Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Monkey Can't Believe It, Either!

Are you ever completely shocked at what comes out of your mouth? I mean, like some other person who isn't your mother is channeling their voice through you? And you stand there like "WTH did I just say??" Well, that happened to me today.

In my defense, my husband is out of town, and has been since forever last Saturday. I have no idea which way is up, I would not make a good single mother. I think I would eat my children. With a spork. wait, let me back up...

We were having lunch at Taco Bell. It had gone well, if you don't count the fact that no one wanted to sit next to anyone else and once they did, they kicked one another. But that wasn't the problem. I simply am setting the scene for you so you understand why I was feeling so stressed. Afterwards, we were headed to the optometrist for JBug to pick out new frames. Yes, I was bringing all the kids there. See the build-up of Had Enough here?

Which is why, as we were leaving, and JBean took a handful of sporks with her (something she has never done, mind you) I said:

"What are you doing? An animal had to die for those, you know!"

What, T? WHAT? Maybe I have spent too much time being snarky at twitter, or maybe I am just losing my mind. And the sad thing is, I didn't even realize it, until JBug said, "What? What animal? That's not true. Why do you tell her that, mama?? (Daughter, haven't you ever heard of the Spork? It lives in forests in Siberia and...)

Because, daughter, apparently I am not human thinking! WHO tells a kid with autism that she kills animals by wanting a spork?

Apparently, I do. Let the beatings commence. I'll be over in the corner, trying not to devour my children.

What have you said that you wish you could take back? Don't leave me alone, here, come on now.

T, who did apologize and tell my kids my brain went to Germany with my husband

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Best Thing You Can Make Me Is Reservations

My son is obsessed with Bear Grylls. (ok, well, what isn't he obsessed with, truthfully?) He has seen almost every episode. I cannot get into this particular show. Despite the fact he looks passable without a shirt, I just can't do it. It's a survival guide for couch potatoes. 99% of the people who watch it will never be faced with even one iota of the situations presented on the show. Do you know it?

From the website:

In each episode of Man vs. Wild Bear strands himself in popular wilderness destinations where tourists often find themselves lost or in danger. As he finds his way back to civilization, he demonstrates local survival techniques, including escaping quicksand in the Moab Desert, navigating dangerous jungle rivers in Costa Rica, crossing ravines in the Alps and surviving sharks off Hawaii.

And I suppose all of that is true. But what they don't tell you? You watch him eating really gross stuff and then peeing on himself. I am not kidding! Today in the car, my children were relaying the synopsis of the last episode. Apparently, he was "stranded" in the deep south, and to eat, he caught a water snake, ripped its head off (being careful to squeeze the putrid fish out of it so, he didn't get sick) and then ate the snake carass. Mmm, gimme summa dat!.

In another segment, he went fishing for catfish using himself as bait. Seriously! He couldn't find a stick?? He stuck his hand in the water, the fish gnawed on it, bit and he had lunch. He also had a gnarly mangled hand. It had teeth marks and everything. And well, since antibiotics don't grow in the wild, he used the natural solution. He peed on himself! It seems the ammonia is good for the wound. Yeah, I know! He seems to do that a lot. Maybe it's a compulsion.

I am telling you, my hand would fall off before I would pee on it. I just can't imagine. If someone saw you do that, wouldn't they think you were some kind of pervert? And we sit on the couch and watch this...why? Now, I know, urine is supposed to be sterile...but eeeew? It is one thing to pee in the shower Oh what? Like you haven't done it? Eh, it's ok, I don't expect you to admit it... but it is quite another to pee on yourself, on purpose! That?

It's just gross. Especially because he has an entire camera crew there with him, how hard would it be for someone to run to Walgreens for Neosporin? Or even just carry a piece of moldy bread? He could eat it when no one was looking...penicillin is good for you! I am pretty sure I would eat a piece of moldy bread before I would pee on myself. Then again, I wouldn't be caught dead doing either!

My idea of roughing it? I like room service. In a 4 Star Hotel. With a little chocolate on the pillow, please. In a pickle, I will use a porta potty. But it isn't something I want to do often. I went to Spirit West Coast last month. Let me tell you, it was rustic! We camped in tents, ate over a propane stove and peed in a large plastic box. Once a day, a truck came and emptied the box, but honestly? It still wasn't any place you wanted to spend time in. And we had three meals a day, not one was a snake. And though we had to fight bees who wanted to eat with us, none of them wanted to actually eat us. We stood in a line to take a shower, which was a big trailer with metal stalls. Still the water was hot, so I didn't complain much.

And I swear I didn't pee in there, either.

T, who likes indoor plumbing

How about you? What's the most bizarre thing you have done in the name of survival? What would you do? (and are you surprised I didn't ask you about your shower habits?)

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Not the Jerry Springer Show, 'cause Those always end badly, you know

warning...this post is a bit's worth it, I promise

The year was 1989. I hadn't been divorced a a full year yet. And I was a cynic. I married the wrong guy, and we were too young...a story for a different day I was out with my girlfriends, who drug me out of the house on pain of death, and we were up to no good. Decked out in our short skirts, too-high heels and Bad Attitudes, we were a force to be reckoned with, so we thought. We were out to see and be seen. And we were. A voice yelled, "Hey, come party with us!"

My best girlfriend hit me on the arm and said, "Turn the car around! Go find him!" I wasn't so sure. But, it was Saturday night, my car was freshly washed and I was cruising Main Street, why not? When you grow up in a smallish town there isn't anything else to do at night except cruise Main. All the clubs were 20 miles away. Besides, with an army base nearby, this was the place to meet new people. A singles bar on wheels. And, if you had chemistry, there was always Lyon's, the coffee shop down the street. Or Denny's, for a mug o' coffee. I was going to have fun if it killed me.

