I. Just. Want. A. Sandwich.

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So I was dashing out the door to an appointment last night and I realized that I had made dinner for my children to have with the babysitter, but forgot to pack anything for myself and *lightbulb moment*:  I will pick up a sandwich from Panera.  Yum!  No problem, right?  Well….   I was in a hurry and I remembered how I had called in an order before or maybe I had ordered online, I couldn’t remember, so I thought, “oh!  I’ll just order it for pick up online!”.  I have developed sort of an aversion to talking to people on the phone when not necessary, especially businesses, so when I can I use e-mail or texts or chats or something similar, I’m all about it.  I thought this online order would fit the bill.  Well….  I went to the website on my phone which all but made it impossible not to download the app, “Why are you still using the mobile site”, it said, “download the app for easier ordering!”.  Oh, ok.  So I went to the app store and downloaded the app and started to create an account.  (high-pitched this time) Well….  Eventually I figured out that I already had an account, but I couldn’t remember which e-mail address it was connected to.  After a few minutes I got that figured out as well, but then I had no password.  :::headdesk:::  I just want a sandwich.  I just want some dinner.  I have 10 minutes to get where I am going, please to me a sandwich.  Hungry!  So now I was beginning to get really frustrated and hungry and time was running out.  After finding the e-mail address to which my sandwich account (Panera) was connected to, I downloaded yet another app for that e-mail address and I tried to log in.  :::send help::::  I have forgotten my password.  By this time I have run out of time to actually order online and I have arrived at the Panera to just order in person.  (the snail mail of food ordering)  Ugh.  Plus interpersonal skills on the weekend.  Grrr.  *sigh*  Ok, ordered and picked up food and have used my little club card thingy whereupon I discovered that had I figured out how to order online or through the app I could have saved $5.00.  Seriously.  Frustrated.  Feeling defeated I continued on to my appointment rather excited about my sandwich, but upset about my side choice with my You-Pick-2.  Why don’t I ever choose the bread?  I love the bread!  Just get the bread!  Grrr.  Online I would have chosen the bread.  Anyway.  I later did get that password figured out for my alternate e-mail account that was connected to my sandwich account and now I have synched them up with my club card thingy and am ready to rock.  Next time.   I downloaded 2 apps and spent probably half an hour trying to order a sandwich.  I thought this was supposed to be easier.  I remember not too long ago when it would not have even occurred to me to download an app to my phone to place an order for something.  Online technology changes our routines, our social patterns (when was it that I stopped liking the phone so much?), makes things easier to a point, but also can occasionally cause so much extra work.

Be Fierce.  #technicaldifficulties

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

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What kind of mom are you?

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I’m a worrier.  A worrywart my grandmother called it.  I worry about what others think even though I may claim not to.  Goodness knows I try not to worry about who may be judging me, but sometimes it just sneaks up on me.  A friend of mine posted a link to Facebook the other day from a blog post about different stereotypes of moms at schools.  Firstly I was just a little bit horrified because I am sure that I have been several of the moms in the blog post on at least one occasion.  Was it a joke post?  Maybe it was… I hope so!

