A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

The Valentine's Party

When I was about 8 years old my parents lost all their money. That was the way I understood it. I know it was more complicated than that now. There as matter of my grandmother not being willing to help them out with remodeling bills on our old house that my grandfather (now dead) had said not to worry about. There were too many bills and not enough money. Because of that we had to sell our pretty little house that so much work had gone into and move into what was forever known as THE GREY HOUSE.
The grey house had wooden floors and big double doors into most rooms. It had two fireplaces with beautiful mantles and tilework. It also had no insulation. We learned that the first winter. It was a house we rented from my grandmother. The train ran through our backyard (literally, seen above) and if you wonder why my brother loves the railroad just remember that the rumbling of a freight train was the womb music he grew to. The window panes shook, dishes would shake off the counter and break, when the train went by.

Still, it was a great adventure moving to a new house. I got a new room, and it was even bigger than my old room. I changed schools and I was so excited because I got to go to school with some of the girls I had gone to preschool with. There was a set of twins, Amy and Laurie, I was especially excited about being in school with again. I always thought that they were so pretty and I was entranced by the idea of twins. They were identical twins, and I guess when you are 8 that makes it even more exciting.

It was only after a few months of living there that I realized that things were different for me at this school. There had been a sleepover party, I learned one Monday. I don't even really remember being upset or thinking I should have been invited. But I remember when the girls realized I was listening. Amy said "I'm sorry we didn't invite you. Our Mom says you are poor now and you probably couldn't afford to buy us presents."

The other kids didn't laugh to their credit. In fact they just sort of stared and the subject was changed. I went home and cried and asked my mom if we were poor now. I didn't understand what had changed? We just moved to a new house. Why did that make us poor? I told her what Amy had said, and that Amy and Laurie had a birthday slumber party and they didn't invite me because I was poor. She held me while I cried and then she told me I should go play or listen to records.

Eventually I smelled something like vanilla baking. I went into the kitchen and my mom was cutting a round cake and making a heart. It was kind of like this.
She asked me if I thought it looked like a heart and of course I did so she told me to make some icing and we'd have some cake. While I frosted it she said "I think we should have a Valentine's day party. What do you think?"  

I thought this was the craziest idea I had ever heard, no one ever had a Valentine's party at their house. But mom started looking up different kinds of punch we could make, and talking about treats she could make and before long we were making a party list. She said I could invite as many girls over for this party as I wanted.

She made games, she bought prizes. She set up the stereo so we could play records and decorated my dining room in swaths of pink ribbon and hearts hanging from the ceiling. It looked a little bit like a high school prom, in fact. When the girls came over there were fancy cups from my grandmas for punch, there was heart cake and it was this amazing event that was unlike any party I ever had before or after. I remember there was so much laughter, and everyone was so excited at winning the prizes mom had gotten for the games. She even made little gift bags for party favors to take home.

I had invited every girl in my class, including Amy and Laurie. It never occurred to me until I was driving home today, remembering this amazing party, that my mom threw that party so that the other kids wouldn't think I was poor. She never said anything about it, except that she thought we should have a Valentine's party. At the time I thought it was because she'd figured out how to make a heart cake.

Such is the mind of an 8 year old. 

We didn't have a lot of money. 

But I was never, EVER poor. Not in the way that mattered, anyway.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Oh Good Now We Can Rock

So after my ill considered yoga experiment I've been so sore I can barely lift my arms. I'm blaming yoga however I just realized I also did circuit workout that same day so it's probably a terrible combo of the two. I spent my day not being to lift my arms up to do things like, hang up my coat at work because that hook was just UP SO FAR.
But I came home and decided to do some light working out on the total gym and just stretched a lot. I like to put on Pandora on SHUFFLE because nothing is better than Beethoven followed by Savage Garden followed by Johnny Cash followed by Barry Manilow followed by Opera Trance followed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

While doing squats and just closing my eyes and relaxing I realized that flailing around me is a whirling five year old, singing along suddenly to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree in a super excited way. She was dancing and informs me that dancing is a great way to get healthy.

