Friday, August 31, 2007


Okay, so usually I've got a pretty strong stomach. I've also got a deep respect for cultures other than my own. However, I've just been introduced to the culinary micro-trend of ikizukuri.

Oh? You haven't heard of it? Perhaps you should keep it that way.

Ikizukuri is from Japan, and apparently it is making a comeback in the delicacy world. It's the "art" of preparing and serving fish- while it's still alive. Yup. Fish are sliced up, and kept alive, while the chef chops the filet into bite-sized pieces, arranges it artfully around (or in front of) the fish, and the dish is served- while the live fish is left staring at its own flesh being eaten.

Here's a clip of fish ikizukuri.

Here's a clip of frog ikizukuri.

Uggggggh....don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Five frickin' days.

School starts in 5 days. FIVE DAYS!!!

I'm trying so hard not to lose it.

I've already put in a call to the school about conducting a hurried IEP to try and arrange transportation for Jaysen. And I have a call into his teacher, with the hopes that she'll meet with us before school starts (which would only leave tomorrow as an option) to ease transition. The district "Autism Specialist" said she didn't want to be pretentious and assume that the teacher would have time to meet with me. Hmm...interesting, since she's the one (the "specialist") whom at the end of the year meeting, said this was an imperative thing to happen.

If the meeting doesn't happen, I'm looking at it as a "well, you get what you get". I am trying to get this meeting to benefit both parties, Jaysen and his new teacher. If she doesn't have time to meet with us, oookay, but when he comes to you on that first day, and you don't know what to do when he's freaking out because you moved his videotape...well, he's yours to figure out now.

In reality though, I'm very available to the teachers, and they can call me anytime for suggestions to situations. Jaysen's Team is very good too. The RR teacher was his aide last year, so she's familiar with him, and will lend a hand. But according to the "Autism Specialist", he's not going to be relying on Ms. Resa this year- she will only be used in emergency situations. Ooookay! And what consists of an "emergency" this year? Perhaps when the lunch-lady plops a big mound of soggy vegetables next to his chicken nuggets? Yep- that'll be one fer sure.

Cheers to school starting!

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's about that time.

Yes, it's about that time of year, when most parents are at their height of anticipation. Anticipation of hearing those long-awaited words...the same words that send me into frantic spazz-mode, a frenzy-crazed anxiety-momma, and send my stress level skyrocketing through the roof...

Back to School.

Who is Jaysen's teacher going to be? When can he meet her? Does she know about Jaysen? I mean does she know about Jaysen? Did she talk to the Kindergarten teacher? The Special Ed teacher got married and moved to Minnesota (the nerve of her), will the replacement teacher be as good? How will Jaysen do with full days? Who's going to remind him if he brought his lunch, or if he's going to buy? Will someone be there to meet us at the door in the mornings? When can I schedule an IEP meeting to discuss transportation? What is the plan of action for...anything!?!?!?!?

Good god, I'm a mess.
Valium should be on the school supply list.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


"Mommy, there's nuckies in my juice".

(inspecting glass) "I don't see any nuckies, it's okay."

"No, there's nuckies in my juice".

(crap- that's the med.) "Here honey, we'll put some more juice in there."

"No! (pours juice into sink) I want new juice."

Crap, crap, crap. "Okay, you can have new juice". (preparing syringe for new dose to go with new juice)

Ugh. He can taste the meds in his juice. Risperdal is the most disgusting tasting med there is out there. There is no way to disguise the nastiness of this vile stuff. I've been pretty lucky so far, the closest Jaysen's come to complaining, is shooting me an inquisitive look, which I return with a look of ignorance, and all has been fine. But now what?!? Forget about disguising it in another food, because if it won't go in a cheese-it, I'm pretty much screwed.

Risperdal also comes in an "M-tab" which is a pain in the butt. He won't take any form of medicine, so it has to be dissolved and put in his juice again. That's when I just switched to the liquid. You can't always have hot water available to dissolve the M-tab, and if it's dissolved in cold liquid, you can see the granules floating on the top, which is of course, unacceptable.

However, the M-tab is peppermint flavored. I should say, it's flavored with peppermint. Which just makes for a vile, nasty, disgusting, stomach-wrenching, pseudo-pepperminty medicine. A bouquet of gasoline and grain alcohol, with peppermint undertones. Any way you take it, the shit is a nasty assault to the taste buds.

I'll have to talk to the psychiatrist on Friday, and let her know that he's onto the scheme, and we may have to go back to the M-tabs, or we're going to have to find something else. Damn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meltdown drama.

