Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hell Spots

After last night's post about how I've become a twice-weekly blogger, I throw a third blog post in today to mess with everyone's minds!

Today I took Hutton to speech therapy. (We were ten minutes late, but left the house on time, or what I thought was on time. Apparently the 50 cars piled up at the light ahead of me this morning thought the same thing!) After we dropped him off, Harrison and I headed out to "run errands". I headed down the street to a certain green mermaid coffee joint and played my mystery woman game.

Afterwards, with a hot coffee in one hand, and a sweaty toddler palm in the other, I headed to my car to take some notes. Then I headed to the other green mermaid coffee joint, diagonally across from the first store, in the same strip mall, mind you, to do my second shop. (It would have been really cool if there were another of the same store inside of the QFC grocery store, next to one of the green mermaid stores, but alas, the Seattle's Best got that spot. Oh, and by cool, I mean insane. But hey, these stores all seem to stay in business, so more power to 'em!)

After all the coffee shopping, followed by a brief run into the QFC grocery store, which ended in a screaming Harrison being dragged out yelling, "More shopping!" (yeah, that's exactly what I love to do with screaming toddlers - grocery shopping!), I headed to pick Hutton up from speech therapy. When we got to the car, I stepped in some very well camouflaged chewing gum -- white spearmint gum stuck on the white parking stripe. As I attempted to scrape my now minty sandal on the pavement while getting Harrison in his car seat, I cursed the flibberty-gibbet smurf-tail who left the smurfing gum there.

I continued to stew on this when I got into my own seat and tried to wipe off the gum with a baby wipe. Why do people (or smurfs, in this case) put their nasty used gum in places where other people will encounter it? What is so hard about finding a scrap of paper, wrapping your used gum in it, and throwing it away? Did these people not realize that used gum is considered litter? Yeah, it is in my book! Now, I compost lots of stuff at home -- I just got a free worm bin, so I can do food scraps and dog poop now! Yippee! -- but I don't throw crap on the pavement in parking lots, knowing it will decompose eventually. Yeah, it does, but in the meantime, nobody wants to step in it. Same thing with dog poop. It will decompose eventually, but when you leave it by the side of the road, even on rural suburban ones like the one my family lives on, someone may still step in it. And stepping in dog poop sucks. I know. I've done it, the boys do it a lot, and I've cleaned up lots of shoes.

Anyway, back to the gum. When I was little, I would often just swallow my gum if I didn't want to chew it anymore. And believe it or not, it doesn't take seven years to digest. It doesn't digest at all, just goes through your system and come out later on. I'm sure it can cause some people problems to swallow gum, but, even if you can't swallow gum, please don't leave it on the pavement, or underneath a table or desk somewhere. That's just nasty. And I think there's a special spot in Hell for people who leave gum around for others to step in. Hmm. Maybe I should move to Singapore, where gum it outlawed. Nah, I actually like chewing Big Red after coffee. I just take it out and throw it in the trash afterwards. Yeah, can you believe I go to all that trouble?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Twicer

I've become the thing I've always dreaded. Well, that's a lie. I've never really dreaded becoming it. I didn't even know it existed until a few years ago when I even discovered blogging. "IT" is the twice-weekly blogger.

That's right, I'm a lame blogger who can't pull random thoughts out of my sad little brain and condense them into semi-coherent passages more than twice a week. That's OK, though. I'm all right with it. I can accept my blogger failings. Sometimes I just have to be outside gardening when the Northwest weather finally turns warm and sunny after nine months of rain and gloom. Other times I may be spending too much time looking for things I don't really need on ebay, or getting caught up on the latest with "Poor Little Lindsay! I blame her father for this!" and other celeb gossip.

I only hope that you, Gentle Reader, can accept my failings as well. Sob, please accept me as I am!


