Saturday, December 31, 2011

Markers and Memories

You expect 2 year-olds to suck on markers--heck I might even expect a 3 year-old to suck on markers.  At some point though, you've gotta stop.  I would have thought at 10 we would be past this stage, but apparently we're not.  I'm trying to decide if the feelings of disgust in myself are warranted though.  Here's why: if I wasn't so lazy I probably could have prevented it.  I'm going to confess--I walked by the pile of markers for days (yes, that's a plural) thinking to myself, "I should pick those up or Aaron is going to draw all over _______" (and every time I walked by I thought of a different object that he would write on).   Did I ever exert the 20 calories it would have taken to walk over to the markers and pick them up?  Nope.  Well actually, in the end I did because I got to clean up the markers AND his face.  The good news to this story is that the only casualties were Aaron's mouth and a few markers.  The computer made it out unscathed (which in the past hasn't always been the case), and the carpet fared well too.  Whew!

Now for an "awe how cute" story.  Aaron loves Disneyland.  Husband has videos of our last trip on his computer, and apparently Aaron went looking through the computer for something fun to look at.  When I walked in, he had moved the office chair into the kitchen where the computer was, unplugged the iPhone that was syncing (ha ha ha--I'm laughing only because it wasn't my phone), and was watching a video of himself riding the Buzz Lightyear ride.  He was doing this while playing with a Buzz Lightyear light up toy.  It was so precious.  It made me want to grab his headphones and head off to the most magical place on Earth.  Even if that did mean I had to ride the stupid steamboat 400 times!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


As a kid did you ever take a marshmallow and squish it between your fingers to make it like taffy?  Aaron has somehow figured out the speedy way to do this.  I'm not sure how he figured it out (it must have been one of his siblings--it's always their fault), but he likes to microwave marshmallows.  So I went to the store yesterday and they had these HUGE marshmallows on sale for 99¢.  Daughter had just had braces put on, so I was a sucker to get them for her (even though she can't eat them...didn't really see the logic in that one).  So the Little Monster saw the "meyyows" (as he calls them), and he wanted one.  He got a plate out and brought me the bag.

I must have been in a delusional state of mind, because I knew how this was going to end--which was messy.  He had eaten his dinner (in just shy of 45 minutes...yay), so what the heck.  He takes the gigantic meyyow over to the microwave and wants me to start it.  At this point I'm more than willing to do it myself because it would be a total disaster if he started working the microwave to cook his own marshmallow.  Can you imagine the clean up on an exploded marshmallow?  Anyhow I carefully watch the meyyow and pop it out when it's almost ready (no need to take any risks), and hand it over to him.  He goes running through the kitchen with it, and starts to play.  In my wishful thinking I hand him a wet washcloth hoping that this time he'll use it instead of his pants.  Nope.  Gotta use the pants.  Meyyow eating has to be 100% supervised because, well...duh.

Aaron has strategically placed himself so that he can see his reflection in the sliding glass door while he's eating his meyyow. So there he sits for the next half an hour, making funny faces at himself in the door, stretching the meyyow and smearing it all over his pants and the table.  Awesome.  Because I made him stay sitting down while he at his meyyow, the mess was contained, and a quick strip of the pants and a LONG time with his hands under hot water to dissolve the sugar, he was on his way, leaving me to scrub down the table!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Slamming doors

In our house slamming doors is a good thing and a bad thing.  Side note--it's ALWAYS a bad thing when your typically developing teenage does it (not that two of mine would EVER think of doing that).  While a slamming door may indicate the mood of most people (including my other children), when done by Aaron, it's a different story.  To every door-slam there is a silver lining--so the good news first: the best part about Aaron slamming a door is you know either he is in a room or he has just left a room (which is also good because you know he's in the house).  The bad news is: he is either in a room or has just left a room--which generally means there is trouble brewing.  Which brings me to this evening.

A door slammed.  Of course it was an upstairs door and I was downstairs.  I knew Aaron had just gone upstairs, so I ran up there to see where he was (by the way--I hate having stairs--I was hoping I would get in shape, but no dice--turns out if you send your kids up and down the stairs to do things for you the whole exercise thing doesn't work).  His bedroom door was open and he wasn't in it (bad news).  My bedroom door was closed (potential bad news), but after a quick sweep of my bedroom, bathroom and closet (because he now thinks is fun to hang out in there) I determined he wasn't in my room (more bad news--but good news at the same time because that means he wasn't ruining MY stuff).  I start questioning myself that he did in fact go upstairs, and thinking that I'm hoping I'm not going crazy--which despite my denial, I think most people know the truth.  Anyhow, just as I'm determining that I may be crazy, the little monster walks out of his sister's room with three pieces of candy.  I said, "where did you get that candy?" At that point his selective-hearing-sister comes running out of the room she was in and swipes it out of his hands so fast he didn't have time to put a death grip on it.  She's irritated because he stole it, I'm irritated because I didn't know she had it (otherwise I would have gotten to it first), and Aaron is irritated because she ripped it out of his hands.  I'm laughing on the inside because this incident solves a mystery that I've been facing the past couple of days.  There have been candy wrappers on the floor around Aaron's computer, and I couldn't figure out where they came from.  Now I know.  The next time my daughter is out of the house Aaron and I are going to take a field trip into the abyss also known as her bedroom.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving update and funny story

Well, Aaron made it through the move.  I have to say I was very concerned about how he would do because the last time we moved it was a disaster.  With him being older, and his parents knowing how to prepare him better, I think he ended up being okay.  He's been sleeping through the night and didn't start looking for ways to escape out of the backyard until today...Today he paced the backyard fence looking for the best way to get outta here!  Luckily we've become friends with the people who bought our old house, so if he shows up there they know how to get a hold of us!  :)

Anyhow--the funny story.  One of the reasons we moved was to spare our neighbors from a frequently naked 10 year-old (sparing them from the naked part that is).  Well new neighbors, here we are!  One of the things that drew us to our current house is there are no neighbors behind us, none on one side of us, and a rambler on the other side of us--theoretically no one can see in our backyard (and if I catch them, then I can report them).  HOWEVER...apparently windows are a different story.  Let me leave this part of the story, give you another story, and then I'll connect the two.

One of Aaron's favorite things about the new house is the master bathroom.  It has (in the words of a friend) "a party tub"--a nice, big corner soaking tub.  Aaron is a bath-taker.  That was the first thing he wanted to do, so he enjoyed the tub before anyone else.  The next night I told him it was time for bed and he ran into my bathroom and stripped down really fast.  I said, "do you want to take a shower?" (because I really didn't feel like sitting there while he took a bath) and he said, "bath".  Fine.  Well tonight I decide that I was going to try the "party tub" for the first time.  I get the candles lit, the bubbles in, and my Pure Moods music going when I hear "the boy" running down the hall to come into my bathroom.  I lock the door as fast as I can as I see him round the corner--selfish--I know--but it was MY TURN.  He could have his turn after I was done.

This is where the two pieces of information collide.  (Remember we were trying to get away from neighbors seeing a naked kid all the time).  There is a window on each side of the bathtub.  In the corner of the tub (between the two windows) is a seat.  Aaron doesn't want to step into the tub from the side, so he has to get to the corner so he can step down onto the seat.  There he is, standing on the side of the tub with his naked butt pressed up against the window as he slowly inches his way across the side to get to the corner of the tub--his rear end sliding across the window--a "full moon" for all of the neighbors to see.  I'm not sure how many neighbors were looking out their windows at that particular moment, but those who did....well...sorry for the unexpected show!!!  I just threw my hands in the air and gave a big "oh well"--welcome to the neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Social Stories

So we're getting ready to move.  Hopefully Friday.  Any time a major even happens you need to prepare an autistic kid.  A major event is about to happen.   I'm going for the award of "Autistic Mother of the Year" so I'm trying to prepare him.  In the "autism world" preparation comes in the form of a "social story".  A social story is basically a story telling a person what is expected/going to happen/etc.  Before technology this would be quite laborious (how's that for your word-of-the-day?); however, thanks to technology, writing social stories are now quite easy...if you're good at technology...of which I am good enough to be dangerous.