Oooh...did not get a good report yesterday when I returned home from work.

My mother informed me that Jaysen became upset with her, and it was "like old times", a no-holds-barred meltdown. He was back to kicking, hitting, scratching, and biting. At almost 6 years old, he now has the ability to really inflict some pain.

I tried to get her to tell me exactly what happened- what set him off, what happened before, during, and after, what were the interactions, etc...but I realize that this is a lot of information that usually goes unnoticed when your own frustrations are high, like hers were.

This week, we have another med review with the psychiatrist. I am well aware that there will most likely be a med increase. And maybe there should be. Jaysen has gained somewhere around 12 pounds, so his weight-to-med ratio has changed. I'm just scared to death about this weight gain. The doc. said it would happen, and it is...but she also said she wants to start doing bloodwork to monitor for Diabetes. Good lord- I don't know what I'd do if Jaysen became diabetic as a result of something that was within my control. There is another option- to change his meds. I'm hesitant to do that because he's been doing really well on the Risperdal, and the other option is an SSRI, which in cases where there's underlying aggression, it has the tendency to make the person more aggressive. Definitely don't want that.

Dammit. Why is this so difficult? Why is it that when you finally find something that actually helps on both sides, it's so short acting? Damn, damn, damn. I for sure can't have my kid going around whoopin ass all over town- it's obviously not good for those that cross his path, but more importantly, it's his anxiety level that is dangerously high. Since starting the med, it's like he's so much more relaxed. More at peace. More...Jaysen. I just want my son to enjoy being a kid.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The price of reincarnation.

Get the full story here:

This could possibly be the thing that makes my week this week. Apparently, the Chinese government is passing a law banning Tibetan monks from reincarnating without permission.

Yep. You read that correctly. Monks will now have to have permission to reincarnate.

The motive is said to be that this way, the government will have a say in whom the next Dali Lama will be. Who have the Tibetan monks ever bothered? Why is the Chinese government so threatened by them?

And what would the penalty be if you didn't get permission? Would you be able to charge the reincarnated person since the soul of the offender has reincarnated into the new one? How would evidence be gathered? Would the person be an automatic repeat offender?

That would never happen in the U.S. Nope, we wouldn't ban reincarnation...we'd just tax the shit out of it. I can see it now- tax write offs for reincarnation fees.

I swear- just when you think it can't get any stranger in this world...

Friday, August 17, 2007


The cat's name is Triscuit.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's in a Name?

Since Jaysen won't actually be picking out our new kitty, I decided to let him choose a name for him.

This should be interesting, since if you'll recall, we've had 7 fish named Dorothy. When I goaded Jaysen to pick a different name for his (new at the time) fish, just to come up with whatever he thought of- we then had Dorothy, Forsyn, and Lambi. Awesome.

So far, the names we've come up with are:

Circus Peanut

Yep. It is very feasible that we may soon have a kitty named Circus Peanut.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


By not approaching it,
you are silently condoning it.

~Actions speak louder than words~

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cat's Pajamas.

I am finally at the point where I can think about getting another kitty for the family. I really don't think I'm rushing into this, and at least Jaysen and myself miss having a cat around.

I've decided that a Ragdoll cat would be a good fit for our family. Plus, I've always wanted one. They're sweet, stocky, have a lot of fur-but are minimal shedders, love attention, and are generally big cuddlers. Jaysen had a bond with Gacy. He liked to pick him up and nuzzle his face into Gacy's fur (I think it was a form of sensory seeking behavior, but it was also very cute). Jaysen needs a hands-on cat, and a Ragdoll seems to fit the bill nicely.

Ragdolls are pretty expensive...way out of my budget, but I'm researching Ragdoll Rescues and people who are selling their retired breeders.

These are the two in the running so far...

This beautiful boy is Ganga. He is currently at a Rescue, waiting for adoption. I have filled out the application, and am awaiting a response. His adoption fee is $125. That's about the usual adoption fee.

His profile says he has special needs, but it doesn't state what those needs are. I'm also inquiring about that. Hey, maybe he and Jaysen can get a discount on group therapies! :)

The cutie to the right is Ragman. He is at a private home, but needs a permanent one. He is 10 months old. He has blue eyes, but the reflection from the camera gives him those eerie glowy-kitty eyes.

Ragman looks a lot like my late Elmo. I don't know if that's good or bad. He seems very sweet though. His adoption fee is currently $250. His owner came down $100 for me already, but I'm going to see if she can come down just a bit more.

Either way, I think both kitties are gorgeous, and would make lovely additions to our family.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Argument DuJour.

