Monday, March 31, 2008

the little things

I have been keeping rather painstaking track of Mr. Man's sleeping habits for the past five weeks. I made a chart with wake times, sleep times, notes about the day, if he woke up on his own or whether I woke him up, and details on is nighttime wakefulness. The only thing I've concluded thus far is that on the nights he wakes up, he wakes up around 11pm and 3am. I think I'll leave any more interpretations up to the doctors. A chart with too many numbers starts looking like math to me.

In other news, Little Man is a genius! He is starting to actually play, rather than just dumping out toys and throwing them around the room.
He comes running into the kitchen (where I am stuffing my face with some delicious banana bread). "Muddah? Wook!"
"What, honey?" I follow him into the living room. The tone of his voice is different -- not anxious. He's pointing excitedly, "Wook! Da Duddy! Duddy da da in da da Duddy buddet! Wook!"
"Ducky is in the bucket?"
"Uh oh! Duddy!" He reaches down and scoops up his friend, hugging him close to his chest and tilting his head to touch Ducky's. "Awww. Duddy. Nice."

He's also answering more yes and no questions correctly. This takes a lot of practice. Our conversations usually sound like this:
"Do you want juice?" I ask, holding the bottle.
"Juice?" He clearly wants it.
"Yes." I make the sign for yes. I model how he should answer. "Do you want juice? Yes. Do you want juice? Yes. Do you want juice?
"Juice?" He reaches for the juice.
"Do you want juice?" I sign 'yes' without verbalizing.
"Yes." Finally!

Today on the way home from IHOP our conversation went like this:
"Do you want to take a bath?"
"Yes," He responds clearly while signing emphatically.
When we walk in the door, he runs straight to the bathroom.

AND and on Sunday he knocked a chair over (on purpose) and it hit his foot. He came over and said very matter-of-factly, "Muddah. Oww. Foot. Oww."

Some days are just so encouraging. And at the end of a hard day, or a good one, when he sits on his little blanket at bedtime, eyes scrunched tight and hands clasped together, requesting, "Pay uh Deeduz?" I know I wouldn't want life any other way.
"Yes, Punkin, let's pray to Jesus."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

a list, because i can't seem to connect any of my ideas

I love: Weddings! A friend/sorority sister from college got married yesterday, and I had a blast seeing some old friends and making some new ones. We laughed, we shook our booties, and I could not stop talking about Mr. Punkin.
I appreciate: Parents who babysit!
I hate: Driving.


I love: Finding new things to love, like Crown Royal or Seagrams and 7-Up. Mmmm.
I strongly encourage: Moderation, which I executed flawlessly at aforementioned wedding.


I love: New swingsets from Oma and Opa! We are rather spoiled, I think. =) It has swings, a glider, a slide, and a trampoline! A trampoline! It is so fun.
I don't understand why: Punkin did not learn from the first time he ran directly into the support bar across one end of the swingset. Yes, I said first time. He ran into it three times and avoided it by a narrow margin twice. Dork! =)

I am super glad that: American men do not wear tight pants.
I can't wait: For sunny days and no coats. The coat thing is a big issue around here. A cause of many mini-meltdowns. All I ask is he wear it -- doesn't even have to be zipped. Apparently, I am far too demanding. Silly Muddah, wanting her Little man to be safe and warm.
Okay: The tight pants thing is acceptable if you are French and riding a motorcycle with Lauren from The Hills.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

what's on your ipod?

I am totally distracted right now because I'm listening to all of the songs I downloaded onto my old computer in college, back when sharing mp3s was friendly and legal, on my new iPod Shuffle courtesy of the Easter Bunny (aka: Oma and Opa). I have some good stuff and some huh? stuff. And now I want more! Here are some:

Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
Rainy Day Women (Bob Dylan -- best concert ever was him and Paul Simon)
I Think I'm In Love (Jessica Simpson -- for it's fantastic eighties vibe)
Kung Fu Fighting (because it makes me laugh)
Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
Friends in Low Places (Garth Brooks)
Joy to the World (Three Dog Night -- cause it reminds me of the movie 28 Days, which I love.)
Dust on the Bottle (David Lee Murphy)
Who I Am (Jessica Andrews)
I Think She Likes Me (Billy Gillman -- Remember him? He was like 12)
I Think We're Alone Now (Remember the Full House episode with this song???)
Manic Monday
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Walkin' In Memphis (Mark Cohn)
Long Black Veil, Live Version (Dave Matthews Band)
Hook (Blues Traveler)
Am I the Only One (Dixie Chicks -- Loved their concert, thank you big sister.)
Save Tonight (Eagle Eye Cherry)
Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Respect (Aretha Franklin -- good concert)

And there may also be some Destiny's Child and Jewel songs....because I was once a Jewel freak.


