Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So long 2013

You know you are getting older when the year disappears faster than Miley Cyrus's underwear. Seriously I do not know how time moved so fast between sitting on Jen's couch on New Year's Eve to driving to Florida for Thanksgiving. Let alone how fast Jolly St. Nick sent his free-loading elf to visit.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Joy's 2013 wrap up

Joy has invited all of us to join her in wrapping up the year that was. She even provided the prompts, because she is so sweet and helpful.

Joy @ i can say mama: 2013 Wrap up


Friday, December 27, 2013

A year of thankful

I haven't played with Lizzi in a while. Not that I haven't been thankful, just been to busy to give Thanks. I am sure I'm not the only one! To suck up show how thankful I am here I am breaking the rules (go figure) and doing 12 things of thankful. One for every month of 2013 I survived. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

I was thinking of ways I can add more tradition to our Christmas. Not make is to much about the Elf. My friend Joy is from Germany and of course follows that Country's traditions. Which, by the way do not include putting a pickle in your tree. So I thought let’s look at Ireland. But messed up and hit the link for Italy. Now, I know my mind is warped, but this struck me as beyond funny:

Monday, December 23, 2013

We are still okay...

Boo has had to undergo neurological/psychiatric testing over the past two weeks. There hasn't been any issues, other than her turning five. In our state (for insurance purposes, I believe) once you turn the ripe old age of five you are no longer allowed to be undiagnosed and/or globally delayed.

Boo had to go twice, for two hours each day, to meet with a psychologist for a battery of tests. (I think battery is a strong word, she didn't hurt Boo). The tests varied from intelligence/cognitive testing to behavioral/autism to play skills. Part of me wanted Boo to bomb the testing, securing her services. The good mom in me wanted her to excel.

Typical Boo she did a little of both and managed to frustrate the doctor. I wish I could have Kristi's artistic talent to demonstrate the following (I tried, I failed, I didn't want to hurt your eyes):

Doctor: Boo stack the blocks like this (imagine, two next to each other and one on top)
Boo: (hands the doctor the blocks after banging them for a minute)

Doctor: Can Boo climb onto and out of an adult chair?
Boo: Moves said chair next to exam table, proceeds to climb on top of chair, to table, to window sill in an attempt to get out of the room. We happen to be on the 10th floor and very thankful the windows don't open.

I'm impressed that Boo realized she had to do something with both the blocks and the chair. The doctor is distressed that she cannot follow direction.

At the end of the two days the doctor asked us if we had any questions. I ask her how she feels Boo did. She had previously thrown out words: autism, PPD-NOS, mentally disabled, intellectually disabled, ADHD and a bunch of other terms. Her response:

I have to score the tests.

Hm...now those that know me know that I tend not to be brushed off. I (politely, I swear) reminded the woman that she was an experienced professional who must have some instinct to how Boo had tested.

After a moment or two she told us that she honestly didn't know. That she wanted to show the test results and video to not only Boo's neurologist (whom I adore and trust) along with other colleagues. How Boo performed was baffling:

She shows signs of Autism: Will not look the doctor in the eye.

She shows signs that a child with Autism wont: She told the doctor to "look" and sought her attention.

Autism: Hand flapping, quickly distracted, would not follow directions, toe walking
Not: Social, engaging with materials, attempts to please, would put heals down when prompted by cue

Autism: lack of safety awareness
Not: asked for help when trying to get down off the exam table


Intellectually disabled: Cannot copy a "t" on the paper
Not intellectually disabled: can hold a pencil in the correct grasp

ID: Cannot follow a two-step direction
Not: Knew she needed a pencil to draw on paper

ID: Poor motor planning
Not: Pushed chair to get to top of exam table

The examples go on and on. In the end the doctor said at this point Boo is a Medical Enigma.

Where have I heard that before?


She will convene a team (about damn time) to look over everything. She agrees (as do neurology and genetics) that whatever is going on is neurological in origin. In the end it doesn't really matter what "term" they give Boo. I think Bridgetitis is a lovely term. We will continue to advocate, get therapies that work and love her the same with or without a medical diagnosis.

At five years old, she remains undiagnosed and we are still okay with that.




Friday, December 20, 2013

Best party of the year

Not to insult my other friends, but each year there is one party that I look forward to more than any other. The Sirens Christmas Party. While I see a lot of the woman throughout the year, this is the only night where all of the fire department wives leave the brave fire fighters home with the sugared up lovely children and have a night out with wine, food, laughter and a Yankee Swap.

