Friday, July 29, 2011

Eye Glasses and the Skating Rink

Last night my good friend came over for our weekly wine and trash tv night.  There was no trash tv so we had to just drink the wine and talk.  We usually aren't at my house, but because of childcare situations, my house it was.  One of the "rules" for our mommy juice evening is that the mommies come in jammies, glasses and no makeup.  So when my friend walks in with her glasses on, and I have my glasses on-it throws Aaron off a bit.  At this point it's time to do musical glasses.  He puts her glasses on, then takes mine off and gives them to her.  Then he puts hers on me, so neither of us can see!  We tried to sneakily trade glasses, but he caught us and made us put them on the wrong person.  It was pretty funny to see how adamant he was about the whole thing!  We were able to put him to bed and get down to business!
These are my glasses--he doesn't actually wear glasses...

 Today we were invited to go roller skating.  I am so glad that I went against my better judgement and brought Aaron with me.  We were meeting some other "homeschool friends", and I get to enjoy some social time while our kids are "socializing" (for all of you paranoid people out there who think homeschoolers aren't socialized).  Anyhow.  I decided to take Aaron with us just to see what would happen.  He's been to the roller rink one other time, but it didn't work out so well.  But, hey, I'm a glutton for punishment (and my neighbor brought me a sugar free raspberry red bull, so I had some energy!)  Armed with his headphones in hand, off we went.  To my surprise he put on the roller skates and held onto the edge of the rink for dear life!  The best thing about him on roller skates is that he can't get away fast!  Wah ha ha ha!  I have the upper hand.  Well for most of it.  He was still able to get into two different "Employee Only" doors, but the owner was very gracious and didn't kick us out.  Bringing a kid in with these big old headphones and flapping hands helps your sympathy case out.  :)  Anyhow, other than him "bolting" (as fast as his skate legs would take him) to the candy (which he got because he asked so nicely, and then I threw in a pop just because I was feeling generous), and going behind doors he wasn't supposed to, oh and sitting down in the middle of the rink...he did GREAT!  And I have to give Kudos to my kids' friends who pitched in when Aaron needed help.  Even though I didn't get to sit and chat with my friends as much as I wanted to, considering I had Aaron with me, I did just fine.  I'm so blessed to have a group of friends who understand, and then laugh their butts off at me because I've got a killer caffeine high!  At the end of the skating, little homeschool "relationships" were blossoming, and we have the pictures to prove it!  Luckily Aaron won't be subjected to this part of adolescence (I hope!)  Also at the end Aaron had pulled his death grip away from the side and ventured into the middle of the rink where the lights were pretty.  All and all--a successful outing!  Yay!  Tomorrow is a cleaning day, so wish me luck.  Anyone want to come and get him for a couple of hours so we can press through?  :)  Enjoy your weekend!

Aaron and his sister

Aaron's brother taking him to the restroom--isn't he sweet holding his hand?

Starting to veer away from the wall

The music was a little loud, but he didn't want his headphones on.

A smile (that's his smile)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Computer wars

Tonight Aaron wanted the computer that I was using to watch "Esther the Queen" (Veggie Tales).  He was already on a computer, and I had a bunch of tabs pulled up so I told him no.  He was very persistent, but alas, I have a stronger will (when I choose to exercise it).  Finally he grabs my hand and takes me to his bedroom.  He sits me down on his bed and then lays me down (by "gently" pushing me).  My heart is gushing as I'm thinking he's going to climb in there with me and want me to tickle him.  Nope!  He grabs a blanket and covers me all up nice and sweet, and then he walks out of his room and closes the door behind him.  I immediately get up (because I know what he's up to), but he was faster than me--he closed all of my tabs and was well on his way to watching Esther. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

VBS & Goof Off

This week is Vacation Bible School at church.  Aaron hasn't gone before, but this year this therapist (McKenzie) offered to take him (and I get to enjoy 2 hours and 15 minutes of uninterrupted "me time" woo hoo).  The plan is he participate to the extent he can, and then they take breaks when he needs them.  Game time came, and Aaron and McKenzie were waiting in a line for their turn.  The kids were supposed to throw a ball into these hoops (at least that's how my older son explained it).  Aaron was tired of waiting in line, so he decided to run up to the front of the line and kick the balls everywhere.  My son looks up and someone else (he didn't know who) was holding Aaron's hand while McKenzie cleaned up the mess he made.  My son's friend looks at him and says, "It takes two people to watch Aaron.  One to hold him and other to clean up after him."  Out of the mouth of an observant 13 year-old boy!  :)  SOMEBODY gets it!!! 

Later this afternoon I was cleaning some mounting tape residue off of the sliding glass door with some Goof Off.  I needed a razor blade  and the stuff smells horrific so I put the cap back on (it's "child proof") and put it on a shelf outside.  I figured after I found the razor blade and came off of my Goof Off high I would finish the job.  When I went back to get the can (of course it was the large size) it was gone.  The only thing I could find on the deck was the bright red cap.  Crap!  So I went looking through the yard and there was the can of Goof Off--completely empty.  Here are my theories as to the mysterious disappearance of the Goof Off:

1.  Seeing the bright yellow container was too much to handle and they thought it was a toy, so the dogs jumped up on the shelf, popped the lid off and played with it.  (Not likely)

2.  Husband tried to poison dogs--it's well known that he doesn't like them.  (This wouldn't surprise me; however, he was at work, so he has an alibi...or so I think).

