Halloween 2012

I really didn't think Halloween was going to happen for us.  Sandy was supposed to make the 31st nasty here, rain and wind and blah.  And as soon as the forecast called for more favorable weather, other stations started crying rain showers all night, on and off, trick-or-treat at your own risk!

But we HAD to get out of the house.  Cabin fever had set in pretty severely, and Rae had started up on her television 24/7 kick.  Apart from the health aspect, if I heard "LA-LA-LA Elmo's world!" one more time, I was going to LA LA LA myself to the funny farm.  Plus, the kids had costumes and even Scooby Doo Halloween buckets from the last McDonald's trip with grandma.

So at 4:00, when the sun started peeking out between the clouds for longer than 15 seconds, I decided we were making it happen.  Talking it over with the daddy, we planned on McDonald's for dinner, a little walk through downtown, and hitting a few houses closer to home.  We were on our way by not even 5pm.

I had a moment and forgot McDonald's on Halloween evening would be a zoo.  But walking up with a fry-gobbling dinosaur in the front of the double stroller meant no matter what there was no turning back, unless we wanted a soul-crushing meltdown fiasco on our hands.  We had to forgo any high chair or booster for PX, and I held my breath when we had him take a seat in the booth.

But he sat.  On his butt.  The entire time.  Better than 90% of the other kids in the place.  And never once crawled underneath the table.  He just sat, well-manner, eating french fries and watching car after car pour into the driveway.  He didn't even beg for sips of Sprite.

We gave him some fries for the transition and began our stroll.  For the first few stops, neither knew what was going on.  Rae played coy with the firefighters but looked a little WTF at the small objects being placed in her bucket.  PX just ate his fries and tuned out the candy exchanges.

It was the second to last stop when it happened.  Outside one of the semi-assisted living complexes some residents had set up a table, with the motherload of candy bowls (ya know, huge and full of the good stuff).  As we stopped, Rae gave everyone her sweetest smile and they told us to pick out some candy while we chatted.  I grabbed some Reese's for PX and tossed them into his bucket.  The orange packages caught his eye.  HOLD UP?!

He tilted the bucket, touched the peanut butter cups, and then gently pointed to one to ask for permission to munch.   I couldn't help but oblige.

It wasn't that long ago, not even six months ago,  that he would've skipped asking and just gnawed on the package.  He probably would've thrown a fit when it didn't open.  It was only 4 or 5 months ago that we let him sit in the booth with daddy at McDonald's only to have him throw his smoothie on the floor under the table to protest the "sit on your bottom" rule and then proceed to play in it.  He has honestly come so far.

Our Halloween was perfect in its way.  It was short, and simple, and ended with PX cuddling his daddy whilst watching Charlie Brown.  I couldn't have asked for more.


Not Unlike a Confession

When I was eight years old, I got my first journal. It was this brightly-colored Lisa Frank diary THAT LOCKED. And it was the coolest thing on the face of the earth, to me the third-grader. Boy craziness took me over early in life so I filled the pages with musings on all my crushes, written in pretty pink gel pen; nothing else would do.

That was eighteen years ago and I don't think I've ever been without a journal. Whether it was online or on paper, I was always rambling to someone or no one about everything. I'm certain I remember going through about two notebooks a year during the peak of my puberty days. So, over the past few months, it's troubled me that I haven't blogged, or even really journaled. Anywhere.

It's not that I don't have anything to say or am too tired to say it; I find myself composing in my head almost daily, moments highlighted with "I should blog this". But I don't, and I've been perplexed as to why. I've tried pretending I'm writing to a specific audience (hi guys!) or writing to no one (go away!) or some imaginary space alien studying the human race (yeah, we totes cray cray!!!). Alas, it's all been to no avail.

Then, my best friend came to visit this month for a few days. PX tolerated the change in his routine surprisingly well, and it seems he now believes every visitor to be solely for him and the pursuit of fun play therapy. It honestly shocked the hell out of me a little bit, but in a good way. About midway through her visit, after coming home from a day out, I saw an opened letter from the speech therapy office on my desk. "That came today," said the daddy. I picked it up and brought it with me while I sorted out tubby time. I breezed through the first few pages, the summary of the history I provided for PX, and began to read his assessment based on the observation a few weeks ago.

It's been a while since I've gotten any evaluation for PX. The last one was his autism diagnosis. The diagnosis was expected, and his overall assessment & place on the spectrum was a lot better than I'd thought; the psychologist evaluated him at moderate, hovering close to the mild-moderate line. So I wasn't prepared for what I saw in terms of his speech. Six to nine month range...skills around 12 months...below six month range. He's 2 1/2 years old, and his skills are being compared to that of an infant. Every conceivable emotion ran through my body in about 10 seconds, and I felt completely gutted.

It wasn't till about 5 hours later, while trying to shut my brain off and get some sleep before round one of wake-ups, when I realized the root of my problem. Guilt. On top of more guilt. This guilt squared has been coming between me and my ability to write.

My overwhelming emotion while reading his evaluation was guilt. I may have been sad and pissed off but more than anything, I felt guilty for his rankings. I've felt guilty in other moments, too, when he can't tell me what he wants for lunch or shuts down when we can't understand his attempts at speech. It was like I'd drank a guilty martini of what didn't I do back then, what am I not doing now, what wrong crap have I done since the start.

