A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wow Vitamin D Ok I Get It

I woke up this morning after 8 solid hours of sleep, and felt like I weighed 600 pounds. I hit snooze three times. I sat up finally, overwhelmed with TIRED, wondering when I could get back into bed for a nap.

I wandered downstairs to brew a cup of ambition (thank you Dolly Parton for the metaphor) and every step down the stairs was like being made of lead. Step. Wait. Step. Wait. My brain is screaming JUST GO OMG STOP BEING SO SLOW and my body is responding NO.

I brew a pot, take a few drinks and feel the tingle of caffeinated energy take hold. I can actually feel the clouds parting around my brain, and as I'm getting the cats water dish it hits me.

Vitamin D.

I'm out. I've been out like three days.

Vitamin D is, if you don't recall, the ultimate super drug in my world. I apparently store it much at all and the result is mind numbing fatigue and aches.

I'm at the end of one pot of coffee, a small pot, and am getting ready to hit the door to get to work. I'll make it.

But Oh MY GOD I need some vitamin D.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boy Scout Camping

The oldest boy went on his first Boy Scout overnight to kick off Memorial Day weekend. He practiced making eggs for weeks, on the weekends, so that he could make them over the fire. The trip was cancelled a week ago, because of very bad weather, and I think I never saw such a sad boy. To say he was EXCITED to go might be an understatement. 

I could barely get him to stop, turn around, and let me take his picture. He's saying "Can I go?" through clenched teeth right here. 

The other boys had found a dead snake you see. He couldn't miss that.
So off he went. Away from me, and into the great outdoors, even if just for the night. I hear there were s'mores and playing with dead snakes and no air mattresses. 

Sounds like ten year old boy heaven.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Renaissance And Meats Of Various Sorts

Our annual Mother's Day tradition is to go to the Georgia Renaissance Festival which is awesome and fun, and completely really NOT about the Renaissance and more about, oh hell I don't even know. Costumes, and fairy magic? We went late this year, but better late than never because I LOVE the Renn Faire.
The Centurion who popped by the meat vendor is probably proof that being period relevant isn't a requirement. Which is ok with me. Rather, it's sort of like multiple worlds and universes collide outdoors and there are shops and food and dancing and fun, so who cares?
There are also large hunks of meat, we had the spicy and the teriyaki - the Renaissance was known for it's love of teriyaki obviously. It was pretty damn good but I think my teeth hurt from chewing it.
It's usually about as hot as the surface of the sun when we go, so the frozen lemonade is the thing that keeps us from melting and praying for death. This year though it was in the low 80s with a breeze, a really perfect temperature for being outside and just putzing about.
There are lots of rides and activities for the kids though, which is mainly why we go. They love it, I honestly don't think Charlie had such a happy day in months. He laughed and giggled all day, and the others were even happier than that. 
We always choose something weird and random to eat, this year we had the chocolate covered bacon which is served cold - this seems odd to me but it was really good regardless.
I think chocolate sauce could be served as BACON DIPPING SAUCE like caramel is APPLE DIPPING SAUCE. Indulge your inner and outer fattie, I say.


We have a family tradition that to end our day we ALWAYS take a photo here in this spot. Yes - at the portopotties. It just started out that way and now it's a think. EVERY year. It makes me laugh every single time. This year we got a pirate to take our picture.
And to my amusement, the one who had a ride ....was the one who conked out first.
It's tiring, being the baby.

It was possibly, all things considered, one of my favorite Mother's day celebrations ever, even if it was late.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Day Of School Makes Him Rattle

My mom calls it that, rattling. When you're babbling on and on and on without concern for other people's input or making the conversation actually two way. My ten year old, yesterday all the way to school, was rattling.
The subject? Warcraft. The released a new patch with lots of updates and changes. So our conversation on the way to school went like this.

Lou: Mom in the new release XYZ happens.
Me: Yeah I read the release notes.
Lou: AND OMG I WENT TO Orgrimmar and you won't believe what is happening outside the gates etc etc etc.
Me: Yeah I know, I read the release notes.
Lou: And so also they changed these abilities for your shaman and now blah blah blah hibbety dippety etc etc.
Me: Yeah I know, I read the release notes.
Him: OHHH and did you know that they created a new LEVEL 90 battleground?
Me: You mean, the one I read about in the release notes?