3.  Aaron decided that the high he was coming down off of after sniffing the Goof Off in the house was too much to handle, and he wanted another hit.  So in an act of desperation he popped the lid off and dumped it all over the grass so he could get another whiff of it.  (Plausible)

4.  Aaron was bored, saw something shiny, knew he wasn't supposed to get into it, so he decided to get rid of it.  (Most likely)

I'm going to guess that it's number 4; however, I don't have security cameras to back my theory up.  Given history though I think it's a pretty safe bet.  I need to get me some security cameras!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Being noisy at all of the wrong times!

You know how kids have perfect timing when it comes to making noise at the worst time?  Aaron is a master--church is an awesome example of this.  We'll be singing, the band is loud and Aaron sits there quietly, sometimes clapping along (if I make him)--but no noise.  The minute the music stops and prayer starts, it's time for Aaron to exercise his vocal chords.  It is so embarrassing!  You've got this kid making all of these different noises in a room that echos like no tomorrow--but only during prayer and the sermon!  I'll put my finger up to my lips and say "shh", and then he repeats it but 10 times louder, only to finish repeating it and then make some sort of high-pitched loud noise!  (Mind you this is the kid who talks really quiet when I ask him what he wants!)  I have to get up and walk out with EVERYONE watching (one of the many lessons of humility I am "blessed" with)!  I know the real reason he's doing it is so that he can go outside and drive the golf cart around the parking lot!  :)  Depending on who is on parking lot duty lets him ride around with them--and some of them let him operate the whole thing!  I guess I can't blame him--wouldn't any 10 year-old rather drive a golf cart than listen to a 40 minute sermon?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The stainless steel bowl

I don't really "do" puke.  It makes me want to puke.  I didn't realize this before I had kids.  Even after 13 years of parenting under my belt, I still haven't gotten used to puke. Those of you parents out there--you know how you can just "tell" when your kid is going to puke?  They get that cough and you're running as fast as you can to either get a bowl, or find anything for them to puke in other than your bed/carpet/you name it.  Having a non-verbal kiddo means that they can't tell you when their tummy is upset and they are going to lose their lunch--lucky for me, I have "that cough" nailed down.  I would say 80% of the time I'm accurate, 10% I missed and 10% I overreacted.  So Aaron coughs, I interpret the cough, and then he sees me run through the house like a crazy person trying to get a bowl so he doesn't puke on my stuff.

Tonight he coughed.  One of THOSE coughs.  So I look at Husband and say, "do you think he's gonna puke?"  Apparently those were the key words because Aaron gets up and walks away.  Huh?  He goes into the kitchen and comes back with a big stainless steel bowl.  He hands the bowl to me, looks at me, and then makes himself burp this deep burp as if he's going to puke while leaning over the bowl.  He repeats this 3 times.  Are you kidding me?  He decides to spit in it just to give me something to do, and then walks away.  Seriously?  So tonight's "cough" goes under my 10% "overreacted" tally.  Stinker.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken skin

Aaron pretty much likes anything that's not good for him, and dislikes things that make him healthy (although most kids are like that I suppose).  One of the things Aaron likes is chicken skin from rotisserie chickens--which I will agree is pretty delicious.  Our flooring project still wasn't finished, so the kitchen was in the living room and we had to eat dinner crammed in the living room.  Aaron kept stealing chicken skin when he saw his opportunity.  I told him he needed to eat his dinner, so he started eating the rest of the chicken on his plate, but while doing that he gave us dinner and a "show".  He lifted his shirt, bellied-up to the table, grabbed his chubby belly, put it on top of the table and swayed back and forth.  It was a little disturbing.  Luckily the friends that were helping us put the flooring down just laughed, and they're good enough friends that I didn't need to be mortified.

I bought two rotisserie chickens when I went to Costco so we could have one for dinner tonight, and another one for lunches.  I went into the kitchen this evening, and Aaron had gotten into the remaining chicken and taken all of the skin off of the chicken!  I guess he knew I didn't need the extra fat!  Way to take one for the team Aaron!  He also took all of the M & M's out of the trail mix while he was at it!  Bummer!!!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Breakfast of champions

I had the usual shaving cream incident to post yesterday (again to his ears), but we are ripping up and laying down some new flooring, so my entire house is pretty much a disaster (the kitchen is in the living room) and I was too tired to post.  So even though I didn't post yesterday, he still had a shaving cream kind of day.  Because we were working on a housing project yesterday I locked the bathroom door so we wouldn't have any "incidents" with bathroom products.  Well I locked one of the bathroom doors--the one with the shaving cream, but my sweet daughter had unlocked it and didn't lock when she was done.  That's where we get into trouble in this house--not locking things up.

This house is a somewhat fortress.  The front door and the garage door both have keypad locks to get in and out.  We were able to get away with those baby locks for a long time, but last summer Aaron figured out how to bypass those, and ended up going into a garage and knocking a neighbor's $35,000 Harley Davidson over.  Police showed up.  That sucked.  Bad.  So anyhow, we got these nifty locks installed that you have to put a code in.  The problem, once again, is you have to close the door behind you in order for them to work.  (These are pretty cool and lock as soon as the door closes.)  This really isn't a problem with the front door, but for some reason it is difficult with the garage door.  So this morning I let Aaron out of his room and lay back down "for 5 more minutes".  I hear the garage door close, which means Aaron is in the garage because the door wasn't closed.  I'm tired, but apparently I'm a parent so I have to get up and see what's going on.  Besides, getting up now is easier than getting 20 more minutes of half-sleep only to get out of bed and have to spend an hour cleaning up whatever he decided to get in to.  So out to the garage I go, and sure enough, there's Aaron sitting on the cold, cement garage floor, naked, eating Fruit by the Foot.  I tell him to get in the house, and he quickly grabs 5 more, and a box of Pop Tarts and goes running into the house.  Breakfast of champions.  I take away all of the junk food (until he says "I want Pop Tart" and then I give in to that request) and tell him to get dressed. 

