Saturday, April 28, 2012

Conversation Endured in the Mommy-Mobile

*Warning: The following content is hilarious and may result in giggle drops.

The following dialog exchange occurred as my girls and I were on our way to the vet this morning.  The girls were playing with their "puppies."  The conversation resulted in me having a minor coronary event followed by peels of inappropriate laughter.

Nachos & Kikamoa, the potential offenders

Friday, April 27, 2012

Re-definitions, Part Deux

Happy Weekend, y'all!  You may remember my post Creative Language and Re-definitions from about a month ago, where I gave my family's use of several everyday words.  (If not, you may want to refresh your memory-- some of those words get funnier the more you hear them!)  As I suspected, I managed to omit a few rather funny vocabulary gems.  Fortunately, my sister promptly called me after reading the post and told me the error of my ways.


1.  chicken chicken doo doo (n.)- the sound a train makes.  This is my sister's all-time favorite re-definition.  Just say it out loud-- you'll see.  And you'll never make a train sound any other way, ever again.  Chicken-chicken doooooo dooooooo!  Chicken-chicken dooooo doooooooo!

2.  bleep (n.)- a substitute for swearing; also used in the form bleeping.  ex.  I hate having to pick up my bleeping toys.

Birdie is especially fond of this one, especially once I got it through her head that "dammit" is inappropriate.  Now when she gets frustrated or upset, she sounds like an episode of Maury Povich instead of a sailor... I'm not sure which is worse.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Small Steps

Princess and Birdie's Girl Scout troop had a hike after school today.  The goal was to complete their hiking badge requirements.  We met at a local park with nature trails for our adventure.  The trails were familiar to us, because my husband and I had taken the girls to this park to geocache in the past.  Both Princess and Birdie were looking forward to being "trail experts" on the hike.

Birdie decided to wear the deer hat I made her for today's big hike.  She thought she could deflect ticks (of which there were THOUSANDS) and try to attract wildlife at the same time.  She had high hopes that Bambi would mosey right up to her and start a conversation-- and I am sure she would have been more than happy to interpret "deer" so that the rest of the troop could follow along.  I am sad to report that no such wildlife encounter occurred.  Birdie and several of her troop sisters did, however, point out a dead vole, a scat deposit (lying suspiciously next to the vole, like some sort of nature-mob manifesto), several bugs and a caterpillar, lichen, tree fungi, and every other "cool piece of nature" she could find.  The dead vole and the animal poo, which we suspect may have been from a fox, were all Birdie could talk about on the drive home.  Welcome to my world, y'all.

Doesn't she look thrilled in this picture?  Birdie really is having a blast, she just needs a snack--
and the troop leader caught her just before she grinned.  (See the nifty hat I made?)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Community Fun Run

This morning, my husband and I took the little ladies to participate in the AV Community Fun Run.  Birdie thought this was a marvelous way to celebrate Earth Day, since we'd be walking or running rather than "wastefully burning gasoline".  I think the irony of our driving to the race site slipped right past her.

Waiting with Daddy for the Fun Run to begin
When we arrived at the run, my Princess and Birdie instantly noticed the free snacks and bottles of water everywhere.  "I feel pretty hungry, Mom."  Of course, you do Birdie.  After all, breakfast was a full 40 minutes ago.  I explained that those snacks were for after the run-- if you finish without whining.
With that said, Birdie couldn't wait for the Fun Run to begin.  She had her eyes on the snack table prize from that moment on.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bullies: Inherently Mean or Morally Uneducated?

Stop Bullying Logo I found

bullyingpresent participle of bul·ly
Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

I wish I knew what makes mean kids tick.

What about the make up of a human being makes some kids overpower the weak or fragile?  Why do the tears and fears of a weaker child make some feel kids more powerful or superior?  Is this survival of the fittest gone terribly wrong?  Is it learned behavior or human nature?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Going Out to Eat (Shared from Autism Speaks blog)

Going Out to Eat <--- link!!!

I just had to share this article.  It is relevant to more than just autistic kids and their parents-- everyone could use some of these suggestions with their children in today's electronic age of iPods and texting at the dinner table.

And the segment on ABC's What Would You Do? is amazing!  It just goes to show that awareness of autism is on the rise and that awareness is a great thing!

