Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pay it Forward Wednesday..I DEFY tradition!

So Pay it Forward Friday or PIFF is an awesome way to give fellow bloggers a shout out and find some very interesting reads. I have been the subject of a few PIFF's, and have reciprocated in kind.

I am choosing to do my Pay it Forward blog today- mostly because I have been reading a lot of blogs and I truly want to get them out there, and partially because I hate rules, timelines and generally being told what to do. So suck it up, go check out these blogs and tell them who sent ya while you're at it!

The first blog is Mary Tyler Mom and she will make you laugh. She will make you cry. Her blog is the journey through her daughter's cancer- and how they lost her. This month she has been blogging in a serial format- each day has been a blog and each blog chronicles her daughter's 31 months of treatment. I swear to myself I won't read each new installment, but I do- it tears my heart out every damn time- but it is worth the read. Check her out- you won't be sorry.  And hey- "Like" her Facebook Page too, ok? Mary Tyler Mom on Facebook

The next blog is Give me a Valium with my Latte- this is an amazing 2 mom venture that keeps me laughing all of the time!  Kerstin and Theresa are BFF's who write about all of the things we feel guilty, worried or stressed about as moms- they don't judge, they totes get what the hell we are saying! I personally LOVE the "Crazy Shit I have said to my Kids" because I too have slipped and said some pretty crazy shit - and I know damn well A LOT of moms have too!  They also have a great Facebook page- but please don't be a troll- they don't need that shit....Valium with my Latte- "Like" it...tell them I sent ya!

And last on my list today is Insane in the Mom Brain....she is truly certifiable...with her wacky mustache ( I mustache you a question!)   She is absolutely HILARIOUS! She believes in ghosts which I find infinitely cool,  she is obsessed with Drag Queens, and loves Paul Rudd.  She recently had shoulder surgery so her blogging is kind of at a stand still - but no worries- she has PLENTY of amazing stuff written to keep you busy until she can type with more than her left index finger ;)  I find her fascinating- I just wanna stick her under a microscope to see what makes her tick... NOT in a creepy way either!  Check out her Facebook page too! Insane in the Mom Brain Tell her I sent ya!

Add these mommy blogs to your reading list...hide in your room with a bottle of wine and let the laughter and the tears come at will. I am telling you- these women are awesome!

Oh...and have you seen my Facebook page? Are you following me on Twitter? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN "NO?" Get your ass going- and take a second to check ME out!!! ( I am THE Attention Whore- and damn proud of it!)

Red Vines and Red Wine!/RedVinesRedWine

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting back to being mom- let the poverty begin

So I did it. I quit my decent paying job to take the job that was close to home, part time and less money. I haven't started stressing out about it yet, the mister is stressing about it enough for both of us.

My last blog was all ranty and ravey- it felt good to get it all out. It feels even better knowing that I will be working from 6:45 A.M to 8:15 A.M. and then again from 2:30 P.M. to 4:30-5:00. NOT getting up at 4 in the damn morning is going to be like a vacation!  This leaves the bulk of my day open to be available for the boy, Teenzilla appointments, naps and what have you.

The guilt of not being there for the boy has been weighing heavily on me. This is a BIG year for him.
It is all for these guys
Transitioned to not only a new school, but completely mainstreamed is well- HUGE. And I have been so busy that I have not been able to devote the time to making sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Case in point. Last Friday I got my first call from school. During an argument with another classmate AND teammate the boy lost all composure and BIT the other boy. Fucking BIT him! Autistic or not this is beyond unacceptable- and I was told he had to go home. 9 years old and sent home in the 3rd week of school - for BITING.  To say I was pissed is a gross understatement. NEVER has he done anything like that. EVER.  He kept saying it was an accident- that I truly don't buy...that was a decision that he made- regardless of frustration level. He lost electronics for the day and night ( which for him is like cutting off an arm) and I tried to use his literal point of view to my advantage.

