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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Perplexed

Red will be 16 in September.  Here we are...2 years away from adulthood (which is a scary thought all by itself) and I am still utterly perplexed by him.  I don't understand the thought process of yelling and complaining because you don't get something and expecting  that to actually work for you.

I don't understand how after days of such behavior -you turn around and nicely ask, "Can I go to the movies tomorrow to see such and such with so and so?"  Or  "I really want to go to Six Flags."


I know I've totally treated you like crap for the past several days but hey, now I want something from you and I seriously expect you to give it to me.
  
I don't understand harassing the dog "because he's such a cutie".  Why do you need to pick him up and hold him tightly like he's a baby?  He's a dog.  He obviously doesn't like it.  You are the only person in the house he runs from.

The other day Harry is enthusiastically running up the stairs next to me.  When he sees Red at the top of the stairs he looks like, Oh Shit! There he is!  He literally stops in his tracks, does a u-turn and gets behind me.  This dog loves and licks everyone.  Why don't you get that?  Why do you seem to thrive on annoying others?

I don't understand complaining about the way you look, being upset that you've gained weight, yet refusing to swim or go to the gym with regularity and refusing to change your diet to include more protein instead of just carbohydrates.


Why is it that both boys have Aspergers....but they are so completely different?  So different in fact, I almost question that they both have the same disability.   Blue can be so thoughtful, protective and helpful.  He is truly a joy to be around.  Why is it that one medication has done wonders for him?  Yet, Red takes several medications and his behaviors are still pretty horrible.  

So the doctors say that you also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, BiPolar NOS.  All of these conditions are subsequent to your Aspergers. What does that mean really?  Does it really just mean that your symptoms of Aspergers are severe?  Your outburst of anger and depression come from frustration of feeling different, and not connecting with peers the way you would like to?  I don't really see any mania -any massive feelings of euphoria...ever.  Unless the mania is when you're talking non-stop and not really making any sense.  Is your lack of focus because you simply have no interest in the subject that's being taught?  You certainly can focus when it comes to something you actually WANT to do.  Why have you always been an intricate, complicated puzzle that I don't know how to solve?

Why is their no miracle med that does wonders for your disposition?  Why are you still so unhappy and you seem to work so hard to make others around you just as miserable?  I love you, but why is it so hard to be around you?  Why do you engulf our home in your misery when we are your safe haven?  We are the ones who love you and do everything within out power to make things better for you.  

Why do you thrive on arguing with me more than anyone?  Why do my feelings not seem to matter to you? Why is it that everything I do for you is never enough?  

I have a zillion more questions about your future?  Will you be able to live on your own? Will you be able to focus your skills into a career?  Will you find happiness...ever?  Will you have a wife and children?  ,

It's a wonder that I can focus on anything else with all of these questions constantly swimming around in my head.  No wonder I can't find my glasses in my purse, because they're already on my face.  No wonder I can't find my cell phone when it's exactly where I left it, even though I looked there twice.  No wonder white wine and margaritas are a staple for life in this madness. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Playing Grown Up

I made this for my husband for Valentines Day
From the coffee house I call my husband who is off seeing a movie with a friend.  I swear his movie buddy gets more dates with him than I do.  I ask him to come and meet me.  We have a few hours of freedom why not take advantage of it?  This is rare and not to be taken for granted.  I mean it would be nice if we could go off on a vacation for two, but that's just not in the cards anytime soon.  So -we have to take our dates whenever we can get them.

By the way, Blue is off to the mall with a friend, for the first time --ALONE, no adult supervision.  My husband and mother are extremely nervous about this.  For some reason, I am not.  He is extremely responsible...such a rule follower.  I know that he will not only be o.k. but he will make sure his buddy stays in line as well.  Besides, he has his cell phone and I have him check in with me every 30 to 45 minutes on this 2 hour trip to the mall.

He does fine as I knew he would.  In fact, he comes home with a present for me and Nana (my mother).  He bought me some rare kind of stone in the "Earthbound" store.  I tell you...I love this kid!  He is extremely thoughtful, especially for someone who has Aspergers.  It almost makes me wonder if his diagnosis is correct.  He is definitely somewhere on the spectrum, but he is so different from his brother who absolutely only thinks about himself.

Back to my date...hubby meets me at the coffee house.  We have an uninterrupted conversation.  It's great. We leave my car behind and he takes me to Pappadeaux, a New Orleans style seafood restaurant.   We sit at the bar.  He has a beer.  I have a healthy pour of white wine.  We chat, watch sports, and have scrumptious appetizers...like real grown-ups.  This is a simple pleasure that feels like a luxurious indulgence because we don't get it often.  I am thankful for this moment.

Being the parents of two Aspie boys adds a lot of stress to our relationship.  You can loose your identity as a person and definitely as a couple.   We have to work hard to avoid this pitfall.

We come home and everyone is nearly asleep.   The two of us stay up late ...watching a movie together.  Another thing that we just don't get to do often anymore.  Again -a simple pleasure that makes me realize that we can still enjoy each other as adults, as a couple ...as grown-ups.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Silent Saturday

On this silent Saturday I am being totally self-indulgent.  I think I deserve it after a week of driving all over town doing the Mommy, Chauffeur, Event coordinator thing.  I wake up this morning next to my husband, which is nice since he's been away most of the week.  We sleep until nearly 10 a.m. before the first knock at the door.

