Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Setting Long-Term Goals For Your Special Needs Child



My daughter turns fourteen on Thursday. Fourteen! Good Lord, where did the time go? She's already chosen her freshman year courses, and she's skipping electives and doubling up on Science and Math, hoping to graduate a year early. She wants to be an astrophysicist or a Cosmologist. She just wrote Stephen Hawking a fan letter and asked him for college recommendations.

And no, I'm not making that up to sound like I'm Mother of the Year. This is my kid, and I am overwhelmingly proud of her and her phenomenal brain and her guts and her kindness and her outstanding sense of humor.

She's going to go far. Very, very far. As far as she wants to go.

And then there's David.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 17 Recap: Worst Laid Lines Often Go Awry




Tonight's story begins back in the Enchanted Forest with a tale of two babies. Snow and Charming have tracked a unicorn through the woods, because a mere touch of it's horn will show them what their unborn child will be like.

Unfortunately, they see two very different kids. Charming sees a sweet and cuddly baby, but Snow sees evil teen Emma, who glares at her and rips her heart out. As the mother of a hormonal thirteen year old girl, I have no idea why this scenario is so startling. Really, I don't.

Snow is horribly freaked out by this, and Charming begs her to tell him what's wrong. She replies that "Saying it out loud will make it too real." Who the hell says lines like that in real life? Nobody, that's who. Writers throw stuff like that in when they don't want to repeat something in two consecutive scenes, but it sounds like crap.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun For A Friday: More Things That Make Me Go "NOPE."


Happy Friday! And welcome to another edition of "Things that make me say 'Nope!'" I've got some doozies.

The Funnel Cake Bacon Cheeseburger:


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sometimes The Well Runs Dry



We had a bad autism night last night.

A bad, bad, I mean really bad autism night. One that ended with hysterical screaming, things being thrown, and finally, bodily harm.

Testosterone. It's a helluva drug.

His sister came rushing in to see what the ruckus was and I found myself standing between them as she tried to stand between him and me.

Both of us trying to protect the other and then both of us trying to protect him from himself as he threw himself down, beating the floor and calling himself names for having accidentally hurt me.

Tears all around and more screaming as he refused an early bedtime for his bad behavior.

Finally, he cried himself to sleep and I saw an endless parade of days like this weaving in and out, stretching on forever, because the truth is, he may not be able to live on his own someday, so he'll be living with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Latest At Moms Magazine: Five Things You Can Do To Help A Single Parent



Here's my latest for Mom's Magazine:

Five Things You Can Do To Help A Single Parent

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Don't Think I Won't Do It


Don't think I won't do it
Because I do....on a regular basis
That boss from that job in 1996
That girl from history class in high school
That ex-boyfriend
That one mom with the kid that made my kid cry
Oh yes, you're all getting your due
And it feels so good to do it
So, thank you, every one of you
You may be a colossal pain in the ass
But that makes for a great character

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Excerpt From "David And Me Under The Sea": When You Can't Explain It

March 2010

Daddy decided to move out.

We told Anna, and the pain of it slammed into me like a freight train, reducing me to an agonizing pile of disjointed parts. She asked us if we were joking. And the look on her face as she slowly realized we weren't will stay with me forever, etched into my very bones.

She's eight, so we kept the whys and wherefores out of it, reassuring her that we loved her but we just didn't love each other like we should anymore.

One of us was lying about that last part, and unfortunately, it wasn't me. As painful as that is, it is nothing to the pain of this. The pain of blowing your child's family apart.

And what about David?

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Saw The Sign - And I Laughed Out Loud


Sometimes a sign can point you to your destiny.

Or sometimes, it just has the word butthole and that makes you laugh. That's a real town in England, by the way.

In today's post, we'll forget all about destiny and just go for the laughs. Enjoy this collection of signs!

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 16 Recap: Poor, Unfortunate, Ghostbusting Souls

Who you gonna call?

Oh, come on. You know you shouted it out as soon as you saw him.

This week's episode sees the return of one of my all-time favorite characters, the dastardly Captain Hook! He's been Killian Jones for a while now, and while my Captain Swan heart is all aflutter every time Emma uses his given name, I have to say I've missed my dark and vengeful villain. 

*sigh*

Friday, March 20, 2015

I Hereby Declare March 20th To Be "Be Like Mr. Rogers Day"


March 20th is 
Mr. Roger's Birthday

Spend the day being the
person he'd want you to be.

Great Moments In Typo History



Typos.

We've all done it - had a moment where our fingers were moving faster (or worse) independently of our brains. I've had more than few bad experiences, but two come to mind especially.

