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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Silent Sunday

We all enjoyed the wedding we came to Maryland to attend.  The boys met some of their cousins for the first time.  They connected instantly.   There is something kind of wonderful about being surrounded by family.   




All dressed up...with somewhere to go.  We danced the night away.  Isn't he handsome??? I think I may just marry him! Oops I already did! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big Day

Today is the big wedding we came to Maryland to attend.  My husband's brother is getting married.  Hubby will stand up with his brother.  Can't wait to see him in that tux!  He didn't wear a tuxedo at our wedding.  We had an African themed wedding,  so he wore a beautiful linen African ensemble.  I wore a pretty non-traditional wedding outfit that I designed.  A jumpsuit the bottom part was a wide pant with a bodice attached.  I wore a cape that looked like a dress that I would take off when it was time to party.  It's sort of hard to describe.  I wish I were at home so I could scan a picture of it.  I wanted to go very non-traditional -not serving wedding cake, but peach-cobbler instead.  I just about gave my mother a heart-attack with my lack of tradition.

Last night we attended the wedding rehearsal.  Red has a thousand questions as usual.  It dawns on me that neither he nor his brother have ever attended a wedding.
He says, "Only two people are getting married.  Why is everybody else walking down the isle and standing up there?  Are they getting married too?"
"Now let's just think about that question.  Your dad is standing up there.  Do you think he's marrying the girl he's walking down the isle with? Do you think they're going to kiss and have a baby?  No...they are here to stand up with your uncle, to support him because they love him."
Don't think for a second he only asked this question once.  He kept saying, "I don't get it.  Why are we here?  I don't get it.  Can we leave now?  I'm hungry."
Then he asks, "Why do people have to get married anyway?  You can have a baby and live together without getting married, so what's the point?"
Now his uncle already has like a zillion children and has been living with his girlfriend for years.  So this is actually a pretty good question...one that I flounder to answer.
I give him something about God prefers that we get married.  "When you are married you share a spiritual  and legal commitment.  You don't walk away so easily when things get tough...and things will get tough." Yada, yada, yada.  Does he get?  Not really.  Do I believe any of what I just said to him? Sort of.  The truth is I think marriage is a bit of a sham.  As a girl, I suckered myself into believing that it was a fairytale -happily ever after.  The truth is...it's a lot of freakin' work.

However, when my boys grow up...I do want them to have a family and hopefully one of them will give me a granddaughter.  I want them to be committed to being a partner and father, involved in the care and raising of their children on a daily basis.  Does that require a marriage license? Not really...but for my boys who believe in following the rules...they will believe that marriage is a binding contract.  So hopefully, they won't cut out when it gets tough.

Right now, Blue tells me he will NEVER get married and have kids.  He says, "Kids cost too much money."  Red is not sure if he will ever find someone who can put up with him.  He says, "You know how I fight with my family now...I'm afraid that I will do that if I get married."  I tell him that I'm sure that when he matures, he will have the skills to get along with people better (and I half-way believe this).

More and more lately Red asks these questions that just don't make any sense.  Sometimes I think his dialogue is just his way of thinking out loud --trying to process things.  Then other times I think...are you kidding me? I worry about him having these obscure conversations with other people.   They will think he's bonkers.  I am hoping that he only asks these non-sensical questions with me because I am his comfort zone.  Other times, it seems like he's going backwards cognitively.  He has always been pretty bright.  He can focus and learn everything there is to know about a subject of interest,  but as he grows older, it seems like if it's not a subject of interest, he appears clueless.

His executive planning appears to get weaker instead of stronger.  His common sense factor is almost non-existent.  This worries me, because I want him to become independent.  Lately, his younger brother helps him with things like step by step, making up his bed, now you need to do this, or that.  His YOUNGER brother tells him about saving money and setting goals to get the things that he wants.  Blue explains to him how life works, which really irks the crap out of Red.  He will say, "Just shut-up Blue.  I hate the sound of your little voice.  You're not smarter than me!" Which essentially means that he's afraid that his little brother may be smarter than him.  Blue even tries to explain that, "It's not that I'm smarter than you...it's just that I understand somethings better.  Everyone has different gifts."  (He got that from me...the gifts part).

Red's focus is off center.  Walking through the airport the other day, he is looking out the window at airplanes while he is walking through a crowd.  He's not looking where he's going.  I'm like, "Hello!  Look where you're going before you bump into someone."

With today's wedding I'm sure there will be a trillion more questions.  I look forward to both of the boys being surrounded by love and acceptance from all of their cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents.  There is nothing like the love of family to give you a sense of comfort.   They will be oblivious to any craziness and family drama that is going on behind the scenes.   I pray that they will just have pure fun.

Nameste' (peace be with you) 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bed Hopping

When we travel as a family, we often use frequent flyer miles, which doesn't always leave the best options as far as travel times.  It's either the crack of dawn or late in the evening.  I hate the crack of dawn...you're so tired the day you get there it's a complete waste.  You can't sleep the night before you leave -anticipating the early morning departure...thinking about what you may be forgetting to pack.  Then getting everyone up and to the airport on time.  It's exhausting and stressful.

We take an evening flight this time, with a layover in Dallas.  We are delayed leaving Austin and then rushed to the 2nd flight, eating fast food, or should I say gas food, along the way.  Hurry up and wait! We get on the flight and start taxing out, only to return to the gate a few minutes later because of mechanical problems.  Basically, we are being held hostage by the airline.  Thank you very much!

We are already scheduled to arrive in D.C. at 1 a.m.  Well..now that's been delayed till slightly after 2 a.m.  Luckily, the flight is not full, so Blue and I have 3 seats to share.  Red has 3 seats to himself in the same row across from us. Hubby...oh he's all alone in the emergency row behind us, totally oblivious to the cross talk and fighting that's been screamed across the isle between the two boys.

Hubby is alone that is until a boy, who I am sure has special needs (as he had little facial expression and was sitting there reading a book in German) moves up into one of the seats in Hubby's row just before take off.  This kid (age 19) is farting up a storm...and this is before the air conditioner is cranked up to help circulate the air.  My husband is sitting there discriminately covering his nose.  I just laugh!  Ha ha! That's what he gets for sticking me with the kids.

So the plane is about to land.  We tell Red to put his shoes on.  He refuses.  He wants to watch the landing.  Then he wants to watch all of the planes on the ground.  When we park at the gate he is still sitting there looking at us with one shoe on.  We get our things and leave him sitting there.
He yells, "So you guys don't care about me?"  You're just going to leave me?"
"We care about you...that's why we told you to put your shoes on before we landed.  You chose not to listen.  See ya!"
A normal consequence for not listening when we tell you it's time to go, is that you get left behind.   You're 15 years-old.  I think it's about time you figure that out.

