Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ehlo?

Anyone there?

I realize Blogging has gotten away from me for a bit. It seems I have temporarily lost The Funny.

For a quick update, Moppi (my mother and the watcher-of-my-kids), pulled something in her back and got bronchitis to boot. She's been laid up for awhile, and things have been crazy with trying to configure schedules and people to accommodate. Get better soon Moppi! We love you, miss you, and need you! :)

Then there's the Basement of Doom.
Yes, my basement in flooding again. It seems that there is not a person on earth who is able to figure out what is making my basement PMS all the time, but I'm really getting fed up with it. A wet basement is not something I want to just deal with.

Work. I lost a week of work last week, so now I'm trying to catch up. It's the end of the month, which means in the wonderfully glamorous world of medical billing, it's crunch time. Not a great time to try and play catch up.

Jaysen has had 2 nosebleeds in the past month. I'm thinking it's due to the house being so dry. I'm going to try a humidifier again and see if that helps. Speaking of Jaysen, he actually wants to go back to school! I thought I was going to fall over when he said he wanted school to start again, and that he missed his teachers.

So, hang in there, folks. The Funny shall return soon, and my blog will once again be populated with my 8 faithful readers (that I love so much)!

Happy New year everyone!
I wish you all a year of awesomeness.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ten more reasons my ex-husband is a jerk-wad.

10. Despite my plan not to, I called Ex last week to see if he had plans to come out and see Jaysen for Christmas. He finally called after the third time.

9. He explained that he probably wouldn't be bringing the twins (his sons from a previous marriage) because they were mad at their mom. Erp?

8. Because he was going to see them on Christmas Day, he wanted to see Jaysen the day after Christmas. We confirmed the 26th. That was on Sunday.

7. Monday, I got a call from Ex, asking when could he come see Jaysen for Christmas. Um... have I mentioned he is a relapsed junkie?

6. The 26th wasn't going to work for him because his girlfriend has to work. Could they come Christmas Eve? Christmas Eve is traditionally for me and the boys, but if that's what I'm left with, sure, join us for dinner.

5. Ex and girlfriend come over and tell me they won't be staying, and they're taking Jaysen out to dinner. WTF?

4. When they get back from Burger King (because they have Nintendo Wii toys there now, and we all know that means...MARIO), they give Jaysen his presents. Rylan has to watch Jaysen open these presents, wondering where his is. I know it's not his responsibility, but seriously, would it have killed them to bring Rylan a matchbox car?

3. Ex reminds me they can only stay for two hours because they have to go to girlfriend's grandma's house.

2. They may have stayed an hour.

1. This is only the 3rd time he has been to see Jaysen this year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Buzzards and the Bees

Last night:

Jaysen asked me a question that I wasn't quite prepared for...
"Mommy, how did you make me?"

So I answered him like any other modern, politically correct, informative mother would.
"Out of Jaysen-clay."


Yes I did, so shut up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was Rylan's 2nd birthday!


I don't think he fully understood that the party was all for him, but everyone seemed to have had a good time. Even Jaysen, who stayed in the room while everyone sand Happy Birthday! That was a treat. Of course, Jaysen also took command of unwrapping the presents for his little bro, but Rylan had opened a package of Matchbox cars for his first present and was pretty much oblivious to the heaping stack of other goodies awaiting.






I can't believe my baby is two.
It seems just yesterday, that he came home from the hospital. I still remember his fat little self so vividly.



Then he had the craziest red hair that stuck out all over the place.



It's still red now, but it doesn't stick out anymore.
And now, my baby is a big fat two-year old. The nerve of him. :)
There are times when I miss that little bundle of pudge, but it's so awesome to see the little person he is becoming.






Happy Birthday Rylan.

We love you so very much!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big Pimpin'

Last week-

Monday: Jaysen informs me Bela is coming over to play on Saturday.
Tuesday: Jaysen types letter to Bela inviting her over, complete with a list of "super fun" things they're going to do.
Wednesday: Jaysen bounds off the bus after school, delicately holding a piece of paper on which Bela had written her address.
Thursday: I have to call Bela's mom to see if there really is something arranged- she told me Bela already had plans, but talks of Jaysen often and would like to arrange a playdate soon.
Friday: Jaysen has playdate with my friend's daughter.

This week-

Monday: Jaysen informs me that Alyssa is coming over to play.
Tuesday: Jaysen's plans are put on hold because he has 3 Alyssas in his class, and he can't remember which one he wants to come over.
Wednesday: Jaysen comes home with 2 phone numbers. Alyssa and Paige.
Thursday: Jaysen wants a playdate this weekend with Bela, Alyssa, and Paige.


*sigh*
I am SO in trouble with this one.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Autism Center

This evening, Audrey from a local Autism Center is coming out to talk to me about services they may have available to Jaysen. I was hesitant at first, because so many of the "programs" out there are either just so off the wall that I can't justify subjecting my child to them, or they're so expensive that they're just plain unattainable. I'll have to see what she suggests.

This place seems cool though. She met with my family and we discussed our concerns with Jaysen. My concerns, of course, were different than the concerns of my parents, but every concern was legitimate, and every concern was addressed.

The main one was behavior. I am able to explain (not condone) most of Jaysen's behavior, especially the perceived negative ones. This woman understood. She not only understood, but she was able to confirm my justifications, and supplement them to my parents. Very important because it's always a good thing to have a "professional" backing you up in my family. She also observed him for a half day at school, and a half day at home. Although he was a perfect angel, she said she had some good observations.

For the past couple of weeks, I was supposed to have been collecting data on Jaysen and his negative behaviors. Yeah- supposed to have been. I haven't exactly done that due to the time constraints of daily life. There was his project, Thanksgiving, this, and of course that, and where did I put that tracking chart... you get the idea. I'm hoping we'll be able to make do without it.

The plus side is Audrey really seems to like us. Which is cool because I really liked her too. Like, I want to hang out with her and have coffee. The "interview" and observation was supposed to cost $250. I was able to receive a $200 scholarship, which left a $50 balance. I was cool with that. Audrey talked to her supervisor about me and somehow had the $50 balance waived! Love. this. woman.

She gushed about how awesome Jaysen was when she observed him, told me some of the things he did that impressed her, and most importantly, she "gets" my kid, and I got nothin' but love for people who can do that so effortlessly.

So, I'm curious as to what will go on tonight- if it will be a cornucopia of options, or if she will turn into Audrey-the-dream-crusher and demand a million dollars for an experimental treatment that just may make my son grow another head. Hey- maybe that one would eat?

I also have a surprise party for my friend 'Toya tonight. If it goes horribly wrong with Audrey, I can always sail with The Captain.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tidbits.

Okay, let me start of by saying that I am a dork. How do I know this?
Because I forgot my shoes at home, so now I have to rock the moon-boots all day at work.
Yes, for real moon-boots.
Am awesome. I know.

Now on to the really newsworthy stuff...
It's a secret though. If Jaysen knew I was uber-proud of him, it may make him anxious and screw everything up. So find a container for your excitement and stuff all that happiness right down in there.

#1 - Jaysen has been eating Golden Grahams cereal. With milk. Together. And he likes it!

#2 - He has not taken a video tape to school with him in about a month. OMG- I KNOW!!!! Shhhh!!!! Yes- this is very exciting. I don't know what it means, but I'm trying to pretend everything is mellow like jell-o.

#3 - He is trying to arrange his own playdate. He wrote a letter to a classmate (Bella), asking her to come over on Saturday. Then he listed all the fun things they would do, such as play Mario, paint, and have a snowball fight. I will secretly call Bella's mom and see if this can actually be arranged. We'll have to work on him asking me before he just invites people over, but such trivial details...

#4 - See #1 and #2 again.