The first was a typo of epic proportions. I had been working in the marketing department of a Fortune 500 company, and our sales reps were getting ready to go to a trade show. I was the marketing administrative assistant at the time, so it was my job to order the bland logo-emblazoned polo shirts the reps and marketing managers would all be wearing.

Unfortunately, there was some kind of snafu with the vendor, and we were down to the wire on getting these things in before the show. Finally, the morning they were all supposed to depart, the shirts arrived. I opened up the boxes, breathed a sigh of relief, and then sent out an email to the entire department:

I'VE GOT THE SHIRTS!!!!!

Except I forgot the "R".


Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Bizarre Story Of The Interview I Never Finished



Once upon a time, I worked in retail. And like many people in retail, I wanted to get the hell out of there.

So, like a lot of people who are stuck in retail because that's pretty much how everyone I ever knew in retail felt, I checked the classified ads and job postings every chance I could and when something looked like I could fit the description, I sent a resume.

Most of the time I made very sure they were reputable companies, but sometimes you ran across something know as a "blind ad." Blind ads are job postings where the employer doesn't identify themselves in the ad. This is generally not a great sign because it usually means they're a company that's got a lot of bad press associated with it. On occasion, however, it means they're replacing someone who doesn't know they're being replaced yet. 

You can usually pick out the ones who come from the companies with the bad press. They write ads that promise you the moon, starting out with stupid grabbers like "No experience necessary!" while they promise you a six-figure salary for having none of that experience. Right.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: And This Is Why I Don't Usually Go Out On St. Patrick's Day



Oh, the morning after
When a middle-aged body doesn't bounce back
Not like it used to in the days when you could drink until you didn't feel your lips and didn't care much where those lips wandered after all those drinks
Look at me, all grown up
I don't let the lips and other body parts wander around unsupervised
I have kids now and a job and responsibilities
I have to live with this person I see in the mirror the next day
And I have to live with this head all day today
Serves me right



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Erin Go Bragh! And A Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm not going to tell you to kiss me because I'm Irish.

First of all, I'd like you to kiss me, period because I really, really miss being kissed right now, but to claim I'm Irish when I've never so much as set foot in the country is one of those arrogant American things we do here and I think it's kind of insulting. In fact, there's a whole Cracked article about crap we do to try to pretend we're Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

I am however, of Irish descent, along with Belgian and Native American descents as well. But mostly Irish.

This becomes terribly apparent the minute I drink anything even vaguely alcoholic - my cheeks get beet red and the flush on my skin stays with me for hours. Dammit. It's a good thing I was such a straight-laced kid in high school because my parents would have known if I'd so much as sipped at anything alcoholic.

So with that being said (and yes, you can question my sobriety after over-sharing like that with you), here are some of my favorite St. Patrick's Day things:

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Frazzled Mom Movie Review Of "Cinderella"


As soon as my son - lover of all things Disney or Pixar - saw that they were doing a live-action Cinderella, he wanted to go.

So Saturday was deemed the day, and away we went, running some errands beforehand, looking forward to dinner and a fluffy, happy movie.

Except fluffy and happy sort of took a backseat to grumpy and autistic. I had a real fear we were going to have to leave and not get through the movie, but my fears fell away as the movie began, and I watched my son drop his borderline meltdown behavior and become completely and utterly entranced with the rich colors, the scenery, and the costumes, oh, the costumes:

The Stepmother and Stepsisters

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 15 Recap: It's The Reg And Mal Show!!

It's the Reg and Mal Show!

We open today with our formerly evil queen meeting up with the three big baddies at Granny's. They had to change Ursula out of the prom gown so she would fit in the booth, I guess and Maleficent looks amazing. Cruella's drinking, which I guess is her schtick.

Flashing back to the Enchanted Forest, we see young Regina fuming over Snow White and reading Maleficent's spell book which she found in her Mother's things (and don't for a minute think we won't get to the bottom of that story...). Rumplestiltskin shows up and oh, first season Rumple, how I've missed you. Regina's all impressed by the way Maleficent can turn into a dragon. Rumple tells her to wait and let her magic mature, but Regina is determined to put herself on the fast track. She seeks out Maleficent, spell book in hand.

Back in Storybrooke, the Charmings let Emma in on the plan to send Regina undercover (which they conveniently forget to mention is their plan). Emma is understandably hacked that they left her - the most qualified person in town to go undercover - out of the plan.