I know I need to prepare The Boy, and the experts say the best way is through a social story.  So I open up Keynote (the Mac version of PowerPoint) and create my genius story.  Visualize this:

Slide 1: A picture of our current house and Aaron's current bedroom with a big red "x" through them and the caption: "Mom and Dad want a bigger house."  (How materialistic is that..but I couldn't think of something better)...what next?  I'd better let him know that we're ALL moving...Slide 2: A picture of the new house..."Mom (I always come flows better), Dad, Cameron, Madison, Aaron, Pippin and Lucy (gotta make sure you include the dogs) are going to move in this house". Then comes Slide 3.  It's a picture of his therapist, McKenzie, and a picture of Chuck E Cheeses with the caption: "On moving day you will go to Chuck E Cheese with McKenzie..."and from that point on he doesn't give a rip about the rest of the story.  It doesn't even matter what comes next, because now all he's doing is looking at the slide with the picture of Chuck E Cheese on it!  He gets his shoes on and tries to drag me out of the house!  I'm trying to explain that he doesn't get to go until Friday.  As a pathetic substitution he scrolls through Google Images looking at different pictures of Chuck E Cheese.  I can only imagine what's going through his head right now--he doesn't care that we're moving, he wants Chuck E Cheese!

The beauty in all of this is that I get out of taking him to Chuck E Cheese!  (Sorry McKenzie) That place is like crack cocaine for kids!!  So in a sick way, I'm thankful that I'll be loading boxes and scrubbing toilets (although I'm trying to figure out a way to have Husband clean them), because that means I won't be at Chuck E Cheese.  McKenzie, if you're reading'll be have way more patience than I do!  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Aaron has a thing for sticking things in his ears.  When he was really little (like 3 or 4--but my memory of those times is a little fuzzy--heck my memory of these current times is fuzzy, so don't quote me on exactly how old he was) we would hang out in the doctor's office (multiple times) while they dug Play Doh out of his ears.  He took a break from Play Doh for a few years, and decided it was time to start shoving things in there again.   In April of this year (I remember it was in April because it was my daughter's birthday that day--yay for holidays) I got a phone call from the school saying they thought Aaron had something in his ears--so off we went to the doctor's office.  We were about to go to Children's Hospital to have them put him under to dig it out (they were originally going to send him to ENT, but they couldn't get him in for four days.  The doctor told me to make sure he didn't play with it while we waited.  I almost laughed out loud.  I gave his this look, and kindly let him know that was impossible--thus the decision to get it taken care of right away), but the awesome MA said she's the ear flushing master--so we gave it a shot.  They didn't want to traumatize him, but I was like, "Are you kidding me?  I want this kid so traumatized that he'll never put another object in his ears!!!" 

Well...two weeks later (I kid you not) I got a phone call from the school, "Hey Danica, Aaron is in the office and we think he's got something else in his ear."  Crap!!!!!  Off we go to the doctor.  Sure enough, this time he had a ball bearing crammed in his ear. 

A couple of days later (again, I kid you not)--I saw the school phone number on the caller ID.  The voice on the other line said, "Hi Danica, this is Laurie" (she's one of the secretaries) and I interrupted her "DON'T TELL ME AARON HAS SOMETHING IN HIS EAR".  I later found out the secretaries drew straws on who was going to have to be the one to call me!!!  :)  Off we went to the doctor AGAIN.  Luckily this time it was a false alarm.  However, after all of the times that I spent watching how to flush his ear, I got the privilege of  taking home my very own syringe-ear-flusher.  That way I could "try this at home" first.  I took Aaron back to school after that appointment only to find out that there was a substitute that day.  Apparently he was a new special ed teacher right out of college.  He was really nice, patient, and the kids loved him.  A young guy whose feet weren't wet--yet.  I decided to capitalize on this perfect opportunity.  The regular teacher was there, but it was her paperwork day, so she and I talked about the incident and about the substitute (whom I'd never met).   My prey walked into the classroom and the teacher introduced us.  I told him how relieved I was that Aaron didn't have something in his ear, but that he (the substitute) owed me $30 for a copay that wasn't needed.  He gave me this deer-in-the-headlights look as I told him this with a serious face.  I couldn't keep it long though and told him I was just kidding.  Poor guy.  I had way too much fun with that one.  Anyhow....

Fast forward to this morning.  He's been at school 10 MINUTES.  The phone call comes in, "Hi Danica, this is Laurie...Aaron has a huge rock stuck in his ear and we can't get it out".  Dang it!!!  I told her we would be there in a few minutes.  I'll be honest--I was still in bed--yup, mother of the year.  Since I was still in bed that meant: terrible breath from the pico de gallo & wine from the night before, no makeup, no shower, and some wicked striped fleece pajamas that I'm sure did wonders for my butt!  Not only that, but Husband's car was in the shop, so he had my car and was supposedly working out.  I was able to get a hold of him (he was in the driveway because he forgot his key to the gym because he had my keys--yeah right), so he went and picked Aaron up.  It ended up that while Husband went looking for a tooth pick (because he didn't think the water flush would work--and he tried the tweezers and they didn't work--for him), Daughter pulled his ear open and popped out the rock with the help from the tweezers.  She's a great big sister, and she's going to be a great mother (when she's 30).  No doctor's visit this time, and back to school he went. 

I took a picture of the latest rock, and put my hand in the picture for a frame of reference!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Excuses excuses

So it's been a while.  It's not because Aaron hasn't been getting into mischief--because he has--don't worry.  I've been a little preoccupied because we're in the process of moving.  Our current house closed, and we're in the process of waiting for our new house to be finished.  Needless to say, that puts a little extra on my plate.  So bear with me for the next couple of weeks until we get settled into our new house (hopefully sometime in the middle of November).  Moving is going to suck for Aaron (and I'd venture to say it's going to suck more for me because of how much it's going to suck for Aaron), so I'll have all kinds of stories I'm sure.

Tonight Aaron and I went "shopping".  Oldest Son was at Civil Air Patrol, Daughter was at youth group, and Husband is gone for a couple of days (please don't come and assault me) so it was just me and The Boy.  I needed to replace a window screen that Aaron had painted earlier this summer, so we went to Lowes in search of a screen kit.  I've done this once before because "someone" ruined another screen--so I'm a pro.  We walked through Lowes without incident, so he could handle another store--right?  Sure.  So we went to Michaels.  I think every male on the planet hates Michaels (it's a craft store)--Aaron is no exception--but he did ok.  He did well enough that I decided to kill the last 26 minutes at Marshalls--there may have been my mistake, I apparently overestimated him. Luckily my amount of public humiliation was minimized because the store wasn't busy.  We walk in and he starts making noises, which makes people stop and stare.  I walk over to the shoes and he sees a mirror so he drops to the ground, screams (a happy scream), and makes funny faces at himself in the mirror.  I'm trying to get him off the ground, and an employee is peeking around the corner staring at me.  I just smile at her, and pull my son up to standing.  Awesome.  We walk through the store and people just look over at us because he's making funny noises--no big deal, I'm used to it, and I hardly notice it (not really, but in general I don't care what people think).  And then he decides to go big or go home (or maybe it's go big so he can go home).  We walk by a fellow shopper and he lets out the longest, loudest burp you could imagine.  It echoes.  She looks over in horror.  I want to die (ok, maybe that's a little extreme).  How about I want to pretend like I've never seen this kid before in my life.  To make it worse he starts gulping air in preparation to let another one go.  I'm telling him to knock it off, while trying to get out of there as fast as I can.  Good times for a Thursday night.  I decide it's time to wrap it up because I don't know how many more of these he's going to let off, but I know he's not going to stop until we're out of the store.  I hate being manipulated like that!!!  We got back in the car to go pick Daughter up--of course he was nice and quiet on the ride home.       

