Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

First ever trick or treating with friends. It's been a good one.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shoehorning into the Fabric of the Community

Don't have a whole lot of time to write, but wanted to get a few thoughts in. Had some work bluebird in and have been doing that, getting reconnected with people, went to a funeral, ran around getting H'ween costumes together, and today is the parties/parade at school.

I didn't get the email out until Wednesday about Nic's party, but that was almost scary in how quickly it gelled. People want to help, they just don't know how and need instructions. I asked, and I received. Yay, God.

So I went to a funeral on Tuesday for the priest who counseled my dad through his last illness. It was a gorgeous service, and there is nothing more entralling than 50 priests singing Salve Regina, a cappella, in Latin. The pastor gave a great sermon on reflecting on the word 'yes,' and how Fr Bob said 'yes' in his own life and death.

It was one of those times where I was very happy that I chose to be some where.

We were invited to a pumpkin carving/pizza party last night, so I brought the boys, a bottle of wine, and a small pumpkin. The pumpkin is cute, with a face that G designed, and it was a nice outing and a good opportunity for the neighbors to finally get to know my boys.

I think at the very least, we are no longer scary to people.

Hubby and I went to see Brian Wilson at the Keswick after. Mom sat for the boys, and they went to bed on their own for her (which is something they never do for us!)

We are making headway. Yeah, we're still odd, but we have Chase Utley hanging in our doorway, my kids at least want to be near the other kids, and the other kids don't seem to mind,'s good.

Monday, October 26, 2009


This is something I am coming back to quite a lot lately, and what I find so amazing is that the whole bitch kitty throw down that happened in my living room went a long way to knocking down my presumptions about myself and everyone else.

For example. I've spent years looking over the other side of the fence--or the driveway, I guess--wondering what 'normal' looked like to every one else and wishing I could have a piece of that.

I'm finding that every one else's normal is a mystery to even them.

Meaning, whatever I have managed to cobble up here does work for us, for the most part. We are not perfect. I am disorganized, DH is forgetful, and the boys have heads like granite. Most of our life is chaotic, unplanned, unscripted, and unedited--meaning, that our outdoor face is the same as our indoor face. What you see is really what you get, whether you like it or not.

I continue to p*ss people off. I find that the harder I try to please, the less that works out, so why bother?

(There are some things I need to bother about, and I am working on those)

Spending Saturday with an old family friend was an amazing experience. We talked at great length about humility, and I told him some of the things that have been happening here with me, us, and the whole nine. At 5 am Sunday am, I felt like I had all the answers.

I went to church yesterday, and the gospel of St. Mark was about the beggar who demanded to be given his sight.

Fr M knocked another sermon out of the park--talking about the demand, backed up by the faith that the demand would be heard--and granted.

And he went on to say that we don't always get our prayers answered--or we do, but they just aren't the answer we expect.

I've known that forever. But I needed to hear it yesterday.

More on humility a little later on, as this is all connected.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Momentary Quiet

I shipped three projects yesterday; two for good, one I'm just waiting on a couple more revisions, then that can ship too.

So, now that I am officially jobless for the first time in months (and I don't expect that to last, because it never does), I will spent the coming week catching up on all the birthdays and anniversaries I missed because I was either crazed working or crazed in autism land or both. I don't expect anyone who doesn't live this to understand, so humility and an apologetic heart is all I have to offer, and people can accept or reject as they see fit.

I'm all about owning the balls I drop. And picking them up. And apologizing. And moving on. I don't blame anyone but myself. But I do struggle with bandwidth constantly, and sometimes I am just unable to keep up. All I can do is apologize when I can't. No excuses. This is what I did or didn't do, and I am sorry.

I'll be doing that a lot this coming week. I actually don't mind. I don't have a problem backing down when I am wrong. I used to. Then I grew up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When Teeth Are Bared

So phone call number 3 from the principal this school year begins: "Do you have a few moments to talk about a behavioral issue?"

Talk about an offer you can't refuse.

Nic may perseverate, and it's clear where he gets it when mom says repeatedly "I don't believe he bit. He may have swung, but he never bit--not even as a toddler."