I was wilder in those days. So I took the challenge to find the orangeish Chevy Nova the guy who had taken an interest in us was riding in. I hadn't gotten a good look at him, but my friends had, and they were happy. And I am sure he had friends, because, don't they always? Besides, I was the cruise director for this particular adventure. I couldn't let my friends down.

We spent most of the night trying to find them again, and just when we were about to give up, we spotted the Nova, a bit ahead of us. I stepped on the gas and my friend leaned out the window. "Park over THERE, " she yelled, as she gestured behind a strip mall. Our cars pulled over and my heart was thudding wildly. I wanted to go home. But hey, we were a group, and nothing happens in a group. I decided to put on a brave face for my friends. If I was lucky, this might actually be fun.

There were three of them, including the driver. And three of us, how convenient. We stood there and talked.The driver Rob, said less than than the others. I learned he was from Michigan, stationed at the nearby army base. He proved to be a really nice guy. One I wouldn't mind getting to know. My friend had found her guy. We all decided to get some coffee at the coffee shop down the street. It would be quieter, and since it was November, it would be warmer!

My girlfriends and I had an understanding. No one went off with any guy alone, ever. We stayed in a group, it was wiser. So we all piled back into our cars and met up again at Lyons. Over coffee, I learned he liked Monty Python. We shared the same taste in music. We both were passionate about social justice. We both hated superficial people and situations. We both ran deep. I decided I wouldn't mind seeing him again.

And I did. He became a good friend. For whatever reason, we never made a love connection, at least on my end. I found out much later that Rob had feelings for me. I never realized that, for whatever reason. That elusive "thing" just wasn't there for me, though. It should have been, he was everything anyone could ever want. We went out a lot. As friends, since we enjoyed one another's company. And he said he had a friend he wanted me to meet. This friend was funny, and a nice guy to be around. He proved to be everything Rob said he was.

The three of us became fast friends. We went to movies together. We went to Tequlia Tasters at El Torito together. We drank beer and talked to the sea lions on Wharf #2 together. I loved them both, they were my stars. The guys that I counted on, through thick and thin. I dated other men, but kept my friends. We would get together at least twice a week. (Back then, I went out almost every night, I was young and stupid). It might seem strange, that I hung out with two men, but at the time, it was just....right. There was nothing weird about it, and if other people thought there was, well, I never knew it.

When one was in the field, (that's where army guys get dressed up in uniform and war paint and run around and pretend to shoot one another) I would go out with the other one. It was completely platonic, and never felt awkward. I expanded my friends, and included them as well. They were a fixture.

We had some great times. We attended The Rocky Horror Picture Show together. Denny's at 3 a.m. Sleeping on a friend's floor. Running on the beach at dawn. Driving to San Jose to an alternative club. I felt more alive that year than probably ever.

At the time, I was madly in love with a man that was very bad for me, Sean. He was smooth. He said the right things. And he was a liar. And yet, I just kept coming back for more. His mind games nearly killed me. But that's a story for a different day.

Rob got out of the army and prepared to make his way back to Michigan. That's when my other friend, approached Rob about dating me. I was oblivious to this. Rob dented his car over it, rather than hit our friend. I found this out much later, I never knew about any of this behind-the-scenes drama.

I had a friend, Maile, who thought she wanted to date our mutual friend. And I felt a pang of jealousy. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to go out with him romantically, but he was mine, and I didn't want to share him. About that time, I started looking at him differently. But just for a moment. You see, I couldn't afford it.

I believed that friends are friends forever and guys were a dime a dozen. I didn't want to risk my friendship by dating. I made a decision to take him out of the running, if he was ever there in the first place. We were friends. Best friends. I could call and cry to him about Sean and the way he was treating me, and my friend just listened. He didn't judge. He would say, "Let's go get something to eat, " and take my mind off of the situation. He became indispensable to me.

One night, Sean played one mind game too many, and I was done. (or maybe he was done with me) I was broken and bleeding, and just done. Rather than sit around the apartment and become suicidal, my friends dragged me out for ice cream. Just what a broken heart wants: company and ice cream.? No, it was the furthest thing from my mind. But I went.

At some point, a song came on the radio there in the ice cream parlor (and I know this sounds so childish and dramatic) but I burst into tears and ran out of the restaurant. What do you expect? I was in my early twenties! My friend followed me. He tried to talk to me, but I didn't want to hear it. I was done. Done with men, done with love. I ranted about how I wouldn't ever trust again. And that's when he said,

"Don't give up, because you never know..the person who loves you might be right beside you."

And I was so wrapped up in my pain, and my drama that I l didn't get what he was saying. I guess you have to hit me in the head with a brick. But, he was easy to hang out with, so I did. We started spending time together, more and more. And at some point, I admit, I made a decision that he would be my Rebound Guy. Only after he promised that whatever happened, we would stay friends. That came first. I figured we would be short-lived, because rebound relationships almost always are. But I never got antsy, never felt it was time to move on. This should end, I told myself, no commitments. The thing is? He wasn't asking for one. And I was comfortable.

You know when you watch those talk shows where the friend reveals a secret love to another friend? What happens? They always say, "I don't think of you in that way!" You know what? We are the success story.

I don't know how love happens. I have heard others say that they just "knew." For me, it wasn't that simple. He knew not to push. I would have run. I dated who I wanted, when I wanted, and he stood by me. It probably sounds like he was a pushover but he really wasn't. He was a very strong man and apparently he was very sure of himself. He knew I had to heal. At some point, I told him I didn't need to date anyone else, he was enough. I knew I was done for. I loved him truly, deeply and in a way I had never loved before. It was right. We knew one another. He was my best friend.

Three months later, we were married. (I asked him, for the record)

And that's how I met my husband; I was dating his best friend. That was 19 years ago. He is still my best friend. And I love him more now than I did then.

Happy Anniversary, J. I miss you. Hurry home.

T, who really is an incurable romantic

How did you know you were in love? Tell us about it!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Music to Twitter By

Have you heard the new twitter song? That's right, friends, we have our own song. Don't you feel special?

