Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's the Most WONDERFUL Time....Of the Year

My favorite day of the year? December 26th

Why? Because it's....over! It is wonderful to get up in the morning and know I have nowhere to be, nothing to do. And the fact that the kids are happy, well that's just a bonus.

I hosted J's family, about 15 people in all, for dinner (potluck, I am not stupid!) and present opening. Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture! It was a lot of fun. And a lot of work. I earned my rest, between food, cleaning, wrapping and getting ready. J was a huge help, thank goodness.

So I woke up and wii played.

Can you tell from the picture what the favorite present was this year? We are having a great time. I won't be singing in public anytime soon, though...

T, who is glad to be DONE

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Watch This Before It Disappears! (worth it, really)

No telling when this will be pulled on YouTube, so watch now. A couple of years ago, I found this amazing acapella music group called Straight No Chaser. I spent a couple of hours watching their stuff and just being in awe. They have a hilarious rendition of 12 Days of Christmas, but the original, where they performed on stage, after being up for a few YEARS, must have been pulled recently. The musicians themselves put it up, but they cut an album in October so there may be contractual issues. In any case, I found another performance of it:

I was BEYOND thrilled to find out they cut a Christmas album in October, and I bought it on iTunes. LOVE it. Really. If you like good Christmas music, you have to buy this, it is a favorite of us all now.

>What Christmas music do you especially like?

T, who really, really recommends this CD

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just Another Day in the Life Of She Who Seems Sane By Comparision

Sometimes, my life is so surreal I cannot believe I live it. But, it's good.

It started today with a Cuddle when Littles (JBean) climbed into my bed this morning, making mewling noises like a baby kitty. not so much what you want to hear at 9 a.m. but we get our cuddles where we can

Then, after I was up, my 14 yr old refused to get out of bed, so I put on a favorite CD, turned it on and threw a Dance Party in her room. I suggest TobyMac for this, by the way I danced on her bed, over her, around her, and she still didn't get up. She did do a bang-up job of pretending to ignore me, though. I recommend her if you need lessons. So I called in reinforcements.

My geeky husband, J, showed up and danced around in his Darth Vader pajama bottoms. This is a sight to see, but that's for another day. Then JBean and JBear showed up and we just danced around the room, being silly and embarrassing Ms. I Don't Know You Guys. She still didn't get up, so a bit later, J went in and tickled her and carried her out like a baby. She is finally up. That only took 40 minutes.

Then, J and JBear were sparring with...a towel and a stuffed animal. I know, right? J had a rolled up bath towel and JBear had a stuffed rat, using the tail side pointed outwards. J maintained he won, with the large towel. I countered,

"No, Rat Butt always beats Towel."

Just another morning in the House of Awetism.

How about you, what did you do today?

T, who looks sane in comparison

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dammit, J, I'm a Writer, Not a Mathematician!

My daughter taught herself to knit. She just decided one day that she wanted to know how, looked up some videos online, practiced. Once she hit a snag (heh) she found someone who could explain it to her.

She has a rather scientific and literal mind. So I am pretty sure she will be thrilled with this:

A mobius strip??

math-based knitting. Are you still here? wait, it really is interesting...

Or there is Guerilla knitting.

Ants not included...

Apparently, knitting isn't just for Grandma anymore!

T, who knitted for about 5 minutes last year, then forgot how

Saturday, December 06, 2008

So THAT'S the Problem!

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's happy (slight language)


T, who is too busy and annoyed with it all

Friday, December 05, 2008

General Anxiety, Reporting for Duty, Sir!

I envy those with phobias. Oh, to be afraid of elevators. Or to get weak-kneed about crowds. Would it be easier if heights made me sweat? But I cannot point to just one thing I am afraid of. It is more of an infected anxiety, and it permeates my life. It would be so much easier if I could point to just one or two causes of the unrest. I could confront them (because, truly, would you expect anything less?) make peace with them and move on. I could be done with anxiety for the rest of my life. And wouldn't that be something?

Don't get me wrong, I am not a quivering ball of goo. I am very, very good at compartmentalizing. I can lock the anxiety away for a rainy day. With two children with autism (perhaps 3) I just don't have time to be anxious! Someone always needs something, so my time is limited to "what can I do for you?" If I stop functioning, my house completely falls apart, and we can't have that. I am the tipping point here and I hold it all together (in more ways than one). If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy? Written for my family. I am the emotional barometer in my house. And it is hard, hard work.