Yay!
Okay- back to work.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Clairvoyance

I was driving home a few days ago, and all of a sudden- everything made sense. Like everything. All of the uncertainties I've been having about various things- I now understand them. Such a weird feeling. Liberating.

I know why my homelife is the way it is, and it has way more to do with my bitchiness from quitting smoking.

I know the real reason Scottie contacted me after all these years. If you would have been straight up with me from the jump, we could have left out a lot of the unnecessary stuff.

I know what is holding me back from furthering myself in pursuing another career option, and why exactly it is holding me back.

I know what the things are that I need in life, what the things are that I want, and what the difference is between them.

I know what my deepest fears are, and they are not entirely what I thought they were.

And most importantly, I know who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving ala my haus

Thanksgiving according to Jaysen


Hmm... but he does like pizza...

Shhh... my secret weapon




Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Making his presents known.

With the Holidays soon approaching, our house has been filled with talk of presents.
What does Jaysen want this year?...

...a baby sister.

He even has a name picked out for her. Kayla.
Derp.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sorry...

Jaysen, I'm sorry I mess with you so much.
I'm sorry that although people often refer to me as a "saint" (which ironically irritates the hell out of me), I have done "less than saintly" things.
But there are many times that you back me against a wall, and I don't always know how to react in the best way. Like last night.

It was one of those days, and I'd just had enough.
Parenting is challenging on its own, and you not only require parenting, but creative parenting. Creative parenting sometimes means exploring outside of the norm.
Even our norm.
I have to keep you on your toes too, y'know.

So last night, when you were mad at me and screamed "you don't live here anymore!"
And I just looked at you and said "oh... then I'd better go find my house"?
And walked out the door at 8pm?

Yeah, I was really just around the back of the house.
After a minute, I heard you come to the garage door and call for me.
I didn't respond because I needed a minute to myself.
I heard you call for me throughout the house.
I didn't respond because I wanted to see what you would do.
I suppose I was hoping for a real-life lesson about how words affect people.
But when I did come in, shortly after that-
And we crashed into each other coming around the corner?
And you had on your winter coat all zipped up and your boots on?
I knew right then that you did care.
You were coming to look for me.
In the dark and in the snow.
I knew that when you hugged me and said you were sorry over and over again,
And told me that you loved me,
That you meant it.
And that made me feel so proud of you.
And it made me feel so loved.

Do I think you will continue to say things that you don't really mean? Yes.
Would I do that again? Maybe, but probably not. You're smart, and will eventually learn to lock the door.
Do I think you learned any kind of lesson? Not really.
Did I? Absolutely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fretting

About a month ago, my best friend's husband was in a motorcycle accident. He apparently really screwed up his knee. He had his doctor's appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today for his checkup. The doctor, quite concerned over the amount of fluid that was still on his knee, and the amount of pain he was experiencing, immediately sent him for an ultra sound.

They found a large blood clot in an artery in his leg, and another that had travelled up to his groin. They admitted him on the spot. A CT scan revealed he also has multiple clots in his lung.

At this point they are calling him stable, but in serious condition.

I am thankful that they were able to find the clots and ultimately begin treating them, but I can't help kind of freaking out.
This is one of my best friends. I've known her since high school when the dinosaurs roamed.
These people are my family.
I don't like to see my family sick or hurting.
And it kills me that I can't make it better.

Speedy recovery Ted- my love to you both.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rockin' weekend



The Sisters of Mercy concert was a blast! I am so glad I was able to go.
Yes, I know there were no cameras or other recording devices, but this was The Sisters of Mercy! I couldn't help it!

The smoke machine was so heavy, that most of my pics turned out to be colored smoke clouds, or just blank. I did manage to capture a few where you can actually make out a person or two.


Oooh, purple!









*sigh* Andrew Eldritch.
Even in the dark he's a sexy beast.








It also didn't matter that I went to the concert by myself-
I made some friends!
Like this guy.

Who is he? OMG- I'm so glad you asked.

This is Ben. He's from London.
Oh- and did I mention that he's the lead guitarist for The Sisters of Mercy?
Yeah. I'm that cool.






I thought this was a really neat shot.







This picture is so blurry- but I wanted to represent how close I actually was able to get.






I showed Jaysen the pictures the next morning, and he thought they were awesome. As in inspiring awe kind of awesome. He loved the different colors, ans the lights. I took a really short video clip (after I got busted with the camera), and when I showed it to Jaysen, he kept saying, "yeah. Yeah! YEAH! YES!!! ROCK!!!" and then "Mommy, that was SO cool! I wanna go to a concert too!" pumping his fist in the air.
We discussed it- the lights and volume of the music, the people, the smoke machines- and agreed that I would take him to a concert when he was 10 years old. Unless They Might Be Giants (TMBG) came back before then- then I would take him to that now. He knows who they are, and they have a good stage show.
So, my weekend was awesome.
My kid thinks I'm a rockstar.
What more could I ask for?!?


























Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meanwhile, in the Sheraton...

Sisters of Mercy! Coming in concert this Saturday, November 15th!
I am so geeked.

Not this Sisters of Mercy.




THIS Sisters of Mercy-



As plans are crapping out all over the place, it ends up that I have to go to the concert by myself. It's not what was planned, but- I am a huge Sisters fan, and do not mind going solo in the least.

I mean, c'mon- it's Andrew Eldritch.
Andrrrrew.
Rawr.



Hello, Mr. Sexxypants. Only you can rock that pose.

It's not letting me upload a video, but you would not believe the voice on this guy. Yummy.


Anyway- if you are lacking something to do this Saturday, come out to the show!
It should be easy to find me- I'll be the one clutching Mr. Eldritch's leg.





Monday, November 10, 2008

Karma Chameleon

It seems my pigtail picture has sparked some interest...
I am sorry to report- that is not my current hair color. It was temporary, and the only thing Jaysen found acceptable for me this Hallowe'en.


However, in the past, I have had:

Red hair

I loved this color (yes, that little butterball is Jaysen).
What's that? Not edgy enough for you?
You suckers are a tough crowd.


Blue hair

At a music festival called Punkfest, in Marmora Canada.
Dear readers, I would like to finally introduce you to the infamous EX.
Dashing, I know.


How about purple?

When "going out" meant somewhere that didn't have a playplace.
I'm on the right.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip through my hair colors of yore! There were a few others, but these were what I came up with. Jaysen thought the blue was hysterical. I had to forcefully remove the picture from his grip so he would stop laughing.

And your Rebel Yell moments were?...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hallowe'en 2008

It's the po'lice.




Isn't it cute how my little doll just looks so real?!?



Did you ever get the feeling that the killer is *gasp* right behind you?



Officer Jaysen... candy inspection.

I'm Chucky, biatches!







Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Culture shock.

What seems like a fun and easy school project has turned into a stress filled nightmare. For me. Jaysen doesn't even know he has a project yet, because I need to present him with "a plan".

I am sending out an APB to everyone for any help on this one- because I know you all are the most brilliant and creative people out there (I mean, why else would you read my blog?), in the whole entire world- maybe even universe.

Topic: Culture.

The project: Give a short presentation on your culture. Put up to 6 items pertaining to your culture in a shoebox to discuss. Decorate the box like the flag of your represented country.

The issue: Jaysen does not give a crap about culture. Unless it's in the form of a huge Q-tip gagging him, which in that case, he's crying his eyeballs out. I have an affinity for different cultures, so it has been my practice to leech off of other cultures.

If we go strictly by Jaysen's immediate family, he would be a Pagist. Add my parents and he's a Boojoogan. Add his father and he's a Pagajewathiebud. It's just too confusing. Altogether, we have an eclectic religious/spiritual mix of Pagan, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Athiest. Ancestry-wise, we have a mix of Israel, Poland, Russia, Germany, and Austria- to name a few.