You're No One if You're not on Twitter

This is part of a challenge that @ihatemornings is doing. how can I not love him with a name like that? The group has to write 50 songs in 90 days. I am highly impressed, since I barely manage a couple of posts a day!

Yay, JB! May you be the next JoCo!

T, who thought you should know

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Scream, You Scream...

Some days it feels like you just can't win. Mondays are park days for us. We have been attending for years, every week. At least, we were, until about a month ago. It isn't that we made a decision not to attend; something just always comes up. That something usually involves tears from one child or another, and today was no exception. Why Mondays seem to be the day that falls apart is anyone's guess. It might be the transition from the weekend that throws us.

"But I neeeeeed It!"

One of the hallmarks of autism is rigidity and needing things "just so." Normally, we allow for that in this house. But today, JBean decided that she needed one certain dress, the yellow sundress with bright pink flowers, and no other dress would do. This is her current very-favorite dress; she refused to get dressed without it. And we couldn't find it, so... "sorry honey, isn't there another dress you want to wear, how about the purple one", failed to work. In exasperation, the "You are 7 years old, you can find another dress, we can't find that one, so get over it", approach, in hindsight was not very effective, either. She would not budge.

this is the dress in question

So rather than being able to leave for the park, we were stuck appeasing her, feeding her Autism Monster, and trying to calm her down. (I am in no way calling my daughter a monster. In our house, when behaviors surface, I often distance myself by calling the behavior "the Autism Monster." I only say this in my head; it helps me differentiate between the child and the problem) She locked herself in the bathroom because she was embarrassed that she was throwing a fit. Yet, she wouldn't stop.

Rather than get angry In a situation like this, it is important to recognize that it isn't about the dress. It is about control. What's different, I asked myself? Why isn't she feeling safe? And of course, it hit me, Daddy is out of town for a week. Aha! With renewed understanding, I was able to be less annoyed with her.

Finally, she did open the door, apologized, and stopped crying. Peace was restored, but it proved to be premature. As soon as she was reminded that she would need to wear something else because, remember,the dress couldn't be found, she fell apart again. A seven year old pitching a fit can be handled. But factor in a pissed-off nine year old, who really wants to go to the park,is stuck in the autism loop and change of plans has increased his anxiety? The job gets harder. Now I am playing referee and trying to protect Ms. Fragile from a bullying brother, as well as trying to comfort her and teach her ways to find self-control. It's the Autism Monster working overtime. I think he's an overachiever...those run in my family.

I did find the dress, though I confess I didn't expend much energy trying to find it. I got lucky. It was in the bottom of the clean clothes basket. The one I pawed through to try and find something she would wear. She put it on and we were out the door, hours late. We piled into the car, weary, but we were on our way. And then we hit traffic. I watched the light change, but the cars didn't move. We sat there, while the light cycled three times. The park is twenty minutes away. It was 3:15, and park day started at noon. And then I made an Executive Decision.

Sometimes, You Just Have to Make a U-Turn

We would forgo the park, and head to our local 50's diner for burgers. Maybe the day could still be salvaged. Despite protests, I whipped a U-turn, and headed to the diner. It proved to be a good decision. We all relaxed, enjoyed a leisurely lunch, and even went shoe shopping, buying shoes for JBug (she really needed them) and ended the day with an ice cream cone from Baskin-Robbins.

The point here is that by being flexible, (referred to in our family as "the F Word") even after the fact, we managed to bring a Defcon 2 situation back under control. Often with autism, the plan you make is the one that you have to break. Or, rather, rethink. If the plan is stone-cold, rigid, it will break, and it's not pretty when it does.

Better to Scream for Ice Cream than Just to Scream

It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that plans change. Kids with autism really like structure. They like to know that things are arranged the way they want (and often need) them to be. But, as the adult, it is much easier for your to be flexible than it is for them. The plans change because you get that the need is for a different plan. By tweaking the agenda, you can often avoid a greater meltdown.

And, if you are lucky, you end up with Rocky Road ice cream in the process.

T, who is pretty happy with the way it worked out

How about you? What would you have done? We all have days that just aren't going right. How do you handle it?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On Olmsted and Autism

When is a Word not just a Word?

Have you said it? In a fit of pique? Or frustration? In just normal conversation? Have you referred to your children with the "A Word?" Does it define who they are at that particular moment? Dan Olmsted, over at Age of Autism has been ruffling feathers because he believes we need to abolish the use of the word, "autistic." He is on the right track.

I have two children, as you know. They have autism. They are not autistic. Why do I differentiate it in my head? Because autism is part of who they are. It does not define them. They are more than just their disorder or disability or whatever we are calling it this week. I prefer to just call them my children. Who have autism. Though I am not crazy about the puzzle analogy, it fits here. Not because autism is a puzzle, but because autism is a piece of the puzzle.

Dan believes that the word "autistic" is similar in connotation to "retard." He's not far off. It is akin to talking about the "Short Bus", (a slang term for the bus that transports special education students by those who wish to disparage it). It is a negative term, guffawed over lunch by kids who don't understand differences.

Autistic is a very limiting word. It defines the person's limitations. Sometimes, the reputation of a word is doesn't matter what the actual definition is. No one wants to be called ignorant. And yet, the definition in itself is not offensive. Autistic simply means "of or pertaining to autism." But the gestalt of the word means so much more. Words can be used to educate, but is that necessary all of the time? Sometimes, is it ok to just be?

I have chosen not to refer to my children as autistic. They may change that at any point. It is completely up to them how they will refer to themselves. I have talked to my son about this, and, with no coaching from me, he laughed and said exactly what I had said,

"Why would I want to be known by only one word? I am so much more than autistic!"
(emphasis was his)

I understand there is a movement in the adult world of autism to embrace the word. Take it back, if you will. It seems to me like the N word. Young black men reclaimed the word, and the power that went with it, as their own. But it's a word that is acceptable within the context of their community. (One could argue about whether or not it is an appropriate word for any group to use...) Regardless, it doesn't cross color lines.