We finish the phone call with me telling the principal that I need his aide to call me. I have no contact with her--just primary autism support--and the troubling whisperings I am hearing tell me it's time I have a chat with the person who spends the most amount of time with Nic during the day.

So she calls. We talk. I wonder why she hasn't called me sooner with some of the things she is telling me and am doubly thankful I demanded the phone call. And handily, the behavior person is there, would I like to speak with her?

Oh. Yes.

So the picture emerging is that Nic is headed full steam toward a complete blowout, and as things were, it seems like everyone was waiting for it to happen before calling me in and telling me to help fix it.

I just finished my written request for what I hope will head it off before it happens and a team meeting.

I have learned--the hard way--that you don't wait until the blowouts happen. No news is not necessarily good news. Sometimes, they are just waiting for whatever it is to blow over.

But more often than not, it blows up.

I'm hoping he can hold it together while I get everything he needs in place.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Should Know Better

As everything is cyclical, I've decided I'm not going to stress. Yes, I have taken on more stuff even as I struggle to finish what I have, but for no other reason than to get me to clear my desk so I can keep moving forward.

This fall has been very instructive. I blew a lot of deadlines of every stripe and variety (and I have birthday cards from like February that I need to dig up and send, as well as the last few months because I am too overwhelmed to think), annoyed people, caused some one to shriek and call me names, disappointed the kiddies at least once and have generally embarrassed myself.

Technically, anyway, I should have embarrassed myself. But I seem to be beyond embarrassment. It's not that I don't care, it's just I reckon that people have bigger fish to fry. I'm still getting stuff done, and the amazing thing is that a lot of good has come out of some of my more disastrous outings.

I've gotten really good at making lemonade out of lemons. Apparently the people around me have learned to do the same.

It's a beautiful thing. Who knew that personal failings and shortcomings have a way of paying forward good things?

I'm not perfect. I never said I was. But I'm good. And I know how to make good come of even the worst stuff.

So, having said that, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing. It will not win me awards, make me rich, or otherwise bring me fame, but that all matters not. It's all about keeping everyone around me happy.

Smiling faces abound. I know I'm doing okay.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet relief

Some decisions make themselves.

One more thing comes off my plate.

Now I can proceed through the rest of the week with a clear head and heart.

And I celebrate the sixth anniversary of G's birth in a mere 4 hours. I think it's going to be a good week.

If only I could get Nic to talk about something other than Poptropica....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taking a breather

Still swamped, but I think manageable.

So, the week has been a roller coaster. I got absolutely nothing done on Wednesday because I spent the day putting out fires, on the phone, trying to head off yet another face off.

The heading off worked and Nic's sit is stable. For the moment. Always subject to change if I am not careful. Who am I kidding, always subject to change, PERIOD.

Scored major clothes for the boys and I at the semi annual bag sale. They spent more time and energy upending the place than asking me for stuff. I was happy to get Nic and G new hoodies. I love rummage sales.

And I found new stuff for me, too. Pretty cool.

Today hubby and I celebrate 16 years married and we are on the downswing toward 22 together. It's been a ride, and a lot of fun, and I expect it will continue to be more of the same for as long as we are both running.

It's all good. I'm happy when everyone else is happy.

All I have to do now is finish the stuff in my inbox (hopefully by week's end) and will take a week or two to exhale.

That is, if I don't have more work waiting!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Head Down

I lost the whole stinking day to putting out fires yesterday.

Too much to do, not enough hours in the day, and I have no idea how these kids are going to get on without help....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What to do

So neighbor girl shows up on my doorstep with a friend yesterday after school, telling me Nic is having a hard time with some kids at lunch and on the bus.

I call Nic to the door. He insists all is well.

Neighbor girl insists that Nic is having problems.

Nic insists to the contrary.

Just sent a note to the support teacher. Never a dull freaking moment. I suspect that the truth is somewhere in between, as it always is, but how much is it bullying and how much of it good-natured messing around?

And of course bullying to some one might mean good-natured messing around to some one else.

And to further muddy the water, Nic can't tell one from the other unless it's really stinking obviously bullying.

I got nothing but heresay at the moment.

Frustrating. Some days I wish I could wire the kid.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Capsule Summary

I'm still backed up with stuff to do but wanted to quickly fill in some gaps.