I start my morning with Bailey's and coffee and few minutes of reading.  I'm still working on Rob Lowe's memoir,  "Stories I Only Tell My Friends." 
It's not exactly a literary masterpiece, but it's a fun summer read.  If Oprah likes it...so do I.  After having him on the show she said, "I want to go to his house for bar-b-que this summer, just so I an look at him."  Lucky for her, they are neighbors.  It's fun to picture this beautiful man and his exciting life --to disappear into his world for a bit.  It has me wanting to watch all those "Brat Pack" movies I grew up with  --St. Elmo's Fire and About Last Night.

Hubby and Blue bring breakfast back home to me --no cooking or cleaning.  I take a steamy, hot VitaBath bath -leaving me feeling very silky.  It is so heavenly --I don't want to get out.

My painting will look something like this. 
I throw on jeans and a t-shirt and run off to my art lesson.  I am painting a Tuscan landscape...very relaxing.  The lesson today did not include Blue, who always rushes me at the end.  "I'm ready to go mom.  Our lesson was over 5 minutes ago." 

After art, I call my girlfriend for an uninterrupted laugh and chat.  This is a luxury.  We usually have to communicate via text message or e-mail in order to exchange a complete thought sans interruption.  We lift each others spirits with our easy conversation and inside jokes.

Now I sit writing in an air conditioned coffee house...in absolutely no hurry to get home.  I am trying to figure out what I should get into next.  I can promise you this it will not involve children.

This is my silent Saturday.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Funny Friday -6/24/11

This week I got to spend some good quality time with Blue while Red was in camp for 4 hours a day.  Selfishly -I would rather have spent that time alone with my thoughts, writing away, shopping, lunching and maybe even a little afternoon drinking.  Blue had another plan.  He likes hanging out with me in coffee houses with his laptop (which is my old one) and me with my laptop writing away.  Of course, that completely cuts out the drinking.  We do a little lunching and shopping and walking at the mall for exercise.

It was actually fun.  He is such a delight to spend time with.  The contrast between him and both of his brothers is stark...vast...huge!  He is on the spectrum and he does have a lot of anxiety and misreads  social cues.  But as he gets older and matures...he seems to get better.  Red seems to get more obnoxious! Of course the medicine helps tremendously! Blue is so compassionate and he really seems to care about my feelings.  He may say things that come across as rude or blunt...but if I bring it to his attention, he will apologize and then actually try to do better the next time.

During our time together, he will not let me go through a door without opening it for me and holding it for any other ladies in sight.

He is an adamant rule follower.  I am not.  I skirt around rules that I feel are not important or inconvenient.  I can't get him to join the rule skirting party to save my life.  We are on a side street on our way to a pizza joint for lunch.  I decide to cross the street in the shade instead of walking to the crosswalk.

"Mom!  You're jay-walking!  You can't do that!"
"Oh come on!  It's shady over here.  Besides, there are no cars coming."
He ignores me and goes to the cross walk.   Pushes the button and waits for the light to change.

Later that day, we stop at the groomer to pick up the dog.  It's 100 plus degrees.  The groomer is about to close in five minutes.  There are no other customers in the parking lot.  In fact, we are the last ones to pick up our dog.  I know this.  I park in the handicap spot...in the shade.  I don't even turn off the car so that the air-conditioning can continue to run while I run in.

"Mom! This is the second law you have broken today!"
I guess I don't have to worry about this one ever going to jail...or even getting a ticket!









Here are some funnies from my Facebook Community Page:

Joanne Lees says: "Mum...why does Fiona have chickens?"
"Because they lay eggs."
"Why doesn't she just go to the shop?"

Sharon from Mama's Turn Now says:

While arguing with Jay (my 10 year old Aspie) he says,  "I'm done talking!"
I tell him, "We are not done talking!"
He says, "I have the constitutional right not to talk! So yes...I'm done!"
He walks away leaving me with my mouth hanging open.

Kristy (my Aspie Mama from Australia) says:

Person 1: Knock knock.
Person 1: Knock knock.
Person 1: I said, knock knock!
Aspie: Go AWAY!

Last but not least, we have Elena:

G3 just spit on G1...I tole him to remove himself from the room.  "We are not animals!"
He stomps out of the room. "I hate you!"
30 seconds later he comes back in to say, "Did you know that humans are mammals and mammals are 1 of the 6 animal groups?
We all just stare at him.
He says, "Yeah...didn't think so! Goodnight!"

I just love that G3!

Happy Friday!  Wishing you laughter today and everyday...

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mommy Time Out

I would really like to stop whining here but hey...these are my confessions and I need to vent.  I don't have time for therapy -at least not for me.  I'm too busy getting everyone else  to their therapy appointments.  One of these days I will actually purchase that bill of goods --you know the one "Take care of yourself first."  Until that day arrives...this is it.

The day goes like this:
8 a.m. up -make sure Blue gets ready for Art Camp.
9:00 a.m. -drop Harry @ the groomer for a haircut.
9:15 a.m. -drop Blue @ camp.
9:30 a.m. -grocery shopping
10:30 a.m. -get Red up and ready for Movie camp (takes him an hour and a half to eat and get dressed)
12 p.m. -pick up Blue -drive with both boys downtown
1 pm  -drop off Red
1:30 p.m. -lunch with Blue (delightful)
2:30 p.m. -writing @ Coffee House (glorious)
4:30 p.m. -pick up cupcakes  (self medication for later)
5 p.m.  -pick up Red from camp

Austin radio is absolute crap.  I am listening to a relaxing jazz CD for a change when Red gets in the car.  I often let him play his Linkin Park and Green Day via his Ipod.  Not today...I'm not in the mood.
He starts with, "What is this you're listening too?  It's boring!"
"It's relaxing...get over it," says Blue.
"It's boring!  There isn't enough guitar. I want to listen to my music!"
"I"m sorry it's my turn today," I say calmly.

