lunch and arts and crafts) so that helps with the outside-all-day-thing and his heat intolerance issues. The only drawback is that it is from 9 to 5, and that is a looooong day for him.

-We have considered doing a week of the Future stars and then two weeks of the cheaper Y camp. Or a week of Future Stars and a week of nature camp. If we can find a combo it would be great. I have to talk to Darling a little further about this. My first choice (if money were no object) would be to send him to future starts, since it is a well-rounded program with a low staff/camper ratio (5 to 1 or 6 to 1 at worst!) and the Y camp is 10 to Y. They both offer a variety of activities and swimming, but the Y is once a week instead of daily.

-I think I have decided against Nature Camp altogether. It sounds AWESOME and I know he'd have fun, but I am worried about the bug/heat thing. Darling agrees.

I kind of wish that we could just send him to the specialized camp from last year. He had so much fun there and really blossomed, I just feel that he is going to be held back there. It means that instead of attending all summer he will only attend three or four weeks at best. He does not qualify for extended school year (which is a total crock, but they do not provide it for kids like him) so it has to be out of pocket. Grrr...

I am glad I do not even have to think about it for Bugaboo. He goes to year-round school!

UPDATE: It gets even better! I just found out that two local rec associations run summer camps for five weeks, half days and it is amazingly cheap. Like $150 for all five weeks. I think we are going to do that, and then sign Bug Boy up for one week additionally someplace else. That way we have him busy up until the beginning of August! WOOHOO!

Monday, April 09, 2007

One Down, One to Go

Friday I hit rock bottom. Not Bugaboo, ME. I HIT ROCK BOTTOM. I think if I wasn't feeling so crummy I could have handled it better. Well, except for when he poured the hot sauce all over the house. And I mean all over! Rug, couch, wood floor, linoleum, appliances, nothing was spared! But thanks for all of your words of encouragement. Today I am much better. Well, except for my back!

Bug Boy goes back to school today after a week-hiatus. We spent the week doing playgroups with his buddies from school, reading every book in his library, building forts and ramps all over the house and basically just talking. We talked about things he likes, things he does NOT like (red food, except for Salsa and ketchup) and how he does not like the fire whistle in S'more. In fact, he made sure he told me each and every time he heard it this week.

This morning he was quite excited to be going back. Bug Boy is certainly a routine-oriented child. He likes his sameness, he likes knowing what to expect. Despite my best efforts to give him a weekly and daily schedule this week (and the distraction of his cousin staying with us from Wednesday to Friday) he was still off. By Sunday he was anxious and short-tempered. When we began packing his lunch and picking out his clothing in preparation for today, he was suddenly a changed-child. He thrives in his school environment and routines. I am thinking harder about summer camp now.

Last year he attended a camp specifically for children on the spectrum. He was in a great group with boys just like him. He was relaxed and happy and had a wonderful time. He also attended all summer, for free.

This year we feel he has made plenty of progress, basically disqualifying him from the camp. We do not want him to back-track and so we want to send him to a typical camp for a few weeks. The problem is they all cost tons of money, anywhere from, $175 to $400 a week. Depending on where we decide to send him, he may get to go for one week or four weeks. The Y camp is too sports oriented and they spend too much time outside. Since Bug Boy has exercise intolerance and heat/sweat issues (part of the metabolic stuff) I do not want him outside in the blazing sun for six hours a day. It could cause him to seize or to dehydrate very quickly. We found a neat camp run at the college for $250-$275 a week (Future Stars, I kinda like the way it sounds) and they have a schedule almost like school. They do academics, arts and crafts, sports, swimming, computers, drama, you name it. This is my favorite of all of the camps so far and we could send him for two weeks. A well-rounded program right in town where he may have school friends attending. The last camp we are considering is modestly priced at $160 a week. We could afford to send him for 3 weeks. It is a Nature Camp run at the arboretum. He would be under nature's canopy learning about bugs, trees, plants, creek life and weather. He would be running around the woods with his school buddy (which is how I found out about it). But he would also be eaten alive by bugs, and he is allergic to mosquitoes. I'd have to spray him with chemicals everyday. He would also be outside, although it may be cooler there since he'd be in a wooded area. They do not do swimming there but they do get to go to a creekside swimming hole and play in sprinklers each day.