I am hoping for a promotion as I learn to serve. I am taking more time to deal with those feelings in order to figure them out and get past the worries.

Essentially, I have been drafted and don't really have a choice. My life is Boot Camp, and my commanding officer is General Anxiety. I know I will make it through, but I am pretty sure there will be cussing along the way.

T, who is learning

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wit is Just Sarcasm in a Prettier Dress

I used to be a writer. Really, I did. I came here every day and wrote something, and edited it, and hit publish. I would see it there in print and I was a writer. But lately, besides being busy (because isn't that always a great excuse) I have sort of been avoiding the writing. I know, you want to know why. Here's the bottom line:

I think too much.

No really, I do. I don't do feelings. Sure, I feel a smidgen of frustration, or joy, but I go past the negative emotions, preferring to dissect them in my head. I write about them, process them and whittle them down to the size of an ant. Then I stomp on them. But they get killed before I ever feel them. That used to work, but now I am more aware that I have those feelings, and well, they have to go somewhere. Where they go is anxiety and irritability, and I am tired of feeling tired.

So I have been writing less, and making myself feel the emotions instead of analyzing them, by writing about them. I know it sounds crazy, but it really makes a difference for me. I don't say, "What do I think about that?" any longer. Now I ask myself, "How do I feel about that?"

Thinking and analyzing emotions aren't the same as actually feeling them. And they bottle up, coming out sideways. It makes me a terrible mother, because the only way to deal with the stress I am under every single day is to numb out. And it took me a long time to realize I do that...because I DO feel something. But mostly, I feel anger. And for the most part, that anger is unexpressed. And I have realized that the knot in my stomach, my shoulders and my neck is just repressed feelings: powerlessness, disappointment, fear. And, because those aren't powerful emotions, I let the anger coat it like armor. It feels safer.

Sarcasm is an ego defense. It is a way to deny what is going on around you. Keep it at arms' length. Makes it safe. And Wit is just Sarcasm with a college degree.

Let's get this straight. I am absolutely not quitting. I am still writing, still blogging, still around. I am just around...less. As I journey through this new territory, I just have less energy to create. But I fully expect that once I have come far enough, it can only improve my writing. So I will be posting, just not every day. Know I still love you all, and still read your blogs. I just don't have the time to comment as much as I did before.

In the mean time, I recommend the new Wally Lamb book, In the Hour I First Believed. It is very good, as good as I Know This Much is True.

T, who feels....yeah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And I Had Hoped It Was Well on Its Way to Becoming Extinct

A rare species was spotted today. The screaming loon poked it's head out of hiding. It was me.

JBear turned 10 today. And I turned into a monster. Ok, not really, but I was very stressed this afternoon. I am headed out of town for the weekend, so there are a million things that I have to get done first. Recipe for me to freak out. My anxiety is ratcheted up so far, I can't begin to even explain it. It is like a separate being right now, walking outside of my body. It has no patience, no empathy, and wants to kick ass and take names. Stay out of its way.

Beyond that, I had to get to the store and finish buying presents. I left the kids at home, came back about an hour later, and that's when the trouble began. JBean fell apart over every itty bitty little thing. I made lunch, JBean didn't want taquitos. They are icky! She didn't like the way the card she made for her brother came out , but didnt want to remake it. She wanted presents and was jealous. She wanted my attention, period. ( she didn't want to wear a certain dress to dinner, I told her it looked good, JBug told her it looked good, but apparently it did not match the necklace she was wearing...except it did. Lots of fit, frustration on both sides, her insisting it looked bad, me finally telling her to change if she wanted to (while trying to get out of the house) unbuttoning the dress only for her to decide she wanted to wear the damn thing after all. Calgon, take me away!

I realize that much of this just sounds like motherhood, but I swear it is more than that. It is all three of them, all day long, arguing, disagreeing, being rigid and black & white with no shades of grey. It is me, trying to remain sane in an insane environment, and who the hell knows, maybe I made them that way.