Another "twicer" event is the Cleaning Lady. (Cue that "angels singing" or choir sound). She and her sister come to my humble abode twice a month to keep me and my family from living in squalor. Believe me, it's a very small price to pay, at any price she'd charge. Hubby didn't even give me a hard time about it, since I am the "housewife" and that was on the list of job requirements when I signed up for the job. (Wait, you other housewives didn't get a list of housewife job requirements? Hmm. I'll have to double-check that.)

Anyway, twice a month, I scramble around the house, tidying up on Cleaning Day Eve. That's one of the tricks* of life -- you have to clean for the cleaning people. See, if they show up with the house in its normal state -- toys everywhere, Hubby's laundry basket in the middle of the bedroom, shoes lying around here and there, dishes piled in the sink and on the counter, laundry piled up in the laundry room -- they can't clean the stuff they came to clean. So, I have to pick everything up and put it away, or sometimes just hide it in piles in the closets.

That was what I did on Monday night, Cleaning Day Eve. I got the rooms tidy (not clean. There's a big difference between tidy and clean!) and even had the check written and on the console table, ready to go. Now, I wouldn't have to scramble at all on Tuesday morning!

Tuesday, I got up early, showered and dressed, and got the boys their breakfasts with plenty of time to spare. It was looking like I might actually get Hutton to speech therapy on time, until I remembered that I hadn't picked up his nighttime diaper and pajama bottoms from the bathroom floor that morning, which I wanted to do so the Cleaning Lady didn't have to touch them. (Hutton's morning routine, which he often forgets and needs to be reminded to "Go use the potty and get dressed!", is to get up, go use the potty, leave his pajama bottoms and nighttime diaper on the bathroom floor, put his pajama top in his hamper, and get dressed in the clothes I laid out for him the night before.)

WARNING: CRAPISODE TO FOLLOW! (I posted this after reading Kim's blog today.)
The diaper left on the bathroom floor was dirty with poop, but no poop was still in the diaper. I looked in the toilet. Wow! What a big step for Hutton! He dumped the poop into the toilet! (Now I just need him to stop pooping into his diaper at night. That makes for smelly laundry the next day, believe me!) Unfortunately, he also put in a bunch of baby wipes as well and the toilet was clogged. The poop alone probably would have done it, and it may have. I didn't actually see him put baby wipes in the toilet. The Cleaning Lady was due in 20 minutes. To plunge and be late to speech therapy, or just leave a note, and still be late? I left a note saying, "Do not touch! Toilet clogged. Will plunge later."

And we were late. But at least I had a nice excuse to give the speech therapist! Nothing shows respect for someone's time like a good poop excuse.

*I was going to use the word "ironies" here, but after the Alanis Morrisette song, I really hate the misuse of the word irony or ironic, and I couldn't think of the right word. So, if any of your human thesauruses can think of the right word, please let me know!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Funniest Typo Ever

Or, at least, the funniest I've seen today!

Reading posts on one of the many Yahoo groups I frequent, I saw this:
"I would much prefer to wake up each morning by the genital sunlight..."

After LOL'ing (laughing out loud for those of you who like to speak and read in non-abbreviated terms), I have to disagree. I like to wake up in any way that doesn't involve another being waking me. For instance, no toddler running in the room crying that he's hurt himself (meaning, his older brother hurt him, but he hasn't figured out to say, "Hutton hurt me!" instead of, "I hurt myself!") or an older son coming in announcing, "Breakfast for you, please!" (Meaning, "I want breakfast!" not, sadly, "I'm bringing you breakfast in bed momentarily.")

And I'd have to include being awoken by "genital sunlight" as someone else waking me. Though, I suppose if I were to fall asleep nude AND with the curtains open, it's possible some sunlight could bounce off my own genital region and wake me.

Now, waking to "gentle sunlight" is OK, but around here in the Pacific Northwest, the gentle sunlight comes earlier every day once the summer comes, and waking to sunlight, gentle, genital, or otherwise, before 5 a.m. just sucks. (No genitals involved in this case.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

This Made Me Cry

You're Adopting Who?

