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.