That is how I see Autistic. It is a charged word. An in-your-face word. A "we're here, get used to it", word. And I can't make my children part of a political movement. It is time for them to just be children. Without limits.

T, who imagines I've started something

How about you? What do you think about autism vs. autistic?

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photo by Carey Tilden

I Wouldn't Get This From Any Other Guy?

When I heard that Barack Obama was going to make history by actually involving citizens in the political process, I was excited. Call me idealistic, I like to believe that politicians get into the game to make a difference..

So when Barack said he was going to let a select few be the first to know who his Veep was going to be, I said : "Sign me up!" I eagerly sent a message to 62262 and sat back and waited. I was going to be in the know, baby! I was going to find out, before all of y'all, who Barack picked as his #1. (Since it couldn't be me) All day long, I waited, sneaking peeks at my phone, just in case. Nothing. Is this thing on?

I ate dinner,sneaking peeks at my phone. It remained silent. I put the kids to bed, but still, Barack didn't call. Did he forget? Did he lose my number? I stayed off the phone, to free it up for his call. In an effort to pass the time, I sat down with twitter and started seeing stray messages: CNN says Biden is Veep announcement. Hmm, are they just predicting? It can't be! Surely, they don't know...since Barack said I would know first? Then more questions arose as the WSJ and HuffPo began confirming it. And still? My phone remained silent..

Maybe he wrote the number down wrong? He couldn't be like all the others, could he? Not Barack? He said he would never run around and desert me..

All night long, my phone remained mute. Finally, when I had given up hope, in a slump of betrayal, I was headed to bed I couldn't wait no more. And as I was brushing my teeth? At 2 a.m.? after the bars close (and I assume that he couldn't get any other action), my phone buzzed. I had a message. Barack, Rock-Star and Next President had just given me the equivalent of a text-message Booty Call. That's right, girls. Say it with me now: a man callin' that late only got one thing on his mind, and it ain't your brain. Barack didn't find it terribly important to call me earlier. He waited until the news broke, and then he texted me (and you?)_ as an afterthought..

I feel so used. My heart is broken. I know how this works. First it's a booty call here and there. And you relax your standards, cause, hey, he looooves you. Next, it's a vote hoping we look the other way. But, just this once. Finally, you're rationalizing deregulation of the telcom business and charging tax on the Interwebz.

Don't you leave me feeling cheap. Barack, I thought you were different. Turns out that maybe you were a playa all along.

*yes, this is satire. Meant to be funny. I get that it was leaked by accident, and no I am not broken up about it.

T, who don't play that

Did Barack call you? Did you want him to? Did you feel used? What do you think of his buddy, Joe? Is he cool?

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Only Loosely Defined as Food

Did you hear? Nestle recalled about 2,000 pounds of Hot Pockets, because they contain plastic. The code says: “8157544614D,” “EST 7721A” and “BEST BEFORE JAN2010.” Some jokes? Just write themselves, truly. But..I'll still let Jim tell you all about Hot Pockets.

T, who won't eat those things, but her husband does

What junk food would you be embarrassed to admit to eating? I'll go first.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just Horsin' Around

I was watching the equestrian events in the Olympics today. (DVR, remember?) and Team Canada had a rider who named her her horse "Special Ed." I imagine she thought she was pretty clever. Poor horse! But really? If the horse takes you to the Olympics, I would say he is pretty special...

So I posted to twitter, as I am wont to do, and a friend sent this link. Thought it was good enough to share with you. Horse names can be so weird.

T, who must be a 12 yr old boy at heart

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Finding a Lost Boy

One of the things I love about the Internet is the community. Reading blogs, getting to know the parts of the person they want to show you is wonderful. Laughing with moms, and sometimes, even crying for a few minutes. But, once in a while, you read a post that let's it all hang out. That goes for broke and really changes you afterward. And? You have to get involved. Catherine over at Her Bad Mother wrote that post today.

She writes about her own mother, and a broken heart and a loss faced many years ago. A loss that, as a family, they are still trying to come to terms with: pick up the pieces and make it right.

That's where we come in. Go, and read her post. Yes, leave my blog, go to hers, and see if you can help. She doesn't want any money. She didn't ask me to do this. She wants to heal her family.

The Internet is a great big social engine. Start it up for her. I have the best readers, so step up. Whatever you were about to do? Spend 5 minutes reading her post. Honestly, you might change her life.

T, who was really touched

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally Olympic Events I Could WIN

Last night, I was watching the Olympics, featuring the 26 mile womens' marathon race. Yeah? so what? I am behind a bit...I have it DVR'd. I have other stuff to do. Blogs don't write themselves, you know! Plus, I have children to put to bed. Amazing how cranky they get if they are ignored. Do not ask me how I know this.

So I am sitting on the couch, watching these women run this race for the gold. One woman drops out, early on. I feel for her, but really, she was the smart one. I get that the winner gets untold riches, and can have her face featured on a box of Wheaties. Still not enough incentive for me. I have made laziness an art form. I mean, if you compare my fitness with that of Olympic athletes.

Now, I need to tell you, there are only two reasons that I would run 26 miles. The first is if a bear was after my ass. And then? I am pretty sure that I would just fall down, play dead and hope it was fooled. The second reason? If my ass was on FIRE. And somehow, I forgot to stop, drop and roll. Only, no one forgets that because it is drilled into us at what? Birth? So, pretty much the chances of me running a marathon are slim to none.

I hated running when I was a kid. You have to be some kind of sadistic monster to be a high school P.E. teacher, that's all I am going to say. Mine preyed on the weakest of us, making me and my fellow losers run extra laps for not being fast enough. It was bad that I couldn't run worth crap, so let's make it worse (and in turn, make me an object of teasing) by making me run more So, as I have gotten older, though I do some exercising yes, more than lifting the margarita glass to my lips, smart ass! I also do yoga... BUT. the chances of me running for the border, the bus or my life are pretty nil.

