Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't Forget to Tune Into AUTISM WTF Tomorrow!

After way too much hype, which we will moz def NOT live up to, the day is finally upon us when we will be kicking off our new Blog Talk Radio show.

For those of you who don't know, I will be teaming up with an XL-sized father of a 13-year old boy with autism.  He is Big.  He is a Daddy.  His son has Autism.  He is Big Daddy Autism, and he blogs here.  We had a couple of moderately amusing exchanges on Twitter, and based on that thought that we deserved the world's undivided attention.  We were rejected for the Amazing Race when Big Daddy was unable to make it to the airport without stopping at every Burger King along the way.  So we're doing this instead.

Big Daddy loves making cartoons, but unfortunately neither of us is tech savvy enough to figure out how to make one of his 74 promos into a link that would actually take you to the site.  So you will just have to settle for clicking HERE.  Alternatively, you can go to and search on Autism WTF.

We are completely unprepared all set for 9:00am PST/11:00am CST/12:00pm EST tomorrow!  Once you're on the site, just make sure your speakers are turned up to hear our dulcet tones.  You will see a call-in phone number, but you don't have to call in to listen.  That would be the number to call if we were taking callers to appear on the show.  Which we're not.  Oh, shut up.  All of yous.  We'll explain why tomorrow.  And if you behave, then *maybe* we'll it consider for the next show.  If there is a next one.

Arcade Fire: Bounce It Up and Go Bananas Like a Monkey In The Jungle

So that last blog award where I was supposed to write 4 lies and 1 truth?  I totally blew it by not including a particular factoid about myself that everyone would have pegged as a lie.

I have never been inside a Chuck E. Cheese.

It's true.  I would like to think that it's because I run with a higher class of people, but the truth is that Audrey doesn't get invited to very many birthday parties.  Colon left parentheses.  And you don't go to Chuck E. Cheese on your own, right?  My understanding is that you have to be dragged there at gunpoint and always to celebrate the birthday of some kid that has really horrible taste in food and entertainment.

I've been to similar places though.  They always have names connoting wild jungle animals.  Probably because the kids are encouraged to act like little jackals and you always come home with an Ebola virus.  When we lived in San Jose, there was a place that was actually called The Jungle.  They just put it right out there so there was no asking for refunds when you saw how hot and crowded it was and your kid ended up with a giant cockroach lodged in their ear.  Whadcha expect?  It's The Jungle!

A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party (colon right parentheses!) at a place called Go Bananas.  I've never seen so much stuff crammed into such a small space.  This place had inflatable bouncers, one of those ropey climby structures leading to big slides, arcade games, skeeball, mini-bowling, and fricking amusement park rides all within a space that was about the size of a Starbucks.  There were bumper cars, one of those small dragon roller coasters, and a flying banana ride.

The flying banana ride in particular was so close to everything else you could feel it brushing past as you stood there trying to figure out where to shove all of those unwieldy stringers of arcade tickets.

Audrey and Grace Anne ride the wild banana.
If they needed a snack mid-ride, they could just
reach out and pluck it off of someone's party table.

Here Audrey demonstrates her mad skee ball skills and "eye of the tiger" tenacity...

When she wasn't riding bananas or giving up on athletic pursuits, Audrey could be found pressed up against that stupid coin-pushing arcade game.  She had no idea of the point of it (which is?) and was just dropping tokens into it and not even paying attention to what happened when she did.  Then she'd run away and leave behind the tickets that were spewing out of it.  I guess that's one way to get a bunch of typical kids to follow you around wanting to be your friend.

These places are the definition of sensory overload, and I think we were all vibrating just a little by the time we left.  Audrey's birthday is coming up...hmmmm, where to have her party?  I'm thinking of a day spa, with a guest list of 1.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Bogeymen: -Ates and -Ides and -Oses, Oh My!

Last week I wrote about my husband's concern about electro-magnetic fields (EMF's), and a few people commented that they actually wanted to hear more about his irrational fears well-founded concerns.  You asked for it.  Well some of you anyway.

Certain of you will have a hard time not mocking him and his paranoia.  But really, don't bother holding back on my account.  While others (I'm looking at you Autism Mom Rising) will fantasize about running away with him and starting a chemical-free compound in the wilderness.  Again, I think you should go with that instinct...

If I could have figured out how to do it, I would have highlighted the bogeymen in some kind of dripping green font...instead, you'll have to settle for large, bold, and emergency-vehicle RED.

