Thursday, September 21, 2006

Teacher conferences

"Bubba, I'm so proud of you for getting a good report card!" I said as I hugged and kissed him.

"What's that mean, mom?"

OK, screw the report card. I'm proud of him. He is really holding it together at school and according to all of his teachers, he really enjoys school.

The teachers state that they can read him very well and know when he needs a break and when to take a walk etc. Not exactly what's in his IEP (individualized education Plan), but it's working for him. We'll deal with the paperwork next, I guess. I hate that part.

Anyhow, I talked to them about using the right vocabulary and everyone using it, so that Bubba can start using the vocabulary and learning about his warning signs so he can tell them when he needs a break (move toward independence). The other thing I think he needs is to deescalate in the sensory room instead of just taking walks to pinch off the anxiety (from which it will build from later). One step at a time.

His reading has kind of slowed down as he struggles with decoding, so me and daddy will be choosing some easy reader books as part of his bedtime reading routine.

All in all, Bubba had a great first quarter. Now we are in cycle break! (Or as one of my friends calls the three week break from school--PSYCHO BREAK.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Autumn is in the air

I woke up this morning to cool, crisp, brisk air. My favorite time of the year is here!

Nevermind today Bubba woke up screaming that he didn't want to go to school, and me and daddy had to hold him down to dress him and keep him dressed. Finally he urinated (yes, in the toilet, sort of, for like 10 minutes), I put on his dragon belt that he wanted to wear, and all was right with the world once again.

After playing half-hearted fetch with Duke and the stuffed hamburger he stole from the neighbor's dog, I have now settled down in my basement office with my little window cracked to let in the autumn air. I've probably got 1 hour to get some work done before Moosie awakens.

Monday, September 18, 2006


OK, I think we're going to need to go the allergy route with Bubba, but I'm not looking forward to it. Moosie has an egg allergy and that's a pain in the ass. I can't imagine both kids having allergies, but Bubba's cyclical behavior has to be due to lunar phases or seasonal allergies or something!

I don't know about food allergies, but Bubba has never been tested for allergies, maybe it's time since daddy has all sorts of allergies. In any case, I'm giving Bubba some Benadryl if his ear starts to get red today, and we'll see what happens.

Red ears

If you don't believe me about Bubba's red ears, take a look at this. The picture wasn't take during or after an explosive episode. The red ear is our warning sign that he is full of anxiety and stress, and an explosive episode is likely sometime later.

If you are interested in this, check out this. The book The Explosive Child is very interesting.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Football sucks

We've been newlywed giddy all weekend. Between us getting ready to paint, me working, and us running around chasing the kids, you wouldn't think we would be so freak'n happy! It helped that mother-in-law watched the boys Saturday night so that I could work without having to run after Bubba or Moosie every 5 minutes and Hubby could patch the walls without having to clean up Moosie yet again after bathing himself in drywall mud.

Where was I? Oh yeah, we were giddy. Then like the wonderful wife I am, I mentioned to Hubby that the neighbor told me that the Broncos were playing the Chiefs, and you would've thought I mentioned a free trip to an all you-can-eat Papa John's pizza and Dairy Queen ice cream buffet. (Hubby has been infatuated with the Broncos since he was a kid.)

Then all of a sudden I'm the next closest thing to Satan when I ask him to get the boys out of the bathtub so I can get back to work.

Of course I got the look.

When I naively asked what was wrong, I was adamantly told: "I never get to watch football!" (followed by audible whining and pouting)

"Um, you watched football last Sunday."

"Yeah, but I haven't been able to relax and watch football."

Well Sooooorrryyyyy!

Did I mention while I was bathing the boys I also cleaned the bathroom including all of the urine sprayed all over the floor by my wonderful boys (including Hubby I'm sure)?!?!

Learn how to aim and while you're at it, don't ever, ever say the word "relax" and "football" to me ever again! Ugh.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I knew before Bubba even stepped off the bus that we were all in trouble. He wasn't his energetic self, eager to get off the bus, bursting to say hello to his dog and his brother. He just looked "off." I asked him if everything was OK and all he could muster was "I don't wanna talk about it anymore mom."

The speech therapist was wrapping up with Moosie, and I waved my arms frantically at her as Bubba entered the room. It was the only distress signal I could think of at the time. Warning! He's about to blow. Don't ask any questions or place any demands!

Bubba played for a few minutes, and his ear started to grow red. Uh oh. The red ear is not a good sign. And then the fateful question came: "Mom, where are the cookies? You know, the cookies that were right here?"