He's also decided that clothes should be optional today.  It's not cool when you have company over and they say, "uh, Aaron's naked".  It's really not cool when they have to do it so many times that I lose count!  For whatever reason today his clothes kept falling off!  Ugh!  Lots of lessons in humility for me, and anatomy for my friends.  It's rough to be my friend!  It's also not cool when he pees of the deck for the neighbors AND your company to see.  I'm so proud.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cleaning in vain

Given the events of yesterday, I was hoping for a quiet day.  Ha ha.  Actually, I'm not going to complain (well maybe a little).  I decided to wear makeup and clothes without paint and holes in them--just in case.  Luckily I didn't need them.  Wait, that didn't come out right.  I needed clothes on, it just turns out I could have had my white trash outfit on for part of the day.  Although if I had done that then maybe my day would have turned out differently.  Anyway, I needed to clean my house for dinner company.  I got the floor swept, and started making progress when I went back to my room for something.  I hadn't gotten to the kitchen yet, which meant I hadn't cleaned up the 10lb bag of sugar off of the counter.  That means that probably a half pound of sugar ended up on the computer desk, keyboard and floor (within 2 minutes).  Of course I was barefoot, so that meant sugar was all over my feet.  At that point I gave up.  I texted my dinner company the following message: "I'm apologizing now for the condition of my house!", and then I walked out the door (with Aaron of course).  I drove to McDonalds to take advantage of the $1 any size drink, and downed a large Dr. Pepper.  We went for a drive because in the car he couldn't make a mess.  With some caffeine in me and a couple of hours in the car, I was ready to go home and have a great visit with some good friends--of which we did.  Aaron is in his bed for the night, so I think it's safe to change into some pj's.  :)

20 more minutes until bedtime

Quote from last night's post, "....20 more minutes until bedtime."  A lot can happen in 20 minutes.  Perhaps nobody knows this better than me.  Here's how those 20(ish) minutes played out.  Aaron comes up to me and says, "I want waffle, peanut butter and sugar."  So I put a waffle in the toaster oven, tell daughter to come help me clean the kitchen, and then go to the bathroom.  Before I go though, I notice that Aaron goes into the backyard.  (It's fully fenced).  Come back out of the bathroom and realize I don't hear him outside. Then remember I latched the fence gate, but I didn't lock it.  I look outside and sure enough he and the puppy were out.  Puppy was still in the front yard (which is a miracle), but no Aaron--remember, all I did was go to the bathroom!  I did a couple of door knocks, and a cul-de-sac check. When they turned up empty I got to do my 911 call.  It's been a year since I've gotten to talk to the nice people there.  The best part is always "what is he wearing from head to toe?"  "Well, IF he has clothes on then he's"  Nothing better than getting to put that IF in there.  Police are dispatched.  I then call husband, and he's on his way.  Then I call our long time friends (he happens to be a detective with a different sheriff's office and lives in our neighborhood).  All I have to say is, "Aaron's missing."  He says ok, and hangs up (that means he's on his way).  In the meantime my daughter is running through the neighborhood in bare feet looking for him and asks a neighbor kid if he has seen Aaron (this kid knows Aaron, and is in his grade at school).   Neighbor kid gets his dad and they get on their bikes.  Police show up fast.  I show him a picture of Aaron (always keep a picture of your kids on your cell phone).  The officer tells me they have two other cars out looking for him, he wants to make sure I've looked through every nook and cranny of the house.  I have, but tell him I'll go do it again.  I go back through the house, and back through the backyard.  No Aaron.  I go back in the front yard, and the neighbor kid yells that he's found him.  There's Aaron, sitting on top of the next door neighbor's lifted Chevy Tahoe.  He wasn't there a second ago.  My detective friend rides up on his bike at this time and goes over to Aaron to get him off of the car while I go talk to the police officer who calls off the search.  Friend says, "Aaron", to which Aaron replies, "I sorry, I sorry". 

Disaster averted, and this time he didn't ruin anyone's personal property! In the house he goes.  I give police officer a hug and off he goes.  Husband drives up and goes in the house with Aaron while I finish talking with the different people who were out looking for Aaron.  As I'm walking back in the house I realize that I look about as white trash as they come!  I've got on sweats with paint all over them and a hole in the butt, my shirt has paint all over it too, and my hair is up in a ratty mess.  (I was planning on working on the house).  Classy.  I'm mortified that I looked that way, but thankful that the media didn't show up--how embarrassing would it have been to look like that!  Hey I'm allowed to be a little shallow.  Mostly though I'm thankful for the people that once again helped look for Aaron, and that he came home safe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mommy to the rescue

My Mommy that is.  :)  Out of the blue my mom calls me today to see if I wanted a little break from the little monster.  Uh--DUH.  After making sure she wasn't dying or needing to be committed to a mental institution, I said of course!  (Although I don't think a confirmation of either of those would have changed my answer).  I had a friend over (yes, again) so it would be awesome to visit with her without having to get up every 22 seconds to check on Aaron.  I hang up and go to get him a change of clothes and a swimsuit (she's crazy enough to offer to take him to the beach).  Of course while I'm doing that he finds a tube of Neosporin and squeezes the entire tube into the bathroom sink then tries to wash it off with the remainder of the hand soap (the stuff that he didn't manage to get out yesterday).  If she could have driven a little faster.  Neosporin is a greasy, nasty mess that doesn't clean up easily, so I don't recommend you let your kids play with it--just sayin'.  I'm going to put partial blame on husband for this one because he's the one that left the tube out.  At this point my friend is laughing at me (she did therapy with Aaron for 6 years, so she KNOWS)--which is just awesome.  Thanks Tristan.

