Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: I Had It All This Year


This year, I fought the bank against foreclosure
This year, we finally, officially filed for our divorce
This year, I lost one of my two jobs
This year, I had a TV show, a big-time blogging job and a possible book deal fall through
This year, I was incredibly lonely sometimes, but still too scared to do anything about it
I've lost a lot this year
But I still had it all
Because I had them
And because they have each other
Bring on the New Year
We're all going to be okay

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Coming In 2015 - Anna And Ellie Explain It All For You

As we move closer to putting a lid on 2014, I've been brainstorming various new things I can do to "freshen up" this blog for the coming year. I'll probably be putting up a new blog design, taking a few new author pics, and various cosmetic stuff like that.

In addition to that, I'll be featuring a guest blogger, every Tuesday through this next year:

My lovely daughter, Anna!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Infertility Is A Horrible Rollercoaster Ride - And For Me, It Was Worth It




They explained it all with absolute clarity. 

People talk about how confusing the process is - all the appointments with the doctors and the surgeons and reproductive endocrinologists and the microbiologists and the 'gists you haven't even heard of before. But you learn more about your body than you ever knew before. Ever wanted to know before.

Your body becomes not your own. It has now been reduced to its most basic form. An organism. A malfunctioning organism that will now be tampered with, drugged, pushed and prodded, scheduled, dissected and all while draining your physical and emotional bank accounts dry. The cost in dollars: exhorbitant. The cost to your soul: incalculable. You'll do it anyway.

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 26, 2002

It was Christmas Day, and the man sat at her bedside, holding her hand. There was very little sound now, as her breathing was barely audible. Before, there had been a riot of noises – heart monitor beeping, ventilator going ka-thump, nurses and doctors shuffling in and out. Now the machines were all unplugged and the nurses came in quietly, respectfully, and the world – his world – had closed in to just this woman and her breathing, and on the periphery, his son, sitting vigil at his side.

What had been a quick trip to the Emergency Room for what they thought was a horrible stomach virus had turned into this. She had been admitted 3 days before, on their forty-fifth wedding anniversary, and now she wasn’t going to come home. This isn’t what she’d want. She’d never want to die at Christmas. It was her very favorite holiday. The man turned to his son and said “This is hard. This is so hard.” And so, with his son’s hand on his back, they sat through the long night and waited.

Over 2,000 miles away, I waited, too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Eve




It's Christmas Eve
And I'm sitting next to my Daddy
Who is 78 years young
We're watching Firefly
And I'm baking cookies
And the world is perfect right now
So you stop reading this
And go spend time with someone you love
I will, too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Remember That Time David Pulled Out Your Hair Till You Bled?"



My daughter and I got into a discussion last night about the circumstances of her birth - or more accurately, her conception.

You see, both my children were conceived via invitro fertilization. They're "test tube babies," due to a severe infertility issue that made it impossible for my ex and I to have a biological child any other way. It was a long, hard road filled with five years of invasive tests, horrific drugs, thousands of dollars and a whole lot of heartbreak before we hit the jackpot with our two little miracles.

Anna asked me if it were possible to genetically sculpt the "ideal" baby, and I explained to her that it wasn't yet, but there are tests available to screen embryos for certain birth defects, and some people opt to "sex select" their embryos, choosing only boys or girls. We did none of that, because it just plain didn't matter to us. Boy, girl, Down's syndrome or no, we knew we would love that child.

Of course, I had no idea I'd end up with a child who had autism, but then again, neither did any other autism parent. Would I have changed my mind about that pregnancy if I had known? The autism Mom I am now says absolutely not. The pre-autism woman who thought that was an incredibly frightening word might have chosen differently. My son was the first person with autism I had ever known. He was a new frontier, and we learned all about it together. We're still learning.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Growing Up In The Space Age - I Wish My Kids Could Have What I Had



In July of 1969, I was very, very young. I wish I could tell you I wasn't even yet a glimmer in my Daddy's eye so that I could claim to be as young as I feel, but I believe in truthful blogging.

It was July of 1969, and my mother's side of the family, then in Denver, all gathered in my grandmother's tiny living room, some of us on the couch, some of us on the floor, some of us sitting across the top of the couch and dangling our pre-school legs down over our parent's shoulders, and we watched.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Resting Uneasy At The Hotel Rwanda



Several years ago, while working as an executive assistant for a major pharmaceutical company, I had to plan a trip for my boss to Rwanda.