Can he do a multi-cultural project? Technically, that's not the assignment, so would he fail? What would you put as the flag?

This sounds ridiculous, but I don't want my kid to present something that's going to cause him more grief with acceptance- especially since he's not quite giving-a-crap about it in the first place. I admit that I haven't taught him a lot about his culture (mostly because I haven't exactly just embraced one?), but what I have tried to teach him is acceptance and an appreciation for all cultures, and to find beauty and wonder in what makes them unique.

Maybe I'm having difficulty because my culture is not typical of my spiritual beliefs, and my spiritual beliefs are not typical of my culture?

Yes- culture is different from religion. I am not looking to define our spirituality- I am trying to figure out how to introduce the idea of culture to Jaysen, when I don't particularly have just one that I identify with.

Not to mention that my creativity is just tapped lately. There is nuthin' left.

So my question to you brilliantly dazzling, gorgeous and wise people...
What are some stunningly creative ideas you may have about a cultural presentation that I may blatantly steal for my son's project? We even promise to give you some sort of "credit" in the form of a shout out worked into the presentation box if we use your idea. Tempting... I know.


No pressure, but please hurry-
it's due like next week.



.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ramblings...

In no particular order...


~Yes, I voted today, thankyouverymuch.~



~Best "that time of the month" food is Funyuns.
Runner up would be Fritos.~


~People really need to stop dying around me. Not literally around me, but people that I know. I had 2 funerals the other week, and just received notice of another one today. This one was a real surprise though. Love to you, Alice.~



~It's been one of those months where I am almost regretting my "promotion".~


"Mom, I want mac and cheese for dinner."
"Sure."
(calling after a few minutes pass)
"Mooooom... I don't see my mac and cheeeeese cooking..."
Hmmm...misogynist in training?~


~Hallowe'en was a blast- I will post pics and the story later.~


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the moment...

Hi there. Remember me?
I'm back- at least for the moment.
Things with Jaysen seem to be status quo- which is erratic at best lately.

We have an appointment with his psychiatrist today though. she'll probably want to tweak his meds, which I have been opposed to in the past, but maybe that's not such a bad thing at the moment. I've been apprehensive about it in the past because with an increase in meds, comes an increase in tics. Although the tics are "harmless" in and of themselves, they bother Jaysen, and attract attention. People either think he's doing them on purpose, or think he's weird. Weirder than usual. Which causes his anxiety to raise, and well... let's just say it's just not on our top ten list of party games.

I still haven't been able to figure out what's going on with him. I know one issue he has is with his Nintendo DS. Blasted thing. The boy loves to play his DS, but because he's a perfectionist (when he hyperfocuses), when something doesn't go according to his plan in a game, he loses it. His frustration hits so fast and so furiously, that he's taken to self harming, and that's difficult for any parent to watch. It's easier for me to explain that he needs that proprioceptive feedback to help him regulate, but honestly, I'm not sure that's it. I had similar experiences as a kid myself. He needs help replacing those negative behaviors with more appropriate ones, and needs a lot of help learning how to regulate, but he's just not receptive to anything we've tried.

He's also been mean. Just plain 'ol mean. You can't talk to him without him screaming in your face, calling names and slamming things around. "Get me this" "You're stoopid!" "I SAID..." "Get away from me now!" are just a few of the gems that are repeated at liberty. He's also taken to breaking things. Mostly his things, but then he gets upset later when they're broken.

In school, they can't get him to focus on anything. As soon as they present anything academic to him, no matter how "fun" it is, he's Houdini-ing out of it. If he's in Gen.Ed and it's time to do a task, he says "I'm outta here" and walks down to the Resource Room. In the Resource Room, they present him with the same task (to show him he can't just get out of it by leaving the room), and he says "I'm going back to class", and walks back to his room. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The most enticing reward is no match for The Will of my child. Riiiiiing! Oh? The school bell? School's over for the day and all he did was walk the halls? Again? Fantabulous.

Specials are no better. He liked P.E. last year (awesome teacher), hates it this year. Won't even go in the gym. Always hated music- understandable, and a lot of his classmates don't like it either. Art? If he goes in the room at all, he'll only stay long enough to do his project, then bolt.

The Team has been wonderful- they're in constant contact with me, and always ask my input. So much so, I am officially out. of. ideas. Totally. The creativity well is dry. Behavior plans haven't worked for him because it's so difficult to find a motivator. And, that baited hook is only good for one catch. What was motivating yesterday is not motivating today. That goes for home as well as school. Having an "on deck" motivator is one answer, however, there are so few things that Jaysen finds enticing enough to actually cooperate, that it's practically impossible to remain one step ahead.

He says things are "hard" or "boring", but he's using those words to simply say "I don't want to". Pairing him with a buddy hasn't helped- he's in a program called LINKS (non-disabled peer volunteers are buddied up with students for support in any area they need). Jaysen's Link program is to help foster relationships (remember, he's the new kid in school too), so every day Jaysen has a different Link that will approach him at recess, and ask him if he will play with them. Sometimes it's yes, sometimes it's no. The Link will always ask though. It's a really cool program.

My point is, this school is doing their job in trying to ensure that Jaysen will have a positive experience at school. I was able to go on a field trip last week (that's awesome itself since this was the first time Jaysen has "allowed" me to be at a school function). Since I was attending the field trip, they assigned his para to another child. The para approached me and said she was kinda bummed they didn't leave her with Jaysen because she really was hoping to take the day and observe how I interacted with him. I thought that was really cool. Here is a lady who gets mollywhopped by my son on a daily basis- and she hasn't given up on him.

The past two days have been on the better side. I'm hoping some of you are right and this is just a rough patch we're going through.

Thank you all for the support-
My readers RAWK.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ka-boom

Sorry I haven't been around much lately- I am still popping in on you all when I am able, I just can't seem to be able to collect my thoughts enough to post, or the time to be able to do it.

I feel like things are exploding again.

I am in overdrive at work.
I am in overdrive at home.

Jaysen is not doing well,
which means neither am I.

I promise I will post details when I am able.


*Update* To clarify, I have not reached 'point break'. Jaysen has been having hella difficulty with it seems like everything lately. He's back to having some significant behavior issues, problems at school, defiance, self abuse, etc. Nobody seems to be able to assist me in finding out what the heck is going on- but everybody seems to have answers. He needs ABA, he needs more meds, he needs a good ass beating, he needs more therapy...it freakin does not end.

There are some legit thoughts in there (particularly exploring the ass beating?), but then people want to know when you followed up on their suggestion. Oh? You haven't yet? But this is imporrrrrrtant! Money is not an issue when it comes to loving your child. Don't you want to help him? When you care enough about your child, you'll do it. You could take FMLA leave. Erp?

So, I'm trying to concentrate on Jaysen's behavior lately, and trying to add, tweak, and enforce some "new rules" and such. It's not going over very well, but they're still new.

Advice appreciated from moms of volatile kids!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Evidence.

So, you're telling me that you did not lick the cake before we did Happy Birthday?

Because really? I just don't know.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To my son,

Dear Jaysen,

Remember when you said that you would sleep in your own bed, by yourself, when you were seven?
Remember when you said that when you turn seven, you would wipe your own butt?

Happy 7th Birthday Sweetheart!

I am so proud of you, and love you so very much. You have brought so much joy to my life, and I wish you much health and happiness. You truly are my ray of sunshine. I love you with all my heart. Happy, happy birthday- and yes, you still have to go to school.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Say what?

