Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Bubba is a Clone Trooper. Don't call him a Storm Trooper or you might get clocked.

Moosie is a ghost, not a raggedy pillowcase. He refused to have it over his head, even though he lives with blankets on his head, so we improvised. I told him it would go on like a shirt, so for awhile he was telling everyone that he was a "Ehrt" [shirt] for Halloween."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bubba is playing with the boy across the street. I try to forget that the only reason the little boy is over here is because no one else in the neighborhood is home. I try to not ruminate on this because, even though they only play with each other once or twice a month when the situation arises, they get along rather well.

This boy enjoys "playing pretend" with transportation toys with Bubba, even if it isn't his first choice, and Bubba has picked up some of the neighbor's word choices. The one that's been starting every sentence lately is "Pretend..."

I couldn't help but smile when Bubba said:

"Pretend you were at a drive thru and you were making something really special." [Pause]
"Pretend you were making doughnuts!"

And then...


"Pretend there was a construction worker at the drive thru hungry for apples and corn."
"Pretend he said 'I want some apples and corn' [changes his voice]"
"Pretend you say 'Here are the apples and corn.' [changes his voice]"
"Pretend he ate the apples and corn."

The other boy:

"Can it be candy apples?"
"Can there be bad guys after you that are going to destroy you?"


"BurgerZone, pretend you need to call 911!"

And in less than 20 seconds from making doughnuts, we are now in the middle of a battle between "the heavy thing that can crack the pavement" [according to Bubba] and various missle sounds [the other boy]. Moosie is running around in circles, as always carrying his cars, just taking it all in.

I love it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just a little bit more

Thought I'd post a 'before' and 'almost there' picture. I've got about 15-20 more pounds to lose to be at a healthy weight. Supposedly I am supposed to weigh 100 pounds (according to those charts) since I am not quite 5 foot t all, but that is never going to happen [on purpose].

Before: Christmas 2006

Almost There: October 2007

Warm Weather

I just wanted to let everyone know that the weather should be getting warmer soon, because I just put fleece sheets on my bed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Birthday Present

My birthday is next month...Hubby is getting me this book... well, he will if someone tells him to. Hint. Hint.

I used to write [for myself] all of the time--that was until I was corrupted by school and career. Now I'm [way] out of both, so it seems like the perfect time to get back to it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who's the Man?

Daddy (stroking his ego): Did Daddy give Mommy flowers?

Moosie (quick and loud): No! MAN!

Hubby sent me flowers for our anniversary the other day. But Moosie doesn't agree. A "Man" brought me flowers to the door, so they certainly weren't from Daddy. Poor Moosie knows what he saw and has no idea why Daddy is so adamant that he gave Mommy flowers.

I love it, because Hubby often [not so] casually brings up the nice things he does for me so that I can acknowledge said nice things [a lot]. It's a dance that we have learned to appreciate [or technically ignore] over the last 10 years. But this time, Moosie won't let Daddy bask in his glory.

Man- 1, Daddy- 0, Mommy- laughing

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Wedding

Mema and Mr. Tall were beautifully married on October 20th, 2007. I thought it was a nice, simple wedding give or take a few versus of organ chorus music. Dad walked a glowing Mema, in her conservative navy suit, down the aisle.

The boys were stoic and calm as they walked down the aisle--Bubba as the self-proclaimed "ring master" and Moosie as the cute tag-a-long.

M&M did an amazing job singing one of those songs that make people cry (well, it made me cry).

The reception was a formal dinner complete with every type of utensil and glass known to man. Of course Bubba broke the only glass, but it was quietly removed and he was happy to drink chocolate milk out of yet another glass tumbler. Not sure what people were thinking having a kids' table and then setting it with full formal [aka breakable] place settings, but the boys did well with the help of newly purchased lego troopers to occupy them for the evening.

I wish nothing but the best for Mema and Mr. Tall.

*Thanks to Sister and LegoMan for taking the pictures.

A Bad Banana

Last night I was greeted with this image.

I don't know who did it or what the banana did to deserve such brutal mutilation by a toy rubber knife, but I found the sight half disturbing and half appealing (ha ha ha).

Sunday, October 21, 2007


The wedding was on Saturday. Today, Moosie is sick and Bubba and Hubby are at a family birthday party. So as Moosie naps, I am left to navigate "the big let down" on my own (funny how this means something totally different to me thanks to breastfeeding).

I really miss my sisters.

It's funny, because most of the conversations with the newly acquired extended family were about explaining our family dynamic. It's one of those background stories people seem to need to hear. Apparently our family doesn't make sense unless they hear it. That's the only thing I can figure out, because when I say "my sisters" people say "your half sisters or your real sister?" and I say "Umm, my sisters, like, all of them?"

So the story is explained over and over. My mom died when I was around 10 and Sister was 4. Within a year or so, my father remarried. And then shortly after that, the youngest M&M sisters were born. (Isn't that clever of me to nickname them that since they're twins? Their names start with "M". Get it? Sigh...) Funny thing is, our dysfunctional family doesn't really make sense after you hear the story either, but that's the outline of the story.

