Friday, April 5, 2013

A Break In My Story

I know, I don't come here very often anymore, right?  Well, that is part of why I am here now - to explain my absence and to outline the plan for the future of this site. 

When I first began blogging in 2009, I followed bloggers of many types.  People on weight loss journeys.  Recipe blogs.  Globe-trotting singles.  Families living abroad.  Military families.  Adoptive parents.  Mothers of children with special needs.  Mothers of several children. To this day, I continue to read Della's humorous kid stories over at 18UNDERONEROOF on a near daily basis.   

Basically, back then it was a matter of if I found it interesting and I had a few minutes to park myself in front of the computer, I read it.  Several of the blogs I read were written by people leading lives that were the polar opposite of my own life.  One of my favorite blogs was written by a very young twenty-something homosexual raw vegan.  She lived with her partner, a woman, about whose job she was very secretive.  I have a feeling her partner was in the military and she kept it hush because of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuals in the military.  Whatever.  I didn't care.  I simply enjoyed seeing her photos of her daily outings and reading all about the concoctions she came up with in the kitchen to satisfy her raw vegan lifestyle. 

One day I showed up on her blog to find that day's entry entitled The End.  I knew immediately she meant she and her partner had parted ways.  But what hit me like a brick was the fact that her title was a double entendre.  The End wasn't just the end of her and her partner's relationship but it was also the end of her blogging days. 

I was very disappointed.  She had helped inspire me to eat healthier and now that source of inspiration was gone.

I thought about naming this blog entry here, the one you are reading right now, The End.  But The End seems so depressing.  So final.  So.....The End. 

To this point, I have not written here in over three months but still I'm not sure I am ready to commit to never writing here again.  See, anymore life just gets so busy for me and my family that I feel like the only time I truly feel a passion to come here and write is when I have something to b**** complain about. 

I heard a term today I had never heard before: drainer

A drainer is someone who drains you of all energy.  Someone who you can talk to until you are blue in the face and they just don't get what you are talking about.  Or someone who all they do is complain.

As much as I wanted to come on here and tell the whole long story about how autism reared its ugly head right smack in the middle of the grocery store and darn near made me have my own mommy meltdown, I don't want to be that person - that person who only complains and sucks the energy straight out of people.  I don't want to be a drainer. 

I also have no desire to be that person who blogs daily about the most mundane things like, for instance, how my youngest is now saying boo-boo when he really means poo-poo.

Being the mom who is always upbeat and bragging about my perfect life and my perfect kids and my perfect marriage and abso-freakin-lutely perfect house is not my style either.

No one wants to listen to someone who only complains, much less read about it.  No one cares about my baby's every action.  And no one believes these perfect bloggers who portray their lives as perfect and 100% emotionally pain-free.  Every single one of those things tend to suck the energy out of people. 

So with that said, I am not going to come here to complain or to tell people about every little detail of my family's life or to act like life in a family affected by autism is perfect.  For sure, it's not. 

From today on, I may come here to report on some small victory we have had pertaining to my son or his autism.  Or I may come here to tell about something really funny one of these three monkeys said.  I may even post a photo now and then.  Or I may just never post anything again.  For now, I think I will call this a break in the story.

Who knows what this is.  I don't want to complain.  I want to be positive.  I want people to laugh.  Heck, I want to laugh but I don't want to be the person telling the funny kid story that no one laughs at.  I want to inspire but I don't want to seem phony. 

All I really know is that I do not want to be a drainer.  I want to be better than that.  I am better than that.  So folks, here it is:  When you come here in the future, prepare to read something thought-provoking or uplifting or funny.  Or maybe even nothing at all.

Monday, December 31, 2012

12 Random Things from 2012

Happy New Year to All!

Here are twelve very random, fairly boring things pertaining to our family or are somehow relevant to our household for 2012.  Enjoy!  Try not to fall asleep.