Ugh. You mean the cookies me and your dad devoured like a bunch of pigs last night? Those cookies? "Honey, those cookies are all gone. Let's make some more!" My excited attempt to head off disaster as I ushered the therapist out the door did not sit well with Mr. Bubba.

First both ears got extremely purple and welty and then the grabbing started, and then the throwing, and then the I am so full of rage I just want to destroy stuff started happening.

The "safe/sensory" room we are making for Bubba isn't done yet, and our house has been ripped apart (literally) as we are patching and painting before the new carpet arrives, so I had no where to usher him.

After many things being hurled in his room, and restraining not working either, I took him outside. During the transition he hit the dog and kicked his brother. Once outside he began trying to pull trees out of the ground. I am not kidding. He would put both hands around some of the smaller trees and pull with all of his might. As he did this he would scream "Mom, it's not making me better! It's not working!"

My heart was breaking because this is the first time I've seen him in a rage like this where he was out of control and knew he was out of control and just wanted it to stop.

After about 15 minutes, he stopped, he brightened up, and said "I'm Ok now mommy." The storm had passed.

Folks this is a 6-year-old little boy. Can you imagine feeling this way at 6 years old?

Come to find out he's having trouble completing work at school, and my guess is he is being pushed to finish that work, which is pushing him over the edge. He is in "a cycle" so Bubba is on edge most days and probably will be for the next few weeks.

Poor Popeye

I can rationalize just about anything. For this entire week I have been pondering how to rationalize throwing away the bag of fresh spinach laying on the top shelf of my fridge. Nevermind that the bag is most likely no longer "fresh" nor the fact that I probably was never going to eat it anyhow. You know, it was one of those maybe if I put this in my fridge, my eating habits will instantly change for the better purchases.

Anyhow, looks like not only have I been spared having to feel guilty for tossing my spinach into the trash, looks like I don't have to feel guilty about eating like crap either! If I eat beef, I may get mad cow, if I eat spinach I may get E. Coli (story). Of course that means all meat and vegetables should be banned from my diet.

And you know what that means. I can really in good conscious decide to live off of Dairy Queen blizzards. Don't scrunch your face up like that. It's for my own health. I'll be like Subway's Jared-- I'll stand in front of the TV in my glorious skinny nerdiness proclaiming "Eating a Blizzard for dinner every night worked for me!"

Brotherly love

Remember the Sharing a room post? Well last night the boys were still sharing a room, but apparently they decided mommy and daddy's bed was much better than their own beds. We moved them back to their beds, but Moosie still ended up with us somehow at 2 AM.

Ok...collective "AWWWWWWWW!!"

Thursday, September 14, 2006


So quite possibly the hot flashes, nausea, and dizzy spills that happen before I turn into Satan mean my ups and downs may be hormone related. Well my OB kept saying "female hormone" related. I don't know why she kept stressing the word female. Maybe my real issue is that I am a man and I just don't know it like on that episode of House I saw last week? Maybe I'm full of male hormones? That would be a logical reason to feel screwed up. And it would give me an out to wean Moosie. Woohoo!

Seriously, I get to be on the pill again...just what any 31-year-old woman who has had her tubes tied wants to mess with! And maybe we'll see some benefit in a couple of months. Maybe. And maybe I'll gain yet another 20 pounds from this medication. In the time being I get to make an appointment to a psychiatrist too and prepare to change my meds after we see what the hormones, ummm, I mean the female hormones do for (to) me. And I'll probably gain even more weight from that medication too, because it couldn't possibly be from the Snickers I'm eating right now.

My OB's "good luck finding a decent psychiatrist who's also covered by your insurance" send off made me feel confident though, so it's all good.


Because I know you all have enough ribbons and bumper stickers to choke a large animal (if you were wondering, the ribbon for supporting at-risk animals is the orange ribbon), I'm adding the silver ribbon to your list:

I've got so many "cause" t-shirts, I have no need to purchase any t-shirts for the next 5 years, but awareness really is very important. I will be wearing my silver disability awareness ribbon next to my pink breast cancer awareness ribbon thank you very much!


I think I am Bipolar. I've already been diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, and OCD. But these ups and downs have gotten really bad in the last 6 months. It's always centered around my cycle, or so it seems, but the extremes are harrowing. And the classic signs are there... spending splurges [we have no money], manic cleaning and organizing, elation, etc. and then down to anger/loss of impulsively control, trouble getting out of bed, the kids are lucky to get a PBJ sandwich, obsessions are worse, etc. etc. etc.

My primary care is a joke. He keeps telling me to reduce my anxiety/depression medicine in half because I complained about how tired I was and then when I said my symptoms were returning, he told me to take a whole one again. Huh, oddly enough I was exhausted again. Go figure.