There are only two rules to our annual party: you have to be over 21 and you have to have some relationship to someone on the fire department at one point in your life. Oh and if you can bring a bottle of wine rule number 2 is easily forgotten!


Not all the wives make it every year, I believe this was one of the quieter years. However the veterans, we know this is the one party you want to attend. I know what you are thinking, a Yankee swap? Those are so boring or you end up with crap. But that is only if you don't follow the rules:


1. Only invite one person who will bring a crap gift (aka a candle), all other guests must be reliable to bring something one or more people will want to have in their home.
2. Count the number of people at the party (do this before the wine is open, trust me on this one).
3. Put numbers on tiny bits of paper and place in a hat/bowl/shoe.
4. Have everyone pick a number without looking at it, knowing that the host will probably end up with the first number or the last (this is important information, I hope you are paying attention)
5. You begin to pick gifts in the order of your number. So, number 1 you go first.
6. From that point on you either steal a persons gift (please do) or open an unwrapped one. This continues on until the last unwrapped gift is open. Then person #1
7. You can only steal an item once, so if you really want that chatski you have to begin to create an alliance. This is where the real fun begins.

For example, you really had the perfect gift and your arch nemeses stole it. You are no unable to resteal. BUT you have an alliance with 3 or more people. You have some one else steal for you, you then steal what they want. Working together, you make sure that you go home with the gift you want and not the buddah butter that Kate got stuck with!

In past years our swap has included: lobster, anything fire department related (yes, we are fools), beautiful jewelry, alcohol (the more children we have the less sought after this one is), home d├ęcor you would actually hang in your house and the ugliest nutcracker you have ever seen that has a stipulation that you have to bring it back the following year.

In our case, the Swap lasted just over 2 hours. We have had epic ones that lasted over three. Last night, one woman almost peed her pants, one fell off a chair and there was much shenanigans to make sure you didn't end up with the scratch tickets. Especially after they were all losers!

Happy Holiday Parties everyone, don't shudder at the thought of having a Yankee Swap. Just remember the rules: Wine, Friends and only one crap gift allowed! 


My fellow Sirens, I will see you next December. I am already on the look out for my contribution!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Move along Fat Man

Boo is not fond of Santa Claus. This year is a slight improvement over last year when every time she saw his picture she cried "I NO LIKE". At least now she will say her approximation of Santa Claus (anta) or call him ismiss. This past weekend our Church's youth group put on a Pancake with Santa event. Boo loves her pancakes and had been good not too bad didn't get thrown out of Mass (although the woman in the next to us was decidedly having un-Christian like thoughts about us).

How could this go wrong? All I had to do was take the girls into the hall and eat pancakes. We didn't have to go near Santa. Right? We are nicely eating our pancakes, Abby leaves for CCD and the it happened.


Now I ask you, those out there that are of sound mind and not those crazy ones that play with the Elf.....if you see a child sitting down showing absolutely NO interest in you, as you sit on your throne would you get up off the throne and walk over to them?

Would you continue to walk towards them as the child cowered and then tried to dive back into the womb? Would you then say, "Oh is she shy"?

I replied, "No she is terrified. Thank you (I do have some manners) but please move along".

He did and then continued to come back to our table (we were the only ones at this table). Not once, not twice but trice. Finally I gently asked had enough gave him the stare I use on Abby in Mass.  



Move along, fat man. Move along my look said. 

I told Abby this story after CCD. I thought I would have her support. After all she is always looking out for Boo. Her analysis:

Boo is NEVER getting on the good list.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CHRISTMAS!!!

This week is dealer's choice in the mix lounge. Since last time I took that literally, Jen was quite clear: MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MIX TAPE.

Boo loves Christmas music. It kind of strange really. But she can tell the difference between Christmas music and regular music. Thank goodness there is a radio station that has been playing Christmas music 24/7. The minute we hit the car I hear "more music". If it is anything but Christmas, she shouts "ismass".

I'm quite proud.


Since I am one of those freaks who hate Christmas shopping but loves the music this has not been an issue. I foresee the issue on December 26th when we enter the car and there is no 'more'.

Yet with playing the music 24/7 via Pandora and all Christmas all the time radio there are some songs that are just not played enough.




I don't know what it is about a Hippo for Christmas. It is Abby's favorite song and it hasn't been played once!!!!



I love this song by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. The harmony is simply beautiful.




This song, this ONE song I remember being Abby's age and this was my all-time favorite. There have been many renditions but no one beats Mr. Crosby.






