Saturday, November 29, 2008

I've Lost My Funny

I've realized, as of late, that I've lost the edge to my writing. The ability to think of and then type out funny sorts of things. It's sort of like Dewey Cox in 'Walk Hard' when he says to his mother, 'Mama, I've gone smell blind!' I have apparently gone 'funny blind.'

Not funny, is it?

See?

We had a pleasant Thanksgiving here. It was just the four of us, which was kind of nice. I tried out several new recipes that were adjusted with rice milk, soy-based margarine and rice flour so as to make them gluten-free/casein-free. All in all, it turned out just fine, even though the thought of not using gobs of real butter was a bit appalling to this southern girl. The one thing that will not be repeated next year was the gfcf version of pumpkin pie. Its crust was made from gluten-free, honey corn flakes, and its filling (which the recipe warned would not solidify in the typical manner) was made with rice milk, instant hot rice cereal (for added texture) and then the other typical pumpkin pie ingredients. While it didn't taste bad per se, it was not the same as the good ol' pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the Libby's can of pumpkin. And the best part? M would not go near it with a 10-foot pole! B was happy to devour it, but I figure it was his first real Thanksgiving where his mouth was mature enough to eat such a thing...so what does he know?

We took both of the boys to get (much-needed) haircuts yesterday. I insisted this time upon going to the place that costs more money because they don't screw up their hair the way I, or the awful place I went to locally, do. I am proud to say that both boys are handsomely coiffed, and B doesn't have the giant rat's nest in the back that he has so popularly been sporting. Our plan after that was to take the kids to see Madagascar 2. We had quite a bit of time to kill, so we stopped off at Central Park in San Mateo. I highly recommend this park to anyone in the area. It is fantastic! We headed off to the theater with 30 minutes to spare before the movie started and yet it was still sold out. And so we ventured to another theater where it was again, sold out. This is not the first time I have had this problem when trying to take one of the kids to a movie. I usually purchase tickets online because of this, though we were still high on a bit of that turkey tryptophan clearly, and totally forgot. For any parent, this sort of disappointment is a big deal; but to a parent of a child with autism? Well...fuggeddabout it! M was beside himself, and there just aren't words available that can appropriately explain that sort of situation. Fortunately we were right by the zoo and made a quick left and were at another source of animal-filled entertainment. We were forgiven! Although poor B just wanted to see the elephants (last part rhymes with 'pants') and wouldn't you know, our zoo doesn't have any!

Wow...can you believe it's only Saturday? Just think of all the wondrous things I'll have to report back to you by Monday! I know...I can hardly wait either.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Success?

The other half and I made another attempt at the dreaded bum injection last night. I held my sweet, sleeping baby's arms down while the other half quickly administered the shot. He got all of the b-12 in as M sort of woke up, twisted his body toward us, and said, 'WAIT!' He then promptly went back to his deep sleep.

As we left the room muttering variations of 'this sucks,' the other half said, "It sure would have been a lot easier if he hadn't actually said a real word that we could understand!"

Poor kid. Here's hoping it works, and that Wednesday's shot is even easier.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Am No Nurse

Well, at least not in the technical, trained sense. I suppose all of us Moms play nurse in some capacity when raising children.

We have slowly (I mean reeeaaaaallllllyyyyy slowly) been reintroducing vitamin supplements into M's daily diet. Though we have not been one of the *lucky,* miraculously-responding patients of the biomedical approach to autism, it does resonate with me that M has some immune issues that could be improved with the addition of vitamins. I know what a daily regimen of vitamins does for me, so this is what I use to guide me in helping him.

However, one thing I did not plan for was having to give one of those supplements via injection. Many people have reported excellent results from b-12 injections. Better focus, less self-stimulating behaviors, and more words have all been seen as a result.
But, damn, if you don't have to give your child a needle in his bum every three days to try to get those results!

The other half tried it the first time and only got half of the vitamin in. I stupidly made an attempt by myself last night, during which, I tried to stick him three times and each time he swatted me with his hand, thus never allowing me to inject the medicine. Poor kid has three scratch marks on his bottom today, and who knows what kind of residual memories of someone on top of him, shooting a needle into him while he was sleeping. Gah!

We will make another attempt tonight, though we will do it jointly. I want to give these things an earnest effort in case it is something that really can help out little guy. Wish us luck. This sucks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting Away Is Good

I am sllleeeeeeeppppyyy from my trip, so 'Getting away is good' was as profound a statement I could come up with today. I got home yesterday evening after 4.5 fabulous (or 'fucktacular,' R's and my new favorite descriptor) days away. When speaking to the other half on the way home from the airport, he said in a somewhat flat tone that either implied exhaustion or a well-rehearsed line, 'My work is hard, but I now have a new respect for what you do.' Of course the next thing he said was, 'How long until you get here? Can I go get a beer?' But perhaps he did get a good picture of just how unfucktacular it can be to run this here household.