You may also remember my post on Dining Out... maybe I can stress less and eat out more now that diners are more understanding.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jack the Ripper (Among Other Things) Makes My Neighbors Nervous

Birdie exploring the yard
My family has lived in our current house for nearly five years now, and it has been just recently that the neighborhood kids have really started to "get" my girls.  I know this comes as a shock to you, but Princess and Birdie aren't exactly-- how should I put it?-- "down with" kids their age.  They are reeeee-ally not into most of the outdoor games their peers like to play, either.  (You know, like tag, or riding bikes, or soccer-- just about anything requiring physical contact or eye contact.)  THAT is a problem.  When you are seven and you don't usually like playing seven year-olds' games with seven year-olds, making and keeping friends can be challenging-- to put it mildly.  But my kids and my neighbors' kids keep trying, so there is still hope.

The way my kids play-- or don't play-- with other children makes everyone else in the 'hood nervous.  With Princess and Birdie, you can count on lots of scowling and shouting and very little sharing and sportsmanship...  Unless, of course, by sportsmanship, you mean that they are going to win.  Then there is lots of sportsmanship-- right up until it becomes unsportsmanlike gloating.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

It is the bane of every mother's existence-- the question repeated a million times a day:  Did you hear me?  Sometimes it sounds more like "what did I just say to you?!" or "do I need to repeat myself?!"  No matter how you ask this question, it all boils down to the same idea-- IS ANYONE LISTENING TO ME IN THIS GODFORSAKEN PLACE!!!!!

If you have to ask, the answer is probably NO.

I not list-en-ing to yooooou!

Friday, April 13, 2012

International House of Puh-leeze!!

Following on the heels of yesterday's torture appointment with my dentist, I left work today feeling exhausted.  I didn't feel bad today, but I found it hard to ingest sufficient calories without being slightly grossed out by the idea that food would get into gaping hole where my tooth once resided.  Everything I ate at work (aka grits and saltines) was carb-based and quickly left me wiped out.  Upon returning home from work I did something I never do-- I dozed off on the couch!

I was awakened by my darling Princess "gently" patting my arm and saying "Mom, I'm hungry.  What's going to be for dinner?"  Oh no!  What is going to be dinner tonight?!  

I certainly didn't feel like preparing food.  Nothing is worse than making dinner yourself and not feeling like eating it.  Or hearing your kids complain about your meal choice (which is always the case unless I make mac & cheese or clam chowder.)  I found myself fantasizing about a large plate of Mango & Habanaro hot wings and some of my very favorite Bavarian beer-- and then I remembered the canyon in my jaw.  Ugh!  Where could I find sufficiently mushy protein that would taste okay and not require lots of chewing?  Hmmm...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Better Together...

The day Princess and Birdie came home from the hospital
My daughters are so connected.  Of course they fight and sometimes don't see eye to eye-- they are sisters, after all-- but most of the time they are the best of friends.  It is a very special bond that Princess and Birdie share.  I envy the closeness between them.  They have been together since the beginning of time and they seem to be joined by some invisible bond.  They love, support and care for each other  SO MUCH... it is just hard to explain.  Recently, they have been especially loving.  This has made me nostalgic and sappy, and so I have been reviewing my photo albums.  Here's few of my favorite pictures.  You can almost see the invisible bond in these photos.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Control Issues-- We All Have Them

I am learning from motherhood that most of life is about managing the craziness that is taking place around you.  The rest of life is about ignoring the crap that is bothersome if  it is something you can't change.  I don't think realized this before I had kids.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sometimes It's Lonely Riding the Crazy Train

Following on the heels of a mostly successful Spring "Break", the kids in our school district had one more day off today due to a Teachers' Workday.  It's the end of the grading period and certain things just have to get done at school.  Like report cards.  And lots of other teacher-y things.

I am now employed by said school system until the end of the school year, so I had to be there for the workday, too.  Seeing as how I make roughly $95/day for services rendered to the school system, and a sitter for the 7hr workday was going to cost me $110, my girls had the pleasure of accompanying me to work today.  And I have to say, they behaved beautifully.  Princess even commented at one point that she much preferred school without all the kids being there.  Hahaha!  Of course she does.  (I think that maybe a few of my fellow staff members felt the same way.)   Overall, I think my ladies had fun today.  Who'd of thunk it, right?

Nonetheless, I felt bad that they had to be there at all.  I mean, come on!  It's still Spring BREAK, for crying out loud!  

I know it sounds weird, but my kids having to come to work with me today made me feel all alone.  I guess it reminded me that my family is a little island, inconveniently removed from the rest of our relatives.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wearing Our Easter Best

My husband returned from yet another business trip yesterday evening.  He is gone more than he is home lately.  Princess used to give Hubby a very hard time for a day or two after returning from a trip.  She would be so angry with her dad for leaving that it would take her awhile to forgive him once he got home.  Fortunately, that has not been the case recently.  I suppose she no longer has time to be mad at him if she plans on squeezing in any quality time with him these days.