And it doesn't take long for me to start feeling guilty about all my guilt. My whole life has been surrounded by special needs; daughter of a special education teacher, sister a brother with PDD, heck even one of my first boyfriends was an Aspie. If anyone should know better about not being to blame for autism and all its quirks, it's me. I'm supposed to have a handle on this; I lucked out and got thrown into the autism world with at least a little experience and some references. So I've got no reason to feel misplaced/undeserved/whatever guilt. And I'm actually a bit ashamed to admit I do feel this way, but I need to just... stop.

I'm a human being in a family full of human beings. I've always been a bit of an emotional being at that, and it's OK. Feeling guilty about feelings is just a vicious cycle that gets in the way of so much and doesn't contribute positively in any way.

I need to remember every day I'm not responsible for PX's speech and communication challenges, but I am responsible for helping him work towards hearing his voice. I cannot let any part of me or my subconscious dwell in guilt over the fact he has almost no verbal skills at this time. It's alright to feel my feels, blog about my feels, get them off my chest, but then it's time to move forward.

He's already on the run, anyway. I better keep pace.


So, it’s been a summer.

I very much unintentionally took an entire summer off from blogging.  That’s kind of a long fucking time.  But I suppose, in some way, it’s what I needed I guess.  Or it’s just the ultimate example of my crappy time management skills.  But I digress.

So we had a summer, a long short summer of learning. 
We learned PX's preferred learning style, which is no nonsense & involves lots of PECS.  We learned that both kids are basically living examples of "If you give a mouse a cookie..." in terms of learning and discipline.  "Alright, you can have your snack on the couch."  *two minutes later*  "ARE YOU TRYING TO PLAY HASEL AND GRETEL?!  This must be the start of the rebellion."
We learned Rizzle probably has a muppet & puppet fetish, BUT the amount of sign language and basic words she's picking up from all her furry favorites give it a plus side.  I kind of figured her love of Elmo and Jason Segel would eventually boil over.  Time to introduce Miss Piggy!
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I learned I can never have too many calendars.  NEVER.  And Post-Its and white boards.  Notes, yo, they (kinda) work.
I learned that at some point PX will probably be paying me for the pleasure of doing the dishes.  This day honestly cannot come soon enough, as dishes are the bane of my existence.  That, and laundry.
We learned, to even the kids' surprise, they are duck whisperers.  Yes, duck.  I'm surprised we were able to leave the zoo without a few stashing themselves away in the stroller. 
I can't explain why that's invaluable, but it just friggen is.  I'll explain more at another time, because it's just too much for this.
But now summer is over.  We've moved into a new, bigger place and it's time to settle in to our routines and get back to normal.  Well, our normal.


And the winner is… autism! [a post-evaluation post]

PX’s evaluation actually went well.  He seemed to enjoy spending three hours doing his happy-flappy dance for an audience, and obsessively lining up toy cars and animals for inspection.  Somehow, he managed to only have mini meltdowns that could be deescalated by simple redirection.   I’m not exactly sure how he managed this for the entire session, but I’m proud.
It was a completely different experience from his initial evaluation to see if he (and Little Miss) would qualify for Early Intervention services.  Four months ago, he scored considerably lower than I expected because he wouldn’t do ANY task asked, when asked.  He’d do them later, when he thought no one would notice, but that didn’t count.  He had his first huge meltdown, full of face-slapping, by the end and my heart was broken.  Truthfully it was then that I let go of denial and accepted that PX was without a doubt somewhere on the spectrum.
This time, he did the tasks asked when asked with only minimal resistance.  He stacked his blocks and put pegs in holes and rolled a ball and even responded to his name a couple of times.  And then when done, he’d go back to toe-hopping and skipping, flapping his hands from head to toe, squeeing his trademark “eeeee!  yaaahhh!!!!” the entire time.  It opened my eyes to how far he’s come with just a small amount of therapy. 
But I still blinked back a couple of tears when they said he indeed has “autistic disorder”.  I suppose somewhere inside I was still holding onto a thread of hope they’d look at me and say “He’s fine, just quirky” and PX would chime in “LOLOLOL mom, fooled you!  I can speak full sentences!”  Even though I’ve known, at least since the start of the year, the truth. 
We won’t have the full report for a few weeks but he has been put on the spectrum.  So in the next month or so, we’ll be changing up his services again.  I wish there were more center-based options around here before this kid goes stir-crazy.
We make-a the same face! 