Okay, fine! I admit it. (Cough) Clarence Carter (cough) Strokin' (cough).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

note to contestants of the bachelor

This is not American Idol. Therefore, while it may be tempting or seem like a good idea, a need to sing to the British guy sitting at the table will never actually present itself. Please just bite your tongue and sing in the shower tomorrow morning.

memoir meme and cold pizza

First things first. Little Man woke up at 7:45am (!!!!) and now we are eating cold pizza for breakfast. He's on his third piece.

Okay, on to business. I was tagged by FXSmom at FragileWhat? Now, she left a comment claiming that this would be easy. But it is far from easy for me, the chronically verbose writer --especially when it comes to talking about myself or my Punkin. I want to include where I've lived, what I've learned, where I'm going, being a mother, a daughter, and a friend. That cannot be done in six words. But I'm up for the challenge. And I may come up with more, as this intrigues me. I found a book the other day that was a similar topic. Seemed like good fodder for writing workshops. Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Harper Collins).

The Rules:

Write your own six-word memoir.
Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you like.
Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
Tag six more blogs with links.
Don't forget to leave a comment on the blogs you tagged inviting them to play along.

My Memoir:

Child of God, hopeful and strong.

I tag:

Jennie @ fruitorigami
Lion @ Soundalong
Lirty @ the starving artist
Whitterer @ Whitterer On Autism
Mr. Esquire @ Esquire Within
Haley-O @ the cheaty monkey

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

admissions

I just spent two hours watching a REALLY bad Lifetime movie. We're talking child kidnapping, sharks (!!!), police that don't believe the heroine, amazing last-minute coincidences, and acting that oh the acting. It rivaled my skills -- when I was EIGHT! Why? Why do I torture myself?

Every night when I walk into the bedroom and almost step on Punkin sprawled across the floor, I am more convinced that I am the mother of the sweetest child on the planet. Almost makes me forget being bonked on the head with a doll stroller. Of course it was because he wanted to play, so even that was only a minor infraction. And how do we play with the stroller? Do we perhaps place a doll delicately in the seat and take her for a walk? Oh, no. Muddah pushes the stroller and Punkin pushes the shopping cart (really fast) from the bed to the front door. And back. And then to the bed. And then back again. Sometimes we shake it up and push trucks instead, which is a great workout for Muddah, who has to bend over to even reach the fire truck. And yes, it has to be the fire truck. Punkin already has dibs on the dump truck. And just in case anyone is wondering, shoud silly Muddah attempt to put a sweet plastic baby into the seat, Punkin will lift her (the baby, not Muddah) by the head and fling her across the room. "No. No."

Our other favorite game is "sleep." These are the rules: Climb into Muddah's bed with Muddah. Rid Muddah's bed of all of the pillows except "Daa one!" It's blue. Then lay down, instructing Muddah to do the same, and cover both of your faces with Muddah's blanket. Fake snore (ahh sssuuuu). Then say something that translates into 'get up.' Sit up and laugh. Repeat, with Muddah. (Are you giggling from reading Muddah so much? Try saying it out loud. MmmmmUHDaaaaahhhhhh!)

I bought a semi-trashy novel today and a John Grisham book. I needed some mindless reading. I haven't read for fun for a long time. Loving it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama. Love him or hate him, he writes some darned good speeches. Long, but good.

Monday, March 17, 2008

some people wear blue socks

I broke a major fashion rule today by wearing -- gasp -- black socks with brown shoes. I felt goofy all day. Someone please nominate me for a makeover show. Maybe that one with Tim Gunn? I love Tim Gunn. "Make it work!"

