A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Kind of Like Physical Therapy

It's a weird thing, physical therapy. I really actually kind of like it despite the things they ask me to do that kind of hurt or don't really quite work. Such as, they want me to stand on one foot and toss a ball at a trampoline, and then it bounces back to me and I catch it. What'd I learn from this? I learned I have wicked awesome hand-eye coordination, as I can do it with one hand (they were surprised as was the big slavic guy who does therapy when I do). However, actually standing on the one foot WHILE doing this? Total challenge.
I like the TENS machine or whatever it is, that shoots electric pulses at my foot and ankle. Apparently some people find it painful. I really like it, they turned it nearly all the way up and I thought it was like little awesome fingers rubbing my foot. I don't mind the ultrasound therapy, although last time, it got hot for the first time ever. They tell me every time that it warms the tissues but this was the first time I felt it.

The stretching and bike riding and things are ok. Kind of like a super expensive gym.

It also reminds me of how lucky I am to have had this option. Almost everyone there is recovering from surgery that debilitated their movement. I am there trying to stave off such a surgery.

It makes me more motivated, seeing their scars (serious, hideous scars) and how much more everything seems to hurt them than it hurts me. I don't want to be them, trying to sort out how to walk.

So I do my work out and stretches. I do it at work. I do it at home.

Sometimes, I have a helper.
I think that, I'm lucky. Tendinosis and a stress fracture that is healing? I got this. I don't need no stinkin' surgery.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ta - Na - Na - Na - Duran Duran Lit Up Atlanta

I've officially seen Duran Duran in three decades.

That's a hefty statement, and less indicative of the band and I getting old than that they are a band that's
amazing and so much fun you WANT to see them again and again.

Their show at Chastain Park this past weekend was so much fun, it's kind of difficult to quantify without squealing like a teenage girl. But, I can try.

I got to take my husband with me as my date. He'd never seen Duran Duran despite the plethora (YES A PLETHORA) of bands he's seen over the years. I assured him how amazing it was going to be, we nabbed a sitter and off we went - praying the rain would STOP. It did.

The opening act was so like Missing Persons it was weird, like young Dale was up there singing. The girl was called MNDR and she was a band unto herself, singing very 80s style solo stuff. I think in 1984 she would've had an awesome video or two. :)  With ninjas, and tigers. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't bad at all. She was just - anachronistic. A pure throwback in 80s style and sound. It was kind of cool.

The was a rather lovely prelude before the band came up, an artsy film set to what I think was Water Music but it's been too long since I had requisite hours in the listening library at college to be sure. I am of the opinion that their boat, their rules applies when seeing any band. The yahoos in the crowd were a bit cranky as it went on, but they were the exception. It laid a very calm and mellow mood across the audience as the band came on stage and opened with Before the Rain.

Here is why, in a nutshell, it's still brilliant to see Duran Duran.

They are having a great time, and it's infectious. My husband, the veteran concert warhorse proclaimed to me after the show "This may be the best concert I've ever seen." And I agree. The band is full of JOY on stage, having fun, laughing, singing their old and new songs with equal glee. Another thing I thought was interesting, you know how bands always go "This is our new single"and the crowd kind of sits down and goes YAWN as a dirge about trains and human rights or something rolls out?

That didn't happen. Duran Duran plays new stuff that keeps the crowd on it's feet and just as excited as The Reflex. The ladies next to me proclaimed at one point "I don't know what this is but I've gotta dance!"

I danced and sang for two hours solid. I'm sorry to those around me. I sing loud. I am pretty sure the band wants me to. But the fun I was having, and probably most of the crowd too, might best be summed up by what my husband said to me at the end of the show. RIO was in full swing as the band closed and I was dancing and singing only to realize I was being watched.

I stopped and looked at my husband and asked "WHAT?"

He was grinning like a madman and said, "You're 16 again."

Probably so.

Duran Duran, "...you make me feel ALIVE ALIVE ALIVE."