The break was awesome, and from the looks of her pictures, it looks like he had fun.  He played in the hose, and then they went to the beach where he decided to walk far out and swim.   Grum(p) :) sent two guys out there to fetch him because he wouldn't come back when she told him to.  Stinker.  I think he had fun :).  20 more minutes until bedtime--until then he gets to play 3 seconds of the "Chicken Dance" from Jimmy Neutron on YouTube over and over and over and over and over....never mind--I'm going to go clean up some sugar he just dumped.  Thanks again Mom!  I love you!
Saying "cheese" for the camera

Out in the Puget Sound...I know Mom is glad she didn't have to go out there to get him!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hand soap and toilet paper

Last night I needed a night on the town, so I decided to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.  Truthfully, I needed a night on the town, but I needed groceries more, so Wal-Mart was my night on the town.  Unfortunately for me, the "people of Wal-Mart" weren't at the one I was at, so I didn't even get some good people-watching in!  Oh well--I guess it kept me from getting distracted.  Anyhow, I'm not sure why I got on the whole Wal-Mart thing.  Oh--so one of the items on my shopping list was hand soap.  Actually, one of the items on my list any time I go to the store is hand soap (and shaving cream, and shampoo..but today isn't about those things).  So I bought some new hand soap for the front bathroom because it had been a while since there was soap in that bathroom.  I'm not sure why I thought Aaron could handle soap being in that bathroom, but I was tired of explaining to my company why they had to go to the kitchen sink to wash their hands after using the facilities!  Aaron has gone through so much soap, that I've learned to only buy the cheapest, smallest size.  So, I bought a new soap container last night and put it in the bathroom.  The soap made it 16 hours and 41 minutes before it was emptied by Aaron.  So if there are 8760(ish) hours in a year, that equals out to about 515 bottles of soap.  At the Wal-Mart price of $0.98 a bottle, plus tax, that's about $554.16 a year (give or take)--FOR ONE BATHROOM SOAP ONLY!  Who spends $554 a year in soap for one bathroom??? Not I.

So my friend came over today for a little visit (I have people over to my house that way he can ruin my stuff and not theirs).  She went to the bathroom, and came out with the news--Aaron unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet, and emptied out the brand new container of hand soap.  Awesome!  Now--for those of you who are thinking, "doesn't she watch her child?"  I have to tell you that my friend said to me "Holy cow--he's fast".  So there is an another opinion out there that my child is a sneaky, quiet troublemaker (did I mention that it was only 1:50 in the afternoon at this point?  He'd only been home from school for 2 hours and 15 minutes)!  Luckily with a little plunge the toilet was good to go.  The hand soap is gone, but oh well--I'll pick some up the next shopping trip. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ashes & the "usual"

Today I had a non-follow through sort of parenting day.  :)  Ever have one of those?  (This is the first one I've had!  Ha Ha) I decided that a quiet, entertained boy was of bigger value to me than a clean one (or one that actually stopped doing something when I told him no).  I needed to get out of the house, so I decided to take Aaron on a trip to Grum and Pa's (nicknames for grandma and grandpa--that's what happens when you let a 2 year old name you--Karma--oh and even better, Aaron pronounces it "Grump" ha ha ha ha.  Sorry mom...sort of).

After we were there for about, oh, 5 minutes,  Aaron gave me my keys and said "car", to which I said no.  It was nice outside, and we were going to stay there.  He decided to wander the yard.  Grum and Pa have a fence that is hot wired, and Aaron has been shocked by it before.  (That's what you get if you try to escape their yard!!!)  He walked up to it today, and carefully put his hand out to see if the fence was on.  The fence is a wooden fence, but has hot wire around the bottom to keep the dogs from digging out.  He hasn't made the connection that it's not the wood that's the problem!!!  (Which is just fine with me).  It was pretty funny to watch him touching the fence ever so lightly to see if it would shock him.  Yeah I know, that's sick, but still--it was funny.  Then he put his foot on the hot wire, just to see.  It was on, but didn't do anything to his shoe.  I kept waiting for a show, but apparently he learned the first time!  So he walked back over and decided to sit all 105 pounds of himself on top of me, and then sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".  Pretty cute.  After he was done abusing my lap he decided to go sit on Grum and smack the loose skin on her arms.  :)  Isn't that sweet?  (He will usually hit my butt if I'm laying down so he can watch the fat spring back, so I was glad he was doing it to someone else!)  How's that for a visual?