I dunno. He might've been excited about the last day of school.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don't Get FOMO

So I heard there is a new thing caused by our nonstop digital connectivity called FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. Apparently, watching others through blogs, and twitter, and facebook, and pnterest, and instagram, and flickr, and so on and so on and so on has lead to this idea that we are failing because LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING WHILE YOU SIT THERE DRINKING COFFEE WORSHIPPING THE SHINY BOX.

At first I laughed but then I realized, that's probably legit. After all, I show you the pic of happy times at the museum, not the pic of me crouched into a bathroom stall cleaning the diapers of two nine year olds who pooped halfway through the Andy Warhol exhibit.

Basically, it's the digital version of Keeping Up With The Jones's.
Soccer
Yesterday we had a ridiculous day on tap. Little girl soccer, big boy soccer, then big boy off to Boy Scout Camping overnight. That's a busy day for a family of six with two Special little guys in tow. But then, it rained overnight. And the camping trip was postponed. Suddenly I had a distraught ten year old on my hands. He'd practiced making eggs on the weekend for over three weeks so that he could cook them over the fire. To say he was devastated, would be quite the understatement. 

He was then less than exuberant about having to go play soccer. They had him play goalie. Last year goalie was his nemesis position, but this year he's done a great job at it. Until yesterday - when a really aggressive opponent plus being in a really sad mood caused him to allow FIVE GOALS in one quarter. OMG. The team still won, but the boy was just completely defeated by life  

It was determined that one of us should take him out, just go OUT and do stuff just with him. I volunteered, I think I choose to stay home too much, just because the hubby is always here but I kinda just wanted to be the one to take him elsewhere - to be the one who cheers him up.
Lou and Mom's Day Out Starts with some YoChills
We went to YoChill and he got to pick out his own yogurt and toppings. We sat outside and watched the gathering storm coming from the west and talked about WoW. I told him we could do whatever he wanted (within reason) and looked up movies but we'd really missed them all so he suggested we go to the nearby mall since we had the luxury of being without the little ones. 
Then we headed over to the Slingshot Speedway for some SlotCar racing
We stopped off at the Slingshot Speedway which is the worlds largest permanent slot car race track and for like five bucks you can rent and race a car, so I had a seat and let him race with the other kids. This is one of his favorite things to do at this mall, and something we don't normally do because the twins get cranky or impatient. 
We also went to the AirSoft shooting range and it was the stuff that makes a mom who doesn't much like guns have a heart attack. I had to say no because it was not only too expensive for a casual day out, you're supposed to wear layers of clothes because they are shooting plastic bb's at one another. In the masks and clothes, they all looked like freaking terrorists. It was unnerving. 
Instead of that we went to the Lego store which does not make me feel nervous and he had always wanted to make custom mini-figures so we had a go at that.
Lego Mini Figures are awesome
I kinda love the one in the turban and the lei of flowers. 

We wandered down to Bass Pro Shop which makes me want to go camping so bad I can't stand it every time I go there. It makes camping out look easy and magical when in fact it's hard and dirty and hot and sweaty. But, I kinda love that place and we hadn't been in forever. It just so happened that we got there at feeding time for the big tank.
Feeding Time at Bass Pro Shop in Atlanta
After a while the water begins to sparkle with the scales of fish being eaten by the bigger fish - the scales apparently popping off and floating around the tank as the feeder fish met their grisly end. Louis has my sense of humor as he was singing "The circle of life" at one point, causing me chuckle a bit.
It was grisly and we probably loitered here the longest watching the gars lure the little fish by being very still. 

You shouldn't have FOMO though. It was a busy long day, and it wore me out. But I was determined to give a little guy whose special day got ruined, a good day. He doesn't GET a lot of JUST LOU days. His world is dominated by concessions and "maybe next time" responses. 

If you do get FOMO over our day though, I have the cure.

Turn off your computer. 

Leave the house.

The end.