Thanks for being awesome for three decades. Here's to three more.

If you want to be 16 again too, you can catch their tour as they continue to wind around the country playing venues that are perfect and cozy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

6:27 AM

There is a large human male to my right snoring. There is a smaller human male, much smaller, to my left, sleeping on my arm. There is a human female laying on top of me, clutching a stuffed tiger named Tigger. There seems to be a matchbox car on my shoulder, possibly a book.

This isn't that unusual. It's not actually in any of those parenting books, but I'm sure someone somewhere would call it attachment parenting. Personally, I just call it parenting. Is there detachment parenting? I digress...

I lay there, swaddled in humans, and take stock of how I feel.

I haven't had an awesome few days, and I didn't post because really oh my GOD can I really continue to post "Hey I feel bad and now I went to THIS doctor" ? Even I am weary of it.

I had to take an antivert pill on Monday night, because the vertigo was creeping up on me, but I forgot I had decided to take only half a pill and thus spent the last 24 hours mostly in a fog. Antivert is a hell of a drug. It's the opposite of cocaine I suspect. It's a bit of medical irony, I finally get my exhaustion and fatigue under control with vitamin D and now I have to take a pill that puts me right back into that place and then some.

I realized, glancing at the clock again, that I actually felt quite good. So the pill had worn off. Put this on the check list of good things so far today.

The other thing I noticed was, my foot didn't hurt. The story on my foot is that I have a mostly healed stress fracture and severe tendinitis but my physical therapist called it tendinosis which she says is, like worse, so whatever. My foot is hurty. I am now doing physical therapy to make it less hurty. I did my first physical therapy yesterday and learned that ice can burn. NOT A FAN OF THAT.

But, something they did must've worked because it doesn't much hurt today. It only hurts a wee bit today as I've walked a bit now.

I've got Heath bar flavored coffee creamer and, I feel pretty good for the first time in days. So far, the only bad part of my day was having to unwrap myself from my tiny and big humans and climb out of that snuggle factory of a bed.

But even that wasn't so bad. I get to get back into it again tonight, and there will be snuggles.


It feels like it's going to be a pretty good day.

random picture. because I can. :)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Never Know What Will Stick

I've seen Duran Duran what I think is like, five times now? I am counting, lets see, twice in the 80s, twice in the 90s on "comeback tours" and once last year. So now, six times.

After tonight I will have seen Duran Duran SIX TIMES.

I have seen NO ONE that many times, not even close. Well, I've seen the Billy Joel/Elton John dual headline tour three times. I've seen Billy Joel maybe one or twice more outside of that. I never really thought about this until now. I definitely think of Billy Joel as timeless and classic and, I'd go again in a heartbeat.

But then, Duran Duran?

I read this article once in Rolling Stone about Elvis Costello that rather flippantly said Elvis Costello wasn't like "the clothes horses of Duran Duran". That phrase always stuck with me, because it seemed so COLD, as though that's what they were all about, the clothes. Even the Police were dressed up pretty in the 80s, and without fail you don't classify the Police as a "fashion" band, and the same is true of Duran Duran.

Originally classified as more 80s "New Wave" pop I think it's stood the test of time. I am not alone in grinning and turning it up when Duran Duran comes on the radio. The lyrics are often darker and less cheery than I remember at 16. I rather enjoy the darkness, in my cynical old age. Darkness and lust dressed up in a major key is a perfect recipe for a pop hit.

I saw Duran Duran when Erasure opened for them in the 80s. With our tall hair and our turned up callers, we scoffed as the emcee annouced them as "Madonna's favorite band." By god we weren't going to let Madonna tell us what to like, so we went to get nachos. Now I'm bitter cuz I didn't see Erasure.

I saw Duran Duran on one of their comeback tours with James opening. The place got on it's FEET when James took the stage. My friends and I were like, "Who?". Then they all sat while we danced and screamed for Duran Duran.