On Friday, a boy from Nic's class showed up on his scooter after school. I was on the phone with Nic's teacher out front, so showed him in, thinking my boys would be happy for the company.

Er. No. I had to shorten the call because they chased him out of the study.

So, I get Nic's bike out of the garage and send him off with M. G and I followed to see if we could visit G's friend A from Kindy. Everyone's in, but I have an eye on the street, knowing that Nic is going to be coming back down sooner rather than later.

Sure enough, Nic rides by about 5 minutes later. I open the door and wave him in.

So I'm talking to A's mom, and M walks into the house without knocking and into the kitchen. "You need to force Nic to listen to me. He just left. Did you know he just left me? And my dad is coming."

I tell M that Nic doesn't do anything Nic doesn't want to do. He settles in and plays with A's younger brother, and they both gang up on Nic, who gets back on his bike to evade capture.

I send M on his way and things settle down. We end up staying for dinner. Dh shows up. We have a nice evening and have made some new friends.

I find a note thanking us for the visit in our mailbox the next morning. I write one back, thinking I should have written the first note, since we invaded their house, but anyway.

Andy's SIL had given us a couple of free tix to Dutch Wonderland that expired on Sunday, so we packed up the van and headed out. I wasn't thrilled to have to shell out another $60 and change for two more tickets, but we figured why not, life is short.

Didn't we find two people giving away free tickets? How cool was that. So we all got in for free and I was thrilled.

Considering what a hard sell it was to get Nic in the park, he had a blast. Both boys did. My mom brought us there with her BF a long time ago and I remembered very little about it, except that the Wonder House was kind of lame in an amusing kind of way.

Oh yeah. And the sky ride. I did the white knuckle thing going across. I'm not sure when that happened, but I remember having my legs dangle over the park freaked me out 30 something years ago, too.

DH liked the bumper cars. Nic liked driving the antique cars, G loved the fun slide. And I just loved the beautiful fall day and being out with my family.

We stopped at a great diner on 30 on the way home.

It was a good weekend.

While we are running into academic challenges, I have to say that Nic is making huge strides in his social growth. Gabriel loves K. It's exciting to see them both coming into their own.

They are, after all, growing up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Still processing

I'm still not sure what happened here on Sunday.

Have to ship some work today, get started on another project and do another interview. Starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

G has settled into the new bus, Nic is doing fine--not great, but fine. He is showing me that he is getting the social pecking order and that he is working hard to establish a place in it.

I have mixed feelings about this, but the awareness he is showing is ultimately a good thing.

But his pride and stubbornness are unbelievable. Wonder where he gets those?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Check in

So G's back on the small bus. Nic was subdued at the bus stop this am, missing his brother, as I knew he would. I wonder if he is going to end up moving back to the little bus, too.

B is still not talking to him. Apparently the posse has turned on him.

I need to let him work it out. But I'm afraid he doesn't know how.

This is too damn hard for me to watch.

(and I am still swamped--have to make some calls, not looking forward to a conversation with a prima donna, but I might as well get that over with)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Blow up in my own living room. My doing, and as usual, bad tacticals on my part, clumsy, overbearing, and not without damage.

I apologized, but words are words. I am hoping with time that I can come up with the right actions to fix whatever needs fixing.

I feel hollowed out right now. But with a greater understanding--and empathy--for some one who up until now I *thought* I knew.

I learned this morning what I did not know.

I learned this morning a thing or two about how damaging my own assumptions can be.

I learned this morning that some one I thought was unapproachable is more so than I could have imagined.

Where will things go?

I will make it a point to extend myself.

I will make it a point to go out of my way.

I will try to make things better than they are.

I want to improve my corner of the world?

It's time. And I'm moving on it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I am overwhelmed this week.

Work is a big chunk of it (although some of it was just mitigated with a phone call, I love you, T), but of course the kids loom large.

Bad evening with Nic last night. He had the need to explode. B told him he didn't want to be his friend anymore.

I know the way these things work, and that it's often temporary. But Nic is shattered over it.

G had a rough night too, come to think of it.

This is just hard. I hate that these things are so hard on my boys.