Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Craptastic Attitude cured by a craptastic run

This morning I did not want to go out on a run even a little bit, and even less did I want to go into a gym and see actual people. I wanted to get back in bed and just sleep and or feel craptastic.  Seemed like a good thing to want at the time.  But I put my running clothes on, ate a little breakfast, and figured at least the fresh air and sunshine would do me some good.

Perfect temperature and the sun wasn't too bright, so off I went, with the guilt that I didn't take my dogs this time.  You see we have been having these kick ass autism weeks where Franklin is making huge strides in his behavior and potty training is coming a long, he is sleeping much better, eating a little bit more (which is still not much), but he's actually eating so that is good.  He goes to school and is hitting some benchmark goals, things are moving FORWARD, and that was just elating me.  I get elated over little things like Franklin figuring out that tokens are what make the games work at Chuck E. Cheese.  I let that carry me for 2 weeks I was so excited that he made the correlation between the two.  It's making that crack in the shell of autism a little larger which thrills me and makes me feel like Rocky and autism is Apollo Creed.  I walk around like a peacock trying to show how awesomesauce my kid is doing.  Jackson is kicking ass in pre-school, and is hitting goals but has some behavior issues and needs work, but his teachers are crazy excited at the progress he's making in just the month he's been there.

I felt that the burden of autism was lifted a little bit recently and I don't know if I got complacent or cocky or neglectful or what it was, but 2 nights in a row we had "poop" incidents, I will spare the true grossness and gory details. It was a disappointment, and at first I was mad at Franklin, and then I was mad at me for being mad at Franklin, and then I hit the wall.  All I will say is we have been working on potty training for about a year, and poop is a nightmare.  I had it where Franklin would finish therapy we'd put a diaper on him and he'd poop and be done, back to underwear.  I have beat myself up over this poop thing for months.  I have sat in the bathroom for HOURS on end to get him to go, made the bathroom the most entertaining place in the house to be, and many other methods to get him to eliminate in the toilet to no avail.  And there are very few that understand this issue, and no one that I really want to go to to ask them how do you get poop out of carpet, hair, baseboards, it is friggin' embarrassing and makes me feel like a freak and failure as a mother.  I don't even feel comfortable going to other autism moms about it since my recent experience with a mom's group recently, some mom's groups clearly are not safe places and a few people in them are mean and mental (but that is another issue completely).

So as I was into my first mile this morning with tears going down my face, I realized that autism is a small torture device for my kids.  I know they don't want to shit themselves and wipe it all over, I know they don't want to NOT talk, I know they don't want to be intensely bothered by loud noises and crowds, I know they don't just want to jump on the bed in their rooms while we are having company over, I know they don't want to wake up at 2am and scream up and down the halls until 6am, I know they don't want to take 2 hours to eat a meal, I know they don't want to itch their skin until it bleeds.  I know all of these things about them, they can't help it, it is the fucking AUTISM that tortures these kids.  It's the autism that tortures families, it's the autism that sucks the life and happiness out of people, it's the autism that I hate and am angry at and that I need to kick the shit out of.

Into my second mile of my run I came to the big realization that since my kids are tortured by autism, I need to help them as much as possible, and even though I am not the best runner, or the fastest, and I fall of the track and don't train right, and have a lot to learn, I need to be a better runner, so I'm a better mother and care taker to them.  I have to be healthy, I have to clear my head, and get stronger so I have the ability to kick the crap out of autism.  And I can not whine because it hurts to run, or I'm bored running or whatever my excuse du jour is, my kids are victimized by autism daily, I can take a little pain, boredom, or crappy weather and just SHUT UP AND RUN.  Take my aggression and anger and sadness out on the road or the track not on my kids, friends or family.

So a new day, a new training schedule and off we go, training for autism and running this OC half marathon in May, for my kids, not for me to show I can do it, but for my kids and only for my kids.  Trudging the road of autism and all that comes with it, the good, the bad, and the poop.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kicking autism in the behind

I absolutely love when my son gets the opportunity to give autism a kick in the groin.  I forget sometimes the struggle that just the small things are for Franklin are to do.  He’s 5 and has no words, the sensory input sometimes is unbearable for him, his eating is compromised because of many issues that we are currently working on, he doesn’t socialize, he doesn’t play with other children, sometimes children don’t want to play with him because he flaps his arms and babbles too much and sometimes still wears a diaper.

