Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Important Things To Remember About Back-To-School Time


I know some of you have kids that have been in school for a month already, but up here, school starts Monday. Here are a few helpful things I've learned in my years as a Mom:


1. School supply lists are a helpful guide, but come on...you know you're going to end up needing posterboard a couple of times, two more pairs of scissors (they'll lose them), enough glue sticks to wallpaper an airplane hanger and five more composition books than you planned on because your daughter used the ones for school to write down One Direction song lyrics. Might as well get it all while it's cheap.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Frantic (But Still Fun!) On A Friday



I'm just going to be short, sweet and to the point here:

I don't have time to blog today. I really don't. I have this really, really big thing and I have to do some stuff in anticipation of the announcing of this really big thing and on top of that I just came back from vacation so I've got stuff heaped up all around me.

I promise, Monday will be business as usual. But today? I need today.

Here, have a video of John Stamos, showing you how to cuddle. It's a few years old, but I love it. (NSFW language at the end)



HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Please Pardon My Happy Resting Face



I'm sure many of you have heard of the phenomenon known as "Bitchy Resting Face."

This particular affliction causes problems for people whose natural resting face appears to be angry or standoffish. People with this issue are often told to "cheer up" when they're perfectly happy, or they get asked a lot about what's bothering them when nothing is. It's annoying, I'm sure.

But I wouldn't know, personally. You see, I have the exact opposite. I have a happy resting face. Not just neutral - but happy. Smiling. My default face.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Bye Bye Beach



One last look at paradise
One last roll of a wave
One last call of a gull
One last waft of a salt breeze cooling my skin
One last sunset on the beach
And then we go
Back to the real world 
Where wearing shoes doesn't feel quite normal somehow anymore
One last memory, and a promise
I'll be back
Maybe someday, to stay

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Infertility Was A Terrible Rollercoaster...But 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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

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 ruins it for us," 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.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Happy Friday! Let This Be A Sign Unto You That....I'm On Vacation!



It's Friday - and  more importantly, it's VACATION FRIDAY. I'm off to the beach, so you'll see some recycled old columns on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. I'll be back on Thursday, sunburned and feeling weird for wearing shoes again. 

In the meantime, here's some stuff to laugh at. Catch you next week!

Yes, I guess that would do it...



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ashley Madison Data Is Outing Thousands Of Cheaters, And I'm Sorry - I Can't Be Happy About That

[Photo Credit: AshleyMadison.com]

The news is all abuzz with reports of the Ashley Madison hack, and how it's outing prominent people in the government, giving data to where cheaters live and work, and casting a harsh, glaring light on hypocritical public figures.

As a woman who's been on the other side of the cheating equation, you'd think I'd be dancing a gleeful little dance, and I'm honest enough to admit that part of me did just that. See cheaters? This is what happens! No matter how careful you think you are, the seeds you sow grow into giant monstrous things that always, always devour the best of your worst intentions.

But then I think about it - really think about it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Feeling Slightly Nauseous


Just a little hint at the big news
As I sit here hyperventilating
Wondering if this is really happening
Or if I'm going to wake up with my cat's butt in my face and an alarm going off
So far, it seems legit
And I am excited
And scared
And alive like I've never been before
Tell you soon
I promise

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"You're Going To Be All Right" - Six Words Any Special Needs Parent Wants To Experience



I'm going to start today with a video. This is D.L. Hughley, former star of the reality show "The Hughleys" and "The Original Kings of Comedy," and father of a son on the autism spectrum. 

He recently opened up in an interview with Oprah Winfrey about an incident that for most parents of a young adult would be of little or no import - he let his son pump gas at the gas station. For those of us that know the absolute terror felt by a child with autism at trying something new, or the fear we have as parents, trying to find the line between safety, independence and comfort...well, I'll just let him tell the story:

Monday, August 17, 2015

When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple...But Don't Ask Me To Sell Your Incontinence Products



As a blogger, and one with a decent, if not breathtaking Klout score and a reasonable, if not rabid following, I occasionally get emails from companies who'd like me to blog about their product. 

I haven't done this yet, even though I have no aversion to (a) telling you about a terrific product that I have tried personally and liked and (b) making money while doing so.

The reason this has not yet occurred is because I've only gotten two types of offers. See, the thing is that I'm not your typical sort of Mom Blogger. I don't take pictures of food or post recipes (I should do that, though...I've got some great ones), I don't stay home with my kids (and while not all mom bloggers do, it seems to be a huge portion) and I talk about men and sex sometimes because unlike those stay-at-home mom bloggers, I'm single.

I am also, to put it delicately...."of a certain age." 

That age appears to be "over 40," and that, according to research and marketing, means I should be selling the following:
  • Menopause symptom relief products, including hot flash aids and all sorts of creams to combat vaginal dryness
  • Incontinence products
  • Anything for heartburn or irritable bowels
  • Hair removal kits for your face
Well. Alrighty, then.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fun On A Friday: These Kids Are Freaking Adorable!

Is it Friday already? Boy, does time fly when you're...working. Oh yeah, I was working. And the time crawled. But hey, we're here now and all that crawling has paid off - it's Friday!! As usual, we're going to have some fun! Let's spend today with some awesomely adorable (and inspirational) kids!

This little girl has some mad bike skillz:




And this has got to be the cutest karate demonstration I have ever seen:



Thursday, August 13, 2015

To My Ex Husband, Who Marries This Weekend



I promised myself I wasn't going to dwell on this, and I'm happy to say that I truly haven't. You've been moved on five years now (even though the divorce was only granted three months ago). To be fair. you moved on two years before you moved out, and now you're marrying the lucky (?) girl.

