A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome To Atlanta Part Two

You know the the story - Atlanta traffic is appalling. Every day your commute is attrocious and that's just how it is and what we live with - right? The old joke - that even on your way to hell, you have to go through Atlanta - well that's par for the course.

It's the only place that I've ever lived that the traffic report is 100% a must when driving to and from work. You HAVE to listen because the information is VITAL to get yourself from point A to point B in less than a billion hours time.

If I listen to CDs to or from work, I always end up rolling up into a 8 lane parking lot with no exit in sight.

But you get a bit numb to it, every day rolling in to work. So imagine my surprise when the DJ this morning doesn't pass it to the traffic guy but instead decides to do traffic himself.

"Our traffic advise this morning - IS GET OFF THE INTERSTATES!

575? 675? 75? GET OFF OF THEM! Now ! You know alternate routes! There are other ways to get to work! Are you on 78? WHY? Why are you on 78? And OH MY GOD YOU PEOPLE ON 20!!! WHY WHY WHY? Why are you STILL on the interstate?!?! GET OFF THE INTERSTATE NOW! Folks heading down 85 southbound or coming up 85 northbound - TAKE AN EXIT NOW!

Come on, you know some side streets! Let's take them! do it! Get off the interstate or I swear to GOD you are going to regret it!"

I dunno. I didn't think it was all that bad.

This may be a sign that I've gone native...........

He Is My Baby Still

My littlest boy is the rounder of the three. I say littlest yet he's the tallest of the twins. Born last, born skinny (to me) at under 7 pounds he always looked so scrawny, so small to me as an infant. I've always had trouble thinking of him as anything but my littlest boy.

He's also rough. He has sensory troubles - he doesn't know what is too much, too much pressure etc so he's likely to hurt you playing.

He doesn't always mean to, he just doesn't experience touch the way you and I do.

He also expresses his frustrations with pinches and grabs sometimes, which can hurt quite a bit if you don't get control of the situation quickly.

However, he's also sweet, and snuggly - and has a gentle nature that showed itself a few weeks ago at the botanical gardens.

While we were taking a break from our nature walk, where we had been enjoying all the flowers and trees - we ran into another family with a small one - about one year old he seemed.
He came bobbling up toward Little Birdman, and Little Birdman ran over to him - causing his father and I to START - that boy could roughhouse a one year old pretty quick.

Instead he ran over and wrapped his arm around the baby, gently hugging him close - recognizing a smaller, defenseless creature and being amazingly gentle. He let the baby go and it toddled on it's way with it's family, but we were surprised and I know I was happy - because it showed me an intuition in him that's so important.

And it reinfoced to me that I'm right, despite his challenges - Little Birdman is such a sweet gentle boy. He just needs help learning how to show everyone.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cross Bearing

A few weeks ago, as I slipped northward on the Atlanta interstate I passed a truck which was pulled over to the side of the road. There was a family walking along the grass toward the woods. For a moment they were a snapshot in my mind.........there was
  • Dad - carrying a large white cross
  • Son - carrying a tool box
  • Mom - walking many paces behind.

Mom didn't want to be there. I could tell. Nor would I, realizing what they were doing.

They were planting a roadside cross.

I drive by it every day, and there is another in the small clearing to let us know that two families were devastated by an event. But it's the family I saw, as I slipped around the bend and headed further north, that stays with me.

It's impossible to imagine them, in their grief, going through this ritual of remembrance yet I can understand their need to remember, and to make sure others don't forget. THIS PLACE IS DANGEROUS. YOU CAN DIE HERE. LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE - TAKE CARE the roadside crosses tell us. They also say WE LOVED THIS PERSON - PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR LOSS.

Which I do, daily, as I drive home. He was a young man, about the age of my brother Matt. He looked like a handsome young man. They've put his picture and name on the cross since that first day but I don't know when.

I think about Bobby a lot, when I see this cross - especially yesterday on the anniversary of the plane crash. I hope his family found their way to remembrance that eased their pain, and that they know that we all loved him too - and sadly acknowledge and grieve for their loss still.

And yes, bacon and cheese still make everything better.

We all still miss you Bobby.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And this is Why I Think Anderson Cooper is Brilliant

I'm serious. I agree.

Anderson Cooper is officially my hero.

And Wouldn't You Know It....

Despite having no freaking idea what I am doing or how any of this is supposed to work.....

the 500 Pound Pumpkin Seeds have sprouted.

So Martha, is it time to plant them?

Bettah say yes, cuz I am planting them tonight.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So The Boy Brings Home These Orange Seeds....