He will go to camp but Darling and I must decide in the next two weeks. I hate being pressured! At least I do not even have to consider what to do with Bugaboo this year. He has year-round school! Easy decision!

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Getting All Kinds of Crazy Round These Here Parts

I am thinking of going to the hospital and asking for a Prozac Drip. I've had it up to HERE (Imagine my hand by my eyebrows). Bugaboo is making me insane and sucking me down into his little vortex of crazy.

The doctors have long maintained that they do not think he is your classic case of Autism (as if there is one, supposedly everyone is different, think snowflakes). He has some real neurological issues that no one can place. He has something genetic going on (but not Fragile X, the usual male-linked and familial cause of developmental delays, usually what they look for when more than one family member has these issues). But today I have hit rock bottom with him. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE &%$* is going on with MY KID?

He has been stripping and peeing all over my house. It smells awful.

He has hit his head several times and has bled all over, he doesn't feel it, he just rubs his head, face, lets it drip off of his nose, etc.

He bites his arms, elbows (yes, elbows, he is amazingly flexible) and knees until they bleed.

He breaks doors. He opens and closes them until the hinges break off or the door snaps off. He breaks every drawer in the house. Yes, we have baby locks. They are made for BABIES, not four-and-a-half-year-olds. He breaks those.

But then he sits on my lap, hugs and kisses me, calls me momma. My heart melts. And right now it aches more than I can describe. I am so tired of this! I cannot do this! I do not even want to think about what it will be like when he is older.

I long to hear my son's voice. I want to explain things to him and have him answer me back. I want him to have impulse control. He knows he is not supposed to do certain things and yet he CANNOT STOP HIMSELF. He just cannot stop moving. Ever. We even hear him thrashing about in his sleep.

No one said this would be easy. I know that. I am not looking for easy. I am just praying that it doesn't have to be THIS hard always. I just want him to eat the flipping cereal instead of screaming, because he liked it yesterday. In fact, he has LOVED it for six months. Today he hates it, but loves apple pie. Go figure.

Not that I'd ever do it, but I now understand how parents completely lose it and put their kids in cages to keep them safe. They do not know what else to do. I understand why people duct tape diapers on. I understand why they put more locks than the federal treasury on their doors. I understand why they never want to go out in public with their kids. There is all of this "help" out there, and yet no one can really help with these things. It is what it is.

I am not giving up the fight. I am just giving up on the battle today. I just cannot do this. I need to recharge, refresh, repurpose. I need to review why I need to do this. Heck, I thought I'd make it to church today. At this point, it looks like I am going to be observing Good Friday from home. I cannot picture Bugaboo going with me. I do not think they have ever seen a nekkid, peeing, autistic child in that church. And they won't. I will not bring him until he can control himself.c

29 out of 30 days I am positive, motivated, willing to do anything for my child. Today I cannot even stand being near him, it brings me to tears. I feel a little guilty over that. But not really. I am guessing others feel this way on occasion.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Movie Review

Today I am going to review a piece of cinematic treasure. A movie that, at its time of release, was like no other film of its kind. . It is one of the movies that makes you laugh, cry and become angry all at the same time. I am talking about...

The Wedding Singer. (1998)

Please do not laugh. It is seriously one of my favorite films of all times. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that it was set while I was in high school (well, eighth grade and then high school) and the soundtrack is exactly what I think of when I think of the music I listened to in that time period. It is one of those catchy, feel-good, laugh-at-silly-jokes kind of movies. You know, the ones were you should not laugh but you do? I mean, c'mon, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore falling in love, what could be funnier than that?