It's trying to walk JBug through her Logic homework for the class that I insisted she take and now I wish would just fall off the face of the earth, but that she likes, except when the young, wet-behind-the-ears, smarter-than-you tutor, who still has acne gives open-ended assignments, like this last one. Cue: fall apart and not know what to do. Cue: 40 minute teenaged tantrum over not knowing what to do. Cue: not wanting to admit she has no clue. And then I get to walk her through it, only she doesn't listen, cause what the hell do I know, I am only her mother, and could not possibly get what she is doing. When I point out how it works, she gets all rigid and tells me that couldn't possibly be right, because that is not the way her tutor explained it. I point out she has a textbook that is saying the same thing I am... cue: argument why both me and the textbook are WRONG.

Good God, just kill me now. I might go to Hell, but at least it would prevent the long, slow descent into Hell I live now.

Yeah, ok, that was melodramatic. I know tomorrow will feel differently. I can rationalize that. But today. Today this is how I feel. I want to QUIT. I want to just throw in the towel, tell the Powers That Be that this motherhood thing? It just flat ain't workin' out. That I would like another, easier job. Oh, you know, like rocket scientist. Or the guy that is bailing out the banks....he has an easier job. I am imminently qualified for said position. I am always bailing out my children. It counts.

So I want a change of scenery. I want a job. Shall I get my resume together? Let's see...something that allows me to use my brain, where I am not constantly interrupted, and is less dangerous than my current gig.

I was thinking the answer was Starbucks barrista, and then it hit me: a Bomb Diffuser.

Yep, that's me. Only now? I ain't gettin' paid for it.

T, who will write more about JBear's bday tomorrow

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Cat Says Meow

Ok, I suck. I know, I haven't updated. It's not because we aren't doing anything, it is because we are doing too much. I will try to be better. In the meantime, here's a cute kitty!

T, who is pretty sure the cat isn't actually making that noise...

Friday, November 14, 2008

And I Thought She Liked Pumpkin Pie

How to insult your brother like a 7 yr old...

First, fold your arms and get all superior-like. Then, stick out your lip and glare. Finally, choose one, to complete:

You smell like...

dirty apricots
moldy cheese
rotten eggs
dirty underwear

Move in for the kill:

You smell like...

rotten dirty apricots, cheese wrapped in pumpkin pie
dirty cheese apricot pie and cheese

(well, the spam, spam, spam, baked beans and spam doesn't 'ave much spam innit..")

I tried to correct her, but I was biting back the laughter so hard, it was difficult to sound sincere.

T, who can't make this stuff UP

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are We Discussing the X-Files?

(discussing tv)

From the WTH files....

JBear: Is 30 Rock about aliens?
Me: ???? No, it's a show about a comedy show and the people who work there.
JBear: Then why do they hate Jell-O?

What? WHAT? No wonder my brainnnn hurts!

T, who finally figured out he was thinking of 3rd Rock From the Sun

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I know the election is over, but I still really loved this. Remember the Wassuuuuup! guys? This is Wassup, revisited 2008, and done quite well.



T, who thought the concept was just great

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's a New Day

With Apologies to Conservatives...

Just for today, we will revel in this victory. In this wall that has been blown down. We will revel in the dream that has been realized, the one that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about in his famous speech. We will revel in the joy of idealism, and the power that the people still have to believe in change, look past a man's skin to the person he is within. We will revel in the fact that negativity and evil words, ad hominem attacks and false witness did not prevail. We will soak it in.

And tomorrow? We will get to work. There is still work to be done. There is still poverty, oppression, hurt. And we start NOW.

Thank you Lord, that you hear and answer the cry of the oppressed. And always, always have.

How about you? What does this mean to you?

T, who is still crying

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Something I HAVE to Say

Why I am voting NO on Prop 8

1. To God, there is no hierarchy of sin. From a Christian point of view, whether you steal a paper clip, or cheat on your wife or are gay, it does not matter, sin is sin. Would we create a constitutional amendment to say that men couldn't sleep with someone else's wife? Or that you can't call in sick to work and then go to the beach? Why THIS issue? I think we need to spend more time tending to our OWN marriages.