No lie. He had an orange for lunch and pulled the seeds out and wrapped them in a napkin and put them in his pocket. Since we have so much room, so much YARD here - he wants to plant them.

There is a part of me (the big lazy part) that goes SIGH OH GOD WHAT? But there is the Mom part that is proud of this sweet little boy with big orange tree dreams. I wonder if it reminds him of Florida?

So his dad takes him to the store to get some soil and planting cups.
I google the how to - cuz you know, I don't know HOW TO.

And they brought home big pumpkin seeds. I dunno if it's the right time of year to germinate seeds - but by golly we're doing it!

This is the part of parenting that falls under "I don't know what I'm doing." I just realized we need to water them again. I need to go right now and do so.


Ok I'm back. So here we are, two trays one full of pumpkin seeds that allege to grow up to 500 pounds and one tray full of orange tree seeds.

He's so enamored of the process, he wants it to work so bad. I'd wave a magic wand to make it happen if I could. But the best I could do was run downstairs mid blogpost and water them. Surprisingly they still seemed a bit moist so yay us.

I am uncertain what we are going to do with 500 pound pumpkins - however.

You DO Realize that they will grow - just to thwart me, don't you?

Friday, August 21, 2009

So What Exactly Is Going On At My Kids School?

I mean in that top picture..........what're we doing THERE?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Green Concert!

The big Paul McCartney concert this past weekend was a GREEN Concert - no parking provided and we all had to load up on the Marta to get downtown. This might've been greener had Atlanta actually built trains all the way out to the suburbs - driving TO the train station 20 minutes or more is somewhat counter-intuitive.

Regardless we made it to the Doraville station and jumped on the next southbound Marta along with all the other blanket carrying 40 somethings.

And we were off!

After we walked the million miles from Midtown station to Piedmont park we found a comfy post in the field and took in the sights. And we obtained some delicious festival food. I went with an Atlanta Tradition - The Varsity - WHAT'LL YA HAVE?? My hunny had a burrito. I think. My mind is fuzzy and he's not here to ask. Let's call it a burrito.

We should've known from the great breeze and cooling weather that rain couldn't be far off and about halfway through the show we got completely soaked. It was unpleasant - but given it was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock - somewhat apropos.

It was also, significantly enough - the 45th anniversary of the Beatles SHEA STADIUM concert. Which was sort of exhilarating - and Paul reminisced and played tunes from that show which he doesn't normally play. He also played Give Peace a Chance and spoke very lovingly of John and George, referring to John as "My Best Friend" which was pretty tearjerking.

That being said, now that I have seen Paul McCartney - I never need to see another concert. I probably WILL see other concerts but I have never in my life been so completely thrilled and just energized by a show. In the midst of the singing and the frenzied dancing going on all around you sort of just GET IT. This is why the girls when crazy when the Beatles Arrived. It's this MAGNETISM, with talent and humility and the fact that he was simply having such a good time - and inviting us all to come along. Paul McCartney was literally the best concert I've ever seen in my life. Absolutely brilliant.

As an aside - I think it's negative that the religious freaks always park outside of concerts peddling negativity and judgment. Did anyone ever stop and find innerpeace from this sort of judgmental bullshit? You know what was beautiful and sending out love to our fellow man? It was 50 THOUSAND people singing GIVE PEACE A CHANCE at the top of their lungs. It was 50 THOUSAND people walking down 10th Streeting singing HEY JUDE at the top of their lungs, smiling and laughing and singing together - in happiness and joy. There was no sex, no violence - it was pure joy and love radiating from a mass of strangers. And that, ladies and gentlemen - was what love and acceptance really feels like. Thank you Paul McCartney for giving us those moments.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mondays are bizzy!

Gidge -sent from my non-iphone

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Would Love To Write You a Blog Post....



That is all.

Gotta catch a train people! PEACE!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Tale of Two Boys

One who should have gone to bed.

And one who took his nap without question - crawling into his play tent to rest with his friends.

You might imagine, that one would've been impossible - the NON NAPPER - and one would awake full of joy and giggles and ready for family time.

You'd be wrong.

See when you're autistic.......down is up and right is wrong. My non-napper was a sleepy boy all night and fell asleep during dinner, but was in good spirits and happy. My NAPPER.......

woke up confused - thinking it was time for school and became hysterical that we didn't go out the door.

I couldn't explain to him that he was wrong, that it was a nap - even though I did keep repeating those words, my baby just sobbed and sobbed and expressed his frustrations through tight hugs and grimacing angrily. His heart was broken and I couldn't fix it.

One of my best friends in the world, the kind who is better family than some of my real family, said to me the other day "I don't know how you handle it - I don't know how you deal with the stuff you have to deal with."