I think it's exciting that now, Duran Duran has kind of sloughed off the "comeback tour" thing and are now, just DURAN DURAN on tour and every one is excited. They were exactly as brilliant and fun when I saw them last year as they were when I was 16, and I can't wait to see them again tonight at Chastain park. 

A bubblegum pop band that really wasn't one at all, they truly did stand the test of time.


Tonight at Chastain Park at 8pm - it's DURAN DURAN ! I can't wait!

image by tricia.weight

Saturday, August 11, 2012

She Had A Dream

It's not her first dream, but it's the first dream she ever talked with me about. At far too early on a Saturday I was changing the twins and getting them dressed when the little blonde princess who was asleep, woke up and rubbing her eyes says "There's animals in there."
I laughed a little, and asked "What baby?"
She looked around, "Mommy where all animals go?"
I told her it was a dream, but she kept looking around, unsure at the age of two that the wonderful world of her sleep wasn't part of her waking world too. Finally as I was strapping up my foot (totally different blog post) she walked over to her Daddy's closet and pointed, "Animals asleep in there. Shhh Mommy don't open door."
Ah she sorted it out. The animals had gone to sleep. 
I agreed not to open the door and we went to make breakfast.

Now I'm wondering what sort of animals are sleeping in there.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vertigo-Go-Go

So I've been weeks without a Brain Cloud.

I've had cat scan and MRI and EEG and slapped it on a bing bong and basically, the neurologist said hrrrrmmm yeaaaaah...we dunno. He said it's prolly vertigo and I got some pills called "anti-vert", suggested I find an ENT and off I went.

I've had this and that and the other thing to deal with since then and I kind of put it out of my mind. Then yesterday as I was getting Charlie ready for school, I closed the bedroom door and the hallway shifted. Sideways.

The floor came up to meet me and I called for the husband, because I had to hold on to the floor as the world was heaving quite a bit and I was being forced to ride it.

He jumped out and ran to the medicine cabinet to get my pills and gave me one, helping me to bed where I fell asleep for about 30 minutes.

I felt better when I woke up. Much. So I showered and went on with my day. I just felt sort of tired and worn out. Except that, it didn't end. I felt as though I'd just done some sort of farmer-level task all day, and every muscle in my body couldn't go another mile.

After I made it through my work day I got home and crawled in to bed until 8pm.

My take aways are this. I gotta make that appointment with the ENT I guess. It might be something fixable according to what I read yesterday (yay for the internets). I get a warning, this tingling numbness at the base of my skull proceeds it. That's enough warning to sit down, pull over, etc. I took a moment, sitting at the stop light yesterday, to teach the oldest boy to put the car in park. I realized, I could be driving, and pass out or something crazy, he might need to know this. It's unlikely as I have never passed out but - I wanted him to KNOW what to do.
I also am gonna only take a half an anti-vert next time as I felt like I was gonna cry or die or both all day.

It's annoying as hell. I mean who gets VERTIGO (my mom). It sounds made up and stupid. Therefore of course I get it.

At this point, I'm just hoping I don't get THE BIRDS or REAR WINDOW.

I hear REAR WINDOW is a pain in the ass.




Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I Couldn't Find My Coffee

I sat down at the computer with a cup of hot steamy, sweet and creamy coffee but then got up to adjust the fan. When I sat back down I edited pics for a few minutes and then realized, I had no coffee.
I went over and turned on the light in the computer room, and couldn't sort out where it was.
I thought I just brought it upstairs with me, for a little "in between school buses computer time".

I went back downstairs. There was a ring on the counter where I had definitely poured it and not sponged up the ring. I knew the cup existed. I looked in the living room where the oldest boy was eating his grits. "Have you seen my coffee?" "Nope."

I looked in the bathroom, I looked in the refrigerator and the cabinet and then I wandered back upstairs thinking I would check my bedroom when I glanced over at the 8 year old quietly watching PBS.