Monday, May 13, 2013

Adventure Awaits

We've had passes to the Atlanta History Center for almost a year and since there were a few things we hadn't managed to do yet, we decided it was a perfect day on Saturday to scoot down to Buckhead to check it out and see what we hadn't experienced yet.
There is a beautiful mansion on the property called the SWAN HOUSE that we got to tour, we couldn't take pics inside so I grabbed them off the Atlanta History Center's Flickr acct and made a collage. It was a fairly impressive house, the family apparently made a lot of money off of cotton and a new company called Coca cola.
Interior Shots of the SWAN HOUSE at the Atlanta History Center

I have to admit, it was pretty impressive. Not the sort of place you lounge about in your tee shirt and panties while surfing the web but hey, you gotta make sacrifices to get to the top I guess.
Near the house is a rock quarry garden that my oldest boy has always wanted to explore. How could we let the passes expire without climbing down to check it out?

So down we went. It looked really steep from above but wasn't at all. It was a really cool nature walk once we were down there.
There were bullfrogs singing at us that it took us a while to find. 

I have do admit I wasn't all that keen on the Atlanta History Center when we first started going but it's really amazing and full of so much to learn, every time we went I really enjoyed it. I will miss belonging but it's one of those places that once you've seen the permanent exhibits, you've SEEN it. There is usually just one travelling exhibition and eh, there are so many  museums in Atlanta. It's time to move on to another one.
The Garden

I am really glad we made this one last trip on a warm spring day.

I can't wait to see where we end up with annual passes to this year. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Autism for Breakfast

I know, two in one day, I'm on a roll. But I shot a little video I wanted to share.

Mornings around here are completely unpredictable. The boys who wake me up sobbing and screaming for food, will often act like I've offered them a cat turd when I suggest that we eat.

Sometimes it's worse than that.

This morning, I give a B because the moment I walked away, they did come to the table to eat. But this is pretty par for the course at my house, I prepare breakfast and invite them to come sit down.

Then, this happens.

That's actually very little resistance.

There are even some words thrown into those tantrums if you listen. Well placed rational words.

Autism is so annoying.


Failing Dairy

So, of late I've had this stomach thing going on that's different from my USUAL stomach thing. Beyond the reflux and burning and whatever that I keep at bay with medicine, I've had this weird thing happen when I eat.

Sometimes when I eat, I will feel suddenly so full that I feel like I'm going to be sick. It occurred to me one night that, the exact feeling was that sensation that your food hasn't gone down right, that your stomach isn't emptying. The food seems to just SIT there, like I'm having some weird random bout of gastroparesis. The best way I can describe it is, you know the moments before the nausea but you know you ARE going to throw up?

That feeling.

It was hard to pinpoint at first. My first challenge was, I never eat LARGE meals. I just can't, I suppose related to my other stomach issues. So, my meals aren't that big so I should NOT feel like I just gorged at the buffet. Next it was just so random, it wasn't every meal it just seemed to pop up so randomly.

The first moment it popped up isolated that I pinpointed it was at work. I grabbed an ice cream out of the machine at work, and sat back down at my desk, nibbling and doing my thing when suddenly.........OH GOD YUCK my stomach went from hungry to overfull and bloated.

I told my friend Christine I had just had ice cream, and she immediately said DAIRY.

I considered it, and I meant to pay more attention but didn't for a couple of weeks. But I've been miserable on and off for a couple of days and then I decided I had to notice. In the morning after my breakfast yogurt, ugh misery.

Dairy.

I started reading about lactose intolerance. I'm giving it a maybe and decided that I would try to avoid dairy this weekend which I've already failed. Our mashed potatoes for dinner had butter and sour cream mixed into them, however they didn't bother me. I didn't put butter on my roll. I had pork loin, mashed potatoes and green beans and a roll, and no stomach problems at all.

So then. I HAD dairy but no problem.

This morning though as I was making the twins breakfast, I was pouring chocolate milk and took a drink to lower the level of milk in the cup (sure that's why), and within a few moments my stomach was UGH FULL.

My food intake as of that moment in time was two viactiv chews for my vitamin D and calcium, a glass of water, and that sip of chocolate milk.

Dairy.

I don't even know what to think but I'm going to figure it out and if I have to stop eating dairy I guess I will. It's a miserable feeling so I feel like it's a small sacrifice but man I will miss Greek yogurt because it's truly the best stuff ever for breakfast.

This is my surprised face. I don't know why. But it made me laugh.