I told him "I don't know either. You just do it. Things happen, and you get out of bed and you deal with it. There is no practice -no parenting class for the IF YOUR CHILD IS AUTISTIC workshop to prepare you. You go with it every day and figure it out."

You cry a lot. But you also play a lot. And you try things that don't work. And you try things that do work. (yes I meant play - not pray.I don't pray.period.)

But some days, you cannot explain to a five year old that he didn't just wake up from a night of sleep - that it was only a nap and it is not school time.

And that ladies and gentlemen of the jury - is about the end of the feckin' world from where I sat.

What is it like having autistic kids? Ask me tomorrow. It'll be completely different.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Third Christian Rock Album Cover

Based on Eric Cartman's Rules

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Boy Throws a Lot of Fits

Even on the first day of school.

Care to guess which one?

Education Begin Again

We go back to school tomorrow. I'd say I'm doing a dance of joy or that I'm weeping but I'm doing neither. I'm happy FOR them, they all three love school.
I think only stay at home Mom's do the "dance of joy" because then they get to have kid free days. Personally, all it means is that I have to get up earlier and I have KIDS to deal with vs. my own morning schedule of putzing along in a daze until it's time to ride the wild interstate to work.

I'm extremely impressed with the oldest boy's school. The child went into kindergarten with zero pre-k or other school experience and came out a reader. I mean, that's fairly stellar. A GOOD reader. He's sharp - but there's good education guiding him.

He put some of those mad reading skills to work the other night when we were out to eat He looked across the busy Atlanta thoroughfair and said to us proudly."Video Head!"

He was CLOSE to right.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Welcome To Atlanta - PART 1

I've been thinking about sharing some of the local nuttiness that I find so endearing around here but I'm a slacker.
Ok they are not all endearing but they're all local and that is what slays me.

Take our local "Alt Rock" which is now just MODERN ROCK station..........

You know the station. It's the one that used to play Nirvana and Soundgarden when no one else would. So anyway, I've lived in a LOT of major metro areas and I've visited a lot. Cumulus or some of other radio conglomerate usually owns some cookie cutter station that plays HARD ROCK blah blah blah and you can count on the play list.

You can count on the DJs and the style and the stuff they advertise (headshops,strip clubs,fast food,job fairs) and the fact that INCUBUS is coming to town and only THEY HAVE BACKSTAGE PASSES. They have a music festival and they have DJs remote in clubs that are dark and gothic even though no goth bands play there anymore.

You know the station. Every major metro area has one.

Ours however is a little different. Just a smidge.

Example? Well let me give you one.....
Today a caller gives them a ring and reminds them that it's been DAYS since they played the ULTIMATE DRIVING SONG.
There is witty banter. There is wry repartee.
There is more chatter and DJ witticism and then.........the DJ agrees to unleash the ultimate driving song on usfor our evening commute............and it is.....?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Too Much For One Day

We have had just the craziest freaking day. We have two elementary schools to deal with registration at. So we had to start off our day rushing off to the big boy's elementary school where we filled out papers and more papers and more papers and signed things and listened to the stuff we already knew from last year.
There is this small evil part of me that wants to ask why the fastest growing county in America can't keep this information in a computer and be a little more green - maybe even just VERIFY it year to year vs. filling out forms. You know, technology is our friend.
After that and meeting the teacher and signing up to help with crafts or something???? we went home and I dashed off to work.
And then I had to leave again because it was time for the TWINS orientation.

And we do it all again. Fill out forms X2 and meet the teacher. At least this time we had a vested interest in the teacher as it's special ed for our little guys and we wanted to outline all their quirks and needs and fears and triggers. Plus - it was suddenly a NEW teacher. We met our kindergarten teacher LAST year and suddenly poof it's this new person.

But we loved her. She's got TWO parapro's plus the therapists and only 4 kids in the class and the class can't be BIGGER than 6. To which we said WOW.

Then we rushed home dropped the kids off with Emma and went to our first SPECTRUM meeting which is a support group for families with autistic members. Which was both great and nerve racking.

Did I mention our mortgage company got shut down by the FEDS TODAY?

Because we didn't have enough going on. Seriously. Enough. I'm done. Too many things, too much going on how am I supposed to PROCESS this much information in one day?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Don't Wanna Go

We're going to an Autism Support group tomorrow night.

I hate this part of it. We need to go. It's so important. But...when my little guys are at home, they're just babies. Babies who are a little OFF but really - they're like these really big 2 year olds.