He doesn't like the music.  Fine...but if this were his dad's car, he would listen to it and not complain.  If anything, he may ask for it to be turned down.  He can only listen to his OWN music loudly.

He goes on and on for 20 minutes about the music.  He finally gets off of that trip and starts talking about juvenile delinquents, jail, juvenile hall and cops.  Not a conversation I want to participate in.  I have to chime in periodically to set him straight because he doesn't know what he's talking about.

From there he goes on to "Can we stop and get something to eat?" over and over again. To which I reply, "I am trying to get across town in time to pick up Harry before the groomers close."   I have no plans of stopping for anything.

Every time Blue says anything...he tells him to, "Shut up!" Loudly...not acceptable.  Once he attempts hitting him.  Not acceptable.  Traffic stops abruptly.  I have to break hard in order to avoid hitting the car in front of me.  He screams, "What the heck?!" so loud that it distracts me.  I am ready to throw him out of the car at this point.  I tell him, "This behavior  (the name calling and shut-ups) is going to get you grounded."

"I don't get grounded!"
"Oh really!  I will take the phone and you will loose the use of your computer."
"I'm bigger than you mom.  You can't make me do anything!"
Sounds like a threat to me.
"Oh my dear...you have it seriously twisted!  I can cut off the electricity to your room.  I do not need you for anything.  You need me.  You are going to learn the hard way that you can not disrespect me and then expect things from me.  I will not be stopping to BUY you anything to eat.  In fact...I will not be preparing anything for you for dinner.  You better ask someone who you haven't disrespected to help you with your dinner tonight.  As far as I'm concerned...you can starve!"

We get to the groomer.  I go inside to get the dog.  Red curses at his brother while I am inside.  Blue gets out of the car.  He doesn't want to hear this language.  Red locks him out of the car.  When I return, the door is still locked.  He just sits there and looks at me at first.  He slowly decides to unlock the door.  This is the straw! I rip him a new one when I get back in.  I keep my voice low...but I let him know that I am completely done with him.  He had better not ask me for one single thing until I see some serious changes in his behavior.  Nothing!

"I don't know what's wrong with me.  It must have something to do with the way I came out when I was born.  You know when I wasn't breathing at first," he says pathetically.

Oh give me a break!  "What is wrong with you has nothing to do with that.  You are making conscious choices!  You chose to curse at him as soon as I got out of the car so that I wouldn't hear you.  That was a calculated decision.  The F bomb didn't accidentally fall out of your mouth!  OMG...I tripped and all of these curse words just fell right out of my mouth!  I don't know how that happened!  It was a CHOICE! As is a lot of your behavior!"

This isn't Aspergers behavior.  This is bratty, teenage boy behavior...pure and simple.

When we get home, I quickly give my mother a brief synopsis of what happened. I warn them that I don't want to see or hear from anyone for at least one hour.  That's right my friends...a mommy time-out. I suggest that Blue go to his room.  He also needs to decompress.

I close my door and lock it.  I am nearly in tears at this point.  I cuddle up with my computer.  I have some pretty amazing Aspergers moms who encourage me an offer support on my Facebook Community Page.  They are my heroes.

My Facebook status reads:

"I could just cry right now! I just had a 45 minute ride from hell with my boys.  My door is locked! Mommy is in a 1 hour time out."

Sharon says, "Did you remember to get a bottle of wine before you closed the door?"
 
I did not remember the wine.  I am sitting there contemplating how I can get a glass without anyone seeing or talking to me.

Elena says, "Call your mom and tell her to sneak the wine to you...then wrap yourself in a blankie...visualize words that describe your loving nature written all over the blankie...an angel will bring them to you because you are a loving person and angels only brings words of goodness and love...(yeah, I sound like a lunatic...oh well...but I do believe) much love to you...you are our angel..xo"

Elena's comment makes me laugh and cry.  All of their love and support brought tears to my already soggy eyes.  I wish that we could all escape together and go out for drinks! Their words leave me feeling blessed.  The wine is just the cherry on top.

Please join us on Facebook  if you haven't already.  Namaste'

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Eternal Summer

I'm on the edge...just about ready to dive off the cliff into the ocean, and I'm not a good swimmer.  This option sounds better than living through the rest of this summer in this stress-filled heat box that I call life.  Does that sound desperate?  I feel desperate.  The stress is trying to keep children fed, entertained, stimulated and from killing each other.  The heat part is just plain old hot ass Texas!  How did I get here?

Central Texas particularly, the school district we live in has a pretty good special education program.  The cost of living here is moderate in comparison to where I grew up and always thought I would live, southern  California.  There is no way we could afford to live there and have me dedicated to taking care of these high-maintenance children.  We are here for them, but I have come to loathe the summers here.   It's so hot that it's painful to be out during the day.  I try to avoid it, if at all possible.  I have fantasies of a summer home on the coast.

I seriously thought about taking out an ad somewhere:

"NEED A HOUSE SITTER in Southern California...I'm your girl! Responsible middle aged woman will take care of your property while you're away on vacation.  Will feed your pets, water your lawn and keep the burglars away!"

The only catch is I come along with two children who may put holes in your walls when they have meltdowns.

This week, we have Art camp in the mornings for Blue and afternoon Movie camp for Red.  This means I'm in it...driving around in the heat of the day.  This morning I through in a haircut for Red.  He was starting to look like a grizzly bear.  He needs to start learning to shave.  I've mentioned this to the hubby weeks ago...to no avail.