Everyone knows about gluten and casein.  Pfffft.  GFCF is for amateurs.  Many store-bought GFCF foods are still loaded with refined sugars and other simple carbohydrates.  And of course anything with HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup) is out of the question.

Hot dogs and deli meats are technically GFCF, but full of nitrates or other chemicals such as MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate).  Like-wise French fries and potato chips are GFCF, but are loaded with toxic acrylamides that are released during the frying process.

Even some fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli and strawberries, should be limited if you are sensitive to phenols.  Needless to say there are few non-organic foods in our house, nor grain-fed beef or farmed fish or whatever the opposite of free-range chicken is...cooped-up chicken?

Microwave usage is verboten.  I can't explain it.  The food molecules go helter-skelter, grow horns, and attack your brain cells with cleavers.  Or something.  We have a $1,000 water ionizer and any other non-ionized or tap water is frowned upon.

Summer time is interesting.  Hubby is very concerned about a lack of exposure to sunlight so he wants Audrey to be outside a lot, but disapproves of sunscreens.  Notice that the words "skin" and "cancer" are not in large, bold, red letters here.  Totally not a bogeyman.  Pool chemicals are, but the trade off of getting exercise and sunlight is OK.  Apparently, the sunlight naturally dissipates much of the chemicals.  Which means that indoor pools and water parks are not allowed.

The scarier thing to me is that I could actually go on and on and on, but this is already getting long and annoying the shit out of me.  So I will just jam in all of the other household items such as anti-bacterial soaps, cheap shampoos and bubble baths, fabric softeners, carpet chemicals, cleaning supplies, "bad" air in the house, etc.

I know that he's right about some of this stuff.  There have been billions of new chemicals introduced into our environment in just the last few decades.  Some question our ability as a species to adjust to this onslaught and process all of these new toxins...and I don't discount the theory that this may be a contributing factor in the epidemic levels of autism in that same time frame.

But how do you balance this with living your life and not making yourself crazy with paranoia over everything you come into contact with?  Well?  Tell me!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Boys Don't Make Passes

When I look at Audrey, I still see her as a baby.  She still has baby teeth, baby-soft skin, and enough chub on her face to look like the same sweet thing that I brought home from the hospital.  This being the case, it's hard for me to imagine what she's going to look like as an adult.  But every once in a while, I feel like I catch sight of Future Audrey.  Especially in photos.  One day she put on my reading glasses and I snapped this shot.

It got me picturing her as a bespectacled beauty and wondering what she will aspire to be.  She could be a cutie-pie reporter/news anchor....

A political pundit...I'm giving equal time to the both extremes of the political spectrum.  And yes, I know that they are on the wrong sides, but I couldn't get the stupid pictures to switch without screwing it up.

A one-hit wonder...

A funny lady that makes fun of one of the above...

Or a smokin' hot mommy blogger that is somehow not me.  What the?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love The Tiger Mom. I Hate The Tiger Mom

By now, you've probably heard of Amy Chua, the "Tiger Mom".  She recently released a book about Eastern-style parenting and was featured in a highly-debated article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior".

Some of her more inflammatory admissions include how she called one of her daughters "garbage", threw a homemade card back in her face because she deemed it a lousy effort, and made her practice piano for hours on end without meals or bathroom breaks.  

Chua mocks Western parenting as weak-willed and indulgent.  According to her, we are far too focused on our children's self-esteem and not enough on giving them the skills to prepare them for a successful future.  American parents are up in arms: defensive of their parenting style and horrified by Chua's borderline-abusive practices.  I've even heard some special needs parents chime in with opinions on both sides of the issue.  

Me, I'm feeling a little ambivalent about Tiger Mom...

Why I Love The Tiger Mom

  • She's taught me a lesson that is far more valuable than any parenting advice.  She's taught me that when my book comes out I should get out in front of it with a bunch of bat-shit crazy stuff that will get people worked up into a lather and keep mum on the fact that in the end I pretty much renounce all of it.  See, by the time the death threats come rolling in, you are far too rich to care.  My book will totally up the ante, because all of the degrading and torturous parenting techniques will be inflicted on a disabled kid...holla!  Twice as horrifying = twice as rich, y'all!
  • She didn't allow her daughters to attend sleepovers, have playdates, play sports, or be in school plays.  Yes!  I am so with her on this!  Audrey will never do those things because she does not have the skills to do so they are completely non-value added activities in the eyes of us Tiger Moms.
  • Anyone who gets typical parents screaming in each other's faces and tearing each other limb from limb is OK in my book.   If even one typical mommy gets clocked in the head with a sippy cup at one of those odious MOPS playgroups, I will be forever in her debt.
  • She has a younger sister with Down syndrome, so she understands that her approach would have to be modified for special needs kids.  Chua says "No one expected Cindy to get a PhD!"  See?  She totally gets us.

