September 30, 2011

The Great Sit or Stand Debate

Alright friends, time for a post I'd like to call Potty Training 101.5: Who gives a crap edition. Let me just preface here, not going to talk about why, but potty training sucks. I would rather donate all my toes to science or something, but it must be done. Potty training a child with Autism? Toes, fingers and possibly my left arm.

In the potty training department, I get a gold star. I don't know why God has given me the gift of my kids being "easy" so to speak, but I'll take it. No joke, they were both potty trained in a matter of days, even through the night....hello? Are you still reading? Stop cursing me!  Have to say I am a potty training hippy.  I don't push the issue, little kid potty is always available, we "try" a lot too.  But kids have to be developmentally ready, physically ready, and cognitively ready before this is even going to work.  Follow their lead.

At any rate, I think The Boy may be the only one in his Day Treatment that is potty trained; luckily this is what they do there, so I was in no rush. I was not forcing the issue, he just decided out of the blue 1 week before school started that he wanted to wear the Cars underwear. Wahoo, Cars it is! Now, we deal with the fact that you can't wear the same pair of Cars underwear 2 days in a row, but we're working through it.

Onward. The Boy has started "inclusion" at "regular school" with typical kids. I get update phone calls from his teacher. The first day it went something like this...

"The Boy did great, a few snags, but he worked through them very well. By the way, did you know he sits down on the potty to pee? We're going to work on trying to get him to stand up."

Maybe it's just me here, but who cares if he sits down or stands up, he's going! I didn't realize this was such an issue. Listen lady 6 months ago the kid was stripping down to his socks and sitting backwards on the potty, we've come a long way. Naturally I told the other parents at Day Treatment who were all like, "she's a tyrant, bully and ugly troll." I totally know the troll comment was uncalled for,  but I just ignored it. But I didn't say it. I'm just the messenger. *innocent*

I told inclusion school teacher, "look it really doesn't matter to me as long as he's going. I don't want to cause him any more anxiety about going potty and the rights and wrongs of it. He'll get it, he'll see the other boys standing and probably catch on, so let's just let nature take its course here."

Seriously. Settle down teacher. Settle down. If they put this in his IEP, I will come unglued. The sitting method is much less messy, less of a spray factor there, and I don't have the time to be constantly sanitizing.  So this works for me.

Who is the standing easier for really? The kid! I totally wish I could stand to pee, that would be awesome. But I just don't see why this is an issue. Am I missing something? So my kid's not a potty conformist, so what! He also lives with a household of women, but that's not the point here.  I'm pretty sure he won't be sitting down on the potty when he's in high school.  Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.

What say you? Is there a right or wrong way for a little boy to go potty and should I be enforcing the stand?  If so, why?

{P.S.} If you disagree, and are a proponent of the stand, I promise not to call you names, so don't be scared.

September 28, 2011

SEO, Chipmunks, Blog-friends and Pirates, oh my!

Oh yes I did!  I vlogged, again.  In my attempt to make it shorter, I made it longer.  But it's better, I promise!   I talk about some more things I learned at the Minnesota Blogger's conference:  Who reads your blog, are blog friends real friends, how to build a community, chipmunks, and pirates.  My editing is a little rocky in the beginning, but I do improve, I think it's worth it to stick it out until the end.  My last post on MNBlogcon can be found here.  
  Oh, and there's a short little outtakes video at the bottom.



More great posts from the Minnesota Blog Conference 2011

See you next year!  Who's coming?

{Also again, huge thanks to the sponsors and efforts of the people and speakers who made the conference possible, check my post above for details.}

September 26, 2011

Calling Names and Passing Fungus

As you all are aware, I am a very talented writer *choke*, and sometimes people want to share the joy that is Cari with the world.  No seriously!  And on occasion they want to tell me how much they love me, by giving me awards.  I'm usually not an award person, so don't get all excited like you're going unload one on me, this is a rare instance.  {Sorry to all of you whom I have ignored in the past.}  But I adore these two bloggers so much, that I gave in to the peer pressure.  Plus it was like a double-whammy in a week, so it's only good Karma to pass the torch.  So I'm going to do two awards in one post and call it a day.  Here they are:

My bloggy BFF, Solitary Mama, bestowed the Liebster Award to me, which apparently means, "dearest or favorite".  I'd say I'm a spot on translation, so I'll take it!

