Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Amazing Summer

For kids and families with autism summer can be a hard time because of the change of routine and lack of structure.  As the summer is coming to a close and we are getting ready to go back to school, I have to say I think we conquered this summer with gusto.  My kids were great, and we had a fantastic summer.  Of course autism always has it’s moments and sometimes runs the show more than I would like but all in all I think we did well.

The Adventures of Franklin and Jackson and the Summer of ‘11
  • Franklin was in Surf Camp thanks to Surfers Healing and rode some waves
  • Jackson is officially reciting the Alphabet
  • We swim and giggle everyday
  • Franklin learned to swim alone with no floating devices
  • Franklin dresses himself independently
  • Franklin is participating and loving going to Jiu Jitsu
  • Jackson is doing puzzles by himself
  • Everynight we have Shake-o-rama dance party after Dora and Diego Marathons
  • Both boys watch hours of Backyardigans and dance to the music
  • Jackson says "Happy Birthday" when prompted at birthday parties

I am not saying our summer was without strife or stress, because of course it was.  This crap ass economy, trying to find a job, keep a house clean, keep kids and a husband all happy and content while staying sane was pretty much accomplished (even when it seemed like it wasn’t accomplished).  These boys have so much to overcome to crack away at the Autism shell that encapsulates them, and they work hard and they are happy.  There were days when I would have wanted to throw in the towel, but if I look at the big picture of this summer, I am a happy proud mom strutting around her yard like a peacock at how this amazing summer took them so far.


Monday, August 29, 2011

They Walk Amongst Us

When I say “They”, I mean the Asshats.   According to Urbandictionary.com  an asshat is a person who has their head shoved up their ass, wearing it as a hat, therefore making them an asshat.  It maybe just that I was hormonal, but I’m fairly certain that hormonal or not, there are a lot of asshats and it’s hard to pick them out because they walk amongst us.  Who was the asshat in your week?

This past week I particularly irritated with several groups so I have decided to call them out for being asshats.

The Social Worker who evaluated my son for extra services – ASSHAT – LARGE, “He looks to cute to have Autism” – really lady- I wasn’t sure Autism had a look.   She’s the educated professional, and I’m the dumbass that didn’t go to college and that is what she got for tens of thousands of dollars in student loans?  I’m glad I saved my parents that humiliation.

The idiot neighbor on my street that thinks coming around the corner screeching 40 miles an hour is okay.

Some of the blog posters on the online paper I write for, just your pompous and arrogance alone make you asshats.  Just because you have a bigger vocabulary than some of us doesn’t mean you aren’t hopelessly misguided.

Those of you that drive and text ASSHATS.  If you want to kill yourself on the road, please go drive off a cliff or into a wall but stay the hell out of my lane and my car with my children in it.  What you have to say in your world may be earth shattering and ground breaking but it's not more important than the rest of us on the roads life.  Get over yourselves.

The IT guy at my work, another asshat. Perhaps if you didn’t smell like weed all day, after one week of working I’d have an e-mail address where I could more effectively do my job.

My lovely neighbor that called the police on me thinking that the therapists/behaviorist that are here for therapy for my kids everyday for the last 2 years are call girls and I’m running a brothel out of my house.  You are just sad in so many ways, I don’t know what to say.

Done with my vent.  Have a nice day!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Alrighty!  I took a week off, sick kiddos, sick hubby, sore foot.  I did 3 - 4 walks with the kids, nothing crazy.  Well Sunday came this week, and I ran, and I ran far, and I ran fast.  Monday came, I ran far and slow, Tuesday came and I walked fast and far, Wednesday I ran at a decent pace pushing 70lbs of stroller and kid.  I got a Nike + Sensor, but haven't figured out how to log my runs, the Nike website sort of sucks.

I felt amazing, why do I not do this stuff.  While I was at Jiu Jitsu sitting in the back with my kids having temper tantrum, I did an ab workout with the Medicine Ball.  Holy Moly my abs need some work, seriously work a lot of it, now, and always.

Clean eating this week, I have planned and worked on everything I'm eating this week.  It feels so much better to do that.  Why I don't continually do it, I will never figure out.

Still running a mud run on September 10, still planning on the the 1/2 marathon in January.  I'm a running mom and I don't think you can stop me.

