Thursday, December 27, 2007


We watched Mickey Mouse's Twice Upon a Christmas. A lot. Some of the time he was on his new Big Wheel. The other 592 times, I was bouncing him on my lap.
Vrooommm. As you may notice from the wardrobe changes (love the sweater vest), present opening was done in shifts.
He was so excited about his new ramp he couldn't wait for Opa to put it together! Thanks, guys!
I kid you not, my child nested all but one of these cups correctly. That kind of work is really a struggle for Little Man not only because of the skill it requires, but also because of the patience! Go Punkin!
Speaking of patience, his attention lasted through 1 and 1/2 cookies. Then Opa saved us both and took him on a walk!

Friday, December 21, 2007

change of heart

Last week, specifically Thursday, I was mad. Just plain mad and anxious and mad. We had no money. And none was going to be coming in. I was mad at myself for not having looked for a better paying job by now. I was mad at SSI for their ridiculous rules. And I was mad at Punkin's dad for being irresponsible and completely incapable of keeping a job. There was no money for rent. No money for groceries. No money for student loans. And certainly no money for Christmas presents. Fortunately, I felt I had Christmas under control because we had signed up for the Angel Tree at the Salvation Army. And I felt a glimmer of hope about SSI (our monthly payments were disappearing) because I had a meeting with them after I picked up his gifts. So I check in at Savation Army. An hour later I call my mom to come sit with me. Thirty minutes later I leave my mom to pick out the presents for me so I don't miss my SSI appointment. I am almost in tears at this point. I haven't felt that deflated in a long time. If I couldn't buy the presents at the store, I at least wanted to be able to pick them out from the tables at charity. But I did the best I could to suck it up and be thankful that at least there were presents to pick up and that my mom was available to do it for me. At the SSI office, it started off pretty bad. Within the first 5 minutes, I thought I was wasting my time. But, as it turns out, one last look at the computer screen prompted a question that changed everything. "Do you have two jobs?" Um, no. (Pampered Chef doesn't count.) In October, I was honest and reported some income from doing my church's newsletter. And even though I wrote very clearly in black ink that it was a one-time payment, it was being calculated into my income every month. The good news? They could fix it for January; this would help me squeeze out rent. And the payments should start steadily increasing from now on. The bad news: the adjustments for other months it was miscalculated would go into Punkin's dedicated account. This money can only be used to buy things that related directly to medical or educational needs. No matter how poor you are, they will not allow you to use it to pay rent. So I left relieved but still sad and frustrated. Oma and I went to the store while Punkin had respite. She had gotten some cute stuff at Salvation Army and we found chocolate covered pretzels at the store, so I was feeling a smidge better. On the way home I bought Wendy's for dinner, which I couldn't really afford. And just as I was sinking back down into my pity party, I opened my mailbox and found a gift from two angels. I will only say that our basic needs are being met this month. And I was able to pick up a few more fun things for Punkin to unwrap on Christmas. The Lord Provides. The past few days have basically been one big sigh of relief.

I am now very ready for Monday and Tuesday, especially after opening these boxes:
My camera is just not as fast as my toddler! All of these pictures are blurry.
Hhmmm. Packing peanuts.
The ONE still shot. Out of twenty. And it's pixalated because I was trying out Action Mode.
What was I thinking????
Do you know how long it took to clean this up???

By the way, everyone on Punkin's dad's side of the family has sent well-wishes, except--of course--his father. Sometimes I'm glad Punkin may never understand that situation. For all of you whose children do question the other parent's lack of support: I do not envy you.

More pictures after the big day! I cannot WAIT to see my sister and the rest of my extended family. My heart is aching for some family time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

every day is closer to friday!

This is what we do aaalllll daayyy. But he's so darned sweet about asking! "Jump? Monna? Jump? Pease?" And even if I attempt to say no, he still crawls onto my lap, lays on his back, and waits for me to give in. He's gotten a haircut since these pictures were taken. He looks so grown up now! He was really good, too. We go to a place that is more expensive, but they let the kids sit in pretend cars and watch movies while they get their hair cut. Brilliant! I had to hold his hands, but otherwise no fussing!
"Da fighder!" I have no idea what he is saying or why, but every time he picks up a fork, spoon, long cardboard tube from wrapping paper, or even a straw, he holds it out and says, "Fighder!" My cousin, also FX, loves wooden spoons. So the fact that Punkin found this in Oma's kitchen and took to it right away really isn't surprising. In fact, I kind of like it because it reminds me of family. Sometimes I wish I knew what he was thinking, but then it occurred to me: If I knew what he was thinking all the time, would I still be so interested? If there was no mystery, would I be fascinated?