The fun thing about spending $1.89 on some shaving cream that won't be used to silkify my legs, but rather to desensitize The Punkin, is that I finally get to see just how big a ball I can make with one continuous squirt.

Okay, I have to tell this story. Punkin is always so excited to see his pee and poop in the toilet. And I am a gigantic dork and say, "Bye, pee!" when he flushes. Anyway, he was sitting on the potty and "plunk" he went! So he had to stand up and look. "I wook. I wook. I pooped! I did it!" So he stands up on his step stool, grabbing the potty seat on the way, turns around to look, and sits back down. With the potty seat still in hand. He fell in! His poor little teeny tiny bum! Oh, man.

I was so wrapped up in our sleep clinic appointment that I totally forgot about the neurologist until a reminder letter came in the mail today. We scheduled the appointment so long ago (almost a year) that I can hardly remember why. Maybe they can help with the sleep issues??

Oooh--the curtains are up! I feel so cozy now. But now the couch kinda looks funny because it's red and nothing else is red. But maybe it's okay?? It all started with the lamps I bought after Christmas. They looked funny with the primary-colored road map rug. So I got a new rug. But then the rug made the chair look even more disgustingly dirty than before, plus it didn't match. So I bought a slipcover. Then I decided that the living room was actually starting to look a little nice, especially if I blurred out all of the toys. So I definitely couldn't keep the broken blinds any longer. Enter curtains. Now I can rest assured that the guy who's suspiciously always in the laundry room (but not doing laundry) at the same time as me can't see me watching The Girls.

And just in case my last post left some of my family members wondering if I have a fever, let me make it clear that my love of all things girly hasn't vanished. It's developed. There's a difference. And should I ever plan a wedding again, there will be pink. So yes, I feel fine. =)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

people change

Last weekend I had a bit of a revelation. For those of you who don't know, I was engaged once. I called it off about three months into my pregnancy, and he is not in my life at all anymore. So back to my revelation.

I don't like my wedding dress. Now, part of this is about the dress and my evolving tastes in material things. The two sides of myself that struggle against each other. Do I want to live in the sleek city loft or the cozy country house? Do I want the full-skirted, delicately beaded, off-the-shoulder gown or the strapless A-Line with a simple ribbon across the bottom?

But the real evolution is bigger than what I put on my body; clothes are often a reflection of who we are on the inside. Not always, but sometimes. In the case of which white dress you choose for the day everyone is staring at you, I'd say it's definitely a clue.

See, I --like most people--have taken my share of missteps along the way. Even in my relatively short life, I do have a few serious regrets. And I clung to them like a safety net for a long time. As if they somehow defined me. As if people couldn't really know me or love me because of them; they became a wall. And pretty soon it was weighing me down. Big time. But when I put on that dress and I realized that it was no longer a reflection of me, I realized that I've finally let it all go. And I like myself again. And those bad choices that I made and those situations where other people hurt me bad are not what defines me. And I am on the road to living joyfully -- the way God intends. The thing is, God forgave me a long time ago. And I don't need to be forgiven twice. I am a better version of the girl who chose the ruffles. And ruffles are fantastic, I love all things pink and sparkly. I do. But for me, it's fantasy. Sometimes I want the fantasy so badly. But I need normalcy. Real substance.

Ahh, this is going nowhere. Because a dress is a dress. It's a bunch of overpriced material. And I don't believe that if I wore that same dress I picked out as part of a desperate attempt to live the fantasty for a future walk down the isle that it would be doomed. And I don't believe that dresses need to be cleaned and stowed away in a box in my basement. And I don't think they are meaningless, either --obviously. But I do know that in certain instances, the thing should be sold on ebay for as much as possible. And the fake engagement ring should be thrown in as a bonus prize to the winning bidder.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

happy national scrapbooking day!

I love that: Punkin has the best ideas. I put him down for a nap at 12:30. And then we both woke up at 3:45 when he found me on the couch with a very cheery, "HI!"
I love more: That he still went to bed on time.