Robbie Hart (Sandler) is a wedding singer at your quintessential eighties-tacky-ruffled-tux reception hall. He is a fairly decent singer and a great entertainer. In a small town where everyone knows everyone else, he is the only one to hire for weddings anyway. One night at work he meets newcomer Julia (Barrymore), a waitress at the hall and cousin to town tramp Holly (Christine Taylor). They genuinely like each other and Robbie tells her he is to be married the following week. Sweet Julia is thrilled to be working that day and peeks around the trees at his wedding just in time to see poor Robbie get stood up by his fiance, Linda. After going completely bonkers at the next wedding he has to work, a mere five days after his canceled nuptials, Julia lets him know about her own upcoming nuptials to Miami-Vice wannabe, Glenn. Julia somehow sweet-talks Robbie into helping her plan her upcoming wedding since Glenn is unwilling to do so with her. So Robbie and Julia become close friends, and unbeknownst to them, they fall in love in the process. After a few months of hanging out together and planning Julia's wedding they are more than friends. The problem is that Linda wants Robbie back and Glen wants to elope with Julia. After a few missed opportunities they somehow end up on a plane bound for Vegas, where Robbie saves the day. With the help of Billy Idol, that is.

What I love about this film: The soundtrack, the clothes, the references to 80s pop culture, From Michael Jackson's glove to Flock of Seagulls to Miami Vice! The ruffled tuxes, the big hair, miniskirts, it is all there.

What I wish they did differently: The end is a little cheesy for such a funny and light-hearted flick. I still liked it but it was major Hollywood cheese factory product. I also could have done without the language, as I am one of those people who cannot stand listening to it. This film has a few s-words and one f-word. There is some innuendo but it is a fairly tame film.

Look for: Christine Taylor (from the Brady Bunch Movie, married to Ben Stiller), Alexis Arquette as George (and from the Arquette acting family), Christina Pickles (from St. Elsewhere), Cameos from Billy Idol, Steve Buscemi, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz and other personal friends of Adam Sandler.

Rated PG-13.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hewwo. I feew wousy today.

Why is it that my house goes to heck in a hand basket whenever I am sick?

I really have not been up to doing much the past two days but at least kept up with the room rescues and dishes. That alone saved my sanity. But the past two lovely days (and the lovely days last week) of glorious, warm weather sealed the fate of my floors. I just finished sweeping up (with a broom ) three dustpans full of sand and filth. Ugh.

Darling is a great hubby. Last evening, when I had to take Bug Boy to soccer practice with a 101.6 fever (and Bugaboo, who would not stay in the stroller and tried to escape about fifty time) he actually came home with Wendy's for the kids and my fav Wawa Chicken Noodle Soup for me! What a guy! The part that makes it even better? I had the oven on and dinner sitting ON THE STOVE and walked in and it was still sitting there. I had forgotten to put my yummy stuffed shells in the oven. So when Darling saw that he decided to take care of dinner, since he knew I would be in tears when I walked in and saw it. He may not say much, but he spoke volumes last night! The best part? Dinner is prepared for this evening, if I remember to cook it! And no dishes last night!

I went to bed early last evening completely disgusted with the state of our house. I did manage to get the master bath cleaned as soon as I got out of the shower yesterday. It took five minutes and the kids were still asleep so I took advantage of the time. It looks much better in there, just need to sweep the floor. And paint the pepto-bismol pink walls that sorta look like a flamingo threw up in there. Oh, if only I could paint those walls...

So here I am, feverless (at the moment) but still a bit sick. I am trying to decide if I am to cancel Bugaboo's appointment for allergy testing and blood work and make and appointment with my own doctor. Bugaboo's appointment was made THREE MONTHS AGO and I would hate to miss it, but I know I am not up to driving down there, nor am I up to sitting there with him in the waiting room (it is nearly always a forty-five minute wait at Allergy Clinic!) while he runs away and tries to get on the elevator or climb into the train display, or sit in the exam room for another hour before the doctor sees us or sit in the exam room while the doc sees us and then leaves to write treatment into the computer (another hour!), making the whole ordeal about three hours long. And if that is not enough punishment for us, we usually have to do scratch testing and/or blood work at the end of the ordeal, rushing in there before the blood bank closes at five. Then I have to drive home in rush-hour traffic with no food, one diaper left and groggy and queasy. Usually I call my sister and beg her to take pity on me for an hour or two, since I do not want to drive home with a hungry Bugaboo. The whole experience is that much sweeter when Bug Boy accompanies me. Today I set up a play date while I am at the doctor with Bugaboo. That is, if I go.

