Thursday, July 25, 2013

remember when...

stories from my facebook page i'm moving over here:

yesterday Noah held a piece of chalk, contemplating his next project. he is a busy boy, never less than eleven projects at hand~~proof in the tricky paths I have to take throughout my home over lands of every Lego, brick, box, marble and track. he asked me would I tell him a story of myself and his uncle Nate. "Chalk," was my easy response. "You know the woods where uncle Tony lives now? through the Enchanted Tree Tunnel. (that really is our name for it.) it is Magical." Nate and I spent a great deal of our childhood in those woods. unfortunately those woods were often used as a dumping grounds. well,their loss and our gain of new- found treasure! "Nate and I found a chalkboard in some leaves near the road one day." ..."You really found an actual chalkboard?!" ... "Yep. we went back to the house and found that one piece of chalk we had. we wrote and drew, and PRETENDED! we were soldiers, castaways, pirates, the boxcar children, warriors, believers of fairies and ghosts, daydreamers and planners." ... we were AWAY. we were free from adult stress and pain and tears. there wasn't the burden of being the responsible, well- behaved children; we were US. no longer the weird kids on the bus, no longer teased at school. "We fashioned a teeter- totter out of logs and had a swinging vine. Nate' s G.I. Joe's braved several tours at Old Crick." some unfortunate Joe's lost their lives in battle. we were out in every season, in all weather from 8 a.m. until dinner. (dinner is ' lunch' you know.) then back out again... my little brother was my best friend.
I know if Noah were free to roam those woods, he would at every opportunity.

train meltdown in March

you've already read this on my facebook, but i'm trying to go back and find these stories for you and put them on here.

You can prepare a child who has Autism for new situations. It worked well for our trip to Sky Nails-- I think because I had been there before. I could describe what would happen in great detail, down to the feel of the water and the smell of the chemicals. Her stimming was very pronounced during the pedicure visit, especially towards the end...but the staff and customers alike were very kind and understanding. ... But preparing Emma for a train ride... wasn't as awesome. She immediately hated the idea. Then on most of the way there (over 2 1/2 hours), she said she was carsick and I think was trying to make herself vomit. Finally after soothing her and having her put her window down a crack, she stopped making the wretched sounds into that McDonald's bag and announced it was a "stuck burp" the whole time and she was better. Whew. So...we get there. The gift shop made her happy. I found a bubbly lava toy that she fell in love with. Then while waiting for the train she cried on and off for several minutes saying she was "homesick." Then she was better. We were in line outside waiting to board when panic-meltdown mode kicked in. I am incredibly thankful I was holding her hand because she jerked hard, trying to get away. Pulled and pulled, but in her eyes I could see she didn't know where to go or exactly what she was doing. She pulled us into a concrete post and I said "excuse me" to all those people staring, who we were holding up. ***note: if this had just been Emma and me here, we would've been gone in a flash, but I do have a little boy who was quite eager to be so up close and personal with a real train!" *** so I told Noah to get out of line and stand by me. Of course, this upset HIM. ...I asked Emma, " Are you afraid, baby? What are you afraid of exactly?" Her response was, "Yes! I want to go home!" Then suddenly she just stopped. And we got on last... She was okay until a passenger commented she didn't know if we were going to make it on board. Then the tears came. My phone saved the day. She took photos and edited them for most of the trip. And she laughed. And had fun. Noah did too. I would say I had fun too. But that would be a lie. I was just relieved that she was calm.

this and that

if i had a summer birthday i would ask for a fire pit. i want one so bad!! i would just go buy one. or make one. but i am so broke. so i am telling myself i will be able to afford one when they get marked way down... and end of summer/beginning of autumn fires are nice too! so-- i can wait. this has been a beautiful summer. i've enjoyed it a great deal. i hope the kids have too. it is so hard to get emma interested in doing things.

