Friday, July 29, 2011

The Wiggles Wish Me a Happy Birthday

So a few months back I did a series of two posts called "Choppers in Nam" about triggers that take me back to that awful time in my life when I was first realizing that Audrey had autism.  The first post was about the What to Expect - The Toddler Years book that mocked me with all of its "should be" milestones.

The second Choppers post was about various songs, books, and movies that take me back to that time.  But in that post I neglected to mention the Wiggles.  

Audrey was obsessed with the Wiggles when she was about 18 months to 3 years old.  She still listens to their CD's sometimes.  I even have a couple of them still loaded onto my iPhone for her, which can be quite disconcerting if I've got it on shuffle when I'm working out and that "Di Dicki Doo Dum" song comes on.  One of the CD's has skits in between each song that are treated like separate songs, so occasionally I'll get Murray or Jeff suddenly speaking in hushed tones in my ear:  "Do you like going to the park?  I really love parks."  Creeps the shit out of me.

Audrey at 20 mos, verklempt upon
seeing her heroes for the first time.
More so than the music, the TV show is what really takes me back.  I'm sure that Audrey would be perfectly happy to still watch it, but I don't even know when it's on and I've long ago deleted my TiVo catalog of every single episode ever made.  She used to watch them so much that I seriously knew them all by heart.  I knew, for instance, that I needed to stand at the ready to fast forward if the "Musical Quiz" episode was on, or any other one that featured Professor Singalotta Songa who she hated with a passion.

Also "Topsy Turvy" and "Anthony's Lost Appetite" were deadly because they both featured really long, boring skits and Audrey just wanted them to shut up and sing "Hot Potato" already.  Yeah yeah yeah, we get it...Anthony's really just not feeling hungry because he's already eaten too much...FREE BIRD!

We've seen them live twice, the last time being when Audrey was just 2 years old.  Which brings me to my point...I noticed that they are currently on tour with a show called "The Wiggles Big Birthday" and they are playing here in Chicago birthday!  So when I saw the ad I naturally thought that they were throwing me a party in honor of all of the money I've wasted on their shows, CD's, and merchandise support we've given them over the years.

I sent for scrapbook paper and embellishments all the way from Australia.
Don't hate me because I'm lame. Well, actually, go on ahead.

But as it turns out, it's they who are celebrating their 20th birthday.  I hadn't realized that they'd been around for that long.  They're getting a bit long in the tooth for this shtick aren't they?  They'll be needing to retool some of their hits..."Can You Point Your Fingers and Do The Twist?  Not Since My Hip Replacement!"  Zing!  How bout "Big Red Buick LeSabre"?  Hoo hoo!  I kill myself.  I could go on but that's not why you called.

I am not going to the Wiggles birthday show tomorrow, July 30, the day of my actual birthday.  Instead I will be with my mother at our newest casino in Des Plaines, IL eating buffet and bitching about the lines at the nickel slots as befits a person of my age.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time For Cupcakes!

It's time for my bi-weekly column on the Patch in which I discuss one of Audrey's favorite topics...cupcakes!

Audrey is clearly not the only one who is obsessed with them, as they are a trend that seemingly refuses to die.  Obviously the edible kind are the best, but you can also find their image plastered on everything from pajamas to Band-aids.  

Click HERE to read more.  And then go treat yourself to a red velvet cupcake.  Or a lemon lavender one   Or maybe pink peppercorn with chocolate ganache.  Or...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top 10 Signs That You Should Stop Blogging

11)  Every time you post you lose two followers.

10)  You write a post and title it "And I Kick Ass At Chocolate Eclairs" and some douchebag tells you to watch your language.  And you can't even figure out what the swear word was.

Hi, my name is Kim.  I hate you and
your blog but I'm going to
follow it and leave shitty comments
because I'm an asshole like that.
9)  You fantasize about contracting hits on every blogger that is more popular than you.

8)  Every time you get your quarterly BlogHer advertising check, you calculate how many spoonfuls of gasoline it buys you and descend into a funk that lasts until the next check comes.

7)  You write what for you is a positive post, and you get this comment from the same snatch hat who thinks "ass" is a swear word:  "See to me it's not the emotion of the autistic one, but of the whiny so-called normal adults who think everything in the world is about them!"

6)  You have thin skin.