I love: Sensory time. I've been exposing him to shaving cream in the bathtub. I've been thrown up on by kids trying to play in shaving cream, so while I didn't expect him to get sick, I wasn't about to take any chances. Plus, I'm not about to allow him to cover my kitchen in that stuff. Over the past few weeks he's made a lot of progress. Now he let's me help him take it out of my hands and lets me put it in his. Next step: modeling sand and kush balls.
I hate: The smell of regular shaving cream. I have to get the fruity, girly kind.
I think it's arbitrary and sexist that: The good smelling kind costs double the "male" version.

I love: That Punkin says, "Ba bu duh ba da tars [cars]. Monna, pay [play]?"
I don't love: That it's been kind of a lonely, funky-mood day around here even though I can't find anything legitimately wrong.

EWWW: Spiders. Spiders. There's a big, hairy spider on tv. I was about to go to bed, but now I need to replace the spider images with happy ones. Blech. Double blech.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

muddy waters

Dear Oma,
Once, when I was a child, I came home for dinner caked in mud. So much mud, in fact, that I recall being hosed off on the back stoop before being allowed in the house. I had ventured out that morning with E (my big sister) to meet up with one of her classmates and one of mine. After sampling E's friend's new Madonna tape, she offered up "fishing" for crawdads in the creek. The thing about creeks, or cricks (which are even smaller than creeks), is that they don't actually have much water in them. What a sight we must have been; the four of us climbing down into the murky ravine, sludging around hunting crunchy, antennae-ridden creatures of the dark, and emerging hours later covered to our chests in deep black mud. I know we walked part of the two miles home, baking in the sun like a piece of pottery in the kiln, but I'm pretty sure a kind soul with a truck bed (dad?) took pity and drove us most of the way. I also remember being a smidge nervous about your potential reaction to my new look. But in the end all I can think of is being hosed off with really cold hose water.

Um, so. I'd just . . . well, sorry about that.

I was taking out the trash this afternoon. I had just finished cleaning my little apartment for a jewelry party (to be discussed later), and Punkin was stoked to be able to run around outside. I tried to catch him, I tried to tell him "Walking Feet! Stay with Momma!" but it, I mean he, went down too fast. Down into a deep puddle; he offered a muddy hand for me to assist him back up, and we threw the trash in the dumpster. On the way back to the apartment, he finally studied that muddy hand, "I pooped!"

Two towels, one extended bath, and a sinkful of muddy water later, we left our clothes drying in the tub and laughed about our adventure. Because once upon a time, my mom was really patient with me.

Love,
the other lion

is it spring yet?

He didn't fall asleep until 9:15. Then at precisely the same time I snuggled into bed and began to relax, he started crying. And continued to cry for two hours. Now it is 6:09am and I have to go wake him up! I don't think we're going to get a glowing report from school today. =)

And, I'm totally craving a strawberry (no frosting) pop tart. Mmmmm.

AND, I went to the gym yesterday. And my body and my brain are both wishing I could go back today. AND, I like the word and.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

i think i have a drinking problem

Punkin and I are heading towards the registers at a major discount store. He is behaving amazingly well, and I can't help but smother him in kisses of appreciation. In the background, I hear a little girl screaming and crying in a fit of anger. I look to see a grandma, a mom, and the adorable (really, even upset) girl one register away. The mom reports to the grandma that, "It's because I wouldn't give her Cheetos." I smile to myself in understanding, sending her telepathic messages of support. The two women part ways. The mom, now, is to the left of me and the grandma is to the right. The man at the register helping the grandma asks about the child; she explains about the Cheetos. He responds, rather loudly, with at least five minutes of, "Wow. Just because of some Cheetos? I think I'd give her the stupid Cheetos just to shut her up. Man, that's embarassing. If that was my kid, I'd be so embarassed. I think I'd give her the Cheetos just to shut her up. Wow. All that over some Cheetos."

I look towards him in disbelief; he knows this is the child's grandma. And even if it wasn't, I mean, ????? GAHHHH!!!?? Stupid bleached-blonde, huge plastic glasses, king of rude, freak of the universe. You're the cashier. You say hello, you ring up my diapers, and you tell me to have a nice day. Why don't YOU just shove some Cheetos in YOUR mouth and shutup? Jerk. He was talking so loud I could hear him at the next register!