Monday, December 17, 2007

i so got my toddler to eat a salad

He's almost three. THREE. Not three months. Three years. This means he should stop waking up every 90 minutes. That being said, it is bedtime.
OH--Who watched Snoop? The second episode was definitely better than the first, though that may have been because of the man date with Beckham. The yoga session in the pilot cracked me up, too.
And The Girls? I wanted to give Holly a big hug when Hef was so clearly not listening to her about the gym renovations. I can't believe she kept her cool. I would have lost it. I mean, Hef was telling her to do the exact things she had just gotten done talking about. Shutup for a minute and listen!
Okay, now I'm really done. Right after I take another look at Punkin's hilarious expression in the above picture.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

also this morning, i purposely emptied an entire role of wrapping paper so he would leave me to wrap gifts in peace

Remember Santa? Santa is now without his book. Unfortunately for Santa and all of his eager listeners, the book contained the magic transit wires between pressing a button and hearing the story. And unfortunately for Punkin's mommy, when Punkin asked, "Monna? Sanna? Pease?"
I had to tell him--I didn't want to tell him for fear of the response ruining our otherwise calm morning-- I blurted it out rather calmly, "Santa is broken."
"Monna? Peease? More? Sanna?"
"Honey, it's broken. Santa broken. No Santa."
He discovers the misplaced book on the floor, wires hanging out one end. "Uh oh. Uh oh. Broden. Uh oh." Two minutes later it had turned into a whiney wimper, "Uhhh 0000hhh. Brooooodddeeennn." I need to find a really good hiding spot for this one, but since it is beyond repair, the hiding spot may end up being the garbage.
A good read on Fragile What?!. Focused on autism, but still applies a lot to Mr. Punkin.

Another good read on X Men.

Friday, December 14, 2007

" Nigh-Night Meh-Mo"
"Nan-nee? Some?" He found the M&Ms and how to reach them.
"Nan-nee? Nan-nee? Ya."
***Forgot to mention that we came home yesterday morning from school because Punkin threw up and had a temperature. Well, his teacher and I decided later that he threw up on purpose because he didn't like having the new associate in his room. And his temp, around 99, was probably due to being upset since it disappeared as soon as we got home. He's still gagging himself a lot. Three times yesterday when the respite worker was here and then a couple times for me today. I think he'll be doing it more at school now seeing as how he got out of class and got to watch Barney in the nurse's office with one of the teachers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

we have a new role model

See the resemblance?? The guy is Dan Zane from the Disney Channel. Punkin and I love him cause he sings and plays guitar. (Photo courtesy of Festival Five Records.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

every day is a gift; that's why they call it the present

After work today, I went and picked up Punkin at his school. I walked in to find him standing on his cot, talking on a pretend phone. "Yeyo? Ya? Ya. Bye." He sees me, "Monna. Phone. My phone. Da phone." I suggest putting it away,"No, my work. Ya. Yes? Yeyo?" He hangs it up and puts it in the pretend kitchen. So we gather his stuff, which includes a fabulous paper plate cut in a swirly pattern with glitter on top. I'm hanging it in the bedroom for sure. Maybe the kitchen. Maybe.

So I'd like to complain some more about my shoulder. Cause my mom hasn't heard enough! The chiro says it's a tendon -- a common problem. It feels better when I leave the office and feels awful again approximately 5 minutes later after I deal with Punkin McPunkster.

Anyway, after I pick him up from school, we head over to his new school to hang out with his teacher. I dropped him off for about 20 minutes. He was fine at first. Gave me a funny look, but fine. About 12 minutes later, I went past the door and heard him screaming "Monna!" and trying to open the door. He sounded a teensy bit mad. Full meltdown mode. His teacher saw me through the window of the door and made sure I didn't come in. She wanted him to calm down first. They found me later, and he attatched himself to me like an industrial strength magnet. Turns out he got frustrated with a toy and lost it. All I thought was, "Well, at least he wasn't in trouble for hitting her!"

We then went to the Post Office, where a package has been waiting for about 4 days now. That, surprise surprise, was not a very happy experience. Too much waiting. Too many people. Too much mommy sore shoulder, which prevented her from holding him. Silly mommy.

Finally we arrived home to bond with The Incredibles. A short time later, it was time to brave socialization again at our church's advent supper and service. I almost turned the car around and drive home when he made himself vomit in the car, but I really wanted a church supper. (He makes himself throw up when he's stressed.) It was tacos, corn, and fruit cocktail. Not the vomit, the dinner. Pretty much a perfect menu. And the service was led by the middle schoolers, which was quite entertaining to Little Man at first. Much dancing took place on our pew. But after escaping the pew 3 times, reading Brown Bear Brown Bear to the congregation about 6 times, and taking his pants off, I decided I had given church my best effort and bowed out a little early. (I must say, though, that he took his pants off because he wanted to go potty--which he did.)

Feeling drained, sore, and slightly defeated, we walked outside hand in hand to find ourselves enveloped in the lightest, prettiest snowfall of the season thus far. I noticed it was snowing, but I didn't really see it until Punkin started spinning in slow circles and holding his hands out to catch the flakes. "Wow." And that's when a certain peace hit me. A much needed sense of okayness. It's also when I remembered the line from one of the children's songs, "Every day is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Kids are so darned smart sometimes.

I wanted to leave it on that happy note, but I just couldn't. Because in all fairness, every day is also sort of exhausting. But that's okay. Life isn't always rose colored. I just think we have to stop and listen when God is trying to ease the reality of hyper destructo stripper boy with gentle snowflakes.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

lots of stuff, no unifying theme

1. Punkin has been visiting his new classroom after school. He is being pretty good about it, but I have been there the whole time and he gets to do what he wants. So on Monday, I'm leaving the room!

2. Speaking of the new room, she has two toys we love. The first are big legos. Not so much for stacking, but for their tactile properties. He was so distracted rubbing his fingers and wrists across the tops of them, I don't think he could hear a thing I was saying. I'll try to take a picture of his face next time. So cute. And he loves her car ramp. "Weee!"

3. He was sitting on the floor. I was sitting on the couch. He had some blocks. He looked up and said, "Monna, play?" AHHHH! I died. THEN then he said "Bodda (Opa), downstairs?" Then he pooped on the carpet (see previous post).

4. His class has been making smoothies this week. All of the kids get to help put the fruit in the blender and press the buttons. He was SO excited today. The thing is, I'm not sure he even ate it because of the texture. But making it was such a thrill. I love that. I hope he never outgrows that childlike amazement.

5. I went to a junior high dance tonight to help my friends chaperone. I probably don't even need to say any more. There was the typical slow dancing with ample room for the Holy Spirit, as my mother would say. And they played a game where my teacher friends got wrapped together with toilet paper and had to shuffle across the room. Good times.

6. I don't know why this is a list.

7. We're a little stuck on the snow. Perseverating a bit. Snow comes out "nnnoooo." He wants to touch it, eat it, and stomp in every square foot. Walking 10 feet to the car is quite a journey.

8. No, he has not pooped on the carpet again. Or in the toilet. I just kept thinking, "I don't have a dog. So why is there poop on my floor?"

9. The Girl's Next Door season premier is SUNDAY. As in tomorrow. Followed by the fabulous Snoop Dogg. Who's watching it??? You better believe you will hear all about it on Monday, so it'd be best to just watch it with me so you have a reference point.

10. Today is a chill day. Tomorrow is a busy day. Today I am making speghetti for my friender for lunch. And then I am going shopping for tomorrow. I am hosting a table at my church's advent celebration for women. I'm making a trifle. It's a Pampered Chef recipe. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I remember to take pictures. If a picture of brownies shows up on my blog, you will know my ambitions were too lofty.

UPDATE: I missed it! Both of them! All that waiting, and I missed it! The Advent celebration lasted longer than expected. More later.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

uh...okay...maybe it's developmental?

Punkin just pulled his pants and diaper down around his ankles and pooped on the carpet.

Are you done laughing?

Not yet?

Maybe now?

K. Good enough. I mean, what do you do? I didn't know; I just froze, staring at the turd laying in my living room. Then I snapped out of it, thankfully, and said, "Let's go poop in the potty" in my best fake calm voice as I carried him to the toilet. He did go more, if you must know. And he did get a "nornge" (orange) sticker.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

love adjustable waist corduroys that are on sale! (no, not for me. although that is one cost-effective solution)

I was checking out and I found a shirt that says, "I'm with neurotypical." I also found one about fragile x, but it's not majorly awesome. I need to think of something clever. I do like the, "I'm not naughty, I'm autistic," but Punkin doesn't have that label. Plus, I'd like to raise awareness about FX more specifically. I should start that letter writing campaign to Oprah. And Ellen. I would love to meet Ellen. I can totally see myself acting a fool, dancing on her stage. Hilarious.

Sometimes I feel like we go days without having any major meltdowns. Other times I feel like we have been having a major meltdown for days. This leaves me feeling a bit drained intellectually. All I can think is, "Use your words. What do you want? Can you find the picture? No hitting. Gentle hands. Not a choice."

The hyperactivity is reaching a new level of "Omygoshwhatisgoingon?" Speaking of attention spans, I found another shirt on cafepress that I meant to tell you about but I forgot. It had a mommy duck and three baby ducks. Two of them were following the mommy and the last one was facing the opposite direction, chasing a butterfly. It would be better if I had pictures of these shirts, but I clicked out of the screen and now I am too lazy to go searching for them again. Back to the hyperactivity. I am learning to ignore the stares in public when he screams and takes off across the department store.

However, the unsolicited parenting advice is killing me. Partly because sometimes it's disguised as friendly baby talk. "Oh! Where are your shoes you silly boy? It's so cold. Tell your mommy, say, I need my shoes. Yes I do." Thank you. Thankyouverymuch. Cause it never occurred to me to put shoes on his feet. HIS SHOES ARE IN MY PURSE BECAUSE HE IS POST MELTDOWN BECAUSE I HAD TO TAKE HIM TO THE POST OFFICE EARLIER AND HE WAS HUNGRY AND TIRED BUT HE CAN'T TAKE A NAP BECAUSE HE FELL ASLEEP FOR 5 MINUTES IN THE CAR AND HE THREW HIS SHOE AT ME AND I AM JUST TRYING TO LEAVE THE STORE WITH MY HOT DOGS AND PINEAPPLE BECAUSE THAT IS ALL HE WILL EAT EVEN THOUGH I WOULD LOVE TO COOK SOME CHICKEN STIR FRY AND CAESAR SALAD INSTEAD.

Okay, I'm done now.