On the other side of town (which is all of, what...six blocks away?), the mistresses of mayhem are playing "Dont be a hero" on the train tracks to test Regina. She loses because she poofs them to safety. I gotta say, I love the idea of four unbalanced evil (or semi-evil) women cruising the town. Too bad so much of the man-candy is gone or spoken for. Could you imagine Sheriff Hunksman getting Fifty-Shaded by the four of them?



Excuse me for a moment. I'll be in my bunk.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun For A Friday: Another Edtition of "Today In The News..."

Happy Friday! Time for another edition of "Today in the News..."


Wow! Talk about excitement!!


Well, it's good to finally see disability services for the zombie community.



This is brilliant!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

You Won't Believe The 5 Reasons Why You Should Try These CrockPot Recipes That Improve Your Sex Life!



As some of you know, I used to blog five days a week for Woman's Day Magazine. I held the post of Divorce Blogger there for four and a half years. 

Four and a half years, writing about my divorce, and other people's divorces, and the effects of divorce, and ways to cope with your divorce, and helpful tips about divorce. At least, that's how it started out, anyway. 

By then end of year four (and a change in ownership and editorial staff), it had morphed into writing about my divorce, and every single celebrity divorce, and what sort of foods you should eat when you divorce, and how to take care of your skin during divorce and 5 things I should have done/am glad I did/wish I'd done during my divorce.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: They're In There Somewhere


I was standing on the beach at sunset
The kids were playing in the surf
The sky was red-gold-purple and the seagulls were flying and all was right in the world
I took this picture just as a wave broke over them
They're in there, somewhere
Emerging a moment later, laughing out loud and shaking their wet hair from their eyes
Alive and vibrant and full of kinetic energy
A direct contrast to the feeling of peace and contentment of the woman who stood at the shore, watching them revel in their moment, taking quiet joy in their exuberance
Standing at the sidelines
Because I know that sometimes, I must let them go
Even if I can't see them through whatever wave they're riding
I know they're in there
And I know I've taught them to laugh
And embrace the joy of that moment
Until it's their turn to stand on the sand

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What It's Like To Be A Woman Alone In A Laundromat With A Guy



My dryer is dead.

It happened over a week ago, in the middle of the plague that hit my house and an accompanying snowstorm, so the timing was far less than optimal. By the time the kids left for their father's house last weekend, I was standing on a mountain of dirty laundry and it needed to get done.

I managed to locate a Laundromat – which is a lot harder than you'd think nowadays and you don't live in a major city or a college town. It was twenty minutes up the road, and I figured what the hell – at least I can get it all done at once, and maybe get some writing in while I was waiting for it all. So I loaded up the laundry baskets and a hamper into the car and off I went.

I haven't been to a Laundromat in decades.I haven't missed it, either.

When I got there on a Saturday mid-morning, there were a few people hanging around. There was a girl in her twenties, and what looked like a single dad with his young son. The place wasn't big, and the strip mall it sat in was mostly deserted. It was clean enough, though. I gave them all a friendly nod, loaded up my machines, opened up my laptop and settled in.

Laundry Dad and apartment girl cleared out fifteen minutes in, and I moved my stuff into the dryers, wondering how it was that I was already down $17.50 on five loads of laundry before I'd even dried the stuff.

I settled in once more with my laptop, and the door opened, and a lone guy came in with a basket of laundry. He busied himself for a few minutes, and then one of my dryers finished, and I had to close up the laptop and get to work folding, so I did.

And he started talking.

Monday, March 9, 2015

My AARP-Approved Personal Harem


Is it just me, or are they making hot guys younger and younger these days? I'm having serious trouble turning on the TV and finding myself drooling over some guy who's closer to my daughter's age than mine.

The phenomenon began with Zack Efron, then moved on to Taylor Lautner (specifically: shirtless Taylor Lautner). Now I've got Liam Hemsworth and Theo James making me salivate. I used to salivate over Josh Hutcherson, but there were a couple of "Have you ever met a celebrity" threads on Reddit where he got mentioned over and over as being a complete asshole in real life, so I don't drool over him anymore
.
The problem is, I feel like a dirty, dirty old lady for drooling over a hot guy in his twenties. And I'm crochety like an old lady about it because they sure as hell didn't  make 'em like that when I was in my twenties. Seriously.

In the interest of fair play, however, I think we need to point out that there are still a helluva lot of hot guys who are old enough to be card-carrying AARP members, and I would cheerfully jump any one of them.