Anyhow, back to my lack of following through.  Grum and Pa have a fire pit.  Aaron wanted to play in the fire pit (it did NOT have a fire in it, nor did it have smoldering embers, so chill out--I would have followed through on that one).  Like a good parent, rather than getting up and redirecting him, I just yelled across the yard for him to get out of there.  It totally worked--for a minute, until I wasn't looking....  By the time I saw him, he was all sooty, so rather than following through and cleaning him up, I just shrugged my shoulders and waved my white surrender flag.  Oh well.  What's another mess--like I said, he was entertained.  I figured I may as well get some pictures of his fun, while he was grabbing handfuls of ashes and letting them go into the wind.  :)  He came back up and said "bath time", so we washed his hands (I didn't want to give him a full on bath when I knew he would go right back out there), and he went back out and played in the ashes again. Eventually it was time to go, so we grabbed a cookie on the way out (that he had to smell first before he took a bite to make sure it wasn't poison or something)...and headed home.

Dirty, ash mess, rubbing himself against a bush!

There is no fire in there--but it was cool to blow on it and see the ashes go everywhere.

And of course he had to see how it tasted

Then you put your left foot in...

Later in the evening he decided to play in the shaving cream again (without permission), but this time only put it in his ears???  I don't know.  I was grocery shopping, and he was in the care of the "other" members of the I don't know which one was responsible for it, but my good daughter cleaned him up (so it was probably her)!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Aaron went about his day today deciding to combine sensory experiences.  Remember yesterday how I explained my mental flowchart?  I took my own advice from yesterday, decided to apply it today, and a huge mess was averted.  Just like yesterday, I was in the living room (not having a finances conversation--thank goodness!), and it was a little too quiet.  I decided to inspect, and sure enough, half of a can of shaving cream was in Aaron's hands.  Luckily I caught it before he flicked it everywhere.  I washed him up and had him spend a little time in his room.

Later on this afternoon he decided to give himself a sandbox spa treatment again, so there was mud everywhere.  Luckily he didn't use the toilet or his urine to wash off, and opted for the sink this time.  Yay!  Husband tried to get the camera in time to get the picture of the mud that was caked all over his face, but he was a little too quick.

Today's spa treatment

 He also decided to give our not-so-nice neighbors a show by peeing off the deck.  Ugh!  This is a multiple day occurrence that I'm trying to get rid of, but have so far been unsuccessful!  I think the solution is going to be moving to a place where 5 neighbors can't see into your backyard.  

The fun event of the day was Aaron telling husband  "I want bicycle".  Of course not only do we want to encourage his talking, it's also a bonus when he wants to do a physical activity.  So even though husband was exhausted, he took him out to ride his super cool, Razor caster trike (no bicycle for him--it would just give him a quicker mode of escaping transportation).  He called me out for backup because he was tired, so I obliged.  The door to the garage got left open, so puppy ran out there with them.  Stupid dog!  She doesn't come when you call her, rather goes bolting through the neighborhood.  Sweet!  (Side note--puppy is a 9 month old golden-irish--1/2 golden rertriever, 1/2 irish setter--her name is Lucy, but husband has nicknamed her Lucifer.  He's not a fan of dogs, let alone hyper, misbehaved puppies.)  Husband has Aaron, so I run into the house to get a treat to bribe the dog to come inside.  When I get back outside, Aaron is bolting (barefoot) to the next door neighbors house with Lucy at his side, and husband chasing them.  Aaron walks right on into their house, and Lucy goes tearing in.  Neighbors have a husky that was born the same day Lucy (what's funny is her name is Eve and the husband there calls her Evil--so there you have it).  I'm running behind husband, and when I catch up to them I walk into chaos.  Lucy and Eve are tearing around the house (they have play dates, so they're buddies), but for whatever reason Lucy is cranky so she's instigating a fight.  Aaron is running through their living room (either going for movies or heading for the food).  Needless to say it was crazy in there.  Luckily for me, these are the "cool" neighbors.  We're the same age, we both have kids, we hang out, they like Aaron, and they don't hate our dog.  (In fact we're texting as I write this).  We grab our dog by the collar and our son by the hand, say "hi, sorry, thanks, bye" and walk out the door.  Aaron still wants to "ride his trike", but that's not what he really wants to do, so we make him go inside, opting for messes over invading the neighbors.

This isn't today, but here he is zooming on the Razor

Lucy :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

I knew I should have gotten up....

My famous last words are going to be "I know better..."  Today my friend and I took our kids to the zoo.  Aaron was mildly (that's an overstatement I think) interested, but he humored me and somewhat-halfway-sort of looked at the camera when we wanted to take pictures.  All in all we had a fun day. Being the zoo, we walked a bunch, and I really wanted a nap when we got home.  BUT--I didn't take one...I know better.  Bad things happen when I take naps (for example, "someone" may start lighting matches and blowing them out on the couch so they could flap their hands and look at the smoke--things like that happen when I nap).  Another thing that I know better is: when I hear my bathroom door close, and Aaron isn't in my field of vision, it's usually not a good thing.  If this happens, get up.  Don't sit there and do nothing.  I know better.  And of course, tonight my sweet child didn't disappoint. 