Rwanda. Holy cow! Can you even get a plane to Rwanda??

It turns out you can. More than one in fact. You can fly there direct via British Airways from Brussels, Belgium mainly because there are a lot of Europeans who visit the area for the Silverback gorilla wildlife preserve in Kigali. The movie "Gorillas in the Mist" was filmed there.

So I began the long and interesting process of setting up my boss's trip to Kigali, Rwanda. He was an executive director, and the company was making a very large charitable donation of our pneumonia vaccine to the children of Rwanda. Pneumonia kills thousands of children there every year, due to the high humidity rates in the mountainous forest region they live in, and the general lack of "first world" medical care. My boss was a pompous, high-maintenance, pointy-haired jerk of a man, and he insisted that I find him the highest level of hotel accommodation possible because "a third world four-star hotel is our single star, you know".

After a bit of investigation and some calls to the assistants of other executives making the trip, we all agreed upon one of the two four-star hotels in Kigali, the Hotel des Mille Collines - otherwise known as the "Hotel Rwanda", for those of you who saw the movie. I hadn't at the time, but I'd heard the name so I started reading up on it, out of curiosity.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesdays: Twenty Dollars





Mom, are you mad at me?
No, honey, I'm not mad at you. Not at you. 
Did you get bad news?
You could say that. It's a letter from the bank. 
The letter makes you mad?
Yes. It makes me mad and sad.
Why?
Because they want a lot of money. I need to give them money for the house. I'm sorry, Bubby. It just makes me in a bad mood. I love you, though.
You can have my twenty dollars, mom.
No, Bubby - your aunt and uncle gave you that for Christmas. That's your money. You keep it. 
If you change your mind, I will give it to you.
I know you would, Bubby. I know you would.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Love Music. I Just Never Listen To It, Is All...


I love music.

All kinds of music. Taylor Swift and The Violent Femmes. Streetlight Manifesto and Barenaked Ladies. Pearl Jam and The Pogues. The Grateful Dead and the Dixie Chicks. Broadway Tunes and The Ramones. Pat Metheny and Barry Manilow and Pink and Arianna Grande and Mika and Pentatonix and Taj Mahal and the entire soundtrack from Pitch Perfect. I love all sorts of stuff.

And I sing. I sing loud and with great gusto and I love, love, love to sing.

But if you looked at my iPod, or the music file on my iPhone right now, you wouldn't see much. 99% of what's there is there because my daughter and I share and iTunes account, and she's downloaded it to her phone.

You see, I don't listen to music much, when I'm by myself. If my kids are in the car, the radio or the iPod is on, and we're all singing and grooving.

But if it's just me....silence.

When I write....silence.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 12 Recap: Belle, The Bad-Ass With All The Balls

Will Hook live through the episode? Millions of ovaries want to know!
Oh, the fearful, wary anticipation of a Once Upon A Time pre-hiatus show. I'm still reeling from the fateful goodbye scene of last year's mid-season cliffhanger, and I  knew we were going to get our guts ripped out again. 

I was right. 

Damn you, Kitsis, Horowitz, and staff. Damn you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Friday! Time For Another Gallery Of Awesome Stuff!

We begin today's awesome stuff with an introduction to Wakie - a new app that lets you wake or be woken by people from all over the world.



This is simply brilliant. You choose whether to be a "Wakie" (someone who wakes people)  or a "Sleepyhead" (someone who gets woken up), register on the site and it will connect you for a one minute conversation (anonymously) with someone somewhere in the world. That's cool enough, but here's the really brilliant part: they've got a forum (similar to Craigslist "missed encounters" from what I can tell) where you can try to connect with your wakie or sleepyhead, if you'd like. They're also looking into a premium service that will let you extend your call to five minutes, and they're even looking into a celebrity angle where the celeb of your choice can pre-record messages that you can pay for as a wake up call. The celeb can then link those via social media.

Of course, with a wake-up call from Dwayne Johnson or Colin O'Donoghue I'm liable to want to stay in bed.