I sometimes feel like I just accept that he is delayed in all areas, and miss the big things that he does.  When I say big, they are HUGE to me, something that your typical child does everyday and you may take for granted, or not even notice anymore.

There are a lot of things that we don’t do or can’t do because the sensory input is just too much and it causes a meltdown in my kids.  Either it’s too noisy, too crowded, a new location, or out of routine, any thing different than their normal structure has the ability at times to make Autism hijack my kids and their behavior and have a field day. 

This week a couple hurdles were jumped over that I was so excited about it nearly brought me to doing a cartwheel down the street.  We went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and last year we went there and didn’t even make it through the door, the noise and chaos was more than his system could take.  I tried it again this week and we made it in the door, he sat on my lap for about 20 minutes with his fingers in his ears, ate his snack, went and sat with the other kids, and shockingly took my hand and led me to the play area.  That was the cool part, but the thing that was so amazing was that he figured out that the TOKENS were what operated the games and rides.  He knew they were in my pocket and put my hand in my pocket to get them out, and put them in the game he wanted to play.  If I could only tell you how ridiculously enormous of a generalization and what a big deal this was for him and me.  

It showed me that there is a lot more going on in him that I thought, he understands things that I don’t give him credit for.  He knows more than I think.  Because he doesn’t speak I have to figure out on my own what he does and doesn’t know, and I am learning this week that he is much more intuitive that I acknowledge.  Things are changing and that is exciting.

Mommy needs to let go of the reigns a little and let the boy expand his wings.  I heard the expression about kids with special needs and autism that they have a “learned helplessness”.  Basically, it’s me that is teaching him to be helpless, and I’m not trying to do that, but I want to do things quickly, so I do dress him, I do brush the teeth, pick up the toys, and more things that I can do on his own, I just do it because it is much faster than if I wait for him to do it.

I am going to not always be so rushed, I need to help him grow and crush the shell of autism that his him captured.  We chip away at the shell constantly but he is making such big strides right now, I need to do what I can to help him, and that is going to mean making him do more for himself.  Be the 5 year old he is.  It is not too much to expect him to carry his own backpack in the house and hang it on a hook.  He does it at school, why not at home???  Mommy can’t be the safety net anymore because I know he knows how to and that he is ABLE to it.  He has more abilities than I am aware of, and I don’t want to do my little guys a disservice by doing to much, but I also don’t want to be neglecting their needs.  It’s a fine line of mommy guilt I will be walking but I will have to put my big girl pants on even though it will be tough and let him do what he is able in the time it takes.  I can put on his shoes in 30 seconds, it will take him 5 minutes to do it alone, but he CAN do it and I need to let him.

So take that autism, we will continue to junk punch you and get our kids out of your tight grip!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just Do It - AGAIN

Last week as I was chasing my 3 year old because he has the tendency to throw electronic devices, such as toys, cell phones, remote controls into water, like the toilet, the dog bowl, swimming pool and bath tub.   I had just gotten him out of the tub put his jammies on and was getting ready to get the 5 year old out of the tub.  I was standing at the sink in the kitchen and Jackson grabbed the new Ipad and ran and said "bath".  So off I went like a bat out of hell chasing him in my socks on hardwood floor.  So needless to say I went flying around the corner and slipped and fell.  1 inch gash over my eye that required stitches and a huge shiner.  I was proud to say I had made it 43 years without getting one.  I know right now there are a few people that would like to give me one, but I could take 'em.

So note to self, keep electronics out of reach of toddlers or wear shoes in the house. 

The following day, I went to the gym to get my sweat on and flippin' fell off the treadmill.  I was more embarrassed than hurt, so I thought.  Knee is still swollen and after consultation with the doc, I need to stay off of the running for a couple of weeks, so it knocks me out of this Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon I was planning on for the last several months.   I was bummed and angry at myself, because I didn't really train hard over the holidays and was kicking into gear the last 10 days, a little self sabotage.  I guess it's fine, I will get back on track, and train for the Rock n' Roll 1/2 in Pasadena at the end of February and the OC Marathon to run with Train 4 Autism.   The races will be there, I haven't stopped running, I just did a little indulgent and lazy over the holidays, didn't train like I should have and then when I really needed to get cracking and did the last 2 weeks, I hurt myself.  So I am learning to be a runner, and consistently train not just because I feel like it.  Make a plan stick to it.  I have worked really hard to get to this point with weight I've lost and just running in general, I will not throw in the towel. 