Husband and I decided to have a conversation in the living room after dinner.  We're enjoying each others company, talking about the delightful topic of finances (fun, right?).  I hear my bathroom door close.  I know where my other two children are, so my brain makes the connection that Aaron closed the door.  You know those flow charts?  The ones that have a problem in a box and then it flows to two different boxes, one yes and one no, and then it continues down the chain until you have solved your problem?  My head instantly goes to a flow chart to assess the situation.  The first box (after the box that says the problem: my bathroom door closing) is: do I have a visual on Aaron?  If the answer is yes, then I'm all good.  I can continue sitting on my rear end.  If the answer is no, then I have to dig a little deeper.  Next box: Do I currently hear him?  If it's a yes, then it breaks down into: what do I hear? Then I problem solve depending on what sound I hear.  If the answer is no, I don't hear him, well my solution box should say something to the effect of: get off your rear end and walk the 30 feet to see what he's up to. When I come to this solution (and do it) I either avert disaster or confirm that nothing is going on.  The problem is when I ignore this final solution box (well actually the problem is Aaron, but being the bigger person, I'll put the problem on myself).  When I ignore this box, the likelihood of a mess is exponentially increased (I ignored the box tonight).  Given the location of the door that closed, those of you who know Aaron really well can narrow down what type of trouble he was getting into.

After hearing my bathroom door close, (and then consciously ignoring it in order to continue the oh-so-fun finances conversation) it's quiet in the house.  Then I hear the bathroom door close again.  Hmmm...probably not good.  I should not have ignored it.  So I send sister in to see if Aaron has made a mess, of which she promptly comes back to confirm.  Blast!  I don't get up yet because I'm not ready to face what's ahead of me just yet.  He's not in the bathroom anymore, so that means he's not making a mess.  The time comes for me to face the music.  As I walk into my bedroom I smell mango and coconut.  The conversation in my head goes something like this, "Dang it!  The kid got into my body wash.  Ugh!  He had better not have smeared that everywhere, that will be a real mess to clean.  If it's all gone, I'm going to be ticked."  I look on my bed, and he has wiped his body-washed smeared body all over my sheets.  "Are you kidding me?  Now I have to wash all of my bedding!"  I walk into my bathroom and my sense of smell is confused.  The up side is he used the toilet to take care of "business" and didn't got outside (yes, this has been a problem in the past).  The down side is that the smell in my bathroom is Barbasol shaving cream, mango-coconut body wash, and crap.  Yick.  I think that was worse than the actual mess.  As you can see by the pictures, Aaron had a little sensory experience in my bathroom.  Shaving cream everywhere, and the bottom of my tub and floor is slick with body wash.  Sweet.  Now, I try to look at the good in my circumstances, and this is what I came up with tonight: this isn't the worse mess he's made, he went to bed early :), my bathroom is clean (ok, cleaner), I will sleep in clean sheets tonight, the shower curtain that I keep thinking about washing is finally getting washed, my bathmats will be clean, and there is still enough body wash to get me through until the next time I can get to the store that sells it.  The shaving cream is gone, but I'm pretty sure I have another one of those.  And that is how you turn a frown upside down!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An anniversary I'd rather forget

I hope you all had a safe and happy 4th! I can happily report that Aaron did not get into any significant trouble! Woo hoo! We let him play with some sparklers, so he had a lot of fun running around with those! He was disappointed when they were "all done". It is so much fun to see the smile on his face when he's really enjoying something (and when that something isn't trouble)!!!

Today is the eighth anniversary of the first (yes, first) time Aaron wandered, and the last time we ever went tent camping. Would you like to hear a story? We enjoyed a nice BBQ and 4th of July party at a friend's house. They live on property so a bunch of us pitched tents and spent the night there. (I know there are some of you who are wondering but don't have the guts to ask--there was no alcohol at this party--that I remember...JUST KIDDING--there really wasn't any. Now that we have that cleared up.) Aaron was 2 years, 5 months and 3 days old (I'm not telling you how old I am). The five of us (me, husband, and our three kids-2, 4 & 5--go ahead, raise your eyebrows on how close they are in age, you wouldn't be the first) cozied up for the night in our tent. The next morning I woke up around 6:30 and didn't see Aaron in his sleeping bag. I asked husband if he saw Aaron, but he wasn't anywhere in the tent. We all got out and started calling his name, but we couldn't find him. Everyone was out of their tents now looking for him. Husband got into the car and started driving down the street while I called 911 and started giving the operator a description of him. They dispatched an officer, and while they were still on the phone with me, another call came in saying someone found a little boy matching Aaron's description. Whew! We followed the officer down to the Stanwood Police Station, and with a lot of tears got our boy.

Now--here is another part of the story (the part I wasn't there for). Diane was driving down the street when she saw a figure laying down in the middle of the street on the center line that looked like a little kid. (Aaron is fascinated with street lines--of course) She pulled over when she realized that her eyes weren't deceiving her, and went over and picked him up. Minutes later a semi-truck went zooming by (oh and there aren't any shoulders on this road). God was watching out for him! She knocked on a door to a nearby house, but no one answered. As she tells it, she had watched too many CSI episodes because she started imagining all of these different scenarios where an entire family was murdered and the baby escaped! So she stopped knocking on doors! Of course it was the one day that she didn't have her cell phone with her so she flagged down a lady and called 911. She ended up taking him to the police station. When she got there the officer asked her if she realized he was autistic (he knew this because of our call). She said no. He seemed quite uncomfortable with the thought of being left alone with an autistic toddler, so he asked her if she would stay until we got there (which she did). Like I said, there were many tears from everyone (except the police officer, but that's ok--I don't begrudge him). When she finally got where she was originally going, her family didn't know why she was so late and she told them they'd never believe it!