No, I'm not expanding on that one. Onward!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thank You, Mr. Thorp - What My High School Chorus Teacher Taught Me About Life

One of my high school chorus pictures, with Mr. Thorp proudly at the center.


In seventh grade, my first year of junior high, I was allowed to pick one "elective" course. There was no question in my mind about it, no pondering, no confusion. I was born to sing nearly as much as I was born to act and born to write. I had a passably good voice (I would never claim to be a diva, but I could hold my own) and thus began my school singing career.

My first chorus teacher was Mr. Phillips. He had bright red hair and a bright red mustache and when he got mad at us, his face went bright red, too. But he was loony and knew his stuff. He gave me my first musical role, as the Rose in Alice in Wonderland.

Next came Mrs. McAllister, who used the piano as a percussion instrument and occasionally threw chairs across the room when her temper got the better of her. She was raw and crass and demanding and brought us together to sing under the iron fist of unwavering perfection. I didn't always like her, but I loved the way she made us sound.

And then there was high school, and Mr. Thorp.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: I Just Had To Share

No poetry from me today
Because I'm spending my day with my girl
A genuine "just us" Mom and Daughter day
Freewheeling and fun and full of whatever we want to do

So you get to amuse yourself with this
And if you're the parent of a kid with autism
You'll laugh, just like I did.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Cat That Has My Back



I grew up a dog person. When I went off to college, my poor mother got her heart broken because half my calls home were taken up with me asking her to hold the phone out so the dog could hear me.

It was with great surprise that I found myself adopting a little ball of meowing fur, found shivering in the cold outside my boyfriend’s apartment my junior year of college.

Thus began the odyssey of cat ownership. Geddy the Siamese was our first (what can I say – the boyfriend was a Rush fan) and so damn smart. He also had a real thing for barbeque Lays potato chips and would swat the bag until you shared with him. Four years later, the boyfriend and I were married and added Toodie, a domestic gray. That cat was as dumb as a box of rocks and drooled in her sleep, but never ceased to make us laugh. We loved them both, and when they died within a year of each other, we realized the house just wasn’t the same without them.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 11 Recap: Bitchy, Snarky, Well-Dressed And Wonderful - Welcome Back To Storybrooke!


I'm the one with the cleavage around here!

Welcome back to Storybrooke! 

I mean, really - welcome back. We've sort of lost our way on some of these story arcs, and while I adore Anna, find Elsa palatable and am in awe of the Snow Queen's magnificent rack, there hasn't been a lot this season that's made me feel like the old days. The days of bandit Snow and virile Charming, red-carpet dresses and viciously snarky Regina. The days of saucy Hook, deadpan Emma and oily, but irresistable Rumple.

This episode brought us back to our roots, and to one of the best parts about the Once Upon A Time universe: no villain is beyond redemption.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How To Properly Entertain This Holiday Season

First, light your house in a festive manner. Just be careful if you have palm trees:

Nope. Not saying it.


Next, be sure you have a large amount of delicious appetizers. Hillshire Farms suggests this holiday weenie tree!

You can find the "recipe" on their website. Or Pinterest.

When it's time for the main course, surprise your guests with artfully folded napkins. This one always gets a good response.  (Nope, not posting a picture. It's decidedly NSFW).

After dinner, everyone can kick back and watch you play the carrot clarinet (get your minds out of the gutter, people) like a boss:


And don't forget to finish the evening with a toast to the friends and family who put up with your nonsense. Try this:




The Grinch 

3 oz peach schnapps
3 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
12 oz orange juice
4 oz Sprite® soda
3 oz Blue Curacao liqueur

I'm going to make a "trial" bucketful batch of these this weekend. Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Proof That There Is A God: High-Waisted Jeans Are Coming Back

I was born a century too soon. Not that I crave Edwardian manners (okay, maybe a little) or I'm looking for my own personal Mr. Darcy (okay, maybe a lot, but he needs to look like Matthew McFayden).

Oooooh, Mr. Darcy....you can forget your manners with me...
It's more that my body was really made to wear Empire waists.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Sad Is Harder Than Mad" - A Lesson I Learned From My Autistic Son (Book Excerpt)

It was a snowy 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 one of his favorite movies, "Despicable Me." He was silent for a while, and then he asked me a question.