2. Also, the Bible tells us that we DO NOT judge those outside the church with our measuring stick. They don't understand, because God has not opened their eyes. We are not God. It isn't OUR job to change hearts, it's God's job. And legislating morality is not how to change hearts. Loving people, for who they are, and accepting them, while still presenting the truth is how to do it.

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you.- 1 Corinthians 5:8-13

3. 60 years ago, blacks and whites couldn't marry. It was illegal. Denying rights to a segment of the population simply because we disagree with it? Doesn't seem loving or Christian to me. It seems like fear-mongering. Separate is NOT equal, and almost 50 years ago that was upheld. The Bible was used to support that fallacious argument, as well. Time to stop the hate.

4. I have a brother in law who is now legally married to his spouse. They do love each other. As a Christian, it is my job to love them, while letting them know I wouldn't make the same choices. Where would Jesus be? I wonder if he would be in the middle of a gay pride parade helping those who need him the most? He met people where they were at. Jesus didn't silently judge people; he loved them. They won't believe they are loved until they stop feeling judged.

5. As Christians, our divorce rate is no different (and some say higher) than those outside the church! It is over 50%. Until we fix that in our own midst, who are we to tell others they can't be married? I can tell you my brother in law has been with his spouse longer than J. and I have been together. Until the church can practice what she preaches, maybe she needs to spend more time tending to the issues within the church and once those are straight, she can decide what to do outside the church. Protecting marriage is done by actually STAYING married, not semantics about what marriage IS.

6. In Biblical times, men could have MANY wives....why don't we protect that marriage? I see a lot of cherry-picking here, and it bothers me.

So tomorrow, I will be voting against Prop 8 and I hope you will join me.

T, who just wants to do the Right Thing

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Do you feel that?

It's a paradigm shift!

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

I really liked this...and it makes sense

More info at Conservatives For Change...

T, who has conservative friends, and they still like me

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloweeen!!

Frodo, Arwen and the Butterfly Fairy Princess say BOO!

J really likes to carve pumpkins, and he is good at it

Headless Horseman

Princess Jackie O' Lantern, drawn by JBean, carved by J.

Silly Face


and Vote for

Nov 4th

Designs from Yes, We Carve blog...a brilliant idea.

What's your favorite candy?

T, who likes Kit Kats and Mounds bars

Technorati: , ,

Pulling My Hair Out

Quick, take this quiz:
My littlest one has been such a pill these last few days that I am:
A. Selling her to the gypsies, just as soon as they show up at my door
B. Locking her in a closet with a rabid weasel
C. Leaving the country and flying to Fiji....alone
D. Keeping a food journal to figure out what the sam hill I am feeding her that's making her crazy

And the answer is: D but I reserve the right to also consider C. Does anyone have any frequent flyer miles they want to donate to my sanity? How about hard liquor? I won't drink it, I will just stare at it and think about drinking it...promise.

I don't think I am feeding her anything strange, but I want to make sure it isn't a blood sugar dip, or a food dye or high-fructose corn syrup or Obnoxious Juice What? You haven't heard of O.J.? I am pretty sure most teenagers drink it, and since I have one in the house, maybe my 7 year old also managed to find it. Still don't know where it comes from, though.

I figure by keeping a list of everything she eats and drinks, I might be able to figure out if there is a pattern to her fits,screams and general unpleasantness. Is it food? Time of day? Fear? Anxiety? I am rational. So by studying it, I am hoping to hit upon a solution. Or head to Fiji. Stay tuned.

So..what do you suggest I do with this child?

T, who just wants a normal life, but geez, I will settle for a margarita

Technorati: , ,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tic Tac Dooooh!

T, who says it's his to lose

I Have It...I Admit It

I haven't been writing much, we are so close to the election that I have been thinking of that, instead. I am watching CNN, MSNBC, Daily Show and trying to keep up with the news. It's crazy. We are poised on the cusp of real change, and I so hope it happens.

I remember in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote...and lost the Presidency. It broke my heart. I am one of those conspiracy theorists who believes the election was stolen that day. Then, in 2004, when Kerry lost, the same thing happened. And I was done with politics. Around 2005, I stopped watching the news regularly. The knot that I sat in my gut afterwards was just too painful. I wasn't sleeping at night, I was having panic attacks, it was just too much. I would hear the evil (and make no mistake, what was done to this country has been evil) done by the Bush Regime and I would just cry. So I had to opt out, for my own peace of mind.