In the car on the way to the hotel, I have to play possum like I am asleep so that he will stop talking and asking questions.  Everyone is completely tired and spent by this time.  It's almost 3 a.m. (eastern).

We get to the hotel and then it's time for bed hopping.  The plan is that Red is going to stay with his grandmother, who lives right down the street from where we are staying.  But it's so late, that we can't take him over there.  This means the boys will have to share space.  This is not o.k. with Blue.  He feels that he must sleep alone...in complete quiet and privacy at ALL times.

Blue would rather sleep in the bathroom on the floor than sleep next to his brother.  He is ready to take couch cushions and blankets into the large bathroom to sleep.  That is until his brother says, "Wait...I need to use the bathroom first."
"What number do you have to do?"
"Number 2."
OH NO!  Now that's ruined.  Blue is in tears.  How can he sleep in a bathroom that his brother just used as a...well...bathroom?!

Hubby agrees to allow Blue to sleep in the king-size bed with me.  He will share the part of the sectional couch while Red sleeps in the sleeper sofa.  Even this is not o.k. with Blue.  Mom may snore...or breathe too loud.  Heaven forbid!  I give him melatonin and a relaxation vitamin supplement.  I rub his back gently through his tears and basically tell him he doesn't have much of a choice in the matter.  We have to be flexible.  Flexible??? What's that???

I tried to sleep as quietly as I could.  Which means, I didn't sleep much at all.  We have yet to leave this hotel room.  The boys are still sleeping.  Thank God!!!

As my friend says...Waaitresssss!  Can you get me some Bailey's with that coffee?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All Up in My Kool-Aid

We all have the same issue in this house no one can mind their own business.  We have three generations in this house and we all do it.   We all have to put our 2 cents in to every conversation, even when the conversation does not directly involve us.

One of my sons is talking to me...my mom chimes in from the next room.  She's not even in the same room and she has something to say.  Blue says, "Mom can I have so and so?"  My mother answers, "He already had such and such."  I say, "Your name is Nana.  He said Mom?  Can I answer my own child?"  They call her the food recorder.  Because she mentally records everything they eat and reports it when they ask for something else.  We also call her, Echo and Kool-aid.  Have you heard the term, "Stay out of my Kool-Aid?"

I am chastising or correcting Red, Blue chimes in.  "Yeah Red...don't you get it? You need to listen to your mother?" Better yet, when Red is being rude and ungrateful....Blue chimes in by being overly gracious just to piss his brother off.

My husband is the only one who doesn't do it.  He says it's been passed down from generation to generation from my mother.  And now that I think about it, my grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to do this also.  I remember getting so irritated with her, because she would offer advice on how to cook certain things that I already knew how do cook.  I distinctly remember her telling me how to make a hamburger patty and me saying, "Does she really think I don't know how do this?" Don't get me wrong...I loved my grandmother beyond belief.  I just hated how she always put her 2 cents in, even when it wasn't asked for.

This all irritates me beyond all belief.  Yet, I do it too.  I consider myself to be the voice of my children.  I think I understand them and their way of thinking better than anyone...including their father.  When I here that there is a misinterpretation going on....I will chime in and interpret for them.  If my husband is being too harsh and aggressive I chime in, "You know Honey, when aggression meets aggression the explosion gets bigger."  Of course he gets really angry when I do this.  He has expressed interest in me waiting until we are behind closed doors to voice my disagreement.  I know he is right...but I just can't seem to stop myself in the heat of the moment.

We all hate when the other person does it.  Red gets more and more irritated when different voices are coming at him when he is already agitated.  Especially, when all of the voices are telling him that he is wrong.  He snaps usually at the incoming voice..."Shut up!" Then we get mad because he's being even more rude.

I just can't tell you how fun it is to live in this crazy house?  This is an endless cycle...a merry-go-round that keeps spinning faster and faster and I want  off.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Silent Saturday

You are the golden rays of the sun
You comfort me like no other
I look for you
I seek you...
I find you in my car
Where you are, I am there
My appetite for you insatiable
You are delicious
I need you
You are comfort
In you I hear the rhythm of my thoughts
You are my lover
You are my friend
Like me...you get better with age
I miss you when you're away
Won't you stay
Life is better with you than without you
You are an invaluable treasure
Your worth we can not measure

You are music
You are wisdom 
You are a garden giving birth to colorful blossoms 

You are the elusive companion of every mother
You are the essence of  her creative mind
The secret ingredient in her recipe
Let her find you and be with you in every corner, behind every closed door
Rock her gently...sooth her.
Give her what she needs
A dose of you is medicine for her soul
An ounce of you helps her nurture more gently...with patience
You nourish her
Give her refreshment
Quench her thirst
In you she finds herself
Listens to her inner voice
Silence...you are golden
You are love

Friday, July 22, 2011

Funny Friday


Next week we are going to my brother-in-law's wedding in Baltimore, Maryland.  We leave in 5 days and I have zero, zilch, nada for the boys and I to wear to this shindig.  Money is tight so that's one excuse for my not shopping yet.  Then there's also the fact that I am not looking forward to shopping with the boys.  I usually just pick things up, bring them home for them to try on, and take them back if they don't fit.  However, this time we're talking dress clothes that have to fit properly...not jeans and oversized shirts or sports gear.  I have no idea where to start without them present to try the stuff on.  I will be running around like a chicken with it's head cut off for the next few days trying to get this all figured out.

The funny thing about this wedding, is that the happy couple already has 8 or 9 children between them.  I can't keep up.  I think she had 4 children, he had 3, then they had 2 together.  Now...they're getting married!  I think that's pretty funny.  (Sorry D...I love you!)

I have very mixed emotions about the institution of marriage.  Of course, I have been married for 17 years...I think.  I have no intentions on getting a divorce.  I love my husband.  As husbands go...I think he's a good one, the best! But if for some reason I did loose him...I WOULD NEVER GET MARRIED AGAIN!  Let's just say...there's a reason they call it an institution!

This week's funny Aspergers moment:

Red spends the day with his new friend, who also has Aspergers.  The two of them talk non-stop all day about airplanes.  I mean they hardly take a breath.  They also play flight-similator all day.  They are also supposed to go swimming at some point in the day.  When I call to check on him, Angel, his friend's mom says, "They have not gone swimming yet.  They've been to busy talking!" I nudge her to push the issue with Red...he really needs to exercise.  They give her every excuse, "I really don't like swimming," says her son who has a pool in his backyard and swims all the time.  Eventually, they do get in the pool and do more talking than swimming.

Later that evening Hubby goes to pick Red up.  They are all standing out in front of the house talking.  I think this was the first time the two fathers met and my husband can really talk!  After talking all day long with Red, and now talking for a while with all of the parents, Red's friend says, "I'm going to go inside now.  I can't talk anymore.  My lips are starting to hurt."