“Mom? Are the girls sad? Or mad?”


Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Just A $29 Dollar Tree



Just a $29 Christmas tree
Nothing much to write home about
We had a great big one when the ex was still here, pre-lit and gorgeous
But by the following Christmas, it lost half its lights
So the year after, I bought this one
All I could afford on the single-mom salary at the time
Especially if I wanted the kids to have some Christmas
So we put up our homemade and often garish ornaments
And we laughed and laughed while we did
And it felt like Christmas anyway
Maybe more so, because we laughed and loved
It's beautiful
It's all beautiful

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'm Taking A Deep Breath And Stepping Out From Behind The Persona For This Confession

And believe me when I tell you, this is not an easy blog to write. I'm going to be talking today about something I hate about myself. I mean really, really hate. An embarrassment. A source of acute loss of self-esteem.

A lifelong curse, pretty much. Or, at least, it feels that way to me.

Here's the truth of it: I have crooked teeth.




Monday, December 1, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 10: When You Wish Upon A Plot Convenience

This week's episode begins with a glorious overhead shot of the rack that started it all:

With great cleavage comes great responsibility. 
Or in this case, a whole lot of passive-aggressive evil. I mean, seriously - doesn't Ingrid remind you of that one Aunt you see at the holidays who's always reminding your Mom (with a creepy smile) of every embarrassing incident from her childhood? The one that always has your Mom reaching for the wine bottle when she enters the room? Smug little shit.

As it turns out, our Snow Queen has good reason to be smug. She's cast the curse of Shattered Sight, and our watchful (See! They're watching! With binoculars!) group of carefully placed lead characters let us know that it'll be here by sundown. 

Rumplestiltskin slithers up to Ingrid (sorry, I'm so mad at him right now I just can't write anything nice) to make a deal: he wants to leave town with Belle and Henry (since everyone else is gonna die a horrible, PMS-related death), and in return, he won't be there still alive and all in her face. Ingrid hates him as much as I do and she says bon voyage. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Today Is Going To Be A Short One, Folks

Mostly because I feel like hammered crap on toast. My kids both had a respiratory virus and cough these last couple of weeks that I managed to dodge, and yesterday, it finally climbed into a truck and ran me down like some relentless terminator or something.

I managed to go out and shop last night (go ahead hate on me all you want) and got all the stuff I needed and then some, so all that's left before I pick up the kids on Sunday is housecleaning, present wrapping, decorating and getting the tree up.

Which I will do tomorrow.

Today, I'm laying on the couch in a Dayquil haze until it gets dark outside and then I'll take the Nyquil. I might eat some soup, too.

I think that's about all I can manage for now.

Hope you're all having a great holiday weekend full of seasonal fun and family and friends. I'll chat you on Monday, when I'll have a new Once Upon A Time Recap to regale you with!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Gigantor Arm, Gorgeous Face



Mom, did you see this picture. It is so weird. My arm looks huge.

Oh, I'm sure it's not - holy cow! Your arm is huge!

Mom!

It's just perspective, Anna. I was obviously at an odd angle when I took it.

My arm is not that huge.

Well, of course it's not.

And I look like I have man hands.

Oh, honey. Seriously, it's just an odd picture...

Whew!

Of your freakish gigantor-arm.

I love you, Mom.

And I love you, Gigantor.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So I Finally Finished Binge-Watching LOST On Netflix




I finished watching the final episode of LOST at 2:30am Monday morning, which was really stupid considering I had to be up for work in three hours. Strangely, I felt no lingering exhaustion yesterday and even went to bed early. It decided to hit me today, and I'm seriously yawning as I type this.

But back to LOST.

I started binge-watching it a month or so ago, taking in several episodes on each of my kid-free weekends whenever I could. I never got to see it when it aired originally - the kids were babies then and anything outside their periphery in those early years is basically a blur now. I don't think I sat down once, much less turned on a TV show.

I became a huge fan of Once Upon A Time, however, and they seeded it with all kinds of LOST references, since head writers/producers Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz worked on LOST. I figured I'd give it a try.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Sometimes You Forget How Alone You Are - Until It Hits You In The Face

So, it's official.

Charles Manson is getting married, and I'm still single. Not just unmarried, mind you. Single. Alone. Just me, myself and I.