There was the “hungry mom, pajamas mom, hippie mom, sports mom, PTO mom, perfect mom, and of course, the mom blogger”.  Did this even leave anyone out?  I mean, we can’t all be June Cleaver and if we were… wouldn’t that fall into PTO mom category?  Is that what other parents are thinking on the playground at morning drop off?  (Are you thinking that at drop off?)  I will admit we all have different styles.  There is one mom, that I see nearly every day and I don’t even know her name, but I call her “jogger mom”, because she does her daily run to the elementary school in the afternoons to pick up her child.  There is “svelte black-suit mom” that I’m guessing works in a corporate setting somewhere downtown because she looks very sleek and urban every day.  There are the SAHMs like me, who while having different styles, definitely dress more casually than the workplace moms at the school.  If we’re going to put labels on everyone, good grief, what about the exceptions!  Yes, I have dropped my children off at school still in my pajama pants.  I was also wearing a full-length heavy parka and snow boots at the time.  Its happened maybe twice in 3 years.  Do I get a pass for that one?  With a special needs child as well, some mornings … are just hard.  Most mornings are just fine and really we have a pretty good little routine down and let me tell you a happy ASD child is one with a good routine.  Sometimes though – sometimes are hard!  I think all special needs families and those with multiple children would agree that you can encounter crazy events trying to get out the door on occasion.  We woke one morning to find that my son had spread a very thin, even layer of sunscreen all over our living room rug.  Another morning he was covered in strawberry syrup (and so was the couch).  If you have one very ill child and two very healthy children and you’re trying to get out the door its a whole new host of problems and then what about the “spider”.  I’ve written about this before – when one of the children just.  Won’t.  Go.  They throw their arms and legs out like a spider so that they can’t get on the bus or in the car.  Its stressful.  I’m just saying that if you’re having one of those mornings, maybe fashion and hair styles aren’t super high on your priority list.  Maybe that pajama mom isn’t a “pajama mom” every day.  I think we ought to be a little more accepting of others’ situations before tearing them down.  Goodness knows the world is hard enough as it is.  Let’s not add to it.  Having an ASD child, I’ve been there when my child was having a very public meltdown.  Staring doesn’t help.  Silently judging doesn’t help.  Offering to hold my bag, water bottle, sippy, other child’s hand, etc, would be helpful.

I will admit that I have often wondered at the decisions of other moms that I see in passing because it doesn’t seem to be a decision that I would make, but that is also coming from my background and point of view and not theirs.  I couldn’t possibly know what its like to be in their shoes.  This is an important thing for me to keep at the front of my mind.

I’m just going to keep doing what I do.  Now what I may do, may not be what you do, or they do or he or she does, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t wholly accept the decisions that others make.  This is a really hard issue for me.  Its my “damage” really, so by me writing about it and putting my vulnerabilities out there – I’m really taking a step, but I have definitely done my share of value-searching today and I wanted to write about it.  So, my point, after all that, was if you see in me in my fleecy frog pajama pants and crocs running full-tilt across the playground with two or three children in tow, please, just pretend I was wearing lovely matching outfit in crisp fall colors.  Cross your fingers for me to not trip over a bump in the sidewalk in those crazy shoes because I was probably having one of those days already.

Be Fierce.  #WearFrogsLikeYouMeanIt.

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

That is not my favorite color!

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Did you know that they don’t make (most) boys’ shoes with velcro after size 3?  Nope.  Welcome to shoelace-land.  So with school around the corner, we were out shoe shopping today.  The real kind of shoe shopping – not the kind where you pop into Target for some flip-flops.  The children were measured for their shoes and are on average about a size larger than last year.  It took about half an hour or so for us to get Mr. A and Miss S all settled with their new kicks.  For M, however, the whole process was more difficult.  We learned that because of his new size, there aren’t anymore light-up sneakers.  *sad face*  It also means that there aren’t too many options with velcro.  (Where we were shopping, there was only one pair of velcro shoes and they were gray.  I think possibly he was personally offended by the color.  “That is not my favorite color!”)  Slip on varieties such as Vans were an option, but there were limited styles.  Anyway, we knew it was coming.  We knew that one day soon we would have to sit down and work with those motor skills on shoe tying.  I may order some of those little squiggly things that go in shoes instead of laces just in case, but we’re really going to work on tying shoes this week.

Initially, M wanted some red and blue Geoux sneakers like his brother Mr. A.  After realizing that they didn’t have them in his size, we checked the men’s department out for alternatives.  M was not thrilled. I was not thrilled.  The men’s department??  Really??  He’s 9!!  Still.  He has big feet.  He’s growing.  I can do this.  Ok, the men’s department it is.  They didn’t have anything that really looked like a boy, so we decided to break for lunch and go to another department store.  After a minor meltdown whereupon we nearly put that, “No Shoes, No Service” rule to the test, we had lunch.  At the second department store we  (again) explained to M that he couldn’t have light-up shoes anymore, they just didn’t make them in his size.  He was saddened, but he was coping.  Then we had to break it that there really was no velcro option available to us on that day except for the slip-ons.  He had a hard time with this one.  Mostly I think he felt like he was losing control of his situation.  He could no longer dictate what kind of shoe he wanted in terms that he understood.  We went through rows and rows of shoes.  This took literally all afternoon.  He was to the point of refusing to wear his own shoes that he had worn into the store, until we found new shoes.  We began to focus on colors and he decided that red would be his color choice because it was similar to the first pair he looked at earlier in the day.  We went through all the red shoes and eventually he reluctantly agreed to a pair of very red sneakers.  Fabulous.  The relief!  G and I felt like we had run a marathon.  We quickly changed gears and headed to a playdate at the park with friends.  The trials and tribulations of shoe shopping were quickly forgotten, but I did have to re-tie M’s shoes several times.  Gotta work on those skills.  One problem at a time!  Third grade here we come!

