Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Single Mom New Year's Resolutions - I'm Going To Keep This List Realistic

Oh, I hate New Year's resolutions. Not just because they're hard to keep, but because everybody (including me) makes the same generic resolutions over and over again.

We're all going to eat healthier and work out more.

We're all going to get more sleep, slow down, enjoy life.

We're all going to spend more time with our families and call and see our friends more often.

I want to do all that, and more. But I also have some very specific goals I plan to accomplish in this next year, and I'm setting them down for all posterity here because I think I really need to. For me.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Hi, My Name Is Ellie, And I Have A Secret Addiction

I'm sure you've noticed that I've been sparse lately. Some of that is the holiday hustle and bustle, some of it was because I hit a genuine creative streak and got a hell of a lot of work done on the YA novel I'm trying to hammer out, and the rest of my creative juices have been diverted into my new vice.

Oh, dear God. I'm going to confess it now, and I still can't believe I'm writing it as I do.

I got addicted to fanfic.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Does Mom Want For Christmas? Pull Up A Chair And Let Me Explain




Anna and I were on the couch last night and I was wrapping the gifts that David and I had picked out for his therapists and teacher. She looked over at me and said, "Mom - what do you want for Christmas? And don't say the pirate guy from 'Once Upon A Time'."

Well, hell. There goes the first item on my list.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Sad Is Harder Than Mad" - A Lesson I Learned From My Autistic Son



It was a snow day, and we were inside, my son and I. He was watching “Despicable Me” and I was catching up on my holiday baking.

The wind was cold that afternoon, and he couldn’t bear the feel of it on his face, so sledding with his sister was not an option. He decided to keep me company instead. As I stood there mixing, he watched his movie and then he asked me a question.

“Mom? Are the girls sad? Or mad?”


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 11 Recap: Where We Learn That Hearts Can Be Ripped Out Through TV Screens

311B

This episode begins with a conversation at the magical Storybrooke wishing well, where Felix is congratulating Pan for sticking it to Regina. Pan is assembling the ingredients to cast the curse, and happily, one of those ingredients is Felix's heart, since he's the closest thing Pan can get to love. He rips the bugger's heart out and tosses it along with the other ingredients into the well, starting the chain reaction that will bring on the curse.

Our heroes on the other side of town are wondering how they're going to stop a second curse, and Rumple may have a way. The curse was built to be unstoppable, but the person who originally cast it - and that's Regina, of course - can use it to reverse the damage. Of course, that'll come with a price, and it'll be a steep one.

But first, he recommends that they use a spell to switch Pan and Henry back to their respective bodies, but he needs a powerful tool to do that: the black fairy's wand.

Tink helpfully provides back story that will no doubt be called upon in a later story arc: the black fairy was well-learned in dark magic and very powerful. Blue exiled her but before she did, she took the black fairy's wand. It's possible Blue has it hidden in the church or convent somewhere.

David, Henry, Tink and Neal head off to the church and everyone else goes to Gold's shop to prepare Henry for the body switch.

311E

Monday, December 9, 2013

We Belong To The Light, We Belong To The Thunder



God help my daughter when we're in the car and the radio station starts playing eighties music. She is not permitted to change the station under penalty of me singing a whole lot louder.

So the other night when she happened upon Pat Benatar as she was tuning the radio dial and I said (okay, screeched) Stop!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: Oh, Is It Time For Another Curse Already?

310A

We begin this episode with Belle leading Ariel to Eric (and their smoochy Disney-bird reunion), just as the Jolly Roger breaks through the sky, streaking to a perfect landing (of course) in Storybrooke harbor.

The cheering crowds welcome our heroes home, and the Lost Boys are shuffled off to God knows where because we never see their sorry, scraggly asses again.

Belle tearfully hugs Rumple as Neal brings Rumple his gold-handled walking stick. Rumple tells his son it'll be a reminder of the man he is no more.

Wendy finds her brothers, who are also thrilled to see Neal before they all head back to London, also never to be seen again.

In the middle of all these happy reunions, Snow directs everyone's attention to Regina, giving her the praise she deserves as someone who really came through for them.

