Baseball Mom

It’s starting. I’ve resisted for a long time – he’s too young, he’s not ready, let’s just do martial arts instead – but now it’s time. To push it off any further would be doing him a disservice.
My oldest has joined an organized sports team. Baseball, to be specific. 
3 weeks ago when I reminded my son that he was signed up for baseball and it would be starting soon he had a gigantic fit. He didn’t want to do it, how could I make him and why didn’t I warn him before I signed him up? Well, he knew I was signing him up, he chose baseball over soccer, and I even double-checked with him. So what was the problem? Nerves. He was scared to meet new people and do something he wasn’t used to doing.
2 weeks ago when my mom & stepdad were here they bought him a bat, a couple baseballs, and a mitt. We went out to a baseball diamond at a school nearby and practiced a bit. After that I didn’t hear a word of complaint.
Last night we went to the first practice. I signed all the forms, got his uniform and signed up to bring the snacks for one of the games. In true sports mom form.
I was so proud of him last night. No nerves last night. He jumped right in. And when the coach was asking for a volunteer to demonstrate where center field was he raised his arm the highest.  
In the next 5 weeks we have 4 practices and 10 games. Here we go.
He’s an Angel. And a handsome devil.
His brother giving him words of encouragement just before his first time up to bat.
Because I love themed collages.
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Bitchfest & IG LW review

I’m annoyed. For several reasons:
  1. I’m at work and it’s Monday. 
  2. I’m getting a cystic/nodule type acne bump on the side of my chin. I could ignore it but it freaking hurts. Like I-can’t-forget-it’s-there kind of hurt. So that sucks.
  3. What started out as a nice Mother’s Day yesterday went south in the middle of the day when my kids completely forgot that they ever had manners to begin with and proceeded to act like whiny, annoying, born-in-a-barn, selfish 2 year olds. They are 9 & 7. I was taking THEM shopping for stuff for THEM. On Mother’s Day. Ungrateful little wretches. People used to compliment me about their manners. What the hell happened??
  4. My oldest decided to continue this trend through this morning when he laid on the floor for 30 minutes because we were making him wear jeans to school that make his butt look big. For reals? I mean, really? He’s 9. He’s small. 51 inches tall and maybe 52 pounds. Nevertheless, kicking, screaming, pounding the floor tantrum this morning. He is grounded from the TV & the computer now.
  5. We decided to try an ADHD med for my little one this weekend. He has never taken ANY meds, and there’s some concern with treating the ADHD because the medicine can cause Autism characteristics to become “worse” or just more defined. Well, we tried one on Saturday and, OMFG, the child turned into a holy terror. We were in survival mode with him until it wore off. I held him until he calmed down and then quietly handed over the the Wii remote and slowly backed away. So, yeah, we won’t be trying that again. I would rather deal with his concentration issues than that mad, angry and aggressive little spawn of satan.
  6. My insurance guy keeps calling (when I’m not home so I just get these annoying messages) to sign up for a service or I’m about to lose a discount for the next 6 months. This is my thing: I obviously was signed up for it the last 6 months – why the hell are you bugging me about it again? When I sign up once I expect it to stay in effect. Do you really think I have time to deal with ONE MORE THING? And I have to carve out the time to do this during the day while I’m at work. 
Which brings me back to WORK. I try not to talk about work too much here – but I just have to say something. I’ve been doing this job for over 5 years. Which is a long time, in this field, to stay with one company and in the same position. I’m getting a little freakin’ burned out. I’m tired of the same problems and the same non-solutions. Home annoyances on top of the typical work stuff makes days like today really hard.
I would love to be Susie Sunshine and see the bright side of every thing, every day – but that’s just not me. Sometimes I can do that. Other times I want to wallow in my annoyance with the world or just go back to bed already. 
I know I’ll get over it soon. Except for this stupid cystic pimple. That’s going to take several days and a lot of oil massaging.
So enough bitching. Here’s a look at how last week (LW) went, in Instagram (IG):

