Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kissing Spells TROUBLE.

Parenting Fail?
Parenting Win?
Or both?

I've learned that being a parent means you not only get to beat yourself up about your own screw-ups (of which I have many) but you also get to beat yourself up over your kids' screw-ups (of which they have many.) And today was one of those days that felt like one big fat parenting fail until I stepped back and looked at it from a different angle. A lesson was learned. One child screwed up but made it right, and one child gave awesome advice. So maybe we should be looking at it as a parenting win? Or maybe a parenting wail? (that's win and fail put together. Come on people, keep up.......) 

The kids came home from school all smiles and got started on homework right away. I didn't suspect anything was wrong until Isaac came and asked to speak to me privately? He then proceeded to tell me that he got in trouble on the bus today. And that he was called out by the principal. I was mortified because this was our first "in trouble with the principal" moment. There are many firsts in parenting, but this is not one you look forward to....unless you're sadistic...... He was very honest and told me what he had done and said that he should be punished. I won't go into full detail but let's just say the principal was justified in her frustration and Isaac was not justified in his behavior. And let's also say the incident involved, but was not limited to, the singing of the "k-i-s-s-i-n-g" song. That stinking song is still around?! (I should also say that while it is annoying that the song is still around, I'm glad it does teach spelling and I'm also glad "kissing" hasn't been changed to another word that would fit just as well. I mean, you just never know these days......) Anyway, I told him I appreciated his honesty and that I would need to talk to his dad before a punishment was decided upon. Then I told him I was disappointed in him which led to many tears and hugs and a talk about how everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs forgiveness. Apology letters were written and it wasn't until much later that I wondered why he came and told me? I hadn't heard (yet) from the principal so I may have never found out. 

So I asked him why he told me?

He told me he was worried and upset, so he opened up to his sister about the situation and she told him that she wasn't going to tell on him, but that she thought he should decide on a time to tell us. She told him that we wouldn't be as mad if we heard it from him first.

Damn straight, sister. Damn straight. 

And what's even more awesome? When I went to her to thank her for giving him such good advice, I asked her if she saw the incident? She told me she didn't see it and Isaac didn't want to tell her what he had done; he just wanted advice. She told me she didn't need to know.

Holy Cow.  
Is she 9?! Or 19?!

Because I'm 36 and I'm pretty sure I still would have wanted to know what happened. In fact, I probably would have withheld advice and given wedgies until my little sibling told me exactly what they had done.

So basically it was a hard parenting day. And hard parenting days now are different than they used to be. Hard parenting days five years ago were full of cleaning up poop and food and tantrums. Hard parenting days now are spent wondering if your child is going to end up in jail because he or she sings the "kissing" song to the wrong person at the wrong time?  I mean, what if they sing it to their boss and then later find out that the boss was actually kissing someone he wasn't supposed to be kissing and the boss thinks they found out and so the boss fires them? And then they have no money so they try to steal a loaf of bread from the store. And then they get caught. And then they spend twenty years in prison because the prison guard has NO empathy and when they finally escape and try to make things right by raising a dead prostitute's only child, they are constantly on the run and have no peace from the prison guard.....Okay wait, that's Les Mis, but you get what I'm saying, right?

Parenting is hard.
And awesome.
And scary.
All at the same time.

And Isaac?
He didn't get in trouble at home or school this time because he was honest. And I honestly don't think he'll make that mistake again.

And even though I think he would be a wonderful first ever African American Jean Valjean, I hope life never comes to that. Because this kid is awesome. And so is his sister. And I only want the best for all of these people!

(The best preferably starting with a win over UNC tonight.......)

Happy Parenting.
This stuff is hard.

May the Force be with You.

Friday, February 21, 2014


When we were pregnant with our third, we realized we needed a practical vehicle that could fit three young kids, car seats, strollers, pack n' plays, etc. So we did what other practical families of five do and bought a used minivan. And that used minivan has been dying a slow and painful death for the past two years.

We said farewell last weekend. 

And I told the kids to enjoy this amount of legroom for the last time:

Because that leg room is gone. Finito. It ain't never coming back.

We downsized to a used, hopefully very reliable mazda 5.

Some people refer to it as a wagon, and some still call it a minivan. If it is a "minivan,"  it uses the term "mini" very literally.

The legroom is gone, but so is gas guzzling. 
And so far, I really like it.
Zoom Zoom.

I may change that opinion on our first road trip when we have to strap the kids to the top of the car so the dogs and luggage will have a place to sit......but you know.....I think they might like it up there.

PS - We call her "Tiny."

In other News:
Emma Grace made us a special Valentine's Day Breakfast while we were snowed in.
Love this girl and her sweet spirit.

Isaac had student led conferences yesterday.
He and his teacher seem to agree that he does a great job in school but is a bit on the talkative side.
That was not shocking, brand-new information.

My goddaughter is still precious as can be and she is a CHUNK. None of my babies were chunks so I find it hilarious. I mean this girl can do some eating. I love nothing more than a girl who eats!

Speaking of eating, this one is still hanging out in the 10th percentile which pretty much rocks my socks. We're aiming for higher than that, but still.....dude has never hit the 10th and stayed there for longer than like 30 minutes before. We're now two months at 10th.

Woot Woot!

And last but not least, I'm so glad to know that swimsuit season is right around the corner. Hands down, this is my favorite time of the year. I love nothing more than a good challenge of cramming my muffin top into a swimsuit.

And I'm also so so happy that Target found some leftovers from their 1980's stock of swimsuits for us to choose from. Thank you, Jesus. That is one hot swimsuit right there.

(My sincere apologies to anyone who actually likes the above swimsuit. I'm sure some people can pull it off. Just nobody who lives in this house.)

Happy Weekending.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Something New

Dear Autistic Mama's,

We're trying something new this week.
And (knock on wood) it's helping.

We're numbering and labeling our day in the order it will happen and letting Owen draw it the way he sees it happening instead of using stickers or magnets.

This is one of Owen's days:

1. Starbucks coffee/Target Run
2. Play at Home
3. Play at school with dinosaurs
4. Come back home
5. Wait for EG and Isaac to get home.
6. Play with Emma Grace and Isaac
7. Eat Dinner.
8. Go to bed.

Now I'm not gonna lie, this activity takes awhile. And it takes patience because if the drawing doesn't turn out the way he likes, well then (obviously) we have to start over.  BUT it has been helpful. Even his teacher commented that he was having an easier time transitioning into school instead of shutting down and going to sleep.

 You see that smile there?

That's a public smile! Public! 
He had his list in his pocket. He pulled it out often to see what was next and he still wanted to be carried, but he was smiling AND interacting with me while there. He wasn't overwhelmed. We had a really fun morning. Seriously. I enjoyed being out with him so much! And life doesn't always happen like that.

Now I know what works for some of us doesn't work for others. 
And I know this may not be a long-term fix, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. So if your kid likes art and struggles with transitions, give it a try. It may not work, but then again it may. You might get to go out in public and drink coffee and have a tear-free morning. And that's worth a million bucks right there.

One Excited Autistic Mama

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chinese, please.

On my way to school this morning to take a test on histology: identifying all the various tissues and their functions in the body.

I think I would have an easier time learning chinese.

So far I have an A in this class.

That may drastically change today.


(that's not me. in case you're wondering.)