River Monster

February 14, 2014

River Monster

That? That is Rascal, the river monster. It (He? She?) is the mascot for Faith’s beloved AA baseball team, the Harrisburg Senators.

It (He? She?) brought Faith balloons, chocolates, flowers and tickets to an upcoming game.

But even more important, it (he? she?) brought Faith hope that winter is almost over and her guys will be back soon.

 

{ 1 comment }

Creepy Elfie

December 3, 2013

I’m sure you have heard of Elf on the Shelf so I’m not going to recap it here. What I am going to do is try to post pictures of our fun with Elfie. :)

 

What? Did I miss a spot?
Day 1- What? Did I miss a spot?

 

No Elfie, It's not baseball season. Yet.

Day 2 – No Elfie, It’s not baseball season. Yet.

 

Oh Elfie, you made quite a mess. Donut break is over!
Day  3 -Oh Elfie, you made quite a mess. Donut break is over!

 

Looks like Elfie has made a couple friends. Wait...Elfie! That's my good pot!!!
Day 4 – Looks like Elfie has made a couple friends. Wait…Elfie! That’s my good pot!!!

 

ELFIE! NO!! They are still our guys, even if they do play for Detroit now. Put those scissors down!
Day 5 – ELFIE! NO!! They are still our guys, even if they do play for Detroit now. Put those scissors down!

 

Me thinks someone is cheating.
Day 6 – Me thinks someone is cheating.

 

Hey! That's not snow!
Day 7 – Hey! That’s not snow!

 

Elfie made a new friend. But perhaps next time he will think twice before accepting a ride with someone named Evel.
Day 8 – Elfie made a new friend. But perhaps next time he will think twice before accepting a ride with someone named Evel.

 

Elfie! How did you get in there?
Day 9 – Elfie! How did you get in there?

 

Elfie! Nooooo! Don't start playing that! Just. Don't.
Day 10 – Elfie! Nooooo! Don’t start playing that! Just. Don’t.

 

Poor Elfie. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Day 11 – Poor Elfie. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

 

ELFIE! That is NOT how we "catch them all"!!
Day 12 – ELFIE! That is NOT how we “catch them all”!!

 

Oh hi there...will you be much longer? I'm waaaaaaiiiiiiiting......
Day 13 – Oh hi there…will you be much longer? I’m waaaaaaiiiiiiiting……

 

ELFIE! That is NOT how we count down to opening day!
Day 14 – ELFIE! That is NOT how we count down to opening day!

 

Day 16 - 2.7 seconds on a deer named Fu Manchu
Day 16 – 2.7 seconds on a deer named Fu Manchu

 

Elfie refueling.
Day 17 – Elfie refueling.

 

Day 18 - Daydreaming
Day 18 – Daydreaming

 

Elfie! Ceiling fans are not for bungee jumping!
Day 19- Elfie! Ceiling fans are not for bungee jumping!

 

 Day 20 - If I put a scarf around his neck, no one will notice I broke him, right?
Day 20 – If I put a scarf around his neck, no one will notice I broke him, right?

 

 Day 21 - I feel pretty, oh so pretty!
Day 21 – I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

 

 Day 22 - 4am is not the right time to start a new project Elfie!
Day 22 – 4am is not the right time to start a new project Elfie!

 

 Day 23 - Elfie, those cookies are for Santa, not you!
Day 23 – Elfie, those cookies are for Santa, not you!

 

 Day 24 - Elfie found a new strange and wondrous creature called "Big sister who arrived at 3 am after driving from Galveston to PA."
Day 24 – Elfie found a new strange and wondrous creature called “Big sister who arrived at 3 am after driving from Galveston to PA.”

 

 Day 25 - Elfie honors the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all.
Day 25 – Elfie honors the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all.

{ 1 comment }

An explanation…

November 18, 2013

I’ve been MIA for a bit.

I started watching Dr. Who.

I can’t stop.

Sorry, not sorry.

This

{ 0 comments }

Lesson in patience

October 15, 2013

Faith has not felt well over the last few days.

That means that she is moving a bit slower. She’s a bit quieter.

It also means that I’m not quite as fast to jump up when she does because chances are she’s not getting into anything.