Sunday: We shot off the rocket my 9 year old got for his birthday. It was SO COOL.
Monday: I took my little guy to his developmental pediatrician. This was in the waiting room. 
Tuesday: I got new specs.
Wednesday: We went to see Wicked. This is the stage before it started. It.Was.Awesome.
Thursday: There was a duck in the road. I persuaded her to move for her safety.
Friday: Read Night at my oldest’s school. Every year we put on a puppet show for the event. We = my husband as the puppeteer with help from a nephew and friend. It’s a real crowd-pleaser. 
Saturday: The hubby got all handy and installed our new water heater.
Saturday: During the medication snafu: angry eyes and a thunderous brow.
Saturday evening: Hot water. Bubbly toes. Fantastic.
Sunday: Mother’s Day breakfast in bed. Crepe with Nutella & whipped cream. There was bacon too but somehow it disappeared before the picture was taken.
Sunday: some of my Mother’s Day loot. Chocolate (of course), funky socks, and homemade books. Plus a card with a tropical island and tropical music in it (no drink with an umbrella in it though). I also got a color bowl (flower pot) for the front porch AND, drumroll please, I did not have to wash a dish all freakin’ day. Hallelujah!

9

At 1:47 AM this morning, 9 years ago, this happened:
(Read the story of how that birth happened here). 
And, just like that, we were a family: 

Then we took him home and started the arduous task of raising him. It was tough, at first, with amazing highs and lows. The boy was dubbed “failure to thrive” after losing some weight and then he started refusing to nurse. We found out that I wasn’t producing enough milk for him. I started pumping and pumping and pumping. And then I pumped some more. I was a dismal failure at it. The max I ever pumped in ONE DAY was 2.5 ounces. So, as if that challenge wasn’t enough, the kid wouldn’t sleep at night. I spent all day pumping and trying to feed him in-between his naps and then when the hubby got home from work I would try to sleep for a few hours and then, like clockwork, the boy was wide awake from midnight until 8 am. It took a month for us to start paring that down and, hour by hour, I was able to get him to go to sleep earlier. But, man, for awhile I felt like the walking dead.
Once we got over these speed bumps we were able to really just enjoy him. He was so sweet and we enjoyed him so much. He loved being swaddled very tightly. We called him our burrito baby. He was happy and snuggly and he looked like a little man. 
Here’s a pictorial from his younger years:
8 weeks old. He can thank me for this later.
My little man
Look what’s growing!
First trip to Disneyland
Kickin’ it baby-style
And then, before we knew it (or had even considered it) he was a big brother:
He seemed to grow up so fast after that point. He just became a big boy in the flash of an instant:
Halloween when he was 4
5th birthday
Going to school!
And now, so handsome, so smart and clever. He’s become so independent. He gets up in the morning and starts getting ready for school. He runs to the bus stop by himself. He gets his own band-aids. He does his chores and yells at his brother and brushes his teeth and combs his hair and reads. He started reading the first Harry Potter book this year. Oh my.

Look what I made. I am one proud mama today. (And most days, to be honest).

