Wednesday, November 20, 2013

List of thanksgiving

I am thankful this month, I just decided not to bore my Facebook friends by posting things daily.  Not that I'm bored reading the thankfulness posts that my friends write -- I actually enjoy them.  Who knows why I do what I do, but that is the way of the world.  So in no particular order, here are 25 things I for which I am thankful ...
#3 My miniature Thanksgiving meal

1.  My husband.  OK, I lied about no particular order.  This is always number 1 for me.

2.  The boyz.  They are quirky, weird, stubborn, funny and sweet.  Although I wish they did not have autism, I still am glad I have them.  They have improved me as a person.
#2 My crazy kids

3.  My minis.  Having a hobby really makes life more beautiful.

4.  My kitty.  Diesel frequently makes me laugh and loves to be petted.  He isn't into being held, but that is OK.  He still makes me feel loved.
#6 Me with my sisters

5.  My nieces.  I have four smart, beautiful and just plain nice nieces.  Although I am still glad I had boyz, I do love watching these four grow into wonderful young ladies.

6.  My sisters.  I have two fantastic sisters.  The one in town frequently watches the boyz and the one out of town lends an amazing amount of moral support.

7.  My in-laws.  I have the best in-laws in the world.  Although they do not always agree with our choices, they respect them and again provide an amazing amount of moral support.
My inlaws

8.  My parents.  I do love them even when they drive me crazy.  They have given me a wonderful blueprint for marriage and faith.

9.  My faith.  Although I sometimes question what God has given me, I do know he is there to help.

My parents
10.  Friends.  I have some fantastic girlfriends (and guy friends) from all aspects of my life and they mean more to me than they will ever know.

11.  Our country.  I live in a wonderful country.  Although I hate "politics" I respect and appreciate the military and our freedom.

12.  Did I mention my husband?

13.  Doctors and modern medicine.  Although the cause of autism has not been pinpointed (personally I believe there are multiple causes), I cannot imagine my life without the boys' medications and their doctors. 

14.  Air conditioning.  Even though I am not using it at the moment, I would not survive a summer without air conditioning!

15.  Books.  There is nothing better than escaping into a good book.

16.  Movies.  Except possibly watching a good movie.

17.  My neighbors.  After the hateful letter that grandmother in Canada received, I am once again thankful that no one has ever done anything remotely that mean to me.

18.  My health.  I hear so many people that have physical aches and pains.  While my feet might not be pain free yet, they are on the way and my "problem" could be fixed.

19.  Chocolate.  'Nuff said.

20.  Food.  Maybe this is silly, but I am thankful that food is so plentiful that I have a weight problem.  I much prefer this to the alternative.  I still don't think I can be thankful for exercise but maybe someday ...

21.  I am very thankful my left foot healed a lot faster than my right foot!

22.  Schools.  The boyz have been in every style school imaginable (except homeschool) and without fail we have had some amazing teachers.  Many I am still thrilled to call my friends.

23.  Respite providers.  We try to have at least one date night a month and without some of the amazing ladies I've met, this would not be possible.

24.  Social networks.  I can't believe all the people I have met via Facebook and Google+.  I have also reconnected to a bunch of old friends.  All I have to do is turn on my computer in the morning and I have a bunch of friends to see.

25.  And last but not least, my husband.  He is my best friend and a wonderful dad.

So what are you thankful for this month?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My escape has escaped

I've never been into reality TV, non-fiction books or documentaries.  I always joke that I have enough reality in my life and my reading or movie watching is for "escape".  When someone suggests a true book about autism for me to read, I cringe.  I don't want to spend my precious "fun" time reading about that which I am already living.

I've been a stay at home mom for almost 19 years. I've worked part time here and there and volunteered a lot when the kids were younger but for the most part, I have been unemployed since Joe was born.

I always thought I would go back to work as soon as our youngest was in school full time, but when Alan had been kicked out of Sunday School, gymnastics and Kindermusik by the time he was 6 I just stayed home.

For the most part, I haven't regretted it and neither has DH. We often joke that he is in charge of the income and I am in charge of the outgo and they are both equally important. As long as I keep our spending in line, we are able to put aside a little something and still have me stay home.

The last few years I have even had the time, interest and resources to get back into miniatures which has been a blissful escape for me. When I am having a tough day, I put Alan on the bus and head down to the basement to play with my minis. When the afternoon or evening is tough, I know I can escape as soon as both boyz are out of the house the next day. I work on them rarely on weekends -- mainly because I prefer to spend my evenings and weekends with DH which is its own escape.

But ever since Joe graduated in May, I am having to relearn how to be a SAHM.  For the last 12 years both the boyz have been in school almost full time.  This has given me more than enough time to keep the house marginally clean, run errands, work out, read, have an occasional lunch with a friend, do my Facebook and blogging and most important -- work on my minis.