speaking of emma, i have a good example for you of just how long it takes someone with Autism and/or Auditory Processing Disorder to RESPOND to a statement. if you don't know emma well, you may ASSUME incorrectly that she is ignoring you when you speak to her. wrong wrong wrong. the average is 3 minutes to process what you are saying. really. today in the car i placed something on top of the stereo remote so the remote increased the volume. oops! i laughed about it. emma stared at the stereo face. then the remote. then looked out the front window. 2 minutes later she exclaimed, "mom! that remote has a mind of it's own!" it really takes that long. so, can you imagine what it is like for her on a daily basis? when people start a topic, then move on to something else, and she is still processing the first issue. can you imagine how frustrating it is for her to hear a question, then either the question-asker moves on and ignores her when she doesn't respond immediately OR the question-asker gets ANGRY! and ANNOYED! with her, snapping at her? i am her mother, and I sometimes get impatient. believe me. but i have to step back, breathe, WAIT. i have to set an example, be an advocate for her, to those who don't know and understand.

in other news, we are all coping with our cat Sammy being gone. it is difficult not knowing what happened to him. i miss his baby cry and his fluffy tail. i miss him flopping down on me. he was a flopper. :-/ he wasn't yet a year old when i was pregnant with emma. sometimes she wouldn't kick and i would worry. i would call for sam and he would jump up on my big belly and purr so LOUD! i'm sure his purr would reverberate through my belly-- it would get emma to kicking in no time. :-) we had him for ten years. he is missed incredibly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

extreme couponing, i think not.

i got hooked on that show Extreme Couponing a while back. well, honestly, just the first few episodes because the rest were total crap. it was all a contest towards the end...meh...too much for me. anyway, i watched the episodes in total awe. mouth hanging open, my mind on fire...i even worked out watching it, my adrenaline pumping.
i am SMALLTIME when it comes to couponing. in fact, for years, it was a big joke because i loved to clip coupons, but NEVER ever used them. if i did remember to carry them in the store with me IN MY HAND, i still forgot to give them to the cashier. but lately i have been getting into it. you can get some really good deals.
and there IS that little factor, that addiction, that high, i see it on the shows, in these people, these crazy couponers. i GET that. i know what it feels like to line my little bathroom shelf with 6 matching lotions, nine different sunscreens... my drawer has multiple toothpastes...the laundry room has neatly basketed detergents. i didn't pay much for these things; i had discounts, coupons, and took advantage of clearance items. but when i watched that show, i see what would happen to me if i WENT FOR IT. if i became crazy and obsessed. and couponed. i might buy a hundred boxes of Tic-Tacs. and only pay 39 cents. my gawd! (i hate Tic-Tacs.) oh, sure, i noticed that some of the people on the show donate a lot of what they get...or help out family members... but THE DEDICATION! lord! this one lady spends 30 hours a week getting her coupons ready. this other woman was in the grocery for TEN FREAKING HOURS. sweet jesus. i don't have this kind of discipline or dedication. i don't have THAT kind of crazy. (i have other crazy.)
but i LOVE that show. i want to watch more of it. more more more!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


so yesterday was the day i returned to the dermatologist for my in-office surgery. ...i received the biopsy results a week and a half ago. on a scale of 0-10 with zero being no cancer to 10 being OHMYGODMELANOMATHISISBAD, my biopsied mole was a 2.5, meaning that it was atypical and consisted of more cells than it should: PRECANCEROUS. so i had more cut out. to be sure. to be safe. the procedure was unfortable, i'll tell you that. and i'm a bleeder, so this caused a minor issue. the smell of my burning flesh was nauseating. but i am NOT complaining; i am ecstatic that it is all gone! they stitched me up, charged me a lot, and i was on my way. and it hurts. but i'm tough and dealing with it! because i don't have cancer!!!! it is amazing how we keep going --- i have a stitched up back, a swollen foot from a bad fall...but i keep on keeping on because life awaits, children scream, trash smells...and so on.

have i mentioned in my blog how much I LOVE LIFE? well, i do. tremendously. i am that person who is genuinely optimistic nearly all the time. i say strange, weird, weird things, and i laugh A LOT. i sing shorty choppy sentences and long goofy ones. i will sing to you things normally mundane and definitely things innappropriate. i dance while running, vaccuuming, driving the car.