Picking him up from the police station was crazy and emotional, and we never got her name (or at least I didn't hear it!). Our town is a small one, so with some investigative work we found out who Aaron's mystery angel was. We met her at her work with some flowers, and we have been friends ever since. It was funny (although I'm not sure that's the right adjective) because she's a hairdresser and I was looking for a new one, and she was looking for a music teacher for her son--and my husband is one. So it was all meant to be :). For almost the past 8 years this woman has cut Aaron's hair EVERY Wednesday morning at 9:00 for free. We have our little routine--he gets a piece of candy when he's done (it used to be Bazooka Bubble Gum, then it switched to flavored Tootsie Rolls. She tries to make sure she has a stock of what he wants--if not he goes rummaging through her stuff to try to find what he does want). Then he goes over to her water cooler and fills up a paper cup. Every week he tries to give her the trash (or just throw it on the floor), and every week she tells him to throw it away himself! :) It's a good thing his hair grows so fast! Week 1 is clippering the back, week 2 is trimming the top, week 3 is thinning--and then do it all over again! When he was really little if we missed a week he was horrible the next time! We still do it every Wednesday, but if we have to miss a week for whatever reason, he's okay.

I think it was a couple months later that she gave Aaron a bumper sticker that says "Angels are all around" (or something like that), and a cute little doll with a shirt that says "Hit the Road" (the above picture). Someone with the same sense of humor as me! Sweet! We joke about how unreal the whole story is, and sometimes when we leave I hear her telling her next client "That's the little boy I found in the street"....

I wish I could say that was the only time he wandered, but I can't. But I'll save some of those stories for another time. :) Oh--and any of my friends who were there and are reading this--if I left anything out it's because I've blocked it from my memory, so don't be offended that I forgot your significant part. I'm sure you wouldn't because you are all good friends.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's too early for this

I am NOT a morning person. (I also need 7-8 hours of sleep a night because of a medical condition.) I'm actually at my best from 12:00-12:30 in the afternoon, before and after that not so much... :). So when I go to bed at 12:30am because I can't fall asleep (playing Bejeweled has NOTHING to do with that), and Aaron is up at 5:11am--not cool. Now I know I could train my body to go to sleep earlier, but I don't want to! I enjoy the free time I have in the evenings. Call me selfish (I really don't care). So this scenario played out this morning. Aaron wakes up at 5:11-husband makes him go to the bathroom and puts him back to bed. He then rolls over to tell me he thinks that Aaron may have peed in his room somewhere, but he didn't look. Are you kidding me? Obviously you can see the problem with this; however, a piece of information you don't have is that 5 days ago we ripped up his flooring and laid down wood laminate from Costco. It's not supposed to get wet. So up I get, put my glasses on, and inspect the floor for urine. Great way to start the morning. Good news-no urine. I tell him goodnight, and to stay in bed, then I climb back into my warm bed. 5:30-bang bang bang-he's up again. This time it's my turn, and I really don't want to keep getting out of bed, so I tell him to get into my bed (secretly hoping he'll fall back asleep, even though I know how it's really going to play out). I drift back to partial sleep reminding myself that I need it. He starts inching his way down the bed, trying to get out through the end, which is met with me telling him to knock it off. He looks at me and says "computer". Fine. I want sleep and I figure he'll stay in my bed and play on the computer and I can get a little more sleep. He plays on the computer and waits for his opportunity until I'm out. He gets out and comes back in and says "popsicle". I say no. He walks away. I should have gotten up. I know better. But I didn't. When I finally did get out of bed I walked into a disaster. My sweetness had decided to help himself to popsicles anyway, leaving puddles of melting popsicles everywhere (table, kitchen floor, new laminate living room floor, counters, computer table). A popsicle isn't complete without dipping it in sugar first, so he found the 10lb bag of Costco organic sugar, and managed to spread that all over the same places, as well as the couch. I walk into the living room, my feet sticking to the floor because I accidentally stepped in a popsicle puddle and then into the sugar that was all over the floor. Awesome. So I get out the cleaning supplies and get to work, reprimanding myself (under my breath) for not getting up when I should have. Serves me right. Aaron makes himself scarce in his bedroom while I'm cleaning because he knows I'm less than pleased at the moment. While I'm cleaning up his mess I heard the bins of toys in his room go dumping everywhere. He decided to make another mess while I was cleaning the last one. This is what he does. I often wonder why I even try to clean. His room is still a disaster, but this mess I can make him clean. At least then I can be sure that he won't make another mess--I'll let you know how that works out for me. I'm really hoping this is my only post for the day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

When your client says "jump" you say...

So part of having a nonverbal kid is trying to teach them that language is powerful. In order to accomplish this the following rule applies--if they say it, you must do it so they understand that their words have power. Fortunately, Aaron can talk quite clearly if he wants pizza, chips, candy, chicken (as in the breaded type), ice cream and a few other not so healthy options. He has never walked up to me and said "I want carrots and broccoli". Aaron loves to jump on the trampoline, and he really likes to lay there and have other people jump and make him bounce. It took my husband a while, but he taught Aaron to say, "I want dad to jump" (which sounds like "I wah zaz zo zump"). So when he's said that to me, and I keep saying, "No, you want MOM to jump"--and no dice--it's only "I wah zaz zo zump". He must have realized that I needed some exercise, so tonight he walks up to me and says, "I wah mah zo zump". YAY! First time he's said mom. UGH-I have to jump. I don't like jumping on the trampoline--I've had three kids. But out I go. I don't know why, but he gives me his Winchester ear protectors to put on. He stops me mid-jump to "fix" my hair by pulling the headband of the ear protectors to the front of my forehead--as if I didn't look ridiculous enough with these big things on my ears. So there I am, 9:30 at night, jumping on the trampoline with Winchester ear protectors, panting because I'm so out of shape, and peeing myself. I can only imagine what the nosy neighbors were thinking! Having him look at me in the eyes while we were jumping made it all worth it though. At least I'm going with the thought that he was looking in my eyes even though I'm pretty sure he was watching my hair go crazy.