I am really enjoying going to the gym and working out and taking classes, I haven't done that in YEARS.  So I am the newbie at the gym again and liking it.  I realized where I need to work on my fitness and to run the miles I want to run I really do  need to be quite stronger, so training in a different way is what I am researching so I can really rock my first big race.

Thanks again to all the running moms that rock the trails before me to follow in your tracks.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Daddy don't do bedtime

My husband works Monday thru Friday from 12pm – 9pm sometimes when they offer overtime he is at work from 9am – 9pm, which lately has been very often (thank goodness).  We are blessed to have the work and the overtime in these trying times for most.

However, daddy does not understand the importance of bedtime routine on the weekends.  Mommy runs a much tighter ship during the week to get 2 autistic pre-schoolers to bed.  In the autism family ritual and routine are very important to keep the domestic home front in bliss.

With all of this said, I need you all to know that if I ever win the LOTTO or MONEY BALL, the first purchase I am making is to get my husband a HEARING AIDE.  He spent many years in high rise construction, and flat out the fucker is half deaf.  He can not hear anything.  He raises the volume of everywhere to an unbearable level.

So when my husband is home on the weekends, the TV is loud, his voice is loud, the kids are loud, the toys are loud, and by Sunday I’m ready to shoot myself. 

Monday thru Friday during the week, at about 7pm, when the baths are completed, the TV’s are off, the soft music is on, we are playing gently in the living room and I move one child to his bedroom, and the 3 year old I have to lie down with (if you’re a judgemental parent that wants to tell me I shouldn’t do that, stop reading now).   Basically after reading a couple books and Franklin going to be to “Finding Nemo” or Jungle Book videos nightly, they are asleep by 8:30.

Daddy doesn’t understand “wind down” time.  When I start the evening routine, I have lights off, TV off, and softer music or no music is playing in the house.  When daddy is here, every frigging light is on, the TV’s are BLARING at a level that make me psychotic, and he is making the kids wild by chasing them and making them excited. So on the weekends it is after 10 before I get them to sleep or to bed. 

I can not stop the fun he is having with the kids, but this level of loud and play with the kids at bedtime has got to stop.  I guess if he had to put the kids to bed himself, he might actually get it.  But he really doesn’t, because sometimes he is asleep before the kids.  Good God, I know I’m the only one in this house awake most of the time. 

No wonder I’m yelling at everyone half the time.

I’m still buying a hearing aid first thing if I win the lotto.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Resolve

I have come to the conclusion that last year I stuck with and met my New Years resolution of losing 50 lbs. I lost a total of 80. It was 84 but, December gave me 4 lbs as a present.

This year is a whole new ball game for me since I became a mother. Both of my kids have autism and my 3 year old will be starring pre-school this week and will be leaving me all day everyday. On Tuesday when I drop my baby off I am sure I will need to be sedated.

For the last 5 years nearly every minute of everyday I have had one of my kids with me. I will now have 5 hours to myself everyday.   I don't get 5 hours a month to myself ever.

So for this huge change that is about to occur in our house, I resolve to:
  • Use my time wisely 
  • Get a handle on the laundry situation here, and yes it really is a situation. 
  • Workout and train for the half marathon I have been planning on. 
  • To make myself clear and good in my head so I can give only the best of me to those kids when they get home. 
  • Keep a clean and ORGANIZED home.
  • Make time for my friends and family
  • Be a better blogger. 
  • Use my time to learn more about autism and advocating for the kids. 
  • Learn more about my own health and fitness and quit falling off track. 
  • Stay away from nut job people.
  • Fight less with my husband.
  • Continue to stay and work at staying cancer free.

This seems like a long list but these are the things in my life that cause me strife and if I chip away at them a little bit at a time hopefully by the end of the year I will have less strife in my head and more peace.

Happy New Year to you all, what do you resolve to change?