 "Babies and animals bite. Are you a baby?" "No Mom" "Are you an animal?" "No Mom"   "That was an "on purpose" not an accident and you will have consequences for your actions" 

When talking to the principal (who is new this year) she wanted to know if this ever happened at his old school. I said absolutely not! He may have had squabbles now and again but he NEVER bit. Then, much to my surprise- I find out that she (the principal) and the teacher, although they know he is Autistic, have yet to see his IEP! What the hell??  This seems like a VERY key piece to his success at the new school- in fact THE key piece in helping teachers and administrators understand him and help him best.  And they had just basically gotten a Cliffs Notes version of it.

So now the guilt was joined by anger and frustration because I had not even thought to ask for a meeting with the teacher and new principal to go over his IEP. I had assumed ( yeah yeah, I know) that everyone would be filled in.  And sadly, I am not  surprised by the lack of communication at the school. But- had I have been less stressed, closer to home  and able to be more on top of things - maybe this wouldn't have happened.

Yes- I am still going to be busy...until football/cheer season ends in November I will still be running around 5 days a week- getting kids to practice, getting dinner prepared and homework done. But the difference is I will be close to home, the boy can come with me before and  after school now, giving Teenzilla a break from babysitting and giving me a chance to hang out with him, get homework done and just be THERE.

I know that the day will never come when I say "Gee- I wish I wouldn't have spent all that time with my kids". I work in a business where I see way too much of that already. We will survive- we will just survive on less. We still have a roof over our heads and cars to drive and food to eat. Most importantly we have each other and I have my sanity. That is priceless.

That's my girl

Sunday, September 18, 2011

You are going to LOVE my kid!

Every parent does it- thinks that EVERYONE should love their kid like they do. I mean- MY kid is perfect- YOU should be bowled over by the cuteness, intelligence and all around adorableness that is MY kid!
How could you NOT love this kid?

I am no different.  Maybe I am pushier when it comes to the youngest boy child.When you have a  child with  Autism- you tend to be even pushier than the average parent in pointing out the "normal" things your kid does, trying to make sure people don't focus on his maddening ability to list and describe every, single damn dinosaur discovered as well as their eating habits, when they lived and died etc etc.

What I am trying to get them to focus on is his sweet disposition, his desire to make people happy, his wanting to please parents, teachers, friends and coaches.  He truly is the complete opposite of what most people think autism is like.I call him my little indigo child- I truly believe he has a deeper understanding of human nature - if he doesn't like you- then something is not right with you.  He loves hugging, he talks, he has empathy...and these are all things that kids and adults with autism supposedly aren't capable of doing. Many can't- that is a fact...but there are a lot who are able to show emotion, empathy and talk- and then you get to hear "Well, he doesn't LOOK autistic" comments. Good with the bad, it's how I have to look at things or I will have a stroke.

I was talking with one of the football dads and he said that all of the coaches talk about my boy- in a VERY good way. They all love him, they think he is the sweetest kid and they all want to help him be the best possible football player he can be.  I damn near cried...happy tears.

You see- it is  near impossible to NOT love my boy. And I say that in all seriousness- there is something  about him- people are drawn to him- he is quite adorable (ok- that is mommy braggin here) and if you can get around the stuttering and speaking in movie-ese (as we call it) then you are hooked!

His football coach adores him. And the boy thinks Coach is pretty awesome too. He is always in Coach's bubble, holding his hand ,being very affectionate. And as a football coach- he is striving to maintain the rough, tough demeanor that keep s a group of 35  eight and nine year old boys in line. So he talks to the boy about personal space.  Then the boy goes completely the opposite way and goes as far away as he can. Then Coach says- where ya at Barnsdale? And here he comes...