And then this upstart came in. He was young, comparatively. He had young daughters, which translated to me, means that he has a horse in this race. He was an idealist. He had ideas that made sense. He was personable, organized and trustworthy. And I fell. Now, I am participating again. I feel the stirrings and I am seriously feeling like something might be Right again. It has been a long, dark 8 years. And we are coming out of the tunnel. Now we just have to be sure that the sunlight doesn't blind us. We must hold our elected officials to what we elected them to do. And we have to stay informed, not just believe what they say.

Remember, they work for us. And we need to care, to vote and to demand change.

T, who says Change begins with US

Monday, October 27, 2008

It Wasn't Theirs To Steal, Anyway

Finally, a song I can get behind! I love that it's a country song. How deliciously ironic. remember the debacle with the Dixie Chicks and how country music fans tried to censor them? The song is called I'm Takin' My Country Back.



Then the siege will be over. We will have a new President. And while I DO NOT want McCain, if by some unfathomable act he is elected, he cannot be worse than Bush.

Change is comin'. There's a fresh wind on the horizon. Do you feel the stirrings?

>How about you? Are you starting to breathe again, too?

T, who actually might be able to breathe again

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who is the REAL America?

There is a culture war going on...some think if you live in a city, you aren't a Real American. Sadly, these are presidential candidates and government officials! Is this ok with you? When did it become unamerican to exercise free speech? Or disagree with those in power? For those who don't get cable...you have to see this clip!

So are you wondering if YOU are a real American? Take Jon's test:

T, who thinks we must live in the Twilight Zone

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have I Told You That I Think You ROCK?

consider it said...YOU ROCK. Thanks for reading.

I am really behind on Bloggy Housekeeping (not to mention regular housekeeping!) and need to give thanks to some and props to others. So...here we go:

From the Bon Bon Gazette I received the Kick Ass blogger's award...thanks Hellokittiemama! I appreciate the vote of confidence!

The rules:

1. Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”.
2. Let ‘em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an “Award!” Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to http://www.mammadawg.com/.
3. Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

I choose my own, and because I never could follow the rules, I choose 6:

Whitterer on Autism


Confessions of an Apron Queen

For a Different Kind of Girl

That Girl Blogs

Attack of the Redneck Mommy

Marshella presented me with

The Charming Award

The Rules: Leave the following message on your post when you pass the award on to their chosen eight blogger buddies. “These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

From California to Singapore

A Smeddling Kiss

Feel Me.

Shannon Sez So

this military mama

adventures in babywearing

the adventures of leelo and his potty-mouthed mom

And my friend, 2TooManyHats, has tagged me. As if you don't know enough about me, now I have to find seven inane pieces of information that you probably could care less about...but I am a good sport, so here goes...

  • My second toe is longer than my big toe. I have piano player toes. Yeah, that's it.

  • my favorite coffee comes from Starbucks. I order a Grande mocha decaf, and used to get chocolate whipped cream, but they discontinued it. Now I get regular whipped cream and have them drizzle it with chocolate syrup.

  • I was the consummate "WHY??" kid. My parents were so exasperated that by age six, they bought me a set of encyclopedias. I read them all by the time I was in the 6th grade.

  • I like Science Fiction, but not all of it. I like cerebral Sci-Fi, like Fringe, Heroes and, two that aren't around anymore, Babylon 5 & Firefly.

  • I love animals and feel immense joy visiting them at the zoo. I really think I have a connection...when I show up they come to the fence, or make eye contact. It's weird, and others have commented on it.

  • I love tech gadgets, but they have to be intuitive. Just tech isn't enough for me...I don't like piddling to figure things out. One of the reasons I love Apple: things are where you THINK they will be.

  • I bit my nails for many, many years. One day, I just stopped. I don't know how. Now they are long and strong and nice-looking. I tried for years and couldn't cease; no idea how I finally did.

  • I like to cook, but it is difficult to spend the time to do so. I cook well, but have a hard time duplicating the same thing. I add to taste, and it works, but I never know what I just did.