A Pre-Evaluation Reflection

Well, tomorrow’s the big day.  The big show.  Our diagnosis day.  I’ve been waiting on this evaluation for just over 4 months, since it became obvious at PX’s initial developmental testing that I could no longer deny the A word.
It’s a bit ironic that I tried to shake off the idea of PX being somewhere on the spectrum, considering my entire pregnancy that was my biggest worry. 
At 20 weeks we went for genetic counseling as part of prep for a level II ultrasound.  Ugh, genetic counseling.  The phrase seemed so off-putting, like I‘d suddenly jumped ahead a millennia and was living in Gattica.   “Make my baby STRONG!  No defects, please.  I want a world class athlete with the brains to stomp Jobs and Gates into the ground.”  We were referred because of the other half’s congenital heart defect but the first question out of my mouth was “My half-brother is autistic, what’s my son’s chance?”
“Half?  On what side?  How old?”
“My dad’s son, he’s ten years younger.”
They both just smiled at the time and tried to assure me the probability was only raised a fraction of a percent, perhaps there was a 2% chance of PX being autistic.  Even with dad having aortic stenosis, our children’s risk factor was still under 5%. 
“Don’t worry, it’s all minimal.”
At the time I secretly wanted to jump up and scream “Then why THE FUCK did we have to drive AN HOUR and make me puke on the side of the FUCKING highway for this in-depth ultrasound if there’s not even a 5% chance of my baby having a heart defect that you might not EVEN FUCKING catch on an ultrasound?”  But I kept my mouth shut, because I am a worrier, I put no faith in any low-ball risk, and I wanted a cute picture.  Our other pictures were small and fuzzy.  I got a DVD here- score!
I didn’t mention my worries again, to anyone, my entire pregnancy.  Even when, at 34 weeks, my totally healthy pregnancy nose-dived into a small chaos.  I’d begun rapidly gaining weight while PX was not.  In one week, I gained nearly 10 pounds and PX’s weight was holding steady at an estimated 5lbs 8oz.  “Small for Gestational Age” was written on every conceivable form.  I was at my OB’s office or the maternity wing of the hospital nearly daily, as my blood pressure began to rise.  So at 38 weeks, enough was enough and labor was medically induced.
Twenty-seven hours later, narrowly avoiding an emergency c-section, out came my St. Patrick’s Day little boy. phoenix-1st month 001
Officially, he was just 2oz over being underweight, which caused about a 50/50 split of “he might hit his milestones a little later” and “he’ll be just fine!”  And he was just fine, or what seemed to be fine.  He hit all his milestones on time or early.  So all my worries just sort of fizzled away, and I got lost in my little ball of energy and my 2nd pregnancy.  He was, and still is, my little sidekick.
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So when did it happen? 
Did it JUST happen, or was it always there?  Hiding quietly under the surface, masquerading as random quirks?
I didn’t notice anything drastically different from other children until he turned 13 months; he had some texture aversions but I was always reassured that was normal.  Could it really just come out of thin air?  Was there any link between my third trimester problems, his growth reduction?  Will it matter if I ever know?
I should probably be packing to get ready for the big day tomorrow but my mind is a little all over the place.  I worry too much, and stress too often.  But I guess that’s parenthood.


I really haven’t posted since May? {Wait, hold the phone, it’s JUNE?!}

I need to blog more.  :/

I started to write a big long post about my last two (three?) weeks of HELL and got bummed out.  June has been tough, with everyone sick and shit (literally), and I was just starting to relive all the (literal) shit.  So, the way of DELETEALLTHETHINGS it went because now I’m not craving a margarita in a Prozac-rimmed glass.  It’s just more like one or the other.

I kinda keep procrastinating in actually posting a post, I believe, because I’m hoping things will really improve.  Because wrapped up with all the sickness followed by rain followed by the Satan’s balls heatwave we’re currently experiencing, Drax (the daddy trapped on the crazy train with moi) has been to the doctor’s/hospital roughly 6 times due to his back and has been diagnosed with complete degenerative spinal stenosis with some spinal spurs in his neck to just sweeten the deal.  At 24 years old, he has the spine of a senior+ citizen (has apparently lived with this his whole life?) and surgery’s not exactly being ruled out yet.  Next week he begins his “pain relief plan” or whatever our hospital’s fancy PC phrase is for shots and therapies. 

And on top of this, we’ve started to add services for PX, up to 3 a week, and next week is his official evaluation by a developmental pediatrician.  He likes his new providers/workers/therapists but this routine disruption has brought out some behaviors.  And night waking.  Lots of LONG night waking, and playing.  Even after days filled with trips to the park, sensory activities, and therapies.  I think my kids are going to be like me, and sleep like shit till puberty hits, at which point they decide they cannot get enough snoozes. 

But, thankfully, our good moments have been MARVELOUS moments and actually got captured in pixels.

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Hey girl, who needs Jenny McCarthy?

We survived another Weekend of a Thousand Hours sans papa!  Oh thank god.  Although I am now fearing we survived only to be thrown into the zombie apocalypse.  I’ve yet to gather my supplies!  Time to make my way to the Winchester, at least I have a Spotify playlist for that voyage.

This coming Thursday, it’s our first official IEP/ISP/IFSP/meeting for PX to decide on new & extra in-home services.  We’re looking at an extra 2-3 days a week of sessions focused on communication.  PX is picking up signs well, but still being stubborn about using them and needs a prompt to tell us his needs.  It’ll be nice to get some extra focused help for communication skills.  Plus we still have playgroup (yay!) and our usual generalized therapy visit and possibly a new group, a social skills group.  Maybe I should just change his name to Brick. 

My summer goal is to get PX as prepared as possible for pre-school and hopefully, diagnosis pending, he’ll be able to start a day program in the fall and get a good 8 or 9 months in before the battle for ESY.  His early childhood teacher who runs the playgroup thinks he has a good shot, as well as our caseworker, considering PX has begun to use his peers as models for behavior as well as really opening up with his sister.  He even played and shared with a new girl at group, on her very first day!  She took a shine to all of us, too, even Rizzle who has no concept of personal space and sat right in the lap of this poor gal who doesn’t exactly do well with new people and situations.  Only my kids!

