A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Potty Training In Hell

It was going so well. I think that's the trick of it you see. We were using the potty. Yes we were in pull ups too but, the potty - we were using it.

But then something happened. I don't know what but suddenly, the girl doesn't want to use it. She tells me she's a baby. She tells me she's too little. Then we move on to discussions like "But don't you want to play with your leap pad? Only BIG GIRLS get to use a leap pad!" So then, she's a BABY big girl.

Over the past few days, she's gotten progressively more insistent that no, she's NOT using the potty. Then, she'll use it. Then, she won't. OMG MAKE UP YOUR MIND CHILD.

Yesterday I decided I was going to handle this like a parent of a typical child WHICH SHE IS. I was going to go COLD TURKEY into panties and by GOD we'd have progress. I was going to be positive and supportive and take her on a schedule. My first thought was, every 45 minutes to an hour.

30 minutes in, she pees in her panties.

We run frantically to the bathroom and talk about how we can't pee on the princesses! OH NO! We have to use the potty! I sit her on the potty and cheer her on.


We change panties and I think, ok every twenty minutes. We'll go every twenty minutes.

15 minutes in, wets her panties.

By the time we'd gone through every pair of little girl panties we own she'd broken me. 

We're back in pull ups. Apparently SHE USED THE POTTY FOR DADDY TODAY! 

There is another phase to this process. Right now I'm in the I don't know what's next phase. 

But we'll figure it out.

Everyone always does.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sleeping Alone

I don't sleep alone. I know I've talked about it. I like sleeping alone but I also know that the number of days my children will ever want to sleep with me as my little snugglebunnies are limited. So I'm selfish about them.

Last night the girl child made a decision. We were snuggling and having kissy goodnights in my bed when she says "I have a Princess bed." I responded "Yes you do. Do you want to sleep in it?"

She said she did and got up and ran over to her bed, at the foot of my bed, and got into it.

I lay in bed for several minutes waiting for her to come to bed.
When she came to my bed, it was because she'd had a bad dream, hours later.

She fell asleep without me. I'm crushed and thrilled. 

I woke up at 3:30 to find my husband moving her to her own bed, and realized that the big boy had come to my bed at some point because the twins were singing and making a ton of noise.

I think I'm tired today, from laying there, waiting for her to come back. But if I'm doing it right, obviously, most of the time she won't.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Magic of The 7th Inning Stretch

The Autism support group was given tickets to see our local minor league ball team play. It just so happened they were playing the husband and my OLD hometown ball team - the Indianapolis Indians. The skies threatened rain, thunder rolled, but nothing happened so we braved the weather, determined to figure out a plan B if the skies opened up on the way.
Minor league games are so much fun. It's such a casual family atmosphere, and I have to admit being swaddled in a cluster of other autism families made me less self conscious than I might have been. I don't get bothered much, but I wasn't sure how the boys would do with 9 innings.
This is the girl child upon learning that Daddy has gone to fetch popcorn. She was very excited about eating popcorn. POPCORN? OUTSIDE? OH REALLY??

I know, it's nuts!

You can see, it was a pretty big deal.

But the magic of our evening came right at the 7th Inning. You see, Miles sings TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME all the time. It's kind of "his song".  He sings it when he's stressed. He sings it when he's happy. He sings it to tell you he is sad. He sings it all the time. So when they struck up the chord and the crowd started singing - he was confused, he looked around, and then...

It was a great night in the clear blue sky. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why Sharknado Was Brilliant and Hollywood Sucks

Hollywood largely ran out of ideas about ten years ago. It might've been longer than that, but I had kids and my memory is wonky. If they remake one more movie I swear God is going to kill a kitten. DID YOU HEAR ME HOLLYWOOD? THINK OF THE KITTENS!!!

Why is Sharknado awesome? It's awesome because it's RIDICULOUS. It's camp in the best sort of way, horror of the likes of the BLOB is going to kill you. Can you see the concept meeting for this? We need a natural disaster movie, but it needs to have a twist. It's been a while since TWISTER came out, how could we freshen that up? Add tidal waves? OH OH OH! I know! SHARKS!! SHARKS WILL GET SUCKED UP INTO THE TORNADO! 

Then, play the whole thing straight. 

It was hilariously predictable. The deaths were comic and exaggerated. The sharks ROARED (clearly they borrowed this from the TWISTER part of their plot development as that tornado also had a lion roar).  I think we laughed all the way through it. 

I also learned that much to my delight, my son is a "laugh because Martin got shot in the face" sort of person vs a "recoil in horror because Martin got shot in the face" sort of person. (See PULP FICTION for that reference.) 

I drank my coffee and the two of us snuggled on the sofa early this AM and laughed hysterically through the entire thing. 

It was brilliant. It was ridiculous. The acting was TERRIBLE in the best and worst way, alternately. It was new and different and stupid and fun and joyous and POINTLESS.