  Reiss has not had any seizures since April.  Correction:  We are not aware of any seizures Reiss may have had since the one he had in April.  If you have or if someone you know has seizures, you know what I mean here.  Sometimes seizures are very subtle.  Sometimes they happen at night during sleep.  Sometimes they are just so mild that they are not obvious to the casual observer.  At any rate, it has been eight months and some odd days since I have had to have my heart stop at the sight of my child convulsing uncontrollably.  Yay for that!  It's the small victories, right?

2.  After having two children who both learned to walk at thirteen months of age, Rhett took this house by storm when he started stomping around the place at 9.5 months old.  At fourteen months old now, he is almost faster than I am.  Almost.....

3.  The beginning of 2012 had me back into my pre-preggo pants in only a few weeks time.  The end of 2012 has me in a larger size than any I have seen in years.  January 1st means back on the low-carb paleo boat for me.

4.  Early in the Spring, I experimented with going vegan - just me, no one else in our family.  That lasted a whole week. 

5.  Just a few weeks ago, Milla managed to get a navy bean lodged in her ear canal.  To be accurate, she had a bean in each ear, however, I was able to remove the one in her right ear.  The bean in the left ear was too far in for me to extract.  After an urgent care center visit, an ER visit, and a visit to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist, plus, four days of waiting, Milla finally had the bean removed by being put under anesthesia.  Parents, be weary of those sensory bins filled with corn, rice, beads, and well, beans.  You never know when your five-year-old who you feel certain knows better than to stuff beans in her ears is going to do just that.

When I used to read Parents magazine, I always felt like the parents featured in the "It Happened to Me" section needed a slap of common sense.  Now I feel like I should be one of the parents writing one of those stories.  Is this karma hitting me head-on for my past judgments?

6.  At times - most recently being the longest stretch of time since I started this page years ago - I have neglected this blog for months on end.  I feel like my writing has deteriorated to the level of a first grader.

7. Milla gave herself haircuts two times this year.  Her most recent chop job was this past Saturday.  She does not understand the concept that if she wants to be done with having bangs she needs to let them grow.  Rather than let them grow, she chopped them off.  In one place, her hair is maybe an inch long and I think even that guesstimation may be a bit generous.  Milla's latest hairstyle has me thinking of the movie Joe Dirt every time I look at her.  This cut is going to take awhile to grow on me.  Pun intended.

8.  We live on a very wooded lot.  Our house is surrounded in the backyard with several large trees and hundreds of smaller trees.  In the close to ten years we have lived here we have had tree work done so often that this year I opened an account just for the purpose of budgeting for tree maintenance to which money is automatically transferred monthly.  This year's tree maintenance included removing two very large dead trees that had been taken over by emerald ash borers.  We now have no mature trees in our front yard.  The tree people told us to either plan on spending a few hundred dollars next Spring on having the large trees in the back treated or to count on them dying in the next two or three years.  How's that for a positive outlook?

Boring stuff, I know.  I am telling about this because although it may seem like common sense to factor in the cost of tree maintenance when purchasing a home on such a wooded lot, I can honestly say that it never crossed my mind, much less did I think it would mean several hundred - sometimes thousands of - dollars being handed over to tree people annually.

9.  Early in the year, I discovered Pinterest.  That's not accurate.  I knew of Pinterest before then, I simply did not get the appeal of it.  As of this writing, I have 32 boards and 589 pins.  I try to be selective with my pins because I pin more often than I actually make, do, or use the pins I pin.

10.  2012 was the first complete year in which I have been the mother to three children.  If you asked me ten years ago where I thought I would be today, being a full-time stay-at-home mother to three children could not have been farther from where I thought I would be.  That's not to say I dislike being a mom - I love being a mom - but ten years ago my husband and I were beginning to think we could not even conceive children.