310B 
Oh yes, she did...bitches.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Single Working Mom Day

I am a bad Mom today. As hard as that is, it's harder that I'm a bad Mom and I really can't do too much about it right now.

This is a very busy week for me at work. My department is hosting a conference of high-level executives from all over the globe, and it's my job to coordinate the whole thing, from setup to logistics planning to execution.

It's a lot of work, compounded greatly by the fact that they just restructured the department, and reduced the headcount in certain areas - one of them was mine, of course. There used to be two people doing this job and now there's just me.

And just me woke up at 12:35 am this morning to the sound of a little boy projectile vomiting all over a bedroom.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Should Be For Everyone Who Wants To Celebrate It

Those of you who follow this blog (or know anyone personally with autism) know how hard it can be to have your child in a mall this time of year or around any of the twinkling lights, cinnamon potpourri and jangling bells and carols.

It's gotten easier for me with David as the years have passed, but still, it's a gamble every time we go into an environment like that. If he's having an off day, the whole world can go kerplooey at the drop of a hat.

That's why I was so pleased to read this article, via WVEC in Hampton Roads, VA, about special Santas for children with autism.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: And So The Little Prince Melted The Heart Of The Evil Queen...

39A

This evening we begin with deliciously evil Enchanted Forest Regina, rolling along in her royal carriage as Grumpy tolls the town bell screaming "The curse! It's here!"

Rumplestiltskin is in his cell and Regina arrives to gloat. Rumple asks her how it felt to rip out the heart of the thing she loves the most, and Regina doesn't dwell upon it. "It was the price of the curse," she says, "how it felt doesn't matter."

Rumple seems to think that it matters very much. Something's now missing inside Regina. A price that steep leaves a hole in your heart, and someday, Regina will come to him to fill it. She wonders if he's taunting her in an effort to get out of the last deal he made and escape the curse, but Rumple makes it clear: he's exactly where he wants to be.


39B

Kicking Off December: Old School Style

Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Hate Me Because I Do My Black Friday Shopping On Thanksgiving Night

It's all over my Facebook  and Twitter feeds.

Don't shop on Thanksgiving night! 
Tell [Major Retailer] that Thanksgiving isn't about greed!
Say NO to Black Friday on Thanksgiving!

How dare these retailers try to steal our time with our families from us! It's wrong. Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful for what we've got, not for standing in line to see what we can get.

Thanksgiving is, above all, a time for family.

Except when it's not.

Hi, I'm Ellie, and I shop on Thanksgiving night. Before you grab your torches and pitchforks, I'll tell you why.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sometimes You Have To Realize That You're The Jerk Until You're Not

I was just in line at the drugstore, and the woman in front of me was being (as I like to say, while rolling my eyes) difficult.

Somehow, the clerk forgot to charge her for something that cost a dollar, and Difficult Woman insisted that the clerk fix her error. I stood behind her with my arms full of stuff, shifting from foot to foot, highly conscious of the fact that my time was more precious than hers (of course) and mentally cursing this woman over a lousy dollar.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Call Out To Single/Divorcing Readers With Young Children

I received an email from Alana Siegel, a student at Yeshiva University, and she needs your help. Alana is in the final year of a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is completing a thesis on the effects of parent communication on preschooler's behavior after divorce.

She's looking for parents who've been divorced within the last three years who have a child between the ages of 2-5 that is currently enrolled in preschool. If you meet that criteria, can you take a short, 15 minute anonymous (and untraceable) survey and help her out?

You can find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y6RZ3HD

Help Alana out if you can!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 8 Recap: The Sins Of The Father

38A

We begin back in the Enchanted Forest this evening, with a young boy who's watching a con man rooking passers-by with a card game. Unfortunately, he's caught by a savvy customer, who begins to put a hurt on him. The boy runs forward, screaming that this is father, and the customer takes all the money and leaves. The man reassures the child that he'll figure something out to replace the money, then he calls the boy by name: Rumple.