Isn't that the idea of movies? Suspend your disbelief, escape into fantasy and fiction and just go along for the ride? It can be sad or happy or terrifying or mysterious, or as with Sharknado - it can just stand on it's own for consumption and the glee of those who enjoy a bit of silly.

I need more Sharknado, Hollywood. TRY HARDER.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ten Questions I WANT You To Ask About Autism

It's taken me five years but I've come to the realization that I want you to ask me questions about Autism.

I want your inane, ill informed, insensitive and bizarre questions. BRING THEM ON. It's because, honestly, there is so much bad information out there, so much damned misunderstanding thanks to the media and the RAIN MAN and anything else you can think of, that I've decided I want to answer all of the questions. I'll tell you the truth. You might not like the truth, but unlike Jack Nicholson, I think you can handle it.

Some questions you should ask, if you don't know the answer:

  1. So how'd they get Autism? I don't really know. No one does. More and more it seems like it might be genetic but again, no one really knows.
  2. How long will they be like that? Forever. Or not. Again, no one knows.
  3. So how do they fix that? They don't. They don't fix it. They try to help us and them learn to work around it and work through it, but there's no fixing Autism, no matter what Jenny McCarthy says.
  4. I heard Jenny McCarthy say..... is that true?: To anything with her name on it, no she's an idiot. Even if she happened to be right, no she's an idiot.
  5. Do ya'll go to church and pray over it a lot? No. Next question.
  6. Why don't they know what causes it? It's probably because it's not just one thing, or because it doesn't act the same way person to person. It's similar, but not the same in each person. That's why it's referred to as a spectrum.
  7. Do you all do those special diets to cure it? No. Special diets don't cure Autism. What they can do is alleviate secondary side allergies, food sensitivities that go along WITH Autism. However, it also seems that these food allergies and sensitivities might be more common in the regular population than we realize and we simply have the luxury of communicating about it. Autistic children just eat what they are fed, if they like it, whether or not they should.
  8. Why are they both autistic? My guess? Genetics. But could've been something that happened in-utero, something poison and toxic to them I ate, or drank. No one knows. 
  9. How do you do it? I could never deal with that. Of course you could. They hand you babies after hours of labor. You love them instantly and completely. That doesn't stop when you find out they aren't "right". That doesn't stop through the years before diagnosis that you have that nagging feeling something is off and you don't know what. 
  10. Did you see this show/that show/the other show about person XYZ with Autism? The answer to this will almost always be no. And it's not that I don't appreciate you sharing with me, it's that Autism isn't something I want to watch shows about or movies about. I can't escape it, not at work, not when I travel, not when I'm at lunch alone - it's on my mind, if not being actively influential in everything in my world. It's 7:17 am and there is a 9 year old Autistic boy behind me singing 1-20, over and over and over. It's been going on since 6:50. So, no, I don't watch shows about it. If I am watching a show I want to be entertained or educated. I'm already educated as hell on Autism.
These are a short list of the few questions I've been asked recently. Everyone knows someone with an autistic kid. Everyone. 

That should bother you. Does everyone know someone with a Down's Syndrome kid? Nope. One in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 12 out of 10,000 are born with Down's Syndrome. 

One in 88.

So please ask your questions. Ask them all. LEARN about it. Understand it. Because the only thing I can be pretty sure of, is that it's going to effect you in some way, you or someone you love. Do the math.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thwarted Plans Turned Adventure

We planned our Saturday meticulously. We were going to a special screening of DESPICABLE ME 2 for special needs families. We'd packed the diaper backpack (the husband did) and I got up extra early and got myself ready, staged breakfast and woke the kids up early and we were OFF and made it to the theater before the movie started.
My phone buzzed in the parking lot, and I glanced at it to see a message from the Autism group, the movie was sold out. Something had gone wrong, they'd advertised the showing - it wasn't private. Another message came through, the manager apologized and opened another theater.
We rushed inside and got in line - SOLD OUT. Turns out they were just letting regular non-special needs folks in both theaters and we didn't make it. Four children stared at us blankly as we strolled out, like what are we doing? Why aren't we going in?

We were heartbroken.

We went to take care of something timely, signing Julia up for soccer and the twins up for special needs soccer and then pondered what to do with out time. We were up and awake. Where to go?

First, we decided lunch was in order and went down to the REXALL GRILL.
It's an old school diner attached to a drug store and a fun place to start our jumbled day.
Louis highly recommend the coconut cake. Julia ate, umm, nothing. Apparently "not liking anything anymore" was on the menu with her. 
After lunch we decided to check out a local park that had a farm on it, like a working 1800s farm. Of course, it wasn't working, it was closed. Perfect. 
So, we set out for a short walk. 
I had dressed to go to the movies. I just got a pedicure two days ago, so I wore sandals, and jeans because we were going to be indoors in the AC. I had not dressed to hike. Suddenly, we were hiking.
You can take all my bitching about this as rote. I actually LOVE taking nature walks, when I am not wearing non-walking friendly sandals. However by the time we were done my hips and feet were screaming and I'm still suffering a bit today I have to admit. But there were good things, like the gorgeous runoff creatively made into a waterfall.