A couple's decision to take in an autistic child draws callous
By Ralph James Savarese
RALPH JAMES SAVARESE is the author of
"Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism & Adoption," which will be published Tuesday by Other Press. May 21, 2007

"Why would anyone adopt a badly abused, autistic 6-year-old from foster care?"

So my wife and I were asked at the outset of our adoption-as-a-first-resort adventure. It was a reasonable question in this age of narrow self-concern — far more reasonable, or at least more reasonably put, than many of the other questions we fielded.

For example, "Why don't you have your own children?" a wealthy relative inquired, as if natural family-making were a kind of gated community it was best never to abandon. "You two have such good genes," she added. "Why waste them?"

A colleague at work confronted me in the mailroom with this memorable gem: "Have you tried in-vitro?" She feared that we hadn't availed ourselves of the many wondrous technologies that rescue infertile couples. "Wouldn't that be better than adopting a child with a disability?" she asked, drawing out the word "disability." "God knows
what that kid's parents were doing when they conceived him."

"We're not infertile," I barked. "We have a relationship with the boy."

My wife, an autism expert, had offered his mother services, but as the woman found it increasingly difficult to care for her son and then dropped out of the picture altogether, we'd started spending time with him. His first communicative act with language, at age 3 — the sign for "more" — we'd taught him while tickling his belly.

He later made that sign in the emergency room of a hospital where he was brought after being beaten in foster care. Upon seeing us — we'd been called in to try to calm him — he stopped in his tracks, paused (as if to allow some associative chain to complete itself) and demanded obsessively to be tickled. I remember searching on his chest for unbruised patches among the purple, blue and black. He was that frantic in his quest for the familiar and, dare I say, for love.

To this day, I can't believe how callous people were; the strange anxiety that adopting a child with a disability provoked. And the anxiety just kept coming. "Healthy white infants must be tough to get," a neighbor commented. No paragons of racial sensitivity, we were nevertheless appalled by the idea that we'd do anything to avoid adopting, say, a black child or a Latino one.

As offensive was the assumption that we must be devout Christians: hyperbolic, designated do-gooders with a joint eye firmly on some final prize. "God's reserving a special place for you," we heard on more than one occasion, as if our son deserved pity and we were allowed neither our flaws nor a different understanding of social
commitment. The journalist Adam Pertman, in his otherwise excellent book, "Adoption Nation," reproduces this logic exactly when he speaks of "children so challenging that only the most saintly among us would think of tackling their behavioral and physical problems."

Despite the stigma attached to "special-needs children," people do adopt these kids. And yet, many more Americans spend gobs of money on fertility treatments or travel to foreign countries to find their perfect little bundles. I'm haunted by something my son wrote after we taught him how to read and type on a computer: "I want you to be
proud of me. I dream of that because in foster care I had no one." How many kids lie in bed at night and think something similar?

The physical and behavioral problems have been significant, at times even crushing. The last eight years have been devoted almost exclusively to my son's welfare: literacy training, occupational therapy, relationship building, counseling for post-traumatic stress — the list goes on and on. But what strides he has made.

The boy who was still in diapers and said to be retarded when he came to live with us is now a straight-A student at our local middle school. He's literally rewriting the common scripts of autism and "attachment disorder" (the broad diagnosis for the problems of abandoned and traumatized kids). These are hopeless scripts, unforgiving scripts in which the child can't give back.

My son does, and others can as well. Recently, in response to my hip replacement, he typed on his computer, "I'm nervous because Dad has not brought me braces [his word for crutches]." I was just home from the hospital — wobbly, a bit depressed, in pain. To my question, "Why do you need crutches?" he responded endearingly, "You know how I like to be just like you." My son was trying to make me feel better, taking on my impairment, limping with me.

I've thought of adopting a child, but it's a very short-lived idea, usually. On the good days with my boys, I think I'd love a third child, biological or adopted. On the bad days, I don't think I want the kids I have. Well, I'd like to be able to give them back for at least a fifteen minute break!