11.  Reiss is now seven years old and in first grade.  We sent him to an extra year of preschool before going to kindergarten last year.  I thought sure he would be the oldest child in his class but apparently, there is one boy older than him.  He is doing fairly well.  His behaviors come and go in spurts but his teacher and the special education counselor (the politically correct term is now Resource, not special education) assure me that his behaviors are not the worst they see in that classroom.  Even though I detest the saying "It could be worse," it really could be worse....much worse.

12.  Reiss surprised us in the summer with a major accomplishment.  He lost his training wheels!  That may not seem like a big deal but for a child who formerly had several of what seemed like insurmountable gross motor issues (and still has some minor issues), it's big stuff.  A lot of children with autism never learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  I thought sure I would be enrolling him in the Lose the Training Wheels course next year, which only takes children eight years old and up.

That about rounds out the year we have had this past 366 days.  Not a lot of excitement to speak of but I will take it.  After all, it could be worse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Welcome to Our Money Pit

I am this close to making a sign for our foyer that greets visitors with a cheery "Welcome to Our Money Pit!"  The only reason the plan remains in the works and not in reality is because I am still hammering out how to post the sign so that we can strategically place a donation box near it as well.  It's all in the details, folks.

In just over nine years of living in this almost forty-year-old house, we have replaced darned near everything.  We have replaced the old roof, water softener, water heater (twice), refrigerator, stove, furnace, some broken plumbing, and a toilet.  Those are just the things we have replaced due to breakage.  We have also replaced and remodeled a bathroom.  We have stripped wallpaper and replaced the flooring in almost the entire upstairs.  When we moved in, there was wallpaper in every single room and nine different types of flooring in the upstairs.  The kitchen, alone, had three different coordinating wallpapers.  Even worse is the fact that the different papers were not the kind of wallpaper a sane person would put in a kitchen.  Instead, it was a paper design made up of pink and blue flowery ribbons, something one might fight in an elderly woman's tacky bedroom.  We had wiring put in for overhead lighting in all the upstairs bedrooms and living room and installed ceiling fans and other lighting.  And by the way, what the heck was wrong with people building homes in the seventies?  By that time, I would have thought someone, somewhere along the way would have finally figured enough is enough and would have said something like "Wouldn't it make better sense to wire houses for lighting in all the rooms and not just the kitchen?"  Sometimes I am just plain embarrassed to admit I was born in that decade. 

All that work and I still look around and see that every window and door needs replacing.  The driveway is a cracked mess that can barely be called cement anymore. 

As usual, I digress...

On the agenda this week:  a heating and cooling specialist, a garage door technician, and dishwasher installers.

Thankfully, there will be no charge for the heating and cooling guy (call me presumptuous - I'm only assuming it will be someone of the male persuasion).  He is coming just to do a check-up.  Or, as I joke with my husband, a mid-morning break.  See, our furnace is located in the unfinished part of our basement and we do most of our living up on the main level.  So when the furnace guy is here only to check things out, I joke that he is down there rattling a few parts and banging a few panels and then using the remainder of his half-hour to text on his phone.  Or look through all our junk down there.  Who knows what he does down there.  This checkup, and another one this coming winter, came "free" with our new system we bought last year.  And by "free" I mean that we paid thousands of dollars for two visits from the people who installed the big metal box that heats and cools our house and for the big box itself. 

We also have a garage door guy coming out this week.  Again, I am just assuming here - it might end up being a lady (or a girl or a gal - whatevs!) who comes to doctor our door back to health.  Unfortunately, this call is not going to be free.  Our garage door, which has already been replaced, is not closing properly.  Hit the button and the whole ding-darn thing sounds like it is going to cave in on my SUV.  When I called to have the people come out, they told me to clean the lenses to make sure debris on them was not causing it to think something was in the way and change its mind about closing.  As ridiculous as that idea sounds, when I got off the phone I said a little prayer to the gods of garage doors and hoped for a miracle.  It did not work.  Of course it did not work because that would be too easy and it did not cost a penny except for the few spent on the paper towel I used for the task.  So the same people who installed our garage door a few years ago will be paying us a visit to tell us why our door that theoretically should not be having any issues yet, is indeed having issues.

