A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Joan Rivers Mixes the Truth With Lies

Ok so I just woke up from a dream. It was one of those dreams you have in between the snooze alarm going off. I was at the make up couner, at Lancome to be exact, and I was dithering about some lipstick when the woman next to me said "You know I can't even be bothered with this stuff. I just had all of mine tattooed on."

I looked over - and it was JOAN RIVERS.

She then takes me to a conference room, with someone else - god I think it was the I.T. manager I work with, and she's telling me that she understands what a hassle makeup is. That at the age of 46 she's just over it.

I said "Joan, no way you are 46 - you were an ADULT when I was little." But she keeps insisting she is 46 and that having all of your makeup tattooed on is the way to go. She keeps going on about how she understands I'm both tired and lazy and shouldn't have to bother with it.

My I.T. manager says "Yeah, you've been looking a little rough."

OMG. If you excuse me, I have to go put makeup on now.

Stupid Joan Rivers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Further Proof We Watch Too Much DOCTOR WHO

Totally NOT blinking.

We went out today and got our Art On.
For Reals.

Sorry, I just like to talk like that sometimes to be stupid. It makes me laugh. I'm being ironic but then people think I'm an idiot so I should probably do it less.

We did see some good stuff though. Like a little Warhol.

I love Warhol. We saw a huge exhibition of his silkscreens years ago. I think his work is mesmerizing. Or maybe I'm just being trendy. I forget which it is.

We also got some Whistler in our daily viewing.

And there was some Norman Rockwell.

I had no idea Norman Rockwell KNEW Keith Richards. Nutty, eh?

We went to see the exhibit MODERN BY DESIGN and I tell you something, I would use this as a damn chip dish, I would. I announced it loudly in the exhibit. And then cracked up the rest of the exhibit.

That was our Sunday adventure.

I Am NOT Saying We Watch Too Much Doctor Who - BUT...

While I am cleaning up breakfast the oldest boy calls from the living room "MOM LOOK! It's a Weeping Angel on TOM AND JERRY!"
I come in to see and laugh with him and waddya know............IT HAD MOVED!

I'm just saying, DON'T BLINK

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Then There Is The Screaming

You might ask yourself, if you don't have autistic children, "What does she mean?"

I mean there is screaming. There is a lot of screaming.

These pictures are from today, which was a relatively good day all in all, yet even today there was quite a bit of screaming. Before even getting up, Charlie was crying in bed. For no reason. Or - for no reason I understood.Then, after getting dressed both twins piled into my bed together and snuggled tight.

This is a bad sign. I don't know why but it is. Something's off right off the bat.

We went downstairs to eat, and that was when it started. Charlie starts screaming. Sobbing to be exact. He doesn't want to eat. Which is like saying the North Pole is toasty warm - Charlie eats until he'll burst if you let him. While the rest of us eat he goes into the living room and thrashes on the floor and screams.

By lunch time he's hungry and eats, but shortly after lunch it's back to laying on the floor screaming and thrashing.

Why? I don't know. Something hurts, something doesn't hurt, something made a sound something didn't make a sound. Having a severely autistic child is on many ways like having a newborn. You spin the wheel and hope you land on the thing that will make the crying stop. Diaper? Food? Cuddle? Song? Tylenol?

Seriously, you just keep trying stuff. With Charlie - we try FOOD first just because he's an eating machine. And on the day when the eating machine won't eat?

You sigh, and try all the rest.
By bedtime it's snuggle time with his twin and everything is ok. No worries and you'd never know that this child earlier today screamed so loud he freaked the baby out hard. She was hysterical - because she loves him and wants him to stop. She doesn't understand his shrieking.

Come to think of it, neither do I.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Preparedness - I Still Don't Have It

The night my first child was born, there was no room at the Inn. Ok that's a metaphor. There was no room in the "mother - baby" unit where it's all sunshine and roses and warm fuzzy things that new mommy's need.
Instead, I had to spend the night in the "labor and delivery" room where he'd been born. Labor and delivery nurses are a different cut. They keep you alive, they keep your baby alive, and they're pretty ALL BUSINESS. Which you know, is their job.
But once that baby is out and washed and you're cleaned up they're usually on to the next person. Except they had me all night.
A seriously clear memory of that night was conjured for me yesterday.
I remembered the first time I changed a diaper on my son. He'd pooped his brains out, the famed black tar velcro poop. I tried to change the diaper but, once I got the dirty one off, I realized I didn't have wipes. I didn't know where the wipes WERE. I had to ring for help mid-diaper change.
The nurse whipped in, showed me they were in the bottom of the bassinette, and whipped out.