I am watching the race and early on, one woman pulls away from the pack. The question was always will she fall apart? Will she stand firm? Turns out, she is THIRTY-EIGHT years old. And she runs in front, all the way, and wins the fricking gold medal. The oldest woman Olympian to ever win gold. Woohoo! My couch-potato self could appreciate it, and was even in awe of it.

But? It is so far out of the realm of reality for me, I cannot even imagine. Truly. I am not 38. I would tell you my age and if you are a regular reader you already know anyhow but my mother always said that a lady doesn't give away her age. Ok, so I never claimed to be a lady but still. I will tell you..I can now shop at Forever 21 twice as much. if I wanted to, I mean.

And then, there's that American woman who is 41 and in contention for a gold medal in swimming. She may have already won it, as I said, I am behind. So, I started thinking, what events could I win? I mean, that don't require a ton of training and well, exertion! I came up with my own events.

  • Coffee Crawl if you don't believe this is an event, you've never seen me in the morning!
  • Eyerolling I am the CHAMPION. My 14 year old learned from the best, and is competing for the medal too. (dammit)
  • Channel Surfing (this includes operation of the DVR fast forward 2x, 4x and goooo 300x!)
  • Kitty Litter (or food) Pass Off whose turn was it to clean the box or feed the cats? Not mine, I just did it! Wide-eyed innocence a plus in this one!
  • Shoe-Finding Relay I kick ass at this! I can find a matching shoe before you even know it is missing
  • Dishwasher Speed-Loading I hate loading the dishwasher. I hate dirty dishes. Therefore, I can load the dishes faster than you can get a reluctant teenage girl to even think about loading it!
  • Phone Screening if you call and are identified as the Wonderful Disembodied Voice in my phone that says, "Call from Private Caller" know that I won't answer. If I don't recognize the number, I don't pick the phone up. YAY, techology!
  • Spider/Bug Jump Want to see a high jump? Just put a creepy crawly in my path. I will jump on to that chair so fast, your head will spin!
  • The 'Don't Make Me Pull Over This Car' Traffic Dodge Because not just anyone can spin from the Car Pool lane to the nearest exit in 100 ft. to keep a child from killing another one
  • Procrastination of Important Things You name it, I can put it off. I am very good at this. This is closely related to:
  • Fear of Epic Failure In my twisted way, I find that the longer I can put something off, the less chance I have of failing
  • Stupid List Creating in the Guise of a Creative Blog Post FTW!

There you have Olympic events. They would take a bit of creativity, but not a ton of effort. And I am talented in many of them. In fact, I am pretty sure I could medal in them, and maybe even establish a World Record!

Now, what are your events? How would you place?

T, who is CHAMPION of the mundane arts

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Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm not Mrs. Ostrich, but I Play One in My Head

I owe her an apology. For my pride, and thinking I have it easier. I admit, though I never formed the words, "Well, at least I don't have...." they circled inside my head many times last week.

Last week, I was a companion to her son. You see, for our church's Vacation Bible School, I am a special needs shadow. I go where I am needed. And this time, I was needed with a seven year old boy with Down's Syndrome. He was the sweetest little guy and I have nothing negative to say about him at all.

That isn't why I owe his mother an apology. I enjoyed my time with him. He was obedient, and agreed to everything I asked. My job simply consisted of redirecting him and reminding him where he needed to be. He would look at me with his deep brown eyes and say, "Yeah." Everything was "yeah." And it was fine. It really was. Until I was driving home by myself and the nasty little thoughts overtook me.

In my house, intelligence is prized. We all have high IQs and it is important to use our intellect. Maybe it is more important to me, than other family members, I don't know. But I found, as I drove home, and my thoughts roamed, that somehow though my children have high-functioning autism, it is exactly that: high. I rationalized, at least they function well, and respond to me and are smart.. And that's when I mentally slapped myself alongside my own damn head.

"At least my kids aren't like that." And as soon as I thought it, I was ashamed. Because, who am I to set up a hierarchy when it comes to special needs' parenting? We all have a hard time. We have all sat up in the middle of the night, crying and worrying about the fate of our children. We have endured the well-meaning questions and "Will he always be that way" from strangers. We have learned how to deal with what God has given us, with mostly grace, but sometimes anger. The point is, we are all in the same boat, and still bailing.

You know, if you'd been there, you would have done the same thing. You would have smacked me. And? I deserved it. I am only thankful that I was alone and didn't stick my foot in it by voicing that stupid thought aloud. But also admit, it, you have thought it, too. But...guess what? There is NO hierarchy in special needs parenting. I don't have it better than anyone else. We are all in this together. We all were dealt a rough hand, and it is what it is.

And so, I owe his mother, and everyone else, an apology for my arrogance. I hope you can forgive me, and my hidden pride. And I just want to remind anyone else who thinks this way: KNOCK IT OFF! We don't need to pick at one another...we need to band together. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it doesn't happen, we need to attack it head on. It is not okay, and we need to call ourselves on it.

T, who feels like an idiot

What do you think? Do you think there is a hierarchy in special needs' parenting? Have you experienced it?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sick & Tired: Two Words

Not feeling very well, sore throat and nose stuffiness. Plus? achiness and I am really tired. So I am taking the cheater's way get a meme.

1. Where is your cell phone?

by computer

2. Your hair?

sexy red

3. Your eyes?

tired now

4. Your brother?

ex rocker

5. Your sister?

no got

6. Your favorite thing?

my family

7. Your dream last night?

had blood

8. Your favorite beverage?

cold Pepsi

9. Your dream/goal?

get published

10. The room you’re in?

living room

11. Your Ex?

ancient history

12. Your fear?

Rubber Room

13. Where do you want to be in 10 years?

on vacation

14. Where were you last night?

beach party

15. What you’re not?

mean girl

16. Muffins?

chocolate chip

17. One of your wish list items?

Hawk Sidekick

18. Where you grew up?

Salinas, CA

19. The last thing you did?

made 'smores

20. What are you wearing?

stuffy nose

21. Your TV?

DVR Olympics

22. Your pets?

schizo cats

23. Your computer?

Macbook rules

24. Your life?

freakin' awesome

25. Your mood?

irritable PMS

26. Missing someone?

like who?