So it’s been a good week for the kids.  Apparently, not such a good week on the special needs front in general; all the batshit crazy has come out to play it seems.  Bleach?  Really?!  Fucking batshit crazy, I say!  And it seems #SNRyanGosling agrees across the interwebz & at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood this week.  He even wants to dethrone Ms. McCarthy.

He gets my vote!  1-800-GOS-4ASD

Please Ryan, give us a little skin.  Please?  It IS to raise awareness after all.

It’s ok, just curl up in my lap, we’ll get through this.  ;O


Airing Out the Bloggy Bits

I should really pay more attention to what I write about my blog, annnnd what I don’t.


A few weeks ago I up and changed the name of my blog, after contemplating what to do about my Etsy shop versus my blog.  I resurrected my old tumblr name, Call Me Momah, for this blog.  I always loved it, as PX has never said “mama” or “mommy” correctly, but always some crossbreed that sounds like MoMA.  But that’s copyrighted and I’m all set going to the slammer.  So, around here we’re momah.  I’m hoping it will also help me to stay positive in the crap (literally) times.

And so with that I made a new Facebook page, but I really have no idea what to do with it.  Like, apart from my own, that is.  Maybe I can use it to stop bombarding my college friends with pictures of my kids and status updates about Elmo.  I think about 5 people on my friends list have kids.  And half(ish) have special needs kids.  Gasp!  The new 1%?!  #OCCUPYSPECIALNEEDSPARENTING (but don’t tell Jenny McCarthy, plz)


Hey girl, I can replenish your… {The Weekend of a Thousand Hours}

Oh fuckity fuck fuck.


Or, might I rephrase, what the fuck are you two fucking fucks, fuck?!


Routines were abruptly changed starting last weekend.  Daddy Drax started in on his summer schedule.  Friday was fine, he was a little sad at bathtime but overall okay.  Saturday was nerve-wracking, nail-biting, hair-raising, all that jazz.  But we survived.  And then Sunday came.  The day it all fell apart.  Let me start off by saying it was muggy as hell out.  None of us do well in high humidity.  All Rizzle wanted to do was sit around and watch Elmo, all PX wanted was his old routine back.  The morning was a shitshow, everyone crying and pissed off about food choices and sick of sweating like a pig by lunch time.  I put all my hopey eggs in one basket and decided that after naptime, I would ensure a fun afternoon filled with favorite snacks and activities.  We’d even go to PX’s favorite store, the grocery store, and hopefully it’d be good. 


….HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Blind optimism at its finest! 


We walked PX’s favorite route but, once we got to the store, it was clearly obvious something had completely snapped, a regression was setting in, input was being craved.  He started chewing on the foamy covering to his stroller bar.  He hung over the sides like a rag doll, legs up over the bar, laughing like a lunatic.  He was swiping at objects and cried when we stopped moving.  Rizzle followed his lead.  I tried giving him his favorite snacks, a special treat for being out on an errand.  Sadly, no use.  I decided to high tail it home afterwards, showing him his picture cards for his swing and lovey.  We somehow made it up the stairs alright, but then the reality of being home and still no daddy set in.  And, it was supper time.


So the kids got Elmo.  PX was still seeking input everywhere but usually the fluffy muppet gives him what he needs visually and, with a favorite toy and squishy vest, he’s fairly level.  I apparently misjudged how much MORE he was looking for.  The kitchen and living room are conjoined so I can watch them while cooking, the one plus of this shitty apartment.  After not even 5 minutes of starting dinner, PX had dumped out my Vitamin Water all over his lap.  I rushed in to assess the damage, burnt my hand on a burner in the process, and arrived just the second PX shoved his entire hand into his mouth and, well, what’s the color code for total projectile vomit?


Himself, his sister, their toys, the couch, the floor.  ON A MUGGY FUCKING DAY IN THE AFTERNOON SUNSHINE.

& my monthly allowance of fucks were used up; not a single one will be given again till June.


So I hosed ‘em down, salvaged dinner, and carried on business as usual.  It was still FIVE HOURS till Daddy’s ETA.  So, no time for whining and dreaming of incredibly strong margaritas the size of bath tubs spoon-fed to me by shirtless cabana boys on a beach in Maui.


Thankfully, once Daddy returned to PX’s world Monday afternoon, 48 hours since he’d last seen him, PX bounced back fairly quickly.  Who knows what this weekend will be, but as long as it doesn’t involve bodily fluids, it’ll probably be a win.  I hope.  If not, I’ve made sure Ryan Gosling will be on standby for moral support, with a case of Clorox wipes and 5lbs of Wendy’s fries.



Double cheezburgers AND RyGos’ abs?  OK!!!



I’d elaborate on this *gem* of the week, if it wouldn’t infuriate me.



I hear it’s quite an inspiring novel, so let’s get crackin!!


Alright time to go link up at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood and load up some of my favorite blogs on Google Reader for later. 


So We Have a Date.