The trip to the barber shop means I  rush back home after dropping off Blue.  I give him a good hour and a half to get up, eat, get ready and out the door.  He moves so slowly, it's excruciating to watch.  He comes to get in the car after I have told him specifically to wash his face and brush his teeth.  (Why do I still need to tell him to wash his face and brush his teeth? One might ask.)  He comes to get in the car without washing his face.

"Did you wash your face?"
"No."
"Didn't I tell you to wash your face?"
"I forgot...what's the big deal?"
"The big deal is that oils are building up on your skin and you will end up going back to school with a bunch of acne on your face."
"Girls like other boys who have bumps on their face."
"How can you expect anyone to like you if you don't care enough about yourself to take care of your own body?"

We get to the barbershop.  I get out of the car.  He is still sitting there.  I am sitting inside for 10 minutes while they finish up other customers.  Red is still sitting in the car.  It is already 85 degrees.  Why is he sitting?  I have no idea.  I step out twice and wave to him.  A what the hell are you doing? -kind of wave.
We get the haircut.  He is back to his handsome self -minus the dirty face.  He starts whining about being hungry.  The whining gets louder and louder.  Mind you -he has just finished breakfast an hour before.  I refuse to go to Mc Donalds.  I go to Subway and order a turkey sandwich.  I am insisting on a healthier diet.  I will no longer participate in the fast food nonsense.  He complains of being so tired that he can't bend down to pick things up.  "I'm too tired to walk up the stairs."  He has gained weight on this new medicine.  If you're too tired to bend down or walk...you certainly don't need a bacon-cheeseburger.

By the time I drop him off at camp...I am totally spent.  I don't know how I'm going to survive this eternal summer.  My sanity is seriously at stake here and it's only June.

These are my confessions...I have to finish this rant another time.   Duty calls!
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Funny Friday

I almost forgot what day it is...during the summer the days all seem to run together.  There is no real break from Mommy duty.  There's a camp here, a play-date there.  They all involve me playing the role of chauffeur, event coordinator, cook or food delivery person.  I am basically on call 24/7.

OMGoodness teachers...have I told you lately that I love you?  Well I do...and I miss you beyond words.

I savor each and every moment of "alone" time I get,  even if it's just time where I plug in my Ipod and read a book while watching them swim at the pool.

On Thursday, I chauffeur Red downtown for movie camp.  He decides that it's not important to be there on time.  "It's not school! What's the big deal?"  The big deal is that I paid for it, and I want every penny's worth of time away from you!

It's hot...I'm pissed that he is 30 minutes late for a class that doesn't start until one o'clock in the afternoon.  I drop him off and burn rubber out of the parking lot.  I take solace in a cool coffee house where I sit down to write over an ice cold coke.  As the happy music plays in the background, suddenly I feel almost high, (not that I have any idea what "high" feels like...wink wink).  I am definitely euphoric from having just a few moments of freedom.



Anyway...today is Funny Friday here on Confessions.  I failed to get any funny stories from my community members on my Facebook Community Page, so I will have to go into my archives to share a few funny statements from my own kids.

This one I will never forget:

We pull up to Walgreen's.  I am trying to park but this little lady is moving very slowly getting in to her car.  I say to myself sarcastically, "Could you move a little slower?"
I get out of the car, leaving the boys sitting there while I run in to get some milk.  I come out to find my then 9 year-old son talking to the woman.
"My mom says you move very slow."
The poor woman looks so confused and maybe a little pissed off.  I motion him to get back into the car quickly.
"Mom why are you mad?  You did say that."
"Yes...but not so that she could here me!"
Lesson learned...don't say anything in front of your Aspergers kid, that you don't want repeated.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red and Blue are bantering in the car about...nothing.  Blue says to Red, "Can you think of something smart to talk about?  Because this conversation is stupid."  Mind you...Blue is the younger one.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have a meeting at Red's school.  He received rave reviews about his behavior and maturity during the school year.  (This is during middle school.)  "He's a joy to teach," says his teacher.  When he comes home I tell him how proud I am.  I ask, "Why can't I see some of that respect and good behavior at home?"
"Because I don't like your policies."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"So boys like boobs on girls right? What inappropriate part on boys do girls like?" asks Blue.
"Cute butts," I say.
"No way!  That's disgusting!  That's impossible!"
"I'm a girl...believe me I know.  And you've got a pretty cute butt so you're all set!"
"That's just gross mom."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And finally this was a prayer from Blue.

"Dear God, please let me sleep well tonight and not wake up for anything.  I don't need any dreams...just nothing.  And definitely no dreams about...I think you know what I mean."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I hope your friday is funny.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Ounce of Gratitude

Hello Lover! (I say to my blog in my Sarah Jessica Parker -Sex-In-The-City Voice).  I've missed you so. So glad you could come out and play with me today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I haven't been able to write since Monday of this week.  I've have really missed my outlet.  My writing was replaced by something even better.  My "Bestie" is in town for a visit.  She came along with my god-daughter and their doggie, a little mini-Yorky named Loppi.  They came to keep me company while half of my crew is out of town.  One might say she came to help me from completely falling apart or totally loosing it by having to spend all that time alone with Red, listening to his non-stop complaints, and requests, and pleas of boredom.  

Movie camp started this week for Red.  It is the same "Script-to-Screen" camp offered by the Austin Film Festival, that he took last year.  He actually asked to be signed up this year.  It's an afternoon session, which made me believe I would have no trouble getting him there on time...NOT! He is still slow as hell when it comes to getting ready.  I really do not think he knows the meaning of hurry, quickly, or on-time.

I wish I could tell you how it's going, but I can't get much out of him.