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today was my birthday, so Husband took me out for the afternoon. While we were gone, Daughter made me a cake. (Isn't she sweet?)  So we get home a few minutes ago, and of course Aaron wanted in on the cake surprise, so he did what he knows how to do best....
That is my birthday cake.  I didn't get to see how it looked before Aaron got his grubby little hands on it, but I'm assured it was beautiful.  Thankfully Daughter has a good sense of humor as well and didn't freak out when the Little Monster destroyed it.  I love my family!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sympathy pains

Oldest Son STILL hasn't lost all of his teeth.  Aaron has.  The tooth-losing process has been a not so fun one for Aaron.  He lost his first four during oral surgery when he was in preschool.  Given his "issues" we have just recently been able to clean his teeth at the dentist.  We have a fabulous dentist who works great with him.  So when he was little she was able to see that he had a couple of cavities, and the only way to take care of those was to put him under.  So we did.  We gave her permission to do whatever she needed to do while she was in there, so when he came out he was missing his front bottom four teeth and had 8 silver caps on his molars.  Poor kid.  It was pathetically cute though.  Anyhow, I'll spare you the long story about his teeth and cut to the chase.  If Aaron had a loose tooth he would mess around with it until it was a bloody mess, it would hurt, he would be grumpy, and I would want to pass out (I don't do teeth).  So we tried the dental floss trick with him--you know where you wrap floss around the tooth and then pull hard to pop it out?  Well it works great (and we've extracted a few of his teeth that way) except now he's afraid of dental floss.  Oops.  So now when he's at the dentist office, they pull the floss out and he freaks.  It seemed like a good idea at the time....anyhow, full circle to today...Oldest has a loose tooth that's been bugging him.  I tell him to do the floss trick, and he's reluctant (he's such a worrier).  I convince Husband to convince him that he NEEDS to do this, and Husband humors me, even though Son is protesting like crazy.  So there we all are, standing in front of the mirror, with floss wrapped around Oldest Son's tooth, trying to convince him to pop the tooth out.  Aaron walks in and sees what's going on.  He stares at Oldest Son, and starts having a sympathy reaction.  He starts messing with his mouth next to Oldest Son, like he understands what Oldest is going through.  It's quite sweet.  Oldest didn't want me to take a picture of it, hence the dirty look I get in this picture, but you can see Aaron just checking him out.  Then he keeps looking at himself in the mirror, playing with his teeth, and having fun with Sister.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


You know how your mom told you to never run with a sucker in your mouth?  She most likely didn't have to tell you not to run with q-tips sticking out of your ears.  And yet, I found myself yesterday telling my child to not run through the house with q-tips in his ears.  He has a fascination with his ears that have sent us to the doctor's office numerous times for a good old "ear flush".  Those are fun.  I'll save those stories for another time--but a word of advice to you parents with autistic children--the nurses at the doctor's office are your BEST FRIENDS.  Do what it takes to win them over.  I don't even have to identify myself on the phone when I call anymore.  Even better, I can be sitting in the grocery store food court and see them walk by on their lunch and text them "I'm watching you.  You look hot in those white pants."  Then I just peek around the corner and watch them look around for me....I did that one last week--it was pretty fun.  It's the little things in life for me.  Anyhow, back to q-tips.  So Aaron went running back and forth getting q-tips and then running through the house with them sticking out his ears.  He looked like a little alien.  It was pretty funny--for a minute, and then it turned quite nasty.  After one of his runs he chewed the cotton off of the ends of the q-tip (after it had been in his ear).  It fell out of his mouth, so rather than picking it up and throwing it away, he picked the little piece of cotton up with his DIRTY (and I mean covered in dirt from being outside) FOOT and then PUT IT BACK IN HIS MOUTH!  Gross.  I may have thrown up in my mouth a little.  Now I have to hide my q-tips too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The art of manipulation

The Great Sheet Battle continues with my son.  I continue to lose the battles, but I'm hoping to win the war.  Tonight I got the brilliant idea to put the fleece sheet on upside down.  It's nasty polyester on that side, so maybe he'll like it....who knows. 

This child is a master at stealth autistic naughtiness.  It's been established that he likes to make mud.  Thanks to having bored dogs, we have a couple of mud holes in the backyard that are perfect for filling with dog water and any other liquid he can get his hands on.  Husband and I were on the back deck this evening having a conversation, when out walks Aaron with a glass of water.  I know full well where this kid is going.  In my "mom" voice I say, "Aaaaaaron", and he looks right at me with this expression that was like, "what"?  He pretends like he's not holding a cup of water, puts it down by the hose, and then starts making funny faces at his reflection in the window.   I'm humored, so I pretend like the whole thing didn't happen.  He walks away, and I make the mental note to bring the cup of water back in the house (which I surprisingly remembered to do).  Of course that didn't prevent him from running out of the house later and dumping the dog water into one of the holes before I could get to him, which subsequently led to him tracking muddy footprints all through the house.  (I am SO thankful we don't have carpet anymore!!!)  So it was time for a bath and bed.

I saw the stealth autistic naughtiness earlier in the evening, but when it was time for bed he pulled out the autistic manipulation card.  He loves my comforter.  He is always taking it off of my bed, and I'm having to get it back from him.  If you've followed this blog, you know that getting a non-verbal autistic kiddo to understand the importance of using words is key.  So that basically equates to: if they ask it, you should must do it. 

Now before you criticize me for giving my kid everything that he asks for, I have two things to say to you: 1.  Take a walk in my shoes, you have NO IDEA what you will do to get your kid to talk (although listening to my other two argue I sometimes wonder why I'm trying) and 2.  He doesn't get EVERYTHING that he asks for (he asks for pizza like 10 times a day), but if it's something he hasn't asked for before, you bet he gets it (like the $40 Lego airplane he spontaneously asked for in Target one day--which is now broken, of course)

Which brings me back to tonight.  I'm putting the Little Monster to bed, and he runs into my room and tries to take my comforter.  I tell him, "no, that's mine".  He looks at me and says, "bwanket".  Are you kidding me?  So off he went with MY comforter.  Yay for using new words!  Good thing it's not cold tonight!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Aaron goes through these phases that are crazy-making!  Currently he's having an issue with fitted sheets.  All of a sudden he started ripping his sheet off before he goes to bed.  Every day I would put it back on, but he would rip it off.  Nothing changed...he's got the same sheets he's had for a long I don't know what the deal is.  His mattress is starting to get nasty from his grubby body and sleepy time drool that I decided I needed to do something.  So I figure I'd get him some new sheets, and to make it enticing to keep it on, I'd go soft.  He loves soft things, so I bought him some flannel sheets.  I got them washed and was excited to put them on his bed (I LOVE the feel of new sheets--why shouldn't he?).  The next morning--they were off the bed.  We played this "game" for a few days when I realized that the flannel sheets were a bust.  What else is soft?  Fleece!  I saw fleece sheets at Costco recently and thought how I would love to have those sheets, but Husband is a human oven, so there is no way he would sleep with them. there's an mind.  So off I went to Costco to find fleece sheets.  It was a successful shopping trip, and I excitedly put on the new sheet when I got home.  No dice.  Sheet was off the next morning.  We are currently playing the fleece sheet game, where I go in and put it on before he goes to bed, and it's off when he gets up--unfortunately I'm losing.  I'm $40 into new sheets that he doesn't like, and I'm not sure where to go from here.  My next thought is satin sheets....but do they make those for twin size beds?  Aren't those for big people beds?  Another option is higher thread count, but I really am not interested in paying $40 for a SINGLE sheet.  I could sew the sheet onto his mattress, but what do I do when he pukes on it in the middle of the night?  At this point I'm in $19.99 each set--so I've got additional pieces here, and I've been getting them in "gender neutral" (white) so that one of the other kids could have them if they didn't work out for Aaron.  (My poor older two kids, they get the rejects from their younger brother--isn't it supposed to be the other way around?)  Anyone have any good ideas?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Makeup brushes