I loved my runs this week, they take me away from the autism, they take me away from the financial strains, they make me plan good healthy meals for myself and family,  they make me want to be a better mom.  I feel like I gain some mental strength when I'm out on the road running. I took my friend Lisa's advice and when I run I got to "Lotto Land", and I play what would I do if I won the Lotto, wow I have awesome plans so we better win soon. Even though things are shitty right now and I may run at a snails pace some days I feel so much better after I finish, than not going at all.

Well I guess it's all about making progress and in my fitness and health I'm making the progress.  I hit the 80 lb. weight loss mark this week, and nothing is stopping me now.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Nerve of Some People

I almost bit my tongue off today, keeping my thoughts about a woman to myself today.   She goes to a FREE social skills play group that is generously put on by a therapy company once a month for children with Autism.  If you are familiar with Autism then you know the waiting list to get into a real social skills class or group is months long and very very expensive.

So back in February when Wellspring started doing this free social skills class with a lot of their therapist in attendance to assist the kids with interacting and socializing with other autistic kids, I was all for it and was happy, because Franklin can use all the help he can get in that area.  Now this is not a free babysitting opportunity, parents stay, and frankly I keep an eye on my kid and when I see he is wandering away from the group I assist in leading him back to the pack.  It is also an opportunity for me to learn new and different ways to teach my kids how to interact with each other, and with other kids.  It's just a great thing that they put on and I'm happy to be a part of it.  A lot of other moms that I know attend and I've met some good families through it, and it is so good to see families with a common thread with the kids being social and happy.

Now comes the part where I get pissed at a mom.  Last month an email went out from the company saying they had to limit attendance.  So I went back on the invitation site to read the comments.   Well this ridiculous idiot said she thought there were too many kids and not enough staff to help supervise the children, so the owner of the company shut down attendance.  SERIOUSLY????  I have watched this woman for months sit on a bench in this park and her kid runs wild, it is hard to engage children with autism and I understand that completely. But I get my fat ass off of the stupid bench and I help my kid play with others I'm not far from him and I'm helping this amazing company that is basically giving my child and invaluable service for FREE!!!

Well today we ventured out to this months social skills group.  The park that this is held at has a small water feature.  A little fountain that squirts water out of the ground, it has been there the many many months we have been having social skills at this particular park.  You have to be blind and deaf to not know that part of the playground could have your child encountering water.   So this idiot mother today starts chewing ass on one of the supervisors because today there was going to be water balloons and squirt guns, like there was last month (which she killed attendance on because of her bitching about supervision).   So the therapist had water balloons, water guns and grouchy lame selfish mother can't believe no one told her that there would be a chance they might get wet.    Wait, seriously lady..... there is a WATER FOUNTAIN in the middle of the damn play ground, you should have the common sense that God gave a billy goat to bring a towel or a change of clothes to this park because it is absolutely going to happen that your child may get splashed with water.  I mean it's the middle of August in Southern California, it's not like anyone is going to get a chill if they get a little damp.  AAAHHHHH.  I wanted to scream at her - YOU ARE GOING TO RUIN THIS FOR EVERYONE IF YOU KEEP UP WITH YOUR LAZY NO GOOD ATTITUDE WITH THIS COMPANY.

I had to walk away because I really have nothing nice to say to her.  She is going to make it something that the owner of Wellspring is not going to want to do anymore.  I am so grateful when people do things for our kids.  Our Jiu-Jitsu class, Surfers Healing, Wellspring Social Skills, all selfless acts of kindness from people that are trying to make the lives of children and families affected by autism easier and nice.  The kids little lives are hard enough with all the neurological bullshit that they have to overcome.  When beautiful opportunities are freely handed to us to participate in, go and help your children enjoy, learn and grow.  Do not bitch that free things are not to your liking.  

My suggestion to this ogre of a mother is to put herself on a waiting list and pay for a social skills group, then bitch at them all you want.  But please, for the love of God, stop  stop stop bitching openly about an amazing group that so many kids are benefiting from because you are lazy and don't want to help your kid participate and aren't smart enough to know to pack an extra set of clothes when there is a water park at the play site.