The grandma and I make eye contact, "I'm with your daughter. You can't give in every time." The rude tool continues his judgement, "Ya, but I mean, even if you just gave 'em to her in the store. Just to shut her up."

On may way out, I spot the grandma waiting for her daughter and granddaughter (who is still yelling). I can't help myself. I stop, "Excuse me?" She has teary eyes. "I'm sorry to intrude, but I'm so sorry about that man. He was so rude. He was the one behaving badly. Your daughter is doing just fine." Inadequate words, but hopefully taken as sincere and well-intended.

In other news, what should have been a difficult day due to Daylight Savings Time has been remarkably simple. Little Man woke up at 7am (6am real time), took a nap from 11:15-12:00pm(10:15-11) during church, and fell asleep at 6:50pm (5:50pm) while watching Mickey Mouse.

OH, and guess who ate chicken strips two days in a row? I'll give you a hint -- it wasn't just me.

And I talked to his pediatrician, who seemed surprised that he wasn't going to be having a sleep study done. We just talked briefly over the phone, but I suggested that I call him in about a month so that we can discuss Punkin's progress. He agreed that it was a good idea. So that's that.

Why haven't I turned off Mickey Mouse yet?

OH, I bought curtains. As I told my friends at church, it's getting pretty classy around this joint with the new (matching) lamps, new rug (sans truck decorations), new slipcover, and now (striped!) curtains. Movin' on up.

So I have a busy week. In addition to Bible Study on Tuesday and church on Wednesday, I am hosting Bunko Monday and a jewelry party Thursday. (I know, I'm cray-zay.) In order to have a successful party, one naturally needs some beverages and eats. So I'm carting in all these sodas and chips and fruit and wine and trying to watch Punkin and CRASH! A brand new bottle of Bacardi Razz (you mix it with Sprite -- not the individual bottles) lands all over the cement. While I'm grateful it happened outside, I am ticked it happened at all. So I open one of the bottles of wine. (Might as well, I have to go back to the store tomorrow now anyway.) I'm enjoying a glass and talking to my sister when CRASH. I knock my glass over. I think I have a drinking problem.

(Image from http://www.cafepress.com/ -- tons of cool autism/disability related shirts and more.)

Friday, March 7, 2008

typical

Yesterday I bought three large chicken breasts to cook and freeze for later use. I put them on my stone, turned on the oven, waited, turned off the oven, and gave Punkin a bath. That's right. Three large chicken breasts are still sitting in the oven. Nice and cooked.

The report from the sleep clinic came today. Under "Impressions" it read, "1. Inadequate Sleep Hygiene (too much time spent in bed) 2. Insomnia, not otherwise specified (possibly related to fragile x syndrome or mild to moderate mental retardation)." He can't sleep because he has a low IQ? That's exponentially helpful. Thank you.

When all of your friends are teachers, you end up at a lot of junior high dances. Guess where I'm going tonight? I didn't go to this many dances when I actually was in school.

Punkin knocked the free-standing mirror in his classroom over today. While his teacher was moving it out of the classroom, he hit his head on it. She took him to the nurse where he hit himself in the head with the bag of ice, became angry, flung his head back, hit his head on the back of the chair, and needed more ice. The nurse decided to kick him out of her office before he did permanent damage.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

loving it

I love: Project Runway. I am currently watching a rerun of the season finale that was on last night. I fell asleep 15 minutes before it aired (8:45).
I do not love: Skinny jeans. I don't mean the jeans that you love on days when you feel skinny because you can fit into them without a crowbar. Or loathe on days you need the crowbar. Or jeans that you love because they make you feel skinny no matter what you've eaten the previous week. I mean jeans that have really skinny legs. Cause some of us have hips thankyouverymuch.

I love: When Punkins listen to their Muddahs and go to bed the first time!
I am growing tired of: Waking up at midnight to lots of tears. Last night he was up for a almost two hours. (45 mins one time, 30 mins two other times)

I love: When Punkin climbs up on the windowsill like a cat and basks in the sunshine.
I am definitely tired of: Telling Punkin to get off of the windowsill after he climbs up to bask in the sunshine. He fell today, which resulted in two broken lamp bulbs and one big bruise on his cheek.