R and I were busy bees on this trip. I look forward to not being so groggy so that I can share all of our adventures with you. I don't think I got more than 7.5 hours of sleep on any given night as we were up and at 'em bright and early doing yoga, hiking, touring, or eating bacon. (I thought it was a good idea to eat as much bacon as I possibly could while on vacation and even dared to eat it with every single meal...I came pretty close)

Here's one shot of R & I at one of AZ's wineries. We went wine tasting after a few spa treatments. A couple of them weren't too shabby. Who knew?



Lots to tell you, but I think that cold I was trying so hard not to catch from my boys before my trip has finally decided to take hold. I'm happy to be home and to know I was missed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'd Like To Shout It From The Mountaintops!

Let it be known that I who have not been away from my entire family in four years, am boarding a plane tomorrow afternoon, ordering myself a stiff drink, and flying to meet my friend, R, for a four-day vacation in Arizona.
Yes, the other half and I have gotten away here and there, but it's been a hell of a long time since I have done something simply for me, and I cannot freaking wait.

I feel like Stella in 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back,' except there won't be any Jamaican waiters helping me do it. Just lots of wine, a day at the spa, a trip to the Grand Canyon, maybe some yoga, and heck, perhaps even in an aura reading. And to top it off, a great friend who gets what I'm going through, loves my kids, and is perhaps one of the most relaxed people I know.

I will report back in a few days...that is if I don't decide to go a-hidin' in the mountains and never come home. I kid, I kid.

I'll drink one for each of you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Successful Day At The Beach

The past two times we have attempted to take animals and children to the beach were less than relaxing for the other half and I. We made the mistake--or should I say--the other half made the mistake--of thinking it was a good idea to bring our dog, Hank, as well as our dog, Sydney. Poor Daisy seems to get the shaft in these outings even though she's the easiest of all of them. Anyhow, if you've met Hank (or 'Stupid Hank' as my friend, L, lovingly refers to him) you know how insane he is. This dog coexists peacefully in our home with two cats and two other dogs; and he's met countless foster dogs over the years that he has lived with just fine. But you get him out in public and he becomes a raving lunatic with his low-butt run, not paying any attention to where he is running at full speed. And should he encounter another dog, especially of the male, small, yippy variety, he turns into a total nerd, barking and lunging like he is going to attack them. It is not pleasant.

But I have digressed in the real point of this story...

I, being wiser and more practical than my other half, took the boys to the beach yesterday BY MYSELF. I packed a beach bag with the appropriate sand toys and cars (which we neglected to bring the last two times causing little B to only want to run straight into the ocean time after time), snacks, waters, a People magazine for me, and I brought ONE dog: Sydney.

We lasted a whole two hours with very little need to chase B away from the surf. The walk back to the car was a little rough since B wanted to run fast ahead of us, precariously running alongside a ledge that dropped straight into sharp rocks. M's pants fell down, (because the child inherited my lack of a waist), and he did NOT want to hold my hand, thus leading to me practically pulling him along while trying to keep up with the wee-er one.

The other half noted how much calmer M's body was last night. I agreed. I wish I had the kahunas to try this more often; though now with a good experience under my belt, I just might! I leave you with a few photos of our successful outing...













Monday, November 10, 2008

Vicki's Sister Just Called...

I thought my last talk with her had done the trick, but today I saw the name of her sister's deceased husband flash before me on my caller id and I realized it was not so.
When she asked if Vicki was there, I responded in an overly-calm tone with, 'Is this Vicki's sister?' To which she responded in her slightly New Yorkish accent, 'Excuse me? IS VICKI WEBER THERE?'

I told her that I was the person she'd spoken to several times over the past months. The one who had repeatedly told her that her sister clearly did not have this phone number anymore. And as always, she apologized profusely at least three times and then hit me with 'It's just that my husband died and I must have been given the wrong number for my sister.' (banging head against wall once again)

I have also had the privilege of three recent phone calls from a local state farm agent. I'm guessing that along with her credit cards, Ms. Vicki is also behind on paying her insurance. And I got a call for her from, I realized afterward, my vet. So Vicki must have lived in this area. I wonder if she's still here? I'd like to find her and tell her to PLEASE have her sister and the rest of the world stop calling me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Hate How This Feels

I have this weird, somewhat painful, kind of warm sensation that I get in my throat whenever I get really anxious. I know it's my thyroid acting up. I've had it ever since B was born. I have it in a bad way today as I frantically and obsessively search 'autism schools austin,' 'autism schools california,' 'dir model schools,' etc., etc. I do not like waiting when I see a need for something to be done. I realize my obsessive searching at this moment in time is somewhat futile since not much can be done in the very near future. We have a house we'd need to sell. We'd need to find another house. The other half may need to change jobs. My head is exploding with it all and I wish I knew what was going to happen! M is doing better going to school, but still not perfect. There is still resistance several times each week. The children in his class are lovely. They have all taken it upon themselves to befriend this little boy who shows no interest. (even though we know he has that capability...where has it gone??!!) Every day they greet him with, 'M IS HERE!!' They shower him with hugs and kisses as he leaves them every afternoon. Nothing. Nada. He doesn't appear to care. M just isn't thriving in this setting. He isn't happy there. He doesn't like it. I know this, which in my mind = find better setting for him NOW. But I can't make it that simple and it frustrates me to no end.
I can tell the other half is silently suffering as well. I wish he would talk to me about it, but I suppose my obsessiveness in getting something done and he not being able to do anything about it is all too much.