Forward to Neverland now, and Pan takes Henry to Wendy, who's looking markedly worse. "If you save magic, you'll save us all," he pleads with Henry as Wendy the fakey faker coughs over-dramatically in the background. "We don't have much time," he warns.

Back to the Enchanted Forest again, and Rumple's father is knocking at the door of the local spinsters - and they are truly "spinsters" as the word originates, spinning wool into thread for a living. He asks them to care for Rumple while he goes in search of employment. Young Rumple is clearly afraid and doesn't want to be parted from his father, but Dad reaffirms that once he gets a real job, they'll be together. He presses the now-recognizable straw doll into Rumple's hand, telling him that he now has a friend to watch over him and protect him. He urges Rumple to give the doll a name. "Names always make things better," he says. "They make them real."

38B

And then without a backward glance, he leaves.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Son - You Aren't The Kid I Wanted



Dear Son,

You're ten years old today. Ten years of all the typical parent stuff: worrying over every fever, jumping up and down when you took your first steps, lifting up the covers so you can crawl in next to me, yelling at the top of my lungs when you and your sister won't stop fighting.

And with those ten years also came the not-so-typical-parent stuff: wondering why you weren't talking, despairing through the tantrums that came with frightening frequency, clutching your diagnosis papers in my shaking hands as the tears fell and I knew. I knew the truth.

I didn't have the kid I thought I was going to have, the one I wanted to have. And I never, ever would.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: And When He Wins Your Heart

37A

We begin this episode in a slight flashback, with Rumple saying goodbye to Belle at the dock before their departure to Neverland. He gives her a cloaking spell to shield the town and she realizes he never means to come back because he's going to Save HenryTM.

They show the cheesy CGI of the ship heading into the portal, and Belle lets the town know that they're not safe - there could be others that were associated with Greg and Tamara who could be on their way to Storybrooke right now.

And of course, there are. We see a car speeding toward the town line, while Belle, Blue, Archie and the dwarves head down to the mines, to open up a vein of fairy dust. Once they do and release the spell, the dust will carry it through town. We see a brightly lit dome come down over the town, knocking the rear bumper off the car, but not before it makes it through and across the town line.

The two men inside glance at each other, and keep on driving into town.

Over in Neverland, Rumple gives Ariel an enchanted shell, asking her to deliver it to Belle. He won't say what the object is for fear of Pan listening in, but he's sure Belle will know what to do once she receives the shell. Ariel takes off and we head over to Pan, who senses that someone has left Neverland.

"We need to get word to our friends on the ground in Storybrooke," he tells Felix. "And I need to have a chat with our friend in the other cage."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Never Underestimate The Power Of A Beautiful Heart

I came across this story today, and as the mother of a twelve year old girl, it hit me right in the feels. Grab the kleenex.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: For The Beauty Of The Earth

This month, I'll be doing a series of "Thankful Thursdays."

Today, I'm thankful for the great natural beauty of the world I live in. I'm thankful for the hot, dry, beauty of the desert I grew up in:


And I'm equally thankful for the crisp, colorful beauty of the place I now call home:


I am blessed to have experienced them both, breathed them in, rolled around in the sand and the leaves and felt a part of them both. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lights! Camera! Action! Autism!

We had David's parent-teacher conference last night, and as always, my boy is the proverbial "Little Engine That Could." They've changed the report card structure this year and oh, was it a wonderful change.

His new math report card shows his proficiency percentage in relation to set goals. For instance, one of the goals is 100% accurate computation of basic math facts in a timed, 100 question drill. Right now, he's sitting at 77%. Normally, that would give me a bit of a twinge. He tries so hard, but math is rough for him. It's good, but obviously he needs to work on this.

But this new report card? It also shows the class average on the same metric. Class average on that item? 72%! In fact, on just about everything in math, David is above the average percentage for the class. Not by a huge margin, mind you, but above all the same.


Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo - Four Days In And Not Looking Too Shabby




Movie Review Monday: 'Free Birds' Is A Real Turkey

As a parent, I realize it's my job to take my kid to every great and not-so-great kid's movie that comes along. Sometimes the previews can clue you in and let you know not to expect much (Hello, Planes, I'm talking to you, you third-rate Cars knockoff. And I didn't like Cars, either). Sometimes, the previews make the movie look ho-hum and you get very pleasantly surprised (let me hear a big squee! for Tangled, Despicable Me and The Croods).