Companion and I were having a discussion late last night. We've been having difficulty in our relationship lately, and I think we're finally getting to the core areas of concern.

Companion made it clear to me that one of the major problems is Jaysen. I was all ears. He wants to be a "normal" couple, going out and doing the things his married friends do, but says he's been in denial, and is coming to realize that it's just not realistic for us, and he'll just have to accept that we're not a "normal" household. I have to admit that I was a bit peeved. What is normal? I think I have a very normal household thankyouverymuch. It may not be typical, but it is definitely normal.

Companion noted that our house is like the "Autism Channel- it's Autism 24/7". Hmmm. Careful there... Jaysen can't turn the Autism on and off, why should we be able to? He doesn't have Autism part-time. He is Autism, and Autism is he. He can't separate it, and neither can I. I deal with my whole child during the day, not just bits and pieces of him.

I told him that things would be different, if it were Rylan who was Autistic, that he would be all up in it- researching, learning, finding ways to connect, and the best parenting methods for him, and be involved. He agreed. Yes, it was a bold statement to own up to, and I'm glad he did, but how does he think that makes me feel as a mom? I'm sorry I have another child! I'm sorry my child has a disability! I'm sorry his Autism is an inconvenience for you! I'm sorry! Right.

He wants to be a good dad to Rylan, and a good "whatever he is" to Jaysen. I asked him what does he think he is to Jaysen? He said maybe someone to pass the time until mom gets home. So- I asked what he wanted to be to Jaysen. His answer? "Some kind of authority figure". Yeah, that's gonna fly. But I knew that one was coming. The only thing I could say was "well, maybe that's the problem". Jaysen says he has two dads. He says Companion is his "Big Dad". Companion absolutely will not (cannot?) consider Jaysen a son, or even "son-type". He has to understand that there are two children in this house, and both of them deserve the same amount of respect and love. Both of them.

I knew Companion has felt this way because of his actions and his family dynamics. Maybe it's a good thing that he was actually able to vocalize it though. He's got to come to terms with himself. He has choices to make, and if he doesn't put forth an effort, I can only assume that Jaysen and I aren't worth the effort. I need to be in a relationship that is positive for myself and my children. If he can't handle it- maybe it's just best to move on.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I was laying in bed thinking about some of Jaysen's quirks- we must be wonderful neighbors. At our old house, Jaysen had this thing with running around outside sans clothes. Was it an Autism thing with the sensory issues? Was it just a kid thing? I don't know, but he became known as "The Parkway Street Streaker" in our neighborhood.

In this house, our neighbors are probably thinking, "Why does that lady and her kid check the mailbox fifteen times a day?" While our mail carrier is more than likely wondering why there is one sign taped to the mailbox that says "videos", and another taped to the newspaper box that says "news".

Ahhh...the quirk factor.

Last evening, we had a big storm. As we walked down the puddle-filled driveway to check the mail for the umpteenth time, Jaysen looked down and said, "Oooh Mommy, you have on socks." Then proudly added, "I have on feet."

Yep- my soppy socks were no match for my laughter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Securing My Own Little Place In Hell.

Yesterday I stayed home with the boys because my mom is sick. In the big picture, we had an awesome day. We played outside, went to McDonalds, and did a little gardening.

While I was cooking dinner, Rylan kept getting into stuff (being the carpet cruiser that he has become), so I asked Jaysen if I could give him his "tree" to play with. Jaysen got this tree toy for his first birthday. It's been a favorite throughout the years. It's a tree that you put balls into the top, and they come spiraling down a slide, while different musical excerpts are annoyingly exuded from the tree. Plus, the tree has buttons to press for sound effects. A parent's dream. Right. Anyway, Jaysen said yes, Rylan could play with it, since the darned thing hasn't worked in a couple of years. Until I put batteries in it.

Soon, Jaysen was in the kitchen too, trying to con Rylan out of his ball. I told Jaysen that he had two balls- Rylan could have one. Jaysen insisted on finding another item to trade Rylan for. As this is happening, I'm noticing the tree periodically inching across the room. Rylan would make a reach for one of the buttons, and Jaysen would move the tree just out of his reach. I told Jaysen he had to share. He refused. I warned that I would have to take it away if he didn't let Rylan play with it too. Still refused. Holding my breath and gritting my teeth because I know what's coming, I take the tree away and put it up on top of the entertainment center.

"My treeeeeeeeeeeee!"

"You can have the tree back when you can share."

"NO! It's my treeeeeee!"

"Jaysen, you need to share with your brother."

Screaming, sobbing, throwing things at me...all of the good stuff from the good ol' days.
I decide to try to ignore the outburst and feed Rylan dinner.