My shoulder is popping and I pull myself up a few times gently, feeling my stupid flabby arms burn and I wonder how the hell I ever got this unhealthy. I can remember being strong, being able to run, riding my bike everywhere.

Can I get a do-over?

No, I can't.

I'm slightly less sore but more achy now after around a total of 30 minutes of working out and stretching and I'm trying to decide if I have a hernia or what in my abdomen. I guess I have to get it checked out.

I lay on the total gym, feeling like I'm not ever going to enjoy this shit but at least I do it, when suddenly U2 comes on (Pride - In the Name of Love) and Julia starts bouncing madly..."OH GOOD! Now we can ROCK!" she declares.

I'm wrong. I do enjoy this. Just not the THIS I was thinking of.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Multitasking and Multipe Tasks - Like A Mom

I have decided I want to try yoga.I don't really know why but I want to. However I'm also pretty paranoid about going someplace and doing something like yoga in front of tons of other people.

I don't even have the clothes for this adventure. I've got ONE pair of shorts that fit and no way I'm wearing those in front of people.So I decided to dip my foot into this pond solo, like with all my other work out stuff, and see what's up. Starbucks suggested YouFit yoga app so I downloaded it because HEY FREE. Yesterday I decided to try it out.

However I also had lots of other things to do. This may be why yoga and I aren't meant to be because who has time to just give away doing ONE thing? I suspect that's an ideal situation for that but even working out at my house I've got 1 to 4 kids in the room talking to me if not my husband also.

I ran Julia's bath and slathered on some depilatory and decided to check out the app.
I sat on my bedroom floor, with my upper lip burning listening to a very nice lady explain the app set up. It really made a lot of sense. TRY each of the poses and then tap the screen and mark them too easy, just right, or too hard. As I gave them a try and tried to ignore the follicle mitosis killing field below my nose, I got kind of sad that oh 75% went into the TOO HARD category. (Or is it meiosis? I forget which is which.) I do want to mention I'm SUPER GOOD at this thing called Corpse pose. Second would be the sitting thing. I can sit. But it sort of hurts.

But I did it. My back hurt like a mofo and my hips were screaming and really most of my body was saying hey that's stupid let's don't do that. My body, however, is a poor steward for what it needs. It tells me I need chocolate shakes on the daily.

After her bath I decided that since Sunday is the Superbowl it means we're going to feast like we're Tudors and I've just gotten all the damn Vegas weight BACK off so there was nothing for it but to hit the total gym. My body was too shaking and achy for aerobics but laying on a slab I could do.
My arms disagreed heartily about this whole working out business and this morning they're reminding me of their rancor. Too bad arms. You're flabby and gross.

Post bath and post workout the girl decided to remind me we were going to paint our nails for the Superbowl. We're legally required to root for Manning around here if we can't root for the Colts or Falcons so Orange it was.
I love painting her tiny toes. She says that proper ladies always paint their toes. This makes me smile because my own mother used to tell me that a lady always has her nails done. I'm trying Mom, I'm trying.

I didn't have any orange so we had to use her polish.
No regrets.

I also am playing this stupid game on my phone and it's a collecting game but I don't know what the hell I'm doing is this good is this bad? I don't know I'm just playing it because other people are playing it and that makes me feel like a lemming but.....kitties!

I cannot tell if I am doing well or poorly.

The end of our day came later than usual and my tiny blonde companion brought a pillow and a blanket onto my lap for family time. Then promptly this happened.
In the silence of Sunday morning I've fed those cats on my phone and am considering which workouts to do today, I would like to try to fit in two to combat that which I am about to consume.

Who knows what I will get done. Maybe none of it.

That's Mom life. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The One Where I Have Shingles

It started at about 5:52 am. That's the moment I blinked open, more awake than I should be and thought "Damn, what is that?" A burning, hurting feeling on my back. It felt like I was being bitten/ had been bitten.
It felt bad.
I got out of bed and felt it, a line of bumps above my right kidney. What the hell would make bites like that?