That's a Big Lebowski cup. It says "I'm finishing my coffee."

And so he did.

I bet his teachers appreciated the highly caffeinated severely autistic child!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mushroom Photo Safari

It's still one of the oldest boy's favorite things to do, to hunt for mushrooms that are unusual when we take nature walks. We didn't really HAVE mushrooms where we lived in Florida, or if we did there was such and abundance of insane wildlife they ate them up. So it's like a sport, spot the mushroom, as we walk through the humid canopy of Georgia pines.
I don't know anything about mushrooms. Well, I know they are a fungus. And they're fun to kick. I don't like to eat them. Hunting them to take pictures of them is probably my favorite thing too.
The husband probably knows, but I don't care, as I'm not interested in eating them regardless. Ick.
But they are sort of beautiful these weird little fungii populating the forest floor.
There is a wee little frog just to the left of these two, it's so tiny you can't really see it properly. But we were excited to see it. It's the smallest frog I've ever seen.

A walk through the woods was the perfect way to start the fall. First day of school, here we come.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Make No Mistake...

...nothing about this is easy.
I think sometimes I make it sound to easy, but that's because I'd rather you see forward motion, positive things than the days that a child is shrieking hysterically because I would like him NOT to drink all of my coffee two minutes after I pour the cup.
That's the missing piece from my life. Rationality.
Autism doesn't know rational. My oldest and my youngest child know rational. My husband knows rational. Autism, though, doesn't.
I focus on the days that look like this, where we are playing and smiling and having fun, because I don't want to focus on the days when I think that yeah......I could run away and join the circus. Or maybe be a carnie. I could sell you darts to throw at balloons, three for two dollars.
One of the greatest insults I ever heard, was from a Peter Benchley book. It went something like "If you think this is nothing, it's only because you lack the alchemy to make it worthy."

It's that phrase I think of on hard days. I'm smart, I'm capable, and I love my children fiercely. I won't love the autism that has two of them so confused and challenged, but I love them. I can and will deal with this and make it work. Somehow. WE will make it work.
No one promises you when you have a child that everything is going to be OK. That's a mistake we all believe when we set out on the path. I think sometimes, it's easy when you have special needs kids to slip back into that. To think MY LIFE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS. I wasn't supposed to have 8 year olds in diapers who scream and shriek for no reason. I wasn't supposed to live this way.

But when your head clears and the tears stop, you hit this moment of reason. Why not? Why weren't you supposed to? Was there a contract? Were there promises made by a supreme being? "Gee you've been so good in XYZ lives that THIS time, we'll give you one without hardship. WELL DONE!"

Nope.

What you are promised, in fact, is nothing. Not even tomorrow. 

If a genie came by today and said I will trade you Miles and Charlie for two different children, and those children will be 100% normal in every way, yet they will not be yours, I would decline. Every bad thing that ever happened to me is a drop in the bucket compared to what has happened to other people. 

I do not lack the alchemy to make this worthy. 



Saturday, August 04, 2012

Every Year They Walk Away

As a parent, that's supposed to mean you're doing it right. Your children fearlessly walk ahead of you, confident, strong and not afraid of the world. You hold to yourself all the fears and worries and the what if's of the world because it's your job to make them tough.

It's your job to make them ready TO DO IT WITHOUT YOU. Whatever IT is.

If it's possible, I'm simultaneously thrilled and saddened every year as they need me less. Sometimes, I will absolutely burst into tears because the big boy ESPECIALLY will just want to do it himself. Whatever he is doing, he doesn't need me. He's got it. He doesn't need my help. In fact, he's fairly sure I need help most of the time.  And he is mostly right.

It's the end of summer now. Monday we send three boys to three different schools in three different towns and they begin that journey away from me again. So I'll savor the moments I can say "OK EVERYONE GO SIT WITH THAT BIG WOODEN FROG!" and they actually do it.

Because I think these days are fleeting.