They weren't open.

I had a baby who was screaming and a half off poopie diaper and poop squishing out as I tried with one hand to open the bag. I ended up ripping it open with my teeth and making it work.

So last night, as I rushed up the stairs with a little girl who had a bulging BROWN diaper I laid her down on the changing pad only to realize I hadn't filled the wipes - and they weren't open.

As poop was squooshing out of her diaper my only thought was "Really? 4 years later? I can't remember to get the wipes open FIRST?"

No. Apparently not.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baby No More

Well, I caved.

Over $200 spent and $200 more to go on equipment and the boy will be an official football player. Apparently he was the biggest in his age group, let's face it he's a giant.

His size and maturity are really the reasons I said yes. Plus, I think it's valuable, learning sports. I don't think he'll much care for this one, honestly, but I could be wrong. I think it's going to be hot and he's going to be pounded on and my smart, bookish son is going to think it's not all that.

But he might love it. He has desperately wanted to play for two years and I said NO. I said NO because I was worried about concussion and I was worried about spinal cord injuries and I was worried about MY SON.

However, I said yes and so we're off on the great adventure that is Football.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gidge Gets Her Groove Back

I lost my swagger. I don't know what happened. Domesticity? 4 kids? TIME? I don't know. But I never realized like, how just being CLEAN has suddenly become an acceptable substitute for looking good. I can't really put my finger on when I stopped caring so much.
I know when I was a kid, my mom didn't wear makeup. Then, when we were older and probably less of a time-suck - she started wearing makeup. I thought it was such an amazing thing, at the time.
As a mom of four with two special needs kids, I'm not sure I even remember what swagger FEELS like. That sexy girly confidence - where'd mine GO?
I found this picture, from when my oldest was three and when the twins were six months old.

I am in the blistering Florida heat in October, with TWIN babies and a three year old at the twins club Halloween party.

Somehow, I lost that. I lost interest. I got tired.

So when BLOGHER offered a chance to check out new Mary Kay mineral makeups I was thinking, yeah ok. Maybe I'll try that. I mean, worst case I wouldn't like it right?

First of all Mary Kay gets props for giving me something small enough to be really convenient but BIG enough to be useful. And it's pretty. I like pretty.

The blue shade is more appropriate for going out vs work but the entire rest is completely awesome and appropriate for work and gives a nice fresh faced look. Plus they're REALLY fade resistant, I wore them ALL day to the Renaissance Festival in the 100 degree Atlanta heat and it didn't run or fade.

I am actually wearing the blue also, in the pic below - but it's been muted a bit :)

I can't fight the fact that I'm 42 but I am sort of getting my groove back. I feel better with some make up on lately.

So thanks Mary Kay and Blogher. I feel kinda girly cute again. I should get my eyebrows done!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Charlie Told Me To Shut Up

That might not sound as good to you as it does to me. But you see, at the age of seven, Charlie is only just learning to talk. Like your 18 month old or 2 year old might be learning. He's saying words with purpose. It's fairly amazing.
The other night, he was banging something on something else, and I said "Charlie STOP IT!"
And I got the TEENAGE EYE ROLL and with attitude "SHUT UP!"

I had to turn my back to keep from laughing. Yeah, my kid told me to shut up. He also used WORDS correctly. So I'll take it.

Good job, Charlie.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

We Love The Renaissance Festival

I'm not sure WHY exactly. It's ridiculously hot and full of smelly, farty people. And it's dirty. OMG the Georgia clay gets on everything.
We still love it.
Why ?
I don't know. Because they serve deep fried foods on sticks.

But more than that we just have these family traditions that despite the heat and the dirt, I think we'd be sad if we missed.

Like all the ridiculous rides. And playing king of the log with your Daddy, who totally kicks your ass. Which, btw, the oldest boy loved.

About the second hour in, during the 100 degree Atlanta heat, it gets kind of miserable I admit it. But I think it's our family's nature to be out DOING stuff, it's just what we do. The kids wake up on the weekend and ask where we are going. I kind of like that.

I think they do too.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Snoop Dogg Just Scared Me At The Gas Station

I am at the gas station picking up ice, and as I close the door to the ice cabinet a reflection caught me off guard behind me.
It was a tall, black man with braids.
It was Snoop Dogg.
I literally froze because OMG SNOOP DOGG is behind me.

Then I turned around.


Not so much.