I feel for moms with autism I truly truly do.  I would never attack a mom of a special needs kids, but this woman pushed me over the brink today.  This class would easily cost $150, after a six month waiting period, and we get to go once a month for free and Franklin and so many of the other kids that go love it I would hate to see one sour grape ruin it for the whole bunch of us.  Because if that does happen I will not be able to hold my tongue and I will tell this ungrateful human what I truly think of her.  I just do not and will not understand people that have no gratitude in their life.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

That old Bastard,

I made it this morning.  The effort, the clean eating, the energy to get out on my run this morning.  I took my two dogs and off we went.  I walked for 5 minutes to get myself rolling, I stretched at my neighborhood park and off I went.  I was going to kick this runs ass and get over the autism blow I was served this week.

My neighborhood is hilly and there are some real butt burning hills that sometimes I avoid and most of the time I walk up the bigger hills.  Well the largest hill Camalote St. after running up Vista Del Lago I thought I can take this today, I feel the need to kick some ass.  So slowly I took on the beast of a hill and I made it!!!  I didn't go into respiratory arrest or pass out at the top.   However,  there was an older gentleman standing under a tree at the top of the hill with his dog, and he waves me down as I get to thte top to say "WOW!  I'm impressed a girl of your size could run up a hill like that.",  Well gee thanks you old codger.

I was feeling pretty svelte and in shape this morning until that old bastard took the wind out of my sails.  But I did get a good laugh at him.  Kids and old people have a no bull - s_it filter and they say it as they see it. 

So as I got my 3 miles in with a craptastic time, I felt good that I got it done and didn't make an excuse not to go.  I always feel better after the sweat starts pouring no matter how much I don't want to do it.   But I am coming to grips that I really am not that great of a runner, I need to probably work with someone I don't breath right, I am sure I could do better than I do, but it's my thing to do alone and I'm doing the best that I can.

As Scarlett O'Hara said "Tomorrow is another day", I will run again and get a better time.   And with my new kicks I got I feel I can run farther and faster!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Picking up the puzzle pieces

When my oldest son Franklin was diagnosed with Autism a little over 2 years ago, it felt for a few weeks (probably still does) that I was kicked in the gut and the wind was knocked out of me and my husband.  You get your bearings back and start to plow through the fields of minutia that are required to advocate for your child.

Our family is considered an "at risk" family for Autism so my youngest son started his evaluations at about a year old.  When he was not talking and babbling regularly at 18 months therapy was ordered for him just like it was for Franklin when he was 2 years old.    Jackson the youngest has been get 12 hours a week of ABA therapy and speech and has made some improvements but not quite the strides we all would have liked.  So after a 3 month wait for an appointment at the pediatric neurologist Jackson received a diagnosis for Autism as well.    WHAT THE FUCK!!!!

I realize the diagnosis helps my kids get much needed school services and additional therapies that will do nothing but help them.   That stuff I am grateful for and am glad the services are available.  But my mind goes to the bigger picture and I look at their lives long term and how hard they are going to have it growing up, and frankly it pisses me off.

I went through the I must be a shitty mom because I obviously am not teaching them something as infants that they need and blah blah blah bullshit.  I had a friend of mine tell me once when Jackson was getting speech therapy,  why don't you just talk to him, it can't be that hard to get them to talk to you.  I wanted to die, but ignorance is bliss and she lives a very blissful life.

These are not the dreams I had for my kids, this isn't the life I wanted for them,  I will fight, and advocate, and cuss, and cry and laugh and be amazed at the strides they make everyday.  And sometimes I won't want to hear about how your kids are doing and about soccer, and baseball and birthday parties and vacations.  Those are things that are so challenging for children with Autism and I'm aggravated and I feel my kids are cheated.  But I will work and make sure that these kids have the best life that is possible for them.

So for the last two days I have been quietly in tears and organizing Jacksons life and therapies and services making sure that he gets all he needs.  I have eaten like crap, not done a lick of exercise, drank a lot of margaritas.  The pity party stops here  and I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, and be the mommy that these boys need.  Taking care of myself is more important than ever now.  I need to make sure that I am here for these kiddos for as long as possible and I need to keep my body and my mind sharp and fresh.  

I will get back on the road running tomorrow morning, getting ready for more races, the running clears my head,  I can cry in peace, and even if I have a crappy run I still feel good at about when I'm done.  My boys need to see a happy mom and I need to get my sweat on regularly to keep my attitude and actions healthy.  So today no more crying, no more whining, no more margaritas, no more junk food, and I'm getting that sweat on no matter what.   The other options do not help the kids at all.  So for the kids I will run and work and eat right and advocate, and help them be the most productive people they are able to be.  I am now a Real Mom of 2 boys with Autism, and we're running with it.