Y'know the phrase "I'm a (insert adjective here) person stuck in a (insert opposite adjective here)'s body"?
Well, I realize how ridiculous this may sound, but I think my son may be an Aspie stuck in an Autie's body. Or however I should say that so I'm PC. Okay- stop laughing, I'm only half joking. My son is Autistic. Has Autism. Whatever. He has a language delay, but there are times when his chatter will make your head spin.

Jaysen has the desire to have the lengthy focused discussions characteristic to Aspergers, minus the ability to be so loquacious in doing so.
And when he gets geared up, he often sounds like this:

So...mommy. I was thinking.
What were you thinking, sweetie?
I was thinking... I gonna moooove to America.
You're in America.
No, I gonna move to America far away inna trees and sand.
(America is apparently an island?)
Do you mean Australia?
Australia. I go there and soupcase and veeo and DVD and plaaaaaay...(he usually trails off here)
..and then I be there, and sand and trees and veeo, and...

Get the idea?
It gets even more interesting when he talks to himself (sans moderation):

Hey Jaysen-
Yes, Jaysen?
What are you do there?
Oh nuffing. I just here to go to see.
Okay! Let's go!
Okay! What you do now?
Oh... couch, and horses, and juice, and pillows.
Hey- do you like Baby Einstein?
Yes- I like Baby Van Gogh. C'mon, let's see.
Look! Over there!
Beethoven?!? Beethoven! What are you doing with the kraz...nickerflay?
I don know there!
Well...beideroud niff carts.
In pants?!?
Yes! In pants!
Oh no!

And the beat goes on.
Once he gets ahead of his internal "script", any word is fair game- even made up ones.
He'll talk to me, he'll talk to himself, he'll talk to his tapes, he'll talk to invisible friends (not imaginary because they're real people, just not present at the time), it just doesn't matter.
He will talk and talk and talk, and the more he talks, the less sense he makes.

And if he's talking to you? You better have some kind of answer for him if he asks you a question- even if the answer is "floor wax".

Friday, October 3, 2008

I feel a healin' coming on.

I have tried so hard to suppress what I am about to post, but it's just not working.

*Disclaimer- I truly mean no offense to anyone here. If you are easily offended by religious parody, please stop reading not and come back another day.*

Barbara at TherExtras is hosting a blog carnival on October 6th- the topic is Healing. I cannot resist. I have a game that I play with my kids.

We call it Faith Healer.

How do you play?
I'm so glad you asked, fellow heathen. Checkitout.

First- position child of choice standing on bed. If child is tall enough, they may stand in front of bed or couch.

Raise your hand high in the air and announce child's affliction. Use your best Television Evangelist voice.
Example: If yooou have a dirty face... and are suffering from did-not-use-my-napkin-at-dinner-tonight... and are covered in ketchupy crumbity eeeee-vile... come forth to me now.

Deliver your message.
Example: My son. I can seeeee that you are afflicted. I can seeee that you have... the dirty face. Can I get a witness?

Arch back and raise hand into air, hooting and hollering a bit.

You: Okay child, now repeat after me (bonus if child has echolalic tendencies)
Don't forget to raise your arm, shimmy hand around and undulate (yes, undulate) into the air with each exclamation.

You: Hallelujah!
Child: Halla-loola!

You: I said Hallelujah!
Child: Halla-yoola!

You: Glory Be!
Child: Glory Be!

You: Mekka-lekka-hi-mekka-heiney-ho!
Child: Mekka-lucky-mucky-mo!

You: Hal-le-luuuu-jah!
Child: Ha-lay-looooooooola!

You: Can I get a what-what?!
Child: Can I what!

You: I feel it child! I feel...(quietly) a healin'.

Blasphemous child is laughing hysterically by now.
Continue shaking your hand, bringing it closer to your victim, er child.

You: By the Holy waters of the Holiest Bathtub... and all that is soapy and good... walk with me in the beauty of all that is clean. I condemn that dirty face-ed-ness of eeeee-vile, and you...will be...(dramatic pause)...HEALED!

Smack said child in forehead and send them backward onto the bed.
Be prepared to do this repeatedly.

I started this as a joke when Jaysen was 2 years old (and often afflicted with "stinky-diaper-pants). He still loves to play it to this day. Nowadays, i just have to raise my hand and give him that "I feel a healin' " look, and he runs and jumps on my bed laughing. I also ask him what his affliction is since he's a big boy now and can think of what he needs cleansing of. usually it's "I stink" or "My unnerwear is tight" or something like that.

I do have to caution you though, when the kids try to heal you. Especially the younger ones- they'll often try to heal you with things like firetrucks and sippy cups.

I have tried this game with adults too, but they just don't get into it like the kids. Go figure.

And just to clear up any misconceptions-
this isn't the only thing I'm probably going to hell for.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Two days.

That's about how long Jaysen was able to pull off this ohmigod-my-leg-is-broken-and-I'm-gonna-gimp-around-if-you-make-me-go-to-school charade. I have to admit- the boy is good. He's tried to pull off less than crafty attempts before, but this time, he stepped it up to a whole different level.

For over two days, he gimped around, at home and at school- sometimes with his leg bent, sometimes with it stiff as a board. He never broke character, even when he thought he was alone. He didn't break character when enticed with super-fun things like riding on the zip line. He sat out for recess. He has refused baths due to the pain level. He screamed and cried real tears anytime anyone touched it.

I think it actually got to the point where he believed he really couldn't move his leg, and that it was hurt. I told him that if his leg still hurt that much, he would have to take some medicine. He clamped a hand over his mouth and started bawling how his leg was better. It was fine, he could move it, and look! He did these jumping around moves and things to show me he was once again mobile- with his leg still stiff. But he really looked like he was trying!

Fast forward to last night.

"Baaaaath time!"
Kids magically show up in doorway of bathroom- I swear, I don't know how they do this.

"Okay, you guys are going to have to take a bath together tonight."
I undress both kids and Jaysen gets into the tub.

Wait for it, Mom...

I scoop up Rylan the Red One, who likes nothing better than to run around nekkid, and plop his chubbiness into the tub.

"Jaysen, Rylan's scared of the faucet. Could you switch places with him?"
Jaysen obliges.

Waaaait for it...

The kids play around for a bit- hair washing and body scrubbing ensue, and I enlist Jaysen to assist me in the washing of the fidgety Red One. Again he obliges.

Waaaaait for it...not just yet...

I get Rylan out of the tub and start to drain the water. When the water's almost gone, Jaysen pulls up the stopper again and launches himself from one end of the tub to the other (he loves to do this despite the several times he's hit a body part on the soap holder).

Now!!! Do it now! Go in for the kill!

"Oh wow, Jaysen! I am SO glad your leg is better!" (this has to be done as nonchalantly as possible, as over-enthusiasm is unacceptable)

"Yeah! (sort of shocked himself) My leg is all better!" Jaysen steps out of tub.

Okay- now reinforce it!

"Would you like a treat for your leg being all better?"

"Yes! Can I have a gumball?"

Abso-freakin-lutely.

Monday, September 29, 2008

M&M's not only melt in your mouth...

"No, Mommy. Don' give M&M's me inna morning, because then inna school ana toilet paper. Ana M&M's I poop! Nooooo good."


Translation: Mommy, please don't give me M&M's in the morning. They make me poop at school.



Oh.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Faces of Autism

Once upon a time, the lovely Casdok had an idea. "What would be a creative way to showcase our children- our beautiful children- our beautiful children with Autism? I think I'll start a blog that does just that". And so Faces of Autism was born.

Okay, well maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but really, this is a super-cool blog.


You should check it out. Like now. Go on, click the linky thing.

Was I right? Of course I was. It's awesome.

Since it is a super-cool blog, Mr. Super-cool Jaysen had to get his cuteness in there somewhere, so here is his post.

If you would like to contribute, email a picture and link (if you have one) to Casdok at motherofshrek@hotmail.co.uk. You do not need a blog to participate.