Getting through summer

Every month I get the "ARC Calendar of Events" in my email, which is basically a list of the different events/classes/support groups for people with disabilities and their families. So this morning I got the July email and was looking through to see what I don't have time to attend when this caught my attention:

July 25thSASSIE (Snohomish Autism Spectrum Support Information & Education),Glenna Clouse “Discussion on Strategies To Get Through The Summer”;7-8:30pm.

I actually laughed out loud to myself! I love listening to Glenna, she's amazing. Here's my problem--July 25th??? Summer is almost over--well it's close to the hump anyway! I think I'm going to call the ARC and tell them that next year they should do this, say in MAY when all of the parents have energy and are thinking either one of two things (or both) "This summer is going to be different--I'm going to have the energy to keep my child entertained and we're going to have a great summer. I can't wait to hear her ideas" OR "Oh crap--summer is almost here--what am I going to do? Maybe they'll give me some good coping skills". I shouldn't be so hard on them! I love the people there and I should be thankful that someone is taking the time to help. I wonder if there is child care provided, because if so I just might need a night off???

Friday, July 1, 2011


Today we picked up the older two from a week long camp "vacation". It was a 3 hour round trip drive, so I figured that was a total of keeping Aaron out of trouble for a good 4 hours--yay! Well of course 4 hours isn't enough. I don't know how many times you are going to hear about Aaron making mud--but that just happens to be one of his "things". Now before you say, "Oh, that's what boys do, they love to play in mud" blah blah blah blah blah. Yes, they do. BUT when they strip down to the birthday suit and the neighbors can see the goods covered in mud--it's not so cool (did I mention he's 10? neighbors generally frown upon naked 10 year-olds). Welcome to my world. SO we were going through another typical mud day which constitutes the following steps:

1. Get naked in the backyard.
2. Take a glass (yes, glass) from the kitchen sink, fill with water, take it outside and make mud.
3. Go back for a refill if necessary.
4. Smear the mud everywhere (yup even "there").
5. Run the mud-caked naked body back into the house to wash it off in one of three places: the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the toilet (notice that the bathtub isn't one of his preferred places?)
6. Run back outside and repeat (and repeat and repeat)

Today he added a new way to clean his body....I threw him in the shower (I didn't actually throw him, so put your phones down and don't call CPS-I used my words to tell him to get into the shower) and as the water was heating up (I was feeling generous with the water temperature-normally I would have made it unpleasantly cold-which unfortunately doesn't seem to phase him) I look over at him, and there he is peeing on his feet, watching the mud slide off, all the while flapping his hands with excitement. Seriously? UGH! I didn't use soap because I knew he was going to do it again, and quite frankly there wasn't any in there because he broke the last bar up and shoved it down the bathroom sink and I hadn't replaced it yet. Anyway, I of course was right, and away he went (with undies on) back to his happy mud-fest. In and out he went today getting muddy and then washing off in the toilet by submerging his feet and arms in the toilet--awesome.

Up to speed

For those of you who have asked.... here is a blog about the adventures of Aaron raising his family to have a better sense of humor and a little more patience (which by the way, I strongly recommend against praying for patience). You won't believe some of these stories, but I promise you they have all happened to me courtesy of Aaron. Summer time is an especially awesome time because Aaron is out of his routine of school, so he has a little bit of extra "free time" on his hands to get into things. Now before you go judging my parenting and the inability to keep my kid out of stuff, you need to understand something...if you do not have a child with special needs, you have no idea! Do you ever need to go to the bathroom or fix dinner or settle an argument between two other siblings (not that I ever have to do that one...cough) or take a shower or answer the phone that was left in another room or answer the it turns out--these are prime opportunities that Aaron takes advantage of--it's like he waits for them. I have ears that know what a toilet flushing is supposed to sound like (and what it ISN'T supposed to sound like) and what door in the house just closed. Some of the most frequent words uttered in our house are "What's Little Buddy (or more commonly known as Little Monster) doing?" Despite my awesome skills he still manages to get into things (DAILY)! Ok, I'm off the soapbox-for now.

People tell me all the time, "I don't know how you do it" (in my head I hear "Wow! You're awesome and I wish I was half the woman you are"-lol). My verbal response to them (with my sweetest smile) is, "Well I don't really have a choice" (and in my head I'm thinking "If you only knew!! But you're right, I totally rock"). I'm not going to lie, having a son with special needs is exhausting at times; however, this kid provides me with a ton of unreal stories. Luckily I have a warped sense of humor and have so far come out on the other end of each incident with another cool story.

But I digress....So this week I've been posting daily on Facebook what Aaron has managed to get into that day, and in one of the posts I confessed that because of his actions for that day (whatever they happened to be, I'll have to go back and look because they have all run together) I was sitting at the computer eating banana laffy taffy and drinking a glass of red wine. Nasty--FYI they don't pair well :) but that didn't stop me from continuing to shove my face with banana deliciousness and chase it with a sip of wine. I've been told I should write a book many times, and after that post a dear, dear friend told me I should call it Banana Laffy Taffy and Red Wine-so here I am. I have Charity to thank for such a catchy title :). So buckle up and enjoy my crazy life!