Friday, May 10, 2013

So I'm Thirsty

I've mentioned it before, but as I sit here and I'd like a beverage, it's annoying me.

I'm always thirsty. Not thirsty in an omg my mouth is so dry I might die, kind of way. More in a, I am unable to have a glass of any sort of beverage beside me because one of three children will immediately drink it or scream and carry on until they are allowed to do so.

Long ago, I gave up having a beverage.

Someone visited once, and I served beers in the late afternoon like normal adults might. But no, there was such a freak out over the beverages and how the twins needed those beers that it was pointless. Plus it was embarrassing.

I'd like a glass of cheap fruity wine right now. Not good wine. Cheap, purple wine from the grocery store that is icy cold. Full on midwestern America palate is what I have, and I make no apologies. But, that's not coming until at least midnight and by then I'll be too tired so it will remain in the fridge.

It's not like they don't HAVE something to drink. We always make sure they have water, and we refill it whenever asked. But they can have a full cup of icy cold water but whatever it is I have, or their father has, is suddenly the most sought after beverage ever.

In my mind, every time they steal a drink I hear them saying "MMM That IS a Tasty Beverage!"

So you know, obviously I don't mess with them.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Talking To Charlie

People will ask me, trying to engage me about the twins, "What do they like? What do they think abou this or that? Are they excited about this or that?" Those questions are really hard to answer.

You know how you know your toddler likes something, how they show interest in it? That's how we know what they like. They don't say "Wow this is great I want this." They just, show interest. Or scream if you take it away.

I decided that since most people think autistics are the RainMan (I wish), I might take some time to show you short examples of what auitsm is like at our house.

We had a bath last night, and after ward we were up in the computer room/play room. Charlie and I had a short conversation about what he wanted to watch on TV.

This is an example of a very full conversation with my 9 year old son.
Talking To Charlie

That's it. That's as informative and talkative as it gets. And this is REALLY good. It's calm, he's kind of happy.

But that's just it. Is it what you thought?

No. It isn't what I thought either.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Crying Over A Stupid Fish

Five years ago sitting at the county fair, some teenagers came over, at the end of our night and asked if my kids wanted their fish. My head went NOOOOOOOOOO but looking at excited little faces well yeah we ended up with a fish tank containing two goldfish - at that time, John and Kathy.

John and Kathy died very quickly, and were replaced by John 2 (John 1 died right on Louis birthday omg) and Elvira. They started out as little stupid feeder goldfish in a ten gallon tank.

And they grew. And grew. And grew.

John got swim bladder disease, my husband fed him by hand for like two weeks until he healed.

We moved them to a big 37 gallon tank in our dining room so that they could have more room. Then they grew some more.

I had lots of fish growing up. I have very strict rules about them. You don't love fish. You don't WORRY about fish. Fish are just fish. They don't love you they don't care about you omg don't bother with them just flush them and be done with it.

Except that, we didn't. We took care of them, and every meal I'd look over and see these amazing creatures swimming with their beautiful, flowing fins. They would twirl around each other and nuzzle one another. We used to joke that they were mates. We also joked that we had their genders wrong. We're not actually sure one way or the other, because I have no idea how you sex a goldfish. But, it was obvious - they were together.

We added two plecos years ago, Snake Plisskin and Rico. They were the local enforcers. Poor Snake Plisskin got some horrible disease and died but we managed to get the tank healthy again.

Two nights ago my husband realized that the nitrites were too high in the big tank. After breakfast on Saturday he was going to go to the pet store, get plants, chemicals, do a big water change etc etc etc.

Apparently they had been too high for too long.  As we started to eat, Elvira started to drift. My husband said "She's not dead is she?" I looked over, and saw her gills moving slowly and said "Well...I don't think so..." and he took one look at her and darted out the door.

I pulled up a chair and as I watched her, thinking JUST HOLD ON ELVIRA OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING she just stopped. And drifted.

I would say at this point, I wouldn't much care, because FISH WHO CARES GET A NEW FISH. Right then though, John came over and nudged her. Then John nudged her again, and again. He swam away and came back, nudging her like "Get Up. Get UP!" And my heart broke and I started crying like a crazy woman, over a damn fish.

Because she had a mate and he was mourning her and he's just a damn fish and WHY IS HE MOURNING HER. I didn't even know they were capable of caring about each other.