We also engaged in one of our old family activities, mushroom hunting. We love to spot the various kinds and were delighted to find these orange ones. I don't know what they are, but they are so gorgeous.
And even though I wasn't happy to be on such a long walk, it was hard not to stop for snaps of such gorgeous flowers. A bee stopped by and was the perfect addition to this shot.

We ended our day with a pizza buffet and arcade games. I think our kids were never so glad to get home and get into bed after such a long day.

And THAT, is how we turn a ruined day into adventure. 

My feet still hurt though.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

130 Dollar Pillows

I learned once that nice sheets really do make a difference. I didn't know this. I was a cheapie 250 thread count girl in my twenties because EH sheets are sheets. NO. Sheets are not sheets. Cheap sheets are cheap sheets and NICE sheets are nice sheets.

I learned my thread count tolerance is 400 and if I have less than that, I'm like the princess and the pea. It's definitely a #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEM but I don't even care.

This week we had to buy a twin bed for Louis. He was sleeping in the top bunk bed which had no box spring and he's a great big guy going into fifth grade this year so we figured he really needed a good supportive bed. While we were picking out his mattress my husband spied these PILLOWS.

They were expensive as hell. Again, I'm all about FUNCTION and so we've always bought more reasonably priced pillows that worked. However, we've both also slept on two pillows for 15 years. 
That seemed like a lot of money for pillows to me. However, the husband has very painful arthritis and trouble sleeping so, I'm all for anything that helps. So we bought them.

First of all they're heavy. I'd say more than five pounds. At least more than you'd expect from a pillow. They are "weird squishy" because they are memory foam. They also have a layer of "cooling" gel on the top which is purple and feels very odd. It is, however, QUITE cool to the touch. It comes with a  protective sleeve and then your pillow case goes over that.

My first night, the first thing I realized was I didn't need my second pillow, so onto the floor it went. 

Then I settled into the thing. It was like this in my mind
  • This is weird
  • Odd,squishy
  • Smooshy, strange too hard
  • I'm sinking
  • Oooooo this is niiiiiiiiiiiiiice
I slept like a divine princess and couldn't wait to lay back down on them tonight. They are the most comforting, comfortable, and amazing pillows I've ever used.

Of course, my husband hates them.

As my old German teacher used to say - typisch !

Monday, July 08, 2013

And Just Like That She's Not A Baby

Obviously she hasn't been a baby in oh, about two years. But this past weekend, one of those childhood milestones made my heart go thud.
We got rid of her high chair. 
Now, she hasn't been using it other than as a chair for a long time. It's been pulled up to the table with the rest of the chairs but she's so tall it really didn't even serve a purpose anymore. So when the husband asked if we could go ahead and donate it and let her have a big girl chair, I didn't hesitate.
But then I saw that high chair, sitting empty in the corner.
I don't want any more babies really, honestly. I don't want to be pregnant, or go through labor and childbirth again. Three times of doing that was truly plenty for me. 
But that damn empty high chair gave my hormones a jerk so hard you wouldn't believe it.
I guess that's just nature.

Friday, July 05, 2013

What Comes After Pullups?

This question is plaguing me. It seems like something I don't want to know. I also didn't want to know how special education works, or the short bus, or what autism was about. As those things weren't an option, so too is the looming of specter or WHAT IS NEXT?

We're trying to potty train. But we're also potty training THREE. The girl child is probably doing best and will progress into those fancy princess panties sooner rather than later.

The boys though, still struggle. The annoying part is, Miles definitely gets it. I'm not sure he CARES enough. But I feel like some how, it's possible with Miles. Miles can read, and Miles seems to understand more concepts than Charlie. Miles does real schoolwork for gods sake. And he USES the potty pretty regularly at school so I feel like, he can do this.

But then there is Charlie. First of all, they're 9. They are 9 in size 4/5 pullups. The past three days it seemed like every time Charlie peed he wet through. EVERY SINGLE TIME. We went through 8 pair of shorts in one day. Obviously, the size is an issue. So what's next?

Are Depends next? Is there something in between? I don't really know. God I don't WANT to know, but my poor Charlie, he just doesn't seem to understand. He knows what you do in the potty but, he'll also pee on the floor next to the potty with no hesitation. I'm not sure what to think about the future of the potty and him.

There is this part of me that believes I will be changing diapers for the rest of my life. I have to admit, it seems like that is my future.

God I hope not.