Speaking of Mr. Crosby....What I love about this song is that Ziggy Stardust was on a television show with an icon. Who would have ever thought they would make such beautiful music? An icon did, that's who. By the way, I haven't heard this song ONCE this year.




I love Dan Fogelberg. His music was so beautiful and this song, well it speaks to how at this time of year you remember those who impacted your life.


Boo loves this song. Do you call a song a song when it doesn't have any words? Anyway, I think she likes it precisely because there are no words. The music itself transports her to a place of joy.

This list could be 100 songs long, so I will stop now! Thanks Jen for making me follow the rules.






Monday, December 16, 2013

I hate the Elf

Who thought up this freaking elf and decided to let Abby in on the awesomeness? I'd like to buy you an nice icicle up the butt. I blame the public school system and totally get why Sylvia homeschools.

What is up with all of you fools that play pranks with the elf? I have no idea what you are thinking! The Elf is here to make sure the kids behave. Why are you messing up your house, your kitchen? Why should the kids behave if the freaking elf doesn't?

I'm so confused.

I'm also in need of the name of whatever fool told Abby that if she wrote to the elf he would write back. EVERY FREAKING NIGHT! It's bad enough that I wake up in a cold sweat at 3am because I forgot to move the freaking thing. But to have to write a note on top of it all?

At 3 freaking AM?


Isn't there enough work in Santa's toy shop for the elves? Does he really need to outsource the naughty list to multiple elves?

Speaking of Santa. Since he is supposed to have brought the Elf to our house, why is it on a display right when you walk into the store? Thankfully my friend A had a quick response for that one:

Santa lets the store sell Elves you can touch so you won't touch the one he sent you.

Guess what Abby wants now? I told her that Max would be jealous if she brought in another elf. She bought it thank the Good Lord. Then she saw the made in China tag this fool forgot to cut off his butt.

I told her she had a Chinese elf. Just like she has a Chinese grandfather. She thinks she has his eyes so it's all good.

The grandfather's eyes, not the elf's.


Abby asked where Boo's elf was. I'm like uh? Apparently since Max arrived when Abby turned 5 she expected one to show up for Boo. I would like to buy an icicle up the butt for whatever parent bought their kids more than one elf! Are you not busy enough? Do you not have enough to worry about that you decided to complicate matters!  I told Abby that Santa knew her elf was smart enough to watch over both of them. She turned to Max and said:
 
Please don't report on Boo. She won't get any presents.



Great, now my kid is telling her elf to lie to Santa. I hate that Elf.





Friday, December 13, 2013

This holiday season I will...

This holiday season I will not be Clark Griswold. Seriously I have issues people. I want everything to be freaking perfect. I want the house decorated, the cookies made, the gifts wrapped and well bought.

I want peace, love and freaking harmony.

I want my Christmas cards done and mailed. Yes, I have done cards in the past and found them in the trunk in February.

I do not want to be in three months of debt for five minutes of present unwrapping.

So far I am having a pretty good start to the season.

My brother and I have donated to a charity rather than buying one another gifts.

I have ordered and addressed Christmas cards. I may mail them.

David is working overtime so I may keep that debt down.

Boo still hates Santa so I can say that she is on the naughty list and that's why she doesn't have anything to open (okay, not really).

The Christmas tree was only up a week this year before we got around to putting the ornaments on. The angel is still sitting next to it.

So this holiday season I will remember that Clark had a great vision: wanting to give his family the "Hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny (freaking) Kaye".

And I am okay with that!





Finish the Sentence Friday

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I stalk Stephanie Sprenger

Last New Year's Eve my friend Jenn and I were sitting in front of her fireplace trying to warm freezing our butts. She had an epiphany: Let's go someplace warm next Thanksgiving.

I learned long ago to listen when Jenn says...to do anything she tells you. Last week we drove from New England to Cape Coral, Florida for Thanksgiving.  Other than Abby puking in Jersey the drive was really uneventful. Easy even.

We drove through the night, stopping in Jacksonville FLA the next evening. We stayed at the Hyatt along the river front. It was quite beautiful but packed due to a conference. In the elevator (because we are rude and nosy) we listened to as the 20 odd people crammed in with us talked about music therapy.

Turns out we dropped right into a conference for Music Therapist. There were thousands of them. Stephanie at Mommy for Real happens to be a music therapist. I missed Blog-Her but she must be here, right? Right? I began stalking the hallways, the bar, the roof top pool. But no Stephanie.

Of course we found the one Irish bar within walking distance. She wasn't there either. But I found wine so it was all good. I also met some great people (in my hunt for Stephanie) because after a glass of wine and 20-odd hours in the car I am no longer shy. As we were the only ones in the bar that were not part of the conference we kind of stood out.