So yesterday, when she walked to the kitchen, I let her go by herself.

I heard her little shuffling feet…shuffle…shuffle…stop.

I heard a cupboard open. Usually at this point I would get up to see what she was up to and see if she needed help. This time, I decided to wait.

“Faith, do you need some help?”

“Nope.” Okay….patience. 

I heard plastic being knocked over.

“Everything all right?”

“Yup.”

I heard plastic hit the counter. (A cup? I think that’s a cup.)

shuffle….shuffle….

I heard the refrigerator open.

“Can I help you with anything?”

“No.” She does need help….I need to go help….but she said no…..patience.

I heard glass clinking, pretty sure I heard a few things being knocked over.  

I heard something plastic collide with the door. I heard a small splash. I heard the sound of a pitcher thunked on the counter. Another splash. Arrrggghhhhh…..need to help, must not help, need to help

“Everything ok in there?”

“Yes.”

Splash. shuffle…shuffle…..

Heard the fridge open. Clink. Splash. Thunk. Clink.

Fridge shut.

….need to help, must not help, need to help….

shuffle…shuffle….

Faith rounded the corner holding a cup.

“Mommy! I did it all by myself!!!!”

So glad I didn’t help.

{ 1 comment }

Shhhhh…

October 12, 2013

Psssssttt….

Hey. You.

Lean in close….

I have something to tell you, but I don’t want to say it out loud.

Are you ready?

Faith is almost potty trained.

I never thought I would be able to say those words.

{ 0 comments }

Small Kindness

October 2, 2013

This past weekend we took a little road trip.

And by little I mean 12 hours each way.

Because obviously that was a good idea.

About halfway through the trip, somewhere in Virginia, we figured it was a good time to stop for some food.

Faith has food jags….meaning, she will go for a stretch of time only eating 2-3 foods. Right now it is chicken nuggets, pizza and bananas. Given our limited menu options, we figured McDonalds would work. Plus, they had super cute Wizard of Oz toys that Faith has been asking for.

As always, I began to prep Faith for what was about to happen. I told her that we would be leaving the freeway, turning into a town, and then stopping at McDonalds. We would then get out of the van and go inside, place an order for chicken nugget Happy Meal, then take the food to our car.

She understood and seemed quite happy about the pit stop.

But….

(You knew it was coming didn’t you)

as soon as we entered the McDonalds parking lot, she began to fixate…..and fixate hard….on the Good Witch toy.

fixate

I naively thought I could work her through it if they didn’t happen to have that particular toy.

Yup, even after 10 years of this, I still thought I could.

Hey you…there in the back…I see you laughing.

So, we entered McDonalds. A very full McDonalds. A very, very full McDonalds.

Faith waited fairly patiently in line. Fixated the whole time on the Good Witch.

Do you see where this is headed?

She approached the counter, using “please” and her inside voice, she asked for nuggets and a Good Witch toy.

“Sorry, we don’t have that one.”

Faith went totally still and repeated that she wanted nuggets and the Good Witch….to which the cashier said, “We only have the Tin Man.”

Faith began shaking and turned to me. “I said I want the Good Witch.” I physically stepped between her and the counter and wrapped her shoulders in my arms to start some deep pressure in hopes of refocusing her.

No go.

Meltdown.

Screaming, freaking out, nuclear meltdown.

Faith is almost 100lbs now and if she doesn’t want to move, there is not much I can do, but I did at least get her out of the line and to the wall near the bathrooms. Meltdown continued. She was hitting, pulling my clothes, crying, yelling….the usual.

In the very, very full McDonalds.

In the very, very full McDonalds filled with what felt like the most judgemental people in Virginia.

Staring. Whispering. Pointing. Shaking their heads. Tsk-tsking.

Because I’m sure their child has never/would never act like this. Because their children are/will be perfect.

After about 5 minutes, which felt like several hours, Faith started to come down from the edge. She was starting to respond to my calm, soothing talking. She stopped hitting. She was catching her breath.

During the entire meltdown, I had stayed fully present with her. Calm as I could possibly be.

Then, I heard “Ummm, Ma’am, excuse me….” At that point, Faith was on the down side of it, so I turn and looked at the person.