Red has definitely met his match.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anxiety Rising

This week Blue is in Art camp again.  This makes the 2nd week in a row that he has a camp that starts early in the morning.  I've tried to get him to bed on time every night.  Some nights, he procrastinates...other nights he gets in bed and can't fall asleep.  Most mornings are a struggle to get out of bed.  He's snappy, and grumpy, everything is a major problem and most of it is my fault.  Fatigue leads to anxiety.

Dad is away on a business trip this week.  We switched places.  Now he is in Houston, and I am home.  Blue would prefer that Dad be home.  They are really close.  The older he gets, the more like-minded they are.  Dad can answer all of his scientific and computer questions.  They talk about things that I don't have a clue about, or an interest in having a clue about.

I'm sorry.  I just can't clutter my mind with idle trivia.  I don't have that much room in there, or ability to retain knowledge about things that don't matter to me.  I have enough details about medications, dosages, who takes, what when, who needs to be where when, keeping the house stocked with food, cooking said food, medical appointments, my mothers needs, my husbands needs, the kids needs, projects around the house that need to be completed,  playing referee.  Then there's my blog, my Facebook Community Page (have you joined us yet), Twitter (we all know how important this is right?), my friends, and some semblance of a an adult social life.  Oh lets not forget trying to fit in a bit of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet for my family.

Anyway...having Dad away is a source of stress for Blue.  Stress leads to anxiety. We have also had the mild threat of a few thunderstorms.  He magnifies that mild threat times about 1000.  We've actually had nada...nothing in terms of thunder in a very long time.  We are in a major drought and have had very little rain.  Even when there is a little rain in the area, somehow it tends to skip over us...an answer to Blue's prayers I guess. He says he doesn't mind the rain.  It's just the thunder and lightening.  Well, we've had neither.  Fear leads to anxiety.  Are we noticing a trend here???

So apparently yesterday in Art Camp there was a philosophical discussion about Greek mythology, as they are working on Greek Art.  Apparently, one of the teachers has strong opinions about the importance of it, and a few of the kids have some knowledge based on the Percy Jackson movie.  Blue doesn't know much about it.  He has played a game that is based in ancient history (can't think of the name right now) but the teacher apparently told him that the game is not based in fact.  Because, he is so literal, he takes everything that is said, even opinion -as fact.  Especially because it comes from an authority figure.

By the time I pick him up from camp, he is ready to explode! "Why don't I know about Greek mythology?!!  Why did Mr. A -say....?"  I try to explain that some of things said were his opinion.  I tell him that he is only 12...I didn't learn about Greek mythology until I was in high school, and I still don't remember much about it.  You can't know everything about everything.  Sometimes, you know little or nothing.
"You do have special gifts and interests an in those areas you can probably run circles around Mr. A. and any student in that class."  He definitely runs circles around his mommy!
"I don't remember much about Greek mythology at all,  but I know a lot about autism and I think I'm a pretty good writer.  Some people suck at writing.  God gives us all special gifts.  We can't all be perfect at everything."
"I don't want to go back to that camp.  I quit!"
"In your life are you going to quit everything because you have one bad day?"
"No," he says through whimpers.

After a good cry and a phone call to his dad, he calms down.  We spend the rest of the day, just taking it easy.  We have an early dinner, a shower and watch a movie together.  I am praying he won't loose it over the breast feeding and maternal nudity in the movie "Babies" we watch together.  He is grossed out, but he doesn't leave the room and he doesn't over react.  "You breast fed just like those babies are doing," I tell him.
He looks at me in shock. "Ewh!"

I give him melatonin to ensure a good nights rest.  He's in bed by 9 p.m.

This morning he wakes up refreshed and ready to go at 7 a.m.  In fact, he woke me up.  He asked before he went to bed could we go to Starbucks for breakfast.  I agreed.  When we get there he orders a tall, decaf carmel frapuccinno, 2% milk, with whip.  I'm impressed.  I send him next door to get a chicken biscuit from Chik Fil A.   He arrives at Art Camp on time for the first time this week.

I love this kid! Is it because he's my son that I find him so amazing?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cream in my Coffee

Friday I decide to leave to go visit with my girlfriend for the weekend.  Before I leave, I have to do all of my mother, wife, caretaker duties.  Heaven forbid these guys have to go to the grocery store while I'm away.  Hubby knows that I need my space...I need a break, so begrudgingly he agrees to let me go.  He tries to put up a mild protest, "But it's the weekend and I'm leaving next week."
"Yeah, well I was here all of last weekend.  What did we do together?  Nada! You and Blue went on 2 dates.  You and I...zero!"

They all want me here because I am their comfort zone.  Most of all, I am the food lady.  They see me and all of a sudden it's, "What's for breakfast?  What's for lunch? Is there any coffee?  What am I supposed to eat?"  I'm like -do I have the word "Food" written across my forehead?

Almost every working day, especially when my husband is working from home...I bring him a cup of coffee in the morning.  He gets up and goes straight to the computer and the phone.  There's no time to walk down the stairs and grab a little breakfast.  At a minimum I bring him a cup of coffee, sometimes a danish, a granola bar, and if I'm in a really good mood --eggs, and toast.

There are days when I am laying in bed, usually on my laptop wishing that someone would bring ME a cup of coffee.  It never happens.  On Mother's Day this year, I finally get my wish.  My mother makes the coffee.  My husband brings me a cup.  The coffee is in a huge, heavy, beer mug.  It is the kind of cup that he uses.  I'm grateful for the gesture but...have you EVER seen me poor a cup of coffee for myself in a huge mug like this? I know exactly how you like your coffee.  Why don't you know how I like mine? 

On Friday, as I am preparing to leave for my trip to Houston, I'm at the grocery store picking up everyone's list of food.  I'm in the produce isle, my cell phone buzzes.  It's a text message from Hubby.  "Are you still at the store?"
I reply, "Yes."
"Would you like some company?"

He shows up just in time as I'm on the water isle.  I am smiling like a school girl, so touched by this gesture.  He hates the grocery store.  He hates pushing the cart.  He usually refuses to get one.  If he can't carry it in his hands or a handheld basket, he won't get it.  I give him a big kiss in the middle of the isle. He lifts the heavy box of water into my cart. I am smiling ear to ear.

This simple gift from the man that I love is the cream in my coffee.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gratitude

The cleaning people are coming to the house so we need to get out for about an hour.  I split up the boys, sending Blue with his Dad to lunch at Panera Bread where they can eat, get on their laptops and hubby can do a conference call.   I've been gone all weekend and Red has been a complete ass while I've been away, walking around angry, barking out orders.  "I'm hungry! Make me something to eat!  There's no good food here! I have a right to eat!"