"How did it go today son?"
"Fine."
"What did you do? What did you learn?"
"I don't know."
"You can't tell me one single thing that you talked about."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Oh.  I see.  Well, if you can't tell me one thing you learned, it makes me think you didn't learn anything.  If you're not learning anything, I guess I shouldn't waste my money sending you next year."
"What?! What do you mean you won't send me next year? O.K. uh we worked on our script today."
"Oh, great! What's your script about? Did you present any of your ideas?"
"No...I don't have any ideas."
"You told me about several ideas last week. What happened to those?"
"Probably no-one would like them."
"How would you know that if you don't present them?"
"Well, what's it about?"
"I don't know...I guess it's about a bully chasing someone around the school."
"That's all you can tell me?"
"I dont' really like talking to you about it."

Wow!  From there the subject moves on to when I'm going to take him to Six Flags...This is so not anytime soon.  Especially, since we're already in the 100's here in Central Texas and will be for the foreseeable future.  Not to mention a zillion other reasons why he doesn't really deserve to go.

"You made me waste my money on that season pass, because you knew you weren't going to take me."
Yeah...I really held a gun-to your head and threatened you into buying that Season Pass.

I am happy to report that Red had an old friend come out of the woodwork this week.  He met this young man in their first year of middle school.  They remained in touch even after Red changed schools for a while...but when Kevin (let's call him) got busy with sports and new friends, we stopped hearing from him. Lord knows Red did not make the effort to stay in touch either.  The friend is probably a little bored this summer, so he reached out -even sending me a message on Facebook with his phone number so that Red could call him.

After a long day of driving downtown, dropping Red at Movie Camp and hanging out in downtown for 4 hours until he finishes,  the friend calls and asks Red to go swimming that night.  Sucker that I am...I didn't want him to pass up the chance for A -some exercise, and B -social interaction with a peer.  Of course,  I take him.  I watch from the car for a while as they interact with other boys who were already in the pool.

Before I know it, I see with my own eyes...my son --runs, jumps in the air, catches the football and splashes down into the water beneath him.  For a moment there, I thought maybe I was hallucinating.  That within itself  is worth the effort of driving him over there.

I only wish that he could see him graciously receive all of his blessings with an open heart.
I wish that he could see as I do, that God is working in his life.
I wish that he could show a sign -just one sign, that he has an ounce of gratitude for anything.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday my dear Husband...I love you!

I love you because today --your special day, you spend with our youngest son in California hanging out with MY side of the family.
(Who does that???Not many husbands.)
I love you because you have such a great relationship with our boys. 
I love you because you are a paradigm of what it means to be a responsible man, husband and father.  
I love you because you lead our boys by example.  You show them subtle nuances of positivity each day, because you are here.. present in their lives, helping them with homework, showing up for their special moments.  Having your father/son chats (that are very difficult for me to stay out of). 
I love you for calming them when they are anxious, angry or upset. 
I love you because you support their special educational needs.  You show up to those teacher meetings, and ARD meetings...even if you don't know their teacher's names. You're still there damn it!  (I kid you...really I kid you! There goes my sarcasm).
I love you because you don't take the easy way out ...when times are tough.  There are lots of tough times and you are here with us, or a phone call away.
I love you because our boys see you working hard.  They will grow up knowing what due diligence and going the extra mile looks like.
I love that you sacrifice your own wants and needs, so that they can have what they need.  They will grow up knowing what self-sacrifice looks like.
They see you buying me flowers and taking me on dates (every once in a while :-D)   They will grow up knowing how to treat a woman with love, respect and honor.
I love you because you are patient with me and all of my craziness, my "Wesley" humor, sarcasm,  and my many moods.
I love you because you give me room when I need it.
Neither of us is perfect...we all have our sides of CRAZY, but we love each other in spite of it.
I love you not despite or differences (and their are many) but because of our differences.
Thank you for loving me and our family,  for being the epitome of a real man and teaching our boys to do the same.

Your contract has officially been extended for another year...

Happy Birthday Honey!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Silent Sunday

This week I am sharing a few pictures...

Blue supporting his friends at their Spring Concert
Blue and the Boys @ the School Dance
 Bella -my God-daughter  came for a visit this week.

Red -My Video Artist -This was the day he met a new friend,
My Bella again...my camera was doing something funky.  She's still cute!


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Friday, June 10, 2011

A Prayer Answered

We arrive at the airport viewing spot so that Red can take video of the airplanes as they land and take off.  He has been playing Flight Simulator X and has become fascinated with airplanes.  He incorporates his two favorite loves, video and airplanes on this excursion.  He gets out of the car.  I notice a boy standing there also observing.  He has a camera in one hand and a radio of some sort in the other hand.  I am watching this scene from the coolness of the air-conditioned car.  Blue is also on the scene.  He has no problem walking up and introducing himself and his brother.

It doesn't take long for Blue to get to the fact that he has Aspergers.  It goes something like this: "Hi my name is Blue.  Do you know about Aspergers?  Well...I have it."  Before long, all of the boys are talking incessantly.  This is unusual for Red who does not typically converse this much with someone he just met.  Apparently, they have a lot in common.  The young man appears to be somewhere between Blue and Red's age.

My husband arrives...we have been waiting for his plane to come in.  We get out of the car and go over to meet the young man.  My husband approaches the van that is parked across the way and introduces himself to the young man's mother.  (This is where Blue gets it from.)