Ok, so now I have to pick 7 more people to shower you with random stuff about themselves: Momma's Tantrum
To Think is to Create
A Box of Chocolates
Dried Paper Cuts and Chickens
The White House
Peyton's Hope Page

There. Go.

T, who wants to give an award to EVERYONE

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Monkey Butt than You Can Handle

The San Diego Zoo is running a special for the month of October: all kids under 11 are free! So, though San Diego is an hour-and-a-half away, we piled into the van and made the drive.

Once there, we visited the Children's Zoo, and the Reptile House. JBean was reluctant , but I walked her through it. She has a snake phobia, but a little bit of graduated desensitization is hopefully having her get over that. I had her walk through with Jordan, sort of on the outskirts, so that she could see from afar, but she didn't have to examine the snakes closely. I made sure she knew I was looking at them, and told her a bit about them. And finally, when there was a lizard, I brought her over to see it. She gained accomplishment, and confidence...I set her up to succeed.

I am convinced that is what parenting is...setting your child up to succeed...bit by bit.

She is at the age where the unknown is very scary, so every enclosure we approached, she had to be reassured that the animal was safe, it couldn't get her, and it was NOT NOT NOT a snake. Once she saw the animal, she relaxed and enjoyed watching it. The animals seemed to enjoy us, too. At every stop, I ended up with some great pictures. Almost like the animals were posing!

Ever the homeschooler, JBug brought a notebook and wrote down questions she wanted answers to so she could Google them once we came home. We still don't know why gorillas eat their own waste, though! No, I am not kidding!

When Mr. Mountain Lion saw the littlest one of our party...

mmmm, LUNCH, he seems to be saying as he sees her

"oh Koala Lou, I DO love you!"

"So, tell the doctor where it hurts..."

This is Calvin. He's 100 years old

The giraffe was THIS close!

The Zoo is constructing a new elephant habitat, to be opened in Spring of 2009..the animals will have more room

More Monkey Butt

T, who really loves the zoo (if it's the right one)

Guess What I Got??

My New Toy

I expect to be spending more time on twitter now...and I can actually text, with a built-in keyboard. Before my phone had me picking between 3 different numbers, and it was awful! I will do a review in a few days. For now, it seems pretty ok...small annoyances, like I can't find a twitter client, but that's the price you pay for early adoption, I guess. I like most of the features, it is easy to use, and so far, haven't found it to be laggy. The GPS can't find me in my house, but the Google Maps portion works well. It's pretty, maybe not as spare as the iPhone, and evokes shades of the Sidekick, but I still like it.

Oh, and


That was a teaser.(we went to the San Diego Zoo yesterday... pictures and post forthcoming)

T, who says, Monkey Butt!

Technorati: , ,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Carving Out Family Time

On Saturday, I got it in my head to visit the Pumpkin Festival held every year at Cal Poly Pomona. We were supposed to meet up with our local 4H group, but parking was awful, and we ran late. Looping through the parking lot, stress was rising, and tempers were flaring, and Jon and I started snapping at one another. Neither of us is at our best when we don't know where we are going...and we are late. We stuck with it, and finally did find a parking place, and it was relatively close. Score!

It was almost 11 a.m. and we were supposed to meet our group at 10:30. We looked around, but there were so many people we never did find them. Despite the heat, we went right to the pumpkin patch and it was really fun. I enjoyed traipsing through with the kids and picking out pumpkins. I also took a couple of pictures that I liked.

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to the Insect Fair, behind the pumpkin patch. There were two buildings full of bugs and spiders. I overcame some of my fears. I held a tarantula! And a scorpion. And...wait for it.... I held a hissing cockroach! I know, right? Me! I am a badass, as you know. And I have photographic evidence, of at least the tarantula.

JBear, of course, was in his element. I may have a future entomologist up and coming. JBean struggled a bit with fear, and truly, arachnophobia is something many have. Fear of spiders is on the top 5 fears list. She shrank away whenever we were anywhere close to the spider tables, and I just went with it. I did make her see them from afar. The fact that they had a lot of er, dead bug specimens in glass cases, pinned down. This was actually good, because JBean was able to check them out without fear. And she almost touched a snake. She actually held a gecko!

Later I asked her: "Are you afraid of the bugs, JBean?"
"Yes," she answered.
"Are you as scared as you were when we first got here?"
"No, I don't think so... I liked the butterflies and the geckos."