I guess I should note here that I did not tell him I was leaving beforehand.  He was out visiting a friend and I left, like a thief in the night.  His behavior was probably about my leaving.  He feels like I am the only person who understands him, therefore he is very dependent on me.  He is also starting to freak out about school starting in a few weeks.  He also has a little anxiety about our upcoming vacation where he will be staying and spending some time with his grandmother.  (That part will be fabulous.)  His grandmother is great with him and she has some really fun things planned.  That doesn't keep him from not worrying about not being in his routine and comfort zone.

I have to take him with me and my mom to get him out of the house while the cleaners are in the house.  My husband has absolutely had it with him and so has my mom, for that matter, but she doesn't  have much choice as far as who she is going to go with.  She would much rather deal with Blue instead of Red who has been rude to her while I was away.  So would I...but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Red gets in the car and talks non-stop about where he wants to go and where he does not want to go.  Sucker that I am, I take him where he wants to go just to shut him up.  It's a pretty neutral place, not expensive and there is something that everyone will eat.  We order lunch.  He is cordial, it seems that he is almost delighted to be there.  He sucks down his burger and fries in two minutes flat and then asks for dessert.
Again...sucker that I am, I order it.  Big mistake! Huge!

We order a cookie based sundae with ice cream on top.  It is big enough for all of us to share.  In his mind it belongs to him. Of course, he doesn't have a nickel in his pocket to pay for it.  We explain to him before it is delivered that we will be sharing it.  "You can have one quarter of it.  No never mind...that's too much," he says.
"Excuse me...where is your money?  I brought you here and paid for everything you're eating.  I don't owe you dessert.  We will share."
"That's not fair!"
Dessert is delivered with 3 spoons.

He starts snarfing it down...trying to beat me too the punch.  He's guarding it like a dog with his arm and hand literally blocking my access.  "You're eating too much!" At one point he literally pushes my hand away.  I take the entire thing away.  "You're done.  You are being very rude."  Of course this really pisses him off.  He's shocked.

We here about it all the way home.  He can not see anything wrong with his actions.  I tell him, it will be a long time before he sees the inside of a restaurant with me.  "If you ever order dessert in the future...you will be paying for it.  That way you can hoard all of it for yourself."  He is literally blind in this situation, he really does not see anything wrong with his actions.  He is blaming the entire situation on me.

We pull up to the house, Blue comes out to greet us.  He is in a  happy go lucky mood. "Hi Red," he says.  "Hi Bitch," Red replies. WTF! You're kidding me right?  We all walk into the house, but Red is slow poking behind.  Everyone goes in.  I lock the door behind me, leaving Red in the garage.  He bangs on the door. "Let me in!  It's hot out here."
"You can leave.  You can go and live somewhere where people don't mind that kind rude behavior and language.  It's not acceptable here."
"What do you mean?  I live here!"
"Not anymore you don't.  Anyone who curses and is rude to his family, doesn't deserve to live in this house.  You can go live somewhere where that kind of behavior is acceptable.  You will not live here and just crap all over us.  Sorry."
"You can't do that!  That's child abuse!"
"I'm doing it!"

Hubby is ready to call the cops and tell him that he's being destructive to our home, because he is literally banging so hard he could damage the door.  Is this the best way to handle this situation?  Probably not.  Am I creating a melt-down?  Probably.  In this moment, I don't care.  I'm pissed and I want him to feel the pain of what he has done.

Hubby is completely spent at this point.  Apparently while I was away, Red said, "I hate you!" to his father.  That compiled with a ton of other pressures and stress just sent my husband over the edge.  Another factor in my husbands feelings, is the fact that our eldest son, Slim Shady, had just about completely abandoned his family.  We haven't seen him since April and he lives 10 minutes away.  He has been the best father these boys could ask for, and the two of them just slap him in the face over and over again.  He is just so done.  Hubby doesn't drink.  He doesn't exercise.  He has very little relief for his stress.  It all comes out in his gray hair, which is getting pretty white these days.  

Of course, I am the voice of reason.  I have no intention on letting read leave the house in this moment, but I want him to feel the impact of his actions.  I want him to be afraid, to realize that he can not just treat us any old way and expect to live here.  I tell him, "There are schools, where you can live where they will teach you how to live cooperatively with others.  There are residential treatment programs."
"But they will be mean to me.  They won't love me."
"Well...what difference does that make?  We love you and you treat us like crap!  You don't appreciate our love, so you may as well go somewhere where you can learn something.  We obviously can't teach you anything!"

It takes a while, in the heat of the garage for him to come to terms with his actions.  When he decides he is ready to apologize to his grandmother and his brother, we allow him back into the house.  My husband is about ready to blow a gasket!  He leaves the house and goes out for a ride in his car.  While he is out, e receives a phone call from one of our quirky neighbors on his cell phone.  This eccentric guy, makes him laugh.  He really needed it in that moment.  He felt like that was God in action, sending him a bit of laughter in the midst of his anger.  He needed a release and crazy Floyd gave it to him.

This morning I posted about gratitude on my Facebook Community Page. I ask, "Can you teach gratitude? Do you have issues with gratitude with the Aspies in your life?" Follow the link and feel free to chime in on the discussion or feel free to leave a comment here.

I also read a discussion here on Talk College Confidential where a woman discusses her son's lack of gratitude.

The bottom line here is Red does not possess it gratitude.  Can we teach him to be grateful?  No.  True gratitude comes from the heart.  It's an innate feeling that you either have or you don't.  He clearly does not have it.  Blue gets it.  We have taught him and I really feel gratitude coming from his heart, but every Aspie is different.  Can we teach Red the proper behavior when someone is doing something nice for him? Yes...we can and we will.  Even if it kills us!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Silent Weekend

In the dark of night mommy snuck away for a little girl-time.  I am spending this weekend shopping, lunching, brunching and just hanging with my Bestie, my God-daughter and my godchild to come.



Not exactly silent with a toddler, but pleasant giggles, laughter and pure, unadulterated fun even when she's being a drama queen. 

This is a reminder to all of my Mommies and Dads of special needs children....every once in a while you have to DO YOU!  It will give you just a little more patience and energy to endure our daily challenges. 

Hugs!

Karen

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Funny Friday??

Again...this has not been a very funny week.  Blue's anxiety is going off the charts.  I am proud to say, that he spent the week in PACE Math Camp, which unfortunately started at 8 a.m. every morning.  PACE math is accelerated math.  You have to test to qualify for it, determining that you have the skills needed to be in it. He is in 7th grade, so he will basically be taking 8th grade math.  He scored an almost perfect score on the state achievement tests.  He obviously has the skills he needs, but that doesn't stop him from being extremely anxious about taking this level of math.