5)  You'd love to post but would much rather be filling out school forms, cleaning the fish tank, and talking to your husband.

4)  You develop Blog Rage and become irrationally incensed over cartoon avatars and someone using "loose" when they mean "lose".

3)  You can see from your troll's Facebook profile that she works at a funeral home in Oklahoma City and this makes you way too happy.

2)  No one comments on this post.

And the #1 sign that you should stop blogging...

1)  Whereas you usually are scraping to come up with 10, this list goes to 11.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Famous Nightgown

So I mentioned in my last post about Audrey referring to my nightgown as "famous".  I'd like to think that this was because I looked smoking hot in a sexy nightie that had set tongues wagging amongst the neighbors, garbagemen, dog walkers, and bus drivers that are about when I get my paper in the morning.  But it probably has more to do with the fact that I've broken some kind of record for wearing it the most nights in a row without washing it.

Actually, I think it mostly has to do with the fact that Audrey picked it out for me.  She has been obsessed lately with everything that I wear, which as I wrote about in this post, is an extremely limited assortment of what could be loosely described as "clothes".  She asks me every single day where I got whatever top I'm wearing, as if she doesn't already know the answer because I've told her 10,000 times and I've only got 5 tops.

She was completely consumed with discussing every facet of a previous nightgown, so I thought it would be a good idea to have her pick out a new one for me.  Maybe if she was with me when I bought it we could dispense with the whole "where did you get it?" line of questioning.  Ha.  Good one.

Anyway, the last time we were in Target we headed for the p.j. department.  Her first choice was this hideous number...

...before I managed to talk her into a slightly less hideous one...

You didn't think I was really going to post pictures of myself in it, did you?  They look so much cuter in these pictures than on me it's not even funny.  On me it looks a 100 times more muumuu-ish.  It's that Nick and Nora brand which is meant to be sort of retro-kitschy, but on me it just looks like an old lady housecoat.  Remember those?  Dusters?  Model's coats?  No?  I'm old.

When my husband saw it, he said that I looked like Pat Nixon.  And just to dispel any confusion, he did not mean it as a complement.  Oh well.  It's hella comfy and Audrey is proud as a peacock  -- or should I say "ornate owl" -- to have had a hand in picking it out.  I guess that makes it famous enough.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Forget to Join Us Today on BlogTalkRadio!

Join us today for Autism WTF on BlogTalkRadio at 10:00am PT / 12:00pm CT / 1:00pm ET.  

All you have to do is CLICK HERE at the appointed hour and turn your computer speakers up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sh*t My Daughter Says

"Ryan is a bucket dipper.  He is NOT a bucket filler!"

So Audrey is walking around accusing everyone of being "bucket dippers".  I had no idea what she was talking about, and since she is known for sometimes spewing gibberish, I wasn't sure where this came from.  I could tell from the way she spit out the words that it was meant to be something of an epithet.

Turns out that the source of this is a book called How Full Is Your Bucket? that she is learning about at school.  The theory is that we each have an invisible bucket that is emptied or filled based on what others say or do to us.  We also each have an invisible dipper which we can use to fill others' buckets by saying or doing nice things, or to dip from other's buckets by saying or doing mean things.

Obviously this metaphorical, and the contents of one's bucket is meant to represent our emotions and general well-being.  When I asked Audrey what her bucket was filled with she said "stickers."  Apparently they are going with a literal interpretation at school.  Probably a good idea.

If Audrey is even half right, Ryan's bucket must be bone dry.  He is the arch-nemesis of Audrey's BFF Grace Anne, and spends the better part of his day with the singular goal of making her cry...leading us to coin the word "motherbucketdipper".


"Marimba is a healthy ring tone."

Audrey has been using a lot of adjectives that are meant to be generally positive, but she's not using them quite correctly.  You will be happy to know that I also have a "famous nightgown".


"I like you're playing on the computer so nicely."

My words being thrown back at me.  Do I really sound that patronizing or is she being a smart ass?


"I love you. God Bless your day!"

Every morning, Audrey is picked up first for school and then another little friend is picked up.  His mother is just ever so slightly more Christian than I am, and this is how she sends her child off.

As opposed to me whose last words are usually something more along the lines of "And ferchrissakes, stop chewing on your hair!"  After which I scuttle back into the house lest any of the neighbors get an eyeful of what I haven't had time to change out of that morning.  Hmmmm...maybe my nightgown is famous.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Autism WTF Returns on Tuesday!