*side note:  Incidentally – Miss. S’s shoes….um, they’re musical.  I’m going to let that sink in.  ::::MUSICAL:::::  When you walk, the toes light up.  When you put the toes of the shoes together, they play music and the toes and heels light up.  Yeah.  We did not realize that until we got home.  I have to say, it was a little weird discovering that we had bought our daughter musical shoes.  I just don’t even know what to think.  I suppose it will add a new dimension to waiting in lines…

pTSA-20396289p275wMiss S’s musical shoes.

Twinkle Wishes by Skechers.  Photo by Sports Authority.

Be Fierce.  #dropthegrayshoes

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

“You know you’ve sworn off BAKERIES for lesser offenses..”

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This was what my husband said to me after tiring of hearing about all of our church drama.  I just stopped mid-sentence.  Um, yeah, but its a church, not a doughnut.  I do really really love gourmet doughnuts.  You may recall my post here where I just “lost it” while waiting in line at Bennison’s, a local bakery here.  Quick recap:  I have 3 children plus DH and myself, I spend a minimum of $18 walking into a bakery and usually its more if we get loaves of bread or rolls, etc.  Its hard for me to get there to begin with, what with all the wiggly ASDness and whatnot, and its usually a “treat” for my children.  I don’t expect special treatment, but I do expect to get my “turn” in line after I’ve been waiting there for ages.  In any case, I know what he meant.  “Leave the drama alone”.  Per our difficulty with our special needs child at church and other religious education goals not lining up, we have officially left our church and the notification e-mails have been sent and phone calls made.  Here was my original post about that.  I am more upset than I thought I would be, but I do think it was the right decision in the long term.  I am most sorry that I have lost a couple of new, but good friends from the congregation due to just…. drama I guess.  I’m not even sure what happened.  Here are the reasons we left the church:

  1. Our spiritual journey is not aligned with that of the church and we can’t in good conscience continue along this path of religious education for our children.
  2. Our children are getting older and moving into the “big kid” classes.  It is important to us to have a more structured environment for their religious education.  At this time the staff, model and  structure for caring for our ASD child does not meet our needs.
  3. We have felt that the church is becoming more and more committed to social outreach causes instead of nourishing the body and spirituality within the church.
  4. Along with ministering to those with regards to racial diversification, economic inequality and immigration reform, ministering to individuals with special needs and the families who care for them can indeed be its own method of “outreach” into the community and we would like to be in a place where this is more of a priority.

I was also especially hurt because our “spiritual journey” is pushing us in more of a conservative direction right now and its just not something that I ever thought I would be judged for.  We don’t all take the same path.

Anyway, I’m off to Hewn.  They have amazing croissants.  😉

Be Fierce.  #Dropthatdoughnut

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

Playground Life Lessons

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Growing up is so hard.

My middle son, my neurotypical child, is a lot like a first-born child to me.  Or rather, we go through many “firsts” that my oldest child has not gone through yet and some, as an ASD child, that he may never go through at all.  Mr. A comes running  up to me on the playground sad and nearly in tears that there was a small group of children “talking” about him and his friends and threatening to put something on FB about them.  You know, he has mentioned this problem and even this particular group of children before and I just didn’t take it seriously because 1) Generally younger children don’t have smart phones with internet access and FB accounts and 2) younger children are prone to more “outlandish” threats and finally 3) I just hadn’t seen it happen.  Well I saw it that day on the playground as I was watching the children play and chatting with a friend of mine.  After Mr. A came to tell me what happened a boy drove his bike over to where we were and again made the threat to my son… in front of me.  How bold is that?  Then he biked over to his small group of friends.  I had so much information hit my brain at once I felt like I was on one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons where I had steam coming out of my ears from an overload.  These children were older.  “Big kids” from the middle school.  They did have smart phones with internet access.  After realizing this I walked over and addressed them, trying to use my best parental voice and sound emotionally-even and mature instead of freaking out that my babies had been threatened.  It was difficult.  Afterwards we left the playground and went to another nearby play area.

