A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

She Gave Me A Buck

The girl child is willful. I'm sure I've mentioned this. Very, very willful, is my female progeny. Saturday night she was bouncing around at the gate that is between the dining room and the kitchen - a metal gate - when her brother noticed she was acting like she was biting it.

"Julia stop biting that gate!" he said.

At which point she jumped up, and promptly bashed her tooth right out of her mouth.

There was screaming and there was crying. There was terror and panic until I realized it was simply that she'd knocked out a baby tooth. There was a LOT of blood. She declared she would NEVER brush her teeth again.

We softened the event by teaching her all about the tooth fairy. We also thought this was a brilliant ploy to talk her into sleeping in her own bed - RIGHT? Look, you have to sleep in your own bed, so the tooth fairy will come! And we have a special pillow from Disney with the Fairy Godmothers on it, with a wee pocket for the tooth and everything. PERFECT.

Except that she was then so EXCITED because a fairy was coming that she couldn't sleep. Every noise - IS THAT TINKERBELL? (The tooth fairy is now Tinkerbell FYI). She heard a train coming "Is Tinkerbell on a train?" On and on, she'd drift off and then BOOM AWAKE. At 1:30 am I called it and we piled into my bed together snuggled up like bugs and collapsed asleep.

The next morning, I'm not sure what I expected, but at least excitement. We went into her room, looked at the pillow and she pulled out a dollar bill. "She left me a buck" she said flatly, and then starts hunting through her pillows and stuffed animals. "Where is my tooth? Where is my new tooth?" and began to cry.

Oh dear. It turns out she thought that the tooth fairy was going to bring her new tooth and I would put it in. I told her that now that the tooth fairy has visited, now the NEW tooth can start to grow but that it will take some time.

I really can't believe she wasn't at ALL excited about getting money. She was completely disinterested. Whose kid IS she anyway?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Tunnel of Carpal

As a manager of people who use keyboards, for the past oh 20 years or so, I've always been a skeptic of carpal tunnel. I WOULD SAY NONBELIEVER in fact. But of course, like all things I don't believe in, it ends up happening to me and with a vengeance. My right hand was so whacked and numb and useless the past couple of weeks that I actually started cleaning my office at work, vs doing reports and stuff.

That's how you know it was bad, I chose CLEANING.

It was a busy week regardless, we had science night at school where we all went to see the robot Louis and the robot team have been working on. They can make it run around a room and fight with other robots. I'm guessing this is how SKYNET gets started.

We also went to the science room where there were crafts, according to Julia. In fact we were supposed to be making a cell. Julia just thought it was great to glue buttons onto things. She doesn't respect the cytoplasm, clearly.
We also spent the week getting ready for the big Boy Scout soap box derby. Louis this year was the coolest kid on the block and made a DALEK.
He didn't win anything this year but the admiration of all the nerds and geeks on my FACEBOOK page, which is really alright with me. Nerds and geeks run the world, after all. :)

We may go to a home remodeling show today. I would like to win the lottery and have someone come in and completely redo this house. I love my house. But I lack the mental fortitude to do all the things I want done to change it.

I'm just glad my hand works again. It's good to be back at the computer.

Now, time for WoW. :)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

How About You Change Those Boys?

The girl has been getting her sleep schedule off more and more, of late. She wants to stay up with Daddy after we all go to bed. I get her up early on the weekend, about 8 am usually, and so in theory that gets her back on schedule somewhat.
Yesterday I got her up at about 8 after she stayed up playing and going on second wind until after 2am.

She was remarkably not cranky and fussy all day, shockingly. She even fought me on going to bed. I AM NOT TIRED she declared. I knew that couldn't actually be true. I sent her to snuggle in bed with her big brother so I could stay up and watch Masters of Horror with my husband, as close as we get to a date these days.

This morning however, tucked under my chin, was a little blonde ball of blonde, sucking her thumb and in a deep, slack jawed sleep. I kissed her and said good morning, as I heard the boys stirring and running up & down the hall way. I whispered "Let's get up."

She opened her eyes and said "How about you change those boys first?"

I laughed and slipped out of bed around her. She fell back into dead sleep. I tucked her into bed - and the twins and I had breakfast without her or Louis.

There was a bit of screaming and fit throwing at breakfast when I suggest we NOT spit at the table. However it was isolated to a five minute window. Miles is playing ANGRY BIRDS and Charlie is wandering around flipping a ribbon. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on but I might be the only one watching it.

I'm going to go wake her up within the next hour, I am going to let her soak up the snuggly sleep however - I know I wish I could.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

There's Progress and There's Progress

One of the things that frustrates me sometimes is how autism forces EVERY bit of focus in the house into one child. There are four children who live here. They ALL deserve equal attention. But Autism doesn't see it that way, and when it will, it drives all of your energy and effort into controlling, redirecting and sorting out whatever chaos it's delivering you that day.