I made it downstairs to find the husband had my coffee ready (he can be awesome like that) and asked him to look. His first response was that it was bites, except upon further inspection it seemed that there weren't any BITE MARKS. No holes, no punctures. Just these raised red blistery rash things, in a line on my back.

We put some hydro-cortisone on it and our day went on. I got to thinking, though, why doesn't it itch? Bites ITCH. Then I got to wondering "What does SHINGLES FEEL LIKE?"

After a doctor visit this afternoon I learned that this is what the very early onset of shingles can be like for some people. Everyone's can be different. Some is agony. Some isn't so bad. I'm glad for the not so bad version. At least on day one I can say that with confidence. It's not so bad. I know people who have described this as unbelievable pain. The horror stories are not making me excited.

Apparently a weakened immune system (thanks pneumonia) coupled with a lot of stress (ahem, work) is the devil's playground for shingles. I had chicken pox when I was seven. I just stirred up the recipe for this disease. Who knew?

But right now the spot hasn't spread and it just sort of aches. I've got an anti-viral on deck which is supposed to suppress my symptoms (but won't cure me - the body cures itself) and a new round of prednisone is happening.

I'm sorry in advance to everyone whose head I rip off in the coming week. I'm very sorry. This drug and I, we're at odds with one another and sadly it's one I need more than I like. It makes me sleep deprived and over emotional. It makes me tense and angry. It makes me question everything and everyone and fight with the people who love me the most (sorry Hunny).

So hold on, we've just boarded the crazy train.

And as for shingles, well damn. I thought this was an old person thing.

Don't google pictures of shingles. This stuff is scary as hell.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

About Those Life Goals

So my visit with my grief counselor was so good today that it inspired me again to sit back down at the computer and talk at the space that exists here.

She asked me this question, "What made your mom a great mom?" I talked for a half an hour solid. I said a lot of things. I said she was a feminist in a 50s housewife's clothing. I said she taught us to think - in fact she often said it was the most important thing she EVER taught us. I talked about how she'd say "When I'm dead..." and follow it up with a thing I should do, or should have, or should remember. I talked and talked and talked. I admitted to not remembering what half of that stuff was.

The most important thing, however, the thing that was the most important thing to ME was that she believed in me. More than that, she believed we ALL could do ANYTHING. She was of the Frank Zappa school that children don't need rules about which toys are age appropriate. She believed we could be what we wanted, we were smart enough and she knew whatever it was we could do it. She TOLD us we could do it. She didn't order us to, however. But she always believed in us. She never thought we couldn't do something.

That's the part of me that's suddenly on fire. I believe I can do it. Whatever it is. For instance, I can climb up this...

So that Michele and I could do THIS...

This was actually a dual bucket list and weight loss goal for me. I've always wanted to do a zipline but I used to be too heavy for it. It was incredibly liberating to just step on the scale, knowing I totally met the criteria. It was scary up there at the top. It was scary as we stepped down one, two three steps and swung into midair. But I knew I could do it. I knew I could because my Mom knew I could.

My dad used to say "My children are fearless." He would say it with the chest beating pride of a warrior. I don't know that we're fearless. I think that in the past year we've learned what fear is, in a really terrible way. But maybe what we really are is strong.

And in addition to believing in ourselves, somehow I've realized we believe in each other.

Mom gave us this gift. This ability to think. This ability to believe. This knowledge of how important we are to one another. The ability to believe we can do it. Whatever it is.

It was a great visit. I'm going to keep going until I don't need to. I don't know if that day will ever come. One of the best things of the visit was at the end, when she asked if I was going to come back and I said yes, and she said "I'm so glad, I don't get to hear wonderful family stories that often and you have some great ones. I love hearing about your family."

And I apparently love talking about them.