According to "experts" (or women like me who have too much time on their hands and post all kinds of advice online that you're not even sure what type of authority they have to be posting this stuff) you're supposed to wash your makeup brushes every 2 weeks.  That's what "they" say (whoever "they" is).   For Christmas last year I got a nice set of makeup brushes and some brush cleaner.  I'll give you a hint on how often I clean my brushes...when I packed up our bathroom a couple of months ago I packed the cleaner because I hadn't used it.  Despite my good intentions, I never took the time to clean my overworked, dirty makeup brushes.  Never.  Until today.  I should look at my search history and see if Aaron has been reading up on makeup brush protocol. Aaron must have just seen the part about needing to clean them every 2 weeks, and didn't scroll down to the part of what you actually use to clean them.  So he assumed that shaving cream, hand soap, bar soap, and contact solution would be the perfect concoction.  Of course.

I'm going to assign blame to Husband on this one, and here is why:
1.  He HAD to refill the hand soap containers yesterday.  I was just happy with everyone having to walk to the kitchen sink and use the dish soap to wash their hands, but that wasn't good enough for him.  So Aaron spent the day today dumping all of the hand soap that husband filled yesterday.

2.  He wants dinner.  Talk about unrealistic.  So being the good wifey that I am, I thought it would be nice to make chicken corn chowder and cheese bread for dinner.  How awesome is that?  Aaron repaid my kind gesture with the equally kind gesture of cleaning my makeup brushes.  So mid cooking I had to take a break to finish the makeup brush cleaning that Aaron started for me.

Aaron is snuggling on the couch with me right now, and I have clean makeup brushes.  As a form of paybacks, I'm leaving the dishes for Husband to clean while I sit and watch him and enjoy a glass of wine.  It's only fair, right?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Puppy love?

We have reached a new low.  I am currently delirious because Aaron SOMEONE was up most of the night.  I'm not going to go into the details of how I was running around the house in the middle of the night looking for a stinking battery for his nightlight.  Needless to say, I couldn't find one, and I wasn't happy.  Anyhow, I'm a little sleep deprived, which is probably why I think this is so funny in a really sick sort of way:

Yup, that's the dog and Aaron.  Daughter and I were sitting at the table working on homework and we looked over to see Aaron with his mouth wide open and puppy going to town.  What's horrible is that it kept going on and on.  Daughter and I were totally grossed out, yelling at puppy and Aaron to stop, and they would...for a second.  We were laughing so hard though I don't think either of them took us seriously.  The madness finally stopped, but not before I was able to snap a picture with my phone!  YICK!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just a spoonful of sugar

Isn't there a saying that says: Everything's Better with Butter?  Well Aaron would change that to: Everything's Better with Sugar.  He could totally be a sugar spokesman.  It's well known that he gets into the sugar bag.  He pours liquid in the bag to make sugar clumps, he dips suckers and popsicles in it, he likes it on get the idea.  Tonight he scooped himself up some sherbert without my knowledge.  Of course he didn't clean up after himself, so when I walked into the kitchen I found this:

 A carton of sherbert with a nice layer of sugar on top.  Because we all know that rainbow sherbert isn't sweet enough on it's own.  I thought I had hidden the sugar well enough, so I'm not even sure where it came from.  In fact--I think he's hiding it from me because I don't see it anywhere! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Marshmallows roasting on an (almost) open fire

You almost read this news story tonight: "10 year-old autistic boy pokes eyeball out with bamboo skewer".  Aaron is running through the kitchen laughing, so I go see what he's laughing about (I was around the corner).  He's full on waving a bamboo skewer all over, about ready to poke his eyeball out.  I could tell he was on a mission, so rather than confiscate the skewer, I decided to see how this was going to play out. 

Now I'm going to pause that story and give you a little information.  Kids with autism have a hard time with imitation, and it's a skill that has to be taught.  So we spent years saying, "do this" and having Aaron imitate our action.  It was a slow, painstaking process, but one that is necessary as a foundation for other skills.  Fast forward a few years, and here we are, at a place in his development that I call: Selective Imitation.  Now I know that typically developing kids have this issue as well (but this isn't about them).  Selective Imitation is not my friend.  Selective Imitation is responsible for whacking other kids with a lunchbox (kindergarten year), saying the "F" word as a non-verbal kid (kindergarten year--NOT ME), lighting matches (his father), and all sorts of other behaviors I would prefer he didn't have (none of which are from me).  The problem with Selective Imitation is what he chooses to imitate, and what he chooses to not imitate.  For example, Selective Imitation would be awesome if he observed a group of kids playing four-square, and then joined in after figuring out how to play.  However, it was apparently not meant to be.  

So this brings me back to the skewer.  I'm following behind him making sure he's not going to poke his eye out so I can see what he's up to.  He heads to the pantry where I have some of those huge marshmallows.  He puts one on the skewer and walks over to the stove.  I'm in the process of cooking dinner so the gas burner is on.  He pauses for a minute to make funny faces and stare at his reflection in the steel pot, and then tries to roast the marshmallow.  (Selective Imitation courtesy of his brother and sister).  It's not going as quickly as he would like (which has nothing to do with the burner being on low and a pot on top of the flame), so he decides to pop the marshmallow off and just eat it.  The skewer becomes mine as soon as he starts to put it in the flame so he can light it on fire.  Another disaster averted!  Whew!
Making faces in the pot

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buckets and shoes

Aaron will do the most random things.  Today he came and sat down in the living room with a sand bucket on his head.  Who does that?  I'm not really sure what he was thinking (I suppose I never do)--but I ran frantically around my house trying to find the camera so I could take a picture of the kid sitting on my couch with a bucket on his head.  I'm not even sure where he found the bucket, but I'm so glad he did!  :)

Yesterday I went shopping with my friend and came home with a new pair of shoes.  I've got feet issues so I've decided that I should probably take care of them.  It stinks that I'm still young enough that I care somewhat about fashion (those of you who know me, don't laugh--it could be worse).  I like all of these cute heels and boots, but there is no way that my feet will last 30 seconds in them.  I've finally decided that the ability to walk is worth not having the cutest shoes, so I decided to get some functional shoes.  Functional shoes aren't cheap.  Luckily I can shop in the kids shoes, so I wound up with the same shoes for almost half the price (YES!!!).  So I brought the shoes home, and Aaron immediately goes and gets socks and puts them on.  The kid has bigger feet than I do, so he's sitting on the couch cramming his feet into them, meanwhile the entire time I'm hoping that he doesn't stretch them out!  He had them on for a couple of minutes and popped them back off.  I guess they weren't all that comfortable for him, which is good for me because that means he won't steal my shoes.  Now I just have to keep them away from my daughter!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why do I even try?

Just gave Aaron a bath.  He smelled.  I sat there and watched him the entire time, making sure he didn't dump any bath products out.  I washed him up, put a towel on him.  While he was drying off I decided to wash my face and take my contacts out.  All I did was wash my face and take my contacts out.  A couple of minutes.  I walk out of my bathroom to hear the outside hose running.  I go outside and there is Aaron, with the hose in the sandbox/mud pit (because there is no more sand in the box)--covered in mud.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  His hair was still wet from his bath!  On the positive side--he had a shirt and underwear on--so yay for progress! 