.

Charmed, I'm sure.



Thank you, Kia at Good Enough Mama, for this award!
Now- is it cooler that I got an award, or that nobody seems to know what it says, or even can agree on which language it's in??? You decide. It rocks either way. AND- it says I'm charming. Read on...

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.”

See? It's right there. Exceedingly charming.
And who can deny an award whose rules include the words "self-aggrandizement" and "propagated"?!?
Not I.

So- eight blogs that I find exceedingly charming are:

What??? There's nine??? Get over it- there's a lot of charm out there.
Thank you again, Kia!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Once upon a breakfast.

Mornings are hectic. This morning was no different.

Usually, I run around the house while preparing for takeoff- finish getting ready for work, keeping an eye on Jaysen's juice so Rylan doesn't drink it, collecting books for backpack, ice pack in lunchbox, hunting down videos, crapzilla there's the bus!!! Y'know- everyday "morning" kinda stuff.

I usually have 15 minutes to gauge if Jaysen is going to eat some form of breakfast.
Chances are- he's not.

My tactic is that while I'm running, I will make a detour over to Jaysen every few minutes to stick a forkfull of waffle in his mouth. Careful not to displace any syrup because ohmigod that's a total sensory disaster waiting to happen. All he has to do is chew and swallow.
Don't judge. no breakfast = crabby kid. You come live with him.

This morning, however, I realize I am actually sitting on the couch feeding him. Forkful after forkful, waffle, waffle, sausage, waffle, waffle, sausage...WTF?

I stop, and give Jaysen this cockeyed 'how did I get here' look-
"Jaysen... why am I feeding you????"

He looked dead at me and said-
" 'Cuz I'm...Super Cool Jaysen."

Oh, for real? Because you mom's laughing so hard there's snot coming out of her nose.
Now that's super cool.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spammity Spam

That's my new theme song. I want it to play whenever I walk.
My life has been reduced to a gelatinous glop of Spam.

Surely you remember last Sunday's craptastic episode of floody goodness?
Ahh... the memories.
Well don't you sweat it, my pretties, because there is a second, surprise installment of the Life of Me!

Checkitout-
Now, there is some mildewy ickiness happening in the basement from the flood. After mopping with bleach, I don't know what else to do. There are some drywall/paneling casualties as well. Okay, whatev.

A pipe from the main bathroom is leaking into the basement again (it was replaced earlier this year)- all over my workbench, which is where I scrapbook, so I lost my remaining scrapbooks and pictures that didn't get ruined when it flooded. I don't know where it's leaking from since none of the tiles in the ceiling are even damp.

Electrical fires are a joy. Had a couple of them too, so half of my house has no power. Also no attic fan. The stove still works, so at least I was able to cook dinner. In the dark.

Does the shit ever stop? Like ever???


I'm patiently awaiting the locusts.



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Sunday, September 21, 2008

I found a million dollars!

Okay, so I didn't.
But what I did find is the ultimate epitome of awesomeness.

What I found- is better than money. Better than gold. Better than jewels. Better than sex.
It's even better than Ezra.

I found...(potential) babysitters.

I know! I am so excited!
I say (potential) because I haven't done any formal interviewing yet, but still- this is huge!
I have never had one-a dem before, and Jaysen will be seven next month (my mother is a saint in that department).

And actually, it was Jaysen who found them! There were two neighborhood kids just passing by, and Jaysen McSocialpants decided to strike up a conversation to the best of his ability. They thought he was adorable (well duh), and we bonded from there.

They're sisters, and they have a cousin, or a cousin's friend, or a friend's cousin... who has Autism, so they're not spooked by that, and they just seem so sweet. They gave me their numbers and said to call whenever I wanted to get to know them better. How cool is that- not "call me for a job", but "call me to get to know me better". Color me impressed already.

Real, live (potential) babysitters!
I am so geeked.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You break it, you buy it.

Getting Jaysen ready for school is torture. For me.

I have to get him dressed while he's still asleep -this is HELL since he now sleeps on his top bunk- because the first 2 attempts at waking him didn't work. We are making progress from the days I would put him to bed in the clothes he was to wear the next day. Did I just admit that?!? Never mind. Eventually he'll wander out to the table for breakfast.

Everyday it's the same-
Jaysen: "Do I have school today?"
Me: "Yes."
Jaysen: "NOOOO! I not going to school! I hate school!"
Me: "Um, well today is (insert day here), check the calendar yourself."

Our calendar is color coded with different dots. Green dots mean days you GO to school, Red dots for no school, yellow dots for something that could be potentially hazardous or joyous depending on the day, like half-days.

On days that Jaysen thinks he actually has a chance the discussion will go something like this:

Me: "C'mon Jaysen, time to start getting ready."
Jaysen: "What am I get ready for?"
Ah-ha. Your mom may be losing her marbles at times, but I'm still too sharp to fall for this little trap my dear.
I pretend to ignore.
Jaysen: "I said what am I get ready?"
Me: "Oh. To eat breakfast."
He's not falling for my tricks either.
Jaysen: "Then what?"
Me: "Then brush teeth."
Jaysen: "Then what?"
Me: "Then...we'll see." Nice ambiguous answer.
Jaysen: "Where am I go today?"
Drat. Backed into a corner again. Turn it around quickly!
Me: "You tell me where you're going today?"
Jaysen: "You say it."
Me: "No, you say it."
Jaysen: "You say it!"
Me: "No, because you're going to yell at me. Why don't you check the calendar?"
Walks over to calendar...
Jaysen: "Aaaarrrrrgggghhh! School!!!!! I not go to school! I hate school!"

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Luckily he has given up on trying to pull off ye ol' switcheroo, where he would pull off the green stickers and replace them with red ones. He's also been known to color in the dots black, in an attempt to confuse me. Smart ass.

Today, he got up early. I was excited for this because on the rare occasions this does happen, he is usually cooperative when it comes to getting dressed etc... which he was today. He got dressed, ate his breakfast, and asked to go outside to ride his bike. Umm... go for it. And if the bus happens to come while you're out there? Hop on it.

After my mom came to take over Rylan-duty, I went outside with Jaysen to watch him ride and wait for the bus. When the bus came, he walked out to it, went through our parting ritual, and then he stopped and kinda stooped over a bit.

Erp?

"Ooooh (moaning)... I forgot I broke my leg. I have to stay home..."

Um... you forgot you broke your leg?
Nice try, Superfly.


.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dress to impress.

My boss and I have this strange relationship.
He is a very powerful, prominent guy in our company- he's the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer- and don't you dare abbreviate any of that!
He's straight laced and professional.

Then there's me.

Not that I am unprofessional, because when duty calls, trust me- I can deliver. But those who know me in real life, will tell you that I'm pretty down to earth, quirky, low maintenance, sarcastic, and a damn ball full o' joy to be around. Or crazy. But we'll stick with the former.

So Boss and I have these personality differences, and I think he actually enjoys my quirkiness. Matter of fact, he sometimes tries to engage in these quippy little stand-offs with me, and I'm torn because I have to keep reminding myself that he is my boss. That means that I have to let him win by default. Argh.

Case in point: My boss comes into my office with this grin from ear to ear.

This usually means he was thinking of some hysterical comment/comeback/ditty and finally has it worked out in his head.

Me: (eyes wide waiting for delivery, with that 'I'mreallybusybutcanIhelpYOU?' look)
Boss: Were you disoriented this morning when you woke up?
Me: (looking all crookilated at him) Um... why?
Boss: (barely containing himself) Because you're wearing a dress today!
Me: *blink, blink* Hahaaaaa.
(Have to feign like that was the funniest thing I've experienced this side of a desk, when actually I think it's much funnier that he takes the newspaper into the bathroom with him everyday.)

