Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shoe Shopping with Princess

Birdie, in front of Ripley's in Baltimore
Last weekend, Hubby and I decided to divide and conquer the Crazies so that we could have some one-on-one bonding time with the girls.  Well, bonding time is what we sold the divide and conquer as, but really we were each avoiding activities we didn't really want to be a part of.

Hubby took Birdie to Baltimore to visit the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, so that she could refuel her "freaky tank".  That child loves weird and interesting facts, and just cannot get enough of the Ripley's Believe It or Not books.  So when she heard there was a museum filled with this crap, Birdie couldn't get there fast enough.  She made the trip her "30 Days of Awesome" prize (which she earned by having 30 days of good behavior at school and at home), and I have to admit that I was more than a little relieved that Hubby volunteered to take her.

Which left me with Princess, who was in dire need of new sneakers.

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Holy Crap"-eteria, An Aspie Poem

Those that know a school aged kid on the spectrum probably know how overstimulating the school cafeteria can be.  Spectrum-y kids tend to have heightened senses, especially hearing, smell and sight, which makes a busy place like the lunchroom even more annoying to them than the average joe.  I mean, really-- do you like to eat in there?!  The cafeteria is particularly stressful for my Princess, and often leads to her imminent defeat on days when she is already having trouble behaving at school.  I thought I'd give you a little insight about how it feels to be an Aspie in the cafeteria, based on my Princess's plethora of complaints about eating lunch in there.  :)

"Holy Crap"-eteria

I walk into the lunchroom
and what smacks me in the face?
A wall of noise, bright lights, loud boys--
You want me to do what in this place?!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The New Year

I know you guys may have been wondering whether or not I had died, seeing as how I can't seem to get my act together to put down a few sentences on my blog lately.  I have all sorts of reasons as to why my writing stream seems to have dried up to a trickle, but I'm not going to bore you with it, or try to justify anything.  Let's just suffice to say that I resolve to do better in the New Year, and I hope that my kids and their schedules will agree with that resolution.  ;)

The New Year's party settings and guests, Birdie (L), Hubby, and Princess (R)

Me in my styling 2013
party glasses decorated by Birdie
The Kitty Ball
On New Year's Day, just before noon, Princess surprised our family with a New Year's party.  The party was a spur of the moment event, but P had put some time (20 minutes, at least!) and effort into putting together her shindig.   She made refreshments "from scratch", which consisted of Toaster Strudels and Capri Sun juice pouches.  Her party also had "formal" table settings (which means fancy stacked dishes and cups, and folded napkins), name cards, and party favors, which P commissioned Birdie to make.  To make the party complete, Princess made a New Year's Resolution game called "Pass the Kitty Ball", where we passed around a stuffed kitty toy and confessed our resolutions to the family.  When Princess was holding the Kitty Ball, do you know what that child resolved to do in 2013?!  Very solemnly she vowed,
"I will try to improve my kindness to others."

*cue sound of screeching brakes here*  Whoa!  What kid makes that their New Year's resolution?!!!  We-ellllll... If you knew the whole story...

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Magic of the Season

It's been a rough couple of weeks here on the Crazy Train, which I realize is no way to begin a Christmas holiday post, but it's true.

The holiday hubbub makes it hard for my darlings to deal with regular, everyday stuff, as was evidenced in Princess's school behavior two weeks ago (which will get it's own post, I am sure).  It made for a terrible week full of disciplinary action plans, visits to the principal, and tears.  I was sure the week couldn't get any worse until the tragedy in Connecticut occurred.

The Sandy Hook tragedy has left people across the nation mourning the loss of 27 human lives, most of which were too young to even comprehend.  On top of that unfathomable loss, the media managed to use this awful event to vilify Asperger's syndrome as well.  That unfortunate side effect has left parents like me-- parents of children on the autism spectrum-- doubly reeling with sadness and outrage, as we are left to defend our children and loved ones from the ignorant hate-mongering that abounds on social media and the news right now.

Add to all this stress two children with the flu and one mommy with a very high fever, a massive sinus infection, and what sounds like an emphysemic cough, and you can see why this Christmas season has been a little lackluster for me.

A funny thing has happened, though...

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Newtown Tragedy and Asperger's Syndrome

The tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday is just unfathomable.  I get a lump in my throat and my eyes burn with tears just thinking about it.  How are those folks in Newtown, Connecticut even breathing today?

The Newtown Fire Dept flag at half mast, courtesy of

How will I breathe when I go back to work?  This week, when I walk into the elementary school at which I work, will it look different to me?  Will I be able to look at the faces of the children I see and greet and hug every day, and be able to hold myself together?  Will I be able to reassure these children that they are safe-- and really mean it?  Will I break down when I'm unable to stop the thoughts that this shooting could have happened at my school?  To my kids?

I'm sure I'll do whatever needs to be done, just as my co-workers will.  But no matter what happens, being at work won't feel safe again for a long, long time.

So many things about this tragedy are beyond comprehension.  No one, except for the shooter, can ever really know what would lead a person down a path that would end in massacring children.  Doctors, neighbors, teachers, school counselors, and news anchors can spend countless hours speculating about the mental state of Adam Lanza, but only Adam could have told you why he did what he did.  I have listened to many of the details given about this young man whom, by all accounts, no one really knew, yet about whom everyone seems to have plenty to say.  Adam Lanza was obviously troubled-- any stranger could discern that from the events on Friday, December 14th-- but that is really all we will ever know for sure.