So now we work with him on ALWAYS being by the coach's side- minus the touching him. Just be there buddy. They all  love you as it is- show them that you wanna play and they will love ya even more. If that is even possible.
The boy's chosen spot. Right next to coach

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later

The first week of school is done. The kiddos are doing well. First football game is done - and again- both the kiddos did great. I think I have finally come to a decision regarding my work situation. And I sit here today, Sunday, September 11th listening to the Detroit Lions game drone in the background and remembering the smallest of details from that horrific day 10 years ago.

First of all- I was completely floored when I actually realized it had been 10 years since terrorist fucks came and stole 3,497 lives, destroying families and forever changing life as we know it.  And it was like someone opened the floodgates and all of the memories, emotions and even some of the fear came back in a rush.

We were living in California. My oldest was 10, Teenzilla was 3 and Noah wasn't even a thought yet. It was 6 A.M. and our phone rang. Now- as anyone will probably say- a phone call that early ( or really stupid late at night) can mean only a couple of things: It is work related, or someone close is sick, hurt or has died. So being the Chicken Little that I am I immediately think the worst- something horrible has happened to a family member.  I checked the caller I.D. and saw it was my mother in law. I answered the phone and her first words were "is Derrick in the reserves?"  I was speechless for a moment as I tried to process the question and she said "Turn on the news"

So I did- and I started asking questions...Derrick- are you in the reserves? To my MIL- What is going on?
The news said "World Trade Center Disaster"  something about an airplane crashing into one of the twin towers.

I sat completely frozen watching. Listening to the news casters trying to stay calm- but you could see the panic in their eyes, hear it just below the smooth TV voices. Now they were saying something about terrorists. Pictures of the tower on fire were looping. What in the hell was happening??

Teenzilla ( at the time Preschool-zilla) was awake and whining to watch Blues Clues. - Dane was up - it was a school day. I remember not wanting to go anywhere-I called my boss- she said I know...get to work when you can.  I wanted to keep my babies at home with me. Even though this was all happening a long way away from me - I couldn't help but think- this happened in MY could happen anywhere...

Dane got off to school- we sat glued to the TV...and we saw it- the second plane hit the South Tower... there are no words to describe what I felt.

For 3 days after we had the news going constantly. I cried a lot. It was so surreal. Living in a predominantly Mexican area I was FURIOUS when I saw all the cars sporting Mexican flags, Mexican flags flying everywhere- for some sort of celebration. I was so MAD..all I wanted to do was yell at all of these people YOU LIVE HERE!!  Have some respect!

Now- 10 years later- as I watch a little of the news, and the memorials across the country- I think of that day and how I felt, and how I hope to never feel that way again. I have been reading the blogs as well today- and here are some things that I read and wanted to share.

"We never had a funeral because there was no body, so there was absolutely no closure. When we came out here 10 years ago, there was a hole in the earth and that's how we felt. Now, 10 years later, there is grass and water, and it feels kind of like a new beginning." -- Dakota Hale of Denver, whose stepfather Alfred Marchand was a flight attendant on United Flight 175, speaking outside the memorial service in New York.

"In the decade since the 2001 attacks on the United States, terrorists have succeeded only in the murder of innocents, often from among those they claim to represent. Al Qaeda is now weaker than at any time in the decade since 9/11 - and political progress through peaceful protest in the Middle East and North Africa has shown it to be increasingly irrelevant to the future. The true expression of what people in the Muslim world aspire to was seen not at Ground Zero in 2001, but in squares and streets across the Middle East and North Africa this year. So while we remember the victims of 9/11, stand firm with our allies and remain tirelessly vigilant against future threats, we also face the future with confidence in our values and faith in human nature." -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement.

Click the link below to see an amazing video by New York school kids....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Army ain't got NOTHIN on me

OK- so the title may be a tad misleading.... I love my kids and husband. But....... I HATE getting up at 4 A.M. I HATE doing  more work in the 2 hours before I actually get to work  than most people do all day. (Yes I AM the fucking Army) and I HATE rushrushRUSHING to get home- get kids ready for football and cheer ESPECIALLY now that school has started. GAHHHHHHHH!!!! And we haven't even started with homework yet!