His mother is gracious.  We have a wonderful conversation.  Apparently, the young man is 14 years old and also has Aspergers!   Of course we have a lot in common raising boys on the spectrum. What are the chances of this happening?  Meeting someone who has the same interest/fixation, around the same age and also has Aspergers.  We exchange e-mail and contact information.  Of course I give her information about the blog.  It also turns out that they live about 25 minutes away from where we live.  We vow to get the boys together again at some point.  This was about 2 or so months ago.

School ended and Red is out of his mind with boredom.  I reach out to his mom again via e-mail.  She calls to say, they have been thinking of us too.   Of course our lives have been out-of-control with the end of school year activity, etc.

Yesterday, the boys finally have a chance to hang out together.  They pick Red up from our house, go have lunch, and spend the day at their house.  They play Flight Simulator, talk and exchange information about airplanes for hours on end.  I don't think their was a lull in conversation all day.  They go swimming,  play ball with their dogs and have dinner together.  

I think I may be more excited than Red about this budding, new friendship!  What a wonderful family that we were blessed to meet.   He's 15 years old and yes...Mommy is still making play-dates for him.  I am so thankful for this family that we met on that day a few months ago.  I really think that was God at work...a prayer answered.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

White Noise

"I'm so bored! My life is so boring right now!" says Red every single day so far this summer.

"Well lets see...I just gave a pool party for you on Saturday (gave up my wedding anniversary to do so).  I have a play-date set up for you tomorrow with a new friend who you have lots in common with.  You're going to his house.  You guys will play computer games, have lunch and swim.  You're going to movie camp next week."  Excuse me if I don't feel sorry for you!

Every time we leave the house to go run errands, or to go to the neighborhood pool he finds an excuse not to go.  Yet...I hear the constant complaints about how bored he is.   "I'm tired of being in this house alone!" Well you're so pleasant to be around...I mean with your constant complaining and all.  Every time we ask you to come with us you say no and find some lame excuse.

I get the, "When am I going to Six Flags?" dialogue every single day, usually about 10 times per day.

"We won't be going to Six Flags until you can start appreciating all the blessings you already have...when you can show gratitude for what I am already putting in place for you."  Until -you stop driving me freaking crazy with this question ten times a day!!!  "Each time you ask me this question...you are getting further and further away from going" I tell him.

I need to resign myself to the fact that he will NEVER BE SATISFIED!  No matter what I do for him he WILL ALWAYS COMPLAIN and ASK FOR MORE.   I wish I could take the complaining for what it's worth...white noise.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Females 101

Blue and I have been getting on each other's nerves a lot in the past week or so.  He is such a  deep...different kind of thinker.  He has an opinion about everything.  I come up with a simple idea and he has to analyze it and ultimately disagree with it, even if it makes perfectly good sense.  I will admit my patience for it all has been a little short.

For example...yesterday, I am helping him with his laundry.  Clothes are spread all over his bed.  We are folding them and I want him to put them away.  In the middle of this process, he decides to start cleaning out the bathroom that holds his "escape the storm supplies" and he wants to also make his bed.  Now how can you make a bed when your laundry is all over it? The "escape supplies" have been in the bathroom all night and half the day.  Why do we need to clean it out right now?  Let's accomplish one thing and then we can focus on the other.  Well he gets pissy with me because he wants to do things his way.  Even though his way doesn't make any sense!

Later were in the car, sitting at a red light and I pick up my phone to look at a text message.  Well...OMG that is against the RULES!  "Mom! No texting and driving!" "
"I am not texting! I'm reading! I am sitting still...not actually driving where I could hit someone."
Blue plays by the rules...the black and white.  I definitely like to hang out in the gray area...cutting corners around the rules.

We reach our destination, again I pick up my phone to send a text.  I am making arrangements for an evening out with a girlfriend.  I am also making arrangements for him to get together with a friend while I am out.  He continues to give me a lecture about text messaging.  "It seems like you're always texting someone.  What happened to the good old days?" ...etc.  Then he goes back into the texting while driving lecture.

Geez! How many husbands do I have exactly? This speech is straight out of my husband's playbook. My husband gives me a hard time about Facebook and texting, etc.  He works in information security and really does not like social media outlets.  You can guess how he really feels about this blog. He's supportive in a way...but he is also very private.  When he gives me a hard time, he is teasing...sort of.  I politely...and sometimes, not so politely ignore him.  What it comes down to I think, is that they want me to be focused on them ALL THE TIME! I'm not supposed to have a life that's not always ABOUT THEM!

Before I completely loose it on my poor little son...I think it would be best to break this down to him.  I have PMS!  This is not the time to mess with me!  He did not want to do the puberty video at school and I'm not even sure if they cover the subject of girls and their "cycles" in the boy's presentation.  He was about to get a lesson in Females 101.

"Females have something called a cycle, where once a month for about a week, their bodies go through these hormonal changes.  It can put them in a bad mood.  Their patience may be short.  They may get angry very easily.  They may cry more easily and not act like their normal cheerful selves.  This is my week."

I also explain that he may see this in girls at school.  One day they may be nice and friendly and the next day you will wonder why they are in such a bad mood.

A light bulb goes off in his head.  I could see the gears spinning in his thought process.  He says, "So that's why we haven't been getting along?"

That's part of it...his Aspergers, rigid thinking, anxiety, acting like he's my boss instead of my son, that's the other part.


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anxiety Rising

It's summer here in Austin --that is summer with a side order of anxiety.  Is it that too much time on his hands...means more time to worry?  What will I do every day?  Will I see my friends? What will these camps be like? Will I have to deal more with my pain-in-the-neck brother?  If Mom leaves me alone with him...will he blow a gasket? Will we have as many thunderstorms as we did last summer? Will I be as afraid as I was then? Will there be a storm tonight?  Will I be able to sleep?