So when I see a preview that looks blah, I still have some hope in my heart. I've been wrong before, after all. And with that hope in my heart, I took my son to see 'Free Birds' on Saturday.




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 6 Recap: Whozits And Whatsits Galore

36A

We begin our episode running through the Enchanted Forest with our beloved bandit Snow White, with the queen's soldiers in hot pursuit. They corner her on a cliff, and she chooses to jump into the sea over letting them take her. It's a loooong way down and not looking so good for Snow, who blacks out when she hit the water. She is saved by a mermaid - and not just any mermaid!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ariel has arrived!

36B

Forward to Neverland now, where we see Regina trying to give Emma a magic lesson, and it's not going well. She harps on Emma to focus, urging her to use her anger and channel it. Emma balks, insisting there has to be a way to use magic without taking it dark, but Regina is nagging at her until Emma gets good and pissed - and that finally lights the fire with magic.

David and Snow are watching from afar, not sure how they feel about all this, when Hook pulls them aside with a murmured "We need to talk." He's just come from his conversation with Pan, and without the slightest hesitation, he tells them that Neal is alive and on the island.

Snow immediately wants to tell Emma but David and Hook discourage that. Until they confirm that Neal is indeed alive and they can rescue him, it's better to keep Emma in the dark and not hurt her all over again. Snow isn't happy with keeping that secret (but come on, when has Snow ever been good at keeping a secret?) and she notes that secrets tend to keep you from the people you love. David gently reminds her that secrets can also protect the people you love.

Oh, David, right in the feels.

And into this confab strolls Emma, wondering what all the murmuring and furtive looks are about. David and Hook lie their shapely asses off, but Snow just blurts the secret right out. Emma's shocked into silence, shooting a furtive glance at Hook.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Kind Of Fool Am I? This Kind.


Yes, that's right. I'm going to finish this damn book, and hopefully, NaNoWriMo will motivate me to do so. 

Let the madness begin!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

That's It! I'm Pleading 'Uterine Derangement'!!

So this wonderful list popped up all over the internet last week and I am having the best time with it. It's a list of reasons for admission to an insane asylum, circa 1864-1869.

The list itself contains dozens of items - do read through, it's quite educational (and bizarre). Here are a few that I really found interesting:


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 5: Magnificent Form And Incredible Steam

35A

When I sat down to retro-review this episode, I will admit I had to watch it twice. For science, you understand. And I'm also going to tell you right off the bat that this episode gets 648 billion hooks out of five, because it's That. Damn. Good.

We begin this evening running through the jungle with the Lost Boys, who are dragging Neal along for the ride.

Meanwhile in Pan's camp, some little shit of a Lost Boy is taunting Henry and poking him with a stick. Henry picks up a stick to defend himself, and Pan tells him he can believe his stick into being a sword, since he has the heart of the truest believer. Henry does so, and then using the skills his badass Grandpa and Papa taught him, he cuts the other kid's stick down to nothing, and manages to get a slice across the kids' cheek for good measure.

Henry is mortified that he hurt the kid, apologizing profusely, but Pan is clearly pleased. "Henry, don't you know the best thing about being a Lost Boy?" he asks. "You never apologize."

The Lost Boys send up a cheer for Henry, who seems to enjoy the praise.

35C

Friday, October 25, 2013

Just Because It's Friday And I'm Feeling Particularly Sadistic

I'm firmly middle-aged. There, I said it. I'm closer now to my AARP card than I am to my college years. In hippie tree-hugger terms, I've flown past "maiden", and now teeter precariously between "mother" and "crone."

Crone is such an ugly word.


And I refuse to feel alone in my rapidly aging body (with the mind that seems to age at a pace that double that of the body). So here, for your Friday enjoyment is a list of ten facts to make you feel really, really old.

Crone-ish, if you will. Unless you're a man. I don't know what we call a male crone. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Sorry, did I wander off-topic? I have a tendency to do that these days.