Why I Hate The Tiger Mom

  • According to Time, Chua is one year older than me and "carries off a short-skirted wardrobe that could easily be worn by her teenage daughters".   Bitch.  I'm much more upset about this than the "garbage" thing.
  • In addition to the social activities listed above, she also doesn't allow her kids to watch TV or play video games. Doh.
  • She somehow manages to completely degrade and humiliate her children, but without the use of profanity.  How does she do it?
  • She's struck a nerve with Western-style parents that I'm afraid will make them re-think their lax ways.  The last thing I need is for typical parents to see the light and start riding their kids to be more successful.  As it stands now, Audrey's got a fighting chance against the mollycoddled underachievers that she claims "self-esteem parenting" churns out.

What about you?  What do you think about the Ouching Tiger, Hittin' Dragon?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easiest School Observation Ever

...cuz I got to stay in my pj's.  I wrote last week about how difficult it can be for Audrey to give me details of her school day.  So when I heard that her BFF's mother was observing, I demanded a full report.

Grace Anne is the BFF, and Aimee is her mother.  You may have seen her comments here, which can tend to be funnier than my posts.  She needs to start her own blog, but until then she is welcome to be a contributor to this one every single day.  Take it away, Aimee!

I scheduled an hour of observing groups on this day.  Since all of the other students were either out sick or working on other goals, the groups for the day consisted of Audrey and Grace Anne. 

When I arrived in the middle of math group, the girls were working on carrying numbers for double digit addition. 13 +7 , 15 +9, etc.  They were doing awesome.  Their backs were to me so I couldn’t quite hear the catchy “carry the 1" song and dance, but I could hear that it ended in a funky “and bring it on down!” which they were both into.  Then  the teacher called “last problem.” 14 +1.  Doh!  Change up!  25?  They both carried the imaginary 1.

Next was social skills group.  That day's conversation was about emotions and the actions that could go along with them. The teacher went through a list of emotions in one column, talked about each one and asked for examples.  
Teacher:  "Audrey, can you think of some reasons that we might get sad?"
Audrey:  "When you don’t get a cupcake?"
Teacher:  "Yes that’s true, that would be sad."
Next the teacher asked the girls to place the action words next to the appropriate emotion.  Grace Anne was kind of an attention hog during this part since she is obsessed with emotions.  She’s a teenager trapped in an 8 year old body. Yes I know, I’m doomed.  Audrey seemed pretty set on discussing “sad” and “worried”, but with a smile on her face.  Obviously the “tortured artist gene" is hereditary.  Grace Anne doesn’t even like saying the words sad and worried, and only wanted to discuss happy (the “shallow” gene, also hereditary).  The discussion was going so well until the teacher asked a tricky question. 
Teacher:  "Would “bang fists on table” go under angry or frustrated?"
Grace Anne:  Too distraught to answer
Audrey:  "False."
The teacher asked the girls to make emotion masks out of paper plates.  They needed one mask for each emotion and since other students had already made masks earlier, all that was left was frustrated and angry. Audrey made a kick-ass frustrated plate-man.  Grace Anne, still pleading her case for happy, finally said, “you mean Happy is closed?”  Teacher:  "Yes, it’s kind of like that."  Good answer.

Finally, they had to complete a worksheet.  Before the teacher could finish explaining the instructions to Grace Anne, Audrey had finished her entire worksheet as well as the optional extra credit essay at the bottom.  Based on Audrey's answers, the teacher tried to encourage her to “think outside the cupcake.”
Teacher:  "What are some other things that could make us sad, Audrey?"
Audrey:   Pause.  "Like when you don’t get a donut?"

Monday, January 24, 2011

So That I Will Not Be Hunted Down Like a Dog...

You may have noticed that bloggers like awards.  They fly around the blogosphere until virtually everyone eventually gets one.  At some point, they were originated by some blogger who just pulled it out of his/her butt.  Which brings me to today's post.