Every night so far...Blue has wanted to sleep in the bathroom --afraid of the possibility of storms.  We're talking even if there is a 10% chance. This is better than last year where he spent days of sunshine in the bathroom.  I have not allowed him to go there.  "We are not going backwards son.  You are going to be fine in your bed. I'm not trying to be mean.  I just want you to get a good night's sleep.  I am doing this for your own good...to show you that you can do it." He hesitantly accepts my answer  although, he is literally shaking in his bed.

I put on soft music and pray with him.  After our prayer he says, "God doesn't have time to worry about me being scared.  He's too busy listening to all of the people who are praying for rain."

"God is never too busy for you." I say...really trying to convince myself at the same time.  He makes a good point.  I'm sure God is pretty busy. There goes that doubt in my faith.  "What he will do is give you the strength to get through the storm.  He will help you to sleep deeply...soundly so that you don't wake up.  He will protect you during the storm."

Great wise words right?  In the back of my mind I think I wonder if all those who lost everything in the recent tornadoes said their prayers the night before they lost everything...for many of them, including their lives.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Silent Sunday

On This Silent Sunday I am sharing some of our family art work...

Blue's most recent work
Done on black paper used white pastel and charcoal

My attempt @ drawing and Oil Pastel
Blue did this one last year 2010 age 11

Blue's landscape Oil Painting

Shady...my eldest son completed this in high school several years ago.



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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Put a Frame on It

One of our family traditions with the boys is on the last day of school, we go out to lunch to celebrate.  School usually ends around noon and they have not eaten.  Yesterday, we end up at one of our favorite pizza places.  Blue grabs the table while I pay for our order.  He is not sitting at the table but he has our two cups and plates placed on the table.  I grab a seat.  He comes over and says, "Umm...that's my seat."
"Oh...I'm sorry.  Can we just switch?"
"But I was sitting there."
"I didn't know that.  I'm already sitting can you just sit on that side?"
"Uh...that's rude."
"Oh...excuse me!" I get up ready to switch seats.  I see that there are a few crumbs on the other seat.  Now I get it.  The side he chose is cleaner.  Apparently, he doesn't want to clean off a few crumbs.  I get a little pissed.  I totally take it personally.  I feel stepped on because I'm trying to do something nice for him and he's being crappy over something as trivial as the seats.  He knows that I'm pissed...so that makes it worse.
"I can't do anything right!  All we do is fight.  We just can't get along!  I don't want to fight with you all summer.  My summer is going to be ruined!"

This misunderstanding is not about the seat at all.  It's about anxiety over the transition into summer.  It's about not knowing exactly what the routine will be.  It's about having to spend more time with me and more time with his brother.  It's about leaving behind all of the things and routines that he has gotten used to over the school year and he will now miss.

It's also about the fact that he did not get enough rest the night before.  We went shopping and out to dinner because he wanted to buy these Nike Plus shoes from the outlet mall.  We went and had dinner afterward and we didn't get home until 10 p.m.  He goes to bed at 9 or 9:30 at the latest.  He woke up on his own the next morning because he was excited about the last day of school.

On our way home from this cranky lunch...he falls asleep in the car.  Ah hah!  There you have it.

The frustration level continues throughout the afternoon.  I can not say or do anything to ease the pain or burden he is carrying.  Everything I say makes matters worse.  Everything dad says, seems to soothe the savage beast.  I also take this personally.  I shouldn't...but I do.

He says he doesn't want to go to art lessons with me.  I am fine with that.  I don't want to go with him either.  He always rushes me at the end of our lesson when I'm trying to finish up something that I am painting.

I take a long hot bath.  He and dad make plans for the evening.  I leave for my art lesson...alone.  Followed by a stop at my favorite watering hole, where I have a Margarita flight...alone.

I sit there on the patio having text message and Facebook conversations with my friends.  I do not call or invite anyone to join me as this is a totally last minute adventure.  I just do not want to go home. My Facebook status: "If drinking alone is a sign of being an alcoholic all I can say is...it runs in the family."

This morning I read a blog post on Mama Be Good titled "Frame it Hang It" Brenda reminds herself that her son's anxiety is not about her, it's not to be punished or taken personally.  The words she wants to frame are "I am Anxious.  I'm trying to tell you but I can't!"  I am showing you what anxiety looks like by my behavior, but I'm really just plain old anxious! You have to read her entire post.  It's incredibly insightful.  Thank you Brenda!

Of course now I feel terribly guilty for taking it all so personally.  I guess the sign I need to frame is "I am human."

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Funny Friday -June 3rd!

"Mom -can I get paid $20.00 to do the dishes?"
"Uh...that would be a no!"
" How about $10?" I just look at him. "How long will it take you to do these dishes?"
"About 5 maybe 10 minutes."
"Minimum wage is $7.25 per HOUR!  Five to 10 minutes of work is worth a couple of bucks.  Seeing as you used these dishes, I shouldn't be paying you at all!"
"That's not fair!" (his favorite phrase in the whole wide world).
"You're right it's not fair for me to be paying you to clean dishes most of which YOU dirtied!"
"You know Mom...I'm getting really tired of this reality stuff!"

All I could do was laugh!
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I carpool every morning with Blue and his two friends who also have autism.  They are twins...one high functioning, the other a little lower.  They are the happiest couple of kids I know.  Boy 2 (lower functioning)  gets into the car first this morning and says to me,  "Would you like to kiss me?"  He grabs my hands and purses his lips.