Last week in Instagram & this week in sheer panic

Okay, before we get to an Instagram review of the week and a recap of our wild ride on Easter, let me just tell you about this coming week. 
My momma is coming on Thursday evening. Momma & stepdad, actually. So I have guests coming in 3 1/2 days.
Something you may or may not know about me – I’m a 90%er. I like to do jobs/projects until they are mostly done and then I lose steam and it takes me FOREVER to finish them. This is a problem for me this week because over the last two weekends we have been working on our bedroom re-do. The room itself is done. (Well, mostly. I need to pick up a bench, some storage options like a bookcase, and a couple of small, tall side tables – but it’s mostly done. The furniture will wait a bit.) 
The problem is we put all that junk that was cluttering up our bedroom into my office. My office that also doubles as our guest room. Do you see where I am going with this?
I have 3 1/2 days to now make the guest room presentable. But I don’t wanna. Because I’m a 90%er and I’m done with my bedroom project. Whine.
So – that’s my week. Clean, clean, organize, organize. Then my parents are coming and it will be my son’s birthday on Friday. I’m feeling the PRESSURE. I’m feeling a little panicky about it. Maybe that adrenaline will help me get it done. Fingers-crossed.
Okay, now that I’ve got THAT out of the way we’ve got some loverly pictures:
The beginning of the week was rough at work. Drastic measures were necessary:
Sangria
Then we did homework. This is my Autistic guy. When I see him doing so-called “normal” things really well I can’t tell you how much my heart expands. The hubby’s too. See his face? Proud dad.
Speaking of the Autism thing – my little guy has been afraid of dogs for about 3 1/2 years. That’s about 1 1/2 years after we got our Labradoodle, Murphy. Murphy was a very active pup. And big. With gigantic paws. Bubba got scared and from then on Murphy had a weird half-life – all day outside and all night inside in his crate. Lately as my little bubba has gotten older we’ve been seeing improvements. He’s not as scared as he was. It probably helps that he’s taller than Murphy now. 
We started “Project: Integrate Murphy” last week. Starting with a bath and a haircut:

It’s going pretty well. Murphy does have a tendency to eat paper though. He gnawed on the hubby’s hard-bound Hitchhiker’s Guide though and that was a big, fat no-no. He needs to work on his manners a bit before he’s given carte blanche access to the whole house.
Friday the boys went to Hobby Lobby with me. I have started a love affair with that place. Largely because of the bedroom re-do. And partially because all the wall decor was 50% off. Yikes. 
Anyway, to reward them, and me, for their good behavior at the store I took them to U-Swirl for yogurt where I snapped one of the cutest pictures ever of these two boys together:
Brothers
I just died. 
Look how sweet they are? So, so misleading.
Saturday I busted ass to try to get my bedroom done. It’s done-ish. Here’s a preview of a later, date TBD, blog post about the room re-do:
Hobby Lobby purchase. Yep. Infatuation all the way.
We also dyed eggs on Saturday. I’m not artsy-fartsy with them. More of a traditionalist, I think. They are what they are:
Which brings us to Easter. We went to the in-law’s house. They have 4 acres on which sits the old farmhouse, a guest house (currently inhabited by a visiting aunt & uncle), a big barn-like structure (for holding the RV, junk and cars. and more junk), old outhouses, an old pump house, old chicken coops, a playhouse, a wood pile, about 8 old undriveable cars, an olive grove, picnic tables, and, finally, a beaten earth track that will eventually have actual train tracks on it for my father in law’s ride-on train. 
It’s a fun place for 13 grandkids (11 of them boys) to play.
But before the playing we had the egg hunting:
And egg-inspecting at the playhouse:

And Papa took some of the littlest kids for a ride on the track in the golf cart:

Those are the 2 girlies. Twinsies too.

Then we had some boy cousin playing on the wood pile:

Old fallen trees are really the best places to play.
The hubby and I borrowed the keys to the golf cart and drove out to the back olive grove. We may have smooched a little. I can neither confirm nor deny, but this guy certainly thinks he’s pretty clever:

Note: I cannot tell you how fun this was. I just can’t. I don’t have the words. It was like a ride at Disneyland except without all the safety restraints and perfectly imagined scenery. The hubby drove with swagger. Then he let let me drive and I was a tad more cautious. I want to do it again. 
On our way back we saw this band of pirates getting ready to attack:
That’s my baby in the middle. With his stick sword.
And then we were caught:
My baby lost interest at some point during the charge and went the other way.
And during all this crazy driving and pirate attacks what were the little girls doing? 
Contemplating the crazy boys, of course. Just like women have been doing for centuries:
“Hmm, why would they get on the roof just to fall on their heads? Doesn’t seem logical.”
Happy Easter, Peeps.

A first birth story

Next Friday, April 29, will be 9 years since I gave birth for the first time. Most people would say that’s the moment I became a mom, but I felt like a mom from the instant I knew he was in my body. Even when the early tests came back negative I *knew* he was there. And I was right – he was. And he was precious and he changed my life. 