We also have the dishwasher people coming out.  I am going to try to explain this one without my blood boiling but just in case I am not successful and have to get off here before blowing a gasket, suffice it to say that I do not advise and we, ourselves, will not being making any future purchases from Best Buy that store that was happy to wish Muslims a "Happy Eid Al-Adha!" a few years ago but could not find enough goodwill to extend a "Happy Thanksgiving!" to the rest of Americans that same year. 

Oh yes, Best Buy, I remember that incident and while it is not entirely why my family has avoided shopping at your stores the last several years, it has been there in the back of my mind. 

Up until a few weeks ago when we decided to give the big box store another chance, we had avoided them for quite some time for various reasons.  However, when our dishwasher went kaput three days before the Fourth of July, I called around and those people offered the most options for free.  Free delivery!  Free installation (if we bought a Bosch machine)!  Free haul-away of the old machine!  Free!  Free!  Free!  How could I logically go anywhere else?  Lowe's and Sears wanted to nickel and dime us for every little thing and Sears even wanted more than $200 for all of it.  Two-hundred dollars - part of which would have gone to them for taking our old dishwasher from us.  The $200 wasn't even counting whatever dishwasher we chose to purchase.  Call me stingy but I am not parting with more than $200 to pay for things someone else will give me for free.  I am so glad I called around before hauling two kids out to shop three different stores in the 100-degree heat that day.  Looking back though, I do wonder if it would have been worth the extra $200 to not to have dealt with Best Buy or not having a dishwasher for close to three weeks.

Last week when our gorgeous new stainless steel dishwasher was delivered, it was installed quickly.  I thought, great, no sitting around all day waiting for the rest of the installation.  Not so fast.  The installers ran test after test after test and our beautiful new machine was just that, beautiful, but not operable.  Was it a fluke?  I'm sure, but why us?

We - or rather, I should say I - had endured ten days of doing dishes by hand in a household with three kids where we cannot keep up even under normal circumstances with a dishwasher because one child has special needs, one child always feels the need to be the center of attention, and because another child is just an infant....and then our excitement of a new dishwasher was deflated.  I really, really, really did try to avoid the "why me?" pity party that followed but the situation got the best of me because I do feel so often anymore that the "flukes" always seem to find my family.

Getting a broken brand new dishwasher is not the end of the world but it is also not the end of my story.  When the store employee was supposed to reschedule a delivery and install of another new dishwasher last Saturday, he dropped the ball and we were not scheduled again until this week.  If my brand new dishwasher arrives tomorrow and does not work, I may have to summons the younger, more confrontational, me to have a chat with the Best Buy manager. 

Hopefully, I will not be on the news tomorrow evening.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Confidence Booster

I love that I can always count on my oldest, Reiss, for boosting my confidence in that I can accomplish great things on a daily basis.  Take for instance, when he says things like this morning's bit of cautionary advice:
"Make sure you don't let Rhett crawl out to 135, Mommy."

Because adding another child to the scene means my blogging days have become few and far between, I should point out that Rhett is the baby in our house now.

And for those readers not in my locale, 135 is a busy four-lane thoroughfare that runs through the busy part of our little corner of suburbia.

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Reiss.  You can count on me, Dude!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Not Even One

At a time when many high school seniors are graduating, going to parties, looking forward to college, and planning out what may be their last summer vacation spent with friends they have had since childhood, others will only go through the motions of graduation and have no plans to follow.  Not because they are idol or indifferent.  And not because they have no interest in their future but rather, because they have little understanding of the concept of the future itself.  That is just one aspect of autism.