Truth is, although I'm far from a tomboy, I don't usually wear dresses (Gee- wonder why?).
I wanted to slap him, but that wouldn't have been very lady-like. I am in a dress after all.
Unless I curtsied first.
Hmmm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday's crappenings

The grand-parental foursome (y'know, in-laws, out-laws, alla parents) decided to take the boys to an all day affair at the cider mill. Well, with all the rain, those plans crapped out. Shit- I have to explain to Jaysen that he's not going to the cider mill that I pumped up for him, bribing his interest with the promise of donuts. I hate this.

Deed done, my mom phoned saying I could drop the boys off at 11am, at her house. Okay- now I have to sell Jaysen on going to Moppi's house. Yes, you can play the computer, blah blah.

As soon as he was convinced, she called again, saying she would pick them up at noon to go with her running errands and such. OMG- here we go again...

I slightly lost my temper (remember I'm not smoking, so I'm quicker to blow lately). I explained that she needed to stop changing the plans because this was all going to end up in a meltdown eventually. Her effort to give me a break from the kids was stressing me out like a nicotine deprived bitch from hell (oh wait...I am a nicotine deprived bitch from hell...).

*Ding dong*
Who in the world would be at the door this early on a Sun...oh no...
The Jehovas.
I opened the door with a sincere smile, and politely explained to the cute girl that after reading over the literature she had left (lie), I just don't think I'm interested. She seemed bummed, and I thanked her for her time and efforts, and wished them well.

I dropped the boys off at my parents' at 11am, like plan B. What she did with them after that was not my issue.

Ahhh... so what does one do with no little 'uns? Laundry of course!
Carry basket down the stairs, load washer.
Go back up for basket #2.
Bring basket #2 down, switch load #1 into dryer.
Go up to collect basket #3.
Bring basket #3 down, notice familiar spot that leaks water every time it rains, throw towel over it.
Load #1 out of dryer, load #2 in dryer, load #3 in washer.
Return with load #4. Notice water spot is a bit bigger than usual. Lotta rain.
Throw another towel over it.
Bring Loads #1 and #2 upstairs to fold.
Whew.

Kids home, dinner accomplished, I sauntered to the basement to get the remaining laundry baskets to bring upstairs (yes, I procrastinate on my folding).

OH HOLY JEEBUS IN TUBE SOCKS!
WTF is a swimmin' hole doing in my basement!?!?!

The basement was flooded. Flooded. That familiar little pool of water had turned into 5 inches of water covering the whole entire basement floor! Wanna know the best part??? Tiki's litter box is in the laundry room. He frequently kicks his poo out of the litter box. My basement was flooded with cat poo water. Awesome.

My fit of surprise, shock, and profane sentiments, brought Jaysen running. He stood atop the stairs and screamed for Companion. Neither one of us knew what the hell to do, so I did what any self respecting, independent woman would do... phoned my Dad.

Peepa came over, surveyed the damage, and retrieved Geeky Neighbor. Geeky Neighbor does "geeky" proud (yes, he deserves a capital G), but he so sweet. Anyway, GN came with his shirt-tucked-into-pants-up-to-armpits (no lie), rubber waders (no lie) and a pipe wrench. They spent a long time down there, but eventually wrenched out my old water softener pipe, and the water started to drain. The water created that cyclone drain effect you sometimes get in the bathtub- when it stopped, GN was concerned because we "disrupted the vortex". No lie again. But it was cool because "the vortex was back". Whew. I was worried there, that my vortex was pissed off and left for good.

So I most likely need an uber-sump pump because apparently my house sits on enough water for an Artisan well. I may also need my basement jack-hammered up to do something with something else, that I don't quite follow. What I do know is that will be an expensive pain in the ass considering I have that old (super cool turquoise and gray) asbestos tiling. It's going to require a hazmat team in expensive zoot suits and overpriced scuba masks to tackle that one. Fan-freakin-tastic.

This morning, the basement seemed pretty well drained. Except I just got a call from Companion saying that mopping is futile until the water stops.
Fishsticks! It keeps flooding, and flooding, and flooding...


I knew I shouldn't have lied to the cute little Jehova girl.
She apparently has connections.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lookout Bruce Lee!

Jaysen's pretty far behind when it comes to social interests. Sure, he's social in the friendly sort of way, but his interests are still very immature. The words "age appropriate" make me cringe. Needless to say, I am thrilled anytime he exhibits even the most remote spark of interest in anything superhero-ish, sporty-ish, or just rough-housing-ness. Last night, he developed a moment of intense interest for karate.

So.

Here's my son showing off his interpretive dance- I mean karate -moves.
In his Batman skivvies.


It's a 2 minute video, but you have to at least see the end- where he asks me to put his "moves" on a video, so he can show his friends his karate. In his Batman undies. Um, RLY? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Actually, it's more clothes than he usually wears at home, so he probably felt mighty dressed.

Rock on my little ninja! Keep working on those moves and momma will get you some cool nunchucks. Or maybe a tutu.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy anniversary.

Julie Aigner-Clark, whatever I did to piss you off, I'm truly sorry. Please stop making my life miserable.

Last night, I found out that in celebration of the Baby Einstein collections' 10th anniversary, Disney is releasing 10th anniversary editions of Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven.
Release date is tomorrow.

Oh my freakin' holy hell.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bunk bed-lam.

I'd promised Jaysen he could have a bunk bed for his (last) birthday, and since his (next) birthday is soon approaching, I felt I needed to make good on my word. Being that things have been tight for awhile, I decided to forgo the fancy-schmancy bunk beds and get the cheapest one (which is actually a loft, with the plan being to put his old bed under it to make it a "bunk" bed). I know- hindsight is 20/20. Whatev.

I must enjoy suffering. Why else would I think it would be a good idea to get Jaysen a bunk bed that had to be made? This was a little more than just having to put it together, yet just short of having to chop down your own trees. The "bed" arrived in 2 boxes, and when we opened them, what do you think we found? Lumber. Complete with the lumberyard stamps on the wood and all. I can't even call it rustic, because rustic implies there's a sense of style there.

It was supposed to take "approximately one hour" to set up- thirteen hours later...we decided to finish it the next morning before we killed each other. Companion even considered converting to Christianity because "Jesus knew how to build shit out of wood". But now, I am proud to say, the bed is up.

And Jaysen loves it.

He has hardly come out of his room all day. He's got his little set up on the top bed, complete with DVD player, snack tray, and pillows galore. He is in his new fortress, and even set up the bottom bed for Lil' Rylan (who is still in a crib). How sweet.

As the night progressed, he brushed his teeth by himself in the bathroom (usually, I have to brush them in his bed), got his jammas on, and went to bed ten minutes early.

Then it started.
Either he was a little freaked out, or he thought the bed was really super-cool, because every time I'd walk by his bedroom, he'd pop up and say "Hi Mommy!" or "How's it goin' Mommy?" or "Whatcha doin' Mommy?" Oh brother.

Next came the "I need some water".
"Okay..." got water for dehydrated child-
Two minutes later: "Can I have another sip of water?"
Go to bedroom to give top-bunker another sip.
Two minutes later: "Mommy, I need some more water."
Get kid another sip of water, go to kitchen and find flip-top spill proof drinking vessel.
Hoist vessel to top bunk so child can self-hydrate.
Start plans for shelving addition to bed.

Jaysen finally went to sleep- then in the middle of the night, "Mommy...can you lay wif me?!?"
I climb out of bed and shuffle into Jaysen's room. I gently tell him to go back to sleep, and I'll lay on the bottom bed (like our plan).