When I think back to my pregnancy, birth and the first few months of his life I’m filled with a mix of pride & happiness and shame, guilt & regret. 

Shame, guilt & regret? Yep. I could have done it better. I’m ashamed of myself for not knowing more or being more pro-active about knowing more. I hope I didn’t screw him up too much. I would do things differently now than I did then. I should be clear – I didn’t actually do anything to hurt him (at least I hope not). But we struggled. Before, during, and after his birth there were difficulties. I didn’t know how to do it better. 

Before his birth I had borderline preeclampsia. I retained so much water those last few weeks I could probably float. I gained 40 lbs and the last 15 were all water weight in the last 2 weeks. I was on bed rest for 3 weeks.

During his birth I was unaware of the process; I was scared and exhausted. I didn’t know or understand what to ask for, or even that I could ask for more than what was being provided to me.

After his birth I was sleep deprived and emotionally drained and scared and inhibited and I didn’t know how to make it better.

I just need to remember this: When I knew better I did better.

When I knew better I did better. When I knew better I did better.

When he was born I was 26. I knew what a typical 26 year old knows about birth & babies. I took the birthing classes. I read books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I joined an online message board for moms that were due in April 2002. Some of the moms were first-timers, like me, and some were more experienced. I put together a birth plan based on what I had read. I wanted to incorporate different birthing methods and positions in my labor that would ease my pain and help with the delivery. I was open to having an Epidural if the pain got intolerable because I had heard how horrible the pain was and I was scared. I felt as prepared as I could be for something that was still largely an unknown thing.

On Sunday, April 28, my due date, I woke at 7:30 am when I felt a trickle of liquid. I flipped myself 180 degrees out of bed to a standing position (in an insane desire to prevent the bed from getting wet) and my water gushed out all over the floor. (Sorry if that’s TMI for you. If it is, then maybe you shouldn’t read this post. Consider yourself warned). I woke my husband, called my OB’s office and posted to my message board that it was my turn.

It was a couple hours before we headed to the hospital. I wasn’t feeling the contractions yet so everything was calm. We got all checked in to L&D at the hospital and began walking the track to try to get things moving. We walked and we walked and we walked some more. 

After about 3 hours of this, and for reasons I can’t remember, they wanted to hook me up to a monitor. I should note that it’s around this time when my memory gets a little fuzzy. I don’t know why, but from about 1 pm to 9 pm I only have vague images or snippets in my mind of things that happened. I’m really, really hazy on a complete narrative of the day. Was it the pain? I don’t know. The Pitocin? The eventual Epidural? I just don’t know.

These are things I know happened:
  • I couldn’t walk around anymore because I had to be in bed due to the monitor.
  • I got an IV and, at some point, Pitocin, because I wasn’t progressing.
  • As some point the baby’s oxygen levels dropped so they put an oxygen mask on me.
  • I had the most horrible heartburn all day and, thankfully, they were able to give me Tums for some temporary relief.
  • I threw up several times. Probably throwing up the Tums since I hadn’t had anything else. 
  • The on-call OB came to check on me and, when she noticed I was in pain she asked why I hadn’t asked for an Epidural? Well, because I didn’t know it was time to ask for an epidural. The contractions and level of pain had increased so gradually that it wasn’t obvious to me that I should be asking for an Epidural. I don’t know how else to explain that.
  • I had the shakes really bad before I got the Epidural. I think those calmed down after. At least I don’t remember them after. 
The next part of the process that I remember clearly was when I was starting to feel the pain from the contractions again. They were going to give me another dose of the Epidural but they realized then that I was at 10 and started preparing for me to deliver instead. Since they wanted me to feel the contractions (so I would know when to push) I didn’t get more Epidural. 

I pushed for the next 3 hours. From 9 pm to 12 am. Pushed for about 30 seconds and then rested for 30 seconds. Rinse and repeat. For 3 hours. I threw up a few more times. The baby was crowning but that was it. That kid was not budging. 

