Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Southern Girls Don't Need Me Around, Anyhow - Not When I'm Being A Snob, That Is

I am a snob.

It pains me to admit it. It really does. If someone called me a snob to my face, I'd be offended. I pride myself on treating people with kindness and respect, sometimes when they don't even deserve it. I try very hard to instill that same kindness in my children, as well.

But this last weekend, I was a snob, and there's no sugar-coating that.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - It's Not As Creepy As It Seems


My son removes the heads from his action figures
I'm used to seeing toy trucks full of headless Lego guys
and headless others hanging about
The other day, I took a shower
and headless Bilbo Baggins was shooting the breeze
with headless Norm from Avatar
I know it seems kind of creepy, but I asked him once
"Why do you take their heads off?"
He shrugged and smiled and said
"They don't need them."
He knows which figure is which, head or no
And really, it makes sense, in a convoluted, autism-kind-of-way
The face is one of the last things he notices about somebody
A lot of times, he has to be prompted to make eye contact
Because it just doesn't come naturally
He notices instead the way they hold their body, or the way they walk
The cadence of their voice or the color of their hair
I just asked him what color my eyes were
And it took him three guesses to get it right
It's just not important
But he shows me every day that I'm important
In spite of my superfluous head

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can You Smell What I'm Cookin' For The Rock? My Big, Glistening, Sweaty Hercules Review

Image courtesy of Paramount


I saw Hercules on opening day. I know. Contain your surprise.

Friends had actually warned me off of it. Ha! I laugh in the face of their movie snobbery. This is The Rock. I would pay to see him read a grocery list. Preferrably shirtless, but still, this man has my undying lust loyalty and that's that.

So here's the deal. I was warned away from the pic because it really doesn't treat the subject matter with any kind of adherence to Greek mythology. In fact, it paints good old Herc as a regular guy, who's been the subject of some seriously good PR and hype - hype which he wholeheartedly approves of, since it gets him and his traveling buddies more work.

And you know what? I'm okay with that. I actually think it's an interesting angle, and I liked it. It made for a laugh here and there through the movie, and it gave Herc a kind of everyman-with-enormous-bulging-biceps quality that made him more relatable.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun On A Friday - How's This For Coordination?

Just thought I'd share this awesome video featuring a couple of brothers who really know how to rock a towel:





And that's what entertains me on the internet today, folks. Have a great weekend!


[Follow Ellie's Divorce Diaries Blog at WomansDay.com or join the fun on Facebook and Twitter]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Son's Words Of Wisdom: "You Have A Lot To Remember About Me"

I was a rotten mother yesterday.

I forgot to give my son his allergy medicine yesterday. It's nothing prescription or anything, just 12 hour Claritan, but this time of year, he really needs it.

And I was rushing out the door to work and just plain forgot. He was fine for most of the day, but by about six o'clock he was in bad shape. He was sneezing almost constantly, nose running uncontrollably, and worst of all, his eyes were swollen almost shut. I would have noticed it sooner, but he'd been out riding his bike around and it wasn't until he nearly rode into my car pulling into the driveway that I realized something was wrong.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Thank God It's Legal


Dude.
That was some simply excellent catnip
Primo stuff, I'm tellin' you
You know, I was sitting here thinking....why can't we all just get along? I mean, we're always fighting over that last cat treat or that jingling toy and really, we - 
WHOA.
Have you ever looked at your paw, man?
I mean, really looked at it?
My paws are so big.
So freakin' big. 
Dude.
Where did you put the Friskies, dude?
No, seriously. Hand them over, and that can of Pounce, too
And maybe a little more catnip



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And Today In The News....He Had It Coming



And she would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids....

[Follow Ellie's Divorce Diaries Blog at WomansDay.com or join the fun on Facebook and Twitter]

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Son Lost His Sister On Saturday - And Learned A Good Lesson In The Process



Something terrible happened to my son on Saturday. He lost his sister.

Oh, don't worry – she's fine. And this isn't a case of David wandering off and getting lost from his sister, either. No, this is a case of David, using his words (yay!) in a way that could hurt someone (not so yay) and discovering there are consequences.

From the very first days of David's autism diagnosis, David's father and I were united and firm in the belief that autism doesn't give David the right to be a jerk to anyone. That doesn't mean that we don't have to accommodate him sometimes. It doesn't mean we don't have to educate people sometimes. Mostly, it means it might take a few repetitions and possibly even physical removal from the scene for David to understand that his words or behavior were inappropriate.

And that's what happened on Saturday.


Friday, July 18, 2014

10 Overused Movie Cliches That Make Me Crazy

My family loves to watch movies. We have a DVD collection that's epic in its proportions, subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, and we still rent from RedBox when there's something new out. We also manage to go out to the movies at least a couple of times a month, finances permitting. (After all, buying popcorn, sodas and pretzel nuggets at the movies is about the same as making a mortgage payment).

So speaking as someone who watches a lot of movies on a regular basis, here are a few overused movie conventions that really hack me off:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Someone Who Makes A Lot More Money Than Me Came Up With This

Do you see this?


That is the packaging for a Venus ladies razor.

And some genius at Gillette came up with the magnificent idea of giving them a Scented Handle. And not just any scented handle, mind you - a Tropical Scented Handle.