Jillsmo from Yeah. Good Times. has shown just such flaming narcissism admirable initiative in creating this new Memetastic Award.  I've been blessed to have it bestowed upon me by the following lovely ladies:

JennieB at Anybody Want a Peanut?
Sherri at The Claw
Kathy at Butterfly Moments

Thanks guys!  It was also given to me by Big Daddy, but as his stated purpose in giving me said award was to "annoy" me, I don't feel that he deserves my gratitude.

Here are Jill's rules for this meme (apologies for the goes without saying that I do not approve):

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes.  It's so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there's even a little fucking jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom.It's horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we're creating here.

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we'll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we're just on the honor system here. I trust you. Except for the 4 that you lied about, you lying bastards! 

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don't like or don't really have much of an opinion about. I don't care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don't really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will fucking hunt your ass down and harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don't know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I'll leave you alone. I'm serious. I'm going to do these things. 

**NEW** 5. This one isn't actually a rule, but once you do the above, please link up to the Memetastic Hop so that I can keep track of where this thing goes. 

My 4 lies and 1 truth:

  1. My poo smells like baking cookies.
  2. I just grew all my leg hair out and my husband loves it.
  3. I was raised by a toothless bearded hag.
  4. I once shot a dresser with a 12 gauge rifle just to watch it die.
  5. My best childhood friend was a rusty nail.

And the wonderful, beautiful, fabulous, awesome bloggers that I pass this auspicious award on to:

Erica at The Robertson Family
Bethany at And God Laughs
DeeAnn at Snippets 'N Stuff
Laura at Home is Where the Heart Is
JoyMama at Elvis Sightings

Sorry ladies...I mean, you're welcome!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sofa King Cozy

You don't even want to know what's under my couch cushions...

Does this scene look familiar to anyone?  Anybody else out there never have their couch cushions where they are supposed to be?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stim City Limits

Sometimes it seems as if we are defining Audrey's obsessions or self-stimulating behaviors as pretty much anything that she enjoys doing.  Which is really unfair.  It's like if she is super into something or doing anything for longer than 15 minutes, we have to assume it's an unhealthy obsession and that we should redirect her to something else.

If left to her own devices, Audrey will be left to her own devices.  By that I mean the computer, video games, and the iPhone.  My husband spends at least half of his free time swatting her away from these activities, although he's not so good the "redirect" part of it.  He just wants her to stop what she's doing, and I guess figures that if he does this often enough she will eventually turn into a typical child, quietly retire to her bedroom, and start putting on three-act plays with her Barbies for hours on end.

And his latest bogeymen (amongst many...don't get me started) further exacerbate the situation...namely EMF's.  As in electromagnetic fields.  These are the evil forces that are flying through the air from lights, phones, and computers that compromise our ability to rid ourselves of toxins in the environment.  The upshot of this is that he doesn't like Audrey to play with my iPhone or be on the computer.

Well, if it's really that important, I guess I can find something else for her to do...I mean, who am I to stand in the way of my daughter's health and well-being.  Wait.  WHAT?  Yeah, there is NO WAY on God's green earth that I'm not letting her play on the computer.  Until an EMF takes human form and starts stuffing her into a sack, I could not care less.

You may have heard that there is a big game on Sunday.  I believe it is a, how you say, football game?  We live in Chicago, so I guess it's the Mustaches?  the Pork Bellies?  No, that's not right.  Anyway, it's a big game.  And my husband is very into it.  He's a big fan.  He's going to want to watch it from the opening kickoff until the last second without interruption.

Hmmmm...I wonder what Audrey will be doing while the game's on?  I can think of a couple of things that would occupy her for the duration of the game.  What do you want to bet that the EMF's will be taking the afternoon off on Sunday?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Insufficient Memory To Perform Requested Operation

Like most kids with autism, Audrey is not very good at recalling and recounting past events.  Well, that's not entirely true.  If it's some weirdo minutia like what she was doing the last time she wore a certain outfit, that she can do.  There was one particular dress that every time she put it on she would say "I hit Jill in this dress".  Nice. Especially since Jill is one of her classroom aids.

So while she can tell me what kind of cake her cousin had for her 2nd birthday (again with the cake), why she got mad at a therapist 18 months ago (Melanie made me draw a truck!), and how to drive to a place that she went to once 3 years ago, she cannot tell me one thing that she did at school when she gets home.  One thing that she did that day.  Like an hour earlier.