We ended the day with a snow cone. The perfect ending to a perfect day. Now I know it seems that I bring autism into everything, but really, when we have days that just feel normal they are all the sweeter.

Have you done anything fun lately? Tell us!

T, who is feeling really optimistic today

Technorati: , ,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let Me Paint You a Picture

Dear Backpacking Dad, I accept the fact that I had to sacrifice a whole evening in writing this post for whatever it is that you giving away on your blog, But I think you’re crazy for making me write a post telling you who I think I am. You see me as you want to see me, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what I know is that I am:

a brain
an athlete
(does yoga count?)
a basketcase
(ask my therapist)
a princess
(I can feel any little piece of fuzz in my bed..but I can't do that Lipstick Trick that Claire could do)
and a criminal
(once I left Target without paying for a toy that was underneath my cart, and didn't realize it until later...but then I never went back)

Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

Send Chocolate


And just so you think I am not taking the easy way out... High school was awful for me. The high school I attended had 300 in my class, and I wasn't one of the In Crowd. In fact, they called themselves the "A-Crowd", and everyone else was shit outta luck. I was too smart for my own good, socially awkward, a late bloomer. I didn't play sports, was always the last one picked for any athletic team. My foray into softball ended in one completely defeated season. We didn't win a game all year. I was pathetic; my team even more so.

I had no idea who I was, and I felt things deeply. I suppose we would call me emo back then. I was brainy, but that wasn't popular, and you know to a teenage girl with low self-esteem, fitting in is everything. So I often dumbed myself down. I would write the wrong answers on homework. I would give the wrong answer when called upon in class. Anything to fit in. I still didn't.

I cut my long hair short, short, feathered on the sides. I went moody and dark. I streaked it with purple. I went from glasses to contacts. I made a lot of friends outside my school. I found my tribe, if you will. But just like a prophet can't preach in his hometown, I couldn't change the impressions I had made with the kids I went to school with from the 6th grade on. To them, I would always be the skinny, flat-chested brainy know-it-all with the big glasses and the straight hair. Smart in school and not very savvy socially.

In fact, short of a D cup and a cheerleading outfit, I wasn't going to fit in. I didn't party, (at least not until later, once my Social Fate was already sealed) and I was a rules follower. In the small town where I grew up in Central California (best known as The Salad Bowl of the World I kid you not. Shut up and stop laughing! well, there wasn't much to do there, save cruise Main Street and get stoned at whoever's house parents weren't in that weekend. I wanted nothing to do with either. So I was an outcast. Of course, I pretended that I wanted to be different, but deep down, I wanted to belong. It just wasn't going to happen.

I remember the most embarrassing experience I had in high school. P.E. was my second hour class. My first hour was all the way across campus, and if I didn't hightail it, I was late. This particular morning, I was running late so I didn't have time to dress out in our required uniform of tacky white t-shirt and baggy, baggy black gym shorts. I wore my jeans to class. All was fine, until, during a game of volleyball, I bent down to take a dig, and heard my pants rip all the way across the butt. I left nothing to the imagination, and it was with much glee that my classmates gave me a hard time about it for the rest of the year. I suppose I was an easy mark.

It was that day when I realized I would never be Claire, though I longed to be, more than anything. I was closer to Allison, and no matter what I did, I was never going to make it as a Claire. So that is the day I redefined my expectations. I became who I wanted to be, not who I thought other people would like me to be. I took a step left of Center and that is where I live to this day. I have made a lifetime out of being outside the box, and being proud of it.

I don't like to be like everyone else. I don't follow the crowd. I stand up for what I believe. I speak up rather than remaining silent. Even when it is not popular to do so. I look past the superficial. And I work hard to make sure everyone is included. Because that lost little 15 year old hasn't forgotten what it is like to stand on the sidelines. Even still.

I suppose my life can be summed up by something I was told by the guy I had a major crush on in high school. I was 16, he was 19. He said to me:

"You know what the difference is between you and us [our group of friends]? We want to know what color the car is...you want to know what the paint's made of."

Guilty as charged.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.-Robert Frost

T, who says Don't You Forget About Me

Technorati: , ,
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Clicky Web Analytics