When I read "Autism Ages Out into an Endless Summer" on the Age of Autism site, I couldn't help but feel the same pain, sorrow, and bit of fear for what the future may hold expressed by the article's writer, Natalie Palumbo.  Natalie's brother, Anthony, is a 21-year-old graduating senior who has low-verbal autism.  Aside from the fact that Anthony will require round-the-clock care for life, high school graduation for Anthony means a future full of uncertainty.  Or, as Natalie so succinctly put it, "No milestone in life can be planned without autism coming first."

She is right. 

Not.  Even.  One.

And that brings up another aspect of autism:  It does not matter how mildly or how severely affected by autism a child is, the autism is always there.  Although autism is not what defines the child, it is still always there.  Always creeping its way into everything.  Always making its way into the daily lives of not just the affected individual but also the lives of those around him or her.  Autism has its good days and it has its bad days but it is always present and often dictating.  Even the best laid plans sometimes do not stand a chance when put up against autism. 

The very wise and very-much-beyond-her-eighteen-years-young Natalie Palumbo understands the scope of autism and its far-reaching effects.  How I wish the rest of the world would understand it as well.  Although Reiss is in a very different place than where Natalie's brother, Anthony, is when it comes to how he is affected by autism, my family is no less aware of how great of hold autism has on the workings of our lives.  It dictates the foods we eat, how we choose our words, our plans for each day, which therapists we will see, and how many hours of therapy Reiss will endure.  Autism determines whether I will have a one-pot of coffee (mine is a four-cup mini machine) day or if my stress level will rise to a level that demands me to make a second pot in the afternoon.

Autism can seem absent for hours on end but it is never gone for long.  It may take a break and then suddenly make an appearance straight out of the blue.  Autism does not take a vacation.  It is always working.  Always finding ways to aggravate the affected child and keep those around him planning every move with the hope of maintaining some level of sanity for everyone involved.  Because no move can be made without planning around autism. 

Not.  Even.  One. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Autism Survival Haiku
by Pam (That's me!)

Chocolate daily;
I cannot imagine it
any other way.

Yep, that's what I have for today.
Enjoy! Be sure to get some chocolate in your day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

If you give a mom her crying baby...

If you give a mom her crying baby, she will take him in her arms.
When she takes him in her arms, she will try to comfort him.
When she tries to comfort him, she will feel his awesome strength when he knocks her square in the face with his flailing arms.
When she feels his awesome strength, she will remember that he has not had any floor time that day.
When she remembers that he has not had any floor time, she will take him to her room where there is carpet.
When she gets her baby in her room and on the carpet, he will do a face plant.
When he does a face plant, she will be horrified by how filthy the carpet has gotten to be.
This will remind her that the carpet has not been vacuumed in.....well, a really long time.
So she will pick up her now comforted and no longer crying baby and go to fetch the vacuum cleaner.
On the way to the closet that the vacuum calls home, she will drop off the baby in the living room, placing him in the Bounceroo.
She will then get the vaccum and begin to vacuum the carpet.
Not long after she begins vacuuming, she will decide that the floor lamp is not bright enough for her to see whether or not she is vacuuming the carpet thoroughly.
She will then turn on the overhead light and turn off the floor lamp.
When she turns off the floor lamp, she will notice the lamp's shade is rather dusty.
She will finish vacuuming the carpet and then move on to the lamp shade.
After seeing how well the vacuum removes the dust from the lamp shade, she will remember there are two more lamps in the room.
She will decide to vacuum the shades on those lamps as well.
Feeling very proud of herself for accomplishing something more than just her typical daily dishwasher full of dishes and one load of laundry, and also having worked up a bit of sweat, she will get the idea to turn on the ceiling fan.
When she goes to turn on the ceiling fan, she will see there is a no-less-than-one-inch layer of dust on the edges of the fan blades.
She will then decide to vacuum the edges of the fan blades.
And what the heck, she says, I might as well vacuum the undersides of the blades too.
After vacuuming all noticeable traces of dust on the ceiling fan, she will then turn on the fan and turn off the vacuum cleaner.
When she turns off the vacuum cleaner, she will once again hear her baby crying.
She will return the vacuum cleaner to the closet and rescue her crying baby from the evil Bounceroo.
After rescuing her baby from the evil Bounceroo, she will take him in her arms.
When she takes him in her arms, she will try to comfort him.
When she tries to comfort him, she will once again remember that he has not had any floor time that day because it was interrupted by her vacuuming the filthy carpet.
She will place her baby on the carpet and then reach for a baby toy from the top of the dresser.
As she gets the toy down from the dresser, it will make a clean streak amidst all the dust on the dresser's surface.
When she sees how dusty the dresser is, she will decide to dust the furniture in the room.
Not wanting her baby to breathe in all the dust, she will pick up her now comforted and no longer crying baby and go to fetch a dust cloth.
On the way to the cabinet where she keeps the dust cloths, she will drop off the baby in the living room, placing him in the Bounceroo....

