A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Trip for Charlie Part 2- The Part Where I Do NOT Get LocoPops

Ok so I was completely prepared to force my family in 30 degree weather to GO to Locopops while we were in Raleigh/Durham but wouldn't know you it - they closed down due to the damned blizzard that was allegedly on it's way.

Well we had time to kill so we went to a nearby mall and feasted on gelato and cookies.


The twins were pretty good despite being bored as we killed time milling around.



We ended up going to the chinese buffet next door to our hotel, as nothing else was open when the city became coated with ice. The big boy tried his first sushi!


I thought that this was extremely brave of him! It was completely his idea.





As we headed home in the ice and snow, we stopped at a rest area and needless to say, there was a lot of excitement about the snow. We don't get much in these parts and got none in Florida - so some fun with snowballs was in order.


And then because we are foodies of the highest order, we made a huge detour on the way to make sure we got to eat at Le Peep which our favorite brunch spot in the world. There is one on the FAR side of Charlotte.




We'll know in a few weeks I guess if we qualify for the study. We are crossing our fingers.

There are other games besides video

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Traditions

Everyone has theirs, the things that mark the holidays as official within their own chosen family unit. As we were discussing ours, the oldest boy and I, he smiled and said "Wow - we do have our own Christmas traiditions. Just like a regular family.

Lord. What does he mean by that?I told him that of course we do, we ARE a regular family but I gotta wonder what he means? We're abnormal? Does he mean because of the twins or because we're not a cookie cutter of tradition?


I think we're pretty ok on most days.

Some of the traditions we observed and he pointed out to me on Christmas Eve ......first a few days before Christmas a big box from Crate and Barrel arrives courtesy of Uncle Fred.......full of hot chocolate and chocolate covered marshmallows.






Which is obviously just what we need to kick off proper holiday celebrations!



We make the requisite cookies from SCRATCH for Santa. No roll cookies here people!









And we make the requisite Gingerbread House centerpiece! (Note- the mini village was a disaster this year. It is not possible to work with tiny pieces of ginger bread and candies so small you can't actually place them. /FAIL!)








It turned out sort of OK but totally not up to my expectations. So I'll pass on anything miniature next year. I'm going to try something new at Valentine's so hang on. Maybe it'll turn out better.



What is the most fun to me though, out of everything, is watching this room get demolished in a sea of wrapping paper and dreams come true.






Is there anything better?



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Trip for Charlie



We got into the car, all of us, last Thursday and drove east - toward Chapel Hill.


We're trying to get one of two little boys into an experimental treatment program for autism, and this was the first step. The closest lab participating is at UNC - so off we went. Some very kind people helped us coordinate the process, even contacting the Ronald McDonald house because as patients in the program they would assist us with lodgings.
I'm not actually sure how much I am or am not supposed to SAY about the actual treatment so I'll just be vague, but I'm hoping he gets in and I'm hoping he does not get the placebo. My littlest boy has the greatest challenges and problems. He is far more severely autistic than his brother.

You can imagine our displeasure when as we headed into NC I got a message saying "You may have heard we're getting a severe snow storm........."WHAT? WHAT? NO!"

I did not hear. Sigh. I can't say enough with how gracious the research coordinator was even contacting the Ronald McDonald house to get us more time if we got trapped there. Amazing.

But they were able to see him and do the interview process. It was a very impressive campus and hospital system. Of course, that night.........the snow came.

.....part two tomorrow

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Road to Gattica Is Paved With These






That, ladies and gentlemen, is a normal baby girl. I know this, because I signed up to do massive amounts of genetic testing on her - not just counting chromosomes which is your normal amniocentesis. Because of my "advanced maternal age" and because the twins are autistic - we qualified to do all sorts of fancy studies.




They're going to keep our chromosomes on file and study them and use them in various research studies where they are looking for patterns which detect disease. And not just eyeballing them - looking at them at incredible detail under the microscope for any sort of error.....they can see some cancers this way.




If they find them on us - they'll contact us. Nutty -eh?




This one is mine. Did you ever see your own chromosomes? It freaks me out a little - these are what I am made of. They're so bizarre - but I'm told that they are completely normal - I've had myriad phone calls saying that they've passed this and that and the other thing. 100% NORMAL - at least at the chromosome level.




This is the husband. See the Y chromosome? I don't even know how they think some of these match, it's so bizarre.

What freaks me out, based on some of the things we've learned, is that they can see autism (sometimes or all the time I'm not sure) as a microscopic chromosome error. They don't know how it's caused........but they can see it.

What then gives me pause is that if they can see it - then in the future they can make decisions to eliminate it. And you know what I mean.

I'm very pro choice - but based on the papers I signed which allow them to keep my chromosomes and DNA on file at Columbia......I just felt the way the wind was blowing. Genetic Selection will become a reality. I just participated in the process. I did it for selfish reasons - because I wanted to hear that my baby girl was ok. And it will be invaluable in detecting disease and other problems so you can be prepared at birth.