Because everyone was fairly amicable this morning, we decided to go out for lunch at a favorite local restaurant.  The thought of eating out inspired Princess to get gussied up in her "Easter best".  We got quite a few lingering looks as we were led back to our table, as you can imagine.  This isn't the standard dress code for a food-on-a-plate restaurant.  (You'd be hard pressed to find this outfit at a food-in-a-sack restaurant most of the time.)  But she and I both thought she looked just lovely, and our opinions are the only ones that really matter.  And maybe her dad's.  Maybe.

Princess in her finest Easter duds

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Diabolical Easter Egg Hunt


I was up to no good today.  What kind of mother would take advantage of the festivities of the Easter holiday to manipulate her kids?  The desperate kind, like me.

You may recall from my previous post, The Things We Hold Onto, that my children have a hard time putting things away.  And throwing things away, for that matter.  I decided to trick motivate them into cleaning up their disaster zones bedrooms by making them an offer they could not refuse.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring "Break" Wednesday

Just as I suspected, all of Tuesday's "we-should-be-in-school-today" craziness ended at 2:45 p.m.  Almost to the second.  I did manage to talk Princess into a "recess" at 2pm, but we had to come in at 2:30.  I couldn't get an explanation why we had to come in and she was wearing no watch so I don't know how she knew (position of the sun in the sky?  rumble in her tummy?) but we came in just in time to pack up for the final bell.  The rest of the afternoon was smooth sailing, or at least no different from our usual afternoons.

I spent dinner last night talking up today's "field trip" with my fingers crossed.  We talked about our Wednesday Plan.  And how exciting it would be.  And that it included a playground.  And how exciting it would be.  And that it was a field trip-- a totally acceptable Wednesday-that-is-usually-a-school-day activity.

Which leads me to today...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Need a Break from Spring "Break"

Princess's look that says 'I've had enough'
I saw today coming.  After Sunday's big trip to the aquarium and Monday being completely wide open and unscheduled, today was the last possible day I could hope for flexibility from Princess, and it was a crap shoot at best.  Add to that the fact that my husband was preparing to leave home for a few days, and the odds tip further out of my favor.  Good thing I didn't put money on the table.  I started seeing the signs late Monday afternoon that P was nearing the end of her rope... the tightness of her jaw, the amplified aversion to physical contact, the constant noise-making that usually means she's trying to drown out the sounds of the world around her.  To most mom's these are signs that a nap is in order, but to me it means I need to start battening down the hatches to prepare for stormy weather.  If only a nap could fix our schedule issues...

This morning, getting Princess dressed took 26 minutes-- okay, yes, I'm so anal I know to the minute.  Combing her hair almost didn't happen because her scalp was "feeling tight" and when I offered to braid her bangs she shrieked "I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH HAIR FOR THAT YET!!!!"  Well, okay then.

Monday, April 2, 2012

World Autism Awareness Day is Here

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

Love this badge I found online.
Okay, so maybe the spirit of the day isn't exactly celebratory.  I do feel that some celebration is in order, however.  In honor of this fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day, some very heavy-hitters, like the Pope and the CDC, have publicly drawn attention to the growing autism epidemic.  Even if the research is a day late and a dollar short (being based on 4 year old data and all) and even if the Vatican made autism sound like a tragic death sentence, they brought attention to autism for a large part of the population.  It is this attention that will promote an interest, that will lead to a desire to understand autism in the general population and not just by those affected.  Of course parents and loved ones and those affected by autism have these interests and desires, but the rest of the world needs to understand that autism will affect them one day too-- if it hasn't already.  1 in 88, y'all-- I'm pretty sure you know someone.  If you know my angels, you know two.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day Trip to the Aquarium

Not me-- nor my photo.
Today started out as one of those days... the kind of the day you wish is over before it even begins.  I am probably to blame for this.  Somehow, it always comes back to me.

We had been planning all week to spend today at National Aquarium in Baltimore.  As any autism parent knows, in order to do something so out of the ordinary from our daily routine requires days of "prepping" your child(ren) for the trauma of having to *cue the scary music* "be flexible."  I try to strike a balance in the flow of information during this prepping stage.  Not enough info means Birdie and Princess feel like they have been sabotaged by their dad and me;  too much info could lead to more stress if they feel the activities to come sound "scary" or like they might be "too much" to handle.  Apparently, I got the "prepping" all wrong for this trip.

The day began with everyone crying and screaming-- including me.