The basic idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to showcase bloggers with less than 200 followers. {That's me, make it official any of you wavering, you know you like me, just do it.} When you get the award, you keep the love going and give it to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.”

*Awardees should thank and link back to the award-er.

The Blog on Fire Award, was bestowed by my friend, Karacteristic.  She's pee your pants funny, and not to mention nothing short of an amazing Mom to a fantastic little girl.  I don't miss a post, not-a-one!  Now this award seems slightly open to interpretation, as per Kara, bequeathed by Flannery, it is a meme, like a fungus.  So I'm going to need some fungicide apparently. 

Or, it could mean this blog is HOT, like me.  And not like hot flashes hot, because I still have a good year or two before that starts.  But like, "how you doin', hot!"  Like that. I am suppose to tell you 5-7 things you don't know about me.

Before I tell ya'll who I'm pawning passing these off to, here are a few fun facts about me.  But you'll have to guess the answer.  If you guess correctly, that's great!  No prizes will be awarded. I don't give anything away, maybe one day I will make you something, like a sparkly something or another...with glue and stuff.

1.  True or False.  I love cheese.

2. Where do I live?

     A.) Wouldn't you like to know, stalker!
     B.)  Minnesota
     C.)  Maximum security prison.

3.  True or False.

In high school I needed an 'arts' credit.  I had dropped out of band, {too cool for school, I played the flute for 4 loooong years, AND if any of you comment with, "one time in band camp", I will block you}, I can't draw so art was out; that left choir. 

I had to try out at lunch in front of the ensemble crew, which is just a fancy name for the best and most gifted singers in the school...and tri-state area according to the trophies.  Terrified?  Just wait.  Put on my brave face and sang, "America the Beautiful".  In my mind, I was Celine.  To the others staring at me in wonder, obviously, not Celine.

Choir director says, "You need this credit, huh?  Okay, we can work with that."  I was positioned next to the blind girl in the choir.  And for the entire semester I thought, do I even need to share the sheet music?  She can't read it.  Do I need to make it look like I'm sharing?  I did, it stressed me out.  We were also on the end of the row.  I'm not kidding.

That was the end of my professional singing career.  However, I'm unstoppable and will sing at the drop of a hat, ain't pretty.

Get this, choir director's name was Mr. Crow...a divine sign from God?  What is it with me and crows?
4.  How old am I?
   A.)  Shouldn't ask a lady her age, that's just rude.
   B.)  I look good for my age.
   C.)  I am in denial that I actually "age" anymore.

5. True or False.

The boy and the Drama Queen are a figment of my imagination.

6.  What are the names of my two tribes on Triberr?
    A.)  Satire
    B.)  Side Effects of Single Parenting
    C.)  Confused? Read this and then follow me on Twitter @bubblegumcari.

7.  My Kryptonite is:
     A.)  Tom Selleck
     B.)  Booze and/or coffee. Or mixed together is even better!
     C.)  This blog which shaves precious, precious time off my life, see Q:4.

Well I hope you aced it, because there will be a quiz.  So now, the unveiling: 

I must pass the Liebster Blog Award to Nessa at Moments and Impressions.  I admire her for so many reasons and I love her blog. Beautiful photos, insightful and honest writing, short and sweet. No such thing as a bad read on her side of town. She's a highlight in my reader, and her blog always makes me smile.

The Blog on Fire Award, or Hot, Hot, Hot Award goes to Angela, Caffeinated Autism Mom.  She is on fire people!  She has two cutie pie boys with Autism and is nothing short of amazing.  She educates, she makes me laugh, she makes me think; and I call her friend.  I'm also nagging her to guest post over here and figure this might sweeten the pot!  Although I did just give her a fungus award....too late?

Now I broke a few rules, but I'm a rebel.  So now go click on those two blogs and show them some love. 

And Nessa and Angela, pass it on...{insert maniacal laugh}.

September 24, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss: So Shut It

I haven't had a good rant in a while, so there's a little build-up here. For the record, my rants do not include concrete facts, statistics or any take-away value really, just my little ol' opinion.

A couple of weeks ago, at a BBQ with some friends; the conversation turned to my son of four, with Autism, and how amazing he was doing. Thank you, he is doing amazing, by the way. People remarked how you couldn't even notice he had Autism. I could rant on that alone, don't say that people! Autism has no face, and did he look like he had Autism before? Just wondering what Autism may look like? Seriously.