Yesterday she came home reeking of perfume.  Sometimes they do community outings at a nearby mall, so I thought maybe they made a trip to the cosmetic counter.  Here's a typical after-school exchange:

"Audrey, did you go to the mall today?"

"  "

"Did someone spray you with perfume?"

"  "

"Did you go to Macy's?"

"  "

"AUDREY!  Did you go to the mall?"

"(whisper mumble) Yeah."

By the time I badger something out of her, who knows if it's even true?  OK, so she's not very good at answering the direct inquiries, but I do get some 411 by other means...

Exhibit A:  Sometimes she will text little news flashes from my iPhone.  I have her teacher in my text roster strictly for school-related business like buses running late, or me forgetting to pack Audrey's lunch, or me forgetting to turn in a permission slip, or me forgetting to be home when Audrey's dropped off.  Little things like that.  So Audrey gets a hold of my iPhone and texts the following to her teacher:
"Jacob keep your hands to yourself.  Bad boy!"
Then she texts the following to the mom of her BFF and classmate Grace Anne:
"Grace Anne will not punch Matthew."
So I naturally glean from this that Audrey's pummeling of teacher Jill is not the only fisticuffs going on in the classroom.  But alas, her teacher responded that, while Audrey's gossipy little scripts are entertaining, they are entirely inaccurate.  Mmmm hmmmm.

Exhibit B:  Audrey scripts a lot of random things...sometimes she's repeating something that a teacher or classmate said to her and if I listen closely, flippity-flop the pronouns around, and read between the lines, I can get even more potentially inaccurate information.

For example, in the last video I posted, you can hear Audrey saying to her imaginary friend on the other end of the phone "Grace Anne didn't get any popcorn".  OK, so it's not what you'd call a matter of life or death that I know whether or not Grace Anne got some popcorn, but it's the principle of the thing.

I get so little information that I actually find myself pondering this stuff...Is Audrey working the Lancome counter on her lunch break?...Did Grace Anne, or did she not, punch Matthew?...Can Jacob keep his hands to himself?...And for the love of God, someone please tell me if Grace Anne got. some. popcorn.

To be cont...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guest Posting Today at Special Happens!

Go check out my guest post today at Gina's fabulous blog, Special Happens.  The post is a part of her Friendship Series, and I'm writing about how our autistic kiddos forge friendships with each other in spite of their social skills deficits.

grab the button

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Later Today. Today Later. You Know.

Call 1-800-L8R-2DAY every day after 4:00pm CST to hear a scintillating recap of Audrey's day, (completely inaccurate) gossip about her classmates, and desperate pleas for pastries.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

iTunes, uTunes, myTunes, urTunes

I've got a bunch of Audrey's music loaded on my iPhone.  I have playlists set up for her, but sometimes when I'm running I'll do a shuffle on my whole library.  There's nothing like grooving along to my tunes and then having a Wiggles song come on to ruin my runner's high.

I've well-documented how much Audrey loves the iPhone.  She'll play games, look at photos, play videos and voice memos, and listen to music.  Sometimes I'll hear her playing some non-kiddie tunes and I wonder if the same thing is happening to her that happens to me.  But then I noticed that it was the same handful of songs and that there was a common thread amongst them.  They all have something in their titles that sounds kiddie-ish or somehow attractive to her:

"Time to Pretend", MGMT
"Jack and Jill", Kim Richey
"Candy", Iggy Pop
"Paper Doll", Louis XIV
"Rollercoaster", Sleater-Kinney
Anything by the Ting Tings

See?  They fit right in next to songs like "Big Red Car" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

As long as Audrey is getting down to my tunes, here are a few more that I think she should add to her playlist:

"Senses Working Overtime" by XTC
"I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor", Arctic Monkeys
"She's Expensive", The Virgins

One time I walked in on her playing a song called "Jack Killed Mom", but I'd like to think that it was just because it comes right after "Jack and Jill".  That had better be why.  You think that's why?  I dunno.  There's also a Lucinda Williams song on there called "Mama You Sweet" but I never hear her play that one.

What about you?  Any songs in your rotation that should be your kid's theme song or that you'd like to dedicate to them?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sh*t My Daughter Says: A Very Special Cussing Edition

After Audrey was born, I was *fairly* successful at scrubbing the f-word and the s-word out of my vocabulary.  Don't ask me why I suddenly cannot spell those words out...I think it's too late for me to worry about being overly crass here.  Stop nodding in agreement, asshats.