Cheez-It troubles

I needed to go to the grocery store this afternoon.  Since the weather was nice I decided that Aaron, Daughter and I would take a little walk.  Whenever I take Aaron to the grocery store we have to get chicken strips from the deli, a doughnut, and a box of Cheez-Its.  Over the years his choice flavor has changed.  (Since when did they make10 different flavors of Cheez-Its?)  Of course I don't know when this change happens--it just does, and suddenly he doesn't want to eat the box of crackers I just bought him.  That means I have to eat them, and I DON'T need those calories!  So if I don't get the right flavor it not only means I have one unhappy autistic kid on my hands, it also means 5 pounds on my hips--so I'd better get it right.  Which is why I let him pick them out.  Oh--and I've tried to sneak the generic on him--that was a mistake.  That was worse than getting him the wrong flavor of the name brand!  It turns out if you put the generic brand in the name brand box--he knows you've messed with him, and it's not good.  So I stopped doing that one.  Anyhow, his current flavor is Cheddar Jack (which I am thankful for because I think they are gross, so I'm not tempted to eat them).  So when we went down the cracker aisle, and there were no boxes of Cheddar Jack...not good.  The humming started.  In my most positive voice I'm saying, "Uh oh, they don't have any of the kind you want.  How about this one?" and I would hand him a box.  He would promptly push them away, and I would move on to the next flavor.  This sucks.

After staring at the crackers for a while, and me rummaging through them to make sure there weren't any hiding in the wrong spot, I gave up.  I told him, "They don't have any Cheddar Jack.  You'll have to pick a different one."  So he flipped his eyelids and grabbed two different flavors.  He went back to one of his original favorites--White Cheddar (DANG IT!  I LOVE that flavor!  Not going to get on the scale anytime soon), and branched out with a Four Cheese box as well (I hope he likes them and I don't).
Because he's Aaron, he made me keep my sunglasses on in the grocery store (every time I tried to take them off he put them right back on my eyes, nearly poking them out), and he had to wear his hat off to the side.  So he's now an autistic gangsta.  Sweet.  I love going out in public in a small town!  Only one more hour until wine night and Project Runway with my friend!  I'm counting it down!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just another day

I was enjoying a nice cold Dr. Pepper this afternoon when Aaron got home from school.  He wanted some so I let him pour it into a glass.  Of course he spilled it.  Of course.  Since there weren't any electronics on the table I was fine with it (I don't want to talk about how much money in electronics have been ruined by Aaron's inability to not spill liquid--hint--THOUSANDS).  I got him a paper towel to clean up the mess (he was probably wondering why I was so calm).  Since he spilled all of the Dr. Pepper, and still wanted some, he decided to suck the Dr. Pepper out of the paper towel.  Isn't that what any civilized human would do?  I put a stop to that because, well, that's just nasty. 

Since my afternoon Dr. Pepper was cut short, I looked through Aaron's backpack to see if anything important came home.  We got our first note home from school today, and apparently Aaron had a good day.  The note says he was much more settled today.  I'm wondering what that looks like on a scale from 1 to 10 though.  You know?  Like one of those pain charts you see at the doctor's office.  Maybe they could write scenarios for each number and send it home the first day of school, that way I have a point of reference.  Then if they just wrote a number down at the end of the day I can say, "oh, his day was equivalent to...."  Although I would still probably come up with all sorts of outrageous scenarios of what happened during his day.   That's what happens when I let my imagination go out of control.   This is probably why they use words like "settled".  For the record, I love his teacher, so if you're reading this Mrs.'re the best.

Shameless plug

Well apparently I've been nominated for the Parents Best Blog Award for Special Needs.  Pretty cool!  So if you want, take a second and vote for me.  In case you don't see the huge pink button, it's on the right! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fun in the sun

How many of you got to see a pregnant pygmy goat today?  I thought so!  These are the kind of people we hang with!  In addition to all of the fun we had today, I have to say I am so proud of my guy.  Today we went to some friend's house for the day.  I didn't think he would make it--but I think he actually had fun.  He got to hang out in the pop-up tent trailer (thank goodness he didn't get naked), he roasted a marshmallow, fell off of a bike, and stepped on sticker bushes!  He got to play on his iPad and run around the yard.

I think the highlight of Aaron's afternoon was the fire.  He knows that fire is hot, so he doesn't get too close to it.  But he just can't help himself.  So he spent a good amount of time taking paper plates and throwing them in the fire one by one to watch them turn into smoke.  Once I realized he was taking clean paper plates I made him stop.  So he ended up taking paper towels, tearing them square by square and throwing them into the fire.  Most of the time he would miss, so he would go pick it up and try again.  At first I wanted him to stop, but then I realized that he was:
1. occupied
2. entertained
3. quiet
What more could a mother ask for?  So I told my friends I owed them a roll of paper towels, and let him go at it.  Someone suggested we let him have a roll of toilet paper and he could be entertained for hours--ripping off one square at a time!!  We never got to that point, and I THINK they still had some paper towels left, but I know what I'm getting my friends for Christmas!  :)  Thanks for a great Sunday afternoon guys!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to school

**First of all--Aaron chose his first day of school shirt.  Talk about appropriate.  I bought it for my other son because he's a drummer, but red really isn't his color, and apparently he's too cool for it.  So Aaron got it instead.  I was laughing when I laid out his shirt choices and he picked Animal!!!**

I saw on someone's Facebook post that Mother's Day shouldn't be in May, but on the first day of school.  I'm wondering what steps need to be taken to get that changed. Who wants to join me in the change?  The first day of school is a different day for me.  On the one hand I homeschool my two older kids (currently in 7th and 8th grade)--so it's not like I have this ultimate freedom of uninterrupted "me" time.  It's a LOT of work teaching two middle school kids, but it is rewarding, and it gives them a chance for some "mom" time without their brother.   I know, I'm crazy for homeschooling my kids--but in addition to being an advocate for a kiddo with autism, it is also my mission to get the word out that you don't have to wear a jumper and have hair down to your waist to homeschool your kids.  :)  NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.  (Sorry if I've offended any jumper-wearing-homeschool moms out there).  On the other hand, Aaron is back in school, and that means I have from 8:42-3:34 to turn my "Aaron ears" off.  No worrying about anything getting broken/dumped/ruined.  So this year to celebrate Aaron's first day of school I met a friend for Starbucks and then headed home to educate the future of our society (scary huh?).  I decided that after the summer I had, I deserved a nap.  Right?  So I left the education of the future of our society in the hands of the 12 and 13 year-olds (even more scary) AND I TOOK A NAP.  It felt sooooooo good.  A nap where I didn't wake up to the smell of sulfur--true story.  (A few years ago I accidentally fell asleep on the couch during the day, and woke up to Aaron LIGHTING MATCHES, BLOWING THEM OUT, FLAPPING HIS HANDS BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE,  PUTTING IT ON THE COUCH AND THEN DOING IT ALL OVER AGAIN.  Needless to say we don't keep matches in the house anymore).  A nap where I didn't wake up to shaving cream everywhere.  A nap of sweet, sweet bliss.  I didn't want to wake up--but I did.  Aaron came home from school, had his afternoon therapy, and we enjoyed a pleasant evening.  I didn't hear how his first day of school went, but I didn't get a report of him biting anyone and he didn't have any bite marks on himself, so I'd call it a success!  The school year brings a whole different set of challenges, but for now I'm going to enjoy a few days of reprieve.  I was going to say a few days of quiet, but that isn't true--I get to hear the sweet sweet sound of homeschool kids tortured by their mother--it's so hard starting school at 9:00 9:30 (especially when the public school kids have to start at 7:40).  I almost feel sorry for them--almost.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For everything else there's Mastercard--oh I mean Aaron

Hair product: $7.79
Body wash: $13.56
Shampoo: $2.74
Shaving cream: $1.12
Hand soap: $2.99
Contact solution: $2.78

Last day of summer Aaron destruction: priceless

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School clothes shopping--ugh!