What troubles me about all the press this young man is receiving, however, is that many in the media are trying to link Adam's murderous rampage to his Asperger's syndrome diagnosis.  Please, please, PLEASE-- could the media just once do their research before treading into waters they don't understand...  While I, and parents like me, are out trying to spread autism awareness, the media continues to muddy the waters of understanding with ill-guided comments and suggestions about the relationship between autism and violence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Paramore, Twilight, and Endearing Sarcasm

Birdie began reading Twilight this weekend.  *collective gasp*  Yeah, I know-- what was I thinking?!

*image courtesy of the

Glad you asked.

What I was thinking was, my eight year-old daughter is going to get half-way through the second chapter of this Twilight book and realize it is a sappy, teenage romance novel.  (Which I totally dug, by the way.  Like, super nutso, I-have-to-get-my-hands-on-the-next-book-as-soon-as-I-finish-this-one dug it.  Not exactly a Twi-mom, but close.  Too close.)  Upon that realization, I was sure-- completely sure, as a matter of fact-- the book would be once again safely tucked away in the box from whence it came.

Weeellllll... yeah, no such luck, folks.  Birdie is completely hooked.  Hooked and racing around the elementary school, making recommendations to every grown-up and older student that she can find.  And as for her own classmates, instead of recommending it to them, she is telling them that "parental guidance is suggested for the content of this novel, which means you should ask your mom if you can read it first."  Go ahead and roll your eyes.  I did.  It seems I have created another raging Twi-hard.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vote for My Buddy... PLEASE!!


Hubby found this cute pet contest in which to enter our Buddy, the star of my Hairbrained Musings' pictures.  It's sponsored by 1-800-PetMeds and it's called PetMeds Next Pet TV Star Contest.  Seems kind of poetic, doesn't it?!  My Buddy (aka Beanz-- I don't think I've ever used his "given name" in my blog), the furry little medical disaster that keeps his veterinarian's BMW payment current, has entered a contest to win a spot on a PetMeds commercial.  That's right, Trainees!  You know, if Buddy could speak, he could probably give user reviews on half the medications distributed by PetMeds!  How awesome would it be if our cute little beast could pay for some of his own damn vet bills by winning this contest?!  He could have all the allergic reactions, and eat all the rare coins and corn cobs he wants!

The picture we submitted that will hopefully bring home the gold medal

So, Trainees, I am asking you-- my dear sweet friends-- to help my Buddy/Beanz win the PetMeds contest.  Wouldn't you just love to see his adorably ugly mug on TV?!  You could tell all your friends how you knew Buddy before he became famous, when he was still just a humble housepet.  I just know you'll help a doggy out by voting...

So here's all you do:

1.  Click on this link:  PetMeds Next Pet TV Star Contest

2.  Vote for Beanz by clicking the "VOTE" button, 'cuz he's totally the cutest pup in the contest.

2.  Share the link with all your friends that appreciate a star-quality pooch when they see one, and have them vote for Beanz, too!

Those three simple steps may be all it takes to change my "Buddy" Beanz from an allergy-ridden, money pit of a pooch, into a TV superstar that can earn his keep around this joint!  You, my friends, could be this dog's ticket from Crazy Train to Gravy Train.  Please, PLEASE-- help my adorable little beast out, and VOTE!!!!  Voting begins tonight (November 29th) at midnight ends on December 14th at 11:59pm.

Oh, and by the way, you can vote once every day of the contest!!  (That's 15 votes for each of ya, if you're doing the math!)

Doggy kisses all around if we score a win!  ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Field Trips Suck... the Life Out of Me

Princess's stress face :(

Me:  Shhh!  *whispering fiercely*  What is the matter, Princess?!  Why are you yelling?!

P:  *sounds of something plastic having the life beat out of it*  My alarm clock. ISN'T! WORRR-KINNNNG!!!  IT STILL HASN'T RUNG! *hysterical sobbing*

Me:  Honey, it's only 5:00 a.m.  It's not supposed to ring for another hour.  Nothing is broken.

P:  Oh...  Are you sure?!  If we are late to school, they will leave me behind AND I WON'T GET TO GO ON THE FIELD TRIP!! *sobbing again*

Of course.  The "Field Trip Freak Out" is happening.  Again.  I was hoping we were going to avoid the field trip anxiety this year.

Me:  Shhhh!  You will get there on time-- I promise.  Please try to go back to sleep.

Field trips are a living nightmare for lots of spectrum-y kids, my Princess included.  Where most kids are bursting at the seams with excitement about what adventures a field trip day may have in store, the spectrum-y kid is tallying up all the ways that the day could go horribly wrong.  A field trip is a day chock-full of the unknown, and for kids with autism, that's worse than punishment.  On field trip day, the regular school activities, the surroundings, the seating arrangement, the bus ride, the lunch schedule, the grown-up in charge, the bag in which lunch is carried-- all these things are mostly likely different.  Ummmm-- can you say "not good"?!    For a kid that poops at the same time and place every day, a kid who can't find her milk glass at the dinner table if you set it in a different spot by her plate, a kid who gets angry if she outgrows clothes without being warned that the outgrowing might happen soon-- for that kid, this many changes in one day is enough to induce a full-blown panic attack!