Bento Boxes Are My New Crack

I'm not sure why. It started with someone on Plurk getting one. And loving it. Then other people on plurk got them, and people started talking about them and posting pics of them.
And I am kind of addicted to the idea of getting one now.

In terms of portion control they're a win. But, there is something about them that just says LUNCH CAN BE FUN.
I love the idea of filling it with something tasty and good and making it a challenge to see how much goodness can go inside.

It is entirely possible that I only want them because they are cute.
Is that wrong?

I am ordering one that I've painstakingly picked out from all the choices available on the web.

I will let you know if this is actually enough food to feed a 42 year old American mother of 4!
I'm totally excited to find out.
I can't remember the last time I was this fascinated with something. Bizarre, eh?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Delicious Is...

My friend Xta used to sing the praises of a place called Locopops when she lived in North Carolina. I've always wanted to go but either timing or time of year always prevented us from getting there for the past two years.

However this past weekend, the stars were aligned and we made the short drive over to Durham from UNC to partake of frozen goodness.

Even better than her many tales of the delicious pops had led me to believe!
Among the six of us, we had white chocolate sesame, cherry limeade, cucumber mint, mango chili, chocolate fudge, rhubarb raspberry and mexican chocolate. I think that is all of them. The mango chili was both sweet and fruity and fiery hot.
The girl child thought the cherry limeade was tart, as you can see.
All in all, a total win.

If you are in the area, I highly recommend looking up the Locopops! They are AMAZING!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What Do Y'all DO Over in North Carolina?

Most people know that we go over to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill every few months for an Autism Study that we're part of. But what do we DO?
Well I'd like to say it's complicated but it's not. However, lots of people have asked me what we do while there.
Basically it works like this. In between visits, Charlie has a powder added to his food or drink three times a day. It's an enzyme. It's a SECRET enzyme formula. However I looked it up and spent a lot of time reading before we went on it and it's basically the enzyme that you and I make to help our bodies break down and flush out "large cell proteins".
Translation - Gluten.
I mean I'm sure it's MORE than that. But that's sort of it, in a nutshell. Rather than put him on a restrictive diet and ourselves as well (seriously have you MET us? We're not going on a diet) he gets this additive usually in his drink.

Then the day or two before we go over to North Carolina, my husband has the horrific job of collection about ONE CUP of poop sample and dividing it up into various little containers and cups.
I guess these are to verify that the enzyme is doing what it's supposed to. We had to provide a sample of the poop to qualify him as someone whose body wasn't producing the proper levels OF the enzyme BEFORE the study.
When we go, we arrive HERE - the University of North Carolina Medical Center.

We cut though the buildings in the North Carolina heat, starting at the Cancer center. We walk past people wearing masks and covered in blankets despite it being 90 degrees outside. People waiting for their chemo and other treatments.

People who have far worse stuff than us going on.

We walk nearly the length of the building above on the right - to that back right corner and take the elevator up one floor where the neurosciences department is and go into the Aspire Research Center. We meet with our case manager and a neurologist and we fill out survey questions and talk to them and they interview us and the boys and they do vitals and stuff.

It's sort of odd. We've known these people over two years now. They KNOW us. I kind of look forward to seeing them. They notice when things change with the twins.

So that is what we do. We spend the night in a hotel at a special rate thanks to the amazingness of the Ronald McDonal House charities and we try to get in at ALOFT because it's pretty much the most amazing hotel on the Earth. We LOVE that place.

So that's what we do. We give the enzyme all month. We collect poop (we meaning the Husband). And we travel to North Carolina where they monitor our progress and changes.

Has it helped?

There are things it has made better. Charlie used to live in a state of near constant constipation and obviously if your tummy hurts it impacts your personality when it's long term. So he goes now without any issue and truly, one of the first changes that we noticed was that he went from being a tantrum thrower 24/7 to being a pretty happy child.

Does he still do the autism flip out?

Yep. But it's usually more manageable, and we get less of the "OMG WHY IS HE SCREAMING" sort of tantrums. Usually you can tell what's going on. It doesn't always make sense, but you can puzzle it out.

I think it's helped but now I think that it's going to make potty training, which is on the agenda for this summer, a real challenge. Because not to be too gross - but we don't get terribly SOLID poops now. We've kind of gone too far the other way.

But we'll figure it out.

I hope that this enzyme makes a difference in other people's lives. It's been fast tracked for FDA approval so we'll see. I'll be interested to see what it does on a larger scale. Right now only 175 kids in the country (or at least that was the launch number) are on it. And we're in the first group.

And now you know what we do in North Carolina. Fascinating, eh?