In the days that have passed, other things have happened in my life, but they're a blur. I worked. I did a lot of stuff there including completing a major project that went very well. It's fuzzy. I need a shower, but I'm stuck here in this chair enjoying a cup of sweet and creamy coffee (tan and sweet as my friend David says).

Why?

Because for whatever reason, we have relative peace.

There was some brotherly fighting at 8am but I'm not so sure that was "Miles behavior" related so much as twin brothers going at it. I got up however and we had breakfast with relatively little drama. Food was consumed. Coffee was shared.

I came upstairs and brought Miles. He's been listening to various songs on YOUTUBE for a while but has landed on TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME - his favorite, after some time. I'm impressed how long it took him to GET there. Usually it's his first choice.

That's what's happening right now. This is the fabled LIVE BLOGGING you've heard so much about. Pretty damned amazing isn't it?

What else is going to happen today? Will it stay calm?

I don't even know. I know this coffee is good and the shower is calling me. That's about it.



Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Always Something or Something Else

Autism is wearing us out as a family. I know it's just a turn of the wheel and in a few days it'll be back to it's normal level off crazy stress vs. this ramped up version. But MAN, I have to admit I don't even know how we're supposed to deal with it sometimes.

This morning Miles was a sweet, delightful boy. He crawled out of bed and into my arms and there were kisses and hugs. He drank his milk, and there were more kisses and hugs. He played with his little Leap Frog dog thing and laughed and giggled when it said his name. We shared coffee and tickles.

When the bus came, I took a small cup of Coke out and said "No spitting. Say NO SPITTING." He repeated - NO SPIT. I said "You get COKE if you DO NOT SPIT! OK?" He said "No spit." again. I gave him a drink and we said it again and again and again. After a few drinks he wiped his mouth and said "bye please" indicating he wanted to go.

His bus driver said his spitting and screaming was intermittent on the ride in yesterday. I had a long talk with her, and thanked her because seriously, driving a kid who is screaming and spit has to suck.

My husband gets so upset and stressed out that he has an ulcer now. He loves Miles just as much as I do, that's his little sweet boy too. How can you look at this sweet boy and reconcile this little JERK who keeps attacking and hurting Charlie & others?

We talked last night about what do we do? Medicate? Get him a pet? Then I wonder what kind of pet? Would that matter? I'd get him a WHATEVER today if it would help? I am going to contact someone who specializes in behavior - these people don't take insurance however. Isn't that nice? I figure they don't take insurance because they don't have to, which really makes me NOT WANT to have anything to do with them.

I've looked at the MARCUS CENTER website repeatedly. I did register for information but, their website is so confusing and overwhelming. There needs to be a "I need help and don't know what to do" page. That's what I need.  Of course I remember what jerks they were to me on the phone when I was trying to get the twins tested for Autism. Really, all about the money is all they are, based on my experience. They wouldn't even TALK to us without 2k per kid up front. I find it hard to believe you are actually interested in helping ANYONE when you talk to a worried parent like that.

So, I'm having my second cup of coffee and considering getting up off my butt to go to work. I don't know what the weekend holds, I'm either dreading it or really looking forward to it. I'm not sure which it is.

A picture of PO the Panda from the Atlanta Zoo. Just because I can.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Don't Even Know WTF

With a normal/typical child, if you have behavior issues you have options. You can talk to them, you can use various forms of discipline, from spanking to taking away privileges and beyond. But for an autistic child expressing a behavior that is beyond the acceptable by many leagues, your options become a maze of "I wonder" and "I hope".

This laughing giggling little boy on the left has turned into someone I can't recognize, at least some of the time.

It started a few days ago, he runs at Charlie and hit him. Full on slugs him. Sometimes he does a very artful karate kick. Charlie thinks it's funny sometimes, sometimes he doesn't. Mostly not. Charlie is much less developed in terms of maturity than Miles, and he innocently sets himself up for it over and over. However sometimes all the set up that is required is that he's in the room.

On the school bus, he's started spitting and screaming. This makes no sense. He LOVES school. He LOVES the school bus. He's ecstatic when the bus shows up every day. He says School Bus! He claps and laughs. If we can't wait on the porch because of the freezing he gets upset - he wants to GO.

But once the bus pulls away he spits, and spits and spits. Apparently he also screams and hits.

The past two days we've gotten calls from school. Out of control is the phrase they are using.

He's spitting, he's hitting. He doesn't care about time out. Or if he does, he's screaming hysterically. Yesterday we came to get him early because they were afraid the bus driver wouldn't take him.

I come home from work today, after day two and he's resting in our bed. I snuggle up to him and he asks for a hug and I give him one. And he lays there, content as can be. He's my sweet little Miles snuggling and loving on his Mommy. Charlie's scratched up hands tell the tale of the OTHER Miles.