The Things Left Undone

I have a grief counseling appointment today. I am pretty excited to be going as the last visit was pretty great. I've had a while since my last visit and my brain has been chewing on this experience some or all of every day.
The whole regretting the things you didn't do or say thing is probably the worst, at least in my opinion. At least in my opinion at this moment, any way. What is the worst part of it varies by the hour which is also the worst.
It doesn't consume me, it doesn't rule my every motion and word but I can't tell you that it hasn't changed me in ways that are immense - because it has. I realize now that I've lost my patience with some things, and I've become more determined about other things. Most of those things are selfish but they're also "taking care of me and mine" sorts of things and I'm not going to be sorry about them.

I thought I would talk a little bit about the things I regret. Some of them may seem stupid but I can't help it, I regret them anyway.


  • I regret that I never got to take my mom to the two places she always wanted to see. She wanted to see Hawaii and New York City. I always thought that she and I would take a vacation together and maybe April would come, even just a few days, and see those places. I wanted to take her to Tiffany and eat a pastry while we window shopped, having Breakfast at Tiffany's - one of her favorite movies.
  • I regret that I was never able to buy my dad a 57 Chevy. I know, that's a big one. But you see when I was a few weeks old my dad sold his cherry 57 Chevy that was a thing he LOVED so much. He sold it to be able to go to Sears and pay cash for a brand new KENMORE washer and dryer so my mom didn't have to lug a baby to the laundry mat. He was a full time student and drove a taxi cab all night. He LOVED that car. I was a colicky baby and they would both tell fond stories of how sometimes the only way they could get me to sleep was to take me for a ride in that car with its loud engine. He never told the story with regret of selling the car. He told it with pride, he didn't regret selling his beautiful car because he'd taken care of his family. I always wanted to give him one, and I never could. 
  • I regret that I didn't recognize my dads mental illness years ago. It would have impacted how I handled him when he was being crazy and hateful. I wouldn't have lost years of spending time with my parents, I would've just HANDLED him. It's easy to say now that he's dead. I think it would've been harder at that time, with a crazy person screaming "you're dead to me" at me - but somehow my ego thinks I would've handled it. Maybe we could've forcibly gotten him medicated I don't know. But we didn't know, and I lost five years.
  • I regret not going home more.
  • I regret that my last trip home I didn't just crawl into my mom's bed with her. But she hurt SO much, she was so fragile, I was afraid to hurt her worse. Every touch caused her pain. I didn't face the reality that I would never see her face again, I would never, ever get to hug her again. I wish I had done it. I told her I'd be back soon. "I'll be back soon, I love you." That was the last thing I said to her in person. I was back in a matter of days, for her funeral. I think she knew. 
  • I regret every day I didn't call her and him. I regret every email I didn't pay enough attention to.
  • I regret not appreciating all of the clothes she made me and that I wanted store bought clothes instead. I wish I had them all.
  • I regret not wanting to learn how to sew, or knit, or crochet, or do tatting, or any of the other millions of amazing things she could do with her hands. 
That's the short list. 

As a consequence I'm not going to regret anything I don't have to, going forward. I know they'll always be things undone, unsaid. But it won't be because I didn't try. I feel like many of the items above are simply because I didn't try,I didn't FIGHT.I didn't respect that the universe is on it's own clock and not mine. 

But the universe and I, we have an understanding now. I am now fully integrated into the concept of how fleeting everything is, how impermanence is a thing, and how this carbon based life form has to grasp every minute of her days. I'm going to. I want things. I don't want things. I'm gonna do things. I'm gonna spend time with people. 

I'm glad I'm going to the grief counselor today. I'm gonna keep going. I need it, and everyone in my life needs me to have this help. 

It's going to be a great day. Make it so.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Don't Have Enough Energy For All Of This

There this vast chasm between who I am and who I want to be and today I feel like it's widened. I'm tired.  I'm damn tired. I'm sore. I'm out of sorts in 50 ways. To start with I pushed it on the Total Gym on Friday and I woke up barely able to move yesterday. Some people enjoy being stiff and sore but I call it pain. Being unable to move without wincing pain isn't pleasant. It makes me cranky. Not being able to move my body normally without parts of said body screaming isn't pleasant. It sucks.

