The One With The Derby…

Today was my very first experience with the Pinewood Derby. It was interesting, to say the least. Lots of build-up and tons of excitement. Adults included! Let’s not forget about the cake either. You know how I feels about the cake…but that’s neither here nor there. The real story lies in the derby cars themselves. Or should I say the father’s of the boy’s who had derby cars? You be the judge…

My understanding of the theory behind the Pinewood Derby is a bonding experience between parent and child. A fun experience with your chirrens. But, and you knew there had to be one. The kids are supposed to do the majority of the work themselves. Should I repeat that? THE KIDS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO THE MAJORITY OF THE WORK THEMSELVES.

Wanna guess where this is going? Yeah. It ain’t pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as competitive as they come. But this is for the kids! When you bring in your “son’s” car and go through registration and weigh in, and then bring it to the table where it will sit under my watchful eye(untouched by anyone!) and then actually have the gall to ask me if it really has to stay on the table because you worked so hard on it. C’mon, man. Really? Every single adult in that gym knew that your son had nothing to do with that car. Which is really sad because there’s an adult category. Seriously.

What are you teaching your children? You have to win no matter what? If you can’t do something, don’t worry, Dad will? Good job. I suppose you expect them to always get a trophy too, eh? Too bad that isn’t how it works in the real world. You are setting your children up for failure. And for what? A plastic trophy?

I guess I must be crazy. My children came up with their designs and their dad and grandpa cut them out. They sanded them. They painted them, with very little help from me. Were they perfect in every way? Not even close. Did they win any trophies? Nope. Not a one. Did they have the best day ever(their words!)? Damn skippy they did. And that means more to me than any trophy or award.

Which is the entire point.

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Being A Grown Up Blows…

Very rarely do I ever wish to revert back to childhood and those carefree days where my biggest worry involved getting the newest Barbie. Except for days like today. Days where you discover the parent of one of your dearest friends unexpectedly passed away. And you are just gobsmacked with grief and sorrow.

Days like this? Blow. Because you have to do grown up things like call his wife and say all those meaningless words you say when someone you love dies. I hate that. I never feel like I say the right things, but I say them anyway. I feel like it’s maybe not quite so much what you say, just that you’re saying it. And listening to them talk about their grief. Just being there. In that moment, with them.

The viewing is tonight and my husband is paying our respects on his way to work. The funeral is in the morning and I’ve already made arrangements to drop Bub off at his grandparents so I can attend the funeral. Because that’s also part of being a grown up. My least favorite part. But that’s what you do. You pay your respects and show your love and support for the family.

And I have a lot of love and respect for this family. So I will be there. Because it isn’t really about me anyway. Even though it’s hard and I’d much rather be worrying about the newest Barbie.

Why I Write…

I’ve seen lots of articles, conversations, etc lately blaming social media for just about everything you can think of. Divorce, adultery, neglecting your children, promoting your children and so on. Ad nauseam. Quite frankly, I think it’s a bit of a cop out.

I started this blog, a hundred years ago. For reasons I’ve mostly forgotten. Except for one. The big one. The main one. I like to write. Pure and simple. I never thought about making money. I just wrote. About all sorts of stuff. All the times. And then as time went on life kind of intervened. Or maybe it was that third child. Who knows? I just stopped writing. Every so often I’d get a semi wild hair and post sporadically, and then off the grid again. It was just life, man.

I never once, in all these years, used my blog to validate myself. Or my opinions. Or really anything, for that matter. I just wrote about whatever was on my mind at the time. I tried to be honest and real. Not for anyone in particular. Just for myself. Because I enjoyed it. Because I could.

This year I’m turning 40. And I’m excited. I’m trying new things and I’m being brave in ways I’ve never been before. Last week I took the Jeopardy online test, and rocked it. In two weeks I’m doing a 5k with some girlfriends. The first of twelve, one a month. It will probably kill me dead, but I’m doing it. Happily and joyfully. As I’ve said before, my time might not be very good but it ain’t gonna get any better on the couch! This is the Year of Me and I am loving it. I’m also slowly rediscovering my love of writing. Not because I have to, but because I finally feel like I have something to say again.

All that having been said, I love social media. It allows me to keep up with friends and family who live far away. They get to see pictures of the boys as they grow up. It makes my heart happy. I don’t think I post things on there for reactions, attention or personal validation either. For me, it’s fun and silly, and a chance to talk to my friends. I’m not neglecting my children, nor do I feel I’m promoting them. I’m just being a SAHM. I do homework with my boys, we eat dinner together every night, we play outside, we also do fun crafts/experiments together, and a multitude of other things. Trust me when I tell you, I’m as IN the moment with them as you can get. I’m fully aware that they are only this age for a short time, and its time I can never get back. I get it. I get it and it slightly depresses the hell out of me because time is passing too damn fast for me.

I’m just trying to hang on and enjoy the ride, y’all…

The Birthday Boy!

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Dear Nub,

Today you are ten years old. Ten. I can’t even believe it. I’ve been weepy for days. My little tiny baby who used to fit so sweetly in the crook of my left arm has turned into this Boy Child who barely fits on my lap. Although you will quite happily climb up there without too much prodding on my part. Thank goodness. You’re still loving and affectionate, even in public! It remains one of my most favorite things about you. That, and your capacity for kindness. My sweet boy.