Maybe I'm not bipolar, maybe it's just this medication messing with me. I don't know, but I don't like it. Don't worry, I'm going to my OB today. Maybe she can point me in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sharing a room

Bubba and Moosie are now sharing a room, and would you believe that Moosie slept in his own bed in their room until 6 AM? I had to force Bubba out of bed at 7:30 AM to get ready for school.

Them not falling asleep until 11 PM had nothing to do with it....Nor did daddy's apparent preference to watch the baseball game over maintaining their regular bedtime routine. Not that I cared much at the time, I was out with friends, chatting and drinking!

Of course as we were laying in bed last night, Hubby said he missed Moosie laying with us. Yeah, try having a sweaty little body permanently attached to your nipple every night for two and a half years, and you might not miss it so much.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Penis envy

Was telling this story tonight, and thought it should be captured here to torment Bubba for the rest of his life.

We were at a friend's house getting ready to swim, when Bubba happened upon his friend changing into his swim suit. In a matter-of-fact, but impressed voice, Bubba exclaimed: "Wow [friend's name], that's a big penis you have there!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

Batter up

during a Cardinals baseball game

Bubba: "Daddy, how many home runs did Pujols hit?"
Daddy: Daddy said something, but being it baseball and something I can't even pretend to get, I didn't hear anything but mumbling.
Bubba: "Daddy, how many homeruns did Jefferson hit?"
Daddy, half listening and half eyeing the TV: "Huh?"
Bubba, a little more forcefully: "How many homeruns did Jefferson hit?"
Daddy, listening now, but really confused: "Huh???"
Bubba, with that embarrassed grin I love so much: "Oh, he's a president. How many home runs did Pujols hit?"

The writing's on the wall


I told you my boys were literal.

Apparently Bubba decided my paint job on his wall wasn't good enough. He embellished the wall art with his own masterpieces--his name and a huge big rig (truck and trailer thank you very much).

Of course this is no different than the time a friend and I were making candles around christmastime and Bubba excitedly wanted to show us something. Yeah, he had been quiet for longer than usual. In fact he was quiet long enough to draw a "road" for his trucks circling from his bedroom to near the kitchen and back (with a dry erase marker).

This time he "just wanted to decorate [his] room" he told me after he pulled me in to show off his work.

I think this is when I am just supposed to be happy about his use of creative expression and his great effort at writing his name.

Truth is, the writing is on the wall, and I don't see any reason not to keep it there.

Bubba's truck. It's kind of light, since he did it in pencil. Maybe he'll fill it in with marker later on? :)


I woke up to a heavy sky with a heavy heart. The sky couldn't contain itself any longer, and it has begun to rain.

Deep breaths and silence. Peace to all.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My mission statement

Do not feel sorry for me, nor will I feel sorry for myself, for having these spirited, beautiful, honest children.

I will not spend my life and their childhood changing who they are so that they can be accepted into this world, but instead will work towards changing the world to welcome my children into its arms for who they are.

To the best of my ability, I will ensure my children will have the life they want, and that they will not lose their independence or hearts in the process.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Partners in Policymaking

I am now considered a Partners in Policymaking graduate (Class of 2006). If you are a parent of a young child with developmental disabilities or a person with developmental disabilities, I can't stress enough that you should see if your state has a sponsored program.

It has been the most positive learning experience I have ever been through. I am truly blessed to have met and become friends with the people in my class.

As one of my fellow graduates stated during her graduation speech, "You know how when your child is born [with disabilities] and you wonder 'Where is the manual?' Well, I feel like I finally got that 'manual'"

Look into it. I wish it is something the world could experience. Below is my graduation speech. Partners deeply affected my life. And by Partners, I mean the speakers, the seminars, the support, my classmates, the organizers, etc.

A lot has changed since I applied for Partners.

Moosie, our second child, was also diagnosed with a disability--autism spectrum disorder. But thanks to Partners, our family was OK. We knew Moosie didn't change. He was still Moosie, and that was all that mattered.

Bubba persevered through some spirit-breaking experiences in Kindergarten, and has grown as a big brother. Thanks to Partners, all it took was us realizing he is a person, not a behavior.

My husband and I are finally finding "the balance" after 9 years of marriage by realizing if you open up your parameters, happiness isn't just in the moment, but also in the larger picture. And yes, even that is in part thanks to Partners.

Before Partners, I was gunho, jumping into everything regarding "disability world." I felt that my "activism" was so great, but the truth was I was hiding in the larger issues, the research, helping others with their struggles. I was hiding from how disability affected my life, my family, and how I felt about that.