27. Your car?

Kia Sedona

28. Something you’re not wearing?

hate socks

29. Favorite Place?

right here

30. Your summer?

crazy busy

31. Your favorite color?

Starbucks mocha

32. Last time you laughed?

daughter spoke

33. Last time you cried?

in worship

T, who needs to go to bed

How about you? Two words to describe your day?

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Like Herding Cats, Only Harder

I haven't been around much this week because our church is doing Vacation Bible School and I have to be up at the butt crack of dawn in order to get there on time. We start at 8:00 a.m. with worship and inspirational talk, but the only thing I want at 8:00 am is more sleep. I have been late every day by at least five minutes, and it is killing me. Trying to get homeschooled kids who aren't used to early morning "morning" needs a "u" in it... I want to cry every time I have get up early, because, as a serious night owl, my brain doesn't function in the morning. Some might argue that my brain doesn't function, period. Let's not go there...

So, what am I doing working VBS when I clearly hate mornings? I guess the obvious answer is because God told me to. But beyond that, the kids are attending (JBug is teaching as well) and I am a shadow/aide for special needs kids. Autism, Downs Syndrome, whereever I am needed, that's where I go. I figured, sure I can teach, but lots of people want to do that. This is something I can do, that God created me to do, that I am skilled in because of my children, and I can bless someone else so their child can attend the program. Because I would have loved if that had been an option for me when my kids were littler. It's a little like herding cats, but I love cats, so it's all good.

So I get up when my alarm goes off at the ungodly hour of 7:30. sorry if you are a morning person and think that is a nifty time to get up. I don't even think God is up at that time. Also? Bite me. I get up at 7:30 and I stand there and look at the wall. Then I remember I was supposed to be getting dressed. So I get the clothes I laid out the night before. I think they come to life in the wee hours, because they are never where I remember leaving them. I find my pants on the vanity, and the shirt on the nightstand...perhaps they attend some wild party and then sneak back in all wasted, then can't remember where they started out? Or, maybe they are just messing with me, knowing my brain doesn't function in the A.M. Or is this what evil lawn gnomes do at night when people are sleeping, move clothes?

Then I trudge around and get the kids ready to walk out the door. This mainly consists of me shuffling to a room, standing in the middle of it, dazed, and wondering what the heck I was trying to do. So I pad aimlessly to another room, stand there, hoping to have an epiphany. It finally dawns on me that clothes might be good for the kids to wear, so I have to find those (in the case of JBean) and wrestle help her into said clothes. This of course requires this exchange:

her: I don't want to wear that. I hate it!
Me: You liked it fine last night, when you chose it, come on now.
Her: No! I hate it. It's not comfy! I wanna wear something else!
Me: Ok, what do you want to wear?
Her: I don't knooooooow! Help meee!
repeat x 3

I then find the nearest wall, and contemplate banging my head into it. I am awake enough though, to know that would hurt. So I move on to breakfast.

I am a great cook. But breakfast? Heh, you're on your own. If God wanted me to cook breakfast, he wouldn't have invented the Eggo waffle. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. I don't eat in the mornings. In fact, if you come near me with food before 10 a.m., your life may be in peril. I can't stand the smell of food in the morning. Give! But not before 9 a.m. So with breakfast in hand (did I mention Eggos are portable?) we search for shoes, beach towels (they get wet at VBS) and my sanity. Once we find the first two, we are out the door. the last one toddles along behind and hides until the clock hits double digits.

There is joy in a job well done. Knowing I am doing something hard for me (the morning thing) makes it that much sweeter to give to God. I have one more day of this routine. I told myself when I started that I could do anything for five days. And I have one more. So I am almost there. Don't get me wrong, I have loved it. I have made connections with children, that have just warmed the cockles of my heart. (yes I do too have a heart!) I have also had the privilege of watching my high schoolers step up and serve in the VBS as well. That has been wonderful.

All in all, I have enjoyed myself. But I come home absolutely wiped out, and so do my children. This leads to tears and tantrums. When I'm they're done, it's better. It is just necessary to wind down. So, one more day, and we are done. And on Saturday? Heaven help the person who wakes me before I get up on my own. I am sleeping in.

T, who likes mornings fine when they start later

What do you do that's extra-hard? How do you manage to do it?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

I feel like I have cheated you, my lovely readers this week. I am so swamped with VBS and preparations for starting our new school year soon, that I haven't had time to sit down and write a "real" post. I promise I will do that this week. Forgive me?

In the meantime, I got my first awards for bloggy goodness, and really, when it rains it pours! I have never gotten an award before try to contain your incredulity, but, teh awesome genius here couldn't stay unrecognized, it was only a matter of time I ended up with two this week. So, yay, me!

First is the Brilliante Weblog Award given by hellokittiemama.

I have the privilege of passing the award on to Don't Miss blogs. Here they are, in no particular order. I love you all, I swear!

I also received,from Cindi at Moomette's Mama Mentor Blog the Magic Lamp of Luck

1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Magic Lamp of Luck.

2. Pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to as many people as you like. After all, everyone needs some good luck!

3. Leave a comment HERE once you’ve passed on the Magic Lamp of Luck. Once the Genie King and Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List.

I am passing on to: From Cribs To Car Keys, Mrs. Hannigan, I'd Blog That, Watch Me! No Watch Me. Spread the love, my pretties.