"You can't feed him breakfast! Gimme my tree!"

"Are you going to share?"

"NO!" Throws pillow case at my head. He also proceeded to rip a notepad all over the floor, and throw some toys in the garbage. I told him that he needed to calm down. "NO! I NOT calm down! You get out of my house RIGHT NOW, Mommy!"

He grabbed my arm, bared his teeth, and readied to bite me.

"Jaysen! Bite me, and I will take you straight to your room!" He did this sort of growling thing he does through clenched teeth when he gets mad, then came "I hate you! I HATE YOU!!!"

I just stopped and looked at him. We have been talking about the word "hate", and I've been trying to explain that it's okay to hate broccoli, but we shouldn't hate people. He hated me.

The look on my face must have said something because he immediately said "I'm sorry! I LOVE you!" and put his head in my lap sobbing. The sobbing changed. It became sort of sadder, with more meaning. I stroked his hair, and it was then that I realized...I was wrong.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The tree had been a favorite plaything of Jaysen's since he was a baby. Aside from his video tapes, it's the only toy that he still plays with on a regular basis. He loves that tree, and now that it worked, it was like an old friend came back. I expected him to share it with his little brother, who drools, puts things in his mouth, and tears things apart.

Crap. How do I fix this now?

I decided to still have Jaysen calm down. It took awhile, but once he did, I got the tree down and told him yes, it was his toy, and if he didn't want to share it with Rylan, to please play with it in his bedroom. He was so happy to get the tree back, that thing hasn't left his bedroom since.

The rest of the day was awesome. Good moods for everyone, playing together, and just enjoying being a family. Oh well, maybe next year will be my chance at the "Mom of the Year" award.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Limerick, Schmimrick

I remembered what got me rolling on my previous post!

I had left a comment on an Autism Vox post, just a simple limerick meant to be fun. The post had a bit of banter, which led to the Editor-in-Chief to respond. In his response, he singled me out and said that my limerick was good, and he would like to workshop it (funny, since I really hadn't put any effort into making it a proper limerick). I admit, that I was flattered at first, but then something just wasn't sitting right with me.

This was the original limerick:

There once was a great kid named Charlie
with Mom, he'd often parley.
She said if he's like
he could have a new bike-
"But Mom, I wanted a Harley!"

And Mr. Strolin's advice:

To the poster mommy~dearest:
On our site, limericks undergo what we call the workshopping process in which new pieces are examined by Workshop Editors who may make suggestions as to how to improve the limerick’s rhyme or meter or whatever. If I may, I would like to workshop your limerick. Overall, it’s a winner, although the meter is just a tad rocky in spots and you don’t mention autism anywhere. I’m assuming that Charlie is someone’s real life son and so I wouldn’t change the name, though I’m sure you can see where that limited your rhymes. If you objected to autism being labeled “rotten,” I doubt calling it “gnarly” would be any improvement. As you’ll see in Line 5, I’m a bit of an alliteration fan.

And his "workshopped" version of the limerick:

There once was a great kid named Charlie
Who with autism’s battles would parley.
Said his mom, “If you’d like,
You can have a new bike.”
(Ever headstrong, he hopes for a Harley!)

Okay, so it's structurally a better limerick, but I already argued that I wasn't trying to create a formal limerick. The things that bother me about Mr. Strolin's comments are- #1, he said I didn't mention Autism. I know. I intentionally didn't mention Autism because as a parent of an Autistic child, I am acknowledging that he is a child first and foremost. #2 is his use of the words "battles" and "headstrong". These words are innocent enough, but can take on a whole new volume when using them in context with Autism.

Take the word tantrum. Not a pleasant word, but to a parent with an Autistic child??? A whole new meaning. "Battle" to me, could mean a couple of different things. One being that the child is battling Autism- I don't think Jaysen battles Autism. He lives with it. It's not something he realizes he has, so he's not fighting against it, just being who he is, doing what he does. Or, "battle" could mean the battles we face as parents- I can't stress enough to the people in our lives to carefully "pick your battles". Very important with my kid.

The word "headstrong". Very different when dealing with Autism. When Jaysen is "headstrong", it's usually a result of me "picking my battles". But, it could be something that is a sensory issue- like having to leave somewhere...NOW!

So- that was where I got to where I was in my previous post. That's it. The End. Fini.

Do Do Do, Da Da Da.

I've been thinking recently about Jaysen's Autism. Is it more descriptive to say he is Autistic, or that he has Autism? Is or has?

He is an American.
She has a cold.