"But I want to go down inna bottom bed an sleep wif yoooooou!"
But the plan! What about The Plan?!? The Plan was your big idea to sleep by yourself all night in your own bed, and now you're not sticking to your own plan!!!

I? Am a sucker.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reality bites.

This is my "hell week", so naturally, I'm exhausted.

Jaysen said school was "Great!" today, but when I read his daily documentation sheet, it said he hit his para. Twice. In the face. Of course, there were no details about the incidents.

If anyone has any tips on administering eye drops to a toddler, please let me know. The vice grips and pea shooter are no longer working.

Ugh.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Third time's a charm.

This is my third attempt to publish this post, but Blogger has been uncooperative with me thus far. Darn error messages. Frustrating.

Rylan was up all night battling the snot demons which invaded his little body. He was miserable. We took him to a professional exorcist, in the form of a pediatrician, because face it- I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Turns out the poor lil' guy has an eye infection (and possibly an ear infection as well, but the doc was unable to tell if his ears were red due to infection or him screaming so much). Amoxicillin and eyedrops 3 times a day. That'll be fun.

Oh! School! The day started out rough, Jaysen was mad at me because I was rushing him, thus he couldn't finish watching his TV program. We went outside to wait for the bus. As the bus pulled up, Jaysen started down the driveway and turned to inform me that he was NOT waving goodbye to me. Ouch.

I e-mailed his teachers as soon as I got to work, to give them a heads up about the situation. I immediately got a response from Sp.Ed. He was fine, lined up and went into class with the rest of the class. They were in the resource room taking a sensory break.

About two minutes later, Gen.Ed also responded. Jaysen entered the classroom in a good mood, sat at his desk, and followed directions. It's a good day so far.

Erp? Sat at his desk? Followed directions?
This school isn't a school...it's a magical learning emporium.

The teachers are faerie folk, and the principal rides around on a big white unicorn. The librarians are book sprites, and the cafeteria is covered in glittery pixie dust.
That's the only explanation I can muster.

Later in the afternoon, I received a phone call from Sp.Ed. I'm silent as my heart thumps its way down to the floor. Ohmigod...darkness falls over the magical school...hostile takeover...Lord of the Flies... However, she assures me that everything is fine- there was one incident, but it was their fault, not his. There was an assembly at the end of the day, and the teachers had the kids pack their backpacks and take them to the assembly- Jaysen was under the impression it was time to go home. Yeah- that's typical Jaysen. The important thing here, is that they were able to redirect him, and he calmed quickly. And joined the assembly! And they documented everything in writing. And they called me!
The pixie dust has been restored to the magical faerie school.

Sp.Ed said she would probably call me a lot during the first few weeks, while they get to know Jaysen and how he responds to things. Awesome! I welcome all the calls your little fingers can make! I am thrilled with the communication thus far. Yes, I know it's the first day...

Fast forward to this morning (remember, this post was originally written last night). Jaysen is not happy he has school today. I begin to feel that familiar heaviness in my chest. He tells me that this is a bad school, but is unable to tell me why.

I talk with (to?) him with brutal honesty. I explain that he may just not like school, but this is a very good school for him, and they are very happy to have him there. Everything is new, so it may be scary at first, but this really is a nice place to be. I let him escape from the conversation because if he is to remain positive, you just don't push such things.

Breakfast done. Vitamins done. Juice (meds) done. Brush teeth done.
Holy crap! What the heck is up with that hair, and why didn't I notice it before just now!?!?!
My son has terrible "morning hair" every day, but some days are worse than others, and this was one of those days where keeping him home from school actually crossed my mind. How do you slick a kid's hair down when they have an aversion to the droplets of water that fly off the brush? *ahem* baby wipes. Yes I did, so shut up.

He let me kiss him goodbye when the bus came, and off to school it was. That was the first installment of the new and improved schooling experience. It's going to be tough to get him to want to go to school, and there may be some sort of incentive plan needed here, so I'll be thinking on that one.

So far, I am feeling really good about my decision on this school.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

At the starting gate.

Meet the Teacher day was fantastoriffic!

How's this for a start? We walked in to the office of the new school, and Jaysen locked eyes with one of the secretaries. They just stood there for a few moments, and recognised each other at the same exact moment. He was excited "I know you... from kindergarten!" And he did- she was one of his paras when he was in kindergarten (before the new principal took over, and things fell apart) at the old school! So already, there was a familiar face.

She called his SpEd teacher down to meet us. His SpEd teacher is a lovely woman, with lots of experience and shining recommendations. She lived up to every one of them. (Yes, I know it was just Meet the Teacher Day, but still.)

She took us to the resource room to meet Jaysen's parapro.

I had made Jaysen these booklets, one for each "teacher"- I put a magnifying glass on the front, with the words "Can You Find...?" On the inside, I put a picture of the teacher, some brief facts, and their name.

When we approached the resource room, Jaysen has a blast comparing the people in the room to his "clues". When he found his para, he was excited that she was putting together his folder (The new school had asked the old school to send all of the things that Jaysen used throughout the year). The para didn't miss a beat. She invited Jaysen to help her put his book together, and show her which labels to use for his visual schedule. She asked him questions, and interacted with him like she knew him for years.

The school psychologist came in to greet us- I adore this man. He was the school psych at the old school (again, before it fell apart), and he really knows his stuff, and cares about these kids. The para took Jaysen on a tour of the school (complete with the checklist booklet I had made him- can you find the bathroom? Gym? Cafeteria? Office? Music Room? Etc.), the psych and SpEd pulled out their list of questions for me.

"We read his IEP, and would like your input on a few things..."

Did I just hear that correctly?

You (already) read his IEP...and you want my input on a few things???

I am loving this school.

We discussed the plan of action because Jaysen's IEP is so restrictive. It had to be restrictive to protect him, and make sure that what happened at the other school, didn't happen again. I didn't like the fact that it was so limiting, but it's something that had to be done. I started to open up to the Team, that Jaysen had such a successful summer at camp and ESY, and I really just wanted him to be as much of a "kid" as possible. They agreed.

The original plan they had was to start him off in the resource room and slowly integrate him into the GenEd classroom. Wrong idea, as it totally goes against the essence of the IEP, but it turned out not to be an issue because they said that since he had such a strong desire to be with his peers, they wanted my approval to start him off in the classroom, and pull him, in small increments, as necessary as things arise. I felt an immediate rush of relief. It was exactly what I was thinking, but they came up with it, so all I had to do was agree. Stuff is even sweeter if they think it's their idea. Bonus.

Then we were on to the GenEd classroom. We walked around- very strange seating, as the desks were in two long double rows instead of clusters of four. The psychologist told me they would like my opinion on where Jaysen's seat should be. Umm.... here's where I don't know shit from shinola. My child was rarely allowed in his own classroom last year, and when he was, he was sat off in the back corner of the room, alone. I studied the layout, and told them that anywhere, as long as he had an end-seat, would most likely be fine. They said that was what they were going to suggest to me. Double bonus.

Being realistic, I know that problems are going to arise, especially once academic pressure is put on Jaysen, but the difference is, I have faith that this time, this school will be able to put a plan into action, and not just turn their back on him.

I am starting to breathe. Starting to.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I love your blogs too.

Thank you Maddy!
Maddy from Whitterer on Autism has graciously bestowed unto me this award:





I find this totally ironic, since Maddy's blog is the first blog I visit on a daily basis.


If they made an “I heart Maddy” bumper sticker, I would sport one proudly on my car.







The rules of the award are:


1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.


2. Link the person you received your award from.


3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.


4. Put links of those blogs on yours.


5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

Okay- seven blogs that I lurv.
This is so difficult because there are so many that I love for different reasons. I’m trying to steer clear of naming blogs that I just named for these awards, but if you are mentioned again…deal.