I love: A job that starts at 7am, ends at 2pm, and comes with great benefits even if it doesn't pay very well.
It is growing difficult to: Work at a job that mirrors what I am working on at home. At preschool, I am cleaning, doing laundry, teaching sign language, wiping noses, changing diapers, making picture schedules, playing, nagging kids about using their silverware, potty training, and buckling carseats. At home, I . . . well, read the previous sentence. Guess who gets the raw end of the deal? (Hint: It's not other people's kids.)

I love: The extra time with Punkin now that he is going to bed later. He is calm enough that I am able to work with him on shape sorters, puzzles, and fine motor skills. If I approach it with a super-laid-back attitude, he responds well.
I am still wondering: If he is getting enough sleep most nights since he wakes up so much and is reluctant to climb out of bed in the morning. Even if he does wake up on his own, it is generally between 4am and 5:30am and he always tries to go back to sleep and can't (or does fall back asleep during the 20 minute drive to school). So basically, we aren't fighting over staying in bed anymore, but otherwise nothing has changed. I realize it's only been a little over a week, though, so I will give it more time.

I love: Punkin's wild hairdos. This kid has serious bedhead every day.
I don't love: Wrestling Punkin in an effort to manage the bedhead, hence why he usually has BAD hair.

I love: Being a Muddah. And Fridays.
I was giggling with warmth in my heart at: A photo of Punkin sitting at the table after nap with two ducky blankets. He and his classmate had really bad bedhead, and he had a big sleepy grin on his face as he gently nudged one of the blankets her direction.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the secret's out

1. I work the morning program from 7am-8am for kids whose parents work early in the morning. During this time, I am with Mr. Punkin. He does not always appreciate sharing me, especially with another child who also has special needs. In fact, one day they were sitting on the carpet, and he calmly looked at her, reached over, and smacked her on the arm. Jealous much?

2. During this morning time on Friday, a child was crying and Punkin noticed. He just peered at her for a minute and walked away. Later he went over to where she had been sitting, sat down, and fake cried. How exciting is that? He noticed!

3. The new bedtime is working pretty well. I am having to work to keep him away from his bed after 7pm, though. And I hated waking him up on Sunday. But I realized that he is awake during the night a lot longer than I thought. It ranges anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes. And he talks in his sleep. "Muddah. Muddah. Uh oh!"

4. I finally made the picture schedule for him. It alternates between work and play. Very simple, large, laminated symbolic pictures stuck in a row on an old desk (in order to save the walls). I'd show you a photo, but the camera/computer animosity has not yet resolved itself.

5. I'd also like to show you a picture of Punkin with a big plastic camera around his neck and sunglasses on his face. Those two things in combination with his toddler pot belly make him look like a middle-aged tourist.

6. I caught him wet-handed after he was Playing In The Toilet. In The Laundry Room. It wasn't even OUR toilet water! It was stranger toilet water!

7. The window blind situation has reached a new low. If I want to insure any amount of privacy, I am going to have to buy some curtains.

8. Speaking of decorating, who is smarter than a slipcover? I splurged on a new area rug and a chair slipcover, which is hanging incorrectly over the chair at the moment. It looks a little silly.

9. I went out on Friday AND Saturday night. I have never had such a good time waiting 1 and 1/2 hours for a table at a restaurant. It's all in the company we keep. And the free soda helped. =) I didn't even flirt or anything. I just told the guy I wanted to buy a soda and he said, "Here, just have it." I don't think it's cause he thought I was hot, though, cause his voiced was all defeated and panicky. Not that my hotness wouldn't warrant a free soda ... I just don't think it earned me one this time.

10. So Punkin has three Ducky blankets. Until today, I don't think he knew there was more than one. And I was afraid to let him in on the secret for fear he would prefer one over the other. Silly Monna. The more the merrier! He left one Ducky at school on Friday and I sent another one today. I peeked in at the end of the day to see him sitting at the table with his head resting atop two duckies. His teacher said he just giggled and looked from one to the other and back again.

I must apologize for the rather tedious narrative I'm offering today; I am feeling very sleepy and inarticulate. Happy Tuesday -- it means Monday's over!