I have to say, my L&D nurses were fantastic. There were 3 of them there with me. One down between my legs who seemed to be running the show (you know, other than ME). She was particularly nurturing and encouraging and I wish I could remember her name. There was another one up by my head who kept helping me sit up, rubbing my back, encouraging me, wiping my brow, etc. There was another nurse floating around supporting those two. 

My husband was on the other side of me and he was incredibly encouraging and supportive. I don’t think I cursed at him even once.

3 hours. Pushing non-stop. No progress. I became incredibly worn out. 

They decided to let me rest and asked the OB to come check on me. She had been delivering another baby so I hadn’t seen her much. When she came and examined me she gave me less than a 10% chance of delivering naturally and recommended a c-section.

I was exhausted. I just wanted him to be born already. Please, please, just make it be done and put him in my arms already. 

I consulted with my mom and my husband. They were worried about me. They were worried about the baby. It was so easy to just trust the doctor and say, “ok.” 

I don’t want to regret the decisions I made then but I can’t help but think that I should have questioned that decision more. I should have asked if they knew WHY he was stuck and wasn’t there anything else that could be done? Was he in jeopardy or should we wait it out a bit more? I didn’t know enough to ask the right questions. And did I mention I was exhausted? We were 16 hours in since my water had broken and I think about 11 hours in from when the contractions had become painful.

I got more Epidural. Around 1 am April 29, 2002 I was wheeled into surgery. At 1:47 am this happened:

I had a perfect, beautiful baby boy. He was gorgeous. I cried and told him he was beautiful for the brief second they held him next to my head. I was happily exhausted and relieved. He looked just like a miniature man.

Then they took him away from me so they could sew me up. My husband left me too and I felt tired and alone and a little disconnected to what was happening around me. 

My husband washed him and fed him a bottle – because they needed to feed him, apparently, and I was in recovery and I couldn’t breastfeed him yet, they said. I don’t know. I was annoyed they gave him a bottle, for sure, but I didn’t have it in me to throw a hissy fit after the fact.

I was wheeled back to my room and had uncontrollable shakes for a long time. They kept piling warm blankets on me. Finally they brought my little angel in and I was able to breastfeed him for the first time. He latched on great and drank like a champ.

They told me later he was facing the wrong way in the birth canal and that’s why he had gotten stuck. He was “sunnyside up.” Even now, years later, I wonder how they didn’t know that? Or check for that? Couldn’t they have turned him over? 

So that’s my first birth story. That early morning as I was recovering from the surgery and he was laying in my arms I felt the most vulnerable I have ever felt in my life. I wanted to put him back IN. At least when he was inside of me he was safe. Outside of me anything could happen to him. That’s when I truly understood what people mean when they say it’s like your heart is beating outside of your body. 

The first few months were really hard – breastfeeding/milk supply issues, sleeping issues, etc. But I’ll save that for part 2. 

Here he is, almost 9 years later:


Thanks for reading. 🙂 

The week in photos: a recap

Warning: lots o’ pictures in this post. Some of food. Some of people. Some of other stuff. Some of teeth (or missing teeth). It was a busy week.

Unfortunately all the photos are from my phone because I have misplaced the cord to charge my camera. (I hope I didn’t leave it in the last hotel room I stayed in. I hope, I hope. I did that last year with my phone charger and have been kicking myself ever since.) Anyway, apologies for the quality of the pics. I really, really want a good camera but until I can afford that it would be nice if I could at least find the cord to my little Fujifilm point & shoot digital.

The boys (all three of them) were on Spring Break so they were all very, very happy about that. I had to work, a lot (end of the financial quarter and I was covering for my boss) but the fun stuff off-set the work stuff nicely.

We started the week by all going out to lunch.

We rented Just Dance 2. The boys thought it was going to be L.A.M.E. and that they couldn’t possibly get up and DANCE, like, in front of PEOPLE. But after watching me & the hubby do it, they were more than ready to try it. And, no surprise, they freakin’ loved it. (Note: if you are well-endowed, like me, then when your 7 year old begs you to play Just Dance before bed and you have already taken your bra off do NOT dance to “Jump.”)