I am not sure why every one wants to divide us into pairs "Me and Sister" and "M&M," but that's how it's been since the day we were born. Our parents do it, family does it, friends do it. I think people assume we (the sisters) do it, but besides the fact that M&M are twins, they are over 12 years younger than me, and we have been treated by others as separate pairs for as long as I can remember, we are sisters in every sense of the word.

Obviously Sister and I share experiences with each other that we don't share with M&M because we lost our mother and led a different lifestyle for the first part of our lives. Yes, I am closer to Sister, but mainly since she crossed into adulthood (which is when we started calling each other "Sister"). And M&M are twins, so how much closer can you get? But as M&M are edging towards the end of college, we have more life experiences in common and our relationships just make more sense. And as that happens, I realize that I am the only sister living in the vicinity of where we grew up.

So here I sit missing my sisters. All of them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Anniversary

And here we are, still together, even after 10 years of marriage. In friendship, love, parenthood, and general insanity.

I love you. Every stinkin' bit of you.

Thank you. For everything. But mostly, for being you.

Sweet Words

I apologize in advance for my squealing. Apparently I have an obnoxious reaction when Moosie does something wonderful.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Me, Sister, and Mom.

A month or so ago I stumbled over an old picture of my mom, my dad, and me as a newborn. Moosie was nearby and I asked him if he knew who everyone was. When I pointed to my mom, Moosie said "Ma Ma Pat ... Die."

Now, my mom did die many (20+) years ago, but I was taken aback because it's not really something that's come up with Moosie since he is not quite four years old. Since he is becoming more verbal, I was able to figure out that he had heard something about “Ma Ma Pat” and “dying” from my mother in law. I'm sure Bubba, boy of many questions, brought up my mom while exploring the topic of death. (Bubba is into the physical curiosities of death, like: “What happens to your hair,” “Do you turn into a "human skeleton," and such.) Since Moosie is never far from Bubba, he absorbs many if not all knowledge Bubba requests from those who will take the time to oblige him.

But tonight as I cooked dinner and Bubba played with a dump truck, Moosie--seemingly out of nowhere--walked around in circles contently kicking Legos, bowing his head, and repeating over and over in a sing-song whisper: "No Ma Ma Pat Die."

The more sounds he develops, the more repetitive language emerges. Each new sound is like a gourmet piece of chocolate that he rolls around on his tongue, savoring each aromatic flavor until he has grasped the full potential of the sweet. And normally it is just as sweet for us to hear him test out sounds, syllables, and words.

But this time, I have to say, he freaked me out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Clash

Today was one of those days. It didn't start off that way, and thanks to a nice glass of wine and the opportunity to escape downstairs to do some work, it hopefully won't end that way. But smack in the middle of the afternoon, in between early school release and dinner, we had an icky day.

Did anything awful happen? No, not really. But Bubba was "off." I was "off." Moosie kept exerting his independence, which were great yet "why is your ability to undress/dress important to you right now?!?!?" moments. There was screaming, growling, throwing, stripping, kicking, pushing, crying, and stomping [Bubba and Moosie] and hiding, huffing, slamming, and yelling [me] ...basically a whole lot of everyone not being able to regulate anything.

All is good right now, but Bubba and I are wouldn't take much to set either one of us off. Hubby came home from work a little bit ago and separated me and Bubba; it isn't pretty looking when we feed off of each other. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you can feel the anxiety choke you the minute you enter the house.

Tomorrow will be better. I will apologize to Bubba in the morning and talk to him about my anxiety issues. We'll swap the self-regulation strategies that we have recently learned but don't seem to know when to use. And Moosie will probably still be trying to dress himself.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Accidental Gardener

I can hardly be described as having a green thumb, especially since my biggest success at growing anything this year was cultivating mold. But one of the lessons repeated often in my adult life is that the world still goes 'round whether or not you give your blessing. I mean, seriously, did you know that if you do not accomplish everything on your to-do list, that the world doesn't end? It took me nearly an entire year after quiting my full-time job to realize this. (Let's just ignore the fact that it only took one summer to swing a little too far in the opposite direction, which is why my house is in a state of emergency.)

Anyhow...a few pictures to illustrate some of life's lessons:

Those half-dead bean plants your kids bring home from school...they actually produce beans if you plant them. Who knew.

Joy comes from the simple things in growing your own food in the front landscaping.

Even if you do nothing but let nature take its course, something unexpected but good can come out of growing cucumbers out of your compost pile. Whoops.

And finally... if you spend all day cutting grass for your wonderful father, your computer work doesn't do itself. (But you're okay with that, because you get to sit downstairs and work now while your Hubby has to give the sugar- and TV-hyped boys a bath.)

