{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!!


Matted Monday #3

Every so often I actually catch the adorable moments. 

PX & Daddy, April 2012.


I’ll Take an Allegra Martini, Shaken Not Stirred.

It’s gorgeous out.  The sun is shining, there’s a crisp breeze blowing, a crystal clear blue sky.  And we’re inside.  Because I cannot go more than two minutes without sneezing, blowing my nose, or drowsily exclaiming I need a new sinus system.  Not to mention PX’s nose might as well be a river and Rizzle is perfecting the surprise snot attack.  GAAAAAH.  But if my biggest whine of the day is how I’m missing a good weather day because of the Three Allergy Musketeers, I might as well STFU and be thankful my house isn’t being torn to shreds by a tornado.  Seriously, in comparison I’m just a whineass, amiright?
In reality, this ginormous allergy assault is actually a blessing in disguise; it’s forced me to slow the heck down and FINALLY finish PX’s picture communication cards just in time because *drum roll* we have a signer!  It’s been exactly a week since this guy decided to consistently tell us he wants a drink, and when he’s done (usually with us, stinker lol!), as well as trying like hell to express when he’s hungry! 
Victory is ours!
That may not seem like much to many (most) but it’s a blessing in disguise really; every day we get to experience one small victory, one of the “small things” that get taken for granted (even on the batshitcrazy days when that “little thing” just may be the poop stayed off the walls and in/on the diaper—you know, THOSE days).  Sure it won’t keep me from worrying about his progress in the big picture, but it guarantees at least one smile a day.  That ain’t bad, f’reals.


Asperger's and Being Bullied- a Mom's Response

I applaud this mom. And want to hug this Aden.

I wish I could form a more coherent written piece about this film, but I can't; it's late and my mind has been blown in good ways and bad by this.

And I'd be lying if I said part of me didn't want to go find all these kids' parents and drill some sense into their heads about their children's actions and their own parenting "skills".

That's pretty to the point.


A Fabricated Week #2 {the almost toddler travel pillow}

Dude.  I had a big case of the stupids this week. 

I have had PX’s travel neck pillow planned out for a month. At least.  And cut and pinned for a few weeks. I’m surprised the damn thing didn’t grow legs and walk over to the machine itself. But by 10pm last night, out of pure determination, it was machine sewn and stuffed. Success! But then it hit me, as I reach to finish it up with some hand stitching- I never actually measured the damn thing in comparison to PX’s neck. FACEPALM.



Obviously I wasn’t about to wake my son, an I didn’t feel like sewing it only to have to alter some stiches so, stuffing pouring out, I called it a night.  When the tots awoke this morning, it was the moment of truth.  And?




Too small.  That’ll prevent faceplanting in his car seat about as well as nothing.  BUT!  All was not lost.  Because some members of this clan don’t have skinny necks and giant domes (just giant domes).




A few stitches and Rizzle will have her own travel pillow.  Maybe this is why I had my surprise baby, so someone can always benefit from my crafting.  Even the eff ups.


Have You Seen This? Because it’s Amazing.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s known me for longer than 5 seconds that I’m in love with Ryan Gosling.
Shit.  What were we talking about again? 
Oh yeah.  Ryan Gosling. 

As to be expected, I am also disgustingly obsessed a fan of the “Hey Girl” memes, much like The Gosling himself. 
So when in searching for autism mommy blogs I stumbled across Special Needs Ryan Gosling on Adventures in Extreme Parenthood, I gasped.  Then LOLed.  Then had to pause to get a bib for my intermittent drooling, and LOLed some more.  I knew that Ryan understood the average fangirl and the historian lass and even the geeky gamer chick.  But I had no idea that Ryan Gosling was so supportive and understanding of the special needs mom (and dad, because Ryan is most definitely a feminist and gender stereotyping is definitely out!). 

Oh Ryan, it’s comforting to know you’re on board for alternative therapies!  I think the tots will be so excited for this!  He even knew just what to say when I walked into Hannaford’s and saw that So Delicious was sold out AGAIN, and then discovering Shaw’s doesn’t carry it at all! (Ajerlskfeof.)

Geeze Ryan Gosling must be the most considerate, advocating A-list celebrity besides George Clooney.  *swoon*

I wonder what else Ryan has to say this week about special needs parenting.  I’ll have to link up tomorrow to see.  :) 


Developmental Playgroup will be the Death of Me!

Actually, that’s a big fat lie.  But the “oh crap, you mean we’re HOME now and I can’t swing from the therapy swing or jump into the ball pit?!” meltdowns are probably taking days weeks years time off my life.

For those who don’t know, which is just about everyone because I’ve never expressed this in a public form, my beautiful rambunctious bundles of uniqueness are developmentally different.   (I refuse to say “delayed” when there are a multitude of milestones each have hit earlier than average, like PX walking at 10.5 months and operating a DVD player by 20 months).  They are as special as they come, and early intervention is just the start of our journey.

PX, my constantly twirling two-year-old, was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and is now awaiting further evals from an OT and developmental pediatrician to determine if he is on the autism spectrum.  If I were a betting woman (which I probably would be if I weren’t a broke-ass), I’d doubledown on PX having ASD.  Rizzle, the diva at not even a year old, has a set all her own of sensory difficulties and oral problems thanks to an attached upper lip frenulum.  Because inheriting my big ol’ overbite with beaver teeth wasn’t enough.