It makes me sort of hovering-ly on angry all day.

I've got a wicked case of tendonosis and Plantars Fasciitis in my left foot that hurts every single day. The only thing that varies is the degree of which it hurts. I haven't been as diligent as I'd like to be on doing stretches so that bit is just simply my fault, isn't it? This also makes me angry.

Add to that today I woke up in a fog. It's a wide open Sunday where I had wanted to accomplish a thing or ten. But upon waking I realized I was fuzzy. Terribly, terribly fuzzy. I took a muscle relaxer last night at bed time hoping to release some of the body tension I had going on and it seems that it hadn't let go by the time I woke up. I consumed coffee after coffee, thinking that if only I had one more I would shake it off. I took a steaming hot showering with a soap called Happiness which did help get me one more step toward coherent but still, not quite there.

I'd like to be the sort who has fingernails that shine like justice, is well read and abreast of the latest games and movies. I want to be interesting, hold meaningful conversations and be a fascinating person. I want to participate in wry repartee and drink whatever is the hippest cocktail - in moderation. I want to wear pencil skirts, and high heels every day and find cute up-dos on pinterest.

Instead, today I changed 10+ poopie diapers and sat like a drugged slug on my sofa while my child played legos and watched the Lego movie. I may have nodded off despite my coffee intake. I tried to play with her but was informed I was messing it up. Eventually I begged for a nap and collapsed in an unmade bed. If you know me, you know that unmade beds are my kryptonite and this isn't a likely scenario. I'm not ever too tired to make the bed. It was when I went to finally lay down, that I realized my real malady in addition to the muscle relaxer. As I took off my bra and my boobs screamed I realized what had me in it's grip.

PMS.

Fucking PMS.

PMS is a real thing. I don't really ever know when it's due because due to my endometrial ablation I am not in tune with my cycle. It's here however. It explains my desperate need to eat everything in the house, my desperate need to sleep and my overall achy unhappy self. My ankles are swollen and everything is making me annoyed.

It sort of helps to realize that when you feel crazy and like a loser/failure who is failing at life that in fact it's just your hormones raging and turning your brain upside down. I had a nap, and then a hard lemonade and an hour or so of playing The Witcher 3 (good game btw) all the while listening to small children be small children in my proximity.

My nap was interrupted by a hand jiggling my door handle, calling "I want mommy, I want mommy" which was Miles, calling me. I got up and opening the door and he climbed into bed, saying "snuggle". We fell asleep until a small voice said "Is there room for me to snuggle? It's Julia."

I could use another hard lemonade. I could use a brain break. Not that I just wasn't gone for four days but today I'm on short fuse. It's all hormones and so I just need to roll with it. Right now I'd like to finish this post because I'm sure I had some sort of point, but it's all loud noises.

I had some sort of a point. What was my point?

I don't have a fucking clue.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The True Story of How I Ate My Way Through Las Vegas...or 8 Pounds Later

I think the fact that we started off with a chocolate tasting pretty much set the tone for our trip. "Would like you to have a chocolate tasting while we get your table ready?" Despite the fact that this was an OBVIOUS stall tactic as the place was mostly empty, so clearly the servers were just bickering over who was taking us but REGARDLESS - CHOCOLATE TASTING!!

It was Michele's birthday and who were we mortals to turn down a chocolate tasting? NO one, that's who! So we started off with a chocolate tasting of single source local friendly whatever else I'm supposed to say that indicates that no indigenous people were deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to obtain it. After that we floated, high on whatever it is in chocolate that makes all right with your world, to our table for various appetizers and drinks to celebrate my arrival and Michele's birthday. Her friend Candy joined us and it was a lovely evening of calories and visiting.

The next day was a fancy lunch at a buffet featuring foods from the regions of France. The food was delicious. The dessert was divine.
I always wanted to try macarons. I've never seen them anywhere that they weren't about $3 A PIECE and honestly I hated the idea of wasting that much money on something so small. Now of course I have learned that it wouldn't have been a waste. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN INVESTMENT IN HAPPINESS.