Anyway, here's the list:


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great Halloween Costumes That Deserve Some Applause

These have been cropping up on various forums and feeds I'm subscribed to for a week or so now, and I just love them all.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Help A Kid With Autism Get A Bike

Instead of a picture, today I'll just add a few words to a great cause. Help this kid out, if you can. And share this, please!


John Hammett of Thomasville, GA has a request:

My son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and Major Depressive Disorder. This causes him to be stubborn and lack motivation. I have tried getting him to learn to ride a regular bicycle but he is clumsy and uncoordinated due to his size and he's afraid he will fall and hurt himself. He is 10 years old, 5'7" and weighs 200lbs. He needs a big bike but since he can't ride a regular bicycle he needs a 3 wheeler. My hope is that a 3 wheeled bike will give him the confidence to want to ride and riding will help with his weight. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You can contribute to the bike fund 
via their GoFundMe campaign: 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Honey, I Am Spread So Thin, I'm Practically Translucent...

Sorry for the lack of substantive stuff on the blog in the last few weeks. I do try to throw something up there a few days a week and at least write one or two "real" posts, but along with the other blog I run, working full-time, and trying to bang out a book, it's getting a bit tough to keep up.

Still, I will persevere. Yes, I will.

A book, you ask? Why, yes. Anyone who knows me knows that I am forever in the middle of writing a book. I have six different book ideas going at any given time and I have a pile of half to three-quarters finished manuscripts that are just awesome. I even finished two into rough draft form and one is currently out to an editor and has been "bumped to the acquisitions desk" where I am eagerly awaiting an update.

You wait a lot when you write. Oh, do you ever.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 4: Pipers And Promises

34A

We begin tonight with Felix leading Neal through the jungle, taunting him about how Henry will never get away. Neal punches him in the face and gets away. Any episode that begins with Felix getting smacked in the chops is okay by me.

Then we go back to the Enchanted Forest where teen Baelfire is given a gift by a post-Dark One Rumplestiltskin. He lets his father know on no uncertain terms that he's tired of getting gifts taken from people his father has terrorized, and what's more - he wants to leave their home.

Rumple offers him a palace but Bae wants to see the world and have some real friends. Rumple refuses - he wants to keep Bae safe at all costs.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

They Were Making Fun Of My Son So I....Did Nothing





Where I live, I get the best of both worlds. I'm in a small town riding the edge between the far suburbs of a major US city and the very rural farmland that stretches to the west. I only have to drive an hour and my kids can have museums and touring exhibits and Broadway road shows and concerts and all kinds of culture.

And on the flip side of that, we live in a town where the local pizza parlor owners know us by name. A town where every business proudly displays the name of the local high school team and in warm weather, there's a car wash going on every weekend at the local Sonic Drive-Through, raising money for boy scouts or cheerleaders or local churches.

I grew up in a small town, and while it chafed and suffocated me, I recognize now as an adult, the value of having that experience. I won't talk about "small town values" because, honestly, I think that's bunk. I know just as many wonderful parents and kids in big cities who have values that are every bit as good. I think it's more the vibe of the place. The sense of connectedness. And above all, the kitschy, fun "small town" things that you get to do growing up.

In our town, it was the Homecoming and Thanksgiving parades. Where I am now, it's an annual Halloween parade, and that's where the kids and I were, relaxing in our folding chairs, lined up on main street, ready for the lights and the music and most of all, the people throwing candy!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Is In Full Bloom Around Here

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground.”

~ Andrea Gibson


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is This What It's Like To Hit Rock Bottom In The Well Of Loneliness?

I was kid-free this past weekend, and since I can't afford cable right now, that means a whole lot of movies between housework and yard work and writing work and work work. God bless Redbox. Thanks to them I had a "Mediocre Movie Marathon" featuring: "After Earth" (which was truly mediocre), "Oz The Great and Powerful" (below mediocre, and it pains me to say it because I love love love James Franco), 'World War Z' (better than expected, but from what I understand, that's because I didn't read the book) and "Bridesmaids", which was wonderful but not what I expected at all.