Back to school shopping is ridiculous.  What is awesome about homeschooling two of my kids is that there is no such thing as back to school.  They don't have anyone to impress with new clothes!  Now, my kids do get new clothes, but rather than a mad dash in August they get clothes when they need them.  I am not afforded that luxury with Aaron (well I could be, but EVERYONE else gets new clothes for school starting, so I usually get him a couple of new things too).  Taking boys clothes shopping is no fun.  Taking an autistic boy clothes shopping....well....I think I'd rather put some needles in my eyeball!  Usually I would just grab clothes at the store, bring them home and we'd be good to go.  Well, Aaron's put on a little bit of weight, and I can't seem to find him jeans that fit.  So that means he had to go with me.  I decided to hit JCPenney and Sears because they have husky jeans, and I figured if I went to the mall that no one goes to, it would at least be a little bit easier. 

I was trying to get out of the house quickly, so I wasn't really paying attention to what he was wearing--until we started walking into the mall.  Of course he was wearing yesterday's clothes.  Not only did he wear them yesterday, but they looked like he had been wearing them for weeks.  Awesome.  So here I am walking through the store with this kid with dirty clothes on, big old Winchester ear protectors on, making screeching noises.  Public humiliation.  Aaron follows me around as I'm grabbing clothes as fast as I can before he bolts away. I've got probably 10 different pairs of jeans for him to try on, and a couple of shirts.  We head into the dressing room and with EVERY SINGLE item of clothing I had to say, "don't take the tag off.  Aaron!  Don't take the tag off!" over and over again.  It took doing this at three stores before I was successful in finding him a pair of jeans that actually fit.  He was tired, and so was I.  At that point I didn't care that they were $27.99 a pair!  (Ok, I'm cheap when it comes to clothes that he will grow out of in 4 months).  So two pairs later we headed out of the mall and on to Target (another favorite of his--not).  By the time we got home we had been gone 3 hours and he and I were both done!  We're headed to meet his teacher and drop off school supplies now.  I can't wait until Thursday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

When there's a will there's a way

This kid will stop at nothing for freedom.  Tonight the three kids and I went over to some dear friends' house for dinner.  The kids were going swimming, and I brought a laptop (with headphones so I didn't have to listen to the same 3 second clip over and over again) for Aaron to watch videos when they were done.  It was a perfect plan.  He would get to swim and then watch videos, and I could have some adult conversation.  The house has two exits--the front door and the sliding glass back door.  I thought I was so smart--we pushed a chest up against the front door so he couldn't get out.  How's that for good friends?  In my wildest dreams nightmares I never imagined that I'd go over to someone's house for dinner and say, "Hey, do you have anything we could push in front of your door so that my kid won't escape.  Yeah, I know he's 10."  Anyhow, after blocking the front door we decided to sit at the dinner table in front of the sliding glass door.  He couldn't get out because both exits were blocked right?  Wrong.

I positioned myself so I could see him if he went down the hallway, but the stinker is QUIET.  I think he waited at the corner of the wall, waited for me to look down at my glass of wine and then tiptoed down the hall.  The next thing I know, Daughter and her friend come running in yelling, "Get Aaron, he's got his head out the window and is trying to jump out!!!"  WHAT?  We start looking for him in the bedrooms, and sure enough there he is, on top of a bunk bed, trying to get out of the window (that is at the top of the ceiling by the way)!  I got him down, but he kept trying to sneak back in there.  Finally my friend took the knob off of the door so he couldn't get into the room.  How's that for a friend?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's only 12:14

So far today my son has (in no particular order):

*flooded the mud pit in the backyard
*eaten clumps of sugar out of the sugar bag
*dug through the trash bag of little foam pieces and spread them everywhere
*taken the thread and string that I used to fix the couch and unraveled both of them into a tangled mess (just had to throw them away)
*taken one of the pieces of green foam left over from the fabric store and shredded it
*tried to take another piece of the left over foam (the really big one) and shred it, but I stopped him
*peed in a cup and dumped it into the toilet

And it's only 12:14 (pm that is)

It is 3 days, 20 hours, 40 minutes, 23 seconds until Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 9:00:00 AM

Not that I'm counting, nor have I put that count down timer on my desktop--YET--guess what I'm going to go do now?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

At least it's not the most expensive thing he's ruined

It's been a while since I've written anything.  It's not because there has been a lack of material, but things are a little crazy around here (we sold our house, and are going to be homeless because we don't have a house to go to), and writing about the continual mud, soap and shaving cream just seemed trivial.  Over the past few days I've thought, "geez, I should post on the blog", but my brain just wasn't "there".  In hindsight, I should have written.  I think Aaron may read this blog, and was offended that I hadn't written anything for a while.  So he needed to get my attention.  He decided to go big or go home!
First of all. This couch isn't even a year old.  In fact, this couch is probably only 6 months old.  I tell you this to make you feel that much worse for me!  I'm no longer in the fetal position, hidden in my bathroom, so I'm able to share the latest story.  Here goes:

Aaron woke up before me.  I got up to let the dogs outside and saw something on the floor, but I didn't have my glasses on, so I just assumed they had ripped up another one of their toys.  Aaron was on the computer, so I climbed back into my bed and figured I'd just listen for trouble (tactical error--I KNOW).  A little while later I put my glasses on, walked into the living room to find Aaron sitting on the couch with a piece of couch foam in his hands and another piece in his mouth.  According to Husband I just said "no, no, no, no".  I just remember walking back to my bed and putting the covers over my head.  Then I remember thinking, "I can't believe this is happening, this isn't happening, I can't believe it" (notice a theme in my thoughts).  As if that was going to fix anything!  The next thing I thought was "Well, at least it's not the most expensive thing he's ruined.  It's definitely the biggest, but not the most expensive".  In a sick way that spin on the situation made it somewhat (barely) better.  Since I wasn't in the room when the mutilation occurred, this is how I am piecing the events together.

1.  Aaron smeared some sort of delicious food product on the couch.
2.  Lucy (the psychotic puppy) decided to eat that food product remnant, but couldn't get what had seeped into the couch fibers, so decided to eat part of the couch to make sure she got it all.
3.  Aaron saw his opportunity of the couch being ripped open, to grab the foam out of it and rip it up.  (I can say this is a plausible theory because Aaron likes to rip up foam--he did this to a previous couch, multiple memory foam pillows AND my king size memory foam mattress topper).

After laying in my bed in denial I decided to take a shower before I assessed the entirety of the situation.  Not only did I walk out to foam couch everywhere, there was also sugar and popsicle stickiness everywhere (no exaggeration).  I took pictures for prosperity, and decided to text them to a few lucky people (my brother responded that he would have killed them--which I don't think he really would have--I don't think), and then posted it on Facebook.  Those of you who commented on the picture, thank you.  It made me feel better.  :)  Especially when you say kind things about me!  I cleaned up all of the popsicle/sugar mess, and picked up all of the foam and put it in a bag in case I would need it later. I threw a towel over it and decided to go to the beach!  A blue-raspberry Red Bull and the beach would put me in public so the safety of my child would be secure. 
Eventually it was time to figure out how I was going to fix the couch.  One of the problems is that the cushion is sewed down, so I couldn't just flip it over.  Believe me, I thought of that!  My genius mother told me to sacrifice one of the couch pillows and make a patch.  Since we played at the beach all day and I was tired, I decided I would fix it the next day (which is today).  I kept the towel on the couch.  However, this morning when I got out of bed, Aaron had ripped more foam out of it.  Nice.  