4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

1-Mariuca 2-First Time Dad 3-Mariuca's Perfume Gallery 4-Emila's Illustrated Blog 5-The Other Side of Emila 6-My Sweet Escape 7-Bay Head Blog 8-Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 9-LadyJava's Lounge 10-Petty Ramblings of a Petty Queen 11-The Real Deal 12-Pinay Mommy Online 13-Perpustakaan 14-LadyJava Life's Pages 15-Make Money Online 16-Cat Tales 17-LadyJava's Food Paradise 18-Being Woman 19-Spicybug 20-Biz-N-Honey 21-Aeirin's Collections 22-Sasha Says 23-Project Heavy Traffic 24-Picture Clusters 25-My Wanderings 26-Maiylah's Snippets 27-Moments of Colours 28-Life Quest 29-BigMoneyList 30-The Best Parts 31-Morphed 32-Buhay Pinoy 33-Galatayo 34-Blogging Tips 35-Apples Of The Eyes 36-My Own Utopia 37-Sasha's Corner 38-Under One Roof 39-Say Cheese 40-A Great Pleasure 41-A Life in Bloom 42-Because Life is a Blessing 43-Digiscraptology 44-Xixi 45-Ode to Adrienne 46-CrankyDave 47-Simple Life 48-Dew Drops 49-The Journey 50-Mastering Your PC 51-Day Break 52-A Little Girl Talk 53-Mom Knows Everything 54-Day to Day 55-1 of a Kind Wis 56-It's a woman's world! 57-Breather 58-Photo Hook 59-Letterbox 60-Asian Mutt International 61-Dream Doe Philosophy 62-MommyAlehs Up-Close And Personal 63-Livin' the Life! 64-Restnrileks 65-English Corner 66-English Grammar 67-Bodybuilding & Fitness 68-Everything you need 69-One Stop Games 70-Blockbluster Movie Trailers 71-Bodybuilding & Human Growth Hormone 72-World of Tennis 73-Men's Health & Tips 74-Internet Marketing Strategy & Tips 75-Latest Technology 76-Tentang Binaraga 77-Berita Seputar Selebriti 78-Panduan Kesehatan 79-Insurance For You 80-Crissy's Zone 81-Crissy's Library 82-Crissy's Haven 83-sHeNzEe's wOrLd 84-Voice Of The Spirit 85-Best Cuisine Recipes 86-Stand My Ground 87-SeeNRead 88-This Is A Miracle 89-I AM KCAT 90-Traipsey Turvey 91-GBeX & DOm 92-Spun By A Seanachie 93-ISL Family 94-D' Cooking Mudra 95-'Story' the Great 96-UmmiRosma 97-Munirah Abd 98-Atie 99-Hit-or-Miss 100-Twisted Sister 101-Laketrees Artist 102-Blessed Sanctuary 103-Comedy Plus 104-Blogging By Sandee 105-Living Life to the Fullest 106-Speech-Less 107-Happy Life 108-My Discoveries 109-Strangely Out Of Place 110-Rooms of My Heart 111-The Paper Vision 112-Luxurious Retreats 113-Reef 114-Weekend Snapshot 115-Blessie's Finds 116-Confessions of An Army Wife 117-My Pooch Life 118-Five Martini Lunch 119-TIPS FROM THE TRAILER 120-PoeARTica 121-STAY AT HOME MOM 122-Rantings of a Woman 123-Sjtl's Weblog 124-Turn-u-Off 125-My World in My Own Word 126-Shawie 127-A New Saga 128-Janeth Vicy's Life Journey 129-Simple Reveries 130-Berry Blog 131-Touts4u 132-My So Called Life 133-La Vida es Hermosa 134-Speedcat Hollydale Page 135-mangosteenskin 136-Choc Mint Girl 137-Of Colors And Styles 138-Pinaymama's Diary 139-My Life's Rollercoaster Ride 140-My Life...My Journey! 141-Bonoriau 142-Jenny and Belle 143-Read My Mind 144-A Sweet Taste Of Life 145-Shopping Blog 146-Precious Moments 147-Feydakin 148-Hot Shit Form Here 149-A Mother's Simple Thoughts 150-Daily Ramblings Rendezvous 151-Miss Moneypenny's Comical Posts Undercover 152-My Precious Niche 153-Fun|Fierce|Fabulous 154-Colorful World of Shiela 155-Me,myself+2 156-Ozzy's Mom 157-Let's talk about MJ 158-Great people make us feel we can become great 159-A Family Man 160-Just the way it is... 161-In Depth 162-Attitude, the ULTIMATE POWER 163-Are You Grateful? 164-Complain Complain Complain 165-My Little Black Pot 166-Notes By Marvic 167-Aku Pelukis 168-Jiwasintetik 169-Foster Me Up 170-Life: Thoughts & Inspirations 171-The Callalily Space 172-Mommyhood and Me 173-Bits and Pieces 174-La Place de Cherie 175-Through The Rain 176-Blogfixes 177-New England Lighthouse Treasures 178-Chez Francine 179-Tsinay 180-Hailey's Domain 181-Hailey's Beats and Bits 182-My So-Called Life 183-PinayWAHM 184-Rusin Roundup 185-Sweet Temptation 186-Lynn's Chic Spot 187-Kai Kriye 188-LiLo n StiTcH 189-Lights and Shade 190-Easycrafts 191-Ideasmoney 192-My creations 193-Sukanya-hobbiesandcrafts 194-My Kraft 195-Adam: @geNda | iNsPiRaSi 196-The Working Mom 197-My Touch Of Heaven 198-Her Name is N.O.Y. 199-Fida Abbott 200-Hesitant Wife's Blog 201-Blogging For Fun 202-Paint Your Life 203-Spicybugz World 204-Colin From Life 205-Ramblings of The Phat 206-AngelBaby from Your Caring Angels 207-Creative Saga 208-Indian Khana 209-Me and My Kitchen 210-Mom's Recipies 211-Mom's Cooking 212-Cooking Station 213-Simple Indian Food 214-Rekha's Kitchen 215-SuperNova & SweetPain 216-My Sweet Haven 217-scrapbook newbie 218-Miyyah@Kertas 219-funfliffy 220-AyangLina 221-A Room of Crazy Scrapper 222-srikars kitchen 223-Purva's Daawat 224-Recipe Center 225-Veg Inspirations 226-Little Mermaid 227-Meendum Santhipoom 228-Ranji's kitchen corner 229-En Vittu Virundhu 230-What's on the menu? 231-Dancing in Midlife Tune 232-Meme Me 233-Tasty treats 234-Mummy Diaries 235-notyet100hub 236-Jujubs Creative Corner 237-Crafts and Cooking 238-As Long As I Can Dream 239-A Walk To Remember 240-Empty Streets 241-The time has come 242-Momhood Moments 243-Life is too short to be ordinary 244-Mistress of Spices 245-From the Kitchen 246-Bhawana 247-Easy Cooking 248-Vegetarian Medley 249-Homecooked 250- The Painted Veil 251-Natural Remedies at Home 252-Vaidehi 253-Send Chocolate