Because wow were they good. The creme brulee wasn't carmelized enough. I give it a B.
For dinner we tried Gordon Ramsay's Steak and I have to admit I'm far too unsophisticated of a palette to really appreciate food that costs that much money. This is a wheel of steak choices. Each one is more expensive than the next. It's all still made of cow, however.
This was my steak. It was pretty good. I mean, it was steak. It was tender and juicy and good. I'm not sure it was the demi-god of steaks, however. I'm not even sure it had super powers.
But based on the bill - it should have. That's all I'm saying.

Lunch the next day was at a place called Mon Ami Gabi and once again, French food. I can tell you it was amazing and delicious and, so cheese, so meat, so good. It was like dinner and a show however thanks to these guys.
This guy had a bullhorn and really had a lot to say but I personally found that he lacked passion. I didn't see the crazy in his eyes. He was just sort of blathering as he walked. It was entertaining, however.

That evening was cocktails and appetizers at one of THE destinations in Vegas, it was a work event so we had to behave.
I had to grab a picture from Google just to show you how amazing this location was.
It looks out over the strip and as the sun set the show of lights was AMAZING. They served cocktails and appetizers, which included lots of things but my favorites were the peanut chicken AND - the braised beef spareribs, served in thimbles.
I only had two of them. That can't be THAT many calories, right?

After we wrapped up that event however it was time to actually go out and eat, so I met up with my brother and work friends and we hit the town.
Harley Davidson on the strip does NOT have the best barbecue in Vegas THAT was a lie. They do have good blue drinks however, so it evens out in my book. Of course after dinner we needed to get dessert. I'd promised Scott we'd go Holstein's because according to YELP they have the best milkshakes in Vegas.
I had a birthday cake shake and I do admit, it was pretty good. I feel like it was an A in shake world but I also think Steak N Shake is an A in the shake world so this isn't necessarily a huge upgrade from my normal shakes available in life. It was fun though. We also got to see a dude with the drawers down to his knees hitting on a pro. I didn't get a clear picture of it. But it was funny.

My trip started the way it ended, with my friend Michele which honestly was awesome. She was going to take me to the airport but first we headed down to Fremont to show me old Vegas and get some lunch. We went to that classic, the Golden Nugget and had some buffet which was not as fancy as the French one but I'm positive no less calories. We toasted our friend Renee, who was the third of our lunch bunch. She is sadly missed by us, it was one of those times she should've been with us, laughing and eating and gossiping. That won't ever happen again, but I'm glad we were able to toast to her together and remember her.
We were having mimosas, and toasting our friend who drank herself to death. She'd actually have probably thought that was funny. We had the thought, "this is probably in bad taste" but we quickly gave it the meh, whatever because that's how we roll.

Like it or lump it, Renee. If you don't like it, you shoulda been there to tell us so.

This story doesn't include breakfast, which occurred each day. It was at the boulangerie and it was so damn good.
It doesn't include snacks on the plane each way. It doesn't include cocktails. There were cocktails Many many many cocktails.

The end result despite WAY over 10 k steps walked every day was pretty frustrating. I wasn't keeping track of what I ate, so even though I KNEW there was no way I was even close to making up my intake well, let's face it - I didn't stop because I didn't care.

So here I am. It's 8 pound heavier and now I have to take it off. Which is fine, because honestly when in Rome (or Paris). I'm a little annoyed at myself and yet, I'm mostly not. It was fun. I hate the way in I look in the photos but I don't know that I ever will like the way I look so I've decided not to care and to crop out the bits I hate the most (above, totally did).

And now I'm muscle sore from the total gym and requesting curly fries for dinner.

You can take the fat girl out of the....oh wait.

No, you just can't.

Oh well, I'll get there.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Winter Storm That Wasn't

They said it was coming. They said it was going to be four inches of snow. As the day wore on, the forecasts grew more dire, the amateur forecasters more snarky in their predictions. Snow was coming to SOUTHTOWN and it was gonna be a doozy.