Happy Birthday, Nub!

We love you. So very much. You’ve made our life so much more than I ever dreamt it could be. Simply by being you.

Mama, Daddy, Dub and Bub

The One With The Autism…

For the past two days my newsfeed has been going crazy with stories, articles, status updates and comments about Jenny McCarthy. I do not know Jenny McCarthy. We’ve never met. Quite frankly, I have no desire to meet her. We have nothing in common. I’m not famous for ridiculous reasons, or any reason really. I’m just a mama of three boys, one of whom has Autism. Asperger’s, to be exact.

I’m not going to get into any debates with anyone over vaccines, or causes of Autism. I’m just not. I’ve been researching Autism ever since our school psychologist uttered the words that ultimately changed our lives, a little over two years ago. We think your son has Asperger’s. It’s a form of Autism. It’s still painful to see those words in black and white, on my screen. It’s painful to say them. Being given a possible diagnosis of Autism is difficult. And so very overwhelming. There are forms upon forms. Tests. More forms. And so much information to process. It’s dizzying. Having a circle of friends who had already been through the process really helped.

What does NOT help? Jenny McCarthy and her foolishness. Nub has Autism. He will not “grow out of it”. He does not need to be “cured”. He is not “broken”. He does not need to be “fixed”. He needs to be loved and accepted for exactly who he is. Nub. My sweet, funny, quirky boy. A boy who wants to be your child’s friend. A boy who doesn’t want to be bullied just because he is different. Different, not less. Never less.

I don’t enjoy hearing about Jenny McCarthy. Nor do I much enjoy talking about her. So this will most likely be the last time I ever mention her. The damage she has done to the Autism community is palpable. Not to mention the fear she instilled into the hearts and minds of parents the world over. I’m sorry, but fear doesn’t equal awareness. Fear is fear. And that I cannot get behind.

Being an Autism parent is hard enough without us turning on each other. And it’s harder still when you read comments from people who still believe what she said. Even though her son never had Autism to begin with. Please, do your own research. Form your own opinions based on that research. Figure out what works best for your kid. Because you know your child best. Not some “celebrity” who clearly has no idea what she is talking about. Learn everything you can. And don’t ever stop.

I am his voice, and he is my heart. Period. I will never stop fighting for him.

Ready or Not…

We made a decision in the Fall that my husband would go back to school for his Paramedic license when the course started in February of this year. Rather than wait a year and get some experience as an EMT, which was the plan all along. Funny thing about plans…

My husband began his journey on becoming an EMT with the thought of finding a good job, with regular hours, and something that he actually enjoyed doing. He wanted to work a 24 hour shift, and then be off 48 hours. He determined pretty quickly he didn’t want to just do transport. That wasn’t what he became an EMT for. And then we discovered that he would need to become an EMT Advanced because he couldn’t get a license for EMT. So he went back to school. It only took a few months. He passed Registry(Again!) and began job hunting. Only to discover that the one ambulance company that he wanted to work for was about to go under from a lawsuit. Good times.

Hence the decision to begin school in February. Except it’s not actually February. It’s next Wednesday. Hahahahahahaha. It’s one hurdle after another. But we keep facing them, together. And overcoming them, together. It’s almost like it’s a test. To see if this is really and truly what he wants to do. I know that it is. He knows that it is. He’s so passionate about this. He has finally found his niche. And I’m so proud of him. He’s working full time, going to school twice a week and being involved in Scouts with Nub. All while I stay home with our boys.

Yep, 2014 is definitely gonna be our year. Ready or Not…here we come!

Potty Training 3.0

Kind of a lame ass title, I know. But it was better than Bub: This Child is Going to be the Death of Me. And there you have it.

So clearly you can see where this blog post is headed. We’ve reached that super fun time in your parental life also known as Potty Training. Or as I often refer to it, The Seventh Circle of Hell. Because really, it is. At least in my house. My children are not easily trained. Nub and Dub were both almost four before either of them were trained. Bub is proving to be much like his bubbas in that respect. He does NOT want to potty in the toilet. And we have three bathrooms! He will not potty in his chair, he will not potty any where. Seventh. Circle. Of. Hell.

So I have decided that he is simply going to just do it. No more pull-ups because I’m tired of buying the damn things. I’m tired of changing them. So he is gonna learn to go potty like a big boy. Period. I don’t care how many tears there are. His or mine. Harsh? Perhaps. But believe me when I tell you we have tried it all. Cheerios? Yep. Candy? You betcha. Bribery? Damn skippy. Tears? Buckets and rivers, y’all. Most of them mine. Special equipment? Absofrickinlutely. Tried. It. All.

Hence, the putting underwear on and just going for it portion of the program, thankyouverymuch. We’re not having a lot of success at this point. But it’s early! Day 1! It’ll get better, right? Or easier? Keep in mind I’m quite fragile at the moment and base your responses accordingly.

Guess it’s a good thing I bought that seven pack of underwear, eh?