So although he did just fine in the camp.  All of his questions for the teacher were related to how anxious he THINKS he's going to feel if he takes this class.  On top of that, this weeks grueling schedule of getting up early and having to think for 4 hours made him pretty grumpy once he got home, especially as we reach the evening hours.

I reassure him, "Let's just give it a try.  I think you're up to the challenge.  You have the skills you need.  You have accommodations in place  if you need extra time.  You will be fine."  Nothing I say matters when he is in this state of anxiety.   Everything is wrong...nothing is right.  Everything I say or do gives him a reason to be angry.

Bugs Are The New Storms

We are in a drought here in Central Texas so there haven't been any major thunderstorms lately.  Also it's been painfully hot so little creatures are looking for a cool place to hang out.  Bugs in the house have become the new thunderstorm for Blue.  We're talking a few tiny spiders here and there and for some reason we are also being invaded by rolly pollies (potato bugs).  Nothing harmful, just annoying.  Nevertheless, Blue has been freaking out about them.

"I can't live in this house with these bugs!  They're taking over.  I can't go anywhere without seeing them!  Those cleaning people aren't doing a good job.  They must be just sitting on their butts, eating chocolate instead of cleaning this house right," Blue says indignantly.
 
The funny thing is, we were at a coffee house the other day.  He notices, the same thing there in the corner as he goes to plug in his laptop.
"I guess they're following you," I say.  He doesn't see the humor in my statement.

Yesterday he comes banging on my door while I'm in the shower.  "I have to use your restroom!"
"Why can't you use another one?"
"Red pees on the seat in his bathroom and downstairs there's a spider web!"
"Tell Nana to help you with it.  I'm in the shower!"
"She can't help me.  You can't actually SEE the spider web.  But I know it's there!"
"So I'm supposed to get out of the shower dripping wet?"
"Well...yeah!"

So yes...it's just a barrel of laughs around here.

Here's what I have for Funny Friday:

We're in the backyard.  Blue is watering the brown areas of the grass, as he is trying to make chore money so that he can buy a new steering wheel for his car racing game. Red is standing around...in my face, blocking my view of the grass, trees, flowers and sky, talking non-stop about nothing.  

"Go get a plastic bag so you can pick up Harry's poop," the mom says to the son.
"I can't do that!  It smells!" says Red.
"Well...so do you, but I'm not going to hold that against you."

Aren't I the sweetest mom ever?  It's a PMS week.  He's lucky that's all I said.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Friendship 101

The other night Red hooks up with a couple of boys from his school at the gym.  They have a conversation that lasts oh...about 30 minutes or so, ending with him giving them his cell number because he doesn't have his with him to take their numbers.  One of the boys is a senior who drives, the other a sophomore like Red.  Both young men appear to be exceptionally nice -as young people go these days.

I am so excited about this exchange and the possibility of him developing a relationship with two atypical peers at his school.  As usual, I am more excited than he is.  One of the boys, Ricky (let's call him)  actually texts Red the following day.  I believe the text went something like, "Hey Dude. What's up?" He is reaching out.  The boys had talked about possibly getting together to workout in the future.

I was out most of the day, doctors appointment, lunch with a girlfriend, hiding at Barnes and Noble.  When I return, no meds have been taken.  No healthy food has been eaten, of course.  Nothing productive has been done.
"Did you hear from the boys you met?" I ask.
"Yeah...I think so."
"You think so? Either you did or you didn't."
"Yeah...Ricky texted me."
"Did you return the text."
"No."
"Why not?"
"I don't know.  I guess I wasn't sure it was him."
"Well, how will he know that he reached you if you don't return the text."
"I will," he says with no enthusiasm.
This is the boy who all year long whined about not having any friends at school.

A couple of hours later.  He is lying in bed telling me how unfair it is that his computer shuts down at 10 p.m. due to parental controls.

"Did you return that text yet?" I ask.
"No."
"Why not?"
"I guess I was too busy worrying about Six Flags."  He's been bugging the shit out of us about going to San Antonio to Six Flags for weeks.
"So you're busy worrying about something that's not happening now instead of focusing on developing a friendship that is right in front of you...today.  Did you ever think, maybe these two guys may actually want to go to Six Flags?"
"Fine...I'll text him."
"I don't get it.  Do you really want friends or do you just want to complain about not having friends?"
He has no answer for this one.

I lay in bed asking myself, why do I worry, get so excited, and work so hard to make things happen for him?  I buy into every whimper and complaint, when he himself refuses to do much about it.  This lakadaisical attitude is pervasive in his life.  He takes his jolly well sweet time to do everything I ask him to do, even when it comes to making friends.  It honestly feels like I care about his happiness and well being more than he does.

I know that he isn't the only one.  Developing appropriate social skills is not going to happen overnight.    I made this observation at an Aspergers Meetup pool party the other day.  One young lady spent the majority of the time talking to the parents in the group instead of the other teens.  She talked to the parents about their kids, but didn't interact much with the kids at all.  She talked to the parents about their kids, about getting together with their kids, but didn't spend much time talking to the kids themselves.

"How can you make friends with the kids if you aren't over there talking to them?" I ask her.  We encourage her to go over and join the group of teens at the table where they are actually sitting and talking.  All of us parents are a little taken aback that they are actually conversing.  Red happens to be one of those kids who is actually sitting there engaging in conversation with the other teens.  Of course, I am excited to see him do this.  Now will he make the effort to get together with any of these teens in the future?  Not if I don't plan it.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Diary

I'm feeling a little out of it today.  It's been really hard getting up to get Blue to camp by 8 a.m. these past two mornings.  We haven't had to be anywhere this entire summer before 9.  I'm totally off whack on my sleep schedule.  Up past midnight every freaking night, on the computer, watching t.v., staring at the ceiling.  Even If I'm tired, I can't seem to fall asleep.  Some nights I feel like I'm laying in a conscious state all night long.  Just a month ago I was at my doctors office, telling her how everything is all honky-dorie! Now I'm feeling like crap...stressed, can't sleep, anxious, like my body is conspiring against me somehow.


I've been working out more in the past week which is good.  I feel really good afterwards -a high kind of euphoria.  I take Red with me to work out, because I'm so worried about his recent weight gain.  I'd do anything for that kid.  In fact, I do everything for that kid.  What does he do for me?  Drive me nuts.  Everything is a struggle with him.  At first he fought me on working out.  Once we get to the gym, he seems to actually be getting into it.  I believe he thinks he is Jaden Smith, from The Karate Kid or this other guy on Extreme Makeover -Weight Edition.  So the first few times we go he is very cooperative and even says to me, "Make sure I do this every day for the rest of the summer!" I get all excited and so proud.