June 28th, it’s going down.  Two and a half hours of eval-ness. 
By the end, I will probably decide I typoed and it was evilness.
But, we’ll have some answers, about ten thousand more questions, but we will have our start.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this psychologist.  I’ve been told he’s good at working with the family unit, seeing PX as part of a bigger picture, and helping to customize our goals and tactics to best fit all of us.  I like that.  Because as much as I am a “my kids come first, I will cut out an organ or pinkie toe to benefit their quality of life!” I know that some things might just not fly with a sensory sensitive one-year-old who has some *mild* separation anxiety in our family portrait.
I’m really excited to get a diagnosis.  That probably sounds fucked, but it’s true.  I have made peace with the fact my son is most likely on the autism spectrum.  I know I won’t be able to look on the bright side 24/7 and sometimes, I’ll get sad and downright pissed about how hard he has to work as compared to NT kiddos.  And that’s okay; emotions are human.  I’m excited that plans will be able to be focused, we’ll know what options we have and what we have to do to get there.
Only 4 months of total waiting, and we’ll know.  We will have some answers for Gus Gus.
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Hey Girl, it’s Been a Whole Week…

It’s Friday…again?!  I knew it’d been a while since I blogged, but didn’t think it’d been THAT long.  I took a mini break to try to get myself to stop being so pessimistic about, well, everything.  To just stop, clear my head for summer, and remember to just enjoy the little things again.  Relish in the positives.
Like the fact it’s been a few weeks since any epic Code Brown incidents.  I feel like PX should be getting some sort of award- the Golden Throne?  Maybe I should go get a (clean!) Pull-Up bronzed.
And he’s clapping again, clapping when he’s happy or along with the audiences on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  It’s been SO. LONG.  Like, a year?
And social relationships are, to an extent, starting to sink in; more exists in the world than mom, dad, television, and physical objects.  He may not be chasing down the other little boy at playgroup (unlike Rizzle), but he is using him as a model, to obtain some sort of structure to playtime.  Last week the boy didn’t attend, and PX was lost; he spent the majority of the time stimming on everything in the classroom, completely lacked focus. 
At home he’s rediscovered his sister.  I’m so glad she relishes in his goofy games.  Last night he spent almost 15 minutes taking Daddy’s hat on and off her head, giving her eye contact, making her clap because the rest of us were, including her.  And she just hooted and giggled and smiled through the whole interaction.  At bath time he’s helping to wash her hair and rinse out the suds and feed her bubble cakes.  He’s never been completely oblivious to Rizzle, and it’s always been obvious he loves her, but lengthy interactions like this haven’t existed since she was the curiously cross-eyed thing mom and dad brought home from…wherever.
And then there’s Rizzle, who is walking EVERYWHERE, who has taught herself how to use all the remotes in the house and how to change the disc in the blu-ray player.  Staying one step ahead of her?  Impossible.  (I love it.)
So, back to being positive around here!  I’m determined! 
And considering it’s Friday, it’s time for some Ryan Gosling!  I got all excited when I saw the picture for this week’s SNRG over at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood, because I’ve had that shot saved on my hard drive for a bit but, after my initial meme idea from way back, I was distracted at a loss.  Ryan noticed.
Aww lemme go get the weighted blankie.

Thanks Ryan.  Tight pants + the tiniest bit of abdominal flesh = umm, what were we talkin’bout again?  *fans self*
Oh yeah, over the past week I finally saw Crazy, Stupid, Love (that and Blue Valentine are the only RG movies I hadn’t/haven’t seen) and all I can say is OMG TIGHT PANTS.  F’rlzies Ryan?  It’s like you’re Photoshopped!
& with that, happy Friday!


Who Steals from an Autistic Child?

Assholes, that's who.

I heard this story on the news tonight, of a 2-year-old autistic boy having his iPad, laptop, and iPod stolen, and I'm beyond disgusted and heartbroken.

Seriously who robs a home in broad daylight while the family is at a funeral and NOT know who they're stealing from?  Especially in a tiny-ass town like Standish.

Yeah, they don't.

I pray this little boy gets his materials back, and the creeps get more than just a slap on the wrist.

Ugh.  Assholes!

Mother’s Day: Cloudy with a Chance of Gosling.

Is it sunny yet?  No?  What the heck!  My back”yard” is starting to get very sink hole-y/quicksandy.  I will not be surprised if one of these mornings I awake and find a tree has slid into the old barn on the other side of the fence, creating a new escape route for PX.  Eeep. 

All the rain aside, this week has been the hardest week for me since the kids’ evals in February.  And it has nothing to do with the munchkins; they haven’t been overly difficult or had a rough week.  It’s just me, a momism, thanks to Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Oh Mother’s Day, that bittersweet bitch of a holiday.  I will explain.

One of my favorite things as a child, and looking back on my childhood, was making gifts for my family (mainly my mom).  I grew up in a culturally diverse yet heavily Catholic area so there was always something to celebrate.  ALWAYS.  Preschool to middle school, art projects for holidays and festivals were a staple of our curriculum, and I quickly grew to love giving my mom macaroni portraits and hand-drawn cards and tissue paper flower bouquets and Play-Do dishes and allllllllllllll that stuff.  By the time I was 10 I valued our time together spent looking through bags and boxes of my past creations. 