We also had a wide range of weather (a friend of mine remarked that Mother Nature must be menopausal). Snow, rain, and later in the week sunny & 70 degrees. I never get tired of looking up and seeing the snow on the mountains just 20 miles away from us.

I went to the chiropractor 3 times (where, one day, an adorable 2 yo fell asleep on the table waiting for his adjustment and then SLEPT THROUGH THE ADJUSTMENT). Wow.

And I made flautas for the first time. They were oh so yum. (Fattening though. Warning: You may gain a pound just looking at the pic). I also made the Pioneer Woman’s Brother’s Chicken Tacos – but didn’t snap a pic of those. I make Mexican food at least once a week.

The sad news of the week was the untimely demise of my favorite pizza stone. I had it even before I had my children. Even before I was married. So sad. It was left on a hot burner and cracked down the middle. You can’t see the crack but it’s there. (The odd white round mark was left by a pan lid that was on top of the pizza stone.) Can you see how perfectly seasoned it was? Oh, the tragedy.

But then my little one wanted a pic with his mom & dad and the world was okay again.

I received this picture texted to me while I was at work so I’m not sure what happened, but the Tooth Fairy visited us again that night – just a week after her last visit. I really need to make this guy some Jello so he can learn how to shoot it out through the holes. Hee hee. (Oh, I WAS disappointed to find they didn’t buy any chocolate chips. Duh, they were right.there.)

On Saturday the hubby’s acting group premiered a new train show. It’s a Wild West idea, and the hubby is a bit of a bumbling but dedicated Confederate General. This is him the night before trying his costume and crazy face on.

We went to our nephew’s birthday party on Saturday. My little one insisted he wouldn’t go outside because of the dog – and then proceeded to follow the dog around and eventually try to ride him like a horse. Also my twin nieces are in the picture. So stinkin’ adorable I want to eat them up.

Then we marked World Autism Awareness Day, on April 2. You can read my post about it here. We put a blue light bulb in our front porch light and we all dressed in blue to show our support for the event. When we went outside to take this pic we noticed our neighbors next door had also put blue light bulbs in their outside lights. I WAS STOKED.

I hope your week was as fun as mine.

Hasta mañana, peeps.

World Autism Awareness Day – UPDATED for 2012 stats

Forgive me while I get all PSA-y on you. This is near and dear to my heart.

April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day.

1 in every 88 kids is diagnosed with Autism.

It’s this one that gets me: 1 in 54 boys. What’s happening to our boys?

Including this one:

My eight year old is high-functioning autistic. His autism isn’t overly noticeable upon first glance but it comes out in subtle ways, especially if he’s having a bad day. My little guy was diagnosed 3 years ago this month and, at that time, the hubby and I wrote up this short summary of Autistic behaviors to share with our friends and family.

Autism is a brain development disorder that first appears during infancy or childhood. Symptoms are different for each person and tend to continue through adulthood, though they may become more subtle over time.

For us, it was abnormal speech development that tipped us off originally. Hearing tests, speech therapy and an Early Intervention Preschool led us to a high-functioning Autism diagnosis when he was 5.

A common sign of Autism is noticeable social impairments; autistic people often lack the intuition about others that many people take for granted. They also tend to have impairments in communication as well as restricted interests and repetitive behavior.

Here is some more information about these three groups of symptoms:

Social Impairments

These become apparent early in childhood. Autistic infants smile and look at others less often and respond less to their own name. Autistic children from 3-5 years old are less likely to approach people spontaneously, or to imitate and respond to emotions, communicate nonverbally, and take turns with others.

My little guy used to be that way when he was younger, but he’s pretty social now. Unfortunately he doesn’t know his boundaries very well. When he talks to strangers – which he LOVES to do – he often reaches out and touches their clothing, like a zipper, a belt, a pocket, etc. He fiddles with it while he gets his words out. He’s not trying to invade your personal space. He’s just building a bridge to communicate with you.