I LOVE that the boy has had 2 amazing days in his new class, and that his teacher is so awesome. But I HATE that I am stressing out about when he gets home, when the homework starts and if all of this is just going to prove to be too much for him.

I HATE that I leave before I even get to see my kids and they are home before me too.  I HATE that I love my job but have no desire to go anymore- what was (is dammit IS!) my life's passion is rapidly turning into a drudgery and a huge inconvenience and a major source of stress that I cannot avoid. At least not if I like living in a house and eating on occasion.

I HATE that I have an opportunity to work closer , hell, pretty much on top of home, but it would mean a DRASTIC pay cut that we cannot afford right now.Actually ever. I HATE that I have cut every corner (on paper anyway) and still can't find a way to make it work- me switching jobs that is. And I HATE that I am rapidly starting to not GIVE A SHIT.  I will go without wine (cue the GASP)  I will go without expensive lunchmeat and cheese, I will make this old bra last a few more months, I will buy cheaper makeup, I will shop exclusively at Aldi's ( have quarter, will shop!)  we will not eat any more fast food, I will be saving about $110 a month in gas so that would help...right? But most of all - I will be more relaxed ( well- define RELAXED first).

I will be close to both Teenzilla and the Boy. I will remember to look on the school website for the right time for parent night at school, I will pack healthier lunches, I will be able to be a room mom, or hell, just be a part of the elementary experience- like I was with Teenzilla. And in my opinion it is even MORE important I am there as much as I can be- I mean autism and mainstream  4th grade- I want to be a part of that.  I NEED to be a part of it.

The mister says things like- "Well, we need to eat and pay bills" well's not like I don't know this but what price is my sanity worth? What price is our children's education and my involvement worth? Perhaps if I had been more a part of my oldest's elementary school career his life wouldn't have taken such a terrible turn.

So now you see why, at this very moment.. I HATE EVERYTHING!!

I.Am.Going.To. SNAP

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to School- the 2011 Edition

This is it! The first day of school for the 2011-2012 year. I bought the kiddos new clothes- new backpacks and shiny new pencils and sent them off to learn this morning. Why is it then- after taking the day off even- that I am in the dumps? Could it be because  I missed their entire summer WORKING?? Could it be the weather is cold and grey outside? Could it be that I am tired and out of my thyroid medication? Most like a mixture of all of them.

Always posing
The boy started his first day as a 4th grader in a mainstream classroom in a new school. Close to home, with a wonderful teacher and what is hopefully a VERY helpful and supportive IEP team.  I am so very excited about this year.

Teenzilla started 8th grade. The last year she will be a "Big Dog"  until Senior Year.  She bounced out of the house this morning looking adorable as usual with a "Love you Mom" over her shoulder as she headed out.
Beautiful girl!

The Mister went with me to the Boy's new school to make sure he got to the right classroom and to talk to the teacher a little as well. He settled right in and began doing the seek a word puzzle she had out for all the kids. Right away I saw 2 kids he already knows in his class...that was very nice. The teacher (who Teenzilla had in 4th grade!)  asked us a few questions and then the school psychologist popped in as well.

I left feeling both relieved and anxious at the same time. I am so happy I took the day off work. But now- as I sit here- I am thinking I like it a little TOO much. The thought of going to work 45 minutes away tomorrow and not being instantly ready to help if needed is making me very nervous.  VERY nervous and a little bitchy.
I am sure he will be just fine- but I WANT to be closer. I WANT to be home. I WANTITWANTITWANTIT!!!! (cue temper tantrum here)

Not to mention Teenzilla and her anxiousness over advanced math this year, Not that I could be much help with that- but I could make her laugh and fix her a snack until Dad got home to help.

So- I am starting a fund-if you would like to contribute to my "Stay at Home Mommy Fund" please contact me for details. $1.00 here, $5.00 there..all donations are accepted and appreciated.  Thank you for your help!