So naturally, when I’d daydream about being a mom to my hoard of children, I began to look forward to getting my own hand-crafted kid gifts.  Of going to work wearing my snazzy elbow macaroni necklace and #1 Mom puffpaint t-shirt.  Of hearing “I love you, mommy.”

But now, on my 3rd Mother’s Day weekend, after weeks of therapies and awaiting evals and special needs playgroups, I don’t know when I’ll ever get that. 

I could *probably* ignore this for one final year, if it all hadn’t been impacted at Tuesday’s playgroup.  The daily project?  A Mother’s Day drawing.  PX was pretty into scribbling and putting on stickers, he even let his teacher put his little thumbprints on it to make a flower.  It was cute, and I was feeling good about his interested level in drawing, and started to tear up.  

And then she told PX “Give it to mom!”  And then I cried. 

Because he couldn’t understand her command.  PX can’t understand how to give someone an object.  14 months of us trying to teach him “give ____ to _____” and he just doesn’t fucking get it.  Every typical kid his age, many younger, I have known can give an object to someone.  But not mine.

So, I cried.  I stopped being positive, and stopped looking for the bright side, and got upset and pissed off and cried.  Because why the hell does everything have to be difficult for my kid, my sweet little booger face?  Why does he have to try extra hard to do things that are supposed to come naturally?  Why can’t PX at least understand how to hand me a picture?  And why does his sister have to struggle, too?  Why?!

Rough week indeed.  Thankfully it’s Friday and that means memes to make me laugh at the linky on Adventures in Extreme Parenthood, especially with this week’s picture.  I’m pretty sure Ryan just wants me to hop in and get dirty, but maybe it’s wishful thinking. ;)

Only for you, Ryan.  Only for you.

For all the mamas & papas in bloggyland dealing with shittastic educators; Ryan gives y’all some Billy Madison rogue justice.

In honor of PX finally getting over his vacuum fear, after 13 months of tearful meltdowns every time it came out of the closet.  Now, it’s his favorite tag partner, just like when he was an infant.

Oh thank god, the kids are heavy into hiding things again lately.  Think they’re playing “squirrel.”  I don’t like that game.

And in honor of it being Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ryan did want all the special needs mamas to know just how wonderful and covered in awesomesauce we are.

I knew Justin and Andy had some help with that tune, mwahahaha.

Oh hellz yes!  *BOOM* Ovaries = gone.


Matted Monday #5

I skipped my weekly picture last week for a very good reason.  But now, back to the routine!
I’m pretty thrilled that my kiddos, mainly PX, are thrilled with these toys.  This is obvious proof that I’m doing a rocking job at parenting. 


A Fabricated Week #3 {my etsy shop vs. my blog}

Ah, the magic of some sleep. 

I wasn’t lying when I said I’d had lots of positives lost in a cloud of fatigue over this past week.  It’s a sure sign of May being better than April, I’m convinced!  The biggest triumph of the week was, on the very last day of the shitstorm month known as April, my Etsy shop got its first sale!  3 out of my 4 drawings have since been shipped to their new home on the other side of the States!  To one person!  That’s a big ego boost for me.  And it happened just when I was going to throw in the towel.  I have so much on my plate I might as well just be sitting at a buffet.  And I completely misjudged how much work running an Etsy shop can be.  I’ve wanted to have an Etsy shop since my son was born in 2010 but I just haven’t had the time to really devote to it.   So a month and a half in with no sales, I was very much considering not renewing my listings in July and held off on posting anything new.  But now I think I’ll keep it going.  It may not be as big and varied as the shop of my dreams right now, but it’s worth it.  My work is appreciated.

But while thinking about my Etsy shop, I started to question whether or not I want to keep my blog’s name the same.  I started blogging again with the intention of focusing mainly on my crafting and photography but it’s pretty much taken on a life of its own as my little parenting ranthole.  I will never pigeonhole myself and say I only blog about ___________ yet I feel my shop and blog having the same name, when being very different, just doesn’t set right.  And I kinda miss my old tumblr username, which is much more fitting with my blog.

So I think it’s time for a change.  Again.

Dude, I freaking survive on change.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to buy my own domain; I’ll be wanting a new one within two months.  Or, well, one month if we look at my most current change desire.

Ok this is boring, time for cute pics of kids celebrating a Sesame Street-y birthday!  See?  See?!  Right there, change change change!  ADHD of the blogz.

009027038Daddy Drax said “Make Cookie’s eyes all crazy!”  Mission accomplished. Accidentally


Special Needs Ryan Gosling Day!

I’m way too tired to form coherent sentences (or title) of substance.  I haven’t slept longer than 1 hour at a time this week, and Wednesday night?  Forget it; made the mistake of giving little Rizzle something containing cheese so neither of us slept that night.  We just snuggled up together, miserable and whining.  So much for hoping she didn’t inherit my side’s awful gut issues.

So all I wanna do is sleep.  Please?  It’s rainy and I’m tired and I have no flavored coffee/creamer.  Sad thing is, in the big picture, this has been a decent week, so I should be all bouncy happy.  Maybe I’ll enjoy all the positives on Saturday.

Anyway, here’s Ryan to put some interesting into this post because it’s Friday and we all know what that means.  Be sure to head over to the link-up at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood for more sexy RyRy lolz.