So that when I'm done shaving my legs, my palms can smell like sunshine on pineapples, with just a hint of coconut. Because I've always thought to myself, "Self, wouldn't it be awesome if my hands smelled like crushed hibiscus sprayed with over-ripe guava?"

Why yes, of course it would.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Ugliest Shoe In The Whole Damn World


I found it at a discount designer shoe store, and I had to take a picture
Still, the picture doesn't quite do it justice
This is one ugly shoe
In my high school days, I would have used the word "fugly"
One fugly shoe
Who in the world would wear such a shoe?
No one, obviously, since it was on the clearance rack.
Who would think this attractive?
The odd, old-lady patterned scarf-like material wrapping the ankle
The garish golden faux-roses
The crimson satin bridge offset by the fuschia toe
And the picture doesn't show the cork wedge holding it all up
If Frankenstein dressed in drag, this would be his shoe
For it is a monstrosity
And yet
Part of me thinks it might be fun to wear that shoe
To see the sheer horror on people's faces as they took it in
To wear it proudly and say the hell with all of them
This shoe makes a statement, and I want to be one of those women who make a statement. I want to be bold. In your face. Free.

This shoe is $39.99 on clearance
If it were under $10, I would be bold
But it's forty dollars out of my pocket
To prove that I have what it takes to wear an ugly shoe with pride
Guess it'll have to be someone else's badge of honor



Monday, July 14, 2014

I've Always Wanted My Son To Be An Avid Reader - And He Is (Did I Mention He Hates Books?)

When I was pregnant with my children, I had all kinds of rosey dreams of motherhood. My children would be read to every single night, and would grow up reading, reading, reading. I would catch them under their covers with a flashlight and a copy of Harry Potter or one of the Narnia books, and I'd smile and shake my head over my darling little insatiable readers.

Only, it didn't quite work out that way.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sharing This Because It's Just So Damn Beautiful

Family Guy: A Son Teaches His Father How To Grow Up

Oh, the feels from this one.  Being the parent of a kid with special needs - especially profound ones - seems like a prison sentence when you're first hit with it, for you and for them.

But you know what?

It teaches you more about yourself and about the human spirit and about love than you ever would have known.

I'm going to go hug my kids now.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Day I Discovered That I Just Don't Give A Shirt Anymore

Years ago, before the kids came along, back when the ex and I were young-ish and married-ish and could take wonderful, spontaneous vacations, an old ski buddy of his called him up and told him he'd gotten a screaming good deal on a weekend ski package to Vail, Colorado.

I don't ski.

I want to ski. I really do. I've even gone a few times. I never made it off the bunny slope, but I had a blast doing it, even though I was by myself all day while the ex was skiing the hills he wanted to ski. But I digress. The point is, Vail would have been wasted on me because I wasn't much of a skiier.

Add to that our just-starting-out salaries, and paying to have me go along as a spectator was kind of silly, really. He'd have a much better time without me along. The buddy had a wife who was of the same mind as me, and we both gave our blessing, telling them to go have a great bro-bonding weekend and remember that they owed us when we wanted to go to an island somewhere.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: It's Nice To Be Reminded


Every once in awhile
She does something that reminds me
Something that clearly says
"Hey! I'm a thirteen year old girl!"
It's easy to forget
Especially with her wearing a 20 year-old body
With her quite ways
And carefully chosen words
Her quick wit
And her intelligent remarks
But there it is, lighting up my phone screen
My teenage daughter
Who is SO very thirteen, in this moment
I love it

[Follow Ellie's Divorce Diaries Blog at WomansDay.com or join the fun on Facebook and Twitter]

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

And Today In The News: Breakfast!


Well, you have to do something with all that extra syrup.

[Follow Ellie's Divorce Diaries Blog at WomansDay.com or join the fun on Facebook and Twitter]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Take A Breath And Let Go - Learning Not To Hover Over My Autistic Son

The kids and I just spent the last ten days with my brother and his family in Kansas. We had a wonderful time! I have five nieces and nephews and we went on all kinds of fun outings and watched movies and hung out and laughed and laughed and laughed.

On July 4th, we joined them at a neighborhood party which was a serious thrill for my kids because of the level of fireworks involved. In that part of Kansas, they can buy all sorts of great fireworks at roadside stands that are firmly outlawed in our home state.

While we were at the party, the kids were firing things off under the watchful eyes of several parents, and I found myself jumping out of my chair when my brother handed my son a lighted punk and told him to go ahead and ignite a fuse. Holy cow! He just handed my autistic kid a piece of fire and walked him over to an explosive device. Was he nuts????

Thursday, July 3, 2014

You Need To Read This: The Obsessive Joy Of Autism

So amazingly beautiful.

The Obsessive Joy of Autism

Did I ever tell you how much David loves water? When he was a toddler, I could stand him out on the front porch for hours, with a bowl of water a few cups, and he would play.

He would more than play - he would immerse. He would become. He would radiate.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - At The Photo Booth


Mom, they've got a photo booth! she said excitedly

We should take a picture, he added, with great glee.

We totally should, I agreed.

So we piled in and grabbed the props

And put on our silliest faces

And we laughed

When the pictures came out, we laughed some more

We did that a lot that night

And now I keep the pictures at my desk

Where I can look at them, and still be laughing

We are silly, the three of us

We make no apologies for it, and we never will


[Follow Ellie's Divorce Diaries Blog at WomansDay.com or join the fun on Facebook and Twitter]