Last night's workout does not go so well.  Even though he asked to go, as soon as we pull up, he says, "I changed my mind.  I don't want to go in."  Of course, I don't take the bate.  We go in anyway.  We get on the treadmill and put on our Ipods.  I am soaring...in another world listening to the Black Eyed Peas, I got a Feelin, and I'mma Be.  It feels great!  He isn't moving to fast...no surprise there.  15 minutes in he says, "I'm done.  I'm ready to go home."  I'm just getting into my groove, and have no intention of stopping.  He gets more and more agitated.  I tell him to go do something else, like work on the weights. "I don't want to be here!" he says.  I refuse to stop my work out.  I tell him he can go sit out in the lobby. 


While moseying around the gym, he runs into a couple of his old teachers, who happen to be friends of mine.  They encourage him to hang in there, "Let Mom workout a little longer." He agrees.  He comes back in the gym and goes towards the weights.  He happens to run into a couple of boys from school who actually speak to him.  They start a conversation about working out, loosing weight, etc.  The boys are on the wrestling team.  They encourage him to join the team.  He certainly has the build for it.  Not only that, they offer to work out with him in the future.  He gives them his cell number, etc.  I actually go over and meet the boys.  They seem really nice...genuine.  I hope they will follow up with Red.  He certainly won't follow up with them.  


It would be so great if he actually does hook up with some neurotypical boys who go to his school.  This seems to me to be like another God-thing.  I tell him so when we get in the car.
"You know...meeting those boys was God working in your life.  I hope you can appreciate it and focus on all the positives.  You are blessed."  He acknowledges me with little enthusiasm.  I can only hope.


Anyway...back to me.  Isn't that ironic?  Back to me.  I seldom get back to me.   That's a big part of the reason I'm so tired.  I'm so busy being back to everybody else!  I go see my doctor today for my full physical, which is of course way overdue.  She tells me I should leave caffeine alone for a month and see if I can sleep better.  Really Doc?  Totally leave it alone...I don't think so.  Cut back to 1 cup of coffee in the morning and no cokes during the rest of the day...that I can do.   


Oh and Diary...my mother is starting to get on my nerves.  How do I tell her nicely to butt out of every conversation I have with Red, especially after she's had a half a bottle of wine?  Her chiming in is irritating to me and overstimulating for him.  Not only that, the more of an audience he has, the more he performs.  I've already gently mentioned it a couple of times.  When the wine is on board...my gentle reminder seems to fly right out the window.  


That's all the me time for today...have to get back to everyone else now.  


And Diary --thanks for listening. 


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Lifting Weight

Over the past few weeks I've noticed my son carrying what looks like a 4 month pregnancy.  The medication change in May included loosing Focalin, which has some appetite suppressing qualities and adding Seroquel which can change your metabolic rate.  Add in the fact that it is summer.  He is no longer walking all over campus, up and downstairs every day.  He is now primarily sitting in front of a computer, or sitting in front of a television, movie screen or laying in bed.   Stir in a taste of boredom --therefore eating every two hours, mostly carbs little protein, little to no vegetables and fruit.  Combine all of these factors.  It equals an approximate 20 pound weight gain in a relatively short period of time.

Is his behavior better with the medication change? Yes.  Of course, we don't have the stress of school do deal with yet.  We still get the annoying others, the occasional screaming because we don't get what we want, and of course the non-stop talking and asking obvious, obscure, crazy questions.

So what are we doing about the weight gain?  Trying to change the diet of a 15 year-old Aspie is next to impossible.  Does that stop me from trying? NO.  I fight the battle everyday of making him add the protein foods that he likes into his diet, instead of allowing him to go the easy route i.e. pouring a bowl of cereal, or popping 4 Eggos into the toaster.  He now has to make a couple of eggs and take away some of the waffles or the cereal.  I am now buying high protein "Mootopia" and higher protein,  low fat vanilla soymilk.  He tried this at my brother's house and liked it.  We added a mulit-vitamin so that his body isn't craving nutrients that he is not receiving.  He hasn't seen a fast-food burger in over a month.  If we stop on the go now -it's a turkey sandwich from Subway, no fries!  

We also added in a large dose of exercise.  We've been going to the YMCA several times a week.  We start out on the treadmill, move on to the elliptical machine, the bike and then weights.  After that we may go for a swim.  Some days we just go straight for the swim.  He balks at first when it's time to go.  Sooner or later we make it there and he really seems to enjoy it once we get into the groove.  He's been kind of fixated on "Karate Kid" the movie.  I think he feels like Jaden Smith when he starts working out.

I think it looks a little strange to have a teenage boy as big as my son, working out with his mother.  I can't help but long for his older brother to be the one who is doing this with him.  He played football all through high-school and his first year of college.  He's also been through basic training with the Army.  he would be the ideal work-out partner and mentor for his nearly 16-year old brother.  Unfortunately, right now, he is too self-absorbed in his own life to take any time for his family.

My husband is working like crazy and doesn't take the time to work out himself, much less take the time to work out with Red, who can be a real pain in the arse!  I am contemplating signing him up for a few sessions with a trainer.  But for now, it's me taking the bull by the horns, doing everything within my power to help him look good and feel good.  With Red, nothing is simple and easy, but I think we're off to a good start.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Silent Saturday

This week we tried the YMCA again...this time with no major catastrophes.  In fact, everyone got along great.  Red and I got in a good work out in the gym.  Afterwards, we joined Blue and his friends in the pool.  It was a great day.


Have a great, hopefully silent Saturday. 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Funny Friday

This weeks Aspergers Moment:

Mom serves food to two Aspie boys.  She follows up by serving them drinks.  As she puts the cups on the table, she pauses and looks like, are you forgetting something? 
One boy says, "Oh...thank you."
The other boy keeps eating.
Mom says, "You're Wel-come!" exaggerating the term.
Aspie boy looks up and says, "Oh...you're welcome," and keeps eating.

Mom is trying to get her son to stop eating an all carbs breakfast and add more protein to his diet.  Mom says, "You can have 3 waffles and 2 eggs."
Boy says, "But I have to have 4 waffles."
"No...you're adding 2 eggs to take the place of that 4th waffle."
"But if I have only 3 waffles I can't have syrup.  I have to have 4 waffles to have syrup."
Mom says, "You can have 1 waffle and still have syrup.  I do it all the time."
"No...I have to have 4," says the boy.
Mom thinks but does not say, well you don't need the syrup anyway.  So if that's what you think...fine with me. 


Editorial Note: The following was written late one night after a couple of glasses of wine.  My keyboard was fast and loose as was my mind.

Things I Want to Know

Why does the sign at Walgreens say "Fresh Apple Pies?" -How is that even possible at Walgreens?  Are they baking pies in the pharmacy?