Why isn’t he topless?


Is that an order?  I hope it is!  (lil Zac Brown Band for y’all btw)


True fact, both Ryan and Adam Levine (Maroon 5) have ADHD.  Adam’s fairly vocal about it, in a positive manner too.  {the more you know}  I’ve heard him credit it for some of his success.  Don’t think he credits it for his sexy, though.  I’d Google the article(s) but I’m lazy.


The One Where We Meet the OT

It’s 2:30 on a Wednesday.  PX has refused to nap all day and is sitting on the couch, blinking back sleep.  Rizzle has just finished having a complete sensory overload meltdown, hair all frizzed about.  Everyone looks like a zoned out hot mess.  Naturally, this is the start of our first OT consult. 
Luckily, she came prepared with a bucket full of Playdough and Playdough toy sets.  PX’s eyes lit up and, as the Thomas the Train table came out for activity time, his second wind kicked in.  Our services lady had also come prepared with a pressure/squishy vest.  PX didn’t resist one bit when we decided to give it a whirl.  And then he stood, like a typical two-year-old, and played.  At the table.  Surrounded by 4 adults and 1 birthday girl.  For almost 10 minutes.
Vest – 1.  Sensory overload – 0.
And so we spoke of hyposensitive sensory seekers and heavy work and creating a diet high in proprioceptive and vestibular activities.  All the while, I was thanking myself silently that I’d read more than just the checklists in “The Out-of-Sync Child” and have spent my nights pouring over blogs and SPD websites; special needs parenting, you really do have your own language.  I feel as if I’m preparing to defend my doctoral thesis, trying to become as fluent as humanly possible in SPD.  But there.  Is just.  So much.  And even more “trial and error” learning, and discovering your kid can be sent into overload before bed from one wrong move.  Oy.  I will be the Popeye of parenting, SPD my spinach, if it doesn’t all kill me first.  (It won’t…hopefully…)


{Different Isn’t Wrong} to: I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s, #AutismPositivity2012

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days, but I keep getting overwhelmed.  And upset.  And royally pissed off (at society).  And go off on ranty tangents that totally take away from what I really am trying to get at.  So I’m just going to dive in.

You are not your Asperger’s.  You are not your autism or ADD/ADHD or bipolar or sexuality or weight or race or income level or car you drive.  You are you, which is more than just a word or symbol.  You are the beautiful unique snowflake, and this is more than okay: it is the gift of life.

Do not wish yourself away, because different isn’t wrong.  It is not bad or sad or deplorable or unrespectable.  Although sometimes it may feel the opposite, there is no cookie cutter mold of who to be.  The days of The Stepford Wives and “keeping up with the Jones’” are long gone.  There may be some people who try to hold on to this idea, uncomfortable with their own differences and in turn try to put others down, but do not listen to these few among the billions of people on the planet. 

Picasso was different.  So was Frida Kahlo, William Shakespeare, Lady Gaga, Adam Levine, Mozart, Albert Einstein, Dr. Seuss, Ke$ha, Jim Henson, among hundreds of others who have made history in all sorts of aspects of life.  And it was their differentness, their uniqueness, that made history.  Some even had Asperger’s or were suspected to be on the autism spectrum.  And they were/are amazing, far from boring, far from “normal” (whatever the heck that is), anything but ordinary.

Just like you.

Remember that, and hold that in you always. 



The Sleep Issues (How am I Not Bald?)

I have to admit, I hate bedtime.  I dread nightfall with every fiber of my being.  (This is probably payback for when I had a snarky reply to my ex’s “Kids mean you never sleep again!” comment/argument against having children.  Fucking karma, you’re a bitch.)  Bedtime is obviously inevitable and sadly the extreme issues come in waves.  Right now, we’re smack dab in the middle of the WORST WAVE EVER. 
8pm rolls around and Rizzle, the youngest, is fairly ready for bed.  After a couple of stories and fluffy mama snuggles, she puts herself to sleep (typically with no protest) with her dolly and musical seahorse.  Nice, right?  Well, it’s all downhill from here.
Px, the terrible two-er, is visibly tired.  He woke up from his nap 6 hours ago.  We’ve done sensory activities throughout the day.  He’s in his squeezy/pressure vest and has been for half an hour.  But he’s two, and stubborn, and probably on the spectrum, so he stims.  He runs back and forth a thousand times, or digs a car out from under the couch (the ONE FUCKING TOY WE MISS), or plays throw the lovey across the room.  Every time he begins to relax, his eyes all heavy and sleep seconds away, he launches himself off the couch and into a stim.  Daddy and I are frazzled (hah.  understatement of the year.) by 10pm, sometimes 10:30pm, when he finally lets sleep come.
If we’re lucky(!), Rizzle stays asleep until 11pm.  But then, it’s 1-2hours (maybe more!) of pure insanity.  She wants bottles, and Tylenol, and her coveted fluffy mommy pillow.  No, Daddy will not do even momentarily so mommy can take 30 seconds to pee.  Don’t try laying me down without proper cuddling or I will SCREAM and SCREECH for-ev-er.  And definitely wake up my brother.
By this 1am time, my sciatica is flaring up.  My entire left leg is in throbbing pain, I feel hungry, and wind up awake for another hour or so.  But we best not breathe the wrong way or Rizzle will wake aaaaaagain.  For who the hell knows how long.  And occasionally wake Px, who will then be up for an hour.
What time is it now?  Oh hell, it’s probably best not knowing considering they will be up by 6am. So it’s best to just roll over, curl up, and dream of sleeping for longer than a minute at a time.
I think I may be permanently a sleep-deprived zombie now; cross in front of me and I will eat your braaaainz!  Mine is long gone so I need whatever I can get, with a side of coffee.  May no one ever make the “Oh she’s still not sleeping through the night?  She should be sleeping through the night BY NOW” comment to me ever again, I cannot be held responsible for my reaction.  I am a zombie now, after all.