Partners gave me the knowledge, power, and courage to reflect and analyze how I really felt about disability, what I was really fighting for and why.

In turn, I've gotten to know my children and my husband in the way they deserve. I've accepted myself in a way I couldn't before.

Partners has helped me rebuild my core and my spirit. It's given me direction, confidence, and most importantly affirmation that what I have always felt in my gut is OK, even though it goes against what society throws at me every day.

To some, it may sound like Partners did the opposite for me than what it was supposed to do. I am not up in arms to fight legislators and take down school districts, but instead have first turned inward. But the foundation needed for my future advocacy work is solid now. I not only know my story, but I own my story.

Thank you Partners for letting me love and accept my kids, myself, my life. I am truly leaving empowered in the strongest sense of the word.

I think larger, good things will come from that.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Some visuals

Me and Sister at her wedding reception in August. (She was married on the beach this past June.) I'm the older, I mean, the more mature one on the left.

Since I mentioned Sister getting married on the beach...

Sister and Sister's new husband, LegoMan. (In case I have something else to say about him in the future, I must give him a proper nickname.)

Bubba looking off at sunset. No he doesn't have a tail, he was carrying his new dinosaur puppet, which he chose as his Florida souvenir.

Moosie doing what Moosie does best...staying clear of the water and get the idea.

Me and Hubby last October. I'm, again, on the left. I have rarely been drunk, but this was at a Winery. Hmmmm. Now that I think about it, all of the times I have been drunk have been at a winery. Apparently I like to throw fruit when I am drunk, so watch out.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Pooping for profit

I have mentioned Bubba's pooping issues before. It has been such an issue in fact, that he earns 25 cents each time he poops. He earns money for other things too. A nickel for setting the table, a dime for picking up toys and for vacuuming. Everything is deposited into a cool piggy bank that calls out what coins you are inserting....and each time Bubba earns more coins everything is dumped out and redeposited.

We reached the $5 milestone where Bubba can't wait to buy something at "LawnMart" (Don't ask me why the kid can't say Walmart, because it's just one of those things!), and we all trekked to the obnoxious superstore.

After nearly 25 minutes of trying to find something that A) only costs $5 and B) Bubba wants, he settled on a medium sized blue pick-up, which will probably break in no less than three days. Of course we had to get Moosie something too with "his money"(which miraculously appeared in his hand thanks to daddy).

As we scooted down to the checkout lane, Bubba spied yet another truck that was "really cool."

Bubba: "How much is this truck Daddy?"
Daddy: "Ummm, 15 dollars."
Bubba (exclaiming loudly): "Oh, I can poop that much!!!!"

Yep, he's ours. And we love him.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

You must get the roots

As a kid, one of my many crappy responsibilities was pulling weeds from the driveway. And we couldn't just pull the weeds, we had to "get the roots" or there was hell to pay. Supposedly if the roots were pulled, the weeds wouldn't grow back. Whatever. The asphalt driveway was 11 years old back then and lined with rotting, pointless railroad ties; it was pretty certain the weeds would grow back or that new ones would take their place. Did I mention the driveway was and still is longer than some neighborhood streets?

Anyhow, my sisters and I have all suffered the wrath of weed pulling. We have all failed miserably, trying everything from a screw driver, to weed-be-gone, to strategically parking our dad's 6 riding lawnmowers and 4 cars along the edge of the driveway to hide the vicious, copious blades.

Like I said, we always failed, and were probably forced to dig weeds out of the jagged cracks with our teeth. I don't remember exactly, what our punishment was, but I know if wasn't good!

Now that all of us have moved on to college and beyond, dad decided that pulling weeds is a bunch of shit. He clears the asphalt driveway, which is now 25 years old, with a propane torch. I kid you not. He actually fries those naughty bastards to a crisp.

Today, out of daughterly love and fear for my dad's life, I followed his smoldering trail with a hose and pitchers of water. At one point he caught one of the dilapidated railroad ties on fire, but he just moved on while I stamped and poured.

He looked like he was having a little too much fun, and all I could think was "Dang, why didn't we think of this?" I'm sure using something that sounds and smells like a jet taking off is a little extreme for weeding a driveway, but I have always been one that is a little tiny bit extreme.

Hey, Hubby, it's time for a haircut...I know the clippers are broken, but don't worry. I've got a back up!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Yeah, they're cute

Yes, our kids are cute. No doubt about it. And if you choose to disagree, it's an argument you will most definitely lose.

Oh, and on those days (those many many many days) that I find my children neither cute or humorous, please remind me that they are not little copies of Satan on speed, but they are in fact cute, happy, spunky, loving kids. Even if you don't mean it, it'll make me feel better.