Hubby brought up having "at least one, if not two" more kids a while back, and I think my horror-struck look was enough to kill that topic for several months. He hasn't been drunk enough to bring it up again.

As for the adopted versus biological: before I had a child with Autism, I thought I had pretty good genes. In hindsight, several alcoholic, auto-immune diseases, and cancer-filled genes seem to be floating in my gene pool. Hubby's pool has some issues, too, I'm sure.

Of course, there's the weird part of me who still wants to have another baby, so I can try out home birth in my bathtub (yeah, I said it was the weird part of me! I've got a thick granola center, you know!), or "try for a girl" as the saying goes. Though really, there's not much "trying" involved, it seems to me. We can "try" all we want, but Hubby's sperm are the only things that really play a part in the girl game.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Don't Get It

I saw an ad on TV last night for Femcon , the "only chewable birth control pill."

"Sometimes it’s hard to establish a routine – the same time is just not the same every day." OK. They're marketing these as being so amazing because you can carry them around and take them wherever! A birth control pill you can chew! Because those other pills are just so enormous you couldn't possibly swallow them? What the smurf is wrong with people? A regular birth control pill is tiny. If you have trouble swallowing those, you may have other issues in bed, if you know what I mean.

To give these "WTF is wrong with you people" the benefit of the doubt, maybe they need a full glass or water to take with their tiny little pills, and having water with you is sooo inconvenient. I mean, if you have to take a tiny little pill without water, it might get stuck in your tiny little esophagus and dissolve instantly and leave an icky taste. Oh no! The horror! Someone really needs to come up with a chewable birth control pill STAT! Much more important than curing diseases. Oh, phew! They've done it! Chewable birth control pills. Thank you pharmaceutical companies! Don't worry about curing diseases or figuring out how to make flu vaccines without mercury. Not important. These little birth control pills taste like spearmint! Awesome!


Hmm. I just went to the site for Femcon, and read this:

Femcon Fe offers an option for women with busy lives - spearmint-flavored pills that can be swallowed or chewed.* Now you can take your pill at the same time everyday, anywhere you happen to be. Femcon Fe is effective and reliable whether swallowed or chewed.*

*Immediately followed by a full glass (8 oz.) of liquid.

Yes, that's right, you STILL need to take them with a full glass of liquid. So, how does chewing a pill, followed by a full glass of water, versus swallowing it with a full glass of water drastically improve the lives of busy women? And if you're a lazy slob of a woman, who just wants to chew a tasty spearmint pill, can you still take these?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nothing New Under the Rain

Not much to write about. I've had a very bluesy 24 hours of emo shit and won't bore you with that.

Hutton took half of his supplements today, after I gave them to him in melted chocolate. (This is after his doctor's appointment Friday, when she essentially told me Hutton needs to be taking twice as much of each supplement he's currently on, which since he never finishes his supplement-laced drinks, is really nothing. So, technically, twice of nothing is still nothing, but I was going with the "best case scenario" dosing, in which Hutton actually takes the supps. Did I mention dr. wants us to start giving him MB12 shots, too? Yeah, really looking forward to those!) Of course, in order to get all the supplements in, it was way too much chocolate to give a kid in the morning, but he didn't eat it all at once. So, that's one nice thing that happened today. Of course, a few hours later, Hutton made me forget all that when he threw a super tantrum right before we had to leave to get the school bus. Still tantrumming as we ran to the bus, which was waiting for us down the street. The bus driver and bus driver-to-be watched, masking their horror very well, as I led screaming angry Hutton onto the bus. He sat down and announced he had to use the potty. I told him he'd have to wait until school. The BD and BDTB both exchanged a concerned look, probably worried about the state of the bus's seats. I rolled my eyes and said, "Fine. Let's go home. Sorry guys! (to the bus drivers)" So, Hutton got out of going to school today because he threw a tantrum and I just didn't have the energy to deal.

That's pretty much the gist of my day. The boys spent it watching videos, and I spent it being sad and reading celebrity gossip. If I really want to do the emo shit right, I better go find some Smiths CDs to listen to. Hmm. Wonder which ones I actually have on CD. I had them on tape in highschool.