I Just Wanna Meme, with Ryan Gosling!

It’s Friday.  I should be blogging about more serious matters, like sensory seeking squirrels or Pez dispensers as lightsabers, but it’s Friday dammit.  And Rizzle enjoys sitting in my lap, waving at people pictures, and occasionally calling Ryan Gosling “dada”.  Keep dreaming, gurrrl.
Plus, I am so deep into sensory diets and hyposensitivity versus hypersensitivity that I’ve just hit sensory processing disorder overload.  The gears in my head have exploded.
And I’ve got to bake for Rizzle’s little party this weekend, and I’m not even close to getting that started.  If I can make an Elmo head in 2 hours, I’m forcing Cake Boss to give me his business.  Or, at least a job.
So anyway, Ryan is taking over my blog today before it becomes diary of a mad chocoholic mom with sprinkles of insanity.
And Wednesday was my girl’s actual first birthday, so Ryan has a special message for her, too.  Dreamboat!!
Awww!  Such a sweetie.
Jack Johnson, eat your heart out.
Best news ever!  I really had no desire to get out of my PJs today, Ry.  It’s rainy here.
I’ll get some coffee brewing, that kid could be out there ALL. DAY.

Linking up down thurr.  :)


Say What? Say Yay!

Good things all around the Heck house this week thusfar.
1) I got a nice surprise when I logged into Google Reader this morning and I saw I was featured over at Polish the Stars!  My toddler pillow!  I’ve never been featured anywhere.  I feel like I did the first (and only) time I’ve ever actually won anything.  Go me!  *toot toot* my little special horn!
2) PX has gained a new word- happy.  Or, in specialspeak, hauhpeeeeeeeeee.  I think my heart stopped the first time. 
3) Rizzle has decided to wave her white flag and hold her own damn bottle 90% of the time!  Success!  She’s only turning one tomorrow, yaknow.  078
Yeah that’s right girl, you’re gonna be ONE!!!
4) Speaking of tomorrow, we FINALLY get our first OT visit tomorrow.  With most likely a full sensory profile on PX, so we can figure out his sensory diet and start drafting up his more structured, ABA-based home therapy visits.  If the trial run last week is any indication of how the first few sessions will go, I’m SOSing for wine.  Actually, fuck the wine and just send tequila.  Bottles.  Jugs.  A stubborn toddler with sensory hyposensitivity who’s most likely on the spectrum?  Yeah.  Send me a damn tugboat of tequila.  Captained by Ryan Gosling, of course. 
5) This fatass is 12lbs lighter!  Thanks body for finally recognizing I’m not pregnant any more!!  *toot toot* my special horn again!


Matted Monday #4

In honor of the fact for once my locale is NOT getting the random freak snow, one of my favorite snowy shots from our 2nd and last snowstorm of the season on March 1st.


snowy 013


Oh Parenting. You’re like Riding a Roller Coaster…

at a cheapo fair full of carnies; you’re never too sure if, coming down from the highs, you’ll just plummet to the ground thanks to some loose bolts.

This was our first school vacation week as a family enrolled in a state education program.  Or however the hell you wanna put it.  So we had some great days with the G-mas and a few days full of sensory fun/outdoor activities and even a busy morning of our in home services but still PX has wanted more.  More playdough!  More touch tanks!  More outside!  More, more, more!  He is my adorable little hoarder of fun.  Unfortunately when all the available fun has been hoarded, it’s time to cue the meltdowns.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Luckily, though, this week we also finally got the date of our first OT consult--- next week.  And the paperwork is in place to get our appointment with the psychologist for PX’s autism eval.  FINALLY.  And we began to discuss if I’d like to add some 2-3 hour long ABA sessions during the week to our schedule for PX.  Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to do this for him and I’m stoked we’ve got these in-home sessions available to us, but I’m nervous.  PX is, to put it bluntly, fucking stubborn so I know the first few (dozen?) sessions will be 90% meltdown.  So my anticipation of this is bittersweet, to say the least. 

Lucky for me, Ryan Gosling’s got my back.  And front.  And everywhere in between.
Thanks babe, I’ll need the support.
Lucky me, indeed!
Alrighty!  I’ll go pack the bags and alert the masses!!
And I couldn’t resist.  I mean, it is like all the talk among the interwebz and such.  Plus, I was a bit drawn to his middle section.  :O
Yeah, totally don’t believe you.  I must inspect.
Time to link up and see how Ryan’s supporting all the other special needs moms and dads out there this week!!


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