Here we go:


*disclaimer- this is not an all inclusive list, as there are many other blogs that I enjoy immensely*


Ashley’s Mom at Pipecleaner Dreams – Truthfully blogging about some pretty significant topics, like gulp teenagers! Debra is really an inspiration. She loves, loves, loves her kids, and has that fierce Momma Bear that we all can relate to.



K.C.’s Mom at Autism Schmatism – A big hearted blog that will make you laugh and cry. Possibly in the same post. K.C.’s mom is very real and down to earth. As comforting as a big bowl of matzoh ball soup.



Maize at Maizie’s blog (private) – Maizie is an awesome writer, and gives me insight as to what parenting ideas to try with my son, whether she means to or not.



Niksmom at Maternal Instincts – Ohmigosh, this is another blog that will leave you sobbing and laughing at the same time. Niksmom is a wonderful writer, who often is able to write what I cannot. We share many of the same fears for our children.



Mom2spiritedboy at Spirited Blessings- Writing about true life as she lives it. I love reading about her adventures- Stop by, you'll be hooked too.



MOM-NOS at MOM - Not Otherwise Specified – I. Love. This. Blog. MOM-NOS was the very first blog I ever came across. I couldn’t believe that there was another mom with a son almost exactly like Jaysen! I spent hours reading through the archives, in total disbelief that my son had a twin (only a couple years older), and was hooked ever since.



Casdok at Mother of Shrek – Yet another blog that I just adore. Casdok is the Battle-Mom when it comes to her son. She’s gonna do big things for Autism one day. Another blog that is overflowing with information.




There. Seven. On the nose.
As far as leaving comments on your blogs notifying you of this incredibly high honor?
Maybe in the morning?- it's past my bedtime.


Now excuse me while I go eat some ice cream.
I mean go to bed.

Sharing the love.

Thank you MamaMara at Mama on the Edge for this awesome award:




The award is for blogs that you love, that uplift you. You know, the blogs that everyone should read, so you want to share the love? I am passing the buck- I mean award- to...


LAA at Mom Embracing Autism – this is one busy mom. She has 4 kids, and is homeschooling! Need I mention she’s a gutsy mom too?

Lastcrazyhorn at Odd One Out- I love reading this blog, as Valerie really offers some helpful insight as to how it is in the life of a person with Autism. I have learned so much from the different things she has tried, and find that although she doesn’t have kids (yet), she is a very strong resource for parents to have.

Heike at Rollercoaster Parenting – This is a blog that I don’t get to visit as regularly as I’d like to (I keep forgetting to put it in my feeds!), but if you wanna see some adorable kids- you gotta pop over for a visit.

Squid at The Adventures of Leelo and His Potty-Mouthed Mom – A fun potpourri blog of awesome kid stories mixed with a lot of information. I like this blog a lot because it’s very diverse and has an awesome name.

DGibbs at My Favorite Autistic – Some really funny things happen here, yet DGibbs always seems to keep her wits! This is a great blog for the stories alone.

Marla because she’s All That is Dazlious – Enough said. You simply are dazlious. Oh- and she’s Maizie’s Mom too. J

MamaMPJ at A Room of Mama’s Own – MamaMPJ’s blog is primarily focused on addiction, but every once in awhile, she squeaks out a post about Autism. You should stop over and see her- this woman is raw. She holds nothing back, and writes straight from her heart. Very powerful writing.

ASDMommy at What we need – Another blog that will have you laughing. I love the things that come out of her son C’s mouth. Reminds me of another little boy I know...

Jerry at My Autistic Boy and Other Adventures – Ah, Demetrius. I can only imagine how many grey hairs you are giving your father lately. Jerry does an awesome job at telling his family’s stories and parenting tactics, plus- he’s a guy. From now on I am calling him Jerry the Man-Blogger.


So there you have it folks- check 'em out.



*This lovely award is created by Crystal @ Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of Noah and the donor of his sweet little heart who ENCOURAGES us to SHARE THE LOVE ! Thanks Crystal! [Click on Memoirs of a Mommy to learn and read this special love story!] The rules for this award are to pass it along to some people whose blogs you love. They make you laugh, smile, leave encouraging comments on your blog. You would like to share some love with them because they have uplifted, inspired, encouraged or prayed for you. Please include this paragraph with the link to Memoirs of a Mommy so that everyone will know where this award originated from.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Marketing mayhem.

After Jaysen won our race...



"I'm fast, Mommy!"

"Yes you are. How did you get so fast?"

"I have 'Skechers' feet."



So much for subliminals.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Roadtrip?

One night before our Storybook Gardens vacation, Jaysen became obsessed with going to Texas. Yes, right at that moment. He scampered outside to find a stick. Yes, a stick...maybe it's a Texan thing?

Why Texas??? I don't rightly know. I can only hazard a guess that it could be our good friends Dollface and family moved up from there, or maybe he was watching the Spongebob episode where Sandy is homesick and wants to go back to Texas.

While I did the dishes, he played quietly in his room. When I peeked in on him, I noticed he was packing his suitcase (full of DVD's), and meticulously arranging his chosen VHS tapes onto a carefully laid out blanket.

He continued this for quite awhile.
Perseveration is a powerful thing.

He eventually emerged from his room dragging the suitcase, and carrying the blanket (with video tapes inside) over his shoulder. He asked me if I would help him attach the blanket to the stick. It was tough to do with a straight face considering the blanket was bulging with videos, and his stick was little more than a twig.

We went outside to find a better stick.

Once the "bag" was secure on the stick, he hoisted it over his shoulder, grabbed his suitcase, and declared he was off for Texas. He was set.



Exhibit A



Exhibit B


I realized where this was going. I went on about how he doesn't have money for a plane ticket, blah, blah, blah...we ended up in my car again- he insisted that I drive him to Texas.

(Being the quick thinker that I am, I also realized this was a movie-worthy moment)

Behold the reasoning of my son, the roadtripper:



(Of course, being the technological genius that I am, the video was cut short)




Here's the ending:


It sounded like a plan, so I jumped in the seat and pretended to drive, looking at all of the super-cool imaginary mountains and rivers along the way.

Jaysen was looking at me like I was thirteen different kinds of crazy. He was less than amused.
When he realized that we, in fact, were not actually going to Texas, he started to lose it.

Meltdown approaching. I desperately tried to reason with him, but once he's at a certain level, your best option is damage control, not reason.

I told him that although we were not going to Texas, we were going on a "Mystery Trip" that upcoming weekend, and it was going to be very cool. And far away. Just like Texas. Only not Texas.

He accepted that. I would love to know how he decided which tapes would accompany him on the trip, and which ones would have to stay home. Interesting.

My little aspiring world traveler...
He's going to make me grey, this one is.

Sharing...





Because it's moments like these that melt my heart...





.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ferris wheel of doom.

The following one-minute movie is on our ferris wheel ride at Storybook Gardens-
I would never exploit my child- especially when he's screaming like a little girl.

No, really, I wouldn't. Ever.

Hahahahaaaaa....

Oh, Canada...


We're home from Ontario, and first I just have to say that London, Ontario has terrible coffee.
I mean terrible.

Storybook gardens has really changed from since I was a kid (gee, ya think?)- they've expanded it, but not to the point that it's not "doable". We managed to get through the whole park in 3 hours, and that included stopping at almost all of the attractions. The kids had a blast.

We played at the splash park:



Rode on the Ferris Wheel: Notice the huge smile!



We also went to the Children's Museum...

For some Olympic games:



Had some lunch: With excellent customer service!






Played on a fire truck:



Made new friends:




The weekend was a hit.

Rylan gave it a big horray ala Hulk style...



And Jaysen gave it the Mario Seal of Approval:




And me???
I had a great time, too...
except for the coffee...
which stunk.