Hot time summer in the city,
 Big Daddy's bald head getting burnt and gritty

Autism WTF returns to BlogTalkRadio on Tuesday, July 19 at 10:00am PT / 12:00pm CT / 1:00pm ET.  

Join us as we talk about summer with our kids.  Have you kept their schedule pretty packed so that they still have structure to their day or let them run free?  Are you loving life or counting the minutes until the first day of school?  

You may just find out live which is the case for Big Daddy if Griffin makes a cameo or five to find out what his father is up to during the show.

To listen, click HERE at the appointed hour and turn your volume up!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I've Learned From Blogging: A Pre-Mortem

I've been blogging for about 16 months now, and before I shuffle off this mortal coil I thought I would do a bit of a retrospective and share the deets of my experience for the benefit of all you young players out there.

LESSON #1:  Do not use "deets" and "shuffle off this mortal coil" in the same sentence.  I'm hella Shakespearean, yo!

LESSON #2:  Whenever you are feeling uninspired, unappreciated, and like you are ready to throw in the towel, write a post like this one telling everyone how you are *this close* to quitting and wait for the comments to roll in telling you are fabulous you are, how your readers could never make it through the day without you, and how they would gladly host a telethon to raise money for you if you would just reconsider and please please please please don't go-oh-oh-oh.

*Pregnant pause*




You miserable bitches.

Reading lots of other people's blogs every single day and commenting on every single one of their posts is a great way to:
a) Drive traffic to your own blog.
b) Make lots of new friends and learn from their experiences.
c) Kill those pesky first 18 years of your child's life.

When putting #3 into practice, you can increase your pleasure a thousand-fold by engaging in "blog-splorting".  This is a term that I coined to describe the highly entertaining practice of shitting on someone that has commented ahead of you just to see if they come back and discover your little buried treasure.

Feel free to use these examples:
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Anonymous is dumb."  Or "LOL myboo313! And by that I mean Log Off Loser!"  Or the always applicable "Big Daddy wears ladies underpants."
I'll be sharing more of these worthless invaluable insights in the coming days.  Also COMING SOON..."Top 10 Signs That You Should Stop Blogging" and "My All-Time Favorite (And Uncensored) Commenting Bloopers!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Roast in the Graveyard

It's that time again.  Time for my fortnightly article on the Patch.  Today's article is about staycations before they were called staycations.  When they were just called "we have no money and feel absolutely no obligation to keep our kids entertained" - cations.

Click HERE to check it out!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Return of Autexting

So I just figured out that you can take a screen shot on the iPhone and it files right into your camera roll.  Duh.  I've only had the phone for two years.  

I've written several posts in the past about Audrey's texting habit (for instance THIS ONE) and each time I've taken my phone outside and "posed" it in just the right light to get a clear picture of the screen with my digital camera.  Dumb ass.

If you knew about this functionality and neglected to tell me after reading one of those artless posts, you will not want to admit it to me.  Grrrrr.

Anyway, after some time away from it, Audrey is back to texting in full force.  She has stock opening lines for each of handful friends that are her most frequent textees:

My friend Yasmin:  Are Adam and Zain at the movies?
We went to the movies with them like two and a half years ago.

Her BFF therapist Lauren:  Do you want to do RRRF?
A game they made up...stands for Run, Run, Run, Fall.  Duh.

My friend Aimee:  Do you want to go to school or camp?
Something Aimee asked her at one point.  She wants to go to neither.

Big Daddy: How is Griffin and how is Lil Sis?
This one is just too functional to be Audrey's handiwork.  I have to admit that I fed it to her the first time to get her unstuck from her previous line, I am having lunch with Mrs. Big Daddy.

Now that I know how to take beautiful screen shots, I think every one of my posts will include them from now on.  Audrey's lines are in green.

Oy.  Back to the lunch thing.  Unless she's trying to hint to BD that he should take a long position on lunch with his wife.  I did not mean for that to sound as dirty as it did.

Something other than RRRF, but obviously a script of something someone said to her when they realized they were talking to Audrey instead of me...which happens quite often.  No idea about the special diet, but I like that she demands a certain response.  Does it still qualify as an "audio stim" if it's in writing?