Anywhooz, I was so proud of myself for shedding those two words that I allowed myself to let fly with all of the other second-tier swear words.  Most of those have to do with two-thirds of the Holy Trinity.  You know, the G-man and the J-man.  With the exception of some fairly short phases, Audrey has been remarkably good at not repeating these words and expressions.  Unfortunately, we seem to be in one of those phases right now.

Some of her recent outbursts:
"Jesus H.!"
"What the heck!  Oops.  I mean what the hell!"
"Noni likes to say Jesus."
"Damnit is a cat and Dangit is a dog."

That last one almost makes me want to get a cat and a dog.  See, no one could accuse me of swearing in front of my child if I were to say "Damnit, get over here!"

In each case, Audrey knows that she's saying something forbidden and she'll sneak a mischievous look at me and wait for my reaction.  She really has no way of knowing that the words are "bad" other than my reaction to her saying them...or sometimes she just assumes that anything said with a certain pissed-off intonation is "bad".

So she'll say things like "That's just great!" or "The ice is so icy!  The ice is mental!" and sneak that same hee-hee-I'm-naughty look at me when she really hasn't cursed per se.

And then there is the quandary of what I should do, because whatever you say will come back at you over and over again.  So I hear things like "Don't say Jesus H. or I'll spank your dupa!" or the even more incriminating "Only mommies can say that!  That's mommy talk!"  Yeah, that wasn't my best parenting moment.

Which makes her latest observation all the more accurate, "I'm a pain in the mom."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coming Soon to the Food Network

Audrey has had an on-again/off-again obsession with watching YouTube videos of cooking shows.  She started out with Miss Betty's Kitchen and her Jezebel sauce and white-chocolate blondies, and then moved on to the Betty Crocker Kitchen at

Not surprisingly, she started scripting lines from them and throwing around words like "serving" and "Splenda".  She also started making little culinary creations of her's one that I'm sure you'll enjoy called "dip".

Audrey is kind of like the MacGyver of the kitchen in that she utilized a lot of found objects (=random food sitting out on our island) and turned them into something fabulous.  If I'm not mistaken, all of the food groups are represented...and as a bonus, you'll have minty fresh breath!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top 10 Bad Ideas For a Blog Post

OK, so I'm feeling a little uninspired blog-wise.  I'm digging deep for something to write about, but it's just not coming.  And as much as I poke Audrey with a cattle prod, she's just not coming through for me with anything good.  Once you've said, "Let's do some smelling" the bar is set pretty high.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...berating Minnie, misusing pronouns, scripting TV shows...get some new material sister!  With Audrey evidently on strike, I'm having to think outside the box...

10)  My birth story.  "...and then they delivered the placenta and I experienced an overwhelming craving for liver..."

9)  The 30 Days of Poop Project.  Chronicling Audrey's doodies over the course of a month.  Although Dani G might like this one.

8)  The story of this really stupid family that I know with really stupid ugly kids and how much I hate them but at least they read my blog.

7)  Guest Blogger:  Audrey's Bus Driver!  In which she tells everyone what a bizzotch I am.  Get your own blog, snatch hat.

6)  How I screw the IRS (and you can too!) by padding my itemized medical deduction.  Those GFCF Double Chocolate Chunk cookies that were gone by the time I hit the checkout are IN!!

5)  Top 10 MLK Day Pet Peeves

4)  How to get blog material out of your special needs child by using a cattle prod.

3)  OCD Blog Hop.  Everyone would share their worst OCD tendency and then have to comment on each and every entry, not just the two immediately before them, or else something really bad will happen to them.

2)  Suspicious Mole Mondays.  This would be photo-based and track the growth of any suspicious protuberances on your body from week to week.

And the #1 bad idea for a blog post...

1)  Sh*t The Voices Inside My Head Say

Monday, January 10, 2011

Understanding Inferences

I'd like to think that this was one of those exercises where you have to infer from a picture what someone is saying or asking.  If it was a sequence of three related pictures, I'd really like to see them and what the thread was.

1)  A picture of kids playing with toys.
2)  Same kids engulfed in a green haze, tears streaming down their face, pointing fingers.
3)  A polar bear walks by.

Aaaaaand scene.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Audrey Enters the Octagon

Is that what they call it?  I don't flippin' know.  I took Audrey to try out a martial arts class last week.  All week long, I kept calling it a karate class, which I'm sure is some sort of faux pas.  Audrey thought it was hilarious to pronounce it like "kah-rayt", which is sort of weird when you think about it because I never put it in writing for her.