He is Deaf.
She has Cerebral Palsy.

But wait!

He has blue eyes.
She is blue-eyed.

Holy crap, it's too confusing to be politically correct.

Since it is a part of who he is- an inseparable part- I am inclined to use the phrase "he is Autistic".

I want people to realize that although Jaysen is compromised in some areas, that he is an amazing kid. My mother has been concerned that he's been talking to his video tapes. The tapes are his friends. Each of them has a different voice. He scripts with them.

I told her not to worry- lots of kids have imaginary friends, and with his brother being only 7 months old, he really doesn't have a playmate at home. Lots of kids have imaginary friends for different reasons. The difference is, that Jaysen realizes his tapes are inanimate objects. I asked him if Van Gogh would like some juice too, and he replied "nooo...Van Gogh's a video tape!" Good enough for me.

His Speech therapist explained it to my mom that any way he's getting language, is good. If it's talking to himself, talking to objects, talking to long as he's talking and getting that language exposure.

I think she's concerned that he's not going to be a functional adult. She worries that he'll be teased, and rejected by his peers. I'm trying to explain that these are concerns of mine too, and why it is so important that we build a stable foundation for him. He probably will be teased- he's on the Spectrum. Dealing with teasing and bullying sucks. Some kids go home and cry about it, extreme cases have committed suicide, yet other kids just let it roll off their backs. That's my goal. To teach Jaysen how to let it roll.

People also tend to forget what "on the Spectrum" means. I also think my mother worries that he's schizophrenic at times. She forgets that he has quirks, and that's normal for him. No mom, he's not going to be typical. He's not typical. But was I your typical kid?

Companion wanted to get baby gates from Toys R Us for Rylan today. He called to ask me what he should tell Jaysen when he wanted to get something. My suggestion was to say "that's a good idea. Let's go home and make a sticker-chart for that". He asked what he should do if Jaysen persisted. I have to admit I didn't know. I suggested that they'll just have to leave then. I could tell that Companion wasn't happy with that- wasted time and all, but that's how it is. If you have to go, you just have to go. On the Spectrum. Things aren't going to necessarily apply. Take everyday parenting advice and stick it up your pooper, 'cuz it most likely won't do you any good.

I don't know how I got so off track, but that's all I have for now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Just Wanna Catch One Z.

I'm dying to know if anyone else has this problem-

We are the house of horrible sleepers. Rylan still wakes up during the night (thank god it's only once or twice now). Companion has these bizarre sleeping habits- he'll prop his head up on his hand, and sleep with his head elevated in a "I'm bored at work" sort of pose. I snore like a drunken truck driver. Then there's Jaysen.

Jaysen insists I still sleep in his bed with him. He's 5, so he should at least be able to start the night off in bed by himself, but no. He won't go to bed until I'm ready to go to bed, and if I'm out for the night, he'll wait up for me, usually falling asleep in the recliner.

Our nightly routine is bath, brush teeth, books, bed. It's awfully crammed with both of us trying to get comfy in his twin bed. I've told him that there's not enough room for both of us to sleep in his bed- he scrunches up next to the wall to give me more room. And he'll sleep like that! All squinched up against the wall, just to ensure that I'm not going to leave.

There were nights that I'd actually fall asleep in his room, but my goal has been to sneak out once he's asleep. Problem is- he wakes up during the night and notices I'm not there. Then he shuffles into my room and gets into our bed. Nights that I've stayed in his room, I've noticed that he wakes up in the middle of the night, sits up and checks if I'm still there.

Here's a conversation we had one night:

"Jaysen, you could try to sleep in your bed by yourself"

"No, I want you to lay wit me."

"None of your school friends' moms sleep with their moms"

"But I do."


"Okay, but one day maybe you'll try to sleep in your room without me. Maybe when you're six?"


"When you're twelve?"


"Well, one day you're not going to want to sleep with me."

"Yes I do."

"What about when you're a grown-up? You're still going to want me to sleep in your bed with you?"


Great. My foresight: Jaysen is sixteen. His girlfriend, Suzy, will be spending the night ('cuz he snuck her in), and he'll have to ask her to move over because he wants his mom to scratch his back and "lay wit him". Ugh.

I know it's common for ASD kids to have problems sleeping, but this is really cramping my beauty-sleep. I wake up every morning aching like I've slept in a shoebox. His doctor mentioned Melatonin. I really don't want to push any more crap into his system, not to mention that I don't know how I'd get him to take it with his oral sensory issues. Plus, he doesn't have trouble falling asleep, just staying asleep. Any other suggestions are truly appreciated!