Hubby is SERIOUSLY pissing me off, just having to listen to him play Halo 3. He literally just said, "Just hang on the ledge, Dude!" and "Chuck a shit load of grenades in there!" Come on. It's a good thing we don't have real plasma pistols or missile launchers lying around "base" because there's no telling what emo-chic Laura might do.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Still Bitchy, But Better

Yep, I'm still in a not-so-good place due to Saturday's hi-jinks, followed by two repeat performances on Monday and Wednesday. The repeats were Hutton running out of the driveway into the street, followed closely by screaming Harrison, so I was able to follow the shouts easily and get the boys back in the yard before they wandered far. And our street is quiet, with mostly horse traffic from the stable across the street, which helps keep the cars from going too fast, but still, by the third elopement incident in a week, I was getting really tired of telling Hutton NOT to leave the driveway, NOT to run off without Mommy, etc. After yesterday's performance, I was in a very bad mood, jumping to woe-is-me conclusions that I wouldn't be able to go outside with the boys anymore, since Hutton won't stay in yard. I made both boys go inside and sit in time-outs while I called my BFF to rage and vent on the phone as she attempted to talk me down. (Thanks, Liz!)

Anyway, today I've been outside with Harrison a bit, and have lots more yard work to do. I really enjoy gardening in the spring and summer, and the thought of not doing it because Hutton likes to run...well, it's just NOT an option! His speech therapist brought up a tracking anklet. That's an idea. Or, I could just rig the invisible fence we use for the dogs to child levels. All right, I won't have it shock Hutton. Maybe just beep loudly and have my voice yelling, "DO NOT LEAVE THE YARD!" every time he crosses the boundary line? Hmmm....


Today, while at the speech therapy office, I was reading a magazine in the waiting room, and turned to a double spread drug informational ad. Don't you love those? The first page is the photo of the happy couple, family, older couple, etc. enjoying life now that they have whatever drug is being advertised, then you turn the page and have at least one page, if not two, of extremely small print listing all the side effects and contraindications of the drug.

As I was flipping through, the words CHINESE HAMSTER OVARY caught my eye. It was just bizarre. It wasn't in bold or anything, and you know how small that type is, but my brain just knew those words were very important. I really had no idea how important hamster ovaries are to drug research, let alone those of the poor little Chinese hamsters.

Here's to you, Chinese hamsters and your tiny little drugged ovaries!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Laura's Life Lessons

Here's the first in what may be a recurring theme for this old blog. We'll see if I learn enough to add more in the future.


If you have a big Thermos you filled with hot Starbucks mocha with whip on Saturday, then left in the fridge for three days, the contents will not taste very good on Tuesday.


Tuesday morning, while attempting to get Hutton to speech therapy on time, I grabbed the Thermos from the fridge, shook it up well, and poured myself a big travel cup worth of what I thought would be a nice chilled mocha. That way I wouldn't have to take the time to make myself a hot one. I took a sip, and fortunately was standing by the sink, as the liquid nastiness came spewing out instantaneously in a very impressive spit take. My live audience weren't very impressed, though. Go figure! Imagine pouring clumpy yogurt or sour cream into a mocha and taking a sip. No, not a good taste. I took a cup of water in the car instead and bought myself a mocha at Jitters later on.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Funk

You may be able to guess from the title, that my Mother's Day was not all walks in the park with birds alighting on my fingers ala Snow White to wish my a lovely day.

Nope. Let's see, I started the day by getting up after Hutton came into the room asking for breakfast about 12 times. I fed the dogs, let them out, fed the cat, fed the boys, then made myself some coffee and oatmeal and headed upstairs to catch up on some email and file some mystery shopping reports. Hubby was still asleep. Yes, I was cursing him under my breath, but then again, I'm not his mother. He shouldn't have to get me anything for Mother's Day. Except that he should get me something in the guise that it's from his two sons, the ones I popped out in record time in intense, painful deliveries. No, it's OK, really.