Why do we actually celebrate people getting married like it's the best thing ever? -Those of us who are married know damn well exactly what they're getting themselves into?

Whose idea was the institution of marriage...really?

Why did I almost choke when the pastor said, "Love, honor and...obey?"  Obey?? I don't think so! Till death do us part? Jesus!! Really??? 

Whose idea is it that husbands and wives have to sleep in the same bed every night?  I had my own room for my entire life!  Now I have to share?  When women go through peri-menopuase that means that men-are-on-pause!  You should not have to listen to them snore when you're trying to sleep.  (Love you honey...if you're reading this. Really.)

Why not let gay people get married?  They should have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us? Who are we to judge?

Whose great idea was it to have children anyway? 

Why do people get married more than once? You've got to be freakin' kidding me! Oh this time it's going to be so much better.  It's better to keep him as your boyfriend honey!

Do we all go brain dead when we get pregnant more than once?  -Have we completely forgotten the misery the first child put us through?

If children were born as teenagers -would the world population just completely drop? Who would knowingly have more than one teenager?

Why is it that our children have so much more than we could have ever dreamed of as kids...yet they're constantly telling us they're bored?

My own children have told me that they are never having kids.  "Kids are too expensive.  They take up all of your money!"  Why is it that I didn't think that way before I had them? 

How many moms start drinking before 5 o'clock?  How many before noon?

Are there any questions you want to ask, but have been too afraid to say out loud...or in writing? Ask them here.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Things -By Tanya Savko

I am so honored and proud to announce my very first guest post by one of my favorite autism mamas --Tanya Savko, is the author of TeenAutism.com where she brilliantly wrote about her journey with her son Nigel throughout his early teen years.  Although the site is now static, meaning she no longer adds to it, the information held there is well worth it's weight in gold.  It is a resource I often refer to when I have questions about my own boys.  Her current writing can be found at TanyaSavko.com  Trust me when I tell you that her writing is poignant, insightful and so helpful for those of us on the journey of raising children and especially teens on the spectrum. You will fall in love with both blogs, as I have.  I've told Tanya, "I want to be just like you when I grow up."  The love of her children shines through in her writing, even when they are exasperating. Those of you who follow my writing probably thing I want to hang my children in a closet and leave them there. Please go visit both of her sights. Here you go:

You’ve already braced yourself. You know there’s no way this will be easy. But what comes next? As your son or daughter on the autism spectrum enters his or her teen years, what should you expect? What should you be aware of? All of these things ran through my mind as my son, who is going to start his junior year of high school soon, entered teenhood almost four years ago. And although I was right about it not being easy, we’re getting through it, learning as we go. Actually, several things have come up over the years that I hadn’t thought of on my way in (including some positive points)! These, in addition to some things I had already considered (as you, no doubt, have as well), make up my list:

10 Things for Parents of ASD Kids to Keep in Mind about the Teen Years

1) Sensory issues (such as sound sensitivity) continue to abate, and it gets easier to stay longer in restaurants and stores and other public places that were previously disastrous. Can I get a Halleluiah?

2) Dealing with the hormones of puberty is really hard for ASD kids who had more severe sensory issues when they were younger. As they got older, they learned to filter the sounds, etc. that previously bombarded their bodies. Now, hormones are bombarding their bodies, and, as with past sensory issues, it will take several years for them to learn to “filter” the hormones. (I also have a teenage son who does not have ASD, and puberty has been infinitely easier with that one.)

3) In addition to difficulty dealing with hormones, our ASD kids are still susceptible to other changes affecting their moods: time changes, seasonal changes, and schedule changes (especially when school is out), anxiety, behavioral issues, and OCD symptoms. A low dosage of medication can help immensely, and you can have them on it just for a limited time until they learn to self-regulate better.

4) As if they didn’t already have enough affecting their moods, the possibility of developing seizure activity is also something that can affect mood and behavior. The unfortunate fact is that 25% of people with autism will develop epilepsy, compared to less than 1% of the general population! Also, most sleep-deprived EEGs are only half an hour long and not always reliable. A 24-hour ambulatory EEG (ambulatory means you can be at home with a small piece of equipment) produces much more data to evaluate, so you get a more accurate picture of what’s going on. 

5) Good news – language and social skills can and do improve, especially if your child continues to receive therapy. And don’t give up, because even if you’ve reminded your child to say “thank you” a bajillion times, their first unprompted thank you might come at the age of 15, as my son’s did.

6) This next one’s a big deal for some of us, and I didn’t even know the terminology until two and a half years ago – executive function deficits. My son has severe problems with executive function – the ability to plan and organize school projects, work independently, etc. Not every ASD kid has this problem, but many do. If yours does, check this out: I’m giving away a copy of Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning. Simply come over to my current blog, www.tanyasavko.com, and leave a comment that you are interested in the book. On July 15 I’ll draw a name and email the winner for their address. It’s never too early to start helping kids with executive function issues, and I wish I had started sooner!

7) Along with executive function problems and emotional delay comes the possibility that your child might need a modified diploma. Remind yourself that this is not a reflection of your child’s level of intelligence or ability to comprehend what is being taught, nor is it an indication of laziness (as perceived by some). It may just be too overwhelming for your child to handle the workload of a high school student if he or she is emotionally ten or eleven years old.

8) Despite emotional delays and possible problems handling the school workload, your child’s need to assert some independence will increase. This is good news! It doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to drive any time soon (although some ASD teens do), but they might be ready to ride their bikes unaccompanied, and this, while scary, is still wonderful and amazing. 

9)No matter what, even if your child develops epilepsy in his or her teens (as mine did), even if you come to decide, despite Herculean efforts, that he or she will need a modified diploma (as mine does), things will get better. Ten – or even just five – years from now, your child will not be the same. In a good way. Read "If I Blogged 10 Years Ago" to see what I mean.

10) Remember that everyone is different. “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” My son’s experiences in the teen years will not necessarily be your child’s. His challenges may not be yours, nor his abilities. But the topics listed here are the main things that, as a parent, I wish I had known about going in. And I hope that knowing about them is helpful to you. 

I wish you all the best on your journey.

Tanya  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pulled a Fast One

During this school year Blue became very social.  Most of his friendships developed with peers who are also in his social skills group at school.  They also have either high functioning autism, ADHD or some kind of social/behavioral issue.  He bonded more than ever with the twins whom he has known since they were all in PPCD (Preschool Program for Chidren w/Disabilities).  

Since summer began, his cell phone which was once only used for him to call me, is now ringing with friends asking him to come "hang out".  I love it!  He has taken a trip to the mall ALONE with one friend.  This friend is also asking for him to go to a video/park and pizza place here in town --ALONE.  I'm still thinking about that one.  