But this isn't going to be a blog post where I snark on any of that.

Because the truth is...I want this to work for you. And her. I really and truly, honestly do. Nothing could benefit our children more than stability, and having two stable, loving homes is almost as great as having one would have been.

And there is no denying that she is far more of what you always wanted in a woman in a lot of ways. I say that without an ounce of rancor. She's your dream girl, truly. And I hope, for her sake and for yours, that the dream becomes a solid reality and you never forget just how lucky you are to have found the girl who finally, finally "fits."

Along with all that I want to say....and this is the hard part...this is where I confess the one thing that's hardest for me to confess.

I still love you.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Some Things Are Worth Waiting For


It's chilling in my fridge
A gift from a friend
To mark something really, really big
Something hard-won, and all the sweeter for it
Something I can't tell you about yet
But soon
Promise
'Till then, I'll just keep chillin'
Me and the bubbly
Basking in the glow
Life is good, my friends
Very, very good

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"I'm Not A Prejudiced Person" Says Every Person Ever (And It's Not True)



A friend and I got into a conversation the other day about prejudice and bigotry and all the prejudiced and bigoted people we'd known in our lifetimes.

And of course, we didn't talk about any of our own private prejudices. Because we aren't like that. We're good people.

We are, you know. But it's the truth that even good people have their prejudices. You're looking at a photo of mine, above. The one group of people I'm honestly not entirely comfortable to be around. 

Look at those cute old ladies! How can I say that? And I love The Golden Girls!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Here's A List Of Stuff You Will Never, EVER See Me Eat


It's a true fact that you will never, ever see me eat anything with the word "brains" in it - no matter how much I love watching Andrew Zimmern do it on TV.

You will also never see me eat: liver (any animal), fat (cut it off all my meat), skin (same - even breaded and fried), persimmons (hate 'em), most stuff with curry or rosemary in it (too overwhelming), and virtually all seafood. I have a handful of seafood-ish things I'll eat but they're generally battered, fried and swimming in malt vinegar or cocktail sauce with horseradish. I don't do sushi with fish in it. Bleh.

Those are my personal preferences, of course, and your mileage may vary. However, I think we can all be in agreement about some of the following things: 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fun On A Friday - Feline Groovy! #Friday #Cats


Don't be fooled. They're plotting to kill me.

As you all know, I have cats.

I have cats who are adorable, but also frequently a-holes, as is the way with cats. And in the spirit of all things furry and feline, let's have some fun laughing at the little buggers, shall we?

We'll start with this compilation of "Cats behaving badly"




And this awesome compilation of funny cat moments:




Thursday, August 6, 2015

Netflix, We're Going To Have To Stop Seeing Each Other For A While. It's Not You, It's Me...


Hey, Netflix. 
How are you?
Miss you, boo.
Sorry I fell asleep on you last night. What can I say? I'm always so comfortable around you. You feel like home.
And honey...we need to talk.

I need some space.
Believe me when I tell you this is hurting me more than it's going to hurt you. Believe that. It is the truest truth ever written by a divorced, middle-aged woman with no appreciable social life.

But here's the thing...

My kids are going away. They are going away for nearly two weeks, and I will have the entire house gloriously to myself. Well, except for the cats, who are occasionally a**holes. But mostly to myself.

I can clean - really clean! Top to bottom! Cobwebs to baseboards! And all without used cotton balls full of nail polish remover, crumpled snack wrappers or Legos scattered around me that all seem to have some sort of magical replicating spell upon them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Under The Sea



There's a submarine in here, he tells me
And I have to rescue it
By all means, I say
You have to do your duty
There are hobbits down there! he shouts
And he dives
And he comes up, clutching an action figure
Then he leans his head waaaayyy back
And he stays there for the longest time
Are you okay? I ask
The sun is warm, he replies
It's warm and it's good
And I just like being me today
He dives again
And I tilt my head back
And I feel the sun
And I repeat, like a mantra
"I just like being me today"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ellie's journey with her son David has been one of joy, patience and discovery - one that changed the very framework in which she used to view autism. Through David's eyes, she's learned that an autism diagnosis isn't the end of the world - it's just the beginning of an interesting new one.
Available at Amazon for Kindle - and Smashwords for all e-reading device.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

So What's In Watkins Glen? And Why Is It Haunting Me?


Sunday morning, I awoke from a dream, which is actually pretty usual for me. I do my deepest sleeping in the hours just before I wake, and sometimes, I remember what I dreamed about.

This one was....odd.

I was answering the door, and there stood a guy from my long-ago past. He was one of the two guys in my history that I consider to be "the one that got away." Or, more accurately, "the one I stupidly pushed away."

He looked me right in the eye and said "I'm here. And this time, we're going to talk. You know as well as I do that we're not going to be able to function without being in each other's lives, so you're going to open that door, and let me in. And we're going to talk."

Monday, August 3, 2015

Time Travel Is Possible...All You Need Is A Song

I was sitting in a shopping mall food court when it happened. My son was in the restroom, washing the pizza sauce off his face, I had just pulled out my phone to check Facebook while I waited, and suddenly...

I was sitting on my bed in my room in the house I grew up in, music swirling around me, knees hugged to my chest as I closed my eyes and dreamed about the day I'd be leaving the dust of my small town behind me, living and traveling and wringing every second out of it. No more small town life. No more small town people wanting small dreams for me. No more.

I didn't even realize I was singing along with the mall muzak until I heard the guy at the table next to me doing the same, much to the embarrassment of his wife and teenage son. It's kind of hard not to on that one - the song was "Life in a Northern Town" by Dream Academy (yes, the original version, not the cover by Sugarland) and the chorus pretty much demands that you sing along.