Yes, sometimes accidents happen, and life goes on...sometimes for the better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Helping Daddy

Cooperation, problem-solving, interaction, mommy and daddy weeping...All it takes is to know what the boys like and let them do it.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I was invited to be part of a panel of advocates for a discussion regarding occupational therapists and their role as advocates (for individuals). I filled the shoes of the "parent advocate." Since these were master-level occupational therapy students potentially pursuing any type of OT career, I felt a little out of place since my experience is only with the "pediatric disabled" part of the community.

I did say something at the end that resonates with me now: "To be a true advocate, you have to do what is best for the person, not always what you think is best."

Think about it. I'm still ruminating and what that means exactly, but will have more to say later.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Me: Where did all this sand come from???? (My face and tone implying "Who the heck did this?")

Moosie: OW-AYE! OW-AYE! OW-AYE! [Outside!] (His face and tone implying "Yeah! I know the answer to this question!)

I get a kick out of my boys literal approach to everything... but it saddens me that adults often think they are being snotty and back talking. And other kids just get frustrated.


One of the most rewarding things I have experienced as a parent is watching the relationship between our boys develop.

Moosie loves Bubba more than life itself. This is not an exaggeration. The first thing he says when he wakes up every morning is "Ack?" (how he says his brother's name). His sleepy little eyes haven't even adjusted to the daylight and he's already looking for his brother. The first thing Moosie asks for when he gets off the bus is his brother. No warm reception for mommy, just frantic looks and gestures for Bubba.

Whatever Bubba does, Moosie's not far behind. Of course this isn't always positive, but usually it is. Moosie learned all of his play skills from Bubba. He seems to care less about little people toys or any preschool toys, but within the last year he has learned how to play Bubba's version of Star Wars and kitchen, and more often, construction and transportation stuff.

Bubba loves having someone who idolizes him and enjoys that his brother is near him to play however he is instructed. He randomly hugs Moosie, which is pretty cool. Granted, he randomly sits on him and tries to do science experiments with the flexibility of Moosie's appendages too... that's not so cool. When he gets in trouble for doing that, Moosie gets more upset because the child that was just torturing him is now separated from him. So, whenever Bubba is in timeout, Moosie sits not-so-patiently in proximity waiting for Bubba's release.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cycle Break Fun

We're smack in the middle of cycle break, and all is going well!

Another trip to the zoo.

Ferry to the apple farm.

At the apple farm playground

Playing in the backyard in the sandbox.

Visiting the emergency vehicles. (We frequent grand openings, community fairs, etc.)

Nothing exciting, just the vision therapist's waiting room!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Walk Season

Around here, it seems spring and fall are "walk" season. This past weekend me and the boys walked because my cousin has Juvenile Diabetes. We walked to support him and to honor Aunt G. for her courage and strength.

Me and the boys not paying attention.

One of my cousins giving his Baba a donation to JDRF in honor of her hard work (Are we sure that check is good?).

In about two weeks me, Hubby, and the boys will be participating in the autism walk. This will be our third time walking I believe, but it's the first time walking after both boys were diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. In the past we walked to support our friends. This year I have really been struggling with us participating because I don't like the Autism Speaks organization. But after much contemplation I decided to walk this year because the reason why I walk has never been about the organization, but rather about supporting my friends and family.

Another team mom and her kids designed the team logo. Guess which boy is Bubba and which is Moosie.

To balance my participation, I've taken every opportunity to change perceptions about autism while helping my team fundraise. You'll find no shock/scare tactics in the flyers or letters I have written, but you will see cute pictures of the five boys honored on our team.

Mystery Solved or Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

When I came home the other day, it still smelled like shit. No surprise really, but my crinkled nose crept up before I could avoid the poopish smell any longer. Moosie seemed oblivious to the smell, but Bubba wore the same nose as me, his dirty freckles desperately trying to hide in the tiny creases of his displeasure.

"Mom, what's that smell?!?"

He looked more scared than curious, so I quickly checked the common places where stink invents itself. Trash cans? Clean. Toilets? Flushed. Recycling containers? No smells there. It couldn't possibly be the sink. Hubby did the dishes before going to work.

But there in the kitchen sink lay the culprits, cleverly hidden beneath a propped up cutting board (or, in other words, a dish that is too big to go into the dishwasher and therefore is somehow conveniently exempt from Hubby doing anything with it).

Three milk-soaked dish towels cowered disgracefully from their responsibility of cleanliness, and instead fragranced the air with nothing other than the "shit smell."

You see, the night before, five separate cups of milk were spilled by two different kiddos. One was spilled out of independence. One was spilled while expressing helpful kindliness. One was spilled out of clumsiness. Two were spilled while I was cleaning up the previous spills. In less than 5 minutes a half gallon of milk was wasted and half of the kitchen floor got a milk bath. But as usual, the mess was somewhat cleaned up and life went on. There was no yelling or screaming, no "you should know better" or "be more careful" comments flying around the room. Just three saturated towels tossed into the sink, and like the milky accidents, forgotten about.

Well, forgotten until nearly 24 hours later. Accidentally created by the boys, lazily ignored by the dad, and intently avoided by the mom, all adding up to one big's the cycle of life in these here parts.