I'm not going to worry about a future I can't change, and I'm really glad for all the good it will do. I'm just sad that someone someday might make a choice that would deny them curly headed boys who give kisses and love the Teletubbies.

Because sometimes you don't know that you would want something until you are faced with it. And then you know you'd rather have that, than nothing at all.

HOW COULD YOU???


How could you put up this beautiful tree and then forbid me to touch it you EVIL WOMAN!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas on the Mountain


Here we are on top of Atlanta, on a freezing cold winter day stading on the peak of Stone Mountain. My company christmas party was there and it was just a fantastic day. I love the place, it's full of wonderful but corny family fun and the kids think it's all amazing.






Hey Look! It's Atlanta!

We had a lovely Christmas dinner and we rode the freezing cold caroling train.







This is the Baby Birth of Cool and I trying not to freeze to death on the train. BRRRRRRR.

Ok so besides doing the laser show which we saw in the summer, there was this Snow Angel thing and the oldest boy really wanted to see her. I wasn't really interested, being evil at heart but I acquiesced and we took up positions to see her after we caught the Polar Express in 4D.

Ok so she might LOOK a little corny......






But from what I can tell, when she makes it snow - it's fairly magical. What do you think?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Door Holding Etiquette for Patrons of the Chuck E. Cheese

Dear God I don't know how some people get out of their house and function properly. I swear to GOD I don't. How do you survive in your ridiculous little life - what with all of the enormity of injustice heaped upon you on a daily basis?
Well, luckily, Gidge is here to help you - to bring you some peace during these trying holiday times to alleviate some of your frustration and bad temperament.

Let's cover - HOLDING DOORS.

Holding doors open for folks is friendly, good manners and just polite. I'm not the best at it in the world, but I try. I always, ALWAYS say thank you when someone holds a door for me. I think it's something someone doesn't HAVE to do and I think it's lovely when they bother.

So yesterday - the boy and I are trudging into the Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party for one of his friends. As we slog through the rain/sleet/ugliness two other families are almost at the door as well. I get there first - and hold the door.

Family 1 passes through.

Family 2 is slightly further back - but is VERY overloaded with STUFF so, to be polite- I stand and hold the door - even making small talk as they go through.

Then I start into the door myself. Out of the corner of my eye I see a woman and her child who I had never seen, who weren't all that close even- suddenly come RUNNING - so although I'm in the door already - I lean back and hold it open as she's suddenly closed the gap considerably. Which is why I can HEAR her as she's snarling,"Oh fine just slam the door on my face nice manners, nice christmas spirit. NICE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!"

Ummmmmmmm what? Woman, you weren't anywhere NEAR- possibly not even parked when I got to the door. I SAW you were nearing and halted - holding the door so that it in fact DID NOT slam your face. What the hell?

This woman glared at me as we went in, and the nice lady at Chuck E. Cheese asked "Are you all together?" at which point Mary Sunshine barks "We're not with HER".

WHAT?

I swear from now on I'm just not going inside, I'll just stand and wait to see if anyone, ANYONE in the parking lot would like to go inside.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silent but Deadly 101

The oldest boy came in to the kitchen last night and proclaimed "Mom! I learned how to keep my farts silent!"
There was a part of me that really just wanted to say "Oh that's nice" and move along but still - I was curious if the boy had truly discovered the Grail of Fart Etiquette.
After all - he's a boy - they embrace their farts whereas we females tend to not be so loving toward them.
He explained the process to me but I'm not convinced it's a secret so much as the boy got lucky and didn't crank off a flapper. He alleges that he just THINKS about it and that it's all about control.
I'm going to make him some chilli and see if his method still foolproof.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Something's Going To Happen. Something Wonderful.

You don't always know when the last conversation you have with someone will be. Hell, it's likely you don't even remember when the first conversation was.
But Dec 8 transformed for me yesterday, from being the day that John Lennon died - to the day I had my first conversation.
With a five year old boy, who is autistic.

In my bleary eyed o'dark hundred rush to get the non-sick twin out the door to school, I was parked on the coffee table slippin on shoes and socks and singing along to Sesame Street when a little voice, as clear as a bell asked,"Where Charlie?"

I froze.

He reached out his foot to remind me what I was at, and I continue as I answered him."Charlie is sick. No school today for Charlie. He had to stay home."

He sat there for a moment and then said,"School Today. Go to school today."

I realized he was watching me very pointedly so I said,"No, Charlie has to stay home.No school today. Will you tell Miss Jenna Charlie is sick?"

He smiled and said "Charlie sick."

I'd stop there and be amazed and all teary eyed at this breakthrough - except it doesn't stop there. I emailed his teacher when I got to work, because I was SO excited about this and she emailed me back later.

While they were naming who was at school that day, she asked Miles "Where is Charlie?"
And at first he stared at her confused, but then piped up and said "No school today. School tomorrow."

He gets it. Suddenly, something inside him is getting it.

December 8. The first day I ever had a conversation with my son.

I can't wait to find out what else he has to say.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime





Oh it's Christmas It's CHRIIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAAS!!