But the most amazing thing is, my children have no idea they have these differences and difficulties.  They are blissfully unaware, happily spinning in circles or hooting at Curious George or carefully studying the mechanics of illustrated vehicles.

And this makes me happy, and reassured that although they will undoubtedly throw me for loop after lemony loop, we’ll all be fine.  After all, we can just blissfully twirl in circles, clapping along to Maroon 5, when the going gets tough (and at least two of us will be stress-free).


Matted Monday #2

When I was little, trees were some of my first photography subjects.  In my box of good ol’ 4x6”-ers, if it’s not a snapshot of a person, it’s a tree.  There’s just always been something about the stark contrast of dark branches against a bright sky. 
“Outwards & Upwards”, 4-4-12


Gardening with Tots, episode 1

Happy Sunday and happy Easter to the Easter celebrators!  Easter has always been to me a bit of the unofficial start of spring weather; the bright colors, the bunnies, the flowers, the plastic grass that infests your home worse than glitter.  Ah, springtime magic.


A few days ago, after weeks of dreaming and hording supplies, I set up my kitchen to unknowingly get trashed in an experiment of gardening with tots.  Living in Maine, if you lack a greenhouse and you don’t want to wait until June to get your sowing on, it’s indoor planting for you.  The kids had recently discovered the wonder that is dirt during a freak mini-March heat wave so, upon seeing containers full of squishy soil, they just dove right in.


gardening 012


PX is most definitely starting the “Let’s Taste It” phase, a little late I believe, and no, dirt did not pass the test. 


gardening 074  gardening 080


At around the 10 minute mark, when the dirt really started to fly, I realized that my romanticized idea of my tots helping to push some seeds in was actually a motherhood delusion.  Because where’s the fun in keeping it all in the containers?  Toddlers cannot find it, it seems.


gardening 020


So after a generous scrubdown and a snack that’s main ingredient is not dirt, it was time for mama to swoop in and finish up the planting.  Time to anxiously await seedling transfer season!  …in about six weeks.


gardening 128


A Fabricated Week #1 (+ Free Printable)

Oh man I’m pooped.  Exhaustion has come and claimed another victim. 


This first week of April has been incredibly busy.  My rugrats started their developmental playgroup this week, as both have been having speech/eating problems and PX is in line for a visit with a developmental pediatrician for his autism analysis (for lack of a better word).  And it was a big hit with both, and us as well considering the tots were pooped out that night.  This was thrown into the mix of crafting for my Etsy shop, coordinating appointments for everyone in the house, and long sleepless teething nights with Rizzle.


(oh the irony.)

But I’ve still managed to get moving on some projects, and dip my toes back into tooling around with graphics programs.  And in honor of April being National Poetry Month, I put on my haiku cap and came up with a shiny image that now needs to find a home (and a frame).



Perhaps this gem has struck your fancy?  Well feel free to click and use!  Warning: it is a large image size, and was created to be printed using 300dpi for a nice 8” square image. 


Sharing is caring.  Happy Poetry Month!


Matted Monday #1

I may not be the best on the block but photography has always been my first true love.  So what could be better than weekly photography posts?  Nothing.  Well, besides winning the Mega Millions, nothing.  Lifetime financial security is pretty awesome in my book.


A few weeks back my sweet, adorable, daredevil PX turned the big 2.0 and I got to indulge in my secret cake decorating fetish.  My favorite added bonus of parenthood is definitely the cake decorating.  Given the means, I like to fantasize about giving the Cake Boss a run for his money.  So PX’s 2nd favorite thing in the world besides Curious George is undoubtedly construction vehicles.  And what fun I got to have! 


Phoenix's 2nd birthday! 010


By far, my favorite shot of the day (not starring a kiddo, of course).


Happy Monday!


April Showers Indeed

Don’t let the saying fool you:  it applies to more than just the weather!


I don’t believe I have had an uneventful April upon graduating from high school in 2004.  In college April was always the home stretch of winter term, the beginning of numerous all-nighters used to accomplish projects (academic and otherwise).  During my collegiate hiatus it signaled the end of winter hibernation and work becoming a mob scene.  And now in motherhood April has taken on a life all its own, morphing to create 30 days of attempting to recuperate from random long nights planning festivities while tackling the new year growth spurts.   So it’s only fitting I decide to start blogging again, and working on expanding my Etsy shop’s inventory.  Because it would only make sense to do this during a slow month, like January, and I never do anything that makes sense.   This April, though, I do have the advantage of not having a newborn or being pregnant!  That’s what I call hope.


outside 039

Now my kids are both huge, and playing together, and make me want to do something special for every holiday or special occasion!  And luckily for me April has Easter, my anniversary, Rizzle’s first birthday, Earth Day, and it is also National Poetry Month AND Autism Awareness Month.  I’ve probably forgotten some other events I will subsequently remember, celebrate, and record here but for now, this is it.

And it all starts this week with a special salute to poetry.


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