"It's the female version of The Hangover!" The press touted. "Hysterical fun!" "You'll laugh until you cry!"

Yeah, about that...


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Never, Ever, Ever


Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Tattoos And Coconuts


Tonight, we begin traipsing through the jungle, and David's having a hard time with the heat. Emma checks the map and Pan - the asshole - has moved his camp, so the map is essentially no good. Regina wants to use magic to poof into the camp, but Hook advises against it as Pan will surely have barriers up against magic.

He suggests they look up an old fairy friend of his on the island as it's possible she may have some pixie dust left that they can use to fly in. Into the camp that he just said had barriers against magic, which pixie dust is. Whatever. Then David explains that pixie dust is like nuclear fairy dust, making me cringe and squint one eye because Josh Dallas showed his Kentucky roots and used the hillbilly ignoramus method of pronunciation: "Noo-kyoo-lurr."

reading
Some reading material for you, Josh.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cafe James Is A Sweet Place That Will Inspire You

I first heard about the Kennedy Krieger Institute when I was doing some research on autism, not long after David was diagnosed. Located in Baltimore, MD, Kennedy Krieger is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to research, special education and professional training focused in the areas of developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system.


Monday, October 7, 2013

I Love My Kid, But I Need Some Patience, Lord.

David has been in full on warp-speed super-dooper autism mode lately. Not that he's ever not a kid with autism, mind you, but some days he can almost pass for a neurotypical kid. In fact, unless you watched him or talked to him for a good length of time, usually you wouldn't pick up on his autism right away.

Unless, of course, you're an autism parent. You'd see it a mile away, then. We always do.

But lately - oh, lately. His behaviors have been in fine form, and I wish I knew what made him cycle into high gear. I've kept notes and journals, hoping to find a common thread, but nothing's added up so far.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: "Just Who Are You, Swan?"

31D

We begin this evening with Rumple, building a giant fire and that casts his shadow against a large rock. He then takes his magical dagger and painfully cuts the shadow from his body, commanding it to take the dagger and hide it where even he couldn't find it. He obviously doesn't trust Pan, and Pan obviously knows all about him.

On the other side of the island, our cadre of heroes and villains are looking for a good vantage point upon which to spy on Pan's hideout. Snow offers Emma a drink of water and Emma takes the water skin with a mumbled, "Thanks, Mary-Margaret." Awkward. Snow lets her know that it's okay to call her Mom, but Emma's not ready to do that on a regular basis.

While hacking away through the jungle, Hook stops David from slashing into a very poisonous plant known as Dreamshade. Then he and Emma get into an amusing conversation about his alter-ego in our world when he asks what the Captain Hook of the story books looks like. Emma mentions wax mustaches and perms with her trademark smirk as Hook lets the reference sail right over his head.

Now we move back in time to the Enchanted Forest, where we see Prince Charming galloping to Snow White's side on his magnificent steed. He approaches the funeral bier, and we re-enact True Love's Kiss yet again. This time we see it all from Regina's point of view as she views the news via her magic mirror.

And hot damn, she looks incredible in that outfit.

Reg2

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Heard Me Right: Gay Is My Middle Name

When I was born, the story goes, the doctor gave my behind a firm little tap and instead of bellowing or wailing as most babies are wont to do, it is said that I opened my widdle baby mouth and laughed. And laughed and laughed.

My mother, in a fit of pure happiness at finally, finally getting her girl (I have two older brothers) decided then and there to give me a middle name befitting my personality and her elation.

She could have given me the middle name of "Joy." I'd have even settled for "Happy." How about "Bliss?" 

Monday, September 30, 2013

If This Isn't A Call For Action, I Don't Know What Is

Sometimes, when I feel like worrying myself into nausea, I think ahead to what my son will do once he graduates high school (if I want to worry myself into hyperventilation and passing out, I think about what he'll do once his father and I are gone).  As a child with autism, he will someday be a man with autism, and a man with autism isn't somebody who can get or keep a job that easily, unfortunately.