Later on I tried to explain to my son that people only talk about you when you’re important.  They talk because you have something they want, or they want to be like you.  Possibly, they may even want to be your friend, but they may not know how to express that.  He was still a little blue, and we’re working on it.  My oldest son, my autistic child, has the gift of irrelevancy.  If something is not immediately important, especially in a social scenario, he is not concerned and may not even remember that it happened.  If he does happen to remember, he is so unconcerned with it, it might as well have happened to someone else.  DH and I are often curious about what it must feel like to be him.  In some ways, it must be pretty awesome to not have to carry all your emotional baggage with you!  Talk about taking a load off!  In other ways, he may be so bogged down with other racing thoughts he just may not have the brain space for all of the social nuances in every day life.  Who knows?  Maybe one day he’ll tell us.

Be Fierce.  #DiscussIdeas

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

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The Witching Hour(s)

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You know that time between 6:00pm and 8:00pm when you’re tired, your children are tired and you’re trying to fit everything else into your day in a 2-hour time slot?  Those are my witching hours.  Traditionally I believe its between 12:00AM and 3:00AM and if you have a newborn, those indeed may be yours, but for me its right around dinner time.  During this time I’ve got to shuttle the children home, get dinner on the table, homework done if school is in session, run 1 bath and 2 showers and that’s not even what I’m talking about with “witching hours”.  That’s just normal running – everyone has something they’re doing whether its work related, personal or whatnot.  I’ve been thinking about this more and more because we’re going to have to rein in bedtime.  I don’t know about you, but we’ve really let it go for the summer with schedules letting the kiddos stay up late and sleep in.  That’s all about to change in about 2 weeks time and I need to get my act together!  The witching hours I am referring to have to do with the children’s personalities during those hours.  I think that is why I started to lovingly(!!) refer to them as mons-ners.  They’re tired, cranky, hungry and cray-cray.  They can be screaming non-sensical rhymes or become stuck in a fire engine sound loop, “weee-oooo, weeee-oooooo, weeee-oooooo”.  Here are some of my favorites:

“I need to put on my sunscreen to sleep”.

“I can’t go to sleep because Mr. Bear does not have his coat on”.

“My notebook is in the car!!”.  O.o  (Your guess is as good as mine with this one.)

Their little bodies are so exhausted they become entangled in their pajamas and end up screeching like a bird caught in a fishing net.

DSCN2730“I’m not tired!”, Miss. S says.

Anyway.  I know a handful of moms who turn to a glass of wine at this time to make it through and calm their nerves.  I won’t lie, I’ve done that too.  I usually indulge in a  handful of M & M’s.  “I deserve it!”, I think to myself.  It helps my patience.  Whatever gets you through your day, right?  I think the worst part for me is the after-mess.  You know, you’ve (finally) gotten to the children to bed and now there’s the house to deal with before bedtime.  Occasionally, I do let it go.  Sometimes I just don’t have that extra “umph” in me.  I find however, that when I do the tidying up before bed, it makes my mornings go smoother and then I can get straight on to the afternoon with a better temperament and positive outlook.  Sort of like a chain reaction.  Sometimes this is enough to make me trudge through the molasses of picking up toys, wiping the table and cleaning the kitchen one more time before bed.  Look for that silver lining!  I find that when I really don’t want to – sometimes I can trick myself into cleaning for 15 minute increments like the Flylady at flylady.net.  That tip really does work.  Wish me luck as we move our schedule around.  Good luck to you out there as well!

Be Fierce.  #WeCanMakeItThroughBedtime

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly