A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Reality and Fun On NYE

I worked all day with pneumonia, then came home and changed a blown out poopie diaper while my husband and oldest son put our living room back together (they'd been cleaning).

Then it was to the bathtub with the three little ones who weren't all that interested in getting their hair washed. They were less interested in getting their hair brushed out, I tell you what.

But you know what, on this night of revelry, I don't look on these events as tests or trials.

I don't feel all that bad about them.

I have s'mores planned for later, and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve minus Dick Clark. There will be hugs and kisses and good things. I might play WoW with the boy or my husband or not.

You have to know what's good or what's bad. Sometimes, even your bad is better than other people's good.

I'm taking that idea with me into 2013.

And I'm making it a better year.
Lol gum Santa brought me

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Time in Atlanta

We are a little tardier than usual but we started with the Christmas activities finally and went hard yesterday absorbing the family fun and traditions.

Oh I wish I was in the Land of Cotton....wait...
We started out our day at the Atlanta History center which has a great 19th century village where they do blacksmithing and lots of other traditional early Georgia activities. I was surprised to see the cotton was still in the field but it's pretty so I grabbed a pic.
Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care
Louis was surprised at the regular socks hanging on the fireplace, and that's why I love doing these sort of things with the kids. I don't think until yesterday he ever made that connection of "stocking" to "sock". When he realized that the big oversized Santa-ready stockings we hung up were not what has always been, he was so surprised. Imagine his horror when we told him that a good present was an orange.
Miles and Charlie making crafts.
There were crafts set up for kids to do inside the history center and so we made garlands and cornhusk angels for our tree.
Louis, Daddy and Julia making crafts!
Daddy might've been the one who ended up making most of the cornhusk angels. I'm not saying.

We were excited, as we explored the exhibits, to see that the Atlanta History Center was displaying Percival - one of the original Pink Pigs.
The original Pink Pig !!
Which set the stage perfectly as we transitioned from learning about historical Atlanta and the Christmas traditions of the past, to....THIS.
Pink Pig Time!
Since we were already down in Buckhead we drove over to Macy's to ride THE PINK PIG, a modern Atlanta tradition.
It's silly and corny and it's like 45 minutes wait to ride this pig shaped train for 3 minutes. And I don't care. It's wonderful and festive. The twins were ECSTATIC when we got on and started the ride, hearing all about the meaning of Family Christmas from Priscilla, the modern Pink Pig.
I swear to you, it's the same voice as Mrs Crinklesack from The Cleveland Show. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

So You Went For The Girl?

Ok first of all, thats a super rude thing to say to someone. If you are in the habit of saying it, you should probably stop. You certainly shouldn't be saying it in front of someone's OTHER children, because the implication there is "man too bad you had all these boys, lucky you finally got the one you wanted."

But, since people the world over have no manners, I hear this a lot - even now.

You want the truth? It's more complicated than that.
Some people have spiritual beliefs that propel them in their reproduction. Whether it's "have as many children as you can" or some think they receive divine messages when it's time to have another baby, most people have a belief system I find.
I don't really have one of those, I'd freely admit we tried for and got another baby purely out of selfish reasons. Perhaps because we DID want the girl (we did). Some probably think we were looking for a do-over on the twins, possibly that's true in some way because how unfair is it that they're BOTH autistic?

But neither of those things are 100% true nor were they the driver behind us, as a family, deciding that we wanted that 4th baby.

The reason that we had #4 is simple. Someone was missing. We didn't know who. But we both felt it, this void at our dinner table. There was another little hand we were supposed to be holding. Someone else was supposed to be in this family. And I admit, I was exicted that it was a girl who joined us, I would also have been excited if it had been a boy.
She is making a noodle mustache
I don't know why she was supposed to be here, but I know in my heart she was.

Possibly, it's just to made noodle mustaches at the table during dinner.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

A Real Life Pay It Forward Story

You see those stories on Facebook about how some stranger helped someone out, usually at Walmart, and like they are sort of sweet and sort of trite and I confess - I truly have the urge to run them through Snopes.com because, I think nice things are nice but I hate it when lies are perpetuated. And I'm kind of cynical, if you didn't notice.

Imagine my surprise then, when this happened.

The husband was at Walmart last night to pick up some minilights for our tree. I sat home, diligently pulling the "prelit" strands off our tree, because they had burned out and I was determined to keep our black tree. I think it's cool. We only had two strands of minis that were working from last year so, he ran over to pick up some more.

While in the light aisle, he and another lady got to talking about lights and colors and types of lights, and they started reminiscing about the lights of our childhood, C9 and C7s.

He told her how, we've always wanted to do a retro tree with those kinds of lights but they're not cheap so we've never really been able to do it. It's about 65 bucks to do the whole tree, and well when you have four kids and three are in diapers, there is a lot ELSE you could do with that 65 bucks.

While they were having this stroll down memory lane, another man walked over and started talking to them.
"These kind of lights?" he asked. My husband said yes, and they talked again about how they were the lights from our childhood, and we really always wanted them - they were so cool, but that we just really couldn't ever afford them.

And then the man said "How about if I buy them for you?"

Then, just like that - he did.

The Kindness of Strangers
We're not poor. But, we do have a budget, and there are choices to be made when you are a big family.
We don't want for food or shelter. But this stranger did something, for Christmas, to make a little Christmas dream come true at my house.
His only condition? That we pay it forward.
Our Tree With Christmas Magic On It
I promise you, we will.

Thank you, whoever you were. You are lovely.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

He Has Christmas Wishes

Something amazing happened a couple of days ago and I'm still reeling from it. I'm not sure you other parents can fathom this but I have never known really what my twins want for Christmas. I have a general idea of things they "like" but, you never really know.
Your neuro typical children get dreamy eyed and try to tell you all the reasons they want this or that or the other thing. But, my sweet twins open what they are given and often just wait for something else to open. Opening is fun on Christmas but usually only one or two things catches their eye.

And I've never had a Christmas list, or been able to have that "So tell Mommy what you want for Christmas" talk with them.

Until NOW.

He is getting every damn thing on this list by God.
Miles wants this for Christmas. I totally cried.
We already have the PlayStation. I am guessing he wants to play. So I told my oldest son we're going to teach him how to play.

I sat and cried and cried when I saw this. He has a Christmas list. For the first time in his life.

I think it's amazing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just 30 More Minutes

At 6:25 AM I realized that Charlie had a fever,so no school today. I gave him Tylenol, called transportation so the bus didn't come and honk honk honk, and rolled back upstairs and climbed into bed.
I had, at that moment, 30 minutes to relax before I had to get up.

T Minus 29 Minutes: I am drifting off, and a child coughs. I roll over.

T Minus 27 Minutes: I hear little feet paddling on the carpet - look up in time to see a blonde head dive into her bed. "Go to sleep." I whisper.

T Minus 24 Minutes: Someone else coughs.

T Minus 20 Minutes: The husband throws a leg over me and pins my leg weirdly, I wiggle free and scooch to snuggle more comfortably. He starts to snore. In my ear.

T Minus 17 Minutes: Feet. On the carpet. Running up and down the hall. "GO TO SLEEP" I say, less whispery this time.

T Minus 15 Minues: The girl child, "MY SOCKS WHERE ARE MY SOCKS?" I realize she didn't put her magical sock on at bed time, so I get up, get them out of the drawer and put them on her, and tuck her back into bed. I don't know what magic powers they HAVE but I know she has to have them EVERY night.
Every night before bed , no matter what, she puts on Captain America socks.

I lay back down. I consider just hitting the shower at this point. But I close my eyes instead.

T- Minus 7 Minutes: Charlie comes in. "I have a booger." Me, "You have a booger?" Him "I want a diaper."
Ok then. I change him, he's wet through, I change his pajamas and have him lay down with me.

T Minus 5 Minutes: I assume I went to sleep. Clock said 6:55 and then it was BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and I had to get up.

That was a super restful extra 30.

Note to self - just get up next time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saying No to Autism

You're laying in bed, snuggled under the blankets. You're sound asleep and as comfortable as can be. Suddenly the night is pierced by a blood curdling scream. A child, in the next room, is screaming and shrieking.
You might leap to your feet, visions of intruders or wild animals mauling your child in your head. You might rush to your child's bed ready to do battle or whatever is required because no human child would make such a sound unless being tortured.
Unless of course, your child is severely autistic.
In that case, you might open your eyes and listen for a moment. Much like the cries of a baby, screams and shrieks have their own language, their own meaning. They can mean "I need a diaper" or "I don't want to be in bed anymore" or "I really like the way this screaming sounds." Often it's the latter.
That's how the past three mornings have started for me. Screaming and shrieking from the other room.
Autism isn't rational. Applying reason to it isn't a relevant prospect, you'll lose and end up in tears yourself.
On Saturday, the day the screaming STARTED up in such earnest, I decided we weren't doing this.

So we had a good day. I insisted we have a good day.

We baked cookies and made hot chocolate, and we focused on CHRISTMAS.

There was still a lot of screaming. But for the non-autistic people in the house, there is something therapeutic about saying "OK now if you're done screaming, let's make cookies." "OK who wants to help me make eggnog pancakes? You can't help if you are throwing a fit." "Stop eating your hair and we'll play tea party."

I know that's probably weird, but autism wants to control my life. In many ways, ways I can't really even articulate, it dictates a lot of the direction of it.

But autism is just the wind blowing a storm at us. We captain the ship, and WE can trim our sails and make some progress. Maybe not always the way we want - but a good captain knows some progress is always a victory.

Right now, I have a little boy hanging on my left arm giggling too loudly and pressing too hard. He's very sweet. He's happy and stealing drinks of my coffee. The boy who screams has left for the day, and this boy who STARTED out screaming earlier has stopped. this post has taken me a lot longer to write, as my left arm gets wiggled around.

But I'm still writing it.

That's sort of my mood this morning. Autism slows me down, it makes life harder. But it doesn't STOP me.

Our life will never be normal.  But it will be ours.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a Black Friday After All

I had thought to linger around the house in my Jammies and not do much, except possibly go buy some female platys because the lone female does not appreciate their attentions.
But the antibiotics Miles is on have waged a war on his tummy and I have realized I am gonna be out of diapers sooner rather than later.

People, I have to go to Walmart.

What sick joke is this?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The 2 Year Old is in Charge of Cinnamon Rolls

She took her assignment pretty seriously.
Next year we will make her do the sweet potatoes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tell Him About The Twinkie

So I sit here with my Hostess coffee cakes and my mind is on bakeries and traditions. I'm kinda bummed that Hostess is going out of business, because it's an institution, because it's a tradition, because despite Twinkies being gross they are also good.
It's just kind of a shame to me though. Like Kool-Aid, they're a childhood THING. Sugar filled calories that have no purpose other than to be fun for little kids.
Of course, we're probably to blame as much as anyone for Hostess not staying afloat. It's one thing to say "OMG HOSTESS! LOVE THEM" and it's another thing to actually patronize them.
If I loved them SO much, why were there no Hostess products in my cabinet until they announced they were shuttering their business?
There weren't any because first of all - there was no urgency, who woulda thunk it? Secondly, they were MORE EXPENSIVE. In a family of four kids, I'm afraid Little Debbie reigns supreme in terms of cheap bakery goods value. It's not BETTER not by any means, but you know, it was cheaper and "good enough" so Little Debbie made it into the cart more often than not.

I'm glad though, that we were able to take one last stroll through the treats from Hostess, just in case no one buys them and brings the company back to life. It's kind of nice, it's a fun family thing to do together, even if it's a bit silly.

I had moved away when the elegant bakery of my childhood ROSELYN went out of business, and never got another chance to sample it's wares. It turns out it was probably just as well as they were closed down for their bakeries having rat infested filth throughout - ick, but you'd never have known it from the shops themselves. Ladies in blue dresses and white aprons waited on you and the baked goods all sat on beautiful white paper doilies behind immaculate glass cases. Apparently they failed their board of health review quite horribly, people quit eating there (gee wonder why) and then they failed it again if memory serves.

But even knowing what disgusting holes their actual bakeries were, I always regret a little that I'll never have another alligator cake, or napoleon, or anything else from them

So I'm happy to take this stroll down memory lane with Hostess.

But part of me wants to keep a Twinkie for ten years, to see if Egon is right.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crazy Days And Kisses

A warm fire and kisses
I wish there was a book, for how crazy parenting is. I don't mean those "How to not kill your baby" books that are out there. There are lots of those. I also don't mean those "If you don't do all these things you are a bad parent and your baby won't get into Harvard or the right pre-school" books. I mean, it could be a short book. Very small. Maybe just two pages, a forward from the author and a second page. It would say something like,"Parenting is crazy and you will never, ever figure it out so just roll with it."

My day starts out with "Mommy carry my dinosaurs" which is actually a pair of bongo drums turned upside down and filled with small plastic dinosaurs. This is apparently the preferred method of transporting dinosaurs.
Both yesterday and today were filled with fights about these same dinosaurs. What they should go into - a pumpkin from Halloween, the bongos, a purse, a coaster caddy? And Miles would dump them out and Julia would scream and pinch him and he'd pull her hair and....

I lit a fire last night. I look up from my magazine and see my three littlest ones sitting on the hearth enjoying the heat and the popping log, and realize Miles is saying "Kiss baby!" and she is saying "I love you Miles!" She ran around, stopping to kiss him and they'd laugh and giggle as though the battle of the dinosaurs and their appointed container had never occurred.

Then I woke up this morning, and apparently detente was over and it was back to it.

He does not prefer the bongos, she does.

It was another day of battles large and small. But my mind keeps wandering back to those kisses by the hearth and the secret love they have for one another. You'd never know it, but they are in fact quite fond of one another.

That makes me really happy.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oh The Humanity...

Well we are trying to share one if each with the kids one last time. Still missing - ding dongs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wishes and Wants And Oh HELL No

I'm not a cool parent. I think this is important to get out of the way, when explaining anything to do with parenting. The most screwed up people I've ever known in my life, had cool parents. They in turn, were cool parents and had screwed up kids.
Being cool isn't what I am here for, parenting wise.

So you can imagine my consternation when my oldest child keeps telling me that he's been invited to a sleep over for a birthday party - for someone I don't know.

Now, I can be partially cool. I figure, a proper invitation, address, phone numbers, parents names - these sort of things would soothe my parenting savage beast and the boy can go. I don't have to be unreasonable and I am also pretty sure that the first few people I went to sleepovers with were probably NOT people my parents knew. Maybe they were - but I don't think so.

However, said sleepover is tonight. No proper invitation has been sent along, no address no nothing.

What has been sent along is a message that, they'll just come get him tonight and drop him off in the morning.

Ummmm. No.

Apparently the boy thought his father was being unreasonable with his NO to that, until he got to speak to me about it. I showed him what uncool mother really means. After I gave him my Oh Hell NO about twenty different ways I asked him  point blank, "Would you let Julia get into a car with strangers that you don't know, to go some place you don't know, and hope that they bring her back tomorrow?" to which he answered NO.

"Good," I said. "Because, my sweet ten year old boy, YOU are also MY baby just like Julia. And this is NEVER happening as long as I am alive."

I have offered him to give the boy his telephone number and they may call here today, and I am GLAD to drive him over, drop him off (providing next door isn't a crack den) and pick him up tomorrow. I am glad to do this at ANY time that their family needs me to do it.

Part of me feels like there really isn't a sleepover and this little boy is just talking the way children do, hoping to make something real if he says it. The other part of me worries that ridiculous people are going to invite my child over for a sleepover today.

I have this terrible feeling that they are COOL.

Monday, November 05, 2012

She Is the Bouncy Puppy

The conventional wisdom when buying pets its that you don't want the quiet, docile puppy or kitten. You want the one going crazy, bounding around, licking you, jumping and embracing their world with joy filled abandon.

My daughter, is the bouncy puppy.
When I get out the mixing bowl, she starts jumping "WHERE IS MY CHAIR?" because she is ready to stand on it and stir and HELP!
She has one volume, LOUD. Unless she is being quiet "Shhh baby is sleeping." Of course, baby could be a car, or a doll, or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. You truly never know.

She runs and screams and laughs, and shouts "MOMMY IS HOME!!!" when I return from work. Everything is funny, unless it isn't and then WOE TO YOU WHO CAUSED SOMETHING NOT FUNNY TO HAPPEN.
She wants to read and watch DVDs and play cooking but rarely food, mostly cars and trains. Perhaps they are delicious - I don't know! She cries when it's bed time, and will declare "I want to go downstairs and watch TV with DADDY!" because she doesn't want to miss anything.
I don't blame her. I don't either.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Melanie Wilkes' Less Intelligent Sister

I went through this earlier, with my friends, about how the nurse at my kid's school sounds like some sort of cartoon character southern belle. I did the accent around work a few times today, and people died laughing.
But this got me to thinking.

I live in ATLANTA. I actually live OUTSIDE of Atlanta by 40 miles. Up where the mountains are starting to be hilly and forests crop up (I live by one). Southern Belles abound here - ALL AROUND ME.

Not one of them sounds like this. 

Where "I" is "AH" and "Okay" is "O KAYEEEE YEEEYEE".  Who talks like that? NO ONE.

Yes, there are accents. Some people say I've picked one up but I don't hear it. But maybe I have. This though, it truly was like Carol Burnett herself was pretending to be Miss Scarlet, too pronounced, too much drawl.

It makes me a bit nuts. I am not sure if people realize that, just as east coasters with sharp tone and fast rate of speech seem RUDE to those from the south - when in fact they feel they are just being efficient with their words, this slow make believe southern drawl makes you sound like, well YES Melanie Wilkes less intelligent sister.

We decided today then, that this would be Simpleton Hamilton. And we're not surprised because we all know that they marry their cousins.

So that explains it all, then doesn't it?
Don't marry your cousins people.

It never ends well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Using Her Words

Having two autistic children has cast my ideas of parenting and what is OK and what isn't, into a different light, to be sure.
The oldest child was born sweet and gentle, with a kind heart and soft disposition that doesn't involve a lot of tantrums or disagreements. He's always been that way. I used to joke that he was the trick baby, the baby that fooled you into thinking they were ALL that easy.
I never had to much have the YOU WILL OBEY ME I AM THE PARENT battles with him. He generally just did the right thing. Or, sulked about and did the right thing.
The girl however...the girl has her own mind.
Sometimes it's a safety issue, she wants to bunny hop down the stairs and will scream and cry when I say no to this. She wants to run away from me when it's not safe to do so. These are in fact punishable offenses round these parts because, like Disney, we're very SAFETY FIRST parents. So she has to learn that she MUST do what I ask sometimes simply because those things WILL IN FACT keep her alive.

But last night, there was a battle of the wills that reminded me JUST how much I treasure her words. It was time for jammies and we were once again putting on her giant BATMAN jammies - it's really one of her brother's jammie shirts that fits her like a nightgown. It was going to get down to the 30s last night, so I pulled on some pajama bottoms because you know, COLD NIGHT.

That was when she started sobbing, and clutching at the pants. And sobbing some more and declaring that she didn't want pants she didn't want pants she didn't want pants and as I tried to explain that she needed them she shouted and sobbed "I KNOW WHAT I WANT!!"

She is two. And she knows what she wants. It kind of gave me and the husband pause, and I took off her pants. She wiped her face and smiled.

It's easy to forget, for me, that she isn't a little child without words or much in the way of opinions. The twins don't much care, they'd wear banana peels most days if I put those on them. They might not like it but, generally they don't have strong opinions on things. They just sort of amble on, and choose different things to tantrum about.

But the girl, she knows what she wants. It makes me proud, it relieves me in ways I can't explain. She's going to probably get away with too much in childhood just because I'm thrilled she speaks.

I hope she never catches on to that.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sample Packets, I Hate Them

First of all, let me just start off by saying that FREE THINGS are festive. So I'm not actually at all bitching about someone giving me free things. But I have to say - PACKETS are always the lamest sort of free thing. Packets are like "We don't care enough to give you a proper free sample but here is a smidgen of something we dare you to complain about this free gift."

But TARGET, and everyone else (this is the Target beauty bag that just went out) - HERE is what is wrong with packets.

They suck.

They are hard to open. First of all, they end up in my bathroom. And if your packet is made of some super space age polymer it won't rip properly. I find that they are ALL made of super space age polymer. I don't keep scissors in my bathroom so then I'm stuck there making nicks in it with the toenail clippers. Like a crazy wanton desperate for better shampoo I cut away seeking to make a hole big enough FOR the product to come out.

This is if you remember to open it pre-shower.

But if you are sleepy for forgetful and roll into the shower with them WOE TO YOU.

First of all your hands will be pruny and wet and slippery, your nails will be soft. Your ability to rip open that space age polymer that holds the best shampoo ever will have been rendered to nil. You resort to your teeth.

And learn that space age polymer has some aluminum in it, or something that makes every bit of dental work in your head sing like a failed contestant on American Idol.

Wee bottles, Target and everyone else, enough to TRY your product, is where it's at. Because, I've found a lot of things I love and will buy from Birchbox - in pots and bottles of a size to use. The packets? Dry out, or I forget about them. Because I can't do the dance involved in getting them open.

I'm foolish enough to believe THIS is what they'll send.

Because THAT'S full size stuff. But for instance that sample of Pixi BB cream or whatever it is? What - am I supposed to try that on my forehead? Wear it around, see how it goes?

I got a small bottle of Aveeno scrub from you last time, fell in love with it - and will now buy it. When it ran out I HAD TO HAVE IT. You really didn't much inspire such excitement with any of the things you sent this time, which I'll use once and won't know how it really works because I'll forget. If they idea is to entice me to buy MORE, that's fail.

Anyway, that's a small rant. Thanks for the conditioner. I was out. THANK GOD I REMEMBERED TO OPEN IT BEFORE I GOT INTO THE SHOWER. Of course, I did use the toenail clippers.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Children You Didn't Choose

The other night I sat working at the computer when Julia wheeled her baby up into my leg. "Baby Monkey!" she declared.
I'm not sure King Kong would agree that he's anyone's Baby Monkey. But I am interested in the babies she chooses to play mommy to. She chooses teddy bears, and dolls, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a pair of shoes, and obviously - King Kong.
Her concepts of parenthood are wide. It's smaller than you, you take care of it and love it.
That's it. She whispers "Don't worry I'm here" and I hear my own tone and inflection being mimicked.

When you grow up, it never occurs to you that your baby won't be that perfect bundle of pink, somewhat Winston Churchill looking awesomeness. Even if what they hand you is perfect, you don't know what bombs are laid, errors in DNA, mistakes in that old recombinant DNA that are going to make life different than anyone else you ever knew.

But the truth is, parenthood is that wide, as my two year old's vision of it. It's just that our vision narrows.

We read this book called "I Love You Stinkyface" and the child asks their mom "What if..." they were this monster or that monster, extolling the horrors of that creature. The mother smiles and talks about how she would take care of them, how if they were a gross alien, she'd pack their lunch with bugs and a note that said "I love you my greenie!"

Thats what motherhood is to me. I have four children. They might be King Kong, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a pair of shoes. But they are mine.

And they need never to worry.

Because I'm here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Birchbox is Goopy

So this month for my Birchbox I had a choice, a GOOP Birchbox or a regular Birchbox.

I chose a GOOP Birchbox because, hey. Goop.

I don't actually know that GOOP is. I looked at their website and from what I can tell, without subscribing, you sign up and they tell you what is cool. I think this is awesome because, I have to accept that I'm 44 and I no longer know what is cool.

I'm okay with some 20 somethings telling me what's cool. I reserve the right to tell them to get off my damn lawn.

But as a mom of four, I gotta admit, I buy stuff for my self less than ever so it's festive to me that things come in a magic box once a month.
This month it's got two full size things - a LUNA bar which I'm guessing is some sort of granola bar, meal bar thing, and bottle of Essie nail polish (WIN) in a fall color that I do like a lot.

So basically right there, I got my ten bucks worth.

This is the card that comes with to tell you about the products you've gotten.The two wee bottles are sample sizes of various face skin stuff, lip enhancer (for DSL) and under eye cream (for us old chix) so, yay. Things in flat rip open packets I will forever forget so, it's some sort of sun screen I will never use.

Also, I signed up for Goop. Nice marketing Goop.

Do You Mind If You Are Cloned?

This popped into my head this morning while pouring some mocha peppermint creamer and I'm not sure why.

But, I don't mind if I'm cloned.

Not for cartoonish reasons, to help with my work so I can play hooky and get my nails done. Not so that I can actually get any sort of house work or yard work or parenting accomplished successfully. Not for any reason like that.

What I mean is, if someone took my DNA and created another human that is biologically me, I don't think I care.

My DNA is on file at Columbia University, as is my husband's. This is because we have severely autistic fraternal twins. Apparently them being fraternal and BOTH autistic is the ace card genetically - they shouldn't BOTH be autistic. There are a lot of studies now leaning toward it being genetic but no one really knows. But my DNA is on file because when we had Julia and had to do genetic screening - the coordinator nearly salivated to learn this was in our family, and asked permission to put us in a genetic study.

We said yes. If for no other reason then maybe they CAN figure out why this happens.

It was pointed out to me that "THEY CAN DO ANYTHING" with your DNA. That's true. They can. I gave it to them.

I'd prefer if they didn't grow humans to harvest organs from. Unless those organs were for me, maybe. I don't know. That seems ethically wrong too, so scratch that. So OK no growing clones of me for terrible medical experiments.

But, using my DNA to create another biological creature that's me? To seed planets? To repopulate the Earth after a holocaust? Just to see if you could?

I don't know. It's not me. I am more than my twisting double helix. Am I responsible for this clone if someone makes one? Do I have to raise it? That'd be weird. I mean I probably WOULD consider it like my baby if you handed it to me but it'd be odd just the same. I also think though, I might not feel any great need to have that clone in my life if it were raised elsewhere.

Cloning me so other people can have children? Like,  manufacturing babies? That could happen.

I don't know what I think about that. I guess I'm OK with it. I was a pretty good kid, I think they'd like me. I get sick a lot as a kid, someone should let them know I have a sinus cavity deformity. They will want to get that fixed.

I am not sure why this train of thought got stuck in my head this morning, perhaps it was the little autistic boy stealing my coffee that reminded me of the genetic counselor. That is probably how my mind wandered here.

There are a lot of bio-ethical issues with cloning humans and I guess that's why we don't do it.

But as for me?

Clone away.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Winging It

Any parent of an autistic child will tell you that there are 1000 experts out there on Autism and not one of them knows anything about OUR children. They are all as different as they are the same, and nothing ever reminds me of that as when I'm trying to figure out how to deal with an Autism fit.

You see, there isn't a formla, or a discipline strategy you can use for a real Austism trantrum. For your typical children, you can spank or do time outs, or send them a strongly worded email if that's how you roll. With autistic children, there is no conversation that is going to alter what is going on. Words are meaningless.

Think about that. Words are empty and powerless to change these situations. You have a kid, going crazy, or reasons known or unknown, and nothing you can say can calm this child or make them see reason.

Good times, right?

This morning, we faced the battle of the sippy cup. The girl child likes chocolate milk in the morning. Five days a week it's no issue as we're all gone by the time she and Daddy have chocolate milk. But, on the weekends it's a never ending battle over WHICH CUP WHO GETS.

This morning it was epic. We have a plain white cup with a blue lid, and a cup with faded Toy Story print and an orange lid. Truth, be told, BOTH cups had Toy Story prints I believe, one just faded all the way off. Both Julia and Miles want the orange cup. Julia is two. Miles is 8 but basically also 2.

And so, while Julia will cry and sulk, Miles will flip out. So - Miles gets the orange cup.

Except this morning while my back was turned, Julia ran over, took his cup and handed him hers and RAN.

And it was ON. Sobbing, hysterical screaming even though his cup was restored and all was well.

This is when you have to get creative. Because, you can try extinction - ignoring the tantrum. But I find that doesn't work so well. So as he's hitting his leg and screaming and raving, Britney Spears comes on the radio. And inspiration strikes.

I pick him up and start singing loudly spinning him around "My loneliness, is killing me BAAAAABAAAAAY," and I notice him smiling. " I must confess, I still BELIEEEEEVE STILL BELIEVE!"

I spin him around and dip him "When I'm not with you, I LOOOOOSE MY MIIIIND GIVE ME A SIIIIIIIGN...."

Why do I know this song?

No idea.
But it's working.

Every day we make it up as we go. I'd like to say it's easy but GOD it's not.

And now, I hear a tantrum going....so....I'm off.

Friday, October 12, 2012

And Right On Time it's Fall

We returned to the north Georgia mountains to Burt's Farm for our annual quest for pumpkins a couple of weekends ago.
It's a family tradition that everyone gets their own pumpkin to either paint or carve and we let the little ones choose their own, they simply have to be big enough to pick it up.
I got another blue pumpkin, despite the fact that they are an epic pain in the ass to carve, they're pretty and Martha Stewart makes me covet them.
Being able to lift the pumpkin didn't deter Julia from deciding many LARGE pumpkins should be hers. In fact, she more than once declared they were all "MINE! THEY'RE MY KUNKINS!" She yelled. She was more than a little dismayed to be told otherwise.
This is her saying "HEY DATS MY KUNKIN!" lol. HEYYYYYYYY. Yes, she's a pistol.
We always take the hayride and it's a nice LONG hayride with beautiful woods and fields to look at along the way.

But the number one attraction is the talking pumpkins who tell us that humans are just like jackolanterns because God guts us and puts a candle inside. I'm serious they really say that. Sounds more like a Mayan God than Yahweh but, ok.
Seriously, it takes everything in me not to howl when I hear this every year. I get it, it's a metaphor but it's sort of a grisly metaphor and I'm not sure that Burts farm needs it to be "more" wholesome and family friendly. It doesn't GET more wholesome and family friendly than Burts Farm. I don't need deities gutting me and mine. Not even metaphorically.
It is fascinating to roll through the pumpkin fields though, especially when you see how many pumpkins they HAVE ALREADY CUT for sale. Wow, we buy a lot of pumpkins.
After we do our hayride and after we do our pumpkin choosing we start looking for more pumpkin and gourd things for fall decorating. We usually end up with enough for Halloween AND Thanksgiving decorations.
It's how we spend out "day out" for my birthday most years, and I really like it. Fresh air, beautiful scenery and my kids just run and smile all day. Even the twins love it and are excited when we pull up in the parking lot every year.
I think it's the perfect way to usher in fall. And now it's time to start thinking about Halloween!