4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

T, who likes bling

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Not a Rock Star, But Play One On Other Blogs

My interview for the Citizen of the Month Interview Project is up. WHAT? You don't know about the Interview Project? Well, hightail it on over and sign up. Now! Don't worry, we'll wait...

Back now? Alrighty. RN Mom had some well thought-out questions for me, and I had fun with them. Pop on over and drop some comment luv, please? Show Ali how uber-cool the Send Chocolate readers are.

T, who wants to know about you

If you join the project, link your interview in comments, so everyone can read. And added bonus, extra linky love!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Knew Google Was Messing With My Head!

I know myself pretty well. I know what I am good at, and what I need help with. And truthfully, I cannot find my way out of a paper bag. Given a choice between two directions I will almost always pick the wrong one. I have lived here for sixteen years, and I still get the freeways confused. I finally figured out for the 91, East is RiversidE and West is West LA. Beyond that, I get confused if I am at all the least bit distracted. It's not my fault though...I never learned. I grew up in a small city, where we did Landmark Navigation: turn right at the 7-11. But here? You can't do that...WHICH 7-11? So, I had to learn a new way to get places. Sometimes, I will use my JPS, which is really just a frantic phone call to my husband asking, "Where am I?" He will look it up for me, rescuing me from certain aimless wandering and anxiety attacks. I am calling him less often, though, and being more self-sufficient. Especially since I found google maps.

Most of the time, it works...but sometimes? Sometimes Google Maps doesn't get it right. And really, this explains everything! Why in the quest for the park I am meandering through the construction site, the suburbs and probably hell, itself.

I knew they were out to get me!

(if you aren't reading XKCD, you are missing out!)

T, who isn't a complete geographic idiot

How about you? What are you good at? What do you need help with?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reason #247,602 why I will be voting for Obama

If you are one of the 2 people on the Internet who hasn't seen this yet (I was) I wanted to share with you.

You've Just Been Barack-Rolled. Like Rick Rolled, only MORE PRESIDENTIAL

Barack FTW!

Hey, you have to admit, the video is awesome. What other videos are a must see? Share your picks

T, who had to share

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

What the Hell's Wrong With Me?

My bathroom buddy Jenny, the funniest blogger I know, wrote a post over on her blog about her neuroses. She asked about others' neuroses and I realized I had the makings of a post, right there! So, here, without further ado, are my foibles and OCD-tendencies. Please refrain from laughing until you leave. yes, this means you, stop laughing, I might cry.

So here, for your amusement, I present, in no particular order:

  • I will only use a thin-bowled spoon. If the only clean spoon is a thick-bowled spoon, I will wash a thin-bowled spoon rather than use the spoon in the drawer.
  • If I go into a bathroom, and the mirror faces the door, I close my eyes until I get the light on. I never go into a dark room with a mirror without having a light on. Too much Bloody Mary, as a kid, I guess.
  • I am a nightowl. I can go to bed at just about anytime, but I play a game with myself. No matter what time I go to bed, I don't look at the clock. I put a cloth over it, and tell myself it is midnight. It works. I have been doing this for years.
  • I don't touch public bathrooms. I flush with my foot, then wash and use the towel to open the door. I am not a germophobe anywhere else
  • I hate drinking water. I will pretty much only drink Arrowhead water. Or, water that comes out of my fridge filter, with lemon and ice. I have tried to make myself drink different bottled water, but I can't. I can absolutely taste the difference.
  • I always eat the cake, then the frosting. I am very careful about this. I feel guilty if I eat the frosting first.
  • I hold my breath during orgasm. I heard somewhere that it made it better, and now I don't know how to stop, so I keep doing it
  • I am beyond terrified of cockroaches. I shudder just looking at the word. My reaction is pure fear.
  • I never read the end of a book until I get to it naturally. I have never gone to the end to see if I want to buy the book. Makes me crazy to watch other people do it.
  • I am very sensitive to sounds, like styrofoam squeaking, fork scraping or wind chimes. They set my teeth on edge.
  • I think the most evil invention is the gas-powered blower. Loud, obnoxious, and blows the debris somewhere else. The epitome of life in the United States: make it someone else's problem. If a gardener uses one around me, I make him stop
  • I have to wash my hair twice. Just like the shampoo says. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Even if I am washing in the middle of camping, I still have to wash my hair twice. It's a thing.
  • I eat all of the ice cream and save the hot fudge, so I can have a bite of just hot fudge at the end
  • I hate socks. I mean really hate them. I wear them about twice a year, when it is so cold my toes are blue
  • I check the door, every night, twice before I go to bed. Even if I know that I locked it earlier

So there you have, it those are the things that make me weirder than you are. Think I am wrong? Leave your weirdness in the comments, and we'll compare notes.

What weird things do you do? Don't worry,it will just be between us

T, who is more screwed up than I thought

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