It's not that David won't be able to work. If you have something repetitive, if you need someone who's sunshine all the time and can do a lot of the same stuff over and over - he's your guy. And he'll be the best damn employee they've ever had, as long as they know how to work with him and he can compensate when he needs to.

An employer like that is going to be hard to find, I know. And according to this article I just read, it's going to be even harder than I'm probably thinking it is.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Heroes, Villains, And Deep-Seated Regrets

31A

We begin eleven years ago, where we watch a young Emma giving birth to Henry, complete with dramatically shorting-out lights, as if the world knows that she's magic somehow. The doctor happily proclaims "It's a boy, Emma," bringing Henry over for her arms, but she turns away tearfully, refusing to even look at the child she was giving up much less hold him.

The doctor gently reminds her that she can change her mind, but Emma is vehement. "No," she says, through a voice choked with tears. "I can't be a mother."

And now we're aboard the Jolly Roger, traveling through a portal, on a journey to (say it with me!) save Henry! Neverland is on the horizon, and it's as dark and foreboding a place as you've ever seen.

Now we flash over to Tamara, Greg and Henry landing on the island. Henry lets them know that his Moms are going to be arriving soon, thinking he's in the Enchanted Forest. Tamara sets him straight as Greg digs out the communicator sent by the Home Office. Unfortunately for them, the Home Office sent a communicator full of sand, and it's clear that the mission they thought they were on is not what it seems.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Know This Is Crazy Talk, But I'm Getting A Lot More Done Without Internet Access

I am a single Mom.

I am a single Mom whose divorce is not yet final and my budget is screaming tight and a little thing like two bald tires and a second job that doesn't always pay me at the same time every month can really throw me into a tailspin, particularly since I'm usually juggling the overdue bills and trying to determine which one is closest to shutoff before I pay it.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Pictures Worth A Thousand Unsaid Words

I'm going to turn today over to Project Unbreakable. Grace Brown, the project founder, photographs survivors of sexual assault, holding up posterboards on which they quote their attackers.

***TRIGGER WARNING for all survivors of sexual assault***


See the women here.


See the men here.


This is powerful stuff.




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Playground Doesn't Always Mean Play When You're A Child With Autism


Every single night, after reading a story together and singing a bedtime song, David and I talk about his day at school. I can't just generally ask him how his day went, because the answer is always "good". Of course, in his defense, he almost never has a bad day at school.

Still, he's telling me what he thinks I want to hear, so I delve a little deeper. I ask him about his "special" (they  rotate things like art, music, library, and P.E.) and I ask him what he did at recess. We've done this almost every school day of every school years since kindergarten, when they mainstreamed him into public school with his peers. Most days, the answer was the same:

"I played by myself."


Monday, September 23, 2013

Nora Ephron, You Were Right About Me

Co-Worker: Do you know that it's easier to be killed by a terrorist than it is to find a husband over the age of forty?
Annie: That statistic is not true.
Becky: That's right it's not true. But it feels true.

~ From Sleepless In Seattle

I'm knee-deep in my divorce mediation, and things are moving forward and getting resolved. One of the things that I keep getting reminded of as I slog through all this financial and custodial stuff is that I'm all alone in this.

All alone.

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Friday, And I Got Nothin' But Relief

Folks, it's been a bitch of a week. Honestly, I'm just wrung out. I'm so grateful it's Friday, I could cry. So here's a pick-me-up to sing us into the weekend:




Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Parenting Style In A Nutshell

May I present my favorite ever Far SideTM cartoon?




I also have to share this article, that I read last week. My first thought was "What kind of parent would do something like this?" My next thought was "I would so do this to Anna."

So I guess that's my answer.




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's OK, Little Man. Mommy Hates Math, Too.



He sits at the table with his fists jammed into his eyes.

"It's too hard. I want to only do a little. It's too ha-rd." His voice catches on the last word, and his fists twist into his eyes, trying to stem the tears.

Oh, I hate math.

I mean, I really, really hate math. I've hated it all my life. It never was a good subject for me, and quite frankly, once I learned basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, I found math to be a colossal waste of my time and energy.