Thursday, June 28, 2012


While walking out after dropping my kids off at MDO, I passed a group of kids lining up for chapel. I heard two boys whisper;

"She has big boobies!"

Without turning around I said;

"I heard that and so did Jesus!"

I hope their worship is adjusted accordingly.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My Dear Little Prince,

Three years and 8ish months ago, I took a test telling me that we were going to have another baby. Over the next week, I became convinced that I was going to have a boy. Your father kept neutral and said that we had a 50/50 chance.

I was sure it was you.

Around 20 weeks we went for the ultrasound to see if we could find out if you were healthy and showy enough to let us know to reuse Sophie's pink blankets or follow traditional gender roles and buy something with baseballs. The tech swirled the wand on my belly and you greeted us with a pressed ham.

"We are either having a boy or a child with three legs." I announced.

You decided to follow in your sister's footsteps and come at 34 weeks. You added your own flair by not breaking my water, cutting the labor in half - thank you for that - and gasping like a fish out of water in my arms. I had enough time to register abject fear at your blue lips and kiss your head before you were whisked away by the NICU team at 4:38 PM. Around 9:00, your father and I made our way down to the NICU and found you strapped into this lovely little headset. I asked if I could hold you and a nurse gently told me that it probably wasn't a good idea at the time. They were having problems balancing your CPAP machine and the IV in your head and they didn't want you jiggled about. We stayed and stared at you for an hour before taking me back to my room. I was sharing my room with another woman who sat in her bed breastfeeding her chubby little boy. Your daddy couldn't stay with me since it was a shared room. When he left, I laid in my bed burning with fever and shaking with quiet tears as I listened to the baby sounds on the other side of the curtain. Your sister's NICU had been just down the hallway. In this hospital, you had to go down a hallway to the elevators, go down a floor, go through a lobby, another hallway, get onto another elevator and go up two floors before getting to the NICU.

People may call you a Mama's Boy. I prefer to think that I just worked my butt off for you and now I'm very grateful. You learned quickly and came home to us. You have been glued to my side ever since that day. You are my cuddliest child. You hold my hand whenever possible, even if we're just sitting on the couch.

As I write this, you are right by my side with your head on my shoulder. You went to Mothers Day Out today with cupcakes for the classroom. You don't cry when I drop you off. You simply trot inside and come back when I call you so that I can get a kiss. Your teachers are completely enamored with you. (Who wouldn't be?!) We have some hurdles to jump this year but Mama is going to be right here. I'll hold your hand the whole time.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Brain Dribbles

Ben left yesterday for Austin. He'll be back on Friday. It's just me and the monsters this week. They have "school" on Tuesday and Thursday so it's not all bad. I will get a break.

I just spelled that as "I will get a bread." Apparently, I'm a vegetarian cat.

Sophie slept in my bed last night. She and Gideon share a room and take HOURS to fall asleep while they talk, sing and throw things at each other. I went in an hour after their bedtime and they were both poopy. I changed them and noticed that Sophie was swaying with sleepiness. I asked her if she would rather sleep in my bed.

"OK!" Followed by gathering all gazillion stuffed animals and then laying diagonally across my bed.

I followed a few hours later after watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. VERY good. Stephen Fry is blessedly wonderful as Mycroft. I've loved all things Sherlock - aside, it is impossible for me to say that in anything other than Alan Cummings' voice  - since high school. The RDJ versions are wonderful as are the Benedict Cumberbatch. The new show Elementary?


Anyhoo...I came to bed, cleaned out the stuffed animals and shoved my darling limp rag doll daughter over to her side of the bed. At 3:30 AM, I woke up to Sophie blindly crawling around the bed until she curled up at my feet. I'm pretty sure she was still asleep. I coaxed her up to the pillows again where she grabbed the comforter and covered her head.

Then I was awakened by my dearest tap-tap-tap-tap-tapping my forehead at 6:30 AM. With her face about 2 centimeters away from mine.

I shoved my iPhone at her and got another hour of sleep. Go, technology.

I got everyone up and realized that we were out of milk. So, we all went to Kroger in our pajamas and bedhead. I was That Woman and I so didn't care. I needed Dr Pepper and sinus medicine too badly.

We're all still in our jammies. Milly and I have nose issues. We're going to take it easy today.

You have yourself a good day, too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Half Time!

Sophie is starting to take an interest in how she looks. Whenever I fix her hair, she runs for the bathroom mirror to preen and look at how beautiful she is. I found a pair of knock-off Crocs in purple and she wears them at every possible moment. (Including trying to get them into the bathtub. ) She also has a pair of neon green Converse that make her little heart go pitter pat. Her latest fashion statement are her tutus. She has a yellow one and a purple one. (Purple is her favorite color.)

Today was Royalty Day at Mother's Day Out. I sat down last night and tried desperately to make Sophie a shiny crown to wear. She actually showed a lot of enthusiasm at my ham-handed attempt at craftiness and wore it to school today.

Pink shirt, purple tutu, yellow glitter socks, neon green shoes, tinfoil crown.

She's beautiful, my precious Firstborn. I gaze at this picture...I can only think of one thing...

Yep. That's my girl.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Walled In

Gideon wanders around the room with a Power Ranger. He stops to make the toy bounce around a table and the baby gate. He babbles to himself; sometimes loudly and sometimes very quietly. Sometimes I can understand a few words or the tune to a song. He'll wander over to where I'm sitting and climb up beside me. He snuggles next to my arm and keeps talking to his Power Ranger. He always sits as close as he can to me.

Tonight, as I dressed him for bed, I had to chase him a little and then wrangle him to the ground. I got his diaper changed and put his clothes on. I was able to get him to say "shirt". Kinda. After we said our family prayers, he was sent to me for kisses. He kissed me soundly and I grabbed him up to snuggle and tickle him. After he finished giggling, I sat him in front of me.