Starting this summer I began to bring projects upstairs and work on them at the kitchen table while keeping an eye on Alan in the yard.  This has helped some, but some of my projects (despite being "miniature") are not very portable.  In addition, all my supplies are in the workroom in the basement.

Joe decided a few months ago that he was going to get back into working on models.  (I almost said "modeling" and I had this sudden flash of Mr. Camera Shy hamming it up for a photographer!) We've been happy that he was doing something other than watching movies.  Because really, how many times can you watch the entire Harry Potter movie series in chronological order?

He has finished two cars and while they aren't what anyone with a distinguishing eye would say are well done, they are helping him follow written directions, improve his hand to eye skills and work on project completion  -- which are all important things.

So what is the downside?  This has put Joe in close proximity to me for large chunks of my day that used to be my escape.  Now add to that my foot surgeries and you have a Mom that really wants to see her 19 yo gainfully employed!!

Calgon take me away ... oh never mind, I can't get my foot wet yet ...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why the world revolves around Joe ...

The world revolves around Joe.  The world may not be aware of that yet, but it is definitely true.  For a kid who can be so helpful, he just cannot look at things from another person's point of view.  In that way he is a lot like a cat.

This morning Joe asks DH, "Do you know what the best time is to start a movie that Alan likes to watch start to finish?" 

From the other room I'm thinking, "Duh, right after he gets home from school." 

DH said, "I don't know.  What is the best time?" 

Joe's response?  "Right after he gets on the bus to go to school because then I can stop and start it whenever I want." 


As a family we tend to drink from Tervis Tumblers.  They allow us to keep track of whose drink is whose (since we all take them all over the house), leave very little marks on the furniture and allow for minimal spilling during the inevitable upset.  I usually use one of the lids like what is shown on the left (mainly because I prefer to use a straw) while Joe (and DH) tend to use the style on the right. 

When I came home from surgery, DH had washed my cup and was getting out a fresh one and grabbed one of the lids like is shown on the right but knowing I like straws, also got me a straw. 

Joe observed my cup last night at dinner and said, "You know you can drink out of those lids and you don't need a straw." 

Mom: "But I prefer using a straw." 

Joe: "But you don't need one."

Mom: "I know."  He just looked at me blankly.


Joe asked for me to make some hard boiled eggs this morning.  To be fair, he actually asked me to teach him how to make them.  As a family we don't eat a lot of eggs, except for Joe who usually eats two every day.  If left to his own devices, he would eat a half dozen eggs a day, but we set the limit early.  And once there is a rule, it is usually followed. 

DH had stopped at the store and picked up 18 eggs and we had about 6 in the refrigerator.  I told Joe we were going to make the 18 eggs into hard boiled eggs and save the others for whatever. 

Joe asks, "Like to cook other ways?"

Mom: "No, I was thinking more for if we need them for cooking other things."

Joe: "Like fried or scrambled eggs?"

Mom: "No, like a cake or pie or meatloaf or whatever."

Joe: "But I can still use them for fried or scrambled if I want those, right?"


He's been trying to help out since my second surgery (I am doing much better, btw) and several times a day we hear about how Alan should have learned this or that by now.  I'll get right on that, kid.  After all, we haven't been trying to teach him those things for the last 15 years we've just been skating by.

The world does revolve around Joe.  We just haven't been able to inform the whole world.  I guess I better get on that, too ...

Thursday, November 7, 2013


This week was my second foot surgery.  I had my right foot done in August, then Alan broke his arm and we had so many things planned (including a wedding) that my left foot surgery got put off until this week.

Both DH and I thought this surgery would be easier than the first in so many ways.  Most importantly, it is not my driving foot so I will not have to rely on Joe to drive me around for six weeks.  But also, we've been through it and know what worked and what didn't.  We are also hoping pretty hard that Alan will not break any bones this time around!

In the hospital waiting for Alan's arm to be set
Unfortunately, recovery hasn't been as smooth as we hoped.  I got up last night to go to the bathroom, got lightheaded and passed out.  It was a less than graceful swoon and I ended up lying in the bathtub with my legs hanging out and the backs of my knees resting on the track for the shower sliding door.  I have some wicked bruises on my back, my left thigh and the backs of both knees.  Ouch.

The "Guard Kitty" didn't do anything to notify DH either!
DH had been sleeping on the couch in the living room so that he could hopefully hear both Alan and myself.  Unfortunately it took him a few minutes to figure out who was pounding on the wall for attention and he naturally assumed it was Alan and went up to talk to him first.
All my craft projects will have to wait

As Joe would say, "On the bright side, we didn't have to call 911 and I was only lying there for about 10 minutes." 

But the bruises are a big ouch at the moment -- almost worse than the surgery site!