And that, my mamacitas, is why accomplishing any housecleaning whatsoever when you are a mom is totally dependent upon crying babies.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Than Anything...

Autism continues to amaze me on a daily basis. Or rather, Reiss continues to amaze me with the unimaginable number of hurdles he has overcome on the road of autism. We have gone from Reiss saying "I-ya" (I love you!) in response to when I would tell him "I love you" when he was a baby, to him not having any meaningful speech, and then later on having only echolalic speech. With the addition of ABA therapy, Reiss then began having meaningful and conversational speech. That's not to say we do not still have our moments of wondering if there is a parrot in the house, but oh, how things have changed!

It is all of those wonderful changes that keep me getting out of bed every single day.

These are the words Reiss sang out as I was putting Rhett into his car seat this morning:

I love Rhett more than anything.
More than sand on the beach.
More than a fish in a cup.
More than me reading a book.
I love Rhett more than anything.

It won't burst my bubble or disappoint me if someone comes along and tells me these are words similar to those in a particular book he may have heard read to him at school. They are still the sweetest words I have heard in a good long time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

100 Days of Bliss

Ha! I wish it really was nothing but true blissful peace around here for the last one-hundred days but anyone who has ever had a newborn infant knows I would be lying if I said these last three months have been filled with only sunshine and rainbows and baby kisses.

But with that said, this simply adorable little three-month-old face is my excuse for taking such a long bloggy sabbatical. Isn't he just perfect? I couldn't be more in love...

My apologies for the poor photo quality, as it is an iPhone pic.

I suppose if I still have anyone out there reading (which would be nothing short of a miracle, in my opinion, since I, personally, tend to drop other people's blogs from my own reading list if the writer has not posted in a month or two) they may be curious about the chubby face above.

Rhett Anders was born at 12:55 a.m. on October 17th, 2011. He was 7lbs, 15oz. - only a few ounces more than my first two children at their births but he has gained weight at a substantially faster rate than Reiss or Milla. At 100 days old, Rhett weighs in just shy of 17 lbs - where Reiss and Milla were when they were around nine or ten months old. Rhett is already in 6-9 month outfits. I just love his roly poly little fat self. And I mean "fat" in the most loving way. Reiss never had any rolls. He has never had so much as an extra ounce of fat on him. Milla had chunky little thighs for a short period of time as a baby but outgrew them quickly and continues to be skinny. But Rhett...oh, I could just eat his cheeks for lunch!

Rhett did not make a peaceful appearance into this world. That is for certain! I was scheduled for a c-section that Monday morning anyway but went to the hospital Sunday night in sheer agony. I had gone to the hospital two times in the previous week and been sent home in such pain from contractions that, at times, I thought I might pass out. Having never had contractions with either of my first two children (both scheduled c-sections), I did not know what one felt like until then. By late Sunday night (October 16th), I was not having contractions but just one long contraction. Even the anesthesiologist confirmed on their little monitor thing what I had been saying (or screaming, rather) all along. I don't know how they can see pain on a screen but since they were in agreement with what I was telling them, we'll go with it.