David started asking questions and telling them about Boo. They were so helpful, giving us websites in our area to check out.

While I never did find Stephanie I may have found one other way for Boo to spend her afternoons!



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I messed up...

I messed up the mix-tape. Again. Surprised? I had a great post about Christmas music. On my list I had a hippopotamus, a donkey and Adam Sandler. Then I read a tweet from Jen and realized I missed posting last week. So I scrapped my list and started over, hence the really rushed mix-tape: Addiction.

I could take the easy Robert Palmer way out but I am up to the challenge! Here are the songs that say I am addicted to you:



I was thinking if some one was actually stuck on me. Ewwww.



He was so brutally handsome she got addicted to the fast lane?




Look if Kenny was addicted to me, I would come over. Like RIGHT NOW.




Sir Elton knows plenty about addiction!

How about you, what song says you are addicted to love? Join me over at Jen's and link-up your mix tape.







Monday, December 9, 2013

27

Last New Year's Eve we were freezing our asses off in front of her fire place. She had this brilliant idea to go someplace warm for Thanksgiving. Eleven months later we were on our way. She was smart and flew down. Us? Well we were cheap.

Driving 27 hours in a car with your husband and two children leaves you 27 hours to amuse yourself with random thoughts and would be tweets if only I was talented enough to tweet and drive at the same time.

Hour 1 wow the girls are being so excellent. Why the hell did we pack so much crap?



Hour 2 no it is not time for a snack (husband)

Hour 3 thank goodness for rechargeable batteries and this doohickey thing that lets you recharge anything while driving



Hour 4 husband and girls asleep, I have control of the radio and not one person is talking to me

Hour 5 If Connecticut is in New England and therefore obligated to be a Boston sports fan why am I listening to the NY Rangers hockey game and not the Bruins?

Hour 6 New York  drivers are fruitcakes.

Hour 7 Dude from Maryland, when entering the NJ Turnpike and the sign says DO NOT SLOW DOWN you are not supposed to come to a complete stop in the EZ pass lane.

Hour 8 Suri, How long is the New Jersey turnpike? (FYI 122.4 miles)

Hour 9 Boo wakes up because we stopped for gas. Abby wakes up because she needs to throw up. I guess NJ will do that to you.

Hour 10 Apparently Delaware has decided to balance their budget by having a toll every 50 feet

Hour 11 Maryland has a specific area on I-95 for DUI enforcement. But you can drive anywhere else on 95 drunk?

Hour 12 Virginia's answer to unemployment is to hire State Troopers and place them every 50 feet.

Hour 13(3 am)  Holy crap I'm tired

Hour 14 - 16 sleeping as comfortably as you can in the front seat

Hour 17 wake up because Abby kicked me in the head

Hour 18 New York drivers in North Carolina are still fruitcakes

Hour 19 The Border does close. In South Carolina anyway. When you drive through the night and arrive at 7am. After seeing their signs every 2.2 miles for the last 50 this was kind of a disappointment.




Hour 20 How can the battery in the IPAD, IPOD, DVD Player and the IPHONE all need charging at the same time?



Hour 21 They should make turn signals optional in cars. Since no one seems to use them think of the money they would save.

Hour 22 I owe my mother a debt of gratitude for giving Boo head phones for her birthday. They were such a great idea we got Abby a pair too.



Hour 23 If you have to have a sign that says Bridge Ices Before Highway can you please have a sign that says "Hey you, the one trying to exit the highway from the left lane there is a turn signal on your steering wheel".

Hour 24 Dinner!



Hour 25 I just realized that no one has asked "are we there yet"

Hour 26 We are so close....

Hour 27 how many red lights are there in freaking Florida?

The end of hour 27 we made it! Welcome to Cape Coral

 


 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Easier?

Having Abby and Boo gives me a split view of the world. I am Abby's mom--that typical mom doing homework, planning activities and navigating the world of tweendom. I am also Boo's mom--therapy planning, advocating, educating others and most times trying to do my very best.

Being a mom of two completely different children has allowed me to realize that being a 'special' mom is sometimes easier than being a typical one. For example,  this morning with Boo I didn't have to:

  • Deal with eye rolls
  • Have wardrobe fights in the morning
  • Listen to her talk back
  • Tell her to clean her room
  • Get her to understand that clearing the table doesn't mean just dumping the table contents onto the nearest counter
  • And tonight I don't have to help Boo do homework

Of course, I also didn't have help her in the bathroom.