Honestly, I do not feel like going. I need to take care of me. Going to that appointment would NOT be taking care of me. I think I've made up my mind. Allergy testing can wait, he has yet to come up with anything that Bugaboo is allergic to anyway.

Back to the house.

I know, I know. I am sick. I am overwhelmed. No one expects my house to be spotless with Bugaboo around. No one expects me to be able to keep up with him and housework too. I have alot on my plate, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. No offense, but those are excuses. There is no reason why I cannot have a relatively clean house with Bugaboo off for two weeks. I am NOT giving up. It will look decent in here. Not perfect, just good enough. So today, despite how I feel, I WILL run the vacuum so that I do not have to walk on grains of sand of toast crumbs any longer. I WILL get the dog hair dust bunnies off of my floor. I WILL make the beds and pick up around here, and I WILL get the laundry put back through. And forget asking me to get someone to help, Darling is currently working twelve hours (yes, I know I work, too) and he already takes care of the kids (baths, pjs, playtime and bedtime) as soon as he walks in the door. Then he sits back down and works for three more hours. So I am not asking him to pick up the slack.

I was lamenting to my sister-in-law the other day about how I wish this house were tidy and clean. I told her I wish I could find the time to get it all done, but that it was impossible to do anything with Bugaboo around. This is partly true. She commiserated with me and just said I needed to do what I could and not go crazy. She indicated that it would be temporary. She also said she has problems getting it all done and she is a SAHM with a three-year-old WITHOUT Autism. That night Darling let me in on a secret. Dearest SIL has a CLEANER that comes EVERY TUESDAY to clean the house! She has had one for years! NOT FAIR!!!!!

Enough complaining. It is nine am and Bugaboo has just stripped for the forth time in two hours...I need to get after him before I have to add carpet steaming and mopping to my list for today.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Painfully Obvious

While we were at my favorite red-dot-store-that-rhymes-with-Barget this morning, I ventured over to the pharmacy to get the next month's supply of Bugaboo's meds. They know me by name and never have to ask. I merely show up and they grab my stuff. That is how often I am there!

Anywho, while there I saw a mom pushing her little guy around in a special stroller. He was in his footy pjs (like my kids!) and had some physical challenges. We chatted a bit while we waited. Her little boys smiled and laughed. He just couldn't move.

I am guessing he was two-years-old but because of his physical limitations he could be small for his age. But as we left (and ran into them again at the elevator) I have to admit I was nearly in tears just thinking about that little boy. I cannot even imagine what his parents have gone through to this point. He has a feeding tube and mickey and has sensors to make sure he is breathing and his heart keeps beating. He cannot independently move out of that chair. His every need is taken care of by his mother and nurse (who was with them). She had a cart full of Easter stuff, my guess is that she has other children. Four, from the amount of goodies in her cart!

Why did this affect me so? Her child's condition is fairly obvious. On first sight most people could guess that he had Cerebral Palsy. He may even have been a preemie, due to his small size. I really do not know. Most people know what to expect with a child with CP. Often their brains are intact (average to mildly below average intelligence ) and their bodies cannot move. Sometimes it is more severe. A child with Down's Syndrome has obvious physical features. Most people know that they have developmental delays and often speech issues. But a child with Autism? Most times they look like everyone else. I do not know if this is a blessing or a curse.

At least with my child no one will have a preconceived notion of what to expect from him. I know that this is debatable, since each child with a disability is different, even within their own diagnoses. People are usually shocked to find out that my children have issues, on first sight. Once they observe their behavior I usually get a knowing glance (the, "It's-ok, I-have-a disabled-child, too!" look, like this morning) or a pity glance (the "Wow! Sucks-to-be-you!") or better still, the "Look-of-horror-and-disgust-combined-with-embarrassment-and-wanting-to-shrink-away-and get-their-child-out-of-there-before-they-catch-something-contagious" look. Those of you with children with "issues" (because I hate the word disability, really) know what I am talking about.