We started out our day with an IEP and if you've never done that it takes forever and is boring as hell but you have to pay attention because it's serious stuff. The wind was whipping the feeling of ICE around us, and the rain was pouring down like it was the Great Flood itself. The sky, the air, and everything in my bones said - this shit is about to get real.

After the IEP we had the 7th Grade awards program where the oldest boy made the Honor Roll. Cue proud parents.

Shortly after that, as the temperatures dropped, the husband had a tooth cleaning and I turned into Bill Brandon 2.0 and decided all of my children had to come home right now. I drove around to fetch them all.
 The girl had just completed her 100th day of school celebration and was covered in chocolate. My timing was perfect. After we picked up the twins, it began to rain ice. As we approached the house, it began to snow.

Any snow in Atlanta is a bad thing. We just don't have the mental fortitude for it. We don't have the "oh well just keep going" attitude. We have to hunker down in a blind panic. Or at least hunker down.
At our house, we settled in for the night, expecting Snowmageddon to rain down on us like a fabled Nor'easter.

As temperatures dropped and snow swirled, I prepared myself to rise early and drag these kids outside for SNOW FUN! SNOW! SNOW! LET'S PLAY!
Except, we just got a dusting. Not enough to play. Not enough to be interesting. Just cold as shit however. Cold as ever loving shit.  By 1 it was melted in the sun.

We spent our day inside, and the girl did this to my phone.
I didn't even know that was POSSIBLE.

I downloaded Neko Atsumi because everyone seems to have it. I discovered I don't understand the point of it and then I learned that there is no point, I'm just feeding and collecting cats.
So fine, this skill I have. Behold my cats. This is what I accomplished on this freezing cold day. It was a good day to stay inside, that's for sure.

I hate being cold, that's why I like living in the south.

So much for Snowmageddon 2016 in Atlanta. Although, the French Toast report guys say we're doing this again later this week. We'll see boys, you got this one so very wrong!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Will They Be Autistic When They Grow Up


Julia and Miles can be the best of friends when the stars are aligned. He still calls her "Baby" and likes to hug her. He likes to do the things Kindergartners like to do very often, however, so that makes them very likely playmates. 
Sunday the toll of our family activity being nil because mom has been so sick was mounting so I gave in to pretty much every activity suggestion from the smallest one. Painting? Sure. PlayDoh? Sure. And with everything she wanted to do, there was Miles right with her. In fact the only upset he really experienced was when I finally had to put the PlayDoh barbershop away because tiny pieces of gross faux clay were just going EVERYWHERE and my prednisone fueled stress wasn't having it any more.
They played in her room, they played chase, in fact the best part is really just that they PLAYED. There's something so comforting about watching your special little guy do something NORMAL like playing, if you don't have that gap in your life I can't explain it to you.

At the end of our day while we were settling in for some evening family TV, Miles and Julia snuggled up together on the love seat, wrapping in each others arms like the best of friends. Julia looked at me and asked, "Mom, will Miles and Charlie still be autistic when they grow up?" At that point a Road Runner dropped an anvil on my head and I was struck dumb. I didn't know if I was going to cry, or cry, or cry. My husband walked into the room and carried the ball, and told her well they might be but you never know what science will learn that might help them etc etc etc.

You could tell though, it hadn't occurred to her that this is a permanent situation. She snuggled Miles up and just said OK, accepting the news far better than we ever did. I guess children have more bandwidth for accepting some things. 

She also made a PlayDoh person with boobs that she asked me to show everyone.

So, now I've done that.

But yes my sweet little girl, they'll always be autistic. This might be it. We don't know. But I'm trying to be hopeful that maybe there will be something in our future that makes their lives easier and better, and ours. I don't know what that thing is yet, but I'm counting on science to bring it to me. And if it doesn't? Well that's ok too. I've got no issues with a 40 year old playing PlayDoh barbershop if that's the future. The dining room carpet doesn't mean that much to me anyway.