"I love you. Can you say 'I love you', Gideon?"

Nothing. He can't even look me in the eyes. He just looks around the room. No more babbling. Just wandering eyes.

"Gideon? *tap my chin twice* Can you say 'I love you'?"

Still looking around.

"Baby, can you say 'Mama'?"

He briefly meets my eyes and grins. So I just gather him up and kiss him again. I put him to bed and tell him I love him.

I don't know what my little boy dreams. I don't know what he thinks about. He doesn't tell me what he wants to eat and drink so I have to guess. He's not potty trained because every time I've tried to teach him he just repeats the words while smiling. He intently watches Play With Me Sesame, Imagination Movers and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He knows most of the episodes and has started to parrot them back.

Ben and I talked about Gideon yesterday. We talked about what we're missing. We don't get to hear little boy descriptions of anything. We play cars, Legos and blocks with Gideon but he gets distracted fast and will wander off. If the teachers at his various schools didn't tell us what happened during the day then we would have no idea if he had a good or bad day.

This is not to say that he won't learn. Better days are coming. Through speech and behavior therapy combined with time, he'll be able to communicate with us.

I still can't help but look at my little man as he sits playing with his toys and wonder what I'm missing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


For as long as I can remember, my dreams have had two things in common;

  • I am naked.
  • I am at school or work.
Any armchair psychologists want to take a crack at this?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Slippery Slope

While the kids napped yesterday, NAPPED!, I quickly cleaned up around the house. I scrubbed out the back fridge and swapped out some laundry. Then I decided to give the kids some kiddie pool time when they got up. We've had some storms lately so I honestly had no idea where the kiddie pool had ended up in the backyard. I went outside with visions of the pool draped across the roof like a Dali painting. I found it half-full of water behind the shed/wasp house. Braving the flying devils, I emptied and cleaned the pool. I set it closer to the house and left it to fill up while I collected toys, swim diapers, towels, sunscreen and suits.

By this time, the kids were up and hollering so I got everyone up. Sophie jumped out of bed in just a pull-up and immediately put on her purple croc knock-off sandals. I finally convinced the little nudist to let me put her swimsuit on. Her eyes lit up as she realized that watery goodness was nigh. Gideon just walked around in circles and babbled, as is his way. I put Milly on my hip and led everyone outside.

Look! Pool! Yay, fun!


Seriously, get in the pool.

So, I got in first while precariously holding a now very slippery Milly. Sophie delicately climbed in and began pouring water from cup to cup to cup to cup. Gideon came over and just looked at the water. I nabbed him when he got close enough and stood him in the water. I still couldn't get him to sit down. So he just wandered around and babbled while throwing toys like grenades.

Any time one of them got too splashy, I grabbed a bucket and doused them. They both thought this was great fun and were doused many times. That got me thinking...Sophie throws foundation-shattering fits when we pour a cup of water over her head in the bathtub. Out in the pool? Bring on the water! Maybe I could bathe her in the backyard! It's summer in Texas so it's warm enough. Then I started to take stock;
  • non-running car in the front. not on blocks but...
  • foil in the kids' windows. they need complete darkness to sleep.
I think bathing my kid in the backyard would complete the trashy trifecta. Next I'll find myself wearing American flag tank tops and standing barefoot on the stoop yelling at my kids to get out of the yard while holding Milly on my hip.

Of course, I already do that...

Maybe I can buy some blackout curtains and buy myself a little time.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Domesticating the Kids

Since Sophie was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, I've been reading and researching every day. I'm always on the lookout for ways to teach her and communicate. What can I do to improve her vocabulary? What games will be the best way to keep her entertained? Let's find more ways to socialize her so that she's surrounded by emotions and facial expressions.

She and her siblings are already attending Sunday School as often as we can. The Month of Sickness kept us from church for a while but we're back and the kids really enjoy their classes. We also send them to a local church for Mother's Day Out on Wednesdays and Fridays. It's there that Sophie made her first real friend. She remembers his name and tells me about their day. The teacher says that she and this little boy chase each other all day, every day. Her Daddy isn't wild about the fact that Sophie is already chasing boys but I just assume she's like her Mama. It was way more fun to play with the boys on the playground. And in the lunch room. And after school. Fine, I was somewhat boy-crazy but not in the romantic sense! (Although, I did fine in that area.)

We've also found another church running a summer camp/MDO program. This one is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sophie's class will be taught by a PPCD teacher. I'm eager to see what she thinks Sophie's next step should be. I would really like some direction for what to do next. Should Sophie start public school? Would a Montessori school be more engaging? Would a private school have the resources she needs? Do we need to do more therapy before enrolling Sophie into school?

Another way to structure Sophie's day is to introduce her to domestic tasks. She's now learned the whole laundry process. She can sort clothes, load the laundry baskets, load clothes into the washer, unload the dryer and hang up her shirts. I talk to her every time about what we're doing, showing her how our clothes get dirty when we wear them and how they get clean and back into our drawers and closets. I'm going to make a social story so that she can see the process.

What is a social story? The way I see it, it's a piece of paper or set of cards with pictures and a simple story telling what happens in a situation from real life. You take the kiddos through the whole process of something, like doing the laundry, to help them understand how to do the individual steps and why they should be done. Routine is a HUGE deal for Sophie. These social stories will help her patiently go though new situations so that she won't get anxious about something she's never encountered.

Today, Sophie is helping with the laundry. She's broken chocolate chip cookies apart and put them on the baking sheet. She's carried dishes to the sink. Domestic chores are good for spectrum kids because it's the same routine every time. It puts order into their lives which is soothing to Sophie's little mind.

It also gets Mama moving to keep up with the laundry.