Around eleven, Harrison came in holding a card. It was a cute card, signed by Hutton for both boys. Of course, I wanted to tell Hubby that he got me a very similar card for my birthday seven years ago. The birthday card featured a cat in a flower pot, and the inside read: "For your birthday, I grew you a cat!" The Mother's Day card featured a different picture on the front -- this time it was a kitten in a pot, and it said, "For your Mother's Day surprise, I grew you a cat." Still, a cute card and Hutton wrote "Love, Hutton Harrison" inside. So, I tried to be happy.

The funk part of my day was really just my being depressed about Saturday's big mishap. I had been doing so well being positive about Hutton's progress, and looking forward to his doctor appointment this Friday, when I hope we'll take the next step in his biomedical treatment for Autism -- chelation to get rid of all the heavy metals he has floating around in his body. But, after Saturday, the "positive wind" got knocked out of me, and I'm back to my cynical state, thinking about having a son who can never be let out of my sight, let alone function in the "neuro-typical" world.

So, after stewing most of the day, I decided to break out of my funk and took the boys shopping. Well, plant shopping. I really don't think shopping with boys in general does anything to break one out of funk. It can get you in a funk, though!

I drove to Costco, but they didn't have any fuchsia baskets left, so I headed to a local hardware store that has lots of plants, and Harrison and Hutton helped me load up the cart with flowering plants, a blueberry bush, a lilac, and the piece de resistance, a fountain, featuring a dog whose mouth opens and closes as the water pumps through. Hutton and Harrison both loved it, and I even got it for 10% off, since the display was the last one the store had.

Yes, for some reason, spending money always cheers me up. But, I wasn't as cheerful as I'd been Saturday morning, when I went out to do some solo mystery shopping, and while I was at the mall, picked up a cute blouse and pants for myself on sale. Nope, that Saturday afternoon event seemed to put the "shopping is fun!" cure-all into perspective for me.

After helping Hutton with his homework, and seeing how amazing he is at counting and writing numbers (he now knows how to count by fives up to 100!) I felt a lot better. Then I tried to get him to drink a supplement-laced chocolate banana smoothie with dinner, and when he refused, I was in an angry place. Oh well, the cycle continues.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Birthday? Or Lapse in Security

This afternoon, I took the boys to a birthday party. It was my friend's son's sixth birthday, and Hutton had been very excited when I told him about the party earlier this week. Of course, he was probably thinking, "Birthday = Cake" as that was the situation at the last party we attended. That was an infraction filled day a few months ago (infraction meaning an item not on Hutton's allergy-free diet, or Doritos, pretzels, M&Ms, corn syrup laden "juice" boxes and candy, and a regular gluten and casein-filled chocolate cake).

Fortunately, today's party had some GFCF foods Hutton could eat, as well as two bouncy houses set up in the backyard, along with the regular backyard features of a trampoline, a swingset and a tree house. Within minutes, Hutton was joining some other boys in the rather intense tree house, but he made it up with no problems. A few minutes later, "The Bubble Man" was getting ready to perform, so I called Hutton down, and he managed to scramble down on his own.

The Bubble Man was a hippie whose focus was on driving home to the kids the importance of cheap toys from the thrift store (most of his bubble paraphanelia was made from reused trash or thrift store goods) but spent a bit too much time wishing we were back in the 90s. At one point he brought up compact flourescent lights, and I yelled out, "Those have mercury in them!" and my friend Amy and I talked about how if you break one in your house, you need a hazmat team to clean it up. Bubble Man didn't really have a good comeback for that, but he was a good bubble maker.

Harrison was laughing and enjoying the bubbles, as was Hutton. At least for a few minutes. Soon enough, though, he started saying, "Let's go. Be finished." I told him we'd be done soon, but he wandered off towards the tree house. I watched The Bubble Man for another minute, before taking Harrison to go check on Hutton.

Was he in the tree house? No, he was not in the tree house.