The thing is that even though people aren't going to judge my children right off the bat like some children they also will not be given any allowances. People will assume (and they do!) that they are normal and just spoiled. Or give me dirty looks in the grocery when Bugaboo is shrieking, buzzing, flapping, stimming, etc. I even get little old lady (and some young ladies) scolding me for not using the belt, which he has taken off about fifty times. My only defense is to repeat the grocery mantra, "You need to sit! Sit down! That is unsafe! Sit in the cart! Do not climb out!" and I still have my hands on him the ENTIRE TIME, yet he manages to jump out while I am checking eggs and run laps around the store. The people at TJs know all about us, as they do at the little co-op in town (which isn't truly a co-op, but I digress). I felt compelled to tell them so they'd be a little more understanding with us and they are VERY kind. They even help us out.

With everything in my life, their disbilities are a mixed blessing. They have taught me lessons I never knew I needed (or wanted) to learn. At the same time, I am almost jealous of the woman with the child who could not move (those of you who know me personally know why!) because of what I go through with Bugaboo. Then I feel like an ungrateful wretch because I have this perfectly healthy, happy child who may have neurological differences but is a a joy to most people. I never get tired of hearing from perfect strangers (and friends and family) how gorgeous my little boy is. I never tire of people asking me about Bug Boy's little genetic hair display (think: Calico kitty!).

No parent of a child with issues has it easy. No parent has it easy. Parenting is a difficult job to begin with . Add in the stress of dealing with a child with special needs and you have recipe for disaster. No wonder the divorce rate is so high among people with children with special needs! The paperwork, therapies, denial of services, meetings, people coming and going, schedule, appointments, it never stops! It is a full-time job in itself, so I appreciate being able to stay home and dedicate myself to it. After twelve hours of Bugaboo I feel like I have been doing hard labor.

As for the word "disabled," I hate it because it is so negative and condescending. It focuses on what your child CANNOT do instead of what they CAN do. Do not misunderstand me, I am not one of the "So-PC-It-Mkes-Me-Want-To-Puke" types. I just wish folks would stop being so hung up on a bunch or words and concentrate on the whole child! Concentrate on the blessings! Concentrate on the love!

Speaking of the love, he has been helping me type all along. Nothing like having "help." I apologize for the lack of proofreading and proper spelling and grammar! I just wanted to post it as quickly as I could before he deleted it all!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Say WHAT???

I read too much.

I read into it too much.

I love red.

I don't love red on me.

I feel more alive then I have in months!

I have a sore throat and feel like crap.

My best buddy has been sick for a week and I miss talking to her.

She needs to stop buying raw milk.

Darling took a sick day today.

He wasn't really sick. He just wanted to sleep in and do odd jobs.

Bug Boy may be higher functioning but I am having more difficulty with him than Bugaboo.

It is only Day One of his One week vacation.

Bugaboo has been stripping constantly but we've been attempting potty training today with interesting results.

He either pees and strips or waits until he is finished his required time on the potty and pees in the undies as soon as they are back on. Grrrr.

Ice cream made my throat feel better.

I want more.

We spent most of the time today outdoors!

I am sneezing and coughing from being outside so much.

I finally put away too-small clothes from the boys and found ANOTHER bag of shirts I bought for Bugaboo.

I need to stop buying clothes for Bugaboo. His brother is growing so fast that the clothes are hardly worn. Except jeans. He has a little thing going to see how many knees he can rip out of his jeans.

My single mom friend visited today after I watched her son while she went to his IEP.

I pray I am never single, I am sooo lucky to have Darling. But some days he drives me nutso.

I love my home. I love my neighbors. I love my family.

I wish I could just snap my fingers and the walls would paint themselves.

I hate shaving.

I wore capri pants today.

Today I could not bring myself to get a shower.

When I have a headache or feel sick I cannot stand the feeling of getting wet.

I love green.

I don't love green tea.

We are going on a date this weekend.

We are going to a matinee because I know I cannot stay up past eight.

I currently sound like I've been smoking two packs a day for years.

I have never touched cigarettes in my life. But I AM an alto.

I am addicted to cheese and potatoes.

No one is surprised to hear me proclaim this, are they?