Yeah, yeah...I could probably find my own serial killer psychopath if I looked hard enough, I know. I'm the only one to blame for not pursuing that. It's not like they're evading me or going anywhere.

Heh. That was an attempt at humor. Because it's really not terribly funny that Charles Manson has someone who loves him - no matter how batshit crazy she probably is - and I'm looking at another weekend with only Netflix on the horizon.

To add to that unique sort of melancholy, I got a message from a friend of mine the other day, asking for my thoughts on the subject of Christmas gifts.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Friday! Time For Another Visit To The Gallery of Awesome Stuff

It's Friday, it's really, really freaking cold outside, and I would like to be independently wealthy and sipping a mai-tai on a beach somewhere.

Obviously, that is not going to be happening today.

But all is not lost. I have assembled an amazing gallery of awesome stuff for your perusal:

Let's start with these:



And this:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of Mice And Men And Mermaids: The Challenge Of Special Needs And Siblings



"Mom will you sing 'Morningtown Train' tonight?" she asks as we eat dinner.

"Oh, Boo, you know I can't. That song is too long and David climbs all over me and makes it very hard to finish," I say.

Anna nods, dejectedly.

"How about...'Goodnight, My Someone'?" she asks, hopefully.

"Okay," I relent. "But only the first verse. You two need to get to bed."

I will stand next to the bed and sing. Stand, when I used to sit. I used to hold her long and stroke her hair and sing and sing and sing. We used to sing "Morningtown Train" and we'd lay on the bed and rock like we were on a train, her softly saying "chugga, chugga, chugga" under her breath between the choruses.

And then when it was over, she'd pretend to be asleep, and I'd pull the covers up over her and kiss her and wish her beautiful dreams. But not anymore. Now it's a hasty song, by the side of the bed. I quickly smooth her hair and kiss her cheek, reminding her that I love her. I don't dare touch her longer, or hold her close much or David will attack.

Yes, David will attack.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My Life Philosophy Regarding The Cold

It's an oldie
But a goldie
And still holds true today
This is how I personally feel about winter
And about life, in general


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Five Reasons Why I Would Totally Date The Hell Out Of Me



I am datable. I mean, I am really, really datable.

At least, in my mind I am. I haven't actually tried to apply this principle, you understand. It's more like a theory right now. But seriously, I have a whole list of reasons why I'd date the hell out of myself, if I were an eligible guy between thirty-five and dead.

Yes, that's my age range. I ain't gettin' any younger, y'know.

So here's why I'm dating material:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4/Episode 8/9 Recap: The Episode Where Regina And Robin Totally Did It



We begin today's Epic Two Hour Episode(TM) in Arendelle, where the Snow Queen is seen hiding the Disney Hat of Death(TM) in an extremely shallow hole in the ground (apparently, the hat has no effect on groundhogs) and freezing it over for good measure.

She seeks out the Sorcerer, talks to his apprentice and offers him a deal: find me a magical blonde baby and you'll get your hat back. She makes the deal by uttering her words (as usual) in a smiling, creepy deadpan, three words at a time. It's like Christopher Walken and Julie Andrews had a demon-possessed child or something everytime she's on the screen, I swear.The apprentice thinks that kidnapping a baby is do-able, but she may have to wait a while for a magical one, in a land where every third person and anyone born of true love has magic. Well. Okay, then.

Embracing New Traditions After Divorce: Celebrating Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


It was 2010, and Thanksgiving was fast approaching. For the first time in all my life, I was going to be spending Thanksgiving alone. Thanksgiving, once I became a married woman, was always about my husband's relatives. We didn't live anywhere near mine, so we always traveled on the holiday, catching up with his side of the family. I never did mind that - I adored my in-laws and still do. 

When my husband left and we began the long, arduous process of going from "we" to "me", we agreed to split the holidays in an equitable fashion, and I insisted he keep Thanksgiving all to himself. The kids always loved to visit their aunts, uncles and cousins, and I wasn't going to take that away from them, particularly when it was only going to be the three of us and neither of my kids cared for turkey. 