Was he jumping on the trampoline or in the bouncy houses? No, he was not.

Was he inside the house? Not in the kitchen. Not in the living room. Not in the bathroom. Not in the play room. How about the laundry room? Nope. The dining room? Nope. The upstairs bedrooms? Nope, nope, nope. Harrison was tagging along behind me, saying, "Hutton's hiding! Let's find Hutton!" as I grew more anxious by the moment. I went outside and looped around the yard again, rechecking. Then through the house, checking closets. I went out to the bubble action area and told my friends that Hutton was gone, then walked to the back of the yard to yell for him and search in the neighbors' yards.

Harrison was still tagging along, saying, "We're looking for Hutton! Hutton's gone! He's hiding!" as I attempted to not get frantic. I got scratched up by briers climbing through overgrowth to get to the neighbors and ask if they'd seen Hutton. (Don't worry: I lifted Harrison over the briers, so he didn't get hurt!) Other parents at the party fanned out to look for Hutton as well. I wandered over to a neighborhood behind the party house, and a very concerned little girl and her brothers told me they had heard already and were looking for Hutton. By this time, I was trying not to cry, but wasn't succeeding. I wandered through yards, asking anybody I saw if they'd seen a little boy.

Giving up, I walked back to the party house, with trooper Harrison still by my side. The party hostess told me she'd called the police and they were on their way, but no missing children had been found. Just then, a police SUV pulled up, and I walked over to talk to the officer getting out. I was about to give him Hutton's description, when he said, "So, is this little guy with you?" and opened the back door to present Hutton happily sitting in the backseat. I immediately started crying and mumbling, "Jesus Christ!" and assorted other things. Apparently Hutton had run down to the busy street a mile away and someone had grabbed him before he got into real trouble. Just typing it makes me cry and repeat, "Jesus Christ!" as my heart starts racing again.

Afterwards, Hutton enjoyed some GFCF cupcakes and fruit while the birthday boy opened gifts, then Hutton and Harrison jumped on the trampoline. I muttered to my friend, "Yeah, now he wants to jump on the trampoline. It wasn't nearly as interesting as the traffic lights a little while ago!"

Why did he run off? Was he trying to get home? Did he really want to see a traffic light? Did he just want to freak Mommy out as an early Mother's Day gift? Who knows! The flight of the autistic child is nothing new. (It's called elopement, though unfortunately, it's not nearly as romantic in autistic kids as it is in young couples running off to get married.) In fact, a few moms at the party had stories of their own lost, and often naked, autistic kids. And Hutton has run off before, but it hadn't happened in so long (two years?) that I thought that was one worry I could put to bed. I guess not! Time to get out the ID bracelet and make Hutton wear it again!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Camera Not-here-a

The other day, Hubby, the boys and I were running errands, and our final stop before heading home was Costco. Everyone's fave, right? Darn, I wish I'd seen those hanging fuchsia baskets before Hubby got to the checkout lane.

Anyway, as we were driving away, we passed a lot that is quite swampy, and Hubby pointed out a beautiful red wing blackbird sitting on a fence post, with it's wings all puffed out. "Aww! Pretty!" I said. I really do like it when Hubby shows his "sensitive side" like that.

Just a few minutes later, Hubby stopped quickly in the middle of the road, behind another car also stopped short. I gave him a questioning look, and he said, to me and the boys in the back, "Look at the duck and the ducklings!" Sure enough, a mama duck was leading her little ducklings across the road in front of the car in front of us. Very "Make Way for Ducklings". This time I said, "Awww! Cute!" Then I asked Hubby if he remembered the names of the ducklings I had as a child. (He's heard this story probably 22,000 times, but you never know if he's actually listening when my gums start flapping.) Amazingly enough, he said, "Uh, Flebster and Webster." I graced him with my widest smile and another, "Awww!"