I'm so stoked. We kicked off our holiday season with our annual trek to the twins club Christmas party where there crafts and cookies to decorate!



Plus we saw the most handsome Mr and Mrs Klaus I've seen in a long time! I can't wait to see the pics!



After the party we went to a small town near us for their holiday celebration.





And there were marshmallows for toasting and carolling out in the snow..........ok we didn't get snow but we were supposed to! It was cold as shite though!


Pro Tip - when giving away free smore making stuff. Please don't leave the chocolate out in the freezing cold for hours prior. It makes the delicious melted burned up marshmallow and graham crackers hard to eat when the chocolate is LIKE ICE.


I'm just saying.



Who doesn't want this?

all the kids want one!

Friday, December 04, 2009

NEVER QUESTION MY ALARM CLOCK ROUTINE

*Scenes from my bedroom this AM*
I open my eyes. Blink. It's really light in here. Why is it so bright. What time is it? 8am. Why is that wrong? 8am. Think- what time does the bus come?
Oh yes - odark hundred that is what time.
CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!

I stumble out of bed and walk to the computer to verify the time. First of all my alarm clock is like off. Second of all. We're late.

In what might be one of the greatest feats of calm of my life, I simply get all three kids up, dress them at the same time and take them downstairs for breakfast.

Then we all pile into the car and first we take the twins and drop them off and since they normally eat breakfast at school they have made it in time for morning work. Then I take the big boy and he isn't late at all.

I remember I need my glucose for my glucose tolerance test, remember I need to reset the alarm for the husband-first correcting the time-grab the glucose and my lunch which I had forgotten and I'm out the door.

Halfway to work I start to feel nauseous and sick, I didn't eat so my stomach is now screaming for food. I rushed so much I forgot the first rule of parenting - attach your own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs. So, I swing into mcdonalds for a sausage mcmuffin - no coke, can't have sugar beverages today.

I zoom to work, sit down eat..............and realize I'm eating GREASE.

And I'm sure you'll be delighted to know I've been to the restroom 4 times.

Happy Friday!

***post script. I believe that all of this happened because my husband cursed me. Last night he said "Why don't you just set your alarm clock for the time you WANT to get up vs it being a fake time and resetting it after 20 minutes etc" (I had this whole routine). I staunchly defended my routine stating that I knew for a fact how WELL it worked and it was fine.
Perhaps that was some punishment from the fates for too much hubris and not a curse after all, eh?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Your Favorite Christmas Memory? You Go First....

I got that text today from my friend Emma who was killing time at a job that is killing her spirit.

I started to take a moment to text her back and then realized that it was too long to text plus - it wasn't a memory.

It's a story, in fact.

When I was very little my grandfather took me to get a Christmas tree.

We returned with our tree and everyone was horrified. It was a tiny short tree. His reason? He chose one that I could touch the top of.


That was my grandfather's last Christmas. And I have no memory of this event. It breaks my heart, but like all things in kid world - if it isn't IMPORTANT or if no one shakes you and says GRANDPA IS SICK REMEMBER EVERY SECOND OF THIS your little brain doesn't absorb the memories.


I remember the time he took me to work with him, when he was the county building inspector, and that we went to Just Rite for lunch and I had a chocolate shake with burger and fries. I remember the way his pipe smelled, and that he'd smoke cigarettes outside once in a while but not really that often in the house. I remember the smoked Dutch Masters because I'd use the boxes to hold crayons. I remember everything, sometimes it seems. But I do not remember that tree.


There are no pictures because it was the 70s and we didn't take pictures of every damn thing the way we do now. I wish we had. I would love to see such a short fat little tree.


You never know what holiday will be your last with someone who means everything to you. I suppose that IS why I take hundreds of pictures of everything carving them all into my mind - and recording them so that even when I am the one no longer here, someone can see them and know what they are.


My favorite Christmas memory is the one I've lost. I'm sorry Grandpa.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Gall Bladder - I Thought You Wuz All Bettah

Oh hell I've been poisoned. Those of you who follow along remember my joyous months earlier this year where I was rushed to the hospital in excruciating pain only to discover I had a gall stone. Right?

Well right after that, I learned that "Gee you might nevre be able to properly digest fat again."

Not to put too polite a spin on it - if you eat fat - it MIGHT, MIGHT come flying out your ass in a manner so disgusting that it makes you doubt that you even have insides left. It might do so in a manner of minutes after you eat it. About 30 to 45 to be exact.



I dealt with this for several weeks post surgery. This horrible rushing to the restroom, the pain, the embarrassment and frankly the overwhelming discomfort of it all.



But I thought it had gotten better. Until I ate Captain D's tonight. Oh hell. Oh freaking hell. I might die. I can't even write this post because I have to keep rushing to the bathroom in a MOST undignified manner.



I realize that Captain D's IS a grease factory but JESUS I thought that I had eaten plenty of greasy nasty food and that my liver had learned how to be my gall bladder. That was what was SUPPOSED to happen.



Tonight my liver said "NOT SO MUCH" and failed me completely.



Now if you will pardon me, I'll be in the restroom.