It was the cashier, who had come out from behind the counter and was standing behind me.

Figuring we were about to be asked to leave, I steeled myself and turned toward her.

“Ma’am, I went into the back and I found the very last Good Witch for her. Come on back to the register and let’s get the Happy Meal.”

Right then, amid the whispers and judgemental stares, I started crying. Hard.

I eased Faith back to the register and explained to her that they had found the very last Good Witch for her.

I looked at the cashier, and while still crying, I told her “I’m so sorry, she’s autistic and she has really been wanting this one toy.”

To which she comfortingly said “I know”.

And I cried more.

And to all of you judging my child, me and my parenting when you don’t have a clue about what is going on….

Eff you.

{ 8 comments }

5 Stages – Faith style

September 23, 2013

Greif

If someone had told me 6 months ago that I would be writing this post, I would have asked what they had been drinking. And maybe if I could have some.

But here I am.

There is a common misconception that people with autism do not feel emotion. I obviously can not speak for everyone, but in my experience, this is totally not true. If anything, the children, including Faith, that I have been blessed to know actually experience emotion more intensely. She feels, and feels deeply.

I’m still not sure of how or why, but Faith has fallen in love with baseball. And not just baseball, but our local AA team. She loves the stadium. The parking lot attendants. The clerks at the Team Store. The group of kids who make up the “Scream Team”. She loves the seats. The hot dogs. She loves watching the moon rise over left field. Watching the between inning acts. She loves singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Singing the players walk-up songs. She loves yelling to the players “Go go go! Do good with your bat!”

She. Loves. Baseball.

But what she loves most…..is “her guys”.

Her guys. The amazing group of young men who have called our town “home” for a few months. These kids who are working their hardest to achieve their dreams. Who play their butts off almost every single day.

Her guys. Who have taken the time…every single game we attended….to welcome Faith. To talk to Faith. To laugh with Faith. To make her feel included in something much bigger. To let her know she is important.

Now the season is over. And her guys have gone back to their hometowns. Some might return. Some won’t.

And Faith is heartbroken. She doesn’t fully understand what has happened. Her guys were here. Now they are gone. The stadium is still here, she can see it. But her guys are gone. She is feeling loss. She is feeling grief. And I don’t know exactly how to help her.

She is going through the stages of grief clearly. She is grieving the connection she forged, the camaraderie she found, the routine we established.

Right after the last game, she was fine: “They will be back tomorrow mommy.” (Denial)

Soon she moved into: “Make those guys come back, now.” (Anger)

She has spent the last week in the next stage. “Tell them I’m sorry I didn’t cheer louder, then will they come back?” “I won’t cry anymore at the games, I promise, can we go to a game now?” “Mommy, I’ll be a good girl, please call them.” (Bargaining)

This morning we have tipped into depression. She woke up this morning and the very first thing she said was. “I just miss my guys so much.” and began crying.

She is breaking my heart and I don’t have any way to fix this.

It’s going to be a long winter.

snowballs

 

{ 2 comments }

Milestones

September 20, 2013

Faith and I have a morning routine. It’s been in place ever since she started school.

Walk to the bus. Hug. Kiss. “I love you, have a great day!”

Every. Single. Morning. For the past 6 years.

Until this morning.

As we walked to the bus, Faith asked “Can we just hug, not kiss? I’m a big girl now.”

Oh my heart.

So proud. So sad.

So….

So….

Normal.

Excuse me while I go sob into my coffee for a bit.

{ 0 comments }

And I felt…

September 14, 2013

Breaking point. We all have one. I have one. Today I hit it. I felt sorry for myself. I felt angry. I felt sad. I simply felt. I’ll let you in on a secret….a large part of my survival strategy is not feeling. When Faith is screaming, hitting, melting down, I can’t feel. I need to deal [...]

Read the full article →

Change is good

September 10, 2013

Over the last couple months I have been asked what is happening with my blog. Why I’m not posting as often. Why I’m not accepting sponsorships, giveaway and review opportunities like I used to. The simple answer….because I’m not really that excited about Cool Whip. I’m not. But I found myself trying to be. Cool [...]

Read the full article →