I'd forgotten about these bird watching in the car incidents until this afternoon, when I pulled up to the bus stop to wait for Hutton. I looked over at the fence across the street and saw a beautiful bird with a scarlet throat, and wondered what it was. Then another bird of the same species flew up and they were "talking" to each other. I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, but they were too far to get a good shot, and they flew off when I got out of my car. So, I'll have to throw in some random pics I found online to illustrate, since I didn't have a camera for any of the above stories. Well, except for this:

Yep, those are the amazing Flebster and Webster in the cage my dad made for them, before they were big enough to be released in our pond. (There were snapping turtles that would get the little ducklings.) And check out that cool feathering action on 8-year-old Laura's hair! (But please ignore the tight lavender pants pulled up a bit too high.) Flebster and Webster (yes, I came up with those names myself!) were Rouen ducks, and they followed my around in the yard wherever I went. Awww! I miss them.

While looking for photos to add to this entry, I found this not-so-lovely story. Jeez.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Time to Post

Haven't done that yet this week. Hmm. Guess I've been "busy" or something.

This week, Harrison and I have checked out a couple of preschools for next fall. This is something good mothers who are top of things did in February. Oh well. It's better that Harrison finds out sooner rather than later that his Mommy is a Slacker. I signed him up for a good "safety school" and have him on the wait list at the school I liked best so far. If nothing else, the safety school has a nice playground. Tomorrow we visit another school, and then I'll decide if the third school is worth paying another $50 or so to be waitlisted for.

This morning Hutton had his ABA meeting at the UW, instead of regular time of Friday morning. Wednesday morning was twice as sucktastic, as I had to get his lunch and school snack packed this morning as we were going to go straight to school after ABA. So, as I scrambled around getting lunch ready, and tried to remember to bring insurance forms to be signed, the notebook I always forget, etc., time was slipping away. Got in the car five minutes late. Listened to the story of a broken water main by the UW on the radio. Cursing under my breath that this would mean worse traffic on the other end of the lake. Of course, traffic was bad on the homeside as well. Finally got to the UW, just five minutes late, and see the horrific sign, "S1 Parking is FULL." I literally screamed. S1 Parking is the lot that is closest to the ABA clinic. I had no idea where to park. There was a sign redirecting me, and I pulled into a garage that was for faculty only. Reverse, search for more parking signs. After driving three blocks away from the ABA clinic, I saw a sign for hospital parking. Great. Ten minutes later we're in the hospital, trying to figure the best way to get on the south side where the ABA clinic is. Fortunately the guy at the front desk gave us easy directions and we managed the long walk through the hospital, down lots of steps through the "Garden Haven" and across the S1 parking lot (DAMN YOU!) in not too much time. We arrived in our meeting room a mere thirty minutes late, and by then the steam has managed to escape through my ears in several sharp bursts of anger, in which I would follow my howls with, "Hutton, I'm not angry at you. I'm angry at the SITUATION." I did lots of mumbling to myself about how much I hate the UW, hate paying $11 for parking when the lot isn't full, hate having to walk through the smurfing hospital, hate having to go to the UW every smurfing week for ABA or "Social Group" (yeah, we get to go to the UW again on Friday. Yippee! Can't wait to see if S1 parking is full!), hate, hate, hate.

After the meeting, my "shortcut" through the hospital added another five minutes or so to our already too short time to get Hutton to school. We were only ten minutes late for that, though. I got a tardy slip in the office (glad I don't need one of those for everything else I'm late for!) and apologized to his teacher in person for Hutton's peeing in the playground sandbox yesterday. She was actually nice and made a joke about her own boys getting in trouble for peeing outside at a neighbor's house. Guess being male and having the ability to pee anywhere isn't always an advantage in the socially acceptable realm of life. (But it helps if you're a trucker, I hear.)

So, now I'm home and using the magical PBS Kids to entertain Harrison while I get paper work sorted and try to figure out whether $700 to clean the roof is worth it. What's the worse that can happen? Our roof rots, leaks, falls apart and everything in the house is ruined? Hmm, probably need to get the roof cleaned. Ahh, I love being a housewife!

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