One very nice girl at the BBQ who is a parent by the way, all of sudden says this:

"I know lady that has four kids with Autism! Wouldn't you think after the 2nd or 3rd, you would just stop?"
For once in my life, I was silenced. This friends did not sit well with me. Pretty sure at this point I was doing deep breathing exercises. Many thoughts swirled through my mind. Most times, I'm a thinker before a speaker, which just makes everyone think I'm mad at them because I'm taking in the conversation without blurting out the first asinine thing that comes to mind. Although 7/10 times I will say something totally inappropriate anyway, so I guess it all just cancels itself out. I don't like to be combative unless it's necessary, and give people the benefit of the doubt, unless I have reason to doubt you that is. Let me just say, I'm very trusting, but once I have reason to doubt you, it will probably take close to a lifetime to remedy that.

On with it...I decided since I didn't know this girl too well, I was going to let it go...for now. I'm sure she did not mean this to hurt, it was sheerly out of her own ignorance and selfishness, and her knowing deep down the sacrifice and determination it takes to raise a child with special needs, and how she may does not possess those abilities. Ahem. Seven out of ten I said.

So I did mention that statistically, considering the same genetic, biological and environmental markers were all the same, the chances of having a second child on the Spectrum was about 50%. Then I walked away and joined conversation elsewhere.

I let it go for that night, but it has obviously bothered me more than I thought it did. That comment has been eating away at me for weeks. I tried not to take it personally, but when my child indeed has Autism, how can I not? So I'll rant here, and then let it go; and perhaps forward this post to her; although I'll probably just write her a nice, less snarky e-mail.
To each his own. Before my son's diagnosis, I did want more children. Diagnosis put the brakes on that {thank goodness, because 2 months later I was separated}. Not because I didn't want another child with Autism, but I was in deep, dark, uncharted waters. I had no idea what life with Autism looked like, much less what Autism even was! Wasn't sure which way was up or down at that point, and I prefer to take life's challenges one at a time and not in a clumping type fashion. Wish I had a little more control over that....

But who is better equipped to raise another child on the Spectrum, than parents that have already faced the same hurdles?

Is life with Autism that bad? No! They live happy fulfilling lives, just like typical kids. In fact they make the world a better place, without people with Autism, like Einstein, Temple Grandin, Vincent Van Gogh and Andrew Jackson; our world would look very different.

Special Needs Children are called "special" not as a label, but in my view because they show you miracles every day, they make you appreciate every milestone, good or bad; you take so much less for granted. Life is more beautiful with them in it. I'm going to go blessing over burden. You really have no choice but to slow down and enjoy the ride.  Would I have more children knowing there is a great chance that they might have Autism?  Without a second thought.  That kid has taught me more in his four years, then my 30 something-something thus far.  But I also understand  people's choice not to have more children, and applaud them for recognizing how much they can handle.
All you young kids out there listen up. When you decide to have kids, you always weigh how it will affect you financially, emotionally, how it will change your marriage, job, etc. All of that, IF you have a perfect child. The "normal" child with the Oshkosh overalls and mullet pictured on the front of the parenting book. But when making the decision to have a child you also must consider for more than a fleeting moment that they may not be "perfect" or "typical". Really what child is? They are all unique. Don't let this deter you, whatever cards you are dealt, you will find the strength to persevere, but the possibility of perfection is slim.
I have actually never felt more supported as a parent in my life. Kudos to the Autism support groups, parents and bloggers. A force to be reckoned with, mighty powerful and understanding. They will pull you through, I guarantee.

I've yet to find even ONE parent of a Special Needs Child that regrets having that child, and doesn't see it as a gift. But you know, I wouldn't think raising the next Einstein would be anything less than a challenge.
Friends, be mindful of your opinion.  This is my blog, so here I can give it freely, you may choose to read it or not.  That's why blogging rocks for opinionated types like myself.  But by saying, "this is only my opinion", does not excuse the hurt it may cause.  Be aware of your words and what you say around others, think of  how it might affect them, even if those words are not directed or intended for them, it can still affect them just the same. 

Now, I will go take my own advice. 

I've got tons of great Autism resources up on the home page, feel free to click or ask me a question directly.  I also realize this might be a hot topic and I welcome your feedback, even if you disagree; just be polite.