We did an emergency tank transfer so we can clean out the big tank and start over. Ever try to catch fish the size of kittens without killing them? Not easy. My husband will attest to how horrible it is to try to hold onto a pleco with your hand.

I looked through all my pics this morning to find a pic of Elvira and I'm sad I only found one, she's the orange fish behind John who is white.
Untitled
Rest in peace you stupid fish. I miss you already.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Snuggletime Roulette

I guess you officially call it attachment parenting. I don't even care. I kind of thumb my nose at the term and call it stupid hippie crap. Everyone parents differently. What works for me doesn't work for you, and so on. If attachment parenting includes the fact that I love to sleep with my kids then yeah, guilty as charged.

My Children 

The challenge then becomes the logistics of four snugglers and one mother. 

The girl child has it easy. I'm not ashamed to admit she still sleeps with me. We go to bed together, and we read stories by the light on my iPhone, and make shadow puppets on the wall (mostly bunnies and dinosaurs RAWR). Eventually we settle down into ONE last drink, and some cudly kisses and we're asleep. If I don't move her shortly thereafter, her daddy moves her when he comes to bed. She usually returns some time in the 5 am hour. Toddles back to bed, taps me on the arm and says "mommysnuggle" which is all one word if you're doing it right.
Sand table !
Usually, like today, Miles shows up about 6 or 7am. He rests a hand on my arm if the girl is in his spot. I will move her to her toddler bed and then it's snuggling with Miles and Mommy. Usually though, unless it's VERY early, Miles is UP for the day. He indulges me in some cuddling and kisses, and then as I drift back to sleep he pulls a book out of nowhere and sits and reads. Sometimes he brings two or three books and piles them on me. I don't even care.
Worst Puppet Ever
Charlie is the X Factor. Some mornings, he beats Miles to the snuggle spot. However Charlie can rarely be quiet, so he giggles and carries on until mom gets up. Or he comes in, once Miles is in the snuggling spot, and asks for drinnks of water, and hops around the room making various noises.Today I decided at 7:30 am that I wasn't getting more sleep and that coffee and writing were calling, so here I am. When I got up, Charlie spent a full 10 minutes on my lap hugging and cuddling like a little tiny boy. Have I mentioned that he is not a little tiny boy? He's giant.

126
It is my sweet Lou that gets the shortest stick in terms of cuddles these days. He admittedly spent the most number of years tucked under my right arm but most nights, I make him go to his own bed. Last night he wanted so badly to sleep with me and Julia. I made him a deal that he can sleep with us tomorrow and that appeased him. But I know as well as anyone else that he's at the age that he really doesn't need to be sleeping with me.

So I transitioned it as a treat, like a sleepover, fun and cuddles once in a while and most of the time he sleeps in his own bed.

People will say things like "You'll never get them out of your bed." Really? They gonna go off to college and come home to sleep in my bed every night?

I won't ever get these days of childhood back, nor will my children. I will never regret one night of elbows in my back or someones little head laying on mine like it's a pillow. When I die, if they only thing anyone ever has to say about me is that I gave my children years worth of cuddles, then I'm ok with that.

I will never apologize for our snuggletime roulette. It's one of the best things ever.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Double The Birthdays

My big twin boys turned nine this week. With their sister having a birthday just ten days earlier there was a lot of Chuck E Cheese and kid related fun to be be had two weekends in a row. Watching them turn nine was a little sad, because chronology doesn't not tell you anything about how mature they are. It's just how many years they've been alive. 
But despite a bit of motherly wistfulness, their birthday was greeted with kisses and excitement and joy. Birthdays are happy days. Even if they don't quite get WHAT a birthday is, they do understand that when we say it's birthdays there will be presents and cake.

They don't like cake but whatever.
One of the bus drivers drew the Minion card as a gift and there were books and gifts that made them both smile and giggle. Plus there were balloons. Who doesn't like balloons?


Sometimes exciting things happen, as we celebrate the three birthdays in April. They're things you might not even notice - but a little boy painting his name at the painting activity is a big deal at our house.

So Happy Birthday Miles and Charlie. I hope your day was special, and you always know that we love you. 

Even if you are never the age you actually are.