But the short bus pulls back up in front of the house again on Monday,and tomorrow during the day we go to meet the Angel who teaches Autism Special Education Kindergarten. And the reality gets back to rolling that my babies are not quite right, they are in fact in need of help that we don't know how to give them.

So we're going. I think it will be good but sad to meet other people like us, people who UNDERSTAND what we mean when we talk about our children, about our challenges.
But I don't want to go. Every step, the short bus, the special education, the support group - it makes it all real and I hate that. I hate the reality of their disability and it makes me angry and sad just like it's day 1.
My grandfather had a sister who was blind from scarlet fever she got as a child. Her parents kept her home, cloistered from the world. Safe from harm. I used to think that this was unkind of them to do - there was so much she could've done with her life.
But now I understand.
I understand completely.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

If Not Now.......When.....

Eyeliner is both my nemesis and my beloved. It's the Frenemy of my makeup bag.

When I started wearing eyeliner, it was so long ago that you mixed your Mary Kay eyeshadow with water and you used a lighter on the eyeliner to make it melty and go on smoothly.

As a matter of fact - I'm bringing that back so get ready.

But beyond that, I've had what alcoholics call THE MOMENT OF CLARITY regarding eyeliner.

Since I was 16 I have been struggling with, fighting with, sometimes failing sometimes succeeding in getting my eyeliner on in a nice smooth line without tugging on the corner of my eye to pull the skin taught. You eyeliner wearers know what I am talking about. You don't want to get wrinkles! When you get older you'll get wrinkles if you tug on that skin every day!

And then, as I struggled the other morning .......it occurred to me........


What the hell I'm 40 dear GOD can I please have perfect straight eyeliner now until I die?


Note to all my friends. We're older. You can tug on the corner of your eye now to get your liner straight. It's over.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

It Has Been A Year

It has been one year, since despite having the soul kicked out of me at one employer......that I signed papers and made this our home. And the past year has been one of change and growth and so many positive things that I could never list them all here.

We had summer and then quickly fall then winter. Our first winter in our own house, watching the snow pile up out the windows. There were days that it was like magic.

And there have been holidays and birthdays and anniversaries........but you know what have been the best days? The days I stumble out of bed on the weekend to make coffee......quietly.

In our own house.

Or we've taken a couple of balls and gone into the backyard with nothing to do but run, and kick, and play.

I don't even know where to start, explaining the sigh of relief I feel some days, closing that front door - knowing that this is our kingdom......this is our refuge. This land belongs to my family. It's quite a bit of land considering the market these days.

It's a place where for the first time in a long time, I feel settled and grounded.

The nature of the world has become transient, like we're some giant Bedouin tribe without direction. The difference is that the Bedouins have each other. They know where they are going and where they came from. It had begun to seem for a while that we were just moving moving moving.......always moving.

No more.

I'm not saying we're here forever.......but I am saying that I am home. I sleep like the dead, safe in the country air and forest standing guard.

And if it is my fate, to drink cheap wine out of snowman goblets on my deck.........then I say......
Bring it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Relationships Haz Changed

Overheard in bathroom of a restaurant near a large outlet mall in North Georgia:
  • No, No I am not getting back together with him.
  • It's only two weeks till I have his baby, and now he wants to get back together just because I'm at the OUTLET MALL?
  • You tell him NO! I will not not go the Nike Store for him.
  • No! I told her no, we're not getting back together.
  • I am not going to the Nike store for you forget it.


I'd like to toss in some witty end statement but I'm a bit speechless. File it under "Umm, yeah."

Local Tourist:Dauset Trails

One of our favorite places since we've moved here is Dauset Trails which is a sanctuary for injured and/or bad tempered animals. We learned about it during a festival we attended right after we moved. They had a little booth and were really the only point of interest AT the festival - so we drove down to check the place out. We've been back several times now.

This time our friend Emma came along with her new boyfriend. What was good because he probably needed inspection. (kidding we really liked him).

As you can see here, we put him to work. Poor guy.

As always there were new animals, including a coyote that looked as though he wanted to eat mah babehs. He was truly fired up. It was nuts. He needed a lady friend or something to relax I swear. No WONDER that one was there.

There are lots of spots to stop and feed the animals, toss feed of various sorts into the water or into their cages. The kids loved that part. Ok we kind of loved it too. Why is it so much fun to feed animals? Some native urge to be a farmer?

It's about an hour and a half from where we live, ish - depending on traffic in the ATL which is suck-ass on a good day. It was an awesome day in the sun with mother nature and some of her creatures.
Even the coyote who wanted to eat mah babehs.

Now, I've had my fill of nature for 09. Bring me indoor events I say! It's HOT HERE!