I have also finagled and planned a couple of opportunities to hang out with an old friend from elementary school by collaborating with his mother.  I am proud to watch him develop and maintain these peer relationships, but in the past week or so he's been slacking on the social front.  He's been hanging out a lot here at home, with me or his dad.  He has also spending an awful lot of time with his computer.  

Granted it's been hot here in Central Texas, which has us all not wanting to do much. Whenever I ask him about playing with a friend he says, "Well...I'm kind of tired."  Or, "Maybe later,"
which turns into it's not happening.  He has gone to the movies and out to eat with his Dad which is great, but nothing on the friend front. 

A couple of days ago he buys a new video game --a very realistic car racing game for his computer.  He spends the entire day playing and figuring out the game with his dad.  By the end of the night, he is an anxious mess.  He's pacing the floor, openly frustrated because things are not going perfectly.  He wants to win every race with out spinning out.  This is not easy to do on the very first day you play the game. 

This morning he wakes up and starts the game before breakfast.  He comes downstairs ready to blow a gasket.  "Good morning," I say.  He ignores me.  He's got the angry, teeth grinding face.  When his brother starts coming down the stairs, that's it! 

"Great!  That's the last thing I need is to listen to him smack his food and to watch him spread his nasty germs all around this kitchen!  He never washes his hands!  It's disgusting!"

Oh...I forgot to tell you last night he told me his brother was breathing too hard! Breathing?  Really?  Now you want to control how he breathes?  That's rich! 

Mama decides...that's enough with the game for today.  Luckily, he has an art lesson scheduled.  That should be soothing.  I ask him to take a nice, hot shower and get ready for his lesson...no more game!  While he's at art, I text the twin's mom. "Can Blue come over to hang out with the boys?" 
"Sure...they're just here watching Star Wars," she replies.  Great!  

When Blue gets into the car I say, "The boys want you to come hang out and watch Star Wars?  Is that cool?"  He agrees, but says he is a little tired.  Mama knows once he sees his friends, he will be energized.   When we arrive at the boy's house, Twin 1 comes to the door.  "What are you guys doing here?" I quickly gloss over the question with something silly.

Sometimes...Mama has to pull a fast one.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No Fireworks

I had this picture in my mind of how I wanted my 4th of July weekend to go.  I wanted something different...no entertaining this year.  No cleaning up beforehand and afterward.  No slaving for hours cooking.  I knew that our city was canceling the fireworks show.  Which is a sad exclamation point at the end of the day.

I did manage to escape to the movies on Saturday...all by myself.  I saw "Larry Crowne" which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The reviews were not good, but I left the theater feeling lighter and smiling.  Me and Hubby got in a date that night.  We met some friends and all sat out on the patio of this restaurant that overlooks a little pond.  We shared margaritas and loads of delicious appetizers and adult conversation.

What I wanted for the fourth was a fun family activity --to go to a park or a lake and just hang out in the water.  Some friends of ours told us about a natural spring at at park a few miles away.  Well...I'll be damned if I could get my husband and kids on board.  They came up with excuses not to make it happen.

I will give hubby credit for going out and buying a family pack of barbecue from a local joint.  Their sides were pathetic so my mom doctored up the potato salad.  I made my own baked beans, guacamole and added a few grilled burgers for Red who doesn't like the other cuts of meat.  We bought a cherry pie and ice cream from the grocery store, which was actually quite delicious.  And of course...I made a pitcher of margaritas.  That was the cherry on top.

Tried to get the gang to watch a movie together at the end of the day -even that didn't work.  The highlight of my holiday was a warm bath behind closed doors.  I reflect at the end of the day...maybe I should have had a party and entertained some friends.  The extent of my socializing for the day was on Facebook and Twitter isn't that pathetic?  At least there was no cleanup...

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday I read a note from Oprah on Facebook after she returned to the states from visiting her girls in South Africa. Oprah says in her note,

"I know the 4th of July has turned into picnics and fireworks, and barbecue moments.  But it's worth of a pause, to think about what it really means to have Freedom. And while we're pausing think about those who sacrifice to make it so."

As usual Oprah got me to thinking about the simple freedoms that we often take for granted.  I venture to say, those of us of with brown skin, who are descendants of slaves have much to be thankful for in the freedom department.

When we are working in our yard and the boys are complaining I say, "Imagine working in a field picking cotton on a farm that does not belong to you, and you're not getting paid.  At least this is our yard."  I lived in an apartment my entire childhood, there was no yard.  They have never known not living in a house that belongs to us, where we can plant our own flowers and design the landscape.  

They have a neighborhood pool to go swim in around the corner from our house.  I had a city pool to go to across town and I had to ride two busses to get there.  They have excellent schools, right here in our neighborhood.  I had to travel across town to go to a decent school.  I could go on and on with this list, but I need to hurry along to do nothing (my plan for today).

Today we celebrate Freedom.  My husband brought home a family package of barbecue yesterday.  So today, I celebrate Freedom from cooking and the pleasure of doing absolutely nothing I don't want to do.

Happy 4th of July!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Silent Saturday

We all know that Aspergers shows up differently in each individual.  On this Silent Saturday I thought I would share a few pictures of Aspergers:

"I definitely do not want to go to the park!
I hate the park!" 

Eating his favorite dessert at his favorite Restaurant
right before he curses us out because he didn't get the biggest one!

"Thanks Mom and Dad this is awesome!"


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Friday, July 1, 2011

Funny Friday

It hasn't been a very funny week other than Monday.  That day was hilarious and it actually kept me laughing most of the week whenever I thought about it.  You can read about our Very Aspergery Day here.



My dog Harry...really does think he's human and I think he actually has Aspergers.  You can read my post about him here: Aspergers Dog.  He has no sense of boundaries.  He always interrupts my conversations.  He really does think the world revolves around him.  He doesn't think he can lay down unless he's on one of our micro-fiber blankets, and he would prefer the orange one or which ever one someone else is using.  The plain old carpet on the floor is just not good enough for him.  If I am typing on my computer, he will actually reach up and put his paws on the keyboard as if to say, "Hey...pay attention to me!  I'm here!"  He is truly spoiled like every other member of this household -which is of course, my fault. 

This is how I found him one morning this week.  He was sleeping laying on his back with all fours in the air as if he is human: 


Here is a really cute one from Mimi that she posted on my Facebook Community Page : 


"My son was told by my husband that he needed to go outside because it was a beautiful sunny day. My ASP son who hates to be outside (unless it involoves swimming)whined that it was too hot,too buggy,and that there was nothiing to do.My husband replied go out and get some exersize! One of the things my son is obsesed with is books by his favorite authors. So this is where I found him....I thought it was quite funny!"





Enjoy your Funny Friday!  I hope I have given you at least one smile for the day. 


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