Communication

About a third to a half of individuals with Autism do not develop enough natural speech to meet their daily communication needs. People with autism have difficulty understanding non-verbal communication, including body language, facial expressions, or tone of voice. It’s important to make messages verbal and explicit when talking to them.

Repetitive Behavior

  • Movement that seems purposeless, such as hand flapping, making sounds, head rolling, or body rocking. My dude flaps sometimes. When he realizes what he’s doing  he’ll say he’s a bird and start chirping and trying to “fly” with his flapping arms.
  • Compulsive behavior, such as arranging objects in a certain way.
  • Resistance to change; for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted when speaking. Oh man. Preparation is key. We prep him until he’s over-prepped but we can’t prep for everything. An unforeseen something, like a fall on the way to school, can turn into a 30 minute ordeal with him and whichever adult is trying to help him through it. It totally messes with his head when his daily plans are disrupted. Bad mojo.
  • Ritualistic behavior: the performance of daily activities the same way each time, such as an unvarying menu or dressing ritual. Like, “Mom, I can’t brush my teeth! I haven’t put my shoes on yet!”
  • A limited focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program or toy. Yep, certain TV programs or movies. More of this when he was younger. It was soothing to him. He memorized movie lines and quoted them incessantly.

1 in 88 kids is A LOT of diagnosed Autistic kids. A LOT. If you are thanking.your.lucky.bleepin’.stars. that you don’t have to deal with this in your kids please keep in mind that it’s entirely possible your kids will be friends with Autistic kids. Or your sister or brother or cousin will have Autistic kids. Or, if you’re a teacher then you certainly will have to teach Autistic kids.

Learn about it. Be AWARE. Next time you see a kid having a meltdown in a store or on a plane then maybe it will be a little easier to understand because maybe, just MAYBE, that kid is Autistic. You won’t know. Please don’t judge that parent. They are doing the best they can. They need your understanding, your awareness and your support.

That’s an important point so please indulge me for a minute on my soapbox: Seriously, if you tell me to shut my kid up or calm him down you will see my fierce Mama Bear side come out and I’ll tell you exactly where you can shove your judgment. I’ve been pretty lucky with my boys, but I’ve seen mothers harassed on planes and it sends me through the freakin’ roof. I stick up for those moms. I give them encouragement and tell them to ignore the bonehead a-holes who HAVE NO SOUL. And then I leave them alone to deal with their child with, hopefully, a little less stress and a lot more “someonehasmyback-ness.” Compassion people. It’s not that hard. Soapbox off.

Be aware. Be compassionate. It takes a village.

Lessons in moderation

I’m a better mom on the weekends.

This is me during the week, every day, Monday-Friday:
Wake up, stumble to the shower, dress, make-up, help the kids dress and brush things, and then run out the door with seconds to spare. Take one kid to school while the hubby takes the other to a different school.
Go to work and work, work, work. Maybe get lunch. Maybe not. 
Leave work at 6 or 6:30 or 7. Sometimes go to appointments after work. Then rush home because the hubby has to be somewhere at 7ish a few days a week. 
Make dinner. Do dishes. Maybe do laundry. Maybe play a game of Plants vs. Zombies with the boys (well, I’m being honest. don’t worry, homework is done already). 
Coax my little one to do the needful (drop a bomb, if you get my drift) and get a bath (because he’s Autistic and in his mind one must follow the other or there will be tears). 

Then jammies, and teeth brushing and bed around 9 or 9:30. (Where they will lay for another hour or two before falling asleep. Why? Because they are MY kids).

The hubby and I may sit down and watch something together (thank goodness for Tivo) or we may both do work. I’ll do my job-related work or pay bills or I try to blog. Then I fall into bed semi-comatose at midnight or 1 am.

Aaaannnnddddd repeat.

It’s the weekends that I can look at my sons and really think, “What do I want them to learn from me this weekend?” They see me work all week long, and that’s one lesson right there, but what can I impart to them on the weekends?