I'm frustrated because honestly, I don't even know what we're supposed to do. We're going to try to use a positive reinforcement thing we've done in the past - totally giving the kid soda pop when he's good. Don't judge, any port in a storm. You don't live it you don't know.

I also think, seriously, the school has ALL these resources and professional training- don't they ever encounter this? What's their game plan then? Is it ALWAYS just CALL the parent? They have professionals on staff, tons of them in fact, psychologists and various behavior experts. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO, EXPERTS? Tell me some sage advice.

Because my little boy isn't this person doing this stuff. Except that he IS the person doing this stuff.

And I don't know how to help him.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We Enjoy The Louvre - And You Should Too

Well - in fairness, it was a travelling Louvre exhibit. But I might never GO to the Louvre and my children might not, and with that being said - I think that getting to see the amazing pieces is not to be missed. So I take my children to the lovely HIGH Museum of Art when we can.

My kids are there, and that probably messes with your awesome experience of soaking in the art. I don't really care. They also deserve to see these amazing pieces, learn about the Tuileries gardens and have their minds enriched. Yep, even the autistic ones. Why?

Because art is good for you even when you don't exactly know it is. I know it makes an impact on the twins, because when they've done their "what I did this summer" reports for school, one of the pictures they choose for their responses is "museum".

They might make some weird noises, and jump or flap their arms, but they aren't chewing on the art so you don't have to worry.

Also at the HIGH was the GO WEST exhibit which Louis was VERY interested in seeing.

There was an interactive work space where kids could make their own OLD WEST style art, with tons of options and honestly, so easy a three year old sat down and make a picture. This is hers.
Louis spent more time making his and and was pretty proud of it. It's always interesting to see the choices they make when they have the opportunity to create things.
Miles decided he had to get into the action too, and once Julia was done with HER picture, he created a social commentary of some sort I think.
Charlie on the other hand wasn't having any of this "doing activities" business.
My sweet little Charlie doesn't understand that he isn't a tiny little boy. So he gets very sad when I won't carry him about halfway through anything we ever go do. Luckily most museums have spots to sit and take in (or ignore) the art for patrons.

Days full of art are good days, even with Charlie's protests and the confused eyes of strangers on us.

I can't wait till our next one.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Polar Vortex Of DOOOOOOOM

Atlanta is hurtling toward record cold right now as I type. The temperature dropped five degrees from when I pulled out of the office to when I arrived home. When I pulled into the driveway, I found my husband under the house wrapping the pipes and my son helping.

It's cold.

According to Weather.com it's 14 degrees right now.

We haven't seen a single digit temperature in Atlanta in a decade they are saying, definitely not since I've here. They are on TV explaining to people what WIND CHILL IS and how fast you get frost bite. It's a reminder of childhood that honestly I could've done without. I live in the south for a reason.

They're saying the low will be 7. I question that. Why is it going to stop at 7? I'm curious.

What I do know is that this POLAR VORTEX has certainly brought out the armchair scientists on my Facebook. They know a lot about Polar Warming it seems and like to send pot shots out to Al Gore.

PSSSSSST. You might wanna look up what Global Warming includes.

Just saying.

As for me, I've got my slippers on and a space heater at the ready. I'm a northern girl.

Bring it mother nature. I weathered the blizzard of 78 in a house with no insulation.

I can do 7.



Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Days of Christmas

If you are a traditionalist you  know that there are 12 days of Christmas - yes just like the song. I'm a firm believer that if on the 26th you say "ok that's over" that you don't actually enjoy the season properly.

We are deeply immersed in the days and are doing our best to do the holiday fun things that we love before everyone has to head back to school and get back to real life. We went to Lake Lanier Magical Nights of Lights which is one of those things where you drive through the Christmas lights set up in vignettes while listening to music and then at the end there is a Christmas village with carnival for you to give them all of your money.
This included displays of Christmas trees - this one was my favorite. It has mirrors sticking out of it horizontally. I believe that in a packed holiday shop full of treats and magic and CHILDREN this is the best possible idea ever. Nothing could ever EVER go wrong with shards of glass sticking out from your Christmas tree - right?

We spent more of our time outside roasting marshmallows while the sounds of Wizards in Winter blasted loudly over the speakers.
Obviously, roasting marshmallows is awesome. Julia was very upset with us for burning the marshmallows and then even more upset that we suggest that she then eat them. So, she chose to have regular untoasted marshmallows.
There was however, a sweets shop that made her forgive us everything.

I have to confess, the red velvet cake fudge looked good. There were samples of it on the counter and they tasted like chocolate - PERFECT so we got a slice to share.

It was so vile. It tasted like we were eating hardened butter cream icing. This might be good for a taste but it was just, OMG no horrible. I don't even know what went wrong, unless they actually made it out of butter cream icing and are passing it off as fudge. THAT ISN'T FUDGE FOLKS.

Also, I am just going to leave this here. I don't even know.

Is this a gift meant to terrify?

Who needs an elf on the shelf when you have this thing?