Karate, judo, jui-jitsu, taekwondo, kickboxing, kung-fu's all the same, right?  Somewhere someone who's really into this stuff just popped a vein and assumed their fighting stance.

I know nothing about martial arts.  Big Daddy did a post about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA, don't you know) and the commenters were all naming names and talking about flying roundhouses and did you see that guy kick the crap out of that guy.  Huh?  The only name that I recognized was Chuck Liddell, and that's because he was on  Dancing With The Stars.  He was a crap dancer.  Why would I want to see him fight if he can't even execute a proper fleckerl in the Viennese waltz?  :: nerd snort ::   OK, I guess we all have our guilty pleasures.

Anyway, check out Audrey's form...

...yeah, she's about as forceful as a light breeze.

At the end of the class, all of the kids got some kind of notch on their belt, but we had promised Audrey that she would get a treat if she made it through the class.  So when the teacher went down the line and did his little belt ritual, she was ready to cut to the cookie.  If you turn the volume WAY up, you can almost hear her...

I don't know...blowing off the master teacher for a Peppermint Joe-Joe could be considered an ancient sign of disrespect.

This was a free trial class, and I'm still pondering whether or not to sign her up.  I'm not sure that harnessing all of that fearsome aggression could come to any good.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bizzotch on Wheels

Big Daddy will make a comment about
what an incredible likeness this is of me.
Last summer I did a couple of posts about Audrey's school transportation situation.  First I tried to educate the ignoramus driver, explaining to her why she shouldn't start showing DVD's and fill the car with stim toys.  Then I wrote about what a bitch she was to me, and laid out my iron-clad logic for why no one should ever be mean to me. EVER.  But she was not interested in complying my Special Needs Parent Dispensation Policy.

That all happened in the summer session.  Starting in the fall, we lost the ride-along aid and gained a new kid.  So now there was no aid, 3 autistic kids, and one nasty beeyotch of a driver.

Overnight the SUV became a 3-ring circus:  kiddie music on the CD player, DVD's playing overhead, and a huge basket-full of the worst of the worst 18-month old electronic stim toys.  I was but thought that maybe the new kid needed those things and I didn't say anything at first.  At this point the construction was still going on, and the commute was an hour each way.  Meaning that my kid is stimming on this shit day in and day out for 2 hours a day.

My first call to her superiors was placed when I made the trip to Audrey's school myself, realized that the construction was over, and made the trip in 1/2 the time.  Ms. Smart T. Pants was still taking surface streets the whole way.  After the requisite confrontation with her, Audrey did start getting home much earlier.

BUT now this had the very effect that I had warned her about in the first place when she filled the car with all of her bullshit.  Audrey started getting all weepy when she was dropped off at the end of the day.  OK, I know I'm a lunatic, but she is still usually happy to see me.  She was blathering on about balloons and cats and parties and paprika.  Wait.  Paprika?  I asked Nastypants if she knew what she was on about, and she just shrugged as if to say "Who ever knows WTF these whack-jobs are spewing out their pieholes?"

Turns out that Audrey was referring to stuff in a Blue's Clues DVD.  Now that the ride was shorter, she wasn't getting to see a certain scene at the end.  PREE-EFFING-CISELY my point in the first place.  I had it out with her big time right in the middle of my driveway, reminding her in the least polite way possible that this is exactly what I had warned her of.  And she says "But I show them the same DVD every morning and every afternoon every single day".  She says this in her defense.

So now I gotta put the toothpaste back in the tube.  I write a social story for Audrey about how she's not always going to be able to see the end of the video, blah blah blah.  And the next day when the car comes, Crazy McBitchington has yanked everything out of the car.  Cold turkey.  That's right, get 'em addicted to something they didn't need in the first place, cut off their supply, send them into withdrawal convulsions, and then claim victory.  "See, I told you they needed it."  Nicely done.

On the upside, it was one less Christmas gift I had to buy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Party's Over When the Cat Lady Sings

The marvelous and beloved Lauren invited us to her family's annual Christmas party over the holidays.  Audrey was thrilled to be going...I tried building up the excitement based on her seeing all of Lauren's cute nieces and nephews, but she was mostly jazzed to see her kitties.

As I've written many times before, Audrey loves those dang cats.  She is always all over them:  hugging and squeezing them, picking them up and dragging them around, petting them and pulling on their tails.  They don't seem to mind.  I've always trusted that Lauren would stop Audrey from going too far, or that the cats would run away if they didn't like it.

As expected, Audrey spent most of the party loving up the cats in between taking bites out of cookies and putting them back.  As it was getting about time for us to go, I gave Audrey the 5-minute warning.  She got her last (literal) licks in with Whiskers while I gathered our things.  I got my purse and pulled out my iPhone, as I do thousands of times a day...checking my messages to see if a big-time publisher had offered me a book deal and Twitter to see if Big Daddy was sullying my good name.  One of those two things happens quite frequently.

Not actual friends of Lauren's family,
but the sweater on the left looks awfully familiar.
Anyway, as I look up, I see a woman right up in Audrey's grill, pointing her finger at her and giving her what-for. "I see what you're doing.  I've been watching you.  You're choking that cat!  How would you like it if someone did that to you?  You're hurting her!"  I was across the room and frozen to the spot.  I didn't want to get into it with her because I had no idea who she was or how close of a friend or relation she was to the family.  And just I was contemplating this, she says "Where is your mother?!?!"  Oh shit.  Definitely not right over here covered in powdered sugar and guacamole.

And then I did what I'd like to think any good mother would do in that situation...I pretended that I'd never seen the child before, skulked away to the foyer, and prepared to hightail it out of there.  As I was pulling on my coat and boots, I overheard an awesome re-creation of "Who's on first?" with Audrey yelling "I'M MAD!" -- meaning "she's mad" -- and the woman yelling back "I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE MAD!  I'M MAD!"  Hee.

In the meantime, Lauren came to the rescue and broke up the altercation, so unfortunately I still had to take Audrey home with me.  Turns out the woman is an avid cat enthusiast who signs her Christmas cards with her cats' names and wears not just Christmas sweaters, but cat Christmas sweaters.

**COMMENT RED ALERT**  No going off on this woman, as she is a friend of Lauren's family.  Lauren is the only thing that stands between me and the booby hatch, and her family is the nicest, most supportive bunch of people that you could ever hope to meet.  More members of her family read this blog than my own family does.  They felt really bad about what happened, and anyway the following week her father came and plowed my driveway after a snowstorm and I would gladly let all their friends line up around the block to bawl Audrey out if it meant getting my snow plowed and I am a great mother the end.

Monday, January 3, 2011

All That Sticks Is Not A Sticker

All this fun for just $8.80 a sheet

I leave the room for a minute while writing Christmas cards, and I come back to Audrey covered in postage stamps.  My beautiful pine cone Forever stamps, the secular (but not really) angels, and even the Madonna and Child ones.  See you in hell little girl.  This isn't a dentist's office and VM & BJ (Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, for you heathens out there) ain't Spongebob & Patrick, sister.

Seriously, why do kids love stickers so much?  Kids get shot up with novocaine, their teeth yanked out, blood drawn, broken arms set...and all they get a sticker slapped on the back of their hand.  Postage stamps aside, it takes A LOT more than that to motivate Audrey.  Which in my book makes her much smarter than the average typical kid.  Until stickers become either edible or flashing and beeping or musical or the cartoon character comes to life and hands her an iPhone, they ain't cutting it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Break Is At Least One Day Too Long

I'm so bored I'm thinking of sticking hot pokers in my eyes just to see how it feels.  Cuz sometimes I'll flippantly say things like "I'd rather stick hot pokers in my eyes", implying that it is the worst kind of pain.  But who am I to say?

Today feels so much like a Sunday.  I wish it was Sunday.  I'm willing it to be Sunday.  But it's not.  Which means that I have yet another day to kill of this interminable winter break.  The toys have all been played with, and some are already broken.  Tawny's batteries are running low, and she's lost her novelty.  The Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shop is so caked with dried up crap that nothing can be squeezed out of its orifices anymore.  Dang, I never called Uncle Richie at the nursing home to wish him Happy Holidays.  

I suppose that Audrey and I could do some crafts.  God, I hate crafts.  Always have.  When I was growing up, I could never do anything as good as my older sisters.  I would get so mad and stomp off because who wants to do stupid crafts anyway.  It's taken me several decades, but I've finally found someone that I can out-craft.

My Shrinky Dinks

Audrey's Shrinky Dinks

HA!  She sucks.