Since we're planning on moving I had packed my sewing stuff up (of course) so I didn't have the tools to fix this disaster.  So this was my game plan.  I called my mom and asked her if she would come over later to help me fix the couch.  I needed scissors, upholstery needles and Fray Check from her (but what I really wanted was her mad sewing skills).  I measured the gaping hole in my couch and headed to the fabric store for a chunk of foam, batting and upholstery thread.  When I got to the cutting counter I told the lady that I needed some foam and of course she asked me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer.  I told her the approximate measurements that I needed, and of course they didn't make it that thick.  She was nice, but wasn't really all that helpful--until I showed her the picture of the couch on my cell phone and told her why I was there.  Then a light switched, and I got instant sympathy from her.  I think I put her life into perspective and gave her a good story for later too!  She decided to walk me back to the foam and we picked out what we thought would work.  She also asked if I had a 40% off coupon (which of course I didn't), and when I told her no, she found one for me!  She said that she didn't need to make my life more miserable by the exorbitant cost of this stupid foam.  I walked out of the store $13.62 poorer (but that's a lot cheaper than a new couch!)  It would be wrong of me to keep the instructions of how to fix a mutilated couch all to myself, so I'm going to share them with you.  Here is how to fix your couch step by step (note: allow 4.5 HOURS to complete this project):

1.  Call your mom, call her "mommy", and beg for help.  If you do not have a mommy or yours doesn't know how to sew, call my mommy.  Her number is you really think I'd share that information?  I need her to myself!  

2.  Gather your supplies: high density foam, hacksaw (to cut the foam), string, upholstery needles and thread, material, scissors and pliers.  

3.  Wait for your mommy to come over.

4.  Sit for a long time, stare blankly at the couch, and try to figure out how in the heck you are going to fix this.  Decide on a game plan.

5.  Take the rogue springs, tie them down with string, and shove them back into place you think they belong. (You really don't know where this is because the inside is so shredded up, so make your best guess).

6.  Measure, draw, cut the foam with a hacksaw that you stole borrowed from Husband's tools.

7.   Cram foam into gaping hole, adjust cuts as necessary, cram additional pieces in there to fill the gaps.  Realize it's never going to look the way it did, so settle for "good enough".

8.  Shove a layer of batting on top of the foam.  I really don't know why you do this.  It was like that on the rest of the cushion, so I decided it was necessary for some reason.  I didn't question it, and neither should you.

 9.  Whip-stitch the shredded remains of what was once a pretty, flawless couch.

 10.  Take your scissors to the pillow.  :(  Make sure you make your cuts correctly, you only have so many mistakes before you're really out of fabric (and luck).  This is one of the reasons I called my mom.  She's smart this way--she did all of the thinking, and I just did the labor.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a little sad cutting that pillow.

11.  Spend a bunch more time trying to figure out the best way to place and sew that piece of pillow onto the couch.

12.  Take a break to poison your body with a Big Mac and fries because your brain isn't working at this point.

13.  Meticulously sew your fabric piece onto the couch.  Make sure to not break the needle with the pliers (because it sucks if you do).  If you've lost all dignity, put on your dad's headlamp so you can see your stitches better.

14.  Stand back and enjoy your handiwork
 Not bad!  You can't even tell can you???  Oh wait, that's the wrong cushion.  (My dad told me to do that).  Here's the right one:

So at the end of the day, I'm out $13.62, 4 1/2 hours of my time, a trip to the fabric store (time & gas), a couch pillow, and a perfect looking cushion.  As I'm sitting here writing, I'm reminding myself: at least it's not the most expensive thing he's ruined.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The dogs are good for something

Husband doesn't like animals.  Well, he says he likes animals, just other people's animals--he doesn't want any.  Well you can imagine how much he LOVES our two golden retrievers!  One of our dogs is 10 months old, and she's still a little on the crazy side.  She likes to bark, which drives all of us crazy.    However, last night it was a good thing...

We put Aaron to bed with a movie that he wanted to watch, and Husband, the other two kids, and I decided to watch Hoodwinked Too.  I ended up falling asleep partway through the movie, but woke up when the dogs started barking like crazy outside.  I got up to bring them in the house so they would be quiet.  What were they barking at?  Someone who was outside at 10:00 at night when he should have been in bed and didn't come out of his bedroom door?  If you have half a brain you've figured out who it is; but at this point I need to take you back in time.

A couple of years ago I woke up one morning to find Aaron not in his bed.  We had already put a lock on the outside of his door to keep him from getting out of his room in the middle of the night (because it had been a problem and none of us were sleeping).  We also had this contraption on his window so that he couldn't get out of the window, but if there was an emergency the fire department could have broken the window and gotten in.  (I put that part in for all of the people that freak out because "what if a fire happened and he was trapped in his room....".)  Well a lot of safety decisions are made in my house based not on fire, but rather Aaron escaping.  Anyhow, the contraption worked great until Aaron figured it out.  So I woke up one morning and Aaron was gone.  His door was locked so he couldn't have gotten out that way, and his window was wide open with the screen gone.  I ran outside and there was Aaron, wrapped in his blanket, asleep on the trampoline.  I kind of lost it with that one.  (He also escaped out his bedroom window at night when he was 3 at another house we lived in, but we were still up and saw him peeking in through the sliding glass door).  Needless to say we came up with another window solution. 

Fast forward to yesterday.  Since we showed the house we decided to take down our current Aaron window lock down so that people could open the window (and not wonder "what the heck is this here for?").  Well I'm pretty sure Aaron can read my mind.  Actually I'm positive he can read my mind.  I was closing his window last night before I put him to bed and thought to myself (which apparently I should stop thinking), "We need to put his lock thingie back up or he's going to get out the window in the middle of the night.  We're lucky he hasn't figured out that it's not on there."  But did I do anything with those thoughts?  Uh--nope!

So here the story comes full circle.  The dogs are outside barking.  I wake up from my sleep on the couch and go outside to yell at them.  The reason the dogs were barking though is because there was Aaron--sitting on a shelf outside with only underwear (at least he had those on!) and a blanket cape.  Needless to say the window contraption is back up and Aaron slept in his room last night.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baby steps

I showed our house today twice AND had friends come over for dinner.  In between the two showings is when Aaron got into the bubbles (earlier post of the day), and in between the second showing and dinner is when Aaron got into.....wait for it...

I called "not it" so Husband got to do clean up on this one.  Actually, I was making dinner and he was hungry, so as not to delay his meal, Husband took pictures and cleaned up the mess.  Friends showed up, and while they were here Aaron did two pretty awesome things: 

1.  He actually got on the trampoline while other kids were jumping on it.  For those of you who don't know Aaron, this is a REALLY BIG deal.  First of all, he didn't know these kids, and there were 4 of them on there.  If he is on the trampoline first and other kids come on, he'll just get off.  So the fact that he went on the trampoline with kids already on there--that's pretty cool. 

2.  While friends were here, he decided to put this plastic tub on his head and walk around.  You can't see anything through it, so he was knocking into things--ha ha.  Then he decided to sit in it.  Well, I was watching him and he was trying to roll the tub over and couldn't.  It was pretty funny, especially when I realized he was stuck (I know, that's mean--don't care).  That's what he gets for making a mess with the bubbles and shaving cream!  :)  Anyhow, I looked at him and asked him if he needed help and he said, "help!".  So I sent Husband over to get him out.  I'm now thinking of ways to integrate the tub into our daily life.  Some people may have a time-out chair, well I have a time-out tub!  If I need to go to the bathroom and I think he may get into trouble--I'll just have him sit in the tub until I'm done.  I could see this working. 