Sometimes people can't tell if it's me or Audrey, but as Raven says, the pronouns
usually give her away.  I hope you will get pronouns someday.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Epic Meltdown Averted and A Carny Gets the Assist

Some cliches are cliches for a reason.  They have become overused and hackneyed, but sometimes that's just because they have more than a little truth to them.  Terms like "jolly fat man", "sad clown", or "bottom-feeding lawyer".

One of my favorites is "toothless carny".  Wait.  I didn't mean for that one to be a link.  Or did I...

My little burg had its annual carnival a couple of weeks back and, as always, I was completely fascinated with the carnies.  And there was not a full set of choppers amongst them.  I checked.

One of my favorites was a woman who looked to be in her 70's, was missing her front teeth, had long, gray hair and was sporting a garish tiara.  Which I guessed was her advertising one of the better prizes for the little girls who played her game of chance.  Or maybe not.

I wanted so badly to get a picture of her, but I was too far away.  I thought briefly about asking her to pose for a picture with Audrey, but, contrary to popular opinion, there is a limit to what I'm willing to put my daughter through for this blog.

There's something about sitting on a bench watching a tiara-clad carny barking to passers-by over the sound of "Sex on Fire" and teenagers screaming on the rides while eating a 3,000 calorie funnel cake that just says "summer".

I blogged about the same carnival last year, and how the ticket pricing somehow renders me incapable of doing basic math and figuring out how much each ride costs.  This year we were lucky enough to get in on an all-you-can-ride wristband for a sawbuck, a fin, a deuce, and an ace.  That's $18 for those of you not hip to carny slang.  Pfft.  Buncha larries you are.

Since she had a wristband, Audrey was able to do this about 83 times...

Problem was that she wanted to go back the next day when there were no wristbands and it cost $2.50 for each time down the slide.  Now just think about trying to explain why she was able to go down the slide to her heart's content one day, but only a couple of times the next.  The night before Day 2, I could only hope for a tornado to decimate the midway.  But since one had touched down in our town just days before, it was unlikely.  Man, nothing ever goes my way.

Or does it?  The next morning Audrey woke up with a bad cold.  YES!  But she still would not be denied returning to the carnival.  BOO!  But her enthusiasm had waned, as well as her energy for hiking her wee butt up four steep flights of stairs to get to the top of the slide.  YES!  But not so much that it still wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg to satisfy even her diminished slide jones.  BOO!

After spending so much time there on Day 1, I had gotten to know the two carnies working the slide.  One was crazy by-the-book -- holding the kids back so as not to cause a backup on the stairway, making them wait to be handed a pre-folded sack so they wouldn't trip on an unfolded one, collecting tickets for every stinking ride -- while the other was, well...AWESOME.

He kept the line swiftly moving, and, best of all, looked the other way for A LOT of free slides.  So all I had to do was keep Audrey distracted with other things while the first carny was running it, and then tear-ass over there when I saw a shift change.

Crisis officially averted, thanks to my carny friend Darrell.  So if you have a carnival in your town, look for a guy with a huge gap-toothed grin, an easy laugh, and sweet white-framed BluBlockers...and tell him Audrey sent you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Positively 4th of July

We didn't do much over the 4th.  Audrey kept talking about seeing the "beautiful fireworks" but she doesn't get that they don't happen until after dark.  And I know that she could never keep her peepers open til 9:15 to see them.  I could just see us with our blanket spread out in a park somewhere with her passed out by 8:30.

We went to see Cars 2 over the weekend, and the Disney logo that they show before the movie with the fireworks going off over Cinderella's castle was as close as she got.  Oh, and then there was the $2 box of sparklers that I got at Walgreens.

Even though sparklers are the lowest form of firework, I was still worried about her burning herself.  I kept telling her not to touch the end, and made sure that I handed them to her so that she could hold them from the very opposite end from the sparkle.

I imagined her putting it too close to her face and getting a sparkle in the eye, or throwing it in a bush and starting a tri-state wildfire.  Don't ask me why, but never in a million years did I think that she would smell it.  What, did I just show up here?

She created a very festive look for herself.  Because nothing says "Happy Independence Day" like a spent-sparkler-Hitler-mustache-welt...

Ve haff vays uff makink hyu buy me cupcakes.