So I signed up with a temp service in town to work over black Friday weekend - it made some badly needed extra money for Christmas and it kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself. The holiday was looming, and the last thing I wanted to do was make my kids feel terrible that Mom was going to be all alone. Even if Mom did feel terrible. And believe me, I did.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Big Hero Six: My Movie Review



Big Hero Six looked like a lot of fun when we first saw the movie trailer in the theater, and Disney has been on a roll lately, so the kids and I were really looking forward to this one.

Let me tell you - it delivered!

So much fun!!! 

Interstellar: My Movie Review



I love science fiction, and have since I can remember.

Saturday nights at my house were spent with a huge bowl of popcorn and Star Trek on the TV. I read "The Martian Chronicles" so many times, the book fell apart and I had to buy it again. Twice.

Science Fiction now is more like "Action Adventure Blow Up! Lens Flare! science fiction" which is all well and good and fun but sometimes, you just want your brain to be working overtime.

Interstellar is that kind of movie - forcing your brain to stretch and turn and twist and weave with the story, all while throwing in some magnificent cinematography, outstanding performances and special effects. I saw it in 2D on a regular screen, and I'm wishing now I would have popped for the extra to see it on IMAX. It would have been very, very worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

FMLA: When Family Doesn't Mean Family



Earlier this week I happened across this article in The Atlantic regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its restrictions, particularly on how it defines family.

The article details the case of Barbara Sapharas , whose brother became disabled in a workplace accident. He needed help caring for his children, and could not walk or drive. She went to her HR department to request FMLA time, and was told that under the terms of FMLA, siblings aren't considered family.

You read that right. Under the terms of FMLA, siblings aren't family.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: This Is The Year He Lost The Shopping Cart


This is the year he lost the shopping cart
He's eleven, you know, and even though he's always ridden in the shopping cart (with Mom trying to haphazardly stack groceries in the seat and around him), he can't do that anymore
Because there are rules, and he's all about the rules
Autism is nothing but rules
At four, we told him that you're not allowed to wear diapers anymore when you're five
It was a rule, you see, so he worked it out and potty trained in a day 
At seven, the rules said Mom can't give you a bath anymore
He mixed up the shampoo and conditioner the first time, but he figured it out soon enough
When he turned ten, the rules said you can't go in the ladies' room with Mom anymore 
He was nervous and didn't like that one much, but now he's a pro
At twelve, the rules will say you can't play on the kids' playground at the mall anymore
That one kind of hurts to think about, since he relates so well to the preschool set
This is the heartache of having a kid who looks two years older but plays six years younger
This is autism, and this is what works
Losing a little more each year, forcing him into a new, adult-shaped mold 
One rule at a time



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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's 11/11 And He's 11



He's eleven today.

Eleven years of belly laughs and volume set at three points beyond loud and a body in constant motion until he lays down at night, tousle-headed and full of smiles, wrapping an elbow around my neck in a death grip as he tells me I'm his real mommy forever and he loves me. He loves me so much.

And oh, do I ever love him back.

But he's not always easy, you know. Autism isn't easy, for either of us.

He's repetitive and sometimes wildly inappropriate. When I'm trying to write he'll sit next to me sometimes, insisting that I do pretend voices for all his action figures and refuses to take no for an answer. When he has a meltdown -which isn't as often now that he's older, thank goodness - he's big enough to put a hurt on me now.

Days like that, we work it through. If there's one thing this kid has taught me, it's perseverance. And blinding faith in the belief that we love each other, so it's all okay.

We love each other, so it will always be okay.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: Family, Schmamily



We begin this week's tale in the lovely Austrian Alps Arendelle where we see the Von Trapps Anna and Elsa's maternal family skipping idyllically (is that a word? Yeah. I just checked and it is) through the green meadows, over the hills and under a kite, holding hands and obviously bestest sisters forever.

A very bad man comes  of nowhere, having obviously used the previously idyllic kite to lure them, tries to grab all three (even though there's no way he could with two arms) and Ingrid (whom we all remember is our Snow Queen) freezes the everloving crap out of a single tree branch that he hesitates under conveniently and ends up smushed because of it.

Ingrid is slightly taken aback by it, but her sisters are like "It's chill, babe. Whatever." and they all share cheap, dime store ribbons that they obviously bought at a convenience store at the foot of the mountain and conveniently had on hand and with them, they reaffirm how happily they've got each other's backs before they perform an intricately choreographed number to exit the scene.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quick note for my FanFic Readers:

I know, I know.... you want an update!