September 21, 2011

Why isn't OCD in spell check?

Yes, this drives me to think about drinking. Trust me, I think about drinking more than I drink, which is hardly ever.  But there is something that is terrible for my blood pressure.  These...

And this....

These, Squinkies, don't like 'em.

I can honestly say I hate these. They end up everywhere, and their little balls too. Those little egg balls they come in, that are all. over. my. house! Now I have to admit, my kids have hours of fun with these; which come at the low, low price of $6 for a 15 pack. But really, when you consider that almost half of them are lost within an hour of play, not such a good deal.

In case you missed it, check out my theory of multiplicity, Squinkies apply here.

I do not know why disorganized kids' toys drive me crazy, but it does. I have some serious OCD in this area. I'm a firm believer in the, "you're done playing with it, put it away before you get another toy out" approach. However, this hardly EVER works in my house because my kids are smarter than me. And sometimes I don't enforce it. Nothing to see there.

They have to pull a little bit of everything out from everywhere, and who am I to squelch imagination? But it makes me want a vodka tonic, for sure. You see the Squinkies must live in the My Little Pony houses, have Barbie pets and accessories, Thomas the train track roads for Hotwheels, and a stuffed animal jungle beyond the border, oh yes, in a fort made from every blanket we own as their cave.

It gets out of hand quick around here. So I suck it up and say, okay have your city, play on. Although I have inadvertently knocked down some members in the parade because I can't tip-toe around it with precise ninja stealthiness.  Then there is an uproar.  Good grief.

I don't want to talk about clean-up time. I'm defeated. They are against me. Send help.

September 19, 2011

What I learned at the MN Blogging Conference is better than a Blog Her swag bag

I told Solitary Mama last night that my post today was going to expand on the comment I made about having Tom Selleck's babies. Check it out in the comments section here, two posts down, and one past the free cheese. But I can always post about having Tom Selleck's babies, well maybe for the next 5 years, until I've reached the point where I really shouldn't be having children anymore. Which now really makes me think 5 years goes by pretty quick; I'd better start stalking Tom ASAP!

I decided to write a short little post about the Minnesota Blogger's Conference I went to a week ago! I'm not going to post about ALL the awesomeness, because I'm vlogging about it. The vlogging is taking longer than anticipated, but I want to use all the tools I learned from WCCO's, Erica Mayer, as not to disappoint. And well, my other vlogs stink, so I can only go up from here, right?

Besides the fact that the conference was FREE, and amazing, I got to connect with bloggers I knew and met some new ones too, I did walk away with something big.  Bigger and Better than a Blog Her swag bag!  After reviewing my notes, I realized, I found my blogging voice!  {Insert angelic choir-type singing here}  As you can see by the long-ass rambley intro, my voice needs to dial it down, but it's stubborn, and it talks a lot, so it is what it is.

I, friends, am a lover of words: big words, words rarely used, absolutely mythical made-up words, slang, love them all. By reading my blog, you would not know this. Most often times a 5th grader could out write me.

I may have mentioned I journal. As in pen to paper, old school journaling. When I write for myself, it sounds nothing like my blog. I have to admit, it's rather beautiful.

At conference, I participated in the amazing Kate Hopper's creative writing session. Whoa! I kinda have a writer's crush on Kate Hopper. {No worries Kate, I'm stalking Tom Selleck at the moment, no need for a restraining order.}

We did two exercises, the first of which was to write about a childhood memory using as many descriptive words as possible. She wanted us to write about the smells, tastes, sounds, pictures, all things sensory. I wrote about the honeysuckle vines in my backyard as a child. I must say, inspiration was oozing throughout the room, because I was totally into it. The blogger's who shared their pieces were phenomenal as well. My writing was rather charming; I'm just going to say it. Initially, I included it in this post, but as I re-read it, it sounded really Danielle Steele-ish. I may have a writing career in the trashy romance novel genre.   Thank you, Kate!

Long and longer of it, what I journal, what I wrote that day, is not what you get on my blog. Some people voiced that in the session as well. We discussed quality vs. authenticity. What's the point of writing like Frasier Crane if no one connects with it?  We have to find the balance.  If I wrote all lovely and trashy all the time, it might reach you at some level, heck it might even touch you. But why are you reading my blog? To read about me waxing poetically about a plant? No. Not very sticky.

Then I was forced to ask myself, "What is it that I'm doing here?" {and why am I not blogging on Wordpress for Pete's sake?}. Am I dumbing down my writing? Admittedly yes, yes I do. But then over the course of discussions with my fellow bloggers, Gretchen says this to me, "Cari when I read your blog, I hear your voice in my head." To be honest, I hear that a lot.  I also may or may not hear voices in my own head, to be determined.  I also take that as a compliment, thank you Gretchen, and various family members, oh and that one person in Oregon.

So even though my words may not be profound, or exquisite, or even make sense half the time, I'm connecting with you. If I make you laugh, or cry, or swear, or even say, "I'm not reading this crap anymore", my job is done. That's my blogging high. I am a junkie in smile and laughter seekery.

Ever notice how when you smile at someone, they automatically smile back? I'm smiling at you, thanks to all my loyal readers who smile back. Oh, and deep down every blogger is an egotistical narcissist, and we kinda love there's that.

Stay tuned for the MNCON vlog post, you'll more than likely be disappointed, but mildly entertained.

Thanks to the event coordinators and speakers who gave freely of their time {sorry for the many I missed}:
@MarketingMama      @arikhanson        @ericamayer        @MNkatehopper

@Kare11       @Leeodden         @Toprank      @glimpsesofsoul    @AllinaHealth

And check out these people I met at the conference and now stalk their blogs:

Gretchen from Salt in Suburbia
Jackie from Teal & Lime

Deb from A Dose of Happy

Bonnie from Fragile X Files

I've surely forgotten hundreds of you, and I apologize.  Minnesota has a great blogging community, and they are all so flipping nice.  See you next year!

September 14, 2011

And Now, A Love Letter...Sort of

I warned you I was going to post on this....Cheese.  Raspberry Cheese.  Sounds disgusting right?  Oh, no friends!  It is glorious!  My first encounter with Raspberry cheese was a few weeks ago when I was getting my inner-fourteen on.  It just melts in your mouth.  Very smooth and sharp with a slight note of fruitiness at the end.  Not really too fruity or sweet by any means.  I have no more words to describe it besides, mmmmm.  See that?  What, you ask?  Any possibility of a career as a food critic has now passed.  Buh-bye.

I am by no means a cheese connoisseur.  I can only say I love cheese of any kind.  In my household I pride myself on NOT serving the cheese that comes in singly wrapped slices; our "fancy" cheese is of the string variety.  We also serve a delicious {not really} non-cheese that is Gluten free, Casein free and a mystery horrible.  The boy seems to enjoy it, poor kid, if he only knew what he was missing.

Should something terrible happen and I snap and find myself on death row.  I would request a wedge of Raspberry cheese for my last meal.  It's that good!  Try it.  You will have to go to a fancy store to procure said cheese.  Your local grocery store will look at you side-ways and show you to the dairy case, stand there puzzled, and then go ask the manager returning 15 minutes later to tell you no, they do not have Raspberry cheese.  So I'm just saving you time okay?  Or, you could click on the link above and order the cheese because apparently they sell it online.  Is that disturbing to anyone, or just me?  I don't like to order food over the Internet.  Not like pizza, like cheese and steak via Internet ordering.  Yes, I realize we have dry ice and super speedy overnight package delivery...but I cannot.  Besides the cheese is only $8, it probably costs 20 dollars for dry-ice-super-speedee-delivery, then making the cheese $28.  Any cheese that cost me $28 would need to include the word, gold.

But I'd say $8 is affordable for fancy-ish cheese, generally speaking as one who considers string cheese fancy.   You could buy the cheese, a cheap bottle of wine, and some crackers for 20 bucks!  Then, you could devour the cheese and get drunk and think up better blog posts than those about cheese.  Sheer brilliance.  Just sayin'.  Good thing I wouldn't do that.  But you could.  But I wouldn't.  Ever.  Or tonight.

{No cheese company gave me any compensation for this post...but they should have, because this is good stuff and I'm totally going to bat for these people.  I have a reputation, yes, I will stop right there. I might however receive a certified letter requesting I remove the post as not to tarnish the Raspberry cheese company's image.}


The word got out to the Sartori Cheese Company...and today {only hours after they contacted me, mind you} I received a huge box of cheese in the mail!  These aren't just samples people, it's the real deal.  I'm so excited!  How wonderful is Sartori? 

Turns out they are a Midwestern {Wisconsin} Company.  I have to give them a little plug here for sure, I owe them that much after that sad post above!  I am a huge proponent of buying food locally, and their milk is from local patron farmers, and hormone-free.  The Raspberry cheese's official name is Raspberry Bella Vitano, for the record.  You must get some immediately.  They also included a Espresso Bella Vitano {which I've heard is great}, and SarVecchio Parmesan which has won over 25 awards, and many others. 

I am going to go eat cheese to my hearts content, and have a little cheese tasting party!  I encourage you to check out their website and Facebook page, they, especially Rachael, have been absolutely lovely!  Now perhaps I need to do a post on wine?  And yes, pictured below is what they sent me...kinda love Sartori!

September 12, 2011

Macguyver Monday

Good Morning friends!  I am interrupting my regularly scheduled post, about cheese, to bring you this particularly fantastic Monday morning story.  I know, you're totally distraught about the cheese thing.  They way I've been talking it up and building momentum, you'd think it would be pretty darn spectacular.  No, afraid not,  goes something like this, cheese....mmmmmm.  Yeah, so I'm sitting myself down to quickly write this post and fill you in thus far on my day.  Note, it's only 9:38 a.m., a lot can happen in the Bubble Gum household betwixt the hours of 6 and 9. 

Also, for the record, I'm pretty calm, I haven't swore all morning, and I still haven't had a cup of coffee.  Right.  Excuse me while I get on that.  This could be part of the problem.  I better remedy the situation before my computer implodes or the gang of crows outside my window decides it's the day to take me out...they are staring at me, I swear.  Also my nails are so long, I'm having trouble typing.  I know, I'm a train wreck.

I'm just going to outline it for you, as to save you the agony, alrighty, here goes:

5:30  Alarm goes off.  Annnnd...nothing, I don't get up.

6:00  The other alarm goes off, you know the one that sounds like this..."Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom".

6:05-6:45  Kid maintenance, dressed, fed, brushed, make lunches, you know the drill.

6:45-6:50  I call the bus company and tell them DQ will not be riding the bus.  After careful consideration, I have decided to take her school from here on out.  The bus comes at 7am, school doesn't start until 7:45 {who knew}, and we only live 3/4 of a mile from school.  Silly if you ask me, however, I'll be cursing my decision come winter.

6:50-7:00  Meditate.  I need it, it's the boys first day of 'regular' preschool.  I need to calm my nerves without usage of vodka or some kind of pill or something.

7:15-7:30  In gathering the children's things for school, I remember it's picture day.  I promptly have the DQ change outfits, attempt to do something else with her hair, which only involves changing the pink bow to a blue one; and fill out the paperwork for pictures.

{Small tangent.  I hate that you have to pay in advance for photos that aren't even taken yet.  And they don't come cheap.  And seriously, who pays to get their kids photo airbrushed?  If you're doing this, we need to talk, or we can't be friends anymore...I'll miss you.}

7:35  In the car, off to school, drop off DQ and start preparing the boy for his bus ride in an hour to his new school.

7:55  Decide it's a good day to drive-thru and get a $9 cup of coffee, little treat for myself for being Mom of the Year.  Wait in massive line, apparently there are many Moms/Dads of the year. Only after placing my order and becoming blocked front to back in the drive-thru line, I realize I left my wallet sitting on the couch from writing the darn school picture check.  Blasted school pictures!

8:00  Apologize profusely to Barista, who obviously sees I'm a moron, as I tell her I could give her approximately $2.13, a handful of crusty almonds and a half pack of gum from the bottom of my purse in trade.  Thought as much, no coffee for me. 

Ask if she might take the boy as some kind of collateral while I go home and grab my wallet; but they'd probably give him an espresso and I'd go to jail or something.  Just for the record, I don't think I'd survive jail, just sayin'.

8:10  Back home, clean up, play with the boy.  I think I actually contemplate taking a shower at this point, but don't.  I should've filed down my crazy long-ass nails!

8:45  Walk upstairs out the door to wait for the boy's bus and realize upon closing the door that I have LOCKED it.  Important to note, I am key-less and phone-less, none of which would be particularly helpful at this point anyway.  Hidden spare somewhere outside you ask?  Absurd, I'd never lock myself out!  Ha!

8:53  Get the boy on the bus and circle the house in hopes of an open door or window.  Crap. 

9:00  I take a short walk to devise a plan.  Besides, the crows are making me nervous, I think they know.

9:30  I break into my house.  I will not say how, because that's just giving all you stalkers out there a winning lottery ticket.  But amazing what you can do with a rope, branch, sand shovel and Barbie leg.  That's right, I'm good.  Call me MacGuyver.  P.S. Nothing is broken or needs to be repaired!

I am pretty proud of myself.  All the sneaking out as a teenager paid off.  I'm not divulging any great secrets here, I got caught, a lot.  But each time it only made me smarter, and well, grounded longer. 

Thank you Jesus that I don't work Mondays.  Now wish me luck on the next few hours.

September 07, 2011

Sorry Kid, You're Stuck With Me

So I suppose I should do a first day of school post; now that I've sobered up and stopped crying celebrating.  The day actually went very well, all things considered.  This post is mostly dedicated to the Drama Queen and all her 1st grade glory, and how that poor kid has me for a Mother.  The boy is still in Autism Day Treatment, but will also begin INCLUSION into regular pre-school next week, posts to follow.  Scary, but awesome!

This is what I get when I ask for a
first grade pose.
Drama Queen has transitioned into first grade.  FIRST GRADE I SAID!   I don't know how old this makes me, but wahhh?  Seemed like this was years off, but I digress.  She was super excited to see her friends again, and go to school for an entire day.  You see she had to do half day Kindergarten last year, which explains the break-down she had 15 minutes before dismissal because she was tired.  Her words, "Mom, it was the longest day ever.  It was so long I can't remember what we did."  Yes, I know that feeling kid.  If you look closely you'll see that the DQ toiled and labored making a coordinating necklace and bracelet to match her dress for the first day.  They actually turned out pretty cute.  Now why when she makes me jewelry can it not be that cute?  Right.  No worries, I wear the macaroni necklaces with pride.

The day went great, she loves school and she loves her after school program.  Life is good.  My brain, not so good.  Naturally you had to have known by now this post was going to turn and be all about me, you've been reading long enough to realize my narcissistic tendencies.  I almost single handedly tarnished the first day of school for her.  No not with my crying and carrying on, and I wasn't hung-over or anything.  I almost made her late, and not like a few minutes, we are talking half an hour here! 

Might also add we only live 3/4 of a mile from school and we weren't walking.  We do get busing because we live in death valley, no sidewalks for miles and crazy teenagers that will run you over in a second while they are texting their BFF on their way to high school also a few blocks away.  I will admit I've almost hit a jogger or seven with my car.  It's very forest-like and naturey around here, can't see anything for the jungle-ish over-growth, {note the pictures, I'm not kidding}.  Someone should totally take care of that.  I will get my Dad on that pronto, he's falling behind.  That is not a lazy remark.  Should I really be handling garden shears, or some kind of chainsaw type thing?  I thought not.  Might have to hire a cute lawn-boy, hmmm.

So we get up and dressed for first day of school, excitement is in the air, I made chocolate chip pancakes {jokes on your first grade teacher, she'll be bouncing off the walls for hours, insert maniacal laugh}.  Yes, of course I'll volunteer for your first field trip...darn it.  Must have smelt the pancake breath.  So we are packing up and I'm thinking I am M.O.M of the year because we are way ahead of schedule and I haven't really had to use my Mom voice much, or say, "NOW" at all.  So it's roughly 7:41 a.m., school starts at 8:15 a.m.  So here's a peek into my so-called brain at approximately 7:41:

I'm awesome; this is going to be a great day!  8:15 is perfect.  Hmmm, wonder why I'm thinking 8:15?  Did I ever get anything in the mail that said school started at 8:15?  {Remember we did half day p.m last year}  Wait; was it the other school I was looking into that started at 8:15?  I never actually checked the website.  Geez, why don't these schools send you something in the mail so you know what's going on, I should complain to the PTO.  Oh geez, NO, then they'll want me to volunteer and staple a couple-a-thousand papers or lick a trillion envelopes or work in the library or sell concessions...I'll let it go. 

I am now having a slight panic attack, thinking I'm going to scar my daughter for life, so I pull up the school website.  Yep, you guessed it, 7:45!!!  *Cursing*  I am NOT awesome.  In fact, questioning my ability to competently mother any living creature at this point.

I can only describe what happened next as chaos, and me grabbing lunches, backpacks and rain boots for the boy because it's just easier, and running for the door.  We luckily arrived only a minute or two after the bell rang.  Last kid to arrive, but we weren't late!  I think first grade teacher thinks I'm barely holding it together as I couldn't give her a bus number either.  But listen first grade teacher, I've got this under control, she doesn't ride the bus home anyway.  Don't let this panicked look frighten you first grade teacher, I'm nice.  And look at my crazy people have cute kids like this?
Note: No time for before school pics,
these were taken after school.  Because
we were hustling.
Drama Queen and I are going to have to charm first grade teacher a bit.  I might have to make her something.  The boy also managed to erase her entire message on the dry erase board and shake the hamster cage while I was occupied with backpack unloading.  I should totally watch my kid right?  Mkay.  Cookies?  Might have to pull out the big guns and do some parent volunteer time here.

P.S. I am the only one volunteering to go on the field trip in two weeks.  I say, get it out of the way and go on the field trip with the least amount of clothing to be responsible for, i.e., snow pants, hats, mittens, scarves.  Not my first rodeo people.  I might not remember what time my kid's school starts, but I'm scary smart...sometimes.

{And now for one hour a week, I will be able to go to the grocery store ALONE, or totally blog or talk on the phone or me!  Or work, yeah, I'll probably be me!}

September 05, 2011

Reason #28 I'm Glad I'm Single

Hey everybody, guess who's single? Yep, me. I know, I know, broken record. So that's not a bad thing, especially at this time of year. Because....

I do not have to compete or be ignored by fantasy football!

This is a celebratory moment! Why it's taken me three years to do my "no flippin' fantasy football end-zone dance"?  I do not know. But listening to all my other fantasy football widow friends whimper for the last week, I get to say, "There, there, it will be over in a few months", as I give hugs of condolence. I do try hard to hide my laughter, I can't help myself, the joy exudes you see.

Now, I like me some football. Oh yes, more so the Saturday variety for me. That being said, the lengths to which some people, and I say people, because it is not just limited to men but women as well {although heavy on the man side} will obsess, be useless and unavailable until the end of December when some kind of light returns to their eyes that is not glued to ESPN.

And why do you have to get greedy, hmmm? Isn't one league sufficient? Why must you participate in 2 maybe 3? I don't understand this. I'm not trying to squash the fun here, no doubt fun to be had, but it can get out of hand quickly. The hours of draft parties, the totally ridiculous names {really, they are}, the cable channels, the websites, the magazines, the stats, stats, and endless talking about stats.

Here are some things I will not miss about being a fantasy football widow:

1. Hubs rising in the morning without as much as a "good morning", but off to check the injury reports.

2. Late for church due to minor major changes on the FF roster.

3. "We're going to the Emergency room/house is on fire/I'm choking." says me.

"Hey, where've you been and or huh?" says him, still looking straight ahead at the T.V.
{Had I died in above choking incident, and if it really happened, I'm sure the police would've been sympathetic to a cover-up scandal seeing as Fantasy Football was involved.  I can only speculate here, but I've heard rumors.}

4. Me dozing off into a coma while he talks for hours about his dream team, and Zeek, who I do not know, who is in his league.

5. Sixteen calls from Zeek on Sunday and six on Monday, which lead to pacing, swearing, and trash-talking. {Not by me...much}

6. Bromance with Zeek.

7. You can't just go somewhere and escape it, because you cannot leave your children behind. You'll only return to find them playing in the streets unattended or at the neighbor's house being watched by said neighbor's wife while said neighbor's husband is drinking beer with your child's alleged parental guardian on the couch.

So in honor of my Fantasy Football freedom, I might not even watch 86% of the games this year! That's right! And I'm quite sure other things besides football do come on television on Sunday and Monday evenings. But I don't watch too much TV, so I don't know what they are...but I might watch them. If by chance I do watch a game, I will be able to watch that one game, and not 4 continuous games via flip fest on remote. Won't that be nice?

Sweet, sweet Freedom!
So, friends, what are your thoughts on Fantasy Football?  Is there a happy medium? And if such a medium exists {me thinks NO}, it should be required to explain such at the draft party.