Hoping the answer magically falls from the sky soon. My thyroid would appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's...


...get past the election and the 'this side vs. that side' and come together as AMERICANS.
...gently and wisely phase out our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops deserve to come home to their families once and for all.
...focus on our future: Reform our education policies. Pay our teachers for the honorable work that they do. Allow all of our children to experience the beauty of art and music.
...realize that we're screwing our environment and we needed to act yesterday to improve our planet.
...be respectful and kind to the people living around us. The world is such an ugly place. We need to embrace our differences and work together peacefully to accomplish goals for the greater good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Made It Through The Wilderness

Somehow I made it through. Didn't know how lost I was until...

Okay, I'll shut up.

Yes, I went to see Madonna in concert last night!



My best friend, L, and I refreshed the Tickemaster screen no less than 50 times back on June 1st when tickets first came available. We wanted good seats and they weren't the easiest to obtain. But finally...success! We had lower level seats. A credit card number was entered. An email confirmation was sent. And I immediately went to my trusty calendar and wrote "MADONNA" in the Saturday, November 1st slot.
Fast forward five months...L, (who also wrote "MADONNA" in her calendar on the November 1st slot, makes a somewhat last-minute flight arrangement to come up here from S.D. She can only stay 24 hours as she must get back to her wee one so her other half can work. She calls me on the way to the airport after being a bit harried because she thought that she'd lost the tickets. "No worries," I tell her. "I've got the email confirmation in my hotmail account." After hanging up with her, I decide it would be wise to make sure I still have said email confirmation. I call her back to let her know, and what do I see? Holy crapamoly, we have tickets for the Sunday night show, NOT the Saturday night show! If this isn't indicative of the fact that we two are tired Mamas raising kids and not focusing on a lot else, I don't know what is. It ended up working out for the best, though, in that we got more time to hang together, and she got a much-needed little refresher from motherhood. The kicker was that her flight left at 6 am this morning. We got home around 12:30 from the show and were in the car on our way to the airport by 4:40. This Mama no-likie the no sleep thing. It's rainy and cold here today, too, which makes me just want to crawl into a ball on the couch. Hmmmm...I think I might actually do that after I post!

Madonna was amazing to watch. The show was quite the spectacle and I'm so glad I finally got to see her in concert. She, at 50, looks way cooler doing dance moves than I did even at 18. And she can double dutch still! How freaking cool is that? The woman is in phenomenal shape and doesn't quit for well over two hours. The people-watching in itself was fairly entertaining as well, as you can imagine. I will say, however, it made me feel a tiny bit awkward to hear her say, "Do you have a best friend? And does that best friend like to do everything you do? Including eff your boyfriend?" Now I am not a prude (or at least not too much of one), but there are just a few things I hope I am not asking a crowd of people when I'm 50, ya know? It is going to be interesting to see Madonna as a 70-year-old. She's still going to be recreating herself and making bold statements. I say, rock on, sistah!


video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bad Parents Of The Year Award

Yep...we've earned it this year. We didn't take our children trick or treating. Shhh!! Don't tell anyone!

I bought M a Lightning McQueen costume, and B a Tow Mater costume. Even though I have had no problems putting costumes on the boys in years past, for some brilliant reason I thought that they would like these 3-d costumes that just slip on over your regular clothes a lot better. Not so, my friends! (does anyone else get creeped out now by someone calling them 'my friends?')
M would have no part of his costume at the school parade yesterday and ended up parading around the schoolyard instead in a kitten-ear headband his aide put on him. She actually offered to lend us the furry vest and tail to go with it. She has not met my other half apparently, and learned of a.) his dislike for cats, and b.) his thought that dressing your male child up as a kitty cat would make him look...how should we say it...gay?

And B was obsessed with both he and M's costumes, but only from a I-want-to-carry-them-with-me-everywhere-or-else-I-will-scream-VERY-loudly point of view. Probably four times yesterday he would bring one of the costumes to me and say 'wear.' And no sooner would I slip it over his shoulders and he'd be screaming his little head off to get the damned thing off. Ahhh...good memories.

Aside from all that, the weather was crap. It had turned cold, windy and rainy here. When you have one child who isn't even two years old, and another who's on a restricted diet and can't eat most of the candy anyway...and you pair that with lame costumes that neither one wants to wear...you get: A night at home where Mom makes a big pot of chili (and drinks a few big glasses of wine) and the whole family stays up late watching The Incredibles together instead. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty successful Halloween as long as the kids' future therapists don't try regression therapy on them.

And with that, I will leave you with a photo of a Halloween of the past. Yeah, I was still working on a little bit of that baby weight, but this is my proof that my kids actually have participated in a Halloween celebration before.

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