And I don’t mean the difference between an adjective or pro-noun, or how to work through their multiplication chart. 
I mean what can I do to be a positive example to them? So they understand how to live when they are adults. Respect, charity, industriousness, etc. The stuff that only parents can teach, you know, by example

Somebody once said, “If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.

Work ethic is important. It’s huge. But I firmly believe in living a life of moderation. In raising my kids I want them to learn from me that work is good – not only does it provide for more practical needs, but it also feeds the mind and helps individuals to grow and become better, more well-rounded people.
Conversely, I want my boys to know that playing and down-time and just plain, ole FUN and laughter is good too. To be successful at work a person needs to learn the virtues of the R’s – restart, refuel, reload, reboot & relax.
Sometimes, like this morning, the best lesson I can teach them is just to turn the music up and have a dance party. Right there in the living room. 
Laughter? Check. 
Exercise? Check.

Inhibitions? Gone.

My kids thinking I’m the coolest mom ever? CHECK. 
Collapsing on the sofa.
We’ll get to the laundry . . . later. They will help, they are good at that. (Industriousness, respect? Check, check).

If all we did was have dance parties then they wouldn’t be so special. 

Moderation, yo. It’s important.

Sickness update

Youngest boy – home sick. Cough, snot – check. Not lethargic though but kept him home to be on the safe side. 
Oldest boy – not sick. Yet. What’s the incubation time for Strep? The hubby reports that he has a snotty attitude though, if that counts. He’s home on his 3 week track break so he’s happy as a clam. Except for the chores his dad is making him do – hence the ‘tude. What’s the darn incubation for Strep?
The hubby – good. He slept in since both boys are home and he appears to be quite chipper. He has one of those voices that you can instantly tell his mood as soon as he says hello. Or maybe *I* can – because I’m his wife and I know these things. When his voice is happy we’re all happy.
Me – achy, warm skin and really feeling the need to lay down. But I’m at work. Laying down is frowned upon. (Writing in my blog at work is probably frowned upon too – but I’m not asking. Moving on.) 3rd of 3 meetings today in 45 minutes. Heating up my lunch shortly, then the meeting (which will be all sorts of fun – NOT), then going to the Chiropractor. I may or may not return to work. Let’s hope not.

There’s the sickness update. I knew you were waiting for it.

Anatomy of a snap-happy Sunday

Bless him, the hubby let me sleep in. Then, when he was so hungry he couldn’t wait anymore, he crawled into bed with me and said he had already cooked the potatoes and could I please get my lazy arse out of bed and make him a scramble? Fine, fine! 
I got up and staggered my bones to the kitchen and began cooking. In the same pan as the cut up and sauteed potatoes, I added diced ham, aromatics (onion & garlic), and let it all combine on medium low heat. Then whisked 5 eggs, a diced scallion, and salt & pepper in a separate bowl. I added the egg mixture in and stirred a few times to scramble all together. Then turned the burner off, put some cheese on top and put the lid on to let the cheese melt. It was YUM. Plus I had enough leftover to make 6 breakfast burritos for us next week. Total score.
We sat down to eat breakfast and decided to flip on the Netflix and watch the 1st episode of Doctor Who (since it was restarted in 2005). It’s been highly recommended from our friend, Britt. But I think the jury is still out with me and the hubs. We’ll have to watch a few more before we decide. 
Then we started our day in earnest. I sent the kids to take out the recycling and play. Lo and behold they decided to do work:
Took out the recycling
Swept out the laundry room . . .
. . . and continued in the garage
The hubby continued working on my oldest’s invention for his Invention Convention – due this week at school:
the Pull & Dress – more on this later
Bob was doing his thing:
Russian Tortoise. Bob.
So I lit some candles:
A gift for Valentine’s Day from the hubby
and began snapping some pics of a few of my favorite things:
My fancy Jane Austen books – a gift many, many years ago
Willow Tree people – gifts from my family
My grandmother-in-law gave this egg cup to me from her collection. I love it dearly!
I’m thinking of making something now. Something a little sweet and possibly a little savory as well. Hmmm . . .