I smile and say, "No.  I do not want to kiss you.  I think that would be inappropriate."
"Well...how about dance with me?"
"No...I don't want to dance either but you go right ahead!"

Instead of dancing...he locks the other boys out of the car! On purpose!
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Angela from my Community Facebook Page says:

So at the elementary school where my friend is a teacher there was someone who kept writing inappropriate stuff on the wall. Principal was checking all the teachers bathroom sign out sheets trying to find the culprit. 


Student with autism tells teacher - "I know who it is - they signed their name." 

Teacher says "who was it?" student with autism says "they signed their name - Dick"
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Sharon from Mama's Turn Now says:
I ask Jay to help me carry these two boxes into our local Town Hall.  As we are approaching the building Jay notices two rather attractive young girls standing outside the door. When the girls see us coming they politely open the door for us and say hello. Jay says hello then clears his throat and in a much more deeper voice say, "I mean Hello there Ladies!" Then he winked at them! The girls giggled, I just rolled my eyes.
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Elena also from my Community Facebook Page her son G3 calls her almost daily from school:


"Mama, I had an altercation in P.E... but I'm not getting in trouble cuz all my friends know that they have to fight for SPARTA and they've got my back.." 
"Well, okay G... are you sure no one is going to call me?" 
"Yep, I told the a.p. you were named after Helen of Troy... I think she's afraid of you now.." lol 


The a.p. did call 20 minutes later only to tell me the story and how she couldn't stop laughing.  I said, "Well, the reality of it is that my mother really DID name me after Helen of Troy" (yeah, we're all nuts in my family) 


Welcome to the human race Elena...we're all crazy! 


I have to share one more from Elena:






G3 rips all of his school uniform pants at the knees... yesterday when I went to pick him up, he had cut his pant legs to make "hats" out of them.
I mean, don't we all do that? 
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And Finally a funny from my boy Blue:



"Mom...why do people kiss?" 
"To show affection.  It's a way to show someone that you love and care about them.  Plus it feels good."
 "But it's sharing germs!" 
 "Yes...but you're not really thinking about germs when you do it."
 "Well, I'm not doing it...EVER!"
Somehow I don't think he was thinking about kissing a relative.  I think kissing a girl is definitely on the radar.  I give it two years. 

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guest Post Today -Mama's Turn Now

Thanks to the gracious invitation from Sharon @ Mamas Turn Now I am guest posting over there today!  I am so excited by the invitation.  When she asked me to do it I enthusiastically said yes.  Two days later, my life fell apart.  God has helped me slowly piece it back together and I was able to come up with a few words.

Sharon's children are younger than mine and her son Jay also has Aspergers.  She asked me what I would do differently in my journey to raise these special boys.  I don't have many regrets about my efforts with the boys, but there are a few things that I think Mom's who are going through this journey should know and the sooner...the better!

You should follow Sharon's Blog.  She's a very funny writer and a supportive friend!  She and I are going to share some big adventures in the future...but we'll talk about that later!

Please check out the Guest Post!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Avant-garde Family Vacation

Doesn't that sound cool? Avant-garde! It's better than weird...unconventional, strange, dysfunctional which is what we really are.

We do lots of things differently around here...i.e. vacations.  It's been a long time since we've piled the entire family into the car or onto a plane to go on a family vacation.  It's really not a lot of fun.  It's just more work in another location for me.  Blue can have a good time anywhere.  Red...he complains no matter where he is, especially if I'm there.  That is really frustrating --when you're paying a lot of money to listen to someone complain.

In recent history -we send Red on vacation either alone to see other family members (which he loves)  or we send one of the boys alone with their father.  Recently Red and I took a little mini vacation to San Antonio, which is only 90 minutes from home.  I wrote about Six Flags More Fun ...more fun for him that is.

Back in April -I took my own vacation...away from all of them.  It was a complete blast! I wrote Dear L.A. ...how do I love the? Let me count the ways.  I had so much fun away from my family for 6 days! I came home refreshed, renewed, ready to deal with my reality.  Didn't take long for the renewal to wear off.  Reality came and slapped me in the face...woke me up and said, "Snap out of it!"  I'm ready for another vacation right about now!

Now it's Hubby's turn to take a trip.  Last year he spent his birthday in Georgia with his brothers.  He took Red with him on that trip.  This year he is going to L.A. to the Playboy Jazz Festival. There's only one stipulation...I'm making him take Blue with him.  Blue will mostly spend time with my family (his cousins) while he is there.  Dad will get a break, go to the festival and see his friends.  The issue is...I don't want to be stuck here -alone, with the two boys.  Been there, done that, don't want the t-shirt!

Of course when Red found out the guys are planning a trip to L.A. without him, he looses it.  "That's not fair!" he shouts...no screaming, which is good, but lots of whining and shouting.  "But I want to go! I want to go to Six Flags -Magic Mountain!"

"I want to go too!" I say.  "But I don't get to do everything that I want to do!"

We quickly explain that he's been on 3 trips to Blue's one trip in the past year.

"Was it fair when you went with Dad to Georgia last year and Blue didn't go?"
"Was it fair when you went to L.A. over Thansgiving and your brother didn't go?"
"Was it fair when you went to San Antonio last month and your brother didn't go?"
"Well...I rest my case!"

I also threw in the fact that Blue has worked incredibly hard this school year, making straight A's.  He also worked very hard on his state testing and received commended scores. Yes -I also mentioned that he treats us with great respect.  He more than deserves this trip!

Without much further ado...Red had no choice but to shut the heck up!

BTW...Red continues to do better.  Things are not perfect...but they are much more manageable.  Thank you all for your prayers, positive energy and support.


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