A lot has happened since Rhett's birth and thus (such a cliche word!), the reason for my blogging absence. My days are filled with playing mom taxi to the older two, nursing Rhett, changing Rhett, carrying Rhett (he is not yet very keen on being set in his bouncy seat or swing), some days crying right along with Rhett because he won't stop crying. Okay, not really but he has been quite a fussy pants and so he has been seeing a chiropractor for massage and gentle adjustments. It seems to be helping. That, or it is psychologically working for me. At any rate, Rhett seems less fussy and that is the ultimate goal in all this.

Every once in awhile I also get in a load of laundry. The "every once in awhile" part being the biggest contribution to why Milla has no clean socks right now and why we had to snatch a pair out of big brother's drawer this morning just so she could get dressed.

The dishes are generally about two dishwasher loads behind these days. Thank goodness James got me that new set of stainless steel pans for Christmas or else we would really be in trouble with the dish situation. If I didn't love my crockpot enough before, I most certainly do now. So much so that my ole standby crockpot kicked the bucket a few weeks ago. Actually, it could still work but the handle broke off the lid and a call to Rival (Crock Pot manufacturer) proved unsuccessful for me to order a replacement.

So that is my boring life right now. It yields very little excitement but much happiness since we are all quite in love with Rhett around here as we live in our housekeeping catastrophe of a house. Maybe I will get brave and post some pics of the different rooms like Della did. Just don't anyone hold their breath......

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Little Grease Fire to Liven Things Up

Yeah, so I darn near caught our house on fire this evening while attempting to start dinner. Yay, me! I get the award for Idiot of the Day.

I was heating a skillet on the stove to sear some chicken and got preoccupied (only a few feet away) with another task for a little longer than I should have. When I came back and drizzled olive oil into the pan, it instantly caught fire. Live and learn....first time for everything, so I will definitely be more diligent in the future regarding not getting sidetracked with other tasks.

After last week's incapacitating illness that kept Reiss down for four days straight, he is back to school this week. It has taken him all week up until today to get back on track with being able to stay on task and maintain himself without meltdowns or disruptive behaviors. Poor little dude. If there is one thing I hate about autism (Actually, I hate autism altogether - all parts of it, no ifs, ands, or buts), it is the fact that the smallest things can set Reiss off into a tailspin. Granted, being sick for days on end is nothing small but it has taken him just as long as he was sick to get back into the swing of things at school to a point where he is not causing a ruckus for his classmates.

Less than two weeks until this baby makes it arrival. At this point, I get very little sleep due in part to the simple fact that I am so large that some whales are even smaller than I am, but also because my children allow me approximately the same amount of sleep as newborns allow. I am thoroughly exhausted and find myself getting annoyed by trivial things. It is a challenge, to say the least, to remain calm while trying to care for two children whose needs quite often exceed the needs of say, ten children. Try as I might to channel Michelle Duggar, often times the calming effect only comes after I retreat to the laundry room and devour some of the candy that was meant to be for Halloween. Five bags. Two weeks of being in there. You do the math. I will be buying more candy before Halloween, for sure.

In other news....I hate when I say that because it lacks any sort of creativity. However, what I am about to say this time literally is in the news. If you are in the mood to get ticked off about the injustices of the legal system and how children with special needs get the short end of the stick almost every time, go HERE. And if you really have a desire to get worked up, read the comments following the article. This kind of thing happens every day in schools around our nation. Unfortunately, this particular incident was at a school approximately five miles from my house, which drives home the point that no school, no community, is immune to this kind of treatment of our children by educational "professionals."

I said it on Facebook when I linked the article to my Wall and I will say it on here: God help this woman if she ever crosses my path because she will need it. And to Ms. Littleton - If, for some odd reason you happened to have stumbled upon my blog and perceive that statement as a threat, go right ahead.