So here's my top ten list of guys over fifty who still have the mojo and could populate my personal harem any damn time:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 14 Recap: Maleficent The Utterly Magnificent



We begin today's tale with a nightmare - Snow's nightmare, to be exact - in which the big three try to take baby Neal, and Maleficent in particular is vowing to steal all the happiness from Snow and her family. Snow awakens to see that it's 2:38 in the morning - and it's strangely light outside. Like, daylight-ish light outside. That's a helluva street light shining in your window. Might want to buy some blinds.

It turns out David's up too, stressing and drinking and thinking about the horrible, terrible thing they don't want anyone to find out about. Which of course, sends us back to the Enchanted Forest, where we see Snow and David outside their castle. They see one sleeping dwarf and automatically assume there's a sleeping curse in place instead of lifting his hat to see if it's Sleepy.

Surprise! The big three are visiting, and they've come to tip Snow and Charming off about the evil curse Regina intends to enact. Snow and Charming are understandably leery, but they do realize that a curse this severe could screw with the bad guys as well as the good, so they agree to team up. Apparently, there's some tree of wisdom in the forest (I do hope this isn't going to be Grandmother Willow, though I guess that would be the only callout they could possibly give to Pocahontas that wouldn't offend a helluva lot of people). The tree answers your questions, and you need two heroes to unlock it or whatever. Snow and Charming can ask the tree how to defeat Regina.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Things I Would Rather Do Than Join Your Multi-Level Marketing Company



For some reason, everyone thinks I'd be a great salesperson.

Maybe it's the personality. Maybe it's the blog. Maybe it's a little of both.

Maybe it's the fact that I worked in sales for many previous years before the current career, and I was really, really good at it. I was a theatre major, after all. I can make you believe anything about anything, and I'm really good with words and improvising and thinking on my feet.

So yeah, I can sell. I can sell the hell out of just about anything.

But here's the thing: I hate it. I mean, I really, really hate selling anything to anyone. Really. I feel like a piece of my soul dies every time I do. I'm an introvert at heart, and this goes against my nature in a huge way. I might be good at it, but I would rather spend my lifetime carrying a pooper-scooper at an animal park than have to sell for a living again.

But of course, most people don't know that. They only see the fun persona, the wacky sense of humor, the glib words, and they assume...


Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Story Of The Insanely Creepy Doll

A few years back, I got a call from an older second cousin on the ex's side of the family whom I absolutely adore. She invited me to come and visit her because she had a few large boxes of clothing that she wanted me to have for my kids. She'd bought it all for her grandkids, so they'd have their own wardrobes at her house, and they'd since outgrown it all.

Free clothes? Sign me up! And these weren't second-hand or Wal-Mart duds, either – this was name brand stuff, Justice, The Gap, Express, The Limited Too…it was awesome
.
Along with the clothes came toys – but these were all things she'd dredged out of the attic from her kids teen years. There were Linkin Logs and Legos, both timeless toys, there were board games like Sorry and Yahtzee, and even "Mystery Date!" Wow!

And in among the toys, at the bottom of the bin (of course) we found…..the doll.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Beware The House Of Plague




Beware the house where they talk in numbers
103.2, 102 even, 101.8
3 teaspoons for you, 2 teaspoons for your brother, and I get to swallow the pills
You only drank 3 ounces, drink some more
I know you ache. We all ache. Eat your soup.
Forehead kisses are given.
Covers are smoothed.
And I sink into the couch with my blanky
Until somebody coughs or calls out
And the cycle starts again
Sometimes, there's just not enough Advil, or Nyquil
Or sleep
Tomorrow is another day
Please, let tomorrow be another day
And let us escape the house of plague

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tweeted Out Of My Self-Esteem

On Friday, I got this Tweeted in my direction:


I don't know this guy. But that's okay. I don't know a lot of the people on the internet. (I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true!)

I pulled up his Twitter account and it appears that he sent this particular tweet to a lot of women. A whole lot of women. I didn't bother clicking the link – it's obvious he's trying to sell me something (and I'm even blurring it out here because he doesn't deserve the extra publicity).

It's not abnormal to have someone try to sell me something on the internet. For some reason, though, this one bothered me.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 13 Recap: The Chick In The Shower Curtain Needs Some Pzazz

Ah, the great, squealing, dancing, unmitigated joy of a Once Upon A Time post-hiatus return episode!




Especially after the way we left: Rumple banished from town, Belle trying to walk back with this giant balls she grew swaying in the breeze, Emma doing shots with Regina when she should have been "celebrating" with Killian (and the quotation marks are a blatant reference to the fact that if a man kissed me like that, I'd have been feeling behind me for the doorknob to his room), and three new big baddies being courted by Rumple.