Finally, most parents don't want their children to tell them to "go away".  Although I would argue, that most parents secretly don't mind when their children tell them to go away--they didn't want to be around their stinky attitudes anyway.  But that's not what this is about.  Apparently Husband was in Aaron's space.  He was snuggling with him before bed, and Aaron had had enough.  He pushed him and said "go away".  Rather than having hurt feelings, we're pretty much high-fiving each other.  Now that's messed up!


Soap bubbles are cool.  Bubbles that come from the little bottle with a wand aren't as cool (I know they are soap water too). Given the opportunity to make bubbles, Aaron will take it every time.  A few minutes ago he saw his opportunity.  Older brother just got a set of used golf clubs, so he is out on the deck washing them with soapy water.  He makes the "mistake" of coming in the house to grab something really quick while Aaron is still outside.  10 seconds max.  No joke.  No exaggeration.  Aaron grabbed the bucket of soapy water, dumped it out into the lawn, then took the top off of the soap container dumped the remainder of the COSTCO sized soap into the dog water bowl, and then added that to his water mess.  Of course after that he had to jump and play in it, and seeing as how it was already there I just let him have at it.  Luckily I caught him right as he was about to get the refill bucket that brother filled up.  He kind of gave me this mischievous "what?" sort of look and then ran back to his puddle.  No more than 2 minutes later he was running around naked because he got his clothes wet!  AWESOME.  He's currently soapy clean, dry and re-clothed! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I like Netflix.  I like the fact that you can keep a movie for months before you have to send it back.  I may do that frequently.  Then when you get a new movie, it's like Christmas--I've completely forgotten what I've put on my list because it was so long ago!  What I don't like about Netflix is Aaron.  I know, that doesn't make sense.  Stick with me.  Aaron also likes Netflix.  He has his videos that he likes to stream, but he also likes to add movies to the queue--movies that I have NO desire to watch.  Every time I send a movie back I forget this.  I was all excited that I finally sent my last movie back (Temple Grandin--which if you haven't seen it--you HAVE TO--it was awesome) and would get another one.  Imagine my disappointment when I got the email that says, "Shipped: Bob the Builder: The LIVE Show".  SUCK!  Despite wasting a few transit days for a lousy movie, I did manage to have a little fun with the situation.  Oldest son grabbed the mail and saw that there was a Netflix movie and I acted all excited that I was glad "it" was finally here.  HA HA HA HA  he was equally disappointed in the movie choice!  :)  So we immediately put it back in the mail, and hopefully we'll get a movie of OUR choice next week!

The Rip Rider

Life has been crazy over the past couple of days as we have put our house on the market and have made an offer on another one, so I've been cleaning, and doing this whole "staging" thing--which is basically lying to people who come into your house.  My house NEVER looks like it currently looks--there is WAY more crap and dirt!  But my house is super clean, and the extra crap is in a storage unit just waiting to be put into a new house.  :)  Anyhow--not sure where I was going with that. 

On with today's story!  This afternoon I decided that I was going to tackle the garage a bit, so I would have Aaron go in the front and ride his Rip Rider around the cul-de-sac while oldest son watched him.  I ended up watching him because he got into this whole routine thing that was funny to watch.  First he would ride part way up the neighbor's driveway (it's not steep, but it's got a slope) and then the rest of the driveway he would walk the trike up with it in between his legs.  Then he would come flying down the driveway and make a turn down the street.  He would go down as far as he could push it to the end of the street and then crash (on purpose) into the curb, hop off the trike and lay down in the grass like a super model.  Then he would throw some grass around, get back on the trike and ride back, parking his trike next to a really nice Audi (NOT mine--I wish) to check out his reflection in the freshly waxed car.  (Meanwhile I'm praying that he doesn't scratch the car up because that would be expensive).  He would flip around and then do the whole routine again.  Over and over and over and over and get the idea.  Finally he got tired of doing that, and Aaron left the Rip Rider in the middle of the street so he could go back into the house.  I got on it and started riding it back to the house (hey it's a fun little trike--you should Google it).  Aaron saw me riding it and started running behind me.  He grabbed my hair to pull the pony tail out of it (stinker), and while I was stopped he figured I may as well give him a ride.  So he plopped himself on top of me (I'm pretty sure we exceeded the weight limit at this point) and tried to get me to go.  At 5' 2" (ok 5' 1.5") I'm a little too tall for the thing, so you put the both of us on and it's not a good thing.  On top of that, the big warning label on the trike says "Must wear a helmet and shoes"--of which neither of us possessed.  We were quite the sight--so much so that my oldest decided to take a picture of us for your viewing pleasure.  He thought it was all fun and games until he started riding the trike and I had Aaron sit on HIS lap.  Then he didn't think it was so funny, and kept complaining that "he couldn't breathe" or some nonsense like that.  I just said, "it doesn't feel so good, does it?"  and then made Aaron get off.   :)  Good times! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shopping because of Aaron

Here are four items on my shopping list that keep recurring, and today's shopping trip wouldn't have been complete without purchasing them AGAIN!
Well ok, the Red Bull has nothing to do with Aaron....there is NO WAY I am going to let him have one of those!  My neighbor got me hooked on Raspberry Red Bull sodas.  (You add raspberry Italian soda flavoring to a Red Bull--it's delicious!)  Not only are they tasty, but they (as in 2-ish) give me a little kick that I need to get through the day.  But of course the other things (shaving cream, shampoo, hand soap) are replacing what is missing in my house because "someone" dumped them out.  The bummer is--I took my mom's advice (weird huh? but that's not the bummer part so don't freak out Mom) and bought a refill container of soap--the plan is to only fill up enough in the container so that when he dumps it I don't lose the whole container (she's a genius).  Well, I went to put soap in the empty container only to realize that I had thrown away the empty container and now have nothing to put the soap in.  So if you come to my house for a visit, you'll still have to go to the kitchen sink to wash your hands after you use the restroom until I buy a new container that he can dump out and I can refill only partway. 

I don't really realize how crazy my day is when I'm in the middle of the trenches, but as I look back over my day--holy cow!  Today I needed groceries, so I took Aaron with me (there's my first mistake).  We made it to Lowe's and Office Depot.  In all of my 13 years of parenting, I have never had to deal with a kid puking in a store.  Until today.  Yay.  I'll spare you the details, but not before I tell you it was EVERYWHERE--me, him, the copy machine, the floor.  The poor gal at the counter asked if I needed a trash can (uh, yeah), and hands me a roll of paper towels as he's continuing to lose the Dr. Pepper and doughnut he had for breakfast.  I'm hoping the stain comes out of my pretty white shirt.  Needless to say, that cut my Costco and Target portion of the trip.  I checked out at Office Depot (seeing as how I was already in there), and asked for an extra bag "just in case"--luckily I didn't need it.  He ended up being fine--it was once again one of his weird puke things. 

Then after we got home he wanted my glasses (which I had on), so he came up to me and said, "I want gwasses".  I hadn't taught him that one, so I was very excited and gladly handed over my glasses.  For him to label an object, use the words appropriately, and be clear enough that I can understand him all without us teaching it to him--it was awesome awesome awesome!  The problem is I can't see without them.  So I would take them back, and then he would come back over to me and say "I want gwasses"....I would do as much work as I could stand without being able to see, and then I would go back and get them.  We played this "game" for a while, and then I think he got bored--he came back to it later on though.

I ended up leaving him in the mostly-capable hands of the other family members and went to finish the errands that were cut short by the "incident" at Office Depot.  It was nicer to be alone anyway.  When I got home, there was Aaron in the bathroom with the water running and his head under the faucet.  He'd get his head wet, spike his hair, look at himself in the mirror and make faces, dry it off with a towel, and then do it all over again.  He's so funny!