oh, don't get me wrong. i am also that person who has anxiety attacks out of nowhere. i didn't see it coming ---i've thought that a few times. i am that person who can tumble down into darkness and has to fight her back into the light. i can admit to you that depression is a terrible terrible thing. but i don't let it get me. not for long. i've got shit to do. that about sums it up, don't you think?

i am grateful to my dad for taking me this last time to my appointment and then out to eat. it was time with him i cherish. you never know how much time there is, do you?

i am grateful to my love for taking care of me the first time around and this time too. bandages and ointments and sweet kisses. thank you.

i am grateful to my babies, ever so inquisitive... i don't give them all the details... but they know that what's behind the bandage hurts, so they are more gentle than usual.

i am loved.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

wished us back

I wished us back to when we were children. This morning I stayed in bed listening to the day beginning. My window open, gauzy white curtain fluttering, birds sang, trucks rumbled past. I remembered a childhood where dawn beckoned, calling us to pull our shoes on and tip-toe across the house. Sneaking outside while mom and dad snored was a thrill. The dew on the grass dampened my canvas shoes and the blades made me itch. We went out to the old "garage" across the drive. It was our "secret hideout" when parents were still unaware in their slumber. We got into things we shouldn't. We poured concrete mix and pumped the old well out back. We stirred and mixed, concocted; we imagined. We dreamed. So I wished us back this morning. Because I'm not sure who you are today... but I knew you back then. When we were in it together. When the morning sun washed rosy pink over our faces.

the kindness of strangers

well. man. oh man. the kids and i went to the grocery today. about ten minutes into it, i became irritable. for no good reason really. my blood sugar was fine. i HAD been in a good mood. i was chalking it up to the simple fact we were in wal-mart, land of misery. i had cart rage and wanted to scream at people. i tried to calm down. fortunately, i think i was doing well not to take my irrational behavior out on the kids.

i should have known. should have known it was coming. but it's been a reasonably long time. i thought we were ready to check-out, then noah reminded me about popsicles. yes, yes, of course, i promised. we were almost back to the frozen foods section when it started. the waves in my vision. waves and flutters and flits, narrowing my vision a little more with every few steps i took. shit. emma was getting grumpy, at a sensory low, wanting to sit on the floor, so i got us over to a bench. we sat for a few minutes, me looking down, hoping my optical migraine would pass. but it didn't. we made our way to the check-out. i was stressing big time at this point because my vision was going fast. i couldn't look up, as the only sight i had left was a small "hole" in the lower part of my right eye. i finally told the cashier what was happening, as she was probably thinking, "what on earth is wrong with her??" i don't know how i swiped my card. she asked if i needed help to the car. i've never needed help taking my groceries out before. but i said, "yes. please." the kids and i waited up front, but no one came. a very kind stranger came to my rescue. she told her husband to take their cart and she'd be right back. she helped me push the cart out. i could hardly see a thing. finding the car was a chore, but i did it. the kids were being WONDERFUL thankfully. she made me sit in the car while she loaded everything in the back. believe me, i wasn't objecting. i hugged her when she was done, told her she was an ANGEL, and assured her my vision problem would pass. assured her i wasn't going to try to drive yet. and i didn't. the kids and i sat there in the car for about ten minutes until i could see again. i was left with a fogginess and a dull ache at the front of my head.

i've had these "optical migraines" for years, on and off, since i was a kid. i know i don't have a tumor--i've had scans. i've been checked thoroughly. i've been told there are several factors that put together cause these. 1. my corneas are irregular. 2. my optical nerves didn't form completely, resulting in about 98% blindness in my left eye and miraculously NONE in my right (although my vision has always been poor in the right.) 3. fair skin and fair eyes. i have prescription sunglasses that definitely help while i'm driving. glares on cars and parking lots from sun and ice are hell for me. fluorescent lights set them off too. i have had this happen while driving, while shopping, at work, etc. it is never convenient, always a little scary.

today i am thankful for my kind stranger.