Working it now, I promise. You've got to know this is going to be one hell of an epic battle and it must be sketched out and worded in and perfect. You deserve nothing less.

It'll be up today, I promise.

In the meantime, please enjoy these two completely gratuitous pictures of Colin O'Donoghue:





Now, excuse me as I get back to writing.



My Ex Is A Better Parent As An Ex

I was perusing one of my favorite websites earlier this week: Humans of New York, and came across this guy:

[Photo credit: Humans of New York]
His blurb reads:

“I was worried the divorce was going to destroy my relationship with my children, but it actually ended up improving it. Before the divorce, I was a working father. Work always took priority. I knew that if I had to skip a soccer game for a work meeting, my wife would be able to take the kids to the game. After the divorce, I only got to see my kids every Tuesday night, every other Monday, and every other weekend. It completely changed my mindset-- I went from being a working father to being a parent. If there was a work obligation during my time with the kids, I had to change it. I couldn’t spend weekend mornings at the gym anymore, because that would cut into my time. I began cooking dinner on my nights so we could all eat together. The time restraints that the divorce put on me caused me to completely realign my priorities.”

And oh, this man's story struck a nerve.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: An Utterly Decent Proposal



Mom, will you marry me?

David, I can't marry you. I'm your Mom.

But I like you. I even love you.

And I love you. But you can't marry somebody in your family.

I got you a ring. Try it on!

It's beautiful!.

Will you be my Mommy forever?

Forever, David. I promise.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Forgive Me Internet, For I Have Mommy-Sinned

Forgive me internet, for I have sinned. My Mommy-sins have been many, and I humbly beg for absolution.

This week, my Mommy sins include:


1.  I forgot that the parent teacher conference in-service day was moved from Monday to Tuesday to accommodate election day, sending my kids into a mad scramble on Monday morning once I realized my mistake, thereby resulting in my thirteen year-old daughter going to school without straightening her hair first. DEAR GOD. I am a monster.


2. I told my children I didn't buy any good Halloween candy. I did. I did and I ate it secretly and with great relish.




Monday, November 3, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 6 Recap: Captain Guyliner And The Evil Ice Cream Truck

We begin today's story in a land far away, or should I say a library, where a beautiful woman who could only be Belle's mother is heroically saving books. She yells for her daughter, who is apparently an afterthought to the books, and in scurries Belle, wasting precious time reminiscing about a particular bedtime story. This, of course, gives the ogres time to show up, and Belle loses her Mummy, because, Disney. Oh, and she loses all memory of it, too, because, Kitsis and Horowitz.

After a quick seven seconds in Gold's shop (where we see him put the magical hat box in the safe) we rush off to the Sheriff''s station where Emma has convened anyone whose name appears on the credits at the beginning of the show, shows them the videotape with the Snow Queen from her childhood and they all take turns saying obvious lines. "She cleared everything out of her house and shop," "That means she's hiding something," and that sort of nonsense.

Luckily, Henry is here to remind us that he is a kid, despite his lowering voice and five o'clock shadow, and he knows all about the Snow Queen's Magical Evil Ice Cream Truck. They split up and decide to search east and west, even though David just told everyone the Snow Queen is hiding in the North Woods. It's a bad day when David is the smart one of the group, people.

{Courtesy of ABC Television}



Friday, October 31, 2014

AuTASTIC Friday - "They Gave Me A List Of Nevers"

Today I bring you the story of Manny Dedmon, a high school football player on the autism spectrum who was recently crowned Prom King at Birdville High School in Richland Hills, Texas:

Photo Credit: WFAA Television

Manny's parents were told early on all of the things that Manny would never be able to do. How wonderful for them that Manny never listened.

Read the full story (and see the video) on WFAA Television's website.


You keep on keepin' on, Manny. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you'll never do.

Happy Halloween Friday! Take A Gander At These Awesome Costumes!

And yes, I just used the word "gander." You don't hear that one much anymore, unless you're a goose farmer or something. Anyway, here's some cool and/or funny Halloween costumes for your Friday viewing pleasure: